The Kiningsdam is a beautiful ship. The food was excellent in every venue. The service on the third floor dinning room got off to a rocky start, but after that was good. One head waiter Zahar was exceptional. David in the Lido was ... Read More
The Kiningsdam is a beautiful ship. The food was excellent in every venue. The service on the third floor dinning room got off to a rocky start, but after that was good. One head waiter Zahar was exceptional. David in the Lido was great.
The entertainment could use improvement. The dancers featured too much ballet. The costumes were plain with little or no scenery, benches only in the farewell review. The ventriliquist got boring after 10 minutes as he kept calling guests up to the stage. One guest especially seemed uncomfortable. He was paid to entertain no the guests. There was a lack of music during the day. The same BBC Earth was played over and over poolside. The two lounges Billboards and Queens Lounge has wonderful music.
Over all the Koningsdam surpassed our expectations. We loved this cruise. We did not leave the ship as we have sailed this itinerary many, many times. We had a good time on the ship. Read Less
Just out of dry dock and work still going on all over. AC in our cabin not working, far from ideal in tropical climate. We had an outside door to the lanai deck but this was broken!!! Temperature in our cabin was between 75-79 deg. I had ... Read More
Just out of dry dock and work still going on all over. AC in our cabin not working, far from ideal in tropical climate. We had an outside door to the lanai deck but this was broken!!! Temperature in our cabin was between 75-79 deg. I had to open the inner cabin door to let cool air from the interior corridor in to our cabin. The first few days had the smell of burning metal and sawdust but worst was an overpowering smell of soggy wet carpet from the many cabins with water leaks.
Not surprising that my wife contracted a chest infection and ran up $2000 of medical bills and was confined to the cabin for a number of days. Funnily enough her chest infection cleared up totally as soon as the AC was fixed.
Room service was appalling while my wife was unable to leave the cabin. I had to go to the restaurant myself to get the food she could eat.
After repairs were carried out properly we enjoyed the rest of the voyage. Food and dining room were excellent. Service excellent.
Wine at $40 a bottle and beer at $9 was bad, but a bottle of water at $3.95 + a bottle was a bit too much. Read Less
Nieuw Amsterdam – 10 Days December 20, 2017
We boarded Nieuw Amsterdam fresh out of dry dock. A comfortable size ship of about 2,000 passengers, just about right for our needs. I've never cared for the monster ships ... Read More
Nieuw Amsterdam – 10 Days December 20, 2017
We boarded Nieuw Amsterdam fresh out of dry dock. A comfortable size ship of about 2,000 passengers, just about right for our needs. I've never cared for the monster ships accommodating 5,000 passenger that have become the norm of late.
This was a 17-day cruise, with multiple length cruises all rolled into 17 days. Some disembarked after 3 days, ours was a 10 day, and after the initial 3 days many people boarded for 7 days, while some stayed for the full 17 days.
Boarding was fairly smooth, and we were in our stateroom about 30 minutes after arrival at the pier. The stateroom was comfortable and well laid out, making efficient use of all available space. The staff were, as is usual on Holland America, (and most other cruise lines), courteous, friendly and ever helpful. Every request was met with cheerful compliance.
We ate most of our dinners in the main dining room. The food selection and quality was very good and the waiters, like everyone else on board, were eager to ensure that the we had just about everything we asked for. However, the designers of this public space need a little help in their chosen profession. This is the first cruise ship dining room where it was impossible to carry on a normal conversation with anyone at the same table. One had to literally shout to be heard by the person sitting beside you. Ambiance rating; "0".
The food and service in the buffet restaurant were more than satisfactory, and something a little different, we were served at each food station. There was very little self-service.
We tried the hot dogs and hamburgs served outside on deck 9. The only thing I really cared for were the fries. They were served hot and crisp. The hot dogs and hamburgs served to me, (despite being advertised as made to order), were barely warm with a cold slice of cheese on my cheeseburger. Even MacDonald’s manages to serve their fast food hot.
The entertainment in the main theater was a mixed bag, some excellent, some good, and the Holland America singers and dancers seemed unable to connect with their audience much of the time. The starting times for these shows were inconsistent, sometimes beginning at 8:00 P.M. and sometimes at 9:00 or 9:30 P.M.
SOME NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT:
The first 4 days aboard, our toilet malfunctioned about half the time. Finally, after leaving a lengthy note with Guest Relations, describing the symptoms, the third attempt at repairs was successful.
I usually monitor my on-board account, and it’s a good thing or we would have paid over $100. more than we owed. To give just one example, at the same time we were having lunch aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, we were simultaneously consuming three beers on Half Moon Cay. Just a word to the wise; Monitor your on-board charges or you may be making a donation to your favorite cruise line.
In fairness to Nieuw Amsterdam, Guest Relations did send us a nice bottle of wine to help ease the troubles of having to visit them multiple times to resolve our toilet and accounting issues. Read Less
Excellent and Professional Service keeps us going back to HAL. We love the Indonesian staff. Our cabin 6148 was a handicap room. The only negative was the bathroom floor is very slippery when wet, be careful if you book handicap room. ... Read More
Excellent and Professional Service keeps us going back to HAL. We love the Indonesian staff. Our cabin 6148 was a handicap room. The only negative was the bathroom floor is very slippery when wet, be careful if you book handicap room. Also the bed is high for transfer. Was very painful for me to get into it. We enjoyed the casino on non-smoking night, it was packed on that night, which should tell HAL something. We did rent a cabana and it was wonderful. Dining in all restaurants was not five star, but we had very good food and great service. No time to get to know room stewards or waiters, since they are so busy.. Entertainment we saw was ok. We have been to islands before so we did not take shore excursions. We did get off ship at a few ports, where I could take a scooter. Embarkation went smoothly, after a wait, disembarkation was so slow. We were told to be in disembarkation station 10 minutes early, well we waited over 1 hour. Read Less
Good food both in Dining Room & Lido Buffet area. Truly enjoyed the Canaletto and the dining hit of the entire cruise was the Tamarind -Great Lobster - Good Beef tenderloin & a fantastic server name Santi. Also a callout to our ... Read More
Good food both in Dining Room & Lido Buffet area. Truly enjoyed the Canaletto and the dining hit of the entire cruise was the Tamarind -Great Lobster - Good Beef tenderloin & a fantastic server name Santi. Also a callout to our Wine Steward, Joel.
Enjoyed the ship décor and open spaces to move about. Plenty of areas to hang out both inside and outside. Overall a very pleasant ship & great crew. The Casino was even politely kind; no big losses but no big wins either - breakeven was a good thing.
Cabin was on Deck 11; great location and very quiet; but, Cabin service was very slow & a couple of days cabin was not even service until after 1:00PM. And, we left the sign out to have the room serviced. First time on HAL this has ever happened. Hope it was a fluke and not a sign of things to come.
CONCERN: While we truly understand and accept the ADA and allowing Service Dogs on ships & planes and other public venues. Was greatly concerned over the dog on this cruise - Never saw animal wearing any identifying vest or tag, dog weighed well over 100lbs, was not always kept on leash while in public areas (Lido Deck during movie & on Half Moon Cay).
As well often saw person with dog out and about on ship without the dog? Hopefully while HAL is obligated to allow Service dogs on board they will better manage this event. At a minimum I hope they leave a card in staterooms where Service animals have been so the next guest has the opportunity to deny staying in the room in case they have allergies.
Again; a great cruise, good food and wonderful staff. Read Less
We chose it for the ship, service, and ports! We loved our Eurodam cruise last year , and many of the ship’s features such as high tea,great anytime dining,late shows, large flat screen tv with latest free movies, lovely promenade ... Read More
We chose it for the ship, service, and ports! We loved our Eurodam cruise last year , and many of the ship’s features such as high tea,great anytime dining,late shows, large flat screen tv with latest free movies, lovely promenade deck, great back pool, and delicious food! We liked the ports which required minimum walking to be at a beautiful beach and the incredible barbecue at their private island! The service on this ship is second to none! I wished this time that there had been a quiet band corner playing more often ,where we could sit and relax, as the fantastic piano bar duo were right beside the open concept casino ,which needless to say, was very noisy!
They serve tender beef with expensive cuts, and surf and turf night is standard fare on formal night! Some lines are charging now for lobster! Also, the high tea in the Atrium is a treat and free!
They really have a good set up for anytime dining , and we were seated quickly ! Also , they have a later show so you don’t feel rushed with dinner to get to it! The back pool is never crowded either! There’s always available loungers! Read Less
We chose this cruise because it went through the entire Panama Canal and ported at places we had not seen. It satisfied all those. Unlike Caribbean cruises, each and every port had different ethnic, social and landscape. We learned a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went through the entire Panama Canal and ported at places we had not seen. It satisfied all those. Unlike Caribbean cruises, each and every port had different ethnic, social and landscape. We learned a lot about the history of the locality. We chose a variety of HAL sponsored excursions and three private tours. I highly recommend the private ones. The HAL ones were crowded and some were not staffed with adequately knowledgeable tour company staff.
The highlight of the tour was transiting the Canal. We did marvel at the engineering necessary by the French and Americans to complete the task. We did NOT like that the commentary by the 'expert' was doing from the Captain's deck was not able to be heard any place but the aft deck, the Promenade Deck and the Crow's Nest. It was not transmitted to other decks or onto balconies/verandas. Since this was for sure the main reason people took this cruise, it should have been. Also noted that daily morning announcements, times to disembark or other information - including emergency ones - were not able to be heard unless you had your cabin door open.
We encountered multiple incidents where information given to me by Guest Services was contradicted by information given to my husband. Also many of the GS attendants spoke with such an accent that it made understanding them and them me, difficult.
I have nothing but praise for our room steward, dining room attendant and assistant attendant and maitre d. They were always anxious to please us. The wine steward was less so once we told him that we were not interested in purchasing a wine package or even a bottle. Read Less
My husband and I chose this ship because of the itinerary..... 14 days and 9 ports (St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, Granada, Guadeloupe, St. Johns Antiqua, and Puerto Rico) that we had not been to in the Caribbean and then ... Read More
My husband and I chose this ship because of the itinerary..... 14 days and 9 ports (St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, Granada, Guadeloupe, St. Johns Antiqua, and Puerto Rico) that we had not been to in the Caribbean and then their private island Half Moon Cay.
This was a smaller ship than we were used to with HAL(Eurodam and the Norsdam), but because it was smaller and 300 rooms were cancelled due to the Hurricanes, we got excellent service. I might go as far as saying Impeccable service. The embarkation and disembarkation went so smooth and fast that it was unbelievable. There were no crowds at all, just smooth sailing on and off the ship. Very impressive.
As I mentioned, this was a smaller ship and also an older ship. You could smell in some hallways mildew or mold in some spots which they tried to remedy with blowers and deodorizers. However, you can't fix ratted and torn carpets around the elevators and in the cabins and in some areas in the cabin it felt like buckled floors under the carpet. But the decor was very very nice and clean. The bathrooms were up to date and clean also.
Dinning was exceptional in the MDR. The service and presentation was just IMPECCABLE...The only thing I would site would be how cold it was. Everyone was wearing coats or heavy sweaters to eat and of course we complained, but nothing was done until the very last night. Very dissappointing,...we tried going to the Lido deck a couple of times to eat but there wasn't a variety of food and it was too cold in there to. We also tried room service, the food was great as in the MDR and Lido deck, but it had limited selections. As a result of the coldness, many of the passengers came down with colds including my husband, which put a damper on our festivities because we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary!!!
The shore excursions were too expensive from the ship so we took tours from the outside Van services. We enjoyed the tours and if you are in Barbados, be sure to ask for Carlos and his tours, and if in Guadeloupe try and get Max and his tours. Both of these were quite informative and interesting.
I don't know if I would take the Veedam again, because it may be too small for my taste, but definitely cruise with HAL again!!!!! Read Less
We chose this cruise for the Panama Canal full transit, and the plus that the ms Westerdam was refurbished earlier this year. I read several reviews before the cruise about the refurb modernizations, mostly people missing what was no ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Panama Canal full transit, and the plus that the ms Westerdam was refurbished earlier this year. I read several reviews before the cruise about the refurb modernizations, mostly people missing what was no longer there. One major change, and one I never saw mentioned, was the addition of 4 USB charging ports in our cabin: 2 at the desk and 1 at each night stand. Had I known, I would have left the mini-extension-cord-with-USB at home. At least I didn't need to use it - ever!
