This is my review of the Nieuw Amsterdam cruise November 25 through 2 December 2012.
It is subjective as all reviews are, as we aare all different and like/dislike many many things. So with that said;
We arrived in Ft Lauderdale on Thanksgiving Day, 22 November 2012, 3 days before our cruise date of 25 November because we decided (1) The flights on South West Airlines were cheap. (2) We wanted to start our cruise mode early:) *As an aside, we rented a car for usage during our extra days in Ft Lauderdale.*
We had Thanksgiving dinner at Lester's (I'd called them months ago to make sure they would be open. The food is absolutely some of the best I have ever eaten!!
Embarkation was so smooth and impressed me more this time than any other. We were at the Port by 10:30 and on board the ship in what seemed like 10 minutes, but I know it cannot have been because they don't open the More
ship until 11:30, right? And I had to pick up my Scooter at the Special Needs at Sea Kiosk in front of the Terminal......
Budi our Room Steward met me as I started to enter my cabin and took care of me the entire cruise!! His work taking care of me was awesome and I loved his attention:) About 1/2 way into the cruise Budi told me he liked doing things for me as he missed his mother and family and helping me made it easier on him, which made me feel like some one special. I must add here that I went on this cruise against my doctors advice. I have a multitude of health problems that have cropped up on me since May 2012, to include a Compression fracture of the T7 vertebrae (Thoracic spine), which translates to a broken back, Buerger's Disease and 2 major allergies going on that meant taking heavy doses of prednisone over a 6 month time frame, which also caused many more problems, to include forcing me to use oxygen 24/7, which was a good thing because I did not smoke 99.99% of the time. I still am smoking very little and rally do not miss them at all (well rarely).....Needless to say, I was hard pressed to get out of my stateroom and verandah and roam the ship. For me the ship is the reason I cruise, I can vegetate and do not have to worry about anything!!
Prior to Sail Away from Port Everglades I called the Neptune Lounge and asked to meet with my Life Boat Captain in order to show how nearly impossible it was for me in my scooter and broken back to get to the Drill. The young Lady, forgot her name sorry, called me about 5 minutes later and told me that since I had been on 9 cruise s with HAL previously, did not have to attend the drill, but also asked that I re-familiarize myself with the drill via the TV and the Life Vests themselves, which I did. Hubby also told the Crew Member (Lifeboat Captain?? and he told him he'd already been notified and not to worry.) Apparently, the Staff Captain decided that my ailments were not good enough and I received a letter the next morning directing me to a 5:00 pm Make Up Drill on the Promenade Deck under Life Boat 1 and that if I was not there I would be put off the ship at the next port........I called our concierge and talked to Gilbert and he arranged for a Crew Member to come and get me in a Ship manual wheelchair and take me to the drill. He said I was to stay in my stateroom and the crew member would get me at a little before 5 pm....NOT!!!!!!! 5 pm came and went (along with the AC) and no one came except Gilbert who was coming to check our AC problem (Which also affect ALL of the Aft Wrap Staterooms.) When he saw I was still waiting he called his supervisor and THEY made sure I got to the Drill. Even with the Wheel Chair it took 3 crew members to get me over that freaking arch that separates the inside from the promenade. BUT I made it!!
Moral is: Crew does not communicate and I will get as close as possible to my station and sit there and wait until someone notices me and assists me in getting out there. This is not only my problem but also the problem of most of us who are in wheel chairs and scooters......I will no longer assume that a crew member will be there in an emergency situation on the Nieuw Amsterdam:(
I did get to the Lido aft once for a very short time and decided I was happier in my stateroom, SC 6175 (my favorite staterooms on any ship are these awesome aft wrap around staterooms! These are my Penthouse!!!) I also got to the Crow's Nest for the M&G to meet all of my fellow CC family. I was very very disappointed that NOT ONE of the Ship Officers or Crew felt the need to drop in and say hello, not even the Event/Party Planner or Cruise Director:( Oh well, their loss as the CC members who were at the M&G are AWESOME PEOPLE!!!
Luggage arrived 5 minutes after I did!!
I did see a couple of the HAL Shore Reps that I have seen and talked to on previous cruises out of Port Everglades, which is a good thing because a new company has taken over Shore/Port Operations and we were all worried about our favorites losing their jobs. According to one of the ladies, the new company gave them first choice to remain or not. She said many had chosen to re retire and enjoy life at home with their loved ones.
The first time I cruised on Nieuw Amsterdam in November 2010, 4 months after her inagural cruise, I could not put my finger on why I felt less than happy/comfortable with her. This cruise I figured it out!!!
The Nieuw Amsterdam is a Snooty Ship!!! From the ship itself to the Captain and most of the crew it exudes snootiness, with a couple of exceptions being, Gilbert in the Neptune Lounge and Budi, our Chief Stateroom Steward. It was like the ship and the people manning her thought themselves above all others and had their noses in the air (if a ship can have its' nose in the air), As an example, once hubby thanked an one of the crew who wa polishing omething for doing a great job in what he and others did to keep all of us, the guests, happy and thankful, that young man looked back at my hubby and gave him a look as if to say *What the Hades else do you expect? Weare the best and you are nothing to me." This seemed to be typical on the Nieuw Amsterdam....I will not say never will I sail on her again, but will say that I will do my best to avoid this SNOOTY ship!!! I Hope y'all understand what I mean as I cannot explain it any better.
OK, now for a bit more details on the ship:
Stateroom SC 6175:
Awesome to be in it, just disappointed in the small size of verandah which I knew was smaller than the Vistas, but this cruise sealed my dislike of the tiny verandah as opposed to the Vista ships. There was 1 major problem for 5 hours on 26 November. Let me tell you that it was horrific and I cannot imagine what someone in an inside stateroom would go through........Gilbert, one of our Concierges did bring us a fan, but it was not really that effective for a stateroom layout such as ours.
Stateroom Stewards: Budi and his Assistant were absolutely the best Room Stateroom Stewards we have ever had!!!
Food: I did not eat in any of the Dining Venues, only because it was as I wished:) Hubby did eat in the Pinnacle Grill, Main Dining Room and the Lido. We had In Room Dining every morning and all was perfect!! I did not care for the one All American Burger from the In Room Dining Service, it was tasteless. We also had one formal night (I think it was the 1st one) In Room Dining (Not the White Table Cloth one, just regular) and it was wonderful, meat was blue just as I love it and fr the first time in years I had no complaints about my steak:) The rest of my meals hubby would go to the Lido and get me 2 or 3 slices of HAL's DELICIOUS pizza (I LOVE HAL PIZZA!!! I love my pizza without red sauce and that is exactly how they do it) and a bowl of Spaghetti Carbonara or for some lunches, nachos!!!
I did not attend any. I made my own by sitting on th verandah watching the world go by or watching movies on TV.
WOW!!!! How smooth can you get?????? We were off the ship at 9:20, luggage loaded onto a Porter's cart and on to the Westerdm right across the street for the 2nd leg of this vacation by 9:35:)
All said and done, this was a good cruise for me. I believe that if my health had been better I might have enjoyed it more, but who can say for sure???
She is a beautiful DAM ship and though I did not care for her, please do not let me turn you "off" of this ship. Less