6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Recently took a 14 day Alaska cruise out of Seattle on the Amsterdam. The staff was friendly and helpful. The quality and variety of food was very good. We were impressed with the cleanliness of the ship. The entertainment - with the ... Read More
Recently took a 14 day Alaska cruise out of Seattle on the Amsterdam. The staff was friendly and helpful. The quality and variety of food was very good. We were impressed with the cleanliness of the ship. The entertainment - with the exception of the Comedienne - were all superb. The singers and dancers were exceptional. Had an interesting itinerary going farther into Alaska (to Homer and Kodiak) than other cruises we have taken. There was a nice mix of port, sea days and fjord cruising. The two self service laundromats onboard are a real bonus! And very reasonably priced at $2 per load The one negative for us is the smoke from the casino. The casino on the Amsterdam is in the middle of deck 5 and is open at each end - there are no doors or enclosures. They allow smoking in the casino most days - so the smoke floats into all of the shops and lounges nearby, as well as up/down the atrium. You can smell it all the time, but much worse of course, when the casino is in full swing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We take this cruise every year. This year the weather was awesome and so were the people we met. Some things have changed, and NOT for the better. 1. No deliv. of morning newspaper.You must go all the way to the front desk and get ... Read More
We take this cruise every year. This year the weather was awesome and so were the people we met. Some things have changed, and NOT for the better. 1. No deliv. of morning newspaper.You must go all the way to the front desk and get your own. 2. Obviously they have once again changed coffee's.. not very good.. sad when you must go to the Explorer Cafe and pay for a decent cup of coffee! 3. In Room Dinning ( room service ) changed their breakfast menu. So many less choices! But, I must say.. that in room dinning went out of their way to accommodate us.. Thank you! 4. I asked for the daily dinning room menu to be deliv everyday. I got it 3 times. 5. Our toilet 2 times decided not to flush! We had to wait for maintenance to come. 6. The air conditioning in our cabin was way to warm.. after having it fixed " 3 times".. we gave up and asked for a fan. 7. our cabin stewards were terrific. 8. Food in both the dinning room and Lido.. was never hot. This is more than just food being cold.. it is a HEALTH ISSUE! 9. Painting and varnishing when people are on a deck is awful and they need better ventilation when doing it. . Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We visited most major ports in Alaska except Glacier Bay and Skagway/Haines. Embarkation was better than average with minimal waiting, and the port in Seattle was very easy to navigate. Holland allows 3 bottles of wine per adult ... Read More
We visited most major ports in Alaska except Glacier Bay and Skagway/Haines. Embarkation was better than average with minimal waiting, and the port in Seattle was very easy to navigate. Holland allows 3 bottles of wine per adult which can be placed in regular luggage, but bring your corkscrew if you will drink in your room. Corkage in the dining room was $18 plus tax in Washington :-( . Once out of Washington, no tax. Wine steward service was very good with our bottle always waiting for us at dinner, and each bottle lasted 3 dinners for us. Mildly upsetting was that Holland initially tentatively charged our credit card account $1,499.82 on embarkation (per our bank) while our final bill was only $32.20, overestimating the final amount by 4,657.8 percent. Seems to me that they should have disclosed this to passengers so that they would know what to expect since many banks now inform their customers of each charge made. The ship appears to be old and desperately needs renovation with SD TV's with poor reception in the staterooms (even for the usual onboard sourced programming) with noticeable wear in the bathroom and cabin and dated ship decor. There was substantial deferred maintenance In our stateroom, the bottom desk drawer didn't function well (other passengers said theirs did not work at all) and when I decided to take a bath (I am used to the tiny showers on other lines) there was ring around the bathtub. Yuk - showers on out. I also noticed that the grout had brown stains and the toilet seat showed signs of wear. The bathroom had ample shelf space with toiletries bags and reading material going under the sink and a closing corner vanity cabinet with three levels, There was a hair dryer mounted on the wall as well as a corded hair dryer in the desk which we did not use. A magnifying mirror was mounted to the desk and there was another in the desk as well. Two bathrobes were provided. During our cruise, they were apparently sanding and varnishing outdoor stairs between decks (we were pretty far aft). The strong smell permeated the hallway and rooms and caused both my wife and I to become nauseated. This continued for a substantial time. At one point, someone propped up am outdoor chair in the exterior doorway, but that was soon removed. They were also varnishing the railing on the top deck. Unfortunately, their "Wet paint" signs were placed on small labels facing the sea twisted somewhat around the railing structure. I found out that there was wet varnish the hard way. In another area of the top deck, the top wood rail was completely missing and remained missing throughout the two week trip. Others complained of smoke odors in public areas (purportedly no smoking allowed) and we noticed curry smells near the stairwell once or twice - we presume that the crew must have been cooking in the lower decks. Clean windows appeared to be a low priority on this ship. Besides the stateroom windows which is understandable due to their inaccessibility, windows for public areas, particularly the dining room, were filthy substantially blocking the view outside. Even accessible windows (like the windows on doors in public areas were filthy). Stewards were very polite, as were most personnel on board - much better than we have experienced on competing lines, while shop personnel were typically hard sell as on other lines. Food service in the dining room was good though food sat too long and was too repetitive. With a few exceptions, soup was placed in pitchers and poured into bowls at the table which helped to keep it hot, but most everything else was lukewarm. Portions promoted good health but seemed small. They served Alaskan crab at one dinner which consisted of two segments of a single leg. Dinner fare was unimaginative and repetitive. Souffles were sparse, and the variably prepared creme brulee was available every day. The one time I tried a souffle, it was very cupcake-like. The dinner rolls were likewise the same for the whole trip while other cruiselines provide different variations and styles. I was surprised when the surf and turf night did not include a baked potato. Interestingly, this cruise featured demonstrations by America's Test Kitchen, but it did not appear that anything was communicated to the cooking staff. Eating at the Lido Buffet was similarly unimaginative. Breakfast was substantially the same everyday. There were several stations with different types of food, but the food was generally unchanged and if one wanted different things, several stations would have to be visited. There were separate stations for fried eggs, omelets, waffles, poached eggs/congee, one for juices/milk, ... If one wanted poached eggs/eggs benedict and sausage, that would require a trip to two different stations, or even more if one wanted toast, with each having a separate queue which became very long at times. The stations generally did not have any additional assistance when the queue grew. Potatoes were cooked the same throughout the trip - no variations like potatoes o-brien, hash browns, etc. were offered. Fruit was sparse, and there were no smoked fish like salmon\ or trout, nor a large variety of sliced meats like those offered on other cruiselines. The servers were apparently instructed to work fast, but in their effort to serve the next person, often failed to provide what the prior person wanted. Once, and elderly gentlemen in front of me wanted a couple of different items. When he politely repeated what he wanted, the server became visibly peeved, finally responding to him and filling his request. Things similar to this were often repeated and it appeared that the servers either didn't want to listen or did not understand the people they were serving. It appeared that their failure to listen resulted in longer delays in the lines, though by the third or fourth day, I gave up and took whatever they scooped. Beverage service (coffee, water, tea, lemon syrup water) was spotty, depending on what personnel were present. Even though we were generally approached fairly quickly, beverage speed ranged from immediate to times when after finishing my food, I went to get iced tea from the dispenser myself. Even the supervisors (in suits) were variable - sometimes they would be helpful, sometimes they were busy talking amongst themselves and didn't care, and there were times when the dining area was relatively empty - they served a single diner, but refused to acknowledge other diners who wanted refills, even turning around and walking away after seeing diners wanting service. Lunch at the Lido was similar. There were multiple stations with a few variations (whatever was left over from a prior meal). Pizza, relegated to one regular station, was the worst I have had on a cruise, in part because it generally sat around for a long time (I don't know if the older passenger demographic was a cause). It was refreshing to be offered sushi, but there was only a very few variations of mini rolls (surprising since this cruise served lots of salmon), so after the second day, meh. They were small enough that people often got several, poured the sushi onto one plate, and abandoned the empty dishes. Many also gave up on waiting for the server - they just reached over and grabbed what they wanted. The buffet closed between meals though the food was placed in warming ovens quite early. The food, having sat for an extended time, lost its freshness by the time it was offered. An example - one station had small plates of pasta. I did not encounter any fresh plates. The plates had been sitting around long enough that the outside was dry and hard. Very few people partake. For lunch, sparcely filled small sandwiches were often available in small paper bags. Unsealed, these sat around long enough that the bread was often hard and dry. Lido provided snacks 10:30p - 11:30p. Comfort food such as wings, fries, tortilla chips, potato chips and other leftovers were offered. The wings, though not real fresh, were pretty tasty (unlike the other fried chicken which could have come from a frozen TV dinner. The fries were the best I have had on a cruise ship with two variations, one well done and one regular, provided. The chips, probably coming from bags, were typical. Guacamole was provided, but typically went very quickly without replenishing and at other times, stayed, the surface clearly discolored from sitting too long. The Lido dining area was not well maintained. The tables were often a little sticky (They need to replace the cleaning buckets more often) and it appeared no one bothered to vacuum the carpet, particularly noticeable near the windows. Desserts where typical - nothing fancy - but were not replenished quickly enough. Ice cream service was exceptional, extensive queues not withstanding. There were several choices of real ice cream (eg: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, chocolate chip, cookie dough, etc., sherbets) as well as soft serve, served in regular cones, waffle cones, or in bowls with a selection of toppings such as marshmallows, syrup and chocolate chips. This started near lunch and ran throughout the day. The Pinnacle Grill provided a quiet experience with attentive service though the food was unexceptional. The Italian restaurant was a cordoned off part of the Lido. It had attentive service and good portions, though the food was not up to par and was not close to what we consider good authentic Italian food. It tasted the same as the dining room although with a little different spice mix. Since there were very few people there, it was very quiet. Their written confirmation was off by a couple of hours for us as well as another diner, but with few patrons, it did not matter. The only Cioppino I ever had before this was San Francisco Cioppino and this did not compare. I appeared that the ingredients were boiled separately with Italian inspired broth poured over. The seafood had little flavor. Entertainment was next to the worst we experienced in the over 10 cruises we have been on. The ship's personnel's shows were karaoke style with mostly recorded instumentals accompanied by a lone violinist. There was good one male singer who apparently also worked the restaurant while the others attempted a reasonable facsimile of a high school musical. Dancers included one woman who clearly had some ballet training, but the others were not so graceful. The troup's attempt at a county western bar motive was, with obviously non-native English speaking backgrounds, was entertaining, but not in a good way. The guest performers were better than the onboard musicians and dancers, and they were often accompanied by a live band which appeared to be professional. There were also the requisite lounge musicians. Stateroom TV's provided old NTSC(?) standard definition analog video of very poor quality with lots of distortion, NOT caused by degradation of satellite signal. Last time I watched video that bad was close to 20 years ago. Although the TV appeared to be a first generation stereo set, all signals going to it were mono. This was a 14 day cruise covering just a few more ports than shorter cruises and allowed extensive time in each port, so there was no hurry to get off the boat or rush back to the ship. Unfortunately, at least for us, when we returned to the ship, it was often after lunch hours and there was no food available. For extended hour ports, we arrived after dinner hours, so no food either until snacks at 10:30. This was the first time we were left hungry on a cruiseship, and after 11:30 pm, no food (although room service was still available). It would have been nice if they coordinated the buffet, but no such luck. It was surprising that many halls, stairwells and elevators and outside decks were empty after hours. It was refreshing and comfortable, if a bit spooky, to be able to walk the halls of a cruiseship without seeing another human. This contributed to the slowness of the environment. Maybe because young families cannot always afford to take a 14 day vacation, this cruise attracted an older crowd and we sexagenarians appeared to be among the younger of the crowd. This is NOT a cruise for young people though there was one pack of less than 10 millenials wandering around the decks. Our adult child would have been miserable. The whirlpool on the pool deck closed at 10pm (the pool closed earlier) which was disappointing (we like to linger later) though after 9, there were very few people on deck. Well before 10, the retractable roof over the pool area was closed. Some ports were small enough that unless you paid for a shore excursion, there was very little to do. One port provided a short shuttle to the other side of the spit where there were only a few shops catering to cruise passengers. This being our fourth cruise to Alaska, we did not go on any shore excursions. Embarkation was the best we have experienced. Port Valet service allowed passengers to check in their luggage on the ship and obtain boarding passes for their flights FREE of charge. Luggage fees were charged to our onboard account at cost ($25.00). It made it very easy and comfortable to disembark without having to deal with luggage, and made disembarkation the easiest and most efficient we ever experienced (They or our overbooked airline did lose our seat assignments, but we were able to get new assignments at the airport). I do not know whether it is a Seattle port program or a HAL program, but the ability to transfer our luggage and check in was much appreciated. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We took this cruise because of the itinerary so we could meet our daughter in Homer.It went round trip out of Seattle, which was the best part, as that is our home port. Also, several of the ports such as Anchorage, Icy Strait, Homer and ... Read More
We took this cruise because of the itinerary so we could meet our daughter in Homer.It went round trip out of Seattle, which was the best part, as that is our home port. Also, several of the ports such as Anchorage, Icy Strait, Homer and Kodiak, were new to us, as we have been on a few Alaska cruises previously. The ship, the Amsterdam, was just like the Volendam, that we took on a Asia criuise in March. The Amsterdam does seem a bit dated for it's age compared to other HAL ships. The cruise director, Jorge, was delightful, the entertainment was average at best, and the food in the Pinnacle Grille was fantastic. The ship dancers and singers and band were very good though. The sailing up the Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier and Hubbard Glacier were very scenic and spectacular. Unfortunately we did not see any wildlife, bears or whales, though some passengers said they saw some at different times. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
The Amsterdam is a smaller ship of 1400 people and we sailed to Alaska for two weeks. The weather was mostly very good. We had a Vista Suite which was more than adequate. The cabin stewards were wonderful. We booked several excursions ... Read More
The Amsterdam is a smaller ship of 1400 people and we sailed to Alaska for two weeks. The weather was mostly very good. We had a Vista Suite which was more than adequate. The cabin stewards were wonderful. We booked several excursions through Holland America and they were all very well done. We ate the majority of our meals in the main dining room at the 8 pm seating and had absolutely no issues at all. The meals were all excellent and I do not see any reason to pay a surcharge to go to the specialty restaurants. The entertainment was mostly very good. The HAL singers and dancers were some of the most talented that we have seen on any cruise ship (we have sailed Disney, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian). Jim Curry did a tribute to John Denver and did an excellent job. Amy Lee was a violinist who was very talented. We particularly like America's Test Kitchen with Kathleen. She demonstrated various menus and dishes throughout the cruise. We picked up some great hints and recipes. We really felt that Holland America was a step above the cruises that we have previously been on. However, we still feel strongly that Disney presents the best entertainment. I would urge you to do this two week Alaskan itinerary, we saw whales, bear, eagles, otters and orcas. The embarkation and debarkation were excellent and very well organized. Seattle was an excellent pre and post cruise city. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
Far too much chipping of paint and painting and varnishing around the ship. We were awoken in Sitka, Ak. to the banging of hammers on our window. We were both ill with coughs and colds. We planned to stay in our cabin for the day but ... Read More
Far too much chipping of paint and painting and varnishing around the ship. We were awoken in Sitka, Ak. to the banging of hammers on our window. We were both ill with coughs and colds. We planned to stay in our cabin for the day but couldn't stand the noise and had to leave our cabin for the better part of the day. To any cruiser this is totally unacceptable. For this reason alone Holland has lost at least 2 customers. The Dive in burger and taco bar continually running out of food. Straws almost nonexistent, never any straws in 14 days at the Dive in, throughout and so short they barely came up to the rim of your glass. It was funny watching folks at shows digging around their $9.00 drinks trying to find their straws. It was so bad one day there were 3 restaurant managers, a chef and an officer trying to fix the problem. Food in the Lido Cafe fair to poor. This Cafe seemed to be closed far more than it was open. Again totally unacceptable. We did the same cruise in 2016 on the Maasdam and it was a very nice cruise. Main dining room food and service excellent. Some shows excellent, some poor. Itinerary great. The reason we did it again. this was our 31st cruise. There were more short comings but I'm out of time. Think twice before cruising Holland. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The staff on the ship was wonderful. Definitely no complaints there. The excursions were fine. We did not like the cabin (1885), as it was right across from the janitor's closet for the room stewards and we heard them going in there ... Read More
The staff on the ship was wonderful. Definitely no complaints there. The excursions were fine. We did not like the cabin (1885), as it was right across from the janitor's closet for the room stewards and we heard them going in there and out, all the time. Often it sounded like they were rustling our door to come in. On the other hand it was midship, so the cabin was close to the stairs and elevators. The other issues were 1) On the 6th day, brown water intermittently came out of the faucet. We reported this to the Front Desk who said to let the water run for 10 minutes and they also sent complementary bottles of water to our room. Which we used to brush our teeth and rinse our mouths. We tried the ten minute running of the water on several days thereafter but the intermittent brown water continued the rest of the cruise. We were uneasy about washing our hands with this water but we had no choice. 2) The reception of the TV in the room was spotty at best. This was frustrating, as we like to keep up with the news via TV but often there was no picture. The dinner dining was the highlight of the cruise. OMG those deserts, I gained 4 lbs. The table service was just great. At home I work out a lot, so I went to the gym for at least seven of the 14 days. The gym was just average but on the other hand not very many cruisers used it. I would guess HAL is conflicted on how nice to make a facility that is so rarely used by the cruisers. One big issue with the gym was it was too hot. I worried, as a senior, if working out in that heat would be a strain on my heart. I was always drenched with sweat when I left. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Wanted to make our first trip to Alaska special, without the long interior trip to Denali. Decided that the round trip from Seattle to Anchorage was the perfect combination of ports and days at sea. The trip exceeded our expectations. ... Read More
Wanted to make our first trip to Alaska special, without the long interior trip to Denali. Decided that the round trip from Seattle to Anchorage was the perfect combination of ports and days at sea. The trip exceeded our expectations. Besides the great service, smiling faces, dining options and entertainment, we met wonderful people to share our Alaska adventure and hopefully some future cruises. We elected the Dine Anytime and that worked out great. We thought we'd eat more on the Lido deck, but enjoyed most dinners in the dining room. After dinner, take in the musicans on deck 5, then off to the Queens Lounge in the front of the Ship for the Nightly entertainment at 8 or 10pm. Because the Amsterdam is a smaller ship we were able the dock at all ports, making for an easy exit to explore the ports. We did miss Kodiak due to fog and/or a research vessel dead in our spot. We did get our port fees refunded, but would have enjoyed the visit. The only regret is that we didn't do more excursions. I never heard anything negative except that they would have liked more time in the Butchart Gardens. Some excursions may seem expensive, but the memories and experiences are priceless. Have a great time and enjoy the others around you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We arrived early to Seattle & chose to drive to Mt. Rainier National Park prior to our cruise. The embarkation could not have been quicker more easy if they tried. I arrived at the port at about 11:30 & was in my room by noon! ... Read More
We arrived early to Seattle & chose to drive to Mt. Rainier National Park prior to our cruise. The embarkation could not have been quicker more easy if they tried. I arrived at the port at about 11:30 & was in my room by noon! The ship was clean, the décor was neutral (lots of fresh flowers) & just the right size. I'm a vegetarian & ate quite a few meals off the MDR menu, but they also have a vegetarian menu, I ate several appetizers, salads, & soups off of that menu as well. At dinner time the lido is not a very good option for vegetarians. I'm not a night owl, so I can't speak to the evening entertainment & I'm not a fan of production shows. There were a lot of trivia & name that tune activities presented by the cruise director & staff. Many people not unlike myself self entertained with puzzles, card games, & the like. Of which there were a lot to choose from in the Explorations Café. The service was impeccable (& I was not in a suite). HAL has a unlimited laundry service. I would choose HAL just for that service! This ship visited a lot of ports that are not regularly visited by cruise ships & I liked all of them! (I booked a few independent excursions.) I travelled with my 8 year old son & he loved HAL's Club HAL (There were 70 kids on the ship equally dispersed between the 12 & under & 13 & over set.) I would love to sail this itinerary again! (Maybe in 2019 or 2020) Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
Our previous 7day cruise does not compare with this 14day Holland America cruise first of all because of the ports visited. The smaller vessel was able to reach more environmentally sensitive ports and provided a much more enjoyable ... Read More
Our previous 7day cruise does not compare with this 14day Holland America cruise first of all because of the ports visited. The smaller vessel was able to reach more environmentally sensitive ports and provided a much more enjoyable experience. The onboard enrichment star, was for us, America's Test Kitchen. My husband of 48 years may start cooking! The library was first class and offered an extensive variety of activities such as board games, puzzle tables and huge assortment of books. The staff was, without fail, smiling, attentive and interactive at appropriate times. We found the menus to be well thought out and provided a good variety of veggies and desserts, including gluten and sugar free. Lovely ice cream selection. There is a nice poolside burger / taco bar that was great for snacks and meals. The fresh flowers on almost every table and venue were lovely and unexpected. Made my days special. The entertainment was typical of other cruises. Movies included popcorn which was a treat. Read Less
Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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