Holland America’s Nieuw Statendam Dining Review
I just completed a seven day cruise on Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam; one of the ships in their largest Pinnacle Class. The ship has four specialty dining restaurants (that cost) extra; however I only tried one during my trip. I did try out all of the other included dining options and will cover them below.
Main Dining Room
The Nieuw Statendam has a huge, two level main dining room at the aft of the ship on Deck 2 & 3. It is open for breakfast and dinner every day, and lunch on sea days. I actually only ate in the main dining room once as I had another main dining option that was superior in every way.
The main dining room is huge as it serves a ship with ~3,000 passengers. The dining room felt huge as well. I wish they would have tried to divide up the huge room a bit to make it feel more manageable.
The food was good at the one lunch I had on sea day.
The service seemed a bit frantic and at times confused. As I was a dining alone, they asked if I wanted to be seated with others and I said no. Instead I was given a table in the back corner which was fine but not the best table in the house.
Club Orange Dining Room
I had most of my breakfasts and dinners in the Club Orange Dining Room. The much smaller dining room is reserved for Club Orange guests and those staying in suites. Located just outside of the main dining room on Deck 2, Club Orange originally was a show kitchen for cooking classes.
Some of the food is prepared in the small kitchen and directly served to the table. This means the food is typically very fresh and hasn’t been sitting in the large main kitchen waiting to be served.
The menu is the same as the main dining room with a few extras. Below is the breakfast menu.
The breakfast was always phenomenal. I typically had a bowl of fresh berries (I don’t know how they were still fresh by day seven but they were), some made to order eggs and another item. The orange juice was fresh squeezed and complimentary in Club Orange. The menu was the exact same every morning.
Perhaps my favorite was the croissant bread pudding.
The dinner menu changed every day with a few items always available including Beecher’s Mac & Cheese. Unfortunately unrecognizable as Beecher’s in Seattle.
Below are a few of the starters from Club Orange:
And a few of the main dishes:
And a few of the desserts:
The Lido buffet is located on Deck 9 mid ship. The Lido was full any time, day or night, that I walked through. People loved the buffet. I only at there for one lunch and then an afternoon snack after a day in port. The items I had were good, but when you had the option for a full service meal, I didn’t see the benefit of eating in the buffet. Perhaps if you had small children it would make sense.
As with any buffet, there are various stations where you can grab items. There are a few areas where they serve the food for you or even make something to order (salad bar, the wok station, etc).
The Lido was open for all three meals but shut down at various times throughout the day to switch over from one meal service to the next.
Grand Dutch Cafe
The coffee shop on Deck 3 also serves various food items; whether you want a snack, full meal, or dessert.
Perhaps they are best known for their giant dessert Bossche bol; a chocolate covered cream puff. I thought the smaller ones served in the dining room were better but still you have to have one just to say you did! Food and most snacks are complimentary; coffee drinks are extra.
Just outside the Lido buffet on Deck 9 near the main pool is Dive In, the hamburger and hot dog counter. Open from 11am to 6pm, it served casual lunch and dinner.
While the fries were very good, I found the hamburger meat to be low quality.
Next to Dive In is the Gelato stand which is an extra charge.
New York Deli & Pizza
Just above Dive In on Deck 10 in the pool area is the place to get pizza along with a few other items. You can either get a quick ready made slice or you can order your own personal pizza with whatever you like on it.
I tried the made to order option and enjoyed it but found the cheese was more similar to American cheese than typical mozzarella. I don’t know if that was just the pizza I ordered (BBQ chicken) or if that was the cheese they used for all pizzas.
That covers the complimentary dining options.
There are four main up-charge dining restaurants. As part of the Have It All package, I received one complimentary specialty dinner. I chose to use it at the asian restaurant, Tamarind. Otherwise I believe there would be a ~$30 cover charge.
Located on Deck 10 aft above the Sea View Pool, the restaurant offers views out over the pool and wake of the ship.
The restaurant felt crowded which is a shame because some of the charm of specialty dining is a more intimate dining experience.
The food was good but, in my opinion, not better than the standard dinner in Club Orange. The presentation was beautiful.
There are three other specialty dining restaurants on the Nieuw Statendam. I didn’t try them, so I can only speak to what I observed.
Canaletto is an Italian restaurant located on Deck 9 in a corner of the Lido buffet. While Tamarind didn’t feel very intimate, Canaletto seemed like an extension of the buffet.
Down on Deck 2 are the other specialty dining options.
Pinnacle Grill is the steakhouse.
Rudi’s Sel de Mer is French/seafood.
I was happy with my decision to eat at Tamarind for my speciality dining, but found the specialty dining on the Norwegian Spirit to be superior.
I was incredibly impressed by the dining in Club Orange, which I would assume was of similar quality in the dining room. It felt like a waste to eat breakfast or dinner anywhere else while on the ship. I couldn’t believe the quality of the berries in particular; considering you are on a huge ship in the ocean.
From my brief experience with the Lido buffet; it seemed fairly high end and very popular.
The other dining options didn’t “wow” me but I don’t think they really were meant to; instead they were there to offer a quick service option.
What is your impression of dining on Holland America? What did I get right and what did I get wrong in your opinion?