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My wife and I took a Holland America cruise to the Western Caribbean from Jan. 4, 2020 to Jan. 11, 2020, aboard the NIEUW AMSTERDAM. The food was excellent and the staff were friendly and helpful. The dining was an excellent experience as well. This was the first time I had an inside room. It was small as expected, but was adequate. The activities were very limited which was okay because I wanted to catch up on a lot of reading. The sailing part however, was a different story. Our itinerary was to include St. Martin as one of the several islands we were going to visit. No sooner do we leave the starting port, we received a message from the captain that the starboard engine was not working, and we would not be going to St. Martin. We were going to St. Croix in lieu if St. Martin. They said the Coast Guard approved having only one engine working, but because of the loss of power, we could not make it to St. Martin in that time frame. I can understand a captain changing the itinerary due to unforeseen circumstances, but this clearly was not the case. Holland America knew far in advance that this engine was not working; and rather than let the passengers know, and allow them the opportunity to change their sailing dates, they kept this quiet and informed us as soon as we began our trip. For those who are not familiar with the Western Caribbean islands, St. Martin is one of the top islands to visit. It has beautiful beaches and is a shopping mecca; especially when buying jewelry. St.Croix offers nothing but nice beaches. To switch one with the other is not only unfair but very unprofessional. Another stop along the way was Puerto Rico. As we approached the island, we were informed an earthquake had taken place and there was no power on the island but it should be restored by noon that day. We arrived at 2:00 PM, and upon not hearing any further news, we were allowed to disembark and visit the island. Once we got there, we realized the power had not been restored and the majority of shops were closed with the exception of a few operating with flashlights and small generators. This was the only other island in our itinerary that offered fabulous shopping opportunities. And if the captain had made an announcement that there was still no power on the island, I would not have given up my poolside lounge chair to disembark. Another disappointing day in paradise. While continuing on, the ship encountered a medical emergency that required a Coast Guard helicopter to board. This event took a bit of time and that limited the time we were supposed to spend visiting Half Moon Cay. We could not even disembark when we got there. As far as the ship itself, there were many bars throughout the ship, but most of them were closed during the day. As one who bought the drink package, it was very frustrating that I had to go to the 9th floor (which had a bar that was open) every time I wanted a drink. Holland America apologized for all the mishaps and gave all the passengers a whopping $50.00 credit which could be used only for purchasing items aboard the ship. We were also reimbursed for the per-paid port fees of the islands we did not get a chance to visit. Upon returning home, I wrote to their corporate offices and explained how disappointed my wife and I were with this cruise. I asked them what incentive they were willing to offer on a FUTURE cruise to make amends and allow us the opportunity to give them another shot. Their reply was that they felt the $50.00 was more than enough compensation and they would not be doing anything more. I have traveled on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Celebrity cruise lines and Holland America was the absolute worse. I would never cruise with them again. Everyone should be aware that your stated itinerary may not be honored.

Worse cruise ever

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by Cruising Chet

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom
My wife and I took a Holland America cruise to the Western Caribbean from Jan. 4, 2020 to Jan. 11, 2020, aboard the NIEUW AMSTERDAM. The food was excellent and the staff were friendly and helpful. The dining was an excellent experience as well. This was the first time I had an inside room. It was small as expected, but was adequate. The activities were very limited which was okay because I wanted to catch up on a lot of reading. The sailing part however, was a different story. Our itinerary was to include St. Martin as one of the several islands we were going to visit. No sooner do we leave the starting port, we received a message from the captain that the starboard engine was not working, and we would not be going to St. Martin. We were going to St. Croix in lieu if St. Martin. They said the Coast Guard approved having only one engine working, but because of the loss of power, we could not make it to St. Martin in that time frame.

I can understand a captain changing the itinerary due to unforeseen circumstances, but this clearly was not the case. Holland America knew far in advance that this engine was not working; and rather than let the passengers know, and allow them the opportunity to change their sailing dates, they kept this quiet and informed us as soon as we began our trip. For those who are not familiar with the Western Caribbean islands, St. Martin is one of the top islands to visit. It has beautiful beaches and is a shopping mecca; especially when buying jewelry. St.Croix offers nothing but nice beaches. To switch one with the other is not only unfair but very unprofessional. Another stop along the way was Puerto Rico. As we approached the island, we were informed an earthquake had taken place and there was no power on the island but it should be restored by noon that day. We arrived at 2:00 PM, and upon not hearing any further news, we were allowed to disembark and visit the island. Once we got there, we realized the power had not been restored and the majority of shops were closed with the exception of a few operating with flashlights and small generators. This was the only other island in our itinerary that offered fabulous shopping opportunities. And if the captain had made an announcement that there was still no power on the island, I would not have given up my poolside lounge chair to disembark. Another disappointing day in paradise.

While continuing on, the ship encountered a medical emergency that required a Coast Guard helicopter to board. This event took a bit of time and that limited the time we were supposed to spend visiting Half Moon Cay. We could not even disembark when we got there. As far as the ship itself, there were many bars throughout the ship, but most of them were closed during the day. As one who bought the drink package, it was very frustrating that I had to go to the 9th floor (which had a bar that was open) every time I wanted a drink.

Holland America apologized for all the mishaps and gave all the passengers a whopping $50.00 credit which could be used only for purchasing items aboard the ship. We were also reimbursed for the per-paid port fees of the islands we did not get a chance to visit.

Upon returning home, I wrote to their corporate offices and explained how disappointed my wife and I were with this cruise. I asked them what incentive they were willing to offer on a FUTURE cruise to make amends and allow us the opportunity to give them another shot. Their reply was that they felt the $50.00 was more than enough compensation and they would not be doing anything more. I have traveled on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Celebrity cruise lines and Holland America was the absolute worse. I would never cruise with them again. Everyone should be aware that your stated itinerary may not be honored.
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Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom
Cabin I
This was the first cruise I have stayed in an interior room. The money saved was used to buy the drink package. The room was very small compared to other rooms we used in the past, but it served it's purpose.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


The restaurants were very good. Most bars were closed during the day which was frustrating. The ship was quiet; not too much going on as far as activities. I would not recommend Holland America for families; its great for older folks.