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Nieuw Statendam Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
162 reviews

Thanksgiving week cruise = lots of kids; Love the Spa

Review for Nieuw Statendam to the Eastern Caribbean
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SnowbirdWannaB
6-10 Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

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Additional details

Sail Date: Nov 2019
Cabin: Verandah Spa Stateroom

We booked this cruise when the price dropped during hurricane season. This was our second HAL cruise; our first was on Zuiderdam. We like Holland America specifically because there are not usually a lot of children on board. Of course we expected there to be more kids during Thanksgiving vacation week, but even so I was surprised how many families with young kids chose this cruise line and this ship. It's good to see that HAL is shaking off its reputation as a cruise line for old farts. There was definitely a broader range of ages on this cruise.

We live in Maine, so we always fly in the day before in case of travel delays. Lately I've been using hotels.com to book one of the hotels in the North Beach Village Resort collection. These are fun, small, quirky, "boutique" hotels, right in Fort Lauderdale village, walking distance to the beach and great restaurants. This time we stayed at The Winterset for $141. It had everything we needed, but there are no elevators so keep that in mind if you have heavy luggage.

We took a Lyft to Port Everglades. Embarkation was fine, and we were allowed to go right up to our cabin. (See more about our cabin, below.)

Cabin Review

Verandah Spa Stateroom

Our cabin was a Verandah Spa Stateroom #11023 VQ. The VQ "spa" designation supposedly means the shower head is a little nicer (it was quite nice, actually), and you get 3 bottles of vitamin water, and in-room yoga mats. As far as I can tell, that's it. You do not get discounts at the spa, FYI. Honestly, I would not have booked a VQ room, but we were lucky to get a "free" upgrade. The reservation agent was great for putting us in a room close to the inside spiral staircase that takes you right down to the spa, so you don't have to walk through the ship in your robe and slippers if you use the spa a lot (which we did!).

Port Reviews

Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

We live in Maine, so we always fly in the day before in case of travel delays. Lately I've been using hotels.com to book one of the hotels in the North Beach Village Resort collection. These are fun, small, quirky, "boutique" hotels, right in Fort Lauderdale village, walking distance to the beach and great restaurants. This time we stayed at The Winterset for $141. It had everything we needed, but there are no elevators so keep that in mind if you have heavy luggage.

Half Moon Cay

We LOVE Half Moon Cay. This time we rented a clamshell for about $40. I highly recommend renting one if you plan to stay on the beach all day. It gives you a nice covered spot to put your stuff, out of the way of the beach traffic.

Amber Cove (Puerto Plata)

In Amber Cove we just went to the cruise port pool, which was actually quite fun. The swim-up bar was all we needed to enjoy ourselves. There are also two excellent water slides that are worth a try.

Key West

Key West is wonderful just for walking around and taking in the sites. We have been before, so we knew that we wanted to see the Hemingway House again; I love the gardens and of course the cats there. We did a little shopping there and at the Audubon House gift shop. Unfortunately I fell down on their very uneven sidewalks, so I was shaken up and had a skinned knee, which cut our fun short.

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