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I sailed with HAL several times and always held them in high regard. I don't try to look for problems nor do I like to complain. I have always considered HAL to be at least 4 stars in all categories and have never been disappointed. However, this is no longer true based on my last 14 day cruise with them (2 cruises back to back). I would like to give them credit for the fine four piece string ensemble that was available daily. It was absolutely first class. Cabin service was like most cruises, excellent. Nothing is perfect but all-in-all it was top notch. The rock band was terrific in the evenings BUT that's about all I can say was outstanding. The food was mediocre. In fact, the lobster was SO salty, I could hardly eat it (each week it was served). Such a shame to ruin a treat like this. I believe I had 2-3 meals that were considered really delicious. Sadly to say, the menu had a lot to be desired. Even the specialty restaurants were only so-so. My wife and I love ballroom dancing BUT this cruise had absolutely NO ballroom dancing. That is to say, no band in the evening that played classic music standards for dancing couples; NONE. A real disappointment. Perhaps that's no big deal for most of you but I have cruised well over 30 times and always enjoyed at least SOME space on board to enjoy this aspect of tradition cruising. I'm not much for the screaming crowds around the pool but the extreme on this particular cruise was that there were absolutely NO ACTIVITIES around the pool - ever! OMG, how boring! If you want quiet, then they could have a special quiet area but when there is a pool, there should be SOME entertainment. So for the boring afternoons, it would have been nice to have a movie theater but no, they didn't have one of those either. I like getting dressed up on occasion, so for a 14 day cruise I brought my tux for formal night. Well, HAL now refers them to Gala nights. Hmmm...I was thinking Gala was for party attire. Ha ha, the joke's on me. I would have been so easy to state that it was a formal affair. We still made the best of it but that sad truth is that most this could have been handled by a competent cruise director. Their cruise director was essentially nonexistent. Overall, the ship got us to our destinations and the room was comfortable but I would have liked a bigger bang for our bucks.

Holland America has changed for the worse

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by JuanValdez

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
I sailed with HAL several times and always held them in high regard. I don't try to look for problems nor do I like to complain. I have always considered HAL to be at least 4 stars in all categories and have never been disappointed. However, this is no longer true based on my last 14 day cruise with them (2 cruises back to back).

I would like to give them credit for the fine four piece string ensemble that was available daily. It was absolutely first class. Cabin service was like most cruises, excellent. Nothing is perfect but all-in-all it was top notch. The rock band was terrific in the evenings BUT that's about all I can say was outstanding.

The food was mediocre. In fact, the lobster was SO salty, I could hardly eat it (each week it was served). Such a shame to ruin a treat like this. I believe I had 2-3 meals that were considered really delicious. Sadly to say, the menu had a lot to be desired. Even the specialty restaurants were only so-so.

My wife and I love ballroom dancing BUT this cruise had absolutely NO ballroom dancing. That is to say, no band in the evening that played classic music standards for dancing couples; NONE. A real disappointment. Perhaps that's no big deal for most of you but I have cruised well over 30 times and always enjoyed at least SOME space on board to enjoy this aspect of tradition cruising.

I'm not much for the screaming crowds around the pool but the extreme on this particular cruise was that there were absolutely NO ACTIVITIES around the pool - ever! OMG, how boring! If you want quiet, then they could have a special quiet area but when there is a pool, there should be SOME entertainment.

So for the boring afternoons, it would have been nice to have a movie theater but no, they didn't have one of those either.

I like getting dressed up on occasion, so for a 14 day cruise I brought my tux for formal night. Well, HAL now refers them to Gala nights. Hmmm...I was thinking Gala was for party attire. Ha ha, the joke's on me. I would have been so easy to state that it was a formal affair.

We still made the best of it but that sad truth is that most this could have been handled by a competent cruise director. Their cruise director was essentially nonexistent.

Overall, the ship got us to our destinations and the room was comfortable but I would have liked a bigger bang for our bucks.
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