3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
WE sailed the Feb 24 sailing. We had sailed this ship in 2016 in Alaska and were pleased. This ship has since been thru a refurb and I noticed all new carpet, they reconfigured a few areas but basically seemed the same. We basically ... Read More
WE sailed the Feb 24 sailing. We had sailed this ship in 2016 in Alaska and were pleased. This ship has since been thru a refurb and I noticed all new carpet, they reconfigured a few areas but basically seemed the same. We basically were looking for the least expensive balcony cabin during Feb and came across this one and chose it. The weather the week we went was fantastic. What we noticed was an older crowd which we were expecting. WE are 62 and 67 so not teenagers but we seemed ALOT younger than most of the passengers. Everyone we encountered were friendly passengers and crew. We ate dinner in the Main Dining room. WE found the portions to be smaller than we remembered and you cannot order 2 entrees without an additonal $10 upcharge. THis is fine with me as I dont think anyone will go hungry on a cruise! 3 people at our table one night all had to send back the red snapper as it was literally like a piece of rubber and we could not even cut it. THe deserts were average. The entertainment was sub par in the main theatre but the BBKing band saved the cruise for us. They were fantastic. They announced this was their first week together so I can only imagine how they will evolve over time. WE found no music by the pools not even any piped in which made for a very "non festive" atmosphere. We were happy to get out of the Midwest for a week but will probably not sail Holland America again unless there is a deal we cannot resist. This was our 17th cruise and we find pros and cons on all the lines we have been on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We were terribly disappointed with the entertainment. The worst in all the cruises I have taken. This was our first with Holland American and never again. This was a cruise suitable for very old people. The best entertainment was the ... Read More
We were terribly disappointed with the entertainment. The worst in all the cruises I have taken. This was our first with Holland American and never again. This was a cruise suitable for very old people. The best entertainment was the Filipino cruise members show. They put up a voluntary show. I must also mention one of Lido restaurant staff Amelia, she was helpful and very nice. She also did a great show. There was a lack of entertainment for younger people. We never met a single young person from the entertainment team beside the cruise director. All in all not a happy experience. The staff in our allocated dining area were absolutely wonderful and helpful. I found quite disrespectful to be called by my Cristian name by the cabin steward. In Europe we are not used to that or at least I am not. Not very good room service at all Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I just returned from a week long cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. The rooms were rather small compared to what I have experienced on other cruise ships, such as the Konigsdam. The one big issue was that one entire wall had NO electrical ... Read More
I just returned from a week long cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. The rooms were rather small compared to what I have experienced on other cruise ships, such as the Konigsdam. The one big issue was that one entire wall had NO electrical outlets by the beds. My roommate has a CPAP machine and there was nowhere to plug it in by the beds. The steward had to bring us an extension cord which was about 20 ft. long and was thick enough to power a farm. This was not very convenient and was a tripping hazard. Apart from the bathroom, the living area had only the one outlet at the desk. This seems like a very major over sight. There was a sauna to use free of charge, but it was very small and not in the spa area. It held maybe 4 people comfortably and I often had to wait for people to leave before there would be enough room. There was not enough clothing hooks and there was only one shower. There are separate men's and women's sauna right off the main hallway on the Lido deck. The HAL website advertised a .750 liter bottle of Bacardi for $43 to be delivered to one's room the day of departure. They also advertised the same bottle with 3 cans of coke for $56. I bought the $43 bottle ahead of time on the website. However, when I got onboard, they were advertising the same bottle with 3 cans of coke for $43. I cancelled my original order and placed the order for the bottle and 3 cans of coke. When I got the bill, they had added a 15% gratuity fee and tax, which brought the price to just under $50. The original charge was just the $43, so I recommend buying BEFORE you get onboard. The food was good. Not excellent, but good. Self-service was limited, which is a good thing. It keeps from having hundreds of people from using their grubby hands to handle the utensils, bringing dirty plates to the buffet and putting food back when they change their minds. It also keeps people from overloading their plates with food they won't eat. Too many cruisers have eyes bigger than their stomachs and waste so much food. We never to wait more than 2-3 minutes to get into the main dining room on level 2. Main dining room service was spotty. A couple of times we had very fast service, other times it took us an hour and a half to eat as the various dishes took a long time to deliver. However, the food was always hot and correctly prepared. Wait staff were always very friendly and accommodating. One of my fellow travelers ordered the 36 ounce steak for an additional charge of $75. The steak, of which I was lucky enough to get a bite, was absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection, but it was a lot of steak for one person. I think that if you love a flavorful steak, that this cut could be shared by 2-4 people. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
MDH and I have been on more than 10 Celebrity cruises but began to feel like we were no longer the preferred demographic for Celebrity (music and entertainment were taking on an "edgier vibe"). We had been eyeing Holland America ... Read More
MDH and I have been on more than 10 Celebrity cruises but began to feel like we were no longer the preferred demographic for Celebrity (music and entertainment were taking on an "edgier vibe"). We had been eyeing Holland America for a while but were reluctant to take the leap because of their smoking policy and because we had invested so much into Celebrity. When Holland America banned smoking on the verandas we decided to give it a go. We are so glad we did!!!! There is so much to be said but in short...the cruise was fabulous. WHAT WE LOVED: - Friendliness of the entire crew. Every staff person (from officers to window washers) exchanged pleasantries when we passed and when we had a question every effort was made to find the answer. Some went above and beyond remembering names and details shared. They are in the right business! HAL has hired well. - Decor. We love the classic styling with dark woods and neutral palette. The art was tasteful and very interesting to see. - Hydro Pool. We purchased passes to use the facility for the week. Worth every penny. Not crowded, very relaxing and felt like we were being pampered. - Pinnacle Grill and Sel de Mer. I appreciate the fact that people resent having to pay for meals on a cruise but we LOVED our experience in both. The service, ambience and food were fabulous. - Music (EVERYWHERE) - From the solo piano in the Ocean Bar to the Music Walk (Billboard Onboard, BB Kings, Lincoln Center) to the music piped into the dining and bar areas and even the elevator - we loved it ALL. Every live entertainer was exceptionally skilled and we both feel that we would have been willing to pay for concerts by any one of them. - Cabana with Butler on Half Moon Cay - Definitely an indulgence but having done it once we would do it again! The service was phenomenal, the setting was postcard perfect and the food/beverage was terrific. - EXC Lounge and Ocean Bar - Nicely appointed spaces to relax, read and people watch - Beverage Service...Everywhere - Loved the fact that there were staff members assigned to areas of the Lido Buffet seating area that assisted in seating people and then provided beverage service for coffee, iced tea and lemonade, etc. The bar service was also prompt and efficient. We have noticed on other cruises that as beverage packages became popular bar service deteriorated. This was NOT true on this cruise. We wanted a drink someone materialized and made sure we got one. - Direct Luggage Service - We had never heard of this service before but what a service it is! We put our luggage outside of our stateroom the night before disembarkation and did not touch it again until our final destination airport. FANTASTIC!! WHAT WE DIDN'T LOVE: - Communication - There were a few occasions that we were asked for information about excursions or disembarkation but the information did not come back. We didn't know where to be or when. - The Main Stage - Too loud, temperature was too hot. While the talent was there, the production was not to our liking. Didn't live up to the hype of a big production. Clearly we had a great time. Looking forward to a cruise to Alaska in June on the Koningsdam. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have been on HAL several times and have always in enjoyed ourselves as have the other two couples we traveled with. This was our first time on Nieuw Amsterdam. The cabin on deck 7 aft was great, good location for getting to elevators ... Read More
We have been on HAL several times and have always in enjoyed ourselves as have the other two couples we traveled with. This was our first time on Nieuw Amsterdam. The cabin on deck 7 aft was great, good location for getting to elevators and only two decks from the buffet and pool area. The cabin stewards were excellent and the cabin was always clean with fresh ice. The service in the MDR was poor, extremely slow and one of the orders was never delivered. The staff seemed to be overworked or short handed. The service in the buffet and pool deck was slow, tables were left unbussed for a long time and bar service was almost non existent on one occasion, HAL really seems to be sailing with minimal staffing. We loved the Dive In and pizza, but other food seemed to be reworked leftovers. The Asian station was excellent however. The super bowl was broadcast in the main theatre and was popular and HAL was serving some finger foods complimentary. Very good selection of movies on the in cabin entertainment but the dedicated movie theatre on deck 3 is gone. We did not do any shore excursions. The comedian and magic act were great both nights. The fitness center has added more equipment and I used it every day. Overall we had a good time but HAL is slipping. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Our travel agent was arranging this cruise for her friends nd clients and asked us to sail with them. The price for our Signature Suite was very attractive and we have sailed HAL and enjoy their cruises. We found the Nieuw Amsterdam to ... Read More
