in Holland America Line's
by Linda Coffman
For nearly a century and a half, Holland American Line has carried
passengers to destinations worldwide; first in traditional
"crossing" style and, in modern times, in cruising mode. Although
the ships each give more than a nod to their maritime past, Nieuw
Amsterdam offers homage to another bit of history.
Quite simply, Holland America Line named their newest ship for the
city of Nieuw Amsterdam in North America. Founded by the Dutch, it
is, of course, now known as New York City.
Following on the heels of sister-ship Eurodam, Nieuw
Amsterdam represents the
next step in the evolution of the line's ongoing "Signature of Excellence"
an emphasis on fine craftsmanship and innovative features, Nieuw
Amsterdam incorporates all the the "Signature" features introduced
to the Holland America Line fleet of
ships in recent years.
At 86,273 tons, Nieuw Amsterdam is of a size that has generally been
considered within the range of larger cruise ships. When compared to
her other Holland American Line fleetmates—the S-class ships weigh
in at 55,451 to 55,819 tons, R-class from 59,855 to 61,396, and
Vista-class at 82,000 tons—Nieuw Amsterdam (and
Signature-class Eurodam) is larger. However, she’s far
from huge. These days, it’s more relevant to compare all cruise
ships afloat when thinking in terms of size. With “mega” ships at
160,000 tons and more, Nieuw Amsterdam can indeed be considered a medium-size ship.
More significantly, Nieuw Amsterdam isn’t too large to provide the premium
experience that is Holland America Line’s signature—one that
includes thoughtful features like homey and comfortable
accommodations, intimate spaces to share conversation and a
cocktail, and sincere, natural service by an outstanding crew.
On board Nieuw Amsterdam, Holland America regulars will
recognize the traditional touches they are fond of—late evening hot
canapés; chimes to announce meals; attentive, courteous service by
the Filipino and Indonesian crew; and signature spaces, including
the Crow's Nest, Explorer's Lounge, and Ocean Bar. Hallmarks of
Holland America Line's 135 year history abound—lovely flower
arrangements, priceless artwork and antiques, and a full wrap-around
teak promenade deck with padded deck chairs. Fresh popcorn is
available to movie-goers, afternoon tea is a treasured institution,
and silver trays of mints, figs, and candied ginger are present at
the dining room entrances.
A warm neutral palette of blues, browns, grey, and gold
with splashes of red and bronze accentuates the extensive use of crystal, marble, inlaid woods,
brass and other metals. Nieuw Amsterdam is a creative blend of traditional
charm and high tech, affording all passengers the comfort and
convenience they expect on a premium class cruise liner. While the
Signature-class ship has 63 more staterooms than her smaller
Vista-class sisters, she carries less than 100 more passengers in
Intimate Dining in the Pinnacle Grill
Cruise passengers expect outstanding dining
experiences and delicious choices await them on an Eurodam cruise.
Manhattan Dining Room—The main dining room,
featuring extensive menu selections and expansive views of the
sea beyond floor-to-ceiling windows. While preserving the option
of two set seatings,
“As You Wish” dining is also available to guests who prefer
Pinnacle Grill—The specialty restaurant and adjoining bar
serving Pacific Northwest specialties, with a signature steak
and seafood menu ($20 per person cover charge for dinner; $10
Asian specialty restaurant serving a variety of authentic and
Asian-inspired dishes ($15 per person cover charge for dinner;
complimentary for lunch).
section of the Lido Restaurant that is transformed into a
complimentary authentic Italian bistro each evening.
Lido Restaurant—Traditional daytime shipboard
buffet dining with a twist: food stations replace long lines. At
night, the Lido Restaurant offers a sit-down dinner in a casual
Terrace Grill—Poolside casual eatery featuring
grilled burgers, hot dogs, and all the fixings.
A particular fleet-wide favorite, dinner in the
Pinnacle Grill is always a sublime treat and popular for romantic
beautifully redesigned room on Nieuw Amsterdam includes intimate draped alcoves lit by
crystal chandeliers. Atop crisp Frette linens, Riedel
stemware gleams beside Bvlgari china by Rosenthal. Fresh flowers are
just the right adornment. To accompany meals, the wine list includes
selections from distinguished Pacific Northwest vineyards.
Also served in Pinnacle Grill are the Le Cirque dining experience
($39) and the Master Chef's dinner ($89 with wine pairings).
Guests with special dietary concerns will find tasty
low sodium, diabetic, vegetarian, and fat free/low cholesterol
offerings and health conscious Spa Cuisine.
Late afternoon snack cravings can be satisfied
in the Lido Restaurant
pizza from Slice or at an ice cream bar with all the toppings necessary
for a supreme sundae. Even later hunger pangs are quelled from an
extensive 24-hour room service menu and traditional late-night
buffets in the Lido Restaurant.
Suite Living Room
|Penthouse Verandah Suite: Outdoor
|Deluxe Stateroom With
Expect a soothing, and
decidedly sophisticated decor in Nieuw Amsterdamdam's accommodations.
Warm wood tones, burnished nickel fixtures, and
punches of color complement the drapery,
carpeting, and bedspreads in all categories. There are
basically six types of staterooms: standard inside, standard ocean
view, deluxe verandah outside, superior verandah suites, deluxe
verandah suites, and two penthouse verandah suites. Eighty-five percent have an ocean view and
a whopping 79% of outside
staterooms and suites offer a private verandah with
attractive wicker-look furnishings.
Suite occupants enjoy sumptuous quarters and the
private Neptune Lounge with personal concierge service. Penthouse
suites are the ultimate in luxury with separate living room, dining
room, and bedroom areas. A verandah with hot tub, huge walk-in closets, bathroom
highlighted with whirlpool tub, double sinks, separate guest powder room, and a
butler's pantry round out a perfect home at sea. Offering similar
amenities, Deluxe and Superior Verandah Suites include large
verandahs, dressing areas, and generous sitting areas. The full
suite bathrooms also provide many of the conveniences of the penthouses,
including double sinks, a whirlpool tub, and separate shower.
Deluxe Verandah Outside staterooms are similar in
design to outside standards, including most bathrooms with tubs, but
the verandahs add real usable space. Furnished with two wicker-style
chairs and a table, there is still plenty of room to move about;
verandahs on Deck 4 are deeper than those on higher decks. Standard staterooms,
either inside or outside
functional and comfortable. For budget accommodations with a bit
more room, book an inside on Main Deck.
All categories are outfitted with "Signature of
Excellence" amenities that include the plush Euro-top Mariner's
Dream Bed, deluxe waffle weave/terry cloth robes, Egyptian cotton
towels, flat panel televisions, DVD players, lighted make-up
mirrors, hand held hairdryers, massaging shower heads,
personal safes, refrigerators, and closets configured for
hanging and/or drop down shelves.
In a nod to the popularity of "spa accommodations"
at sea, 56 Spa Staterooms are located in close proximity to
the ship's Greenhouse Spa on decks 10 and 11 (Deck 10 Spa Staterooms
are connected to the spa on Deck 9 via a private spiral staircase). Decorated in soothing
earth tones, added amenities include organic cotton bathrobes and
slippers, a teak bath mat, invigorating showerhead, a body buff loofah mitt, and aromatherapy bath salts. An iPod docking station,
tranquil water feature, yoga mat, and pedometer for use while on
board are extra touches. A spa concierge is on hand to assist with
booking treatments and Greenhouse Spa selections are available from
the room service menu. Ten Spa Staterooms on Deck 10 have
Juliet-style balconies that allow fresh sea breezes to enter when
the door is open. Sadly, there is no room to actually sit outside on
the tiny, scalloped balconies.
Oddly, drawers in standard accommodations are only found in the
tiny bedside tables; all other storage space is shelving. For two
people on a short cruise, this arrangement is acceptable, but
storage for longer cruises and in accommodations that sleep three or four could be tight. Parents with more than one
small child might consider adjoining staterooms for additional
storage and a second bathroom. Thirty staterooms in a variety of
categories are wheelchair accessible.
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Preview, Part 2
Follow Cruise Diva's Blog day-by-day on a recent
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