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We wanted to go to the South Pacific and a 51-day cruise with 26 ports returning to North America was the best option for us, a newly retired couple. was done as a back-to-back with the Incan Empires Cruise, so our embarkation was simple. Disembarkation was a little late in San Diego (about an hour), but it wasn't a problem for us. The Amsterdam is a wonderful ship in terms of size and layout. Even though the decor is dated, we like the elegance of the ship and the ample public spaces. You rarely feel crowded on the Amsterdam. However, there are numerous opportunities for upgrades. A single outlet isn't nearly enough for 2019 and no USB charging ports just doesn't make sense. The TV's are outdated and passengers don't have access to interactive TV services the way they do on the newer ships. The ice machine on the starboard side of the Lido hasn't been working for at least 6 month and creates a big bottleneck and inconvenience with times when there is no ice to be found. The cabin was perfectly adequate in terms of layout and storage space, as was the bathroom and bed. The biggest issues were in the bathroom where hastily repaired grouting in the shower fell out every time we used it and where the water temperature vacillated from cool to scalding all on its own. We also had a couple of episodes when water systems were disrupted. The Lido Market was great for breakfast and lunch with generally short lines except the pasta bar (which is understaffed) and the ice cream bar which just gets busy. The food quality is very good and you have the advantage of being able to see it before you order it (there is very little self-serve). Afternoon Tea is a wonderful, but underutilized service. We went whenever we could and the staff were amazing. Evening dining in the Main Dining Room was good, but not excellent. If you recognize something on the menu, you almost certainly won't recognize in on your plate or in your mouth. Not that the food is bad in any way, but it won't be prepared the way you are used to it. Seating is good, but reservations are recommended at popular time for Gala nights. Service is good to very good with the speed dependent on the number of people at the table. They should really reduce the number of large tables (8 persons plus) because no one likes them (too slow and very hard to have a conversation). Desserts are generally a disappointment and the ice cream in the dining room always has ice chips in it. The entertainment was variable, but generally good. The Amsterdam Singers and dancers were very good. It is just plain sad that they are being discontinued when they are the most consistently enjoyed presentations. I understand that they will have more of the other entertainers which range from bad to good with most being just fair. Too many acts that I would call "novelty" and too many comedians that are past their prime. Guest speakers were also variable, but mostly interesting. The EXC Coordinator did a good job of orienting the passengers to the many ports. The Excursions Manager was humorous in his descriptions, but not always accurate. We were disappointed in a few of the HAL excursions we took, but providing feedback is very hard and really not encouraged at all. The staff is the best thing. With few exceptions they are friendly, efficient and helpful. I feel sorry for them trying to provide a great experience while the head office keeps cutting resources and services. A part of many passenger conversations is the ceremonial listing of the ceremonial listing of things that have been taken away and how despite the hundreds of loyal HAL passengers, HAL corporate seems bound and determined to chase them away with a bad loyalty program and never-ending cutbacks. Sadly, the reputation that HAL has earned in the past will be very hard to rebuild once it is gone completely. It was a good choice for us, we probably won't be going on this cruise again. We just prefer to explore new terrritory.

Great itinerary and staff, but going downhill

Amsterdam Cruise Review by Dancefloor

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2019
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Large Interior Stateroom
We wanted to go to the South Pacific and a 51-day cruise with 26 ports returning to North America was the best option for us, a newly retired couple.

was done as a back-to-back with the Incan Empires Cruise, so our embarkation was simple. Disembarkation was a little late in San Diego (about an hour), but it wasn't a problem for us.

The Amsterdam is a wonderful ship in terms of size and layout. Even though the decor is dated, we like the elegance of the ship and the ample public spaces. You rarely feel crowded on the Amsterdam. However, there are numerous opportunities for upgrades. A single outlet isn't nearly enough for 2019 and no USB charging ports just doesn't make sense. The TV's are outdated and passengers don't have access to interactive TV services the way they do on the newer ships. The ice machine on the starboard side of the Lido hasn't been working for at least 6 month and creates a big bottleneck and inconvenience with times when there is no ice to be found.

The cabin was perfectly adequate in terms of layout and storage space, as was the bathroom and bed. The biggest issues were in the bathroom where hastily repaired grouting in the shower fell out every time we used it and where the water temperature vacillated from cool to scalding all on its own. We also had a couple of episodes when water systems were disrupted.

The Lido Market was great for breakfast and lunch with generally short lines except the pasta bar (which is understaffed) and the ice cream bar which just gets busy. The food quality is very good and you have the advantage of being able to see it before you order it (there is very little self-serve). Afternoon Tea is a wonderful, but underutilized service. We went whenever we could and the staff were amazing. Evening dining in the Main Dining Room was good, but not excellent. If you recognize something on the menu, you almost certainly won't recognize in on your plate or in your mouth. Not that the food is bad in any way, but it won't be prepared the way you are used to it. Seating is good, but reservations are recommended at popular time for Gala nights. Service is good to very good with the speed dependent on the number of people at the table. They should really reduce the number of large tables (8 persons plus) because no one likes them (too slow and very hard to have a conversation). Desserts are generally a disappointment and the ice cream in the dining room always has ice chips in it.

The entertainment was variable, but generally good. The Amsterdam Singers and dancers were very good. It is just plain sad that they are being discontinued when they are the most consistently enjoyed presentations. I understand that they will have more of the other entertainers which range from bad to good with most being just fair. Too many acts that I would call "novelty" and too many comedians that are past their prime. Guest speakers were also variable, but mostly interesting. The EXC Coordinator did a good job of orienting the passengers to the many ports. The Excursions Manager was humorous in his descriptions, but not always accurate. We were disappointed in a few of the HAL excursions we took, but providing feedback is very hard and really not encouraged at all.

The staff is the best thing. With few exceptions they are friendly, efficient and helpful. I feel sorry for them trying to provide a great experience while the head office keeps cutting resources and services. A part of many passenger conversations is the ceremonial listing of the ceremonial listing of things that have been taken away and how despite the hundreds of loyal HAL passengers, HAL corporate seems bound and determined to chase them away with a bad loyalty program and never-ending cutbacks. Sadly, the reputation that HAL has earned in the past will be very hard to rebuild once it is gone completely.

It was a good choice for us, we probably won't be going on this cruise again. We just prefer to explore new terrritory.
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Cabin Review

Large Interior Stateroom
Cabin J
This was a particularly good cabin with a large alcove that other cabins don't have.
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews