254 Seattle Holland America Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

We took the SoundTransit (light rail to downtown from airport)) 2 blocks from the hotel. The next morning rideshare was 15 mins to pier. Be warned after the Seattle cruise rideshare pickup is way past the regular pickup. Keep walking. ... Read More
We took the SoundTransit (light rail to downtown from airport)) 2 blocks from the hotel. The next morning rideshare was 15 mins to pier. Be warned after the Seattle cruise rideshare pickup is way past the regular pickup. Keep walking. Getting on was smooth and getting off was a pleasure with Port Valet. Thank you Seattle Port Authority. Cabins, Dining, Service, Ship Condition, Entertainment, Activities and Ports were all good to great. Where I felt Holland hit it out of the park was the diversity of offerings on board. We met a couple at dinner and hung out throughout the adventure, each enjoyed very different activities in addition to our shared interests. Cruiser 1 - Thermal Spa, Windows Classes, EXC Port Album Cruiser 2 - ShipFliks, Happy Hour, Movie Theater, Port Tours on TV Cruiser 3 - Stage Shows, Bridge, Vegetarian Dining Cruiser 4 - Library Recliners, Northern Lights, Stage shows and the Movie Theater. Notable food observations: The omelet bar starboard 5 stars, the DiVE IN Mushroom burger was extra special and all 14 days the Soups and Sauces were fabulous. We all loved scenic cruising, seeing whales and bumping into an iceberg. Favorite Excursion...rented a car in Juneau and drove to Mendenhall and the Hatchery. Favorite walkabout... walked to Sitka Raptor Center and took the Historical Park trails back to the Visitor Center, Science Center and then port shopping. Our Advice: need some sort of water bottle filling station and longer Happy Hour :) In Ketchikan early morning we enjoyed watching many float planes take off next to ship. Seriously, given the funding and open calendar, We would have gotten right back on board for another 14 days! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This had a very good itinerary, with plenty of time in Anchorage and Victoria. Although, lots of smoke in Anchorage due to nearby fires. The staff on this ship is wonderful. They all seemed to have great attitudes, and were willing ... Read More
This had a very good itinerary, with plenty of time in Anchorage and Victoria. Although, lots of smoke in Anchorage due to nearby fires. The staff on this ship is wonderful. They all seemed to have great attitudes, and were willing to help. The ship still maintains a quiet elegance although it’s scheduled for dry dock next May. The public spaces never seem crowded, and the onboard entertainment on the Main Stage was very good. Three production shows, three comedians/magicians, and a wonderful pianist (Ryan Ahern). Temperatures during the day were in the high 60’s, but I definitely recommend warm clothes for being out on deck. The Hubbard Glacier was a good highlight. We were able to get very close, and their was calving during our visit. We also had a lot of whale sightings off the ship. This was our 4th cruise to Alaska, and I recommend this line for anyone looking for a quiet, and enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have taken several Alaskan cruises, the most recent on the Amsterdam. While we enjoyed the ports, it was not our best cruise. The Amsterdam is worn and dated (although I've read a drydock is in her future). We took our chances ... Read More
We have taken several Alaskan cruises, the most recent on the Amsterdam. While we enjoyed the ports, it was not our best cruise. The Amsterdam is worn and dated (although I've read a drydock is in her future). We took our chances and flew to Seattle the day of the cruise. We arrived before noon and our shared shuttle driver had us to the pier in no time. Check in was fast and our cabin was ready for us. Muster drill was held outdoors. We had a Vista suite and it was similar to what Norwegian calls a mini suite. There was nothing special about the cabin. No butler, sparking wine or afternoon treats. We had a walk in shower instead of a tub and we were grateful for that. Except for the lack of water pressure! The cabin was tight for two. A larger person would have to walk sideways to get around the bed. We had a sofa, glass top coffee table and and end table. The lamp on the end table had a single USB port. The lamp can be switched on and off from a wall switch. More than once, the wall switch was off and our device didn't charge. The refrigerator was inside the end table. It functioned but was completely iced over. The desk area held the 32" tv, DVD player, ice bucket, a make up mirror that once lit up and more drawers than we could use. A handheld hair dryer and another mirror were in one of the drawers. The tv had horrible resolution and more often than not, no satellite reception. The ship does have an extensive DVD library for just this very reason. The balcony held 2 chairs and ottomans along with a tiny end table. We sometimes brought the ottomans inside the cabin so we could watch a movie a little more comfortably. The room darkening drapes were a necessity in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Also, one person could sleep while the other watched tv, with the additional drape adjacent to the bed pulled closed. Food is always subjective but after 50+ cruises, I wasn't impressed. Food was often cold. How can pancakes be cold and hard when you are one of the first guests served in the dining room? Buffet food was not at all appetizing. I did appreciate buffet items being served to you but the selections were very limited as were the times the Lido was open. Don't expect to stop for a snack after attending a show in the theater as the Lido is closed from 8pm til 10:30pm. If the show on the main stage isn't your cup of tea, a movie is shown nightly in the much smaller Wajang theater. America's Test Kitchen shared this space. If you want a seat for ATK get there 45 minutes before the program starts. It is one of the few activities available on sea days. Other activities included Microsoft and photography workshops and several EXC pesentations. Mahjongg was offered every afternoon but at strange times. The casino is small but was never crowded. As a non-smoker, it did not seem smoky. The shops were constantly trying to sell old stock from the 2019 World Cruise. We had been to Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait, Sitka and Victoria on previous cruises. Weather was not on our side so our rain gear came in handy. One morning, I did a load of laundry before we went ashore. $2 to wash and the dryer was free. Best deal on board the ship. They even provide the detergent. We enjoyed walking around Anchorage and Kodiak Island. Our friends have a summer home in the Homer area so we spent the day with them. A highlight was visiting the Kilcher homestead from the Discover program Alaska: The Last Frontier. We also cruised Dawes and Hubbard Glaciers. Amazing! We purchased the Victoria shuttle through Holland. We could've purchased the exact shuttle from the provider at 2/3rds of the cost. We should've known better. We do enjoy cruising Holland America but the Amsterdam was too small for us. My husband was quite bored, especially during the day time hours. Our past experience was on the Eurodam, so we'll stick with a similar size ship in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Absolutely everything in this two-week cruise was amazing from the moment we entered the cruise terminal in Seattle to the moment we exited the same terminal upon return. We got a last minute, inexpensive upgrade to a Lanai stateroom ... Read More
Absolutely everything in this two-week cruise was amazing from the moment we entered the cruise terminal in Seattle to the moment we exited the same terminal upon return. We got a last minute, inexpensive upgrade to a Lanai stateroom and were so glad we did! Thoroughly enjoyed the door taking us out to the Lower Promenade deck and allowing us to see out to the ocean and ports we visited as well as the scenery and wildlife. The reserved deck chairs outside our cabin were awesome (although a little hard to get out of) and perfect for the at sea days and drifting through Tracy Arm Fjord and toward Hubbard Glacier. We have decided that we would like to try and always get a Lanai stateroom (five of the HAL ships have them) because it offers the freedom to view what's happening outside and being able to enjoy the fresh air, ocean, and scenery as it goes by without the extra cost of a private veranda. We also very much enjoyed watching people walking by (and knowing they couldn't see inside) and visiting with our Lanai "neighbors". The staff who took care of the room for us were awesome and attentive to our every need and want. Room service was great for the times we didn't feel like heading out to eat and the morning pre-ordered breakfast was nice to take advantage of when desired. Cabin was spacious enough, bed that was supposed to be a queen actually was more in the king-size range and quite comfortable. Laundry service! We can't recommend buying the laundry package enough! Out in the morning, back in the evening and so nicely done. We were across from the laundry room but didn't want to stress over laundry and waste time doing it. The $100 we spent for the service was well worth the price of not having to worry about clean clothes. Pinnacle Grill... wow - what a great restaurant. We loved our experience there and will be doing it again on our next two cruises in 2020. Main Dining Room was very nice, we loved the food, menu selections available, atmosphere, and service. Lido Buffet was where we did most of our meals. Can't express