1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Choose this cruise as a last minute, 7 day NYE getaway with family group. We knew HAL is reputed to cater to more mature cruisers so with that knowledge the young adult members of our group of 9 were not overly impressed. They did find ... Read More
Choose this cruise as a last minute, 7 day NYE getaway with family group. We knew HAL is reputed to cater to more mature cruisers so with that knowledge the young adult members of our group of 9 were not overly impressed. They did find enough to keep them entertained in casino & on New Years Eve. The ship was clean and nicely furnished but nothing that really awed me. Food was average, but like most lines, the food has gone down in quality since catering to pay for dining rooms. Room service was good. Service was very good & staff was friendly. I found it more difficult to get port information as I could not make their info session on stage. Most ships I have been on have a TV channel devoted to ports of call, but i couldn't locate one on this ship. In room movie selection was very good. We loved the piano bar & it's proximity to the casino. I did find the atmosphere on the ship relaxing. I have been on 5 other HAL cruises & think they are a good value but not a lot of bells & whistles, especially on the pool decks like many of the other lines. I like the size of their ships. Boarding was easy, but Ft. Lauderdale port is rather chaotic, especially with 7 other ships there. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We were so excited to be back on a Holland America Line (HAL) ship after a few cruises with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We missed the classic European charm of HAL. The little Dutch/European touches -- fine dining at breakfast -- ... Read More
We were so excited to be back on a Holland America Line (HAL) ship after a few cruises with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We missed the classic European charm of HAL. The little Dutch/European touches -- fine dining at breakfast -- with classic European or Asian breakfasts, the ginger served after dinner, escargot on formal nights etc. Oh, we were so disappointed. We were 11 people on the cruise and each of us felt the food was sorely lacking. Marinara sauces watered down so that it was like adding thick pink water to your pasta. It was absolutely flavorless. Granted I am vegetarian and so assumed it was just me. So, when my carnivore son also complained about the food -- I knew the problem was real. Even the cappuccinos and lattes that cost $5+ each -- tasted of weak poor quality coffee. I spent so much time hungry on this cruise -- literally hungry. The salad bar was a good solid bet. The poached egg station in the morning was nice. The oatmeal was made palatable by adding nuts from near the yogurt station. Each meal on the Lido deck was a matter of hunt and gather -- hunt for the base of your meal -- then gather items to make it flavorful and tasty. Actually felt hunger pangs on the cruise and left the ship on Sunday ravenous. Body was literally craving nutrition. I will applaud almost every member of the crew. They never failed to smile or greet you. The only one who seemed apathetic was the girl not excited about making our pasta with extra spinach or gluten free -- even though we fetched the spinach from the salad station ourselves. We have truly enjoyed the elegance and high standards on HAL prior to this cruise and selected it because an elderly family member was traveling with us. As a large group, we felt it was the best cruise line to get a quality experience. Sorely disappointed on so many fronts but mainly the food front. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was a family Christmas Vacation Cruise sponsored by my Mother, Step Father, Sister and my 13 year old Daughter. Words can't describe the entire experience from the moment our Taxi dropped us off at the Port Everglades to our ... Read More
This was a family Christmas Vacation Cruise sponsored by my Mother, Step Father, Sister and my 13 year old Daughter. Words can't describe the entire experience from the moment our Taxi dropped us off at the Port Everglades to our ten minute total check in time!! The ship looked perfect size from outside. AS soon as we got off elevator our Steward walked us to our room, his name was Amin and his partner was Ray Ban! The cabin had a balcony and plenty of storage!!! The space on balcony was perfect! Bedding was so very comfortable! The Dining was varied and perfect everwhere...our Dining Room Steward was YanMar and he walked us to our table each night and pushed the wheel chair for us!! Activity room for teens was active and safe! Service was friendly and prompt at ALL times!! We took tender to Grand Caymen..loved the public beach. Did Dolphin Swim at Ochos Rios.....Beach Park at Cozumel and Beach at Moon Cay. My favorite was water temperature and clarity of water at Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach. My least favorite was the taxi ride rip offs to the beaches in Cozmel which were very rocky! Cozmel seemed like a hustle...all other desitinations were more relaxed Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Got bitten by bedbugs on the first night all over upper body. Cruise medical center refused to address the problem on Christmas Eve, unless I paid $95 for consultation on a problem caused by poor health condition and lack of proper ... Read More
Got bitten by bedbugs on the first night all over upper body. Cruise medical center refused to address the problem on Christmas Eve, unless I paid $95 for consultation on a problem caused by poor health condition and lack of proper maintenance and examination of bedding. I inspected pillows and found badly stained pillows obscured by pillow covers. The next day after I suffered these horrible red itching bites, I decided to inspect mattress also and discovered a blanket insert that had three dried blood stains, which was also hidden with a zipped cover over the mattress. It was disgusting! Again, we requested replacements. The overall ship is nice but everything shuts down by 11pm. You can't even get a hot dog from the outside Lido since the pools and outside area is completely closed and dark. No Karaoke for us lovers of this fun activity. The ship catered to selling high priced jewelry, terribly overpriced, if you have any knowledge of the cost of fine jewelry, which I have had for over 40 years. The best parts of the ship was The Lincoln Stage Performances and The BB King's All Stars band. It is a ship for the elderly who have no interest but to sun bathe and view overpriced jewelry and art. The Art Gallery was quite nice but I didn't bother to ask about the price of any of the wonderful paintings since I was convinced it would be as ridiculous as the jewelry. The jewelry auction proved my point. No one bid over approximately $1100 for any of the jewelry that was auctioned. The jewelry indicated pieces worth at least $28,000, with bids starting at around $18,000. In fact I said nothing but the guy who purchased the pair of earrings for the nearly $1100 must not have known he was being overpriced. No one bothered to bid on the over 20 or more items since they too must have realized it was overpriced. The ports that sold jewelry I believe were also a rip-off. In Cozumel you could possibly get a decent pair of cowboy boots at a reasonable price if you negotiated with the seller for Roger's Boots. Ocho Rios was a rip-off since you had to take a bus to beach and be charged for everything connected to it. No free rides here. The 7-mile beach had bad large graveled sand. Not comfortable for bare feet! I wanted to use an Expedia $100 onboard credit to purchase and monogram robe, but the guest service person, an Indonesian clerk, lied to me and told me no new robes were available for sale that I could use the credit towards. This turned out to be a lie, since my husband was able to order one to be billed to our cabin, with three letter free monogram, which was personally delivered to our cabin: 10033, by an apologizing guest services person. I was never offered any assistance for the painful and annoying bedbug bites and had to purchase skin irritation and abrasion cream as well as spray from the gift shop. The gift shop was also overpriced with items that should have cost much less. We are upper middle class people and are by no means tightwads, but the prices we encountered on this trip were ridiculous, including the price of the cruise, which offered very limited activities. No Broadway or Las Vegas style shows will you see here, even though the main stage is beautiful. What a terrible waste? The Main Stage entertainment was less than mediocre and short on time. The food was not the best, but good none the less. The overall staff attendants were excellent! However, we did not need two attendants @$14.50 each to be assigned to our small cabin, with small balcony. The person in charge of inspection of housekeeping should be heavily reprimanded for not instructing cabin attendants to inspect bedding for cleanliness, wear and tear --BEDBUGS! Never expected this on a relatively new ship. Horrible! There is no excuse for the heavily stained pillows or blanket or any other unhealthy bedding that I did not discover. We have been on many cruises throughout the years, but will never go Holland America again. Even the teenagers on deck were bored to death. I found them one night sprawled out on the outside of their so-called lounge or club area laying on the floor or doing whatever they could to keep from falling to sleep at around 11pm. I would never book this cruise again, even if I'm 100 years old. It would still be too boring for me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
WORST Internet of the high seas!!! In this day & age of technology, I find this absolutely unacceptable! I tried paying for their "PREMIUM" internet and it was so atrocious. It's embarrassing that they even dare to ... Read More
WORST Internet of the high seas!!! In this day & age of technology, I find this absolutely unacceptable! I tried paying for their "PREMIUM" internet and it was so atrocious. It's embarrassing that they even dare to charge for the "service". I've been on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Crystal & Disney all in the last few years & none of their internet has been this pathetic. Seriously, there is no excuse for such terrible internet access when the other cruise lines can provide cruisers with far, far superior internet. I have to admit, it did REALLY hinder my enjoyment of the cruise since I do like my internet access. So, if you or your family members want the internet like I do (contacting kids/family at home, accessing websites of tour operators, streaming, opening emails & the links, etc.), I strongly advise against booking with HAL until they re-vamp & fix their "SHIP" internet ... pls replace the "P" with "T" as was so jokingly emphasized by one of their own employees. Another item that I do NOT like about HAL is their beverage package requirement that EVERYONE in the same cabin MUST get the same beverage package. This is absurd to me as not many people I know have the exact drinking habits. For example, I do not drink soda but one of my girlfriends did; also, my other girlfriend drinks wine while the other 2 do not ... so really, it forces everyone to order drinks a la carte just because we have different drinking habits. I find that as a big CON to cruise with HAL with friends and even with my spouse since we also have different drinking habits. However, HAL does try to compensate by allowing cruisers to bring their own wine, soda & water as carry on but I prefer purchasing beverage packages while cruising and not worrying. On a positive note, the food was good in the Dining Room. For interested foodies, I would rank it better than the Freedom of the Seas & Ruby Princess but not as good as Celebrity, Crystal or Disney ships. The buffet area foods are served to cruisers which has it's good points & bad points ... pros - it prevents cruisers with bad habits or kids from making unhygienic acts. cons - it often causes a back up in the buffet line. With regards to service, the dining room & stateroom service were very good. They were all very nice & cordial. In SUMMARY, do NOT book if you like to have internet access or if you have different drinking habits than your cabin mate. FOOD is good --- better than Freedom of the Seas & Ruby Princess but NOT as good as Celebrity, Crystal or Disney. SERVICE is good throughout the ship. For me, I do NOT foresee myself ever booking on HAL again when there are clearly better choices & better values available to cruisers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our second cruise on HAL. The first was a Norway cruise out of Amsterdam in June-July 2018. This time we decided to see (part of) the Caribbean by ship. Embarkation was a breeze even though we were a little late. We made it to ... Read More
This was our second cruise on HAL. The first was a Norway cruise out of Amsterdam in June-July 2018. This time we decided to see (part of) the Caribbean by ship. Embarkation was a breeze even though we were a little late. We made it to the Lido by 2pm and were pleasantly surprise to see lunch was still in full swing. Nieuw Amsterdam (NA) might be my favorite HAL ship so far. It is different than Koningsdam in many ways - most of which are "better" in my opinion. Here are some of the more noticeable differences that are "good." 1. Larger suites/bathrooms: The cabins are better on this ship. No side-saddle toilet. We were in Cabin 6089 and it had two sinks and two showers (one was a tub/shower combo) which made getting ready a breeze. The closet space was also better on NA. 2. Cooler, quieter main dining room: Dinners on Koningsdam took HOURS and were miserably loud and hot. Dinners in the MDR on NA were a breeze. 3. Better food quality: The food quality on NA seemed better but this might just be a supplier issue. The lobster tails on the gala night were amazing and both of our dinners at the Pinnacle Grill were superb. Try the baked Alaska!!! I feel I'm pretty much hooked on HAL and look forward to our third cruise with them. I feel they are a perfect fit for me and my husband. My only real gripe on this trip was an EXC excursion that was cut short and Ocho Rios as a destination. HAL should consider dropping Ocho Rios as the gauntlet of aggressive cabbies one must endure to leave the ship really sours the entire experience. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
From the moment we boarded this ship until we left we were treated so well on this cruise. All of the staff members went out of their way to provide top notch service. The cabin was clean, bright and spacious for a cruise line. We had a ... Read More
From the moment we boarded this ship until we left we were treated so well on this cruise. All of the staff members went out of their way to provide top notch service. The cabin was clean, bright and spacious for a cruise line. We had a partial view cabin but we were not disappointed as we could see the ocean every morning when we woke up. The cabin stewards did a great job keeping our cabin clean, put cute towels on our bed along with chocolate. When we were in the hallways our cabin steward always greeted us by name and asked if we were having a good time.The dining at night was excellent and the staff went above and beyond to ensure we had a great experience. There were many choices of food during the daytime, I really liked the homemade pizzas.There was plenty to do on board, the 2 pools, games, bars, casino, shows, trivia, bingo and even a 5k walk. We took advantage of so many activities throughout this cruise. The ports and shore excursions were so much fun. We traveled with our 21 year old son and he had so much fun, and he met quite a few people around his age. This is a top notch cruise line and not a party boat. We appreciated it being a little more on the quiet side versus some of the other cruise lines. We will definitely be back. It was a great cruise for older children and adults. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Nieuw Amsterdam looked like she was recently refurbished. The carpeting and upholstery looked fresh. The public areas were very clean. The crew was phenomenal in terms of service. The food in the main dining room was varied and tasty. ... Read More
The Nieuw Amsterdam looked like she was recently refurbished. The carpeting and upholstery looked fresh. The public areas were very clean. The crew was phenomenal in terms of service. The food in the main dining room was varied and tasty. Holland America provided numerous shore excursions for purchase. We chose the Jamaica City Tour, the Jolley Trolley in Georgetown, and the Chocolate Tour in Cozumel. All of these tours were interesting and suitable for senior citizens. There were many more action and snorkeling tours available in the ports. The entertainment was varied and amusing. The magician and comic were funny and the song and dance productions were excellent and professional. Some of the public areas were a bit crowded. We had to wait in lines for the buffet stations. The lounges were rather small. I would definitely book another cruise on this ship, but I would choose a different itinerary. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our third cruise on HAL and my eighth (give or take) overall. We cruised on the sister ship Eurodam last year and this cruise and overall experience was nearly identical. Service is top notch in every venue - from cabin to ... Read More
This was our third cruise on HAL and my eighth (give or take) overall. We cruised on the sister ship Eurodam last year and this cruise and overall experience was nearly identical. Service is top notch in every venue - from cabin to dining room, Lido, and other places. Everyone is friendly and eager to please. This is the highlight of the ship. Food is also great, especially in the dining room. Dinner there was superb. Lunch and breakfast in the Lido was very good but not up to dining room standards. I would have preferred more breakfast choices like biscuits, gravy, and corned beef hash. Loved the smoked salmon though. BB Kings lounge was another highlight. Quality and vibe were just fantastic. Great sets including blues, jazz, and classic rock. A live music lover's paradise. The five piece orchestra was also very good, we saw them twice. We didn't go many activities or shore excursions. HAL is the true classic cruising experience but I would prefer a little more fun, especially on the pool deck during a Caribbean cruise. How about a live steel band or even some fun recorded music? You can still be classy but fun on deck. They did have a mariachi band one evening and they brought some fun to the pool deck. Overall, a great cruise for those seeking great service and food and a more sedate cruising experience. The crowd is generally older but still a fair number of familes and young people on board. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The Entertainment was the highlight of the Cruise——-it was our first experience and even though we had some quite rough weather for 2 days , we had an amazing time. We met so many interesting people and were able to meet our ... Read More
The Entertainment was the highlight of the Cruise——-it was our first experience and even though we had some quite rough weather for 2 days , we had an amazing time. We met so many interesting people and were able to meet our favourite entertainers. It felt like we were back in Ireland! Can’t wait to go in 2020 and enjoy it all again! Gertrude Byrne does an amazing job , she greets everyone on arrival and is there to say goodbye.It is a very welcoming atmosphere and Holland America crew were amazing, nothing was too much trouble. We made many new friends on the Cruise and there were several people on board that we knew. We have told many of our Irish friends and anyone who enjoys music and dancing that this is the best .It was also very nice to have Catholic Mass each morning which was very well attended and especially Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Service was excellent as usual, however, some staff seemed preoccupied, probably tired. Boat was excellent as we've come to expect from Holland. Food was also tasty, however, it was not as diverse as we'd expected, so was ... Read More
Service was excellent as usual, however, some staff seemed preoccupied, probably tired. Boat was excellent as we've come to expect from Holland. Food was also tasty, however, it was not as diverse as we'd expected, so was getting a bit boring by the 3 day. However, there was a Mexican day around the 5th day, followed by an Indian day, so things spiced up again for the remainder of the cruise. Didn't do any activities, so won't comment on that, but they seemed to be adequate on board stuff. I was disappointed to learn the gym closed at 9pm though. That was the only activity i was really interested in. Internet (or lack there of) was the our biggest issue since we had some loose ends to tie up during the cruise. Thus far, all 3 Holland cruises we've been on had ridiculous internet and, yet they were the most expensive. Internet on Royal Allure was excellent, so it's kinda hard to bare Holland now. We're looking at Celebrity and Norwegian to see what they have to offer. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This is just our second cruise so we are by no means any experts so read this review with that in mind. Check in was smooth and easy we were a bit late from delayed flight so we checked in around 2:00PM and it was not that busy. We ... Read More
This is just our second cruise so we are by no means any experts so read this review with that in mind. Check in was smooth and easy we were a bit late from delayed flight so we checked in around 2:00PM and it was not that busy. We also were able to access our cabin right away. Went to the LIDO for lunch and it was not so busy which we found out later in the cruise was not the norm. If you went at the peak times it was often very hard to find a seat. Cabin on the smallish side Suite 10033 but we chose the option where they choose the cabin for you so I guess we were lucky to have a view! No problem storing our stuff plenty of room for everything. Balcony was Ok met our needs, bed was comfortable. Room attendant Ron was very attentive and kept everything as we asked, was tipped well accordingly. Speaking of tipping one thing that really you need to watch is that they charged $ 14.50 person per day for what they call a hotel service fee. I found out later is a tip for all the crew! Not sure if this is mandatory or optional but it was on our card when we left, still waiting for an answer from Holland on that. Check the charges on your bill. Not crazy about spreading tips amongst all crew as some of them were not that friendly or helpful. Dining, LIDO was always crowded during peak periods if you went later, they started closing stations before the advertised time. We were waiting in line for a waffle one morning when the server left said he would back in a minute then never returned. We were them told 5 minutes later by another employee that the station was closed! A few unhappy people in line! Also got some cold eggs for breakfast that same trip. The food was average. A couple of times they had a special Prime rib, or oriental fare which was of a bit better quality. The Pinnacle steak house and the Italian dining options were very good, better food and service although wife was not happy about having to pay extra for sparkling water when you already pay $ 35 each to dine there! The MDR we only ate their once and was OK we tried a second time but was too busy and we doid not have a reservation. The hamburger joint `Dive IN` was good but busy! New York pizza was Ok. The service at the dining locations was hit and miss sometimes good other times not so much. The entertainment not much to comment we saw one show a magician show Freddie Fusion and he was funny; the show was good. Other then that only heard a few songs at BB Kings and they were quite good, couldn`t get a seat though the bar is quite popular and gets filled up fast. We did attend a America Test Kitchen session which was quite informative. Excursions - Turks and Caicos, Hummer ride was a lot of fun and the guides were quite good this was worth the experience. San Juan - Walking tour very interesting you see a lot of Old San Juan and the guide was very enthusiastic and fun. The dining experience at then end was OK, small portions and plastic knives and forks. St. Thomas, champagne cruise and snorkeling was good, the snorkelling was a bit disappointing but the cruise back and forth was quite fun especially when the champagne starts running! Half Moon Bay, We didn’t stop due to safety concerns about high waves as they tender you to Half Moon Bay All and all a cruise is what you make of it and realise everyone is trying to sell you something from the room attendant to the bar servers! Even in the gym they tried to sell shoe inserts! From our experience overall at vacation resorts and our only one other cruise this we consider an average experience, nothing WOWED us and we encountered the normal service issues. The mandatory tipping issue was a downer also. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Good price,good timing for a getaway,previous good experiences with Holland America. Food and service is always good. BB Kings blues band plays in a lounge most nights 8 pc band always exceptional not just blues but 60’s Motown,and pop ... Read More
Good price,good timing for a getaway,previous good experiences with Holland America. Food and service is always good. BB Kings blues band plays in a lounge most nights 8 pc band always exceptional not just blues but 60’s Motown,and pop .Next to the casino is billboard 2 pianos and vocalists playing requests, old hits , some sing along.Casino is friendly not bad for a cruise ship. Lincoln Center on stage is the place for classical music. Cello violin and such.The main stage has a different act every night, although this is where HAL needs the most improvement The ships singers and dancers and show just ok. Acts such as comedian and or magician not very good. Four ports of call not bad for a seven day cruise. On this particular cruise we were unable to tender to their private island because of rough seas, but we have been there before it’s a great beach day with free bbq. Private beach set up really nice. They also have beach houses for rent which I never thought would be worth it for a half day outing. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The crew didn't seem to care about going the 'extra mile' to help. There seems to be a morale issue with most of the crew. Food was average at best, somehow they managed to make all their pork dishes dry and tough, even ... Read More
