397 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
9 to 16 JULY 2016 ......This was my third cruise. My wife and I really enjoyed the time aboard. Our cabin was 5177 so it was an inside room with no windows, which I like for sleeping. Our cabin steward "Riza" was very good ... Read More
9 to 16 JULY 2016 ......This was my third cruise. My wife and I really enjoyed the time aboard. Our cabin was 5177 so it was an inside room with no windows, which I like for sleeping. Our cabin steward "Riza" was very good about keeping our cabin picked up and towels and bed kept orderly. My wife just loved the towel that was folded different each day into a different shape of some type of animal. We had plenty to do on board and we enjoyed the shows and other special activities. The top two for us was the "marriage game" and "Name that tune". The list of Shore excursions was great so we had many options but the only negative I have with that is that the time in port of calls seemed to be so rushed. The cruise up into Glacier bay was just wonderful and interesting and we was given a map of the area in our rooms the day before so we knew where and what we was watching on deck while the PA system announced each Glacier. Initial embarkation process is very chaotic as well as the drill for the life boats but over all we had a very good vacation. we are going to be very pro-active with our friends about they must take a trip to Alaska and HAL would be a good choice for cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I'm not sure just how many trips I've taken on HAL over the past 15 years, but lots, and always in Neptune Suites. Prior to this one I have always been pleased, and more often than not, very pleased. In fact, along with ... Read More
I'm not sure just how many trips I've taken on HAL over the past 15 years, but lots, and always in Neptune Suites. Prior to this one I have always been pleased, and more often than not, very pleased. In fact, along with Celebrity, HAL has been my line of preference. All that changed with this unfortunate seven day sailing from Seattle to Alaska. I won't swing to the extreme and term it a total disappointment, but it certainly was WELL below what my past HAL experiences have been. In fact, after a week on the Amsterdam, my least favorite lines don't seem quite so lacking. The ship clearly is not being maintained as it once was; evidence of wear and tear (that could be easily corrected) is common. We had problems with sewage odors. We had multiple incidents of poor dining room service that could only be attributed to understaffing. The food was at best average. "Nickel and diming" tactics seemed far more prevalent than is the case for premium suite guests on other lines. I have a sense that this older, once proud vessel is nearing retirement, and is likely suffering from reduced budgets, most notably in the maintenance area. Was the voyage All bad? Of course not -- with only an exception or two, the staff was great with respect to both attitude and work ethic. The Neptune Lounge was very enjoyable as always. The talent in the Piano Bar was exceptional. But, in the end, something seems very wrong here. Is Holland becoming Norwegian? We shall not be returning to find out. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We choose this cruise because we waned to go on the Konigsdam and go someplace cool (Noway). The ship was lovely but still a big disappointment. We were gone for 2 weeks. The first week Jonathan the social director was invisible. Usually ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we waned to go on the Konigsdam and go someplace cool (Noway). The ship was lovely but still a big disappointment. We were gone for 2 weeks. The first week Jonathan the social director was invisible. Usually cruise director introduces show walks around and sets the tone. Jonathan was non existent. The next week we had Shawn he was much better. he did what i expect a cruise director to do. We were disappointed by the lack of activities on the ship. Bingo, black jack art auctions and make your own wine were all money makers for the ship. Many other cruise lines bring in guest lectures. The only enrichment program was cruise port talks by Ian. He was very personable and humorous but after the first talk I knew all of his jokes. The attempt at culture via Lincoln Center is an insult to the musicians. It is not in a quiet area , igb nstead people are walking by and talking during the concerts. The main stage was lovely...a beautiful auditorium but in our 2 week sail 3 of the shows were repeated...as good as they were I think the Konigsdam could come up 2 weeks of different show. The guest entertainers were wonderful . There were not enough places to sit and read. Often areas that weren't used were dark... unless you had a kindle you couldn't sit and read. The Crows nest and explores lounge which is dedicated for reading and quiet games was always mobbed and noisy. The food was very good and yet the Lido market was always crowded. Tables took for ever to be cleaned.I blame management not the workers who tried very hard and were so nice. The NY deli had great food which was evidenced by the 20 minute wait during lunch time.The main dining room was even worse. Set seating and open seating were in the same area. We had the 8:15 seating and often had to wait for our table to be ready. The stateroom was very nice with ample closet space. The excursions were very expensive. I felt the Flam railroad was a rip off. we saw better views from our stateroom . To sum it up this is a lovely ship that is way too crowded and totally disorganized. It seems HAL is just interested in the bottom line. I wish they would pay the workers more and cut their profit margin ever so slightly 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
Overall, our family of 9 had a good time on the Amsterdam, but I certainly would not want to do an "Around the World" trip on her. Our cabin had a few problems that our very nice stewards did their best to take care of. First, ... Read More
Overall, our family of 9 had a good time on the Amsterdam, but I certainly would not want to do an "Around the World" trip on her. Our cabin had a few problems that our very nice stewards did their best to take care of. First, they had put a very large dorm refrigerator in the space for your knees at the vanity so that you could not use it at all and the frig was plugged into the only outlet, so that I could not use hair dryer and curling rods. They did remove that for me and saw that we had a good supply of ice in our room. The other problem was that there was no hot water in the sink. A repairman tried, but his repair only lasted about 5 minutes. Oh well, I can live with that as there was hot water in the tub and shower. There was a lot of storage room and the balcony was larger than newer ships with a lounge chair as well as regular chair and small table. I read the review that complained about the lack of Salmon, but don't understand it as they served baked Salmon on deck twice and I believe it was one of the items on the menu available anytime. I thought the dining room food was pretty good and they tried hard to please my very fussy grandson. Breakfast buffet was good, but I thought the manu at the Lido could be better. I think it is the only ship I have been on that does not have Pizza on the pooil deck and the things that are there close down at 5 pm sharp. The Pinnacle is always wonderful. All of our group agreed that Sitka was our favorite stop. We booked private tours on shore and were so pleased with the friendliness of everyone. We were blessed with good weather in Juneau, Sitka and Victoria, and also for cruising Hubbard Glacier, which was awesome. It rained buckets in Ketchikan, but that is the norm there. We were very unimpressed with the photography on this ship. Some photos were Ok, but others were very fuzzy. The Black Label experience was definitely not worth the money, and on top of that, the photographer was rude to each one of us. For such a small ship, the entertainers were terrific. The Irish singing and dancing was a real treat. We will certainly cruise with HAL again, but probably not on the Amsterdam. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My cruise rating was average for a few reasons, but first I'd like to write about the positives... Pros *Easiest embarkation and disembarkation ever and I've been on 13 cruises prior to this one. *Getting to and from ... Read More
My cruise rating was average for a few reasons, but first I'd like to write about the positives... Pros *Easiest embarkation and disembarkation ever and I've been on 13 cruises prior to this one. *Getting to and from the ship was also among the easiest ever. We used Lyft as our means to and from the airport to the hotel and then to the port. It was extremely reasonable. *Unlike prior cruises they did not hound you to have your picture taken. *Unlike prior cruises they bar servers did not hound you about drinks. There were a time or two, we had to go to the bar for service, but that was okay by us. *The ventriloquist comedian was absolutely phenomenal. *The food was really good on the lido deck and the servers were very gracious. *The ship was smaller than expected, but it was very clean and easy to navigate. *The sites of Alaska were absolutely amazing and we only had one day of a little rain which was in Ketchikan. The rain and wind kept us from doing a plane ride that we had planned for one of our excursions. *We visited George Inlet Lodge for all you can eat crab....and it was well worth it!!! *We also visited the Mendenhall Glacier, but we really didn't need to pay for this excursion because the ship took us by Hubbard Glacier which is so much more to see and it was part of the cruise. But, if you like waterfalls, the Mendenhall Glacier excursion allows you to see Nugget Falls while in Juneau. Cons *We stayed in Cabin 3377, which was on a great deck, easy to access the elevators, and had a nice view out of the window....BUT, it was the noisiest cabin I've ever been in...from the hours of approximately 9 am - 5-6 pm, it was almost impossible to take a nap without the tv on, so I apologize to our neighbors. It was like they were continuously moving furniture and dropping things. We really considered on the 2nd day, complaining, but we didn't because I was sure there was nothing to be done about it. *We knew going on the cruise that most of the guests would be older than us by 15-25 years...we are 49 and 50 so we expected things to be a little different but we got really bored on the days at sea. *HAC needs to have some type of entertainment - live music of some of some sort during the day. It would have been nice just hearing someone play the guitar and sing while out on the lido deck. All in all our experience was pretty good....the reason for the average rating is because of our cabin noise and being so bored during the day.....so bored that we put together a puzzle....not that I don't like puzzles.....but...... 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
