A few Highlights and Comments on our Venice cruise: Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by sadied

Nieuw Amsterdam 4
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A few Highlights and Comments on our Venice cruise

Sail Date: October 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
In general the ship is beautiful, luxurious and comfortable. The main centrum lobby was lacklustre with a wild glass staircase that was awkward to manage, and the low ceilings and the bright red of the dining room were off-putting. However that is a personal observation as I prefer soaring ceilings and large windows in the dining room. The temperatures throughout the ship were uneven to say the least, frigid in the lounge close to the dining room and then sweltering in the dining room itself at times.The centre section is much better but you have to reserve a table there, so by all means do so if you are doing free dining. No one gives you that information.
On evenings when the ship has an outdoor party planned on the Lido deck, forget altogether about the dining room as the menu then is lame and the service weak.
The food on board was better than average, and at times wonderful as well as at dinner times downright questionable. Breakfasts in the Lido offered marvellous eggs More benedict and great waffles with several toppings and whipped cream.
The stage show was a wonderful venue with terrific seating and amazing staging possibilities. Their dance team is superb. Other entertainment was spotty.
There are three notable spaces on the ship: First the bright and airy Explorations lounge which is a combination bar, internet centre, and wonderful library with games tables and a coffee bar as well...an exhilarating space!
The second is a bar called The Silk Room which overlooked the lower deck and had little cubicles with sofas and cushions. never saw a soul there but it was a cool place.
And thirdly, the new Kitchen at Sea Centre where fragrant cooking is done, tastings are offered to everyone and recipes are handed out. This is a real
As to the Spa, if you are fan of the thermolassy pool which is $40 per day, wait a few days and you will find it offered for the balance of the cruise at about $15 per day.
Our veranda cabin was on deck five forward and that turned out to be handy to the door leading to the large open bow deck which was opened for passengers on certain comings and going into port. A convenient touch for passengers like us.
Holland America's rooms and balconies are faultless, roomy, quiet, and sport comfort plus beds. Flat screen tv. Surprised to see that there is no plug in the bathroom for a hair dryer and it must be used in the bedroom...a bit awkward.
There is only one large store and I found it so-so, lacklustre sales, with staff that were actually annoying.
Lido Deck is lovely with attractive dark furniture and orchids on every table.
Pool deck is the nicest I have encountered with wide lounges and an assortment of seating areas. BUT THEY SHOULD GET RID OF THE LITTLE TENTS LINING THE SIDE WALL AVAILABLE FOR THE POSH TO RENT AND GLOAT AT THE REST OF US. RIDICULOUS AND A JOKE.
And last but not least, the same smiling, genuinely friendly, Indonesian and S.E. Asian crew who really do make a difference in your cruising happiness.
By the way, why spend these exhorbitant dollars on the internet when there are cheap internet cafes in every port. Ditto for their tours. It was disconcerting to have to pay $79 per person for transfer from the ship in Venice to the airport when you can take the free bus shuttle, to the $1 euro people mover to the $6 blue airport bus in Piazza Roma and arrive as quickly.
It makes you wonder when there are so many wonderful things about cruising, why they have to gouge you in these areas. It truly grates on people's sense of fairness, don't you agree? Less

Published 10/22/12

Cabin review: VC5015 Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

Cabin 5015 was wonderfully roomy, attractive, and had tons of storage. Balcony beautiful but oddly one large, comfy chair and one small, not so comfy chair???? Bathtub and spacious bathroom. Hallway too dark. No plug in the bathroom. Convenient to the open bow deck which was opened for special sail-bys.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Cape Sounion

this is not worth the money or the long journey. Stay in Athens.

Blue Mosque

need an audio guide/

Grand Bazaar

do on your own if you dare. you will be hassled to death and so confused you will want to flee. I would only shop here with a Turkish friend.

Hagia Sofia

Impossibly long lines and almost an hour wait no matter how you plan to see this. A great deal of walking!!! Guide needed to make what you are seeing meaningful but ship horribly overpriced and there are great guides on the internet...check trip advisor. Taxi drivers will rip you off up and down with every trick in the book. they are merciless. Do not get in a cab.

Spice Market

do this on your own. no bargaining here.

Underground Cistern

do this on your own. only ten minutes...an easy tour.

Sail in is just spectacular...bring binoculars! However the town itself is less than stellar and only interesting for a few hours. we should have taken the bus to Perast and gone to the two islands by water taxi but time was short.
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Island of Delos

terrific guide...she had to be because it was so hot and so much walking that one would drop out if she weren't. Of high interest. Boat trip enjoyable. Never would go in Summer months. Take an umbrella!

car rental is cheap here and good! From $20 up for the day and the roads mostly empty in autumn months. did three wineries on our own and had lunch at a major beach. do not miss Santos Winery even if you have to take a bus or taxi there. ship tours are ridiculously expensive.

Gorgeous port from the sea with a wide promenade lined with pineapple palm trees and little cafes. Diocletian's place beautiful and interesting. they do walking tours right in front of it and free tours as well. The goods for sale are lacklustre for the most part and the people seemed a bit cold. However some interesting art and leather bracelets in the tunnel of shops as you enter Split. It's very much a meandering place. They offer Segway Tours of the mountain park and we are so sorry to have missed that as the views are wonderful and there are little cafes along the way. find it on internet. Also there is a city hop on bus in the port for $20 which included a walking tour later of the Palace. A good deal.
Read 293 Split Reviews

Burano Island

No real tour..on our own which is all you need here. the only reason we took this was because of the shortness of time. Otherwise go without a tour.

Murano Island

fantastic boat trip commentary by an educated and interesting guide. However when we entered the glass factory there were too many people and many had to stand and could not see well. Factory was then too crowded. Shouldn't have happened.

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