Just returned from our second cruise on the Neiuw Amsterdam. We love this ship. We cruised from Barcelona to Venice in 2010 on the NA so it felt like home to us. The best part of a HAL cruise experience is the food and the service. The staff is exceptional with a smile always and a "how is your day/cruise etc going." It makes you want to pay it forward and be nice to everyone you meet. Consequently, we end up meeting great folks every time we cruise, from every walk of life.
We did beach days this cruise-hopped in a taxi and went to the beach to swim and snorkel on our own. We've done 2 previous cruises to Carib-one other HAL on the Oosterdam 04' and the other was a Princess 08'. Altho' we had a nice experience on the Princess cruise, we find that the level of service, food and entertainment is just better with HAL. There is definitely an older crowd but you find and make your own fun on a cruise and if you are open to it, you'll meet some fabulous people(of all ages) along the way.
The food was spectacular as always-we chose to eat in the main dining room every night and the menu had something for everyone-very interesting vegetarian choices this time I noticed as well. It so fresh and always with a made to order feeling about it-it's hard to believe that they are creating thousands of meals over the course of a week. We did not go the Pinnacle altho' we talked to people that found it exceptional. I can say that we ate at Tamarind for the 2nd time(dinner and 15$ pp surcharge) and were not disappointed-again, fresh and made to order and worth the surcharge. If you like Asian food-you will be very pleased with Tamarind. The Lido buffet had great food all week as well-definitely upscale buffet choices.
We enjoyed a couples massage in the spa(highly recommend) and we took a couple of yoga classes in the fitness center as well-there's plenty of equipment for everyone to use-nicely appointed fitness center.
The entertainment offered no surprises for us because we had seen the same shows in 2010 but they were fun and energetic. One comedy night was exceptional.
We did a cooking exhibition with one of the chefs and Ashley-the events planner that was great. Game show night with Deal or No Deal was entertaining-JC our cruise director kept it fresh and fun.