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Nieuw Amsterdam
2019 Best Overall
2019 Best for Cabins
2019 Best for Dining
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cynthia Drake
Cruise Critic Contributor

Nieuw Amsterdam Overview

Nieuw Amsterdam is a ship whose name is associated with a rich and celebrated history for Holland America Line, and being on the ship gives you a sense of the classic age of cruising, back when Hollywood starlets graced the pool deck and dressing up for dinner was a time-honored ritual.

About Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam


Unique entertainment options and a high standard of service that sets it apart

Overcrowded at times and occasionally inconsistent fee-based dining

A great choice for a pampered, laid-back vacation -- particularly for music lovers


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In December 2017, the ship underwent upgrades throughout, and several public spaces feel refreshed and contemporary. People who have previously traveled on Nieuw Amsterdam might breathe a sigh of relief to know that the ship has now banned smoking everywhere, except the outside Sea View Bar at the ship's aft. Carpeting has been replaced throughout the ship's public areas, and even the casino smells fresh and clean.

The ship lacks the flashiness or overwhelming size of some mega-cruise ships, but its unique entertainment options make up for any missing bells and whistles. For example, Nieuw Amsterdam's Music Walk creates a three-punch hit list of rich musical venues all within a short walk of each other on Deck 2. From the symphonic orchestral beauty of the Lincoln Center Stage to the soulful, dance-floor-burning hits of B.B. King's Blues Club to the sing-along atmosphere of Billboard Onboard, you're guaranteed to find something your ears will enjoy.

You might notice the small details, such as the cool towels provided at the dock before you return to the ship from a day at port, the wrapped silverware in the buffet restaurant and the way crew members and even passengers in the hallway are more likely to say, "Good afternoon" or "Good evening," rather than a more informal "Hi!" The whole effect is dignified and unrushed.

Another feature that we greatly appreciated was Holland America's Navigator, an internet-based application that allows passengers to see daily scheduled events at a glance, book dinner reservations and shore excursions, and chat with any family and friends who are traveling with you -- all without paying for internet access.

Holland America's clientele skews more toward older adults, and this ship fits that profile, with retirees accounting for a large number of the population. Though there weren't many younger cruisers or families during our trip, a friendly atmosphere and ample opportunities for getting to know fellow passengers over meals or on shore excursions led us to meet many interesting people along the way.

The biggest downsides of the ship were related to the number of people onboard compared to the size of the public spaces. For example, it was often very difficult to find pool chairs at either the main or the aft pools and waiting in line for meals or popular events was very much the norm. If peace and quiet is what you're seeking, the key is to find spaces of solitude wherever you can.

Fellow Passengers

Nieuw Amsterdam attracts a large percentage of Americans from the Upper Midwest, East Coast and Canada. The majority of the passengers are couples and retirees, and daily activities and entertainment options seem to be designed for an older clientele. You'll find few families with young children onboard, but those who are cruising tend to receive special attention and enjoy a low child-to-crew member ratio in the onboard programs and activities.



Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Dress Code

On a seven-day itinerary, you can expect two formal evenings (called Gala Nights), while the rest of the nights are designated "smart casual" in the Dining Room and specialty restaurants. Jeans, shorts and tank tops are expressly discouraged, but this rule does not seem to be strictly enforced. Nevertheless, the majority of women wear dresses (similar to what you might find at a daytime wedding), while men wear button-down shirts -- occasionally paired with jackets on formal nights. A small percentage of people dressed to the nines, with one group on our sailing even donning tails and top hats.


Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Gratuity

Tips for dining staff and stateroom attendants are billed to your stateroom account at $14.50 per passenger, per day for most cabins. Suite passengers will be assessed $16 per person, per day. A 15 percent service charge is also added to all drinks and spa treatments. You cannot add an additional tip for bar service, but there is a line for an additional gratuity at the spa.


Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2019 Best Overall
2019 Best for Cabins
2019 Best for Dining
2019 Best for Public Rooms
2019 Best for Service
2019 Best for Value
2016 Best for Dining
2016 Best for Service
2015 Best Overall
2015 Best for Cabins
2015 Best for Dining
2015 Best for Embarkation
2015 Best for Public Rooms
2015 Best for Service
2013 Best for Dining
2013 Best for Value

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Deck:
Main Deck
Lower Promenade Deck
Promenade Deck
Upper Promenade Deck
Verandah Deck
Upper Verandah Deck
Rotterdam Deck
Navigation Deck
Lido Deck
Panorama Deck
Observation Deck

Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Ship Stats

  • Crew: 929
  • Launched: 2010
  • Decks: 11
  • Passengers: 2,160
  • Registry: Netherlands
  • CDC Score: 96
Nieuw Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Member Reviews

Nieuw Amsterdam
cruzcfi
Sail Date: Feb 2019
enjoyed ourselves as have the other two couples we traveled with. This was our first time on Nieuw Amsterdam. The cabin on deck 7 aft was great, good location for getting to elevators and only two decks...Read More
Nieuw Amsterdam
JonesCruiser
Sail Date: Feb 2019
Signature Suite was very attractive and we have sailed HAL and enjoy their cruises. We found the Nieuw Amsterdam to be very, very crowded in the public areas. Our suite was spacious and very comfortable. We...Read More
Nieuw Amsterdam
candiosheill
Sail Date: Feb 2019
minute. As in, we weren't even on the manifest. We cancelled our NCL Epic, and hopped on the Nieuw Amsterdam. What a delight! Check in was pretty easy, considering we were not checked in at all. Our luggage...Read More
Nieuw Amsterdam
stargazer1122
Sail Date: Dec 2018
The Nieuw Amsterdam looked like she was recently refurbished. The carpeting and upholstery looked fresh. The public areas were very clean. The crew was phenomenal in terms of service. The food in the...Read More

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