June 2016 - 7 Night Alaska Inside Passage (Vancouver Roundtrip) Cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam
First Time on the Nieuw Amsterdam
We cruised to Alaska and loved the itinerary.The New Amsterdam is a beautiful ship based on a Manhattan Art Deco theme. The staff was helpful and friendly, and the ship seemed reasonably well maintained and clean. The thing I liked best were that there were lots of lounge areas near windows where passengers could curl up and read a book or just look out the windows. (It was often too cold to go on deck, so this was a big plus.)
We were in a large Neptune suite at the aft of the ship and the accommodations were wonderful! Unlike other cruise lines, we did not have our own butler to service the suite, but there were two concierges at the Neptune Lounge to serve in this capacity. The only downside of our aft location is that we were not located near the Neptune Lounge, so it was a little more inconvenient to utilize those amenities. There are a couple of things we were disappointed with that I wanted to mention. First, there were several large groups on the ship on this particular sailing that comprised 2/3 of the passengers onboard, and it was my understanding that one of the groups alone had over 900 passengers. Consequently, we were told that not only could we not have the late seating for the dining room, but all the seatings after 6:45 pm in the "As You Wish" dining area were reserved for the groups. If we wanted to make dining reservation, the only times we were offered were at 5:30 pm, otherwise it was first come, first served. We were in a suite, which usually grants more flexibility in dining preferences, but that was of no use in this situation. We were basically told we had to eat by 6:45 pm or go to the buffet or eat in our room. I felt this was totally unacceptable, and passengers should have been made aware of these limitations at the time of booking. I think Holland America dropped the ball on this one, and all my discussions with the concierge, cruise relations, and the maître-d led nowhere, so my only resort if to reach out to Holland America on the review boards!