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Blue Eyes

Nieuw Amsterdam 11/16-23 Review

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My husband and I joined by life long friends sailed last week. We are 2 stars but have not sailed HAL in several years. We primarily look at itinerary and sail dates to choose our cruises.  We got a good price on this cruise so the 4 of us jumped on the good deal.  All of us have cruised different lines.  We booked a guaranteed VH but were moved up to a VB.  


I was sad to see the decline in service throughout the ship.  We never went into the main dining room as we were assigned 5:30 seating. We asked to be switched and were told we could not switch, so we ate in the Lido.  Service was so so...and most of the time we did our own beverage refills and one night even moved our own plates to another table to have room for dessert. Our area was not busy, in fact there were only 4 tables occupied. The server stood and visited with another table the whole time. This was the only time I actually saw someone not working hard to keep up.  Servers in all areas were friendly, cordial and were always on the go. The food was good..nothing spectacular but plenty of choices. We enjoyed relaxing and spending time together. The crepe station was nice.  I especially liked the salad options. I ate a salad of some kind almost every meal. We ordered at the Dive In and really thought the burgers etc and fries were really good as well as the one time we got pizza. Our friends tried to order pizza right after we ordered and were told 30 minutes...they told them 60 minutes...too long to wait.  We did order room service several times but found ourselves on hold 10-12 minutes...food arrived in the time frame we were told or specified.  We made the choice not to pay extra for dining.  


Overall the ship seems dark and dreary...not dirty or dingy...just not bright and airy.  I  missed the beautiful fresh flowers HAL used to have throughout the ship...another cutback...


We enjoyed the BBKings All Star Band.  Their shows were great, high energy, with lots of fun dancing.  Venue is too small as most nights it was packed. Would have liked to listen to pianos but once again not enough seats and we are too old to stand.  I thought entertainment was lacking.  


We did our own excursions in port so I can not speak to that aspect of cruise. We most often found plenty of chairs on deck 12 forward to sun and read.  Pools were always crowded.  


We chose not to purchase an Internet package as I feel this is just another way HAL is gouging passengers. Too costly...for reported spotty service..


Could not not believe we could not get a major college game onboard Saturday afternoon but on Sunday NFL game was offered on the same channel.  Bar staff told us the channel was available. 


We liked the option to self dis-embark with our luggage. We got in line at 7:30 and were loading our luggage in our car at 8 am.  


We love cruising...and we did have a great time with friends...met some interesting people and would recommend HAL to anyone but as I stated disappointing to see all the changes.   


This is is my opinion...and someone else may disagree...but since I like to read all the reviews my fellow cruisers share I hope this might help someone else...

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Frustrating to read about your cruise. We’re  you told that you could still eat in the MDR but during the anytime dining period?  We haven’t been on the NA in a few years but will be sailing in March with some lifelong friends. Hoping that the BB King will be good. Also thought they had the Rolling Stone Venue as well. Did you see /go to that venue?

we also  miss the fresh flowers. Thank you for reporting your cruise.

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When we cruised with friends they had set dining and we had anytime.  They just told the maître de they wouldn’t be back and we dined together in the MDR using anytime dining.  You could have done the same and gone when you wanted.  Shame you had to eat at Lido if you wanted the MDR.


There certainly have been a LOT of cutbacks/changes over the last couple of years and most are disappointing.  



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Thank you for your review.


Too bad you didn't know about Open Seating where you all could have had dinner any time you wanted.


Many, many changes have happened over the last few years.

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Thanks for posting, it seems to be a recurring theme about service in general going down hill. 

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8 hours ago, freestyling said:

Also thought they had the Rolling Stone Venue as well

The Rolling Stone Rock Room is only on Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam currently.

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