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12 Norwegian Fjords Fitness Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary and as a way to see a large part of remote Norway in a somewhat short amount of time wherein both my husband and I could sit back, relax, do what we wished to each day and not have to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary and as a way to see a large part of remote Norway in a somewhat short amount of time wherein both my husband and I could sit back, relax, do what we wished to each day and not have to worry about the planning, logistics or stress of getting from place to place, figuring out meals or finding places to stay along the way. We chose Hurtigruten because neither of us are a fan of very "touristy" types of planned activities and destinations (including all-inclusive vacations and huge cruise ships), and with the smaller boats and the fact that they go to many of the smaller ports and towns that one would never see on their own without a boat and lots of time, and the whole operation seems to have a lighter touch on the communities they visit versus the huge negative impact that larger cruise ships seem to have on cities and cultural sites. Despite the cost, we were honestly not expecting much since we had read that Hurtigruten also serves as a commercial transport ship, car transport and ferry in addition to the destination touring function they provide. And they do provide these services, but they are integrated so nicely into the seamless operation of the voyage that they only added to the experience for us, rather than detracting in any way. But from the moment we stepped on board, to the time we departed, we were absolutely delighted with the whole experience. The whole ship was immaculate! Our room was larger and more comfortable and nicer than we thought from the photos we saw on Hurtigruten's website. We were also conveniently located to the two very nice and clean and cozy outdoor hot tubs and the 7th floor deck, sun porch, cafe and bar. The staff were kind, helpful and informative; the excursions were well-planned and every one that we participated in went smoothly and without a single hiccup. The guides on both the excursions and the boat were knowledgeable about many things and made each evening fun with planned lectures and activities for all the guests. And the food! It was all spectacular! Everything was fresh, deliciously prepared, plentiful, thoughtful, relevant to the regions and their food heritage, and beautifully spread. Of our nearly 3-weeks in the country, we only had a couple of other meals that topped the food we ate while on-board the ship, and this is saying a lot as we orient every vacation we take around trying to find the best cuisine that any place we visit has to offer. Other than the cost of some of the excursions (they were all so expensive we were not able to participate in as many as we would have liked), and many of the other guests that were extremely pushy and rude - especially during mealtimes and queuing up to leave the boat whenever we docked - there really are no bad things to say about the voyage, the staff, the length of the trip (we wished we could have stayed longer), the route, or anything else and hope to be able to return again someday with others from our family to take part in a longer voyage or wintertime voyage when the country has other experiences to offer! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our third Crystal cruise did not disappoint. We went from Iceland to the fjord of Norway to Copenhagen, and I would highly recommend this route as it was spectacular in every way, and the Crystal Serenity was simply the best. Impeccable ... Read More
Our third Crystal cruise did not disappoint. We went from Iceland to the fjord of Norway to Copenhagen, and I would highly recommend this route as it was spectacular in every way, and the Crystal Serenity was simply the best. Impeccable service, cuisine, facilities, entertainment- there cannot be a better cruise line than this. I am a customer service expert, so I have high standards and Crystal surpassed every expectation. Every single item of cuisine at every single meal or snack was exceptional. They even had a wonderful variety of sugar-free and gluten-free treats which were most welcome for those of us with dietary restrictions. The staff handled all that with ease and a smile. Every single staff member from the gangplank to the crew to the waiters to the stewardesses were delightful and the best you will ever experience. Really marvelous service. The entertainment was way beyond what I was expecting, and there were informative lectures and movies, and so much more. They even had the astronaut who rescued the Hubble Space Telescope giving talks. Very impressive. They imported a number of special guests performers, and the in-house artists were all world class too. The excursions, while expensive, and extra, were ll top notch and absolutely beautiful. The fjords are astonishing and spectacular. The ship has been nicely refurbished and is spacious, bursting with every possible amenity, planet of space. There is so much to do, or not do, that every taste will be satisfied. The spa and fitness center were excellent and spacious. The cabin was ample and the double sink in its bathroom was a nice touch. the bathroom was sizable, and I could even stand up n the show and in 99% of the ship even though I am 6'-8"/203cm tall. We loved having a verandah and could have sat out there all day and never left and been very happy (thanks to the free and wonderful room service). Of course, there was some internet spottiness above the Arctic Circle and in the fjords, but it's still miraculous to even have internet on the high seas. It turned out to be a minor inconvenience, but was better than our last Crystal cruise on the Symphony, but that was before their remodel and internet upgrade. I would HIGHLY recommend Crystal Cruises for any route, and I would very much recommend Iceland and the Norwegian Fjords as destination- really exceptional and awesomely beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The whole experience of this expedition voyage was absolutely wonderful. We chose the cruise mainly because we wanted to see the Northern Lights and we decided to go on the Astronomy tour, when there would be an astronomer on board. We ... Read More
The whole experience of this expedition voyage was absolutely wonderful. We chose the cruise mainly because we wanted to see the Northern Lights and we decided to go on the Astronomy tour, when there would be an astronomer on board. We have never travelled on a ship for so long, and for us this was a great voyage of adventure and not a run of the mill "cruise". It certainly surpassed our expectations. Hurtigruten organise everything superbly and the expedition team on board are very knowledgeable, helpful and add to the overall experience during the voyage. There is a schedule each day that also has important information on it and points of interest are highlighted on the way, often with a gathering about the sight. The astronomy talks were brilliant and added to the overall experience and we were so lucky to see so mainly northern light displays during our voyage, and with the astronomer , John, who shared his knowledge about this wonderful natural phenomena. The food on board was excellent. Lots of it and lots of choice too. Evening meal except 2 nights was 3 course a la carte, which was very nice. Tea and coffee is also available at certain places on the ship throughout the day and after evening meal for those on a package. All staff are really helpful and polite and will do anything to help. Drinks are expensive as is the case in Scandinavia. We opted for a house wine drinks package. All in all a glass of wine is around £10, so we thought the wine package would be more economical. There were about 6 different choices of wine on this package, either red or white and most were nice quality. There are also beer packages as well. We went on 2 trips which we highly recommend. North Cape on day 6 and snowmobiling on day 7. Very well organised. The only point to make is that we booked our excursions prior to the holiday, as we were told it would get booked up. We were told that one trip was fully booked so we opted for another instead. However, on board all the trips had places advertised by the expedition team and you could book with them very easily on board and the trip we originally wanted had lots of space. if we did it again we would probably wait to book excursions until on board. A great variety of hikes were on offer as well. Even though we did not venture on these we heard from others how great they were. There is plenty of opportunity, depending on the weather, to get off the ship. More so on the Northern voyage. There are plenty of great areas on the ship to view the wonderful scenery from inside and deck 9 has a large outside deck area that was the main place to view the northern lights. The cabins are clean and have plenty of storage space. We were on deck 6 which has the viewing areas and the muster station. We would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our very first Cruise I have to say from start to finish it was excellent, We arrived at the port where our bags were taken from us and never saw them till we got to our cabin. we checked in and with in 10 mins we were through ... Read More
This was our very first Cruise I have to say from start to finish it was excellent, We arrived at the port where our bags were taken from us and never saw them till we got to our cabin. we checked in and with in 10 mins we were through security and on the ship.we were on deck 8 Superior inside cabin and we were very happy with it. The food at all meal times were excellent, we chose to have our evening meals in the Avon Restaurant and the staff were first class. There is plenty to do on board if you don't want to get off at any of the ports. We mainly had our drinks in the Marquee Bar on the top deck very friendly and customer focused. Entertainment was also good, a great holiday which I would recommend to anyone the scenery was amazing weather was mixed apart from one day when it never stopped raining. We did the Funicular ourselves it cost £5 each to go up as we walked back down which I would recommend if your able. We then went to find the Ice Bar which cost us £19 each it was good fun and worth going in. We bought the tickets for the Flam Railway off Fred Olsen and I would advise to do this as your seats are reserved for you and well worth doing. All of the Ports that we stopped at were expensive to buy anything but really worth looking round the shops, you can do your own thing plenty to see and do. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We flew from Cleveland to Oslo, Norway where we met up with most of the other passengers. Hotel was booked downtown to let us enjoy a bit of Oslo before catching an early charter flight the next morning to Longyearbyen where we would meet ... Read More
We flew from Cleveland to Oslo, Norway where we met up with most of the other passengers. Hotel was booked downtown to let us enjoy a bit of Oslo before catching an early charter flight the next morning to Longyearbyen where we would meet the Silver Cloud. We love Level 6 on the Cloud because it is close to the Expedition Desk, the reception desk and on the same level as the auditorium where presentations and briefings are held. The Cloud originally held about 300 passengers but now takes about 200 as it was retrofitted for Expeditions which require zodiacs and kayaks.Our cabin was roomy and had a large screen TV. Unfortunately, the satellite signal in the arctic wasn't strong so often you couldn't get live TV. You could still watch movies. Everything is included on Silversea. We ate in four different restaurants and also had room service. Alcohol is free whether it be hard liquor, wine or beer.Top shelf brands. The expeditions were well planned and offered a variety of options. Most involved zodiacs with both wet and dry landings. Silversea provided personal parka, backpacks and water bottles which you take home with you at the end of the cruise. Butler and maid service are outstanding. They are always there but not under your feet.Food is high quality with choices at every meal. You can always ask for something special and if they can make it you will get it.Our Expedition Team was outstanding. Very knowledgeable, informative and approachable. You are urged to invite them to dinner. Captain Taillard was refreshing. He is outgoing and personable. He worked hard to find ice and bear for us. We ended up having g dinner with him the night that the Silver Cloud went the farthest North that any Silversea ship has gone. We have already booked our next Silversea Cruise. In all we have sailed on four of their ships. All have had high quality of service and staff. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We were an extended family of 10 Americans traveling together, with 2 seniors and 4 kids ages 2, 5, 9, 12. We picked MSC for the Norwegian Fjord destination and itineary. Overall, the destinations were fabulous, we enjoyed our family ... Read More
We were an extended family of 10 Americans traveling together, with 2 seniors and 4 kids ages 2, 5, 9, 12. We picked MSC for the Norwegian Fjord destination and itineary. Overall, the destinations were fabulous, we enjoyed our family vacation and the cruise was a nice way to get there. Some in our group had cruised before with Celebrity or Royal Carribean. For them, this cruise is more bare bones, food not as good, shows not as glitzy. For the first time cruisers, we felt it was a great ship that tried to cater to kids and seniors alike, so our entire group was happy. Pros- The staff is busy, but they stopped to talk to us. Our waiter at dinner would play with the kids, and even bring out special off menu appetizers. They are constantly cleaning the ship everywhere, and the main lobby is very bling which our seniors liked. Lots of live music and a nice sports bar where they streamed in the World Cup games. Very nice! We booked through Expedia, which gave us free drink tickets for alcohol and juices, more than we could use. I found out later, this is for the American market only (we were very happy!) Because MSC offers different packages in each country, staff on board could not answer our questions. We did go to the excursion desk and they were able to help us with everything, including adding vegetarian meals to our excursions. Staff were great! The indoor pool was fabulous, particularly on this chilly Northern cruise. I would love to see them heat the water a bit, even in June. Cons- Southern Europeans can be quite rude, and I didn't care for their pushing and shoving...particularly at the buffet. I had to go to my zen place to deal with the crowds in the buffet. Crowds were worse at peak times on days in port, which is to be expected. Disembarking at some Norwegian ports took over an hour after arrival in port. I think those small ports aren't used to handling a ship the size of Prezosia. I wish they would've made an announcement, so everyone didn't mob the exits for an hour...again with pushy Europeans. There aren't many families with kids on the Norweigian Fjord itineary, more arrived as we disembarked for the Baltic Sea itinerary. My kids were looking for friends. I think Europeans prefer things alacarte, so MSC sells lots of packages on board. We were constantly bombarded with staff trying to sell us things. We got asked to buy a spa package when we exited the spa...oh my. Geiranger / Hellesylt - Booked our own excursion through Geiranger Fjordservice, was better than MSC options. The ship docks in Hellesylt first, then 2 hours later in Geiranger. The port authority here is slow, disembarking took >1 hour. Bergen- Hardangerfjord and Stave church excursion through MSC, breathtaking, the Fjord became repetative, 8 hours was way to long. Stave church was cool. We wished we had done a Bergen city tour instead. Flam- Dramatic scenery by train- This excursion is a must!! The railway views are amazing and the return by bus through another UNESCO Fjord with breathtaking views was unparralelled. Kiel- no excursions booked, half the passengers disembarked permanently, ship turned over with new passengers. Nice parks and city center within walking distance of the port. 2 days at sea- all ship areas were busy as expected including the gym. My kids were disappointed the Doremei Castle/ kids waterpark was not turned on even after being asked. As a family vacation, each age group had plenty to do that appealed to them, so everyone was happy. Add the breathtaking views into the mix, and it was a memorable experience. I would definitly cruise again with MSC, they have some unique locations they go to which is very cool. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We have just returned from a South to North trip. Some of the experiences were great, the ship was comfortable and the crew friendly but we will not be going again in the late spring for the wildlife as we'd originally intended. ... Read More
We have just returned from a South to North trip. Some of the experiences were great, the ship was comfortable and the crew friendly but we will not be going again in the late spring for the wildlife as we'd originally intended. From the UK everything is very, very expensive. More than we'd anticipated. £10 for a lager, £40+ for a run of the mill Pinot Grigio, £80-£100 for a 2 hour sightseeing tour, etc. And many of the excursions are a rip off because either they are too time limited due to the ships schedule or take place in the dark. Eg, at Trondheim our guided bus tour of the town (including a viewpoint lookout) was in the dark. It could have been run an hour later. At Saltstraumen, the tide was hardly running, so no 'maelstrom', and worst of all the 'Sailing in the Polar Night' aka 'Silent Whale Watching' (they changed the title as there were no whales), supposedly under an electric engine and maybe sail, is a farce. The captain confirmed they never raised the sail on that trip, most of the time we were under noisy diesel power, no whales are the norm this year as the herring have gone further north, and, of course, after the first half hour it was in the dark so the wonderful scenery we were told of was invisible. When the excursion sheet says the trip is say 3.5 hours for the dog sledding, you have to allow for time getting to and from the venue by coach and kitting up, safety talk and making a fuss of the dogs so this only a half to three quarter hour actually out. I didn't do this trip as I have mobility problems and thought it would be too long. It wasn't. Mobility wise on the ship there is a lift between floors, the outside doors have automatic button opening and there are shallow stairs with a rail and then a ramp for embarkation. Do as much homework as you possibly can before you go. There are maps provided for each port where there is time ashore and if you are of average fitness I would recommend using these and on-line information and doing your own excursion. Many did and saw so much more than we did on the organised trips. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We celebrated our 40th anniversary on this trip. We only went on 7 days of this 14 day cruise from Amsterdam to four cities in Norway. Several of our group did, however, take the full 14 days. We spent a week in Amsterdam before and loved ... Read More
We celebrated our 40th anniversary on this trip. We only went on 7 days of this 14 day cruise from Amsterdam to four cities in Norway. Several of our group did, however, take the full 14 days. We spent a week in Amsterdam before and loved that city! We traveled with a group of 40+ people and found it extremely frustrating to communicate with each other. We wasted a lot of time looking for each other. Bring stick up notes so you can post messages on each others doors or better yet, bring walkies! Their internet service is expensive and spotty so that was not really an option for communicating. The ship is their newest, built in 2016 but the decor is cheap and dated looking compared to other ships we've traveled on. We were surprised to learn that this ship was so new. There is no beautiful focal point on the ship. Very minimal and European. The fine dining restaurants are worth every bit of their extra costs. We visited 4 differents restaurants (Culinary, Tamarind, Canalettos, Pinnacle). They cost about $15-$20 more each. Worth it! I especially loved Culinary. It was like watching a cooking show on TV and then getting to taste the food. Everyone in our group loved them. Make reservations if you have a large group! The Lido dining (buffet) is ridiculously disappointing. We thought because this was a higher end cruise line, we might expect their food service to be better. It was not. Altho, i did appreciate that the staff served us rather than watching other guests dig around in a dish, leaving it unappetizing. It was always crowded and there was no organization as to ordering food. People stepped in front of you as there's no clear lines which turns your dining experience into a competition. Finding an available seat was next to impossible so most of the time we had to bring our food back to our room and eat it on the bed as there's no table or chairs in the staterooms unless you have a suite. The dining room was fair but crowded as the food here is free (included) and you can eat as much as you'd like. We ate here once. The shore excursions are an expensive joke. They basically herd you into a boat or bus and drive you around. They're both overly crowded and restrooms or refreshments are not available. It was a waste of time and money. Don't be fooled by the fancy names of their excursions. I wish i could've read my review before we traveled on this trip. Flam - We loved this city. It was small and quaint with the most stunning views. What a fun way to wake up in the morning! The shore excursion we took in Flam was called "The Naeroyfjord Cruise & Scenic Drive - $130.@) you will spend half the time driving from Flam to Gudvangen going thru many tunnels (which is a nice place for a nap). Then in Gudvangen, you'll hop on a boat and take a slow ride around the Naeroyfjord & Aurlandsfjorden back to Flam. Very beautiful but if you don't board the boat first, you may end up like us, without a seat during the entire ride. People leave their things on the seats to claim them then go up top to look around so you never get an opportunity to have a seat in the lower deck unless you were lucky enough to get one at the beginning. They do have a few decent restrooms and our tour guide here was somewhat informative. Some of the folks in our group took the train tour and pretty much said it was a good long nap. It was a lovely sunny day, which i know you cannot plan for but if we would've known, there was a kayaking company, a fjordsafari.com, a fun fast boat tour, as well as a small electric car rental company right there that would've been waaaay more fun and less costly. There's several shops, a few restaurants, a cafe, a bakery and some street vendors that were fun. We were able to taste Reindeer meat balls and fish soup prepared by the locals. We also loved the little pub there: Ægir Bryggeri where they brewed their own beer and had coffee at Bakkastova Cafe up on the hill. Stavanger - Lysefjord: Pulpit Rock Cruise - $135@ was interesting as we had a wonderfully personable tour guide who told us interesting facts and even legend about the Fjords, Trolls and the area. Had we known then what we know now, we'd only have done this excursion. The town on Stavanger is big so you'd have to cab to get there unless you felt like a 15-30 minute walk uphill to get in town. We were there the shortest time so when we returned from the excursion, we didn't have time to tour further. The Lillesand: The Jewel of Sorlandet ($170@) was the worse. We were jammed on a boat, 8 people squished into a booth. Some folks had so place to sit and ended up standing along the wall or sitting on a step. They slowly drove around showing us the homes of unsuspecting locals for 2.5 of the 3 hour trip. They stopped in Lillesand for 40 minutes which gave you only enough time to use the restroom (another line) and grab a bottle of water. That excursion cost the most and was the worse. In Oslo, there is Sooooooo Much to see and Sooooooo little time. There's a "Hop On & Off Bus" that will take you to all the touristy places you might want to see. We met friends who live in Oslo there and they took us on a personal guided tour and then back to their house for lunch and Norwegian specialties. Other folks in our group complained that we needed to stay longer. We would've liked to have stayed there for a couple days but the cruise line pays a hefty fee to dock there so they cannot stay too long. There were two stage entertainers on the ship. #1. A lady that sang and played the harp and #2. a magician. Both were not entertaining but maybe to some? We didn't manage to sit thru an entire show. It seems like they mostly just try to sell you more things, spa sessions, their Elemis line, another cruise, Jewelry, Art work, your own photos.... Because we didn't already spend enough money on the cruise? We had a couples massage which was lovely and i had a facial while my husband had a shave at the Greenhouse Spa. 15% gratuities are included but we still tipped them $20@ They try to sell you the Elemis product in a matter of fact way. You need to be good at saying no if you're not interested. It can ruin your relaxing massage at the end, if you let it. We didn't but others in our group did. We didn't buy the drink packages and we did drink about 4-5 cocktails each day (bloody marys, wine, beer) and we didn't spend the $900. we would've spent if we had bought one of the drink packages as both members in room need to buy the full package. Drinks were $7.50 up. Finer wines ranged from $24 to $99 per bottle. Different bars on the ship had different liquors. I love Aperol and was able to find it in the Pinnacle bar. Norway was beautiful and we're happy that we went. We would probably not go back as you need to go in August in order for it not to be too cold. I believe our cruise was one of the last ones for the season. We live in Michigan so leaving in August is difficult for us as we only have summer weather here ourselves for a few months. Holland America - Compared to other cruise lines was not as nice as we had expected it to be but 1000x better than a Carnival cruise but not as nice as Viking or Royal Caribbean. We won't go on another Holland Cruise. Did you know that Carnival Cruise Line owns Holland America? Let that give you a hint... Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
First time cruisers. We normally travel then have a week or to chill on a beach, by a pool so this was quite the exception for us. We can’t compare this cruise to any others, just review it on its merits, and the people we met along the ... Read More
First time cruisers. We normally travel then have a week or to chill on a beach, by a pool so this was quite the exception for us. We can’t compare this cruise to any others, just review it on its merits, and the people we met along the way. The Norwegian Fjords were beautiful and this is what lead to booking of this cruise. Last minute decision so we were left with an inside cabin. Spacious, well planned, clean, comfortable. Place to sleep. We are used to high levels of service (stay 4 / 5 *, travel business class etc) and we were very impressed with the variety and choice and availability of food on board. Ship was also kept spotlessy clean, everyone encouraged to wash hands often. We ate at the buffet a couple of time. The rest in the Epicurean, Glasshouse, Beach Club and Sindhu. The Epicurean was good, though one of the menus suited our tastes more than the other. The staff were excellent, explaining the courses well and allowing us to tailor the dishes to our needs. Sindhu was also excellent. Again – 1st class service and food. The Glass House tapas/wine bar and the Beach Club also excellent – we ate here a couple of times. Both offered a good variety of food that came at a small extra cost, but this was well worth a visit. The staff were also extremely pleasant and knowledgeable about wine and also showed an interest in their guests. The benefit of these restaurants is that, as there is a surcharge, they are less busy and more likely to be quiet, refined select places to eat! Crow’s Nest bar was a great place to relax in the evening, watch the waves pass by and wait for the Seagull show to start. The switch them on at 5.00pm each night, for an hour. Ship entertainment was pretty good. Some shows were better than others. Some were excellent. Of particular mention – 3 Motown singers – name escapes me. The dancers were fabulous and their lessons during the day were excellent. Engine room tour and Bridge tour – both fascinating Cookery lessons were excellent. Dancing lessons also. Oh – I bought a watch. Massive saving on UK prices. The cabin steward (Jerry) really went out of his way to make sure things were perfect for us – even down to making sure we had a bucket of ice each evening! P&O is the only the only cruise line we’ve been on but we thoroughly enjoyed it and will be back in January… Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We had previously had an enjoyable experience on a Viking River Cruise so we decided to try the Ocean cruise. We had wanted to go to Norway so the London, Scotland and Norway itinerary fit our needs. The ship was beautiful and the ... Read More
We had previously had an enjoyable experience on a Viking River Cruise so we decided to try the Ocean cruise. We had wanted to go to Norway so the London, Scotland and Norway itinerary fit our needs. The ship was beautiful and the amenities were well thought out. The service in the restaurants, cabin and special events was great. The sites visited were breathtaking. We enjoyed the history of the Norwegian cities. I went o Windsor castle and enjoyed the day. The entertainers were fantastic as were the special events. The only negative we experienced was the embarkation process from the London airport to the ship. Traffic was crazy and there was no Viking staff present when we got to the Ship docking area which caused us to walk around before we learned where the reception area was located. Overall, we really enjoyed the trip. We will likely take another Viking cruise in 2019. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
One of the main motivations for choosing this cruise ship is its new family rooms that allows for 5 guests in a room. This is handy for a family but also cost effective, as it is only the first 2 guests that pay full rate and all ... Read More
One of the main motivations for choosing this cruise ship is its new family rooms that allows for 5 guests in a room. This is handy for a family but also cost effective, as it is only the first 2 guests that pay full rate and all subsequent guests pay a grately reduced rate. This was our second cruise, we sailed with Disney last year in the Mediteranean. Our kids (10 year old twins) actually preferred the children's club on HAL compared to Disney, because the total number of children on board was a lot less, giving room and space for the leaders of the group to get to know the kids much better and for the group of kids to gel better. The kids club (7-12) is open from 9-11.30, 1.00-16.30 and 19-22 on days at sea, and on days where the ship is docked, the club runs the whole day through until 16.30 and feed the children lunch so the parents can stay ashore if they wish. The Family Stateroom fits 3 adults and 2 children and the double bed can be turned into twin beds. The fold out sofa bed is surprisingly comfortable compared to many sofa beds I have slept on before. The real stationary beds are pretty hard though, particularly as there is an odd felt top mattress that feels a bit like lying on a stone. But once the felt has been pulled off, the bed is a bit softer. The top bed that folds down over the sofa bed, to allow for a 5th person is fine for a child, but I think any adult would be terrified of having climb into it and feel it bouncing a bit (due to its design). Once all the beds are unfolded for the night, the room does feel a bit claustrophobic, mainly because there is only a one foot corridor to try to creep through in the dark to get to the toilet. In the morning it is fairly easy (but heavy!) to flip the sofa bed back into place so there is space for getting dressed. As a special feature, the room has two bathrooms. One with toilet, sink and bathtub, the other with sink and walk in shower (which was amazing!). The main dining room was nice, the menu was also fairly good, with enough choice for each member of my group to find something to eat. The food ranges from really nice down to OK, with the occasional complete miss. But since you are allowed to order as much as you want, if there is something you don't like, the waiters are happy to bring you something else. The Lido market is really packed at peak eating hours. The food is diverse and there is plenty for every taste. We really appreciated the salad bar, which helped alleviate our bad conscience from overeating at other meals. Late night pizza's from the New York Deli were greately appreciated by our kids once we had picked them up at 10 from the kids club. If you are hungry on the ship, it truly is your own fault. There is free food being served somewhere on the ship on a constant basis. If you are into fitness, make sure you visit the fitness area. It is well equipped and it is free! If you decide to sign up for the sauna and wellness area, do it on the first day, as the price is for the duration of the entire cruise. Make sure you bring your own slippers, as the ones given are way too small and hurt your feet. The sauna possibly has one of the best views on the ship. There are several drinks packages available on board. However, if you are not a big carbonate drinker and not much of an alcohol drinker, then don't bother with the drinks packages. There is water, ice cubes, iced tea (unsweetened), coffee and tea available at all times for free. We bought 2 basic drinks packages that allowed us access to a Coca Cola fountain with some 120 different flavors. We received 2 large sipping cups to use in the machine, which served the whole family without problems. Most of us drank just water anyway. The most expensive drinks package is quite pricey. This includes cocktails and all alcoholic drinks. The Crow's Nest pub has Happy Hour at 16.00 every day - where the second drink is 1 dollar. But you have to get 2 of the same drink to get the offer. The ports were beautiful and easy enough to explore by ourselves. We found the shore excursions much too expensive, and just enjoyed discovering by foot. We had a bit of a bad surprise at the beginning of the cruise, as the point of embarkation was changed from Amsterdam to Rotterdam about 24 hours before departure. This left us scrambling to find an alternative to the valet parking arrangements we had made. It took HAL most of the day to finally offer shuttle busses from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, which we were not able to use, since by then we had already booked a taxi. This was quite badly organized with no clear communication. Hopefully HAL will improve that for next time. All in all, we had a great time. The food was wonderful, the views were stunning, and we will definitely consider doing it again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise because we could sail out of Amsterdam during a trip to visit our son who lives there. We also chose this cruise so we could experience Holland's newest ship, the Koningsdam. The ship certainly did not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we could sail out of Amsterdam during a trip to visit our son who lives there. We also chose this cruise so we could experience Holland's newest ship, the Koningsdam. The ship certainly did not disappoint nor did Holland America (except for one item, more on that later). This was our first cruise on Holland, but have cruised many times on both Carnival and Royal Caribbean. The ship was fantastic, with the highlights being the solarium pool and large outside movie screen. Despite the June weather in Norway being cool, in the mid 60's, we were always comfortable on deck and poolside during days at sea. Design of the ship provided warm temperatures and no wind, which made lounging around the pool or reading very enjoyable. This is not always the case on other ships. It was awesome to lay by the pool when the pool roof was open and enjoy the beauty of the snow capped Fjords! Drinks: We had the drink package, which was very convenient and a good deal (although i'm sure my wife and I never hit the $100 cabin limit on any day). Casual Food: The casual food by the pool was the best of any previous cruise we have taken. We could choose from made-to order pizzas, burgers, and deli sandwiches from the Dive In and the Deli. Loved the pager system, where you place your order, and go relax until they buzz you! Great idea. Main Restaurant Food: Quality and selection was very good for both breakfast and lunch. Variety was better than some cruises and service was adequate. Dining Room Food: Dining experience, service, and presentation was upscale but certainly not memorable or outstanding. Menus were varied and for the most part tasty. It's pretty obvious that all the cruise lines have 'dummied down' the food to encourage guests to support the specialty restaurants on board. The only annoying issue is the lack of availability of mid-evening dinner reservations. We were told to at the start of the cruise to make dinner reservations two days in advance. So at 8:00 am each day, I would call for advance dinner reservations, and each day my choices were 5:00-5:30 or 8:00-8:30. That is the bad news, however the good news is that the staff was very good about giving us a table for two most nights so we didn't have to make idle small talk with strangers. Specialty Restaurants: My wife and chose to eat at the Italian restaurant on our first night and the experience was amazing. The food was incredible, the presentation was great, and the service was outstanding. We had such a great experience at the Italian restaurant we couldn't wait to experience the Pinnacle Restaurant, which we already had midweek reservations for. This is where the one area where Holland really dropped the ball. As a 'special' incentive for booking our cruise early, we were promised dinner for two at the Pinnacle Restaurant. Since this is touted as Holland's best specialty restaurant on the ship, we were really looking forward to an unbelievable dinning experience. Upon inquiring prior to the cruise we were informed that we could not choose the night but that details would be provided with our welcome packet in our cabin. As promised, there was an envelope in our cabin informing us that our dinner was on Wednesday night, however that it was no longer booked for the Pinnacle, but was booked at the Culinary Arts Center. After finishing our wonderful dinner on our first night at the Italian restaurant, I asked the staff if a restaurant manger was on hand to answer some questions our upcoming dinner reservation. When I asked about the change of venue, the manager we talked to (don't remember his name), told me that the promotion was so popular that the Pinnacle was overbooked and it was necessary to book some people for the Culinary Arts Center instead. I asked if it was possible to choose another night and still enjoy the Pinnacle and was told that this was not possible and that since it was a promotion "you get what you are assigned." He added that I shouldn't worry because the menu would be the same as the Pinnacle, just the location was changed. Well this was certainly not the case! The dinner at the Culinary Arts Center was horrible!. The menu was at best was very strange, at worst almost inedible. The menu was a set menu with no choice of appetizers, sides, or dessert. The entree choices were overcooked beef, a dried up fish filet, or a vegetarian option. This emphasis of the meal seemed to be the herbs grown on the ship and the ability to watch the staff prepare your food. I know that my wife and I were not the only disappointed guests. The couple we were seated with were not pleased nor was the table next to ours. I noticed a comment card in our room that evening and I thought that the cruise line should be aware of our negative experience. In the card, I explained what happened and turned the card in at guest services on the following morning. I made sure that the girl knew that it should be forwarded to a food and beverage manager. Since this was only day 4 of the cruise, I expected to hear something from someone with Holland. I was never contacted by anyone from Holland for the remainder of the cruise. My wife and I had planned to try at least 2 or 3 of the specialty restaurants during the cruise, but after the bad experience at the Culinary Arts Center and no contact from the management at Holland, we decided to just enjoy the dining room for the remainder of the cruise. My feeling is this regarding customer service; (1) Deliver what you promise with no excuses or fix it, and (2) Don't ask your customers for their opinion and provide comment cards if you are not going to respond to them. Itinerary: The ports we visited were all interesting in their own unique way. However, the day at Geranger was the best. Taking the bus tour up the Eagle Road to see the glacier was breathtaking and was the highlight of the trip. The tram in Bergen was a 'must see' as well. Edjiford was scenic and quaint, if not very exciting. Overall Cruise: The ship, the staff, the itinerary, and the food (except for the CAC experience) were very good. The onboard entertainment was average, with the exception being the B B King venue, which was consistently entertaining. Embarking in Amsterdam was somewhat slow, however disembarking was much more efficient. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016

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