33 Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Senior Cruise Reviews

We choose this cruise because it was going to Turks and Caicos one of favorite stops! Also a sponsored cruise by our community so many neighbors on board! We did do Rudi's Sel De Mer and for the extra charge this is well worth it! We ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was going to Turks and Caicos one of favorite stops! Also a sponsored cruise by our community so many neighbors on board! We did do Rudi's Sel De Mer and for the extra charge this is well worth it! We also did another night at the Pinnacle Grill along with the Canaletto Italian fare included by VacationsToGo. I do need to say we enjoyed the Canaletto the best maybe because we are partial to the food! My wife had the Veal Scallopini and I the Lobster Ravioli. The Langoustine-Tomato Soup is the best we ever had! Entertainment: The dance crew were excellent and we really enjoyed (the comedy) Mike the ventriloquist with Terrance his Figure! Terrance kept picking on this loser in the first row who didn't understand the humor as Terrance kept saying "What A Loser"! In Gran Turk we did the Grand Turk Exclusive Supreme Snorkeling Tour almost 4 hrs. Snorkeled the wall first and then some shallow reefs. Tasting the fresh conch was excellent and conch salad even better! The Stingray back massage was a kodak moment to be captured and remembered! Thank you Capt Gary and First Mate Marshall for a trip to be remembered! These guys need a big tip also! Nieuw Amsterdam azipod thruster malfunction forced a change in Itinerary from stopping at Saint Martin and sailing to St Croux instead! This was a welcome change and we had the best weather day at this stop! Don't miss a small bar on the nearby beach run by Shelly and Big Sexy what a hoot that was! Best drinks better than the ship and best jerk chicken! Stop in Old San Juan just after first earthquake not so great with most stores closed due to power outage! We did not make the Half Moon Kay private island stop due to high winds and poor weather! Best Martini's on the ship are made my Michael in the Pinnacle Bar midships! Give Michael a big TIP!!! Just one note on our room we had Cabin #8147 STBD side just under the Lido Deck Sea View Pool area. You will be awoken by the movement of chairs and tables every morning between 6 and 6:30 am. Noise also goes to 11pm at night depending on the weather. Do not recommend staying on deck 8 aft unless you are a heavy sleeper! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I enjoyed the cruise. Booked another on the cruise. The food was very enjoyable. We dined mostly in the Lido but twice in the MDR. Wish the food was labeled. Liked that it was served by staff which seemed much more ... Read More
My wife and I enjoyed the cruise. Booked another on the cruise. The food was very enjoyable. We dined mostly in the Lido but twice in the MDR. Wish the food was labeled. Liked that it was served by staff which seemed much more sanitary. The happy hours where a good value. Staff was friendly. We really liked the service from our room steward Ichsan. He was very pleasant and did an excellent job. Hopefully we will be able to have him on our next cruise. The main stage shows where a little boring. I'd rate the dance first, I looked forward to their second performance, then the magician. I enjoyed the Lincoln Center performances the most. There was a nice mix of different styles of music presented. The musicians were excellent. I wish they would have had a few performances on the main stage. There was a lot of people walking by that could be noisy. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my second trip to Alaska and my first time on Holland America. I was really impressed with this beautiful ship. It looked fresh and felt luxurious. There were plenty of elevators and lots of quiet places throughout the ship ... Read More
This was my second trip to Alaska and my first time on Holland America. I was really impressed with this beautiful ship. It looked fresh and felt luxurious. There were plenty of elevators and lots of quiet places throughout the ship where one could settle in with a good book. The only time it felt crowded was peak times in the buffet. I liked having breakfast and lunch in the dining room. They served steak and lobster on the 2nd gala night and it was very good. Other Dining Room menu items for dinner were hit and miss. The buffet was typical. I noticed they didn't have trays and the staff dished up most of the food for you, which I didn't really like but apparently it reduces the incidence of illness. Unlike some other cruise lines I've been on, there didn't seem to be any theme nights in the buffet. We dined in Canaletto, the Italian specialty restaurant, one night and the food and service were first rate. I liked the films and talks showcasing Alaska. There were none of those dreadful "Vegas type" shows. There was an illusionist one night and a comedian. There was a dance group but it didn't appeal to me and I left. I loved the Lincoln Centre Stage featuring a piano quintette from Hungary and also the B.B. King Blues club. We had lots of fun at Trivia and Music Trivia. The staff were helpful, friendly and service oriented although I found sometimes there was quite a wait to get a drink. Speaking of drinks, I discovered the Ginger Mule and will ask for that next time. I didn't get off the ship in Juneau but took the White Pass and Yukon trip in Skagway and the Wilderness Exploration and Crab Feast in Ketchikan. Both through the ship and both very expensive. Converted to Canadian funds the cost was around $500.00. Our party included a 12 year old and a 16 year old. The younger one had a blast but we worried there didn't seem to be much for the teen. However, she said at the end that she would love to do another cruise. I had wheelchair assistance embarking and disembarking as I am on supplemental oxygen and the batteries don't last too long. I really appreciated this service. Disembarking was really well organized, probably the best I've ever experienced. All in all, a lovely week with family and friends. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Wanted to visit some of the Caribbean knowing it probably was quite different than other cruises we’ve done as in more focused on sun, beach and shopping. Not things that are high on our list but needing a warm winter break. It was as ... Read More
Wanted to visit some of the Caribbean knowing it probably was quite different than other cruises we’ve done as in more focused on sun, beach and shopping. Not things that are high on our list but needing a warm winter break. It was as we expected and we will do another cruise in this area (southern) but probably that would be all. For just a winter sunny break in future it would be easier and closer for us to do Mexico. We also should not have picked a back to back cruise as felt our return to Fort Lauderdale in the middle was a bit of a wasted day as we’d already spent 4 days there prior to the cruise. This is sounding a bit negative and don’t mean it to as we did enjoy ourselves. Enjoyed most ports of call but never want to go to Nassau again. Enjoyed Ocho Rios(Dunn’s river falls) Half Moon Cay would have been fine with just one visit. Did a basic bike and hike first time which was simple but enjoyable. Loved San Juan, especially the Fort. Loved Cozumel. St. Thomas was enjoyable with the views from the high point. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Choose this cruise as a last minute, 7 day NYE getaway with family group. We knew HAL is reputed to cater to more mature cruisers so with that knowledge the young adult members of our group of 9 were not overly impressed. They did find ... Read More
Choose this cruise as a last minute, 7 day NYE getaway with family group. We knew HAL is reputed to cater to more mature cruisers so with that knowledge the young adult members of our group of 9 were not overly impressed. They did find enough to keep them entertained in casino & on New Years Eve. The ship was clean and nicely furnished but nothing that really awed me. Food was average, but like most lines, the food has gone down in quality since catering to pay for dining rooms. Room service was good. Service was very good & staff was friendly. I found it more difficult to get port information as I could not make their info session on stage. Most ships I have been on have a TV channel devoted to ports of call, but i couldn't locate one on this ship. In room movie selection was very good. We loved the piano bar & it's proximity to the casino. I did find the atmosphere on the ship relaxing. I have been on 5 other HAL cruises & think they are a good value but not a lot of bells & whistles, especially on the pool decks like many of the other lines. I like the size of their ships. Boarding was easy, but Ft. Lauderdale port is rather chaotic, especially with 7 other ships there. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Good price,good timing for a getaway,previous good experiences with Holland America. Food and service is always good. BB Kings blues band plays in a lounge most nights 8 pc band always exceptional not just blues but 60’s Motown,and pop ... Read More
Good price,good timing for a getaway,previous good experiences with Holland America. Food and service is always good. BB Kings blues band plays in a lounge most nights 8 pc band always exceptional not just blues but 60’s Motown,and pop .Next to the casino is billboard 2 pianos and vocalists playing requests, old hits , some sing along.Casino is friendly not bad for a cruise ship. Lincoln Center on stage is the place for classical music. Cello violin and such.The main stage has a different act every night, although this is where HAL needs the most improvement The ships singers and dancers and show just ok. Acts such as comedian and or magician not very good. Four ports of call not bad for a seven day cruise. On this particular cruise we were unable to tender to their private island because of rough seas, but we have been there before it’s a great beach day with free bbq. Private beach set up really nice. They also have beach houses for rent which I never thought would be worth it for a half day outing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were on the June 30, 2018 sailing of the Nieuw Amsterdam from Vancouver to the inside passage (including Glacier Bay). This was our third time on Holland America and our second Alaska cruise (the other in 2000 on Princess). Bottomline, ... Read More
We were on the June 30, 2018 sailing of the Nieuw Amsterdam from Vancouver to the inside passage (including Glacier Bay). This was our third time on Holland America and our second Alaska cruise (the other in 2000 on Princess). Bottomline, I wouldn't hesitate booking this ship/itinerary based on our experience. For the most part, it was all very good. We did our own air and stayed at the Auberge Vancouver both pre and post stay. I would recommend this hotel for this purpose. With four-wheel luggage, it was easy to walk from the hotel to the cruise check in - even in a slight misty rain. The hotel is in a tall mixed-use building that includes condos, retail, and the hotel. There is no room service, and the free breakfast offered is limited--but for cost/convenience it was the right choice for us. (The others being the far pricier Fairmont or Pan Pacific.) Front desk folks were very helpful. Embarkation was very confusing to get our luggage dropped off. Granted we tried to board early and the offloading was still going on. Based on what pier workers told us there isn't a set place for each ship/sailing to drop off luggage - which sounds crazy given this ship makes the same trip every week. But once we found the location to drop off the luggage the rest was pretty well managed by HA. Just bring your patience with you. We were onboard by 11:15a or so, and our cabin was ready before noon. Lunch in the main dining room was the way to go, as the Lido was a zoo. We rented two Lido Cabanas for this trip (two couples), which was a great choice. It gave us a place to hang out and our steward was excellent. Granted we tipped him well at the start and throughout the cruise, but he waited on us like kings. For Alaska, I would do this again in a heartbeat. (Cost $199 per cabana for the week.) I didn't see anyone in the Retreat Cabanas all week. Food in the main dining room was very good. We ate at the Tamarid the first night (catch the first night 'special' when you get onboard at 25% discount.) The Pinnacle was good, but not as good as our memory of the meal on the Eurodam a few years ago. The Pizza, burgers, and hot dogs all got good reviews from our group. I think the best options for Lido is to get a customized food (ommlete, salad, etc.) made to order. Otherwise, the food we had was just fair. Be sure to at least order coffee via room service, as it is so nice to sit outside sipping your coffee in the morning. (Room Service breakfast was very good too.) Entertainment: We only saw the Billboard night production, which was just OK - but less than you will see on most ships. We missed the illusionist and comedian, so can't comment on that. The orchestra played the score of an Alaska nature movie one night, and it was very good. BB Kings and the dueling pianos were both excellent. We went to the pianos (Billboard) every night. Lots of fun. I also loved America's Test Kitchen classes they had on sea days. The bar drinks were disappointing, and never found the bar or bartender that could whip up something great. Our best bar experience by far was in the Tamirid Bar--as far as quality of drinks - but it was also the worst service. We finally just started going to the bar ourselves rather than have the bar waiter take our order. The Tamirid Bar isn't crowded and has incredible views. The Crows Nest has been ruined with all the new junk they have up there. This space in the past was our 'go to spot' in the past, but not anymore. #fail Holland America. Drink specials were only in two bars at 4pm and 11:30pm - BOGO +$2. Why bother having one at 11:30p on a HA ship?? As many have commented, everything seemed to be a ploy to get you to spend more money--which I don't think is unique to Holland America. The info left in your rooms about buying jewelry was overwhelming and the only port info was a push to go to cruise stores in port. Sad it has come to that. Our shore excursions (not with the cruise line) were with Harv and Marv in Juneau in the 6 person boat. Excellent!! We did a taxi to Mendenhall in Juneau. Excellent!! We did the White Pass (one way to Frasier) in Skagway and stopped off at the Skagway Brewery for a post-excursion drink. Both were great. All that said, I would go again tomorrow -- and would recommend this ship and itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Pre cruise. I flew to san diego on norwegian air and another sadly i did not know i had to pre book meals so all i9 had for 9 hrs was snacks! I stayed in a hostel to save money which was ok.i did maritime museum,san diego zoo and ... Read More
Pre cruise. I flew to san diego on norwegian air and another sadly i did not know i had to pre book meals so all i9 had for 9 hrs was snacks! I stayed in a hostel to save money which was ok.i did maritime museum,san diego zoo and midway. Embarkation. I left hostel 1000 and was surprised to go onboard by 1130 and cabin was ready and luch was in the dining room. Cabin. I originally had an out6side guarantee cabin then 1 day before cruise got a upgrade to balcony. A quuen bed was very comfortable. Shop. Very few models of NIEUW AMSTERDAM were left plus small ones but not much else Entertainment. Really good shows,a singer/comedian,singers ands dancers and a fiddle player/comedian were really good. Ports of call. Victoria(vancover island) did not book any excursions as very pricey onboard. I got theb shuttle bus into town and after finding bus trips were$50-$70 to get to the beuchart gardens i went there by local bus. Disembarkation. Pretty good did not have to wait long to get off ship. Post cruise. I stayed in a hostel in vancover much better than the 1st one and went a few places. All in all. Really good cruise as i always want to go on her. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Positives: Service was excellent!! We arrived on the ship at 2pm, no lines and very smooth check in process. My husband and I loved our cabin, and our steward was exceptional. BB King's show was fabulous. The band and singers were ... Read More
Positives: Service was excellent!! We arrived on the ship at 2pm, no lines and very smooth check in process. My husband and I loved our cabin, and our steward was exceptional. BB King's show was fabulous. The band and singers were great. Danced to great Soul and Jazz numbers each night. Comedy show had us laughing out loud. Very, very funny! Plyed to the age group in the audience. This was an "Oprah Cruise". It was fun meeting the author of the latest book club entry, "An American Marriage". (Good book!) Negatives: Through no fault of the Captain's, we were unable to port in Amber Cove due to rough seas. We did have a nice day at sea though. The Billboard Bar is situated right next to the casino, we found it distracting as we listened to the piano players (who were very, very good). Food at the buffet was fine, nothing special. We ate in the dining room each night, this is where some improvement is needed in our opinion. Pasta choices were bland - steak was tough and left a lot to be desired. Other dishes were just so-so. Disembarking: We had a flight at 10:30am out of FLL - we were a little worried as they do not suggest you book a flight before 11:00am. We asked for "expedited" disembarking. Carried off our own luggage (kept in our room the night before), were off the ship by 7:45 grabbed a taxi (many waiting as we were one of the first off), 15 min ride to the airport. Fare was $17,00. We arrived at our gate at 8;30- 90 minutes before our flight began boarding at 10am. Plenty of time for us. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Nieuw Amsterdam – 10 Days December 20, 2017 We boarded Nieuw Amsterdam fresh out of dry dock. A comfortable size ship of about 2,000 passengers, just about right for our needs. I've never cared for the monster ships ... Read More
Nieuw Amsterdam – 10 Days December 20, 2017 We boarded Nieuw Amsterdam fresh out of dry dock. A comfortable size ship of about 2,000 passengers, just about right for our needs. I've never cared for the monster ships accommodating 5,000 passenger that have become the norm of late. This was a 17-day cruise, with multiple length cruises all rolled into 17 days. Some disembarked after 3 days, ours was a 10 day, and after the initial 3 days many people boarded for 7 days, while some stayed for the full 17 days. Boarding was fairly smooth, and we were in our stateroom about 30 minutes after arrival at the pier. The stateroom was comfortable and well laid out, making efficient use of all available space. The staff were, as is usual on Holland America, (and most other cruise lines), courteous, friendly and ever helpful. Every request was met with cheerful compliance. We ate most of our dinners in the main dining room. The food selection and quality was very good and the waiters, like everyone else on board, were eager to ensure that the we had just about everything we asked for. However, the designers of this public space need a little help in their chosen profession. This is the first cruise ship dining room where it was impossible to carry on a normal conversation with anyone at the same table. One had to literally shout to be heard by the person sitting beside you. Ambiance rating; "0". The food and service in the buffet restaurant were more than satisfactory, and something a little different, we were served at each food station. There was very little self-service. We tried the hot dogs and hamburgs served outside on deck 9. The only thing I really cared for were the fries. They were served hot and crisp. The hot dogs and hamburgs served to me, (despite being advertised as made to order), were barely warm with a cold slice of cheese on my cheeseburger. Even MacDonald’s manages to serve their fast food hot. The entertainment in the main theater was a mixed bag, some excellent, some good, and the Holland America singers and dancers seemed unable to connect with their audience much of the time. The starting times for these shows were inconsistent, sometimes beginning at 8:00 P.M. and sometimes at 9:00 or 9:30 P.M. SOME NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT: The first 4 days aboard, our toilet malfunctioned about half the time. Finally, after leaving a lengthy note with Guest Relations, describing the symptoms, the third attempt at repairs was successful. I usually monitor my on-board account, and it’s a good thing or we would have paid over $100. more than we owed. To give just one example, at the same time we were having lunch aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, we were simultaneously consuming three beers on Half Moon Cay. Just a word to the wise; Monitor your on-board charges or you may be making a donation to your favorite cruise line. In fairness to Nieuw Amsterdam, Guest Relations did send us a nice bottle of wine to help ease the troubles of having to visit them multiple times to resolve our toilet and accounting issues. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was our first cruise with Holland America. We had cabin 5089, our first time with a balcony. The cabin was nice, lots of storage and plenty of room to hang clothes. We were located midship, so it was very convenient getting around. ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Holland America. We had cabin 5089, our first time with a balcony. The cabin was nice, lots of storage and plenty of room to hang clothes. We were located midship, so it was very convenient getting around. The ship was done in mostly earth tones, nothing garish. We liked the size of the ship, very easy to manage, and no huge crowds. We arrived at the port at about 1:30, and we just walked in, no lines! Definitely happy we arrived a bit later and saved us from long lines. Parking was a bit of a walk to the ship. We were unfamiliar with Port Everglades, but in the future will do more research on parking. When we reached the ship, we saw a parking garage right by the ship. I don't know why the parking booth person didn't tell us about it, sending us instead to a lot with a big walk to the ship. We had requested 2nd seating at dinner and a table for 2, and we were given our choices. There were quite a few two-top tables in the dining room. Our table was on the upper level dining room. We were a little disappointed with the food. My husband's strip steak was well done instead of the medium he requested. My rib roast was medium rare instead of the rare I requested. Portions were a bit small. The soups were delicious! Appetizers were delicious, though small. I am gluten-free, and my waiter made sure my selections were agreeable. Entertainment was ok, nothing special. I enjoyed the husband and wife team who did a show on Beatles music. They knew every song the Beatles recorded. The comedian on another night was great, laughed so hard at his jokes. The other two nights were not our taste. We left one show with singers and dancers from the ship. The last night we just went to our cabin to pack. I really enjoyed America's Test Kitchen. I've been a fan of the program, and they didn't disappoint on the ship. Interesting presentations. We didn't take any shore excursions, having been to Nassau a few times already. We don't drink, so we didn't go to any of the bars. My husband enjoyed a pizza for lunch one day. The gluten-free selections in the Lido buffet were ok. I enjoyed having afternoon tea, and although I couldn't enjoy most of the offerings, the waiters made sure I had a couple of gluten-free selections. Service was okay, nothing outstanding. We've had better food and service on other cruise lines. Since we drove to the port, we waited for a later disembark time. There was a lot of confusion in trying to leave the parking lot. A booth had a green light, but no attendant. We and another passenger called the posted phone number, and were told a person would be there in five minutes. It took about 15--20 minutes. On the whole, we enjoyed the cruise, it was not rowdy and it was relaxing. We would not take Holland America again, as we thought Holland America didn't "wow" us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
General Please see my thorough review of the 9/23/2017 Niew Amsterdam 7 day Alaska cruise, right before this 5 day Repositioning cruise, for review comments relating to Enrichment Activities, Embarkation, Public Rooms, Service, Dining, ... Read More
General Please see my thorough review of the 9/23/2017 Niew Amsterdam 7 day Alaska cruise, right before this 5 day Repositioning cruise, for review comments relating to Enrichment Activities, Embarkation, Public Rooms, Service, Dining, Entertainment, and Onboard Experience which were identical for both cruises. This review will mainly concern the differences between the two cruises, comments related to the Verandah cabin (vs the Signature Suite we had on the Alaska portion) and the shore excursions. This cruise followed the last Alaska cruise of the season for Niew Amsterdam, which is the cruise we really wanted. This repositioning cruise was in lieu of flying home to Southern California. We cruised to San Diego and then we rented a car at the airport in San Diego and did a 1 ½ hour drive home to Orange County and turned the car in at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana. The 7 day Alaska portion of our cruise was in a Signature Suite. We switched to a Verandah for the second 5 day repositioning cruise, which was serious cheap ($499), so got a back-to-back Suite vs Verandah comparison on HAL. Embarkation Embarkation at Vancouver was very smooth for the repositioning cruise, but it had been an unmitigated disaster for the Alaska cruise before it. This was because three ships embarked Vancouver the day of the Alaska cruise, but only our ship for the Repositioning cruise. Please see my thorough review of the 9/23/2017 Niew Amsterdam 7 day Alaska cruise for details and tips on the Embarkation process in Vancouver. Value for Money The repositioning cruise was very inexpensive, $499 each for 5 days. Overall value for money was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We wanted a short break so sailed from Vancouver to San Diego. We arrived into the bus-train station and used the nearby Skytrain to get to Canada Place, which was very easy to use and inexpensive. We checked in at 1:00 and had no wait ... Read More
We wanted a short break so sailed from Vancouver to San Diego. We arrived into the bus-train station and used the nearby Skytrain to get to Canada Place, which was very easy to use and inexpensive. We checked in at 1:00 and had no wait to check in or go through customs although the NA was the only ship in port that day. We enjoyed the small port of Astoria, where we used the antique tram. In San Fransisco we took the HAL Hop On-Off excursion that included the boat trip around Alcatraz. The tour was fine, but took most of our in port time so we didn't get to explore. We really wish HAL would do overnights in the main ports. Tendered into Avalon next. Very small place with nice beach, restaurants and not much else (wish we'd just stayed another day in S.F.) Arrived into San Diego and walked right off at our allotted disembarkation time. The food was the best we ever had and that's high praise as we cruise once or twice a year. We'll be on the Veendam next year so hope to have another great experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
General I do my own cruise planning and read a lot of reviews of that specific cruise on that specific ship before purchasing a cruise. I observed that Niew Amsterdam and HAL in general get very mixed reviews. Some people loved it, some ... Read More
General I do my own cruise planning and read a lot of reviews of that specific cruise on that specific ship before purchasing a cruise. I observed that Niew Amsterdam and HAL in general get very mixed reviews. Some people loved it, some did not for various reasons. It is my opinion that a lot of complaints are probably from people who didn’t do their homework and perhaps booked the wrong cruise for their tastes. This is often on them, not necessarily on the cruise line. Every new customer should know HAL is known as the “senior citizen” line and be OK with being left alone to read a book or entertain yourself at least a little bit. If you need someone else to entertain you constantly, pick another cruise line. My wife and I have done ten cruises on five different cruise lines (Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Holland America). This was our first cruise on HAL. I have never not enjoyed a cruise, even the worst one. Full disclosure: I am not a complainer, generally. I don’t expect everything to be perfectly to my liking anywhere where 2,100 passengers are being served. If I complain, it is going to be a legitimate complaint, not a small annoyance that passes. It is imperative to have a good time and complaining detracts from my own experience. Ratings are as much about expectations as they are about the actual experience, just like a marriage. This cruise was the last Alaska cruise of the season for Niew Amsterdam. I chose that one so we could stay on the ship for its next cruise, a 5 day repositioning cruise from Vancouver to San Diego, avoiding a flight. Then we rented a car at the airport and did a 1 ½ hour drive home to Orange County and turned the car in at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana. The Signature Suite price was not all that much more than a Verandah on this last cruise of the season, so for the first time we booked a Suite. We switched to a Verandah for the second repositioning cruise, which was serious cheap ($499), so got a back-to-back Suite vs Verandah comparison on HAL. See my review of Sept 30, 2017 repositioning cruise to San Diego for the cabin comparison. Enrichment Activities We engaged in these sparingly. Went to a BBC screening that was interesting. Went to two of the Americas Test Kitchen live classes on “Meatless Mondays” and on different ways to prepare salmon which my wife was interested in. There were a lot of Microsoft Windows 10 classes. I went to the one on Windows “One Drive” and would have gone to more but was doing other things at the time. These were good to fill in those occasional gaps in the schedule when we had some spare time. Because these offerings were available I didn’t make any progress on the book I was reading on my Kindle, like I thought I would. Embarkation This was an unmitigated disaster! It was because 3 ships departed the same afternoon (about 10,000 passengers) and US customs was swamped. This inconvenience was not HAL fault, but US Customs and Vancouver facility limitations. However, HAL instructions were to “please arrive at least 3 hours prior to the ship’s departure time.” That would be 1:45 for 4:45 departure. That would put you in the heart of the customs logjam. Bad advice. On page 1 of the boarding pass document they said the embarkation process starts at noon. Since they gave us that instruction, we assumed it was not possible to arrive sooner, perhaps the HAL check-in desks might not yet be open and the ship had not yet been cleaned and prepped and we might have a long wait to get started (this happened to us in San Francisco once with a different cruise line). More bad advice. So we left our hotel around 11:30 for what the hotel clerk said should be about a 25 minute cab ride (the clerk used to work for a cruise line). Guess again, we arrived at 12:45 into a sea of humanity. A porter took our suitcases. We got on the ship at 4:00, over 3 hours not including the cab ride. Be sure to bring water. We were exhausted. We had a similar experience in 2012 when 3 ships were departing Vancouver. They have made one significant improvement since then. They have added three large seating areas so that when you have a very long wait, you are issued a sequence number and at least you can wait in a padded seat with a restroom nearby until your group number is called. Not so in 2012. First line was security check of all carry-on items, second line was HAL check-in, and third line was for US Customs. Customs was the problem. We talked to passengers onboard who arrived around 10AM and breezed through in an hour or so. Wish we had ignored HAL instructions and done that. But it would have been a risk as HAL check-in might not be open. If I ever cruise out of Vancouver again I will check how many ships are departing the same day and never again book a cruise with 3 ships departing the same afternoon. Or else arrive at 10AM. Might consider Seattle or another port. On the second leg of this trip, the repositioning cruise to San Diego, we were the only ship in port in Vancouver this time and customs clearance was a breeze. Yes, they made us get off the boat and go back through customs to re-board, but they escorted us with a crew member pass so it was pretty quick. They left our bags on the ship. Public Rooms The ship was nice and in good condition. Public rooms were nicely appointed. Cabin Our first suite experience (SS-6087) was appreciated. We loved the extra space and we filled it up easily. The bed was the best we have had on a cruise. We both have achy hips and a hard or bad mattress causes us to wake up repeatedly during the night to turn over to relieve hip pain. If an old person has to take Advil because of a mattress, that is a bad mattress. No Advil required. I’m not saying it was great, definitely not as good as our sleep number bed with a pillow top at home, but acceptable and the best on a cruise ship we have experienced. Normally when we first get to a room we look for the cabin attendant and request an egg crate foam layer be placed on top of the mattress as a pillow top. This is the first time we didn’t think that was necessary. Often the ships keep some of these egg crate foam pads and give them to the complainers, but they run out so it is imperative to complain early. The leather couch (sleeper) is the most uncomfortable piece of furniture I have ever sat on. Too deep and back straight up. It was necessary to pile pillows a certain way to be able to sit on it. Our biggest complaint about our Signature Suite is that the couch was right under the large wall mounted flat screen TV, so you could not watch TV from a comfortable (or uncomfortable) seating position. Only from bed or a desk chair just like an interior room. Lots of closet space. The bathroom had 2 sinks, a full size tub with Jacuzzi jets and shower head, and a separate shower stall. Suite! Service Generally service was very good. There was only a couple of times when someone told me I couldn’t do what I want and delivered the message a little tersely, forgetting their training. Most went out of their way to be polite and friendly. Many of this ships employees were from Indonesia. The gals in the Tamarind were especially friendly. I think the dining room servers are friendlier for the fixed dining when you get the same servers every night and a mini-bond is formed. No bond with the server of the day. Value for Money Being the last Alaska cruise of the season the price was significantly lower than midsummer and the Signature Suite was not that much more than a Verandah on this cruise, which is why we went for it. We payed $2099 each for the 7 day cruise which is the most we have ever payed for 7 days, but we got to try a suite to see how the other half lives. Cruising in the fall is our secret for success. Few kids, lower prices, cooler weather and with HAL you avoid the frat party crowd puking over the balcony railing like they do on Carnival. We live in a desert so we have no aversion to foggy drizzly weather. Value for money was OK. Dining Main Dining Room We requested fixed early dining which has always been our preference, but were wait listed and assigned open dining instead. On this cruise we started to like the open dining because of the flexibility, and we could still request to sit at a table for 6 to meet other passengers. They would accept reservations one day ahead, so we learned to figure out our evening itinerary, browse the menus, and book a reservation a day ahead. Then the wait to get seated was minimal. We figured if something came up and we didn’t show up it wouldn’t matter anyway, but that never happened. The food was generally good. Not the best we’ve experienced (Celebrity), but not the worst (Norwegian). Good, but no wow factor. The first night the meat was tough and I thought Oh Oh. But it was a one-off and the prime rib later in the cruise was surprisingly tender and juicy and things got better. Lido Buffet We had lunch and dinner here occasionally, never breakfast. Again, good. Not everything was great, but there was enough variety that if one was picky you could choose the dish you like and pass on the others. Keep pecking and you will find gold. Tip: The menu in all restaurants is shown on the TV daily, so we learned to see what was being served in the dining room and the Lido and then make a choice. Room Service We only used room service for breakfast, but just a continental breakfast to get us started mornings. Just coffee and toast, and occasionally danish or fruit or yogurt. The full breakfast is not the way to go on room service unless you like overcooked scrambled eggs, which is the only way they serve them (true for every cruise we have been on). The breakfast was much better in the dining room; eggs cooked to order, pancakes & waffles etc. Much better for big breakfast eaters. Of course room service was no extra charge. Dive-In Poolside burgers, dogs and chicken sandwiches. I liked them, my wife was less enthusiastic. New York Pizza Back of the boat on the Lido deck. They will make your pizza to order and have a couple of decent salads. Covered outdoor seating next to a bar. If you want to take it to your room they will put it in a pizza box, just like delivery at home except the delivery boy is you. The pizza was – you guessed it – good. Tamarind Specialty Asian dining for $25 extra fee. The Indonesian servers were quite good and friendly. The food was good with some creative and unusual selections. For me it was not an extra $25 better than the main dining room so we didn’t return on the second cruise. Pinnacle Grill I had high expectations because of the $35 extra fee. Our experience was OK, it was a good meal but not worth the extra fee so we wouldn’t have considered going back. Entertainment I knew from pre-cruise reviews that this is where HAL and Niew Amsterdam get panned a lot. Accordingly we went in eyes wide open with low expectations in this area. There was good entertainment available at times, but I have to admit that compared to the other cruises we have done it didn’t measure up. But since this was not a priority for us we didn’t care that much. There were a couple of main stage shows that were enjoyable. The impressionist Tyler Bryce was extremely talented and funny and this was the best stage show. The comedian Mark Pitta was OK. Both were relatively clean, thankfully. There were no musical headliners like we had on almost every other cruise, so the other main stage shows were production number stuff. The performers sang and danced their hearts out for us but it’s a little underwhelming. In the lounges, BB King’s Blues Club were the only exceptional performances and this saved Niew Amsterdam’s entertainment rating as far as we were concerned. We went there about 7 out of the 12 nights (2 cruises back-to-back) to the point that I was actually getting tired of an exceptional group. It was the same group on both cruises. To their credit, each night they had new material and only started repeating numbers late in the cruise. The other lounge acts were just OK. Here is the skinny on in-room TV. There is a wide selection of on-demand movies. You can start anytime, pause, rewind, etc. The only live TV channels were BBC World News, CNBC, Fox News, MSNBC, ESPN and ESPN 2. Tip: If you put the TV on the front facing ship’s camera (up on the bridge) you can hear the ship’s announcements clearly on TV. Otherwise you can’t hear announcements with your cabin door shut. Shore Excursions Juneau - we went to our old haunt, Tracy’s Crab Shack and gorged on king crab legs fresh out of the Bering Sea, washed down with a cold Alaskan beer. We consider this pilgrimage as a shore excursion, making the $122 price tag for two seem cheap! The bucket was 3 ½ pounds of legs. Tracy’s has been in a different location the three times we have partaken, now it is front and center near the cruise terminal, seen easily from the ship. Souvenir shops in town discounted 50% because this was their final week of the season. Skagway – We did an 8 hour tour that started in a big comfortable bus with a toilet in the rear. It drove us on a very scenic trip through wilderness across the border into Canada, the Yukon. We stopped for a nice BBQ chicken lunch with fresh made donuts and visited a sled dog operation. Some people took a sled dog ride using a sled with wheels, since there was no snow yet. We petted the little sled dog puppies. Then we drove back to a train station and boarded the White Pass Railway for a winding trip back to Skagway. Very nice scenery, and we enjoyed the day. Ketchikan - We did an internet search a couple of months before the cruise and found a local that does private SUV tours. She is a native, born and raised in Ketchikan. She will drive you around town to see whatever is there to see at that time. We told her we were most interested in wildlife, spawning salmon and bears if available, not so much totem poles, log rolling lumberjacks or museums. We had her for about 3 hours, and she delivered on the spawning salmon and we saw a bear come out of the woods, snatch a salmon and haul it back into the woods. Late September is late season for the spawning salmon so we saw them at the end of their long journey, beat up, dying, and dead. It was $240, so cheaper than any shore excursion and it was flexible to current conditions. We’re glad we did it that way this time. Onboard Experience Our overall experience was good. We may do HAL again, if we are looking for a relaxing, rather quiet cruise, not lusting after the Wow factor, and we are very enthusiastic about the ports visited. On these types of cruises we can get more into the shore activities than some of the more active glitzy cruise lines where there is more excitement onboard. Sometimes you need a rest after a day on shore, and sometimes you need to get off the boat to rest, but not on HAL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We picked a deal from Claire Newell's Travel Best Bets. Excellent service and direction from the customer service department. This was our first cruise. We took the Sea Bus from North Vancouver, a very easy walk to the terminal. ... Read More
We picked a deal from Claire Newell's Travel Best Bets. Excellent service and direction from the customer service department. This was our first cruise. We took the Sea Bus from North Vancouver, a very easy walk to the terminal. Loading was well organized given that three ships were in port and departing at the same time. Appreciated chairs in the two halls. Just be prepared for a wait, take a book, maybe a snack. Water and washrooms available. We arrived at noon and were on board at 3.The energy is good and people excited. We had an outside room next to a lifeboat. Not a bad view at all. We slept with the curtains open and could take in the view. Just be prepared as crew members do appear on the walkway outside the window at various times! Excellent king size bed, good linens, excellent closet and storage space for two adults, adequate bathroom with tub. Great room attendants kept the room spotless and tidy. It takes awhile to get oriented to the ship's layout. The outside glass elevators are a must. Used the stairs a lot to keep limber!Very few smokers in one or two areas. We didn't use the casino. Enjoyed the BB King venue several times, but busy could never get a seat. The bartender was very entertaining.The show room was comfortable; enjoyed the Beatles review. Took one of the digital workshops; would prefer working computers. Found the Wi-Fi slow but understood that was due to satellite service - never hurts to unplug! Really enjoyed the forward lounges and service there. Games and books available. The outside decks are good in all kinds of weather. We didn't use the pools or hot tubs. We thought the spa services were pricey but offered a variety. We did enjoy the wine tastings. The food was good; excellent at times; too busy most of the time for us. 2100 passengers and over 700 crew members! Reserve spots in the restaurants. Share tables, excellent way to meet people. We didn't do any paid dining. The burger joint was very good, the attendant there very engaging. The drinks were good to excellent but thought there would be better pricing although there are versions of happy hour. Buy wine by the bottle and take it by the glass wherever you want, stewards will deliver the bottle to your table when you like. Disappointed not more BC wines available. We used the breakfast room service several times just for coffee and a pastry to get going. Great as one can book a time. For the two Gala nights one could dress up or just be casual - khakis/golf shirt, blouses/slacks - find your own comfort zone. No shorts in the dining rooms. The crew were all friendly and capable; most were engaging and helpful. We did not tip as we were charged a U.S.$13.50 a day tip, each, and alcohol was a 15% tip automatically. The shore excursions were fantastic (biking, canoeing, train) but we learned it might be cheaper to book and tour on your own. We went for offered tours but later found there were better extensions of them available. Be prepared for an onslaught of gaudy, touristy shops full of imported jewelry unless you are looking for Tanzanite in Alaska! Same stuff is on the ship - way too much of it! Go further into the towns if looking for authentic goods and local fare. The area of Juneau, Skagway and Ketchican is a rain forest not the frozen north of imagination. We were fortunate to encounter good days at all three ports. Glacier Bay is a must. Wear layers. We took tons of our own pictures so didn't use the ship photos at all - again another charge. Back in Vancouver the disembarkation was simple and fast. We booked for the latest time. Grabbed our bags and walked out to the Sea Bus. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We just returned from a wonderful 11 days in the Southern Caribbean, had beautiful warm weather although we returned to cold rain in Fort Lauderdale. The ship was well maintained and easy to travel in. We had a aft balcony room that ... Read More
We just returned from a wonderful 11 days in the Southern Caribbean, had beautiful warm weather although we returned to cold rain in Fort Lauderdale. The ship was well maintained and easy to travel in. We had a aft balcony room that was plenty of space for the two of us even though the balcony was smaller than some we have had in the past. The room had enough closet for us but needed more shelves in the bathroom and a few more drawers in the main cabin. We ate all our meals in the MDR and the food was good quality but a few nights the choices were weird. Luckily on most nights they offered a few items such as salmon and steak that you could have instead of the daily offerings. The Lido was plentiful for breakfast and lunch as was the burger place and the pizza place. My DH smokes and we had booked this cruise before they changed the rules on balcony smoking. The area provided was decent, with tables and chairs and cover from the elements, but it was usually crowded and even used by the ship employees. One evening they closed the entire area for a crew party and everyone was forced to go to the casino which in return became crowded. All in all we had a great time, wonderful table mates, beautiful weather and nice stops at some gorgeous islands. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We always take a holiday cruise and this fit our schedule. This is our 6th cruise on Holland America and our 25th overall. Nobody beats them for Pizza and Hamburgers and HotDogs on the Lido deck. Fresh and made to order. The BB King All ... Read More
We always take a holiday cruise and this fit our schedule. This is our 6th cruise on Holland America and our 25th overall. Nobody beats them for Pizza and Hamburgers and HotDogs on the Lido deck. Fresh and made to order. The BB King All Stars make the trip worthwhile even if you saw nothing else. The Production show, however, leaves a lot to be desired and they could certainly use some enrichment lectures during the day, or some other activities. We were pleased with both embarkation and debarkation. Fast, efficient and the cabins were ready when we got aboard rather than waiting on the Lido deck as we have done with other cruise lines. Since this was a Christmas cruise, I thought there could have been more emphasis on the season, such as a production show with a Christmas theme. Instead they gave us 2 viewings of White Christmas, which has to be at least 50 years old. Never the less, the cruise was enjoyable and of good value. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I like Holland more now that I am older. We have cruised over 40 times and this is our 4th Holland cruise. The quieter, more refined atmosphere is a pleasure now. The decorations, fresh flowers, and classical music was a nice alternative ... Read More
I like Holland more now that I am older. We have cruised over 40 times and this is our 4th Holland cruise. The quieter, more refined atmosphere is a pleasure now. The decorations, fresh flowers, and classical music was a nice alternative to some other lines. I wish the Carnival Family of Cruise lines would give credit for overall cruises the way that Royal Caribbean and Celebrity does, We have cruised extensively on Carnival as well as Costa, Holland, and Princess but we get more perks on RC and Celebrity. MSC even matches you highest level from any other cruise line! These perks do make a difference to the passenger and costs the cruise lines very little. The staff was the most impressive asset. They have always been excellent. I do miss their countries on their name tags. My biggest disappointment was in the cost of excursions as well as the limited number of easy excursions for those who are older and physically challenged. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our 10th cruises to Alaska but 1st with HAL. Balcony room, and accompanying two 83 years adults. What we like: Hard working staffs everywhere, clean ship. Entertainments: Bobby Wilson's Motown evening, Illusionist's ... Read More
This was our 10th cruises to Alaska but 1st with HAL. Balcony room, and accompanying two 83 years adults. What we like: Hard working staffs everywhere, clean ship. Entertainments: Bobby Wilson's Motown evening, Illusionist's performance; Adagio, violinist and piano duo at the 2nd floor lounge every evening; Foods: All the desserts and ice cream. good waffles, custom order Pizza. Dinner evening: Softshell crab(Monday), Arctic Char, Lobster(Wednesday), Wild mushroom soup, and Quails(Sunday). Johnny Walker taster party(free on Thursday evening, 8 differents types of scotch whiskeys served with JW blue label as highlight; same evening 2 bottles of Blue label sell for $310 usf less 10%). Staffs were not pressure to sell drinks. Not so crazy about: every morning 5am, all outside walking areas were sprayed with fresh water, as an early riser, very difficult for me to jog. As a photographer, the ship has no clear view to the very front of the ship, all front views have to view thru windows or plastic windshield on sky deck. No problem if you are not a serious photographer. The ship only stop at the front entrance of Tracy Arm and one has to buy a tour to see the Fjord. Ports: Juneau, I walk among the Main street all the way to the hill and hike into the mountain and has a good view of waterfall, not a difficult hike but do have some steep area and some mosquitoes ( not too many). Skagway, If you walk pass the town, there was an old cemetery and a pretty waterfall. No salmon sighting as the run was late this year.. Ketchikan: Walk up along the creek. The 1st run of salmon was near the end and dead salmons were all over the creek, the next run should come in in the next few weeks and fill the creek with lively fish. Whale sighting: 2nd day evening and 3rd day morning. One close unexpected sighting at 4am Thursday morning from the balcony ( yes, I am an early person). Overall, a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first cruise, along with two friends who hadn't cruised before either. We were all a little apprehensive, particularly with the idea of being herded on & off ship, into restaurants, etc. But we were very pleasantly ... Read More
This was our first cruise, along with two friends who hadn't cruised before either. We were all a little apprehensive, particularly with the idea of being herded on & off ship, into restaurants, etc. But we were very pleasantly surprised. We chose Holland America on the recommendation of our travel agent, as HAL caters to the more mature cruiser group, has mid-sized ships & dress is "country club casual". Positives: Excellent service - nothing is too much trouble. All the staff are so happy and, although extremely busy, always find the time to say a few words or enjoy a joke. Excellent food. Plenty of choice and well-presented. We ate in the Manhattan Dining Room four evenings, once each in the Pinnacle Grill, the Caneletto, and the Lido. We celebrated my 60th birthday in the Pinnacle Grill and this was truly fine dining - the best experience of the cruise. Excellent entertainment with good variety. Tendering at Ketchikan & Disembarkation - smooth & very well orchestrated. Our overall rating would have been excellent if it hadn't been for some improvement opportunities (embarkation & service in the Lido restaurant & Explorations Cafe). We provided constructive feedback to HAL - they acknowledged our feedback & made all appropriate management aware. Because of the way HAL responded, we are in the process of booking another cruise with them, and on the same ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Overall we enjoyed our cruise! The ship was extremely stable in rough seas and the pools , which were wonderful , were kept open! It was our 8 th cruise on various lines including MSC , Celebrity, Norwegian , and Princess. We enjoyed the ... Read More
Overall we enjoyed our cruise! The ship was extremely stable in rough seas and the pools , which were wonderful , were kept open! It was our 8 th cruise on various lines including MSC , Celebrity, Norwegian , and Princess. We enjoyed the fresh flowers, great service, movies available in the room on flat screen TV , lounge entertainers , and great food! The ship is kept sparkling clean !! The negatives were the poorest theatre entertainment we have ever experienced! Even long term fans of Holland America complained that it was way below average! There was only one standing ovation show and we are use to one - three ovations every night on these other lines! If the theatre is important to you, then choose another line. We found the current movies in the room , (which were easy for even seniors to use! ) , helped a lot to compensate . Also , if you love good pools and a lovely promenade deck with great lounge chairs, then this ship is perfect! I have to compliment the captain for keeping the ship so stable in rough seas! ( could not dock at Cozemel!) Another negative issue was the room temperatures were freezing and you needed fleece , not just a light shoulder covering!! Even the room temperature was difficult to regulate and others commented on this problem. We found the vibe of the ship very relaxing and the customer service everywhere was excellent! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Three friends from childhood who graduated high school together in 1971 decided to take a girlfriend getaway on the beautiful Nieuw Amsterdam. I, a seasoned cruiser of 25--Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess, Oceania, and ... Read More
Three friends from childhood who graduated high school together in 1971 decided to take a girlfriend getaway on the beautiful Nieuw Amsterdam. I, a seasoned cruiser of 25--Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess, Oceania, and Cunard--will tell the tale as I have something to compare it with. Stayed at the Comfort Suites near the port and enjoyed the transportation both from the airport and to Port Everglades. We arrived quite early to the port and walked right up to check-in. Of course, it meant sitting in the terminal for a couple of hours, but that was kind of fun as we watched hundreds of passengers standing in the line and getting checked in. Excitement for all! Overall impression of the ship: Just the right size, spotlessly clean, elegant understated décor. We were in a triple occupancy balcony cabin and once we found a spot for all our "stuff" (which was kind of a daunting task), we didn't feel crowded at all. Plenty of drawer space and closets. and don't forget HA provides drawers under the bed, too. Loved the bathroom with a tub, which made showering much more enjoyable than the typical tiny cruise ship showers. We dined most nights in the main dining room, and one night at Canaletto (Italian) and one night at the Pinnacle Grill. Well worth the upcharge! Service was slow in the dining room and perfect at the Pinnacle. Entertainment: up and down. We LOVED the B.B.King All Stars group, but did not care for the piano bar guy or the band in the atrium. We especially loved the "Dancing with the Stars" events. We enjoyed each port and booked some excursion in some. Grand Turk we went to Margaritaville (fun), they have a giant swimming pool, beach, and even a flowrider! Loved the way the beach is right next to the ship...no need to book an excursion at this port. San Juan we did the hike thru the rain forest, and believe me when I say, it was RAINING! Come prepared, or buy an overpriced poncho! Also, it is pretty strenuous climbing and hiking, especially over wet rocks. Still, very interesting. At St. Thomas, we went on the Kon Tiki, which is basically a party boat with rum punch flowing like water, and dancing the limbo. They did take us to a beach for an hour or so. The other two did the horseback riding excursion at Half Moon Cay, and felt it was a money making opportunity for the photographer, with little time actually riding the horses. Overall, I would recommend this ship to anyone who is looking for a relaxing time with some fun thrown in here and there. Not for you, if you want rock climbing walls, water slides, etc and a lot of activities for young kids. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Had a good cruise but not as good and the old ship built in1937. Nobody showed up for the Cruise Critic on the Monday as planned except another couple and my self. Where was everybody? Cabin was fine and food good. Met some nice people ... Read More
Had a good cruise but not as good and the old ship built in1937. Nobody showed up for the Cruise Critic on the Monday as planned except another couple and my self. Where was everybody? Cabin was fine and food good. Met some nice people too. Traveling alone. Only one good show at night on board. I was on the Eastern cruise. Some did a back to back. Dining room service was very poor.They were very slow in getting our dinner to us. I drove down from Cape Canaveral. Got on the ship a good time.Did my own parking at Embassy Suites and got the shuttle to the ship. Dining was fair as there but there a long wait for dinner. The day we left the ship I had the shuttle back to my car. Ship was clean all the time . I was a bit disappointed with Holland America compared to other ships I have sailed on. I thought I had a better cruise ship when I sailed on Princess. I am a single senior and have been on many cruises of different lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our first cruise, and we booked for 2 weeks to celebrate our honeymoon. We are 26 and 33. When we booked the trip, we didn't realize that Holland America was geared towards a mature crowd (50+). We are not big drinkers or ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and we booked for 2 weeks to celebrate our honeymoon. We are 26 and 33. When we booked the trip, we didn't realize that Holland America was geared towards a mature crowd (50+). We are not big drinkers or gamblers, so we were looking for a more relaxing experience with some adventure, not a party scene. Overall, the cruise was excellent. We did the Ultimate Snorkelling in Grand Turk, the Amazing Secret River in Cozumel, and the Champagne Sail in St. Thomas. All excursions were amazing and worth every penny. The food on the ship was all very good with lots of different options. The atmosphere of the ship was very clean and elegant. The only downfall was that the majority of the actives were geared towards an older crowd, such as anti aging seminars, acupuncture, and learn Windows 10, just to name a few. Thankfully, we only had 4 at sea days so the majority of our time was spent in Port, but it would have been nice to have a few more ship activities that would have interested us. Service was top notch and any issues we had were resolved immediately. For our next cruise, I would like to try another line more geared towards our age group, but I will definitely sail with Holland again. It was a wonderful vacation all around. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We got a deal on a Pinnacle suite and were very surprised at how nice it was. Disappointed that the only amenity was free laundry. Free water and free internet would have been nice. The staff was friendly and accommodating. Breakfast ... Read More
We got a deal on a Pinnacle suite and were very surprised at how nice it was. Disappointed that the only amenity was free laundry. Free water and free internet would have been nice. The staff was friendly and accommodating. Breakfast and dinner were great. Lunch was so so. The ship looked new. Nightly shows could have been better, as compared to other cruise lines. Over all we were very satisfied. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
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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