We won't sail Holland America again: Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by krUzer62
Overall Member Rating
We won't sail Holland America again
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
1. Worst coffee ever!!!!!!
2. After a wonderful performance of Cantare, a group of 5 amazing male singers, I met the singers and purchased their CD for $20 because I enjoyed their voices so much. Upon returning to my cabin, I was shocked and dismayed to see that the artists on the Cantare CD were not the same men we saw in the performance. They led us to believe the CD was made by them. Granted, the songs were the same as they performed, but the artists were all other performers. When I tried to return the CD for a $20 credit, I was given a very hard time which continued long after we had returned home. My husband and I spent hours on the phone with Holland America trying to get the charge removed from our credit card. We were finally successful, but we feel it was a simple situation made ridiculously difficult by the cruise line.
3. The music played at the Seaview pool was horrible! It sounded more like Muslim wailing than music. We definitely did not More enjoy it.
4. TV in our room was terrible. There were very few channels and choices, and the remote was extremely user unfriendly. The TV came with a built-in DVD player, but nowhere on the ship was there a DVD lending library.
5. The customer service staff was very cold, stiff, unfriendly, and not helpful.
6. Not a good value; too expensive for what we received
7. Food just average.
1. The cabin, entertainment, and dining room staffs were great.
2. The ship was very stable even in rough seas. Less
The cabin was fine and in a great location midships, only a few steps from the stairs/elevators. But directly below us were the lifeboats, so the view was somewhat obstructed. I think we'd prefer to be forward or aft of the lifeboats in the future, or on a higher deck.
Port and Shore Excursions
We've been on many excursions, but this one was by far the worst ever. It was overbooked and very poorly planned. We were supposed to take a lovely ferry ride to 4 of the 5 pretty towns overlooking the ocean. After a stammered excuse that the sea was "too rough", our guide put us on a terribly hot, overcrowded train with no ventilation. Except for one town at which we were given an hour and 15 minutes for lunch and shopping, we had only about 15 minutes in each of the other towns--not enough to do anything but walk a bit then turn around and head back to wait for another train. We had to stand for agonizingly long periods in the blazing sun or in dark, dank, cave-like tunnels to wait for the trains--sometimes as long as 30 minutes, time we could have used to explore the towns. We spent much longer waiting for trains than we spent actually walking through the towns. The train rides were miserable. Seriously, sardines have it better than we did, crammed into trains designed for far fewer people. At the last town all the tourists on the excursion grumbled so much that the ridiculously inept tour guide finally relented and told us the reason we hadn't taken the ferry was because there were simply too many people. Our ship alone had more than 200 people taking this excursion, and there were at least four or five other ships in port that sent similar numbers of people on the same excursion. There was no way the ferry or train system could handle so many people. At that point, we were allowed to take the ferry back to meet the bus to Livorno, and it was a lovely trip. But by this time we were all so frustrated and miserable we didn't enjoy it as much as we should have.
If I could give this excursion less than 1 star, I certainly would.
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