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Found 275 results

  1. My husband and I joined by life long friends sailed last week. We are 2 stars but have not sailed HAL in several years. We primarily look at itinerary and sail dates to choose our cruises. We got a good price on this cruise so the 4 of us jumped on the good deal. All of us have cruised different lines. We booked a guaranteed VH but were moved up to a VB. I was sad to see the decline in service throughout the ship. We never went into the main dining room as we were assigned 5:30 seating. We asked to be switched and were told we could not switch, so we ate in the Lido. Service was so so...and most of the time we did our own beverage refills and one night even moved our own plates to another table to have room for dessert. Our area was not busy, in fact there were only 4 tables occupied. The server stood and visited with another table the whole time. This was the only time I actually saw someone not working hard to keep up. Servers in all areas were friendly, cordial and were always on the go. The food was good..nothing spectacular but plenty of choices. We enjoyed relaxing and spending time together. The crepe station was nice. I especially liked the salad options. I ate a salad of some kind almost every meal. We ordered at the Dive In and really thought the burgers etc and fries were really good as well as the one time we got pizza. Our friends tried to order pizza right after we ordered and were told 30 minutes...they told them 60 minutes...too long to wait. We did order room service several times but found ourselves on hold 10-12 minutes...food arrived in the time frame we were told or specified. We made the choice not to pay extra for dining. Overall the ship seems dark and dreary...not dirty or dingy...just not bright and airy. I missed the beautiful fresh flowers HAL used to have throughout the ship...another cutback... We enjoyed the BBKings All Star Band. Their shows were great, high energy, with lots of fun dancing. Venue is too small as most nights it was packed. Would have liked to listen to pianos but once again not enough seats and we are too old to stand. I thought entertainment was lacking. We did our own excursions in port so I can not speak to that aspect of cruise. We most often found plenty of chairs on deck 12 forward to sun and read. Pools were always crowded. We chose not to purchase an Internet package as I feel this is just another way HAL is gouging passengers. Too costly...for reported spotty service.. Could not not believe we could not get a major college game onboard Saturday afternoon but on Sunday NFL game was offered on the same channel. Bar staff told us the channel was available. We liked the option to self dis-embark with our luggage. We got in line at 7:30 and were loading our luggage in our car at 8 am. We love cruising...and we did have a great time with friends...met some interesting people and would recommend HAL to anyone but as I stated disappointing to see all the changes. This is is my opinion...and someone else may disagree...but since I like to read all the reviews my fellow cruisers share I hope this might help someone else...
  2. Been many years since our last cruise. Will be booking a Caribbean cruise and will be first time using HAL. I've been reading numerous posts about the lack of things to do onboard. Is there a place where I could find a copy of one of the daily/weekly onboard activities/entertainment? Years ago I would copy and paste to this site our particular ships' activity daily paper for others to see what's going on. Our previous cruises have only been on Princess and it was always nice to have a daily scavenger hunt, or trivia games, etc. Any help would be appreciated!
  3. Wondering about some family centric entertainment or activities on Nieuw Amsterdam. Do they show movies at night on the pool deck? If so, does anyone have a recent selection just to get an idea? Does Holland America have fly-in headliner/variety show acts in the theater ever? Do they have family arts and crafts, shows, etc? For those that have used the kids club, how did you like it? This pertains to a standard 7 day Caribbean cruise. Have the opportunity to book a trip aboard through a prize redemption program.
  4. Nieuw Amsterdam will be at pier 26 (starboard to) from 0545-1700. This will be a "Faith and Family" charter. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (10 Nov 0800-1700); Falmouth, Jamaica (12 Nov 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (13 Nov 0800-1700); Key West, Florida (15 Nov 0800-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (16 Nov a0700) Also in port are Adventure OTS at pier 29 from 0430-1730, Carnival Magic at pier 4 from 0500-1600, Independence OTS at pier 18 from 0530-1630, and Celebrity Equinox at pier 25 from 0600-1530. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/. Next up: Nieuw Statendam on Sunday.
  5. Nieuw Amsterdam will be at pier 26 (starboard to) from 0530-1700. She is doing the 7-day Malt Shop Memories cruise. Philipsburg, St. Maarten (05 Nov 0800-2359); St Johns, Antigua (06 Nov 0800-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (09 Nov a0700) Other ships in port are Carnival Sunrise at pier 4 (0630-1600), Celebrity Equinox at pier 25 (0600-1530), Coral Princess at pier 2 (0515-1600), and Majesty OTS at pier 9 (0545-1600). The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/. Also, Zuiderdam will be in Aruba from 1300-2300. https://www.portarubawebcam.com/ For the Addicts: Nieuw Amsterdam will be in St. Maarten on November 5 from 0800-2359. https://www.portstmaartenwebcam.com/ Next up: Veendam on November 6.
  6. I'm trying to decide between two sailings next year with identical itineraries. One is on Eurodam, the other on Nieuw Amsterdam. I've been reading photo reviews and watching YouTube videos about these two ships. It seems to me that the color scheme on the NA is far superior to that on the Eurodam. I like the lighter earthtones on NA as opposed to the darker, purpley colors on Eurodam. (Seriously, everything seems to be purple on the Eurodam). Am I incorrect? Maybe the photos I've seen of the NA have just been more flattering. In the end, the décor of a ship is not going to make or break my trip, but I just wanted to share my observation.
  7. Hello all, My parents (late 70s) will be traveling on the Nieuw Amsterdam in a few weeks. Does anyone have recent Caribbean dailies (the voyages with St Thomas & San Juan)? How was the entertainment? Were there any lectures / learning on board? Thanks for any insight / advice / feedback!
  8. Nieuw Amsterdam will be at pier 26 (starboard to) from 0545-1700. She is embarking on a 7-day Tropical Caribbean cruise. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (27 Oct 0800-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (29 Oct 0800-1700); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (30 Oct 0800-1700); Key West, Florida (01 Nov 0800-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (02 Nov a0700) Also in port are Adventure OTS at pier 29 from 0430-1730 and Carnival Magic at pier 19 from 0445-1530. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/. Next up: Veendam on Wednesday, October 30.
  9. DH wants to bring a 6 pack of Pepsi on our next cruise, which is on HAL Nieuw Amsterdam. As we understand it, they do not carry Pepsi, only Coke products. Does anyone know if this is allowed? Thanks.
  10. We just returned from May 7-14, 2016 Alaska cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. We decided to book a fully obstructed cabin, knowing we just need to see some daylight in our room and would be on other decks of the ship a lot. We were pleasantly surprised with our view in HH 4127: This is at the back of a lifeboat. Note that there are three taller tenders on each side of the ship that would obstruct your view further. The window is floor to ceiling but does not open. Hope that helps a future cruiser in this type of cabin. Cheers! klvn8r
  11. Hello All, (Note: I may cross post this on the Holland America forum too) So last July my extended family and I took a round trip Alaska cruise out of Vancouver on Holland America's Niuew Amsterdam. I researched the heck out of it and specifically selected that route and boat. It was my first cruise and I LOVED IT! So this year has been insane with work, but i have a little break now and am toying with the idea of a last minute Alaska cruise here in the next few weeks for my wife and I - just to get to some cooler weather and really unwind. Of course as I look at the options, I keep coming back to the same decision points I ran into last year (ports, ship, route, time, etc.). We would only do a week so a land tour is not really on the table this year either I'm afraid. Given the last minute compromises (i.e. limited cabin choice, September weather, etc.), I am only considering this if I can do it for a tolerable sum. Having said that, a balcony is a must as is a more true "inside passage". Anyway, I have narrowed the choices somewhat to these two options: 1 - Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam - Balcony Guaranteed - 08/31-09/07 - Vancouver to Vancouver Roundtrip (note: this is the same cruise we did last year) Ship built in 2004; refit in early 2017 2 - Holland America's Westerdam - Signature Suite Guaranteed - 09/01-09/08 - Seward to Vancouver (Southbound) Ship built in 2010; refit at end of 2017 The boats are similar in size (about 2K passengers) but the Westerdam is an older class of ship (and 6 years older of course). The ports are, of course, almost identical - Glacier Bay, Juneau, Skagway & Ketchikan (besides the disembarkation obviously). However, the Nieuw Amsterdam does offer the Tracy Arm Excursion "from the boat" on the way to Juneau (assuming that excursion isn't already booked). The combined ship and airfare cost is only about $300 different for these two. The Items that come to mind on these two are: 1. Newer boat is generally going to be nicer - win Nieuw Amsterdam 2. Signature suite (which we had last year) is DEFINITELY nicer than a regular balcony cabin - win for Westerdam 3. Guaranteed cabins are always a crapshoot, BUT the Signature suites on Westerdam are virtually all located in great areas so the risk is low. Conversely, I (who am a bit prone to motion sickness), would be gambling a lot more with a "guaranteed" balcony (they are all over the ship - win for Westerdam. 4. Flying in/out of Vancouver is a lot simpler, cheaper and less tiring than flying in to Anchorage. The latter requires transport from Anchorage to Seward as well. Southbound would be ideal if we were doing a land tour, but we aren't - win for Nieuw Amsterdam. 5. As noted above, I am a bit prone to motion sickness. The Nieuw Amsterdam route is pretty much ideal for me, whereas the Westerdam crosses the Gulf of Alaska (in September) and could be rougher. If the Westerdam stopped at Hubbard Glacier it might be more "worth it" but it doesn't - win Nieuw Amsterdam. 6. The times in port are almost a wash, but the Westerdam does have a small advantage here for Juneau as it docks and leaves earlier (and in September it will get dark around 7:00 pm so any excursions running after that may not work out) - win Westerdam. 7. Overall route is almost a wash, but since the Nieuw Amsterdam does "pull over" on the way to Tracy Arm for a small boat excursion, it offers that option. Of coruse I have node idea if it is already fully booked. - win Niuew Amsterdam (small). Anyway, does anyone care to chime in on any of this with their thoughts/opinions? Anything I haven't thought of here??? No wrong answers of course!!! Itineraries:
  12. Ken and I are doing our second transatlantic and looking forward to being on such a new ship. Hope meet new friends at the LGBT meetings.....
  13. Nieuw Amsterdam will be making her first visit to FLL this season and will be at pier 26 (starboard to) from 0530-1700. She is doing a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. Fort Lauderdale, Florida (19 Oct d1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (21 Oct 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (22 Oct 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (23 Oct 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (25 Oct 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (26 Oct a0700) Also in port is Majesty of the Seas at pier 19 from 0600-1600. Zaandam will be in Aruba from 0800-2300. https://www.portarubawebcam.com/ Next up: Zuiderdam on 20 October.
  14. I've read about some changes in the entertainment on HAL. Is is safe to say that there will be some show taking place in the main theater each evening at 8 & 10 when we are on the NA in a few weeks?
  15. Anyone out there have pictures of this suite? I've heard conflicting stories about the aft suites being smaller or having weird furniture arrangements. I guess pictures of any of the other decks aft Neptune suites would also answer this question. Thanks!
  16. My husband and I will be cruising on May 10 on the Western Mediterranean. Does anyone have any recommendations for excursions at any of the ports?
  17. I am now booked on a HAL( came back from Princess) cruise sailing on the beautiful Nieuw Amsterdam. I booked a balcony cabin on deck 5, next to the elevator. I have been in a cabin like this before, but it was a while ago, and I don't remember. I would like to know how much of a view do you get from the elevator into my cabin. I not worried about the balcony view, just the cabin. Thank you
  18. Is anyone familiar with this suite? It's one of the last available and we weren't sure about it's aft location. The concern is noise from above or below, ease of getting on/off for excursions. Thanks!
  19. Just checking about drinking water available on the NA. Is there a place on board that has water for filling water bottles other than the tap in the nearest sink?
  20. Just got back from the Aug 24 Nieuw Amsterdam 7-day Inside Passage and wanted to give a shout out to our portrait photographer, Melinda. Melinda is one of the two "Black Label" portrait experts on the Nieuw Amsterdam and we (DW, DD, and myself) decided to sit for a session with her. Melinda was a delight to work with and captured some of the best portrait photographs we've ever had taken of us. Even DD, who was convinced that B&W photos are dumb and has the normal body issues of a 15yo, loved the results. Yes, the prints and/or digital files are expensive, but we were so pleased with the results that we ordered the digital files for nine of the images. It added up to a lot, but now we have plans for holiday presents for the grandparents, so that's good . So, if you're on the Nieuw Amsterdam and thinking about getting a portrait done, ask for Melinda!
  21. We’re contemplating a fall 2020 transatlantic cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam in an aft-facing cabin when the new itineraries come out and we are interested in hearing from folks that have sailed on a HAL transatlantic cruise in the past year or two. We are in our mid 60s and enjoy lectures, playing trivia, walking laps around the promenade and pretty much having organized fun on sea days. Also, do the cabins sill have DVD players? During slow times and in the evening after the show, as we don’t really like hanging out in the various lounges, we also bring along some dvds to keep us entertained. And finally how is the internet service in the cabins, especially in the aft-facing ones, as my DW needs daily access for work purposes. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
  22. Day #1 - After a leisurely breakfast on the 23rd floor of the Pan Pacific, we rolled our luggage downstairs to the co-located Canada Place cruise ship terminal (the hotel has a dedicated "cruise ship level" elevator.) It was an easy hop, skip and a roll to the porters. From there, it was the actual cruise ship check-in which, with four ships in port, was a busy affair. After check-in, it was a bit of a "zig-zag livestock style" meander to get to shore-side security screening of individuals and carry-on luggage, and then another "hurry up and wait" for pre-clearance border screening, not by Canadian CBSA, but by officers of the United States Customs & Border Protection (CBP). You see, the United States federal government operates border pre-clearance facilities at a number of ports and airports in foreign territory. The process is intended to streamline border procedures, reduce congestion at U.S. ports of entry, and facilitate travel between the pre-clearance location and U.S. ports of entry unequipped to handle international travelers. After the obligatory welcome aboard pic by the ship's photographers (hey, no one is holding a knife to your throat to later purchase these pics!), we took one of Nieuw A's scenic elevators to Deck 7 and to our floating crib. Dropped off the carry-on's and headed for the Lido Marker for a salad and soup lunch. As we were leaving the abode, our luggage was delivered pronto; fast service by Nieuw A's Housekeeping Dept.! The 4:00 PM mandatory passenger emergency safety drill was one of the fastest and most efficient "mustard" drills that we've seen in twenty-seven years of cruising. Everyone showed up, got scanned in by the asst. boat commander and, at least as was the case with our boat, #10, paid attention/quit flapping their lips" as Captain Marco Carsjens and CD Rebecca read their safety and health schpiel via the ship's P/A system. We were dismissed exactly nineteen minutes after arriving, a fact which drew an applause from many of our fellow shipmates! Impressive feat! After unpacking, we did some jelling and vegging until it was time for dinner (we chose a casual one in the Lido and had Rigatoni). From there, it was a beeline for the last portion of the first set (8:30 PM) of the B.B. King's All-Star Band which, we found out, was standing room only, not one available seat in in the house! The band sounded spectacular as usual, with lead female singer Stephanie Bolton standing out. We stuck around for the entire second set (were able to locate two front row seats) and then finished up the night with the two Billboard Onboard pianists/vocalists Ivy and Jonathan. The main entertainment in the show lounge tonite was the movie "Avengers Endgame"starting at 8:30 PM Pic is the reason behind this ship's name prominently displayed opposite the Deck 2 port-side scenic elevators. New York City's nick name "The Big Apple" was first popularized in the 1920s by John J. FitzGerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph.
  23. We previously sailed on the Amsterdam and spent many evenings in the Crow's Nest Bar. We booked on the Nieuw Amsterdam for Thanksgiving, so I was browsing photos of the ship. Did they turn the Crow's Nest into the Explorations Cafe? Is there no longer a bar up there???
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