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Found 171 results

  1. We had a wonderful Northern Isles Cruise on the Nieuw Statendam!!! Pre-cruise - We flew United from Pittsburgh to DC and then DC to Amsterdam. We purchased our airfare through HAL and saved almost 50% to what we found on line. Other than a long layover in DC, which we spent in a United lounge, the flights weren’t bad and we arrived in Amsterdam on Friday morning for a Sunday cruise. We stayed at the Kimpton, which we would highly recommend. It is a short (5 minute) walk from the Centraal station (took the train from the airport) and has nightly free wine happy hours. We walked everywhere from the hotel, with the longest walk being a little over 30 minutes to the Van Gogh Museum. We had a busy few days in Amsterdam- we went on a canal tour (in a drizzling rain) on Amsterdam Boat Adventures - a small canal boat that only holds about 12 people- due to the weather there were only 4 of us on board and it was a great tour. We also visited the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank’s house (with the recommended pre tour presentation). We would highly recommend each. We purchased all of our tickets on line in advance and had no lines. We also had the opportunity to watch some of the pride parade on the canals, which was amazing. It was a very moving experience going from the pride parade to Anne Frank and then back to the pride parade. We had the breakfast plan through the hotel (we booked using points) and also ate at Max Amsterdam- great Rice-table, De Belhamel - loved the fixe price meals for 36-39 euros per person and great canal views, and the Pancake bakery - touristy - but the pancakes were good and portions were huge. Two people can easily share 1 pancake. Transportation to the ship on Sunday was a bit difficult. We were going to walk the 20 minutes to the ship- but the cobblestone sidewalks were not easy with heavy luggage- so we decided to take an Uber. Unfortunately with all the traffic in Amsterdam from the parade and 2 ships in town, the time for the Uber to arrive kept getting delayed - from 5 minutes to 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Luckily a cab showed up at the hotel and we shared it with another couple. He charged us 10 Euros per couple- Not too bad. More to come later.
  2. Has anyone stayed in this cabin? Looks like a larger obstructive balcony with some ocean view.
  3. I confess to being a Celebrity "lifer". However, we have booked a transatlantic on the Nieuw Statendam and have a question about the cabin as I can't find any info on line. Cabin number is 5225 which is a category VS aft facing. Does anyone have any info on this cabin? TYIA
  4. Just back from a Cruise through the Fjords of Norway on board the Nieuw Statendam. A few thoughts: Embarkation: A rather long wait- but that might be because we picked a peek time – all in all well handled from HAL Ship: The Nieuw Statendam is just no our ship- to dark – to loud in some places. No deckchairs on the promenade deck- not even in some places. The wrap around pormmenade deck is nice - but the view blockes from the lifeboats. The most irritating part is the Lido – Buffet- Restaurant. The chairs and tables are by the windows- the style of said chairs and tables – well that’s a kind of “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"- for us it was the 70´s gone very wrong! The most disturbing fact of the Lido- Restaurant is that the waiting area in front of the stations doubles as walkway to the aft poo ldeck- so there was always “ traffic”- lot´s of people bumped into each other- the ones carrying their food to the tables and others walking through. The Dutch Café and Explorations – Crow´s Nest are both wonderful and nice places- nicely furnished too- both are self service- which is - in my book anyway- a deal- breaker. Especially in the Dutch Café- which is a very nice place - but way to small- waiter service would be much better- I witnessed some passengers struggling carrying their coffee- tea or whatever to their tables- some spilling their contents, some smashing vase´s in placing the stuff on the table. If you are so lucky to get a table, you had to put some stuff at the table- to mark it – “ in use”- ( so we turned into table- and chair hogs…) otherwise you get your stuff at the counter and are at loss where to put it- if there is no table or seat – happened to us twice- and we ended up at the bar- not a problem- but not very comfortable and not my idea of a Café! Oh just to mention it we are not yet in our dotting years- early 50s! The food in all Restaurants and especially in Rudi´s and the Pinnancle Grill were outstanding good. The service likewise. No complaints here! We had a verandah cabin on Deck 5- 5051- perfect location - perfect and extra large balcony- wonderful- the best bathroom i ever had on boad a ship- with the exception of Queen Mary2´s new single stateroom bathrooms. Would we sail HAL again- well- maybe on boad of one of the older ships- and if they change to table service in the Dutch Cafe and Explorations- for the time beeing it is either Cunard or Celebrity.
