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2 hours ago, NYcruzzer said:

We sailed yesterday from West Palm, spent the day in Freeport today, and will be back in West Palm in the morning!

 

Just don't board with high expectations. 

 

They appear to have brought on crew based on (low) pay levels rather than experience, and it's 100% reflected in the guest experience. 😔

 

If you purchased a Concierge package, and you've had it in the past and know how amazing it's been, don't expect the same level. It's just not there. 

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Posted (edited)

Well we are so glad it did sail! Just the idea of being back on the high seas and not having to drive the boat is what we wanted along with some serious libations and beach time fun. Here are a few highlights and take each with a grain of salt, we really did enjoy our cruise but naturally things need to get better and am sure they will.

 

1. Yes the last minute notice to have to get tested the morning of our arrival was annoying and took over an hour to do the cost is $25 and when we got our final bill the credit was not there so we had to take care of that prior to disembarking. Wish we could have done this on our own that morning but no idea this was required prior to boarding.

2. After testing valet parking was a breeze, we were in pretty quickly. We did wait quite a bit to get check in and get a room key but that's how it goes, probably at least 30 minute wait time.

3. This is a 30 year old ship and after being dead in the water for 16 months was not fully up and running (both pools not operating nor the hot tubs which was a disappointment). Most dining options were available except for the Rock Grill which I believe did not open.

4. Give high marks to the crew who were very happy to see us and polite and overall worked very hard for you, the bar staff especially good although busy at times and it took awhile to get served depending how busy it was. All covid protocols in place so you were masked up and had a few feet in between bar chairs. Room was clean and the biggest issue here was the lack of AC, it led us to move our room after the first night and our second room was a bit better but this just was not pleasant AC type sleeping conditions.

5. Probably the low point was dining in the MDR, took nearly 1.5 hours and for at least 20 minutes only served water (watched others at nearby tables get bread which I finally asked for). Yes we finally ordered and after another long wait our first course appetizer came (shrimp cocktail) which was fine for what it was but served in a tall glass, very difficult to get the shrimp and cocktail sauce (which was not much to begin with) on the same fork, silly but annoying. Prime rib was main course which again took quite awhile but was more medium than medium rare but whatever. Skipped dessert as we just wanted out of there.

6. Next night meal at the Admiral Steahouse/Seafood and we had the last seating at 9 pm, server was busy and took our order at 915 but overall a much much better experience, will probably do this type restaurant next time we are on board.

7. Casino had limited chairs per distancing rules and not much air movement and masks required, we gambled some but it just wasn't the same and truly miss how it used to be. Still played a few table games and had fun but like I said just not the same feeling and enjoyment factor.

8. Viva Wyndham excursion was a blast, took about 30 minutes to get there and for $89 all inclusive with a nice lunch was great, beach was really good and we were lucky with some great weather, definitely a place to visit again and probably stay at. The bartender nearest the beach was awesome, made us some great drinks and everyone just was having a great time, really nice pool as well.

9. Disembarking thankfully for us was no issue, we were up and ready to roll and off the ship just after 8 am and took a few minutes on the customs line to clear but no big deal, the valet parking was also a breeze, very quick to get our car.

 

So there you have it, overall I would give it a 7 out of 10, can only hope the AC works better next time but that was probably our biggest issue, staff very good overall. It also looked like the pool that was initially not filled was filled with water by the end of the cruise so that should be working soon.

 

Hope these comments help for future planning and I wish everyone a great cruise.

Edited by Latitude Adjustment
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14 hours ago, Wendy&Grumpy said:

We sailed yesterday from West Palm, spent the day in Freeport today, and will be back in West Palm in the morning!

 

Just don't board with high expectations. 

 

They appear to have brought on crew based on (low) pay levels rather than experience, and it's 100% reflected in the guest experience. 😔

 

If you purchased a Concierge package, and you've had it in the past and know how amazing it's been, don't expect the same level. It's just not there. 

Thanks for the update. I'd imagine just like on land the employment pool is quite thin. Hearing the major cruise lines having issues getting crew.

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9 hours ago, Latitude Adjustment said:

Probably the low point was dining in the MDR, 

 

Some disappointing reports about dining room experiences on the Nieuw Amsterdam when she sailed on Saturday for her first cruise.  Surprising?  Why would one think that it would be? 

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2 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Some disappointing reports about dining room experiences on the Nieuw Amsterdam when she sailed on Saturday for her first cruise.  Surprising?  Why would one think that it would be? 

 

I've done one HAL cruise and have cruised with HAL "regulars" while on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. They come off very privileged and uptight. I skimmed through that thread of Nieuw Amsterdam's first sailing and it appears the main issue is there being no paper menus in the MDR. Older folks tend to not have smart phones and can't scan a QR code. So there's the issue. I'm sure due to the high amount of complaints, HAL will begin to offer paper menus soon upon request.

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16 hours ago, toad455 said:

I've done one HAL cruise and have cruised with HAL "regulars" while on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. They come off very privileged and uptight.

 

I do not resemble that remark.  😃

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