Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
2-3 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
0

3 out of 5

Good but not great

Sail Date: February 14, 2016

Reviewed: 9 months ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

If I had not been on previous cruises, I would have thought this was very good.  However, there were several downsides.

 

1.  The Canneto specialty restaurant is not very good.  First, it is barely separated from the noise and bustle of the buffet lines.  The food was mediocre. 

 

2.  The house wines available ranged from the less than $35 a bottle undrinkable wine to drinkable but expensive.  The Canneto red wine should be used for cooking not drinking.

 

3.  Unless you were poolside before 7 am there were no chairs/lounges available for the entire day.

 

4.  Food service in the main dining room was unbelievably slow.  There were plenty of waiters but very few kitchen staff.  One evening my wife and I had to wait almost an hour for the main course.  One breakfast, it took 45 minutes to get two egg orders.

 

5.  The noise level in the main dining room was over 85 db (I actually measured it.)  They put no effort into sound dampening, so conversations across the table were either difficult or impossible.

 

6.  Evidently, the ship is now docking at a "cheaper" slip in St. Thomas.  So the dock is 2 1/2 miles from Charlotte Amelie.  Sadly, the ship didn't change the maps they provided so that many people tried to walk.

 

7.  This is minor but irritating.  We had one very rough night at sea.  However, there are no clasps on the drawers or closets.  So we were kept up all night with drawers and closets slamming.

 

8.  The entertainment (with the exception of BB kings blues club) was mediocre.  A juggler for evening entertainment?  Really?

 

9.  There were language difficulties, especially when calling on the telephone.  Room service orders would have to be repeated three times and in every delivery something was missing or wrong.

 

10.  We had to beg to have two comfortable chairs on our veranda.  The one straight back was impossible for my wife and myself.  We really imposed on our steward who had to sneak one from a vacant room.

 

On the positive side:

 Our room steward was efficient and very pleasant.  

 The rooms were cleaned twice a day and they were spotless.

 The ship was clean and very well maintained.

 

Embarkation and Disembarkation
Exceptionally well organized and implemented. It was very impressive on both ends.
Ship Quality
It is a beautiful ship. However, we were amazed at how much movement you could feel on the ship compared to other cruises we have taken.
Destinations and Excursions
we made the mistake of booking excursions through United. The staff seemed to resent that we did this and offered no help to even basic questions.
Onboard Activities
Some where just goofy... the DJ stuff on the back deck. We did some of the boat tours and enjoyed the Microsoft 10 presentations.
Entertainment
Except for BB King Club, the rest was like a college review show.
Service and Staff
Staff seemed very good except in the buffet area. Staff was difficult to find and when you did they seemed resentful to bring coffee or ice tea.
Food and Dining
It depends where. The buffet had limited hours so people lined up like it was a feedlot. The Canetto was terrible but we very much enjoyed the Tamarind.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida
Nice facility. As to Ft. Lauderdale, if you have never been to Florida it is worth exploring. Otherwise... Also, the hotels take advantage of the cruises and charge twice as much for Saturday and Sunday nights.
Grand Turk Island
Lovely beach and pleasant areas to snorkel... right off the dock.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Great town, but the tours offered take you to high end shops. Be your own tour guide. We found a shop that just sells jewelry and other items make in Puerto Rico. So much better than the shops the "business" tour guide on the boat recommends.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Absolutely gorgeous island. If you want to snorkel, don't take any of the trips offered. There are two idyllic bays on the other end of the island. It is a $5 taxi ride and one is a park with a $4 admission.
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island)
This sounds so nice, but what a bust. There is NO real snorkeling place. And the barbecue set up, was like grazing with cows. The one good thing is the sun. But the crowds are so thick (There was another ship there with us) and the conversations so loud (old folks tend to be a bit deaf), we actually went back to the ship early.

Tip

Bring your own wine on board... we waited to late in Ft. Lauderdale not realizing that they can't sell alcohol on Sunday before noon.

The tour packages offered by the ship or United were not as good as simply getting a taxi or going off boat to take a tour. I wish we had done some more research.



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