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LMaxwell

Nieuw Statendam, Nieuw Amsterdam, or Koningsdam for a 1st timer to HAL

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Background: Nearly 30 years cruising. Diamond on Royal Caribbean, variety of other colors and jewelry across NCL, Carnival, MSC. Couple near 40, son will be a bit under age 5 at proposed time of sailing.

 

Feel service is declining on Royal Caribbean. Don't care for some of the rowdiness have found lately on NCL and Carnival.

 

Looking for decent kids club and activities; nightly entertainment until 10-11pm is plenty for us really. Good included in fare food; whether this be lido, pool deck, or MDR we expect good quality.

 

Want to try a somewhat quieter and less crowded ship than the mega ships we have been going on. Like the Key West/San Juan/Grand Turk itinerary which can do on either ship it looks like.

 

Which ship would you recommend, and why, for a young active family but not looking for a sports bar party like Carnival or NCL. Expecting something distinctly cut above Royal Caribbean, not necessarily fancy.

 

Does NA have a full walking track around ship? That is something to consider for us also.

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I have no experience with the Nieuw Statendam (obviously) but have been on the NA and K’dam within the last year. I think you have made the right choice and can’t go wrong with any of those ships. There is a full prom for walking on the NA as well as the K. The K also has a running track on one of the upper decks which a lot of walkers use too. The food is great on both ships but the K’dam will give you a lot more choices. You will have no problem finding really great nightly entertainment and I understand the kid’s club is great too. It sounds like HAL would be a great fit for you.

 

(P.S. I just re-read this. Sorry about all the “greats”.)

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I would choose N.A. since it has the feel of a HAL ship more than the K did. All have Tamirand which I think is their best specialty restaurant. Also the aft cabins are larger and not charged as a Vista.

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We have sailed on both the Nieuw Amsterdam and the Koningsdam and really liked them both. From what you have said, I think either would be a good fit for you. The Koningsdam is the newest ship and has slightly more choices for dining.

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Most important to us is itinerary and length of time in the ports.

So check over which ports interest you the most and how much time you have in them.

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I think I am partial to the itinerary w San Juan 1pm to 11pm. I haven’t been in San Juan at night in many many years and think that would be fun to go out to dinner and be there at night.

 

Am I understanding right that Grand Turk and HMC are basically beach days except they dock at GT and HMC has lunch but GT does not?

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I think I am partial to the itinerary w San Juan 1pm to 11pm. I haven’t been in San Juan at night in many many years and think that would be fun to go out to dinner and be there at night.

 

Am I understanding right that Grand Turk and HMC are basically beach days except they dock at GT and HMC has lunch but GT does not?

 

Basically yes. There are excursions available at both, but we have always just treated them as beach days. There is a BBQ lunch on HMC (which is a beautiful beach), but not on Grand Turk.

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Background: Nearly 30 years cruising. Diamond on Royal Caribbean, variety of other colors and jewelry across NCL, Carnival, MSC. Couple near 40, son will be a bit under age 5 at proposed time of sailing.

 

Feel service is declining on Royal Caribbean. Don't care for some of the rowdiness have found lately on NCL and Carnival.

 

Looking for decent kids club and activities; nightly entertainment until 10-11pm is plenty for us really. Good included in fare food; whether this be lido, pool deck, or MDR we expect good quality.

 

Want to try a somewhat quieter and less crowded ship than the mega ships we have been going on. Like the Key West/San Juan/Grand Turk itinerary which can do on either ship it looks like.

 

Which ship would you recommend, and why, for a young active family but not looking for a sports bar party like Carnival or NCL. Expecting something distinctly cut above Royal Caribbean, not necessarily fancy.

 

Does NA have a full walking track around ship? That is something to consider for us also.

 

This is your guide to best options in the HAL fleet.

 

Hope you'll be as lucky as to catch the Nieuw Amsterdam doing the best 7 day itinerary in the Caribbean (FLL - Grand Turk - San Juan - St.Thomas - Half Moon Cay - FLL). Do not consider any HAL itinerary that does not include HMC.

 

Things to note: HMC and Grand Turk are not basically beach days, they are Grand Resort Days in the Caribbean :) The only thing you'll need is a good weather. St.Thomas is another fantastic cruise destination. Enjoy!

 

Happy cruising!

Edited by ronbe65

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I agree with the others. Choose the itinerary you want. Half Moon is stunning! And K-dam and N.S. are almost identical, so picking between them based on ship alone is futile.

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I think do the itinerary that you enjoy the most. We did almost the same itinerary with out 7 year old grand daughter on the Eurodam & she just loved Club HAL. You'll enjoy what ever ship you're on.

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I agree with the others. Choose the itinerary you want. Half Moon is stunning! And K-dam and N.S. are almost identical, so picking between them based on ship alone is futile.

 

The difference is significant. Although some minor improvements were done, the new ships have lost the most unique features of the Nieuw Amsterdam (proper promenade, proper T-pool, spacious sun decks).

600 passengers added.

The unique (for a large and comfortable cruise ship) feel of a private yacht at sea has been lost.

Instead you'll have a fairly crowded "upper mass market" ship. No character, no soul - that is typical for the ships designed by the bean counters.

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The difference is significant. Although some minor improvements were done, the new ships have lost the most unique features of the Nieuw Amsterdam (proper promenade, proper T-pool, spacious sun decks).

600 passengers added.

The unique (for a large and comfortable cruise ship) feel of a private yacht at sea has been lost.

Instead you'll have a fairly crowded "upper mass market" ship. No character, no soul - that is typical for the ships designed by the bean counters.

Read my comment carefully. I said the differences between the K-dam and N.S. are minimal, and choosing between them is useless based on ship alone.

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Have to disagree with ronbe65 and agree with stickey_mouse’s comments. I didn’t find the K’dam crowded at all. I also thought it was beautiful.

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I received an email from Holland America saying Explore 4 is included on all cruises oceanview rooms or better. Their email says the date I am looking at is $899 per person for an Oceanview. Travel Agent has that date as 686, what gives? Each time I dabble with HAL pricing I find wild variations. Is this common?

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We have sailed once on the Kdam and half a dozen times on the Nieuw Amsterdam. We've also sailed several times on the NA's sister ship, the Eurodam. We loooooove those two ships. Because of what we love on those ships, we will NOT sail again on the Kdam. That's just our opinion, of course.

 

If you end up going to San Juan for dinner, you MUST look into Marmalade if you enjoy fine food. Their menu is posted online. We NEVER miss dining there when we are in San Juan!!!

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NA is a traditional ship and the Kdam is modern design. I am booked on NS and looking forward to it.

I must agree the NS will be just like the Kdam.

 

Good luck with your choice!

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I'm 90% ready to commit but not at $2500 for 3 in an oceanview on NA when my math is showing it should be closer to 1800. Will call TA today and get an answer as to why so much price discrepancy

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I have heard of this on other sites. Every time you look at a cruise a cookie is written on your system. The site sees that you have looked at that cruise several times and start raising the price. Try clearing your cookies, or look at the cruise on another PC.

 

Airlines do this too. It is designed to get you to purchase out of fear that the price will continue to go up.

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I received an email from Holland America saying Explore 4 is included on all cruises oceanview rooms or better. Their email says the date I am looking at is $899 per person for an Oceanview. Travel Agent has that date as 686, what gives? Each time I dabble with HAL pricing I find wild variations. Is this common?

 

We booked this itinerary on the Oosterdam for 1/26/19. On the HAL site they offered the cruise with and without the Explore 4 option. Our online TA quoted only the 'without' option. I think you will find a similar experience.

Either way, I hope you'll enjoy your first HAL cruise.

 

Paul

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I'm 90% ready to commit but not at $2500 for 3 in an oceanview on NA when my math is showing it should be closer to 1800. Will call TA today and get an answer as to why so much price discrepancy

 

We never book ocean view.

We book either large inside (J - best value for money at sea) or balcony/mini-suite.

We never pay attention to "explore ..." offers.

The best bonus is the best ship, best itinerary and a cabin that is right for the occasion.

Then we book Tamarind (must), contact cruise line to get a table of our choice in MDR, and prepay the Thermal Suite pass (must). If paying for Thermal Suite is not possible for some reason, we do it first thing as we board the Nieuw Amsterdam.

 

I don't know what dates you are looking at. I would look up the prices.

Happy cruising!

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Hope you'll be as lucky as to catch the Nieuw Amsterdam doing the best 7 day itinerary in the Caribbean (FLL - Grand Turk - San Juan - St.Thomas - Half Moon Cay - FLL). Do not consider any HAL itinerary that does not include HMC.

 

So happy to read that! That's our itinerary for our Christmas cruise. Also- we get to spend Christmas Eve in San Juan, which is regularly rated as one of the top places to spend Christmas Eve. :hearteyes:

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We sailed on the Koningsdam the last 2 Christmases and loved it. It's just the right size and not too crowded. Last year our 3 year old nephew was with us and he had an amazing time (Santa came to visit him on the ship)!

We're sailing on the inaugural cruise of the MS Nieuw Statendam this Christmas and can't wait.

It sounds like HAL could be exactly what you're looking for, lots of great entertainment without it being a "party boat".

Hope you give it a try!

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We made the switch to HAL a few years ago. The Nieuw Amsterdam is similar to the Radiance class near the midship elevators with the glass. I like the Signature suites with a separate bath and shower.

 

We made the switch from RCI after the Alaska cruise on Radiance. MDR was so packed I had to ask someone seated to move so I could get to my window seat.

 

HAL has a wonderful laundry special. $7 per day for unlimited or $20 per bag.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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