Sail Date: June 2019
Just a qualifier to start ... this is my first cruise, so I write this review lacking other benchmarks. I'm essentially rating and evaluating this cruise relative to other vacation experiences and the expectations from reading prior ... Read More
Just a qualifier to start ... this is my first cruise, so I write this review lacking other benchmarks. I'm essentially rating and evaluating this cruise relative to other vacation experiences and the expectations from reading prior reviews. That said, I don't see how this experience could have been much better than it was. Here are some highlights. Dining with dietary needs: One of my sons was gluten-free and dairy free. We found the main dining room and the specialty restaurants (Canelatto, Pinnacle Grill) to be particularly confidence building in terms of how they handle allergies. This was true for both dinner and breakfast (we never happened to eat lunch in the MDR). My son generally pre-orded his dinner for the next day at a current days dinner and the chefs were able to prepare it according to his needs. Dive In and the NY Deli also handled special dietary needs well. The Lido Buffet was a little more chancy as nothing was labeled, so we rarely ate there. Dining quality and experience: I don't see how it could be much better. Food was delicious and served at appropriate temperature. Range of choices in MDR and specialty restaurants was excellent. Service was phenomenal. Ambiance in the 2nd floor MDR was solid -- even better at times when we got a seat by the window. One observation was that one needs to allow about 1 hour for breakfast and 1.5-2 hours for dinner. In other words, it's European dining speed. That was quite acceptable. I loved the fact that you could get food until midnight. Evening entertainment: The Music Walk (BB King, Rolling Stone Rock Room, Billboard Onboard) totally exceeded expectations. The Rock Room cover band was very good as was BB King (the bass player was phenomenal) and they hide quite a bit of variation from show to show and night to night. But the two pianists in Billboard Onboard stole the show. They were engaging, exceptionally talented, and quite entertaining. We chose Nieuw Statendam for their emphasis on music so we had high expectations. This surpassed them. Only nit might be that many shows were very crowded, but if you were willing to stand, you never missed a beat. Other observations: -- The appearance of the boat was spectacular. It still had that "new boat" smell. :-) -- I personally liked the walking path around the exterior of the boat on deck 3. One of my sons really liked the basketball court on deck 11. -- I liked the fact that the hot tubs were kept at about 100F. That means that you could relax and not have to worry about leaving and 15-20 minutes. -- They seemed to have very good judgment as to when to close the roof on the Lido pool and when to keep it open. -- Entry and exit on the boat at port was well organized. Some minor nits: -- Sometimes the wait at the Guest Services desk could be a bit long -- up to 15 minutes. -- I had a few times where I was trying to get information and got different answers from different people. For instance, I could never figure out what time the pool closed. -- The Navigator app was OK ... but it did not consistently notify me when I received a chat message. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked this ship because it was brand new and we wanted to see the Eastern Caribbean islands. Our research revealed that HAL had a great reputation. The following is our own personal opinion after a 1 week cruise on the Nieuw ... Read More
We booked this ship because it was brand new and we wanted to see the Eastern Caribbean islands. Our research revealed that HAL had a great reputation. The following is our own personal opinion after a 1 week cruise on the Nieuw Statendam. Embarkation and Disembarkation: Flawless, speedy and very well organized. The Ship: Fabulous is the first word that comes to our minds. It is well laid out, lots of space to sit and chat. Plenty of places to find food and drinks. Servers everywhere and they even have call buttons on the tables for ordering drinks. The ship was very smooth during sailing even in inclement weather - never really felt any vibration due to her advanced operating systems. Cabin: Vista Suite with Veranda - outstanding is the first word that comes to mind. Lots of storage, elegant, both 110/220 volt outlets, large shower, lots of in-room comforting accoutrements, and a really great selection of current movies. The cabin attendants knew your name from the minute you got on the ship and they get a 100% TOP score for doing such a great job - children loved the different daily towel animals!!! Food: Main dinning room - no table reservations before 8.00 p.m. this we found to be not good especially when you have children. Service was fabulous but food delivery was very slow. Food choices are varied on the menu each night with fixed options each night (steak, chicken, etc) in case you did not like daily menu. Lido Cafe - it was without doubt always a choice for any meal of the day with something to suit any taste or desire. The Dive In - although little in space they pushed orders out very fast and this was outstanding food. The New York Deli - was also good with great sandwiches although, some of the pizza toppings ran out. Dutch Cafe- great coffee and sweets! We did not like the fact that we had to pay for the Gelato Ice cream. Drink Package: We chose the Signature Drink Package which allowed us all types of drinks under $10. This proved to be sufficient for us, unless you are a "high-end top shelf drinker" most people would be fine with this package. We did not like the 1 drink order limit restriction. Children's Activities: ZERO here because anything outside the kids play room was non-existent. Prior to the cruise we read lots of "chat" about HAL being a "retired persons cruise line". Although many people had written that HAL changed its mentality and was gearing more towards families rather than older crowds - this was not the case on our cruise - children were bored due to the lack of "kids activities and amenities". Pools: The mid ship pool is very small and the rear pool had an adults only restriction on it. OK, we get this, but then why were all the adults gathered at the mid-ship pool. So, this meant that the kids had to share the only pool with the adults - but the adult pool did not share with the kids - this was absolutely unfair in our opinion. While the children frolicked in the pool - "adults" complained about being splashed - sorry, then move your old butt to the adult pool! The Crew: Tip-Top perfect service by the crew in all areas of the ship !!! Entertainment: Yes they offered 4 types of music, but after a week of the same 4 types of music and nothing new, it gets old. Crows Nest: Great place to chill out and watch the surroundings. Bad part is all the "retired folks" hogged up the loungers at the big front overlooking windows and then fell asleep for hours. That was a bit unfair for those of us who actually wanted to sit there for their intended purpose because these seats had the best view on the entire ship. Activities: We found the "ship info, kitchen tour & the captain's talk" the best part of the activities offered. These three activities were very informative and really great leaning for all. The Captain was fantastic, and very friendly. Besides that, it really seemed like the same entertainment and activities each day. For families it was a bit boring in our opinion. OK, you had basketball, shuffleboard, ping-pong, card games, and swimming, but with short ports of call, and 2 days at sea - it got a little boring after a few days with only the same options. The cruise director could have offered much more as we have seen from our prior cruises with other companies. Overall Cleanliness: Extremely clean ship - we loved having a place to wash your hands at all the entrances at the Lido Cafe. Great job by the service crew to keep the ship in such a clean and fresh environment. Public Toilets: absolutely perfectly clean all the time. Casino: Lots of play choice - although smoking permitted - 1 day at sea was no smoking allowed - that was refreshing! America's Test Kitchen: Sorry, only one word to say here - Boring! No participation allowed just watching someone cook. Port of Calls: Found them all to be well organized, and very quick to get everyone on and off the ship. The Security team did a great job to ensure our safety, kudos to them for all they did for us! Recommendations to HAL: Offer daily info sessions about the specific ports of call. Make an area on the ship where you play some Caribbean / local music rather than the same stuff we hear at home. The weather did not permit us to make one port of call, therefore we found that we had to entertain ourselves because the Cruise Director came up with card games, and other non-fun things for us to do as a family - when you cannot make a port of call then you should be prepared ahead of time to entertain the passengers to off-set the disappoint of missing out on a port of call. Lastly, please think of ways to entertain children a little more - and I do not mean like Disney or Carnival -- we purposely do not travel on these lines because the adults need to have fun also. A big thanks to the HAL Captain and his fabulous team for a very wonderful vacation! Signed, 7 HAL passengers (mixed USA & Europe) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We booked this cruise because the price was awesome and the ship was new - in hindsight, a brand new ship with crazy-low prices should have set off warning flags. First the good - the ship was NEW! We had an aft-facing balcony - room ... Read More
We booked this cruise because the price was awesome and the ship was new - in hindsight, a brand new ship with crazy-low prices should have set off warning flags. First the good - the ship was NEW! We had an aft-facing balcony - room was very nice, room attendants were friendly and great. Sea Days around the pool were not stressful - complete opposite of Oasis, or any other ship we've been on. No militant record keeping on towels, food on the Lido deck was not bad, Tamarind ($25) was excellent. Not good or bad - the average age of passengers skewed toward over 65. I believe there were 200 or less, kids on the crew - I'd prefer a younger crowd - maybe that would have given us more activity options? The bad - Dining Room - everything about this was bad. Food was mundane, service was horrible - they have, what seemed to be, thousands of servers running around like bees in a hive, but for a normal sitdown dinner, it was a 1.5-2 hour process. We ate in the dining room the first night and one formal night, then avoided it at all costs. Embarkation - this was horrible. They checked you in, then they gave you a boarding group card with a number on it. Our number was 26, when we sat down, they were on number 6. So after having checked in, we sat in the terminal and waited for about 45 minutes. Half Moon Cay- we were one of two ships hosted that day- and it was obvious that they were not prepared for more than one. Full disclosure - we had a villa with a butler and were able to avoid the food lines - but we went to look and it was nuts. At least 100 people in line, and it looked like something out of a prison camp. To get back on the ship, we left at 130 (final tender was supposed to leave at 230) - from the time we left our villa to the time we got back to the ship was 1.5 hours! During this time, we stood in a line that envied a Disney Park line, with zero information from the crew, no offers of water or anything else - just a freaking nightmare. No mention of it that evening from the Captain or Cruise Director. Cruise Director - the running joke was whether he was even on the ship! We saw him one time over the 8 days we were on the ship. He came on with messages that seemed to be pre-recorded - and offered virtually zero information. On the last day, we signed up for early walk-off Disembarkation - since we had an early flight. We sat in our room until 715 with absolutely no information from any of the crew - went down to the second floor at 730 and found 90% of the passengers in line to get off the boat as well. It was a huge mess. At 745 the Cruise Director finally came on and said that they would begin Disembarkation soon and in the meantime do not congregate near the exit - we all laughed, because there were over 1,000 people listening to that directive congregated near the exit. It was fun to be on a new ship - but there are too many better choices for us to ever sail on this line again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was my first time on Holland America and it will be my last. Not because of anything the cruise line did but because of the caliber of cruiser on board. If you are a senior citizen, you will love this cruise, it seems to be geared ... Read More
This was my first time on Holland America and it will be my last. Not because of anything the cruise line did but because of the caliber of cruiser on board. If you are a senior citizen, you will love this cruise, it seems to be geared more toward an older crowd. Shipboard activities leaned towards retirees I think. Games were bridge, majong and bingo. We played team trivia one day only to not play it again. The old crotchety lady who joined us and 2 other older cruisers, complained and shushed and berated us the whole time for being too loud and giving other teams the opportunity to hear our answers. And, she didn't contribute a single answer just bitched to us about,,"that's probably not right" Hello, our team got 12 out of 15 no thanks to her. The ship itself is absolutely beautiful, the artwork throughout the ship is sublime and we were always finding something new tucked away in another area of the ship. I am not sure if this is the norm for HAL but there were an awful lot of cruisers who were pushy, entitled, elitist and generally rude on our sailing. I saw several times where people with walkers or wheelchairs pushed there way into an already crowded elevator and push a floor several floors away so that the people already on the elevator had a difficult time getting off. When asked to let them through, the former, scoffed and got upset as though they were the only one on the elevator and it was for their own private use. I also witnessed at least once a day, someone berating or belittling the staff with very stupid and rude questions at the Lido Market. One lady got mad at the pasta server saying" Do you even know what your doing? You ARE going to cook that?!" Even the older gentleman in front of me rolled his eyes at the comment and said that "These are the things that give my wife and I comic relief over the next few months." The staff on board went above and beyond with their kindness and generosity and overall friendliness when ever you came across them. Half Moon Cay was gorgeous but...there were 2 HAL ships there on the same day and probably around 3000 people on the beach. Too overcrowded. If it hadn't been so overcrowded I would have spent the entire time on shore instead of just an hour. America's Test Kitchen was a fun experience and I wish they would would do it everyday instead of just twice during the cruise. Entertainment wise- the dance troupe I felt did a beautiful job, the magician was very funny and the comedian was not. I was disappointed with the Main Dining Room food. I felt that the 2 times I went there my seafood and poultry were both way overcooked and under seasoned. My creme brulee (my favorite) did not have a hard shell and barely any sugar to make it the hard shell. Tamarind is a must to anyone going on this ship. It was delicious and the servers and staff went above and beyond to make it the best dining experience we had the whole time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
new ship. noisiest doors i've ever experienced. can't rate the rest of the cruise. feel like i'm in the gulf war war with daisy cutters dropping by the minute. INSTALL DOORS THAT CLOSE WITHOUT SHOCKING HALF THE BOAT!!!! ... Read More
new ship. noisiest doors i've ever experienced. can't rate the rest of the cruise. feel like i'm in the gulf war war with daisy cutters dropping by the minute. INSTALL DOORS THAT CLOSE WITHOUT SHOCKING HALF THE BOAT!!!! can't even opine on the rest of the cruise it's probable fine. i've developed a horrible fear of returning to room. i own the best earplugs and the vibrations penetrate them. for a new ship the fare was surprisingly low, you get what you pay for i guess. need to upgrade my cruises i suppose, the guests are surprisingly blue collar and a little rough. one guest exploded and threatened a passenger for touching his stuff by the pool. pretty rough trade. good portion of the guests are here to exploit the unlimited food and the location of the gym is not known to these folks. nuff said Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We loved the music venues at night! We loved the ship! It was beautiful, our balcony room was amazing on the 11th floor. The showers with glass doors are revolutionary..mostly we loved the lido market! We NEVER usually eat in the buffet ... Read More
We loved the music venues at night! We loved the ship! It was beautiful, our balcony room was amazing on the 11th floor. The showers with glass doors are revolutionary..mostly we loved the lido market! We NEVER usually eat in the buffet on cruises but we ate there very often ! We actually enjoyed the food choices there more than the dining room..... which means I think they need to work on the menu in the dining room. The boat was very quite ... everything started early and ended pretty early. We would’ve liked a little bit more excitement on the boat but they cater to an older clientele. I have to say it was the most well run for getting on and off the boat ! Absolutely no lineups at any of our ports ... in hindsight we wondered if the majority of the cruisers didn’t get off the boat. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I am HIGHLY DISAPPOINTED in what I describe as a lack of concern in the area of customer care! I would like to review the excursions: Half Moon Cay: We had a blast. This was definitely one of our favorite spots. We chose to do the ... Read More
I am HIGHLY DISAPPOINTED in what I describe as a lack of concern in the area of customer care! I would like to review the excursions: Half Moon Cay: We had a blast. This was definitely one of our favorite spots. We chose to do the Jet Ski excursion (I believe it was called the Aqua Trax....). We were somewhat apprehensive since we had never been on a Jet Ski. The guides were incredible. Our daughter was much more apprehensive than even my wife and I; she moved very slowly, but one of the guides stayed with her for the entire hour!!! My wife and I were able to go at our speed, have a great time and not worry about our 19 year old daughter. Ocho Rios: We went on the Dunn Rivers Falls and Dolphin Encounter excursion. This was a blast!!! The Dolphin Encounter was so worth the money. The trainers and life guards were incredible. They made this a very memorable experience. The only thing I would caution against is the PRICE on pictures! We paid $200 for a group of 3 (aprox 197 pictures) that was on a disc. If we had it to do all over again, we WOULD NOT do the pictures...or we would have negotiated price (we heard some people negotiated). Dunn Rivers Falls was INCREDIBLE, however my wife and daughter did not climb the falls; they watched from observation decks. If you have physical limitations DO NOT climb the falls! Georgetown: We went on Land and Sea Excursion. This was very nice. Not the highlight of our cruise, but I would say it was worth it. The getting to see, hold and learn about the sea turtles was neat. My wife enjoyed the Submarine. This was our first cruise with Holland America. We chose to give the cruise line a try under the recommendations of friends who have cruised multiple times. I would say that overall we really enjoyed our trip; however there were a few things that left us with mixed feelings and reviews. The ship was beautiful and very easy to get around in. Our cruise was March 10-17, 2019. We were in a suite, Cabin 6119. Overall, we were satisfied with our cabin steward. He was very friendly and did a fairly good job (not the best...not the worst). We did notice that as the week progressed, it seemed that the quality of the cleanliness diminished. Although our cabin was extremely crowded when we let out the couch sofa for our daughter, the cabin was comfortable at other times. The restroom was great and the shower was excellent. The balcony was very nice and comfortable. A MAJOR concern pertaining to our cabin was that we had $400 go missing!!! This money was in the safe, but we are 99% certain that the money went missing from our cabin!!! We do not want to falsely accuse anyone, but we feel that this matter should be looked into; especially if other guest have reported similar concerns! Dinning: We chose to eat at the Lido Market; overall the food was very good. However, there was some things that disturbed us. We found it almost impossible to get service. We had to ask for drinks, ask for refills and many times never received what we asked for. We felt that the overall cleanliness was sub-par at times. Tables that had been cleaned were still dirty; in fact I took a few pictures of tables we sat down at; one actually had hair on the chair. It seemed that the chairs never were cleaned between guest. We were EXTREMELY troubled by the fact that the servers would take silverware and glass ware from tables that had not been cleaned off and give them to us to use. We watched several guest examine their silverware and glass ware for cleanliness. THIS IS AN AREA THAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT! Entertainment: We THOROUGHLY enjoyed the ship entertainment. The highlight of our cruise was the performances on the Lincoln Center Stage! We also enjoyed the BB King Blue's Club performances and the the performances on the World Stage. Guest services / Explorations Central: This was another area of concern for us; we felt that the ball was dropped. On the second day of our cruise, we went to Guest Services and expressed our concerns in the area of customer service (i.e. things mentioned already in this review); in the process I inquired about gratuities. I expressed that we did not feel that we were receiving the quality of service worthy of $45 a day in gratuities. After not receiving a satisfactory explanation from the agent at Guest Services, I requested that gratuities be removed from our bill. I explained to the agent that it was not my desire to not pay gratuities, I simply wanted some explanation. On the form that I filled out, I requested that someone contact me concerning the matter; unfortunately, I was never contacted. In an effort to ensure that I did the right thing, I did go back to Guest Services the day of disembarkation and added $350 gratuities to our bill. However, we still have a negative impression in this matter. I will say that we had other encounters with Guest Services and all of those encounters were very positive! Two different times we went to Explorations Central to inquire about shore excursions. Prior to our trip, we had purchased excursions in every port except Cozumel. We were having a hard time deciding about Cozumel. So both times we were inquiring about Cozumel excursions; we WANTED TO PURCHASE a Cozumel excursion! We felt that the agent (young lady with long blond hair) was less than helpful in this area. All that she did during both of our visits to Explorations Central was open a book and say here are the excursions. No recommendations, etc! Needless to say, Cozumel was our biggest disappointment when it came to ports. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship is very elegant, with beautiful artwork throughout. The crew was very friendly, seemed happy, and we’re always willing to help. The cabins were relatively roomy with lots of drawers for storage. The food was excellent in the ... Read More
The ship is very elegant, with beautiful artwork throughout. The crew was very friendly, seemed happy, and we’re always willing to help. The cabins were relatively roomy with lots of drawers for storage. The food was excellent in the dining room. The shops were understated and there was not merchandise present in the aisles. The entertainment was not as good or as varied in the mai theater as on other ships. However, there were many styles and locations for music on the ship. There were five hot tubs on the ship for which were the smallest I’ve ever encountered. Those four would not hold for adults comfortably. The ports were excellent. Grand Turk was almost like a private island. The private island was excellent. Surprisingly, we were the only ship in port at Saint Thomas which made for a surprisingly uncrowded visit. San Juan seem cleaner than the last time I visited. I would definitely sale on the Nieuw Statendam again. 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: January 2019
We have been loyal Oceania passengers for many years. We looked for a winter Caribbean cruise to our liking. We preferred a maximum of 10 nights, because after that the novelty starts to wear off. And we don't like to leave our pet ... Read More
We have been loyal Oceania passengers for many years. We looked for a winter Caribbean cruise to our liking. We preferred a maximum of 10 nights, because after that the novelty starts to wear off. And we don't like to leave our pet cat for extended periods of time. Oceania's winter trips were skewed towards longer voyages. Friends had recommended HAL, and this itinerary had a great balance of beautiful islands and the right number of sea days. (We sailed for 10 nights; the last 3 were a separate Oprah fan cruise.) We had followed the maiden voyage of this ship via the LIVE reports on Cruise Critic. The photos and narrative filled us with anticipation. We had not been on a "new" ship in many years. Once onboard, we were awed by the beautiful decor, furniture, and art. Usually I yawn when reading about onboard art, but we were impressed by many of the paintings and sculptures. The cabin was very comfortable and importantly, there was more than ample storage space. Our only complaint is that there was a charge for the bottled water replenished in the cabin, about $5.00 per bottle. And no pitchers of regular water was available. We ate most dinners in the MDR. (The menus of the specialty restaurants were not appealing to us.) The dinners were among the BEST in any MDR we experienced on any cruise line! And having 3 courses was just right. We were accustomed to 5 course Oceania meals, which sometimes seemed too much and too long. I liked that each dinner included a special regional entree, which I relished more than once. And it was a good sign that I never had the need to select from the 'everyday" menu. There was so many enticing dishes to choose from. When we are up early enough, it is always a pleasure to have breakfast in the MDR. And HAL had a wonderful selection of menu items. It was especially pleasing that there was more than one type of French Toast, and egg dished like huevos rancheros. My only negative is that the croissants were not as fluffy and delicate as the ones on Oceania. The outdoor NY Deli and Pizza served up tasty sandwiches and made to order pizzas. The system where you were given a pager for picking up your order was very efficient. The entertainment was a nice alternative to the production shows we were accustomed to on Oceania. All the venues were conveniently on the same deck in a central location. The Billboard club had a talented married piano player / singer duo, who told interesting anecdotes between songs. The B.B. King lounge had one of the most talented band with vocalists that I have heard on any ship. As a fan of classic rock, the Rolling Stone venue was pitch perfect, though I wish the volume was at a lower decibel level. There were also two shows with very funny comedians. No need to say much on the ports, as this was a beach vacation for us. Suffice to say we found many beautiful beaches to visit via taxi, with chairs and umbrellas available for rental. I would note a shortcoming in that we liked having a daily newsletter that listed public transportation availability, distance to points of interest, and estimated fares - which Oceania provided. One more point is that our last cruise was trying Viking Sea, which was more expensive and generally inferior to this HAL experience. All in all, we loved our HAL cruise and the many friendly passengers we met at our shared dinner tables. And we will be on this ship again in June, which we look forward to with great anticipation! 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We enjoyed a 14 day Caribbean cruise (it turned out to be 2, 7-day back to backs) from Ft. Lauderdale for the Christmas and New Years holidays. Overall, an excellent experience. This was our 13th cruise since we started sailing 8 years ... Read More
We enjoyed a 14 day Caribbean cruise (it turned out to be 2, 7-day back to backs) from Ft. Lauderdale for the Christmas and New Years holidays. Overall, an excellent experience. This was our 13th cruise since we started sailing 8 years ago. We've taken cruises on Carnival (5), Princess (2) and Celebrity (5) in that progression. Our last 5 cruises have been on Celebrity (typically Aqua class which is nice). We thought Celebrity was very good (but with declining conditions on their Solstice Class ships) and had heard good things about Holland. We were worried that the demographics may be a too old for us (our average age is 55 and we're very active). Since this was a holiday cruise, there was a mix of ages and we had no concerns about demographics. We saw very few motorized scooters and certainly no more than on other ships. We booked a 21 day Baltic cruise on the same ship for this summer. The Nieuw Statendam is a beautiful ship - not only because of it's new but also the quality of materials and the thoughtfulness in design. The Veranda staterooms, while a bit smaller than the Aqua Class on the Solstice ships, are very efficient with more storage and the bathroom ergonomics more than make up for the slightly smaller footprint. The public spaces are very attractive and exude a warm feeling - not a cold, austere, "heavy on the chrome" design that we've experienced on some other cruise lines. Lots of interesting, original (and nice) artwork. The staff was courteous and the cruise director, Ross, was excellent. The captain made one, and sometimes two, announcements each day with details on our progress, weather conditions, etc. very informative. Once again, even better than we've experienced on Celebrity, which we thought was quite good. The ship is active in the evening with the "Music Walk" on deck 2 hosting "Billboard 100" (two accompanying, singing pianists - good fun), Lincoln Center Stage (a classical quintet with 3, 40 minute offerings that vary daily - not to be missed), BB King Blues after 9 PM and the "Rolling Stone Rock Room" from 8 PM onward. The World Theater hosts very accomplished dancers with a visual arts presentation beyond that on other ships. We usually retire about 10:30 each evening - but there is much more to these venues later on. A note - because of this would not recommend booking a room directly above these venues. We were on deck 6 mid-ship and it was very quiet :) The food in both the Lido (9th deck) and Main Dining Room (decks 2 and 3) is good. We did not try the specialty restaurants. The Lido is by far the most attractive and well appointed "buffet" area that we've experienced and we like that the staff serves the portions onto our plates. The coffee is a bit strong for me, but hey! Since we've had several Caribbean cruises we did not disembark at each port. San Juan was good - the "Old Town" and the 16th century Spanish fort "El Morro". Charlotte Amalie did not offer much beyond the usual jewelry shops. Half Moon Cay (a private island in the Bahamas) has a beautiful beach with an extensive barbecue served by the ships crew. We had an Everglades tour (coupled with bus service to the airport) that was quite convenient. The alligators swim up close to the air boats and not to be missed (keep your hands in the boat). The gymnasium is smaller and less inviting than we're used to on the Celebrity Solstice ships, but adequately equipped for a good one hour session. 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
HAL has greatly raised their level of cruising with the NIEUW STATENDAM. My family of four sailed on this new ship for a four day Bahamas cruise on 12-19. Our cabin was one of the Vista Suites on deck 6, not really a suite, but plenty of ... Read More
HAL has greatly raised their level of cruising with the NIEUW STATENDAM. My family of four sailed on this new ship for a four day Bahamas cruise on 12-19. Our cabin was one of the Vista Suites on deck 6, not really a suite, but plenty of room for 4. Shower in bathroom very large. Excellent TV in room, with plenty of free movie choices. Cabin service was first rate. The standouts on the ship are 1) Food and 2) Entertainment. We only ate dinner in the extra charge dining rooms, we wanted to experience them all and this was only a 4 day cruise. The extra fees were well worth the cost. I would give extra accolades to the Pinnacle Grill where the whole experience was must better than I have seen on the HAL ships. We also greatly enjoyed the Tamarind , which offered unique menu choices. The free outdoor deck lunch choices were also excellent...New York Pizza and a Burger Stand. Very few cruise ships get pizza right, but this one did. Extra cost ice cream shop was also a popular choice with our group. Service in all dining venues was excellent. HAL offer a wide range of live entertainment on this ship (and KONINGSDAM) . The Rock Room was enjoyed by all of us, even if it was somewhat cringe to watch older baby boomers still dancing to rock music. BB King blues club and Lincoln Center Stage also were top notch choices. There was a large production show that offered good dancers, but the music here was prerecorded which turns me off. For the price paid I don't see how you can beat NIEUW STATENDAM. Excellent food, good service , and fun first rate live entertainment. Highly recommended. 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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