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Nieuw Amsterdam
The "Nieuw-est" in Holland America Line's
Signature-class Excellence

Part Two 

Public Areas
Nieuw Amsterdam's modest triple deck atrium is "crowned" by the lighted, rotating sculpture of the New York skyline pictured here. From the decks above it’s right-side up; however, the view from the lobby below is upside-down, as though it is a reflection seen from New York’s harbor. Most public rooms are concentrated on Promenade and Lower Promenade decks, from the three-deck Showroom at Sea forward to the exquisite two-deck Manhattan Dining Room aft. In between are the Ocean Bar with cozy seating and Explorers Bar and Lounge, Northern Lights Nightclub, an intimate Piano Bar, Casino and lively Casino Bar, Pinnacle Grill, and Queen's Lounge. New additions to the Signature Class are the Pinnacle Bar, a minimalist Scandinavian-modern wine bar adjacent to the Pinnacle Grill restaurant, and Silk Den, an intimate bar/lounge with a Far East motif adjacent to Tamarind Restaurant and overlooking the Lido Pool. There is something missing, though. The lobby bar, an underutilized feature on other ships, has been eliminated on Nieuw Amsterdam. In its place is comfortable seating where passengers can meet and relax.

The Crow's Nest and Explorer's Lounge are perhaps the most traditional of the signature public rooms on board Nieuw Amsterdam. Subtle variations in decor between port and forward-facing areas of the Crow's Nest make it the ideal setting for watching the ship approach ports of call or to enjoy an after dinner brandy. While both lounges are large, they have distinctive, intimate seating areas for cocktails and inlaid wood floors ideal for dancing. At one end of Explorer's Lounge, an actual bar is a new addition first introduced on Eurodam. Adjacent to the Crow's Nest, the Explorations Cafe is a combination library, Internet center, and specialty coffee bar.

The Greenhouse Spa boasts a full menu of salon services and spa treatments. A hydro pool and thermal suite are extra-tariff indulgences for complete relaxation and the aroma-steam room is a rare treat for sinus sufferers. Don't overlook your exercise regime while on board; Nieuw Amsterdam has a fully equipped fitness center with state-of-the art equipment and a wide range of classes. After a power walk around the teak Promenade Deck (three laps equals a mile), take a refreshing dip in one of the two pools or select one of the hot tubs to soak sore muscles.

Children haven't been overlooked in the expanded indoor and outdoor facilities for Nieuw Amsterdam's "Club HAL" Program and they will enjoy their own cruise cuisine from special menus designed to appeal to young passengers. Club HAL features play areas, computer center, a small stage for youthful performers, and an honest-to-goodness real New York City taxicab for them to play in and "drive." Teens, always difficult to please, can participate in a wide range of sports, dance parties, and entertainment options. Even "doing their own thing" with new-found pals is completely safe at sea.

The Art of the Nieuw Amsterdam Experience
Why go on a cruise if you don't see expansive views of the sea? Like her Signature- and Vista-class sisters, Nieuw Amsterdam presents those sea views and more in unexpected ways. For instance, four scenic elevators carry guests from Deck 1 to Deck 11. While you are waiting, take a good look at the etched glass doors—they mirror the 1920's motif of the interior elevator doors done in cast aluminum.

Every ship in the Holland America Line fleet is graced with a priceless art collection and Nieuw Amsterdam is no different, with much of its artwork honoring the historic glamour of New York City. Some of the most intriguing art is found in the accommodations passageways where the walls are lined with historic photographs of Holland America ships, their passengers, officers, and crews, and the scenes in the port of New York. Don't miss the paparazzi-style celebrity photos that give the Piano Bar a definite Manhattan vibe and the "Rockette" sculptures that greet guests in the Showroom at Sea.

Art, craft pieces, and historical artifacts documenting New York’s Native American history and Dutch influences, along with the history of Holland America Line’s 138-year association with the Big Apple, are displayed throughout Nieuw Amsterdam’s public areas. To gain insight into the pieces on display, and so you won’t miss anything, there are art tours available onboard. A trip to the Explorations Café for an iPod with the preloaded narrative gets you started. It’s so engrossing that you’ll be surprised when it comes to an end. Do pass up the elevators now and then and take the stairs where you will find captivating paintings and sculptures on the stairwell landings.

Digital Workshop

Enjoy the priceless antiques and artwork, but don't overlook the opportunities for "performance" art as well. Introduced on Eurodam, and now offered fleet-wide, is the Holland America Line Digital Workshop Powered by Microsoft Windows that offers a series of free lessons focused on taking better vacation photos, editing them, and using them in creative ways to preserve and share your memories. The interactive classes are guided by a "techspert" who is on hand to answer questions after each session.

Even more food for thought is showcased in the Culinary Arts Center where Nieuw Amsterdam's enthusiastic chefs share their expertise during cooking demonstrations and classes for adults and children. It’s not just about food, though. Nieuw Amsterdam’s Party Planner presents sessions on entertaining, such as how to host a wine and cheese party, and even the ship's florist takes the stage to offer tips and tricks in the art of flower arranging.

Retreat Cabana
Poolside Cabana

The Art of Relaxation
It's not uncommon to hear laments about the lack of privacy aboard many ships these days. Accommodations with private balconies solve the problem for many. However, others don't want to be that isolated—they want to be near the action, just not in the center of it—and Nieuw Amsterdam has ideal options for everyone, even the most solitary types will find a haven in Retreat cabanas and poolside cabanas.

Cabanas in the Retreat area offer a spa-like private area where you can relax with refreshments and deluxe leisure amenities. The tented cabanas are furnished with modern woven chaise loungers, ottomans, upholstered settees, and even art on the walls. All include the use of bathrobes and plush towels, hand-held fans, an Evian spray mister, and iPods preloaded with music. Chilled waters are available and you can look forward to iced fruit skewers in mid-morning and frozen grapes, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a glass of champagne in the afternoon. An additional eight light and airy cabanas with cushy wicker double-loungers are located around the Lido pool.

Book your cabana per day or the entire cruise either online at Holland America's web site or once onboard at Reception or the Lido Pool Bar. The Retreat has family-sized cabanas that accommodate four adults and two children (under age 16); all others are for two adults and two children (under age 16). Fees vary by size, location, and sea or port day.

What You WILL Find:

  • Delicious meals, creatively presented
  • Spa cuisine and other light and healthy food selections
  • Gracious service by a professional staff
  • Activities to suit a wide range of interests for all ages
  • A rollicking late-night dance club
  • Stunning artwork and flowers
  • Duty free shops generously stocked with high-end merchandise
  • Numerous triple and quad staterooms and suites suitable for families
  • Attention to accessibility for the physically challenged, including equipment for the hearing impaired
  • Spa services by the exclusive Greenhouse Spa & Salon
  • Guest performers, production shows, and entertainers throughout the vessel
  • Enrichment programs that range from culinary demonstrations to computer classes
  • WiFi Internet access in public lounges and staterooms

What You WON'T Find:

  • Glitz and flashing lights (except in the dance club/disco & casino)
  • Boredom
  • Laundry rooms

Fast Stats

  • 86,273 tons
  • 936 feet long, 105.8 feet wide
  • 2,106 guests, double occupancy

Back to -->  Nieuw Amsterdam Preview, Part 1

Photos ©

Follow Cruise Diva's Blog day-by-day on a recent Nieuw Amsterdam cruise:

  • Aboard Nieuw Amsterdam
  • Nieuw Amsterdam at Half Moon Cay
  • Nieuw Amsterdam at Sea
  • Learn New Skills Aboard Nieuw Amsterdam
  • Dine Aboard Nieuw Amsterdam
  • The Art of a Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise

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