From North To South Through The Panama Canal

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 10
Helpful Votes: 132

Overall rating:

4.6 out of 5
Nieuw Amsterdam

22 Night Panama Canal Eastbound (Vancouver To Ft. Lauderdale)

Sail date: September 29, 2018

Ship: Nieuw Amsterdam

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 5106

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

We have only sailed on Holland America & will continue as long as we can find new destinations on their newer ships. They excel in service, music, quality of food & the excursions they offer.


4 out of 5
Arrived too early & there were long lines. Best to arrive after 2:00 if you are not a 4-Star Mariner for a quick embarkation.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Always excellent especially the dining room.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Can get repetitive if you frequently sail on Holland America.


5 out of 5
The ships permanent singers & dancers put on a very good show. The entertainment brought on from port to port such as comedians & magicians is excellent.

Children's Programs

We were not traveling with children.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The service is fantastic especially by the waiters, wine stewards & room stewards.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The ship had a nice layout. The Vista Class & Signature Class ships have similiar layouts. The was very clean & well-maintained.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
A verandah cabin with more than enough storage space. The room was very clean with very good lighting in the bathroom. The bed was very comfortable & a nice size flat screen monitor for on demand viewing.

Ship tip

Elevators at the front & the back of the ship are less crowded than elevators in the middle of the ship.

Ports of call

Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia

5 out of 5
Vancouver is a very tourist friendly port. THe Hop On, Hop Off buses are a great way to see the city & learn its history. The Yaletown Section & the Gas Town Section had nice microbreweries.

Seattle, Washington

5 out of 5
Very short stay in Seattle. Pike's Market was a must see, especially the fish throw. It was Sunday & we had breakfast a the market which was top shelf - one of us had a bagel & lox & the other one of us had a crab omlet. The driver of the shuttle bus to the market provided a brief history & tour of the city.

San Diego, California

5 out of 5
We took a cab to the famous San Diego Zoo & were not disappointed. Another must see.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

5 out of 5
Interesting bus tour with lunch by the sea & a tequila tasting at the distillery.

Manzanillo, Mexico

3 out of 5
Short walk to town with shops & a flea market. Nothing special.

Huatulco, Mexico

5 out of 5
Land & sea tour. The boat ride showcased beautiful beaches. The guide on the bus was very interesting as well as infomative.

Puerto Chiapas (Tapachula), Mexico Did not visit port

Could not dock because of rough seas.

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

4 out of 5
Free shuttle to tourist shops & cafes. Nice jade & silver jewelry. Local beer wasn't bad & there was free internet.

Puerto Corinto, Nicaragua

3 out of 5
Very short walk from the ship to the village. A real third world impoverished country. There was also internet available if you purchased food or a beverage. Couldn't pass up a local beer.

Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica Did not visit port

The water was too rough to use the tenders to go ashore. We were scheduled for a tour of the rain forest which we received a refund for.

Enter Panama Canal At Balboa

3 out of 5
Just a lot less than I expected.

Panama Canal Transit

3 out of 5
See answer above.

Exit Panama Canal At Cristobal

3 out of 5
See answer above.

Oranjestad, Aruba

5 out of 5
The ship docks in town so we just walked around since we had been there previously & had taken tours & went to the beach. Couldn't pass up the local beer since it was a hot day.

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island)

5 out of 5
A very beautiful beach which you reach by tender. Lunch is provided ashore & drinks such as beer & wine can be purchased.

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida Did not visit port

We disembarked here.


5 out of 5
Very smooth.
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