2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We took this cruise because of the itinerary so we could meet our daughter in Homer.It went round trip out of Seattle, which was the best part, as that is our home port. Also, several of the ports such as Anchorage, Icy Strait, Homer and ... Read More
We took this cruise because of the itinerary so we could meet our daughter in Homer.It went round trip out of Seattle, which was the best part, as that is our home port. Also, several of the ports such as Anchorage, Icy Strait, Homer and Kodiak, were new to us, as we have been on a few Alaska cruises previously. The ship, the Amsterdam, was just like the Volendam, that we took on a Asia criuise in March. The Amsterdam does seem a bit dated for it's age compared to other HAL ships. The cruise director, Jorge, was delightful, the entertainment was average at best, and the food in the Pinnacle Grille was fantastic. The ship dancers and singers and band were very good though. The sailing up the Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier and Hubbard Glacier were very scenic and spectacular. Unfortunately we did not see any wildlife, bears or whales, though some passengers said they saw some at different times. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This review will be lengthy..hoping to assist future cruisers (as I was helped). Did much research before choosing Land Explorer. My major goal was to SEE Alaska. This two week itinerary logged over 3000 miles and had 9 ports. I looked ... Read More
This review will be lengthy..hoping to assist future cruisers (as I was helped). Did much research before choosing Land Explorer. My major goal was to SEE Alaska. This two week itinerary logged over 3000 miles and had 9 ports. I looked at the Alaskan Marine Highway as possible transportation and could not do the trip cheaper then an inside room on the Amsterdam. Our dollars were spent on excursions and in those, I was not disappointed. Suffice it to say, we are not your typical crusers. It was our first experience cruising. Being ill with sinus/respiratory infections did not help. Add to that 3 long Sea days, that first Monday was "Rough" according to more seasoned veterans. Between anti-nausea patches and cough medicine, we "hacked" and slept our way through. Two nights of Husband unable to lie down to sleep and temperature greater then 102 was scary enough to consider potential medical treatment. I learned that insurances are not accepted and all is put on one's charge card. A "Medical Evaluation" runs $95 if obtained during office hours, $145 during day non-office hours and $195 at night. A simple chest xray was $75, but must add send out reading fee of $275! One can then independently attempt recouping paid charges after the cruise. NyQuill and DayQuill were $18 per small bottle. It is in your best benefit to anticipate potential illnesses and come prepared. What one cannot anticipate is the massive amount of perfume/colognes these elderly Cruisers wear. One's sense of smell decreases with aging and scent dousing was at all time high on Sea Days aka "Gala Nights"! If you have a respitory illness, cruising is ill advised unless you wish to stay in your cabin the whole cruise. Speaking of cabins, we were in Cabin 7048 (K level)..one of three inside rooms on the Navigation deck. The location was convenient, one flight of stairs up to the Lido And two flights down to the Library. It is Aft and there is sway and rocking present, making us seek out a midshop location on Sea Days. Because it is high, foul smells were at a minimum (Upon passing through lower decks, noted fans drying out hallways. Also, could smell mold in the back of the Queen's Lounge). There was plenty of space, enjoyed the couch and extra chair and did not feel claustrophobic. The crew were outstanding! Always smiling, pleasant, polite and genuinely nice. Our cabin steward Amin and his helper were great. Most workers are Indonecian or Fillipno. They are on the ship 9 to 10 months at a time, leaving behind families. How they can tolerate it is beyond me. Dining/Food not that great. Very difficult to get anything well done. We gave up at the Hamburger Grill: "The Dive In"...How hard is it to make a burger well done? Despite numerous requests, red cool meat repeatedly served. Just left it. Italian food mediocre, sauce was like Chef Boyardee. The pizza was disgusting. Any fried halibut, fish swam in grease. Pretty much same same foods main dining room and Lido. We ate at the upscale Canaletti Grill one night..Crab dried out, shrimp cocktail good and Baked Alaska good. The other decent night was lobster tail night..they served a well done pork chop Normally, their foods had way too many sauces, were just a mixed up mishmash without a theme like they were serving left overs. Guests lined up for ice cream..it tasted normal. We skipped meals, opting for peanuts and goldfish crackers with drinks in lieu of dinner. Communication deficit was a problem, don't think they could totally understand us. Entertainment OK..enjoyed the Location Naturalist's talks. Most entertainment revoved around buying something, jewelry, artwork, etc. Ports and Excursions were why we went! Very glad that we had booked and prepaid..Made