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Amsterdam Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
399 Reviews

Wonderful Cruise to Alaska

Amsterdam Cruise Review by mlmalone3

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jun 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom

My husband and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. This was our first Holland American cruise, but we had cruised to Alaska before on RC, Princess, and Ignore. We could book an Ocean view room for 14 days for the cost of a Balcony for 7 days, plus we wanted to visit Homer, Kodiak and Sitka. Our Cabin was Ocean view 3376. We had read other reviews about it being noisy, but it fit our budget so we booked. It was noisy...sounded like something being dragged across the floor on the deck above us, but we got used to it and slept great. It was a standard Ocean view, partially blocked, but we could see the water at all times. Our steward was most attentive and helped us get clothing pressed for our formal night as soon as we unpacked, so it would be ready to wear. The bath room had a bath tub which was a plus and made it much roomier to shower than other cruise lines we have been on prior. We chose Anytime dining, and we loved it. We dined with folks from all over the world...always fun to learn about different cultures. We are not retired and were in the minority of the patrons of HAL but we enjoyed our quiet cruise immensely. The food was wonderful in the main dining room as well as the buffet. We do not frequent the specialty dining while cruising unless we've had a poor experience in the main dining room. We found the shows after dinner enjoyable....high energy and entertaining. I won $150 in Bingo so that was fun. We enjoyed Coffee with the CD also. Being our 5th cruise to Alaska, we did our own excursions. In Ketchikan, we rented a car and went exploring. We went to the End of the Road and hiked Lunch Creek and stopped at Totem Bight State Park and enjoyed the history of the totem poles. We also stopped at Walmart and picked up a couple of things we needed. Before turning in the rent car, we drove a bit and visited Bawden Street Brewery. Hubby is into microbrews. Tracy Arm Fjord was next and it was our first time there. Scenic viewing did not disappoint....beautiful sunny day...absolutely gorgeous. We saw whales and lots of eagles from the ship..fun! Juneau- rent car again...drove out to Eagle Beach...and saw all the eagles we could want to see. Stopped at Shrine of St Terese on our way back....1st time to visit when it wasn't rainy. Beautiful place. We are not catholic, but as Christians the stations of the cross were beautiful and very emotional for me. We worked our way back in and toured the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery -DIPAC..really neat set up and aquarium in the visitor center, also stopped at Mendenhall Glacier for a few pics before heading to our last stop...Barnaby Brewing...beer tour of Alaska continues...hubby enjoyed, got some stickers and took some pics. Icy Strait Point - it was kinda dreary, cloudy day...we walked around a bit and found some souvenirs to take back. Hubby returned to the ship to workout the in the gym and I stayed and took pictures. Nothing big planned in Icy Strait. Sea Day-enjoying the deck and reading for me. Then into Anchorage...had a rent car there also. ...and we headed to the Zoo. It was lots of fun. We enjoyed seeing all the animals and watching kiddos encounter the animals as well. It was a beautiful day and we spent the morning there. We found Midnight Sun Brewing Co and taproom. We had a great lunch and hubby got to taste more microbrews. They have a fun taproom, windows open, server was from Houston, so of course we talked a bit. WE also stopped Knight's Taxidermy. We used to watch Mounted in Alaska on History Channel...this is the place. My hubby is an outdoors man and they have a fantastic shop. We returned the rent car and got an Uber to head back to meet the shuttle back to the ship. Homer- we bought a ticket onboard for a bus trip into town from the spit. Once in town, we visited the Pratt Museum...spent 1-2 hours in there..enjoyed our visit. We walked to the visitor center in Homer and called a Taxi to go to Homer Brewing Co....Alaskan beer tour continues...(our sons were very jealous) We called another ride and they dropped us off at the Salty Dog Saloon...what a historic joint...took a few pictures and caught the shuttle back to the ship. Kodiak- first time in Kodiak...rented a car and drove out to Ft. Abercrombie State Park....we loved the history...learned a lot that we didn't know about Alaska in WWII. We hiked around a bit to find different things still in place from the war. Very enjoyable and informative. We drove on the main road a bit just looking, it was rainy so we headed back to town and to Kodiak Island Brewing...another microbrew in the books. WE visited Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, and again very informative and we enjoyed the video they show about the history of Kodiak. Hubbard Glacier- we first saw this glacier in 2007 and it was rainy. 2 cruises the weather didn't cooperate, so this time we were so excited to see the sun shining. It was marvelous. When the crew and staff are all out and taking pictures you know it's a good day...lots of calving...great day for pictures. Sitka - our first time to Sitka and Fortress of the Bears was place we wanted to visit. The shuttle brings you into town and we got another paid shuttle out to the bears and then they would take you to Alaska Raptor Center then back to catch the shuttle. So we enjoyed our time with the bears, very entertaining. They took us to the Raptor Center and several of us didn't go in, we walked down to the main street and crossed it into the Sitka National Historical Park. We followed the paved path to the visitor center and went through the exhibits there. The park was beautiful and we learned more things about the totem poles. We walked back along the harbor stopping in town at Bayview Pub for some Fish and Chips...delicious! We walked back to the shuttle stop and then back to the ship. Victoria- last stop- last day of vacation- we walked around a bit and took some pictures of the historic sites. Then took the shuttle back to the dock and found the Breakwater Bistro and Bar....delicious clam chowder and hubby's last microbrew on vacation. We walked back to the ship and started packing up a bit. Next morning, we went up to the buffet for breakfast and then did the self-disembark and carried our bags down to our Uber and off to the airport we went. It took a pandemic to make me sit down and write a review, but it's done. WE are sold on HAL, whenever we can get back to Alaska they will be our first choice.


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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin H 3376

As I said earlier, we enjoyed our room. It was large enough for us to move around in. We had no issues with a/c and we got used the sound. Our steward was wonderful and helpful and we tipped him generously.


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