1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Holland America Line
  4. Holland America Line Cruise Reviews
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband and I traveled alone for our 30th Wedding Anniversary on this cruise. We booked a veranda cabin on the Navigation deck via Holland and not a travel agent. Embarkation was very easy. Although the woman taking care of us ... Read More
My husband and I traveled alone for our 30th Wedding Anniversary on this cruise. We booked a veranda cabin on the Navigation deck via Holland and not a travel agent. Embarkation was very easy. Although the woman taking care of us had to be reminded by us on the procedure!! She was also lacking in English communication skills! The wait time to board the ship was longer than usual since this was the first time Nieuw Statendam had entered an American Port so she had a lengthy inspection by the Coast Guard. Understandable. No worries! The Nieuw Statendam is a beautiful ship. It’s very well thought out in its design. You notice this as you walk around the decks, small things like handwashing stations in the Lido...Great idea!! I like how you are served your food in the Lido by the staff and not self service. This kept the germs down and the floors cleaner! The food was protected from the passengers behind a glass partition. We never had to touch a serving spoon or wait to be served. The selections in the Lido did not taste like cafeteria food. It had more of a gourmet flair to it! I Will say that the only item that was lacking on the ship was the self serve ice machine in the Lido. If it worked it all, the best you could hope for was a slow drip of watery slush! The no touch sensor on this ice machine didn’t work properly and I saw passengers putting their hands and used glasses all over the dispenser area trying to get it to work. This was not sanitary! The servers had good ice available in their pitchers, so ask for it instead. The food was excellent everywhere we ate on the ship! Our night in the Pinnacle was enjoyable with amazing meal selections. Our evening at Canaletto was a bit of a disappointment. An area of the Lido is transformed into Canaletto for the evening. The same staff that serves you in the morning and daytime in Lido are also serving you in the evening at Canaletto. I just didn’t feel like I was in a special venue. There wasn’t a feel of specialty dining that one would be willing to pay extra for. The food was good (not excellent) but timeliness of delivery was lacking. We had a late reservation which we will not do again anywhere on any ship! It wasn’t the service of the waitstaff that caused an issue but there appeared to be a back up in the kitchen that caused our entrées to be served over one hour behind our appetizer. Gala night in The Main Diningroom should not be missed! Service was outstanding as was the food. As always with Hollard America the main dining room is something to behold. Our favorite dinner while onboard was in Tamarind. This venue has the best view for dining and ambience on the ship! The half round booth facing aft is by far THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE! I recommend an early reservation for this venue. We watched the sun set and saw the venue lighting change to a soft romantic tone. There was a WOW factor here! Service was amazing!! Be aware when purchasing ahead of time the Signature Dining Package that only two of the five specialty restaurants are included.....The Pinnacle and Canaletto. I made the mistake of assuming all specialty restaurants were available for selection. This is not the case! FYI...Rudi’s Sel de Mer is al la carte pricing. All menu selections are priced separately. The entertainment on board the ship was outstanding. Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard and the Rolling Stone venues. Our favorite was The BB Kings Allstars direct from Beale Street at BB Kings (the club venue that was transformed from Lincoln Center Stage after 9pm) with lots of fun dancing! This band Rocked! The veranda cabin we had #8022 was comfortable with 2 cabin steward‘s Wenjoldy and George that were always available to us with smiles! Service was impeccable! There were 6 electrical and USB outlets. We took a ships approved multi outlet with us and didn’t need it! There is plenty of good lighting in the cabin with reading lights and electrical outlets of each side off the bed. The cabin door is metal but if you want to decorate it, heavy duty magnets need to be used! The bathroom was very well laid out with a large full shower and glass door. The Bollini Bath Fixtures were easy to use and quite beautiful to say the least. There are handholds and a foot rail in the shower that were strategically placed for safety. One thing that was new to us was having to put your cabin key card in a slot by the door inside your cabin to activate the interior lighting. A couple of times I was caught in the bathroom and my husband went for coffee with his card and 30 seconds later the lights went out on me! Something we had to figure out on our own if someone stays behind in the cabin. Beds were comfortable. There was a large hanging closet with plenty of room and a huge television at the foot of our bed. I highly recommend loading the NAVIGATOR program onto your phone, laptop or iPad once you’re on the ship. This program is for your easiest way of getting in touch with Guest Services if you have a problem. It’s much easier than making a phone call, telling your Cabin Stewards or being on hold forever or standing in line at guest services on the third floor. Your problem will be handled in a timely manner. This program also gives you up-to-date information on entertainment food venues, making reservations and many other necessities while on the ship . You do not need to have a purchased the ships wi fi to activate this. There are directions in a bifold paper on the desk when you arrive in your cabin on how to access the NAVIGATOR. But remember, this cannot be accessed until you are on the ship. The price for BLEND the wine blending and tasting venue is $79.00 a person or $99.00 a couple. We did not partake! There was a self service beer and soft drink dispenser that you paid for by the ounce near the indoor Lido Pool Bar. No waiting! At NOTES, the brown liquor tasting venue, one can have a shot of the overly rated 20 year old Pappy Van Winkle for up to $207.00. OR the 12 year old Pappy for $109.00 a shot! There are other brands available more moderately priced. I did not visit the spa on this trip. Our cruise just was not long enough! If shopping for Liquor aboard the ship, the prices are not posted on the bottles. You get the price list from the shop attendant. The ships artwork had a modern feel to it which was very interesting. Every elevator lobby had some sort of avant-garde art piece which was worth seeking out on a self guided art crawl. Our Captain Sybe de Boer was professional, personable and approachable. Our safety and comfort was his NUMBER ONE concern! Our Cruise Director Ross McTaggart was easy to understand and always ready to give information. The Hotel Director Don Habets saw that the few issues we had on the ship were IMMEDIATELY taken care of. Thank you Don!! Adriana Strugala in Guest Services is the person to reach if you have a complicated situation to address! Thank you Adriana. Disembarkation was very easy for us since we brought only carry on luggage for this short voyage. We were given a color coded departure tag to exit the ship when called. In spite of the fact of the Government shutdown, there were a few TSA Supervisors working to assure entry. I (we) would recommend this ship and its crew for future voyages. I would like to be on a longer one next time. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Holland America used to be known as the cruise line where seniors would eat at 530 pm and be tucked away by nine. So not so anymore. My wife and I, veterans of more than thirty cruises took our first HAL cruise to Spain and Portugal in ... Read More
Holland America used to be known as the cruise line where seniors would eat at 530 pm and be tucked away by nine. So not so anymore. My wife and I, veterans of more than thirty cruises took our first HAL cruise to Spain and Portugal in Sept 2018 and were knocked silly by the high level of food, service,and entertainment. What mainly blew us away was the virtuoso like quality of the musicians at their Lincoln center stage, billboard on board, and Bb king area, not to mention the world stage productions. So when we heard the Nieuw Statendam was having a four day cruise in December we jumped at the chance.let’s just say they changed their A game to their A plus game by adding their Rolling Stone Rock band, which would have easily fit into the main stage at the Fillmore East or any major concert venue . Such musical genius all around. On a cruise ship yet, who knew? We now have booked a cruise for Feb 2020 on the Nieuw Amsterdam which also has these musical offerings. At our age one island blends into the next: we are here for the bands. In addition the service was excellent: any request was handled quickly and efficiently, the staff crispy dressed in grey uniforms with Dutch orange trim. The dining rooms staffs were excellent as well, calling my wife “my lady” how cool is that? I do have a small criticism: the pools are not their strongest point. While the covered pool and attached hot tubs are sufficient for the non holiday crowds, the Seaview pool and hot tubs were achingly small, with the hottubs sufficient for one person only. But never mind. Go for the ship, food, and entertainment and oh by the way if you happen on a beach or two, that is fine as well. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I've been on quite a few cruise line ships. This ship sets the bar .. !st the big stage theater is a technical surprise..amazing.. have to see and experience it. I lack the words. Next the cafeteria food court has individual chefs ... Read More
I've been on quite a few cruise line ships. This ship sets the bar .. !st the big stage theater is a technical surprise..amazing.. have to see and experience it. I lack the words. Next the cafeteria food court has individual chefs making for example your pasta dish with the ingredients you select.. Salad stations similarly; carving stations with an incredible selection of sides, and eastern food stations with made to order dishes.. AND THE FOOD IS GREAT The food wherever we ate was great. My better half is a vegan and they actually had a separate menu with dishes for vegans and vegetarians.. "A pleasure not to have to track down chefs to order a vegan meal" Next and very important to everyone WALK IN SHOWERS..That's right regular showers you don't have to step out of to wash your lower body.. excellent. Oh and there is a retractable roof above the pool so when the weather gets a little inclement they can close the roof either partially or all together.. great feature At the main pool loungers with comfortable cushions. AND sectioned off places on the deck above the pool where couples could share a full length couch. The service by the staff 2nd to none Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
HAL has greatly raised their level of cruising with the NIEUW STATENDAM. My family of four sailed on this new ship for a four day Bahamas cruise on 12-19. Our cabin was one of the Vista Suites on deck 6, not really a suite, but plenty of ... Read More
HAL has greatly raised their level of cruising with the NIEUW STATENDAM. My family of four sailed on this new ship for a four day Bahamas cruise on 12-19. Our cabin was one of the Vista Suites on deck 6, not really a suite, but plenty of room for 4. Shower in bathroom very large. Excellent TV in room, with plenty of free movie choices. Cabin service was first rate. The standouts on the ship are 1) Food and 2) Entertainment. We only ate dinner in the extra charge dining rooms, we wanted to experience them all and this was only a 4 day cruise. The extra fees were well worth the cost. I would give extra accolades to the Pinnacle Grill where the whole experience was must better than I have seen on the HAL ships. We also greatly enjoyed the Tamarind , which offered unique menu choices. The free outdoor deck lunch choices were also excellent...New York Pizza and a Burger Stand. Very few cruise ships get pizza right, but this one did. Extra cost ice cream shop was also a popular choice with our group. Service in all dining venues was excellent. HAL offer a wide range of live entertainment on this ship (and KONINGSDAM) . The Rock Room was enjoyed by all of us, even if it was somewhat cringe to watch older baby boomers still dancing to rock music. BB King blues club and Lincoln Center Stage also were top notch choices. There was a large production show that offered good dancers, but the music here was prerecorded which turns me off. For the price paid I don't see how you can beat NIEUW STATENDAM. Excellent food, good service , and fun first rate live entertainment. Highly recommended. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I really wanted to try the Prinsendam while she is still under the HAL flag. Everything I heard about the passengers and the staff was spot on. Everyone was friendly and approachable. The staff was competent and always in a good mood The ... Read More
I really wanted to try the Prinsendam while she is still under the HAL flag. Everything I heard about the passengers and the staff was spot on. Everyone was friendly and approachable. The staff was competent and always in a good mood The shops are extremely limited. Mostly jewelry and HAL branded items. My cabin steward and his helper were so very nice and accommodating. Friendly, spoke very good English, and responded to my requests with pleasant and speedy solutions to my requests.. I never get seasick --- until now. On a guarantee ocean view I was put in the absolute first cabin at the front. Even on quite moderate seas, I became ill twice! There was a lot of movement all over the ship, but much worse in my cabin. Very noisy and rough. Then there was the food. Very limited choice in the Lido.I will not miss this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
People and service were good to great.however the food and entertainment were weak at best. There were never this many kids aboard and many parents did not control them and allowed for them to run on the dance floor at BB Kings. Both my ... Read More
People and service were good to great.however the food and entertainment were weak at best. There were never this many kids aboard and many parents did not control them and allowed for them to run on the dance floor at BB Kings. Both my husband and I were ill from the food one night. Despite earning another Mariner star for loyalty this will probably be my last Dam cruise Because of weather we missed one port. It was my favorite port too as I had purchased a new scuba mask. I understand that for safety measures we could not tender but there were no real interesting options on board. Holland is owned by the Carnival enterprise and is taking on a lot of its character. Drinking is heavily pushed and the serene elegance of former days is gone. Gala night had men dressed in short sleeve shirts with women in all different types of garb. A dinner companion commented that this now reminded her of Holiday Inn. Some people just don't know how to act in polite situations too. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Love it , peaceful, quiet , relaxed , loved . Amazing food , lovely crew members , excellent manners , impecable ship, classic , in excellent shape for it age . As a handicap person using an electric scooter , I never found any person on ... Read More
Love it , peaceful, quiet , relaxed , loved . Amazing food , lovely crew members , excellent manners , impecable ship, classic , in excellent shape for it age . As a handicap person using an electric scooter , I never found any person on the elevators , my cabin SY8081 was not accesible cabin and I found a lot of space for my scooter . I recommend it . Not many places to go at night , BB king, the piano guys and the main stage But for us is more than enough . I start to realize that mid size ships are the best . The cruise director Nathan dance amazing , he has such a lovely personality who light up the room and attract younger people . All the meals were fantastic no matter where it was The lido or the main dining room . Everything was amazing , the consistency , the flavour The quality of the food . It’s hard to describe everything . You need to try by yourself .. everything was perfect . They are detail oriented . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because it was an extension of one organized by a group and we decided that we should spend another two weeks on the ship. We are experienced cruisers (more than 20) and we decided that we wanted to use the ship as a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was an extension of one organized by a group and we decided that we should spend another two weeks on the ship. We are experienced cruisers (more than 20) and we decided that we wanted to use the ship as a luxury hotel rather than a way of seeing tourist attractions in the Caribbean. The inside and the outside of the ship are beautiful. The traditional black hull and white superstructure and the strong and pointed bough are beautiful to look at. The ship was immaculate on the outside decks and beautifully designed on the inside. There was not a crewmember with whom we interacted who deserved less than excellent rating. We had a few meals in the main dining room because we had a Neptune suite that entitled us to use the Pinnacle Grill. Even if you have one or two meals at the Grill you will find the service and the cuisine excellent. The dining room, where we had seven dinners was okay, but not great. We found the Lido grill noisy and that the combination of dozens of different foods created a smell that was not pleasant for us. We love classical music and there was an opportunity to hear it on the ship and while the comedian was not to our taste, the magician was fantastic. When there were problems, the ship's crew did an excellent job in solving them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We stayed at the Renaissance in Fort Lauderdale the night prior to our cruise , and it was perfect for an overnight stay. We arrived late but were able to get good food right at the hotel. We wanted a longer cruise and felt a ... Read More
