Holland America Line Reviews

Year Started: 1873
Ships in Fleet: 15
Category: Upscale

Summary: A high quality upper mainstream cruise line with smaller ships and value prices. A cruise line for people who want to step up from mainstream at great value prices.


Holland America Cruise Ships

20 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Central America, Transpacific, West Coast, Erope

Good for: Teens. Seniors. Group.

15 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Eastern Seaboard, Mediterranean Western

Good for: Teens. Seniors. Group.

48 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Southern, Eastern Seaboard, South America

Good for: Teens. Seniors. Group.

6 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Mediterranean Western, Transatlantic

Good for: Seniors. Overall Service. Teens.

23 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Southern, Caribbean Western, Mediterranean Western

Good for: Value for Money. Teens. Seniors.

42 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Australia, Oceania, West Coast

Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.

12 Reviews

Regions:Africa, Caribbean Southern, Mediterranean Western, South America, Transatlantic

Good for: Group. Families. Luxury Travelers.

14 Reviews

Regions:Inland Waterways, Mediterranean Western, Scandinavia, The Orient

Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.

31 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Southern, Caribbean Western, Mediterranean Western, Transatlantic

Good for: Overall Service. Value for Money. Seniors.

22 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, South America, West Coast

Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.

30 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Eastern Seaboard, Hawaii, Mexico, South America

Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.

23 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Australia, Oceania, The Orient, West Coast

Good for: Seniors. Overall Service. Teens.

28 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Caribbean Eastern, Central America, Hawaii, West Coast

Good for: Seniors. Overall Service. Children`s Programs.

41 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Central America, Hawaii, Mexico, South America, West Coast

Good for: Overall Service. Value for Money. Foodies.

66 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Southern, Caribbean Western, Central America, West Coast

Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.

User Ratings

Overall Rating
from 421 reviews


Service Level

Value for Money

Ship Décor

Public Rooms


Kid's Programs

Daytime Activities


Shore Tours


Alternative Dining

User Reviews

421 User Reviews of Holland America Ships
lost and found
Publication Date: December 4, 2014

My husband and I were on the Transatlantic cruise last April on the Nieuw Amsterdam. When we left the ship in Barcelona after a wonderful cruise, my husband forgot to pack his binoculars. After discovering this oversight upon arriving home, I wrote HAL to ask about locating them. First I received a letter saying they had not been located. Later I received a phone call saying they had and as soon as the ship returned to Florida I would be contacted regarding the return of the binoculars. I heard nothing more about it and had given them up for gone when the Fed-Ex truck pulled up in front of our house and delivered the forgotten binoculars!! I can't say enough about the service of the Holland America Cruise Line. Always excellent service and beautiful ships. We'll be back on in the spring.

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Good value but daytime activities were lacking
Publication Date: October 23, 2014

We sailed from Vancouver down to San Diego and then on to Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. The food was top notch, but the specialty restaurants was similar to the dining room. Our stateroom was fine, and the ship was well cared for... the staff was constantly cleaning and working.

The evening entertainment was definitely one of the high points of the cruise and was very professional. My only complaint was the daytime activities, or rather, the lack of daytime activities... NO enrichment speakers or crafts, just bingo and selling stuff. The poor activity director tried to give some talk that were "not very good," to be kind. Her talks were more like a school report of "What I did during the summer." If Holland thinks they are saving money by using the crew as "enrichment speakers," they are missing the boat and loosing rating stars.

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Publication Date: August 12, 2014

On the second day of sailing, we observed heavy smell of mold and mildew. Reported it to front desk as I am highly allergic. Nothing done. Reported it third day. Nothing done. Reported it fourth night as I was now having to use my emergency inhaler. Nothing done. Fifth morning, went to ship doctor at 8 am. Put on prednisone, antibiotics and 2 inhalers. In bed all day missing 2 excursions and the best dinner. With 2 nights left they then offered a different room but I did not have the energy to pack and move everything. Extremely dissapointed!

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Very disappointed
Publication Date: August 4, 2014

Our first cruise (my husbands retirement present) we were so excited. When we first arrived everything was just great after all Holland America belongs to one of the largest if not THE largest cruise lines in the world Carnival Cruise Line.

It didn't take long for the shine to wear off our cruise, the stench coming from the toilet was unbearable, each time the toilet was flushed the odor filled the bathroom area.

A lady who was in the cabin a few doors down from us was so angry about something, I'm not sure what it was, blew a tantrum and changed rooms from the 6th. floor to another floor, oh yes we paid for and were in the upper veranda ss rooms.

And then it happened, we had to step on and kill a COCKROACH yes a COCKROACH and believe me it was a big one. How would you feel if you opened your upper veranda ss suite room door and were confronted by a cockroach. After killing it we took a picture of it and brought the photo to the front desk. She actually came up to the 6th

floor, confirmed it was a cockroach and picked it up and took it away, she said she would have our room scanned and cleaned for any other roachs that may be lurking in the dark.

Then the nightmare began, the front desk manager a young lady by the name of Nancy just about came out and said we had brought the COCHROACH aboard the ship. She did everything in her power to pooh pooh the incident away.

Then she said she wasn't going to offer us anything for our troubles because she didn't want to insult us, and if we wanted to take this incident any further we should talk to their head office, and that is that.

That was our first cruise experience, we won't be taking our chances with any of the Carnival Cruise Line companies again.

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They apologized and reimbursed more than I though, outstanding customer care
Publication Date: July 28, 2014

On July 26, 2014 I wrote a review on how disappointing was my shore excursion. I have just received a long letter of excuse, where they explained me how they have to rely to third party providers, from which they expected to uphold the high standards. At the end , they also reimbursed the all excursion, even though I had asked for only 50% reimbursement. I was very surprise because I considered myself just one of the 2000 passenger who to that ship every two week. It is clear that was not the case, and I must admit that Holland America has shown an outstanding care for its customers, that is in line with the overall excellent service I got on board. Thence, I have to amended my previous comment.

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Avoi! excursions
Publication Date: July 26, 2014

Excellent ship, However I joined the "An evening to the Hermitage" in St. Peresburg. It was advertised as 3hr tour. We spent 92 minutes in the museum only. The museum is 15 minutes driving far from the ship, there was neither traffic nor queue at the custom. A 1,5 hours wasted is simply not acceptable. I asked for reimbursement and the answer was that the visit was supposed to be 90 minute long. However, this is not what people expect looking at the excursion description. I contacted Holland America by email and I did not get any reply. Holland America just cheated to get profit of a expensive excursion.

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very exellent great price too
Publication Date: July 16, 2014

Our 5th cruise, This was 3 weeks mediterranian may 2014 from Barcelona to Venice. Everything was Perfect, We were on the 5th level which has slightly bigger balconys (the lowest balcony level). The boat was full but never had any waits except a few times for dinner (we had open seating). The buffett was not bad but we loved the normal restaurant. Most always all was perfect- When you order a steak medium rare it is always so. There was always room at all shows and pool areas and whirlpool. We like Celebrity a tiny bit more. I can not say enough that this was way excellent in all aspects.

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Great Ship
Publication Date: June 22, 2014

We took the Ryndam on a 14 day cruise of the Baltic hitting St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Tallinn, Rostock, Copenhagen, and Aarhus, the typical ports. First let me briefly mention the ports. St. Petersburg was overwhelming. We took a two day tour as you can't go out on your own without a visa, which we didn't want to do. Good choice. I would never go out into St. Petersburg on my own, not because of safety but because it is so large and there is so much to see. We were exhausted after the two day tour but it was worth every penny. The other ports are fantastic and don't need any hype. We were surprised by Estonia as it was a delightful place and the historic area was a photographers delight. Let me add that we have been on almost 20 cruises and rank this overall as one of our best and favorite. It was nice not stopping in third world countries. In fact the quality of life is much higher in most of the countries we visited than it is in the United States, but the prices are

much higher also. Bottom line, we bought very little to bring home. Overall though, you just can't beat these ports. As a seasoned cruiser I want to focus this review on the Ryndam. We loved the ship.

When we arrived at Dover I was surprised by how small the Ryndam was. Our last three cruises have been on ships that are in the 130,000 ton range and the Ryndam is less than half that size. That is what made it so great. We walked down one deck to our dining room. We walked down one deck to the balcony of the theatre. We walked up two decks to the buffet and the pool. Everything else was in that 3-4 deck span. With only about 1200 passengers we never felt crowded, anywhere. Even in the buffet at peak times we could always find a place to sit. The passengers on the ship were mostly Americans, Canadians, Brits, and Aussies. There are nationalities that I don't like cruising with because they are pushy and rude. This combination was great. If there were open seats at your table people would just join you, a very friendly group. Holland American caters to an older crowd. I'm 69 and felt I was below the mean age. Maybe that is why the passengers were so relaxed and friendly. Back to the ship.

The food was very good and we had a nice variety. The hamburgers were they best we have ever had. They take your order and give you a buzzer so you can get it when it is done. They are smashed on the griddle and are just fantastic. They don't sit in a pile in a pan for a couple hours. The dining room menu was quite good and it seemed the portions were a little smaller which is perfect for a bunch of seniors. You can always order an extra meal which I did when I had the lamb chops. The service was as good as it gets, ship wide. The Captain lives in the Seattle area and was highly visible. His explanations of what was happening were clear and understandable. In Stockholm we anchored in the harbor and during the afternoon there was a brief microburst type storm that started pushing the ship harder than the anchors and side thrusters could handle which required a tug boat. He clearly explained the situation and we moved to a dock about 1/4 mile from where we were anchored. He also shared that this was the first time he had sailed these waters so it was a new adventure. We shared that adventure and had 100% confidence in his ability.

There were two other couples at our dinner table and they both booked another cruise on the Ryndam with the on-ship salesperson. We were told the ship would be in service only one more season and then would be retired. Running the smaller ship with older technology was not cost effective. My wife and I are looking at where we can squeeze in another cruise on the Ryndam before she leaves service.

So, what are the negatives? Small ship, so the entertainment cast isn't large so don't expect extravagant major productions. However, the individual acts they brought on were very good and well appreciated. hey do three shows most nights so the shows are only 45 minutes long, but that was OK with everyone. That's about all I can say negative. I hope they don't let it get to worn out by the end of its run, but right now I would rank it in our top three favorite ships.

If you want a great cruise experience, take the Ryndam, anywhere it goes. Glitz? No. Excitement and energy? LOL. Lavish entertainment? No. Non-stop excitement? NO. It was just a relaxing, uncrowded cruise with a great staff. Try and sale this ship before she goes. This type of cruise experience is being lost to the mega ships. Experience it before it is gone.

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Reposition Cruise; Ft Lauderdale to Montreal
Publication Date: May 30, 2014

The Maasdam was the only cruise ship in Port Everglades May 2 and was indeed the only ship in port at every port on our 15 day cruise. Such is the advantage of doing a cruise on Holland's reposition from the Caribbean to Canada. The ports were also great: Charleston, Newport, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Saguenay, Quebec, Montreal. You can't do these on a regular cruise. The Maasdam with only 1200 guests is "mid size", but compared to most of the newer ships is even small. She is still a jewel! The service, the lack of lines, the ability to walk into the main dining room without waiting for a table, crew remembering your name and what you like, all of these are why the Maasdam still shines. The ship looks good; new elevators, new coffee servers and Canaletto chairs, new cafe pool side (Dive In) since last drydock. Dining room is excellent. Lido is very good. Enjoy this ship as I'm sure Holland will be loosing her soon as the newer/mega ships arrive.

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Very wonderful ship great for alaska cruise
Publication Date: February 28, 2014

On may 20 we went from seward ak to Vancouver, Had a window room (beware some window rooms have view of walkway then sea, ous fortunatly did not. The boat was exellent all in all , no compalints, In fact almost up to celebrity standards with food- exellent. This is a great ship, has nice movie theater and library. Higly recommend

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