Ten Unique Elements Of A Holland America Cruise

Onboard Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam we noticed a number of unique features of the Holland America cruise experience. These are onboard programming line items that are unique to Holland America and set them apart from other cruise lines. Take a look at this list of little and big things they do to differentiate themselves from other lines.

All The Menus, Right Up Front

I like that Holland America gave us the entire week’s menus on the first night of the sailing.

Spa-Sized Bath Towels

No skimping on the terrycloth here, put two of the regular bath towels on Holland America Line together and you could make a tent

Daily Mass

Not really something we look for when choosing a cruise line but Holland America is apparently the only major cruise line that holds a daily Catholic mass.

Reasonably Priced Mini-Bar Items

Who wants to pay $3.50 for a Coke? Not me, so the $1.95 price is appreciated

Snappy Room Service, with a smile

Always a plus, quick and friendly room service (“Can I pour that coffee for you sir?”) is a blessing. That I received over-easy eggs for breakfast as hot as if I had made them at home is unheard of on most cruise ships.

Private Space, Nicely-Appointed

Generously-sized balconies, chairs, a table and an ottoman.

Entertainment Preview

Welcome Aboard show highlights various venues around the ship and the entertainers one might see there if they like a good quality show. Tip: On Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam, male quartet (INSERT NAME) alone worth venturing out of the cabin at night.

Explorer Guide

Keepsake multi-page brochure received in the cabin upon embarkation outlines entire sailing. Includes information on itinerary, entertainment, music & lounges, restaurants, ports (including maps) and ship’s services. No sales pitches.

Shore Excursion Guide

Aimed to sell shore excursions (duh) guide also includes weather forecast for the sailing at each port, helpful suggestions for first-time cruisers, tips, information, and frequently asked questions. Worth picking up to take a look.

Easy Daily Program News

Nicely organized, single sheet daily newsletter without sales pitches thrown in almost a joy to read. Special daily events highlighted and easy to find. “Did you know?” section highlights extensive efforts by Holland America to protect the environment and source culinary ingredients from sustainable sources.

We are on board specifically for Holland America Line’s At Sea version of Dancing With The Stars, the popular ABC TV show. Onboard are several celebrities from the show as well as past winners (and losers) along with 15 guest-contestants, one from each ship in the Holland America Line fleet. That’s another story that we’ll be back tomorrow with, along with updates throughout the voyage that you can use to decide a few things:

Is a themed cruise for me?
Would I like a dance-themed cruise?
Can I learn how to dance?

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