We selected this transatlantic cruise as it seemed to have the best selection of ports of call and we were not disappointed!
First the embarkation process in FLL was very efficient and hassle-free. We were on board 20 minutes after getting on the terminal and rapidly guided to our room. The room was spacious , very well laid-out and offered more storage space than first indicated by our room maid . We never had any problem with room ventilation nor temperature contrary to complaints from other reviewers of this ship .
Public rooms on the Nieuw Amsterdam are very well designed and decorated. There is a lot of comfortable sitting areas which makes it very convenient for a T.A. crossing when you have time to spend reading or chatting .In fact,it is the best we have seen so far from the 9 different cruise lines we have sailed with !
The seminars and presentations were also the best we had the choice of over the 4 crossings we have done so far ! In fact we could not attend all the seminars we wanted to see and I did not have the time to finish reading the book I has started ! Entertainment was also interesting even though the timing was not always appropriate !
Quality of the meals was variable ! We were expecting more based on other cruises we had done with Holland America ! The selection was interesting but the cooking of the meat and fish was not always appropriate ( quite often overcooked ) Desserts were very consistent meaning voluptuous !
We tried different restaurants and the sane comments applied to all !
The best part was the ports of calls ! HAL is hard to beat on this aspect ! First the information provided on the ports of call , both for the passengers taking excursions or those DIY , is excellent ! There are presentations, written documentation and personal information available at least 3 days prior to disembarkation ! The selection of ports of calls is the best available for the size of the ship and when tenders are required , the process is good ( not the best we have experienced but not the worse ) ! The overnight in Cadiz is a brilliant idea , the selection of Carthagena is a gem,and the time allocated to Valencia is more than appropriate !
Service on board is following the HAL standard that is above the average!
Overall we had a lovely time and this was the best Trans Atlantic crossing we have had so far ! We will continue to use the services of HAL in the future !