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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.

Nice and Calm Out on Deck Enjoying the Wind

Amsterdam Cruise Review by SciMaestroHou

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Large Interior Stateroom
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.
SciMaestroHou’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Large Interior Stateroom
Cabin I 3340
Large Enough, Plenty of storage and closet space. Faux window was quaint. We had a love seat and 20 inch tv.
Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews