Sail Date: April 2019
We primarily took this cruise for 2 reasons. First we wanted to stop at Turks & Caicos and second we wanted to sail on a new ship and it happened to be our anniversary as well. Neither of these let us down. Great shore stops and ... Read More
We primarily took this cruise for 2 reasons. First we wanted to stop at Turks & Caicos and second we wanted to sail on a new ship and it happened to be our anniversary as well. Neither of these let us down. Great shore stops and beautiful new ship. The food was probably the most consistently delicious throughout the vacation. We dined in the main dining room, the lido cafe, Tamarind and experienced the food from the Pinnacle Grill. Everything was delicious. The drinks from the bar were excellent and the bar staff were knowledgeable and interactive. We took in shows from the piano quintet and from the main stage such as the mentalist and the comedian. All shows were entertaining and engaging. I have two critiques to share. Our first stop was in Turks in which we encountered some delays in approval for disembarking. For some reason, the crew only opened 1 exit at the front of the ship which made getting off a nightmare. My wife and I waited an hour to get off the ship waiting in the stairwell with literally thousands of other passengers all trying to get out single file as well. Fortunately we were the only ship in port at the time and although we booked our shore excursion through a different company than the cruise ship, they waited as our ship was there only business. It is my understanding that others were not as lucky and missed their tours. Something to be said about booking through the cruise company. This came to in handy as the weather was rough for our stop at Half Moon and we couldn't get off the ship. This time we had booked through the cruise ship and got our shore excursions refunded as they were unable to ferry us to the island. Another issue was the pre-purchase of the cellar master package. There was much confusion between us and the ship about which package was purchased. Unfortunately this came to a head on the 6th night of our cruise which was our anniversary during out dinner at the Pinnacle Grill. So much so that we ended up leaving the restaurant prior to enjoying our meal. The staff rectified the situation, but the event was really unfortunate. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We've generally had good cruising experiences on HAL. Our first cruise with the line was more than 10 years ago on the Eurodam, which we sailed on again more recently after its refurbishment. We've sailed the Koningsdam, ... Read More
We've generally had good cruising experiences on HAL. Our first cruise with the line was more than 10 years ago on the Eurodam, which we sailed on again more recently after its refurbishment. We've sailed the Koningsdam, Westerdam and others as well. Overall, each provided us a solid, enjoyable experience that kept us wanting to stay with Holland. This cruise experiences on the Nieuw Statendam was different... some good, some not so good. THE GOOD: As expected, the ship was beautiful. It's new, so - as expected - public areas and the cabins were clean, fresh and sparkling. HAL's newly expanded music theme was evident in its interesting hallway art and with its new Rolling Stones venue. BB King Blues band rocked the house. Good, energetic vibes. The overall demographic was much different too. Not sure if it's because it was Spring Break, or because of expanded music entertainment choices, but there was a different (and, IMO, better) "population" mix on this cruise. The passengers on most previous HAL's we've been on seemed quite old/elderly. No so at all on this cruise. THE BAD: Service on the Lido Deck has slipped noticeably. We often had to track down staff to get: tables cleared, silverware, coffee, water, etc. Not good. The food on Lido seemed to decline in quality too. Glad I like Asian/Indonesian food because that became my "go-to" choice pretty much every day. Desserts looked pretty, but weren't all that tasty (except in the Dutch Cafe - mmmm). Another oddity: the ship was full, yet invariably food in Lido was only available on one side. The other side was closed completely. Led to long lines on occasion. Also, it seemed odd to us that a Lido would close entirely after lunch until dinner. I believe HAL used to offer at least fruit and small sandwiches for those wanting a mid afternoon snack. No longer! Cocktails in the BB King Blues Club were a joke. We ordered a drink ONCE because the quantity of liquid in our drinks barely coated the bottom.of the glasses. We had a cabin with a balcony. It was nice, though it sermed smaller than the same class of cabins we've had before on Holland. We had to walk through the Casino to get to various places on the ship and the smell of cigarettes was nasty. I thought that Holland was a non-smoking line. Wrong. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is HAL's newest ship in the fleet for the Pinnacle Class series of ships. The performances in the panoramic World Stage Theater were amazing, You had to get to the theater at least 30 minutes before showtime or you ... Read More
This is HAL's newest ship in the fleet for the Pinnacle Class series of ships. The performances in the panoramic World Stage Theater were amazing, You had to get to the theater at least 30 minutes before showtime or you couldn't find a preferable seat for 2 or more guests. The dance production team One Step was so professional. Also a BBC Earth show called Blue Planet was just like being underwater in a submarine watching all around you fish swimming and enjoying their underwater adventures, The Music Walk of Stones Rock Room, Billboard (double pianos) and of course B.B. King's Blues Club. A wonderful experience for all ages. Something for everyone. The dining rooms were very modern with very adequate lighting and decor. The service staff in the dining rooms were always happy and couldn't do enough to try to make you happy and very satisfied. The food was very good also with many choices and you could always ask the wait staff for any advise on your choices. In the Lido Buffet, we enjoyed the morning pastry of sticky buns. The day always had to start off with a sticky bun and coffee, then breakfast. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We love the Caribbean destinations and have had good experiences with HAL. The ship is beautiful with art and flowers everywhere. It sails smoothly and with great comfort. Our Vista Suite was a great choice and only slightly more money ... Read More
We love the Caribbean destinations and have had good experiences with HAL. The ship is beautiful with art and flowers everywhere. It sails smoothly and with great comfort. Our Vista Suite was a great choice and only slightly more money than a Veranda Cabin. Embarkation was fast and courteous. From the start we knew that the food was the best we ever got on a cruise ship. The crew was friendly and efficient. The entertainment was mostly good with a new theater in the round main showroom and super dancers. The comedian act was unfortunate but that can be fixed. Music everywhere with something for everyone. An Adults Only pool along with a main pool with a glass roof in case it rains. Nice lectures and Country Kitchen events. The usual Shore Excursions and ports of call. We didn't much care for Ocho Rios but no big deal because we're not much for shore excursions. Many dining options but food in the Main Dining Room was so good we didn't go to extra charge offerings. Easy disembark wheeling our own luggage. If you miss the Skeet Shooting or the Baked Alaska waiters marching around the dining room this ship is not going to provide that. Good value and worth going. Passengers tend to be more Seniors. I'm a Seniors and I believe everyone wants to be one. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We normally sail with Royal Caribbean but this cruise opportunity came up at a thousand dollars less expensive for a similar itinerary so we gave HA a try. We were not disappointed. Nieuw Statendam is a brand new vessel which carries ... Read More
We normally sail with Royal Caribbean but this cruise opportunity came up at a thousand dollars less expensive for a similar itinerary so we gave HA a try. We were not disappointed. Nieuw Statendam is a brand new vessel which carries around 2700 passengers. There are not a lot of superfluous amenities (from a 60+ perspective) so mostly 50+ passengers. Our ocean view cabin was small but laid out such that nothing was in your way getting around. The bathroom/shower were surprisingly large with a glass walled shower with nice amenities (shampoo, conditioner and body wash). Our cabin was between midships and the bow and was very quiet with quick access to the theater and also to the fabulous Music Walk which included a Rock bar, a Blues bar and a double piano bar which alternated sets throughout the evening. The music was varied and outstanding. There were classical music show in the afternoons as well. The stage shows were new as the ship does not have a traditional stage with an orchestra pit. Only massive screens that surround the whole venue. The first dance show was cutting edge featuring six dancers with no singing in an elaborate presentation showcasing the dancers' talents as well as the advanced technology of the theater. It drew standing ovations from the attendees. The second show was less spectacular but enjoyable. An illusionist wowed the audience with his skills in another show and a comedian also performed. Food was excellent at the general Lido buffet with numerous choices for all tastes. Some food kiosks prepared fresh hot food (Thai wok, omelets, pizza, hot dogs, deli sandwiches) for those willing to wait a bit. We dined only once in the main dining room and it was excellent. We did not try the specialty restaurants. Shore excursions were well organized with departures from the ship well supervised by the crew/cruise director such that we always knew where to go and what to do for our excursion. First visit was to the private beach leased by HA, Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. A lovely spot with lots of beach chairs available. A complimentary buffet was offered to the passengers at the beach. In Jamaica (Ocho Rios) we did river tubing which was excellent! In George Town, Grand Cayman, we did a short trolley tour and then went to Seven Mile Beach using the local bus service which was reliable and inexpensive ($5 per person return). Lunch at a beachfront café was about $75 US but great view and WiFi. Last stop was Cozumel. Just a beer and some shopping there. Transfer from Port Everglades to FLL was well organized by HA and stress free. We will definitely seek other occasions to sail on Nieuw Statendam again. Embarkation in Fort Lauderdale can be harrowing given the traffic at cruise departure times especially if you're trying to return a rental car. Make sure you fill up well outside of downtown as getting to a gas station in the rush hour traffic could take an hour there and back. Because Nieuw Statendam has a casino which allows smoking, the smell of smoke can permeate other public areas such as the Music Walk. Why the casino wasn't hermetically sealed and separately vented on this brand new ship is beyond me. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have sailed with Holland America previously and were not disappointed so we decided to give their newest ship, Nieuw Stantendam, a try. The ship is beautiful, larger than the other ships we have been on in the Holland America Fleet but ... Read More
We have sailed with Holland America previously and were not disappointed so we decided to give their newest ship, Nieuw Stantendam, a try. The ship is beautiful, larger than the other ships we have been on in the Holland America Fleet but still very similar in design and overall feel and concept. We had a Vista suite and it was well appointed and roomy considered it wasn’t the largest suite available. While the bath was small, the shower was nice and there was a roomy sitting area to use since the restroom vanity would not hold many essentials. We had a queen bed which was relatively comfy. Nice balcony. Service was terrific. The only drawback of the room was that the climate was controlled and I found it warm very often and would have preferred a cooler temperature. We ate in the dining room once and the dinner was very good as well as the service. I am not a sea food fan so we ended up eating at the Lido Deck which was amazing! Service was friendly and such a wide variety for picky eaters!!! We did purchase the spa package for the pool and beds which we did enjoy. We also purchased the 10/20/30 spa special where we purchased two massages and a facial. They were all amazing. The only negative thing I have to say is that during my facial the specialist was way too pushy about selling products and trying to get me to see their on-site skin rejuvenation specialist even when I repeatedly said no. I did not appreciate the pressure when I am paying for a service. Embarkation was easy and was cleared we were able to go to our state rooms. They did take the majority of our bags the night before which was nice and made disembarkation easy. The most difficult part wasn’t a Holland America issue but was attempting to get a taxi. If you do this expect a wait!!! We tried Uber but it seemed there was a bit of confusion so we just went to the taxi line. There are two pools on this ship. One is an adult only pool. On this cruise, it seemed to cater to an older age group (we are in our 40’s) so there we not many children. Entertainment on the ship, what they offered was good. I felt they did lack in this area especially at night. Overall a very nice cruise to awesome destinations!! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are a couple in mid 40’s with 2 teen girls, our 10th and 11th cruise. Previously sailed with: Costa, MSC, Holland America, Carnival, Princess, Celebrity. Have already explored about 90% of Caribbean islands, so now mainly sailing for ... Read More
We are a couple in mid 40’s with 2 teen girls, our 10th and 11th cruise. Previously sailed with: Costa, MSC, Holland America, Carnival, Princess, Celebrity. Have already explored about 90% of Caribbean islands, so now mainly sailing for the ship, not for destination. Year and a half ago, we decided to check both ships (being under construction at that time), and booked them right after the tickets become available. We were so excited to cruise again with our 2 favorite cruise lines, and check both brand new vessels back to back. Expectations were set very high. We sailed on Nieuw Statendam first. Best food ever, including buffet, Dive-In, and MDR with delicious lobster, prime rib dinners, and mouthwatering desserts. One of the nicest looking MDR we ever saw (see pic), our waiter Sudiatmika was above and beyond. Great laid out buffet never crowded, so many healthy options to choose from, individual deserts or fruit portions (no mess). We did not try up charge restaurants, Grand Dutch Café, or New York Deli & Pizza, no casino, or spa. There are tons of great music venues: performers at Rolling Stone Rock Room were the best, best, best we have ever seen, great couple at Billboard on Board, talented Lincoln Center Stage and BB King Blues teams! Nieuw Statendam is very easy to navigate ship. We would like to re-christen her to “Nieuw Cozydam”. The most friendly and most professional crew, mainly Indonesian / Filipino. Very polite passengers, and yes, bit older, but worked perfect for us. Most technological advanced theater with LED screen around. Areas around both pools never crowded, several free loungers. Here are other small premium touches not found on competition’s vessels: orchid plants on every single table in the buffet, live flowers in MDR, tons of live floral arrangements through out the ship, our cabin has 2 bathrooms (family ocean view stateroom 1030), received beautiful “diploma of finished cruise” signed by Captain on the end of journey. For disease prevention no self service in the buffet (very smart). Thinking about any room for improvement.... and simply can’t find any. Right after disembark from Nieuw Statendam, quick stop at the garage’s rooftop where we parked (see pic), exchanged clothes and supplies, and hopped on the Edge. I must say that Celebrity built a state of the art terminal (yes, matching Edge design), and it is the most beautiful terminal we’ve ever sailed from. Since we did all the paperwork in advance, the embarkation took 5 min. We had a blast from the first moment we stepped on board and were welcomed with champagne. Better name for this cruise liner would be “Celebrity WOW”. Very modern, stylish, impressive, spacious vessel we’ve ever been on, or we’ve ever seen including futuristic computer mock ups found online. Well-designed contemporary ship inside and out. Impressive atrium, theater, beautiful pool area and Rooftop Garden. We actually love the controversial infinite veranda concept (had 2 Concierge Class Infinite Verandas 11131, 11133 – it was a free upgrade from Celebrity, had originally 1 ocean view quad cabin booked – thank you Celebrity). State of the art cabin/bathroom/infinite veranda, all these light years ahead of any competition (seriously). Shows were great, food too. We did not try up charge restaurants, no casino or spa. We loved our waiters at Cosmopolitan Suphawan & Bundhoo, they worked in tandem, and were the most professional, quickest and beautiful looking team ever served us (see pic). Stateroom attendant Tania, she worked by herself, and also I would say she was the best, and very hardworking room keeper out of all 11 cruses. “Next generation” elevators, so modern and very efficient, biggest we’ve ever seen. There were so many new things for cruise industry we loved: non stop playing “mysterious” music on the stateroom hallways, two story high ceiling in the buffet, extra large staircases, multiple decks running track, amazing chandelier in the atrium, bizarre Eden, and even more bizarre Eden’s performers (we actually liked the controversial smell there), silent disco experience, professional and dedicated cruise director, spacious public areas, every single furniture well made and designed, very high quality materials allover, specially loved premium velour fabrics used on almost all chairs in all food venues. Tons of beautiful art and décor through out the ship. Since this is a band new product, there are minor things we would like Celebrity to polish: all shops on board are on high end side. Deserts and cakes at buffet some times were tasteless. There are designated areas with sink vases when entering the buffet, but no crew posted to encourage passengers to wash their hands. Sticky tongs in the buffet. Cakes were not individually portioned on plates, caused bit of mess at dessert stations. Too many restaurants located directly in the atrium area made this impressive space very loud (kitchen noises), and food smells. Final conclusion: Both these cruise lines, and both these ships are our favorite to date. As we mentioned earlier, our expectations were set very high, and we waited with a heart beat 1.5 year to both these sailings. What happened was we ended up with best vacations ever! Celebrity Edge is unique, most beautiful and most modern, truly a ship of the future. We really enjoyed photographing and exploring her. We had 3 stops, but in the event we have zero port of calls during 7 day cruise, we wouldn't complain. On the other hand, when we are looking from the distance at Nieuw Statendam, what we immediately see, it is an icon of premium and quality. Nieuw Statendam offered best music experience, best food quality, and the most friendly crew in the industry. This cozy ship makes us feel so special, like we were guests at our own resort. If you are not paying attention to all the bells and whistles other lines offers to attract families with children and younger crowd, both above vessels will fit you perfect. If you love dancing, great music, relaxing atmosphere, great food and service definitely do Nieuw Statendam. If you are décor person, would like to sail on the most modern ship in the world, sleep in “next generation cabin”, definitely Edge is a must to see! Now Scarlet Lady, and Edge’s and New Statendam’s future siblings are on our radar. Happy sailings! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This is a review of a recent trip on the new Holland America Line (HAL) ship Nieuw Statendam (a Pinnacle Class ship). Our trip was not a typical HAL cruise, but rather a week-long musical event that happened to take place on a cruise ... Read More
This is a review of a recent trip on the new Holland America Line (HAL) ship Nieuw Statendam (a Pinnacle Class ship). Our trip was not a typical HAL cruise, but rather a week-long musical event that happened to take place on a cruise ship. It was the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise (LRBC) #32, a celebration of several related musical styles (boogie-woogie, blues, zydeco, etc.). If you are not a fan of these types of music, this trip is definitely NOT for you. NOTE: Our overall rating does not reflect our true opinion of the ship, because we travelled under completely different conditions than we would expect to experience on a typical HAL cruise, and some of the facilities were not available (for example, Lido Pool aft). Consequently, although we would have expected to award maximum points for a trip on a ship that has been in service barely 8 weeks we believe we would be disingenuous if we did so. We are NOT going to review the LRBC; we will just mention some of our observations, where appropriate. Embarkation Very smooth and efficient. We were asked to sign a release form allowing the LRBC organisation to use any images that included us as part of their activities during and after the cruise. Not a big deal really. The Ship Nieuw Statendam is the most recent addition to the HAL fleet (first cruise Dec 18, 2018). It is a large ship, possibly the largest in the fleet, and obviously everything onboard is new. We were disappointed to discover a change in the SOLAS Drill procedure. Having praised previous HAL ships for conducting (in our opinion) a proper drill in which passengers must report to their muster stations on the promenade deck, we were not impressed to be shepherded into the Main Stage theatre and sent to our allocated sections where we sat for 30 minutes until all of the designated passengers had arrived. We have criticised another line for this method of conducting the drill, because at the end of it we still didn’t know which lifeboat we should use in an emergency. HAL lost some credibility for this change. Deck 3 is a full promenade deck, and you can walk all the way around the ship. However, the lifeboats are not suspended overhead here, but occupy a substantial amount of deck space. This reduces the available walking area considerably, and explains (we believe) the changed SOLAS procedure. It may also explain why there are no Titanic style deckchairs on the Promenade Deck (it would get uncomfortably crowded). For exercise enthusiasts one lap of the promenade is about 1/3 of a mile. Public washrooms are not always easy to find, often being hidden very discretely in out-of-the-way places around corners, in cul-de-sacs, and at the end of short corridors, and there seems to be little if any logic to their locations. In some locations the Ladies and Gents are side-by-side, in others the Ladies might be located on one side of the ship, while the Gents is on the other! Décor Art works are everywhere, mainly emphasising music (our hallway carpet featured a musical instrument pattern). Every landing displays something that catches the eye, although none of the pieces is labelled yet. TIP: you can learn more about the artwork by joining an interesting tour led by the Art Curator, or pick up a collection of explanatory notes from Guest Services. The well-chosen selections for sale in the Art Gallery are also a step up from the pieces normally seen on cruise ships and are worth a close look. The Crew Cheerful and friendly crews seem to be a feature of HAL ships. Many people from Indonesia (which used to be the Dutch East Indies, but also crew members from Europe, the Philippines, and from India. Food We found no reasons to complain about the food in any of the restaurants onboard the Zaandam. The Lido Market serves a range of interesting dishes from all over the world including Asia and Italy. It tends to get a bit hectic at times, especially when people are lining up to get served at the buffet stations. We usually ate dinner in the Main Dining Room and never regretted any of our menu choices. One menu featured calves’ liver and when it arrived it was cooked to perfection (grilled outside, pink inside). Unless cooked properly, liver can easily become leather, which is probably the reason most people tend to shun it. The menu is always very inventive, and every day it lists some dishes that you might call standards for the less-adventurous diners (for example, salmon and strip-loin steak). The normal 1st and 2nd seating arrangements were suspended for this trip, so everybody was considered to be an open-seating diner. TIP: you will enjoy faster service if you can avoid sharing a table with a large group. Dutch Café We enjoyed an excellent brunch of Dutch pancakes here. The venue was quiet when we visited, and our food was prepared very quickly. Pinnacle Grill We were offered a lunch special deal of $10.00 pp in the grill, so we decided to take up the offer. The food, service and presentation were all first class, and we were amazed to be offered such an excellent deal. Fellow Passengers A much younger demographic (our opinion) than those we have met on other HAL voyages. The number of passengers using walking frames, wheelchairs, scooters, or sticks was minimal. Most passengers seemed to be experienced LRBC patrons. Perhaps not surprisingly, the largest group of travellers came from America. Most passengers seemed to represent the Baby Boom generation; some appeared to have just returned from Woodstock. Smoking HAL has decided to allow people to use electronic cigarettes (vaping) in cabins. Some passengers must have misinterpreted this to mean smoking was also OK, as our hallway reeked of cannabis. There was generally no enforcement of rules for this particular cruise. We wish at least one cruise line would introduce a No Smoking At ALL Anywhere On Board policy – we’d be loyal supporters! TIP: smoking is NOT allowed in the casino, which means you can walk through to get to the Main Stage Theatre without getting gassed. Entertainment Venues Entertainment was almost continuous during this trip and many of the usual facilities were converted into musical venues. There are several notable areas: Main Stage This is very different from the Main Stages we've experienced on other ships. It is a large, open, ‘theatre-in-the-round’ design where (our opinion) every seat is a good seat (because it is not obstructed by a pillar). There are six huge pillars, but all are located in such a way that they do not obstruct the sightlines. Seats are organised into upper and lower areas, (decks 3 and 2 respectively) but without the typical balcony seating that overhangs the lower rows. In this respect in resembles the arrangements of a Roman amphitheatre. B. B. King’s Blue Club Compared to its equivalent found on the Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam, this is a much enlarged venue that now occupies 2 decks (2 and 3). It has more seating, better acoustics and better lighting. Billboard Onboard A very intimate venue where the audience can get close to the performers. Rollingstone Rock Room See comments for Billboard. Elevators The frequent movement of passengers from one music venue to the next may have been a factor on this particular cruise, but elevator capacity and speed seemed markedly lower than on other HAL ships and was a constant annoyance. The cars felt smaller and the doors took ages to close unless done manually. People must have been pushing call buttons, giving up waiting and taking the stairs as there was frequently no one there when it stopped on a floor. There are no glass elevators mid-ships. Disembarkation Smooth and very efficient, as we have come to expect from HAL. Would We Sail the Nieuw Statendam Again? Possibly. We still want to get an impression of the ship under typical HAL conditions, so we can report on its more typical routines. Of course, much will depend on its itinerary – we really don’t need to see the Eastern Caribbean again for a while. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My sister and I chose this cruise because it was a themed girlfriend getaway cruise with O Magazine and Oprah, so we knew it was going to be amazing! I have consistently found with HAL that something extraordinary happens when I cruise ... Read More
