131 Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Family Cruise Reviews

We hadn't been on a cruise and always wanted to see Alaska so a round trip from Vancouver seemed a good idea, especially as our son lives there so we combined a visit to see him with the cruise. Vancouver is a beautiful city with ... Read More
We hadn't been on a cruise and always wanted to see Alaska so a round trip from Vancouver seemed a good idea, especially as our son lives there so we combined a visit to see him with the cruise. Vancouver is a beautiful city with plenty to do for a few days before or after the cruise . We have been there before and didn't spend so much time there this time. We no idea what to expect but ha asked friends and look at various forums to get an idea. We weren't sure about clothing given that Alaska can be cold and wet but fortunately for our mid-May trip it was mostly dry and quite warm. The day before the cruise we got an email from HAL saying expect delays embarking as there were three ships in port. They were right and it look about 4.5 hours before we got into our stateroom. They must have three ships there all the time so why don't the cruise lines work with US border protection/immigration to ensure a smoother/faster process - far from acceptable! There may be tricks/early boarding/fast track etc. but if so we still don't know of any. Our veranda stateroom was fine albeit a little compact. We had an issue whereby all of these cabins were stated all over HAL literature as having baths and showers whereas our didn't have a bath. We got fobbed off several times by the front desk with them coming up with various random excuses. In the end we got some compensation. All the meals were excellent. the main dining room was great for breakfast and dinner and were tried all three of the paid for restaurants too, along with the lido deck pizza and hamburger units. We weren't impressed with the lido casual/serve yourself dining area and I cannot understand why it was so popular apart from being much faster than the service variants. Service in the restaurants, bars and stateroom was all first class. Administration was a bit dodgy as our online running statement was regularly incorrect due to being charged for drinks although we had a beverage package and also for some meals, which meant more unwanted time in the front office - quite commonplace given the number of others there with queries. The daytime and evening entertainment was pretty good and we went to some talks, did the trivia quiz went to the evening shows and listened to the really good musical acts in the various bars. We went on excursions each time (3 in total) the ship docked, our favourite being the White Pass summit road/rail trip from Skagway. They were all good , including glaciers and the lumberjack show. The week on board was about right for us. Disembarking was much slicker and relatively painless. Things not so good : The wifi is expensive so we didn't bother with it and picked up free Wi-Fi in port. When you buy the drinks package both people in the cabin have to pay for it even if one of then doesn't drink. I understand that they think we'll just buy two drinks every time but next time I'll think more carefully about it. Also on this deal you can't get a bottle of wine, only by the glass (albeit it lots but not very elegant). Additionally a drink from the mini bar isn't included, it's extra. Finally if you buy a $10 dollar drink (limit is $9 per drink) you can't pay the $1 excess, you have to pay the whole amount. having said that we re happy with the choices. There' nothing special about the gala nights - just people getting dressed up to go to the same restaurant. For us it just meant jamming more clothes into our suitcases and hauling them all the way from the UK. All in though - very enjoyable and may well go on another cruise one day - maybe the Baltic next time.............. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our 47th cruise. Only the second on HAL. No reason for not using them more other than price/destination offered by other lines seemed to fit our plans better. We've been on NCL 22 times. We really like Celebrity and ... Read More
This was our 47th cruise. Only the second on HAL. No reason for not using them more other than price/destination offered by other lines seemed to fit our plans better. We've been on NCL 22 times. We really like Celebrity and Princess. Now, about Nieuw. The Good ... was the price and the extras provided by CruCon. $1600 per person with $525. in onboard credit + free drink package for two + dinner for two at their specialty restaurant. If you like to walk, it's one of the few ships that actually has a deck that goes right around the ship - 3 laps = 1 mile. Our balcony cabin #4006 was well appointed and very quite - I guess it's been well soundproofed. The Bad ... the entertainment was mediocre. The worst was the comedian. He chose to include three mentions of his autistic daughter as part of his comedy presentation -- who does that? Although the table and wine server staff in the dining room were very attentive, the menu was not very creative. The breakfast buffet actually has a server for almost anything you'd like to have so the theme seems to be ... wait. It's a very unusual set up for a buffet. Finding someone to clean a table for us in the buffet dining room was difficult, not automatic. I had to go searching for a table cleaner more than 6 times during our week. How's this for a safety/muster drill ... we went to the station when we were told just to find no ship staff there. We were told over the PA (after a 1/2 hour wait) that there were still passengers trying to board (@4pm). So, instead of having the late comers attend another muster drill when they got on the ship, they made 2,000 people wait for the few. The Ugly ... I mentioned the free drink package. The first time I ordered a drink, the waiter told me I had to tell them each time I ordered that I was in the beverage package. There wasn't a # or a bar code or anything on my ship's card to notify the server that I wasn't to be charged. That seemed strange so I asked the bartender. He told me they have no way of knowing when a passenger is on their beverage plan ... including ... there's no mention of it on his computer when he punches in my order. He simply said "not to worry, all beverage charges will be eliminated when they reach the ship's office". Which brings me to my other Ugly ... as mentioned, we had a dinner for 2 free gift from CruCon (valued at $70 that even included the tip). The meal was very good. I left an additional tip for the waiter and the wine steward. Two days later, I asked to see a copy of my ship's statement and was angry to find that my free dinner for 2 was actually charged to my account, $70! Absolutely ... totally ... unacceptable. If I hadn't taken the time to check my bill before departing on Saturday morning, I would have been stuck in a very long line of people at the ship's front desk. Needless to say, I checked my bill at the end of each day on the trip to see if any of my bar charges found their way onto my bill (they didn't). HAL has some work to do. They need to send some spotters onto other ships to see how easy it is to be more efficient. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We recently took a cruise from Vancouver up the inside passage and to Alaska with Holland America on the Nieuw Amsterdam. We had heard from several people that this was one of the best ship to do this cruise with as they cruise deep into ... Read More
We recently took a cruise from Vancouver up the inside passage and to Alaska with Holland America on the Nieuw Amsterdam. We had heard from several people that this was one of the best ship to do this cruise with as they cruise deep into glacier bay. The embarkation process in Vancouver took almost 2 hours but as this is mostly because of the USA security screening I cannot blame Holland America for this but nonetheless the trip did not get off to a good start. One of our suitcases did not arrive into our cabin until 9pm at night and when I went to the front office to query the delay I was greeted by a rather rude staff member! On one day we had no hot water for approx 4 hours and when I called guest services to find out what the problem was I was told I would be called back - I was never called back. Our toilet was blocked and that took 1/2 a day to get serviced! The battery on our safe died on our second last day of the cruise but it was never repaired. I cannot believe that they don't even have a facility where you can iron some clothes - everything must be cleaned & ironed through the ships laundry service and at a cost! The entertainment would have to be the worst I have ever seen on all the cruises I have done. We had decided to book a nice suite which had a good size bathroom and cabin. I was quite surprised that you are not even given a complimentary bottle of water in your cabin but rather you have to pay $5 for this privilege. I would not book a cruise with this cruise line in future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because my Father-in-Law wanted to do the Panama Canal, and it was great. We loved the food, itinerary, hospitality of the crew and overall journey. Watching the ship go through the Canal was a real treat, but some ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my Father-in-Law wanted to do the Panama Canal, and it was great. We loved the food, itinerary, hospitality of the crew and overall journey. Watching the ship go through the Canal was a real treat, but some of the more obscure stops were also fun. Here are the itinerary highlights we enjoyed most: Half-Moon Cay (Private Island): Beautiful beach, fish in the shallows & lots of birds. A great day in the sun! Columbia (Cartagena): National Bird Aviary -- fun, but a bit sunny and hot Panama Canal: Watching the ship rise and fall powered by rainwater & gravity -- amazing! Costa Rica (Puerto Caldera): Mangrove river cruise -- like a Disney Jungle Boat cruise with real crocodiles & exotic birds. Nicaragua (Corinto): You MUST walk on top of the white domed church at the town center! Guatemala (Puerto Quetzal): Bus ride to Antigua was well worth it. Elevation made it cool, and the town architecture was fun to explore on our own. Mexico (Puerto Vallarta): Rythms of the Night show excursion was great. By luck of the draw we had front row seats. The performers were very entertaining (especially the more gymnastic ones), and the food was good and plentiful if not quite as tasty as it could be. We had some minor issues, but the crew worked hard in every instance to make things right. The two worth mentioning were some cabin noise from the BB King Lounge that lasted until about 10 most nights, and some slow service at tables for 10 during open-seating dining. The crew addressed the first with earplugs that worked great for me, and some proactive efforts by the head waiters to seat us at smaller tables where the service was prompt. They also offered a free meal at the Pinnacle which was very much appreciated. Overall, a great experience, and we'll be back on another Holland ship again soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My family and I went on our first Holland America Cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam for the 4/2/17-4/9/17 Western Caribbean cruise. We were booked in a Neptune Suite. Check in went smoothly with a slight delay on boarding due to a large ... Read More
My family and I went on our first Holland America Cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam for the 4/2/17-4/9/17 Western Caribbean cruise. We were booked in a Neptune Suite. Check in went smoothly with a slight delay on boarding due to a large amount of cruisers who stayed on board from the previous cruise needing to be cleared by customs. Our room was ready when we boarded and we found the room was great, with lots of space for our family of four and a spacious balcony to enjoy. We found all the workers to be great, friendly and helpful. We had reserved a cabana on the Lido Pool deck and it was perfect to have our own space while the kids swam, and the cabana service was top notch. Food was good in the dining room, lido, and we enjoyed Tamarind and the Pinnacle Grill, both were excellent. We booked all of our excursions though Holland America prior to the cruise. On Half Moon Cay we booked a cabana and cabana service, again excellent service by our server Daniel. On Grand Cayman we did a trolley ride around the Island and enjoyed that as well. Everything had been great up to this point. For Cozumel we booked an excursion through Holland America called La Casa en la Playa: A Special Retreat. My family (My husband and two children)and I were placed into a Taxi Van with 2 other couples from our ship to be taken over for our excursion. This taxi only had a few working seat belts and car batteries and other debris all throughout. We were driving down the highway when we were involved in a significant car accident. This is where our trip went down hill. The injuries from the accident ruined the rest of our trip. We were seen by medical on board, but I feel like the staff were only looking out for Holland America's protection instead of my best interest and care as their patient. We were sent flowers by Holland America Guest Relations manager Melanie, and assured SEVERAL times that we were under Holland America's care and insurance at the time of the accident since it was their excursion, and not to worry that all my medical bills post cruise would be covered. Not only did this turn out to be false, but we have felt ignored and dismissed since we disembarked. It took almost 6 weeks for someone to even respond to our inquiry on who to speak with in regards to our medical bills, and then we were told it was not Holland America's responsibility at all, that it would be the excursion companies responsibility. To say that I'm disappointed by the lack of customer service or concern during all this is an understatement. Prior to this incident I was ready to book another cruise on the spot with Holland America, but now I'm so disappointed in their lack of concern or care for their customer's, that I will not be sailing with them again. Our once a year family vacation was ruined, and we are not only out the money we spent on the cruise that we didn't get to enjoy, but we are also out the money we spent on the drink packages that went unused after the wreck, and out a ton of money in medical bills, with no one taking responsibility. We would say cruising with them is fine, but we would say avoid booking excursions directly through them and don't expect much in the form of customer service from them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We like to go as a family on a cruise during this week because it is our Spring Break back home and all of us are off work and school for the week. This was our 7th cruise on Holland America and our 30th overall. We have also sailed on ... Read More
We like to go as a family on a cruise during this week because it is our Spring Break back home and all of us are off work and school for the week. This was our 7th cruise on Holland America and our 30th overall. We have also sailed on (Carnival, Princess, RCI, MSC and Costa.) This cruise sailed to Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Maarten and Half Moon Cay. This cruise had a mixture of passengers of all ages. This probably had something do to with the fact that Canada and some states in the US have spring break during the dates we sailed. Embarkation – Quick and easy. We were onboard by 12:00 and our room was ready shortly after. Ship – The ship is pretty and classy. The ship was clean and well-maintained for its age. Cabin – We were in an obstructed view cabin. The lifeboat did not block the whole window, so we could still see the ocean and get some light. We had a shower/bath tub which is nice compared to the small stand-up shower other cruise lines have. I liked the TV mounted to the wall with a selection of newer movies and tv-shows. The pull -out couch was surprisingly comfortable. Our room stewards, Rudy and Bong, were very attentive and were always able to meet our needs. Entertainment – I absolutely loved the BB Kings Club and I really enjoyed listening to the music. One of our travel companions never missed a show. We listened to Adagio one night waiting for dinner, it was also good. The singer at the Piano Bar was good too. Dining Room – Overall, the food in the Manhattan Dining Room was nicely done. We did not eat at the specialty dining restaurants. We had Anytime Dining. Service was slow the first night but got better on the second night. I enjoyed everything that I ordered and I thought the desserts were all good. I would like to mention Winda who worked at the front of the dining room each night. I think she was an Assistant Matrie‘d. She arranged for our family to sit together with the time that we wanted every night. She always greeted us with a smile and made sure we were taken care of. The waiters were pleasant and were willing to accommodate any requests we had. We also went to the Mariner Lunch on the first day and enjoyed it. I would recommend the peanut butter pie for dessert, it was to die for. Lido – The Lido Buffet had a great breakfast selection. Eggs benedict, omelets, bacon and sticky buns was my breakfast of champions. LOL. Coffee was alright. I enjoyed the “Make your own” Pasta at lunch time. The hamburgers and cheese fries at the Dive-In were awesome and well-worth the wait. I personally prefer being served instead of touching the tongs and serving myself. I think Holland is the only line that does this still. Some people don’t wash their hands and then touch the tongs or avoid using the tongs at all and pick out cookies with their hands. If I need to wait a few extra minutes in line to stay healthy, I am ok with that. Fitness Centre – I used the gym frequently throughout the cruise. It was not busy so I didn’t need to wait to use any of the equipment. The built-in TV’s were a cool feature. Ports – We have been to all 4 ports before. Grand Turk was beautiful as always. We relaxed by the Margaritaville pool and went snorkeling in the ocean. In San Juan, we went to the Big Fort and toured around the city. In St. Maarten, we went to the beach close to where the water taxi docks, which is always a good beach spot. In Half Moon Cay, we sat at the beach and just relaxed. We had beautiful sunny days for all our port stops and we all came back with nice tans. Bad NO DECK PARTY! I was bummed there was no deck party. That is one of my favorite parts on every cruise. On the 5th day of the cruise, the toilet in our room would not flush. We called to ask for an attendant to come look at it and he told us the whole floor was having toilet problems and it will hopefully be fixed soon. The problem was fixed by the time we got back from port, however, parts of the hallway smelled like a sewer for the remainder of the week. Activities during the day were non-existent on this ship. Lots of name that tune, bingo and trivia during the sea days but not much by the pool. They seemed to have lots of activities for kids during the day from what I heard though. I personally was not that impressed with the entertainment in the Showroom at Sea. I have seen some phenomenal shows on past cruises (Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival etc.) but the production shows on this ship were just ok. The days in ports were not long enough. We are used to 8 AM – 5 PM port days so we ended up getting close to being “pier runners” on more than one occasion. Most of the lunch stations at the buffet were closed by 2:30 PM which was a bit inconvenient, unless you want to shorten your day to make the buffet before it closes. The only stations open were pasta, desserts, pizza and Dive In. Staff cut-backs in the public areas was noticeable especially in the Lido. Ugly This by far was the “ugly” part of my cruise experience. After our day in Grand Turk, we went to the Tea in the Ocean Bar. We had our travel companions with us. The tea used to be in the dining room but now it is in a bar, meaning limited seating. An older lady and her husband were sitting at the back of the bar. I am not sure when they arrived. The tea started at 3:00 so most of the food was picked over by the time they got there I am assuming. A server walked up to them and offered her what was left on the tray which made her stand up and start yelling at the poor server. She started yelling louder and louder and got in the server’s personal space. Everyone was turned around looking at her. She was swearing at the server and told him she was disgusted "they missed her table." What disgusted me the most was this other lady who thought this outburst was acceptable, made a nasty comment out loud about the service/staff and then applauded her behavior by clapping. The supervisor apologized and came back a few minutes later with a brand-new tray of cupcakes and I think that might have diffused the situation. I applaud the supervisor for trying to satisfy the passenger even though desserts identical to the ones served at the tea were just an elevator ride away to deck 9. Overall, We enjoyed our cruise but felt that Holland has cut-back since our last voyage with them. My favorite parts of the cruise were the BB Kings Club, the food and the ports of call. :) Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We have been on many Holland America cruises, but this one by far was the absolute worst ever. Unbeknown to us, they had a large group on the ship, approximately 1000 people, that were catered to, given the prime dining time in the dining ... Read More
We have been on many Holland America cruises, but this one by far was the absolute worst ever. Unbeknown to us, they had a large group on the ship, approximately 1000 people, that were catered to, given the prime dining time in the dining room, and left the rest of us to either dine at 5:30 or go to the Lido buffet. I do not eat at 5:30, and apparently a lot of the "special group" decided they did not want to eat at 8:00; therefore, leaving hoards of people trying to dine at the Lido buffet. It was absolutely ridiculous. When complaints were made, it was merely, "sorry, nothing we can do". Holland America never notified us of the large group, or the fact that we were no longer allowed open seating for the dining room. The upper level staff were very blasé when questioned about anything. The room stewards, and the Lido staff were great. I can't tell you about the dining room staff, never saw any since we didn't ever go there! Again, don't eat at 5:30. When complaining to the Neptune concierge, it appeared to fall on deaf ears since no response was ever made, even though we were told we would be contacted. The entertainment on this cruise left a lot to be desired. The BB King Blues club was great, but that's all the good I can say about entertainment. We went with our niece, nephew and brother-in-law (this was their first cruise) and they were so disgusted, they said they'd never cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We had enjoyed a one week eastern Caribbean cruise with Holland America a couple of years ago and decided to treat ourselves to a back to back eastern and western cruise this year . The first week in the Western Caribbean was very good and ... Read More
We had enjoyed a one week eastern Caribbean cruise with Holland America a couple of years ago and decided to treat ourselves to a back to back eastern and western cruise this year . The first week in the Western Caribbean was very good and I particularly enjoyed the stop in Key West. One of the elements that we enjoyed the first week was the open dining when we could arrive at the dining room any time between 5:00 and 9:00. We enjoyed dinning with different folks each night at a time that fit in with our day. On the second week we were not pleased to be suddenly informed when we arrived for dinner on Sunday evening that the dining room was closed in order to provide seating for a large group (1000 people) and this would be the situation for the remainder of the cruise. This is where Holland America truly dropped the ball on customer service. The front line staff were just as surprised as the passengers that this was going to be the arrangement for the dining room so they did not have any answers for us. The customer service staff that should have been available to resolve the issue were nowhere to be found. I asked a couple of times to speak with people in authority and received no response. I understand that folks that took more time than I did out of my holiday time did actually speak with someone but all that was offered was limp apology and certainly no action was taken to address our concerns. Even folks who were 5 Star Mariners were treated very poorly in an effort to accommodate the large group. I realize that not getting dinner at the time that suited us was really a first world problem but as the cruise went on and there was no response to my concerns I was wondering what would have been the response of the staff if there had been a serious issue to be addressed. The Dining Debacle became a constant point of conversation with other passengers that we met. I understand that this group regularly books with Holland America so beware you could be on the same kind of trip. I did complete the electronic survey that Holland America sent me when I returned home highlighting my concern with the poor customer service and indicated I would be willing to discuss the problems. I have not had any response. We did enjoy the time away from winter and the ports of call were nice to visit. Our cabin staff were very attentive and did a very good job of taking care of us. I will not choose Holland America again, there are other cruise lines and other winter warm weather vacation choices that I will certainly consider in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Just returned from our 12 Carribean days with Holland America Lines on board the Nieuw Amsterdam. Fantastic,the stateroom staff were the most outgoing people that you could ask for. We had a veranda room with beautiful views of the ocean, ... Read More
Just returned from our 12 Carribean days with Holland America Lines on board the Nieuw Amsterdam. Fantastic,the stateroom staff were the most outgoing people that you could ask for. We had a veranda room with beautiful views of the ocean, ports, sunsets and of course sunrises. Five options for dining, from "dressy" to casual on deck. Several evening spots for music and entertainment, piano bar, jazz, blues, and live dance performances.It was an eight island tour with stops in Tortola,Dominica,St Lucia, Barbados,Marinque,St. Martin,St. Thomas and Half Moon Kay. This was our third cruise with Holland America and we can't recommend them enough!! Great Cruising!!! Our shore visits consisted mainly of guided tours of each island, seeing sights,learning history of each Island and special interest places like old island churches and even 400 year old rum distilleries still in operation. Plants and flowers everywhere with many explained to us as medicinal uses, trees and grasses. Never a dull moment!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Having cruised with Holland America four time before, we thought this would be a great winter getaway. Embarkation was no problem,although departure was delayed 5 hrs. due to the tragic events at the Ft.Lauderdale airport. Having been on ... Read More
Having cruised with Holland America four time before, we thought this would be a great winter getaway. Embarkation was no problem,although departure was delayed 5 hrs. due to the tragic events at the Ft.Lauderdale airport. Having been on the sister-ship, Eurodam last year, we were familiar with the ship. The ship was elegant and very clean. I was traveling with my wife, Father, brother, son, & his wife. The first two days were at see, which we all enjoy. The first day there were very few activities on board, this turned out to be the norm everyday. With the exception of trivia, computer classes, and movies in your cabin, the pool area was it. This is the first cruise we have ever seen without a cruise entertainment staff. There was the cruise director, Kelly, and 1 assistant, Abby. The nightly entertainment consisted of the ships singers & dancers, (3 shows), two comedians, A magician right out of kids birthday parties, and a two year old movie in the main showroom. The movie ,by the way, was on the selection in your cabin. Our dining was in the main dining room (8:p.m.) the food was inconsistant, service was good. Our wine stewart. Kate, was excellant. We ate in the Lido for breakfast, it was fair. The upscale Pinnacle Grill was very good. worth the price. Fortunately we had 5 ports in a row, to relive the boredom on the ship. With the large amount of compition out there, I don't think Holland America is in our future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We took this New Year's Cruise with our granddaughters . It was a great getaway from work and winter. Embarkment was very fast and smooth. Our room was ready when we got on board about 12 noon. Kids couldn't wait to get ... Read More
We took this New Year's Cruise with our granddaughters . It was a great getaway from work and winter. Embarkment was very fast and smooth. Our room was ready when we got on board about 12 noon. Kids couldn't wait to get in the pool and made friends really fast. This was our 4th cruise with Holland America and it was a lot younger crowd than we usually see , more diversified like Royal Caribbean. It being during holidays brought on more families . Food was good . Ate in main dining room and buffet mostly. Did the pizza once. It wasn't to my liking but Dh did. Loved all the port of calls but Falmouth . It was third world country for sure and we took ship tour to a beach. Not a pretty beach and food was expensive and ended up throwing it in trash as it was so bad. Grand Cayman was wonderful. Went to turtle farm and went snorkeling with those giant turtles. It was the best time . Kids got in small holding tank and held the turtles. Roatan we went on private tour and went to sloth sanctuary where we held a sloth named Dori. Oldest granddaughter was in Heaven ! She is an animal lover through and through. Cozomel we did Playa Mia for about 5 hours. Got sunburn but it was so worth it. Don't care for beach as sand is coarse so your feet sink into sand quite a bit and makes it hard to walk on the beach. Pools were great and kids loves the children's water area. Key West we just did the Hop on / Hop off bus without actually hopping off . We did the loop. Disembarkment went well and we went straight to airport unfortunately as this was the day of the Ft. Lauderdale airport shooting. We were safe but caught up in evaluation. Ended up renting car for extremely over priced amount to get home. Either that or wait 4 days to fly. The road it was . Home again, home again jiggity jog. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
IN MY OPINION DO NOT CRUISE THIS LINE! THERE ARE BETTER CRUISE LINES THAT MAKE SURE THEIR PASSENGERS SAFETY, EXPERIENCE AND RESULTS MORE OF A PRIORITY. We chose this Cruise for the time and areas it went to. We have been on other ... Read More
IN MY OPINION DO NOT CRUISE THIS LINE! THERE ARE BETTER CRUISE LINES THAT MAKE SURE THEIR PASSENGERS SAFETY, EXPERIENCE AND RESULTS MORE OF A PRIORITY. We chose this Cruise for the time and areas it went to. We have been on other Cruises but this was our First Time with Holland America. Bed Linens in cabin had stains on them, food was ok at buffet but they ran out of simple items like bread at breakfast, ice cream at night, etc. Dining room food was good but seating was an issue at times. Entertainment was average to say the least. Excursion desk has poor hours and Excursion write ups are not exactly what they are so be careful what you book or better yet book separately with independent operators as they were cheaper for most things from what we saw at different ports. 2 of the 5 excursions we booked were not as described and also had major safety concerns that were not considered. We found out through Cruise employees that the safety on Jamaica has been an issue and our trip was the first in a while to this area. Well the excursion was not what we paid for and we felt completely unsafe during part of the excursion when we were left for 20 minutes shopping at a scary area of Jamaica. Most people did not want to get off the bus as they were sacred! The second excursion was on the Sting Ray City in high waves causing people to be sick, bang in to each other, having the masks and snorkels ripped off your face, and the whole experience was not enjoyable and we felt unsafe. The funny thing was they cancelled an excursion we had booked for this day due to high winds and safety but sent us out on this one which was worse. The last thing you want to worry about on a trip is your safety, experience and service. I know and have experienced other Cruise lines that do a better job! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I loved all of the port excursions, dining, the cabin we had (a room on the verandah),and the service was amazing. The only thing that I have a complaint about is the activities. I have a 10 year old girl and she didn't really like ... Read More
I loved all of the port excursions, dining, the cabin we had (a room on the verandah),and the service was amazing. The only thing that I have a complaint about is the activities. I have a 10 year old girl and she didn't really like Club HAL, the kids club onboard. So we tried to find activities that would be suitable for all of us to go to. But there was hardly anything on the daily schedule that was either entertaining or interesting to all age groups. Most of the activities seemed to cater seniors only. But overall our trip was good and we enjoyed it. The places we liked most were the Explorations Café and the Showroom at Sea. I would recommend this for people who would like to go on a cruise for relaxation and not for the fun and parties. This may not be cruise for you if you have kids who like to do more than just play trivia. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The service and food was up to Holland Americas standard. The shows in the Theater, had alot to be desired. For a 14 day cruise,I expected more from this cruiseline. Mediocre productions repeated the second week. Majicians and comedians ... Read More
The service and food was up to Holland Americas standard. The shows in the Theater, had alot to be desired. For a 14 day cruise,I expected more from this cruiseline. Mediocre productions repeated the second week. Majicians and comedians twice both weeks. The most outstanding entertainment was The BB Kings Band in the Queens lounge. On Wed, when they would have a night off, it was truly dead on the ship. If you enjoyed classical, there was the Adaggio grp playing. The cruise director,didnt have a team to work with. Ive come to think, thats why there werent many fun onboard activities. There was LaLa and Abigail-the DJ. This is the first cruise ive ever been on, that the Dj did more than play music. The "sail away parties,"were nothing more than a makeshift bar set up on the aft deck, with musaq being piped in over the speakers. No Dj playing, no live band! NO PARTY!! The music trivia game was fun, all 10 minutes of it. The sandbag toss game was ok, for about 15minutes or so. The ship sailed on Sunday,by Saturday night at 11p, there was absolutely nothing happening onboard. We were told that since some passengers were on for only 7 days, they shut everything down early. Ummm, excuse me, There are alot of passengers onboard for the entire 14 days!! Are we being sent to bed at 11p? Ive been on a few HAL cruises, This is my first experience like this. The ports of call were nice, enjoyable even. The activities onboard were very much lacking. The captain of this vessel was not seen by quite a few of us passengers, but the cruise director was always,"In bahalf of the captain"yada yada yada. You would hear a recording of sea facts from our invisible captain. Mariners luncheon,..stil no captain, the cruise director instead. Service was wonderful, staff is amazing,yet shortstaffed at times. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We had just a great time last year on our repositioning cruise (Princess Line) that we decided to go for a 2nd repositioning cruise this year. A short cruise is perfect way to take a break from our hectic work schedules and spend some ... Read More
We had just a great time last year on our repositioning cruise (Princess Line) that we decided to go for a 2nd repositioning cruise this year. A short cruise is perfect way to take a break from our hectic work schedules and spend some family bonding time with our 2 twenty-something years old children. We wanted to try Holland America Line, as we heard about their reputation of great customer service, classy ship décor, high standard of food quality and choices. We must state that we are very disappointed with the availability of food choices and food quality. It is the worst amongst the 12 cruises we have been on. Generally, customer service is decent, but would not consider it to be great though, as comparing to the 5 different cruise liners (10 ships) we have been on. Our biggest pet peeves is that at every single meal we have, there are always either bowls, bread plates, cups and/or serving plates have chips on them. How could HAL whose image is tailoring themselves to a more affluent group be serving meals with chipped soup bowls and dinner plates at their Main Dining Room? Even on our previous NCL and Carnival cruises, their kitchen team and servers know better to replace them once they are no longer whole! Overall, we like • The ship Nieuw Amsterdam, it is easy to maneuver from deck to deck. We enjoy hanging out at the Crow Nest area • Quality of entertainment and activities being offered • Lido Restaurant – the Lido area that we have been on. Great layouts and excellent service personnel with both behind the counters and dining area attendants • Cabin’s Bathroom – best layout and roomy; can shower comfortably without being attacked by shower curtain or bumped elbows with the side walls. Love having the bathtub! • Our Balcony on Upper Promenade level - even though we have the steel enclosure as opposed to the plexi-glass. We were happy for the extra room to move around and stretch out on the balcony, as we lay outside for an afternoon nap on Sea Day, well protected from the wind, and I, even at slightly over 5 feet tall can see the ocean and horizon if I sit upright on the chair. Would we sail HAL again? Probably yes if opportunity arises; we would like to give them another chance to impress us with better Dining Room experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was an excellent cruise with a very exciting places listed to visit the ship is modern very clean , and the stateroom we had was clean and well fitted. it was a veranda stateroom , the room staff really look after the rooms. ... Read More
This was an excellent cruise with a very exciting places listed to visit the ship is modern very clean , and the stateroom we had was clean and well fitted. it was a veranda stateroom , the room staff really look after the rooms. and each night do a towel welcome which are funny when you entre stateroom .cleaned each day food is excellent well presented and plenty of choice and staff fab shopping on board not overly impressed. you possibly would get same value in most cities , while they had end of season sales and there was a few bargains , overall shopping on board make up your mind on value against your own home prices entertainment was excellent , but we did not go to the b b show so cant comment on same front office staff very helpful and friendly . but would suggest you sign that you will settle your own gratuities. and don't want them added to your credit car keep an eye on these it may be best to book your off ship excursions with your travel agent , but do carefully look and pick same a very good one is the helicopter tour Juneau . and the local bus tour in Skagway is excellent of shore shopping is an experience , the cruise ship will be making suggestions re certain outlets and do tell you up front re commissions paid to ship, and that shops pay to be on programme again have your ideas in your own mind before you go so as to check for value we did acquire a watch at a store not mentioned by cruise liner at great value , so shop around , as the outlets told us they follow the cruise ships the experience of the glaciers is worth the cruise Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We travelled on Nieuw Amsterdam on the round trip to Vancouver,we were especially looking forward to our call at Skagway and our excursions there,however on the morning of our port call we watched with disbelief as the ship approached ... Read More
We travelled on Nieuw Amsterdam on the round trip to Vancouver,we were especially looking forward to our call at Skagway and our excursions there,however on the morning of our port call we watched with disbelief as the ship approached Skagway where two other ships had already docked minutes earlier and then after a couple of minutes suddenly turned around and steamed away,the captain made an announcement to say that due to a SE wind gusting to 38 Knots he could not make port-well i'm sorry i have been on many ships and on crossings in conditions a lot worse than that and have never had a port call aborted without the ship at least making another attempt. There was plenty time to wait for conditions to improve (as they did) and try again but it seems the decision may have been made for other reasons. No attempt was made by the captain or any of his senior officers to make a personal appearance to explain events-very poor PR. We were left bitterly dissapointed by the above and that coupled with a terrible breakfast service in the Manhatten dining room where we waited almost 2 hours to be served an inedible offering and a couple of incorrect in room service orders resulted in a less than satisfactory experience. We did not receive value for money and got little in the way of a detailed explanation or apology when we complained. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I was really interesting on going on a Holland America Cruise as I have been on many cruises but this was my first Time Boarding was easy and simple as you would expect. We were part of a large group and despite going through US ... Read More
I was really interesting on going on a Holland America Cruise as I have been on many cruises but this was my first Time Boarding was easy and simple as you would expect. We were part of a large group and despite going through US Immigration, it was all good. I was impressed when we got on the ship around 12.30 that all the cabins were ready, normally we have to wait an hour or 2 but it became clear later that they have 2 people to a cabin. The ship itself looked great, loved the décor and this sort of made me realise why it was a lot more expensive than my other cruises. We have been on RCCL for over 150 nights and that is our main cruise line we use. In general terms I thought the overall food quality was better than RCCL however, the range was a bit limited on Holland America. No where near the choices. The drinks prices were considerably cheaper than RCCL however my friends who had a drinks package indicated there was a limit per day. In the dining room I believe there was a struggle to keep up and there appeared to be a lot less staff than RCCL. Dinner was slow and often went over 2-2.5 hours In terms of things to do RCCL leaves Holland America for dead, so much more to do on RC. The biggest thing that worried me was the lack of control on hand cleaning. On RCCL there are staff next to machines insisting that you wash before entering eating areas. On Holland America there were none and I noticed many people not cleaning hands and also some cleaning dispensers were empty. One area I thought was fantastic was the pool area, it had a roof which was closed and made this area much more useable even in cold days. It was very well set up and looked classy. Another thing I saw was the endless way cruise lines now try and extract money from you by renting out cabana's around the pool area was the latest. That was on top of renting out cabana's on the adults only area. Our cabin was a bit smaller than RCCL and we were on deck 6 in a balcony cabin. Our cabin people were just fantastic Interestingly on RCCL, the Cruise Director is always around and you know who they are . Similar with most Captains , like Captain Charles from Voyager who spends time with the Guests However, on Holland America if I fell over the Captain or Cruise Director I would not know who they were. We enjoyed the cruise to Alaska Getting off the ship was easy as I would have expected Would I travel on Holland America again, most likely not However, if I can give you 1 tip , it seems cruise lines these days offer 20%/25 or 30% off etc. That's OK but ensure you check what you net price is after all these SO CALLED discounts are taken off . Work out what it costs per day, what you get for your $ then decide and I think it would be fair to say you may be surprised Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Chose a rather limited Alaska itinerary in favor of simplicity of travel with eight year old twin grandchildren on their first cruise. Couldn't have been happier with the choice, as we were even able to take public transport to and ... Read More
Chose a rather limited Alaska itinerary in favor of simplicity of travel with eight year old twin grandchildren on their first cruise. Couldn't have been happier with the choice, as we were even able to take public transport to and from the ship. We also opted for a suite, both for space and amenities; and on this itinerary at least the price was reasonable. Again, very happy with the choice. We had a great accommodation with excellent accessibility to all areas of the ship, readily available snacks and privacy because of the lounge access, greatly appreciated the included laundry and valet service and concierge assistance with all other issues, such as reservations, shore excursions, and other issues as they came up without having to wait in line at the front desk. The ship was beautiful, everything was in good condition, the food was better than on our last few HAL cruises, entertainment top notch, and as always, children were treated royally by staff, many of whom were missing their own. This was an end of summer cruise, not too many kids on board as school already started in much of the US. The Club HAL program didn't hold much interest for our children, who much preferred to hang out with us or with other adults and children in the crow's nest or at the pool. They did however greatly appreciate the classical music onboard, as well as the electric violinist duo and the illusionist. I suspect that they may now be hooked. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We took this cruise 25 years ago (but on the Westerdam) and what we found interesting was that we paid the same dollar amount. This knowledge couldn't help but be a factor. That it could be done at all for the same price seemed ... Read More
We took this cruise 25 years ago (but on the Westerdam) and what we found interesting was that we paid the same dollar amount. This knowledge couldn't help but be a factor. That it could be done at all for the same price seemed amazing, so we had to be realistic and accept that everything couldn't be the same. There had to have been some cost cutting measures along the way. I think these have been done thoughtfully. Embarkation was more time consuming, similar to airport check in. I did wonder if some older people would find the amount of standing around and walking between large halls to be tedious or difficult. Our cabin window was a fully obscured by a lifeboat although we still had a light and a peek-a-boo view. It was only $30 more than an inside so we felt it was a reasonable exchange. I liked the love seat so there was somewhere to sit. We could hear music or conversation from a public room on another floor. I presume it travelled through the ventilation system. We didn't find it disturbing to go to sleep to the sound of music but some might. I recall that Alaska King crab legs were on the menu in the main dining room in the past; today it is necessary to go to the Pinnacle Restaurant for that. There were next to no props for the stage shows but rather a light show displayed various items and pieces of furniture. The band did not accompany the dancers; the music was a recording. The portions in the main dining room were sometimes very small. I wonder if food waste over the years is a consideration. We could always order more. I recall the 3 scallop appetizers where the scallops were about the size of a dime. The strawberry mousse dessert was the size of a meringue cookie and the Seafood Terrine appetizers perhaps the size of an American half dollar in width. Generally the food was very good, not outstanding, but very good. We travelled with our young grandchildren and they found the one and a half hours that the meal took trying at times. Often they would go through half the bread basket before the first course arrived. But the serving staff was very solicitous and the supervisor would come around regularly with magic tricks or origami displays to amuse them. The BB King Blues band was very good and popular. We couldn't get seating the first time and another time only one person got a seat. We wanted to take our grandchildren to the ABBA evening in one of the lounges (Northern Lights) but there was a sign that it was only for over 18's so we didn't go in. The kids liked the pool and often it wasn't too crowded. We babysat a few times and they enjoyed watching one of the children's movies available on a large mounted television screen. We would have liked some short children's programs but there weren't any of those. Holland America obviously has no control over this but it seems to be that the destinations have suffered from having four or five cruise ships turn up every day for four or five months. I've heard of the same thing in Caribbean destinations. Places like Ketchikan and Juneau become streets full of souvenir shops. We didn't take any excursions as most seemed to be more active/athletic than we were looking for. I think if you took one in each port you could easily double the cost of your cruise. There wasn't that much to do on board on Port days which was three of the days. I appreciated that we could sit in a lounge without being pressed to order a drink. Compared to the library on the Queen Victoria (Cunard) this one didn't seem to have much organization and not the same volume of books. I did find one book that enjoyed reading. This was our fourth Alaska cruise and we only decided to go a few weeks before to spend time with our son and his family and assist them with their two small children. I do think this cruise, like many others, is a very good value. It is possible to spend as much or as little as you want in addition to the fare unlike resorts or hotels which seem to tag on various resort fees and housekeeping expenses in addition to the published charge. We noticed that Glacier Bay was warmer and the icebergs small compared to 25 years ago. We didn't see the glacier calving that we had previously and also less wildlife. I suspect he constant cruise traffic leads wildlife to find other locations and routes. I noticed a more casual appearance on this cruise by the passengers. On formal night, polo shirts and slacks were acceptable attire for men and I noticed more than one man, on the second 'gala' night, in shorts, a logo T shirt and baseball cap. Unlike, Cunard, there was no ballroom dancing. I used to like to watch the ten or twelve talented couples weave around the dance floor every night but most people stayed off the floor. I don't think we'll go to Alaska again but we'll go on more cruises and likely some at least with Holland America. The prices are very good compared to resort vacations and if you can get a few perks like included gratuities or cabin credits thrown in, so much the better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
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
The staffs are very nice, and that's about it. Overall, I wasn't impressed at all. 1. Their website design is horrendous. A. I had to do multiple separate Google searches to find all the information I need about the same ... Read More
The staffs are very nice, and that's about it. Overall, I wasn't impressed at all. 1. Their website design is horrendous. A. I had to do multiple separate Google searches to find all the information I need about the same ship(Nieuw Amsterdam). B. The excursions will only show details and the actual price after clicking "booking" which takes me to a log in site. Once I get there, I can't go back to previous pages. That means I have to do all the searches all over again. C. Another note about the excursions: Instead of giving you the ports/locations that associate with the specific cruise ship, the excursion page gives the information of all ports. For instance, Nieuw Amsterdam doesn't go to all the ports/locations listed under Alaska, and that same page doesn't provide you where Nieuw Amsterdam stops. In order to look for excursions, I had to open multiple pages to cross check. It took forever and I ended up just booking one thing because I didn't want to spend any more energy on the sites. 2. There's no such thing as Early Bird Special with HAL Soon after we booked our cruise, we saw another huge discount available. When we asked the lady on the phone if the same cruise could match the discount, she said no. So, the lesson is learned. Do not book anything early with HAL because they might throw a discount when they get desperate. 3. A tagged luggage of ours was left alone at a random place outside when the rest of the tagged luggages made it to the designated room. 4. The tags on the phone in our room are incorrect. We stayed on Deck 6. Number 4 was marked "Information". When I pressed it, it took me to the SPA. 5. Giving the same space 3 different names to pretend that there's more space is just confusing. Try this one! BB King room, Culinary Art..., and Queen's Lounge are exactly the same space. 6. Cruise ship photos could be done more eco friendly and cheaper. The photos are way over priced. Printing them all out for demonstration is absolutely a huge waste of papers. It's hard to believe that there isn't a way of linking photo files to the fancy personal room card. 7. Casino A. People can smoke most of time in the casino and the smoke just goes everywhere. It was shocking to see the ship letting people smoke in a close container. There was a little fire on the first night because someone's cigarette butt burned some flammable thing in the garbage/tray. Of course that didn't stop any smokers. B. There could be more table games C. The poker tournament machine was probably used only once That machine took a cut when there were more than 2 people in the tournament. Nobody wanted to play with the machine, and I only knew of one tournament(2-3 people only) at that machine for the entire trip. 8. The disappearance of our fruit basket in the room We were supposed to select what fruit we wanted on a sheet in the basket. Once we filled it, the basket just disappeared. Two days later when I saw our keeper, he told me that he was sorry and just brought me random fruit next day. 9. Manhattan Dining Room I understood that in order to serve food to everyone on the ship, there's no way that the chefs/staffs have time to actually cook/make anything from scratch. Assuming most of meat/fish came from frozen stash, most of food tasted like too much sauce in general. On the first gala night, our group seemed to sit at Bermuda Triangle. Everybody around us got services except us. We had sat there without napkins, drinks, or bread for over 25 min. We had to repeatedly tell the waiters the same information. Luckily, we never sat there again and that seemed to do the trick. *The fact that the dining room doesn't take reservation just created unnecessary traffic and wait outside of the dining area. 10. The excursions are way over priced The whale watching at Juneau was great. We saw quite a few bold eagles, whales, a seal, and some orcas.(e.g. A group of orcas eating a baby seal, a young whale breaching 4 times...) but we paid $170 per person when there were local companies providing $110 for the whale watching or $130 for both the glacier and the whale watching. 11. The karaoke selection and tablets are weird A. First, the tablet doesn't sort things out as it says. Instead of artist, it looked more like a "genre" search at first. B. The selections were extremely old or new(no much in between) and the accompaniments sounded cheap. 12. There could be fewer computers at the library(crow's nest) and more tables for the bar/games. I saw only one person using one computer during my entire trip there, because the majority of people didn't want to pay the over priced internet access fee. There were always more people looking for a place to sit down to drink/play because of the great view over there. Come on, the people who want to bury themselves in front of a computer don't need the best view on the ship! 13. There could be more ping pong tables and fewer private lounge area by the inside pool. Again, nobody wanted to pay the fee to lounge "privately" around an inside pool. For the entire trip, I didn't see anyone using any of the private lounge. 14. There was no culture walking around the ports the ship stopped by Because of the tourists, the same kind of shops just kept popping up. It was better when we found some local trails to explore. The shops in town were just repetitive and boring. 15. There could be more board games at crow's nest After all these, we still had a great time because of the family that travelled with us. That's probably the way to cruise, bringing your own gang to a close container for days. The cruise had lots of potentials, but for some reason, it didn't live up to the expectation we paid for. My husband and I paid $1500 per person for an inside cabin. Our family got two more expensive suites. After comparing the two different levels of suites to our inside cabin, we actually felt great not going for the suites. Now, the good parts about the ship. The ship looked good and durable. The service people are in general very nice and professional. You never go hungry on the ship. The gym was great. Looking at the glacier was the best part during the trip on the ship. But then again, if you go to Canadian Rockies, you can even do the tour (waking) on the glacier. After all, it's pretty safe to say that we'll never go on HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The food and eating areas were clean, efficient and well run. They offered pleasant surroundings with efficient, hard working and friendly staff. We ate in the Lido, the common eating area and we impressed by it - much better than the ... Read More
The food and eating areas were clean, efficient and well run. They offered pleasant surroundings with efficient, hard working and friendly staff. We ate in the Lido, the common eating area and we impressed by it - much better than the 'trough' we had experienced on a different cruise. We also ate at two of the fine dining areas and both were excellent. Our accommodation with very good. It was bigger than we thought it might be and the cleaners did a great job of keeping the room and bathroom clean and neat. We have had other experiences on different cruise lines and were not very impressed. So it was a very pleasant surprise to experience the Holland America organisation. The drinks packages were also surprisingly reasonable with a 1 litre bottle of gin and two cans of tonic for $33 Canadian dollars. The organisation of the ship allowed a lot of areas where we could sit quietly and talk if we wanted to, but also offered other areas where quiet music was played or more upbeat stuff was played. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise because it went to Skagway and we could take an Excursion on a Narrow Gage railway up into the Yukon.. It was so much fun and the day was bright, sunny,& warm! We got to see sled dogs&pet their puppies. We had ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to Skagway and we could take an Excursion on a Narrow Gage railway up into the Yukon.. It was so much fun and the day was bright, sunny,& warm! We got to see sled dogs&pet their puppies. We had a BBQ lunch at Carcross, Yukon, which was far better than we expected.. The very best donuts on the planet!!! WE ATE TOO MANY!!... The excursion was great and we highly recommend it We took a bus up and returned by the train . The ship is smaller which enables you to get closer to the shore line & all the Glaciers You will have a better chance of clear skies in July, however, you really never know with the Pacific N.W.!!! Juneau was the Mendenhal Glacier which was very interesting but not close enough. We really enjoyed the shopping & walking in Ketchikan. Our friends wanted Authentic Native art & we found a lot there for various prices in various shops... The service was excellent & the Glacier martini's (blue in color) were fun & tasty!! We enjoyed sitting on the Promenade deck all bundled in our lovely blue plaid blankets found in every stateroom.. Napping was fun along with reading!! We enjoyed our cruise & highly recommend it to everyone.. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Nieuw Amsterdam, Inside Passage Alaska, May 21-28, 2016 Let me say up front this was one of the most disappointing travel experiences I have ever had – and I have been fortunate enough to travel extensively both professionally and ... Read More
Nieuw Amsterdam, Inside Passage Alaska, May 21-28, 2016 Let me say up front this was one of the most disappointing travel experiences I have ever had – and I have been fortunate enough to travel extensively both professionally and privately. We had booked Signature suite 6101 for the cruise. A week before departure we were informed we could upgrade to a Neptune suite for a reduced upgrade fee, which we did. That same day we received new boarding passes and baggage tag inserts for Neptune suite 7055. I am elderly and walk with a cane or with a walker for longer distances. Since boarding would involve considerable walking, and perhaps navigating gangplanks and inclines, I prearranged for a wheelchair for embarkation and debarkation. On the departure morning we turned in our luggage – including my walker – and proceeded to the check-in desks at 10:30 AM. I gave our boarding passes to the HA representative – showing we were in suite 7055. He said we were in suite 6101. I explained we had originally been in suite 6101 but had upgraded to Neptune suite 7055 the week before. He said there was no record of an upgrade I had spare copies of our luggage tags and the boarding passes – all showing suite 7055 – so the change was clearly in the system. I pointed out our luggage had already been checked in with luggage tags showing it was to be taken to suite 7055. He slammed the key cards for suite 6101 down in front of us and said “You’ll have to work that out on board the ship”. When I hesitated to take the key cards for 6101 he said words to the effect “You’re holding up the line. You’ll just have to work it out on board the ship”. Not knowing what else to do, we took the key cards for suite 6101 and set about finding the wheelchair I had arranged That was the beginning of the second bad part of the Holland America experience. There were no wheelchairs to be seen. We inquired of several Holland America personnel and were told to just follow the crowd and there would be a place to get wheelchairs. Finally we entered a large auditorium like area and were directed to a young lady who was entering names for wheelchair passengers on a clipboard. I was number nine on the list. There was apparently only a single individual pushing wheelchairs and it was taking him 15 minutes to get each passenger through security, customs and on board.. It took two hours for him to get to me. We finally reached our stateroom after 1:00 PM, cold, tired, irritated and too late for the promised boarding buffet. Then began the most frustrating part of the Holland America experience. We had purchased four shore excursions; the Tracy Arm trip, the evening whale watching, the luxury coach narrow gauge rail excursion and the float plane and crab feast. The concierge in the Neptune lounge said the tickets would be placed in the mail box outside our stateroom that evening. They weren’t. When we asked about them the next morning, we were assured they would be delivered that morning. They weren’t. Since the first excursion was scheduled for early the next morning, I asked a ship’s officer about them and he said they had been delivered to suite 6101 and they were “trying to retrieve them”. By now we were getting very anxious since without tickets we were going to miss out on shore trips we had paid for. Late that evening tickets did appear in our mailbox prominently marked “Reprints”. By now we had spent two nerve wracking days trying to straighten out problems caused by Holland America’s incompetence and indifference. The cruise was intended to be a relaxing pleasurable experience, but we had been forced to spend our time first getting the correct stateroom keys, then trying to get a wheel chair to board and finally trying to get the shore excursion tickets for which we had prepaid. Like a gullible fool I had believed the advertising about how good the food would be on the cruise. Instead, what we had for every meal for the seven days was cafeteria food. There isn’t much you can do for a breakfast – although eggs Benedict at Brannon’s in New Orleans is a four star experience – but the food in the Lido restaurant was not even up to the quality served at any number of premium motel chains. Never once in the seven days of the cruise did either of us have a meal which caused us to say, that was really good or even pretty good. Several times we wouldn’t eat what was served – the worse being a shrimp and Andouille sausage dish which tasted absolutely awful. The pastries in the Neptune lounge were more nearly stage props than pastries. It was as though someone had looked at pastries in a fine pastry shop, such as Demel’s in Vienna, and decided that a curl of shaved chocolate or a wisp of whipped cream made a fine pastry. But if the pastry underneath is simply a sheet cake it is still a sheet cake when decorated. We tried several before we realized there were no decent pastries. One of the concierge saw me hesitating over the items on display and said that they were going to be putting out some pate – which I like very much. What was put out were curls of a pink paste on crackers which I suspect may have come in an aerosol can. At any rate it bore no resemblance to any pate I have ever seen or tasted. The bottom line is that instead of having an enjoyable culinary experience, for seven days we were reduced to looking for something simply tolerable. Often that was coffee, fruit and an occasional cookie or bit of cheese from the Neptune lounge. After the boarding fiasco I kept my walker with me for debarking which was fortunate since as best I could tell there was no wheelchair even though I had ordered one. The bottom line is that this was one of the most disappointing travel experiences I have ever had. I wouldn’t go on another Holland America cruise if paid to do so Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
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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