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Holland America Line: Nieuw Amsterdam

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
  • New

Mar 6, 2017

I Want A Refund

On an Eastern Caribbean 7-day cruise that ended March 5th, my wife and I signed up for the "open dining" option. The cruise line, however, booked a 900 passenger group who were assigned reserved dining at 7:00PM. That meant the rest of the passengers could only eat between 5:00-6:00PM, much earlier than we preferred, especially after shore excursions. The food was served in very small portions, with little variation to the menu day-to-day. The food

was just okay. Also, the day before we were to stop at the cruise line's private island, the crew was aware there were storms approaching. Nevertheless, we sailed to the island, where the captain told us it was unsafe to disembark, and the island's workers had been unable to reach the island from their residences nearby. Common sense would have told him to try to sail toward better weather; instead we spent 7 hours (the time we were scheduled to be ashore) sailing in apparent circles in rough seas before finally heading home. Unlike other cruise lines, Holland charges each guest $12.50/day for gratuities for room stewards and back stage personnel. Beverage servers and upscale restaurant servers automatically receive a 15% tip. The result is a mixed bag of service quality throughout. Some are friendly; others impertinent.

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Aug 5, 2016

Alaska

Worse cruise ever!!! Cabin had fingerprints all over wood paneling in stateroom. Dirty rug and chesterfield. Became extremely ill after three days with terrible cold. Two others in our group of four came down with the same illness - diagnosed as influenza A . Coughed continually. One woman was hospitalized after returning home with pneumonia. She was readmitted yesterday (still ill after being home 2weeks after cruise) I ended up with severe

laryngitis which is still a problem. Never again will I cruise with this cruise line. Also observed cleaner in dining room clean off chair seat and then with the same cloth wipe off the table. Disgusting,,,

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Jan 7, 2014

Western Caribbean

Excellent cruise: Weather, ship, food, service all wonderful. Precruise stay in Ft. Lauderdale at the Hyatt, 17th st. location. Embarkation was easy, made it to our stateroom by 12:15, then had a Mariner status lunch in Manhattan dining room. Our room was a small suite (SS class) with a jetted tub, separate shower, and double sink with undersink shelf for storage in addition to corner glass shelves. Room was perfect for us, AND the balcony was

over 90 sq. ft.(7 X 13) with table and four chairs, two for lounging with foot stools. Plenty of storage and room service was only 1 button away. Food was outstanding in all venues, especially the specialty restaurants, Pinnacle and Tamarind. Had cooked-to-order breakfasts every day in the Lido buffet--just couldn't bypass the Eggs Benedict (they actually could prepare 7 different types of this specialty) Our New York Strip and Filet Steaks in Pinnacle were perfectly cooked for each of us, tender and moist--just delicious! Only ate twice in the main dining room (for dinner) and food and service were top-notch for us. We don't drink, so the drink cards were not important to us. Stateroom was a small suite (SS) and perfect for us. Check carefully and read thoroughly about accommodations before booking. We certainly enjoyed our large balcony. One thought I had was that a couple could choose a less-expensive cabin and rent a pool cabana for a few days for a great outdoors experience while on the ship. Didn't participate except for two outstanding shows: Recycled Percussion (from America's Got Talent and Las Vegas) and Cantare, a male quartet with great voices singing songs for us Senior Citizens. Also enjoyed several of the Microsoft presentations, because they dealt largely with Windows 8 and presenter was good. Since I had sailed once before on HAL with a special science group and had visited the private island where I rode horses and jet skiied, my wife and I just went ashore there and enjoyed the ambiance and the barbecue. We took no HAL excursions, preferring instead to make our own arrangements. Just do your homework on each port and pre-plan accordingly. On Grand Cayman we took a taxi to 7-mile beach and enjoyed chips and dip at the Marriott outdoor cafe while enjoying the beach and view. We also preplanned a jet ski trip in Key West: Had a blast! Absolutely loved it! My wife and I are experienced travelers, but we had thought previously that we just didn't want to cruise. This trip, however, changed our mind. Holland America Lines has a demographic of seniors 55 and older and plays to that group. Were there minor glitches and problems here and there. Yes, but we handled them as we always do: Deal with it and move on. Just don't understand how some travelers can be so illogically ticked off about so many things. Hints: Plan thoroughly-- there's an enormous amount of information about travel and cruises available. Prior planning prevents perturbed persons... Shame on you if you spend large monies and get poor results. Seems that some of the negative comments say as much about the customers as about the ship and cruise. The Nieuw Amsterdam provided us a great cruise experience.

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By Rick_CR

  • New

Dec 3, 2013

West Caribbean

We had paid for 2 weeks of cruising, but left the ship after one week, forfeiting nearly $4000 rather than remaining on board for another week. We had previously cruised with Holland America & were satisfied, but it appears that the purchase of this line by Carnival has ruined it. Food was just plain bad; service was slow; cabins were not clean. One positive, the king sized bed was comfortable. Bland, tasteless, unimaginative food at lunch

& dinner, however breakfast was passable. We had a Veranda Suite; spacious, but not as clean as we expected. Bed was comfortable, but all other furniture in the suite was uncomfortable. What little entertainment there was... boring. My wife did enjoy one of the culinary classes, but left because families with children were allowed to be noisy and distracting. Look up Grand Turk. We are still wondering why any ship would stop there. We have cruised the Caribbean three times before and never stopped at Grand Turk, aka the armpit of ports. Even the staff were making jokes about this place as a waste of time. As noted above, although we had pre-paid for 2 weeks, we left after the first week to avoid enduring what was our absolute worst cruise experience. We've enjoyed all other cruises with one exception.

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May 31, 2013

Barcelona to Venice

I tend to like smaller ships but the Nieuw Amsterdam (2000+ passengers) was well organized and comfortable. The ship is relatively new and beautiful, and the service is very good. Overall we were very satisfied and will continue to use Holland America We thought the food was great. In particular the specialty restaurants Le Cirque, Tamerand , and the Pinnacle were first class. I actually think the food has improved in the past few years

and I appreciate the slightly smaller portions. As the ships get bigger the staterooms seem to be getting smaller. We always have a verandah and this too was smaller. This was probably as small as I could enjoy. Usually we get involved in on-board activities but with many day long excursions and only one day at sea we just had no time. We were disappointed that the piano bar only opens a 9PM. we used to like to go before dinner. The entertainment at the Showroom at Sea just didn't interest us --- a step down from previous cruises I was disappointed in several shore excursions on this trip. I would plan several of my own if I were doing this cruise over. Got a bit tired of the tour bus lunches --- bland /boring. Some of our best visits to ports were done on our own --- certainly the best lunches and wines I was particularly annoyed that the Shore Excursion Desk would tell us that there would be no shuttle buses available to get from the port to the city / town so that we would buy an Excursion, then the night before announce there would be a shuttle when it was too late to cancel our Excursion. Shuttles were typically 12-14 Euros, a lot less than excursions The trip from Barcelona to Venice was great but unfortunately several of these ports (particularly Florence and Dubrovnik, Venice) are overrun by tourists (6+ large ships in port at a time). If I return to Europe (been in various parts 10 times already) I will focus on cities that are not reachable by cruise ships

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  • New

May 31, 2013

Barcelona to Venice

I tend to like smaller ships but the Nieuw Amsterdam (2000+ passengers) was well organized and comfortable. The ship is relatively new and beautiful, and the service is very good. Overall we were very satisfied and will continue to use Holland America We thought the food was great. In particular the specialty restaurants Le Cirque, Tamerand , and the Pinnacle were first class. I actually think the food has improved in the past few years

and I appreciate the slightly smaller portions. As the ships get bigger the staterooms seem to be getting smaller. We always have a verandah and this too was smaller. This was probably as small as I could enjoy. Usually we get involved in on-board activities but with many day long excursions and only one day at sea we just had no time. We were disappointed that the piano bar only opens a 9PM. we used to like to go before dinner. The entertainment at the Showroom at Sea just didn't interest us --- a step down from previous cruises I was disappointed in several shore excursions on this trip. I would plan several of my own if I were doing this cruise over. Got a bit tired of the tour bus lunches --- bland /boring. Some of our best visits to ports were done on our own --- certainly the best lunches and wines I was particularly annoyed that the Shore Excursion Desk would tell us that there would be no shuttle buses available to get from the port to the city / town so that we would buy an Excursion, then the night before announce there would be a shuttle when it was too late to cancel our Excursion. Shuttles were typically 12-14 Euros, a lot less than excursions The trip from Barcelona to Venice was great but unfortunately several of these ports (particularly Florence and Dubrovnik, Venice) are overrun by tourists (6+ large ships in port at a time). If I return to Europe (been in various parts 10 times already) I will focus on cities that are not reachable by cruise ships

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  • New

May 31, 2013

Barcelona to Venice

I tend to like smaller ships but the Nieuw Amsterdam (2000+ passengers) was well organized and comfortable. The ship is relatively new and beautiful, and the service is very good. Overall we were very satisfied and will continue to use Holland America We thought the food was great. In particular the specialty restaurants Le Cirque, Tamerand , and the Pinnacle were first class. I actually think the food has improved in the past few years

and I appreciate the slightly smaller portions. As the ships get bigger the staterooms seem to be getting smaller. We always have a verandah and this too was smaller. This was probably as small as I could enjoy. Usually we get involved in on-board activities but with many day long excursions and only one day at sea we just had no time. We were disappointed that the piano bar only opens a 9PM. we used to like to go before dinner. The entertainment at the Showroom at Sea just didn't interest us --- a step down from previous cruises I was disappointed in several shore excursions on this trip. I would plan several of my own if I were doing this cruise over. Got a bit tired of the tour bus lunches --- bland /boring. Some of our best visits to ports were done on our own --- certainly the best lunches and wines I was particularly annoyed that the Shore Excursion Desk would tell us that there would be no shuttle buses available to get from the port to the city / town so that we would buy an Excursion, then the night before announce there would be a shuttle when it was too late to cancel our Excursion. Shuttles were typically 12-14 Euros, a lot less than excursions The trip from Barcelona to Venice was great but unfortunately several of these ports (particularly Florence and Dubrovnik, Venice) are overrun by tourists (6+ large ships in port at a time). If I return to Europe (been in various parts 10 times already) I will focus on cities that are not reachable by cruise ships

Read More
  • New

May 31, 2013

Barcelona to Venice

I tend to like smaller ships but the Nieuw Amsterdam (2000+ passengers) was well organized and comfortable. The ship is relatively new and beautiful, and the service is very good. Overall we were very satisfied and will continue to use Holland America We thought the food was great. In particular the specialty restaurants Le Cirque, Tamerand , and the Pinnacle were first class. I actually think the food has improved in the past few years

and I appreciate the slightly smaller portions. As the ships get bigger the staterooms seem to be getting smaller. We always have a verandah and this too was smaller. This was probably as small as I could enjoy. Usually we get involved in on-board activities but with many day long excursions and only one day at sea we just had no time. We were disappointed that the piano bar only opens a 9PM. we used to like to go before dinner. The entertainment at the Showroom at Sea just didn't interest us --- a step down from previous cruises I was disappointed in several shore excursions on this trip. I would plan several of my own if I were doing this cruise over. Got a bit tired of the tour bus lunches --- bland /boring. Some of our best visits to ports were done on our own --- certainly the best lunches and wines I was particularly annoyed that the Shore Excursion Desk would tell us that there would be no shuttle buses available to get from the port to the city / town so that we would buy an Excursion, then the night before announce there would be a shuttle when it was too late to cancel our Excursion. Shuttles were typically 12-14 Euros, a lot less than excursions The trip from Barcelona to Venice was great but unfortunately several of these ports (particularly Florence and Dubrovnik, Venice) are overrun by tourists (6+ large ships in port at a time). If I return to Europe (been in various parts 10 times already) I will focus on cities that are not reachable by cruise ships

Read More
  • New

Jan 21, 2013

Western Caribbean

The desk staff is extremely well educated in how to say "NO". I had to get a room on my own since my roommate was sick with 105 degree fever & flu. Instead of quarantining her to the medical facility they did so in our room. I had to pay to move and the room they placed me in sounded as though a loud anchor was going down outside the room all night. I finally figured out all of the horrible noise was coming from a loose panel between the balconies.

It was so loud I could not sleep all night. When I told them I wanted a credit for the first night, they said i should have called them in the middle of the night. Now the cabin I had said don't open the curtains before sunlight or after sunset as the light could interfere with navigation. Now how were they suppose to get out there and work on it in the middle of the night? Other guests had other situations were all the staff can do is say the guest is wrong and "NO". There are much better lines to travel on and the food is average at best.

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  • New

Dec 23, 2012

Eastern Caribbean

A cold day in HAL before we cruise again! It was our first cruise and although i will "never say never" it will at least be our last on HAL!!! The emergency alarm even went off due to an electrical fire that happened on the 7th deck. They sounded six alarms and then did not tell us for quite some time it was electrical. I can't remember how long it was...I know it was at least an hour. Being a first time cruiser...and it only being the second day

on board that scared me to death!!! The food was good once you get service. We ate at the Manhattan Dining room (open dining) which had great food for dinner. It was not very good durning lunch and because of that we never ate breakfast in the dining room. The service was much to be desired. One evening we were never even waited on. We sat at the table for 20min and got up and left. The Lido grill had a few good things to eat. It was mainly food that was being slopped on to plates. The coffee and juices were horrible. The iced tea however was always clear and fresh. I appreciated the fresh iced tea. Lots of hot tea choices. I loved the bathroom in our stateroom. It was very clean with the exception of the floors. There were hairs in there from the last cruiser. The rest of the room was dusty and there were stains all over the couch and chair. The room was cleaner when we left, then how we found it! I will say that our stewards were amazing. They were best part of our whole cruise!!! I understand most hotel rooms are not perfectly cleaned. I can always manage to find a few hairs in the bathroom from the last guests. However this room was just dirty all around. The crow's nest/library was awesome!!!! We are now huge Inbar Fans!!! Inbar was a sweet Israeli guitarist/vocalist whom mainly played cover songs from the 90's. The Pinnacle grill was lovely. The casino was smoky. Grand turks Caicos was cancelled due to weather and I will say that was a good call on the captain's part. It was getting very choppy going to Grand Turks and I was leery. I was happy it was cancelled. We got our money back from our shore excursions that we had scheduled there. They cancelled a snorkeling excursion in Half Moon Cay Bahamas. The weather seemed perfect, but HAL said it was choppy were they would be taking us. We did get our money back on that excursion as well with no problems. The staff on the island of Half Moon Cay were a little on the rude side.

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Aug 6, 2011

Mediteranean

We sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam in August 2011 and I would sum the cruise up as follows: Floating retirement home. Pros 1. We had a suite, so nice room, nice bed, and decent service but nothing special in this category most lines in this suite area give you the same amenities and service. 2.Food-we found the food to be above average-not exceptional. For example, the buffet food was well above average, but the dining room was really the

same type of food you will find on Norwegian or Royal. The specialty restaurants were above average, but again, one would find this on all cruise lines. The ice cream was the only thing that was bad. 3. Service, overall service on the ship was very good. Cons 1. If you need internet, forget it. The ship charges about 40 cents a minute in the cheapest package. To pull google.com it takes three to four minutes-so put it this way, your web is worse the aol dial up days. I have cruised many ships, many lines, and this by far is the WORST. 2.Entertainment-HORRIFIC. Unless you like musicals, musicals, or more musicals, DO NOT BOOK ON THIS LINE OR THIS SHIP. Again, I have cruised every line out there and never seen a worse lineup of entertainment in my life. Considering this was a 12 day cruise, it was like torture. There are no plays, magicians, comedians, alternative shows. Again, highly recommend avoiding this cruise ship for this reason. 3. Activities-NONE. Other then the buffets and two small pools, this line has nothing to do. When I say nothing, I mean it. We saw rooms for croqueting. No arcade, no play station or wii rooms, no shuffleboard, no rock-climbing, no pool volleyball nothing. IF YOU ARE 75 AND OVER AND HADICAPPED, THIS CRUISE IS PERFECT, however the rest of you will be bored of out your mind. Overall, after cruising many years, many ships, many lines, I would give this line and ship a C. I would recommend going on a newer ship from Royal or Norwegian before ever booking another cruise with this line.

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Jul 18, 2011

Mediterranean Romance

For the discounted price, okay - Not worth full price. Not enough time at sea. Sailed from Venice to Barcelona 80% disappointing - Pinnicle Grill one highlight Small, small, small and small - sofa could have used for a third person - even smaller, and bath, tiny, smallest tub I have ever seen. This cruise was priced at a very discounted rate for Mariners, HAL's repeater club. Had this cruise been at full price, I would have

been very upset. Main reason I cruise is for exceptional food and service. The service was very good, and the food was ordinary to low in quality and presentation. Lido as always on HAL ships, a crowded, pushy mess/mass, and some of the servers behind the counter exhibit, as in the past, a surely, rude attitude that can not be defined. One example, one morning, due to early port disembarkation, I wanted some fresh fruit, and the server ignored me, taking people that cut in line for toast and eggs. After 5 minutes I motioned silently for the "Lido Manager", and asked him to observe the situation. He then called the person by name, and asked me to order what I needed. The server laughed, and then proceeded to get what I wanted, albeit, in a surely manner. I told the server to serve me properly and wipe that smirk off his face. He glared at me, manager assured me, server would be gone by tomorrow. Who knew? I really wanted to "love" this nearly new ship, and could not for many reasons. Maybe I have been enamored by the luxury cruise lines, or, may not. This ship and what it offered was not up to my expectations with HAL. My last cruise on the WESTERDAM was totally top-notch, and that is what I had to compare this cruise to. There was not a single evening production number, ie: no cast of the Nieuw Amsterdam with the Nieuw Amsterdam Orchestra (was there one???), only a guitarist, several comics, and a duo of singers that wre just awful. The disco, Northern Lights, played the same old garbage HAL seems to love, YMCA, (I love The VP, but not in a "disco"), line dancing and just old rot. Ship is full of cigarette smoke, in the passenger halls, and near the casino - all to change when the new smoking (I hate the term "rules") go into effect after January 2012 fleetwide. At night the ship is like a constant parade of roaming passengers, fore to aft, searching for something to do, or avoid. Phoptographers to avoid, is my guess. Their shopping area is a disaster. It is huge, open, one massive area, all must pass through it to get to Manhatan Dining Room to Showroom at Sea, and the minute one steps in to this agora at sea, a sales clerk jumps on you trying to push the trite Wal Mart items on you. The bacon was more like jerky, in fact, my dogs Beggin Stips are probably more appetising.. Many items were not cooked per description, and many I was told, were frozen and lots were not cooked or made on board. Twice I sampled from Caneletto, the new Italian eatery foound also on the EURODAM. The food was, lets say, inferior. Now, for some culinary highlights" Ecxellent duck, superb lobster (served on two nights), beef in MDR excellent, after sending it back until it was cooked to order, escargot wonderful - it seems that on the special nights, although they were not billed as such, the dinners were very good indeed. Veal horrid, no matter what the nights theme. The Pinnicle Grill was truly special, a beautiful room, handsome, actually. The food was perfection, the service was exact. Someone bills this venue as the "best alternate dining at sea", I beg to differ. It is one of the best, as far as my own experirences go. To my tastes, the best, Polo Grill and Tosscanno on the Oceania ships, and the marvelous Todd English on the QUEEN MARY 2 and QUEEN VICTORIA.. The Pinnicle is like a top rate steak house found in most "new city centers" in the states - AND is better than Outback! Tamarind, the asian fusion restaurant was heavenly, purely, and most importantly, a haven away from the rest of the ship. If you love sushi and dim sum, do not miss this venue - it is very special. To end my qualms with the food, one can "eat" and "order" their way around the menus. There were certainly other nice items, and other not so nice. My main irk, real maple syrup, I inquired about, and house dressings, not real maple, and store-bought type dressiings. AS YOU WISH DINING - tried it and hated it and fled to our assigned table, upper level, MDR, on the "ring" overlooking the lower level. Our servers were just wonderful. Something new, and unacceptable to me, charging for bottled water in the MDR. You are not asked, you are just served it, and then, after two glasses, the bill arrives. NO, NO! I take my water from the pitcher, FREE. Also, billed as "cherries jubilee" along with crepes and the lot, not one of these is prepared in the dining room, nor are they even flambeed. The available very night menu items were generous, althiught the Ceasar salad was a joke. A couple of problems with the "bar" - AS YOU WISH DINING cheap booze was substituted for Grey Goose in my martinis - I hate to send drinks back, but, I won't be duped - The Glenlevit was substituted with bottom of the shelf cheap scotch - its this sort of trivial thing that bugs me. I suppose most don't notice or care. In the cabin, a flat screen was on the wall, with a side slot for free DVD's, when the movies arrived, they were scratched and dented - non viewable. The mini bar, well stocked, was rudely restocked by a woman each morning, who burst into the cabin regardless of what YOU were doing in your cabin, so she could replace a can of Coke, or a nip bottle of rum. No laundrettes on this ship, boy were passengers ticked about that. I did four laundry send outs, and the service and the results, as always with HAL's laundry, perfect. The ports, been there, done that, were what I expected, we did our own thing ashore, missed Vernice, our flights got in too late - a day and a half in Venice, spent in airports, BUT - we saved THOUSANDS of $$'s by having HAL do our air - for us, the savings outweigherd the visit to Venice, as we have been to Venice before - I would highly suggest that one book only air with their cruise line IF you don't mind missing time in the port of embarkation. The ship has been touted a beautiful inside, and there are some aspects that are indeed very pretty. I have seen better decor at sea, and the NIEUWS AMSTERDAMS interiors are ok, nothing extravagant, and dimly lit at night, except for the casino and that dreadful shopping arcade. Our four massages were wonderful. Steiner has stopped hucking their wares in the spa, and do not stuff your door slot with spcials like they did in the past (all "deals" are on the TV now, saving tons of paper!). Would I/we sail this ship again? YES Would we sail HAL again? YES - we booked the NOORDAM already. This was a mixed cruise as far as emotions were concerned. The good better aspects of this entire 12 day cruise were overtaken from the not so good ones. Had this been at full price, well, that would be another story.

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