We just finished another terrific cruise on Holland America. The Nieuw Amsterdam is a beautiful ship. Our room (standard verandah) was very comfortable and we had tons of room to hang up a lot of clothes, put our suitcases under the bed, and still move around freely. Nice flat-screen tv. Great bed!
We found the food to be the best of any Holland ship so far (we've sailed on five of them. We kept making reservations at the Pinnacle Grill then canceling them as the dining room menu was just irresistible. We are very picky about our food and on the entire cruise only had one meal we didn't care for.
As usual the crew was incredibly competent and kind. They never fail to amaze us with their great memories! (Several of them remembered me from cruises taken more than a year ago). Holland's Indonesian crew is the best ever. They are unfailingly cheerful and willing to do anything to make us feel at home.
We were embarrassed by the level of complaining our shipmates did about the procedures the ship's crew implemented to keep the gastrointestinal problems from spreading. I have been in many hospitals that were not nearly as clean as this ship! All the crew members had to work extra hours every day to do extra cleaning and sanitizing and yet they never complained or failed to be cheerful. To all of the other passengers who whined about having to wait in lines, shame on you. We are very happy not to have gotten ill on the cruise! The figures we saw show that the rate of infection was 6% of the passengers, which is amazing for all those people together at sea for more than a week.
Captain Mercer was wonderful, what a terrific Captain. He was gracious, competent, and told the truth without trying to gloss over anything. We felt well-cared for and in good hands. All the ports were interesting and we were lucky to have nice sunny weather every day except the one day in the Caribbean.
Downsides for us were:the entertainment wasn't anything we cared for. However, the on-board lectures and movies were great. We don't cruise for entertainment. Also I wish Holland would ban cigars. Just one ruins my balcony. Other than that we had a stellar vacation, and I would cruise on Holland again anytime. Especially on the ships that have the Tamarind Restaurant, which is just fabulous! Beautiful decor, gracious service, and fantastic food.