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First, let me just say, Nieuw Amsterdam is our favorite ship now. We’ve sailed Eurodam, Oosterdam and Noordam. All great ships but this one is awesome! The artwork and décor is very nice. The ship is in fantastic shape and the crew was wonderful. Take a close look at the large mural of New York that is outside the Manhattan dining room, (across from Adagio) you will notice something quite clever. Fort Lauderdale embarkation was slow but normal. The time we could board was pushed back from 11:15 to 11:45. I’m not sure why. The staff handling things were very nice and pleasant. There were no free refreshments that I noticed but there were vending machines in the waiting area. The seats were comfortable enough and the A/C was working well. We had used the VIP Bags-service. They picked up our luggage from the carousel at the airport and it was in our cabin when we got on board. I had never used this service before and was a little nervous but they were great! Communication is very good and it is a very reasonable price for the convenience you get. We had cabin 6053. It is a signature Suite. It is close to the forward elevators which makes getting to the Crow’s Nest and gym pretty easy. In the Signature Suites, the large screen TV on the wall behind the sofa is actually a plus in our book. Sure, you can't watch it from the sofa now but it frees up a lot of space on the counter top and where the DVD player used to fit, not to mention you now have two more power outlets available. On the minus side, we didn't get any personalized stationery this time. I don't know if it was just an oversight or a permanent cut-back. Everything else in the cabin was great. No plumbing issues. For some reason though,, one of the A/C vent covers was completely blanked off with packing tape on the inside. After I removed the cover and stripped off all the tape the room cooled right down which was a good thing because it was miserably hot outside. I never did notice anyone smoking anything on the verandas. For that matter, smoking wasn’t much of a problem on board. The sea view pool area was never really too packed and I don’t remember smoking in the casino being too much of a problem although you could smell it in there occasionally. The Lido was very good for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There were many eggs benedict choices and the baked beans too every day. Plenty of juice choices and the coffee only ran out when too many people filled up their travel mugs at once. Lunch was good. You could still get custom made sandwiches and the pre-mades were very good and fresh. Dinner and desserts were quite good also. “The Lobster Fest” was good and the lobsters (I asked for two) were a pretty good size. I do feel like I kinda got snookered on the wine though. The wine steward came around while I was eating my lobster and suggested a glass of the wine he was holding (nothing unusual there) it was a Washington wine and he said it paired nicely with the lobster so I said sure. It was good but he failed to mention that it was $12.00 a glass! As opposed to the normal $8.00. I guess I should have asked. I bought an $18.00 glass of wine in the Pinnacle Grill because I didn’t have my glasses on and it looked like $8.00. And to tell you the truth, it wasn’t all that good. Food and service was very good though as usual. We also ate in the Tamarind and I have to say, that is probably the most exquisite service in a restaurant that I have ever received. Just spectacular! Entertainment on board was good. The singers and dancers do a great job and the comedian (John Joseph) was an absolute riot! Hamish the Cruise director is very nice and personable, he made things fun. Hammish even came to the vetrans meet to welcome us and say thanks for our service. That was a very nice touch. The Activities Director (not naming names) seemed a little lackluster and just going through the motions. He could have been much more “active” in my book. The Kid’s Club manager (Stephanie?)was always having fun with the kids. She did a great job. Andy form Scotland in the Piano Bar had ‘em packed in every night. He was a lot of fun too. In fact, all of the ships’ crew were fantastic. The front office even set up a “chess players meet” in the daily planner when they saw my note in the library looking for other players. How cool is that? The gym was very nice but the Captain likes to take most of the treadmills out of service at certain times for noise/navigation reasons so the wait can be awhile during those times. I've never seen that before. We went on three HAL sponsored tours. The aviary in Columbia was good, the aerial tram in Costa Rica was good, the “Mayan Ruins” in Puerta Chiappas Mexico was a complete waste of time and money. The tour guide told vulgar stories on the bus and then just took us to a shopping district (Said he wanted to “show us his city” where we were stuck in traffic for 45 minutes), then took us to a dilapidated old church where the ceiling was literally falling down on us and then finally took us out to see “the archeological site” which amounted to nothing more than a pile of rocks and some recreated building foundations. He tried to tell us that what we were seeing was 2,000 years old. Ya, right, they let kids climb all over them and chip off souvenirs to take home. What a gimmick. Disembarkation in San Diego was probably the easiest I have ever encountered. Customs literally just glanced at the outside of our passports and we were on our way. We were in the passenger pick up area on the pier and I asked my wife “Did we go through customs yet?” It was that quick and easy. This was another great Holland America Line cruise and we booked our next one while on board. We are doing the Voyage of the Vikings next.

Transiting the Panama Canal on Holland America Line.

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by kevingastreich

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
First, let me just say, Nieuw Amsterdam is our favorite ship now. We’ve sailed Eurodam, Oosterdam and Noordam. All great ships but this one is awesome! The artwork and décor is very nice. The ship is in fantastic shape and the crew was wonderful. Take a close look at the large mural of New York that is outside the Manhattan dining room, (across from Adagio) you will notice something quite clever.

Fort Lauderdale embarkation was slow but normal. The time we could board was pushed back from 11:15 to 11:45. I’m not sure why. The staff handling things were very nice and pleasant. There were no free refreshments that I noticed but there were vending machines in the waiting area. The seats were comfortable enough and the A/C was working well. We had used the VIP Bags-service. They picked up our luggage from the carousel at the airport and it was in our cabin when we got on board. I had never used this service before and was a little nervous but they were great! Communication is very good and it is a very reasonable price for the convenience you get.

We had cabin 6053. It is a signature Suite. It is close to the forward elevators which makes getting to the Crow’s Nest and gym pretty easy. In the Signature Suites, the large screen TV on the wall behind the sofa is actually a plus in our book. Sure, you can't watch it from the sofa now but it frees up a lot of space on the counter top and where the DVD player used to fit, not to mention you now have two more power outlets available. On the minus side, we didn't get any personalized stationery this time. I don't know if it was just an oversight or a permanent cut-back. Everything else in the cabin was great. No plumbing issues. For some reason though,, one of the A/C vent covers was completely blanked off with packing tape on the inside. After I removed the cover and stripped off all the tape the room cooled right down which was a good thing because it was miserably hot outside. I never did notice anyone smoking anything on the verandas.

For that matter, smoking wasn’t much of a problem on board. The sea view pool area was never really too packed and I don’t remember smoking in the casino being too much of a problem although you could smell it in there occasionally.

The Lido was very good for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There were many eggs benedict choices and the baked beans too every day. Plenty of juice choices and the coffee only ran out when too many people filled up their travel mugs at once. Lunch was good. You could still get custom made sandwiches and the pre-mades were very good and fresh. Dinner and desserts were quite good also. “The Lobster Fest” was good and the lobsters (I asked for two) were a pretty good size. I do feel like I kinda got snookered on the wine though. The wine steward came around while I was eating my lobster and suggested a glass of the wine he was holding (nothing unusual there) it was a Washington wine and he said it paired nicely with the lobster so I said sure. It was good but he failed to mention that it was $12.00 a glass! As opposed to the normal $8.00. I guess I should have asked. I bought an $18.00 glass of wine in the Pinnacle Grill because I didn’t have my glasses on and it looked like $8.00. And to tell you the truth, it wasn’t all that good. Food and service was very good though as usual. We also ate in the Tamarind and I have to say, that is probably the most exquisite service in a restaurant that I have ever received. Just spectacular!

Entertainment on board was good. The singers and dancers do a great job and the comedian (John Joseph) was an absolute riot! Hamish the Cruise director is very nice and personable, he made things fun. Hammish even came to the vetrans meet to welcome us and say thanks for our service. That was a very nice touch. The Activities Director (not naming names) seemed a little lackluster and just going through the motions. He could have been much more “active” in my book. The Kid’s Club manager (Stephanie?)was always having fun with the kids. She did a great job. Andy form Scotland in the Piano Bar had ‘em packed in every night. He was a lot of fun too. In fact, all of the ships’ crew were fantastic. The front office even set up a “chess players meet” in the daily planner when they saw my note in the library looking for other players. How cool is that? The gym was very nice but the Captain likes to take most of the treadmills out of service at certain times for noise/navigation reasons so the wait can be awhile during those times. I've never seen that before.

We went on three HAL sponsored tours. The aviary in Columbia was good, the aerial tram in Costa Rica was good, the “Mayan Ruins” in Puerta Chiappas Mexico was a complete waste of time and money. The tour guide told vulgar stories on the bus and then just took us to a shopping district (Said he wanted to “show us his city” where we were stuck in traffic for 45 minutes), then took us to a dilapidated old church where the ceiling was literally falling down on us and then finally took us out to see “the archeological site” which amounted to nothing more than a pile of rocks and some recreated building foundations. He tried to tell us that what we were seeing was 2,000 years old. Ya, right, they let kids climb all over them and chip off souvenirs to take home. What a gimmick.

Disembarkation in San Diego was probably the easiest I have ever encountered. Customs literally just glanced at the outside of our passports and we were on our way. We were in the passenger pick up area on the pier and I asked my wife “Did we go through customs yet?” It was that quick and easy.

This was another great Holland America Line cruise and we booked our next one while on board. We are doing the Voyage of the Vikings next.
kevingastreich’s Full Rating Summary
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