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Our second trip on the Nieuw Amsterdam, both times in November. Embarkation was a snap and the check-in line was not too bad. Our stateroom (a low-cost upgrade from Verandah to Signature Suite) was ready for us as we boarded, around 1:30. The worst part was getting to the port through heavy traffic back ups but John's Car Service (try him) was "creative" in getting us past the mess. The suite was well worth the extra money (heavily discounted upgrade at the last minute) and we enjoyed the additional space and wide balcony. Very comfortable and our cabin steward provided impeccable service every day, every way. We were very close to the mid-ships elevators and that was very handy for early AM coffee in the Lido and otherwise getting around. Food in Manhattan dining room was OK to good and the steak and lobster tail on Friday night was really good. The service is somewhat spotty and can be slow. We had to wait 30 minutes one night for the appetizer to appear and my discontent was quickly noted and addressed. The dining captain robustly apologized, we were given complimentary wine, and the rest of the meal was served promptly. Not only that, we were tagged in the system, and given the same exact table the next night presumably so the staff could redeem themselves - and they did - and following nights, our table ticket was noted we believe for enhanced attention to detail, which we received. Short story, don't hesitate to let them know if you are unhappy and the problem should be addressed. Not happy with having to wait for a table for 2 almost every night. The food is good but not worth much of a wait. They need to adjust seating for more couples-only tables. Pinnacle Grill was excellent as usual and recommended. We did not try Tamarind or Canaletto this time. Lido is what it is - a cafeteria line but the food is good, there's as much as you want and the table staff is attentive and friendly. Did not have trouble finding a table at any time. Entertainment was a bit bland and we only went once to the theater to see a very funny comedian. Not a real priority for us, but we would have gone more had the entertainment been more compelling like it was last year. The Digital Workshop event we attended helped us understand and now apply the MicroSoft OneCloud service and the presentation was well done. The Culinary Arts cooking show was OK but the chefs were hard to understand. The "dating game" night was the hit of the cruise and Mario did a great job with it. We did one HA excursion in San Juan - the Culinary and History walking tour. Not strenuous at all other than one 200-yard uphill climb but the guide stopped several times up the hill. No problem. She was very good and learning about Mojitos and Mofongo and consuming them was a treat. We took a non-HA tour on Grand Turk for $25. It's a laid back trip around the island, what there is of it, and you see the cool lighthouse, and there is some shopping. Not worth more than $25 - the agency is right on the beach. Grand Turk is mostly known for scuba and snorkeling, plus fishing. If that's your gig, you're in heaven. St. Thomas is also big on the water events including Megan's Bay beach, and so on. There are 1.1 million jewelry stores (or so it seems) and they play the 60% off game using highly inflated prices to start, so that you really don't save anything but the people are polite and friendly. Bargain hard and walk away if you must. Great selection of liquor and perfume, too. Taxi rides are reasonable, about $4 each to "downtown" and you can take trips around the island. HA's private beach at Half Moon Cay is beautiful - amazing. You take a tender service from a bit offshore (the deep water) and the ship does not anchor but holds in place for 7 hours using only the bow and stern thrusters. Pretty cool. Don't like sand? It's a great day to enjoy the pool deck with peace and quiet. We used the well equipped fitness center twice. It's a fitness center and hit has a good view. What more do you want? All the staff we dealt with were supremely polite and helpful but we never spoke to and hardly saw any senior officers or staff other than Mario the cruise director (after all, that's his job) and the venue instructors. But it didn't seem to matter, so, not a big deal. The disembarkation was V E R Y slow because of US Customs who ran only 3 lines, causing us to take 50 minutes to clear customs. That's the last impression we had of our trip and HA needs to work out something with Customs to smooth this out. Heck, pay the overtime for one or two agents to work an hour on Sunday for crying out loud. You don't want the last impression of HA to be standing in a long line, ya know? C'mon Mickey are you listening?

