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Sail Date: November 2017
The best part of this cruise is the 6 sea days, however we had 7 days as we did not tender at Half Moon cay due to rough seas. The ports of call were Rome Italy, Malaga and Cadiz in Spain Lisbon Portugal and Funchal in Madeira. The ... Read More
The best part of this cruise is the 6 sea days, however we had 7 days as we did not tender at Half Moon cay due to rough seas. The ports of call were Rome Italy, Malaga and Cadiz in Spain Lisbon Portugal and Funchal in Madeira. The best on was cadiz in spain. The architecture of the buildings was fabulous with similar scenery to Havana Cuba. We did not have a librarian, no dance lessons, craft lessons non existence, very limited activities and anything else was chargeable. HAL need to take care of their clientele as there is a lot of competition out there. Having a priest on board is one of the main reasons we travel HAL Piano Man was good but needed improvement in singing. The dining room was a great experience and as usual the staff were excellent. The Prinsendam is due for a major upgrade in December 2018 Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We sailed on this ship at the beginning of Nov., from Rome back to Ft. Lauderdale. That was 16 days (many of them sea days) so we really felt like we had a chance to get into the ocean voyage frame of mind. It was a totally pleasant, ... Read More
We sailed on this ship at the beginning of Nov., from Rome back to Ft. Lauderdale. That was 16 days (many of them sea days) so we really felt like we had a chance to get into the ocean voyage frame of mind. It was a totally pleasant, relaxing experience. The service was low-key and attentive. I would say that this is the ship for people who are looking for a little "old style" cruising. There were no "art" auctions, no overly enthusiastic blaring music on the Lido deck, no aggressive photo sales, no long lines, and no children running about. Just pleasant days doing what you want with discrete service offered. Yes, the ship is older (as were most of the travelers) and most people on board were cordial and happy to chat if you wanted. It didn't seem to matter that it was an older ship and lacked some of the bells and whistles. Overall, it was a very pleasant experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise since we enjoy transatlantic cruising. We wanted to experience Holland America and it was a good value. The embarkation was the quickest we had ever experienced. The staff was friendly and appeared happy. Food ... Read More
We chose this cruise since we enjoy transatlantic cruising. We wanted to experience Holland America and it was a good value. The embarkation was the quickest we had ever experienced. The staff was friendly and appeared happy. Food selections were varied. We did not choose to go to the add on restaurants. My spouse attended the America Test Kitchen classes. It was great to have a Catholic priest on board for Mass. The Spanish ports were enjoyable. We liked our port side veranda. The public spaces were never crowded. We have taken five transatlantic cruises on different lines. Holland ranks right up at the top. Our only complaint was the disembarkation process which was an issue with customs in Ft. Lauderdale. There were six lines for foreign passengers and two for American citizens. The process took over one hour and not the best ending to our cruise experience. Other than this, it was a perfect cruise offering an additional seven hours of sleep! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We booked this cruise just 2 weeks prior to sailing because the price was great. We enjoyed the ports, but had been to all of them multiple times. • Ship information o The ship was is in great shape, everything worked and all ... Read More
We booked this cruise just 2 weeks prior to sailing because the price was great. We enjoyed the ports, but had been to all of them multiple times. • Ship information o The ship was is in great shape, everything worked and all public areas were kept very clean. There are plenty of places for quiet alone time and small group board games. • Activities o I loved the Americas Test Kitchen as a man who, at 55 is just learning to cook. The demonstrations by professional chefs are fantastic. The Trivia sessions are good, as expected, some folk take it way too seriously. But the cruise director kept a tight rein on it. • Service o Everyone is very helpful and friendly. • Travel to embarkation port o Unless you are the person who needs to be 1st on the ship, wait an hour until after embarkation begins, the wait is so much shorter and the buffet is still open. Unless you have a suite, those folk go straight to the front of the line. • Dining o We had 8 pm dining at a large table every cruise. Every time we have enjoyed our tablemates as they turn into good friends. The main dining room is spacious and well tended. The staff was very receptive to our needs and wants. The food is good to great. The selection is adequate. • Entertainment o The BB King band was excellent. Great energy and great variety of classic R&B. The shows were good with one exception and I feel the need to point this out. A comedian who was marginal at best ended his show with a classic Simon and Garfunkel song that had no business in his show. I can only guess that he loved the sound of his 2 star voice. There were plenty of books available. • Disembarkation o As this was the 1st half a back2back, we just went into Fort Lauderdale to visit relatives. I wish there had some kind of meeting of back to back passengers. They could have given us In Transit information, answered the questions many of us had and we could have visited with folks who were going to spend a month with. Also, other lines will extend a courtesy laundry for ongoing passengers. • Summary o In hind sight, I would do this cruise the same way again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We had travelled on MS Koningsdam a year ago and loved our trip. We booked her again as we really liked our first voyage. We were not all that interested in the itinerary as we were in the ship. Due to Hurricane Irma, the itinerary was ... Read More
We had travelled on MS Koningsdam a year ago and loved our trip. We booked her again as we really liked our first voyage. We were not all that interested in the itinerary as we were in the ship. Due to Hurricane Irma, the itinerary was changed, but did not affect our cruise whatsoever. First voyage we booked a suite, which was great. This time we booked an Ocean view and loved it just as much. Our stewards, Tomo and Wandi, did an outstanding job each day. We are foodies, so we really like the extra fee outlets more than the MDR. Our first dinner was in the Culinary Arts Center ( which we had done last year ). Again, a fantastic experience that needs to be enjoyed by anyone who loves food and beverage. The new addition this year was that we dined on a formal evening, so they included king crab legs on the menu ( the second formal night they include lobster). Dinner in Tamarind is always special and spot on each time. This Pan Asian experience is one of our favorites on the few HAL ships that have it. For Pinnacle Grill, we attended the De Librije dinner. This is a one night only specialty experience ( used to be the Le Cirque dinner ).This meal was one of the finest meals we have ever had on any ship in the 55 cruises we have been on. It's not for everyone as the portions are quite small and intricate, but the visuals as well as flavor profiles were stunning. Kudos to the chef as well as Martin, ( the maître d ) and his entire staff. Canaletto is a gift to diners aboard the HAL ships. The meal you receive for $15 per person is fantastic. The portions are huge and the tastes are all great. Don't miss this as you will have a great time and wonderful food and service! MDR food and service can vary, especially when you dine anytime. Resys are not necessary and it was always easy to be seated. Still some of the best food in MDR out there. The buffet is what it is. MY only suggestion is that on the last formal night if you are looking for that Lobster experience, go to the buffet instead of the MDR. You can get as many tails from the buffet as you can eat. Yes, you can do that in the MDR too, but more fun and less hassle in the buffet. We also attended the BLEND session on board. This is a wine blending exercise created by HAL and Chateau Ste. Michelle. For a couple, it cost $99.00 and was well worth it. Eileen, the Asst. Cellar Master on board, teaches this class. You taste a lot of fun wine, as well as blending together several varietals of wine to produce your own bottle to take with you. Again, not for everyone, but if you like wine, you will LOVE this class! Entertainment is always very good. The Main shows are excellent ( although we have seen them before ) as well as the featured entertainers. We enjoy Lincoln Center Stage, but the venue is really poorly designed. Too much noise in a busy passageway to make this a really nice experience. BB Kings Blues Club is also really good. These entertainers really bring the sprit of Memphis to the ship Kudos to the Captain, Darren, who did a great job on explanations of each port and dodging a tropical storm on our last day. Looking forward to the launch of the Nieux Statendam, which is the next ship of this class for HAL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Timing was right for our transatlantic, maybe should have waited a couple more weeks. Nothing unusual about the embarkation or disembarkation. The weather was great on the way over because the captain avoided all the bad weather south of ... Read More
Timing was right for our transatlantic, maybe should have waited a couple more weeks. Nothing unusual about the embarkation or disembarkation. The weather was great on the way over because the captain avoided all the bad weather south of us. Ship is nicely laid out, seems to be enough room for everyone to find a quiet spot if they want. I liked the comfortable couches and lounge chairs. Food was average for HAL, good selecation for dining, we went to the Tamerind, where the food ws very artful and really very tasty. Especially the lobster rolls. Lido restaurant had plenty of choice, but repetative and sometimes had to go to another station for different vegetables and potatoes. Seating was sometimes hard to find. The staff were great, as i have found on all their ships. Very friendly and really seem to welcome us. The cruise director and Becca, the staff of two did a great job with activities. I can say they were in need of help to expand the activities. Other than trivia, there wasn't a lot to do. Ports were good, especially Maderia, pretty place, take a tour. Lastly, the stateroom was the tiniest, and most uncomfortable of all the HAL ships. When I say Tiny, I might be disagreed with by others. The picture that shows the room must have been taken without the wall being up and with some kind of special lense. The desk is not even 2 feet wide, try to fit all your stuff and a breakfast tray on it. There is a stool, you pull it out and move the garbage pail and you can sit down on it. Don't know about your partner maybe he can find room on the floor. I know, have him eat breakfast or luch on the bed. One word, crumbs in bed, lovely. Don't even start on watching TV. They should have shown the American football somewhere on the ship, try sitting on your stool for a couple hours. I tried to get a larger room, even outside before the cruise, but it would have cost me over $1,000. more when I gave up my OBC, 200., my complimentry gratutites 400 and then I would have had to pay the gratutites 400. Plus what we paid was more than the balconies were selling off at. When I approached the front desk I was told there were no cabins available, even though other people were moved, and there were empty staterooms. Well live and learn. Next time I will make sure we have a more comfortable room, and I doubt it will be on this ship. One word of warning, do not take a cabin under BB Kings, hudge complaints about the noise travelling down. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I choose this cruise because I love sea days and transatlantics. I also enjoyed a previous HAL transatlantic a few years ago. Well, things at HAL SURE have gone downhill since my last transatlantic cruise!! To save money, HAL has ... Read More
I choose this cruise because I love sea days and transatlantics. I also enjoyed a previous HAL transatlantic a few years ago. Well, things at HAL SURE have gone downhill since my last transatlantic cruise!! To save money, HAL has gotten rid of all the cruise staff. There are now only a Cruise Director and Assistant Cruise Director. Therefore, there were no activities except some trivias and 1 bingo a day on sea days. With more cruise staff there wold have been more activites to keep me busy. There were some lectures offered on different topics and the usual art auctions and "enrichment seminars" (just talks trying to sell you something). That was about it. I did enjoy the cooking demonstrations in the Culinary Arts Kitchen hosted by Alice. The food in the Lido was boring and barely changed from day to day. On many transatlantics there is a country or part of the world theme every day in the lido (such as Mexican, Asian, Scandanivanian, etc) for lunch. Not on the Koningsdam! The dining room service was very poor until I complained a week into the cruise and it improved somewhat. Waiter and busboy had too many tables, order taking IPad didn't work, never saw the busboy, tables not cleared, water glasses not refilled, etc etc. After speaking to head MDR guy it got better. Not excellent, but OK. Food in MDR was pretty good, although the 1st week was better than the 2nd week for some reason. I had an AWESOME dinner at the Pinnacle Grille but did not eat at any of the other specialty restaurants because I did not see anything on the menus that I cared to eat. For some reason, this ship (and the new ships to come) does not have self-serve passenger laundries. This is a HUGE mistake if this ship is planning on doing more than 7-day Caribbean cruises. I will never send my clothes to the ship's laundry because they come back ruined. Hot water and high heat (which is all they know!) never touch my clothes! The other thing missing was a library. Up in the Explorations lounge there was a paperback exchange. Pretty much nobody put books up there (except for a few Germans!) until the day the cruise was over. Then there were plenty of books to exchange! Very disappointing. BRING BACK SELF SERVE PASSENGER LAUNDRIES AND LIBRARIES, HOLLAND AMERICA!! I did not take any ship-sponsored shore excursions. Did them all thru Spain Day Tours or people on the Cruise Critic Roll call. They all worked out great. Some of the evening entertainment was OK but a couple of the production shows were so bad I walked out after 5 minutes. The casino was very small for this size ship. I did not think there were enough machines that you could smoke at, but of course the non smokers would disagree, I would imagine! There were a few non smoking days or evenings during the Crossing. The ship's decor is very modern and stainless steel. Not like the wood and fixtures of the older ships. The chairs in the lounges and Lido were VERY heavy and almost impossible to move. My cabin steward was awesome. The servers in the Lido did their best to serve water, ice tea, lemonade, OJ, coffee, etc. and keep the tables cleared off. They could have used more help. The waiters by the Seaview Pool were great. Would I take another HAL transatlantic cruise? I don't think so. Everything was a money, money, money grab on this ship. We were nickled and dimed to death. I was sorry to see the lack of cruise staff and other things that I mentioned and food and service gone so far downhill. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise because of the timing and itinerary. Like being able to leave from Rome -- gives us plenty of time in Italy prior to the cruise. We found first day boarding to be efficient. Did not keep people waiting a long ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the timing and itinerary. Like being able to leave from Rome -- gives us plenty of time in Italy prior to the cruise. We found first day boarding to be efficient. Did not keep people waiting a long time prior to boarding. Disembarking was handled well on the ship with people being able to wait in their rooms until their designated departure time, seemed to cause less crowded elevators and public areas. Once we debarked there was some confusion with the luggage as was not in proper areas and was mixed with other colors and numbers. Entertainment had its highs and lows. The main theater is an excellent venue with the rounded stage. Felt that the lead singers in the revue numbers were not that good. Could not understand what they were singing. The gal lead was particularly screechy in her delivery, plus it was obvious she had no dancing ability. The classical music was nice, however, felt that they should have been other types of entertainment in that same area switching it all around, thereby offering a larger variety of entertainment. There was really no dancing venue during the evenings, except those late in the evening and the Jazz musicians, which is really limiting to those who want to dance. The tea dance at 4PM made no sense to me unless you cannot stay up past 7PM at night - but that is just a personal observation and there were people taking part in it. The best show they had by far was at the Billboard Lounge. Two piano playing singers. The two piano set up was really nice. Great music from many eras. I felt they were lacking in activities during sea days. Plenty of lectures but nothing much in the way of sports activities. Would have like to see a free aerobics class each morning. It seemed that there were several things to do if you wanted to spend extra money to do them. Costs for specialty dining seemed to be as high as going to a really nice restaurant at home. No break in price because you had already paid for your meals. The balcony rooms were very nice. The bathroom was great with plenty of room and a really nice large shower. Closet space was adequate. Our steward was very good and the room was always cleaned quickly and early in the day. The food was generally good. The buffet was great with all of the food served. Probably a great thing for keeping illnesses down. Nice food stations including a Chinese stir fry. The dinner in the dining room was good, although at times the choices were -- it's hard to explain here -i'll say, somewhat unusual. Salads often did not have lettuce, soups were described as having certain contents, but were really broths with little in them. The beef and seafood dishes were very good. Not a dessert eater so no comments there. Drink prices were high compared to other cruises we have taken. The wine package did not make any sense to me so I did not buy it. Bought by the bottle and the prices on my bill were higher than the prices on the wine menu. Still trying to straighten that out as it seemed a lot more than tax and gratuity was added to the cost. We had a very unusual thing happen to us in two different lounges. First my husband and then me. With my husband he got a peppered rum served to him out of a regular Bacardi bottle. With me I had a Grey Goose Martini (no vermouth) that tasted like it was a really inferior vodka, they remade it and it still was terrible -- watched him pour it out of the Grey Goose bottle. This is a drink I have all of the time and it was not right. Went to another bar and it tasted great. Am going to follow up with a note to Holland America on this issue, as it is apparent someone is fiddling around with their liquor. The ports were nice. We did not take any ships tours s cannot comment on them. We enjoyed the cruise. Would not rush back to Holland America, but would use them again if the itinerary and timing suited us. Read Less
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