Sail Date: April 2015
Having sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam before, I was so disappointed in the entertainment. One night there was no show at all! The music was mostly Motown, not my favorite. The HAL Cats were missing. The ballroom dancing was not available ... Read More
Having sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam before, I was so disappointed in the entertainment. One night there was no show at all! The music was mostly Motown, not my favorite. The HAL Cats were missing. The ballroom dancing was not available some nights and the band had never played together before this cruise so it took too long between songs and they did not play long enough. The staff were wonderful and the food was good but they took out the Deli! I liked the itinerary. We used Cruise Critic shore excursions which were great. Embarkation and disembarkation were very good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Let me preface my remarks by saying we have taken one to two cruises per year from 2006 to the present. We’ve been on at least a dozen different ships and NEVER experienced anything like this. I booked fifty (50) nights on the Nieuw ... Read More
Let me preface my remarks by saying we have taken one to two cruises per year from 2006 to the present. We’ve been on at least a dozen different ships and NEVER experienced anything like this. I booked fifty (50) nights on the Nieuw Amsterdam (April 8 thru May 28) based on the reputation they have enjoyed through the years. I can not begin to tell you how disappointed we are with Holland America. If not for their wonderful staff, their “service” would be without any redeeming value. For years I looked forward to cruising to interesting destinations and enjoying a more refined class of service with Holland America Lines. The reality has been a bitter disappointment. I understand that the Nieuw Amsterdam was in dry dock right before our cruise began. As a retired Corporate C.E.O. I’m well aware of the cost of doing business. I understand that each day in dry dock has two costs (the expense of the dry dock itself, and the loss of revenue for each of those days not sailed). It is, however, a false economy to rush the return of the ship to service BEFORE THE WORK IS COMPLETED AND TESTED. I DID NOT PAY TO GO ON A “SHAKEDOWN CRUISE” to help find incomplete and improperly performed repairs and/or upgrades. (See list of problems below) They have sacrificed the long term financial rewards of gaining satisfied repeat customers for some short term savings. A very short sighted, foolish trade. List of Problems: Constant, ship wide, vibration which caused our cabin to have a chorus of squeaks, chirps, and ticking sounds. (Vibration was caused by an engine problem which was to be remedied in dry dock and was not due to rushing the ship back into service) I had to put cardboard between the top of the wall and the ceiling panels to quiet them; a face cloth between the wall and the TV to stop the chirping; and cardboard between the closet door and the mirror to stop the ticking. Fruit Flies? / Drain Flies? in most cabins. Some cabins without A/C. Our corridor, toilets not working. Several episodes during trip. T.V. that vacillated between not working, and working, and all shades in between. Faded and stained carpet in cabin. Two power outages The Lido & Manhattan Dining Rooms had new carpets which were still shedding and making lint balls / dust bunnies SIX weeks on. We were unimpressed with the limited and repetitive nature of the menu and the incompetent way my needs for a gluten and lactose free diet were so poorly met. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
The room was a good size, we had a window stateroom on deck 1 (room 1083) but almost every morning, for hours, there was pounding and an angle grinder being used. Not relaxing or able to sleep in on days we wanted to. Food was better than ... Read More
The room was a good size, we had a window stateroom on deck 1 (room 1083) but almost every morning, for hours, there was pounding and an angle grinder being used. Not relaxing or able to sleep in on days we wanted to. Food was better than other ships we'd been on, but the assigned dining was a joke. Rude service, took 10 mins for the hostest to find our table location and she walked us out into the middle of the dining area, and would look around and look at her map and then ask someone and continue with us barely moving across the floor. It was unprofessional and uncomfortable, I could have found our table faster than she did and I don't even know the floor plan. The staff slowly gets more rude as you get to the last couple days, it was as if they figured they had done their part and didn't need to finish out the cruise. It was to the point where we didn't want to ask any questions or even order dinner because eye rolling became part of the routine from them. We did have some food staff that was excellent, and continued to use that line instead. The queens lounge, the waitress was horrible, never had such rude remarks made before. They gave me the wrong drink but insisted it was right. When I brought it out in the light and showed them that it was the wrong color (ordered a blue drink) very obvious that it was not it, she told me that it was watered down and when she snatched it from my hands after arguing with me her and the bartender riled their eyes and spoke about me right in front of my husband and I. The next night she was passing through a crowd of people (as the show is already playing) saying excuse me with a tray. When an elderly lady did not hear her over the show (and probably bc she was old...) the waitress continued with a louder "....ummm hello!" In an extremely snobby and disrespectful tone. Besides the staff and the room noise our tv in our room had blown speakers so announcements couldn't even be heard well. Sheets had stains, some pillow cases were yellowish. Excursions were not always described accurately. Comedy show was decent, singing and dancing show was horrible, the jazz club and piano man were awesome! But not much else going on besides that Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
We sailed to the Eastern Caribbean on the Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam. At age 52, this was my first cruise. I was very excited and had expectations of having a great time. I was very disappointed. The ship was boring. At one point, I ... Read More
We sailed to the Eastern Caribbean on the Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam. At age 52, this was my first cruise. I was very excited and had expectations of having a great time. I was very disappointed. The ship was boring. At one point, I considered booking a flight back home from the first port with an airport. I didn't because I already paid $3,000 for the two of us to take this cruise and the flight from San Juan back to Atlanta would have cost an additional $1,000 per person. So, we stayed on board with the hope that it would get better. I short, it didn't. The food on the ship was fair at best and the service at the two main restaurants (Manhattan and Lido) wasn't great either. The bar service was horrible. They acted like they were doing you a favor when bringing you a Diet Coke. The entertainment was non-existent. Come on, hiring a few dancers to teach a few guests the foxtrot? That's NOT entertainment. Also, every time you blinked, they were hitting you up for an upgrade or for a purchase of something. On a positive note, I loved our Butler. He worked very hard and provided great service. Also, I loved Half Moon Cay. The island owned by HAL is absolutely beautiful. The shore excursions and ports were wonderful. Anytime we were off the boat was enjoyable. Lastly, I really enjoyed meeting the other passengers. Everyone was very nice and polite, especially the folks we met from Europe. I loved the high-class clientele. I was just disappointed that the flagship HAL ship was unimpressive. Next year, I will fly directly to the Bahamas and stay in an all-inclusive resort. Overall, I felt like I paid for a luxury cruise and got a discount cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
Review Blues Cruise January 18 – 25 Nieuw Amsterdam This was our 6th Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise. 2 on the Eurodam, 3 on the Nieuw Amsterdam, 1 on the NCL Sun. The cruise is fully chartered. This cruise is sold out every year, ... Read More
Review Blues Cruise January 18 – 25 Nieuw Amsterdam This was our 6th Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise. 2 on the Eurodam, 3 on the Nieuw Amsterdam, 1 on the NCL Sun. The cruise is fully chartered. This cruise is sold out every year, and it is sold out for January 2016. Cabins do come up if someone cancels. These ships sails very full as many of the 3rd and 4th bunks are occupied. Many folks will share with strangers just to get on board. I was not able to find out the exact number of people on this cruise. It was not listed on the cruise log given out at the end. The ships senior officers were none too friendly and seemed to huddle together and not mingle (which was a bit odd, the usually do), so I wasn’t able to ask anyone. I was particularly unimpressed with Basheer the Beverage Manager, who actually did his very best to ignore hubby and I in an elevator. He seemed to be running away from folks all week. More on that later. The Blues cruise is quite a bit different from a regular snooze cruise. Essentially, we take over the ship and venues are tailored for music. The timing of dining venues is changed to be presumably more suitable for the hours of the music for the week. The onboard entertainment is suspended, and those folks are given the option on whether or not to stay on board. The spa and salon run pretty much business as usual. The week before the blues cruise the Nieuw Amsterdam lost power in one of the engines. I am not sure, but that may have been the cause of a few wonky power supply issues for the first day of the cruise. Our sail away party, which is a huge party that almost everyone attends, is a BBQ and has a one of the headliners playing. This year it was to be Charlie Musslewhite. The BBQ was put out but no music. HAL cuts back on dining room hours during the blues cruise. They aren’t open for breakfast or lunch and have open seating for dinner. The cafeteria is open much longer hours and stays open til something like 3am, the pizza place stays open til about 4am. There is self-serve and salt and pepper shakers all week, no restrictions. We have had the same cabin (8157) for three years in a row. 2013 we experienced the toilet not working most of the week and a grubby cabin. 2014, everything seemed ok. We had good cabin stewards, so the cabin was cleaner. 2015…sigh….toilet troubles, this time just a day, but we had A/C issues. It didn’t work for hours at a time for several days. The sewage smell in the deck 8 starboard aft hallway was horrible off and on for the whole week. There were several maintenance workers up and down the hall all week. The retractable roof was not properly operational. It clunked and screeched every time they tried to use it. The last day they opened and closed it about 15 times. We were stuck waiting to get off the ship, so it was annoying! On January 22nd it was a sea day. We did not move one inch. We sat in the water until the evening. I assumed that they were doing repairs on the engine. Late in the afternoon there were puffs of dark brown exhaust coming out of one stack. It wasn’t much and didn’t bother anyone, I guessed they were testing the engine. The broken engine didn’t affect the actual sailing or port time. Funny thing, most folks didn’t even notice we weren’t moving. There was so much going on with the music. The music starts about noon and carries on til the morning. The jams went on til 7am this year, Mr. Sipp and Tab Benoit saw to that! The music was great, so many talented musicians! To see line ups for the LRBC you can check the website bluescruise.com. The list is just too long! This cruise, we ate with friends in the MDR twice, which is very unusual for us. We only eat in the specialty restaurants, all ships, all lines. Oh dear. The food was horrible in the MDR. Awful. Blech. The first time I played it safe, I ordered a Caesar salad and a strip loin. I got wet lettuce, no dressing, and some kind of soggy grated cheese product. The strip loin was ¼” thick. I kid you not. It was laughable. I asked for a potato, it was cold. The next time I ordered a chicken breast. It was a tiny chicken supreme, covered in a really salty sauce. It came with really salty vegetables. I just couldn’t bear going back, so it was Tamarind three nights and one night at the Pinnacle. The food at the BBQ sailaway was awful as well. Wafer thin chicken pieces and some yucky butt rubbed meat with yucky butt rubbed potato salad. A comment about the Tamarind and the Pinnacle. We have eaten in both places many, many times, usually three nights in one, four nights in the other. Rarely have we gone into Canaletto. It drives me nuts that HAL does not staff the Tamarind or Pinnacle properly. I have been told this flat out by the restaurant managers. They don’t have the staff to run a full restaurant. One night at the Tamarind, we got there early at 6pm (we time dinner for when the musicians eat and not play) not one single person was in the restaurant. The manager told us he couldn’t seat us. He didn’t know how the evening was shaping up. Seriously. He told us to come back at 7pm. We did. The place was half full. They seated us, but it made no sense. They don’t have enough staff. HAL needs a kick in the butt to learn how to run specialty restaurants properly. I know much has been mentioned about staffing levels. I did notice a difference. HAL does not seem to have enough staff to clean. The cabin stewards are definitely stretched too thin. Ferry and Novy, our stewards just seemed to be overworked. From what I gather, I think HAL stewards have more cabins to clean than on other lines. They don’t seem to get much of a break during the day. It used to be late afternoon, there were no carts, it was quiet in the halls. Not now. Even with the odd hours folks keep on the blues cruise, this year it really seemed the stewards had too many cabins. There was minimal cleaning of public areas like stairways. The ship is looking grubby, it has been like that for the past two cruises, but now, some of the carpets are just disgusting. The carpets were dirty on deck 8 aft, but when I took a jaunt down to deck 4 aft, to see our friends, that carpet there is revolting. The ship needs to go to dry-dock. The white (cough cough) leather chairs in the crow’s nest should be pushed to the curb. They are disgusting. I definitely would not sit in one. Ewwwww. The crew worked their butts off. As per usual, there were requests to work the Blues cruise. Walter, drink server extraordinaire, was supposed to start vacation the week of the Blues cruise, but he requested to stay on for the week! Walter was everywhere! He got this huge glow in the dark skull necklace from somewhere, so you could see him coming from way off! Abel and Karen, other bar staff took little dancing breaks when they could. They have done three blues cruises and really seem to enjoy the music, hard work and great money they make for the week. I noticed lots of young officers on this cruise. Like 22 year olds. They were out in full force at night on their time off (judging by the beer and wine consumed!) dancing and having fun. The shoppies and the steiner girls were on the dance floor(s) after their shifts. The senior officers, were a little different story. On several cruises the senior officers come out to dance, have drinks, party and chat. Not so much this time. Yes, they were there on deck, with beers, but they seemed to be in a huddle, off to one side. It was odd. No friendly hellos. Or “are you having a good time”. It was very strange. As I mentioned before, Basheer seemed to run past people, not making eye contact, going out of his way to avoid guests. Yes, the food is pretty bad, but he didn’t need to run away. No one was blaming him. I have to admit, I am tired of the line ups in the cafeteria, since they won’t open the dining rooms during the day, tired of the greasy burgers and cardboard pizza. The ship is just not as well maintained as it should be for a newer ship. After the fall blues cruise on NCL where the senior officers really care and take an interest in their guests, it is disheartening to come back to HAL and the officers don’t even bother to say hi to anyone. I know after the fall cruise, a senior officer on NCL told me the reason HAL gets the blues cruise is they underbid other lines, that no one could match the cheap price of HAL. It shows. So many things just don’t happen on this charter. No fruit in the cabins (the bowl gets removed), no mariner perks (this time they relented on one or two things after they were called out by 4*mariners on board), no breakfast or lunch in the dining room, the cafeteria does not open both lines even with hundreds of people milling about, not enough crew cleaning or serving in the dining venues. I doubt the LRBC will change lines if HAL is so cheap. We are thinking of not going next January. I think we need a break from HAL. We absolutely had a blast on the blues cruise overall. It was wonderful to see friends, listen to music and dance the days and nights away! The weather was really good all week, just cloudy and windy the last sea day, so everything booked on the pool deck got moved inside. The musicians were fabulous. The actors in the Bessie Smith story were wonderful. The music, voice, songwriters workshops are great, something for everyone.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
After good experiences on the Westerdam we decided to try the Nieuw Amsterdam. Cabin service was average. Dining service was not good, top to bottom. Menu was not outstanding. One night I asked for "just a dish of chocolate ice ... Read More
After good experiences on the Westerdam we decided to try the Nieuw Amsterdam. Cabin service was average. Dining service was not good, top to bottom. Menu was not outstanding. One night I asked for "just a dish of chocolate ice cream" for desert. The answer from our waiter was; It's not on the menu so order something off the menu. What?? Every day the man sitting next to me ordered a vodka martini. He got a gin martini much of the time. Rarely did we see an officer on the ship. We were cruising with 4 star mariner friends and they agreed that we were not crazy, this ship had poor service. I noticed that your editor rated this ship at 4.5 but the customers rated it at 4.1. This was our third experience with Holland America and the first on this ship. The Nieuw Amsterdam should not be on a list of ships with spectacular service. They do not pay attention to detail and that makes a difference. There were a few bright spots but this cruise soured us from cruising Holland America for a while. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
We have been traveling since 2000 when we visited Australia and the South Pacific. We have been on over ten cruises from many cruise lines since then, but this is the first time we have felt the strong desire to post a comment on the web. ... Read More
We have been traveling since 2000 when we visited Australia and the South Pacific. We have been on over ten cruises from many cruise lines since then, but this is the first time we have felt the strong desire to post a comment on the web. Our cruise this year was the HAL 25 Day Mediterranean Passage to America – 2014 from Venice to Ft. Lauderdale. We like transatlantic cruises because my wife has mobility issues and prolonged air travel in a cramped airline seat is very difficult for her. I think our expectations were set by our recent similar cruise, the Norwegian Cruise Line Transfer to Copenhagen followed by a tour of the Baltic Capitols. It was a beautiful and enjoyable trip in all respects. Before I get to my main comment, I will give you my first I impression of our ship, the ms Nieuw Amsterdam. It carries more passengers than the ms Noordam and the ms Maasdam which we have enjoyed on previous cruises. I will get to this later, but the sheer number of passengers was a negative. As soon we as boarded in Venice and got settled in our cabin, I did my quick survey, which for me, includes going to the highest point on the ship. I was a bit frustrated this time because the space on the forward top deck had been sold off for cabanas and access to the area was roped off. To me this smacks of the class system on the Cunard Line – without the additional amenities. Except for the full size basketball court (and the roped off cabanas) there was no useful top deck space. Now to the main reason for this comment: The day we arrived we started hearing the noise. On day 1, it was the loud banging on our pipes. We called the desk, but they could not explain the origin of the noise which continued intermittently all night. The next day was quieter until about 4:00 PM. We were trying to rest when the noise started again in full volume. It sounded like we were living over an auto body shop. A mixture of mechanical sounds: Sharp banging on pipes, grinding sounds, hammering and more banging. Of course I immediately went to the desk to report the problem, but had to wait in line for 15 minutes while the staff dealt with fallout from an Internet outage. Meantime my tired wife could not rest. Finally, a staff member agreed to send someone to investigate the problem. While we were waiting for help, I recorded the sounds on my cell phone, made a second trip to the desk, and demonstrated it to the same staff member. She came with me to our cabin to hear for herself. This pretty much ended the investigation, but we did receive an apology and an invitation to a dinner at the Tamarind restaurant. The sad ending of the story is that the noisy activity must have served some vital role in the operation of the ship because it never totally stopped. It is interesting that no one followed up to see if the issue was resolved. I believe they already knew the answer. We like cruising because your ship is your mobile luxury hotel. I have stayed in some pretty cheap hotels and motels in my lifetime, but I have never stayed in one that sounded like there was a machine shop next door. Any fine hotel would have dealt with our noise problem immediately and effectively. Unfortunately this never happened on the Nieuw Amsterdam. Now we get to lessons learned. We chose not to get a veranda cabin on this trip because we very seldom use the veranda and on a transatlantic crossing the view is not that spectacular. For this trip we just wanted a nice clean, comfortable, quiet cabin. If that is your requirement, location is important. At least it is on the Niew Amsterdam. Our cabin was 1092 on aft port side of the Main Deck. You might be lucky, but I would never accept any cabin on the Main Deck. The decks above and below are used for ship’s operations and could be noisy as we found out. Another thing I would do in the future is insist on getting an early cabin assignment. Even though we booked way in advance, our cabin assignment was kept open until the last minute. Our travel agent tried to get a fixed cabin assignment, but we should have tried harder. I need to mention some very positive experiences. My wife has mobility issues and needs a wheelchair. Before the trip, we worked very well with HAL excursion specialists to locate and evaluate accessible tours. On