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Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by RovinBee: 1st Wedding Anniversary in the Western Caribbean


RovinBee
4 Reviews
Member Since 2011
3 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.0
Dining 5.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities 5.0
Entertainment 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation Not Rated
Public Rooms 5.0
Rates 4.0
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions 4.0
Value for Money 4.0

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1st Wedding Anniversary in the Western Caribbean

Sail Date: December 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

This was our 2nd cruise with HAL and my husband and I agree that as long as HAL continues to cater to adults rather than families with children, we'll keep returning every year to celebrate our Wedding Anniversaries and vacation time. We are people who value the very little free time we get away from our jobs and look to share company with others who respect that.

For the 2nd time, TAMARIND RESTAURANT wins the place in our hearts for favorite dining venue. The ambiance is soothing and attractive, the food quality and presentation are consistent and the table service is excellent. TAMARIND's menu is structured in a way to give a taste of several offerings and on this cruise alone, we visited no less than three times, not once were we disappointed or bored with the menu.

Evening at Le Cirque offered by the Pinnacle Grill was outstanding. We'll book this as long as it's offered. Had we known Sirio and "Egi" Maccioni would be there in person, we'd have brought or More bought a cookbook of his and asked to have it signed. What a treat for us to experience!

We also attended a private cabana dinner on the Observation Deck which was an incredible experience we'd book again if offered. The wine cellar master was one of the most warm, informative and personable gentlemen we had the pleasure of meeting and taking suggestions from to enhance our other dinners.

The only booking that let us down was the Private Cabana on the Lido deck. We looked forward to a quiet peaceful retreat right next to the Greenhouse Spa which we enjoy to visit, a dip in the pool when it became too hot. What we found instead is we paid $200. for a private cabana in the midst of every child on board, seemingly all in the pool at the same time. Our expectation to slip from our cabana after a soothing nap and into a calm pool was not to be. In order to enjoy a quiet adult only pool, we had to walk each time to the Aft pool which seemed very awkward in our Cabana provided robes.~ Less


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Cabin review: Nieuw Amsterdam Deluxe Verandah Oceanview Upper Promenade 4140

Our room setup was as expected but we forgot to exercise our option not to be "upgraded". What this means is the carefully chosen room we initially booked was lost and instead we given an "upgraded" room that happened to be beside and bank of elevators which we hear dinging at the worst hours of precious sleep. We never discovered what about our "upgraded" room was different than what we had booked but I suggest you check if your cruise line has a policy to opt out if you first choose a specifically located room as we had.

Port and Shore Excursions


Jet Skiing

(5)
Our excursion was excellent! We met our driver who was On-Time only a short distance from the port and he took us directly to meet our jet ski guide who quickly got us and another couple onto the ocean for a thrilling ride out to a stingray sandbar. Once anchored in the chest deep, crystal clear water, we put on provided snorkel gear and were given near 40 minutes to play with the rays. From there we rode to a different spot in order to spend near another hour snorkeling. There were no crowds, just beautiful water, colorful fish, coral and stingrays that were playful and friendly beyond belief. Our driver even made local food suggestions on the return trip and dropped us off there so we could experience as much during our short stay as possible.

Snorkeling

(5)
Our excursion was excellent! We met our driver who was On-Time only a short distance from the port and he took us directly to meet our jet ski guide who quickly got us and another couple onto the ocean for a thrilling ride out to a stingray sandbar. Once anchored in the chest deep, crystal clear water, we put on provided snorkel gear and were given near 40 minutes to play with the rays. From there we rode to a different spot in order to spend near another hour snorkeling. There were no crowds, just beautiful water, colorful fish, coral and stingrays that were playful and friendly beyond belief. Our driver even made local food suggestions on the return trip and dropped us off there so we could experience as much during our short stay as possible.

Stingray Swim

(5)
Our excursion was excellent! We met our driver who was On-Time only a short distance from the port and he took us directly to meet our jet ski guide who quickly got us and another couple onto the ocean for a thrilling ride out to a stingray sandbar. Once anchored in the chest deep, crystal clear water, we put on provided snorkel gear and were given near 40 minutes to play with the rays. From there we rode to a different spot in order to spend near another hour snorkeling. There were no crowds, just beautiful water, colorful fish, coral and stingrays that were playful and friendly beyond belief. Our driver even made local food suggestions on the return trip and dropped us off there so we could experience as much during our short stay as possible.

We were thrilled this year to find the water at HMC calm, clear and warm versus last Nov./Dec. when the seas were a bit rough and cold there. We also remembered how intense the sun is even though the heat is mild so we rented a Clamshell and credit it with making the entire day a fantastic one. What a difference a little shade makes, even in paradise! The HAL BBQ was tasty too, kudos to the calamari & shellfish salad.

Dunn's River Falls

(5)
Our taxi driver informed us we didn't need a pre booking to get into the Falls and it was only $20. per person. He walked us right in and we experienced the Falls in about an hour, not the onboard approximation of 4+ hrs that made us think we'd have to pass it up.

Horseback Riding

(5)
Our taxi driver whisked us directly to our plantation stables, no wasting time in the port terminal waitig for a shuttle bus to slowly fill. Our horseback ride was a good 3hrs and absolutely gorgeous. Our horse did more than entire the water a few yards and the shimmy back to shore, they walked out quite a ways from shore and swam back and forth several times. There was a photographer who for $15.00 took several pictures of us and edited them into a keepsake DVD which featured shots of our ride we'd not taken pics of ourselves. We were given a snack of carmelized plantains, offered water, soft drinks, beers or juices and there were very reasonably priced curios and jewelry to buy without the aggressiveness of a "craft village". This excursion was impressive and a great value for the price.

(5.5)
We booked with "Little French Key" to spend our precious few hours on the island with them. What a gem! The privately own island is meticulously kept up. Every comfort you could want for "roughing it" is provided. There is a gorgeous lagoon at the mouth of the ocean to swim in, there are stilted bungalow decks to jump from or lounge in comfort with drinks and excellent freshly prepared luncheon. We found bathrooms, showers, bar huts, shaded kiosks of cushioned sofas and tables, floating water chairs, kayaks, jet skis, snorkel gear and a driver on hand to quickly take you out to a near reef anytime you were ready. What snorkeling though! I'd only ever seen so much coral and fish in magazines or in Hawai where you can see it but it's a good 20 feet down. Here, the vibrant reef is just feet under the surface with enough expanse for several people to snorkel and not be in each other's way. We loved this spot and the service we were given enough to book a weeklong trip directly there for a another time. This was most definitely the highlight of our cruise stops. Thank you Moshe for sharing your home and hospitality with us.
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