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7 Night Alaska Cruise from Vancouver

7 Night Alaska Cruise from Vancouver

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Koningsdam
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Vancouver
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Tracy Arm
  • Day 3
    Juneau
  • Day 4
    Skagway
  • Day 5
    Glacier Bay
  • Day 6
    Ketchikan
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Vancouver

Koningsdam

Koningsdam - Holland America Line

Pros

Outstanding service, exceptional cuisine, great entertainment options

Cons

Music Walk does not have a clear identity and needs individual rooms

Bottom Line

Most luxurious HAL ship will appeal to many types of cruisers


Cruise Reviews

Boarded and entered our cabin to discover the bathroom smelled like a sewer. Immediately notified cabin attendant and he said it would get re-cleaned while we went to lunch. Slightly better but by next morning, we were back in the sewer. ... Read More
Boarded and entered our cabin to discover the bathroom smelled like a sewer. Immediately notified cabin attendant and he said it would get re-cleaned while we went to lunch. Slightly better but by next morning, we were back in the sewer. Informed attendant and guest services who promised someone would check the plumbing. Slightly better but on day 3 went and requested a guest service rep come to the cabin. They did and apologized that nothing had changed. I showed them pics of the mold on the shower walls. That afternoon the bathroom was sanitized, grout scrubbed, shower drain re-sealed. Vast improvement but it took 3 days before any serious effort to correct the problem. Sadly, this set the tone and lowered our expectations. Pluses were the food and the only worthwhile entertainment was Lincoln Center and B.B. King Blues. Main stage is vaudeville at it's worst. The internet was a disaster. The Captain, during the lunch for members of the HAL Mariners Club implored us: "Ask me anything about the ship but don't ask about the WIFI" As always, HAL food was excellent in the Main Dining, Lido and the Tamarind and Rudi's Sel de Mer. Decent cruise, nothing special. K-dam beginning to show her heavy usage. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are fairly experienced travelers with over two dozen cruises on different lines, many of which on Holland America. This was, in fact, our second time on the Koningsdam. We attributed our prior poor experience to it being a "shake ... Read More
We are fairly experienced travelers with over two dozen cruises on different lines, many of which on Holland America. This was, in fact, our second time on the Koningsdam. We attributed our prior poor experience to it being a "shake down" period since the ship was new to the Caribbean route. We decided to give it another try and chose this particular cruise because of the attractive itinerary. Unfortunately, things have not improved in respect to why I rate this cruise as only average. In fact, they have only gotten worse - lack of activities. To me, a cruise should offer more than a means of transportation from point A, to point B, and Holland America once offered a wonderful onboard experience. No more. It is perhaps unfair to tar the entire cruise with the same negative brush, however, Holland has desperately fallen behind its competitors in regard to daytime, and too often, nighttime entertainment. This was a port intensive cruise, with 6 stops in the 10 day trip. On those port days, there was virtually nothing offered for daytime shipboard activities other than "for fee" activities (make a photo mug, spa services, etc ), or go to the Microsoft workshop and listen to technically advanced cruisers banter and compete with the instructor, leaving the average attendee in the dust. This workshop certainly missed the mark for the age demographic of this cruise, and was very poorly attended. There were no crafts, dance classes, audience participation daytime shows, scavenger hunts, etc. I think that the Cruise Director had a staff of one! On the last few days of the cruise there was a flurry of overlapping offerings in what appeared to be an attempt to make up for the lack of them earlier in the week. There were of course, make your own Bridge or Mahjong games, a pickleball court, a good gym (floor exercise area in Spa). All are basically, "do it yourself". The pathetic library (located in deck 10 Crow's Nest), has about 4 books and jig saw puzzles with missing pieces. The vast majority of Trivia games were grouped either right before, or right after early dining, eliminating participation for many. Movies shown on the big screen at the pool are the same ones available in your cabins. The availability of these numerous, free, in-cabin movies, are, however, one of the saving graces of this ship. The evening main theater shows (World Stage, dks 2 &3) are lacking, as well. One evening, there was, shockingly, no nighttime show at all in the main theater. On another, a BBC movie was shown. The first night's entertainment was a blatant promo film for Holland America (interesting, but more appropriate for a daytime enrichment presentation, which it was, later in the week). The contract entertainers, who did appear, were good (comedian, magician, contemporary pianist), and the talented Koningsdam dance troupe performed 3 shows, with amazing back-lighting effects. Three, however, is too many of the same sort of thing. There are two show-times offered, 7:30 and 9:30. The early shows are quite literally "standing room" only. Get there 30 minutes early if you desire a seat. The theater is far too small for this size ship, and too many seats have occluded views. Often, during a few shows, some in the audience inexplicably, left early. The Music Walk venues (Billboard Onboard and Rolling Stone Rock Room, dk. 2) are undersized as far as seating goes (again, standing room only), and so close together (no partitions) that the various bands just become a cacophony of noise when they are at full volume. The Lincoln Center, Stage, dk. 2, which shares space with the BB King Blues Club, offers some lovely classical performances. The Cruise Director, Karlijn Verpalen, was an amazing speaker and was showcased in every enrichment program. She WAS the enrichment program! The tech capabilities in the theater provided interesting backgrounds for her various topics. I cannot commend enough the entirety of the Koningsdam crew. Everyone always had a smile, even while doing the most menial tasks. The food, was, for the most part pretty good. The Lido buffet (dk. 9) offered a wide variety of well prepared dishes. While most of the food must be served by the crew, some of the same items are inexplicably, self-serve. What I found most disconcerting was the absence of hand sanitizers in all dining venues. They have been replaced (Lido only) with stations where you physically wash your hands by sticking them into holes that contain scrubbers. These were universally ignored! This, to me, is penny wise and pound foolish on Holland's part. I did, however, see hand-sanitizes at the entrances to the casino, so their reasoning behind abandoning them seems spurious, at best. Main dining room food was good, but not outstanding. The menu leaned heavily on Caribbean flavors. We did not experience the protracted service times that some have mentioned. The Dutch Cafe (dk 3), The Dive-in (pool area, dk.9) and the New York deli and Pizza (pool area, dk.10), were all great dining alternatives. Room service was very efficient (usually came early), but we only used it for breakfast. The Mariner's Society luncheon menu was a joke. Most at my table left before finishing their meal ,commenting on the poor, almost inedible, offerings. Holland should value their loyal customers more and provide a truly special meal. The "Chocolate Surprise" offered late evening on the last Gala evening was an embarrassing affair. I remember when Holland once had a huge spread in the dining room of lavish chocolate creations. Now, you get a marshmallow on a stick washed down by chocolate milk "shooters"! Waiters stand in the hall of the Music Walk and hand out Costco-sized treats. What is Holland Am. thinking? We had a balcony cabin. It was adequately sized, with ample storage and a small loveseat. There are drawers in both the closet and the vanity. Additional storage drawers are located under the beds. One of my favorite tricks for hanging clothing is to bring a few fold-able, multi-clip skirt hangers, for both skirts and shorts. They save so much space and you don't need to ask for extra hangers. The showers on this ship are the best around, (large, with good water pressure), but the toilet is at a bit of an odd angle. The balcony is adequately sized, with two reclining chairs, a footstool and petite round table. We find the motion activated floor night lighting to be jarringly bright, and block it with a towel, preferring to use a battery operated votive candle for the bath at night. Bring an extra credit card to leave in the slot by the door to activate your room electricity. Room stewards have to get permission to empty the fridge of its liquor, so we didn't bother. It annoyed me, however, to have such a large portion of the fridge occupied by their beverages. The first day ship "muster" drill takes place in two parts. The first, at 4:15 , is a short televised film, viewed in the cabin, and then, at 4:30, you proceed to your designated "muster" station (blessedly, indoors) for a very quick life jacket tutorial. Both embarkation (10 mins) and disembarkation (20 mins) were efficient. It was really convenient to have the parking garage directly across from the ship's berth. The ship is beautiful, however, this was not the quality cruise I expect from Holland America. There is now just too much apparent cost cutting in activities. I'm not sure to what demographic they are now trying to appeal, but to me, they are largely missing the mark. I will look elsewhere for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this trip because the ABC islands are really nice to visit. We have been there four times. I also wanted a cruise for a friend who was new to cruising. In sum: -food especially the sushi at lunch was good. But the station ... Read More
I chose this trip because the ABC islands are really nice to visit. We have been there four times. I also wanted a cruise for a friend who was new to cruising. In sum: -food especially the sushi at lunch was good. But the station closed at 1400 and our tours ended just a few minutes past this time. Other lunch stations on the Lido stayed open until 1430. -breakfast food was good but it was cold. The server warmed them up for me. -The first gala night tenderloin had no flavor. I complained - we had a visit from the Matre'd or and assistant every night - and the steak on the second gala night was much better. The chimichuri was really good with extra sauce. The salmon was the best ever. It was properly grilled on the outside and barely cooked through on the inside. The spinach and rice made this my go to meal for most nights. -it helps to be specific with the waiters. If you don't want your food slathered in gloppy sauce, just say so, and they will accommodate you. -deserts were good and they thought it was funny when I wanted them for breakfast. -one shore excursion got cancelled and we got our money back. Most of the shore excursions were booked privately as they were better and cheaper than the ship tours. -The string and piano quintet was really good. The BBC nature show was excellent. I was hoping to see it again. We could not get into one of the dance recitals as the theatre was full. The money/blockchain presentation was ok but the cruise director did not explain blockchain correctly. There was no opportunity for me to correct her mistake. The final dance recital was ok but it was not a form that I like. The dancers were competent and the musical instrument theme was clever but it was not for me. -there were no port talks nor dance classes. -The towel animals were not as good as Carnival. They were thrown out every day. On Carnival, they stayed until the last cruise day. The balcony was a great place to dry clothes from the snorkelling. -I discovered bitter lemon. I had a non-alcoholic beverage card and mixing soda water with bitter lemon is my new go to drink. -The balcony suite was fine. I had a place to dry my gear. The internet was terrible. The big dealbreaker for a future cruise with HAL was the bad bad internet. We were on this same cruise in 2017 and the internet was nowhere near as bad. bought the highest internet plan and I found out to my disappointment, that my plan has the same speed as the low end plans. The plans are differentiated by the total daily volume - 500 MB down to 250 MB for the low end plan - and bandwidth throttling does not kick in until you hit that ceiling. As a result, email would not work on sea days because of these IT design mistake. I am an IT guy and I am horrified at the stupidity. I explained the internet issue to the IT person onboard. She did not understand what I was saying and did nothing to deal with the issue. We were on Carnival in December. I bought the top plan and the internet was fabulous. HAL is owned by CCL. Surely there should only be one IT group for all the CCL member companies. The idiots working for HAL need to be fired. Let me explain the stupidity by an analogy. The plan is like everyone onboard having a suite. But if you don't pay the suite rate, you only get to stay in the room for 12 hours a day. These clowns are lucky they do not work for me. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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