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Found 523 results

  1. We sailed enjoyed the production shows on the Amsterdam in December. Now we are considering the Statendam in Febuary. Would the production shows be the same as the shows we saw on the Amsrerdam?
  2. I am on a 7 day cruise on the Nieuw Statendam. Will be posting videos from time to time. My website has the first one up and running. A video tour of our Verandah Cabin Video Tour for Cabin 7143
  3. Can anyone tell me how late they serve breakfast in Club Orange. One of our party is a late riser. Thanks.
  4. I have heard that there are USB ports by the beds but I was wondering if there were electrical outlets by the beds (so I wouldn't need an extension cord for my CPAP). I am in a bacony cabin.
  5. We are used to the venue on another cruise line that has a pretty extensive offering of specialty coffee drinks. I liked having that fancy Vanilla Latte every morning. Can you all tell me what HAL has to offer, and where one would go for these specialty coffees? Thanks!!!
  6. Can anyone post a copy of the daily cruise planner from the Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Nieuw Statendam? Just want to see a typical day of activities onboard the ship. Thank you.
  7. 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
  8. Thinking of HAL cruise to Norway including Honnigsvag. Worried it may be redundant with two weeks of similar ports. Any comments. Would like Some activity and worried this may not offer enough interesting tours.
  9. 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.
  10. Have been planning an anniversary trip to one of the ABC islands for snorkeling and was having a hard time choosing and spending so much $$ to go to one place, not knowing if I would like it. Decided to check on taking a cruise and ran across the Nieuw Statendam 10 day cruise that visits all three islands for much less than spending a week on one island. I have not cruised HAL, but have cruised Carnival, NCL and RCL on family cruises. I am happy to leave the water slides and rollerblading behind for sure. Is there anything I need to be aware of by booking something so close to the departure date? Cabins choices are not great. I am choosing between guarantee or a aft cabin on deck 5 (choices are 5011, 5012 and 5014) Only incentive is prepaid tips by online agency. The price, $2500 seems okay for a 10 day cruise, but I am not sure. Thank you in advance for any advice you may have.
  11. 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.
  12. We've been on 20+ cruises, and this was our (husband and myself) first on Holland America. We chose our first cruise on HAL to be on the beautiful Nieuw Statendam, and indeed it was beautiful. There were a few surprises that we weren't expecting, but that's just because we hadn't seen them on other cruise lines before. We seen people walking around in their bath robes throughout the ship. Is this a norm for HAL cruises? One night while we were eating dinner in Lido, we seen a man walk by in his bath robe. I was stunned. It just surprises me that you're suppose to wear a collared shirt, and slacks or skirts, or whatever to the theater, yet there's people that walk around with bathrobes on. Guess some people haven't figured out that the word "bath" doesn't mean you wear it in a dining area. And just when I thought that was bad, I watched one of those "special needs" dogs (this one happened to be a golden retriever and I seen 2 of them on this cruise), sniff the desserts at Lido, and once when it walked out the elevator with it's person, it left the elevator smelling of wet dog. Smokers have very little space to smoke, but the special needs dogs have a special place to poo and pee, located on the promenade deck where people have to walk by it. (Oh, and I'm not a smoker, but my husband vapes, and noticed that there weren't many places to smoke) The Casino smelled of cigarettes and we only seen one person smoking. I had heard that the food was very good on Holland America ships, but I was shocked when the 2nd night on the ship, there was lobster served on the buffet. That's a first for us. Not sure if HAL serves lobster on all of their buffets during a course of a cruise, but they did on this particular ship. The food was delicious, and the crew was the best we've ever had the opportunity to meet. BB King was absolutely amazing. And even with the wet dog elevator, and the older crowd walking around in bath robes, we're planning our next cruise to be with HAL. Just wish they'd build a dock at Half Moon Cay, so everyone didn't miss having the opportunity to visit it so much, because I've heard that it's one of the best private islands, it's just a shame that our ship didn't make it there. 😞
  13. Can any one give me advice on where to purchase wine upon boarding a HAL cruise aboard the Nieuw Statendam Sept 2020 from Amsterdam I am contemplating buying wine before we embark and paying the $18 corkage Is there a good wine shop close to port? Perhaps like Barcelona there is a wine shop after you have passed thru check in and security? I am thinking this might be more economical than the wine packages offered on HAL? Would appreciate any input many thanks
  14. I have been considering continuing the process from the last two weeks with a continuing discussion. So here it is! This morning I was on Nieuw Statendam as we arrived in Fort Lauderdale. This afternoon I am on Nieuw Amsterdam getting ready to head on on pretty much the same itinerary as last week. Why? Because I can and because I haven't been on Nieuw Amsterdam yet. Additionally, it just worked out. Nieuw Amsterdam was booked several months ago. Contrary to my recent history, this was booked as a guarantee cabin like I did to begin with. I received a cabin assignment about 10 days ago getting a reasonable ocean view cabin. Last Friday I received an email from HAL advising me that my cabin had changed. That is why I am now sitting in a Verandah Stateroom on the Nieuw Amsterdam. For the record it is cabin 5100, pictures already provided to HALfacts. Because of several factors, this is not going to be an "apples to apples" comparison. The biggest reason is solo cabin on NS to Verandah on NA. I have much more room this week and a good location. This cabin is right next to the outside glass elevators on deck 5. This makes it very convenient to the Lido for meals, and equally accessible to the MDR and Showroom. The cabin is very nice, the stewards have introduced themselves and it is almost time for the muster drill. Since these cruises are a week apart, it will be easy to compare entertainment. NA has had the upgrade to the Music Walk, so the offerings should be similar. As I did for the last two weeks, the dinner menus for tonight are attached. Feb24LIdodinner.pdf Feb24dinner.pdf
  15. 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
  16. Can any one give me advice on where to purchase wine upon boarding a HAL cruise aboard the Nieuw Statendam Sept 2020 from Amsterdam I am contemplating buying wine before we embark and paying the $18 corkage Is there a good wine shop close to port? Perhaps like Barcelona there is a wine shop after you have passed thru check in and security? I am thinking this might be more economical than the wine packages offered on HAL? Would appreciate any input many thanks
  17. Can any one give me advice on where to purchase wine upon boarding a HAL cruise aboard the Nieuw Statendam Sept 2020 from Amsterdam I am contemplating buying wine before we embark and paying the $18 corkage Is there a good wine shop close to port? Perhaps like Barcelona there is a wine shop after you have passed thru check in and security? I am thinking this might be more economical than the wine packages offered on HAL? Would appreciate any input many thanks
  18. It’s a very busy Sail Away day today. 8 ships in Port Everglades and 3 in Tampa. Should be lots of action for this one, for sure. We have 2 blue hulled beauties in Port Everglades - the Zuiderdam and the Nieuw Statendam. Zuiderdam is scheduled to be at pier 21 and will be doing the 10 day Panama Canal Seafarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (10 Mar d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (11 Mar 0800-1500); Oranjestad, Aruba (13 Mar 1300-2300); Willemstad, Curacao (14 Mar 0800-1600); Panama Canal (Cruising Canal) (16 Mar 0500-0500); Colon, Panama (16 Mar 1500-2000); Puerto Limon, Costa Rica (17 Mar 0630-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (20 Mar a0700) Nieuw Statendam is scheduled to be at pier 26 & will be doing two different itineraries. The first is the 7 day Western Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (10 Mar d1800); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (11 Mar 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (13 Mar 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (14 Mar 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (15 Mar 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar a0700) And the second is the 14 day Western/Eastern Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (10 Mar d1800); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (11 Mar 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (13 Mar 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (14 Mar 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (15 Mar 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar 0700-1700); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (19 Mar 1000-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (20 Mar 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (21 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (23 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Mar a0700) Other ships in port with them are the Regal Princess (pier 02), Island Princess (pier 19), Harmony Of The Seas (pier 18), Celebrity Edge (pier 25), Carnival Conquest (pier 04) and Adventure Of The Seas (pier 29). The webcams are located at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com Sailing our of Tampa we have the lovely HAL flagship, ms Rotterdam. She will be doing a 14 day Southern Caribbean: Tampa, Florida (10 Mar d1800); Key West, Florida (11 Mar 1100-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (14 Mar 1000-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (15 Mar 0800-1700); St Johns, Antigua (16 Mar 0800-1700); Castries, St Lucia (17 Mar 0800-1600); Willemstad, Curacao (19 Mar 0800-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (20 Mar 0700-1600); George Town, Grand Cayman (22 Mar 0800-1500); Tampa, Florida (24 Mar a0700) As well as a 21 day Southern/Western Caribbean: Tampa, Florida (10 Mar d1800); Key West, Florida (11 Mar 1100-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (14 Mar 1000-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (15 Mar 0800-1700); St Johns, Antigua (16 Mar 0800-1700); Castries, St Lucia (17 Mar 0800-1600); Willemstad, Curacao (19 Mar 0800-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (20 Mar 0700-1600); George Town, Grand Cayman (22 Mar 0800-1500); Tampa, Florida (24 Mar 0700-1600); Key West, Florida (25 Mar 1100-1800); Roatan, Honduras (27 Mar 0800-1700); Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala (28 Mar 0700-1700); Costa Maya, Mexico (29 Mar 0800-1700); Tampa, Florida (31 Mar a0700) Other ships in Tampa port with the Rotterdam are the Carnival Miracle & Norwegian Pearl. The webcam is located at https://www.porttampawebcam.com For the Addicts: The Rotterdam is scheduled to in Key West on March 11th and the Zuiderdam should be in Aruba on March 13th. The webcams are located at https://www.keywestharborwebcam.com for Key West and https://www.portarubawebcam.com for Aruba. Next up is the Oosterdam on March 16th.
  19. 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
  20. My husband and I are planning a April 2019 cruise. We just randomly came across this ship and it being new and beautiful intrigued us. We have been on Carnival and RC and enjoy the laid back nature of these lines, entertainment, nightlight, and food. We are mid 30s and no kids. Would we enjoy this ship and cruise as well? I dont like feeling overly stuffy atmospheres or having to be dressed up at all times. We enjoy being entertained and some drinks. Both itenteriaries offered in April for this ship were good also with some ports we have not yet been to.
  21. Does anyone know if the televisions on Nieuw Amsterdam and closed captions on most, or all channels? Thanks.
  22. My husband and I just got back from our first-ever cruise together on the second sailing of the Nieuw Statendam. We chose HAL, a 4-night itinerary and this ship as a "test cruise" to see if we would like cruising as an alternative to a beach resort vacation. We booked a Vista suite on Deck 5. We later got an email with the Club Orange offer which we signed up for. A few days before the cruise, we got an upgrade offer for a Neptune suite which after subtracting what we paid for Club Orange would have been a great deal, but we waited too long to call and they sold out. Boarding Boarding went fine but the communication was a bit of a mess on this as to what time our ship would depart and what time to be there. Despite being told the week before that priority boarding would begin at 2pm, it started an hour or so earlier. No big deal, we got there in plenty of time and had a minimal wait in line. Seems like communication could be better - I would love an option to receive updates on boarding and departure via text rather than email. The Stateroom The Vista Suites are only a slight bit bigger than the balcony rooms. Very nicely laid out but small. If we spent any time in the room we were tripping over each other. Our bed was comfortable and television worked fine. The bathroom was pretty amazing for such a tiny space. High quality fixtures, good water temp and water pressure in the shower. Balcony was small but nice - it had two adjustable-back chairs (not loungers) and a little table to put drinks on. Our two stewards were great and they came in multiple times per day to tidy up. The Ship and Crew It is a beautiful new ship that is well laid out. Most of the time, we did not feel that there were thousands of people traveling with us. At times, we would be outside walking around and run into only one or two other people. The crew was very professional and helpful and went out of their way to greet people in passing. Restaurants and Food One of the reasons we chose HAL was food - we are foodies and wanted a cruise line that had more than buffets. We ate at the Lido a few times - once for breakfast and twice for lunch. Food ranged from ok to good - similar to a buffet at one of the nicer Las Vegas resorts. Very crowded though - many stations had lines and it could be hard to find a table to eat at. We also had burgers at Dive for lunch - good (not great) burgers and fries that took 20 minutes. Staff seemed overwhelmed by demand. One burger arrived undercooked. Another day I had a pizza at the New York Deli and it was excellent, but required a 25 minute wait. The issue at the Deli seemed to be more of an organizational issue with staff versus too many orders. Two of our dinners and two breakfasts were at Club Orange which we really enjoyed because of the intimate environment and excellent service. The food was consistently good, good enough that if we had a do-over, we would have skipped the gala night MDR meal and just eaten here. Yeah - I know some people on other threads think that it looks uncomfortable or not formal enough, etc. This may be a generational issue though. We are middle-aged, not-retired professionals and it worked for us, but we typically like non-chain, chef-owned small restaurants. The MDR was very pretty design-wise, but we did not enjoy our experience that much for the one dinner we ate. Our server was very nice, but service was uneven and our main course arrived after a lengthy wait and was not very hot. The food all tasted like it had sat for a while under the metal covers. We ordered glasses of wine and they arrived pre-poured. We skipped desert. The whole experience to us felt like the big company Christmas party or large wedding reception. Just not our thing. The Pinnacle Grill was a mixed experience. Our food was fantastic - the best of the cruise. The dining experience was not as good - despite the restaurant being only 3/4 full we were seated next to a large party with two over-tired crying toddlers. We asked to be re-seated and they stuck us next to the service gallery (punishment for asking?) although our server told us we were the 2nd couple next to the toddler table that had asked to be moved. The dinner service was uneven with long waits between some courses but not others. We were not crazy about the decor, it felt outdated - too dark and formal. It also had the smell of old restaurant and the ship is brand new which is just odd. Shows and Entertainment Lincoln Center and BB King Blues Club were our favorites. We went to multiple shows for each of these and the performers were amazing. Luckily for us, Lincoln Center is daytime and early evening and BB King was later evening so we could see multiple performances in one day. Having musical entertainment