The newest addition to Holland America Lines’s fleet is a ship for grown-ups — especially those who love music. Launched in December 2018 as the second Pinnacle Class ship (following 2017’s Koningsdam), 2,666-passenger Nieuw Statendam takes beloved old-school basics that appeal to mature cruisers (think formal nights, traditional afternoon tea, and live music you can dance to), and adds a sophisticated, modern polish to create an onboard experience that hits the mark with older Baby Boomers while also leaving room to grow with younger Boomers and older Gen-Xers in their late forties and fifties. Also appealing are the sleek and uncluttered décor, the two pool areas on deck 9 (Lido with its retractable roof and Sea View located aft and offering plenty of sun), The Retreat on deck 12 (only for guests who’ve rented cabanas), and art curated by Miami-based YSA Designs that’s refreshingly contemporary and music-inspired.
What We Love
Music Walk: This interconnected area on decks 2 and 3 is the place to be before and after dinner, as rotating sets spanning musical genres from classical to blues and rock fill it with an almost nonstop upbeat vibe. Before dinner, guests can enjoy movie themes or classical favorites interpreted by a string quartet with piano at Lincoln Center Stage. From 7:30 p.m. onward, a piano duo at Billboard Onboard entertains with focused sets, such as the Sixties or Great Standards; a resident rock band plays classic hits from the Seventies to present day in the new Rolling Stone Rock Room; and a multifaceted ensemble performs rhythm & blues favorites (from Motown to Muddy Waters) in B.B. Kings Blues Club.
Deck 4 Staterooms with Large Balconies: It’s one of the great conundrums of cruising: While cruise lines are offering higher percentages of balcony cabins on ships, most of them have shrunk in size. If you’re a fan of stretching out in your own private outdoor space, the balcony staterooms — located forward and aft on deck 4 (the Beethoven Deck) — will feel luxe, with balconies that are two to three times that of normal balcony staterooms.
Soothing Sea Days: Cruisers who love the feeling of calm that a day at sea can bring will likely enjoy the soothing enrichment options offered in Explorations Central (a gathering spot at the front of the ship on deck 12 for card games, jigsaw puzzles, and O’s Reading Room for book club discussions, World Stage for America’s Test Kitchen Presents themed cooking demos and EXC Talks, and the Microsoft Studio for tutorials on software programs and utilities.
Best Known For
A Premium Cruise Experience at an Attractive Price: Nieuw Statendam’s contemporary ambience, combined with seven-night cruise fares under $699 for an interior stateroom and around $1,299 for a balcony stateroom, make it an appealing option for those looking for an elegant yet affordable cruise experience.
Specialty Dining Restaurants with Excellent Cuisine: While you can eat in the casual and complimentary Dining Room (where menus rotate and are varied), Lido Market, and New York Deli & Pizza, Nieuw Statendam’s specialty restaurants are worth a try. Our favorites: Tamarind for creative pan-Asian dishes (a $25 per person cover charge), Pinnacle Grill for steak and seafood inspired by the Pacific Northwest (a steal at $10 per person for lunch and $35 at dinner), and Rudi’s Sel de Terre for French seafood (priced a la carte, which can add up quickly, but is a memorable choice for a special celebration). Reserve a table well in advance, as the restaurants can sell out weeks (and even months) ahead of embarkation.
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Who It's Best For
Mature Cruisers Who Prefer Live Performances to DJ Parties: Passengers will definitely feel their heart race aboard Nieuw Statendam as they dancing to Motown hits at B.B. King’s Blues Club or rock out to classics at the Rolling Stone Rock Room (your ears will vibrate at the latter, too, as it can get quite loud). But, with its mostly mellow daytime vibe and lack of poolside antics, this ship is designed for low-key couples at or approaching retirement age — not life-of-the-party types.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Onboard Expenses Can Add Up: Your cruise fare may have been a steal, but if you like to indulge in a few frozen cocktails at the pool or sip on one or two glasses of wine before, during, or after dinner, expect a large bar bill. Wine prices, for example, range from $9-$15 per glass, beer averages to $6, and cocktails are $8.50 and up. Even a Diet Coke is $2.75. Several beverage packages are available, so do the math to see if it one adds up in your favor.
Active Kids Might Be Bored: Without waterslides, an aqua park, or other high-energy activities, younger children and tweens who associate cruising with big splashes and adrenaline rushes might be disappointed. Club HAL, (for children ages 3-12) features arts and crafts, pajama parties, and karaoke, while tweens (8-12) have their own area with LED screens for Xbox Kinect tournaments and movies. Teens (13-17) can hang out in The Loft, designed to resemble a New York artist’s loft that features music, video games, and movies.
Donna Heiderstadt is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Coastal Living and Islands.