I have taken two cruises on the Holland America lines and I've come back with the same opinion on both. They sucked. The dinning was lousy, the food was bad and the service was lousy, especially on the Amsterdam. I took this same ... Read More
I have taken two cruises on the Holland America lines and I've come back with the same opinion on both. They sucked. The dinning was lousy, the food was bad and the service was lousy, especially on the Amsterdam. I took this same cruise 10 years ago to, again Alaska, it was the Oosterdam and it was almost as bad. ( My sister wanted to use this cruise line ). The rooms were lousy. They had tubes but the walls of the tubes are so high you really had to watch yourself getting out. The cruise director, this is the person that is supposed to walk around the ship on a daily bases and converse with the passengers to make sure their sailing experience is a good one and make sure there are enough fun activities to keep passengers busy and having fun, was never seen. The waiter at our formal dinning was a total loser. This was an Alaskan cruise so, as in other cruises, we expected Backed Alaska on the last formal dinning night. NOT going to happen. The cruise director usually comes out and introduces the head staff and tells a few funny stories. Nope. Fortunately the trip itself was really great despite the ships poor quality of service and atmosphere. I would suggest either Celebrity, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean or possibly some other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Food was too salty and the Lido Buffet had virtually the same thing everyday. The ship is in need of remodeling, dirty doors, threadbare cushions in the Crow's Nest. The three switches for lights in the cabin are directly behind your ... Read More
Food was too salty and the Lido Buffet had virtually the same thing everyday. The ship is in need of remodeling, dirty doors, threadbare cushions in the Crow's Nest. The three switches for lights in the cabin are directly behind your pillow. If you're sitting up in bed and the pillow hits the switch, you can either accidentally turn on lights/turn off lights. There is a light above the head of the bed that cabin stewards left on after tidying up the room for the evening; this light gets very hot and touches curtains and pillows. This is a fire hazard. You cannot hear announcements in the cabin. This makes it difficult to hear what deck you will disembark on. While watching the ship approach Hubbard Glacier in the Crow's Nest, waiters did not come around for drink orders, you had to go and wait in line. Using a cane, it was not convenient to have to go to the bar for a drink. The activities on days at sea were a joke. Learn Windows 10 on vacation, multiple trivia contests and learn about Tanzanite, art, etc. - they were just trying to tell you something. Want to watch TV? Four channels of Holland America propaganda, and Alaska programs. If you're lucky you can catch a movie. Errors on bill were corrected overnight; though I had purchased a beverage card and presented it to staff, my key card account was charged. I traveled with a terminally ill friend and the difference in temperatures in various (indoor) parts of the ship was quite noticeable.If you did any excursions you had little free time to explore the city. Only in Sitka did we have time to explore a bit.Staff was friendly except for one guy manning the screening machine when you came on deck. Patty at the Seattle Terminal was outstanding. A walker was reserved for my friend and I was told to pick it up at the kiosk in the terminal. After seeing no kiosk on the first floor and going through security I saw a handicapped area on the second floor. Alas, no walker. The "kiosk" SNG had was actually a white tent outside of the terminal. Patty took me through the lines, escorting me to the tent and back. She also helped me look for my friend who has significant short term memory loss and was not sitting in the area she said she was going to be sitting. My friend decided to change two excursions and this was handled promptly by the excursion desk. The places to shop onboard are a joke - a jewelry store, a liquor store with Tylenol and seasickness patches and a general shop with t-shirts, fridge magnets, etc. A poolside sale was held one day from 9am to 2pm. After lunch my friend went to the spa and I was going to look at the sale. I was surprised to find that at 1:30pm they were packing stuff away. On non-formal nights the dress code was smart casual. Some people looked like they had just finished changing their oil. Sloppiness ruled for a large number of people. We shared a table but were never seated at the same table. Their idea of a tea is a buffet of desserts from the Lido and a few savory items. The Queen Mary and old Queen Elizabeth II knew how to throw a tea! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Heard many people comment on Holland America not being a "party boat" cruise, mostly formmore elderly people. Also, very clean, and friendly wait staff. All this was true, however I was dissappointed in the tough steaks. I had ... Read More
