Great cruise but very port intensive: Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by Traveling Dot
Overall Member Rating
Great cruise but very port intensive
Now we had a day of rest at sea and we arrived the next day at Katakolon, Greece were we had another private tour arranged with Katakolon-Express to Olympia with a group of 18 (60 Euro each). We toured the Olympia historic site and the Museum and then had an included lunch at a nearby restaurant in the garden. The next port was Corfu, Greece, there was a free shuttle from the boat to the terminal which we took just to look around. We didn't do any tours here at all and just went to the duty free store at the terminal and went back to the ship to rest. Our next port was Kotor, Montenegro which is another port that you can do on your own. The highlight at this port is the sailing into the port and to walk the wall (which I did not do) up the side of the mountain. The cruise director did a running commentary on the sail into this port. We just walked around the old city and stopped to have lunch at a café then it was back to the ship. Dubrovnik, Croatia was our next port and is another that you can do on your own. There was a shuttle bus from the ship to the walled city of Dubrovnik (14 Euro each). You can not walk from the port to the city it is a long, long walk. Our final port was Venice, Italy and the sail into this port is not to be missed. I have been to Venice 4 times and this was something that you can only get to see on a big ship. The views of the city were magnificent. Venice is a city you can do on your own with a good guide book. Here we took Rick Steves advice again and took the People Mover (1 Euro each) to the Vaporetto stop on the Grand Canal. Here we bought tickets for the Vaporetto (16 Euro each/12 hours) and validated our tickets before boarding the #2 to San Marco. We walked to San Marco Square going past the Bridge of Sighs and into the square past the Doge's Place and the Basilica. Found a boarding place for a gondola ride (80 Euro for up to 6 people) and checked something else off my husband's bucket list. The ride lasted about 40 minutes and went down some of the small back canals and out into the Grand Canal and then back to where we started. It was worth 80 Euro to take a once in a lifetime ride in a gondola with my husband. Then we headed back to the ship the same way we came via the Grand Canal Vaporetto and the People Mover. It is a long walk from the ship terminal to the People Mover and an even longer walk back to the terminal because you are now going to the other end of the terminal to get back to the ship.
This is the end of our cruise and we disembarked the following morning. There were not porters or luggage carts inside the terminal to help with your luggage and it is long walk to where the transfer bus parking lot. We were rushed to get out of the terminal and to the bus which I didn't like especially being I had to handle the luggage by myself. I did find a luggage cart outside the terminal (2 Euro) to load the luggage and carryon luggage on to take to the bus. Didn't realize until we got to the airport that I forgot the transport chair but we did get our monies worth out of it on this trip.
The entertainment on this trip was great and the staff on all of HAL's ships are outstanding. I love when we are on a cruise and a staff member that we met on a previous cruise remembers us. That happened on this cruise when two different staff remembered us and one of them was from two years ago. The only thing I would say about this cruise is you have to realize that it is very port intensive and you are going to be tired if you try to do everything. So rest when you can and enjoy the cruise and the sites. Less
This cabin had a very large veranda. It had 2 lounge chairs, 2 club chairs, a foot stool and a small table. The cabin itself was very spacious and I was able to maneuver my husband's transport chair through the door and around the bed to the door to the veranda without having to keep folding it up (of course without him in it).