Sail Date: February 2019
MDH and I have been on more than 10 Celebrity cruises but began to feel like we were no longer the preferred demographic for Celebrity (music and entertainment were taking on an "edgier vibe"). We had been eyeing Holland America ... Read More
MDH and I have been on more than 10 Celebrity cruises but began to feel like we were no longer the preferred demographic for Celebrity (music and entertainment were taking on an "edgier vibe"). We had been eyeing Holland America for a while but were reluctant to take the leap because of their smoking policy and because we had invested so much into Celebrity. When Holland America banned smoking on the verandas we decided to give it a go. We are so glad we did!!!! There is so much to be said but in short...the cruise was fabulous. WHAT WE LOVED: - Friendliness of the entire crew. Every staff person (from officers to window washers) exchanged pleasantries when we passed and when we had a question every effort was made to find the answer. Some went above and beyond remembering names and details shared. They are in the right business! HAL has hired well. - Decor. We love the classic styling with dark woods and neutral palette. The art was tasteful and very interesting to see. - Hydro Pool. We purchased passes to use the facility for the week. Worth every penny. Not crowded, very relaxing and felt like we were being pampered. - Pinnacle Grill and Sel de Mer. I appreciate the fact that people resent having to pay for meals on a cruise but we LOVED our experience in both. The service, ambience and food were fabulous. - Music (EVERYWHERE) - From the solo piano in the Ocean Bar to the Music Walk (Billboard Onboard, BB Kings, Lincoln Center) to the music piped into the dining and bar areas and even the elevator - we loved it ALL. Every live entertainer was exceptionally skilled and we both feel that we would have been willing to pay for concerts by any one of them. - Cabana with Butler on Half Moon Cay - Definitely an indulgence but having done it once we would do it again! The service was phenomenal, the setting was postcard perfect and the food/beverage was terrific. - EXC Lounge and Ocean Bar - Nicely appointed spaces to relax, read and people watch - Beverage Service...Everywhere - Loved the fact that there were staff members assigned to areas of the Lido Buffet seating area that assisted in seating people and then provided beverage service for coffee, iced tea and lemonade, etc. The bar service was also prompt and efficient. We have noticed on other cruises that as beverage packages became popular bar service deteriorated. This was NOT true on this cruise. We wanted a drink someone materialized and made sure we got one. - Direct Luggage Service - We had never heard of this service before but what a service it is! We put our luggage outside of our stateroom the night before disembarkation and did not touch it again until our final destination airport. FANTASTIC!! WHAT WE DIDN'T LOVE: - Communication - There were a few occasions that we were asked for information about excursions or disembarkation but the information did not come back. We didn't know where to be or when. - The Main Stage - Too loud, temperature was too hot. While the talent was there, the production was not to our liking. Didn't live up to the hype of a big production. Clearly we had a great time. Looking forward to a cruise to Alaska in June on the Koningsdam. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Our travel agent was arranging this cruise for her friends nd clients and asked us to sail with them. The price for our Signature Suite was very attractive and we have sailed HAL and enjoy their cruises. We found the Nieuw Amsterdam to ... Read More
Our travel agent was arranging this cruise for her friends nd clients and asked us to sail with them. The price for our Signature Suite was very attractive and we have sailed HAL and enjoy their cruises. We found the Nieuw Amsterdam to be very, very crowded in the public areas. Our suite was spacious and very comfortable. We loved the Lincoln Center group and attended all their performances. Also enjoyed the other music venues, BB King and the dueling piano guys. Food in the dining room was quite good and we also enjoyed our meals in the Pinnacle Grill and Caneletto. Morning in room service for coffee was timely every day. We had reasonably nice weather so we were able to enjoy the aft pool area most days. We enjoyed swimming at the beach just off the ship at Grand Turk and our beach time at Half Moon Cay. What I didn’t like: ~the $30 pp per day ($60 for the cabin) “hold” that was placed on our credit card the minute we stepped on the ship. This is a new policy with HAL. ~the constant nickle and diming you ( servers selling $5 bottles of water in the dining room while I am eating breakfast, upcharges for lobster in the Pinnacle Grill where you have already paid a $35 pp charge just to dine there, etc.) Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This is our 5th HAL cruise. We had sailed twice before on this ship. Cruising on HAL is like a comfortable pair of shoes. You can count on them for wonderful service by a smiling crew, good food and a variety of places to eat as well as ... Read More
