13 Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Senior Cruise Reviews

We chose this sailing and ship because of good reviews. Big mistake. We also paid more for Club Orange and the Signature Suite. These are both a waste of your hard earned money, no priority or extra services as promised. Once boarded, ... Read More
We chose this sailing and ship because of good reviews. Big mistake. We also paid more for Club Orange and the Signature Suite. These are both a waste of your hard earned money, no priority or extra services as promised. Once boarded, we were informed the ship was sailing with only one engine/propeller, and this caused a change in the itinerary because the ship would be moving slow. Holland America was aware of this weeks prior however there was no communication to the guests. The Islands and excursions were why we chose this sailing. Big disappointment. While there was many issues beyond the control of the crew, i.e.- earthquake in Puerto Rico- no electricity/constant rain in Turks\nothing to do in St Croix due to short visit/no stop in Halfmoon Cay due to high seas and a medical evacuation ..there were many hospitality issues. Crew was ESL and needed more English classes. Overall cleanliness in Lido Buffet and comman areas- sticky tables/dishes trash, empty Lysol wipes in gym, .. the crew on the last day became overly friendly that my granddaughter asked why are they suddenly so nice? Can you say gratis? Also the Captain asked that no one go to the guest service desk as there was nothing they could do. The line was long and guests were constantly complaining. I was told "no" by several of the crew, even asking for soft bread at dinner was a no? No special orders, no remembering our names, no extra towels and a general feeling of inconveniencing the crew for anything. We traveled with our teen granddaughter, lacking teen activities, mostly a senior cruise. I work in hospitality and know what great service is and is expected. As you can read, I was not satisfied or feel this cruise was worth the money or the time. Reconsider if you have booked. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise to see what Holland America has to offer versus other cruise lines. Long story short, we will never sail with HAL again. We are a retired couple in our late 60's, We had heard that HAL was for the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see what Holland America has to offer versus other cruise lines. Long story short, we will never sail with HAL again. We are a retired couple in our late 60's, We had heard that HAL was for the "older" crowd and we figured we would fit right in. If you want to spend your cruise knitting or gazing at the ocean, it is a nice, clean ship. If you are looking for some music, some activity and a younger-at-heart crowd, this boat is not for you. Embarkation was quick. Our balcony cabin was a good size with lots of storage space. The bathroom was an adequate size and included a bath tub. The room was attended to twice daily and kept immaculate. The buffet restaurant was crowded and sometimes difficult to find a seat. The buffet items are not labeled so we didn't know what a lot of items were and when we asked, the servers would point to a sign showing what was on the menu for the day. That didn't help a bit. The buffet had wo sides and often there were different items on each side. Many times one side would be closed while the other was open so it was a guess to figure out which side to walk to. The food was just okay but often there were meals that had nothing appealing to us. Pizza on the pool deck was not bad but not great either. I guess we were comparing to other ships we had eaten pizza on (i.e.RCI, Norwegian) Ice cream was served daily and mostly chocolate, vanilla and strawberry with the soft serve machine being empty every time I wanted some. Entertainment: TERRIBLE! Some nights there was NOTHING in the form of entertainment. We saw a comedian that was anything but funny. The illusionist was pretty good but the show was too short for him to perform anything spectacular. The one show they had was a contemporary dance group. The dancers and special effects were good but again, nothing spectacular. BB King Lounge was crowded at night with a Blues group that played the same music and a dance floor that not many danced on. The band had zero personality...very boring. During the day the activities consisted of things such as "losing ten pounds" (like I am interested in my diet on a cruise), how to whiten your teeth, how to cook (in their "test kitchen") and Microsoft classes. We opted for the Microsoft classes which were actually quite informative but not what I had planned to do on a cruise. I felt like I was on a senior citizen cruise with the average age about 70. Think twice about choosing HAL if you are at all active and looking for some fun. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We thought this would be a step up for RCL and NCL. Disappointed. It took two hours to eat in the dining room, which meant you missed two of the possible shows to see. Mainstage was not that good - dancers and comedian. Lincoln Center ... Read More
We thought this would be a step up for RCL and NCL. Disappointed. It took two hours to eat in the dining room, which meant you missed two of the possible shows to see. Mainstage was not that good - dancers and comedian. Lincoln Center stage and Billboard was the only good entertainment - no dancing. BBKing was just a performer who screams a lot - no dancing music. Food was good, if you waited long enough. Our balcony was covered in chips from scraping being done when we boarded. I asked room steward twice for a second wine glass and to clean up the balcony. Finally cleaned it myself and left a note on the dirty towel. Every activity was too crowded; have to get there 1/2 hour before to get a seat or place for fitness activities. poor planning. Entertainment was scheduled too close together, back to back and impossible to finish a two hour dinner and make it to a 7:00 show. It got better, too many people complaining, but the only nice dinner was in Pinnacle the last night. Excursions were boring and not as billed - Cabarete beach was not calm and nothing to see in ride around Domiican. Calypso tram tour was okay for two hours but rushed when we finally got to see the donkeys, pay $3 to use bathroom and hurry up back on tram. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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
Meals were good, although some of the restaurants were extra, but we weren't told until the end when they asked for the room card. Poor communication. We don't mind paying for drinks (alcohol), but coffee? Daily hotel ... Read More
Meals were good, although some of the restaurants were extra, but we weren't told until the end when they asked for the room card. Poor communication. We don't mind paying for drinks (alcohol), but coffee? Daily hotel charge (tip fee) seemed high at $13.50US per day per person. Pay the staff more! Have it included in the price of the cruise. We always tip the staff and we did this trip, only to discover at the end that we were charged the above amount daily. This cruise is all about shopping and buying, which we were not interested in doing. The uniformed woman who is in charge of the diningroom staff referred to them as her children, which we found rather demeaning as these men and women are adults often with families. She is not their momma as she stated. This is our first and last Holland American cruise. We do not mind paying for an all inclusive cruise, just don't nickle and dime us for little extras! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were on the Oosterdam March 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed our cruise so we chose Holland America again. We had all of our meals at the Lido Buffet and the food was repetitious and sometimes limited selections i.e. one evening the ... Read More
We were on the Oosterdam March 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed our cruise so we chose Holland America again. We had all of our meals at the Lido Buffet and the food was repetitious and sometimes limited selections i.e. one evening the vegetables were pureed parsnips or Brussel sprouts. More often or not the baked potatoes were very dry as though they were leftovers from the previous night with different a topping added. The beautiful floral arrangements and the live orchids that were on the Oosterdam (which we enjoyed and appreciated very much) were absent on the Nieuw Amsterdam. There were orchids on the tables but a third of them were wilted and sparse of blooms. The ceiling of the Lido buffet leaked causing the staff to mop and vacuum and place caution wet floor sighs around. There were posted pool rules, no infants in diapers, no jumping or diving from the sides of the pools but these were not enforced, besides the children jumping in there was also an adult mother and there was an infant clearly in diapers in the pool several times. The handrails were extremely worn in some areas. The staff did their best to keep things looking as well as they could. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
It was a large family getaway. 12 adults and 7 kids and pretty much a complete disappointment. The ship's refit was incomplete. Nice bathrooms but old bedroom furnishings. The type of food offering was decent but the preparation ... Read More
It was a large family getaway. 12 adults and 7 kids and pretty much a complete disappointment. The ship's refit was incomplete. Nice bathrooms but old bedroom furnishings. The type of food offering was decent but the preparation was lacking, so don't expect 5 star; maybe 2 star at best. As for the "shows", they managed to coerce the crew to perform on stage. They may be good their jobs, but singing and dancing was not part of it. There was no entertainment to speak of, unless you consider the crew performing entertaining. There were very few activities available for people that were not casino bound. If you're already spending this kind of money, spend it on a real cruise line like Celebrity, Royal Caribbean or Princess. At least with these cruise ships going into Alaska, you will be entertained, fed well and at least feel that your money was well spent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was my third Holland America cruise though it has been a number of years since I last sailed HA. I am an experienced cruiser having sailed with several other lines and ships over the past 30 years. I chose this cruise for a quick ... Read More
This was my third Holland America cruise though it has been a number of years since I last sailed HA. I am an experienced cruiser having sailed with several other lines and ships over the past 30 years. I chose this cruise for a quick getaway with my mother. We had adjoining inside staterooms on deck 6. Rooms were fine, ship was clean and service from all staff I encountered was very good. The ship was very underwhelming in decor and facilities. There was very little to do on sea days. Movies on the "big screen" were the same as those played on tv in the stateroom. This was an Alaska cruise and the only adult hot tubs were outdoors, unless you wanted to pay US $199 to use the thermal spa. Food was the biggest disappointment on this ship. It was dreadful. There was not one memorable meal in the main dining room where we ate every night of the seven day cruise. In fact, there were several dishes we couldn't eat. The salmon was overlooked and dried out, the lamb was tough, the soups were inedible. Potato and shrimp soup? Please! And. Have never ever been served soup where the protein is placed in the bowl and the soup broth poured over it at the table! It was appalling. The lido food was worse than the dining room. There was food odour constantly which was not helped by the overuse of garlic. Sushi was the worst I have ever tasted. About the only thing worth eating was the bread. The room service breakfast menu was scant to say the least. The fruit plate consisted of a thin slice of watermelon or other rock hard melon, two blueberries (I kid you not) and a slice of orange. The stateroom fruit basket had unripened fruit. The only decent entertainment was in the piano bar. A great pianist and entertainer there. We went every night. The main entertainment venue was brutal. We had a third rate magician and ditto the comedian both from Australia. The Holland America singers and dancers were worse than a high school production. I'm afraid it will take a lot for me to book another cruise with HA. My travel agent feels it may be the particular ship but why would you risk ruining another vacation after this ordeal. I've already booked a Holy Land cruise with Celebrity for next year and plan to take a 20 day Mediterranean cruise with my husband in 2019. I'm afraid it won't be on board HA. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I can only extend my personal thoughts about each cruise I take. I have been on 26 cruises, 5 to Alaska and 4 on Holland. Overall, the passengers averaged about 75 yrs old with a third Australian, a third Canadian and the rest Asians ... Read More
I can only extend my personal thoughts about each cruise I take. I have been on 26 cruises, 5 to Alaska and 4 on Holland. Overall, the passengers averaged about 75 yrs old with a third Australian, a third Canadian and the rest Asians and Americans. There were only 4 kids on the ship. FOOD The food was good, always hot and portions have been scaled back compared to previous cruises. The new 70 yr anniversary menu was minimal in choices and no great changes. Lido buffet serves you and they had a scaled back offering as well. They do set tables and bring drinks. Pizza was good but very slow service. Dining room breakfast was over an hour wait to get food after ordering. Waiters were slow but I think they have cut down on staff. ROOM We stayed in an inside cabin, very small but very clean with plenty of storage for the two of us, Only saw our steward the first and last day but they did come by twice a day and the room was clean. CASINO The staff was friendly but it is a smaller casino and payoffs were not so many. After all it is a casino and its all chance ACTIVITIES The digital workshops did not happen and the cruise director we only saw introducing performers or on announcements telling us what a great time we are having. There were not many activities listed in the daily bulletin. 75 % of the passengers seemed to go to bed by 9 pm. Americas test kitchen was ok but most of it is on their website. ENTERTAINMENT Out of 26 cruises this has to be the worst offering I have ever witnessed. The comedian was not at all funny and a true waste of time. The illusionist was worse than the comedian and we could see all his illusions before he shared them, no magic at all. The last night he and the comedian shared a variety show which was 25 minutes of no comedy and 25 minutes of the illusionist trying to put one audience member in a trance. The 3 singing and dance troupe equalled that of a high school production at best. The band they used was live and they did ok. The only night program worth seeing was the bbc documentary on Alaska with live music. The scenes were breathtaking. It is worth seeing. BBKing played music nightly and they seemed quite good but by the size of the non crowds there, it was not the choice for aging passengers. FRONT DESK I had one issue and the clerk was rather rude to the point I had to address with her supervisor. Comments from other guests we met had similar comments. EMBARKATION We received an email saying to be at the ship between 930 and 1100 or have long waits. We took the Skytrain (which is great and empty and cheap on a Sat morning.) We arrived about 9 and were directed to 5 different places and given 5 different answers before we stumbled upon a security guard who let us into assigned seats by rows. It was 9am and we were the first ones to arrive. At 1010 they sent us to check in and reseated. About 1030 we went to customs and then security. We then went to another room where we were seated in order again and had to go down a very steep cement set of 20 steps to go to the ship. We were onboard about 1130. I guess this is the new security but those needing an elevator had to walk a bit further. They did have coffee, lemonade and water while waiting. DISEMBARKATION They called by luggage tag color and we were last to leave at about 10am. We handed our slips to a lady and went through a customs line. We took the skytrain to the airport for 2.25 american and the sky train is a 7 minute walk from the pier. The pier is right in town. OVERALL 25 years ago I made my first Alaska cruise and over the course of each cruise there the glaciers have almost gone away. I guess in 3 yrs they will change the itinerary. We did see lots of whales while on the ship, only 2 bears on the inside passage, lots of mountain goats and plenty of bald eagles. The ports still seem to be the same and the 5 free tours in Skagway through the rangers were great and kept us busy there for 6 hours. I give details of cruise ports in my trip advisor report. This will probably be my last Holland cruise as I think the other lines have surpassed them in service and quality. Feel free to ask questions if I can help. Hope you have a great cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This as my 70 cruise and my second on this ship dating back to 2011. Overall. This was the second worst cruise of the cruise I have taken. The fault is not with the ship which was maintained in excellent shape. Embarkation was very slow ... Read More
This as my 70 cruise and my second on this ship dating back to 2011. Overall. This was the second worst cruise of the cruise I have taken. The fault is not with the ship which was maintained in excellent shape. Embarkation was very slow and disembarkation was the same. Thankfully, I have Global entry which sped up the departure. The positives on the cruise was an excellent movie selection and a very nice cinema room. This was a good as the onboard activities were dreadful. The stateroom 4043 was a well appointed veranda suite with lots of closet space and a large deep balcony. Location was slightly forward near the forward elevators. The elevators were the fastest at sea. The negatives were numerous, ncluded a very poor quality of food with meats and fish below my standard. The entertainment, except for one night was dreadful. This included a Xylophone player, mentalist and 2 unfunny comedians. One production show was very good and another one just fair. The pool area was way over crowded and they even had the audacity to try and sell private seating! If you like to lie on a lounge chair in the shade you are out of luck. The fitness center what'd all Precore machines which lacked adjustments. They are the best for elliptical a/treadmills. Not enough wipes. We are Mariner 3 status with 170 days at seas, but found the perks to be non existent. Not even a cocktail party or some free internet. This was the worst treatment of repeat passengers on a cruise line. On this ship their were no enrichment lectures which was a total turn off. Dining for breakfast lunch lacked adequate staff to remove plates and provide beverages. The best choices turned out to be the salads. Port of calls were Half moon Cay (Satisfactory), Georgetown (Boring), and Key West (OK). Once again Cozumel was cancelled due to rough seas which is the third time for us. Overall, their are much better choices that provide better value. Holland America has really gone downhill in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The GOOD: My sincere compliments to all the staff on this voyage. Everyone had a smile on his or her face at all times. All were most congenial. Our room attendants "bent over backwards" to help us in any way. For this I an ... Read More
The GOOD: My sincere compliments to all the staff on this voyage. Everyone had a smile on his or her face at all times. All were most congenial. Our room attendants "bent over backwards" to help us in any way. For this I an truly thankful. The security was tight and for that I am thankful. Also thankful for the cold drinking water supplied on the dock when we returned from our wonderful shore excursions hot and tired. The BAD: The cuisine was less that expected. Having taken a Princess Cruise in 2001 and experiencing it's top notch cuisine, I was extremely disappointed in the quality of the foods used on the Nieew Amsterdam: mushy tomatoes, almost flavorless ice milk instead of quality ice cream, etc. etc.I could go on and on. The preparation of the food left so much to be desired (little if any taste to most everything I tried). This was true for the cafeteria as well as the non-pay dining rooms. I ended up creating my own meals from what I could find at the salad bar. Oh, yes I could have what was apparently considered more gourmet food by paying extra for every lunch and dinner at the Pinnacle Grill and the other one or two "gourmet" type restaurants. But that would be very pricy, would it not? Better for Holland America but not for me. Not at all what I signed up for. On the special La Cirque dining night we paid the extra $49 a piece to have dinner in the arguably "gourmet" Pinnacle Grill. The food was prepared somewhat better, but was still not worth $45 a piece. I couldn't bring myself to eat some of it. Save your money. There was nothing special about this night accept for maybe the white coverings on the chairs! The only dinners that were enjoyable were the nights they served authentic Greek food out on the Lido Deck. To add to this frustration, at most of the food stations you are not allowed to serve yourself. You have to ask for what you want and then after the server puts a small amount on your plate, he'll ask whether you want more or not. This gets to be quite frustrating after about the first week. I have to say that I was not the only one in my party that felt the cuisine was substandard. My husband, who will usually eat about anything, and my brother generally felt as I did. I qualify what I am writing here by saying that I live in an area (Napa County, California) that is well known for its many gourmet restaurants. I am fortunate enough to be able to visit some of these restaurants from time to time. I believe I have some, although it may be small, experience in dining at quality restaurants. The UGLY: If you are prone to catching a sore throat, cold and chest congestion from being constantly exposed to a forced air cooling system, BEWARE! You cannot get away from it on this ship. Cold air is blowing from vents everywhere on ship. You can not turn it off in your room.You can only make it warmer if you desire.The rules are to keep your balcony doors closed so as to facilitate the air conditioning. We found this impossible. We had to get fresh air in our room somehow. One of the two vents in our room was blowing onto my bed day and night. After about three days both my daughter and I came down with a sore throat and chest congestion. I missed out on seeing Kotor because I was so ill. We finally asked to have the air somehow restricted in the vent over my bed. When the maintenance staff member removed the vent cover we could see black mold that had accumulated inside the pipe. It was the same way inside the other vent also. He quickly wiped it away with a rag, not protecting my bed, him or us from the mold spores. It made for being uncomfortable for the remainder of the trip knowing that there were very likely many other pipes in the system around the ship with mold being spewed out on unsuspecting people. Plus the fact that the air was still constantly blowing in my room, my only sanctuary away from others. Ugly also stands for the drab decor of the Nieew Amsterdam. The hallways resemble old dormitory hallways. The rooms, at least our room and most of the ones I could see were drab. Now if you like black, brown and orange-red then you should be all right with it. RESULT: I do not think I will ever go on another cruise. For certain i will never go on another Holland America cruise. Nor will I recommend this cruise line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Let me preface my remarks by saying we have taken one to two cruises per year from 2006 to the present. We’ve been on at least a dozen different ships and NEVER experienced anything like this. I booked fifty (50) nights on the Nieuw ... Read More
Let me preface my remarks by saying we have taken one to two cruises per year from 2006 to the present. We’ve been on at least a dozen different ships and NEVER experienced anything like this. I booked fifty (50) nights on the Nieuw Amsterdam (April 8 thru May 28) based on the reputation they have enjoyed through the years. I can not begin to tell you how disappointed we are with Holland America. If not for their wonderful staff, their “service” would be without any redeeming value. For years I looked forward to cruising to interesting destinations and enjoying a more refined class of service with Holland America Lines. The reality has been a bitter disappointment. I understand that the Nieuw Amsterdam was in dry dock right before our cruise began. As a retired Corporate C.E.O. I’m well aware of the cost of doing business. I understand that each day in dry dock has two costs (the expense of the dry dock itself, and the loss of revenue for each of those days not sailed). It is, however, a false economy to rush the return of the ship to service BEFORE THE WORK IS COMPLETED AND TESTED. I DID NOT PAY TO GO ON A “SHAKEDOWN CRUISE” to help find incomplete and improperly performed repairs and/or upgrades. (See list of problems below) They have sacrificed the long term financial rewards of gaining satisfied repeat customers for some short term savings. A very short sighted, foolish trade. List of Problems: Constant, ship wide, vibration which caused our cabin to have a chorus of squeaks, chirps, and ticking sounds. (Vibration was caused by an engine problem which was to be remedied in dry dock and was not due to rushing the ship back into service) I had to put cardboard between the top of the wall and the ceiling panels to quiet them; a face cloth between the wall and the TV to stop the chirping; and cardboard between the closet door and the mirror to stop the ticking. Fruit Flies? / Drain Flies? in most cabins. Some cabins without A/C. Our corridor, toilets not working. Several episodes during trip. T.V. that vacillated between not working, and working, and all shades in between. Faded and stained carpet in cabin. Two power outages The Lido & Manhattan Dining Rooms had new carpets which were still shedding and making lint balls / dust bunnies SIX weeks on. We were unimpressed with the limited and repetitive nature of the menu and the incompetent way my needs for a gluten and lactose free diet were so poorly met. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Total disappointment. We read reviews for this cruise and were aware that rating for this ship is not too great, only fair. But this was the first Mediterranean cruise of the year and we took the risk. First and foremost I want to ... Read More
Total disappointment. We read reviews for this cruise and were aware that rating for this ship is not too great, only fair. But this was the first Mediterranean cruise of the year and we took the risk. First and foremost I want to outline the pros: Our stateroom attendant was great! Room was always perfectly cleaned, bedding was always sparkling clean and every evening we got those adorable towel pets which were the highlight of my evening entertainment. Dining room food was acceptable. Adequate portions. Head waiter came to the table every day for a chat. We had lobster dishes 2 formal nights and crab legs 1 night. Crab legs were pretty good and we asked we will have it again. Were told there is no plan to serve crab legs again, but if we ask for it, he will prepare it for us on request. And we got crab legs again, as promised. What made dinner extra special are the people at our table. We asked to be sited at table for 6 and had delightful company, lot's of laughs. I have to say special thanks to the desert chefs. That was the best desert we ever had on the cruise. Every night different, very delicious pastries of top quality. And special chocolate night was magnificent. Great variety! Lunch menu in the buffet was very good. Salads, very good selection of meets prepared differently. Great idea was to have different oriental variety every day. Pizza was fantastic all day long. Ice creams with different toppings. Specialty restaurant we only visited twice. First time we really enjoyed the food and the service. Yuri, our waitress was a delight. She was friendly and allot of fun. Food was ok. Sushi were not really good and they served 4 very thin slices and you could not get seconds. Second night my husband ordered Vietnamese lamb but meet was very tough and he got a replacement dish. However, the chocolate filled fortune cookie was something awesome! From entertainers want to mention Jenny and the HALcats. Jenny is a great singer and has wonderful personality. That is where pros of this cruise end. Cons: This cruise was designed for people over 85. Even thought there were allot of older folks we know people of all ages like to have fun. Shows were extremely boring. Low quality entertainers. Ship performers(singers and dancers) only performed couple of times in production numbers which again lacked quality. Since HALcats were the only band and performed in the shows as well as wit Jenny, dancing was nonexistent as the band was busy with the shows every night. So Jenny performed perhaps 2-3 times during entire cruise. There was another sort of jazz band that were suppose to play from 5:30PM to 6:30PM the dance favorites/ballroom type songs. Whoever planned the timeslot for this band forgot that first dinner sitting starts at 5:45PM and can go on well until 8PM. Since we are passionate ballroom fans we skipped dinner one evening to catch some dancing. That was terrible!!!! They mostly played foxtrot and took several 5 minute breaks(which lasted up to 20 minutes) every 15 minutes. In other words really bad for those of us who can still move. DJ Mario was allot of fun during some of the game shows. But his disco was at 11PM when most people are in bed considering that every shore excursion would start between 8 and 9 AM. One night we decided to stay up and go to the Latin night. All he played was Merengue, after half and hour we gave up. Game shows were a joke. Deal or no deal....1 person calls the rest are sitting doing nothing for an hour, what is the point? 1 show was sort of fun "majority rules" where all the players were involved. Is it so hard to find more games where all attendants would participate? There was no on-deck entertainment at all. Deck area could not accommodate all the guests and it was impossible to find free lounge chair next to the pool. At this time I should mention that dining room was terribly understaffed and waiter service that cruises are so famous for was not there. But there were plenty of waiters bugging every 5 minutes offering a drink from a poolside bar, dance floor bar, theater bar and so on. However wants a drink will get a drink, but no matter how many people will bug me to buy a drink I will not since I don't drink alcohol. So few less bar waiters and few more dining room waiters would have been great. Getting a table at the buffet dining room was a challenge, especially for breakfast. Getting food at the buffet was a challenge...First few days all the food were being served which created 30 minutes lines. 72 hours later they opened some stations for self service but meat and oriental section was still served and there was always long lines. So it was impossible to plan any activities around lunch time as we never new how long we might have to stay in line. I don't understand what was achieved by having food served. Poor employees don't get any rest at all, they work 12 hours shifts 10 months straight. And guests have to stay in line indefinitely to get the food. Port of calls were not too exciting and shore excursions were not the best quality. For example our guide in Pisa was terrible, we got no useful information at all, the headphones were terrible quality and most of the time all we heard was noise. In Luca we had wonderful guide. I have to say that unfortunately cruising is not what it used to be. Would I ever cruise with HA? Not unless they fix all the problems. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
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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