196 Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

We decided about 18 months ago to take a trip for our 15th anniversary and we went with close friends who were married the same year. We are 2 couples ranging in age from mid-40's to early 50's, We selected Holland America ... Read More
We decided about 18 months ago to take a trip for our 15th anniversary and we went with close friends who were married the same year. We are 2 couples ranging in age from mid-40's to early 50's, We selected Holland America because of their history cruising in Alaska.We also liked the idea of a smaller, quieter ship. While we are not seniors we tend to go to bed early and don't need the night life that some other ships provide. We booked 18 months in advance and selected an aft balcony and our friends chose a port-side signature suite. Just before final payment the prices dropped considerably so we contacted the travel agent. Because of the promo we booked under they wouldn't credit us with the difference but they offered to upgrade us to Neptune Suites which we happily accepted. We ended up on Deck 6 port side and our friends were on Deck 7 starboard. Embarkation - I had heard that embarkation can sometimes be long waits at Port of Vancouver. We arrived around 10:45 and we were on the ship by 11:20 with no wait at any point of the process. Very smooth. Cabin - we were in 6064 and our friends had 7051 and we were all happy with the accommodations. The room stewards were so friendly and attentive. Our friends were directly across from the Neptune Lounge and we were one floor below which I honestly didn't mind. Neptune Lounge - the concierges Carina and Kristine were both lovely, welcoming and helpful. We didn't really use their services much except to cancel a pre-paid dinner and make one dining reservation but they were always happy to answer questions. Having access to tea/coffee and snacks was a nice bonus. I would often wander up there early in the morning to grab a tea and a croissant to bring back to the room. Lido - We went to the Lido for only 3 meals the entire cruise, mainly because it was like feeding time at the zoo! I found it chaotic, crowded and only mediocre food. Don't get me wrong, no one was going to starve and the food wasn't bad, just not good enough to make up for the atmosphere. Main Dining Room - Despite booking super early we had open dining. While we liked the flexibility of the Open dining I think it also affected the service in the dining room. We only ate dinner there 3 times and while the experience got better each time it was still not up to the level of past cruise dining experiences. I found the main dining room crowded, noisy and rushed. I felt like our waiters made no effort to connect with us, nor did their service elevate the meal in any way. Tamarind - FANTASTIC!!! We loved the food and service here so we ended up going twice. The servers were so welcoming and they memorized your names. When you saw them later in the cruise in a different location they remembered your names. So personal and lovely. Food was delicious. They even brought me a special cake for my birthday. Pinnacle - As Neptune suite guests we had access to the Pinnacle for breakfast and I have to say that was the best suite perk that we had. Breakfast choices provided a lot of variety and it was delicious. Staff in the Pinnacle were so welcoming and always remembered your requests from the day before. We also had one lunch and one dinner in the Pinnacle and they were both delicious. Excursions - We booked two different excursions through Holland America and we were happy with both. In Skagway we did the White Pass Rail to the Yukon which was a full day tour, including lunch. In Ketchikan we did the Wilderness Explorer Cruise and all-you-can-eat crab feast. Both excursions were well done. In Juneau we opted to rent a car and explore on our own. Entertainment - We visited Billboard one night. The female piano player had a beautiful voice but the man was not great. Mid-week we discovered BB Kings and we wish we had made the effort to check it out sooner because it was great. They do 3 sets every night and the place was packed! We didn't do any of the EXC talks in the main theatre as that's not our thing. We did watch the comedian Jim Short and the illusionist Leon Etienne. Both were great. They also did a variety show on the last night with both of them. We had planned to see the dancers one night but they were cancelled for their safety due to high waves and rocking ship. Disembarkation - We were in the first disembarkation group which was announced at about 7:45 am but since we didn't have a flight to catch until later in the day we had a leisurely breakfast before getting off the ship at about 8:30. From the time we scanned off the ship to when we were outside the terminal was less than 12 minutes. Super fast and efficient. Overall Impression - We found that the things people paid to upgrade (Neptune Suite, specialty dining, etc) were fantastic and provided the experience and level of service we expected of the cruise as a whole. Those things which were included (Lido, Main Dining Room, etc) were not up to par with what we were expecting. We didn't have a bad experience but our experience in the upgraded areas certainly made the cruise that much better. It's just unfortunate that we had to pay for the level of service that has been included on past cruises with other companies. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this 12 day cruise/land journey for a 35th wedding anniversary for my wife and I. Never been on a cruise or extended vacation like this before. Cruise was enjoyable but did not know what to really expect since this was our first ... Read More
Chose this 12 day cruise/land journey for a 35th wedding anniversary for my wife and I. Never been on a cruise or extended vacation like this before. Cruise was enjoyable but did not know what to really expect since this was our first cruise. We had a window in our room to watch the ocean. A balcony would have been better but for a first time on a cruise and for only 3 days it was nice. The land journey portion of the trip was fun and exciting. We visited Skagway, Whitehorse, Dawson City, Fairbanks, Denali Park, and Anchorage. Most of the motor coaches were comfortable with nice leg room and good visibility except for the last one we rode on. Weather was relatively good and we did get to see Denali with no clouds or weather to obstruct it. The last leg of our journey was to be an 8 hour ride in the glass domed train from Denali to Anchorage. Due to wildfires the train was shut down and we were loaded on motor coaches for a 12 hour ride back to Fairbanks and around another highway to Anchorage. This particular motor coach was not real comfortable. The seats were stacked closer together which meant less leg room and the climate controls did not work very well. The windows continually fogged up and you could not see outside. We were herded through a little roadhouse for lunch, which the food was good but hardly room to sit down and eat. None the less, the train trip from Denali to Anchorage was one of the major reasons we booked this particular trip and to not be able to experience it was extremely disappointing. I realize that wildfires are beyond their control but that bus ride was 12 hours of hell. It put a bad taste in our mouth for what was to have been a pretty good trip. Holland America got my money so I guess that was the most important thing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Iceland. The itinerary was not disappointing and our veranda cabin was excellent, with more than adequate storage. The ship is new, beautiful, and well laid out (except for the Casino’s ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Iceland. The itinerary was not disappointing and our veranda cabin was excellent, with more than adequate storage. The ship is new, beautiful, and well laid out (except for the Casino’s proximity to other public venues). My wife fell in Amsterdam (before the cruise) and broke her arm. The HAL crew were extremely accommodating, from embarkation through disembarkation. The entertainment was a mixed bag. The musical venues were outstanding, especially the Lincoln Center and the Rock ‘N Roll. The main stage entertainment was spotty and evidenced what can only be described as budgetary cuts. The food was certainly adequate; however, in the MDR the food was basic. One had to go to the optional venues (at additional expense) for top quality meals. The overall dining room service ranged from mediocre to good. Perhaps this was due to the newness of the ship, which may still have been in a training state. This was especially evident in the MDR. We are currently deciding whether to continue cruising with HAL, as opposed to one of its competitors. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my second trip to Alaska and my first time on Holland America. I was really impressed with this beautiful ship. It looked fresh and felt luxurious. There were plenty of elevators and lots of quiet places throughout the ship ... Read More
This was my second trip to Alaska and my first time on Holland America. I was really impressed with this beautiful ship. It looked fresh and felt luxurious. There were plenty of elevators and lots of quiet places throughout the ship where one could settle in with a good book. The only time it felt crowded was peak times in the buffet. I liked having breakfast and lunch in the dining room. They served steak and lobster on the 2nd gala night and it was very good. Other Dining Room menu items for dinner were hit and miss. The buffet was typical. I noticed they didn't have trays and the staff dished up most of the food for you, which I didn't really like but apparently it reduces the incidence of illness. Unlike some other cruise lines I've been on, there didn't seem to be any theme nights in the buffet. We dined in Canaletto, the Italian specialty restaurant, one night and the food and service were first rate. I liked the films and talks showcasing Alaska. There were none of those dreadful "Vegas type" shows. There was an illusionist one night and a comedian. There was a dance group but it didn't appeal to me and I left. I loved the Lincoln Centre Stage featuring a piano quintette from Hungary and also the B.B. King Blues club. We had lots of fun at Trivia and Music Trivia. The staff were helpful, friendly and service oriented although I found sometimes there was quite a wait to get a drink. Speaking of drinks, I discovered the Ginger Mule and will ask for that next time. I didn't get off the ship in Juneau but took the White Pass and Yukon trip in Skagway and the Wilderness Exploration and Crab Feast in Ketchikan. Both through the ship and both very expensive. Converted to Canadian funds the cost was around $500.00. Our party included a 12 year old and a 16 year old. The younger one had a blast but we worried there didn't seem to be much for the teen. However, she said at the end that she would love to do another cruise. I had wheelchair assistance embarking and disembarking as I am on supplemental oxygen and the batteries don't last too long. I really appreciated this service. Disembarking was really well organized, probably the best I've ever experienced. All in all, a lovely week with family and friends. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This cruise fit our time and budget. We also like HA cruises as we find them slightly better than the other cruise lines. HA is one of the few that sails into Glacier Bay, which is a highlight of the cruise. i would not cruise to Alaska ... Read More
This cruise fit our time and budget. We also like HA cruises as we find them slightly better than the other cruise lines. HA is one of the few that sails into Glacier Bay, which is a highlight of the cruise. i would not cruise to Alaska without going to Glacier Bay. The food and service was excellent. There was a minor issue with the balcony divider that rattled, which they fixed - they also fixed a minor issue in the bathroom shower without us even telling them. The ship was impeccably clean, and the state room service was great. Maybe we are getting old, but we also found that the lack of party atmosphere was refreshing and relaxing. We tried BB kings lounge, which was the heart of the ship, and while the musicians were very skilled, we found the Blues and R&B was not our thing, I am more of a classic rock guy. The shows in the main theater were very good, but don't expect the extravaganza that you see on the Mega Ships. We booked our own shore excursions and did not use the cruise line for this. The White pass railroad was GREAT and very scenic. We booked a Seaplane in Ketchikan for a Misty Fjiords flight which I highly recommend. I am plane buff and this was the highlight of the trip for me. In jueau we took public transit to Mendenhall Glacier and walked 1.5 miles to the park from the bus stop. This cost us $18 for everything, round trip. A couple of things. You have to pay for soft drinks, which I found odd. Also they serve you at the buffet, which I guess they do for sanitary reasons (and also to cut down on food waste) but I did find it slower than a help yourself buffet. The Dive in Burger joint was great, and we ate lunch here twice. The Pizza was also good. We also ate at the three specialty restaurants (Asian food, Steak House, and Italian) We rec'd these dinners for free for some reason. The food and service was excellent, however, I find the main dining hall food to be excellent as well. I don't think that I would pay extra for the specialty restaurants. We first took this cruise on our honeymoon 26 years ago, and we enjoyed this cruise just as much Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The first time around, it was our first cruise together. We sailed on the Eurodam in January, same itinerary, and had a wonderful time. We felt like it wasn't long enough, though, so we decided to book the same itinerary on a ... Read More
The first time around, it was our first cruise together. We sailed on the Eurodam in January, same itinerary, and had a wonderful time. We felt like it wasn't long enough, though, so we decided to book the same itinerary on a different boat. The Nieuw Amsterdam is not quite as nice as the Eurodam. Of course, it hasn't been updated as recently, so that stands to reason. For the most part, they are almost the same-- same restaurants, same staterooms, same places to spend money. But there are subtle differences. The Nieuw Amsterdam has an identity problem in its decor. Here a little Art Deco, there a little quirky, and over there-- well, the main dining room, it looks like the twin of a fancy Chinese restaurant, all in red and mirrors. It is just missing lazy susans on the tables and a gigantic fish tank. No shark tale soup on any menu, though. So, let's talk entertainment. The blues club-- can't beat it. Fun, great music, great entertainers. The classical musicians-- same same. The pianists, well, I guess others liked them, but they didn't do it for me. Mainstage entertainment-- well, were it not for the parents who decided to allow their children to climb over me (literally) and then sit, screaming, it was pretty good. The first show, all dancing, was creative-- the lights became both a character and a prop, with them dancing with the dancers. It was something I haven't seen before. The second dancing show was okay-- one dancer was significantly better than the others. She was good, she wasn't great. But entertaining enough. The magician played to a packed house. I coudn't see it because there was no where to sit. The few minutes I did, it looked like fun. Dining was hit and miss, but mostly hit. Whoever was in charge of cooking the meat hit a home run each time. Whoever was making the sandwiches needs to learn how to spread butter. Other than that, it was the usual high-quality food we have come to expect from HAL. The main issue we had with the cruise was the behavior of the children. I like kids. In fact, I have spent a lifetime teaching other people's kids. When they are well-behaved, they add a great deal to a social occasion. When they are badly behave, they ruin it. Besides the children climbing on me, then screaming, there were packs of young and pre-teens running around (yes, running,) leaving pool towels in the elevators, using the adult pool, several times, complete with floatees to jump onto, splashing the guests, shouting and jumping into the whirlpools. Our complaints seem to fall on deaf ears. And then there is the cell phone issue. Ours were on airplane mode the whole time. And yet we were charged for their service. So, we enjoyed ourselves. But we do feel like HAL has a few wrinkles to iron out. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Wanted to visit some of the Caribbean knowing it probably was quite different than other cruises we’ve done as in more focused on sun, beach and shopping. Not things that are high on our list but needing a warm winter break. It was as ... Read More
