“Great cruise, some disappointments”
Cruise review of Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam

bkmcech Nieuw Amsterdam 4 Great cruise, some disappointments
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We took the 12-day Mediterranean Empire cruise, leaving out of Venice, Italy. We boarded the Nieuw Amsterdam on Friday, 9/24 and were a little surprised at the size of our Deluxe Verandah Suite. It seemed smaller than the other suites of the same class on our other cruises. But, it was very comfortable, except for controlling the temperature. The ship had a problem with a computer board and we were "stranded" in Venice for one extra day, which was great. We did not go to Croatia and were disappointed but understood the problems. The staff seemed to be a little inexperienced and we attributed that to it being a new ship. But, they were very helpful, just not quite as attentive as on the other HA cruises.

The shore excursions were good, except in Istanbul and Ephesus Turkey. Both times we ended up at rug dealers and felt somewhat pressured. We had no intention of buying rugs and didn't like waiting for those who had to makes calls to the US and decisions about buying rugs. HA should have shore excusions exclusively for those who want to buy rugs.

We definitely felt the increased nubmer of passengers on this ship, and prefer the smaller HA ships. As usual, several passengers became ill, including my husband. He developed bronchitis and visited the ship's doctor who dispensed medication and sent him to bed. Unfortunately, he missed Santorini but that gives us an excuse to go back!

All in all, it was a great cruise, the weather was perfect and as soon as we recover from jet lag, we start thinking about our next HA cruise.

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean
Overall Ratings
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  • Dining
  • Embarkation
  • Enrichment Activities
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  • Family & Children
  • Fitness & Recreation
  • Onboard Experience
  • Public Rooms
  • Rates
  • Service
  • Shore Excursions
  • Value for Money

Cabin review: Neptune Suite with Verandah

The Deluxe Verandah Suite we were assigned, was not as comfortable and convenient as on the older, smaller HA ships on which we have cruised. We had to have the TV worked on, our coffee table was scratched and the door handle was very loose. The ship was only 2.5 months old when we cruised. The dressing area was much smaller than on the other ships. I prefer the second sink in the dressing area and not in the bathroom. Why is there tub with a shower and a shower stall? They could have used the space more efficiently. The verandah is much narrower. On the other ships, we had a good-sized table with four chairs and two chaise lounges. This one had a very small table and two chairs with footstool.

Port and Shore Excursions

We stayed in Istanbul 2 nights and would rather have stayed in Athens another night. We visited the Grand Bazaar and it was an experience that we will not repeat.

The shore excursions were disappointing in that both ended with demonstrations and pressure to buy by rug dealers. HA needs to sponsor shore excursions just for people who want to buy Turkish rugs.

Read 402 Istanbul Reviews
Our shore excursion was to Ephesus and a visit to the Virgin Mary's house. It was a moving experience. The crowds were large but we are glad we went. We would have liked to have walked through Ephesus but we didn't sign up for that excursion and again, we ended up at a rug dealer.

Read 576 Kusadasi Reviews
We had no shore excursions and it was a wonderful day of wandering, lunching and just enjoying the beauty of the island. We did meet one of the pelicans.

Read 690 Mykonos Reviews
What can I say, it's heaven on earth. We had a 4 hour shore excursion which gave us an overview of the island. Then we lunched right on the cliff and shopped. The worst part of the day was, the line at the cable car entrance was so long, we decided to walk down. It was very disturbing the see how the donkey handlers mistreated and abused the poor animals and to see all the rather large tourists who were endorsing such treatment by riding the animals down the hillside. That was my one bad feeling about Santorini.

After boarding the ship, the captain moved it to the Grand Canal and we were moored about 5 blocks from St. Mark's Square. My husband and I watched as the captain guided the ship through the canal about 5:30 a.m. and it was breathtaking.

We took a daytime gondola shore excursion and were a little disappointed in the length of the trip - way too short, but all in all, it was great.

Read 934 Venice Reviews
Published 10/10/10
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Nieuw Amsterdam Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean
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