47 Holland America Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

We have taken several Alaskan cruises, the most recent on the Amsterdam. While we enjoyed the ports, it was not our best cruise. The Amsterdam is worn and dated (although I've read a drydock is in her future). We took our chances ... Read More
We have taken several Alaskan cruises, the most recent on the Amsterdam. While we enjoyed the ports, it was not our best cruise. The Amsterdam is worn and dated (although I've read a drydock is in her future). We took our chances and flew to Seattle the day of the cruise. We arrived before noon and our shared shuttle driver had us to the pier in no time. Check in was fast and our cabin was ready for us. Muster drill was held outdoors. We had a Vista suite and it was similar to what Norwegian calls a mini suite. There was nothing special about the cabin. No butler, sparking wine or afternoon treats. We had a walk in shower instead of a tub and we were grateful for that. Except for the lack of water pressure! The cabin was tight for two. A larger person would have to walk sideways to get around the bed. We had a sofa, glass top coffee table and and end table. The lamp on the end table had a single USB port. The lamp can be switched on and off from a wall switch. More than once, the wall switch was off and our device didn't charge. The refrigerator was inside the end table. It functioned but was completely iced over. The desk area held the 32" tv, DVD player, ice bucket, a make up mirror that once lit up and more drawers than we could use. A handheld hair dryer and another mirror were in one of the drawers. The tv had horrible resolution and more often than not, no satellite reception. The ship does have an extensive DVD library for just this very reason. The balcony held 2 chairs and ottomans along with a tiny end table. We sometimes brought the ottomans inside the cabin so we could watch a movie a little more comfortably. The room darkening drapes were a necessity in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Also, one person could sleep while the other watched tv, with the additional drape adjacent to the bed pulled closed. Food is always subjective but after 50+ cruises, I wasn't impressed. Food was often cold. How can pancakes be cold and hard when you are one of the first guests served in the dining room? Buffet food was not at all appetizing. I did appreciate buffet items being served to you but the selections were very limited as were the times the Lido was open. Don't expect to stop for a snack after attending a show in the theater as the Lido is closed from 8pm til 10:30pm. If the show on the main stage isn't your cup of tea, a movie is shown nightly in the much smaller Wajang theater. America's Test Kitchen shared this space. If you want a seat for ATK get there 45 minutes before the program starts. It is one of the few activities available on sea days. Other activities included Microsoft and photography workshops and several EXC pesentations. Mahjongg was offered every afternoon but at strange times. The casino is small but was never crowded. As a non-smoker, it did not seem smoky. The shops were constantly trying to sell old stock from the 2019 World Cruise. We had been to Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait, Sitka and Victoria on previous cruises. Weather was not on our side so our rain gear came in handy. One morning, I did a load of laundry before we went ashore. $2 to wash and the dryer was free. Best deal on board the ship. They even provide the detergent. We enjoyed walking around Anchorage and Kodiak Island. Our friends have a summer home in the Homer area so we spent the day with them. A highlight was visiting the Kilcher homestead from the Discover program Alaska: The Last Frontier. We also cruised Dawes and Hubbard Glaciers. Amazing! We purchased the Victoria shuttle through Holland. We could've purchased the exact shuttle from the provider at 2/3rds of the cost. We should've known better. We do enjoy cruising Holland America but the Amsterdam was too small for us. My husband was quite bored, especially during the day time hours. Our past experience was on the Eurodam, so we'll stick with a similar size ship in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We just returned from a 14 day cruise on a the venerable Grande Dame, Holland America MS Amsterdam. Let me preface this review by saying we (my husband, son and DIL) very much enjoyed this cruise. We chose it for the unique Alaska ... Read More
We just returned from a 14 day cruise on a the venerable Grande Dame, Holland America MS Amsterdam. Let me preface this review by saying we (my husband, son and DIL) very much enjoyed this cruise. We chose it for the unique Alaska Itinerary that included many ports to which we had not been on our previous Alaska cruises. This was our 4th Alaska cruise and first time on Holland America. We have also cruised with Carnival, Norwegian, Celebrity and Viking Ocean. By reading all the previous reviews, we knew that HAL caters to an older crowd; however, "older" is a relative term which in this case means "floating nursing home." I myself am 70 but I felt young and spry on this ship of canes, walkers and wheelchairs. Don't expect to move anywhere quickly, but do expect to meet educated, well traveled shipmates with much good information to share. One of our shipmates reported going to the Lido late-night buffet, when an elderly man wandered in completely naked. Yes, that happened. Holland America knows their target market well, and have staff to help the frail get food at the buffet, enter and exit the ship, and even have the day of the week printed on the rugs in the elevators to help with orientation. This ship still has the great viewing room with floor to ceiling windows that many newer ships have replaced with fee restaurants. There is also a big library/gameroom/computer room with large windows, which is a great place for hanging out. We flew in a day early and had arranged for a car to pick us up at the airport through Seattle Town Cars. Their service was prompt and friendly. They delivered us to The Inn at the Market, which has a good location near Pike Place Market. We did the Savour Seattle food tour, which I recommend. We got to taste many of Pike Place Market's highlight foods including crab cakes, chowder, doughnuts, chocolates, dried cherries, Beecher's cheese and mac'n'cheese, to name a few items. My favorite was the salmon pate piroshky and rhubarb piroshky from "Piroshky, Piroshky." Absolutely delicious! We Uber'd to port, arrived later than most, so there was very little wait in line. We boarded and were able to go straight to our cabin, which I will review in the appropriate section. Dining: I would describe it as hit or miss. It is sometimes hard to find a clean table in the Lido Buffet. Or the table would be clean but the chair greasy or the wide carpeted window bases next to the table would be littered with food crumbs, etc. The bread baker is awesome, the assortment of breads varied and all delicious. And the pastries! You won't find better in Paris--flaky, light and baked to a golden brown perfection. Bravo! We found the Japanese, Chinese and Thai selections to be very good overall. Some soups were very tasty and well-seasoned, others were bland. The gravies on this ship are all deep rich and hearty. I wish I could make gravy that well! If you order filet in the main dining room you will receive a slice of baked tenderloin, good but lacking the crisp sear of a good filet. For that, you would need to eat in Pinnacle Grill, which currently has a $35. per person up charge. It is a bargain at lunch though--only a $10 per person. Make reservations early and know that the Pinnacle has no view and Cannaletto is a closed off section of the buffet (and serves many of the same foods). The Italian foods on this ship are in general just OK. Some dishes (rigatoni) were dried out, some sauces bland or watery. Avoid anything with spinach in it--the veggie lasagna consists of noodles, alfredo sauce and a blob of boiled spinach. Spinach omelettes are similarly yucky. Some foods that would have been delicious had they been served hot, suffered by being served lukewarm or cold. The Dive-Inn burgers fell into the lukewarm category (congealed cheese), but were served with tasty hot fries. Avoid anything with guacamole. It is a blackish-green color. My kids enjoyed the sushi choices and we all liked the salad bar, with many fresh choices, and some excellent house made dressings. I highly recommend the Asian Sesame. The ice cream was a lower quality that I have experienced on any ship, with some choices (chocolate) tasting more like ice milk. My DIL loved the sorbet choices. The Lido has some serve yourself sections, but most hot sections were served by behind the counter servers. This, along with limited hours, led to lines. It was not unusual to wait in a line for your eggs, then wait in another line for your toast. If you do the egg line first, your eggs will be lukewarm, if you do the toast first, it will be cold by the time you get your eggs. The main dining room is beautiful, but has problems. Service varies from very good to glacial, depending on the wait staff in your section and the time of day. We quickly learned where the best wait staff worked and requested their section. (Kudos to waiter Anas at dinner time--- ask for table #177 folks). Be advised that the MDR fills the worst seats first-- the ones that back up to a service station, face a wall, have a view blocked by a large column or surprisingly, are on the side so sunny that you have to pull the curtains and miss the view, while the shady side goes unoccupied. I avoided breakfast in the MDR after two tries. Are they deliberately trying to funnel people to the buffet by making them wait 45 minutes to order and another 45 minutes to receive the order? And then you receive lukewarm eggs, cold toast and cold pancakes. What a disappointment. The room service folks try very hard to get your food to you on time, as ordered and still warm. It is just a long way from the kitchen to the cabins. Toast will be cold (order pastry instead), eggs lukewarm. Do not order the scrambled eggs unless you write in "use fresh eggs," or you will receive tasteless, weird-textured pre-fab eggs. Hint to Holland America: please get some lighter-weight dishes for your hard working servers. Those trays are heavy! And they need a heated cart to keep the food hot. A napkin wrapped around toast is not going to hold in the heat. I only used room service at breakfast--my son and DIL used it once for dinner and commented that it wasn't good. Staff: There were many friendly staff members, but some who seemed stressed, unhappy or unfocused. At breakfast one morning as I waited for my eggs, I watched a (novice?) server mix up the orders, break the over easy eggs, walk away to wipe his nose and then walk back to wipe the edges of the fry pan with the same paper towel. I asked him if he realized what he had just done and he presented a blank stare. After that, I avoided any station where I saw him working. (I did report that to a supervisor.) The room stewards were all very personable and friendly, and there were always smiling folks to wish you a great day as you entered or left the ship. Download the Holland America Navigator App for easy reservations at any of the extra fee dining venues. It has a free chat service with fellow travelers which we found helpful and which was operational most days of our cruise. It also has a list of the days activities, although some days it was not a complete listing and we found it safer to carry our daily newsletter. There was less entertainment on this ship than on any of the other lines on which we have traveled. There were some mediocre to very good singers and dancers, a very funny ventriloquist, an amusing comedian. We liked the violin and piano duo "Adagio." Some evenings the highlight entertainment was a not so current movie or a BBC documentary accompanied by music. Small 1/2-filled bags of cold popcorn were available at the movies. There were also the usual Trivia and Bingo. The Test Kitchen presentations were well attended. If you don't want to stand, you need to arrive 1/2 hour early. They need a mirror over the work surface of the chef, as even if you sit in front, you can't really see what the chef is doing unless you watch the two TV screens at the sides. Might as well skip it, and watch it later in your room. My DIL attended a stretching class which she enjoyed. Each day there is a tea offered at 3 PM. We attended once and it was enjoyable to share a table with new friends, but the bread on the little sandwiches was stale. If you are a swimmer or hot tub lover, this is your ship. They were sparkling clean, the pool is also heated and they were often empty. No problem ever getting a lounge chair and the roof closes whenever the weather is cool/cold. We avoided the casino area because it was so smoky. Unfortunately, the ship's shops are across from the casino and also smoky. I usually enjoy on shop browsing, but not this time. Ketchikan: We booked the George Inlet Crab Feast privately. We have done this before and loved it. I must say that there has been some erosion in quality. Gone was the tasty potato that used to accompany the crab. The dressing on the salad, which was delicious in the past, was not as tangy. In the past, all the crab was fresh and delicious. This time, about one in three tasted watery and not fresh. The fresh ones though were awesome and the cheesecake is creamy and delicious. Be aware that there are many steps to climb to reach the Inn whether you arrive by bus or boat. You can request a ride if you need it. That afternoon, our son and DIL did the Lumberjack show (we just walked up and bought tickets) and they loved it. Juneau: We have done Taku Lodge excursion in the past and it stands out in our memories as one of the best tours we have taken. This time, our son and DIL did it and also loved it. It is expensive, but so worth it. Anchorage: We rented a car from Avis (the "B" street location). We took the free shuttle from port to the drop off point and walked the approximate 5 blocks to Avis. We arrived at around 8:30 AM and there was no line. We drove south along Turnagin Arm which is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. We stopped at Potters' Marsh and watched a pair of geese herd their brood of goslings. We drove on to Girdwood and had a yummy lunch of fried fish and chips at the 5 Chairs Restaurant. It has a charming log cabin feel and a beautiful mountain view. We also stopped at a quirky little coffee shop called "The Grind." We moved on to the Mt. Alyeska Lodge where our son and DIL met their tour for the "Summer Sled Dog Adventure." Both really enjoyed it. Meanwhile my husband and I took the hike through the beautiful woods behind the Inn. There is also a tram up the Mountain for scenic views. We then re-united and finished our day at the Alaska Wildlife and Conservation Center. If I go back, I will rent a car again and do the Portage Glacier Boat ride, which you can book privately. Homer: We loved this port. We took the free bus out onto the Spit. Word of advice--if you plan on shopping, there is no need to arrive before 10AM. We shopped, stopped at the Memorial, walked on the beach and had lunch at The Little Mermaid Restaurant, which I highly recommend. Everything we ordered was top quality and perfectly seasoned and prepared. Service was excellent and friendly and the atmosphere is wonderful. They play great upbeat music and you can hear the happy cooks singing along. Our kids took the Katchemak Bay tour offered by the ship and said it was good. Sitka: We did the Wildlife Quest and Finn Island Lodge tour offered by the ship and enjoyed it. The boat was large, comfortable, with plenty of indoor and outdoor viewing space. We saw one whale blow about 3 times and then dive. We saw many otters and eagles. We then proceeded to the lodge. The room where they serve you is a calm and pleasant banquet hall with a vaulted ceiling and wall of windows overlooking the expansive deck and water view. Everything seems new, fresh and meticulously clean. The food was wonderful--everything fresh, perfectly seasoned, piping hot. It was one of the best meals we had on the entire voyage. After eating, we went out by the bonfire where they had all the ingredients for s'mores, including Reese's cups, which make a surprisingly delicious addition. Sitka is almost always under cloud cover--dress for the likely misty rain. I can only imagine how beautiful this lodge/setting must be on the very rare sunny days they get. Icy Strait Point: We have been before and enjoy this made-for-cruisers stop. This is one of my favorite places for souvenir shopping. There is a nice shoreline walk, and a free exhibition of old canning equipment. Don't miss the trail through the woods behind the main buildings. It is an easy walk that evokes the Frost poem, "The woods are lovely, dark and deep." Seriously, it is the kind of old growth, mossy woods where fairies and hobbits would be right at home. Too bad they are building a ropes course in the center. Kodiak: Next time I will take a flight plane to see the bears. Folks who did that highly recommend it. We did the ship's tour that included a Russian Tea. Our bus arrived a little late. Our guide introduced herself and said that both she and the bus were old but still had good engines. I would add that the bus also had good brakes--more on this later. Every two seats had a washcloth hung over the back, presumably to use on the windows, which had to be closed due to the misty rain. With the windows closed, they quickly misted over and between that and the pea-soup fog, our sight-seeing drive was a bust. We could see absolutely nothing. If you have allergies, avoid this bus, there was mold/algae growing on a panel over the door and around the seals of the windows. At one pint, we drove around a corner and traffic was at a standstill due to some construction. Our driver slammed on the brakes and we hydroplaned sideways into the oncoming lane. Thankfully, there was no oncoming traffic, but it gave us all a scare. Our guide was also our driver and seemed unable to focus on both her driving and delivering her spiel at the same time. We stopped at a chapel of a Russian Orthodox Seminary and learned some history and went into a Russian Orthodox Church where the Pastor gave a presentation. We almost missed this second stop as our guide said the church was not open, until someone commented that they could see people going in and out, so we did stop. The tea part of the tour was held in a large room at at an Episcopal church. The tables were laid out nicely with cloths, china and Russian knick-knacks. The tea was a delicious citrus blend. The borscht was bland, the piroshky had very little filling and paled in comparison to what we had in Seattle. We each had one cookie, which was very good. The best part of this tour was the music, played by a large group with unique stringed instruments and dressed in Russian costumes. It was obvious that they enjoyed playing together and they were excellent musicians. Victoria: We took a taxi from port to our meeting point for the 5 Star Whale Watching Tour. We booked early and were able to get the smaller boat, the "Sailish Shadow." It was just us 4 and the captain and only cost a little more than the other large-group boat. The small boat does have a bathroom, but it is tiny and you literally have to crawl in and out. The hour long boat ride out to find whales is not recommended for anyone pregnant or with back problems. Heed that advice--the ride is jolting, at times my bottom and the boat's were air-borne. Still, I found the ride exciting and kind of like being on a thrill ride at a a fair. We saw only one whale, a transient male orca but were able to follow him along a coast-line, watching him blow, surface and dive. He even rolled once and showed us his pectoral fin. Our driver was excellent at maneuvering to get the best view. After our tour, we walked down to see the floating houses on the wharf, then took the harbor taxi boat back, had delicious lobster rolls at Nautical Nellie's Restaurant, and caught a taxi back to port. The two taxis to and from port were 1/3 the cost of using the ship's shuttle. We also cruised to Sawyer and Hubbard Glaciers. Amazing. We luckily had sunny days for both. Hubbard Glacier is magnificent, reminds me of the great ice wall in Game of Thrones and is backed by snow capped mountains. The glacier talks to you with loud creaks and thundering cracks and we were lucky so see an active day of calving. Sawyer itself is smaller and less impressive, but the scenery as we cruised toward it was beautiful and the sun on the glacial water turned the water to jade. It looked like it was lit from under the water. Mesmerizing. We Uber'd from our final port to the airport. Easy peasy. So, final judgement... would I cruise with Holland America again? Yes, but... only if it offered a unique itinerary that my favorite cruise line (Viking Ocean!) doesn't offer. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise (our 5th to Alaska) because it went to four new ports and we live within an hour of the Seattle port. The itinerary was fabulous. New ports besides the usual and two glacier days. We liked cabin 6118 very much. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise (our 5th to Alaska) because it went to four new ports and we live within an hour of the Seattle port. The itinerary was fabulous. New ports besides the usual and two glacier days. We liked cabin 6118 very much. The only downside was that it was portside and we noticed that starboard had the better views when docked at each port. The cabin was close to the elevator, which we like. We never heard the elevator or people in the hallway. It is roomy with a slightly larger veranda than many. We liked being about 8 cabins from the front of the ship. This made our trips to most places, other than the dining room, fairly close. We both have some ambulatory issues but don’t use a wheelchair. We could go outside at the front of our deck level during our glaciers days. The staff are very accommodating for some issues we had. I needed extra ice and a wedge for the bed due to being 9 weeks post op from shoulder surgery. My husband needed larger front for the daily schedule and for the dining room menu. No problem. They accommodated us very well. Now, for a few negatives and the reason for the 3 stars. The entertainment was rather lame. They had the three same entertainers for 14 days in the bars. There was a duet (piano and violin), a trio that played music from the mostly 1940’s, and a piano bar that wasn’t the fun sing along kind. He was an excellent player but didn’t play much that a 67 year old woman (me) enjoyed. Fourteen days with these same three. Really?! Boring. The stage shows were ok. Four were really good, a xylosyth ( xylophone/synthesizer) show, a guy that sang Beattie songs, a comic ventriloquist, and a comedian. The problem with the ship’s Singers and Dancers was that they had very bright backlit wall behind them for all shows except one and no front lighting, like spotlights or just lighting in general. It made seeing them kind of difficult. There wasn’t any karaoke. All and all, the ship was just rather boring. I think if one just wants to relax in a very quiet place with not much going on, this might be the cruise for you. For the food...the dining room room food all looks beautifully presented but it’s all rather bland. Even the “spicy shrimp”, etc was bland. I could hardly taste curry in my curry dish. There are only two specialty dining restaurants and they are very good. One Italian, and one steak place. The Lido buffet is just okay, like they usually are. Our favorite free place to eat was the Dive In by the pool. It had good burgers, hot dogs, and a taco bar. Ahh. Finally some spice. The ship’s entire crew were very friendly and gave excellent service. We like the crew director very much. He wasn’t over the top like some are. I guess no cruise is a bad cruise. We just like more going on and we aren’t young. We are 67and 72. I read six books and I’m not a fast reader! Better load up your kindle before heading out on this ship! I did two loads of laundry. The washers takes $2.00 in quarters and the dryers are free. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We cruise quite a lot and have been sailing Princess nearly exclusively for the last 6 years or so. We felt we owed it to ourselves to try another line and see whether we should "branch out". Here's a quick good, average ... Read More
We cruise quite a lot and have been sailing Princess nearly exclusively for the last 6 years or so. We felt we owed it to ourselves to try another line and see whether we should "branch out". Here's a quick good, average and ugly rundown. The good (sometimes great): Without question, the singers and dancers who performed many times throughout this voyage were the best we've ever seen. We were disappointed whenever a headliner was featured (the headliners were a mixed bag and on average were just OK) because that meant we wouldn't be seeing these 10 incredible performers. Kudos to HAL for producing incredible shows with minimal sets that really showcased the talent. We also need to give very high marks for the dinner service in the Open Seating MD on 4. From seating to service to food - they get a 10 out of t0. The only issue I have is not with the food or service but with the incessant upset. Some waiters were very pushy and insistent regarding the bottled water, the lobster, the 75 oz steak (OMG), the cappuccino, etc. I don't blame them, and the service was otherwise perfect, but it was sometimes pretty annoying and quite a shame given how great the food was and how hard they otherwise worked to deliver a very upscale experience. The average: On the occasions that we were able to enjoy a casual breakfast or lunch in the Lido (see the ugly for an explanation) we found the choices to be abundant, so many things to choose from but frankly the food just wasn't very good. The salad bar was OK, the dressings were bland and the service was sometimes pretty slow. We liked that food was served by staff and utensils weren't handled by passengers but it was often tedious. The offerings at the Dive In stand poolside was another option that looked better on the menu then in delivery. Again, the food was OK at best often evidenced by the amount of uneaten wasted food left around the pool tables. We tried a few times and were disappointed on each occasion. The band in the Crows Nest gets a nod for showing some enthusiasm and playing a good mix of music to dance to. The tried to keep the small crowd happy and up on their feet. The bad: We are both seniors, retired and pretty seasoned travelers and we found this ship to have a very institutional (assisted living) feel to it. We just returned from a 60 day cruise on Princess where the average age was very high. The vibe on this ship was much older. It's hard to explain but the whole experience seemed more suited to a senior center than a cruise ship despite having a large number of young families and kids away with grandma and grandpa for the holidays. --The reason we couldn't enjoy breakfast or lunch daily was because, despite having a large, two sided buffet, they simply closed the whole thing for long stretches at times when we would have enjoyed a meal or snack. If you danced till 12, relaxed with a book in your room, woke up at 9:30 and took a shower - you missed breakfast - completely closed at 10, reopen for lunch 11:30. If you get off the ship, as we did on a port day and return to the ship at 2:05 - no lunch for you - visit the Dive In or wait a few hours. If you get off the ship at an overnight port and return at 9:05 (yeah just our luck) the DR is closed, both sides of the buffet are closed and will reopen for a short When we lacked other options we waited 20 or 30 minutes until the phone got picked up. You can't have this kind of schedule unless you have an International Cafe type venue. Ridiculous. --The only reason we ever got to go to breakfast was because of the incredibly loud announcement at 9:15 most mornings. Usually you have to open your cabin door to hear what's being said. No here. The speaker was so loud that sleeping through it was impossible. My pleas to lower the volume were spoken to deaf ears (pun intended). Three times on this 17 day voyage the captain chose to have crew drills at 9 AM, blaring 7 short and 1 long blast into the cabin along with instructions to the crew. So loud. We've never been woken up by a crew drill in 100's of days cruising until now, 3 times in 2 weeks. Why? --The Ocean Bar would have been a lovely dance venue in the center of the ship but the trio catered to a very elderly crowd, particularly one couple and played slow fox trots and waltzes almost exclusively. One night we were the only people in the venue before the early show let out. After hearing two songs that were written in the 40's I asked the piano player to play a salsa, no one else is here. He told me that the band didn't have one - What? That was our last night in the Ocean Bar. --For probably half of the trip at least on hot tub was not useable because the temperature was way too high. Reports to the crew didn't solve the problem. Where was the crew regarding chemicals and temperature? On a ship with only one pool and two hot tubs this is a big issue. --Lastly, this old gal needs some service. Our cabin, 1801 had a loose panel that squeaked terribly when we had some seas. I reported it so they shimmed the panel.. It didn't work. I told the staff at Passenger Services that if it's not fixed by the time the world cruise comes about they will have a very unhappy guest. All in all we made our own good time. We were told, over and over again, not to let the problems evident on this ship keep us from trying HAL again. So many passengers we're complaining about the scheduling, the noise, etc but they indicated that it's not common. We may give them a chance if the opportunity arises but we may well stay loyal to Princess for some time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Loved the ports. It rained every day except in Victoria but we didn't mind. Bought a rain coat.The ship is tired, furniture in Crows Nest frayed and faded, bathroom wall vinyl coming loose, grout peeling, sofa springs sprung. Most ... Read More
Loved the ports. It rained every day except in Victoria but we didn't mind. Bought a rain coat.The ship is tired, furniture in Crows Nest frayed and faded, bathroom wall vinyl coming loose, grout peeling, sofa springs sprung. Most shows overall were lame. Piano bar guy,Van, could really play the piano but couldn't sing worth a darn. The food was excellent. Loved the new salad bar on Lido. The crew was exceptional! We got laundry done on the unlimited plan and it was better than my home laundry. Breakfast in room delivered everyday on time. Someone mentioned banging and we noticed that too. Loud noises coming from the bottom of ship. I just think the Amsterdam needs a face lift. I enjoyed the cruise but the ship is definitely not up to HAL standards. Enjoy the "as you wish dining" and never had to wait for seating. The food was varied and excellent. Again, the staff was the best but the ship needs attention. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because it was 14 days. The staff was very friendly and attentive. We were surprised by the lack of electrical outlets in our cabin. There was one outlet for the refrigerator, curling iron, electric toothbrush, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was 14 days. The staff was very friendly and attentive. We were surprised by the lack of electrical outlets in our cabin. There was one outlet for the refrigerator, curling iron, electric toothbrush, phone, etc. We were able to use a ship multi plug, but it shouldn't have been necessary. We did enjoy the larger tub/shower combination. The entertainment was very good. The ship singers and dancers were excellent. Our waiter and assistant were very caring, but they had an area which included 24 passengers. Way too many for a single team. We enjoyed Endicott Arm and Dawes glacier. We had not seen them before. I was disappointed in the ship atrium, it did not have the open spacious feeling of most ship atriums. We enjoyed the in room DVD and the ability to borrow films to enjoy in our room. I also loved the Americas Test Kitchen demos. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this as our family cruise because it was a 14 day Alaska cruise and it went all the way to Anchorage. On the bright side, Alaska is still as beautiful as it was the first 2 times we cruised to Alaska, once on the Celebrity ... Read More
We chose this as our family cruise because it was a 14 day Alaska cruise and it went all the way to Anchorage. On the bright side, Alaska is still as beautiful as it was the first 2 times we cruised to Alaska, once on the Celebrity Solstice and then last year on the Disney Wonder. Both 7 day cruises were fantastic!! However, when comparing the three, this cruise was the worst, especially when it comes to entertainment and enrichment programs offered in the main theater and the lack of fun "cheesy" things to do on sea days. The food was OK, but nothing to write home about. The service was great as usually, but it seems like the staff was a little slimmer than on past cruises. For example our 2 room stewards had 39 cabins to take care of daily which seems like a lot. But the most telling factor was the cruise director had only one assistant and both of them were constantly on the move, mostly conducting 3-4 trivia games a day. No wonder there isn't a lot of variety any more on HAL sea days with regards to fun "cheesy" things to do, except of course if you like trivia. If that's the case, then you will love cruising with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
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
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
Never again will I take a cruise that takes 5 days of cruising to get there only to have a few precious hours in wonderful ports of the lovely Hawaiian islands. The worst stop was in Kona, where I finally got off the ship at 9:30 only to ... Read More
Never again will I take a cruise that takes 5 days of cruising to get there only to have a few precious hours in wonderful ports of the lovely Hawaiian islands. The worst stop was in Kona, where I finally got off the ship at 9:30 only to get into another line at the car rental counter. All aboard was 3:00pm, so the only advise I can give is do not rent a car there, it simply is not worth the $108.00 I paid for 2 1/2 hours worth of fun. To me it was most disappointing that the tender stop in Lahaina, Maui was cancelled, Adding another day in Oahu was not what I had signed up for and I feel cheated out of the thing I looked most forward to. We were told the cancellation was do to concern for the safety of the passengers, but rumor had it on the ship, that too many people were upset about Pearl Harbor being closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday, which again was very bad planning on the part of HAL. By the way, there is a wonderful port in Kahului, Maui where no tendering is required. Two days out of San Diego all the TV News channels went out and there was no attempt to repair them in the remaining 15 days, unacceptable! Entertainment was marginal at best, except for the Bellissimo show of the HAL dancers and singers. If you wanted to see the show you had better get into the showroom by 6:00pm for the 8:00pm or you could not find a seat. I had a lovely veranda cabin, (6110) that was seldom used. First because of the weather and on the few days were it was pleasant, my chain-smoking neighbors stunk up the air so badly that I went back inside. The best 20 minutes of the cruise were when we cruised by the Kilauea Volcano and watched the lava flow into the sea. That was fantastic. All in all, I have been on many cruises, but this one was the first one where I bored myself to tears. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was my 3rd MSM Cruise, really looking forward to the music & acts. But the bands were so blaringly loud, & the singers so screamingly loud, if u weren't hard of hearing when u entered u surely were upon departure! The ... Read More
This was my 3rd MSM Cruise, really looking forward to the music & acts. But the bands were so blaringly loud, & the singers so screamingly loud, if u weren't hard of hearing when u entered u surely were upon departure! The decibel level was as if we all needed hearing aids. Then the singers didn't sing the songs as originally recorded, as we remembered them, it was some updated version, with a lot of waaaah waaaah stuff. Plus the interviews w/girl groups were plain boring! Best stuff was the groups like Brooklyn Bridge, Happenings, Accords, the Elvis Trib artists, & Ricky's kids, Gunnar & Matthew. All that was great. Also good was the food, crew, service etc. Boat was shipshape, embarkation easy, but DE-bark, egad! They've gotta control who asks for early debarkation, there was approx 200 peeps in line, & not all had early flights etc. Our airline SW, moved up the flight, people behind me got moved up even farther by AA. By the grace of God & people graciously allowing us to move ahead we made our flight, but oh the pressure. And airport was mobbed, several large cruise ships in port. Turned out my sis was embarking on Allure of the Seas that am, & that's a huuuge ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Holland America can inspire you with excellence and then take you into the depths of mediocrity with poor execution. On our South Pacific cruise, we were very pleased by the quality of the wait staff in the Dining Rooms and Lido and the ... Read More
Holland America can inspire you with excellence and then take you into the depths of mediocrity with poor execution. On our South Pacific cruise, we were very pleased by the quality of the wait staff in the Dining Rooms and Lido and the overall consistently good quality quality of the food. . But then we had to contend with long waits for tenders into the ports -- even when I got in line at 6:15 AM to get tender tickets -- and things like running out of chips all the time for sandwiches, or tired old ho-hum daily itineraries that need to be updated after years and years of the same. And why not have some sandwiches, pizza and snacks around in the Lido for those coming on board late PM from excursions or want a small snack around 9:30? The Amsterdam is a nice ship even thought it is showing its wear in places. This is the best dining and room service crew I've ever seen in action. But I found the front desk people to be difficult at times and the captain and staff weren't all that friendly, except for the fine cruise director, compared to other cruises. We knew before the cruise we were due $1,400 in complementary money for booking the cruise but once aboard we found there was only $500 and the staff was indignant about our concern. When we got to Hawaii we quickly rectified the problem with the help of the vendor supplying the complementary money and I kind of got the feeling HAL was seeing if they could rip us off, especially when the money showed in my account online two months before the cruise. My wife also got food poisoning in the dining room one night and they would not cover the $140 fee for medical attention. One writer on CC noted people were nasty but I didn't find that to be true. There are always going to be a few bad apples and sour personalities. I did think the quality of entertainment was varied and generally acceptable, with a couple of truly outstanding performers. The ship's song and dance group was fine. The piano bar guy was truly outstanding. We were very critical of the casino which is simply too tight compared to many land casinos and doesn't give people enough enjoyment. The ports were fine. Highlights for me were Bora Bora, Moorea, Rarotonga and Dravuni Island in Fiji with its fabulous beach. I thought Papette, Tahiti was quite unfriendly to tourists and and was all that impressed with Tonga. HAL, though, needs to stop taking guests into top port on Sundays, when some of the shop and businesses are closed! Finally, we were told twice by HAL before the cruise we would not be updated to three star Mariner until after the cruise, yet the ship staff did upgrade us when we reached the milestone on board. HAL needs to learn to gets its act together on administrative matters so the right hand knows what the left is doing! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I won't deny that HAL crew consisted mostly of Filipinos and Indonesians were a great crew. They gave impeccable service. This is the 3rd time I sailed with a HAL ship. I'm inclined to stop sailing with HAL for awhile for the ... Read More
I won't deny that HAL crew consisted mostly of Filipinos and Indonesians were a great crew. They gave impeccable service. This is the 3rd time I sailed with a HAL ship. I'm inclined to stop sailing with HAL for awhile for the following reasons: 1. I've been over billed. During my first cruise, they claimed I took a $7.10 worth of drinks from my stateroom fridge. It wasn't true because I don't drink. I let the incident pass as for that amount, I'm willing to pay to relieve me of the stressful refund process. 2. On my second sailing, I was over billed. This time I used my debit card. A week later, new charges came off in the amount of $320. This was enough for me to get on the phone and dispute the amount. There was no way I'd spend that amount a week after I've disembarked. The summary statement I paid during disembarkation was all I have to pay, I insisted. It took two weeks before HAL reversed the charges. By then, I had some bills lined up for me to pay and had to get some back funds from my line of credit. 3. I passed on two years before sailing with HAL again and it happened again. An additional charge of over $20 came in long after I've disembarked- a bill that was not included in my final disembarkation charges. So I disputed that. There are not many activities in HAL compared to Royal Caribbean or Princess Cruises where activities and shows/ entertainment are scheduled by the hour. The HAL trip to Panama offered great entertainers but there were several lull moments. It's up to you to read a book or walk along the Promenade, shop, eat, sleep.. gym.. A real vacation for many but for the young and restless, those might not pass. Though cruising with HAL is great, it's after the cruise that could be a nightmare. I've sailed Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Princess and several times I did. I didn't have these problems. I've decided not to cruise with HAL for awhile. As well, HAL destinations for example in the Caribbean mostly include a stop at Half Moon Cay. It's an island owned by HAL. Western Caribbean, for example, offers a lot of excursions to historical sites but none of the HAL ships I know pass by those places such as Roatan and Belize, two places that have a lot of histories. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We wanted to cruise the Inside Passage of Alaska and chose Holland America because it appeared that the balcony / vista suite rooms were a bit larger than normal. This wasn't necessary true. They were nice and very clean but a bit ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Inside Passage of Alaska and chose Holland America because it appeared that the balcony / vista suite rooms were a bit larger than normal. This wasn't necessary true. They were nice and very clean but a bit cramped width wise for 2 people. We also had a problem with the electrical outlets - or should I say the lack thereof. Only 1 useable outlet in the room unless you unplugged the DVD player and there were none in the bathroom. I had trouble getting ready because of this and because the lighting was very poor by the vanity. There was a lighted makeup mirror but it wasn't much help. The hair dryer they provided runs on 220v power so the only other outlet was 220. We also found ourselves wondering what to do on those long stretches at sea. Sitting on the deck or in the casino only goes so far so we were always anxious to get off the ship to go sightseeing. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather for the entire trip with only one fairly bumpy night at sea. I guess for our group it would have been ideal to have less time at sea and more time ashore but that's not possible on a ship whose top speed is around 25 mph. It was a fun trip and the crew was fantastic but not something I'd be interested in doing again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Smaller ship, different itinerary. Never been on Holland America, heard lots of good things about it. We anted to visit Sitka rather than Skagway. We wanted to go to Hubbard Glacier rather than Tracy Arm Fjord/Ford's Terror (Sawyer ... Read More
Smaller ship, different itinerary. Never been on Holland America, heard lots of good things about it. We anted to visit Sitka rather than Skagway. We wanted to go to Hubbard Glacier rather than Tracy Arm Fjord/Ford's Terror (Sawyer Glacier). Our cabin was great and located near the atrium and forward elevator. The room attendant was friendly enough and quick. If you are looking for recognizable towel animals - our guy wasn't the guy. One time it looked like a seal cross bred with a lobster. We ate most of the time in the Lido Buffet. The best food we had was at the Dive In (burgers and hot dogs by the pool). They were fresh and unique, prepared just for you - gave us a beeper for when the food was ready for pick up. I really enjoyed the bread pudding and apple pie but everything else was unpalatable. Get an omelette or a crepe for breakfast. They had some very interesting sandwiches - prosciutto and Havarti. After a while I just got a roll and butter with some fresh pasta. One highlight of the cruise was the classical music venue port side from the Explorations Cafe. Live violin and piano playing familiar classical pieces. "Low light" would be on jazz night when the band did not have a trumpet, trombone or saxophone - the synthesizer may have saved them money hiring a professional brass of wind player - but seriously jazz without typical jazz instruments. There were six movies a day to choose from on the in-room tv (non-HD by the way) and you can borrow dvd's from the "Front Desk" for free, one at a time. Big plus was being on deck three (Lower Promenade) where there were deck loungers and blankets. We spent an hour several times during the "at sea" time sitting and watching for whales. We actually saw a baby humpback whale breaching several times after leaving from Ketchikan. Raptor Center in Sitka was very much worth the visit. You've got to go on a whale watch in Juneau (stick to the ones by Allen Marine). Having been to the Seattle Aquarium, the Sitka Sound Science Center was a bit of a disappointment. If you can go on your own, you might enjoy it more than we did. We are in our lower fifties and did not travel with children. There were fewer children on this cruise than on Carnival. The kids on this cruise were under control and polite. The guests on the cruise were our age or older with a few multi-generation families. Though I liked this cruise and would go to Alaksa again, not likely with Holland America. One main reason is that the food was not "stellar" for us including the desserts. Number two would be we did not enjoy the singers and dancers. Number three is that there were no wind instruments in the band. How can the synthesizer give the "real, live music" experience for a trained saxophonist (etc.). Plus, we've not been on Princess, Norwegian or Celebrity. With so many options, we will not be choosing Holland America. 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
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
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 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
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
The food quality and service on our cruise was unacceptable in the regular venues and uneven in speciality restaurants. We tried the Main Dining Room one evening early in the cruise and never returned. The quality of the ingredients was ... Read More
The food quality and service on our cruise was unacceptable in the regular venues and uneven in speciality restaurants. We tried the Main Dining Room one evening early in the cruise and never returned. The quality of the ingredients was extraordinarily low, our food was served cold, the service was chaotic and the room noisy although we dined in a relatively empty room. Food in the Lido involved long lines due to slow service from many of the staff who spent a lot of time talking to each other. The tables remained full of used dishes and half-eaten food because there didn't seem to be adequate staff for a full complement of passengers. One evening we had excellent service in Tamarind; however, on our second visit when the room was, perhaps, two thirds full we experienced chaos with one member of our party getting their sushi when everyone else was eating dessert. We ordered both sparkling and flat bottled water and the serves repeatedly made errors in its service. Desserts were well below the level we had previously experienced on other cruise lines ranging from Regent to Royal. Even the HAL Specialities, Bread Pudding and Onion Soup, were horrible. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 3.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.1
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.2

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