1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We were booked for a cruise on this ship later and were fascinated by the idea of sailing on it the first time. After spending a week with family in Pennsylvania, we flew from Philadelphia to Rome and explored the city for about a week. ... Read More
We were booked for a cruise on this ship later and were fascinated by the idea of sailing on it the first time. After spending a week with family in Pennsylvania, we flew from Philadelphia to Rome and explored the city for about a week. Even that was not quite enough - so much to see! We stayed in the Hotel Santa Maria in Trastevere, which was lovely, and really well located. Embarkation in Civitivecchia was well organized. We took Bob's Limos, which dropped us off right at the entrance to the embarkation hall. There was no significant wait anywhere until we'd checked in and gotten our group assigniment. We simply sat and waited for our group to be called, and we were on our way. Once on the ship, though, getting to our stateroom was a bit of a challenge, since most of the elevators had been appropriated by the staff for bringing luggage to rooms. We had a bit of a wait for an elevator. Had we not had carry-on bags, we would have taken the stairway. The ship itself is beautiful. It is large, but not so large that you can't get around, and while I think it was pretty fully booked, never seemed crowdedl We never got to any of the specialty dining restaurants other than the Grand Dutch Cafe because, quite frankly, the meals and options in the Main Dining Room were wonderful. Our favorite spot from a previous cruise on the Eurodam was the Tamarind, but on the Nieuw Statendam, they'd elminated the Tamarind Bar, which we loved, and made the restaurant larger and much less initimate. They also did not offer a rijsstaafel, which was disappointing. As a native Netherlander, I couldn't get enough of the Grand Dutch Cafe. Between the bags of Dutch licorice and the Kroket lunches, I was in heaven. My only complaint is that one of my favorite Dutch treats is Bitterballen, which were only available between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m., which was right before and after dinner, when we weren't hungry. I went in a couple of times and got some to take back to my room for breakfast the next day. The cabiin itself is pretty typical of HAL ships. The bathroom has a shower (no tub), which was fine for us. The tubs on the Eurodam were pretty small, and by eliminating them, they made the shower a nice size and easy to get in and out of. We're not rock fans, so we didn't check out the Rolling Stones Rock venue, but did enjoy the other three. We really enjoyed both the Lincoln Center Stage musicians and the BB King Blues group. It seemed, though, like the sound in BB King kept getting louder and louder every night, to the point where we couldn't stand it. Next time, I'll bring ear plugs so we can enjoy the music and dance. The real disappointment was the gentleman who talked about history. He seemed to be reading Powerpoint presentations he'd written years ago, and displayed some real ignorance of his subject several times. His pronunciation of the names of people and places was atrocious. We went once, which was enough. Another painful disappointment was the "opera singer" in the Main Stage, who had some real pitch problems. Ouch! Since I am a singer and my husband a retired music professor with perfect pitch, this was particularly noticeable for us. Unfortunately, we were sitting right up front and couldn't really leave without being rude. One thing definitely not to be missed is the artwork. I was worried after seeing the promotions about it before the trip that it might be really modern, but it was actually really whimsical and interesting. We spent a couple of evenings walking around the ship checking out and photographing the artwork. Some of it you have to get up close and then stand back to really appreciate. We did not take advantage of excursions, since all of the ports were pretty walkable. We took advantage of the ship's shuttle in Funchal, but it really wasn't necessary. We could have walked downtown easily. The street art in both Cartagena and Funchal was really fascinating. A highlight of the trip was the stiching group we were able to organize though the Cruise Critic rollcall. We had as many as 30 people every sea day morning gathered in the Billboard Onboard area to knit, crochet, and stitch. After a couple of days, the staff got there ahead of us and arranged the chairs for us. Holland America itself has stopped supporting these sorts of groups, which is too bad. We were still picking up people around the ship who didn't know that we were meeting right up to the end of the trip. All in all, we had a wonderful trip and really look forward to our next voyage on the Nieuw Statendam. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my 12th cruise on HAL. I've been on every size ship in their fleet. While I still prefer smaller ships (RIP soon Prinsendam), I have made my peace with behemoths and really like HAL's newest iterations. Having been on ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise on HAL. I've been on every size ship in their fleet. While I still prefer smaller ships (RIP soon Prinsendam), I have made my peace with behemoths and really like HAL's newest iterations. Having been on the Koningsdam twice, there was no learning curve on the Nieuw Statendam. For a "premier" voyage (maiden is no longer used - wink wink), things went surprisingly well. Let's get the glitches out of the way first: - The computer system was loathe to recognize the Mariner discount when applicable - Service in Canaletto and Tamarind was very slow - One of the stationary bikes in the gym was out of order from the get go - Use of the World Stage for solo performers is not optimal Not bad for the first time out! Now for the really good: - Food was uniformly excellent. Our group of nine had the same table at 8PM every evening in the Dining Room, and service was stellar and convivial. BRAVO to Dede. He is wonderful. We ate in all four specialty restaurants as well. (I miss the Culinary Arts Center: Club Orange was always nearly empty when one passed by.) - The Pinnacle was exemplary and well worth the extra cost. Yum. - Shipwide, the staff were great. - HAL's emphasis on music continues to enhance the experience. Lincoln Center Stage now shares the Queen's Lounge with BB King's, and they often performed two or three times a day. The new venue is perfect for their wonderful concerts; I attended 17 times. (The piano quintet currently includes the stellar string quartet ATLYS.) Punctuating a 14 day crossing with these concerts: thank you. - Cabins and storage are just fine. Our port side balcony cabin had direct sun most of the crossing: I actually used it often (a balcony has never been a priority for me). Of course the weather cooperated fully: temperatures were 60-75F for the entire trip - in December! In summation: as wonderful as it is to be on a cruise where you have no extras on your account at the end (Azamara, Regent, Seabourn etc.), HAL still delivers. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We had taken 4 cruises together as a couple, 3 of them on HAL. We were excited to book our first transatlantic and maiden voyage on the Nieuw Statendam. My parents were avid cruisers and their first was on the Statendam in 1972. Also, my ... Read More
We had taken 4 cruises together as a couple, 3 of them on HAL. We were excited to book our first transatlantic and maiden voyage on the Nieuw Statendam. My parents were avid cruisers and their first was on the Statendam in 1972. Also, my oldest brother and sister-in-law did the maiden voyage on the Koningsdam and raved about the experience. We didn't have many expectations as we like being open-minded travelers who are ready for just about anything! The ship, the crew and luckily, the weather did not disappoint in fact were impressive in every way. From embarkation at the lovely new terminal in Civitavecchia to disembarkation in Ft Lauderdale, we had no major issues, concerns or gripes. We really enjoyed the dining experiences on board. The only eatery we did not try was the sushi bar. Next time! Our favourite specialty resto was Sel De Mer. The seafood, service, plating and presentation were all amazing. The restaurant decor was also enchanting. The Tamarind was our next favourite. Beautiful setting and the menu was varied enough to earn repeat visits. The lack of a formal library was noticeable but not an issue. I was prepared and brought some books with me. The other issue is the wine package ordering process. It was not handled all that well at the onset of the cruise. We did get it sorted but took some doing. The crew was always smiling and always employing the right amount of attention whether it was toward the upkeep of our cabin or whilst at dinner. And very observant as well. The officers mingled nightly with passengers with the Captain was often spotted doing walkabouts in the public areas. The CD and ACD, Ross and Grant were also very involved with us passengers and Grant especially, supplied us with many laughs during Trivia and Bingo games. We really were impressed with the original stage production of Humanity. A show developed for the stage on the NS by a group from NYC called One Step. It used the hi-tech screens and lighting to great effect. The other groups, solos and entertainers were all appreciated. A bit of seasonal cheer came in the form of a twinkly Gingerbread House display outside of the Dutch Cafe. Complete with working model trains! Our cabin was quiet and relaxing with plenty of storage. And a roomy verandah. Deck 7 midships is the place to be! All the ports of call were interesting and enjoyed great weather at all 3. We especially enjoyed Funchal, Madeira. We hired a private taxi to take us on a 3 hour tour for 100 euros. Fantastic time! The 8 days at sea were wonderful. Great weather, endless ocean and sky vistas to enjoy and lots of comfy chairs to enjoy it from. We cannot wait until our next HAL getaway. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We did the 14 day Premier sailing of the Nieuw Statendam, from Rome to Fort Lauderdale. We spent 6 days prior to the cruise in Rome, and on December 5th headed to Civitavecchia to board the Nieuw Statendam. The ship was at the ... Read More
We did the 14 day Premier sailing of the Nieuw Statendam, from Rome to Fort Lauderdale. We spent 6 days prior to the cruise in Rome, and on December 5th headed to Civitavecchia to board the Nieuw Statendam. The ship was at the beautiful new terminal, and embarkation was wonderful. Very organized, not crowded. This was our first cruise as 4 star Mariners and we enjoyed the priority boarding. Our cabin was ready when we boarded. We had a regular balcony cabin on deck 7 aft. It looked identical to balcony cabins on the Koningsdam. The only difference we could see is that the toilet placement in the bathroom gives better legroom than on the Koningsdam. A definite improvement. We headed to the Lido for lunch, and again it is almost identical to the Koningsdam's Lido. There are so many options to choose from. We like the fact that the food is served by the crew as this lessens the chance of contamination. We thought the food in the Lido throughout the cruise was good to excellent. We ate most breakfasts and lunches in the Lido, and a couple of dinners. MDR - again, identical to the Koningsdam. On the nights we dined in the MDR we made reservations for a table for 2. Often it was only late times available, 8:00 pm or 8:15, as we didn't remember to call early for the reservation. The menu always had lots of choices, the service was very good and the food was quite good. Tamarind - this is our favourite place to dine. We ate there 4 times and loved it. The atmosphere is quiet and serene, the service is excellent and the food delicious. The maitre d' told us that when the ship is in the Caribbean, they will offer outdoor dining for the Tamarind (weather permitting). We also ate once at "Nami", the sushi bar attached to the Tamarind. It was quite good but we preferred the Tamarind. Pinnacle Grill - We dined here once and enjoyed it. Service and food were very good and the setting is nice. Canaletto - We dined here once and enjoyed it. Service and food was quite good. Other food options- Dive in, New York Deli, Grand Dutch Cafe - we tried them and liked them all. We did not go to the Sel de Mer so I can't comment on it, other than to say it seemed busy most nights. Club Orange - we didn't opt for it, but we did notice that it seemed mostly empty every time we walked by it. We missed how it was on the Koningsdam last December, when they had happy hour and great snack food in there with nice music playing. It will be interesting to see if this Club Orange thing is a success. The new Rock Room was a big hit. It was always full and lots of people were up dancing. They are in the space that used to be Lincoln Center Stage on the K'Dam. Their sets are opposite to the sets at the Billboard Onboard, which was always well attended. Lincoln Centre stage now shares the Queens Lounge with BB Kings. There is also a pianist in another lounge who plays for a few hours each night, Overall the music offered is great, with something for everyone. The World Stage has 2 brand new shows that are in partnership with One-Step dance studio. The shows are wonderful and use the LED screens in the theatre to their full potential. There was also a comedian/magician who was very good and very funny - he performed twice. A jazz pianist, Judy Carmichael performed twice and was very good. There was also a singing trio the Knights who were very good. There were a few other options that we didn't attend. Overall, we thought the entertainment in the World Stage was very good. We were a little disappointed in the guest lecturers on this cruise, and judging by the attendance, we weren't the only ones. In contrast, on our previous two transatlantic cruises on the Koningsdam, the lecturers were excellent and every session was standing room only. Speaking of standing room only - The 2 talks given by Captain Albert Schoonderbeek were fabulous. He is such a great speaker and so full of information and he has a good sense of humour. I love reading his blog and it was so nice to get the chance to see and hear him in person. We also attended a talk by Orlando Ashford that was well attended. He is also a good speaker. On one of our sea days we had an Orange Party. We were all asked to bring something orange to wear. HAL also handed out orange hats, wigs, beads, sunglasses etc. Most people had orange clothes of sort sort. It was fun and a sea of orange. As always, the HAL crew was wonderful. Always friendly, smiling, eager to please. They are what makes your vacation so enjoyable. Our three ports, Cartagena, Malaga, and Funchal were all enjoyable and our weather was good. In Cartagena we just walked off the ship as it docks very close to the city center. We did a HAL excursion in Malaga - a drive to the picturesque village of Mijas. We really enjoyed it. In Funchal we did a HAL excursion, "The Best of the West" that took us to different areas of the island. We saw a lot of the island and quite enjoyed it. Both of our HAL excursions were very good, on nice buses with guides that spoke very good English. Disembarkation was organized and easy. Over all, we had a great cruise and loved the new ship. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Food was great in the Dining Room, Lido Marketplace, Afternoon Tea, Canaletto, NY Deli, Grand Dutch Cafe, Gellato shop. Very few hiccups in the food areas. We mainly ate dinner in the Dining Room. We mainly ate breakfast and lunch at the ... Read More
Food was great in the Dining Room, Lido Marketplace, Afternoon Tea, Canaletto, NY Deli, Grand Dutch Cafe, Gellato shop. Very few hiccups in the food areas. We mainly ate dinner in the Dining Room. We mainly ate breakfast and lunch at the Lido Marketplace. The food at these venues was really excellent! Can't beat the variety at the Lido Marketplace from crepes, bagels, omelets, etc. at breakfast to salads, pasta bars, carving stations, oriental stirfry, at lunch. We had room service several mornings (skip the scrambled egg option). There are many bars, our favorite was the Ocean Bar mid ships on Deck 2 where Roldan, Fern (Fatima), and Patrick were our servers for the whole cruise! They took excellent care of us! We had an inside stateroom on the Deck 6. Great size for 2 people We had storage space to spare. HAL was still working out some kinks with the TV information system. TV system included many movies; very few TV "shows"; limited news. But the Navigator available on your mobile device on their local intranet worked very well. You could set up the people you were traveling with and message them throughout the cruise (important on 9 continuous sea days). We did NOT get the internet package as we wanted to be relatively device-free. But many others around us still got decent internet service. Service was fantastic in all areas! Entertainment: four different music genres (Rock 'n Roll, Pop, Chambermusic (violins & pianos), and Jazz). Excellent! Especially loved Atlys (string quartet) with piano accompaniment. Good lectures. Trivia contests! We had a daily sea-day meet-up with craft ladies via a forum under Cruise Critic. We stopped at Cartagena, Malaga, and Madeira. No excursions, just walked off the ship. We took a taxi at Cartagena, but walked back with no difficulty. . We used the HAL provided bus (extra cost) at Malaga and Madeira--well worth it; too far for us to walk. Malaga just shopped and had lunch. Madeira--after the bus dropped us off, we walked to the cable car ride. Purchased roundtrip cable car ride and yellow-bus-island tour for about $56 Euros for 2 adults. DO THE CABLE CAR in the morning! The clouds started descending from the mountain tops around 1pm and the cable car stops running! Loads of shopping and cheap sandwiches (E2.5 for a Iberian ham hero) at the shops along the streets. If you want one of the wonderful Portuguese cork handbags (any shape or size), the best prices were actually in the Malaga port building--you could get off the ship and just shop right there within steps o the ship! I should have gotten my bag there, but waited for Madeira and paid more for one. We had BEAUTIFUL weather for the crossing! Stops went well. On the whole, truly a fantastic voyage. I would definitely go again and my husband is sold on HAL! I saw only a few children on board. They do have HAL CLUB, but I couldn't see what was in it. It's a controlled area, as it should be. Of course the spa was excellent and there were several "free" mini facials that were held during the cruise. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My (German Jewish) family escaped Nazi Germany in 1938, thanks to Holland America's ss Statendam, so we HAD to be on the maiden voyage of the Nieuw Statendam, both to "close the circle" on our family history but also to ... Read More
My (German Jewish) family escaped Nazi Germany in 1938, thanks to Holland America's ss Statendam, so we HAD to be on the maiden voyage of the Nieuw Statendam, both to "close the circle" on our family history but also to personally express our gratitude to this next generation of Holland America. That said, by any metric, the maiden voyage was an overwhelming success and we feel sure that this great new ship - with its great new crew - will provide enormous joy and enrichment for all who sail with her. If you know/like the Koningsdam, the Nieuw Statendam is its (almost) identical twin, but with some revisions: the Crow's Nest/Explorations Central (deck 12) has been re-imagined into a giant, gorgeous, and inviting "living room" offering an intimate environment, to chat, watch the ocean, check the stats of the engine, ship location, etc., and engage in puzzles, cards, and much more. Moving Lincoln Center Stage to the Queen's Lounge put these great classical musicians in an environment fitting to their artistry and charisma, and the new Rolling Stone Rock Room (with its great band) is a HIT! Holland America crew's legendary warmth and dedication to excellence are evident in this hand-selected crew of 1,000 - for us, cruise veterans yet making our first ocean crossing - we couldn't have asked for anything more. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Holland America used to be known as the cruise line where seniors would eat at 530 pm and be tucked away by nine. So not so anymore. My wife and I, veterans of more than thirty cruises took our first HAL cruise to Spain and Portugal in ... Read More
Holland America used to be known as the cruise line where seniors would eat at 530 pm and be tucked away by nine. So not so anymore. My wife and I, veterans of more than thirty cruises took our first HAL cruise to Spain and Portugal in Sept 2018 and were knocked silly by the high level of food, service,and entertainment. What mainly blew us away was the virtuoso like quality of the musicians at their Lincoln center stage, billboard on board, and Bb king area, not to mention the world stage productions. So when we heard the Nieuw Statendam was having a four day cruise in December we jumped at the chance.let’s just say they changed their A game to their A plus game by adding their Rolling Stone Rock band, which would have easily fit into the main stage at the Fillmore East or any major concert venue . Such musical genius all around. On a cruise ship yet, who knew? We now have booked a cruise for Feb 2020 on the Nieuw Amsterdam which also has these musical offerings. At our age one island blends into the next: we are here for the bands. In addition the service was excellent: any request was handled quickly and efficiently, the staff crispy dressed in grey uniforms with Dutch orange trim. The dining rooms staffs were excellent as well, calling my wife “my lady” how cool is that? I do have a small criticism: the pools are not their strongest point. While the covered pool and attached hot tubs are sufficient for the non holiday crowds, the Seaview pool and hot tubs were achingly small, with the hottubs sufficient for one person only. But never mind. Go for the ship, food, and entertainment and oh by the way if you happen on a beach or two, that is fine as well. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I've been on quite a few cruise line ships. This ship sets the bar .. !st the big stage theater is a technical surprise..amazing.. have to see and experience it. I lack the words. Next the cafeteria food court has individual chefs ... Read More
I've been on quite a few cruise line ships. This ship sets the bar .. !st the big stage theater is a technical surprise..amazing.. have to see and experience it. I lack the words. Next the cafeteria food court has individual chefs making for example your pasta dish with the ingredients you select.. Salad stations similarly; carving stations with an incredible selection of sides, and eastern food stations with made to order dishes.. AND THE FOOD IS GREAT The food wherever we ate was great. My better half is a vegan and they actually had a separate menu with dishes for vegans and vegetarians.. "A pleasure not to have to track down chefs to order a vegan meal" Next and very important to everyone WALK IN SHOWERS..That's right regular showers you don't have to step out of to wash your lower body.. excellent. Oh and there is a retractable roof above the pool so when the weather gets a little inclement they can close the roof either partially or all together.. great feature At the main pool loungers with comfortable cushions. AND sectioned off places on the deck above the pool where couples could share a full length couch. The service by the staff 2nd to none Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We had already been on the Koningsdam and we liked the NS. The RS Rock room and BB Kings gave new variety to the cruise. The Ship is beautiful and targets the younger boomers and gen xers imo. Embarkation was a mess as it was on ... Read More
We had already been on the Koningsdam and we liked the NS. The RS Rock room and BB Kings gave new variety to the cruise. The Ship is beautiful and targets the younger boomers and gen xers imo. Embarkation was a mess as it was on Oosterdam last month. They packed everyone in the lounge gave boarding cards by number. We were on by 1pm. Pinnacle was very good this trip after having been there several times now. They have some new menu items and we made sure to try them. The service led by the big boss Denise was 5 star! Our server handled a table of 12 plus the two of us with great ease. I kept thinking in the States this would have bombed. Very impressive! MDR was decent enough but service was very slow at lunch on embarkation day but was much better at dinner. Lido service was not up to the speed on the Oosterdam last month. HAL I guess has abandoned the staff serving food on the first day. We used to really respect they did that but we see it has been cut. They just have one maybe two people at each station and it is help yourself the entire cruise. There was nobody from HAL doing the hand sanitizer so many guests I would imagine would just walk in. HAL used to enforce this for the safety of the guests. This is a mistake to abandon this imo. Disembarkation had the longest Customs lines I have seen on the 20 cruises we have been on. I have no idea why but when we exited the ship we got in a line of 300 people long. For that many people they moved it the best they could. The Pinnacle class ships are a big change for HAL but they seem to be pulling it off. The overall staff at some times seemed to be learning about their new home as well. I was told for food the NS is intended to have enough for a 7 day cruise so on the previous TA they were stuffed with minimal space to accommodate everything for that long of a voyage. We had some rough seas so they did not go to the private island but I was very impressed at how smooth the ship handled itself. I could look out a window or look out from my balcony and see how rough the seas were but felt nothing on the ship! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have taken more than a dozen HAL cruises, and this 4 night pre-Christmas Bahamas trip was attractively priced. The new ship is gorgeous, and has great music and entertainment options. The cabins are fresh and new, with big flat TVs ... Read More
We have taken more than a dozen HAL cruises, and this 4 night pre-Christmas Bahamas trip was attractively priced. The new ship is gorgeous, and has great music and entertainment options. The cabins are fresh and new, with big flat TVs and excellent showers (no tub in our room - which was good for us, but may be an issue for older travelers or families). The mid-ships music venues were outstanding. BB King has a feature spot and were great, and the Rock and Roll venue was suitably loud. But the real stars were Nate and Deb on the dueling pianos. WOW! This husband wife team have energy and chemistry that is truly world class and should not be missed. We were disappointed with the main dining room, where the food was average, and 'as you wish' dining arrangements were clunky and we never got to dine when we wished. The Canaletto, however, was outstanding. Food in the Lido was excellent, as was the service. For us the smiling and attentive crew always make a HAL cruise a delight, and this was no exception. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband and I traveled alone for our 30th Wedding Anniversary on this cruise. We booked a veranda cabin on the Navigation deck via Holland and not a travel agent. Embarkation was very easy. Although the woman taking care of us ... Read More
My husband and I traveled alone for our 30th Wedding Anniversary on this cruise. We booked a veranda cabin on the Navigation deck via Holland and not a travel agent. Embarkation was very easy. Although the woman taking care of us had to be reminded by us on the procedure!! She was also lacking in English communication skills! The wait time to board the ship was longer than usual since this was the first time Nieuw Statendam had entered an American Port so she had a lengthy inspection by the Coast Guard. Understandable. No worries! The Nieuw Statendam is a beautiful ship. It’s very well thought out in its design. You notice this as you walk around the decks, small things like handwashing stations in the Lido...Great idea!! I like how you are served your food in the Lido by the staff and not self service. This kept the germs down and the floors cleaner! The food was protected from the passengers behind a glass partition. We never had to touch a serving spoon or wait to be served. The selections in the Lido did not taste like cafeteria food. It had more of a gourmet flair to it! I Will say that the only item that was lacking on the ship was the self serve ice machine in the Lido. If it worked it all, the best you could hope for was a slow drip of watery slush! The no touch sensor on this ice machine didn’t work properly and I saw passengers putting their hands and used glasses all over the dispenser area trying to get it to work. This was not sanitary! The servers had good ice available in their pitchers, so ask for it instead. The food was excellent everywhere we ate on the ship! Our night in the Pinnacle was enjoyable with amazing meal selections. Our evening at Canaletto was a bit of a disappointment. An area of the Lido is transformed into Canaletto for the evening. The same staff that serves you in the morning and daytime in Lido are also serving you in the evening at Canaletto. I just didn’t feel like I was in a special venue. There wasn’t a feel of specialty dining that one would be willing to pay extra for. The food was good (not excellent) but timeliness of delivery was lacking. We had a late reservation which we will not do again anywhere on any ship! It wasn’t the service of the waitstaff that caused an issue but there appeared to be a back up in the kitchen that caused our entrées to be served over one hour behind our appetizer. Gala night in The Main Diningroom should not be missed! Service was outstanding as was the food. As always with Hollard America the main dining room is something to behold. Our favorite dinner while onboard was in Tamarind. This venue has the best view for dining and ambience on the ship! The half round booth facing aft is by far THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE! I recommend an early reservation for this venue. We watched the sun set and saw the venue lighting change to a soft romantic tone. There was a WOW factor here! Service was amazing!! Be aware when purchasing ahead of time the Signature Dining Package that only two of the five specialty restaurants are included.....The Pinnacle and Canaletto. I made the mistake of assuming all specialty restaurants were available for selection. This is not the case! FYI...Rudi’s Sel de Mer is al la carte pricing. All menu selections are priced separately. The entertainment on board the ship was outstanding. Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard and the Rolling Stone venues. Our favorite was The BB Kings Allstars direct from Beale Street at BB Kings (the club venue that was transformed from Lincoln Center Stage after 9pm) with lots of fun dancing! This band Rocked! The veranda cabin we had #8022 was comfortable with 2 cabin steward‘s Wenjoldy and George that were always available to us with smiles! Service was impeccable! There were 6 electrical and USB outlets. We took a ships approved multi outlet with us and didn’t need it! There is plenty of good lighting in the cabin with reading lights and electrical outlets of each side off the bed. The cabin door is metal but if you want to decorate it, heavy duty magnets need to be used! The bathroom was very well laid out with a large full shower and glass door. The Bollini Bath Fixtures were easy to use and quite beautiful to say the least. There are handholds and a foot rail in the shower that were strategically placed for safety. One thing that was new to us was having to put your cabin key card in a slot by the door inside your cabin to activate the interior lighting. A couple of times I was caught in the bathroom and my husband went for coffee with his card and 30 seconds later the lights went out on me! Something we had to figure out on our own if someone stays behind in the cabin. Beds were comfortable. There was a large hanging closet with plenty of room and a huge television at the foot of our bed. I highly recommend loading the NAVIGATOR program onto your phone, laptop or iPad once you’re on the ship. This program is for your easiest way of getting in touch with Guest Services if you have a problem. It’s much easier than making a phone call, telling your Cabin Stewards or being on hold forever or standing in line at guest services on the third floor. Your problem will be handled in a timely manner. This program also gives you up-to-date information on entertainment food venues, making reservations and many other necessities while on the ship . You do not need to have a purchased the ships wi fi to activate this. There are directions in a bifold paper on the desk when you arrive in your cabin on how to access the NAVIGATOR. But remember, this cannot be accessed until you are on the ship. The price for BLEND the wine blending and tasting venue is $79.00 a person or $99.00 a couple. We did not partake! There was a self service beer and soft drink dispenser that you paid for by the ounce near the indoor Lido Pool Bar. No waiting! At NOTES, the brown liquor tasting venue, one can have a shot of the overly rated 20 year old Pappy Van Winkle for up to $207.00. OR the 12 year old Pappy for $109.00 a shot! There are other brands available more moderately priced. I did not visit the spa on this trip. Our cruise just was not long enough! If shopping for Liquor aboard the ship, the prices are not posted on the bottles. You get the price list from the shop attendant. The ships artwork had a modern feel to it which was very interesting. Every elevator lobby had some sort of avant-garde art piece which was worth seeking out on a self guided art crawl. Our Captain Sybe de Boer was professional, personable and approachable. Our safety and comfort was his NUMBER ONE concern! Our Cruise Director Ross McTaggart was easy to understand and always ready to give information. The Hotel Director Don Habets saw that the few issues we had on the ship were IMMEDIATELY taken care of. Thank you Don!! Adriana Strugala in Guest Services is the person to reach if you have a complicated situation to address! Thank you Adriana. Disembarkation was very easy for us since we brought only carry on luggage for this short voyage. We were given a color coded departure tag to exit the ship when called. In spite of the fact of the Government shutdown, there were a few TSA Supervisors working to assure entry. I (we) would recommend this ship and its crew for future voyages. I would like to be on a longer one next time. 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
HAL has greatly raised their level of cruising with the NIEUW STATENDAM. My family of four sailed on this new ship for a four day Bahamas cruise on 12-19. Our cabin was one of the Vista Suites on deck 6, not really a suite, but plenty of ... Read More
HAL has greatly raised their level of cruising with the NIEUW STATENDAM. My family of four sailed on this new ship for a four day Bahamas cruise on 12-19. Our cabin was one of the Vista Suites on deck 6, not really a suite, but plenty of room for 4. Shower in bathroom very large. Excellent TV in room, with plenty of free movie choices. Cabin service was first rate. The standouts on the ship are 1) Food and 2) Entertainment. We only ate dinner in the extra charge dining rooms, we wanted to experience them all and this was only a 4 day cruise. The extra fees were well worth the cost. I would give extra accolades to the Pinnacle Grill where the whole experience was must better than I have seen on the HAL ships. We also greatly enjoyed the Tamarind , which offered unique menu choices. The free outdoor deck lunch choices were also excellent...New York Pizza and a Burger Stand. Very few cruise ships get pizza right, but this one did. Extra cost ice cream shop was also a popular choice with our group. Service in all dining venues was excellent. HAL offer a wide range of live entertainment on this ship (and KONINGSDAM) . The Rock Room was enjoyed by all of us, even if it was somewhat cringe to watch older baby boomers still dancing to rock music. BB King blues club and Lincoln Center Stage also were top notch choices. There was a large production show that offered good dancers, but the music here was prerecorded which turns me off. For the price paid I don't see how you can beat NIEUW STATENDAM. Excellent food, good service , and fun first rate live entertainment. Highly recommended. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We enjoyed a 14 day Caribbean cruise (it turned out to be 2, 7-day back to backs) from Ft. Lauderdale for the Christmas and New Years holidays. Overall, an excellent experience. This was our 13th cruise since we started sailing 8 years ... Read More
We enjoyed a 14 day Caribbean cruise (it turned out to be 2, 7-day back to backs) from Ft. Lauderdale for the Christmas and New Years holidays. Overall, an excellent experience. This was our 13th cruise since we started sailing 8 years ago. We've taken cruises on Carnival (5), Princess (2) and Celebrity (5) in that progression. Our last 5 cruises have been on Celebrity (typically Aqua class which is nice). We thought Celebrity was very good (but with declining conditions on their Solstice Class ships) and had heard good things about Holland. We were worried that the demographics may be a too old for us (our average age is 55 and we're very active). Since this was a holiday cruise, there was a mix of ages and we had no concerns about demographics. We saw very few motorized scooters and certainly no more than on other ships. We booked a 21 day Baltic cruise on the same ship for this summer. The Nieuw Statendam is a beautiful ship - not only because of it's new but also the quality of materials and the thoughtfulness in design. The Veranda staterooms, while a bit smaller than the Aqua Class on the Solstice ships, are very efficient with more storage and the bathroom ergonomics more than make up for the slightly smaller footprint. The public spaces are very attractive and exude a warm feeling - not a cold, austere, "heavy on the chrome" design that we've experienced on some other cruise lines. Lots of interesting, original (and nice) artwork. The staff was courteous and the cruise director, Ross, was excellent. The captain made one, and sometimes two, announcements each day with details on our progress, weather conditions, etc. very informative. Once again, even better than we've experienced on Celebrity, which we thought was quite good. The ship is active in the evening with the "Music Walk" on deck 2 hosting "Billboard 100" (two accompanying, singing pianists - good fun), Lincoln Center Stage (a classical quintet with 3, 40 minute offerings that vary daily - not to be missed), BB King Blues after 9 PM and the "Rolling Stone Rock Room" from 8 PM onward. The World Theater hosts very accomplished dancers with a visual arts presentation beyond that on other ships. We usually retire about 10:30 each evening - but there is much more to these venues later on. A note - because of this would not recommend booking a room directly above these venues. We were on deck 6 mid-ship and it was very quiet :) The food in both the Lido (9th deck) and Main Dining Room (decks 2 and 3) is good. We did not try the specialty restaurants. The Lido is by far the most attractive and well appointed "buffet" area that we've experienced and we like that the staff serves the portions onto our plates. The coffee is a bit strong for me, but hey! Since we've had several Caribbean cruises we did not disembark at each port. San Juan was good - the "Old Town" and the 16th century Spanish fort "El Morro". Charlotte Amalie did not offer much beyond the usual jewelry shops. Half Moon Cay (a private island in the Bahamas) has a beautiful beach with an extensive barbecue served by the ships crew. We had an Everglades tour (coupled with bus service to the airport) that was quite convenient. The alligators swim up close to the air boats and not to be missed (keep your hands in the boat). The gymnasium is smaller and less inviting than we're used to on the Celebrity Solstice ships, but adequately equipped for a good one hour session. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have cruised with several cruise lines in the past such as Royal Carribean, Disney, Carnival, and Princess. This is the first time we cruised with HAL. We wanted to celebrate Christmas and New Years with HAL. The main reason we chose ... Read More
We have cruised with several cruise lines in the past such as Royal Carribean, Disney, Carnival, and Princess. This is the first time we cruised with HAL. We wanted to celebrate Christmas and New Years with HAL. The main reason we chose HAL is because of its high ratings and the inaugural sailing in the Carribean. We experienced the 3rd and 4th sailing of Nieuw Statendam. We stayed at Cabin #4068, verandah room. We had positive and negative experiences with Nieuw Statendam. Negative Experiences: First, our balcony frame had a creaking noise. This noise was disturbing during the day but profoundly noticeable during the night. We requested to be upgraded, downgraded or moved to another stateroom the second day but the ship was fully booked. Nonetheless, our stateroom steward and guest services were attentive and prompt on attempting to address the issue when we brought up this predicament to them. Maintenance staff immediately responded to our complaint and attempted to resolve the noise by placing wood wedges around the metal balcony frame. The maintenance staff was able to significantly reduce the noise disturbance. Unfortunately, maintenance staff was unable to completely resolve the noise which led us not obtaining restful sleep some nights. We were on the waiting list to change staterooms. We were informed by guest services and several guests by speaking with several guest members that this is not an isolated issue. Secondly, Cabin # 4068 is situated above BB King Lounge. The music especially the bass resonates to our stateroom which does not allow us to sleep until the performance and the music of the band are over. Typically, BB King Lounge's music is not over until 1 am and some nights later such as holiday nights. For instance, BB King continues its loud music during New Year's Eve until 3 am. Thirdly, the satellite internet access of the ship can be tremendously slow especially during At Sea days. We had to do some business matters several times during our 14-day vacation. We noticed that accessing our personal computer appears to be faster access in comparison with the ship's internet area located at level 1. Fourthly, the entertainers on the ship were very talented. However, some of the entertainment repeated on the second week with sailed with HAL. Brad Trackman had a mediocre comical performance. He was not quite funny. Positive Experiences: Nevertheless, we enjoyed listening to the viola player, violinists, and pianist who performed at the Lincoln Stage. The Evasons who are mentalist couple offered great performance. Hilby who was juggler was hilarious and entertaining. Nate and Deb are a couple who performed at the Billboard Top hits area. Deb and Nate sing and have amazing voices. They sing requested songs and both play the piano. They both are knowledgeable in singing various genres. Step One had two great shows: Stages and Humanity. The LED lighting was innovative and stunning. HAL employed a mariachi band who played at the Lido deck during our Cozumel stay. HAL also employed a talented band that plays at the Rolling Stone stage. I feel that the positive experiences we had outweighed the negative experiences. We had a great time with HAL. First and foremost, all crew members were attentive to all the guests' requests and needs. The head chef at the Lido dining, Jundiel, prepared our table a special meal. All wait staff accommodated guests' food preferences and allergy restrictions. Dadan, Whayu and the rest of the staff were amazing. Bar staff was constantly providing beverages including water. Wait staff and bar staff appear to be working harmoniously on serving guests. Kumar and Yadi are our stateroom stewards, both of which have met our expectations. All staff were friendly, courteous, polite, professional and always serving guests with their smile considering working long hours almost every day of the week. Ross the cruise director walks throughout the ship and greeting guests. Ross updates guests concerning daily activities. A Few Recommendations: Amber Cove - Limited activities on shore. Great for relaxation on the ship or at the beach near the ship, about a mile walk from the ship. The ship docks at a resort that has several pools, restaurants, bars, zip lining, kayaking, and shopping. There is an option to rent a car for about $100.00. Ocho Rios - A lot of outdoor activities are available. We rented a car for $50.00 and spent about $20.00 in gas. We went to Martha Brae which has a bamboo rafting going down the river which lasted about 1.5 hours. The trip was about 1 hour each way. Expect to drive on the left-hand side of the road. We wanted to do the bobsled excursion at the Mystic Mountain. But the time we got to the place around 2 pm, bobsledding was already close to the public. Mystic Mountain and the Dunn River Falls is right next to the Ocho Rios pier. We recommend doing the nearby activities before venturing out. Cozumel - Offers daytime passes to all-inclusive resorts, which is all you can drink alcohol, liquor, entertainment, and food. Some facilities have snorkeling, kayaking, and floats. There is an extra cost for jet skiing, diving, and parasailing. The water was too murky to snorkel. Cozumel also offers sunset catamaran cruise which is also all-inclusive. The ship leaves around 10:30 pm which allows guests to do various activities. Half Moon Cay - This is HAL's private island. We got to experience Half Moon Cay twice, on two separate days. A tender takes you to the island. The island will be crowded if there are two ships. The beach offers clear blue water and paid activities such as a stingray experience and historic tour. In conclusion, we had great experiences with HAL with some drawbacks. Priceless memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. The positive experiences and memories we had outweighed the bad ones. I would want to try a different HAL ship in the future. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I had never been on a cruise before so sailing on a brand new ship probably has set me up for a bit of disappointment for future cruises, but I was very, very impressed to say the least. The embarkation process was quick and uneventful ... Read More
I had never been on a cruise before so sailing on a brand new ship probably has set me up for a bit of disappointment for future cruises, but I was very, very impressed to say the least. The embarkation process was quick and uneventful as I was onboard and in the cabin by 1230. As I proceeded to the cabin I found the ship absolutely pristine in cleanliness as was the cabin. Ample closet space, very comfortable bedding and a great veranda. The cabin stewards quickly introduced themselves and were more than just friendly, seriously. During the next 7 days I found the food in all venues in which I ate, Lido Market, Main Dining Room, Pinnacle Grill and Rudis Sel de Mar beyond reproach. I was very, very impressed and happy with the offerings and service in the latter two. Even the Lido Market provided excellent variety and service. I never felt rushed in any sense and was extremely happy with the cleanliness in all the food prep and serving areas. Fantastic all the way around. I took this cruise alone mainly as an escape from family issues over a difficult Christmas season and was quite happy I did. I availed myself of the Greenhouse Spa even buying the 7 day Therapy Suite pass, no regrets. I also had a few special treatments within the spa and all were beyond expectations. The only caveat on that end was the somewhat persistent up selling of their products but I knew that was coming anyway. The spa itself was extremely well laid out and provided exactly what I needed and wanted, a little pampering in quiet and a subdued environment. The teacher gym was complete in every way. Again all these facilities were spotless throughout the cruise. Although I only went to 2 shows in the Theater they were quite well done and the seating arrangement along with an incredible set of LED screens were fantastic. I found the two pool areas quite comfortable with attentaive service although there were fair number of children which is of course expected over the holidays. I wasn’t that interested in the parts of call as I have traveled throughout the Caribbean for 40 years working for an airline. And again that wasn’t the point for me at any rate. I do think there was a grand mix up of sorts in Half Moon Cay as both this ship and the Nieuw Konigsdam were there at the same time. The wait times for tenders to and from were rather long I heard. Overall I was extremely impressed with the service, facilities and cleanliness of the ship. As stated I’ve been working for an airline for 40 years and Holland America puts us to shame for their service. I would highly recommend this ship and this cruise line to anyone who, like me, is new at cruising. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We wanted to try the newest of the Holland ships, so we booked with Nieuw Statendam for our 2 weeks cruise for Christmas and New Year. We were looking forward to this cruise, and our over-all experience exceeded our expectations ! The ... Read More
We wanted to try the newest of the Holland ships, so we booked with Nieuw Statendam for our 2 weeks cruise for Christmas and New Year. We were looking forward to this cruise, and our over-all experience exceeded our expectations ! The embarkation went smoothly and quick; we were in our room in 20 minutes and had lunch thereafter. Our room with Ocean view at the Main deck was very spacious, with lots of room for everything. Our room steward Aries really kept the room clean and tidy; he is efficient hard working young man. There is plenty of innovation in this ship. To begin with, it has probably the best safety drill routine. The ship is well designed. The ship decor and set-up of venues are really well thought out, especially the entertainment venues. The Lincoln Center, the Piano Billboard, The Rolling Stone, and the BB Kings are in the same floor. The performance schedules allow people to move from one performance to the next in a minute. All performers are very professional and entertaining. The food in the Main Dining room was typical to what one expect in a cruise ship. However, the high quality, taste, freshness and presentation of the food at the Lido Buffet was extraordinary, especially at the Lido "Homestead stand" ; the crew was friendly and cheerful; we appreciate the excellent service provided by Erjenn and his colleagues. We have been on six other Holland America cruises, The Lido buffet in Nieuw Statendam is the best. We really enjoyed the Half Moon Cay island, owned by Holland America, with its calm blue water, and white sand. One minor flaw we should mention about this great ship is the Whirl pools; they are very small. We highly recommend this beautiful new ship , and hope to sail with her again in the near future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Beautiful new ship! So enjoyed sailing over the holidays. Left the hustle, bustle, cooking, baking and decorating to HAL! I believe our cruise was the fourth sail. Everything was pristine. Still working out a few kinks but no complaints. ... Read More
Beautiful new ship! So enjoyed sailing over the holidays. Left the hustle, bustle, cooking, baking and decorating to HAL! I believe our cruise was the fourth sail. Everything was pristine. Still working out a few kinks but no complaints. The crew was EXCEPTIONAL as usual. Big smiles, hard working and eager to please. Service exceeded expectations. The food on the Niuew Statendam was exceptional. We ate breakfast and most dinners in the Main Dining Room. The food, presentation and service was top notch! Our table stewards pampered us from the minute we sat down until we sipped the last drop of delicious coffee. Table 251! Book it! Very impressed. They welcomed us by name the minute they saw us walk in motioning us to our table. The wine steward was on top of it too. Very funny and made sure we had our cocktails right away. We dined at Pinnacle Grill and Sel de Mer and as usual they did not disappoint. Rudi Sel de Mer was on the ship and it was fun to see the chef behind the delicious cuisine! We tried the Tamarind again and the food was great but the service was just so so. Seems the staff weren’t really working together as they seemed to not know what each was doing but I wasn’t cooking so we didn’t mind the wait. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We booked this last minute New Year’s cruise on a brand new ship with a cruise line we hadn’t tried before and LOVED it! Ship size was perfect, crew were amazing, food was fantastic!! Hands down, an excellent value for the money ... Read More
We booked this last minute New Year’s cruise on a brand new ship with a cruise line we hadn’t tried before and LOVED it! Ship size was perfect, crew were amazing, food was fantastic!! Hands down, an excellent value for the money along with extras. Our room with a balcony was nicely decorated, spacious and very comfortable. Bathroom was very nice with a great large shower for a cruise ship. Pools and hot tubs were enjoyable and not overcrowded. Service overall was very good in every dining room and bar. We tried nearly every type of food venue, including Lido, Pinnacle and Main Dining and were impressed with quality and service. We purchased the elite beverage package, tried several different types of drinks and enjoyed them. Musical entertainment was fantastic in BB King’s and Billboard (with the incredible husband and wife pianists)!! We will definitely cruise Holland America again and specifically the Nieuw Statendam. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam are two of the finest cruise ships in the world The ship is the perfect size to enjoy lots of activities and not be overly crowded. The only places the ship ever felt crowded were on a few occasions at Lido ... Read More
Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam are two of the finest cruise ships in the world The ship is the perfect size to enjoy lots of activities and not be overly crowded. The only places the ship ever felt crowded were on a few occasions at Lido for breakfast and in the elevators. Other than that, there was plenty of space in all public areas. Loved Half Moon Cay and Grand Cayman. Entertainment is much better than previous HAL cruises. Lincoln Center was terrific and the Billboard duo was the best we have seen. Shows in the theater were also good. Food was outstanding. Sel de mer was terrific-- best lamb chops ever! They even had stone crabs one evening. MDR was also terrific. Dutch Cafe was superb-- try the vietnamese spring rolls, which are spicy but very good. Service throughout the ship was excellent except for cabin attendants. We had 2 young and inexperienced cabin attendants who were never to be found. Overall, terrific cruise on my new favorite ship. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Good-The Ship is stunningly beautiful, the artwork, the cabins, the WALK IN SHOWER in every cabin! It's a stunner. The Crew is lovely but you could see cracks in their patience (see more in "The Bad"). Sadly our cabin ... Read More
The Good-The Ship is stunningly beautiful, the artwork, the cabins, the WALK IN SHOWER in every cabin! It's a stunner. The Crew is lovely but you could see cracks in their patience (see more in "The Bad"). Sadly our cabin is one I would not suggest as there is something in the Wall behind the bed making super loud noises ..so much so that we were moved to a "Sleeping Cabin" ( Kudos to Guest Services). The cabins are gorgeous and loving all the storage. (Don't miss the Drawers under the foot of the bed). The main dining room served the best Cruise Ship food I've ever had and in fact it was so good that the alternative restaurants which you pay for was a harder sell. Don't shy away from the main dining room as it really is spectacular. Like Sushi? for Sure the sushi bar is a hit- It was packed most nights and at about $5.50 a roll for huge 8 piece roll it's a solid winner. The not so Good- Service, Holland is using IPads for waiters of every type and the Drink servers are having a real hard time. So much so that they resorted to paper several times during the cruise and it was super hard to get drink service outside as it often took two or three minutes for the ipads to "update". Hey HAL, drop this system ASAP! Servers were super frustrated and the HAL "enthusiasm" that you normally see form the staff, seemed to be sucked out of these guys/gals. They seemed just exhausted. Also, be sure to buy the drink Package in advance as a standard cocktail hovered in the $10 Per drink Area- 5 drinks a day and you were well over the package cost. Wines were outrageously expensive. Woodbridge Cab for over $40 a bottle- What? As for Rolling Stone, it was hardly ever busy and the band was slightly better than a garage band. My guess is HAL will have this removed sooner than the first drydock. For New Years Eve they just sort of missed out (Where was the Cruise Director?) The Lido deck party they actually missed the countdown and midnight just sort of happened. In general the programming on board was the type you'd see on a typical 10 night Europe Cruise. In the Caribbean, people want to have a little fun and kick up their heels a bit- this was not the case and I felt that the Cruise Director could have done a much better job with on board programming. Also, what happened to the big BBC Earth promise-We saw a stunning show on the Koningsdam showing BBC Earth accompanied by a orchestra- Nada here. Seems like HAL has really cut back on the big shows. They have this STUNNING showroom and super thin productions. The cast is talented but very small and I was a bit disappointed. I realize it's only the 4th sailing of the vessel but I also sailed on the 4th sailing of the Koningsdam and it was a night and day experience. I wanted it to be great. It just wasn't. Dare I say I was a bit bored! 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
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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