889 Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

Food: I was impressed by the main dining rooms, the meals were consistently well prepared with equally good meat, fish, and vegetarian options. Sometimes crisp items, like spring rolls, were soggy, but generally things were very tasty ... Read More
Food: I was impressed by the main dining rooms, the meals were consistently well prepared with equally good meat, fish, and vegetarian options. Sometimes crisp items, like spring rolls, were soggy, but generally things were very tasty given the mass production. The Lido Deck offerings were bland and repetitive, but not terrible. Desserts were basic but usually tasty, and not as gelatin-oriented as other cruise lines I've been on. Service: We had great service from stewards, guest services, Lido Deck staff, and bartenders. People were warm, attentive, and good at their jobs. We did have a negative experience with the maitre d and main dining room hosts, who couldn't find our reserved dining table, were condescending and rude about it, and offered zero assistance. We were later able to resolve the issue with the help of guest services. The housekeeping staff also kept walking into our room without knocking. Shore excursions were clearly geared to a 60+ clientele Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was our 12th cruise but the first in 10 years. 4 previous cruises on HAL. It began somewhat ominously. Check in took forever because they reassigned us to a different cabin-same category (Signature suite) but a deck lower at the very ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise but the first in 10 years. 4 previous cruises on HAL. It began somewhat ominously. Check in took forever because they reassigned us to a different cabin-same category (Signature suite) but a deck lower at the very front of the ship with a handicap accessible bathroom that only had one sink. We were told our original cabin (SS mid ship) had a technical issue that could not be fixed. Our luggage was delivered to the original cabin and sat there until an hour before sailing. Jonah, from guest services worked tirelessly to find us another cabin and did just before departure. The final cabin was an SY signature suite at the midship jog which gave us a must larger-angled balcony which we loved-so much so we booked another cruise on Eurodam with the same SY suites. Overall a better suite then we originally booked but considered a lesser suite (by the cruise line) compared to the SS. The overall service was what he had come to expect from HAL-excellent. Our only complaint was with the Pinnacle Grill (specialty dining) The maître'de was rude and unaccommodating. We arrived about 20 minutes prior to our reservation and even though the place was 1/4 full we were told we would have to wait until our assigned time as not to stress the kitchen. By the time we were seated the PG was still only half full. The food was so so.. I ordered the 23 ounce porterhouse medium rare. It looked like a steak from Bonanza when it arrived and was cooked well done.. Not worth the extra money. The other specialty dining venues were wonderful. Tamarind and Canaletto were both outstanding both in food quality and service. We were assigned anytime dining because we booked late. Never had an issue getting into the dining room when we wanted and the food was pretty good. HAL caters to an older crowd so it was relatively quite and the lines for everything were easy and manageable. The only entertainment venue we visited was the BB King Blues lounge and considering the average age of our fellow cruisers it was hopping and fun. We purchased the premium beverage package but didn't come close to drinking enough to make it worthwhile. Booked this cruise because of the stop at Half Moon Cay ( the best private island of them all) We shared the day with another HAL ship but it didn't seem that crowded ashore. We just hung out on the beach and strolled the island. Our only excursion was the Dolphin encounter and Sting Ray city on Grand Cayman. Great fun and worth the money. Booked a snorkeling excursion in Cozumel but it was cancelled due to the windy weather. Cozumel has a new pier and outdoor shopping mall (since the last time we were here) so if you don't like being hassled by the locals its a great place to buy almost anything you might want. It has been 20 years since we visited Cozumel and while its much more commercialized then it was in the past its worth the stop especially if the weather is nice. Sea days were relaxing and while there is the normal scramble for deck chairs around the pool we were able to find loungers without too much problem. Disembarkation was a breeze and we were off the ship and in our car in under 30 minutes. As mentioned we booked another cruise onboard and received great perks-reduced deposits, full internet pkg's, paid gratuities and $300 on board credit each. We have always enjoyed HAL and the Nieuw Amsterdam is a great ship with a great crew. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This will be a short review of a short but nearly perfect cruise. The ship was in excellent shape. The art wasn’t even bad! The food was the best I’ve had in several cruises. The service was excellent. Room stewards Suri and Erna ... Read More
This will be a short review of a short but nearly perfect cruise. The ship was in excellent shape. The art wasn’t even bad! The food was the best I’ve had in several cruises. The service was excellent. Room stewards Suri and Erna were perfect and waiters Subi and Dylan were fast and pleasant. The walking deck was lovely. These are the things that matter to me and this ship got them all right. There were a few quibbles. They couldn’t seem to commit to giving us a table for the duration of the seven day cruise, which shouldn’t have been too difficult; every other ship can do it after a day or two if not immediately. The cabin had those annoying slots to put your card into to make the lights come on, but some sensible soul had put a cardboard card in there, mostly solving the problem. There is no longer a lovely little cafe on Three or five for fresh pastries and such. I believe it was called the Cova on other ships, and I did enjoy it. The food and books in the explorers lounge are both scanty and unappealing. That is something HAL should work on. I am glad that they haven’t meddled with the promenade deck as in Konigsdam, Maasdam and some others. I do think that Nieuw Amsterdam is the perfect age and era of HAL ship - there are still bathtubs in outsides and balconies and there is still that lovely deck and the service is excellent while the ship is still new enough to be in excellent condition. This is a ship to sail on again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This is the 3rd cruise to the Caribbean with Holland America for my wife and I, the 2nd cruise on the NA We chose the NA over the NS as it has less passengers We stayed in a verandah cabin (4138) and since we do a lot of walking it was ... Read More
This is the 3rd cruise to the Caribbean with Holland America for my wife and I, the 2nd cruise on the NA We chose the NA over the NS as it has less passengers We stayed in a verandah cabin (4138) and since we do a lot of walking it was very convenient to the promenade deck being one floor up from the deck 3 promenade. The cabin was also on the port side more mid stern We heard very little noise from the nearby elevators and only once did we hear people walking the halls late at night Our cabin stewards were Yusaf and Mus and we thought they were the best we've had on our 4 times on HAL They seemed to know our schedule so they were out of sight and out of mind We appreciated that so our extra gratuity at the end of the cruise was higher than normal which they both seemed to appreciate. We dined in the MDR 5 of the 7 nights on board We had arranged reservations for a set time and asked for a table for 2 It worked well for us We ended up sitting at 2 different tables near the windows Although we didn't know others we had a great time chatting with those sitting near us We ate breaksfast and lunch in the lido We found the food in both MDR and Lido to be 3 to 4 star. MDR was nice as they kind of controlled your portions Entertainment was very limited We enjoyed the piano players (KG and Curtis) to be very entertaining We attended 2 main stage acts one magic act/comedian to be very funny and one comedian/impersonator to be not so funny There was also the BB King lounge which we did not go to and the Lincoln stage which was usually packed for a string quartet and piano player The other option was the Casino which we sometimes went to on sea days It's not very rewarding to go there Ports we stopped at included Key West, Grand Turk, Dominican Republic and Half Moon Cay We enjoyed KW as it is easily walk able and lots of museums, stores and eating places We find GT to have a nice beach but very pushy chair sales people trying to get you to buy a lounge chair every 20 feet The DR (Puerto Plata) is amazingly beautiful and IMO the most beautiful of the islands we've seen Half Moon Cay has always been a favorite but was ruined for us by a group who sort of took over the area we were lounging in All they cared about was the drinks they were paying for I don't know if smoking is allowed on that beach ........they were smoking up a storm We left shortly after their arrival We enjoyed the sunshine, the cruise, the food, and being away but we probably will end our Caribbean cruises for a while Perhaps the Med when the virus goes away Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This review is about the Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Cabin 6001 which is a handicap accessible verandah stateroom. First let me say that this was my 84th cruise so I do have some knowledge of cruises and different lines. WITHOUT ... Read More
