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MarkD 05-25-2008 03:36 PM

Just got back from a 7 day on the Amsterdam. My first trip with a cruise ship.
My impressions of the interior of Amsterdam were that it is magnificant. The crew, 100% professional and friendly. Ship interior kept very clean.
I spent most of my time on the upper decks. Some time on lower decks, such as lower promonade deck 3.
The decks are in shabby condition. Caulking is working loose between the teak deck covering boards. In one place the boards had expanded and lifted, causing a spongy feel to the deck.
Varnish peeling. Debris clogged scupper drains and rusted washdown water supply pipes broken loose from mountings, causing them to rattle and shake with the ships vibration.

Vibration. Has anyone here been on Amsterdam?
For the entire trip, at any speed above dead slow it would begin a low frequency vibration. At a full cruise speed of 23 knots the sky deck was shaking so badly I couldn't use a zoom lens for photos, as it would blur the pictures so badly from the motion. Even the deck chairs were shaking and bouncing.
It felt like an imbalance between props and perhaps a little out of sync at the same time.
It was, however, more noticable in forward sections than aft.
If anyone has experienced this vibration, I would like to hear anything relevant to it.

penny3333 05-28-2008 06:45 AM

Hi MarkD, welcome to Cruise-Chat. I'm gathering from your review that overall you enjoyed it, but the ship was in poor repair. I have been on older ships where there was vibration, but normally not on newer ships. I was on the Amsterdam in 1994, but I don't think it's the same ship. From what I heard, they replaced the one I sailed on. If it is still the same ship, it's no wonder she was vibrating. Sure hope you'll try HAL again.

Cruise Fanatic 05-28-2008 06:56 AM

The new Amsterdam was built in 2000. My information says she was refurbished in 2005.

MarkD 05-28-2008 07:38 PM

Thanks for the replies and the welcome.
Yes, the current Amsterdam was new in 2000. IIRC, went into service 2001. So, 8 or 9 years on her since new. It is a beautiful ship inside, and outside too, if aboard.
I would, of course, consider going with H.A. again. Not only because of the good trip overall and the way we were treated the entire time, but also from what I have heard. I have heard that this company treats their people very, very well. The crews seem to reflect what I have heard, because they seemed to be happy, and were perfectly willing and able to indulge in a little conversation and humor with passengers. I like that. I don't like stiff and formal all the time. Actually, not at all.

But that vibration! I wouldn't have minded so much if I hadn't been trying to take pictures from upper decks somewhat forward.
Basically, decks 9 and 10. They call them Sport deck and Sky deck, respectively.
It was ok when taking close in shots, but in trying to take a picture from away from the ship, using a long lens, the shaking was so much that I couldn't get a clear picture. I am not exaggerating.
Interestingly, it was stronger forward than aft.
They don't seem too worried about it, whatever it is, because; We left Seattle around 4:30 or so aboard the Amtrak #8, Empire Builder. Leaving Seattle, we were headed northerly, along the sound. What should appear, but Amsterdam, working her way northward again, with another batch of happy passengers aboard. Already. Well, they have to keep those boats working to earn their keep. But my guess is that people who know more than I about it have determined that whatever it is, it can go on until there's time to take care of it. Still, it is shaking that boat pretty hard.
Even fittings in our stateroom,roughly midship, were shaking and rattleing. Sort of annoying to passengers. My wife didn't like it at all.
In the movie theater, the screen was shaking. That made Michael Clayton seem somewhat jumpy.
Oh well.
Yes, I had a great time. It was my first trip on a cruise ship, and it was great. I don't want to come across as a whiner. I'm just curious about that vibration. It is too strong to be something that would be inherent in the design.
I sure got a lot of great photo's regardless. I took well over 1000. Half film and half digital.
At one point, one morning a Canadian C-130 decided to use us as a practice target. He dropped to around stack level, then proceded to bank around the ship, astern from port to starboard. I had the motor drive on the film camera going, as I just happened to be at my normal station on deck 10, just aft of the Skydeck on the port side. I followed him around and keept the camera shooting until he flew off. Most people never saw him. They were too busy playing bingo, or some such.
Those photo's came out just incredible! At one point, he is hidden behind the stacks, as his altitude was that low! I loved it! In the pictures I can read the numbers off the aircraft.
That alone would have made the trip worthwhile! Then there was Glacier Bay. Another hilight, and Sitka, my original main reason for wanting to go. Well, I found Sitka is pretty much tourist trap, naturally, but still there is a lot of history. I didn't go back to the boat until I had to.

We used the tenders to go ashore there. As we reboarded the ship, one of the officers was standing near the gangway as we stepped aboard. I mentioned that a great entertainment for the passengers would be to have tender races. They take all four and run them in an oval of, say, 6 laps around the ship. Maybe about 100 yards out to keep it longer, and them away from the ship. It didn't take, but he did chuckle at the thought.
I still think it's a great idea.
Mark D.

<<Edited to fix deck numbers, as per Mark.>>

penny3333 05-29-2008 07:29 AM

I've never thought of tender races, but sounds like a fun idea. I'm glad you were able to take a lot of pictures. Maybe it was an unbalanced screw (prop)? We've got some astute sailors on the board, so hopefully, they'll see this post and can offer an explanation. If you post your pictures to a web site, please let us know where. I'd love to see them, especially the C130, how cool!

MarkD 05-29-2008 08:11 AM

Thanks Penny.
I tried to edit my post above, but it won't let me. So I need to mention a typo I made. On Amsterdam, Skydeck is deck 10, not 9. And the "sport deck" is deck 9, not 8, which is Lido deck.
Just a clarification so anyone who knows won't think I'm disoriented.
(I probably am disoriented, but that's another subject)
I'll post some pics sooner or later. I do use a photo hosting service, and can upload. Unfortunately, it's limited to like 250K per photo max, and those C-130 shots are around 800 or more kilobites. I can resize them, but that'll take a lot out of the look of it.
I'll do it when I have some time, though.
Mark D.

Sandy 05-29-2008 09:13 AM


So I need to mention a typo I made. On Amsterdam, Skydeck is deck 10, not 9. And the "sport deck" is deck 9, not 8, which is Lido deck.
I edited your message to reflect the above. Hope I got it right.


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