Back in September, some friends and I headed out on a Holland America Alaska Inside Passage Cruise. I shared all about our stops in October, but didn’t get a chance to share about the boat itself before I got into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
One thing that we were pleasantly surprised about was that we were able to go straight to our rooms once we got on board (I’ve been on a couple other cruises that made us wait a couple hours before we could head to our rooms). All of us had rooms next to each other, they weren’t adjoining; however, our room steward was able to open the balcony dividers so that we could all hang out there together.
When we got to our room, we were greeted by some delicious appetizers, fruit, and chocolate compliments of Holland America. They were SO DELICIOUS, and definitely appreciated as we were hungry from traveling that morning.
We brought them out to the balcony and did a champagne toast as we embarked on our grand Alaskan adventure. Our Verandah room was on the 5th deck and easy to get both to the pools/buffet on the higher decks and the dining room/shows on the lower decks. Each day the carpet in the elevators are swapped out to say what day of the week they are, we tried to take a picture each day with our feet, but unfortunately we missed a few people in some of the days.
We headed out to explore the boat and make our plan of attack for our home away from home. The Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam is gorgeous and offers a variety of things to do. There were pools, hot tubs, music lounges, and nightly entertainment (although it would have been nice if the hot tubs were open a little later). We made friends with our assistant cruise director Carson the first day during pub trivia (our trivia score unfortunately decreased each time we played).
I didn’t get a chance to try out the spa while on board; however I almost signed up for a couple treatments just so I could try out the hydropool and heated loungers. Had it just been Brad and I on-board, we probably would have purchased the spa access pass; however, with 6 of us, we were always out doing something around the boat (or hanging out on our balcony).
We also spent some time up in the Crow’s Nest and Explorer’s Cafe. I went to the Cafe each morning to get a latte, and the Crow’s Nest was a nice quiet area that had board games, comfy chairs, and a gorgeous view looking out over the front of the ship. It was a great place to enjoy a cocktail and have late night conversations.
We went to most of the shows, and on the last night, Barry even got to get up on stage with the Illusionist. It was pretty fun to watch him up there.
All of us agreed that we would sail Holland America again. Even though it has the reputation of being an “elderly cruise line” we still found plenty to do and had a blast (and sometimes it is nice to NOT be cruising with a bunch of 20 year olds who want to party all day). The food was delicious (especially the desserts). I highly recommend booking a reservation at the Pinnacle Grill – it is definitely worth the cost for an absolutely amazing dinner.
Have you cruised with Holland America before? What boat were you on?