  5. We're looking at the Nieuw Statendam's verandah staterooms on deck 4 (VH) that are described as obstructed or partially obstructed view. The price is very attractive but for someone who loves to spend time on her cruise ship balcony, I'd like to know what that obstruction looks like. Hoping someone has photos or just an experience with one of these staterooms.Thanks in advance for your help. Really having trouble deciding!
  6. Still working on our review of our first trip on HAL, but wanted to share a link to pictures of MDR menus and food here. I know food is subjective, but we really enjoyed most of our meals.
  7. I know there are retreat cabanas. The teens liked the ones by the pool on our last cruise on NA
  8. Just got the email from HAL. Our 14 day back to back March 8th on the Nieuw Statendam is canceled. They’re offering us $75 per person ( veranda) to rebook on a different date in March. Glad I bought travel insurance. I had all my flights and hotels set up. Maybe they have a charter?
  9. I will be sailing on the Nieuw Statendam soon and was wondering how the new arrangement for Lincoln Center Stage is in the Queen's Lounge on this ship rather than the dedicated space on the Koningsdam. It would seem to be a much less intimate. Do they set up chairs theater style? Is it now a quartet rather than a quintet? I read that somewhere and I was wondering if that was an error. Hope so! Needless to say, for me this is one of the highlights of my cruise.
  10. Does anyone know from sailing on this ship if there is a happy hour in the Crow's Nest or any bar? If so what are the times and particulars. Thank you.
  11. Hello fellow cruisers! We recently returned from a 7-night voyage on the Nieuw Statendam, and I thought I would try and write a little photo review to share with you! Just testing this photo...More to come!
  12. Who can remember or knows what penny slot machines are on Nieuw Statendam ...the more the merrier thank you
  13. Nieuw Statendam Review, Land of the Midnight Sun, Departure on 7/7/19 For a little bit of background, we are mid-40’s cruisers that have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity & Disney with almost 20 cruises under our belt. This was our first Holland America experience and we chose this cruise due to the itinerary to the Artic Circle. We left a few days early so we could have time to enjoy a little bit of Amsterdam before the cruise on Sunday. We arrived into Amsterdam early afternoon and took a cab to our hotel, the Kimpton Dewitt as we did not want to transport our luggage by public transportation. We stayed at this location due to free points, but I highly recommend it as it was a short walk to all of the major sites in the city. A colleague recommended that we take the hop on/hop off on tour. I do not recommend this as it was a big waste of time and the tour highlights were not that great. We did download the Rick Steves audio tour on my Iphone, and we did two of his free walking tours and learned a lot from this and highly recommend this way to tour the city. On the Saturday before the cruise, we took the Old Holland Tour that provides public transportation by bus for 20 euros pp and it took you to Zaanse Schans, Edam and Volendam. We had a great time and they also have a walking tour that we used walking around the windmills. On Sunday, we headed to the port around noon and were on the ship by 12:30. We were really excited to be on this trip and to experience all that we could see on Norway. We were even more ecstatic because a couple of weeks before we decided to upgrade to a Neptune Suite. We have never stayed in a suite, but we pulled the plug because the cabin was an aft corner with the 2 balconies, and we wanted to be able to see as much as we could of all of the scenery both in the fjords and the Artic. One benefit that we truly enjoyed as a result of the suite was Club Orange. We had amazing food and service in this venue at both breakfast and dinner. I have a gluten allergy and they truly catered to me and I was able to have souffle and many other dishes that I have never been able to have on other cruise lines. Ports: Eidfjord. We scheduled an independent excursion through Go Fjord to see the Vøringfossen waterfall. On the way to the waterfalls, we stopped a nature exhibit. This was truly a waste of time, but this was the cheapest and easiest way to see the waterfall. The excursion limited the time at the waterfall, so I highly recommend going to the furthest platform viewing first and working your way back as it had the best views of the falls. Bergen: We first got on the hop on/hop off bus and do not recommend. The city is not that big and pretty walkable. We then walked around and stopped at the Hanseatic Museum and Bryggen. I highly recommend the museum and they have regular tours for English speakers. We did not buy tickets in advance of the funicular because I was concerned about weather. However, the weather turned out beautiful so on our walk to the funicular I bought tickets on their app and was able to avoid the huge lines waiting to buy tickets. We then had a hearty traditional Norwegian lunch at Bryggeloftet & Stuene. We then headed to the Fish Market as my husband loves all kinds of dried and canned fish. I bought some sausage (later learned you can’t bring back to USA ☹). Alesund: We took the independent excursion through Norway Excursions, Alesund from Fjords to Trolls. Our tour guide Anita was amazing. I learned so much from her about the history of Norway and their culture. This was by far the best tour with amazing scenery on the Troll Road with its 11 hairpin turns. This Florida girl was glad she was not driving. The tour also allowed several stops and photo stops which was really nice. Trondheim: We found a walking tour from Frommers that we used to tour the city. This was also another very walkable city and Nidaros Cathedral was amazingly beautiful. We also walked over the Old Town Bridge with the historic wharves up to Kristiansten Fortress which provided a beautiful view of the city. Afterwards we headed to Baklandet Skydsstation for lunch which was nice little café with outside seating and very yummy food. We then finished our walking tour and headed back to the ship. The weather was again beautiful, and we had a great day in this city. North Cape/Honningsvag: We decided to rent a car. I was a little nervous about driving and renting especially when the rental company said make sure you shut your door at the cape because she had a rental last week lose the door to the wind when he left it open! However, we had no problems driving. We headed first to the North Cape and walked around and checked out all of the exhibits. Then we drove to Skarsvag and checked out the village. We wanted hike to the Arch, but I was worried about time, so we decided to skip that. Then we drove to Gjesvaer, a little fishing town. We had a great day driving around and this allowed for us to make photo stops when we wanted to. We also brought lunch for ourselves and had a little picnic at one of the pullouts overlooking the water. A gas station was right by the cruise terminal, so we had no problems filling up. Also, as a FYI, you fill the tank up first and then pay! Hellesylt: This port was a bit of a bummer because we did not cruise all the way to Geiranger. As a result, we booked the cruise excursion that provided the bus tour and then a cruise down the Geraingerfjord. There was little opportunity for independent excursions in Hellesylt and the excursion we went on was just okay. We drove by a bunch of beautiful things but did not really stop and a tour guide was decent but not amazing. Flam: Because we were in port from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., we did the Norway in a Nutshell tour on our own. This allowed us to take the Flam train up to Myrdal, then a train to Voss, then a bus to Gudvangen and then the boat down the Nærøyfjord. We would highly recommend it. We met another couple from the boat also doing this tour and was able to eat lunch with them in Voss at Tre Broer Cafe and Bar. It was really a great day. Haugesund: We decided to rent a car because there were several little things that we wanted to do and decided it was easier and cheaper to do on our own. We rented from Sixt and the representative was waiting outside for us when we arrived making it very efficient for us to get on the road. We made the following stops: Haraldshaugen (Norwegian National Monument), Steinsfjellet (panoramic viewpoint of city), Avaldsnes: Nordvegen History Centre and Viking Settlement, Skudeneshavn (fishing village) and Åkrasanden (beaches). Unfortunately, at the Viking Settlement, most of it was closed due restoration; however, the history center was really interesting. Thoughts on Holland America/Nieuw Statendam The good: The ship is new and beautiful. The food and service was amazing at Club Orange, Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind. My husband enjoyed the sushi at the buffet. We loved all of the musical acts at Lincoln Center, B.B. Kings and Rolling Stone and the themed artwork that went along with it. We enjoyed the BillBoard Bar and Ocean Bar and had really good service and drinks at those locations. We also loved the Dutch Café with its coffees and snacks. We also loved all of the free movies you could get in the room. We also attended the America’s Test Kitchen demonstrations but wished it was more interactive. We also appreciated the covered pool area especially on chilly days at sea. The so so: On sea days, the public spaces were extremely full, and it was sometimes hard to find a place to lay down and sleep or read a book especially around the pool. The EXC talks were just okay. We felt that she found the information off google and turned it into a speech. I would have preferred someone from Norway that could provide more history and culture about the areas we visited. The bad: We felt that there was a huge lack of activities on sea days or at night other than the musical acts. The ship also repeated some of the same entertainers for the nightly shows at the main stage. We also had difficulty communicating with some of the staff due to language barriers; this was not a big deal but sometimes it was hard to convey what you needed as far as drinks or food in the buffet. The drinks at the remaining bar locations other than the ones mentioned above were terrible and the service was not great. My gluten free options due to my allergy were also limited and even though I was told they have gluten free pizza crusts at New York Pizza, they said they ran out after only 2 days on the ship. We also had problems due to the lack of receipts given because we were charged for items when we had the beverage package and we wanted to have the option to provide additional gratuities for the servers in Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind. Overall Thoughts: We went on the ship for the itinerary and had an amazing time because of it. We thought the food was top notch and we loved our aft Neptune Suite. However, I don’t believe that we are the normal demographic for Holland America, and I think we would be truly bored if this had been a Caribbean sailing due to the lack of activities and interactive cruise activities that we love on other cruise lines.
  14. Booked for a Nov 2020 10 day Nieuw Statendam cruise and after reviewing HAL's site, it sounds like the typical crew-performed main theater shows we're accustomed to on the Vista-class boats aren't what's going to be on-board the NS. Several things NOT mentioned on HAL's site are comedy, magic, and the Indonesian culture-themed crew shows. Site seems to emphasize only classical music and ballroom dancing type shows? Has anyone sailed her recently that could shed any light on this? I'm fine with classical music and ballroom dancing, but the DW is NOT going to be thrilled with that type of show. Need to find out, if possible, so I can plan other ways to entertain her. Thanks for any input you can offer.
  15. Hi all, We are currently booked on the Nieuw Statendam March 15, 2020 cruise. This will be our first time sailing with Holland America. I had been checking the Holland America website to see if there were any pricing changes. As of the beginning of last week, there were still a lot of cabins available, however, at the end of the week, there were no cabins available. The sailing has now been removed from their website. I called Holland America and was advised that it is not sold out, however, they are in process of modifying something. They weren’t able to say what but said it may be the itinerary or the pricing. This was a week ago. My reservation is still showing on line. I was wondering if anyone has had the same experience in the past. I am concerned that they may end up canceling it to charter it or do repairs etc as I have seen that happen with other cruise lines. Thank you very much.
  16. Hi all! I recently sailed the Nieuw Statendam for 21 nights from June 30th to July 21st on the Voyage of the Midnight Sun in Norway. I figured since I was on HAL's newest ship for a significant amount of time, I'd write up a review. Overall, it was a great experience, and I wouldn't hesitate to sail this ship again! Embarkation: Seriously the easiest embarkation I've ever had! From the time our cab dropped us off to the port until we were in our stateroom was under a half an hour. They've got it down pat at the Amsterdam Cruise Terminal! Food: Being on the ship for 21 days, we went to each specialty restaurant twice, with the exception of Pinnacle Grill, which we only went to once. Rudi's Sel de Mer was by far the best of the specialty restaurants. We all had the grilled seafood platter the first time, and then the second time, my mom and I had the seafood platter again, while my father had the bouillabaisse. Everything was cooked to perfection and flavored well. Canneletto was also very good. The first night we went, my father and I both had the daily special: Osso Bucco, while my mom had the Lasagne. All were excellent. When we went back, we did more of a family style where we got the Lasagne, Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli, and the Veal Saltimbocca. The veal and the lasagne were great, but the shrimp and lobster ravioli had a flavor that none of us cared for. There was nothing wrong with them, just not our personal preference. Tamarind - We went here for both a meal off of their regular menu and for the Indonesian Rjistafel. The food from their regular menu was very good. We had the eggplant massaman curry, the lamb chops, and the shrimp and lobster stir fry. The Rjistafel was where our opinions differed. I loved it, my father thought it was just ok, and my mom hated it. The spices and flavorings in Indonesian food are quite different than other Asian styles, so I think it's one of those things either you like it or you don't. Pinnacle was our least favorite, hence we only went once. We usually love Pinnacle, but the food there was just off on this trip. I had the crab legs, which were ok. My mom had the scallops, which were undercooked for her taste, and my dad had the lamb chops, which were huge, but he said were just ho-hum and he had had better. Main Dining Room: Fantastic to Good. I never had a bad meal. Some were better than others. The Weiner Schnitzel and Orange Duck were clear winners for me. I also had some great fish meals. Something to add since this was a back to back for us - the first cruise's Gala Night Surf and Turf included lobster. On the second cruise, lobster was not offered, and it was prawns with the filet. Grand Dutch Cafe: Nice selection of Dutch sandwiches and quick bites for free. They also have a great selection of Dutch beers and liquors for a fee. You can also get specialty coffees here. I especially enjoyed the Croquettes and the La Trappe Dubbel Beer. Dive In Burgers and Dogs - Another great venue on the ship for a quick service meal, by the Lido Pool. Burgers and Dogs were fantastic. New York Pizza and Deli - We only ate here once, and weren't impressed with the pizza. We've had this on the Rotterdam, and it was much better on that ship. The pizza lacked flavor. Lido Market: I love HAL's "buffet." They always have great, fresh selections. I love that you don't serve yourself, and that there are many stations to create your own pastas, Asian foods, and salads. ***Hidden Food Station*** At Billboard On Board, they have a selection of hot and cold snacks available from around 9pm until around 11pm. Great for post drink munchies! More to come!
  17. Hello Everyone, sailing away today! Will try and post menus and other information. I plan to get internet for sea days and use my International calling plan in port. We boarded about 12 and were on quickly. Had a problem with my sisters drink package and was happy to stand in the Club Orange line (just one person ahead of me). Photo is drink events and cost.
  18. Anyone else sailing on NS for the New Year Eve cruise -Dec 29? I didn't see a roll call for it. Our first time on HAL, have sailed many other cruise lines. Wondering if they will do something special for New Years Eve?
  19. Good morning, all! We are sailing on the Nieuw Statendam at the end of this month. We've cruised on a number of the HAL larger ships, but never on the largest Pinnacle class. We were just notified that there is an embarkation schedule that starts at the top deck and works down (Neptunes and 4&5* at any time, of course). Since we're on the Beethoven Deck (4) they want us to arrive at 3:30 for a 5:00 sailing. That seems really, really late to me. We usually like to board between noon and 1pm. Has anyone gone through this embarkation procedure, and if so, what was your experience? Thanks in advance -- I appreciate your thoughts.
  20. Quick question......I called Holland direct and received two different answers. We booked the Nieuw Statendam room 7107 balcony room. I know the balcony is larger. I can see from the deck plan it's true. Well another agent said the room was also a bit larger than a regular balcony room. Was wonder if anyone can confirm. The 1st agent said the room was NOT larger. Not sure who to believe. Thanks!
  21. Cannot find much information on Tamarind on the Nieuw Statendam. When the ship came out, Tamarind was supposed to have an outdoor eating area overlooking the Sea View pool area. Has anyone actually experienced this and how enjoyable (or not) was it?
  22. I am a loyal HAL fan, not the most experienced cruiser, but have completed 3 back to back cruises and one re-positioning cruise, covering the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, Western Europe, Baltic countries, Japan to Alaska and most recently from 2 June to 23 June the Norwegian fjords on the Nieuw Statendam. My purpose in this review is not to deal with every aspect of the cruise on NS, as most topics are well covered in the many reviews published since its launch. It suffices to say she is a beautiful ship, well designed in all respects (other than the closed in effect of the Promenade Deck), and is tastefully finished in its furnishing and art works. She is operated like a well- oiled machine. Her Officers and crew do an amazing job. Rather my purpose is to give my opinion on a few issues, with which some may disagree, but in relation to which, if there are enough others who agree, may give HAL cause to make some changes which I think could alter the experience of future passengers on the NS very much for the better. For me the problem with the NS does not lie in any way with the ship or its crew. The problem is with the passengers. Those we came in contact with were very nice people – it is just there were too many of them. In the first 7 day leg of the cruise they had not learned how to spread more evenly between the many venues. Everywhere seemed crowded. During the second 14 day leg passengers were definitely better distributed but it was still not easy to find a table in the Lido during peak periods (we were in a party of 4 which probably made it a little more difficult) and there were still queues waiting to be allocated tables in the Main Dining Room. We also found during both parts of the cruise that it was difficult to find a quiet place to play cards or just to relax and enjoy the quiet of ocean travel. The effect for me, compared to previous cruises on the Eurodam, Noordam and Volendam, was a sense that the somewhat illusory feeling of a degree of some exclusivity which HAL managed to create on those ships, had been lost. There are a few things which could be done to address some of these issues. Our observation was that the covered front pool area was much underutilized except during meal hours. The reason for this was noise. Documentaries were often shown on the large screen during various times of the day. Very few people seemed interested in them but everyone had to deal with the blaring sound which made conversation difficult. Other than meal times this large seating area was virtually deserted. At night when movies were shown there was often no more than 4 or 5 people watching. On previous cruises we would often sit in this area and just enjoy the world going by. I would suggest that the large screen and sound system not be used at all during the day. This will take pressure off other areas. Thought might be given to whether there is any benefit in showing films at night on cruises to colder areas or whether some better use could be made of the area. During the day we also experienced that talks were given in public lounge areas. On one occasion a talk was being given using a public address system which was so loud you could not hear yourself think in the adjoining lounge area. We and others got up and vacated the lounge. This could be easily avoided by ensuring any talks are conducted in isolated areas or closed rooms. Although we had an overall very enjoyable cruise I personally will be unlikely to cruise again on the NS or the Koningsdam because of the sense of loss of exclusivity to which I have referred. I query whether cruise lines have made the right decisions in the move to bigger and bigger ships. It is now well known that Amsterdam has concerns about the flood of tourists associated with cruise ships and that Venice is concerned about the effect of cruise ships. Bergen now intends to place limits on the number of tourists which may visit that city. I love cruising and will remain loyal to HAL for as long as possible because I think it is a very well- run company, which trains its staff to serve its clients well and which in my experience has always been responsive to any concerns raised. But for now my future cruising will be restricted to HAL’s smaller ships.
  23. Anyone know who the Pinnacle Grill Manager is on the Nieuw Statendam? Did they transfer the manager from the Koningsdam?
  24. Hi. Can anyone tell me if the afts on deck 5 and 6 are covered or partially covered? Any reason to choose one deck over the other? Many thanks. Fran :)
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