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lovelights

Our First HAL Cruise - Nieuw Statendam - A Little Surprised

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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. 😞

 

 

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Did you enjoy the Grand Dutch Cafe? How about any of the specialty restaurants. How was your stateroom? Thanks for posting your review

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1 hour ago, lovelights said:

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.

 

Thanks for your review.  We were on our first HAL cruise this summer (on the Zuiderdam).  I was stunned to see a few folks wearing bathrobes in the buffet at lunchtime.   Frankly, I found it off-putting to be on line getting food next to a guy in a bathrobe.  Since this was our first time on HAL, I was curious about this and asked at Guest Services whether this was permitted and was told it wasn't.  Clearly, staff in the buffet were not enforcing the rules.  But I agree with you -- no one should need to be told that bathrobes are not what you wear in a dining area.  

Edited by Turtles06

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2 hours ago, lovelights said:

We seen people walking around in their bath robes throughout the ship. Is this a norm for HAL cruises?

I think there are a number of people who use those robes for swimwear coverups.  

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People in bath robes and they're normally the older crowd you'd think they would know better. No accounting for some peoples behavior. I've seem some on every cruise we've been on. Glad you enjoyed your cruise. 

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Bathrobes:

 

They are not the norm, but some do it. On one of our Alaska cruises there was a family that wore them with pjs to eat breakfast in the Lido. :classic_ohmy:

 

On one of my Mexican cruises, the Captain made an announcement following the emergency drill that bathrobes were for in cabin use. (If memory serves me, it was Captain Turner).:classic_laugh:

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We are long time HAL cruisers (5 Star Mariners) and also cruise on many other lines.   Had to laugh at the OP's reference to what we call "robe people" and could not agree more.  These are "bath robes" and not "cover ups" or appropriate clothing in most cultures.  While I can understand somebody wearing a robe to the spa or gym (we would use a more appropriate cover-up) there is no excuse for ever wearing a robe in the Lido.  Perhaps if HAL staff humiliated a few of these "robe people" by telling them to leave the premises, it would stop the practice.  On the other hand, for those who have spent any time in Florida it would not be surprising to see somebody shopping in a supermarket wearing their bathrobe :(.  I guess the other point of view is that the cruise line cannot legislate good taste.

 

Hank

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36 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

We are long time HAL cruisers (5 Star Mariners) and also cruise on many other lines.   Had to laugh at the OP's reference to what we call "robe people" and could not agree more.  These are "bath robes" and not "cover ups" or appropriate clothing in most cultures.  While I can understand somebody wearing a robe to the spa or gym (we would use a more appropriate cover-up) there is no excuse for ever wearing a robe in the Lido.  Perhaps if HAL staff humiliated a few of these "robe people" by telling them to leave the premises, it would stop the practice.  On the other hand, for those who have spent any time in Florida it would not be surprising to see somebody shopping in a supermarket wearing their bathrobe :(.  I guess the other point of view is that the cruise line cannot legislate good taste.

 

Hank

I have lived in Florida for 40 years and have never seen anyone in a bathrobe in a supermarket.  I just asked a half dozen other Floridians here and they have never seen that either. We may not be able to count votes but let's not get these kinds of rumors started!     Women in bathing suit cover ups...…..that's a different story but that's perfectly acceptable imo.

 

I also saw the people in the lido wearing bathrobes and they  looked foolish.  I thought some may be coming from the spa but 

who knows.  I have seen people walking bare footed in the buffets on ships too.   

 

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13 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

How were the evening shows In the main theater?

 

The first show "Humanity" was fine, but the other one called "Stages", we actually seen people walking out. It was divided into 3 Acts. People started walking out at the beginning of Act 2. To be honest, I wanted to walk out in the middle of Act 2, but felt it would be rude. If my husband had his way, he would have walked out within the first 10 minutes of the show. It consisted of 3 couples dancing. It was about 45 minutes long. The people that remained in the theater seemed to have liked it though. I guess it's just a matter of what you like and what you don't like. 😮

 

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+1 on the robes. We noticed the same two women (in their 60s) every day in the lido. Even saw them down on deck 3 in the Grand Dutch/ Guest Services area. Looked silly, totally inappropriate....

"Stages" very different. Dancing was superb (IMHO).

Edited by Tennessee Titan

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13 hours ago, freestyling said:

Did you enjoy the Grand Dutch Cafe? How about any of the specialty restaurants. How was your stateroom? Thanks for posting your review

We passed through the Grand Dutch Cafe area several times and it was always packed. Very little seating inside, and had several seating areas outside, but it was a very busy area. We didn't eat at any of the specialty restaurants. We were only on the 4 day cruise. We love the buffet. I took several photos of the restaurants though. I'll post some photos later.

 

We absolutely loved our stateroom. That was another surprise. We booked an oceanview down on Deck 1, and when we checked in, we were told that our room was no longer available and they had to check the manifest to see where our room was. They ended up putting us in a beautiful balcony (VA Verandah), on deck 6. It had a nice size balcony, and it had the largest shower on any ship we've ever been on. We absolutely loved our room. We had the largest tv than any other stateroom we've been in, and we actually relaxed while watching some very good movies that were complimentary. I was surprised that we didn't have to pay extra for them. Other cruise lines that we've been on, movies were an extra cost.

 

Here's some photos of the DUTCH CAFE, and OUR STATEROOM (stateroom 6073)

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Just now, Tennessee Titan said:

+1 on the robes. We noticed the same two women (in their 60s) every day in the lido. Even saw them down on deck 3 in the Grand Dutch/ Guest Services area. Looked silly, totally inappropriate....

I didn't see any women. All the ones we seen were men. I about fell out my chair when my husband and I were sitting in the Lido eating dinner, and this fella walks by. I just happened to have my cell phone with me at the time, and I looked at my husband and said "Oh, no one is going to believe this, I have to take this photo." lol I took 600 photos of this ship, so I pretty much have every picture you can imagine. LOL 😉

 

 

RobePeople.jpg

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12 hours ago, Shmoo here said:

I think there are a number of people who use those robes for swimwear coverups.  

This could be, however, I don't care what they use them for, they shouldn't be worn outside of their stateroom, unless it's the balcony. They certainly shouldn't be worn in any dining area.

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Maybe because I work in the luxury hotel business, seeing people walking around in bathrobes isn't something to get my panties in a bunch.  It is pretty common in all the hotels I've worked in.  It's a piece of clothing, it covers people, it doesn't bother me.   People cross the lobby all the time in robes - to get their morning coffee, to grab a drink at the bar, to pick up food that they've ordered, to go to the Fitness Center, to go to the Spa, go to up to the pool and hot tubs...  I even had some gentlemen come up to our Yule Log celebration Friday night in their robes (coming back from the hot tubs), and some more on Saturday night came out to the fire pit to make S'mores (and it was about 20 degrees out!).   I guess what is common sight for me is abhorrent for others. To each her own...

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Thank you SO much for your insightful comments as a first time HAL cruiser.

Sounds like over-all you really enjoyed it!!!

We have a first HAL cruise on deposit...  and just from extensive research, I can tell you that I have been getting some of the same questions and opinions as you are mentioning.   These things have def. been mentioned here on CC before.

 

1. Robes....  REALLY????   at supper time...   Hey, whatever.....  Won't really bother me...  but some good eye-rolling and people watching!!!  Hahahahaha!!!   Around the pool and spa...  that is one thing.  But, dining at supper time.   Nope, have not really seen that.  

 

2.  Shows... Totally agree....  have researched and watched video, etc...  Sorry HAL...  Those are not acceptable shows...

a few 'performers' running around with huge totally overdone, overwhelming, constant motion, video screens...  Think I'll pass.    They really need to re-think this.  But they won't...  They are putting all of their money into, and are counting on, the Rock Room and BB Kings...   Seriously HAL...  not one decent actual 'show' onboard?    Ohhhh well,  more time for relaxing and other venues in the evenings....

(PS:   The entertainment on our recent Princess cruise was all so very good, that you couldn't begin to see/enjoy it all.) 

 

3.  FOOD....   Man, I sure wish you had been on a longer cruise, as I feel your feedback on the food would really be truthful and objective.   We just came from an AWFUL experience with the food and dining cutbacks on Princess.   I mean, it was pretty bad.   (After having a wonderful experience with dining on the Coral Princess a couple years ago).  

My problem was all of the food was over cooked, over 'processed', seemed to have tons of MSG, fillers, etc...    Some was inedible, some was okay, and I am hard pressed to think of one main menu item I had that was well prepared decent quality food.    I am not talking just soups, gravies/sauces....   Even basic potato sides were so salty, MSG, over processed, that I couldn't really eat them.  Think, what would come out of big pre-processed trays from Campbell's soup...

 

I would love to hear if any of the foods you had left you with that kind of impression?

I would appreciate more detailed and honest feedback!!!!

 

Edited by Wishing on a star

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Oh - those lights around the atrium by the Dutch Cafe:  It looks like Joe Farcus snuck back and helped with the design... (if you don't know Joe, look back at some old Carnival interior designs he did). 😉

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I have seen people in robes in the Lido. Thought it was a little weird, but oh well. I can tell you I would rather see that than some of the ones who wear what they call bathing suits. At least in the robes I don’t see too much....

Edited by wyobean

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3 hours ago, lovelights said:

I didn't see any women. All the ones we seen were men. I about fell out my chair when my husband and I were sitting in the Lido eating dinner, and this fella walks by. I just happened to have my cell phone with me at the time, and I looked at my husband and said "Oh, no one is going to believe this, I have to take this photo." lol I took 600 photos of this ship, so I pretty much have every picture you can imagine. LOL 😉

 

 

RobePeople.jpg

 

Well, it looks like at least he might have had footwear on!  Remember that sign "No shirt, no shoes, no service"?  Perhaps it would be an idea to have that up in the Lido Market.  We saw bathrobes there on the TA, too, my DH had to be held down.   

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5 hours ago, lovelights said:

I didn't see any women. All the ones we seen were men. I about fell out my chair when my husband and I were sitting in the Lido eating dinner, and this fella walks by. I just happened to have my cell phone with me at the time, and I looked at my husband and said "Oh, no one is going to believe this, I have to take this photo." lol I took 600 photos of this ship, so I pretty much have every picture you can imagine. LOL 😉

 

 

RobePeople.jpg

lol I saw this guy too

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My DW and I were on the maiden voyage of the Nieuw Statendam from Rome to Ft. Lauderdale and we enjoyed our experience in the ship. I would say up front that the sailing was like being a part of a "soft opening" at a restaurant. There were some glitches, but overall a great trip. We have been on about 20 cruises and the food was probably the best we have ever had on a cruise. We ate primarily in the Lido and there was tremendous variety in the offerings. I can a measure this by if nothing appeals to me at lunch or dinner, I would usually go to the pasta station. Neither my wife or I went to the pasta station once in 14 days.

 

We noticed several people wandering around the Lido in their robes and we thought this was disconcerting also. The Billboard Onboard piano duo was exceptional and very engaging. The Rolling Stone Rock group was probably too loud. It was like being in a high school gym listening to a rock band. I know the HAL staff was trying to work through some technical  aspects of the sound. 

 

The Grand Dutch Cafe was always packed. I sampled the Poffertjes, a small Dutch pancake, several times. They sure hit the spot and can be quite addicting.

 

Enjoy the new HAL Pinnacle class ship. We plan on returning.

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OP: thanks very much for adding the lovely photos to your review.  Your beautiful stateroom reminds me very much of a Celebrity S-class ship (my favorite ships to date). 

 

One question for you (or anyone else): I see that the safe is directly above the mini-fridge.  That's how Celebrity does it too, and I've found that the heat generated by the fridge motor makes the interior of the safe pretty hot, far too hot to risk putting any electronics, memory cards, etc. in it.   I'm just curious to know whether you found that the safe in your cabin got hot.  (Not anything I'd base a cruising decision on, I'm just curious.)   

 

Thanks.

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