We stayed at the Renaissance in Fort Lauderdale the night prior to our cruise , and it was perfect for an overnight stay. We arrived late but were able to get good food right at the hotel. We wanted a longer cruise and felt a slightly larger ship would offer more choices in food , entertainment , and areas to relax ! This ship was perfect as it exceeded our expectations but was very easy to navigate , and I never felt worn out from walking . We already loved the other Holland ships , food , and wonderful TV in the room with free movies . Having tried most of the other lines , we found Holland was the best fit for us . We like the fact that they serve the food which is more sanitary and actually more efficient and faster service . We never saw long line ups except maybe for ice cream ! Also , pools are very important to me as I have arthritis and am a young senior . I like pools with stairs and railings down into the pool so I loved the pools on Koningsdam . (The smaller ships have ladders which are harder to use with age . ) The ship does a sail away in Saint Lucia right past the Twin Pitons and you can get amazing pictures from your balcony or deck. We paid $200 on another line to do a catamaran out to see them ! I love the way the captain sailed along the coast which was very beautiful and relaxing . In addition , Holland gives amazing service ! Although there were a few glitches as the ship had just come out of dry dock , we were so impressed with this ship and staff . The ship is far more beautiful than its pictures . Since I am not a fan of classic modern , I did not expect to love the decor but I did ! Of course , the ship is kept spotless ,and we usually had a window seat in the Lido and no fighting for a spot around the pool on this ship ! The divans and luxurious seating were everywhere , and I never saw so many people asleep out in public . The seating was so conducive to relaxing ! We only made it up to the Crow’s Nest at the end of the cruise, and it was so amazing with soft leather seating , We want to return to enjoy it more next time ! Finally , the entertainment around the ship is incredible ! The BB Blues and Jason and Mike were always the best ! There is live music for everyone’s taste ! We loved Helen Wilding , the singer who sang for the young Royals . Our only disappointment is the lack of bigger budget sets , costumes, singers, and dancers . That is the weak spot but overall there is just so much we love about Holland and this ship in particular ! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The crew didn't seem to care about going the 'extra mile' to help. There seems to be a morale issue with most of the crew. Food was average at best, somehow they managed to make all their pork dishes dry and tough, even ... Read More
The crew didn't seem to care about going the 'extra mile' to help. There seems to be a morale issue with most of the crew. Food was average at best, somehow they managed to make all their pork dishes dry and tough, even the ones that were only cooked to medium were dry. The menus were pretentious and they weren't very appealing. We're foodies and yet it was hard to find desirable choices on the main dining room's menu. There was never a dish that I said to myself, "That was great! I hope they have it again later in the cruise!" Food service was mediocre, good luck trying to order a beer/wine/cocktail in the Lido! The Lido buffet is mostly served by the workers, which slows things down and makes lines longer. Yes, it can be more hygienic that way but I suspect it's more to control the serving sizes and reduce costs. Our room attendants were very nice but missed details such as no pen/paper, several days where the fruit bowl wasn't refilled, the balcony furniture and floor had spilled food & wine from the previous occupants that didn't get cleaned until our 5th day. Any time we'd mention a problem it was addressed quickly, but we shouldn't have to mention those sorts of things. The America's Test Kitchen lectures were fun, but not hands-on. BBKing Blues club was, by far, the best entertainment on the ship. This was our second cruise on Holland America. We'd go with them again if there was an incredible deal, but certainly not our line of choice. Stick to Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
When we were looking to book a cruise, the review of between 4 and 4.5 attracted our attention, we also liked the displayed itinerary Holland American listed. We had a well maintained and spacious suite, access to the Neptune lounge was ... Read More
When we were looking to book a cruise, the review of between 4 and 4.5 attracted our attention, we also liked the displayed itinerary Holland American listed. We had a well maintained and spacious suite, access to the Neptune lounge was convenience, the fitness center though small but well kept with decent equipment. I just didn't like the limit selection and quality of their seafood (baby shrimp and tiny scallops). Some parts of the entertainment are good (BB King, comedy, 1000 step and other dancing shows), the timing were often conflicted with dinner time. The support staff comprised mainly of Filipino and Thai, while majority are great and so pleasant to converse with, we encountered a couple that were rude and condescending. We were unable to go to the last port at Half Moon Cay due to high waves, we agree that safety is important but feel that the company should at least try to compensate their clients for that portion. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This is just our second cruise so we are by no means any experts so read this review with that in mind. Check in was smooth and easy we were a bit late from delayed flight so we checked in around 2:00PM and it was not that busy. We ... Read More
This is just our second cruise so we are by no means any experts so read this review with that in mind. Check in was smooth and easy we were a bit late from delayed flight so we checked in around 2:00PM and it was not that busy. We also were able to access our cabin right away. Went to the LIDO for lunch and it was not so busy which we found out later in the cruise was not the norm. If you went at the peak times it was often very hard to find a seat. Cabin on the smallish side Suite 10033 but we chose the option where they choose the cabin for you so I guess we were lucky to have a view! No problem storing our stuff plenty of room for everything. Balcony was Ok met our needs, bed was comfortable. Room attendant Ron was very attentive and kept everything as we asked, was tipped well accordingly. Speaking of tipping one thing that really you need to watch is that they charged $ 14.50 person per day for what they call a hotel service fee. I found out later is a tip for all the crew! Not sure if this is mandatory or optional but it was on our card when we left, still waiting for an answer from Holland on that. Check the charges on your bill. Not crazy about spreading tips amongst all crew as some of them were not that friendly or helpful. Dining, LIDO was always crowded during peak periods if you went later, they started closing stations before the advertised time. We were waiting in line for a waffle one morning when the server left said he would back in a minute then never returned. We were them told 5 minutes later by another employee that the station was closed! A few unhappy people in line! Also got some cold eggs for breakfast that same trip. The food was average. A couple of times they had a special Prime rib, or oriental fare which was of a bit better quality. The Pinnacle steak house and the Italian dining options were very good, better food and service although wife was not happy about having to pay extra for sparkling water when you already pay $ 35 each to dine there! The MDR we only ate their once and was OK we tried a second time but was too busy and we doid not have a reservation. The hamburger joint `Dive IN` was good but busy! New York pizza was Ok. The service at the dining locations was hit and miss sometimes good