Amsterdam Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Contributor Level: Third Mate

1 cruise (first)


Helpful Votes

5 out of 5

First Impressions are Lasting.....

Sail Date: June 01, 2014

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Inside

We have just returned from the 7 Night Alaska Explorer via Holland America's m.s. Amsterdam.  My wife and I are both seasoned travelers, but this was our first cruise experience and it was marvelous!.  Every detail from check-in to disembarkment was handled flawlessly.  Dinner in the main dining room was a new culinary experience each day.  Dinners in the Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto were the epitome of any five star restaurant in the world.  Staterooms were immaculate at all times and our room Steward, Asep, treated us as though we were in the most expensive suite on the ship, while we had travelled at a very reasonable rate for an inside stateroom....entertainment on the ship was outstanding.  My wife and I are both professional musicians, so we tend to be critical of a lot of entertainment.....not here!  First class, top notch professional musicians of every genre from big band swing to jazz trio and quintet as well as classical musicians.  There was something to do every day and every night.  Ports were delightful, with stops in Juneau, Sitka and the way, Holland America is the only line to regularly visit Sitka, where you have to be tendered in to port due to the shallow harbor.....that was a fun experience in itself.  We took several enjoyable excursions, but booked these at the ports for less than half the price of booking them through the cruise line or other on-line venues. 


We are already looking forward to our next cruise with Holland America...oh yes, this line has one huge advantage over the others.  They cater to an older clientele, and while there were quite a few families aboard with children, they were barely noticeable, having activities of their own provided by HAL.

Ship Quality
You will discover why it is the flagship of HAL
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Children's Programs
Onboard Activities
Destinations and Excursions
Excursions much less expensive booked through vendors in each port
Cabin / Stateroom
It was very comfortable. We chose an interior stateroom due to my wife's proclivity to motion sickness. As it turned out, there was only one incident, and that was when we encountered a bad storm as we approached the inside passage.
Seattle, Washington
Cruise Puget Sound
We encountered a little rough weather here, but it only lasted for three hours or so. There were unusually high winds.
Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska
It was raining, but the scenery was magnificent. Whale and seal sightings were fun.
Juneau, Alaska
Beautiful! Mendenhall Glacier is not to be missed. Fun shopping
Sitka, Alaska
Our favorite stop! Small town ambience, quaint sites, most spectacular sunset we have ever seen the evening we left Sitka. Holland America is the only cruise line to regularly stop in Sitka due to shallow port and necessesity of tendering passengers to the dock.
Ketchikan, Alaska
Overrun with tourists. Four cruise ships in port simultaneously. High prices, not much to see except Totem Park, which was interesting.
Victoria, British Columbia
What we saw was wonderful. Not nearly enough time to see this beautiful city.


Don't miss the Pinnacle Grill dining experience. One of the best restaurants we have eaten at anywhere in the world!

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