Best crew on the high seas; other factors not so good

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review to Transatlantic

Experience: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 7

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review
13 Night Passage To America (Barcelona To Ft. Lauderdale)
Sail Date: November 02, 2015
Ship: Nieuw Amsterdam
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 8008
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 2 years ago

HAL still has the best crew of any cruise line and that's been consistent over the years. The line handled the delay in Barcelona beautifully and it wasn't easy to find about 1000 hotel rooms in Barcelona on short notice! Where was music in lounges and public areas? The endless loud passenger chatter everywhere was annoying and could have been moderated with serene background music. Food choices were far more limited than I remember. Few breakfast options are available for late sleepers. Casino slot machines are difficult to operate in comparison with Las Vegas where you simply deposit cash and start betting. Having to summon help to operate a simple slot makes customers have to work too hard to lose money. The 1-cent labeling for slots with 40-cent or larger minimums is misleading. A few bells and whistles in the casino to attract attention would certainly be more profitable. Shop selections were uninteresting and need more than the usual jewelry and evening bags on sale. Shop clerks appeared aloof and uninterested. I can't say enough good things about crew members who make or break a cruise (see below for notes on individuals). Critical areas like menu planning, vendor contracts, and casino operations need evaluation and improvement.

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Food was so-so. Too much beef; not enough variation in chicken and fish choices.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5


3 out of 5
We usually don't attend shows but noticed lack of music in lounges and public areas. A group of people dressed and ready for dancing in the Ocean Bar on the last formal night were disappointed that there wasn't even recorded music.

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
Did not use.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Juli and Taryana (Table 10) were remarkable! Friendy and efficient and so kind. Reggie in the Ocean Bar was another hero. He represents you very well and we were crazy about him too. Housekeeping staff members, Sam and his partner (who was so quiet we couldn't learn his name), were fabulous. Room was always impeccable and Sam always had a smile. Room service waiters changed frequently but were always friendy and efficient. Ana on the Barcelona ground crew was sweet and helpful despite delay in boarding 2000 passengers when ship could not enter harbor.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Very comfortable; great amenities; amazing cleanliness thanks to Sam and helper.

Ship Tip

Request the dining arrangements you want. We were happy our request for a table for two for dinner was accommodated. Breakfast in the dining room was delightful but it closes early. Lido dinners -- especially pasta bar selections -- were delightful.

1 out of 5
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5
Did not visit.
1 out of 5
Flew out without visiting.
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