1 San Francisco to Panama Canal & Central America Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

I was lucky enough to be a guest of my parents for this lovely trip from San Francisco, down the Mexican Coast, through the amazing Panama Canal, and up through Caribbean waters to Ft. Lauderdale. First, I'm now a big fan of ... Read More
I was lucky enough to be a guest of my parents for this lovely trip from San Francisco, down the Mexican Coast, through the amazing Panama Canal, and up through Caribbean waters to Ft. Lauderdale. First, I'm now a big fan of reposition cruises as the itineraries are a bit varied. Second, know that this line is indeed for more sedate crowd. Although there were a few, "hipper" activities, don't go on this cruise for excitement and thrill seeking. No water slides or wave pools here, just lovely, nooks and crannies such as the Crow's Nest on 11 forward where an ocean bookstore environment can be found consisting of several computer terminals, vast lending library, specialty coffee bar (extra $) and comfy chairs surrounding the huge windows to laze the day away in. There is also a huge bar and many tables for games, puzzles or visiting. On excursion days, there might be either a guest lecture providing commentary on the wonders of the Panama Canal or the excursion lead providing insight on the town. Also on 11 forward are the private cabanas which I was lucky enough to enjoy throughout the voyage. Our cabana, the Costa Del Sol, was a femily cabin on corner, equipped with 2 large and comfy lounges, table and 4 chairs. Daily amenities were fresh fruit, chilled waters and chilled Evian mist bottles. Almost any food or beverage could be provided and afternoon brought champagne, chic strawberries and frozen grapes. Sprinkled in the day when hot, were chilled towels. Dedicated cabana servers were attentive and charming, anticipating every need and doing best to provide. Perfect spot to spend the day going through the canal. For those lucky enough to be in Neptune Suite, the Neptune Lounge is lovely- note- lounge is almost smack midship on deck 7 so if you want to be real close, book accordingly. Lounge is open 7 am to approx 8-9 pm. And has delightful self serve cappuccino/latte. No hot eggs, bacon etc, but great continental assortment and also meats cheeses a la European boast. And no pursers desk needed for you; the lovely concierges (shout out to Mimi) will care for every need. Our cruise was fortunate to have two great speakers, who provided daily lectures (on sea days) on relevant topics such as Panama Canal history. The other activity which was highly attended were the computer classes. Of course the usual shopping and art auctions were also included as were trivia, bingo, towel folding, various crafts and myriad of other activities. In short, great, relaxing cruise choice for those who wish a more sedate experience and not looking for a bar scene. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Nieuw Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

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