Nieuw Amsterdam for Families
Holland America ships tend to draw families with children during summer and school holidays.
Children's programs, supervised for ages 3 to 12, take place in Club HAL on Deck 10. There, kids can enjoy activities like tie-dyeing T-shirts, candy bar bingo, pajama parties and storytelling. Eight- to 12-year-olds also have their own Club HAL area, equipped with air hockey, foosball, karaoke, family-safe Internet access (for a nominal fee) and Sony PlayStation. Kids can also participate in sports on the outer decks, pool parties on the Lido Deck and other video games in the arcade.
Teens (ages 13 to 17) enjoy a separate area adjacent to Club HAL on Deck 10, dubbed The Loft, which resembles a New York artist's loft. It offers stuffed chairs and sofas, music, a disco area and video-editing equipment, among other amenities.
All children's programs operate through sea days, with meal breaks. There's no need to sign up in advance. Kids can simply choose to show up during regular hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., signing in upon arrival and signing out when their parents arrive to pick them up. On port days, kids and teens must be signed up the day before.
Group baby-sitting services are available as part of the Club HAL Afterhours program, from 10 p.m. until midnight, for kids ages 3 and older. The cost is $5 per hour. Limited in-cabin baby-sitting is available for children younger than 3 and can be arranged through the front office. This service bears a $10-per-hour fee and is $7 per hour for each additional child.