Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by PHYLCON: 1ST TIME WITH HOLLAND AMERICA
Overall Member Rating
1ST TIME WITH HOLLAND AMERICA
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Embarkation was fast and efficient. We drove to the Port Everglades terminal and parked our car in the garage across the street. It was easy to get in & out. The total fee for the 7 days was $105.00 We arrived at 12:30 and were in our cabin within 1/2 hr. The negatives: No champaign greeting nor guide to direct us to the elevator Celebrity Cruises, (our favorite) offers both.
OUR bags arrived in the cabin in about an hour. DINNING: We headed for the LIDO deck buffet shortly after arrival. IT was already crouded. The walkway between the tables and serving lines were very narrow so it was hard to keep from bumping into otheres. The 1st 2 days was not self sevice so that of course is always annoying plus slows things down considerably. We ate breakfast at the buffet all mornings except one. The selections were
typical cruise fare and good. The waffel bar & omlet bar were very good. The moring pastries were OK but not exceptional. We missed the More exceptional, heavily pecan encrusted sticky buns offered on CELEBTITY. The coffee was good but the
"cream" was more of the conistency of 2% milk.
POOL Areas. Thes need some improvement. Appearantly spring break had started and there were too many unsupervised youths, running & jumping around the pool with no corrective action taken by the staff.
There was an adult pool aft, but it had no shade and the music was always too loud. Could not relax there. DINNING: WE elected ANYTIME dinning. This worked out well. It is the 11st time we tried it. On prior cruises we always elected early seating at an assigned table for 6 or 8. We never had to wait to get seated, even though we usually ate between peak times, between 6 & 7PM We requested a table for either 2 or 6 & it was never a problem. The main negative in this arrangement is that you never get to know your waiter because you have a different one every evening. Also service some evenings was sluggish. The food was good with a reasonably varied menu. The lobster on lobster night was exceptional. Large, succulent with good texture. We did not eat at any of the extra charge dinning venues.
ENTERTAINMENT: The Cruise Director, Gene Young, was very good and energetic.
He hosted the Marriage Game and made that interesting and funny.
The group CANTARE' is a must see. These are 4 guys who sing excellent harmony. The sang many familiar classic songs, some Righteous Bros. and some Italian love songs. They got a standing ovation at the end of their performance. Someone commented that they are 10 times better than the Jersey Boys.
The other entertainment was also mostly good. The comedian and the singer in the Piano Bar. The only exception was the steel drum performance which was way too loud and not our cup of tea. Less
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Cabin review: G Large Outside Stateroom (partial sea views)
Our cabin was clean and offered more than enough storage for 2 adults. The beds were comfortable and the sheets and pillows were of excellent quality. Our cabin steward, Amin did a very fine job. The only annoyance was the light switches. The only way to figure out what switch controlled which light was through trial and error. Also the only way to turn the lights on and keep them on was to insert your key card into the master light switch receptacle every time you entered the room. The color scheme of the carpet & couch was a rather ugly shade of brown and grey.Read All Large Outside Stateroom (partial sea views) (G) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
HALF MOON CAY, HOLLAND AMERICA'S PRIVATE ISLAND. Beautiful island plenty to do and see. Has exceptionally clean and clear water. Offers snorkeling of the beach or special excursions. You can also rent a private cabana. The food is prepared by the ship staff. The only negative, the stay was too short. We had to be back on board by 3:00pm for the cruise back to Ft. Lauderdale.
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