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  1. I just boarded the Nieuw Statendam today. Observations are based on cabin 1012, a single oceanview cabin. I will start by answering some common questions about the "in cabin" experience. The TV is large, wall mounted at the foot of the bed. It is mounted such that any access to any ports is difficult. It has been suggested that cabin stewards may be able to help you if you want/need to access these ports. I have attached an image showing the 9 "live" tv channels available. There are approximately 144 movies available for viewing. You may select them by seeing categories, or one listing of all movies. The navigation around the TV menu is different than Koningsdam as of last November. Other observations. I have been on Koningsdam twice, leaving last on November 11th last year. So far the Nieuw Statendam seems very familiar. It helps that I have the same cabin I have had on Koningsdam. Muster drill will be happening shortly, and then we will see how similar they are.
  2. Anyone sailing on the Nieuw Statendam November 17, 2019. My wife and I will be sailing with my Daughter and Son in Law. Would like to connect with any others folks that will be traveling on the Nieuw Statendam
  3. I know this is a very new ship but has anyone stayed in cabin 6169 or has any information on it? In the HAL website it looks to be a little larger (longer room) with an angled balcony. Thanks in advance for any info.
  4. I realize this is a long shot because it is about specific cabins on Nieuw Statendam, but I'm hoping someone may have an answer for me. On the deck plans on the HAL website, on deck 7 there is no line separating the balconies for cabins 7144 & 7146. I initially thought that it could simply be a mistake on the graphic, but then I noticed that the line is also missing on deck 8 for cabins 8146 & 8148, which are directly above the other two. This made me wonder if there is something at that spot on the ship that makes it impossible to separate the balconies. This seems like a small thing, but I am going to be in 7144 in June and I really enjoy a private balcony. If anyone has been in or is currently in one of these four room, could you please let me know what the balconies are like? Thanks very much.
  5. Currently on board. Lots of folks have given reviews of ship. She is nice and new! I will focus on ports of call. 1) Half Moon Cay - very nice. Easy tendering - no wait. We were the only ship there. :-) 2) Ocho Rios - ugly industrial port. 10 min walk to shops: restaurants. Be prepared to be bombarded by locals trying to get you to take tours. Most start by trying to shake your hand ( I don’t shake ANYONE’s hand-fist pump for me). They are offended if you refuse and call you racist. Then they start yelling at you. There is nothing within the industrial port so don’t bother to get off ship. Tomorrow is Cayman Islands. I will report back.
  6. Does anyone know if the Televisions on the Nieuw Statendam have either a bluetooth connection or a jack for headphones?
  7. Where is the sauna located? Is there a fee? Are there separate saunas for men and women?
  8. I have searched all over for MDR menus. Anyone know where to find them?
  9. Just returned from a 7-night cruise on NS. This is a brief review. It is my opinion and reflection, and I won't take any offense to anyone who disagrees (especially if it is based on their personal experience). Background My wife and are in our lat(er) 40's, with no kids. We were traveling with another couple (and their two boys, 11 & 15). This is our 4th HAL cruise, but we've mostly been on Celebrity the past decade. We live in South Florida. The Ship Very nice. Elegant without being stuffy. Lots of places to sit and chat, read, drink, or play games. Artwork that seemed appropriate (although I liked some of the creative music-themed items and not others; but that's art!) The Clientele This cruise was over the spring break (week off) for local schools. We had about 275 children aboard, according to the Kids Club manager. Adult passengers ran the full gamut, from honeymooners to "experienced retirees". A really nice mix. We chatted with folks from South Florida, Virginia, Idaho, Holland, Belgium, UK, Germany... at least those are the places we remember. I would "guess" that the average age was 3-5 years older than Celebrity on this particular cruise/week. The Cabin We were in a standard veranda (category V). It was very similar to the Soltice-class ships on Celebrity. Perhaps a bit more storage space. I also like the shower on the NS better (better water pressure and larger). The two down sides in comparison to Celebrity -- the balcony doors open out (instead of sliding) and the table is tiiiiiiiiiny. Bed was comfortable. The Main Dining Room VERY pleasantly surprised. We ate in the MDR on 6 nights. The food ranged from good to very good. Our first night, however, was a service disaster. They seated us on a table where my wife was hit in the head twice as waiters walked by with trays. It was also too loud to talk to eachother, as the waiters were talking loudly. On the way out, I spoke with the Matre'D and calmly explained that it was not a good experience. The remainder of the time, he seated us in a table in the middle with an outstanding waiter (Budi). It made a huuuuuge difference in our enjoyment. The food quality was good (as always, it is subjective), and most of the dishes we ordered were nicely seasoned and cooked to our requests. We did have a gluten free diner with us, and Budi gave her the next night's menu so she should order and they would make hers without any gluten. To keep up with the "extra charge" discussion, we were not charged extra for multiple entrees. The boys generally ordered two entrees and two appetizer/salad/soups each. With the exception of a soup they didn't like the taste of (and two asparagus spears that one didn't like), there was no waste. The adults generally ordered 2-4 appetizer/salad/soups each, and one entree. Plus an extra 1-2 entrees for all of us to try (ex: guinea fowl --- winner! and asian duck --- loser!) Specialty Dining We ate two lunches in Pinnacle. Excellent. The cheese board by itself was worth it. The ambiance, service, and the food all made it a special, very enjoyable meal. Definitely would do this again. We ate dinner in Tamarind. We went because so many people loved it. It was, by far, the worst meal we had on the ship. The service was odd -- lots of people stopping by, but not clear roles. We were asked the same thing multiple times by different people (specifically ordering food and water; one even asked us if we were ready to order -- AFTER our menus were taken away???). We have a good, authentic Thai restaurant at home. The food at Tamarind was ok. The appetizers were certainly edible, but not well executed. The "seared scallop" was either steamed or prepared by someone who doesn't know how to sear a scallop. The seasonings were muddled. It also felt like a fast food restaurant in that there was no pacing of the meal. My wife and I ate (4 appetizers, 2 entrees, and 2 desserts) in 47 minutes. Maybe everything is pre-prepared. Anyway, OUR experience was quite disappointing. So we won't be going back to that restaurant! The Music In a word... excellent!!! I'm not a music person. Just not my thing, except for classical (and Billy Joel / Elton John). However, the BB King group and the Lincoln Center Stage group -- wow! Great performances. Really, really nice. The rock group was also good.... the dueling pianos weren't really dueling. They were working together, so it kind of lost some of the energy in my book. Enjoyable, but not on the level of the BB King / LCS groups. Those were A/A+. The Service Typical HAL quality. The room steward (Asis) kept the room very tidy and our ice bucket filled. Any question we had, he answered. Always with a smile and remembering our names. The accommodation by the Matre'D (whose name I don't remember because it was very long and I'm terrible with names), the food service by Budi, the wine service by Rex.... all reasons why HAL's service seems above our experience on Celebrity. Random Notes - Blend happy hour was 9-10 most nights. No one was there, and you had to ask at Club Orange for the "wine guy" to come out. It was BOGO on $17 glasses. Very enjoyable wines (both Cabs & Merlots; didn't try the others) - Formal nights were nights after visiting HMC and after visiting Grand Cayman - Chocolate croissants should be illegal because they tasted so good - Key cards were excellent (the RFIDs worked flawlessly and we didn't spend a minute each time trying to insert the key card and pull it out just at the right speed for the lock) - Lots of "buzzers" were around for obtaining drink service - Mixed drinks were the smallest pours I've ever seen on a ship - Dive In burgers were well executed as was the NY Deli & Pizza (pagers were very nice -- no standing around waiting for your food; when it vibrates, come back and pick up hot food) The Suggestions Not everything was perfect. 1. The "price matching" in the on-board liquor stores took 40 minutes because no one could find the manager and he was the only one who could approve. If you advertise this in multiple places, it should be a standard process that works whenever the shops are open. 2. No Dam merchandise. We really wanted some Dam shirts. And there were no prizes for trivia (like Dam mugs or Dam shirts). Those were really fun things!!! 3. But the big thing.... the SMOKING IN THE CASINO!!! We didn't play any craps or blackjack (first time in a while). The combination of the smoking and the lack of a high-quality filtration system really made it difficult to walk through, let alone play. Also, the smoke wafts down into the music rooms below. The smoking thing is a biggie. As much as we loved this cruise (and we did!!!) we aren't sure we'll book another HAL cruise on a ship that allows indoor smoking. And I love a cigar on a cruise, I really do. But never inside where the smell just lingers. Overall, a really fun cruise. Very pleased with this HAL product as we experienced it. If there are any questions I can answer, I'll try.
  10. Can anyone tell me if the Nieuw Statendam casino has a Let It Ride Poker gaming table?
  11. We were ensconced in one of 11 Signature Suites. Noordam had over 40 Must attend Muster Drill put 2900 tired pax on deck 2-3 at 3:45. Elevators tied up well past 5pm Lido tables have a button you press to summon a drink steward Portions of Lido buffet has tiles and heavy chair scaping was very loud Some window seats in Lido look down onto portions of deck 8 balconies Aft lido pool deck smaller than Vista class but lots of chaise loungers up on deck 10-11 Crow's Nest café opens at 8am not 7 Happy hour is way down on deck 2, Crow's Nest was a like a morgue...sigh Main stage show was packed at 7pm, selection was poor. Music venues were well attended in the eve as well Our suite had no night light in bathroom Cotton balls and q tips on counter in bathroom Large shower with wand, side jets, a seat and shower head No CNN on tv Balcony had lots of seating and a table high enough to have a meal Some room service breakfast items cost ie...smoothie, $5 or Steak and eggs $9 Library had a few new books with HAL stickers inside cover..bring a book, leave a book 13,000 sweaty sailors meandering the cobblestone streets of San Juan Hope HAL bans spray sunscreen cans as some wait til on crowded aft deck to anoint everyone downwind with heady fumes!! Bath robes around your bathrooms please not in Lido
  12. The insurance through Holland America seems expensive. Has anyone bought trip insurance from someone other than a Holland America? If so who? Thanks. Too old to go without but retired & watching my money.
  13. Took the red eye from Los Angeles to FLL. No sleep for 30+hours and hung out at FLL till boarded. Take a taxi for the 2 mile $15 ride to the terminal. Hint, have your photo ID handy at the terminal gate even if you are in a cab! the line up is at 10:15 bit they didn’t let us in to check in till 11:00. Was on the boat at noon. This ship hip has the best cruise ship bathroom ever! The solid glass door is so much cleaner and better than a vinyl curtain. It’s the worlds best shower because no matter how long you run the hot shower with the door closes the mirror does not fog up!!! the ship is a beauty and I live the music theme which includes names of decks,!music venues and artwork. The artwork and feel is fun and more like the Celebrity Reflection or a very toned down Carnival. The internet works and price $139 unlimited is fair. You can also use the same account in multiple devices just not at the same time. The menu looks improved over what I had on a Holland cruise two years ago. The grand cafe is a waste and is all pay extra. The pizza was amazing. The flourless chocolate cake flawless. The free ice cream in the Lido buffet is not made in board. Only the extra pay gelato is made here. The free waffle cone was delicious. The only complaint I have is the service in the main dining room tonight was very slow. I went 5:15 not busy when arrived but all courses were very slow. If that happens again I’ll need to say something. The new spa has a deal if $199 for one or $200 for two persons and up to 25 passes are sold for their spa sauna facilities. I was tempted bit passes. Maybe next time. Hopefully the poor MDR service was a one time event. But I really like this ship so far.
  14. Saw a post on Facebook HAL fans group from person on NS reporting that there are engine problems and they are skipping HMC and heading back to PE. Only report I've seen- will be interesting to see when she gets into PE
  15. Here’s our review of our 17th March Eastern Caribbean sailing aboard Nieuw Statendam. This was our first time on HAL. Having booked through a UK travel agent, we flew directly to Fort Lauderdale from London (very convenient, though Norwegian does not the most comfortable long haul product!). We arrived the night before embarkation, and stayed in the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina. This is a great location for the airport and port, but it is sadly a rather dated Hilton property. We were quite lucky with the beautiful room we were assigned, but the public areas seemed as though they needed some attention. As this hotel is so close to the port, on a busy embarkation day it is absolute mayhem - suitcases everywhere with people arriving and departing. As a result we chose to eat breakfast out, and checkout as late as possible. Via our travel agent we had received an embarkation time of 2pm. Due to the situation at the hotel, we made the decision to go directly to the terminal at 11:30 (it seems like the entire ship had also done the same). They were already on embarkation group 25+, and actually stopped using numbered groups when we got to check in. From arrival at the terminal to embarking the ship was under 30 mins. As has been well documented, the ship itself is beautiful and has that wonderful new smell (sadly mixed with cigarette smoke if you go anywhere in the vicinity of the casino). We had a VD grade balcony cabin which was beautiful - though perhaps a little smaller than the similar grade cabin I had on Queen Victoria last year. The bathroom is wonderful though - definitely the nicest I’ve had on a ship. The balcony has ample space, and the ottomans make it perfect to sit and relax. Our first night we ate at the Pinnacle Grill, which I had pre-booked as a celebratory meal beforehand online. Incidentally, we overhead other passengers being told on the first night that the Pinnacle was fully booked for dinner for the entire cruise. Our meal was outstanding - the service was so so personal and caring it really made it for us. The portions were huge, and we were unable to finish most of our food (the king crab legs were particularly large!) The live music on the ship is outstanding - in particular, we really enjoyed Billboard Onboard, which we tried to catch most evenings. It was nice to see that there were certain ‘regulars’ who also enjoyed particular music venues. Coming from the British market where kettles in the cabin are commonplace, I did find it a little annoying that you had to order from room service or go to the lido if you wanted a tea or coffee. Room service were always very helpful and friendly but often took about one hour to arrive. We did not purchase a beverage package, and found this to suit our needs well as although we might have a couple of drinks a day, this did not warrant the high cost. In our opinion, spirits and cocktails were reasonably priced (certainly cheaper than here in London, and cheaper than other lines I have sailed on). However, any kind of wine just seems to be disproportionately expensive in comparison to spirits. We took the sommelier’s advice a couple of times at dinner, and greatly enjoyed his suggestions but in reality felt cocktails or other drinks to be far better value for money. Additionally, we actually found the coffee available in the lido surprisingly nice - there’s a good selection of dairy alternatives too if you need. We enjoyed the lido for breakfast most days, though as with most ships it does get rather crowded. everything is super fresh, and we were really pleased by the policy of the crew serving you your food. This makes a good difference in hygiene. Dinner always looked very nice at the lido, though we didn’t try it ourselves. There are just two brief things to mention here: 1) the hours of the lido are a bit strange and truncated. Whereas on other ships it might be open consistently throughout the day, we found that there was a mid-late afternoon period and a post 8pm period which would have been nice to have the lido open for a snack, or if you were returning late from an excursion and wanted something more casual to eat. 2) the only time I ever felt encroached upon in terms of up selling was in the lido - there was a near constant pressure to look at the Canaletto menu and make a reservation, which we didn’t experience any other time and which was a little annoying. Dive-in and New York Deli and Pizza often had huge queues and waiting times, but dive-in in particular was worth the wait. It’s good to note that you can customise any of the burgers from toppings to cooking times. New York deli also has constantly replenished jugs of iced water, iced tea and lemonade so this is a good place to grab a complimentary drink. This cruise took place during the US spring break season - as a result there was a great age range on this sailing, including others like us in our twenties. However, it did mean that the lido pool wasn’t almost unusable for anyone other than families which is to be expected. For some reason, even on warm, perfect days, they would leave the retractable roof only semi open, and this caused a great degree of echo within the pool area which is not very relaxing. Aside from our first night, we ate in the MDR every evening. Our first experience was the first Gala Night which was, in all honesty, utter chaos. We had a reservation for 20:30, but it was nearly 9pm by the time we were seated. We felt like we received little care or attention, and the service felt extremely rushed (no doubt due to the waitstaff being rushed of their feet). Things improved however on subsequent evenings, and we felt that (apart from all the clearing up going on around you) these later dining times tended to work best. One evening we were seated upstairs where the set dining is, and the service we received there was much better which seems rather telling. We had selected anytime dining to better our chances at securing a table for two. However, we think that next time we would probably go for the late sitting set dining as our experience of the service there was much better and far less rushed, and the upper level had a much quieter and more sophisticated atmosphere. In truth, we also missed the opportunity to get to know our waiters. Our first port of call was Amber Cove. We had pre-booked the Dominican Coffee excursion. We enjoyed the excursion, though it involved nearly three hours round trip of travel and was probably not worth the money charged. However, it was a nice opportunity to support a local project, and enjoy a local meal. In San Juan we chose to make our own plans, and went to the Bacardi factory the other side of the bay. This is fairly accessible by Uber in about 25 mins. Again, being spring break, this was quite a rowdy afternoon, but it was fun to learn about the Bacardi brand and taste some of their trademark cocktails. This was our first time in PR, and we would probably not suggest this tour to first timers as we would have liked to have had more time to explore old San Juan in hindsight, and travelling to and from Bacardi sterilised the rest of the day. There are plenty of nice places to wander within walking distance of the ship - we enjoyed finding a nice bar and just sitting and talking with a drink or an ice cream. Our next stop was Charlotte Amalie. We had prepaid for the Kayak, Snorkel and Trek at Cas Cay excursion and this was 200% worth it, and the highlight of our cruise. The guide was extremely knowledgeable, and whilst a little strenuous if you are not used to exercise, it was accessible to all. The ‘hike’ portion is really just a twenty minute walk, on which you get to see some hermit crabs and a blow hole. As it turned out, Charlotte Amalie would be our last port of call as at about 6am on the morning we were due to call at Half Moon Cay, the Captain informed us that the ship had lost power and was drifting. After around 30 mins or so, they did manage to restore partial power, but the Captain eventually decided that he did not feel able to call at Half Moon Cay for a number of reasons. He handled this very well, but I think it is rather disconcerting that a brand new ship can lose all four generators at once, and only be able to get half back up and running within a reasonable time period. This was a great shame as we were really looking forward to Half Moon Cay. We received $50 credit and port taxes back as compensation. Our overall impression was great - we felt that the Nieuw Statendam was a good medium between the tradition of lines like Cunard, and the night life of lines like Celebrity. I would certainly love to travel onboard again though unfortunately I will say that the only negative thing I can really say is the smoking situation in the Casino - I know this is a bit of a chestnut in these forums, but I do find it extremely uncomfortable, and somewhat bizarre that in a brand new ship the design is such that whilst there is a beautiful staircase at the casino, the smoke is able to easily transfer to other public areas.
  16. Who else will be on the Nieuw Statendam as she cruises from Fort Lauderdale to Amsterdam on April 21, 2019? I look forward to hearing from you guys.
  17. No photos on Halfacts - looking at fully accessible V5055, 5057, or 5052, 5054 Has anyone any information on these? Thx 😊
  18. The two newest ships for Holland America are traveling together from St. Thomas to Half Moon Cay. This is Koningsdam as seen off the port side of Nieuw Statendam
  19. As many of you know I recently completed a one week voyage on the NIEUW STATENDAM and I thought you would want a few observations.. I will be brief. I hate to say it but this is the new mid size. That was made clear to me when we were in Cozumel and docked next to The Harmony of the Seas. The Nieuw Statendam looked like a tug boat next to this monster ship. That being said, I still prefer the Signature Class Ships. My friar is they will get bigger and bigger.in the future. One thing I do not like is the promenade walk around deck. It is too narrow . It was good that they moved the Lincoln Center performers to the Queens lounge. However since they now share the space with the BB Kings Blues Venue, the classical music does not go that late. &:30 they are furnished. This ship and the Koningsdam cannot go through the New Locks in the Panama Canal. It has to do with the fact that lifeboats are out way to far. I understand that the next ship they will be relocated closer to the ship and hopefully more like they are on the other classes of ships. Maybe we will even get a decent size Promenade Deck in the next one. I had a nice room on the Navigation Deck (8059) midway between the Forward and Mid ship elevators. The problem was it was right below the Lido pull area and I could heart them dragging tables and chars late at night as I was trying to go to sleep. I liked this ship better that the Koningsdam but I still favor the Vista and Signature Class ships. I miss those Sea View Elevators at the mid ship. I also notice that there are not as many offerings at Dinner as HAL used to offer. For instance, we used to get three soups offered each evening: A broth soup, a cream soup and a cold soup. Not there is one but I think you can still get French Onion. It also seemed that there are fewer options on the minu but you can purchase a President Cut Steak for another &%.00. Baked Alaska is gone from the minuet on the last night of the cruise. The have a Chocolate offering on the last Gala night but with Diabetes, I took a rain check. These are my observations. I will be Chaplain on b2b Cruises on the Nieuw Amsterdam in June. It will be nice to get back on a Signature Ship. If you to the time to read these thoughts and observations, thanks for reading them . They are subjective. They were written in that spirit.
  20. Fellow cruisers, I booked a cruise on the Nieuw Statendam (NS) in December. My new girlfriend and I are in our early 50s. This is her first cruise, my sixth. When I booked the trip, I reasoned the NS is a new ship and assumed it must be an improvement over other Holland America ships. I like Holland America for being classy but not arrogant, offering a calmer, quieter experience. My last cruise on the somewhat smaller Nieuw Amsterdam (NA) was very good. The atmosphere on the NA was subdued and I felt the ship needed a slight "party buzz" (just a little, nothing Carnival like) and also felt what the ship offered in entertainment was just enough. The NA's elegance and other elements of the cruise made up for that slight gap in entertainment. Overall, I love the NA and would cruise again in an instant! However, since I made the booking on the NS, I read reviews that were not quite as praising of the ship. In particular, passengers said entertainment was lacking, and some said it was less than that on the NA. The following four criticisms from experienced cruisers caught my eye: - One said Holland America did away with Broadway-like shows, and whatever they replaced them with was sub-par: not enough and not quite entertaining. - Another wrote there were not enough music venues. The two main venues -- the BB King and the Rolling Stones -- were crowded since many passengers would tend to congregate there, thus lessening the experience. - A third complained about the music played in the back of the ship, or anywhere else for that matter, as not being lively. - A fourth complained the NS felt too "plain" (I guess he meant lacking in elegance) and worse, there was practically nothing to do on ship. This is a long way of saying I am concerned. I want to give the NS a fair chance, but must admit the reviews have made me nervous. I suppose I can enjoy a beautiful ship even if there is nothing to do on it, but I am coming with a new girlfriend and hope for at least some "buzz." Can anyone please share their experiences with respect to entertainment on the NS? Thanks in advance.
  21. Good morning friends. I arrived in Ft. Lauderdale yesterday around 3:30 PM after a nice flight on United. I have a room on the starboard side mid ship on the Navigation deck. The upgrade ferry tried to get ahold of me but I didn't go on line until late last evening. Oh well, better luck next time. IIt was supposed to rain this morning but so far, so sunny. I can see Port Everglades from my hotel room anr the Oosterdam is visable as is the Caribbean Princess. More later.
  22. We're going to be on NS April 7-14. Just wondering if past passengers might offer any food or dining tips - you know - "be sure to try this" or "go here". ....menu hidden gems...anything that really caught your taste buds or whatever...🤗 Don't want to miss anything good! FYI - just talking about within the "included" dining options here, not interested in the extra-charge or specialty dining. Anyone care to share?
  23. We have a spring break cruise in 2020 book for the Nieuw Statendam booked, and as excited as I am, curious to hear about how many kids and any reports from Club HAL - so far, not a lot of family reviews. We originally had a Disney 4 day booked, but at almost 2k less and 3 more days, this was a easy choice, buuut, I'd feel better knowing that our 8 and 13 year old are going to have fun too:)
  24. we're going to be on NS April 7-14. Just wondering if past passengers might offer any food or dining tips - you know - "be sure to try this" or "go here". ....menu hidden gems...anything that really caught your taste buds or whatever...🤗 Don't want to miss anything good! FYI - just talking about within the "included" dining options here, not interested in the extra-charge or specialty dining. Anyone care to share?
  25. Hello! I have called ship services and they weren't able to answer my question. For those of you who have sailed on the Nieuw Statendam or Koningsdam, are they able to accommodate 11 people in the main dining room or in a specialty dining restaurant? Ship services said no to the main dining room, but they were unsure of any specialty restaurants. We are looking to keep our group together for the first night and the remainder of the cruise, everyone will pretty much do their own thing. Thanks!
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