Spoiled Rotten By The Staff; Super Clean Ship

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by remarkability

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2015
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Our second trip on the Nieuw Amsterdam, both times in November. Embarkation was a snap and the check-in line was not too bad. Our stateroom (a low-cost upgrade from Verandah to Signature Suite) was ready for us as we boarded, around 1:30. The worst part was getting to the port through heavy traffic back ups but John's Car Service (try him) was "creative" in getting us past the mess.

The suite was well worth the extra money (heavily discounted upgrade at the last minute) and we enjoyed the additional space and wide balcony. Very comfortable and our cabin steward provided impeccable service every day, every way. We were very close to the mid-ships elevators and that was very handy for early AM coffee in the Lido and otherwise getting around.

Food in Manhattan dining room was OK to good and the steak and lobster tail on Friday night was really good. The service is somewhat spotty and can be slow. We had to wait 30 minutes one night for the appetizer to appear and my discontent was quickly noted and addressed. The dining captain robustly apologized, we were given complimentary wine, and the rest of the meal was served promptly. Not only that, we were tagged in the system, and given the same exact table the next night presumably so the staff could redeem themselves - and they did - and following nights, our table ticket was noted we believe for enhanced attention to detail, which we received. Short story, don't hesitate to let them know if you are unhappy and the problem should be addressed.

Not happy with having to wait for a table for 2 almost every night. The food is good but not worth much of a wait. They need to adjust seating for more couples-only tables.

Pinnacle Grill was excellent as usual and recommended. We did not try Tamarind or Canaletto this time. Lido is what it is - a cafeteria line but the food is good, there's as much as you want and the table staff is attentive and friendly. Did not have trouble finding a table at any time.

Entertainment was a bit bland and we only went once to the theater to see a very funny comedian. Not a real priority for us, but we would have gone more had the entertainment been more compelling like it was last year. The Digital Workshop event we attended helped us understand and now apply the MicroSoft OneCloud service and the presentation was well done. The Culinary Arts cooking show was OK but the chefs were hard to understand. The "dating game" night was the hit of the cruise and Mario did a great job with it.

We did one HA excursion in San Juan - the Culinary and History walking tour. Not strenuous at all other than one 200-yard uphill climb but the guide stopped several times up the hill. No problem. She was very good and learning about Mojitos and Mofongo and consuming them was a treat.

We took a non-HA tour on Grand Turk for $25. It's a laid back trip around the island, what there is of it, and you see the cool lighthouse, and there is some shopping. Not worth more than $25 - the agency is right on the beach. Grand Turk is mostly known for scuba and snorkeling, plus fishing. If that's your gig, you're in heaven.

St. Thomas is also big on the water events including Megan's Bay beach, and so on. There are 1.1 million jewelry stores (or so it seems) and they play the 60% off game using highly inflated prices to start, so that you really don't save anything but the people are polite and friendly. Bargain hard and walk away if you must. Great selection of liquor and perfume, too. Taxi rides are reasonable, about $4 each to "downtown" and you can take trips around the island.

HA's private beach at Half Moon Cay is beautiful - amazing. You take a tender service from a bit offshore (the deep water) and the ship does not anchor but holds in place for 7 hours using only the bow and stern thrusters. Pretty cool. Don't like sand? It's a great day to enjoy the pool deck with peace and quiet.

We used the well equipped fitness center twice. It's a fitness center and hit has a good view. What more do you want?

All the staff we dealt with were supremely polite and helpful but we never spoke to and hardly saw any senior officers or staff other than Mario the cruise director (after all, that's his job) and the venue instructors. But it didn't seem to matter, so, not a big deal.

The disembarkation was V E R Y slow because of US Customs who ran only 3 lines, causing us to take 50 minutes to clear customs. That's the last impression we had of our trip and HA needs to work out something with Customs to smooth this out. Heck, pay the overtime for one or two agents to work an hour on Sunday for crying out loud. You don't want the last impression of HA to be standing in a long line, ya know? C'mon Mickey are you listening?
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Cabin Review

Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Cabin SS 5098
SPACIOUS! The extra room was much appreciated. I took advantage of an inexpensive, last minute upgrade and saved big compared to buying the suite at the original prices. Got an email notification and had to act fast, but got the last upgrade.
Upper Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews