Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Vineyard View

2020 Mediterranean- Niew Amsterdam vs Zuiderdam

Recommended Posts

It has been a few years since we have sailed on HAL. We love the smaller ships, however for the Mediterranean there appears to be two options that I am seeing for spring 2020 - Niew Amsterdam and Zuiderdam. 

I am looking at three different 24 day itineraries. Each double up their visit to ports we have been to previously with the B2B co-mingled. I think that our preferred itinerary may be sailed by Zuiderdam. I realize NA is the newest ship and that is attractive. That said, all three itineraries have bonus ports for us. Several we have visited and several we have not. 

We most likely will book a Verandah and all three are super limited on availability, therefore we need to decide quickly. Particularly with the latest promotion. Suites are just as limited in availability on all three. 

 

I would really appreciate some some input on these two ships - we don’t care about casinos, art auctions,  photos, shopping, and honestly the entertainment is not huge although we typically enjoy a few shows. Food & restaurants, wine selections, our stateroom, our deck, outside promenade for walking are more important to us. 

 

Any insights or feedback would sure be appreciated. Thank you so much for assistance 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to clear up any confusion:  the Nieux Amsterdam is newer than the Zuiderdam, but its not HAL's newest ship.  That would be the Nieux Statendam.  

 

I'm a bit surprised that cabins are "super limited" a year in advance - especially in the the Med.  Unless you're looking at a very unique itinerary, we never book this far out and have always been able to book a cabin that meets our needs.  People book and cancel cruises all the time.

 

Are the fares the same?  Do the ships embark from the same ports?  Is it easier for you to get to one port than another?  (For example you can fly non-stop from the U.S. east coast to Barcelona or Rome but not to Venice.)  These are some additional points to consider.

 

And finally, if it were me on a 24 day cruise, I would choose a Signature Suite on the Zuiderdam just for the larger cabin and bathroom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nieuw (no x on the end) Amsterdam will have Tamarind (restaurant) and more entertainment venues. We are booked on Nieuw Amsterdam for 24 days next year in the Med.

 

And United flies from EWR to Venice.  I think that is on the east coast of the US.

 

Wine lists and Promenade Deck should be same, or very close.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the OP is looking at booking a "collectors cruise" (2 or more cruise segments sold as 1 cruise) then HAL only allocates a certain # of cabins for the longer voyage vs the shorter voyages, and to make it even more complicated they also allocate certain cabin #s for each collectors cruise combo that are not available for the individual segments only ......  so a 10 /11 /10 nt pattern could be sold multiple ways - 3 individual segments, a 21nt with the first 10nt and the 11nt after or a 21nt with the 11nt first and 10nt after ...... and so on throughout the season.  This will all result in each option looking like it has limited inventory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

Nieuw (no x on the end) Amsterdam will have Tamarind (restaurant) and more entertainment venues. We are booked on Nieuw Amsterdam for 24 days next year in the Med.

 

And United flies from EWR to Venice.  I think that is on the east coast of the US.

 

Wine lists and Promenade Deck should be same, or very close.

 

Yes, United now does have one non-stop from Newark to Venice.  No need to add the snarky comment.  Its not helpful to anyone.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all. I appreciate your input. We only sailed on the smaller HAL ship in the past so these are larger than we have experience with on HAL. 

Venice, Rome, Barcelona are all starting or ending ports. A nonstop would be most convenient, but traveling from SFO we often need to change planes. I believe that these are all multiple segment itineraries, so your explanation Atlantacruiser makes sense. I wonder if contacting HAL directly would result in more options, or if that is a non-flexible allocation.  

I went directly onto HAL website to look specifically at cabin availability. For instance - on a 4/28-5/22 sailing, there is showing only 1 suite (#6057) and less than 10 balconies available. Some are in locations on the ship that I would not want to have.

Good to know that promenade deck is available on both ships, and I was pretty sure wines lists would be mirrors. 

So - will the cabins on each ship be mostly the same?  Bathrooms, deck?  

Overall experience the same? (except for the Tamarind and a little more entertainment - thank you Bruce from Petaluma). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Vineyard View said:

Thank you all. I appreciate your input. We only sailed on the smaller HAL ship in the past so these are larger than we have experience with on HAL. 

Venice, Rome, Barcelona are all starting or ending ports. A nonstop would be most convenient, but traveling from SFO we often need to change planes. I believe that these are all multiple segment itineraries, so your explanation Atlantacruiser makes sense. I wonder if contacting HAL directly would result in more options, or if that is a non-flexible allocation.  

I went directly onto HAL website to look specifically at cabin availability. For instance - on a 4/28-5/22 sailing, there is showing only 1 suite (#6057) and less than 10 balconies available. Some are in locations on the ship that I would not want to have.

Good to know that promenade deck is available on both ships, and I was pretty sure wines lists would be mirrors. 

So - will the cabins on each ship be mostly the same?  Bathrooms, deck?  

Overall experience the same? (except for the Tamarind and a little more entertainment - thank you Bruce from Petaluma). 

We will be getting on when you get off, if you do the 4/28-5/22 sailing.

 

I agree with the discussion related to if it is being sold as B2B or Collectors...that complicates considerably. We have a GTY SB booked for our 24 day sailing. It is always very hard to get a read on availability using a cruise line website, as you can't account for how many GTY bookings there are.

 

The ships are of different classes, so the cabins will not be exactly the same. Similar, but not totally alike. Certainly more alike than comparing N. Amsterdam to Koningsdam, for example. SB 6057, apart from being down one floor from the Neptune Lounge, is perfectly good suite. We have stayed in that area on Noordam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As we also fly out of SFO, a stop going to BCN, Rome or Venice is guaranteed. We will likely go through MUC or FRA, and take the Venice to EWR coming back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are choosing the Zuiderdam for the May Med cruise because of the itinerary. We have cruised on her before and had no issues with the ship. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for further information. Unlike us, you all have experiences with the different classes of HAL ships. 

We are wanting to be on a ship, in the Mediterranean, on 5/14 for our anniversary - so that is driving our timeframe. 

Thanks for the tip about being a floor down from the Neptune lounge - last time we had access to that area and I don’t remember it ever being a very loud/lively area?

How is the experience with GTY? Being a light sleeper, I have always worried about where the cruise line could place us.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Vineyard View said:

Thanks for further information. Unlike us, you all have experiences with the different classes of HAL ships. 

We are wanting to be on a ship, in the Mediterranean, on 5/14 for our anniversary - so that is driving our timeframe. 

Thanks for the tip about being a floor down from the Neptune lounge - last time we had access to that area and I don’t remember it ever being a very loud/lively area?

How is the experience with GTY? Being a light sleeper, I have always worried about where the cruise line could place us.  

 

 

We are also going for our anniversary...35 for us.

 

We have done 4 Neptune GTYs. No problems at all. Can't imagine any real possible problems with a Suite.

 

The 6th deck on the Vista and Signature ships are all cabins, so not noisy at all. Nothing but cabins above and below.

 

One choice for your flights would be to go SFO-LAX to catch Alitalia to Rome, non-stop. We won't do that as we are United frequent flyers, and have no experience on Alitalia. But it is an option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations!  35 years is awesome. 

Have you done GTY with lower category suites or verandah cabins?  

 

Thanks for the tip on Alitalia. I will have to check with partners. We have used Air France and KLM as well as United getting over the pond but not Alitalia. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The two ships are both the same length and width. The Nieuw Amsterdam can handle about 140 more passengers than the Zuiderdam. The NA essentially has an extra upper deck that provides many of the additional staterooms. Except for the Tamarind on NA (which is really good by the way), the basic layout of the two ships is almost the same. 

 

If I were you, I would make my choice based on itinerary and price. 

 

Regarding cabin availability, it often pays to look at each leg of a collector's cruise separately. If you see a cabin that is open for all the legs of your cruise but does not show up as available for the collector's, your TA might be able to get it released to you for the collector's cruise. Our PCC has done this for us a couple of times. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One other thought,  the Zuiderdam has had an extensive recent refurbishment and is lovely.  Not sure when the Nieuw Amsterdam has or is due?  Worth checking it out.  

Happy anniversary to all! 

Only real problems with suites seem to be plumbing☹️ On two of our last three. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Vineyard View said:

Congratulations!  35 years is awesome. 

Have you done GTY with lower category suites or verandah cabins?  

 

Thanks for the tip on Alitalia. I will have to check with partners. We have used Air France and KLM as well as United getting over the pond but not Alitalia. 

 

No, have only done suites.

 

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

We may to decide which itinerary has the most ports that we haven’t been to because all three are attractive!  I did see the pax differences between the two but wasn’t sure about any main differences. 

 

Good to know about Zuiderdam recent refurbishment!  Was wondering about that! 

 

Great suggestion about checking cabins on the two itineraries separately. Thank you

 

Edited by Vineyard View

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zuiderdam's last drydock was Oct 23 - Nov 4, 2017 and Nieuw Amsterdam's was Dec 7 - 19, 2017 according to a very useful thread that posts such things (https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2642899-march-2019-update-hal-dry-docks-charters-and-groups-onboard/). Zuiderdam is scheduled for a drydock in early December, 2019. 

 

HAL Facts (http://halfacts.com/) is another good resource for comparing ships and cabins.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very helpful Links. Thank you. 

 

Is there anywhere that you can see what the actual sq ft is for specific cabins? 

I noticed that there is a wide variance of size in the categories. 

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
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • 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...