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Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by JandScruise

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Nieuw Amsterdam
Nieuw Amsterdam
Member Name: JandScruise
Cruise Date: December 2013
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Cabin Category:
Cabin Number: 7138
Booking Method:
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Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 2.0
Public Rooms 5+
Cabins 4.0
Entertainment 5.0
Spa & Fitness 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions Not Rated
Embarkation 2.0
Service 4.0
Value-for-Money 4.0
Rates Not Rated
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Ship Facts: Nieuw Amsterdam Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Nieuw Amsterdam Deck Plans
Nice cruise, expected better

The good:

1) A lot of public room to move around in. Even in the bars/lounges things weren't squashed together, everything always felt roomy, even on sea days. Found several remote places with loungers and no one else around, some on very high levels you could only take stairs to reach.

2) Food quality was pretty high.

3) Room stewards were good and friendly.

The bad

1) Embarkation. Showed at 11:15, boarded a bit before 1. Long wait, quick once my number was called. After dumping bags in room, went to MDR for lunch to avoid the melee the buffet is on embark day, showed at 1:05 and was refused seating at MDR (stopped at 1). they should extend seating to 2. Entering the scrum of buffet for embark lunch really started cruise off poorly for me.

2) Dining/waiter service. Some decent, some poor. Got really annoyed that waiters generally messed up my breakfast orders which weren't too difficult. I think language barrier was main issue. Refills were often late on water, coffee, and pina colodas at unlimited pina colda event (at the beginning we had to flag waiters down, and they weren't busy, after things settled, they kept us nice). MDR management was good at being friendly, but service should have and could have been better.

3) Limited food availability. Buffet had short hours, MDR had short seating hours for breakfast/lunch. Limited room service 24/7 doesn't replace an open buffet for a quick bite in off hours. Lunch menu at MDR was very limited.

Wish I knew/things to know

1) 2 3 prong 110 volt outlets by desk (also 2 euro outlets), 1 shaver outlet in bathroom. Taking room card out of electric input slot kills outlet juice (like charging your phone), bring some other worthless plastic card to use there instead of room card.

2) Went with drinkers who got drink packages, they drink a lot, did not get value IMO. Skip unlimited, buy as you like, probably better deal. Oh, and unlimited ship drinks do not extend to private island they own and run, which offended those who bought. Stay on the ship and drink free from package, or go to beach and pay HAL more for drinks. Bad policy by HAL.

3) MNF, TNF and SNF and one game for each Sunday time slot were shown in rooms and at sports/casino bar.

Summary

Nice cruise, the overwhelmingly good service I expected existed with buffet servers and room stewards, lacked in most other dining service though. Limited food availability was a negative. Language barrier existed very strongly, worst of all cruises I have been on by far. Lots of room to move around and enjoy on ship. Probably nice for transatlantic interior cabins, with all that public space.

I would cruise the NA again, and HAL, knowing the issues, for the right itinerary/value, but not an overwhelming favorite.


Publication Date: 12/29/13
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