Sail Date: December 2018
Friends talked us into going on this cruise with them. Before this HAL was their favourite line ... now they've said they'll never cruise with them again. Horrendous doesn't begin to describe this. Constant maintenance ... Read More
Friends talked us into going on this cruise with them. Before this HAL was their favourite line ... now they've said they'll never cruise with them again. Horrendous doesn't begin to describe this. Constant maintenance (grinding rust most days for several hours), they closed the shops down, they closed the pools down, there was virtually no onboard entertainment (with the exception of the nightly show), few activities, and rude staff (not all of them, of course). Our cabin steward, Deny, was awesome - the best thing about the cruise. This ship should have been in dry dock but instead, greedy Holland America put it into service and did the maintenance while passengers were on board. Disgusting. You couldn't hold a conversation in the lounge because of the constant rust grinding going on. The gym was great - could always get onto the equipment. Only one gym instructor for the whole voyage. She worked from 6am-6pm every.single.day. Supposed to be two but this cruise line is so penny pinching. Onboard band was pretty good but they only played about four times. New Year's eve was a 'mentalist' - so bad half the audience walked out. Happy New Year! We've cruised many times but this was our most expensive and worst cruise ever. With the exception of breakfasts (waffles cooked to order with fresh fruit), the food was terrible. Christmas day consisted of boiled vegetables. We had asked for mashed potato but they were so incompetent they forgot to bring it. Merry Christmas! I complained to Holland America and they didn't give a toss. Tough luck ... but thanks for letting us know. NEVER. EVER. AGAIN. Do yourself a favour and go with a professional cruise line, like Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Cunard etc. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My Mother bought us a family cruise for all of us for our Birthdays. We were very excited. The whole trip was a disaster on the Ansterdam. 1st day they gave my brother’s in laws a 2 bed bedroom and my other brother and his daughter a ... Read More
My Mother bought us a family cruise for all of us for our Birthdays. We were very excited. The whole trip was a disaster on the Ansterdam. 1st day they gave my brother’s in laws a 2 bed bedroom and my other brother and his daughter a one bed bedroom. They would of switched rooms but my brother’s room had no hot water the whole 7 days of the trip. They wouldn’t switch the room for him or the in laws. So he and my niece had too shower in my Moms room and they would only give her a $200 credit. The toilets did work for a couple of hours 3 times and we didn’t have water from 12 midnight till 5 am and it still didn’t really fix the problem. The DVD player in my room didn’t work, TV was fuzzy the safe locked me out. The movie they played in the so called movie theater was the same movies they played on the 2 TV movie channels. Their nature experts couldn’t answer simple question like does Alaska have Racoons. She said they didn’t but we asked a excursion guide and he said of course we do. The food was not soso the service was poor. I could go on and on. My brother summed it up the cruise was a floating Motel 6 with Denny’s food. Alaska was beautiful! It was just a awful ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Our intent on this trip was to have a relaxing time on board ship while seeing Alaska. We had been told that Holland America is a notch above the competition, but found that it didn't come close to other cruise lines. We actually had ... Read More
Our intent on this trip was to have a relaxing time on board ship while seeing Alaska. We had been told that Holland America is a notch above the competition, but found that it didn't come close to other cruise lines. We actually had a horrible experience. There was a major problem with the heating and cooling unit in our cabin. They tried 3 times to adjust the temperature, but our room remained hot, making sleep difficult. We would wake up sweating. We asked for a fan, but they said none were available. We repeatedly asked that they fix it but the gal at the desk continued to blow us off, saying they were already in there several times to fix it, as if it was our problem. Finally, with 2 nights left we were both sick, and I insisted we have a fan. Finally our dear housekeeper brought us one which was taken out of an office. Two and a half weeks later we are still sick with a respiratory virus. Also, my husband uses a Cpap machine which has a filter. After 2 weeks on the ship the filter was black. At home he changes it once a month and it's always light gray. That says something about the ventilator. We will never go on Holland America again. Our once in a lifetime trip to Alaska was ruined. We always look forward to the food on a cruise, but we found the dining room meals to be very salty and underwhelming. However, a need for a medically necessary gluten free diet was met by the very conscientious staff. The staff in the dining areas were wonderful. Most of the entertainment we saw was excellent, but there were a couple performers who were crude and disrespectful. If I was grading this cruise experience I would have to give it an F. The positive features couldn't compensate for our horrible cabin experience and our lengthy illness from it. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I have taken two cruises on the Holland America lines and I've come back with the same opinion on both. They sucked. The dinning was lousy, the food was bad and the service was lousy, especially on the Amsterdam. I took this same ... Read More
I have taken two cruises on the Holland America lines and I've come back with the same opinion on both. They sucked. The dinning was lousy, the food was bad and the service was lousy, especially on the Amsterdam. I took this same cruise 10 years ago to, again Alaska, it was the Oosterdam and it was almost as bad. ( My sister wanted to use this cruise line ). The rooms were lousy. They had tubes but the walls of the tubes are so high you really had to watch yourself getting out. The cruise director, this is the person that is supposed to walk around the ship on a daily bases and converse with the passengers to make sure their sailing experience is a good one and make sure there are enough fun activities to keep passengers busy and having fun, was never seen. The waiter at our formal dinning was a total loser. This was an Alaskan cruise so, as in other cruises, we expected Backed Alaska on the last formal dinning night. NOT going to happen. The cruise director usually comes out and introduces the head staff and tells a few funny stories. Nope. Fortunately the trip itself was really great despite the ships poor quality of service and atmosphere. I would suggest either Celebrity, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean or possibly some other cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My first time on a Holland America Ship. We took the Ms Amsterdam because it worked out great as a way to get to an Alaska cruise. The service on this ship was poor except for housekeeping. I would not recommend this ship until they do ... Read More
My first time on a Holland America Ship. We took the Ms Amsterdam because it worked out great as a way to get to an Alaska cruise. The service on this ship was poor except for housekeeping. I would not recommend this ship until they do some updated customer service training. The staff had been dealing with elderly passengers for several days that had sailed from Florida. Maybe they were fed up with the complaining guests by the time we got on board, but that is no excuse to be unhappy or unhelpful. We never saw command staff helping guests or fellow employees. We then cruised on the Nieuw Amsterdam ship and it had very good service and better food. Reading the reviews is helpful. I wish I had checked out the cruise ship better prior to booking it. I hope this helps. Cruising can be a great and fun way to travel if the crew is professional! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
I've been on 12 HAL cruises. However, never on the Amsterdam. We were in a Neptune Suite #7016. Worst cabin I've ever had. I've been on 38 cruises, with various cruise lines so I know what should and shouldn't be. This ... Read More
I've been on 12 HAL cruises. However, never on the Amsterdam. We were in a Neptune Suite #7016. Worst cabin I've ever had. I've been on 38 cruises, with various cruise lines so I know what should and shouldn't be. This cabin shook and the bed shook so bad it was hard to get to sleep. Even the head of guests services came up and agreed and she said it was the way the ship was made. Not only that we were under the pool area and chairs and tables scraped back and forth all day. All my neighbor's could not believe the most expensive had so much noise. Every morning they would wash the upper windows by the pool and all the water would puddle up on our balcony so we couldn't go outside till it dried 4 hours later. OK, so now the food, two words, bland and dry. The horizon court had the same thing everyday. Service was not up to the HAL standard. Needless to say I was very disappointed in this cruise and would never go on the Amsterdam again. Lucky we ate in port everytime. First time I lost weight on a cruise. So sad. Alaska was beautiful as always. Going on Celebrity next year. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
What a shame. After a combined 320 nights on Holland America Lines (HAL), this middle class family who has earned Three-Star Mariner Society status is done with this cruise line. For the record, we are professionals in our early 50s, and ... Read More
What a shame. After a combined 320 nights on Holland America Lines (HAL), this middle class family who has earned Three-Star Mariner Society status is done with this cruise line. For the record, we are professionals in our early 50s, and our daughters are 16 and 12, all well-respected by adults and peers. We are the kind of family you would appreciate meeting on a cruise. Here is our story: Over the past eight years, we have seen a noticeable decline in the way Holland America Lines (HAL) has services our young family. When we first decided to travel HAP, we knew it was skewed to older travelers, with less young families traveling. But we thought that there was some comfort traveling with a cruise line who serves older travelers. We justified to ourselves that this was going to be a more upscale experience; that there would be less riff-raff. A better total family experience. What we have seen over this time is the erosion of services to young families. Small and important things, like taking PB&J off the room service menu entirely. Pizza which was once served in Lido dining and room service has been relegated to outside near the pool, cold, and unmanaged. It even seems like there are flies hanging out at the Pizza. But that is more image than reality. The entertainment, activities, movies, and media center largely ignore the interest of young families. A good part of the media offering is “old and inappropriate for kids. I have tried in a productive and collaborative way to get help with small things on and off the ship. I tried my best, and I can be effective at getting help. Ultimately, Holland America Lines (HAL) does not care. And for good reason – they don’t just cater to seniors, but to the elderly. Big different, w learned, in behavior. By elderly, we are talking about travelers in their 70s and 80s and 90s (we and a number of 90 year olds) who forgot to enjoy the company of young families and who find themselves treating younger passengers with bitter jealousy. I haven’t seen this many walkers and carts – ever. Not even in a skilled nursing environment (we own a couple of these buildings). There is nothing wrong with the elderly and travel. But a cruise line can only serve well one or two demographics. So the lack of amenities and services for young families, and the sometimes unwelcome disposition of the elderly passengers, say to us that after 320 family nights – we are done with Holland America Lines (HAL). More suitable cruise lines in the future will be Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity. So how did we get to 320 nights before we learned this lesson? Well, the 320 is a little overstated. Divided by four family members, this is really over 80 nights each family member. Still a great amount of travel. But these experiences and observations have taken hold very quickly over this time. The dramatic change in menu and entertainment gets to the point where Holland America Lines (HAL) is happy to take the money from young families, but is unwilling to serve them. During this last trip (17 nights through the Panama – the elderly will camp out all night to grab all the chairs on the deck for Panama Day – and they won’t let them go! God bless them and their single-mindedness.), loyalty to Holland America Lines (HAL) has its disadvantages: Like good customers, we booked early. I found out a few weeks before our cruise date that our same cabins were selling for thousands of dollars less. Thousands! I tried very hard, working each step of the way in advance, throughout, and even after the trip, to get some type of parity for our hard-earned travel dollar. Any type of parity. Anything! Even something as soft dollar as an upgrade the cabin to get us the value for the cruise. I have documentation of this if you chose to request it from me, with the caveat that although I tried hard, I am sharing our own experience and hope that yours will be different and better (but I bet not!). But Holland America Lines (HAL) refused to support our request and right-size that experience. Finally, HAL double charges us on an excursion. I pre-paid on my credit card before the trip, and then again they charged me (unbeknownst to me) on the cabin folio. I have written proof of this, which I have shared three times now. You think this would be easy to fix. It has taken a lot of work, but they are not listening to the facts and as a result I have to dispute the charge with the credit card company rather than get HAL to issue a proper credit. This is not deliberate I think. This is just sloppy servicing. Lesson: Do not prepay your excursion unless you want to take on the risk of being double charged and the time and hassle of clearing this up! Once again younger families, please do not make the same mistake we did thinking that older cruisers night be better. Older means much older than you imagine. And it means that given the choice to maximize their services to a target customer base, Holland America Lines (HAL) will underserve your young family! I am exhausted with my experience with HAL. And am hanging up our Mariner Society stars. Young families with hard-earned vacation dollars, consider yourself advised! Signed, the forgotten Holland America Traveler   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2006
When boarded the Amsterdam on Jan. 6, 2006 in San Diago at about 12:30pm. The boarding process was fluid and well organized. As the cabins were not ready we went up to the Lido Restaurant for lunch. At about 3:00pm we were able to access ... Read More
When boarded the Amsterdam on Jan. 6, 2006 in San Diago at about 12:30pm. The boarding process was fluid and well organized. As the cabins were not ready we went up to the Lido Restaurant for lunch. At about 3:00pm we were able to access our cabin #1804 on the Dolphin deck. As this is a handicapped cabin it was very roomy and well laid out. The first thing we noticed was the deodorant smell. The next thing was that the whole cabin stank of cigarette smoke. As I suffer from congestive heart failure, breathing in such stinky air was a burden. The pillows smelled like ashtrays. I spend a terrible night and the next morning made a written complaint about the condition to the front desk. They placed an ozone generator in the cabin for eight (8) hours. We were advised to stay out of the cabin The also replaced the pillows and yhe shower curtain as I had requested. The second night conditions were better. On the third day, we noticed an acrid smell in the cabin - somewhat like burned wiring insulation. My spouse saw the maintenance staff having a panel off just outside of our cabin and inquired what the problem was. She was told that there was a problem with rats. When we returned to our cabin at about 10:30pm the acrid smell was still very much present. We kept our cabin door open for about an hour and as there was a very strong exhaust fan in the bathroom, we kept the door to the bathroom open. Next day we registered again a complained with the front office as our complains to our cabin steward regarding the lack of fresh and breathable air in our cabin received no corrective response. On day five the shampooed the carpet in our cabin and after the medicine like small subsided we were finally able to have reasonable fresh air in the cabin by keeping the door to the bathroom open day and night. We took this cruise together with my in-laws. However while we booked through an internet travel agency, they had booked directly with HAL. We asked for and were assigned early dining at 6:15pm. They had been assigned main dining at 8:30pm. We went to see the Maitre D' on our first day on board and requested to have an assigned diner seating together. I stressed that it needs to be early. The next day we were assigned dining at 8:00pm - I guess as far as my in-laws were concerned it was "early". We tried it for three nights and when I found out that it was too late for me to eat, we took our dinner at the Lido restaurant for the rest of the cruise. On January 17 at noon I went to the Lido Restaurant for lunch. I stood in line and when I came to the Italian serving station, I told the server that I wanted some spaghetti with meat sauce. The server picked up a plate, picked up the tongs and started to grab some spaghetti. He suddenly dropped the tongs in the spaghetti tray, placed the plate back on the counter and walked to the serving station Oriental behind me, when I turned around I found a ship's officer with three gold bars on his shirt standing behind me and the server was serving him some Chinese food. For the first times in my life I was speechless. While I realize that with three gold bars the ships officer is high up on the totem pole, never the less, I was in front of him and I should have been served first. We took our breakfast, consisting of orange juice, coffee and a Danish pastry, in our cabin every morning. On the third day of our voyage my spouse asked the cabin steward to put a fresh banana in our fruit basket every day. He told her that he could not get any bananas. We retrieved a banana every day at the lunch or breakfast buffet so that we could have it in the morning. When I realized that I could order some sliced bananas with our morning breakfast order I included bananas in our standing order. Although they were not entirely fresh they did provide a satisfactory substitute One day we found some sticky substance and two black hairs on the plate with our breakfast. The next day we were given a cracked coffee cup and had to place tissue under the cup to absorb the coffee leakage. Obviously a result of lack of attention to detail. I put in a written complaint with the customer service desk and such events did not happen again. One evening we (my spouse and my in-laws) as usual were at dinner at the Lido restaurant. My spouse and I usually arrived first and my in-laws joined us subsequently. I had ordered and been served a bottle of Grolsch beer. My brother-in-law wanted one also. We told one steward. About twenty minutes later, as there had been no response to his request, he told another steward. When the alcoholic beverage server finally arrived at our table about 30 minutes after the first request, my brother-in-law had finished his meal and did not need any service. We live on the outskirts of Las Vegas and are frequent visitors to various restaurants and buffets in Las Vegas. When we visit these establishments, we are served a glass of water when we get to the table and whenever the glass is ¼ or less full, it is promptly refilled. At the Lido restaurant, we got a glass of water at the begin of our dinner, however, to get a refill was almost impossible and it was more then once that we had to get up to get a water refill ourselves. I observed that service staff was just standing around, engaged in conversation with other service staff. Maybe HAL service policy is to ensure that customers get some exercise by getting there own water refills? HAL claims that it provides exceptional service. Based on our most recent experience on the HAL Amsterdam, I suggest that this is a misnomer and it should be exceptionable service. This was our fifth cruise within a year. Our first cruise was on the Oosterdam along the mexican coast. We were so impressed by the service we received that we promptly booked another trip with the Oosterdam from Seattle to Alaska in May. Again, the service was excellent and it was a very pleasurable cruise. In June we went on a 10 day cruise on the NCL Norwegian Wind around Hawaii. The accommodations and service were excellent but the quality of food was not as good as we found on the Oosterdam. In November we took a 14 day cruise through the Panama Canal with Celebrity on the Summit. Accommodations, food and service were excellent. In fact they were even better then what we had received on the Oosterdam, which is a hard act to trump. Of all five cruises the one on the Amsterdam was the worst. Unfortunately it also was the longest in duration - 30 days. We assume that the lack of service we experienced on the Amsterdam is the exception rather then the rule as to what HAL has to offer. We booked another cruise with HAL - Zaandam in May to Alaska and hope that our assumption is correct. 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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