We have cruised over 25 times, three on HollandAmerica. This was our 5th repositioning transatlantic and have gone both directions East and West. The Nieuw Amsterdam is a two year old ship and beautiful. Our cabin was an outside obstructed view. It was confortable and even though listed as obstructed we still had plenty of a sea view and lots of light. About the fourth day we started to hear a banging noise. Upon reporting this to customer service it was given immediate attention by the staff and corrected within hours. We found the entire crew to be friendly, professional and eager to please.
The food on this trip was exceptional. There were plenty of choices with reccomended menus by the chef daily. We used "anytime seating" which was great. We were always able to get seating whenever we arrived. We avoided the 6:00-7:00 rush whenever possible. For a 17 day voyage we found the speakers and nightime entertainment to be fine. The cruise director was young and enthusiastic and easily adapted to the mainly "over 55" guests.
The only negative was the size of the movie theater. It only held 36 guests which led to much bickering among the passengers who got there too late for a seat. They need a different venue for this. To their credit you could see the featured movie in your cabin the next day. Also they had several days when they showed films in the large show room. The ports were interesting and the weather mild. We booked our own tours at much better rates. One of the many Cruise Critic members on board organized a meet and great as well as a dinner in Lisbon with traditional Fado entertainment. It was a really memorable evening. Overall this was probably the best cruise we have been on yet. Highy reccomend the ship and the line.