1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Amsterdam
This was our third cruise to Alaska. This time we chose to share Alaska with our two daughters and their families. There were 10 total. Alaska gave us it best showing with beautiful sunny weather, whales, snow covered mountains and glaciers. We had 8 ports stops and two glacier national parks. Holland American surprised us with a wonderful children's program "Club Hal." Club Hal opened it's doors the first night and it was winner for the rest of the cruise for the 3, 7 and 9 year old. Club Hal began planned activities in the morning and then would close at 4PM and then reopened at 7PM. to 10. The three year played so hard that she would fall asleep at the dinner table. Her parents would have to order room service for her dinner. The 7 & 9 year old would chose to skip dessert and go to Club Hal. Each night was a special theme such as animals, space, and the last night, a pajama party including pillow fights. When we returned from our shores excursions, Club Hal was available for the children while the parents return to shore for shopping. Our 17 year old granddaughter was not interested in the Club Hal for her age group so I can not review for the teens. She preferred the family activities. We chose the early seating, we had a table of 10. There was a special menu for the children. The 7 year old selected the adult menu. Seafood was his favorite often times ordering double orders of crab legs. The waiter quickly learned what the children liked and often times brought their food before the adult food was ready. We also attended several of the Digital Workshops Sessions, we learned several new techniques. Homer is mainly a fishing port. The Amsterdam docked at what is known as the Spit. School buses provided a free shuttle to the shops of the Spit. If you wanted to visit the town of Homer, a hop-a school bus for $15 would take you around the town. We chose to wonder around the Spit. Old Salty Dawg Saloon gave a view of sailors amusement when on shore. Our daughters went on a day's adventure of kayaking which they declared totally awesome and highlight of the trip. We took the grandchildren to the beach to look for sea life. The next day we spent a to short half day (8AM to 12PM) in Kodiak. Shore excursions sold-out quickly so we were on our own. It was a mile and half walk to town. We visited one museum. A small group of dancers presented an example of Indian dances in the shopping square. We wished that we could have stayed longer. We sailed to Hubbard Glacier. Another beautiful sunny day to view this magnificent glacier. It was more amazing than Glacier National Park. The ship was able to sail within a half mile of the glacier.

Showing off Alaska

Amsterdam Cruise Review by kdsister

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2010
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Neptune Suite with Verandah
This was our third cruise to Alaska. This time we chose to share Alaska with our two daughters and their families. There were 10 total. Alaska gave us it best showing with beautiful sunny weather, whales, snow covered mountains and glaciers. We had 8 ports stops and two glacier national parks.
Holland American surprised us with a wonderful children's program "Club Hal." Club Hal opened it's doors the first night and it was winner for the rest of the cruise for the 3, 7 and 9 year old. Club Hal began planned activities in the morning and then would close at 4PM and then reopened at 7PM. to 10. The three year played so hard that she would fall asleep at the dinner table. Her parents would have to order room service for her dinner. The 7 & 9 year old would chose to skip dessert and go to Club Hal. Each night was a special theme such as animals, space, and the last night, a pajama party including pillow fights. When we returned from our shores excursions, Club Hal was available for the children while the parents return to shore for shopping. Our 17 year old granddaughter was not interested in the Club Hal for her age group so I can not review for the teens. She preferred the family activities.
We chose the early seating, we had a table of 10. There was a special menu for the children. The 7 year old selected the adult menu. Seafood was his favorite often times ordering double orders of crab legs. The waiter quickly learned what the children liked and often times brought their food before the adult food was ready.
We also attended several of the Digital Workshops Sessions, we learned several new techniques.
Homer is mainly a fishing port. The Amsterdam docked at what is known as the Spit. School buses provided a free shuttle to the shops of the Spit. If you wanted to visit the town of Homer, a hop-a school bus for $15 would take you around the town. We chose to wonder around the Spit. Old Salty Dawg Saloon gave a view of sailors amusement when on shore. Our daughters went on a day's adventure of kayaking which they declared totally awesome and highlight of the trip. We took the grandchildren to the beach to look for sea life.
The next day we spent a to short half day (8AM to 12PM) in Kodiak. Shore excursions sold-out quickly so we were on our own. It was a mile and half walk to town. We visited one museum. A small group of dancers presented an example of Indian dances in the shopping square. We wished that we could have stayed longer.
We sailed to Hubbard Glacier. Another beautiful sunny day to view this magnificent glacier. It was more amazing than Glacier National Park. The ship was able to sail within a half mile of the glacier.
kdsister’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Ages 3 to 6
Ages 7 to 9
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Amsterdam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Neptune Suite with Verandah
Cabin SA 7046
We had deluxe verandah suite. First time to have a suite and we were spoiled. Plenty of storage room. We did have squeaky noises from chairs being rearranged on the Lido deck above us especially in the morning. Very convenient to the Lido restaurant and the main dining.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Juneau
    In Juneau, the family went different ways. Whale watching was one excursion and they were lucky to have whales show off in all the ways they could. We took the three year old to a musher camp. She loved riding on the sled with the dogs pulling. She was allowed to pet and hold the dogs. Another excursion was the zip line trip in the rain forest. They wanted to go again.
    View All 1,546 Juneau Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Juneau Cruise Port Review
  • Ketchikan
    From embarkation port of Seattle and a day sailing we arrived at Ketchikan. Ketchikan with no rain was amazing. A float plane flight to Misty Ford for two of the family and the lumberjack show for the rest were the shore excursions. The children loved the lumberjack show and proudly took their lumber chips home.
    View All 1,784 Ketchikan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Ketchikan Cruise Port Review
  • Sitka
    Sitka was the second port of call. No shore excursions. We were in walking distance of the sights we wanted to see. The Eagle Raptor was a must for us to see. The Archangel Dancers give us view of the Russian Heritage.
    View All 336 Sitka Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Sitka Cruise Port Review
  • Skagway
    A visit to the gold rush history was included by way of the White Pass Train. You can go one way on the train then return by bus. The bus stopped at a gold mining camp and we had a chance to try panning for gold. We found a few flakes of gold.
    The next day we spent cruising through Glacier National Park. The following days were different from the usual Alaskan cruises. After a sea day we arrived in the port of Anchorage. Since were docked in a working port, buses were provided for getting to the heart of Anchorage. We chose the shore excursion to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and Portage Glacier. We had another sunny day to view the sights along the 40 miles of highway south of Anchorage. We were able to get a close look at bears, elk, reindeer, eagle and bisons at the conservation center. We had hopes of the glacier performing for us but it just still proudly in the sun.
    View All 1,124 Skagway Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Skagway Cruise Port Review
  • Victoria
    Sadly the last port was Victoria, Canada. We wished for a longer stay. The ship arrived at 4PM and left at 11PM. We walked into the heart of town and that was about all we had time for. The youngsters were eagerly looking forward to the pajama party.
    In Seattle, debarkation was very smooth. We given a colored tag and a time period which could depart the ship. We were allowed to remain in our cabin until we were ready to leave.
    Very enjoyable trip. The only problem we had was a rain delay flying home.
    View All 1,306 Victoria Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Victoria Cruise Port Review