Jump to content
GoHoward

Nieuw Amsterdam Review

Recommended Posts

Just off the Nieuw Amsterdam yesterday, a one week Eastern Caribbean itinerary as an anniversary getaway with my DW.  Below is the review that I just posted, and happy to answer any questions.  In short, we had a wonderful time - highlights were the onboard service, high tea, and Lincoln Center Stage. Lowlights were the embarkation process in Port Everglades, and service at Half Moon Cay.

 

Begin review: 

The Nieuw Amsterdam to the Eastern Caribbean was an excellent choice for an anniversary getaway - we enjoyed exceptional service, good to very good food, a quiet stateroom with a spacious balcony, and extended time in the four ports of call. My wife an I are in our mid 40s, and found that we were definitely younger than the average age, there was a wide range of passengers from young to old on our mid-november sailing.

 

Embarkation: from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale was organized, but slower than previous HAL cruises.  We arrived at the port at 10:30, were fully checked in by 11, boarding began at 11:30, and we were finally onboard by 12:15.  On previous cruises we were onboard by 11:30.  Our cabin was ready when we boarded, however, and disembarkation was quick and efficient.

The Ship: we have sailed on Holland America's R-class vessels previously; this was our first cruise on a larger Signature class ship.  While we enjoyed the additional dining and entertainment options, and found the Nieuw Amsterdam to be very well maintained, the larger size and passenger numbers were noticeable at times.  My wife and I prefer traditional, uncrowded ships -- and while we greatly enjoyed our cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam, we concluded the smaller ships are more to our liking.

 

Cabin: We had a forward VE class balcony stateroom, 7013.  The room was just right for two passengers, well appointed, very quiet, and with a wonderful balcony.  We spent every evening and many hours of the day on the balcony, enjoying sound of the sea and the view of the water and stars.  There were two reclinable chairs, separate footrests / ottomans, and a small table on the balcony. As there are staterooms above and below deck 7, we never heard noise from other areas of the ship.  The interactive TV has 150+ movies on demand, the daily menus, five live TV channels (all news), and information about weather, ship position, and ports of call. The bathroom features a single sink, tub/shower combination, and Elemis toiletries.

 

Service: Outstanding, as always for HAL. We were greeted by name by our cabin attendants, and everyone on the ship looked for opportunities to attend to and anticipate our needs. The one exception was staff onshore at HAL's private island, Half Moon Cay. Some of the Half Moon Cay staff were helpful, but several were brusque or rude when we asked questions or requested directions to places on the island.  When a horseback riding shore excursion on Half Moon Cay ran long, we were dropped off at the island BBQ at 12:50, ahead of their 1 PM closing. Staff were already taking down the buffet, and refused to serve us lunch. As a result, we had to head back to the ship early for lunch rather than enjoying Half Moon Cay's beach.

 

Dining: Food ranged from good to very good. As a foodie, none of the dishes were outstanding, but none of them were poor either.  Dinner in the Tamarind restaurant was the best meal and dinner service we have experienced on a Holland America ship.  Room service was efficient and complimentary - we enjoyed two dinners in our cabin, and had coffee and tea delivered to the room every morning.  We also loved the high tea, served in the main dining room on fine china at 3 PM each afternoon.

 

Entertainment: We loved Lincoln Center Stage - world class, classical chamber music performed in a dedicated concert venue - and attended their performances almost every night. BBC Earth, highlights from the series set to a live performance of the score, was wonderful.  We also attended two enjoyable, if simple, America's Test Kitchen cooking demonstrations.  HAL does not have the showy, nonstop entertainment offered by some other lines, and young children would find entertainment outside of the kids club to be limited to swimming in the pool, but we loved the more sophisticated approach to entertainment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent review and pics.  We sail on her this Sunday for the 14 day Eastern - Western.  Looking forward to our first on the NA, but not our first, or last, on HAL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your review and photos-I love seeing photos!

 

Did you enjoy the horse back riding on HMC?  My DIL is interested in this when we all cruise together in late February.  She has her own horse here at home so I’m wondering if you think it would be something she would enjoy or be bored? Do they actually get to ride in the water?  I know it’s a personal opinion but if you don’t mind letting me know how you enjoyed it.  Thank you.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enjoyed your review with pictures. Brings back good memories of our cruise on her last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for taking the time to write your review.  Glad you enjoyed your cruise.

 

Sorry that your horse back tour ran so long that your missed lunch on the island.

 

Thanks for the pictures of your cabin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/20/2018 at 1:14 AM, canadianbear said:

Did you enjoy the horse back riding on HMC?  My DIL is interested in this when we all cruise together in late February.  She has her own horse here at home so I’m wondering if you think it would be something she would enjoy or be bored? Do they actually get to ride in the water?  I know it’s a personal opinion but if you don’t mind letting me know how you enjoyed it.  Thank you.  

 

My wife is an experienced rider, and the horse back riding is definitely geared for novices - no trotting, cantering, or galloping allowed - but you do get to ride through the water.  The riding starts with a trail ride on land, beach, and around the island, which lasts for about 30 minutes -- my wife said it was a gentle walk, and was hot when there wasn't  a breeze off the water. The horses then return to the stables and they take the saddles off and replace them with a waterproof blanket. You then ride through the ocean for about 10 minutes, more or less bareback and with a flotation device for safety.  In the end my wife enjoyed it, but more for being around the horses than the riding itself. She hadn't been riding through water, and enjoyed that part of the experience. 

 

The promotional photos are not misleading, though - you will get some spectacular shots! Below are photos I took of my wife's ride; HAL had a photographer from the ship onsite as well.

 

D71_9374.jpg

D71_9382.jpg

D71_9415.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GoHoward-thank you for answering and the stunning photos!  I’ve passed your answer and photos on to my son and DIL.  Appreciate your detailed description so she can decide.   The one with your wife and ship in the background is fantastic!  

 

Thanks again.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the same time as you.  This was our 4th on this ship, and we both thought the improvements that have been done are great.  We were in a Signature Suite, 6067, midship, and it was beautiful. Totally redone, and the best improvement and most appreciated, was there is now a night light in the ceiling of the suites, so when you get the call of nature in the middle of the night, you have light.  

 

Here's a couple of pictures.  One thing we didn't notice till the second last day, is the staircase from the 2nd to the 1st floor where the front desk is has been removed.  

 

We did think that the food portions were smaller at dinner.  That said, we certainly didn't go hungry.  

 

One evening we had an Officer sit at our table (and supply the wine), and that was most interesting and added a little extra to that dinner.  Apparently it's something HA does once per cruise, but it was new to us.  

 

Oh to be sitting on the balcony now.....

IMG_0001.JPG

IMG_0002.JPG

IMG_0003.JPG

IMG_0004.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks CherryG, we’ll be on the NA in a Signature Suite which is yet to be assigned in just over 2 weeks. If you took a pic of the balcony I’d really appreciate a look please 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are sailing on Nieuw Amsterdam in a few weeks (December 16, 2018) -- can any recent cruisers tell me what kinds of shows (names, etc.) were on the Main Stage?  Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/24/2018 at 4:22 PM, dawnprincess said:

We are sailing on Nieuw Amsterdam in a few weeks (December 16, 2018) -- can any recent cruisers tell me what kinds of shows (names, etc.) were on the Main Stage?  Thanks!

 

Great reviews @GoHoward and @CherryG, thank you! @dawnprincess, we were on the NA last week and here is what I remember regarding the shows:

 

1st night: a preview of the upcoming shows: descriptions and one song from each show

2nd night: comedian

3rd night: singing and dancing show about different aspects of nature

4th night: DNA: two men from England that have a show with mind reading, etc.

5th night: singing and dancing show about top hits from the past few decades

6th night: BBC documentary with the musical score performed live

7th night: comedian and DNA and also a show by members of the crew from the Philippines

 

Hope that helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the review, Howard.  I keep reading that Tamarind restaurant has the best food of the ship.  Could you share what you enjoying having there?

 

CherryG - We will be in an SS next week.  What do you mean about the ceiling night light?  Is it on at all times or something you can control?  I don't like any type of light when I am trying to sleep.  I have even blacked out (with electrical tape) the little white and red lights (from smoke detectors and ceiling speakers,)  on my own bedroom ceiling. :classic_wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Iamthesea said:

Thank you for the review, Howard.  I keep reading that Tamarind restaurant has the best food of the ship.  Could you share what you enjoying having there?

 

We found that Tamarind not only served the best foot, but also had the best ambiance of any HAL culinary experience at sea. The restaurant is in its own area of the ship with floor to ceiling windows. After you are seated, jasmine tea is poured and hot towels are presented. And then the food - a delicious variety of Thai / Japanese / Asian fusion dishes, beautifully prepared.

We ordered the Laksa soup (good), trail of spices Satay sampler (excellent), specialty Tamarind Nigiri salmon sushi (excellent), wasabi and soy crusted tenderloin (amazing - the standout dish of the evening), vegetable mussaman curry (excellent - my wife asked for the recipe), and mango cloud souffle desert (very good).  My wife doesn't like hot spicy food, but loved the tenderloin - the wasabi wasn't hot, but provided a deep flavor to offset the salty sweet soy glaze -- and she loved the mussaman curry.

Photos of both mains below. Don't miss a dinner or two at the Tamarind!

IMG_2336.jpg

IMG_2337.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And two things I forgot - the Silk Den bar is a quiet, elegant space to enjoy a drink before a meal at the Tamarind - both are in the same, secluded space on the ship.

And the side dishes at Tamarind were delicious as well - we loved the sake braised wild mushrooms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got off the NA yesterday (11/25) and we had a nice time.  We were in an SS (6071) and will have trouble going back to a regular cabin after that.  The highlights for us were the entertainment in B.B. King's and Lincoln Center along with our dinner in Tamarind.  Our experience in The Pinnacle Grill, the Lido and the MDR was just average.

 

What was an issue for me is that I teach online and do need to make solid connections each day.  But, compared to the service that I usually get on RCI and X, the Internet was very slow.  I bought the best package and it was not worth it.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much, Howard.  On Oceania, we love their Red Ginger restaurant.  Also Asian.  We normally get the Sea Bass as a main, and similar dishes for appetizers that you spoke of.  We were looking for a comparable dish to the Sea Bass.  Never would have thought about the Tenderloin.  That's what I am going to order? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...