There are movies, lectures, and more on the ms Nieuw Amsterdam .
One of two specialty restaurants on Nieuw Amsterdam, the 112-seat Pinnacle Grill is a steak- and seafood-house requiring a $25 surcharge for dinner. The décor is dark but elegant, with black and white walls, white Frette tablecloths, crystal chandeliers, Bulgari china and Riedel stemware. Once a week the Pinnacle Grill is transformed into “An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill,” a tribute to the famed Le Cirque restaurant in New York. On this evening guests will find a set menu with wine pairings, and reservation are necessary; there is a $39 supplement for this evening, still considerably less than dining at le real Cirque.
Exclusive to the Nieuw Amsterdam, on select nights a separate section of the Pinnacle Grill is devoted to the Master Chef’s Room. The evening is advertised as the ultimate dining experience designed by Holland America’s master chef Rudi Sodamin. The seven-course menu is paired with premium wines, served on awesome Versace china. Reservations are mandatory; the add-on is $89 per person, which includes wine pairings.
On the night we enjoyed the Master Chef’s Room the menu included goose liver with mâche, avocado and raspberry kaffir vinagrette; a frappe of lobster and porcini mushroom; sea bass with caviar; a lime and candied ginger granite; a duo of veal with black truffle, pearl onion and puréed artichokes; an assortment of artisan cheeses with honey comb and fruit compote; and a “dialogue” of chocolate seduction. Every dish was over-the-top in presentation, and the duo of veal with tender meat and a nice truffle taste was particularly delicious.
Wine pairings included Veuve Clicquot a Labouré-Roi Pommard, Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling, and Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino. The selections proved to be perfect matches.
Note that the Master Chef’s Room is quite popular, with very limited seating—book it before you board.
For kids age 3 to 12, Club HAL offers supervised activities and diversions. Some of the activities included pirate treasure hunts, hands-on pizza making, storytelling, craft making, ice cream sundae parties and a farewell pajama party for small kids. Xbox and Wii tournaments were scheduled along with relay races, scavenger hunts, foosball, karaoke disco parties
Teenagers can hang out in the adjoining Loft and participate in supervised “mocktail” mixology classes, late night sporting competitions, yoga, hip hop classes. Adults are not permitted.
Holland America’s Signature Shops offer a range of fine, designer jewelry, watches, fragrances, premium liquor, and Holland America souvenirs. All purchases are tax and duty free. The Merabella Luxury Collection is a jewelry boutique featuring Le Vian, Chimento, Haytayan and Tara and Sons.
During the cruise, professional photographers were busy snapping photos of guests in different settings. At the gallery these pictures start to multiply after the first day on board, and guests can purchase the images to take home. Cameras and equipment are sold here, along with DVDs of the voyage and destinations.
Nieuw Amsterdam has a small art gallery with contemporary art pieces for sale.
The Holland America Line is noted for its quality collection of antique and contemporary art displayed on-board, and this is especially true of the Nieuw Amsterdam, with a collection that showcases the historic connections between New York and Amsterdam. A vast mural by Harald Vlugt dipicts the historical links between New York and Amsterdam and there are works by Andy Warhol, Richard Estes and Roy Lichstenstein, plus photographs of celebrities taken by paparazzo Ron Galella. Also noteworthy is the chandelier hanging in the Atrium, creating an abstract vision of Manhattan’s skyline.
The 36-seat screening room plays recently released movies on DVD and offers free popcorn. Additionally, Ship Flicks has a huge catalog of movies for delivery and in-room viewing.
This small room on Deck 2 is full of PCs for digital workshops, all of which are free to guests. Classes include photo editing and posting, blog production, videos, scrapbooks, PC safety and maintenance and staying connected (through instant messaging and webcams). The 60-minute classes are oriented to those who are fairly new to computing. Reservations are taken on-board.
A show kitchen at sea, this large venue is designed for hands-on cooking demonstrations. Two large plasma video screens project the goings-on at the cooking counter, hosted by the on-board party planner and guest chefs. The demonstrations and lessons range from seasonal and local cuisine to fruit- and vegetable-carving, special wine tastings and food pairing seminars, along with cookbook signings and Q&A sessions. One can also sign up for market tours in selected ports of call. Reserve classes on board.
This state-of-the-art two-tiered theater has a huge stage and two shows nightly, timed for early and late dining. Offerings include concerts, musicals, illusionists and comedians.
Just out of dry dock following a $155 million renovation, we joined the inaugural cruise of the former Carnival Destiny. The “new” ship, Carnival Sunshine, was not ready for the spotlight. Read More...
Considering an upscale cruise journey? Use our handy guide to distinguish the leading luxe cruise lines from one another. Read More...