Sail Date: July 2017
The Amsterdam is a smaller ship of 1400 people and we sailed to Alaska for two weeks. The weather was mostly very good. We had a Vista Suite which was more than adequate. The cabin stewards were wonderful. We booked several excursions ... Read More
The Amsterdam is a smaller ship of 1400 people and we sailed to Alaska for two weeks. The weather was mostly very good. We had a Vista Suite which was more than adequate. The cabin stewards were wonderful. We booked several excursions through Holland America and they were all very well done. We ate the majority of our meals in the main dining room at the 8 pm seating and had absolutely no issues at all. The meals were all excellent and I do not see any reason to pay a surcharge to go to the specialty restaurants. The entertainment was mostly very good. The HAL singers and dancers were some of the most talented that we have seen on any cruise ship (we have sailed Disney, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian). Jim Curry did a tribute to John Denver and did an excellent job. Amy Lee was a violinist who was very talented. We particularly like America's Test Kitchen with Kathleen. She demonstrated various menus and dishes throughout the cruise. We picked up some great hints and recipes. We really felt that Holland America was a step above the cruises that we have previously been on. However, we still feel strongly that Disney presents the best entertainment. I would urge you to do this two week Alaskan itinerary, we saw whales, bear, eagles, otters and orcas. The embarkation and debarkation were excellent and very well organized. Seattle was an excellent pre and post cruise city. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
Far too much chipping of paint and painting and varnishing around the ship. We were awoken in Sitka, Ak. to the banging of hammers on our window. We were both ill with coughs and colds. We planned to stay in our cabin for the day but ... Read More
Far too much chipping of paint and painting and varnishing around the ship. We were awoken in Sitka, Ak. to the banging of hammers on our window. We were both ill with coughs and colds. We planned to stay in our cabin for the day but couldn't stand the noise and had to leave our cabin for the better part of the day. To any cruiser this is totally unacceptable. For this reason alone Holland has lost at least 2 customers. The Dive in burger and taco bar continually running out of food. Straws almost nonexistent, never any straws in 14 days at the Dive in, throughout and so short they barely came up to the rim of your glass. It was funny watching folks at shows digging around their $9.00 drinks trying to find their straws. It was so bad one day there were 3 restaurant managers, a chef and an officer trying to fix the problem. Food in the Lido Cafe fair to poor. This Cafe seemed to be closed far more than it was open. Again totally unacceptable. We did the same cruise in 2016 on the Maasdam and it was a very nice cruise. Main dining room food and service excellent. Some shows excellent, some poor. Itinerary great. The reason we did it again. this was our 31st cruise. There were more short comings but I'm out of time. Think twice before cruising Holland. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The staff on the ship was wonderful. Definitely no complaints there. The excursions were fine. We did not like the cabin (1885), as it was right across from the janitor's closet for the room stewards and we heard them going in there and ... Read More
The staff on the ship was wonderful. Definitely no complaints there. The excursions were fine. We did not like the cabin (1885), as it was right across from the janitor's closet for the room stewards and we heard them going in there and out, all the time. Often it sounded like they were rustling our door to come in. On the other hand it was midship, so the cabin was close to the stairs and elevators. The other issues were 1) On the 6th day, brown water intermittently came out of the faucet. We reported this to the Front Desk who said to let the water run for 10 minutes and they also sent complementary bottles of water to our room. Which we used to brush our teeth and rinse our mouths. We tried the ten minute running of the water on several days thereafter but the intermittent brown water continued the rest of the cruise. We were uneasy about washing our hands with this water but we had no choice. 2) The reception of the TV in the room was spotty at best. This was frustrating, as we like to keep up with the news via TV but often there was no picture. The dinner dining was the highlight of the cruise. OMG those deserts, I gained 4 lbs. The table service was just great. At home I work out a lot, so I went to the gym for at least seven of the 14 days. The gym was just average but on the other hand not very many cruisers used it. I would guess HAL is conflicted on how nice to make a facility that is so rarely used by the cruisers. One big issue with the gym was it was too hot. I worried, as a senior, if working out in that heat would be a strain on my heart. I was always drenched with sweat when I left. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Wanted to make our first trip to Alaska special, without the long interior trip to Denali. Decided that the round trip from Seattle to Anchorage was the perfect combination of ports and days at sea. The trip exceeded our expectations. ... Read More
Wanted to make our first trip to Alaska special, without the long interior trip to Denali. Decided that the round trip from Seattle to Anchorage was the perfect combination of ports and days at sea. The trip exceeded our expectations. Besides the great service, smiling faces, dining options and entertainment, we met wonderful people to share our Alaska adventure and hopefully some future cruises. We elected the Dine Anytime and that worked out great. We thought we'd eat more on the Lido deck, but enjoyed most dinners in the dining room. After dinner, take in the musicans on deck 5, then off to the Queens Lounge in the front of the Ship for the Nightly entertainment at 8 or 10pm. Because the Amsterdam is a smaller ship we were able the dock at all ports, making for an easy exit to explore the ports. We did miss Kodiak due to fog and/or a research vessel dead in our spot. We did get our port fees refunded, but would have enjoyed the visit. The only regret is that we didn't do more excursions. I never heard anything negative except that they would have liked more time in the Butchart Gardens. Some excursions may seem expensive, but the memories and experiences are priceless. Have a great time and enjoy the others around you. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
