1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Retired active senior couple desires to leave sunny, humid Florida Summer for two weeks. Have sailed several times on Holland America. This ship and its sister ship Nieu Kolingdon (which we sailed on last December) are HAL newest. About ... Read More
Retired active senior couple desires to leave sunny, humid Florida Summer for two weeks. Have sailed several times on Holland America. This ship and its sister ship Nieu Kolingdon (which we sailed on last December) are HAL newest. About 2,600 passengers...larger than the rest of their fleet. The food, the service and the ships themselves are 5 star. The main shows in the evenings in the main large theater are soso which can be expected on a ship this size. This cruise was about 60% Scandinavian, 30% US/English and 10% Asian with not many children. Vista Suite (4110) was on deck 4 midship and was small but had great storage and a first class cabin attendant. We ate in 2 specialty restaurants ($35pp) (Pinnacle-steak and Calenture-Italian) and came to the conclusion that the food in the main dining room was as good if not better. The made to order pizza and ceasar salads in the New York Deli for lunch are terrific. The highlight for us were the daily classical concerts in the Lincoln Center which consisted of a talented ensemble of piano, cello, base and 2 violins. They also had a blues band in the BBK Room and a R & R band in the Rolling Stone Room which were OK. A hint on the drinks. Different bars have different Happy Hour times which gives you a cocktail at regular price and a second for $2.00 more. Another nice thing about HAL is that you can buy a 5th of vodka or others for about $40 bucks for your cabin which lets you have a nip on the veranda before the evening festivities. Excursions: Bergen was the best. The other tours were soso. I guess after you see a few fiords and cute little colored cottages it becomes redundant. The truth be known,,,,our numerous national parks in the good old USA are the truly spectacular sights! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Nieuw Statendam Review, Land of the Midnight Sun, Departure on 7/7/19 For a little bit of background, we are mid-40’s cruisers that have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity & Disney with almost 20 ... Read More
Nieuw Statendam Review, Land of the Midnight Sun, Departure on 7/7/19 For a little bit of background, we are mid-40’s cruisers that have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity & Disney with almost 20 cruises under our belt. This was our first Holland America experience and we chose this cruise due to the itinerary to the Artic Circle. We left a few days early so we could have time to enjoy a little bit of Amsterdam before the cruise on Sunday. We arrived into Amsterdam early afternoon and took a cab to our hotel, the Kimpton Dewitt as we did not want to transport our luggage by public transportation. We stayed at this location due to free points, but I highly recommend it as it was a short walk to all of the major sites in the city. A colleague recommended that we take the hop on/hop off on tour. I do not recommend this as it was a big waste of time and the tour highlights were not that great. We did download the Rick Steves audio tour on my Iphone, and we did two of his free walking tours and learned a lot from this and highly recommend this way to tour the city. On the Saturday before the cruise, we took the Old Holland Tour that provides public transportation by bus for 20 euros pp and it took you to Zaanse Schans, Edam and Volendam. We had a great time and they also have a walking tour that we used walking around the windmills.  On Sunday, we headed to the port around noon and were on the ship by 12:30. We were really excited to be on this trip and to experience all that we could see on Norway. We were even more ecstatic because a couple of weeks before we decided to upgrade to a Neptune Suite. We have never stayed in a suite, but we pulled the plug because the cabin was an aft corner with the 2 balconies, and we wanted to be able to see as much as we could of all of the scenery both in the fjords and the Artic. One benefit that we truly enjoyed as a result of the suite was Club Orange. We had amazing food and service in this venue at both breakfast and dinner. I have a gluten allergy and they truly catered to me and I was able to have souffle and many other dishes that I have never been able to have on other cruise lines. Ports: Eidfjord. We scheduled an independent excursion through Go Fjord to see the Vøringfossen waterfall. On the way to the waterfalls, we stopped a nature exhibit. This was truly a waste of time, but this was the cheapest and easiest way to see the waterfall. The excursion limited the time at the waterfall, so I highly recommend going to the furthest platform viewing first and working your way back as it had the best views of the falls.  Bergen: We first got on the hop on/hop off bus and do not recommend. The city is not that big and pretty walkable. We then walked around and stopped at the Hanseatic Museum and Bryggen. I highly recommend the museum and they have regular tours for English speakers. We did not buy tickets in advance of the funicular because I was concerned about weather. However, the weather turned out beautiful so on our walk to the funicular I bought tickets on their app and was able to avoid the huge lines waiting to buy tickets. We then had a hearty traditional Norwegian lunch at Bryggeloftet & Stuene. We then headed to the Fish Market as my husband loves all kinds of dried and canned fish. I bought some sausage (later learned you can’t bring back to USA ☹). Alesund: We took the independent excursion through Norway Excursions, Alesund from Fjords to Trolls. Our tour guide Anita was amazing. I learned so much from her about the history of Norway and their culture. This was by far the best tour with amazing scenery on the Troll Road with its 11 hairpin turns. This Florida girl was glad she was not driving. The tour also allowed several stops and photo stops which was really nice. Trondheim: We found a walking tour from Frommers that we used to tour the city. This was also another very walkable city and Nidaros Cathedral was amazingly beautiful. We also walked over the Old Town Bridge with the historic wharves up to Kristiansten Fortress which provided a beautiful view of the city. Afterwards we headed to Baklandet Skydsstation for lunch which was nice little café with outside seating and very yummy food. We then finished our walking tour and headed back to the ship. The weather was again beautiful, and we had a great day in this city. North Cape/Honningsvag: We decided to rent a car. I was a little nervous about driving and renting especially when the rental company said make sure you shut your door at the cape because she had a rental last week lose the door to the wind when he left it open! However, we had no problems driving. We headed first to the North Cape and walked around and checked out all of the exhibits. Then we drove to Skarsvag and checked out the village. We wanted hike to the Arch, but I was worried about time, so we decided to skip that. Then we drove to Gjesvaer, a little fishing town. We had a great day driving around and this allowed for us to make photo stops when we wanted to. We also brought lunch for ourselves and had a little picnic at one of the pullouts overlooking the water. A gas station was right by the cruise terminal, so we had no problems filling up. Also, as a FYI, you fill the tank up first and then pay! Hellesylt: This port was a bit of a bummer because we did not cruise all the way to Geiranger. As a result, we booked the cruise excursion that provided the bus tour and then a cruise down the Geraingerfjord. There was little opportunity for independent excursions in Hellesylt and the excursion we went on was just okay. We drove by a bunch of beautiful things but did not really stop and a tour guide was decent but not amazing. Flam: Because we were in port from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., we did the Norway in a Nutshell tour on our own. This allowed us to take the Flam train up to Myrdal, then a train to Voss, then a bus to Gudvangen and then the boat down the Nærøyfjord. We would highly recommend it. We met another couple from the boat also doing this tour and was able to eat lunch with them in Voss at Tre Broer Cafe and Bar. It was really a great day. Haugesund: We decided to rent a car because there were several little things that we wanted to do and decided it was easier and cheaper to do on our own. We rented from Sixt and the representative was waiting outside for us when we arrived making it very efficient for us to get on the road. We made the following stops: Haraldshaugen (Norwegian National Monument), Steinsfjellet (panoramic viewpoint of city), Avaldsnes: Nordvegen History Centre and Viking Settlement, Skudeneshavn (fishing village) and Åkrasanden (beaches). Unfortunately, at the Viking Settlement, most of it was closed due restoration; however, the history center was really interesting. Thoughts on Holland America/Nieuw Statendam The good: The ship is new and beautiful. The food and service was amazing at Club Orange, Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind. My husband enjoyed the sushi at the buffet. We loved all of the musical acts at Lincoln Center, B.B. Kings and Rolling Stone and the themed artwork that went along with it. We enjoyed the BillBoard Bar and Ocean Bar and had really good service and drinks at those locations. We also loved the Dutch Café with its coffees and snacks. We also loved all of the free movies you could get in the room. We also attended the America’s Test Kitchen demonstrations but wished it was more interactive. We also appreciated the covered pool area especially on chilly days at sea. The so so: On sea days, the public spaces were extremely full, and it was sometimes hard to find a place to lay down and sleep or read a book especially around the pool. The EXC talks were just okay. We felt that she found the information off google and turned it into a speech. I would have preferred someone from Norway that could provide more history and culture about the areas we visited. The bad: We felt that there was a huge lack of activities on sea days or at night other than the musical acts. The ship also repeated some of the same entertainers for the nightly shows at the main stage. We also had difficulty communicating with some of the staff due to language barriers; this was not a big deal but sometimes it was hard to convey what you needed as far as drinks or food in the buffet. The drinks at the remaining bar locations other than the ones mentioned above were terrible and the service was not great. My gluten free options due to my allergy were also limited and even though I was told they have gluten free pizza crusts at New York Pizza, they said they ran out after only 2 days on the ship. We also had problems due to the lack of receipts given because we were charged for items when we had the beverage package and we wanted to have the option to provide additional gratuities for the servers in Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind. Overall Thoughts: We went on the ship for the itinerary and had an amazing time because of it. We thought the food was top notch and we loved our aft Neptune Suite. However, I don’t believe that we are the normal demographic for Holland America, and I think we would be truly bored if this had been a Caribbean sailing due to the lack of activities and interactive cruise activities that we love on other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first cruise ever and we didn’t quite know what to expect. We chose it because we wanted to reach beyond the Arctic Circle and into the Midnight Sun, and had a limited time availability. We stayed into a Neptune Suite - ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever and we didn’t quite know what to expect. We chose it because we wanted to reach beyond the Arctic Circle and into the Midnight Sun, and had a limited time availability. We stayed into a Neptune Suite - Mozart deck, Aft corner. We absolutely loved the suite. Top of the line, modern and elegant dual sink bath with oversized shower, all in travertine. Ultra large screen TV, and lovely wrap around balcony. King bed was best ever. The personnel was without reproche. All were just trying to go beyond the call of duty. We went to the restaurants - Tamarind was our favorite, with the Mango Posset desert being a killer. Rudy’s is also very good. Great atmosphere. Sophisticated food. The Orange Club was a very convenient way to have a more intimate environment for dining, and Neptune Lounge handy and well stuffed. The World State venue is just extraordinary. Music program onboard video was diverse and we could find our preferred tunes with Hyperion Knight piano, Dual piano performance, blues and rock bands. Shore trips - did do the job. We enjoyed them and used them to the fullest. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the new ship really appealed. We weren't disappointed - had a fabulous time. Embarkation was so easy - well organised, quick and no stress at all. We stayed the night before in ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the new ship really appealed. We weren't disappointed - had a fabulous time. Embarkation was so easy - well organised, quick and no stress at all. We stayed the night before in Roommate Aitana hotel in Amsterdam which was about 20 mins walk away and highly recommended. Our luggage arrived at our room promptly after boarding. Ship - the ship was beautiful and well maintained. The Crows Nest is a beautiful space, peaceful for games of chess and board games. The Lido pool area is good because the retractable roof makes it pleasant in hot and cold weather - ideal for this itinerary. The sports court and the area around were pleasant spaces - with outdoor gym equipment and a running track too. I would say that the ship felt slightly overcrowded from time to time - mainly in the buffet. We enjoyed the international mix on the ship - most passengers seemed to be from US or Netherlands with some from UK and also further afield too. Ages were a mix too with the biggest majority probably being active couples around retirement age, although there were also young families and a whole range of ages ! Cabin - our cabins were really good. We had an aft balcony cabin and an inside cabin in our group. I was very pleasantly surprised by the size of the inside cabin. The aft balcony was lovely and sheltered and didn't feel overlooked. The bathroom was also a pleasant surprise - with a proper , walk in shower and clever layout. The cabins were beautifully clean and the cabin staff were friendly and did their jobs really well. Dining - we mainly ate in the Lido buffet. I was impressed with the quality of the food and the fact that the food is served rather than open to collect. There was a lot of variety overall but with vegetarian and vegan requirements I felt these could have been better catered for, especially vegan options. Small changes could have made so many more of the options suitable for all - for example changing the noodles to wholewheat or udon from egg noodles would allow the stir fry counter to be suitable for vegans, making the vegetable soups with coconut cream rather than dairy cream etc. There were no vegan desserts available for our whole trip ! Minor changes to some of the existing options would make the whole menu far more accessible for all requirements. The ship does also have a special menu for vegetarian and vegan customers and I discovered half way through that they would serve that in the buffet on request too - that was much appreciated and one of the staff in the buffet was a huge help in getting that organised. However it is necessary to place any orders from that menu a day in advance , whether for dining room or buffet, which is not ideal and definitely not keeping up with the times - vegetarian and vegan diets are no longer unusual. The other issue with the buffet was that there simply isn't enough space - it could get very crowded and difficult to find a seat. The pizza at the pool was excellent and highly recommended. We didn't get a chance to eat at the Dutch Cafe as it was always very busy and rather crowded. We didn't try any of the speciality restaurants as none had much for vegetarians or vegans. Entertainment and Activities - there didn't seem to be loads of organised day time activities , but that was fine for us as we used the gym, spa etc. We did attend a couple of lectures which we enjoyed. In the evening BB Kings was the standout venue - excellent and really good fun ! The Lincoln stage looked good but the times were early and we were always dining then.... The Rock room was lacklustre compared to BB Kings although the idea of having two options was good and it did always seem busy. The gym and spa were very good and the decks had a range of things to do - table tennis , shuffleboard etc. I don't see the point of all ships having so much space set aside for a casino - and never saw it busy so maybe we aren't alone in that ! Service was faultless from the staff. Never saw much of the officers. The itinerary was good and we enjoyed all the ports. Since they dock so close to the town for each port it was easy to come and go from the ship and see the local sights. Disembarkation was also very easy - only a bit of queuing and luggage already available to collect. Wifi was very expensive ! We would definitely sail with HAL again and had a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Just a qualifier to start ... this is my first cruise, so I write this review lacking other benchmarks. I'm essentially rating and evaluating this cruise relative to other vacation experiences and the expectations from reading prior ... Read More
Just a qualifier to start ... this is my first cruise, so I write this review lacking other benchmarks. I'm essentially rating and evaluating this cruise relative to other vacation experiences and the expectations from reading prior reviews. That said, I don't see how this experience could have been much better than it was. Here are some highlights. Dining with dietary needs: One of my sons was gluten-free and dairy free. We found the main dining room and the specialty restaurants (Canelatto, Pinnacle Grill) to be particularly confidence building in terms of how they handle allergies. This was true for both dinner and breakfast (we never happened to eat lunch in the MDR). My son generally pre-orded his dinner for the next day at a current days dinner and the chefs were able to prepare it according to his needs. Dive In and the NY Deli also handled special dietary needs well. The Lido Buffet was a little more chancy as nothing was labeled, so we rarely ate there. Dining quality and experience: I don't see how it could be much better. Food was delicious and served at appropriate temperature. Range of choices in MDR and specialty restaurants was excellent. Service was phenomenal. Ambiance in the 2nd floor MDR was solid -- even better at times when we got a seat by the window. One observation was that one needs to allow about 1 hour for breakfast and 1.5-2 hours for dinner. In other words, it's European dining speed. That was quite acceptable. I loved the fact that you could get food until midnight. Evening entertainment: The Music Walk (BB King, Rolling Stone Rock Room, Billboard Onboard) totally exceeded expectations. The Rock Room cover band was very good as was BB King (the bass player was phenomenal) and they hide quite a bit of variation from show to show and night to night. But the two pianists in Billboard Onboard stole the show. They were engaging, exceptionally talented, and quite entertaining. We chose Nieuw Statendam for their emphasis on music so we had high expectations. This surpassed them. Only nit might be that many shows were very crowded, but if you were willing to stand, you never missed a beat. Other observations: -- The appearance of the boat was spectacular. It still had that "new boat" smell. :-) -- I personally liked the walking path around the exterior of the boat on deck 3. One of my sons really liked the basketball court on deck 11. -- I liked the fact that the hot tubs were kept at about 100F. That means that you could relax and not have to worry about leaving and 15-20 minutes. -- They seemed to have very good judgment as to when to close the roof on the Lido pool and when to keep it open. -- Entry and exit on the boat at port was well organized. Some minor nits: -- Sometimes the wait at the Guest Services desk could be a bit long -- up to 15 minutes. -- I had a few times where I was trying to get information and got different answers from different people. For instance, I could never figure out what time the pool closed. -- The Navigator app was OK ... but it did not consistently notify me when I received a chat message. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
If your primary interest in cruising is to make short visits to a variety of sites without having to unpack or worry about checking in/out, arrange transport between cities, etc. , then the Nieuw Statendam is the ship for you. If you also ... Read More
If your primary interest in cruising is to make short visits to a variety of sites without having to unpack or worry about checking in/out, arrange transport between cities, etc. , then the Nieuw Statendam is the ship for you. If you also see cruising to foreign lands as an opportunity to learn through onboard lectures and enjoy yourself, then this is not the ship for you. We did a 14-day cruise to Norway that included five sea days. I anticipated having presentations by speakers who might discuss the local traditions, legends, politics, or other potential Nordic topics. Not so on this ship. The EXC guide presented memorized generic lectures with photos on each port and very few other topics. Most lectures were 30 - 40 minutes in length and usually covered two ports at a time. The EXC guide arrived and started promptly on time and as soon as she finished went into hiding in the crew spaces, i.e., no deviation from the script, no questions, etc. Other than the three music venues, HAL has done away with all entertainment other than a few guest artists (singers, comics, etc.). In the first seven days, we had a great opera singer who performed two evenings, one comedian who performed once, one adequate guitarist who performed once and one evening when the guitarist and comedian shared the stage. The first night, there was an EXC lecture and one night there was no entertainment, not even a movie in the mainstage. There were movies each evening poolside. We were fortunate to obtain a reasonably priced upgrade to a Neptune Suite which made the cruise much more comfortable. The room, although not as large as on older HAL ships was very well laid out with a great bathroom. There were at least six electrical outlets with North American 110 and USB jacks in each. The Neptune Lounge concierges, Paulo and Kirsten, provided great service when requested. Club Orange is HAL’s effort to catch up with the completion in providing a distinctive suite experience. It is a somewhat feeble attempt in that the menu is identical to the MDR with an additional item on some days. Our original excellent chef was moved to Sel de Mer near the end of the cruise and his loss was obvious to the tenor of the restaurant. Not only was he a wonderful and meticulous chef, he also took time to come out and talk with the clientele when time permitted. The new chef maintained a low profile. Service by the staff onboard was typical of HAL and other lines - excellent with a smiling and helpful team. Navigation officers must have been present since we travelled safely between ports, but were invisible, only to be seen when tendering. With the exception of the friendly and visible chief security officer, hotel officers remained behind the scenes unless they were hurriedly going from one place to another trying to avoid interaction with guests. Rust. I mention this since some reviewers believe it is an indication of ship condition. We noted rust in several places on our veranda and other locations, so those who don’t like rust should avoid this eight month old ship. To us, the ship was quite well maintained with many subtle front-facing and behind the scenes improvements from the Koningsdam on which we cruised eight months ago. We will likely return to HAL for a great itinerary, but can’t imagine any other reason. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because of where it was going. Have not ocean cruised for over 10 years. The ship is lovely & new. We thought the staff was great. The emphasis was on music and we enjoyed the Lincoln Center stage concerts so very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of where it was going. Have not ocean cruised for over 10 years. The ship is lovely & new. We thought the staff was great. The emphasis was on music and we enjoyed the Lincoln Center stage concerts so very much! The World Stage was a mixed bag for us. The acts varied from classical vocals, to comedy, to dance. For this stage I would have liked to see group scenes, comedians that work together. One guy is not to energetic. We did not attend all of those. BB King was terrific as well. Food.. we did not take advantage of the specialty restaurants. Another way tp pick our pockets. The Lido breakfasts were great! Lunches were fine too. The main dining room was very hit or miss. I was looking forward to fish but each of the 3 entrees I tried were not well prepared. My husband tried more and had some good results. The Norwegian salmon was the best. The servings of vegetables were very, very small. Sauces were tasteless and often smeared on plate for effect, not enough to enjoy. I had salmon with one asparagus spear! Often the potatoes were just 2 bites worth. Over all, choices were varied and so were the results. I had a couple pasta dishes that were terrific. The curry one night was superb. Excursions...so outrageously over priced that we didn’t even consider. Did a couple private ones that were great and much cheaper. The thermal spa was nice...we did spring for this, but felt like it was not worth the charge. Wine overpriced and why no local Norwegian craft beers not available? The port talks were fun, but honestly of little help. Neither were the port maps or info helpful at all. We came to see Norway and did...on our own. Hiked most of the time while off the boat. The fitness area was excellent and we took full advantage of this area. But really...$20 for spin class? The stretch classes looked too crowded so again, did our own thing. Over 50% of the passengers were Dutch, there were a lot of Chinese as well. Our assigned table mates were just awful so we went rogue and came in as our music scheduled allowed. Overall, the charges for drinks, excursions, WIFI, classes etc were too highpriced , but we enjoyed the music and the movies. The 5 sea days were lovely and relaxing. Each stop was interesting. We were blessed with many good days of weather. The laundry service was excellent and the embarkation as well as debarkation was well done. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I joined this HAL-branded cruise for 2 reasons. Firstly, to sightsee and enjoy the Norwegian Fjords and its culture. I am happy to achieve what I wish for and rated it a 9 out of 10. Secondly, the HAL experience onboard Nieuw Statendam ... Read More
I joined this HAL-branded cruise for 2 reasons. Firstly, to sightsee and enjoy the Norwegian Fjords and its culture. I am happy to achieve what I wish for and rated it a 9 out of 10. Secondly, the HAL experience onboard Nieuw Statendam (prior, I cruised with Zuiderdam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Koningsdam). This is the worst programming/events I encountered. The quality of the World Stage performance was below par (apart from renowned pianist Zhang and One-Step light & dance performance). There were 2 nights without performance. I was disappointed that the ship didn't engaged any local Nowergian performer throughout the 14 nights. t) Sea day has 1 track event rather than 2, on most ship. As such, sea-day was boring and subdued. I would like more enrichment programs on sea day. Like painting appreciation, pottery making, knitting, play a simple norwegian musical instrument Lido Market food quality and quantity were excellent BUT lack variety. Serving the same food 14 days in a row. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise had an amazing itinerary--the wonders of the Norwegian fjords, charming little ports, the Arctic with its eerie light, and the fascinating little medieval stave church at Urnes. We loved all the sights, were very lucky with the ... Read More
This cruise had an amazing itinerary--the wonders of the Norwegian fjords, charming little ports, the Arctic with its eerie light, and the fascinating little medieval stave church at Urnes. We loved all the sights, were very lucky with the weather (just missing the weeks and weeks of rain), and enjoyed experiencing Holland America's newest ship. The Nieuw Statendam is stunning. We thought our Vista Suite cabin was the most thoughtfully-designed cabin ever (especially the easy walk-in glass shower), loved the glorious fresh flowers and the interesting art in the public spaces, and especially enjoyed the serene Retreat of the Explorations Lounge on Deck 12 where there was always excellent coffee (though not free), stylish coffee table books to browse, and a few shelves of briskly traded cruisers' fiction paperbacks. And definitely the most relaxing music on the ship. Only the garish decoration of the main dining room seemed out of place (a kind of interior design fail of a bold burgundy and orangey-yellow modern carpet underneath lipstick red and metallic red ceiling fixtures. And for some reason truly terrible pop music. It's a loud place, both literally and metaphorically.). The Step One Dance Company's performance, which we'd already seen twice on the Eurodam, we loved all over again, but all the rest of the entertainment was C, not B, list. No one, however, probably chooses Holland America for the shows. It's the music venues that are the real entertainment--especially the lively BB King Blues Club band. Lots of dancers on this cruise: The Americans all danced as they did in high school, the Asians did ballroom dancing moves with dramatic arm and hand gestures, and the Dutch and the Norwegians took it all in with anthropological interest. :) The food in the dining room was always good and the presentations were lovely. The soups weren't as good as the soups I had admired so much on the Eurodam, perhaps, but oh my the salmon! Tamarind was the only supplemental charge restaurant we know to try--though after the astonishingly good Indonesian restaurants we'd sampled in Amsterdam, we were disappointed in the Tamarind's Indonesian night. Everywhere we ate, there was attentive and professional service, though the staff didn't make the effort to be friendly or to remember names in the way the staff on the Eurodam had done on our cruise to Hawaii in February. There didn't really seem to be much of a sense of esprit de corps among the staff, perhaps because the Captain seemed humorless and even a little dour--or maybe the ship is just too new to have developed a sense of community yet. The one thing that I always winced at was the tendency of the wait staff to announce that it was "Yummy, Yummy Time!" when the dessert menu came around. Oh, please. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I am a loyal HAL fan, not the most experienced cruiser, but have completed 3 back to back cruises and one re-positioning cruise, covering the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, Western Europe, Baltic countries, Japan to Alaska and most ... Read More
I am a loyal HAL fan, not the most experienced cruiser, but have completed 3 back to back cruises and one re-positioning cruise, covering the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, Western Europe, Baltic countries, Japan to Alaska and most recently from 2 June to 23 June the Norwegian fjords on the Nieuw Statendam. My purpose in this review is not to deal with every aspect of the cruise on NS, as most topics are well covered in the many reviews published since its launch. It suffices to say she is a beautiful ship, well designed in all respects (other than the closed in effect of the Promenade Deck), and is tastefully finished in its furnishing and art works. She is operated like a well- oiled machine. Her Officers and crew do an amazing job. Rather my purpose is to give my opinion on a few issues, with which some may disagree, but in relation to which, if there are enough others who agree, may give HAL cause to make some changes which I think could alter the experience of future passengers on the NS very much for the better. For me the problem with the NS does not lie in any way with the ship or its crew. The problem is with the passengers. Those we came in contact with were very nice people – it is just there were too many of them. In the first 7 day leg of the cruise they had not learned how to spread more evenly between the many venues. Everywhere seemed crowded. During the second 14 day leg passengers were definitely better distributed but it was still not easy to find a table in the Lido during peak periods (we were in a party of 4 which probably made it a little more difficult) and there were still queues waiting to be allocated tables in the Main Dining Room. We also found during both parts of the cruise that it was difficult to find a quiet place to play cards or just to relax and enjoy the quiet of ocean travel. The effect for me, compared to previous cruises on the Eurodam, Noordam and Volendam, was a sense that the somewhat illusory feeling of a degree of some exclusivity which HAL managed to create on those ships, had been lost. There are a few things which could be done to address some of these issues. Our observation was that the covered front pool area was much underutilized except during meal hours. The reason for this was noise. Documentaries were often shown on the large screen during various times of the day. Very few people seemed interested in them but everyone had to deal with the blaring sound which made conversation difficult. Other than meal times this large seating area was virtually deserted. At night when movies were shown there was often no more than 4 or 5 people watching. On previous cruises we would often sit in this area and just enjoy the world going by. I would suggest that the large screen and sound system not be used at all during the day. This will take pressure off other areas. Thought might be given to whether there is any benefit in showing films at night on cruises to colder areas or whether some better use could be made of the area. During the day we also experienced that talks were given in public lounge areas. On one occasion a talk was being given using a public address system which was so loud you could not hear yourself think in the adjoining lounge area. We and others got up and vacated the lounge. This could be easily avoided by ensuring any talks are conducted in isolated areas or closed rooms. Although we had an overall very enjoyable cruise I personally will be unlikely to cruise again on the NS or the Koningsdam because of the sense of loss of exclusivity to which I have referred. I query whether cruise lines have made the right decisions in the move to bigger and bigger ships. It is now well known that Amsterdam has concerns about the flood of tourists associated with cruise ships and that Venice is concerned about the effect of cruise ships. Bergen now intends to place limits on the number of tourists which may visit that city. I love cruising and will remain loyal to HAL for as long as possible because I think it is a very well- run company, which trains its staff to serve its clients well and which in my experience has always been responsive to any concerns raised. But for now my future cruising will be restricted to HAL’s smaller ships. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Our adventure started with our first visit to the city of Amsterdam. We enjoyed a two day sojourn there packed full of things to do and see on both days starting on the afternoon of our arrival with a visit to the Van Gogh Museum. (See the ... Read More
Our adventure started with our first visit to the city of Amsterdam. We enjoyed a two day sojourn there packed full of things to do and see on both days starting on the afternoon of our arrival with a visit to the Van Gogh Museum. (See the heading below for full details on Amsterdam, though it is not part of the Cruise it really deserves our comments.) Itinerary Excellent, learning experience for the Norwegian coastal cities of Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger and Flam. Cabin - Vista Suite 6135 Well designed, lots of storage with wall hooks that are lacking on most cruise ships. Bathroom is small but large shower stall; only room short on storage capacity. Large and deep balcony furnished with two comfortable lounge chairs with separate foot rests and a small round table; a very enjoyable area. Balcony access door swings rather than the customary slider and is easier to operate. One of the shelf guide wires on the wall below the TV set was damaged when I tripped on the bed spread and its connection and part of the wooden wall were pulled apart. This was repaired the next day so well that one would not know the wall had been severely damaged. Very, very impressive. Storage space is plentiful and includes two wooden boxes placed underneath each bed but not very easy to pull out. (Warning! When packing on the last day do not forget to check those under bed drawers because we were so very close to forgetting a lot of used clothes we put there during the cruise). Eating in the cabin is not a comfortable experience due to the too small provided table; breakfast (only!) was quite a feat. Regardless you are paying the same amount in gratuities ($16.- pp/per day) as the Signature and above suites, you do not get the same amenities as they do, e.g. welcome bottle of bubbly or wine, a serving of canapes, etc. It’s a suite but without the butler service. After so many cruises with a butler, this was the first time without; though they can be very helpful many times they can be intrusive and knowing when you are in, when you are out, when you get up, what you eat and drink etc. In one word there is a complete lack of privacy. So this time without one, it was quite enjoyable. Cruise line staff Excellent all over the ship; Lido staff it seems have learnt more English and they were very polite and helpful, the staff serve the buffet food, a very important detail to avoid any kind of infection. The Front Desk or Guest Services, were on a par with Viking and much more efficient and polite than most other cruise lines. All issues were handled and solution at once and in a very good manner. Food Only disappointment was with the Lido buffet. Not really impressed with the offerings. Desserts were below par and repetitive. Tables were not cleared up quickly and wine service was slow regardless the “service button” that each table had. Restaurants The restaurant menus, presentation and temperature of meals were always right on. No complaints with any meal. Specialty restaurants were worth the price, in fact Tamarind was so good it almost demanded a higher fare to give it the recognition it deserves and been on Aft Deck 10 the views are great; I imagine on a sunny day having al fresco lunch or dinner there; but unfortunately the weather was quite unpredictable during the whole cruise. Pinnacle was superb and on sea days the $10 noon fare was well worth it if not just for the luxury and peaceful surroundings and the very attentive staff. Canaletto was good too, food and staff but being part of the Lido buffet during the day (as a matter of fact we were having some of our breakfast there) this takes away that sense of been “Italian”. There are other places where to have a snack or even lunch. For a light lunch or a snack, the Grand Dutch Café (Deck 3) many items free of charge like coffee, pastries and ham and cheese sandwiches. Tranquil atmosphere but could be very busy on sea days. The other place to have a good light lunch is the pool side Dive-in from seven specialty burghers (or create your own), three ways to have great hot dogs and four ways to enjoy the best French Fries on the ship. Buzzers are handed out so you will be called when the order is ready. And last but not least, the New York Deli & Pizza in Deck 10, overlooking the pool deck. Open at 7 a.m. and stays open till midnight. The pizzas are out of this world, they have six specialty ones or you can build your own, you also can get salads, classic deli sandwiches (pastrami or corned beef) and if you get there early enough avoiding the buffet crowds for breakfast you get bagels, sandwiches, fresh fruit, pastries and coffee! It is very clear that on board the Nieuw Statendam you will not go hungry! But for sure you will gain lots of pounds if you are not careful. Formal or Gala Nights? Biggest let down of the cruise. The tuxedo rental service worked well, good fit and housekeeping redid pressing of the garments free of charge. We showed up at our reservation time (8PM) and realized right away that the dress code was non-existent. Much less than 10% of men wore tuxedos and the majority of guests were in LESS than resort casual clothing. We saw short sleeve shirts, jeans, running shoes, teenagers and grownups in t-shirts etc.; the only thing missing were shorts! We really felt foolish wearing tuxedos and will not go to the trouble again. We were very lucky with the young waiter at table (#115), his name was Cahadi and thanks to his good humour and doing his best for us to have a good time we were able to ignore our surroundings. When we complained to the Maître’d (Martin) his explanations were inadequate and groundless- clearly and visibly he was not a strong manager and lost control of his restaurant. The “gala” had been advertised as a 5 course meal but only 3 were offered. That happened on the first gala night, on the second one things were a bit better, we cannot explain why; maybe our complaints? At any rate, gala or formal in the way the people were dressed it was unacceptable and was the first time we experienced such a thing on any of our previous cruises on many different cruise lines. Excursions - please see below Amsterdam Our hotel was in the museum quarter, as a matter of fact its name is NH Museum Quarter (nhmuseumquarter@nh-hotels.com). It was in a very good location facing a canal with very helpful staff; we could have purchased museums tickets through them, the best method if you only wished a general visit but remember you’re taking your chances, that the day and time you want, may not be available, that’s why and wanting to take advantage of every minute in Amsterdam we did pre-cruise museum tickets for Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum, a City tour plus a Canal cruise, all done through the internet and it worked out well, unfortunately we missed the Hermitage Museum! God willing next time! By the way, at the hotel you also can acquire bus, tram and metro “day pass tickets” for about 16 euros. In general, we were disappointed with the organization of the museum tours, regardless the electronic guide that’s provided as it was not user friendly and trying to quickly find various famous paintings of interest among so many people, many of them spending a long time in front of every painting proved difficult. Regardless, the paintings were superb, many of them unknown to us and some of the Van Gogh’s were a real discovery. We had no idea how prolific he was over such a short time span. At the Rijks the Rembrandts were featured in a special showing of many unknown ones but also there were an enormous number of his sketches - interesting but boring unless you were there to match the sketches with the final painting. The City tour (by bus) was a good learning experience. The modern architecture is outstanding in its variety, especially the use of new materials and colours. It was very refreshing compared to the repetitive high rises that are being built in North America. So the bus tour is worthwhile but we don’t recommend the Canal cruise; the boat was a glass box that on a hot day and that one was, makes you feel you’re in a sauna and no water was available on board. It wasn’t a very nice feeling going along those narrow canals and having to look up at the buildings that from that vantage point says very little (regardless whatever you hear from the loudspeaker) those were the same older buildings we had seen during the City tour but the message got thru mainly because there was a tour guide to whom you were able to ask any question which was then answered very clearly but the ship megaphones were deaf! In case you would like a canal cruise take it at night and I am sure the light show will be stunning, Amsterdam was a city full of surprises! Never imagined there was a subway and a brand new, modern one at that, very wide avenues lined with cafes and sidewalk patio restaurants and many expansive parks and green spaces around every corner. Having the opportunity to go there again now that we know our way around, we would jump at the chance! And then, a visit to the Hermitage (Amsterdam) will be our number one priority for sure! Closing statements Since the day we arrived in Amsterdam we were on the go! We made the mistake of choosing a 7 day cruise that visited completely new places and to make things more demanding, on a new, big and beautiful ship! This cruise was also a kind of a shock because our previous one was an 18 day Atlantic Ocean crossing from Europe to South America, our second one that long and our last! For us spending too much time on a ship becomes repetitive (in all the areas) and boring! Regardless we enjoyed everything to the fullest during this short cruise, we do not plan a repeat such a combination: that is, new places-new ship-7 day cruise….never again! Perhaps it was that there were too many “FIRSTS”: first time with Holland America, first time on the Nieuw Statendam first time in Amsterdam, first time in Oslo and all the other beautiful cities of Norway, so it is very easy for you to imagine how elated we were with this cruise, so happy and elated that we booked another one - more days and going to well-known places. As it was not possible on the Statendam because of a clash of dates, it will be on her older sister’s ship, the Koningsdam and again another first! We have to emphasize that there are many factors why we will sail again with Holland primarily because of the excellent staff but also for the superior food and wait staff being a very close second. Really, we hope you found our review helpful and interesting, so till next time, wishing you very happy sailing days! To our fellow Canadians, being today July 1st. Happy Canada Day! Cheers!!!! Ps. Photos soon to follow this review Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This ship is the latest in the Pinnacle class for Holland America. I wanted to sail on the new ship, even as I read reviews from veteran HAL cruisers warning about elimination of some of the charm of the older ships. I agree with those ... Read More
This ship is the latest in the Pinnacle class for Holland America. I wanted to sail on the new ship, even as I read reviews from veteran HAL cruisers warning about elimination of some of the charm of the older ships. I agree with those reviews; the ship seems very crowded in the Lido cafe during rush times; the World Theater can get too crowded. The promenade deck has been cut down and there are none of the wooden deck lounges which allow you to sit out on deck and enjoy the sea views and air. Do not get me wrong - the ship is beautifully appointed, the staff service is excellent. I found the Main dining room choices rather limited and enjoyed dinner in the Canaletto and Nami Sushi restaurants much more. We stayed in a Vista Balcony suite which made excellent use of storage space and had numerous USB outlets for charging devices. Beds are very comfortable and the shower is excellent. But, as another reviewer has said, it now feels like we are nickel and dimed on board. The shore excursion prices are exorbitant (especially in Saint Petersburg---I opted for a local travel group TJ Travel that provided an excellent, small group tour in a van as oppposed to 50 on a bus for $100 less than HAL). Sea day activities were meh.... I did very much enjoy the Music Walk performances of the BB King Blues Theater, Billboard performances, and the Rock and Roll band. The Lincoln Center quartet was also very nice. This was my 5th cruise with HAL - if I were to sail again, I would seek out the smaller refurbished ships. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We choice this ship, because we wanted to do the Baltic Cruise and see St. Petersburg and Amsterdam was a good place to start and end since I was born in Amsterdam. We have done plenty of cruises, but this one was the worst one ever. ... Read More
We choice this ship, because we wanted to do the Baltic Cruise and see St. Petersburg and Amsterdam was a good place to start and end since I was born in Amsterdam. We have done plenty of cruises, but this one was the worst one ever. The electrical outlet in the bathroom was not dual electricity, so I ruined my Waterfloss Pick. We went up the buffet restaurant sat down and I asked one of the waiters for a glass of water......he said, sorry, I don't look after that and walked away.????? That was the beginning of our agony. It was a 14 day cruise, and I got sick on the 7th day, (apparently bronchitis) finding out from the cruise Dr., and he also advised me he had no medication (not even cough syrup, and they did not sell it in their stores either). Their stores were another petty full experience. As were there "existing shows"... another petty full experience I was amazed we even had to pay for water, that has never happened on approx. 30 cruises we have done, including other HAL ships over the years. The only thing that was good was the band in their main lobby that played there at night., which I only listen to a few nights, since I spend the other 7 days in bed. The ship was very barren. Artificial Trees and Flowers. Some real ones, but not many. What can I say, I know we will never again go on a ship that takes more than 900 participants. They also misinformed people on the web, it say the ship takes 2600 people they did not add in the 600 3rd berths.. To top it all of on the 8th day the ship sent a" HEALTH ADVISORY Respiratory Illness" around to every cabin on the ship. Which it seems at that time around 1000 people including staff were infected with bronchitis. Don't know what else I could tell anyone, I think above tells it all. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had never cruised on Holland America but chose this one as a new ship with a great transatlantic itinerary including Azores, Normandy, Brugge and ending in Amsterdam in time to still see the tulips in Keukenhof. Our cabin was a ... Read More
We had never cruised on Holland America but chose this one as a new ship with a great transatlantic itinerary including Azores, Normandy, Brugge and ending in Amsterdam in time to still see the tulips in Keukenhof. Our cabin was a corner balcony on the 7th deck and was very nice. Not that big but laid out well including the bathroom with a nice large shower. We chose any time Dining and found the choices in the main Dining room good and service pretty good although don't get a table for 10 as can be very slow. We also loved the Pinnacle Grill and also went to the Italian restaurant as well.We also enjoyed the Dutch cafe in which the food is complimentary. Entertainment at night was good as saw great dancers (One Step) who used the 180 degree screen which incorporated a very high tech show.We also enjoyed the music venues especially BB King Blues Club. There wasn't that much to do on sea days if you didn't go to the lectures or the Test Kitchen shows. They have a great sports court when not too windy was able to play Pickleball on one of the 2 courts on most sea days. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I want to start off my saying the cruise wasn't bad. I met a few great people and had a good time. Did I like the new ship, Nieuw Statendam? Not really. I knew when I signed up for the cruise I just might find it too crowded, and I ... Read More
I want to start off my saying the cruise wasn't bad. I met a few great people and had a good time. Did I like the new ship, Nieuw Statendam? Not really. I knew when I signed up for the cruise I just might find it too crowded, and I did. We were a full transatlantic, which doesn't happen often. In 2014, my husband and I did the Nieuw Amsterdam transatlantic to Barcelona and loved it. I loved the ship and have been on her again and plan to go again next year. Our ship was probably at most half full, so that made it nice. One of the typical perks of a transatlantic. But a few weeks before sail date, there was an accident with the Oasis of the Seas in the Bahamas, and their transatlantic was canceled. So the ship went from being I will guess about 60% full to sold out overnight. It also gave us a bit of a different mix than normal. There were a lot of die hard Royal Caribbean fans, and those that like Oasis of the Seas aren't really the same people that love Holland America. Not sure if related, but it was the first time I actually saw three incidents on the ship. One could have been potentially bad. It started because the Lido closed at 8 and then reopened at 10:30. It seemed like a really dumb thing to me, but this guy in the Lido decided to take it out on the dining room staff. He screamed very loudly at one of the dining room female staff to get him food after the dining room closed. She said she couldn't. He began to scream very loudly at her, that she was the same girl that wouldn't help him the night before. She and her coworker, who looked nothing alike but were both from Indonesia, both shook their heads no. The other female said the night before, he had yelled at her. It got very heated as he continued to scream at both of the women. Then another passenger came over and started shaking his finger in the guy's face, so I went for the manager and he was able to cool down the situation. The staff and managers were all super nice and very good. I had no problem with the staff. The other two incidents were just loud, obnoxious people making a lot of rude comments etc. I have never experienced that on HAL before. The ship to me, as I said, felt very crowded. They have added 600 passengers with only 40 more feet in length and a few areas on the top. I really enjoy Holland's signature class ships (Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam) and the Vista class ships. They are the right size for me and the vista class has the most space per passenger of all HAL's ships. The cabins on NS (Nieuw Statendam) are much smaller than the ships I am used to going on. I ended up doing an upsell to a Vista Suite, which put me in a cabin the size of a typical balcony on most of the ships I favor. The cabins were very nice, except I was shocked to see so much wear on the loveseat in the cabin. The ship had only been sailing for four months at that time. I did mention it and the next day I had a new loveseat cushion. The lobby/atrium area has lost all the seating due to the Grand Dutch Cafe. We enjoy the famous Dutch pea soup and hot chocolate typically on the promenade deck, but now we have to sit inside. The Promenade deck has no loungers, as they now have the lifeboats on that deck that block the view. The walking the deck that was always my favorite past time was kind of ruined by the narrow pathways front and aft and the lifeboats. I still walked but it felt more like a chore than a pleasure. It was also a bit stressful as I am short and older, so I don't walk that fast. There are many areas that are so narrow, only one person can fit and I was constantly looking back to see if somebody was behind me. I was startled more than once. The lobby chandelier if you can call it that is this odd, metal thing that is just different. I did not feel any of the wow factor I felt when entering the Noordam or the Eurodam when new. There is a lot of modern, music themed art. Some of it is quite nice and a lot of is just seems inexpensive. The areas by the elevators is almost bare, no bench to sit at like before. But to me, the worst part was the overcrowding in many entertainment areas. The World Stage holds 800 people. We were 2,600 so with 2 shows, I guess one had to go at least an hour ahead to get a seat. We got a seat fo one performance by climbing over other passengers. The theater seats are so close to the ones in front, there is no other way to get by. The Rolling Stone Rock Room was always jammed. I never once found a seat at the Lincoln Center state performances. I stood for those. They were great, but it would have been very nice for what I paid for the cruise to have a seat at least once or twice. The transatlantic was 14 days. I felt like I did not get good value for my money, which was the first time in all my 16 cruises with Holland America. There were many poor choices, for example, the light color Lido carpeting that was always dirty. The manager told me they have to shampoo it once a week. The staff was great and I will travel with HAL again, just not on this size ship. The embarkation and disembarkation could not have gone better. The cabin was well laid out and nice. It was too cold and windy to use my balcony for most of the cruise, but our destination was Amsterdam. I did not like the main dining room on Deck 2, anytime dining. Tables very close together but the manager was kind enough to get me fixed seating on Deck 3 and it was wonderful. Overall, I had a great time and met new friends. But this ship and I assume the other Pinnacle class ships are just not for me and is not what I have come to expect on Holland America. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. The extra bonus was this new sparkling ship. The crossing was warm with calm seas. The ship is beautiful. It was fully booked but not crowded. Staff was professional and attentive. The food ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. The extra bonus was this new sparkling ship. The crossing was warm with calm seas. The ship is beautiful. It was fully booked but not crowded. Staff was professional and attentive. The food options were delicious. We would choose this ship anyday. Visiting Normandy and the other ports were the highlights of this crossing. We enjoyed all the public spaces, especially the Crows Nest. The Dutch Cafe is a great place for coffee and pastries. We enjoyed the covered pool area and often ate our Lido food at one of the poolside tables. Wish they had offered a one day thermal spa pass. We felt $299 pp was excessive for the cruise. Many times the hydro pool and spa appeared empty. We enjoyed open dining and usually ate at the same table. This is one of the most beautiful ships we have cruised. It ranks as our favorite and was our 7th Transatlantic cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Booked this 14-day transatlantic repositioning cruise at a great price -- our balcony stateroom had an obstructed view but we still had a view and it was just fine. Knew there would be many more at-sea days that port days, which was okay ... Read More
Booked this 14-day transatlantic repositioning cruise at a great price -- our balcony stateroom had an obstructed view but we still had a view and it was just fine. Knew there would be many more at-sea days that port days, which was okay with us. Embarkation in Ft Lauderdale: Stayed at Four Points by Sheraton Fort Lauderdale and took advantage of their port transfer kiosk in the lobby. We also liked their on-site bar and restaurant. On our sailing day, we chose to ignore our assigned boarding time (1:30) and went to the port a couple hours early. Practically walked right on to the ship! The ship is absolutely beautiful! The décor, the art, and the music theme all played well together. The Lido pool area (with the retractable roof) was very thoughtfully done with different seating and lounging options. Stateroom 4070 was fine and the storage was more than adequate. At night you could hear the music from the venues below but we were not bothered by it. We had the twin bed configuration but I don't think the beds are regulation twin sized -- narrower. The bathroom had a walk-in shower, which was great but the toilet was placed at an odd angle and it never really "felt" right. Storage in the bathroom is lacking -- only one bank of shelves instead of the customary two. That meant using the shelf under the sink for what you could and storing other toiletries elsewhere in the cabin which wasn't really very convenient. Food in the Lido Market Buffet was presented well, and the very few times we ate there, we enjoyed the food and the service. I do appreciate that it is not self serve - and perhaps very related -- we had no illness breakout either. Ordered room service breakfast most days and, except for the day we got double of everything we ordered, we were happy with the quality and temperature of the food. Main Dining Room for dinner was fine -- food was sometimes great and sometimes not. Some days the menu offerings were not very cohesive and we laughed that they must be cleaning out the fridge. For lunch we alternated between the salad bar in the buffet, The Dive In for burgers/hotdogs etc., and The New York Deli and Pizza -- all were very good. The specialty restaurants really shine on the Nieuw Statendam! We went to the special De Librije Dinner with wine pairings presented in the Pinnacle Grill and it was fantastic and well worth the price. Ate two other times at the Pinnacle Grill steak house and both times were marvelous. The Sel de Mer, the French seafood restaurant, was exceptional and we would have eaten there more than once but we could not get in again. Tamarind, the Asian restaurant, was just delightful and I think you need to go more than once, as we did, to really experience the diversity of the menu. Canaletto, the Italian restaurant, was just okay -- not nearly as stellar as the other restaurants. We did not experience the Grand Dutch Café but others told us how much they enjoyed the coffees, sweets and other offerings there. Also, we did not eat at the Mami Sushi Bar. There was another restaurant, The Culinary Arts Center, which they closed down prior to our sailing. They replaced it with Club Orange, which was a dining venue for suite guests and others who were willing to pay an additional $50 per person, per day fee -- we were not willing. Entertainment: The BB King Blues Club was considerably larger than I have seen on other HAL ships, and with the wonderful band they had there, you still had some trouble finding a seat -- They should offer that band a life time contract! In the Rolling Stone Rock bar there was a live band but they just seemed loud to me. I certainly recognized all the music they played, they just didn't play it, or sing it, all that well. And then there is the Billboard Onboard which featured dueling pianos. One of the artists played well but all of his vocals sounded like Elton John was singing (even if it wasn't an Elton John song). The other male artist played well but did not sing very well -- his renditions of female vocalists was just sad. I think hiring male vs female dueling piano artists would be better. We never managed to time going to the World Stage for shows very well -- always packed. Lincoln Center Stage artist performed early evening and were delightful. We went to bingo once, enjoyed the daily trivia games and even worked on a couple of jigsaw puzzles on cooler at-sea days. The casino was extremely tight. Miscellaneous: There are many bars on this ship and, because we bought the beverage packages, we sampled a little something at all of them! The beverage package works for us but it may not work for you -- do the math. WiFi charges continue to be outrageous on this ship, and on all cruise lines -- shameful. Best deal? Unlimited laundry! The cost is per stateroom, not per person, and knowing you can have things washed, pressed and hung up, really changes how you pack for a cruise. Shore Excursions: We only had 4 ports of call on this trip - two port stops in the Azores, one in Cherbourg France, and a stop for a visit to Bruges in Belgium. Weather wasn't our friend on this trip and it was rather windy and cold at a couple of stops.. We reserved ONE HAL shore excursion, and it was dreadful. A total waste of too much money. HAL has to stop gouging people on excursion prices. Service: Everyone aboard the Nieuw Statendam was friendly, helpful, and I can not think of even one negative thing to say about my interactions or the service. Disembarkation in Amsterdam: I knew the smoothness of this trip was too good to be true -- disembarkation was a cold, long mess. Honestly, I don't think it was the fault of HAL. I don't think they had enough personnel at the EU entry point and the line to get there moved glacially. Used Rudy's Taxi Company for port to hotel and hotel to airport transfers -- excellent. Stayed one night in Amsterdam at the Hotel Estherea (great location if a bit pricy) and flew home the next day. Would I like to cruise on the Nieuw Statendam again? Absolutely! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My last Translatlantic being five years ago, I decided to one again. The previous one was to Rome, which is a far better route. By heading for a Mediterrranean final destination you stay in the good weather zone. After Ponta Delgado we ... Read More
My last Translatlantic being five years ago, I decided to one again. The previous one was to Rome, which is a far better route. By heading for a Mediterrranean final destination you stay in the good weather zone. After Ponta Delgado we have increasing cold with a hail storm in Brugges in a freezing cold city. HAL better go to Rome or Barcelona first, do some cruises in that part of the world and than do a one way to Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Copenhagen. I found the quality of the service at all levels and in any place outstanding. Very friendly, helpful dedicated staff that seemed to enjoy what they were doing. Excellent team spirit, The interior is beautiful. Nothing garrish, instead everywhere subtle hints to the musical theme. And no faux paintings, but modern interesting art pieces. Cabin is slightly smaller than on other HAL ships. A wardrobe has gone missing. Instead there is an air vent there, which is a good idea. As single traveller I do not need all that space, but I can imagine that others will miss that wardrobe. Well there is always your suitcase under your bed. After all it all fitted in there, didn't it? I never visit shows, as I prefer MDR late dining. MDR has good seating procedures. Never had to wait for more than a couple of minutes. Very unlikely the other HAL ships who seem to have problems seating a single person. Food in MDR is very good. The occasional glitch, but I love the quality of the meat and the service is impeccable. Lido food is excellent and of enormous variation. Tamarind has raised the price and changed the formula slightly. Less choice for more money. Crow's Nest has been butchered up in a community room in a day care centre. The view given by the curved windows in the centre has been blocked by two huge screens showing cruise information. Which idiot is responsible for that? The bar has been reduced to 5 stools and closes at 9 pm. So no more long evening drinking at the bar in the crow's nest, which as far as I can remember has been a main feature of taking a cruise. There is always a late bar for that very specific set of people. Not so on Nieuw Statendam which becomes a dry county after 11.30 pm. Finally, the prices of alcholic beverages is ridiculously inflated. 11 US dollars for a glass of white wine coming from a screwcap bottle is prohibitive on the consumption of drinks. HAL happily distributes drinks packages for free, and you see the difference between the passengers who do and the ones who do not have a package. Everything is duty free and bought in massive quantities. So why so expensive? Fewer flower arrangements, no chocolate party, no baked Alaska, but wonderful movie selection in cabin. You win some, you loose some. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the cruise in large part because we wanted to experience the still-new Niew Amsterday just a few months after it had been christened. Embarkation and disembarkation were flawless and user-friendly. Once aboard, where we had a ... Read More
We chose the cruise in large part because we wanted to experience the still-new Niew Amsterday just a few months after it had been christened. Embarkation and disembarkation were flawless and user-friendly. Once aboard, where we had a standard verandah stateroom, we enjoyed almost every moment of the cruise from Fr. Lauderdale to Amsterdam in late-April, early-May 2019. The stateroom was fresh, nicely decorated, clean and comfortable. Our stateroom was at the very front of the ship and yet we never felt any untoward motion despite some rough seas along the route. Much to rave about: 1. Public spaces are beautiful and punctuated by public art so plentiful we seemed to discover something new every day. 2. Entertainment options were outstanding, as seems to be consistent across all of Holland America's ships. Great singers and dancers, two marvelous pianists, sizable casino (at which I won a $1200 jackpot (playing a penny slot machine, at 300 pennies per pull), duplicate bridge on every sea day and many more activities too numerous to detail. The main stage featured a new 270 degree screen, which utilized technology in ways that greatly enhanced not only lectures but also integrated technology into singing and (especially) dancing in a mesmerizing way. 3. The ship moved rapidly yet smoothly. Even in the English Channel, with some awesome swells one evening, the ride remained smooth. We never saw, experienced or heard of anyone being seasick. 4. The water in the two swimming pools was about 84 degrees, very comfortable, and each pool had multiple jacuzzi's, with water cascadomg from the top ones to the middle ones and then the bottom ones, a pleasant sight to see and experience. 5. The retractable roof over the main pool and largest outdoor sitting area was open in the daytime, weather permitting, and closed at night so free full length movies could be shown outdoors 6. Free popcorn topped off the free movie and blankets were plentiful on the chillier nights. 7. Food was outstanding in Rudi's Sel de Mer (upcharge) and also in Tamarind (upcharge), which we enjoyed two and three times, respectively, on this two week cruise. Two other upcharge restaurants (Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto) were good, but not great. We tried each one once, and ate in the main dining room the other nights. Main dining also was good, but not great food. Service was excellent, however. 8. Serving staff and cabin stewards were friendly, wore genuine smiles, and unfailingly wanted to please. Service was excellent everywhere on board. Little to criticize, but here is a short list: 1. With just two swimming pools, one mid-ship and one aft, the ship allows smoking adjacent to the aft pool, and of course the smoke wafts everywhere. Consequently, the main pool (non-smoking area) was much more heavily used than the aft pool. Moreover, the prime outdoor viewing/sightseeing area is aft, around and behind the aft pool, and it effectively has been co-opted by smokers (a minority of total passengers) at the expense of non-smokers (the clear majority of passengers). 2. Similarly, the casino apparently allows smoking on alternating days, which is just as unpleasant and just as silly (catering to the smoking minority of passengers) as is the smoking area by the aft pool. On the no smoking days the casino still reeked of tobacco smoke. One suggestion: All employees wear their name badges on the left sides of their clothing, chest high. Which means that when the shake hands (always right-handed), their name tag is turned away from the one whose hand they are shaking, making it difficult to read the name tag. Employees should wear their name tags on their right sides, so that when shaking hands they are turning the name tag closer to the other person and making them much easier to read. Simple suggestion, powerful results, I can assure you. In Washington, D.C., where everyone wants to meet everyone else (in power, but that's another story) and know their names, almost everyone has learned to wear their name badges on their right sides. Holland America should check it out and make the same small but significant change. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is HA newest and largest cruise ship and we wanted to try it after having done the Volendam in December 2018. Happy that we did. Embarkation and disembarkation both went smoothly. We arrived in FLL the day before, which allowed ... Read More
This is HA newest and largest cruise ship and we wanted to try it after having done the Volendam in December 2018. Happy that we did. Embarkation and disembarkation both went smoothly. We arrived in FLL the day before, which allowed us to arrive at the ship about 1 pm when embarkation was just beginning, so it went smoothly. We miscalculated on disembarkation. We had booked a 8:50 AM flight from FLL to IAD. We took our luggage and rolled off the Nieuw Statendam at 7:30 AM, grabbed a taxi to FLL, but couldn't get our luggage checked in time, in time being 8:30 AM, and thus we couldn't get our boarding passes in time either. We got lucky; there was a 1:05 PM flight from FLL to IAD and we were able to check our luggage and get our boarding passes for that flight. The World Stage theater was very impressive, cutting edge, and entertaining. The décor of the Dining Room was somewhat spartan to our tastes. But the food and service and our table mates were all outstanding. The social interactions added so much to our cruise experience. The live music at the Rolling Stones and the B.B. King and the Lincoln Center Stage, and the twin piano players played to full houses. Our Vista Suite was obviously new and well designed. The tv screen was 55 inches. On the Volendam it was 30 inches. We missed the library that was on the Volendam, but was absent, or radically downsized, on the Nieuw Statendam. FWIW, we are Platinum members on RCCL, but now we prefer Holland America. It caters to an older demographics and Holland America knows how to appeal to us seniors really well. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We primarily took this cruise for 2 reasons. First we wanted to stop at Turks & Caicos and second we wanted to sail on a new ship and it happened to be our anniversary as well. Neither of these let us down. Great shore stops and ... Read More
We primarily took this cruise for 2 reasons. First we wanted to stop at Turks & Caicos and second we wanted to sail on a new ship and it happened to be our anniversary as well. Neither of these let us down. Great shore stops and beautiful new ship. The food was probably the most consistently delicious throughout the vacation. We dined in the main dining room, the lido cafe, Tamarind and experienced the food from the Pinnacle Grill. Everything was delicious. The drinks from the bar were excellent and the bar staff were knowledgeable and interactive. We took in shows from the piano quintet and from the main stage such as the mentalist and the comedian. All shows were entertaining and engaging. I have two critiques to share. Our first stop was in Turks in which we encountered some delays in approval for disembarking. For some reason, the crew only opened 1 exit at the front of the ship which made getting off a nightmare. My wife and I waited an hour to get off the ship waiting in the stairwell with literally thousands of other passengers all trying to get out single file as well. Fortunately we were the only ship in port at the time and although we booked our shore excursion through a different company than the cruise ship, they waited as our ship was there only business. It is my understanding that others were not as lucky and missed their tours. Something to be said about booking through the cruise company. This came to in handy as the weather was rough for our stop at Half Moon and we couldn't get off the ship. This time we had booked through the cruise ship and got our shore excursions refunded as they were unable to ferry us to the island. Another issue was the pre-purchase of the cellar master package. There was much confusion between us and the ship about which package was purchased. Unfortunately this came to a head on the 6th night of our cruise which was our anniversary during out dinner at the Pinnacle Grill. So much so that we ended up leaving the restaurant prior to enjoying our meal. The staff rectified the situation, but the event was really unfortunate. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We are an Australian couple who have taken 20 cruises. Previously we have sailed 21 days on the Koningsdam and 15 on the Noordam. We chose this cruise as we were visiting the USA and realised it was holiday season and because it is a new ... Read More
We are an Australian couple who have taken 20 cruises. Previously we have sailed 21 days on the Koningsdam and 15 on the Noordam. We chose this cruise as we were visiting the USA and realised it was holiday season and because it is a new ship. We have recently tried several of the premium lines (Azamara, Viking, Seabourn and Crystal) and HAL stacks up well for a main line. Overall we had a great cruise, the weather was mostly great, the ports were new to us, HAL has benefited from having the Koningsdam before this ship, awesome music and entertainment and a great variety of dining options. Fellow passengers were much younger than a normal Hal crowd with loads of families. The cruise felt very busy but the overall vibe was very positive. We embarked in FLL for the first time. We arrived a little later than we normally do in the early afternoon and were on the ship very quickly. We had lunch in the mdr where the ugly problems from previous HAL cruises quickly reared their head ie the laboriously slow “sommeliers”. After eating the first 2 courses I left the restaurant and got our own drinks by the time I returned the sommelier was only just arriving at the table to take our order. A complaint to the manager ensured it was much quicker every time following which was good but just to be safe we still took a glass with us. Even worse than the slow ordering is the fact that if you have the drinks package your wine has to be collected from a bar and makes the process even slower, they are the only cruise line we have come across that make it this difficult. As with other HAL cruises food in the mdr was inconsistent but overall a good experience. We loved the other variety of food onboard, stand alone pizza bar, burger bar and the Dutch cafe were all very high quality. The lido is very good, the bread was top class as were the salads. We love that they serve you making it healthier for everyone. The ship is new and overall we really liked the design. Music themed modern art adorns the ship and makes it interesting to explore. A promenade and jogging track made outdoor exercise easy. The theatre with 270 degree screens was great and the new dance shows were awesome. The comedian was very funny as well. There are 2 pools, the aft pool is adult only and was a nice area (except for the smoking) but the policing of children was inconsistent. The highlight is the music venues. Duelling pianos, rock band, BbKings blues band and classical group made for amazing variety and all were high quality. One area of the ship that was a bit of a disappointment was the crows nest, we thought the one on the Koningsdam was disappointing but this is even worse. It is trying to be the explorations cafe, shorex desk, bar area and meeting room. There is not enough seating and it seemed to attract families with young small noisy children. Hal is not known for a lot of activities which we normally enjoy, there were a couple of trivia’s but not a lot else of interest to us but with such nice weather and other activities such as table tennis, shuffleboard etc there was plenty to do onboard. Service - Hal regulars always rave about Hal service but personally we find it overrated. That is not to say it is poor just that it is average. Guest relations were again poor. Our stateroom attendant was friendly but just average. Waiters and bar staff were efficient. One issue we had was when a very drunken passenger threatened me, bar staff has already cut him off and called security but they didn’t arrive in time and surprisingly no one followed up the issue with me despite taking my details. When I queried this later I was simply told the passenger was dealt with - strange that I saw him as drunk again the following day. We bought the drinks package which we think is good value with bottled water, nice coffees and great cocktails. Wine choices are very limited though. We missed Half Moon Cay due to weather which was disappointing but we really enjoyed Turks, Puerto Rico and St Thomas (seriously lucky as only ship in port!). Embarking and disembarking was easy. As the cruise was expensive we only booked an interior cabin but it was very large (it seemed to be bigger than others we saw). We really liked it but there was no couch. Overall an enjoyable cruise with high quality decor, great variety in dining and entertainment, new technology and solid service. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I've never felt compelled to write a review but after our recent trip I must express how delighted we were. I was looking for a college graduation trip for my son and his girlfriend and had to work within certain dates and costs. I ... Read More
I've never felt compelled to write a review but after our recent trip I must express how delighted we were. I was looking for a college graduation trip for my son and his girlfriend and had to work within certain dates and costs. I first saw this trip as a reasonable prospect but knew nothing about HAL. My travel agent thought I might enjoy being on a new ship and knew that I was most recently on Celebrity (loved) and Royal (didn't love). But it's an old people's line, right? First of all, the new venue was beautiful. I'm not that much of a snob about decor, etc., but everything was fabulous. (I probably will repeat this word a few times.) The artwork was eclectic, the flowers are amazing (never paid attention to flowers before on a cruise). My 20 somethings were enthralled, posting picture after picture on IG and Snapchat. Yes, even Facebook even though it's for old fogies. We had a balcony room. It was probably a little narrower than on Celebrity but seemed longer and the storage was better than other ships I've been on. (Two closets for hanging.) The balcony had ottomans which I know is a big bone of contention on other ships. The food was great. My kids are foodies and ordered multiple entrees, appetizers, etc., which was no problem. The main dining room was lovely and since I usually have Aqua class on Celebrity I was a little concerned about this. No problem! We had the late seating and never had a problem with waiting. The only meal we weren't happy with was one fish dish that was slightly dry. Pretty good batting average on a seven day cruise. We had two specialty restaurants included and loved both Canaletto and Pinnacle Grill. The only disappointment for my son was that he couldn't order multiple dishes in Pinnacle. He got over it. The music was great fun with the Billboard Piano duo switching out with the Rolling Stone Room. Down the hall was BB King which played at the same time. I love music and thought it was terrific but I'm no music critic. We didn't spend time in the casino but I have to say that it wasn't very smoky. I really didn't mind walking through like in most ships. It's also worth mentioning that the casino bar had the only TV we noticed. We only were aware because the NBA playoffs were on and my son was searching for a place to watch other than the cabin. Smoking - always an issue because we're non-smokers. I finally asked someone where smoking was allowed and was told that it was aft. Pleasantly surprised. We paid extra for two things that we loved. 1. The Retreat - On the 12th floor is a private cabana area. My friend suggested it and I have to say it was a great hideaway. Butler service, which I am certainly not accustomed to, private hot tub, and peace and quiet. 2. Spa package - We have become quite spoiled with Aqua class but we visited the private spa area every day so we go our money's worth. My only complaint on the whole ship was that the spouts in the Thallasotherapy pool needed to be adjusted. Other people who were HAL regulars said it was a design flaw so I guess they will fix it eventually. Crowds - Where was everybody? I though the ship must be fairly empty but was told on more than one occasion that it was full. You could have fooled me. The elevator was the only place that seemed crowded. Even the Lido Market wasn't bad but I guess maybe we came earlier in the AM than most. Entertainment - If you're coming for the big shows, forget it. We attended two dance shows which were lovely. The comedian and mentalist were also first class. So, I'm sold. I have no idea if their other ships are up to par with this one but I will find out. I booked another cruise while on board. Oh, the twenty somethings? They loved everything about it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked this ship because it was brand new and we wanted to see the Eastern Caribbean islands. Our research revealed that HAL had a great reputation. The following is our own personal opinion after a 1 week cruise on the Nieuw ... Read More
We booked this ship because it was brand new and we wanted to see the Eastern Caribbean islands. Our research revealed that HAL had a great reputation. The following is our own personal opinion after a 1 week cruise on the Nieuw Statendam. Embarkation and Disembarkation: Flawless, speedy and very well organized. The Ship: Fabulous is the first word that comes to our minds. It is well laid out, lots of space to sit and chat. Plenty of places to find food and drinks. Servers everywhere and they even have call buttons on the tables for ordering drinks. The ship was very smooth during sailing even in inclement weather - never really felt any vibration due to her advanced operating systems. Cabin: Vista Suite with Veranda - outstanding is the first word that comes to mind. Lots of storage, elegant, both 110/220 volt outlets, large shower, lots of in-room comforting accoutrements, and a really great selection of current movies. The cabin attendants knew your name from the minute you got on the ship and they get a 100% TOP score for doing such a great job - children loved the different daily towel animals!!! Food: Main dinning room - no table reservations before 8.00 p.m. this we found to be not good especially when you have children. Service was fabulous but food delivery was very slow. Food choices are varied on the menu each night with fixed options each night (steak, chicken, etc) in case you did not like daily menu. Lido Cafe - it was without doubt always a choice for any meal of the day with something to suit any taste or desire. The Dive In - although little in space they pushed orders out very fast and this was outstanding food. The New York Deli - was also good with great sandwiches although, some of the pizza toppings ran out. Dutch Cafe- great coffee and sweets! We did not like the fact that we had to pay for the Gelato Ice cream. Drink Package: We chose the Signature Drink Package which allowed us all types of drinks under $10. This proved to be sufficient for us, unless you are a "high-end top shelf drinker" most people would be fine with this package. We did not like the 1 drink order limit restriction. Children's Activities: ZERO here because anything outside the kids play room was non-existent. Prior to the cruise we read lots of "chat" about HAL being a "retired persons cruise line". Although many people had written that HAL changed its mentality and was gearing more towards families rather than older crowds - this was not the case on our cruise - children were bored due to the lack of "kids activities and amenities". Pools: The mid ship pool is very small and the rear pool had an adults only restriction on it. OK, we get this, but then why were all the adults gathered at the mid-ship pool. So, this meant that the kids had to share the only pool with the adults - but the adult pool did not share with the kids - this was absolutely unfair in our opinion. While the children frolicked in the pool - "adults" complained about being splashed - sorry, then move your old butt to the adult pool! The Crew: Tip-Top perfect service by the crew in all areas of the ship !!! Entertainment: Yes they offered 4 types of music, but after a week of the same 4 types of music and nothing new, it gets old. Crows Nest: Great place to chill out and watch the surroundings. Bad part is all the "retired folks" hogged up the loungers at the big front overlooking windows and then fell asleep for hours. That was a bit unfair for those of us who actually wanted to sit there for their intended purpose because these seats had the best view on the entire ship. Activities: We found the "ship info, kitchen tour & the captain's talk" the best part of the activities offered. These three activities were very informative and really great leaning for all. The Captain was fantastic, and very friendly. Besides that, it really seemed like the same entertainment and activities each day. For families it was a bit boring in our opinion. OK, you had basketball, shuffleboard, ping-pong, card games, and swimming, but with short ports of call, and 2 days at sea - it got a little boring after a few days with only the same options. The cruise director could have offered much more as we have seen from our prior cruises with other companies. Overall Cleanliness: Extremely clean ship - we loved having a place to wash your hands at all the entrances at the Lido Cafe. Great job by the service crew to keep the ship in such a clean and fresh environment. Public Toilets: absolutely perfectly clean all the time. Casino: Lots of play choice - although smoking permitted - 1 day at sea was no smoking allowed - that was refreshing! America's Test Kitchen: Sorry, only one word to say here - Boring! No participation allowed just watching someone cook. Port of Calls: Found them all to be well organized, and very quick to get everyone on and off the ship. The Security team did a great job to ensure our safety, kudos to them for all they did for us! Recommendations to HAL: Offer daily info sessions about the specific ports of call. Make an area on the ship where you play some Caribbean / local music rather than the same stuff we hear at home. The weather did not permit us to make one port of call, therefore we found that we had to entertain ourselves because the Cruise Director came up with card games, and other non-fun things for us to do as a family - when you cannot make a port of call then you should be prepared ahead of time to entertain the passengers to off-set the disappoint of missing out on a port of call. Lastly, please think of ways to entertain children a little more - and I do not mean like Disney or Carnival -- we purposely do not travel on these lines because the adults need to have fun also. A big thanks to the HAL Captain and his fabulous team for a very wonderful vacation! Signed, 7 HAL passengers (mixed USA & Europe) Read Less
Nieuw Statendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 4.5 4.4
Entertainment 4.5 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Value For Money 4.5 4.2

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