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We just returned from the Jan 2nd sailing. Overall we had a really good cruise. We have cruised with NCL, RCCL, and Carnival and we thought that Holland was superior in a few areas. (And lacking in others) The new ship was pretty under whelming for us. I think we were expecting more, but it did not have any type of "wow" factor. It was a nice new ship, but it didn't really seem to have any "new" type features. (Except for the Cabanas) We spent the night before at the Hampton Inn which was just OK. It was a nightmare trying to catch their shuttle to the port on Sunday morning, so we decided to use a taxi for $15. (Money well spent) Here are the Pros and Cons of our trip: Pros We LOVED the cabana. We spent every afternoon in the Cabana. The service was great. Juan and Arnel took good care of us. Lunch everyday, fresh fruit, bottled water, chocolate strawberries, and champagne every afternoon. The Cabana was one of the highlights of the trip. The cost was $299 for the week and I think it is a much better value than the Half Moon Cay cabanas or the Margartaville cabanas. We also enjoyed the entertainment. The HAL shows were very good and we thought the music on board was also top notch. This cruise had the best entertainment of any cruise we have been aboard. The specialty restaurants were also very good. We loved Tamarind. We had lunch and two dinners at Tamarind. Pinnacle was also good. The overall service on the ship seemed to be a little better than the other cruise lines. They really make an effort to learn everyone's name, which seems impossible with 2000 people on board. There were lots of elevators and they were FAST. It was really easy to navigate the ship between floors. We have been on other cruise ships where you spent quite a long time waiting for an elevator. Not so on this ship. Cons The food quality outside of the specialty restaurants was mediocre. We had room service for breakfast twice and we could not even eat it. It was that bad. The roles and muffins were dry and hard. Coffee not good either. The main dining room food was pretty good but nothing too memorable. I was not a big fan of the layout of the ship. There was no grand atrium and all of the hallways and bars seemed closed in. Not near as "open" as the RCCL and Carnival ships. The "port expert", Ian, was misinforming people on some of the Grand Cayman information. He said that "Cemetery Beach" was a great snorkeling spot and it was a 10 minute walk from the ship. We had stayed on Grand Cayman for a week and we know that cemetery beach is in the West End and it is about 10 miles away. There is a cemetery near the ship, but this is not cemetery beach, so he was misinforming people on snorkeling advice. He also kept mispronouncing Costa Maya. He was British so he kept saying Costa "Maya", with a long a. Like Mayonnaise. It is Maya, like Miya. (long i) Not a huge deal other than the fact that if he keeps mispronouncing the name, then people will call the port the wrong name. Even with his accent, I think HAL should have people pronounce the port name properly.

Fun Cruise on a Nice Ship

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by dshroyer

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2011
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We just returned from the Jan 2nd sailing. Overall we had a really good cruise. We have cruised with NCL, RCCL, and Carnival and we thought that Holland was superior in a few areas. (And lacking in others)



The new ship was pretty under whelming for us. I think we were expecting more, but it did not have any type of "wow" factor. It was a nice new ship, but it didn't really seem to have any "new" type features. (Except for the Cabanas)



We spent the night before at the Hampton Inn which was just OK. It was a nightmare trying to catch their shuttle to the port on Sunday morning, so we decided to use a taxi for $15. (Money well spent)

Here are the Pros and Cons of our trip:



Pros



We LOVED the cabana. We spent every afternoon in the Cabana. The service was great. Juan and Arnel took good care of us. Lunch everyday, fresh fruit, bottled water, chocolate strawberries, and champagne every afternoon. The Cabana was one of the highlights of the trip. The cost was $299 for the week and I think it is a much better value than the Half Moon Cay cabanas or the Margartaville cabanas.



We also enjoyed the entertainment. The HAL shows were very good and we thought the music on board was also top notch. This cruise had the best entertainment of any cruise we have been aboard.



The specialty restaurants were also very good. We loved Tamarind. We had lunch and two dinners at Tamarind. Pinnacle was also good.

The overall service on the ship seemed to be a little better than the other cruise lines. They really make an effort to learn everyone's name, which seems impossible with 2000 people on board.



There were lots of elevators and they were FAST. It was really easy to navigate the ship between floors. We have been on other cruise ships where you spent quite a long time waiting for an elevator. Not so on this ship.



Cons



The food quality outside of the specialty restaurants was mediocre. We had room service for breakfast twice and we could not even eat it. It was that bad. The roles and muffins were dry and hard. Coffee not good either. The main dining room food was pretty good but nothing too memorable.



I was not a big fan of the layout of the ship. There was no grand atrium and all of the hallways and bars seemed closed in. Not near as "open" as the RCCL and Carnival ships.



The "port expert", Ian, was misinforming people on some of the Grand Cayman information. He said that "Cemetery Beach" was a great snorkeling spot and it was a 10 minute walk from the ship. We had stayed on Grand Cayman for a week and we know that cemetery beach is in the West End and it is about 10 miles away. There is a cemetery near the ship, but this is not cemetery beach, so he was misinforming people on snorkeling advice. He also kept mispronouncing Costa Maya. He was British so he kept saying Costa "Maya", with a long a. Like Mayonnaise. It is Maya, like Miya. (long i) Not a huge deal other than the fact that if he keeps mispronouncing the name, then people will call the port the wrong name. Even with his accent, I think HAL should have people pronounce the port name properly.
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VE 8125
Nice bathroom. Room was small. Very hard to navigate with two people.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins