1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Holland America Line
  4. Holland America Line Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: December 2018
We wanted to be gone over Christmas and this was a decent itinerary, and we were able to drive to the port. The price as good, and they through in the beverage package and the Pinnacle Grill. Our cabin was small, but workable, and we ... Read More
We wanted to be gone over Christmas and this was a decent itinerary, and we were able to drive to the port. The price as good, and they through in the beverage package and the Pinnacle Grill. Our cabin was small, but workable, and we loved the big walk in shower. The boat was great.....nice public areas, lots of sitting areas, two pools, lots of places to eat, etc. The Grand Dining Room was only fair. We didn't care for the decor, the food was just ok, ad the service was slow...especially the wine service. The first night we sat for a long time, and had received our first course before our glasses of wine arrive, and the second glass arrived when I was almost finished with my entree. Did not particularly like the Lido. Food was just ok, it was very crowded....always fighting to find a place to sit, and we hated that there was no self service.....everything had to be served, slowing down the process and making it hard to get what you want, in the quantity that you want. The specialty dining rooms were great......nice decor, good menus and good food. The steak in the Pinnacle Grill was very good, and when we went to Alaska on HA it was terrible. We really like Sel de Mer and Tamarind......would be great restaurants in any city. Entertainment was first class......the evening pianist, the classical groups, soul in BB King's rock in the Rolling Stone and a good piano bar. There was no "big show" in the theatre this cruise. There were two pools.....one amidships with a slide on/off cover, and another at the stern. As with all cruise ships, there were not enough loungers, and people would grab them first thing, so by 11AM there was no place to sit. There was a nice looking spa and fitness center that we did not use. In conclusion, HA is a "near luxury" line, and Konigsdam is there most luxurious ship. The difference between them and a more luxurious line like Oceania or Regent lies in better food, more elegant decor in the public rooms, better service, and more items inclusive. HA is not as good, but it is a lot less expensive, and a good value. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
If you are looking for excitement and entertainment on this ship your are on the wrong ship. My experience was having to stand in long lines waiting for a small portion food in the Lido dinning room. Take your own bath soap if you are ... Read More
If you are looking for excitement and entertainment on this ship your are on the wrong ship. My experience was having to stand in long lines waiting for a small portion food in the Lido dinning room. Take your own bath soap if you are allergic to mint dispense soap and you are not going to get any body lotion. Place the do not disturb sign on your door if you don't want the attendant barging in your room early in the morning. Most of the time finding a seat in the LIDO can be difficult to get a clean table. The shore excursions are a waste of time if you booked through the cruise line. Don not expect to any entertainment during the day and the only attraction is the BB King band, after a few days you gbecome tired of the atosphere. The food in the manin dinning room is above average and expect to share a table with folks who have you feeling uncomfortable. Conclusion!! Find another cruise if you are looking for excitement and middle aged travellers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
It was a good deal on a week that worked well for us. We like HAL. The room was adequate, our room steward excellent, and the location was right smack in the middle of the ship which made it easy to get around. I went to trivia twice every ... Read More
It was a good deal on a week that worked well for us. We like HAL. The room was adequate, our room steward excellent, and the location was right smack in the middle of the ship which made it easy to get around. I went to trivia twice every day, swam in the pool every day and attended a couple of the American Test Kitchen presentations which were very good. My husband's foot was bothering him so we did not go off of the ship except for San Juan. He seemed to be ok that day so we ventured out to Starbucks to retrieve our emails and phone calls. We were unable to dance which was too bad since we love to dance. We would have liked to dance in BB King's. WE were unable to attend any of the Lincoln Center presentations as the times did not work out for us. The food was wonderful. The salad that is prepared for you according to your choice is the BEST!! I miss it already. The Pinnacle Restaurant was excellent as usual and the dining room food was really good. One night I ordered all of the desserts!!! The ice cream was good. The no sugar added desserts were also delicious. The salmon and steak were prepared properly, as was the lobster (not overcooked). The onion soup is so so, however. We found that to be the case on the Konigsdam as well. The other soups were very good. The omelets were excellent as were the Eggs Benedict which I ordered in the dining room one morning. We met some very nice people on board as we always asked to share in the dining room. The pool had enough chairs in the shade which is what we like. The pool was not too cold. The Dive is terrific. All in all, we had a really good time! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We picked this cruise because it was very inexpensive and wanted to try out Holland America. We were a bit disappointed about 1-2 weeks prior to our cruise. We received an invite to upgrade to a suite for a very decent price. However, ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it was very inexpensive and wanted to try out Holland America. We were a bit disappointed about 1-2 weeks prior to our cruise. We received an invite to upgrade to a suite for a very decent price. However, within a short time, our travel agent called in, all suites were gone. The ship itself is a bit rundown and could use some updates. It was not "state of the art" and the ambiance is a little conservative. Service was really good. I felt at times that staff were "correcting" me when I wasn't doing things exactly as they would prefer. For example, on my last day, I went to the coffee bar at 6 AM and the person there snapped at me, informing me that they wouldn't be open until 6:30. Food was great, especially the vegetarian menu. Although you have to ask for the vegetarian menu, the selections art outstanding! The entertainment was amazing, especially the Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard On Board! We went to at least 7-8 "recitals" and saw the Billboard On Board most nights before dinner. Our excursions were outstanding. We went to go see the rainforest in Puerto Rico and took tours of almost every other port except for Grand Turk. Our last day at Half Moon Cay (Holland America's private island it shares with Carnival) was outstanding. We had such a good time on a tour and then a barbecue that was free to guests. All in all, it's pretty decent for the amount we paid (approx $950 per person) for a balcony. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose Holland America for our first cruise experience. We are a newly retired couple who generally prefer land-based vacations. However we decided to try something different for our birthdays (just three days apart). The Oosterdam ... Read More
We chose Holland America for our first cruise experience. We are a newly retired couple who generally prefer land-based vacations. However we decided to try something different for our birthdays (just three days apart). The Oosterdam did not disappoint! Everything was awesome, from the amazing service to the great food, to the terrific verandah stateroom. We are already looking forward to booking our next cruise, with HAL. Getting on and off the ship was easy and quick. When we embarked in FLL we were on the ship within an hour of arriving at just after 11 am. The ship was beautiful, certainly not new but definitely clean and well-appointed. The Pinnacle Grill was our favourite restaurant with fantastic service and really great steak. We found the wine selection to be very good. The ship draws an older crowd but we much prefer that over a “party boat” or tons of kids in the pool area. Our cabin stewards Purr and Ono were simply fantastic, always helpful and really upbeat. An all-round awesome first cruise experience! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We picked this cruise to celabrate my wifes birthday and to enjoy the relaxing ports of call. We are currently a 3star mariner status. We have not been on a Holland ship since 2012. This was the second time on the Oosterdam over ... Read More
We picked this cruise to celabrate my wifes birthday and to enjoy the relaxing ports of call. We are currently a 3star mariner status. We have not been on a Holland ship since 2012. This was the second time on the Oosterdam over the years. Very disappointed in the food quality in the dinning room. Average variety of selections on menu, just not much flavour in any of the meals. Dining room service... As you wish dining, in the evening was the worst we have had in 22 cruises...will not rebook with Holland America. Good service in all bar areas that we visited with friendly staff. Most evenings, coffee or tea never offered. Entertainment, wasn't worth going to the lounge, yet another disappointment. Didn't use the pools but other commented water was lovely and warm. Used and enjoyed the Dry Sauna but very small and only approx 4 to 5 can enjoy at one time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Wanted a relaxing cruise with family for Spring Break- got it! But very disappointed with boat and selection of activities on it. Boat is very old and needs updating. They still have bathtubs in the showers! All food is served from a ... Read More
Wanted a relaxing cruise with family for Spring Break- got it! But very disappointed with boat and selection of activities on it. Boat is very old and needs updating. They still have bathtubs in the showers! All food is served from a buffet line, but you have to ask for them to put things on your plate, different from other ships where you can just get your own amounts of whatever you want. The main dining room was nice and servers were great, but food selection was a little unusual. If you like to eat duck and try new dishes you’ve never heard of, then the main dining room is for you. We found the food to be bland almost every night. The boat is very old, about 30 years, and does not have a huge atrium like other boats. There are a couple of little shops. The casino is very small, with only three $1 slot machines, three 25 cent slot machines, a few tables, and about 20 penny slots. The staff is very nice with all workers being very polite, but do not go above and beyond. The ship also has issues with plumbing. There were several announcements made about plumbing issues to everyone on the boat. Be prepared to have to call the front desk for a plumber to visit your room! The cruise director always says “let’s rock it until we dock it”, but not many activities are planned. Some activities included the art of flower arranging, movies, talks with port info, trivia, and art auctions. Many young people on the boat went to trivia to do something fun. We are used to having drinks of the day specials and a little send off party when we leave the port, but there was nothing like that on this boat. When we went into other ports and other cruise ships were there, they had music playing, but our ship was silent. People say that Holland America cruise line is mostly for older retired people, and we did find this to be true. So in conclusion, go on this boat if you like a nice relaxing time on a small ship, but avoid it if you are younger or traveling with family because there is not much to do. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Second lifetime cruise for me and my 4 yr old (our first cruise was Alaska two years ago aboard the Westerdam with him, my 7 yr old and my father for his 80th birthday), first cruise for my 9 yr old daughter. My awesome wife can only ... Read More
Second lifetime cruise for me and my 4 yr old (our first cruise was Alaska two years ago aboard the Westerdam with him, my 7 yr old and my father for his 80th birthday), first cruise for my 9 yr old daughter. My awesome wife can only handle one kid on vacation at a time, meaning our 7 yr old drew the Europe straw with her this past week, leaving me, my oldest and youngest to go exploring the western Caribbean. I went budget this time (compared to the Westerdam), reserving an ocean view cabin (instead of a verandah, or as they are termed on the Rotterdam, a suite), and choosing to sail out of Tampa - a relatively easy drive from Atlanta at any time other than the start of spring break. The kids absolutely loved the OV window, and I didn't have to stress with my four year old toddling up on a deck table to look over the balcony (as he did on the Westerdam). Two big reasons I'm a fan of HA: every ship in their fleet appears to have a basketball court on the top deck, and every ship has a teak wood deck on their promenade level, which gives them a "classic" ship feel (not unlike WWII era battleships like the USS North Carolina or Missouri). We stayed at the Barrymore Hotel the night before next to the Straz Performing Arts Center, and reserved parking at the Skyhouse Garage - $56 for the week, a half mile tops from the HA terminal. We were able to take our time visiting the Florida Aquarium the morning of the cruise and eat lunch there, before walking back to the garage, grabbing our luggage, and wandering to the terminal for boarding. I've only done this twice - in Seattle and in Tampa - and to me, Tampa seemed like a big spacious terminal, and our embarkation was incredibly fast and easy. Enjoyed sailing down the Hillsborough River. Didn't eat a single meal other than at the Lido (we did the first night dinner on the Alaska cruise when my two younger kids were 2 and 5, and it was way too long and late for them; have never eaten anywhere other than the Lido since). There's enough variety with each meal - 3-4 appetizers, 4-5 entrees, 3-4 desserts, with made to order salads and pastas - and the menus vary enough that even if you eat every single meal there, you can go an entire cruise week without eating the same thing twice. First stop was in Key West, and because I hadn't yet bothered with Club HAL (it had been a bust on the Alaska cruise with my two kids being two of only five kids in the club) and had assumed I would have to do excursions with a 9 and 4 yr old, I booked events geared to the lowest common denominator - my 4 year old. We did the Land and Sea tour - an hour on a trolley train sightseeing Key West, followed by a two hour glass bottom boat cruise - which turned out to be a hit, since my whale loving 4 year old (which ironically took root two years ago on the Westerdam) got to see a pod of 6-8 dolphins up close just goofing off - which apparently does not happen often. Key West harbor was the least charismatic of any of the ones we visited - we had to go through the Truman Naval Base to get to town and got searched on the way back in - but even the least interesting harbor visit beats the best day in an office. NCAA basketball championship was that night, but since HA doesn't get TBS, I'd resigned myself to missing it for the first time in 40 years. So, imagine my surprise when I flipped on the ESPN Internat'l Channel that the boat does carry - and hearing Dick Vitale doing color for the game (which ironically, turned out to be a dud unless you're from Philly). I always dig the "at sea" portion of cruises - much boat exploring, much time spent in the ship's well-appointed Explorations Cafe (found an encyclopedia about ships which kept my four year old entertained and quiet while I taught my daughter how to play chess), and of course much time spent in the main pool with my kids mid-ship . . . Roatan was okay - the only I thing I booked for us that day was the "Magical Flying Beach Chair" which was just a ski lift from the pier to the beach - but which kids will love. The walk would've been nice too. Spent the entire day with my kids on the beach - ample equipment for rent - snorkels and floats - but cannot claim to have done anything truly "Honduran." Santo Tomas, Guatemala was memorable. Booked the Ak-Tenamit/Livingston river cruise - long boat ride up the bay and into the river, but it was worth it. I'm not a birder, but the river was dominated by water fowl everywhere. The Ak-Tenamit settlement, which included a visit to a local school with students was a hit with my nine-year old. Had a good lunch, though if I'd known how bony the fish would be, I'd have ordered the chicken. River ride out was also good; the ride back was broken up with a stop at the town of Livingston - with two kids, I never made it past their playground by the dock. The Santo Tomas harbor is a real life working harbor, and we were mesmerized watching containers being loaded and unloaded off of 18 wheelers before sailing off. What I will always remember about Costa Maya was the water clarity. The "harbor" there, is just a concrete walkway in the shape of a "T" - when we arrived, the Norwegian Pearl and I think Rhapsody of the Seas were already backed into the dock. The port area is easily the most well furnished. Would have liked to have done a beach, but with two small kids, I ended up rewarding them with a visit to the water park - which they both loved. Sea day back was relaxing - my daughter discovered Club HAL and asked if she could go - and both my kids ended up in the 9-11:30 am and 1-4 pm sessions. It was almost weird having an unexpected day to myself like that - so I did what any kidless dude in that situation would do - went to aft deck smoking area, found a chair in the shade, and lit up a big fat stogie . . . We arrived back in Tampa early the next morning - we ordered room service for 6 am, which turned out to be the right call - even though we were slotted for an 8:15 "expedited" disembarkation, the Captain released us an hour early - we were literally on the road home by 8:15 am - we got to the Fla Turnpike and I-75 so early, that for the first time I can remember, we didn't even have to stop . . . Shout out to Teguh and Anita for keeping our cabin clean, to the tall, brunette Guest Relations officer who found my kid after he ran off exploring the ship's elevators, and to the Lido dining staff who for the most part, actually seemed to enjoy my kids. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I was worried when I read reviews from Dec 2017, but not necessary. This cruise was absolutely fantastic. It is a smaller ship and that’s what we loved. Though the ship is older we didn’t notice anything that was rusted or ... Read More
I was worried when I read reviews from Dec 2017, but not necessary. This cruise was absolutely fantastic. It is a smaller ship and that’s what we loved. Though the ship is older we didn’t notice anything that was rusted or in disrepair as others mentioned. The crew was attentive, gracious and experienced. It was really refreshing to see everyone dressed appropriately in the main dining room, no (or very, very few) shorts or t-shirts, showing respect for fellow cruisers and the staff that is working so hard for you. Even the kids were very sharp; kudos to those parents and thank you! Our waiter and assistant waiter were very friendly and helpful and so very busy; but outstanding nonetheless. The live main stage entertainment was just ok, but occurred every night. The best was the Planet Earth II feature because of the live music accompaniment, it was very powerful. The Lido buffet was smaller than others, but the selection was still vast and I can’t think of anything else one could need. Loved the “big salad” bar and that you can no longer serve yourself along most of the buffet - it was significantly cleaner and more appetizing, but I will say it holds up the line a bit which is a fine trade-off. We booked all of our excursions outside of the cruise line, so can’t comment on that. All of the ports were fine, Key West was fun, as usual, Roatan was a lovely island with nice and informative locals. I’ve seen Guatemala called a wasted port, but probably not for those who did an interesting ruins tour; we did a quick walk through the vendors and went back to enjoy a relatively empty ship. Costa Maya was certainly very touristy and commercial, but it looked like people were having great fun at the beach. Definitely an up and coming Playa del Carmen. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise