1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Holland America Line
  4. Holland America Line Cruise Reviews
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The window for this cruise fell just right and the duration could be worked in to office schedules. This was my first cruise in a long time and on a much larger ship than I was used to. The layout of the ship made it seem much less ... Read More
The window for this cruise fell just right and the duration could be worked in to office schedules. This was my first cruise in a long time and on a much larger ship than I was used to. The layout of the ship made it seem much less crowded than I thought it might have been. The ship personnel and atmosphere contributed to a great time. The dining room staff made us feel particularly welcome. Shore excursions were arranged beforehand and everything clicked just the way we expected them to be. Stateroom (Signature Suite) was very nice. I had planned to have some meals served on the veranda, but the Manhattan dining room was just too good to pass up. We ate one night in the Tamarind Restaurant (Pan Asian cuisine) and that should be part of your bucket list items. Super food, accommodations were first rate, and I booked another cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam already. Looking forward to returning! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Good Holliday cruise. The Eurodam is a very nice with small ship feel. The staff was friendly, and very attentive to our needs. The food was amazing with a nice variety on the menus. We missed one of our ports due to wheather which was ... Read More
Good Holliday cruise. The Eurodam is a very nice with small ship feel. The staff was friendly, and very attentive to our needs. The food was amazing with a nice variety on the menus. We missed one of our ports due to wheather which was disappointing. Nice adults only pool area. The spa was great. The sea day activities were ok. Cabin was typical. Very nice steward. First time on HAL. Would go again. Would not go with children. While family friendly there did seem much to do on sea days. Our excursions were also typical and fun. The ease of embarking and disembarking was really nice. No heard lines. No shoving. The shows and evening activities were nice. Good music selections. Would recommended for adults with no children. Good and older crowd friendly. Ship was very well maintained. Had unique ports of call. Good value for thanksgiving week cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose this cruise to experience the new, beautiful Koningsdam! The ship was beautiful with lots of open seating and excellent music venues! The theme of the ship is music since all of the decks had a name associated with music. I have ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience the new, beautiful Koningsdam! The ship was beautiful with lots of open seating and excellent music venues! The theme of the ship is music since all of the decks had a name associated with music. I have taken over 20 cruises, but never on HA. The age was varied and a little younger, probably because it was a short cruise. The staff was very nice, but the Captain had no presence other than the mid day update. No captain party or night, no champagne toast to celebrate the maiden US voyage. We had anytime dining and we're seated within 5 minutes every night. The service and food went downhill after that. The first night we waited 20 minutes before we ever saw our waiter. The soup was tempid at best. After 1 hour the entree arrived COLD. the maitre D apologized and advised us to order our food hot! Really? That's crazy. The next night I ordered my food hot and it was fine. The next night I didn't order it hot and I had to send it back. On the positive side, breakfast in the dining room was outstanding with the BEST and most varied menu! Great experience with room service too! We chose an inside cabin because I like it dark for sleeping. I must admit I didn't pay a lot of attention to the sq footage, but the room was VERY small. Looking back HA provided a range for the sq ft and ours was microscopic! There was no chair in the room, so room service was a bit challenging! No dreaded shower curtain to wrap around you! Nice modern bathroom! Hopefully, HA will get their act together with hot food. If you sail on the Koningsdam, be sure to enjoy an ocean view or balcony cabin! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
Ship selected by a group for a birthday celebration. The ship was very nice--a new ship. The service was very good--friendly, helpful employees. The food was good--much better than I expected. I opted to travel on the cruise bus to and ... Read More