other times not so much. The entertainment not much to comment we saw one show a magician show Freddie Fusion and he was funny; the show was good. Other then that only heard a few songs at BB Kings and they were quite good, couldn`t get a seat though the bar is quite popular and gets filled up fast. We did attend a America Test Kitchen session which was quite informative. Excursions - Turks and Caicos, Hummer ride was a lot of fun and the guides were quite good this was worth the experience. San Juan - Walking tour very interesting you see a lot of Old San Juan and the guide was very enthusiastic and fun. The dining experience at then end was OK, small portions and plastic knives and forks. St. Thomas, champagne cruise and snorkeling was good, the snorkelling was a bit disappointing but the cruise back and forth was quite fun especially when the champagne starts running! Half Moon Bay, We didn’t stop due to safety concerns about high waves as they tender you to Half Moon Bay All and all a cruise is what you make of it and realise everyone is trying to sell you something from the room attendant to the bar servers! Even in the gym they tried to sell shoe inserts! From our experience overall at vacation resorts and our only one other cruise this we consider an average experience, nothing WOWED us and we encountered the normal service issues. The mandatory tipping issue was a downer also. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Good price,good timing for a getaway,previous good experiences with Holland America. Food and service is always good. BB Kings blues band plays in a lounge most nights 8 pc band always exceptional not just blues but 60’s Motown,and pop ... Read More
Good price,good timing for a getaway,previous good experiences with Holland America. Food and service is always good. BB Kings blues band plays in a lounge most nights 8 pc band always exceptional not just blues but 60’s Motown,and pop .Next to the casino is billboard 2 pianos and vocalists playing requests, old hits , some sing along.Casino is friendly not bad for a cruise ship. Lincoln Center on stage is the place for classical music. Cello violin and such.The main stage has a different act every night, although this is where HAL needs the most improvement The ships singers and dancers and show just ok. Acts such as comedian and or magician not very good. Four ports of call not bad for a seven day cruise. On this particular cruise we were unable to tender to their private island because of rough seas, but we have been there before it’s a great beach day with free bbq. Private beach set up really nice. They also have beach houses for rent which I never thought would be worth it for a half day outing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We were looking for a quick getaway before Christmas and this fit the bill. Liked having all the holiday decorations. Dined in specialty restaurants on three different occasions and the food was very good. Compared to other cruise lines ... Read More
We were looking for a quick getaway before Christmas and this fit the bill. Liked having all the holiday decorations. Dined in specialty restaurants on three different occasions and the food was very good. Compared to other cruise lines prices were very good. The ladies who performed in the Lincoln Center stage were wonderful and we tried to get to as many of their performances as possible. Our cabin stewards were very efficient and they cleaned our room in a timely fashion each morning and then in the evening we came back to our cabin to find a cute towel animal that had been made for us. Our waiter in the dining room couldn’t have been nicer. He was on the money in recommending entrees that we enjoyed and if we couldn’t decide on a particular entree, he would bring two for us to make certain that we were happy. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and i sailed on the nieuw amsterdam out of ft. Lauderdale on december 9th. The check in process was easy, and we were pleased to find that our oceanview room had a floor to ceiling window and a nice, spacious shower. The ship ... Read More
My wife and i sailed on the nieuw amsterdam out of ft. Lauderdale on december 9th. The check in process was easy, and we were pleased to find that our oceanview room had a floor to ceiling window and a nice, spacious shower. The ship itself has been maintained well. The food was excellent and because it was so good we decided not to dine in any of the specialty restaurants. The staff was very friendly and very efficient. The music we heard in the bb king blues club was outstanding - all of the performers are very talented. We also enjoyed the final night show performed by phillipino staff members who sang and danced and conveyed their love for the traditions of their country. Our only two complaints were about one of the excursions and the orthotics sales pitch in the gym. We paid for a holland america excursion to el yunque, the rain forest about 45 minutes outside of san juan. This excursion was a big disappointment. El yunque was severely damaged by the hurricane in 2017 and as a result most trails are closed and there is hardly any visible or audible wildlife. The “highlights” of the $60.00 per person excursion were seeing a very unimpressive waterfall which is on the side of the main road into the park, the view from the tower in the park (nice, but nothing amazing) and a walk down to a stream (nothing to it). In my opinion, this tour should not be offered at the present time by holland america. My second issue has to do with a sales pitch in the gym for good feet orthotics. The box for the good feet orthotics says we make no medical representations, but that is precisely what the gym director did in trying to sell the orthotics. I think that it would be much wiser to go to a medical professional and have orthotics made which are tailored to your feet. Putting these two issues aside we had a great time and we would highly recommend sailing on the nieuw amsterdam! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We received a casino offer for our December 9 cruise which we couldn't pass up. The only drawback was the fact that our Inside K cabin did not have a sofa, only a desk chair. This made it particularly uncomfortable for my husband. ... Read More
We received a casino offer for our December 9 cruise which we couldn't pass up. The only drawback was the fact that our Inside K cabin did not have a sofa, only a desk chair. This made it particularly uncomfortable for my husband. This isn't a complaint, just a heads-up. As always the Holland America crew was friendly and personable. Food was wonderful as were the ship amenities. We were not able to tender to the private island due to the weather and I was pleased to see that we received a reduction in the port charges. I hadn't even considered this. I was disappointed because I really enjoy Half Moon Cay. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. I really like Holland America's policy that you can wait in your cabin for your disembarkation number to be called. It is so much less stressful than waiting in a public area. We look forward to cruising with Holland America again especially if the casino offer comes through again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We sailed on the Oosterdam in December 2018 for 7 days. This was the quietest trip we have ever been on. We aren't looking for a huge party, but a little activity around the pool would be good. It was about as exciting as being at a ... Read More
We sailed on the Oosterdam in December 2018 for 7 days. This was the quietest trip we have ever been on. We aren't looking for a huge party, but a little activity around the pool would be good. It was about as exciting as being at a funeral home. The food was only ok, the entertainment in the theater wasn't great. The best part of the trip was going to B.B. King's and watching the All Stars play. They were great! The ship itself is old and looks a little dated. The ceilings in almost all the hallways are low, which makes it look dark. The pool area is well organized and well layed out, there just isn't much going on around there. The specialty steak restaurant was fairly good. The food in the main dining room was very average. I would only recommend going on a Holland cruise if you are looking for absolute peace and quiet. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Great trip – Senior Citizens will love this cruise! My DH (65ys old) and I (63yrs old) boarded Holland America’s Oosterdam on December 8th, 2018 for a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale. This is an older ship, ... Read More
