396 Holland America Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

We take this cruise every year because we don't have to fly and Alaska is such a great place to cruise. For the first (and maybe the only) time we upgraded to a Neptune suite. We absolutely loved it! We'd do it again and every ... Read More
We take this cruise every year because we don't have to fly and Alaska is such a great place to cruise. For the first (and maybe the only) time we upgraded to a Neptune suite. We absolutely loved it! We'd do it again and every cruise if we could afford it. The weather was not great, but we don't mind too much since we have done this cruise many times. We love the Amsterdam and hope that the changes that are rumored will not affect it. We love the library and the puzzle tables and a couple we often cruise with play serious bridge each cruise. If these quiet amenities are changed or removed, it will be very disappointing. The entertainment was exceptionally good on this cruise. The singers and dancers were the best we've seen on some 40 cruises. The music was better suited to the age group on this cruise: more Broadway and less rock, more tunes, less noise. Costumes were lovely. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I prefer private excursions. And, I noticed that off the ship there were cheaper excursions being offered ($200 savings for helicopter ride to the dog sleds). And, I have to say, the dog sled ride that I did in Juneau was less than an ... Read More
I prefer private excursions. And, I noticed that off the ship there were cheaper excursions being offered ($200 savings for helicopter ride to the dog sleds). And, I have to say, the dog sled ride that I did in Juneau was less than an "adventure" and more like a meri-go-round, maybe 30 minutes, instead of an hour, as described. In Icey Straits we did the whale watching for 2 hours and saw Sea Lions, Seals, and Otters, and at the end, five female Orcas (so they say) - just their top fins. I would never go whale watching again (too boring and disappointing). It seems that staying on the ship and viewing out the windows had better whale sightings for other passengers!!! He had Rob Watkins, the vantriloquist and he was SUPERB!!! Also had Carl Strong, the comedian and he was very funny. I wish he did more comedy though!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Wonderful, relaxing cruise. Loved the ship, the food, the crew. Found the crew very accommodating. Weather was typical Alaskan weather, but every day was fun! Embarkation, quick easy and room ready at 12 Noon! Bags arrived about 1 ... Read More
Wonderful, relaxing cruise. Loved the ship, the food, the crew. Found the crew very accommodating. Weather was typical Alaskan weather, but every day was fun! Embarkation, quick easy and room ready at 12 Noon! Bags arrived about 1 PM. Open Seating for dinner but ate at 5:30 in main dining room, second night had awesome waiters and booked that table for 5:30 for the rest of the cruise! Top notch service as was Doris the Wine Steward. My servers were Putu and Rio. Couldn't have asked for better service. All the food was good, lots of choices. Didn't care much for any of the soup. Most of it was bland, tasteless and often warm when it should have been cold. Enjoyed the Piano/Violin duo of Adagio after dinner. Lovely music. Not happy with the entertainment as far as the shows were. Disappointed in the main dancers/singers. They were just OK. The shows were not as exotic and colorful as on all the Carnival Ships. Ventriloquist, OK. Pianist/singer Good. I didn't see any of the others. Seating was poor, to get a seat for the early 8PM show you had to be there by 7:30. Ports were all as expected. I think if you have to have a shuttle to get to town you should not have to pay for it. Sitka, Victoria. And too expensive for what you get. Too far to walk. Disembarkation good! I tried the new "have your bags transferred from outside your cabin on Saturday night to airport." Loved it! My bag was on my flight late on Sunday and arrived in Atlanta with me! Impressive service in Seattle and right now free. Would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
First, I must say that DH and I choose the itinerary first, which this June 19-July 3 cruise was to Alaska from Seattle round trip. The round trip appealed to us a lot and this itinerary takes you to a few ports none of the other Alaska ... Read More
First, I must say that DH and I choose the itinerary first, which this June 19-July 3 cruise was to Alaska from Seattle round trip. The round trip appealed to us a lot and this itinerary takes you to a few ports none of the other Alaska itineraries do. Boarding process was very easy and everyone was friendly and helpful. The staterooms were ready for us when we boarded so dropping off our carry-ons there was greatly appreciated. We were celebrating our 40th anniversary with our family and they surprised us with balloons at our door to welcome us (also came in handy during the cruise to mark our cabin when we weren't sure where we were!) Then there was a bouquet of flowers that were so fresh they lasted the entire cruise. The room was huge in comparison to others we've had; lots of storage; even the bathroom! We were in cabin 2658 with an ocean view. I can't say enough about the crew; our room stewards were there to greet us and make sure we had everything we needed. They kept our cabins clean (the best we've had on past 14 cruises!) and somehow did that without us seeing them! The one thing I really liked was that they kept mostly all of their 'equipment' out of halls so we could walk by easily. Every crew member would greet you and had a smile to brighten your day no matter where you passed them. Lido Cafe, dining room stewards, bar personnel - they were all great! The ship's decor was pleasing being more traditional. Don't expect a grand entrance way or multi-tiered elevator lobby. But for what it is, it is pleasant. Very similar to the Maasdam layout but I enjoyed this decor better overall. There were lots of areas to relax, music usually played (CD during the day and live music started at 5 PM). Great cardroom on this ship next to the library, which was also large and had a few comfy couches and overstuffed chairs to relax. Both had an ocean view which made the rooms seem larger and let in natural light (and in Alaska it's all day and night!) Lots of lounges/bars to choose from. Ocean bar had free appetizers (Crow's Nest did too) which were nice addition during their happy hour! I don't gamble, but they have a few tables and slots (didn't seem as large an area as on other ships). They do allow smoking at times which I hate but understand for those who 'need a smoke'. The smell drifting to the other areas nearby is what 'stinks'. A nice addition is their Culinary kitchen/movie theater room. Both were good. Also in this room, HAL is the only line I know of that offers a mass/non-denominational services/sabbath services-a plus! The art work is pretty to pass by but sea days had it in the Ocean bar area which took away from a nice relaxing spot on the ship. Shopping was available; expensive; and now they take it to the Lido deck for sales which are always crowded (and still overpriced!). The Lido deck does have an enclosed pool where they did open the roof at times when it got warm; a nice place to relax or eat a burger/hot dog/have a drink. The food was good and enjoy trying different dishes, but I have to say that the cruise industry foods have gone downhill over the years. Room service for breakfast was a nice surprise with everything being served hot and on time! The shows are okay. It's not like you can duplicate broadway on a ship, just keep that in mind. The Queens lounge is smaller than some but the seating (couches and chairs) is nice although some of them need replaced (worn-down cushions or broken).Wish I would have remembered to let HAL know that! But overall a clean ship with a great crew that kept us safe, comfortable and definitely fed well. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our first time sailing Holland America. We found the crew on the Amsterdam willingness to meet and exceed our expectations was a true differentiator. They were first rate in every way and were a leg up compared to the other lines ... Read More
This was our first time sailing Holland America. We found the crew on the Amsterdam willingness to meet and exceed our expectations was a true differentiator. They were first rate in every way and were a leg up compared to the other lines we've cruised (Princess, Norwegian and Carnival). Below are hits and some minor misses from this cruise: Hits: + Ship: This was our first cruise on a mid-sized ship. We found it to be perfect in size. MS Amsterdam has an outstanding library, numerous areas to sit, drink and enjoy music. + Crew/Service: As noted above, simply the best crew we've ever sailed with. Level of service far surpassed those of other cruises we've been on. Being a reader, we liked the daily short-version newspapers printed each day and the free access to the New York Times website from your mobile devices. + Dining: We selected the late fixed dining sitting. Our two attendants promptly responded to any special requests. The soups were outstanding and portions just right in size. + Fellow passengers: Profile of our fellow passengers appeared to be retired and active. We enjoyed their company at the various venues and limited on-board activities. + Queen's Lounge: Fabulous and cozy venue for various above average shows with magicians, comedians, etc. + Scenery: Glacier Bay proved to be the highlight of the cruise. The captain took us extremely close to the glacier and scenery is beyond description. Misses: + Culinary Arts Center: Our expectations were raised prior to the cruise for numerous cooking activities and passenger participation. On previous cruises with a similar venue, passengers could taste the items cooked with more interactions and tastings. Perhaps, it was just this cruise and it may be different on other Holland America ships. + Activities: If you like quiet time with minimal activities throughout the ship, this cruise is well suited for you. We wanted a few more activities and interactive games, so this was a small disappointment. Be ready to create your own entertainment or plan on a quiet, sedate cruising environment. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise because it had 9 ports and awesome opportunities to view glaciers. Also, we were able to fly in and out of Seattle. We flew in a day early to spend time in downtown Seattle. We used Seattle Shuttle to provide ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had 9 ports and awesome opportunities to view glaciers. Also, we were able to fly in and out of Seattle. We flew in a day early to spend time in downtown Seattle. We used Seattle Shuttle to provide transportation from the airport to downtown hotel, from hotel to ship, and also following the cruise to pick us up from ship. They stored our luggage for the day while we spent time in downtown again, then picked us up to go to the airport. They were very reasonable!! Highly recommend! Embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and smooth. Most of the people on this cruise were in the "retired" age group, as we are. Entertainment was appropriate and excellent evening shows! All the wait staff and cabin stewards were wonderful! Always acknowledged you and many called you by name. We had a partially obstructed window view cabin on the 3rd deck (lower promenade) We were able to see out better than we expected and since the weather was cool, not many people were out on the promenade. We were very close to the front of the ship however, and it was noisy when they were pulling anchor or leaving port at times. The food was great. We were given open dining as the 6 PM dining was full. When we boarded the ship, we made reservations for our open dining table for 5:30 PM for every night of the cruise. (six of us). It worked out great and we had the same waiters every night. We thought the shore excursions were a little pricey. We found a free shuttle in Anchorage to the Native Heritage center so it only cost $21 per person to get in...big savings over the ship tour price. Anchorage also has free shuttles to the zoo and ulu factory. Also, a street vendor was grilling reindeer sausage in Anchorage. Tasty! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This review will be lengthy..hoping to assist future cruisers (as I was helped). Did much research before choosing Land Explorer. My major goal was to SEE Alaska. This two week itinerary logged over 3000 miles and had 9 ports. I looked ... Read More
This review will be lengthy..hoping to assist future cruisers (as I was helped). Did much research before choosing Land Explorer. My major goal was to SEE Alaska. This two week itinerary logged over 3000 miles and had 9 ports. I looked at the Alaskan Marine Highway as possible transportation and could not do the trip cheaper then an inside room on the Amsterdam. Our dollars were spent on excursions and in those, I was not disappointed. Suffice it to say, we are not your typical crusers. It was our first experience cruising. Being ill with sinus/respiratory infections did not help. Add to that 3 long Sea days, that first Monday was "Rough" according to more seasoned veterans. Between anti-nausea patches and cough medicine, we "hacked" and slept our way through. Two nights of Husband unable to lie down to sleep and temperature greater then 102 was scary enough to consider potential medical treatment. I learned that insurances are not accepted and all is put on one's charge card. A "Medical Evaluation" runs $95 if obtained during office hours, $145 during day non-office hours and $195 at night. A simple chest xray was $75, but must add send out reading fee of $275! One can then independently attempt recouping paid charges after the cruise. NyQuill and DayQuill were $18 per small bottle. It is in your best benefit to anticipate potential illnesses and come prepared. What one cannot anticipate is the massive amount of perfume/colognes these elderly Cruisers wear. One's sense of smell decreases with aging and scent dousing was at all time high on Sea Days aka "Gala Nights"! If you have a respitory illness, cruising is ill advised unless you wish to stay in your cabin the whole cruise. Speaking of cabins, we were in Cabin 7048 (K level)..one of three inside rooms on the Navigation deck. The location was convenient, one flight of stairs up to the Lido And two flights down to the Library. It is Aft and there is sway and rocking present, making us seek out a midshop location on Sea Days. Because it is high, foul smells were at a minimum (Upon passing through lower decks, noted fans drying out hallways. Also, could smell mold in the back of the Queen's Lounge). There was plenty of space, enjoyed the couch and extra chair and did not feel claustrophobic. The crew were outstanding! Always smiling, pleasant, polite and genuinely nice. Our cabin steward Amin and his helper were great. Most workers are Indonecian or Fillipno. They are on the ship 9 to 10 months at a time, leaving behind families. How they can tolerate it is beyond me. Dining/Food not that great. Very difficult to get anything well done. We gave up at the Hamburger Grill: "The Dive In"...How hard is it to make a burger well done? Despite numerous requests, red cool meat repeatedly served. Just left it. Italian food mediocre, sauce was like Chef Boyardee. The pizza was disgusting. Any fried halibut, fish swam in grease. Pretty much same same foods main dining room and Lido. We ate at the upscale Canaletti Grill one night..Crab dried out, shrimp cocktail good and Baked Alaska good. The other decent night was lobster tail night..they served a well done pork chop Normally, their foods had way too many sauces, were just a mixed up mishmash without a theme like they were serving left overs. Guests lined up for ice cream..it tasted normal. We skipped meals, opting for peanuts and goldfish crackers with drinks in lieu of dinner. Communication deficit was a problem, don't think they could totally understand us. Entertainment OK..enjoyed the Location Naturalist's talks. Most entertainment revoved around buying something, jewelry, artwork, etc. Ports and Excursions were why we went! Very glad that we had booked and prepaid..Made us go (we felt so lousy, wouldn't have booked it with current state of health). It is the good that we take away from our two week cruise. Ketchikan: Commercialized. Ship owned Diamond Stores,etc. We booked Allen Misty Fijord's Boat Tour. Well done, Real Alaska. Well worth the money. After the tour, plenty of time to see Creek Street and run around the 6 blocks of town. Juneau: Holland America Mendenhall Glacier, 2.5 hour tour with plenty of time for hiking. Was supposed to include City tour..Guide from Florida and just arrived in Juneau in March! "Stacy" said " I can tell you there are no alligators"! She also talked down to the elderly guests. The immaturity of the 19 year old college student! Would have been well served to pay for shuttle to glacier and skip Holland America fees. Glacier and hike very worthwhile. Walked Juneau: Governor's Mansion, Unable to enter state capital,still in session, talked with shop owners (nothing good to say about Sarah Palin). Very interesting to see totem pole at the Mansion and the very modest homes surrounding it. Tracy Arm: Captain announced "Unable to view"as too much ice. Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier substituted. Had read this is common practice and really seems more the norm, not to see Tracy Arm. Still, Dawes Glacier very neat. Anchorage: Turn Again Arm, Portage Glacier and Conservation Center tour through Holland America. Rated as one of the top drives in the United States. The trip was worth it for the drive alone! So scenic. Glacier was nice though Conservation Center with penned animals "Not so natural ". Saw parts of the city also. Impression was a large city that supplies Alaska, utilitarian . Homer: HAL Highlights of Homer. Homer was my favorite port! Guide "Joy" resident lived up to her name. Loved this tour. Kodiak: Russian Tea. Enjoyed the bellalika players and viewing the churches. Sitka: Historical Sitka Tour through HAL. Another worthwhile tour Hubbard Glacier: Very nice that HAL had two included glaciers in their itinerary The captain allowed each side of the ship viewing time. Victoria: My second favorite port! Took HAL's Buchart Gardens tour, which included City Tour. The bus driver was informative and funny Seattle: Spent two days prior to cruise in order to see this "Progressive Urban City". Very much a waste of time and money. Saw the usual attractions, Market, etc. plus some very horrible sights ( willl not into graphic detail). The Homeless and filth of "Freeattle" were distressing. If there is a way to see Alaska and avoid Seattle would advise it! But fellow cruisers say VanCouver is no better. We decided up close and personal Seattle was too much and thus viewed from afar, by taking a trip to Bainbridge Island. The Island was beautiful. Mount Ranier visible and weather delightful! Stayed at the Mayflower Inn which was a welcomed oasis in the downtown section.Built in the 1920's, Mayflowers Hospiality was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I chose this cruise because we had never been to Alaska before and my husband had never been on a cruise. After careful research we decided on the Amsterdam as it is a smaller ship and can maneuver some of the tight canals and get closer ... Read More
I chose this cruise because we had never been to Alaska before and my husband had never been on a cruise. After careful research we decided on the Amsterdam as it is a smaller ship and can maneuver some of the tight canals and get closer to the Glaciers than the larger ships can. They did not disappoint. The service and hospitality were first class and many friends were made onboard. The crew were all cheerful and friendly and the food was great. We also appreciated the fact that because of the ships size it didn't take more than 5 minutes to walk from one end of the ship to the other. Many high speed elevators always at the ready. Each port we visited were conveniently located and the tours were nicely arranged. We had purchased several different HAL tours from the internet before cruising and all of our tickets and information were waiting for us in our stateroom upon arrival. Seamless. Our favorite tour was the Wildlife Explorer trip in Sitka where we saw several Whales, Otters, Bears and tons of Bald Eagles. We can't wait to take our next cruise with HAL and are looking in to the Meditteranean routes now. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We were on this sailing, and stayed in a Neptune Suite. The Neptune Lounge was a delight. Our two rotating attendants were absolutely amazing. There is nothing they would not do for you. One thing that was odd. During our stop in Juneau, ... Read More
We were on this sailing, and stayed in a Neptune Suite. The Neptune Lounge was a delight. Our two rotating attendants were absolutely amazing. There is nothing they would not do for you. One thing that was odd. During our stop in Juneau, inspectors were aboard and had the staff remove the self-serve ice bucket in the NL. It never returned for the rest of the cruise. I am curious if the removal was permanent, and god forbid, fleet wide? We thought the Amsterdam was in great condition. Spotlessly clean everywhere, except for the dirty soot that the stacks deposited around the Sea View pool area, and on the MDR windows. We jumped at a late sale on Neptune Suites to sail on the Amsterdam, one of HAL's co-flagships. Grand and World Cruise passengers would indeed be comfortable and well looked after on this fine ship. Throughout the ship (MDR, Lido, Pinnacle Grill), overall we thought the food was good. We agree that at times the Lido food was uninspired. We also had Dive-In one day, and we had the rotating Asian selection a couple of days. We ate off the ship for lunch several times, and also had our final dinner onshore in Victoria due to the odd time in port (arrival 6pm, departure midnight). We had open seating, and had a standing reservation at 7:45pm. Aside from the second Gala night, the MDR was usually only about 1/2 full (or less) around that time. The second Gala night was packed. Unfortunately, that was the evening our food was delivered lukewarm, which was a disappointment. Otherwise we thought the MDR food was tasty and appetizing. They seem to be spicing up their dishes... not necessarily with heat, but more flavor. Service in the MDR was good, as was the wine service. Most of the staff had transitioned to the new uniforms, which were very sharp looking IMO. We skipped all entertainment in the main theater, but did take in the Ocean Bar band several times while enjoying a pre-dinner drink. They were just "OK". The piano bar entertainer seemed popular. He was doing lots of "sing-a-longs". Unfortunately due to ice conditions, we were not able to get as close to Hubbard Glacier as I would have hoped. Did not witness any calving. Also would have appreciated more time in Victoria, but we made the most of what was a truly spectacular early evening. Had a leisurely walk around the harbor, cocktail at the Fairmont - overlooking the harbor - then, a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant on the harbor. A nice end to a week-long Alaska journey. Embarkation and disembarkation were as smooth as we've ever experienced, although we did handle our own luggage in both instances. Would definitely sail on the Amsterdam again for the right itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Humpback whale sitings in the Stephens passage on trip into Juneau. See the whale tale attached. Catch a tour bus from the Juneau port to Mendenhall Glacier - a fun trip. Juneau Mt. Roberts Tram is a tourist trap, but there is a nice ... Read More
Humpback whale sitings in the Stephens passage on trip into Juneau. See the whale tale attached. Catch a tour bus from the Juneau port to Mendenhall Glacier - a fun trip. Juneau Mt. Roberts Tram is a tourist trap, but there is a nice view up there and nature center is informative. Sample some salmon at Taku shop in Juneau port. Hubbard Glacier was really glacial - not much going on there. The captain got the Amsterdam in nice and close to the glacier face in the peasoup. Sitka was fun. Look for the sea lion in the port having breakfast. National Historic Park and Totems were very good. Bishops house is a gem - do not miss it. Raptor Center is good if you never frequent any bird rehab places elsewhere. You see eagles in the trees in Sitka. CrabandBrew in port was good for some dungeness crab - mmmmm. Look for whales on transit to Ketchikan. Ketchikan was only Holland tour we took. We did the Saxman Village tour without the lumberjack show. Very good tour. I had fun dancing with the eagles in the house. We spent remainder touring Creek Street and shopping near port. Victoria was fun. We had already been there 2 nights prior to cruise. If you want BC museum, not open Sunday night. Butchart Garden is very nice, It was a beautiful evening to see the inner harbor area. 20 minute walk from dock. Barb's Fish and Chips at Fishermans Wharf is so tasty on your way into the harbor, or on way back. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
While, as a couple, we may not be seasoned cruisers we are probably well past the bland point of on-board experiences. This was our fifth and shortest HAL cruise and we took it for three reasons. One, we wanted to take advantage of ... Read More
While, as a couple, we may not be seasoned cruisers we are probably well past the bland point of on-board experiences. This was our fifth and shortest HAL cruise and we took it for three reasons. One, we wanted to take advantage of the on-board future cruise offers, two, we wanted to add another HAL ship to our collection, and three, we needed to more get two more at sea days to get to the next level. All three expectations were met so the experience was an unmitigated success. If those happen to be your expectations I would heartily recommend boarding Amsterdam at your earliest opportunity. Now, if perchance you come aboard with loftier expectations I will share a few of our impressions. I have read of people upset because there was noise at sea. I would say get real. We were on a ship motoring up the coast of the Pacific North West. Heavy weather is to be expected and is beyond the control of HAL. Even my home has been know to creak and groan a bit when when the winter storms blow in from the ocean. If your complaints are from moving of chairs or music just remember who chose your room. Our stateroom was neat, well maintained and while we never met our room steward, the room was always made up in the morning and the beds turned down at night. We got both chocolate and towel animals and I never get those at home. The one detractor and the reason for only four stars was our experience in the main dining room. The wait staff were always cheerful and bent over backwards to make our dining experience pleasant. The menu just failed to make the grade. On the cruise previous to this one (Maasdam) we were treated to variety of menus that were prepared and presented in a manner that made us look forward to the next meal even after 39 days at sea. Thankfully we were always seated with wonderful table-mates that enhanced the dining experience. HAL does excel at attracting wonderful people. As usual on HAL, we barely had enough time to do the things we wanted to do during the cruise. It may be because I move slower at 75 than I did at 25 but with mornings in the gym, culinary demonstrations, art auctions, happy hour, movies, and meals we seemed to stay busy. The people at HAL that put together the HAL singers and dancers almost always do a magnificent job. This troupe was no exception. Our only shore excursion was a bus ride from the ship to the airport via Vancouver. It was a little over two hours of downtown traffic jams build around two quick dashes through the rain in the park to snap quick pictures of totem poles and Lionsgate bridge. We did not travel with children and given the choice we probably won't. There were several families on-board with children of various ages and we are so grateful to them for having raised well behaved children. If you are reading this, "Thank You." In summary, we will continue to cruise with HAL. With around 200 days left until our next one we are anxiously counting the days. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Trip was on our bucket list.Ship is old but in excellent condition. Our bed was under the window and since we like to look out made it difficult at times. The food and service in the main dinning room were excellent. Food in the Lido was ... Read More
Trip was on our bucket list.Ship is old but in excellent condition. Our bed was under the window and since we like to look out made it difficult at times. The food and service in the main dinning room were excellent. Food in the Lido was good and usually good choices.service was excellent. We were not thrill by the Pinnacle Grill, we were there for lunch and left a lot to be desired. The whole experience of the Panama Canal was more than we expected, from entering the Canal at 6am to the onboard narration by the guide to going through the locks and leaving the Canal at sunset(we were going NW. We took the ships tours in Cartagena Puerto Caldere, Corinto and Cabo, some were better that others but we did get to see each location and get a feel for each country. Disembarkation was fast and well organizes we were able to stay in our cabin until called Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I am totally sold on Holland America - Just finished my 19 day Panama Canal Cruise - Started in Ft. Lauderdale. Visited Cartagena, Panama Canal , Corinto, Nicaragua, Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, Huatulco, Mexico Cabo San Lucas, Mexico ... Read More
I am totally sold on Holland America - Just finished my 19 day Panama Canal Cruise - Started in Ft. Lauderdale. Visited Cartagena, Panama Canal , Corinto, Nicaragua, Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, Huatulco, Mexico Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - San Francisco, Vancouver, and ended in Seatle. Embarkation went well - my cabin was ready - #3377 - Lunch at the Lido Market Buffet was very good. Food on the cruise was very good - they have the same food in the Lido Buffet as in the Dining Room - We didn't want to go to the Dining Room on Gala night for Lobster so we had Lobster in the Buffet (I had four!) I had an issue with my room - with water - and they changed my room - I was originally on the Promenade Deck with an obstructed ocean view - they changed me to the Dolphin Deck (Deck #1) which at first I wasn't too happy with - but my room was larger and there is very little movement when the ship is rocky. The staff is super friendly and very efficient. The ports were fine - I didn't do any excursions. Holland tries to make sure that anything you need is taken care of. The Microsoft classes are very informative! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was a good itinerary starting in Ft. Lauderdale, going through the Panama Canal up the West Coast to Seattle w/an Alaska cruise included. HAL calls this a Collector's Voyage. The Amsterdam is smaller than most medium sized ships ... Read More
This was a good itinerary starting in Ft. Lauderdale, going through the Panama Canal up the West Coast to Seattle w/an Alaska cruise included. HAL calls this a Collector's Voyage. The Amsterdam is smaller than most medium sized ships w/mostly an older crowd and other than an on-going problem with a persistent series of water leaks mostly on deck 5, the cruise went on w/o a hitch. We had an OV on the Main Deck which I would take again in a heartbeat. The only irritation w/the cabin [and just about everywhere else] was a continual vibration when the engine were going. Then crew worked hard to make sure we enjoyed ourselves. Many went out of their way for us. Esp. the crew in the MDR and Lido. The Lido was OK, the Dive-In was really good, and the MDR was excellent [not every dish was great, but many were really, really good]. Entertainment was just OK. The HAL Singers and Dancers [two troops as they were changed out during the cruise] did a very fine job. The best was getting to listen to "Island Magic" [Steel Drum Band] again. Had been entertained by them on the Zuiderdam. The excursions we took went from bad to great. Great was the Boeing Factory Tour in Seattle and a RIB ride out to a volcanic rock island in Sitka. Bad was a catamaran tour in Huatulco, Mexico cancelled by the Harbormaster before the boat could even clear the dock because one engine wouldn't run. The crew tried to get that boat out of the harbor but w/only one engine that big rig just won't turn. We hit several boats before being shut down. All-in-all, we will probably do this trip again someday. Only we will probably get off in San Francisco like many did for HAL sold lots of 3 day cruises on the Amsterdam from there to Seattle. Turned out to be a party boat for 3 days. :( The MS Amsterdam is a fine ship but she is need of a make-over. A refreshing would put this vessel in a 5 star category. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had a wonderful time on the Amsterdam World Cruise and made some lifelong friends. The ports were well chosen and interesting. I would have preferred Israel or Venice instead of Athens. The lecturers were quite informative. Look ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on the Amsterdam World Cruise and made some lifelong friends. The ports were well chosen and interesting. I would have preferred Israel or Venice instead of Athens. The lecturers were quite informative. Look forward to the next trip! We are dancers and enjoyed the music of the Neptunes and the bands in the crows nest. I loved Petra and Wadi Rum. The excursions were excellent(own our own) and we really enjoyed the group we traveled with. The service was the best. Our dining staff brought us ecactly what we needed and they tailored our dinners to our diet. The cabin stewards were very sweet and always prepared the cabin beautifully and made the best towel animals. Traveling on a ship can spoil you. There is no housekeeping, cooking,laumdry in my life on the ship. The laundry was returned beautifully ironed and cleaned. We certainly are spoiled on the ship! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Cruise was absolutely amazing. It was awhile to embark but then again the hotels ship you out all at the same time so we all pretty much arrived at the same time. There were so many returning cruisers that the "expedited line" ... Read More
Cruise was absolutely amazing. It was awhile to embark but then again the hotels ship you out all at the same time so we all pretty much arrived at the same time. There were so many returning cruisers that the "expedited line" and the regular line were both about 45 minutes to get checked in. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint, the Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, the Xian Warriors, Singapore, Oman, Petra in Jordan, the Acropolis in Athens, Malta, Panama Canal, Suez canal. My bucket list is much shorter now. With visiting all the cities is really showed us the world we live in and our preconceived notions were happily changed. The Amsterdam is really showing here age. There was a lot of water leaks both in the Common Areas and the Staterooms during our Pacific Ocean crossing as there were some rough sailing days. They even had to replace some of the carpet. Rumour was that there was a lot of mold floating around and this caused "ship's cough". I cannot confirm this but most of us had a cough at one time or another. After they changed the air filters in our staterooms, it seemed to get better. The décor in the staterooms is pretty old and faded but clean and spotless. The food on this journey was remarkable, I don't remember ever not having a great pick on the dinner menu. We also had themed meals based on which port we were in. The average age on this cruise was upper 70's to low 80's so the entertainment was geared to this audience. Being quite a bit younger put us at a disadvantage. Lots of classical music, show tunes and easy listening. The ships entertainment was average at best but that is true of all the cruises I have been on. There were lots of lectures on the history of the places we were visiting which was great for understanding the customs and ways at each port. There was also a location specialist who told us what to see and what to shop for and what to do and not do. This was a great help. There were ports where we were at a disadvantage as there were no maps to guide us to what we wanted to see. There were shore excursions off the boat but they were stupid expensive - ie: bus to Atomic Bomb Museum, Peace Park and lunch $119 US. We walked 2 blocks, took a tram, walked a block, visited the Museum and had lunch for $25 US each. As the mobility of a lot of the guests was limited due mostly to the age of the cruisers, the excursions are the only way they can possibly see the ports. The service on this boat was superb from the Lido Cooks and Attendants , the Dining Room Staff, the stateroom staff, front desk, librarian etc. It was great to have a library as this was a 111 day voyage but the ship should go with a digital library as well. There didn't seem to be a lot of new books on the shelves. Of great value was the coin laundry, $2 for a wash and dry was great. There were only 8 washers and 8 dryers on this ship but because most of the customers were return visitors who got free laundry it was enough. Besides the super expensive Shore Excursions , the internet was another fail. It is expensive $55 US for 100 minutes and because it is so slow, your minutes go by really fast. I believe that it should be by usage and not time. Most of my time on the internet was waiting for a page refresh or sending an email. I loved the cruise and would definitely take another world cruise but I think that I would go with another cruise line to have something to compare this to. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our third World Cruise on the Amsterdam. The embarcation ... went smoothly. There was a long line, but it moved quickly. The ship... We have always loved the Amsterdam, but I'm sorry to say, she seems to be in serious ... Read More
This was our third World Cruise on the Amsterdam. The embarcation ... went smoothly. There was a long line, but it moved quickly. The ship... We have always loved the Amsterdam, but I'm sorry to say, she seems to be in serious need of repair. We saw many leaks in public areas, including the Lido food prep area. Several cabins that flooded terribly. When this happened the crew brought big fans to dry the carpets on top, but I fear that there must be mold underneath. There were also concerns about the 17 year old HVAC units. Most passengers, including us, seemed to be sick, off and on, with sinus infections and allergies much of the 4 months. I think Amsterdam is due for dry dock after the 2018 cruise. Cabin... We were on Dolphin deck. Our room stewards scrubbed the shower every day to try and keep the mold out of the tiles around the shower. Our cabin frequently smelled of diesel fuel. Dining... The chefs and crew do a great job preparing and serving delicious meals and snacks. Entertainment and activities ... The nightime entertainment seemed to be for the older crowd. Lots of classical and show tunes, magicians and comedians. We attended only a few shows. Afternoon movies on sea days were not offered, since a private group rented the theater. The internet is slow as molasses and is very expensive. We spent $600 on internet in 4 months. Service.... The crew on the World Cruise is always the best on the seas!!! Also, the Fillipino and Indonesian crew shos were outstanding. Ports and Shore Excursions... The ports were great! We took Shore Excursions in most ports. They were very expensive, but most guides were excellent. We plan to continue cruising, but sadly will not cruise on the Amsterdam again. We plan to travel on the newer ships that hopefully, will have fewer maintenance issues. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Had a wonderful trip on the Grand World Cruise. Our first world cruise. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit many places on our bucket list. Loved the ports and visiting different countries but too much down time for me. Too many sea ... Read More
Had a wonderful trip on the Grand World Cruise. Our first world cruise. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit many places on our bucket list. Loved the ports and visiting different countries but too much down time for me. Too many sea days with little to do unless you like dancing and bridge. Spent lots of time at the gym and library, excellent library. Shore excursions were well done for the most part and most of the guides were excellent with information about their countries. The lectures were very interesting and really enjoyed the culinary arts center. The entertainment was the best we have ever had at sea can not say enough about these talented young people. . Ship needs a little TLC. There were problem with flooding and leaking through out the ship. The food was good and the service exceptional.Great crew, great captain, met many wonderful people but would probably not do another world cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We sailed the first leg of the 2017 World Cruise, disembarking in San Diego. Overall experience was pleasant, but we had to overlook inconsistent food, a musty smell in our stateroom, and a toilet that malfunctioned three times. The ship ... Read More
We sailed the first leg of the 2017 World Cruise, disembarking in San Diego. Overall experience was pleasant, but we had to overlook inconsistent food, a musty smell in our stateroom, and a toilet that malfunctioned three times. The ship hasn't been refurbished in years, and it shows. Service was excellent, entertainment good. This particular cruise attracts a lot of old people, the majority of whom are 80+. I question the value received for the price paid. This was our second HAL cruise, the first being on the (superior) Eurodam. Was frustrated trying to watch NFL playoff games via satellite. The audio channel carrying the play-by-play call was not working. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. Tours are expensive for what's offered. The majority of the passengers on the Amsterdam world cruise take the entire, 4-month trip. There were many repeat customers who apparently don't mind this ship's shortcomings but focus, rather, than on the socializing that goes on. Like other cruise ships, internet service is slow and expensive. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Very friendly staff, amazing song and dance group, and my family (brother and sister in law) and I can't stop raving about what a great time we had! We were going to be happy with large inside staterooms but were moved up to ... Read More
Very friendly staff, amazing song and dance group, and my family (brother and sister in law) and I can't stop raving about what a great time we had! We were going to be happy with large inside staterooms but were moved up to obstructed ocean view at no extra charge! We have recommended the same ship and cruise to anyone who will listen. Loved the buffet, but found the formal dining room to be nothing special so we chose to take most of our meals in the buffet. (Not too crazy about wearing a tie on vacation) Not crazy about the casino, I enjoy blackjack but found the ships game seemed to be stacked for the cruise co. We adjusted to the fact that there are lots of extra charges for various activities and things, felt hustled at first but experienced cruisers shared that it's pretty universal in the cruise industry. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We had the most marvelous vacation from start to finish. We purchased a parking spot from the Westin Hotel across from the Amsterdam, and we literally walked across the street to board the ship. Embarkation was smooth and efficient, which ... Read More
We had the most marvelous vacation from start to finish. We purchased a parking spot from the Westin Hotel across from the Amsterdam, and we literally walked across the street to board the ship. Embarkation was smooth and efficient, which foretold of the good things to come. Our cabin was ready for us at 11:30--a pleasant surprise, as we have not had access to our cabin this early on other cruises. We spent the day enjoying lunch and exploring the various venues on the ship. Luggage arrived by 1:00, and we were able to unpack and get settled in to our interior cabin on the Lower Promenade Deck. Our stateroom was cozy and comfortable and we had good service. We were close to an exterior doorway, so were able to go outside to walk or relax whenever we wanted. We chose the 'As You Like' dining option, and after the first night of sitting together with a group, we opted to ask for a table for 2, because we were on a romantic getaway. We ended up loving our servers, so we set a standing reservation for our table at 7pm. After the first evening, we were greeted by name, the stewards knew our special request (a glass of milk!), and treated us like royalty! The Assistant Dining Manager made sure to speak with us every evening, and we eventually shared stories of our families and life outside the ship. The entertainment was top-notch, professional and varied. Be sure to go to every show and take advantage of the behind-the scenes tours. The singers and dancers were excellent in the production shows! We also enjoyed the culinary shows each day, and took a cooking class with the chef. After the 3 course cooking class, he then prepared the same meal for us in the Pinnacle Dining Room. What a wonderful experience! My husband attended all of the computer classes, and I really enjoyed getting the puzzle pages and reading the newspapers each day in various languages. The bar/entertainment venues had superb and varied entertainers, from classical to jazz to rock and disco. Oh yes, and there were movies each day in the theater--excellent! We kept as busy as we wanted to be! I also participated in the various Hawaiian activities, from learning a bit of the language to making an orchid lei, to learning the hula and how to play the ukelele. We attended the talks about the various ports and the history of Hawaii, which made us feel more prepared for our first time in the islands. We did not buy any shore excursions, but rather rented cars (very cheaply!) and explored on our own. Hawaii was beautiful and lush and everything we had hoped for. Our favorite island was Kauai, where we drove up to Hanalei and watched the surfers. The captain also treated us to an up close view at night of the flowing lava at the southern tip of Hawaii--amazing! Again, we can't stress how great the service was on the Amsterdam. Every staff member has been impeccably trained and you can tell that they truly enjoy people. Service is why we will be back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our second cruise out of San Diego, and embarkation went very well both times. Disembarkation went well, although it is a long walk to the street, where you have to go if you are using Uber rather than one of the taxis or ... Read More
This was our second cruise out of San Diego, and embarkation went very well both times. Disembarkation went well, although it is a long walk to the street, where you have to go if you are using Uber rather than one of the taxis or shuttles at the pier. We never go to shows on cruises, so I can't comment on those. Food and service in the main dining room was good. Not great, but good. While the menu always had several delicious-sounding appetizers and desserts, more often than not they were seriously under-seasoned for our tastes. On the other hand, the meat, fish, and fowl were always cooked perfectly and were juicy and tender. On the one night they had surf and turf, my wife had two of the 5-ounce lobster tails rather and a filet with her lobster. She was happy! I quickly learned to request a "double order" of any appetizer that looked particular good, because with the exception of the soups the appetizer portions were tiny. One thing I did not like was the way the dining room staff aggressively tried to insist that we order our dessert at the same time we ordered the rest of our meals. We usually did not want dessert by the time we finished our entrees, and if we did we could order them at that time. It may not come as quickly, but it was better than throwing away food we didn't want. We ate most of our breakfasts in the Lido, preferring the cooked-to-order dishes there to the same thing cooked centrally and brought to the tables in batches some time later in the main dining room. The same for lunch. We ate almost all our dinners in the main dining room. Keep in mind that you can order room service from the main dining room menu, not just from the room service menu. It costs nothing, and if you don't feel like dressing up you can have the "gala night" food in your jammies! We never had trouble finding a place to sit without snuggling up to other passengers in the Lido. One thing that made breakfast easier there was that we brought our own trays (purchased at a thrift store). That made it possible to carry our entrees (milk and cereal in my case), coffee, juice, fruit, bread, etc. to the table in one trip rather than four. We ate dinner in the Pinnacle Grill twice. It was $35 each, plus an additional $20 for the 12-ounce lobster tail that my wife ordered one night. The rib-eye steak I had there was unremarkable, but the king crab legs and lobster were superb. The crab legs were on the menu there every night. We did not go on any excursions but I had reserved a car in every port except Kona and Ensenada, so we explored the islands on our own. It was a great choice. The one caveat I have: the rental center in Lahaina (Maui) for National/Enterprise/Alamo runs its last shuttle back to the ship at 4:00 PM and will take only one driver and one passenger from each party on that trip. Since our ship wasn't leaving until 7:30, we just put the car keys in the key drop and took an Uber back to the ship at the end of the day. Service on the ship was excellent. With the exception of the wine attendants, we never had the impression that they were simply trolling for end-of-cruise tips. (Nevertheless, we did tip the wine attendants, because they gave good service in additional to pretending to be our long-lost friends.) The cabin attendants, room service staff, telephone staff, dining room and Lido staff, and everybody else we encountered did a terrific job. The ship itself was in very good condition. Nothing seems worn, tattered, rusty, or broken. My wife spent most of her time on the balcony of our cabin, while I was usually wandering from public area to public area, reading. There are a number of areas, in addition to the Explorations Cafe, that have chairs that are quite comfortable for extended periods of watching the ocean go by with a book. I was in the Fitness Center early most mornings, looking for a treadmill. On three occasions there were no treadmills available, but 3.5 laps around the Lower Promenade was one mile, so if a machine wasn't available I could get my walk done in the great outdoors. I'm sure our next cruise will be on HAL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The 17 day cruise to Hawaii was wonderful. It was the first time my wife and I have ever cruised and we both loved it. The staff of the Amsterdam could not have been nicer, more helpful and just as friendly as could be. The food was ... Read More
The 17 day cruise to Hawaii was wonderful. It was the first time my wife and I have ever cruised and we both loved it. The staff of the Amsterdam could not have been nicer, more helpful and just as friendly as could be. The food was always good, with a great selection. The Captain even changed his route to enable us to see the lave flow into the sea at night. The whole package was great! The housekeeping staff kept the room perfect, with chocolates and towel animals every evening and fruit during the day. They also knew our names after the first day. The Staff at the Ocean Bar treated us like family and knew what we were drinking before we sat down. One night one of our waiters made paper flowers for all the women in our group. Entertainment and activities were really very well done and if any one was bored on this cruise it was their own fault. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We have done this cruise previously and found it to be all of the above things as stated. The only suggestion I would have, is it would be nice, and I would be agreeable to pay more if we could have more time at some of the ports. There ... Read More
We have done this cruise previously and found it to be all of the above things as stated. The only suggestion I would have, is it would be nice, and I would be agreeable to pay more if we could have more time at some of the ports. There is so much more to see that 8-12 hours can afford. A very special evening was when the Captain changed our course in order to cruise slowly by the flow of lava into the ocean as we left Hilo after dark. It was spectacular. One thing that bothered me personally on this cruise is that so many people were so negative. Most were people our age (old) and complained about almost everything. I can only conclude they were unhappy to start with. An example, at breakfast in the Lido I heard a lot of complaints that a certain food did not taste like what they had eaten at other places. I thought the food was all tasty and hot, even tho it was not like I have had other places. that, to me, is just part of the fun of traveling is to experience new and different things. We are great fans of the Pinnacle Speciality Dining. The food is superb and the service was flawless, and the remainder of the dining choices were great also. The entertainment was very good, and in a few instances spectacular. While we had done this cruise before we only participated in two land tours, which were also quite satisfactory, in spite of rain at times. There is no question we will cruise again, and again. Holland America is the perfect cruise line for those of us a bit older, and content with experiences geared a bit more in our direction. That is not to say younger people would not enjoy it, it is just a bit of an easier cruise with a lot to choose from on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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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