us go (we felt so lousy, wouldn't have booked it with current state of health). It is the good that we take away from our two week cruise. Ketchikan: Commercialized. Ship owned Diamond Stores,etc. We booked Allen Misty Fijord's Boat Tour. Well done, Real Alaska. Well worth the money. After the tour, plenty of time to see Creek Street and run around the 6 blocks of town. Juneau: Holland America Mendenhall Glacier, 2.5 hour tour with plenty of time for hiking. Was supposed to include City tour..Guide from Florida and just arrived in Juneau in March! "Stacy" said " I can tell you there are no alligators"! She also talked down to the elderly guests. The immaturity of the 19 year old college student! Would have been well served to pay for shuttle to glacier and skip Holland America fees. Glacier and hike very worthwhile. Walked Juneau: Governor's Mansion, Unable to enter state capital,still in session, talked with shop owners (nothing good to say about Sarah Palin). Very interesting to see totem pole at the Mansion and the very modest homes surrounding it. Tracy Arm: Captain announced "Unable to view"as too much ice. Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier substituted. Had read this is common practice and really seems more the norm, not to see Tracy Arm. Still, Dawes Glacier very neat. Anchorage: Turn Again Arm, Portage Glacier and Conservation Center tour through Holland America. Rated as one of the top drives in the United States. The trip was worth it for the drive alone! So scenic. Glacier was nice though Conservation Center with penned animals "Not so natural ". Saw parts of the city also. Impression was a large city that supplies Alaska, utilitarian . Homer: HAL Highlights of Homer. Homer was my favorite port! Guide "Joy" resident lived up to her name. Loved this tour. Kodiak: Russian Tea. Enjoyed the bellalika players and viewing the churches. Sitka: Historical Sitka Tour through HAL. Another worthwhile tour Hubbard Glacier: Very nice that HAL had two included glaciers in their itinerary The captain allowed each side of the ship viewing time. Victoria: My second favorite port! Took HAL's Buchart Gardens tour, which included City Tour. The bus driver was informative and funny Seattle: Spent two days prior to cruise in order to see this "Progressive Urban City". Very much a waste of time and money. Saw the usual attractions, Market, etc. plus some very horrible sights ( willl not into graphic detail). The Homeless and filth of "Freeattle" were distressing. If there is a way to see Alaska and avoid Seattle would advise it! But fellow cruisers say VanCouver is no better. We decided up close and personal Seattle was too much and thus viewed from afar, by taking a trip to Bainbridge Island. The Island was beautiful. Mount Ranier visible and weather delightful! Stayed at the Mayflower Inn which was a welcomed oasis in the downtown section.Built in the 1920's, Mayflowers Hospiality was outstanding. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was our third World Cruise on the Amsterdam. The embarcation ... went smoothly. There was a long line, but it moved quickly. The ship... We have always loved the Amsterdam, but I'm sorry to say, she seems to be in serious ... Read More
This was our third World Cruise on the Amsterdam. The embarcation ... went smoothly. There was a long line, but it moved quickly. The ship... We have always loved the Amsterdam, but I'm sorry to say, she seems to be in serious need of repair. We saw many leaks in public areas, including the Lido food prep area. Several cabins that flooded terribly. When this happened the crew brought big fans to dry the carpets on top, but I fear that there must be mold underneath. There were also concerns about the 17 year old HVAC units. Most passengers, including us, seemed to be sick, off and on, with sinus infections and allergies much of the 4 months. I think Amsterdam is due for dry dock after the 2018 cruise. Cabin... We were on Dolphin deck. Our room stewards scrubbed the shower every day to try and keep the mold out of the tiles around the shower. Our cabin frequently smelled of diesel fuel. Dining... The chefs and crew do a great job preparing and serving delicious meals and snacks. Entertainment and activities ... The nightime entertainment seemed to be for the older crowd. Lots of classical and show tunes, magicians and comedians. We attended only a few shows. Afternoon movies on sea days were not offered, since a private group rented the theater. The internet is slow as molasses and is very expensive. We spent $600 on internet in 4 months. Service.... The crew on the World Cruise is always the best on the seas!!! Also, the Fillipino and Indonesian crew shos were outstanding. Ports and Shore Excursions... The ports were great! We took Shore Excursions in most ports. They were very expensive, but most guides were excellent. We plan to continue cruising, but sadly will not cruise on the Amsterdam again. We plan to travel on the newer ships that hopefully, will have fewer maintenance issues. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
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
Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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