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Let me give you a little of the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Good: Staff, Ship, Cabin, Entertainment, Ports (for the most part), Food (for the most part). Spent two days in Honolulu instead of one due to cancellation of the tender port of Lahaina due to rough seas. Which was fine with us as we got to see the things at Pearl harbor that we would not have seen. Food was fine for my wife and myself as we split our eating time between the main dining room and the buffet. We are not exceptionally particular about our food as some passengers seem to be. Never ate in port as the ship's food was very good. They had Lobster our last Gala (formal) night and it was served in the Lido as well as in the Dining Room. However, the buffet is not open as much as we would have liked and we only got room service on our disembarkation morning. The Bad: Difficulty getting a table for two in the main dining room. We had a bad experience with sharing a table with some overbearing people and did not enjoy our meal. Passengers in the Queens' Lounge Theater who save seats for people that show up an hour later or not at all. We got there 45 minutes before showtime to avoid this. However, some disabled and geriatric passengers could not find seats due to the saving that was going on. I brought this to the attention of the Cruise Director. The Ugly: A terrible Embarkation policy. Passengers have to lug their bags a city block and throw them up on a trailer by themselves. Nobody to really help. We had extremely rough weather most of the cruise with the ship pounding for days at a time. And, in fact, had the ship do a severe Starboard to Port to Starboard roll one night that caused concern among the passengers and sent things flying throughout the ship. I'm ex Navy and it concerned me. However, this is not the fault of Holland America as they do not control the attitude of the seas. Summary: In spite of a couple of negative things we had a great time. The entertainment on board was professional and superb. and our cabin was very comfortable and super quiet. Most of the passengers were pleasant, a couple in particular. We actually made some good acquaintances with some of the Indonesian and Filipino staff. Our flights both going and coming were uneventful, Gainesville, Florida to San Diego and return.

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Amsterdam Cruise Review by Floridastorm

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2016
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Let me give you a little of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:

Staff, Ship, Cabin, Entertainment, Ports (for the most part), Food (for the most part). Spent two days in Honolulu instead of one due to cancellation of the tender port of Lahaina due to rough seas. Which was fine with us as we got to see the things at Pearl harbor that we would not have seen. Food was fine for my wife and myself as we split our eating time between the main dining room and the buffet. We are not exceptionally particular about our food as some passengers seem to be. Never ate in port as the ship's food was very good. They had Lobster our last Gala (formal) night and it was served in the Lido as well as in the Dining Room. However, the buffet is not open as much as we would have liked and we only got room service on our disembarkation morning.

The Bad:

Difficulty getting a table for two in the main dining room. We had a bad experience with sharing a table with some overbearing people and did not enjoy our meal. Passengers in the Queens' Lounge Theater who save seats for people that show up an hour later or not at all. We got there 45 minutes before showtime to avoid this. However, some disabled and geriatric passengers could not find seats due to the saving that was going on. I brought this to the attention of the Cruise Director.

The Ugly:

A terrible Embarkation policy. Passengers have to lug their bags a city block and throw them up on a trailer by themselves. Nobody to really help. We had extremely rough weather most of the cruise with the ship pounding for days at a time. And, in fact, had the ship do a severe Starboard to Port to Starboard roll one night that caused concern among the passengers and sent things flying throughout the ship. I'm ex Navy and it concerned me. However, this is not the fault of Holland America as they do not control the attitude of the seas.

Summary:

In spite of a couple of negative things we had a great time. The entertainment on board was professional and superb. and our cabin was very comfortable and super quiet. Most of the passengers were pleasant, a couple in particular. We actually made some good acquaintances with some of the Indonesian and Filipino staff. Our flights both going and coming were uneventful, Gainesville, Florida to San Diego and return.
Floridastorm’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin G G2501
G2501 is the cabin that is the most forward on the ship located on the Main Deck 2. It's a double porthole cabin and seemed to be somewhat larger than the other Oceanview cabins. Only one cabin next to us on one side and nothing on the other side. Very comfortable as it was super quiet. The beds were superb. You do have more motion due to the location. However, that did not bother us. There is a long walk from all the way forward to all the way Aft and up 6 decks to the dining. That didn't concern us as we enjoy walking and never took elevators the entire cruise. We were so very happy with the choosing of this cabin.
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Ensenada
    Took the private shuttle from the port to downtown Ensenada. A 5 minute ride for $3 and $1 to return. Strolled around for about 2 hours or so. Actually Ensenada is a lot nicer than most of the Mexican cities I have been to. It looks pretty safe, at least in the daytime, and there are many shops and restaurants to please everyone. However nothing really interested us and we returned to the ship after a short while.
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  • Hilo
    Rented a car and took in the Volcano National Park which is an hours drive from the port. Awesome. Remember to bring a jacket and umbrella as it is 25 degrees cooler at altitude and rains on and off. At the Service Plaza in the park they have excellent facilities including clean restrooms and also maps and directions. Really well run.
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  • Honolulu
    Our stop in Honolulu was changed from one day to two days due to cancellation of the Maui port stop. This was good for us as one of those days was on Thanksgiving where everything was closed. It allowed us to not only rent a car and drive around the entire island of Oahu, talking in Waimea Bay, the Banzai Pipeline, and Dole Plantation, but we got to visit Pearl Harbor and took a tour of the battleship Missouri. Being ex Navy I of course was in 7th heaven actually spending 3 hours or so getting to comb every space of this incredible warship. Just a fascinating ship. A word to the wise. Get your tickets in advance for the Big Mo, the Submarine, the Arizona Memorial, and the Museum. We waited in long lines just for tickets to the Big Mo. Also, the tickets are expensive. $27 per person for each event. Luckily I got a veteran's discount of $7 per person. The Ms Amsterdam ran a Shuttle from the port to Pearl Harbor and return for a few dollars, which is worth it as Pearl Harbor is quite a distance from the port.
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  • Kauai
    Rented a car and drove to Waimea Canyon and Lookout. Took a lot longer than I thought as it is mostly up the mountain with a multi curving two lane road. Possibly 1.5 hours to get there from the port. Spectacular views. Once again, bring a jacket and umbrella as it is actually cold and rainy at the lookout stop. Basic restroom facilities are available at every stop. Be very careful when driving as people speed around curves on that road. Kauai is a gorgeous island and nothing like the other islands. They seem to be more prosperous with better homes and facilities.
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  • Kona (Kailua Bay)
    We decided, due to limited time in port and having to tender back and forth, to just go into town and walk around. We are not beach and water people so really there is little else to do in Kona. As we were walking around the port area we happened upon the Kona Trolley and got on. $2 to ride. The trolley does an excellent excursion of Kona and the outlying areas that is really nice. The excursion lasts about an hour or more and you actually see all of the communities. There is so much more to Kona than just the Port area. The Trolley is not a guided tour. Only does a planned route out and back with driver. I recommend, if you are not into swimming and snorkeling, take the trolley and be amazed at how many modern communities that Kona has.
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  • San Diego
    Stayed overnight at the Hilton Island Garden Hotel downtown San Diego. Very comfortable hotel located a short distance from the Port. They have a coffee shop with good food and service. However, the hotel is so new that they don't yet have shuttle service. Taxis are not expensive though and are readily available.
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