4 Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Luxury Cruise Reviews

We did the 24 day East and west med cruise visiting 16 different ports. The ship was excellent, food was very good and excellent in the the three speciality restaurants. Especially the pinnacle. The tv system was the best we have had on ... Read More
We did the 24 day East and west med cruise visiting 16 different ports. The ship was excellent, food was very good and excellent in the the three speciality restaurants. Especially the pinnacle. The tv system was the best we have had on any cruise line with a 42 inch flat screen attached to the wall. Free movies and various TVs shows with 3 news channels. The cabin we had was excellent and very large compared to others we have had (10003). It was at the front of the ship overlooking the bow. There were a few niggles; no draught beer ! And at $6 per small can of Heineken it was expensive for a few drinks . Similarly with wine a bottle of penfolds koonoga hill which costs about $10 was selling for $40 and that was the cheapest. The my time dining just did not work with long queues every evening even if you had booked . We managed to get set time for the second 12 day leg. The main dining area - the lido - had great choices for breakfast and lunch but hardly any choice at all for evening dining. We only ate there twice and only because we were late back from trips. Finally , the service throughout the ship was the best we have experienced on any cruise. The staff were friendly and helpful. And I would not recommend travelling in the med during summer time as it is very very busy with loads of kids and teenagers on boad. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We boarded the ship in Ft. Lauderdale on December 11, 2011. This was a seven day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. We had not been on this ship before so the first thing we did was explore so we could learn the layout of the ship. ... Read More
We boarded the ship in Ft. Lauderdale on December 11, 2011. This was a seven day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. We had not been on this ship before so the first thing we did was explore so we could learn the layout of the ship. It's also a great time to take pictures. We are spoiled and we only book cabins with a verandah. We love the beds on the HAL cruise line as sleep just needs to be comfortable and if it's not, we are not happy. HAL, in our opinion, has the best food and so we will be sticking with this cruise line going forward. I just hate to spend money on something that is not up to snuff. The ports on this cruise were; Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, San Juan and Saint Maarten. We had not visited Grand Turk before nor San Juan. Grand Turk was okay, very pretty beaches. I was not impressed with San Juan as it just reminded me of Mexico. We love Half Moon Cay and the weather was so wonderful while we were there. In Saint Maarten we had the same nice weather and we just shopped. We don't take many excursions because we have done them in the past and they are kind of expensive. We like to explore on our own. We did learn something on this cruise. If you book your next cruise while on board, you just put down a $100 deposit and you can select your cruise and your cabin. The deposit is good for four years. In addition, we got $50 each drink cards for the next cruise. Just little benefits to booking while on board. If it turns out that you cannot take the cruise you booked, the deposit can be used for another cruise. You don't lose that money. We booked a cruise for the next New Year so we can party on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We recently returned from the eastern Caribbean cruise aboard HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam which sailed from Ft. Lauderdale January 23rd for seven nights. I would like to offer my comments about this vacation trip. For the record; we have ... Read More
We recently returned from the eastern Caribbean cruise aboard HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam which sailed from Ft. Lauderdale January 23rd for seven nights. I would like to offer my comments about this vacation trip. For the record; we have cruised approximately 14 times in the past on several cruise lines, mostly on medium sized ships such as the Nieuw Amsterdam. These cruises have included various destinations around the world, including a transatlantic trip. We had sailed once before with HAL on the Noordam in 2010 and loved it. We have always elected a verandah stateroom or mini suite as our accommodation, and spend a lot of time on the verandah for activities such as coffee and juice early in the A.M., reading, relaxing, socializing with the group that we generally cruise with, and taking photographs of scenery, ports etc. (I consider myself an advanced amateur photographer.) Just to be fair to HAL, we had originally booked a 14 night back to back cruise departing earlier in January, but reduced it to a seven day cruise to be in synch with our cruising group, who booked the seven night cruise. We had changed these accommodations at least five months before the cruise, and were assured that we would receive the same cabin class (superior verandah) that we had originally booked. I began to get suspicious when we were not given a room assignment until around 2 weeks before embarkation. Our travel agent had been checking with HAL and assured us that there would be no problem. Finally, we received an email from HAL allocating us a VQ stateroom on Deck 11. On the internet, it appeared to be a Spa stateroom with a verandah, but I called HAL just to confirm, because Deck 11 was a little isolated with only 10 similar rooms on that deck. The first person we talked to said that the verandahs on deck 11 were only "viewing verandahs" and didn't have room for seating etc. When I called our travel agent to complain, she also called HAL and was told that on the Nieuw Amsterdam, the Spa VQ verandahs were standard size, and not to worry! I also called and was told the same when I gave the agent our cabin number. She even asked me to hold while she confirmed that fact with her supervisor, who did indeed confirm a "regular" verandah. When we finally boarded, we found the VQ room to be fine, but the verandah on deck 11 was much smaller that other verandahs on the ship, or the VD cabin we had originally booked. Our cruise mates who were in VD rooms confirmed this observation. The two small chairs and tiny table barely fit. If you sat in a chair facing the water, your feet were practically in the drain gutter at the front of the verandah. Needless to say, we did not spend a great deal of time on our verandah and missed out on one of the prime reasons we cruise. When we registered a complaint at customer service, we were told that "you got what you paid for" and the ship was full. Technically, the service representative was legally correct, as with all the legal disclaimers in the contract, we probably could have been put up in a storage bin! My beef with HAL is that even after inquiring, we were misled about the balcony, and we could have been told when we changed our arrangements months before that we could wind up in such a cabin. I would caution anyone getting a cabin on Deck 11 to check with HAL about the verandah size before accepting a reservation there. Deck 11 otherwise is a neat location, being somewhat isolated but containing the Explorers Cafe and Crows Nest, one of our favorite places on the ship. Having been rather critical so far, I think in fairness to HAL (I wish they were as fair to me,) I should state that: The entire crew and staff including those in the cabin areas, food locations, venues etc. were all above excellent and helpful. The food and service in the main dining hall and Pinacle Grill was excellent. The food in the buffet areas was quite satisfactory. The ship itself was very elegant and ergonomically laid out. If it weren't for our verandah issue, we would have had a great time. Unfortunately, the cruise left us with memories of a poor experience, and a negative opinion about HAL. We did mention these complaints in out exiting comments document, but we have yet to hear from HAL. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
This was my fourth Holland-America cruise among 14 overall cruises in the past 10 years.  In the past, my experiences were generally favorable. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the 'Nieuw Amsterdam'. The embarkation ... Read More
This was my fourth Holland-America cruise among 14 overall cruises in the past 10 years.  In the past, my experiences were generally favorable. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the 'Nieuw Amsterdam'. The embarkation turned disastrous, although it appears through no fault of Holland-America. The ship had arrived in the morning from Europe, during which time a number of passengers developed gastrointestinal virus. Therefore the ship needed to be cleaned and inspected by the Coast Guard, delaying boarding by several hours. The first two nights we ran into some rough seas and wet weather, which didn't help to raise any one's spirits. Food was served by the crew in the Lido for the first few days. A good thing.  As for the ship itself, I have been on 3 HAL Vista class ships previously, and despite the hype for the brand new "Nieuw Amsterdam', it was just more of the same basically. I don't know what it is about the design of these ships, but none of them seem to handle rough seas very well. I have been on many other cruise lines, and their ships never seemed to rock quite as much. The interior design of the ship was nice overall, easy to maneuver if you're familiar with other Vista class ships. As for the trumped-up hype for the New York City theme, there was little to make such a impression. A crystal chandelier in the main atrium depicts famous NYC buildings. Throughout the corridors leading to staterooms, there are numerous vintage black and white framed photos of older HAL ships, though not high quality reproductions. They looked more as if they were mass produced on low quality paper and randomly scattered. That was it for the NYC atmosphere. The Manhattan dining room had no feel of the Big Apple, just a lot of red paint, reminiscent of a Chinese restaurant. I have to admit that the service of the wait staff, and the front desk personnel, was always friendly and professional. The quality of the food overall was good, however the As-You-Wish seating left a lot to be desired when it came to serving food in a timely manner. This needs to be improved greatly. Lastly, the entertainment, even for HAL standards, was mediocre at best. The production numbers were extremely dated and uninspired. The shows were way over amplified to the point it was not enjoyable. The only show that had any sense of originality or warmth was the HAL veteran Barnaby, a juggler who blends juggling skills with humor and personal stories. The Cruise Director Shane, had all the enthusiasm and excitement of a stone. When your passengers average age is 60 and over, it would be nice to have a Cruise Director with some life and vitality. In closing, I had high anticipation for this cruise, but in the end found it average at best. I wouldn't say it killed my desire to ever cruise again, but it will be a while before I board another cruise ship. And it definitely won't be with Holland-America. 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 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
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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