3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
1. The title says it all! Nothing for the younger crowd. This caters to the 50 plus group. 2. Service was excellent! 3. They cram liquor down your throat! I understand that's where the money is but wow! 4. Excursions. ... Read More
1. The title says it all! Nothing for the younger crowd. This caters to the 50 plus group. 2. Service was excellent! 3. They cram liquor down your throat! I understand that's where the money is but wow! 4. Excursions. Ehh....ok. I did better with a guy in a van! And MUCH CHEAPER! 5. The ship was super clean! 6. Entertainment....not for me on this ship. And everyone goes to bed at 9! THIS IS FOR THE OLDER CROWD! If you want to relax and do nothing...this is YOUR cruise! 7. Food was good....but all the "extra" restaurants were also crammed down your throat as no one would eat there! No coffee shops no snack shops, nothing. 8. Disembarkation, IMPRESSIVE! Customs....I didn't see any! NO ONE SAID A WORD! Had a neighbor that bought $400 in tequila, they didnt even ask to hold it when he boarded! We were told to just take it to our room! When we left the ship no one cared what we had! Not even a customs form! It was great! 9. Great ship, great line but I'm going back to RC and fight the crowds! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
As frequent travellers, we are used to backpacking, expeditions, and vacations in 1 to 5 stars resorts, all inclusive or not, on all continents, but we never travelled with a large cruises ship. Yes, we had preconceptions about ... Read More
As frequent travellers, we are used to backpacking, expeditions, and vacations in 1 to 5 stars resorts, all inclusive or not, on all continents, but we never travelled with a large cruises ship. Yes, we had preconceptions about cruises, on their misuse of obsolete maritime transport laws to create tax free tourist resorts. Or their bypass of immigration laws and hiring cheap labour from around the world. However, listening to enthusiastic cruise adepts, we expected that this trip will made us change our minds. On the positive side, we found the international staff very kind and helpful. But we did not meet many Spanish speaking staff. This HAL cruise surprised us by the very similar customers aboard: mostly white couples in their seventies. As cosmopolites, somewhat younger, we enjoy more age and racial diversity, and it was strange to be in such finely targeted crowd. There was a double talk when it comes to environmental creeds, which are emphasized by HAL especially when it comes to save money for the operation, like to remind you avoid changing your towels frequently. The plastic water bottles sold in your cabin are from Europe. Fortunately, there is little plastics items used for the food service. Food is not supplied locally, everything came from US, for the whole cruise. Quite some paper spoiled with the leaflets advertising for the shops aboard. To be serious about environmental virtues, we should bear in mind that this form of sea transport use four time more fuel per passenger than a modern airplane. The 750 litres of fuel used by passenger for this 2 week cruise correspond to what I use a year with a car. And worse, after the booking, I had the feeling to be framed in a well rehearsed marketing process, with an objective to make me spend a maximum as I spend time with this company. A lot of staff and accessible surfaces on the ship are meant to bring additional income. I would have preferred a better service. The number of additional charges, and the high price of them perfectly reflects this financial objective. The time to spend on shore is very limited and the excursions highly priced. Come on, why charge $120 pp for a short visit to San Diego zoo? Before the cruise The call centre did not properly answer our questions before booking, as we noticed later. The booking process is cumbersome, with too many computer glitches encountered with browsers (I tried Microsoft explorer, Edge and Android). Some beta testing by HAL would be beneficial. Even we booked long in advance, HAL’s website, contrary to claims, did not allow us to book an hotel in FLL. The only choice offered was at $12000 per night. We booked elsewhere at a reasonable cost. Due to a light handicap, HAL requested additional documents for the cruise, and the details about these documents was not provided by HAL. We had to consult elsewhere. Due to the same condition, we booked our flights directly, and had also to organize our own transfers. The web checking process difficult, again with too many issues with browser. And finally, the departure flight information was requested again by HAL on the ship. I had also to sign an abusive long contract, which I should better have read before booking. In a summary, it reads ‘HAL is not responsible’. Eg the amount covered for lost luggage are ridiculous low. Embarking Very noisy hall at FLL terminal, it was hard to sustain a conversation in it. Luggage handling was OK, but with some delay. At the counter, it took long because person there did not know how to handle our special documents. Finally, we were asked to go to customer desk to have copies of our extra paperwork (even they had to be emailed to HAL before the cruise) For doing so there was a long waiting line at the customer desk. The customer desk clerk made copies of these documents, but forgot to return one original. Glad we checked, so we could get it back. The dinner time requested at booking was changed by HAL to less favourable to us, without explanation or excuses. It was difficult to have it changed afterwards. Even so, we were surprised by the absence of hosting from staff, in the sense of grouping people by affinities or languages. The second day of the cruise the customer desk requested again these documents. We had to elevate the tone and threaten to file a complain about harassment before we suddenly got to talk to somebody reasonable. In conclusion, the customer desk staff is not competent for anything but routine. The coordination between headquarters and the ship seems poor. Too long waiting time to access the customer service desk. Ship More than 2000 passengers. A dining hall and a self-service restaurant (plus 3 speciality restaurants, accessible at an additional high charge). Large surfaces devoted to shops, casino, photography, spa, wine cellar and other income generating activities. Not much space left for sports. Outdated decoration, interior brass and gold plated, in fifty shades of beige. Display of art not curated. More than 800 employed on the ship. Seems quite a high figure, but a share of staff is in income making activities at casino, spa, jewellery shops, excursions. And there is also the sailing, navigation crew, and the maintenance crew counted in it, so we understand that the customer service crew or hotel staff was overwhelmed. As welcome drink, we observed the desk selling beers, bottled water and soft drink cans. One day as we returned to the ship we were offered a glass of water and a refreshing towels. The other days nobody was around. The number of elevators is insufficient with such high proportion of customers with mobility issues. Expect to wait. The best spots for seating outside on the deck are covered with a tent and named ‘cabanas’ and accessible only at an additional fee, and left empty most of the time. The Neuw Amsterdam is not so new anymore, and the maintenance was done during the cruise. Unfortunately, we were nauseated by the smell as the whole hull was getting a new coat in Puerto Vallarta, or as the handrails were varnished, or at sea when the upper part of the ship was repainted. More precautions should have been taken to avoid unhealthy solvent be pumped in the air-conditioning system. We had to vacate our cabin. And so, HAL saves on ship yard. Last day ‘at sea' we refused to leave the stateroom to allow for more scheduled maintenance, in that case, a wet carpet cleaning. On the day of arrival, we could not access the patio again, as the outside of ship was undergoing more M&R. Cabin (called stateroom) Small. Balcony (pompously named verandah) allows for two chairs. The safe was not ok, as its battery was low. We had to wait quite long in the room to have it fixed. Clean, except stained sofa, walls and bed cover. On windy days, to avoid draft and strong whistling, we patched the patio door joints with duck tape. Fridge hardly cold. TV entertainment not as good as on an airline. Sink with cracks. Cabin due for an update. As the weather got colder at the end of the cruise, we were surprised that the air-conditioning could not to be disconnected, even temperature went too low. With a non-responsive customer desk, it took 10 hours to be fixed. Food & beverages Generally speaking noisy restaurants. Room service at no additional charge for a limited selection of dishes or drinks, or with an additional charge for others. Breakfast was delivered half an hour before requested time, with the explanation ‘It is a busy day’. Slow on some other days. Breakfast time at restaurants should have been adjusted for early arrival at port of call. Dining hall The dishes served did frequently not correspond to the pretentiously redacted menu, with ingredients listed missing or substituted. Obviously, the cooks did not read the menu, or tried to do savings on ingredients. Eg Grand Marnier, truffles, half avocado, maple syrup. Meal after meal, the comparison of the dishes with the ‘fancy’ menu became a subject of laughter. We had fun with the leftover potato soup was renamed Sunchoke Soup on Gala Night. Generally speaking rather poorly presented dishes with bland taste. Service was kind, but staff overwhelmed. Not trained to handle dishes, bottle and glasses quietly. It generally took 1 ½ hour for a seated dinner. Nice white tablecloth and tableware, and even a flower. Too many breaded dishes like scallops, sweetbread, sole, chicken ‘pillard’. Large parking area for scooters. Self service restaurant Lido No available tables as many tables for 4 are taken by couples or singles, even for filling the daily (free) crossword. To choose your table, arrive early! Chairs adapted for high BMI. Large choice of food, put on a plate by the staff at the stations where you line up. Due to communication issues, we frequently got too large servings. By the end of the cruise we got the impression that some buffet dishes were left exposed too long, like dried out mexican rice or sour smelling beans. Exaggerated additional charge for speciality restaurants. The ginger lobster served at the ‘fusion’ Tamarind was excessively salted. We did not visit the two other ones, as we got the same feeling of pretence from their fancy menus (Escargots? canned or frozen?). Not much spices used and the bland food served is compatible with dentures, except short ribs or striploin. Selection of sugar free dishes. We did not have the impression that many clients had digestive troubles, but be prudent about complaining about it at the medical facility, as you may get quarantined. In short, pretentious menus and mediocre food. Drinks Drinks are highly priced and another service charge added on each bill, on top of the daily $15 pp obligatory service charge. Wine or beer billed at 5 to 6 times the market price. Water, tea or filter coffee are complimentary. Unlimited fountain drinks for $8 per day. Other daily passes for unlimited alcoholic beverages. Unfair and peculiar rules about these passes, as they have to be bought for the whole cruise, or that everybody in the cabin has to buy the same pass. ‘Enrichment’ activities onboard Quite a high proportion of activities with additional charges, e.g. Half an hour meditation for $12. Many activities are meant to showcase the shops, casino, bars or spa. Bingo cards at $5. The cycles at the fitness are only meant for cycling classes at 12$. No fitness instructors besides classes. Very slow internet access at an excessive price. At the arrival, on a day of disrupted air travel, it would have been kind to make the wifi free for everyone. The mainstage had some pleasant shows, by professionals, but they lacked spontaneity. As we travelled during Carnival week, we vainly expected some reference to it. The sound on the BBKing club and the mainstage is set so loud that if you do not wear hearing aids, you will soon need some. Better use protective ear plugs. Small shows with local dancers on the rear deck. We liked the dancing classes. Excursions Long waiting before departure. The EXC staff selling them seemed overwhelmed, and there was a long waiting line. Anyway, they could not provide us the practical information about where was the supermarket we needed or where to get a fast web access. We had an enquiry about an excursion, and were told that we will get the answer later… we did not get it. Generally speaking the excursions are highly priced. E.g. in Huatulco, a snorkelling tour was offered for $80 pp. We took a taxi to this same beach and rented the equipment for a total of 300 pesos for two. Unfortunately, in three ports of call the ship was moored along a similar sized cruise ship, the Coral Princess. This was not a smart, as it brought quite a crowd getting ashore. A port of call, Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala was very unpleasant, as the ship moored in a polluted coal harbour. Taxis were not allowed to access to the ship there and we had to walk a mile way from the entrance of the port to the ship. The time allowed ashore was short, and we made the best of it with a local taxi or just by walking. So, we had the chance to practise some Spanish, and we could adapt to the weather and our envy. And got also quite some authentic memories or photos. Disembarking The announcement on the PA were not very audible, as the are mixed with music and static on TV. It was delayed, and service staff impatient to get to cabin. The questionnaire we received by email after the cruise did not cover all the sides of HAL’s services. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I just read covemanb 12/18 review and it was right on target. My wife and I took three Celebrity cruises last winter and this one was by far the worst. The entertainment was poor. No bands during the day at the pool, no music at the ... Read More
I just read covemanb 12/18 review and it was right on target. My wife and I took three Celebrity cruises last winter and this one was by far the worst. The entertainment was poor. No bands during the day at the pool, no music at the pool , and no place to sit at the pool since they only have 125 lounge chairs and around 3000 passengers. Night entertainment was BB King and strings every night. They were fine for one night--maybe two. They had a comedian and illusionist in the Main stage for two nights. Comedian was funny for five minutes and illusionist was boring and performed the same act that you've seen a hundred times. His card tricks were boring. Anyone that watched last season of AGT would have fallen asleep at his card tricks. There were two good shows in the Mainstage performed by the Cruise entertainers. Breakfast at the buffet was the same every day. You had to stand in long lines and wait to be served. Celebrity at least featured some new items daily for breakfast and it was self serve. No banana bread for the entire cruise offered for breakfast. Celebrity also labeled every food item with codes to tell you if it was dairy free, gluten free, etc. Nothing was labeled on this ship and you had to point to the food item and ask the server what you were eating. Of course they had no idea what ingredients were in the food. Lunch buffet was ok, but lamb and pork were on the carving station almost every day. They only had turkey breast one day and that was not a whole roasted turkey. Celebrity had whole roasted birds on two days of a seven day cruise. Celebrity also had an ice cream counter with a big selection of flavors. The selection on this ship was four flavors max. Sit down dinner was good in the main dining room and comparable to Celebrity. (I'm comparing this ship to Celebrity REflection) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
WORST Internet of the high seas!!! In this day & age of technology, I find this absolutely unacceptable! I tried paying for their "PREMIUM" internet and it was so atrocious. It's embarrassing that they even dare to ... Read More
WORST Internet of the high seas!!! In this day & age of technology, I find this absolutely unacceptable! I tried paying for their "PREMIUM" internet and it was so atrocious. It's embarrassing that they even dare to charge for the "service". I've been on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Crystal & Disney all in the last few years & none of their internet has been this pathetic. Seriously, there is no excuse for such terrible internet access when the other cruise lines can provide cruisers with far, far superior internet. I have to admit, it did REALLY hinder my enjoyment of the cruise since I do like my internet access. So, if you or your family members want the internet like I do (contacting kids/family at home, accessing websites of tour operators, streaming, opening emails & the links, etc.), I strongly advise against booking with HAL until they re-vamp & fix their "SHIP" internet ... pls replace the "P" with "T" as was so jokingly emphasized by one of their own employees. Another item that I do NOT like about HAL is their beverage package requirement that EVERYONE in the same cabin MUST get the same beverage package. This is absurd to me as not many people I know have the exact drinking habits. For example, I do not drink soda but one of my girlfriends did; also, my other girlfriend drinks wine while the other 2 do not ... so really, it forces everyone to order drinks a la carte just because we have different drinking habits. I find that as a big CON to cruise with HAL with friends and even with my spouse since we also have different drinking habits. However, HAL does try to compensate by allowing cruisers to bring their own wine, soda & water as carry on but I prefer purchasing beverage packages while cruising and not worrying. On a positive note, the food was good in the Dining Room. For interested foodies, I would rank it better than the Freedom of the Seas & Ruby Princess but not as good as Celebrity, Crystal or Disney ships. The buffet area foods are served to cruisers which has it's good points & bad points ... pros - it prevents cruisers with bad habits or kids from making unhygienic acts. cons - it often causes a back up in the buffet line. With regards to service, the dining room & stateroom service were very good. They were all very nice & cordial. In SUMMARY, do NOT book if you like to have internet access or if you have different drinking habits than your cabin mate. FOOD is good --- better than Freedom of the Seas & Ruby Princess but NOT as good as Celebrity, Crystal or Disney. SERVICE is good throughout the ship. For me, I do NOT foresee myself ever booking on HAL again when there are clearly better choices & better values available to cruisers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The crew didn't seem to care about going the 'extra mile' to help. There seems to be a morale issue with most of the crew. Food was average at best, somehow they managed to make all their pork dishes dry and tough, even ... Read More
The crew didn't seem to care about going the 'extra mile' to help. There seems to be a morale issue with most of the crew. Food was average at best, somehow they managed to make all their pork dishes dry and tough, even the ones that were only cooked to medium were dry. The menus were pretentious and they weren't very appealing. We're foodies and yet it was hard to find desirable choices on the main dining room's menu. There was never a dish that I said to myself, "That was great! I hope they have it again later in the cruise!" Food service was mediocre, good luck trying to order a beer/wine/cocktail in the Lido! The Lido buffet is mostly served by the workers, which slows things down and makes lines longer. Yes, it can be more hygienic that way but I suspect it's more to control the serving sizes and reduce costs. Our room attendants were very nice but missed details such as no pen/paper, several days where the fruit bowl wasn't refilled, the balcony furniture and floor had spilled food & wine from the previous occupants that didn't get cleaned until our 5th day. Any time we'd mention a problem it was addressed quickly, but we shouldn't have to mention those sorts of things. The America's Test Kitchen lectures were fun, but not hands-on. BBKing Blues club was, by far, the best entertainment on the ship. This was our second cruise on Holland America. We'd go with them again if there was an incredible deal, but certainly not our line of choice. Stick to Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this ship specifically because of its BB King’s Blue Club. We’d been on another Holland America ship where the same club was the best part of the voyage. But no—this club barely played any blues at all. Imagine ordering ... Read More
We chose this ship specifically because of its BB King’s Blue Club. We’d been on another Holland America ship where the same club was the best part of the voyage. But no—this club barely played any blues at all. Imagine ordering steak at a restaurant and being served a hot dog. “But this is what we call a steak.” OK, HAL, you want to play to a different market, fine. But don’t advertise as something you’re not. The food was sub par. Having ordered a dessert with fruit and macadamia nuts, the plate arrived with one blueberry cut in half, a thin slice of a strawberry, and one macadamia nut cut into pieces. Order a hot dog with onions at the outdoor grill, and it comes with onions and relish. Instead of buying into anything with scrambled eggs at breakfast (never made with freshly prepared eggs), we ordered eggs over. More often than not, we had to send them back to the kitchen because they arrived too hard or too soft. (This occurred in the restaurant reserved for suite guests—not many people there in the morning.). Sandwiches were gross: the roast beef had more fat than beef. Another annoyance. Given that the main breakfast and lunch venue was generally overcrowded, you’d expect that the crew would be quick to clean tables. It often took up to three requests for a table to be cleaned so we could sit down (this while we were holding plates of food). The women’s locker room at the spa was a real disappointment. All three showers had wet mats, and dirty towels were strewn around the changing rooms. Undraped windows (docked next to another ship)—how uncomfortable to realize that people could look directly into the massage and locker rooms. The women’s spa had showers but no combs, no Q-tips, no spray deodorant. Did I mention that the WiFi was very spotty and didn’t work with all Kindle readers? Unless you travel in a scooter or wheelchair and prefer a ship with many other people who do as well, you might want to stay away from the Holland America line. In short, the ship was a disappointment at a high cost. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Meals were good, although some of the restaurants were extra, but we weren't told until the end when they asked for the room card. Poor communication. We don't mind paying for drinks (alcohol), but coffee? Daily hotel ... Read More
Meals were good, although some of the restaurants were extra, but we weren't told until the end when they asked for the room card. Poor communication. We don't mind paying for drinks (alcohol), but coffee? Daily hotel charge (tip fee) seemed high at $13.50US per day per person. Pay the staff more! Have it included in the price of the cruise. We always tip the staff and we did this trip, only to discover at the end that we were charged the above amount daily. This cruise is all about shopping and buying, which we were not interested in doing. The uniformed woman who is in charge of the diningroom staff referred to them as her children, which we found rather demeaning as these men and women are adults often with families. She is not their momma as she stated. This is our first and last Holland American cruise. We do not mind paying for an all inclusive cruise, just don't nickle and dime us for little extras! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
my husband has been wanting to sail to Alaska for years and we have been on at least 15 cruises so I finally gave in and I'm glad I did. Alaska was amazing however I will never sail Holland American again. the service was horrible. ... Read More
my husband has been wanting to sail to Alaska for years and we have been on at least 15 cruises so I finally gave in and I'm glad I did. Alaska was amazing however I will never sail Holland American again. the service was horrible. the staff was so unhappy and they showed it, I did have e good dining room server and one server in the casino that was nice but honestly that was it. I was shocked because service makes or breaks your experience. you could tell they did not want to be there. the food was mediocre to say the least, buffet was the same things over and over, dining room options and quality below par. to top it off they try to save on entertainment and had a show one evening called the Filipino cast show, I felt so sorry for them it was a train wreck. we will return to Alaska on a cruise but not on Holland America nor will I recommend it, if this was someone's first cruise I bet they would never go on another. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I first cruised with Holland America 18 years ago, and it's clear that an abundant amount has changed in such a long period of time. That was certainly expected! I cannot stress the incredible service we received on this line both ... Read More
I first cruised with Holland America 18 years ago, and it's clear that an abundant amount has changed in such a long period of time. That was certainly expected! I cannot stress the incredible service we received on this line both times from their extremely friendly and overall incredibly happy staff. It's so refreshing to meet people who seem like they are enjoying being there as much as you are! It also makes me wish their compensation was not so geared on Holland America aiming to collect $450+ from a family of 4 sharing a cabin in addition to our fare to pay them as they deserve. Even cash tips given to those we appreciated were taken and put into a pool for even distribution behind the scenes, even though as most service goes, not everyone provides the same level of care and attention. More on gratuity later, but in the meanwhile, I will try to provide my opinions as objectively as I can. Embarkation was one of the most chaotic and unpleasant experiences of the whole cruise. It really set a sour note on our family's excitement for a vacation we had spent a lot of time saving for. Lunch was served in the Lido and it was absolute madness. Lido service stations sometimes have multiple lines for one station, and there was poor signage for diners to figure out where to go. Trying to get a meal for myself and three children (age 1-9) was awful, we had no idea where to go or where to stand, and the overwhelmed staff was unable to assist or direct as necessary. There was not enough room for everyone to eat. We also received "open seating" as the only available option with our booking, and reservations were all taken except for 5:15pm dining for parties of 8, and when we did walk ins the service staff seemed confused and frustrated that they would have to rearrange the dining room to accommodate us with a high chair. Thankfully, the As You Wish reservation team answering the phones was always extremely helpful and our waitstaff