Wanted to visit some of the Caribbean knowing it probably was quite different than other cruises we’ve done as in more focused on sun, beach and shopping. Not things that are high on our list but needing a warm winter break. It was as we expected and we will do another cruise in this area (southern) but probably that would be all. For just a winter sunny break in future it would be easier and closer for us to do Mexico. We also should not have picked a back to back cruise as felt our return to Fort Lauderdale in the middle was a bit of a wasted day as we’d already spent 4 days there prior to the cruise. This is sounding a bit negative and don’t mean it to as we did enjoy ourselves. Enjoyed most ports of call but never want to go to Nassau again. Enjoyed Ocho Rios(Dunn’s river falls) Half Moon Cay would have been fine with just one visit. Did a basic bike and hike first time which was simple but enjoyable. Loved San Juan, especially the Fort. Loved Cozumel. St. Thomas was enjoyable with the views from the high point. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My girlfriend and I, both 23 took this cruise in februari. We are from The Netherlands and wanted to experience a cruise in the Caribbean. We chose Holland America line because of the ports and good value for money, as described in many ... Read More
My girlfriend and I, both 23 took this cruise in februari. We are from The Netherlands and wanted to experience a cruise in the Caribbean. We chose Holland America line because of the ports and good value for money, as described in many other reviews, they service is towards older people. But still an reasonable amount of 20 / 30 year old. We had a forward balcony stateroom on deck 4. The room was just right for two of us. well appointed, very quiet, and with a wonderful balcony. We spent every evening and many hours of the day on the balcony, enjoying sound of the sea and the view of the water and stars. Food ranged from good to very good. Room service was efficient and complimentary. we enjoyed two dinners in the dining room, 1 in Cannaleto and the others in the Lido.. We where sitting at a table of 6 with an older American couple and Canadian woman in the dining room. Although our large age difference we had nice talks about traveling and cruising. If we need to say something we did not like, it was the temperature in all the public spaces, far to COLD, sometimes feels like walking in a mortuary. Make sure to have a sweater with you and you will be fine We really enjoyed our first time cruise! Also. the amount of effort HAl puts in sanitizing is insane. Everywhere you find small stations with alcohol dispenser and even the public restrooms onboard are very clean. you have to open the door with an towel to leave the restroom, something we have never experienced before in Europe. Well done Hal Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I just returned from a week long cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. The rooms were rather small compared to what I have experienced on other cruise ships, such as the Konigsdam. The one big issue was that one entire wall had NO electrical ... Read More
I just returned from a week long cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. The rooms were rather small compared to what I have experienced on other cruise ships, such as the Konigsdam. The one big issue was that one entire wall had NO electrical outlets by the beds. My roommate has a CPAP machine and there was nowhere to plug it in by the beds. The steward had to bring us an extension cord which was about 20 ft. long and was thick enough to power a farm. This was not very convenient and was a tripping hazard. Apart from the bathroom, the living area had only the one outlet at the desk. This seems like a very major over sight. There was a sauna to use free of charge, but it was very small and not in the spa area. It held maybe 4 people comfortably and I often had to wait for people to leave before there would be enough room. There was not enough clothing hooks and there was only one shower. There are separate men's and women's sauna right off the main hallway on the Lido deck. The HAL website advertised a .750 liter bottle of Bacardi for $43 to be delivered to one's room the day of departure. They also advertised the same bottle with 3 cans of coke for $56. I bought the $43 bottle ahead of time on the website. However, when I got onboard, they were advertising the same bottle with 3 cans of coke for $43. I cancelled my original order and placed the order for the bottle and 3 cans of coke. When I got the bill, they had added a 15% gratuity fee and tax, which brought the price to just under $50. The original charge was just the $43, so I recommend buying BEFORE you get onboard. The food was good. Not excellent, but good. Self-service was limited, which is a good thing. It keeps from having hundreds of people from using their grubby hands to handle the utensils, bringing dirty plates to the buffet and putting food back when they change their minds. It also keeps people from overloading their plates with food they won't eat. Too many cruisers have eyes bigger than their stomachs and waste so much food. We never to wait more than 2-3 minutes to get into the main dining room on level 2. Main dining room service was spotty. A couple of times we had very fast service, other times it took us an hour and a half to eat as the various dishes took a long time to deliver. However, the food was always hot and correctly prepared. Wait staff were always very friendly and accommodating. One of my fellow travelers ordered the 36 ounce steak for an additional charge of $75. The steak, of which I was lucky enough to get a bite, was absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection, but it was a lot of steak for one person. I think that if you love a flavorful steak, that this cut could be shared by 2-4 people. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Our travel agent was arranging this cruise for her friends nd clients and asked us to sail with them. The price for our Signature Suite was very attractive and we have sailed HAL and enjoy their cruises. We found the Nieuw Amsterdam to ... Read More
Our travel agent was arranging this cruise for her friends nd clients and asked us to sail with them. The price for our Signature Suite was very attractive and we have sailed HAL and enjoy their cruises. We found the Nieuw Amsterdam to be very, very crowded in the public areas. Our suite was spacious and very comfortable. We loved the Lincoln Center group and attended all their performances. Also enjoyed the other music venues, BB King and the dueling piano guys. Food in the dining room was quite good and we also enjoyed our meals in the Pinnacle Grill and Caneletto. Morning in room service for coffee was timely every day. We had reasonably nice weather so we were able to enjoy the aft pool area most days. We enjoyed swimming at the beach just off the ship at Grand Turk and our beach time at Half Moon Cay. What I didn’t like: ~the $30 pp per day ($60 for the cabin) “hold” that was placed on our credit card the minute we stepped on the ship. This is a new policy with HAL. ~the constant nickle and diming you ( servers selling $5 bottles of water in the dining room while I am eating breakfast, upcharges for lobster in the Pinnacle Grill where you have already paid a $35 pp charge just to dine there, etc.) Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This is our 5th HAL cruise. We had sailed twice before on this ship. Cruising on HAL is like a comfortable pair of shoes. You can count on them for wonderful service by a smiling crew, good food and a variety of places to eat as well as ... Read More
This is our 5th HAL cruise. We had sailed twice before on this ship. Cruising on HAL is like a comfortable pair of shoes. You can count on them for wonderful service by a smiling crew, good food and a variety of places to eat as well as an excellent array of entertainment that suits our liking. The one thing that keeps us coming back is the BB King Blues lounge. Trumpet, trombone, keyboard, lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, 2 amazing vocalists that cover everything from BB King (natureally) to Motown, Aretha, Tina Turner, Al Green, Marvin Gaye to today’s modern R and B and Funk. We dare you not to dance! Embarkation this time was smooth and quick. We boarded around 1:30 within 15 minutes of being dropped off curbside. As long as you have filled out all your cruise documents ahead of time - they have this down to a science. Our first day ritual on HAL is to drop our bags in our cabin (if ready.. and it was) and head to the Dive-In burger place outside the on the Lido deck aft for a great burger and fries. We make it a point to meet our cabin steward on arrival. This time we enjoyed Taufik and Miko who did an excellent job of tidying up several times a day, keeping our towels fresh and room ready - including leaving us the always adorable towel animals every night. If you are new to cruising.... make it a point to have conversation with your cabin attendants. As busy as they are, they love to get to know you and you will love hearing about where they are from and about their families. You will feel like old friends in short order. Along wth our ritual hamburger we also embibe on the Lido deck at the Sea Bar for our first sail away cocktail. This was about my only complaint this trip. I felt they were a bit understaffed on this voyage with servers to take orders and to clean up around the deck. One of my pet peeves is the stemware they use throughout the ship. This is my personal issue. Perhaps I am a little OCD, but I really don’t like drinking out of plastic. I know it is a safety hazard near the pool where people are walking barefoot and the floor may be slippery and the wind can knock over a drink, but the stemware they use just doesn’t make a drink appealing. To avoid this I try to go inside to the Ocean Bar, the Pinnacle Bar, the Gallery Bar, the Tamarind Bar or the Crows Nest Bar to get a cocktail in glassware. But here too I was disappointed this week by receiving a plastic martini glass on 3 different occasions (2 times on gala night while I was all dressed up) - Of course for every problem there is a solution. I politely reported this to the bartender or server and they would go find me a glass even if it mean leaving the bar to get one. Apparently on this cruise they had been having trouble with the martini glasses breaking in the dishwasher or something. Hmm. Not sure about that. For a real treat however .. go to the Tamarind Bar on 11 and order a martini. You will get a stemless martini glass sitting on it’s own glass ice bucket (2 pieces). Ok enough about my stemware issues. Another complaint we had this week was our option of the Signature Beverage Package which we paid for with our cruise in advance. The limit on the drinks was up to $9.00 - Most of the daily drink specials were more than that. There was virtually no choice in the wine department. We could get a Chardonnay or Merlot but they were not very good. Being wine drinkers we know the cost of wines and there is really no reason for them not to have a better selection under the beverage package. On previous sailings we have opted to purchase a wine package with 3 or 5 or 7 bottles and depending on your taste in wine this proves to be a better option if you mostly drink wine. We never got close to the maximum 15 drinks per day, but we would have enjoyed a better selection. We never found out what we would have had to pay to upgrade our beverage package to the premium package on board. Their Bloody Mary’s in the morning were delicious and there were some good cocktail recipes within our drink package. We just opted to say no to the higher priced drinks and drank what was included. In the dining room we started out one night with a good drinkable Cabernet Sauvignon - included in our package and then the next night it was unavailable. We were told it was being removed from the list but we thought it was pretty remarkable that you could not even get Cab by the glass. We wrote our concerns to the ships staff while still onboard and they went out of their way to accommodate our group of 6 red wine drinkers for the remainder of the cruise to keep this wine available to us by the glass as an exception. We appreciated that very much, but I think HAL needs to reconsider it’s wine selections. The Sea Bar sadly is right next to the smoking area. This is really an issue for us. Second hand smoke is something I would rather not have to deal with. I realize there are still smokers out there but I think it should be more isolated. It’s right near the bar, the Lido deck doors that lead to the buffet area and the outdoor seating on 1/2 the ship from Lido dining. My husband smokes an occasion cigar, but he is willing to be out of the way of others who cannot stomach the smell. The MainStage shows were very good this trip. The choreography and talent of the dancers and singers was fantastic this voyage. The comedian and the illusionist were quite good as well. The Lincoln Center was new for us. BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO .. and did I mention BB Kings? We were happy to see no ART AUCTIONS any more. We also noticed there were few if any happy birthday songs being sung in the dining room... maybe because this sailing had an EXTRODINARY number of cruisers with canes, walkers, wheelchairs, scooters. To be fair, we are not youngsters .. we are 67 and 59. But this trip there must have been more elderly than we have ever seen before. Because we travelled with friends (a group of 6) we didn’t do some of the things we normally do - like go to the gym every morning or walk the decks every - We didn’t use the casino this time nor partake in the Thermal suites which I personally love. I also enjoy the steam room which is inaccesible without the Thermal suites package. The sauna was accessible, but I don’t care for the dry heat. We also don’t use the spa services as the prices are too high. I am really sorry I missed out seeing the show with the BBC EARTH and live music and I am also sad that I didn’t have a chance to experience the AMERICAS TEST KITCHEN. We sail again in October on the Nieuw Statendam from Rome.. I will try it then. We book our shore excursion privately off the ship as we find the prices to be better and the groups are smaller. I wish there was a way to fix this problem, but when you consider how many passengers are on board and when you see how many ships are in some ports on any one day... it’s hard to believe there are enough tour operators out there to accommodate everyone. One of our favorite things to do on HAL is have our morning coffee/latte/espresso at the Crows Nest. These barristas are jewels of the HAL .. super friendly, smiling bright and early in the morning and they remember you after 1 day. That’s about it for our personal experience this time. PM me if you have questions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Choose this cruise as a last minute, 7 day NYE getaway with family group. We knew HAL is reputed to cater to more mature cruisers so with that knowledge the young adult members of our group of 9 were not overly impressed. They did find ... Read More
Choose this cruise as a last minute, 7 day NYE getaway with family group. We knew HAL is reputed to cater to more mature cruisers so with that knowledge the young adult members of our group of 9 were not overly impressed. They did find enough to keep them entertained in casino & on New Years Eve. The ship was clean and nicely furnished but nothing that really awed me. Food was average, but like most lines, the food has gone down in quality since catering to pay for dining rooms. Room service was good. Service was very good & staff was friendly. I found it more difficult to get port information as I could not make their info session on stage. Most ships I have been on have a TV channel devoted to ports of call, but i couldn't locate one on this ship. In room movie selection was very good. We loved the piano bar & it's proximity to the casino. I did find the atmosphere on the ship relaxing. I have been on 5 other HAL cruises & think they are a good value but not a lot of bells & whistles, especially on the pool decks like many of the other lines. I like the size of their ships. Boarding was easy, but Ft. Lauderdale port is rather chaotic, especially with 7 other ships there. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The Nieuw Amsterdam looked like she was recently refurbished. The carpeting and upholstery looked fresh. The public areas were very clean. The crew was phenomenal in terms of service. The food in the main dining room was varied and tasty. ... Read More
The Nieuw Amsterdam looked like she was recently refurbished. The carpeting and upholstery looked fresh. The public areas were very clean. The crew was phenomenal in terms of service. The food in the main dining room was varied and tasty. Holland America provided numerous shore excursions for purchase. We chose the Jamaica City Tour, the Jolley Trolley in Georgetown, and the Chocolate Tour in Cozumel. All of these tours were interesting and suitable for senior citizens. There were many more action and snorkeling tours available in the ports. The entertainment was varied and amusing. The magician and comic were funny and the song and dance productions were excellent and professional. Some of the public areas were a bit crowded. We had to wait in lines for the buffet stations. The lounges were rather small. I would definitely book another cruise on this ship, but I would choose a different itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our third cruise on HAL and my eighth (give or take) overall. We cruised on the sister ship Eurodam last year and this cruise and overall experience was nearly identical. Service is top notch in every venue - from cabin to ... Read More
This was our third cruise on HAL and my eighth (give or take) overall. We cruised on the sister ship Eurodam last year and this cruise and overall experience was nearly identical. Service is top notch in every venue - from cabin to dining room, Lido, and other places. Everyone is friendly and eager to please. This is the highlight of the ship. Food is also great, especially in the dining room. Dinner there was superb. Lunch and breakfast in the Lido was very good but not up to dining room standards. I would have preferred more breakfast choices like biscuits, gravy, and corned beef hash. Loved the smoked salmon though. BB Kings lounge was another highlight. Quality and vibe were just fantastic. Great sets including blues, jazz, and classic rock. A live music lover's paradise. The five piece orchestra was also very good, we saw them twice. We didn't go many activities or shore excursions. HAL is the true classic cruising experience but I would prefer a little more fun, especially on the pool deck during a Caribbean cruise. How about a live steel band or even some fun recorded music? You can still be classy but fun on deck. They did have a mariachi band one evening and they brought some fun to the pool deck. Overall, a great cruise for those seeking great service and food and a more sedate cruising experience. The crowd is generally older but still a fair number of familes and young people on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Service was excellent as usual, however, some staff seemed preoccupied, probably tired. Boat was excellent as we've come to expect from Holland. Food was also tasty, however, it was not as diverse as we'd expected, so was ... Read More
Service was excellent as usual, however, some staff seemed preoccupied, probably tired. Boat was excellent as we've come to expect from Holland. Food was also tasty, however, it was not as diverse as we'd expected, so was getting a bit boring by the 3 day. However, there was a Mexican day around the 5th day, followed by an Indian day, so things spiced up again for the remainder of the cruise. Didn't do any activities, so won't comment on that, but they seemed to be adequate on board stuff. I was disappointed to learn the gym closed at 9pm though. That was the only activity i was really interested in. Internet (or lack there of) was the our biggest issue since we had some loose ends to tie up during the cruise. Thus far, all 3 Holland cruises we've been on had ridiculous internet and, yet they were the most expensive. Internet on Royal Allure was excellent, so it's kinda hard to bare Holland now. We're looking at Celebrity and Norwegian to see what they have to offer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Good price,good timing for a getaway,previous good experiences with Holland America. Food and service is always good. BB Kings blues band plays in a lounge most nights 8 pc band always exceptional not just blues but 60’s Motown,and pop ... Read More
Good price,good timing for a getaway,previous good experiences with Holland America. Food and service is always good. BB Kings blues band plays in a lounge most nights 8 pc band always exceptional not just blues but 60’s Motown,and pop .Next to the casino is billboard 2 pianos and vocalists playing requests, old hits , some sing along.Casino is friendly not bad for a cruise ship. Lincoln Center on stage is the place for classical music. Cello violin and such.The main stage has a different act every night, although this is where HAL needs the most improvement The ships singers and dancers and show just ok. Acts such as comedian and or magician not very good. Four ports of call not bad for a seven day cruise. On this particular cruise we were unable to tender to their private island because of rough seas, but we have been there before it’s a great beach day with free bbq. Private beach set up really nice. They also have beach houses for rent which I never thought would be worth it for a half day outing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were looking for a quick getaway before Christmas and this fit the bill. Liked having all the holiday decorations. Dined in specialty restaurants on three different occasions and the food was very good. Compared to other cruise lines ... Read More
We were looking for a quick getaway before Christmas and this fit the bill. Liked having all the holiday decorations. Dined in specialty restaurants on three different occasions and the food was very good. Compared to other cruise lines prices were very good. The ladies who performed in the Lincoln Center stage were wonderful and we tried to get to as many of their performances as possible. Our cabin stewards were very efficient and they cleaned our room in a timely fashion each morning and then in the evening we came back to our cabin to find a cute towel animal that had been made for us. Our waiter in the dining room couldn’t have been nicer. He was on the money in recommending entrees that we enjoyed and if we couldn’t decide on a particular entree, he would bring two for us to make certain that we were happy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I chose this ship because my wife and I had previously sailed on the HAL Eurodam and we were very satisfied. Overall, the Nieuw Amsterdam did not disappoint and met our expectations. We are both in our mid fifties with about 12 cruises ... Read More
I chose this ship because my wife and I had previously sailed on the HAL Eurodam and we were very satisfied. Overall, the Nieuw Amsterdam did not disappoint and met our expectations. We are both in our mid fifties with about 12 cruises under our belts. Previos cruises were primarily family cruises on RCCL's mega ships. Purchased a last minute (2 weeks before) Veranda Guarantee Cat VH Cabin ($549 p/p) and were assigned a perfectly located Cat VA. Fare included gratuities and a $25 p/p beverage card. We were offered a suite upgrade for $299 per person via email, but did not accepted. Overall Service - Excellent. Dining room food - Very Good. Dining Room Service - Very good, but servers tend to be "robotic" with very little personal interaction. They basically take your order and return to drop off your food. They do not update you on the ships next day's itinerary, like servers on other cruise lines do. Buffet Food - Very Good. Cabin Stewart - Excellent. It was amazing how our cabin attendant could service the cabin while hardly even being noticed. Entertainment - Our one disappointment was the Main Theatre. Entertainment there was of mediocre quality. Overall, good value for the dollar and would recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was My first Holland cruise. I have formally been on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. My favorite space on the ship was definitely the Crow's Nest. It is a wonderful peaceful space to look out at the ... Read More
This was My first Holland cruise. I have formally been on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. My favorite space on the ship was definitely the Crow's Nest. It is a wonderful peaceful space to look out at the beauty of the sea from huge wrap around windows. I really appreciated that many of the books were about the Caribbean. I learned a lot about the history of the islands. I also loved the large coffee table books about the ocean, island decor and Caribbean cooking. The other books were very interesting. The book curator put together an outstanding and very interesting book collection. The coffee bar was excellent. The art on the ship was more like what is shown at an upscale NYC gallery. The best art I have ever seen on any cruise ship. There was always a surprise every time I turned a corner. I loved the giant silver apple. Another favorite was the tiny library in the wall. The food in the dining room was excellent. It was very much on trend with what is happening in good restaurants now. The lido was good. I loved the Eggs Benedict and the overnight oats in the morning.. The fruit salads we're wonderful. Unfortunately the coffee left much to be desired as it does on most ships. One thing that really bothered me at breakfast was the lack of spoons. There was always a knife and fork rolled up in a napkin but usually no spoon. When I asked a server why there were no spoons he said that they put them out for lunch for soup. I asked him if he could get me one. After waiting for 10 minutes I went to find a spoon and I saw him talking to another man who turned out to be a a supervisor of sorts. I asked him about the lack of spoons and he said some of them were rusty. When I said that that sounded kind of ridiculous he asked for my room number. I found the encounter strange. For lunch the big salad bowls and sushi were my favorites. The desserts were generally mediocre with the occasional really good creation. I tried the much touted bread pudding once and didn't find it to be anything special. The pizza was excellent. Really delicious. I liked the ice cream station but it often got confusing being right next to the desserts. It was hard to get a dessert when the line for the ice cream was in front of the desserts. My state room was gorgeous. The available movie selection was huge. The balcony was spacious. Most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. It was great having a bathrobe and makeup mirror. I loved the little plate of chocolates left by the steward on the first day. The closet space was ample. My husband and I enjoyed spending time on the promenade deck watching the sea. We spotted dolphins twice. Unfortunately the cushions we're often not put on many of the loungers so although there were plenty of sunbeds many did not have any cushions so we're unusable. We were occasionally unable to lay out on the promenade because of this. When I asked about the reason for not putting cushions on all the sunbeds I was given another hokey answer. The deck guy stated that some people like to use towels instead of cushions. I pointed out that there was no one sitting on the sunbeds without cushions. Pure laziness on the part of the staff for not putting the cushions on all sunbeds. We tendered to a few ports and the process was efficient and quick. The EXE guide, Glenn, was outstanding. His port lectures we're always interesting and entertaining. He was always available to answer any questions. It was nice to see his smiling face when we excited the ship. I also enjoyed his lectures about the history of the Nieuw Amsterdam as well as ' The Secret of Ships'. His knowledge and enthusiasm are really great. I went to a few of the naturalist talks and he was also very good. I learned so much from the computer classes. It was great to bring my skills up to date. The instructor was very patient. I didn't care for the cooking show, America's test kitchen. The video was shown more than the actual chef who was there in person. I have been on other cruise ships where the chefs were brought out from the kitchen to give demonstrations and the result was entertaining and instructive. I found America's test kitchen to be a real snooze. Definitely not recommend. In terms of entertainment we loved Lincoln center. BB king was not what I had hoped. It was so loud even my husband who has a hearing aid found it unbearable even when he removed his aid. I was hoping for some smooth jazz that I could enjoy with a glass of wine. It was more rhythm and blues. The MainStage was a grade C with exception of BBC earth with the orchestra. We also enjoyed funny fiddle. This was my first Holland America cruise and I would definitely book another. We really loved the peaceful atmosphere and lack of crowds. You could always find a quiet nook to relax and unwind. Holland America is a class act. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I were on Holland America's Niew Amsterdam for its 18-day cruise through the Panama Canal, departing San Diego October 3, 2018 and arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on the 21st. Though we had many good-to-great experiences on ... Read More
My wife and I were on Holland America's Niew Amsterdam for its 18-day cruise through the Panama Canal, departing San Diego October 3, 2018 and arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on the 21st. Though we had many good-to-great experiences on this voyage we also had far too many disappointing ones. Highlights of the good-to-great experiences are as follows: 1. The ship's decor is spectacular, a feast for the eyes, beautifully color-coordinated with attractive furniture, fixtures and (especially) carpeting. 2. Staff universally were dedicated to pleasing passengers. Theirs was a "can do" attitude, always served with a smile. 3. Though a large ship (2,000+ passengers), it never felt crowded and there was never a sense of having to stand in long lines. Even entering and exiting the ship was an effortless process, always well-managed. 4. Even with winds and relatively high swells no one seemed to get motion-sick. The ship was wonderfully stable at all speeds. 5. Entertainment was excellent, especially the five young women (playing two violins, one viola, one cello and one piano) in the Lincoln Center Stage and the two individuals playing piano at night in the Billboard Lounge. The Holland America singers and dancers in the Main Stage also were excellent at their crafts. 6. There were many dining venues. Ratings below are from 1 (average) to 4 (excellent): Food Quality Service Value Lido Buffet--2 1 3 Main Dining--6 2 2 Tamarind--3 4 4 3 Pinnacle Grill--2 4 4 3 Canaletto--3 3 4 3 Sel de Mer--2 4 4 3 There were upcharges ranging from $15 per person at Canaletto to $49 per person at Rudi's Sel de Mer. A value rating was given only to the last four restaurants, which were the upcharge restaurants. The numbers following each restaurant's name are the number of nights we ate there. In total we spent $596 in upcharge costs on this trip. Having one bad experience aboard a Holland America ship is understandable and acceptable. Nothing is perfect. However, we had eight experiences that were disappointing (spa, hydropool, food quality in Lido buffet and Main Dining, smoking on ship, bingo, ports of call scheduled, ports skipped and our excursion-related drop-off at the Ft. Lauderdale airport. 1.Spa services were seriously over-priced and spa staff members were unpleasantly aggressive in selling spa products and services. Spa promotions appeared at first blush to offer real bargains but the fine print said otherwise. My wife and I had two couples massages, both of which were fine for my wife. My first massage was so mechanical in was not at all relaxing, so I requested a different therapist for the second one and she was fine. The first therapist was extremely pushy in selling me skin products, which I promptly returned (unused) three days after I'd purchased them. The spa staff person reluctantly processing my refund made it clear she was not happy with my return. 2. The spa's hydropool was OK but was incredibly over-priced. We were not familiar with the Niew Amsterdam's hydropool but assumed it was as large and enjoyable as the one on the Holland American's Koningsdam, which it was not. At $599 for the entire cruise--no daily pricing offered-the hydropool was a total ripoff. We and one other couple apparently were the only two families naive enough to pay $599 so we had the hydropool to ourselves the entire cruise. 3. If the food in the Lido Buffet and Main Dining had been better we would not have gone to the upcharge restaurants so frequently, far more often than we originally intended to do, spending an unbudgeted $596 as a result. 4. Smoking was permitted on the aft deck of the ship on the same level as the Sea View swimming pools, one of the two pools on this ship. We would have enjoyed using that pool because it was not covered by a roof, and it was wide open in terms of views whereas the main pool was enclosed on four sides. Also, the main pool became hot and humid when the roof was covered, which happened frequently. 5. Bingo was over-priced and my perception is that it was literally impossible to win the large cash prize until the last day bingo was played. Consequently, passengers who played bingo daily in order to try winning the large prize (growing from about $1,400 to about $2,200 at the end) spent a lot of money buying cards that probably could not win until the last day, when numbers continued to be called until a winner yelled "bingo!" I say "probably could not win" for two reasons. First, to cover 24 squares (plus "free") within the first 50 numbers called is mathematically almost impossible. Second, because the ship knew which cards were being played it would be easy to program the electronics of the numbers being called to assure that those numbers ensure no one could win. 6. As readers can learn by reading the itinerary for this cruise, the ports of call are not all that great to begin with. We have cruised on Holland America at least seven or eight times and another 5 to 10 times on other ships so we should have known better than to select this cruise. It fit conveniently into our schedules, and included the Panama Canal, but we could have chosen better. 7. We had more sea days than planned (10 days on an 18-day cruise when we had no opportunity to go ashore, versus 8 days originally scheduled as Sea days). High winds prevented the ship from entering one port in Mexico and in another port (Coast Rica) high swells prevented passengers from boarding the ship's tenders for the ride to shore. Both decisions reflected the captain's concerns for the health and safety of the passengers and crew. Nonetheless, Holland America could have offered some token as recompense for the missed ports, but did not. 8. Because we would be getting off the ship October 21 at 8:30 a.m. and our flight home was not until after 5 p.m. we signed up for a four-hour land and sea excursion, which was delightful. The bad part about it was the tour director, Bonnie, having the bus driver take her back to her car, which was parked at the port, before the driver took 40-50 of us to the airport. When we got to the airport two things happened. First, there were some missed luggage issues, eventually corrected with the help of other bus drivers, because our driver spoke virtually no english. The tour director should have been on our bus, at the airport, to resolve those problems instantly. Second, in sending us off to the airport Bonnie said I was to exit the bus at the third of three stops, but using mainly gestures the driver insisted we exit at the second stop, which turned out to be considerably farther from our check-in counter than the third stop would have been. By dumping us out at the second stop the driver then had an empty bus and could skip the third stop. It was a long walk, up an incline, for me. And if a kind airport employee had not offered to get a wheelchair for my wife it would have been a much longer and tougher walk for her. Overall our cruise had many attractive and enjoyable features. Unfortunately, it also had far too many disappointing experiences. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was a cruise from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale through the Panama Canal. The embarkation went very smoothly. I had to fly into Vancouver the day before and there was a shuttle back to the airport, which then took us to the port. It ... Read More
This was a cruise from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale through the Panama Canal. The embarkation went very smoothly. I had to fly into Vancouver the day before and there was a shuttle back to the airport, which then took us to the port. It took very little time for embarkation, and I was directed every stage of the way. My room was ready as soon as I boarded the ship, which was very convenient. My cabin was on the 4th deck at the very front of the ship, and even though the Pacific Ocean was fairly choppy, I had no issues. I found the aft of the ship as choppy as I found the forward. I actually had a great view from my balcony while going through the Panama Canal. The cabin was kept spotless, the 2 cabin stewards were professional and friendly, knew I was traveling on my own and always had a pleasant conversation with me. It was important to me to feel "safe" as I was traveling solo, and I did feel very safe on this ship. The Lido dining area was actually my favorite because I was traveling on my own and could take my food to the aft pool area and have my dinner in the sunshine! I enjoyed the Pizza on the Lido deck and the serving staff on the Lido deck was professional and friendly. The quality of the food was very good, and I really liked the fact that it was not a buffet, but that there were servers who handled your plate and the food. There were tongs for items such as bread, buns. However I did not like to use them because I know there is a lack of handwashing by many people. My one complaint was that the purell stations were "voluntary" and most passengers would walk past them. So I would use a disposable napkin when I had to use the tongs. I did go to the main dining room for some of the dinners, but found that I was wasting time waiting for my food, while I could have been enjoying the sun and the pool. It is also very different traveling on one's own, then on other cruises where I have been with a family member and the dining experience is more comfortable, as I would have to introduce myself, etc., and make small talk with people who I would never see again. However, overall the food was good, the wait staff were very polite and they work hard. I like the music venues very much...enjoyed the BIllboard pianos, BB Kings, the Lincoln Stage, and attended a few shows, I do not gamble or play bingo, or use the spa services, so have no opinions on that. I also did not go to specialty restaurants. The guest services staff were very pleasant any time I had interactions with the. I did have room service on the mornings I did a tour, which was very convenient, and the food was hot and a good start for the day. We were unable to disembark due to weather or waves, and tours I had booked through the cruise line were reimbursed on my Navigator account within the day. Because I was solo, I booked the excursions through the cruise line, and was not disappointed. Don't forget, one does not have to buy anything at any one of the stores or markets that are included in the tour. I went to see the culture, the scenery, and get a taste of the life of other cultures. I did not buy any food on the tours because I had paid for my food on the cruise. I also took my water from the ship, so beyond a tip to the tour guide, if it was a good tour, my days were very economical. I felt safe having booked through the cruise line that I would get back to the ship. The only place I did not book a tour was Aruba, and went on a local bus, knowing I could get back to the ship on time, as the Island is very small and there seemed to be a lot of taxis about. The disembarkation could have been handled somewhat better, but the process was beyond the Holland America Line because it involved American Customs who only had 2 agents on for the international visitors, who made up the majority of the cruise line passengers. So that really slowed things down. But once the Americans made their way through, the customs opened all the lanes for everyone else. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
THE FOOD Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind are amazing, both in quality of food and service. Main dining room and buffet also had great service, but the food was hit or miss (which is to be expected for mass production). Also to be ... Read More
THE FOOD Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind are amazing, both in quality of food and service. Main dining room and buffet also had great service, but the food was hit or miss (which is to be expected for mass production). Also to be expected: the buffet area can be a madhouse at times and finding a table for larger groups can be a challenge. The main dining room was just the opposite: most table around ours were empty on the two nights we ate there. ENTERTAINMENT Billboard Onboard was great fun, especially the request shows later in the evening. It was great to see everyone sing along and have a great time with the two performers. Only caught the illusionist on the Mainstage and was surprised at how great his show was. Didn't spend time at BB King, America's Test Kitchen, or Lincoln Center Stage, but did walk by during performances and all appeared to have standing-room only (Lincoln Center Stage sounded incredible, so sorry to have missed that performance). GREENHOUSE SPA Like any cruise, spa treatments on board aren't cheap, even when they offer special discounts. What's worse is the up-sell on products after every spa appointment. However, we did make great use of the "discounted" spa pass that allowed daily access into hydro-pool, saunas, and ceramic-heated loungers (for $149 per cabin with two passengers). Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Convenient as if departed from Vancouver, about 1 hour from home. Good price as is with most repositioning cruises. Love Florida. Ports were poor. A morning in the industrial section of Seattle was not impressive. Several central American ... Read More
Convenient as if departed from Vancouver, about 1 hour from home. Good price as is with most repositioning cruises. Love Florida. Ports were poor. A morning in the industrial section of Seattle was not impressive. Several central American ports were industrial and not worth stopping at. Huatulca was the best. We missed two ports because the captain chose not to enter because of swells. Received compensation. The ship is beautiful and we appreciate Lincoln Center with classical music evenings and afternoons. One gripe is that nearly every room and hallway has piped in music. I fell like I'm in Wal-Mar. After 22 days one gets pretty sick of the same castratos wailing about love and romance and everything wonderful and hot, hot, hot. Good variety of entertainment but quality, as on most cruise ships, wasn't there. Missed having a dedicated movie theatre. A movie in the afternoon doesn't cut it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I traveled with my husband, my mother & her 65 year old friend.. My husband and me are in are early 40’s and my is in her mid 70’s. I purposely picked Holland America because I wanted to cruise with older people. The staff were ... Read More
I traveled with my husband, my mother & her 65 year old friend.. My husband and me are in are early 40’s and my is in her mid 70’s. I purposely picked Holland America because I wanted to cruise with older people. The staff were wonderful always helpful & pleasant. The ship was lovely. There was a leak in the ceiling near one of bars that maintenance handled professionally. I was disappointed that there was not an adult only pool. The pools were on the small side. The hot tubs were very small & only hold 3 people. The computers on the US customs side went down for 15 minutes so that slowed down the embarkation process. Outside of that it went smoothly. Disembarkment was smooth. I loved that the ship was small because I never felt over crowded. Entertainment: The Illusionist show was fantastic. I enjoyed the America’s test kitchen demonstration. BB King show was fun. Outside out that I was bored. My mom said some of the shows at night were good. There was nothing to do during the day. My mom was bored. Companion thought the orchestra was great everyone else in our party was not impressed. Food: I was so happy that HaL has a menu that has vegan options in the MDR. You must put in your order the night before. The food was really good. The veggie loaf was yummy. I found great options on the Lido buffet. The chef at Pinnacle Grill made me a fantastic eggplant dish. My omnivores companions also thought the food was really good. There were a few misses at the MDR so they would switch out a dish for something else. HAL price for WIFI is ridiculous. $30 for 500mb/day. They call this there premium package so you can stream shows. I can’t stream anything with little amount of data. I am sailing with HAL next year to the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were on the June 30, 2018 sailing of the Nieuw Amsterdam from Vancouver to the inside passage (including Glacier Bay). This was our third time on Holland America and our second Alaska cruise (the other in 2000 on Princess). Bottomline, ... Read More
We were on the June 30, 2018 sailing of the Nieuw Amsterdam from Vancouver to the inside passage (including Glacier Bay). This was our third time on Holland America and our second Alaska cruise (the other in 2000 on Princess). Bottomline, I wouldn't hesitate booking this ship/itinerary based on our experience. For the most part, it was all very good. We did our own air and stayed at the Auberge Vancouver both pre and post stay. I would recommend this hotel for this purpose. With four-wheel luggage, it was easy to walk from the hotel to the cruise check in - even in a slight misty rain. The hotel is in a tall mixed-use building that includes condos, retail, and the hotel. There is no room service, and the free breakfast offered is limited--but for cost/convenience it was the right choice for us. (The others being the far pricier Fairmont or Pan Pacific.) Front desk folks were very helpful. Embarkation was very confusing to get our luggage dropped off. Granted we tried to board early and the offloading was still going on. Based on what pier workers told us there isn't a set place for each ship/sailing to drop off luggage - which sounds crazy given this ship makes the same trip every week. But once we found the location to drop off the luggage the rest was pretty well managed by HA. Just bring your patience with you. We were onboard by 11:15a or so, and our cabin was ready before noon. Lunch in the main dining room was the way to go, as the Lido was a zoo. We rented two Lido Cabanas for this trip (two couples), which was a great choice. It gave us a place to hang out and our steward was excellent. Granted we tipped him well at the start and throughout the cruise, but he waited on us like kings. For Alaska, I would do this again in a heartbeat. (Cost $199 per cabana for the week.) I didn't see anyone in the Retreat Cabanas all week. Food in the main dining room was very good. We ate at the Tamarid the first night (catch the first night 'special' when you get onboard at 25% discount.) The Pinnacle was good, but not as good as our memory of the meal on the Eurodam a few years ago. The Pizza, burgers, and hot dogs all got good reviews from our group. I think the best options for Lido is to get a customized food (ommlete, salad, etc.) made to order. Otherwise, the food we had was just fair. Be sure to at least order coffee via room service, as it is so nice to sit outside sipping your coffee in the morning. (Room Service breakfast was very good too.) Entertainment: We only saw the Billboard night production, which was just OK - but less than you will see on most ships. We missed the illusionist and comedian, so can't comment on that. The orchestra played the score of an Alaska nature movie one night, and it was very good. BB Kings and the dueling pianos were both excellent. We went to the pianos (Billboard) every night. Lots of fun. I also loved America's Test Kitchen classes they had on sea days. The bar drinks were disappointing, and never found the bar or bartender that could whip up something great. Our best bar experience by far was in the Tamirid Bar--as far as quality of drinks - but it was also the worst service. We finally just started going to the bar ourselves rather than have the bar waiter take our order. The Tamirid Bar isn't crowded and has incredible views. The Crows Nest has been ruined with all the new junk they have up there. This space in the past was our 'go to spot' in the past, but not anymore. #fail Holland America. Drink specials were only in two bars at 4pm and 11:30pm - BOGO +$2. Why bother having one at 11:30p on a HA ship?? As many have commented, everything seemed to be a ploy to get you to spend more money--which I don't think is unique to Holland America. The info left in your rooms about buying jewelry was overwhelming and the only port info was a push to go to cruise stores in port. Sad it has come to that. Our shore excursions (not with the cruise line) were with Harv and Marv in Juneau in the 6 person boat. Excellent!! We did a taxi to Mendenhall in Juneau. Excellent!! We did the White Pass (one way to Frasier) in Skagway and stopped off at the Skagway Brewery for a post-excursion drink. Both were great. All that said, I would go again tomorrow -- and would recommend this ship and itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
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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