My spouse and I were passengers on the July 24 sailing of the Nieuw Amsterdam from Seattle to Alaska. This was the first cruise with paying passengers for Holland America in 497 days (according to the Captain) and only the third large cruise ship with passengers to sail to Alaska following the pandemic lockdown and the temporary suspension of the cabotage law. All in all, this was a wonderful cruise and we were delighted to be a part of it.
Itinerary: The itinerary was excellent. The ship made stops in Juneau, Glacier Bay, Icy Straight Point, Sitka and Ketchikan. Glacier Bay was unquestionably the highlight of the cruise and we spent the better part of the day there, from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., with National Park Rangers providing commentary on the sights we were seeing.
Service: Holland America has long been known for its high level of service. This crew, many of whom were on the dock cheering as we boarded, were practically falling all over themselves to be of help. When we ordered our first drink in the Oceans Bar, our waiter told us that we were his first customers in 17 months and he practically skipped to the bar to fill our requests. The same was true all over the ship; waiters, room stewards, bar tenders, entertainment staff, cooks in the buffet, etc., went out of their way for us.
Our Cabin was pretty much as expected. It is our preference to sail on deck 4 aft whenever we can as on many Holland America ships the balcony is slightly bigger than for other verandah rooms. There was ample closet space but almost no accessible drawer space - 2 small drawers in the night stands and 2 large drawers under the bed (which are too hard for older folk like us to utilize on a daily basis).
This was our third trip to Alaska but only our first to Glacier Bay. It is spectacular! Park Rangers came aboard to provide commentary throughout the day.