like this will make us choose HAL again for a cruise. We also went to a Rolling Stone Rock room performance which I enjoyed and my husband did not. I thought the band was good and he thought they were just ok and too loud. Your mileage may vary ... We saw the comic who pulled people out of the audience for more of an improv type show with nothing offensive or controversial. We did not see the first dance show Humanity but saw the later one Stages. It was fine, if you like interpretive dance. Despite what I read elsewhere there actually were not a lot of people walking out. I saw one or two elderly people and a few teenagers leave. I thought the older people were heading to bathroom/bed and the teens to the dance floor 😉 . Just like I left a Lincoln Center performance because I had a dinner reservation. Each performance on the ship was just 45 minutes - so even if you don't like it you're not giving up hours of time if you stay to be polite. Casino, Pools and Hot Tubs We only walked through the casino, but it was busy. Very smoky. We did not use the Lido pool and pool deck. Because of the holiday, the pool and hot tubs were overrun with kids who all looked like they were having a good time. We went to the pool bar on the Aft deck and used the hot tubs out there since it was pretty much adults only. One evening we had it to all to ourselves! Other Passengers Most of the folks we met were wonderful and luckily I saw no one in bathrobes except at the spa (which was fantastic for facials and massages). More puzzling to me was the number of people who announced their 4 or 5 star Mariner status as if it was supposed to mean anything to me. I was tempted to counter with my airline or hotel program status as a joke, but just let it go. Bottom Line Beautiful new ship with plenty to keep busy even if the weather outside is not sunny and tropical. We are thinking about another longer cruise next year and will likely book on HAL in a Neptune Suite to get a bit more room. We spent a little over ~3K total for our room, (including Club Orange), service fees, one specialty dinner, alcohol, lots of specialty coffees, 4 spa treatments, unlimited laundry service and internet and felt that it was worth it.
  23. 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!
  24. How many specialty Restaurants are there on Nieuw Statendam ,what do they serve & what are the cover charges ? Which one is your favorite & why ? TIA
  25. The Press Release below is dated August 28th. It is great news for those booked on the Premiere Voyage (we already 137 Cruise Critic members on our Roll-Call). Thought you might like to read it: ================================= Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam Reaches Milestone and Successfully Completes Sea Trials Seattle, Wash., Aug. 28,2018 — Holland America Line’sNieuw Statendam, the second Pinnacle Class ship in the fleet, returnedto Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy Wednesday, Aug. 22, aftersuccessfully completing two sets of sea trials off the coast. Nieuw Statendam left Marghera Aug. 10 and performed the first set of sea trialsover two days before going into dry dock at Fincantieri’s Trieste shipyard,where the trial’s data was reviewed and standard hull maintenance wasperformed. The ship sailed its second sea trials Aug. 18, making its way backto Marghera Aug. 22 where the finishing touches will be completed. “The sea trials are ahighly anticipated milestone for any newbuild because it takes us one stepcloser to delivery, and we’re thrilled that Nieuw Statendam gave a strongperformance out in open water,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’spresident. “There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Nieuw Statendam and theinnovations we’re introducing on board. The ship is going to have an excitingdebut in early December.” During the sea trials, NieuwStatendam underwent a series of performance tests on the ship’s systems,machinery and engines. The shipyard’s team of nautical officers, navalarchitects, engineering officers and builders tested the ship’s maneuveringcharacteristics and safety systems. About Nieuw Statendam Due for delivery Dec. 1,2018, Nieuw Statendam will explore the Caribbean in winter and then moveto northern Europe, Iceland and the Mediterranean in summer during itsinaugural year. The 2,666-guest, 99,500-ton ship will reflect the ongoingevolution of Holland America Line. From familiar elements that reflect a richheritage and classic style to state-of-the-art enhancements that chart a boldnew course forward, guests on board Nieuw Statendam will delight indetails that are artfully inspired and perfectly presented to create theultimate Pinnacle-class experience. While much of the ship’sdesign will be similar to Koningsdam, the first Pinnacle Class ship, NieuwStatendam will have exclusive public spaces and its own style created byleading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect BjørnStorbraaten. The ship will feature all of the hallmarks of Pinnacle-Classdesign: grand, light-filled spaces; visual drama; and sumptuous interiorsinspired by the fluid curves of musical instruments. Holland America Line’sfirst ship to be called Statendam sailed in 1898, and this will be thesixth ship in the company’s history to carry the name. In combining the Dutchword for "new" with the classic "Statendam," HollandAmerica Line celebrates the company’s past, present and future.
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