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  1. We have loved the Neptune Suites on the Amsterdam because I loved the little sink in the dressing area. As we left the ship after the 2018 World cruise they were ripping up the rugs and beginning the dry dock. We were told that they were replacing the bath tubs with walk in showers. We are now considering going on the 2021 HAL world cruise so I decided to look on line for pictures of the 'new' Neptune suite. All I can find show a bathtub still, just a new shower head and new wall tile and it appears they replaced the sink in the dressing room with a counter top and no sink. I am guessing this has been discussed on here before now, but this is the first time I looked for pictures. Is this right?
  2. On NA now. Oosterdam hit our stern this morning while she was docking. All appear to be OK. Looks like damage is mostly deck 4 verandas Will post more as we hear updates. I have a feeling we may be late sailing for Alaska today
  3. I thought I’d jot down some thoughts on our recent cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam to the Mexican Riviera sailing out of San Diego. This was our first time sailing on Holland America and our first cruise out of San Diego. We’ve cruised on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess prior to this cruise. I’d originally booked a balcony cabin, category VD, through a travel agent. She included $75 OBC and was able to offer a very good rate. Two weeks before sail date she contacted me with an upgrade offer from HAL for a Neptune Suite which I accepted. We’ve never sailed in a full suite, opting for a junior suite on other lines when the mood strikes. Embarkation: We’d spent the night in Point Loma and drove to the San Diego Airport Parking location where we parked the car for the week (at $71, a bargain) and took the SDAP shuttle to the pier. The shuttle dropped us off at around 11:00. The Disney Wonder was also in port so the pier was very busy. We were directed through security then through check-in before settling in to wait until being called to board at around 12:00. We boarded with the first groups due to our having a Neptune suite and were tucking into lunch at the lido by 12:15. The announcement that all staterooms were ready came before we finished eating. Cabin: We had Neptune suite 7051, which was directly across from the Neptune Lounge. I wondered if there would be noise from passengers congregating outside the lounge, but I needn’t have worried. Our cabin was very quite and very, very wonderful. Not only was there fresh flowers, a fruit bowl and coffee maker, there was also a bottle of sparkling wine waiting on ice. I wish I could have snapped a photo of my husband’s face when he saw that wine. He loved those perks and the attention to detail this type of cabin category provides. The refrigerator had soft drinks, mixers, Red Bulls, spirits, beer and wine available for purchase, which we never used. Binoculars and an umbrella were there for our use as well as 6 pillows, soft, medium and firm, for our use. My husband prefers a soft pillow, so he was quite happy. There are his and hers closets, or at least that’s what I’m calling them, with a large number of hangers available. Robes, slippers, beach towels, a safe, laundry bag and shoe shine basket were also in the closets. We utilized the free laundry once during the cruise, which was wonderful. I requested the laundry on hangers and I loved how it all came back. Undergarments and other items that are normally folded were presented wrapped in tissue and presented in a wicker basket. I don’t know how big the wall mounted TV was, but it’s huge with a wonderful selection of on demand movies. The live channels available were MSNBC, FOX, BBC, Prime, HGTV and I think that’s it. There are also some other shows available, but they seemed to be tied in to the cross-branding that happens on the ship: America’s Test Kitchen and HGTV. My husband and I watched a whole lot of movies from the comfort of the couch or chairs in the room. The bathroom was large with two sinks, a shower, a separate tub with jets, and an offering of soaps, lotions, potions and so forth for our use. Just outside the bathroom was a vanity with a magnifying mirror and a hair dryer that doesn’t have the button that needs to be held down. Any other cruise ship I’ve been on has always had the hair dryer that requires me to hold the button down and isn’t all that powerful. The balcony was large with a table and 4 chairs, two padded, reclining deck chairs with ottomans. and a small table in between them. I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the balcony. On my last cruise in February on Carnival, it seems the balcony wasn’t touched and had a lot of debris on the deck. It’s nice to have a clean balcony, one that I don’t feel I have to grab a wet washcloth and wipe everything down myself. Passenger mix: I’d heard there were 425 children on this cruise. The kids were noisiest in the pool, playing water tag, splashing, throwing a football and generally being kids. I didn’t notice the tykes taking over the hot tubs except for the first sea day. Outside of the pool deck, the kids were very well behaved and mindful of their parents. I did hear running of kids outside our cabin on two occasions, but that’s it. The adult population was quiet and considerate. Lots of chair hogging, but I think that’s a product of all mass market cruises. HAL places rolled up towels on all the loungers. Perhaps some were vacating their loungers without removing the towels, making others think the chairs were taken. People were always dressed appropriately, though I did notice a couple of teens with very short dresses (one with a slit so high it showed her black panties). I saw no robes at the buffet or women at breakfast with curlers in their hair, something I’ve always seen on our Carnival cruises. No drunks, loud talkers, foul mouthed Neanderthals or obnoxious bullies, either. I only saw one instance of seat saving and that was in the Blues club with one woman saving an entire front row. Nobody showed up to claim her seats during the first set. I almost wished someone would’ve come by and challenged her. We saw all ages, from infants to octogenarians, and most all were polite and thoughtful. This seemed more of a white collar/professional crowd and it was a welcome change from what I’ve seen lately on other lines. Food: DH and I are not foodies. We are willing to try new things, but feel most comfortable eating pedestrian meals. We both found the food on HAL to be quite good. Here are some of the things that impressed me about the lido deck food: Freshly made waffles, crepes and eggs Benedict for breakfast; freshly made waffle cones at the ice cream station; a whole roasted suckling pig. I’ve never seen this before and it was amazing! There was a vast assortment of fresh fruit, a daily variety of twice baked potatoes and I particularly liked the one with brie cheese. Small plates with cheeses, fruits, salads and so forth were also available. I found something each day to enjoy. Although we could eat breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill, we only did this one time. The made-to-order items at the Lido Marketplace trumped the PG. Tried the afternoon tea and I enjoyed both the food and the service. I’d have gone back at least one more time, but DH isn’t a fan. The pizza didn’t look appealing, so I never bothered with it. DH tried it once and said it was OK. He liked the Dive In burgers and fries. I tried one of the hot dogs and it seemed over-steamed with a real soft consistency. I didn’t finish it. I loved the ice cream and enjoyed a couple of waffle cones with a scoop of strawberry goodness topped with sprinkles. I didn’t try this until the last couple days of the cruise and I’m glad. I’d have eaten an ice cream cone a couple times a day every day. Not good for the waistline! We had open dining and ate at the MDR on 5 of the 7 nights. We opted to share a table each time and met some lovely people who we kept running into all through the cruise. The food was nice, but nothing was really memorable, except maybe for the Gala night lobster, which was cooked perfectly. I’ve been trying to lose a few pounds so there were nights when I skipped both the appetizer and dessert. Perhaps I missed something marvelous, but I have a feeling we’ll be back so I can try some new menu items. The service was wonderful and the dining room decor lovely. There was never a wait and we usually ate anywhere from 5:00 to 6:30, depending on what was going on that day. Although we could have made reservations, we preferred to simply show up when we were hungry. I’m not a drinker, but my husband enjoys the occasional cocktail. We never had a problem finding a server by the pool or at any of the bars. I tried a couple of the mock cocktails listed in the menu and mostly liked them. DH loves his Maker’s Mark and ginger ale, so he stuck with that. At Canaletto’s, which we booked on a whim when a nice young lady approached us advertising the restaurant, I started with the Antipasto and it was very tasty. For a main course I had the Spaghetti Alle Vongole Veraci E Gamberi. I certainly couldn’t pronounce it, so had to simply point at my menu. It was very good, even though I’m not a huge fan of steamed clams. For dessert I had the lemon tart, which was just awful. The waitress had warned me that it was dry, but I thought I’d take my chances. She offered to bring an alternate selection, but by then I was full enough. Canaletto’s being a part of the lido buffet is a bit odd to me, but the glass partitions at least give you a bit of quiet from the hubbub of the buffet crowd. Although we enjoyed our dinner and the service, I doubt we’ll do this again. Ship The Neiuw Amsterdam is a beautiful ship. We discovered the EXC area (aka Crow’s Nest?) and spent some time there relaxing, watching the view and enjoying a specialty coffee from the coffee bar. We went back up there on the last sea day and it was packed, so didn’t stay long. The lay out of the ship is nice and easy to navigate. The promenade is a great feature, but I’m embarrassed to say we didn’t make daily visits to get our walks in. We spent some time at both the Ocean Bar and the Sea View bar and enjoyed the atmosphere and great service. The ship wasn’t too big or too small. In my mind, it was just right. Entertainment I’m admitting here that we spent more time in our cabin than on any other cruise. The suite was so comfortable and the balcony so large that we found the room to be a destination in itself. As a result, we didn’t go to as many of the entertainment venues and we normally would have. We never made it to the ATK demonstrations or Billboard Onboard. We only saw the performances at Lincoln Center Stage and BB King’s Blue Club one time. Both were good. We watched the performance of Humanity at the MainStage theater. I’m not a big fan of these shows, though my husband is. Although the dancers were all talented, I felt the costuming was uninspired and the show as a whole a little bit underwhelming. I guess I’m just a tough critic. We went back the following night to see comedienne Chris Pendleton. I thought she was hysterical and my husband thought she was just so-so. Her humor leaned toward that which women would understand, so maybe that explains we he and I responded differently to her performance. The CD was named Nick and he’s the kind of cruise director I like: the quiet kind. He’d make announcements, but they weren’t long or often. Our favorite entertainment was our cabin and the gazillion on demand movies. I know….why go on a cruise to watch movies? Who knows? What I do know is we had a wonderful time and my husband says he’s ready to book another HAL cruise soon. And this coming from a die hard Carnival lover! Disembarkation: Because we were in a suite we got priority disembarkation. We normally do self-assist, but none of the disembarkation literature we received in our cabin mentioned this as an option. After a final breakfast at the Lido Marketplace we waited in the BB King Blues Club lounge. We couldn’t help noticing the number of passengers loitering with their suitcases and realized we could have joined them if we wanted to get off the ship earlier. Disembarkation started at 8:00 and for the next 30 minutes the self-assist passengers filed past the Club. Our group was called at 8:30 and we had to line jump since the self-assist passengers were still filing past with no end in sight. It seemed like half the ship wheeled off their own luggage! We were off the ship and on our parking lot shuttle by 9:00. The Disney Wonder was disembarking with us so you can imagine how crowded the pier was. Final Thoughts: We enjoyed this cruise immensely mostly because of the service, the food, the beautiful ship and the mix of passengers. The service was fantastic, though there was one hiccup. My husband was nursing that bottle of sparkling wine we had in our suite. He’d come back from dinner and pour a glass, then stopper the bottle and place it back on ice. The stewardess for some reason pulled that bottle before it was empty and disposed of it. We’d come back to the room after dinner for the purpose of him pouring one of the last glasses in the bottle and found the bottle gone. I approached the concierge and explained what had happened and how disappointed my husband was that this complimentary beverage was disposed of before he’d had a chance to finish it. The concierge worked her magic and a new bottle appeared the next day. We’ll be back on HAL. I’d love to sail this line to Alaska, New England or Europe. I’d rate HAL above the other three lines we’ve sailed, though Royal really is a fun line. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
  4. I’m a first time (solo) cruiser looking at booking a Canada and Alaska cruise extension for Sept. 2020. So far, the possibilities I’ve come up with are two, similar travel Calgary to Vancouver and (I think) the same ports of call in Alaska. The difference is either sailing on Volendam or Nieuw Amsterdam. I’d appreciate advice from seasoned HAL cruisers as to what the main differences might be and any recommendations. tia Graham
  5. Can anybody tell me if there are separate free saunas for men and women on deck 9 of the Nieuw Amsterdam? I'm looking at the deck plan and only see one sauna... Thanks in advance.
  6. Overall, an excellent cruise. We have cruised Alaska twice previously, so our goals here were to see something beyond the standard ports of Juneau and Ketchikan. We have also seen Glacier Bay, so Tracy Arm , and a truly awesome time at Hubbard Glacier (our second visit, but the first paled next to this visit) more than compensated. The 14 day route was perfect, exactly was we were looking for. They are improving it next year, sailing from Vancouver for a true Inside Passage trip, but this trip was well worth the effort. The ship is in very good shape. Not perfect, but really very good shape. It is very well maintained, constantly. Probably the most annoying problem was the leaking megradome on the midship pool. It leaked in so many places. When we had some rain (not much), fog/drizzle (a couple days), or the standard cleaning (almost daily), there were steady drips of water in MANY places. There was always a crewmember or two trying to prevent slipping problems. We also had an issue with our cabin, but it was handled aggressively, rapidly and effectively by staff. The gym opened at 6am (YEA!!!), but equipment breakdowns became a problem. Overall, the ship gets a B plus for condition, or better. Staff was their typical wonderful selves, working hard and doing great jobs, always with a smile. Many were seeing their first glaciers and high snow covered peaks...it was fun seeing their excitement. A-plus here. Food was really good, with solid variety. Yes, the portions are a little smaller. I wish someone would tell my waist line. Pinnacle is still excellent. We had the Signature Beverage Package. There is a pretty good prosecco priced in the plan. Otherwise had no real issues getting our beverages. A-minus here. Entertainment was of the standard type with singers and dancers doing 4 shows, mostly oriented towards 60s to modern rock. Couple comedians...all pretty good. Beatles tribute performer that we have seen before, but enjoyed seeing again. BBC World II production that was good, but not as good as the first version. Movies every day. Adaigio (duo), didn't see. Trio in Ocean bar was not our type of music for the most part. We discovered the piano player in the Piano Bar a little late...he was pretty good. B-plus here. We only did one excursion (one additional got cancelled)- the 26 Glaciers cruise out of Whittier on the Anchorage day. Quite simply the most scenic excursion we have ever done (in 22 cruises). We had great weather almost the entire cruise...the day in Whittier was the best weather the entire cruise. This excursion is awesome...can't recommend it highly enough. Yes, it is longer (11 hours total), but totally worth it...every penny, every minute. A-plus, plus, plus, plus grade. We sat in front of Hubbard Glacier...maybe half a mile away, for about 90 minutes. The glacier calved about every 90 seconds...little ones, medium sized, and some big ones as well. It was truly incredible. Highly recommend this cruise, ship, and crew. Happy to answer any questions.
  7. Amsterdam is making her first visit of the season to Juneau. She will be at the AS dock from 0800-2200. Volendam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Disney Wonder at the AJ dock from 0645-1645 and Azamara Quest will be at the FKL dock from 1000-2300. A very nice day (by Juneau standards) is predicted. The forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and only a 20% chance of rain. High will be 65F/18C and the low 49F/9C. Sunrise is at 3:55 am and sunset at 9:59 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Nieuw Amsterdam, Eurodam AND Maasdam on Monday.
  8. We will be sailing on the Amsterdam for an extended period of time. I am a very light sleeper and am disturbed by noise. i would appreciate any input on an Ocean View cabin on either Deck 1 (Dolphin) or Deck 2 (Main Deck) that is a quiet cabin; no engine, thruster, service areas, noise above or below the cabin. If you have a cabin that you would recommend, it would be very appreciative. Thank you.
  9. Our first time on a Holland America ship. We are in Main inside cabin 2527 and wondering how the room configuration compares with inside cabins on Princess ships that we have used on previous cruises. An excellent fare but wondering about being forward on this deck. Just the two of us and not sure if they will move us if they need a quad room. Thanks for your help
  10. Hi all! We're going on a cruise to Norway on the Nieuw Statendam in late July. I love to get up early and swim before heading off for the day. Can anyone who has been on the NS or is on it now tell me when they open the Lido and Seaview pools in the morning? thank you!
  11. Does anyone know if the televisions on Nieuw Amsterdam and closed captions on most, or all channels? Thanks.
  12. We've sailed in a Signature Suite on the Westerdam and there was a large, wall mounted TV opposite the bed. Can anyone tell me if the Nieuw Amsterdam Signature and Neptune suites have this feature as well? I looked, but I can't find any info. Thanks!
  13. Great shot of the Amsterdam on the port of Amsterdam webcam. Hope Ruth C is having a great time.
  14. I am considering a solo cruise on Nieuw Statendam. It will have to be an inside cabin due to budget constraints. Any suggestions as to more spacious inside cabins or cabins to avoid?
  15. Never been on Holland America before and plan on taking an Eastern Caribbean cruise and choose a balcony for the first time (we've ONLY ever booked inside cabins). We've been quoted a Verandah Stateroom (VF) and I think the only available ones are on the 4th or 8th deck and I think the front or back of the ship (sorry not the correct terms). I always like to prefer to be lower in the ship (like 8th deck) as it tends to be less movement than upper but is there any benefit to be up higher instead from a balcony view perspective? Thanks!
  16. We have a choice between Dolphin 1838 and Main 2556. Which is the better, quieter cabin? We will be going on a long cruise and I am a light sleeper. Thank you.
  17. I can't find it but I thought I saw a chain of posts where people post the room number and reviews of that room for a specific cruise ship, such as Nieuw Amsterdam. Does anyone know the link to that? Maybe it's a different web site.
  18. Hi first sailing with Holland we just booked an Inside room.. i notice a clear square over half of our room on deck 8...this would be a closet maybe? I am wondering about noise? also if I change my room location do I lose my perks.. we got the Explore 4 with it... thks for any help
  19. Just off NA and took photos of the bar menus which are the same through out the ship. The SBP limit was increased to $11 but still found the wine choices lacking.
  20. Has anyone played pickle ball on the Nieuw Statendam? Do they provide the paddles & balls? Has their been a good response to the games?
  21. As I had trouble finding update menus for this cruise I going to try to post them as we go along. I'm also including in this post the menu available every evening. Tonight we actually eat at Pinnacle Grill.
  22. After 5 years, this week I received a personal message from a saved refugee, whose resecue operation we watched while were cruised on the Nieuw Amsterdam/Oct 20 in 2014. Amidst our wonderful Mediterrean cruise, the captain made an at ful sea an emergency stop in the very early morning alongside a little boat filled up with around 50 Syrian refugees. On that morning I made some footage and placed it on Youtube when I was contacted by the saved refugee this week. This person named Khaldoun, has been rescued by the authorities and therefore very grateful to the captain & crew to notify them on their behalf. He is living currently in Norway and is asking me if there are more photos available. Please spread the message and kindly upload your photos, so I can share them again with Khaldoun. Thank you! Short impression of the rescue operation
  23. 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
  24. 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?
  25. 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?
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