6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
1st time HAL cruiser, over 25 other cruises, entertainment in 45 minute intervals are now the norm. Ship has a tight feeling with low ceilings and small corridors and open venues of music on deck 2 the "entertainment" deck. ... Read More
1st time HAL cruiser, over 25 other cruises, entertainment in 45 minute intervals are now the norm. Ship has a tight feeling with low ceilings and small corridors and open venues of music on deck 2 the "entertainment" deck. Ship is now in dry dock and we saw a good deal of carpet brought on board, the main reason for the out of service time was to repaint the keel area with the correct paint. Food was above par better than the Celebrity line and just a shade below Oceania. Service from the servers was excellent and they served all buffet food. Room steward was ok room 11017 balcony Room felt small due to the ceiling height, which I can touch easily, bathroom commode was way to close to the glass shower , shower was long and excellent. Entertainment was good to excellent, main showroom had very poor timetable of 2 hour separation for 45 minutes of show. Dinner at 7:30 meant you missed both shows that night. Central pool had a movable roof but the side windows did not open, in the Caribbean hot weather it would be stifling even with the roof open. The total number of lounge charges was less then 100 for a ship of 2500, lots of tables and couches and zig-zag walkways to get thru,need work! Specialty very good, Main Dinning room very good, Dive in great dogs etc, Buffet very good, Clientele very mature and reserved. Pool screen showed water dripping for 3 afternoons very exciting, Sunday football only on room tv! Cruise director never seen except for end of shows. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Usually I love Holland America but Koningsdam isn't up to the normal HL standards. There is no library, the promenade deck has blocked views and no where to sit. The casino and the back deck are exclusively for smokers (as you can not ... Read More
Usually I love Holland America but Koningsdam isn't up to the normal HL standards. There is no library, the promenade deck has blocked views and no where to sit. The casino and the back deck are exclusively for smokers (as you can not breath if your a non-smoker in either of these two venues. Food in the MDR was never hot, mostly lukewarm. Most of the time what showed up on your plate was not what was in the menu. The chef even came by as I asked that perhaps arugula should be in an arugula salad. He dug thru it and couldn't find any. The waiters are very slow as they have way too many tables so expect to miss dessert if you want to be out of the MDR in less than 2 hours. The pool cleanliness was poor so I ended up with an ear infection ... The shows were ok but nothing special. Just an ok trip but with good ports. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and timing, we weren't really cruising we were actually on our way to annoy, er, visit the relatives in Florida for the holidays. This cruise landed us there right in time and in the right location ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and timing, we weren't really cruising we were actually on our way to annoy, er, visit the relatives in Florida for the holidays. This cruise landed us there right in time and in the right location so we chose the TransAtlantic cruise from Rome to Fort Lauderdale along with a back to back cruise through the Caribbean to make our arrival in Fort Lauderdale at the right time. It was also to ports we hadn't seen and had a TransAtlantic crossing which we hadn't done before as well. We'd not been on this specific ship before and we really liked the Westerdam from last year so we wondered what a slightly larger HAL ship would be like, For this cruise, we started out leaving the port in Civitavecchia near Rome. We got into Rome four days early to make sure we didn't miss the ship. Plus, hey! It's ROME! We had a BnB near the Vatican and had a great four days before the ship visiting the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica, etc., etc. There's loads to look at in Rome and the food is insanely good. Hmm, well, considering how fussy they are about how their food is grown, maybe it's 'sanely' good. Prior to Rome, I'd have graded the ship's food much higher, but after the food, coffee & croissants we had in Rome, well, now I have a higher standard for 'excellent' food. We caught a shuttle bus from Rome to the ship and the shuttle dropped us off right at the ramp to the ship. The shuttle driver handed our luggage to the ship's porters so it was a good thing we had them tagged and ready. I'm pretty sure it was Rome Cabs who operated the shuttle. We arranged the pickup online and they showed up on time and everything was very easy and convenient. The Koningsdam is a nice ship. It's one of the larger ones in the HAL fleet and newer, but it just didn't quite seem like a 'real' cruise ship to us. The decor was more 'fancy floating hotel' than 'cruise ship'. Not much nautical decor, and it didn't compare well to the Westerdam that we'd taken last year through the Panama Canal. We did like the Grand Dutch Cafe, but we preferred the Westie for most other things. Some of the surprising things were the lack of decoration in the hallways. The hallways are really long and boring, lack of any artwork doesn't help that. There were also no seating in the elevator lobby areas. Why no seats near the elevators? The classic wooden seats with the ship's name on them are also strangely missing as well. I think I saw one or maybe two of them, but they were very few and far between. The promenade deck exterior walkway has become a narrow track with no seats there, either. Shall we mention that the teak decks on the promenade are actually plastic sheeting? That just lacks authenticity. Perhaps that's the complaint throughout the ship, it lacks an authentic 'cruise ship' vibe. But, maybe that's what they're trying to achieve? The ship, as a ship, is a very excellent ship even if we are less than enthusiastic about some of the decor. The captain, Noel O'Driscoll, while he seems young to be a captain of such a large ship is a most excellent captain. When we embarked in Civitavecchia, we were the last ship to leave the port until after a hurricane came and went. Apparently, there was a ship scheduled to come in the next day (not a HAL ship) but it wouldn't be able to arrive because of the storm. I wonder how that works? It's one thing for a passenger to miss the ship, but what happens when the ship misses the passengers? Well, anyway, I digress, back to the review of the Koningsdam. The hurricane effects we saw were mostly that the ship was slightly tilted. There didn't seem to be much up and down or side to side swaying, mostly it was a slight tilt. Enough that the coffee cups were trying to commit suicide by sliding off tables, but not much more than that. Seems odd there wasn't some sort of rubber grippers on the bottom of the plates and cups, but generally cruise ships aren't in hurricanes. There were crashes of things in the dining areas, spills of food and dishes, the servers on the Lido were stacking things in the window ledges on the downhill side so they wouldn't slide off the tables. The wind was howling, the ship was slightly tilted, the crew was uneasy but they were hiding it well. From a passenger's viewpoint, it was almost a non-event. Rumor among the passengers later was that it had been seventy mile an hour sustained winds and gusts up to a hundred and thirty. Which would be an official hurricane in my book. Captain O'Driscoll is being shifted to the new ship HAL is launching, I think that's an excellent choice considering how well he handled that hurricane. (But, I'm just a passenger, I really know nothing of that sort of thing.) The cruise director, Benjamin Yates, is a really likable fellow. Which would be a job requirement, one would think. It must be difficult for him to find things for the passengers to do when he's got such a wide variety of passengers to work with. On the TransAtlantic crossing, the median age of the passengers was quite high. Once we got the next group of passengers (we were doing a back to back cruise) in Fort Lauderdale, I'd guess the average age of the passengers dropped by at least three decades. Personally, I'd like to see HAL instigate 'maker' classes or activities. It could be sold as 'craft' groups to the older cruisers. Somewhat similar to the 'America's Test Kitchens' venue that they have except about something other than cooking. I'd guess a jewelry making event would perhaps do well or something similar? Oh, and if I was cruise director, there'd be races for the limited mobility folks on scooters. Mark out a track, put out outlines of toes that they could get points for running over and have timed races. Woot! Probably it's a good thing they don't let me be cruise director. Another thing which could be a good thing for the ship to do would be at least a digital library with perhaps book readers folks could rent for the cruise if they didn't bring their own. A digital library wouldn't take up any space and yet still be a library. I really miss the real libraries they used to have on board HAL ships. Hmm, maybe 'book club' meetings on board? That could be digitally done. Pick a book about a cruise ship, a light and happy book that can be quickly read and have the book club meet every several days? Or meet every day to discuss the chapters they've already read? Well, again, I'm not cruise director. HAL's claim to fame - in my estimation at least - is their excellent service. Which, seems a bit less on the Koningsdam than the Westerdam. That may be from the higher ratio of passengers to crew or we may have had a higher expectation of service on the K'dam than the Westie. The service was excellent. The food in the Lido is really good, although on this ship there was less of it that was available without being served by the server at the station. Occasionally, there would be lines to get some food items but they were generally short lines. If one didn't want to wait in line, there's some items that can be picked up without waiting but the nicest choices are usually served and may or may not involve some waiting in a line. We would frequently eat in the main dining room in self defense. The Lido doesn't have limits on things that show up on your plate and there's too much good stuff there for us to be left alone there for long. In the main dining room, there's a menu to order from and other folks putting proper sizes of portions on the plate so we don't over eat. I'd like to see smaller portion sizes myself. Frequently we just want a taste of something, not really a whole meal of it. Kinda like a tapas party verses a real meal. There was disappointment at tea time, however. It wasn't the more proper tea service where the chest of tea is presented for selection of tea. It was pre-brewed Tetley tea. What's with that? The entertainment was pretty good, I think our favorite was a visiting entertainer, Hilby, who was listed as a German juggler/comedian of all things. There were usually loungers available for the evening movie on the Lido deck. There were usually loungers available at the Lido deck around the pools during the day as well. There were a lot more folks in the pools on the Caribbean portion of the cruise. Very few on the TA portion. We only took one ship's tour and that was in Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. It was a bus ride on an interesting vehicle to a cove for some powered snorkeling from a boat. The Dominican Republic isn't quite the sort of port one would want to wander around in by oneself, in my estimation anyway. The bus was sort of a cross between and open air farm wagon and a bus. We rode pretty high in the air and the driver was in a separate compartment. It was interesting seeing the rural area and towns along the way. If there's a small motorcycle with a woman holding groceries sitting sidesaddle on the back with a driver wearing an orange vest, then that's a taxi motorcycle. They were everywhere and it took awhile before we figured out how the passengers were related to the drivers. The powered snorkeling was interesting, although the undersea life was much better in Bonaire. The snorkeling ship captain was Carlos who had trained herds of fishes waiting for the snorkel boat to arrive. Also, if he gives you a shopping opportunity at the small shops next to the snorkeling cove, take him up on it. One of the Dominican Republic items is a blue stone called 'laramar' and the shops at the cruise port charge about six times the prices asked by the small shop near the snorkeling cove. Overall, there was very little waiting in line on the ship. Embarkation was less than twenty minutes and disembarkation was a lot shorter. We used Mobile Passport which is an app on our cellphones at Port Everglades. We walked off the ship after waiting about three minutes in a line to get off the ship. Then walked to the luggage waiting area, gathered our luggage and walked to the long, long customs line. To the side of that long line is the 'Mobile Passport' line which had nobody in it. We were frantically trying to open our passports while walking to the front of the line. The inspector still looks at the paper passport even when using Mobile Passport on the phone and we're supposed to have them open to the picture page before you get to the inspector. Holland America Line is a good cruise line. They consistently give excellent service, which is what they are best known for as far as I know. The Koningsdam is a good choice of ship and the TransAtlantic crossing or any itinerary that gives multiple sea days is a lovely thing. I wasn't sure what to expect with a week's worth of ship days but it was quite lovely to not have to scurry about as we do on a port day. As usual, a lot of the joys of cruising is meeting and chatting with the other passengers and multiple sea days is perfect for this. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We were booked on this cruise as a gift from our parents to celebrate a milestone birthday. We really have no complaints about anything - all was great. Good food, good service, great ports, clean ship and cabins. The only negative is ... Read More
We were booked on this cruise as a gift from our parents to celebrate a milestone birthday. We really have no complaints about anything - all was great. Good food, good service, great ports, clean ship and cabins. The only negative is the activities...we felt there could have been less lectures and more fun things to do. Perhaps Holland America is just not the right cruise line for us....it is a very mature crowd (I would say the mean age was 70-72). Although we were celebrating my 60th - we just needed more to do. We like to be more active and participate in more events like bingo (not super expensive bingo like they had on the ship), Zumba, scavenger hunt, activities around the pool - both the mid and aft pool. We were bored on the ship. The photo gallery was quite disorganized. They don't print the photos and ours were not coming up on the "navigator" app. We approached them three times and on the fourth time we had to go through all the ship photos taken on Gala nights to find ours and have them uploaded to Navigator app. Then we placed an order. We went to collect them on the last night and they didn't have them. My husband had to track them down at 11pm at night on the last night - which meant we couldn't pack them away as the cases were already picked up. Apparently they were having system problems. The pics are ok...background issues so they don't appear very professional. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
While not at all new to HAL, we have not been on any of their newer ships, so the Konigsdam was a treat. We had a verandah stateroom, so I don't know if this is true for all staterooms, but we were very pleased with the larger shower AND ... Read More
While not at all new to HAL, we have not been on any of their newer ships, so the Konigsdam was a treat. We had a verandah stateroom, so I don't know if this is true for all staterooms, but we were very pleased with the larger shower AND its glass door. No more plastic curtain hugging your legs!! The rainshower head was a welcomed plus, too. Our room had excellent black out curtains, and I wish all cruise lines would follow HAL's lead in providing a paper recycle bin for myriad notices every room receives and, likely, immediately tosses. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly. If you elect to walk off with your luggage and are in a hurry, don't wait in your stateroom. Wait in the Lincoln Center. When we left out room when we were called at 7:30, the line was already very long. On the positive side, it moved quickly. We used Lyft to return to the FLL airport. ENTERTAINMENT: We have been on over 20 cruises, and this ship's entertainment was the best we have ever experienced. Normally, we are ho-hum about any singer/dancer show, but these were absolutely not-to-be-missed. I believe the shows we saw will no longer be performed after Koningsdam returns from drydock next week, but I am confident equally impressive shows will be performed. It is clear more money is being spent on quality shows. The dancers were especially impressive. We usually went to the shows early for a good seat, especially if only two were offered (sometimes there were 3), since the theater is small. The theater-in-the-round experience is wonderful, and there aren't many bad seats. Be aware the bottom rows are not graduated. HAL partners with BBC, so don't miss anything having to do with Planet Earth. The BB King All-Stars is another not-to-be-missed opportunity. We occasionally had to go early just to get a seat; they have 3 sets an evening. If you want to hear great music (not just jazz), dance, and/or just enjoy watching others dance, this is your venue. The BB King musicians are simply excellent as are the classical quartet members performing in the Lincoln Center. The more contemporary solo pianist stuck over by the Culinary Arts Center is also very good but, sadly, doesn't get the visibility of the other venues. DINING: We were not impressed with Any Time Dining. The first night of our 10-night cruise was a disaster with long wait times to be seated and to be served. We tried making reservations a few other nights but were told we could only do so for 5:45 and 8:15. Had we wanted those times, we would have chosen Set Dining! Even when we did secure a reservation, service was slow. But more germaine is the menus were uninspiring, and this is a departure from out normal HAL experience. Our group of four frequently had dinner in the Lido, which serves almost everything on the main dining menu anyway, or at the NY Deli. We did not eat at any restaurant which charges extra, but I was tempted by the $15 Culinary Arts offering of small and large plates. The menu looked delicious. Quite impressive - and FREE - are the NY Deli and Dive-In. You will not believe how amazing the Dive-In's fries are!! Wow. The menu is a far cry from the normal burgers, limp veggie burger, hot dogs, and perhaps a grilled chicken breast. Hamburgers are dressed up with Gouda cheese or thick bacon, the portabella mushroom topped with guacomole is fantastic, and the grilled chicken also comes topped with guacamole. Yes, wait times would be long, but the buzzer system works well. It's easy to go into the Lido for a salad and drink and still feel/hear the buzzer. The same good buzzer range works for the NY Deli, also a very popular venue...once people find out about it! It's a floor above, overlooking the pool, and was almost deserted in the mornings, making a quiet breakfast spot with food from the Lido. The made-to-order pizza is very good, and quite nice toppings are offered. Others in our party raved about the pastrami and Reuben sandwiches. After 8pm, grab a chocolate pretzel! Salads are available, and one does not have to wait for those. In the afternoon and early evening, Mediterranean tapas are available where the dueling pianos perform. They are quite delicious and make a great appetizer plate with friends and wine on your balcony :-). One complaint is that the coffee bar (Explorations Cafe) is stuck up front on the 12th floor in the Crow's Nest. It used to be part of HAL’s famously-wonderful libraries. If you’re expecting a library on this ship, you’ll be disappointed; it is little more than a corner. And if you want a brewed coffee or latte at 6am, forget it; you will have to wait until 8am, which is so late for a coffee bar. I'd like to see the coffee bar situated more centrally, and please offer a coffee card to encourage more use (and offer a little savings). These seem to be hugely popular on other ships; Princess comes particularly to mind. The food at the Explorations Cafe is good and complimentary whether you buy a coffee or not. The same is true at the Dutch cafe. If they offer lattes before 8, it's not well-advertised, but this cafe is much more centrally located. I enjoyed the split pea soup and the tiny Dutch pancakes. Most of their food is also complimentary. Service, however, is slow; while the showcase has food, items are not taken from there; you must wait for their kitchen to prepare it. ART: The art gallery is much smaller here, which we did not mind, and so far as I know, no art auctions were held, again not a loss as far as we are concerned. PORTS OF CALL: We enjoyed a lazy day on Half Moon Cay. Take insect repellent if you're prone to bites. Within half an hour, I had several, which swelled and itched for days. It was much too hot (Nov. 12) to rent a kayak or try to find the walking trail. Walking was tolerable if we did so along the shoreline, with feet in the water, and getting a sea breeze. Lounge chairs were fairly easy to find, even in the shade. Just be prepared to walk a ways, which gets you away from crowds anyway. The kids' water area is excellent. While we've been on cruise line private islands that do have wifi, this one does not. GRAND TURK: Take that insect repellent here, too, and free wifi is available in the port shops, specifically around Froots. Our group of four rented a golf cart and saw a few sites before trying some snorkeling from the shore (on a previous trip, we had taken a snorkeling excursion, which I would highly recommend). Where we chose to go was extremely choppy, as the winds were high and rain had started. We aborted those plans. AMBER COVE: If you want to do nothing more than swim and sun, the free resort-style pool and lazy river is wonderful. Chairs are free; other water sports come with a fee. We took a taxi from the terminal to Telerifico, for the cable car. Prices are posted, $30/1-5 people/one way, but some bartering comes into play with the man in charge. For $50 r/t, our driver waited for us and then drove us around Puerto Playa (the square, the fort, the beach). While we chose not to get out, he was willing to let us out to walk and/or shop. We gave him a tip. We're in our late 60s and while fit and agile, the waterfalls sounded too much on the wild side for us. We were very glad we went to the cable car; it's important to GO EARLY. Clouds come in, and then it will be almost pointless; you want to see the panoramic views. The cable car costs $10/pp, and while you can walk around at the top for free (you could easily spend an hour or more walking the trails through the botanical garden), you will likely be approached by a licensed guide to go up with you. I imagine you could barter, but his price of $15 was fine with us, and we were glad he came with us. He was very knowledgeable. BONAIRE: We rented two golf carts for our group of 4 and had such a good time! Where we rented sent YouTube videos, so I knew ahead of time about the south and north loops. We received excellent instruction, clear maps, and off we went. We snorkeled at a couple of places (1,000 Steps was great) and had lunch at Sorobon Beach & Wellness Club (a little pricey). After several hours seeing both routes, we cleaned up on the ship and then enjoyed the market in Wilhelmina Plaza. Check out the stall selling all manner of salts. It was still open at 4pm, and our ship left at 6pm. CURACAO: This was our favorite port stop. Willemstad is delightful (download an architectural walking tour; that was very enjoyable and informative; see the floating market), and snorkeling from the beach can be very good. We took a privately-booked small tour which stopped at Shete Boka (fantastic), Fisherman's Wharf (snorkel with turtles here), a stop to cliff dive (or watch others), Puerto Mari (very good snorkeling: washed out coral but abundant fish), and flamingos. Since we stayed until 11pm, we went out after dark to enjoy the colorful waterfront, lit-up bridge, and wandering the streets on both sides. ARUBA: Having taken an off-road 4x4 Jeep tour before (and been bone-jostled), we opted for a privately-booked small tour. For 4 hours, we saw some of that same rugged and gorgeous coastline and plenty else Aruba has to offer. Of course, if you want a white sand beach day, take the local bus to Palm Beach. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose the cruise as we wanted to sail out of Fort Lauderdale. We enjoyed the cruise, especially the ports of call. This was my first time on HAL however I have sailed on over 20 cruises with 7 different cruise lines. Whilst I loved the ... Read More
We chose the cruise as we wanted to sail out of Fort Lauderdale. We enjoyed the cruise, especially the ports of call. This was my first time on HAL however I have sailed on over 20 cruises with 7 different cruise lines. Whilst I loved the new ship, which was spotless at all times and the food which was second to none I felt that there were several things missing. Maybe this was because the ship was catering for mainly older passengers.... and by this I mean in their 70’s and above. There was little variety of activities during the day. There were no dance lessons, Zumba etc. Yoga and Pilates incurred an extra fee. No pool games, ice carving or activities on deck. On the plus side there were always plenty of sun beds available! The thing I missed most was the Caribbean parties on deck in the evening. The movie screen was under used. Only one movie at night. I enjoyed the two pianists Paulina and Ivy who were both very talented and listened to them most evenings. Also the juggler Hildy who had everybody doubled up with laughter. However by about 10.30pm most people had gone to bed and after midnight there was nothing on at all. I think this cruise is most suited to older seniors who just want to relax and do their own thing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
My husband and I had always wanted to do a Transatlantic together and we were looking forward to sailing on HAL's newest ship. Many years ago I had crossed the Atlantic from New York to Le Havre on the United States and my husband, in his ... Read More
My husband and I had always wanted to do a Transatlantic together and we were looking forward to sailing on HAL's newest ship. Many years ago I had crossed the Atlantic from New York to Le Havre on the United States and my husband, in his Navy days, had crossed the Pacific. Let me first say something about the sea worthiness of the ship and seamanship of the Captain and his crew. Our first day out of Citavecchia we encountered a fierce storm that was punching hurricane force winds and high seas. The strong winds forced the ship to sail i However I never felt afraid. The stabilizers held the ship maintained the ship upright and occasionally with a slight list. My husband, who had been in the Pacific during a typhoon on an aircraft carrier taking water over the deck, was impressed with how well the ship handled. What made this experience so interesting is that once we got into the Atlantic, it was like we were sailing on glass, for the most part smooth and calm. We loved the new cabin design. Our cabin was on the stern so we had a 180 degree view from our Veranda. The bathroom did not contain a bathtub, which we never missed. The toilet area may feel compact especially if you are a large person. The artwork throughout the ship is very modern and somewhat edgy. It is definitely not the traditional artwork found on HAL ships. We took advantage of the specialized dining on the ship and here are our thoughts: Tamarind: Delicious Pan-Asian food. The wasabi-encrusted filet was excellent as was the lobster stir fry. Sel de Mer: Seafood to Die For. The best dish I have ever had onboard a ship was the lobster thermidor. The appetizer of three-tiered seafood salads was delicious. Culinary Arts Center: Loved the small plates. Everything we tried was delicious. Canaletto: The Italian food is not very different from what is served either in the Main Dining Room or in the Lido Market. NY Deli and Pizzeria: The deli sandwiches were very good. The pizzas looked good, but we didn't try them. The Lido Market has been vastly improved with the layout. Never had to wait more than a few minutes to make a selection. Since the Konningsdam has a gelato stand (for additional cost), they no longer offer ice cream throughout the day. The World Stage is awesome. By adding the large visual screens, it makes not only the live shows more spectacular, but the BBC Wild Planet shows come alive. This cruise offered Bridge instruction. I was very happy to take Beginner's Bridge each morning on the sea days. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This is my 27 cruise. My third on HAL. We chose this cruise for the great itinerary and Koningsdam being a fairly new ship. The experience was wonderful. The quality of the food and selection were some of the best we have had. There ... Read More
This is my 27 cruise. My third on HAL. We chose this cruise for the great itinerary and Koningsdam being a fairly new ship. The experience was wonderful. The quality of the food and selection were some of the best we have had. There are several dining options. We had "anytime dining" and never had to wait for a table in the main dining room. The lines in the Lido Buffet for breakfast and lunch moved quickly. Having a pizza custom made at "NYC Pizza & Deli" made for a great late night snack. Cabins are slightly smaller than other HAL ships. We had a "family stateroom" which was plenty of room for the two of us. Entertainment was Hit or Miss. The ships singers and dancers were good. Some of the quest performers were just okay. HAL is trying to give more of a contemporary twist with the new stage and format. If one likes classical music Lincoln Center Stage Live put on wonderful performances. BB King live was pop and Jazz music. There were enough music venues for anyone's taste. The staff and crew were as always very friendly and went out of there way to make our experience extra special. It is obvious the HAL executives are looking to attract a younger demographic with this new class of ship. This new Pinnacle Class is going to be competition for Celebrity. We would definitely consider taking another cruise on the Koningsdam. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
The koningsdam is a newer ship that has many many wonderful things about it. I favor a ship that seems very professional with a good sense of priorities. There was a "safety first" feeling with mature decision making. I liked ... Read More
The koningsdam is a newer ship that has many many wonderful things about it. I favor a ship that seems very professional with a good sense of priorities. There was a "safety first" feeling with mature decision making. I liked hearing about all the experience the Captain had and enjoyed hearing discussion about his background and how the ship works. The ship was very clean (important to me). I very much appreciated and noticed how the staff had good working relationships. They all seemed to like their job. All of the staff on the ship were hard working, service focused, professional, pleasant to talk with; all positive. I cannot emphasize enough the good feeling of the cruise and excursions. We booked all of our excursions, every port with HA. I did not have a meal that we were not pleased with; loved their food. There was a priority from the staff to keep everything clean and not cross contaminate anything. There was also an awareness of an individual's allergies which I also noticed. My only complaint was about the attitude of a Holland American representative on a post trip at the Savoy hotel in Rome. I did not allow this insulting unprofessional person to ruin our good trip feelings. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
MS Koningsdam - A Review I cruised Koningsdam for 24 days from 10/18/2018 to 11/11/2018. She is about 2 years old and appears to be in very good physical condition and is well maintained. That said, Koningsdam is a mixed bag of good, ... Read More
MS Koningsdam - A Review I cruised Koningsdam for 24 days from 10/18/2018 to 11/11/2018. She is about 2 years old and appears to be in very good physical condition and is well maintained. That said, Koningsdam is a mixed bag of good, bad and ugly...in this writer's experienced opinion. THE GOOD By all appearances, the ship is being kept very clean. Wear and tear has not yet begun to show too much. Not much rust in sight. The theater (World Stage) is the best in the HAL fleet, and maybe in most fleets. Sight lines are excellent and there is hardly a bad seat in the house. Seating capacity is relatively generous and can fit about a third of the passengers at any one time (close to 800). That said, there were many occasions when the theater was totally filled and people were standing and/or sitting in the aisles (safety hazard?). The hi-tech stage uses a 270 degree computer controlled LCD screen as the backdrop and is the main apparatus of the otherwise sparse set decoration. Lincoln Center Stage is an outstanding plus for HAL. Koningsdam's venue for the very talented quintet is larger than other ships in the fleet and offers comfortable seating. Public seating is excellent and comfortable throughout the ship. The staterooms are a bit smaller on than most of HALs ships, but they are reasonable equipped. Electric and USB plugs are abundant and storage/closet space is good. THE BAD While Koningsdam is new and bright, HAL has done nothing to change the nickel-and-dime operation and product they offer. EVERYTHING they do is designed to get passengers to spend more money. Most of the daily on-board programs offered are for revenue and income production. Venues throughout the ship are too small for the large number of passengers, often filling an hour or more prior to a presentation. The Culinary Arts Center is the showcase venue for America's Test Kitchen, and it is very ill-suited for the purpose...very poor seating and sight angles. They also utilize this room for extra-cost dinning in the evening (much more suitable). The Mariners Program on Koningsdam appears to be treated more as necessary nuisance than as the customer building program it was originally designed to be. There does not appear to be a suitable venue on Koningsdam for a Mariners Reception, so only medallion recipients are invited, no matter how many medallions one has or how many cruise days you've logged. The multi-Star Mariners cocktail party is held in part of the Lido Pool area, while other people are in hot tubs on the other side. It's very clear that HAL management wants to change the demographic of its customers. They are looking for new, free spending blood. Staterooms are noisier than one would expect for a "new" ship. Even in slight seas there is creaking, rattling and banging...especially at night when you are trying to sleep. Fit and finish is not all that it could be. As an example, stateroom have a recessed "frame" for the wall mounted large screen TV. In my stateroom the TV was mounted well out of the center of the frame and lop-sided (one side higher than the other). There is no replay of the excursion or enrichment talks on available on Koningsdam's closed circuit TV system or on stateroom TVs. You can, however, book extra cost dining, spa and excursion options via the interactive TV system. What little "art" there is on the ship is far removed from traditional seafaring art. All is very contemporary and the artwork appears to be photo-shopped pictures. There is NO art in stateroom passageways. Passage fore and aft on public decks 2 and 3 is restricted to one side of the ship, ensuring exposure to every selling station onboard. Traffic flow is poor, especially outside elevator locations where they have planted large modern sculptures (?), creating bottlenecks. The Promenade Deck is quite narrow and there are no deck chairs thereupon. The walking gets very bottlenecked at the stern end of the ship, so if one is walking behind slow walkers or encountering walkers who insist on walking upstream, it slows everyone down. Not important enough to write Congress about...just a mention. THE UGLY Whoever designed the toilets in the staterooms should be fired immediately. One cannot sit "on the throne" straightaway. You have to sit sideways because the glass shower enclosure is in the way, and you can't get your knees to squeeze in...unless you're 2 or 3 years old. Very awkward and uncomfortable. DINING This is a very subjective area and not all tastes are alike. So offering comments about the food and service aboard the Koningsdam is treading on very dangerous ground. That said, HAL has put together a fine group of chefs in what they call the Chef's Counsel, to help Chef Rudy design a dining program for the ship's various venues. They have created offerings that, in their test kitchen, appeal to all the senses. Great food requires great ingredients skillfully assembled by craftsmen who love their work. Unfortunately, the Chef's Counsel is not on board to supervise the final product. HALs logistics program is complex and mainly designed to minimize costs and maximize efficiencies. They do not take advantage of the terrific local products as they cruise from place to place. So freshness of ingredients is sacrificed in favor of program convenience. They claim there are reasons (or excuses) for this, but others seem to be able to take advantage of local fresh product availability. That's all I have to say about this topic. Everyone has to judge for themselves. Read Less
Koningsdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.2
Dining 4.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 4.0 3.1
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 3.6

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