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This was our 7th Alaskan cruise and 2nd on HAL. We are a family of 4 and both our children (11 &15)enjoy cruising. I chose the Amsterdam because i wanted to try a smaller ship. i rate the overall cruise as very good. It was low key and pretty quiet. The cruise itself went very smooth and we had no real problems or issues. This size ship has both it's advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side getting on and off the ship was so easy. Embarkation and disembarkation both an A+. They serve you in the Lido which i really liked. This kept the buffet area clean and us healthy. The orange juice was delicious on the first day but turned to orange water after that. Overall probably the best buffet experience we've had on a cruise. The main dinning room food and service was just fine except the 2nd Gala night when they had surf and turf which was really good. We did both specialty restaurants and neither of them wowed me. The Pinnacle on this ship is tucked away with no ocean views. The taco bar wasn't as good as i remember and the 'Dive-in' hamburger/hot-dog joint was mediocre, the buns got hard towards the end of the cruise. The fresh squeezed juice we had on our previous Hal cruise was gone. They didn't have a sail away bbq either but did do a salmon bake for lunch leaving Ketchikan which was excellent(and i'm not huge on salmon). Diid room service once and its was prompt. Overall we found the ship to be in good shape and easy to navigate. Most areas never felt crowded. This ship could use a couple more hot-tubs however. The hot tubs along with the 2 ping-pong tables were always busy. The ship has a couple small sports courts located in the middle on both sides of deck 9. My son and i enjoyed them. This ship doesn't have an arcade which we both missed. The promenade deck is great for walking around on sea days. The theater was great, the entertainment was ok. This was our first time cruising without a balcony. We had an ocean view. My wife was trepedatious of not having a balcony but we never really missed it. We were on deck 2 towards the aft. Just about ten feet down the hall from our room was a door leading to the outside. It was like having your own aft balcony. The room itself was just fine and we managed with 4 people. There was a lot of storage in the room. The bed was a little hard for me and the shower water pressure was lousy, but overall i was pleasantly surprised. I'll probably pass on a balcony in the future, only in the room to sleep and shower. i was glad we did this smaller ship but i'll go back to a larger more modern ship next time. We never got bored but i like having a few more options both in dining and in activities. The service was good on this ship but a lot of the workers looked like they were tired and needed some time off. This ship gets the best pier locations in port. Our trip to Hubbard Glacier on this ship was great. You get so close to the glacier. I've been to Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay but this was the best glacier viewing by far. The sail into the glacier isn't as pretty but the glacier itself is just awesome. Overall another solid cruise. i'm not sure i'd recommend this ship for people with small children, but if you are looking for a relaxing, quiet cruise a ship this size is great for Alaska.

7th Time to Alaska

Amsterdam Cruise Review by scotchies

31 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
This was our 7th Alaskan cruise and 2nd on HAL. We are a family of 4 and both our children (11 &15)enjoy cruising. I chose the Amsterdam because i wanted to try a smaller ship. i rate the overall cruise as very good. It was low key and pretty quiet. The cruise itself went very smooth and we had no real problems or issues. This size ship has both it's advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side getting on and off the ship was so easy. Embarkation and disembarkation both an A+. They serve you in the Lido which i really liked. This kept the buffet area clean and us healthy. The orange juice was delicious on the first day but turned to orange water after that. Overall probably the best buffet experience we've had on a cruise. The main dinning room food and service was just fine except the 2nd Gala night when they had surf and turf which was really good. We did both specialty restaurants and neither of them wowed me. The Pinnacle on this ship is tucked away with no ocean views. The taco bar wasn't as good as i remember and the 'Dive-in' hamburger/hot-dog joint was mediocre, the buns got hard towards the end of the cruise. The fresh squeezed juice we had on our previous Hal cruise was gone. They didn't have a sail away bbq either but did do a salmon bake for lunch leaving Ketchikan which was excellent(and i'm not huge on salmon).

Diid room service once and its was prompt.

Overall we found the ship to be in good shape and easy to navigate. Most areas never felt crowded. This ship could use a couple more hot-tubs however. The hot tubs along with the 2 ping-pong tables were always busy. The ship has a couple small sports courts located in the middle on both sides of deck 9. My son and i enjoyed them. This ship doesn't have an arcade which we both missed. The promenade deck is great for walking around on sea days. The theater was great, the entertainment was ok.

This was our first time cruising without a balcony. We had an ocean view. My wife was trepedatious of not having a balcony but we never really missed it. We were on deck 2 towards the aft. Just about ten feet down the hall from our room was a door leading to the outside. It was like having your own aft balcony. The room itself was just fine and we managed with 4 people. There was a lot of storage in the room. The bed was a little hard for me and the shower water pressure was lousy, but overall i was pleasantly surprised. I'll probably pass on a balcony in the future, only in the room to sleep and shower.

i was glad we did this smaller ship but i'll go back to a larger more modern ship next time. We never got bored but i like having a few more options both in dining and in activities. The service was good on this ship but a lot of the workers looked like they were tired and needed some time off. This ship gets the best pier locations in port. Our trip to Hubbard Glacier on this ship was great. You get so close to the glacier. I've been to Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay but this was the best glacier viewing by far. The sail into the glacier isn't as pretty but the glacier itself is just awesome.

Overall another solid cruise. i'm not sure i'd recommend this ship for people with small children, but if you are looking for a relaxing, quiet cruise a ship this size is great for Alaska.
scotchies’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
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Ages 13 to 15
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin D 2698
Great location to the door leading the outside, lots of storage, pretty quiet.
Lower Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews