14 Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Family Cruise Reviews

Holland America's cruise from Skagway to Vancouver was wonderful. That is, if you were healthy enough to enjoy it. Once we were done with the aggressive land travel portion, their bus delivered us and many others to the ship ... Read More
Holland America's cruise from Skagway to Vancouver was wonderful. That is, if you were healthy enough to enjoy it. Once we were done with the aggressive land travel portion, their bus delivered us and many others to the ship coughing, sneezing, congested and worn out. Long land transports were ideal pathogen breeding grounds, and HAL was invisible with any contagion prevention. RCL does a much better job in this regard. Also, stayed in a real dive along the way. If you're lucky enough to be healthy at ship embarkation, you will see some gorgeous scenery, and, hopefully, some wildlife. But, wildlife viewing was sporadic at best. Other aspects of the cruise were about what you'd expect: very attentive service by stewards/waiters, good food (but specialty restaurants had the really good food), good entertainment, some good excursions/some to be avoided. If you can afford it, get a room with a veranda. The extra space and additional viewing area was great for relaxing and taking in the scenery. We had to have the steward fix a squeaky door leading out to the veranda, but he was very accomodating and got it done right away (along with fixing a slow drain in the bathtub). We usually dined with the other people in our 16-person group. The wait staff quickly became familiar with our group. We celebrated a couple of birthdays during the trip, and the staff entertained us with some birthday cakes and renditions of Happy Birthday. Food was good but did not blow us away. The ship was an enjoyable size--not so large that it took a long time to get from one end to the other and not too small as to be lacking in venues. Hot tubs were actually hot and not too crowded. Didn't get a chance to use any of the several pools but those that did looked like they were enjoying it. Overall, we were a little underwhelmed by the land portion of this tour. Didn't see much wildlife, smoke was everywhere due to the forest fires, and we're still trying to get better two weeks later. So, avoid that leg of the tour, stick to the cruise and you'll enjoy it more. Don't bank on Alaska being the "trip of a lifetime". It certainly isn't--especially the way HAL operates. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
my husband has been wanting to sail to Alaska for years and we have been on at least 15 cruises so I finally gave in and I'm glad I did. Alaska was amazing however I will never sail Holland American again. the service was horrible. ... Read More
my husband has been wanting to sail to Alaska for years and we have been on at least 15 cruises so I finally gave in and I'm glad I did. Alaska was amazing however I will never sail Holland American again. the service was horrible. the staff was so unhappy and they showed it, I did have e good dining room server and one server in the casino that was nice but honestly that was it. I was shocked because service makes or breaks your experience. you could tell they did not want to be there. the food was mediocre to say the least, buffet was the same things over and over, dining room options and quality below par. to top it off they try to save on entertainment and had a show one evening called the Filipino cast show, I felt so sorry for them it was a train wreck. we will return to Alaska on a cruise but not on Holland America nor will I recommend it, if this was someone's first cruise I bet they would never go on another. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I first cruised with Holland America 18 years ago, and it's clear that an abundant amount has changed in such a long period of time. That was certainly expected! I cannot stress the incredible service we received on this line both ... Read More
I first cruised with Holland America 18 years ago, and it's clear that an abundant amount has changed in such a long period of time. That was certainly expected! I cannot stress the incredible service we received on this line both times from their extremely friendly and overall incredibly happy staff. It's so refreshing to meet people who seem like they are enjoying being there as much as you are! It also makes me wish their compensation was not so geared on Holland America aiming to collect $450+ from a family of 4 sharing a cabin in addition to our fare to pay them as they deserve. Even cash tips given to those we appreciated were taken and put into a pool for even distribution behind the scenes, even though as most service goes, not everyone provides the same level of care and attention. More on gratuity later, but in the meanwhile, I will try to provide my opinions as objectively as I can. Embarkation was one of the most chaotic and unpleasant experiences of the whole cruise. It really set a sour note on our family's excitement for a vacation we had spent a lot of time saving for. Lunch was served in the Lido and it was absolute madness. Lido service stations sometimes have multiple lines for one station, and there was poor signage for diners to figure out where to go. Trying to get a meal for myself and three children (age 1-9) was awful, we had no idea where to go or where to stand, and the overwhelmed staff was unable to assist or direct as necessary. There was not enough room for everyone to eat. We also received "open seating" as the only available option with our booking, and reservations were all taken except for 5:15pm dining for parties of 8, and when we did walk ins the service staff seemed confused and frustrated that they would have to rearrange the dining room to accommodate us with a high chair. Thankfully, the As You Wish reservation team answering the phones was always extremely helpful and our waitstaff made the confusion and frustration worth it by treating us like absolute gold. Gede Gunawan is the most amazing service person I have ever met in my life and he made our trip very special and helped salvage what was a lot of headaches! Our cabin was nothing to really write home about - a large bed for my husband and I, a crib for my daughter Aurora, and a ceiling and sofa bed for kids to hop between our room and their grandparents' room next door. Mohammad, our room steward, took great care of us. The Dive-In burger joint upstairs is not really what people come to cruises for, which means the lines are short to non-existent and the food was OUTSTANDING. Main dining hall also receives absolutely nothing but praise from my family, even my picky eaters. Kids menus were everywhere and they accommodated even our pickiest palate. The Nieuw Amsterdam was a gorgeous ship. We have always enjoyed the art on display and the clear directions and information for navigating the ship. This is one of the newer ships, although we experience leaking ceilings in our stateroom hallway. We also saw leaking into some of the art displays. Here's a secret - the cruise lines own all those shops and jewelry shillers on the main piers in each port. You can skip every shopping guide presentation by Victoria because she is just a salesperson there to direct you to cruise line owned businesses. You're better off googling what to do and where to shop from smaller sites and not from the cruise itself. I don't remember there being so many gaudy jewelry stores 18 years ago! Noise: This ship is incredibly noisy, and this was the noisiest cruise I've ever taken. Our stateroom was below a late night chair rearrangement area, down the hall from the Main Stage that opens directly into levels 1, 2, and 3. Remaining for meals at port calls onboard means that people are actively doing construction all around you. We tried to enjoy whale watching in Ketchikan while two humpbacks played next to the ship, but unfortunately they were actively drilling and sanding the lido room so we could not take nice videos of the sighting. Disembarkation was also a nightmare and chaotic like embarkation was. They took our bags off the ship at midnight and we disembarked around 9am to pick them up. Our bags were handled poorly and weren't even grouped together. The biggest shock of the cruise was the Hotel Service Charge tacked onto our bill every day, running up nearly $500 in what really is a gratuity charge. The front desk was poorly trained in handling it, and spent a great deal of time telling me I was taking away someone's salary by asking the charge be removed or modified. In the future, my family will cruise elsewhere, most likely with one of the many cruise lines that offers a military discount and understands we aren't all rich retirees, which was mostly who seemed to be onboard with Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Service and food is good. Amenities insufficient e.g. two pools but nothing really for kids. there is no music at the pools, employees, nor entertainment. Other passengers mostly great with a few sour apples i.e. grumpy and old. We ... Read More
Service and food is good. Amenities insufficient e.g. two pools but nothing really for kids. there is no music at the pools, employees, nor entertainment. Other passengers mostly great with a few sour apples i.e. grumpy and old. We even had an old couple tell us, its refreshing to see some young people. It is NOT child friendly unless you are using Club HAL for children 3 and older so you can dump your kids away like daycare and be rid of them to enjoy yourselves. This doesn't make up for the lack of child friendly amenities & grumpy guests. Everything costs extra e.g. not all restaurants are free. So, if your old, have a lot of money, caucasian, don't want many children around this cruise is for you! Will not return to this cruiseline! even when I'm old. Our experience: You aren't allowed the entertainment if you have kids! Read Less
Sail Date October 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 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
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
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
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
Embarkation was horrible.. Standing in line for one hour and 15 min. with only 4-5 agents who were being "trained" by another one standing next them. People were having to get out of line and go and find a wheelchair, because ... Read More
Embarkation was horrible.. Standing in line for one hour and 15 min. with only 4-5 agents who were being "trained" by another one standing next them. People were having to get out of line and go and find a wheelchair, because they couldn't stand any longer. And the one man in the area, said he couldn't leave his post to go and fetch a chair.. so the people had to leave the line and go find someone to get them a wheelchair.. Then, of course, they lost their place in the long line... Food was good, but the portions get smaller and smaller each year. Staff was friendly and helpful. Shows were mediocre.. music much too loud . The singers and dancers worked very hard, but the material they were given to perform was much to ultra-modern, flashy and loud! Piano bar in a room so small that it was hard to even get in, never mind find a seat! Ship was very rocky the first few nights... a crew member said that there was something broken or wrong, with whatever it is that stabilizes the ship. I'm more into the larger ships from now on with the bigger stabilizers! The Ship's corridors leading to staterooms were painted a dismal grey with black/white art work...Reminded me of the inside of a submarine or military ship.. very dreary looking! I guess I'm at the stage now, having travelled on RC Allure and Oasis that I prefer the newer, large ships with the fantastic entertainment, swimming shows, ice skating shows. Two nights on this cruise there wasn't even any entertainment in the showroom. Just the Lido Deck Party which didn't start until after 9 p.m..around 9:30 p.m. and the Marriage Show which didn't start until 10 p.m. If you're eating at 5:30 p.m..what is one to do for the two hours between dinner and showtime at 9:30 p.m.?? Overall, very disappointing cruise... won't be back on HAL again I'm afraid. Disembarkation was excellent I will say! Very quick and efficient! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We have travelled on a variety of cruise lines Ncl, Princess, Rcl and P&O and thought we would try a new line. We were very excited to be travelling on a 5 star line...what a disappointment! The good Large inside cabin, ports of ... Read More
We have travelled on a variety of cruise lines Ncl, Princess, Rcl and P&O and thought we would try a new line. We were very excited to be travelling on a 5 star line...what a disappointment! The good Large inside cabin, ports of call and the length of the stops. BB Blues singers and musicians were magnificient high energy and talented. Formula one tour was good. Drink prices were average and take advantage of the happy hours. Very efficient boarding and disembarkation. Arrived and departed ports on time and a smooth sail for the duration of the cruise. The bad Terrible food cold, under or overcooked and repetitive. Buffet serving areas were closed before the listed times. if you came back to the ship around 3pm following a day ashore or wanted a late night snack after 11pm the only thing to eat was room service or tortillas, burger or pizza every day this becomes very repetitive and unhealthy. Definitely not a five star experience. Entertainment does not compare with any other ship we have travelled on. Dire with the exception of the afore mentioned musicians. Most guest acts were 20 years out of date in particular the comedian. Very little entertainment activities during the day. The port shuttles offered by the ship were overpriced at 16 dollars for a 10-15 min journey. I wouldn't recommend this ship to travellers under the age of 55 as very little to do thank goodness we could spend most the time off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The good: - service was pleasing and top-notch throughout the ship, but I felt that pool staff was considerably slow in removing empty plates/glasses; some individuals were better than others, just like on any other cruise line; our ... Read More
The good: - service was pleasing and top-notch throughout the ship, but I felt that pool staff was considerably slow in removing empty plates/glasses; some individuals were better than others, just like on any other cruise line; our cabin stewards were superb, but this is always hit-or-miss; - food was well above average, but portions have been substantially downsized; some of the appetizers in the main dining room were almost laughable (two dime-sized scallops one evening); build-your-own pizza kitchen by the adults' pool was really excellent; - cleanliness throughout the ship, especially in public restrooms; unlike previous cruises, I never saw a single used room-service tray waiting to be picked up on hallways; - Spa was decent -- nothing fancy, but the thermal rooms were nice enough; - Jeremy, on-board pianist at the Piano Bar, is a truly gifted entertainer The bad and the ugly: - we've always read about the predominance of older passenges on HAL, but had never truly experienced this issue in our previous cruises; this was most definitely a problem this time around, in what appeared to be the 80-80 cruise (80% of passengers in the 80-year old range); by and large these elderly passengers have a distinct sense of entitlement, move slowly and occupy tons of space, cut in front of lines; - The so-called cruise director; one rarely comes across such a useless individual occupying this type of position; well, unless you count "learming to use your Microsoft Office calendar" and "Salsa with host Sabine" as interesting activities at sea; - tenders: one of the most irritating systems ever devised in a cruise ship; you line up like cattle in a looooong hallway, just to receive a numbered card; after that you take a seat at a dancing hall with zero amenities and wait for your number to be called; no priority for Mariner-status or suite-level cruisers, no way to reserve a time-slot in advance; this must have been the idea of a Soviet-era planner; - let me emphasize that Jeremy the piano man was the only exception -- entertainment on the Nieuw Amsterdam varies from pitiful to non-existent; what an eyesore it was to see a bunch of ladies "learning belly dancing" at the Crow's Nest on at least three occasions. I felt bad for the hapless barman watching the scene and hearing the dreadful soundtrack. At night, all bars on deck 3 looked like ghost towns after 9:00pm; not a single source of music (not even Muzak) was available to entertain us on deck 3 after dinner; on two occasions the ship's "major" attraction was a musical show featuring... the Philippino crew. Seriously, who comes up with something like this and chalks it up as entertainment?!? How to please an audience with tastes predominantly adapted to a nursing home routine; - shore excrusions: waaaaaay over-priced and most definitely underwhelming; the interests and peeves of the elderly passengers just made them worse; on board shopping: not sure if it's a matter of laughing or crying; maybe both, unless you reeeeeaaaally like "replica sunglasses" or the sort of tawdry items that Bijoux Terner sells at airports; - little things, like the fact that Nieuw Amsterdam consistently docked at the farthest possible pier, even when larger ships took prime spots at every single port we visited; I didn't even bother asking about this because there would surely be some kind of lame and murky excuse along the lines of "berth depth" or "operational reasons"; in Santorini HAL clearly gave us the short end of the stick, with a late arrival of 9:00am and early departure at 3:30pm, then shamelessly blaming this on "Greek authorities", which for some reason appeared to be much more flexible with other cruise ships visiting the island on that day; our Captain then generously apologized for this "minor inconvenience" by offering each adult guest... a free glass of sparkling wine at dinner. Wow, how generous...tsc, tsc, tsc. - scheduling: what kind of cruise line manages to bring its passangers to Santorini on a constrained schedule (9:00am - 3:30pm) on the same day when four other major ships are visiting the island?!? I checked port-of-call website and learned that there were 13,000 cruisers visiting Santorini on that day, so you can imagine what a nightmare the island was -- not to mention the cable car lines. On the following day just a single ship was going to visit the island. It begs the question of what kind of useless staffer creates and manages itineraries at HAL (which changed a couple of times after we purchased the cruise); last but not least: by far (and I really mean by far) the worst and most disorganized emergency drill we ever experienced on a cruise; cruise drills are naturally annoying but this went several notches above (or below, if you prefer); if drills are a reasonable measure of survival in case of a real emergency, our odds of survival would be marginal, at best; My biggest regret? Having chosen HAL over Celebrity for this particular cruise, only because HAL's itinerary featured one additional day (12 over Celebrity's 11). Celebrity is not perfect, but it would have certainly offered us a better ship and a more interesting crowd to travel with. Bottom line? I don't think HAL will see us on board its ships any time soon. Never say never, because one day we'll turn 70 and then match HAL's prevailing demographics. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Just finished a 12 day Mediterranean cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam. It was a total disappointment. The food service was very inefficient. We had to wait in long lines for all three meals since we don't like the slow service in the formal ... Read More
Just finished a 12 day Mediterranean cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam. It was a total disappointment. The food service was very inefficient. We had to wait in long lines for all three meals since we don't like the slow service in the formal dinning room. Once you got in front of the servers, they gave you very little servings of everything. Once a girl gave me very little veggies, so I asked for more. She picked up three more pieces of string beans and put on my plate....!!!!! The excursions were ok except one, which prompt me to write this review. We joined the Florence/ Pisa excursion after docking in Livorno. All went well in the morning until lunch time. We were taken to 'SABATINI' restaurant in downtown Florence. There were three groups from the ship. Each group had about 40 people. The restaurant only gave us one young boy as waiter. There were three more waiters busy serving their walk in customers. They whipped pans of pasta and chunks of meat in front of us, while we only had a dry roll in each of our plate. We asked for butter or oil/vinegar but was ignored. After about 40 minutes, the boy started serving a tiny dish of pasta. They ran out for our table. We waited another 20 minutes for a tiny plate of broken lasagna noodle in pasta sauce. We waited another 30 minutes for a meat dish with a piece of paper thin slice of meet with 5 potato wedges and 7 tiny pieces of squash. My eight year old was still hungry after the main courses. My mother asked the waiter if we can order from the menu and he pretended not understanding English. Totally we spent 2.5 hours in the restaurant watch them busy serving other 'paying' customers. We were treated like second class citizens who were there for free food. The excursion costs almost $200 per person!!!! Our trip to Pisa had to cut short because of the time spent in the restaurant. The tour guide only gave us 30 minutes once the bus arrived in Pisa. This included the time we walk from the bus station to the tower. So basically hi leaning tower and bye Pisa. We paid the cruise Line to provide transportation to the airport in Barcelona. When we got off the ship, HAL people told us they are one bus short. We had to wait for one to come. It's mind boggling that they had the exact count of people and still messed up. We stood in the hot sun waited fir 30 minutes while the people got off the ship with us were already in a taxi on their merry way to the airport. I reminded the HAL person that we paid triple the taxi fare to the cruise line so we can be on time for our fight. The person told me there is nothing she can do and she does not have a manager to report this issue. I should report this to the cruise Line after I get home. All in all, you think I'm going to take another HAL cruise???? Naaaaa....... Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Sailed Nov 21, 2010 N.Amsterdam - first time Holland America. Daughter's wedding was held on Nov 21 at port before sailing. The wedding coordination handled by an HAL contracted service, Royal Ocean Events, went very well. That's ... Read More
Sailed Nov 21, 2010 N.Amsterdam - first time Holland America. Daughter's wedding was held on Nov 21 at port before sailing. The wedding coordination handled by an HAL contracted service, Royal Ocean Events, went very well. That's about all that went well on this cruise. We were a party of 16 (13 Adults/3 Children)- 6 cabins. We were under the assumption that HAL was a "premium" cruisline - far from it. There are so many cons to this new ship (cruiseline) it would take me a few hours to describe. Here it is in brief form: Service lacks in all departments. Manhattan Dining & Tamarind Asian - stay away. Pinnacle Grill was excellent the first night of sailing (held wedding dinner reception there) - booked for Thanksgiving and service went downhill! The food in the Pinnacle is the best on the entire ship. Lido Buffet repeats itself - everything tastes the same. We all mostly survived on hamburgers from the pool grill when opened. Food is EXTREMELY limited at all times including during the Half Moon Cay Island BBQ. At the buffet line you are served a limited portion. Phones do not work properly. Room service is very very slow, (up to 2hr wait) poor quality and limited menu. Coffee is awful - had to mix with 1/2 hot water everytime. Never met my room steward until the last night when he knocked at our door to give us a survey to be completed regarding the service...WHAT???? Cabins were cleaned everyday - no complaints there but we never saw by whom. This ship constantly rocks causing passengers to be sick. We recently sailed the Celebrity Solstice (Southern Caribbean) in June 2010 and never felt it move! New ship? Stabilizers? Don't think so! Staff is overworked and cannot possibly provide "excellence of service" as HAL boasts. No music whatsoever! Piped in 1920 jitterbug sounds by the pool instead of Caribbean calypso live band or CD! Employees continuously opened and closed dome over pool for no apparent reason - very annoying. Smokey vanity mirror in cabins - can't see yourself! Poor lighting in cabin.(Had floor to ceiling window and still dark). Ports are a waste of time unless stay is longer. We were shorted 1 hour in Puerto Rico. Half Moon Cay is a beautiful island however, if you book an excursion, you don't get to have lunch. It is served from 11:30am-1:30pm and if the food is gone before, it's over! Rented 2 cabanas (yellow & green) at $299 each. When booking it states you get sodas, water, snacks, snorkeling gear for 4 people. The snacks consisted of one dish with 1 slice of cantaloupe, 1 slice watermelon, 1/2 strawberry and some leaf on top as decor. Another dish with 2 sticks of celery, 2 long slices of carrots, 1 grape tomato and ranch sauce. 1 small basket of nacho chips with salsa, guacamole and ranch. 8 Cans of soda and 4 waters. This...for 4 people. It is a rip-off. Registered the three children (11,9,5) in camp which they enjoyed. However, at one point the 5 year old was allowed to leave with the parent although the child did not appear as attending the camp that evening. We found ourselves for the first time in 10 cruises having to adjust the automatic gratuity charges the last day of the cruise. We declined to pay this and only gave the "ghostly" steward his portion in cash. We certainly do not recommend this ship nor the cruise-line and will not be sailing to South America in March2011 on the Vandeem as planned. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
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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