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aimcat

Would Nieuw Statendam be for us on our next cruise?

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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.

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HAL is probably the polar opposite of Carnival. It will be much more quiet, "sleepy" at night, and consist of mostly retired-age cruisers. If you want non-stop action, it won't be for you, but if you enjoy a tranquil, relaxing sailing with good food and service, you will enjoy it. I am 34 and enjoy HAL very much. But everyone is different! 

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Having just traveled on NS in December this might help you decide.  If you like Rock and Roll and dance music like Motown you will get that every night.  BB Kings and Rolling Stone Rock Room are quite good on NS.  They also have the dueling pianos at Billboard.  She is a beautiful ship with music as the center piece imo.

I find the food to be excellent.   You may be one of the younger crowd on the ship but if you like the above you will have a good time!

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Is there any comedy clubs? Can you still get a drink and sit by the bar after 10 or has everything shut down then?

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Only comedy was in the main theatre  2 nights...….yes there are bars open at that time.  The BB King club has a DJ that starts at 11:45 pm after last "live" set by the BB King All Stars..  Not sure how late they are open after that but I am sure someone will chime in here!

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6 hours ago, aimcat said:

Is there any comedy clubs? Can you still get a drink and sit by the bar after 10 or has everything shut down then?

 

Contrary to what some people like to say, HAL does not roll cup the carpets at 10 pm.

 

Bars are indeed open and stay open until around 1 am.   

 

 

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There isn't any comedy clubs on HAL ships.  There will be a comedian a couple of nights in the main show room.  On those nights there are 2 shows -- each about 40 minutes -- same material for both shows.

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That's somewhat of a bummer. We love the comedy club on Carnival. However, NS is still very intriguing to us as our next cruise! Anymore opinions on this for us? 

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We are mid thirties cruisers who love HAL— we did two Eurodam cruises pre child (we now have a recently turned 5 year old) and one Oosterdam cruise with our son. In addition to HAL we have 4 RCI cruises, 3 Disney, and 1 Princess. We loved our Royal Caribbean cruises, and I can honestly say that we never experienced bad service or terrible food on those ships. We had some great times and great trips, but after four consecutive RCI trips, we started wondering what else was out there... and our search led us to HAL. 

 

We aren’t heavy into partiers, but I’d describe us as “work hard play hard” professionals who just want to cruise for excellent food and service, with a laid back atmosphere with minimal announcements, where non stop action (you know on RCI where there’s like 10-15 planned activities every hour? On HAL there might be like 1-3 activities or none at all). My husband appreciates the whiskey and bourbon selections at night, and we love Billboard, the shows aren’t anything to write home about (I say this partly because we’ve cruised Disney and literally nothing compares but also I’m a professional classical musician and I cannot help myself comparing...). 

 

We are booked on Nieuw Statendam for Thanksgiving 2019. There are definitely younger people like us on HAL— you just need to try it and decide if it’s right for you!

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We went on the NS sister ship Koningsdam 3 yrs ago & loved it! We just turned 40 now. We’ve done Oasis Class RCI x3, Princess once, HAL twice, Disney once & NCL twice. Upsides to Koningsdam we’re the itinerary (ABC islands, Turks, Half Moon Cay etc), best buffet food we’ve ever had (lobster on gala nights, steak every night), amazing pizza & burgers, movies under the stars (2nd of the night was always dead- there were maybe 10 of us with staff bringing free popcorn), shows in the World Theater, wonderful staff & roomier showers. The ship was very quiet after 10:30pm & it was us and the staff, which we enjoyed! You will definitely feel young on the ship! Last time while we waited to board, I had a lovely lady come up to me & say “I hope that you have a good time on this ship- you look far too young to be here with all of us dinosaurs.” We laughed & said that we were sure that we’d love it! 

 

The one one thing we miss on HAL is RCIs Quest game. It’s just so funny! They are two completely different vacations- HAL is relaxing, quieter noise wise, better food, better staff, nicer rooms but RCI is close too. HAL has way less kids, which makes the pool area more enjoyable for us. 

 

We love the Pinnacle class ships, but would not go on the Veendam again. It was just too small & old/run down when we went on it years ago. 

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NS was downright boisterous at night, actually.   On the second floor (the main entertainment zone), there was loud and often raucous music, for hours and extending until around midnight, in the Rolling Stone Rock Room and the BB King Blue's Club each night.  Quiet types would probably not be pleased (although we were!).

