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Beautiful new ship! So enjoyed sailing over the holidays. Left the hustle, bustle, cooking, baking and decorating to HAL! I believe our cruise was the fourth sail. Everything was pristine. Still working out a few kinks but no complaints. The crew was EXCEPTIONAL as usual. Big smiles, hard working and eager to please. Service exceeded expectations. The food on the Niuew Statendam was exceptional. We ate breakfast and most dinners in the Main Dining Room. The food, presentation and service was top notch! Our table stewards pampered us from the minute we sat down until we sipped the last drop of delicious coffee. Table 251! Book it! Very impressed. They welcomed us by name the minute they saw us walk in motioning us to our table. The wine steward was on top of it too. Very funny and made sure we had our cocktails right away. We dined at Pinnacle Grill and Sel de Mer and as usual they did not disappoint. Rudi Sel de Mer was on the ship and it was fun to see the chef behind the delicious cuisine! We tried the Tamarind again and the food was great but the service was just so so. Seems the staff weren’t really working together as they seemed to not know what each was doing but I wasn’t cooking so we didn’t mind the wait.

Fabulous Family Christmas Cruise

Nieuw Statendam Cruise Review by Wesseln

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom
Beautiful new ship! So enjoyed sailing over the holidays. Left the hustle, bustle, cooking, baking and decorating to HAL! I believe our cruise was the fourth sail. Everything was pristine. Still working out a few kinks but no complaints. The crew was EXCEPTIONAL as usual. Big smiles, hard working and eager to please. Service exceeded expectations.

The food on the Niuew Statendam was exceptional. We ate breakfast and most dinners in the Main Dining Room. The food, presentation and service was top notch! Our table stewards pampered us from the minute we sat down until we sipped the last drop of delicious coffee. Table 251! Book it! Very impressed. They welcomed us by name the minute they saw us walk in motioning us to our table. The wine steward was on top of it too. Very funny and made sure we had our cocktails right away. We dined at Pinnacle Grill and Sel de Mer and as usual they did not disappoint. Rudi Sel de Mer was on the ship and it was fun to see the chef behind the delicious cuisine! We tried the Tamarind again and the food was great but the service was just so so. Seems the staff weren’t really working together as they seemed to not know what each was doing but I wasn’t cooking so we didn’t mind the wait.
Wesseln’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 10037 10039
Very nice cabins although seemed a little smaller than usual. We don’t travel lightly but managed to find room to keep our luggage out of the way and clothes neatly arranged in drawers and closets. Bathrooms were nice and the shower was luxurious with teakwood on the floor. Having adjoining rooms we were able to open our verandah doors to a larger verandah but it was difficult to get out of the sliding doors due to the way the doors opened. The verandahs seemed smaller than we are used to but we’ve never had adjoining rooms so maybe that’s the norm. The cabin stewards did an amazing job keeping the rooms spotless!
Sun Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


The Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners were also fabulous! We enjoyed festive cocktails as well. The Christmas bread at breakfast was heavenly. Every crumb! HAL really did the holiday exquisitely. We didn’t go to sleep without our usual plate of Christmas cookies delivered to our cabin. Excellent and delicious assortment and fast room service!
The Dive In and New York Deli are always a wonderful treat as well as the Gelato Bar. They serve milk shakes now too. What? So delicious!
We enjoyed late night hot cocoa and desserts from the Dutch Cafe. Marvelous!
The entertainment was very good as well. The comedian, Hilby was hilarious! He really engaged the audience, great interaction. Hope to see him on future cruises. The string quartet, the BB King Blues Band and the Billboard Onboard piano players were wonderful! Great talent!
We were in cabins 10037 and 10039. Really close to the pool so the hallway tended to be warm and humid. No issues with that in our rooms though. Our cabin stewards were exceptional. They did seem to overwhelmed with the entire floor yet did a fabulous job. They were always smiling and greeting us by name.
Our itinerary was familiar with one new port of call, Amber Cove. We particularly enjoyed our time there. Lovely scenery!
The other ports were lovely as well and always a treat to see again. The beaches, water and landscapes in the Caribbean are beautiful. What’s not to love?
Truly a top ten Christmas! Thank you HAL for another great family holiday!
See you again in March, June and December!