3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We had a beautiful holiday with the Koningsdam. Our overall rating is average. The ship is good, but not perfect. And that is the reason why it is average rated by us. We had better cruises, like with NCL, Princess and Celebrity. We ... Read More
We had a beautiful holiday with the Koningsdam. Our overall rating is average. The ship is good, but not perfect. And that is the reason why it is average rated by us. We had better cruises, like with NCL, Princess and Celebrity. We expected already that the average age of the cruising people is more than 50 years. But I think that we were with 48/47 years one of the youngest on the ship. Not a real problem, but it was almost every day "excuse me, we will continue our walk, but can we pass you? You are blocking the way". Sometimes very irritating. But ok, if we want younger people, we have to cruise on NCL or Carnival etc. Our embarkation was really perfect. In 15 minutes we were already on board (with some help of a very nice man from HAL ;-) ). Our first impression of the ship was good, but it was not glamerous. It is not the "WOW"-effect. There is no attrium with a creature, lightning or other things that gives the WOW. It is standard. This is also in the corridor to the rooms. It is standard. No beatiful paintings or prints. The stairs to the different floors are nice with beautiful paintings or art. When we entered the room (6010), we were suprised. There is a lot of space in the room. Beautiful bathroom, very good bed, a lot of storage, nice balcony. But not really clean. We saw spots on the door, mirrors etc. And the worst thing, the climate-control. The first days it looked that the temperature of the room was not cool, but the display of the control was marked with "cool". We went to the reception and they promised to help this. But after one day nothing was changed. The temperature in the room was too high, worser in the night. Went again back to the reception, they promised again to help. But nothing, even no reaction from them. And surprise, surprise, last evening the temperature of the room was finally COLD! We think that there was a problem with the climate-controle in our place of the ship, but why didnt the reception mention this? By the way, we have send now a complaint to the HAL as we were not happy with this situation! The evening-program was very linked to the people of the USA. Rock and Roll, Blues, pop music. Suprising as the average of people was high! I didnt know that people of 80/90 years like rock and roll....we didnt hahahaha...it was much to loud! And the shows in the theather....really BAD!!! The dance-show, what was this? The BBC-film with live music is ok, but live??? No no, it is some musicians playing with the music-tape from the BBC. Also the other shows we visited were bad (we have very good experiences with the NCL and Celebrity). Food in restaurant was good. Our waiter was ok, the wine-sommelier was slow sometimes. The second glass of wine was mostly after our diner! Meat was very good, but the fish was sometimes fat (looked like it was cooked in oil?). And also here, it was not really clean. The chairs were dirty, the walls were dirty of red wine?? Variaty of food was ok, but we had better experiences with other cruises. Our package of drink was EXCELLENT! 15 drinks a day with a limit of 9 dollar each drink. But most drinks were less than 9 dollar (cocktails, coffees, refreshments etc). Only the choiche of wine was very low with the limit of 9 dollar. We dont like to eat in the buffet-restaurant. So we did this only 2 times in our cruise. Food was ok, but difficult to see which food you could choose. There are no good signs explaining what is for example on the sandwich. Buffet restaurant was mostly very busy. Swimmingpool is nice. And as it was mostly good weather the roof was open. Otherwise it was too hot to stay there. But to sun on the decks it was difficult. You had to pick up your own sun bed, mostly they were blocked with a belt. And places to sun on the decks are not really nice. This can be improved for sure! We did some excursions organized by HAL and some organized by other company. The HAL experience with excursions was good. And most surprising, you could immediately go outside (not waiting for half our in the theather). And also the start-time of excursions, very good. Not 8 o clock, but mostly after 9 (mmmm longer sleep). We had a very bad experience with the border of the Virgin Islands. On every visit we had ever done on a island, with all our cruised, we never had to show our ID. But yes, it is USA, TRUMP-country. We had to show our ID to enter the ship. Our ship-card was not enough. It looked like that we were criminals, unbelievable! Unpolite people of this border-people! Yes we forgot to bring our ID, but to be rude to us. With help of some HAL people we could go back to the ship, to take our ID's and to show this to this rude border-people I hope if these 2 guys ever visit Netherlands they never will accepted by our border!!!! And now the best of our trip. The DUTCH CAFE!!! Many thanks for Pim, Jehan and Andre. What a trio! Always a smile, from 7am till 9pm! And lovely Dutch food, snacks, beer etc. Normally we dont like to go to Dutch cafe's outside the Netherlands, we want to have the experience of the country that we visit. But this was so excellent! It was a pleasure to meet these 3 guys and to visit the cafe every day to eat perfect food and lovely beers! Thanks, thanks, thanks!!! The disembarkation went very good. And again, thanks for the 3 guys of the Dutch Cafe. We enjoyed in the morning the coffee, water and waited till we could disembark in the Dutch Cafe. And before this, it was even possible to have breakfast in the restaurant. WOW! It went so fast, it was so good organized! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
my sister-in-law and i 85 & 73 years old respectively) did an 11-night Caribbean cruise, both of us experienced cruises on 5 different lines, mostly HAL for her, Celebrity for me. The good: excellent crew, HAL does a terrific job in ... Read More
my sister-in-law and i 85 & 73 years old respectively) did an 11-night Caribbean cruise, both of us experienced cruises on 5 different lines, mostly HAL for her, Celebrity for me. The good: excellent crew, HAL does a terrific job in choosing and training employees from the captain to the people who clean & maintain. The ship is spotless. I was actually on the ship last May in Europe for 12 nights so could see some of the changes. Club Orange, I think they need to rethink that one. I counted people every time we went by, most I ever saw was 18 on the last night. My suggestion, at least put a sheer curtain so people walking by aren't staring at you and your meal. Lincoln Center Stage was wonderful, likewise BIllboard. Jason & Michael at the piano was just the best. Rolling Stone & BB King's was loud, very loud, and energetic. I'm a little bit of a foodie, I thought the food was pretty good. Beef dishes excellent. But maybe more vegetables would be nice. Now the not-so-good. The theatre in concept is great, but you should not have to get there an hour early to get a seat. They either need to go back to 3 shows a night or hand out tickets. We stood for one show we got to 20 minutes before curtain, could not get near the so-called production show even though we were there 40 minutes before curtain tine. The shows themselves, pretty poor comedian, didn't care for singers. "Big" production show was a laser light show, 6 dancers, canned music. come on, HAL, you can do better. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Entertainment was the worst ever nothing to do on this ship . They just added Rolling Stone room two 45 min sets most days the only good entertainment on the cruise . Everything shuts down at 10:30 pm you cant find a cup of coffee or a ... Read More
Entertainment was the worst ever nothing to do on this ship . They just added Rolling Stone room two 45 min sets most days the only good entertainment on the cruise . Everything shuts down at 10:30 pm you cant find a cup of coffee or a snack anywhere . The days we stoped at a port of call the casino was closed and there was no entertainment on the ship not even the rock & roll room had a show everyone was walking around with nothing to do . The pools are very small one holds 40 people the othe holds 17 not great for a caribean cruise . The food in the dining room was good & also in the speciality dining rooms the service was good . They seem to focus on a older crowd that dosnt care about doing anything on the ship Im 60 years old . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for the Southern Caribbean ports, which are warm in January, newer ship, and ease of getting to fort lauderdale. The positives...very very well run ship, very good service in all areas, some of the best food in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Southern Caribbean ports, which are warm in January, newer ship, and ease of getting to fort lauderdale. The positives...very very well run ship, very good service in all areas, some of the best food in the buffet and the MDR of any cruise that we ve taken, the ship is kept very clean and well maintained in all regards. Embarkation and Disembarkation were smooth and relatively quick. There was music going on all night every night. A rock group, the BB King Blues and jazz, dueling piano's and few others. The movies on the big screen by the pool and the in room movies were great opttions also. The only negatives for us, and its hard to find many. The inside rooms are workable but a tad small for us as we had packed 4 bags as we were traveling for a month. Go for a larger room. The entertainment had its ups and downs. One stage show cancelled, the rock band was down one night due to software crash and one comedian did a late night show at 7 am, which bombed. The fun factor was somewhat lacking for us...especially on sea days. Both pools are fairly quiet areas to lounge around, we d prefer to see the rear pool be more lively with some great music, maybe some games, contests, or anything lively at all. How about an evening deck party when in a warm climate like the caribbean? There is a rather overly generous smoking area near the rear pool, which made it unpleasant to lay back there with the smoke drift. The ship seems to be making a transition towards the next generation of cruisers, and there is some progress, but it still a work in progress in my book. I d give the cruise 5 stars, but that's where things still need some fresh ideas and some work imho. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
First the high points. The ship is beautiful. The exercise facility is the best I’ve seen on any ship. The Lido is large with high quality food and extensive selection. The Dutch cafe is a nice touch as are the deli and pizza place. ... Read More
First the high points. The ship is beautiful. The exercise facility is the best I’ve seen on any ship. The Lido is large with high quality food and extensive selection. The Dutch cafe is a nice touch as are the deli and pizza place. There is a lot of outdoor seating of. The two level pool lido deck is a nice touch. The bad points are that the cabins seemed cramped compared to other Holland America ships. The changing room at the exercise facility was totally inadequate if you want to shower and shave there. The enrichment seemed to be sponsored by Microsoft and was poorer than on other Holland America ships. But worst of all the entertainment venues were totally inadequate and overcrowded. If you go to the main venue you have to get there at least 45 minutes early to even look for a seat. All the others were over crowded also. All in it is a disappointment for their new flagship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our 44th cruise. We had previously sailed on the Maasdam 18 years ago. The Koningsdam's emphasis on music is what caused us to choose this sailing. We felt that Hal's new emphasis on entertainment that appeals to a ... Read More
This was our 44th cruise. We had previously sailed on the Maasdam 18 years ago. The Koningsdam's emphasis on music is what caused us to choose this sailing. We felt that Hal's new emphasis on entertainment that appeals to a younger crowd, plus a newer ship, would make this cruise a good choice for us. We are eclectic cruisers. Last year we sailed on Seabourn for 12-days in the Caribbean and 7-days on an NCL Bermuda cruise from Boston with friends. We were not impressed with Seabourn's food and service. Our expectations for the NCL were very low. We were shocked to find the dining service and food quality on NCL was up-to-par, if not better, than Seabourn. Embarkation and Disembarkation were flawless. We arrived at the pier around 10:40am and were onboard at 11:30am. We were pleasantly surprised to be informed upon entering the Koningsdam that all staterooms were ready. Our stateroom was 8197, an aft facing verandah with a very large deck. It was a shame to have one tiny table, two upright chairs and just one foot rest. Our room stewardess, who was amazing, found us an extra table to allow us some more room to put our feet up. We knew the Lido would be jammed at lunch, so we opted to have lunch in the Main Dining Room (MDR). Lunch was lovely. The service was prompt and the food was delicious. One huge negative for me was that we were seated in a corner and all I had to look at was a solid white panel. Those panels should be replaced with art as they block the window views. The MDR décor was rather plain. The yellow wall color did not add to the room and the white panels were boring. After lunch, we spent the rest of the day exploring the ship. We thought the ship décor overall was very relaxing. We had pre-paid our three specialty dinner reservations which was helpful as the HAL assigned times did not work for us. We stopped at the dining reservation center on Deck 2, across from the Pinnacle Grill to change our reservations. At the end of the cruise, our pre-paid dining was credited to our account. If you are concerned about specialty dining at certain dates and times, I recommend pre booking online. At the same desk, we were able to reserve the next two nights at 7:45pm in the MDR. We would have preferred 7:00pm or 7:30pm, but 7:45 is the earliest time we were able to reserve with Anytime Dining. The first night in the MDR was great. We arrived and were immediately seated. The service and food were perfect. We were happy campers! However, the first Gala Night was a disaster. We arrived at 7:45pm and were shocked to see the "reservation" line was almost around the corner. However, the line for walk in was light. I went up and asked how long the wait was without reservations and was told 15 minutes. We stood in the reservation line for over 20 minutes. When we finally got to the front of the line, I mentioned to the officer who was just standing there, why we had the wait and walk ins were seated before us and he just shrugged his shoulders. No apology. No explanation. We were seated in the middle of the room in a very poor location. The din from the fully packed MDR made it almost impossible to hear each other. Tables who had arrived five and ten minutes after us had their orders taken first. Our waiter threw the menus on our plates and did not greet us. Obviously, he was frantic to get orders in and food served. I've had warmer service in a cafeteria. My soup arrived cold. My tenderloin was that side piece that chefs typically do not serve as tenderloin as it has a large fatty center. Neither the waiter or his assistant inquired about our meal. The head waiter, stopped by at the end of the meal and was quite gracious. He informed us that they had been having large issues with the MDR on the first Gala night. He offered to make reservations for the next few nights at 7:00pm. We found the 7:00pm time to be perfect as it appeared that most reservations were for 7:45pm and we never had to wait again. We opted to dine in the Pinnacle on the second gala night and it was a great option. We had breakfast most mornings in the MDR. The service was prompt and friendly and the food was always served hot. We had breakfast twice in the Lido and while the omlets were fantastic, the hectic atmosphere was just not for us. Our sea days were spent either in the main or aft pool. We preferred the aft pool location. However, the smokers take up ¼ of the space. The smoking area was never as crowded as the non-smoking side. We decided that we would be looking for non-smoking ships in the future. The towel game is played in the main pool. After 7:45am, most chairs were taken. The Aft pool still had chairs available until around 8:30am. Of course, they were by the smoking section. I truly feel that a better option should be available to prevent chair hogs. We like to read early in the day and witnessed chairs that sat empty until mid-day. We danced most nights in BBKings or in Rock & Roll. We enjoyed the Billboard as well. We only went to one show and enjoyed the entertainment provided by the comic pianist. We saw the cruise director, Tom, for the first time at that show and did not see him again until we passed him on disembarkation day. We visited the Crows Nest a few times. This venue is totally underused. It would have been so nice to have had a small combo playing in the evenings when we were too tired to dance and just wanted some background music. We looked forward to the Lincoln Center performances, but they were at very odd times and we missed them. We had four sea days and very few daytime activities were scheduled. This was the first time we have sailed in an aft facing verandah. We loved the shower and the large verandah. Our room was just under the Lido deck aft pool and we did hear some chair scraping each morning about 7:00am. We are early risers so the noise did not bother us. We were more effected by the noise of the propellers as they were loud when we were cruising at higher speeds. We decided to go back to mid-ship staterooms in the future. What do we know now that we wished we had known before our cruise? We would have scheduled main dining at 7:45pm. Folks in assigned dining seemed to be much happier with their dining experience. The upper dining room appeared to be quieter and more organized. We took way too many clothes. My husband did not need his dark suit. A navy blue blazer and nice shirt would have been fine. On the final night, several men were in shorts in the MDR. Will we cruise HAL again? The jury is still out for us. While we enjoyed our cruise; we were not wowed. The Koningsdam lacked sizzle. Boarding the ship was underwhelming. There were no smiling officers welcoming us or waiters bearing champagne. We were herded into elevators and told our rooms were ready. We couldn’t help compare HAL to Princess. We tend to choose cruises based on the itinerary. In the future, If we have a choice between a HAL and Princess cruise; we would choose Princess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
DH and I were on the January 13th 10 day southern Caribbean cruise on the Koningsdam. We have cruised several other times with HAL, but not on the bigger ships, and we were not sure whether we would like it. We did! We were supposed to be ... Read More
DH and I were on the January 13th 10 day southern Caribbean cruise on the Koningsdam. We have cruised several other times with HAL, but not on the bigger ships, and we were not sure whether we would like it. We did! We were supposed to be cruising with my DB and DSIL, but they had to cancel due to family and job issues. This was a real problem, because they had a suite and we had an inside cabin. We planned on spending many evenings on their balcony! We were a little bummed, but an inside cabin is sure better than being home or at work. EMBARKATION We arrived at the cruise terminal right around 11 AM and were in group 6 to board. We were on the ship close to 11:45 and I have to say this was probably the smoothest embarkation we have ever had. We were directed to the Lido, but we took a chance that the main dining room was open and it was. After a lovely lunch, we discovered that our luggage had arrived so we unpacked and set out to explore the ship. DECOR The art is very different from what I’ve come to expect from Holland America – I really liked some of it (the cello ship on deck 12) but some of it I just did not get. I did see two of what I think were two of Captain Card’s paintings in the meeting rooms adjacent to the Crow’s Nest, which made me feel more at home. The decor overall is really lovely and understated compared to the ships we have sailed previously. The last time we sailed HAL was on the Veendam, and it was the old garish color combinations. POOLS One thing we really missed was any kind of music at the aft pool. We understand the limitations on live bands, but some kind of music would’ve made an incredible improvement to the environment. Drink service was very good in the area, and seating capacity was OK. Several afternoons there were no clean towels at the aft pool and occasionally under cover seating was slim pickings because one side was designated for smoking. Although it was not full, asthma made that side not an option for us. We did not spend any time at the Lido pool. It seemed crowded, and being mostly enclosed it was pretty warm. We had an informal meet and greet at the aft pool with our roll call, and it was very nice to put names and faces together with folks whose posts I have enjoyed in the past. A lot of great information was passed back-and-forth on our roll call, which was greatly appreciated. STATEROOM We were getting ready for gala dinner on Monday when we received a call from guest services. It seemed they have been trying to reach us since embarkation and wanted to upgrade us to a balcony room down the hall. At no charge!! I thought it was a joke, or that DH was not asking the right questions to verify the up charge! Gina from guest services came by to show us the cabin and make sure the cabin was satisfactory. What, I’m going to say “no, I’d rather be inside”??? Our wonderful cabin stewards Andry and Freddy came along to help us move and voilà! We were in a veranda cabin! Pour the champagne! That was a most wonderful moment! Note: The inside cabin was fine, but let’s be real! DINING We purchased the ultimate dining package, and would not do it again. We have loved the Pinnacle in the past and have heard such good things about Tamarind that we felt like it was a great deal. We went to the Pinnacle the first night, and I have to say we were disappointed. The food was good, but our server really gave us the impression that we were a bother. He took our order and was never seen or heard from again. In a complete contrast, Rozelle, our wine steward, was fast and friendly. I had thought to try a fellow cruise critic poster's suggestion about ordering all of our wine at once to avoid a wait, but we never had a delay. I will definitely keep it in mind for the future though. The Tamerind was excellent, service and food alike. We actually dined there twice because guest services gifted us with dinner there due to the terrible inconvenience of moving. We did not say no. We also participated in DiLibrije, and I was again disappointed in the service. We received our sparkling wine and the wine for the first course before we ever received the amuse bouche. The food was stellar, but we had the same server we had previously and he was inattentive in the extreme. Canaletto was fine, the food was good and the service was good as well, but nothing was awe inspiring. I was surprised that it did feel like a separate area; I was concerned that we would feel like we were still in the Lido. Dive In was good, and was much quicker than I expected based on previous comments. The Lido is the Lido – lots of choices, with a better layout than previously. The salad station was much appreciated as you could ask for and receive anything in your salad that was available, and DH loved the eggs Florentine for breakfast. The dutch café was terrific. We had lattes from there every morning, and the bitterballen was superb. Our best experience by far was in the main dining room. We were upstairs at a two top, and our waiters (Abu and Silmi) were attentive and friendly. Being on the third floor makes a big difference in the acoustics, and we never felt that it was too loud. The food was very good, and because we had the EBP, we didn’t feel that we had to coordinate our menu choices the way we do when we bring our own wine. I did feel that the selection of red wines by the glass was not great, but that also be my personal taste. Lester, our wine steward was fast, made good recommendations, and was really funny. We really felt like we had our own personal entertainment in the main dining room. One of the things that was fun was when we asked about the celebration song performed by the waiters for birthdays, they arranged to have a celebrated with our neighboring two top just because! DH was the one who had been interested, so I filmed it and took the video and cake to the poker table (have party, will travel). ENTERTAINMENT We very much enjoyed the Rolling Stone Rock Room, and the BB Kings Blues Club. The pianists were excellent also, as were the Lincoln Stage performers. All drew huge crowds, but we never really had a problem finding a seat although they may have been tucked in the back corner. We also enjoyed the casino. DH came out ahead, as did I (but barely). Sidebar: How can there only be 1 to 2 bottles of Makers Mark on the entire ship? I can’t see leaving the Crow’s Nest at 7 PM to go down to the aft pool to get myself a Makers Mark Manhattan. PORTS Half Moon Cay is a beautiful island, and we were fortunate in that the weather was flawless. Tendering was a breeze and the water was like glass. We did not have lunch on the island, too many options available on the ship and with no crowds! We didn’t do much on Grand Turk – we mostly wandered up and down the streets. They have some nice beaches, but we did not visit them. Bonaire has a very nice and close by downtown area. They had a farmers market going on, and many locals were getting lunch from the guy cooking barbecue. There was lots of really nice jewelry (not expensive), and miscellaneous handmade things to be had. Curaçao was our absolute favorite island. The buildings with the historic Dutch style, and the cafés along the waterway and the swinging pontoon bridge all made for a lovely day. We spent the afternoon wondering the streets, and ended with cocktails and beer at one of the waterside cafés. The weather was lovely, there was a live band performing nearby, and we were able to watch the pontoon bridge open and close several times. We left right at sunset, which was beautiful over the Koningsdam. The waterfront buildings and the bridge are lit up with multicolored lights which makes it so festive. I did not get off the ship in Aruba, but DH did. He took the path from port to town, and said it was enjoyable. I found it enjoyable that he found several little gifts to bring back to me! In summary, it was a wonderful cruise – one we would do again. Holland America has the service model down, and I sure hope they don’t fix what isn’t broken. The ship is lovely, the entertainment is great, but best of all we were on vacation! It’s hard to find fault with that. PS: I forgot to include that Elvis was on the ship! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Chose this itinerary because prior cruises skipped Turks, and we had never visited Bonaire and Curacao. We dined at Tamarind, ok, Pinnacle , not as good as Oceania's steak house, and Ship's 1 night where they try to do a Michelin ... Read More
Chose this itinerary because prior cruises skipped Turks, and we had never visited Bonaire and Curacao. We dined at Tamarind, ok, Pinnacle , not as good as Oceania's steak house, and Ship's 1 night where they try to do a Michelin 3 Star at Pinnacle for a big sur charge. Nice experience , but 30 plus minute wait for 4 couples with 8 PM reservations for days and no tables set up....not a 3 Star experience. We most breakfasts and dinners at Club Orange....excellent preparation and service and friendly! Similar menu as Dining Room , but cooked to order in sight and served Hot. Plus special every meal, Veal Cutlet, was actually a 20 once Veal Chop Tomahawk with mushroom risotto, cooked to order - had that twice! Only time in Dining Room was Mariner's Lunch, weak!! Music in BB King's was excellent as was Rolling Stone Room! BBC' Planet Earth movie with surround screens and live orchestra was excellent. One comedian was very good, skipped dancers and juggler. Buffet was very good with lots of made to order salads and pasta. Open long hours for some of the choices. Have sailed 40 plus cruises on a dozen lines and now 104 countries and all 7 continents. 100 plus nights on Holland, but first in some years. All staff was friendly and efficient, but all Carnival owned ships need to pay their employees a living wage from the fares charged and not assess a daily charge to each passenger! We always have them remove those charges and tip directly , generously and frequently as service is rendered! Have always believed staff doesn't see much of what is actually collected! To get charge removed, much do it first day in writing!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Previous Holland cruises were fantastic with excellent food and service. We explored other lines and wanted to return to the excellence that was Holland. Unfortunately this cruise was hit and miss.... food in the dining room was not ... Read More
Previous Holland cruises were fantastic with excellent food and service. We explored other lines and wanted to return to the excellence that was Holland. Unfortunately this cruise was hit and miss.... food in the dining room was not Holland quality forcing us to have to pay up for specialty restaurants to get good food. Some of the staff were the excellence of old Holland days but there were many who were not. In my opinion Holland is just not the same. The experience started badly when embarkation took 2 hours standing in the sun outside with not even a hello or were sorry for the wait. We missed lunch because of this. Once on board we found the ship's decor to be less elegant but still clean. The best staff were in the rolling stone's rock room and the band was very good. The best food on the ship was in Sel De Mar! We ate there 3 times. Also the ports were great and were the best part of this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Overall a great cruise and far more enjoyable than prior Princess cruises. It was also our first trip longer than a week. Embarkation was very slow - 90 minutes from arrival to Boarding. Cabin is reviewed separately but in general ... Read More
Overall a great cruise and far more enjoyable than prior Princess cruises. It was also our first trip longer than a week. Embarkation was very slow - 90 minutes from arrival to Boarding. Cabin is reviewed separately but in general bathroom and balcony were good but the basic cabin was disappointing. Essentially Balcony Excellent, Bathroom Very Good, Cabin Poor. Dining was generally excellent. Main Dining Room food was quite good but the service was very variable depending on who the server was. The Buffet for Breakfast was excellent with many things cooked to order. Almost everything had to be served by staff which slowed things but is a worthwhile tradeoff for hygiene. Buffet hours were far more limited than other ships we have been on. Casual spots (Grand Dutch Cafe, Dive In, and NY Deli/Pizza) were all good. Grand Dutch Cafe was excellent and the earliest option for specialty coffee in the AM. Dive In Burgers and Hots Dogs were very good though I thought the Fries were awful. Pizza was very good. Pinnacle Grill was excellent with consistently good food and a solid service team. Sel de Mer was very good as well. Food was excellent but service was less polished. Nami Sushi was good but not great. While far better than the buffet sushi, it fell short of restaurant quality - more like "to go" sushi from a Grocery. Some of the preperations were ambitious but fell short. De Librje was absolutely outstanding - really world class. I am a restauranteur professionally and this wildly surpassed any expectation I had. Wine choices were great and fairly priced for higher end bottles. The BB King band was outstanding. The Bass Player, Les King, is someone I had seen perform before as part of the band supporting a world class jazz keyboard on tour a few years ago. Amamzing they could get someone of his pedigree on ship! The band was tight and really engaging. Lincoln Center Stage was nice to have but we only saw a few performances based om schedule. The Rolling Stone band was disappointing. I was really looking forward to it but the band was nowhere near as cohesive as the BB King band. The lead singer was annoying and not very talented. The lead guitarist was excellent. unfortunately much of the play list included songs beyond the vocal range of either singer. Still, they drew a crowd. The Casino was disappointing. Smoking is allowed and the ventilation is woefully inadequate. I would have spent far more time there if I weren't "smoked out". For us, the stops in the Caribbean were secondary. We always enjoy St. Martin and St. Thomas. Road Town (Tortola) was forgettable - if we were on a cruise that stopped there we might not get off the ship. St. John was fun for both sightseeing and shopping with local shops mixed among the traditional cruise stop chains at the port. Service was great throughout and the vibe was less frenetic than other ships we have been on. There was also far less high pressure selling of add-ons than on other ships. Very nice. Overall we were pleased and would certainly be likely to cruise with Holland America again. 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 4.1
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 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.6

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