This was our 5th cruise, all have been on Holland America. We were on the Rotterdam during her inaugural season a few years ago and were really looking forward to being on the Amsterdam during her inaugural season, since HAL touted her as the sister-flagship to the Rotterdam. Were we wrong--and so is HAL! We were in a full suite on the Navigation Deck on both ships and the suites are identical. Very large with more than sufficient closet and drawer space and a large verandah. The Neptune Lounge (concierge) for suite guests on the Navigation Deck is wonderful; however, the staff on the Amsterdam didn't seem to really care about helping any of the suite guests. The food in the dining room was mediocre although the service was good, but still not up to HAL's usual standards. The food in the Lido was definitely not up to par with any of HAL's other ships we've been on. The food in the Odessey was OK but definitely no where near as good as in the Odessey on the Rotterdam. Embarkation in Costa Rica was a breeze and disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale was equally good. We were very disappointed with our cabin steward, who was by far the worst we've ever had. This was a Panama Canal cruise and it was the usual HAL age-group, which was fine with us since we're early 50's. There were many days at sea, which we like because we can sit on our verandah and drink champagne and read. Entertainment was not up to par with other HAL ships. All in all, we were extremely disappointed in the Amsterdam. We waited a long time for this cruise during her inaugural season but learned very quickly that HAL is completely wrong in calling this the sister flagship to the Rotterdam. There is no comparison even though both ships are just about identical in deck plans, layout, etc. This ship is a 1 and the Rotterdam is around a 9+. Service was bad and the attitude of most of the HAL people working on the ship was poor. The social hostess was the only one who seemed to really care about any of the passengers and actually like her job. Never again on the Amsterdam.
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