211 Holland America Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

An amazing combination - the service and comfort of Holland America and the scenery of Alaska. We got the cosmopolitan city of Seattle and the raw majesty of the Hubbard glacier in one week. On board, the usual high standards of food and ... Read More
An amazing combination - the service and comfort of Holland America and the scenery of Alaska. We got the cosmopolitan city of Seattle and the raw majesty of the Hubbard glacier in one week. On board, the usual high standards of food and services we've come to expect with HAL. This was a winner of a trip. Embarkation was a breeze - we got on early to find our room ready and the ship waiting for us. During the week we had nothing but good service and fine food. The main dining room, the La Fontaine, had a terrific selection of items to choose from and meals were delicious. The presentation of the plates was excellent - every dish looked lovely. One member of our party is a vegetarian and was pleased to find optios at every meal. The Lido buffet was fresh and abundant and waits for food or a table were rare. Our one quibble was the coffee - it was abundant and hot but not as flavorful as we would have liked. One real high point of our trip was the information provided by the shore excursions team. Detailed information was provided not only on the specific ports but also on the history of Alaska and the entire area. These presentations added a lot to our enjoyment. In both Sitka and Ketchikan our explorations were significantly enhanced by the information we had gotten on board. We did only some of the entertainments provided, preferring to get up early and enjoy the scenery. What we saw was good, though not the high point. It is hard to compete with the scenery in Alaska. One on board activity that meant a lot to our family - Club HAL. Our child spent every moment possible with the kids on board and really appreciated the variety of activities available. We took only one ship sponsored shore excursion, a whale watch and glacier hike in Juneau, which we liked very much. In the other ports (Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria BC) we found plenty to do on our own. Again, the information provided on board was a great help in getting us to the best spots for touring and shopping. Our embarkation was seamless and we left feeling nothing but sadness to walk off the beautiful Amsterdam. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We booked the cruise pretty late, and we wanted to go to Alaska. When I looked, there were only two 7-day Alaska cruises that fall within our budget. Holland America's one of the two and I've heard good things about it from my ... Read More
We booked the cruise pretty late, and we wanted to go to Alaska. When I looked, there were only two 7-day Alaska cruises that fall within our budget. Holland America's one of the two and I've heard good things about it from my friends. So I decided to try it out. The cruise experience far exceeded my expectations. The food, the service, the entertainment, the enrichment activities, and the library are all of the highest quality. The library is so beautifully designed even sitting there without doing anything is an enjoyment. Mike Robinson, and Fred and Bobbie Becker are the best comedians I've seen. We stopped at Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria of BC along the way and did a lot of sightseeing. My favorite port of call was Sitka, which is small enough to walk around, clean, untouched, and so out of this world. We visited the largest tidewater glacier in North America, the Hubbard Glacier. We learned about glacier, salmon, "thank you" in the Tlingit language. We saw totem poles, fish hatchery, whales, Russian churches. The only disappointment was the kids' activities; they were too kiddish for my 12-year-old and 10-year-old. And the whale watching didn't stand to our expectations. In stead of whole whales coming out of the water, we only saw tails and part of the back. Nonetheless, the buffet dinner on the whale watching boat was of exceptional quality. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
An Alaska cruise has been on my bucket list for a while. We chose this cruise on a whim due to a sale and booked 30 days out, so we got quite the deal on price. The trip was better than I could have imagined. The scenery of mountains, ... Read More
An Alaska cruise has been on my bucket list for a while. We chose this cruise on a whim due to a sale and booked 30 days out, so we got quite the deal on price. The trip was better than I could have imagined. The scenery of mountains, glaciers, and lush forests was amazing. One of the highlights was all the whales we saw simply from the deck of the ship nearly every day. This even included seeing humpbacks doing full breaches right in front of us! The service was incredible and the staff always seemed genuinely happy and helpful. The food was good and I always found something d enjoy eating, from omelettes and waffles for breakfast, burgers for lunch on the Lido, meat carvings, salmon, steak and lobster and more. Oh and the desserts were incredible! The Amsterdam singers and dancers were quite talented. May not have been the awe of a Broadway show, but their shows were still good and showcased the dancers talent. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We boarded the Amsterdam in Seattle on June 5th for our cruise to Alaska. We had stops in Juneau, The Hubbard Glacier, Sitka, Ketichikan and Victoria BC. We returned to Seattle on June 12th and disembarked. We chose HAL because CC had ... Read More
We boarded the Amsterdam in Seattle on June 5th for our cruise to Alaska. We had stops in Juneau, The Hubbard Glacier, Sitka, Ketichikan and Victoria BC. We returned to Seattle on June 12th and disembarked. We chose HAL because CC had decent reviews, We wanted to leave from a US port and there was actually a sale occurring when we purchased the cruise. Embarkation on the ship was easy and actually well planned out. Plenty of help was on hand and it only took about 1 hr. Considering about 1,400 other passengers were boarding with us it went quite well. This was our first cruise with Holland America and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. We found our room on level 3 (lower promenade) with the help of the cruise director (Erin). Our impression of the cabin it was small, a bit dated but very clean and it just seemed fresh. It was an oceanview room which was ok since we were in Alaska and didn’t think the Verandah would be used much. After unpacking we toured the ship. Our first impression of the ship after walking the decks was that the Amsterdam an elegant lady and not as shabby as we had expected. The colors in the carpeting and walls were bright, the lighting was just right, and it just felt like a beautiful older lady even though it was launched in 2000. The colors weren’t modern but rather glitzy like you would expect in a Las Vegas Hotel. We generally ate in the Lido and found the food palpable and actually not too bad. On the occasions that we ate in the MDR we found the food above par. The service in booth areas was welcoming and always with a smile. The only issue we had was with disembarking. We arrived at the Seattle dock promptly at 7 am. Our instructions were to leave on board the Airport shuttle at 7:40. At 6:45 am. I asked the front desk when we should proceed to the gangplank. She indicated that it was at our decision. When we passed the doors we were to leave at there was a mob of people already gathering to leave the ship. We immediately went for our luggage and lined up by 7 am. It wasn’t until 7:45 am that the doors were actually opened. In our opinion there should be more direction and better planning for leaving the ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We wanted to see Sitka, AK & this is the only cruise that goes there, I think because it is a smaller vessel. Our room was actually bigger than I expected with lots of storage. I would however recommend you bring a power strip as ... Read More
We wanted to see Sitka, AK & this is the only cruise that goes there, I think because it is a smaller vessel. Our room was actually bigger than I expected with lots of storage. I would however recommend you bring a power strip as there is only 1 accessible outlet. We loved the fact that it was a smaller ship. We were well taken care of. Please be aware that you will be paying a room fee of $12.50 per person /per day to cover the gratuities for housekeeping & wait staff, etc. I found the talks by the Program Director to be very informative. I loved hanging out in the Expressions Cafe. The Casino was fun & low-key. There was always plenty to do /or not do if you chose. Am so glad we got the professional picture package. It was the perfect experience for our first cruise. We found the entertainment to be very good. The food choices were very good to excellent. However, I didn't think the Italian restaurant- Caneletto was worth the extra charge. Also, all beverage service will incur a 15% service charge. The Pinnacle grill was very nice, although i don't know if I would do it again. The Dining room was excellent with our best meals being served there. The Lido buffet was good, but there were large wait times for omelettes, crepes or waffles. Finding a place to sit was tricky sometimes & often we shared a table if there was room at one, which was ok. We ordered room service 2x & it was hot & on time. We did that when we had an early port day. I would probably book a different cruise to AK if I did it again only to hit different ports. I would have liked to have seen Skagway -the train trip, & Glacier Bay. Also like more time at Butchart Gardens & perhaps see the fireworks that are held from July on.(We were too early) We enjoyed our shore excursions- (2 booked with Expedia (Juneau & Ketchikan) & 2 booked with Holland America (Sitka & Victoria) The only disappointment was the tea in Victoria- not at the Empress, as we thought & although it was a very nice tea, I was hoping for some information regarding the home, or tea customs or?? Again- it was a fabulous vacation! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The service and food is amazing on this cruise line.Every crew member was helpful and inviting. We ate at all of the dining venues and was pleased with the quality and variety of each restaurant. We never had to ask for drinks on the ... Read More
The service and food is amazing on this cruise line.Every crew member was helpful and inviting. We ate at all of the dining venues and was pleased with the quality and variety of each restaurant. We never had to ask for drinks on the Lido deck as they went around consistently to take your order. The rooms are spacious(the bathtub was a nice touch) and the room steward kept our ocean view cabin immaculate.He even remembered our names. It was easy to get around on the ship. We were in cabin 1866, which was very quite and we did not feel a lot of the motion of the waves, even on the rough sea day. Elevators were very quick and we never waited long to catch one, even being on first deck.They did offer program for teens and we hardly saw our teenager on the ship.He said this was his favorite crew line. We will book again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first time in a Neptune Suite aboard Holland America and it was a fabulous experience. The service throughout the ship (everywhere from the Neptune Lounge to the bars for cocktails) was impeccable. Embarkation and ... Read More
This was our first time in a Neptune Suite aboard Holland America and it was a fabulous experience. The service throughout the ship (everywhere from the Neptune Lounge to the bars for cocktails) was impeccable. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and quickly. Our cabin was a highlight of the trip. It was larger than we expected and had plenty of room for entertaining (though sadly we were traveling alone this time). We loved the large deck especially for glacier viewing. The Amsterdam was smaller than other HA ships we have cruised on, but was not lacking in any amenity. We enjoyed the nightly entertainment and activities on-board during sea days. The food, as always, was delicious. I loved all of the ports in Alaska and Canada; there were so many excursion options that it was hard to choose. The float plane through Misty Fjords and Butchart Gardens were two of our favorites. I would happily go on this same cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I purchased a trip voucher at a charity auction. Booking the trip was amazingly easy! Embarkation and disembarkation were well handled and there were no issues. The ship is well kept and the staff were without question the best. I ... Read More
I purchased a trip voucher at a charity auction. Booking the trip was amazingly easy! Embarkation and disembarkation were well handled and there were no issues. The ship is well kept and the staff were without question the best. I upgraded to a Vista Suite and was very pleased with the cabin and our attendants were very helpful, cheerful and took wonderful care of us. The main dining room was not my favorite. If you are only looking to dine in the main dining room, I would suggest set seating. Having open seating and trying to get a reservation was difficult. But the specialty restaurants were superb! The Pinnacle Grill was amazing, The Night at Le Cirque was incredible, and for a measly $10.00, the dinner at Canaletto's could not be beat. This was my first cruise and I was suitably impressed. If you are looking for excellent customer service and wonderful food, Holland America MS Amsterdam is a definite winner. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We had a delightful time on this cruise. My mom and I had cruised before about 12 years ago on Princess. This was a different experience because of the older clientele Holland American tends to draw. We really enjoyed the ... Read More