We arrived early to Seattle & chose to drive to Mt. Rainier National Park prior to our cruise. The embarkation could not have been quicker more easy if they tried. I arrived at the port at about 11:30 & was in my room by noon! ... Read More
We arrived early to Seattle & chose to drive to Mt. Rainier National Park prior to our cruise. The embarkation could not have been quicker more easy if they tried. I arrived at the port at about 11:30 & was in my room by noon! The ship was clean, the décor was neutral (lots of fresh flowers) & just the right size. I'm a vegetarian & ate quite a few meals off the MDR menu, but they also have a vegetarian menu, I ate several appetizers, salads, & soups off of that menu as well. At dinner time the lido is not a very good option for vegetarians. I'm not a night owl, so I can't speak to the evening entertainment & I'm not a fan of production shows. There were a lot of trivia & name that tune activities presented by the cruise director & staff. Many people not unlike myself self entertained with puzzles, card games, & the like. Of which there were a lot to choose from in the Explorations Café. The service was impeccable (& I was not in a suite). HAL has a unlimited laundry service. I would choose HAL just for that service! This ship visited a lot of ports that are not regularly visited by cruise ships & I liked all of them! (I booked a few independent excursions.) I travelled with my 8 year old son & he loved HAL's Club HAL (There were 70 kids on the ship equally dispersed between the 12 & under & 13 & over set.) I would love to sail this itinerary again! (Maybe in 2019 or 2020) Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
Our previous 7day cruise does not compare with this 14day Holland America cruise first of all because of the ports visited. The smaller vessel was able to reach more environmentally sensitive ports and provided a much more enjoyable ... Read More
Our previous 7day cruise does not compare with this 14day Holland America cruise first of all because of the ports visited. The smaller vessel was able to reach more environmentally sensitive ports and provided a much more enjoyable experience. The onboard enrichment star, was for us, America's Test Kitchen. My husband of 48 years may start cooking! The library was first class and offered an extensive variety of activities such as board games, puzzle tables and huge assortment of books. The staff was, without fail, smiling, attentive and interactive at appropriate times. We found the menus to be well thought out and provided a good variety of veggies and desserts, including gluten and sugar free. Lovely ice cream selection. There is a nice poolside burger / taco bar that was great for snacks and meals. The fresh flowers on almost every table and venue were lovely and unexpected. Made my days special. The entertainment was typical of other cruises. Movies included popcorn which was a treat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this as our family cruise because it was a 14 day Alaska cruise and it went all the way to Anchorage. On the bright side, Alaska is still as beautiful as it was the first 2 times we cruised to Alaska, once on the Celebrity ... Read More
We chose this as our family cruise because it was a 14 day Alaska cruise and it went all the way to Anchorage. On the bright side, Alaska is still as beautiful as it was the first 2 times we cruised to Alaska, once on the Celebrity Solstice and then last year on the Disney Wonder. Both 7 day cruises were fantastic!! However, when comparing the three, this cruise was the worst, especially when it comes to entertainment and enrichment programs offered in the main theater and the lack of fun "cheesy" things to do on sea days. The food was OK, but nothing to write home about. The service was great as usually, but it seems like the staff was a little slimmer than on past cruises. For example our 2 room stewards had 39 cabins to take care of daily which seems like a lot. But the most telling factor was the cruise director had only one assistant and both of them were constantly on the move, mostly conducting 3-4 trivia games a day. No wonder there isn't a lot of variety any more on HAL sea days with regards to fun "cheesy" things to do, except of course if you like trivia. If that's the case, then you will love cruising with HAL. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We escaped the heat of Florida for the cool Alaskan glaciers and it was wonderful to be on the ms Amsterdam! Overall, yes, the ship is showing her age a bit but I loved how she "flowed" with well-designed public spaces. The ... Read More