enough how we loved the selections, variety, quality, and non-crowded lines. The wait-staff (especially Monica and Apicha) were fabulous. Never had a bad meal or experience there. We also loved that they had no sugar added dessert selections. Dive In restaurant at the Lido Pool was very good - the taco bar and selections from the grill were great! Crow's Nest Happy Hour and trivia rocked! Can't beat the view from there, either. We loved the ambience of the entire ship - I was amazed and thrilled with the Faberge Egg collection (have wanted for all my adult life to see Faberge in person) as well as the museum quality antiquities on display. Very nice! Music in the lounge areas was nice and not annoying (which is always a plus when you want to just chill and drink). We did not go to any of the shows, but heard the comedian was very good. Simone, the ship's photographer, was amazing and did such a great job taking our photos on one of the gala nights. We were happy to purchase the photo package as our pictures were very professionally done - they will be used for Christmas cards this year. Quality of the excursions was as described. We didn't feel we paid too much for anything. Will definitely use HAL for our excursions on future cruises. Guest services desk had wonderful, very helpful and courteous staff - always ready to provide exactly what was requested. Maybe it's because the Amsterdam was our first cruise ship, but we will always look for HAL cruise itineraries with this ship first when planning future vacations. We are incredibly impressed with Holland America and plan on cruising with this line from now on. Looking into Seabourn now (another Carnival/HAL line), as well. Thank you Holland America and MS Amsterdam for making our first cruise the most memorable vacation we've had up to now! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are a couple in our early 60’s. We traveled with another couple. We stayed at the Homewood Suites downtown. We took an Uber to the port which was very close to the port at around 10:00 AM. We were on the ship by 11:45. We were ... Read More
We are a couple in our early 60’s. We traveled with another couple. We stayed at the Homewood Suites downtown. We took an Uber to the port which was very close to the port at around 10:00 AM. We were on the ship by 11:45. We were able to go straight to our rooms. We had a nice quiet lunch in the main dining room. The Amsterdam is an amazing ship! Very clean and nicely decorated! Smaller ship but easy to get around. Since our cabin was on the 3rd floor it was very easy to get to the main dining room which was one floor up. Love being in the back of the ship. Dining: We went to the Pinnacle Grill three times. Love the menu and the waiters and waitresses. Lobster bisque, shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, lobster tail and filet were all so amazing! Also had the scallops, candy bacon and porterhouse! All were amazing. Wahyu and Kay were so amazing in the Pinnacle. We also went to the Canalleto one night. Liked their menu also. Mira and Carla were amazing and always friendly and nice when ever we saw them! The main dining room was great. We ate most of our meals there including a couple of lunches and breakfast. Amazing Amin, was one of our favorite waiters! Always had a smile on his face. The last at sea day they served surf and turf and shrimp cocktail in the dining room. Very good! The Lido serves an awesome breakfast. Lots of different juices. Egg making station, pancakes etc station. Lunch they have a great salad station. Ports: Awesome itinerary! Picked this cruise for all the amazing ports! Ketchikan: Bering Sea Fisherman Tour was excellent. We did this tour 11 years ago and couldn’t wait to go back. It was rainy and cold but they provided raincoats and they had heaters on the boat. We watched them catch fish and crabs in the pots. You could hold rock crabs etc. They threw herring and we watched the eagles fly down and catch them . An awesome shore excursion not to be missed! The boat docks right in town. Lots of nice shops etc. Sawyer Glacier at Tracy Arm was beautiful. Nice relaxing day. Juneau: We took the Jeep Wrangler 4 Door Jeep tour. We booked through the ship. We went on our own to the Mendenhall glacier and hiked to Nugget Falls. So nice to take our time and explore at our own pace. We also went to Saint Therese Chapel which was beautiful location in the woods. Amazing area! Then onto the Fish hatchery. Very cool to see that many fish! Icy Strait Point: TOK River Outfitters is a company we found on line. They were awesome! We went halibut fishing! Between the six of us we caught about 25 halibut! The boat was in pristine shape and Nick the captain and Tammy were so amazing! They baited our lines and released all our catches for us. They went out of their way to make our day so awesome! It was a rainy and cold day but we were having so much fun catching fish we didn’t even notice the weather. Anchorage: There is a free shuttle to town. We booked the Glacier Quest Cruise through Phillips 26 Glacier Cruises on line. We actually called direct and got a AAA discount for the cruise. We booked the motor coach for transportation to Whittier which is where the tour begins. The glaciers we visited were beautiful! The lunch was great! This excursion takes all day but it was so amazing to get up so close to the glaciers. We chose the glacier quest which was a shorter cruise because we worried we would not have enough time for the longer 26 glacier cruise. As it turned out though, there was just enough time for the time we had at port to take either cruise. Homer: We took the free shuttle to the Spit. Nice area for souvenir shopping for some unusual things. We booked a private tour through Bay Excursions for a Marine Wildlife Tour. The tour was right down by the water at the spit. We saw puffins and otters and eagles. Very Knowledgeable guys on board our boat. The captain was great! Kodiak: We took the free shuttle to town. The guys booked a Bear Viewing tour through Island Air Service. Expensive but the best tour! Up close to see bears in the wild. They flew them to Fraser Lake in float planes and you are very near where the salmon are. The bears were very close to where they stood and watched them. My friend and I booked a floatplane tour with Andrews Air. We were so close to the mountain peaks that I felt like I could touch them. The take off and landing on the water was so smooth. We highly recommend either place, which were next door to each other, for floatplane trips. Hubbard Glacier: Amazing day to see the Hubbard Glacier up close. The ship offers an excursion to get off the ship to go see the glacier even closer. We didn’t do it though since we had been very close to glaciers in Whittier when we were there. The scenery is just undesirable at the passage into the glacier. Sitka: We took the shuttle to town. We booked a tour on our own with Captain Gary’s Sitka Adventures for a Whale watch. Gary met us in town and took us out on his pristine boat. It was just the four of us. Gary was amazing! We saw so many whales. We saw otters. Beautiful area! Gary was the best! Victoria: The shuttle offered by the ship is $15.95/pp to town. We took a taxi directly to the Butchart Gardens on our own. Way cheaper. The Gardens are about 40 minutes from where the shuttle drops you off at the Empress Hotel in town. The gardens are the most amazing gardens we have ever seen. Highly recommend going there. Embarkation: The Port Valet offered by SEA/TAC is an awesome way to go. Put your bags out at midnight and you don’t have to deal with them until you get to your baggage claim at your final destination. FREE too!!! This itinerary was so awesome! We hoped to go to these same ports next year but they changed them. No Kodiak or Sitka! We hope they bring them back. This was our 16 cruise. 6th cruise with Holland America. We really love Holland!! One big plus for us is that Holland America Line has a priest on board for all their cruises. We really love that they do this! All in all, we can’t say enough how wonderful this cruise was. Alaska is an awesome place to visit! So much untouched amazingly beautiful scenery!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Chose it for the length, route and price. As usual, embarkation was smooth in Seattle. Cabin was standard ocean view and clean but showing age on chair arms, window frame rust and tile/plastic bathroom walls and sink. Chose ... Read More
Chose it for the length, route and price. As usual, embarkation was smooth in Seattle. Cabin was standard ocean view and clean but showing age on chair arms, window frame rust and tile/plastic bathroom walls and sink. Chose any-time dining and booked same table for entire trip. Wait staff fantastic and food excellent most of the time. (Cream soups seem to be the same plain cream poured over a handful of different ingredients each meal.) Onion soup, offered on every menu was usually excellent except a couple of times when it was way too salty. Rudy's Sel de Mer was a total three-course mess at a ridiculously high price. It began with a half-cooked scallop as an amuse-bouche. Next came a seafood tower for me - routine salad bar popcorn shrimp salad, less than a teaspoon of crab meat and I passed on the octopus. My entree was a really tough whole Dover sole which had more in common with the shoe variety than the seafood type. A friend had the Maine lobster which amounted to two baby critters smaller than prawns. (I didn't know things that small were even legal to harvest.) Other friend raved about rack of lamb. Desert was supposed to be Crepes Suzette. Again, very disappointing. Crepe was very tough, smeared with what seemed to be orange marmalade and served lukewarm with half melted ice cream. No way close to being Crepe Suzettes. Friends profiteroles were standard issue from the Lido. To complete the evening, the wine steward never bothered to return and refill wine glasses and overall service was excruciatingly slow. As standard these days, all land excursions were very expensive and on-board entertainment reduced to the minimum with old BBC videos and house band filling in a couple of times. Favorite locales remain Icy Strait Point, Hubbard glacier viewing and Homer. Other ports/sights are okay but tend to be similar to each other and offer the usual search for wildlife/birds, some totem poles and a church here and there. Cruising remains a bargain if you can ignore a lot of the overpriced things on offer but it seems the day of inclusive pricing is about over. Cruise lines have adopted the airline pricing model - quote a cheap fare, and then add port fees/taxes and a $14.50 a day service charge per passenger called a tip, and then charge exorbitant fees for everything else. I expect to see all menus with à la carte pricing within a year or two. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This July the family decided to go on a cruise to Alaska on the Holland America Amsterdam. We had 7 people in our group and had 2 rooms. Everything on our cruise was absolutely perfect. The ship was very comfortable and up to ... Read More
This July the family decided to go on a cruise to Alaska on the Holland America Amsterdam. We had 7 people in our group and had 2 rooms. Everything on our cruise was absolutely perfect. The ship was very comfortable and up to date. The food was excellent and the service was perfect. Holland America gave us a perfect 7 day vacation and we’ll be looking forward to our next cruise on holland America’ We frequently hear how Holland America is the over 90 crowd but this trip the ship was filled with families and lots of kids. We had 2 18 year olds in our group and they enjoyed Holland America so much that they have been next summers family trip on Holland America. We decided Holland America gets the over 90 reputation from their world cruises as the only people that can take a 100 day cruisr are retired. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We did an Alaskan cruise 6 years ago and loved it so we wanted to return. Alaska is a great destination for us to escape summer heat and experience beauty. We traveled to and from Seattle. Our cabin was 2715 and a great location for us. It ... Read More
We did an Alaskan cruise 6 years ago and loved it so we wanted to return. Alaska is a great destination for us to escape summer heat and experience beauty. We traveled to and from Seattle. Our cabin was 2715 and a great location for us. It is at back of boat where there were only 2 cabins so there was no traffic. It was quiet. A hidden gem was a small deck on the back, almost private with access through the hall. We went to the shows every night and enjoyed them. There were 2 Gala nights, however we decided to be a bit more casual so did not attend. We ate dinner in dining room a few times as well as lunch. Loved the Lido for breakfast and the Crows Lounge for relaxation. Ports were great with the exception of Victoria which we were not a fan of. We chose to purchase excursions in the port as the prices were better and even got discounts too. My favorite port was Skagway as you are able to take a tour out of the town and experience natural beauty. We traveled with Frontier Excursions. The vehicle size allowed for better tour as there were only 9 of us on the tour. Guide was very familiar with history and area and also helpful in taking pictures. We stopped many spots and went to Yukon and the suspension bridge. In Juneau we went on the whale watch tour with Juneau Whale Watch Company. The boats were small and comfortable. The guides had a lot of information. Out of Seattle we were offered a special program through the Port Authority for free. Our luggage was picked up outside our cabin and put through to our final destination and our boarding passes were printed and delivered to our cabin. This was our second cruise with Holland America and we love them. They seem very professional. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We just returned from a 14 day cruise on a the venerable Grande Dame, Holland America MS Amsterdam. Let me preface this review by saying we (my husband, son and DIL) very much enjoyed this cruise. We chose it for the unique Alaska ... Read More
We just returned from a 14 day cruise on a the venerable Grande Dame, Holland America MS Amsterdam. Let me preface this review by saying we (my husband, son and DIL) very much enjoyed this cruise. We chose it for the unique Alaska Itinerary that included many ports to which we had not been on our previous Alaska cruises. This was our 4th Alaska cruise and first time on Holland America. We have also cruised with Carnival, Norwegian, Celebrity and Viking Ocean. By reading all the previous reviews, we knew that HAL caters to an older crowd; however, "older" is a relative term which in this case means "floating nursing home." I myself am 70 but I felt young and spry on this ship of canes, walkers and wheelchairs. Don't expect to move anywhere quickly, but do expect to meet educated, well traveled shipmates with much good information to share. One of our shipmates reported going to the Lido late-night buffet, when an elderly man wandered in completely naked. Yes, that happened. Holland America knows their target market well, and have staff to help the frail get food at the buffet, enter and exit the ship, and even have the day of the week printed on the rugs in the elevators to help with orientation. This ship still has the great viewing room with floor to ceiling windows that many newer ships have replaced with fee restaurants. There is also a big library/gameroom/computer room with large windows, which is a great place for hanging out. We flew in a day early and had arranged for a car to pick us up at the airport through Seattle Town Cars. Their service was prompt and friendly. They delivered us to The Inn at the Market, which has a good location near Pike Place Market. We did the Savour Seattle food tour, which I recommend. We got to taste many of Pike Place Market's highlight foods including crab cakes, chowder, doughnuts, chocolates, dried cherries, Beecher's cheese and mac'n'cheese, to name a few items. My favorite was the salmon pate piroshky and rhubarb piroshky from "Piroshky, Piroshky." Absolutely delicious! We Uber'd to port, arrived later than most, so there was very little wait in line. We boarded and were able to go straight to our cabin, which I will review in the appropriate section. Dining: I would describe it as hit or miss. It is sometimes hard to find a clean table in the Lido Buffet. Or the table would be clean but the chair greasy or the wide carpeted window bases next to the table would be littered with food crumbs, etc. The bread baker is awesome, the assortment of breads varied and all delicious. And the pastries! You won't find better in Paris--flaky, light and baked to a golden brown perfection. Bravo! We found the Japanese, Chinese and Thai selections to be very good overall. Some soups were very tasty and well-seasoned, others were bland. The gravies on this ship are all deep rich and hearty. I wish I could make gravy that well! If you order filet in the main dining room you will receive a slice of baked tenderloin, good but lacking the crisp sear of a good filet. For that, you would need to eat in Pinnacle Grill, which currently has a $35. per person up charge. It is a bargain at lunch though--only a $10 per person. Make reservations early and know that the Pinnacle has no view and Cannaletto is a closed off section of the buffet (and serves many of the same foods). The Italian foods on this ship are in general just OK. Some dishes (rigatoni) were dried out, some sauces bland or watery. Avoid anything with spinach in it--the veggie lasagna consists of noodles, alfredo sauce and a blob of boiled spinach. Spinach omelettes are similarly yucky. Some foods that would have been delicious had they been served hot, suffered by being served lukewarm or cold. The Dive-Inn burgers fell into the lukewarm category (congealed cheese), but were served with tasty hot fries. Avoid anything with guacamole. It is a blackish-green color. My kids enjoyed the sushi choices and we all liked the salad bar, with many fresh choices, and some excellent house made dressings. I highly recommend the Asian Sesame. The ice cream was a lower quality that I have experienced on any ship, with some choices (chocolate) tasting more like ice milk. My DIL loved the sorbet choices. The Lido has some serve yourself sections, but most hot sections were served by behind the counter servers. This, along with limited hours, led to lines. It was not unusual to wait in a line for your eggs, then wait in another line for your toast. If you do the egg line first, your eggs will be lukewarm, if you do the toast first, it will be cold by the time you get your eggs. The main dining room is beautiful, but has problems. Service varies from very good to glacial, depending on the wait staff in your section and the time of day. We quickly learned where the best wait staff worked and requested their section. (Kudos to waiter Anas at dinner time--- ask for table #177 folks). Be advised that the MDR fills the worst seats first-- the ones that back up to a service station, face a wall, have a view blocked by a large column or surprisingly, are on the side so sunny that you have to pull the curtains and miss the view, while the shady side goes unoccupied. I avoided breakfast in the MDR