October 6, 2005
We recently completed a cruise of the orient on the M.S. Amsterdam. The cruise was excellent and the staff could not have been better. I would highly recommend this ship to anyone who wants a first class cruise experience. There is , however, a major caviat that anyone booking on this ship should be aware of: several cabins are located in very noisy places and even though Holland America knows which cabins are noisy they won't tell you. If you find yourself in one of these cabins you will be stuck particularly if the ship is near capacity.
On this 62 day cruise my wife and I decided to travel first class for the first time. We upgraded to a deluxe veranda suite. We shortly realized that this cabin, located under the rear Lido Deck, had a severe noise problem. We reported this to our concierge and eventually met with the manager of guest relations to dicuss it. She professed to be surprised and said she would see what could be done to solve the problem. She also mentioned that we could count on receiveing some modest compensation since the deck we were on was sold out and we couldn't be moved. Basically, what was going on was we had paid for a first class cabin but we weren't going to get one and there was nothing we could do about it.
At the end of the cruise the manager of guest relations advised us that they had investigated our complaint and were unable to fix it. In recognition of the difficulty, they offered us compensation in an amount of about 1.2% of our fare. Big deal!
As far as we're concerned, there's little doubt that Holland America knows this cabin and those around it are noisy, but instead of fixing it or advising there customers of it, they choose to play games and offer a paltry sum of money in hopes that the prolem will go away. Since they have your money, there's really not much you can do about it.
The moral of this story is be careful when you book on this ship or any other. Study the ships diagrams in the brochure and make sure your not under or over an active area. If you don't, you might get stuck in a situation that takes all the fun out of your cruise and nobody but you will care. The fact that you shelled out big bucks for a luxury cabin won't matter in the least.