Bucket list item

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 17

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Nieuw Amsterdam

14 Night Panama Canal Westbound (Ft. Lauderdale To San Diego)

Sail date: March 03, 2019

Ship: Nieuw Amsterdam

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 8135

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

It was another great HA cruise and we got to remove an item from our bucket list. The ship was great as were all of the crew that we met. We have another cruise set up with them scheduled for early next summer. The pace of ship board life is a bit slower on Holland America cruises and as seniors, that is what we like.


5 out of 5
Embarkation was swift and problem free as have all of our Holland America embarkations been.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The food selection and variety were good. I do wish that they would skip a few of the extra ingredients they always seem to put into the morning fried potatoes. Potatoes and a few onions are all that's necessary.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
We did enjoy out time in the pool areas


4 out of 5
We only attended a couple of the evening shows, preferring to find our own entertainment. Sitting out on one of the pool decks in the evening with a drink or two is enjoyable to us. The BB King lounge should not be missed if you like blues music.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
As usual, the HA staff the we interacted with was excellent, especially our cabin attendent

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Ship was very clean and I believe recently redecorated.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We had a veranda cabin on deck 8. It was large enough for us and well appointed.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

4 out of 5
No excursions. We only spent the night in the pre cruise hotel which was a very nice stay in itself

Cartagena, Colombia

3 out of 5

Enter Panama Canal At Cristobal

5 out of 5
The canal transit was something on our bucket list. The entry was as interesting as we had hoped. The narration provided on the public address system was excellent.

Panama Canal Transit

5 out of 5
The slow cruise thru the lake becomes a bit tedious after a few hours but this can't be helped due to strict speed limits on ships. However, we can now say that we have done it!

Exit Panama Canal At Balboa

5 out of 5
About the same as the entry but you get a good look at the new bigger locks that have been built for the huge container ships.

Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica

4 out of 5

Puerto Corinto, Nicaragua

4 out of 5

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

4 out of 5

Huatulco, Mexico

5 out of 5
This place is great! Get under one of the big tents on the beach and drink some beer!

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

3 out of 5
This is basically a big city and the ship ties up right across the highway from a Walmart of all things. W did find a small and quaint shopping area not far from the ship.

San Diego, California

4 out of 5
San Diego was pretty typical of the big west coast city. Been there before so no big deal. Our post cruise hotel was right down on the marina and very nice.


4 out of 5
Typically a bit slow as we are always among the last off as we stay the night and have no flight issues. We are used to this.
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