The crew didn't seem to care about going the 'extra mile' to help. There seems to be a morale issue with most of the crew. Food was average at best, somehow they managed to make all their pork dishes dry and tough, even the ones that were only cooked to medium were dry. The menus were pretentious and they weren't very appealing. We're foodies and yet it was hard to find desirable choices on the main dining room's menu. There was never a dish that I said to myself, "That was great! I hope they have it again later in the cruise!" Food service was mediocre, good luck trying to order a beer/wine/cocktail in the Lido! The Lido buffet is mostly served by the workers, which slows things down and makes lines longer. Yes, it can be more hygienic that way but I suspect it's more to control the serving sizes and reduce costs. Our room attendants were very nice but missed details such as no pen/paper, several days where the fruit bowl wasn't refilled, the balcony furniture and floor had spilled food & wine from the previous occupants that didn't get cleaned until our 5th day. Any time we'd mention a problem it was addressed quickly, but we shouldn't have to mention those sorts of things. The America's Test Kitchen lectures were fun, but not hands-on. BBKing Blues club was, by far, the best entertainment on the ship. This was our second cruise on Holland America. We'd go with them again if there was an incredible deal, but certainly not our line of choice. Stick to Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We were looking for a quick getaway before Christmas and this fit the bill. Liked having all the holiday decorations. Dined in specialty restaurants on three different occasions and the food was very good. Compared to other cruise lines ... Read More
We were looking for a quick getaway before Christmas and this fit the bill. Liked having all the holiday decorations. Dined in specialty restaurants on three different occasions and the food was very good. Compared to other cruise lines prices were very good. The ladies who performed in the Lincoln Center stage were wonderful and we tried to get to as many of their performances as possible. Our cabin stewards were very efficient and they cleaned our room in a timely fashion each morning and then in the evening we came back to our cabin to find a cute towel animal that had been made for us. Our waiter in the dining room couldn’t have been nicer. He was on the money in recommending entrees that we enjoyed and if we couldn’t decide on a particular entree, he would bring two for us to make certain that we were happy. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We received a casino offer for our December 9 cruise which we couldn't pass up. The only drawback was the fact that our Inside K cabin did not have a sofa, only a desk chair. This made it particularly uncomfortable for my husband. ... Read More
We received a casino offer for our December 9 cruise which we couldn't pass up. The only drawback was the fact that our Inside K cabin did not have a sofa, only a desk chair. This made it particularly uncomfortable for my husband. This isn't a complaint, just a heads-up. As always the Holland America crew was friendly and personable. Food was wonderful as were the ship amenities. We were not able to tender to the private island due to the weather and I was pleased to see that we received a reduction in the port charges. I hadn't even considered this. I was disappointed because I really enjoy Half Moon Cay. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. I really like Holland America's policy that you can wait in your cabin for your disembarkation number to be called. It is so much less stressful than waiting in a public area. We look forward to cruising with Holland America again especially if the casino offer comes through again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
When we were looking to book a cruise, the review of between 4 and 4.5 attracted our attention, we also liked the displayed itinerary Holland American listed. We had a well maintained and spacious suite, access to the Neptune lounge was ... Read More
When we were looking to book a cruise, the review of between 4 and 4.5 attracted our attention, we also liked the displayed itinerary Holland American listed. We had a well maintained and spacious suite, access to the Neptune lounge was convenience, the fitness center though small but well kept with decent equipment. I just didn't like the limit selection and quality of their seafood (baby shrimp and tiny scallops). Some parts of the entertainment are good (BB King, comedy, 1000 step and other dancing shows), the timing were often conflicted with dinner time. The support staff comprised mainly of Filipino and Thai, while majority are great and so pleasant to converse with, we encountered a couple that were rude and condescending. We were unable to go to the last port at Half Moon Cay due to high waves, we agree that safety is important but feel that the company should at least try to compensate their clients for that portion. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and i sailed on the nieuw amsterdam out of ft. Lauderdale on december 9th. The check in process was easy, and we were pleased to find that our oceanview room had a floor to ceiling window and a nice, spacious shower. The ship ... Read More
My wife and i sailed on the nieuw amsterdam out of ft. Lauderdale on december 9th. The check in process was easy, and we were pleased to find that our oceanview room had a floor to ceiling window and a nice, spacious shower. The ship itself has been maintained well. The food was excellent and because it was so good we decided not to dine in any of the specialty restaurants. The staff was very friendly and very efficient. The music we heard in the bb king blues club was outstanding - all of the performers are very talented. We also enjoyed the final night show performed by phillipino staff members who sang and danced and conveyed their love for the traditions of their country. Our only two complaints were about one of the excursions and the orthotics sales pitch in the gym. We paid for a holland america excursion to el yunque, the rain forest about 45 minutes outside of san juan. This excursion was a big disappointment. El yunque was severely damaged by the hurricane in 2017 and as a result most trails are closed and there is hardly any visible or audible wildlife. The “highlights” of the $60.00 per person excursion were seeing a very unimpressive waterfall which is on the side of the main road into the park, the view from the tower in the park (nice, but nothing amazing) and a walk down to a stream (nothing to it). In my opinion, this tour should not be offered at the present time by holland america. My second issue has to do with a sales pitch in the gym for good feet orthotics. The box for the good feet orthotics says we make no medical representations, but that is precisely what the gym director did in trying to sell the orthotics. I think that it would be much wiser to go to a medical professional and have orthotics made which are tailored to your feet. Putting these two issues aside we had a great time and we would highly recommend sailing on the nieuw amsterdam! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Everything was excellent from the food to the service. I love how the ship never feels crowded like Carnival or Norwegian or Royal Caribbean. The average age is a little bit older but at 62 we felt like the young ones! They could use a ... Read More
Everything was excellent from the food to the service. I love how the ship never feels crowded like Carnival or Norwegian or Royal Caribbean. The average age is a little bit older but at 62 we felt like the young ones! They could use a little more entertainment other than the music walk at night. The BB King blues club is fantastic.We did not use the specialty restaurants because the free food is excellent. Great happy hour but it's at four PM and 9PM. A little disappointed they took the movie theater away and replaced it with a meeting room. The casino is the best at sea for blackjack players and is usually empty by 10PM because the elderly clientele is sleeping which I love! The cabin attendants remember your name by the second day and the service from them is the best. The ship NEVER feels crowded and is always spotless. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this ship because my wife and I had previously sailed on the HAL Eurodam and we were very satisfied. Overall, the Nieuw Amsterdam did not disappoint and met our expectations. We are both in our mid fifties with about 12 cruises ... Read More
I chose this ship because my wife and I had previously sailed on the HAL Eurodam and we were very satisfied. Overall, the Nieuw Amsterdam did not disappoint and met our expectations. We are both in our mid fifties with about 12 cruises under our belts. Previos cruises were primarily family cruises on RCCL's mega ships. Purchased a last minute (2 weeks before) Veranda Guarantee Cat VH Cabin ($549 p/p) and were assigned a perfectly located Cat VA. Fare included gratuities and a $25 p/p beverage card. We were offered a suite upgrade for $299 per person via email, but did not accepted. Overall Service - Excellent. Dining room food - Very Good. Dining Room Service - Very good, but servers tend to be "robotic" with very little personal interaction. They basically take your order and return to drop off your food. They do not update you on the ships next day's itinerary, like servers on other cruise lines do. Buffet Food - Very Good. Cabin Stewart - Excellent. It was amazing how our cabin attendant could service the cabin while hardly even being noticed. Entertainment - Our one disappointment was the Main Theatre. Entertainment there was of mediocre quality. Overall, good value for the dollar and would recommend this ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was My first Holland cruise. I have formally been on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. My favorite space on the ship was definitely the Crow's Nest. It is a wonderful peaceful space to look out at the ... Read More
This was My first Holland cruise. I have formally been on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. My favorite space on the ship was definitely the Crow's Nest. It is a wonderful peaceful space to look out at the beauty of the sea from huge wrap around windows. I really appreciated that many of the books were about the Caribbean. I learned a lot about the history of the islands. I also loved the large coffee table books about the ocean, island decor and Caribbean cooking. The other books were very interesting. The book curator put together an outstanding and very interesting book collection. The coffee bar was excellent. The art on the ship was more like what is shown at an upscale NYC gallery. The best art I have ever seen on any cruise ship. There was always a surprise every time I turned a corner. I loved the giant silver apple. Another favorite was the tiny library in the wall. The food in the dining room was excellent. It was very much on trend with what is happening in good restaurants now. The lido was good. I loved the Eggs Benedict and the overnight oats in the morning.. The fruit salads we're wonderful. Unfortunately the coffee left much to be desired as it does on most ships. One thing that really bothered me at breakfast was the lack of spoons. There was always a knife and fork rolled up in a napkin but usually no spoon. When I asked a server why there were no spoons he said that they put them out for lunch for soup. I asked him if he could get me one. After waiting for 10 minutes I went to find a spoon and I saw him talking to another man who turned out to be a a supervisor of sorts. I asked him about the lack of spoons and he said some of them were rusty. When I said that that sounded kind of ridiculous he asked for my room number. I found the encounter strange. For lunch the big salad bowls and sushi were my favorites. The desserts were generally mediocre with the occasional really good creation. I tried the much touted bread pudding once and didn't find it to be anything special. The pizza was excellent. Really delicious. I liked the ice cream station but it often got confusing being right next to the desserts. It was hard to get a dessert when the line for the ice cream was in front of the desserts. My state room was gorgeous. The available movie selection was huge. The balcony was spacious. Most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. It was great having a bathrobe and makeup mirror. I loved the little plate of chocolates left by the steward on the first day. The closet space was ample. My husband and I enjoyed spending time on the promenade deck watching the sea. We spotted dolphins twice. Unfortunately the cushions we're often not put on many of the loungers so although there were plenty of sunbeds many did not have any cushions so we're unusable. We were occasionally unable to lay out on the promenade because of this. When I asked about the reason for not putting cushions on all the sunbeds I was given another hokey answer. The deck guy stated that some people like to use towels instead of cushions. I pointed out that there was no one sitting on the sunbeds without cushions. Pure laziness on the part of the staff for not putting the cushions on all sunbeds. We tendered to a few ports and the process was efficient and quick. The EXE guide, Glenn, was outstanding. His port lectures we're always interesting and entertaining. He was always available to answer any questions. It was nice to see his smiling face when we excited the ship. I also enjoyed his lectures about the history of the Nieuw Amsterdam as well as ' The Secret of Ships'. His knowledge and enthusiasm are really great. I went to a few of the naturalist talks and he was also very good. I learned so much from the computer classes. It was great to bring my skills up to date. The instructor was very patient. I didn't care for the cooking show, America's test kitchen. The video was shown more than the actual chef who was there in person. I have been on other cruise ships where the chefs were brought out from the kitchen to give demonstrations and the result was entertaining and instructive. I found America's test kitchen to be a real snooze. Definitely not recommend. In terms of entertainment we loved Lincoln center. BB king was not what I had hoped. It was so loud even my husband who has a hearing aid found it unbearable even when he removed his aid. I was hoping for some smooth jazz that I could enjoy with a glass of wine. It was more rhythm and blues. The MainStage was a grade C with exception of BBC earth with the orchestra. We also enjoyed funny fiddle. This was my first Holland America cruise and I would definitely book another. We really loved the peaceful atmosphere and lack of crowds. You could always find a quiet nook to relax and unwind. Holland America is a class act. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
