Overall Ship Impression

Cabana Club


Half Moon Cay

Grand Turk

Grand Cayman

Costa Maya


Nieuw Amsterdam Overall Impressions

January 2011

The ship itself was pretty under whelming. Being a brand new ship I think we were expecting more. I thought that the layout of the ship made it seemed "more closed in".

There is no grand atrium area. Most of the bars had either small windows or the curtains were closed.

The ship seemed not near as "open" as the RCCL or Carnival ships. It is a very nice ship but there is no "wow" factor.

We thought the food selection was not quite as varied as other ships. The bars were very nice, (even though we never used any of them), and the drink prices were very reasonable.

We liked the fact that the ice cream station in the Lido was always manned by someone. (We have seen kids on other cruise lines abuse the free ice cream station)


We thought the entertainment was the best we have seen on a cruise ship. The HAL shows were especially good. The Cantare' show was the best show we have seen on the open seas.

The HAL Cats by the pool were good and the Adagio Strings in the Explorer Lounge were a very nice elegant touch.

We would give HAL an edge on the competition in regards to the entertainment.

The Service is another area that set HAL above the competition. We thought that the overall level of service was slightly higher than RCCL.

One night at Tamarind, I mentioned that I would love to have the recipe for the Chicken Pho, (so Carroll could make it for me). I was somewhat joking. The next morning the recipe was delivered to our stateroom.

We did not participate in many of the shipboard activities. This is probably because we spent so much time in our cabana.

But looking at the daily newsletter didn't give us the impression that the activities were any better than previous cruises.

The port expert wasn't too knowledgeable about Grand Cayman snorkeling sites. He was telling people that Cemetery Beach was within walking distance of the ship, when in fact it is about 10 miles away.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn the night before our cruise. It was fine, but the shuttle was a mess, so we ended up calling a taxi. (Cost us $15 and well worth it)

We boarded at 11:30 AM and we were at the Lido deck within 15 minutes.

Coming home, we had an early 10:30 AM flight. We opted for the "walk off" option and we walked off the ship at 7:15 AM. (Even though they hadn't yet announced it yet) We took a cab for $15 to the airport. We were checked in and at the gate at 8 AM. So we were glad we had taken the self service option and that we had an early flight.