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Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
872 Reviews

Worst Entertainment I've Seen on a Cruise

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by ttcare

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2019
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

Cruising through the Panama Canal was on the bucket list. HAL cruised all the way through which was the high point of the 14 day cruise. The ship was beautiful and the service overall was good, but the spa staff was highly aggressive and treatments way too expensive. Watch your bill - we had multiple charges for other people's alcohol and for things that were included in our beverage package. They did reverse the charges, but it took time away from our cruise to get the items corrected. The cabin was comfortable and clean and the cabin stewards were wonderful. We were on the 8th deck near the bridge and had no issues with rolling seas or noise from any of the entertainment. We did have to walk through the spa area every time we went to higher decks - odd set up. We are 60 and felt like we were the babes on this cruise. This appeared to be an older group that was in bed by 9PM. The first night at sea we expected to be wowed by the entertainment. Instead we got a movie on the main stage and the sound system was not good. We saw perhaps 3-4 entertainers that were good, but this was highly disappointing for a 14 day cruise. We arranged our excursions a month or so before cruising. The descriptions were somewhat misleading - "a motorized catamaran" was actually a booze cruise with 150 other passengers - not what we pictured. We thought we were going to a nice cove to swim where we could snorkel and see the native fish. After cruising with everyone else drinking we got perhaps 30 minutes in the water with no fish at all (didn't need to bring our snorkeling equipment or the rolls we took from breakfast to feed the fish). We did sign up for one excursion on the ship and then chose not to go because we were not feeling well. HAL has a 14 day refund policy - not very accommodating on a 14 day cruise. We couldn't get a refund but could trade to a lesser priced excursion, but still lost the money. We did have a wonderful time with our dinner table - table for 8 at the 8PM seating. Overall we did enjoy our cruise. We chose the itinerary for this cruise and not the cruise line. For a number of reasons we perhaps will not cruise with HAL again. They are way too focused of making a buck. For example - every cruise we've been on before with other lines we've been able to use all of the spa facilities on the day we had a treatment. Not on HAL. Everything had a separate price tag. As a last thought - we completed HAL's online survey after our cruise and indicated that they could contact us for clarification or comments. It's been a month and there's been no attempt on their behalf to follow through. Aside from the on board cruise staff, HAL needs a lesson in customer service.

ttcare's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

The cabin was clean and comfortable. We purchase a drink package that included sodas and water so we never used the drinks in the room. We just put ours in the refrigerator too. There was plenty of storage space including two drawers under the end of the bed which fortunately we discovered on the first day. The cabin stewards were wonderful. The laundry service was excellent.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Cartagena (Colombia)

Enjoyed seeing the city which reminded us a little of the French Quarter in New Orleans.

River Cruise & Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary

Excellent tour - birds everywhere and a few crocodiles

View All 26 River Cruise & Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary Reviews
Tram Through Rainforest

These two excursions were together. Both were excellent. Tour guide were wonderful.

View All 26 Tram Through Rainforest Reviews

Old city of Leon and mud pits. Tour guide was excellent.


Motorized catamaran - not worth the time or money.

Jeep Tour

Got an excellent view of Mexican life in a small village. Tortilla making; nature walk; chocolate manufacturing; the tour guide bought the ingredients for salsa and the driver made it at one of the stops where we had soft tacos - excellent! This was a wonderful tour.

View All 5 Jeep Tour Reviews

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