This review is about the Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Cabin 6001 which is a handicap accessible verandah stateroom. First let me say that this was my 84th cruise so I do have some knowledge of cruises and different lines. WITHOUT QUESTION THIS IS A VERY UNFRIENDLY CABIN FOR DISABLED PERSONS. Location is terrible for any individual using a manual wheelchair as it is the very front of the ship. It fact it is the very first cabin. It would be extremely taxing to push a wheelchair down that very long hallway. Especially if it was an older person. My husband used a Pride Mobility Scooter and had a very hard time entering the cabin as the hallway is so narrow that it was difficult to turn into the room. The door was sufficiently wide enough BUT directly in front of the door was a large post. It was had to navigate around the post with the scooter. There was really no way to turn the scooter around in the room without backing up several times to turn it. There was no room in the bathroom for the scooter to turn around either. The room was an odd triangle shape and there is no way to navigate a scooter (maybe a wheelchair but doubtful) onto the balcony. I cannot comprehend how Holland America thinks this is an accessible cabin. They took some odd space and "turned it into" an accessible cabin which totally lacks functionality for a disableD person. My husband became so frustrated on more than one occasion just trying to get into the cabin We did find a lot of things we liked about the cruise but the cabin just made it so very difficult. We had the open dining and it was fine. We requested the same table each night and while the waiters were adequate, they were not the best. One night they forgot my soup, one night they forget a tablemate's salad. Small things I know but it still does impact the overall cruise. The waiters seemed distracted or overly busy. It wasn't bad enough to complain about and to be honest the world didn't end because they forgot a soup and salad. Food was good and the second Gala night was exceptional. I could not believe how wonderful the lobster was that night. We loved Dive In and the Pizza. Lido Buffet was consistently quite good and breakfast was great. Room service was fine and very prompt. The dueling pianos in Billboard did a night of 60's music that was beyond fantastic. Those two had the crowded rockin that night, it was people in their mid-70's and it was our "music" Seriously wonderful evening. BB Kings was good but not as good as the pianos. Cabin Stewards were great and everything was kept neat and tidy. The first day our cabin steward meet us in hallway and I told him I put a case of pepsi in the shower because one was leaking. He said not to worry he would take care of it and he did put it all in the mini fridge and cleaned the mess from the leaking one. Overlooking the cabin issues, it was a good cruise and we had a relaxing time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had never sailed on a Holland ship so it was time to try it. The itinerary included stops we had never been to before. Embarkation was the fastest we've experienced and we were able to go to our cabin right away. We didn't ... Read More
We had never sailed on a Holland ship so it was time to try it. The itinerary included stops we had never been to before. Embarkation was the fastest we've experienced and we were able to go to our cabin right away. We didn't see our cabin stewards until the next day but they kept our cabin clean and neat the whole week. They also supplied us with ice daily. The food was the most disappointing for us. The dining room food was mediocre except for the Mariner's lunch which was good. We would always check the menu before dinner to see if there was something we liked. The menu descriptions for some of the food choices were hard to understand as they used terms only chef's would be able to understand. I had an appetizer one night that I couldn't tell by the description what it was and when I got it I really didn't have a clue as to what I was eating except it had goat cheese in it. It wasn't very good either. The coffee wasn't up to the standard of what we were used to on other ships we've been on. They tried to do a little coffee bar in the Explorations Lounge on deck 11 but didn't do a very good job with the coffee drinks and had no pastries available if you wanted a light breakfast. We had pruchased a Coffee Beverage card and fortunately we could use it for other drinks to use it up. The buffet was good but the pastries available for breakfast tasted like they were previously frozen. They obviously don't have a pastry chef on board. We really enjoyed The Tamarind and Rudi's. We didn't do shore excursions but the beaches at Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay were wonderful. The barbeque at Half Moon Cay was delicious with lots of variety. I did like the quietness on the ship, especially the absence of Caribbean music playing constantly in the pool area. The pools were always crowded with not enough chairs. The Lincoln Center, Blues, and Billboard Onboard entertainment were wonderful. Didn't care much for the theatre entertainment. All in all, it was a relaxing cruise which is what we wanted. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We stayed in a hotel in Plantation the night before our cruise. Hotel accommodations were difficult to get because of the annual boat show being held at the same time. We took an Uber from the hotel to the ship. The cost was about $18 and ... Read More
We stayed in a hotel in Plantation the night before our cruise. Hotel accommodations were difficult to get because of the annual boat show being held at the same time. We took an Uber from the hotel to the ship. The cost was about $18 and the ride took about twenty minutes. The car was at our hotel within 10 minutes of our request. The embarkation process was pretty easy and all told, we were in our cabin within an hour of leaving the hotel at 11am. Half way through our cruise we went back to Ft. Lauderdale and had to do the “In Transit” customs thing. It was pretty easy and only lasted about 1-1/2 hours start to finish. Over all, the entire ship was in excellent condition. It was just beautiful. All of the public restrooms were clean, fresh and working properly. Our luggage arrived very shortly after we got into our cabin (Signature Suite 6063). The cabin was great, no plumbing or A/C issues. We had pre ordered a bouquet of flowers for the cabin and they were beautiful! They lasted almost the entire two weeks that we were on board. I never could figure out how to get the jets on the bathtub to work but it really was no big deal because I just wanted to soak anyway. One thing though, the dividers on the balcony made an annoying rattling noise. We’ve had plenty of balcony cabins in the past and have never experienced this before. I just jammed a couple of spoons in there and problem solved…no more rattle! Our cabin stewards (Rifqi and Riz) were as great as we have come to expect. They did not disappoint and always greeted us by our names with a genuine smile and good cheer. An odd thing though, there were no toiletries in the bathroom the first day. We requested some and soon receive a bar of soap and some lotion. That was fine but the weird part is that on the night before disembarkation, all of a sudden, there was all kinds of new stuff added, like pillow spray, face sponge, shower cap etc. all of it was nice Elemis products. Where were those on our first day? The mini bar was fully stocked but because we had some things of our own that we wanted to put in there, we removed some items and set them aside. Later, those items had disappeared from our cabin entirely and we saw some erroneous mini bar charges on our account. It took a couple of tries but we finally got it all worked out to our satisfaction. Towards the end of the trip we requested that the mini bar be restocked and was informed that it would be done at about 10am the next morning. No problem but about one hour later the mini bar guy came and restocked it! That’s great service! Our laundry was done to such a high standard that I actually made a point of tipping the person who did it. The laundry came back with a little note on it stating “Your laundry was prepared by name”. I took that card and a monetary tip to the front desk and asked them to please see that it got to name. They seemed a little surprised because I don’t think many people do that. One of the first things we did when we got on board was to make our specialty dining reservations. There were several host kiosks set up in various areas and they were able to get us the day and times we wanted with no problem. We first tried it through the dining reservation phone system and found our options were somewhat limited but the hostess at the kiosk was very helpful and accommodating and arranged it all perfectly... The Tamarind grill was amazing as usual. The food was good and the service was exceptional. The Pinnacle Grill was enjoyable but the table was very wobbly to the point of almost being a hazard. Also, there were WAY too many tables jammed together in the area we were in. No chance for an intimate dining experience if that was what you were after. The food and service was good though. The Caneletto food was awesome but the service was somewhat slow. We wanted to make the show that night and the server offered to deliver the desert to our stateroom. I thought that was a very nice gesture and we accepted but when we got back to the cabin later that night, no dessert. There was a message on our phone stating that they tried to deliver it but we weren’t in our cabin when they came. Huh? That was the whole idea. Oh well, we got it later. We found the food in the Main Dining room to be exceptionally good on this trip. We also heard this from a number of other passengers too. The “Surf and Turf” on Gala night was very good. The Lido food was also very good and the selections were quite varied and interesting. The New York Pizza out by the Sea View pool was very good and the person running it was a delight. The Dive-In Burger spot was also good and the wait wasn’t too long normally. On most days we got room service breakfast and it was always on time and accurate. At one point during the cruise on a sea day, a well-dressed food service person came by our cabin and gave us a plate of gourmet cookies as a “Special Gift”. How nice was that? It was a small gesture but it made a big impression! As a whole, the staff and crew were great. The Cruise Director, Rebekah was very good and she did the presentations very well. Our Activities Director, Michaela, was a delight and always had something going on. She did the Daily Trivia and made it very fun. One thing though, during the first week of the cruise we didn’t have much drink service at all during daily trivia but on the second week we had Happy Hour drink service every day. The trivia was at the same time and location during both weeks but one week we had happy hour and one week we didn’t. The Captain, Arno Jutten was very good and informative. He did a heroic job of getting us in to the dock at Turks and Cacaos because it was very windy. It took 3 hours to do it but he got it done and we extended our stay there by the same amount of time. Also, he can crack a good joke too! We had a military/veterans meet up during the cruise and it was attended by the Environmental Officer which was nice. The fitness instructor who conducted the Morning Stretch sessions was good and he was funny too. We attended two Gala nights in the MDR and it was nice. We went to one “Orange Party” in BB King’s Blues Club and the energy was off the charts. It turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought it would be. The Lincoln Center Stage musicians were very talented and it was a joy to watch them perform. The Billboard Onboard pianists were just mediocre in my opinion. Their rendition of “Africa” by Toto was almost painful. The comedian was hilarious and we saw him twice with two different shows. During some of the sea days, not all of the private cabanas were in use so the crew put the nice chair pads out by the pool for general use. That was another example of the crew doing a fabulous job! We bought three ship sponsored shore excursions. The first one, in Key West, was cancelled ostensibly because the boat we were supposed to be using was having mechanical problems. We suspect the true reason was because not enough people had signed up for it. It actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we ended up just doing the Hop On-Hop off bus tour and it was very enjoyable. Our driver was very knowledgeable and funny too! After that we walked around town and ended up at Sloppy Joe’s for lunch. The second tour was in Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. We were supposed to tour a “Cigar Factory” a “Rum Factory” and a “Chocolate Factory”. What it really turned out to be was a glorified gift shop tour. We’d arrive at a location, watch a short video on how they make the product, and then get ushered straight in to a gift shop! It happened at all three locations in addition to the first gift shop we went to about 20 minutes out of town. Of all the stops, the Rum one was the best. They gave us a nice soup for lunch with some entertainment and the grounds were nice to walk around in. The tour guide was nice and the driver was good too. The third tour was in Fort Lauderdale and consisted of a bus tour to various locations around town and then a boat ride to look at mega-yachts and mansions. That was a lot of fun and then the bus took us to the airport. The disembarkation process was fairly routine and a lot of the crew members were on the gang way wishing us safe travels. It was a great end to another great Holland America cruise and we’ve already got our next one booked! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
After cruising with HAL in September to Canada, my husband and I were so impressed with the entire HAL cruising experience that we decided to book an Eastern Caribbean Cruise to celebrate 25 years of marriage. First, let me say, that as ... Read More
After cruising with HAL in September to Canada, my husband and I were so impressed with the entire HAL cruising experience that we decided to book an Eastern Caribbean Cruise to celebrate 25 years of marriage. First, let me say, that as always, the stewards, waiters, wine experts, and other support staff were incredible. Our stateroom was gorgeous and perfectly cleaned everyday. The food on the ship was impeccable and overall the ship was very clean and all of the staff extremely friendly. Despite all of those very excellent qualities, I doubt we will set sail with HAL in the future. The condition of the Nieuw Amsterdam was not disclosed to us at all until we had been on the ship for 24 hours. We were completely unaware that we were sailing on only had one propeller. There were no communications leading up to the cruise by mail, email or phone to tell us that the ship was disabled. The company did not disclose this information and therefore you took away our opportunity to make an informed decision. The ship was sent into known rough seas where we corkscrewed through the Atlantic for three days until we limped into port at San Juan. We had to skip our first port because of the slow progress of the ship and most other ports were significantly shortened. Had HAL informed us of the ship's problems, we would have rebooked with HAL for another cruise. However, because they knowingly deceived us about the condition of the ship, they have lost future revenue from us as well as anyone who asks about our HAL experience. I am truly shocked that a company with a long tradition of excellence and ethical policies has stooped so low for the bottom line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were looking for a week of warmth away from NY cold. We got a lot of wind, rain, rough seas, slow passage (due to 1 azipod) & a skipped port. This was our 6th cruise, but first HAL cruise. It was an economical choice for a Caribbean ... Read More
We were looking for a week of warmth away from NY cold. We got a lot of wind, rain, rough seas, slow passage (due to 1 azipod) & a skipped port. This was our 6th cruise, but first HAL cruise. It was an economical choice for a Caribbean cruise, but no bells & whistles. Half our passengers were from one group which made certain things difficult as they had 'whole group' activities to attend, then moved on (to dining or shows) as a cluster of hundreds! The ship is pleasant enough, if a bit dated looking in the dining rooms; the crew/service very friendly & helpful-our cabin was great, the bed comfortable, & our steward attentive; the entertainment was poor to ok (the 2 pianists could be really good or awful, depending on how high/drunk they were); the activities limited. Excursions offered seemed ok, but over-priced for what was offered. The stingray swim on Half Moon Cay was a great idea & the time with the ray in the group circle was interesting, but the other 4 stingrays were not interested in interacting or even coming out of hiding. It was a cool morning in the water, so perhaps they were too cold. Our time in St. Thomas was shortened due to the ship having only 1 propeller, so that explore was limited. We were unable to dock in Grand Turks due to high winds, so that port was cancelled. The ship could have offered a number of activities for the extra sea day, but had only a few. On & off ship goes smoothly, both at beginning & end as well as in ports. The food was fine. We have a longer HAL trip to Hawaii coming up, so it will be interesting to compare. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This year my family and I returned to sail with HAL on a ship we had previously loved cruising on. We were very disappointed and concerned to learn that the vessel was sailing on one azipod (having experienced electrical issues two weeks ... Read More
This year my family and I returned to sail with HAL on a ship we had previously loved cruising on. We were very disappointed and concerned to learn that the vessel was sailing on one azipod (having experienced electrical issues two weeks prior), and that no acknowledgement of the failure or explanation by the vessels officers was given as to the passengers. All we were informed of was a change in our interinery times for the ports of call (which were altered to allow the ship longer transit times between ports as she was not able to sail at high speeds). We were also appalled to discover that the promenade deck, and lido deck were filthy. Dirty dishes were strewn over the decks (no one cleaned up), and the decks were coated in a large layer of soot, debris, grease, and garbage. When I brought the issue forward to both the Staff Captain and Guest Services staff I was told (in vulgur and offensive language) that the ship simply did not have the manpower onboard to keep the vessel clean while she was oversold with passengers for the week, and that the issue would be rectified once the holiday passengers returned home and normal clientele returned to the ship (ouch!). We won't be returning to sail with HAL given our experience onboard, they clearly are not concerned with passenger and vessel safety, cleanliness or general welfare. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this sailing and ship because of good reviews. Big mistake. We also paid more for Club Orange and the Signature Suite. These are both a waste of your hard earned money, no priority or extra services as promised. Once boarded, ... Read More
We chose this sailing and ship because of good reviews. Big mistake. We also paid more for Club Orange and the Signature Suite. These are both a waste of your hard earned money, no priority or extra services as promised. Once boarded, we were informed the ship was sailing with only one engine/propeller, and this caused a change in the itinerary because the ship would be moving slow. Holland America was aware of this weeks prior however there was no communication to the guests. The Islands and excursions were why we chose this sailing. Big disappointment. While there was many issues beyond the control of the crew, i.e.- earthquake in Puerto Rico- no electricity/constant rain in Turks\nothing to do in St Croix due to short visit/no stop in Halfmoon Cay due to high seas and a medical evacuation ..there were many hospitality issues. Crew was ESL and needed more English classes. Overall cleanliness in Lido Buffet and comman areas- sticky tables/dishes trash, empty Lysol wipes in gym, .. the crew on the last day became overly friendly that my granddaughter asked why are they suddenly so nice? Can you say gratis? Also the Captain asked that no one go to the guest service desk as there was nothing they could do. The line was long and guests were constantly complaining. I was told "no" by several of the crew, even asking for soft bread at dinner was a no? No special orders, no remembering our names, no extra towels and a general feeling of inconveniencing the crew for anything. We traveled with our teen granddaughter, lacking teen activities, mostly a senior cruise. I work in hospitality and know what great service is and is expected. As you can read, I was not satisfied or feel this cruise was worth the money or the time. Reconsider if you have booked. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Cruise review of Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise January 4-11, 2020 About us: 40 something mom and dad, teen son, toddler daughter. 11 cruises (8 on HAL). 3 cruise lines so far. The cruise: ... Read More
Cruise review of Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise January 4-11, 2020 About us: 40 something mom and dad, teen son, toddler daughter. 11 cruises (8 on HAL). 3 cruise lines so far. The cruise: Already booked again on this same ship for a March 2020 Western itinerary we had such a good time and thought the crew were real troopers dealing with all the difficulties. The staff: They were all great, all of them, from cabin stewards to wait staff to wine stewards to bartenders. Our names were remembered, even our favorite drinks by the bar staff from when we sailed on this ship last year. There was only one exception, the one EXC guide that gave me bad info regarding Luggage Direct. The ship: Spotless inside and out. I have no idea what other guests reviewing this cruise are talking about but tables were bussed fast in the lido and the staff were super helpful when you needed dishes cleared. The ship itself has a very elegant interior and classic look. One of Holland America's strong suits is how they maintain their ships so very well. Good size ship, easy to get everywhere. This was a cruise effected by the azipod issue, one azipod was nonfunctional. More on that later. Just as one criticism, I do however miss the once adundant fresh flowers on the ship, especially the orchids in the lido. Cabins: 4166 and 4168. Standard verandah cabins with the slightly deeper balconies and both these cabins offer a double wide balcony. The divider on the balconies can be opened as well so we had a huge outside space. The inside of the cabins was very comfortable and spacious for verandah cabins, 4166 was a standard tub and shower combo while 4168 was shower only with a huge vanity and lots of bathroom storage space. Toddler had a ship provided pack n play in the cabin. Worked great and plenty of space. Unlimited laundry: $7 a day per cabin. One day service. Everything comes back spotless. I wish I could get this at home. Best money spent on the cruise as it makes packing easier. Internet: Got the middle grade package for 2 devices and it worked fine for everything we did which was check email, surf some websites. It was only slow on the last 2 days and not that big a deal. Photos: We got the unlimited package and got some great snaps. I wish we could just forgo the prints themselves and only buy the usb stick which is what we really use. But it is a good deal for as many great photos as we got. We went all over looking for the settings and backgrounds we wanted, I think there were 5 or 6 on Gala nights. It's a good idea to do that before you start getting in line. We liked some backdrops/settings better than others. The atrium one is really nice. Food: Always subjective but my husband and myself thought the food quality was the best of any cruise we have ever taken, and that would be 11 cruises now. We ate in the MDR, the Lido, did breakfast room service, NY Pizza, the Dive In 3 times, dinner at the Pinnacle Grill and 2 dinners at Tamarind. All were great. The fish dishes this cruise were especially good. Sole and halibut were excellent. The lobster tail with the Gala Night Surf and Turf was huge and perfectly cooked. Tamarind never disappoints. The steak, the stir fried lobster and the sea bass were all wonderful. Our Pinnacle Grill candied clothesline bacon, so good. PG steaks (10 oz filet and beef tenderloin) were perfection as well. Cooked exactly as we ordered. One criticism, the daily special Eggs Benedict from the Lido breakfast was no longer available. They simply had regular and Florentine everyday. That was sad. We enjoyed seeing what the special Eggs Benedict was each morning and some were especially tasty. We mentioned this change to a MDR chef who had come over from Nieuw Statendam last month and he was actually surprised by that change as it is a popular breakfast item. Also, the room service breakfast menu card is so limited, a la carte would waste less food as I don't really eat all the food they bring with the combinations they offer. Just an idea. Beverage: We both had the Elite Beverage pkg and used it liberally. Wine selection was good. They actually have a very nice whiskey cabinet in the Gallery Bar area which my husband discovered later in the cruise. Just ask the Gallery Bar bartender for the list of prices. One nice find this cruise was the pear cider. We had not tried that before and it was a really lovely cool drink. Another fun discovery for us was the Far East Legacy cocktail in the Tamarind Bar (of note, a gorgeous space on the ship). The beverage department folks are so good on HAL but they seem to need more of them in the main dining areas, the MDR and Lido. We were left going to the Lido or Sea View bars to grab our own drinks when we sat in the Lido area and not by a pool. The mixology classes are super fun. We never miss them. Entertainment: We did not get to many entertainment venues. We did hear some of the Lincoln Center Stage which was standing room only every performance we were there. Very tight, professional group. BB Kings was rocking. Caught several of their shows. Also an excellent group. Easy to sit through a couple performances sipping on a cocktail and grooving. We didn't go to any shows (not our thing) but our son enjoyed the comedian and ventriloquist very much even sitting in the lido with them after the show joking around. Really nice guys. Casino: smoke free. My husband enjoy playing slots and had several good hours there. He won $80 on a hot machine. Spa: As always, very enjoyable. Had my hair done twice for Gala nights and also had 2 massages. The hot stone massage was really wonderful. The actual cruise itinerary was changed on us as soon as we boarded as one of the ships two azipods was nonfunctional and due to be replaced the next month. We received $50 pp for the inconvenience of changing our St. Maarten stop to St. Croix and also the fact we would be getting to ports later and have less time in ports due to slower speeds. While disappointing, not a big deal for us. Grand Turk: What can you say? It's a beach day and it was super rainy there that day so half our bunch got off and went to the Beached Whale and Margarittaville and half stayed on the ship for a ship day. San Juan: We got there late but since they had just experienced severe earthquakes on the opposite side of the island all power was out in San Juan. My husband went ashore to the CVS for a few supplies and scoped out the situation. The places we wanted to go were without power so we just otherwise stayed on the ship. St. Croix: What a lovely island. Felt very unCarnivalized. I hope it stays that way. The store fronts facing the dock are lovely old buildings. The town seems friendly and the local hole in the wall eatery “Maggies Snackett” in Fredriksted served up some amazing goat stew and beans and rice. This is a place I would love to visit again and see more of the island. Half Moon Cay: 6 foot swells meant no tendering to the island. This was indeed disappointing as this peaceful beautiful unspoiled island is a jewel on any itinerary. We were already running 2 hours late due to bad weather and a medical evacuation at sea the previous day. The weather had been rocky a good part of this cruise but we made the best of it and enjoyed another ship day. Embarkation/debarkation: Outside of cruises where we had priority boarding, getting on and off the ship was the easiest ever. We checked in at 11 am and were on and in our cabin by 11:45. Enjoyed lunch in the MDR on embarkation days as well. We got off the ship, got our bags, and shot through customs in 15 mins. Airport transfer: fast and efficient. We had a 12:46 flight and we were at the airport by 10 am, checked in by 10:30 and through security by 10:45. We had lunch at Chili's on the other side of security. FLL airport: I said I would never fly out of this airport again as long as I live but we gave Jetblue a try and were thrilled. The terminal and staff were night and day better than Southwest, and I am a Southwest fan. Southwest needs to seriously up its game in FLL. I find SW employees in FLL to be the rudest most nasty anywhere we fly with them, which is very uncharacteristic, and the FLL SW terminal is very lacking in resources. Jetblue totally owned them in all categories and they will be our FLL go to airline from now on. This was our 8th HAL cruise and had the youngest cruisers we have seen. Lots of extended family groups, parents with teens, several 20-30 somethings. A fair amount of kids for a non-school holiday time. Boomers made up the bulk of the cruisers. Made for a different vibe but was nice. We heard some whining on this cruise. Truly, it did seem to be a comedy of errors cruise. If it could go wrong, it did. But complaining about stuff that simply can not be helped is pointless. The Captain said multiple times concerning specific issues that were being dealt with at the time NOT to congregate at guest services or the excursion desk as they could not help guests until the situation had been resolved. Bad weather, earthquakes, random mechanical failures, and a medical evacuation just happen. $50 pp compensation was pretty generous in my opinion. But then, if you are deadset on having a bad time and a whiner by nature, you will do just that (and probably hope they will gift you a free cruise). We are a very easy to please bunch so we had a great time despite all the craziness and will gleefully be back on this ship very soon. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Neiuw Amsterdam Jan 4 - 11 This was by far the worst cruise my wife and I have ever sailed... 1) We arrived onboard to find out that one of the engines(Azipods) was STILL broken and we would not be able to reach our St Marteen port, ... Read More
Neiuw Amsterdam Jan 4 - 11 This was by far the worst cruise my wife and I have ever sailed... 1) We arrived onboard to find out that one of the engines(Azipods) was STILL broken and we would not be able to reach our St Marteen port, the reason we booked this cruise in the first place, this because the boat was unable to reach the speed needed to reach the port. In fact ALL of ports times were altered/cancelled because of this mechanical issue that HAL was aware of, yet failed to inform anyone until AFTER we boarded. They knew of the azipod issue well in advance... Didn't alert of any issues or itin changes prior, didn't find out about these ongoing mechanical issues or that we wouldn't even make it to St Marteen until we were already on the ship. Didn't offer the opportunity to rebook on another cruise or maybe when the ship was 100% operational. 2) First port, San Juan. San Juan suffered a catastrophic earthquake several hours prior to our port. Power was out to pretty much the entire island and severe damage was widespread. Holland America still decides to port (albeit 4-5 hours late)and not maybe move on to a safer port, possibly because they can't again, because the boat is not fast enough given the azipod issues, I don't know. Most cruise lines would have skipped or made an alternate(and safe) port. What I do know is that they put their people(including my family) in harms way by going to a port that is under a current state of emergency. The island had no power and no services, no restaurants, nothing. Walgreens was pretty much the only thing open, on generator power. The people of PR were not at all happy that cruise tourists were meandering around looking for bars or restaurants that are open, meanwhile the people of PR are just trying to clean up and have no power. Extremely insensitive on HAL’s part. Several earthquakes occurred after(including major ones) that HAL put us in danger by porting and letting people off the ship. As you know when earthquakes strike, aftershocks follow, and in this case more major earthquakes occurred...It was dangerous to their people and insensitive to the people of PR to port and let people off the ship. At the very least they should have kept people on the ship, if they were unable to get to another close by port. 3) HAL replaceS St Marteen port with St Croix, since again, the boat I can’t go fast enough to make it and stay within schedule ....and NO staff on the ship has any knowledge or advise for this port, since none of them have been there either. Very, very unorganized. In my opinion it wasn’t really a port anyways, since we can't get on the island till after 9:30am and all aboard is at 1:30, AGAIN because of the azipod issues and we have to leave early to try and keep schedule to the next port. 4) Finally get to HMC late and can't port due to weather conditions. Not HAL’s fault, but at this point its insult to injury...and we just want out of this nightmare of a vacation. Given Holland America knew about the azipod issues for several weeks and KNEW they would have to cancel and shorten ports times for this, THEY SHOULD have at least given people an opportunity to rebook on another cruise or after the boat was repaired and fully operational. This was never offered. I reached out to HAL’s “Guest Relations” RE these issues, NO RESPONSE. Pretty much EVERYONE I spoke to while on this cruise was furious about HAL handled things. It’s really a shame...Welcome to the new HAL Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Seems like this ship has problems and can't reach the ports on the itinerary. No notification from Holland America before departure even when the problem has been know for weeks. See other reviews. Then the captain doesn't try ... Read More
Seems like this ship has problems and can't reach the ports on the itinerary. No notification from Holland America before departure even when the problem has been know for weeks. See other reviews. Then the captain doesn't try to avoid bad weather instead chooses to fake a port call which he knows is not staffed because tenders and the supply staff didn't even show up on their private island. A waste of Show and Time. Pretends he didn't know via Radio or via Weather Forecasts. Is he really a captain who don't know the conditions of where he is going and doesn't monitor conditions. What a waste of Money... Ships' entertainment director non engaging... Lack of DJ on a ship. No parties after 11:30PM on the ship. BARS shut Down at 11:30... Casino closes early and doesn't care if passengers wants to play... Not sure why they have a Casino in the first place if they don't want the revenue... I had three Neptune Suites so the cabins were nice and had lots of space for our family. Rest was a waste. Website says 24hour Concierge yet no one and even the special neptune lounge closed by 8 PM... calls route to normal front desk and wait queues unbearable for VIPs and Neptune Suite Occupants. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER HOLLAND AMERICA.... Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were first time cruisers celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary. We worked with our local TA who assured us that HAL was the perfect fit for people who wanted an upscale, low key cruise. Sadly, this was not the case. HAL left ... Read More
We were first time cruisers celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary. We worked with our local TA who assured us that HAL was the perfect fit for people who wanted an upscale, low key cruise. Sadly, this was not the case. HAL left the port with one (of two) of the azipods functioning. With one of the azipods not working, it slowed the ship considerably and ports had to be changed. HAL was not forthcoming with this information. The guests were informed of this after leaving port, when HAL was fully aware of this issue because they had weeks ago cancelled a cruise on this ship because of the malfunction. We chose this cruise because of the ports, so this was disappointing. At one of the ports we were directed by HAL staff to a beach with raw sewage. Then let’s talk about the fact that HAL deemed it safe for their guests to port in San Juan when the island had just hours before suffered a catastrophic earthquake. No power, except in a few places and it was not safe to be out after dark. No beautiful Half Moon Cay for us either..swells were too high... if we had been able to travel at the correct speeds to our destinations, maybe we would have made it on time to the HMC location. Sadly disappointed in the lack of communication from HAL, and the frequent admonished warnings from the Captain to, “Not congregate at Guest Relations, because they cannot help you.” Ship was not clean and when we were unpacking, we found a pair of soiled men’s briefs in one of the cupboards. Also there was the strange phenomenon of towels placed all over the ship to soak up water?? They were everywhere, and this did not suggest the first class experience that we were promised. Food was just okay. The best food was in the MDR for breakfast. The Dive IN was also delicious, but if we were looking for good hot dogs and hamburgers we really didn’t have to go on a very pricey cruise for those. Since this was our first cruise, we talked with other guests asking if this was a typical cruise experience...we were told that it was not. When we returned home, both our TA and myself contacted HAL about our experience hoping that they would make things correct. After 7 weeks of repeated contact, they sent me an email that stated they were sorry, but they were not going to do anything except offer a minimal ship credit to use during a future cruise. It is safe to say, that will not be happening. We chose HAL because we thought if it was good enough for OPRAH, it would surely be good enough for us. I do not know if we will cruise again, but it will NOT be with Holland America if we do. We planned and saved for this cruise for over a year, it was such a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I previously experienced 2 great cruises with HAL in November and December 2019, thoroughly enjoyed both. I was excited to take my daughter on this cruise, albeit, we had orginally booked Cuba as our destination but had to change due to ... Read More
I previously experienced 2 great cruises with HAL in November and December 2019, thoroughly enjoyed both. I was excited to take my daughter on this cruise, albeit, we had orginally booked Cuba as our destination but had to change due to the restrictions. We chose this one because if Grand Turks, Puerto Rico and Saint Maarten. Unbeknown to us prior to sailing, the ship had propeller problems 2 weeks prior and we only had 1 working. They felt it was safe to travel however, they had to alter our itinerary because of the inability to travel at faster speed that would enable us to go to Saint Maarten. They chose St. Croix instead and gave us 25 shipboard credit. My first issue is that they knew there was a problem and did not inform us prior to sailing so we could decide whether we wanted to still go on this cruise or opt to get credit and take it when the ship was fixed. 2nd issue- Because of the slowness of the ship our port times were shorter. 3rd- St. Croix was horrible. Obviously it still has much work to be done in regards to rebuilding after the past hurricanes. It was dirty, only a few places open, the beach was too crowded . Time was short so didn't want to take a chance on exploring the island on our own and honestly without the internet, we had no opportunity to look up our options. This port was definitely not up to par with St. Maarten. 4th. Though we wanted to go to PR, we learned late morning of the 6.4 earthquake that had hit the island that morning and the decision was made to go ahead and pull into port. Along with Carnival and NCL. 3 large cruise ships docked in a city that was mostly without power. The pharmacy was open because they had a generator, and closed at sundown. Only a couple of restaurants were open. Ft. Morro was closed due to no power. Basically you could walk around the city, but at dark, no street lights etc. There were no instructions given by the Capt of the ship what to do in case of another earthquake or large aftershock if we were on land. The PR governor admitted they do not have an emergency preparedness plan for earthquakes, yet you dump 6000 passengers + crew out into the town, there wasn't even power in the cruise ship terminal. We did feel several.aftershocks while walking by the port. 5th die to unforeseen illness of a passenger we had to alter our course so the coast guard could medevac the passenger via helicopter, which took us several hours out of our travel. The next day we arrived in Half Moon Cay to do nothing. We couldn't anchor, the tenders couldn"t safely get passengers off the ship so that port was canceled. I do understand that the cruiseline does not have control over the weather. But, obviously the captain has access to weather reports etc prior to making his way there. Poor planning. The adult only area, pool and hot tub had young children in it all the time. Finally, did the cruise line consider what would happen if the other propeller went out while we were out to sea? We would have been dead in the water. Much to my amazement, we disembarked and the next set of passengers embarked. Still the propeller is not fixed. At what point will the cruiseline look beyond their pocketbook and fix the ship before another cruise? I bragged about how awesome this cruise line is to my family and friends, but after this experience I am hesitant to promote. There were good things; our cabin steward was wonderful. The food was delicious after the first night. Lunchtime at the Lido restaurant Asian station was some of the best we have eaten. I appreciate that the ship is non-smoking except on the Adult sea deck, but wished that was also non smoking. Thoroughly enjoyed Lincoln center stage, however due to the popularity, each performance had standing room only. We had to go to the venue an hour and a half prior to showtime to get a seat. The room is much too small, and the acoustics are terrible. Surely, the ship should change where these shows are performed to accommodate the passengers that want to hear without lining up down the hallway. We enjoyed the Step One dance company and the comedian. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
As I am for sure one of very few german users of this cruise forum I should like to apologize in advance for my english. Anyway I would like to report of my experiences with HAL Nieuw Amsterdam from January 4th till January 11th as in my ... Read More
As I am for sure one of very few german users of this cruise forum I should like to apologize in advance for my english. Anyway I would like to report of my experiences with HAL Nieuw Amsterdam from January 4th till January 11th as in my opinion a company only will change their policy or will amend procedures if enough people give critical feedback to potential new cruisers. First of all we need to distinguish between the very disappointing and questionable HAL behavior itself and the crew, dining or cabin. Crew , dinig and cabin to make it short is really worth to travel with HAL. I never met such friendly and engaged crew members on european companies ! Dining in both MDR and Lido for my opinion is very good. The Pinnacle and Tamarind are outstanding. BUT NOW :::AND THIS IS ESSENTIAL FOR MY FAMILY ( my wife and 11 year old child) : We on no point of time felt secure on board of this ship ! MS NIEUW AMSTERDAM left the port of Fort Lauderdale with only one functional engine ! And this although the company did know since several weeks about this problem. During the trip we had sometimes rough and bad weather. Can you please imagine without any bad fantasies what would have happened if also the second engine would have failed ?? At the beginning of our journey the company means that they could compensate this risk and disadvantage with USd 50 per person !!! Please build your own opinion by considering that HAL has shortend the time schedule and the route of the complete cruise ( St Marteen as very outstanding attractive island was cancelled...other port calls were shortend to some less hours) A very old and unsightly ship of Carnival cruises always overtakes MS Nieuw Amsterdam even though this ship stood much longer in the same ports of call. so you can imagine how our ship tried to fight the elements when cruising back to Lauderdale. For me it was only a very very cheap excuse when the captain also cancelled the last highlight of the cruise "Half mmon cay".....accusing the weather conditions for not able to tendering.!!!!!!! Very cheap.......obviously happy about to return to Ft Lauderdale with a slow and technical questionable ship just in time. I NEVER WOULD RECOMMAND THIS COMPANY ! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose this cruise because it was going to Turks and Caicos one of favorite stops! Also a sponsored cruise by our community so many neighbors on board! We did do Rudi's Sel De Mer and for the extra charge this is well worth it! We ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was going to Turks and Caicos one of favorite stops! Also a sponsored cruise by our community so many neighbors on board! We did do Rudi's Sel De Mer and for the extra charge this is well worth it! We also did another night at the Pinnacle Grill along with the Canaletto Italian fare included by VacationsToGo. I do need to say we enjoyed the Canaletto the best maybe because we are partial to the food! My wife had the Veal Scallopini and I the Lobster Ravioli. The Langoustine-Tomato Soup is the best we ever had! Entertainment: The dance crew were excellent and we really enjoyed (the comedy) Mike the ventriloquist with Terrance his Figure! Terrance kept picking on this loser in the first row who didn't understand the humor as Terrance kept saying "What A Loser"! In Gran Turk we did the Grand Turk Exclusive Supreme Snorkeling Tour almost 4 hrs. Snorkeled the wall first and then some shallow reefs. Tasting the fresh conch was excellent and conch salad even better! The Stingray back massage was a kodak moment to be captured and remembered! Thank you Capt Gary and First Mate Marshall for a trip to be remembered! These guys need a big tip also! Nieuw Amsterdam azipod thruster malfunction forced a change in Itinerary from stopping at Saint Martin and sailing to St Croux instead! This was a welcome change and we had the best weather day at this stop! Don't miss a small bar on the nearby beach run by Shelly and Big Sexy what a hoot that was! Best drinks better than the ship and best jerk chicken! Stop in Old San Juan just after first earthquake not so great with most stores closed due to power outage! We did not make the Half Moon Kay private island stop due to high winds and poor weather! Best Martini's on the ship are made my Michael in the Pinnacle Bar midships! Give Michael a big TIP!!! Just one note on our room we had Cabin #8147 STBD side just under the Lido Deck Sea View Pool area. You will be awoken by the movement of chairs and tables every morning between 6 and 6:30 am. Noise also goes to 11pm at night depending on the weather. Do not recommend staying on deck 8 aft unless you are a heavy sleeper! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I took a Holland America cruise to the Western Caribbean from Jan. 4, 2020 to Jan. 11, 2020, aboard the NIEUW AMSTERDAM. The food was excellent and the staff were friendly and helpful. The dining was an excellent experience as ... Read More
My wife and I took a Holland America cruise to the Western Caribbean from Jan. 4, 2020 to Jan. 11, 2020, aboard the NIEUW AMSTERDAM. The food was excellent and the staff were friendly and helpful. The dining was an excellent experience as well. This was the first time I had an inside room. It was small as expected, but was adequate. The activities were very limited which was okay because I wanted to catch up on a lot of reading. The sailing part however, was a different story. Our itinerary was to include St. Martin as one of the several islands we were going to visit. No sooner do we leave the starting port, we received a message from the captain that the starboard engine was not working, and we would not be going to St. Martin. We were going to St. Croix in lieu if St. Martin. They said the Coast Guard approved having only one engine working, but because of the loss of power, we could not make it to St. Martin in that time frame. I can understand a captain changing the itinerary due to unforeseen circumstances, but this clearly was not the case. Holland America knew far in advance that this engine was not working; and rather than let the passengers know, and allow them the opportunity to change their sailing dates, they kept this quiet and informed us as soon as we began our trip. For those who are not familiar with the Western Caribbean islands, St. Martin is one of the top islands to visit. It has beautiful beaches and is a shopping mecca; especially when buying jewelry. St.Croix offers nothing but nice beaches. To switch one with the other is not only unfair but very unprofessional. Another stop along the way was Puerto Rico. As we approached the island, we were informed an earthquake had taken place and there was no power on the island but it should be restored by noon that day. We arrived at 2:00 PM, and upon not hearing any further news, we were allowed to disembark and visit the island. Once we got there, we realized the power had not been restored and the majority of shops were closed with the exception of a few operating with flashlights and small generators. This was the only other island in our itinerary that offered fabulous shopping opportunities. And if the captain had made an announcement that there was still no power on the island, I would not have given up my poolside lounge chair to disembark. Another disappointing day in paradise. While continuing on, the ship encountered a medical emergency that required a Coast Guard helicopter to board. This event took a bit of time and that limited the time we were supposed to spend visiting Half Moon Cay. We could not even disembark when we got there. As far as the ship itself, there were many bars throughout the ship, but most of them were closed during the day. As one who bought the drink package, it was very frustrating that I had to go to the 9th floor (which had a bar that was open) every time I wanted a drink. Holland America apologized for all the mishaps and gave all the passengers a whopping $50.00 credit which could be used only for purchasing items aboard the ship. We were also reimbursed for the per-paid port fees of the islands we did not get a chance to visit. Upon returning home, I wrote to their corporate offices and explained how disappointed my wife and I were with this cruise. I asked them what incentive they were willing to offer on a FUTURE cruise to make amends and allow us the opportunity to give them another shot. Their reply was that they felt the $50.00 was more than enough compensation and they would not be doing anything more. I have traveled on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Celebrity cruise lines and Holland America was the absolute worse. I would never cruise with them again. Everyone should be aware that your stated itinerary may not be honored. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Just got off the Nieuw Amsterdam 7-day cruise (12/28 to 1/4) and we had a very nice time. Currently, the Nieuw Amsterdam is traveling on 1 of 2 azipod’s because 1 is inoperative. The ship cancelled a 7 day cruise two weeks ago but ... Read More
Just got off the Nieuw Amsterdam 7-day cruise (12/28 to 1/4) and we had a very nice time. Currently, the Nieuw Amsterdam is traveling on 1 of 2 azipod’s because 1 is inoperative. The ship cancelled a 7 day cruise two weeks ago but instead of fixing the problem, the crew sailed with the ship to the Bahamas and they certified it there to run on one azipod instead of two. Because of this, our port times were reduced by a few hours at each location but the ship is safe and sound, just a little slow. Some info we placed through the Navigator “feedback” section of the app: We had a blast! Nice crew and nice passengers from around the world. Christmas decorations were still up. They were nice but there were no Happy New Year decorations like last year on the Nieuw Statendam. Entertainment is lacking, close to non-existent Muhammad in the watch shop on Board is amazing as well as Jade in the Spa. Worst men's haircut ever in the spa. (Jade fortunately tried to fix it but was not the person who initially cut it). Love Jade. Food selections and quality are outstanding. Cruise Director and Activity Director not very visible and when they were seen they were not very engaging with any passengers. Gym is awesome Whirlpool in spa is amazing. 15-per day drink package is the way to go. Adult pool area always had young children present and staff were uncomfortable getting into a confrontation with the parents of the students. Most of the ship is an older crowd so you have the run of the ship - empty after 10pm. It would be nice (for planning purposes) to know in advance which nights were the formal nights. It would be nice (again for planning purposes) knowing there was going to be an Orange Party and HAL wanted guests to wear orange. A limited supply of HAL t-shirts were available in their shops on board. I have a ton of orange items at home that I could have brought with me but we only learned of the Orange Party after getting on the ship. Why couldn't they send an email to us with this information in advance? Most people did not wear orange so the entire experience was strange and awkward. Overall, pleased with HAL and I would sail with them again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise as a special Christmas and New Year holiday, just for my wife and I coming from the UK, having been told that HAL was a big step up from P&O, which we travelled last time. Nothing could be further from the truth ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a special Christmas and New Year holiday, just for my wife and I coming from the UK, having been told that HAL was a big step up from P&O, which we travelled last time. Nothing could be further from the truth (except the price, I suppose). When I booked, the line couldn't/wouldn't tell me which cabin we'd be in - we didn't find out until we boarded. In the event it was fine, but others had a very different outcome. The general service was magnificent. The cabin was very good and the ship was in an excellent state of repair. The food in the buffet and dining room was simply outstanding, but ironically, the premium restaurants, for which additional payment was required, were ok but not worth doing (cold food; poorly seasoned). The entertainment was woeful; won't even bore you with the details, but more than half the advertised events were simply sales pitches or invitations to do the slots in the casino. Entertainments manager wasn't around much. This was Christmas and New Year, and aside from a pool party on NYE, nothing much changed. One of the propellors had broken so the ship vibrated considerably most of the time, and we were late to pretty much every port. This meant we had to cancel several private excursions - this was a real issue, as this was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime. I got precious little help from most of what they laughingly refer to as 'Guest Services', although a couple went above and beyond and were massively helpful (I have contacted the line to acknowledge and thank them by name). Tenders were dreadul - we saw people who had waited 2 hours to get off the ship, and the stops were shortened anyway, because of the broken propellor. Also, the crew had been instructed not to talk about this: we heard it from friends who'd had their cruise cancelled. I expect to pay premium prices for beverages, but these were not only highly priced ($5.50 for a bottle of water; $7 for a beer; $50 for a really mediocre bottle of wine) but a mandatory 15% service charge was added (therefore $8.05 for a beer) as well as the gratuity charge at the end of the cruise. Money wasn't the overriding factor, but is there really any justification in charging $25 wifi per device per day? It's 2020, people, and hotels etc have free wifi. The trip rounded off nicely with late arrival (propellor again), problems with baggage collection and a curtailed excursion due to the lateness (the tour company had told the ship, but the ship didn't say anything to the tourists). Overall, we had a nice time because we saw some nice places and met some really nice people. However, I was expecting a great time. This was not that. While some things were great (especially the other cruisers and the destinations), the important bits that we'd paid for were pretty poor. Hopefully this was a one off, as we've planned 2 other HAL cruises over the next 18 months. I shan't be booking them until I have some resolution from my complaints this time round, and as HAL hasn't even replied to my emails or social media tweets, I'm wondering whether to look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
It was where I wanted to go since I had been there twice before. BLUF . .the ship broke down at the dock, so had to spend 1.5 days aboard a luxury floating resort, drink, party and eat for free!!! What a super great DEAL!!! Then to ... Read More
It was where I wanted to go since I had been there twice before. BLUF . .the ship broke down at the dock, so had to spend 1.5 days aboard a luxury floating resort, drink, party and eat for free!!! What a super great DEAL!!! Then to top it off, got all the original cost refunded but that's not all . . no wait for it wait wait . . a voucher for a future cruise . . how could any one complain about that deal. Holland America stepped up to the plate and hit a home run!!!! There were a lot of folks complaining, but I think you can not please those types of people no matter how you try. I just want to thank HA for a great time and see ya in a year!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was going to be our first ever cruise. This company and ship came highly recommended from coworkers and friends that have embarked on many cruises before. I do understand that mechanical issues do sometimes happen that can ... Read More
This cruise was going to be our first ever cruise. This company and ship came highly recommended from coworkers and friends that have embarked on many cruises before. I do understand that mechanical issues do sometimes happen that can impact the ability to sail but I believe the way these situations are handled determines the reputation of a cruise line. Unfortunately, nothing about how this was handled or continues to be handled has made this a positive experience. At the onset of our cruise, the cruise ship and staff were impressive from the start; however, that quickly diminished as the staff began to communicate that there were mechanical issues keeping the ship from sailing on time. Nearly 28 hours after boarding the ship, we found ourselves disembarking and rushing to get on another Holland Cruise that was in port getting ready to sail. Had we not been aggressive and assertive with many phone calls, visits to the future cruise desk and guest relations prior to the announced cancellation of this cruise and had we not been fortunate enough to have additional funds available to pay outright for another Holland cruise leaving the following day, we would have simply been booking a flight to go back home for the holidays. Even after the cruise cancellation was announced, Holland was unwilling to even consider transferring our already paid cruise fair to another cruise booking which was the first issue that left us frustrated. Disembarking that ship and the chaos that ensued due to lack of any instruction added to the frustration. At the time the cancellation was announced from the bridge, we were promised an auto refund of the cruise fair as well as a future cruise credit because of this inconvenience and this was supposed to be communicated in a (half printed) letter that was quickly handed to us as we exited the ship. We did enjoy our "replacement" cruise; however, the frustration in dealing with HAL has only mounted since. Here we are 34 days later, with still no refund in our account for the cancelled cruise, no communication initiated by HAL at all, broken promises for refund and resolve from their "rude" guest relations folks and an email response from the office of the president of HAL (as a result of my email to them) with very little substance or offer of resolve. We initially booked this cruise through Vacations to go and they have been very proactive in attempts to resolve this by contacting HAL on our behalf but it seems that they have also fallen on broken promises as well. We would like to give Holland another chance as we certainly don't want to walk away from a future cruise credit; however, with no refund in hand, we are unable to even begin planning for that at this time. I fired off another response to the office of the president of HAL this morning voicing these same concerns with a promise that I would add resolve to this review should they make one last attempt to satisfy our concerns. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise because of the good reviews. I will never do that again. The ship never sailed. Apparently catastrophic engine failure. Compensation so far seems fair, but need to wait on hotel and flight change compensation for final ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the good reviews. I will never do that again. The ship never sailed. Apparently catastrophic engine failure. Compensation so far seems fair, but need to wait on hotel and flight change compensation for final verdict. Its a very big hassle factor. Holland America took 24 hours to decide to cancel cruise. Wifi and tv were a 1 out of 10. Not good at all, so don't count on it. Even when paying the in room wifi charges, it was still less than awful. The cruise seemed doomed from the start as none of our partys key cards worked when we got on the ship. All three room keys had to be reprogrammed at guest services. Another hassle as guest services was always terribly busy. We were trapped on the ship for over twenty four hours not able to leave or disembark. All the crew and stewards were excellent though. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
THE SHIP: A medium sized ship (2106 guests), the architecture is probably the least impressive of the 6 cruise ships (on 5 lines) that I have been on. The atrium area is small, and there is no grand open promenade. The décor is heavy ... Read More
THE SHIP: A medium sized ship (2106 guests), the architecture is probably the least impressive of the 6 cruise ships (on 5 lines) that I have been on. The atrium area is small, and there is no grand open promenade. The décor is heavy on old New York City scenes (reflecting the name of the ship). The main dining room is functional but not grand; the prettiest décor is at the Pinnacle Grill. The Italian specialty restaurant, Canaletto, is simply a section of the buffet area that was “roped off” to become a paying restaurant. There are two pools; the largest one, which is adults-only, has NO shade except in the smoking area. The mid-ship one is much nicer but also much smaller. It has tables and chairs in addition to the lounge chairs, which is a nice feature, and plenty of room in the shade. The ship is not really geared towards families, as the passengers are mostly over 50; I may have seen a dozen children among the 2000 passengers. The main lounge area, the Crow's Nest, is on the 11th deck and difficult to access if your cabin is at the rear of the ship. The library is there, and consists of coffee table travel books that are meant to be read in that room. The ship has three sets of elevators, and we seldom had to wait long for one. The casino is tucked away on the 2nd deck, so you don't have to encounter it if you don't want to – a nice feature. A note about which is the best side of the ship for ports of call, if you have a verandah stateroom and like a view while docked: The starboard side has the best views of Key West and the Dominican Republic, but not of Half Moon Cay. Not sure about Grand Turk, since we never docked there due to high winds. DINING: We only used the main dining room for Afternoon Tea, eating mostly at the Lido Market Buffet. Food there was good but not terribly varied; breakfast had the same items every day. A major difference from other cruise lines is that for the most part passengers do not serve themselves; you tell the crew member what you want and they put it on a plate. This cuts down on germ-spreading but also slows the line, and you have limited control on how big a portion you get. There is an Italian and Asian food area at one end of the buffet. Desserts were good but again not exceptional; for a cruise line known for its food, I expected more variety. The dessert crepes (at the end of the Italian food area) were the best. For breakfast, the eggs benedict were excellent; they are at the end of the line with the English Breakfast items. Drinks were brought to you, although there is also a serve-yourself area. ENTERTAINMENT: This was the most disappointing aspect of the cruise. It cannot compare with other week-long cruises we have been on (Royal Caribbean, Princess,and Celebrity). On the main stage, there are two shows by six dancers, and two comics. That's it for the week. This is comparable to what we had on a four day Bahamas cruise by Carnival, and can't hold a candle to the Broadway style shows on RC. The first show by the dancers was excellent, the second almost boring. We did not attend the comic shows, but other passengers said one was good, one not so much. There are several (loud) music venues with limited seating on the 2nd deck. Daily activities on board are also less interesting than other lines; many of them seem geared toward selling you things. Overall, you get a LOT more for your money on other cruise lines when it comes to entertainment. SERVICE: Top-notch. The crew is the friendliest and most helpful I have seen on any cruise. The waitress at Caneletto even remembered my name when I saw her on the ship the day after we ate there. PORTS of CALL KEY WEST Our ship was the first in port that day, and therefore got the better dock: the one with the easy walk into town (less than a block). Note that if you get stuck docking at the Navy pier, you have to take a trolley into town. I don't know if our ship always gets the “good berth” but I am glad we did this time! We had visited Key West before, so we did not take a guided tour. We did go to Mel Fisher's Treasure Museum, which is an easy walk from the ship. Admission is $15 but the exhibits are interesting and well-done. Be sure to take the time to wander a bit out of the tourist area, down one of the residential streets, to get a feel for the graceful Southern air the town has. Also look for the free-roaming roosters around the historic marina ! GRAND TURK The ship was unable to dock there due to high winds. Apparently this happens frequently, so I would advise NOT booking any shore excursion here that could be done on another island (such as snorkeling). Based on what we could see from our verandah, the island is windswept and not especially scenic or even tropical-looking. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Amber Cove) My favorite port ! The ship docks at Amber Cove, which is a “village” created for the cruise line. It is lovely and well-maintained, with lots of shopping. We took the Ocean World Day Pass excursion, and it was wonderful ! The staff there was friendly and very helpful to my husband, who has mobility issues. We didn't realize that the park is built on the side of a hill, so the walking was difficult for him. They not only loaned him a wheelchair for free, the staff pushed it for him. The park itself has great animal shows (approved by the Humane Society and World Wildlife Fund). Don't miss the dolphin show ! The seal show is excellent also, as is the parrot show. The only mild disappointment was the Shark Encounter, which is not really a show at all; you simply watch other tourists pet the sharks. We ate at their restaurant, from the menu, and the food was good and reasonably priced. The gift shop is nice as well. One thing to be aware of is that you cannot wear eyeglasses if you do the Dolphin Encounter (for the safety of the dolphins). So if you have poor eyesight and no contact lenses, you may see “fuzzy” dolphins ! HALF MOON CAY I had read so many good reviews of this private island in the Bahamas that perhaps I was bound to be disappointed by aspects of it. The site itself is very nice overall, but was not built with older guests in mind, especially those with mobility issues. The map shows there is a tram to take people to the lunch buffet hidden behind the shops, but we did not see any sign for it while we were there. When I asked an employee about the buffet, she said it was a “five minute walk” down the path, with no mention of a tram. As for the beach, the sand and water are beautiful, as is the architecture along the beach. There is a cute children's play area (which went unused while we were there, with so few children on the voyage). It was high tide, and the beach was very narrow - in fact, the first two rows of lounge chairs were literally in the water! Perhaps the beach was eroded by Hurricane Dorian, but it was way too narrow for so many guests at once. The only chairs available on the beach (without renting an expensive cabana) are lounge chairs, which are nearly impossible for someone with mobility issues to get in and out of. Another surprise: If you want a bottle of water, it costs $4.50 ! So be sure to bring your own water bottle from the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 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 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
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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