7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Booked a New Year’s cruise on this brand new ship after having had a great cruise last year on the Koningsdam. Wow, things have changed in a year. After over 40 sailings, 8 of which have been with HAL, can’t get over the ... Read More
Booked a New Year’s cruise on this brand new ship after having had a great cruise last year on the Koningsdam. Wow, things have changed in a year. After over 40 sailings, 8 of which have been with HAL, can’t get over the incredible budget cutting to the entertainment program. Really sad. No HAL orchestra, no live pool music, no HAL Cats, no sailaway music, no singers in the shows, no ballroom, latin, Jazz or swing music. No pre-dinner or after dinner dancing. The dance troop has been downsized and the shows were repeats on a 7 day cruise. If you like to have fun and dance, don’t go on this ship. New Year’s Eve was like an acid rock funeral complete with Fox News live-streaming. Luckily they poured a glass of cheap champagne at midnight to help dull the pain for those that stayed. It’s unfortunate to see a great line like HAL succumb to the budget ax especially when it comes to critically important entertainment and at a time when so many new and innovative ships are being launched. The irony is that the ship is music themed- just without the music (but it should be noted that the BB King band was great when they performed and the only time that passengers seemed to be having any fun on this ship). Luckily the food is on par with other HAL ships and the gym is one of the better ones at sea- though it has very dim lighting so make sure you work out when the sun is out otherwise it can be quite hazardous. Hopefully HAL will quickly re-learn how to give their passengers a good time on a Caribbean cruise before they do too much damage to their business. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Good-The Ship is stunningly beautiful, the artwork, the cabins, the WALK IN SHOWER in every cabin! It's a stunner. The Crew is lovely but you could see cracks in their patience (see more in "The Bad"). Sadly our cabin is ... Read More
The Good-The Ship is stunningly beautiful, the artwork, the cabins, the WALK IN SHOWER in every cabin! It's a stunner. The Crew is lovely but you could see cracks in their patience (see more in "The Bad"). Sadly our cabin is one I would not suggest as there is something in the Wall behind the bed making super loud noises ..so much so that we were moved to a "Sleeping Cabin" ( Kudos to Guest Services). The cabins are gorgeous and loving all the storage. (Don't miss the Drawers under the foot of the bed). The main dining room served the best Cruise Ship food I've ever had and in fact it was so good that the alternative restaurants which you pay for was a harder sell. Don't shy away from the main dining room as it really is spectacular. Like Sushi? for Sure the sushi bar is a hit- It was packed most nights and at about $5.50 a roll for huge 8 piece roll it's a solid winner. The not so Good- Service, Holland is using IPads for waiters of every type and the Drink servers are having a real hard time. So much so that they resorted to paper several times during the cruise and it was super hard to get drink service outside as it often took two or three minutes for the ipads to "update". Hey HAL, drop this system ASAP! Servers were super frustrated and the HAL "enthusiasm" that you normally see form the staff, seemed to be sucked out of these guys/gals. They seemed just exhausted. Also, be sure to buy the drink Package in advance as a standard cocktail hovered in the $10 Per drink Area- 5 drinks a day and you were well over the package cost. Wines were outrageously expensive. Woodbridge Cab for over $40 a bottle- What? As for Rolling Stone, it was hardly ever busy and the band was slightly better than a garage band. My guess is HAL will have this removed sooner than the first drydock. For New Years Eve they just sort of missed out (Where was the Cruise Director?) The Lido deck party they actually missed the countdown and midnight just sort of happened. In general the programming on board was the type you'd see on a typical 10 night Europe Cruise. In the Caribbean, people want to have a little fun and kick up their heels a bit- this was not the case and I felt that the Cruise Director could have done a much better job with on board programming. Also, what happened to the big BBC Earth promise-We saw a stunning show on the Koningsdam showing BBC Earth accompanied by a orchestra- Nada here. Seems like HAL has really cut back on the big shows. They have this STUNNING showroom and super thin productions. The cast is talented but very small and I was a bit disappointed. I realize it's only the 4th sailing of the vessel but I also sailed on the 4th sailing of the Koningsdam and it was a night and day experience. I wanted it to be great. It just wasn't. Dare I say I was a bit bored! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We have cruised with several cruise lines in the past such as Royal Carribean, Disney, Carnival, and Princess. This is the first time we cruised with HAL. We wanted to celebrate Christmas and New Years with HAL. The main reason we chose ... Read More
We have cruised with several cruise lines in the past such as Royal Carribean, Disney, Carnival, and Princess. This is the first time we cruised with HAL. We wanted to celebrate Christmas and New Years with HAL. The main reason we chose HAL is because of its high ratings and the inaugural sailing in the Carribean. We experienced the 3rd and 4th sailing of Nieuw Statendam. We stayed at Cabin #4068, verandah room. We had positive and negative experiences with Nieuw Statendam. Negative Experiences: First, our balcony frame had a creaking noise. This noise was disturbing during the day but profoundly noticeable during the night. We requested to be upgraded, downgraded or moved to another stateroom the second day but the ship was fully booked. Nonetheless, our stateroom steward and guest services were attentive and prompt on attempting to address the issue when we brought up this predicament to them. Maintenance staff immediately responded to our complaint and attempted to resolve the noise by placing wood wedges around the metal balcony frame. The maintenance staff was able to significantly reduce the noise disturbance. Unfortunately, maintenance staff was unable to completely resolve the noise which led us not obtaining restful sleep some nights. We were on the waiting list to change staterooms. We were informed by guest services and several guests by speaking with several guest members that this is not an isolated issue. Secondly, Cabin # 4068 is situated above BB King Lounge. The music especially the bass resonates to our stateroom which does not allow us to sleep until the performance and the music of the band are over. Typically, BB King Lounge's music is not over until 1 am and some nights later such as holiday nights. For instance, BB King continues its loud music during New Year's Eve until 3 am. Thirdly, the satellite internet access of the ship can be tremendously slow especially during At Sea days. We had to do some business matters several times during our 14-day vacation. We noticed that accessing our personal computer appears to be faster access in comparison with the ship's internet area located at level 1. Fourthly, the entertainers on the ship were very talented. However, some of the entertainment repeated on the second week with sailed with HAL. Brad Trackman had a mediocre comical performance. He was not quite funny. Positive Experiences: Nevertheless, we enjoyed listening to the viola player, violinists, and pianist who performed at the Lincoln Stage. The Evasons who are mentalist couple offered great performance. Hilby who was juggler was hilarious and entertaining. Nate and Deb are a couple who performed at the Billboard Top hits area. Deb and Nate sing and have amazing voices. They sing requested songs and both play the piano. They both are knowledgeable in singing various genres. Step One had two great shows: Stages and Humanity. The LED lighting was innovative and stunning. HAL employed a mariachi band who played at the Lido deck during our Cozumel stay. HAL also employed a talented band that plays at the Rolling Stone stage. I feel that the positive experiences we had outweighed the negative experiences. We had a great time with HAL. First and foremost, all crew members were attentive to all the guests' requests and needs. The head chef at the Lido dining, Jundiel, prepared our table a special meal. All wait staff accommodated guests' food preferences and allergy restrictions. Dadan, Whayu and the rest of the staff were amazing. Bar staff was constantly providing beverages including water. Wait staff and bar staff appear to be working harmoniously on serving guests. Kumar and Yadi are our stateroom stewards, both of which have met our expectations. All staff were friendly, courteous, polite, professional and always serving guests with their smile considering working long hours almost every day of the week. Ross the cruise director walks throughout the ship and greeting guests. Ross updates guests concerning daily activities. A Few Recommendations: Amber Cove - Limited activities on shore. Great for relaxation on the ship or at the beach near the ship, about a mile walk from the ship. The ship docks at a resort that has several pools, restaurants, bars, zip lining, kayaking, and shopping. There is an option to rent a car for about $100.00. Ocho Rios - A lot of outdoor activities are available. We rented a car for $50.00 and spent about $20.00 in gas. We went to Martha Brae which has a bamboo rafting going down the river which lasted about 1.5 hours. The trip was about 1 hour each way. Expect to drive on the left-hand side of the road. We wanted to do the bobsled excursion at the Mystic Mountain. But the time we got to the place around 2 pm, bobsledding was already close to the public. Mystic Mountain and the Dunn River Falls is right next to the Ocho Rios pier. We recommend doing the nearby activities before venturing out. Cozumel - Offers daytime passes to all-inclusive resorts, which is all you can drink alcohol, liquor, entertainment, and food. Some facilities have snorkeling, kayaking, and floats. There is an extra cost for jet skiing, diving, and parasailing. The water was too murky to snorkel. Cozumel also offers sunset catamaran cruise which is also all-inclusive. The ship leaves around 10:30 pm which allows guests to do various activities. Half Moon Cay - This is HAL's private island. We got to experience Half Moon Cay twice, on two separate days. A tender takes you to the island. The island will be crowded if there are two ships. The beach offers clear blue water and paid activities such as a stingray experience and historic tour. In conclusion, we had great experiences with HAL with some drawbacks. Priceless memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. The positive experiences and memories we had outweighed the bad ones. I would want to try a different HAL ship in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I had never been on a cruise before so sailing on a brand new ship probably has set me up for a bit of disappointment for future cruises, but I was very, very impressed to say the least. The embarkation process was quick and uneventful ... Read More
I had never been on a cruise before so sailing on a brand new ship probably has set me up for a bit of disappointment for future cruises, but I was very, very impressed to say the least. The embarkation process was quick and uneventful as I was onboard and in the cabin by 1230. As I proceeded to the cabin I found the ship absolutely pristine in cleanliness as was the cabin. Ample closet space, very comfortable bedding and a great veranda. The cabin stewards quickly introduced themselves and were more than just friendly, seriously. During the next 7 days I found the food in all venues in which I ate, Lido Market, Main Dining Room, Pinnacle Grill and Rudis Sel de Mar beyond reproach. I was very, very impressed and happy with the offerings and service in the latter two. Even the Lido Market provided excellent variety and service. I never felt rushed in any sense and was extremely happy with the cleanliness in all the food prep and serving areas. Fantastic all the way around. I took this cruise alone mainly as an escape from family issues over a difficult Christmas season and was quite happy I did. I availed myself of the Greenhouse Spa even buying the 7 day Therapy Suite pass, no regrets. I also had a few special treatments within the spa and all were beyond expectations. The only caveat on that end was the somewhat persistent up selling of their products but I knew that was coming anyway. The spa itself was extremely well laid out and provided exactly what I needed and wanted, a little pampering in quiet and a subdued environment. The teacher gym was complete in every way. Again all these facilities were spotless throughout the cruise. Although I only went to 2 shows in the Theater they were quite well done and the seating arrangement along with an incredible set of LED screens were fantastic. I found the two pool areas quite comfortable with attentaive service although there were fair number of children which is of course expected over the holidays. I wasn’t that interested in the parts of call as I have traveled throughout the Caribbean for 40 years working for an airline. And again that wasn’t the point for me at any rate. I do think there was a grand mix up of sorts in Half Moon Cay as both this ship and the Nieuw Konigsdam were there at the same time. The wait times for tenders to and from were rather long I heard. Overall I was extremely impressed with the service, facilities and cleanliness of the ship. As stated I’ve been working for an airline for 40 years and Holland America puts us to shame for their service. I would highly recommend this ship and this cruise line to anyone who, like me, is new at cruising. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Holland America used to be known as the cruise line where seniors would eat at 530 pm and be tucked away by nine. So not so anymore. My wife and I, veterans of more than thirty cruises took our first HAL cruise to Spain and Portugal in ... Read More
Holland America used to be known as the cruise line where seniors would eat at 530 pm and be tucked away by nine. So not so anymore. My wife and I, veterans of more than thirty cruises took our first HAL cruise to Spain and Portugal in Sept 2018 and were knocked silly by the high level of food, service,and entertainment. What mainly blew us away was the virtuoso like quality of the musicians at their Lincoln center stage, billboard on board, and Bb king area, not to mention the world stage productions. So when we heard the Nieuw Statendam was having a four day cruise in December we jumped at the chance.let’s just say they changed their A game to their A plus game by adding their Rolling Stone Rock band, which would have easily fit into the main stage at the Fillmore East or any major concert venue . Such musical genius all around. On a cruise ship yet, who knew? We now have booked a cruise for Feb 2020 on the Nieuw Amsterdam which also has these musical offerings. At our age one island blends into the next: we are here for the bands. In addition the service was excellent: any request was handled quickly and efficiently, the staff crispy dressed in grey uniforms with Dutch orange trim. The dining rooms staffs were excellent as well, calling my wife “my lady” how cool is that? I do have a small criticism: the pools are not their strongest point. While the covered pool and attached hot tubs are sufficient for the non holiday crowds, the Seaview pool and hot tubs were achingly small, with the hottubs sufficient for one person only. But never mind. Go for the ship, food, and entertainment and oh by the way if you happen on a beach or two, that is fine as well. Read Less
11 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We had already been on the Koningsdam and we liked the NS. The RS Rock room and BB Kings gave new variety to the cruise. The Ship is beautiful and targets the younger boomers and gen xers imo. Embarkation was a mess as it was on ... Read More
We had already been on the Koningsdam and we liked the NS. The RS Rock room and BB Kings gave new variety to the cruise. The Ship is beautiful and targets the younger boomers and gen xers imo. Embarkation was a mess as it was on Oosterdam last month. They packed everyone in the lounge gave boarding cards by number. We were on by 1pm. Pinnacle was very good this trip after having been there several times now. They have some new menu items and we made sure to try them. The service led by the big boss Denise was 5 star! Our server handled a table of 12 plus the two of us with great ease. I kept thinking in the States this would have bombed. Very impressive! MDR was decent enough but service was very slow at lunch on embarkation day but was much better at dinner. Lido service was not up to the speed on the Oosterdam last month. HAL I guess has abandoned the staff serving food on the first day. We used to really respect they did that but we see it has been cut. They just have one maybe two people at each station and it is help yourself the entire cruise. There was nobody from HAL doing the hand sanitizer so many guests I would imagine would just walk in. HAL used to enforce this for the safety of the guests. This is a mistake to abandon this imo. Disembarkation had the longest Customs lines I have seen on the 20 cruises we have been on. I have no idea why but when we exited the ship we got in a line of 300 people long. For that many people they moved it the best they could. The Pinnacle class ships are a big change for HAL but they seem to be pulling it off. The overall staff at some times seemed to be learning about their new home as well. I was told for food the NS is intended to have enough for a 7 day cruise so on the previous TA they were stuffed with minimal space to accommodate everything for that long of a voyage. We had some rough seas so they did not go to the private island but I was very impressed at how smooth the ship handled itself. I could look out a window or look out from my balcony and see how rough the seas were but felt nothing on the ship! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have taken more than a dozen HAL cruises, and this 4 night pre-Christmas Bahamas trip was attractively priced. The new ship is gorgeous, and has great music and entertainment options. The cabins are fresh and new, with big flat TVs ... Read More
We have taken more than a dozen HAL cruises, and this 4 night pre-Christmas Bahamas trip was attractively priced. The new ship is gorgeous, and has great music and entertainment options. The cabins are fresh and new, with big flat TVs and excellent showers (no tub in our room - which was good for us, but may be an issue for older travelers or families). The mid-ships music venues were outstanding. BB King has a feature spot and were great, and the Rock and Roll venue was suitably loud. But the real stars were Nate and Deb on the dueling pianos. WOW! This husband wife team have energy and chemistry that is truly world class and should not be missed. We were disappointed with the main dining room, where the food was average, and 'as you wish' dining arrangements were clunky and we never got to dine when we wished. The Canaletto, however, was outstanding. Food in the Lido was excellent, as was the service. For us the smiling and attentive crew always make a HAL cruise a delight, and this was no exception. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband and I traveled alone for our 30th Wedding Anniversary on this cruise. We booked a veranda cabin on the Navigation deck via Holland and not a travel agent. Embarkation was very easy. Although the woman taking care of us ... Read More
My husband and I traveled alone for our 30th Wedding Anniversary on this cruise. We booked a veranda cabin on the Navigation deck via Holland and not a travel agent. Embarkation was very easy. Although the woman taking care of us had to be reminded by us on the procedure!! She was also lacking in English communication skills! The wait time to board the ship was longer than usual since this was the first time Nieuw Statendam had entered an American Port so she had a lengthy inspection by the Coast Guard. Understandable. No worries! The Nieuw Statendam is a beautiful ship. It’s very well thought out in its design. You notice this as you walk around the decks, small things like handwashing stations in the Lido...Great idea!! I like how you are served your food in the Lido by the staff and not self service. This kept the germs down and the floors cleaner! The food was protected from the passengers behind a glass partition. We never had to touch a serving spoon or wait to be served. The selections in the Lido did not taste like cafeteria food. It had more of a gourmet flair to it! I Will say that the only item that was lacking on the ship was the self serve ice machine in the Lido. If it worked it all, the best you could hope for was a slow drip of watery slush! The no touch sensor on this ice machine didn’t work properly and I saw passengers putting their hands and used glasses all over the dispenser area trying to get it to work. This was not sanitary! The servers had good ice available in their pitchers, so ask for it instead. The food was excellent everywhere we ate on the ship! Our night in the Pinnacle was enjoyable with amazing meal selections. Our evening at Canaletto was a bit of a disappointment. An area of the Lido is transformed into Canaletto for the evening. The same staff that serves you in the morning and daytime in Lido are also serving you in the evening at Canaletto. I just didn’t feel like I was in a special venue. There wasn’t a feel of specialty dining that one would be willing to pay extra for. The food was good (not excellent) but timeliness of delivery was lacking. We had a late reservation which we will not do again anywhere on any ship! It wasn’t the service of the waitstaff that caused an issue but there appeared to be a back up in the kitchen that caused our entrées to be served over one hour behind our appetizer. Gala night in The Main Diningroom should not be missed! Service was outstanding as was the food. As always with Hollard America the main dining room is something to behold. Our favorite dinner while onboard was in Tamarind. This venue has the best view for dining and ambience on the ship! The half round booth facing aft is by far THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE! I recommend an early reservation for this venue. We watched the sun set and saw the venue lighting change to a soft romantic tone. There was a WOW factor here! Service was amazing!! Be aware when purchasing ahead of time the Signature Dining Package that only two of the five specialty restaurants are included.....The Pinnacle and Canaletto. I made the mistake of assuming all specialty restaurants were available for selection. This is not the case! FYI...Rudi’s Sel de Mer is al la carte pricing. All menu selections are priced separately. The entertainment on board the ship was outstanding. Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard and the Rolling Stone venues. Our favorite was The BB Kings Allstars direct from Beale Street at BB Kings (the club venue that was transformed from Lincoln Center Stage after 9pm) with lots of fun dancing! This band Rocked! The veranda cabin we had #8022 was comfortable with 2 cabin steward‘s Wenjoldy and George that were always available to us with smiles! Service was impeccable! There were 6 electrical and USB outlets. We took a ships approved multi outlet with us and didn’t need it! There is plenty of good lighting in the cabin with reading lights and electrical outlets of each side off the bed. The cabin door is metal but if you want to decorate it, heavy duty magnets need to be used! The bathroom was very well laid out with a large full shower and glass door. The Bollini Bath Fixtures were easy to use and quite beautiful to say the least. There are handholds and a foot rail in the shower that were strategically placed for safety. One thing that was new to us was having to put your cabin key card in a slot by the door inside your cabin to activate the interior lighting. A couple of times I was caught in the bathroom and my husband went for coffee with his card and 30 seconds later the lights went out on me! Something we had to figure out on our own if someone stays behind in the cabin. Beds were comfortable. There was a large hanging closet with plenty of room and a huge television at the foot of our bed. I highly recommend loading the NAVIGATOR program onto your phone, laptop or iPad once you’re on the ship. This program is for your easiest way of getting in touch with Guest Services if you have a problem. It’s much easier than making a phone call, telling your Cabin Stewards or being on hold forever or standing in line at guest services on the third floor. Your problem will be handled in a timely manner. This program also gives you up-to-date information on entertainment food venues, making reservations and many other necessities while on the ship . You do not need to have a purchased the ships wi fi to activate this. There are directions in a bifold paper on the desk when you arrive in your cabin on how to access the NAVIGATOR. But remember, this cannot be accessed until you are on the ship. The price for BLEND the wine blending and tasting venue is $79.00 a person or $99.00 a couple. We did not partake! There was a self service beer and soft drink dispenser that you paid for by the ounce near the indoor Lido Pool Bar. No waiting! At NOTES, the brown liquor tasting venue, one can have a shot of the overly rated 20 year old Pappy Van Winkle for up to $207.00. OR the 12 year old Pappy for $109.00 a shot! There are other brands available more moderately priced. I did not visit the spa on this trip. Our cruise just was not long enough! If shopping for Liquor aboard the ship, the prices are not posted on the bottles. You get the price list from the shop attendant. The ships artwork had a modern feel to it which was very interesting. Every elevator lobby had some sort of avant-garde art piece which was worth seeking out on a self guided art crawl. Our Captain Sybe de Boer was professional, personable and approachable. Our safety and comfort was his NUMBER ONE concern! Our Cruise Director Ross McTaggart was easy to understand and always ready to give information. The Hotel Director Don Habets saw that the few issues we had on the ship were IMMEDIATELY taken care of. Thank you Don!! Adriana Strugala in Guest Services is the person to reach if you have a complicated situation to address! Thank you Adriana. Disembarkation was very easy for us since we brought only carry on luggage for this short voyage. We were given a color coded departure tag to exit the ship when called. In spite of the fact of the Government shutdown, there were a few TSA Supervisors working to assure entry. I (we) would recommend this ship and its crew for future voyages. I would like to be on a longer one next time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I have been on 9 cruises on a variety of cruise lines, including Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my second time booking a Holland America Cruise. The last cruise I took was a 7-day holiday cruise ... Read More
I have been on 9 cruises on a variety of cruise lines, including Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my second time booking a Holland America Cruise. The last cruise I took was a 7-day holiday cruise a few years ago. I booked the original cruise primarily on the recommendation of a family friend, who told me that while Holland America caters to a more mature crowd, the service, food, and entertainment was second to none, and well-suited for a more refined experience. My first experience on Holland America was positive, which is why I decided to book again. My boyfriend and I wanted to take a short cruise (this was his first cruise experience), and I thought that we would splurge a little and take the new Holland America 4-day Bahamas cruise, traveling to their private island and Nassau. Having booked cruises before, I was a little surprised at the amount of information (or lack thereof) given prior to the cruise. Shore excursions seemed very limited, and very few details were made available on the entertainment options to be available onboard. I figured, not a big deal, perhaps this is because this is the inaugural sailing? The embarkation process was fine, but nothing to write home about. I noticed less of the "VIP" treatment I had received on other cruises, such as refreshments upon arriving onboard, and quite a few less-than-friendly faces as we explored the ship. We had an outside stateroom on the 10th deck - the room was fine, although the veranda was cramped with chairs and footrests that didn't quite fit the balcony size. Now, let me get to the areas we were disappointed: 1) Food: The best food I've had on a cruise line was on Celebrity, closely followed by my last Holland America experience. Unfortunately, we were left sending our meals back on multiple occasions on this cruise. Food was served luke warm, and some side dishes seemed oddly paired with entrees. They over-cooked our steaks, and fish was bland. The only decent meal we had was when we decided to splurge on one of their specialty restaurants, so perhaps this is their way of getting cruisers to spend more money? Understanding the large amount of people they are serving, I have experience much better on nearly every other cruise I had been on. 2) Entertainment: Typically, a cruise itinerary is packed with activities throughout the day, where one is left to make choices between, say, a dance class or a trivia game. This was not the case on this ship. There were very few options for entertainment, and for half of the days, we were left in our stateroom with nothing to do. Perhaps part of the issue is that we are not the type to blow hundreds of dollars on over-priced spa experiences. But it seemed as though this cruise expected you to spend your time spending the money in the spa, or be left with the dullest of activities to choose form (nearly every hour, there was a "Microsoft" training class - on a ship - really???). Completely disappointed with entertainment quality in the evenings as well. Now, I realize that cruise lines are notorious for cheesy very-off-Broadway shows, but in some cases, I have been impressed with the variety and talent. This was not the case on this cruise. The "dance" performances were of the quality like something you'd see a Six Flags amusement park, and the live music, while offering variety, was poorly laid out on the ship (e.g. while in the classical music hall you could hear the music from the rock club, poorly placed directly next door). 3) Service/Friendliness: Usually I have no complaints with service or friendliness on a ship. Unfortunately, this crew seemed genuinely unhappy to be serving us. Again I am not sure if this is simply because this is a new crew, but instead of friendly smiles and personal greetings, many of the staff seemed uninterested in answering our questions, or unable to. Lots of dull faces, and not many personal greetings in hallways as one would usually see on a cruise. The service was equivalent to something I would expect in a 2-star restaurant or hotel, not a quality cruise line. 4) Value/Quality: Last but not least, I'll address cost. The cost for drinks on the ship was about average, although the very green crew was not generous at all with their pours, and most bar tenders were clearly not trained to make any drinks not on their menus. Shore excursions were also average priced, and of course the spa was outrageous. We opted for a massage on Nassau so about 1/4th the price of what we would have paid on the ship - a very good decision. I felt as though I had a much better bang for the buck on my last Celebrity cruise, where perks like an all-inclusive drink package were added to sweeten the deal. Altogether, unfortunately, Holland America has proven to be a disappointment. I do not recommend this ship, the ship design, the food, the drinks, the activities, the entertainment, the crew, or the value. Read Less
Nieuw Statendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.3
Dining 4.5 4.3
Entertainment 4.5 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.4
Family 4.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.3
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.1

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