Nieuw Amsterdam Review

Editor Rating:  4.5
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Nieuw Amsterdam Ratings

  • Category
  • Dining
  • Public Rooms
  • Cabins
  • Entertainment
  • Spa & Fitness
  • Family & Children
  • Shore Excursions
  • Enrichment
  • Service
  • Value-for-Money
Editor Rating
Member Rating
Why Choose Nieuw Amsterdam?
  • Pro: Innovative dining options serve high quality fare
  • Con: Tends to quiet down early on in the night
  • Bottom Line: Great choice for multigenerational groups

Nieuw Amsterdam Overview

David Molyneaux, Cruise Critic contributor; Updated by Gina Kramer, Associate Editor

When Holland America launched Nieuw Amsterdam in 2010, the line unveiled a fresh take on its successful style: a traditional cruising experience, which steers clear of rock climbing walls and waterslides in favor of timeless touches like fancy afternoon tea and elegant formal nights (when most passengers go above and beyond with their ensembles). Several years post-launch, the ship still focuses on continually growing entertainment, enrichment and dining options while still embracing the past. (Note the vintage art and black and white photographs highlighting notable moments throughout the line's history.) Nieuw Amsterdam lives up to the line's standards with its friendly and relaxed atmosphere and attention to service. The ship also pays homage to its name with subtle New York-inspired elements in its art collection and design (notably the atrium chandelier and main dining room).

Friendly service and top-quality dining are also hallmarks of this line. With the addition of the Master Chef's Table, which serves an outstanding tasting dinner in its own classy room, Nieuw Amsterdam offers four different gourmet menus, including those found at the Pinnacle Grill, Tamarind and the weekly Le Cirque presentation. The menu at Canaletto has also been enhanced with a small plates option to make sure passengers continue to have a variety of choices.

Although not particularly known for its entertainment, the ship shines with its lineup of world-class musicians from B.B. King's Blues Club -- in which the Queen's Lounge is transformed to resemble the renowned Memphis club.

Nieuw Amsterdam's layout is well designed, and passengers will quickly learn their way around the ship. The combination of classic, understated elegance, a relaxed vibe and easy walkability will make first-time cruisers and repeaters both feel right at home.

Nieuw Amsterdam Fellow Passengers

Holland America ships tend to appeal to a mature crowd, with a mix of Americans, Europeans, Canadians and Australians. Look for more families and multigenerational groups during summers and school holidays.

Nieuw Amsterdam Dress Code

During the day, dress is casual. In the evenings, dress is categorized either as smart casual or formal. Smart casual for men means slacks and collared shirts (and perhaps a jacket, though it's not required). For women, it's skirts or trousers with sweaters or blouses. Formal draws tuxedos, dark suits or jackets and ties for men, while women don suits, cocktail dresses or gowns. On our seven-night cruise, most passengers went dressed to the nines on both formal nights.

Nieuw Amsterdam Gratuity

The automatic tip for passengers staying in interior, oceanview and verandah cabins is $12.50 per person, per day. Passengers in suites will be charged $13.50 per person, per day.

Next:  Nieuw Amsterdam Cabins

David Molyneaux, Cruise Critic contributor; Updated by Gina Kramer, Associate Editor

577 Nieuw Amsterdam Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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Member Since 2003
7 reviews
1,208 forum post
0 helpful votes
This was our 32nd cruise but only our 3rd with HAL. It was a last minute booking and we took advantage of a FLASH rate. We chose a gty veranda and were pleasantly surprised to be assigned a mid-aft located cabin #5130. The cabin & ... Read more
Member Since 2012
3 reviews
23 forum posts
0 helpful votes
My daughter and I chose this cruise simply because some friends from Boston chose it. We lost my wife in November and wanted to do a father-daughter cruise to celebrate life. The Neiuw Amsterdam is just the right sized ship for us. It ... Read more
Member Since 2014
6 reviews
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
We were so lucky to have been on the Nieuw Amsterdam for its 3/12/17 sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale. I can't say enough good about the service, the food and the overall relaxing experience. We spent three days in Key West prior to the ... Read more
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