New ship needs dining reservation management: Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by deacond

Nieuw Amsterdam 4
Member Since 2010

Overall Member Rating

New ship needs dining reservation management

Sail Date: September 2010
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
We boarded the Nieuw Amsterdam in Venice for a one-night port stay, which turned into two nights. Venice streets were basically under water from the high fall tides and nobody wanted to go back into the streets again so most just stayed on-board the extra night. The Captain announced at our sail-away party that a navigation circuit board had failed and since they cost $15,000 each they are not on-the-shelf. A German company vendor was contacted to make a new one and fly an engineer to Venice with the board. By now, all the passengers were making book on whether we would sail at all. Others were reviewing their cruise insurance documents. The board was delivered, installed and tested and we left - however the Captain said we would have to miss our first port of call - Spilt, Croatia. However he rewarded us with one glass of free wine and our account would be credited with the unspent port tax - $5.50 per person. An important, and well anticipated port, should have valued much more than More a glass of wine.

The rest of the cruise was lovely. Lots of great late summer weather and calm seas. The new ship is lovely and the service superb. The beds were new and we slept like logs. We ate in the Manhatten Dining room most of the time. It was our 45th Anniversary celebration with another couple from Wisconsin. We wanted to try the specialy resturants, but wanted to view them before making reservations. In each case - Pinnacle Grill, Tamarind, Canaletto - the maitre d'hotel graciously and with all smiles reported that the tables were all booked. We tried phone reservations but all we could get was a voice message saying they were busy with other customers. We finally got a reservation at the Pinnacle Grill for the last night of the cruise. We overheard the next table commenting that they had eaten in the Pinnacle 6 times.

We kept going to the Tamarind reservations desk and finally got in at a 9:30 pm reservation. When we got there half the resturant was empty. Both restaurants were excellent and well appreciated. But we could never get into the Caneletto the entire 12 days. I suppose we could have booked prior to the cruise on the internet but until we saw the restaurant we hesitated. I have a feeling most of the reservations that were made prior to the cruise never showed up at dinner and thus the empty tables. A ship-wide reservation system needs to be put in place.

During the cruise - about day 6, a number of people were experiencing some sort of sickness. We heard over 40 were sickened from something and the ship quickly put a sick alert system in place. Every available waiter was stationed at every doorway into a food serving area and squirted Purell alcohol solutions on everyone. All food had to be handled by the waiter. No more china salt and pepper shakers - only paper packets on request. No more butter dishes on the table or sauce bottles. No more bread baskets to pass. 'Everything was handled by a server. Less

Published 10/19/10

Cabin review: I10040 Interior Stateroom

We had an inside cabin on the 10th Spa level. We are Mariner's and had been given an almost certain promise by the HAL Cruise consultant that we would be upgraded. No Upgrade! The Spa room had upgraded bathrobes and a small water feature that was calming at night. The closet space is very limited. There is NO sofa and NO room to even think of a room service meal. Otherwise, the inside room had everything the other rooms have. The dark, inside room made it very easy to sleep-in in the morning. We spent all our on-board ship time on the lounge chairs on the decks and by the Lido Pool. Just a room to sleep.

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Port and Shore Excursions

The Parthanon at the Acropolis was a life-long dream come true. The new Acropolis museum was very well done with actual ruins below with glass platforms to view the work. The Elgin Marbles, which now reside in the British Museum, were recreated in plaster casts and shown where they originally were mounted on the Parthanon before Lord Elgin stole them and brought them to England. Tell the Brits that the Greeks now have a place to display them in Athens and they should return them poste-haste.

What an amazing city of contrasts and what an amazing and booming economy! Never dreamed it was so modern and yet so ancient. The mosques and palaces must be seen to appreciate the muslim/christian similarities. We had two meals on two different ship excursions and unfortunately both meals had the exact same menu. Try the local food that Rick Steves tries on his trips. The cruise along the Bosphorous at night was something we will never forget.

Read 403 Istanbul Reviews

The only thing here is the Olympic original site ruins. They can be seen by booking a taxi at the wharf. 100 Euros for 4 people - about a quarter of the ship excursions. The ruins are well marked and you can take a self-guided tour. The shopping is your last chance to buy something from Greece.

The port was not so much, but the tours to The Ephesus ruins and a visit to the Virgin Mary's house are the only reason to go there. The history of the Romans, Anthony and Cleopatra and St. Paul and St. John and the early beginnings of the new testament are there to touch.

Read 614 Kusadasi Reviews

Wonderful Greek Island with great views, scenery and old windmills. The port has excellent sea side restaurants. We have never had such great fresh seafood.

Read 839 Mykonos Reviews

This island was the best. On a sunny day with the blue Aegean it is as calming as anywhere on earth. The cable car is fun but crowded. The donkeys would be fun for the young and adventurous - they are as big as horses. But the long wait to get down at the end of the day is boring. Find a restaurant with a balcony overlooking the harbor - order a beer or wine and linger as long as you can. You'll dream about it for weeks.

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