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I am currently 39 and was definitely one of the youngest people on board. I enjoy people who are older than me, but it seems that HAL really caters to the more mature clientele in the music, food, and activities. I am all for being classy and having standards, but you can do both without being stuffy or boring. The ship is beautiful, and the size of it is great. Our verandah cabin was 11002, which is the highest deck with cabins. I loved the location, because the view was great, and it was next door to the Crow's Nest (coffee shop/bar). The balcony was very small, but that was not a problem for us. I found the Main Dining Room to be a bit mediocre. The food was just not impressive, and I would have hoped for more seafood selections. The buffet was generally very good, especially for breakfast and lunch. The salads and Asian food were particularly good at lunch. We at at Pinnacle Grill ($35 surcharge) and Tamarind ($25 surcharge), and both were absolutely fantastic. I just wish the quality of the Dining Room food (included) didn't force us to want to eat at specialty restaurants. The entertainment onboard was all quite good. Mainstage and Lincoln Center Stage productions were both very good, although some of the mainstage selections were a bit dated. The singers and dancers were great, though. BB King Blues Club was a highlight almost every night. America's Test Kitchen was also a nice feature. I wish there had been more activities on board that were pure fun, such as games on the lido deck. You don't have to have a sexy legs competition, but something that livens things up a bit would have been nice. Also, the music on the lido deck could really use some work. I heard so much about how good the service would be on HAL, and I was not overly impressed. It was no better than service on NCL. This is one area where I think HAL really caters to senior citizens. My cabin was always clean, but I only saw my cabin steward once the entire week. The ports were good, but one (Amber Cove, Dominican Republic) was canceled due to rough waters, which was a huge disappointment. They added some onboard activities that day, but the general mood of the ship was definitely down on that extra sea day. Key West and Half Moon Cay were great days! Embarkation and Disembarkation were very quick and easy--no complaints at all. As they say, there is no such thing as a bad cruise. However, this is my least favorite cruise. I was booked on a NCL cruise but changed to HAL because the O (Oprah) Magazine "Adventure of Your LIfe" cruise appealed to the friend with whom I was traveling. The O Magazine experiences were very good and certainly made the cruise better for both of us. However, I think I will stick with NCL in the future and possibly explore Celebrity and Royal Caribbean.

HAL definitely caters to more "mature" cruisers

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by jonpilk

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Spa Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
I am currently 39 and was definitely one of the youngest people on board. I enjoy people who are older than me, but it seems that HAL really caters to the more mature clientele in the music, food, and activities. I am all for being classy and having standards, but you can do both without being stuffy or boring.

The ship is beautiful, and the size of it is great. Our verandah cabin was 11002, which is the highest deck with cabins. I loved the location, because the view was great, and it was next door to the Crow's Nest (coffee shop/bar). The balcony was very small, but that was not a problem for us.

I found the Main Dining Room to be a bit mediocre. The food was just not impressive, and I would have hoped for more seafood selections. The buffet was generally very good, especially for breakfast and lunch. The salads and Asian food were particularly good at lunch. We at at Pinnacle Grill ($35 surcharge) and Tamarind ($25 surcharge), and both were absolutely fantastic. I just wish the quality of the Dining Room food (included) didn't force us to want to eat at specialty restaurants.

The entertainment onboard was all quite good. Mainstage and Lincoln Center Stage productions were both very good, although some of the mainstage selections were a bit dated. The singers and dancers were great, though. BB King Blues Club was a highlight almost every night. America's Test Kitchen was also a nice feature.

I wish there had been more activities on board that were pure fun, such as games on the lido deck. You don't have to have a sexy legs competition, but something that livens things up a bit would have been nice. Also, the music on the lido deck could really use some work.

I heard so much about how good the service would be on HAL, and I was not overly impressed. It was no better than service on NCL. This is one area where I think HAL really caters to senior citizens. My cabin was always clean, but I only saw my cabin steward once the entire week.

The ports were good, but one (Amber Cove, Dominican Republic) was canceled due to rough waters, which was a huge disappointment. They added some onboard activities that day, but the general mood of the ship was definitely down on that extra sea day. Key West and Half Moon Cay were great days!

Embarkation and Disembarkation were very quick and easy--no complaints at all.

As they say, there is no such thing as a bad cruise. However, this is my least favorite cruise. I was booked on a NCL cruise but changed to HAL because the O (Oprah) Magazine "Adventure of Your LIfe" cruise appealed to the friend with whom I was traveling. The O Magazine experiences were very good and certainly made the cruise better for both of us. However, I think I will stick with NCL in the future and possibly explore Celebrity and Royal Caribbean.
jonpilk’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Spa Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VQ 11002
The stateroom was great. I loved the location by the Crow's Nest Observation Lounge. The balcony was tiny but adequate.
Observation Deck Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews