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While I'm an experienced cruiser, this was my husband's first cruise and it did not disappoint. We were seeking a week for rest and pampering with little thought or desire for typical tourist activities. That said, we found plenty to keep up amused on HAL's latest ship. Embarkation was a breeze and the safety drill was the shortest and most organized of any I have experienced. We had a bit of a rocky start with the cabin service (returned from 1st day at Half Moon Cay to find our cabin untouched with dirty towels, unmade bed and breakfast tray still lingering.) We called for service and after 1 hour with no response, called supervisor at guest services. Room received immediate attention and perfect care from then on. We received apologetic note and bottle of wine + chocolates. In general, the service was the top-notch care one expects from HAL.

Our other real complaint was with the main dining room. This was the first time I've tried open seating and didn't fully understand. We presumed that we would have "our table" available each evening at a time we designated. Not so. It was try your luck and show up and wait in line or race to phone by 8 am of day preceding day for dinner reservations (reserve on Monday morning for Tuesday dinner). On 1st formal night, Monday, against our wishes we were seated with table of 8. Service was atrocious and food not edible (whether due to screaming children around us or to poor kitchen execution we don't know). So, we reserved tables in Tamarind for 2 nights and Pinnacle a 3rd. We ate in cabin with room service for 1 night and returned to main dining only for Friday formal night. The Friday evening was delightful with table for 2 (since I had raced to phone by 8 am Thursday for reservations). The other food service was great. No complaints.

Our limited shore excursions (private cabana at Half Moon Cay) and (snorkeling/stingray encounter at Grand Cayman) were well done and very enjoyable.

We would urge HAL to avoid the "Costa Maya" port. The area was filthy and we returned immediately to the ship.

On board entertainment was outstanding. Guitar player was a pro and great at accepting requests for tunes from 60's through current adult play. Loved the shows in the theater. The musical performances were professionally done with a very talented cast. The other bands around the ship were equally enjoyable.

We did elect the voyager wine package (7 bottles, 2 tastings and dinner in Pinnacle) and found it excellent value. We noticed that some waiters were not thrilled when we asked for ice water instead of cocktails poolside.

Wonderful Ship for Perfect Honeymoon

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by AndreaP

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2011
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
While I'm an experienced cruiser, this was my husband's first cruise and it did not disappoint. We were seeking a week for rest and pampering with little thought or desire for typical tourist activities. That said, we found plenty to keep up amused on HAL's latest ship. Embarkation was a breeze and the safety drill was the shortest and most organized of any I have experienced. We had a bit of a rocky start with the cabin service (returned from 1st day at Half Moon Cay to find our cabin untouched with dirty towels, unmade bed and breakfast tray still lingering.) We called for service and after 1 hour with no response, called supervisor at guest services. Room received immediate attention and perfect care from then on. We received apologetic note and bottle of wine + chocolates. In general, the service was the top-notch care one expects from HAL.

Our other real complaint was with the main dining room. This was the first time I've tried open seating and didn't fully understand. We presumed that we would have "our table" available each evening at a time we designated. Not so. It was try your luck and show up and wait in line or race to phone by 8 am of day preceding day for dinner reservations (reserve on Monday morning for Tuesday dinner). On 1st formal night, Monday, against our wishes we were seated with table of 8. Service was atrocious and food not edible (whether due to screaming children around us or to poor kitchen execution we don't know). So, we reserved tables in Tamarind for 2 nights and Pinnacle a 3rd. We ate in cabin with room service for 1 night and returned to main dining only for Friday formal night. The Friday evening was delightful with table for 2 (since I had raced to phone by 8 am Thursday for reservations). The other food service was great. No complaints.

Our limited shore excursions (private cabana at Half Moon Cay) and (snorkeling/stingray encounter at Grand Cayman) were well done and very enjoyable.

We would urge HAL to avoid the "Costa Maya" port. The area was filthy and we returned immediately to the ship.

On board entertainment was outstanding. Guitar player was a pro and great at accepting requests for tunes from 60's through current adult play. Loved the shows in the theater. The musical performances were professionally done with a very talented cast. The other bands around the ship were equally enjoyable.

We did elect the voyager wine package (7 bottles, 2 tastings and dinner in Pinnacle) and found it excellent value. We noticed that some waiters were not thrilled when we asked for ice water instead of cocktails poolside.

AndreaP’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Service

Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin V 5126
Loved being mid-ship. We had veranda room on Veranda deck. Lifeboat was below our veranda, but did not impede view. It was very quiet with little to no motion felt. (although we had extremely quiet seas) Ample storage space (and I pack a lot of clothes) with roomy tub/shower combo. Comfortable bed. A/C was okay but didn't do a great job at eliminating the humidity and was still a bit warm at night for my preference.
Upper Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews