2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 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: February 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
8 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
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

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