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MidwesternCruiser2

Have you sailed on Amsterdam? I have questions.

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Have sailed a lot (this will be my 5th with Holland) and don't really choose a sailing because of the ship...so I'm on Amsterdam to Alaska and realizing how small it is (which I think I'll like, especially since motion sickness is not a problem).

There's only one current review, so if anyone has sailed Amsterdam to Alaska this season, I'd like to hear how your cruise was...if you felt, because of its size, you got closer to Hubbard Glacier; whether there was a place to listen to good music onboard (no BB King's is somewhat disappointing); and anything else you want to share.

And, if you're cruising on this ship September 2-9, please join the roll call so we can talk more there :-}

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We took Amsterdam to AK year before last for 14 days with our daughter/husband and grandchildren. It was a wonderful cruise. This is the right size ship for that type of itinerary IMHO. We have also been on four world cruises on the same ship and loved every minute of each one of them.

harry

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Of the two "co-Flagships of the Holland America Line", the Rotterdam wins as to interior decor with many minuses as to what was done to her aft open decks. The Amsterdam's interior decor is sophisticated and very pleasing to this cruiser. She did not suffer the injuries to her aft pool deck as did Rotterdam and Veendam. She handles rough seas well. Where to find music that suits one? Usually, I find the group in the Ocean Bar meets my expectations.

 

The Crow's Nest is one where one needs to hang out for the best views of scenic cruising areas. (Obviously, the best place is to be on an open deck, but weather may be an issue.) No weather issues: the open deck forward on Deck 6 and the deck wings over the Bridge outside of the Fitness Center/Spa are great spots for photos.

 

During my July, 2017 cruise to Alaska, my experience with all members of the crew was excellent!

 

As to Hubbard Glacier: it was a highlight of my cruise. The day was bright sunshine, minimum wind, and I don't know how close we got to the Glacier, but it was close enough that I could hear the sound of chunks breaking off its face and even was able to get some good photos of the calving.

 

Enjoy your cruise; I think it will be a good one.

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We took Amsterdam to AK year before last for 14 days with our daughter/husband and grandchildren. It was a wonderful cruise. This is the right size ship for that type of itinerary IMHO. We have also been on four world cruises on the same ship and loved every minute of each one of them.

harry

 

Thanks, Harry, that's quite a positive statement :-}

I've been on Vista and Signature class ships with Holland to Alaska and once the ship size prevented us from sailing into Tracy Arm (that was a huge disappointment as I prefer the fjords to the glaciers), so I'm thinking small will be better.

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Of the two "co-Flagships of the Holland America Line", the Rotterdam wins as to interior decor with many minuses as to what was done to her aft open decks. The Amsterdam's interior decor is sophisticated and very pleasing to this cruiser. She did not suffer the injuries to her aft pool deck as did Rotterdam and Veendam. She handles rough seas well. Where to find music that suits one? Usually, I find the group in the Ocean Bar meets my expectations.

 

The Crow's Nest is one where one needs to hang out for the best views of scenic cruising areas. (Obviously, the best place is to be on an open deck, but weather may be an issue.) No weather issues: the open deck forward on Deck 6 and the deck wings over the Bridge outside of the Fitness Center/Spa are great spots for photos.

 

During my July, 2017 cruise to Alaska, my experience with all members of the crew was excellent!

 

As to Hubbard Glacier: it was a highlight of my cruise. The day was bright sunshine, minimum wind, and I don't know how close we got to the Glacier, but it was close enough that I could hear the sound of chunks breaking off its face and even was able to get some good photos of the calving.

 

Enjoy your cruise; I think it will be a good one.

 

Thanks, RKA...I think it will be a good one too. Will be my 6th visit to AK & I've never been disappointed. Not sure why I'm even concerned about the ship. I think I saw it was a couple hundred feet shorter with a 1 to 2 crew/passenger ratio and made me realize I've not been on anything that small since the late 70s.

Am glad to hear the aft set up is intact. That's my favorite sail away location. I do like Crow's Nest too BUT prefer to be outside if (as you say) weather permits. Was there last year Sep 23-Oct 2 and the weather was surprisingly pleasant....hoping that happens again! Appreciate the photo op locations -- I take a gazillion pics when I'm there!

