Perfect for Solo Adventurers

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 19

Overall rating:

4.8 out of 5
Verified Review
Nieuw Amsterdam

14 Night Eastern Tropical Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: October 19, 2019

Ship: Nieuw Amsterdam

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 10003

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 9 months ago

Review summary

I am a 36 year old solo female traveler and had booked Holland America because it does NOT have the crazy party atmosphere. I was very happy with that, even though it does tend to be an older crowd. I had no issue with this. Holland America tends to have the look and feel of a more old school traditional cruising experience (think Titanic, maybe not quiet as fancy). I liked that there was more peace and quiet, and yet we still cruised to all the locations all the other cruiselines do. I absolutely loved the cabin I was in, and the service from all the crew was phenomenal. I'd recommend this for anyone wanting to travel alone, want more quiet/down time and if you enjoy a more traditional kind of cruising experience. There were only a handful of other young couples that I saw, so not much mingling/meeting others for me, which I was ok with. I wish more cruiselines would make it easier/more affordable for solo travelers, because we always get hit with the supplemental fee. Luckily in this case, the fee wasn't astronomical, otherwise I wouldn't have booked it! The only "downside" I'd say is that Grand Turk is still rebuilding and doesn't have much to do since there's still a lot of destruction from the 2017 Cat 5 hurricanes. It's definitely a place that is reliant on tourism, and doesn't have the funds to really build much up to see and do. There are some pretty beaches worth seeing, but that's about it. The downtown area didn't have much open, and there was still a lot being rebuilt. That's not the fault of the cruiselines, and I know they still have to make port there under contracts and to assist with the tourism flowing there. It was still nice to tick mark Turks and Caicos off my bucketlist even though it wasn't as nice as I'd been hoping it'd be!

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Smooth, easy, quick

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
All of the food was great. I especially enjoyed the Tamarind Restaurant. The Main Dining room, especially on gala night, was also very good.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
I didn't see any shows or do many onboard activities besides use the spa and the fitness center. I enjoyed those areas immensely.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Everyone was for the most part very friendly. The servers in the Tamarind are especially lovely and entertaining.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Decent ship, nothing over the top snazzy. Nicely appointed and modern looking.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
This cabin was the main reason I booked this trip. AMAZING. Front facing, could see the bow of the ship and wherever we were headed. The views were out of this world. Getting to sit and watch as the ship pulled into port every day was a dream. I would book this type of cabin again in a heartbeat.

Ship tip

Be one of the first people off the ship right when it docks to beat the crowds to the locations you want to see.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

5 out of 5
It was the home port, so nothing special about it. Still nice weather though.

Grand Turk Island

4 out of 5
The water and beaches are what make it worth it. It's still fairly destroyed from the 2017 hurricanes and still rebuilding. Plan more for beach time/excursions here rather than seeing the downtown area until it's rebuilt.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

5 out of 5
Loved this port. Loved Old San Juan and walking the forts and streets. Amazing culture and scenery.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
Another beautiful port, definitely take the gondola up to Paradise Point for great views! I also took an excursion to St. John to go to Trunk Bay and it was worth it. The ride over to St. John has great views. Trunk Bay is stunning, worth the extra money and time to get to checkmark an extra location off!

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island)

5 out of 5
Not much to see/do in terms of excursions since it's their private island, but it's breathtaking. The water and sand are the most beautiful I've ever seen. I did the Eco Hike and Bike tour which was nice to kind of get a little "behind the scenes" view of the island and a little history of the Bahamas in general. Also walked the beach and had a drink a the Capt Morgans Pirate Ship! If you want to relax and think about nothing, this is the location to do it!

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Smooth and quick, I did self-assist. I have Global Entry though, so I skipped ahead of the entire customs line. Otherwise I believe waiting in customs takes about 15-30 mins once you get off the ship.
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