Great trip – Senior Citizens will love this cruise! My DH (65ys old) and I (63yrs old) boarded Holland America’s Oosterdam on December 8th, 2018 for a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale. This is an older ship, that caters to an older clientele – the average age on the ship was 75+. DH and I felt like teenagers! We only saw two or three families with young children. This cruise is perfect for the older age group. Embarkation at Port Everglades was easy and very well organized. There were a lot of people in wheelchairs and scooters, and the agents made sure they were well taken care of while boarding. Upon arrival at the terminal around noon, we were quickly registered and given a “Group Number” Boarding was done by Group number and was done very fast. This was one of the best embarkation experiences we’ve ever had. We had one carry on full of water bottles and four bottles of wine. Two of the wife bottles were taken away, we were told only one bottle per person was allowed (they were returned the night before disembarkation). Once on board we were able to go to our room immediately, which was very nice. Our luggage was delivered by 2:00 pm. Food on board was good. They do not have buffets like other ships, this is more of a Cafeteria style service, where food is served to you by an attendant as you walk down the line. They will give you a small portion, but you are welcomed to ask for more if you desire. There was not a lot of selection, but what was available was usually good. Breakfast had ommlete station, waffle station, and even an egg benedict station. There is Grill by the covered pool where you can get Hamburgers, hotdogs, etc. made to order – they’ll give you a beeper, so you can pick up food when ready. For Dinner we only used the Main Dining Room and found the service to be excellent. The open seating option was great, we rarely waited more than five minutes for a table for two. We had a balcony cabin 6121, which was a nice size. The bathtub was a nice surprise, much better than the very tiny showers in most other cruise lines. Our cabin stewards were amazing, my DH and I would make bets on how long we would be out of the cabin before we returned to a fully made up bed – I miss that at home LOL. Entertainment was scarce, but very good. They only have three venues, the BBKing Night Club, two Pianos by the Casino, and the theater. They also have a stage that offers classical music most nights. Unfortunately, most of the time only one of the venues has performances, so if you don’t like what is going on you have no choice but to stay there or go to the next venue and wait for the next presentation. Because of the demographics of the group on board, this works well most of the time, but if you want variety, you will not get it. The best think about the Oosterdam is the service. Everyone on board was efficient and very pleasant. If you are a Senior citizen with limited mobility, this is your cruise ship! If you are looking for a cruise with lots of on-board activities, or you have children, try a different line. DH and I decided we are too young for this ship, but we are perfectly willing to come back in 10 or 15 years Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because it had: a bathtub, full circle teak promenade, shuffleboard, a roof over the Lido pool, good dining reviews, cruisers our own age (lack of children), and excellent music. The Lincoln Center musicians were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had: a bathtub, full circle teak promenade, shuffleboard, a roof over the Lido pool, good dining reviews, cruisers our own age (lack of children), and excellent music. The Lincoln Center musicians were brilliant. The B.B. King Blues Club was OUTSTANDING!!! We usually went to two shows a night and had a ball. All our meals in the MDR were delicious, with one exception, the onion soup. That was insipid, tasteless, and had only 3 onion shards. The Lido buffet always spoiled us with so many alluring choices. Room service was prompt with a nice variety of options. And it's FREE! Our verandah balcony cabin was spacious and well appointed. I now love the Elemis products. Our favorite activity was the thermal suite with a large whirlpool and heated ceramic beds. These were very therapeutic for my husband, who was making a slow recovery from surgeries. It made him feel terrific and very close to normal. He danced every night at the Blues Club! All staff were accommodating, attentive, and always busy. We didn't go into the ports. We came to relax, and we did! We disembarked in Cozumel and headed inland. Easy disembarkation with immigration and customs officials who came on board to meet us. The embarkation was fast and smooth. Golly, it was a wonderful cruise!-. Now we want to try more HAL ships, doesn't matter where they're going! I should add that we booked the cruise directly with HAL. Their agent discussed cabins with us and selected a winner. We want the same cabin next time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this ship because my wife and I had previously sailed on the HAL Eurodam and we were very satisfied. Overall, the Nieuw Amsterdam did not disappoint and met our expectations. We are both in our mid fifties with about 12 cruises ... Read More
I chose this ship because my wife and I had previously sailed on the HAL Eurodam and we were very satisfied. Overall, the Nieuw Amsterdam did not disappoint and met our expectations. We are both in our mid fifties with about 12 cruises under our belts. Previos cruises were primarily family cruises on RCCL's mega ships. Purchased a last minute (2 weeks before) Veranda Guarantee Cat VH Cabin ($549 p/p) and were assigned a perfectly located Cat VA. Fare included gratuities and a $25 p/p beverage card. We were offered a suite upgrade for $299 per person via email, but did not accepted. Overall Service - Excellent. Dining room food - Very Good. Dining Room Service - Very good, but servers tend to be "robotic" with very little personal interaction. They basically take your order and return to drop off your food. They do not update you on the ships next day's itinerary, like servers on other cruise lines do. Buffet Food - Very Good. Cabin Stewart - Excellent. It was amazing how our cabin attendant could service the cabin while hardly even being noticed. Entertainment - Our one disappointment was the Main Theatre. Entertainment there was of mediocre quality. Overall, good value for the dollar and would recommend this ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was My first Holland cruise. I have formally been on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. My favorite space on the ship was definitely the Crow's Nest. It is a wonderful peaceful space to look out at the ... Read More
This was My first Holland cruise. I have formally been on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. My favorite space on the ship was definitely the Crow's Nest. It is a wonderful peaceful space to look out at the beauty of the sea from huge wrap around windows. I really appreciated that many of the books were about the Caribbean. I learned a lot about the history of the islands. I also loved the large coffee table books about the ocean, island decor and Caribbean cooking. The other books were very interesting. The book curator put together an outstanding and very interesting book collection. The coffee bar was excellent. The art on the ship was more like what is shown at an upscale NYC gallery. The best art I have ever seen on any cruise ship. There was always a surprise every time I turned a corner. I loved the giant silver apple. Another favorite was the tiny library in the wall. The food in the dining room was excellent. It was very much on trend with what is happening in good restaurants now. The lido was good. I loved the Eggs Benedict and the overnight oats in the morning.. The fruit salads we're wonderful. Unfortunately the coffee left much to be desired as it does on most ships. One thing that really bothered me at breakfast was the lack of spoons. There was always a knife and fork rolled up in a napkin but usually no spoon. When I asked a server why there were no spoons he said that they put them out for lunch for soup. I asked him if he could get me one. After waiting for 10 minutes I went to find a spoon and I saw him talking to another man who turned out to be a a supervisor of sorts. I asked him about the lack of spoons and he said some of them were rusty. When I said that that sounded kind of ridiculous he asked for my room number. I found the encounter strange. For lunch the big salad bowls and sushi were my favorites. The desserts were generally mediocre with the occasional really good creation. I tried the much touted bread pudding once and didn't find it to be anything special. The pizza was excellent. Really delicious. I liked the ice cream station but it often got confusing being right next to the desserts. It was hard to get a dessert when the line for the ice cream was in front of the desserts. My state room was gorgeous. The available movie selection was huge. The balcony was spacious. Most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. It was great having a bathrobe and makeup mirror. I loved the little plate of chocolates left by the steward on the first day. The closet space was ample. My husband and I enjoyed spending time on the promenade deck watching the sea. We spotted dolphins twice. Unfortunately the cushions we're often not put on many of the loungers so although there were plenty of sunbeds many did not have any cushions so we're unusable. We were occasionally unable to lay out on the promenade because of this. When I asked about the reason for not putting cushions on all the sunbeds I was given another hokey answer. The deck guy stated that some people like to use towels instead of cushions. I pointed out that there was no one sitting on the sunbeds without cushions. Pure laziness on the part of the staff for not putting the cushions on all sunbeds. We tendered to a few ports and the process was efficient and quick. The EXE guide, Glenn, was outstanding. His port lectures we're always interesting and entertaining. He was always available to answer any questions. It was nice to see his smiling face when we excited the ship. I also enjoyed his lectures about the history of the Nieuw Amsterdam as well as ' The Secret of Ships'. His knowledge and enthusiasm are really great. I went to a few of the naturalist talks and he was also very good. I learned so much from the computer classes. It was great to bring my skills up to date. The instructor was very patient. I didn't care for the cooking show, America's test kitchen. The video was shown more than the actual chef who was there in person. I have been on other cruise ships where the chefs were brought out from the kitchen to give demonstrations and the result was entertaining and instructive. I found America's test kitchen to be a real snooze. Definitely not recommend. In terms of entertainment we loved Lincoln center. BB king was not what I had hoped. It was so loud even my husband who has a hearing aid found it unbearable even when he removed his aid. I was hoping for some smooth jazz that I could enjoy with a glass of wine. It was more rhythm and blues. The MainStage was a grade C with exception of BBC earth with the orchestra. We also enjoyed funny fiddle. This was my first Holland America cruise and I would definitely book another. We really loved the peaceful atmosphere and lack of crowds. You could always find a quiet nook to relax and unwind. Holland America is a class act. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Everything was excellent from the food to the service. I love how the ship never feels crowded like Carnival or Norwegian or Royal Caribbean. The average age is a little bit older but at 62 we felt like the young ones! They could use a ... Read More
Everything was excellent from the food to the service. I love how the ship never feels crowded like Carnival or Norwegian or Royal Caribbean. The average age is a little bit older but at 62 we felt like the young ones! They could use a little more entertainment other than the music walk at night. The BB King blues club is fantastic.We did not use the specialty restaurants because the free food is excellent. Great happy hour but it's at four PM and 9PM. A little disappointed they took the movie theater away and replaced it with a meeting room. The casino is the best at sea for blackjack players and is usually empty by 10PM because the elderly clientele is sleeping which I love! The cabin attendants remember your name by the second day and the service from them is the best. The ship NEVER feels crowded and is always spotless. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We arrived a day early in Fort Lauderdale and stayed at Embassy Suites near the Cruise Port. We ended up taking the hotel's shuttle as Uber was too busy, we knew the cost was $9/person for the service. Hotel did not have room ready ... Read More
We arrived a day early in Fort Lauderdale and stayed at Embassy Suites near the Cruise Port. We ended up taking the hotel's shuttle as Uber was too busy, we knew the cost was $9/person for the service. Hotel did not have room ready so they gave us dining credit at their restaurant, which was mediocre even for free food. Embassy has a nice pool, coy ponds and water fall and conveniently located in front of Total Wine, a grocery store and restaurants for those that want to load up on soda, wine etc to take on the cruise. Picked up Uber at the hotel for $15 to pier 21. Took under 5 minutes to get through security at 11:15 and we were on the ship and in our room before 12pm as group 12 to embark. Easy. Checked out the ship, grabbed lunch at the Lido and hit the pool with the kids. The Edge was parked next to us, it is a beautiful giant ship. We were the last to leave of 7 ships in port that day just after 5pm. We sat down at dinner after 6 on level 2 for Open Dining. This was our least favorite experience of our week on NA. The waiter and his assistant were less than good at being waiters. As parents of kids with allergies we know it is our responsibility to check what has nuts and what doesn't, but HAL makes a big deal about allergy issues during our registration and express document so one would think that this would be taken care of when we sit down for dinner. On our previous cruise the assistant maitre d' discussed the allergy with my daughter prior to us getting food at the table, this time nothing not even the waiter asking anyone at the table. I found this odd. We watched one of our dishes be offered to the adjacent table and then placed back on what I call the waiter stand with the other three dishes for almost 10 minutes before it was served to us.... It doesn't matter what the dish is it isn't boing to be great after that long, our snapper was average the kids' steaks were not great. Ordered dessert and decaf, received regular and the wrong dessert. Anyway we knew what section not to be in the rest of the week. Sea day was relaxing, beautiful sunrise in the morning from the Explorer's Cafe. The kids and I ate in the Lido and one of them noticed a dolphin jump off the side of the ship that we enjoyed briefly of another few jumps, lucky. Lido breakfast is very good, fresh made eggs nearly anyway you want including omelets, poached and fried; but scrambled are pre-made. We love the eggs and crepe stations along with what else bacon. The chocolate croissants seemed to find my plate each morning as well. The service is always with a smile and the service at the tables for drink refills is impeccable. Lunch at the Dive-in for burgers, hot dogs chicken sandwiches and maybe the best fries you will ever have. The taco bar in the lido makes a nice guacamole and chip dish for a nice snack at the pool as well. Dinner at 5:15 as the reservation line for Open dining pushed us to have that or 745. You can also show up without a reservation anytime between 515 and 8 to be seated. They turned people away after 8 pm. We had a window table for the four of us this evening and had a wonderful waiter, Putu Subeka. First words out of his mouth were "does anyone have food allergies?" Made me realize that our first waiter failed at this step in his training. We requested Putu's section each night thereafter. He remembered how we liked steaks cooked the next night and that our daughter had a nut allergy, made recommendations of what we might like each night and that portions of certain dishes may be smaller than we would like... so order more than what the initial dish. He made our dining experience more enjoyable and we thank him for that. Favorite dinners were Gala night filet and lobster (don't be shy ask for another tail) and the veal cutlets. The veal was amazing! Our girls enjoy the steaks that we learned our a little cooked a little past what we prefer so we ordered them medium instead of medium well and that was to their liking. HAL has several dishes on the menu each night that don't change French Onion Soup, a salad, Salmon and a New York Strip steak. The steak now has a peppercorn sauce that we didn't enjoy, once ordered without this sauce it is a nice steak. Other dishes that stood out were the mushroom risotto as an excellent dish the, shrimp cocktail and coconut shrimp were our favorite appetizers. The first stop was Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. We were on the port side of the ship and felt like we were at the beach the pier is so close... I had a call to be on so unfortunately we didn't do an excursion here. The beach is nice, but I suggest going to the other side of the pier as the snorkeling is better and you're not staring at the ships. We were going to walk around the corner of the island for better snorkeling, but the sea was a little rough due to a storm blowing in, I had read the snorkeling was better there. We did see an octopus, huge barracuda and some coral, but unfortunately too many people walk on the coral in the shallow water and it is having a hard time recovering from the hurricane. There are better beach stops that Grand Turk, explore the island rather than sit at a small beach. Next port Old San Juan, PR. We had been here in the past for a long weekend so felt comfortable driving (warning the locals don't know how to use blinkers and often cut from one side of the freeway to the opposite to exit - worse than all of the bad Chicagoan drivers I know). We took and Uber to the airport to get a rental car for the day. Unfortunately getting in at 1pm and all aboard at 10:30 didnt allow us to see the forts, rainforest and beaches in one trip. We elected to show the kids the only rainforest in the USA, El Yunque, though it was beat up by Hurricane Maria. Half of this national forest is still closed, you can see several waterfalls from the road or short hike, but the best waterfall and hike in the park are still closed; El Mina Falls. The lookout which allows you to see the sea from the forest is still open. We saw and felt the waterfalls, found a bunch of lizards and decided to hit the beach. We chose to go the Isla Verde as it is beautiful and close to the airport for our rental return (the airport car rentals are open 24/7 vs most in OSJ that close at between 4 and 5). Great beach for perfect body surfing waves, chilling in clean soft sand. Stayed here past sunset and the other 3 got no-seeum bites due to this.... lesson learned. This was our favorite beach of the trip and only one with waves. The other beach that is easy to reach via car/Uber is Condado both are in safe areas with plenty of security. Back to return the rental car. Uber cannot pick up at SJU yet, so it was a $24 taxi ride back to the ship for a shower. Plenty of time to shop though many of the shops closed at 6 or 7. We walked by CVS/Walgreens along the water and then up towards OSJ and there was a gift shop open within 4 blocks of the water. Good selection of shirts, trinkets, and normal souvenir junk. Walked around SJU to show the kids the European feel of the city and paver streets. Such a cool city. Off to grab some Lido ice cream and a movie in the room. Our third stop in as many days was St. Thomas. We docked at sunrise in a gorgeous port staring at the island and its hills/mountains. We have snorkeled around much of North America and won't go on a "cattlemaran" with 50 plus people. I found a small charter called Bama Breeze V.I. who would customize the trip to our liking. I highly recommend them for any of your boating needs in the USVI, our only disappointment was that we booked the half day instead of the full day. Pay the extra to be picked up near your ship as we did. My phone plan through Verizon allows us to use our phones in US Territories so I was able to call the charter that our planned docking location had changed. We snorkeled in the crystal clear waters of Buck Island above a shipwreck and along the shoreline that has beautiful coral that is regrowing and is nearly recovered from the recent hurricanes. We saw a giant stingray buried in the sand and two octopi amounts the dozens of fish species, great spot. There were other tours here, but we were able to stay away from them for the most part. Off to Water Island for a rest stop and then to Honeymoon Beach (on Water Island). Honeymoon beach is protected in a bay is a marina, has several bars, the softest white sand, grassy swim area, and lots of TURTLES. We swam/snorkeled with 7 or 8 turtles here for nearly an hour. They are truly amazing to watch in the water and so rare to see that many at once. You can take a ferry from the mainland to Water Island. Captain Doug dropped us near the ship. A quick change and off to downtown for a souvenir or two. St. Thomas has open sided vans that they use for taxis, they drive on the wrong side of the road and frankly there was no way I was driving here. $4 per person to get a ride to downtown on the taxi. Found the market to be lackluster and headed to a shop. The taxi dropped me off at the grocery store, Pueblo (I think), for Dt. Mountain Dew. That is right Dt. Mountain Dew on St. Thomas, not in or on Puerto Rico. My wife is addicted to it so we needed to get a 12 pack, $6 wasn't bad for an island stop and well worth it for my wife. The "supermarket" as they call it is a short walk from Crow or Crown Bay (people called it both). A relaxing sea day followed by a tender ride to Half Moon Cay. While the beach at HMC is gorgeous, it is fairly crowded with 2 ships in for the day, the food is below average at the "cook out" and the swimming areas are fairly small. This was our least favorite stop on the Eastern Caribbean Voyage. Disembarkation day was a quick breakfast, finish packing and then waited in the US customs line for maybe 15 minutes. Easy. Uber to the airport and on our way home to cold WI. No vacation is perfect, but this one was amazing. We made memories as a family, had a lot of laughs, wonderful service, delicious food and met a lot of friendly people along the way. Thank you HAL for taking great care of us and putting your best foot forward for your guests. I almost forgot, the captain came on the loudspeaker at 630p on our last sea day to make an announcement to tell passengers to stay off the open decks and balconies. One of our fellow passengers had to be evacuated off the ship... A somber moment in our cruise, we were told the passenger made it to the hospital and was doing well... We pray that this passenger and the family are doing well. We hadn't seen this before and it certainly amazing that the Coast Guard is able to take someone from the ship within a moments notice (an hour or so...) talented selfless people. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Preface: I'll preface my review by saying that my partner and I are both 29 and 33 respectively and we were some of the "younger" passengers. Albeit, I did read plenty of reviews before sailing and knew that Holland ... Read More
Preface: I'll preface my review by saying that my partner and I are both 29 and 33 respectively and we were some of the "younger" passengers. Albeit, I did read plenty of reviews before sailing and knew that Holland America (HAL) was geared towards a more mature crowd so we knew what we were booking. We planned our trip in May 2018 for an Eastern Caribbean itinerary when we first discovered HAL. I traveled on NCL, Carnival, and Disney previously. We were looking for a more refined and relaxed atmosphere (without the hairy chest and belly flop contests). This is a review for the 7 day journey: Ship 5/5: Beautiful ship from the moment you step on to the moment you disembark. Nieuw Amsterdam is one of their newer ships with modern amenities with millions of dollars worth of artwork throughout. I always found something new regardless of how many times I walked the same path. I felt like the ship had a great layout and I never had difficulty finding my way after day 2. It just made sense where points of interests were located. I also seen that this ship is under constant upkeep. I always see crew either painting or cleaning, always making sure the ship is looking new and in great condition. It was also a perfect size being not too large at only 2,000 guests. Sure I've seen the same people over and over again which I loved but I never wondered why is it so crowded as crowds didn't exist except for day 1 at embarkation at the buffet which is expected. Cabin 4.7/5: We stayed in an AFT verandah cabin which I absolutely LOVED! The room was very well appointed for two people and we never felt like we didn't have space either for clothes, belongings, or just two people living together. The room was a great size and the bed was super (and I mean overly) comfortable bed. We never had a problem sleeping at night which could be a combination of not having internet or just the full days we had. We had the perfect room stewards Marko and Suko. Both were so quick at making our room up and cleaning it (albeit we aren't messy people and I actually clean before I leave the room as I feel bad for the long days most workers work...more on that later) and always worked around our schedule. The only downside of the room is it did feel a little outdated. I would love to see the bathroom and a few things updated. Again, how often are you in the room?! Although they did have a plentiful on demand selection of movies to watch. Dining 4.5/5: No matter what restaurant we went to we always had a great meal. The one restaurant that really stood out was the Pinnacle Grill. You may hear a few things about this restaurant, and the positive you hear is true! The service and food was phenomenal. The Pinnacle Grill restaurant is not included and costs $35 per person BUT I will say that price is justified. I