What sort of music did the Ocean Bar offer? I'm a stuck in the 60s/70s gal...

Thanks again -- helpful info and I appreciate you taking the time!

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We sailed 2 years ago on the Amsterdam and loved the intimacy of the ship. It is an older ship was well maintained at the time.

 

Promenade was nice for doing laps. You will have a great time on it.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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I was on the Amsterdam earlier this year (not to Alaska) and really liked the size of her. I had not been on a ship that small in over 20 years and was not sure I would like it but it was great.

 

A good place to see the sights is on the deck at the front of deck 6 (verandah deck). Walk all the way forward on the port side and turn left at the end of the corridor. There will be a door in front of you that leads to the deck. (You can't use the starboard side door because it is a crew area.)

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We sailed 2 years ago on the Amsterdam and loved the intimacy of the ship. It is an older ship was well maintained at the time.

Promenade was nice for doing laps. You will have a great time on it.

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

I think I'll like the size. Good to hear they're taking care of it. And I agree about laps on Promenade - just like that better than a sports deck.

Thanks for sharing.

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I was on the Amsterdam earlier this year (not to Alaska) and really liked the size of her. I had not been on a ship that small in over 20 years and was not sure I would like it but it was great.

A good place to see the sights is on the deck at the front of deck 6 (verandah deck). Walk all the way forward on the port side and turn left at the end of the corridor. There will be a door in front of you that leads to the deck. (You can't use the starboard side door because it is a crew area.)

 

Am pretty sure that was the set up on Westerdam (for getting to the bow). My 1st sailing to AK was Oosterdam & they had a great salmon luncheon out there going thru the glacier...I thought that was common to AK sailings & was disappointed next time on Princess :-{

Glad to hear the ship size was enjoyable...and I have to believe service will be great with a 1:2 crew/passenger ratio!

Thanks for commenting (& the tip)!

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We were on Amsterdam 2 weeks ago on the same Alaska Cruise you are on . The refurbishment from May was great. Lots of upgrades. Mostly new carpet and furniture, but it almost feels like a new ship. We noticed hardly anything that felt aged or worn out. MS Amsterdam is 18 years old.

 

Yes, the ship gets very close to Hubbard Glacier and we saw perhaps the best calving ever. Anyone on the July 4th viewing can attest to that. The smaller size (1300-1400 passengers) is an attribute in our opinion. no lines anywhere. Easy disembarkation at ports. All venues are a short distance to walk from your stateroom no matter where you are assigned. My wife and I have been on about 30 cruises, and we now trend towards the smaller ships.

 

For music, there are a number of venues. We prefer the Ocean Bar and the Piano player Joel. He is a young chap from Tasmania who is incredibly talented. Adagio is a Classical group, just Piano and Violin but quite good. There are also 2 house bands. The venues rotate from Crows Nest, to Pool Area, to Ocean Bar to Explorers Lounge and Piano Bar. We were fortunate as well because a Jazz Group (Jazzdagen) was on board. They offered several free concerts. At 4pm there is a great happy hour with free and awesome appetizers and 2 for (almost) one drinks. We went every night, usually at the Ocean Bar but also the Crows Nest.

 

Speaking of the Crows Nest, it is one of the best observation lounges @ Sea. HAL did not change it to the highly criticized Explorations Central thingy with video screens blocking your view etc. It is a beautiful lounge with brand new leather furniture, highly decorative and huge windows.

 

Amsterdam does not have all of the bells and whistles of larger newer ships. Instead, she offers sophistication and a more classical cruise feel. You will have a wonderful time, believe me. Let me know if you have any questions.

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We were on Amsterdam 2 weeks ago on the same Alaska Cruise you are on . The refurbishment from May was great. Lots of upgrades. Mostly new carpet and furniture, but it almost feels like a new ship. We noticed hardly anything that felt aged or worn out. MS Amsterdam is 18 years old.

 

Yes, the ship gets very close to Hubbard Glacier and we saw perhaps the best calving ever. Anyone on the July 4th viewing can attest to that. The smaller size (1300-1400 passengers) is an attribute in our opinion. no lines anywhere. Easy disembarkation at ports. All venues are a short distance to walk from your stateroom no matter where you are assigned. My wife and I have been on about 30 cruises, and we now trend towards the smaller ships.