Our travel agent was arranging this cruise for her friends nd clients and asked us to sail with them. The price for our Signature Suite was very attractive and we have sailed HAL and enjoy their cruises. We found the Nieuw Amsterdam to be very, very crowded in the public areas. Our suite was spacious and very comfortable. We loved the Lincoln Center group and attended all their performances. Also enjoyed the other music venues, BB King and the dueling piano guys. Food in the dining room was quite good and we also enjoyed our meals in the Pinnacle Grill and Caneletto. Morning in room service for coffee was timely every day. We had reasonably nice weather so we were able to enjoy the aft pool area most days. We enjoyed swimming at the beach just off the ship at Grand Turk and our beach time at Half Moon Cay. What I didn’t like: ~the $30 pp per day ($60 for the cabin) “hold” that was placed on our credit card the minute we stepped on the ship. This is a new policy with HAL. ~the constant nickle and diming you ( servers selling $5 bottles of water in the dining room while I am eating breakfast, upcharges for lobster in the Pinnacle Grill where you have already paid a $35 pp charge just to dine there, etc.) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We were on this ship in May 2018 and were impressed enough to book for this sailing in February 2019. This ship went through a dry dock in December 2017 that updated the decor. They also stopped allowing smoking inside the casino at that ... Read More
We were on this ship in May 2018 and were impressed enough to book for this sailing in February 2019. This ship went through a dry dock in December 2017 that updated the decor. They also stopped allowing smoking inside the casino at that time. I had always dismissed HAL as an option because of their smoking policy, so this was a welcome change for me. The only smoking currently allowed is now on an outside deck. The crew are very well trained, friendly, and personable. They seem genuinely happy to be on board and also appear to get along well with each other. To me, that's always a sign of good management and work environment. Dining was good to excellent in the main dining room and specialty restaurants. This ship has Tamarind as a restaurant choice, which is excellent (have eaten there four times now). The lido buffet has a nice variety of food that tastes good. As importantly, there is lots of staff around to get drinks and clear tables, which is an area where other cruise lines seem to have cut back. There are also a couple of fast casual options for burgers and pizzas, both of which serve excellent food. HAL has invested heavily in its Music Walk concept. This ship has BB King's Blues Club, Billboard Onboard (two pianists), and Lincoln Center Stage (classical quintet music). All three provide lots of entertainment with a wide variety of music. They're great. There is also a partnership with America's Test Kitchen that includes cooking demos during the day. As fans of the show, this was a great way to spend some vacation time. The infotainment system in the room includes a pretty extensive library of current movies to watch. Recent releases were also screened in the main theater and then were available for in-room streaming as well. Bottom line: HAL has a great product with a great staff for a relaxing getaway. I'm already looking forward to booking my next cruise with them! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Dh and I (mid 40's) and ds (teenager) are seasoned HAL cruisers (all three star). This cruise was a family cruise that included us, our newest addition, a one year old baby girl, and both of our mothers, 6 total. Baby girl is a ... Read More
Dh and I (mid 40's) and ds (teenager) are seasoned HAL cruisers (all three star). This cruise was a family cruise that included us, our newest addition, a one year old baby girl, and both of our mothers, 6 total. Baby girl is a toddler so we had to make some special arrangement for her. My mother in law has some mobility issues, so again some special arrangements. We embarked in Ft Lauderdale on Sunday 2/3/2019. Our itinerary was sea day, Grand Turk, San Juan, St Thomas, sea day, and Half Moon Cay. We stayed at the Embassy Suites ($385 per room a night) in Ft. Lauderdale as we have 3 times before but this will be our last time there. Despite getting there at 1:30pm we were not allowed into our room until 5pm (4pm is check in) and the utter chaos of embarkation morning with the 5 tiny elevators being crammed full constantly and no help for those with mobility issues was too much. We will make other arrangements when cruising out of Ft Lauderdale next year. We used GoShuttle's private van service in Ft Lauderdale for all our transport needs as they were able to accommodate our whole family, all our luggage and they were very good with my mother in law and daughter. Embarkation: Once at Port Everglades at approx 10:50, embarkation was a breeze. We are 3 star Mariners so no special priority boarding but we still only waited until 11:45 to board. Our cabin was ready immediately. Ship: The ship is a great size. The decor is very HAL, more subdued and elegant, which is our speed. We do not care for Joe Farcus' designs as on Carnival and Costa. The layout is also very much like the Vista class. The HAL wrap around wide promenade is a favorite of ours. The retractable lido pool roof is great. We never felt crowded on the ship though the lido could get really busy at lunch. Cabin: We had three deck 4 aft starboard cabins. Ours was 4155. Great cabins. We had the stewards open the balconies up for us which was very nice. The balconies on this deck are deeper and we loved being nearer the ocean. Plenty of storage. Bath is small but has a tub which is nice for the toddler. We requested a Graco Pack n Play for the toddler and it fit next to the couch with plenty of room to spare. We also needed an extension cord for dh's cpap which the steward provided and set up. 2 normal plugs on the desk. 2 usb on the desk and 1 usb near each night stand. The bathroom counter was small but we had room for all our stuff as well as a bottle drying rack for the toddler. Cabin stewards: Great!! They were there when we needed them, took our unlimited laundry everyday, they exceeded our expectations. Food: Lido... good quality, great selection all three meals. The whole roasted suckling pig with crispy skin was a nice meal. The curry and chili crusted lamb chops were even better. High chairs WITH TRAYS available on request though we did have one attendant that had to go ask someone else where they were MDR... food was very good, service was too. We ate 4 dinners and 2 lunches there. Our table stewards were always on the ball. The meal did not feel over long. A highchair with a tray was available as soon as we sat down. The toddler was catered to. Her milk and fruit appetizer was there asap. The kid's menu was very kid friendly. Mac n cheese, chicken nuggets, french fries. For the older, more culinarily advanced kiddo, you can get a half portions of ANY mdr entree for your youngins. We even ordered her a crab cake appetizer because she ate half of mine. Gala night entrees were exceptional. The veal dishes and guinea with gnocchi were stand outs as were the baked crab cakes. Room service... great all around. We did at least continental breakfast with ample string coffee everyday. Write STRONG next to "coffee" if you like it that way and it will be that way. Good stuff. If you want something not on the nightly breakfast door tag, just write it on there. Other room service ordered by our group was great. The stuff from the mdr dinner menu was hot and just as tasty as that served in the mdr. Dive in burgers and dogs.... Mmmm, great burgers and dogs, FANTASTIC french fries. Get the Dive in sauce. Pinnacle Grill.... Good as always. I know some have said they see a change in the meat quality over the years and I don't doubt their observation but my 10 oz filet was almost tender enough to cut with a fork. We paid the $70 supplement for caviar (you only live once) and it was worth it to us. Blini, egg yoke and white, chives, red onion, and shiny brown teeny tasty fish eggs. When mom, mil, and son went they tried the the vegetarian (eggplant and ravioli) options and enjoyed them very much. Tamarind.... this was the best meal of the cruise for us. Service was great as well. As a group, we tried all the soups, all good but the laksa was the favorite. We tried satay sampler, the duck, and the rib appetizers and loved them all though I was partial to the ribs. We had a sushi sampler as well as tempura lobster and dragon roll. Again all were excellent. One of us has the Korean duck breast and the rest the wasabi crusted tenderloin. The tenderloin were perfectly cooked and all but one realy enjoy the crust. The other person just scrapped off some and enjoyed the rest. The duck was tender and good as well. The mushrooms and bok choy as sides were really top notch. So much flavor. Dh and I enjoyed a flask of sake each during our meal which was indeed included in our Elite beverage package. The only miss was the dessert, we all got the Tamarind chocolate at the suggestion of our server but the ginger flavor was too bold for us. It was alright though because we were all so full and we went for ice cream in the lido later that night. Staff/crew in general: Regardless of location, they were great. They loved on our daughter and made our moms feel so welcome. There was one grumpy bartender in the Pinnacle Bar but he made the best drinks on the boat so he is excused. Holland America really does pick the best people. It is their strength. Entertainment: Main Stage:First night was the Super Bowl which was presented minus commercials on the Main Stage complete with waiters taking beverage orders and attendants with trays of yummy game snacks. We saw a bit of one of the shows in the Main Stage but we are not big production people so that was really not a focus. What we did see seemed far more professional than what we have seen on HAL in the past. BB Kings... THIS is the place to be. The BB King All Stars were unreal. Candy Graham, the lady singer, could really bring the house down. The gentleman singer, I didn't catch his name, did a Marvin Gaye medley that was out of this world. 3 sets a night, first 2 were better attended but even the last set had plenty of folks dancing the night away (I am guilty as charged) Billboard Onboard... caught a couple of these sets. The pianists are very talented but I am just not the fan of this style as opposed to the old style single piano man type (think Jimmy Maddox or Stryker). But it was a good time and very very popular. We never made it to the Lincoln Center Stage though we are very much fans of classical music. But with the toddler, not the easiest thing to manage. We did miss having a jazz trio in the Ocean Bar. HAL has had some great jazz musicians there in the past. All in all though there was more than enough great music to keep us completely entertained. Drink package: First time with a drinks package. We did the Elite package as it offered a better wine selection. We were not disappointed. We never reached the 15 alcoholic beverage limit and we did get quite a few non-alcoholic beverages too; coffees, bottled water, milkshakes at the lido bar. It was worth every penny to us. We could upgrade to top shelf liquors in our mixed drinks as well or add a shot of Bailey's, Kahlua or Frangelico in our milkshakes. We also used one of our drink allowances to do a Mixology class which I highly recommend. They never fail to be fun. We did the Quench package for mom's and son. Very good choice. Never had to worry about bottled water or soft drinks plus all the mocktails at any bar and the special coffees at the Crow's Nest were covered too. Spa: First time without the Thermal Suite package. I missed it but knew with the toddler I would not have time for it. I did get an updo for both Gala nights. The stylist did a great job both nights but do go into your appointment with an IDEA of what you want or you risk looking like Tina Turner in Thunder Dome. I always peruse the daily spa specials and wasn't disappointed this time. Mini-facial, full body massage by a very strong/talented masseuse. I got my monies worth. Good experience. Ports: Standard Eastern Caribbean. Grand Turk is no longer a favorite sadly. The port area is too crowded and Margarittaville's DJ started getting vulgar pretty early in the day. We headed back to the ship at noon for lunch. We might try Jack's Shack for longer next time or just stay on the ship. I will say though that the cruise port staff were kind and the complimentary wheel chairs they offer are much appreciated. My mother in law has difficulty with long distances and that pier is a bit of a hike. The lady that helped her was a real sweet lady. We tipped her well. San Juan was very pleasant though very crowded. We got there early thankfully. Mom had never been to the forts (mil had years ago so she stayed on the ship until later) so we walked there and did that. Then we stopped in Old Town for shopping and back to the ship by 4:30pm. It rained all night so no more venturing out. St Thomas was very nice. We got a van cab to downtown. We went to Palm Passage and ate at Amalia Cafe. The food was great. Tapas, olives, gazpacho, sangria, paella, zarzuela.. fresh fish, very very good. I recomend this place. Email them for reservations though. It gets crowded. Half Moon Cay... we had the cabana with butler. It's worth it. The food was excellent and more than we all could eat. Unlimited drinks included is a very nice perk. But even without the cabana, HMC is idyllic. It is the perfect beach day. Disembarkation: Smooth. We were off by 8:45. A porter helped us with luggage and mil wheelchair. He whisked us through customs. We were on our transfer bus by 9:15. The kids: Our son who is a teen met up with some other teens onboard. The teen club is pretty free flowing and stays open on their schedule. He had fun. We also bought him the Quench Package which is unlimited non-alcoholic beverages. He used this very well on coffees and mocktails. We will buy it again. Our 1 year old daughter was too young for any shipboard activities but she was catered too and loved on by the crew and even many of the passengers. She was the "Rock Star" and we were merely her staff. I think the whole crew greeted her by name by the time we disembarked. She was very spoiled. Of note, FLL airport is a pit. I am sorry for those that like the airport. It is the worst international airport I have been in and I have been in some bad ones. It has been horrible for years but now it is intolerable. It is a quarter the size it needs to be to comfortably handle the number of travelers that move through it several days every week all fall and winter long. We will never go through FLL again. The staff are rude, the help for those with mobility issues is nil, the seating and food options are completely inadequate. We will fly into MCO (Orlando, a great airport with tons of options and cheaper flights), rent a car, and stay at a less expensive hotel north of Ft Lauderdale, do our pre-cruise shopping in comfort, and drop off the car embarkation day and take an Avis/Budget shuttle to the port. We will do the reverse when we disembark. In summary, everything HAL this trip was great. FLL airport, Embassy Suites, and Grand Turk were the only downers and things we will change in the future. We are already booked on Nieuw Amsterdam for next year we enjoyed the ship that much! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Holland goes above and beyond to make you as comfortable and welcomed as possible. By far it is the BEST cruise line around. The food was great. The entertainment was great. All staff personable. Our room attendants went above and ... Read More
