16 Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - Western

Food was awesome. Shows were good but only 5 and one was a sorta redo with same comedians different material. They did two “Taks” to replace shows. Although the talks were interesting they should have had them for the afternoon of Sea ... Read More
Food was awesome. Shows were good but only 5 and one was a sorta redo with same comedians different material. They did two “Taks” to replace shows. Although the talks were interesting they should have had them for the afternoon of Sea days , where there was only two things to do . Either sit by the pool or a gamble. Very few trivia contests. No scavenger hunt, no Newlywed game. They did have two great pianists but you couldn’t get a seat unless you arrived a half hour before showtime. The same was true of the Soul Music show and the Violinists. Never enough seating. If ships are going to accommodate thousands of guests they need thousands of seats. Casino small but non smoking. On the first evening we heard a sound like a barking dog. We called the front desk and they sent someone up to the hallway to check. They called me and they said there is no barking dog and I told them that it sounded like a barking dog , that I doubt it it was actually a dog on the ship. The following day I called again and reported the same issue. This time they actually sent someone up to my state room and I took them out to the deck so that they could hear the barking dog sound loud and clear . It turned out to be the door between the balconies was vibrating and sounded like a barking dog. They repaired it and we slept in quiet the following evenings. I wish they had believed me the first evening it would’ve been Nice to get a good night of rest on the first evening of the cruise. On the next to The last day of the cruise everyone had to go down to Deck three and present their passport at different times. Our groups time was 830. We normally went to breakfast in the dining room at 8:30 so we thought it would be good to go after the passport presentation. We went and found the dining room was closed. We were told the only breakfast available was at the buffet. Apparently thousands of other passengers were told the same. We walked around the buffet for 20 minutes before finding a table. The table was on a level with a step. Thanks to that step my sister-in-law fell and broke her shoulder bone. There should not be steps on a ship that caters to the elderly, they should be ramps. After the accident , my wife and her sister spent six hours in the hospital. The reason the time was so lengthy is because the x-rays they took on the ship were faulty. That was due to the fact that the doctor gave them the wrong x-rays with the wrong person‘s name on the x-rays. So the hospital had to take new x-rays to confirm that my sister-in-law in fact did have a broken shoulder. Thank the Lord, this all happened early in the day , due to the fact the ship was departing the Port at 4:30 and my wife and both her sisters did not return to the ship until 330. Bring your own soda . I called to order two diet cokes and they advised they would deliver Wednesday. Disembarked Saturday still no Diet Coke in stateroom. Needless to say, I will never take another Holland America cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My family and I went on this cruise last minute. As in, we weren't even on the manifest. We cancelled our NCL Epic, and hopped on the Nieuw Amsterdam. What a delight! Check in was pretty easy, considering we were not checked in at ... Read More
My family and I went on this cruise last minute. As in, we weren't even on the manifest. We cancelled our NCL Epic, and hopped on the Nieuw Amsterdam. What a delight! Check in was pretty easy, considering we were not checked in at all. Our luggage was delivered in a timely fashion. Our room was an inside cabin, last minute. However, our room steward was always on top of everything. He was professional and friendly. All the staff a board the ship were the same, always there for directions or help. The food was amazing! We ate filet, lobster tail, osso buco, lamb chops and leg, a variety of Asian dishes. This was in the MDR or the buffet. We ate at Canelletto's, the Italian place, it was perfect. A family style dining experience. There were always pool chairs available. There are 2 pools and they are both heated! That is a plus if you have ever been on Carnival or NCL. The biggest bonus for me is the no smoking in the casino! It was great! The only smoking spot on the ship, that I saw, was top deck near the pool. We were also pleased with the tendering process. Easy to follow directions. Also, like I mentioned before, there are staff on each deck to help. I will say, I travelled with 2 teens. They really enjoyed the teen club. There are no water slides, video games or giant movies screens on this ship. However, there were a group of 10 teens that hung out and had fun. They played chess, ate lunch together, had scavenger hunts, and played bingo! We will definetly book again with HAL. We had a fabulous vacation! The staff, food and the effortless fun, make the decision to travel with them easy! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
From the moment we boarded this ship until we left we were treated so well on this cruise. All of the staff members went out of their way to provide top notch service. The cabin was clean, bright and spacious for a cruise line. We had a ... Read More
From the moment we boarded this ship until we left we were treated so well on this cruise. All of the staff members went out of their way to provide top notch service. The cabin was clean, bright and spacious for a cruise line. We had a partial view cabin but we were not disappointed as we could see the ocean every morning when we woke up. The cabin stewards did a great job keeping our cabin clean, put cute towels on our bed along with chocolate. When we were in the hallways our cabin steward always greeted us by name and asked if we were having a good time.The dining at night was excellent and the staff went above and beyond to ensure we had a great experience. There were many choices of food during the daytime, I really liked the homemade pizzas.There was plenty to do on board, the 2 pools, games, bars, casino, shows, trivia, bingo and even a 5k walk. We took advantage of so many activities throughout this cruise. The ports and shore excursions were so much fun. We traveled with our 21 year old son and he had so much fun, and he met quite a few people around his age. This is a top notch cruise line and not a party boat. We appreciated it being a little more on the quiet side versus some of the other cruise lines. We will definitely be back. It was a great cruise for older children and adults. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Went with a family group (3 generations) for a special birthday celebration of a grandparent. Went along for the ride but we did not pick cruise, etc. We enjoyed the cruise overall and had set our expectations for activities for kids ... Read More
Went with a family group (3 generations) for a special birthday celebration of a grandparent. Went along for the ride but we did not pick cruise, etc. We enjoyed the cruise overall and had set our expectations for activities for kids going in advance (ages 4-14yo in our group). Service was excellent in the rooms. A bit disappointed in embarkation and customer service as we had two problems: somehow they didn't apply our card that/payment that we used in the port at embarkation. So after getting charges denied a few times had to make trip to add it. Not a huge deal but not how you want to spend your time. Then, they continued to miss me as a named guest in our room even though TA submitted all my info in advance. So, that caused trouble with names on excursions, and charges for room. Club Hal was ok- staff seemed a bit rigid that we were dropping by for info first night but had missed the Orientation first afternoon. Not easy to make if you've just boarded, are eating, finding way around cruise. Ultimately, we didn't use it for the 6 kids in our group at all. If it is important to you age groups in clubs were different than cited on website. No paper schedules available and we were told to check the schedule on tv in room for ClubHal activities. Great when its working but it was one day behind on all data (port, menu, etc.) the first few days at least so that was no help. No pager or way to contact parents like on other cruises. They seemed like they might be accomodating to my special needs kid if he passed muster but they were quick to state they didn't have an extra crew member to take care of him and I would have to be with him if not. I get it and I wasn't requesting that. A little offputting since they advertise on the front of ClubHal that they accomodate special needs kids. My son would have done fine but that might have been a disappointing surprise to others upon arriving if hoping to have a break from the kids. I had made attempts to ask questions and inform them in advance of the cruise. Worked out ok but a bit disappointing. Activities for kids that we saw on board were 1 family pool, 2 ping pong tables, sports court, board games and advanced puzzles for more mature kids in Crows Nest. There was a BINGO contest or two but we missed it. Ironically didn't ever see shuffleboard either. Worked for us with cousins to visit with but might fall short to others. Many excursions had age limits that could have been limiting for kids under 8 or so too. Would want to read that in advance. Liked that they had Mass on Sundays and daily though that was not easy to confirm in advance. Decent entertainment but repeated later in the week (e.g. comedian) and only 1 main production (e.g. no Lincoln Center Orchestra and Planet Earth(?) movie per night- downfall of smaller boat maybe? Not many bars open past 830 or 9pm either. They existed but had to go find them in casino or Crow's Nest I think. Food was good and one of the better things about the cruise but not the reason to go. Ate in main dining room(MDR) as a group with two tables near each other for a scheduled early seating (530pm) a number of nights. The first night it took forever to even get drinks, menus and then for food to come. We were lucky to be done around 745 or 8pm when they were signaling to leave for the next seating every time. Had kids from 4yo+ so not for the faint of heart or with extreme wiggles : ) Ate in Lido Market a lot and that was pretty good. Lots of variety and broader hours. Nice cabin but not a fan that of the design that all Quad Rooms on HAL have the 4th bed over the 2 singles that make a Queen. Worked ok but no room to even sit up a little underneath vs maybe 4ft of clearance above the bunk. A few bumped heads by all. Cabin seemed a bit dated in terms of a piece of the divider between cabins on the balcony shook free first day and made horrible sound. They were able to fix with some towels wedged in for the rest of the cruise. Also, one overhead storage wouldn't stay up and kept slamming closed. Data on television not working first few days at least- heard their satellite was out but would think there might be a backup plan. May be true of all cruises but was really hard to hear announcements in room and around ship. A downfall of this cruise was the times we were in Cozumel. We arrived at 11am and left at 11pm. We were the last cruise ship in I think and most things had closed down or were pretty dead between 8-9p near the port (except for a few vendors right by dock). Many nearby parks closed at 430pm. So, not a ton to do if you weren't on a late day excursion except catch a cab and eat out if you were even venturing away from dock/port area. Check schedule in advance if you care about time there. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The Nieuw Amsterdam is a beautiful ship. I was impressed immediately upon boarding. Granted, I have no idea what she looked like prior to her recent dry dock, but I was generally knowledgeable of what was old and what was new. I think the ... Read More
The Nieuw Amsterdam is a beautiful ship. I was impressed immediately upon boarding. Granted, I have no idea what she looked like prior to her recent dry dock, but I was generally knowledgeable of what was old and what was new. I think the new changes are wonderful. First of all, the new carpeting is perfect. The color scheme is spot-on and provides an elegant foundation in the public spaces, especially near the elevators. I thought the new venues, especially Billboard Onboard, the Gallery Bar, and the Crow's Nest (I forget its new name), looked fantastic. I agree with some others that the Crow's Nest now has a bit of an identity crisis, but I think this can be remedied in time. The new technology up there has limited use but certainly looks impressive. And I love how the casino, piano lounge, and Gallery Bar now have this fluid, open feel to them. And bravo to making the casino non-smoking. The atrium looked nice as well, but as I mentioned, I did not see it before the removal of the stairs. Overall, the ship was stunningly beautiful and easily navigable. We stayed in two adjacent (non-adjoining) obstructed view cabins on Deck 4, mid-ship (Cabins 4101 and 4103). I was hesitant to book these cabins but did so anyway, given the great rate that was offered. I had only ever sailed with a balcony, so I was a tad spoiled. Needless to say, we loved these rooms for the value they provided and the natural light allowed in by the full-length windows (essentially, non-opening balcony doors). For the first time, I had a cabin all to myself, and that was quite a treat. The rooms were wonderfully appointed. The carpets and sofas were either new or well-kept. The bathroom was just the right size and had a tub/shower combo. My petite-sized aunt appreciated the ability to take baths, although the tub probably would have been uncomfortable for me. One of the best things about the cabin, and what surprised me the most, was the huge selection of on-demand movies available on the fairly-large flat-panel television mounted on the wall. The movies played with ease and in great clarity. This is a far cry from out small, desk-mounted television on the Noordam a couple years ago, which offered only snowy views of very few channels. Our stateroom attendants were very personable, remembered our names, and did a fantastic job with their twice-per-day visits. My only complaint was that the A/C did not get my room as cold as I normally like. The food ranged from good to great. We ate most breakfasts and lunches in the Lido, 4 dinners in the main dining room, and one dinner, each, in Canaletto, Tamarind, and the Pinnacle Grill. Breakfast and lunch were great in the Lido. I found the servers to be very kind and welcoming, and I think I prefer being served my food vs. using utensils that have been touched by others. The Lido was crowded during obvious times (breakfast on port days and lunch on sea days), but it was manageable. I enjoyed having fresh-fried eggs for breakfast. I wish I hadn't discovered the French toast and crepes, but I did. Delicious! The service and food were very good in the main dining room. We were lucky to get Diaz as our server. He perfectly combined humor with good service. The menu on the first night was not to my liking, but it was all uphill from there. Standouts over the course of the week included the tomato soup and basically anything served during Gala evenings. We found most desserts to be good, also. My favorite was the warm chocolate cake (it might have been flourless) on the second Gala evening. I asked for a second, without shame. We found all three specialty restaurants to be very good and worth the price of admission. The ladies in Canaletto provided the best service of the three. Standouts included the seafood soup, salad, and lasagna in Canaletto, and all appetizers and the mini donuts in Tamarind. Both ladies enjoyed the king crab legs, lobster bisque, and Caesar salad in Pinnacle, while I particularly enjoyed the NY strip steak and mashed potatoes. Oddly, I thought the desserts in the Pinnacle were the most disappointing, perhaps only because the rest of the meal was so good. I thought the best dessert in Pinnacle was the soufflé. I wanted to love the molten chocolate cake but found it tasted too boozy for my liking. I thought the entertainment was good overall. I enjoyed the BB King blues band, as well as Will and Ivy, the Billboard Onboard duo. In the main showroom, I really enjoyed the Billboard-themed production show covering #1 hits over the past several decades (I apologize, its name now escapes me). However, I did not like the 'One World' show, as I found the singing, dancing, and costumes to be a little on the cheesy side. I LOVED the BBC Earth/Lincoln Center performance. This is such a wonderful show, and I find it to be very moving and even thrilling at time. The cruise director said this was the premier of this particular show on this ship, which I cannot confirm. The two guest entertainers were okay- the comedian was better than the juggler, but I will always choose comedy over juggling. I agree with others who say that daytime entertainment is lacking on sea days. The daily program almost becomes laughable with its offerings of "anti-aging miracles" and "secrets to a flatter stomach" seminars. I suspect there is a sales attempt tied to these programs, and that's why they are offered. I cannot put my finger on what programs should be offered, but I do know that something feels lacking. Then again, I am content finding a cozy lounger around the pool on sea days, but of course, these can be difficult to come by. We stopped in Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Key West. I will be brief on these, as we did not book any excursions, and reviews of these ports are easy to find. Half Moon Cay- Wow! Perhaps the best beach and ocean water (my goodness, that color of blue/green!) I have ever seen. I think Disney's Castaway Cay is still the best private cruise port, but Half Moon is a close second with an even better beach. However, I will say that I did not love the BBQ buffet. Grand Cayman- My least favorite day of the week. There were many ships in port, and we ended up on 7 Mile Beach at the Royal Palms. BIG MISTAKE. It was a zoo, spring-break-like atmosphere. Completely overcrowded and not enjoyable for me, at all. The food was good but not enough for me to ever return. Cozumel- Having been to Cozumel 3 times in the past 3 years, I opted to stay on the ship. It was great to spend the day around the pools, which were completely uncrowded. The ladies enjoyed a quick step out and some light shopping, but did not stay long. I will say that I think it is a nice touch that Holland brought a mariachi band and dancers onboard and offered chips, salsa, and guac to the spectators around the aft pool. This was a nice touch. Key West- I was particularly excited about this stop, as I had never been. I must say, I really liked Key West. Others I spoke with said it was too touristy, but I found that only to be the case in the few blocks immediately surrounding the port. We took the little train for $29, which I think was worth it. I love the architecture of the island and also enjoyed a visit to Hemmingway's former home (a $14 admission fee, if I remember correctly). Conclusion I had a great week aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam. I highly recommend this ship. I found the food, entertainment, service, and accommodations to be very good, and the ship is stunningly beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We have sailed with Holland America in the past and chose this cruise for the itinerary. it was my husband and myself. We are in our mid 40's and enjoy this cruise line because it's quiet with few children. We chose a late ... Read More
We have sailed with Holland America in the past and chose this cruise for the itinerary. it was my husband and myself. We are in our mid 40's and enjoy this cruise line because it's quiet with few children. We chose a late hotel check out the day of embarkment and arrived at the port at 1. The process to check in at this time was less than 15 mins. There was no line at security or check in. The staff at Port Everglades staff was friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable. The ship had recently been refurbished and was elegantly decorated. The ship was clean and set up similarly to other ships. The atrium was the smallest we have ever seen, but was comfortable and beautifully decorated. We were a disappointed in the food selection on this cruise. We typically eat all meals in the dining room , but ate most nights in the Lido as there were no choices we wanted. The Lido served A LOT of pork. The food was tasty just not good selection. They had great fruit. Desserts were disappointing, but the ice cream was good. We ate 1 evening in a specialty restaurant, the pinnacle Grill. The food here was great. We chose the crab legs and had the biggest shrimp we have ever seen in our shrimp cocktail appetizer. We ate breakfast in our room several morning which was ok. the selection is a little better than during previous cruises. The food temp was fair and the milk was always warm. The production shows were typical with average singing and dancing. The comedian was great and the highlight of the evening shows. The illusionist/magician was pretty self absorb and proud of himself. The staff was all friendly and helpful. Our room stewards were hard to understand but did a great job in our room and was friendly. They knew our names. We were pleased with them. We loved all of the ports. We missed Half moon Cay as the water was to rough to tender in. We have visited this island before and is beautiful. It was definitely disappointing we missed it. We love to snorkel and had our best experience in Grand Turk and Bonaire. We booked all of our excursions our self except in Dominican Republic. We like to avoid the cruise ship crowds. in the Dominican Republic we booked a catamaran snorkel tour through the ship. It was a rainy day and the water rough, but was a better day than we would of had in cold Iowa. in Gran Turk we booked a snorkel trip with Exclusive Escapes Tours. We would highly recommend them. We took a water taxi to Klein Bonaire in Bonaire to snorkel. This was awesome. You can get a water taxi ticket int he tents located by the cruise pier. At Aruba we got a day pass to the Barcelo Aruba hotel. Great beach, good food, lovely place. We used the cruise line transfer service to get from the ship to the airport. This a pretty smooth process. We also used luggage direct which is well worth the small fee. Using this service the cruise line checks you in for your flight, and takes your luggage to the airport. it's nice to not have to check in luggage at the airport. We have never had an issue with our luggage not getting to our final location. We like Princess cruise line better, but would not avoid Holland America if the itinerary was good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
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
Backgorund- ME 63 and DW 58. This is our seventh cruise in 14 months. Second cruise on the NA in that time period. we were in an aft Neptune suite. Embarkation - no waiting. But the guy directing us wouldn't let us go to the suite ... Read More
Backgorund- ME 63 and DW 58. This is our seventh cruise in 14 months. Second cruise on the NA in that time period. we were in an aft Neptune suite. Embarkation - no waiting. But the guy directing us wouldn't let us go to the suite counter check in since the regular counter had openings. Once there, we were told they would check us in, but we were in the wrong line. They obviously need to train the guy directing folks. Room was excellent. We had this same type room on our last NA cruise. The balcony itself is worth the cost. Food - MDR average. Not bad, just nothing we'd have to back for. Pinnacle( 2 nights) - great food, and love Le Cirque especially, although the menu is getting a bit tired. Tamarind( 2 nights). We could eat there more often. Everything is excellent. Buffet is OK. I surprised that you can't get soft serve there. It seemed to available some time during lunch hours. Once they were out, they were out. Odd. In all our cruises this was the first time we didn't have one, not that we didn't try on multiple occasions. New York Pizza - with no reservations we both said it was the best pizza we've ever had at sea. Nobody else even close. Entertainment - the band in the BB King room was one of the best we've seen on a cruise ship. We when about every night, because there was nothing else to do. We id try the Piano lounge and Mike was pretty good. But you can only do tat for a while. He was there 6 nights. Entertainment in the theater was horrible. Both of us tried a couple of evenings to watch. I would say it like nails on a chalk board, but it wasn't something we'd actually stay for unless we were made to it. That's our biggest problem with this ship. Entertainment options are really limited for us. Follow passengers. While we did meet some very friendly folks, most were in the much older range. One evening while introducing a show, the cruise director said he had to stay up late the night before because they didn't close down Northern Lights until almost midnight. They even had to close the main pool one day due to an "accident" one of gents had in it. All in all, it was OK. I have no complaints about the food or service or ship. We're just ready to be that relaxed, I guess. After a while, we got tired of resting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I can't compare HAL to any other line as it's the only one I've cruised on. However, my Mother was on almost every line available in the US and Europe. After she tried HAL she stayed with them and became a 4 star mariner ... Read More
I can't compare HAL to any other line as it's the only one I've cruised on. However, my Mother was on almost every line available in the US and Europe. After she tried HAL she stayed with them and became a 4 star mariner until her passing. She introduced me to HAL in 2010 and I was hooked. Since then, I've introduced cruising to my 3 grown daughters. This was my 6th cruise and my daughters 2nd with HAL. If you're looking for glitz/glamor, brass and glass, rock climbing or water slides, this is not the line for you. But if you want elegance, fine dining, and total pampering then Holland America is a must try. My middle daughter JN and I just got back from the Western Caribbean on the Nieuw Amsterdam (April 3-10th). We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and have not one complaint. Our embarkation was without issue and our cabin was clean and ready. We found the ship's staff extremely welcoming and helpful. We ate at the MDR, Lido, Pinnacle, Drive In, NY Pizza and Tamarind. All meals were exceptional. The only disappointment was room service for breakfast on disembarkation day. Our order was incomplete. Totally understandable as the staff is under pressure to prepare for the new passengers boarding. My daughter took advantage of the gym several times. She has a gym membership at home and was pleased with the amount of and condition of the equipment aboard a ship. We went to the casino, she found a quiet spot she liked (Silk Den), she went to the BB King show and had a great experience. My entertainment/destination is the balcony with a glass of wine and my feet up. For me, it doesn't get any better than that. We both absolutely love Half Moon Cay. Clean, everything accessible and the beach was our favorite. The lunch BBQ was very good. My youngest daughter is considering renewing her vows on Half Moon Cay's chapel in 2017. We checked out the chapel and it was ideal. Getting the clam shell on Half Moon was worth every penny and I'll rent one again next cruise. We booked an excursion to Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman. I was disappointed in the beach but, I'm spoiled by Half Moon. I found the beach to be very narrow and uneven. Hard to walk. The water there was clean and clear but you really need swim shoes due to the coral and rocks. In summary, I enjoyed the cruise and the Nieuw Amsterdam was all that I expected and more. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We sailed Jan 4 with a group of 20 ranging from 1 to 70+. The highlight for me was the food, which was very good. We ate all but two nights in main dining room and were very happy with the food, especially lobster and escargot. We had ... Read More
We sailed Jan 4 with a group of 20 ranging from 1 to 70+. The highlight for me was the food, which was very good. We ate all but two nights in main dining room and were very happy with the food, especially lobster and escargot. We had breakfast daily at Lido, which was very good. I loved the made to order eggs benedict and crepes. Lunch at the Lido buffet was very good as well, especially the Asian station. We did lunch one day at Tamarind and were disappointed. Dinner at Tamarind, on the other hand, was excellent and should not be missed. We did one dinner at Pinnacle Grill, which was so-so, probably would skip that if we were to do again. We were very disappointed with the entertainment and children's programming. We hoped to enjoy the food theater, but on our only time there they had technical difficulties and couldn't operate the stove. With the exception of "Recycled Percussion", which was very good, singers and dancers were sub-par-felt like high school drama show. Children's programming consisted largely of supervised video games & ice cream breaks, which our kids enjoyed, but as a parent we were hoping for more. The ship is nice, but there did not seem like there were many activities/programming. Everyday we'd check the daily planner and there was nothing there for us. We swam in the pools and wanted to use the hot tubs, but they were closed much of the cruise to fight a small outbreak of sickness (none of us were infected). I found the sauna on the last day, which was small but nice: I wish I had found that sooner. We chose this cruise for the price (kids free) and the ports (Half moon cay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Key West) both of which were very good, but were disappointed with entertainment & kids activities. We really enjoyed beach and BBQ at Half moon cay and enjoyed stingrays & turtle farm in Grand Cayman. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
I recently returned from a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. We had cabin 8114 and our friends had wheelchair friendly cabin 8116. It was a wonderful cruise! Everything was topnotch...the food, the service, the ... Read More
I recently returned from a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. We had cabin 8114 and our friends had wheelchair friendly cabin 8116. It was a wonderful cruise! Everything was topnotch...the food, the service, the itinerary and the shore excursions. If you are not heavy wine drinkers, they will keep your bottle for you for the next evening AND will transfer it to another restaurant if perhaps you're trying Pinnacle Grill or Tamarind... Holland America staff were waiting for us with cold bottles of water and cold, wet washcloths on the pier near the ship. What a nice touch after a warm day! One thing I did notice that I didn't like was a big vibration at certain points on the ship. It was particularly obvious in the Tamarind restaurant. We switched tables 3 times and couldn't get away from it there. We were traveling in cabins 8114 and 8116, an accessible cabin. 8114 had better close space, a nice baloney, and a bath tub (no jacuzzi). 8116 had less closet space and was geared for somebody in a wheelchair so a lot of your clothes need to hang in the lower half of the closet. The bathroom was very generous and there was a seat and bars in the shower, but no tub. The balcony on 8116 was at an angle facing the front of the ship which was especially nice when sailing. There is a ramp up/down through the balcony door for a wheelchair in 8116. I have been on other caribbean cruises, but the itinerary, ship and excursions on this one were the best yet!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I booked this cruise at the last minute to attend an educational conference held on the cruise. The conference room was not very comfortable because of the seats and the noise from the group next door. I sailed with my 9 year-old ... Read More
I booked this cruise at the last minute to attend an educational conference held on the cruise. The conference room was not very comfortable because of the seats and the noise from the group next door. I sailed with my 9 year-old son. He was not impressed with Club Hal and staff. He made 2 good friends on board and spent most of the cruise hanging out with his friends away from Club Hal. There was always plenty of room in the pool and hot tubs. The pool seemed heated which which made for comfortable swimming. My son broke his arm on the ship while playing soccer. The medical clinic and crew were wonderful. They checked on us several times during the cruise, making sure he was doing ok and didn't need anything. We did not dine in the main dining room for dinner and ate almost exclusively at the Lido cafeteria style restaurant. The food was outstanding. Lots of variety. You could eat steak every night if you wanted. It seemed like some of the apps and entrees were the same as what was served in the main dining room. One of my favorite spaces on the ship was the library. They have a wonderful selection of books and magazines. It has a nice coffee bar with yummy treats. I loved all the fresh flowers on the ship. Every room service order came with fresh flowers. The entertainment and stage is top-notch. We sure enjoyed all the shows we saw. The ship has a cozy movie theatre which plays a different movie daily. We have cruised Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival previously. This Holland cruise hosted mostly elderly passengers, which provides the ship with a much different feel. I felt that many were not happy to see children on the cruise. I do not think I would cruise Holland with my children again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
This was my wife and me 4th cruise (we are in our early 50's), but first with Holland America and first in 16 years. We brought our two teenage sons (17 & 15) and our family chose HA because we are rather quiet, reversed, low-key ... Read More
This was my wife and me 4th cruise (we are in our early 50's), but first with Holland America and first in 16 years. We brought our two teenage sons (17 & 15) and our family chose HA because we are rather quiet, reversed, low-key folks and felt HA would be more to our liking than some of the more 'high-energy' cruise lines. The passengers consisted mostly of Americans & Canadians and the rudeness we had experienced on other cruises was not present on this one. Cigarette smoke was only noticeable when near the casino or aft pool (where there is a designated area). And we never noticed it on our balcony, as some other unfortunate reviewers have reported. Everyone we conversed or dined with (we had open seating) was both interesting and pleasant. Though, with the exception of an adorable newlywed couple from Columbia, all were quite older and semi- or fully retired. My wife and I were in a Deluxe Verandah Ocean View room with a balcony and our boys were down the hall in an inside cabin. It seemed like a quiet enough location. Both rooms were larger than the rooms on the other cruises my wife and I had been on. And we really enjoyed the balcony (the first time we've had one). Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and orderly (each took no more than 15 minutes). If you are flying home the day of disembarkation and checking your bags, I'd suggest the Luggage-Direct service. For $19 per person (not per bag), you put your bags out the night below (as usual), but you don't have to be bothered with them again until you get to your destination airport. And you get your boarding pass printed out and delivered to your room. Another handy service we took advantage of was for $20, you can get cleaned and folded or hung all the clothes you can get in a laundry bag (though small, it was amazing how much we could stuff in it). The entire staff was mostly friendly and cheery and attentive to our needs. We very much enjoyed every meal in the dining room and the food in the lido cafe was always good. My wife and I did have dinner one night at the Pinnacle and it was one of the finest dining experiences we'd ever had. Several passengers recommended the Italian restaurant, but slots filled up quickly and we weren't able to get in (apparently, those in the know make reservations as soon as they board the ship). We did check out the menu for the Asia restaurant a few times, but nothing ever caught our fancy so we never attempted to dine there. According to the ship's log, we were near capacity, though we never felt crowed. We had open seating and could get reservations within 15 minutes of our desired time and we never waited to be seated when we didn't have reservations. And except for one occasion, we always found a window seat in the Lido cafe. But getting a prime location deck chair near the pool was more challenging. For the nightly entertainment, as long as we arrived 30 minutes beforehand, we could get the exact seats we wanted (even arriving 10 to 15 minute early, one could get a really good seat). We did miss Half Moon Cay due to winds blowing directly into shore, forcing the ship to anchor further away than normal and thus making tendering operations undoable. This was a major disappointment as it was the one port we didn't want to skip (we had a private cabana rented and our boys were going to go parasailing). But we enjoyed the other ports and except for one untimely down pour in the middle of our Maya Ruins tour (causing it to be aborted), we had great weather. Although our boys did a lot of staying in their room and ordering a lot of room service (they thought that was great), they did find enough things to do to keep them happy otherwise. Apparently, there were 55 teenagers onboard, but only about a dozen of them regularly hung out at Club HAL. I would have liked to have seen outside activities arranged for the teenagers (though I understand there were such things scheduled for Half Moon Cay). The nightly entertainment was pretty good. Our entire family really enjoyed the comedian (the only night our boys attended). The other nights consisted of musical productions of one kind or another. The performers were extremely talented singers and dancers, but were poor actors. As long as they didn't need to act (which fortunately wasn't all that often), the show was top rate. Otherwise, it came across to me as a bad high school production. And I was disappointed that one night, just a movie was shown (and not even a good one...New Year's Eve). My wife and I (and occasionally our eldest son) would participate in and enjoy the various trivia games scheduled throughout the cruise. The CD emceed a marriage game and a 'Deal or No Deal' game, both of which were a lot of fun. I would have preferred more of this type of entertainment. And the couple's massage my wife and I had on the last full day of the cruise was quite relaxing. All in all, our family had a wonderful time on this cruise and wouldn't hesitate to book another HA cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We cruised on the Nieuw Amsterdam March 13-20th 2011 on a Western Caribbean route. A group of 4 brothers with wives/SO...a total of 8. We booked a VF Guarantee but were upgraded to category V on the Navigation deck.This was the 13th ... Read More
We cruised on the Nieuw Amsterdam March 13-20th 2011 on a Western Caribbean route. A group of 4 brothers with wives/SO...a total of 8. We booked a VF Guarantee but were upgraded to category V on the Navigation deck.This was the 13th cruise for my wife and me. Others had cruised anywhere from 0 to 6 times. We stayed at the Springhill Suites Dania Beach. Free parking, transport to the port and pick up for $8pp. My wife and I had been on one other HAL cruise...the Zuiderdam in 2005. The Nieuw Amsterdam, even though on the same hull, seemed larger than the Z and was definitely a much prettier ship. We cruised the Celebrity Solstice last year and the Nieuw Amsterdam compared very favorably to it. It does not have the large atrium like the Solstice and other newer ships. Arrived at the port around 11:00AM. On the ship before noon. One great thing HAL has done is to have cabins ready by 11:30. We were able to go the cabin upon boarding and drop carry-ons. It also seemed to spread the crowd around the ship rather than everyone gathering in the LIDO.CABIN: Category V on the port side Navigation Deck. It was great to be able to open 4 balconies and have a huge space. Cabin was designed well...nothing flashy but very comfortable and lots of storage. Bath was one of the larger ones we have had with a tub. CREW: The cruise director was Gene Young. I have to admit I don't remember many of our cruise directors an hour after leaving the ship and he was no different. Did not really add or detract from the cruise. Crew was friendly and efficient for the most part. Cabin Steward Diding did a great job even though we did not see him often. LIDO: The lido food was always good but I like the layout of the Solstice buffet much better. Seemed to be more congestion on the NA. And one of brothers also complained that he could never get anyone in the morning to fill his coffee. One thing we noticed...we always had coffee after dinner and found it odd that they NEVER offered a refill, even in Pinnacle or Tamarind. I did notice after returning to the ship after 3:00 there was not a lot of food and we were always hungry when returning from shore.MDR: Ate there 3 times with anytime dining. Food was very good each time but I agree the service was not as friendly as past cruises and sometimes slow. I just assumed it was because this was the first time we had experienced anytime dining and the wait staff does not get "invested" in you as much or get to know you. Not bad service, just a little detached. The NY Strip served every evening was a really nice cut of beef. TAMARIND: We felt it was the highlight of the dinners. So good we booked a second night. Service excellent as was the food. The only problem we had was trying to decide what to order. We tried to get in for lunch without reservations one day but there was a waiting list so we left. Everything we had was delicious. They also brought us a large platter of sushi for the table in addition to the meals.PINNACLE: While the food was very good, service was slow. I just can't understand why it takes almost 4 hours to complete a meal. We had 6:00 reservations and got out a little before 10pm. Other tables that arrived after our party were finished long before us.CANALETTO: We ate there the first night. The food was good, nothing special, but it was free and something different. Service was okay and we did get cotton candy.ENTERTAINMENT: We had a change in much of the cast at the beginning of the cruise. Cantare was one of the best shows we have ever seen on our 13 cruises. Go to this one! Rondell Sheridan was the comedian and we all recognized him from TV. Very funny. Just saw a short sample of the magician and he was amazing. Other stage shows were pretty good but the one exception was "The Two fo Us". This was a married couple who are part of the ensemble and had their own show. While the singing was excellent, the banter between songs was so corny and cheesy it ruined the show. Several in our party walked out. Matt Murphy played guitar and sang in Crows Nest...good and very nice guy. Gini and HAL Cats seemed to play everywhere around the ship, the pool, and on Half Moon Cay. Musically they were good but they really need a male voice to assist with vocals. But the band leader told us this was the same on every HAL ship...a band with only female singer.We enjoyed the Piano Bar mainly because of "Boozie" the waiter. You have got to meet this guy. All 8 of us met him one night and he remembered our names the rest of the cruise. David Seering (sp?) played and sang but was a little over the top...think Liberace without the glitter. Adagio Strings were good but selections seemed to be designed for bedtime. They played a great "RiverDance" type of number for the variety show one evening and we expected more of this but they seemed to stick just to the classics. The Jazz Trio called The Neptunes were also good but it seemed everytime we sat down to listen they took a break.It did seem that after the late show there were not many entertainment choices but we were never bored!! THE SHIP: We really liked the Nieuw Amsterdam and as mentioned previously it was so much prettier and more elegant than our last HAL cruise on the Zuiderdam. It is indeed a beautiful ship. There are some dead ends where you "can't get there from here" but that is the case on most ships. I know some have complained about the red in the MDR but we loved it, especially when compared to the stark white in the Solstice MDR. The NA is not as open with a large atrium like the Solstice but after a while we came to like it as well. On a sea afternoon there is no place better than lounging on the promenade deck. Kudos to HAL for keeping the wrap around on all of their ships. The Queens Lounge is a beautiful spot as are most of the numerous lounges. The one place we found that was really ugly in our opinion was the casino. Very dark and not colorful and very uninviting. Maybe it was just all the smoke (oh oh...I don't want to start THAT debate). MISC: If you like to hang around the pool be sure to bring some type of shoe to wear around the pool deck. You will get the bottoms of your feet burned within seconds by just going from the pool back to your lounger. Not sure why they did not use some sort of heat reflecting material or teak for the decking. The lido pool area also seemed really closed in when compared with the Solstice. Part of it comes from the fact they have the magrodome which can cover the pool. It is nice to have but does really cut into the deck space on the deck above the pool. One brother rented a Lido cabana for the week and really enjoyed it. Had a butler with great service, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and more. They felt it was well worth the $199 for the week. The Resort Cabana's were more private and up higher but cost $299.VERDICT: Book this ship. We had a great time. I think the NA and the Solstice are very comparable. There are some things we liked better on the Solstice and some we liked better on the Nieuw Amsterdam. But if you go on a cruise looking to find something to complain about you will. If you don't have a good time on the NA, or for that matter any cruise, it is your own fault!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Water Spouts and Double Rainbows!! ms Nieuw Amsterdam 28 November 2010 - 5 December 2010 Western Caribbean We flew into Ft Lauderdale 2 days early and left the day after the cruise ended. I have to say that for the first time ... Read More
Water Spouts and Double Rainbows!! ms Nieuw Amsterdam 28 November 2010 - 5 December 2010 Western Caribbean We flew into Ft Lauderdale 2 days early and left the day after the cruise ended. I have to say that for the first time ever, I am still in Cruise Mode still. Normally my cruise mode ends when I have to start packing for disembarkation. This time it began as hubby locked our front door and is still ongoing. We booked our own hotel and stayed both pre and post cruise at the Sleep Inn in Dania Beach, a great hotel and in great condition. Embarkation: We boarded the Hotel Shuttle for the short 20 minute ride to Port Evverglades at 10:30 a.m. and arrived there at about 10 minutes to 11. The doors were not opened yet and the line was fairly short, approximately 25 people in line. Went and picked up my rental scooter from Special Needs at Sea located just outside the terminal door and whipped that baby into line. Sitting there in line I started looking around, when I happened to notice the couple ahead of us. The gentleman had this tube, like you put a poster in. My mind was going crazier than normal, trying to figure out why someone would be bringing a tube onto the ship, instead of the other way around..... After about 2-3 minutes of indecision, I had to ask and said to the gentleman ahead of me, "Excuse me sir, I do not wish to be rude, but what the heck is in that tube?" He replied with, "A banner." The gentleman's wife almost immediately turned to me and said, "Joanie?" I kind of gave a really DUMB stare and said, "Yes..... And you are???" To which she replied, "Joanie, that's YOUR banner." Again I stared stupidly at her and the tube before it dawned on this old dumb blond... This has to be alacruisers!!!! Members of our Roll Call and my fellow Cruise Critic Meet & Greet Hosts Before I could say another word, from the folks directly behind hubby we hear, "Joanie!!!" turns out to be more CC folks, benchmarklearning, Ben and Sid! And from directly behind them is another fellow CC member and his wife, ALSO M & G folks, Quiznos!!! Now just how weird is that?? So the doors to the terminal open after about 10 minutes and we are all just chatting away when we get to the doors and hubby remembers that we are Suite guests so we get the priority line, he states this to the Shore OPs and they asked who and I say, "We are all together." We all got the Priority Embarkation and were first on the ship Also helped I am sure because I am Handicapped. One of the few times I do not mind that fact. So we then go directly to the MDR, where we were floored by the absolute beauty of the ship and the Dining Room. We were prepared to be disappointed in the decor, the colors and the noise, NONE of the previous were true for any of us. So the better half of alacruisers (love ya Cliff *Grin*), Kathleen and I went to the front Desk to verify all of our M&G details were in place and as we are there from behind us we hear, "Joanie??" LOL, another CC member, roadbeagle is there getting new key cards since they had been on the previous week and had changed staterooms. Kat and I went back to the MDR to eat our lunch and then went to our staterooms which were available shortly after we returned to the table, so I'd guess around 12:30 or so... I did not note the time as we were having such a great time getting to know one another. As soon as the announcement was made that Staterooms were ready we made an agreement to meet in our Stateroom for a Sail Away Party. (We ended up having 3 or 4 of them) Stateroom: Our Stateroom, SC 6164 was definitely the perfect choice for us!!!! We absolutely loved it!! It was extremely spacious and the Aft Wrap Around verandah was to die for!! As I put it to everyone that saw it, this was MY Penthouse!!! Side note to Lorraine, THANK YOU!!! You were so right!! I made the right choice) The King Sized bed was amazingly perfect, as always, the furniture was perfect in decor, color and layout. TONS and I mean TONS of closets, drawers and Hangers!! The safe was large enough to put hubby's Laptop, my purse and my camera in it and still had room to spare. They were number coded so you put in whatever 4 digit code you wanted and voila. The HD Flat Panel TV was located on the desk and is in a spot that makes it a hindrance to using the desk for your lap top, but hubby did manage. By The Way, IMPORTANT NOTE HERE regarding the Remote Control for the TV, THEY SUCK!!!! Hard to change channels and volume. I guess when you buy a TV from a company called Sole you have to deal with a bit of problematic..... Thw coffee table was in the lowest position possible and we could not figure out how to raise it, asked the stewards and they popped it up for us (something to do with placing weight on the ends that made it work). The dressing room had a box type foot stool, our stewards stored the mini bar contents in it and we used the one in the main stateroom as our dirty clothes hamper. The dressing room had one 220 volt and one 110 volt outlet between the vanity top and the mirror on the right hand side. There was also the regular HAL lighted double sided make up mirror, vanity jar of cotton balls and in the top right hand drawer there was the blow dryer. The bathroom..... You must step up about 2 to 2 & 1/2 inches to get into the bathroom. On the immediate left is the full shower stall with shower curtain, wonderful hand held shower head and the obligatory 3 Elemis Bath Products. Connected to the shower is the Jacuzzi Tub which is approximately 18 inches high both inside and out (sorry guys, had my measuring tape, but forgot to measure anything... DUH) but it was super easy to get in to and out of the tub. It also had the hand held shower head and the Elemis bath products. WORD of WARNING!!! The Bath Gel has Eucalyptus in it and gives certain body parts a real tingly sensation I used it once and said never again!! We had Double sinks with the Hot and cold faucets opposite each sink. In other words on the sink closest to the toilet the Hot Water Faucet was nearest the toilet on the sink closest to the door the Hot water faucet was nearer the mirror. One thing we noticed to the right of the toilet is a sign that states if YOU cause the toilet to clog up you WILL be charged to fix the toilet. (I have photos, but hubby had to leave on a business trip and will not be home until Friday) The Verandah............. OMG!!!! OMG!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!! It was definitely so worth the slings and arrows that I took the week before I left for turning down the Penthouse!! There was only one day that I was unable to use comfortably the side section of the verandah and that was leaving Ft Lauderdale and Half Moon Cay. The winds were hitting at 27 knots out of the front and port side (Topped with our speed of 21 knots....) They showed the diagram on the TV of the wind direction and the arrows were pointing right to the Port Penthouse. The rest of the cruise we were in total heaven!! Sat out there in our deck furniture and baked, had fun and enjoyed the views. Sailing: When we left Ft Lauderdale on 28 November the weather turned a bit ugly looking, to include a Water Spout way off our Port Side!! Ben, Benchmarklearning and hubby got photos of it. The rains came shortly after that and we all retired to our staterooms and other interests. Half Moon Cay... I did not get off the ship there as I cannot get down to the water or even through the sand so I made other arrangements with the Entertainment Director Brock, the Cruise Director Dan and the out going Bar & Beverage Manager JJ, to gain access to public areas of the ship to get photos (to include Club HAL) So I went on my own little phot Safari while we were there. This was also our first formal night. We had reservations in Tamarind and I was disappointed in the food, though I must admit that my horrible experience there is probably colored because I thought I was biting into an avacado slice, whcih actually turned out to be a large wasabi *Thought I was gonna die* Hubby loved the food!! Turks & Caicos.... Just before getting to T&C we went through a small rain squall qhich left a beautiful rainbow that started off the starboard aft side (about 1000 feet out) and ended about 100 feet of my verandah port side!! The water OMG the water was turned every color of the rainbow!!! I have photos that are gorgeous of it. I shopped in the Port area only of T&C so cannot address anything there other than it was my cheapest port..hehehe only spent $14.00. We again had a Sail Away from our Stateroom and OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had 2 not one but 2 ABSOLUTELY gorgeous Double Rainbows in 10 minutes!!!!! One of them turned one high point of the island into the colors of the rainbow to the point we all thought we could almost see that Pot of Gold. I tried to attend the show this night but had to leave quickly after about 5 minutes of hearing the beautiful voices of Cantare' due to all the perfumes and colognes that permeated the Showroom At Sea There were 2 of us that had the same problem and I have no idea how long the other lady lasted before she also had to depart early. I did not attend any shows or bar venues because of the perfumes, so I apologize to all that want to know how the shows and muscians were. Hubby will do his review when he gets home and he can tell yopu since he went to a good portion of them. Sea Day: Hubby went down to the MDR at 11:30 for the Mariner's Brunch and I went up to the Crow's Nest for our M&G. Our cake, for 60 people, was comped by the ship *Thank You Brock and JJ!!!* and was absolutely beautiful and delicious!!! We had 2 couples celebrating 40th Wedding Anniversaries, 3 or 4 celebrating Birthdays and One Newly Wed couple so the ship did up the beautiful cake special for us. We had approximately 60 people in attendance and I think we all had a wonderful time!! My apologies to anyone wishing to use the Crow's Nest from 12 noon to 2 p.m. as the ship blocked off 90% of it for our exclusive use. BTW, if any of you are on the Oosterdam or cruising on her before the end of April, say a Special Hello to your Bar and Beverage Manager JJ. He is a GREAT guy and is quite a fellow for taking his last day aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam and attending the CC M&G. He left us for the Oosterdam in Grand Caymen, boarding the Ryndam through (I believe) the Panama Canal where he was boarding the Oosterdam on Saturday 4 December 2010. We had the Cruise Director Dan, Entertainment Director Brock and JJ as ship Officers in attendance at the M&G. We were supposed to have the Captain also, but there was a family emergency with one of the crew and the Captain was re-charting our navigation to Grand Cayman to get us in before we were scheduled so that he could get the crew member off the ship in time to board a flight in Grand Cayman to be with her family. Brock and Dan were an enjoyable couple of young men (mid 20's each) and are so very personable. I felt as if they were my grand sons and they treated us all as if we were family. OH BEFORE I FORGET...... I HAVE to give SPECIAL KUDOS to Roxy in the Neptune Lounge and the Carpentry Department!!! At around 11 a.m. I remembered that we had 2 CC members that are wheel chair bound... DUH, the old blond and old kicked in again... And we were having a Cabin Crawl after the M&G. No way could the wheel chair members access the Verandah in my stateroom so... I went to Roxy and asked if it would be possible to get an HC ramp fpr them. Well, there were none of the pre made ones available so Roxy got Carpentry involved and by the time we got to our stateroom, we had a ramp!! 1 hour service for sure on Nieuw Amsterdam!!!! Can we also say a smile and great attitude will get a lot done?? Grand Cayman, Cayman Island....... WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love that island and the people there!!!! We were there with 4 or 5 other cruise ships, though we only counted 5 in total, I'd been told by a local sales person that there were supposed to be 6. Ryndam was tendering from behind us, the other ships wer on the other side of the island. The waters for this port were a bit rough to say the least. I would be surprised if everyone of the tenders and life boats used by both the Nieuw Amsterdam and Ryndam did NOT suffer damage!! I went to port early, around 8 a.m. and returned around 11 a.m. so was lucky enough to either not realize just how rough the waters were or they were not that rough when I was on the tenders. I went to the tender disembark area with my scooter and they send me down to B deck via elevator where I got off the scooter and with assistance from 2 crewmen walked on, took one of the fold down seats just inside and they they lifted the scooter next to me. Same for going back to the ship. I had no wait either way. Hubby came back later in the afternoon and he was hot, hungry and had a slight headache from waiting in the line for almost 90 minutes in the hot sun and once on the tender as they approched the ship the tender took a wave and smacked his head against the tender. The tender is OK. Oh Yeah, so is hubby *LOL* We did have a fire alarm, which Krazy Kruisers mentioned, but fast response by ship personnel kept everyone safe when tender 16 took a hard hit against the ship and a flare went off and landed (I believe) on top of the tender. Cruise Critic members were aboard and will report in greater detail than I can. I have to say this for the Captain. He had a choice to make, abandon the Port altogether and make people very unhappy or tender in and pray the waters became less angry... Either way, he was in a no win situation. My belief is that he made the right decision. Speaking of the Ryndam, That ship rotated slowly counter clockwise so many times that I think I have photos of every outside stateroom and verandah from every angle!! At one point I swear she could not have been more than 500 feet from us aft to aft. Captain Mercer, our Captain was able to keep us in position by using our thrusters. We had reservations for the Pinnacle Grill this night, but canceled them because we'd received a notice that it was Le Cirque night and for an additional charge... I told hubby I'd rather eat at Canaletto instead. Went up to the Canaletto about 6 p.m. to discover you need reservations...... So made 5:30 reservations for the next night instead (none left for this night) and ate in the Lido Instead. I can only tell you my feelings of Canaletto and hope that your tastes are different than mine. I loved the taste of the food but felt that the pasta could have been saucier. I loved the Anti Pasta. Did not have dessert as I was full from dinner. Costa Maya: My New All time Favorite Caribbean Port of Call!!!! This year Costa Maya was hit with 4 major hurricanes which devastated, heck it wiped out the area!!!! Took them 4 months to build a new port just south of the old one and it is beautiful. The vendors were lots of fun to haggle and barter with (I spent more money here than anywwhere else combined). The ONLY drawback to Costa Maya is that when they rebuilt the port and put in the kidney pools for the free access to the cruise ship passengers is that they did not put in wheel chair ramps........ I talked with one of the staff and he did not even realize that until he went and tried to find a ramp. BUT, he was wonderful and took my camera and went and got at least 15 photos up close of the dolphins for me. We were a little late leaving the port because one of the HAL Excursions left late and arrived back late to port. I know there are several passengers who are very upset that their excursion returned to late to do any shopping. I feel badly for them and for the vendors, but what can you do?? Overall on a scale of 1 -10 with 1 being poor and 10 being excellent and perfect, I'd have to rate this cruise as an 8. Why only an 8 you ask? Because there were little glitches, such as: 1. Our Stateroom Stewards, Budi and Rudi were on their 1st week without the trainer(s) and were not aware of what all of the Suite Amenities were. Once I told them, they were great!! 2. We did not know that as long as the Key Card is fully engaged it shows up on some sort of electronic board in the stewards area that you are in the stateroom and unless you remove it to the point that the electricity goes off, they will not intrude on your privacy. I asked about our stateroom not getting cleaned and after the knowledge learned I arranged for them to clean our stateroom every day at 11 a.m. even if the board showed us as still being in the room. SO remove the card from the slot or arrange at the beginning of the cruise what time to have it cleaned daily. 3. There was a huge chunk of wall that had been knocked out at the entry to our dressing room. It had been done by the previous occupant and they were waiting on the replacement panel to arrive in Ft Lauderdale to replace it. 4. Perfumes in elevators, showrooms and other areas of the ship. Nothing HAL can do about that short of banning all passengers and crew from using perfume items, and that is an impossibility!! But PLEASE HAL talk to the Sommalier about his bathing in the Cologne!!! His was worse than anyone I smelled 5. No Oasis on this ship (reminder to self, remove the Oasis from Nieuw Amsterdam, Eurodam and Oosterdam as there is no Oasis on these 3 ships.) 6. Food is not an important thing for me when I cruise, but the quality was not up to what I've experienced on Oosterdam and Westerdam. It was good, it was hot and I liked it, but the other 2 ships I loved the food except in Pinnacle Grill. But, Food is subjective to personal taste. So as a final note, the ship is in the final stages of all the trainers leaving Nieuw Amsterdam. Also on the Code Red status that we have all read about from previous cruises. According to JJ, Dan and Brock, the ship has NEVER been in a full Code Red! What actually happened is that the last 10 days of the Trans Atlantic several people did become ill, and as a precaution they went into Code Orange until Ft Lauderdale. The very first Caribbean Cruise 45 people were on a bus coming back from an excursion when one gentleman became car/bus sick or reacted to something he'd eaten. They quaranteened all 45 passengers. Well, a great number of those passengers violated the quaranteen several times, so the ship had no choice but to go into Code Orange once more. I did see security escorting one older lady from the Aft Lido Pool area on Saturday December 4. She was not noisy, rude or crude, she was being a lady. She had just come out and laid in a lounger and less than 5 minutes went by when the head of Security came out and walked to the aft railing, he then walked back top one of the Bar Stewards standing next to me and then went to the lady and as he was escorting her out of the area I overheard him gently chiding her for being out of her stateroom. I assume she had shown signs of illness. Anyway, that is my review of my cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam and I will be back on her again SOON!!! I promised all our Cruise Critic Members and the HAL Crew that I would also post the link to my Westerdam Cruise Review... Duh... Here is the link guys and Gals now you can read in graphic detail my Finger incident http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1151266 Joanie Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
This is our third cruise overall, and the first on the HAL ship. We are Polish/American couple in our mid thirties traveling with two daughters 7 and 10 years of age. Embarkation went very smooth, and took no more than 20 minutes. Our ... Read More
This is our third cruise overall, and the first on the HAL ship. We are Polish/American couple in our mid thirties traveling with two daughters 7 and 10 years of age. Embarkation went very smooth, and took no more than 20 minutes. Our ocean view stateroom was ready for us immediately after we had arrived, and we were welcomed by our stateroom steward. Luggage came a little bit after. Stateroom F1010 bigger than Europeans competitors was our best and nicest cabin with many extra storage places. Cabin steward and his helper did great job every day and never on our way! We almost did not feel a ship movement or any sounds. Only one complain about stateroom was a thermostat, it seemed not working properly, keeping us too cold. We asked to service that, but only the temperature was measured, and we did get extra blankets, thermostat was not fixed. MS Nieuw Amsterdam is a truly beautiful virgin vessel with its glamour and splendid NYC style decoration. Public areas dEcor is very tasteful and kind of modern compared to Costa or Carnival interior. Ship itself is very clean and spotless. Elegant glass outside elevators with detailed (7 days) floor mats changed every day, to remind you the day of the week. Large and beautiful theater "Showroom at See" offering live band, magician / comedian, and Broadway style shows - dancers / singers (we are Vegas style show fans but it is a subject for individual taste). Atrium is smaller comparing to the ones on the ships we were before (Costa Fortuna) but still nice. We enjoyed every place on the ship that seemed to be not crowded at all, very nice people all around you, plenty of room everywhere, quiet, nice.... Even on sea days there were no crowd, chair by the pool at sea days - no problem, no lines to stations at Lido Buffet, no waiting by Reception Desk. Nice heated mid ship pool and hot tubs with sliding roof make this area fully usable for 24 hours a day, sun or rain. Aft lido louder a bit with live music and pool games. Food very tasty and many varieties every day in a restaurant or buffet. Fresh squeezed orange juice, ice cream, food varieties from different World regions and amazing Sweet Extravaganza. First time on Half Moon Cay made a very nice impression, lovely beach, great BBQ lunch and varieties of excursions. Grand Turk beautyfull "cruise only port", beach and Margaritaville. We took an island tour, we saw nicest places. The most picturesque was a cliff and old lighthouse on the other side of the island. Rough sea in Caymans made tendering a little hard, but the captain decision was to give us an opportunity to see that beautiful place. Costa Maya that was an amazing experience. Chacchoben - Mayan ruins, beach, and shopping break in little Village of Mahahual, all that with our private driver Eli. Working hard Filipinas crew members were very nice greeting us almost every time we passed by, everyone very friendly, officers, front desk staff professional and helpful. Most of the passengers nice, retired couples made the atmosphere very quiet, classy, and elegant with no crowd. We really enjoyed that specially after our last cruise on MSC Poesia with 3,300 passengers including 900 kids. It was our best cruise, and will definitely sail with HAL again. We truly recommend that line to mid age couples looking for some quiet and elegant atmosphere with American standards. Go Nieuw Amsterdam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 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

Find a Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click