My wife and I arrived in Venice the day before our Mediterranean Empires Cruise aboard the new Nieuw Amsterdam. We took the ATVO bus from Marco Polo (3 euros each) and spent the night at the Hotel Arlecchino literally two blocks from the Piazzale Roma steps from the bus stop. The hotel, by the way, I found on citybreak.com and cost us 88 euros tax and wonderful breakfast included!
Next morning we took the new People Mover for 1 euro each to the ship and what a beauty she is! You can see photos on the web, suffice it to say the embarkation was smooth as always and our Deluxe Veranda Suite (SA) was perfectly in order. A new item in the suite on this ship is a stall shower in addition to the jacuzzi type tub. Unlike the Zuiderdam, whose suites we have occupied before, this new ship has a subdued definately New York feel to the color schemes on board; gone are the reds and pomegranate, enter the browns and chocolate beiges.
Who cares about the food? Well,everyone does! And the N.A. has perfection in every venue at every meal under the direction of Jonathon Lewis. The Manhattan Dining room, open or fixed seating, had meals for every taste from veal chops to surf and turf, from perfectly done fish to spa cuisine. A bad meal is impossible. This time around if you like a cheese plate for desert as I often do, they give you a list of cheeses from which you can select your wants. Nice touch.
Lido offers fresh made ethnic food at lunch from Chinese to Indonesian. The regular fish/chicken/stew line is still there along with custom panini made to order, salad bar, fruit bar, desert bar...I am getting fat just writing about the choices. Of course there is the option of lunch on deck with hamburgers and grill fare or fresh made pizza (could be better) or more conventional lunch in the dining room or the other venues. The Pinnacle Grill has a new expanded menu in extra tariff room ($20/per dinner, $15 lunch) and the rib eye steak is still this writer's favorite. My wife loved the lobster and the chocolate volcano desert. New to the Eurodam and N.A. is Tamarind, the Asian fusion restaurant. I don't know where to begin. It is free at lunch, a modest $15/per for dinner. The food and service are beyond perfection.
Forgive me for not waxing poetic for room service or the suite exclusive Neptune Lounge and the other perks. They are wonderful as well and HAL is one of the few lines that will give you a hot cooked breakfast in room service included in your fare. BTW no place to mention Katakalon...we did stop there. It as okay...good last stop to buy souvenirs. Nieuw Amsterdam It is as good as it gets.