CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Holland America Line Amsterdam Panama Canal October 6, 2003

After cruising with Crystal, we decided to try Holland America on the Amsterdam which was a round trip 21-day affair from San Diego to Panama Canal and back. All in all I gave the cruise a solid B. Now that's not too shabby considering we had we wonderful time.And for what we paid for 21-days on Holland, compares to a 7-10 day cruise with Crystal for the same money.

Mind you, Holland America is NOT Crystal in many ways, but if you want more time away from home, then this cruise line is your best bet. The outstanding crew are mostly Indonesians and Philipinos; the waiters, servers,porters,housekeepers and staff. They all tried their best and give us the best service possible. But,where the service was excellent, the entertainment in the Queens Room was sub-par. Where Crystal spends over a million dollars a production on costomes,props, singers and dancers, Holland offers medicore talent. Our favorite spot on the ship was deck #3, where over 200 deck chairs were available to us daily. That's a big improvement for Holland considering Crystal offers barely a few benches. And being able to enjoy an outdoor snooze or read a novel, enjoy a Margarita in the fresh air on deck was always very invigarating.Another plus for Holland was they offered color newsletters daily. Easy to read and informative. Overall, the food is excellent.

Breakfast is always delighful as Holland offered fresh squeezed orange joice each day on the Lido deck. We loved their pasta, ice-cream and deli bars also. The complimentary popcorn offered in the movie theater was a treat. Also, on the Promede Deck, there is a large 8'foot x 10'foot electronic computerized wall-map that digitally tells passengers the daily weather, the time, destinations of the cruise, nautical miles traveled, and a computer that offers future cruises and a history board of past ships dating back to the 19th century. Though tipping is optional, you can't resist tipping because the service is superb.I might mention the majority of the 1,300 passengers on this cruise were primarily made up of seniors and only a handful of children. I highly recommend Holland America and we will again book with this cruise line.


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