My boyfriend and I took the 7 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. It was my first cruise and his second. We had such a wonderful time on the ship, we can't wait to book another cruise!
Our biggest concern going into it was that we would be the youngest people on the ship and would find it boring. We had done our research before booking the trip, and we knew that Holland America caters to a more mature crowd. While I think the average age on the ship was 50+, and my boyfriend and I are both in our late 20's, we did not find it to be a problem at all. We really wanted to have a relaxing vacation and being that a lot of colleges were on Spring Break, we wanted to stay away from the party scene. We met a few other young people or couples on the ship, but mostly it was just the 2 of us and we had a wonderful time.
We were extremely impressed with the cleanliness, atmosphere of the ship and overall service provided. I cannot say enough good things about the Nieuw Amsterdam ship and staff! Everywhere you looked, people were cleaning, I never saw so much as a speck of dust, and everything felt extremely sanitary. I liked that there was hand sanitizer stations conveniently located all over the ship, outside of each bathroom and at the entrance to each dining spot.
The crew provided a higher level of service than I could have ever expected. We weren't staying in a suite, but we felt like VIP at the nicest of hotels. Our stateroom attendant met us in the hall our second day, greeted us by name, introduced himself, provided his business card and asked us to please let him know if there was anything else he could do to improve our stay. We were blown away. ALL of the crew members were kind, friendly and helpful at all times. The service was top notch.
We dined in the Manhattan Dining Room every night and most mornings and loved the experience. The food was excellent: flavorful, good presentation and tons of variety. We felt as though we were treating ourselves to a fancy night out every day.
We saw a few of the shows, and weren't blown away by any of them, but we did really enjoy the Filipino Crew show, which was fun to watch. We went to the Casino once or twice and spent some time in a few of the bars. My boyfriend especially loved the Crow's Nest, and I liked the Piano Bar. I will say I was pleasantly surprised by the cost of the cocktails onboard. I thought they were very reasonably priced, and the ship does offer Happy Hour specials once or twice a day in select bars. We played Pub and Team Trivia each day, and attended a few other activities but overall found that a lot of them didn't appeal to us. This may have been because we aren't in the right age bracket.
Bottom line, our vacation was absolutely wonderful, we had a fantastic time and the ship experience exceeded our expectations. We would definitely cruise again.
We weren't sure about going to Half Moon Cay as we knew it is owned by the Cruise Line, and I especially like to see different places and wander around when I travel. Any fears or concerns we had were pushed aside when we looked out the window in the morning and saw the island. It is absolutely stunning, an island paradise for sure. It ended up being the most beautiful place we visited. We didn't do an excursion here, but we had a lovely time laying out on the beach and lounging in the water on a raft. One of the most relaxing and beautiful places I have ever been.