Monday, March 7, 2011

More on Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam

The longer I was on Nieuw Amsterdam the more I liked her. Without the cavernous atrium of many new mega ships, there is plenty of room for interesting spaces such as the piano bar and Crow's Nest lounge, library and internet cafe. You will find good art and antiques incorporated into the decor which is never glitzy.

Tip: Levelers, decide what your favorite activities will be and select your cabin location accordingly. Main dining room and Lido buffets are aft; specialty restaurants and  midships; casino just forward of midships, show room, spa, Crow's Nest, front office, excursion desk and disembarking at ports are forward; family pool forward, adult pool aft.

Don't worry about which deck; there are ample elevators for the 2,094 passengers who might be on board.

Biggest design flaw: Lack of raked seating in the main and smaller show rooms.
Tip: Sit in the back.

What surprised me most: The number of infants and toddlers along and how well behaved they were, even at dinner.

What didn't surprise me:  I never won at bingo.

Should have expected: The glorious floral arrangements - pots of live orchids on all the tables in the Lido dining spaces and the mass of pink-tinged creamy white tulips between the front and excursions desks.

What dismayed me most: The sanitizing of port stops, especially at Grand Turk and Costa Maya, and the tendency to keep passengers isolated from the real life around them. The brightly painted, hyper-festive cruise ship compound at Costa Maya, Mexico, was as much like a Mexican town as the pizza parlor in the Italian section of Disney's Epcot is like Naples. There was a town off in the distance but the configuration of the "port" made it very difficult to reach.

Guess I'm just a grouch, though, because most passengers seemed to love the swim up bar, shopping and over-priced tequila drinks.


What tickled me most: The silky smooth feel underneath sting ray wings and the wildly beautiful coral near the Cayman Wall in Georgetown, Grand Cayman.

Would I do it again? What, seven days at sea in elegant surroundings with hot and cold running service, excellent food and more than the comforts of home? You have to ask? Oh, yes, do throw me in that oceanic briar patch!
Bon voyage on your next cruise from our jolly little group!


Post a Comment