Today’s the day we embark on our Nieuw Amsterdam cruise. We were up early and after in-room coffee decided to check out nearby breakfast options.
We found a restaurant, Black Watch, about .7 miles away with an interesting menu and it open at 7 am. It took about 25 minutes to walk there at a moderate pace.
I had a bacon, cheese, and avocado omelette with salad.
Steve had breakfast tacos with black beans.
Our breakfast was fantastic and I really liked the rustic ambiance of this restaurant. It didn’t hurt that we had excellent service.
We walked back to the Courtyard and got ready for the day. I stayed at the same hotel four years ago and they offered complimentary transportation to the cruise port but in the interim it has increased to $15 per person.
We decided to take an Uber XL (to accommodate four of us and all our luggage) and set a time to meet in the lobby at 11 am.
Our Uber car was a large SUV and on the drive we chatted with our driver Vlad who was from Russia. At the port entrance there was a lot of cars lined up because guards were checking the ids of everyone and there were seven ships in port (Harmony of the Seas, Royal Princess, Volendam, Carnival Conquest, Silhouette, Majesty of the Seas in addition to the Nieuw Amsterdam.
Once at the pier (21) we were able to get right to a porter who took our bags and our tip. 🙂 Inside we walked right up to the counter after a less than minute break. They had just let group 9 onboard when we came in.
Check in was easy and we had our key cards in no time. They used my photo from my last HAL cruise (4 years ago) but did get Steve’s since he wasn’t with me on that cruise.
We were group 14 and waited about five minutes to board. I would estimate 15 minutes from drop-off to boarding total.
Once on-board we split up to go to our respective cabins since they were ready.
We had booked a guarantee since there weren’t any cabins available in the category at the time. We were assigned a cabin about four weeks before the cruise and received an upgrade to 4138. Our room was very nice and we enjoyed the size of the balcony (depth wise).
Our first impression was positive.
One of our pre-cruise orders, Canadian Club bottle, was in the room but not my distilled water or shore excursion tickets.
I was happy to see the flat screen TV (and loved the programs on demand) but wondered why they didn’t get a larger screen with so much room on the wood panel.
The couch was comfortable for the two of us. I liked to use it to read or watch TV.
This was my first cabin with a bathtub (yes in 25 cruises!).
After taking pictures and dropping our carryons it was time to look for food!
We decided on having lunch in the lido instead of the main dining room.
After walking around to see all the options, I got a salad from the salad bar (the staff make it for you) and then carved roast pork to go with it.
Steve was happy to see fried chicken on the buffet. I enjoyed the sugar free mousse for dessert and Steve had some kind of cheesecake and ice cream. Very good meals and we appreciated the wait team bringing water, tea or lemonade to the table. It was also nice having silverware at the table already.
We noticed the cards on the table. First up was advertising a discount at any of the specialty restaurants tonight.
The second was promoting the buffet menu that evening which sounded pretty good!
Afterwards we went by the main dining room to find out table and look at the menu. We were excited to see the table location (four top by the window) but the menu was disappointing especially considering the lido buffet was serving prime rib and ribs this evening.
We decided to take advantage of the 25% off specialty dining the first night offer and made reservations after confirming it with YS and SF.
We explored the ship a bit after that and then went to unpack the carryons and found one of our bags.
I went to the excursions desk because our information for the cabana wasn’t in our cabin. He was surprised but asked me the soda breakdown (I ordered 4 diet cokes, 2 soda waters and 2 sprites) and our shoe sizes for the fins.
We met the “kids” for a drink in the crows nest for a drink and they enjoyed the chairs with footrests and cocktails. They loved their cabin which is on the 8th deck (8001). We decided to meet at the pinnacle bar right at 6.
Our muster drill-was at 4 pm in station 14. Unfortunately, the sun was shining right in our faces. tried to get his hat (skin cancer) but they wouldn’t let him and redirected him to the ocean bar-after we checked in. It was over by 4:15 which was nice.
In case we get “lost” there are wayfinder displays throughout the ship.
We then went to our cabin and the distilled water and shore excursion ticket was there along with our missing bag which had a newly added tag. Hmmm. I unpacked and then noticed a card under the door; it was said our bag had security issue and to call but it was already here so that was weird.
On the way to get a sailaway drink we stopped at the front desk so I could get my keycard hole-punched to attach it to my lanyard. I waited about 2 minutes for help which was nice.
At the bar I enjoyed a vodka soda with grapefruit juice and Steve had a drink he made in the cabin while watching us sailaway. We enjoyed the appetizers and jar of peanuts too. 🙂
We enjoyed the scenery leaving port.
The only ship left was the Volendam which we would see the next day. It was on it’s way to San Diego via Panama Canal.
After that drink, we went up to the Pinnacle Bar for a pre-dinner drink and to meet YS and SF. I’ll recap our dinner in a separate post..
There was just on show tonight and I didn’t want to go alone (it’d been a long day and I already. Had 13,000 steps) so just settled in for the night. I watched a show on my iPad and then it was lights out.
Here is today’s When and Where.
Below is the voyage planner.
Don’t miss my previous post on this trip:
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