Great first cruise

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 27

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Nieuw Amsterdam

7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: October 28, 2018

Ship: Nieuw Amsterdam

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 6079

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 4 months ago

Review summary

My first cruise and my husband’s first on HAL. We were among the younger cruisers for sure, but we chose this cruise because of the laid back atmosphere and great food reviews! We had an amazing time and are so excited to go again soon!

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The food was very good. We ate in the MDR mostly and I enjoyed everything I had. For dinner, sometimes the vegetables were cooked in a way we didn’t love (too mushy), but I learned pretty quick to stick with fresh items or a dish where the vegetables are meant to be very cooked (curries, pasta dishes, etc). The lido deck food was good, no complaints. They had an awesome salad bar, they tossed it or chopped it at the end, delicious. The breads were fantastic overall. We had pizza once and thought it was great. I didn’t really have the dive in bar, but my husband did and it was awesome. It’s a lot of food! It was hard to get hungry, but we had a blast with the food.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
We loved the fitness center…on vacation, apparently we work out together! Had to bust off all the food. We went everyday after breakfast and while some machines were out of order, there was always something open. I don’t know how people run on the treadmill on a cruise, I could not stay on! We went to the Lincoln Center Stage every night before dinner and it was beautiful. We met one of the musicians at a port and the group is fresh out of college with their music degrees and got this opportunity to play on the ship! So cool! I went to the This American Life test kitchen once and thought it was so fun.


5 out of 5
In addition to Lincoln Center Stage, we went to the planet earth presentation in the theater and loved it. We didn’t go to anything else until we took a walk late on the last night and made it to the dueling pianos. It was awesome! Sad we didn’t go other night!

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
We only met our room stewards on the first day and they were lovely. Our room was well taken care of for sure. All the crew we encountered were very cool and helpful. We got to know our waiters at dinner really well, so grateful to have the opportunity to get to know them!

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Very roomy inside cabin with a couch. Not until a few years later when I was researching another cruise did I find out this was a large interior room, we were upgraded. My husband commented on its size, he’s cruised before on RC and carnival, said it was the biggest room by far. Storage was good, the bathroom was much better than expected: roomy shower and lots of counter space. My only complaint is that it seemed stuffy at night. But I was 6 weeks pregnant at the time and my pregnancy symptoms were ramping up like crazy the whole time!

Ship tip

Awesome ship to relax on. Always a chair available at the pool. There’s not a lot of entertainment per se, but it’s not boring.

Ports of call

Grand Turk Island

3 out of 5
It was rainy and we weren’t too interested in doing the touristy stuff right at the port, so we rented a golf cart and drive into the town. It had just been hit pretty hard by a hurricane and it showed. We went to the national museum of grand Turk, very small but cool to know the history. Drove around some more and found a place with local beer then headed back. We were back on the ship to have lunch in the Lido market!

San Juan, Puerto Rico

5 out of 5
We did a tour called “Flavors of San Juan” and it was a blast. It was a walking tour of old San Juan centered around food stops at very cool local joints. The guide was awesome, totally recommend it.

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

2 out of 5
We just had a bad experience with our air bnb the night before sailing. Like, so bad. We got out of there ASAP in the morning and took our huge bags to an ihop for a few hours before sailing!

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island)

5 out of 5
Beautiful beach and water. Oh wow…If I didn’t have to eat every hour because of pregnancy nausea, we would have stayed there all day. It took a while to find some shady chairs, but the walk wasn’t bad. We really enjoyed the lunch, I still talk about it and my husband is like “I think it’s just because you were pregnant.”

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

4 out of 5
We walked from the port to Blackbeard’s castle (which was closed for repairs after the hurricane! My husband almost killed me), which I don’t recommend! Haha, it was very far and very very uphill. And we were in a dangerous area, apparently, so…oops. We walked down to the shops and found some local beers and then a cool little restaurant to have some conch.
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