Ship selected by a group for a birthday celebration. The ship was very nice--a new ship. The service was very good--friendly, helpful employees. The food was good--much better than I expected. I opted to travel on the cruise bus to and from the airport. It was really good to go from the airport to the ship. My bag was picked up at the airport and delivered to my cabin. On the return, I waited for over an hour on the bus. I was told not to book a flight before 11am--we docked at 6am. I could have gotten a much earlier flight. Because of my 11:50am flight, It was almost 4pm by the time I got home. I booked 3 shore excursions with Holland America. The City Tour with visit to the Gardens was definitely NOT worth the time or the money. We were left at the garden for almost 2 hours. We only needed about 15 minutes to see everything. I had booked a snorkel activity. I got up at 6am, went by boat to Half Moon Cay. After I arrived there I was told my trip had been cancelled due to the weather--it was a calm, beautiful, sunny day. I was offered a substitute, but much later than my event, which meant I'd just sit and wait a couple of hours, which I did not do. My biggest criticism is the lack of internet service. It would have been very expensive to sign up for the ship internet. That is ridiculous in the day and age of instant communication. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I will put this short review in the form of questions and answers. Why did we decide to take a cruise on the Koningsdam? We wanted to see a new ship. A short inaugural cruise was a good option. Despite the limited time we’ve ... Read More
I will put this short review in the form of questions and answers. Why did we decide to take a cruise on the Koningsdam? We wanted to see a new ship. A short inaugural cruise was a good option. Despite the limited time we’ve had a good insight of the new ship. Below are our impressions. What major things did we like about the new ship in comparison with the Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam? What novelties were so-so? What didn’t we like at all? Part 1 Major Improvements 1. The most visible improvement (not only a “change” but improvement) is the Queen’s Lounge. It now spans two decks high, similar to the Queen’s Room on Cunard cruise ships. 2. Nasty cabanas have been removed from the pool area Lido deck. They are localized in the dedicated area (The Retreat). 3. We liked the new afternoon tea setting in the Queen’s Lounge. Top class. 4. We loved added “wings” in the aft pool area. 5. We loved the crew. 6. We appreciate an addition of the atrium café. 7. More “solid” entertainment program in general. Part 2 Changes that we did not considered as definite improvements. 1. The theater. It looks like a rotunda with a flat ceiling. We liked the new setting: a large proscenium, quite spectacular LED-generated “motion pictures” in the background walls, unobstructed views. We liked live music in the theater. However, the ceiling feels low (from distant seats), seating capacity has been reduced. The show room now lacks atmosphere. In fact, the final impression boils down to the quality of the performance (we did not like dance production actually – very generic). 2. The sliding roof over the Lido pool has moved one deck up. This area is now a 2 deck high space when the roof is closed. It looks much more impressive. However, this area is now a busy crowded place with a lot of noise from multiple junk food “poolside” eateries. It’s quite similar to the hell of central pool area you see on Carnival Dream class ships. From the other hand, as dust settles by the evening, the new movie screen appears as a good addition the ship’s entertainment facilities. 3. The new look of the Main Dining Room. Strangely, it’s accessible from elevator halls only. There is no more or less “impressive” entrance. Is it why MDR does not have a fancy name? It’s simply “Dining Room”. In my opinion, MDR layout and décor on the Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam (despite excessive reds) provided more classy feel and look. 4. Most cabins got lighter color palette but “feel smaller” than they used to be. Part 3 Changes that we did not like at all. 1. First and foremost – the loss of proper promenade deck. This has been an iconic feature for Holland America ships for decades. This is a loss in class of the ship. This loss is dramatic and cannot be justified. 2. Our lovely spacious yet intimate sun deck above Tamarind restaurant has disappeared as Tamarind moved aft. The beautiful with spectacular views Silk Den lounge has been dwarfed and hidden in a corner of the new tamarind Restaurant. 3. Redesigned aft pool area: clustered, clustered, and clustered. Gone is the spaciousness and open feel. Cigarette smell is annoying. 4. The library has gone. 5. The hydropool is shallow. No comparison with what it used to be. A huge disappointment. 6. Large inside cabins on Deck 1 are gone. 7. Freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast in the buffet, once a luxury feature of HAL ships: gone. 8. The maritime theme in decor has gone. 9. Buffet: limited access to formerly self-service items (like juices), more chaotic, more time consuming (although nicely appointed). Inedible bread pudding (used to be “to die for”). 10. Afternoon tea (two days out of 3) lasted 30 minutes. Why not 15 minutes? 11. Did we (would we) feel the presence of additional 500 passengers? Definitely yes, although the ship was not full. Overall impression: despite several improvements the level of the new product overall has moved towards more mass-market formula. More people per square inch, more glitz and gloss, but cheaper as you scratch the surface. The ship is OK and is worth 3.5* (at least) or maybe 4* (at most). The ship has left a bitter taste. I ca explain why: considering how high the starting point was, the new ship could have been far better. We wish the Koningsdam every success, but are not planning cruises on this ship in the future. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was ms Koningsdam's first US cruise after sailing throughout the world on its 2016 inaugural season. This ship is a stunner from top to bottom, and it is difficult for us as frequent cruisers to imagine a more thoroughly delightful ... Read More