We had a delightful time on this cruise. My mom and I had cruised before about 12 years ago on Princess. This was a different experience because of the older clientele Holland American tends to draw. We really enjoyed the lectures/speaker series on board in the afternoons for the days at sea on the history of the area. The virtual tour of the Panama Canal by our Location Guide Wallis was also excellent and a great introduction to what we would be seeing. We didn't attend the shows as much as we did the movies in the early evening. We liked that some of the movies and food were themed around a port or activity. There were some negatives to our trip, but nothing to dampen our time. Due to the older clientele who had traveled extensively, we often felt out of place because everyone talked about going to Honduras or Puerto Vallarta for the winter. My mom and I have actually both travelled quite a bit ourselves, but it just didn't seem to compare. We booked all of our excursions in advance so we were prepared for each day and so we could attend the excursion we wanted at the time we wanted. It seemed like many people waited until they were on the ship to book an excursion or would just get off the ship and do their own thing. We felt much more comfortable and safe with our pre-panning. Again, though, many people at dinner would react like we were wrong to book in advance when asked what our plans were for the next day. I also felt like there was a different air with the passengers' attitudes. Sometimes it felt like people reacted to situations like I spent the money, so wait on me and I'm entitled. While standing in line one night to enter the main dining room, I overheard someone say that they didn't know why the doors were not open yet - his watch said 5:16 and dinner was supposed to begin at 5:15. Another woman was near us in the Crow's Nest on Canal Day and berated someone for sitting in front of her because she had been there all morning - mind you this woman had gotten up temporarily and left her stuff there, but to the newcomer, there was no way to know where she was sitting and how her view would blocked. I guess some of that felt to me that I would not be given the same latitude in my attitude since I'm younger (I am 31 years old). When we went on the kitchen galley tour, many people were lined up going up the staircase, but then others just pushed their way into the line. Overall, we had an excellent time. The Panama Canal is a cruise my mom has always wanted to go on. This particular cruise had the most ports of call and fewest days at sea for the length of the cruise. Being able to see and do as much as we could was the most important for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This cruise was to places unknown to us, in Central America, which was a wonderful highlight, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and fascinating Guatemala. Mexico, and even in the US, San Diego, which was delightful .The public spaces, and there are ... Read More
This cruise was to places unknown to us, in Central America, which was a wonderful highlight, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and fascinating Guatemala. Mexico, and even in the US, San Diego, which was delightful .The public spaces, and there are many, on Amsterdam are the best we have experienced, a smaller ship with a great atmosphere. A very good crew of helpful, ever friendly people, we thought they must be hand picked for the World Journeys this ship does, their patience was amazing.! Entertainment was quite good, it is hard to please everyone all of the time, but a very comfortable Movie Theatre ,with good choices in movies helps there. The Digital workshops, were certainly enriching, taken by the most patient man on the Planet.! So helpful to everyone. A pleasant Captain makes for a happy ship and this shone through, a great journey and we look forward to our next Holland America Line experience in the future, made possible by the very busy Future Cruise organiser, with the most taxing job on board, another indicator of satisfied passengers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise because of its length (13 days) and because we had not been to any of the countries and ports. The cruise was very good and the ports were well chosen from ones in Italy, Turkey, Greece and Croatia. We were awed by ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its length (13 days) and because we had not been to any of the countries and ports. The cruise was very good and the ports were well chosen from ones in Italy, Turkey, Greece and Croatia. We were awed by the beauty of Santorini and surprised by the interesting cities in Croatia (Dubrovnik and Split). Holland America staff was excellent and the food and service was also top quality. The entertainment was good but not as good as others we have experienced on earlier cruises. Our only complaint was the cost of the beverage package and the limited choice. We are not beer, wine and liquor drinkers except occasionally and the package was in the $40 a day range. Other cruise lines offered beverage packages that did not include those drinks but did include non-alcoholic beverages for about that price per week! This did not spoil the trip but would have been nice. Our ship (Oosterdam) was small by comparison to many today (1800) but that made it easy to get around and we were often able to meet up with people we had met earlier and spend time with them. We enjoy the smaller ship experience (our ages are 69 and 68). I would recommend this cruise that began in Rome and ended in Venice. Also the time of year was good because it was not too hot and not to cool. Great for walking around without having to carry extra clothing. Please be careful in Naples, the pick pocket capital of the world. I lost my entire wallet on a train which caused us to miss the tour we had planned in Naples. Don't assume you are same because you know about this problem. We did and it still happened. They are GOOD and what they do. VERY GOOD. We chose to do all our own shore excursions and that worked out extremely well. We got better excursions, paid less for them and discovered a few wonderful people who were out guides. We expecially recommend the Corfu Walking and Food Tour with Tamara S.(Corfuwalkingtours.com) and the Ephesus guided private tour (ephesusporttours.com) with Isik. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
“Around the world in 80 days…” goes the song. However, it took Holland America’s (HAL) ms. Amsterdam 115 glorious days to circumnavigate the globe on our Grand World Voyage 2016. What an amazing voyage it was! We visited 24 ... Read More
“Around the world in 80 days…” goes the song. However, it took Holland America’s (HAL) ms. Amsterdam 115 glorious days to circumnavigate the globe on our Grand World Voyage 2016. What an amazing voyage it was! We visited 24 countries and 41 ports; some were overnight stays. People ask us how we could stay on a ship that long. I reply that we loved every minute and that we hope to do it again soon. We were never bored or sea sick and learned so much about the history and culture of the places visited. It many ways, the cruise changed our thinking on a variety of subjects. For most passengers, this was their fourth or fifth+ HAL Grand World Cruise. For us, it was our first Grand World Cruise. The staff told us that this particular Grand World Cruise sailing had the youngest-aged passengers. One tyke celebrated his first birthday while on board the entire voyage. One thousand fifty passengers including 10 children boarded the ship in Fort Lauderdale. Seven hundred fifty passengers took the entire voyage. Other passengers joined the voyage for segments. Most passengers were Americans, many were Floridians but there were plenty of Canadians and Australians onboard plus other nationalities. Our exciting cruise began January 5, returning April 29, 2016 to and from Fort Lauderdale. Friends of ours encouraged us to go on this cruise with them. Unfortunately, they were unable to go. Right from embarkation, things went well. Within 20 minutes, from the time of our arrival at the pier, we were on the ship. Near the gangway, Pande our Assistant Maitre ’D from our HAL Grand Asia Pacific 2014 Cruise greeted passengers and recognized us. He instructed a steward to carry our hand luggage and escort us to our cabin. Wow! It made us feel like family. Our former Cruise Director, Gene Young from HAL Grand Voyage ’14 was also stationed at the gangway. He, also, recognized us immediately. It was wonderful to have him as our Cruise Director for this cruise, too. I wonder when the man sleeps. He was involved on board in so many ways. Our mid-ship ocean-view stateroom, # 2598 was in a very stable position on the ship. The cabin itself was bright, comfortable and contained sufficient storage space for all our belongings. The A/C and plumbing worked well throughout the entire cruise. Unfortunately, stateroom TVs were still not interactive so we often had to visit the Front Desk to get our statements printed. For my husband, though, the lack of a mini-fridge in our cabin was a big problem. He needed to visit the medical office often to retrieve his medication that needed refrigeration. Another problem was early morning (5-5:30 AM) noise from a crew member working on open deck 3 that frequently disturbed our sleep. Many other guests on our deck complained about this noise. All the stateroom passageways are bright and lined with Dutch maritime art; Deck 1 has Dutch floral art works gracing its walls. The public areas of the ship were all well appointed and quite attractive. The floral arrangements are stunning. However, the very comfortable couches in the Queen’s Lounge (theater) are lower than the upholstered chairs making it difficult viewing the performers on stage while sitting on the couches. Uneven temperatures in certain areas of the ship especially in the Queen’s Lounge made carrying a sweater a necessity. Still another concern was the slow speed of the internet connection. We waited until we reached shore to access thee Internet. The ship does need some updating and perhaps will go in for refurbishment soon. This in no way detracted from our enjoyment. The ship was well maintained and always clean. Everyone was comfortable navigating this mid-sized ship, which was the perfect size for entering smaller foreign ports. The food and service in the Main Dining Room were wonderful. We had fabulous meals nightly especially on Gala Nights. On the off chance that nothing on the menu was appealing, we could choose Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, steak, chicken or salmon as alternatives. Although I always am pleased with food and service on HAL ships, on Grand & Grand World Cruises they are superior. Our Early Seating MDR servers Gede & Berry were professional, personable and efficient, anticipating our needs and checking to see that everything was fine with our meals. My husband received all his Special Request Meals in a timely fashion. Gede made a point of bringing the next day’s menus to him as soon as they became available. In fact, the entire MDR staff did a terrific job daily getting his Special Request Meals correct. Nestor Malsi, our wine steward, brought our glasses of red wine at our table usually before we even arrived. He always had time to chat with us nightly. After dinner, I enjoyed stopping by the cheerful door attendant, Woko’s station. He always remembered my name and knew which after dinner treat I wanted before exiting the MDR. I cannot say enough about how helpful the HAL staff was in general. All the crew on board Grand & World Voyages are hand picked by HAL. We did dine several times in the two specialty restaurants, The Canaletto & the Pinnacle Grill. The levels of service there were always excellent as were the food. The Lido Café food was good, too and we always ate at least breakfast there. In the Lido, wait staff members Imam and Supraman would often assist us in locating a table, brought us the Times Digest daily and remembered our preference for beverages. They were so professional, friendly and efficient. We always looked forward to our daily conversations with them. Many times, I enjoyed the Lido Restaurant’s wonderful sushi station at lunchtime. Another fun place to eat is poolside at the Dive In. The fries there are extra delicious; so are the several choices of hot dogs and burgers. Many other things made the voyage so special. On Gala Nights, the MDR was festooned with colorful balloons, London-themed umbrellas, paper lanterns, banners, flags or other festive decorations. On some themed nights depending on the theme, we received Panama or Bowler hats, beautiful masks or leis to wear and keep. On other Gala evenings, we received Valentine chocolates, long stemmed roses or maracas. The servers dressed in festive attire for the theme nights, as did many of the passengers. On many Gala nights, passengers received gifts in their staterooms such as: a nylon travel bag, a canvas boat bag with matching toiletry bag filled with travel essentials, a moleskin travel journal, a signed paperback travel book, Tiffany & Co HAL ceramic box, HAL Crystal Candle Holder, a Royal Goedewaagen Plate highlighting the itinerary and a travel wallet. Plus, at the Dinners with the Captain in the Pinnacle Grill, each passenger sailing the entire cruise received distinctive salt & pepper shakers reminiscent of those given on HAL very first World Voyage. On our night, we were kindly invited to sit at the Captain’s Table along with his lovely wife, Karen and two Senior Officers. The ms. Amsterdam is an older ship but quite seaworthy and is especially stable for the type of cruising that she does. Most days I forgot that I was even on a ship since the seas were so calm. Our “Storm Dodger” Captain Jonathan was expert at avoiding high winds and storms thus earning his nickname. I always felt completely safe under his leadership. Captain Jonathan & his wife were most charming, affable and professional as were all the Senior Officers. On Grand and Grand World Voyages, Grand Dollars can be earned by participating in on board activities. By the end of the cruise, we had earned over 800 dollars to spend on various items. Activities on board were varied. Daily Tai Chi classes kept us busy. Trivia was also quite popular as was Arts & Crafts, computer classes, bridge and pool games. We attended most of the lecture series on Sea Days. I specially enjoyed the talks on space, various cultures and photography. We were invited to attend several wine tasting events throughout the voyage. We loved the many Culinary Arts Demonstrations and Tasting classes, too. I hope that we can duplicate the dishes served using the many recipe cards we received. The movies on board were up to date and I watched a few of them. On Location Guide Barbara Heanni and Nyron Peters, from the Shore Excursion Staff gave detailed talks about Things to See & Do in port. These ship talks on the ports of call were current and quite useful. How nice that HAL has someone on board to help passengers who wish to go sightseeing independently. At many ports, there was a complimentary shuttle service to the center of town or to a nearby mall. Several times, we used this service. The main reason I took this cruise was the itinerary. It was so exciting to transit the Suez Canal for the first time. We have cruised through the Panama Canal several times previously and always enjoy the experience. One personal highlight for us was our one night’s stay in an idyllic over water thatched-roofed bungalow in Tahiti at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. A Welcome drink at reception, plus a bottle of champagne and wine along with fruit and snacks awaited us in our bungalow. We had a wonderful day swimming in the clear, aquamarine shallow waters of the lagoon, enjoying the beautiful views of the stunning mountains, strolling the white coral sandy beach and relaxing in the hammocks. An extravagant dinner buffet with a complimentary bottle of wine followed by a spectacular floorshow ending with an outdoor fire-eaters performance completed the magical day for us. At night, we viewed the lighted lagoon beneath us through the cutout window in the floor of our bungalow. After a sumptuous breakfast buffet with live entertainment the next morning, we took a walking tour of the facility and enjoyed the beautiful pool before we rejoined our ship at its next port, Moorea. It was a dream come true for both of us. Equally special were our visit to Petra and Wadi Rum in Aqaba, Jordan, Chinqua Terra in Livorno, Italy and Dubai, UAE. Muscat and Salalah, Oman were other new ports for us and quite interesting. Everyone asks which our favorite port was and we reply whichever port we are visiting at the time. However, while we were in Israel, we were especially moved while exploring all the biblical sights in Haifa and Ashdod. Almost all of our shore excursions were sponsored by the ship and they were worthwhile, enjoyable and educational. We did independent sightseeing in Sydney and in Jakarta since we had previously explored those ports extensively. There were so many memorable highlights during our World Cruise onboard the ms. Amsterdam. One was the very elaborate fun-under-the-setting-sun Australia Beach Party where sand covered the Lido Magrodome pool area. Bondi Beach lifeguards came on board along with Australia‘s most sort after 6-piece band, Hipnosis. There were huge beach balls, surfboards, beach chairs, water games and complimentary tropical drinks and food to add to the beach theme. What Fun! The extra-special décor of the 1001 Arabian Sights themed pool deck party set the tone for another wonderful evening. The Zany April Fool’s Day Costume Party in the Crow’s Nest was hilarious, while the elaborate Black & Silver Ball in the Queen’s Lounge was quite elegant. The champagne Valentine’s Day Ball in the Queen’s Lounge was oh so romantic. It was fun guessing who was under the beautiful masks provided for the Masked Ball in the Queen’s Lounge, the final Gala Night of the cruise. I was looking forward to the St. Patrick’s Day Party but was surprised that no Irish music was played although there were plenty of pots of gold and other Irish decor to be found. I especially enjoyed the extravagantly presented monthly High Teas - Royal Dutch, Polynesian, Indonesian and Middle Eastern. I photographed each of the lavish displays. I wished that there were more of them. My husband especially enjoyed the Super Bowl 50 Festivities in the Queen’s Lounge. Entertainment in general was wonderful and quite diverse. The Bon Voyage Sail-Away Fest was a great way to begin the voyage. We had complimentary drinks, snacks and live music with the wonderful HAL orchestra. A similar Sail Away Party occurred on our departure from Sydney. After dinner each night, we enjoyed listening to the very personable Debby Bacon in the Piano Bar. One night, her husband, Ron joined her for a performance and it was such fun for everyone. Whenever we could, we also found time to listen to the beautiful music in the Exploration Lounge performed by Adagio, Attila and David from Hungary. The talented HAL Singers and Dancers performed ten different shows and all were well paced and entertaining. One of my favorite Queen’s Lounge performances was the steel drum group from Trinidad, the sensational Island Magic. I even purchased their CDs. The cultural Queen’s Lounge shows in Hong Kong, Tahiti, Dubai and Spain were all colorful and memorable. Often times we had an extra theater performance, Spotlight before the main Showtime Show. The two well rehearsed Crew Indonesian and Filipino Matinee Shows were standing room only. Who knew that Nestor Malsi, our wine steward and Filipino Crew Show Organizer had such a marvelous voice? We attended and thoroughly enjoyed both shows. After so many days on the ship, we knew the entire cast of both shows, which made the shows even more entertaining. During ports of call, we had the opportunity: to ride a camel, an elephant, a mule and horse, swim with stingrays and dolphins and see penguins in their enclosure. We had close encounters with wild monkeys, kangaroos, emus & koalas. In Singapore, we went on a Night Safari and saw many nocturnal animals in their natural habitats. On board, there were dance lessons, cultural emergence activities plus didgeridoo, ukulele and belly dancing lessons. I learned enough foreign phrases to get along in the various countries visited. I tasted exotic foods from many different countries. It is an experience that I will never forget. Yes, it took plenty of preparation and planning before a cruise of this length. Imagine, though, touring the world and only unpacking once! No air flights even were involved since we live in Florida. How wonderful that our price included the shipping of our four large suitcases ahead of time! Gratuities were also included. We received excellent complimentary laundry service since we are Four Star Mariners. We made some wonderful new friends that we hope to see again on future HAL cruises. A cruise of this length may not be for everyone but it was a dream of a lifetime for us. We are still enjoying our memories when we watch our ship videos and look through our candid ship photos and photo albums. We were so pleased with the itinerary, the food, the accommodations and the service. Our next HAL cruise will be on the new ms. Koningsdam later this year. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was a world cruise. It was a wonderful experience, we visited 46 different ports, in several places staying more than one night. There were some interesting talks arranged during the cruise and many other activities including water ... Read More
This was a world cruise. It was a wonderful experience, we visited 46 different ports, in several places staying more than one night. There were some interesting talks arranged during the cruise and many other activities including water colour painting class. There were a variety of entertainments in the evenings,catering for all tastes. There were some interesting tours out from ports and before this talks about the areas we visited and things to do in each place. The staff on the ship were always cheerful and went out of their way to make this a special voyage. There will always we a few niggles such a noise when cleaning the decks early in the morning, but this is inevitable. We were in a state room with a sea view, plenty of storage and a very comfy bed. Verandas are nice but how much time do you spend in your room...we preferred to save money and spend this on other things. Can't recommend highly enough. Lovely voyage, great ports of call, great staff and lovely new people to meet Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
It was pure chance. I was interested in knowing the southernmost part of Chile and to put a foot on the Falkland islands and the date of departure was just right, starting the day before my birthday and ending with time enough to prepare ... Read More
It was pure chance. I was interested in knowing the southernmost part of Chile and to put a foot on the Falkland islands and the date of departure was just right, starting the day before my birthday and ending with time enough to prepare Christmas. I never had any trouble getting on board or going to visit the different cities where we stopped. The meals were excellent and every evening my sisters and I went to one of the lounges where two musicians played lovely classical pieces before going to the dining room. The waiters were charming and it was really a joy to try our second language with them who also tried to practice their Spanish. We also loved the ambience of the Zaandam that made us feel that we were in a magnificent manor house instead of in a ship. For this reason, when my sisters and I decided to go on another cruise we chose one cruise in Holland America. I hope that the Koningsdam will receive us with the same warmth. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We took this 32 day cruise not knowing for sure if it might be too long. As it turned out it was terrific. The ship, The Amsterdam, had been refurbished at the beginning of the year and was neat and clean and simple to learn. It helped ... Read More
We took this 32 day cruise not knowing for sure if it might be too long. As it turned out it was terrific. The ship, The Amsterdam, had been refurbished at the beginning of the year and was neat and clean and simple to learn. It helped that we had sailed on it several years earlier. The itinerary was excellent. Although one of our ports had been cancelled and we revisited Hualtuco twice, it was fine. The food was well prepared and portions were very reasonable. Generally the portions are too big but the staff was good about not overloading your plate. You can always go back if you're still hungry. Hard ice cream is always a treat and Holland does it best. The dining room service was generally excellent. We did one night in the Pinacle dining room and although nice we felt the food was just as good in the dining room. The entertainment was excellent. In 32 days there were only a couple of times when a performer entertained twice and then their show was different the second time. This was one of the best varieties of entertainment that we have seen. The movies were generally first run with a few oldies. Music in the dance areas was fine and the dance floor was generally pretty open. We did two shore excursions from the ship and both were reasonably priced and we were pleasantly surprised. One was Antiqua on your own and the other was in Corinto. We were pleased with both. We were in Cabin 2604, inside and there was plenty of storage space for our things. The Cabin Steward, Asep was pleasant and if we needed anything he was eager to provide. Now for the bridge. We had a Bridge Director on Board, Bruce and his wife Penny. What I really liked about him was he was very up front from the beginning that his objective was for us to Have Fun and to Not Wreck anyone else's fun. The majority of players were respectful of that request and it made playing bridge much more enjoyable. Bruce provided a qualified duplicate game as well as open party bridge for those who did not want to play duplicate. He and Penny made the lessons and playing very enjoyable. The staff was very good and the clientele were pleasant. We did not feel crowded or overwhelmed at all. The ports of call were fun and we did 4 tours off the ship and 2 from the ship. Embarkation and Disembarkation was a breeze. Overall it was a great relaxing cruise and I would do Holland again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This cruise was outstanding due to the great places seen and the song and dance entertainment was the best of the 20 cruises we have taken. We thought we were attending a Broadway Show in New York. If you enjoy snorkeling, you must take ... Read More
This cruise was outstanding due to the great places seen and the song and dance entertainment was the best of the 20 cruises we have taken. We thought we were attending a Broadway Show in New York. If you enjoy snorkeling, you must take this cruise. We spent a week sailing in Hawaii & we would encourage you to visit the WWII memorials. It will make you understand the sacrifices made by our military on that epic day Japan invaded Hawaii. The cruise will greatly enhance your appreciation of the dilemma some of the islands are facing due to rising ocean waters; some islands will likely disappear in the near future. Meeting people from the various cultures was an important educational component that can only be obtained by being there in person. Their ability to live and flourish is truly amazing. The scenery was breathtaking and should not be missed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Explore an area we had never visited, Fiji,Samoa, Tonga, and so much more. We like longer cruises with sea days as well as shore visits. Holland America's food and service exceeded our recent trips on Queen Mary 2, (transatlantic ... Read More
Explore an area we had never visited, Fiji,Samoa, Tonga, and so much more. We like longer cruises with sea days as well as shore visits. Holland America's food and service exceeded our recent trips on Queen Mary 2, (transatlantic and Norway-scenery spectacular), and Norwegian, (Transatlantic and Baltic). The trip is round trip from San Diego, 45 days, but we boarded five days earlier in Seattle. Among the too-many highlights to list: two visits to the Big Island, Hawaii, opposite sides; tiny Fanning Island, Kingdom of Samoa, (the Royality provides a home for every citizen), islands, atolls, with names we had not heard of; learning about cultures-Polynesian, Micronesian, affiliated territories of New Zealand, etc. Service on HAL exceeded Cunard, QM2, and on Norwegian, (we determined not to rebook in future although we had been frequent cruisers). The good service appears to be the result of good training and, likely, cultural characteristics of Balinesian and other Indonesian crew members and the staff from the Philippines. The food on Amsterdam was exceptional, especially on such a long cruise- never boring or repetitive. Food on QM2, almost as good. Food on Norwegian judged average- signs of cost-cutting- gristly steak, repeated meals, in general, disappointing-management is failing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our 45ht Anniversary, so we were treated to some nice touches because of that. Balloons on our door made it easy to locate our cabin on that long hallway. Starting with the agent at HAL who booked us, we were treated like ... Read More
This was our 45ht Anniversary, so we were treated to some nice touches because of that. Balloons on our door made it easy to locate our cabin on that long hallway. Starting with the agent at HAL who booked us, we were treated like honored guests. This was a relaxation cruise as our busy season runs Oct. 15 to Dec. 7th and we just needed to slow down a bit. It worked too. We are not accustomed to being waited on hand and foot, so it took us reminding ourselves to "let them do it" and just relax. We really did. I guess the negatives are easier than the positives since there were so very few. One meal, one item was less than wonderful. One port, there was a cancellation of the excursion, but that worked itself out nicely. We didn't really don't drink enough alcohol for a $50.00 per day per person fee, it would be nice if there were some intermediate option, although we didn't really have a problem paying for drinks one at a time. That is our entire list of problems with HAL and The Amsterdam. Our cabin steward (Toto) was a standout, took care of things we'd have never thought to ask him to handle. Over the top young man. Can we take him home with us? Dining room stewards all went over the top too. I'm afraid we tipped them more than we should have, but they really showed their abilities. Since this was our second HAL cruise to Alaska, we knew what to expect and they went us one better at every turn. My wife was just recovering from a knee replacement, so we got a lot of help getting aboard and it went very well. Maybe the other negatives were concessions and really not HAL problems. The Photography and Tux rental. We found the photography was great, but there was no digital option. My Tux from Cruiseline Formalwear in Miami was not just wearable as the shirt and cummerbund were far smaller than what I ordered. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our 4th cruise with Holland America and 7th cruise overall. We travel to relax so we find the smaller ships of Holland America are perfect for us. We traveled to Seattle a day early, and stayed at the Hampton Inn, which we ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Holland America and 7th cruise overall. We travel to relax so we find the smaller ships of Holland America are perfect for us. We traveled to Seattle a day early, and stayed at the Hampton Inn, which we booked ourselves, by the Pike Market. Spent the day walking around the neighborhood, did a free tour of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and visited the Market, which is extremely interesting. There are a wide variety of items available in the shops, and many fine places to eat. This was a 7 night cruise on the Amsterdam, the finest ship we have traveled on. Embarkation was very quick and hassle free, and at the end of the trip disembarking was equally efficient. Great artwork, especially the Clock in the Atrium. It has all the usual public rooms that are found a Holland America ship, Culinary Arts Center, Wajang Theatre with pretty close to 1st run movies, and the Explorations Café. Our cabin 6128, a AA Vista Suite, had plenty of room and storage, the furnishings on the patio were an upgrade from previous cruises, a lounge chair and the table was big enough to eat meals on it. Dining was very good, we eat usually in the Main dining room, but on this trip we made a point of trying all the venues. Dinner at the Pinnacle was over the top good, many excellent choices on the menu and the service equaled any I have received in 5 star restaurants anywhere. The Lido (Buffet) was very good, pretty good variety, many items made to order, should have the ice cream station open later. The Lafontaine Dining room was wonderful, we had open seating and ate most days at 5:30 and never had to wait for a table. We purchased the Admiral wine package, 7 bottle, and the wine steward did a fine job of storing unfinished bottles and delivering them to the table the next night in a timely manner, even on the evenings we ate in one of the premium restaurants. The menu was varied and interesting, 4 to 7 choices for starters, entrees, and desserts every night, with repeats. The Canaletto did not impress and I will leave it at that. Already booked my next cruise with Holland America on the Zaandam to South America. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I am not a cruise person. I don't feel that I fit in with my idea of what a typical cruiser passenger and therefore was not sure what I would think of my first cruise to Alaska. Although I have never really wanted to go on a cruise, ... Read More
I am not a cruise person. I don't feel that I fit in with my idea of what a typical cruiser passenger and therefore was not sure what I would think of my first cruise to Alaska. Although I have never really wanted to go on a cruise, I have always wanted to see Alaska, and especially SE Alaska and felt that it was best seen by ship. The idea would never have come to fruition had my step-mother not announced that she wanted to cruise to Alaska and she wanted us (her 2 step-daughters and step-son-in-law - all in our 50's). We were doing an old lady (73 with a dodgy knee) a favour. My sister dreaded it and was convinced she would not like the experience. I actually jumped at the opportunity as I thought it would be fun as a group. I was amazed at what I enjoyed and never thought I would. For one, I loved the rocking motion of the boat and being rocked to sleep every night. Having said that, I found it difficult to sleep because I wanted to see what was happening out side the window at all times. The buffet food was delicious and there were even healthy options. The staff were so wonderful I wanted to take them home. They remembered our names and greeted us everywhere - 1400 people on the ship that they only see for 1 week. I worried that our 'at sea' day would be boring and brought reading material and a sketch book (on a rocking boat, duh) but never bothered as it was so relaxing to just sit in the library or some other quiet corner and stare out the window. My sister quickly changed her tune as soon as she stepped on board. She, like the rest of us, loved every minute of it and had a good laugh with the other smokers in the small corner of the ship where smoking was allowed. She even convinced me to play bingo with her (my first time). I'm glad she did, we won a 7 day cruise and are now planning our second cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our first cruise, and hope it isn't our last. The ship was beautiful. We were spoiled everyday by staff.....from the ones that cleaned our room, to those that served our meals. All were extremely cheerful, friendly, and ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and hope it isn't our last. The ship was beautiful. We were spoiled everyday by staff.....from the ones that cleaned our room, to those that served our meals. All were extremely cheerful, friendly, and helpful. It was easy for first timers to get on and off at the beginning and all the ports we stopped at. All staff were very helpful to the passengers that got lost almost everyday! We were on the Gaither Homecoming Cruise, the music and entertainment were awesome. What a Blessing! Our 'mail' everyday kept us informed about all the activities for each day. We met some wonderful people that will be friends forever. Very nice to go on a trip with Christian people. A room with a window or balcony would be nice, but we had ample time and opportunity to go out on deck. Deck 3 was covered and went all around the ship, so we could walk for exercise or just look at the view. It was amazingly easy to get to our shore excursions and back on the ship, guides were funny and full of history and information. Very simple to disembark and get to our next destination. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
First time on HAL but we've cruised before with Carnival, Princess and Cunard. We had a fabulous cruise start to finish! The Amsterdam is a beautiful ship! Loved all of the elegant touches like live orchids on every table in the ... Read More
First time on HAL but we've cruised before with Carnival, Princess and Cunard. We had a fabulous cruise start to finish! The Amsterdam is a beautiful ship! Loved all of the elegant touches like live orchids on every table in the Lido dining room and every bathroom. Cloth hand towels, granite countertops, even beautiful lighted vanities in the ladies rooms. Fresh flowers were everywhere. Our interior cabin was more roomy than an interior on Carnival or Princess with a small sofa and table. The beds were a bit too firm for our liking, my only complaint. Our steward offered an egg crate topper and that helped a bit. The food was wonderful! We ate in the MDR most nights and loved the menu. Wonderfully attentive service. The food in the Lido dining room was definitely a step up from other cruise lines. The poolside Dive In Grill was the bomb! The burgers and hot dogs were incredible as were the fries! Toppings like grilled onions, bacon, Gouda cheese, onion strings... Not your usual poolside fare! Freshly cooked 1/3 pound burgers made to order. Being a mid size ship meant scaled down shows and not as many venues but what there was gave ample opportunity for entertainment. Embarkation and debating were quick and easy. I really felt like we had stepped back in time a bit to more elegant cruising! We'll definitely cruise HAL again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My husband and I booked this cruise and I would definitely do that again and recommend that to any one wanting to book a cruise. Our travel agent took wonderful care of us and knew just what to do and answered all of our questions. She ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise and I would definitely do that again and recommend that to any one wanting to book a cruise. Our travel agent took wonderful care of us and knew just what to do and answered all of our questions. She handled the transfers from plane to hotel, hotel to ship and ship to plane...also booked the hotel we would stay in at Seattle. It was ALL taken care of for us! This was my third cruise, but my husband's first. He was very unsure about the whole thing, but did the cruise for me. His main fear was getting sea sick. We took along the usual medications and the Sea-band wrist bands just in case, but found out early on that we didn't need them at all! We even had a pretty rough night getting into Sitka, and came through that night with flying colors! So those of you with sickness fears, I wouldn't be that worried. Holland America has mid-sized ships which we loved. The Amsterdam was wonderful! Very Elegant, comfortable, and just the right size for us. We were in a Vista suite with a balcony on the Verandah deck. Just perfect! All of our friends who have been to Alaska said the balcany suite was the way to go, and we are so glad we did! So worth the extra expense! We were given a free drink package - 15 drinks free per day per person (under $7 - 90% of the drinks are under $7) - That was great and save us sooo much money. Remember drinks are sodas, coffee, waters, and the alcohol! We were also given a free upgraded dinner at their Pinnacle dining room and their Canaletto dining room. The Pinnacle was beautiful, elegant and the food excellent! The Canaletto was sooo disappointing! I don't know why any one would pay extra for the Canaletto. The Pasta Bar on the Lido deck was so much better than this over glorified Italian restaurant!! Please do not waste your time on this. We had Veal Picatta - Tough Veal and dry pasta!! However that really was the ONLY down side to the entire cruise!! The main dining room - La Fontaine and the Lido Buffet were both excellent!! The whale watching and photo safari we went on in Juneau was outstanding...we saw 15 whales in a bubble feeding!! Along with the Mendenhall Glacier. I went wet suit snorkeling in Ketchikan which was a bucket list item I absolutely loved! Sitka wasn't that great but partly because the weather was awful! Not the city's fault. Our room, dining and wine stewards were the best! I felt so spoiled and pampered the whole week! We brought along plenty of $1 bills for tipping when ordering drinks from the bars or lounges...we gave extra tips on the final night to our individual stewards in envelopes. They were THAT good! This was above the $12 a day per person that was billed to us. I played Bingo..enjoyed the culinary arts shows, and the after dinner entertainment. My husband read, went to some tech workshops and really enjoyed the music and dancing in the Ocean View lounge! One last item, I did bring along one of those over the door shoe organizers for bathroom..worked like a charm! One of the many tips from this site that I am glad I did! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I have been to Panama before, but this voyage showed me a whole new way of seeing Central America. Our first port was Cartagena, Colombia, then through the Canal to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and on to San Diego. From the ... Read More
I have been to Panama before, but this voyage showed me a whole new way of seeing Central America. Our first port was Cartagena, Colombia, then through the Canal to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and on to San Diego. From the time we sailed until we left the ship, we were entertained, fed, left alone, instructed, sold stuff and fed again. The ship is mid-sized, and that is fine. It has all the features except the water slide. The staff did a fine job. When an issue popped up, they handled everything with speed and a smile. The Cruise Director and his staff kept the announcements to the point and the entertainment activities fun. The menu needs some updating, but the food was good. The restaurant service and the cabin service were all I expected. The stores all sell the same goods, but the sales staff went out of their way to help me find the exact watch I wanted. This was not a party barge. It was a relocation cruise, so the guests were older. The younger guests mingled and seemed to have a great time at the shows and activities. The excursions were noteworthy, with one exception, and that was handled. I was not sure what to expect in ports I had not visited before, so I took the highlights tours at most places and coffee plantation tours at others. Seeing the inside of a live volcano under clear blue skies was fabulous. Learning that Guatemala is my new "next flight out" trip showed me a new view of Central America. The ship is now headed to Alaska, but it has the same crew, so you will have a good time! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I have been to Panama before, but this voyage showed me a whole new way of seeing Central America. Our first port was Cartagena, Colombia, then through the Canal to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and on to San Diego. From the ... Read More
I have been to Panama before, but this voyage showed me a whole new way of seeing Central America. Our first port was Cartagena, Colombia, then through the Canal to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and on to San Diego. From the time we sailed until we left the ship, we were entertained, fed, left alone, instructed, sold stuff and fed again. The ship is mid-sized, and that is fine. It has all the features except the water slide. The staff did a fine job. When an issue popped up, they handled everything with speed and a smile. The Cruise Director and his staff kept the announcements to the point and the entertainment activities fun. The menu needs some updating, but the food was good. The restaurant service and the cabin service were all I expected. The stores all sell the same goods, but the sales staff went out of their way to help me find the exact watch I wanted. This was not a party barge. It was a relocation cruise, so the guests were older. The younger guests mingled and seemed to have a great time at the shows and activities. The excursions were noteworthy, with one exception, and that was handled. I was not sure what to expect in ports I had not visited before, so I took the highlights tours at most places and coffee plantation tours at others. Seeing the inside of a live volcano under clear blue skies was fabulous. Learning that Guatemala is my new "next flight out" trip showed me a new view of Central America. The ship is now headed to Alaska, but it has the same crew, so you will have a good time! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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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