We are quite loyal to HAL (4-Star Mariners) and wanted to go on their newest ship. We also liked this particular itinerary. Our back aft suite was wonderful.
I gave dining five stars ... but we only eat in the Pinnacle (and once in Tamarind) so can't say much about the dining room. The Pinnacle has added new items to their menu which were wonderful. Finally, they changed up their desserts! Yea! We just like eating in the specialty restaurants and not the dining room. Being 4-star Mariners we get it for half price. The new Pinnacle had its tables layed out oddly ... miss the nice window booths on the prior class ship.
What I didn't like: this new ship (and the Konningsdam) does not offer breakfast in the Pinnacle for suite guests! They have changed it to "Club Orange" which originally was going to be Culinary Arts Center dining venue but tanked on other ships. So CO is a more casual, cafe-type restaurant. Also, anyone can use Club Orange if they want to pay $50 per day per person which also entitles them to expedited boarding/disembarkation. Don't like this. Suites guests pay a huge price and this Club Orange thing isn't right.
Another weird thing: They have new scanners for luggage and my hot curlers were pulled as dangerous! Really??? The Indonesian guy kept calling them "hot plates." I don't think he knew what they were! I've been on 21 HAL cruise and never have my curlers caused a problem. They do not get very hot -- not even close to a curling iron's heat. What's next? No curling irons or flat irons or hair dryers??? Steamers were taken away, too. And, or course, clothes irons. I did get mine back on day 2 thanks to my suite concierge who explained what they were. MAJOR HASSLE!
The music venues were very nice but wish the violinists had better times. We always missed them due to our dinner hour.
Loved the Gelatto! Many people complained they had to pay $1 or $2 ... but we didn't mind. It was wonderful and no line because people were too cheap -- lol.
Half Moon Cay (always beautiful!) was way too crowded as the Konningsdam was also there. Too many people!!! And - to get the tender back to the ship we had to wait in huge lines in the hot sun. It took at least an hour to get our tender in a long line that looked more like Disneyland.
HAL does have a lot of seniors but we don't mind. Would rather have them than hundreds of kids running around.
All in all, wonderful time. Ship is gorgeous! Would love to go again.
We love the back aft suites! The balcony on this ship (and its twin on the other side) is the largest on ship other than the penthouse. Beautiful wrap-around balcony with great views. Very quiet, as well. Lots of room for sunning ... don't need to fight for lounge chairs! Only bad there is no bath tub! All other ships have them ... not sure why the Nieuw Amsterdam does not.
Walked around .. okay. Pretty good shopping as ports go.
Took taxi to another resort. Nice, but there was too much coral.
Beautiful but TOO CROWDED as the Konningsdam was also there! An hour to get the tender back to ship!