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mtown27

Considering Norse Legends on Nieuw Statendam this June -- need help

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Hi ... first time cruiser bringing two of my sons (age 24 and 21) with me.  We're American and it's our first trip overseas for all of us.  I'm looking at the Norse Legends tour on the Nieuw Statendam.  Ship specific activities that are particularly important to them are food, the pool, and music (where they all have pretty eclectic tastes).  I'm trying to figure if this would be a good fit as several people have told me that HAL is too "old."  However, these folks are more familiar with HAL's smaller ships, like the Rotterdam.

 

Would appreciate some input from those who have been on HAL's larger ships.

  • What times do activities "shut down" on the Nieuw Statendam?
  • The pools on the pictures look a bit small and rather pedestrian.  How large are these?
  • I'm considering one of the VH, partially obstructed balconies on the 4th level.  Is that a mistake?
  • Any other things I should consider?

 

Thanks!

Stuart

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I hope you and your family enjoy visiting the ports, which is a main reason to pick a cruise vacation.. Otherwise you might want to consider going to land based resort to make sure you get the degree of activities and ambiance you want.

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Can’t help with all the questions, but can do a few issues.  Been on several lines and several ships.  Food is subjective, but for the most part, the dining room and buffets are more similar than different.

 

ALL ships shut down at some point. Even on carnival booze cruises, not all bars are open all the time.  But at least one or two bars stay open until 2 or so.  Same with casinos.  I was on a carnival cruise and 5 of us were playng black jack, and winning quite often when about 2:30 they called last shoe and kicked out.

 

your boys should be able to find somewhere to hang out with other night owls without any problem, but probably not till 5am.  And that would be on just about any ship.

 

 

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Yes, you might be making a mistake about the cabin. Its very important to check the location of the VH cabin before you book.  I would absolutely NOT pick a cabin that is directly above a "Music Walk" venue - Lincoln Center Stages, Billboard on Board, the Rock and Roll, or the Main Stage Theater.  The noise does carry to the deck above.  So while the cabins on that deck are a good value, they are not completely quiet at night until the last performance is over.

 

Its been my experience that on the larger, newer HAL ships there are many extended family groups that vacation together.  There are often many "millennials" looking to spend some time away from their family and it doesn't take them long to find each other.

 

The actual pool is much smaller than you would find at a land based resort.  But the surrounding deck area has plenty of loungers on that deck and the one above.  An advantage to the Nieuw Statendam, especially in Northern Europe, is that it has a retractable roof over the main pool area.  So even if its raining, you can still spend time at the pool.

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10 hours ago, mtown27 said:

Hi ... first time cruiser bringing two of my sons (age 24 and 21) with me.  We're American and it's our first trip overseas for all of us.  I'm looking at the Norse Legends tour on the Nieuw Statendam.  Ship specific activities that are particularly important to them are food, the pool, and music (where they all have pretty eclectic tastes).  I'm trying to figure if this would be a good fit as several people have told me that HAL is too "old."  However, these folks are more familiar with HAL's smaller ships, like the Rotterdam.

 

Would appreciate some input from those who have been on HAL's larger ships.

  • What times do activities "shut down" on the Nieuw Statendam?  
  • The pools on the pictures look a bit small and rather pedestrian.  How large are these?
  • I'm considering one of the VH, partially obstructed balconies on the 4th level.  Is that a mistake?
  • Any other things I should consider?

 

Thanks!

Stuart

"Shut down" depends on how port intensive your particular cruise is.  Most people are traveling HA for the ports.  For instance, on a 24-day Med cruise several years ago, DH and I were in bed by 9 almost every night because we visited 21 ports, with the ship generally arriving in port early in the morning.  Compare that cruise to a shorter one my 31 year-old son and I took on NS this past Christmas where people were still wandering around at 1 and 2 a.m.  That cruise wasn't as port intensive, and we often arrived in ports later in the morning or early afternoon.  Look at the itinerary to get an idea.  Trust me, after a few grueling days of touring back-to-back, even a teenager is ready for bed at a reasonable hour.

 

The main Lido pool size is adequate for cruise ships of this size.  The aft Lido pool which is reserved for those over 16 is smaller.  As someone else has said, there are plenty of loungers, and all of these ships have the retractable roof, so if there's rainy/cold weather, passengers can still use the pool if they're so inclined.

 

For my money, I'd never book a partially obstructed view or balcony cabin.  We normally book the cabins closer to the aft elevators, which means less walking to get to MDR or Lido Marketplace.  If it's all about saving money, and you don't care about your view, and you know you'll be happy with your choice, then book the obstructed view.  However, are you saving that much that you'd be willing to compromise a once-in-a-lifetime view?  Your decision, but I don't think the cost between unobstructed and partially obstructed is that much, is it?  We've booked 4th floor, Beethoven Deck and never experienced any noise.  Try looking at cabins 4148 and 4169.  From there, look at all the cabins aft of those two.  This is the area we've booked on two previous cruises aboard Pinnacle Class ships.  We never experienced any noise from below or above.  Also this deck has larger verandahs than the other decks because they extend further.

 

Other things to consider.  Make sure you enjoy the Dutch Café.  The food is free and delicious.  It's a nice place to sit and watch the world go by, inside  (fellow passengers as they walk past) and outside (lovely views when underway).  Tamarind is an excellent extra fee restaurant.  Ask for a window table.  Just lovely watching the sun set and enjoying marvelous food.  Don't necessarily purchase shore excursions from the ship.  Research well in advance, and you can find some excellent private tours for half the money which will also show you more with less of a crowd.  

 

Also, if possible, fly into your embarkation port at least 2 days early, so your "inner clock" can adjust to the time change, plus it gives you a chance to explore that port and its culture, too.  Come back and let us know what you decide, and please do a review afterwards.  

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The NS pools are standard size for a cruise ship -- which means small.  Maybe 35 feet across.  Also, smoking near the aft pool makes it largely unusable, IMO.  If having a great pool is important, stay on land.  The NS music includes Classical, Rock, R & B, and piano duets (pop) -- the music ends at around midnight.  Obstructed-view balcony cabins are fine; there's less obstruction if the boat outside of your cabin is a lifeboat as opposed to a tender.  Definitely avoid a 4th-floor cabin anywhere near the BB King's Club, which extends up to the 3rd floor.

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2 minutes ago, aaaaa said:

Definitely avoid a 4th-floor cabin anywhere near the BB King's Club,

Unless, like us, you intend to be down at the Queen's lounge (where BB King Blues Club is located).  

Guys, if pax are looking for 'action' they are not going to be in their cabins, are they? :classic_smile:

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Thank you for all your responses ... follow up questions in bold.

  • @OlsSalt Yes, it all starts with the itinerary.  It seems like this itinerary is a good mix between some explorable towns (Amsterdam, Alesund, Bergen) and others that are jumping off points for hikes or kayaking.
  • @dadroy Thanks.  I don't see a problem with my boys staying up until 5 am.  Waking them up in the morning may be a different problem, irrespective of when they get to sleep.
  • @baggal Duly noted on the cabin being above the music walk.  I don't think that will be a problem as it seems the music walk dies down by midnight and I don't see us turning in before then.
  • @sevenseasnomad  Agreed about "Trust me, after a few grueling days of touring back-to-back, even a teenager is ready for bed at a reasonable hour."  My wife comments how I usually have more energy than they do.  Regarding the view, yes for three people, there's a decent difference between partially obstructed and unobstructed.  That's why I was asking for those with experience, what does "partially obstructed" really mean?  Does it mean that I have to stand on the balcony to see over the boats -- well, I can live with that.  Does it mean that I'm going to see very little ... well that's another story.  Thanks for the food tips and also agree about getting in 2 days before embarkation.  The private tours make me a little nervous ... what if they don't get back to the ship in time?
  • @aaaaa and @VMax1700  I think we'd be @ the BBK blues club, so not worried about hearing it from our cabin.

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Hi MT,

 

> The private tours make me a little nervous ... what if they don't get back to the ship in time?

 

It's not their first rodeo.  Not getting back on time is highly unlikely. 

 

Ira

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There are not many pics of Nieuw Statendam cabins posted yet, but Koningsdam is very similar and there are many pics posted here.

A Partially obstructed verandah cabin (cat VH) is shown here

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Yes, you take a chance getting a private tour.  Research.  Go with a reputable company.  You can look at reviews either at Trip Advisor or on Cruise Critic of various tour companies.  Past passengers will be quick to let future passengers know if the tour doesn't return on time to the ship.  We've never had a problem.  Scratch that.  Yes, we almost missed the Maasdam once (they were pulling in the gangway as we ran to get on the ship), but we had rented a car on our own and miscalculated our time.  It was much too close for comfort, and we learned a valuable lesson: Always be back on the ship an hour prior to the posted "all aboard" time.  We've never had a problem with a private tour getting us back on time, and we've used dozens and dozens of private tours.

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