Heard many people comment on Holland America not being a "party boat" cruise, mostly formmore elderly people. Also, very clean, and friendly wait staff. All this was true, however I was dissappointed in the tough steaks. I had a New Hork Strip in the main Dining Room. The first couple bites were tender and then it was nothing but pure gristle. I told our waiter and he called the assistant Diner Room manager and they apologized and offered to bring another, but I refused since we had already finished our meal. I was told to order it again another night and it would be tender. A couple,days later I ordered it again, and I had to spit out in my napkin several bites that I just couldn't chew, and I have all my natural teeth. I didn't complain. Also, the assistant Dining Room manager tried to rush us to eat. We had a friend with is who had to eat slower because a side effect from cancer prevented her from eating fast. The Assistand Dining Room manager was not nice at all. The ship very clean, the Lido Food was very good except for the beef roast. It was tough. Apparently whoever they get their beef from is supplying low quality meat. The staff needs to try it themselves without warning, and see for themselves. Other than that Oscar, the manager of the breakfast buffet on in the Lido Deck was the friendliest of all the staff, all the other staff was good and friendly, but Oscar went above and beyond to give superior service,and knew us by our first named after the first time we introduced ourselves. The cleaning staff were always busy especially after late hours polishing and cleaning onboard public Areas. I saw a child get sick near a sitting area, and immediately they had a team with mask and gloves cleaning it up with vacuums, and disinfectants. And rerouting foot traffic until it was thoroughly cleaned up. The Grill beside the pool had the best Taco Bar I have ever eaten at. Their burgers were very high quality, and I could have survived eating there, every meal, but did not want a burger for breakfast or dinner. The only other complaint was the following. My wife has to use a C-pap machine to sleep, and requires Distilled Water to operate. She had the opportunity to order the Distilled Water a few weeks before we sailed, and did so, and it was supposed to be in our cabin on arrival. It wasn't there when we arrived, we called about it that evening and were promised it would be there before bedtime. It never arrived. The next day we complained and were promised it would be delivered. A 7:00 pm it had never arrived. We went to front desk and complained, and one of the front desk people promised they would deliver or personally, which they did. The entertainment was not very entertaining especially the music for the age groups onboard. I think since many of the people grew up in the 1950's, music from that era would go over very good.. 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 chose this cruise for a couple of reasons....one being the itinerary. Hubbard Glacier was the deciding factor. It was AMAZING!! and two was that we have very good friends who take a portion of the world cruise, which is on this ship, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons....one being the itinerary. Hubbard Glacier was the deciding factor. It was AMAZING!! and two was that we have very good friends who take a portion of the world cruise, which is on this ship, every year and talked this ship up a lot. We were not disappointed in the ship or the staff in the public areas. They were absolutely fabulous and the ship is awesome. From the area you board , to the public rooms, to our cabin. It felt very welcoming. The itinerary was great and the disembarking, apart from Juneau, was very easy. This is, however, where the rave ends. We were disappointed in our cabin attendant. We saw him twice in 8 days. The only way we knew that he had been there was the beds were done up and the towel animals were made. They were just adorable !! We had to leave a note twice for fresh ice in the evenings and that was the only two evenings we got some. Other stewards in the hall were friendly but, ours was not there. The food: well, here is another story....breakfast in the dining room and room service was alright. The Lido, not so much. Lunch was easy enough to find something....pretty decent....dinner in the dining room (we had the early dining time) was hit and miss. The food was not always hot...was warm but not hot...and sometimes not always the freshest it could be. I am a previous cruiser on HAL but the 3 others I was with were not and one was a first time cruiser so, I was disappointed in the quality. We did not go hungry by any means but, just not so good. It was not up to HAL standards. Now, we did splurge and eat in the Pinnacle Grill. Talk about a FABULOUS meal....that was awesome. But, it is an extra cost to eat there ($29.00) I believe that is added to your onboard account. Worth every penny. Some folks we talked to also ate in the specialty Italian restaurant, again for an additional cost, and they said it was also awesome. However, I have issues with this since it seems like they just want your money...:-( My cabin mate had a massage and she said it was very good so, yeah for that! The Amsterdam is a smaller ship...and we liked that. One thing, you need to bring an extension cord w/a surge protector for your cabin since there is only one outlet and it is away from the beds!!. The soda package that you can buy onboard is not unlimited. It is a $50.00 value for $25.00. We did not know this before boarding but that did end up being just fine for us. Overall, we had a great time !! 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
We chose this cruise because the ship is relatively smaller than the NCL, Princess & Celebrity ships offering an Alaska itinerary. We spent three days in Seattle prior to our embarkation, visiting with friends. Seattle is a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the ship is relatively smaller than the NCL, Princess & Celebrity ships offering an Alaska itinerary. We spent three days in Seattle prior to our embarkation, visiting with friends. Seattle is a fabulous, progressive city with a lot to do, so if you can go early, do so and enjoy a couple of days in this vibrant city, We arrived at tge ship about 1PM, and embarkation took over an hour - longer than any other cruise I've taken. We used luggage direct for disembarkation; our luggage was sent to the airport (we had minimal luggage) and we spent the day in Seattle and flew the red-eye back to Tampa on Sunday night. Our luggage arrived without a hitch. Highly recommend! We had three cabins forward on deck three; 3303, 3305 and 3307. While we had obstructed view, we did have a view of the sea. Our cabins were close to an exterior door on the lower promenade deck, which we loved as we spent a lot of time together on sea days, enjoying proximity to the deck chairs. The service was excellent, though each time I cruise I am reminded how little the staff - aside from some managers - earns. Most of the ship personnel leave their families for months at a time just to provide fir them. I always tip more, and often, feeling thankful that an extra $100 or so won't have a long-term impact on my budget but may be a blessing to those who work so hard to make our journey comfortable and memorable. We cruised with 2 adult daughters and their husbands, and had a splendid time. We celebrated a special birthday in the Pinnacle Grill. The steaks were to die for, and the service was impeccable. We also dined at the Italian restaurant and really enjoyed our meal. Our assigned dining table was at the extreme rear of the ship, against a floor to ceiling window. We really enjoyed our dinners, watching the wake left by the ship, In Juneau, we did the Sea Kayaking at the Mendenhall Glacier excursion. It was great, with views of the glacier and sea otter and eagle sightings but...,we were attacked by no-seeums and returned to the ship with numerous bites and welts. We were advised the bugs had not been there the day before, so just our luck! Btw, no bug spray works on the nasty no seeums. The menfolk golfed in Sitka, arranging it directly with the one golf course in Sitka. Cost was $80 and included pick-up/return to the ship, 2 rounds on the 9 hole course, club rental, and a few balls. The course personnel advised they no longer worked with the cruise lines because they charged $200 for the 'golf excursion', which they called 'golf extortion'! The views at the golf course were spectacular, and the weather was glorious. The gals walked to the totem park, and the around the town, meeting the guys when they returned for lunch at a pub. We scheduled a float plane tour in Ketchikan on our own, at a cost of $169 pp vs. $250 as a HAL excursion. In the end, it didn't matter as the weather was bad and nothing was flying....unfortunate as there is little to do in Ketchikan. We settled on a local tour, including a totem village. Not awful, but surely not as exciting as the float plane glacier tour! Victoria is charming, but our 6PM arrival limited activities. Good thing we had visited Victoria twice before, All in all, it was a great vacation with many memories. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
I have cruised to other destinations and this was my first time cruise to Alaska. The timing and price was perfect. As I boarded onto this ship and entered my outside view cabin I immediately saw that it was an average stateroom and ... Read More
