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Sail Date: October 2018
We liked: the itinerary - 10 days at sea, embark from Seattle, verandah stateroom, good food, good service, good selection of at-sea activities, excellent cleanliness, good selection of in-room movies, large state room TV, had a bath tub, ... Read More
We liked: the itinerary - 10 days at sea, embark from Seattle, verandah stateroom, good food, good service, good selection of at-sea activities, excellent cleanliness, good selection of in-room movies, large state room TV, had a bath tub, free room service, excellent performances at the "Lincoln Center Stage" (The very best part of the whole cruise!), free seating option in main dinning room Didn't like: excursions - extremely over priced & poor selection (only offered excursions from a company owned by HAL), hard mattress, AC directed at head of the bed, very poor main stage performances, outrageous price to get online, HAL charges for up-grades ("Buy Ups"), very high required daily gratuity fee, no booking incentives like offered with other cruise lines, poor shops on board with overly high prices Would cruise with HAL only if we can get an extremely good price. Otherwise, there are other cruise lines that are a far better value for the price (see above). Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Holland America Eurodam, Sept 29, 2018, 18-day Circle Hawaii cruise, Seattle to Vancouver, BC Embarkation was very quick, easy, smooth. Luggage arrived quickly enough. Disembarkation was the same, but then we just walked off the ship ... Read More
Holland America Eurodam, Sept 29, 2018, 18-day Circle Hawaii cruise, Seattle to Vancouver, BC Embarkation was very quick, easy, smooth. Luggage arrived quickly enough. Disembarkation was the same, but then we just walked off the ship with our luggage to a taxi. Activities/Entertainment: Lincoln Center Stage - fantastic program!! Might sail HAL again just for that one aspect! Liked the many and varied daily activity choices - i.e. lectures, Test Kitchen, tours Two very important aspects of cruising for us were an extreme disappointment with HAL: Extremely disappointed with nightly main stage entertainment - mediocre to poor quality in all categories HAL was notably bad in this area when we last sailed with them (1985). No improvement! We had abandoned HAL and become loyal NCL cruisers since 1985 because of that. Extremely disappointed with HAL excursions: completely over priced, few choices, limited variety We are convinced it is because of HAL's monopoly of this service - a huge rip-off of their passengers!! We only bought one excursion. We will only use prearranged excursions with locals if we sail HAL again. This is a complete reversal from our usual practice when cruising. NCL does very well in this area. Stateroom service was very good! Stateroom was adequate in size/appointments, large closet space with adjustable shelving, A deck 8 aft cabin was nice for the veranda, but was very noisy at two times EVERY day: gathering of all deck furniture at midnight, setting out of same at 6:00 AM (Banging, dragging furniture across deck floor.) Very annoying if you like to sleep at either of those two times of the day. Appreciated the high quality, removable wooden hangers. Very annoyed with the AC vent that aimed the draft directly at the head of the bed - great negative affect on our quality/quantity of sleep. Loved the verandah furniture! Mattress was too hard, pillows didn't work for me (one too large to be practical and too hard; only one was nice soft and regular, usable size) Fridge did not work well - always too warm, no matter the dial setting Bathroom was always wonderfully clean!! enjoyed the tub, nice personal products A 2-day toilet problem was quickly fixed when reported Loved the large TV on the wall! TV programing was very good. Good movies that could be stopped and restarted later Appreciated continuous current news networks The entire ship was very clean! very little wear/tear of any kind was in evidence anywhere Loved the cloth towels in all public bathrooms - high class! Loved the self-contained rooms in public restrooms rather than toilet stalls - again, high class! Service staff was always friendly!! On board shopping extremely limited - therefore, not very useful. Main dining room food was very good to excellent, except for desserts. Desserts seemed to be designed more to look good on a plate rather than for eating enjoyment. Bread was always too dried out / hard - probably from being dished up too early. Appreciated not being constantly bugged by photographers in the dinning room. Dinning room service varied from barely adequate/slow (esp for large tables) to very good (We were open seating.) Main dining room reservations were messed up several times, so we finally gave up. Waiting for a table actually wasn't that bad. Wine service was very good, knowledgeable. Dress code was very relaxed (thank goodness), including for Gala nights. Lido Market lunch food was very good and quite varied - very good service there! Breakfast was only fair for my personal taste until I discovered the yummy, custom made-while-you-wait omelets. Fruit was always too green, poor yogurt choices, bread was hard/dried out (except for croissants). Dive In Burger was good, fries were excellent Very nice wine tasting events, excellent Cellar Master dinner!! Pinnacle Grill was very good Covered pool was lovely! Loved the Crow's Nest: quiet, nice view, comfortable chairs, appreciated the library (though limited), nice jigsaw puzzles, fun computerized maps to manipulate Nice, quiet Gallery Bar with table shuffleboard and good supply of board-games, card-games Tender was only used at one port. It was handled nicely. Bottom line - If given a good itinerary and a very good price, there MIGHT be enough good aspects with HAL for us to sail with them again. However, there are some major negative areas that greatly affected the overall quality of our cruise trip. It will be a toss-up. Read Less
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16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
When I was 17 I did a road trip from British Columbia to Southern Alaska. It was the best trip I had ever been on. The scenery, the wildlife, and the splendor of it all took my breath away. I did not think anything could top that ... Read More
When I was 17 I did a road trip from British Columbia to Southern Alaska. It was the best trip I had ever been on. The scenery, the wildlife, and the splendor of it all took my breath away. I did not think anything could top that experience. Then I booked with Holland America and the adventure was better than I remembered. Embarkation. You are given an assigned time to arrive at the port in Seattle. Ours was 1pm so like all good travelers we arrived at 11:45. I did think it would take us longer to get there but this was fine. Having cruised four previous times I knew what to expect. Hurry and wait to drop off luggage, hurry up to wait in line to pass through security, hurry up to get in line to check in, wait for a few hours in a waiting room. Take the eternal walk to get on board, go to Lido deck and eat for four hours and then go to room to wait for your luggage. Yeah, I have played this game before and this time...was an exception. We dropped off our luggage straight away, no line at all. Then we went to security and... no line at all, got in line to check in and get our key. That took forever at about 3 to 5 minutes to get up there and 3 to 5 minutes to get processed. The they gave us free cookies and water which I had to eat while walking on to the ship. Wait did I skip the waiting room part? Oh, wait there was none, we got our key and went on board. 20 minutes after getting out of the Uber we were on the ship. On the ship an elevator was standing by and we were directed to the buff... wait not the buffet but our stateroom. It was 1215 and we were walking to our ready stateroom. We met our cabin steward and sat down wondering...what do we do now. Well first we unpack. Our luggage arrived 5 minutes after we did. Then we went to the buffet to eat some of the best meals at sea. The Cabin Standard industry sized veranda with a 45-inch TV. So, we could watch it and enjoy it. It was loaded with some great new and a little older movies and live TV. The bed was firm and comfortable. There was a bathtub but for a 6'2" guy it was a bit tight and smaller than what is at home. The linens and fluffy stuff was soft and nice. There were plenty of outlets and enough closet space for our clothes, shoes and Jacket. On our way up the weather was rocky but we love that because it helps us sleep. The rocking was gentle and not jolting at all. The veranda came with the usual appointments and was the same size as other ships. The Food The food was a cut above. There was a unique combination of standard fair, fancy, and really fancy. It was all well prepared and very good. Even the Buffet which can many times get stale and feel second rate was fresh and changing. The pizza was worth the wait and was delicious. Tea time at 3pm was amazing with many pastry's and other delicious snacks. Also, the chocolate event on deck two was a blast. Entertainment Was sparse. Almost every day we were in some port or some location so the need to entertain people on board with exciting activities was less. Not to mention it is a senor crowd and that limits the options available of activities to do. The activities there are, are very enriching, fun, and amazing. I was never bored but very relaxed. The wine tasting, bar hop, mixology class, etc were fantastic. The jewel of the trip was the orchestra that played classical music every night and the jazz club that got people dancing and singing till late in the night. The piano bars were very nice as well and a lot of fun to be in. Glacier Bay The benefit of a veranda, when it is 45 F outside is that between great shots and scenery is you watch movies in you cabin. The balcony offered timeless views and warmth. Whale watching, glacier and wilderness tour in Juneau This was a great investment. We had the wonderful captain Buck who found us orcas and humpbacks. Also provided insight into the local history along the way. The Glacier was amazing and awe inspiring to look at. We saw other amazing scenery of the area and it was a wonderful day. The Towns All the towns had the requisite tourist shops that you see on any other cruise ever. Juneau being the capital had interesting history and nature, especially the mines. Sitka had an old Russian Church and stores. Kechihan was the most interesting town with Creek St houses (brothels) being a very interesting history, as well as the totem poles and other sights to see. At the port BE ON TIME. They tell you be back at 12:30 PM. They must leave at that time to make it to Victoria on time. We saw 5 people get to the dock after the gang plank was removed and we were sailing away. A missed boat can cost you between $1,500 to $2,000 in extra costs. Did not get off at Victoria. just not enough time and you arrive at 7PM leave at 11:30 PM. The Ship The ship with its covered pool, fantastic fitness room, great food, and super staff was the best I had ever been on. I do look forward to going back, maybe to the Mexican Riviera. Tip: If you go on a cruise at the end of the season, the clearance sails are superb. I got a very nice coat for $15, and other items were 75%$ off. Jewelry related to Alaska was also super discounted (This was true onshore as well). Disembarkation Was as fast as embarkation, we left at 8:50 AM and was in the Uber at 9:10 AM Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I really enjoyed the musical entertainment on board; also enjoyed cooking classes, lectures, library, swimming pools and hot tubs. The food was pretty good especially the dining room where you dress up to go to dinner. The lido deck diner ... Read More
I really enjoyed the musical entertainment on board; also enjoyed cooking classes, lectures, library, swimming pools and hot tubs. The food was pretty good especially the dining room where you dress up to go to dinner. The lido deck diner was convenient but often the food was cold so it was only good for a sandwhich, cold cereal, or dessert. I found the staff to be very friendly and personable; especially the guys who cleaned our cabin. We were in room 5013 and the guys were so good to remember our names and bring anything we needed. Some of the things I didn't like was how tiny and cramped our room was. I traveled with my mom and brother so we shared a state room. It said online that a state room can comfortably hold 3 adults but that wasn't true. The room had 2 twin beds and then a flimsy hide-away bed in the couch. The hide-away bed wan't very comfortable but the twin beds were good. Overall my experience was a positive one and I will sail with Eurodam again if given the opportunity. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
His was our fifth Cruise. We have been on large ships. Eurodam was the best. The food was incredible and the size of the ship made it relaxing and it wasn't crazy with a bunch of drinking or too many little children running around. We ... Read More
His was our fifth Cruise. We have been on large ships. Eurodam was the best. The food was incredible and the size of the ship made it relaxing and it wasn't crazy with a bunch of drinking or too many little children running around. We had 10 people in our group ranging from age 24 to 81. I highly recommend the Eurodam. Of all the cruises I've been on they had the highest quality of food. What a wonderful time. I would definitely go on the Eurodam again! The entire experience was so fantastic! Holland America is such a relaxing cruise line. I am 64. Loved Alaska cruise. Did a zipline on shore 100 feet plus above ground. Fun!!! Being up on the deck for 5 hours while the cruise ship was in one spot slowly turning around giving us a panoramic view of the glaciers. I really recommend Holland America and the Eurodam. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Dining - Lido is standard buffet style, always good, sometimes great. Loved the fact that they handle most of the food for you. Embarkation - Very easy, we were in our room within 30 minutes of starting the process. Music - the piano ... Read More
Dining - Lido is standard buffet style, always good, sometimes great. Loved the fact that they handle most of the food for you. Embarkation - Very easy, we were in our room within 30 minutes of starting the process. Music - the piano players were pretty good, it was always packed when we were down there. BB King club was a little past my bedtime, so we ended up walking by it on the way to bed, but what we heard was good. Loved the Lincoln Center musicians. Excursions - we only did one, in Juneau. We did the Mendenhall River Float, and it was amazing. We had Carolina as our guide, and she was extremely knowledgeable about the area, and kept a smile on her face the whole time she was rowing. The river float does go past some houses, but it didn't detract at all from the experience, as the guide was able to pass along information about the housing, and how development has impacted the river, and how the river is taking it back a little at a time. Cabin - We were in 6053, and it was a great location. The cabin was clean, well set up, and our stewards were on the spot. Thermal suite pass - worth EVERY penny. One time there were 3 other people in it with us, otherwise it was just the 2 of us. We were able to relax and recharge, use the ceramic heated loungers, and could have spent the whole cruise in there. Disembarkation - worst part of the cruise. It was slow, and I don't stand in lines well. Thank goodness my luggage is bright orange, as we were able to pick it out easily once in the terminal. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We selected the Seattle to Alaska cruise for a special birthday. Four of us traveled together -- my husband and I and my parents. Holland America was not the cheapest, but had reasonably good reviews and a great route -- Sitka, Juneau, ... Read More
We selected the Seattle to Alaska cruise for a special birthday. Four of us traveled together -- my husband and I and my parents. Holland America was not the cheapest, but had reasonably good reviews and a great route -- Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan, Victoria. We arrived late in the boarding window, so embarkation was easy. But, that's where the positive part of the experience ended. Our room was a nightmare. Although we paid a substantial amount to upgrade our room (to veranda, high floor, quiet location), our room was directly below the buffet. We had a ridiculous and stressful amount of noise -- pounding, rolling carts, etc -- from 6 am to midnight. We were finally moved after FOUR nights into a beautiful suite room but the thermostat was broken and we had cold air blowing on the bed for two nights. My parents' room was adjacent to another room where they were doing construction. The buffet food was mediocre. The dining room food was worse -- so bad that we stopped eating in there after two nights. We purchased one excursion but it was incredibly overpriced for the experience. We worked with the guest services staff during and after our stay. They were impatient, rude (and maybe overwhelmed since there seemed to be many unhappy customers on board) and clearly not interested in working to make us want to ever try Holland America again. For 6 really bad nights in our room, we received a $300 credit, and nothing more. My parents also received a credit but should have been offered a new cruise. We don't recommend Holland America and will not sail with any ship under the Carnival Cruise Lines umbrella. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
we choose this cruse as an upgrade to the other lines available. paid more but got way less than expected. the rooms were much smaller than described the full size tub was anything but and the ADA equipment that I requested and was assured ... Read More
we choose this cruse as an upgrade to the other lines available. paid more but got way less than expected. the rooms were much smaller than described the full size tub was anything but and the ADA equipment that I requested and was assured would be available, wasn't. of course we were not informed of this till we were outside the 12 mile boundary of the USA. the air conditioning system never worked the entire trip and they continued to do dry dock repairs while at sea. the anytime dinning for the few times we tried it was always substandard while if you were willing to pay the upcharge the food was excellent. the all inclusive drink package had limits not divulged prior to purchase. during repairs of the interior pool the passengers were exposed to toxic paint of some type which my wife has final recovered from but with my COPD I have not and the Captain, to this date refuses to describe what the exposure was. the crew / service personnel were great, the views were great, and we did not have a tour that was not outstanding the biggest issue is that with the line flying a non US flag you as an individual have no recourse against them and they can deny all written comments sent while at sea and ignore you arrive back in the US Read Less
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