made the confusion and frustration worth it by treating us like absolute gold. Gede Gunawan is the most amazing service person I have ever met in my life and he made our trip very special and helped salvage what was a lot of headaches! Our cabin was nothing to really write home about - a large bed for my husband and I, a crib for my daughter Aurora, and a ceiling and sofa bed for kids to hop between our room and their grandparents' room next door. Mohammad, our room steward, took great care of us. The Dive-In burger joint upstairs is not really what people come to cruises for, which means the lines are short to non-existent and the food was OUTSTANDING. Main dining hall also receives absolutely nothing but praise from my family, even my picky eaters. Kids menus were everywhere and they accommodated even our pickiest palate. The Nieuw Amsterdam was a gorgeous ship. We have always enjoyed the art on display and the clear directions and information for navigating the ship. This is one of the newer ships, although we experience leaking ceilings in our stateroom hallway. We also saw leaking into some of the art displays. Here's a secret - the cruise lines own all those shops and jewelry shillers on the main piers in each port. You can skip every shopping guide presentation by Victoria because she is just a salesperson there to direct you to cruise line owned businesses. You're better off googling what to do and where to shop from smaller sites and not from the cruise itself. I don't remember there being so many gaudy jewelry stores 18 years ago! Noise: This ship is incredibly noisy, and this was the noisiest cruise I've ever taken. Our stateroom was below a late night chair rearrangement area, down the hall from the Main Stage that opens directly into levels 1, 2, and 3. Remaining for meals at port calls onboard means that people are actively doing construction all around you. We tried to enjoy whale watching in Ketchikan while two humpbacks played next to the ship, but unfortunately they were actively drilling and sanding the lido room so we could not take nice videos of the sighting. Disembarkation was also a nightmare and chaotic like embarkation was. They took our bags off the ship at midnight and we disembarked around 9am to pick them up. Our bags were handled poorly and weren't even grouped together. The biggest shock of the cruise was the Hotel Service Charge tacked onto our bill every day, running up nearly $500 in what really is a gratuity charge. The front desk was poorly trained in handling it, and spent a great deal of time telling me I was taking away someone's salary by asking the charge be removed or modified. In the future, my family will cruise elsewhere, most likely with one of the many cruise lines that offers a military discount and understands we aren't all rich retirees, which was mostly who seemed to be onboard with Holland America. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We took this cruise by default because we were doing a Scenic Tours trip around Canada and this was part of it. The Scenic tours are really expensive so we expected better of the cruise component. I think they would be better placed using ... Read More
We took this cruise by default because we were doing a Scenic Tours trip around Canada and this was part of it. The Scenic tours are really expensive so we expected better of the cruise component. I think they would be better placed using the services of a smaller vessel. Anyway, our experience: It took 5 hours to board in Vancouver, US border patrol were understaffed and overworked, many people had the wrong visas, we sat on hard chairs with no food or drink and waited. Near the end all the passengers from the Princess Cruise were pushed in front of us because, apparently, the ship had to leave port urgently. We were told they left 300 people behind who subsequently came on our ship, but I cannot confirm the veracity of that report. The ship left late and just after we boarded and we missed the sail away because we were rushed to the auditorium for a farcical safety briefing - something like a flight attendant would do except the girl didn't know how to work the life jacket. We weren't shown where the lifeboats were or anything sensible. The main restaurant was sloooow to serve and the food was very average. The lido restaurant upstairs was horrific. Way too many people, one person had to sit at the table while the other got food because if you both left your places would be cleared and when you returned someone else would be sitting there. The food was canteen standard and you had to queue to be served (no buffets), so at breakfast you had to line up to get a piece of toast and then line up in another line to get an egg to go onto the toast and so on until all the food was stone cold. The toast lady could never remember your order so invariably someone else got your piece. They even ran out of white bread. Tried to go to a line dancing session which was a big mistake, just about every one of the 900 people (slight exaggeration) on board were in a teeny room banging into each other as they shuffled around. I didn't even bother to enter. I am giving this 2 stars because the cabin (we had a signature suite) was really good and a haven away from the chaos of the rest of the ship. The excursions and ports were interesting. If you want to see a glacier do it quickly as they are melting fast. Read Less
Nieuw Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

Find a Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise

Email me when prices drop