Nieuw Amsterdam - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Nieuw Amsterdam


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 387 out of 500

Accommodation: 150 out of 200

Food: 270 out of 400

Service: 274 out of 400

Entertainment: 70 out of 100

Cruise: 285 out of 400

Overall Score: 1436 out of 2000

Nieuw Amsterdam Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 86,700

Lifestyle: Premium

Cruise Line: Holland America Line

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9378450

Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)

Original Cost: $400 million

Entered Service: Jul 2010

Registry: The Netherlands

Length (ft/m): 935.0/285.0

Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2

Draft (ft/m): 25.5/7.8

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (34,000kW)/2 azimuthing pods

Passenger Decks: 12

Total Crew: 929

Passengers (lower beds): 2,106

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 41.1

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.2

Cabins (total): 1,053

Size Range (sq ft/m): 170.0-1,318.6/15.7-122.5

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 708

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 30

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts

Elevators: 14

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2 (1 w/sliding glass dome)

Hot Tubs (on deck): 5

Self-Service Launderette: No

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: Yes/170

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


Dutch decor, traditions and comfort for families with children

Overview. The ship is designed to appeal to younger, more vibrant, multi-generational holidaymakers. Neat little tented cabanas on the aft deck provide private shaded space. They are filled with goodies such as Champagne, chocolate strawberries, bathrobes, fresh fruit, and chilled towels for two adults and two children.

The Ship. Nieuw Amsterdam is a Vista-class ship, sister to Eurodam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Westerdam, and Zuiderdam. It is named after the Dutch name for New York City and the interior design reflects the great city. The ship, the latest in a line of Holland America Line (HAL) ships to carry this name, has two upright ‘dustbin lid’ funnels in a close-knit configuration. The twin working funnels are the result of the slightly unusual machinery configuration; the ship has, in effect, two engine rooms - one with three diesels, and one with two diesels and a gas turbine. There’s a pod propulsion system, so there’s no vibration.

There is a complete walk-around exterior teak promenade deck, with teak steamer-style sunloungers. A jogging track outdoors is located around the mast and the forward third of the ship. Exterior glass elevators, mounted midships on both port and starboard sides, provide fine ocean views from any one of 10 decks. One of the two centrally located swimming pools outdoors can be used in inclement weather because of a retractable sliding glass roof. Two hot tubs, adjacent to the swimming pools, are abridged by a bar. There’s also a small swimming pool for children.

There are two entertainment/public room decks, the most dramatic space being a showlounge spanning four decks in the forward section. Other facilities include a winding shopping street with several boutique stores and logo shops, card room, an art gallery, photo gallery, and several small meeting rooms. The large casino is equipped with an array of gaming paraphernalia and slot machines, and you have to walk through it to get from the restaurant to the showlounge.

Explorations - perhaps the most popular public room - is a combination coffee bar (where coffees and other drinks cost extra), lounge, extensive library, and Internet-connect center, all within an attractive, open ‘lifestyle’ environment - it’s popular for relaxation and reading, although noise from the coffee machine can interrupt concentration.

On other decks (lower down), you’ll find the Queens Lounge, which is part lecture room and part Culinary Arts Center and bar, where culinary demonstrations and cooking classes are held. There are also a number of other bars and lounges, including an Explorer’s Lounge (live string and piano music is appropriate for cocktails in the evenings, when warm hors d’oeuvres are provided). The ship also has a small movie screening room.

The information desk in the lobby is small and somewhat removed from the main passenger flow on the two decks above it. Many pillars obstruct the passenger flow and lines of sight throughout the ship. There are no self-service launderettes - something families with children miss, although special laundry packages are available.

Gratuities are automatically added to your onboard account. Passenger niggles? These include noisy cabin air conditioning - the flow can’t be regulated or turned off.

Families. Club HAL’s KidZone provides a whole area dedicated to children’s facilities and extensive programming for different age groups (five to 17), with one counselor for every 30 children. Free ice cream is provided at certain hours, plus hot hors d’oeuvres in all bars. Some cabins have interconnecting doors.

Accommodation. There are 24 price categories: 16 outside-view and eight interior. The views from some cabins on the lowest accommodation deck (Main Deck) are obstructed by lifeboats. Some cabins that can accommodate a third and fourth person have very little closet space, and only one personal safe. Occupants of suites get exclusive use of the Neptune Lounge and concierge service, priority embarkation and disembarkation, and other benefits. In many of the suites/cabins with private balconies, the balconies are not so private and can be overlooked from various public locations.

Penthouse Verandah Suites (2). These offer the largest accommodation (1,318 sq ft/123 sq m, including balcony). These have a separate bedroom with a king-size bed; there’s also a walk-in closet, dressing room, living room, dining room, butler’s pantry, minibar and refrigerator, and private balcony. The main bathroom has a large whirlpool tub, two washbasins, toilet, and plenty of storage space for toiletries. Personalized stationery and free dry cleaning are included, as are hot hors d’oeuvres and other goodies daily.

Deluxe Verandah Suites (60). These suites measure 563 sq ft (53 sq m). They have twin beds that convert to a king-size bed, vanity desk, lounge area, walk-in closet, minibar and refrigerator, and bathroom with full-size tub, washbasin, and toilet. Personalized stationery and complimentary dry cleaning are included, as are hot hors d’oeuvres and other goodies.

Verandah Suites (100). Actually they are cabins, not suites, and measure 284 sq ft (26 sq m). Twin beds can convert to a queen-size bed. There is also a lounge area, minibar, and refrigerator, while the bathroom has a tub, washbasin, and toilet. Floor-to-ceiling windows open onto a private balcony.

Outside-view cabins. Standard outside cabins (197 sq ft/18 sq m) have twin beds that can convert to a queen-size bed. There’s a small sitting area, while the bathroom has a tub/shower combination. The interior cabins are slightly smaller (183 sq ft/17 sq m).

Dining. The 1,045-seat Rembrandt Dining Room spans two decks at the stern, with seating at tables for two, four, six, or eight on both main and balcony levels. It provides a traditional HAL dining experience, with friendly service from smiling Indonesian and Filipino stewards. Both open seating and assigned seating are available for dinner, while breakfast and lunch are open seating - you’ll be seated by restaurant staff when you enter.

HAL can provide Kosher meals (if requested when you book), although these are prepared ashore, then frozen, and brought to your table sealed in their original containers.

The 148-seat Pinnacle Grill is a more upscale dining spot, with higher quality ingredients and better presentation than in the larger main dining room. On Lower Promenade Deck, it fronts onto the second level of the atrium lobby; tables along its outer section are open to it and can suffer from noise from the Atrium Bar one deck below, though these tables are good for those who like to see and be seen. Pacific Northwest cuisine is featured, with items such as sesame-crusted halibut with ginger-miso, and an array of premium-quality steaks. The wine list includes some fine wines from around the world, including many gorgeous Bordeaux reds. Reservations are required, and there is a cover charge.

Other dining options. For casual eating, there is an extensive Lido Café, an eatery that wraps around the funnel, with indoor-outdoor seating and ocean views. It includes several sections including a salad bar, Asian stir-fry and sushi section, deli sandwiches, and a separate dessert buffet, although lines can form for made-to-order items such as omelets for breakfast and pasta for lunch.

Also, a poolside ‘Dive-In at the Terrace Grill’ features multi-choice signature burgers (with special Dive-In sauce), hot dogs, and fries. On certain days, barbecues and other culinary specialties are available poolside.

Entertainment. The 867-seat Mainstage Lounge is the venue for Las Vegas-style revues and major cabaret shows. The main floor level includes a bar in its aft section. Spiral stairways at the back of the showlounge connect all levels. Stage shows are best seen from the upper levels, from where the sight lines are quite good.

Spa/Fitness. The Greenhouse Spa, a large, two-decks-high health spa, is located directly above the navigation bridge. Facilities include a solarium, hydrotherapy pool, unisex thermal suite - a unisex area incorporating a Laconium (gentle sauna), Hammam (mild steam), and Chamomile Grotto (small aromatic steam room).

There is a beauty salon, 11 private massage/body treatment rooms (including one for couples), and a large gymnasium with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides and forward-facing ocean views, and the latest high-tech muscle-toning equipment. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy a basketball court, volleyball court, and a golf simulator.