842 Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

We decided about 18 months ago to take a trip for our 15th anniversary and we went with close friends who were married the same year. We are 2 couples ranging in age from mid-40's to early 50's, We selected Holland America ... Read More
We decided about 18 months ago to take a trip for our 15th anniversary and we went with close friends who were married the same year. We are 2 couples ranging in age from mid-40's to early 50's, We selected Holland America because of their history cruising in Alaska.We also liked the idea of a smaller, quieter ship. While we are not seniors we tend to go to bed early and don't need the night life that some other ships provide. We booked 18 months in advance and selected an aft balcony and our friends chose a port-side signature suite. Just before final payment the prices dropped considerably so we contacted the travel agent. Because of the promo we booked under they wouldn't credit us with the difference but they offered to upgrade us to Neptune Suites which we happily accepted. We ended up on Deck 6 port side and our friends were on Deck 7 starboard. Embarkation - I had heard that embarkation can sometimes be long waits at Port of Vancouver. We arrived around 10:45 and we were on the ship by 11:20 with no wait at any point of the process. Very smooth. Cabin - we were in 6064 and our friends had 7051 and we were all happy with the accommodations. The room stewards were so friendly and attentive. Our friends were directly across from the Neptune Lounge and we were one floor below which I honestly didn't mind. Neptune Lounge - the concierges Carina and Kristine were both lovely, welcoming and helpful. We didn't really use their services much except to cancel a pre-paid dinner and make one dining reservation but they were always happy to answer questions. Having access to tea/coffee and snacks was a nice bonus. I would often wander up there early in the morning to grab a tea and a croissant to bring back to the room. Lido - We went to the Lido for only 3 meals the entire cruise, mainly because it was like feeding time at the zoo! I found it chaotic, crowded and only mediocre food. Don't get me wrong, no one was going to starve and the food wasn't bad, just not good enough to make up for the atmosphere. Main Dining Room - Despite booking super early we had open dining. While we liked the flexibility of the Open dining I think it also affected the service in the dining room. We only ate dinner there 3 times and while the experience got better each time it was still not up to the level of past cruise dining experiences. I found the main dining room crowded, noisy and rushed. I felt like our waiters made no effort to connect with us, nor did their service elevate the meal in any way. Tamarind - FANTASTIC!!! We loved the food and service here so we ended up going twice. The servers were so welcoming and they memorized your names. When you saw them later in the cruise in a different location they remembered your names. So personal and lovely. Food was delicious. They even brought me a special cake for my birthday. Pinnacle - As Neptune suite guests we had access to the Pinnacle for breakfast and I have to say that was the best suite perk that we had. Breakfast choices provided a lot of variety and it was delicious. Staff in the Pinnacle were so welcoming and always remembered your requests from the day before. We also had one lunch and one dinner in the Pinnacle and they were both delicious. Excursions - We booked two different excursions through Holland America and we were happy with both. In Skagway we did the White Pass Rail to the Yukon which was a full day tour, including lunch. In Ketchikan we did the Wilderness Explorer Cruise and all-you-can-eat crab feast. Both excursions were well done. In Juneau we opted to rent a car and explore on our own. Entertainment - We visited Billboard one night. The female piano player had a beautiful voice but the man was not great. Mid-week we discovered BB Kings and we wish we had made the effort to check it out sooner because it was great. They do 3 sets every night and the place was packed! We didn't do any of the EXC talks in the main theatre as that's not our thing. We did watch the comedian Jim Short and the illusionist Leon Etienne. Both were great. They also did a variety show on the last night with both of them. We had planned to see the dancers one night but they were cancelled for their safety due to high waves and rocking ship. Disembarkation - We were in the first disembarkation group which was announced at about 7:45 am but since we didn't have a flight to catch until later in the day we had a leisurely breakfast before getting off the ship at about 8:30. From the time we scanned off the ship to when we were outside the terminal was less than 12 minutes. Super fast and efficient. Overall Impression - We found that the things people paid to upgrade (Neptune Suite, specialty dining, etc) were fantastic and provided the experience and level of service we expected of the cruise as a whole. Those things which were included (Lido, Main Dining Room, etc) were not up to par with what we were expecting. We didn't have a bad experience but our experience in the upgraded areas certainly made the cruise that much better. It's just unfortunate that we had to pay for the level of service that has been included on past cruises with other companies. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Took full advantage of wheelchair assistance and porter, made it a lot easier – on both of us. Delivered to stateroom door at embarkation. Quality of food varied, meat generally overcooked on the Lido, meat and seafood tough in the ... Read More
Took full advantage of wheelchair assistance and porter, made it a lot easier – on both of us. Delivered to stateroom door at embarkation. Quality of food varied, meat generally overcooked on the Lido, meat and seafood tough in the Canaletto and beautiful and tasty in the Tamarind. Lack of consistency across the board. Why should we have to pay extra to have a great experience. Tamarind was the best part of the cruise. Five courses for $25 each [4-star discount] Apple, Utra, Dhana provided gracious service, even getting us a second anniversary cake, as we were too full the first night, so we returned. Not only was the food presented in a beautiful manner, the taste was exquisite.Frustrating to come onboard mid-afternoon after excursion, Lido closing despite people in-line. Only dining option salads or Dive In. Miss the bands in the lounges. Stefanie Bolton of the BB King All-Star band was the highlight every evening. Juneau rained all day, but were forewarned so brought warmer clothing. Took the ship’s excursion for Whale watching and wildlife quest. Enthusiastic wildlife specialist gave us all sorts of information on wildlife we encountered. Particularly interesting was learning the returning whales have been given names, made the sightings more meaningful. Enjoyed various nibbles throughout the cruise, smoked salmon and kelp pickles at the end of course were the best. And just at the end we found the whales! In Skagway walked off the ship, and found the street car tour. Could use our ship’s card to pay for it, so made it very convenient . Driver was dressed in frontier dress, bit eccentric, as she swerved all over the road to avoid hitting the caterpillars? Would have preferred her narration vice recorded version, so could have a more personalized experience. In Ketchikan, berthed directly in the middle of town. Easy access to Visitor Information and shops; picked up discounted? Ketchikan Wildlife Tour. Last of the day, no other passengers so it became a private tour for the two of us. Sonia took personal delight in sharing her town with us. Because DH couldn’t walk far, we didn’t go to the Totem poles. Instead of the Dolly House which didn’t interest us, she graciously took us directly back to the ship. Medevac of patient occurred last day in Inside Passage, skillfully handled, kept low key. Only thing Captain had to cancel his “Questions” session, and wasn’t able to present the Mariner rewards. Two hour delay did not affect the schedule, kept up the slow cruising of the Inside Passage and made up time during the night Discouraged by the impoliteness of fellow guests, barging into the elevator before passengers disembark, blocking the way of a wheelchair bound passenger’s assisted departure of the tour boat. All going to the same place at the same time. Verbal+Finger salute from obviously a disgruntled passenger as she went the entire length of the luggage room on disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We decided with friends we wanted to do an Alaskan cruise for our special Anniversaries and we researched a few alternatives and finally chose Holland and America. Having cruised before with other companies we had an idea of what we liked ... Read More
We decided with friends we wanted to do an Alaskan cruise for our special Anniversaries and we researched a few alternatives and finally chose Holland and America. Having cruised before with other companies we had an idea of what we liked and didn’t like. Holland and America did not disappoint, the ship was a good size with plenty of space. We had a lovely outside cabin with a good sized bathroom. The choices of dining was very good made better by a complimentary meal in the Pinnacle Grill on our first night which served up one of the best beef tenderloins I have ever tasted, all our meals were good so we booked to go back on our last night and again didn’t disappoint, would definitely recommend.All the staff on the ship were very friendly and helpful. The choice of excursions were excellent and ports of call good. We enjoyed what Holland and America had on offer and will definitely choose them again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have been on many cruises and the Holland America Line has to be the worst cruise I have been on. The activities during the day consisted of seminars Sail away party consisted of nothing on deck, no live performance - just music ... Read More
I have been on many cruises and the Holland America Line has to be the worst cruise I have been on. The activities during the day consisted of seminars Sail away party consisted of nothing on deck, no live performance - just music and the ship selling their drinks as much as they can. No Games No Karoke Comedian - Terrible Illusiionist - Was Good Dancing Show in Theatre - Awful Centre Stage - Violinist - I find this boring - was not interested though there were many elderly people that were Piano Bar - Ok BB Kings - was by far the best entertainment on the ship. But How much can you listen to blues songs everynight. Rated my worst cruise ever. Ports - Destination Alaska 7 nights - Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Glacier Bay all beautiful areas. Ship itself, clean and tidy Cabin steward - very nice Dining - Average variety of food - nothing special Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose this cruise because of an awesome presentation by the travel agent. We were told this going to be a real Alaskan adventure and experience, instead we were on a ship full of Vietnamese people and forced to choose from mostly asian ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of an awesome presentation by the travel agent. We were told this going to be a real Alaskan adventure and experience, instead we were on a ship full of Vietnamese people and forced to choose from mostly asian food choices. I didnt pay $9,000.00 for an asian vacation to Alaska. The food lines ran out of popular food choices and we had to choose from some sort of mystery meat? We also bought a drink package and it sometimes took over an hour to get a drink from the bar staff. The only speedy bartender was the guy on the top deck. That guy was at least friendly, the others were rude and slow. The ship was neat and clean but the staff was quite rude. We sat for almost two hours at the Pinnacle Grill, so long that i almost fell asleep waiting for my food. The only good meal we had on the cruise was when we stopped in Ketchikan and went to a fresh seafood house. This experience for the money we paid was so bad, i will most like never take a cruise again.I've filled out multiple post trip surveys since returning and not a single person from Holland America has contacted me. Very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this 12 day cruise/land journey for a 35th wedding anniversary for my wife and I. Never been on a cruise or extended vacation like this before. Cruise was enjoyable but did not know what to really expect since this was our first ... Read More
Chose this 12 day cruise/land journey for a 35th wedding anniversary for my wife and I. Never been on a cruise or extended vacation like this before. Cruise was enjoyable but did not know what to really expect since this was our first cruise. We had a window in our room to watch the ocean. A balcony would have been better but for a first time on a cruise and for only 3 days it was nice. The land journey portion of the trip was fun and exciting. We visited Skagway, Whitehorse, Dawson City, Fairbanks, Denali Park, and Anchorage. Most of the motor coaches were comfortable with nice leg room and good visibility except for the last one we rode on. Weather was relatively good and we did get to see Denali with no clouds or weather to obstruct it. The last leg of our journey was to be an 8 hour ride in the glass domed train from Denali to Anchorage. Due to wildfires the train was shut down and we were loaded on motor coaches for a 12 hour ride back to Fairbanks and around another highway to Anchorage. This particular motor coach was not real comfortable. The seats were stacked closer together which meant less leg room and the climate controls did not work very well. The windows continually fogged up and you could not see outside. We were herded through a little roadhouse for lunch, which the food was good but hardly room to sit down and eat. None the less, the train trip from Denali to Anchorage was one of the major reasons we booked this particular trip and to not be able to experience it was extremely disappointing. I realize that wildfires are beyond their control but that bus ride was 12 hours of hell. It put a bad taste in our mouth for what was to have been a pretty good trip. Holland America got my money so I guess that was the most important thing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We recently completed our annual summer inside passage cruise to Alaska (this was our 36th Alaska cruise), and 21st Alaska sailing with HAL. This year we sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam, VQ Spa Veranda on deck 10 - the views from up top ... Read More
We recently completed our annual summer inside passage cruise to Alaska (this was our 36th Alaska cruise), and 21st Alaska sailing with HAL. This year we sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam, VQ Spa Veranda on deck 10 - the views from up top on the Panorama deck balcony are spectacular! - otherwise the Spa category isn't worth the higher price as it includes nothing else but 3 bottles of water. Our weather was sunny for the whole 7 days - INCREDIBLY lucky for an Alaska run! The dining (in all 7 venues) was stellar and much better than our recent sailing on Seabourn's Sojourn - and that is a high bar to beat. We ate well! The entertainment however, was without a doubt, the worst we have experienced on ANY ship, on any line, in our 388 cruises history. Literally a ghost ship inside and out. Not a single production show in 7 days? - and this is the new HAL norm according to the cruise staff... 1 sad illusionist and an unfunny comedian and the now very very tired BBC Alaska video summed up the weeks main showroom entertainment? Seriously. The piano is gone from the Ocean Bar, and no other entertainment is offered on the vacant band stage - and the people just walk by this once perfect cocktail location as there is no reason to sit there and pay for drinks in silence. The Crows Nest (EXC) is now just a place to sell shore excursions and buy Explorations coffee, no evening entertainment (or people). BB Kings and Billboard are tucked into spaces that allow no traditional cruise evening cocktails and conversation. No one stayed longer than a few minutes. We can enjoy fine dining any evening in 5 star restaurants at home, we can even watch the whales jump and play in the ocean from our homes deck during the summer months, but traditional productions shows and a compelling reason to get dressed up and enjoy a place to have cocktails in the evening has always been a reasons to cruise ... Quite simply, the party is over on HAL. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Iceland. The itinerary was not disappointing and our veranda cabin was excellent, with more than adequate storage. The ship is new, beautiful, and well laid out (except for the Casino’s ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Iceland. The itinerary was not disappointing and our veranda cabin was excellent, with more than adequate storage. The ship is new, beautiful, and well laid out (except for the Casino’s proximity to other public venues). My wife fell in Amsterdam (before the cruise) and broke her arm. The HAL crew were extremely accommodating, from embarkation through disembarkation. The entertainment was a mixed bag. The musical venues were outstanding, especially the Lincoln Center and the Rock ‘N Roll. The main stage entertainment was spotty and evidenced what can only be described as budgetary cuts. The food was certainly adequate; however, in the MDR the food was basic. One had to go to the optional venues (at additional expense) for top quality meals. The overall dining room service ranged from mediocre to good. Perhaps this was due to the newness of the ship, which may still have been in a training state. This was especially evident in the MDR. We are currently deciding whether to continue cruising with HAL, as opposed to one of its competitors. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Holland America's cruise from Skagway to Vancouver was wonderful. That is, if you were healthy enough to enjoy it. Once we were done with the aggressive land travel portion, their bus delivered us and many others to the ship ... Read More
Holland America's cruise from Skagway to Vancouver was wonderful. That is, if you were healthy enough to enjoy it. Once we were done with the aggressive land travel portion, their bus delivered us and many others to the ship coughing, sneezing, congested and worn out. Long land transports were ideal pathogen breeding grounds, and HAL was invisible with any contagion prevention. RCL does a much better job in this regard. Also, stayed in a real dive along the way. If you're lucky enough to be healthy at ship embarkation, you will see some gorgeous scenery, and, hopefully, some wildlife. But, wildlife viewing was sporadic at best. Other aspects of the cruise were about what you'd expect: very attentive service by stewards/waiters, good food (but specialty restaurants had the really good food), good entertainment, some good excursions/some to be avoided. If you can afford it, get a room with a veranda. The extra space and additional viewing area was great for relaxing and taking in the scenery. We had to have the steward fix a squeaky door leading out to the veranda, but he was very accomodating and got it done right away (along with fixing a slow drain in the bathtub). We usually dined with the other people in our 16-person group. The wait staff quickly became familiar with our group. We celebrated a couple of birthdays during the trip, and the staff entertained us with some birthday cakes and renditions of Happy Birthday. Food was good but did not blow us away. The ship was an enjoyable size--not so large that it took a long time to get from one end to the other and not too small as to be lacking in venues. Hot tubs were actually hot and not too crowded. Didn't get a chance to use any of the several pools but those that did looked like they were enjoying it. Overall, we were a little underwhelmed by the land portion of this tour. Didn't see much wildlife, smoke was everywhere due to the forest fires, and we're still trying to get better two weeks later. So, avoid that leg of the tour, stick to the cruise and you'll enjoy it more. Don't bank on Alaska being the "trip of a lifetime". It certainly isn't--especially the way HAL operates. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
the worst entertainment the first day on the main stage they showed the movie captain marvel on dress up night at 9;30 they showed the movie dumbo the other nights they had 6 contemporary dancers an illusionist and a comedian we have been ... Read More
the worst entertainment the first day on the main stage they showed the movie captain marvel on dress up night at 9;30 they showed the movie dumbo the other nights they had 6 contemporary dancers an illusionist and a comedian we have been on numerous cruises and had such a horrendous experience that it put a damper on the whole cruise the cabin was average we had a terrace on one of the higher floors the food was average the shore excursions were average this past May we were on one of the carnival ships we had fantastic entertainment they had a live 6 piece band with a broadway production of singers and dancers who changed costumes three times there were two comedians who performed other then the main stage they had a seperate room just for movies which they showed all the time the master of ceremonies entertained the crowd after the show with different engaging activities we had never been on any holland america cruise ships before and will never go back the food was better then the other cruise ships we were on they made all their pizzas to order they had sushi every day for lunch they also had carved meats and different vegetables they also had make your own salad the lounge act at bb Kings was exceptionally good with two great singers and five musicals behind them Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my second trip to Alaska and my first time on Holland America. I was really impressed with this beautiful ship. It looked fresh and felt luxurious. There were plenty of elevators and lots of quiet places throughout the ship ... Read More
This was my second trip to Alaska and my first time on Holland America. I was really impressed with this beautiful ship. It looked fresh and felt luxurious. There were plenty of elevators and lots of quiet places throughout the ship where one could settle in with a good book. The only time it felt crowded was peak times in the buffet. I liked having breakfast and lunch in the dining room. They served steak and lobster on the 2nd gala night and it was very good. Other Dining Room menu items for dinner were hit and miss. The buffet was typical. I noticed they didn't have trays and the staff dished up most of the food for you, which I didn't really like but apparently it reduces the incidence of illness. Unlike some other cruise lines I've been on, there didn't seem to be any theme nights in the buffet. We dined in Canaletto, the Italian specialty restaurant, one night and the food and service were first rate. I liked the films and talks showcasing Alaska. There were none of those dreadful "Vegas type" shows. There was an illusionist one night and a comedian. There was a dance group but it didn't appeal to me and I left. I loved the Lincoln Centre Stage featuring a piano quintette from Hungary and also the B.B. King Blues club. We had lots of fun at Trivia and Music Trivia. The staff were helpful, friendly and service oriented although I found sometimes there was quite a wait to get a drink. Speaking of drinks, I discovered the Ginger Mule and will ask for that next time. I didn't get off the ship in Juneau but took the White Pass and Yukon trip in Skagway and the Wilderness Exploration and Crab Feast in Ketchikan. Both through the ship and both very expensive. Converted to Canadian funds the cost was around $500.00. Our party included a 12 year old and a 16 year old. The younger one had a blast but we worried there didn't seem to be much for the teen. However, she said at the end that she would love to do another cruise. I had wheelchair assistance embarking and disembarking as I am on supplemental oxygen and the batteries don't last too long. I really appreciated this service. Disembarking was really well organized, probably the best I've ever experienced. All in all, a lovely week with family and friends. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This cruise fit our time and budget. We also like HA cruises as we find them slightly better than the other cruise lines. HA is one of the few that sails into Glacier Bay, which is a highlight of the cruise. i would not cruise to Alaska ... Read More
This cruise fit our time and budget. We also like HA cruises as we find them slightly better than the other cruise lines. HA is one of the few that sails into Glacier Bay, which is a highlight of the cruise. i would not cruise to Alaska without going to Glacier Bay. The food and service was excellent. There was a minor issue with the balcony divider that rattled, which they fixed - they also fixed a minor issue in the bathroom shower without us even telling them. The ship was impeccably clean, and the state room service was great. Maybe we are getting old, but we also found that the lack of party atmosphere was refreshing and relaxing. We tried BB kings lounge, which was the heart of the ship, and while the musicians were very skilled, we found the Blues and R&B was not our thing, I am more of a classic rock guy. The shows in the main theater were very good, but don't expect the extravaganza that you see on the Mega Ships. We booked our own shore excursions and did not use the cruise line for this. The White pass railroad was GREAT and very scenic. We booked a Seaplane in Ketchikan for a Misty Fjiords flight which I highly recommend. I am plane buff and this was the highlight of the trip for me. In jueau we took public transit to Mendenhall Glacier and walked 1.5 miles to the park from the bus stop. This cost us $18 for everything, round trip. A couple of things. You have to pay for soft drinks, which I found odd. Also they serve you at the buffet, which I guess they do for sanitary reasons (and also to cut down on food waste) but I did find it slower than a help yourself buffet. The Dive in Burger joint was great, and we ate lunch here twice. The Pizza was also good. We also ate at the three specialty restaurants (Asian food, Steak House, and Italian) We rec'd these dinners for free for some reason. The food and service was excellent, however, I find the main dining hall food to be excellent as well. I don't think that I would pay extra for the specialty restaurants. We first took this cruise on our honeymoon 26 years ago, and we enjoyed this cruise just as much Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
After dreaming about visiting Alaska for years, we East Coast frequent travelers took the plunge when my brother & sis-in-law, veteran cruisers, suggested this trip. We planned & conferred for almost 2 years on the details before ... Read More
After dreaming about visiting Alaska for years, we East Coast frequent travelers took the plunge when my brother & sis-in-law, veteran cruisers, suggested this trip. We planned & conferred for almost 2 years on the details before booking with HAL. The experience has become one of the most memorable travel experiences we've ever had. Our sole complaints were right at the start & right at the end - at Vancouver's Canada Place, so I'll dispense with them: once our bags were dropped off, there was absolutely not a soul, nor even signage, to direct us where to begin the embarkation process. After approx. 90 minutes of confusion & waiting in seemingly endless lines, we finally stumbled into 'priority boarding' & breezed through the last 5 minutes. Once again, during disembarkation, which we managed fine on our own, confusion reigned, followed by more long lines. Let me note that we're more than accustomed to Customs & Immigration requirements, having lived in Europe for many years, & continue to visit family there regularly. But it was the total lack of direction at Canada Place we found disconcerting. Finally, at first glance, the taxi line seemed endless, but actually moved along at a good clip, efficiently orchestrated by real people in neon vests, with whistles! From cabin to MDR to Neptune Lounge, I cannot say enough about the staff & crew aboard the NA, who all worked long hours to make our sailing special, always with a smile & greeting. The beautiful NL was stocked with snacks, fruit, juice, coffee/tea & water most of the day. At one point, during a family emergency at home, on a sea day when we had no service on our phones, the concierge in the Lounge put a call through to our room at no charge! Her kindness during a difficult situation will remain with us always. As for dining, we could have opted to have breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill each AM, but were initially unaware that meals take longer there, & my husband was on the clock to make an early excursion, for which he then had to hustle. As a result, we preferred to eat breakfast & dinner in the MDR, never needing a reservation, where my food allergy was accommodated with specially prepared (yummy) meals I'd selected from a printed menu the night before. Bottles of sparkling water I purchased at dinner were taken back to our room to use later, but all the water on board was perfectly potable. As the sole-but-modest drinker in our party, I also purchased a bottle of Prosecco, which the sommeliers re-corked & brought to me on subsequent nights, chilled & still bubbly! Due to my food issue, we had only a couple of plain sandwiches, fruit, or sweet snacks at the buffet - all good. During the height of lunch rush, seating at the Lido deck can be difficult to find, unless you find folks willing to share or about to leave a table. There are three premium & two light-meal restaurants in addition to these. We treated ourselves to dinner in the Pinnacle Grille on our final night at sea - again, delicious. Additionally, my husband requested seating at an officer's table one night, which the four of us enjoyed. He is the IT officer, a tremendously interesting family man from whom we learned so much about his home country of Croatia. As mostly early risers, we didn't linger all that late, but took in a magic show & a brief stint at BB King's Blues Club. They earned passing grades, but we didn't feel they were exceptional. There was also a fascinating & beautifully shot wildlife film shown in the Mainstage. We took part in four excursions between us & highly recommend them all: Tracy Arm Fjord & Glacier Explorer, Gastineau Guiding Whales & Glacier (Small Group) Photo Safari out of Juneau, White Pass Summit Railway out of Skagway, & for something literally off the beaten path: Adventure Kart expedition out of Ketchikan. We aren't big-time shoppers, so although we'd like to have had more time & energy to check out Juneau & Ketchikan, our experiences were priceless & unforgettable, especially as we had near-perfect weather. Our first view of the evening twilight sky in the Crows Nest was so gorgeous we were all at the windows, cell phones in hand. Need I mention that Glacier Bay up on the front deck was a memorable day? The week on board Nieuw Amsterdam went by way too quickly! Luckily, we were able to ferry across to Victoria for 4 days after the cruise, one of which was Canada Day,then finishing up in Vancouver. Given the time, I highly recommend Butchart Gardens outside Victoria, Capilano Suspension Bridge near Vancouver, & the scenic area surrounding Whistler, north of Vancouver. As an amateur photographer, I had a blast! Some of the most spectacular shots I got were right from the balcony - in bare feet & pajamas late into the evening or early in the morning. To say we'd cruise the Inside Passage on HAL again is a given, next time with a land portion. We're hooked now & can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
PROS: Nice ship, not huge, older crowd, not crowded, many places to hang out. Good entertainment, though a couple more movies would have been nice, Comfy beds, attentive housekeeping. We loved having a balcony with a plexiglass railing. ... Read More
PROS: Nice ship, not huge, older crowd, not crowded, many places to hang out. Good entertainment, though a couple more movies would have been nice, Comfy beds, attentive housekeeping. We loved having a balcony with a plexiglass railing. (check for that, some have metal railing and you need to stand up to see) Generally good food with lots of choices. I do like that they serve smaller portions to avoid food waste, Servers attentive. My family enjoyed the entertainment - the magician and the comedian especially CONS: Nothing to do for young adults. My recently turned 18 year old (1 day before the cruise started) was not allowed in the teen club to play foosball with his younger sister (no one else was there), so they could only play ping pong (only 2 tables for the whole ship) Both pools are very small, the bigger one is about the size of our backyard pool. The adults-only pool had screaming kids in it and none of the waiters did anything about it. The pizza at the New York Pizza kiosk is horrible. It tastes like cardboard. You have to purchase bottled sparkling water, they should have carbonated water dispensers like they do in bars/restaurants/fast food everywhere.. Most gym classes are not free and generally too early on days at sea. Club Hal has limited hours (for example only 1-4pm in the afternoon…) Too many events/people trying to sell you something. The smoking area is below the kids’ club, so the smell of smoke is all over that floor. Further, you have to walk trough the smoking area and it’s not pleasant. There is no ventilation on the side of that area, so it gets pretty gross.. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise and would go back on HAL. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Background: This was our first cruise so it was a learning experience figuring everything out. Getting There: We had a 6 am flight from SFO to Vancouver. We took a taxi from the airport to 999 Canada Place. It was $35 flat rate ... Read More
Background: This was our first cruise so it was a learning experience figuring everything out. Getting There: We had a 6 am flight from SFO to Vancouver. We took a taxi from the airport to 999 Canada Place. It was $35 flat rate for 4 people. The taxis up to 4 people in addition to the driver and have a pretty large trunk that can fit 3-4 large suitcases. Definitely recommend this for larger groups since the cost relatively to public transit will be roughly the same. We got to the cruise terminal at around 10. Checking in and customs took a while. On our departure date there was one other cruise ship at the terminal. We were able to board around 11:30 at which time lunch was being served. Where were went: June 8th 2019 - Vancouver June 9th 2019 - Inside Passage June 10th 2019 - Juneau June 11th 2019 - Skagway June 12th 2019 - Glacier Bay June 13th 2019 - Ketchikan June 14th 2019 - Inside Passage June 15th 2019 - Disembark Rooms: Our group was 4 people in two rooms. 1) Balcony (parents/boomers) - This was mid ship on 5th floor. The view out of the balcony was beautiful and unobstructed. We notice this room was had much less motion than the other room we had. If you think you may get seasick definitely get a room lower down mid ship. 2) Oceanview (Sister and I/millennial) - This was on the 10th floor at the very front of the boat. This room was all the way up front and had a great view of exactly where the ship was heading. This room was much bigger than the other stateroom. But motion was definitely more noticeable even when the seas appear relatively calm. Excursions: We took two excisions on are cruise which were: 1) The Grand Tour of Juneau bus tour. This took us to Glacier Gardens park, a Salmon hatchery, and Mendenhall Glacier. We had a great guide (Bryan Wilson) who was both entertaining and very informative. The Salmon hatchery was slightly disappointing because the only salmon we saw were little hatchlings in holding tanks from a distance. 2) White Pass Summit Railroad in Skagway. This was by far my favorite thing whole trip. Very scenic and great photo ops. This was 2.75hrs round trip. Our guide Tyler was very informative and pointed out all the highlights so we could have our cameras ready. Entertainment: 1) Live music: The options were very good. They cover many genres. The Billboard Onboard in particular had good audience engagement. 2) In suite entertainment: -TV: There were only a few channels but had most based covered (Fox, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, ESPN) Got lots of coverage on NBA finals even though my local team the Warriors lost.... -Movies: The movie selection was very good. It had a lot of the newer Marvel movies including Captain Marvel, which was just very recently released on digital release/Blu-ray. Food: - Lido: We ate all our breakfast, lunch, and some dinners here. Breakfast being my least favorite since selection was limited and pretty much the same every day. Best described as a continental breakfast I found a lot of the items particularly the meats to be excessively oily. The lunch and dinner menu were also roughly the same through the entire trip with minor variations throughout. Overall food quality and selection was good but not great. - Main Dining: Had 3 dinners here including a gala night that had the surf and turf. For the most part the menu is not that different from the Lido Market. Service was good and friendly but a bit slow. I felt they were slightly pushy about upselling bottle water, alcohol, and other drinks. - NY Pizza: You could select a pizza (various ones named after NY boroughs) or build your own. You could also get them box so you could bring it back to your room or wherever else to eat. Pretty quality was okay. Pizzas are only one size (roughly a small) - Dive In: Good burgers here. I particularly liked the hotdogs. Hours were a bit limited I think 11:30 - 5:30 most days. The fries and dipping sauce were also very good. Fitness: - The fitness room is a good sized. It has free weights, weight machines, and cardio machines. The free weight section is limited to dumbbells and I think they maxed out at 70lbs. Machine selection is good you can get a good upper body and lower body workout. I normally went in the evening around 8pm (it closes at 9pm) so it was never packed. I assume its busier during the day but on random times I stopped by it was never crowded. Overall I'm very pleased with the cruise and look forward to doing it again some day. If you were on my cruise hit your boy and exchange pictures/stories! Also feel free to ask if you have any questions I can help answer about your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first cruise, and coming off a cruisetour (Y4L) we had four days on the ship. We had an opportunity to upgrade to a Signature Suite from a Veranda and glad we did. This put us in room 6072 in the middle of the ship. We had a ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and coming off a cruisetour (Y4L) we had four days on the ship. We had an opportunity to upgrade to a Signature Suite from a Veranda and glad we did. This put us in room 6072 in the middle of the ship. We had a larger bathroom and room to spread out. The veranda was a wonderful place to view the glaciers on our day in Glacier Bay. We ate at the Lido buffet for breakfast and lunch all days. It was easy to go at any time and there was a huge variety of food choices. I particularly liked the omelet station for breakfast. Easy to be healthy and easy to indulge for all meals. We had dinner at the Dining Room. We had open seating and for 3 of our 4 nights were seated with other people. Again, we found the food to be delicious with plenty of choices. One evening my husband asked for extra steak when he ordered and they were more than happy to oblige. We were there for a Gala Night and we dressed up and enjoyed a special dinner. Service was great. Entertainment on the boat was outstanding. We went to BB Kings every night, the Billboard pianists were fabulous, and we went to an afternoon performance at Lincoln Center Stage. Very talented musicians who worked hard to entertain the crowd. We did not see any of the stage shows in the evening. We were too busy enjoying the music! We also used the health club. Plenty of treadmills, bikes, ergs and machines. Some free weights too. It was not crowded and we were able to use the equipment we wanted. The treadmills were placed at the windows in the bow which my husband enjoyed. I liked working out without looking out to sea so something for everyone. Our third day on the boat we stopped at Ketchican. We planned to hike Deer Mountain at this stop and since the weather was good we stuck with our plan. We grabbed a cab when we came off the ship that took us to the trailhead. Glad we did. It was an uphill walk and the cab knew exactly where we were going. We walked back into town after the hike and had some time to poke into the shops before boarding the ship. By our last day we felt we knew our way around. There is a daily schedule of activities so always something going on if you were looking for something to do. A little sad to say goodbye but the four days on the ship were a great way to relax after the busier pace on land. It was an older crowd for the most part on land and on the ship. We had a couple on their honeymoon on the land tour and there were some young families on the ship. If you are looking for the big shows and non-stop entertainment this might not be your cruise/cruisetour but it was just perfect for us. Already thinking about going back to Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our fifth cruise, with Holland America, so I have no comparison to make with other cruise lines. It is obvious during the embarkation, that this is not “their first go-round”. Moving 2000+ people onto the floating hotel is no ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise, with Holland America, so I have no comparison to make with other cruise lines. It is obvious during the embarkation, that this is not “their first go-round”. Moving 2000+ people onto the floating hotel is no mean feat. Add to the fact there’s another cruise ship, different line, loading for the same departure time. These folks do a marvelous job, the Port of Vancouver is a great place to depart from. I am totally amazed by the comments of folks doing reviews for Cruise Critic. Fortunately you can read all the comments, and sometimes wonder “did these folks travel on the same ship?” How can one person be so positive and another negative. Well that’s the way it is, we are all different and we all see things through different eyes. But with the Cruise Critics’ review, you can at least sort out the wheat from the chaff. every review was negative, then the cruise line has a problem - a mixture gives each line a chance to iron out the negatives. Our fifth cruise, this time on the Nieuw Amsterdam, went without a hitch. Embarkation was as smooth as the previous four trips. Our cabin was ready and we met our cabin stewards. Now, these folks meet several people each trip, how do they remember our names? Holland America trains these stewards to do their job, and part of that is getting to know your clients (and that’s what we are). Our Veranda stateroom was everything we’d expected. There is plenty of room for two and the outside deck is an added benefit. The Nieuw Amsterdam is a beautiful ship, wandering around you get to appreciate the effort in making this ship. If your only efforts take you from your stateroom to the Lido or Main Dining Room, you are wasting your travel time. In many reviews I have read that critics have said the trip is boring, there’s nothing to do. HAL regularly prints daily schedules of activities and events. Should you chose to ignore those, then yes, you will have a boring do nothing cruise. Food, does that interest anyone - the Nieuw Amsterdam has every type of venue available, and I had to say they are all top notch. From the Dive In and Pizza place to the Main Dining Room and the pay extra dining. You can have whatever you may wish, you will not be disappointed. On this trip at each stop, Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan there were three other cruise ships, all arriving and departing at similar times. That’s somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 cruisers joining the locals. And yet it doesn’t seem excessive. There was a little sea movement between Ketchikan and the northern Vancouver Island, this was to be expected, but had very little effect on us. Weather forecasting sometimes is misleading. If we’d planned our trips on two-week forecasts, we’d never travel. On the week 18-25 May 2019, the weather gods blessed us. Arriving back in Vancouver, our disembarkation was as smooth and our embarkation Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
As the title says this was the first time we have travelled on HA and our first time in Alaska, so good we had friends along with us for the ride. Vancouver is a great place and a great place to embark and disembark, we found the whole ... Read More
As the title says this was the first time we have travelled on HA and our first time in Alaska, so good we had friends along with us for the ride. Vancouver is a great place and a great place to embark and disembark, we found the whole experience so simple, HA and the local port authority really had this sorted to the infinite details. You are always concerned that embarkation especially with customs as we are not local citizens will take a lot of time imagine our surprise then when the whole thing only took approximately 40 minutes! We had an inside cabin, which at first I was sceptical of, however, I shouldn't have been as it was large and very well appointed, in fact we had plenty of room for the luggage that we had bought with us. Our steward, Suko, did an excellent job of looking after us for the week. Personally I liked the layout of the ship ad found it quite easy to find our way around. The food in the buffet, main restaurant and in Tamarind was excellent, the latter being our best experience. To be honest though we really could not fault the food or the serving staff who were excellent. The bar at the Tamarind was lovely. We enjoyed the 4 o'clock extra drink for US$ 2 almost every day, or certainly on all the sea days and we also enjoyed the sip and savour which I thought was an excellent idea. The ship was spotlessly clean and always being worked on by the staff who did a great job. I thought the gym was one of the best I have seen on-board a ship and my wife and our friends also had a great time when they used the spa. The only real grumble was the entertainment on-board. The band in BB Kings every night were fantastic but that is really where the entertainment ended for us, the comedian was awful, we left after 15 minutes, the jokes weren't particularly funny and the material was aimed at the US guests. In my opinion HA need to make more use of the main stage or they could lose guests to lines which provide a more robust entertainment package. The bar/coffee shop at the front of the ship on 11 was also not my favourite place, it never really felt like a bar to be honest although clearly on the day we were in Glacier Bay it provided an excellent look-out point. We only did one trip with HA which was well organised and I thought well-priced, this was the trip to the Mendenhall glacier with a whale watching trip which was one of the highlights of the whole trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We wanted to see Alaska and Glacier Bey, So HA cruise line was one of the lines that goes there and we where advised by our travel agent as well. Ship had good rooms and great stuff. Everything else didn't meet our expectations. Of 7 ... Read More
We wanted to see Alaska and Glacier Bey, So HA cruise line was one of the lines that goes there and we where advised by our travel agent as well. Ship had good rooms and great stuff. Everything else didn't meet our expectations. Of 7 days there where just 5 days of shows on mane stage and most of them where low class performances (other two days they showed a movie). On other stages performances where the same each nice so after first day nothing new. They had just two ping pong tables that where very popular because there wasn't anything else to do. Pool aerie was closed way to early at 9pm and we literally where kick out when we where there at 9pm. Just two activities where organized just last day in a ship but very poor and short (ping pong tournament and song trivia). Buffet food was okay but dining room food was almost as buffet food, not so much special taste food. We knew that HA cruise to Alaska will be quieter experience but it was just bad organized and low quality with a little that they had. And at each corner they tried to sell us something, like creams at spa, good feet at gym, bear at buffet, meal to buy at dinning and so on. We for sure will try another cruise lines but wont suggest anyone HA line. Also we spoke with other travelers that used that line before and they tolled that this year they really very poor organized compare to before. Also we heard from our travel agent that other people where complaining withe their line too. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise for a quick break to Alaska. We live close to Vancouver so with no flights it is an easy holiday. We have been doing this twice a year and have enjoyed everything. However, this time there was a a significant ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a quick break to Alaska. We live close to Vancouver so with no flights it is an easy holiday. We have been doing this twice a year and have enjoyed everything. However, this time there was a a significant decline in the entertainment. HA have introduced a new Step 1 dance company which didn't appeal to us. They were 6 dancers, with no singers, no band, and a poor sound system. This is no doubt another effort to reduce costs but not for us. We used to recommend HA to friends, but not now with this decline. Other on stage performances were an illusionist and a comedian which were both good. The BB King band on board was absolutely fantastic - this is what will bring us back to HA. Cherise and Steven were the vocalists and were terrific, and so were the other band members. The "Cruise Director" was very sweet, but not the ever present role of the previous CDs. There was no activities staff, no dance lessons, so Celebrity is way ahead in this area. HA claim the best perks at sea, but we dispute that as we get much better perks on Princess and Celebrity where we have similar status. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I'll sum the whole experience up this way: it was marvelous! Service great, stateroom with balcony was fantastic with ample verandah room with two chairs and two stools plus a small side table, ship was well maintained, overall ... Read More
I'll sum the whole experience up this way: it was marvelous! Service great, stateroom with balcony was fantastic with ample verandah room with two chairs and two stools plus a small side table, ship was well maintained, overall good entertainment and food delicious. We're both vegetarians and had no difficulty finding choices that met our dietary requirements including on the menus and at Canaletto. Minor issues: Embarkation - HAL's portion of the process was excellent but the security/US customs process at Canada Place in Vancouver took way too long....more than 2 hours and it felt like musical chairs. Disembarkation was a breeze as we carried our own bags off to catch the Skytrain to the airport. Some of the Mainstage entertainment could use improvement (illusionists and comedians are not our thing) but we loved BB Kings and the Lincoln Stage Centre musicians so overall the cruise was a great experience! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our third cruise to Mexico and first cruise on a Holland America ship. It met our requirements for a new or recently refurbished ship, left from a nearby port, offered a last minute deal and was destined for ports with beautiful ... Read More
This was our third cruise to Mexico and first cruise on a Holland America ship. It met our requirements for a new or recently refurbished ship, left from a nearby port, offered a last minute deal and was destined for ports with beautiful weather. We went out on a limb to experience an interior cabin just to make the shipboard and port fun budget go farther. Here's what we learned ... Port = San Diego knows how to process two ships at once. Despite the spring break crowd the Disney ship leaving at the same time, luggage loading, processing and boarding ran efficiently. Holland America gives you a time window for loading based on your stateroom deck. Adhere to this and it should go well for you! Parking was $11 a day at the Wyndham hotel directly across from the port. Nieuw Amsterdam Ship = We liked the classic interior, beautiful sculptures and artwork that lined the ship walls. The main staircase isn't dramatic like the Princess ships and their main dining room isn't as cheery and bright like Celebrity Dining Rooms but it does have a small ship feel with large sea viewing windows and offers cozy alcoves like the Billboard Onboard with dueling pianos and the Crows Nest for reading/watching the sea and drinking a good cappuccino. When you stay in an inside room, you are quite interested in alternative places to hang on sea days. We frequented the well equipped gym and Tamarind Bar for views, without music, and comfy chairs for lounging and reading. I would not pick this ship for the pool experience because the pool is small and the deck is somewhat crowded with people and privately rented cabanas around the perimeter. If you choose to sunbathe, visit the Seaview deck on the back of the ship with a small pool. Bring your towel clips because it can be a bit windy. The pool dome is closed at night or cool weather, so the pool area stays busy during the day and night. You don’t see a lot of kids onboard but you do see them during afternoon pool hours. With all the mega ships now offering adventurous amenities for families or partiers, HAL is wise to cater to the interests of grandparents and people over 60 first. I wouldn’t hesitate to book a family reunion on the Nieuw Amsterdam but I think it’s real attraction is that it is not a "TEEN SHIP". It’s sophisticated and classy vibe is perfect for a couple getaway. My favorite feature on the ship was the elevator. Each elevator rug was changed daily to announce the day of the week…brilliant! Entertainment = Holland America has thoughtfully considered it's clientele. They have the BB King Blues Club for mo-town and dance music, the Lincoln Center for classical recitals and the Dueling Pianos in the Billboard for 60, 70's, 80's and singer songwriter favorites. The talent was incredible this cruise! The main stage dance shows by Step One Dance Company were skillfully produced with technical lights and lasers and the comedian- Chris Pendleton and illusionist Leon Etienne - couldn't have been better. Activities = Highlight of this cruise was the America Test Kitchen sessions and the games hosted by cruise directors. EXC cruise talks for this Mexico cruise need improvement. Folklore dances on the sundeck need a stage for more passengers to see. I didn't use the casino but KUDOS to Holland America for offering a SMOKE FREE casino so all passengers can enjoy the Onboard Billboard Entertainment. I was surprised to see that the library limited to games and primarily travel and educational books. Bring your own novel. Food and Service = This aspect is pretty important to cruisers and I was worried how it would par with our previous Celebrity and Princess cruises. I can happily tell you that steak tastes like steak (not liver) and lobster portions are wonderful! We didn't have to go to a specialty restaurant to find food we enjoyed. I was most impressed by the Lido Food court and enjoyed being served. This was far different from milling around Horizon court or encountering a traffic jam at the Celebrity food stations. Passengers may have to wait a bit longer for the crew to dip up your food choices, but it is more sanitary. The Nieuw Amsterdam offers an outstanding salad bar. While ice-cream offerings and desserts don't compare to the Norman Love creations on Princess they were tasty, plentiful and enjoyable. Servers were quick to clean tables, serve drinks and always friendly. Booking last minute, Anytime Dining was our only option. We learned to call up to two days in advance to request a dining time. This cut down on waiting in line like other guests. It was also enjoyable to sit and meet other guests. Bar drinks on cruise ships are expensive. Check the rules and consider bringing your allotment of beverages (including water) on board at each port or enjoying in port. Ports = Mexican ports are not particularly spectacular but with a little personal research and port reviews you can book some great tours. My husband and I have never felt afraid or had any concerns about getting off the ship. The people in Mexico are friendly and tourism is quite important. Keep in mind that local taxi drivers don't always speak English but they know the way to popular tourist areas. I can't comment on HALS ship tours as we typically book our own. I highly recommend the following ... Mazatlan - Enjoy the city with a personal guide on a bike along the water. We saw cliff divers, fishermen feeding huge birds, harbor sculptures, city square and the greatest local food market. We gained knowledge of the city's history and learned to appreciate what the locals love from Daniel at Blue Foot City Bike Tours https://bluefoot.mx Cabo San Lucas - This port requires a tender but there is enough to do in the vicinity if you choose just to shop or refill your prescriptions for half the price. Our preference is to get off the ship and negotiate with locals for a tour. We have taken a whale ride excursion in the past. This time we enjoyed and recommend taking a water taxi (both ways) to Medano Beach. Once there you can enjoy the day at a local resort with a perfect view of the ship and Lovers Beach. Puerto Vallarta - The port is nothing to see except a huge Wal Mart across the street. Instead, opt for a taxi to and from the Malecón. Walk the large boardwalk along the ocean to shop, view beautiful art sculptures, street performers and colorful flowers. There are plenty of great restaurants along the way. Visit the Lady of Guadalupe Church downtown, avoid most city streets and sightsee in touristy areas. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Nine of us traveled together to cruise the Panama Canal. Our group consisted of three married couples and three single ladies ranging in age from 50 on up. Despite different interests among the members of the group, I don't remember ... Read More
Nine of us traveled together to cruise the Panama Canal. Our group consisted of three married couples and three single ladies ranging in age from 50 on up. Despite different interests among the members of the group, I don't remember anyone complaining of being bored. Three of us enjoyed the trivia contests, others spent lots of time (and money!) at bingo, some enjoyed the movies and entertainment in the theatre, one single lady in our group enjoyed visiting all of the lounges, and one of the married gentlemen in our party (my own DH) enjoyed hanging out on his balcony, reading and enjoying the scenery. Our signature suite, SY 8094, was situated where the ship juts out and featured a long balcony, which we both enjoyed immensely. My only complaint would be the casino, which was dinky and did not feature a good variety. Of course, I would have done better if I would have stayed away, as I lost a bunch of money. It wasn't like there wasn't enough to do.... The shore stops were long enough to provide a good overview of places that we'd like to revisit. Entertainment was good, food was good, and I would recommend anyone for this ship and PC itinerary! Consistent quality keeps us coming back to HAL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
1. The title says it all! Nothing for the younger crowd. This caters to the 50 plus group. 2. Service was excellent! 3. They cram liquor down your throat! I understand that's where the money is but wow! 4. Excursions. ... Read More
1. The title says it all! Nothing for the younger crowd. This caters to the 50 plus group. 2. Service was excellent! 3. They cram liquor down your throat! I understand that's where the money is but wow! 4. Excursions. Ehh....ok. I did better with a guy in a van! And MUCH CHEAPER! 5. The ship was super clean! 6. Entertainment....not for me on this ship. And everyone goes to bed at 9! THIS IS FOR THE OLDER CROWD! If you want to relax and do nothing...this is YOUR cruise! 7. Food was good....but all the "extra" restaurants were also crammed down your throat as no one would eat there! No coffee shops no snack shops, nothing. 8. Disembarkation, IMPRESSIVE! Customs....I didn't see any! NO ONE SAID A WORD! Had a neighbor that bought $400 in tequila, they didnt even ask to hold it when he boarded! We were told to just take it to our room! When we left the ship no one cared what we had! Not even a customs form! It was great! 9. Great ship, great line but I'm going back to RC and fight the crowds! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The first time around, it was our first cruise together. We sailed on the Eurodam in January, same itinerary, and had a wonderful time. We felt like it wasn't long enough, though, so we decided to book the same itinerary on a ... Read More
The first time around, it was our first cruise together. We sailed on the Eurodam in January, same itinerary, and had a wonderful time. We felt like it wasn't long enough, though, so we decided to book the same itinerary on a different boat. The Nieuw Amsterdam is not quite as nice as the Eurodam. Of course, it hasn't been updated as recently, so that stands to reason. For the most part, they are almost the same-- same restaurants, same staterooms, same places to spend money. But there are subtle differences. The Nieuw Amsterdam has an identity problem in its decor. Here a little Art Deco, there a little quirky, and over there-- well, the main dining room, it looks like the twin of a fancy Chinese restaurant, all in red and mirrors. It is just missing lazy susans on the tables and a gigantic fish tank. No shark tale soup on any menu, though. So, let's talk entertainment. The blues club-- can't beat it. Fun, great music, great entertainers. The classical musicians-- same same. The pianists, well, I guess others liked them, but they didn't do it for me. Mainstage entertainment-- well, were it not for the parents who decided to allow their children to climb over me (literally) and then sit, screaming, it was pretty good. The first show, all dancing, was creative-- the lights became both a character and a prop, with them dancing with the dancers. It was something I haven't seen before. The second dancing show was okay-- one dancer was significantly better than the others. She was good, she wasn't great. But entertaining enough. The magician played to a packed house. I coudn't see it because there was no where to sit. The few minutes I did, it looked like fun. Dining was hit and miss, but mostly hit. Whoever was in charge of cooking the meat hit a home run each time. Whoever was making the sandwiches needs to learn how to spread butter. Other than that, it was the usual high-quality food we have come to expect from HAL. The main issue we had with the cruise was the behavior of the children. I like kids. In fact, I have spent a lifetime teaching other people's kids. When they are well-behaved, they add a great deal to a social occasion. When they are badly behave, they ruin it. Besides the children climbing on me, then screaming, there were packs of young and pre-teens running around (yes, running,) leaving pool towels in the elevators, using the adult pool, several times, complete with floatees to jump onto, splashing the guests, shouting and jumping into the whirlpools. Our complaints seem to fall on deaf ears. And then there is the cell phone issue. Ours were on airplane mode the whole time. And yet we were charged for their service. So, we enjoyed ourselves. But we do feel like HAL has a few wrinkles to iron out. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Nieuw Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

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