Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by Cruisin Suzin
- Sail Date: February 2011
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Cabana Girls Cruise
Cabin 6058 SS
Capri Family Cabana
Sailing February 6th, 2011
1st Holland American Cruise 2nd cruise ever
Travelled with my Daughter her 1st Cruise
We arrived at the terminal around 11 am as was suggested by my CC friends and we were on the ship by Noon..We went directly to the Cabana Club we rented the Capri family cabana.. where there was ice cold water and fresh chocolate dipped strawberries waiting. Michael and Lenny were our Cabana Club Stewards..Lenny gave us our Cabana tour and then a menu and asked what we wanted for lunch. We were in the middle of lunch around 12:45 and were told our cabins were ready.
We finished lunch and went down to our cabin, our wine had been delivered, our shore excursions were all there. And our Bon Voyage gifts had arrived.. So far everything was just right.. The cleanliness of the cabin was another thing...there was hair in the tub, and quite a bit in the bathroom sink, a sight I'll never forget it looked like someone clean out their hair brush. The bathroom floor was dirty, and there was broken glass on the sofa, table and carpet, as well as out on the balcony. I called the concierge to have it cleaned up, and we went out and took a tour of the ship..our first impressions of HAL were certainly mixed with the stark cleanliness of the Cabana and the condition of the cabin..we waited about an hour and returned to the cabin where everything was ship shape, and we met our cabin steward..I did not see him nor did I feel the need to until we met in the hallway the last two days of our cruise as the cabin was fine as far as cleanliness after that. We did find the pantry and got our own ice no big deal to do that..
The cabin size was fantastic, and the balcony exceeded our expectations. We loved the amount of storage and the shelving which you could configure to your needs..nice touch.
We ate in the Canaletto the first evening the seafood linguine is delicious!
The ship is beautiful, and the art work and the atrium stunning..my favourite place to sit other than the cabana was the crows nest.. once we figured out which end was which we had no trouble finding our way around and took the mid ship glass elevators which seemed faster.
The first day was a sea day and as expected we spend the entire day in the Cabana
Port days were pretty much as expected and I won't go into them for the purposes of this review, embarkation and disembarkation were uneventful..EXCEPT one thing that I did not learn on CC is that now you are required to carry with you your government issued id, such as a drivers licence or passport. I did not bring it with me for San Juan as I change my pants for shorts at the last minute and my licence was in my pants..I did have a business card with my name and photo on it and they finally accepted that.
I did dine at Le Cirque and found that experience to be poor. I was expecting to see the pinnacle somehow transformed but all they did was change the plates. I did like the soup but for 40 dollars in my opinion it was not worth it..the lobster was nothing special, I had the halibut which was steamed and tasteless. But a generous helping of fish..Would not recommend this restaurant.
I did dine at the Tamarind and was blown away by this experience, the people, the food, the decor was wonderful and at 15. pp was well worth it. IF I travel with HAL again I would eat there every night except formal night. FYI do not have the Tempura Ice Cream you will never think of ordinary ice cream in the same way again..I'd sail HAL again just to have this dessert.
The main dining room, the decor was OK. The food on formal night they hit it out of the park with everyone at our table I had the lamb and could have stayed for seconds. The only problem is it is very crowded, the tables are too close together, and it seemed to be quite warm. We only ate there that evening. We were well suited for open dining, and would most definitely request that again.
I cannot comment on the entertainment as we did not attend one show, after dinner we would enjoy a drink on our lovely balcony and just enjoy the sound of the ocean for an hour or so then take a walk around the deck, head for the casino for an hour and then call it a day.
Would I sail HAL again? I am not sure I did buy a Future cruise credit, but will I use it only time will tell. If I do sail HAL I would like to do this ship again. Because of the cabana I did not get to all of the areas I wanted to see. I had a great massage and even bought the robe. ;-)
I would say that I think those Cabanas are for me the crack cocaine of cruising and I would be hard pressed to cruise any other way now. The only thing that HAL needs to address immediately is the rope signage that goes across the stairs. Several times because it is so awkward to unhook it to get in most people just tried to go over it and I saw several stewards and people trip and one fell my self included. I was not hurt but from then on I put down what ever I was carrying and took the time to unhook it and then re hook it before I continued to the cabana..Really dangerous
The last night of the cruise I also noticed there was more broken glass on our balcony and several times during the cruise I saw passengers throwing things, orange peels, cigarettes, tissues overboard. No need for behaviour like that..
I do want to thank all the CC'ers and the lovely people I met from my roll call for all your help.
I am open to answering any questions about the Nieuw Amsterdam or the cabin we were in.
Oh and as a side note and never having seen HMC before I agree it is paradise and the new Bar loved it. Did not find the music overbearing or loud. Loved the fact I could climb up to the top and see a 360 view. Great place to spend time..I did leave our yellow cabana early 1:45 we were to be on board at 2:30, to go to the shop and purchase a HMC tee shirt, only to be told quite rudely actually that they were closing the store as they had to get back to the ship, I said I know what I want it would only take a minute she shut the door in my face. Very poor customer service so nothing to do but head to the tenders and return to the boat. We were back on board by 2:15..Lesson learned shop early..so now I have one more question for my CC friends can you buy a HMC tee shirt anywhere else?
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