2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The ship was new and beautiful. Staff were fine, pleasant and helpful. The itinerary was fine - Eastern and Western Caribbean - it was 10 days, not 7. But the nickel and diming was bad - charging for ice cream on deck (gelato, they ... Read More
The ship was new and beautiful. Staff were fine, pleasant and helpful. The itinerary was fine - Eastern and Western Caribbean - it was 10 days, not 7. But the nickel and diming was bad - charging for ice cream on deck (gelato, they said), as an example. And you were pushed to the extra-charge restaurants, if you wanted better quality than the dining room food. The main dining room had poor menus, poor choices, and inferior cuts of meat, with the occasional exception. The Lido was good, lots of choices, and generally well prepared. It was better than most ships. Not so the main dining rooms, where the quality was inferior to other ships. We are Holland-American 4 star mariners, so we've had a lot of experience with their ships, and this was the worst ship for food and entertainment that we've had. There were two production shows and two other shows. The production shows had 6 dancers, NO singers, no band, and were boring +++. There were also two comedians on during the week, and that was it. The cost cutting came through big time. They certainly cut their costs, and it showed! And the show times may have been set for someone's convenience but not the guests. We take late dining so we can enjoy maximum time on board on in town. Usually show time will then be at 8:30 and 10:30 so early and late seating guests can both see the show. Not on the Nieuw Statendam, however, where show times were set so you could not have dinner then see the show. My wife was not able to get to a single production show during the cruise. There are of course other rooms where small groups were playing, but the production shows were slashed in quality, and it showed! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have sailed with Holland America previously and were not disappointed so we decided to give their newest ship, Nieuw Stantendam, a try. The ship is beautiful, larger than the other ships we have been on in the Holland America Fleet but ... Read More
We have sailed with Holland America previously and were not disappointed so we decided to give their newest ship, Nieuw Stantendam, a try. The ship is beautiful, larger than the other ships we have been on in the Holland America Fleet but still very similar in design and overall feel and concept. We had a Vista suite and it was well appointed and roomy considered it wasn’t the largest suite available. While the bath was small, the shower was nice and there was a roomy sitting area to use since the restroom vanity would not hold many essentials. We had a queen bed which was relatively comfy. Nice balcony. Service was terrific. The only drawback of the room was that the climate was controlled and I found it warm very often and would have preferred a cooler temperature. We ate in the dining room once and the dinner was very good as well as the service. I am not a sea food fan so we ended up eating at the Lido Deck which was amazing! Service was friendly and such a wide variety for picky eaters!!! We did purchase the spa package for the pool and beds which we did enjoy. We also purchased the 10/20/30 spa special where we purchased two massages and a facial. They were all amazing. The only negative thing I have to say is that during my facial the specialist was way too pushy about selling products and trying to get me to see their on-site skin rejuvenation specialist even when I repeatedly said no. I did not appreciate the pressure when I am paying for a service. Embarkation was easy and was cleared we were able to go to our state rooms. They did take the majority of our bags the night before which was nice and made disembarkation easy. The most difficult part wasn’t a Holland America issue but was attempting to get a taxi. If you do this expect a wait!!! We tried Uber but it seemed there was a bit of confusion so we just went to the taxi line. There are two pools on this ship. One is an adult only pool. On this cruise, it seemed to cater to an older age group (we are in our 40’s) so there we not many children. Entertainment on the ship, what they offered was good. I felt they did lack in this area especially at night. Overall a very nice cruise to awesome destinations!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Being as this was my first ever cruise, I don't have much to compare it to, other than my expectations..... Embarkation: Slow. We had wine in our carry-on's so had to stop at the table to have them "reviewed" and ... Read More
Being as this was my first ever cruise, I don't have much to compare it to, other than my expectations..... Embarkation: Slow. We had wine in our carry-on's so had to stop at the table to have them "reviewed" and listed. Once through there we went into the check-in desk area. That took forever! We had 4 of us in a cabin with 1 person having made the reservation. For some reason they could not figure out how to separate our bills so that each of us were using our own credit card for on-board charges, etc. We checked in on-line two weeks prior to the cruise and gave our credit card info there. After spending 20 minutes working on this at the check in counter they STILL were charging the one girl's credit card for all of us in the cabin. Finally after two more visits to guest services on the ship, after our 4th day at sea, they figured it out and we were able to view our on-board spending on our own separate accounts. Whew! Cabin: For having 4 grown adults (women) in one cabin (ocean view), it was surprisingly un-crowded (is that a word?). Our cabin steward came in twice a day, cleaned, put the couch back in the morning and pulled down the upper bunk each evening. We did ask for extra blankets a couple times and both times they were provided. We had the room with the extra shower/sink area which was nice for when all of us were getting ready at the same time for dinner, etc. We were on Deck 1 so we did a lot of walking up stairs/elevator rides to get anywhere. Also, by the end of the week, there was a horrible sewage stench throughout our hallway. Tried to ignore it but it was bad. Food: We mostly ate on the Lido deck with the exception of two dinners in the MDR (both gala nights) and one dinner at the specialty Italian restaurant. The food in the Lido was okay, mostly ate there out of convenience. Personally I felt it was a bit bland and just didn't have a whole lot of flavor. I found myself using much more salt than I normally would. Breakfast was better than lunch or dinner there. Made-to-order omelettes and crepes were great and they did have a lot of variety. Service in the Lido was very good and the call buttons on the tables were nice. First dinner I had in the MDR was not to my liking (fish dish), second dinner was an Asian noodle dish which was very good. Service in my opinion was slow. We had to wait quite a while between courses. Waiters were all very friendly and attentive though and we never had to wait for a table (Anytime dining). Dinner at the Italian restaurant again was just "okay", nothing special. But for $15/person it was worth it and a nice change from the Lido food. Entertainment: OMG!! This is where I think my expectations may have ruined it for me. I always thought that cruises were supposed to be fun and everyone was happy and having a good time and there was so much to do on a ship, there wasn't enough time to do it all. Not this ship. There was literally nothing for us to do. To be fair, the only "show" we checked out was the comedian who end up being more of a magician (yawn). We tried so hard to find fun on this boat, it just wasn't there. The Billboard's music trivia was the only entertainment we found fun and that was only for a half hour each evening. Unless you wanted to take a Microsoft class or learn how to enhance your photos or play Bridge at 4:00 in the afternoon, there was nothing to do! I'm not kidding when I tell you this boat was filled with mostly 80 somethings (I'm a 40 something). We were playing "geriatric Bingo" to entertain ourselves. Spot a walker, check, spot an oxygen tank, check, spot a rascal (or 10), check. The aft pool on the Lido deck was labeled adult only, which made me laugh because really, there were about 10 kids on this entire boat. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone and all the kids had been removed from the planet. We would be in awe to spot a teenage girl and think "oh look, poor thing, she must be bored out of her gourd. And the hot tubs...well they were more like bathtubs. Personal hot tubs at home are bigger than these things! What were they thinking? We got in one with an 80+ year old couple and the woman gave us the dirtiest look and got up and left. We asked her husband, "was it something we said?", he replied, "no, more like what you did", then he got up and left....what? How rude! Not our fault these things are so small! Didn't know we were supposed to take a number. And unless you got up at the crack of dawn and put a towel on a chair by the pool to save it, you were screwed. To be fair, I've heard this happens on most cruise ships. Not cool! Excursions: These were our saving grace! HMC was the most beautiful place I've been to. Loved every bit of it. Did a kayak excursion around the lagoon, had a nice lunch provided by HAL and then enjoyed the beach. All of the chairs were taken by the time we got there but we didn't care. We grabbed a beer (or 2) at the bar and stood in the water the whole time. Ochos Rios, Jamaica was a blast too. We did the tram/bobsled/zip-line at Mystic Mountain. Fun!! First time on a zip-line. Scary but exhilarating! No excursion planned in Georgetown, Grand Cayman so took a taxi ($6/person) to 7 Mile Beach and parked ourselves there for the day. Nice beach, had lunch at the beach bar. Met a couple from the Carnival Vista who were having a riot on their boat. They told us all bout the hysterical comedians, table-top shuffle-boards, corn-hole, dance bars! We were telling them our experience, they were crying laughing. They felt bad for us, lol. At that moment I decided my next cruise will be a Carnival cruise. Just want to have fun!! We're booked on the Carnival Magic in December, woo-hoo! Disembarkment: They provided tags for all of us to put on our luggage, which we set out in the hallway the night before, and assigned us a time. Things must have been moving slow that morning as we didn't get called on-time, about a half hour late. Found our bags pretty quickly but waited in about a half hour line to go thru customs. All in all, not too terribly painful. Bottom line is the ship itself was nice. The one girl in our party who has cruised with ROI did remark a few times how closed off this ship felt to her, she was used to a much more open-airy feeling. The artwork was pretty cool and everything was brand new. The crew was amazing. Always friendly and smiling. I think I was just looking to have a lot more fun on the ship itself and was left very disappointed. The crowd was much older than I anticipated and quite frankly kinda stuffy. Just not for me. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
My wife and I have only taken one cruise before this one and it was 15 years ago on a 5 day Carnival cruise, budget type deal, from Jacksonville. This was our 25th wedding anniversary, we wanted to be on a more upscale crowd on a new ... Read More
My wife and I have only taken one cruise before this one and it was 15 years ago on a 5 day Carnival cruise, budget type deal, from Jacksonville. This was our 25th wedding anniversary, we wanted to be on a more upscale crowd on a new ship. Let me start by saying we upgraded to a Neptune Suite 3 days prior to the cruise which I am sure enhanced our experience. Embarkation in FLL was a breeze. From the time we hit the pier, left our Uber, we were in our cabin #7113 in 20 minutes. The luggage hit the cabin before 3:00 P.M. Every person we encountered on the cruise was genuinely helpful and service oriented. We truly felt like pampered royalty the entire cruise. From a food standpoint, we only ate one meal in the MDR and we were underwhelmed there. The service was slow, the food was not very hot, and just kinda meh. If we had to eat every meal in the MDR or Lido we would have been unhappy with the food. Because we had a Neptune Suite we had access to Club Orange. I've read mixed reviews on it and I will tell you we absolutely loved it. Would I have paid $50 p.p. per day just to get it, maybe, maybe not. But we really liked it. Food was hot, almost had a private dining room experience to it. There were dishes that were not offered in the MDR, the cappuccinos (which my wife loved) were free in CO but not in the MDR. Free mimosas at breakfast if that's your thing. You do need to wear long pants (jeans are allowed) at dinner. The first evening I came to dinner the maitre'd stopped me and politely told me no shorts at dinner. I have no problem with that at all. It was always "Mr. Hogan, Mrs. Hogan", they knew exactly what we wanted and needed. The last night they had all the signature dishes from the Culinary Council and even introduced us personally to Chef Rudy from Rudi Sel De Mer which was cool. We actually cancelled our reservation at Rudi's for the final night to eat in CO. Chef Rudi was amused but not entirely. He said we missed out and we promised him we would eat there next time. My wife and I are foodies and should have gone to Rudi's at least once. We also ate at Pinnacle Grill which was by far the best meal we ate on the cruise. The amount of food that they give you there is a LOT. Skip lunch they day you eat at PG. We ate at Canaletto which was decent. Not amazing but good. Tamarind was the weakest of the specialty restaurants that we ate at. It was not by any means bad, just not great. It was quite with a nice view though. The sushi was the same as you'd get at a regular sushi (not high end) sushi place back home. Not offensive, but nothing great. We used the Greenhouse spa which I enjoyed tremendously. It was a bit crowded on the sea days but that is to be expected. The spa treatments were nice, but definitely not worth the $$. Save your $$ there. The casino was kind to the wife, not so kind to me but it was a nice distraction. The DO allow smoking except on gala night in the casino. One night it was really awful with the smell, the rest of the time it was tolerable. BB King, Rolling Stone Rock Bar, Lincoln Center, Dueling Pianos, and the rest of the entertainment was also excellent but I will agree the volume from BB King and Rolling Stone was quite loud and I enjoy concerts and am in my late 40s. There is definitely an opportunity for HAL to improve there. Did the SNUBA shore excursion in Grand Turk which was also excellent. Didn't do any other EXC tours just did stuff on our own which was pleasant. Neptune Lounge staff went above and beyond for us making our Vow Renewal Ceremony pretty spectacular. The cabin attendants were also above and beyond! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Nieuw Statendam did not disappoint. Well laid out ship, with beautiful art work throughout the ship. The service was excellent and the food is the best we have enjoyed of the three cruise lines we've tried (Norwegian and Celebrity). ... Read More
Nieuw Statendam did not disappoint. Well laid out ship, with beautiful art work throughout the ship. The service was excellent and the food is the best we have enjoyed of the three cruise lines we've tried (Norwegian and Celebrity). The included dining venues will keep everyone happy, and the speciality restaurants are worth the extra. Holland definitely attracts a more mature crowd, but we are a couple in our forties and we really enjoyed the smaller crowds and the more luxurious feel of Holland. If you are more interested in bars and keeping yourself busy all day, you may want to try a different cruise line, but if you truly want to relax, Holland is a great choice. Like all ships, the excursions organized by the ship are overpriced and too slow for our liking. We went with another couple and they wanted the security of ship sponsored excursions, but they quickly realized these are inefficient and more expensive. If you are willing to do some research, you can find alternatives for less money and that ensure you spend more time enjoying yourself and less time waiting for buses and other passengers. The main stage entertainment is not as good as others, but the musical venues such as BB king blues lounge and the newly added Rock and Roll lounge are great for music lovers. Would highly recommend this cruise line and this ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Having sailed on Celebrity, RCI, Norwegian, Seabourn we decided to try HAL's Nieuw Statendam. We sailed from FLL aboard the Nieuw Statendam. we stayed in port prior to the cruise and loved the Marriott harbor beach resort which is ... Read More
Having sailed on Celebrity, RCI, Norwegian, Seabourn we decided to try HAL's Nieuw Statendam. We sailed from FLL aboard the Nieuw Statendam. we stayed in port prior to the cruise and loved the Marriott harbor beach resort which is normally a 10 min ride to the cruise port. The ship in general is beautiful and elegant. There are elevators at the forward, mid and aft sections (this is recently become an issue on some new ships.) I enjoyed the various artwork displays from paintings to needlepoint crafted sewing machine and iron including a cord and plug. port side has odd numbered rooms and starboard has even numbered rooms. each bank of elevators has a *you are here" red dot on a cross section deck plan of the ship. the music venues (rolling stones, dual pianos-Billboard, classical, BBKing) are on the second floor but you could hear the music from chairs looking down over the music venue on 3. BB King/classical was closed off by glass doors from the rolling stones and billboard. the rolling stones and billboard alternated who was playing. The theater entrances were on 2 and 3. Casino was on 3 and was smoke filled at the one half of the casino where smoking was permitted. Hence i did not spend any time there. There were very few children on the cruise with most of the people being >60 years old. Embarkation: arrival time was 1pm as directed by HAL. I had made the mistake of believing what i read here that people were being directed to enter at specific times by floor. The entire ship and all other ships must have arrived @1PM. fort lauderdale was one huge traffic jam. What should have taken no more than 30 minutes, became 2.5 hours of traffic gridlock and a disney like queue entrance to the ship. signature suite: the suite is done in neutral colors. There is a bedroom with a 50 inch tv, and couch under the TV. the other room had a hidden murphy bed, a large desk/dressing table with lighted mirror, sockets (american --you cannot fit a 3 prong hairdryer plug into it. and european socket with a HAL provided european plug hairdryer), and drawers on both sides. there were even shelves and hooks on the walls. there were two large closets, the usual safe,.a magnificent bathroom with a shower with stationary & removable showerheads and shower wall body spray fixtures. their bathrobes were so roomy and comfortable. there is a large balcony with two lounge chairs and a small table and two chairs on the other side. LIDO swimming pool: walk down steps on one side and deep enough at the other end to tread water & warm enough to swim :-), also has a retractable awning for inclement weather overhead. AFT swimming pool unusable due to the smell of tobacco smoke. Movie under the stars was held on select nights. the movie was a recent release and enjoyable, However there is something wrong with their sound system. the music blares too loudly, while speech is incomprehensible. Popcorn, snacks are available at the ny deli/pizza stand. Stores: the usual- diamonds/jewelry, perfume and one sundry store. the usual 10 dollar table sale on the last at sea day was held at the lido pool with all hand written sales tickets with lines snaking across the ship x2. antiquated way to ring up sales. Anytime dining: delicious food although sometimes i thought their selections were on the menu could need adjusting i.e., roasted/baked fish selection was offered with bbq sauce. regardless, we enjoyed the food and service in the anytime dining. on the first gala night we had a wait at 6:30. otherwise we were seated upon arrival. Buffet: for most part you can obtain your meals by having the servers pass you the dish. i still saw people putting their grimy hands on fruit cups picking them up, and then putting them back down after breathing into the cup while counting the berries. on the private island, i observed people picking up strawberries with their fingers from the bowl. I wish everything could be handed to you. The food was delicious from lamb chops to steaks. i found the occasional large shrimp mushy (likely the already cooked, frozen and defrosted kind) or mushy miniature shrimp. I loved the salad bowl. you selected your salad ingredients and the servers mix and serve. Oil and balsamic vinegar are on the corner of the counter if you don't like prepared dressings. The bread selections were delicious. Canaletto Restaurant: takes up some space at the end of one side of the buffet. It is hot and noisy. dinner menu could be more inspiring. food and service were good. Pinnacle: excellent. we were a party of 4. each juicy steak was cooked correctly. the king crab legs were a $15 dollar supplement on top of the restaurant cost. all four of us shared the king crab as an appetizer.. Drinks: ?powdered drinks instead of real juices. someone else will have to let you know. I only had 2 cocktails the entire wee. We did not do a wine package beforehand since we didn't know what the wines they offered on them tasted like. Instead, we bought bottles individually. The mark up is high as you would expect. What we did enjoy was the wine tasting for 6 countries of both white and red selections for $19.95. it was enjoyable. I would have liked it on the first day at sea because maybe we would have purchased some of the wines we tasted. club orange: passed it several times. always looked like there were open tables. Wine room: (near club orange) empty except for one tasting i saw in passing. the hallway next to club orange is underutilized space. people waiting for seats in the anytime dining are sent to wait there for their table with a beeper. i saw no bartenders offering drinks or wine. Shows: the comedian,bill bradley, was funny and enjoyable. i caught a short show on the last night of the mentalist zeus (?sp) which was entertaining. I enjoyed the artistry, music and lights of the dancers's show Crow's nest/EXC has a bar and coffee offerings, comfortable seating for 2 or for groups. It is a large area at the front & top of the ship. All our ports were enjoyable. we went to beaches in every port except Grand Cayman which was cancelled due to inclement weather. We did not book any excursions. Miscellaneous: We loved the unlimited laundry option. the clothes came back wrinkle free on hangers. we used it only for shirts and shorts/pants. Unlimited internet- we purchased unlimited internet but did not stream. To purchase internet or if you find yourself disconnected, just go back through navigator.hollandamerica.com, choose PAID INTERNET, CONNECT TO SATELLITE or connect. The app- www.navigator.hollandamerica.com gives you all the activities of the day as well as the menus for the restaurant for the dinner Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
hello we were disappointed , this company isn't for us Hot TUB and pool are very very small We can't take the food ourselves at the lido market , so we have to wait and wait the food is the same every day at the lido ... Read More
hello we were disappointed , this company isn't for us Hot TUB and pool are very very small We can't take the food ourselves at the lido market , so we have to wait and wait the food is the same every day at the lido market. at the restaurant the appetizers are poors, only vegetables and soup. Food is less good than on CELEBRITY and PRINCESS. At sea we couldn't find any chairs, there aren't a lot. The balcony cabin is good and the spa very nice. Entertainment was very poor during the day !! at the theater only 6 dancers, 0 singers. the shows were very poors, if you know ROYAL CARIBBEAN , you will find it very bad. In the bars music is so high volume that we have to wear ear protections. the ship is beautiful except there isn't any atrium and panoramic lift. The crew was pleasant. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are a couple in mid 40’s with 2 teen girls, our 10th and 11th cruise. Previously sailed with: Costa, MSC, Holland America, Carnival, Princess, Celebrity. Have already explored about 90% of Caribbean islands, so now mainly sailing for ... Read More
We are a couple in mid 40’s with 2 teen girls, our 10th and 11th cruise. Previously sailed with: Costa, MSC, Holland America, Carnival, Princess, Celebrity. Have already explored about 90% of Caribbean islands, so now mainly sailing for the ship, not for destination. Year and a half ago, we decided to check both ships (being under construction at that time), and booked them right after the tickets become available. We were so excited to cruise again with our 2 favorite cruise lines, and check both brand new vessels back to back. Expectations were set very high. We sailed on Nieuw Statendam first. Best food ever, including buffet, Dive-In, and MDR with delicious lobster, prime rib dinners, and mouthwatering desserts. One of the nicest looking MDR we ever saw (see pic), our waiter Sudiatmika was above and beyond. Great laid out buffet never crowded, so many healthy options to choose from, individual deserts or fruit portions (no mess). We did not try up charge restaurants, Grand Dutch Café, or New York Deli & Pizza, no casino, or spa. There are tons of great music venues: performers at Rolling Stone Rock Room were the best, best, best we have ever seen, great couple at Billboard on Board, talented Lincoln Center Stage and BB King Blues teams! Nieuw Statendam is very easy to navigate ship. We would like to re-christen her to “Nieuw Cozydam”. The most friendly and most professional crew, mainly Indonesian / Filipino. Very polite passengers, and yes, bit older, but worked perfect for us. Most technological advanced theater with LED screen around. Areas around both pools never crowded, several free loungers. Here are other small premium touches not found on competition’s vessels: orchid plants on every single table in the buffet, live flowers in MDR, tons of live floral arrangements through out the ship, our cabin has 2 bathrooms (family ocean view stateroom 1030), received beautiful “diploma of finished cruise” signed by Captain on the end of journey. For disease prevention no self service in the buffet (very smart). Thinking about any room for improvement.... and simply can’t find any. Right after disembark from Nieuw Statendam, quick stop at the garage’s rooftop where we parked (see pic), exchanged clothes and supplies, and hopped on the Edge. I must say that Celebrity built a state of the art terminal (yes, matching Edge design), and it is the most beautiful terminal we’ve ever sailed from. Since we did all the paperwork in advance, the embarkation took 5 min. We had a blast from the first moment we stepped on board and were welcomed with champagne. Better name for this cruise liner would be “Celebrity WOW”. Very modern, stylish, impressive, spacious vessel we’ve ever been on, or we’ve ever seen including futuristic computer mock ups found online. Well-designed contemporary ship inside and out. Impressive atrium, theater, beautiful pool area and Rooftop Garden. We actually love the controversial infinite veranda concept (had 2 Concierge Class Infinite Verandas 11131, 11133 – it was a free upgrade from Celebrity, had originally 1 ocean view quad cabin booked – thank you Celebrity). State of the art cabin/bathroom/infinite veranda, all these light years ahead of any competition (seriously). Shows were great, food too. We did not try up charge restaurants, no casino or spa. We loved our waiters at Cosmopolitan Suphawan & Bundhoo, they worked in tandem, and were the most professional, quickest and beautiful looking team ever served us (see pic). Stateroom attendant Tania, she worked by herself, and also I would say she was the best, and very hardworking room keeper out of all 11 cruses. “Next generation” elevators, so modern and very efficient, biggest we’ve ever seen. There were so many new things for cruise industry we loved: non stop playing “mysterious” music on the stateroom hallways, two story high ceiling in the buffet, extra large staircases, multiple decks running track, amazing chandelier in the atrium, bizarre Eden, and even more bizarre Eden’s performers (we actually liked the controversial smell there), silent disco experience, professional and dedicated cruise director, spacious public areas, every single furniture well made and designed, very high quality materials allover, specially loved premium velour fabrics used on almost all chairs in all food venues. Tons of beautiful art and décor through out the ship. Since this is a band new product, there are minor things we would like Celebrity to polish: all shops on board are on high end side. Deserts and cakes at buffet some times were tasteless. There are designated areas with sink vases when entering the buffet, but no crew posted to encourage passengers to wash their hands. Sticky tongs in the buffet. Cakes were not individually portioned on plates, caused bit of mess at dessert stations. Too many restaurants located directly in the atrium area made this impressive space very loud (kitchen noises), and food smells. Final conclusion: Both these cruise lines, and both these ships are our favorite to date. As we mentioned earlier, our expectations were set very high, and we waited with a heart beat 1.5 year to both these sailings. What happened was we ended up with best vacations ever! Celebrity Edge is unique, most beautiful and most modern, truly a ship of the future. We really enjoyed photographing and exploring her. We had 3 stops, but in the event we have zero port of calls during 7 day cruise, we wouldn't complain. On the other hand, when we are looking from the distance at Nieuw Statendam, what we immediately see, it is an icon of premium and quality. Nieuw Statendam offered best music experience, best food quality, and the most friendly crew in the industry. This cozy ship makes us feel so special, like we were guests at our own resort. If you are not paying attention to all the bells and whistles other lines offers to attract families with children and younger crowd, both above vessels will fit you perfect. If you love dancing, great music, relaxing atmosphere, great food and service definitely do Nieuw Statendam. If you are décor person, would like to sail on the most modern ship in the world, sleep in “next generation cabin”, definitely Edge is a must to see! Now Scarlet Lady, and Edge’s and New Statendam’s future siblings are on our radar. Happy sailings! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This is a review of a recent trip on the new Holland America Line (HAL) ship Nieuw Statendam (a Pinnacle Class ship). Our trip was not a typical HAL cruise, but rather a week-long musical event that happened to take place on a cruise ... Read More
This is a review of a recent trip on the new Holland America Line (HAL) ship Nieuw Statendam (a Pinnacle Class ship). Our trip was not a typical HAL cruise, but rather a week-long musical event that happened to take place on a cruise ship. It was the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise (LRBC) #32, a celebration of several related musical styles (boogie-woogie, blues, zydeco, etc.). If you are not a fan of these types of music, this trip is definitely NOT for you. NOTE: Our overall rating does not reflect our true opinion of the ship, because we travelled under completely different conditions than we would expect to experience on a typical HAL cruise, and some of the facilities were not available (for example, Lido Pool aft). Consequently, although we would have expected to award maximum points for a trip on a ship that has been in service barely 8 weeks we believe we would be disingenuous if we did so. We are NOT going to review the LRBC; we will just mention some of our observations, where appropriate. Embarkation Very smooth and efficient. We were asked to sign a release form allowing the LRBC organisation to use any images that included us as part of their activities during and after the cruise. Not a big deal really. The Ship Nieuw Statendam is the most recent addition to the HAL fleet (first cruise Dec 18, 2018). It is a large ship, possibly the largest in the fleet, and obviously everything onboard is new. We were disappointed to discover a change in the SOLAS Drill procedure. Having praised previous HAL ships for conducting (in our opinion) a proper drill in which passengers must report to their muster stations on the promenade deck, we were not impressed to be shepherded into the Main Stage theatre and sent to our allocated sections where we sat for 30 minutes until all of the designated passengers had arrived. We have criticised another line for this method of conducting the drill, because at the end of it we still didn’t know which lifeboat we should use in an emergency. HAL lost some credibility for this change. Deck 3 is a full promenade deck, and you can walk all the way around the ship. However, the lifeboats are not suspended overhead here, but occupy a substantial amount of deck space. This reduces the available walking area considerably, and explains (we believe) the changed SOLAS procedure. It may also explain why there are no Titanic style deckchairs on the Promenade Deck (it would get uncomfortably crowded). For exercise enthusiasts one lap of the promenade is about 1/3 of a mile. Public washrooms are not always easy to find, often being hidden very discretely in out-of-the-way places around corners, in cul-de-sacs, and at the end of short corridors, and there seems to be little if any logic to their locations. In some locations the Ladies and Gents are side-by-side, in others the Ladies might be located on one side of the ship, while the Gents is on the other! Décor Art works are everywhere, mainly emphasising music (our hallway carpet featured a musical instrument pattern). Every landing displays something that catches the eye, although none of the pieces is labelled yet. TIP: you can learn more about the artwork by joining an interesting tour led by the Art Curator, or pick up a collection of explanatory notes from Guest Services. The well-chosen selections for sale in the Art Gallery are also a step up from the pieces normally seen on cruise ships and are worth a close look. The Crew Cheerful and friendly crews seem to be a feature of HAL ships. Many people from Indonesia (which used to be the Dutch East Indies, but also crew members from Europe, the Philippines, and from India. Food We found no reasons to complain about the food in any of the restaurants onboard the Zaandam. The Lido Market serves a range of interesting dishes from all over the world including Asia and Italy. It tends to get a bit hectic at times, especially when people are lining up to get served at the buffet stations. We usually ate dinner in the Main Dining Room and never regretted any of our menu choices. One menu featured calves’ liver and when it arrived it was cooked to perfection (grilled outside, pink inside). Unless cooked properly, liver can easily become leather, which is probably the reason most people tend to shun it. The menu is always very inventive, and every day it lists some dishes that you might call standards for the less-adventurous diners (for example, salmon and strip-loin steak). The normal 1st and 2nd seating arrangements were suspended for this trip, so everybody was considered to be an open-seating diner. TIP: you will enjoy faster service if you can avoid sharing a table with a large group. Dutch Café We enjoyed an excellent brunch of Dutch pancakes here. The venue was quiet when we visited, and our food was prepared very quickly. Pinnacle Grill We were offered a lunch special deal of $10.00 pp in the grill, so we decided to take up the offer. The food, service and presentation were all first class, and we were amazed to be offered such an excellent deal. Fellow Passengers A much younger demographic (our opinion) than those we have met on other HAL voyages. The number of passengers using walking frames, wheelchairs, scooters, or sticks was minimal. Most passengers seemed to be experienced LRBC patrons. Perhaps not surprisingly, the largest group of travellers came from America. Most passengers seemed to represent the Baby Boom generation; some appeared to have just returned from Woodstock. Smoking HAL has decided to allow people to use electronic cigarettes (vaping) in cabins. Some passengers must have misinterpreted this to mean smoking was also OK, as our hallway reeked of cannabis. There was generally no enforcement of rules for this particular cruise. We wish at least one cruise line would introduce a No Smoking At ALL Anywhere On Board policy – we’d be loyal supporters! TIP: smoking is NOT allowed in the casino, which means you can walk through to get to the Main Stage Theatre without getting gassed. Entertainment Venues Entertainment was almost continuous during this trip and many of the usual facilities were converted into musical venues. There are several notable areas: Main Stage This is very different from the Main Stages we've experienced on other ships. It is a large, open, ‘theatre-in-the-round’ design where (our opinion) every seat is a good seat (because it is not obstructed by a pillar). There are six huge pillars, but all are located in such a way that they do not obstruct the sightlines. Seats are organised into upper and lower areas, (decks 3 and 2 respectively) but without the typical balcony seating that overhangs the lower rows. In this respect in resembles the arrangements of a Roman amphitheatre. B. B. King’s Blue Club Compared to its equivalent found on the Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam, this is a much enlarged venue that now occupies 2 decks (2 and 3). It has more seating, better acoustics and better lighting. Billboard Onboard A very intimate venue where the audience can get close to the performers. Rollingstone Rock Room See comments for Billboard. Elevators The frequent movement of passengers from one music venue to the next may have been a factor on this particular cruise, but elevator capacity and speed seemed markedly lower than on other HAL ships and was a constant annoyance. The cars felt smaller and the doors took ages to close unless done manually. People must have been pushing call buttons, giving up waiting and taking the stairs as there was frequently no one there when it stopped on a floor. There are no glass elevators mid-ships. Disembarkation Smooth and very efficient, as we have come to expect from HAL. Would We Sail the Nieuw Statendam Again? Possibly. We still want to get an impression of the ship under typical HAL conditions, so we can report on its more typical routines. Of course, much will depend on its itinerary – we really don’t need to see the Eastern Caribbean again for a while. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My sister and I chose this cruise because it was a themed girlfriend getaway cruise with O Magazine and Oprah, so we knew it was going to be amazing! I have consistently found with HAL that something extraordinary happens when I cruise ... Read More
My sister and I chose this cruise because it was a themed girlfriend getaway cruise with O Magazine and Oprah, so we knew it was going to be amazing! I have consistently found with HAL that something extraordinary happens when I cruise this line! This cruise was no different. First of all embarkation, we arrived at 1030 AM and were onboard by 11:45. Our cabin was not ready, but I was able to put my carry on bag in my cabin and we were off to have lunch and explore the ship! The ship is beautiful, with artwork all over that seemed to grab our attention and made us stop and think! I just loved the layout of the ship with many relaxing comfortable chairs to lounge around in. The only complaint I would have was the walking deck on the lower floor, the views were blocked by the lifeboats. However, the very top of the ship has a great jogging deck with unobstructed views. The crew were friendly and very welcoming! The food was delicious! We really enjoyed sitting outside near the pool and had some great pizza and salads! The entertainment was astounding. The world stage was incredible! I loved the Humanity show! Then there was all the fantastic O magazine specific presentations and workshops, all incredible! The highlights for me was the Supersoul Sunday presentation with Oprah and Tara Westover! What an unforgettable and inspiring thing to watch! Then there was the Conversation with Oprah! She is such an inspiration and I will be forever grateful I got to experience such a beautiful moment listening to Oprah with my sister! We also got to speak with Adam Glassman and he was very kind and personable! Then there was Gayle King who was everywhere, and was kind of to take hundreds of selfies with adoring fans! We saw her everywhere! The President of HAL, Orlando Ashford was out helping guests and getting the feedback on their experience on the ship! There was so many "WOW!" moments! Also, every night my sister and I couldn't wait to see what gift we were going to be given by the O magazine staff! Thank you to Jayne Jamison and her staff for being so thoughtful! We loved the little gifts and were very grateful for them all! Half Moon Caye was just beautiful! The tendering process went well. We found a nice lounger under a tree near the "I wish I could stay here forever bar" and went off to join the incredible meditation on the beach with Tracee Stanley. The beach BBQ was so good! I ate a delicious fish taco and a cheeseburger right there on the beach looking out at the pretty blue water and started humming a Jimmy Buffet song, Cheeseburger in paradise! So much fun! After that, we went for a swim, relaxed on the beach and hurried back to the ship! We didn't want to miss a thing! Our last night we got to run around the ship in PJs! It was like participating in the biggest girl slumber party ever! HAL is my favorite cruise line because they really fulfill their mission statement consistently. "Through excellence we create once-in-a-lifetime experiences, every time." I completely agree and can't wait to see what the next HAL cruise has in store for me! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The ship was really nice and the staff is even nicer. I also really liked the islands they put together, they were amazing The only down side to this cruise, 95% of crowd on this ship was over the age of 68 and therefore all the ... Read More
The ship was really nice and the staff is even nicer. I also really liked the islands they put together, they were amazing The only down side to this cruise, 95% of crowd on this ship was over the age of 68 and therefore all the activities were low key and not that exciting. You might feel a little bored during sea days, or you can say you might feel like you have your own private cruise The food was also great, you will have to choose between the lido market (your buffet style dinning) and your fancy dinning room. Both serve excellent food and you are going to want to go to both. Also taking off from Fort Lauderdale was very easy, it was only 5 miles away from the airport, and very easy to get to with Uber. We bairly waited inline to get in. While on the cruise crows nest on deck 12 is a great starting point. It will really help you out plan your shore excursion. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We were on a 10 day Southern Caribbean Cruise aboard the Nieuw Statendam. Here is our experience: First the good: Food was great, staff were great (with the exception of the 3rd floor Dutch Cafe who were real sarcastic and darn right ... Read More
We were on a 10 day Southern Caribbean Cruise aboard the Nieuw Statendam. Here is our experience: First the good: Food was great, staff were great (with the exception of the 3rd floor Dutch Cafe who were real sarcastic and darn right nasty), accommodations were great. Now the not-so-good: The entertainment, in our opinion, was poor. Same performances repeated over and over again. We found limited seating capacity for the Rolling-stone Rock Band, Nate & Debbie Piano performances, Lincoln Center stage & BB King Blues Band. A lot of people stood in the hallways to watch these performances. We felt that this ship was mostly populated by what seemed the 80+ age group with a handful of patrons under age 60. Many, many walkers, wheel-chairs & oxygen tanks. Almost all the venues shut down by 8:00 p.m. (with the exception of the New York Deli which stayed open till 11:00 P.M. If we were outside the restricted (and very short) feeding hours we had no options. Although It is not unusual for cruise ships to go after you "on board dollars", we found that Nieuw Statendam took this concept to a new height! Most of the Ship's spaces are designated to the exclusive Orange Club or pay per visit Cabanas and Spas. The toilets seemed "European miniature size" and definitely not designed to accommodate a man (in particular). Long "sea days" were quite boring as there was literary nothing to do for us on board.. Oh, one last thing, we found the "Art Works" all over the ship of the "Junk Art" category. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We loved the new design on this ship. Grouping musical venues together created a much more lively evening vibe (our previous HAL cruises had been pretty dead at night). In general the dining was excellent-- the lido was the best cruise ... Read More
We loved the new design on this ship. Grouping musical venues together created a much more lively evening vibe (our previous HAL cruises had been pretty dead at night). In general the dining was excellent-- the lido was the best cruise buffet we have every encountered. Also enjoyed the Tamerind and really loved the sushi bar. The only truly disappointing dining was the Sel De Mer-- overcooked, bland fish and clearly canned escargot. On a ten day cruise we only ate in the dining room once, but it ws fine. The NFL championship game was broadcast pool side as was a movie each night. Nice way to view. The newly designed pool area has plenty of seating. The staff was outstanding-- better than we have experienced on any previous cruise (including 10 HAL cruises). This is possibly due to it being a new ship with Oprah Winfrey expected on the sailing immediately following ours. There were a few disappointments-- the thermal pool design is not as good as on Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam -- it is impossible to use the massage waterfalls without spraying everyone else in the pool. As is typical, the spa was a joke with silly fake "treatments" like "detox foot treatments" and grossly overpriced, mediocre massage. The casino is also rather poor with terrible odds. Our one serious issue was handled very well with lots of follow up (the issue was the complete lack of ANY soundproofing between our cabin and the adjoining cabin, even very quiet conversation were completely audible. Maintainence workers filled the space between the doors with foam and then sealed the door opening with silicone. This did help a good bit. Muffled voices were still audible, but it no longer seemed the the guests in the next cabin were actual inside our cabin and vice versa). As is always the case on a HAL journey, there is not a lot to do. We played trivia and attended one comedy show that was good and a dance show that was surprisingly good. Best to bring books and enjoy the company of your travel companions. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We were eager to experience this new build after sailing on the first Holland America Pinnacle class ship, the Koningsdam, the previous year. The Nieuw Statendam (NS) is nearly identical to the K’dam and we had a wonderful, relaxing ... Read More
We were eager to experience this new build after sailing on the first Holland America Pinnacle class ship, the Koningsdam, the previous year. The Nieuw Statendam (NS) is nearly identical to the K’dam and we had a wonderful, relaxing cruise to the ABC islands of the Dutch Caribbean. The most noteworthy change for us over the K’dam was the reconfigured Crow’s Nest, where we spent many hours enjoying the views, reading in comfortable lounge chairs, playing Canasta, and drinking cappuccinos. HAL moved the shore excursions desk to the Crow’s Nest and added numerous interactive digital displays with large maps and photographs of destinations as well as information about the ship’s itinerary, location, speed, etc. There appears to be more seating in the Crow’s Nest than on the K’Dam, with more tables for playing cards and games and an overall roomier feel. There are also two large bookcases with a selection of illustrated “coffee table”-type books focusing on travel, music, fashion, and the arts, so the library that was missed by some on the K’dam has been restored to some extent. Even better, the NS has moved activities such as trivia challenges to Billboard Online so the Crow’s Next is nearly always available to those seeking a pleasant and serene environment to relax in. The other notable change is the area that housed Lincoln Center Stage on the K’Dam (which now shares the Queen’s Lounge area with the B.B. King Blues Band), is now the Rolling Stone Rock Room with a rock band. We enjoyed the classical quintet but otherwise found the entertainment unexceptional (as we do on most cruise lines so we are not singling out HAL or the NS). As usual, the food on HAL was the highlight and the service was satisfactory in all dining venues despite a significant language barrier with some of the staff in the Lido Market buffet. We ate all of our breakfasts and lunches in the Lido Market buffet except for one Mariner’s Society lunch in the main dining room (which, alas, wasn’t as special as one would expect for a luncheon honoring repeat customers). Tea was served daily at 3:00 pm in the main dining and was much better than the tea served on the K’dam the previous year in the Queen’s Lounge. We had five dinners in the main dining room and the food was quite good for the most part. But by the end of the cruise we opted for the comfort and convenience of dinner in the Lido Market. The best dinner in the main dining room was an unannounced special menu one night with each dish created by a member of HAL’s Culinary Council. We also ate once in Rudi’s Sel de Mer and once in the Pinnacle Grill. I have to agree with Cruise Critic’s official reviewer that the specialty restaurants are not worth the upcharge, but I could say the same about our other go-to cruise line, Celebrity. We ate in all the specialty restaurants on K’Dam the previous year and were disappointed by all of them. We decided to give Rudi’s Sel de Mer another chance because of our fondness for Parisian brasseries, but the food, while perfectly fine, is uninspired, about which the same can be said for the Pinnacle Grill. The best thing we had in Sel de Mer was the tarte tatin for dessert. Specialty restaurants are all about charging you extra for expensive proteins like lobster, Dover sole, caviar, and dry-aged steaks, but no protein will save a dish that lacks creativity and flavor. In an effort to appeal to everyone and offend no one, they play it too safe. We were hoping the addition of David Burke items on the new Pinnacle Grill would save that experience, but the tenderloin with lobster dumplings was an epic fail. I had to search with my fork to find the pea-size morsels of lobster in the Chinese-style dumplings. (I have to take their word for it that it was lobster as it lacked any flavor). Worse, the French fries we ordered as a side arrived cold, limp, and greasy. (The no-extra-charge French fries in the Dive-In Grill by the pool are awesome.) Immediately after dinner at the Pinnacle Grill we headed to Guest Services and canceled a second reservation we had made before sailing. We enjoyed our veranda stateroom and the superlative and friendly service provided by our attendants Dede and Sius. The pleasing décor is the same as on the K’dam and the room has ample storage for clothing and other items (though bathroom storage is minimal). There is a good-size television directly opposite the bed with an excellent selection of recent movies (some still in theaters) available at no additional charge. The bathroom seemed a bit smaller than on K’dam but I don’t know if that’s faulty memory on my part. Overall, we wouldn’t hesitate to sail again on this beautiful ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We went on the older Zuiderdam and were impressed. Food was great and the ship looked very nice, but some signs of age. We were looking forward to be on this newest Statendam. The new design of the ship, you'll love it or hate it. We ... Read More
We went on the older Zuiderdam and were impressed. Food was great and the ship looked very nice, but some signs of age. We were looking forward to be on this newest Statendam. The new design of the ship, you'll love it or hate it. We did not love the main restaurant that looked like Circus Circus with shiny fixtures and ugly carpet and lights. The food was clearly Carnavalised with penny savings here and there. Leaving from Florida, with not a single glas of orange juice, the cheapest tang-like watered drinks were served. This ship was build with the idea that it is better to invest a little one time instead of constant expenses and that shows in the theatre with surround screens. So the shows had no band or real singers, just six persons dancing around. One so-so comedian and one good one. Very far from our experiences with Celebrity. The Culinary Counsel is another example, some of the dishes made no sense, far fetched or simply not good. It never happened to me before but I had to send a dish back, simply not eatable smoked chicken soup, so spicy that I lost my speech for a while and I like spicy food! The cheap imitation wood in the cabin and the hallways, especially leading to the theatre was a big let down. Having said all that, the servers were great and the cabin was fine too. Some did not like the bathroom, seems little space but in fact the large shower takes up most of the room, which was fine with me. The last irritation was the constant selling of extra things, one morning we had 4 persons in a row offering to sell bottles of water. Really, too much Carnival on this New Statendam! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We have been loyal Oceania passengers for many years. We looked for a winter Caribbean cruise to our liking. We preferred a maximum of 10 nights, because after that the novelty starts to wear off. And we don't like to leave our pet ... Read More
We have been loyal Oceania passengers for many years. We looked for a winter Caribbean cruise to our liking. We preferred a maximum of 10 nights, because after that the novelty starts to wear off. And we don't like to leave our pet cat for extended periods of time. Oceania's winter trips were skewed towards longer voyages. Friends had recommended HAL, and this itinerary had a great balance of beautiful islands and the right number of sea days. (We sailed for 10 nights; the last 3 were a separate Oprah fan cruise.) We had followed the maiden voyage of this ship via the LIVE reports on Cruise Critic. The photos and narrative filled us with anticipation. We had not been on a "new" ship in many years. Once onboard, we were awed by the beautiful decor, furniture, and art. Usually I yawn when reading about onboard art, but we were impressed by many of the paintings and sculptures. The cabin was very comfortable and importantly, there was more than ample storage space. Our only complaint is that there was a charge for the bottled water replenished in the cabin, about $5.00 per bottle. And no pitchers of regular water was available. We ate most dinners in the MDR. (The menus of the specialty restaurants were not appealing to us.) The dinners were among the BEST in any MDR we experienced on any cruise line! And having 3 courses was just right. We were accustomed to 5 course Oceania meals, which sometimes seemed too much and too long. I liked that each dinner included a special regional entree, which I relished more than once. And it was a good sign that I never had the need to select from the 'everyday" menu. There was so many enticing dishes to choose from. When we are up early enough, it is always a pleasure to have breakfast in the MDR. And HAL had a wonderful selection of menu items. It was especially pleasing that there was more than one type of French Toast, and egg dished like huevos rancheros. My only negative is that the croissants were not as fluffy and delicate as the ones on Oceania. The outdoor NY Deli and Pizza served up tasty sandwiches and made to order pizzas. The system where you were given a pager for picking up your order was very efficient. The entertainment was a nice alternative to the production shows we were accustomed to on Oceania. All the venues were conveniently on the same deck in a central location. The Billboard club had a talented married piano player / singer duo, who told interesting anecdotes between songs. The B.B. King lounge had one of the most talented band with vocalists that I have heard on any ship. As a fan of classic rock, the Rolling Stone venue was pitch perfect, though I wish the volume was at a lower decibel level. There were also two shows with very funny comedians. No need to say much on the ports, as this was a beach vacation for us. Suffice to say we found many beautiful beaches to visit via taxi, with chairs and umbrellas available for rental. I would note a shortcoming in that we liked having a daily newsletter that listed public transportation availability, distance to points of interest, and estimated fares - which Oceania provided. One more point is that our last cruise was trying Viking Sea, which was more expensive and generally inferior to this HAL experience. All in all, we loved our HAL cruise and the many friendly passengers we met at our shared dinner tables. And we will be on this ship again in June, which we look forward to with great anticipation! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Arrival at the port around 1:00pm and on ship within 15 minutes, cabin was ready. They have seemed to streamline the process by assigning boarding times according to deck reservation. surprised by no hassle boarding. The ship is really ... Read More
Arrival at the port around 1:00pm and on ship within 15 minutes, cabin was ready. They have seemed to streamline the process by assigning boarding times according to deck reservation. surprised by no hassle boarding. The ship is really beautiful, though not glitzy, more classic, color tones were soothing using beiges, whites and greens in the decor, lots of interesting modern art pieces throughout the ship. Sparkling clean. Though it carries around 2600 passengers it never felt crowded. It was the largest Holland cruise boat we have been on but it still felt intimate The sailing was smooth even during some windy nights, weather overall was great though one night it seemed the seas churned up and winds picked up, however the ship did not rock as some of the older Holland boats do. Service was great , friendly, the crew is well trained in customer service. Smiles and hellos from everyone. Food is usually good on the Holland line, this food was exceptional with interesting menus. Note: Pasta made to order at Lido buffet, Asian wok station at the buffet,not to be missed. Noticed a lot of the same menu items available in the buffet as in the dining room. ie. rack of lamb, prime rib, salmon, sea bass. We ate in the dining room 4 nights out of 7, service was good, food, especially desserts, were great. Lobster tails on second formal night were outstanding, perfectly cooked. The entertainment on this ship is different then other cruises we had been on with the addition of the music walk on deck 2 and the addition of a large screen showing of current movies in the indoor Lido pool. The large theater featured dancers with amazing light effects, a comic one night and a singer one night. All very entertaining, the first night show, Humanity, was the best. The casino was active and slots seemed to be pretty loose. We won and spoke with many others who also won. There are more things to do ie wine tastings, cocktail making, whiskey tastings at additional costs which we did not participate in. During the day there are cooking demonstrations, computer workshops, port talks, jewelry discussions, trivia games etc. Pickleball was being played on the upper sports deck almost daily with a good group of people willing to teach beginners. Fellow passengers were very friendly. Two things I did not like- size of the hot tubs in the back pool deck, too small and the addition of a very loud rock band in the music walk area. BB King as usual puts on a great show, Dueling pianos were also good, though I loved Barry who does the piano on the Veendam. He gets the audience much more involved and is quite funny and very talented. All in all it was a very relaxing and great cruise and would highly recommend. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This ship has only been in operation for six weeks but runs like a well tuned machine. We were advised to come at a later time based on the deck we were on and as a result we walked right on to the ship...no waiting. We will certainly ... Read More
This ship has only been in operation for six weeks but runs like a well tuned machine. We were advised to come at a later time based on the deck we were on and as a result we walked right on to the ship...no waiting. We will certainly do that again as it made embarkation very smooth and hassle free. We boarded at 2:00 pm and there was no line. The ship is beautiful and modern looking. The dining areas are bright and airy looking. Artwork is everywhere so made stair climbing interesting as on every floor there was amazing modern art. The food on this ship is out of this world. We have been on over 23 cruises with a number of different lines and we can say that the NS food was the best we have had without a doubt. The New York Deli serves the best deli sandwiches you will ever taste. The individual pizzas are made to your specifications. We are still thinking about the Dive In burgers they were so good. The food in the Lido is always fresh and hot. The main dining room served perfectly cooked steak, lobster tails and prime rib as well as something for everyone. There really was no need to go to the speciality (extra fee) restaurants. HAL has introduced the Music Walk concept which features a Rock Room, BBKings Blues Club, Billboard on Board and Lincoln Centre Stage. All the music is in one area and you can walk from one to the other as fits your mood. We noticed that cruisers on HAL now stay up a lot longer than on previous cruises because of the wonderful entertainment. The World Stage productions were mesmerizing and we talked to other passengers who went to all three performances of Humanity! Even the 10:00 pm show was packed to the limit. The America’s Test Kitchen demonstrations were wonderful...we only wish there were more of them. This is not the ship for kids or teens...no water slides etc. but if you enjoy excellant food, music, artwork, and learning something new while on vacation this is the cruise for you. We will be happy to return to the Nieuw Statendam in the near future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The design of this new ship reflects troubling trends. Public areas are small. The grand foyer is not very grand, the entertainment venues are limited, the pools are small, and the cabins are small, even in the upgrades. There were about ... Read More
The design of this new ship reflects troubling trends. Public areas are small. The grand foyer is not very grand, the entertainment venues are limited, the pools are small, and the cabins are small, even in the upgrades. There were about 500 more passengers on this boat compared to older boats of similar size. One of our party was nearly 6’8” and had to duck under sprinklers in his cabin. (Can’t imagine the giant Dutch would fit very well.) Even the ceiling heights in the common areas are low. The level of finish is luxurious, the crew is good, the food is very good. The entertainment was not so good. Stage shows featured computer-generated scenery with a small company of dancers. A lone comedian and vocalist filled in on odd days. The blues and rock venues were good, but the bands repeated sets and had very little artistic freedom. They just played what they were told to play, and the choice of blues and rock seemed a little out of touch with the old clientele. There was a decent classical stage, however. Lectures were very limited and simply read by crew members not delivered by experts. There were also several bait-and-switch deals that went beyond what one would expect to find on a quality line. Teeth whitening for $100 sounded reasonable until you found out midway in the procedure that you had to buy a $400 kit to maintain your teeth. Similarly, the photo studio offered a “free” session with packages ranging in excess of $1000 for a handful of photos. One always sensed that someone had thought very hard about designing this new ship to maximize return per foot. The line spent a lot of money on brand tie-ins--Billboard, Lincoln Center, Oprah, Americas Test Kitchen --but they found ways to claw it back from the passengers, and all of those things felt kitschy and too pre-programed. What I am lamenting is the same kind of thing that ruins baseball stadiums, with stupid automated cheers and celebrity videos on the jumbotron. I was hoping for a little old-fashioned charm and instead felt like a spectator watching one of those Broadway runouts where there’s no live band and everyone just sings to tracks. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Wanted a getaway and this cruise was very reasonable for a new ship. We were certainly impressed with the ship. It was beautiful and configured a little different from the other Holland ships, seemed much more spacious. The art work along ... Read More
Wanted a getaway and this cruise was very reasonable for a new ship. We were certainly impressed with the ship. It was beautiful and configured a little different from the other Holland ships, seemed much more spacious. The art work along the stairways and in the ship itself is beautiful as reported and I walked down all the stairways to see it. The gym is huge and l liked the individual fitness room for pilate and stretch classes. The pool area is lovely and lots of comfortable sitting area on the Lido and floor above. Enjoyed the NY Deli and Pizza, thought it was very good along with the gelato which was a small charge. The Grand Dutch café was also a nice addition. It seems to be taking away some business from the Exploration café. We had dinner at the Pinnacle which was very good and the Tamarind which has a new menu. We did miss the old spacious Tamarind lounge area but the sushi area seemed quite popular. Service as always is excellent and the bar menu has changed with some interesting drinks. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Took my wife on this ship on the January 13th sailing for her birthday for 18 days. In fairness let me be nice and review the only things that were acceptable. The cabin upgrade was nice. Food was just above average. The service from all ... Read More
Took my wife on this ship on the January 13th sailing for her birthday for 18 days. In fairness let me be nice and review the only things that were acceptable. The cabin upgrade was nice. Food was just above average. The service from all the crew was excellent. Out all of my 29 cruises this was the worst. If this was my first cruise I truly would have never sailed again. The management of this ship could not care less about the happiness of their passengers. There was absolutely nothing to do on board the entire cruise. 1. Entertainment was terrible to non existent. Only Six dancers for all the same performances? 2. No activities on board the ship. No going away party, coming back party, No music at the too small pool. No lectures or games. No regular merchandise sales in the halls. On formal night the guests had to complain the there were no photographers taking photos at the tables. The list goes on and on and on. 3. No beautiful or elegant areas on the ship. The atrium was small and ugly. For 18 days it was like walking on a ghost ship. Only take this ship if you are looking for a glorified ferry ride with tons of food served to you nicely because that's all you will get. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We sailed on a 7 day Caribbean cruise stopping at Naassau, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay. As seasoned Holland America cruisers, and having sailed on the Statendam in 1996, we wanted the larger ship experience. Being used to the ... Read More
We sailed on a 7 day Caribbean cruise stopping at Naassau, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay. As seasoned Holland America cruisers, and having sailed on the Statendam in 1996, we wanted the larger ship experience. Being used to the small ships, you hardly knew that there were 2,600 guests on board. The NS is a beauty. The art is music themed and quite interesting. Weather was great and she seemed to sail effortlessly through the water with not much movement. The Lincoln Center has soothing classical type music as scheduled times. Close by is the the B.B. King Blues Band as well as the Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard where a husband and wife played dueling pianos.while alternating with the Rolling Stones Rock band. The dining room is beautiful. Most of our meals were taken in the Club Orange, a new restaurant for guests in Neptune categories. Guests may also join by paying a daily up charge to enjoy the amenities. No reservations were needed and the food was always tasty and above average. The new Lido Market is a treat as the food is set into various stations. Seating can be better arranged as the chairs do not slide easily on the carpet and the tables are very close together. Venues at the pool feature burgers and a New York Deli featuring fresh made deli sandwiches and pizza. There are 2 decks overlooking the pool and large screen for movie/TV/game viewing Lounge "sofas" line the areas complete with piped in sound. Embarkation was a bit confusing but very quick. Disembarkation was disorganized as the power was lost in the arrival hall and there were problems getting the gangway seated properly. We chose the $99. internet which allowed one connection at a time. This was a change from our previous Maasdam cruise where the internet was limited. Service was good even while we were at sea. We were permitted t bring 2 bottles of wine onboard. We chose the $141. - 4 wine bottle package and could take our wine back to the cabin to enjoy. We opted for the Neptune Suite cabin #5223 located in the aft corner of the ship on the starboard side with the wrap around balcony and it didn't disappoint. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
From the Lido buffet to the world stage, this ship is magnificent! The Lido has several stations each serving a different fair. The carving station even served suckling pig twice! The pastries are some of the best I ever ate, equal to ... Read More
From the Lido buffet to the world stage, this ship is magnificent! The Lido has several stations each serving a different fair. The carving station even served suckling pig twice! The pastries are some of the best I ever ate, equal to the bakeries of Europe. You can get any accouterments, sauce, spice, jam or topping, even ones you did not know existed. The crew is great and accommodating. One day I picked a desert and thought it would be better with whipped cream however the ice cream guy just ran out. The chef standing nearby told me to wait 5 minutes and he went and whipped some up special just for me!!!!!! Breakfast is amazing as well with any type of egg dish, crapes, pancakes, waffles, Sausage, bacon, carved ham, oatmeal and Congee with a dozen add-ins if desired. The free ice cream, cones or cups had toppings galore and it was always available. The French Fries out by the pool at the "Dive-In" are AMAZING!!!!!! The dining room had a great variety of fish and meals to suit anyone's taste buds! I had a NY Strip stake that was grilled to perfection and melted in your mouth! This is a cruise line for the 55 and older so don't complain if there is no hot & cold running women sunbathing by the pool. The "Hot tubs" could have been a bit hotter. At least one should be since some of us get tired of "Luke warm" bath water. Over all a GREAT cruise and I look forward to doing it again soon! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because we really enjoyed our first cruise last year on the Nieuw Amsterdam, and wanted to take some close friends with us on the Nieuw Statendam. The ship did not disappoint us, the crew were very friendly and we even ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we really enjoyed our first cruise last year on the Nieuw Amsterdam, and wanted to take some close friends with us on the Nieuw Statendam. The ship did not disappoint us, the crew were very friendly and we even saw crew members from our previous voyage. We had an ocean view cabin (as last time) which was a little different arrangement: European style shower instead of a tub, the desk and bookshelf were differently arranged as well. Dining was as good or better than the Nieuw Amsterdam, but there were subtle differences: The Tamarind was not in as favorable place as on the Nieuw Amsterdam, Rudy's Sel de Mer, while beautiful, had awkward seating if you were near the windows facing out on the carpeted area and having foot traffic watching you. The captain of the ship greated us warmly onboard and joked with us about the "new car smell". The world stage theatre was fantastic with surrounding 270-degree LED screens surrounding the stage. The dancers interacted with the images on the screen and it was vibrant and fantastic. I hope that this is a thing for the future of all their ships on HAL. Some things which they need to work with is to train the people who give lectures on board to learn how to use powerpoint or at least have someone do graphics for them. The ship also has a definite problem with having to cross the dreaded swimming pool and Lido deck and finding that there is no way to go from bow to stern on at least two decks without using the stairs and elevators. The decks are more narrow, and it is difficult to negotiate while carrying drinks etc with all of the deck chairs, cabanas, etc. The new artwork is more of a modern style, very eclectic which is very clever, but something that would appeal to younger couples and travelers. They could also use some better ways of selling drinks and other beverages on board. We kept getting a run around on drinks packages, such as my wife was told that we could buy a package for five bottles of beer for the price of four, only to find that the steward brought out five bottles at once. Sodas could be served from dispensers instead of having to bother a steward to bring a can. In addition, we were not always given a receipt for our alcoholic beverages even when asking for a receipt, and we think we were overcharged, Disembarking in most ports took longer than expected, and we spent much time in waiting. And we also arrived in port with up to five other large cruise ships (the really BIG ones) making it crowded. They really spent time on making sure that we used our hand sanitizer and even have sinks for washing up before dinner in the cafeteria. This paid off, as we saw another cruise ship being turned away from port because of an outbreak of norovirus. And one other suggestion, would it bankrupt HAL if they gave us free wifi, or at least so many hours of it onboard? Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Embarkation was slow and if you are booked in a signature suite with less than a 4 star mariner you will wait in a long line like everyone else. The signature suite is a great size and the walk in shower with jets was great along with ... Read More
Embarkation was slow and if you are booked in a signature suite with less than a 4 star mariner you will wait in a long line like everyone else. The signature suite is a great size and the walk in shower with jets was great along with double sinks. There is plenty of storage. We found the balcony was too small though for the amount of furniture. The food in dining room was fair and service was lacking. We decided to eat at the Lido deck every night where the crew were friendly and you didn't have to wait so long just to receive the meal. Pool area was nice but the pool seemed small. Music was too loud at the pool playing really bad music if you sit in the upper deck area. Dutch cafe on deck 3 was great. Shore excursion desk crew were not knowledgeable about any of their shore excursions so don't go to them for suggestions. They will even add airport transfers on your account without asking. Check your account carefully. Read Less
Nieuw Statendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0

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