I chose this ship because my wife and I had previously sailed on the HAL Eurodam and we were very satisfied. Overall, the Nieuw Amsterdam did not disappoint and met our expectations.
We are both in our mid fifties with about 12 cruises under our belts. Previos cruises were primarily family cruises on RCCL's mega ships.
Purchased a last minute (2 weeks before) Veranda Guarantee Cat VH Cabin ($549 p/p) and were assigned a perfectly located Cat VA. Fare included gratuities and a $25 p/p beverage card. We were offered a suite upgrade for $299 per person via email, but did not accepted.
Loved the location of this cabin. Midship, next to elevators, one deck below the lido buffet and pool. Deck noise was not an issue. It looked like a crew storage area was directly above the cabin. You do lose a little privacy while on Veranda, due to the close proximity of the outside, glass elevators. No big deal though and I would definitely book this cabin again due to it's convenient location.
Our favorite departure port in Florida. Close to FLL airport. Plenty of hotels, restaurants and stores for last minute shopping.
Beautiful Island with white sand beaches and crystal clear blue water. Unfortunately, while chairs are complementary, there are no umbrellas available and HAL feels the need to charge $39 for a 2 chair clamshell. Also, beverage cards do not work on the island. Buffet disappointing.
Privately arranged to take a 10 minute taxi ride ($10 p/p each way) to the Jewel Dunn's River Beach All Inclusive Resort ($65 p/p for day pass). Nice resort and would recommend.
Although a beautiful beach, I was disappointed in the lack of public beach areas available to cruisers. Public areas are crowded and hotels generally don't offer daypasses. We spent time at Calico Jacks, $20 for two beach chairs and umbrella. Island is expensive $1.20 buys $1.00 Cayman. We took public bus from cruise pier to Calico Jacks at $2.50 p/p. Taxi's charge $6 p/p. Public bus was fine.
Went directly to Paradise Beach Club, $3 entry fee and a minimum $10 additional spend. $16 taxi fare each way (per car, not per person) from cruise pier to beach club. Highly recommended if you are not a big eater/ drinker, since the menu is ala carte. If you are looking for an all inclusive alternative, consider Mr. Sancho's at $49 per person.