board, the Excursion Team gave us wonderful personal support. We did not have to worry about the wheelchair or not having a seat near the front of the bus and we were sure that the excursions were suitable for us. They all deserve six stars out of five. Also, the entire crew was willing to stop what they were doing to help us get around the ship. If you have mobility issues, don’t let that stop you. Go! The Indonesian cabin and table stewards are treasures. They maintain a tradition of great service which we remember from previous cruises. We have always enjoyed the crew show. We wonder why it scheduled late at night (11:00 PM) this time. Also, what happened to the Baked Alaska parade? These are little things that added to our enjoyment of past cruises. While I am at it, here are a few comments about entertainment. The content was good, but a bit skimpy. One night was it was a movie on the big screen. The productions were well done and the players all very talented. A problem was that the smaller entertainment venues such as Adagio (classical piano and violin) were overcrowded. All the extra passengers on this ship need to go somewhere and the entertainment space was not increased accordingly. On sea days, it t was difficult to get a table for lunch, particularly near the pool. The available poolside space was squeezed by the increased number of passengers and the fact that a quarter of the pool deck space had been sold off for more cabanas. We have reserved a HAL cruise for next year, but see increasing reasons for not going. We can make smarter choices in cabin assignment and have no concerns about accessible excursions, but we see a trend of increasing number of passengers without a corresponding increase in services and amenities. At what point will it be better to make other choices? That remains a question. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
For starters I will need to say that my Wife and I have only cruised Royal and our experiences were not perfect by any means. But we never gave ourselves the opportunity to try other cruise lines for comparison. Although we had heard the ... Read More
For starters I will need to say that my Wife and I have only cruised Royal and our experiences were not perfect by any means. But we never gave ourselves the opportunity to try other cruise lines for comparison. Although we had heard the HAL was low key and geared mainly for the older generation, we thought it would still be a nice relaxing cruise. Our cruise was leaving Ft Lauderdale with Sailing Dates of Dec 22nd with a return Date of Dec 29th. We were sailing east to Grand Turk – Puerto Rico – St Thomas – Half Moon Cay. Before I start my review I would like readers to know a little about us. We are couple in the age range of 45-50 – We love to laugh and have a good time – We like to socialize – we are not heavy drinkers – and not really social drinkers – we are somewhere in between having 2 or 3 will get us us by for the evening. We are smokers but we are polite with our habit. We enjoy all types of music except for the Head Banging and Rap. We are self-sufficient but understand that some jobs such as cruise crews require us to be waited on – Not a Problem with us but we do not expect to be spoon fed. With that being said I will start my review of the ms Nieuw Amsterdam. Please keep in mind everything I stated above when reading his review – It is very lengthy but very informative. If you plan on Cruising with HAL – I would highly recommend you grab a coffee and take notes – and if you have any other questions PLEASE feel free to ask. I will begin my review with the HAL Customer Service Reps – First and foremost remember they are selling you a cruise so no matter what you ask or how many times you they will always tell you what you want to hear. I recommend you search through Cruise Critic and email or call people to get their opinions. Being new to HAL my wife and I spent over 4 combined hours on the phone with our HAL Rep asking questions about the ship – the crew and excursions we were assured time and time again this would be the best cruise pleasure we have ever had – Well let’s see….. Over the final week prior to our ship leaving port we heard rumors that Puerto Rico excursions may be closed during our visit on Christmas Day but HAL could not or would not confirm these rumors but again assured us there would be something to do…. So when we crossed the state line in Florida early afternoon of Dec 20th I asked my wife to call our HAL Rep and confirm if these were rumors or fact – so she placed the call and sure enough we were told that all excursions in Puerto Rico will be closed for December 25th. Understandably its Christmas however this is one of the questions we kept asking our rep over and over again and we always received the same answer “Don’t worry the Island will be open “Plenty to Do” and as stated above – they were saying what we wanted to hear! For the record all Government Sites were closed. What I fail to understand is, this is a normal HAL cruise port during the Christmas holiday so what makes 2013 any different than 2012 – 2011 etc.. Christmas is Christmas all over the world Same Day same Month every year, so I can honestly say HAL knew Puerto Rico would be closed but failed to disclose this to us – Would it have changed our minds? Probably not but it would have been nice to know ahead of time. HALS response to this was – There is a variety of things to do and the Ship will be offering two excursions – Zip Lining and Island Tours, anything else you wanted to do was up to you to find a local and arrange yourself. (How Nice) Let’s talk about the ship - The ms Nieuw Amsterdam Deck 1 - Main The Amsterdam is a small ship with absolutely no “wow” factors – the ship is poorly designed for those of us who like to move around and explore and see the remarkable wonders of a cruise ship – in this case there are no wondrous attractions on board except for a mini-main stair case mid-ship located by the front office. That’s all there is – nothing more. Deck 1 is also the home of the showroom at sea – a very poorly designed theater located at the front of the ship – If you sit in the lower portion of the theater you will have complete disruption of the stage from the upper level over hang. Deck 2 – Lower Promenade Deck 2 is comprised of the Manhattan Restaurant which costs additional $$ - The menu consists of the exact same food you find on the Lido deck – There may be a couple items added to the menu but 90% of what you see is on the menu for an additional cost is what you can get for free at the anytime dining. There were countless occasions where we seen other passengers Dressed for a romantic night dinner in the Lido Restaurant and countless times we heard “Why pay extra when we can get the same thing free”. This deck is also home to 3 lounges – the casino and the Pinnacle Restaurant which again is dining for an additional fee, with the same food offered on the Lido Deck. Don’t waste your money – this is also the entry to the upper level of the show room with the bad viewing. Deck 3 – Promenade Makes up the ships Stores – a computer room – a reading area Bars and photo gallery – That’s It! Decks 4 through 8 Are Passenger Rooms – with no easy access unless you are at the Front – Mid or Aft Ship. Deck 9 - Lido The Lido Deck – this is where all the Anytime Dining Occurs Please pay special attention to the name “Lido” Along with the Lido deck you also get these hidden passenger Surprises: 1. Main walkway for Pools located Forward and Aft of Ship 2. Main walkway for Anytime Dining and Seating 3. Main walkway for all Traffic on Ship 4. The Canaletto Restaurant IS NOT a standalone restaurant – What Holland does is partition off a part of the anytime dining area on the Lido deck - So you still get the interruptions as mentioned in items 1 -2-3 above and best of all you get to pay for it. In essence you pay extra for a nice romantic dinner while people in their swim suits walk by you 5 feet away. And for extra ambiance you get the over enriched screams of Children and some Young Adults jumping in pools listening to music or the occasional inebriated passenger that comes walking through looking for coffee to help them sober up. Remember when I said pay attention to the word LIDO? Well I looked up the word LIDO to get its definition and this is what I found: In the United Kingdom and some other countries, refers to a public outdoor swimming pool and surrounding facilities, or part of a beach where people can swim, lie in the sun or participate in water sports. On a cruise ship, outdoor pools and the surrounding facilities are referred to as the lido deck. So absolutely this definition applies to the Amsterdam – the Pools and all the traffic leading to and from the Forward and Aft parts of the ship come through here. There is absolutely no other way to get from one end of the ship to the other. So the bottom line is – whenever you are eating – whatever time you are eating – you will be subject to this type of interruption. Deck 9 is also home to the Massage Therapy and work out Gym. So please keep in mind all of this is happening while you are eating or trying to eat – Highly disorganized. Deck 10 – Panorama Partial Passenger Cabins and Nothing else Deck 11 - Observation A basketball Court – Reading area and an Overpriced Coffee house – Keep in mind you can only get to deck 11 from the forward of the ship – there is no elevators at the Mid or Aft that go to Deck 11 because Deck 11 doesn’t exists from Mid-Ship Back. Let’s talk about Food: Keep in mind there is little diversity on the HAL cruise ships – The crew and its compliment is 90% Asian so there is a definite speech barrier breakdown and most of the food is geared toward Asian cuisine. With that being said the food is extremely Bland – and when asked for special item cooked you were greeted with a stare down from the chef like you just insulted his family and friends. We all enjoy food – and cruise ships are known for their food right? Not on HAL, the menu consisted of the EXACT same food everyday – Morning - Afternoon and Lunch – There was absolutely nothing new offered or presented – Unless you wanted to pay extra at one of the premium restaurant venues. Remember those days in High School where you had to wait in line and when it was your turn to get food and you were still trying to figure out what sounded good to try? And the pressure of people in line caused you to just spew out something to get on your plate and move along? Well if you don’t remember and or never had that experience then you will love eating on the Lido deck – The food is served cafeteria style so you get to stand in line staring at the cooks like a lost Freshman at his first day of school – knowing that at any time the person behind you might go into a rage from waiting too long in line, so when it’s your turn you yell out the first thing you see – which undoubtedly would be the last thing you would ever want to put in your mouth. That is exactly how you feel. It’s not only a very degrading feeling its demeaning and unprofessional, and keep in mind while you are waiting for your food in a line for 10 – 20 minutes there are passengers from Pools and Bars walking through – the same area you are standing in. Unacceptable! Truth be told my wife and I did not have a complete meal on this cruise or were we able to eat together – We never finished what we were served. There were actually only two times we ate; The First is when we ordered room service which consisted of 2 Club sandwhiches and Chips. And the Second believe it or not is when we were in Puerto Rico we ordered a Pizza from Dominos and brought it on board. And the crazy part is we were approached by other passengers telling us “Wow good Idea wish we would have thought of that”! – What does that tell you about the food? Moving on – the refreshments were not any better you had Coffee – Tea and Watered down Orange Juice at the ends of the Cafeteria – These areas were not always full of product and at 9pm one of the sides closes down completely so you have to go either Bow or Stern to get anything depending on what partition was closed and sometimes it wasn’t even available. The other issue I seen was that the only place you were able to get Sodas was at a Bar or in a Bar / Lounge so this meant you had to find an open location somewhere on ship to get a refreshment. This meant that passengers under 21 and as low as 7 had to enter a Bar or Lounge to get a soda – Again I find this unacceptable. During the evening you have the option of getting pizza at the Adult Pool Side lido deck – the pizza is sitting under heat lamps continuously all day so whatever doesn’t move during the day you can certainly bet was there at night waiting for a consumer. When we asked the crew member to make something fresh he advised us by saying “No – I don’t have any more dough” – with a smile of course. Also – keep in mind the Lido is the only anytime eating available and it has short windows for Breakfast – Lunch and Dinner – If you don’t make it to one of those – your pretty much SOL. Overall the Lido Deck restaurant is highly disorganized – with tasteless food and limited selection. Moving on….. Holland’s mission statement includes this statement: “Extensive activities and enrichment programs and compelling worldwide itineraries” I happen to have all 6 Days of Itinerary for the cruise and it was an absolute joke. The cruise director Dave reminded me of a “has been radio show host – who used to sell old cars to sucker buyers with the ability to make a laughing hyena go mute” Sorry Dave but whenever I heard you, it sounded like you were trying to sell ice cream to the devil – NOW in all fairness to Dave if he is the one that makes up this itinerary then HAL might want to review these long before being scheduled. On the other hand if this is HALs Default Itinerary then I strongly suggest to Dave go to another cruise line Brother! Here is a sneak peak of the itinerary and keep in mind the ones that include dollar signs – because these will cost you extra. Morning Stretch – Abs Class – Indoor Cycling ($$) – 5 Minute make over – Christmas Quiz – Family Games – Art Auction ($$) – Body Sculpting ($) – Acupuncture – Bingo ($$) Shopping ($$) - Discover Windows 8 – History of Fabrege – Reinvent your Outlook Email – Spa Seminar – The New Docks in San Juan – Wine Sampling ($) – Christmas Songs – Lotto Drawing ($$) and my favorite Party Night Buy one Drink get one Free and in small print it says on SELECT BEVERAGES ONLY. Yes this is one of the exact Itineraries from the ship. And trust me when I say it wasn’t any better the other 5 days. So HALS mission statement is in need of a major upgrade or in this case Downgrade. I need to add that part of the entertainment on the ship was and is being conducted by Crew Members who may be working in other areas of the ship – We seen part of our dinner crew and shore excursion crew doing live entertainment – WHEN DO THESE PEOPLE GET TO REST? Thanks HAL for shelling out that extra $$ for on board Entertainment – I am not criticizing the crew – as a matter of fact I think it’s pretty disgusting that HAL has to over work these people to save a dollar. The Captain No clue who he is – he never made an appearance as like other cruise lines we were on we always seen the captain mingling with the crowd. Now I wonder if we even had a captain on board, Interesting! The Crew As aforementioned the crew is made up of 90% Asian – and there was little to no Asian crew members carrying any type of higher level management that we saw during our voyage, in fact we seen a lot of the crew doing double if not triple duty on board this ship, it’s obvious there is no work rule standards with HAL. Our cabin was well maintained even though we barely seen our room steward – So Overall the crew was polite and friendly but there were some occasions where you were penalized for asking for something to be cooked to order but overall nothing I would call a show stopper. TIPS Keep in mind that you have to pay HAL $11.50 per day per Guest per Room – on top of that you pay 15% gratuity on every drink order no matter how small or large, I recommend you do not purchase Drink packages these are only good on board ship – so if you disembark on an Island owned by HAL your drink package card is not valid – so you are buying additional – I highly recommend you buy as you go. On Board Shows Entertainment Disaster – nothing worth even commenting on, every night was as so boring HAL couldn’t entertain a Doubt! Our overall impression of the new flag ship from HAL doesn’t even rank Poor – It rates Unacceptable Unforgiving and Downright the Worst Ever. Never in our history of Vacationing and Cruising have we ever wanted a vacation to end – We were actually considering flying out of Puerto Rico. I would absolutely not recommend this ship for anyone who is used to great service and amenities like other large cruise lines have to offer. My first impression of this cruise line is that it is only for the senior cruisers and that's fine, I guess. Maybe we will return in 40 years. Funny, while my wife and I were on deck one evening venting with the other passengers I started thinking HAL = Holland American Lines ….Hmmm I starting laughing and my wife asks what so funny – I replied “You know what HAL stands for babe? She waits for the punch line…..and I delivered – “HAL Stands for = Home At Last”! This whole experience has given us no doubts that we will stay Loyal to Royal.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
CONS: 1. Worst coffee ever!!!!!! 2. After a wonderful performance of Cantare, a group of 5 amazing male singers, I met the singers and purchased their CD for $20 because I enjoyed their voices so much. Upon returning to my cabin, I was ... Read More
CONS: 1. Worst coffee ever!!!!!! 2. After a wonderful performance of Cantare, a group of 5 amazing male singers, I met the singers and purchased their CD for $20 because I enjoyed their voices so much. Upon returning to my cabin, I was shocked and dismayed to see that the artists on the Cantare CD were not the same men we saw in the performance. They led us to believe the CD was made by them. Granted, the songs were the same as they performed, but the artists were all other performers. When I tried to return the CD for a $20 credit, I was given a very hard time which continued long after we had returned home. My husband and I spent hours on the phone with Holland America trying to get the charge removed from our credit card. We were finally successful, but we feel it was a simple situation made ridiculously difficult by the cruise line. 3. The music played at the Seaview pool was horrible! It sounded more like Muslim wailing than music. We definitely did not enjoy it. 4. TV in our room was terrible. There were very few channels and choices, and the remote was extremely user unfriendly. The TV came with a built-in DVD player, but nowhere on the ship was there a DVD lending library. 5. The customer service staff was very cold, stiff, unfriendly, and not helpful. 6. Not a good value; too expensive for what we received 7. Food just average. PROS: 1. The cabin, entertainment, and dining room staffs were great. 2. The ship was very stable even in rough seas. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2013
Having just returned home from a 24 day cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam around the Mediterranean I wanted to write a review as to why my family and many others I spoke to, will not be travelling with HAL again, as I’ve spent a lot of money ... Read More
Having just returned home from a 24 day cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam around the Mediterranean I wanted to write a review as to why my family and many others I spoke to, will not be travelling with HAL again, as I’ve spent a lot of money with your company and also spent the large part of 48 hours travelling around the world to join the Nieuw Amsterdam, I just felt that even just to make myself feel better I wanted to write a review and put something in writing – plus it was rammed down our throats almost daily from your cruise director Dave, that “your feedback is important to us,” so hence my review. It is also the case that I had read many reviews on the Holland America Line (HAL) before I left Australia to get a feel for the Nieuw Amsterdam and to say many, many people were very cutting/negative regarding your company would be an understatement. To begin let me say the good things about both the ship and company:- The itinerary was one of the best I’ve seen (MSC also had similar as their ships followed us around the Mediterranean but I choose to travel on a smaller ship thinking it would be better, my first mistake), it was this itinerary that first made me aware of Holland America Line, it’s little wonder that people were coming from all around the world to experience such a wonderful array of ports. As I understand it there were also some 800 Australians on board and filled the ship for both legs of the cruise, my family also signed up for the full 24 days such was the history and features of this wonderful itinerary. 1. Both the Indonesian and Pilipino staff were perfect, always a smile and great service – just very warm and friendly people. 2. Also I’ve never seen such great live production shows in the main theatre, the room was full every night and the artists and production crew were first class, just wonderful. A special mention should go to an Aussie performer Duck Cameron who was the guest magician on board, we loved him, (we’d also seen him 12 months before on the Rhapsody of The Seas (Royal Caribbean Line), and can’t speak high enough of his show. 3. I should also say our stateroom #6058 was very good on the whole, plenty of room, good sized bathroom with separate shower/bath/spa and double vanity – all excellent. I’ll speak on the air conditioning soon. 4. Also a special mention for Tom who advised passengers on the different ports of call each day and was available for questions all the time when you landed at the ports – well done Tom. Now the reasons why I and many others will never travel onboard another Holland America Line cruise again. 1. From even the moment you woke up in the morning and turn on the TV to get information on the day’s ports and activities we were driven crazy with the HAL “up sell” all the time – cabanas, other restaurants, shop items on special, spa and treatment specials and constantly pushing everyone to sign up for future cruises with HAL, it just drove everyone mad – and that crazy English guy who couldn’t speak properly advertising the dancing with the stars contest all the time was just embarrassing – it really did feel like you were at McDonalds with HAL, the up sell never stopped! (And yes I am very aware that the best form of advertising is in-house). We also received many up sell leaflets in our door mail box as well – it never stopped. 2. To add to that the ship’s shop also never stopped pushing items for sale even in areas that were normally designated for relaxation such as the sun decks and pool areas (it also didn’t leave a lot of room for passengers with those cabanas/tents surrounding public areas as well), and believe it or not even selling in the main Manhattan restaurant! We were also invited to a number of functions such as a Mediterranean night by the pool only again to find it was just another reason to position stands and tables around the pool to sell more items to us – HAL should be well aware that selling and begging is something that never stops when you go ashore, it would be nice to try and escape it when you come back on board to relax. And keep in mind our family brought many items while on board, so why was it always rammed down our throats? 3. You should also know that when the Australians and New Zealanders were invited to a pool area get together when we first came on board (Tuesday 21st May 2013, 5.30pm- 6.30pm), HAL staff then hustled us out with loud hand held hailers to allow another get together of American passengers to come in after us and they were then given “free champagne” – I had one woman who turned around at the table in the Lido restaurant and told us they were disgusted in just that stupid action alone. Only HAL could make passengers angry by having a “happy hour” and then an hour later undo all the good will by moving the Australians out and giving Americans free champagne. HAL would have to be aware of the way people speak to one another about things like this on board ship – it’s what passenger’s do - compare different ships and what they experience on board. 4. Another thing that “really” upset people was the way HAL tried to segregate passengers. Now I’ve read many reviews on the internet about the way HAL tries to up sell cabanas, I’ve worked for P&O for years I know how first and second class ships work but it’s the first time I’ve seen it pushed on a one class ship. WHAT COMPANY WOULD PLACE SILLY TENTS (CABANANS), ALL AROUND THE SHIP BLOCKING OFF PASSENGERS VIEWS OF THE WONDERFUL PORTS OF CALL AND THEN TRY AND UP SELL THESE SPACES TO OTHERS – JUST CRAZY!!!!!!!!!! The truth is these cabanas were hardly ever used, I was on for 24 days and just saw 6 people in all of them, my wife also said the same thing. These cabanas were not a good look at all. What is the sense of travelling around the world to go on a Mediterranean cruise and then lying in a cabana with the shades drawn when you could do that with a lot more privacy at home or on your private balcony in your own cabin? I lost count of all the TV up sells on these cabanas with private BBQ’s, special solo guitar player and so on. Once again it is a clear case of HAL trying to up sell and segregate people and showing a total disregard for the comfort of the majority of it’s other passengers for the sake of a few. What company would introduce such a silly thing as this? – it also made the Nieuw Amsterdam look even smaller and cheap with these tents set up all around it, you just couldn’t miss them everywhere you walked around the ship. I believe HAL will eventually get the message and get rid of these cabanas but not until a lot of lost business has occurred. Even while I was waiting for a plane in Venice to go home my family over heard fellow passengers talking about this and also the ridiculous gratuities charge that HAL imposes on its passengers and then spends the rest of the cruise trying to justify the charge to everyone. We all got into a conversation about these things and you should know your company was once again not well received at all. Your cruise director Dave never stopped trying to push HAL’s position on this service charge – it was a huge mistake for HAL taking it upon themselves to try and enforce a gratuities charge for their own staff – if as Dave kept telling us HAL thinks their staff is that good then why don’t HAL pay them more, I heard many passengers say this. It’s also hypocritical that HAL would then impose a $20 a month fee for their staff to use the slow wifi internet on board so they can speak to their families, if the company thinks so highly of their staff why not look after them better. We also observed many staff members using free wifi at the different ports while having a nice cup of coffee. Once again HAL is way out of touch with even its own crew members, let alone its passengers. I was one of many who went to the front office and signed a waiver and cancelled this gratuities charge and chose to favour the staff that had looked after my family. This is what I’ve done for many many years and resented HAL trying to dictate to me about the way I pay gratuities. I find it offensive that HAL seeks to control passengers the way they do. Your cruise director Dave started sounding like he was at a Nuremberg rally, same words, same jokes and same HAL position every day driving passengers crazy. 5. HAL should also know due to the negative feedback on the internet I choose to make alterative port tour arrangements for my family at each port rather than use HAL’s port tours, such was the bad feedback I read about HAL’s port tours. I also gave advice to other passengers (which they appreciated), on the best way to see these wonderful ports as well. 6. I was also surprised to find HAL didn’t have any passenger laundry rooms on board and we were forced to use HAL’s laundry service – it once again showed HAL’s way of not allowing passengers to choose what they wanted to do – you either used HAL’s laundry service or had to clean your clothes the hard way in the bathroom. (I choose to use HAL’s laundry service anyway but would have appreciated the right to choose). 7. I also read some internet reviews on this “new” HAL ship (the Nieuw Amsterdam), looking old with reference’s to such things as small walk areas, low ceilings, bad carpet, rust signs and strange paint choices etc. As I mentioned earlier having worked for P&O, I love the old world charm of some cruise ships, HAL changing the elevator mats each day was a lovely touch but yes the reviews were correct in that the Niuew Amsterdam already did seem dated, to me it looked like a 30 year old ship with many problems as well – those cabanas/tents placed around the decks also didn’t help the general appearance of the ship, it looked more like a circus or camping areas. We also had the air conditioning man to our cabin on 6 occasions and also had to change our cabin cards on 3 occasions. A friend of ours (George from Adelaide), had to change his card on 20 occasions and the lights and power in his cabin didn’t work cutting off through the whole cruise – if you think I’m angry you should have spoken to him! 8. Having now mentioned the air conditioning I want to point out that positioning the vents right above our bed head was a disaster. Both my wife and I got very sick half way thru the cruise and had to travel with the balcony door opened to allow fresh air into the cabin – we also had to have the temperature control changed on 3 occasions as it kept breaking down and also padding placed in the ducts to try and minimise the air flow on our faces. Yes to us the Niuew Amsterdam seemed like an old ship. 9. Now I’d like to draw to your attention to the food on the ship. When we recently travelled on the Royal Caribbean Line I understood why they had an up market restaurant on board, that being Luke Mangon’s from Australia and not part of RCL normal operation, but in HAL’s case to have a separate Asian, Steak and Italian restaurant and then promoting better food and service at a price it once again highlighted HAL’s penny pinching and up market selling. A lot of passengers agreed; shouldn’t the food in the main Manhattan and Lido restaurants be as good as that in other restaurants on board? – the truth is my family found the food in the main Manhattan restaurant to be on occasions dry and tasteless – does that mean we should have paid more and eaten in HAL’s other restaurants to enjoy better quality food? At resorts we’ve stayed at around the world such as Club Med they also have different restaurants, but they were there for the variety of their guests not to get more money from them. 10. Also the coffee on board was terrible, the Nieuw Amsterdam is also the first ship I’ve been on that doesn’t have coffee making facilities in the cabin. The reason given was because of safety precautions – it isn’t safe to make coffee? I’ve been doing it now for 50 years, a blind man could see that once again HAL was trying to get passengers to pay extra to drink a good cup of coffee at the coffee shops placed around the ship, yes you could have it delivered to your cabin but it was still the same horrible coffee you served in the restaurants. 11. Just a few extra small points to mention as well that were noted was the $150 ships tour charge advertised on the front desk counter and the lack of an invitation to the Captains cocktail party which my wife was looking forward to, as I was told by American friends only previous HAL passengers were invited to this event. All ships we’ve travelled on in the past have made both of these functions available to all passengers. May I also suggest that HAL should appoint someone to travel on HAL ships (similar to professional companies having a Field Sales Manager), and see first hand the problems encountered by passengers so you can help to avoid a lot of complaints before they cause long term damage to your company, with the internet now giving people around the world large amounts of information and independent reviews, it would be silly to bury your head in the sand and not react to reviews such as this. “The ports of call were truly ones to remember, the Nieuw Amsterdam was truly a ship to forget”.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
I booked this cruise as a follow-up to a 35 day South Pacific Cruise on the Westerdam which was very enjoyable. Unfortunately, the Nieuw Amsterdam had a lot more negatives than positives. I was traveling with a friend and we left ... Read More
I booked this cruise as a follow-up to a 35 day South Pacific Cruise on the Westerdam which was very enjoyable. Unfortunately, the Nieuw Amsterdam had a lot more negatives than positives. I was traveling with a friend and we left Ft.Meyers,FL on October 2nd on AirBerlin. The flight was uneventful with a connection in Dusseldorff and arrival in Venice was on-time. I had booked a private transfer with Sun Transfers and was met promptly and taken to Plaza Station Hotel in Mestre. The hotel was adequate and very convenient being directly across the street from the train station. I had visited Venice before but thoroughly enjoyed the extra two days prior to boarding on October 5th. I purchased the 24hr. pass on the Vaporettas and spent an enjoyable time just riding around the city. Embarkation was efficient and we were on-board in less than thirty minutes after arriving. The cabins were also ready which enabled you to stow your hand luggage prior to having lunch. The cabin was roomy and the balcony adequate, nothing special but acceptable. Harry and Ricky (stewards) were at the door as we entered, introduced themselves, and made sure we didn't need anything. After this pleasant start I was looking forward to a great cruise, little did I know that it was downhill from this point. Lunch in the Lido could best be described as chaotic. The layout is very inefficient with tables along the walkway where you line up for service. This added to the fact that people wanted to see what was available and stopped in this narrow pathway. This made moving about difficult along with getting bumped into while trying to make your way to a table. HAL had their mandatory health rules in effect so there was no self service, including beverages. This created another backup and by the time you had a beverage and found a table the barely warm food you had been served was now cold. This was a big complaint I heard from many people over the entire cruise, the food just wasn't kept hot and I finally started asking for my food to be heated again. With a couple of exceptions when I asked for the food to be heated I was told it was already warm...sorry this wasn't the answer you give a customer. The dining room was very slow and again the food was at best lukewarm and when you asked for it to be reheated you could expect another long delay, very poor and one of the reasons I say this is not a five star ship. It seemed that we were constantly under some type of health alert with very few days when we could actually have any self-service in the Lido. This severely limited your enjoyment of the buffets. During the transatlantic portion I had purchased the Thermal Suite for the thirteen days. On more than one occasion individuals had reported to the Spa desk that the Thalossotherapy Pool was dirty but nothing was done. Then without any notice we were told four days before arriving in Ft. Lauderdale that the Thermal Pool was closing at 5PM and wouldn't be available for the rest of the cruise. I asked at the spa desk if there would be a price adjustment given and was answered very curtly that there would be no refunds. Since I had paid for the entire time I went to customer service and was told that they would talk to the Spa Manager. Later that evening I was called and told that I would be given a small credit. I responded that I wasn't satisfied and that since I had paid for full access for the entire time a full prorated refund should be given. It took a lot of effort but I persisted and was given what should have been offered at the start. Again, proof that the Nieuw Amsterdam is not a five star ship. It seemed on several occasions that there was not good management in place as a lot of these situations could have been avoided. A good manager would have immediately sent out a notice of the closing and stated upfront that a refund was being given. As it was the guests had to take the lead and spend an hour more of their time trying to get answers. One other thing that really bothered me was after buying the Admiral's Wine Package based on the list of wines that were available in that offering. After puschasing I learned that two of the wines I especially wanted on the list were not available. Instead I was told they were out of stock but more would be loaded at the next port. It never happened and instead we were given substitutes they were inferior wines and certainly weren't what had been advertised or for which I had paid. I could continue on for several more paragraphs about instances where Holland America failed to live up to their reputation as a luxury line, for me I just did not experience the service or quality I have had on other true five star ships. It would be unfair not to say there were some examples of people really trying to do a good job. I'll list some of them: 1. The Pinnacle Grill is excellent and worth every cent of the surcharge. The food is outstanding and the service was impeccable. 2. The room stewards did an excellent job of keeping things in order and fulfilled any requests that were made in a friendly manner. 3. A couple of the ladies on the serving line in the Lido did a good job and were glad to reheat your entree. Thanks to them as this attitude was not reflected by the others. This was a difficult review to write as I don't like to be negative but there were just so many things that could have been improved with very little effort but instead were allowed to become issues that really took away from the whole experience. I hope Holland America and the Nieuw Amsterdam can get their act together and get the health situation on board corrected along with getting some good managers. If not, things will just continue to deteriorate.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
We are regular cruisers and not fussy customers, despite the content of this review. Loved our last cruise on Noordam last year. We had not tried HAL before that. I'll cover both good and bad aspects in order to be fair. ... Read More
We are regular cruisers and not fussy customers, despite the content of this review. Loved our last cruise on Noordam last year. We had not tried HAL before that. I'll cover both good and bad aspects in order to be fair. Embarkation: Arrived at start of embarkation. Was already quite busy. All handled quite well and boarded efficiently. There were quite a few people not checking in and standing in line for security. The queue combers were not doing a great job of telling these people. Stateroom: Was as expected clean and tidy, apart from the balcony which had not been cleaned properly. I did it myself. The colour scheme was a bit bland. We noticed as soon as we got onto our balcony that there was a foul odour coming out where two vents were located on the balcony. We called guest services and somebody came up promptly. We were told that the smell was Venice and not in fact the gas I was feeling on my face and smelling whilst standing in front of the vent! I asked the staff member to stand where I was and tell me again it was Venice...she would not. Nothing like a customer not being believed by a staff member. I dislike that strongly when the facts are staring you in the face. That was day one, or should I say hour one. I will not bore you with the detail as it took 7 days and a string of guest relations and engineering people to finally do what I suggested on day 2, i.e. cover the vents. The first few days was a comedy of broken promises, lack of communication and acceptance of a not uncommon problem, now that I have investigated others complaints on other sailings. One of the Guest Relations Managers did eventually give us some satisfaction. Thanks to her but here alone. Room Stewards: Both of stewards were very good. They were always helpful and cheerful. They got us a table for our large balcony despite not being able to use is until the last few days. Dining We did not use the Main dining room. We usually opt for room service dinner, however due to our balcony issue we ended up doing other things the first 7 days. Lido was fine, good selections. One exception...if you have a special diet, god help you! I am gluten intolerant and although items were pre-booked, getting them was a major problem. The process of how to get the various items took about 6 days to understand. Some, I never got. HAL seem to think it's ok that if you want your pre-ordered spaghetti you need to tell them the day before....and I thought I was on holiday! We ate at Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind. Pinnacle Grill was once again good. Service is great. Tamarind food was nice but service was a bit hit and miss. The layout of the Tamarind was a bit odd and felt like everyone was overlooking everyone else. They did not use the very nice booth tables for two. They said they keep them for the staff...hmmm. They tried to charge us for the meal despite prepaying online from home. We usually choose to have room service dinner from the main dining room on our balcony. That's our main joy of cruising. After 7 days we could finally do this. Although the food itself was fine (the steaks were very good) we never received one single meal where all items were correct. There was always something either missing or swapped. We got called every evening to check if the food was ok and it just got a bit embarrassing to say yet again it was wrong. Points to them for checking, but more points deducted for always calling whilst we were eating the meal. Where's the common sense? Try to to provide good service but instead hack people off. Entertainment: N/A. We don't go. Excursions: N/A. We do our own. Although plenty of possibilities. Ports of Call: Good I'd say. Dubrovnik is always a personal favourite. My only gripe with Livorno is that you are forced to buy shuttle tickets to get off the boat. Not a big deal but would be good to be advised somewhere by HAL before you book. Public Areas: Clean and tidy. Decor quite nice but some carpets were VERY shabby looking around the stairwells and lift areas. I understand that a ship has a long season and work is carried out as required, but there were a number of instances whereby stairwells and areas of deck were closed for hours for cleaning...and in one case 2-3 days for the sake of varnishing some railings! Surely the cleaning could be done very early morning and not up until 0930-1000 and especially not on a sea day. After our balcony vents were covered, we noticed a watered down version of the same smell more and more on the lido rear deck. So much for fixing, or should I say "moving" the problem. Disembarkation: We had late disembarkation. They did the same as last time, in that they say you can wait in your stateroom. That is until a staff member appears on your balcony after opening the partitions. Basically after that you can't wait on the balcony as they are cleaning and water is dripping from above. Fair enough, but at least just say that in advance. Disembarkation itself was good and there were plenty taxis despite a very long queue. To sum up: Poles apart from the Noordam last year. Only two things better on the Nieuw Amsterdam were the extra sun deck on top of Tamarind, which was quiet and spacious, and the sunbeds which were much more comfortable, but that's about it. The lack of acceptance and initial unwillingness to sort our balcony problem was quite unbelievable. We would have been moved to a better stateroom if the ship wasn't at 100% capacity. I would not like to say categorically, but I strongly suspect that the balcony vents will now be uncovered ready for round ??? of the problem. After all, vents are there for a reason. Will I sail HAL again, even though we have future cruise credit and received compensation. I'm really not keen right now. They'd have to really pull out the stops. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
I write this as an upper 30s guy with more than 40 cruises under my belt. I am happy to try new cruise lines, especially when the itinerary is right. And that is exactly why I chose this cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam. It had the best ... Read More
I write this as an upper 30s guy with more than 40 cruises under my belt. I am happy to try new cruise lines, especially when the itinerary is right. And that is exactly why I chose this cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam. It had the best Mediterranean itinerary I could find. The first impression was not good. The Venice terminal was very hot. It was 80 degrees outside, but they did not run the AC inside. It would not have been so bad had the cruise staff supplied water and/or snacks to the waiting guests. Most cruise lines at most embarkation ports do this. The ship was mostly pretty and very well kept. Our room, Superior Suite 6088, was very impressive. I loved the separate tub and shower and large, comfortable room. My one gripe is the lack of interactive TVs. How is it that the newest ship of a major cruise line does not have them? This meant we could not check our statement, easily order room service, or any of the other luxuries included with this system on other cruise lines. HAL is way behind the curve with this. The main dining room was a joke. The room is a very ugly bright red color and they burn the lights way too bright. It was not comfortable to sit in there. To make matters worse, the Open Seating dining had terrible service. Unlike other cruise lines, these waiters did not introduce themselves, make suggestions, or help with ordering at all. After only 3 nights of a 12 night cruise, we quit going there altogether. Even the little things waiters do on other lines, like removing lobster from the shell, did not happen on this ship. Activities were also a joke. Usually on cruises, there is a live cover band playing nightly in one of the lounges. Not here. In fact, the only somewhat upbeat nightly entertainment was a mediocre piano player in a very small, overcrowded lounge. I have never been so bored on a cruise. Luckily, this cruise was very port intensive. I do not recommend this ship for anyone used to the great service and amenities on other large cruise lines. My first impression of this cruise line is that it is only for the elderly. That's fine, I guess. Maybe I'll return in 40 years. But for now, this line will be at the bottom of my consideration list. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Total disappointment. We read reviews for this cruise and were aware that rating for this ship is not too great, only fair. But this was the first Mediterranean cruise of the year and we took the risk. First and foremost I want to ... Read More
Total disappointment. We read reviews for this cruise and were aware that rating for this ship is not too great, only fair. But this was the first Mediterranean cruise of the year and we took the risk. First and foremost I want to outline the pros: Our stateroom attendant was great! Room was always perfectly cleaned, bedding was always sparkling clean and every evening we got those adorable towel pets which were the highlight of my evening entertainment. Dining room food was acceptable. Adequate portions. Head waiter came to the table every day for a chat. We had lobster dishes 2 formal nights and crab legs 1 night. Crab legs were pretty good and we asked we will have it again. Were told there is no plan to serve crab legs again, but if we ask for it, he will prepare it for us on request. And we got crab legs again, as promised. What made dinner extra special are the people at our table. We asked to be sited at table for 6 and had delightful company, lot's of laughs. I have to say special thanks to the desert chefs. That was the best desert we ever had on the cruise. Every night different, very delicious pastries of top quality. And special chocolate night was magnificent. Great variety! Lunch menu in the buffet was very good. Salads, very good selection of meets prepared differently. Great idea was to have different oriental variety every day. Pizza was fantastic all day long. Ice creams with different toppings. Specialty restaurant we only visited twice. First time we really enjoyed the food and the service. Yuri, our waitress was a delight. She was friendly and allot of fun. Food was ok. Sushi were not really good and they served 4 very thin slices and you could not get seconds. Second night my husband ordered Vietnamese lamb but meet was very tough and he got a replacement dish. However, the chocolate filled fortune cookie was something awesome! From entertainers want to mention Jenny and the HALcats. Jenny is a great singer and has wonderful personality. That is where pros of this cruise end. Cons: This cruise was designed for people over 85. Even thought there were allot of older folks we know people of all ages like to have fun. Shows were extremely boring. Low quality entertainers. Ship performers(singers and dancers) only performed couple of times in production numbers which again lacked quality. Since HALcats were the only band and performed in the shows as well as wit Jenny, dancing was nonexistent as the band was busy with the shows every night. So Jenny performed perhaps 2-3 times during entire cruise. There was another sort of jazz band that were suppose to play from 5:30PM to 6:30PM the dance favorites/ballroom type songs. Whoever planned the timeslot for this band forgot that first dinner sitting starts at 5:45PM and can go on well until 8PM. Since we are passionate ballroom fans we skipped dinner one evening to catch some dancing. That was terrible!!!! They mostly played foxtrot and took several 5 minute breaks(which lasted up to 20 minutes) every 15 minutes. In other words really bad for those of us who can still move. DJ Mario was allot of fun during some of the game shows. But his disco was at 11PM when most people are in bed considering that every shore excursion would start between 8 and 9 AM. One night we decided to stay up and go to the Latin night. All he played was Merengue, after half and hour we gave up. Game shows were a joke. Deal or no deal....1 person calls the rest are sitting doing nothing for an hour, what is the point? 1 show was sort of fun "majority rules" where all the players were involved. Is it so hard to find more games where all attendants would participate? There was no on-deck entertainment at all. Deck area could not accommodate all the guests and it was impossible to find free lounge chair next to the pool. At this time I should mention that dining room was terribly understaffed and waiter service that cruises are so famous for was not there. But there were plenty of waiters bugging every 5 minutes offering a drink from a poolside bar, dance floor bar, theater bar and so on. However wants a drink will get a drink, but no matter how many people will bug me to buy a drink I will not since I don't drink alcohol. So few less bar waiters and few more dining room waiters would have been great. Getting a table at the buffet dining room was a challenge, especially for breakfast. Getting food at the buffet was a challenge...First few days all the food were being served which created 30 minutes lines. 72 hours later they opened some stations for self service but meat and oriental section was still served and there was always long lines. So it was impossible to plan any activities around lunch time as we never new how long we might have to stay in line. I don't understand what was achieved by having food served. Poor employees don't get any rest at all, they work 12 hours shifts 10 months straight. And guests have to stay in line indefinitely to get the food. Port of calls were not too exciting and shore excursions were not the best quality. For example our guide in Pisa was terrible, we got no useful information at all, the headphones were terrible quality and most of the time all we heard was noise. In Luca we had wonderful guide. I have to say that unfortunately cruising is not what it used to be. Would I ever cruise with HA? Not unless they fix all the problems. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Just finished a 12 day Mediterranean cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam. It was a total disappointment. The food service was very inefficient. We had to wait in long lines for all three meals since we don't like the slow service in the formal ... Read More
Just finished a 12 day Mediterranean cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam. It was a total disappointment. The food service was very inefficient. We had to wait in long lines for all three meals since we don't like the slow service in the formal dinning room. Once you got in front of the servers, they gave you very little servings of everything. Once a girl gave me very little veggies, so I asked for more. She picked up three more pieces of string beans and put on my plate....!!!!! The excursions were ok except one, which prompt me to write this review. We joined the Florence/ Pisa excursion after docking in Livorno. All went well in the morning until lunch time. We were taken to 'SABATINI' restaurant in downtown Florence. There were three groups from the ship. Each group had about 40 people. The restaurant only gave us one young boy as waiter. There were three more waiters busy serving their walk in customers. They whipped pans of pasta and chunks of meat in front of us, while we only had a dry roll in each of our plate. We asked for butter or oil/vinegar but was ignored. After about 40 minutes, the boy started serving a tiny dish of pasta. They ran out for our table. We waited another 20 minutes for a tiny plate of broken lasagna noodle in pasta sauce. We waited another 30 minutes for a meat dish with a piece of paper thin slice of meet with 5 potato wedges and 7 tiny pieces of squash. My eight year old was still hungry after the main courses. My mother asked the waiter if we can order from the menu and he pretended not understanding English. Totally we spent 2.5 hours in the restaurant watch them busy serving other 'paying' customers. We were treated like second class citizens who were there for free food. The excursion costs almost $200 per person!!!! Our trip to Pisa had to cut short because of the time spent in the restaurant. The tour guide only gave us 30 minutes once the bus arrived in Pisa. This included the time we walk from the bus station to the tower. So basically hi leaning tower and bye Pisa. We paid the cruise Line to provide transportation to the airport in Barcelona. When we got off the ship, HAL people told us they are one bus short. We had to wait for one to come. It's mind boggling that they had the exact count of people and still messed up. We stood in the hot sun waited fir 30 minutes while the people got off the ship with us were already in a taxi on their merry way to the airport. I reminded the HAL person that we paid triple the taxi fare to the cruise line so we can be on time for our fight. The person told me there is nothing she can do and she does not have a manager to report this issue. I should report this to the cruise Line after I get home. All in all, you think I'm going to take another HAL cruise???? Naaaaa....... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2011
THE GOOD...Room was roomy and plenty of drawers and closet space. Cabin stewards were very good, with the exception of the last night. However, they did leave their master key in our room twice for the entire night (you need this card to ... Read More
THE GOOD...Room was roomy and plenty of drawers and closet space. Cabin stewards were very good, with the exception of the last night. However, they did leave their master key in our room twice for the entire night (you need this card to enter your room and to keep the lights on)....we could have gone into any of the rooms of the ship with that left key card. A bit alarming. They only restocked the cabin refrigerator once during the whole cruise. Tamarind restaurant was good for one night, but wouldn't want to have it twice. Ricardo the wine steward in Tamarind was EXCELLENT!!! NOW FOR THE BAD...MAIN DINING ROOM FOOD......was god awful! Mushy steak, the worst duck ever...I can't think of one good meal between the two of us. A big disappointment, but not as disappointing as Le Cirque. The soup was nothing special, the lamb chops were so tough I couldn't eat them. You would think for $39 they would have removed a portion of the bill after seeing my plate wasn't even touched but for one bite. The main dining wait staff was also disappointing. Never offered a choice between potatoes, rice, etc. Asked for a diet coke at the beginning, asked again during the meal, my husband asked a third time, and finally when asked what I would like for desert I answered "a diet coke please". Our table did get a chuckle from my dessert request. I could go on about the food, but it would sound the same as above....mushy and bland.I should also mention the buffet...a lot of casserole/stews, and the crew serving were like slugs, and seemed to be bothered if you asked for more than one item, ie; french toast and bacon. As for room service (we did breakfast 5 mornings), not once did we get everything we ordered. PRE DINNER DRINKS...The one highlight was the guitarist in the Crow's Nest. Unfortunately, we were only able to see him one night as it was booked for private parties the remainder of the cruise. Apparently, this happens a lot on HAL as told to us by the bartender. The majority of the guests are left out of some of the better options on the ship. AGE OF CRUISE GUESTS...Don't let anyone tell you this is not a senior citizens cruise. My husband and I took a walk around the main dining and our guesstimate is 80% of the guests were 75 and over. Makes for a very boring cruise. May be why the food is so mushy and bland. Luckily, we found the a small "fun" group (age 45-65) to hang with. CASINOI do not like the 21 Club. You must use your card to play the slot games. Too time consuming plugging in your numbers and then another step to plug in the cash amount. It's a pain in the butt to move from machine to machine. My husband likes to play cards and the card dealer was always busy flirting with a female guest, so much so, that he didn't realize my husband had a winning hand, not once but twice. I guess the dealer was so excited to see someone young on the cruise he got carried away... The smoke is also annoying. I can't even begin to tell you how many people we saw pulling a oxygen tank in one hand, and cigarette in the other. POOLSIDE BANDThey took forever setting up for a scheduled 1:30 name that tune, 15 min. was spent saying check, check, into the mic, still weren't ready at 2:00. We left and headed for the back pool. Seems there were a lot of slow moving crew on this ship. Nobody was in a hurry to do anything. Also I want to add, if you asked for something and it wasn't their job, that's what they told you..not my job you need to ask/call..." They weren't about to call the right person for you.BAR STAFFSome were very friendly and some were just plain rude. It was very odd having an excellent bartender and then a rude one...this was just about at every bar area. The bartender in the Silk Den was excellent along with the very back pool(the shorter bald guy), he was also very good and both made the effort to engage with the guests. BOTTOM LINE...Would I cruise HAL again....maybe when I reach the age of 90 and need a quite trip and food with the texture of jello and no flavor. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
We have heard nothing but good about this cruiseline so my parents, a friend and I decided to try HAL for the first time. Stateroom: We were in stateroom 5009,which was a double bed, couch and top bunk. For being a bigger ... Read More
We have heard nothing but good about this cruiseline so my parents, a friend and I decided to try HAL for the first time. Stateroom: We were in stateroom 5009,which was a double bed, couch and top bunk. For being a bigger stateroom than on Carnival and Norwegian, we found the layout took away space and made it smaller than other cruiselines we were on. Our top bunk was broken for 2 days (sloped so they put towels to try to make the mattress flat). Three of us slept in one bed. When taking this issue to the front desk staff, we were treated unprofessionally and they did not believe us until my father came done to complain the next day and they saw the bed themselves. Carpenters were brought in to fix this after the second night. To compensate this, they gave us a credit of only $50 dollars,which paid for one person being put out not 3. They gave the credit at midnight the night before our cruise was done - we are unable to dispute our bill after 10 pm, otherwise we would have taken our gratuities back and paid them to the room stewards which were the most helpful and paid the least on a luxury cruiseline! Entertainment: This is a very low key cruisline with very few activities for all ages. The live entertainment consisted of violins, piano, guitar and piped in music. Where was entertainment for the 20 and 30 age groups? The singing group Cantare were amazing and the only thing worthwhile on the ship. Dining: Food was wonderful and no complaints!I have a gluten free allergy and had to ask my own questions to find out what I could eat and what they had available - we should not have to do our own research on this. On Norwegian, I was able to get my own waiter that was for all allergy people and the chef would make whatever I wanted to eat, including my loved creme brule. Information: There was few to no information given on the ship regarding anything. We felt we were in the dark on the activities at times but maybe because they only had walzing and bingo! There was no welcoming groups or maitre de's that kept you on top of stuff. Other: The ship swayed everyday and many crew were getting sick. I came off the cruise with the Norovirus which was on this ship not very long ago! Not impressed to be sick and missing work due to a vacation!!! San Juan Very crowded and busy. Least favorite of all ports. Grand Turks Loved Margaritaville. The pools were good. St. Maarten Shopping was great -recommend duing the side shops for cheaper rates. Alcohol was cheap to drink off port. The duty free liquor store was the cheapest so far. Half Moon Cay Loved this island - A+. The water and sands were amazing. Thank goodness Carnival stops here too because worth the return!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2010
This cruise was to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean. We had 14 nights on the Nieuw Amsterdam from FLL on the 14 November and we were very disappointed with most of the cruise. I think that the first mistake was to do what HAL view as ... Read More
This cruise was to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean. We had 14 nights on the Nieuw Amsterdam from FLL on the 14 November and we were very disappointed with most of the cruise. I think that the first mistake was to do what HAL view as two cruises in one. The food and entertainment is repetitive and neither is of a particularly high standard. We had been led to believe that HAL were a higher end line, but saw little evidence of it. The shows in the theatre were very average and the food in the Manhattan was the same. Two of the four of us(two couples) had particular dietary needs (two vegetarians one of whom has a gluten allergy) and HAL seemed incapable of understanding this. The cruise had been booked for six months and we had been assured on numerous ocacsions that they understood and could cater for a gluten free diet. On the first night we were told that "it would be OK tomorrow but could they eat normally tonight". We asked if the helicopter was available to take the coeliac to hospital in that case! They also expected vegetarians to eat meat on that first night. Nowhere near good enough. Despite the fact that we were there two weeks, they never quite got it right. Verandah cabins are very small and furnished with low quality stuff. The bed is the best thing and the sofa is from IKEA. The whole feel of the Nieuw Amsterdam is not up to the mark. The Lido restaurant is the best food on the ship although availability is disjointed. You have to walk round both sides when it's very busy with diners carrying plates of food and people walking through from the pools, to see the selection. I saw a couple of accidents with food on the floor due to this. The coffee in the Lido is awful. Tea is worse than awful. Coffee is not available in any bar on the ship and is only gettable (apart from the Lido) from the cafe in the Crow's Nest. They have a selection inexpertly prepared and served in paper cups. Any Starbucks does a better job. The internet is available in this area at extortionate rates. Needing to keep in touch, a very slow connection costs a package rate of $55 for 100 minutes or 75c per minute on pay as you go. The ports of call are very mixed: Half Moon Cay--HAL's private island, full of mosquitoes when we were there and not pleasant. A range of water sports available at expensive prices. Two calls here, 1st and 2nd week. Stayed on the ship the second time! Grand Turk--Not worth the visit--rushed tour and nothing really to see apart from the Salt Museum and slave commemoration. Again two calls here. Grand Cayman--Not worth the visit either--we saw the biggest motor parts distributor in the Caymans! San Juan--Well worth the visit--we enjoyed the rain forest. St Martin--Again good "Under Two Flags" tour. Would like to have stayed longer here. Cozumel--Shopping Mall, some Mayan ruins. Tours to Chichen Itsa took 12 hours--the wrong port for these ruins. The ship does not handle any degree of swell very well and is noticeably unstable. The captain told us one afternoon the they were stopping for three hours to check the stabilisers, but here was no noticeable improvement afterwards. It rolls far more than it should for a ship of its size. All in all, we were very disappointed with HAL, expecting it to be way better than it was. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Sailed Nov 21, 2010 N.Amsterdam - first time Holland America. Daughter's wedding was held on Nov 21 at port before sailing. The wedding coordination handled by an HAL contracted service, Royal Ocean Events, went very well. That's ... Read More
Sailed Nov 21, 2010 N.Amsterdam - first time Holland America. Daughter's wedding was held on Nov 21 at port before sailing. The wedding coordination handled by an HAL contracted service, Royal Ocean Events, went very well. That's about all that went well on this cruise. We were a party of 16 (13 Adults/3 Children)- 6 cabins. We were under the assumption that HAL was a "premium" cruisline - far from it. There are so many cons to this new ship (cruiseline) it would take me a few hours to describe. Here it is in brief form: Service lacks in all departments. Manhattan Dining & Tamarind Asian - stay away. Pinnacle Grill was excellent the first night of sailing (held wedding dinner reception there) - booked for Thanksgiving and service went downhill! The food in the Pinnacle is the best on the entire ship. Lido Buffet repeats itself - everything tastes the same. We all mostly survived on hamburgers from the pool grill when opened. Food is EXTREMELY limited at all times including during the Half Moon Cay Island BBQ. At the buffet line you are served a limited portion. Phones do not work properly. Room service is very very slow, (up to 2hr wait) poor quality and limited menu. Coffee is awful - had to mix with 1/2 hot water everytime. Never met my room steward until the last night when he knocked at our door to give us a survey to be completed regarding the service...WHAT???? Cabins were cleaned everyday - no complaints there but we never saw by whom. This ship constantly rocks causing passengers to be sick. We recently sailed the Celebrity Solstice (Southern Caribbean) in June 2010 and never felt it move! New ship? Stabilizers? Don't think so! Staff is overworked and cannot possibly provide "excellence of service" as HAL boasts. No music whatsoever! Piped in 1920 jitterbug sounds by the pool instead of Caribbean calypso live band or CD! Employees continuously opened and closed dome over pool for no apparent reason - very annoying. Smokey vanity mirror in cabins - can't see yourself! Poor lighting in cabin.(Had floor to ceiling window and still dark). Ports are a waste of time unless stay is longer. We were shorted 1 hour in Puerto Rico. Half Moon Cay is a beautiful island however, if you book an excursion, you don't get to have lunch. It is served from 11:30am-1:30pm and if the food is gone before, it's over! Rented 2 cabanas (yellow & green) at $299 each. When booking it states you get sodas, water, snacks, snorkeling gear for 4 people. The snacks consisted of one dish with 1 slice of cantaloupe, 1 slice watermelon, 1/2 strawberry and some leaf on top as decor. Another dish with 2 sticks of celery, 2 long slices of carrots, 1 grape tomato and ranch sauce. 1 small basket of nacho chips with salsa, guacamole and ranch. 8 Cans of soda and 4 waters. This...for 4 people. It is a rip-off. Registered the three children (11,9,5) in camp which they enjoyed. However, at one point the 5 year old was allowed to leave with the parent although the child did not appear as attending the camp that evening. We found ourselves for the first time in 10 cruises having to adjust the automatic gratuity charges the last day of the cruise. We declined to pay this and only gave the "ghostly" steward his portion in cash. We certainly do not recommend this ship nor the cruise-line and will not be sailing to South America in March2011 on the Vandeem as planned. Read Less
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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