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We recently completed our annual summer inside passage cruise to Alaska (this was our 36th Alaska cruise), and 21st Alaska sailing with HAL. This year we sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam, VQ Spa Veranda on deck 10 - the views from up top on the Panorama deck balcony are spectacular! - otherwise the Spa category isn't worth the higher price as it includes nothing else but 3 bottles of water. Our weather was sunny for the whole 7 days - INCREDIBLY lucky for an Alaska run! The dining (in all 7 venues) was stellar and much better than our recent sailing on Seabourn's Sojourn - and that is a high bar to beat. We ate well! The entertainment however, was without a doubt, the worst we have experienced on ANY ship, on any line, in our 388 cruises history. Literally a ghost ship inside and out. Not a single production show in 7 days? - and this is the new HAL norm according to the cruise staff... 1 sad illusionist and an unfunny comedian and the now very very tired BBC Alaska video summed up the weeks main showroom entertainment? Seriously. The piano is gone from the Ocean Bar, and no other entertainment is offered on the vacant band stage - and the people just walk by this once perfect cocktail location as there is no reason to sit there and pay for drinks in silence. The Crows Nest (EXC) is now just a place to sell shore excursions and buy Explorations coffee, no evening entertainment (or people). BB Kings and Billboard are tucked into spaces that allow no traditional cruise evening cocktails and conversation. No one stayed longer than a few minutes. We can enjoy fine dining any evening in 5 star restaurants at home, we can even watch the whales jump and play in the ocean from our homes deck during the summer months, but traditional productions shows and a compelling reason to get dressed up and enjoy a place to have cocktails in the evening has always been a reasons to cruise ... Quite simply, the party is over on HAL.

The party is over on HAL

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by CanadianStandard

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Spa Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We recently completed our annual summer inside passage cruise to Alaska (this was our 36th Alaska cruise), and 21st Alaska sailing with HAL.

This year we sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam, VQ Spa Veranda on deck 10 - the views from up top on the Panorama deck balcony are spectacular! - otherwise the Spa category isn't worth the higher price as it includes nothing else but 3 bottles of water.

Our weather was sunny for the whole 7 days - INCREDIBLY lucky for an Alaska run!

The dining (in all 7 venues) was stellar and much better than our recent sailing on Seabourn's Sojourn - and that is a high bar to beat. We ate well!

The entertainment however, was without a doubt, the worst we have experienced on ANY ship, on any line, in our 388 cruises history. Literally a ghost ship inside and out.

Not a single production show in 7 days? - and this is the new HAL norm according to the cruise staff... 1 sad illusionist and an unfunny comedian and the now very very tired BBC Alaska video summed up the weeks main showroom entertainment? Seriously.

The piano is gone from the Ocean Bar, and no other entertainment is offered on the vacant band stage - and the people just walk by this once perfect cocktail location as there is no reason to sit there and pay for drinks in silence.

The Crows Nest (EXC) is now just a place to sell shore excursions and buy Explorations coffee, no evening entertainment (or people).

BB Kings and Billboard are tucked into spaces that allow no traditional cruise evening cocktails and conversation. No one stayed longer than a few minutes.

We can enjoy fine dining any evening in 5 star restaurants at home, we can even watch the whales jump and play in the ocean from our homes deck during the summer months, but traditional productions shows and a compelling reason to get dressed up and enjoy a place to have cocktails in the evening has always been a reasons to cruise ...

Quite simply, the party is over on HAL.
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Spa Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VQ
Nieuw Amsterdam, VQ Spa Veranda on deck 10 - the views from up top on the Panorama deck balcony are spectacular! - otherwise the Spa category isn't worth the higher price as it includes nothing else but 3 bottles of water.
Observation Deck Balcony Cabins