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We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary; it was our first experience with Holland America, and we were pleasantly surprised. In our opinion, the Niew Amsterdam is just the right size, free of all the gimmicks that have become almost ubiquitous on other cruise lines. There are no climbing walls, no surf-riders, no indoor malls. Just a quiet, refined atmosphere (although perhaps a little more subdued than we would have liked at times). Our fellow passengers were on the "mature" side -- which does not mean that they were unable to enjoy themselves. With "As You Wish" dining we had the opportunity to meet a number of lovely people, and their positive attitude was reflected in most of our other encounters on board and in port. The crew were unfailingly polite and willing to help; the few minor issues that we had were dealt with in a pleasant and professional manner. embarkation: very quick, hassle-free; our cabin was ready upon boarding (just before noon), and our bags were delivered shortly thereafter (likely due to to the fact that this was the middle part of a three-segment cruise, and many passengers were already on board). cabin: We had booked a guarantee VH cabin, and were upgraded to a VB about 10 days before departure. dining: Most evening meals were in the dining room, with the exception of one meal in the Tamarind (well worth the cost, delightful servers) and one in the Pinnacle Grill (so-so). We also dined twice in the Lido Buffet (to avoid dressing up for Gala Night), and discovered that the menu there is quite similar to the one "downstairs", with the atmosphere a little more refined than during lunch and breakfast. It was nice to have the option. The meals choices were varied enough to satisfy, although in some cases the vegetable servings could have been more generous. entertainment: This is one area that leaves room for improvement. The individual entertainers (comedian, singer) were sub-par, and the musical productions -- despite the enthusiasm of the young singers and dancers -- did little to inspire. We did enjoy the opportunity to hear the cast members talk about their personal experiences during an afternoon presentation; their responses to audience questions provided some interesting insight into life as a cruise ship performer. All in all, we were left with a positive impression of our first HAL cruise, and hope to repeat the experience in the not-too-distant future.

Impressed with HAL

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by daisy-mae

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary; it was our first experience with Holland America, and we were pleasantly surprised. In our opinion, the Niew Amsterdam is just the right size, free of all the gimmicks that have become almost ubiquitous on other cruise lines. There are no climbing walls, no surf-riders, no indoor malls. Just a quiet, refined atmosphere (although perhaps a little more subdued than we would have liked at times).

Our fellow passengers were on the "mature" side -- which does not mean that they were unable to enjoy themselves. With "As You Wish" dining we had the opportunity to meet a number of lovely people, and their positive attitude was reflected in most of our other encounters on board and in port.

The crew were unfailingly polite and willing to help; the few minor issues that we had were dealt with in a pleasant and professional manner.

embarkation: very quick, hassle-free; our cabin was ready upon boarding (just before noon), and our bags were delivered shortly thereafter (likely due to to the fact that this was the middle part of a three-segment cruise, and many passengers were already on board).

cabin: We had booked a guarantee VH cabin, and were upgraded to a VB about 10 days before departure.

dining: Most evening meals were in the dining room, with the exception of one meal in the Tamarind (well worth the cost, delightful servers) and one in the Pinnacle Grill (so-so). We also dined twice in the Lido Buffet (to avoid dressing up for Gala Night), and discovered that the menu there is quite similar to the one "downstairs", with the atmosphere a little more refined than during lunch and breakfast. It was nice to have the option. The meals choices were varied enough to satisfy, although in some cases the vegetable servings could have been more generous.

entertainment: This is one area that leaves room for improvement. The individual entertainers (comedian, singer) were sub-par, and the musical productions -- despite the enthusiasm of the young singers and dancers -- did little to inspire. We did enjoy the opportunity to hear the cast members talk about their personal experiences during an afternoon presentation; their responses to audience questions provided some interesting insight into life as a cruise ship performer.

All in all, we were left with a positive impression of our first HAL cruise, and hope to repeat the experience in the not-too-distant future.
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 4047
We loved this cabin, specially because of the extra-deep balcony which provides a totally unobstructed view. Despite being close to the elevators, there was no hallway noise. The retractable clothesline over the bathtub was handy for hanging wet bathing suits and small clothing items. The aft location is a bit of a hike to the dining room -- good for working up an appetite before, and for aiding digestion afterwards.

There were two irritants with this particular stateroom -- the removable sofa-bed cushion slides forward, making for uncomfortable seating. The wind when at sea causes the partition between the two balconies (4045/4047) to vibrate almost constantly and very noisily. I managed to dampen the noise somewhat by pushing the small, heavy patio table against it. The issue was reported, so perhaps it will be corrected during the next re-fit.
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