This is our third cruise overall, and the first on the HAL ship. We are Polish/American couple in our mid thirties traveling with two daughters 7 and 10 years of age.
Embarkation went very smooth, and took no more than 20 minutes. Our ocean view stateroom was ready for us immediately after we had arrived, and we were welcomed by our stateroom steward. Luggage came a little bit after.
Stateroom F1010 bigger than Europeans competitors was our best and nicest cabin with many extra storage places. Cabin steward and his helper did great job every day and never on our way! We almost did not feel a ship movement or any sounds. Only one complain about stateroom was a thermostat, it seemed not working properly, keeping us too cold. We asked to service that, but only the temperature was measured, and we did get extra blankets, thermostat was not fixed.
MS Nieuw Amsterdam is a truly beautiful virgin vessel with its glamour and splendid NYC style decoration. Public areas dEcor is very tasteful and kind of modern compared to Costa or Carnival interior. Ship itself is very clean and spotless. Elegant glass outside elevators with detailed (7 days) floor mats changed every day, to remind you the day of the week. Large and beautiful theater "Showroom at See" offering live band, magician / comedian, and Broadway style shows - dancers / singers (we are Vegas style show fans but it is a subject for individual taste). Atrium is smaller comparing to the ones on the ships we were before (Costa Fortuna) but still nice. We enjoyed every place on the ship that seemed to be not crowded at all, very nice people all around you, plenty of room everywhere, quiet, nice.... Even on sea days there were no crowd, chair by the pool at sea days - no problem, no lines to stations at Lido Buffet, no waiting by Reception Desk. Nice heated mid ship pool and hot tubs with sliding roof make this area fully usable for 24 hours a day, sun or rain. Aft lido louder a bit with live music and pool games.
Food very tasty and many varieties every day in a restaurant or buffet. Fresh squeezed orange juice, ice cream, food varieties from different World regions and amazing Sweet Extravaganza.
First time on Half Moon Cay made a very nice impression, lovely beach, great BBQ lunch and varieties of excursions. Grand Turk beautyfull "cruise only port", beach and Margaritaville. We took an island tour, we saw nicest places. The most picturesque was a cliff and old lighthouse on the other side of the island. Rough sea in Caymans made tendering a little hard, but the captain decision was to give us an opportunity to see that beautiful place. Costa Maya that was an amazing experience. Chacchoben - Mayan ruins, beach, and shopping break in little Village of Mahahual, all that with our private driver Eli.
Working hard Filipinas crew members were very nice greeting us almost every time we passed by, everyone very friendly, officers, front desk staff professional and helpful. Most of the passengers nice, retired couples made the atmosphere very quiet, classy, and elegant with no crowd. We really enjoyed that specially after our last cruise on MSC Poesia with 3,300 passengers including 900 kids. It was our best cruise, and will definitely sail with HAL again. We truly recommend that line to mid age couples looking for some quiet and elegant atmosphere with American standards.
Go Nieuw Amsterdam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!