Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by Dit Clapper
- Sail Date: May 2017
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Now, about Nieuw.
The Good ... was the price and the extras provided by CruCon. $1600 per person with $525. in onboard credit + free drink package for two + dinner for two at their specialty restaurant. If you like to walk, it's one of the few ships that actually has a deck that goes right around the ship - 3 laps = 1 mile. Our balcony cabin #4006 was well appointed and very quite - I guess it's been well soundproofed.
The Bad ... the entertainment was mediocre. The worst was the comedian. He chose to include three mentions of his autistic daughter as part of his comedy presentation -- who does that? Although the table and wine server staff in the dining room were very attentive, the menu was not very creative. The breakfast buffet actually has a server for almost anything you'd like to have so the theme seems to be ... wait. It's a very unusual set up for a buffet. Finding someone to clean a table for us in the buffet dining room
was difficult, not automatic. I had to go searching for a table cleaner more than 6 times during our week. How's this for a safety/muster drill ... we went to the station when we were told just to find no ship staff there. We were told over the PA (after a 1/2 hour wait) that there were still passengers trying to board (@4pm). So, instead of having the late comers attend another muster drill when they got on the ship, they made 2,000 people wait for the few.
The Ugly ... I mentioned the free drink package. The first time I ordered a drink, the waiter told me I had to tell them each time I ordered that I was in the beverage package.
There wasn't a # or a bar code or anything on my ship's card to notify the server that I wasn't to be charged. That seemed strange so I asked the bartender. He told me they have no way of knowing when a passenger is on their beverage plan ... including ... there's no mention of it on his computer when he punches in my order. He simply said "not to worry, all beverage charges will be eliminated when they reach the ship's office". Which brings me to my other Ugly ... as mentioned, we had a dinner for 2 free gift from CruCon (valued at $70 that even included the tip). The meal was very good. I left an additional tip for the waiter and the wine steward. Two days later, I asked to see a copy of my ship's statement and was angry to find that my free dinner for 2 was actually charged to my account, $70! Absolutely ... totally ... unacceptable. If I hadn't taken the time to check my bill before departing on Saturday morning, I would have been stuck in a very long line of people at the ship's front desk. Needless to say, I checked my bill at the end of each day on the trip to see if any of my bar charges found their way onto my bill (they didn't). HAL has some work to do. They need to send some spotters onto other ships to see how easy it is to be more efficient.
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