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Old November 18th, 2003, 05:20 AM
Thoth
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Default Is the Amsterdam HAL's best ship?

God willing, I will be sailing on the Amsterdam to Alaska next summer. Last year I sailed on the Maasdam and this year I was on the Statendam. how does the Amsterdam compare to the Maasdam and Statendam? Do I understand correctly that the Amsterdam being a flagship that it is a step above the others in elegance?
Several sources rate the Amsterdam higher than the brand new Vista class Zuiderdam and Oosterdam. Why is that?
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Old November 18th, 2003, 06:02 PM
Thoth
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Default Re: Is the Amsterdam HAL's best ship?

Its me again, the orginal poster. There were some problem getting flights into and out of the small airport I use for Sunday. That being the case I switched from the Amsterdam on Sunday to the Oosterdam on Saturday and will not need to overnight. Anyone who has been on the Oosterdam please tell me how great it is.
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Old November 18th, 2003, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Is the Amsterdam HAL's best ship?

I don't find the Amsterdam to be better than the rest of the fleet. It is a pretty good ship but not great by my standards. We were sailing from Seattle with another couple (that has also been on many cruises) this past summer in Alaska. We all agreed that the food and service has slipped quite a bit on H.A.L. and this ship is no exception.

A few examples are:

Fresh squeezed O.J. is only available in the concierge room for the suites or for the early riser's breakfast. It used to be available at all breakfast offerings, including the buffet.

The special luncheon for the suites passengers was lackluster at best and the only libations served were room temperature cheap sparkling wine and white wine. There were no cocktails of any sort nor was there any red wine offered.

The captain's parties were similar in that no cocktails were offered as had been the case in years past.The "champagne" was not at all chilled and not particularly good in quality. (Think Weddin' Wine) (Notice I didn't say wedding wine.)

Thy overal food quality was average to poor most of the time. The alternative dining room was quite good with excellent service. It is well worth the extra cost to eat there.
The casual dining at dinner wes extremely poor in quality and service was a joke. We couldn't even find someone to bus a table so that we could eat our dinner. Getting a glass of wine at the casual dining for dinner was quite difficult. We had to walk to a distant cocktail lounge to get wine service.

We loved our cabin and our cabin steward was excellent. The ship's decor was adequate but not special other than the atrium clock, which was gorgeous. Other wise the cruise was just okay.

We'll be on the Veendam this next week for Thanksgiving. I hope the Veendam is still as good as my memories of her, but I have my doubts. Recent apparent cutbacks by H.A.L. seem to have taken their toll.
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Old November 19th, 2003, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Is the Amsterdam HAL's best ship?

Wow, I must have been dreaming the last 3 weeks.
Just got off the Amsterdam in Valparaiso and my opinon of her could not be more opposed to yours. I too have sailed many times and in my opinion HAL is the best of the mid-priced luxery lines. Oh well every one is entitled to their opinion so my advice is to sail and the Amsterdam and then make up your own mind.
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Old November 19th, 2003, 08:20 PM
Gizmo
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Default Re: Is the Amsterdam HAL's best ship?

I am going to throw in my 2 cents. I have sailed on the , Volendam 3x, Veendam, Statendam and Amsterdam once.

Decor wise the Amsterdam is a beautiful ship and on the top of my list for decor. Most everything else about this ship is on the bottom of the list. I sailed on her last Dec.

Service was not up to par. The bartenders were great, but the dining room staff was not what I expected. Service was slow. Wrong entrees were served to us. The busboy hard to find. We had to keep asking for ice tea and coffee.

I have to agree with Chuck on the food. Food left a lot to be desired. The Amsterdam is on the bottom of this for this. One example, I love cream soups but the soups on this ship tasted like paste. After a couple of tries, I finally gave up and ordered salad instead. I have had the same soups on other ships and they were delicious. Perhaps they had a new soup chef and he had a heavy hand with corn starch. I have had much better food on other ships and my last cruise this past Oct on the Statendam, exceeded my expectations.

The concierge was a ding bat. I asked about stores being open on Sunday in Curacao and was told they ALL open until noon. WRONG. Only a HANDFUL were open until noon, a far cry from ALL. Durning my conversation with her about this, I even asked if just SOME opened etc. She assured me they ALL would be open, at least 95% anyway. I know the ship does not control this, but I would have made different plans if I had known up front that only a handful opened. I think the word "Concierge" is misused since these people work at the front desk and are rotated in and out. They are NOT concierges.

There were more screw ups that I am not going to get into. We still had a very nice cruise but this ship was a disappointment. Being a flagship I thought the same thing, maybe a step above, but found things just the opposite.

At the top of my list is the Statendam. Food, and service was excellent. Just like the Hal I remembered. I do agree that things have slipped but my cruise on the Statendam was very much like my first Hal cruise on the Ryndam
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