CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Holland America Line Amsterdam South America February 26, 2005

This cruise started in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and ended in Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile with stops in Montevideo, Buenos Aries, Falkland Islands, Ushuaia, Punta Arenas and Puerto Montt. Due to severe weather, we missed the Falklands, but made up for this somewhat by sailing to Cape Horn to view the Albatross monument. Overall, the port calls were wonderful and educational.

But, to the ship, now. The crew of the Amsterdam outdid themselves. This was my wife's and my 24th cruise, only our 2nd on HAL, and we had absolutely no complaints - only "kudos"

The food was very good (better than our last two Celebrity cruises), the Lido restaurant (cafeteria) had the best selection ever, a sandwich bar, eggs as you want, omlets, an ice cream bar open all day and night (save for 45 minutes at 5 PM).

The lounges were so very intimate, the musicians excellent, the layout of decks 4 and 5 so well done with lounges, movie theatre, stores (best we have ever seen), library, huge card room, etc.

Entertainment was not up to that on Celebrity, Princess, or Crystal, for example, but we knew that upfront. The shows that were put on were excellent and honest (not Las Vegas stuff) - the individual talents were great, and the Ship's orchestra was one of the best we've heard.

Last, but certainly not least, was the service! No matter where you were on the ship, or what the activity, the staff was there wanting to help, guide or assist. Cabin steward, waiter and his assistant, bar people, and the "Front Office" (purser) staff were the best.

We rank this cruise on the HAL Amsterdam way up on our list of 24, which is headed by the Crystal Symphony

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