I sailed on a 12-day Mediterranean cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam and loved the itinerary, dining venues, entertainment, and overall appearance of the ship.
Let's tour the Nieuw Amsterdam.
The seven different restaurant choices include cuisines like Asian, Indian, Mexican, American, Greek, and Italian. You can almost eat your way around the world in a week's cruise.
The dining options on the Nieuw Amsterdam include:
The dozen bars and lounges on the Nieuw Amsterdam are:
Guests who love a good spa experience on a cruise ship will not be disappointed in the Greenhouse Spa and Salon. It offers all the standard treatments, and a large fitness center is just next door.
Holland America has located a nice specialty coffee bar inside the library and computer center on the top deck forward. This is a busy place, filled with those checking email, drinking coffee, and reading the newspaper or working the daily puzzles. Guests who want to improve their computer skills will appreciate the large hands-on classroom.
Although the mid-sized ship does not have a rock climbing wall, ropes course, or miniature golf course, the Nieuw Amsterdam does have a sports court, and one of the pools is for adults-only.
Nieuw Amsterdam - Conclusion
Although our Mediterranean cruise included mostly seniors and middle-aged couples, the onboard activities are varied enough for multi-generational groups and younger couples to also have a great cruise experience. I was sailing with my mom, and we ate dinner one night with a young couple in their 20's who were loving the Nieuw Amsterdam cruise experience as much as we were. They particularly appreciated the attentive service and elegant common areas on the ship, and weren't looking for the constant entertainment found on larger ships.
All the food we had onboard was very good, and I especially enjoyed the three exceptional specialty dining options--Tamarind, the Pinnacle Grill, and an Evening at Le Cirque.
Overall, the Nieuw Amsterdam is a great ship for cruise travelers of all ages. The ship sails the Mediterranean from either Venice or Barcelona in the late spring through the fall, and repositions to the Caribbean for the winter months, sailing from Ft. Lauderdale.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.