More modern European and less Holland America -- royal in feeling, these sleek ships are for all nations. Their logical evolution integrates HAL's traditionalism with new, sophisticated elements.
Typical Per Diems: $85-$115
Eurodam sails the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale (winter, spring) and New England/Canada from New York & Quebec (fall).
Nieuw Amsterdam sails the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale (winter, spring).
Holland America's largest ships to date, Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam offer a stylish, tailored Northern European decor that updates the old HAL aesthetic while keeping many of its signature features in place. Artwork, as throughout the fleet, reflects the Dutch Golden Age or, aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, the Dutch connections to New York. A bit larger than HAL's earlier Vista-class ships, the pair includes a number of currently in-vogue features, including spa staterooms with special amenities, special room service, and a dedicated concierge; the graceful, tent-like cabanas by the Lido pool and in the Retreat; and three specialty restaurants: Pan-Asian Tamarind, Italian Canaletto, and the Pacific Northwesty Pinnacle Grill.
Trivia for ship history buffs: Nieuw Amsterdam is the fourth Holland America ship to bear that name, going back to 1906 and including the Nieuw Amsterdam of 1938, generally regarded as one of the greatest of the great old ocean liners.
With these ships, HAL's British country house style moves to sophisticated modern Northern Europe, with a more tailored look and rich, understated olives and golds, woods that run the gamut from blond to cherry, and more nickel and stainless steel than brass. Standard staterooms are very much like those on Vista-class ships, rated among the best in the industry, and start at a roomy 185 square feet for outside cabins and between 170 and 200 square feet for inside rooms. All categories have Signature of Excellence features, from Euro-top beds to Egyptian cotton towels, flatscreen TVs and DVD players (more than 1,000 DVDs are available free to all passengers in all cabin categories on these ships), massaging shower heads, and Elemis toiletries, plus minifridges and hair dryers. Closets are sufficient and well planned, but drawer space seems rather scarce until you realize that there are drawers under the beds.
Tip: The veranda staterooms on Deck 4 have a bit more outside space than others.
Suites range in size from 389 to 1,138 square feet and passengers have perks including the private Neptune Lounge with its personal concierge, large-screen TV, library, sofas, Wi-Fi, minibar, and refreshments. Deluxe and Superior Verandah Suites have sitting and dressing areas, double sinks, whirlpool tubs, and separate showers.
The 56 spa staterooms and suites have different decor, soothing earth tones accented with fresh green and fernlike tracings on the linens. The 10 Deluxe Verandah OceanView rooms on the Observation Deck have scalloped balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows, but these are essentially French balconies and have no outdoor furniture.
All spa staterooms have a Greenhouse Spa concierge, although there is not a spa package or special discount that goes with these accommodations. They also have a direct connection to the spa, special bath amenities including aromatherapy bath salts and a luffa, and organic linens. Each is also equipped with a fitness DVD, a yoga mat, and pedometers, along with a water feature to generate soothing sounds. At turndown, the spa staterooms receive herb-infused organic chocolates. They also have a special healthy room-service menu with fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, egg white omelets, turkey bacon, and soy patties among the options.
Thirty cabins, across the categories, offer wheelchair access.
On Eurodam, the three-deck 890-seat Mainstage showroom, with a descending orchestra pit and revolving stage to showcase Vegas-style shows, is flanked by a number of bars and lounges. The Northern Lights disco and bar are also to one side of the casino; however, the nightly piano bar seems more popular with HAL guests, as are the blackjack tables in the casino, which benefits from the addition of a small adjoining bar. The dedicated movie theater, complete with popcorn and very cushy leather seats, also sees good use.
The three-deck atrium on both ships is really spectacular; on the Eurodam, it's a central backlit fiber-optic sculpture that changes color and a gorgeous green glass staircase; three sides reach into the top level of the Ocean Bar.
One of the nicest features of Holland America ships is their nooks and crannies, little private spaces and tables where peace and privacy are easy to find, and Eurodam and Niuew Amsterdam are no exceptions. There are comfortable corners in the Explorer's Lounge, with its excellent after-dinner libations, specialty coffees, and hand-dipped chocolates. The library also has some relaxing retreats, along with 1,000 novels and a nice supply of nonfiction.
Less quiet but also delightful, the Sports Bar departs from the European decor to give a very amusing salute to American baseball along with microbrews and the requisite huge flatscreen TV.
The shopping area has been expanded by about 1,000 square feet, with elegant wares including Versace jewelry, Omar Torres, and XOXO. Merabella, the upscale jewelry store introduced to several ships in the fleet, is showcased in the line's newest cruisers as well, and Fine Watches does a brisk business in Fendi, Tissot, Tag Heuer, and other designer timepieces.
On these two ships, HAL has positioned its Explorations Café within the Crow's Nest, bringing much more activity to this beautiful vantage point on top of the ship. The views from the Internet stations are gorgeous enough to distract anyone, and the usual specialty coffees and pastries have been augmented with treats like tiny cupcakes. At night, a live band and soloists take over, and the Internet cafe portion is screened off with a separate entrance.
Those who want to put their cameras or computers to better use will be very pleased with the beautifully designed HAL Digital Workshop powered by Microsoft Windows. Free workshops led by Microsoft techies somehow simultaneously work for complete beginners and still deliver an impressive amount of training in blogging, digital imagery, making movies, editing, and creating scrapbooks.
Club HAL has an expanded presence on Eurodam and Niuew Amsterdam; the clubs are very colorful and Euro-minimal for the most part, with a computer room, games arcade, craft room, small stage, and the teens-only Loft. The age groups are a little larger than on most family-oriented ships, with three ranges (3-7, 8-12, and 13-17). Families on board also have a tendency to take over the poolside cabanas, where they can lounge, eat, and nap in semiprivacy. The beautiful Culinary Arts Center has programs for children as well as adults.
Pool Fitness & Spa Facilities
The aptly named Retreat sunning and relaxation section, located a deck above the activity of the main pool area, is a new move for HAL, and it's been very well received. The biggest attraction is the set of 14 cabanas -- tented, airy private worlds, very well furnished; eight cabanas are also positioned by the Lido pool. Both sets tend to be very popular, so it's important to arrange rentals as quickly as possible, whether for a day or for the cruise. The cabanas come with loaded iPods, Evian water, chilled grapes, fruit trays, champagne, and chocolate. Rentals for cabanas in the Retreat is $45 on port days and $75 on sea days; Lido cabanas are $30 on port days and $50 on sea days. Retreat cabana guests are offered light breakfasts and lunches, while Lido cabana guests can request selections from the Terrace Grill or Lido restaurants. The only drawback is space: The cabanas have significantly reduced the amount of sunning space in the Lido area, which could prove to be a problem in the Caribbean.
The Lido pools amidships are covered with a retractable Magrodome and have an 8-foot waterfall feature; the Eurodam's is etched with the word "water" in 100 languages. Three poolside hot tubs are kept at different temperature levels for different tastes, and the surrounding lounges and sheltered tables and chairs are very comfortable. The smaller Sea View pool aft of the Lido has its own bar and the Slice pizzeria is adjacent.
The ship's Greenhouse Spa offers a full menu of spa treatments and salon services for men, women, and teens, with a particularly attractive central hydrotherapy pool and thermal suite and an aromatherapy steam room. The fitness center is well equipped with treadmills, bicycles, and elliptical machines, and it has a great ocean view. Resistance equipment, free weights, and aerobics classes round out the offerings, and for those who prefer to do their walking or jogging outside, one circuit of the Promenade Deck is 1/3 mile. Also outdoors on Deck 12 is the net-enclosed Sports Court, set up for basketball, volleyball, and the like.
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.