My sister and I chose this cruise because it was a themed girlfriend getaway cruise with O Magazine and Oprah, so we knew it was going to be amazing! I have consistently found with HAL that something extraordinary happens when I cruise this line! This cruise was no different. First of all embarkation, we arrived at 1030 AM and were onboard by 11:45. Our cabin was not ready, but I was able to put my carry on bag in my cabin and we were off to have lunch and explore the ship! The ship is beautiful, with artwork all over that seemed to grab our attention and made us stop and think! I just loved the layout of the ship with many relaxing comfortable chairs to lounge around in. The only complaint I would have was the walking deck on the lower floor, the views were blocked by the lifeboats. However, the very top of the ship has a great jogging deck with unobstructed views. The crew were friendly and very welcoming! The food was delicious! We really enjoyed sitting outside near the pool and had some great pizza and salads! The entertainment was astounding. The world stage was incredible! I loved the Humanity show! Then there was all the fantastic O magazine specific presentations and workshops, all incredible! The highlights for me was the Supersoul Sunday presentation with Oprah and Tara Westover! What an unforgettable and inspiring thing to watch! Then there was the Conversation with Oprah! She is such an inspiration and I will be forever grateful I got to experience such a beautiful moment listening to Oprah with my sister! We also got to speak with Adam Glassman and he was very kind and personable! Then there was Gayle King who was everywhere, and was kind of to take hundreds of selfies with adoring fans! We saw her everywhere! The President of HAL, Orlando Ashford was out helping guests and getting the feedback on their experience on the ship! There was so many "WOW!" moments! Also, every night my sister and I couldn't wait to see what gift we were going to be given by the O magazine staff! Thank you to Jayne Jamison and her staff for being so thoughtful! We loved the little gifts and were very grateful for them all! Half Moon Caye was just beautiful! The tendering process went well. We found a nice lounger under a tree near the "I wish I could stay here forever bar" and went off to join the incredible meditation on the beach with Tracee Stanley. The beach BBQ was so good! I ate a delicious fish taco and a cheeseburger right there on the beach looking out at the pretty blue water and started humming a Jimmy Buffet song, Cheeseburger in paradise! So much fun! After that, we went for a swim, relaxed on the beach and hurried back to the ship! We didn't want to miss a thing! Our last night we got to run around the ship in PJs! It was like participating in the biggest girl slumber party ever! HAL is my favorite cruise line because they really fulfill their mission statement consistently. "Through excellence we create once-in-a-lifetime experiences, every time." I completely agree and can't wait to see what the next HAL cruise has in store for me! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first time with Holland America and it didn't disappoint. Been on most of the other cruise lines and they all have their pros and cons but we really enjoyed the Nieuw Statendam. Getting on board was quick and not ... Read More
This was our first time with Holland America and it didn't disappoint. Been on most of the other cruise lines and they all have their pros and cons but we really enjoyed the Nieuw Statendam. Getting on board was quick and not having to bring the life jacket to the muster drill and not having to go to the actual life boats was a nice surprise. The staff was amazing as expected and the food was above what we had experienced on prior cruises. The buffet on the lido deck was good and we had a hard time pulling ourselves away to the actual dining room. It was different that in the buffet you didn't just help yourself but people actually served you the food. My only complaint about the food was the lack of after hours Ice Cream which as I'm typing this sounds really petty and sad. The entertainment was amazing! The World Stage Dance group was soooo good especially since they used the innovative surround screen. Lincoln Center Stage with Atlys was incredible. So nice to hear classical music performed live on a cruise ship. We were planning on walking past the husband and wife dueling piano performance but we stopped and spent a few hours there they were so entertaining. The destination ports were all enjoyable except for perhaps Jamaica. We might of went to the wrong part of town but it wasn't a very nice experience. Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Half Moon Cay were so much fun. The latter had beaches that we will never forget. We had an inside cabin and it was bigger than the one other inside cabin we had on a Carnival Cruise. Huge screens and of course great service. Definitely an older crowd. I don't think we saw more than 15 kids the entire cruise so over all it was quiet. If that isn't your cup to tea I understand but we figured that was going to be case when we booked. Overall we loved every minute of the seven days and were jealous we couldn't stay longer. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We did the first 7 days of the first 14 day Caribbean cruise ever on the Nieuw Statendam. She is without doubt the most beautiful ship on the high seas (at least amongst the main-line carriers). Overall we had a great experience on the ... Read More
We did the first 7 days of the first 14 day Caribbean cruise ever on the Nieuw Statendam. She is without doubt the most beautiful ship on the high seas (at least amongst the main-line carriers). Overall we had a great experience on the Statendam and there were no "dress rehearsal" elements to be seen on board. It was operating as it was meant to, and the service crew were in top form. We booked this cruise last minute when we saw a good price pop up, and realized it would be nice to take part in the 'maiden' month of the new vessel. We booked a quad veranda on the 5th deck and a few weeks later booked another veranda on the 8th deck for Grandma and sister. Both rooms were Forward, convenient to the elevators and access to the Gym, crows nest and World Stage. The rooms were nicely designed, with a great shower. Flat panel tv was huge and there were usb power ports all over. You do not need to bring a power bar on board, in fact they will confiscate I think. We also had the drop down bed for one of our kids to sleep in. Great bed for her, but it did encroach on the king size bed a little. Perhaps it would have been better placed elsewhere. The cruise started out with a bit of rough sea out of Lauderdale, but then calmed right down for the rest of the Cruise. This was our first Western cruise and the weather was outstanding. Also, the wind was non-existent on our patio compared with the 5 other eastern cruises we did. You could sit out there all day, it was fantastic. The music walk was a hit with the passengers, we especially enjoyed the Billboard duelling pianos and the Lincoln centre stage performances. The StepOne dance troupe is especially good in their Tuesday performance as well. A better stage show than you'll be used to at sea. The stops on this western tour were pretty decent, though I prefer the eastern ports. Half moon was great as usual, I liked how they added the splash pad area for the kids. Jamaica was a bit of a miss, the cruise ships dump you off at a port where a bunch of sharks soak you to get to the nearest beach. Next time I would just book an excursion with HAL. Will prob cost the same and be much more pleasant. Caymen was great, though the tenders got a little rough. Cozumel was the highlight stop, great shops right off the dock. Cool community, glad we stayed there for 12 hours. Finally the food, HAL did not disappoint. With their Chef's Council designing most menus, this cruise will delight all the foodies out there. We tried to hit the main dining room most nights and had a great dinner each night. The Lido was also outstanding with an incredible variety for each meal. Holland is still near the top on food, almost tied with Celebrity. A couple of footnotes: - The art on board is incredible. My daughter and I did the complete art tour (her idea) and it was worth it. -Club Hal hours were not too convenient and seem to be closed over dinner a lot. Hopefully that changes. -The Grand Dutch cafe is the best part of the cruise. Everything on the menu is crazy good. We lived there. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because we really enjoyed our first cruise last year on the Nieuw Amsterdam, and wanted to take some close friends with us on the Nieuw Statendam. The ship did not disappoint us, the crew were very friendly and we even ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we really enjoyed our first cruise last year on the Nieuw Amsterdam, and wanted to take some close friends with us on the Nieuw Statendam. The ship did not disappoint us, the crew were very friendly and we even saw crew members from our previous voyage. We had an ocean view cabin (as last time) which was a little different arrangement: European style shower instead of a tub, the desk and bookshelf were differently arranged as well. Dining was as good or better than the Nieuw Amsterdam, but there were subtle differences: The Tamarind was not in as favorable place as on the Nieuw Amsterdam, Rudy's Sel de Mer, while beautiful, had awkward seating if you were near the windows facing out on the carpeted area and having foot traffic watching you. The captain of the ship greated us warmly onboard and joked with us about the "new car smell". The world stage theatre was fantastic with surrounding 270-degree LED screens surrounding the stage. The dancers interacted with the images on the screen and it was vibrant and fantastic. I hope that this is a thing for the future of all their ships on HAL. Some things which they need to work with is to train the people who give lectures on board to learn how to use powerpoint or at least have someone do graphics for them. The ship also has a definite problem with having to cross the dreaded swimming pool and Lido deck and finding that there is no way to go from bow to stern on at least two decks without using the stairs and elevators. The decks are more narrow, and it is difficult to negotiate while carrying drinks etc with all of the deck chairs, cabanas, etc. The new artwork is more of a modern style, very eclectic which is very clever, but something that would appeal to younger couples and travelers. They could also use some better ways of selling drinks and other beverages on board. We kept getting a run around on drinks packages, such as my wife was told that we could buy a package for five bottles of beer for the price of four, only to find that the steward brought out five bottles at once. Sodas could be served from dispensers instead of having to bother a steward to bring a can. In addition, we were not always given a receipt for our alcoholic beverages even when asking for a receipt, and we think we were overcharged, Disembarking in most ports took longer than expected, and we spent much time in waiting. And we also arrived in port with up to five other large cruise ships (the really BIG ones) making it crowded. They really spent time on making sure that we used our hand sanitizer and even have sinks for washing up before dinner in the cafeteria. This paid off, as we saw another cruise ship being turned away from port because of an outbreak of norovirus. And one other suggestion, would it bankrupt HAL if they gave us free wifi, or at least so many hours of it onboard? Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have cruised with several cruise lines in the past such as Royal Carribean, Disney, Carnival, and Princess. This is the first time we cruised with HAL. We wanted to celebrate Christmas and New Years with HAL. The main reason we chose ... Read More
We have cruised with several cruise lines in the past such as Royal Carribean, Disney, Carnival, and Princess. This is the first time we cruised with HAL. We wanted to celebrate Christmas and New Years with HAL. The main reason we chose HAL is because of its high ratings and the inaugural sailing in the Carribean. We experienced the 3rd and 4th sailing of Nieuw Statendam. We stayed at Cabin #4068, verandah room. We had positive and negative experiences with Nieuw Statendam. Negative Experiences: First, our balcony frame had a creaking noise. This noise was disturbing during the day but profoundly noticeable during the night. We requested to be upgraded, downgraded or moved to another stateroom the second day but the ship was fully booked. Nonetheless, our stateroom steward and guest services were attentive and prompt on attempting to address the issue when we brought up this predicament to them. Maintenance staff immediately responded to our complaint and attempted to resolve the noise by placing wood wedges around the metal balcony frame. The maintenance staff was able to significantly reduce the noise disturbance. Unfortunately, maintenance staff was unable to completely resolve the noise which led us not obtaining restful sleep some nights. We were on the waiting list to change staterooms. We were informed by guest services and several guests by speaking with several guest members that this is not an isolated issue. Secondly, Cabin # 4068 is situated above BB King Lounge. The music especially the bass resonates to our stateroom which does not allow us to sleep until the performance and the music of the band are over. Typically, BB King Lounge's music is not over until 1 am and some nights later such as holiday nights. For instance, BB King continues its loud music during New Year's Eve until 3 am. Thirdly, the satellite internet access of the ship can be tremendously slow especially during At Sea days. We had to do some business matters several times during our 14-day vacation. We noticed that accessing our personal computer appears to be faster access in comparison with the ship's internet area located at level 1. Fourthly, the entertainers on the ship were very talented. However, some of the entertainment repeated on the second week with sailed with HAL. Brad Trackman had a mediocre comical performance. He was not quite funny. Positive Experiences: Nevertheless, we enjoyed listening to the viola player, violinists, and pianist who performed at the Lincoln Stage. The Evasons who are mentalist couple offered great performance. Hilby who was juggler was hilarious and entertaining. Nate and Deb are a couple who performed at the Billboard Top hits area. Deb and Nate sing and have amazing voices. They sing requested songs and both play the piano. They both are knowledgeable in singing various genres. Step One had two great shows: Stages and Humanity. The LED lighting was innovative and stunning. HAL employed a mariachi band who played at the Lido deck during our Cozumel stay. HAL also employed a talented band that plays at the Rolling Stone stage. I feel that the positive experiences we had outweighed the negative experiences. We had a great time with HAL. First and foremost, all crew members were attentive to all the guests' requests and needs. The head chef at the Lido dining, Jundiel, prepared our table a special meal. All wait staff accommodated guests' food preferences and allergy restrictions. Dadan, Whayu and the rest of the staff were amazing. Bar staff was constantly providing beverages including water. Wait staff and bar staff appear to be working harmoniously on serving guests. Kumar and Yadi are our stateroom stewards, both of which have met our expectations. All staff were friendly, courteous, polite, professional and always serving guests with their smile considering working long hours almost every day of the week. Ross the cruise director walks throughout the ship and greeting guests. Ross updates guests concerning daily activities. A Few Recommendations: Amber Cove - Limited activities on shore. Great for relaxation on the ship or at the beach near the ship, about a mile walk from the ship. The ship docks at a resort that has several pools, restaurants, bars, zip lining, kayaking, and shopping. There is an option to rent a car for about $100.00. Ocho Rios - A lot of outdoor activities are available. We rented a car for $50.00 and spent about $20.00 in gas. We went to Martha Brae which has a bamboo rafting going down the river which lasted about 1.5 hours. The trip was about 1 hour each way. Expect to drive on the left-hand side of the road. We wanted to do the bobsled excursion at the Mystic Mountain. But the time we got to the place around 2 pm, bobsledding was already close to the public. Mystic Mountain and the Dunn River Falls is right next to the Ocho Rios pier. We recommend doing the nearby activities before venturing out. Cozumel - Offers daytime passes to all-inclusive resorts, which is all you can drink alcohol, liquor, entertainment, and food. Some facilities have snorkeling, kayaking, and floats. There is an extra cost for jet skiing, diving, and parasailing. The water was too murky to snorkel. Cozumel also offers sunset catamaran cruise which is also all-inclusive. The ship leaves around 10:30 pm which allows guests to do various activities. Half Moon Cay - This is HAL's private island. We got to experience Half Moon Cay twice, on two separate days. A tender takes you to the island. The island will be crowded if there are two ships. The beach offers clear blue water and paid activities such as a stingray experience and historic tour. In conclusion, we had great experiences with HAL with some drawbacks. Priceless memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. The positive experiences and memories we had outweighed the bad ones. I would want to try a different HAL ship in the future. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have taken more than a dozen HAL cruises, and this 4 night pre-Christmas Bahamas trip was attractively priced. The new ship is gorgeous, and has great music and entertainment options. The cabins are fresh and new, with big flat TVs ... Read More
We have taken more than a dozen HAL cruises, and this 4 night pre-Christmas Bahamas trip was attractively priced. The new ship is gorgeous, and has great music and entertainment options. The cabins are fresh and new, with big flat TVs and excellent showers (no tub in our room - which was good for us, but may be an issue for older travelers or families). The mid-ships music venues were outstanding. BB King has a feature spot and were great, and the Rock and Roll venue was suitably loud. But the real stars were Nate and Deb on the dueling pianos. WOW! This husband wife team have energy and chemistry that is truly world class and should not be missed. We were disappointed with the main dining room, where the food was average, and 'as you wish' dining arrangements were clunky and we never got to dine when we wished. The Canaletto, however, was outstanding. Food in the Lido was excellent, as was the service. For us the smiling and attentive crew always make a HAL cruise a delight, and this was no exception. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband and I traveled alone for our 30th Wedding Anniversary on this cruise. We booked a veranda cabin on the Navigation deck via Holland and not a travel agent. Embarkation was very easy. Although the woman taking care of us ... Read More
My husband and I traveled alone for our 30th Wedding Anniversary on this cruise. We booked a veranda cabin on the Navigation deck via Holland and not a travel agent. Embarkation was very easy. Although the woman taking care of us had to be reminded by us on the procedure!! She was also lacking in English communication skills! The wait time to board the ship was longer than usual since this was the first time Nieuw Statendam had entered an American Port so she had a lengthy inspection by the Coast Guard. Understandable. No worries! The Nieuw Statendam is a beautiful ship. It’s very well thought out in its design. You notice this as you walk around the decks, small things like handwashing stations in the Lido...Great idea!! I like how you are served your food in the Lido by the staff and not self service. This kept the germs down and the floors cleaner! The food was protected from the passengers behind a glass partition. We never had to touch a serving spoon or wait to be served. The selections in the Lido did not taste like cafeteria food. It had more of a gourmet flair to it! I Will say that the only item that was lacking on the ship was the self serve ice machine in the Lido. If it worked it all, the best you could hope for was a slow drip of watery slush! The no touch sensor on this ice machine didn’t work properly and I saw passengers putting their hands and used glasses all over the dispenser area trying to get it to work. This was not sanitary! The servers had good ice available in their pitchers, so ask for it instead. The food was excellent everywhere we ate on the ship! Our night in the Pinnacle was enjoyable with amazing meal selections. Our evening at Canaletto was a bit of a disappointment. An area of the Lido is transformed into Canaletto for the evening. The same staff that serves you in the morning and daytime in Lido are also serving you in the evening at Canaletto. I just didn’t feel like I was in a special venue. There wasn’t a feel of specialty dining that one would be willing to pay extra for. The food was good (not excellent) but timeliness of delivery was lacking. We had a late reservation which we will not do again anywhere on any ship! It wasn’t the service of the waitstaff that caused an issue but there appeared to be a back up in the kitchen that caused our entrées to be served over one hour behind our appetizer. Gala night in The Main Diningroom should not be missed! Service was outstanding as was the food. As always with Hollard America the main dining room is something to behold. Our favorite dinner while onboard was in Tamarind. This venue has the best view for dining and ambience on the ship! The half round booth facing aft is by far THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE! I recommend an early reservation for this venue. We watched the sun set and saw the venue lighting change to a soft romantic tone. There was a WOW factor here! Service was amazing!! Be aware when purchasing ahead of time the Signature Dining Package that only two of the five specialty restaurants are included.....The Pinnacle and Canaletto. I made the mistake of assuming all specialty restaurants were available for selection. This is not the case! FYI...Rudi’s Sel de Mer is al la carte pricing. All menu selections are priced separately. The entertainment on board the ship was outstanding. Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard and the Rolling Stone venues. Our favorite was The BB Kings Allstars direct from Beale Street at BB Kings (the club venue that was transformed from Lincoln Center Stage after 9pm) with lots of fun dancing! This band Rocked! The veranda cabin we had #8022 was comfortable with 2 cabin steward‘s Wenjoldy and George that were always available to us with smiles! Service was impeccable! There were 6 electrical and USB outlets. We took a ships approved multi outlet with us and didn’t need it! There is plenty of good lighting in the cabin with reading lights and electrical outlets of each side off the bed. The cabin door is metal but if you want to decorate it, heavy duty magnets need to be used! The bathroom was very well laid out with a large full shower and glass door. The Bollini Bath Fixtures were easy to use and quite beautiful to say the least. There are handholds and a foot rail in the shower that were strategically placed for safety. One thing that was new to us was having to put your cabin key card in a slot by the door inside your cabin to activate the interior lighting. A couple of times I was caught in the bathroom and my husband went for coffee with his card and 30 seconds later the lights went out on me! Something we had to figure out on our own if someone stays behind in the cabin. Beds were comfortable. There was a large hanging closet with plenty of room and a huge television at the foot of our bed. I highly recommend loading the NAVIGATOR program onto your phone, laptop or iPad once you’re on the ship. This program is for your easiest way of getting in touch with Guest Services if you have a problem. It’s much easier than making a phone call, telling your Cabin Stewards or being on hold forever or standing in line at guest services on the third floor. Your problem will be handled in a timely manner. This program also gives you up-to-date information on entertainment food venues, making reservations and many other necessities while on the ship . You do not need to have a purchased the ships wi fi to activate this. There are directions in a bifold paper on the desk when you arrive in your cabin on how to access the NAVIGATOR. But remember, this cannot be accessed until you are on the ship. The price for BLEND the wine blending and tasting venue is $79.00 a person or $99.00 a couple. We did not partake! There was a self service beer and soft drink dispenser that you paid for by the ounce near the indoor Lido Pool Bar. No waiting! At NOTES, the brown liquor tasting venue, one can have a shot of the overly rated 20 year old Pappy Van Winkle for up to $207.00. OR the 12 year old Pappy for $109.00 a shot! There are other brands available more moderately priced. I did not visit the spa on this trip. Our cruise just was not long enough! If shopping for Liquor aboard the ship, the prices are not posted on the bottles. You get the price list from the shop attendant. The ships artwork had a modern feel to it which was very interesting. Every elevator lobby had some sort of avant-garde art piece which was worth seeking out on a self guided art crawl. Our Captain Sybe de Boer was professional, personable and approachable. Our safety and comfort was his NUMBER ONE concern! Our Cruise Director Ross McTaggart was easy to understand and always ready to give information. The Hotel Director Don Habets saw that the few issues we had on the ship were IMMEDIATELY taken care of. Thank you Don!! Adriana Strugala in Guest Services is the person to reach if you have a complicated situation to address! Thank you Adriana. Disembarkation was very easy for us since we brought only carry on luggage for this short voyage. We were given a color coded departure tag to exit the ship when called. In spite of the fact of the Government shutdown, there were a few TSA Supervisors working to assure entry. I (we) would recommend this ship and its crew for future voyages. I would like to be on a longer one next time. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Holland America used to be known as the cruise line where seniors would eat at 530 pm and be tucked away by nine. So not so anymore. My wife and I, veterans of more than thirty cruises took our first HAL cruise to Spain and Portugal in ... Read More
Holland America used to be known as the cruise line where seniors would eat at 530 pm and be tucked away by nine. So not so anymore. My wife and I, veterans of more than thirty cruises took our first HAL cruise to Spain and Portugal in Sept 2018 and were knocked silly by the high level of food, service,and entertainment. What mainly blew us away was the virtuoso like quality of the musicians at their Lincoln center stage, billboard on board, and Bb king area, not to mention the world stage productions. So when we heard the Nieuw Statendam was having a four day cruise in December we jumped at the chance.let’s just say they changed their A game to their A plus game by adding their Rolling Stone Rock band, which would have easily fit into the main stage at the Fillmore East or any major concert venue . Such musical genius all around. On a cruise ship yet, who knew? We now have booked a cruise for Feb 2020 on the Nieuw Amsterdam which also has these musical offerings. At our age one island blends into the next: we are here for the bands. In addition the service was excellent: any request was handled quickly and efficiently, the staff crispy dressed in grey uniforms with Dutch orange trim. The dining rooms staffs were excellent as well, calling my wife “my lady” how cool is that? I do have a small criticism: the pools are not their strongest point. While the covered pool and attached hot tubs are sufficient for the non holiday crowds, the Seaview pool and hot tubs were achingly small, with the hottubs sufficient for one person only. But never mind. Go for the ship, food, and entertainment and oh by the way if you happen on a beach or two, that is fine as well. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I've been on quite a few cruise line ships. This ship sets the bar .. !st the big stage theater is a technical surprise..amazing.. have to see and experience it. I lack the words. Next the cafeteria food court has individual chefs ... Read More
I've been on quite a few cruise line ships. This ship sets the bar .. !st the big stage theater is a technical surprise..amazing.. have to see and experience it. I lack the words. Next the cafeteria food court has individual chefs making for example your pasta dish with the ingredients you select.. Salad stations similarly; carving stations with an incredible selection of sides, and eastern food stations with made to order dishes.. AND THE FOOD IS GREAT The food wherever we ate was great. My better half is a vegan and they actually had a separate menu with dishes for vegans and vegetarians.. "A pleasure not to have to track down chefs to order a vegan meal" Next and very important to everyone WALK IN SHOWERS..That's right regular showers you don't have to step out of to wash your lower body.. excellent. Oh and there is a retractable roof above the pool so when the weather gets a little inclement they can close the roof either partially or all together.. great feature At the main pool loungers with comfortable cushions. AND sectioned off places on the deck above the pool where couples could share a full length couch. The service by the staff 2nd to none Read Less
Nieuw Statendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0

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