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This was our 12th cruise, but our 1st with HAL. Although we were impressed by several things, we kept wishing that we were sailing with Princess again. First impressions are important, and ours was made at the wine check-in table at Port Everglades. Two employees were manning the table when we approached with 3 bottles of wine. The first young lady started filling out a claim check and said that I would get my wine after the cruise. She then asked for our cruise cards. She was absolutely confused when I explained that we didn't have our cards yet, they were checking in folks behind her. Her co-worker corrected her, but first asked me if the bottles were wine or booze. (lesson #1: don't put an employee at the wine check-in table when they can't even tell the difference between wine and liquor) We signed a check for our corkage fee ($18) and proceeded to check in. We waited 15 or 20 minutes before they started calling groups to board around 11:30. Just as we were called, a TV production team with all of their equipment showed up. Once were able to get around them, we headed upstairs and by-passed the photographers. The local agents, insisted that we walk the circumference of the room instead of directly to the gangway, even though there was nobody else in front or behind us. An exercise in futility. Once on board, you could tell you were on a new ship. It smells new, the surfaces are clean and not worn, and the outside paint was flawless. Our room was ready when we boarded, and the flowers I ordered were already there. Floral prices on HAL are much higher than on Princess, and the arrangements are smaller as well, a double-whammy. Our verandah cabin was on the port side, near the aft. The balcony was nice, bigger than I expected. The best part of the cabin was the shower. So much better than on Princess. It was large and had excellent water pressure. The Elemis bath products were excellent, but too expensive to buy on land. Prior to the cruise, I was promised a small amount of free play by the casino department. In the email they told me to simply give my name at the cage, and that they were expecting me. The casino had no record of anything, and I had to retrieve the email later that night in order to receive the promised comp. With a ship wired for internet, there is no reason why a bartender should say, "I don't know how to make that", but they did, and I'm not talking about anything complicated, we're talking about traditional Caribbean drinks, on a Caribbean cruise. Drink quality and ingredients varied each day. If I'm paying top dollar for a Planter's Punch, it should have Myer's Rum floated on top, that only happened once the entire week. We had dinner at the Pinnacle Grill the first night, and ended up cancelling our reservations for later that week. Firstly, the room is dark and bare, we much prefer Princess' Crown Grill. Our server had memorized the most ridiculous script about the meat quality, claiming that the meat is so tender because the cattle is fed wet corn instead of dry corn, making it the best beef to be found. In case you didn't know, cows were never meant to eat corn, they are natural grass eaters. The best beef comes from grass fed cows, but why let facts get in the way of a good story. With only 8-10 tables occupied, I couldn't believe that it took 20 minutes for my drink to arrive. I mentioned this to management when they check to see if we were enjoying our meal, (our server never asked) and was surprised when I was asked by an officer two days later about my experience. Although, I appreciate that management is communicating with each other about problems, the fact that my photo from my cruise card is included in the report is a bit unnerving. Make room for big brother at your table for two, he is watching you. One has to wonder if it's now noted on your account when you give your room number that you expect good service or are labeled a complainer. Service in the MDR was hit or miss.....I have no idea why they only use waiters in the MDR and not waitresses, this is 2019. I asked about this in my post cruise survey, but so far have not heard a peep. Menus were misprinted, as were note cards from management. At one point we received a card from guest services stating that they were trying to reach us in regards to our stateroom change. Initially, nobody at the desk knew what this was about. My wife was worried that we were going to have to pack our stuff and move to another room. It wasn't until later that day, that someone from guest services met with us. She looked at our note and said that this is not what she sent. We made reservations for Rudi's, and received yet another misprinted card with an incorrect reservation time. The meal was excellent, as was the service, thanks to the officer who checked on our previously bad services at Pinnacle. The TV went on the blink a few days into the cruise, automatically shutting off while trying to watch live tv. It took two calls over the course of the day to have someone finally come and reset the set. I heard others talk about the same problem. Programming was only so-so, and the fillers they used instead of commercials often interfered with the actual programming. Breaks would come mid-sentence, and when the show returned, it was now the next episode, or next show. The musicians on board were the best I've heard on any ship. BB Kings was excellent, as was the Lincoln Center string quartet. My wife preferred the coffees from Princess' International Cafe over the offerings at the Dutch Cafe. The photographers, were nice....never a line, but this is the first time we never bought even a single photo. Did we become so un-photogenic since our last cruise 6 months ago, or could they just not take a decent picture?

Lovely ship, great music, so-so service

Nieuw Statendam Cruise Review by CineGraphic

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom
This was our 12th cruise, but our 1st with HAL. Although we were impressed by several things, we kept wishing that we were sailing with Princess again.

First impressions are important, and ours was made at the wine check-in table at Port Everglades. Two employees were manning the table when we approached with 3 bottles of wine. The first young lady started filling out a claim check and said that I would get my wine after the cruise. She then asked for our cruise cards. She was absolutely confused when I explained that we didn't have our cards yet, they were checking in folks behind her. Her co-worker corrected her, but first asked me if the bottles were wine or booze. (lesson #1: don't put an employee at the wine check-in table when they can't even tell the difference between wine and liquor) We signed a check for our corkage fee ($18) and proceeded to check in.

We waited 15 or 20 minutes before they started calling groups to board around 11:30.

Just as we were called, a TV production team with all of their equipment showed up. Once were able to get around them, we headed upstairs and by-passed the photographers. The local agents, insisted that we walk the circumference of the room instead of directly to the gangway, even though there was nobody else in front or behind us. An exercise in futility.

Once on board, you could tell you were on a new ship. It smells new, the surfaces are clean and not worn, and the outside paint was flawless. Our room was ready when we boarded, and the flowers I ordered were already there. Floral prices on HAL are much higher than on Princess, and the arrangements are smaller as well, a double-whammy.

Our verandah cabin was on the port side, near the aft. The balcony was nice, bigger than I expected. The best part of the cabin was the shower. So much better than on Princess. It was large and had excellent water pressure. The Elemis bath products were excellent, but too expensive to buy on land.

Prior to the cruise, I was promised a small amount of free play by the casino department.

In the email they told me to simply give my name at the cage, and that they were expecting me. The casino had no record of anything, and I had to retrieve the email later that night in order to receive the promised comp.

With a ship wired for internet, there is no reason why a bartender should say, "I don't know how to make that", but they did, and I'm not talking about anything complicated, we're talking about traditional Caribbean drinks, on a Caribbean cruise. Drink quality and ingredients varied each day. If I'm paying top dollar for a Planter's Punch, it should have Myer's Rum floated on top, that only happened once the entire week.

We had dinner at the Pinnacle Grill the first night, and ended up cancelling our reservations for later that week. Firstly, the room is dark and bare, we much prefer Princess' Crown Grill.

Our server had memorized the most ridiculous script about the meat quality, claiming that the meat is so tender because the cattle is fed wet corn instead of dry corn, making it the best beef to be found. In case you didn't know, cows were never meant to eat corn, they are natural grass eaters. The best beef comes from grass fed cows, but why let facts get in the way of a good story. With only 8-10 tables occupied, I couldn't believe that it took 20 minutes for my drink to arrive. I mentioned this to management when they check to see if we were enjoying our meal, (our server never asked) and was surprised when I was asked by an officer two days later about my experience. Although, I appreciate that management is communicating with each other about problems, the fact that my photo from my cruise card is included in the report is a bit unnerving. Make room for big brother at your table for two, he is watching you. One has to wonder if it's now noted on your account when you give your room number that you expect good service or are labeled a complainer.

Service in the MDR was hit or miss.....I have no idea why they only use waiters in the MDR and not waitresses, this is 2019. I asked about this in my post cruise survey, but so far have not heard a peep. Menus were misprinted, as were note cards from management. At one point we received a card from guest services stating that they were trying to reach us in regards to our stateroom change. Initially, nobody at the desk knew what this was about. My wife was worried that we were going to have to pack our stuff and move to another room. It wasn't until later that day, that someone from guest services met with us. She looked at our note and said that this is not what she sent.

We made reservations for Rudi's, and received yet another misprinted card with an incorrect reservation time. The meal was excellent, as was the service, thanks to the officer who checked on our previously bad services at Pinnacle.

The TV went on the blink a few days into the cruise, automatically shutting off while trying to watch live tv. It took two calls over the course of the day to have someone finally come and reset the set. I heard others talk about the same problem. Programming was only so-so, and the fillers they used instead of commercials often interfered with the actual programming. Breaks would come mid-sentence, and when the show returned, it was now the next episode, or next show.

The musicians on board were the best I've heard on any ship. BB Kings was excellent, as was the Lincoln Center string quartet.

My wife preferred the coffees from Princess' International Cafe over the offerings at the Dutch Cafe.

The photographers, were nice....never a line, but this is the first time we never bought even a single photo. Did we become so un-photogenic since our last cruise 6 months ago, or could they just not take a decent picture?
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