Nieuw Statendam Cruise Review by Utah Slim
- Sail Date: February 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom
We were excited to be on their newest ship - Nieuw Statendam. As usual, wonderful dining in MDR, Tamarind, Dive-In Burger, and Lido. Great service by MDR, Tamarind and Lido staff. Equally great service by stateroom staff. Kudos to Dewa, Adi, Arn, Gena, Dadang, Deni, and everyone in the Lido!
And the Lincoln Center Stage was wonderful, as always.
BUT - a number of concerns:
1) Smoking in the casino: We're not gamblers, so we avoid the casino wherever possible. But when you leave the World Stage at the upper exit after a performance, you're hit in the face by the smoke in the casino. You can even detect it on deck 2! A MAJOR step backward for HAL.
2) Freezing: Too cold in many common rooms - World Stage, BB King Blues Club, etc.
3) Sea View Pool: I could always brag to my friends that I never had a problem getting a deck chair near the adult pool on deck 9 aft. Not the case on this ship. It isn't just the extra 600 passengers - it's also the new (Nieuw?) configuration. Yes, there's now a second level of chairs, where you can bake in the sun until fried, if that's your thing. But if I wanted that, I'd sail Princess.
4) Photos: I know the world's gone digital, but part of the fun for us is to look at the photos taken by the ship's staff (including the embarkation pic) and purchase the ones we like. The N-S system is to sell you the digitized copy ($20), or offer to print it for you for another $10. A cost increase of 50% over the previous system. Not classy.
On nine previous HAL cruises, I have always graded them with five stars each time. Sorry HAL, this is a four - still a high rating, but certain things need attending to. For instance: (1) in the face of considerable input from passengers, you banned smoking on the balconies. Here's your chance to do so in the Nieuw Statendam casino. (2) Please turn down the temperatures in the common rooms! (3) The chairs reserved by the boorish "chair hogs" at the Sea View area have to be better policed. Please get those towels out of there after 30 minutes - just like the sign says. (4) Please reconsider the photo system!
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