6 Rome (Civitavecchia) Holland America Nieuw Statendam Cruise Reviews

We were booked for a cruise on this ship later and were fascinated by the idea of sailing on it the first time. After spending a week with family in Pennsylvania, we flew from Philadelphia to Rome and explored the city for about a week. ... Read More
We were booked for a cruise on this ship later and were fascinated by the idea of sailing on it the first time. After spending a week with family in Pennsylvania, we flew from Philadelphia to Rome and explored the city for about a week. Even that was not quite enough - so much to see! We stayed in the Hotel Santa Maria in Trastevere, which was lovely, and really well located. Embarkation in Civitivecchia was well organized. We took Bob's Limos, which dropped us off right at the entrance to the embarkation hall. There was no significant wait anywhere until we'd checked in and gotten our group assigniment. We simply sat and waited for our group to be called, and we were on our way. Once on the ship, though, getting to our stateroom was a bit of a challenge, since most of the elevators had been appropriated by the staff for bringing luggage to rooms. We had a bit of a wait for an elevator. Had we not had carry-on bags, we would have taken the stairway. The ship itself is beautiful. It is large, but not so large that you can't get around, and while I think it was pretty fully booked, never seemed crowdedl We never got to any of the specialty dining restaurants other than the Grand Dutch Cafe because, quite frankly, the meals and options in the Main Dining Room were wonderful. Our favorite spot from a previous cruise on the Eurodam was the Tamarind, but on the Nieuw Statendam, they'd elminated the Tamarind Bar, which we loved, and made the restaurant larger and much less initimate. They also did not offer a rijsstaafel, which was disappointing. As a native Netherlander, I couldn't get enough of the Grand Dutch Cafe. Between the bags of Dutch licorice and the Kroket lunches, I was in heaven. My only complaint is that one of my favorite Dutch treats is Bitterballen, which were only available between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m., which was right before and after dinner, when we weren't hungry. I went in a couple of times and got some to take back to my room for breakfast the next day. The cabiin itself is pretty typical of HAL ships. The bathroom has a shower (no tub), which was fine for us. The tubs on the Eurodam were pretty small, and by eliminating them, they made the shower a nice size and easy to get in and out of. We're not rock fans, so we didn't check out the Rolling Stones Rock venue, but did enjoy the other three. We really enjoyed both the Lincoln Center Stage musicians and the BB King Blues group. It seemed, though, like the sound in BB King kept getting louder and louder every night, to the point where we couldn't stand it. Next time, I'll bring ear plugs so we can enjoy the music and dance. The real disappointment was the gentleman who talked about history. He seemed to be reading Powerpoint presentations he'd written years ago, and displayed some real ignorance of his subject several times. His pronunciation of the names of people and places was atrocious. We went once, which was enough. Another painful disappointment was the "opera singer" in the Main Stage, who had some real pitch problems. Ouch! Since I am a singer and my husband a retired music professor with perfect pitch, this was particularly noticeable for us. Unfortunately, we were sitting right up front and couldn't really leave without being rude. One thing definitely not to be missed is the artwork. I was worried after seeing the promotions about it before the trip that it might be really modern, but it was actually really whimsical and interesting. We spent a couple of evenings walking around the ship checking out and photographing the artwork. Some of it you have to get up close and then stand back to really appreciate. We did not take advantage of excursions, since all of the ports were pretty walkable. We took advantage of the ship's shuttle in Funchal, but it really wasn't necessary. We could have walked downtown easily. The street art in both Cartagena and Funchal was really fascinating. A highlight of the trip was the stiching group we were able to organize though the Cruise Critic rollcall. We had as many as 30 people every sea day morning gathered in the Billboard Onboard area to knit, crochet, and stitch. After a couple of days, the staff got there ahead of us and arranged the chairs for us. Holland America itself has stopped supporting these sorts of groups, which is too bad. We were still picking up people around the ship who didn't know that we were meeting right up to the end of the trip. All in all, we had a wonderful trip and really look forward to our next voyage on the Nieuw Statendam. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was my 12th cruise on HAL. I've been on every size ship in their fleet. While I still prefer smaller ships (RIP soon Prinsendam), I have made my peace with behemoths and really like HAL's newest iterations. Having been on ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise on HAL. I've been on every size ship in their fleet. While I still prefer smaller ships (RIP soon Prinsendam), I have made my peace with behemoths and really like HAL's newest iterations. Having been on the Koningsdam twice, there was no learning curve on the Nieuw Statendam. For a "premier" voyage (maiden is no longer used - wink wink), things went surprisingly well. Let's get the glitches out of the way first: - The computer system was loathe to recognize the Mariner discount when applicable - Service in Canaletto and Tamarind was very slow - One of the stationary bikes in the gym was out of order from the get go - Use of the World Stage for solo performers is not optimal Not bad for the first time out! Now for the really good: - Food was uniformly excellent. Our group of nine had the same table at 8PM every evening in the Dining Room, and service was stellar and convivial. BRAVO to Dede. He is wonderful. We ate in all four specialty restaurants as well. (I miss the Culinary Arts Center: Club Orange was always nearly empty when one passed by.) - The Pinnacle was exemplary and well worth the extra cost. Yum. - Shipwide, the staff were great. - HAL's emphasis on music continues to enhance the experience. Lincoln Center Stage now shares the Queen's Lounge with BB King's, and they often performed two or three times a day. The new venue is perfect for their wonderful concerts; I attended 17 times. (The piano quintet currently includes the stellar string quartet ATLYS.) Punctuating a 14 day crossing with these concerts: thank you. - Cabins and storage are just fine. Our port side balcony cabin had direct sun most of the crossing: I actually used it often (a balcony has never been a priority for me). Of course the weather cooperated fully: temperatures were 60-75F for the entire trip - in December! In summation: as wonderful as it is to be on a cruise where you have no extras on your account at the end (Azamara, Regent, Seabourn etc.), HAL still delivers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had taken 4 cruises together as a couple, 3 of them on HAL. We were excited to book our first transatlantic and maiden voyage on the Nieuw Statendam. My parents were avid cruisers and their first was on the Statendam in 1972. Also, my ... Read More
We had taken 4 cruises together as a couple, 3 of them on HAL. We were excited to book our first transatlantic and maiden voyage on the Nieuw Statendam. My parents were avid cruisers and their first was on the Statendam in 1972. Also, my oldest brother and sister-in-law did the maiden voyage on the Koningsdam and raved about the experience. We didn't have many expectations as we like being open-minded travelers who are ready for just about anything! The ship, the crew and luckily, the weather did not disappoint in fact were impressive in every way. From embarkation at the lovely new terminal in Civitavecchia to disembarkation in Ft Lauderdale, we had no major issues, concerns or gripes. We really enjoyed the dining experiences on board. The only eatery we did not try was the sushi bar. Next time! Our favourite specialty resto was Sel De Mer. The seafood, service, plating and presentation were all amazing. The restaurant decor was also enchanting. The Tamarind was our next favourite. Beautiful setting and the menu was varied enough to earn repeat visits. The lack of a formal library was noticeable but not an issue. I was prepared and brought some books with me. The other issue is the wine package ordering process. It was not handled all that well at the onset of the cruise. We did get it sorted but took some doing. The crew was always smiling and always employing the right amount of attention whether it was toward the upkeep of our cabin or whilst at dinner. And very observant as well. The officers mingled nightly with passengers with the Captain was often spotted doing walkabouts in the public areas. The CD and ACD, Ross and Grant were also very involved with us passengers and Grant especially, supplied us with many laughs during Trivia and Bingo games. We really were impressed with the original stage production of Humanity. A show developed for the stage on the NS by a group from NYC called One Step. It used the hi-tech screens and lighting to great effect. The other groups, solos and entertainers were all appreciated. A bit of seasonal cheer came in the form of a twinkly Gingerbread House display outside of the Dutch Cafe. Complete with working model trains! Our cabin was quiet and relaxing with plenty of storage. And a roomy verandah. Deck 7 midships is the place to be! All the ports of call were interesting and enjoyed great weather at all 3. We especially enjoyed Funchal, Madeira. We hired a private taxi to take us on a 3 hour tour for 100 euros. Fantastic time! The 8 days at sea were wonderful. Great weather, endless ocean and sky vistas to enjoy and lots of comfy chairs to enjoy it from. We cannot wait until our next HAL getaway. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We did the 14 day Premier sailing of the Nieuw Statendam, from Rome to Fort Lauderdale. We spent 6 days prior to the cruise in Rome, and on December 5th headed to Civitavecchia to board the Nieuw Statendam. The ship was at the ... Read More
We did the 14 day Premier sailing of the Nieuw Statendam, from Rome to Fort Lauderdale. We spent 6 days prior to the cruise in Rome, and on December 5th headed to Civitavecchia to board the Nieuw Statendam. The ship was at the beautiful new terminal, and embarkation was wonderful. Very organized, not crowded. This was our first cruise as 4 star Mariners and we enjoyed the priority boarding. Our cabin was ready when we boarded. We had a regular balcony cabin on deck 7 aft. It looked identical to balcony cabins on the Koningsdam. The only difference we could see is that the toilet placement in the bathroom gives better legroom than on the Koningsdam. A definite improvement. We headed to the Lido for lunch, and again it is almost identical to the Koningsdam's Lido. There are so many options to choose from. We like the fact that the food is served by the crew as this lessens the chance of contamination. We thought the food in the Lido throughout the cruise was good to excellent. We ate most breakfasts and lunches in the Lido, and a couple of dinners. MDR - again, identical to the Koningsdam. On the nights we dined in the MDR we made reservations for a table for 2. Often it was only late times available, 8:00 pm or 8:15, as we didn't remember to call early for the reservation. The menu always had lots of choices, the service was very good and the food was quite good. Tamarind - this is our favourite place to dine. We ate there 4 times and loved it. The atmosphere is quiet and serene, the service is excellent and the food delicious. The maitre d' told us that when the ship is in the Caribbean, they will offer outdoor dining for the Tamarind (weather permitting). We also ate once at "Nami", the sushi bar attached to the Tamarind. It was quite good but we preferred the Tamarind. Pinnacle Grill - We dined here once and enjoyed it. Service and food were very good and the setting is nice. Canaletto - We dined here once and enjoyed it. Service and food was quite good. Other food options- Dive in, New York Deli, Grand Dutch Cafe - we tried them and liked them all. We did not go to the Sel de Mer so I can't comment on it, other than to say it seemed busy most nights. Club Orange - we didn't opt for it, but we did notice that it seemed mostly empty every time we walked by it. We missed how it was on the Koningsdam last December, when they had happy hour and great snack food in there with nice music playing. It will be interesting to see if this Club Orange thing is a success. The new Rock Room was a big hit. It was always full and lots of people were up dancing. They are in the space that used to be Lincoln Center Stage on the K'Dam. Their sets are opposite to the sets at the Billboard Onboard, which was always well attended. Lincoln Centre stage now shares the Queens Lounge with BB Kings. There is also a pianist in another lounge who plays for a few hours each night, Overall the music offered is great, with something for everyone. The World Stage has 2 brand new shows that are in partnership with One-Step dance studio. The shows are wonderful and use the LED screens in the theatre to their full potential. There was also a comedian/magician who was very good and very funny - he performed twice. A jazz pianist, Judy Carmichael performed twice and was very good. There was also a singing trio the Knights who were very good. There were a few other options that we didn't attend. Overall, we thought the entertainment in the World Stage was very good. We were a little disappointed in the guest lecturers on this cruise, and judging by the attendance, we weren't the only ones. In contrast, on our previous two transatlantic cruises on the Koningsdam, the lecturers were excellent and every session was standing room only. Speaking of standing room only - The 2 talks given by Captain Albert Schoonderbeek were fabulous. He is such a great speaker and so full of information and he has a good sense of humour. I love reading his blog and it was so nice to get the chance to see and hear him in person. We also attended a talk by Orlando Ashford that was well attended. He is also a good speaker. On one of our sea days we had an Orange Party. We were all asked to bring something orange to wear. HAL also handed out orange hats, wigs, beads, sunglasses etc. Most people had orange clothes of sort sort. It was fun and a sea of orange. As always, the HAL crew was wonderful. Always friendly, smiling, eager to please. They are what makes your vacation so enjoyable. Our three ports, Cartagena, Malaga, and Funchal were all enjoyable and our weather was good. In Cartagena we just walked off the ship as it docks very close to the city center. We did a HAL excursion in Malaga - a drive to the picturesque village of Mijas. We really enjoyed it. In Funchal we did a HAL excursion, "The Best of the West" that took us to different areas of the island. We saw a lot of the island and quite enjoyed it. Both of our HAL excursions were very good, on nice buses with guides that spoke very good English. Disembarkation was organized and easy. Over all, we had a great cruise and loved the new ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Food was great in the Dining Room, Lido Marketplace, Afternoon Tea, Canaletto, NY Deli, Grand Dutch Cafe, Gellato shop. Very few hiccups in the food areas. We mainly ate dinner in the Dining Room. We mainly ate breakfast and lunch at the ... Read More
Food was great in the Dining Room, Lido Marketplace, Afternoon Tea, Canaletto, NY Deli, Grand Dutch Cafe, Gellato shop. Very few hiccups in the food areas. We mainly ate dinner in the Dining Room. We mainly ate breakfast and lunch at the Lido Marketplace. The food at these venues was really excellent! Can't beat the variety at the Lido Marketplace from crepes, bagels, omelets, etc. at breakfast to salads, pasta bars, carving stations, oriental stirfry, at lunch. We had room service several mornings (skip the scrambled egg option). There are many bars, our favorite was the Ocean Bar mid ships on Deck 2 where Roldan, Fern (Fatima), and Patrick were our servers for the whole cruise! They took excellent care of us! We had an inside stateroom on the Deck 6. Great size for 2 people We had storage space to spare. HAL was still working out some kinks with the TV information system. TV system included many movies; very few TV "shows"; limited news. But the Navigator available on your mobile device on their local intranet worked very well. You could set up the people you were traveling with and message them throughout the cruise (important on 9 continuous sea days). We did NOT get the internet package as we wanted to be relatively device-free. But many others around us still got decent internet service. Service was fantastic in all areas! Entertainment: four different music genres (Rock 'n Roll, Pop, Chambermusic (violins & pianos), and Jazz). Excellent! Especially loved Atlys (string quartet) with piano accompaniment. Good lectures. Trivia contests! We had a daily sea-day meet-up with craft ladies via a forum under Cruise Critic. We stopped at Cartagena, Malaga, and Madeira. No excursions, just walked off the ship. We took a taxi at Cartagena, but walked back with no difficulty. . We used the HAL provided bus (extra cost) at Malaga and Madeira--well worth it; too far for us to walk. Malaga just shopped and had lunch. Madeira--after the bus dropped us off, we walked to the cable car ride. Purchased roundtrip cable car ride and yellow-bus-island tour for about $56 Euros for 2 adults. DO THE CABLE CAR in the morning! The clouds started descending from the mountain tops around 1pm and the cable car stops running! Loads of shopping and cheap sandwiches (E2.5 for a Iberian ham hero) at the shops along the streets. If you want one of the wonderful Portuguese cork handbags (any shape or size), the best prices were actually in the Malaga port building--you could get off the ship and just shop right there within steps o the ship! I should have gotten my bag there, but waited for Madeira and paid more for one. We had BEAUTIFUL weather for the crossing! Stops went well. On the whole, truly a fantastic voyage. I would definitely go again and my husband is sold on HAL! I saw only a few children on board. They do have HAL CLUB, but I couldn't see what was in it. It's a controlled area, as it should be. Of course the spa was excellent and there were several "free" mini facials that were held during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My (German Jewish) family escaped Nazi Germany in 1938, thanks to Holland America's ss Statendam, so we HAD to be on the maiden voyage of the Nieuw Statendam, both to "close the circle" on our family history but also to ... Read More
My (German Jewish) family escaped Nazi Germany in 1938, thanks to Holland America's ss Statendam, so we HAD to be on the maiden voyage of the Nieuw Statendam, both to "close the circle" on our family history but also to personally express our gratitude to this next generation of Holland America. That said, by any metric, the maiden voyage was an overwhelming success and we feel sure that this great new ship - with its great new crew - will provide enormous joy and enrichment for all who sail with her. If you know/like the Koningsdam, the Nieuw Statendam is its (almost) identical twin, but with some revisions: the Crow's Nest/Explorations Central (deck 12) has been re-imagined into a giant, gorgeous, and inviting "living room" offering an intimate environment, to chat, watch the ocean, check the stats of the engine, ship location, etc., and engage in puzzles, cards, and much more. Moving Lincoln Center Stage to the Queen's Lounge put these great classical musicians in an environment fitting to their artistry and charisma, and the new Rolling Stone Rock Room (with its great band) is a HIT! Holland America crew's legendary warmth and dedication to excellence are evident in this hand-selected crew of 1,000 - for us, cruise veterans yet making our first ocean crossing - we couldn't have asked for anything more. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Nieuw Statendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 4.5 4.3
Entertainment 4.5 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Value For Money 4.5 4.0

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