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My family and I attended the Holland America Cruise from July 22nd – July 29th on the Nieuw Amsterdam ship and let me say that is was amazing. The food, staff, rooms and views were wonderful. This review will be broken down by each relevant topic: THE GOOD Food As my first cruise, I must say that the food really blew me away. The most impressive aspect is how they are able to feed 2,000 people a day and offer such a variety of delicious options while maintaining a very high quality and freshness to the food. Everyday had different items available at breakfast, lunch and dinner and dishes were always hot and full. Then at dinner you could go to the included dining room, Manhattan, and they are a well-oiled machine in there turning out fine dining dishes. There was honestly never a point that I was disappointed with the food. Important note, if you have any kind of eating restriction they always accommodated it. In addition, they had plenty of options for kids and would bring it out quickly for them. Simply put, food was amazing! Accommodation Since the ship is only 8 years old, it is has a distinctly modern design and that carries through to all the staterooms we were able to see. Rooms are intelligently designed with ample storage space and fine furnishings. Bathroom was maybe a little small and drab but how much time are you going to spend in there? Most important the beds were supremely comfortable and king size! My only complaint would be the lack of plugins but it is a ship so I can understand this constraint. Also, all drinks in the room are for a steep extra charge so I recommend to people to bring your own water and wine. Staff You can tell that service and hospitality are a top priority for Holland America because the service was second to none at every single interaction we had with staff. Dining staff, cleaning staff, entertainment staff, ship staff…didn’t matter; every single member would smile and say hello/good morning. The dining staff in particular was quite impressive as they would serve hundreds of guest quickly, efficiently and professionally. Every time we had a questions or concern it was addressed immediately. The cleaning staff would even fold the towels into animals every night which was very amusing. Overall, the staff are top notch on this ship! Entertainment There was a vast array of activities available every day. From cooking, athletics, shows, workshops, nature tours and just chilling there was something for everyone. Even the room themselves had a good selection of movies on the TV. The evening also had semi-professional performances from bands, singers, showmen’s and comedians and they were honestly very well done albeit a bit short (1 hour). Of course there was the on-board casino every night but that wasn’t our thing. I do have a few complaints. Firstly, don’t believe their claims of playing tennis and volleyball, the court and equipment are actually quite poor. At best you can play basketball and pickle ball. Secondly, lots of their activities were just disguised sales pitches so beware. THE BAD Wi-Fi THE IS MY SINGLE BIGGEST COMPLAINT that detracted from my experience. Not only is it not free, IT IS RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE. It is $0.75/minute and it is a pretty bad connection speed. Now I’m not saying people want to spend all trip on their computer, but basic things like checking email or googling the shore stops was impossible. Coordinating with your group is also a challenge without Watsapp/Messenger. If New Holland fixes this I will give 10/10. Advertising/Salesmanship From the moment you step on this boat, literally everything is trying to take more money from you. If you weren’t reading properly, be prepared to be charged $13.50 per person per day as a service fee. No drinks are free in the room or on the ship and they push you to buy drink packages. Every night they put pamphlets in the rooms’ mailbox and announce daily on the intercom of other events trying to sell you stuff. The nicer restaurants are not included but you can get by only going to the included one. I recommend you keep your wallet tight and don’t get sucked in! Management I just wanted to make a small note here, but on more than one occasion we witnessed what appeared to be a manager yelling at staff. In our opinion this was not professional or acceptable. The staff on this boat are some of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen and it is not cool to be yelling at them over small details. Please address this!

Great Ship, Great Staff, Too Salesy

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by jjacob1515

22 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
My family and I attended the Holland America Cruise from July 22nd – July 29th on the Nieuw Amsterdam ship and let me say that is was amazing. The food, staff, rooms and views were wonderful. This review will be broken down by each relevant topic:

THE GOOD

Food

As my first cruise, I must say that the food really blew me away. The most impressive aspect is how they are able to feed 2,000 people a day and offer such a variety of delicious options while maintaining a very high quality and freshness to the food. Everyday had different items available at breakfast, lunch and dinner and dishes were always hot and full. Then at dinner you could go to the included dining room, Manhattan, and they are a well-oiled machine in there turning out fine dining dishes. There was honestly never a point that I was disappointed with the food. Important note, if you have any kind of eating restriction they always accommodated it. In addition, they had plenty of options for kids and would bring it out quickly for them. Simply put, food was amazing!

Accommodation

Since the ship is only 8 years old, it is has a distinctly modern design and that carries through to all the staterooms we were able to see. Rooms are intelligently designed with ample storage space and fine furnishings. Bathroom was maybe a little small and drab but how much time are you going to spend in there? Most important the beds were supremely comfortable and king size! My only complaint would be the lack of plugins but it is a ship so I can understand this constraint. Also, all drinks in the room are for a steep extra charge so I recommend to people to bring your own water and wine.

Staff

You can tell that service and hospitality are a top priority for Holland America because the service was second to none at every single interaction we had with staff. Dining staff, cleaning staff, entertainment staff, ship staff…didn’t matter; every single member would smile and say hello/good morning. The dining staff in particular was quite impressive as they would serve hundreds of guest quickly, efficiently and professionally. Every time we had a questions or concern it was addressed immediately. The cleaning staff would even fold the towels into animals every night which was very amusing. Overall, the staff are top notch on this ship!

Entertainment

There was a vast array of activities available every day. From cooking, athletics, shows, workshops, nature tours and just chilling there was something for everyone. Even the room themselves had a good selection of movies on the TV. The evening also had semi-professional performances from bands, singers, showmen’s and comedians and they were honestly very well done albeit a bit short (1 hour). Of course there was the on-board casino every night but that wasn’t our thing. I do have a few complaints. Firstly, don’t believe their claims of playing tennis and volleyball, the court and equipment are actually quite poor. At best you can play basketball and pickle ball. Secondly, lots of their activities were just disguised sales pitches so beware.

THE BAD

Wi-Fi

THE IS MY SINGLE BIGGEST COMPLAINT that detracted from my experience. Not only is it not free, IT IS RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE. It is $0.75/minute and it is a pretty bad connection speed. Now I’m not saying people want to spend all trip on their computer, but basic things like checking email or googling the shore stops was impossible. Coordinating with your group is also a challenge without Watsapp/Messenger. If New Holland fixes this I will give 10/10.

Advertising/Salesmanship

From the moment you step on this boat, literally everything is trying to take more money from you. If you weren’t reading properly, be prepared to be charged $13.50 per person per day as a service fee. No drinks are free in the room or on the ship and they push you to buy drink packages. Every night they put pamphlets in the rooms’ mailbox and announce daily on the intercom of other events trying to sell you stuff. The nicer restaurants are not included but you can get by only going to the included one. I recommend you keep your wallet tight and don’t get sucked in!

Management

I just wanted to make a small note here, but on more than one occasion we witnessed what appeared to be a manager yelling at staff. In our opinion this was not professional or acceptable. The staff on this boat are some of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen and it is not cool to be yelling at them over small details. Please address this!
jjacob1515’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages Under 3
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin D 4094
Rooms are intelligently designed with ample storage space and fine furnishings. Bathroom was maybe a little small and drab but how much time are you going to spend in there? Most important the beds were supremely comfortable and king size! My only complaint would be the lack of plugins but it is a ship so I can understand this constraint.
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews