Joined the Nieuw Amsterdam in Venice. We transferred to the ship from Marco Polo airport using the ATVO bus for 5 euros to the Piazzale Roma and then took the People Mover for 1 euro to the cruise terminal. The port provides a free bus which picks up outside the people mover to take you to the check in terminal.
This was our first Holland America cruise, having cruised many times with other companies, including Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. The ship is only 2 years old and very clean and modern. The cabin was a good size with a good sized shower cubicle and plenty of storage space. Holland America provide DVD players in every cabin and there is a book of over 1000 DVDs to choose from (complimentary). We used this service several times.
There is very comfortable cinema showing up to date movies and the ship also provides popcorn.
The food in all restaurants was excellent and I would say better than other cruise lines we have sailed with. On an evening, part of the lido buffet restaurant is converted to an Italian restaurant which is complimentary and was well worth experiencing. All staff were excellent on the ship and a great asset to the company.
However, the evening entertainment in the theatre we considered to be low budget compared to other American and British cruise lines. The production shows were not as professional and slick as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or P&O.
The guest artists were average apart from a pianist called Brett Cave who was very entertaining.
Excursion prices were considerably more costly than other cruise lines. For example, the cruise line charged around $100 for a transfer to Rome but if you are fit and active, you can use the train (10 mins walk from port)for 9 euros, this ticket is called the B.I.R.G which you can also use on all public transport in Rome. Also, the cruise line charged for shuttles in Dubrovnik ($7.50 each way pp) and Corfu ($8 each way pp). In both places a taxi costs 10 euros each way.
Overall, this was an excellent ship with a good itinerary (with only 2 sea days) which provided something for all tastes. We would not hesitate in taking another Holland America cruise.