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Found 274 results

  1. We just got off the NA in San Diego and had a very nice cruise. As usual, the service was outstanding. Embarkation in San Diego was a breeze and the terminal is small and basic. Our signature suite was well appointed and the cabin stewards Sandri and Heru were awesome. The adult seaview pool turned into the kids pool. I heard there were 400 kids onboard, way more than we’ve ever witnessed onboard a HAL ship but it is Spring Break. There simply was not enough room in the Lido Pool to handle the volume of kids. Unfortunately, that made the aft pool kind of crazy and not very adult friendly. It seems like very few people realized the aft pool is for the adults and there is less signage than in the past. We decided to stay onboard the ship in Mazatlan and had a great relaxing day at the Seaview pool as most got off the ship. We had three dinners at Tamarind, three at Pinnacle Grill and one on our balcony. Tamarind was excellent as always but the Pinnacle was well below expectations on all three dinners. We’ve always been fans of PG and typically eat there multiple times on every cruise. I’ve always regarded them as on par with our top steakhouses in Seattle. Our first two dinners the quality of the beef was really not good. Grainy filets and grisly Rib-eye and Porterhouse. Decided to try seafood on last night and that was an even bigger disappointment. My wife’s Halibut was dry and not flavorful. My Scallops were cold and bland. I would have expected better in the MDR. I let the Maitre D’ aware of our overall experiences after our third underwhelming meal. He was apologetic and offered new meals that we declined. I brought this up as we prefer HAL for their fine dining as well as we are stockholders. I’m hoping this was simply an anomaly but three dinners in a row is not a coincidence. Hopefully they can get this corrected soon. This is our third HAL cruise in the past 12 months and we had nothing but good experiences in the Pinnacle in the two prior cruises (Oosterdam and Eurodam). Disembarkation went smoothly and was well organized. Overall this was a good cruise that could have been much better. Our allegiance to HAL may have taken a little hit even though we just got to 3 star Mariner status. I would be interested to know other people’s opinion on Pinnacle Grill. Anybody else see a decline in quality or did we just catch them on an off week?
  2. I know that Nieuw Amsterdam is in San Diego today along with a Disney Ship. Webcam is very blurry this morning but looks like one of them is at the Broadway Pier- looks too far apart to be at the main terminal. Anyone know?
  3. I've never been on Holland America. We'll be in a Signature Suite for our upcoming voyage. Will there be many differences between the Signature Suite experience versus the experience in a regular balcony cabin? Thanks in advance for any information you can provide. 🙂
  4. Hi. We are leaving on our first HAL cruise this Sunday on the NA. My wife always brings her own hairdryer. Not having much hair, I don't. She would like to not pack hers but is always worried about the quality of the in-cabin dryers. I would appreciate any comments on the quality of HAL's dryers? Thanks and Cheers
  5. Our family of five, grandparents (60s) in a balcony cabin, and us (2x early 40s, 1x age 9) in a Neptune Suite Aft Corner (Port side, deck 6, 6164). This was the grandparents first cruise - we have done several over a decade or two and achieved two-star mariner status on this cruise. We have previously cruised HAL, Norwegian, and Celebrity - our favorite is Celebrity. We chose this cruise because it left out of San Diego (our home) and matched up exactly with our spring break from school. We booked after final payment (which is our MO) so only had a month or two to plan. We have done Mexican Riviera before, several times - it is an inexpensive getaway from San Diego. Embarcation in San Diego was smooth - we arrived around 11 - there was a monster line to enter the terminal but it moved very quickly. Once past security, there was virtually no line for Neptune guests (this was our first Neptune cruise!) and in fact my parents who were in a regular VA also had no line. They had just announced general boarding (around 11:30) and suites were ready as soon as we were aboard. We dropped carry-on luggage in the room and proceeded directly to the lido. The lido was (as expected) chaotic on the first day - we ate at the Dive In burger restaurant, poolside, and found the service speedy and efficient. The burgers were amazing, easily 8 out of 10 as far as the best burgers I've ever had. The burger was easily the best thing we ate all week in taste, efficiency, and presentation. Our Neptune suite was very nice, spacious, and worth the cost upgrade. The corner aft balcony is our favorite. This corner aft is much smaller than those we've experienced in the past. We later noted that the corner aft on decks 5 and 4 is notably larger (though 4 has the window washing equipment, which I'm not sure is that much of a problem). Still though, plenty of room on the balcony for 5 people to hang out, sit, stretch, chat, eat, and never have to "squeeze past" each other - just walk around effortlessly. Inside, the room is spacious and the living room gives room for 5 to sit, though more than 5 would be a little cramped. The Bose speaker provided in the room was surprisingly useful. It delivered great sound and we used it a lot. The TV also had great sound and was a good size for the room. The bathroom was huge by cruise ship standards and with the tub/shower combo we often utilized the dual-shower combo to get two people ready at once. The stand up shower is just the least bit cramped and tends to get water everywhere, though if you mind it, you can control it pretty well. The makeup room between the bathroom and the livingroom served well as an office for a few conference calls I had to take but went largely unused otherwise. The couch was comfy and the room steward switched it back and forth from bed to couch daily. The room was serviced twice daily although we seemed to be at the end of the list for morning service, often it didn't occur until past noon. The suite comes with fruit delivered daily and we partook in this regularly. Our steward must have noticed that we were eating a lot of grapes, as each day the pile of grapes atop the fruit basket would be larger, until 3 or 4 days into the cruise a separate fruit basket appeared that contained nothing but grapes, piled so high they nearly wouldn't fit. We laughed, and of course, gorged ourselves on grapes. This was the only noticeable sign of our room steward (other than, of course, the twice daily bed making and the fresh towels) - we've noticed over the years that some stewards you don't see much of, and some, by the end of a week or two, you're lifelong friends. This particular team would always greet us in the hallway but was overall pretty invisible and unassuming. Neptune Lounge, we didn't expect to use much, but we did - a lot. The coffee machine in there is really great, the teas are better than those offered elsewhere, the snacks are a little more refined than lido food, and the concierge - which I wasn't sure what on Earth I would use them for - we used them a lot. Re-make a lost key card, make a dinner reservation, find something out, etc - they would do just about anything you asked. We really enjoyed this amenity and we'd have a hard time going without it in the future. I got the unlimited internet package for the cruise and it worked as expected - slowly, but without issue. We paid for the 7-day pass in the thermal suite for two - generally didn't have a problem finding a hot chair and used them daily. The lido food was good - service is mostly handled by the lido attendants - there is not a lot of serving yourself. This really seemed to help our perception of hygiene (so many fewer dirty hands everywhere) but generally slowed down service and made lines longer. My standard breakfast is a DIY breakfast sandwich - get two pieces of bread toasted, put a piece or two of cheese on them, get two eggs over medium, slide them onto the bread, then bacon or sausage on top. I don't really know how to say this, but I feel like my *perception* is that lines were longer (because of the full-service handling), but in reality I don't feel like it took me any longer to get my regular breakfast than usual. The lido seemed more crowded than past experiences but even though it was generally packed, I didn't have a single instance of not being able to find a table - it was full, but turnover was quick and cleanup was efficient and even when you'd look up to see every table taken, by the time you got your food you could always find a place to sit. Similarly, it seemed like every station had a line but you never seemed to wait for more than 3-4 people to clear and it never took more than a minute or two. We had pinnacle for breakfast once, and were turned away on a second attempt later in the week because we'd taken my parents and it's suite guests only. We retreated to the regular restaurant to find the identical breakfast menu there. I feel like I try sit-down breakfast once or twice each cruise and always find I like the lido better. We returned to the lido after that. The sit-down restaurant food seems to have taken a significant decline in recent years - the china they used to use is now relegated to the Neptune Lounge, and they just use regular dishes in the dining room. The food was good (though uninspired). They did seem to be enforcing the "2nd entree $10" rule, but I am not a two entree guy, so it didn't bother me. I did order an appetizer, a soup, a salad, an entree, and a desert every night without issue. I did turn away a main dish one night (wasn't to my liking) and had it replaced with something else without question or charge. The lighting in the dining room (I'm sorry to nitpick something so basic, but it really is a core thing) was downright bad. The fluorescent lighting makes it look like the inside of a k-mart and only accentuates the declining food presentation. Our stewards were pretty good and quite friendly. "Smart casual" is now basically "don't wear flip flops", there are lots of jeans, t-shirts, etc. "Gala night" is now "anything with a collar" and cargo pants and a polo shirt was not uncommon... for *gala* night. Those of you who've followed my reviews for a decade (I assume you're a small crowd) will now have witnessed my full transit from "why do I have to bring a tuxedo" in my 20s, to "seriously, cargo pants and a polo shirt on gala night?" in my 40s. It's a spring break cruise and there were 300+ kids on board. There are a LOT of kids and a LOT of families and it showed. Kids club sometimes feels like it has a lot of individual attention, but this cruise it felt like they were trying to just keep it all under control. There were regularly 20-40 kids in the tween club - three sessions per day. Again, sometimes it feels like the kids club staff and I become family by the end of a cruise, but generally speaking this time around, I hardly knew their names, they hardly knew mine. My daughter seemed to enjoy it and kept going back, so there's that! There was room to spare at the string quintet performances but the magic show was standing room only. The America's Test Kitchen was packed every performance (and I really enjoyed it). BB King's Lounge was hopping - there was a male lead vocalist who ROCKED the house. The dueling piano bar seemed to satisfy the older crowd with standards but had a hard time getting a vibe going. Trivia was offered a couple times a day but you grade your own paper and it just didn't feel very competitive. None of the bars were really very full and they didn't develop that "regular crowd" feeling that some cruises have. Mexican Riviera hasn't changed in 20 years. Cabo still has the glass bottom boats and they're still $10/head. We got a good one and had a great tour. Mazatlan we took a taxi into the historic district and walked around. Puerto Vallarta we took a taxi to the Malecon and walked around. It was nice being in Puerto Vallarta until late (11pm). HAL was my first cruise line and for many years was my favorite, until we found X. We still enjoy HAL but as an upper-crust line it seems to be slipping. We would happily cruise HAL again if our dates lines up, but we wouldn't seek them out. 7/10 overall.
  6. Hello, I have a question about the position of the sofabed. Because of the lifeboats i prefer to have first the bed and the sofa by the window. I am looking for Cabin 4123. Does somebody knows where the sofa is? I found picture of 4115 and the 4117 and they have both the bed by the window. Other question about the noise. Below of the cabin('s) is the photo gallery. What do you think about the noise level? Thanks a lot
  7. This is my second time on the Nieuw Amsterdam, the last time being in 2010, the year it was launched. The ship was in pristine condition and per usual, was constantly being cleaned by the fabulous crew. I always try to tell the cleaning crew how much I appreciate what they are doing. Having done this itinerary multiple times with my husband, who can no longer travel, I did not intend to leave the ship and I stuck with that scenario. I flew in the day before for two reasons: Southwest’s continuing negotiations with mechanics and the 737 MAX issue which was solved before I left. An hour flight from Tucson sure beats the all day flying to Florida. I stayed at the new Springfield Suites right across from the pier and was able to walk over in 5 minutes. Can’t beat that. I thought the hotel was brand new but was told by the staff that the hotel is 3 years old. I highly recommend it; nicely designed and appointed rooms and a very good complimentary hot breakfast. Some brief comments: Cabin: Neptune Suite next to the center elevators – no noise. Smaller size than on R and S class ships. Overheard a crew member say to another passenger that the larger the ship, the smaller the cabin size for both passengers and crew. Dining: Did not eat in the MDR instead I ate dinner twice in the Pinnacle Grill and 5 times in the Tamarind. The introduction of the new PG menu was on the first night of this cruise for the ship and the service was a tad disjointed. But by my second visit, things at settled down. The Tamarind was fabulous and I tried to have something different every night. The service by the women was excellent. Everything came in minimal time. This menu is going to change soon. The new menu may be already on the Konigsdam and Nieuw Statendam. All I was told was that there would not be lobster by itself but as part of a kind of surf and turf. Lido for breakfast and lunch was very good. A few times in Pinnacle Grill for breakfast also very good. As has been stated before, there is a $10.00 charge for an extra entrée in the MDR; also a $10.00 charge for an extra entrée in the Tamarind and a $15.00 charge for an extra entrée in the Pinnacle Grill. I did not see an extra charge on the Canaletto menu when viewed online. The print is very small on the menus describing the extra charge. Nightly entertainment: As previously reported by others the HAL singers and dancers and the orchestra/band were gone. The first night Bohemian Rhapsody was shown on the Main Stage. The second night the Piano Man, Brett Cave performed after the Captain’s Toast. Captain informed us there were 2260 of us on board plus a crew of about 850. Other entertainers were a Magician with a dog, a comedian, the Indonesian Cruise Show, and a dance group Step One: Humanity, a loud light show with dancing. The Lincoln Center Stage group consisted on 5 young string musicians from the Ukraine and they were excellent. There were many enrichment activities including the America’s Test Kitchen, the EXC Guide, a Naturalist, the Mexican Ambassadors, who gave talks about various aspects of Mexico as well as performances at the Seaview Pool of singers and dancers. A mariachi band performed the evening in Puerto Vallarta. I was prepared to totally dislike the EXC/Crow’s Nest Area. I think way too much space is allocated to those large exhibit tables with itinerary stuff (can’t remember what they are called), the book cubicles contain mainly reference books, and there can be issues with the sound system. I like the idea of the “classroom” on the port side where Naturalist and other talks were given. It is problematic when a talk is going on in the classroom, and another activity is going on in the main Crow’s Nest and only one microphone can be used, so the second speaker is shouting and then there is the background noise of the various coffees being made. My conclusion is there is advantages to this space but I don’t think it has been totally thought out on how best to use it. Being spring break (which seems to last two months in the U.S.), there were more variant ages than I have experienced on most other HAL cruises. There were infants to at least one man 85 years – perhaps others older. There were families with children, teenagers, grandparents, college kids, young adults and those of us in the aging generation. All seemed to enjoy themselves and it appeared HAL was selling a lot of “adult beverages” and the casino was busy whenever it was open. Embarkation and debarkation were very smooth. All in all, it was very enjoyable and I returned home rested. I would like to see at least one or two enrichment activities on port days as I observed many people did not leave the ship. And a better assortment of books in the Crow’s Nest would be nice. Barbara
  8. We loved the Taco Bar on the Zuiderdam last month. Is it on the Oosterdam and/or the Nieuw Amsterdam?
  9. We just returned from our first Holland America cruise on the Nieuw Statendam (LOVED it!!!), and are in the process of booking a July 2020 cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. We typically stay in ocean view cabins (though we have also done inside and verandahs over the years), but I really like the size and layout of the inside J rooms, especially as there will be 4 of us in the cabin for 12 nights! However, I see that there are a few potential noisemakers on the deck above - BB King, the casino, etc. Any suggestions for particular J category staterooms that are quiet? Thank you!
  10. Can anyone tell me how to search the forums? It used to be so easy. I was able to search for things within specific categories, ie: Holland America: Nieuw Amsterdam spa pass. Now, I don't see that option. Anyhow, does anyone know how much the Spa access pass on the Nieuw Amsterdam 7 day cruise is? Is there a special on board on specific days? We like to use the thalassotherapy (hydrospa pool) daily. Thank you.😊
  11. Hello, all! We are sailing on the Nieuw Amsterdam in an SS Suite and have two questions about the sofa bed for the 3rd person: 1. Does anyone have any pictures of the sofa bed made into a bed? 2. Does anyone know how long the bed will be or the maximum recommended height of the person sleeping in it? This information would be helpful, as we are considering upgrading to a Neptune Suite, thinking the sofa bed might be a bit longer --- that might not be the case, though. Any insight would be appreciated! Thanks! 🙂
  12. So confused about HAL cruise offerings. I am between these two sailings on August 3 Nieuw Amersterdam Vancouver Roundtrip and August 4 Westerdam Southbound from Seward to Vancouver. We only have time to do the 7 day cruise, so no land addons. Which itinerary is overall better? Which ship? What sorts of things should I be considering?
  13. We are looking to book a scooter accessible cabin on NA. Seems there are no fully accessible cabins available, but 5001 shows up as partially accessible. I've tried searching for pictures or descriptions but found nothing. Has anyone been in 5001? Would it be suitable for someone with a scooter? Thanks for any feedback.
  14. Can someone tell me does the NA still have a Library. And does it have Lincoln Center and Tamarind ? OP thinking of taking the cross Atlantic.
  15. We are considering a cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. We have sailed on the Vista class ships (Westerdam, Zuiderdam) but not on the Signature class. We really liked the aft balcony cabins on Deck 5 (like 5185) because of the extra long balcony with loungers as well as a table, chairs and footstool. We also liked the fact that these balconies are fully covered. Can someone tell me, are the aft balconies on NA similar? Does choosing an aft on deck 5 (like 5193) similar to those on Vista class, and do the balconies get smaller and more exposed as you go up? Also, does anyone know when Explore 4 usually starts? We are looking at cruising in Dec 2019 and can't decide whether to book now (and purchase drink package later) or wait for Explore 4. Thanks! Sharon
  16. Hi, could someone tell me how many electric plugs in the NA verandah cabins and where they’re located? Thanks!
  17. I have been considering continuing the process from the last two weeks with a continuing discussion. So here it is! This morning I was on Nieuw Statendam as we arrived in Fort Lauderdale. This afternoon I am on Nieuw Amsterdam getting ready to head on on pretty much the same itinerary as last week. Why? Because I can and because I haven't been on Nieuw Amsterdam yet. Additionally, it just worked out. Nieuw Amsterdam was booked several months ago. Contrary to my recent history, this was booked as a guarantee cabin like I did to begin with. I received a cabin assignment about 10 days ago getting a reasonable ocean view cabin. Last Friday I received an email from HAL advising me that my cabin had changed. That is why I am now sitting in a Verandah Stateroom on the Nieuw Amsterdam. For the record it is cabin 5100, pictures already provided to HALfacts. Because of several factors, this is not going to be an "apples to apples" comparison. The biggest reason is solo cabin on NS to Verandah on NA. I have much more room this week and a good location. This cabin is right next to the outside glass elevators on deck 5. This makes it very convenient to the Lido for meals, and equally accessible to the MDR and Showroom. The cabin is very nice, the stewards have introduced themselves and it is almost time for the muster drill. Since these cruises are a week apart, it will be easy to compare entertainment. NA has had the upgrade to the Music Walk, so the offerings should be similar. As I did for the last two weeks, the dinner menus for tonight are attached. Feb24LIdodinner.pdf Feb24dinner.pdf
  18. Hi, I have booked a July sailing on this ship. Have only been on the Westerdam years ago. How does this ship differ from the Westerdam? Is there a therapy pool on here and if so does anyone know the charges. Also how are the specialty restaurants? Opinions of this ship for the Alaska itinerary? Do they have onboard lecturers, etc. Also is the MDR food good. The staterooms as well opinions. Thank you
  19. We are our cruise in June - 7 day Alaska Inside Passage on the Nieuw Amsterdam. Can anyone give me some idea of how long it is likely to take to disembark in Vancouver? We arrive in Vancouver at 7am on 29/6. Is there some system they use for disembarking? Thanks
  20. What are the prices right now. We leave in a month.
  21. I lined up the deck plans, do you think we will hear lots of noise from above us? We are don’t go to bed early, around midnight.
  22. We were told footprint wise they are bigger rooms is there a window room the same square footage ? Not counting the veranda or Suites?
  23. Aloha Fellow Cruise Critics, My wife and I are contemplating a 1 week cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam, I'd like a Signature suite but all that is left is an adjoining SS cabin or one next to the elevator. Does anyone have any insight to the pros and cons; an adjoining cabin with extra noise or an elevator that is next to our balcony. Thank you
  24. We are on Nieuw Amsterdam's first 2019 Alaska cruise.
  25. We will be on the 6 night cruise to Vancouver and staying on for the first Alaska cruise.
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