Holland America Amsterdam Ship Review


Food 8/10

Food in the MDR was comparable to food on other cruise lines MDRs, my only issue was the soups were full starch in order to thicken them out. We did not visit any of the specialty venues, so I am unable to comment on their quality.

The buffet had good options, and the burger place was my personal favorite. For good or bad the system on the buffet works, the good part is that in the morning everything is made to order. The downside is that if you go at peak times, it tends to get a little busy. But overall, I have no real complains there. Oh, I forgot to mention that next to the burger joint, there is a make your own taco/burrito/loaded nachos stand. It was really great, and stays open longer hours than the lido buffet. It was a popular are for people snaking, I absolutely loved it.

Cabin 9/10

The room for being an ocean view room was huge! It had also been recently remodeled, so everything looked nice and fresh. I can’t really find something negative to say about the room.

The bathroom had good water pressure, and it was easy to control the temperature. The shower itself was HUGE. All around a good cabin, with plenty of space to move around and feel at home. The one thing to note is that the toilet has an odd angle, and my gluts got sore after a week sitting on that angle. Also, don’t drop your Apple Watch on that tile, lol.

Cabin TV System & Internet 8/10

The internet aboard was rather slow, like dialup speeds, but the price of just under $100 for 7 days was about right. There were times that it got unusable, but those times did not last long. Overall, mom was able to make calls, send pictures and videos, and stay connected the way she used to.

The TV system was ok, two news channels of which I personally don’t care for, but to each their own. They did have 4 movie channels with good current movies, but not much with regards of tv shows. The TV ship’s navigation channel had some odd colors, and it was impossible to tell some of the data due lack of contrast between the background and the letters. The TV was also kinda small for the room, if the room was smaller like the on the Sky, it would be the perfect size.

One good thing to note is that you’re able to do a lot from your mobile device, like look at the activities, make reservations, look at your account balance, and even communicate with others aboard the ship.

Pools, Jacuzzis, & Adult-Only Area 9/10

Ok, so there are only two pools, two jacuzzis and no adult only area. However, for a ship this size and with low crowds, it was perfect. We never had an issues accessing the jacuzzis, or pools (Granted it was an Alaska cruise), but still it is fair to say that we had no issues. Another point to mention is that there is really no need for adult only area on this ship, since the amount of children aboard the ship is usually really low.

Activities (for Adults) 8/10

This one is a really hard one to judge, because the only activities that I participated in involved wildlife viewing, and they offered a good amount of those. They also had cooking shows, the regular drink tastings, and casino events. I do wish that they offered a few more activities, but overall for Alaska it was great.

Shows 8/10

I did not attend a single show, but mom did. She said they were great and short. They all lasted exactly 30 minutes, which I found interesting. Most cruise lines run their shows much longer than that. But mom said that it was perfect for her, because that is about when they start losing her attention. So anyway, as usual mom is grading this section, and she gave it a 8/10 =)

Bars & Lounges 8/10

There are a good amount of bars, just like on any other ship. They were all good bars, but nothing remarkable comes to mind. Then again, I had all my liquor in my room, so that impacted my bar time. I really only remember ordering two beers the entire cruise.

Ship Decor & Elegance 9/10

The ship has recently been updated, however the ship still has that feel of a small and intimate ship. This was the reason why we booked that cruise, because we wanted a small ship that could sorta bring us to the past even if just slightly. And that it did, it allowed us to feel something very different from the large ships that dominate today’s cruising market. Overall, we were very pleased with the decor and overall feeling of the ship.

Unique Area — Bow of the ship! And, no crowds! 10/10

This is an older ship, and back then the unique areas were not a big deal. However, one of the most memorable moments of this cruise for me, was being able to go the bow of the ship. It was an incredible feeling, and one that I had not experienced yet. I am not sure if other cruise lines offer this, but it was the icing on the cake of an already fabulous cruise. I am also putting no crowds as a unique area criteria. In a way it made the entire ship feel unique, my best guess is that this is the closest we can get to a boutique style cruise without paying the prices of those cruise lines.

Service 10/10

I really have nothing negative to say about the service. The buffet had circulating servers filling drinks, and cleaning. It also had crew serving the food for you, and making sure everything is to your liking. The MDR service was prompt and friendly. Guest services never had a wait, and they were always there to help you solve your problems. And our room steward was so nice and efficient.

Score & Conclusion – 87%

Was this our favorite cruise ever? Hands down without a question this was the best cruise of our lives. Of course, the main selling point of this cruise is the itinerary. Alaska for us was the highlight of the vacation, but being on a nice ship is a must. The Amsterdam did exactly that for us, we sailed with minimal crowds, open spaces, and a great crew. I will repeat it one more time, when you book your Alaska cruise, make sure you’re on the right ship. I am not saying this is the only ship to do Alaska, (Because God knows if I could afford to travel aboard the Seabourn ship that we saw in Juneau, I would in a heartbeat), but I am saying that this ship made our vacation incredibly special.

As most you know I love the big girls, they are a blast to go on, and they offer so much to do. But don’t forget about the small ships, they can equally stand their ground, in their own way. And this is something that I had never given thought before to. I am very glad that I was able to experience it, and find new ways of cruising.

Just a quick recall of scores:

Very interesting to see this ship fall so high up in the list with a 87%. I am glad to see her up there, because she is really a wonderful cozy and comfortable ship. One thing is for sure, if destination was a category in my system, this cruise would had taken the lead!


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Until Next time! ^_^