The Nieuw Amsterdam seems a little dated compared to the Koningsdam and other Pinnacle class ships. We were very pleased with our Verandah cabin and the MDR and Lido food was better than on a recent cruise on the Koningsdam. We have tried the specialty restaurants on past cruises but don't think it's worth the cost. The option to add extra $$ menu items in the MDR is not a bad idea! The BB King band was excellent but we missed having the Rolling Stone room.
We picked this cruise so that we could add two days in Denali park and we were very pleased with the way HAL integrates the land package with the cruise. The HAL McKinley Chalet resort is excellent and although some restaurants etc were closing for the season we enjoyed memorable seafood dinners. The HAL hotel shuttle was happy to take us to the nearby Princess resort for other options. The train ride back to Anchorage is well known for the magnificent scenery and frequent stops for photos. However it takes over 8 hours compared to 5 hours for the tour bus. HAL does a great job of handling luggage and includes transfers to hotels and even our flight home that we booked separately. HAL agents were readily available to answer questions and we loved that they gave out room keys while still on the tour bus and that luggage was directly transferred to and from our rooms.
The weather was pretty good (mid-Sept 2023) with a lovely sunny day in Glacier Bay but a very rainy day in Skagway. Denali was partly cloudy with some light snow and beautiful Fall colors. Fall only lasts 1-2 weeks in Denali! We were glad to have rain gear and layers and although we're older we did some moderate hikes. If you go to Alaska do plan to get out and feel the beautiful wilderness.
Cabin has a bathtub which we didn't need but some people prefer. We enjoyed having the large balcony but didn't use it much. Storage space is plentiful. It's close to elevators but we did not experience any noise. The Bow, not the balcony, is best for viewing glaciers and looking for wildlife.