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smurfgirl06

Nieuw Statendam Review 6/30-7/21

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Hi all! I recently sailed the Nieuw Statendam for 21 nights from June 30th to July 21st on the Voyage of the Midnight Sun in Norway.  I figured since I was on HAL's newest ship for a significant amount of time, I'd write up a review.  Overall, it was a great experience, and I wouldn't hesitate to sail this ship again!

 

Embarkation:

Seriously the easiest embarkation I've ever had!  From the time our cab dropped us off to the port until we were in our stateroom was under a half an hour.  They've got it down pat at the Amsterdam Cruise Terminal!  

 

Food:

Being on the ship for 21 days, we went to each specialty restaurant twice, with the exception of Pinnacle Grill, which we only went to once. 

 

Rudi's Sel de Mer was by far the best of the specialty restaurants.  We all had the grilled seafood platter the first time, and then the second time, my mom and I had the seafood platter again, while my father had the bouillabaisse. Everything was cooked to perfection and flavored well.  

 

Canneletto was also very good.  The first night we went, my father and I both had the daily special: Osso Bucco, while my mom had the Lasagne.  All were excellent.  When we went back, we did more of a family style where we got the Lasagne, Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli, and the Veal Saltimbocca. The veal and the lasagne were great, but the shrimp and lobster ravioli had a flavor that none of us cared for.  There was nothing wrong with them, just not our personal preference.   

 

Tamarind - We went here for both a meal off of their regular menu and for the Indonesian Rjistafel.  The food from their regular menu was very good.  We had the eggplant massaman curry, the lamb chops, and the shrimp and lobster stir fry.  The Rjistafel was where our opinions differed.  I loved it, my father thought it was just ok, and my mom hated it.  The spices and flavorings in Indonesian food are quite different than other Asian styles, so I think it's one of those things either you like it or you don't.  

 

Pinnacle was our least favorite, hence we only went once.  We usually love Pinnacle, but the food there was just off on this trip.  I had the crab legs, which were ok.  My mom had the scallops, which were undercooked for her taste, and my dad had the lamb chops, which were huge, but he said were just ho-hum and he had had better.  

 

Main Dining Room:  Fantastic to Good.  I never had a bad meal.  Some were better than others. The Weiner Schnitzel and Orange Duck were clear winners for me.  I also had some great fish meals.  Something to add since this was a back to back for us - the first cruise's Gala Night Surf and Turf included lobster.  On the second cruise, lobster was not offered, and it was prawns with the filet. 

 

Grand Dutch Cafe: Nice selection of Dutch sandwiches and quick bites for free.  They also have a great selection of Dutch beers and liquors for a fee. You can also get specialty coffees here.  I especially enjoyed the Croquettes and the La Trappe Dubbel Beer. 

 

Dive In Burgers and Dogs - Another great venue on the ship for a quick service meal, by the Lido Pool.  Burgers and Dogs were fantastic.

 

New York Pizza and Deli -  We only ate here once, and weren't impressed with the pizza.  We've had this on the Rotterdam, and it was much better on that ship.  The pizza lacked flavor.

 

Lido Market:  I love HAL's "buffet."  They always have great, fresh selections.  I love that you don't serve yourself, and that there are many stations to create your own pastas, Asian foods, and salads.  

 

***Hidden Food Station*** At Billboard On Board, they have a selection of hot and cold snacks available from around 9pm until around 11pm.  Great for post drink munchies!

 

More to come!

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Continuing on with entertainment

 

Night time entertainment was great.  HAL has done a great job of keeping people from going to bed early with their Music Walk.  This will definitely help the line shake the reputation that everything is dead after 9pm.  The ship was hopping every night.  We spent a lot of time at the Notes bar, which was between Billboard On Board and Rolling Stone Rock Room.

 

World Stage - Was better than I expected based on other reviews.  Clearly HAL heard the complaints about lack of entertainment on World Stage and has tried to remedy it.  Other than scenic cruising nights, there was a show on the World Stage every night.  We had a few singing groups, a dance group, Post Modern Jukebox, two comedians, a magician, and a piano player.  The shows we went to were enjoyable, especially the comedian Mark Palmer and the Postmodern Jukebox shows.  

 

Sea Day Activities - This is where the cruise fell flat.  Between 1pm and dinner, there was basically nothing to do that didn't cost extra or wasn't a sales pitch by the shops on board or spa. Liquor tastings, bingo, casino, etc were the majority of activities offered.  We wound up spending most afternoons in our stateroom because of this.  We went to America's Test Kitchen once, and a few trivias, but they were early in afternoon or right before dinner.  Being a cold weather cruise, more activities were needed to keep cruisers occupied indoors than what was offered. 

 

Stateroom

We were in Vista Suite 8084.  The location was great.  We were right by the stairwell, which gave us easy access to the Lido for a quick snack.  The room itself was nice, but cramped with 3 adults.  When the pull out sofa was out, there wasn't much room to go between the desk and the end of the bed to get to the bathroom (probably less than 4 inches).  Being the person sleeping on the pull-out, most nights I was woken up by one of my parents because there was no way through to the bathroom without bumping the end of the bed.  This is something to keep in mind if you are planning on having a 3rd or 4th person in this type of room.   It also made getting ready in the morning interesting until about the 3rd or 4th morning when we figured out how to close the couch up.  This helped moving around immensely!

 

Ship:

The ship itself is gorgeous.  It still has that new ship smell! Much brighter than other HAL ships I've been on.  The artwork was interesting, but made for good pictures.  I can understand how people who like the older HAL ships might find the interior design of this ship jarring.  It is very different from previous classes.  

 

Itinerary:

We went all the way to the North Cape of Norway.  I highly recommend this itinerary!  You get to see a lot of gorgeous scenery in the ports without the hustle and bustle of other European itineraries.  It's much more relaxed than say a Mediterranean cruise. We had fantastic weather the entire time!

 

Collector's Cruise Experience:

HAL did a great job making sure we had all we needed for the turn around day in Amsterdam.  We were given a letter the night before stating that we didn't need to go to the muster drill the next day, and we were given In Transit cards to use at the port if we got off the ship.  We ultimately didn't leave the ship that day because the weather in Amsterdam wasn't great.  Not going to the muster drill was an interesting experience, it almost felt like skipping a class at school!

 

Disembarkation:

Again, Amsterdam Cruise Terminal has it down pat.  When our luggage tag was called, we were off the ship and waiting for our transportation to our hotel within 15 minutes.  

 

Ship pictures to follow!

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Thanks for your review.  So nice to hear you enjoyed your cruise.  Having sailed on NS during Christmas, I agree with your opinion about the ship's modern ambiance, but it still retains that HAL graciousness.  Despite its difference, we still felt as though we were coming home as we embarked.  We liked the experience so much that we're booked for this Christmas/New Year's, so we get two weeks on the ship instead of 7 days.

 

So, you didn't see any of the theater shows with the dancers?  The use of the screens in conjunction with the movements of the dancers made these two shows a treat.  I was anticipating seeing this entertainment again, but from your review, I must conclude that HAL has done away with this show.  Would I be correct?

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Thank you, and I'm looking forward to the rest of your review!  Will be on the NS for 39 days this fall and really looking forward to it.  🙂  

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Good summary of food, dining and entertainment venues. I agree - on sea days, HAL really needs more activities (as they've had in the past). Entertainment has been cut back away too far and I think HAL is listening and adding back in! Speciality dinners do absolutely cater to your palette - or not! Enjoying each of them more than once does indeed help balance the success or failure of each restaurant! Personally, I like each one for individual entrees as well as individual service!  Keep your comments coming!

 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Thanks for your review.  So nice to hear you enjoyed your cruise.  Having sailed on NS during Christmas, I agree with your opinion about the ship's modern ambiance, but it still retains that HAL graciousness.  Despite its difference, we still felt as though we were coming home as we embarked.  We liked the experience so much that we're booked for this Christmas/New Year's, so we get two weeks on the ship instead of 7 days.

 

So, you didn't see any of the theater shows with the dancers?  The use of the screens in conjunction with the movements of the dancers made these two shows a treat.  I was anticipating seeing this entertainment again, but from your review, I must conclude that HAL has done away with this show.  Would I be correct?

We didn't go see it, but I believe it was still on.  Was the name of the group STEPS?  People who went to see it really enjoyed it.  I went to see Postmodern Jukebox 3 times, Hyperion Knight (piano) once, Comedian Mark Palmer twice, a magician whose name escapes me once, another comedian who was only one the first week once.  The theater was very warm for the first 2/3 of the cruise, so it kind of kept us from going to the shows as often as we might have.  They got the A/C situation fixed by the last week or so.  There was also another magician and a singing group that we never got around to seeing.    

 

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Speaking of dining.  Chef Rudi was on with his family for the two week portion of the cruise.  We got to talk to him one night in his restaurant, and told him how much we enjoyed the food.  He was very gracious and said don't thank me, thank the chefs on board.  There was also a famous Dutch singer on with him, which obviously made the Dutch passengers excited.  I did feel bad for the staff, though.  They were clearly stressed with them there.  My one favorite bartender told me he kept him up until 4am on a few occasions, and because they were VIP he couldn't do anything about it.  Thankfully, he was going home at the end of the cruise so he was like, eh, I'll sleep when I get home.  

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Other Activities for a fee:

I participated in the bar hop both cruises, and a couple of the mixology classes.  They were both a lot of fun!  Unfortunately, Jose, the bartender who did the bar hop was leaving when we left.  I had cruised with him once previously, and he makes the pub crawls a lot of fun!  Those of you on NS after Sept. 30, he will be back and I highly suggest doing the bar hop if he is the one in charge of it! The drinks are basically fruit juice, but if the person in charge has the right energy, the bar hop is worth the money for the fun! Mixology was also fun, and Archie, the mixologist on board had a lot of fun showing off his skills.  The first one I went to we got mini martini glasses full of three drinks.  The second one, I attended, the last day of the cruise, was 3 full drinks. This one was smoked drinks, which were a lot of fun! I didn't drink all of them because I wanted to actually enjoy the last night of the cruise!  The bar hop was $22 and the Mixology was $15 each time I went.  

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39 minutes ago, boze9999 said:

Good summary of food, dining and entertainment venues. I agree - on sea days, HAL really needs more activities (as they've had in the past). Entertainment has been cut back away too far and I think HAL is listening and adding back in! Speciality dinners do absolutely cater to your palette - or not! Enjoying each of them more than once does indeed help balance the success or failure of each restaurant! Personally, I like each one for individual entrees as well as individual service!  Keep your comments coming!

 

 

 

Agreed!  This was our first time on a ship with Tamarind and Rudi's. I had read reviews of Rudi's before we left and was concerned about it, as it was mixed reviews.  My mom and I both agreed that it wasn't just one of the best meals we've had at sea, it's one of the best meals we've ever had. 

 Asian food in particular is HIGHLY subjective.  Even at home, there are restaurants people rave about that I don't care for and vice-versa.  It's also worth noting that all of the specialty restaurants had new menus that had debuted in the past month.  Service at all of them was superb.  

Sea day activities were awful.  Hell, put a movie on in the World Stage.  Have matinee concerts from the Music Walk performers.  ANYTHING!  I caught up on a lot of sleep during sea days because there was just nothing to make me want to leave my stateroom!

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Posted (edited)

Ship pictures!!!

Flowers at Grand Dutch Cafe:

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Atrium

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Grand Dutch Cafe

 

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The flowers were gorgeous!

 

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Fish outside Rudi's Sel de Mere

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More flowers and atrium:

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Artwork 

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ATK in World Stage

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Ocean Bar Drink:

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Osso Buco at Caneletto

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$1,000 a shot for this bourbon!

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Orange Party Snacks

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Main Dining Room:

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More Artwork

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Delft Houses at Grand Dutch Cafe.  These are in one of the tables.

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World Stage

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Rudi's Sel De Mere

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Napkin through Whiskey

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2nd Sail Away

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More artwork:

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Upper Deck

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More Artwork:

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Notes Whiskey Bar

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Billboard on Board with Midnight Sun

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BB King's

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Billboard Onboard and Rolling Stone Rock Room

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Wine Closet in MDR

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Edited by smurfgirl06

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2 hours ago, smurfgirl06 said:

Sea Day Activities - This is where the cruise fell flat.  Between 1pm and dinner, there was basically nothing to do that didn't cost extra or wasn't a sales pitch by the shops on board or spa. Liquor tastings, bingo, casino, etc were the majority of activities offered.  We wound up spending most afternoons in our stateroom because of this.  We went to America's Test Kitchen once, and a few trivias, but they were early in afternoon or right before dinner.  Being a cold weather cruise, more activities were needed to keep cruisers occupied indoors than what was offered. 

I've always enjoyed the included Afternoon Tea - especially on sea days. 

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Wonderful review you did! Very detailed and all the pictures you took were great!

Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together! 

Denise😊

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29 minutes ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

Wonderful review you did! Very detailed and all the pictures you took were great!

Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together! 

Denise😊

You're welcome!!! If anyone has any questions about the ship or itinerary, please ask!

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Superb photos. What an eclectic range of artwork. Love the rock legends’ portraits!

 

And you for your review and pics.

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Thank you for your great pictures and review.  My cruise leaves sept 15- curious how many sea days you had- I had heard about the lack of things to do on these days- we have 3.  Regarding the cabin- we are in cabin VA6066 and curious if the configuration is similar to yours- we also have 3 people in the cabin.  How was the balcony.  Thank you.

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Great review and looking forward to our cruise in Sept even more. We have pre-booked two speciality restaurants as we wanted specific dining times.

 

But my question is, does HAL offer last minute discounts for their speciality restaurant's whilst on board the cruise? Celebrity does this quite a lot and we have taken advantage of this  in the past .

 

Thanks

Scotslizzy

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Great review and wonderful photos.

 

Thank you for the great detail and taking the time to share with us 🙂 

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Thanks for the write up, we are on her next July doing the two week Voyage of the Midnight Sun.

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Posted (edited)

can you tell us about the ports?  Also where did you stay in Amsterdam.  Thanks. 

Enjoyed your report. We will be on board next April for the TA.

Edited by Holly g

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