5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We booked this cruise because the price was awesome and the ship was new - in hindsight, a brand new ship with crazy-low prices should have set off warning flags. First the good - the ship was NEW! We had an aft-facing balcony - room ... Read More
We booked this cruise because the price was awesome and the ship was new - in hindsight, a brand new ship with crazy-low prices should have set off warning flags. First the good - the ship was NEW! We had an aft-facing balcony - room was very nice, room attendants were friendly and great. Sea Days around the pool were not stressful - complete opposite of Oasis, or any other ship we've been on. No militant record keeping on towels, food on the Lido deck was not bad, Tamarind ($25) was excellent. Not good or bad - the average age of passengers skewed toward over 65. I believe there were 200 or less, kids on the crew - I'd prefer a younger crowd - maybe that would have given us more activity options? The bad - Dining Room - everything about this was bad. Food was mundane, service was horrible - they have, what seemed to be, thousands of servers running around like bees in a hive, but for a normal sitdown dinner, it was a 1.5-2 hour process. We ate in the dining room the first night and one formal night, then avoided it at all costs. Embarkation - this was horrible. They checked you in, then they gave you a boarding group card with a number on it. Our number was 26, when we sat down, they were on number 6. So after having checked in, we sat in the terminal and waited for about 45 minutes. Half Moon Cay- we were one of two ships hosted that day- and it was obvious that they were not prepared for more than one. Full disclosure - we had a villa with a butler and were able to avoid the food lines - but we went to look and it was nuts. At least 100 people in line, and it looked like something out of a prison camp. To get back on the ship, we left at 130 (final tender was supposed to leave at 230) - from the time we left our villa to the time we got back to the ship was 1.5 hours! During this time, we stood in a line that envied a Disney Park line, with zero information from the crew, no offers of water or anything else - just a freaking nightmare. No mention of it that evening from the Captain or Cruise Director. Cruise Director - the running joke was whether he was even on the ship! We saw him one time over the 8 days we were on the ship. He came on with messages that seemed to be pre-recorded - and offered virtually zero information. On the last day, we signed up for early walk-off Disembarkation - since we had an early flight. We sat in our room until 715 with absolutely no information from any of the crew - went down to the second floor at 730 and found 90% of the passengers in line to get off the boat as well. It was a huge mess. At 745 the Cruise Director finally came on and said that they would begin Disembarkation soon and in the meantime do not congregate near the exit - we all laughed, because there were over 1,000 people listening to that directive congregated near the exit. It was fun to be on a new ship - but there are too many better choices for us to ever sail on this line again. Read Less
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
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
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
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Booked a New Year’s cruise on this brand new ship after having had a great cruise last year on the Koningsdam. Wow, things have changed in a year. After over 40 sailings, 8 of which have been with HAL, can’t get over the incredible ... Read More
Booked a New Year’s cruise on this brand new ship after having had a great cruise last year on the Koningsdam. Wow, things have changed in a year. After over 40 sailings, 8 of which have been with HAL, can’t get over the incredible budget cutting to the entertainment program. Really sad. No HAL orchestra, no live pool music, no HAL Cats, no sailaway music, no singers in the shows, no ballroom, latin, Jazz or swing music. No pre-dinner or after dinner dancing. The dance troop has been downsized and the shows were repeats on a 7 day cruise. If you like to have fun and dance, don’t go on this ship. New Year’s Eve was like an acid rock funeral complete with Fox News live-streaming. Luckily they poured a glass of cheap champagne at midnight to help dull the pain for those that stayed. It’s unfortunate to see a great line like HAL succumb to the budget ax especially when it comes to critically important entertainment and at a time when so many new and innovative ships are being launched. The irony is that the ship is music themed- just without the music (but it should be noted that the BB King band was great when they performed and the only time that passengers seemed to be having any fun on this ship). Luckily the food is on par with other HAL ships and the gym is one of the better ones at sea- though it has very dim lighting so make sure you work out when the sun is out otherwise it can be quite hazardous. Hopefully HAL will quickly re-learn how to give their passengers a good time on a Caribbean cruise before they do too much damage to their business. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
For New Years we wanted to try another cruise line that we haven't sailed in a while. With the delivery of the New Statendam we said why not? We last sailed HAL about 9 years ago. Without going on about why we haven't sailed ... Read More
For New Years we wanted to try another cruise line that we haven't sailed in a while. With the delivery of the New Statendam we said why not? We last sailed HAL about 9 years ago. Without going on about why we haven't sailed them in 9 years, I will move forward. The GOOD: New Ship is immaculate, except for the entertainment promenade the layout is good. In the entertainment area you have 3 competing LOUD venues going at the same time. Entertainment was good In the BB King venue, the All Stars were fantastic. We did not eat in the MDR as we had purchased the Ultimate Dining package. However the MDR menu every night look very good. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. The water pressure in the shower was the best we have experienced on a ship. The BAD: Crew is as new as the ship and did not quite have its act teamwork together. Only a couple of seasoned crew we met had the wherewithal to go outside the box to help solve an issue or complaint. With our PREPAID Ultimate Dining Package, no one at the specialty restaurants and Guest Service services seemed to know about the program. EVERY night in whatever specialty restaurant we dined we ended up getting double charged for our PREPAID dinners. This required a trip to the GUEST SERVICES line every night to get our bill repaired. Total waste of time. The Elite Drink Package, supposedly good for drinks up to $15 ...there was no logic to this, only madness. The idea is that you pay a little more for an unlimited drink package (which is really limited 15 per day, including coffees, water etc.) which you have access to something called ELITE. We found no difference in why ELITE was priced higher than the SIGNATURE. As it happens, if you order say a martini with a premium vodka on the ELITE package it counts as 2 drinks, even though with a dollar upcharge for the vodka the drink total is $9.95, well below the $15 threshold. GO FIGURE? I met with the ship's Beverage Manager the next day and was told that too bad that is the policy. Whether it makes sense or not. I asked for and received a refund for the drinks package. We found it to be much more manageable that way. The UGLY: GUEST SERVICES: Each and every person we met with in Guest services wanted to go out of their way to help no matter the request. The problem is with the Guest Services operation...none, zero of the people wanting to help has any authority to do so. They simply take your issue and move it to the department responsible. The ever response is "you should receive a call in 24 hours as to your concern"....NOT ACCEPTABLE....The night before disembarking the ship the line was long with most getting no resolution to their concern..."Just wait until morning to see if the credit gets issued to you"...Hard to do when you have getting off the ship on your mind. Add on packages, DRINKS or SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: If you can not provide any value to these type packages then don't offer them. Also train your crew how they work. In each bar venue if we asked a server how the drink package works they're answer would always differ from the bartenders answer. This training problem the Beverage Manager owned up to. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I have been on 9 cruises on a variety of cruise lines, including Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my second time booking a Holland America Cruise. The last cruise I took was a 7-day holiday cruise ... Read More
I have been on 9 cruises on a variety of cruise lines, including Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my second time booking a Holland America Cruise. The last cruise I took was a 7-day holiday cruise a few years ago. I booked the original cruise primarily on the recommendation of a family friend, who told me that while Holland America caters to a more mature crowd, the service, food, and entertainment was second to none, and well-suited for a more refined experience. My first experience on Holland America was positive, which is why I decided to book again. My boyfriend and I wanted to take a short cruise (this was his first cruise experience), and I thought that we would splurge a little and take the new Holland America 4-day Bahamas cruise, traveling to their private island and Nassau. Having booked cruises before, I was a little surprised at the amount of information (or lack thereof) given prior to the cruise. Shore excursions seemed very limited, and very few details were made available on the entertainment options to be available onboard. I figured, not a big deal, perhaps this is because this is the inaugural sailing? The embarkation process was fine, but nothing to write home about. I noticed less of the "VIP" treatment I had received on other cruises, such as refreshments upon arriving onboard, and quite a few less-than-friendly faces as we explored the ship. We had an outside stateroom on the 10th deck - the room was fine, although the veranda was cramped with chairs and footrests that didn't quite fit the balcony size. Now, let me get to the areas we were disappointed: 1) Food: The best food I've had on a cruise line was on Celebrity, closely followed by my last Holland America experience. Unfortunately, we were left sending our meals back on multiple occasions on this cruise. Food was served luke warm, and some side dishes seemed oddly paired with entrees. They over-cooked our steaks, and fish was bland. The only decent meal we had was when we decided to splurge on one of their specialty restaurants, so perhaps this is their way of getting cruisers to spend more money? Understanding the large amount of people they are serving, I have experience much better on nearly every other cruise I had been on. 2) Entertainment: Typically, a cruise itinerary is packed with activities throughout the day, where one is left to make choices between, say, a dance class or a trivia game. This was not the case on this ship. There were very few options for entertainment, and for half of the days, we were left in our stateroom with nothing to do. Perhaps part of the issue is that we are not the type to blow hundreds of dollars on over-priced spa experiences. But it seemed as though this cruise expected you to spend your time spending the money in the spa, or be left with the dullest of activities to choose form (nearly every hour, there was a "Microsoft" training class - on a ship - really???). Completely disappointed with entertainment quality in the evenings as well. Now, I realize that cruise lines are notorious for cheesy very-off-Broadway shows, but in some cases, I have been impressed with the variety and talent. This was not the case on this cruise. The "dance" performances were of the quality like something you'd see a Six Flags amusement park, and the live music, while offering variety, was poorly laid out on the ship (e.g. while in the classical music hall you could hear the music from the rock club, poorly placed directly next door). 3) Service/Friendliness: Usually I have no complaints with service or friendliness on a ship. Unfortunately, this crew seemed genuinely unhappy to be serving us. Again I am not sure if this is simply because this is a new crew, but instead of friendly smiles and personal greetings, many of the staff seemed uninterested in answering our questions, or unable to. Lots of dull faces, and not many personal greetings in hallways as one would usually see on a cruise. The service was equivalent to something I would expect in a 2-star restaurant or hotel, not a quality cruise line. 4) Value/Quality: Last but not least, I'll address cost. The cost for drinks on the ship was about average, although the very green crew was not generous at all with their pours, and most bar tenders were clearly not trained to make any drinks not on their menus. Shore excursions were also average priced, and of course the spa was outrageous. We opted for a massage on Nassau so about 1/4th the price of what we would have paid on the ship - a very good decision. I felt as though I had a much better bang for the buck on my last Celebrity cruise, where perks like an all-inclusive drink package were added to sweeten the deal. Altogether, unfortunately, Holland America has proven to be a disappointment. I do not recommend this ship, the ship design, the food, the drinks, the activities, the entertainment, the crew, or the value. Read Less
Nieuw Statendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 4.5 4.4
Entertainment 4.5 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Value For Money 4.5 4.2

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