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We were on Koningsdam, the sister ship to Nieuw Statendam, last year and loved it.  We are in our late 50s/early 60s but our cruising habits and preferences haven't changed since we were in our  30s.  We don't require a lot of "activities" to keep us busy or expect anyone to map out our days for us.  We like to relax; read a lot, both in the room and in various locations on the ship, preferably with a strong cappuccino and a pastry; play some cards/games, sometimes with others we meet on the ship; visit the ports of call; take naps in the room and watch movies (Nieuw Statendam/Koningsdam have a  pretty good selection of free on demand films); go to the gym or the running track; and most important, EAT.  In our opinion, Holland America has the best food of any of the mainstream cruise lines, with Celebrity a close second.  The food in the Lido buffet on Koningsdam was the best we've had at sea.  The specialty restaurants Pinnacle Grill and Rudi's Sel de Mer are also worth a visit.  People rave about Tamarind, but pan-Asian restaurants aren't our thing (now if a cruise ship had a good dim sum restaurant we would be all over it).  Nieuw Statendam has a lot of options for music entertainment including the new Rolling Stone Rock Room (a bar with a rock band), Billboard Onboard (a bar with dueling pianos), BB Kings Blues Club (blues band of course), and Lincoln Center Stage (a classical quintet).  On Koningsdam, the only music we thought was top-notch was the quintet, and we rarely go to the theaters on cruise ships because the entertainment is usually mediocre by our standards.  We will be on Nieuw Statendam from Jan. 20-30.  Can hardly wait.  I think you should try it. 

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I'm a HAL lover, but have sailed quite a few other lines.  I was a bit hesitant about the Nieuw Statendam due to its larger size, but I really enjoyed it.  The Music Walk (Billboard Onboard, BB King Blues Club and Rolling Stones Rock Room) were excellent.  There was something going on until midnight each night.  The World Stage had the usual two shows each night.  I attended a couple but hated to leave the Music Walk because the music there was so enjoyable.  The food on HAL is always good, but the NS was a notch above what I've experienced on other HAL cruises.  Give it a try! 

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Currently on the NS now.  Surprisingly there’s a good number of people in the 40 -50 range.  When I’m on my way back to the cabin at around 11 pm, the music venues are still SRO.  Food and service are very good.  

 

For the non - smokers, the casino is still a smoking permitted venue except for a few nights.  I was surprised at that.

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3 hours ago, aimcat said:

Any cruisers in our age range though of mid 30s?

We’re both turning 36 on our next cruise in February. I rather miss being the youngest couple onboard! (We were on on our first cruise... everyone knew us by the time we hit the atlantic and it was so much fun being treated as surrogate grandchildren)

Edited by faerievert

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I’m 47, but the last time we cruised HAL I was 37 and we loved it! There’s enough to do so that you aren’t bored, but not so much that it feels like constant activity. We like to do pool days, go to the spa, read, play bingo, gamble & eat great food. We are not big drinkers. It is our preferred cruise line now. We are going on the NS in April and can not wait! Try it out and see what you think!

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On 1/7/2019 at 8:36 PM, aimcat said:

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.

Aimcat, we're 45 and 43 (but I like to think we have a 30's mentality).

There are basically not activities most of the day. The only activities were the like of play bingo, learn about our next port, secrets of diamonds (to try to sell you something) and learn about some fitness program (to try to sell you something again).

But that would only be a minor problem only on sea days and it's a great moment to indulge yourself on the pool, jacuzzi, the great buffet at Lido, some movies in your room.

When it speeds up is at 5 pm altough it depends of the like of music you prefer. There are 2 or 3 classic music plays of about 40 minutes each. The amazing and dynamic piano duo and the rock band alternates playing 3 shows each one of 45 minutes. And the BB King Blues Club has music to dance beginning I think at 9 pm.

The shows at the theater are so so, with the exception of Humanity which was very good.

The bars were animated until about 11:30 pm.

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I was on the Niew Statendam for Christmas  and New Year's

The food was very good and the music walk was excellent.

What we thought was terrible was the main shows. The Humanity show was excellent. Everything else was horrible. There were 2 different comedians which were not very good. Main show was repeated. No real singers. 

Not sure if I will ever sail on HAL again.  Very disappointed.

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1 hour ago, floridababa said:

I was on the Niew Statendam for Christmas  and New Year's

The food was very good and the music walk was excellent.

What we thought was terrible was the main shows. The Humanity show was excellent. Everything else was horrible. There were 2 different comedians which were not very good. Main show was repeated. No real singers. 

Not sure if I will ever sail on HAL again.  Very disappointed.

 

'very good' food + 'excellent' music walk + 'horrible' main shows = 'very disappointed' and never sail again? what am I missing? 

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My wife and I were on the Premiere Voyage. The music walk entertainment in all rooms was amazing - suitable and enjoyed by ALL ages on board. There were two shows in the World Stage presented by the Step One Dance Company. The World Stage (Humanity & Steps) was full, and the shows were top of the line (and I love live theater and have not been impressed with HAL's Cast Shows in the past). The other guest performers were fair to average. The Music Walk was jumping till midnight each night of the 14-day cruise. Add to that the Lincoln Center Stage classical music mid-day and early evening and there was certainly plenty to do every evening. The problem was deciding which room to go to.

 

The Nieuw Statendam (and I suspect the Koningsdam) are game changers for HAL. For those that like lots of evening activity, I would stay away for the older/smaller ships and book cruises on the Vista Class (ie: Zuiderdam/Westerdam) and newer. Certainly HAL is no longer is a cruise company for only older folks that shut down at 10 pm. By the way, I am 72 years old.

 

To answer the original question, in my opinion I think the original poster will have a have a very enjoyable time on the Nieuw Statendam.

 

As an after thought, I am amazed at how many Cruise Critic posters that have never been on a particular ship or class of ships (ie Pinnacle)  make statements about how the new ship WILL be.  It seems to me that HAL is making changes to appeal to all ages of passengers, and in my opinion, that is a very good thing to assure that HAL will be in existence for years to come. 

Edited by LoveHAL

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On 1/9/2019 at 10:15 PM, aimcat said:

Any cruisers in our age range though of mid 30s?

 

Yes, there will be.  If this is a typical 7-day itinerary during April then you should see people from a wide range of age group., although relative to a similar cruise on Carnival or Royal Caribbean, there will be more people in the younger demographics there than you'd see on Holland America.  

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Haven't been on the NS but sailed the Kdam, twin of the NS, in it's first year. We are youngish old farts and totally enjoyed the Kdam. Cabins are a bit on the small side (but who spends most of their time in their cabin?). Other than that the ship was gorgeous, and by inference the NS ought to be equally awesome.  We are going again on Kdam this coming week. Its just out of a drydock refurb visit so should be like brand new. We thought the music entertainment venues on Kdam, same as on NS, were outstanding with a great variety. The addition of the new Rolling Stone spot will only make it better. The main shows were excellent as well; dining was very good  too. Holland isn't a party till you drop atmosphere. Its a bit more refined an laid back - no belly flop contests and jello shots (darn), but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of  stuff going on to keep most folk busy. 

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On 1/9/2019 at 9:15 PM, aimcat said:

Any cruisers in our age range though of mid 30s?

 

The demographic for HAL skews older. We did our first HAL cruise late November on Nieuw Amsterdam and really enjoyed it. There were couples in their 30's but most were in their 50's and 60's. NA had BB Kings and it was the best music I have heard on any ship (we typically cruise RCCL and have cruised Celebrity and NCL as well). We will be on Nieuw Statendam April 7th and look forward to BB Kings there as well as the new Rock venue that has a cover bankd for popular rock songs.

 

HAL is not "stuffy" but certainly a little more formal than most mainstream lines. I saw more people dress up for dinner than on RCCL in the MDR and around the ship. If you want non stop entertainment activities like best belly flop contests, etc may not be the line for you. The only thing my wife missed was no karaoke and she loves the huge multi story shopping / basr / cafe promenade in larger RCCL ships. However she loved NA and said for our port intensive 7 day cruise it was perfect.

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I have a question,  if it is okay here,  for aaaaa and those who are mentioning Music Walk, with the livelier and louder BB Kings and Rock Room....

Would this mean that one would NOT want a cabin near the atrium area on the Main Deck.   (one deck below, more mid-ship from these venus?)

Is there anybody here who can tell me how much sound/beat/noise might travel that distance?

 

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