If you are looking for excitement and entertainment on this ship your are on the wrong ship. My experience was having to stand in long lines waiting for a small portion food in the Lido dinning room. Take your own bath soap if you are ... Read More
If you are looking for excitement and entertainment on this ship your are on the wrong ship. My experience was having to stand in long lines waiting for a small portion food in the Lido dinning room. Take your own bath soap if you are allergic to mint dispense soap and you are not going to get any body lotion. Place the do not disturb sign on your door if you don't want the attendant barging in your room early in the morning. Most of the time finding a seat in the LIDO can be difficult to get a clean table. The shore excursions are a waste of time if you booked through the cruise line. Don not expect to any entertainment during the day and the only attraction is the BB King band, after a few days you gbecome tired of the atosphere. The food in the manin dinning room is above average and expect to share a table with folks who have you feeling uncomfortable. Conclusion!! Find another cruise if you are looking for excitement and middle aged travellers. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Preface: I'll preface my review by saying that my partner and I are both 29 and 33 respectively and we were some of the "younger" passengers. Albeit, I did read plenty of reviews before sailing and knew that Holland ... Read More
Preface: I'll preface my review by saying that my partner and I are both 29 and 33 respectively and we were some of the "younger" passengers. Albeit, I did read plenty of reviews before sailing and knew that Holland America (HAL) was geared towards a more mature crowd so we knew what we were booking. We planned our trip in May 2018 for an Eastern Caribbean itinerary when we first discovered HAL. I traveled on NCL, Carnival, and Disney previously. We were looking for a more refined and relaxed atmosphere (without the hairy chest and belly flop contests). This is a review for the 7 day journey: Ship 5/5: Beautiful ship from the moment you step on to the moment you disembark. Nieuw Amsterdam is one of their newer ships with modern amenities with millions of dollars worth of artwork throughout. I always found something new regardless of how many times I walked the same path. I felt like the ship had a great layout and I never had difficulty finding my way after day 2. It just made sense where points of interests were located. I also seen that this ship is under constant upkeep. I always see crew either painting or cleaning, always making sure the ship is looking new and in great condition. It was also a perfect size being not too large at only 2,000 guests. Sure I've seen the same people over and over again which I loved but I never wondered why is it so crowded as crowds didn't exist except for day 1 at embarkation at the buffet which is expected. Cabin 4.7/5: We stayed in an AFT verandah cabin which I absolutely LOVED! The room was very well appointed for two people and we never felt like we didn't have space either for clothes, belongings, or just two people living together. The room was a great size and the bed was super (and I mean overly) comfortable bed. We never had a problem sleeping at night which could be a combination of not having internet or just the full days we had. We had the perfect room stewards Marko and Suko. Both were so quick at making our room up and cleaning it (albeit we aren't messy people and I actually clean before I leave the room as I feel bad for the long days most workers work...more on that later) and always worked around our schedule. The only downside of the room is it did feel a little outdated. I would love to see the bathroom and a few things updated. Again, how often are you in the room?! Although they did have a plentiful on demand selection of movies to watch. Dining 4.5/5: No matter what restaurant we went to we always had a great meal. The one restaurant that really stood out was the Pinnacle Grill. You may hear a few things about this restaurant, and the positive you hear is true! The service and food was phenomenal. The Pinnacle Grill restaurant is not included and costs $35 per person BUT I will say that price is justified. I included some photos of how many crab legs were included with my meal. We also ate at Lido Buffet and the Main Restaurant in addition to the pizza and burger place and I can honestly say I never had a bad meal. All of the food was very good! I do wish they had more Asian dishes. Why I rated it a 4.5 out of 5 as the food was a 5/5 is because whenever you go to a restaurant they really want you to buy drinks because the person selling the drinks gets an 18 percent tip. So when you order a glass of wine they will try to upsell a bottle. It just got a little pushy sometimes as I get they are just trying to make money but I don't like to be second guessed when I make a choice as "why don't you want a bottle as it's only 23 dollars more?". Overall they will leave you alone if you say "I'm fine" but I just don't like the high treasure sales tactics when I am on vacation. Entertainment and Activities 4.9/5: Now hear me out...we are on a ship in the middle of the ocean, how entertained do you want to be? I won't be critical of the entertainment on ship as I know for a fact the entertainers really gave it their all every night for several months. So into the review...The entertainment on board for the nighttime mainstage ranged from Billboard dancing to Latin Night which I found very entertaining. They also had a comedian and magician. I missed the comedian so we went to the magician with very low expectations and my face hurt from laughing so much. He was hilarious. Throughout the day the had other entertainment for all such as Windows 10 classes, floral arrangements, towel animals, piano request entertainment, and more! I'll be honest there wasn't a time on the schedule where I looked and didn't see something going on that I could attend. I just chose not to go to somethings as I wanted to relax. To end the review there is something for everyone on board and especially during At Sea days. Service 5/5: I work professionally in hospitality where we always use the 10ft rule. If someone is within 10ft of you, you acknowledge them. HAL must use the 25ft rule. When they either see you coming or approach they immediately focus on you and say hello and stop what they are doing. It was totally unexpected but something very small that made a huge difference. I felt like royalty on this ship. I still remember even the smallest request where we asked our room steward can we have ice on the first day for drinks. In the morning and at night they always made sure to refill our ice. Sure, I don't know if they did this for everyone but it was appreciated. Also we always order the same drinks when we go to the Billboard On Board bar and the staff always ask if they can get us the same drink. It was this that out of 2000 passengers made us feel like we were the only ones. Ports and Shore Excursions: I will review each port with a very small snippet review Grand Turk: 3.7/5 Maybe it was the excursion we picked or I don't know but I feel like when I wasn't on the tropical island that was raved about. Instead I felt like we were on a small private island that was commercialized. I would recommend snorkeling!! Puerto Rico: 4.8/5 Such a nice island! I been hear many times and even coming back multiple times there is just so much to do. This is a location where you don't need to book an excursion and just walk around if you are able. St. Thomas: 4.9/5 This island was my ultimate favorite on this entire itinerary! The island is just beautiful every way you look at it. What I would recommend is booking a Jeep or car and exploring the island yourself. There is so much to see and do but with a car you can do what you want to do. Why I took off such a small amount is because I been planning for us to dock at a certain port (Havensight) for months and constantly checked daily and even the ports calendar said we would dock at a certain location. Up until the moment we arrived we docked at Crown Bay which took quite a bit of logistical planning to get to Havensight for our Jeep. I would definitely book come back here. Half Moon Cay: 2.7/5 Sigh...and breathe. Now that I got that over with let me write my review. Let me say that this port had my biggest expectation which may have swayed my review. When we arrived we were made aware that the Koningsdam and us were the two ships that were docked at this port this day. Side information is that Half Moon Cay is owned by Carnival as their private island. The Konsingsdam holds a good amount of passengers and our ship holds a good amount of passengers. The island just felt very overwhelming and I didn't find it relaxing at all. We booked a Clam Shell three months in advanced which is an umbrella with two chairs. Since our ship was delayed by an hour for a medical emergency (no fault to anyone, things happen) we found it very difficult to find a chair. Every person we went to told us to go somewhere else. Finally we found a clamshell in front of a very loud family. We just head back to the ship after being on the island for 2 hours. The food on the island was very good and the staff that pulled the meal off was very good! Other: The crew is what makes the ship a solid 10/10 as they work such long days and are always looking for ways to make you happy. We booked a Retreat Cabana for the At Sea days and Korn and Raymond work such long days but always had a smile. I would say the crew is what makes Nieuw Amsterdam the ship that it is. My very minor (is he really complaining about theses things?) complaint section: Some very minor things that didn't change my trip at all but I thought I could always add it below. - I found the bathrooms to be adequate size but the toilet seats to be very small. I am by no means a big guy being 5'7 and 145 pounds but they just seemed small. - There was no midnight buffets or late night dining options past 11:30pm except for room service. I wish they had a buffet at midnight or maybe a specialty snack station. But knowing the demographics of the ship maybe midnight really is too late. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Actually, we chose this cruise because it was the least expensive 7-day cruise occuring during my vacation period! Plus it was Holland America whom we've had success cruising with previously. We like Holland America for a number ... Read More
Actually, we chose this cruise because it was the least expensive 7-day cruise occuring during my vacation period! Plus it was Holland America whom we've had success cruising with previously. We like Holland America for a number of reasons. With the older crowd aboard (though this time the average seemed younger than usual..or is it us getting older? We're in our 50's) life onboard is not so frantic. There always seem to be loungers available on the ship- not too crowded for the most part. We like the wide promenade deck and the loungers there - a wonderful place to sit, read and watch the ocean go by. The BB Kings Blues band was as fantastic as we've come to expect. The mainstage productions from the Hal singers and dancers were quite good. The comedian and the magician as well. The only disappointing production was the small orchestra performing music to go with a BBC planet Earth movie which I thought was like filler. (The musicians were very good, just the whole idea wasn't working for us). The Nieuw Amsterdam is quite a beautiful ship. Some people said it had been totally refurbished recently, I don't know if this is true but I really liked the style and decor. The ports were good - very hot weather (which, being from Canada, is what we came for!). I do wish HAL would put in a pier on their private island instead of tenders. There was another ship there at the same time and tendering was a very slow process. The private island is gorgeous - one of the most beautiful beaches I've seen. The crew were all wonderful. We felt pampered. That's all we wanted! We booked one excursion from the ship- the 'pirate' ship harbour cruise in San Juan. Though it was very pleasant and the crew were great and presented interesting historical facts, we didn't really see anything that we didn't see cruising in on the ship. So we found the $70pp price tag overpriced. In St. Thomas we went up the gondola to a high point on the island - beautiful view of the harbour. We should've bought tickets on the ship because they were cheaper, but I left it too late. On Grand Turk we rented a golf cart (privately) to take a tour of the island. It's not a big island and there isn't a lot to see: a lighthouse and a museum. But it was still interesting to see the extents of the small island. We picked up a local man on the road to town and he gave us some interesting facts about the place as well. He said that his house, (built by his grandfather?) was supported by beams made from masts from shipwrecks off the coast of the island! Read Less
Nieuw Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

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