 

For music, there are a number of venues. We prefer the Ocean Bar and the Piano player Joel. He is a young chap from Tasmania who is incredibly talented. Adagio is a Classical group, just Piano and Violin but quite good. There are also 2 house bands. The venues rotate from Crows Nest, to Pool Area, to Ocean Bar to Explorers Lounge and Piano Bar. We were fortunate as well because a Jazz Group (Jazzdagen) was on board. They offered several free concerts. At 4pm there is a great happy hour with free and awesome appetizers and 2 for (almost) one drinks. We went every night, usually at the Ocean Bar but also the Crows Nest.

 

Speaking of the Crows Nest, it is one of the best observation lounges @ Sea. HAL did not change it to the highly criticized Explorations Central thingy with video screens blocking your view etc. It is a beautiful lounge with brand new leather furniture, highly decorative and huge windows.

 

Amsterdam does not have all of the bells and whistles of larger newer ships. Instead, she offers sophistication and a more classical cruise feel. You will have a wonderful time, believe me. Let me know if you have any questions.

 

By chance were you in a Vista Suite and, if so, can you tell me if there were any usable outlets in the bathroom?

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We were on Amsterdam 2 weeks ago on the same Alaska Cruise you are on . The refurbishment from May was great. Lots of upgrades. Mostly new carpet and furniture, but it almost feels like a new ship. We noticed hardly anything that felt aged or worn out. MS Amsterdam is 18 years old.

Yes, the ship gets very close to Hubbard Glacier and we saw perhaps the best calving ever. Anyone on the July 4th viewing can attest to that. The smaller size (1300-1400 passengers) is an attribute in our opinion. no lines anywhere. Easy disembarkation at ports. All venues are a short distance to walk from your stateroom no matter where you are assigned. My wife and I have been on about 30 cruises, and we now trend towards the smaller ships.

For music, there are a number of venues. We prefer the Ocean Bar and the Piano player Joel. He is a young chap from Tasmania who is incredibly talented. Adagio is a Classical group, just Piano and Violin but quite good. There are also 2 house bands. The venues rotate from Crows Nest, to Pool Area, to Ocean Bar to Explorers Lounge and Piano Bar. We were fortunate as well because a Jazz Group (Jazzdagen) was on board. They offered several free concerts. At 4pm there is a great happy hour with free and awesome appetizers and 2 for (almost) one drinks. We went every night, usually at the Ocean Bar but also the Crows Nest.

Speaking of the Crows Nest, it is one of the best observation lounges @ Sea. HAL did not change it to the highly criticized Explorations Central thingy with video screens blocking your view etc. It is a beautiful lounge with brand new leather furniture, highly decorative and huge windows.

Amsterdam does not have all of the bells and whistles of larger newer ships. Instead, she offers sophistication and a more classical cruise feel. You will have a wonderful time, believe me. Let me know if you have any questions.

 

This is VERY helpful -- thank you!!!

Saw calving for the first time last year (Johns Hopkins). Was impressive, but we weren't close enough to really hear the impact. Still...pretty cool.

Nice to hear that the boat's in good shape. I wondered a little, but as long as it's clean, I'm happy. Nice is an extra though :-} And I really like the thought of shorter lines!!

Appreciate the music info. Sounds like there will be plenty. Not much in to classical, but the piano bar and house bands will probably be perfect. So many talented musicians on cruise ships!

Thanks too for the "2nd drink is $2" reminder. If someone doesn't remind me, I'm on the 3rd day before I remember it. Crow's Nest is usually where I go for a before dinner drink...meet some new friends. AND it sounds like Amsterdam's Crow's Nest will be better than what I'm used to.

 

This will actually be my 33rd cruise...maybe I'll like this smaller ship and book them on purpose in the future!

And I don't think it really matters which ship you're on in Alaska...I've never been disappointed sailing there...just too much gorgeous to worry about much else!

Thanks again!!

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By chance were you in a Vista Suite and, if so, can you tell me if there were any usable outlets in the bathroom?

 

I've been on the Amsterdam both before and after the refit, and I have not noticed a usable outlet. Yes, I was in Vista Suites.

 

While I found the refit generally an improvement, I do not like the very bulky chairs in the Piano Bar. There were also some instances where they changed the name of a venue but didn't change all the references on signs. The promised improvements in internet did not happen either, from what I could see.