This is our 5th HAL cruise. We had sailed twice before on this ship. Cruising on HAL is like a comfortable pair of shoes. You can count on them for wonderful service by a smiling crew, good food and a variety of places to eat as well as an excellent array of entertainment that suits our liking. The one thing that keeps us coming back is the BB King Blues lounge. Trumpet, trombone, keyboard, lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, 2 amazing vocalists that cover everything from BB King (natureally) to Motown, Aretha, Tina Turner, Al Green, Marvin Gaye to today’s modern R and B and Funk. We dare you not to dance! Embarkation this time was smooth and quick. We boarded around 1:30 within 15 minutes of being dropped off curbside. As long as you have filled out all your cruise documents ahead of time - they have this down to a science. Our first day ritual on HAL is to drop our bags in our cabin (if ready.. and it was) and head to the Dive-In burger place outside the on the Lido deck aft for a great burger and fries. We make it a point to meet our cabin steward on arrival. This time we enjoyed Taufik and Miko who did an excellent job of tidying up several times a day, keeping our towels fresh and room ready - including leaving us the always adorable towel animals every night. If you are new to cruising.... make it a point to have conversation with your cabin attendants. As busy as they are, they love to get to know you and you will love hearing about where they are from and about their families. You will feel like old friends in short order. Along wth our ritual hamburger we also embibe on the Lido deck at the Sea Bar for our first sail away cocktail. This was about my only complaint this trip. I felt they were a bit understaffed on this voyage with servers to take orders and to clean up around the deck. One of my pet peeves is the stemware they use throughout the ship. This is my personal issue. Perhaps I am a little OCD, but I really don’t like drinking out of plastic. I know it is a safety hazard near the pool where people are walking barefoot and the floor may be slippery and the wind can knock over a drink, but the stemware they use just doesn’t make a drink appealing. To avoid this I try to go inside to the Ocean Bar, the Pinnacle Bar, the Gallery Bar, the Tamarind Bar or the Crows Nest Bar to get a cocktail in glassware. But here too I was disappointed this week by receiving a plastic martini glass on 3 different occasions (2 times on gala night while I was all dressed up) - Of course for every problem there is a solution. I politely reported this to the bartender or server and they would go find me a glass even if it mean leaving the bar to get one. Apparently on this cruise they had been having trouble with the martini glasses breaking in the dishwasher or something. Hmm. Not sure about that. For a real treat however .. go to the Tamarind Bar on 11 and order a martini. You will get a stemless martini glass sitting on it’s own glass ice bucket (2 pieces). Ok enough about my stemware issues. Another complaint we had this week was our option of the Signature Beverage Package which we paid for with our cruise in advance. The limit on the drinks was up to $9.00 - Most of the daily drink specials were more than that. There was virtually no choice in the wine department. We could get a Chardonnay or Merlot but they were not very good. Being wine drinkers we know the cost of wines and there is really no reason for them not to have a better selection under the beverage package. On previous sailings we have opted to purchase a wine package with 3 or 5 or 7 bottles and depending on your taste in wine this proves to be a better option if you mostly drink wine. We never got close to the maximum 15 drinks per day, but we would have enjoyed a better selection. We never found out what we would have had to pay to upgrade our beverage package to the premium package on board. Their Bloody Mary’s in the morning were delicious and there were some good cocktail recipes within our drink package. We just opted to say no to the higher priced drinks and drank what was included. In the dining room we started out one night with a good drinkable Cabernet Sauvignon - included in our package and then the next night it was unavailable. We were told it was being removed from the list but we thought it was pretty remarkable that you could not even get Cab by the glass. We wrote our concerns to the ships staff while still onboard and they went out of their way to accommodate our group of 6 red wine drinkers for the remainder of the cruise to keep this wine available to us by the glass as an exception. We appreciated that very much, but I think HAL needs to reconsider it’s wine selections. The Sea Bar sadly is right next to the smoking area. This is really an issue for us. Second hand smoke is something I would rather not have to deal with. I realize there are still smokers out there but I think it should be more isolated. It’s right near the bar, the Lido deck doors that lead to the buffet area and the outdoor seating on 1/2 the ship from Lido dining. My husband smokes an occasion cigar, but he is willing to be out of the way of others who cannot stomach the smell. The MainStage shows were very good this trip. The choreography and talent of the dancers and singers was fantastic this voyage. The comedian and the illusionist were quite good as well. The Lincoln Center was new for us. BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO .. and did I mention BB Kings? We were happy to see no ART AUCTIONS any more. We also noticed there were few if any happy birthday songs being sung in the dining room... maybe because this sailing had an EXTRODINARY number of cruisers with canes, walkers, wheelchairs, scooters. To be fair, we are not youngsters .. we are 67 and 59. But this trip there must have been more elderly than we have ever seen before. Because we travelled with friends (a group of 6) we didn’t do some of the things we normally do - like go to the gym every morning or walk the decks every - We didn’t use the casino this time nor partake in the Thermal suites which I personally love. I also enjoy the steam room which is inaccesible without the Thermal suites package. The sauna was accessible, but I don’t care for the dry heat. We also don’t use the spa services as the prices are too high. I am really sorry I missed out seeing the show with the BBC EARTH and live music and I am also sad that I didn’t have a chance to experience the AMERICAS TEST KITCHEN. We sail again in October on the Nieuw Statendam from Rome.. I will try it then. We book our shore excursion privately off the ship as we find the prices to be better and the groups are smaller. I wish there was a way to fix this problem, but when you consider how many passengers are on board and when you see how many ships are in some ports on any one day... it’s hard to believe there are enough tour operators out there to accommodate everyone. One of our favorite things to do on HAL is have our morning coffee/latte/espresso at the Crows Nest. These barristas are jewels of the HAL .. super friendly, smiling bright and early in the morning and they remember you after 1 day. That’s about it for our personal experience this time. PM me if you have questions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We are frequent cruisers but this was our first time on Holland America. We were entirely impressed. This line has it all over the others when it come to service and good food. Buffet is handled in a way which prevents all that food ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers but this was our first time on Holland America. We were entirely impressed. This line has it all over the others when it come to service and good food. Buffet is handled in a way which prevents all that food waste that undoubtedly contributes higher prices and less appealing food. Everything on board was professional and oriented toward customer satisfaction. Met some great people and our fellow cruisers were mostly polite and enjoyable people. The pool was very nice and a great spot on sea days. The entertainment was about on par with most lines (except maybe MSC). Activities on board during the day were somewhat limited. We like smaller ships of this size so it was perfect for us. Others might prefer the new larger ships. The crew is just amazing, always friendly and helpful. We now rank our favorite lines as MSC Holland, Celebrity, Carnival Lines we will never sail on again. Norweigan, Princess, Royal Carb Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I just read covemanb 12/18 review and it was right on target. My wife and I took three Celebrity cruises last winter and this one was by far the worst. The entertainment was poor. No bands during the day at the pool, no music at the ... Read More
I just read covemanb 12/18 review and it was right on target. My wife and I took three Celebrity cruises last winter and this one was by far the worst. The entertainment was poor. No bands during the day at the pool, no music at the pool , and no place to sit at the pool since they only have 125 lounge chairs and around 3000 passengers. Night entertainment was BB King and strings every night. They were fine for one night--maybe two. They had a comedian and illusionist in the Main stage for two nights. Comedian was funny for five minutes and illusionist was boring and performed the same act that you've seen a hundred times. His card tricks were boring. Anyone that watched last season of AGT would have fallen asleep at his card tricks. There were two good shows in the Mainstage performed by the Cruise entertainers. Breakfast at the buffet was the same every day. You had to stand in long lines and wait to be served. Celebrity at least featured some new items daily for breakfast and it was self serve. No banana bread for the entire cruise offered for breakfast. Celebrity also labeled every food item with codes to tell you if it was dairy free, gluten free, etc. Nothing was labeled on this ship and you had to point to the food item and ask the server what you were eating. Of course they had no idea what ingredients were in the food. Lunch buffet was ok, but lamb and pork were on the carving station almost every day. They only had turkey breast one day and that was not a whole roasted turkey. Celebrity had whole roasted birds on two days of a seven day cruise. Celebrity also had an ice cream counter with a big selection of flavors. The selection on this ship was four flavors max. Sit down dinner was good in the main dining room and comparable to Celebrity. (I'm comparing this ship to Celebrity REflection) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our second Cruise on HAL and our fourth cruise in the last ten months, so we have other recent cruises to compare too. Getting on board went quickly and we were not hounded by staff selling Dining, drink packages etc. as we have ... Read More
This was our second Cruise on HAL and our fourth cruise in the last ten months, so we have other recent cruises to compare too. Getting on board went quickly and we were not hounded by staff selling Dining, drink packages etc. as we have seen previously on other cruises. Our room was ready by 1pm and our luggage arrived shortly thereafter. Our stateroom 4154 was very nice and had plenty of room. Our luggage fit under the bed at the top and there were two large drawers at the bottom of the bed, (very nice) Three large closets to handle all our clothing. Did not need a electrical adapter for USB cord. Each side of the bed had a USB port and several electrical plugs on the desk. Bathroom and balcony were a very nice size. The TV was pretty large and included FREE movies and tv shows. We enjoyed all eateries the Lido, Pizza window, Hamburger window. Afternoon Tea and was overly surprised with the food quality in the MDR dining room. Surf and Turf night was two thumbs up, serving filet mignon. Shows were very good. Areas lacking were activities at sea. (to much Trivia) need areas allowing dancing, Karaoke or shows like Quest. Micro soft classes were nice. Our ship had an older crowd, and many had a lot of cruises on Holland America. Disembarkation was a breeze. Off the ship and waiting for our flight in less then a hour. Overall, we were Quite Impressed! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Choose this cruise as a last minute, 7 day NYE getaway with family group. We knew HAL is reputed to cater to more mature cruisers so with that knowledge the young adult members of our group of 9 were not overly impressed. They did find ... Read More
Choose this cruise as a last minute, 7 day NYE getaway with family group. We knew HAL is reputed to cater to more mature cruisers so with that knowledge the young adult members of our group of 9 were not overly impressed. They did find enough to keep them entertained in casino & on New Years Eve. The ship was clean and nicely furnished but nothing that really awed me. Food was average, but like most lines, the food has gone down in quality since catering to pay for dining rooms. Room service was good. Service was very good & staff was friendly. I found it more difficult to get port information as I could not make their info session on stage. Most ships I have been on have a TV channel devoted to ports of call, but i couldn't locate one on this ship. In room movie selection was very good. We loved the piano bar & it's proximity to the casino. I did find the atmosphere on the ship relaxing. I have been on 5 other HAL cruises & think they are a good value but not a lot of bells & whistles, especially on the pool decks like many of the other lines. I like the size of their ships. Boarding was easy, but Ft. Lauderdale port is rather chaotic, especially with 7 other ships there. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We were so excited to be back on a Holland America Line (HAL) ship after a few cruises with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We missed the classic European charm of HAL. The little Dutch/European touches -- fine dining at breakfast -- ... Read More
We were so excited to be back on a Holland America Line (HAL) ship after a few cruises with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We missed the classic European charm of HAL. The little Dutch/European touches -- fine dining at breakfast -- with classic European or Asian breakfasts, the ginger served after dinner, escargot on formal nights etc. Oh, we were so disappointed. We were 11 people on the cruise and each of us felt the food was sorely lacking. Marinara sauces watered down so that it was like adding thick pink water to your pasta. It was absolutely flavorless. Granted I am vegetarian and so assumed it was just me. So, when my carnivore son also complained about the food -- I knew the problem was real. Even the cappuccinos and lattes that cost $5+ each -- tasted of weak poor quality coffee. I spent so much time hungry on this cruise -- literally hungry. The salad bar was a good solid bet. The poached egg station in the morning was nice. The oatmeal was made palatable by adding nuts from near the yogurt station. Each meal on the Lido deck was a matter of hunt and gather -- hunt for the base of your meal -- then gather items to make it flavorful and tasty. Actually felt hunger pangs on the cruise and left the ship on Sunday ravenous. Body was literally craving nutrition. I will applaud almost every member of the crew. They never failed to smile or greet you. The only one who seemed apathetic was the girl not excited about making our pasta with extra spinach or gluten free -- even though we fetched the spinach from the salad station ourselves. We have truly enjoyed the elegance and high standards on HAL prior to this cruise and selected it because an elderly family member was traveling with us. As a large group, we felt it was the best cruise line to get a quality experience. Sorely disappointed on so many fronts but mainly the food front. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was a family Christmas Vacation Cruise sponsored by my Mother, Step Father, Sister and my 13 year old Daughter. Words can't describe the entire experience from the moment our Taxi dropped us off at the Port Everglades to our ... Read More