included some photos of how many crab legs were included with my meal. We also ate at Lido Buffet and the Main Restaurant in addition to the pizza and burger place and I can honestly say I never had a bad meal. All of the food was very good! I do wish they had more Asian dishes. Why I rated it a 4.5 out of 5 as the food was a 5/5 is because whenever you go to a restaurant they really want you to buy drinks because the person selling the drinks gets an 18 percent tip. So when you order a glass of wine they will try to upsell a bottle. It just got a little pushy sometimes as I get they are just trying to make money but I don't like to be second guessed when I make a choice as "why don't you want a bottle as it's only 23 dollars more?". Overall they will leave you alone if you say "I'm fine" but I just don't like the high treasure sales tactics when I am on vacation. Entertainment and Activities 4.9/5: Now hear me out...we are on a ship in the middle of the ocean, how entertained do you want to be? I won't be critical of the entertainment on ship as I know for a fact the entertainers really gave it their all every night for several months. So into the review...The entertainment on board for the nighttime mainstage ranged from Billboard dancing to Latin Night which I found very entertaining. They also had a comedian and magician. I missed the comedian so we went to the magician with very low expectations and my face hurt from laughing so much. He was hilarious. Throughout the day the had other entertainment for all such as Windows 10 classes, floral arrangements, towel animals, piano request entertainment, and more! I'll be honest there wasn't a time on the schedule where I looked and didn't see something going on that I could attend. I just chose not to go to somethings as I wanted to relax. To end the review there is something for everyone on board and especially during At Sea days. Service 5/5: I work professionally in hospitality where we always use the 10ft rule. If someone is within 10ft of you, you acknowledge them. HAL must use the 25ft rule. When they either see you coming or approach they immediately focus on you and say hello and stop what they are doing. It was totally unexpected but something very small that made a huge difference. I felt like royalty on this ship. I still remember even the smallest request where we asked our room steward can we have ice on the first day for drinks. In the morning and at night they always made sure to refill our ice. Sure, I don't know if they did this for everyone but it was appreciated. Also we always order the same drinks when we go to the Billboard On Board bar and the staff always ask if they can get us the same drink. It was this that out of 2000 passengers made us feel like we were the only ones. Ports and Shore Excursions: I will review each port with a very small snippet review Grand Turk: 3.7/5 Maybe it was the excursion we picked or I don't know but I feel like when I wasn't on the tropical island that was raved about. Instead I felt like we were on a small private island that was commercialized. I would recommend snorkeling!! Puerto Rico: 4.8/5 Such a nice island! I been hear many times and even coming back multiple times there is just so much to do. This is a location where you don't need to book an excursion and just walk around if you are able. St. Thomas: 4.9/5 This island was my ultimate favorite on this entire itinerary! The island is just beautiful every way you look at it. What I would recommend is booking a Jeep or car and exploring the island yourself. There is so much to see and do but with a car you can do what you want to do. Why I took off such a small amount is because I been planning for us to dock at a certain port (Havensight) for months and constantly checked daily and even the ports calendar said we would dock at a certain location. Up until the moment we arrived we docked at Crown Bay which took quite a bit of logistical planning to get to Havensight for our Jeep. I would definitely book come back here. Half Moon Cay: 2.7/5 Sigh...and breathe. Now that I got that over with let me write my review. Let me say that this port had my biggest expectation which may have swayed my review. When we arrived we were made aware that the Koningsdam and us were the two ships that were docked at this port this day. Side information is that Half Moon Cay is owned by Carnival as their private island. The Konsingsdam holds a good amount of passengers and our ship holds a good amount of passengers. The island just felt very overwhelming and I didn't find it relaxing at all. We booked a Clam Shell three months in advanced which is an umbrella with two chairs. Since our ship was delayed by an hour for a medical emergency (no fault to anyone, things happen) we found it very difficult to find a chair. Every person we went to told us to go somewhere else. Finally we found a clamshell in front of a very loud family. We just head back to the ship after being on the island for 2 hours. The food on the island was very good and the staff that pulled the meal off was very good! Other: The crew is what makes the ship a solid 10/10 as they work such long days and are always looking for ways to make you happy. We booked a Retreat Cabana for the At Sea days and Korn and Raymond work such long days but always had a smile. I would say the crew is what makes Nieuw Amsterdam the ship that it is. My very minor (is he really complaining about theses things?) complaint section: Some very minor things that didn't change my trip at all but I thought I could always add it below. - I found the bathrooms to be adequate size but the toilet seats to be very small. I am by no means a big guy being 5'7 and 145 pounds but they just seemed small. - There was no midnight buffets or late night dining options past 11:30pm except for room service. I wish they had a buffet at midnight or maybe a specialty snack station. But knowing the demographics of the ship maybe midnight really is too late. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Actually, we chose this cruise because it was the least expensive 7-day cruise occuring during my vacation period! Plus it was Holland America whom we've had success cruising with previously. We like Holland America for a number ... Read More
Actually, we chose this cruise because it was the least expensive 7-day cruise occuring during my vacation period! Plus it was Holland America whom we've had success cruising with previously. We like Holland America for a number of reasons. With the older crowd aboard (though this time the average seemed younger than usual..or is it us getting older? We're in our 50's) life onboard is not so frantic. There always seem to be loungers available on the ship- not too crowded for the most part. We like the wide promenade deck and the loungers there - a wonderful place to sit, read and watch the ocean go by. The BB Kings Blues band was as fantastic as we've come to expect. The mainstage productions from the Hal singers and dancers were quite good. The comedian and the magician as well. The only disappointing production was the small orchestra performing music to go with a BBC planet Earth movie which I thought was like filler. (The musicians were very good, just the whole idea wasn't working for us). The Nieuw Amsterdam is quite a beautiful ship. Some people said it had been totally refurbished recently, I don't know if this is true but I really liked the style and decor. The ports were good - very hot weather (which, being from Canada, is what we came for!). I do wish HAL would put in a pier on their private island instead of tenders. There was another ship there at the same time and tendering was a very slow process. The private island is gorgeous - one of the most beautiful beaches I've seen. The crew were all wonderful. We felt pampered. That's all we wanted! We booked one excursion from the ship- the 'pirate' ship harbour cruise in San Juan. Though it was very pleasant and the crew were great and presented interesting historical facts, we didn't really see anything that we didn't see cruising in on the ship. So we found the $70pp price tag overpriced. In St. Thomas we went up the gondola to a high point on the island - beautiful view of the harbour. We should've bought tickets on the ship because they were cheaper, but I left it too late. On Grand Turk we rented a golf cart (privately) to take a tour of the island. It's not a big island and there isn't a lot to see: a lighthouse and a museum. But it was still interesting to see the extents of the small island. We picked up a local man on the road to town and he gave us some interesting facts about the place as well. He said that his house, (built by his grandfather?) was supported by beams made from masts from shipwrecks off the coast of the island! Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise