Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the new ship really appealed. We weren't disappointed - had a fabulous time. Embarkation was so easy - well organised, quick and no stress at all. We stayed the night before in ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the new ship really appealed. We weren't disappointed - had a fabulous time. Embarkation was so easy - well organised, quick and no stress at all. We stayed the night before in Roommate Aitana hotel in Amsterdam which was about 20 mins walk away and highly recommended. Our luggage arrived at our room promptly after boarding. Ship - the ship was beautiful and well maintained. The Crows Nest is a beautiful space, peaceful for games of chess and board games. The Lido pool area is good because the retractable roof makes it pleasant in hot and cold weather - ideal for this itinerary. The sports court and the area around were pleasant spaces - with outdoor gym equipment and a running track too. I would say that the ship felt slightly overcrowded from time to time - mainly in the buffet. We enjoyed the international mix on the ship - most passengers seemed to be from US or Netherlands with some from UK and also further afield too. Ages were a mix too with the biggest majority probably being active couples around retirement age, although there were also young families and a whole range of ages ! Cabin - our cabins were really good. We had an aft balcony cabin and an inside cabin in our group. I was very pleasantly surprised by the size of the inside cabin. The aft balcony was lovely and sheltered and didn't feel overlooked. The bathroom was also a pleasant surprise - with a proper , walk in shower and clever layout. The cabins were beautifully clean and the cabin staff were friendly and did their jobs really well. Dining - we mainly ate in the Lido buffet. I was impressed with the quality of the food and the fact that the food is served rather than open to collect. There was a lot of variety overall but with vegetarian and vegan requirements I felt these could have been better catered for, especially vegan options. Small changes could have made so many more of the options suitable for all - for example changing the noodles to wholewheat or udon from egg noodles would allow the stir fry counter to be suitable for vegans, making the vegetable soups with coconut cream rather than dairy cream etc. There were no vegan desserts available for our whole trip ! Minor changes to some of the existing options would make the whole menu far more accessible for all requirements. The ship does also have a special menu for vegetarian and vegan customers and I discovered half way through that they would serve that in the buffet on request too - that was much appreciated and one of the staff in the buffet was a huge help in getting that organised. However it is necessary to place any orders from that menu a day in advance , whether for dining room or buffet, which is not ideal and definitely not keeping up with the times - vegetarian and vegan diets are no longer unusual. The other issue with the buffet was that there simply isn't enough space - it could get very crowded and difficult to find a seat. The pizza at the pool was excellent and highly recommended. We didn't get a chance to eat at the Dutch Cafe as it was always very busy and rather crowded. We didn't try any of the speciality restaurants as none had much for vegetarians or vegans. Entertainment and Activities - there didn't seem to be loads of organised day time activities , but that was fine for us as we used the gym, spa etc. We did attend a couple of lectures which we enjoyed. In the evening BB Kings was the standout venue - excellent and really good fun ! The Lincoln stage looked good but the times were early and we were always dining then.... The Rock room was lacklustre compared to BB Kings although the idea of having two options was good and it did always seem busy. The gym and spa were very good and the decks had a range of things to do - table tennis , shuffleboard etc. I don't see the point of all ships having so much space set aside for a casino - and never saw it busy so maybe we aren't alone in that ! Service was faultless from the staff. Never saw much of the officers. The itinerary was good and we enjoyed all the ports. Since they dock so close to the town for each port it was easy to come and go from the ship and see the local sights. Disembarkation was also very easy - only a bit of queuing and luggage already available to collect. Wifi was very expensive ! We would definitely sail with HAL again and had a great trip. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise had an amazing itinerary--the wonders of the Norwegian fjords, charming little ports, the Arctic with its eerie light, and the fascinating little medieval stave church at Urnes. We loved all the sights, were very lucky with the ... Read More
This cruise had an amazing itinerary--the wonders of the Norwegian fjords, charming little ports, the Arctic with its eerie light, and the fascinating little medieval stave church at Urnes. We loved all the sights, were very lucky with the weather (just missing the weeks and weeks of rain), and enjoyed experiencing Holland America's newest ship. The Nieuw Statendam is stunning. We thought our Vista Suite cabin was the most thoughtfully-designed cabin ever (especially the easy walk-in glass shower), loved the glorious fresh flowers and the interesting art in the public spaces, and especially enjoyed the serene Retreat of the Explorations Lounge on Deck 12 where there was always excellent coffee (though not free), stylish coffee table books to browse, and a few shelves of briskly traded cruisers' fiction paperbacks. And definitely the most relaxing music on the ship. Only the garish decoration of the main dining room seemed out of place (a kind of interior design fail of a bold burgundy and orangey-yellow modern carpet underneath lipstick red and metallic red ceiling fixtures. And for some reason truly terrible pop music. It's a loud place, both literally and metaphorically.). The Step One Dance Company's performance, which we'd already seen twice on the Eurodam, we loved all over again, but all the rest of the entertainment was C, not B, list. No one, however, probably chooses Holland America for the shows. It's the music venues that are the real entertainment--especially the lively BB King Blues Club band. Lots of dancers on this cruise: The Americans all danced as they did in high school, the Asians did ballroom dancing moves with dramatic arm and hand gestures, and the Dutch and the Norwegians took it all in with anthropological interest. :) The food in the dining room was always good and the presentations were lovely. The soups weren't as good as the soups I had admired so much on the Eurodam, perhaps, but oh my the salmon! Tamarind was the only supplemental charge restaurant we know to try--though after the astonishingly good Indonesian restaurants we'd sampled in Amsterdam, we were disappointed in the Tamarind's Indonesian night. Everywhere we ate, there was attentive and professional service, though the staff didn't make the effort to be friendly or to remember names in the way the staff on the Eurodam had done on our cruise to Hawaii in February. There didn't really seem to be much of a sense of esprit de corps among the staff, perhaps because the Captain seemed humorless and even a little dour--or maybe the ship is just too new to have developed a sense of community yet. The one thing that I always winced at was the tendency of the wait staff to announce that it was "Yummy, Yummy Time!" when the dessert menu came around. Oh, please. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Our adventure started with our first visit to the city of Amsterdam. We enjoyed a two day sojourn there packed full of things to do and see on both days starting on the afternoon of our arrival with a visit to the Van Gogh Museum. (See the ... Read More
Our adventure started with our first visit to the city of Amsterdam. We enjoyed a two day sojourn there packed full of things to do and see on both days starting on the afternoon of our arrival with a visit to the Van Gogh Museum. (See the heading below for full details on Amsterdam, though it is not part of the Cruise it really deserves our comments.) Itinerary Excellent, learning experience for the Norwegian coastal cities of Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger and Flam. Cabin - Vista Suite 6135 Well designed, lots of storage with wall hooks that are lacking on most cruise ships. Bathroom is small but large shower stall; only room short on storage capacity. Large and deep balcony furnished with two comfortable lounge chairs with separate foot rests and a small round table; a very enjoyable area. Balcony access door swings rather than the customary slider and is easier to operate. One of the shelf guide wires on the wall below the TV set was damaged when I tripped on the bed spread and its connection and part of the wooden wall were pulled apart. This was repaired the next day so well that one would not know the wall had been severely damaged. Very, very impressive. Storage space is plentiful and includes two wooden boxes placed underneath each bed but not very easy to pull out. (Warning! When packing on the last day do not forget to check those under bed drawers because we were so very close to forgetting a lot of used clothes we put there during the cruise). Eating in the cabin is not a comfortable experience due to the too small provided table; breakfast (only!) was quite a feat. Regardless you are paying the same amount in gratuities ($16.- pp/per day) as the Signature and above suites, you do not get the same amenities as they do, e.g. welcome bottle of bubbly or wine, a serving of canapes, etc. It’s a suite but without the butler service. After so many cruises with a butler, this was the first time without; though they can be very helpful many times they can be intrusive and knowing when you are in, when you are out, when you get up, what you eat and drink etc. In one word there is a complete lack of privacy. So this time without one, it was quite enjoyable. Cruise line staff Excellent all over the ship; Lido staff it seems have learnt more English and they were very polite and helpful, the staff serve the buffet food, a very important detail to avoid any kind of infection. The Front Desk or Guest Services, were on a par with Viking and much more efficient and polite than most other cruise lines. All issues were handled and solution at once and in a very good manner. Food Only disappointment was with the Lido buffet. Not really impressed with the offerings. Desserts were below par and repetitive. Tables were not cleared up quickly and wine service was slow regardless the “service button” that each table had. Restaurants The restaurant menus, presentation and temperature of meals were always right on. No complaints with any meal. Specialty restaurants were worth the price, in fact Tamarind was so good it almost demanded a higher fare to give it the recognition it deserves and been on Aft Deck 10 the views are great; I imagine on a sunny day having al fresco lunch or dinner there; but unfortunately the weather was quite unpredictable during the whole cruise. Pinnacle was superb and on sea days the $10 noon fare was well worth it if not just for the luxury and peaceful surroundings and the very attentive staff. Canaletto was good too, food and staff but being part of the Lido buffet during the day (as a matter of fact we were having some of our breakfast there) this takes away that sense of been “Italian”. There are other places where to have a snack or even lunch. For a light lunch or a snack, the Grand Dutch Café (Deck 3) many items free of charge like coffee, pastries and ham and cheese sandwiches. Tranquil atmosphere but could be very busy on sea days. The other place to have a good light lunch is the pool side Dive-in from seven specialty burghers (or create your own), three ways to have great hot dogs and four ways to enjoy the best French Fries on the ship. Buzzers are handed out so you will be called when the order is ready. And last but not least, the New York Deli & Pizza in Deck 10, overlooking the pool deck. Open at 7 a.m. and stays open till midnight. The pizzas are out of this world, they have six specialty ones or you can build your own, you also can get salads, classic deli sandwiches (pastrami or corned beef) and if you get there early enough avoiding the buffet crowds for breakfast you get bagels, sandwiches, fresh fruit, pastries and coffee! It is very clear that on board the Nieuw Statendam you will not go hungry! But for sure you will gain lots of pounds if you are not careful. Formal or Gala Nights? Biggest let down of the cruise. The tuxedo rental service worked well, good fit and housekeeping redid pressing of the garments free of charge. We showed up at our reservation time (8PM) and realized right away that the dress code was non-existent. Much less than 10% of men wore tuxedos and the majority of guests were in LESS than resort casual clothing. We saw short sleeve shirts, jeans, running shoes, teenagers and grownups in t-shirts etc.; the only thing missing were shorts! We really felt foolish wearing tuxedos and will not go to the trouble again. We were very lucky with the young waiter at table (#115), his name was Cahadi and thanks to his good humour and doing his best for us to have a good time we were able to ignore our surroundings. When we complained to the Maître’d (Martin) his explanations were inadequate and groundless- clearly and visibly he was not a strong manager and lost control of his restaurant. The “gala” had been advertised as a 5 course meal but only 3 were offered. That happened on the first gala night, on the second one things were a bit better, we cannot explain why; maybe our complaints? At any rate, gala or formal in the way the people were dressed it was unacceptable and was the first time we experienced such a thing on any of our previous cruises on many different cruise lines. Excursions - please see below Amsterdam Our hotel was in the museum quarter, as a matter of fact its name is NH Museum Quarter (nhmuseumquarter@nh-hotels.com). It was in a very good location facing a canal with very helpful staff; we could have purchased museums tickets through them, the best method if you only wished a general visit but remember you’re taking your chances, that the day and time you want, may not be available, that’s why and wanting to take advantage of every minute in Amsterdam we did pre-cruise museum tickets for Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum, a City tour plus a Canal cruise, all done through the internet and it worked out well, unfortunately we missed the Hermitage Museum! God willing next time! By the way, at the hotel you also can acquire bus, tram and metro “day pass tickets” for about 16 euros. In general, we were disappointed with the organization of the museum tours, regardless the electronic guide that’s provided as it was not user friendly and trying to quickly find various famous paintings of interest among so many people, many of them spending a long time in front of every painting proved difficult. Regardless, the paintings were superb, many of them unknown to us and some of the Van Gogh’s were a real discovery. We had no idea how prolific he was over such a short time span. At the Rijks the Rembrandts were featured in a special showing of many unknown ones but also there were an enormous number of his sketches - interesting but boring unless you were there to match the sketches with the final painting. The City tour (by bus) was a good learning experience. The modern architecture is outstanding in its variety, especially the use of new materials and colours. It was very refreshing compared to the repetitive high rises that are being built in North America. So the bus tour is worthwhile but we don’t recommend the Canal cruise; the boat was a glass box that on a hot day and that one was, makes you feel you’re in a sauna and no water was available on board. It wasn’t a very nice feeling going along those narrow canals and having to look up at the buildings that from that vantage point says very little (regardless whatever you hear from the loudspeaker) those were the same older buildings we had seen during the City tour but the message got thru mainly because there was a tour guide to whom you were able to ask any question which was then answered very clearly but the ship megaphones were deaf! In case you would like a canal cruise take it at night and I am sure the light show will be stunning, Amsterdam was a city full of surprises! Never imagined there was a subway and a brand new, modern one at that, very wide avenues lined with cafes and sidewalk patio restaurants and many expansive parks and green spaces around every corner. Having the opportunity to go there again now that we know our way around, we would jump at the chance! And then, a visit to the Hermitage (Amsterdam) will be our number one priority for sure! Closing statements Since the day we arrived in Amsterdam we were on the go! We made the mistake of choosing a 7 day cruise that visited completely new places and to make things more demanding, on a new, big and beautiful ship! This cruise was also a kind of a shock because our previous one was an 18 day Atlantic Ocean crossing from Europe to South America, our second one that long and our last! For us spending too much time on a ship becomes repetitive (in all the areas) and boring! Regardless we enjoyed everything to the fullest during this short cruise, we do not plan a repeat such a combination: that is, new places-new ship-7 day cruise….never again! Perhaps it was that there were too many “FIRSTS”: first time with Holland America, first time on the Nieuw Statendam first time in Amsterdam, first time in Oslo and all the other beautiful cities of Norway, so it is very easy for you to imagine how elated we were with this cruise, so happy and elated that we booked another one - more days and going to well-known places. As it was not possible on the Statendam because of a clash of dates, it will be on her older sister’s ship, the Koningsdam and again another first! We have to emphasize that there are many factors why we will sail again with Holland primarily because of the excellent staff but also for the superior food and wait staff being a very close second. Really, we hope you found our review helpful and interesting, so till next time, wishing you very happy sailing days! To our fellow Canadians, being today July 1st. Happy Canada Day! Cheers!!!! Ps. Photos soon to follow this review Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. The extra bonus was this new sparkling ship. The crossing was warm with calm seas. The ship is beautiful. It was fully booked but not crowded. Staff was professional and attentive. The food ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. The extra bonus was this new sparkling ship. The crossing was warm with calm seas. The ship is beautiful. It was fully booked but not crowded. Staff was professional and attentive. The food options were delicious. We would choose this ship anyday. Visiting Normandy and the other ports were the highlights of this crossing. We enjoyed all the public spaces, especially the Crows Nest. The Dutch Cafe is a great place for coffee and pastries. We enjoyed the covered pool area and often ate our Lido food at one of the poolside tables. Wish they had offered a one day thermal spa pass. We felt $299 pp was excessive for the cruise. Many times the hydro pool and spa appeared empty. We enjoyed open dining and usually ate at the same table. This is one of the most beautiful ships we have cruised. It ranks as our favorite and was our 7th Transatlantic cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Booked this 14-day transatlantic repositioning cruise at a great price -- our balcony stateroom had an obstructed view but we still had a view and it was just fine. Knew there would be many more at-sea days that port days, which was okay ... Read More
Booked this 14-day transatlantic repositioning cruise at a great price -- our balcony stateroom had an obstructed view but we still had a view and it was just fine. Knew there would be many more at-sea days that port days, which was okay with us. Embarkation in Ft Lauderdale: Stayed at Four Points by Sheraton Fort Lauderdale and took advantage of their port transfer kiosk in the lobby. We also liked their on-site bar and restaurant. On our sailing day, we chose to ignore our assigned boarding time (1:30) and went to the port a couple hours early. Practically walked right on to the ship! The ship is absolutely beautiful! The décor, the art, and the music theme all played well together. The Lido pool area (with the retractable roof) was very thoughtfully done with different seating and lounging options. Stateroom 4070 was fine and the storage was more than adequate. At night you could hear the music from the venues below but we were not bothered by it. We had the twin bed configuration but I don't think the beds are regulation twin sized -- narrower. The bathroom had a walk-in shower, which was great but the toilet was placed at an odd angle and it never really "felt" right. Storage in the bathroom is lacking -- only one bank of shelves instead of the customary two. That meant using the shelf under the sink for what you could and storing other toiletries elsewhere in the cabin which wasn't really very convenient. Food in the Lido Market Buffet was presented well, and the very few times we ate there, we enjoyed the food and the service. I do appreciate that it is not self serve - and perhaps very related -- we had no illness breakout either. Ordered room service breakfast most days and, except for the day we got double of everything we ordered, we were happy with the quality and temperature of the food. Main Dining Room for dinner was fine -- food was sometimes great and sometimes not. Some days the menu offerings were not very cohesive and we laughed that they must be cleaning out the fridge. For lunch we alternated between the salad bar in the buffet, The Dive In for burgers/hotdogs etc., and The New York Deli and Pizza -- all were very good. The specialty restaurants really shine on the Nieuw Statendam! We went to the special De Librije Dinner with wine pairings presented in the Pinnacle Grill and it was fantastic and well worth the price. Ate two other times at the Pinnacle Grill steak house and both times were marvelous. The Sel de Mer, the French seafood restaurant, was exceptional and we would have eaten there more than once but we could not get in again. Tamarind, the Asian restaurant, was just delightful and I think you need to go more than once, as we did, to really experience the diversity of the menu. Canaletto, the Italian restaurant, was just okay -- not nearly as stellar as the other restaurants. We did not experience the Grand Dutch Café but others told us how much they enjoyed the coffees, sweets and other offerings there. Also, we did not eat at the Mami Sushi Bar. There was another restaurant, The Culinary Arts Center, which they closed down prior to our sailing. They replaced it with Club Orange, which was a dining venue for suite guests and others who were willing to pay an additional $50 per person, per day fee -- we were not willing. Entertainment: The BB King Blues Club was considerably larger than I have seen on other HAL ships, and with the wonderful band they had there, you still had some trouble finding a seat -- They should offer that band a life time contract! In the Rolling Stone Rock bar there was a live band but they just seemed loud to me. I certainly recognized all the music they played, they just didn't play it, or sing it, all that well. And then there is the Billboard Onboard which featured dueling pianos. One of the artists played well but all of his vocals sounded like Elton John was singing (even if it wasn't an Elton John song). The other male artist played well but did not sing very well -- his renditions of female vocalists was just sad. I think hiring male vs female dueling piano artists would be better. We never managed to time going to the World Stage for shows very well -- always packed. Lincoln Center Stage artist performed early evening and were delightful. We went to bingo once, enjoyed the daily trivia games and even worked on a couple of jigsaw puzzles on cooler at-sea days. The casino was extremely tight. Miscellaneous: There are many bars on this ship and, because we bought the beverage packages, we sampled a little something at all of them! The beverage package works for us but it may not work for you -- do the math. WiFi charges continue to be outrageous on this ship, and on all cruise lines -- shameful. Best deal? Unlimited laundry! The cost is per stateroom, not per person, and knowing you can have things washed, pressed and hung up, really changes how you pack for a cruise. Shore Excursions: We only had 4 ports of call on this trip - two port stops in the Azores, one in Cherbourg France, and a stop for a visit to Bruges in Belgium. Weather wasn't our friend on this trip and it was rather windy and cold at a couple of stops.. We reserved ONE HAL shore excursion, and it was dreadful. A total waste of too much money. HAL has to stop gouging people on excursion prices. Service: Everyone aboard the Nieuw Statendam was friendly, helpful, and I can not think of even one negative thing to say about my interactions or the service. Disembarkation in Amsterdam: I knew the smoothness of this trip was too good to be true -- disembarkation was a cold, long mess. Honestly, I don't think it was the fault of HAL. I don't think they had enough personnel at the EU entry point and the line to get there moved glacially. Used Rudy's Taxi Company for port to hotel and hotel to airport transfers -- excellent. Stayed one night in Amsterdam at the Hotel Estherea (great location if a bit pricy) and flew home the next day. Would I like to cruise on the Nieuw Statendam again? Absolutely! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is HA newest and largest cruise ship and we wanted to try it after having done the Volendam in December 2018. Happy that we did. Embarkation and disembarkation both went smoothly. We arrived in FLL the day before, which allowed ... Read More
This is HA newest and largest cruise ship and we wanted to try it after having done the Volendam in December 2018. Happy that we did. Embarkation and disembarkation both went smoothly. We arrived in FLL the day before, which allowed us to arrive at the ship about 1 pm when embarkation was just beginning, so it went smoothly. We miscalculated on disembarkation. We had booked a 8:50 AM flight from FLL to IAD. We took our luggage and rolled off the Nieuw Statendam at 7:30 AM, grabbed a taxi to FLL, but couldn't get our luggage checked in time, in time being 8:30 AM, and thus we couldn't get our boarding passes in time either. We got lucky; there was a 1:05 PM flight from FLL to IAD and we were able to check our luggage and get our boarding passes for that flight. The World Stage theater was very impressive, cutting edge, and entertaining. The décor of the Dining Room was somewhat spartan to our tastes. But the food and service and our table mates were all outstanding. The social interactions added so much to our cruise experience. The live music at the Rolling Stones and the B.B. King and the Lincoln Center Stage, and the twin piano players played to full houses. Our Vista Suite was obviously new and well designed. The tv screen was 55 inches. On the Volendam it was 30 inches. We missed the library that was on the Volendam, but was absent, or radically downsized, on the Nieuw Statendam. FWIW, we are Platinum members on RCCL, but now we prefer Holland America. It caters to an older demographics and Holland America knows how to appeal to us seniors really well. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We are an Australian couple who have taken 20 cruises. Previously we have sailed 21 days on the Koningsdam and 15 on the Noordam. We chose this cruise as we were visiting the USA and realised it was holiday season and because it is a new ... Read More
We are an Australian couple who have taken 20 cruises. Previously we have sailed 21 days on the Koningsdam and 15 on the Noordam. We chose this cruise as we were visiting the USA and realised it was holiday season and because it is a new ship. We have recently tried several of the premium lines (Azamara, Viking, Seabourn and Crystal) and HAL stacks up well for a main line. Overall we had a great cruise, the weather was mostly great, the ports were new to us, HAL has benefited from having the Koningsdam before this ship, awesome music and entertainment and a great variety of dining options. Fellow passengers were much younger than a normal Hal crowd with loads of families. The cruise felt very busy but the overall vibe was very positive. We embarked in FLL for the first time. We arrived a little later than we normally do in the early afternoon and were on the ship very quickly. We had lunch in the mdr where the ugly problems from previous HAL cruises quickly reared their head ie the laboriously slow “sommeliers”. After eating the first 2 courses I left the restaurant and got our own drinks by the time I returned the sommelier was only just arriving at the table to take our order. A complaint to the manager ensured it was much quicker every time following which was good but just to be safe we still took a glass with us. Even worse than the slow ordering is the fact that if you have the drinks package your wine has to be collected from a bar and makes the process even slower, they are the only cruise line we have come across that make it this difficult. As with other HAL cruises food in the mdr was inconsistent but overall a good experience. We loved the other variety of food onboard, stand alone pizza bar, burger bar and the Dutch cafe were all very high quality. The lido is very good, the bread was top class as were the salads. We love that they serve you making it healthier for everyone. The ship is new and overall we really liked the design. Music themed modern art adorns the ship and makes it interesting to explore. A promenade and jogging track made outdoor exercise easy. The theatre with 270 degree screens was great and the new dance shows were awesome. The comedian was very funny as well. There are 2 pools, the aft pool is adult only and was a nice area (except for the smoking) but the policing of children was inconsistent. The highlight is the music venues. Duelling pianos, rock band, BbKings blues band and classical group made for amazing variety and all were high quality. One area of the ship that was a bit of a disappointment was the crows nest, we thought the one on the Koningsdam was disappointing but this is even worse. It is trying to be the explorations cafe, shorex desk, bar area and meeting room. There is not enough seating and it seemed to attract families with young small noisy children. Hal is not known for a lot of activities which we normally enjoy, there were a couple of trivia’s but not a lot else of interest to us but with such nice weather and other activities such as table tennis, shuffleboard etc there was plenty to do onboard. Service - Hal regulars always rave about Hal service but personally we find it overrated. That is not to say it is poor just that it is average. Guest relations were again poor. Our stateroom attendant was friendly but just average. Waiters and bar staff were efficient. One issue we had was when a very drunken passenger threatened me, bar staff has already cut him off and called security but they didn’t arrive in time and surprisingly no one followed up the issue with me despite taking my details. When I queried this later I was simply told the passenger was dealt with - strange that I saw him as drunk again the following day. We bought the drinks package which we think is good value with bottled water, nice coffees and great cocktails. Wine choices are very limited though. We missed Half Moon Cay due to weather which was disappointing but we really enjoyed Turks, Puerto Rico and St Thomas (seriously lucky as only ship in port!). Embarking and disembarking was easy. As the cruise was expensive we only booked an interior cabin but it was very large (it seemed to be bigger than others we saw). We really liked it but there was no couch. Overall an enjoyable cruise with high quality decor, great variety in dining and entertainment, new technology and solid service. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I've never felt compelled to write a review but after our recent trip I must express how delighted we were. I was looking for a college graduation trip for my son and his girlfriend and had to work within certain dates and costs. I ... Read More
I've never felt compelled to write a review but after our recent trip I must express how delighted we were. I was looking for a college graduation trip for my son and his girlfriend and had to work within certain dates and costs. I first saw this trip as a reasonable prospect but knew nothing about HAL. My travel agent thought I might enjoy being on a new ship and knew that I was most recently on Celebrity (loved) and Royal (didn't love). But it's an old people's line, right? First of all, the new venue was beautiful. I'm not that much of a snob about decor, etc., but everything was fabulous. (I probably will repeat this word a few times.) The artwork was eclectic, the flowers are amazing (never paid attention to flowers before on a cruise). My 20 somethings were enthralled, posting picture after picture on IG and Snapchat. Yes, even Facebook even though it's for old fogies. We had a balcony room. It was probably a little narrower than on Celebrity but seemed longer and the storage was better than other ships I've been on. (Two closets for hanging.) The balcony had ottomans which I know is a big bone of contention on other ships. The food was great. My kids are foodies and ordered multiple entrees, appetizers, etc., which was no problem. The main dining room was lovely and since I usually have Aqua class on Celebrity I was a little concerned about this. No problem! We had the late seating and never had a problem with waiting. The only meal we weren't happy with was one fish dish that was slightly dry. Pretty good batting average on a seven day cruise. We had two specialty restaurants included and loved both Canaletto and Pinnacle Grill. The only disappointment for my son was that he couldn't order multiple dishes in Pinnacle. He got over it. The music was great fun with the Billboard Piano duo switching out with the Rolling Stone Room. Down the hall was BB King which played at the same time. I love music and thought it was terrific but I'm no music critic. We didn't spend time in the casino but I have to say that it wasn't very smoky. I really didn't mind walking through like in most ships. It's also worth mentioning that the casino bar had the only TV we noticed. We only were aware because the NBA playoffs were on and my son was searching for a place to watch other than the cabin. Smoking - always an issue because we're non-smokers. I finally asked someone where smoking was allowed and was told that it was aft. Pleasantly surprised. We paid extra for two things that we loved. 1. The Retreat - On the 12th floor is a private cabana area. My friend suggested it and I have to say it was a great hideaway. Butler service, which I am certainly not accustomed to, private hot tub, and peace and quiet. 2. Spa package - We have become quite spoiled with Aqua class but we visited the private spa area every day so we go our money's worth. My only complaint on the whole ship was that the spouts in the Thallasotherapy pool needed to be adjusted. Other people who were HAL regulars said it was a design flaw so I guess they will fix it eventually. Crowds - Where was everybody? I though the ship must be fairly empty but was told on more than one occasion that it was full. You could have fooled me. The elevator was the only place that seemed crowded. Even the Lido Market wasn't bad but I guess maybe we came earlier in the AM than most. Entertainment - If you're coming for the big shows, forget it. We attended two dance shows which were lovely. The comedian and mentalist were also first class. So, I'm sold. I have no idea if their other ships are up to par with this one but I will find out. I booked another cruise while on board. Oh, the twenty somethings? They loved everything about it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We sailed with old friends on this brand new ship, which is the nicest I've been on so far (this being my third cruise). The cabins are well laid out with more than enough storage space for our things, with lots of plugs for our ... Read More
We sailed with old friends on this brand new ship, which is the nicest I've been on so far (this being my third cruise). The cabins are well laid out with more than enough storage space for our things, with lots of plugs for our electronic devices. The cabin stewards were amazing (thank you Bangbang and Adi) and always greeted us with a smile. As with previous cruises the food was great. But to me the highlight was the entertainment on board, which I found truly a step above what I have seen on other cruises. Dancing, an illusionist, a comedian, and every night some amazing bands (blues, rock, piano). We also loved the pool (which was bigger than I expected) and the hot tubs (2 small and one big). One disappointment was the sea was too rough to tender to Georgetown, Grand Caymen, but that's out of our control and we appreciate that the captain puts safety first. A good amount of the passengers are seniors, so I think it was a smart decision. Although I still heard some people complaining, which some people always do. We got a $50 credit on our account, so I was satisfied. Would definitely book again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Holland America, review of cruise 3-30 thru 4-07-19 I decided to go on a cruise for my 60th BD and chose Holland America. We drove down on Saturday with Sylvia, Michael and Mary and landed at Edgewater/New Smyrna Beach. Went to the ... Read More
Holland America, review of cruise 3-30 thru 4-07-19 I decided to go on a cruise for my 60th BD and chose Holland America. We drove down on Saturday with Sylvia, Michael and Mary and landed at Edgewater/New Smyrna Beach. Went to the Garlic for dinner, it was fantastic. The next day we drove the 3 hours to Fort Lauderdale. We made it to the ship where Heaven awaited. Rizky and Jo took excellent care of our cabin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They knew our names and worked so hard! We went to the Pinnacle restaurant that first night. The next day we were at Sea where I found that JR made me an excellent bloody Mary on Deck 10. Then we had the OCEANSIDE BAR, DECK 2 with Rommel, Jeorge, Reul, Bernardo ( the manager) take great care of us the next 7 nights.. The next day we were at Turks and Caicos where we went Whale watching. We saw 3 sets of whales! The next day was my BD, we sailed into San Juan and went to the Spanish rooftop bar at the top of Hotel Milano where we had Mojitos. That night we had dinner at Canaletto I spent all day wearing my Tiara and everybody calling me “Princess”. Thursday, we sailed into St. Thomas where we picked up our tour to Mountaintop. Banana Daquiris were amazing and the shopping was the best. Friday was a day at sea, we had breakfast on the LIDO DECK/Buffet which is where we had breakfast everyday. My husband jumped up and left his phone, but, Agung saw it and made sure we got it back. While we were having lunch, Nino, Assistant Beverage Manager asked if he could get me anything? I said I would love an unsweetened ice tea and he ended up getting me 3!! It was so kind and Jeff also helped as I am disabled, this meant a lot! Dinner at Tamarind Saturday was at half moon Cay where we spent time on the beach from 10 to 2. It was beautiful but it was HOT! dinner at Tamarind Sunday, we docked and were at the car by 9:00AM. We drove back 8 HOURS. Steak and Shake was lunch and we were back by 5:30pm. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We are quite loyal to HAL (4-Star Mariners) and wanted to go on their newest ship. We also liked this particular itinerary. Our back aft suite was wonderful. I gave dining five stars ... but we only eat in the Pinnacle (and once in ... Read More
We are quite loyal to HAL (4-Star Mariners) and wanted to go on their newest ship. We also liked this particular itinerary. Our back aft suite was wonderful. I gave dining five stars ... but we only eat in the Pinnacle (and once in Tamarind) so can't say much about the dining room. The Pinnacle has added new items to their menu which were wonderful. Finally, they changed up their desserts! Yea! We just like eating in the specialty restaurants and not the dining room. Being 4-star Mariners we get it for half price. The new Pinnacle had its tables layed out oddly ... miss the nice window booths on the prior class ship. What I didn't like: this new ship (and the Konningsdam) does not offer breakfast in the Pinnacle for suite guests! They have changed it to "Club Orange" which originally was going to be Culinary Arts Center dining venue but tanked on other ships. So CO is a more casual, cafe-type restaurant. Also, anyone can use Club Orange if they want to pay $50 per day per person which also entitles them to expedited boarding/disembarkation. Don't like this. Suites guests pay a huge price and this Club Orange thing isn't right. Another weird thing: They have new scanners for luggage and my hot curlers were pulled as dangerous! Really??? The Indonesian guy kept calling them "hot plates." I don't think he knew what they were! I've been on 21 HAL cruise and never have my curlers caused a problem. They do not get very hot -- not even close to a curling iron's heat. What's next? No curling irons or flat irons or hair dryers??? Steamers were taken away, too. And, or course, clothes irons. I did get mine back on day 2 thanks to my suite concierge who explained what they were. MAJOR HASSLE! The music venues were very nice but wish the violinists had better times. We always missed them due to our dinner hour. Loved the Gelatto! Many people complained they had to pay $1 or $2 ... but we didn't mind. It was wonderful and no line because people were too cheap -- lol. Half Moon Cay (always beautiful!) was way too crowded as the Konningsdam was also there. Too many people!!! And - to get the tender back to the ship we had to wait in huge lines in the hot sun. It took at least an hour to get our tender in a long line that looked more like Disneyland. HAL does have a lot of seniors but we don't mind. Would rather have them than hundreds of kids running around. All in all, wonderful time. Ship is gorgeous! Would love to go again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We love the Caribbean destinations and have had good experiences with HAL. The ship is beautiful with art and flowers everywhere. It sails smoothly and with great comfort. Our Vista Suite was a great choice and only slightly more money ... Read More
We love the Caribbean destinations and have had good experiences with HAL. The ship is beautiful with art and flowers everywhere. It sails smoothly and with great comfort. Our Vista Suite was a great choice and only slightly more money than a Veranda Cabin. Embarkation was fast and courteous. From the start we knew that the food was the best we ever got on a cruise ship. The crew was friendly and efficient. The entertainment was mostly good with a new theater in the round main showroom and super dancers. The comedian act was unfortunate but that can be fixed. Music everywhere with something for everyone. An Adults Only pool along with a main pool with a glass roof in case it rains. Nice lectures and Country Kitchen events. The usual Shore Excursions and ports of call. We didn't much care for Ocho Rios but no big deal because we're not much for shore excursions. Many dining options but food in the Main Dining Room was so good we didn't go to extra charge offerings. Easy disembark wheeling our own luggage. If you miss the Skeet Shooting or the Baked Alaska waiters marching around the dining room this ship is not going to provide that. Good value and worth going. Passengers tend to be more Seniors. I'm a Seniors and I believe everyone wants to be one. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is HAL's newest ship in the fleet for the Pinnacle Class series of ships. The performances in the panoramic World Stage Theater were amazing, You had to get to the theater at least 30 minutes before showtime or you ... Read More
This is HAL's newest ship in the fleet for the Pinnacle Class series of ships. The performances in the panoramic World Stage Theater were amazing, You had to get to the theater at least 30 minutes before showtime or you couldn't find a preferable seat for 2 or more guests. The dance production team One Step was so professional. Also a BBC Earth show called Blue Planet was just like being underwater in a submarine watching all around you fish swimming and enjoying their underwater adventures, The Music Walk of Stones Rock Room, Billboard (double pianos) and of course B.B. King's Blues Club. A wonderful experience for all ages. Something for everyone. The dining rooms were very modern with very adequate lighting and decor. The service staff in the dining rooms were always happy and couldn't do enough to try to make you happy and very satisfied. The food was very good also with many choices and you could always ask the wait staff for any advise on your choices. In the Lido Buffet, we enjoyed the morning pastry of sticky buns. The day always had to start off with a sticky bun and coffee, then breakfast. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We normally sail with Royal Caribbean but this cruise opportunity came up at a thousand dollars less expensive for a similar itinerary so we gave HA a try. We were not disappointed. Nieuw Statendam is a brand new vessel which carries ... Read More
We normally sail with Royal Caribbean but this cruise opportunity came up at a thousand dollars less expensive for a similar itinerary so we gave HA a try. We were not disappointed. Nieuw Statendam is a brand new vessel which carries around 2700 passengers. There are not a lot of superfluous amenities (from a 60+ perspective) so mostly 50+ passengers. Our ocean view cabin was small but laid out such that nothing was in your way getting around. The bathroom/shower were surprisingly large with a glass walled shower with nice amenities (shampoo, conditioner and body wash). Our cabin was between midships and the bow and was very quiet with quick access to the theater and also to the fabulous Music Walk which included a Rock bar, a Blues bar and a double piano bar which alternated sets throughout the evening. The music was varied and outstanding. There were classical music show in the afternoons as well. The stage shows were new as the ship does not have a traditional stage with an orchestra pit. Only massive screens that surround the whole venue. The first dance show was cutting edge featuring six dancers with no singing in an elaborate presentation showcasing the dancers' talents as well as the advanced technology of the theater. It drew standing ovations from the attendees. The second show was less spectacular but enjoyable. An illusionist wowed the audience with his skills in another show and a comedian also performed. Food was excellent at the general Lido buffet with numerous choices for all tastes. Some food kiosks prepared fresh hot food (Thai wok, omelets, pizza, hot dogs, deli sandwiches) for those willing to wait a bit. We dined only once in the main dining room and it was excellent. We did not try the specialty restaurants. Shore excursions were well organized with departures from the ship well supervised by the crew/cruise director such that we always knew where to go and what to do for our excursion. First visit was to the private beach leased by HA, Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. A lovely spot with lots of beach chairs available. A complimentary buffet was offered to the passengers at the beach. In Jamaica (Ocho Rios) we did river tubing which was excellent! In George Town, Grand Cayman, we did a short trolley tour and then went to Seven Mile Beach using the local bus service which was reliable and inexpensive ($5 per person return). Lunch at a beachfront café was about $75 US but great view and WiFi. Last stop was Cozumel. Just a beer and some shopping there. Transfer from Port Everglades to FLL was well organized by HA and stress free. We will definitely seek other occasions to sail on Nieuw Statendam again. Embarkation in Fort Lauderdale can be harrowing given the traffic at cruise departure times especially if you're trying to return a rental car. Make sure you fill up well outside of downtown as getting to a gas station in the rush hour traffic could take an hour there and back. Because Nieuw Statendam has a casino which allows smoking, the smell of smoke can permeate other public areas such as the Music Walk. Why the casino wasn't hermetically sealed and separately vented on this brand new ship is beyond me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was my first cruise back on Holland America after many years of going on Princess. I wanted to try out the lovely brand new Nieuw Statendam on a pretty affordable itinerary. Embarkation: We arrived about 10:30 to the port. Very ... Read More
This was my first cruise back on Holland America after many years of going on Princess. I wanted to try out the lovely brand new Nieuw Statendam on a pretty affordable itinerary. Embarkation: We arrived about 10:30 to the port. Very easy, no lines, started boarding at 11:30. Rooms were ready pretty quickly I remember hearing but we were out and about exploring. Luggage arrived by 2:00. Muster is nice now without having to bring your life jacket. Cabin: We had initially booked an inside guarantee for the affordability factor. Knowing there were so many great places to be out and about, it was about saving money on this one. Two days before boarding we were upgraded to a VQ spa balcony! What an absolute pleasure this was! The room was so lovely in decor. Tons of storage and a really big shower with excellent water pressure and hot water. The balcony was really nice sized. There is some noise from the rooms next door if you are a quiet sleeper. We were a hop skip and a jump from the lido and a few steps above the spa. win/win! Our room stewards were an absolute delight. Food: We ate in the Lido most breakfasts and lunches. The food was always good. There is a made to order pasta bar that was a real treat. Service was always prompt and friendly at the table with drinks. We went to Tamarind one night which was outstanding. The food, ambiance and service all top notch. Canaletto was also a really nice, affordable treat on our last evening. We had one Pinnacle Grill dinner and the service was horrible. Food was good, but the service really soured the memory. We went to the Dive In for a burger one day and I didn't really care for it but it seemed very popular to others. Grand Dutch Cafe had excellent coffee and snacks and a really pretty place to sit. We only ate in the main dining room during the Mariner's Lunch and I will say it was the best meal we had all week! If you have an invite to this lovely event do not miss it. Spa: We booked the week long pass and took advantage of the saunas and hydro pool. The hydro pool was really nice but when people use the jets in the middle it can spray you in the face. kind of an odd set up. But still fabulous I would book it again in a heart beat. There's a nice horizontal shower, a great dry sauna. The thermal beds are right in front of/kind of same room as showers so that can distract from the quiet. But again, it wasn't enough to not like it. Had a fabulous mani pedi and my friend had a few massages. Everything was excellent. Do watch your bill though. The pricing specials can get a little confusing and there was some misunderstanding going on with exact pricing. Entertainment: All of the music that goes on in Lincoln Stage and BB Kings was excellent. We didn't get a chance to see any of the shows otherwise. The movies at night that were shown by the pool had excellent sound and clarity, and you could get all kinds of good treats while you watched. Highlights: The Explorations Cafe is really nice place for a drink or a coffee with little pastries, and there's also delicious free fruit smoothies. It's just a nice inviting space. The Behind the Scenes ship tour is now being offered on this ship. It isn't exactly cheap but it gives you a really great look at the Bridge, engineering, the galley, the theater and a few other fun stops. It ended with a drink and great conversation with the Cruise Director and a gift bag. This happens on the final sea day. Overall impression of the ship: It's gorgeous top to bottom. The layout is a little bit disjointed as things on port are not the same on starboard which can get you a little bit lost. But the ship isn't huge so it doesn't take a long time to figure things out. I will say what stands out the most is customer service. Top to bottom, all the way up to the Captain, it was the best service I've ever experienced in all my years of cruising. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Beautiful Ship with and wonderful and friendly crew. State of the art precision electronic theater with great entertainment. A stately beauty everywhere you look with fresh flower arrangements and beautiful artwork. Nightly music with a ... Read More
Beautiful Ship with and wonderful and friendly crew. State of the art precision electronic theater with great entertainment. A stately beauty everywhere you look with fresh flower arrangements and beautiful artwork. Nightly music with a variety of Beethoven to The Rolling Stones. The cabins are of great design with so much storage and terrific lighting. The subdued tones of the cabins are restful and tasteful. The service is top notch. The serenity pool and quiet area is so restful and enjoyable. The dining room was a delight with excellent service and white table cloths at each meal. Fresh flowers adorned the tables and the wait staff was impressive. The buffet has excellent food stations and the breads were baked fresh each day. There was a carving station, a sandwich station, plus sushi and of course hamburgers by the pool. The best part of each meal was the iced cream with a flavor of the day along with the vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. The dessert bar had elegant fresh fruit tarts each day. My favorite menu was the most extensive breakfast selections that I have ever seen on any ship and I have been on over 40 cruises. Do not hesitate to experience a cruise on the beautiful Holland ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the new ship. We like Holland America, but some of their ships are getting old. The ship was beautiful. Not so big which made it easy to navigate We had a balcony stateroom 6090 in the center. Although ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the new ship. We like Holland America, but some of their ships are getting old. The ship was beautiful. Not so big which made it easy to navigate We had a balcony stateroom 6090 in the center. Although it was somewhat smaller than on their older ships it was just fine. There seemed to be some younger people on board which was very nice to see. The itinerary was the usual caribbean stops, not really important to us. since we have visited several before. The food was above average, as was the service in the dining room. We enjoyed the new music row, which was Rolling Stones Club and billboard (pianos). BB King Blues was a little too loud for our taste since they put it out in the open, but I'm sure many people enjoyed it. I think the horns made it too loud. Of course Lincoln Center Stage is always lovely (chamber music). The front desk people were all very knowledgeable and helpful. Room service was wonderful. Every morning we had breakfast in our room. They were prompt and very friendly on the phone as well as the person who brought it. NY Deli and Dutch Cafe were both wonderful and not to be missed. (no charge except for special coffees) I have one constructive criticism. They should have a single piano player or guitarist in a bar (Ocean Bar) just to have a quiet place for a drink before or after dinner. The dance shows were very well done. We enjoyed one of the comedians, and the ventriliquist was very good. All in all a wonderful cruise and we booked another on the same ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship is very elegant, with beautiful artwork throughout. The crew was very friendly, seemed happy, and we’re always willing to help. The cabins were relatively roomy with lots of drawers for storage. The food was excellent in the ... Read More
The ship is very elegant, with beautiful artwork throughout. The crew was very friendly, seemed happy, and we’re always willing to help. The cabins were relatively roomy with lots of drawers for storage. The food was excellent in the dining room. The shops were understated and there was not merchandise present in the aisles. The entertainment was not as good or as varied in the mai theater as on other ships. However, there were many styles and locations for music on the ship. There were five hot tubs on the ship for which were the smallest I’ve ever encountered. Those four would not hold for adults comfortably. The ports were excellent. Grand Turk was almost like a private island. The private island was excellent. Surprisingly, we were the only ship in port at Saint Thomas which made for a surprisingly uncrowded visit. San Juan seem cleaner than the last time I visited. I would definitely sale on the Nieuw Statendam again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
My wife and I have only taken one cruise before this one and it was 15 years ago on a 5 day Carnival cruise, budget type deal, from Jacksonville. This was our 25th wedding anniversary, we wanted to be on a more upscale crowd on a new ... Read More
My wife and I have only taken one cruise before this one and it was 15 years ago on a 5 day Carnival cruise, budget type deal, from Jacksonville. This was our 25th wedding anniversary, we wanted to be on a more upscale crowd on a new ship. Let me start by saying we upgraded to a Neptune Suite 3 days prior to the cruise which I am sure enhanced our experience. Embarkation in FLL was a breeze. From the time we hit the pier, left our Uber, we were in our cabin #7113 in 20 minutes. The luggage hit the cabin before 3:00 P.M. Every person we encountered on the cruise was genuinely helpful and service oriented. We truly felt like pampered royalty the entire cruise. From a food standpoint, we only ate one meal in the MDR and we were underwhelmed there. The service was slow, the food was not very hot, and just kinda meh. If we had to eat every meal in the MDR or Lido we would have been unhappy with the food. Because we had a Neptune Suite we had access to Club Orange. I've read mixed reviews on it and I will tell you we absolutely loved it. Would I have paid $50 p.p. per day just to get it, maybe, maybe not. But we really liked it. Food was hot, almost had a private dining room experience to it. There were dishes that were not offered in the MDR, the cappuccinos (which my wife loved) were free in CO but not in the MDR. Free mimosas at breakfast if that's your thing. You do need to wear long pants (jeans are allowed) at dinner. The first evening I came to dinner the maitre'd stopped me and politely told me no shorts at dinner. I have no problem with that at all. It was always "Mr. Hogan, Mrs. Hogan", they knew exactly what we wanted and needed. The last night they had all the signature dishes from the Culinary Council and even introduced us personally to Chef Rudy from Rudi Sel De Mer which was cool. We actually cancelled our reservation at Rudi's for the final night to eat in CO. Chef Rudi was amused but not entirely. He said we missed out and we promised him we would eat there next time. My wife and I are foodies and should have gone to Rudi's at least once. We also ate at Pinnacle Grill which was by far the best meal we ate on the cruise. The amount of food that they give you there is a LOT. Skip lunch they day you eat at PG. We ate at Canaletto which was decent. Not amazing but good. Tamarind was the weakest of the specialty restaurants that we ate at. It was not by any means bad, just not great. It was quite with a nice view though. The sushi was the same as you'd get at a regular sushi (not high end) sushi place back home. Not offensive, but nothing great. We used the Greenhouse spa which I enjoyed tremendously. It was a bit crowded on the sea days but that is to be expected. The spa treatments were nice, but definitely not worth the $$. Save your $$ there. The casino was kind to the wife, not so kind to me but it was a nice distraction. The DO allow smoking except on gala night in the casino. One night it was really awful with the smell, the rest of the time it was tolerable. BB King, Rolling Stone Rock Bar, Lincoln Center, Dueling Pianos, and the rest of the entertainment was also excellent but I will agree the volume from BB King and Rolling Stone was quite loud and I enjoy concerts and am in my late 40s. There is definitely an opportunity for HAL to improve there. Did the SNUBA shore excursion in Grand Turk which was also excellent. Didn't do any other EXC tours just did stuff on our own which was pleasant. Neptune Lounge staff went above and beyond for us making our Vow Renewal Ceremony pretty spectacular. The cabin attendants were also above and beyond! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Nieuw Statendam did not disappoint. Well laid out ship, with beautiful art work throughout the ship. The service was excellent and the food is the best we have enjoyed of the three cruise lines we've tried (Norwegian and Celebrity). ... Read More
Nieuw Statendam did not disappoint. Well laid out ship, with beautiful art work throughout the ship. The service was excellent and the food is the best we have enjoyed of the three cruise lines we've tried (Norwegian and Celebrity). The included dining venues will keep everyone happy, and the speciality restaurants are worth the extra. Holland definitely attracts a more mature crowd, but we are a couple in our forties and we really enjoyed the smaller crowds and the more luxurious feel of Holland. If you are more interested in bars and keeping yourself busy all day, you may want to try a different cruise line, but if you truly want to relax, Holland is a great choice. Like all ships, the excursions organized by the ship are overpriced and too slow for our liking. We went with another couple and they wanted the security of ship sponsored excursions, but they quickly realized these are inefficient and more expensive. If you are willing to do some research, you can find alternatives for less money and that ensure you spend more time enjoying yourself and less time waiting for buses and other passengers. The main stage entertainment is not as good as others, but the musical venues such as BB king blues lounge and the newly added Rock and Roll lounge are great for music lovers. Would highly recommend this cruise line and this ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Having sailed on Celebrity, RCI, Norwegian, Seabourn we decided to try HAL's Nieuw Statendam. We sailed from FLL aboard the Nieuw Statendam. we stayed in port prior to the cruise and loved the Marriott harbor beach resort which is ... Read More
Having sailed on Celebrity, RCI, Norwegian, Seabourn we decided to try HAL's Nieuw Statendam. We sailed from FLL aboard the Nieuw Statendam. we stayed in port prior to the cruise and loved the Marriott harbor beach resort which is normally a 10 min ride to the cruise port. The ship in general is beautiful and elegant. There are elevators at the forward, mid and aft sections (this is recently become an issue on some new ships.) I enjoyed the various artwork displays from paintings to needlepoint crafted sewing machine and iron including a cord and plug. port side has odd numbered rooms and starboard has even numbered rooms. each bank of elevators has a *you are here" red dot on a cross section deck plan of the ship. the music venues (rolling stones, dual pianos-Billboard, classical, BBKing) are on the second floor but you could hear the music from chairs looking down over the music venue on 3. BB King/classical was closed off by glass doors from the rolling stones and billboard. the rolling stones and billboard alternated who was playing. The theater entrances were on 2 and 3. Casino was on 3 and was smoke filled at the one half of the casino where smoking was permitted. Hence i did not spend any time there. There were very few children on the cruise with most of the people being >60 years old. Embarkation: arrival time was 1pm as directed by HAL. I had made the mistake of believing what i read here that people were being directed to enter at specific times by floor. The entire ship and all other ships must have arrived @1PM. fort lauderdale was one huge traffic jam. What should have taken no more than 30 minutes, became 2.5 hours of traffic gridlock and a disney like queue entrance to the ship. signature suite: the suite is done in neutral colors. There is a bedroom with a 50 inch tv, and couch under the TV. the other room had a hidden murphy bed, a large desk/dressing table with lighted mirror, sockets (american --you cannot fit a 3 prong hairdryer plug into it. and european socket with a HAL provided european plug hairdryer), and drawers on both sides. there were even shelves and hooks on the walls. there were two large closets, the usual safe,.a magnificent bathroom with a shower with stationary & removable showerheads and shower wall body spray fixtures. their bathrobes were so roomy and comfortable. there is a large balcony with two lounge chairs and a small table and two chairs on the other side. LIDO swimming pool: walk down steps on one side and deep enough at the other end to tread water & warm enough to swim :-), also has a retractable awning for inclement weather overhead. AFT swimming pool unusable due to the smell of tobacco smoke. Movie under the stars was held on select nights. the movie was a recent release and enjoyable, However there is something wrong with their sound system. the music blares too loudly, while speech is incomprehensible. Popcorn, snacks are available at the ny deli/pizza stand. Stores: the usual- diamonds/jewelry, perfume and one sundry store. the usual 10 dollar table sale on the last at sea day was held at the lido pool with all hand written sales tickets with lines snaking across the ship x2. antiquated way to ring up sales. Anytime dining: delicious food although sometimes i thought their selections were on the menu could need adjusting i.e., roasted/baked fish selection was offered with bbq sauce. regardless, we enjoyed the food and service in the anytime dining. on the first gala night we had a wait at 6:30. otherwise we were seated upon arrival. Buffet: for most part you can obtain your meals by having the servers pass you the dish. i still saw people putting their grimy hands on fruit cups picking them up, and then putting them back down after breathing into the cup while counting the berries. on the private island, i observed people picking up strawberries with their fingers from the bowl. I wish everything could be handed to you. The food was delicious from lamb chops to steaks. i found the occasional large shrimp mushy (likely the already cooked, frozen and defrosted kind) or mushy miniature shrimp. I loved the salad bowl. you selected your salad ingredients and the servers mix and serve. Oil and balsamic vinegar are on the corner of the counter if you don't like prepared dressings. The bread selections were delicious. Canaletto Restaurant: takes up some space at the end of one side of the buffet. It is hot and noisy. dinner menu could be more inspiring. food and service were good. Pinnacle: excellent. we were a party of 4. each juicy steak was cooked correctly. the king crab legs were a $15 dollar supplement on top of the restaurant cost. all four of us shared the king crab as an appetizer.. Drinks: ?powdered drinks instead of real juices. someone else will have to let you know. I only had 2 cocktails the entire wee. We did not do a wine package beforehand since we didn't know what the wines they offered on them tasted like. Instead, we bought bottles individually. The mark up is high as you would expect. What we did enjoy was the wine tasting for 6 countries of both white and red selections for $19.95. it was enjoyable. I would have liked it on the first day at sea because maybe we would have purchased some of the wines we tasted. club orange: passed it several times. always looked like there were open tables. Wine room: (near club orange) empty except for one tasting i saw in passing. the hallway next to club orange is underutilized space. people waiting for seats in the anytime dining are sent to wait there for their table with a beeper. i saw no bartenders offering drinks or wine. Shows: the comedian,bill bradley, was funny and enjoyable. i caught a short show on the last night of the mentalist zeus (?sp) which was entertaining. I enjoyed the artistry, music and lights of the dancers's show Crow's nest/EXC has a bar and coffee offerings, comfortable seating for 2 or for groups. It is a large area at the front & top of the ship. All our ports were enjoyable. we went to beaches in every port except Grand Cayman which was cancelled due to inclement weather. We did not book any excursions. Miscellaneous: We loved the unlimited laundry option. the clothes came back wrinkle free on hangers. we used it only for shirts and shorts/pants. Unlimited internet- we purchased unlimited internet but did not stream. To purchase internet or if you find yourself disconnected, just go back through navigator.hollandamerica.com, choose PAID INTERNET, CONNECT TO SATELLITE or connect. The app- www.navigator.hollandamerica.com gives you all the activities of the day as well as the menus for the restaurant for the dinner Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are a couple in mid 40’s with 2 teen girls, our 10th and 11th cruise. Previously sailed with: Costa, MSC, Holland America, Carnival, Princess, Celebrity. Have already explored about 90% of Caribbean islands, so now mainly sailing for ... Read More
We are a couple in mid 40’s with 2 teen girls, our 10th and 11th cruise. Previously sailed with: Costa, MSC, Holland America, Carnival, Princess, Celebrity. Have already explored about 90% of Caribbean islands, so now mainly sailing for the ship, not for destination. Year and a half ago, we decided to check both ships (being under construction at that time), and booked them right after the tickets become available. We were so excited to cruise again with our 2 favorite cruise lines, and check both brand new vessels back to back. Expectations were set very high. We sailed on Nieuw Statendam first. Best food ever, including buffet, Dive-In, and MDR with delicious lobster, prime rib dinners, and mouthwatering desserts. One of the nicest looking MDR we ever saw (see pic), our waiter Sudiatmika was above and beyond. Great laid out buffet never crowded, so many healthy options to choose from, individual deserts or fruit portions (no mess). We did not try up charge restaurants, Grand Dutch Café, or New York Deli & Pizza, no casino, or spa. There are tons of great music venues: performers at Rolling Stone Rock Room were the best, best, best we have ever seen, great couple at Billboard on Board, talented Lincoln Center Stage and BB King Blues teams! Nieuw Statendam is very easy to navigate ship. We would like to re-christen her to “Nieuw Cozydam”. The most friendly and most professional crew, mainly Indonesian / Filipino. Very polite passengers, and yes, bit older, but worked perfect for us. Most technological advanced theater with LED screen around. Areas around both pools never crowded, several free loungers. Here are other small premium touches not found on competition’s vessels: orchid plants on every single table in the buffet, live flowers in MDR, tons of live floral arrangements through out the ship, our cabin has 2 bathrooms (family ocean view stateroom 1030), received beautiful “diploma of finished cruise” signed by Captain on the end of journey. For disease prevention no self service in the buffet (very smart). Thinking about any room for improvement.... and simply can’t find any. Right after disembark from Nieuw Statendam, quick stop at the garage’s rooftop where we parked (see pic), exchanged clothes and supplies, and hopped on the Edge. I must say that Celebrity built a state of the art terminal (yes, matching Edge design), and it is the most beautiful terminal we’ve ever sailed from. Since we did all the paperwork in advance, the embarkation took 5 min. We had a blast from the first moment we stepped on board and were welcomed with champagne. Better name for this cruise liner would be “Celebrity WOW”. Very modern, stylish, impressive, spacious vessel we’ve ever been on, or we’ve ever seen including futuristic computer mock ups found online. Well-designed contemporary ship inside and out. Impressive atrium, theater, beautiful pool area and Rooftop Garden. We actually love the controversial infinite veranda concept (had 2 Concierge Class Infinite Verandas 11131, 11133 – it was a free upgrade from Celebrity, had originally 1 ocean view quad cabin booked – thank you Celebrity). State of the art cabin/bathroom/infinite veranda, all these light years ahead of any competition (seriously). Shows were great, food too. We did not try up charge restaurants, no casino or spa. We loved our waiters at Cosmopolitan Suphawan & Bundhoo, they worked in tandem, and were the most professional, quickest and beautiful looking team ever served us (see pic). Stateroom attendant Tania, she worked by herself, and also I would say she was the best, and very hardworking room keeper out of all 11 cruses. “Next generation” elevators, so modern and very efficient, biggest we’ve ever seen. There were so many new things for cruise industry we loved: non stop playing “mysterious” music on the stateroom hallways, two story high ceiling in the buffet, extra large staircases, multiple decks running track, amazing chandelier in the atrium, bizarre Eden, and even more bizarre Eden’s performers (we actually liked the controversial smell there), silent disco experience, professional and dedicated cruise director, spacious public areas, every single furniture well made and designed, very high quality materials allover, specially loved premium velour fabrics used on almost all chairs in all food venues. Tons of beautiful art and décor through out the ship. Since this is a band new product, there are minor things we would like Celebrity to polish: all shops on board are on high end side. Deserts and cakes at buffet some times were tasteless. There are designated areas with sink vases when entering the buffet, but no crew posted to encourage passengers to wash their hands. Sticky tongs in the buffet. Cakes were not individually portioned on plates, caused bit of mess at dessert stations. Too many restaurants located directly in the atrium area made this impressive space very loud (kitchen noises), and food smells. Final conclusion: Both these cruise lines, and both these ships are our favorite to date. As we mentioned earlier, our expectations were set very high, and we waited with a heart beat 1.5 year to both these sailings. What happened was we ended up with best vacations ever! Celebrity Edge is unique, most beautiful and most modern, truly a ship of the future. We really enjoyed photographing and exploring her. We had 3 stops, but in the event we have zero port of calls during 7 day cruise, we wouldn't complain. On the other hand, when we are looking from the distance at Nieuw Statendam, what we immediately see, it is an icon of premium and quality. Nieuw Statendam offered best music experience, best food quality, and the most friendly crew in the industry. This cozy ship makes us feel so special, like we were guests at our own resort. If you are not paying attention to all the bells and whistles other lines offers to attract families with children and younger crowd, both above vessels will fit you perfect. If you love dancing, great music, relaxing atmosphere, great food and service definitely do Nieuw Statendam. If you are décor person, would like to sail on the most modern ship in the world, sleep in “next generation cabin”, definitely Edge is a must to see! Now Scarlet Lady, and Edge’s and New Statendam’s future siblings are on our radar. Happy sailings! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My sister and I chose this cruise because it was a themed girlfriend getaway cruise with O Magazine and Oprah, so we knew it was going to be amazing! I have consistently found with HAL that something extraordinary happens when I cruise ... Read More
My sister and I chose this cruise because it was a themed girlfriend getaway cruise with O Magazine and Oprah, so we knew it was going to be amazing! I have consistently found with HAL that something extraordinary happens when I cruise this line! This cruise was no different. First of all embarkation, we arrived at 1030 AM and were onboard by 11:45. Our cabin was not ready, but I was able to put my carry on bag in my cabin and we were off to have lunch and explore the ship! The ship is beautiful, with artwork all over that seemed to grab our attention and made us stop and think! I just loved the layout of the ship with many relaxing comfortable chairs to lounge around in. The only complaint I would have was the walking deck on the lower floor, the views were blocked by the lifeboats. However, the very top of the ship has a great jogging deck with unobstructed views. The crew were friendly and very welcoming! The food was delicious! We really enjoyed sitting outside near the pool and had some great pizza and salads! The entertainment was astounding. The world stage was incredible! I loved the Humanity show! Then there was all the fantastic O magazine specific presentations and workshops, all incredible! The highlights for me was the Supersoul Sunday presentation with Oprah and Tara Westover! What an unforgettable and inspiring thing to watch! Then there was the Conversation with Oprah! She is such an inspiration and I will be forever grateful I got to experience such a beautiful moment listening to Oprah with my sister! We also got to speak with Adam Glassman and he was very kind and personable! Then there was Gayle King who was everywhere, and was kind of to take hundreds of selfies with adoring fans! We saw her everywhere! The President of HAL, Orlando Ashford was out helping guests and getting the feedback on their experience on the ship! There was so many "WOW!" moments! Also, every night my sister and I couldn't wait to see what gift we were going to be given by the O magazine staff! Thank you to Jayne Jamison and her staff for being so thoughtful! We loved the little gifts and were very grateful for them all! Half Moon Caye was just beautiful! The tendering process went well. We found a nice lounger under a tree near the "I wish I could stay here forever bar" and went off to join the incredible meditation on the beach with Tracee Stanley. The beach BBQ was so good! I ate a delicious fish taco and a cheeseburger right there on the beach looking out at the pretty blue water and started humming a Jimmy Buffet song, Cheeseburger in paradise! So much fun! After that, we went for a swim, relaxed on the beach and hurried back to the ship! We didn't want to miss a thing! Our last night we got to run around the ship in PJs! It was like participating in the biggest girl slumber party ever! HAL is my favorite cruise line because they really fulfill their mission statement consistently. "Through excellence we create once-in-a-lifetime experiences, every time." I completely agree and can't wait to see what the next HAL cruise has in store for me! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The ship was really nice and the staff is even nicer. I also really liked the islands they put together, they were amazing The only down side to this cruise, 95% of crowd on this ship was over the age of 68 and therefore all the ... Read More
The ship was really nice and the staff is even nicer. I also really liked the islands they put together, they were amazing The only down side to this cruise, 95% of crowd on this ship was over the age of 68 and therefore all the activities were low key and not that exciting. You might feel a little bored during sea days, or you can say you might feel like you have your own private cruise The food was also great, you will have to choose between the lido market (your buffet style dinning) and your fancy dinning room. Both serve excellent food and you are going to want to go to both. Also taking off from Fort Lauderdale was very easy, it was only 5 miles away from the airport, and very easy to get to with Uber. We bairly waited inline to get in. While on the cruise crows nest on deck 12 is a great starting point. It will really help you out plan your shore excursion. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We loved the new design on this ship. Grouping musical venues together created a much more lively evening vibe (our previous HAL cruises had been pretty dead at night). In general the dining was excellent-- the lido was the best cruise ... Read More
We loved the new design on this ship. Grouping musical venues together created a much more lively evening vibe (our previous HAL cruises had been pretty dead at night). In general the dining was excellent-- the lido was the best cruise buffet we have every encountered. Also enjoyed the Tamerind and really loved the sushi bar. The only truly disappointing dining was the Sel De Mer-- overcooked, bland fish and clearly canned escargot. On a ten day cruise we only ate in the dining room once, but it ws fine. The NFL championship game was broadcast pool side as was a movie each night. Nice way to view. The newly designed pool area has plenty of seating. The staff was outstanding-- better than we have experienced on any previous cruise (including 10 HAL cruises). This is possibly due to it being a new ship with Oprah Winfrey expected on the sailing immediately following ours. There were a few disappointments-- the thermal pool design is not as good as on Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam -- it is impossible to use the massage waterfalls without spraying everyone else in the pool. As is typical, the spa was a joke with silly fake "treatments" like "detox foot treatments" and grossly overpriced, mediocre massage. The casino is also rather poor with terrible odds. Our one serious issue was handled very well with lots of follow up (the issue was the complete lack of ANY soundproofing between our cabin and the adjoining cabin, even very quiet conversation were completely audible. Maintainence workers filled the space between the doors with foam and then sealed the door opening with silicone. This did help a good bit. Muffled voices were still audible, but it no longer seemed the the guests in the next cabin were actual inside our cabin and vice versa). As is always the case on a HAL journey, there is not a lot to do. We played trivia and attended one comedy show that was good and a dance show that was surprisingly good. Best to bring books and enjoy the company of your travel companions. Read Less
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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