This was a family Christmas Vacation Cruise sponsored by my Mother, Step Father, Sister and my 13 year old Daughter. Words can't describe the entire experience from the moment our Taxi dropped us off at the Port Everglades to our ten minute total check in time!! The ship looked perfect size from outside. AS soon as we got off elevator our Steward walked us to our room, his name was Amin and his partner was Ray Ban! The cabin had a balcony and plenty of storage!!! The space on balcony was perfect! Bedding was so very comfortable! The Dining was varied and perfect everwhere...our Dining Room Steward was YanMar and he walked us to our table each night and pushed the wheel chair for us!! Activity room for teens was active and safe! Service was friendly and prompt at ALL times!! We took tender to Grand Caymen..loved the public beach. Did Dolphin Swim at Ochos Rios.....Beach Park at Cozumel and Beach at Moon Cay. My favorite was water temperature and clarity of water at Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach. My least favorite was the taxi ride rip offs to the beaches in Cozmel which were very rocky! Cozmel seemed like a hustle...all other desitinations were more relaxed Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Got bitten by bedbugs on the first night all over upper body. Cruise medical center refused to address the problem on Christmas Eve, unless I paid $95 for consultation on a problem caused by poor health condition and lack of proper ... Read More
Got bitten by bedbugs on the first night all over upper body. Cruise medical center refused to address the problem on Christmas Eve, unless I paid $95 for consultation on a problem caused by poor health condition and lack of proper maintenance and examination of bedding. I inspected pillows and found badly stained pillows obscured by pillow covers. The next day after I suffered these horrible red itching bites, I decided to inspect mattress also and discovered a blanket insert that had three dried blood stains, which was also hidden with a zipped cover over the mattress. It was disgusting! Again, we requested replacements. The overall ship is nice but everything shuts down by 11pm. You can't even get a hot dog from the outside Lido since the pools and outside area is completely closed and dark. No Karaoke for us lovers of this fun activity. The ship catered to selling high priced jewelry, terribly overpriced, if you have any knowledge of the cost of fine jewelry, which I have had for over 40 years. The best parts of the ship was The Lincoln Stage Performances and The BB King's All Stars band. It is a ship for the elderly who have no interest but to sun bathe and view overpriced jewelry and art. The Art Gallery was quite nice but I didn't bother to ask about the price of any of the wonderful paintings since I was convinced it would be as ridiculous as the jewelry. The jewelry auction proved my point. No one bid over approximately $1100 for any of the jewelry that was auctioned. The jewelry indicated pieces worth at least $28,000, with bids starting at around $18,000. In fact I said nothing but the guy who purchased the pair of earrings for the nearly $1100 must not have known he was being overpriced. No one bothered to bid on the over 20 or more items since they too must have realized it was overpriced. The ports that sold jewelry I believe were also a rip-off. In Cozumel you could possibly get a decent pair of cowboy boots at a reasonable price if you negotiated with the seller for Roger's Boots. Ocho Rios was a rip-off since you had to take a bus to beach and be charged for everything connected to it. No free rides here. The 7-mile beach had bad large graveled sand. Not comfortable for bare feet! I wanted to use an Expedia $100 onboard credit to purchase and monogram robe, but the guest service person, an Indonesian clerk, lied to me and told me no new robes were available for sale that I could use the credit towards. This turned out to be a lie, since my husband was able to order one to be billed to our cabin, with three letter free monogram, which was personally delivered to our cabin: 10033, by an apologizing guest services person. I was never offered any assistance for the painful and annoying bedbug bites and had to purchase skin irritation and abrasion cream as well as spray from the gift shop. The gift shop was also overpriced with items that should have cost much less. We are upper middle class people and are by no means tightwads, but the prices we encountered on this trip were ridiculous, including the price of the cruise, which offered very limited activities. No Broadway or Las Vegas style shows will you see here, even though the main stage is beautiful. What a terrible waste? The Main Stage entertainment was less than mediocre and short on time. The food was not the best, but good none the less. The overall staff attendants were excellent! However, we did not need two attendants @$14.50 each to be assigned to our small cabin, with small balcony. The person in charge of inspection of housekeeping should be heavily reprimanded for not instructing cabin attendants to inspect bedding for cleanliness, wear and tear --BEDBUGS! Never expected this on a relatively new ship. Horrible! There is no excuse for the heavily stained pillows or blanket or any other unhealthy bedding that I did not discover. We have been on many cruises throughout the years, but will never go Holland America again. Even the teenagers on deck were bored to death. I found them one night sprawled out on the outside of their so-called lounge or club area laying on the floor or doing whatever they could to keep from falling to sleep at around 11pm. I would never book this cruise again, even if I'm 100 years old. It would still be too boring for me. 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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