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The above referenced cruise was the most disappointing my wife and I have taken. under the guise of inclement weather the captain cancelled three ports reducing the itinerary by 38% from eight to five. he made several announcements that existing weather conditions eliminated any possibility of making alternate ports throughout the entire coast line of the Mediterranean. in lieu of visiting ports we were rewarded with three additional days at sea. the time on board was associated with serpentining across the Mediterranean at varying speeds and even stopping for extended periods. Livorno Italy was one of the ports eliminated. This was to be one of the highlights of the cruise for us being the gateway to Pisa and Florence. The captain repeatedly stated that the port was closed to all vessels during our scheduled arrival. Contrary to his claims the Oceana of P&O Cruises docked safely without incident. This was the same time we were scheduled to arrive. The ms Nieuw Amsterdam is a new ship that went into service less than five rears ago. Currently it is the largest ship Holland America has. This 87000 ton vessel, 1000 feet in length has the latest technology including propulsion systems and "dynamic positioning abilities"; therefore, there is no reason for this ship not to reach a modern day port. ACCOMMODATIONS The ship's interior is not elaborate and the grand staircase is quite mundane for a new cruise liner. The library is small and shares space with a coffee shop and and lounge/bar. It gets noisy when ship sponsored games and group activities are held in the lounge. Empty dining tables are hard to find during meal times on the lido deck during sea days with 2000 passengers. With the canceled ports we were at sea five days out of twelve. we upgraded our outside cabin to one with a partially obstructed view. This view consisted of looking between two life boats and their hydraulic supports allowing a 5% view. FOOD SERVICE The food was good and there was a wide verity of items. The service on the Lido deck was very good and the dinning room excellent. There is a practice by the servers where they remove from the table what appears to them to be unused utensils. They wipe the silverware with a cloth napkin at the server station and then place the utensils in a drawer to be used at the next seating. This appears to have the potential to spread an illness since the waiters have no idea if the silverware has been used, dropped on the floor and or sneezed on etc. GUEST SERVICES There is no ATM on board so you have to go through the customer service desk. To make an electronic withdrawal from your bank account Holland America charges a flat 3% regardless of the amount. Then to convert dollars to euros you are charged an additional fee that exceeds the rate charged by most banks. In addition to being costly this procedure is time consuming for staff to complete the transactions. Due to extended sea days some passengers were given free wi-fi at their request while other passengers were denied. ON BOARD SHOPPING With the exception of watches shopping was almost non exsistent. The Park West art gallery is another permanent fixture of Holland America ships. When I inquired about a Peter Max serigraph print the salesperson claimed it was an original by the artist. When questioned he explained that it was an "original" because it could be traced back to the artist. I did not purchase the print. SHORE EXCURSIONS On this cruise we did not book any shore excursions through the cruse lines. We booked private tours from local tour provider for Rome and Salerno. You can easily fine tour operators on line for specific cities or locations. With the tour operator you develop a custom tour tailored to the special interest of your party. You also have the flexibility to change your itinerary during the tour. A private tour eliminates the long lines associated with bus tours and waiting for all of the tour group to return to the bus for its next destination. Summary On this cruise we missed three ports out of eight for a rate of 38%. As a result the captain distributed a letter to all passengers claiming that Holland America "as a good will gesture" offers to apply 20% of the current fare to a future Holland America cruise. This is not "good will" it is a marking ploy to increase occupancy rates on future cruises. In this matter "good will" requires Holland America and their parent company Carnival Corporation to refund 38% of the current cruise fare directly to the passengers.

five days at sea

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by Oliver61

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2015
  • Destination: Western Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Large Outside Stateroom (partial sea views)
The above referenced cruise was the most disappointing my wife and I have taken. under the guise of inclement weather the captain cancelled three ports reducing the itinerary by 38% from eight to five. he made several announcements that existing weather conditions eliminated any possibility of making alternate ports throughout the entire coast line of the Mediterranean. in lieu of visiting ports we were rewarded with three additional days at sea. the time on board was associated with serpentining across the Mediterranean at varying speeds and even stopping for extended periods.

Livorno Italy was one of the ports eliminated. This was to be one of the highlights of the cruise for us being the gateway to Pisa and Florence. The captain repeatedly stated that the port was closed to all vessels during our scheduled arrival. Contrary to his claims the Oceana of P&O Cruises docked safely without incident. This was the same time we were scheduled to arrive.

The ms Nieuw Amsterdam is a new ship that went into service less than five rears ago. Currently it is the largest ship Holland America has. This 87000 ton vessel, 1000 feet in length has the latest technology including propulsion systems and "dynamic positioning abilities"; therefore, there is no reason for this ship not to reach a modern day port.

ACCOMMODATIONS

The ship's interior is not elaborate and the grand staircase is quite mundane for a new cruise liner. The library is small and shares space with a coffee shop and and lounge/bar. It gets noisy when ship sponsored games and group activities are held in the lounge.

Empty dining tables are hard to find during meal times on the lido deck during sea days with 2000 passengers. With the canceled ports we were at sea five days out of twelve.

we upgraded our outside cabin to one with a partially obstructed view. This view consisted of looking between two life boats and their hydraulic supports allowing a 5% view.

FOOD SERVICE

The food was good and there was a wide verity of items. The service on the Lido deck was very good and the dinning room excellent. There is a practice by the servers where they remove from the table what appears to them to be unused utensils. They wipe the silverware with a cloth napkin at the server station and then place the utensils in a drawer to be used at the next seating. This appears to have the potential to spread an illness since the waiters have no idea if the silverware has been used, dropped on the floor and or sneezed on etc.

GUEST SERVICES

There is no ATM on board so you have to go through the customer service desk. To make an electronic withdrawal from your bank account Holland America charges a flat 3% regardless of the amount. Then to convert dollars to euros you are charged an additional fee that exceeds the rate charged by most banks. In addition to being costly this procedure is time consuming for staff to complete the transactions. Due to extended sea days some passengers were given free wi-fi at their request while other passengers were denied.

ON BOARD SHOPPING

With the exception of watches shopping was almost non exsistent. The Park West art gallery is another permanent fixture of Holland America ships. When I inquired about a Peter Max serigraph print the salesperson claimed it was an original by the artist. When questioned he explained that it was an "original" because it could be traced back to the artist. I did not purchase the print.

SHORE EXCURSIONS

On this cruise we did not book any shore excursions through the cruse lines. We booked private tours from local tour provider for Rome and Salerno. You can easily fine tour operators on line for specific cities or locations. With the tour operator you develop a custom tour tailored to the special interest of your party. You also have the flexibility to change your itinerary during the tour. A private tour eliminates the long lines associated with bus tours and waiting for all of the tour group to return to the bus for its next destination.

Summary

On this cruise we missed three ports out of eight for a rate of 38%. As a result the captain distributed a letter to all passengers claiming that Holland America "as a good will gesture" offers to apply 20% of the current fare to a future Holland America cruise. This is not "good will" it is a marking ploy to increase occupancy rates on future cruises. In this matter "good will" requires Holland America and their parent company Carnival Corporation to refund 38% of the current cruise fare directly to the passengers.
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Cabin Review

Large Outside Stateroom (partial sea views)
Cabin G 4114
cabin was functional with all the basics-nothing special.
Upper Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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