Holland goes above and beyond to make you as comfortable and welcomed as possible. By far it is the BEST cruise line around. The food was great. The entertainment was great. All staff personable. Our room attendants went above and beyond. As did the waiters. Love everything about Holland America Cruise Line. The ship was spotless. You are treated like royalty everyday. On our last day we had a bar-b-que on the private island. It was wonderful. You would think that you would be given hot dogs and burgers. We had that plus steaks, chicken, fish tacos plus multiple salads, fruits, cupcakes and hand dipped ice cream. It was a nice change and we enjoyed it. I just wish that there was a little more shopping on their island. On the ship you never had to wait in lines. Everything moved quickly. Also you can’t forget about the bread pudding +++++++. OMG what a treat. Thank you again for a wonderful, relaxing time. I can’t wait to do it again... Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I just read covemanb 12/18 review and it was right on target. My wife and I took three Celebrity cruises last winter and this one was by far the worst. The entertainment was poor. No bands during the day at the pool, no music at the ... Read More
I just read covemanb 12/18 review and it was right on target. My wife and I took three Celebrity cruises last winter and this one was by far the worst. The entertainment was poor. No bands during the day at the pool, no music at the pool , and no place to sit at the pool since they only have 125 lounge chairs and around 3000 passengers. Night entertainment was BB King and strings every night. They were fine for one night--maybe two. They had a comedian and illusionist in the Main stage for two nights. Comedian was funny for five minutes and illusionist was boring and performed the same act that you've seen a hundred times. His card tricks were boring. Anyone that watched last season of AGT would have fallen asleep at his card tricks. There were two good shows in the Mainstage performed by the Cruise entertainers. Breakfast at the buffet was the same every day. You had to stand in long lines and wait to be served. Celebrity at least featured some new items daily for breakfast and it was self serve. No banana bread for the entire cruise offered for breakfast. Celebrity also labeled every food item with codes to tell you if it was dairy free, gluten free, etc. Nothing was labeled on this ship and you had to point to the food item and ask the server what you were eating. Of course they had no idea what ingredients were in the food. Lunch buffet was ok, but lamb and pork were on the carving station almost every day. They only had turkey breast one day and that was not a whole roasted turkey. Celebrity had whole roasted birds on two days of a seven day cruise. Celebrity also had an ice cream counter with a big selection of flavors. The selection on this ship was four flavors max. Sit down dinner was good in the main dining room and comparable to Celebrity. (I'm comparing this ship to Celebrity REflection) Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our second Cruise on HAL and our fourth cruise in the last ten months, so we have other recent cruises to compare too. Getting on board went quickly and we were not hounded by staff selling Dining, drink packages etc. as we have ... Read More
This was our second Cruise on HAL and our fourth cruise in the last ten months, so we have other recent cruises to compare too. Getting on board went quickly and we were not hounded by staff selling Dining, drink packages etc. as we have seen previously on other cruises. Our room was ready by 1pm and our luggage arrived shortly thereafter. Our stateroom 4154 was very nice and had plenty of room. Our luggage fit under the bed at the top and there were two large drawers at the bottom of the bed, (very nice) Three large closets to handle all our clothing. Did not need a electrical adapter for USB cord. Each side of the bed had a USB port and several electrical plugs on the desk. Bathroom and balcony were a very nice size. The TV was pretty large and included FREE movies and tv shows. We enjoyed all eateries the Lido, Pizza window, Hamburger window. Afternoon Tea and was overly surprised with the food quality in the MDR dining room. Surf and Turf night was two thumbs up, serving filet mignon. Shows were very good. Areas lacking were activities at sea. (to much Trivia) need areas allowing dancing, Karaoke or shows like Quest. Micro soft classes were nice. Our ship had an older crowd, and many had a lot of cruises on Holland America. Disembarkation was a breeze. Off the ship and waiting for our flight in less then a hour. Overall, we were Quite Impressed! Read Less
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
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
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
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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