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Floridastorm

Best for Transatlantic Cruise

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Have been on a couple of Holland America ships but never transatlantic. The following Holland America ships embark from Florida ports via transatlantic to Europe. Which of them would you recommend for an overall good experience. We are in our late seventies but my wife has not made arrangements for my burial yet. Neither of us drink much but enjoy decent food, good entertainment, and a nice oceanview or balcony cabin.

 

Nieuw Amsterdam

Nieuw Statendam

Rotterdam

Veendam

Zuirderdam

 

Thank you in advance for any and all info provided. 😉

 

Dave

Edited by Floridastorm

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You are going to get a lot of subjective responses to your question none of which will be conclusive.  On a TA, I prefer the larger ships like NA and NS because they ride better in high seas and because they have Tamarind restaurant which is one of my favorites.  

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Not having done a Transatlantic but just recently sailed on the Nieuw Statendam, I would recommend it for the variety of dining options aboard. It adds: Grand Dutch Cafe, Rudi's Sel de Mer, Club Orange, Gelato, and an expanded New York Deli and Pizza. I do agree with doublebzz about the Tamarind (Koningsdam is in Alaska next Summer) so that leaves only the Nieuw Amsterdam and Nieuw Statendam for that option for the Transatlantic. 

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We did an EB TA on the Zuiderdam in April 2017 and enjoyed it very much.  We hadn't been on HAL for years, but it was an itinerary with ports we hadn't visited on any of previous TAs like Cherbourg, France (loved the movie "Umbrellas at Cherbourg) and we needed our umbrellas!) and Amsterdam (had been there to board a river cruise) .  Probably because they can't accommodate the Princess ships we usually cruise on.  We didn't have any problems with high seas.  One of the slots in the casino was very kind 😉.

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I would say this about HAL for Trans-atlantic crossings, which we love. Go with the newer ships. They changed them for a reason, they are nicer. When going EAST to Europe, book a Veranda Cabin on the Right (Starboard) side of the ship, the North side will have no Sun, rather bleak and too cold.

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Have done TAs on Nieuw Amsterdam and Zuiderdam. I found the NA rather sterile in ambiance, not to say I didn't enjoy it. We loved the Zuiderdam this past April, a similar itinerary to BarbinMichigan's above. We were on the Observation Deck (Deck 10) behind the Crows Nest (which is also the Explorations Cafe now). Location is also handy to the Spa and Lido, specifically the Lido Pool, which you must walk alongside to the Lido Bar or Lido buffet. (If the weather is inclement you would take the elevator or stairs another deck down and walk to the midship stairwell!) The balconies on this deck are shallower than others, but the floor to ceiling "windows" are the same!

 

My DH is prone to seasickness and never had to use any remedies even so far up and forward, as opposed to ships in the Rotterdam and Veendam classes, where he was sick both times in the Bay of Alaska. After this last cruise, Vista ships are our favorite, and we are booked for 28-days on the Oosterdam!

 

We are also booked on the Nieuw Statendam (Southern Caribbean 2021), so it's not that I will not sail on HAL's newer ships; based on itinerary, I will. But if it were up in the air between two similar trips, I would go with the Vista ship.

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Always, and perhaps especially on a transatlantic, I enjoy walking on the promenade and enjoying the sight and sound of the ocean.  Plus enjoying the same from a promenade lounge chair (even if I have a balcony cabin).  Thus the first ship I’d strike from my list would be the new one (or its sister if it was on the list).

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Just got off the Nieuw Statendam Sunday after our first transatlantic.......It was awesome. You can ask me anything.

 

I'd prefer to go TA on the Pinnacle class ships like the Nieuw Statendam.....Why?  Balconies are plentiful, are affordable and are a requirement for this cruise.....Also, the bigger ships have more stuff and more room.  

 

The 6 days crossing flew by.  Book it.

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18 minutes ago, SetAnOpenCourse said:

Always, and perhaps especially on a transatlantic, I enjoy walking on the promenade and enjoying the sight and sound of the ocean.  Plus enjoying the same from a promenade lounge chair (even if I have a balcony cabin).  Thus the first ship I’d strike from my list would be the new one (or its sister if it was on the list).

 

We just got off our first TA on the NS Sunday.......We enjoyed many long laps around the promenade deck with no issues....We also took some strolls on the sun deck also.

 

Shady spots to stretch out were plentiful on deck 9 & 10 overlooking the lido pool.  Also, DW enjoyed the starboard side lounge chairs on the sun deck (11, I think) when she wanted to stretch out in the shade.  

 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, SetAnOpenCourse said:

Always, and perhaps especially on a transatlantic, I enjoy walking on the promenade and enjoying the sight and sound of the ocean.  Plus enjoying the same from a promenade lounge chair (even if I have a balcony cabin).  Thus the first ship I’d strike from my list would be the new one (or its sister if it was on the list).

It must be a misconception that there isn't a full Promenade Deck on the two (soon to be three) Pinnacle class ships. There is - and it goes all the way around the ship so three laps equal a mile. It does narrow down to about 7-8 feet on the port aft section to accommodate the MDR kitchen but two people can pass. True there are not deck chairs on the Promenade Deck.

Edited by Heartgrove

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Have to agree that I would much rather do a TA on the Nieuw Statendam.  Have enjoyed the Zuiderdam and the Nieuw Amsterdam but a Pinnacle-class ship has so many more options when it comes to dining and entertainment.  We did a TA on the Koningsdam and it was one of my favorite cruises.

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Floridastorm, I think you will have a good cruise on any of the ships. Have you considered choosing your transatlantic by itinerary? Do you want to end up in the Mediterranean or Northern Europe? Have you considered staying on the ship for a second cruise? Why take a 14 day cruise when you can take a 28 day cruise?

 

 

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1 hour ago, FlaMariner said:

 

We just got off our first TA on the NS Sunday.......We enjoyed many long laps around the promenade deck with no issues....We also took some strolls on the sun deck also.

 

Shady spots to stretch out were plentiful on deck 9 & 10 overlooking the lido pool.  Also, DW enjoyed the starboard side lounge chairs on the sun deck (11, I think) when she wanted to stretch out in the shade.  

 

To each his own, but “no issues” doesn’t convey a great deal of enthusiasm regarding the promenade.  For some people no doubt it’s fine, but the first thing I would recommend to a friend considering a TA on that ship would be to check YouTube for a video of a lap on its promenade.

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3 hours ago, FlaMariner said:

Shady spots to stretch out were plentiful on deck 9 & 10 overlooking the lido pool.  Also, DW enjoyed the starboard side lounge chairs on the sun deck (11, I think) when she wanted to stretch out in the shade.  

Which leaves no place to sit outside, in the shade, to watch, hear, and smell the ocean. Removing the full promenade from the Pinnacle class ships is a real loss for many passengers. 

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I think they are all good choices. Tough decision. I have great nostalgia for the HAL crossings we did on the smaller, older ships because of the lower promenade deck.

 

I truly love the many staterooms perched right on the lower promenade deck that allow such easy access to the outdoors for long walks during a crossing. Along with sitting on one of those classic deck chairs on the promenade with a blanket when it’s chilly, you have a true, classic “ocean liner” feeling.

 

Such cabins are becoming scarce in the cruise industry, so I’d say enjoy them while they last: Veendam or Rotterdam. 

Edited by Caribbean Chris

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Do agree about where your cruise ends.  For us that would be a deal breaker as we would be staying on for another cruise.

 

Itineraries are important to us.

 

Is there any itinerary that has ports you have never been to?

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12 hours ago, whogo said:

Floridastorm, I think you will have a good cruise on any of the ships. Have you considered choosing your transatlantic by itinerary? Do you want to end up in the Mediterranean or Northern Europe? Have you considered staying on the ship for a second cruise? Why take a 14 day cruise when you can take a 28 day cruise?

 

 

We have been to most of the ports that Holland America goes TA to and sometimes on other cruise lines although we are definitely not marathon cruisers nor are we wealthy. I like the Rotterdam's itinerary as it has ports in Ireland and Cornwall (the place where the series Poldark was filmed). Have been to Barcelona three or four times, and most of the ports en-route, but would not mind going again. Have only been to Amsterdam for a brief stay so the Nieuw Statendam would be a consideration. However, our priority is the ship itself as you can have an uncomfortable time for two weeks if the ship is not all it is made out to be. Another consideration is ships sometimes not being able to enter ports due to weather especially in northern Europe.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our crossing on the Koningsdam in April from Ft Lauderdale to Rome.  Very smooth sailing and the stop in the Azores was wonderful.  Our next crossing is booked on the Rotterdam.

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20 hours ago, Floridastorm said:

Have been on a couple of Holland America ships but never transatlantic. 

 

Which ships were you on and what did you like, and dislike, about them?  You may be able to narrow it down that way.

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On 11/12/2019 at 6:39 AM, Caribbean Chris said:

I think they are all good choices. Tough decision. I have great nostalgia for the HAL crossings we did on the smaller, older ships because of the lower promenade deck.

 

I truly love the many staterooms perched right on the lower promenade deck that allow such easy access to the outdoors for long walks during a crossing. Along with sitting on one of those classic deck chairs on the promenade with a blanket when it’s chilly, you have a true, classic “ocean liner” feeling.

 

Such cabins are becoming scarce in the cruise industry, so I’d say enjoy them while they last: Veendam or Rotterdam. 

I agree and, although I have never been in that type of cabin with the Verandah deck where you can step outside onto a verandah instead of a balcony, I would really like to book one of those cabins transatlantic. Do only the older ships have them? I'm wondering why all the ships don't have them?

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On 11/12/2019 at 8:53 AM, *Miss G* said:

 

Which ships were you on and what did you like, and dislike, about them?  You may be able to narrow it down that way.

The 4 ships embedded in my profile. Actually I liked all of these ships. I especially liked the Windstar Star Pride as all cabins were Suites and there was that Private Yacht feel. Not for everybody especially if you get sea sick in the slightest. Only drawback was lack of big time entertainment. We got a fantastic deal on a TA otherwise I would not have wanted to afford the price. I am prone to Holland America and Celebrity because you don't have to put up with Young party goers, unruly kids, and crowds everywhere. Also, we are not interested in Disney type activity.

Edited by Floridastorm

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10 minutes ago, Floridastorm said:

I agree and, although I have never been in that type of cabin with the Verandah deck where you can step outside onto a verandah instead of a balcony, I would really like to book one of those cabins transatlantic. Do only the older ships have them? I'm wondering why all the ships don't have them?

 

Yes, only some of the smaller, older ships in the HAL fleet have the Lanai cabins on the Lower Promenade Deck where you slide the glass door and step out onto the wide promenade, with two deck chairs just outside assigned to you. There are other cabins without the sliding glass doors that also are located on that deck. I've cruised in and enjoyed both types - I love the lower promenade because it gives a sense of being close to the sea on a true ocean liner. A vintage experience. Those ships have transatlantics each spring and fall.

 

I understand why people like having a private verandah of their own, too, and we enjoy them when sailing on the newer ships.

 

The newer ships are designed differently with narrower promenades and lifeboat placement that would obstruct the view of any staterooms on that deck. I assume the new design was developed to be more space-efficient and therefore cost-effective but I'm not an expert.

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If you are not too prone to seasickness, and feel lucky, go for the Rotterdam! We have sailed to Alaska twice in a R class ship on the Lower Promenade (not in a Lanai cabin, although I did book one once for a TA that we had to cancel). Since you like the smaller ships already, you can't really make a bad choice -- either you get something you know you'll like, or you broaden your horizons! 

 

In your place, I would choose as suggested above, by the ports. Particularly the disembarkation port, where even if you can book another cruise, you should try to spend a few days to experience the region.

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On 11/11/2019 at 4:53 PM, FlaMariner said:

Just got off the Nieuw Statendam Sunday after our first transatlantic.......It was awesome. You can ask me anything.

 

I'd prefer to go TA on the Pinnacle class ships like the Nieuw Statendam.....Why?  Balconies are plentiful, are affordable and are a requirement for this cruise.....Also, the bigger ships have more stuff and more room.  

 

The 6 days crossing flew by.  Book it.

Well I just got off of the NS for 24 days and will never sail on it again. The walk around deck is narrow and crowded and the MDR is far to noisy. Bright lights and hard surfaces, the lido with waiters.

 

But, there are some things  I liked. If you are lido for dinner or specialty restaurant types it might be fine.

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