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My husband passed away in April. Not wanting to spread a Thanksgiving at home, a booked the holiday cruise for me and Alex, my son, which came with a total on board credit of $400. Alex spent six years in the Navy and has returned to college. At 26, he is younger than most HAL passengers. We took the Amtrak from Tampa on the day before and stayed at the Fort Lauderdale Marina Hilton. The cruise package included breakfast and transportation to the pier. It's a wonderful hotel, great service, beautiful room and a fantastic buffet breakfast. We received a complimentary upgrade and had a great room overlooking the intercoastal. Dinner at Nanking was awesome, with the wasabi mashed potatoes a delight. Sunday morning brought rain, which slowed down traffic and transportation to the pier. We arrived around noon, as did everyone else. Embarkation took about a half hour. For my guaranteed signature suite, we were assigned to deck five next to the glass elevators. I was concerned about noise as well as privacy on the balcony, but that was unfounded. It was quiet and the balcony could not be viewed from the elevator. The previous year, my husband and I had taken the the Eurodam on the same voyage. Two years ago, we sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam and I was a bit wary and mentioned this to the Holland America cruise consultants. In the stateroom, I found some wonderful gifts, dinner reservations had been made for us at all the specialty restaurants and two one hundred dollar beverage cards helped to easy the journey. The first night we ate at the Pinnacle, where the food is also great. A server mistakenly knocked over my son's drink, which spilled on his iPhone. The charging case was damaged. Holland America not only provided reimbursement before we left the ship. Also, a front desk staff member lent him her iPhone charger so he could charge his phone. The entertainment on the ship was much better than my previous two cruises on HAL, with the comedian actually funny. Alex signed up for the bartending course, where he learned how to make killer martinis. The bartenders in the Crows Nest were fantastic, as were the staff everywhere. I love HAL because the staff greets you with smiles, even on shore when they are off duty, and they remember your favorite drink. Caroline is a wonderful addition to the cruise director staff and led a great pub crawl from the Crows Nest to the Northern Lights. The food in the Canellato was fantastic, with the short rib and gnocchi absolutely wonderful. Alex enjoyed the sushi at the Tamarind. I learned not to mix blue, red and green cocktails. I had the Tip to Toe massage, which was on special and thoroughly enjoyiable for seventy-five minutes. I was on Weight Watchers and found it very easy to eat healthy. The new Slice pizza is wonderful. Alex ate at least one each night. The food is always good in the MDR as well as Lido. The drinks are good and reasonably priced. Alex is studying voice and theatre and performed during karaoke and received a great response. Alex enjoyed zip lining in Puerto Rico as well as jet skiing at Half Moon Cay. I rented a cabana on Half Moon Cay and it was wonderful. Great snacks as well as soft drinks. Not much to see in Grand Turk but lunch at Margaritaville was nice. We were in St Thomas on Thanksgiving so many shops were closed. We did find some nice diamond earrings at a small family store. We had lunch at an open air restaurant. I almost walked out without paying, like on the ship. Everything was immaculate on the ship. In the Lido Restaurant the staff serves you, which is much better than the traditional buffet. Our cabin was always clean. Room service Great and free. The signature suite was a little bigger than the verandah I had before. The dual sinks were nice. However, the separate shower seemed small so we used the one in the tub. I would need to get a really good rate to do it again.

A Wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by Dr Patwat

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2015
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
My husband passed away in April. Not wanting to spread a Thanksgiving at home, a booked the holiday cruise for me and Alex, my son, which came with a total on board credit of $400. Alex spent six years in the Navy and has returned to college. At 26, he is younger than most HAL passengers. We took the Amtrak from Tampa on the day before and stayed at the Fort Lauderdale Marina Hilton. The cruise package included breakfast and transportation to the pier. It's a wonderful hotel, great service, beautiful room and a fantastic buffet breakfast. We received a complimentary upgrade and had a great room overlooking the intercoastal. Dinner at Nanking was awesome, with the wasabi mashed potatoes a delight. Sunday morning brought rain, which slowed down traffic and transportation to the pier. We arrived around noon, as did everyone else. Embarkation took about a half hour. For my guaranteed signature suite, we were assigned to deck five next to the glass elevators. I was concerned about noise as well as privacy on the balcony, but that was unfounded. It was quiet and the balcony could not be viewed from the elevator.

The previous year, my husband and I had taken the the Eurodam on the same voyage. Two years ago, we sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam and I was a bit wary and mentioned this to the Holland America cruise consultants. In the stateroom, I found some wonderful gifts, dinner reservations had been made for us at all the specialty restaurants and two one hundred dollar beverage cards helped to easy the journey.

The first night we ate at the Pinnacle, where the food is also great. A server mistakenly knocked over my son's drink, which spilled on his iPhone. The charging case was damaged. Holland America not only provided reimbursement before we left the ship. Also, a front desk staff member lent him her iPhone charger so he could charge his phone.

The entertainment on the ship was much better than my previous two cruises on HAL, with the comedian actually funny.

Alex signed up for the bartending course, where he learned how to make killer martinis. The bartenders in the Crows Nest were fantastic, as were the staff everywhere. I love HAL because the staff greets you with smiles, even on shore when they are off duty, and they remember your favorite drink.

Caroline is a wonderful addition to the cruise director staff and led a great pub crawl from the Crows Nest to the Northern Lights.

The food in the Canellato was fantastic, with the short rib and gnocchi absolutely wonderful. Alex enjoyed the sushi at the Tamarind. I learned not to mix blue, red and green cocktails.

I had the Tip to Toe massage, which was on special and thoroughly enjoyiable for seventy-five minutes.

I was on Weight Watchers and found it very easy to eat healthy. The new Slice pizza is wonderful. Alex ate at least one each night. The food is always good in the MDR as well as Lido. The drinks are good and reasonably priced. Alex is studying voice and theatre and performed during karaoke and received a great response.

Alex enjoyed zip lining in Puerto Rico as well as jet skiing at Half Moon Cay. I rented a cabana on Half Moon Cay and it was wonderful. Great snacks as well as soft drinks.

Not much to see in Grand Turk but lunch at Margaritaville was nice. We were in St Thomas on Thanksgiving so many shops were closed. We did find some nice diamond earrings at a small family store. We had lunch at an open air restaurant. I almost walked out without paying, like on the ship.

Everything was immaculate on the ship. In the Lido Restaurant the staff serves you, which is much better than the traditional buffet.

Our cabin was always clean. Room service Great and free.

The signature suite was a little bigger than the verandah I had before. The dual sinks were nice. However, the separate shower seemed small so we used the one in the tub. I would need to get a really good rate to do it again.
Dr Patwat’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Cabin SZ 5093
Roomy and quiet. Great location in the middle of the ship. Second shower a bit small.
Upper Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews