5 Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

We had an Alaskan Cruise on our bucket list to check off so we decided to do it when cruise season opened up to Alaska from Vancouver, BC. We called a cruise travel agent who was very knowledgeable as he had done the cruise twice. He did ... Read More
We had an Alaskan Cruise on our bucket list to check off so we decided to do it when cruise season opened up to Alaska from Vancouver, BC. We called a cruise travel agent who was very knowledgeable as he had done the cruise twice. He did all the recommendations and we inquired about tours and settled in on the whale watching tour in Juneau and the train tour in Skagway... AWESOME!!! The staff were extremely friendly and they remembered our names as well as other tourists. The food at the Lido Buffet was to die for. They changed it up every day and it was so good, never had a buffet that pleased us so much. The gala night in the Manhattan Dining Room was the best food ever. They had two gala nights and again, service was exquisite and the food was second to none. The Lido pool was great, they would retract the roof when it was warm and sunny. Oddly enough, in our whole 7 day trip, we only had one bad morning of heavy misty rain in Ketchikan but it became sunny in the afternoon. Otherwise, the whole cruise was sunny and rather warm. Even the workers on the cruise ship stated this was not normal, but we're not complaining. LOL ... We had a balcony/veranda suite so we enjoyed sitting outside with our champagne and wine and just watching the beautiful scenery. Amazing is all I can say. The trip through Glacier Bay was something to die for. The cruise ship stopped so that we could see falling ice chunks from the glaciers falling in the sea... every time it happened, all passengers oohed and ahhhhed like us. We'd do this trip again in a heartbeat. The STAFF were phenomenal...extremely friendly, we can't say enough about them! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Our group of young adults (upper 20s) did a week long cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam with family and significant others, total of six of us. We chose this cruise because of the price, dates, itinerary and the fact that we had not yet been ... Read More
Our group of young adults (upper 20s) did a week long cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam with family and significant others, total of six of us. We chose this cruise because of the price, dates, itinerary and the fact that we had not yet been with Holland America. Having prepped by reading some reviews and general information, we knew that the ship would scale elderly. There is no getting around this fact and what it entails for the cruise experience. This was the oldest group of people I've ever seen on a cruise. As such, we were prepared for bland food, strange entertainment choices and some other inconveniences along with a slow paced cruise. We were very wrong about bland food. The food was a true delight and a highlight of the cruise. This is the best dining experience and best food taste, presentation and selection I've ever had, hands down, in comparison to Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. The range represented from upper-class wedding catering up to true-blue restaurant quality meals. The Buffet was phenomenal and open much more often than rivals' buffets. The ship ran like clockwork, and was already very accustomed to having an elderly set of passengers. It was very rare that our party was inconvenienced, although we did often feel very loud despite trying to remain as quiet as possible. Despite it being a relatively small ship, there were so many lounges and bars to hang out at, and each offered a different view or experience. As a bonus, the crew was great at handling the very elderly and I believe they would do very well with disable passengers. Drinks were inexpensive and of medium strength. Specialty drinks like espresso were fantastic and inexpensive. The only drinks that stood out as high priced were soda and beer. Tips were 15% automatic gratuity which was actually nice as the receipts did not have a tip line and we never felt pressured to give more. Unfortunately, unlike the rest of the wait staff, some of the bar staff was unfriendly. While many were absolutely excellent, we had a number of unsatisfactory experiences with bar tenders that had us moving on to the next lounge. Entertainment was strange and extremely lackluster. Luckily for us, the majority of our party was not into Broadway style shows so we weren't disappointed by the shows in the main theater, although some of them were worth a laugh. We could tell we weren't the only one with this sentiment, as the theater did not reach over 50% capacity after the 2nd day. However, the BB Kings All Stars Band played for 3 hours almost every night and were the heart of nightlife on the ship. There was also a popular piano bar but it pandered heavily to the older audience and did not interest us much at all. As you might be able to guess, the night club was consistently dead and despite having a great setup never reached its potential. Our group brought our own entertainment. Our games and books were a life-saver, as the many