This was ms Koningsdam's first US cruise after sailing throughout the world on its 2016 inaugural season. This ship is a stunner from top to bottom, and it is difficult for us as frequent cruisers to imagine a more thoroughly delightful experience than this short (four night) introductory voyage. Incidentally, Holland America may be regarded as a premium line, but there are a good number of excellent low fares available. As seems to be routine these days at Southeast Florida ports (both Port Everglades and Miami), embarkation and disembarkation procedures flow without any excessive delay. We did not travel with children, and while Holland America offers, I believe, very good facilities for young travelers, this was not a voyage noted for its youthful numbers. We opted out of shore excursions at both ports; while in Nassau walked to a nearby beach and loved the afternoon. On that subject, Half Moon Cay, HAL's private island, was one of the most memorable days we've had on a cruise. The cruise line seems to have thought of everything here as well, including a very good island barbecue. This is truly a spectacular ship, with brilliantly imagined transitions in design and atmosphere between public spaces, based upon a broad theme of music, both classical and popular. For instance, the Dining Room is intended to echo the inside of a violin! Artwork, sculptures, and photos amaze throughout, often in unexpected places. Fresh flowers and live trees are seemingly everywhere. The Dining Room was an unfailingly sublime event for us for every dinner. We were seated at three different tables over four nights and were at each one greeted warmly as well as served with unfailing courtesy and polish. The Lido Market (the buffet) was first rate. None of the self-service and empty chafing pans one occasionally encounters, but rather true hand service, including individual coffee and juice brought to the table and promptly refilled. When a buffet line was closed, it had been done so tastefully and it was immediate apparent from signs that service continued in other areas of the buffet. Tables in the Lido Market were set with the same order and elegance one encounters in formal dining rooms. The aft pool was a welcoming spot for us, but the main, multi-level pool in the ship's center, was fabulous with cushioned loungers and semi-private sofa and chaise lounges on the upper level. Poolside dining was available at the New York Deli and Pizza, and really excellent burgers, hot dogs and fries at Dive-In. No heat lamps here: you order and are given a pager to await your custom order. Also absent from this beautiful ship is the sense that one is on a vessel teeming with passengers. We found a quite a few areas on the open decks where lounge chairs were always available and where not a single sunbather was seen. The entertainment at the World Stage for remarkable. This is an 'in the round' theatre, with projection walls circling the stage. We were especially awed by Frozen Planet Live (you'll have to see it for yourself). Piano music at Billboard Onboard and B.B. King's Blues Club was consistently excellent. The classical pianist in the Ocean Bar was a lovely nod to tradition. Bar service was also excellent with reasonably priced cocktails and even a happy hour at several bars each evening, as well as cocktail and whisky tastings. The bars are to be complemented for their creativity and variety of mixed drinks on offer. Holland America Line doesn't overwhelm with ships line amusement parks, but concentrates on offering professional service in every respect, and it does not disappoint. If you are seeking a sophisticated, adult cruise adventure, this is the line for you. We believe ourselves to be reasonable discriminating travelers, and this was one of the best. Suffice it to say, we will happily sail on ms Koningsdam again (and again)! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Before sailing on Koningsdam I had read with interest the other reviews on this board, most of which were negative or lukewarm. However, I am happy to report that this is an excellent ship with fantastic food and crews. A few things I ... Read More
Before sailing on Koningsdam I had read with interest the other reviews on this board, most of which were negative or lukewarm. However, I am happy to report that this is an excellent ship with fantastic food and crews. A few things I did dislike were 1) Yes, the outdoor promenade deck is a terrible design, 2) You do get a little bit of noise from adjoining cabins, and 3) the daytime entertainment is a bit lacking. However, for my cruise experience these were minor complaints. I can't say enough about great the food is on this ship. For a premium class ship the food quality and choice could not be beat. Anyone sailing on Koningsdam must book the Tamarind specialty dining room....the service and food here was a highlight of our trip. We tried to book the Tamarind for a second night, but it was already fully booked...not surprising on a four day cruise. The Main dining room offered good quality food and the service here was NOT slow as other reviewers have reported. Canalleto specialty dining (Italian) was also a delight and offered huge portion sizes of delicious food. Service here again was fast and professional. Of special note on Koningsdam are the new outside casual dining choices New York Pizza and Deli and the Hamburger / Hot Dog stand. Both offered very high quality food , but sometime due to high demand food preparation here just a bit slow (20 minutes or so). HAL continues to offer excellent room meal service and all of our breakfasts were taken in the room....they offer a nice selection of hot choices for breakfast in the cabin. One other criticism I would offer is that the layout of the ship is confusing. A straight corridor was never used by the designers when one with a lot of right angle turns could be stuck in. Outside decks hard to negotiate , mainly due to lack of adjoining outside staircases from one deck to another. And of course the outdoor promenade deck is horrible. The placement of lifeboats block most views from the promenade. The ship offers a wide choice of nighttime entertainment. I would say that not all of the acts were first rate, but anyone could find something to their taste. Ranging from classical music, to blues, to pop, to country, to soft rock...all of these were presented on a more or less nightly basis. The BBC earth production of Frozen Planet shown on video screens combined with a large live orchestra was impressive. The classical and jazz selections presented in the Lincoln Center Stage area were top notch and greatly enjoyed. Crew on the ship was very friendly and efficient. They all seemed to be enjoying their jobs and proud of their new ship. So kudos go to HAL for the execution of food, service, and entertainment on Koningsdam. The interior spaces of the ship are, to the most part, a delight to explore. Lots of color and a lighter overall feel as compared to other HAL ships. So if you are sailing on Koningsdam, don't be discouraged by some of the other bad reviews found here. My family and I found the ship to be excellent and we highly recommend her. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Embarkation went smoother than expected but was understandably not typical. This was due to the fact that this was the Koningsdam’s first visit to the United States. The ship and staff had to go through extra protocols before ... Read More
Embarkation went smoother than expected but was understandably not typical. This was due to the fact that this was the Koningsdam’s first visit to the United States. The ship and staff had to go through extra protocols before passengers could be allowed on board. One week prior to sailing many, not all, of us received an update stating that boarding would begin at 3 pm and not before. They were using deck numbers to board. A few days later another update arrived requesting we add our cell phone number to our boarding information and HAL would send us a text message if boarding could begin earlier. Since we flew in on the same day as sailing we grabbed a late breakfast at the airport and then took a cab to the pier. When we got there we were given the choice of checking in early and then taking a free shuttle to a local mall. We opted to stay in the waiting area, found an outlet and played with our devices. HAL did provide a bag with a bottle of water and some snacks for those of us who did not go to the mall. At 1 pm we were advised that boarding was beginning and that we could go to the lido deck as cabins were not yet ready. By 1:15 we were having lunch in the newly designed lido with all of the attention one could want at lunch time. I never received a text message from HAL but others on the roll call did report getting one. I just chalked not getting one to us being checked in. By 2 pm, with drink in hand, we were told that our cabins were ready! The cabin, we had 4119, was bright and well laid out. The closets by the bathroom were spacious enough for the two of us and had a nice new feature, the pole to hang your clothes on lights up when you open the door. The seating area was spacious enough and the desk/vanity had plenty of space and an outlet, along with a USB port. The bed was close to the balcony with the TV hanging for good viewing from bed. The view from the sitting area was less than ideal. This did not really pose a problem for us. On each side of the bed was an outlet and a USB port. The balcony for this cabin is narrower than what we have become accustomed to on a Vista cabin. It had two chairs, a foot rest and a very small table. There is no provision for anyone to lay out on this balcony. The bathroom is perhaps the most interesting change. The outlet is close to the vanity top so I could plug in my sonic toothbrush without any trouble and keep it charged. There is no tub but the shower is nicely done with gray tiles on the floor. The shower head is a nice change as the stream of water is very invigorating. (I wouldn’t mind this one at home) The biggest problem with the bathroom is the toilet. The angle does not easily accommodate a person with long legs. I did have two additional flaws that would make me try a higher cabin category when we sail on this ship again. The first was that we could hear our neighbors chatting away at all hours, not sure if it was the people or thin walls. The second issue I had was that there was a fair amount of light coming through the cabin door and there was no curtain to block the light. Overall I would say that this cabin is nice and efficiently laid out but felt smaller that what we have become used to in this category. I also found that the cabin service was not up to the standard that we have become used to on other ships. The beds were made up at lunch time and taken down after 9 at night. One night we did not get next day Daily Navigator and, horrors no chocolate! The next morning I asked for a planner and received one in Dutch, at least I could figure out when Happy Hour was. In the cabin the TV programming did leave a bit to be desired. Live TV was MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and BBC. You could choose some movies to watch and then some TV shows from a small select choice. “Big Bang” episodes were offered, but only season 2. (I needed some comic relief after this year’s election) On the Koningsdam they do offer a Navigator page that can be viewed on your phone or tablet. It was easy to sign up and see your shipboard account. On the first day I was able to quickly verify my OBC and mariner credits were applied. You could also view the daily activities and in theory add them to your personal itinerary. This feature didn’t work for me but for a four day cruise I wasn’t too concerned. You are also able to book dining and shore excursions using this web page. You could also sign up for paid internet but I choose to go internet free four the three days out of port. The one improvement that I would like to see is a messaging feature. It would be nice to tell traveling companions were you are at or to let them know of something that they might want to see or do. The lido was nicely reimagined on this ship. The first thing you notice is how bright everything is throughout the dining area. The food stations make getting what you want to eat easier. One example is the pasta station. There were portions of the lasagna, mac & cheese or whatever the “special” was for the day in dishes that you could just take away. No more waiting for a scoop of something while someone had their made to order dish cooked. There was plenty of staff pouring coffee, tea orange juice or water so you didn’t need to run and get that for yourself. There are mini bar stations in the lido so that they could make mimosas and have the wine and beer close by. The Canaletto and Tamarind were both real nice. The food and service in both venues was perfect and worth the price of admission. On this cruise I had prebooked the dinners and that was a very good thing. All of the dining options were sold out during the four day cruise. Just a reminder that if there is a special day you want book it ahead of time. My mariner discount was applied for all on the first day. I could see this on the new ship board web page. We only ate in the MDR for the Mariners lunch. Again the dining area is bright and cheery. The service was excellent for the lunch and the food choices, while limited, tasted very good. The World Stage is something that should be experienced first hand. The walls are made up of 12 million LED lights and immerse the audience in the experience. The dancers have been kicked up a notch and are far superior to what they had during “Dancing With the Stars”. At times you forgot that there was singing going on, they were that good. The singers themselves were good but not outstanding. The BBC show was essentially the “Frozen Planet” series condensed into an hour and was accompanied by the band members from other venues. We left halfway through as we had watched the series on TV. The Koningsdam itself is a wonderful ship. I found that the ship had a HAL feel but that it was updated to a more modern era. Everything seemed to be brighter and cheerier. It even had that new ship smell when we first boarded. There are more shopping opportunities on decks two and three. The promenade deck is a bit of a let down. At some points I noticed that the walkway is very narrow and could be a challenge for those on a scooter. Definitely two people might not pass at the same time. There were some benches located outside but the view when sitting down was disappointing. All in all I found that if the Koningsdam is the future of Holland America I will remain loyal. The improvements are what I was hoping for in future cruises. I am curious to see what lessons learned are applied to the Nieuw Statendam when she comes out in 2018. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise