Ship : Holland America ms Nieuw Statendam
Day Date Itinerary Arrival Departure
SUN 01MAR20 Sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US 5:00pm
MON 02MAR20 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas 1,2 8:00am 4:00pm
6:00 pm Tamarind Restaurant -
TUE 03MAR20 Sea Day
WED 04MAR20 Ocho Rios, Jamaica 8:00am 5:00pm
Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort
THU 05MAR20 Georgetown, Cayman Islands 1,2 8:00am 4:00pm
FRI 06MAR20 Cozumel, Mexico 11:00am 11:00pm
SAT 07MAR20 Sea Day
SUN 08MAR20 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US 7:00am 5:00pm
MON 09MAR20 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas 1,2 8:00am 5:00pm
6:00 pm ami Sushi -
TUE 10MAR20 Sea Day
WED 11MAR20 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos 8:00am 5:00pm
Margaritaville, walking, beach, snorkeling.
THU 12MAR20 Amber Cove, Dominican Republic 8:00am 5:00pm
Not much here. Just went for a walk and saw not much.
FRI 13MAR20 Sea Day
SAT 14MAR20 Key West, Florida, US 8:00am 5:00pm
Hemingway's house, walking, shopping, ice cream, etc.
SUN 15MAR20 Debark Ship Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US 7:00am
Thoughts regarding this cruise.
We have returned safely from our 2 week cruise around the Caribbean
aboard Holland America Nieuw Statendam. We visited Cozumel, Jamaica,
Grand Cayman, Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Key West, and Fort
Lauderdale. We tried a different cruise line this time just to
branch out. We found that Holland America has more sales oriented
events than any other cruise line we have been on. There were no
events during the day that didn't try to sell something. The night
time music was very good including an excellent blues band. But
again, very little to do at night that was not sales oriented. A
very boring cruise line.
Holland America does cater to seniors so we asked some folks we met
on board why they prefer Holland America. Basically they like the
attention the crew provides to seniors and they like the pampering.
We asked some Floridians why they like this cruise line when they
live in the tropics, have a pool, hot tub, access to beaches, and
access to fabulous restaurants. Basically they like the suites and
the pampering. I'd rather stay home when you consider the cost.
Needless to say, we will not cruise Holland America again.
As for the topic of the month, Holland America did handle the
Coronavirus very well. We found antibacterial stations and soap all
over the ship. You couldn't go 30 yards without finding one. They
were located at the entrance to the ship, exits, all entrances to
food areas, casino, lounges, etc. They posted crew members at all
restaurant entrence to ensure everyone used the disinfectants. All
food were served by a member of the crew wearing gloves. The ship
was cleaned every night. We felt safe on the ship - indeed safer
than what were seeing on land. As a result, we had ZERO cases of the
There was one issue Sunday as we were about to disembark the ship.
Keep in mind that 25 to 30 million people cruise every year. As
such, on average, there are about 200 deaths onboard per year. Also
people get hurt in a variety of ways just like they do on land.
Hence most cruise ships have a very good medical center. During our
visit to Grand Turk, we noticed an ambulance headed towards the
ship. We have seen medical personnel entering or exiting a cruise
ship many times so we didn't think anything of it. Fast forward now
to Sunday 3/15. Disembarkation started at 7 am per usual. We were
going to walk off and drive home so we decided to stay on until
about 9:30 am to avoid the crowds. Just as we got in line to exit
the ship, an announcement was made notifying us that disembarkation
had been suspended. So we went back to our cabin to await further
notice. We found out a couple hours later that there had been a
death on the ship and so the Fort Lauderdale sheriff had asked the
governor of Florida to suspend disembarkation until that individual
could be tested for Coronavirus. Keep in mind by the time the
officials decided to test the individual, 65% of the passengers
(about 1,800) had left the ship! The remaining 800 of us were left
waiting until 4 pm. We were eventually told about the deceased
passenger, testing for the virus, and that we would be informed as
to the results later in the day. Finally at 4 pm we got the word
that the test came back negative and we could leave the ship.
While we waited for the test results, we did have free food and free
We are now home and plan to lay low for 2 weeks. And yes, we have
plenty of TP;-)
On Tuesday March 24 - 9 days after the cruise - we did receive email
from Holland America informing us that in deed one passenger who
boarded the ship on March 8 eventually was diagnosed with the Corona
virus. We were instructed to stay home for 14 days. We were doing
this anyway so no hardship.