I want to start off my saying the cruise wasn't bad. I met a few great people and had a good time. Did I like the new ship, Nieuw Statendam? Not really. I knew when I signed up for the cruise I just might find it too crowded, and I did. We were a full transatlantic, which doesn't happen often. In 2014, my husband and I did the Nieuw Amsterdam transatlantic to Barcelona and loved it. I loved the ship and have been on her again and plan to go again next year. Our ship was probably at most half full, so that made it nice. One of the typical perks of a transatlantic. But a few weeks before sail date, there was an accident with the Oasis of the Seas in the Bahamas, and their transatlantic was canceled. So the ship went from being I will guess about 60% full to sold out overnight. It also gave us a bit of a different mix than normal. There were a lot of die hard Royal Caribbean fans, and those that like Oasis of the Seas aren't really the same people that love Holland America. Not sure if related, but it was the first time I actually saw three incidents on the ship. One could have been potentially bad. It started because the Lido closed at 8 and then reopened at 10:30. It seemed like a really dumb thing to me, but this guy in the Lido decided to take it out on the dining room staff. He screamed very loudly at one of the dining room female staff to get him food after the dining room closed. She said she couldn't. He began to scream very loudly at her, that she was the same girl that wouldn't help him the night before. She and her coworker, who looked nothing alike but were both from Indonesia, both shook their heads no. The other female said the night before, he had yelled at her. It got very heated as he continued to scream at both of the women. Then another passenger came over and started shaking his finger in the guy's face, so I went for the manager and he was able to cool down the situation. The staff and managers were all super nice and very good. I had no problem with the staff. The other two incidents were just loud, obnoxious people making a lot of rude comments etc. I have never experienced that on HAL before.
The ship to me, as I said, felt very crowded. They have added 600 passengers with only 40 more feet in length and a few areas on the top. I really enjoy Holland's signature class ships (Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam) and the Vista class ships. They are the right size for me and the vista class has the most space per passenger of all HAL's ships. The cabins on NS (Nieuw Statendam) are much smaller than the ships I am used to going on. I ended up doing an upsell to a Vista Suite, which put me in a cabin the size of a typical balcony on most of the ships I favor.
The cabins were very nice, except I was shocked to see so much wear on the loveseat in the cabin. The ship had only been sailing for four months at that time. I did mention it and the next day I had a new loveseat cushion.
The lobby/atrium area has lost all the seating due to the Grand Dutch Cafe. We enjoy the famous Dutch pea soup and hot chocolate typically on the promenade deck, but now we have to sit inside. The Promenade deck has no loungers, as they now have the lifeboats on that deck that block the view. The walking the deck that was always my favorite past time was kind of ruined by the narrow pathways front and aft and the lifeboats. I still walked but it felt more like a chore than a pleasure. It was also a bit stressful as I am short and older, so I don't walk that fast. There are many areas that are so narrow, only one person can fit and I was constantly looking back to see if somebody was behind me. I was startled more than once.
The lobby chandelier if you can call it that is this odd, metal thing that is just different. I did not feel any of the wow factor I felt when entering the Noordam or the Eurodam when new. There is a lot of modern, music themed art. Some of it is quite nice and a lot of is just seems inexpensive. The areas by the elevators is almost bare, no bench to sit at like before.
But to me, the worst part was the overcrowding in many entertainment areas. The World Stage holds 800 people. We were 2,600 so with 2 shows, I guess one had to go at least an hour ahead to get a seat. We got a seat fo one performance by climbing over other passengers. The theater seats are so close to the ones in front, there is no other way to get by.
The Rolling Stone Rock Room was always jammed. I never once found a seat at the Lincoln Center state performances. I stood for those. They were great, but it would have been very nice for what I paid for the cruise to have a seat at least once or twice.
The transatlantic was 14 days. I felt like I did not get good value for my money, which was the first time in all my 16 cruises with Holland America.
There were many poor choices, for example, the light color Lido carpeting that was always dirty. The manager told me they have to shampoo it once a week. The staff was great and I will travel with HAL again, just not on this size ship.
The embarkation and disembarkation could not have gone better. The cabin was well laid out and nice. It was too cold and windy to use my balcony for most of the cruise, but our destination was Amsterdam.
I did not like the main dining room on Deck 2, anytime dining. Tables very close together but the manager was kind enough to get me fixed seating on Deck 3 and it was wonderful.
Overall, I had a great time and met new friends. But this ship and I assume the other Pinnacle class ships are just not for me and is not what I have come to expect on Holland America.
Cabin was extremely well laid out. I really loved it and it was my favorite cabin of all my cruises. It was about 210 square feet plus a 50 square foot balcony. It had a dressing area/desk and chair. The mattress on the bed was quite hard and not comfortable which was weird, as my friend had a very comfy mattress. Maybe it was a different topper they used. The bathroom had only a shower. I really missed a tub. The shower was fine, but the toilet was in a really odd position. My friend said hers was not like that. She was in an interior cabin and the toilet paper holder was behind me and everytime I went to pull the toilet paper off, it fell off and landed on the floor. Was kind of a comedy of errors. I also had a problem with my first cabin steward, which was a new experience, but they assigned me a new one.
Guide was great. Island was super interesting and I had a great time. The only downside was the stew they served us at the lunch was quite spicy and really bothered me. I had to stay in bed the next day. But the tour was really special.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Mont St Michel was an amazing place. The only bad thing was how absolutely crowded it was. The guide spent about half an hour on the bus telling us how crowded it would be and not to eat lunch inside as there wouldn't be time, and that was not really true. I got so worried about getting back in time, I was way early and the bus wasn't even there. But it is an amazing and gorgeous place.
This was the worst tour I have ever been on for any cruise. The day was miserable, very cold and extremely windy. The guide walked us through Brugges at such a fast pace in the rain and wind. He almost never stopped. When we got to the magnificent town square, he whisked us away after 5 minutes. I got maybe 5 photos and then we ended up with an hour on our own at the end. We were by chocolate shops and a Subway. I was afraid to try to find my way back to the square as it was quite far and I don't have a good sense of direction. The guide was almost cruel. He made us move from under a tree when it was pouring to out in the rain, and many people did not have a rain coat or an umbrella. The canal ride was nice.View All 51 Walking Tour Reviews