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Sail Date: December 2017
This was my 17th cruise, but 1st on Holland America. We had 23 people in our group....6 "kids" ages 13-17, 6 "kids" ages 18 - 22, 5 "old" people ages 70 - 92 and 6 of us ages 46-52. I am 46. This is ... Read More
This was my 17th cruise, but 1st on Holland America. We had 23 people in our group....6 "kids" ages 13-17, 6 "kids" ages 18 - 22, 5 "old" people ages 70 - 92 and 6 of us ages 46-52. I am 46. This is important because of what our expectations were. We did the Holiday Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West, Amber Cove, Grand Turk, and Half Moon Cay. Embarkation was the easiest I have ever had on a cruise line. We arrived at the port at 11am and were on the ship by noon and all staterooms were ready! Ship is very clean and upscale. We had an AFT facing balcony room (6166) which I loved! The staff was friendly and professional (except in the casino - not friendly at all). The New Years Eve deck party was awesome with the BB King Band playing. Then it went downhill....meaning for things to do at night and entertainment. I will get back to that. FOOD....the buffet food was served by staff (which I liked as no germs from passengers) and was above average in quality. The Dive In poolside food was excellent! I'm from Chicago and know good food....the burgers were some of the best I have had. The dining room food was a bit dissapointing. It wasn't bad, but the selection was not great and quality was just average. Small portions, but order extra dinners, so not really a problem. ENTERTAINMENT....this is where I was dissapointed. Aside from NYE, the shows were typical after dinner. We went to the 10pm show each evening. The HAL dancers are OK, but the female singer has an annoyingly high voice. The black male had a great voice, but was the only one of the 3 singers. The comedian was funny (all old people VS. young people jokes) and the magician was just fair. If you are in are the type of person who is NOT a participator, and are good going to the show then going to bed, this is the cruise for you!! I think this is typical of "older" cruisers. Personally, our group would have loved things to do during the day....like Family Fued, Trivia, Bean bag games, scavenger hunts, etc. We expected music (DJ or Band) at the pool on At Sea days. Nope...nothing like that. There was quiet, classical type music playing at the pool. At night, after the show, the BB King lounge and Dueling Pianos were open until Midnight. Then bars and all entertainment shut down. The Casino Bar and one other was open until 1am, but no music or entertainment. No Late Night Comedy show or late night magic show...or game shows. The Casino was open until almost 2am (depending on day). The dealers were not very friendly and did not interact with the guests. They barely smiled. The pit boss looked like his face would break if he tried. As for the kids under age 18. After the show, they were pretty much told to go the room because they could not really be in any area. The "bars" that were open did not allow them. They were with us...just hanging out and talking, but were asked to leave. They had to watch movies in the room every night. The 18+ sat with us in the casino since there was nothing else to do as the Casino was the only thing open. Disembarkation was super easy - again the easiest I have ever had on a ship. The ports were great. We did independant tours on each and loved all of those. We were only at Half Moon Cay until 2:30 pm, which stunk because we loved the island. DRINKS....we did the "Signature" drink package. Well worth it if you are a drinker. They say 15 drinks per day, but we know we went over a few times and no additional charges were on our cards. Top shelf booze is fantastic and the bar tenders make great drinks! Nice pour for red wine too!! It is easier to go to the bar than wait for drink staff. This is NOT a cruise that pushes drinking. PICTURES....I was dissapointed in the back ground selection, I always buy family portraits on cruises and have a hard time decising which to buy. There were only 2 very bland, single color backgrounds on this ship. I think its because older people do not buy pictures. That is all I could come up with. Overall, I will ceratinly do a Holland America again, but not until I am of the age or inclination of going to bed early and being happy with little to do all day long. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I am not a complainer and prefer positive feedback. This is a little of both. I can only compare to P. & O. Stateroom, food, staff exceptional. I did not find as much fun as P. & O. lines. The Gala nights were almost not, ... Read More
I am not a complainer and prefer positive feedback. This is a little of both. I can only compare to P. & O. Stateroom, food, staff exceptional. I did not find as much fun as P. & O. lines. The Gala nights were almost not, sure we dressed up but nothing special went on. I missed the buzz of theme nights. Activities were mostly, to me and my two daughters, boring. I mean who goes on a holiday to have lessons in cooking, computer and digital camera. The art was exceptional, the Spa was great albiet very overpriced. Shops were better than P. & O. and the bars were great altho the cocktails I love just did not taste the same as P. & O. We loved our rooms next door to each other and balconies which were opened so we enjoyed going in and out of each others rooms without having to knock. When I was sick it was great my daughters could check on me without me getting out of bed. The Restaurants were wonderful and staff everywhere as I said were exceptional,. Entertainment was mediocre but enjoyable. Summery: Theme nights more fun, activities which are fun rather than chores. Would I go on a Dam again. Not sure, but as an avid cruiser it is possible. I did win a "cruise" but was told that it is not actually a cruise you get whereas when I won one on Aria, myself and friend have a balcony suite for two and ten day cruise, so with P. & O. I did win a full cruise, have not rung yet but will be interested to see exactly what I won with Noordam. Excursions - unfortunately I am physically unable to get into a tender so could only do two shore excursions which I enjoyed immensely. I took a photography package and photographer was wonderful, we have everlasting memories. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our 8th cruise. Previously we have cruised with Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my 3rd Holland America cruise. I had a good experience in the past. The service was superior and the food was ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise. Previously we have cruised with Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my 3rd Holland America cruise. I had a good experience in the past. The service was superior and the food was fantastic. But I was disappointed by my recent experience on Koningsdam. To be fair, the boat is quite new. The bathroom was an upgrade with glass sliding door and more spacious shower room. The shower water pressure was very good but the toilet had bad smell all time even with frequent flush and closed lid. The actual stateroom was smaller than other Holland America ships. Good in room movie selection. The buffet services was good. The dining room selection was limited and the service was slow and not very diligent. Two nights the server skipped a course of our dinner without informing us. The fitness center was small. No space for people working on mats by themselves. The studio room was always busy with classes to sell people skin care or shoe inserts. The evening performance and performance during the day was subpar. No comparison to what we saw on Celebrity and Princess ships. The casino staff was non-ethical. They kept soliciting my 74 year old mother to gamble more. One night after losing over $1,000 they solicited her to charge to her room another $1,000 at 2:30AM. Of course my mother is an adult and responsible for her actions, but it was non-ethical of the casino staff to keep soliciting a senior with obvious health conditions to gamble more. There was no educational materials to help people with gambling issues displayed in the casino. Most casinos have something educational displayed. Making money is certainly important but it is more important of being a conscientious human kind to not take advantages of the elderly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We signed up for a theme cruise - Wine as the theme with experts onboard to discuss the making of wine and it's history. Somewhere along the year, the theme changed to The Oprah Magazine adventure of your Life cruise .... and our travel ... Read More
We signed up for a theme cruise - Wine as the theme with experts onboard to discuss the making of wine and it's history. Somewhere along the year, the theme changed to The Oprah Magazine adventure of your Life cruise .... and our travel agent failed to tell us - so we found out after we were checked in and ready to board. Needless to say we had a different cruise than expected. The things that made us believe goblins inhabited the ship First of all the ship was supposed to leave at either 3 or 4pm. We left somewhere between 10 and 11pm ... due to communication issues to/from the pods. The captain later said it was a "redundancy" issue. That could have been the reason, but we were delayed getting off at least twice during the cruise, so ... Then as the cruise proceeded there were other issues.1) cabin lights that go on and off during the night 2) Lido lights that go off, then back on during dinner 3) television pictures that go off but sound stays on 4) television screen freezes continually 4) overall computer issues - off and on. Plus the ship had a bad vibration in the center of the ship. The main staircase was closed for the whole cruise ... with no explanation; however at one point we could see the main suspension supports vibrating severely...so perhaps the shimmy we were feeling had something to do with it. The captain told us that when the stabilizers were extended we would feel a little vibration. This wasn't a little vibration. Not your typical HAL classic ship ... very modern, cold environment ... clubby atmosphere with LOTS of bars ... even in the middle of the Lido market (not by the pool) - Quench is what they called them. Service in the Lido market was spotty at best...most of the men waitstaff were too busy looking at the young women guests or out the window to be bothered cleaning the tables of offering non-alcoholic drinks. Food was excellent everywhere ... if a little repetitive in the Lido Market. Pizza was the best ever. America Test Kitchen offerings were great. Digital workshop, normally wonderful, had a terrible instructor who apparently didn't want to be there as he never fully answered a question, going so far as to say he didn't have us use the internet as it was too slow. Entertainment was of the drinking and clubbing variety, nothing close to their normal variety. Don't go on this ship if you're expecting the usual Holland America classic style. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Heard good things about Holland America and we agree. Food and service was exceptional. Our room with a balcony was very comfortable. Only negatives were that the excursions were pricey, charging for water when going on excursions, and ... Read More
Heard good things about Holland America and we agree. Food and service was exceptional. Our room with a balcony was very comfortable. Only negatives were that the excursions were pricey, charging for water when going on excursions, and charging for very poor internet. The excursions were expensive and thought they could have had a better selection. However, most the stops were very accessible on your own. The major cities were very crowded and involved a lot of waiting. Also, thought their ship announcements were very hard to hear. The ship offered a Windows 10 class which was excellent and was filled most of the time. The instructor was very good and they just needed more space. The ship was exceptionally clean and there was certainly no lack of food at any time. The exceptional service on the ship really made a difference as everyone smiled and made you feel special. Would definitely recommend Holland America. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Husband and I rate this trip is one of the best we have ever taken. Mostly because of the service of the Holland America staff was amazing? All staff including our Captain to the carpenters who built last minute dock with a Chief where ... Read More
Husband and I rate this trip is one of the best we have ever taken. Mostly because of the service of the Holland America staff was amazing? All staff including our Captain to the carpenters who built last minute dock with a Chief where there was none on the Amazon River's edge. We met wonderful people we now consider friends. Our cruise had its fair share of mishaps which of only added to the cruise experience. There was propeller concerns in Martinique, extra five hours. We drifted in Alantic ocean for 10 hours, our captain kept us informed at all times what was going on and then bough the entire ship drinks for an hour. The presentations were of professional quality and we learned a lot. I would say this was not recommended for children. On our entire ship there was one child. For those who do not do well with traveling with advanced age people, you might want to consider something else also. I will say it was embarrassing when 80 and 90-year-olds were doing far better than my husband and I who are in our 60s. This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us. The Amazon itinerary might not be for everybody, but we sure enjoyed it. We are going to be spending many times and years talking about this journey. I would recommend to do this one at least once. Like I said in the beginning this was the best trip we've ever taken. We would not change a thing. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We always wanted to see Japan, have been all thru' China & Thailand before , the rest of the cruise was a very pleasant Bonus, especially Vietnam, loved the food and the people there. I tell you that having Dr. Kam's lectures was so ... Read More
We always wanted to see Japan, have been all thru' China & Thailand before , the rest of the cruise was a very pleasant Bonus, especially Vietnam, loved the food and the people there. I tell you that having Dr. Kam's lectures was so amazing, what a wonderful man he is, a real bonus for HA. I also would like to comment on Markus who gave the Gem-stone talks this boy knows his work, so fun. I journal for every cruise so I take notes on every lecture and presentation. I always want to learn. Josh and Phil were great too, took their notes as well. The entertainment was awesome, loved the Volendam dancers and singers, good variety. Movies pretty good. The cruise director never could spell her name, was awesome so fun at the trivia contests. The Captain too was great, he hd a lot to deal with, especially in Shanghai. All of the crew were superb going the extra mile for all of us. I heard some of the beef was tough but on the night we had surf and turf it was excellent. In general the food was good, could be a little hotter but it is hard to do for so many people, soup always hot and delicious, and the bread pudding, to die for. I just want to say some of the comments I have read were not pleasant, not all people are pleasant, you can please some of the people etc. It was a busy tour, but we made it and what a great place to end it but in Singapore---Wow what a beautiful place!!!!!!!!! Evelyn and Russell Green Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This cruise offered me an opportunity to explore some locations that I would not be able to travel to on my own. I hear that this ship is going in to dry dock to have an update. It is a good thing because it coud use a little face ... Read More
This cruise offered me an opportunity to explore some locations that I would not be able to travel to on my own. I hear that this ship is going in to dry dock to have an update. It is a good thing because it coud use a little face lift. My cabin was fine but the heat did not work as well as other boats I have been in, the sink kept dripping but all in all they kept the cabin clean. Dining, well once you get the hang of it it is great. the staff are very accommodating. Just ask and often they will do anything to make it happen. How do they remember names so well? regarding the food - good portion control, very tasty usually. we had breakfast in the didning room. I would HIGHLY reccomment it regarding the service, I am jewsih and I really appreciated HAL had the egg bread adn the wine available. Kudos Entertainment and activities - needs work there were a few brilliant acts Bailamos from Canada, Tutti, wow!the magician, the argentinian singer. were fabulous . Also the band in the ocean bar was good. the crouwd was old that is why there was not htat much going on. the crows nest had some great live entertainers, but it was all one kind of music, not my kind of music. the entertainment just needed a little more and a little more polish. some entertainers were wonderful some were less than okay Everyone loved Richard adn abby. Richard was the martini specialist - even though I am not a drinker it was treat to have that esprit de corps. regarding the ports- It depends on your port experience. I know HAL in hypervigillant about safety but they scared many peope from going in to lima. Lima was a highlight. the HAL tours are too expensive. I took the HAL casa blanca wine tour - that was wonderful.The tourguide was terrific My shore excursions were all great. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
I took a cruise on the Koningsdam to the Baltic in September as part of a NYTimes Journey tour group. I did not attend any of the on-board entertainment as our tour group had special meetings while at sea. The conference room HAL provided ... Read More
I took a cruise on the Koningsdam to the Baltic in September as part of a NYTimes Journey tour group. I did not attend any of the on-board entertainment as our tour group had special meetings while at sea. The conference room HAL provided was very comfortable. I thought the food in the dining room and lido were excellent. We also ate in the specialty restaurant Tammarind and it too was excellent. The only meal that was lacking was a beef stroganoff where spaghetti noodles were used. I joked around and said the laundry room had shrunk all my clothes. I had to clarify to another person that was a self-deprecating remark as I ate too much. Never went to the exercise room. Another guest in our group pointed out there should have been at least one dinner choice that reflected the port we were in. I'm not sure how much herring or borscht I'd wanted to have. I was totally happy with the choices. Cabin attendants were excellent, polite, friendly and efficient. Our cabin on the first floor was Large TV screen in the cabin I only wished I could have used my blue-tooth headset so as not to disturb my cabin mate as I would wake up at weird times and watch the news from the U.S. I will definitely look for more cruises with Holland America. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
For older individuals and easier cruising. Not as many children on board quieter and easier on me. Enjoyed the food and towns we visited. Picked up gifts for all family at stops along the way. Due to Sept travel had end of year ... Read More
For older individuals and easier cruising. Not as many children on board quieter and easier on me. Enjoyed the food and towns we visited. Picked up gifts for all family at stops along the way. Due to Sept travel had end of year clearances everywhere. Had breakfast, lunch, English tea, dinner we seemed to be eating all day. When I wanted pizza there was a shop open making pizza. Dive in served great hamburgers, fries in many varieties. Bring a water bottle and fill up in the buffet area for your use and you won't have to pay for water on the cruise. Cola and liquor is costly but you can bring one bottle of wine each adult person and cola in carry on bag just remember to bring a wine opener since uncorking is expensive. The crew is so helpful you get used to it and when is over you will miss them. Your steward will leave you animals made of towels each night. Read Less
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