1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Mediterranean Cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam


1 of 13

Mediterranean Cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam - Overview
Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam in Venice, Italy on Mediterranean cruise embarkation day

Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam in Venice, Italy on Mediterranean cruise embarkation day

Nieuw Amsterdam in Venice (c) Linda Garrison
The Mediterranean Sea is one of the best places in the world to cruise. The region is filled with history, fascinating cities, interesting architecture, spectacular natural sites, and quaint towns and villages.

My mom and I cruised for 12 days on the Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam in early June and enjoyed nearly perfect weather and 10 diverse ports of call. We embarked in Venice and sailed to

We had one full day at sea between Santorini and Catania, Sicily, and most of a day at sea between Livorno and Barcelona.

The Nieuw Amsterdam had overnight visits in both Venice and Barcelona. Our voyage covered 2,351 nautical miles, and the ship was full with 2,106 guests. The Nieuw Amsterdam used over 33,500 gallons of diesel fuel per day, and the passengers and crew used 220,000 gallons of potable fresh water per day. (Note: Since the ship can produce 540,000 gallons of potable water per day, we were not in any danger of running out.)

Our overnight flight from Atlanta arrived in Venice about lunch time and we easily found the Holland America representative for our bus transfer to the ship. Since we had filled out all our paperwork in advance, embarkation was quick and easy, and we were in our cabins by 1:30 in the afternoon.

While waiting for the bags to arrive in our balcony cabin (#7081), we went and ate lunch. Then I explored the ship while mom took a short nap and unpacked. We attended a wine sampling at 6:30 pm ($2 for about 2 swallows) at the contemporary Pinnacle Bar before dinner. The ship was having a pool deck barbecue, so instead of getting all dressed up, we just ate outside and had good ribs, steak, and other barbecue standards. Very tasty and a good start to our cruise vacation.

After dinner, mom and I put on our walking shoes and took the shuttle bus to the "people mover", a monorail train that links the Venice maritime port with the Piazzale Roma, which is the bus and water taxi terminal. You can't go any further via taxi/bus/car into Venice than Piazzale Roma. We bought a couple of vaporetto (water taxi) tickets and rode to St. Mark's Square. We were going to get a drink, but decided against it, so walked around a little and then took another water taxi back to the Piazzale Roma, followed by another 1 euro ride on the people mover. The shuttle had quit running at 8:00 pm, so mom and I had to walk for about 15-20 minutes from the people mover back to the ship, but the walk was flat and it was a gorgeous night. The Nieuw Amsterdam featured a nighttime gondola serenade as one of the shore excursions, and this was a lovely night to be exploring the magical canals and narrow streets of Venice on a gondola, vaporetto, or on foot.

It wasn't long after we got back to the cabin at 10:30 before we were both asleep. Our goal was accomplished--to not go to bed TOO early on our first night in Europe! The Nieuw Amsterdam sailed for Dubrovnik the next day after lunch.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.