after two tries. Are they deliberately trying to funnel people to the buffet by making them wait 45 minutes to order and another 45 minutes to receive the order? And then you receive lukewarm eggs, cold toast and cold pancakes. What a disappointment. The room service folks try very hard to get your food to you on time, as ordered and still warm. It is just a long way from the kitchen to the cabins. Toast will be cold (order pastry instead), eggs lukewarm. Do not order the scrambled eggs unless you write in "use fresh eggs," or you will receive tasteless, weird-textured pre-fab eggs. Hint to Holland America: please get some lighter-weight dishes for your hard working servers. Those trays are heavy! And they need a heated cart to keep the food hot. A napkin wrapped around toast is not going to hold in the heat. I only used room service at breakfast--my son and DIL used it once for dinner and commented that it wasn't good. Staff: There were many friendly staff members, but some who seemed stressed, unhappy or unfocused. At breakfast one morning as I waited for my eggs, I watched a (novice?) server mix up the orders, break the over easy eggs, walk away to wipe his nose and then walk back to wipe the edges of the fry pan with the same paper towel. I asked him if he realized what he had just done and he presented a blank stare. After that, I avoided any station where I saw him working. (I did report that to a supervisor.) The room stewards were all very personable and friendly, and there were always smiling folks to wish you a great day as you entered or left the ship. Download the Holland America Navigator App for easy reservations at any of the extra fee dining venues. It has a free chat service with fellow travelers which we found helpful and which was operational most days of our cruise. It also has a list of the days activities, although some days it was not a complete listing and we found it safer to carry our daily newsletter. There was less entertainment on this ship than on any of the other lines on which we have traveled. There were some mediocre to very good singers and dancers, a very funny ventriloquist, an amusing comedian. We liked the violin and piano duo "Adagio." Some evenings the highlight entertainment was a not so current movie or a BBC documentary accompanied by music. Small 1/2-filled bags of cold popcorn were available at the movies. There were also the usual Trivia and Bingo. The Test Kitchen presentations were well attended. If you don't want to stand, you need to arrive 1/2 hour early. They need a mirror over the work surface of the chef, as even if you sit in front, you can't really see what the chef is doing unless you watch the two TV screens at the sides. Might as well skip it, and watch it later in your room. My DIL attended a stretching class which she enjoyed. Each day there is a tea offered at 3 PM. We attended once and it was enjoyable to share a table with new friends, but the bread on the little sandwiches was stale. If you are a swimmer or hot tub lover, this is your ship. They were sparkling clean, the pool is also heated and they were often empty. No problem ever getting a lounge chair and the roof closes whenever the weather is cool/cold. We avoided the casino area because it was so smoky. Unfortunately, the ship's shops are across from the casino and also smoky. I usually enjoy on shop browsing, but not this time. Ketchikan: We booked the George Inlet Crab Feast privately. We have done this before and loved it. I must say that there has been some erosion in quality. Gone was the tasty potato that used to accompany the crab. The dressing on the salad, which was delicious in the past, was not as tangy. In the past, all the crab was fresh and delicious. This time, about one in three tasted watery and not fresh. The fresh ones though were awesome and the cheesecake is creamy and delicious. Be aware that there are many steps to climb to reach the Inn whether you arrive by bus or boat. You can request a ride if you need it. That afternoon, our son and DIL did the Lumberjack show (we just walked up and bought tickets) and they loved it. Juneau: We have done Taku Lodge excursion in the past and it stands out in our memories as one of the best tours we have taken. This time, our son and DIL did it and also loved it. It is expensive, but so worth it. Anchorage: We rented a car from Avis (the "B" street location). We took the free shuttle from port to the drop off point and walked the approximate 5 blocks to Avis. We arrived at around 8:30 AM and there was no line. We drove south along Turnagin Arm which is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. We stopped at Potters' Marsh and watched a pair of geese herd their brood of goslings. We drove on to Girdwood and had a yummy lunch of fried fish and chips at the 5 Chairs Restaurant. It has a charming log cabin feel and a beautiful mountain view. We also stopped at a quirky little coffee shop called "The Grind." We moved on to the Mt. Alyeska Lodge where our son and DIL met their tour for the "Summer Sled Dog Adventure." Both really enjoyed it. Meanwhile my husband and I took the hike through the beautiful woods behind the Inn. There is also a tram up the Mountain for scenic views. We then re-united and finished our day at the Alaska Wildlife and Conservation Center. If I go back, I will rent a car again and do the Portage Glacier Boat ride, which you can book privately. Homer: We loved this port. We took the free bus out onto the Spit. Word of advice--if you plan on shopping, there is no need to arrive before 10AM. We shopped, stopped at the Memorial, walked on the beach and had lunch at The Little Mermaid Restaurant, which I highly recommend. Everything we ordered was top quality and perfectly seasoned and prepared. Service was excellent and friendly and the atmosphere is wonderful. They play great upbeat music and you can hear the happy cooks singing along. Our kids took the Katchemak Bay tour offered by the ship and said it was good. Sitka: We did the Wildlife Quest and Finn Island Lodge tour offered by the ship and enjoyed it. The boat was large, comfortable, with plenty of indoor and outdoor viewing space. We saw one whale blow about 3 times and then dive. We saw many otters and eagles. We then proceeded to the lodge. The room where they serve you is a calm and pleasant banquet hall with a vaulted ceiling and wall of windows overlooking the expansive deck and water view. Everything seems new, fresh and meticulously clean. The food was wonderful--everything fresh, perfectly seasoned, piping hot. It was one of the best meals we had on the entire voyage. After eating, we went out by the bonfire where they had all the ingredients for s'mores, including Reese's cups, which make a surprisingly delicious addition. Sitka is almost always under cloud cover--dress for the likely misty rain. I can only imagine how beautiful this lodge/setting must be on the very rare sunny days they get. Icy Strait Point: We have been before and enjoy this made-for-cruisers stop. This is one of my favorite places for souvenir shopping. There is a nice shoreline walk, and a free exhibition of old canning equipment. Don't miss the trail through the woods behind the main buildings. It is an easy walk that evokes the Frost poem, "The woods are lovely, dark and deep." Seriously, it is the kind of old growth, mossy woods where fairies and hobbits would be right at home. Too bad they are building a ropes course in the center. Kodiak: Next time I will take a flight plane to see the bears. Folks who did that highly recommend it. We did the ship's tour that included a Russian Tea. Our bus arrived a little late. Our guide introduced herself and said that both she and the bus were old but still had good engines. I would add that the bus also had good brakes--more on this later. Every two seats had a washcloth hung over the back, presumably to use on the windows, which had to be closed due to the misty rain. With the windows closed, they quickly misted over and between that and the pea-soup fog, our sight-seeing drive was a bust. We could see absolutely nothing. If you have allergies, avoid this bus, there was mold/algae growing on a panel over the door and around the seals of the windows. At one pint, we drove around a corner and traffic was at a standstill due to some construction. Our driver slammed on the brakes and we hydroplaned sideways into the oncoming lane. Thankfully, there was no oncoming traffic, but it gave us all a scare. Our guide was also our driver and seemed unable to focus on both her driving and delivering her spiel at the same time. We stopped at a chapel of a Russian Orthodox Seminary and learned some history and went into a Russian Orthodox Church where the Pastor gave a presentation. We almost missed this second stop as our guide said the church was not open, until someone commented that they could see people going in and out, so we did stop. The tea part of the tour was held in a large room at at an Episcopal church. The tables were laid out nicely with cloths, china and Russian knick-knacks. The tea was a delicious citrus blend. The borscht was bland, the piroshky had very little filling and paled in comparison to what we had in Seattle. We each had one cookie, which was very good. The best part of this tour was the music, played by a large group with unique stringed instruments and dressed in Russian costumes. It was obvious that they enjoyed playing together and they were excellent musicians. Victoria: We took a taxi from port to our meeting point for the 5 Star Whale Watching Tour. We booked early and were able to get the smaller boat, the "Sailish Shadow." It was just us 4 and the captain and only cost a little more than the other large-group boat. The small boat does have a bathroom, but it is tiny and you literally have to crawl in and out. The hour long boat ride out to find whales is not recommended for anyone pregnant or with back problems. Heed that advice--the ride is jolting, at times my bottom and the boat's were air-borne. Still, I found the ride exciting and kind of like being on a thrill ride at a a fair. We saw only one whale, a transient male orca but were able to follow him along a coast-line, watching him blow, surface and dive. He even rolled once and showed us his pectoral fin. Our driver was excellent at maneuvering to get the best view. After our tour, we walked down to see the floating houses on the wharf, then took the harbor taxi boat back, had delicious lobster rolls at Nautical Nellie's Restaurant, and caught a taxi back to port. The two taxis to and from port were 1/3 the cost of using the ship's shuttle. We also cruised to Sawyer and Hubbard Glaciers. Amazing. We luckily had sunny days for both. Hubbard Glacier is magnificent, reminds me of the great ice wall in Game of Thrones and is backed by snow capped mountains. The glacier talks to you with loud creaks and thundering cracks and we were lucky so see an active day of calving. Sawyer itself is smaller and less impressive, but the scenery as we cruised toward it was beautiful and the sun on the glacial water turned the water to jade. It looked like it was lit from under the water. Mesmerizing. We Uber'd from our final port to the airport. Easy peasy. So, final judgement... would I cruise with Holland America again? Yes, but... only if it offered a unique itinerary that my favorite cruise line (Viking Ocean!) doesn't offer. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
1. Seattle cruise terminal again was organized and FRIENDLY for both departure and arrival. Everything moved smoothly and the wait wasn't unbearable. Plenty of room for all to sit if they so desired. 2. One of the passengers had ... Read More
1. Seattle cruise terminal again was organized and FRIENDLY for both departure and arrival. Everything moved smoothly and the wait wasn't unbearable. Plenty of room for all to sit if they so desired. 2. One of the passengers had been to Alaska on 2 other occasions, second one it was the first trip. We wanted to see as much as we could so we booked the 14 day trip. 3. Each port was unique and glad to have such a variety of places to go. 4. Ship entertainment was good, shows were good, especially enjoyed the coffee with the cruise director. We heard some interesting tales. 5. Service was good from Lido to main dining room to cabin stewards to laundry staff. (we received a personalized note each time laundry was delivered to the room) 6. The dolphin level outside cabin was a good size for 2 passengers. The only "complaint" would have been the single outlet for the entire room. Thank goodness I packed a multi port charger. We had a problem with the shower draining slow and it was taken care of within a few hours (before our next use) 7. Again the ports were good. Juneau in the sun was so much fun, Sitka and Kodiak were our favorites. The Fortress of the Bears and the Raptor Center in Sitka were the highlight of our tours. 8. So many eagles were spotted we lost count but we saw whales and puffins and sea otters and a seal on an iceberg and so much more. 9. We did eat most of our meals in the Lido and from wait staff to line staff couldn't have been more pleased. 10. The Dive In treated us to hamburgers, fries and hot dogs a few times to have that taste of home 11. Met some very interesting friendly fellow cruisers! We would book this itinerary again on Holland America. We might opt for a balcony the next time Oh and the night spent in the cove was pretty cool, just wish it had gotten dark enough to see the stars, it would have been incredible Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise (our 5th to Alaska) because it went to four new ports and we live within an hour of the Seattle port. The itinerary was fabulous. New ports besides the usual and two glacier days. We liked cabin 6118 very much. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise (our 5th to Alaska) because it went to four new ports and we live within an hour of the Seattle port. The itinerary was fabulous. New ports besides the usual and two glacier days. We liked cabin 6118 very much. The only downside was that it was portside and we noticed that starboard had the better views when docked at each port. The cabin was close to the elevator, which we like. We never heard the elevator or people in the hallway. It is roomy with a slightly larger veranda than many. We liked being about 8 cabins from the front of the ship. This made our trips to most places, other than the dining room, fairly close. We both have some ambulatory issues but don’t use a wheelchair. We could go outside at the front of our deck level during our glaciers days. The staff are very accommodating for some issues we had. I needed extra ice and a wedge for the bed due to being 9 weeks post op from shoulder surgery. My husband needed larger front for the daily schedule and for the dining room menu. No problem. They accommodated us very well. Now, for a few negatives and the reason for the 3 stars. The entertainment was rather lame. They had the three same entertainers for 14 days in the bars. There was a duet (piano and violin), a trio that played music from the mostly 1940’s, and a piano bar that wasn’t the fun sing along kind. He was an excellent player but didn’t play much that a 67 year old woman (me) enjoyed. Fourteen days with these same three. Really?! Boring. The stage shows were ok. Four were really good, a xylosyth ( xylophone/synthesizer) show, a guy that sang Beattie songs, a comic ventriloquist, and a comedian. The problem with the ship’s Singers and Dancers was that they had very bright backlit wall behind them for all shows except one and no front lighting, like spotlights or just lighting in general. It made seeing them kind of difficult. There wasn’t any karaoke. All and all, the ship was just rather boring. I think if one just wants to relax in a very quiet place with not much going on, this might be the cruise for you. For the food...the dining room room food all looks beautifully presented but it’s all rather bland. Even the “spicy shrimp”, etc was bland. I could hardly taste curry in my curry dish. There are only two specialty dining restaurants and they are very good. One Italian, and one steak place. The Lido buffet is just okay, like they usually are. Our favorite free place to eat was the Dive In by the pool. It had good burgers, hot dogs, and a taco bar. Ahh. Finally some spice. The ship’s entire crew were very friendly and gave excellent service. We like the crew director very much. He wasn’t over the top like some are. I guess no cruise is a bad cruise. We just like more going on and we aren’t young. We are 67and 72. I read six books and I’m not a fast reader! Better load up your kindle before heading out on this ship! I did two loads of laundry. The washers takes $2.00 in quarters and the dryers are free. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was my 4th cruise to Alaska.(HAL) This time on Amsterdam. She is a lovely ship with many beautiful greek statues. Layout of the ship was very easy. Embarkation and disembarkation was amazingly smooth and fast (as compared to 3 ... Read More
This was my 4th cruise to Alaska.(HAL) This time on Amsterdam. She is a lovely ship with many beautiful greek statues. Layout of the ship was very easy. Embarkation and disembarkation was amazingly smooth and fast (as compared to 3 prior cruises). Cabin was inside with a view on lower prom. deck. Only noise was 9:30 PM approx. when cleaning the deck. We ate all meals in the Lido and the food was outstanding. Entertainment was piano bar (very good) and "On Tour" singers, dancers and musicians was very good. Husband attended all Windows workshops and rates A+. He used the gym and movie theater daily. The service from our cabin to the Lido was excellent (as always in past cruises). Every crew member was happy, smiling, and very courteous. Only shore excursions this time was Fortress of the Bear (Sitka) and the Raptor Center(Sitka) - SO GOOD. In all other ports we walked around on our own. First cruise we had time to enjoy shipboard activities. "Ask The Captain" virtual bridge tour was excellent, as was America's Test Kitchen shows daily. Enjoyed the casino. We have booked a 14 day Alaskan tour onboard Amsterdam in June 2019 and looking forward to it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first cruise. We chose the Amsterdam specifically for its smaller size and itinerary that included Hubbard Glacier. We loved the presentations by Kelly who shared about wildlife, points of interest and historical significance. ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We chose the Amsterdam specifically for its smaller size and itinerary that included Hubbard Glacier. We loved the presentations by Kelly who shared about wildlife, points of interest and historical significance. She came across as smart and witty. We also really enjoyed the entertainment. I’m still humming songs that Don the piano guy chose. Seats in the piano bar were prime real estate when he was singing oldies, Neil Diamond hits, and rock n roll tunes. We were super impressed with a BBC wildlife film set to live music on the main stage. Magical. We went to one gala night, of two, in the main dining room and found the food and service less than spectacular, so most of our meals were taken at the Lido Market. Hubby loved the pasta station where you chose the sauce, veggies and meats that were cooked right there. There was steak on the daily menu and delicious desserts that tickled my palate. My favorite lunch spot was the Dive-In for juicy, delicious, charred to perfection burgers. Breakfast was nearly always served to us via room service. We alternated between fresh fruit and yogurt or perfectly cooked scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and toast. Coffee was hot and strong! Speaking of rooms, we had a veranda suite. The stewards, Bagus and Yoga, tended to our every need—including finding duct tape to patch one of our aged suitcases. The young men were cheerful and attentive. In port, we did a couple excursions. One was booked through the ship and the other through the travel company we booked with via United Airlines. Both were memorable and offered us great subjects for photographs. We did a whale watch in Juneau on a smaller vessel—17 passengers. In Sitka, we went to the raptor center, saw salmon spawning in a stream, visited a park with totems and local carvers, then a native dance performance—all on one excursion. Amelia, our guide, was knowledgeable and witty. We felt that both excursions were money well spent. So, embarkation and debarkation seemed daunting before we went through it. We found it super efficient and organized. No lines. Lots of helpful, cheerful people to show us the way. We used the port porter service in Seattle that allowed us to check in for our United flight onboard and handled our baggage all the way to Colorado Springs, our final destination. No charge! (At this writing, we haven’t gotten to Colorado Springs yet, so I can’t report on whether our luggage will actually get there, so I’ll update once we know the final outcome. The Amsterdam is a beautiful ship. There were lots of different kinds of “public” spaces to enjoy our time at sea. We’d grab a coffee at the Explorer Cafe and spend quiet time nearby where folks were reading, playing games or completing puzzles. The Crow’s Nest offered spectacular views and a bit more energy than the coffee spot. We viewed the approach to Hubbard Glacier from there with Kelly narrating. We chose to take pictures from our stateroom balcony once we got there. The captain positioned the ship so each side, port and starboard, had significant viewing time. I still can’t believe how close we got. The whole Hubbard Glacier event was surreal, unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. So, we loved our cruise. We actually started planning our next cruise before the first was done. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We booked this cruise on a whim as we had never been on a cruise and found a great deal. Seattle isn't far from Vancouver BC Canada (about 2.5 to 3 hour drive) so having this embark and return to Seattle was convenient. We drove ... Read More
We booked this cruise on a whim as we had never been on a cruise and found a great deal. Seattle isn't far from Vancouver BC Canada (about 2.5 to 3 hour drive) so having this embark and return to Seattle was convenient. We drove down in the morning at 7:30AM and parked at Seattle Cruisepark by 10:30 (we had enough time to stop for coffee). They have shuttles that take you to and from the terminal every 15-20 minutes so it was quite convenient. Embarkation was great and straight forward. A porter took our bags before hand and they were already in our room by the time we got on board. Our room was configured in a twin-bed setup, and after our concierge introduced themselves we asked them if they could change it to a single-bed setup while we roamed the ship. They happily obliged. We went straight for the Lido deck to eat as our morning drive and check in left us starving. It did not disappoint as there were plenty of foods ready for everyone as soon as the boarded. The ship itself wasn't particularly huge, but you didn't feel confined either. Memorable for us were the variety of shows on the main stage every night. You could gamble at the casino, go to some cooking demonstrations, watch movies in a theatre, swim, relax in hot tubs, drink in the birds nest or on the Lido rear deck; plenty to do. The main dining room is surprisingly elegant and huge, and the food was delicious there as well as the Lido Buffet. One night we had dinner at the Pinnacle grill. I swear, I had THE BEST 18 oz Ribeye Steak that i've ever had in my life (and this is from a guy who has eaten a fair share of steak!). One night we danced as the Birds Nest turns into a club with dance floor and nearby bar. Alaska cities were beautiful, and the time of year we went (1st week of September) happened to have warm weather at all of our stops. Juneau was 26 degrees celcius!!! Hubbard Glacier was nice as the boat engines were turned off and the only sounds were the calving of ice into the bay. The tradition of Pea Soup served to those on deck was neat, as I don't often have pea soup. In Ketchikan I got to see the Time Bandit (a boat from the show, Deadliest Catch) in port. Sitka Alaska didn't have much to do in town and we didn't book any excursions, so we took the day to relax while everyone went off-ship as well as do laundry so that we didn't have to do so much when we got home. Onboard there are a few laundry rooms with several washer/dryers. Washers cost $2.00 a load, and you can get change from the Front Desk. Soap is free, as well as the Dryers. We popped our clothes in and went to eat with plenty of time before going back to swap the clothes in the dryer and go back to the Birds Nest for some Pina Coladas. For a 7 day cruise near our home and for our first time, this cruise was excellent and we are itching to book our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our 5th cruise first trip to Alaska and on Holland. We booked last minute and ended up with a cabin on the main deck 2647. It was quiet with a walk in shower! We bought the spa pass and felt it was our own spa for the cruise. ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise first trip to Alaska and on Holland. We booked last minute and ended up with a cabin on the main deck 2647. It was quiet with a walk in shower! We bought the spa pass and felt it was our own spa for the cruise. We used it in the morning after our exercise in the gym and it was empty. The service was top rate from room Stewart to dining to ocean bar. Everyone referred to us by name and were very attentive. The food was the best I have experienced on all cruise lines(carnival, celebrity,norwegian and royal caribbean). We were in the dining room for lunch and dinner and it was fantastic. We did 2 excursions: In Juneau we did the whale watching and Mendenhall glacier. The whale watching boats so crowded 150 people? Too many! In Sitka we did an ATV which was fantastic. There was only one other couple. We took a small boat to a volcanic island and saw 3 whales, sea otters and bald eagle. The ATV was fun and beautiful scenery. Afterward we went to town and the totem pole park. Hubbard glacier was breathtaking. In Ketchikan just walked the town. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had been to Alaska in June on the Celebrity Solstice and my wife wanted to go back to Alaska. We booked a last minute cruise on the Amsterdam because it was out of Seattle, visited a couple of new places, and the price was right. The ... Read More
We had been to Alaska in June on the Celebrity Solstice and my wife wanted to go back to Alaska. We booked a last minute cruise on the Amsterdam because it was out of Seattle, visited a couple of new places, and the price was right. The ship has an old world feel and was very comfortable. The food was not up to the same standard as the Solstice. The entertainment was slightly better. One of the reasons we took this cruise was that it went to Hubbard Glacier and Sitka. Hubbard Glacier was amazing! We stayed at the glacier for more than enough time to see several calvings. The captain also rotated the ship to give both sides of the ship time to experience the glacier. I would go back just to see Hubbard Glacier again! Sitka was also great. It had a completely different feel from all the other ports. We would take a cruise on the Amsterdam again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our 9th cruise, first time on HAL, first time to Alaska. Excellent cruise all around. We spent a day in Seattle the day prior to boarding, Having seen the wine prices listed on HAL online, we decided to bring a case of wine ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise, first time on HAL, first time to Alaska. Excellent cruise all around. We spent a day in Seattle the day prior to boarding, Having seen the wine prices listed on HAL online, we decided to bring a case of wine onboard and pay the $18 per bottle corkage fee. We found a nice selection of wines for under $20, 15% discount on a case, at Pike’s Place Market wine store (Pike and Western Wine Shop, 1934 Pike Place). We used Lyft from the airport to our hotel (Homewood Suites Downtown – pretty good), from Pike’s Place to the hotel, from the hotel to the port and from the port to the airport. Very easy. If you are a new customer, look for a Lyft discount code displayed at baggage carousel when you land. Embarkation was super easy. No lines to wait in at noon, and so many smiling faces. One of our party forgot his passport – we were directed to a lovely woman who assured us that the colored copy we had was sufficient! I have carried copies of our passports for years, and this is the first time I had to use it. Disaster averted. Before we went to check in, we were directed to a table where corkage fee was charged to our room and stickers were put on the bottles, assuring that we could drink it anywhere on the boat. We were told at check in that our rooms were ready! So nice to go right to the room and be rid of carry-ons and wine. We were in rooms 6102 (ocean view – front of ship) and 6116 (port side verandah). Good location for ease in getting around ship. Each room had 2 robes, 2 pair slippers, 2 wool throw blankets. The verandah room had binoculars. 6102 had a tub, 6116 had a shower stall. 6102 had a sloped ceiling, which made the room seem smaller, and reduced the closet space somewhat. Both rooms had wonderful views. We really felt the ship movement the first night from Seattle towards Juneau. Other times, we felt movement/vibrations, probably due to the smallness of the ship and the Pacific Ocean. Not a major issue – did not see any seasick people. Room 6102 was above the theater and on some late nights the noise was annoying. The combo of movement, noise, and sloped ceilings would keep me from booking this room again. Weather was mostly cloudy, with highs in the 50’s and 60’s. We did not have any pelting rain while on shore. In Sitka, the sun even came out! For excursions/walking outside decks, layers were key. Two of our party wore long underwear. I wore a long sleeved wicking shirt, then a polartec fleece hooded sweatshirt, a lightweight down jacket and covered it all with a raincoat. Combined with a hat and light gloves, that took care of the coldest day – at the Hubbard Glacier. Low hiking boots were perfect for everywhere. On our kayaking excursion and our jeep/canoe excursion, raincoats/waterproof pants were offered. The interior of the ship was very warm. We were fine in short sleeves, and never needed sweaters or shawls at dinner. The Amsterdam is a lovely ship, with great service from everyone. There is a huge library, lots of public spaces with expansive views, and a card room with playing cards, chess sets, mahjong and many games and puzzles. The staff is very low key – you won’t be pestered to buy anything, or pose for photos. We really appreciated that aspect. The clientele does skew older. There were some children onboard, but mostly as part of large family groups. Our mid-twenties kids were perfectly happy with available activities. The food was very good in the dining room and the Lido. I am a vegetarian and each night at dinner, I was offered both the menu for the next day and the special vegetarian menu so I could choose the next night’s meal. We had second seating but were able to switch to first seating on our last night so we could visit Victoria at the 6 pm docking. We enjoyed the America Test Kitchen demonstrations – it was standing room only most of the time, so arrive early. I booked two of our excursions (Glacier View Kayaking in Juneau and Canoe and Jeep Adventure in Ketchikan) through Costco and the Sitka Marine Adventure directly at their website (sitkawildlifetours.com). We were joined by people from our ship who had booked directly from HAL, and there was no issue about getting back to the ship on time was not an issue. Liked all the excursions, highly recommend the Sitka Marine Adventure! Debarkation was painless and quick. We managed our own bags, and exited about 8 a.m. We made it from the stateroom to the airport in under an hour. Sea-Tac was very busy, with long lines for checking baggage and TSA screening. We had no trouble making our 11:20 a.m. flights. Definitely planning to cruise with HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My Mother bought us a family cruise for all of us for our Birthdays. We were very excited. The whole trip was a disaster on the Ansterdam. 1st day they gave my brother’s in laws a 2 bed bedroom and my other brother and his daughter a ... Read More
My Mother bought us a family cruise for all of us for our Birthdays. We were very excited. The whole trip was a disaster on the Ansterdam. 1st day they gave my brother’s in laws a 2 bed bedroom and my other brother and his daughter a one bed bedroom. They would of switched rooms but my brother’s room had no hot water the whole 7 days of the trip. They wouldn’t switch the room for him or the in laws. So he and my niece had too shower in my Moms room and they would only give her a $200 credit. The toilets did work for a couple of hours 3 times and we didn’t have water from 12 midnight till 5 am and it still didn’t really fix the problem. The DVD player in my room didn’t work, TV was fuzzy the safe locked me out. The movie they played in the so called movie theater was the same movies they played on the 2 TV movie channels. Their nature experts couldn’t answer simple question like does Alaska have Racoons. She said they didn’t but we asked a excursion guide and he said of course we do. The food was not soso the service was poor. I could go on and on. My brother summed it up the cruise was a floating Motel 6 with Denny’s food. Alaska was beautiful! It was just a awful ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Really enjoyed this cruise. Things were very organized and flowed well. Management were responsive to feedback. I had been worried I'd be bored, but there really were enough different activities, presentations, shows, etc., that I ... Read More
Really enjoyed this cruise. Things were very organized and flowed well. Management were responsive to feedback. I had been worried I'd be bored, but there really were enough different activities, presentations, shows, etc., that I didn't experience this. I had loaded a bunch of books onto my Kindle just in case but barely spent any extra time reading. The Hubbard Glacier was definitely the highlight of the voyage. Just an incredible sight and cool to hear and see the calving. I was really surprised at just how close the ship got to it. Saw plenty of whales and porpoises. It's quite enjoyable sitting there eating a meal while watching whales. The Rudi's Sel de Mer night was exquisite dining! Can't recommend it highly enough. Lido food often was more flavorful than the main dining room. Although the Asian tastes offerings were fairly sad. Didn't matter if it was called Vietnamese, Malaysian, Singaporean, etc., it all tasted the same. But it isn't as comfortable as the main dining room, and service can be hit or miss. It can also get pretty dawn busy in there. We really enjoyed eating breakfast in the main dining room. Much more relaxed, much less crowded, and great offerings. The food experience in the MDR improved during the cruise, though. Pinnacle Grill was also great and holds really well to the steakhouse theme. Go hungry, though. Portions are very good-sized. The biggest disappointment was in-room dining. The first day we ordered breakfast and were told it would take 45 mins. It took over an hour, and they left things off. Our 2nd try was much improved. We did in-room breakfast on the final day, and it was missing stuff, too, but at least they showed up on time. Getting sodas at meals can be quite the challenge. Only the bar servers/wine stewards can get you a soda. During the first gala night, it took 3 requests and about an hour to get a single can of soda for my daughter. It wasn't rare for it to take about 20 mins regardless of which public dining room you were in. If you're at the Lido pool, though, it goes more quickly since the bar is right there. Happy hour in the Crow's Nest was enjoyable. They served pretty good appetizers along with the drinks, and service was great. It's such a great view. My teen really enjoyed it. The teen club wasn't as organized as it could be. Often she would shop up for a scheduled activity, and they wouldn't be there, or they'd announce they're closing 5 mins after she got there (for the scheduled activity). They did have some fun activities, though. Our room only had one outlet which I thought was odd. They had an adapter plugged in which gave you 3 plugs to use, but you had to be careful changing or adjusting one of them as it would turn the cabin lights on and off. Even though they knew I was bringing on a CPAP machine, I still had to go to guest services to get an extension cord since the outlet is nowhere near the beds. No biggie, but so you know. Adagio was one of my favorite musical performers. The violinist is superb. I listened to them almost every night. Lots of lounges, and each one has its own look and feel which is quite nice. Gives you some great variety. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I just submitted my review for our recent cruise. I rated it 5 stars out of 5: This is a quick and concise review compared to most of my previous ones. We have been to Alaska several times so I will not share the port reviews. The ... Read More
