4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
The above referenced cruise was the most disappointing my wife and I have taken. under the guise of inclement weather the captain cancelled three ports reducing the itinerary by 38% from eight to five. he made several announcements that ... Read More
The above referenced cruise was the most disappointing my wife and I have taken. under the guise of inclement weather the captain cancelled three ports reducing the itinerary by 38% from eight to five. he made several announcements that existing weather conditions eliminated any possibility of making alternate ports throughout the entire coast line of the Mediterranean. in lieu of visiting ports we were rewarded with three additional days at sea. the time on board was associated with serpentining across the Mediterranean at varying speeds and even stopping for extended periods. Livorno Italy was one of the ports eliminated. This was to be one of the highlights of the cruise for us being the gateway to Pisa and Florence. The captain repeatedly stated that the port was closed to all vessels during our scheduled arrival. Contrary to his claims the Oceana of P&O Cruises docked safely without incident. This was the same time we were scheduled to arrive. The ms Nieuw Amsterdam is a new ship that went into service less than five rears ago. Currently it is the largest ship Holland America has. This 87000 ton vessel, 1000 feet in length has the latest technology including propulsion systems and "dynamic positioning abilities"; therefore, there is no reason for this ship not to reach a modern day port. ACCOMMODATIONS The ship's interior is not elaborate and the grand staircase is quite mundane for a new cruise liner. The library is small and shares space with a coffee shop and and lounge/bar. It gets noisy when ship sponsored games and group activities are held in the lounge. Empty dining tables are hard to find during meal times on the lido deck during sea days with 2000 passengers. With the canceled ports we were at sea five days out of twelve. we upgraded our outside cabin to one with a partially obstructed view. This view consisted of looking between two life boats and their hydraulic supports allowing a 5% view. FOOD SERVICE The food was good and there was a wide verity of items. The service on the Lido deck was very good and the dinning room excellent. There is a practice by the servers where they remove from the table what appears to them to be unused utensils. They wipe the silverware with a cloth napkin at the server station and then place the utensils in a drawer to be used at the next seating. This appears to have the potential to spread an illness since the waiters have no idea if the silverware has been used, dropped on the floor and or sneezed on etc. GUEST SERVICES There is no ATM on board so you have to go through the customer service desk. To make an electronic withdrawal from your bank account Holland America charges a flat 3% regardless of the amount. Then to convert dollars to euros you are charged an additional fee that exceeds the rate charged by most banks. In addition to being costly this procedure is time consuming for staff to complete the transactions. Due to extended sea days some passengers were given free wi-fi at their request while other passengers were denied. ON BOARD SHOPPING With the exception of watches shopping was almost non exsistent. The Park West art gallery is another permanent fixture of Holland America ships. When I inquired about a Peter Max serigraph print the salesperson claimed it was an original by the artist. When questioned he explained that it was an "original" because it could be traced back to the artist. I did not purchase the print. SHORE EXCURSIONS On this cruise we did not book any shore excursions through the cruse lines. We booked private tours from local tour provider for Rome and Salerno. You can easily fine tour operators on line for specific cities or locations. With the tour operator you develop a custom tour tailored to the special interest of your party. You also have the flexibility to change your itinerary during the tour. A private tour eliminates the long lines associated with bus tours and waiting for all of the tour group to return to the bus for its next destination. Summary On this cruise we missed three ports out of eight for a rate of 38%. As a result the captain distributed a letter to all passengers claiming that Holland America "as a good will gesture" offers to apply 20% of the current fare to a future Holland America cruise. This is not "good will" it is a marking ploy to increase occupancy rates on future cruises. In this matter "good will" requires Holland America and their parent company Carnival Corporation to refund 38% of the current cruise fare directly to the passengers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Venice was nice hotel good location, thought the ship was gorgeous food lovely sometimes cold , waiters great and room attendants too we went Holland America because it was our 38 yrs anniversary and loved the itinerary we had been to ... Read More
Venice was nice hotel good location, thought the ship was gorgeous food lovely sometimes cold , waiters great and room attendants too we went Holland America because it was our 38 yrs anniversary and loved the itinerary we had been to Florence, Rome, piza,before but wanted to go to Dubrovnik which we did and had a great day we were looking forward to Corfu,kotor,lovorna we did not get to see them ports mind you our ship was moured next to the oceana p/0 and our friends text us and said they had got to lovorna ,the captain said they were storms,yes they were storms in kotor but not in Corfu and lovorna we understood he made a dicision not to go because of storms,the captain went at 3 30am if he had gone his normal time of 8am he would of got in these ports,we were fuming and angry and others from Australia Canada and America were also angry they had come half way round the world to see these ports food in the lido was just ok but we could not get our own food either they served you I like to get wot I want on a cruise and not keep asking. Can I have more food on my plate,it wasn't on it was our first time on Holland n America and our last, I also think it's wrong you can't get rid of paying tips we like to give people they tips who have give us great service like our room attendants also our waiters and bar service we put money in envelopes and give them it on the last nite.geting back to entertainment it was a laugh we saw the dancers three times and were rubbish,we went in blues bar and they were just ok then we went in one bar and we had a pre dinner drink he had charged us twice we were only in 20 mins so we we got that sorted off our bill,the matae Dee they called him Afton,and the two waiters who served us called Kember,Ackmad were fantastic they cudnt do enough for us thanks guys,also our room attendants Kandal,Poni fabulous not forgetting beauti. ,fully bar girl called Belinha always smiling n joking thanks very much I really don't think this ship can go through storms this was our 10 th cruise pls don't book this cruise that's all I have to say. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We're around 70, have lived abroad, and use cruises primarily to visit interesting ports and meet interesting people. We have no interest in the shows on board and avoid the casino and pools. We chose the HAL cruise from Venice to ... Read More
We're around 70, have lived abroad, and use cruises primarily to visit interesting ports and meet interesting people. We have no interest in the shows on board and avoid the casino and pools. We chose the HAL cruise from Venice to Barcelona for some new ports and the chance to revisit familiar ones. Unfortunately, the Med in October had other plans. Port calls for Kotor, Corfu, and Livorno were all canceled on account of storms. We knew there would be three sea days on this cruise, but six were too many. We did get to see a lot of the Adriatic and the coast of Corsica! And HAL offered a discount on a future cruise for the missed ports. We prefer smaller ships. The 'Nieuw Amsterdam' isn't ridiculously large, but it feels like a Signature-class HAL ship with an extra hundred or so cabins tacked on. This means serious crowding at breakfast in the Lido and on-again, off-again service elsewhere. Our obstructed-view cabin on deck 4 was large enough for two, comfortable, and actually had a decent view around a tender. In the Adriatic when we had winds up to 93 knots, it banged and crashed most of the night, probably a result of its pre-fab construction. We traveled on an S-class ship several years ago and wished we were doing so again. The interior decor on the 'NA' is dull and uninviting with the New York theme unimaginatively carried out. Art work generally seemed a weak imitation of Celebrity's. Not much glitz and no canned music everywhere, but do the cabin corridors have to be painted prison gray/green and the Lido cafe feel like a coffee shop at Port Authority? Signage is very poor, especially for passengers with visual impairment. Surely HAL could put up signs pointing towards the bow and stern at the elevators. The library/crow's nest is too small for the passenger load; seats in public areas are often uncomfortable. On the other hand, the ship was steady in storms, has a good walk-around deck, and offers good places to dine outside. Computer classes were excellent. In sum, it's not an unpleasant ship, just mediocre. For the most part, service was fine. As usual on HAL, the cabin stewards were friendly, helpful, and very hard working. Choices at meals were somewhat repetitious (HAL must have cornered the market on pork belly) but adequate. The in-cabin Bento Box meals from Tamarind were excellent. Our dinner at Tamarind was pleasant but not special. It seemed to us that the ingredients in the food were of lower quality than in the past. Coffee varied from good to sludge; decent choice of teas. And afternoon tea in the MDR was very nice. Of the ports where we did land, Dubrovnik was delightful; we just walked around on our own. Took the ferry from Salerno to Amalfi. We had an excellent private tour from Civitavecchia to Orvieto, a beautiful town, instead of braving Rome for the umpteenth time. Monaco was boring and hard to navigate. Pretty St. Tropez was pleasant with nothing much to see. Embarkation in Venice was OK; disembarkation in Barcelona very efficient. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our second cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam in 2 years and the ship continues to have a high standard of dining, cabin service and general cleanliness. We noticed a big improvement in the in cabin TV service facility with new hi ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam in 2 years and the ship continues to have a high standard of dining, cabin service and general cleanliness. We noticed a big improvement in the in cabin TV service facility with new hi definition flat screen TV's and movie selection facilities. Disappointment for passengers in not getting into 3 Mediterranean ports due to poor weather but the ship was very impressive in handling bad swells and high winds for several days. HAL did compensate with future cruise discounts however more effort and offers during the cruise would have been better appreciated by the passengers. Overall our experience for the second time on the NA was just as good as the first. In particular the Neptune Suite we purchased was worth the money and the Neptune lounge facility with Kristine and Joyce terrific. We like cruising with HAL but they still can't make a decent espresso coffee! The B B King Blues Club was a terrific additional to the Queens Lounge, however we miss the HAL Cats variety of music. The Blues Club repertoire was great, but limited, and they need to expand it to ensure every night's music is not the same. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Venice' hotel was nice clean and a bus was just outside of hotel to centre of Venice.nieuw Amsterdam we got to Dubrovnik and had a lovely day we were looking forward to kotor, Corfu, Florence, and Livorno but we didn't get ... Read More
Venice' hotel was nice clean and a bus was just outside of hotel to centre of Venice.nieuw Amsterdam we got to Dubrovnik and had a lovely day we were looking forward to kotor, Corfu, Florence, and Livorno but we didn't get there.Thecaptain announced he couldn't get to these ports because of storms yet the oceanana p/0 was mourned next to us and got there in time,if he had left at his usual time of 8 30 am he would of made it ahead of storm, but wot he did was leave at 3 am then told us his dicision.they was passages from Australia,Canada,and America they were angry we were fuming,food in dining room was good and I have to mention Aston our mature Dee he was great, so was our waiters, Kember,Ackmad were really good.our room service was fab too Kandal,and Poni thanks.entertainment well wot can I say the piano man was good also B B kings,but dancers we saw them 3 times and were rubbish bar service was ok agirl called Belinda was all smiles all the time, also take note the indonesions crew were fantastic and having them throw bottles up in the air for our enjoyment was so crazy they don't get paid enough.we will never go on Hal again we were celebrating our 38 yrs anniversary I felt like a prisoner on the ship as we never got off nothing to do during the day and going through the storms was horrible I don't think this ship can cope with storms we have cruised on Cunard ,princess,Asamara and all were fantastic but never ever sail on Holland America. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Yes, we lost three ports early in the cruise, but most people understood that the captain was doing what he thought was correct for our and the crews safety. I'm sure that HAL would much rather go to a port and increase revenue ... Read More
Yes, we lost three ports early in the cruise, but most people understood that the captain was doing what he thought was correct for our and the crews safety. I'm sure that HAL would much rather go to a port and increase revenue through excursions, give crew a chance to rest and not have everyone onboard and try to entertain them while fighting the weather. Negative reviewers should also attest that HAL issued everyone a generous future cruise credit because of the situation. Now for a review of the ship, amenities and crew. The decor is a little understated for sure, but welcome over some of the over the top design of other ships. We thought overall the food was good to very good. The Lido Buffet had good selection for lunch and the Dive-In section for hamburgers and hot dogs was well received. Dinner in the Main Dining Room had a decent but not great selection each night, the food was always well presented and prepared. The Pinnacle Grill was excellent as was the Tamarind, we ate in these multiple times. The Canaletto restaurant, really shouldn't be considered a specialty restaurant. It is actually a small glassed in section of the Lido buffet. The meal there was our least enjoyable of the cruise. Having sailed with many cruise lines, mostly Celebrity (Elite Status), I can absolutely say that the crew on the Nieuw Amsterdam was in the top 3 of all our cruises. to the person they always smiled, greeted you and in many cases remembered our names. We did not go to the showroom much but enjoyed the singers in BB Kings revue very much. After our early disappointments we very much enjoyed the rest of the trip, with stops in Palma Mallorca, Alicante and Cartagena Spain and Gibraltar. Every cruise is what you make of it and a chance to meet new people and learn different cultures. Overall seeing an itinerary that interests us, we would definitely sail with HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our 1st Holland America Cruise. The Nieuw Amsterdam was a very nice ship and not too glitzy. The communal rooms and bars were all very nice but in general walking around the ship was cold and we required a sweater or cardigan. ... Read More
This was our 1st Holland America Cruise. The Nieuw Amsterdam was a very nice ship and not too glitzy. The communal rooms and bars were all very nice but in general walking around the ship was cold and we required a sweater or cardigan. The stateroom was a reasonable size, plenty of storage with extra drawers under the bottom of the bed and plenty of room for the suitcases under there too. It was great having a bath and overhead shower and if I could take that and put it in a Princess Cruise ship that would be perfect. We missed having the small café area where at lunchtime you could have a filled croissant or a small sandwich plus a nice cake. There were some available at the Library but on a much smaller scale. Our stateroom overlooked the top of the lifeboats and I would avoid the 5th floor verandah deck midship because of that. The service was good and the staff extremely mannerly and friendly, always a "Good Morning" etc as they passed you. The entertainment programme was poor compared to Princess with only a three individual entertainers during the 12 days we went to see, and had it not been for Jeremy in the piano bar most nights would have been dull. The ships entertainment team were very loud and not suitable for the majority of guests. Embarkation/disembarkation was straightforward. The food in the Manhattan dining room was very good most of the time, not always as hot as it should have been but well cooked and presented. We used the Lido self service at lunchtime and there was always a good selection of salads and hot meals etc. We did not go to any speciality restaurants as they cost extra as did most things onboard. ie A tour of the ship was $119 dollars which was extortionate. That was a complaint among many guests we dined with that everything additional was very expensive. We did enjoy the cruise but to date Princess Cruises offer better value for money. We only booked one shore excursion with HAL as they are very expensive and hop-off,hop-on buses in Athens and Istanbul were more suitable, allowing you to get off and on as you pleased. The main reason we would not choose HAL in future is their SMOKING POLICY. GUESTS ARE ALLOWED TO SMOKE ON THEIR STATEROOM VERANDAH. Not good if you happen to be sitting out at the same time and totally dislike the smell of smoke. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
I was led to believe I was going on a 5* ship so was hugely disappointed when I boarded. Our Signature Suite was nothing more than a very large cabin with no proper seating area. In order to watch TV one had to perch on the bed as the ... Read More
I was led to believe I was going on a 5* ship so was hugely disappointed when I boarded. Our Signature Suite was nothing more than a very large cabin with no proper seating area. In order to watch TV one had to perch on the bed as the giant screen was on the wall above the sofa. It was drab - everything was brown or beige, no flowers or bottle of wine to welcome us as we've had on other lines. It was very informal which may suit some people but not us, we like a bit of formality and do not like being addressed by our first names by the staff. Formal nights need to be abolished. only a very few men wore DJ's, some wore a jacket and tie, the rest very casual, some in jeans and T shirt. The food was pretty awful and the entertainment poor. Daytime activities seemed to revolve around the spa, the computer workshop and the gym or Bridge organised by the passengers themselves. I have taken over 30 cruises usually with P&O or Cunard and I thought it would be nice to try something new. No, I'll stick to my old favourites in future Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
Our group of four (two in their 50's/two in 80's) travelled to Venice to start our cruise. Everything was smooth from the start. Weather was beautiful. We enjoyed dinner most nights with second seating service provided by Gred ... Read More
Our group of four (two in their 50's/two in 80's) travelled to Venice to start our cruise. Everything was smooth from the start. Weather was beautiful. We enjoyed dinner most nights with second seating service provided by Gred and Erwin , both professional and very personable stewards. We also enjoyed the one night at each of the specialty restaurants. (Pinnacle/Tamarindo) I forget the names of the staff but all provided exceptional service and the food was excellent. We did our own things at most stops. Excursion are over priced for what you get. Our favorite stops were Istanbul and Santorini. One note for those readers looking for more of night life , this ship is pretty quiet after 11pm with this demographic . Overall we enjoy a relaxing cruise with our expectations being met and exceeded on most points. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
Having only cruised with Celebrity Cruise Line before we were a little apprehensive sailing with Holland America. We needn't have worried. Overall I would say that I just about preferred it to Celebrity but accept this may in some ... Read More
Having only cruised with Celebrity Cruise Line before we were a little apprehensive sailing with Holland America. We needn't have worried. Overall I would say that I just about preferred it to Celebrity but accept this may in some way be due to the fact that having sailed on the same class of ship for four years perhaps I'm just a bit bored with the same look, style etc. The ship was smart and well maintained, embarkation and debarkation both went well. The food, in my opinion, was slightly better on the HAL although I would have liked to have seen more variety. There didn't appear to be as much selection at breakfast than you get on the Celebrity but it was still more than adequate. Some reviewers have complained that as you cannot help yourself that the portions you get served are small. This is true however I found that you just ask for more and they give it to you so it really isn't a problem. One other area where Celebrity are better is that they have a coffee bar that serves different types of coffee in proper cups and glasses right up to midnight. I used this facility at the end of virtually every night. HAL have a bar that sells coffee in paper cups but only until 10pm which means if you want a coffee before going to bed you had to go back to your room and order room service. Stateroom was good with plenty of storage and the stateroom attendant was like a Ninja. If you left the room, walked to the lift, realised you had forgotten something and returned to the room, it had been cleaned !!!!! Demographic was a bit old but that may have been due to the time of year, we have never been on holiday at the end of September before. It wasn't exactly like "The march of the living dead", in fact most were quite spritely however I'm 54 which, let's face it, isn't young but I felt like a teenager compared to most of the other passengers. The overall age group on board may also have been the reason why in the evening the main bars were empty and laking in any atmosphere at all. It was as if we were the only people on board at times. There were exceptions however. The BB King Bar was great, fantastic music and singers, my favourite bar. The piano bar also had some good nights as well. Entertainment was poor. On introducing the comedian they mentioned that he had written for the BBC, I think they meant to say that he had written TO the BBC. He was poor unless you like material from the 70's. The only funny jokes we're recycled Tommy Cooper classics. But like the dancers and singers in the shows you can understand why they are working on cruise ships. But good luck to them, they are making a living. The quality of the tours were the same as on the Celebrity, probably because they all use the same shore organisations. What I didn't like about HAL is that if you cancelled your tour you were charged a 10% cancellation fee however if you cancelled less than three days in advance you had a 100% cancellation fee. On Celebrity you could cancel without charge unto 24 hours before the tour. Drinks package is not worth it. This was the first time we didn't take it and we saved money and still had a drink when ever we wanted. Transfers if your port is Venice - DON'T BUY THE HAL TRANSFERS. The transfers cost £126 per person, so £252. We bought them as we were told that this was "door to door" - yer right !! When we arrived in Venice we had to walk with our cases for about 15 minutes to reach the coach. We later found out that a taxi would have cost 45 Euro total each way, a saving of around £180 probably. Despite any negative comments I have made above, we did enjoy the cruise and overall I would say that our experience was just slightly better than that we have had on the Celebrity Line but only by the smallest of margins, not a lot in it at all. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
We have travelled on a variety of cruise lines Ncl, Princess, Rcl and P&O and thought we would try a new line. We were very excited to be travelling on a 5 star line...what a disappointment! The good Large inside cabin, ports of ... Read More
We have travelled on a variety of cruise lines Ncl, Princess, Rcl and P&O and thought we would try a new line. We were very excited to be travelling on a 5 star line...what a disappointment! The good Large inside cabin, ports of call and the length of the stops. BB Blues singers and musicians were magnificient high energy and talented. Formula one tour was good. Drink prices were average and take advantage of the happy hours. Very efficient boarding and disembarkation. Arrived and departed ports on time and a smooth sail for the duration of the cruise. The bad Terrible food cold, under or overcooked and repetitive. Buffet serving areas were closed before the listed times. if you came back to the ship around 3pm following a day ashore or wanted a late night snack after 11pm the only thing to eat was room service or tortillas, burger or pizza every day this becomes very repetitive and unhealthy. Definitely not a five star experience. Entertainment does not compare with any other ship we have travelled on. Dire with the exception of the afore mentioned musicians. Most guest acts were 20 years out of date in particular the comedian. Very little entertainment activities during the day. The port shuttles offered by the ship were overpriced at 16 dollars for a 10-15 min journey. I wouldn't recommend this ship to travellers under the age of 55 as very little to do thank goodness we could spend most the time off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We had not been on HAL since 2008 and this cruise exceeded our expectations. Most of our comments are based on comparison with a number of recent RCL cruises. Booked this cruise because it hit a number of ports we had not visited. Pre ... Read More
We had not been on HAL since 2008 and this cruise exceeded our expectations. Most of our comments are based on comparison with a number of recent RCL cruises. Booked this cruise because it hit a number of ports we had not visited. Pre cruise stayed at the Westin Europa & Regina, Venice (see review on tripadvisor) HAL has an older demographic of passengers although there were some young European families on board that seemed to be enjoying themselves. The Good: Arriving at the ship in a water taxi Very friendly crew, always greeted with a smile. Buffet, we liked the fact that you are served at the buffet. Buffet food generally good selection. Dive in Burger Bar GREAT burgers, hot dogs and fries (no extra charge....are you listening RCL) Dinning Room open sitting well organized very little wait for table. Guest Entertainer Toni Warne Adagio, a 2 piece classical music group BB King Blues Club Ocean View cabin was spotless and cabin steward very attentive. Very little nickel and dimeing like on some other lines. Priest onboard Ports of call Very Clean Ship Did we mention Dive in Burger Bar GREAT burgers, hot dogs and fries (it is that good, no extra charge....are you listening RCL) The Average: Dining room food selection. Food was good but a couple of the menus selection were not to our taste. Appetizer portions were sometimes more like canapes. Shows Cruise Director Could be improved: Poor white wine selection (under $40) for our taste Orange juice and coffee service was poor on back deck of ship at breakfast Slow cleaning of tables on back deck As usual shore excursions very expensive(we booked our own tours, see reviews Rome and Florence on tripadvisor) Based on this cruise we will be back on HAL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
We started this trip with 3 days on our own in Venice staying at the beautiful Hotel Palazzo Stern on the Grand Canal. We took a water taxi to the port and experienced an organized, uncomplicated embarkation. This was our 4th Holland ... Read More
We started this trip with 3 days on our own in Venice staying at the beautiful Hotel Palazzo Stern on the Grand Canal. We took a water taxi to the port and experienced an organized, uncomplicated embarkation. This was our 4th Holland American cruise and quite different than the others we have taken, as there was quite a number of families with children of all ages and young couples, rather than the octagenarian set. We had a verandah cabin that was modern and efficient but not glitzy, which is how I would describe the rest of the ship. The itinerary was great including Athens, some Greek islands, including the beautiful Santorini, Istanbul and Kusadasi. We took 5 shore excursions off the ship and 1 privately arranged tour in Athens. We enjoyed them all. We ate all of our breakfasts and most of our lunches on the Lido deck and have no complaints, Dinner was in the Manhattan Dining Room, the early seating. Initially we were alone at our table for 6 but then we were switched to a table in front of a window with a great view with another couple who we found very compatible. As usual for HAL, the food was excellent and the dining room service outstanding. The evening entertainment varied from okay (the dancers and singers), to better (a humorous magician, a good comedian and an energetic piano player). We also enjoyed Jeremy who holds sing-alongs in the piano bar. There were activities for the days at seas on board but I did not find any of them particularly enticing. Our biggest compaint was that it appeared too cold in the public rooms in the evening. The strength of this trip was the excellent service throughout the ship, organization of the embarkation and debarkation, the food quality and itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
Embarkation was very muddled . The standard of food was extremely poor, portion size small. Often food was cold and under cooked or over cooked. the overall appearance was that a cost reduction exercise was taking place. The service ... Read More
Embarkation was very muddled . The standard of food was extremely poor, portion size small. Often food was cold and under cooked or over cooked. the overall appearance was that a cost reduction exercise was taking place. The service from the reception desk was outstanding. The staff were generally very good with the exception of the self service restaurant who often were reticent in increasing the portion size. Gluten and dairy free was difficult to obtain or non existent. Entertainment was generally ok but I have experienced better on other lines. Excursions were good . I would not prioritise this company for future cruises . The hotel (2 Days) at the end of the cruise was very good and the location excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
A slightly larger ship than we were used to, but plenty of room everywhere. The ship itself was modern but not too glitzy. A shame we never saw the officers, even a photo of them would have been nice. The show singers and dancers ... Read More
A slightly larger ship than we were used to, but plenty of room everywhere. The ship itself was modern but not too glitzy. A shame we never saw the officers, even a photo of them would have been nice. The show singers and dancers weren't very good neither the choreography or their voices. The girls were especially raucous. The crew were good however. The itinerary was excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
We did the 24 day East and west med cruise visiting 16 different ports. The ship was excellent, food was very good and excellent in the the three speciality restaurants. Especially the pinnacle. The tv system was the best we have had on ... Read More
We did the 24 day East and west med cruise visiting 16 different ports. The ship was excellent, food was very good and excellent in the the three speciality restaurants. Especially the pinnacle. The tv system was the best we have had on any cruise line with a 42 inch flat screen attached to the wall. Free movies and various TVs shows with 3 news channels. The cabin we had was excellent and very large compared to others we have had (10003). It was at the front of the ship overlooking the bow. There were a few niggles; no draught beer ! And at $6 per small can of Heineken it was expensive for a few drinks . Similarly with wine a bottle of penfolds koonoga hill which costs about $10 was selling for $40 and that was the cheapest. The my time dining just did not work with long queues every evening even if you had booked . We managed to get set time for the second 12 day leg. The main dining area - the lido - had great choices for breakfast and lunch but hardly any choice at all for evening dining. We only ate there twice and only because we were late back from trips. Finally , the service throughout the ship was the best we have experienced on any cruise. The staff were friendly and helpful. And I would not recommend travelling in the med during summer time as it is very very busy with loads of kids and teenagers on boad. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our first cruise with HAL and we were very impressed with their level of service and the standard of the ship. We have cruised many times with other companies with our last experience being a terrible cruise with Celebrity in ... Read More
This was our first cruise with HAL and we were very impressed with their level of service and the standard of the ship. We have cruised many times with other companies with our last experience being a terrible cruise with Celebrity in Australia. If that had been my first cruise experience it would have been my last but HAL has renewed my faith in cruising again! The staff were all exceptional bar one. The standard of service was very high and the staff all behaved as if they were happy to be of service to you and happy to be there. Check-in was a breeze. Our inside cabin was comfortable. Meals were good all over the ship - sometimes it felt like there could have been a few more choices but overall not bad for feeding that many people. I also approved of the fact that food was not available from the buffet 24 hours a day! The bar staff were friendly and the prices were not astronomical - use happy hours to your advantage! We took three shore excursions which were well managed and informative. We booked ours far ahead and enjoyed a 10% discount. A little more information could have been forthcoming about each port e.g. price of shuttles, need for shuttles, distance to town etc. I also suggest they play the recording of the destination specialist talking about each port in each stateroom. If you couldn't make the talk then you missed out on important info. Embarkation was also a breeze. Overall a wonderful holiday with memories to treasure. I ahve also discovered another cruise line which I will be sailing again! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
The good: - service was pleasing and top-notch throughout the ship, but I felt that pool staff was considerably slow in removing empty plates/glasses; some individuals were better than others, just like on any other cruise line; our ... Read More
The good: - service was pleasing and top-notch throughout the ship, but I felt that pool staff was considerably slow in removing empty plates/glasses; some individuals were better than others, just like on any other cruise line; our cabin stewards were superb, but this is always hit-or-miss; - food was well above average, but portions have been substantially downsized; some of the appetizers in the main dining room were almost laughable (two dime-sized scallops one evening); build-your-own pizza kitchen by the adults' pool was really excellent; - cleanliness throughout the ship, especially in public restrooms; unlike previous cruises, I never saw a single used room-service tray waiting to be picked up on hallways; - Spa was decent -- nothing fancy, but the thermal rooms were nice enough; - Jeremy, on-board pianist at the Piano Bar, is a truly gifted entertainer The bad and the ugly: - we've always read about the predominance of older passenges on HAL, but had never truly experienced this issue in our previous cruises; this was most definitely a problem this time around, in what appeared to be the 80-80 cruise (80% of passengers in the 80-year old range); by and large these elderly passengers have a distinct sense of entitlement, move slowly and occupy tons of space, cut in front of lines; - The so-called cruise director; one rarely comes across such a useless individual occupying this type of position; well, unless you count "learming to use your Microsoft Office calendar" and "Salsa with host Sabine" as interesting activities at sea; - tenders: one of the most irritating systems ever devised in a cruise ship; you line up like cattle in a looooong hallway, just to receive a numbered card; after that you take a seat at a dancing hall with zero amenities and wait for your number to be called; no priority for Mariner-status or suite-level cruisers, no way to reserve a time-slot in advance; this must have been the idea of a Soviet-era planner; - let me emphasize that Jeremy the piano man was the only exception -- entertainment on the Nieuw Amsterdam varies from pitiful to non-existent; what an eyesore it was to see a bunch of ladies "learning belly dancing" at the Crow's Nest on at least three occasions. I felt bad for the hapless barman watching the scene and hearing the dreadful soundtrack. At night, all bars on deck 3 looked like ghost towns after 9:00pm; not a single source of music (not even Muzak) was available to entertain us on deck 3 after dinner; on two occasions the ship's "major" attraction was a musical show featuring... the Philippino crew. Seriously, who comes up with something like this and chalks it up as entertainment?!? How to please an audience with tastes predominantly adapted to a nursing home routine; - shore excrusions: waaaaaay over-priced and most definitely underwhelming; the interests and peeves of the elderly passengers just made them worse; on board shopping: not sure if it's a matter of laughing or crying; maybe both, unless you reeeeeaaaally like "replica sunglasses" or the sort of tawdry items that Bijoux Terner sells at airports; - little things, like the fact that Nieuw Amsterdam consistently docked at the farthest possible pier, even when larger ships took prime spots at every single port we visited; I didn't even bother asking about this because there would surely be some kind of lame and murky excuse along the lines of "berth depth" or "operational reasons"; in Santorini HAL clearly gave us the short end of the stick, with a late arrival of 9:00am and early departure at 3:30pm, then shamelessly blaming this on "Greek authorities", which for some reason appeared to be much more flexible with other cruise ships visiting the island on that day; our Captain then generously apologized for this "minor inconvenience" by offering each adult guest... a free glass of sparkling wine at dinner. Wow, how generous...tsc, tsc, tsc. - scheduling: what kind of cruise line manages to bring its passangers to Santorini on a constrained schedule (9:00am - 3:30pm) on the same day when four other major ships are visiting the island?!? I checked port-of-call website and learned that there were 13,000 cruisers visiting Santorini on that day, so you can imagine what a nightmare the island was -- not to mention the cable car lines. On the following day just a single ship was going to visit the island. It begs the question of what kind of useless staffer creates and manages itineraries at HAL (which changed a couple of times after we purchased the cruise); last but not least: by far (and I really mean by far) the worst and most disorganized emergency drill we ever experienced on a cruise; cruise drills are naturally annoying but this went several notches above (or below, if you prefer); if drills are a reasonable measure of survival in case of a real emergency, our odds of survival would be marginal, at best; My biggest regret? Having chosen HAL over Celebrity for this particular cruise, only because HAL's itinerary featured one additional day (12 over Celebrity's 11). Celebrity is not perfect, but it would have certainly offered us a better ship and a more interesting crowd to travel with. Bottom line? I don't think HAL will see us on board its ships any time soon. Never say never, because one day we'll turn 70 and then match HAL's prevailing demographics. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and I traveled on the Venice to Barcelona cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam on May 16th. This was our third cruise on Holland America and we expected a special cruise. Unfortunately it was a disappointment. The Nieuw Amsterdam ... Read More
My wife and I traveled on the Venice to Barcelona cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam on May 16th. This was our third cruise on Holland America and we expected a special cruise. Unfortunately it was a disappointment. The Nieuw Amsterdam was to have been their flagship but seemed no better than the other Holland Ships we have been on. Embarkation – the embarkation was relatively easy however our information indicated we needed to be on board by 3:00PM. After getting there by water taxi we learned that we did not need to be onboard until 7:00PM. As such we lost most of the day that could have been spent seeing Venice. Cabin Service- The service by our stateroom attendants was very good. The TV system left a lot to be desired and was out of service for two days. It also had no live shipboard channels covering activates on board and excursions. The TV on previous ships was much better. Food - The food was only marginal in the Main dining room and the Lido had many offerings that were much better. Shipboard Health - The first week into the cruise my wife began to come down with laryngitis and a severe cough. Later on as we spoke to many guests we were told that a quarter of the ship had this. Looking back we think the ship should have notified all guests of this and issued us medicine to counteract the virus. By the time we disembarked I had caught it as well and our extra days in Barcelona were limited as a result. Upon return home we learned we had an acute case of bronchitis with sinus and ear infections. Excursions – The excursions with the exception of the one led by a fine young gentlemen from Dubrovnik were really boring with long bus rides on narrow mountain roads. The guides spoke very poor English and were very hard to understand. We ended up cancelling the last three that were scheduled after being disappointed by the initial ones. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and I are retired, seasoned travelers having experienced many land and cruise tours. For this cruise we arrived in Venice two days prior to disembarking for the Mediterranean. We spent two nites at the Rialto Hotel right at the ... Read More
My wife and I are retired, seasoned travelers having experienced many land and cruise tours. For this cruise we arrived in Venice two days prior to disembarking for the Mediterranean. We spent two nites at the Rialto Hotel right at the Rialto Bridge. Our travel agent made the reservation, she did a wonderful job of it. Our ship was the Nieuw Amsterdam. It was adequate not overwhelmingly beautiful. The food and dining was overall just average. For activities I attended several computer classes that were very helpful; we attended most of the tour lectures, did the galley tour that was very informative and used the gym several times. The staff and their services on board were terrific. The ship crew was attentive particularly regarding the lost luggage issue I mention below. They did all they could to help however the end result was unsatisfactory. Relaying on Rick Steve's tour books to guide us to many enjoyable shore tours, we purchased advance tickets for Rome and Florence. We did self guided tours in Dobrovnik, Kotor and Corfu. We steered clear of most HAL shore tours except the bus ride to Florence, the Pompei Tour out of Naples and a wine/historic city tour in St. Tropez. The Pompei tour you may be able to do on your own and the wine tour in St. Tropez was just so so however the small town on the hill behind St. Tropez was wonderful. The last day on the ship we were in port at Barcelona and disembarked for the day to walk the Las Ramblas. This was a wonderful experience people watching, eating and feeling the culture. After disembarking the last day on ship we spent one more night in a nice hotel just above Las Ramblas. We had reservations for Gaudi church and walked the city. However in summary the final purpose of this review is to expose the total lack of concern from the management of HAL regarding an issue they created. Upon embarking for this cruise, HAL lost my sister-in-law's and my luggage for a total of five days. Everyone I talk to regarding this asks what did they do? Initially nothing. As it turns out they sent our luggage on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship to Greece. Five days on this cruise without all our personal belongs amounts to 40% of the cruise. I have since written letters to five upper managers including CEO's, President, etc. They responded by offering my sister-in-law and I a $250 discount on the next HAL cruise. Recently HAL is offering massive perks; drink cards worth $1400 per room, upgraded suites, third person free, etc. etc. if you book before mid-October. All we received was a $100 ship board credit to buy clothing and necessities and there is not much you can buy in any of the shops for $100 when just a pkg of underwear and socks cost me $56.00. This is an insult to any passenger but especially loyal repeat passengers when you see the above perks to new customers . I refuse to use HAL or any of it's affiliates for any future cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Great Cruise, much better than i expected. Wish more time was available in each port, that is the only drawback i found. Trying to see Rome in 11 hours is sub optimal. Kotor could easily be skipped, the old town smelled like an ... Read More
Great Cruise, much better than i expected. Wish more time was available in each port, that is the only drawback i found. Trying to see Rome in 11 hours is sub optimal. Kotor could easily be skipped, the old town smelled like an uncleaned kitty litter box. Stay on the ship if you must stop there. Dubrovnik old town was a real pleasant surprise. Corfu was ok. Naples was outstanding, especially the pizza @ Pizzeria Trianon and the Archaeological museum, Pizzeria Trianon is just a short walk from the port, maybe 15 minutes. You also must take at least one taxi ride in Naples, I've never experienced anything like that before. White knuckled ride. I wish I had arrived in Venice a week prior to the sailing, I have never had so much fun getting lost before. What an amazing place. Overall the ship was very clean and well kept, the staff was exceptionally nice. I would highly recommend the Neiuw Amsterdam to anyone I know. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and me sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam from May 4th to May 16th 2015. We went from Venice to Istambul and back to Venice. The ship was absolutly perfect. Very comfortable and we specially appreciated that there was lot of space ... Read More
My wife and me sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam from May 4th to May 16th 2015. We went from Venice to Istambul and back to Venice. The ship was absolutly perfect. Very comfortable and we specially appreciated that there was lot of space everywhere on the ship (ex: hot tubs, pools, restaurants. The food was very, very good at buffet, at dining room and specially at Pinnacle Grill. 2 nights with Turkish BBQ at the lido pool and again, it was perfect. Service was impeccable any where on the ship but we specially enjoyed having our first morning coffey at the Explorations Café on deck 11. In overall, the cruise was way above our expectations. We were looking for a cruise not too crowdy and we were absolutely enchanted by truise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
The GOOD: My sincere compliments to all the staff on this voyage. Everyone had a smile on his or her face at all times. All were most congenial. Our room attendants "bent over backwards" to help us in any way. For this I an ... Read More
The GOOD: My sincere compliments to all the staff on this voyage. Everyone had a smile on his or her face at all times. All were most congenial. Our room attendants "bent over backwards" to help us in any way. For this I an truly thankful. The security was tight and for that I am thankful. Also thankful for the cold drinking water supplied on the dock when we returned from our wonderful shore excursions hot and tired. The BAD: The cuisine was less that expected. Having taken a Princess Cruise in 2001 and experiencing it's top notch cuisine, I was extremely disappointed in the quality of the foods used on the Nieew Amsterdam: mushy tomatoes, almost flavorless ice milk instead of quality ice cream, etc. etc.I could go on and on. The preparation of the food left so much to be desired (little if any taste to most everything I tried). This was true for the cafeteria as well as the non-pay dining rooms. I ended up creating my own meals from what I could find at the salad bar. Oh, yes I could have what was apparently considered more gourmet food by paying extra for every lunch and dinner at the Pinnacle Grill and the other one or two "gourmet" type restaurants. But that would be very pricy, would it not? Better for Holland America but not for me. Not at all what I signed up for. On the special La Cirque dining night we paid the extra $49 a piece to have dinner in the arguably "gourmet" Pinnacle Grill. The food was prepared somewhat better, but was still not worth $45 a piece. I couldn't bring myself to eat some of it. Save your money. There was nothing special about this night accept for maybe the white coverings on the chairs! The only dinners that were enjoyable were the nights they served authentic Greek food out on the Lido Deck. To add to this frustration, at most of the food stations you are not allowed to serve yourself. You have to ask for what you want and then after the server puts a small amount on your plate, he'll ask whether you want more or not. This gets to be quite frustrating after about the first week. I have to say that I was not the only one in my party that felt the cuisine was substandard. My husband, who will usually eat about anything, and my brother generally felt as I did. I qualify what I am writing here by saying that I live in an area (Napa County, California) that is well known for its many gourmet restaurants. I am fortunate enough to be able to visit some of these restaurants from time to time. I believe I have some, although it may be small, experience in dining at quality restaurants. The UGLY: If you are prone to catching a sore throat, cold and chest congestion from being constantly exposed to a forced air cooling system, BEWARE! You cannot get away from it on this ship. Cold air is blowing from vents everywhere on ship. You can not turn it off in your room.You can only make it warmer if you desire.The rules are to keep your balcony doors closed so as to facilitate the air conditioning. We found this impossible. We had to get fresh air in our room somehow. One of the two vents in our room was blowing onto my bed day and night. After about three days both my daughter and I came down with a sore throat and chest congestion. I missed out on seeing Kotor because I was so ill. We finally asked to have the air somehow restricted in the vent over my bed. When the maintenance staff member removed the vent cover we could see black mold that had accumulated inside the pipe. It was the same way inside the other vent also. He quickly wiped it away with a rag, not protecting my bed, him or us from the mold spores. It made for being uncomfortable for the remainder of the trip knowing that there were very likely many other pipes in the system around the ship with mold being spewed out on unsuspecting people. Plus the fact that the air was still constantly blowing in my room, my only sanctuary away from others. Ugly also stands for the drab decor of the Nieew Amsterdam. The hallways resemble old dormitory hallways. The rooms, at least our room and most of the ones I could see were drab. Now if you like black, brown and orange-red then you should be all right with it. RESULT: I do not think I will ever go on another cruise. For certain i will never go on another Holland America cruise. Nor will I recommend this cruise line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Some background, my wife and I are in our early 60's, we have cruised 6 times before this, most on Holland America and we live in the Midwest US. We had planned to take a cruise aboard the Noordam but it's itinerary got cancelled ... Read More
Some background, my wife and I are in our early 60's, we have cruised 6 times before this, most on Holland America and we live in the Midwest US. We had planned to take a cruise aboard the Noordam but it's itinerary got cancelled so we opted to go with this cruise which fortunately included the Explore 4 promotion. Getting to the ship we flew to London and then used trains over several days to get to Venice including a very good trip on the Bernina Express in Switzerland. We arrived in Venice the day of our embarkation so no hotel was needed in Venice. Although I had done a lot of research, I didn't realize that we could have taken a waterbus from the train station to the Piazza Roma and avoided the bridge over the canal, but we only had a small roller bag per person plus a purse or briefcase. We had wisely shipped our big bags to and from the ship using the company Luggage Forward. Using the people mover from the Piazza Roma to the cruise port was fairly easy as their are both escalators and elevators at each station. The cruise port sign says there is a free shuttle to the ship but none are visible so we just walked to terminal 117 where our "hotel" for the next 24 nights awaited us. It's about a half mile from the people mover to the terminal. Check in was a breeze but it usually is when you have a Neptune Suite. Unfortunately I gave my wife a present on a previous cruise of a Neptune Suite and we haven't looked back since as we do enjoy the extra space and larger bed. We got on board about 12:30 and were able to access our cabin right away. Our Explore 4 cards were there as promised as well as a note to make the reservation for the Pinnacle Grill ASAP, which we did. The muster drill was at 3:45 and we left Venice as soon as it was completed. The ship was in very good condition throughout our cruise except they turned the water off overnight twice during our cruise, each time we were informed it would happen and it didn't really affect us, but that is the first time I've heard of it being done. Our cabin, 7069, is mid-ship starboard side and was very comfortable, we both like our room cooler than most and it did a fine job. The weather on our cruise was fantastic for that time of year and we were able to use our veranda most days. The Manhattan dining room was hit and miss, most days we had good experiences, but there were two days that unfortunately stand out because the service was so sub par it wasn't funny. Both times we spoke to the maitre d and the next day things were better. We had two dinners in the Pinnacle Grill and both times were excellent. Our stateroom attendants, Yudi and Tama were fantastic, always knowing when we needed something and making up our room when needed. They truly are a good team despite the sheer number of rooms they must service. We only attended a few shows, and they were fine, most nights we were so tired from our wandering off the ship that we just went to bed. We did experience a couple of things that truly surprised me, in the Ocean Bar we always had to wait and wait for a server to come take our order, we finally quit going there and instead when to the Explorer's lounge on Deck 2, there we met a bar server, Erwin who was fantastic and we made sure others knew about him. The other thing was the Silk Den, this could be a great place to get away from it all, but the few times we tried, we either didn't get served or were told we couldn't stay because another function was going to use the place. Why have it if you are going to close it all the time, we never went again. Service in the Lido was fine and food always hot. Ports of Call: We had to miss Katakalon, Greece due to weather Athens we did a DIY tour and saw all the usual tourist sites Istanbul we also did stuff on our own, the port did have a shuttle to the Grand Bazaar entrance for $10/round trip, we used it once and it was great Mytilene, Lesbos, Greece was a tender port, since we had walked ourselves quite a bit in Athens and Istanbul, we took it easy here Kusadasi, Turkey, here we used a private tour which took us to Ephesus and several other tourist sites and included a very good country house lunch Thira, Santorini, Greece, we took the boat from the pier to Oia (via a bus connection) and then the bus back to the port, you are able to book this on the pier. Argostoli, Greece, another small port where we only walked around town Venice, Italy (our cruise was really two back-to-back ones), here we had a day and a half. We bought 36 hour vaperetto passes and used them quite a bit seeing the sites of Venice, it all worked well Dubrovnik, Croatia, the local authorities had a shuttle bus to the Pile Gate for $16/person round trip, taxis were also available for 10 Euro per car load each way, we walked the wall and then walked through town Kotor, Montenegro, small but very pretty town and very friendly, plus the sailaway was awesome. Corfu, Greece, the port had a free shuttle to and from the cruise terminal, there is another shuttle which will take you to the old town area of Corfu for $16/round trip Naples, Italy, we visited Herculaneum and did it on our own, very easy Rome, Italy, well actually the port is Civitavecchia and Rome is a train ride away. We lucked out and things worked exactly as expected so we had a long day in Rome but saw a lot of things. We had to skip Livorno due to weather and very high winds, so did other ships scheduled to dock there that day. Monte Carlo, we took the train to Nice for the day Marseille, France, walked around and went up to the Notre Dame de la Garda, great views from up there down to the actual town. And finally Barcelona where we spent the first night there on board. First day we did Sagrada Familia and the day we got off the ship we went to Montserrat, unfortunately, the boys choir was not singing that day We then used trains over several days to return to London and flew home. Hope this helps a bit.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
We have been traveling since 2000 when we visited Australia and the South Pacific. We have been on over ten cruises from many cruise lines since then, but this is the first time we have felt the strong desire to post a comment on the web. ... Read More
We have been traveling since 2000 when we visited Australia and the South Pacific. We have been on over ten cruises from many cruise lines since then, but this is the first time we have felt the strong desire to post a comment on the web. Our cruise this year was the HAL 25 Day Mediterranean Passage to America – 2014 from Venice to Ft. Lauderdale. We like transatlantic cruises because my wife has mobility issues and prolonged air travel in a cramped airline seat is very difficult for her. I think our expectations were set by our recent similar cruise, the Norwegian Cruise Line Transfer to Copenhagen followed by a tour of the Baltic Capitols. It was a beautiful and enjoyable trip in all respects. Before I get to my main comment, I will give you my first I impression of our ship, the ms Nieuw Amsterdam. It carries more passengers than the ms Noordam and the ms Maasdam which we have enjoyed on previous cruises. I will get to this later, but the sheer number of passengers was a negative. As soon we as boarded in Venice and got settled in our cabin, I did my quick survey, which for me, includes going to the highest point on the ship. I was a bit frustrated this time because the space on the forward top deck had been sold off for cabanas and access to the area was roped off. To me this smacks of the class system on the Cunard Line – without the additional amenities. Except for the full size basketball court (and the roped off cabanas) there was no useful top deck space. Now to the main reason for this comment: The day we arrived we started hearing the noise. On day 1, it was the loud banging on our pipes. We called the desk, but they could not explain the origin of the noise which continued intermittently all night. The next day was quieter until about 4:00 PM. We were trying to rest when the noise started again in full volume. It sounded like we were living over an auto body shop. A mixture of mechanical sounds: Sharp banging on pipes, grinding sounds, hammering and more banging. Of course I immediately went to the desk to report the problem, but had to wait in line for 15 minutes while the staff dealt with fallout from an Internet outage. Meantime my tired wife could not rest. Finally, a staff member agreed to send someone to investigate the problem. While we were waiting for help, I recorded the sounds on my cell phone, made a second trip to the desk, and demonstrated it to the same staff member. She came with me to our cabin to hear for herself. This pretty much ended the investigation, but we did receive an apology and an invitation to a dinner at the Tamarind restaurant. The sad ending of the story is that the noisy activity must have served some vital role in the operation of the ship because it never totally stopped. It is interesting that no one followed up to see if the issue was resolved. I believe they already knew the answer. We like cruising because your ship is your mobile luxury hotel. I have stayed in some pretty cheap hotels and motels in my lifetime, but I have never stayed in one that sounded like there was a machine shop next door. Any fine hotel would have dealt with our noise problem immediately and effectively. Unfortunately this never happened on the Nieuw Amsterdam. Now we get to lessons learned. We chose not to get a veranda cabin on this trip because we very seldom use the veranda and on a transatlantic crossing the view is not that spectacular. For this trip we just wanted a nice clean, comfortable, quiet cabin. If that is your requirement, location is important. At least it is on the Niew Amsterdam. Our cabin was 1092 on aft port side of the Main Deck. You might be lucky, but I would never accept any cabin on the Main Deck. The decks above and below are used for ship’s operations and could be noisy as we found out. Another thing I would do in the future is insist on getting an early cabin assignment. Even though we booked way in advance, our cabin assignment was kept open until the last minute. Our travel agent tried to get a fixed cabin assignment, but we should have tried harder. I need to mention some very positive experiences. My wife has mobility issues and needs a wheelchair. Before the trip, we worked very well with HAL excursion specialists to locate and evaluate accessible tours. On board, the Excursion Team gave us wonderful personal support. We did not have to worry about the wheelchair or not having a seat near the front of the bus and we were sure that the excursions were suitable for us. They all deserve six stars out of five. Also, the entire crew was willing to stop what they were doing to help us get around the ship. If you have mobility issues, don’t let that stop you. Go! The Indonesian cabin and table stewards are treasures. They maintain a tradition of great service which we remember from previous cruises. We have always enjoyed the crew show. We wonder why it scheduled late at night (11:00 PM) this time. Also, what happened to the Baked Alaska parade? These are little things that added to our enjoyment of past cruises. While I am at it, here are a few comments about entertainment. The content was good, but a bit skimpy. One night was it was a movie on the big screen. The productions were well done and the players all very talented. A problem was that the smaller entertainment venues such as Adagio (classical piano and violin) were overcrowded. All the extra passengers on this ship need to go somewhere and the entertainment space was not increased accordingly. On sea days, it t was difficult to get a table for lunch, particularly near the pool. The available poolside space was squeezed by the increased number of passengers and the fact that a quarter of the pool deck space had been sold off for more cabanas. We have reserved a HAL cruise for next year, but see increasing reasons for not going. We can make smarter choices in cabin assignment and have no concerns about accessible excursions, but we see a trend of increasing number of passengers without a corresponding increase in services and amenities. At what point will it be better to make other choices? That remains a question. Read Less
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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