The other changes to the ship's decor and style felt like an upgrade for me, also. I remember the previous HAL style from trips about her sister ship, ms Zuiderdam, and similar styles on the Eurodam and Ryndam, and while I enjoyed those ships repeatedly none of the changes felt "drastic" or "out-of-character" with Holland America's general sense of class and elegance. The public areas were gracefully appointed and comfortable. The background muzak for some areas was unpleasant but that may have only been our take on it. HAL needs to reaffirm her role by bringing the next generation into the ship and my choices may not always be the most popular or current. I'd rather adapt than see the cruise line falter and loose markets.
The food was a better than last year's cruise and that was a pleasant surprise. I expect good food from HAL and am usually only mildly disappointed by a dish now and then. But the current kitchen has surpassed my expectations and on this 14 day cruise I actually was looking to try more new dishes each day rather than resort to those I had earlier in the week and thought were good.
The crow's Nest Bar has changed - the coffee machines are now a permanent part of the bar but that turned out surprisingly well, since I never would bother to walk around the corner with the old layout. I read about people missing the library but really don't understand since any time I tried to find a book (since 2009) the selection was never what I expected and I always just settled for something. I was so grateful to start using a tablet when they were available to bring all the books (and more) that I want.
I miss the teak loungers on the promenade deck. Those aluminum and nylon contraptions they have were not any more comfortable and far less appealing to me. But I bet the maintenance people are pleased with the lower upkeep for them.I would certainly never keep a teak lounger at home for that reason.
We are not big on the shows in the mail showroom. The couple we attended were good and well visited. And the discussions we heard from others on board indication most we're pleased with what was offered. The Lincoln Center Stage was often come-early for seating, and the crowd around the piano duet only got more involved each night.
The ports were different for us and while Guatemala and Nicaragua are still industrial ports, HAL does a decent job of getting you out into the countryside. One word of caution - we talked to vendors at the port, and negotiated for a tour in Corinto, Guatemala only to be told we could not pay with a credit card as we were getting into the van. The bus driver would "take us into town to an ATM where we could get cash" but that had too many red flags for us to find it acceptable. Nothing was said during any of the negotiations that the deals was for cash payment. And our concern was that once away from the port, and stuck, the price would not be the same. And again, inside the "hospitality center" that large room with the musicians and tour desks, we were initially told we could use our credit card only to have the older woman at the counter tell the clerk that no, we could only use the card "in town at an ATM" to get cash to pay. Our advice - either book with HAL or book online before you get there.
Our cabin service was a good as usual, although later in the day than we expected. I feel that HAL is reducing staff to improve margins and that's unfortunate, if they have. Read Less
Just out of dry dock after a refit and many cabins unfit for human habitation. See other similar reviews. A/C in the cabin not working (75+ deg) while ice cold in the corridor outside!!! We had to leave the cabin door open to get cool at ... Read More
Just out of dry dock after a refit and many cabins unfit for human habitation. See other similar reviews. A/C in the cabin not working (75+ deg) while ice cold in the corridor outside!!! We had to leave the cabin door open to get cool at all. Our patio door out to the deck did not work so we could not even get a cool breeze. There were water leaks all over our deck ( although not in our cabin) and the smell of dampness permeated the atmosphere at times. There was a smell of burnt metal and sawdust for the first few days. maybe it went away, maybe we just got used to it. My wife, along with many other passengers, came down with a chest infection due to the poisonous air. Thankfully after $2000 of medical expenses she picked up by day 5 of our trip. Funnily enough this was just about the same time that the A/C and water leaks were repaired on our deck.
Crewmen were welding or cutting metal outside our door on the lanai deck.
A rail on the rear pool deck was missing a 3 foot length and was crudely repaired with a length of plank screwed across the gap.!!! I kid you not! (photos to follow when I find them)
I know that some guests left the ship at the first port of call and if my wife had been well enough, and the port suitable, we to would also have disembarked.
When my wife was quite ill and unable to leave the cabin "room service" got 5 orders in a row wrong. Eventually I started going to the restaurant myself and brought her meals to her.
All of this was a great shame because the ship had the potential to be a very enjoyable experience. We found the crew to be generally very friendly and efficient. The dining room was an enjoyable experience and the food very good. ( to we cruise virgins.) I think that this ship would normally be an 8 or 9 out of 10 but for us, and many other people it was a very disappointing. Read Less
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