I have cruised to other destinations and this was my first time cruise to Alaska. The timing and price was perfect. As I boarded onto this ship and entered my outside view cabin I immediately saw that it was an average stateroom and surprised to find that there was only "one" electrical socket located in the middle of the room! I sleep with a CPAP machine and my electrical cord was not long enough to reach the socket. I had to go to the main deck desk and waited in a long line to borrow an extension cord provided that I leave a $25 deposit. Prior to the cruise I had ordered online a beverage card to use during the cruise and it was not placed in my stateroom so I had to wait in line again to get a replacement. The general onboard ship experience was what I expected. The special dining I reserved ($49/per person) experience and the food was average. I could have gotten better food else where for the same price. We went to the open seating dining in the main white table cloth restaurant twice and ordered rib-eye and prime rib. Both times I requested minimum rare and got well done. I was very disappointed and went to the buffet for dinner on the other nights and had better steaks. The excursions was over priced and got better deals on shore. Here's a tip when shopping for jewelery. We went into one of the popular jewelery stores and wanted to look at diamond rings. We looked at a 2 karat high grade diamond priced at $22k and we talked price for almost one hour and got the price do $10k! We felt that they were not up front with us and decided to walk away. They over priced their jewelery. When shopping in Alaskan shops, barter and ask for a discount. We got better prices when we asked for a lower price. Overall, the cruise was just average and nothing special. The ship is older, stateroom needs more than one electrical socket, food was average, customer service wa very good, ship activities was average. 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
My first time on a Holland America Ship. We took the Ms Amsterdam because it worked out great as a way to get to an Alaska cruise. The service on this ship was poor except for housekeeping. I would not recommend this ship until they do ... Read More
My first time on a Holland America Ship. We took the Ms Amsterdam because it worked out great as a way to get to an Alaska cruise. The service on this ship was poor except for housekeeping. I would not recommend this ship until they do some updated customer service training. The staff had been dealing with elderly passengers for several days that had sailed from Florida. Maybe they were fed up with the complaining guests by the time we got on board, but that is no excuse to be unhappy or unhelpful. We never saw command staff helping guests or fellow employees. We then cruised on the Nieuw Amsterdam ship and it had very good service and better food. Reading the reviews is helpful. I wish I had checked out the cruise ship better prior to booking it. I hope this helps. Cruising can be a great and fun way to travel if the crew is professional! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We are over 62 it's for older people, our first cruise and will never go on holland again... I got sick early tue. Morning, the night before i had prime rib...it was cold and the milk was warm .i had a temp. Of 101.1 and diarrhea for ... Read More
We are over 62 it's for older people, our first cruise and will never go on holland again... I got sick early tue. Morning, the night before i had prime rib...it was cold and the milk was warm .i had a temp. Of 101.1 and diarrhea for 2 days, did not see what i went for, missed the highlight if the trip, and missed sitka..............we stayed in 8081 great state room out standing...i was not going too eat any thing i did not see cooked....i went to the head chef ... 2 days later the milk was warm no changes.....late disembarkment in b.c. Pissed me off real bad i had a enough by then.. the excursions was over price for got be careful when purchase them. I feel that after they got money they did not care. Service was so so but joe and mohomad where great they help me feel some better. Hope you have abetter trip then i had p.s also 8 other people got sick and one was sick so bad the person was made to stay in the room. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My first on Holland America and I've done 9 on Princess and I'm still partial to Princess. Nothing at all wrong with Holland America. I just think Princess is the better of the two. I don't know that I could pinpoint any ... Read More
My first on Holland America and I've done 9 on Princess and I'm still partial to Princess. Nothing at all wrong with Holland America. I just think Princess is the better of the two. I don't know that I could pinpoint any one thing, but there were a lot of things that needed to be revamped or redone on the Maasdam. It's obviously an older ship and just needs to be redecorated and updated. Some of the shows were also a bit raunchy and the shows are one of the main things I enjoy on the cruise. Service was o.k., but most not outstanding. We did have 2 boys in the dining room that we loved and were very attentive to us and I tipped them more. I'm on a walker with oxygen, so I didn't really do many shore excursions, but what I did were fine. Food, for the most part was fine. 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
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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