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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise mainly because it embarked from San Diego on a slightly smaller ship than we usually use. It's the first time that we have departed from a western cruise port and were curious about the recent refurbishment on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because it embarked from San Diego on a slightly smaller ship than we usually use. It's the first time that we have departed from a western cruise port and were curious about the recent refurbishment on the Westerdam. Embarkation was very impressive and surprising laid back compared to the process from Florida ports. It was well organized, quick and seemless. The ship was in great condition and most of the changes from the refurbishment were nicely done. The public areas were finely appointed and always clean. We had reserved an aft veranda cabin (5184). Refer to the cabin review below. A great addition is the illuminated panels at all of the elevator doors that show what floor everything is located on. That was a huge help. Elevators were quick to respond except when shut down to accommodate luggage transfer. (To be expected, of course.) Having the day posted on the floor carpeting inside the elevators is also a nice touch. We dined in the Vista Dining Room on 5 of the 7 nights with conflicting results. The food was very good although with somewhat limited menu choices on a few of the nights What was disappointing was the lack of service on certain occasions. On the first formal evening, our table attendant cleared the main course dishes and never returned with dessert menus or coffee. That was a first for us on Holland America. Another evening he did serve coffee with the dessert but did not return with a refill offer. It seemed to me that they wanted us in and out as quickly as they could , with as little interaction as possible. We had all of our breakfasts in the dining room and enjoyed those experiences very much. The other two nights were done in the Pinnacle Grille and those suppers were outstanding in every respect. The lido area was not used except to pick up the odd coffee or tea. We were the only couple to rent a Cabana for the entire week and it was a major disappointment compared to the other ship cabanas that we have rented. The excessive noise from the fans was very annoying. The sideboards in the cabana were useless to us and the inside seating was not comfortable at all. The wall clock was operational but was not set to the correct time. The entertainment on board was refreshingly better than any other Holland America ship, This edition of the All Star band at the BB King Blues club was the best of all the cruises so far. The Piano Bar was also very good and the classical musicians all through the ship were exceptional. The comedian and magician were well worth seeing as well. We did not partake in any excursions, either private or through the ship offers. We walked around the ports and were constantly badgered by vendors hawking various merchandise or boating excursions. Puerto Vallarta was the nicest port in our opinion. Disembarkation was fantastic. We elected to carry our luggage from the ship ourselves which simplified and expedited the process greatly. If you have read this far, it must seem that this review is full of complaints and that it was a dreadful cruise, but I assure you that the good heavily outweighed the not so good and we have already booked 2 more cruises through Holland America. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We had never been to San Diego-- arrived 2 days pre cruise and stayed at the Republic Hotel on State and B. Easy walking distances to Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter. Loved restaurant Ironsides--- delicious and great service. ... Read More
We had never been to San Diego-- arrived 2 days pre cruise and stayed at the Republic Hotel on State and B. Easy walking distances to Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter. Loved restaurant Ironsides--- delicious and great service. Enjoyed Seaport Village---- and walking along the waterfront Spend day at the San Diego Zoo--- thoroughly enjoyed it. We stayed in an aft cabin - 5184 with a huge balcony. Wish they would put loungers back there to enjoy instead of upright chairs. Quiet location. We also booked a cabana for the duration of the cruise--- enjoy not having to deal with crowds and looking for table to eat at. on Lido We love the service--- lunch, drinks and a dedicated space to come to. Walked around Cabo- but tired of all the pestering ......... reminds me of Nassau. We did not get off in Mazatlán. We travelled in P.V. to Old Vallarta. Have a friend who owns Galleria Dante- on Basillo Badillo. We truly enjoyed visiting her gallery and the surrounding area. Would go back there in a heartbeat. Dining- enjoyed 2 dinners in the Pinnacle Grille-- delicious as always. Service in the dining room was unpredictable -- did not always get after dinner coffee. Seemed to be disorganized. Had a lovely table for 2 overlooking the 2nd floor railing We enjoyed the renovated area on forward deck 10------- combined bar and coffee service area. We enjoyed sitting up there to read or play cards. Large interactive screens Enjoyed the smaller number of cruise passengers--- and the easy embarkation and disembarkation from San Diego----- Much less stress than Florida ports. We would definitely cruise from San Diego and on Westerdam again if given the opportunity Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
On embarkation day we arrived to an unclean room, flooded bathroom and backed up toilet, cracked bathroom sink and other minor issues. The ship itself was clean. Guest services is mediocre at best. Spa sauna had faulty lockers and the ... Read More
On embarkation day we arrived to an unclean room, flooded bathroom and backed up toilet, cracked bathroom sink and other minor issues. The ship itself was clean. Guest services is mediocre at best. Spa sauna had faulty lockers and the green house sauna had standing water. Food is served cool to lukewarm both in the Lido and the dining room. The ports visited were great. Holland America's private island being the best. Again the buffet on the private island was just okay. No holiday spirit even though we spent days of December on the cruise. Also two days in a row we saw a funeral and ambulance arrive to pick up deceased and ill .... sad but eerie We reported our problem to the guest services and the hotel manager were not impressed by the non committal approach and attitude of the ship's top officers. But we enjoyed our vacation and tried to ignore the other issues. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We came to San Diego for a Thanksgiving cruise and stayed at the Grand Horton Hotel for a great price. Nice historic hotel in Gas lamp district. Valet parking is $42. a night though. Glad a great dinner at Fleming's Steak House a short ... Read More
We came to San Diego for a Thanksgiving cruise and stayed at the Grand Horton Hotel for a great price. Nice historic hotel in Gas lamp district. Valet parking is $42. a night though. Glad a great dinner at Fleming's Steak House a short walk away. We have been on 18 cruises with Princess and about 12 on other lines but had never been on Holland America. We parked at Wyndham Bayside and walked across the street to the ship. This is a midsized ship. There were short lines and embarked in about 15 minutes. Debarking was even shorter and about 10 minutes in customs!! The entire ship looks refurbished. Our room had new bed linens, curtains, carpeting, sofa, sofa pillows etc in a nice blue color. We had a balcony room. This room is a bit smaller than we were used to but in great condition. Loved the on demand movies. Customer service was excellent on the entire ship. Food was great in main dining room and LOVED Caneletto's Italian and ate there twice. Also loved Pinacle Grill for great steak dinner. Really good room service and had the buffet a couple of times. They have great entertainment choices. We loved Billboard for the dueling pianos with a lot of variety. BB King was very good and Lincoln Center had classical music. Shows at the main stage were average or better. Most people dressed up for formal (Gala) nights - 2. Had a fun tour in Mazatlan - Shrimp Fest. Beautiful grounds, live music, pool to get into, margaritas and great food. Hardly any one at champagne art auction. Usually there are 200 - 300 people at these. Only about 25 people. Between us and our friends we won 3 bottle of good champagne!! All in all a great cruise that we will take again!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We were very excited for this experience on the NEW ship for HAL. Our loves: Mass everyday The new style and decor. Staff always gracious and accommodating Rooms okay but missing a sofa (in our room) nowhere to sit and read ... Read More
We were very excited for this experience on the NEW ship for HAL. Our loves: Mass everyday The new style and decor. Staff always gracious and accommodating Rooms okay but missing a sofa (in our room) nowhere to sit and read Great bathroom and shower was awesome plenty of room and great water flow Food in dining was acceptable Activities could be better Wishes: Lincoln Center times of shows not well planned An adult pool area (no cost) with NO smoking - the smell permeates other areas We would like to see NO SMOKING on the entire ship Better entertainment in Worlds Stage - very disappointing On the whole we had a fabulous cruise and cannot wait for the next one. We would love to do Koningsdam again and love the newness of the ship as well as the crisp clean lines and colors used. The Captain was delightful. Great Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was a one-week Thanksgiving cruise. It was our 18th cruise, and second with HAL. We are in our 40s and sailed without our kids. This cruise was just what we wanted. The service is impeccable. While food admittedly is subjective, ... Read More
This was a one-week Thanksgiving cruise. It was our 18th cruise, and second with HAL. We are in our 40s and sailed without our kids. This cruise was just what we wanted. The service is impeccable. While food admittedly is subjective, I found all of the food to be excellent, the best I have had on a cruise. This is what old-style cruising is about: elegant, pampered, formal, relaxing. HAL does it the best of the mainstream cruise lines. But I would not recommend this cruise to everyone. The passengers were of different ages, as compared to the typical elderly passengers that HAL attracts, since it was Thanksgiving. There were a lot of multi-generational family groups. That was nice, but I think unique to the Thanksgiving sailing. There was not a lot to do on the ship. Days at sea we mainly spent reading, eating, and walking. In the afternoons there was some trivia. There are a few other activities (cooking demonstrations, computer classes, etc.) but not much going on for the "active" set. I don't need sexy-legs and belly flop competitions, but it would be nice to see some athletic or other activities. The evenings had a show and some music. The disco was dead. The shows were amateur hour, as were the featured performers. But BB Kings was great. HAL is very well organized, so getting on and off, tenders, etc. were handled well. It was a frustration-free cruise, and a very relaxing one at that. It was just what we wanted. Just be aware if you are looking at this cruise that there is not a lot going on throughout the ship, and you definitely are not sailing this ship for the entertainment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I'll try to keep this short and to the main points. Verandah cabin was great. Nice, modern design and furnishings. Strong point was the spacious shower with great water pressure. Weak point was the hard bed. Needed to have egg crate ... Read More
I'll try to keep this short and to the main points. Verandah cabin was great. Nice, modern design and furnishings. Strong point was the spacious shower with great water pressure. Weak point was the hard bed. Needed to have egg crate applied. Entertainment was ok. Live entertainment throughout the ship never really changed, so it got a little repetitive. Main shows in World Stage ranged from terrible to excellent. The vocalists in the singers/dancers shows were horrible. Guest entertainers, on the other hand, were excellent, especially Lee Bradley (tenor). There were only 2 game shows in 11 nights. All food was great, from the MDR to the specialty restaurants. Service was excellent thought the cruise, on all levels. The ship was really nice. HAL is going a little more modern, in contrast to their older ships. The decor was pleasing to the eye. Most notable with the modern touch was the main dining room and lido area. However, the weak point is the promenade. No deck chairs at all. Embarkation and debarkation were both a breeze. All in all, I recommend this ship for those looking to have a nice, relaxing cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Have been on many other Holland America Ships, wanted to try the newest one and liked the itinerary, as it contained several ports we had not visited before. Koningsdam is beautiful, nice flow walking thru public areas, and very ... Read More
Have been on many other Holland America Ships, wanted to try the newest one and liked the itinerary, as it contained several ports we had not visited before. Koningsdam is beautiful, nice flow walking thru public areas, and very comfortable staterooms. Great crew in cabins and dining areas, as well as officers, very friendly and helpful. Food was the best we've ever had on a cruise and great variety to please every palate. Choices of things to do was varied, and the entertainment every evening was wonderful. Although a couple of ports scheduled had to be changed due to recent hurricanes, the ones we visited were beautiful, with warm and welcoming residents. Only booked one excursion thru the ship, and booked 2 others on our own. All of them were excellent. Only complaint about the ship is that the walkways outside around the promenade deck are very narrow, in some places only one person can pass at a time, but inside spaces were adequate and very open. Was a wonderful cruise, and can't wait to cruise again next year! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
2nd time around exact same cruise 4 years apart, after the first we knew we loved the ship, the company the itinerary, planned the 2nd trip, picked the aft cabin on purpose to cruise the canal with a wonderful view...however, first week ... Read More
2nd time around exact same cruise 4 years apart, after the first we knew we loved the ship, the company the itinerary, planned the 2nd trip, picked the aft cabin on purpose to cruise the canal with a wonderful view...however, first week out of dry dock, boarded the ship (3 hours later than scheduled) and pool deck above our cabin closed the first 2 days, sanding and resealing the deck and pool full of deck chairs and tables no bar, again choice of our cabin was for location to pool deck buffet and ability to use outside balcony for canal transit. all work done on pool deck ended up on our balcony, welding rods, dirt and debris daily--10 day trip able to enjoy the balcony 4, if this was not bad enough there was no air conditioning in our cabin the entire trip, when we spoke with the hotel management never got a answer other than we are trying. our room steward finally went to his cabin and brought us up his personal fan to help, we had to sleep with our cabin door open the first 3 nights of the trip to get a little relief, plumbing issues all over the ship , loud drying fans all day and all night, next to last day of cruise, they closed the pool deck again to finish the wood areas of the bar, again should have been done in dry dock, wood stools still tacky the next day so could not sit at bar but wish someone had said something before we did...you get the picture leaving the ship the same confusion and disorganization as getting on, just was not ready for the full cruise of passengers, really disappointed not in itinerary but the company and the way they did NOT handle our issues Read Less
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