We booked a 6 night cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam mainly because it was a relatively new ship and at a good price. The ship itself is beautiful and very elegant.
Our room: we booked an inside room because of the great value and we were surprised at how spacious it was. We had previously cruised on Celebrity and our room was much smaller. The room cleaners were very friendly and left towel animals and chocolate every night.
Public rooms: the public rooms are large and elegantly decorated, but we were surprised at the small size of the atrium. It is three stories high and not too impressive. My favourite spot on the ship was the Crow's nest. It has beautiful views of the ocean and there is a large selection of books and board games to play. There is also Explorations Cafe, which offers specialty coffee which you have to pay extra for. It is around $3 for a coffee. There is one pool on the pool deck and and adults only pool at the back of the ship, where there are deck More
chairs and a pizza shop. The Lido buffet is large and we never had trouble finding a table like we have on other cruise lines. The crew members are very friendly, and once when I forgot my camera the guy who was cleaning the table ran and brought it to me.
Food: The lido buffet offers a variety of different kinds of food, there is world cuisine, Italian and Mexican, and a variety of other choices. The desserts extravaganza on our second last night of the cruise was also very good. The Manhattan dining room is spacious and the waiters are very friendly. We enjoyed the ginger and mints offered at the door and the greeters were very friendly. The food was delicious and very fresh. The only minor annoyance was that you can not serve your own food at the buffet, and in the first 48 hours of the cruise you can't even pour your own tea/coffee.
Shows: we only watched one show on the cruise. It was good, but the stage was relatively small compared to other cruise ships. They also had a limited number of singers and dancers. The theatre fills up fast, even during the late seating, so you have to come early in order to find a seat, at least 20 minutes is best.
Service: the crew members were very friendly and always greeted us with a smile. On our whole cruise we only encountered one rude crew member. The front desk staff was very friendly. They put up with us coming down to the front desk multiple times because our room cards didn't work for the first two days of the cruise, which was annoying. They had to give us new cards more than once, and when even that didn't work they came up to our room with us, later sending a man to repair it. The cruise director was a bit irritating, he almost ran over me on one occasion and seemed to think that he owned the whole cruise line. He didn't even apologize.
Ports: the ship was scheduled to stop at three ports, Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, Falmouth, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman. We skipped half moon Cay because of 30 knot winds and 9 foot waves, which was a disappointment. In Falmouth we took a taxi to Doctor's Cave Beach, which is beautiful. We heard from other people that Chukka Beach, which you can only go to through an excursion with the cruise line is awful. Apparently they crowd people onto the beach chairs and the beach is tiny. Grand Cayman was very beautiful, we went to Palms Beach which is on Seven Mile Beach. It was extremely beautiful. The only downside is that they charge a $3 entry fee and $10 for a beach chair, which I think is absurd.
Overall, we really enjoyed the cruise. The ship is beautiful and the crew is very friendly. The food was exceptional, and I would recommend this cruise to anyone! Less
Falmouth, Jamaica is very beautiful. I recommend taking a bus to Doctors Cave beach, it is $20 for a round trip and the beach is very beautiful. Do not take the ship excursion to Chukka beach. We heard from other passengers that it is overcrowded and awful.
This was our second visit to Grand Cayman on a cruise. The first time the ocean was very rough and it was rainy. The second time the sky was clear and it was beautiful. We took a cab to Palms beach which is along 7 mile and is beautiful. If you ask the cab to take you to 7 mile beach you get dropped off at a much narrower stretch of beach. I would recommend walking to the beach, it takes around a half hour and you can walk almost the whole way on the beach.