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The promised improvements in internet did not happen either, from what I could see.

 

 

Wehwalt - Did the Amsterdam have the new internet pricing options which are more “unlimited” in nature compared to the “minute” packages? If so, how much were they?

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MidWesternCruiser2,

 

Regarding to the Ocean Bar's group's music, the groups that I have heard play a variety of music including some from the '60's and 70's. If there is a music group in the Crow's Nest late at night, prior to when the DJ starts his work, they almost always play music from that era. I have danced more than once there to the music of Gloria Gaynor's I'll Survive as well as Dancing Queen.

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Wehwalt - Did the Amsterdam have the new internet pricing options which are more “unlimited” in nature compared to the “minute” packages? If so, how much were they?

 

They did not.

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The refurbishment from May was great. Lots of upgrades. Mostly new carpet and furniture, but it almost feels like a new ship. We noticed hardly anything that felt aged or worn out. MS Amsterdam is 18 years old.

 

But did they ever repair the atrium clock?

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Wehwalt - thanks for the information! In the refurbished Vista Suites, did they replace the tub with the new shower?

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Wehwalt - thanks for the information! In the refurbished Vista Suites, did they replace the tub with the new shower?

 

I should have clarified, I was in a Vista before but in a Neptune after the refit.

 

The clock was working to some extent, at least people gathered around when it struck thirteen or whatever it does.

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MidWesternCruiser2,

 

Regarding to the Ocean Bar's group's music, the groups that I have heard play a variety of music including some from the '60's and 70's. If there is a music group in the Crow's Nest late at night, prior to when the DJ starts his work, they almost always play music from that era. I have danced more than once there to the music of Gloria Gaynor's I'll Survive as well as Dancing Queen.

 

Good to know. I was hoping there would be music you could dance to.

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But did they ever repair the atrium clock?

 

They did. I heard and experienced it 6am one morning and 8am another. It seems a bit random when it chimes but it is spectacular when it does. Perhaps an officer can tell you it's supposed schedule.

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This is VERY helpful -- thank you!!!

Saw calving for the first time last year (Johns Hopkins). Was impressive, but we weren't close enough to really hear the impact. Still...pretty cool.

Nice to hear that the boat's in good shape. I wondered a little, but as long as it's clean, I'm happy. Nice is an extra though :-} And I really like the thought of shorter lines!!

Appreciate the music info. Sounds like there will be plenty. Not much in to classical, but the piano bar and house bands will probably be perfect. So many talented musicians on cruise ships!

Thanks too for the "2nd drink is $2" reminder. If someone doesn't remind me, I'm on the 3rd day before I remember it. Crow's Nest is usually where I go for a before dinner drink...meet some new friends. AND it sounds like Amsterdam's Crow's Nest will be better than what I'm used to.This will actually be my 33rd cruise...maybe I'll like this smaller ship and book them on purpose in the future!And I don't think it really matters which ship you're on in Alaska...I've never been disappointed sailing there...just too much gorgeous to worry about much else!

Thanks again!!

 

No worries. You will have a great cruise, trust me. Another hint, try the Pinnacle Lunch for $10. Even on Hubbard Day. We ate @ Noon, was done @ 1pm and we didn't actually get to the Glacier until 3pm. Another Hint. You see the approach to Hubbard on the way out, just in reverse. Sun is usually up by later in the day and all of the glacier watchers are fully worn out. Best time to appreciate it in my opinion. Hubbard will blow you away. Just saying!

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...and I have not noticed a usable outlet.

 

What do you mean by that?

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What do you mean by that?

 

In the bathroom, I did not notice one, but I wasn't looking for one, since I charged my razor and toothbrush using the cabin's outlets by the desk.

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Recently refurbished bathroom on sister ship Zaandam had a shaver outlet high up in the very lovely new bathroom. But no soap dish. However, it did have the most flattering embedded mirror lighting on any ship so far. Bring your own soap dish.

 

Three open shelves on the side wall and one large one under the sink. Trick I learned from a poster here was to get some "rare earth hook magnets" so I could hand my toiletry bag from the bathroom ceiling next to the wall for more storage space - strong magnetic connection finally.

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