Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
6

4 out of 5

First Time on the Nieuw Amsterdam

Sail Date: June 25, 2016

Reviewed: 5 months ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Suite

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!

Cabin / Stateroom
The space was wonderful! We were traveling with our son, so the sofa converted to a single bed each night and didn't take up much space in the room. There was a separate dressing area by the bathroom with a closet, so I found this space perfect for me to get ready in "my space" while my son and husband were dressing in the main room. We had a wraparound balcony which was perfect for viewing the Alaskan scenery in the comfort of our own room.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
Onboard Activities
There weren't as many onboard activities as we found on other cruise lines, and there really wasn't much going on at all for our 28-year-old son. He went to one mixer and was the only one there.
Children's Programs
I don't think there were many activities for children, though they did have a club for the young people.
Entertainment
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
Food in the main dining room was mixed. Some entrees were delicious but on a couple of other nights the food was below par. Once we even had to order a different entrée as what dry and overcooked. The food in the Lido buffet was actually pretty good as buffets go. There were lots of stations to choose from and a fantastic salad bar.
Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia
Juneau, Alaska
There wasn't much to see in the town near the ship--it's best to book an excursion, or if you want to stay close, plan a trip up the Roberts Tramway or to Mendenhall Glacier.
Skagway, Alaska
Cruise Glacier Bay
Ketchikan, Alaska
We didn't book any excursions here. We found the town had a nice self-guided walk with very scenic spots around town. There are things to see just outside the city (totem poles at Saxman Village or Bight Totem Park.) I would suggest you take the local bus for $1 to each of these places. We walked to Saxman but felt it wasn't worth the time to walk there.
Cruise Inside Passage, Alaska


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