lounges provided interesting new locals for us to socialize and play. The ship also has a ton of games on loan to borrow, and even a puzzle corner. But we were basically on our own: trivia lasted 10 minutes, with then nothing interesting going on for 3 hours, and the hokey cruise game shows were few and far between. Our cabin was satisfactory. The bathroom was wonderful: good water pressure, great soap, lots of space. The TV system was great, it had a built in on-demand system that had dozens of movies and tv shows ready to watch and access to live news. The ship was lacking in white noise (engine hum / wind / waves) that generally comes on a cruise ship - which made it a bit more difficult to sleep especially when we could hear crew moving large equipment down the hall. Other notes about the ship are mostly positive. The elevators were plentiful for a ship that size and always quick. The pools were great and never overcrowded, and there is an indoor pool and an outdoor pool and 4 small hot tubs. Room service had very limited menu but was good. Cabin stewards were like ninjas and did a great job cleaning up while we were out. They would fill a bowl with fruit and would keep ice in the ice bin which was very nice. Average dress wear was higher than Carnival or Norwegian, even on non-formal nights people were dressed well and there were very few t-shirts on board even just relaxing in the lounges and pool decks. Embarkation, debarkation, and each of the ports was a breeze. Due to weather, we were not able to go to our first stop at Half Moon Cay which was a huge bummer. The announcement said they were going to beef up the entertainment for the day to make up for it but it sure didn't seem like it. We also stopped at Grand Caymen, got a $5 ea taxi ride to the 7 Mile Beach, very nice but crowded, we walked a quarter mile and found just the right amount of people! Cozumel we took another $5 ea taxi to a private beach (Paradise Beach) which was fun and interesting. Our final stop was Key West where we had a very strange customs routine that everyone on board had to do - it was a huge waste of time and the timing forced everyone on board to wake up early which was unfortunate. In summary, this is a great laid back facility to use for your own entertainment. The food is wonderful and the staff is very friendly. The rooms are comfortable and the amenities are top-shelf. Don't expect to be wowed by the pre-packaged entertainment in terms of quality or quantity. For other young adults, don't expect to pick up any singles on the cruise. If you're bringing a S.O. or a group of buddies you should have a lovely time. Just make sure to bring some card games, a good book and a tablet or gameboy! Use the ports of call for your chance to party! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I should start by putting my basis for this rating into perspective. Last summer we cruised on the Allure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) in the Mediterranean. You will not find a more modern ship with more amenities than Allure; however, I ... Read More
I should start by putting my basis for this rating into perspective. Last summer we cruised on the Allure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) in the Mediterranean. You will not find a more modern ship with more amenities than Allure; however, I can honestly say I enjoyed the Nieuw Amsterdam more. If it takes rock climbing walls, Johnny Rockets, zip lines, vintage cars in the Mall of America-esque promenade to entertain you then this isn't the ship for you. The mid-sized ship experience allows you to feel like you're part of a family. There are numerous activities that likely fit into one of your interests. We thoroughly enjoyed, for instance, the three wine tasting events; however, when one goes on a cruise sometimes it's the downtime that we seek. For an Alaskan cruise, simply looking out the window is the entertainment you desired. Fit a cocktail hour (or three) into your day; find a seat by a window and enjoy a little piece of heaven. Dinner time was a highlight of each day. As the father of two elementary aged children I don't have the luxury of becoming a high end restaurant critic so I can honestly say the food was better than 95% of most meals I eat. It wasn't the food that made the experience memorable, it was the service. Our waitstaff felt like part of our family by the end of the week. They did not only provide excellent service but took a genuine interest in our kids in particular but all three generations of our family in attendance. Find a set dinner time that works for you and go to the same table every night. You will not regret it. We clearly live in a age of one-upping and how to out-flash the competition. While Royal Caribbean does an excellent job of staying on top in that regard, Holland America quietly pays attention to what people truly want in a cruise. When people think about taking a cruise they don't immediately hope it has an ice show or Johnny Rockets. They want tasteful elegance and comfort that focusses their attention outward which is really why they came on the cruise in the first place. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first cruise and it exceeded our expectations. The cruise departed from our own city, for a good price so we booked it a month prior to the sailing. Our stateroom 5127 had a verandah and we would recommend booking one. We ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it exceeded our expectations. The cruise departed from our own city, for a good price so we booked it a month prior to the sailing. Our stateroom 5127 had a verandah and we would recommend booking one. We really enjoyed a glass of wine when the weather permitted watching the incredible scenery go by. The room was quiet and central, docking twice while we were still in bed and had not realized we were in port until we opened the curtains. Cleaned twice a day by the hard working crew. The water pressure in the shower was great with hot water immediately. Elemis products were of good quality, beds and pillows comfortable. Plenty of hangers in the closet. We had two meals in Tamarind, excellent, all but the desserts that we didn't finish. The cocktails in the Silk Lounge are interesting and very good with the bonus of a lovely view and quiet escape before dining in Tamarind. Pinnacle dining room for lunch at $10 a good value, try the Crab Cakes and the Sable Fish sandwich. Pinnacle for dinner is good but we think Tamarind a more interesting menu for the price if you are just choosing one. Canaletto was good too, however, the atmosphere isn't the same as the other two specialty restaurants but at only an additional $10 well worth it. We were quite surprised that none of the specialty restaurants were near to capacity on the four occasions we dined in them. Did happy hour from 4-5 in the Crow's nest a couple of days and the best time to have a drink as only $1 more for a second cocktail or beverage. Enjoyed the coffee bar in the Explorers lounge too as hubby a bit of a coffee snob. We carried on 6 bottles of wine. Two corkage free as they were consumed in our stateroom. The other 4 bottles incurred a corkage fee of $18 each. We saw this as an opportunity to enjoy quality wine we had been cellaring for many years with a chef prepared meal. It was easily done as the four bottles were stickered and corkage charged to our room as we embarked in Vancouver. We had a cloth wine bag that we transported the wine in to and from restaurants. We had open dining in the MDR. We made reservations usually the day before for 8:00. We never waited for more than 5-10 minutes before getting a table. Service and food there was good too. The ship is tasteful with plenty of art to discover. The ship was sold out but the only time it felt crowded was in the Lido, the rest of the time it was hard to believe it was at full capacity. If you are sailing out of Vancouver on the Nieuw Amsterdam and are interested in bringing on some of your own wine there is a BC Government Liquor store within four blocks of the ship. One of us shopped as the other sat with the luggage at the Pan Pacific Hotel. We arrived at 12:30 to embark in Vancouver and were aboard by 1:30. We understand that this was not everyone's experience so we would suggest allowing yourself ample time. Disembarkation for us was 15 minutes, long lines but it went smoothly for us. We had 3.5 days of rain and 3.5 of better and some excellent weather. The scenery on sunny days blew us away, spectacular. Absolutely recommend. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We had a very enjoyable 7day cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam- Eastern Caribbean.  There were very few problems but most of them were resolved.  We found all of the cruise ship staff to be extremely friendly and caring trying to make sure ... Read More
We had a very enjoyable 7day cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam- Eastern Caribbean.  There were very few problems but most of them were resolved.  We found all of the cruise ship staff to be extremely friendly and caring trying to make sure everything was to our satisfaction. We were very pleased with the embarkation to the ship.  There was a slight delay getting aboard because they did not have adequate staff to man all the people who were in wheelchairs.  I happened to be one of them on this cruise since I just recently had an accident and broke a bone in my back.  The transporter did an excellent job making sure my ride was smooth.  He took us directly to our stateroom which was a big help to me.  Our  cabin was a fully obstructed outside view.  We were very happy to see there were safety bars in the tub as well as a rubber mat.   The toilet was very difficult to flush.  There was a safe and a minibar in the cabin.  Our cabin steward made sure we had an egg-crate mattress and 2 bath robes as well as extra ice that I was going to need for my back. The refrigerator did not have a freezer.  The TV had a remote control with a sleep timer which I always appreciate having.  We did have a problem with the TV sound and after notifying our steward several people came to fix it including the Cruise Director but it eventually had to be replaced. We had breakfast delivered to our cabin daily.  The delivery person was very pleasant and timely.  Lots of food choices, however, eggs, bacon, toast, muffins and potatoes were always cold.  The coffee was always hot and delicious.  The salt shakers were always clogged.  They need to add rice to them so that they will pour readily. The blueberry muffins were the best I have ever tasted. Finding our way around the ship was easy since the ship had a similar layout as the Eurodam which we traveled on last year.  We were surprised that they still have not taken my suggestion that on the midship elevator bank where there are 4 glass elevators and 2  or 3 conventional elevators be linked to one button activation rather than  having to run to all the different banks to press for service.  It is very difficult for a handicapped person to run in all different directions to catch an elevator. I also have a problem with claustrophobia and found myself along with 8 other cruisers in elevator #2 Aft by the Manhattan Dining Room trapped.  The doors would not open no matter what button I pushed.  I was on the right side by the buttons and did not see a phone or a red button to press in an emergency.  I started pounding on the door an fortunately someone on the outside heard me and hollered to me what to do.  On the left side of the elevator their were another set of controls and low down below the buttons was a help button (silver in color as the other buttons) and a phone inside a silver case.  Once we pressed that button the doors opened and we all escaped thanking this passenger who said he also was trapped in the same elevator that morning.  I reported the problem to the attendant in the front of the dining room. I was the Cruise Critic Leader for our Roll Call and had arranged the Meet and Greet Party in the Crow's Nest on the first sea day.  We had an excellent turn out, by both senior staffers and our roll call members.  Roughly 40 people attended the party.  We had a gift exchange which everyone enjoyed.  We all introduced ourselves and some told funny cruise stories as we went around the room.  Our Cruise Director Eric was there as well.  He is so funny.  He is also a stand-up comedian and does a great job at both. Entertainment aboard the ship was good.  A quartet called Cantaré  was our favorite.  The lighting and the sets for this group were fantastic!  Other favorites were the juggler (Mike Price), the comedian (Julie Barr) and  the Steel Drum Band called Island Magic.  We were a little dissatisfied with the piano bar (Gregg)  who challenged his audience in a 50's and 60's trivia game where you had to name every song he played and the artist.  My husband and I participated and found we were the winners of this challenge and received nothing as our prize.  The next day Mark, one of our favorite cruise staff crew did another music trivia by the pool and the winners, all 6, were rewarded with whatever cocktail they wanted delivered to them by Mark.  We told Mark about Gregg's contest the night before and Mark said he would talk to Gregg.  We stopped by the piano bar that night and Gregg still gave out no prize to the winners.  I do not understand why Holland America has cut back on their prizes at Trivia.   All they give out is a pin that has either a smoke stack or a picture of the ship.  I have never seen anyone wear one.  They should give out prizes that people will use and publicize the Holland American Ships. These items could be luggage tags, passport holders, drink mugs, pens and tee shirts. Food was always good and the service excellent.  Presentation was perfect.  However, we were disappointed when as the leader of our Cruise Critic Group I had asked for them to arrange a dinner for my husband and myself to dine with the cruise director.  I was told this would happen by the onboard event services coordinator, Tia Thomas.  When we did not hear from the cruise director we asked at the front desk if they could give the cruise director, Eric,a  message about when we would be dining together.  We were free any night or time.  The next day I was approached by Eric and he told me dinner would not be possible because this was only a 7 day cruise and his schedule did not permit this.  We were very disappointed.  Later we spoke to a friend we met onboard and were told that they had dinner with one of the officers. This was not planned by my friends the officer just walked up to their table at random and asked if he could join their table.  He said all officers were required to dine at least once a week with a table of cruisers.  How discouraging.  They got what I had asked for and had a great time. We enjoyed all the ports of call which included Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay. Debarkation went smoothly.  We had breakfast in our cabin.  Were escorted off in a wheelchair in a timely manner, however, when we reached the long line to go through customs the transporter said I had to get out of the chair so he could return to the ship.  The porter who handled  our luggage said "where did he go with your wheel chair"?  I told the porter what the transporter said and the porter said that was wrong and never give up the wheelchair till you get through customs.  No need for you to have to stand.  I guess I will take his advise on our next cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Nieuw Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

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