Published on October 10th, 2015 | by Ann Rickard


Put Diet On Cruise Control

W hat do 6000kg of meat, 2000kg of chicken, 1000kg of fish and 120kg of seafood have in common?

It is the amount consumed every week by fortunate passengers on board Nieuw Amsterdam.


Passengers also go through 11,520 eggs, 1636 bottles of wine and 450 bottles of Champagne, and 1500 kg of watermelon.

You learn all this, and a lot more that staggers the mind, on a galley tour of the ship’s kitchen.

With Nieuw Amsterdam’s executive chef, you are taken right into the heart where it all happens, where your weight gain of a kilo a day on board begins.

Holland America - Kitchen

Starting in the coffee pantry, the tour takes you through the in-room dining section, gives you a peek at the dishwashing area (just a peek, you don’t want to linger at this spot), and then shows you the efficiency of the cold larder section where the cold appetisers, cheese platters and sandwiches are made, before you get to the bakery, the butcher shop, the seafood section, the fruit and vegie space – and so it goes.


You are given tasting samples all the way through the tour (as if you need any more food), and it is great fun as well as a real eye opener.

Nieuw Amsterdam is just one of Holland America’s fleet of ships. All its ships are mid-sized ships, big enough to offer all the essentials (theatre, pools, spa, multiple dining options, bars in abundance, activities galore), but not so big that you wander from deck to deck bewildered for the duration of your cruise, only becoming familiar with the ship when it’s time to disembark.


With itineraries in Europe, South America and the Pacific Islands, there is going to be a Holland America cruise to suit everyone. We loved the 12-day Mediterranean Cruise on board Nieuw Amsterdam, from Venice to Barcelona with a lineup of dazzling ports in between.

Sailing out of Venice is something to get the heart of even the most jaded traveller beating faster.

Standing on deck as you glide past St. Mark’s – preferably with your arm around a loved one and a glass of Champagne in hand – is the stuff the dreamy side of you will never forget.


With three speciality restaurants on board (a small fee applies) to back up the elegant two-tiered Manhattan dining room, and a Lido Market serving breakfast, lunch and casual dinner, as well as the addictive (beware) Dive-In on the Lido Deck and a wood-fired pizza oven on the aft deck, your only problem is when to stop.

Fortunately, the fitness centre is high-tech and the ship’s decks are wide and ready for laps.


You will gain weight on board, that’s a given. Best to give in to it.

Eating is arguably the number one priority on a cruise and Nieuw Amsterdam offers so many options.

  • The Manhattan dining room is an elegant two-level space where an a la carte menu presents regional specialities and classic favourites.
  •  Dive In Grill on the Lido Deck offers giant hamburgers and hot dogs with a variety of piquant sauces.
  • Cannonball Burger and Fries_47902
  • The Pizza on the aft deck by the pool. Thin crusted, made to order, authentic toppings – heaven on a pizza. Speciality restaurants where a small fee is applicable include:
  • Pinnacle Grill with a steak and seafood menu in an intimate setting.
  • Canaletto where the Italian word “spartien” (sharing) means small plates of exquisite Italian food to share with others.
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  • Tamarind, sublime Asian cuisine presented with impeccable service
  • A signature beverage packages is a bargain, with a variety of wines, beers, spirits, soft drinks, coffee and cocktails available.

We loved the seamless efficiency on board Nieuw Amsterdam.


Despite 2,000 guests there was never any waiting to disembark in port, no queues in the restaurants or theatre, no waiting at the bars.

Systems in place ensure everything is micro-managed, and in case you forget what day it is (highly likely) the elevators all have floor mats changing daily with big printed letters telling you this important information.

More information, videos, itineraries, and cruise prices at

 Holland America Line


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About the Author

is a Noosa (Australia) local and author of six successful books, all humorous travel narratives. In 2005 Ann won the prestigious ASTW’s Australian Travel Writer of the Year and in 2007 she won the ASTW Travel Book of the Year. Ann takes a culinary tour to the South of France in June every year . Ann writes travel, dining and columns for the Sunshine Coast Daily and is the Life editor of the Noosa News. Ann also maintains a well read and popular blog site. Ann’s travels have seen her explore cuisines all over the world.

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