Known for mid-size “dam” ships, Holland America Line history dates to an 1873 founding as
the Netherlands-America Steamship Company, later known as Holland America after its
transatlantic service started to the Americas. Flagship Rotterdam VI and the rest of
the fleet carry names of predecessors from Amsterdam to Zaandam. Known for consistent,
attentive service, Holland America ships have more staff members per guest than any
other major cruise line. By 2006, Holland America’s capacity will grow to 15 ships
with debut of three more 1,848-passenger Vista Class ships. HAL offers the only trip
cancellation program in the industry offering cash back for canceling for any reason
prior to 24 hours before departure. In addition to adventures to Hawaii, Holland America
(a Carnival Corporation premium brand) sails the Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, Caribbean,
Asia/Pacific, Europe, Canada/New England, and Alaska. In 2004, Holland America continues
its popular Hawaii sailings aboard Amsterdam and Statendam, including eight round-trip
sailings from San Diego and a San Diego-Hawaii-Vancouver sailing. Holland America guests
arriving for cruises on morning flights or driving to the port before noon now can board
the ship and relax well before the official embarkation time. The Embarkation Program for
all sailings features boarding as early as 11:30 a.m. to enjoy many comforts of the ship,
including booking spa appointments and shore excursions, before cruises leave port that evening.
With warm, cozy atmosphere, the Amsterdam, an R-Class ship along with sisters Rotterdam,
Volendam and Zaandam, has drawn accolades among passengers for its easy-to-navigate deck plan.
From white-gloved greetings upon embarkation to personal attention in the intimate,
alternative fine-dining restaurant, to the efficient but unobtrusive cabin steward service,
the mid-sized Amsterdam provides classic cruise experiences with well-appointed staterooms,
many with private verandas.
Holland America’s long-standing “tipping not required” policy forbids solicitation.
Guests are welcome to extend tips for outstanding service.
Public spaces and 23 staterooms in various categories accommodate wheel-chair users,
and crew members are particularly attentive to needs of the disabled.
With rich mahogany and 17th-century Dutch-style contemporary paintings commissioned by
Holland America dominating interior public areas, Amsterdam yields a mood reminiscent
of a classic European hotel. The Astrolabe, a huge clock in the triple-deck atrium,
features a clock, world clock, astrological clock and an astrolabe. The Four Seasons,
a series of sculptures commissioned for the Nieuw Amsterdam in 1938, was purchased
from a private collector for the Crow’s Nest Lounge.
Accommodations include a pair of Penthouse Suites, 50 Suites (many with verandas,
120 Deluxe Mini-Suites (many with veradas), 385 Standard Outside Staterooms, and
133 Standard Inside Staterooms.
All staterooms have television, telephone and multi-channel music. Deluxe suites with
private verandas, dressing rooms and whirlpool baths have complimentary personalized
stationery, hors d’oeuvres, dry cleaning and more, along with special disembarkation
privileges. Veranda Suites have a whirlpool bath, mini-bar, VCR and private veranda
large enough for lounging and dining. Not all staterooms within a category have the
same furniture configuration.
Kid & Teen Stuff
Club HAL supervises fun for ages 5 and up, including story time, art and crafts,
ice cream sundae parties, and candy bar bingo. For tweens (9 through 12) and teens
(to 17), there’s miniature golf, pool and pizza parties, video games, disco, movies and more.
The two-tiered La Fontaine Dining Room, with tables for two, four, or more, has two traditional
seatings, and the Pinnacle Grill at the Odyssey, the elegant jackets required reservations-only
alternative restaurant, features Pacific Northwest cuisine and wines. The Lido Restaurant serves
casual seated dinners and buffet-style breakfast and lunch with separate stations for omelets,
fruit and pastries at breakfast, and stir-fry, deli, and ice cream at lunch.
Sports / Health / Fitness
Ocean Spa has exercise bikes and treadmills, weight stations and free weights, plus an aerobics
area. The Spa, with sauna, steam and loofah scrub rooms, offers massages, facials, and a hair
salon services. Lido Deck has two pools, one with a retractable roof; four whirlpools; and a
pair of tennis/volleyball courts. The Lower Promenade Deck has a walking track circumnavigating
the ship at 3.5 laps to the mile.
The two-tiered, 557-seat Queen’s Lounge hosts sparkling production shows and other entertainment,
and the Ocean Bar has small musical combos. At the Wajang Theatre, hot buttered popcorn is free
along with popular new-release comedies, dramas, and thrillers. For diversion, Amsterdam also
has the 23-seat Erasmus Library and chic shops stocked with duty-free goods from French
fragrances and Swiss watches to designer wear. Talented Indonesian and Filipino crew members
also stage crew shows.
Amsterdam’s casino has slot machines and tables for blackjack, dice, roulette and stud poker.
From cocktails in the Rembrandt Lounge to a post shore excursion pick-me-ups including
complimentary coffees in the Java Bar next to the Internet Cafe, Amsterdam has several
watering holes to quench thirsts for relaxation and people-watching. At night, dance music,
fox trot and waltzing to disco, emanates from cozy lounges. After dinner, complimentary
espresso and hand-dipped chocolates are served in the elegant 89-seat Explorer’s Lounge.
The late-night crowd also heads to the 366-seat Crow’s Nest Lounge, outstanding for day-time