1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Amsterdam
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.

Good but not great.

Amsterdam Cruise Review by Woofbite

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
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.
Woofbite’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Amsterdam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Homer
    Took the hop-on, hop-off bus to town. It made four stops in front of concentrated shop areas, (two directly across the street from each other. Not sure why they did that.) $20 bucks for ten mile trip a little high. Would have been nice if the bus also stopped at the Spit but you had to return to the ship and catch a different shuttle for that. At least that one was free.
    View All 45 Homer Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Homer Cruise Port Review

It was interesting to note that that the president of Holland America lines, Orlando Ashford, and his wife were on board for our trip, evidently simply on vacation. Very low-key and discreet except for the continuing parade of restaurant/hotel staff visiting them each meal. I happened to notice the activity and recognized him from the photo in a brochure in our cabin. He and his wife were also at the Rudys Sel de Mer the night we were there. (Maybe why our service was poor!).