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ronbe65

Nieuw Amsterdam: A Luxury Resort Ship of Love and Romance, or How to Cruise on "HAL"

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Is the panna cotta available everyday at the pizza station? It is my favorite dessert and was never offered in the MDR on our last cruise.

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Specialty Dining on the Nieuw Amsterdam

 

Pinnacle Grill

 

This is a nice place but we did not dine there last for a simple reason: to much food . We would definitely do it once on a longer cruise (11-15 days).

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The Pinnacle Grill presents Sel de Mer dinner one time on a cruise (the menu from Sel de Mer specialty restaurant introduced on the Koningsdam). We did not like it on the Koningsdam (dark, no ambiance, improper location, the food was not worth money IMO), so given that negative impression we decided to skip it.

 

Canaletto

 

This "specialty dining option" is a convertible part of the Lido buffet that offers Italian style menu every night.

We skipped it for the same reason as the Pinnacle Grill - too muuch good food on the ship.

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Is the panna cotta available everyday at the pizza station? It is my favorite dessert and was never offered in the MDR on our last cruise.

I saw it every day.

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Tamarind Specialty Restaurant

 

We never skip the Tamarind.

This is the most popular specialty dining venue on the ship that never disappoints.

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ronbe65, I'm enjoying your 'review' of the Nieuw Amsterdam. You have a very nice writing style and your pictures are great. We look forward to cruising on the NA in July. Thank you!!

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Thanks for comments.

 

Open Decks

 

The open decks on the Nieuw Amsterdam is an explosion of spaciousness and beautiful sea views.

The decks are vast, uncluttered, very private.

This is your rendezvous with the sea, the sky, and the sun.

This what a cruise ship in the Caribbean is about.

 

Forward viewing deck

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Forward Sun Deck

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Midship Sun Deck and the Sports Court

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Midship Sun Deck

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Retreat Cabanas - cabanas for rent

 

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Aft Pool Area - adults only

 

Sea View Pool

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Edited by ronbe65

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ronbe65, I'm enjoying your 'review' of the Nieuw Amsterdam. You have a very nice writing style and your pictures are great. We look forward to cruising on the NA in July. Thank you!!

 

 

 

I agree. Your picture are fantastic. What kind of camera are you using?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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What ship is next to Maasdam?[/quote

 

 

Norwegian Epic

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Even the best currently available cruise ship is not perfect.

 

A missed opportunity: there is no observation deck on the roof of the bridge. The existing viewing deck is far forward, so it cannot be used while the ship is at sea.

 

My photo from the Viking Star: a beautiful combination of the front observation deck and the "Crow's Nest" lounge that has grown two-deck high!

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The real (L) and the imaginary ® view of the Nieuw Amsterdam (with added observation deck and extended Crow's Nest lounge)

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Unfortunately this kind of upgrade is not possible for the Nieuw Amsterdam.

But it was possible in case of the Koningsdam.

 

Viking Star is leaving the shipyard (in the background: the Koningsdam under construction), courtesy of Viking Cruises

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Viking Ocean Cruises are showing another improvenment of the original layout that they sourced from the Vista-class ships.

They extended the Lido deck on both sides that allows to bypass the buffet. There is no need to go through the buffet to get to the aft pool area.

Where were Koningsdam designers?

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In fact, it's not necessary to go through the buffet on the Nieuw Amsterdam either, but instead you'll go one deck up and then step down (of course the beautiful sea views are included in the trip).

 

Nieuw Amsterdam

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And lastly, prospective Nieuw Amsterdam passengers should be aware of the Deck 5 midship balconies that are directly above the lifeboats.

This is not a choice I would recommend.

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Ronbe65, I want to personally thank you for your extensive posting. I believe my husband and I may very well be future Nieuw Amsterdam passengers!

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I think you sealed the deal for our anniversary cruise in November. Thank you for this great review! What area would you recommend for balcony cabin?

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Can't wait to see her up close and personal June 30th! Thanks for the appetizer!!

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Thanks for comments! :)

 

Is MS Nieuw Amsterdam a ship for kids?

 

I cannot say "yes" because it's not in the same league as the ships that are more focused on family cruising and entertainment.

I cannot say "no" because kids are welcome to use the Kids Club. They always enjoy the family pool.

So the ship is neither "for" kids, nor "against" kids.

But what is important: the #1 resort itinerary in the Caribbean. The itinerary is a haven for kids.

 

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I think you sealed the deal for our anniversary cruise in November. Thank you for this great review! What area would you recommend for balcony cabin?

 

I would look at the forward part of the ship and the aft part (where you see no lifeboats).

I prefer decks 5 to 8 for the forward part (that are closer to the spa and theater; some more motion that I don't mind), and decks 5 to 7 for the aft part (closer to the aft pool and the buffet).

Some cruisers like cabins on deck 4 (larger balconies), and aft looking cabins, decks 4-7 (larger cabins).

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Cabins

Value for money

 

The ship offers a wide selection of cabins for different budgets.

 

The most typical is a standard balcony cabin.

The standard cabins are reasonably spacious for the category, have a good storage space.

Most cabins have tub/shower combos rather than shower stalls. The balconies a very spacious, with unobstructed views (except for the substandard balconies on Deck 5 midship).

 

The ocean view cabins (most of) follow the layout of the balcony cabins.

The ones on Dec 4 (so-called “obstructed view” – behind lifeboats) feature large floor to ceiling windows.

 

"Temporarily unobstructed" - while the lifeboats are busy at work...

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The cheapest inside cabins have two main configurations.

Both are rather compact with amazing amount of storage space. These cabins on the luxury ship deliver a great value for money.

 

The extra large insides category“J” is a pinnacle for families of four. The largest insides at sea combined with the price - is a miracle. For this cabins the value for money is outstanding.

Many cruisers make huge mistakes searching budget cruise lines for a “value-for-money” cruise vacation, not knowing that a luxury cruise vacation may cost them less!

I have just made a mock reservation for a family of four (2 adults, children 12 y.o. and 14 y.o.)

 

Inside cabin for a group of four

November, 2018

Caribbean

Nieuw Amsterdam - $1,480.00 (Eastern itinerary) - unbelievable. The 3rd and 4th passengers sail free (prices may vary). Budget cruisers, are you reading this?

Carnival Magic - $1,750.00 (Western - I took the cheapest) in a smaller cabin.

 

"J"

Do you think this is a mini-suite?

No. This is a large inside on the Nieuw Amsterdam.

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A big step up in balcony cabin size (and prices!) are “Signature Suites”, and even larger "Neptune Suites".

 

A Signature Suite on the Nieuw Amsterdam

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Although not "full suites", “Neptune Suites” are very pleasant spacious cabins with extra large balconies. The ones on the stern are absolutely beautiful, with huge balconies (think of a private open deck).

 

The ship features two super expensive full suites (“Pinnacle” category).

 

The Nieuw Amsterdam is a one-class ship that is free of "ship-within-a-ships" gimmicks and class segregation.

 

The Nieuw Amsterdam provides a "ship-within-a-ship quality" experience (actually above that in some areas) for all on board.

"A Nieuw Amsterdam – within – a Nieuw Amsterdam", so to speak.

How to know what class of a ship is in front of you?

How to measure?

Take the cheapest cabin on the ship and see what cruise life is available to that category.

That will show you the class of the ship.

Not the suites, nor the "havens", but the cheapest cabin.

 

Holland America Line is still doing many things right.

The suite perks are set up in the most civilized way that does not affect the cruising experience “for the rest of” the passengers (about 86%, i.e. the whole ship actually).

 

HAL ships remain the most egalitarian (only Viking Cruises and Costa Cruises compares) among the major cruise brands that makes credit this respectable cruise line.

The Nieuw Amsterdam welcomes everyone equally, with all the respect.

The air is cleaner, breathing is easier on Holland America ships (knocking on wood). :)

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Spa and Fitness

 

This is where the Nieuw Amsterdam excels.

 

It’s amazing that thesports court on the mid-size Nieuw Amsterdam is as large as on most mega ships.

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Add two swimming pools & the circle promenade and enjoy the top-class resort ship.

 

Is it all?

No.

The jewel of the Nieuw Amsterdam recreational facilities is the Spa.

 

What is so special about the spa?

Most ships have spa. I've taken a cruise on a 52 y.o. cruise ship recently ... and there was a facility called "spa" on the ship...

 

However the spa is like the food.

Everyone knows that the food is included in the price of the cruise.

Not everyone, but at least the experienced cruisers know that the "included food" can vary from top notch to barely eadible.

A proper Spa is a luxury feature that is always extra charge (I mean proper spa, not the "included" spa) that of course effectively reduces the number of potential clients (familiar with what it really is).

So for many cruisers the spa means a pretty standard set of a beauty salon and a bunch of massage rooms.

In fact, the quality of the spa on cruise ships differ as much as the food, not less...

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