Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by 20pluscruises: The good with the very bad
Overall Member Rating
The good with the very bad
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Room was roomy and plenty of drawers and closet space. Cabin stewards were very good, with the exception of the last night. However, they did leave their master key in our room twice for the entire night (you need this card to enter your room and to keep the lights on)....we could have gone into any of the rooms of the ship with that left key card. A bit alarming. They only restocked the cabin refrigerator once during the whole cruise. Tamarind restaurant was good for one night, but wouldn't want to have it twice. Ricardo the wine steward in Tamarind was EXCELLENT!!!
NOW FOR THE BAD...
MAIN DINING ROOM FOOD...
...was god awful! Mushy steak, the worst duck ever...I can't think of one good meal between the two of us. A big disappointment, but not as disappointing as Le Cirque. The soup was nothing special, the lamb chops were so tough I couldn't eat them. You would think for $39 they would have removed a portion of the bill after seeing my plate More wasn't even touched but for one bite. The main dining wait staff was also disappointing. Never offered a choice between potatoes, rice, etc. Asked for a diet coke at the beginning, asked again during the meal, my husband asked a third time, and finally when asked what I would like for desert I answered "a diet coke please". Our table did get a chuckle from my dessert request. I could go on about the food, but it would sound the same as above....mushy and bland.
I should also mention the buffet...a lot of casserole/stews, and the crew serving were like slugs, and seemed to be bothered if you asked for more than one item, ie; french toast and bacon. As for room service (we did breakfast 5 mornings), not once did we get everything we ordered.
PRE DINNER DRINKS...
The one highlight was the guitarist in the Crow's Nest. Unfortunately, we were only able to see him one night as it was booked for private parties the remainder of the cruise. Apparently, this happens a lot on HAL as told to us by the bartender. The majority of the guests are left out of some of the better options on the ship.
AGE OF CRUISE GUESTS...
Don't let anyone tell you this is not a senior citizens cruise. My husband and I took a walk around the main dining and our guesstimate is 80% of the guests were 75 and over. Makes for a very boring cruise. May be why the food is so mushy and bland. Luckily, we found the a small "fun" group (age 45-65) to hang with.
I do not like the 21 Club. You must use your card to play the slot games. Too time consuming plugging in your numbers and then another step to plug in the cash amount. It's a pain in the butt to move from machine to machine. My husband likes to play cards and the card dealer was always busy flirting with a female guest, so much so, that he didn't realize my husband had a winning hand, not once but twice. I guess the dealer was so excited to see someone young on the cruise he got carried away... The smoke is also annoying. I can't even begin to tell you how many people we saw pulling a oxygen tank in one hand, and cigarette in the other.
They took forever setting up for a scheduled 1:30 name that tune, 15 min. was spent saying check, check, into the mic, still weren't ready at 2:00. We left and headed for the back pool. Seems there were a lot of slow moving crew on this ship. Nobody was in a hurry to do anything. Also I want to add, if you asked for something and it wasn't their job, that's what they told you..not my job you need to ask/call..." They weren't about to call the right person for you.
Some were very friendly and some were just plain rude. It was very odd having an excellent bartender and then a rude one...this was just about at every bar area. The bartender in the Silk Den was excellent along with the very back pool(the shorter bald guy), he was also very good and both made the effort to engage with the guests.
Would I cruise HAL again....maybe when I reach the age of 90 and need a quite trip and food with the texture of jello and no flavor. Less
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Cabin review: SS6068 Signature Superior Verandah Suite
6068 Nice size Nice balcony...when they weren't using the varnish...couldn't use it for a day and half. Nice closet space Rug was badly stained Good view, not great, lifeboats below The lighting is bit odd Bathroom had tub and showerRead All Signature Superior Verandah Suite (SS) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Great Experience - outstanding...
Good, Bad, Ugly
Fun Time on Board
Everything Old Is Nieuw Again
Early nights for most
Exceeded our expectations