I just submitted my review for our recent cruise. I rated it 5 stars out of 5: This is a quick and concise review compared to most of my previous ones. We have been to Alaska several times so I will not share the port reviews. The Wife and I were looking for a relaxing getaway and we chose this Alaskan Cruise based on timing and price. 4th of July fell on a Wednesday this year and business-wise, it made a lot of sense for us to take this cruise during a very slow work week. When we shopped around for cruises during this time period, several months ago, we noticed that the Alaska Cruises were quite a bit pricier than past Alaskan seasons. Good economy? Lots of demand? Who knows. But Travelocity seemed to have quite a good deal and gave us $200 On-board Credit. Our Cruise price was a real bargain in comparison.. We chose an outside cabin in the front of the ship on the lower deck. Stateroom 1805 is designed for handicapped people but is about twice as big as a regular OV (DW is disabled) The stateroom was excellent in our opinion. Odd shape but well over 300 square feet. Plenty of storage space. Excellent room! We had an excellent stateroom attendant (Yusaf) and his assistant. They did a great job. As an example, we needed the beds rearranged and told them before the Muster Drill. We get back from the Muster Drill and the room is totally made up! We are earlyy diners and without telling Yusaf, he knew and made our rooms up quickly every night. Spotlessly! They both deserved the extra tips we gave them at the end of the cruise. Food and service was excellent. We stuck primarily to the Lido Buffet. There was fresh Salmon every day. They are also serving little Tapas style plates for dinner that were great...couscous salad, marinated vegetables, prawn salad and the like. Pinnacle Lunch is a great secret. Do not miss it. I'm telling you. Apparently the Rudy's Special Meal for $49pp for only one night is also a winner. We unfortunately did not get a chance to try it though. Amsterdam was spotless. Service was outstanding. Approx 1350 passengers are easier to manage than the massive megaships that abound. Our last Cruise was Emerald Princess over Thanksgiving with over 3500 pax and 700 children. Enough said on the comparison to this cruise! Tip: Do not try using the ship's internet while in port. For some reason it slows to a crawl. Works better out at sea. DW was on for 10 minutes in Ketchikan and could not even get into her e-mail account. It was that slow. We brought it up to the front desk who immediately re-credited her 10 minute session. No questions asked! Satellite works fine while we are not in port. Tip for you all! Embarkation and Disembarkation were a breeze. All in all, a great cruise and we got what we wanted. Relaxation and a reboot before going back to work the a day after disembarkation. Let me know if you have any questions. -Curtis Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
because of the hype for the "Tweens" program....OMG so mistrepresented, our fault one week in summer, cruise afficeienados beware the portions are mnisule, the food more scooped than served the best is the hilarity of their ... Read More
because of the hype for the "Tweens" program....OMG so mistrepresented, our fault one week in summer, cruise afficeienados beware the portions are mnisule, the food more scooped than served the best is the hilarity of their sandwiches one inch strip of meat warm and soggy on a one inch piece of lettuce even warmer Worst entertainment ever, and bar service worst ever, a cafeteria line in a jail could have done better, how about we have no maraschino sherries maybe try another bar, how about we're out of blue cheese here walk to the other side maybe they have some..etc etc etc Lemon twists sews only have whole lemons no twists, it became comical horrible bar service and they could sell more more and more but they don't care my dog has a better command of the english language, this is not a trainee trip its a family vacation, they need help badly but remember its only a one week cruise so compromise p-revails Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I'm tired of all the mega ships, lack of service and employees with attitude. I've always considered Holland America a step above and they didn't disappoint. Accommodations were good and food was very good in the dining ... Read More
I'm tired of all the mega ships, lack of service and employees with attitude. I've always considered Holland America a step above and they didn't disappoint. Accommodations were good and food was very good in the dining room although I did visit the Pinacle Grill. I was really pleased with the entertainment for a smaller ship. The staff was very accommodating and seemed to genuinely enjoy their work. I appreciated the lack of long lines on and off the ship. The trip to Hubbard Glacier was amazing. Being a smaller ship we were able to get very close with much calving of the glacier. The entertainment was very good with entertainers who could actually sing! I've been very disappointed of late at the quality on the mega ships . Getting on and off the ship were a breeze. I loved the service of having my luggage tagged all the way to my home airport once it was placed in the hallway. I always heard Holland was for old people but found many single, families and middle aged couples. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Definitely would use Holland America again. Wanted to go to Alaska with 2 friends who had it on their bucket list. Needed wheelchair and they were so accommodating, helping me lift w/c when it was hard for me. We did bring our own fold up ... Read More
Definitely would use Holland America again. Wanted to go to Alaska with 2 friends who had it on their bucket list. Needed wheelchair and they were so accommodating, helping me lift w/c when it was hard for me. We did bring our own fold up wheelchair. Room staff very helpful for our situation. Everyone who worked on the ship really seemed to like their jobs. Very happy people. Plenty of hand sanitizers everywhere they put the ship which to me said they cared about keeping us healthy. The cruise food was a10/10 especially the two dining areas but even the food on top level was very good. The dog sledding on land was interesting, the timberland thing was a bit quirky-silly fun. Weather was great. Victoria is so beautiful should have longer time there. Can’t thank them enough for the wonderful trip we had. Booked with AAA. Thank you Holland America Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was my third Holland cruise, and 3rd Alaska cruise. Alaska is all about thhe scenary and is a must do. This was a roundtrip out of Seattle and did 2 stops we had not done befioire. Sitka & Hubbard Glacier. Overall a nice ... Read More
This was my third Holland cruise, and 3rd Alaska cruise. Alaska is all about thhe scenary and is a must do. This was a roundtrip out of Seattle and did 2 stops we had not done befioire. Sitka & Hubbard Glacier. Overall a nice trip. We had 18 in the group ranging from 1.5 years old to 80 years old. The Amsterdam was only 3 weeks out of refurbishment and some little details still needed polishing. Dinging folks at 1st did not have our 3 tables together, but after my mothher talked with them the 3 tables were then next to each other. Pinnacle Grill was so-so service, 1st time in many years (and in 14 cruises) I ever had to send a steak back for being under done. We had 4 Neptune suites (deck 7), and 4 balconies (deck 6). I lucked into an SB cabin toward the rear of the ship and it was great. We enjoyed dinners at Canelletto & Pinnacle Grill. Everyone went their own way in ports, while meeting for dinner & echange of stories. We (the group of 18) had great luck on drawings, winnning a spa certificate, 3 raffles, 1 bingo, and the slot tournament. Neptune service cannnot be beat. Juneau - whale research vessell tour, got whae tail photos, and really nejoyed thhe hermit crabs. Sitka - disappointed in my 1/2 day fish excursion, not 1 single salmon caught, captian said season was running late & admitted taking us to same spot he had been day before with no bites? A waste of my money. Hubbard Glacier - best day, great photos, and calving photos. ship gets real close, and turns for viewinf on both sides. Ketchikan - just walked aroound, no tour, visited a stone gallery and they will bargain with you. Got some carvings for 30-50% off, which are being mailed to us. Small afternoon rain shower. If I ever get back to Alaska it will be for land tour that includes Denali. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Boarding the ship with a wheelchair was easy and accommodating. The first day into the cruise was filled with underwhelming food. It seemed like the ship did not have any stabilizers and I got very seasick. Not only was there nobody in the ... Read More
Boarding the ship with a wheelchair was easy and accommodating. The first day into the cruise was filled with underwhelming food. It seemed like the ship did not have any stabilizers and I got very seasick. Not only was there nobody in the infirmary to answer the phone, but there was also nobody in the infirmary that could give me seasick medicine. I eventually was helped by someone in guest services. With the medicine I was given, I needed to take it with food. However bring it was late in the night, the only thing open was room service. I could not get ahold of room services for the entire day and still had my tray from lunch in my room. I also used the complimentary movie service. However I did not get to watch a movie because the DVD got stuck in the player. I called to ask for help in working the machine, was told someone would be to the cabin shortly- nobody ever came. The only thing that made my trip with Holland America bearable were the excursions. The excursion company was very good and helpful. The staff were very rude when boarding the ship and were rushing passengers through security. I understand the need to have a swift departure, but they were rude with even elderly passengers. The best food on the ship was the ice cream- which was running low (the popular vanilla and chocolate flavors were nonexistent) by the second to last stop on the cruise. The buffet was lacking in variety and flavor- lunch and dinner time consisted of the exact same things. By day four of the cruise, I was sick of the food. I enjoyed the decor of the ship but ultimately felt it was not a wise use of money and the longest week of my life. I understand that situations are out of control of the hands of the crew- like the rough seas- however, there was nothing extremely good to overshadow the rough beginning in which lots of things the crew could have done better went wrong. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 3.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.1
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.2

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