Christmas Cruise 2011: Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by chipndale69

Nieuw Amsterdam 5
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

Christmas Cruise 2011

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
I have only traveled on one other HAL cruise, the Eurodam in spring, 2010. After that cruise to the Carib, I think I would have said I wouldn't travel HAL again...the rumors that they cater to an older, even geriatric, crowd seemed true and it was disappointing that the social life on the ship seemed to end at 10pm, and you spend extra time walking behind wheelchairs and walkers much of the time.

This cruise was different, probably because it was the holiday week, 12/18-12/26. More families and younger children...didn't make the night life better but the ship felt a bit more alive.

Ship was very heavily decorated for the Christmas holiday...poinsettias everywhere...glad I didn't have the job of watering them. It was very festive and the ship's crew made it a point to remind us it was Christmas- even though it didn't really feel like it.

Weather was a bit cool, windy and gray heading out to sea but by the time we arrived at first port of call, Grand Turk, More weather was more in our favor. Also in San Juan, St. Maarten, Tortola and Half Moon Cat in Bahamas on Christmas Day.

Ship is nice, food was ok- not great and I don't like the cafeteria line concept on these ships...The Solstice class at Celebrity has a more fun and functional buffet design with their food islands...these HAL cafeteria lines seem very old fashioned and time consuming.

Entertainment on the ship was pretty weak...went to a few of the shows but really didn't think they did a very good of selecting and scheduling the acts. Evening pool party was canceled after 2 drops of rain, instead of closing the roof of the pool, which they did after everyone went away.

Our cabin was in the spa-class...on the 10th deck...and way up to the front of the ship. Since the seas were a bit rough the first few days it felt like we were tossed around a bit...but we survived. Was often too windy to spend any time on our balcony but we got more use from it after the first half od the cruise. Cabin locale was convenient to the spa and to the Lido deck for breakfast/lunch buffet. Room service menu is very dull.

Used a couple of activities events planned by the cruise line, and they wer pleasant- have had better but no complaints.

After this cruise I might consider HAL again. Less

Published 01/07/12

Cabin review: 10010

Port and Shore Excursions

Ended up taking too many people and they didn't have sufficient equipment for all of us to snuba the whole time so they pushed half the group into snorkel for halk the time. Wasn't what they advertised and we were disappointed. Seemed chaotic.

Third time there and still like the old city. Have done the fort segway tour each time and this last one was in the dark while the city was lit for Christmas- very pretty.
Read 2953 San Juan Reviews

Just hung out on the beach again...third time in this port, as well. Enjoy renting chairs and umbrella and just sunning. Lunch at BitchBar on the Boardwalk is great.

love the beauty of this island and a quiet beach is a pleasant way to spend the day.
Read 1239 Tortola Reviews

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Member Since 2012
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