Nieuw Amsterdam 5
Dr Patwat
Member Since 2014
18 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating


Sail Date: December 2013
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
DH and I have cruised with Princess and NCL before a fantastic offered put Holland America on our list. After our experience, it will be the only cruise line on our list. We love trains so it is always a pleasure to forget the auto and hop on Amtrak from Tampa to the ports on the east coast. The train arrived ahead of schedule and we grabbed a cab to the Rodeway Inn. (Which is okay if you want excellent transportation to the piers. Just close your eyes and keep your socks on in your room.) Embarkation - a breeze, it took less than fifteen minutes even with a computer meltdown. We were on aboard and in our room before noon. I was amazed at the swift turn around time and that our stateroom was ready so quickly. The veranda was spacious, bright, with a balcony big enough to stretch your feet out, storage everywhere and a tub and shower..No more micro shower where you lather the walls and then spin around. For the first forty-eight hours, the staff in the Lido 'buffet' restaurant serves More you, which reduces any illnesses. Yet, I would not classify the Lido as a typical buffet. Yes, you can serve yourself salads, fruits and desserts. But all the main dishes are either made to order or made in small batches then served to you. The fish and chips and chicken were to die for. In fact we never had a bad meal. My DH did come down with a case of ATS - Ate The Ship - breakfast in the dining room, pre-lunch snack in the Lido, lunch at the Terrace Grill (wonderful lamb burgers, hot dogs, etc), post lunch dim sum in the Tamarind (no extra charge at lunch), free appetizers and happy hour at the Ocean Bar, dinner in the dining room then room service (lox and cream cheese, don't forget the chocolate chips cookies) at night. His bout of ATS was quickly cured by Dallas in the Infirmary with some OTC medicines and a quarantine to the cabin for twenty four hours. Of course that evening was the second formal night. Luckily, he felt better by dinner time and we indulged on lobster, steak and grand marnier souffles in our cabin.

We saw the magician - comedian and found out that he was neither. The dog was the best thing in his act. We loved spending mornings in Explorations Cafe on the Observation Deck, afternoons in a deck chair on the Promenade Deck and evenings on our balcony. Sunset in Key West was a gala experience.

I have waited a while to complete this review to insure that the experiences were not clouded by the apres-vacation glow. They have not been.

Most of the people we meet had traveled HAL before and everyone was happy and boasted about the great times they had on other cruises as well as on this one.

Disembarkation took a little longer but was made pleasant with our fellow passengers singing Christmas carols.

I can't wait for the next cruise on HAL. Less

Published 05/27/14

Cabin review: 8139

Wonderful cabin. Lots of room. A little noisy in the early morning and late night when the pool chairs are moved. But there are no other balconies above you so there is a tradeoff. Storage in so many places you can hide away everything and have room to move around. The couch is a nice place to sit. The bathroom is roomy.

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Dr Patwat
Member Since 2014
18 Forum Posts
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