We escaped the heat of Florida for the cool Alaskan glaciers and it was wonderful to be on the ms Amsterdam! Overall, yes, the ship is showing her age a bit but I loved how she "flowed" with well-designed public spaces. The only time we felt crowded was in the rush to get to an excursion, last day look at photos and occasionally in the line for ice cream at the Lido buffet. All to be expected, I think. Food, crew and service were fantastic! It's important to know that the Holland passengers skew older. If you have only ever sailed on "fun" ships, the daily schedule will seem boring to you. If you are looking for peace and quiet with mostly evening entertainment options, you'll probably like the Amsterdam. Check out the message boards and roll calls on CC, to get more details and ideas. Tip #1: If you live more than 5 hours from the port, consider a pre-night hotel stay. We had planned to arrive two days in advance and do some fun stuff in Seattle. Unfortunately, weather locked us down at the airport and I had to change our reservations from Seattle to Charlotte. Also, the next day our flight left late and we would have missed our embarkation, if we hadn't planned for that 2-night stay in Seattle. Tip #2: If you don't want to drink tap water, pre-order the 12-liter package from the Holland website (costs considerably less than buying single bottles on the ship). Also, bring a canteen or water bottle unless you're willing to carry a liter bottle around. Tip #2a: Almost forgot... Get the unlimited laundry deal. On our cruise it was just $98 for two weeks of laundry and pressing (I used this for formal clothes). Be sure to ask your cabin steward early on to bring you extra bags and forms. There are a couple self-service "laundrettes" but, for me, the paid service was totally worth it. Tip #3: the Amsterdam still has a lovely big library with lots of books, puzzles and games. They also have a lovely coffee bar (not too pricey) and free pastries (different than most you find on the rest of the ship). We spent several hours in this space playing Scrabble, chess and just watching the waves. Tip #4+: Research the ports and check out the on-line excursion companies. We did two excursions with Holland, two with outside companies and the rest on our own (with help from Google and friendly visitor centers). Due to bad weather, we did miss one port so be sure any outside tickets are refundable or you're willing to lose that money. Be sure to bring your good binoculars and camera. This was the first trip in 5 years, I wished I had more than just my cell phone camera. Tip #5: Dress for local conditions. This is a cruise but you'll be in trouble if you just bring shorts and t-shirts! For Alaska, bring raingear, warm clothes, good hiking shoes, sunscreen and mosquito repellant, depending on what you plan to do in port. Tip #6: Stairs! If you can, use the stairs as often as possible to make up for the calorie load. There is a small gym available and a wonderful promenade deck but I found the stairs are best for me to keep my weight gain down to just a couple lbs. Also, the elevators can be slow at times - remember Holland skews older so many just CAN'T use those stairs. Tip #7: "Anytime" dining worked fine for us on the two formal nights we used it. We asked for a table just for us and had to wait just a few minutes for it. Just know that most of the prime window tables are large so either the families or the "friendlies" usually get those. Tip #8: If you want to go to the 8 pm shows, get there a little (10-15 min) early for better seats. Some folks get there 30+ mins early for the "best" seats. I went to 3 of these shows and enjoyed all of them - 1 musical, 1 juggler and a comedian. We spend several evenings just chilling in the cabin with some wine and a DVD selected from the list in the cabin. (We did have some glitches with the first two DVDs we chose. When we asked for a machine cleaner from the cabin steward, we ended up with a completely new machine!) Tip #9: PORT Valet!! If you are flying with a participating airline, this is the way to go. It takes a little extra planning while you're on the ship but was great not to have to find and lug suitcases onto the bus and into/through the airport. As a final note, please bring a bit of patience and kindness with you. What bothered me most on this cruise (as with other cruises) was the rare but noticeable rudeness of some passengers towards other passengers and crewmembers. Please don't be "that" man or woman. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise because it is one of the few 14 day'ers to Alaska that does not repeat ports and we had not been on HA since 2006, when we "started late". The total experience was a really pleasant surprise. Enjoyed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is one of the few 14 day'ers to Alaska that does not repeat ports and we had not been on HA since 2006, when we "started late". The total experience was a really pleasant surprise. Enjoyed porting in Anchorage for the first time and really liked the tour to the zoo, there, since we had not been there since 1984, on a non-cruise trip. Embarkation was effortless and checking bags through to LAX worked well. The suites were nice, and the two concierges in the Neptune lounge were very helpful, especially in getting our dining reservations changed to a window table for 4, since we had a couple of friends that we wanted to dine with at the early seating. The shows were very good and the crew was great. Have 2 more HA's booked, along with 9 others. Was cruise number 71 since 2006. Looking forward to the Konigsdam next July. We would do this cruise again for sure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
over all this was best Holland Cruise ever, took this for our anniversary and we were not disappointed. only negative thing we could say - dont go to salmon bake if you dont like squirrels and crows walking on tables next to you and your ... Read More
over all this was best Holland Cruise ever, took this for our anniversary and we were not disappointed. only negative thing we could say - dont go to salmon bake if you dont like squirrels and crows walking on tables next to you and your food. concierge in neptune lounge were outstanding. room stewards were always there when we needed them. this was our 14th cruise and we got a suite. wow wonderful. they treat you like royalty. scenary was out of this world. food was average for cruise. service by all staff was great. cabin is under the pool deck and so you do hear dragging at night when cleaning up pool area. entertainment was average. ship was clean and and in above average shape. dining staff remembered everything we liked and didnt like embarkation too long; disembarkation wonderful. wish we could have stayed another two weeks with same crew. Read Less
Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 3.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.1
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.2

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