Nieuw Amsterdam Review

4.5 / 5.0
968 reviews

First time on HAL, and probably last

Review for the Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam
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SuperCurmudgeon
6-10 Cruises • Age 60s

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Additional details

Sail Date: Dec 2022
Cabin: Superior Verandah Suite

Embark & Disembark

We are not extensive cruisers, but this was the most haphazard embarkation we’ve experienced. Security were surly and borderline rude. Passport kiosk didn’t work at all for my partner and myself, so we were directed to the desk. PA announcements were almost impossible to hear, with the echo. The terminal should place electronic screens with instructions.

Disembark was very fast—about 30 minutes from walking off the ship (we do carry-on, so we did a walk-off) to arriving at the airport gate.

Cabin Review

Superior Verandah Suite

Port Reviews

Grand Turk

Be aware, this is not the “touristy” island … and perhaps I should have done my due diligence. We did an open tram tour, which consisted of our guide pointing out every salt lake and building (“There’s the variety store. There’s the hair salon”). Not too much in the way of history. There was a stop at a lighthouse at the end, but no mention that you had to pay extra to get in, and you only had ten minutes to spend there.

San Juan

This was already our third trip to San Juan, so we kept this low-key and did not book any excursions. I like being able to walk around and get pictures of the wonderful colours. On this particular day, there were four ships in port, including ours. We knew it would be a zoo so we walked up to El Morro to get away from the crowds. Note to future self: Check to see how many ships will be in port. We did unexpectedly come across the cat sanctuary on our walk, which was our favourite part of the cruise. Go figure.

Half Moon Cay

We booked the “Historic Nature Walk”, which consisted of a few ruins and a “tree” tour. The guide seemed completely disinterested and very rehearsed. The guide literally sets the tone. You can tell when they love what they’re talking about. We didn’t get that here, at all. She often walked ahead so others in the back couldn’t hear what she was saying. We didn’t do the beach or cabanas. The BBQ was pretty good, as long as you got there early. The Rotterdam arrived shortly after us, so it got very crowded.

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