80 Holland America Line Koningsdam Caribbean - All Cruise Reviews

We picked this cruise because it went Tortola and Antigua, islands we have never visited. We are 3 star HOLLAND Cruisers so we know Holland pretty well. The ship did not disappoint. It is beautiful. However some parts of our experience ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it went Tortola and Antigua, islands we have never visited. We are 3 star HOLLAND Cruisers so we know Holland pretty well. The ship did not disappoint. It is beautiful. However some parts of our experience were less then acceptable. To start, the embarkation was a nightmare. I received an e mail ftom HAL about Adweek before telling me to arrive between 1 - 1:30pm. We followed directions and arrived about 12:45pm and saw the longest line I have ever seen on HAL. Did they tell every one to arrivecatbthe same time? It appeared that way. The line went out the door, down to the end of the building, around the corner and back to the entry point into the building. It took over an hour. Exhausting in the hot Florida sun! Once on the ship we found our storeroom and it was nice however the extra pillows and mattress wedge I requested were not there And the bed was arranged in twins not queen. It took about 15 min to reach customer service to make another request. Overall the ship services disappointing. Not up to the level I was use to on HAL. Food was ok! Again not what I have come to expect from HAL with a few exceptions. I loved the NY Deli but the service is very slow. The Dutch Cafe was a nice surprise And The servers were excrptional. MDR was disappointing but the standards like salmon and steak that are available every night saved my dinner experience on at least 4 out of the 9 nights. Entertainment has improved with the addition of the ROLLING STONE along with the BB King venue that is a few years old. Overall not a bad cruise but getting use to the new "Normal" for HAL may take awhile. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We wanted to be gone over Christmas and this was a decent itinerary, and we were able to drive to the port. The price as good, and they through in the beverage package and the Pinnacle Grill. Our cabin was small, but workable, and we ... Read More
We wanted to be gone over Christmas and this was a decent itinerary, and we were able to drive to the port. The price as good, and they through in the beverage package and the Pinnacle Grill. Our cabin was small, but workable, and we loved the big walk in shower. The boat was great.....nice public areas, lots of sitting areas, two pools, lots of places to eat, etc. The Grand Dining Room was only fair. We didn't care for the decor, the food was just ok, ad the service was slow...especially the wine service. The first night we sat for a long time, and had received our first course before our glasses of wine arrive, and the second glass arrived when I was almost finished with my entree. Did not particularly like the Lido. Food was just ok, it was very crowded....always fighting to find a place to sit, and we hated that there was no self service.....everything had to be served, slowing down the process and making it hard to get what you want, in the quantity that you want. The specialty dining rooms were great......nice decor, good menus and good food. The steak in the Pinnacle Grill was very good, and when we went to Alaska on HA it was terrible. We really like Sel de Mer and Tamarind......would be great restaurants in any city. Entertainment was first class......the evening pianist, the classical groups, soul in BB King's rock in the Rolling Stone and a good piano bar. There was no "big show" in the theatre this cruise. There were two pools.....one amidships with a slide on/off cover, and another at the stern. As with all cruise ships, there were not enough loungers, and people would grab them first thing, so by 11AM there was no place to sit. There was a nice looking spa and fitness center that we did not use. In conclusion, HA is a "near luxury" line, and Konigsdam is there most luxurious ship. The difference between them and a more luxurious line like Oceania or Regent lies in better food, more elegant decor in the public rooms, better service, and more items inclusive. HA is not as good, but it is a lot less expensive, and a good value. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the price and the ports. The ship is 2 years old and we like newer ships. This cruise was great. The food was great. The entertainment was very good in the Rolling Stone room and the room across from it - ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the price and the ports. The ship is 2 years old and we like newer ships. This cruise was great. The food was great. The entertainment was very good in the Rolling Stone room and the room across from it - I forget the name. Their other shows were good too - just no singers. They only had dancers - who were awesome but on other cruise lines, they offer more 'Broadway' style shows. The only downside to this ship to me, was that it was small and I felt the motion of the ocean a little more on the return trip to Port Everglades. Other than that, I have nothing negative to say about this ship and it's crew. Our cabin steward was THE BEST! We tipped him at the beginning and at the end and he was great! The casino was good too. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
First of all the veranda cabin was much smaller than on other ships and the great bedding that all HAL customers are used to no longer exists. Instead there is a narrow mattress of twigs, bamboo and leaves (my interpretation) which ... Read More
First of all the veranda cabin was much smaller than on other ships and the great bedding that all HAL customers are used to no longer exists. Instead there is a narrow mattress of twigs, bamboo and leaves (my interpretation) which crackled when you sat on it or during the night when you turned around on it or when you or your significant other left for the bathroom. Absolutely horrible. The bathroom was long and narrow and did not have a night light so that you had to put on the full lighting in the room if you had to use it during the night. The toilet was cati-corner to a corner at the far end of the room close to the shower which was as long as the room with a slate floor that was quite slippery. The food was not great in the dining room. Weird choices and not even half as good as all the other cruises that we have taken on HAL and we are 3 star mariners. It seemed to us that they were trying to get people to pay at the up-charge restaurants on board whereas, formerly, the main dining room food was as good as any expensive up-charge restaurant. No more cakes or pies from European pastry chefs, NONE!, just mouse pies, ice cream or fruit crumble. Even the Pinnacle Grill was not up to previous par. Entertainment was also poor. I have never seen as many people leave a theater as I did on this trip. BB King loud and lousy now in a two story opening in the center of the ship. No chaise lounges on the promenade deck. When ship is at sea. not enough lounges to accommodate the passengers wanting to use one. Even though most of the passengers were gray haired seniors, it was quite evident that HAL was now pandering to a different clientele. More Carnival like. Many of the older Indonesian service people that we spoke with have seen the change. New Management is now saving money at the passenger's expense. NO MORE HAL TRIPS FOR US EVER. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
My husband and I are Five-Star Mariners who have sailed on many of HAL's ships. We chose this cruise for the itinerary--not for the ship. We were on the Koningsdam in November, 2016 and were hoping some changes had been made. ... Read More
My husband and I are Five-Star Mariners who have sailed on many of HAL's ships. We chose this cruise for the itinerary--not for the ship. We were on the Koningsdam in November, 2016 and were hoping some changes had been made. However that did not happen. There is still NO library; music from all three venues (especially B.B. King Blues) blast every evening. The main dining room and the theater are too small. There are now three shows scheduled each evening. Stewards in the dining room are overwhelmed----and still provide excellent service with a smile. Happy Hours are scheduled to conflict with the early dining hour---which is now 5:00 P.M! Since we had visited most of these island before we just booked one Shore Excursion in Puerto Plata. We enjoyed the day there and learned a lot about the local history. Our cabin stewards were excellent----and again overworked. Embarkation was orderly and relatively swift. Disembarkation was another matter. When our luggage number was called we walked from the ocean bar all the way back to the entrance to the theater and then back again to mid-ship where the gangplank was located. Why not have guests wait comfortable and go in smaller groups directly to the gangplank? I honestly feel HAL does a better job of pleasing guests on their smaller ships. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was my 63 cruise. I have sailed on Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney, Costa, Cunard, and Celebrity. I am 46 years old. Hotel Info: We flew down one night early and stayed at Bahia Mar Fort ... Read More
This was my 63 cruise. I have sailed on Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney, Costa, Cunard, and Celebrity. I am 46 years old. Hotel Info: We flew down one night early and stayed at Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach – a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel. This was our second time at this hotel. The employees are very nice. Ship Info: We haven’t sailed on this cruise line since 2004. We enjoy this cruise line because it is geared towards adults and not a drinking crowd. The average age group was probably Baby Boomers (with most being retired). I loved how this cruise line didn’t give you the option on their beverage, dining, and fitness receipts for “additional gratuities” like other cruise lines do. If you enjoy classical music, reading, relaxing, great conversation, and hardly any children, this is for you. The ship was extremely clean and new. If you are looking for a cruise with a lot of night life (disco and pool parties) and people spending time at the bar or getting buckets of beer by the pool, this cruise line didn’t have that. Activities: Their spin classes in the fitness center are $20 each and they hook you up to equipment that keep track of your heart rate, etc. They also offer yoga and Pilates (for a fee). They offer several complimentary fitness classes too like meditation, abs, and stretch classes. They do not offer dance classes. They do an amazing job with their afternoon tea (includes food served by the employees). They do not have karaoke at night. They do not do pool contests/games during the day. They do not have bands playing by the pool during the day. This ship did not offer “family actives” like water slides, rock climbing walls, etc. Service: Service was great in all areas. Shore Excursions: We booked the Snorkel trip in Bonaire with the cruise line (Seacow), and it was excellent. If you like to sit on the beach with shade, I recommend booking the chairs with the shade on their private island several weeks before you cruise because they sell out (you can book it on their website). Stateroom: We originally booked an outside cabin, then a few weeks before our cruise, we received an email from the cruise line asking if we wanted to upgrade to a balcony for $125/person (total for 10 nights), so we took it. They offer complimentary shoeshine service. They had Elemis shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and body lotion in the bathroom. The water pressure in the shower was outstanding; probably the best shower at sea. Out of all the cruise lines, they offer the best complimentary movies available to watch on your TV. As a matter of fact, they don’t charge you for any movies (like some cruise lines do). They offered a package for unlimited laundry and pressing that was $70 per cabin for the 10 nights, so we purchased that and loved it. The balcony did not have lights on it, so if you wanted to sit out there at night and read, this was not an option. Dining: Before you order your meal in the main dining room, ask the waiter what they recommend. If you do not like crowds, eat in the main dining room for breakfast and lunch instead of the buffet. This cruise line has the dining room open for lunch on embarkation day, and we really enjoyed that so we did not have to go to the buffet. We purchased their dining package so we could experience all their specialty restaurants. It cost $95/person for five restaurants, and I felt it was well worth it. We purchased it online a few weeks prior to the cruise, and then when we got on board, we made the reservations. Our favorite restaurant was the Asian restaurant. I recommend eating in a specialty restaurant on the first night because some main dining rooms can be a bit unorganized because all the guests are trying to figure out where they sit, etc. When you eat in the Asian restaurant, make your reservation near the window during the sunset. Their buffet had the best food options I have seen in years. They also serve everything to you, so other guests are not touching the buffet lines. Dress Code: They had two formal nights, and most men were in a dark suit. I wore a cocktail dress on the formal nights. On the other nights, everyone dressed in business attire. I enjoy dressing up. Entertainment: I loved their entertainment, especially the Lincoln Center Stage and the dancers in the main show room. Their main shows are three times per night (6:30, 8:00, and 9:30 p.m.). Disembarkation: If you want to carry all your bags off the ship by yourself, they will let you off starting at around 7:30 a.m. We had a 10:15 am flight and opted to carry our bags off. Other: I prefer Celebrity, Holland America, Cunard, and Princess when not traveling with children or young adults. I like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruise Line when traveling with a younger crowd. Overall: 5 out of 5 stars. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I went because it was recommended by friends. It was an RSVP chartered cruise. The crew was friendly and liked working the gay cruise. The cabin was comfortable, we had an oversized Verandah cabin. The bed was comfortable and ... Read More
I went because it was recommended by friends. It was an RSVP chartered cruise. The crew was friendly and liked working the gay cruise. The cabin was comfortable, we had an oversized Verandah cabin. The bed was comfortable and afforded a good night's sleep. The balcony was an oasis of calm where I could read and unwind. The bathroom was small, but well appointed and did what it needed to do. Our cabin was kept clean by the crew. The main theatre was very cool - the led covered walls were stellar. The lighting designer took the time to talk with me about the theatre tech (thank you!). I'm a set designer for a few local theatre companies and was curious about the theatre. Food: The food was good to great. The buffet always had good choices (vegetarian here) morning to night. The main dining room had good quality food but service was never less than 2 hours. The signature restaurants were worth the modest up-charge. Alcoholic drinks weren't as expensive as I thought, but there wasn't a drink package (I hear they are available on the non-gay cruises). Excursion: Half-Moon Cay was a relaxing place. We had a bungalow with butler service and it was worth every penny. Our butler was so helpful and engaging. One criticism is that the spa staff are all programmed to hard-sell the services. I had pre-booked a massage, which was good. However, from the spa tour through my appointment, everyone was trying to get me to spend more. My "treatment plan" would have cost >$1000. I didn't go back and avoided the spa entirely after my appointment - it wasn't a relaxing area. I will consider HAL for my future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Chose this cruise as it went to ports we had not been to and wanted to experience the ms Koningsdam. We were not disappointed as it is a wonderful ship and a lot different from other Holland America ships we have sailed on. The ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it went to ports we had not been to and wanted to experience the ms Koningsdam. We were not disappointed as it is a wonderful ship and a lot different from other Holland America ships we have sailed on. The different ports of call certainly added to the wonderful experience. Guadeloupe was not at all what i expected it was much more worn down than i had expected. Gran Turk was beautiful but again not what I had expected. The shore excursion to the historic village in Romana was a real good experience The entertainment was spectacular. The wrap around lighting was unusual. We had a family room and it offered two bathrooms which was an added benefit. The dining was excellent in all outlets especially the Dive for burgers and fries. We also had an excellent dinner in the Pinnacle Grill. The wine steward upsold us on a bottle of wine and we were pleased that she did. Overall it was a great cruise and would recommend the itinerary as well as the ms Koningsdam. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose to sail on the Koningsdam because its ports included Martinique and Antigua, which we had not visited previously. We were also interested in this ship because it shares a designer, Adam Tihany, with the Celebrity Solstice-class ... Read More
We chose to sail on the Koningsdam because its ports included Martinique and Antigua, which we had not visited previously. We were also interested in this ship because it shares a designer, Adam Tihany, with the Celebrity Solstice-class ships, which we love. We were very impressed with the Koningsdam, which is beautiful and the perfect size (not too big and not too small). The food is the best we've had on a mainstream/premium cruise line. The food on the Lido deck was particularly good. We ate in the main dining room three times for dinner and the food and service was quite good by cruise ship standards. We had nine dinners in the specialty restaurants, Sel de Mer, Culinary Arts Center, Pinnacle Grill, Tamarind, and Canaletto, and had good food there as well. The burgers and hot dogs at Dive In, and the pizza at New York Deli and Pizza sounded better on the menu than they were, but still a notch above most other cruise ships. We love the music walk concept, especially the talented young quintet performing at Lincoln Center Stage. Our veranda stateroom was a little tight but well-appointed with plenty of storage and a great television opposite the bed. The live TV channels were restricted to news (BBC News included, fortunately) and sports (ESPN), but there was a great selection of on-demand films and TV shows at no additional cost. Very comfortable bed and pillows. As others have noted, the toilet is positioned so that I had to sit almost sideways on it (I'm 5 foot 8 inches tall). It didn't really bother me but it's unfortunate; as others have noted the shower is fantastic and made up for the toilet. Best water pressure I've had on land or sea. The service in the staterooms and throughout the ship was efficient and friendly. We did not notice a lot of attempts to sell us add-ons during the cruise as others have noted. In fact, we had less up-selling than on other cruises. We enjoyed our 11 days on the Koningsdam so much that we booked a 10-night cruise for next January on the forthcoming sister ship Nieuw Statendam. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We had sailed on the Konigsdam last year. It is a nice ship. Glad to hear they are adding a library. Amazing food. Each night and day we were delighted with the food provided by the dining room and Lido Staff. There was as always an ... Read More
We had sailed on the Konigsdam last year. It is a nice ship. Glad to hear they are adding a library. Amazing food. Each night and day we were delighted with the food provided by the dining room and Lido Staff. There was as always an air of great service and the staff do an amazing job. We really enjoyed having the awesome itinerary as we haven't done a southern Caribbean cruise in the past. We met great people. We tried out the spa for the package for the 11 days and really enjoyed the relaxing that it provided. We didn't take many shore excursions but mostly went to the beach by cab. We thought that the Top 10 tour at St. Maarten was really well done. The damage done to this beautiful island is amazing. The spirit of those who live on the islands is full of life and it will be interesting as the rebuilding continues.Great Celtic performance by Live Wire. Overall it was a fantastic holiday. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Will never go with Holland America again. Ship was crowded and room was very small.food was horrible . Deserts were tasteless. Coffee was like thick mud. Staff were not helpful and need to be retrained. Too many walkers look more like ... Read More
Will never go with Holland America again. Ship was crowded and room was very small.food was horrible . Deserts were tasteless. Coffee was like thick mud. Staff were not helpful and need to be retrained. Too many walkers look more like a nursing home. Not enough shaded area for guest. What little was available was always saved by rude quest. We have been on other cruise lines and will return to them. HAL. Had certainly lost its reputation of being a great cruise line . It is now just a cheap place for the elderly to spend the winter. We met a lot of people who lived in Florida and got such a reduced rate that they just could not pass up the bargin. We have sailed with them before and have never had such problems. Please evaluate how you want to spend your v action dollars and do not use this cruise line of you are not over 80. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The ship. It was our second time on Koningsdam and I will admit, although not as grand as last January, it was fantastic! First off there were two disappointing things: the NY Deli and the BBC movies being shown poolside. That said, the ... Read More
The ship. It was our second time on Koningsdam and I will admit, although not as grand as last January, it was fantastic! First off there were two disappointing things: the NY Deli and the BBC movies being shown poolside. That said, the rest was fantastic as expected. Granted there are no "hairy chest" contests by the pool and you don't see rowdy groups of drunken party goers, but that's why I chose Holland America. I call it "rest & relaxation". The rooms are very typical unless you compare to Seabourn or the likes. The service is always top notch. We love the Grand Dutch café, the Tamarind, the Pinnacle and the Canaletto. The America's test Kitchen is a favorite as is the Digital Work shop. I enjoy the World Stage and must admit the shows always seem to be just a touch above most of the other lines. my favorite night time activity is the Music Walk. This last cruise had the best Billboard duo ever. Closed it down every night with pretty much the same lively group, great entertainers. BB King was very good as we jumped back and forth between Billboard and Queen's Lounge every night. I really hate to see poor reviews. Firstly because someone didn't have a great vacation but mostly because people don't do their research before sailing. The offerings are there but it's up to each cruiser to pick that ship that offers his or her likings! They certainly are not all the same!!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We were a group of 14 and we traveled to the Western Caribbean December 27, 2017 to Jan. 3, 2018. The ship is only about two years old and is well thought out. Best part is there is an onboard internet system that allows you to text each ... Read More
We were a group of 14 and we traveled to the Western Caribbean December 27, 2017 to Jan. 3, 2018. The ship is only about two years old and is well thought out. Best part is there is an onboard internet system that allows you to text each other so we didn't waste time looking for each other. My family of four had two rooms with ocean view. Plenty of storage space, the shower is great with dispensers for soap, shampoo and conditioner, great absorbent bathrobes, TV has movies that are currently out in theaters and the cabin stewards were very efficient our rooms were cleaned right away and they were very nice. My daughters had an adjoining door between their cabin and the next and you could hear a bit so I would ask for one without an adjoining door between the two in the future. We chose 8:00pm dining (deck 2 dining room) and the waiters helped out with different dietary restrictions in our party of 14. It was my daughter's birthday and they brought out a huge cake (yes free of charge) for all to share, the maitre'd and waiters were exceptional. The food was wonderful throughout the ship. The ship has beautiful artwork throughout and there are many places to explore (deck 12 Crow's nest is a good gameroom meeting place at the end of the evening). The Seaview pool is quieter than the lido pool (more for adults) and is multilevel. The entertainment was very good. Here's a list of just some of the things we went to: 2 person piano players playing and singing requests (Nathalie & Ashley) , the dancing/singing shows were well done with wonderful costumes, line dancing was short but fun, martini tastings, stretching classes, fitness room is big and very nice, high tea & dancing. Overall the staff was great and the ship was very clean and there was plenty of things to keep you busy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I have always liked Holland America. This was our seventh cruise. I feel they offer good value. The new ship is beautiful. Our cabin was lovely , but not well designed for a small suite. There was a large dressing area with a desk and ... Read More
I have always liked Holland America. This was our seventh cruise. I feel they offer good value. The new ship is beautiful. Our cabin was lovely , but not well designed for a small suite. There was a large dressing area with a desk and a built in Murphy bed, but in the sleeping area, there was a bed and a chaise lounge. One could only view the television sitting in bed. The staff was friendly and very helpful. We enjoyed dining in the specialty restaurants where the food was delicious. Specialty restaurants were also less crowded. Our only complaint was the smoking policy. Smoking is allowed throughout the casino. We had to leave twice and did not go back. They should not allow it, but they do. They have one non-smoking night. Perhaps it should be the other was around, one smoking night. Smoking is also allowed on the lido deck and the area is too large. If you dislike smoke, you cannot go near the bar. They also do not enforce the no-smoking on your balcony. We complained more than once and then stopped complaining. The smokers put out a DO NOT DISTURB sign, so the ship personnel could not even knock to ask them not to smoke. The pool are cannot accommodate everyone on the ship. This was disappointing. There is an area where you can reserve cabanas, but there are only a few and they were taken long before the ship sailed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
My husband and I are avid cruisers in our late 40's. This is our first trip on the Holland America line. We chose this because of the dates of travel since we wanted to go away over New Years and because the price was reasonable. We ... Read More
My husband and I are avid cruisers in our late 40's. This is our first trip on the Holland America line. We chose this because of the dates of travel since we wanted to go away over New Years and because the price was reasonable. We chose the 7 day voyage of is cruise. We have been to all of the ports before, except HAL's island and all were nice. We have sailed on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Azamara, Norwegian, and Disney. This ship reminds us most of Princess. It was very elegant and did skew to older people. We were in the minority when it came to age. There was a good mix of passengers from all over speaking many languages. Some of the reviews I read were not that great and I cannot understand why. This is one of the best cruises we've taken. Everything was excellent. Room: We chose an inside cabin to keep costs down and we spend very little time in our room anyway. The cabin was laid out nicely. The most impressive thing was the amount of storage space we had. Also, the shower was very large, bigger than any we've had before and even large enough for 2 people. The bed was really comfortable and we had a large tv that had tons of movies all for free. Service: The service everywhere was excellent. We got a hello from every crew member we passed. Our cabin steward was excellent, came to introduce himself and we saw him frequently and he always addressed us by name. Our room was cleaned at least twice a day and we got chocolates and towel animals every night. The service in the main dining room and the lido buffet was top notch. We had open seating so we had different servers each night and all were excellent, helpful and friendly. So service everywhere was top notch. Everyone went out of their way to greet you and make you feel at home. Food: All food that we had was delicious. First in the main dining room where we ate dinner every night, all food was hot and tasty. There were many choices at dinner and you could get whatever you wanted and as much as you wanted. We loved the lido buffet area on the pool deck. We ate breakfast there every morning and had some lunches there. They had an excellent selection. I've never seen so many varieties of bread. They also had an awesome salad station with about 100 different things to choose from and someone makes your salad for you and then mixes the dressing in. There was also pasta stations, Asian stations, and carving stations just to name a few. There was a nice dessert selection, a lot of cookies and hard and soft serve ice cream in waffle cones or bowls. I also loved the fact that most things were not self serve. The crew would give you the food. I liked this because it cut down on passengers touching and putting their hands all over the food, coughing, etc. and you could get as much as you wanted from the servers. They were happy to dish out anything. Sorry to say but passengers can be rude and kind of gross and greedy so the whole setup of the buffet was really nice and I would say the best ship buffet we have had. Other food options that were great was the Dive In, a burger, hotdog and fry place. Food was cooked to order and it was super. There was also the NY Deli. They had bagel sandwiches in the morning among other things (their NY bagel with lox and cream cheese was delicious), had pizza and big deli sandwiches at lunch and dinner and during movie nights you could get nachos and cheese, soft pretzels, chicken wings, cheesy Doritos, popcorn, corn dogs, etc. so much food to choose from and all free. There was a paid gelato place which we did not do because of the free ice cream. We also did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants so I cannot speak to that. All of the included food was so good, we did not need to spend extra money. Entertainment: We very much enjoyed the entertainment. There was a cruise director and her assistant but no other staff. We saw all of the shows- a comedian that was funny, a magician who was great, two shows with the singers and dancers which were really fun with great music, a piano player who did a bunch of Elton John and Billy Joel and then a really nice live band that played along to a BBC production of a nature show. It was fantastic. There was not a ton of stuff going on during the day, but enough to keep you entertained. We played trivia a few different times and it was hard but fun. They had Billboard Onboard which we loved and went to a lot. It was like dueling pianos. Lots of fun. If you like jazz and blues, a very popular place was B.B. King's blues club that was really happening. And if you are into classical music they had some string musicians at Lincoln Center Stage. So a lot of really nice entertainment. This was not a crazy party cruise and I would not choose HAL if you want that. They did have what looked like a really cool Pub Crawl one night where we saw people go from bar to bar and they seemed to have a great time. There were movies out by the pool on most nights on a big screen and that was a lot of fun. Ports: We went to their island Half Moon Cay which was great and just what you'd expect from a ship's island. We also went to Grand Caymen, Cozumel, and Key West. We've been to all before so there was nothing special we did. No pre planned excursions. Other: Some really nice touches were afternoon tea each day. We went just once but it was elegant and a lot of fun to have good tea, sandwiches, scones and pastries. Also a nice touch on New Year's Eve, not only did we get champagne, but we also got a whole bunch of hors de vores. To thank the passengers for cruising, they also had toward the end of the cruise a chocolate surprise night and servers came around with a ton of chocolate treats for everyone. It was decadent and delicious. So overall, an excellent experience. I would definitely book with HAL again. The ship was beautiful and well appointed. It was decorated beautifully and there was something for everyone. Anything you were not happy with, they do their best to fix the problem. Cruise director was friendly and outgoing and always all around the ship. There was a place to make you own blend of wine and a cool culinary kitchen concept. You could never be bored and if you wanted to just sit around the pool and relax, there were so many spaces to do this. Lots of comfortable chairs and beds, and seats to choose from. Easy embarkation and debarkarion and we were allowed into our rooms immediately. We were on the ship by 11:30am. I don't know how they do it so fast. A great trip from beginning to end! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We always take a New Years cruise with friends, but the way the holidays worked out on the calendar this year left us with few ideal options for travel. We initially chose this particular cruise because it was the right length (7 days), ... Read More
We always take a New Years cruise with friends, but the way the holidays worked out on the calendar this year left us with few ideal options for travel. We initially chose this particular cruise because it was the right length (7 days), left mid-week, long enough after Christmas and several days prior to New Years Eve, and it got back in enough time for everyone to get back to school. OVERVIEW (PLEASE READ THIS SECTION, EVEN IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE BELOW) Having cruised on several different cruise lines 25+ times prior to this trip, we were fully aware that Holland America Line caters to an older clientele. We also knew the basics of what to expect in terms of onboard amenities, service and entertainment. We chose to book this sailing for three main reasons: 1. The dates were ideal for us. 2. This is a brand new ship. 3. It was a holiday sailing, which we figured would skew younger. If you're looking for an experience akin to what you'd find on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian or Princess (or similar), look elsewhere. This is NOT the cruise line for you. Activities were mostly boring and repetitive, and we walked out on several we chose to attend. We often found ourselves walking around looking for something to do, which has never been our experience on any cruise ship before. More on activities later. We do not have unrealistic expectations with service, and in fact we're happy to acknowledge and accept that sometimes things don't go perfectly according to plan. It's how it's handled when things go sideways that the service is really put to the test. That said, the service onboard ranged anywhere from lackluster to awful. Certain people in high-profile service positions were downright rude, snarky and unhelpful. Specifics below. We were never asked about buying an inclusive drink package or upgrading to a paid dining option, which was a welcome change to other cruises we've taken. EMBARKATION Aside from the rainy weather, embarkation was a breeze. Check-in lines were managed well and moved smoothly. The check-in agent was friendly, efficient and helpful. Our cabins were ready when we boarded, which was a nice change of pace. SHIP This ship is exquisite! We've never sailed on a ship so beautifully appointed. You name it - the tasteful flooring, the welcoming and comfortable furniture, the interesting artwork on the walls, and the variety of gorgeous light fixtures - it all made us feel like we were traveling in affluent style. The layout is easy to navigate, and there's plenty of well-designed signage to help point you in the direction you want to go. CABINS We had an interior cabin. Aside from being as beautifully appointed as the rest of the ship, the cabin was especially roomy with plenty of storage. In fact, there was so much storage space that some drawers and cabinets went unused. That was a first. The in-room entertainment is spectacular. Dozens of first-run movies are available on demand on a large new flat-screen TV. Live TV includes CNBC, MSNBC, FOX News, ESPN and ESPN2. I'm convinced that the cabins onboard the Koningsdam feature the nicest bathrooms at sea. The designers traded industrial molded composite flooring for attractive black tile, and the sink and countertop were a tasteful white stone. But the real difference was the shower. Rather than a tiny shower enclosure tucked into the corner of the bathroom, the shower was a full rectangular stall with a glass door. No more soaping the walls and spinning. The rain shower head was a nice addition. The only thing that seemed out of place was the shampoo/conditioner/body wash dispenser attached to the wall. The Koningsdam seems like a higher class offering than that, but it's just a minor point. We were very happy with the accommodations. One minor issue was the electronic key reader attached to the door of one of our cabins. The black cover fell off every single time we opened the door. Not a critical issue, but an annoyance, especially on a ship so new. DINING Overall, no matter where we ate, the food itself was terrific. We did not book meals at any of the pay-extra restaurants. The variety of options was satisfactory, and whatever we ordered was flavorful and attractively presented. Dinners were either in the dining room or at the buffet. Unfortunately, aside from the food quality, the dining experience left much to be desired. We were two families traveling together and our 8:00 PM dining reservations were not linked (as they were supposed to be) when we boarded. We paid a visit to the dining room to sort it out, and after some back-and-forth with the maitre 'd, we settled on two adjacent tables of four. Not ideal, but an acceptable resolution given the circumstances. One particular standout was the Dive-In burger bar on the lido deck. When you place your order, they give you a buzzer and page you when it's ready. The burgers were fantastic and the Nathan's hot dogs were delicious, but the real star of this show were the french fries. I wish I could find french fries like that on land! The biggest issue is that this dining option closes at 6:00 PM. Again, what's up with the hours they keep on this ship? The main issues were as follows: - After a day in port we opted to dine at the buffet instead of the dining room. Thus, we made a plan to meet at our regular time (8:00 PM) at the buffet. The only problem? The buffet inexplicably closes at 8:00 PM! Seriously. There is no acceptable reason why the buffet shouldn't be an alternative option to dining in the dining room. The buffet should be open the same hours as the dining room. This is basic stuff, and someone REALLY dropped the ball on it. Now, at 8:10 PM, all dressed in shorts and sandals, we were forced to go to the dining room to eat. When we arrived, they tried to turn us away due to our clothing (the dining room requires men to wear pants on all but the first and last night), but we insisted and kept moving toward our table. The staff relented and didn't continue to make it an issue. We're still perplexed about why the buffet closes so early, and we were unable to get any logical answers, even after registering the complaint with the guest relations desk. - Speaking of the buffet, the different stations all close at random intervals during the day. Sometimes some stations are open while others are not. Your chances of being able to get an ice cream cone at any given time, based on our experience, is somewhere between, "hahaha, that's funny," and, "what's ice cream?" - New Year's Eve. Everyone understands that this is a special night, and so should the dining room. We all got dressed up and went to get portraits done before dinner. The lines for pictures were longer than we anticipated and we showed up to the dining room about 25 minutes late. There is no leeway given in the dining room; if you're not there 15 minutes after your appointed time (8:00 PM), they give your table to someone else. Fair enough, but again there's no consideration for the event nature of the night. The assistant maitre 'd, Arsa, explained to us that he'd given our table away because we didn't show in time. He then explained that all the tables in the dining room were taken. That was it. He walked away and didn't even bother trying to help any further. Eight people in our party, including four kids, and he offered no solution. When he finally came back, between five and 10 minutes later, we demanded some sort of solution. He spent more time walking around, told us again that there were no tables, and ultimately handed us a buzzer like you'd find at a chain restaurant on a busy Saturday night. He said our wait would be around 30 minutes. 30 minutes later (after 9:00 PM) we came back to the dining room to ask about the status. Arsa was walking through the dining room toward the front, he saw us, and he immediately turned around and started bussing tables. After ignoring us for a good five minutes I finally was forced to approach him by walking through the dining room. I asked him about our status in the middle of tables full of guests, at which point he became snotty with me. It took another 30 or so minutes to finally be shown to a table - a full hour AFTER we were given the buzzer. Totally unacceptable, but at least we were ignored and were given plenty of attitude for our trouble. When we arrived at our table, before even sitting down, another group of eight people was shown to the same table. The wait staff and dining room management were nowhere to be found. Both groups of us stood staring at one another for five or so minutes before someone from the dining room came to help. The other group was shown to a different table and we finally were able to sit down and enjoy a meal. I probably didn't do a very good job of explaining just how frustrating, annoying and terribly handled this was. Trust me when I say that it was what sealed the deal for us to never sail with Holland America again. ENTERTAINMENT Boring. That's the only word I can use to describe onboard activities. This is why I made the comment above about RCCL, NCL, Carnival and others. The activities were sparse, especially if you don't gamble. One or two planned activities per hour really slowed things to a screeching halt. The only activity taking place on the deck was the New Year's Eve party, but short of a special event like that there was nothing to speak of. There was a funny comedian one night in the World Stage, but other shows were not good. We walked out of two and didn't bother with the rest. Even basics like trivia contests were hard to find on the schedule, and when they were there they conflicted with dinner. The only nighttime activities worth visiting were the dueling pianos Billboard Onboard lounge and the band performing in the Queen's Lounge branded as B.B. King's. Every single night. Otherwise, you'll find daily stretching and yoga, daily mass, computer classes, mah johgg meet-ups, and a nightly movie shown on the lido deck screen. Seriously, nothing else exciting or even remotely interesting in the dull calendar. Like I said: boring. Nearly everything on this ship has a corporate sponsor (BBC, Lincoln Center, Billboard, Oprah, Food Network, Microsoft), which you'd think would be fine, but it felt intrusive and salesy. We had an issue with watching the Rose Bowl onboard (broadcast on ESPN), but since that's a one-time thing I won't bother spelling out the details. I'll just say that the guest services staff tried to organize a formal viewing location in the culinary arts center, but the staff there didn't seem to be aware. SPA We bought access to the thermal suite at the spa for the entire voyage ($299 per couple). Included is a central reclining pool (a giant hot tub) with massaging jet streams, heated ceramic lounges with window vistas, a steam room, sauna, cold water bucket and therapeutic showers, including a unique horizontal shower and a very spacious rain shower. Upon purchase we were told it would be available to us from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM every day. On the final day of the voyage we were told that the reclining pool would be closed for scheduled maintenance at 6:00 PM. I spoke to the spa manager about this and after some discussion she agreed to issue a half-day, pro-rated refund. There was no answer regarding why they do scheduled maintenance during open hours when it could be done after 10:00 PM, but the manager agreed it didn't make sense. A half-win, but not really. SERVICE I've already covered dining room management, and the buffet issue is still confounding. In spite of poor management, the wait staff in the dining room were wonderful. Our cabin steward was fantastically pleasant and nice, but other than the basic block-and-tackle job of cleaning up and making beds, he didn't get the job done. I requested a bottle of distilled water for the room twice and it was never delivered. I also repeatedly asked for additional bath towels, yet extras were never left in the room when it was made up. Again, he was pleasant and he got the basic job done, but it's also his job to know what the guest needs - especially after being approached repeatedly about the same things. On the final morning you are permitted to remain in your cabin until your tag number is called for disembarkation, which is also a nice change of pace. However, the minibar staff spend most of that time banging on doors so they can access and account for all the stuff in your fridge. This is a nuisance, and it could be handled after people are already gone. Just another poorly executed service issue that could easily be resolved. The guest services staff seemed to be more interested in making excuses than finding solutions for issues here and there. Minor inconveniences that could have been easily resolved turned into annoyances that would prevent me from sailing this line again. PORTS The ports of call were fine. The beach bar we went to at Half Moon Cay (owned and managed by the cruise line, mind you) ran out of piña colada mix pretty early in the day. The most popular drink at a beach bar and they ran out. Someone should have to answer for that. We didn't book any excursions through the cruise line, so no commentary on that service. CONCLUSION Overall, the ship is beautiful and the accommodations are the best we've experienced at sea. If we weren't traveling with friends, the terribly boring cruise would have sunk us. And the service onboard leaves much to be desired. We'll never sail with HAL again, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone I know. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Went on this ship from Ft Lauderdale, December 27th 2017. We chose this ship because the dates fit for our family. The ship was very clean and looked very impressive. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. The staff at ... Read More
Went on this ship from Ft Lauderdale, December 27th 2017. We chose this ship because the dates fit for our family. The ship was very clean and looked very impressive. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. The staff at the excursion desk were wonderful. The food on board in the restaurant was on par with Carnival, plain, boring and cold, we expected more from a new ship that was boasting about their cuisine. The lido buffet was ok, but it wasn't self service, the staff put the food you point at on your plate and unfortunately that takes time, so the lines are long, you definitely will not gain any weight on this ship. After about 4 days into our trip the salad bar had run out of beets, bacon bits, and various other items. The deserts in the buffet were flavourless and only about 5 varieties were on offer. The entertainment was short and boring, the only place that had anything going for it was Billboard, the piano bar. The ship hosted a pub crawl and one evening whilst we were in Billboard the entertainers had to stop their show because of the leader who was yelling into a mega phone telling them to chug chug chug. The show resumed after they had left but the entertainers were not happy. One of our ports of call was Cozumel, the ship docked at Puerto Maya which is about 5 miles away from the old town, this cost us $10 plus tip each way to get to the market area. After saving for a year to take this vacation we were very disappointed, I doubt we will cruise this ship or cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
My Grandmother chose this ship for our family vacation. She, being a 4 star mariner, wanted to see the new ship and thought the family would enjoy our experience. 20 of us boarded the ship for an 11 day Caribbean cruise. The day we ... Read More
My Grandmother chose this ship for our family vacation. She, being a 4 star mariner, wanted to see the new ship and thought the family would enjoy our experience. 20 of us boarded the ship for an 11 day Caribbean cruise. The day we boarded, each of our rooms we're charged $12.50 per person per day as a service charge. Now the charge applies to everyone from infants to the elderly. So for me thats a $825 charge I was unaware of. Then they double it as a deposit for your onboard spending. So now I've been on the ship for less than 24Hrs and I've been charged $1650 in addition to the ticket price of the ship and half of that i won't get back because its considered a tip for the staff. Thats right, my 1 year old son had to tip the staff $137.50. Lets move on to the service and staff. Demand a receipt after every transaction because the drinks changed price with every server not to mention the automatic 15% gratuity added to every transaction as well. They will give you the most expensive wine they can find if you don't specify what you want. Our second night in the dinning room we changed our seating up a little so eat with other family members, 4 of us never received our entrees and then were told we never ordered them. That fiasco went on the whole trip. Everyone that sat at that table got repeated poor service for the entire trip. Now remember we were already charged the tip for this service on day one. My 1 year old son was not allowed in ANY pool on the ship so if my other kids wanted to swim one parent had to stay out and walk around with him. The free ice cream station was only open for a short time before they closed it and opened the payed ice cream station for most of the night. The food portions in the dinning room always left us hungry and in a hurry to get upstairs to the buffet before they closed and then you had to order payed room service. We watched in horror as a woman walked back up to the buffet counter and told the cook she found something else she wanted elsewhere on the ship and handed him back her plate which he proceeded to place back into the available food! Arif, our server, and Buddy and Jami, our stewards were the only competent people on the ship. Our room tv stopped working after 11pm. The sales people are overly pushy if they do help. I think they try to bore you into buying things. Sadly there is not much to do on this ship, it was just plain and boring. If sitting there doing nothing but waiting to die is your thing then this is the cruise for you. They should rename it Heavens Waiting Room. Even my grandmother was bored to death. Overall I've learned Pirates still exist in the Caribbean... they just pose as cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Here's the deal.....In my opinion the many time sailed HAL past passengers ( and avg age is much older than other cruise lines) don't like the ship as it is a departure from the older HAL ships.... something HAL has had to do to ... Read More
Here's the deal.....In my opinion the many time sailed HAL past passengers ( and avg age is much older than other cruise lines) don't like the ship as it is a departure from the older HAL ships.... something HAL has had to do to bring new customers to HAL. Otherwise HAL will struggle to grow. Therefore the 60% 'like' number doesn't reflect the great steps HAL has taken to move their brand forward, compete with other more upscale lines, Celebrity, Princess, etc. Keeping with the 'midsize' ship strategy the 'K' has attempted to hold the old guard, bring in the new, with touches the HAL traveled customer will be drawn to but with a lot of new innovation Everything on the ship is 'brighter', art more modern, menu's more healthy, entertainment more contemporary, while espousing a more 'green' approach to life itself. Foremost he "K" was designed around a Music arts theme.....you got to like this....or you don't. Some breakthrough steps forward...., the pseudo "in the round" main theater/stage, numerous varied music venues, the continued evolution of the cruise industry first of the kind culinary arts program, with farm to table classes and dining as well as adjacent wine enthusiast - the 'art of wine making.'Keeping with tradition the Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto serve top notch meals and service, and Ser de Mar is exquisite (at a price)! All of this a great step forward for HAL, but comes off at times a bit quirky. Music venues are all 'ganged' together in same ship location, are larger than standard lounge. They don't play at the same time and fall victim to adjacent noise and adjacent people movement. Shops are shops, not a real draw. No library.... go figure. Huge dedicated, well decked out internet venue, few use. Dining - as mentioned specialty restaurants all superb. Main dining room experience was a hit or miss depending on day/night, location in dining room. A bit disappointing given 'service' has always been paramount. Surprisingly the Lido buffet was some what of a conundrum. Many themed stations, but still lined up cafeteria style, very limited self serve, which I'm sure has received mixed review. food appeared healthier than many buffet, portions more reasonable. And they had good table service, wine and beer service. And those automated hand washing stations.... pretty neat, but didn't see many use them, antiseptic stations.... you had to look for them, HAL doesn't push this point. Cabins.... see my review below. Ports.....the ABC's with the Bahamas, Turks and DP..... lots of BEEEEChes. So only gave it 3 stars.... actually wanted to give it 3 1/2..... I think the "K" is the 1st piece of the HAL evolution, can't wait to see how they have evolved this over the next 4-5 years. If not..... I'm not sure how passengers will respond to HAL. Oh and we are "equal opportunity cruisers." Cruise them all and many times....what are your thoughts? Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My wife and I chose the Konigsdam because it was Holland America's newest ship and our previous cruises (three) with Holland America had been our favorite as compared to the other five cruise lines we have experienced. Our last ... Read More
My wife and I chose the Konigsdam because it was Holland America's newest ship and our previous cruises (three) with Holland America had been our favorite as compared to the other five cruise lines we have experienced. Our last cruise with Holland was in 2012 and there have been real changes since then and not for the better. The ship, although nice, did not have the elegance of the other Holland American ships and was very modern in decor. I should comment that my wife and I are retired. The cabin was very nice in appearance and the shower was the best we have experienced on any cruise line. That being said, the one thing you expect from any cabin is a good bed but that clearly was not what we got. The bed was so hard, the second day I asked the cabin attendant to get and us a foam pad for the bed. While this helped we never got a good night's sleep for the whole cruise. They call their new mattresses "Mariners Dream" but I have another name for them which is not complimentary. Holland America used to be known for their wonderful beds which I had experienced on our previous three cruises with them. Due to the bed situation I can only give a poor rating for the cabin, but in every other way it was very good, The entertainment in the theater was very good as usual in particular the third night show was spectacular with visual images surrounding us as there is almost a circular screen within which you are seated. The food and service in the main dining room really changed and not for the better. My wife and I are are good cooks so we are tough judges of food quality. That probably explains why we don't go out to eat often as many of the so-called good restaurants don't measure up, As such we expect very good food and in all previous Holland America cruises that is exactly what we experienced. No so on the Konigsdam. The Caneleto Restaurant used to be at no extra charge, but now it is. We did not go. We also did not go to any specialty restaurants. After the theater at night there was only one area for dancing and the band was not good in our opinion. After the band finished they had a "track" of dance tunes but by then most people had gone off to bed. The ports were all Caribbean and had the usual good beaches. We did not book any excursions through the ship and we usually don't as you can get better pricing on your own. In conclusion, this cruise was disappointing mainly due to the quality of the bed and the food and service in the main dining areas. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We spent the night at the Hilton Garden Inn Dania Beach using the park and cruise package. It is a great location close to many stores and restaurants. It is also right off I-95 so an easy jump point for going home. They have a nice pool ... Read More
We spent the night at the Hilton Garden Inn Dania Beach using the park and cruise package. It is a great location close to many stores and restaurants. It is also right off I-95 so an easy jump point for going home. They have a nice pool and hot tub and with the cruise package you get free shuttle service and cook to order breakfast. The sun was out as we arrived at terminal 26. Embarkation was bit disjointed. First screening, then we had a crowd around two tables to fill out the illness questionnaires which was a bit unnecessary as this could have been done while checking in. A Hal member won't let you up the stairs until you have it in hand. From there you get your sea cards and a number. You sit in the holding area until they call your number then you get to board. From entrance to on board took about an hour. We had lunch in the Lido which is always their best. Sliced tenderloin with mashed potatoes and gravy and fish and chips were our first experiences. Tenderloin was very good but the fish was not cod nor batter dipped so kind of soggy. Luggage arrived promptly, before the muster drill. Muster drill was a little odd as they tell you to go to your stateroom and watch a video. You then proceed to waiting area where they scan your sea cards. Ours was in the second story of the dining room near the back. The captain announces his various instructions while staff demonstrate how to use a life jacket (you don't need to bring yours). Cabin: We stayed in cabin 8193 at the back of the ship. We loved the new cabins! We were very close to the lido market and the aft pool which would become our home. The cabin felt roomy to me as did the balcony. I could sit in the chair to the back and barely reach the glass with my toes. Very nice glassware provided. Lots of plugs both regular and USB. Linens and pillows soft and comfy. Probably one of the most relaxing beds we have had on a cruise ship.Air conditioning was spot on and you could actually make the room too cold, Nice! Shower was the best I have ever had at sea. I have wide shoulders but moved around easily. Nice Pressure as well. The Elemis products were a nice touch.Then we spotted the much maligned toilet. Are you kidding me??? I had no problem sitting on it any way I wanted. Stateroom TV has a nice picture with lots of Movies (inside tip: when searching for a movie go to the All section as there were movies that didn't go into any category). I found the new Harry Potter "Fantastic Beasts" movie that way. There are three comedy channels on demand, Big Bang Theory, Castle, and Parks and Rec. There are four on demand drama series including Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, How to get away with murder and Scandal. You can view menus for both the specialty restaurants and the daily DRM from the TV. The music channels are a complete joke! Wow I get to choose between Easy Listening, Easy Listening 2 and Big Band. Seriously??? I know it is a ship with and older crowd but would it kill you to put a little rock and roll in there? Safe has a little light that comes on which is nice. All in all a spacious sturdy quiet cabin and relaxing home. Ship: We enjoyed the layout of the ship. Never felt cramped. The music themed art was interesting. Some areas could use some more modernizing. First I would get rid of Blend as it is a complete waste of space. In 10 days we saw one small group in there once. I would take it out and steal some space from the tired Ocean bar and add a craft beer bar. Maybe pair with a craft brewery and create signature HAL beers. This would also put it directly across from the Culinary Arts Center which I believe would make a great pairing since may craft beer enthusiasts also love farm to table. If you ever hear that only one gangway is available you might as well wait since the line winds down a long hallway past peoples cabins. I am surprised that they are wasting space and paper for the photo section. Most modern ships have gone to a kiosk system which lets you view and print the photos you want. The promenade has been shortened but it is still very walk-able and goes completely around the ship. They have a walking track but the only problem is they hose down the decks the night before which makes walking a little slippery (buy a squeegee guys!). Dining: Our Mantra was no dining room! We stuck to Lido Market, NY deli, Dive in, Dutch Cafe and Room Service. Lido Market: Needs better labeling. Usually there are only four small plaques for the entrees with little notation about what the sides were. At one point my DW asked what was in the stuffed potato to which she was told "potato". We were like yes we get that but what is it stuffed with? "Potato" Food was hit and miss. I fail to understand why they make premade sandwiches when you can just have a sandwich station and build your own. The pasta and Asian stations are good and offer a lot. The salad area looked good but we never tried it. Carving station was good but a little heavy on the lamb and rotisserie chicken. The breakfasts offer standard fare but the omelet station was great. Lots of ingredients to choose from including steak and they do a great over easy eggs. If you go to Homestead you can request Eggs Benedict. Some were good and some were just OK. Room service: Is top notch. The best thing from their anytime dining was the roast beef panini. Lots of roast beef! The best part is you can get the dining room menu delivered to your room. You have to order within the first hour of it opening but you can set a delivery time. Usually we said deliver at 6:30 pm and it would arrive on time or just a bit early. They put a metal warming plate under your dinner plate to keep things hot. Sure beats two hours in the dining room. Room service will also come a remove your trays when finished. Meals came with a small vase of fresh daisies. Getting room service your first and last days on board is problematic since they are slammed. Dutch Cafe: You must go here at least once if not many times on your cruise. The best thing to get is the snack tray available 4:30 to 8 pm. It contains three Bitterballen which are like balls of meat and mashed potatoes deep fried in a nice crust. There are three spicy spring rolls filled with meat and cheese. Finally you get three of what they call cheese souffle which are actually like a flat cheese sticks filled with gooey cheese. There are three dipping sauces...mustard (good w/ Bitterballen), sweet chili (good w/spring rolls) and mayonnaise (your guess is as good as mine). All this stuff is delicious!!! You must have it!!! We tried the ham and cheese it was not all that. Very little ham. Very friendly staff. Pinnacle grill: Food was delicious. We had the lobster bisque which was very creamy. My DW and I split the crab cake appetizer and they were very good as well. We both got the 10 oz filet which was cooked perfectly with a choice of sauces. Dessert was an epic fail. Our Chocolate molten lava cake had apparently gone dormant years ago since there was no gooey lava in the center. The cake tasted like a chocolate pudding. Now here is my biggest issue. My DW and I like to eat at a good pace and get out but the Pinnacle enforces a ten minute downtime between each dish. I really don't need ten minutes to reflect on what I just ate. Later we found out the Pinnacle meal delivered to your stateroom is only $15 a person and includes anything off the menu you want. So lets see I can get my complete dinner in my room for $30 or sit for two hours in your restaurant and pay $70 for the same thing. Looks like room service Pinnacle grill on any future sailings. Kudos though to Martin the manager of the Pinnacle grill who helped expedite our service and worked above and beyond with other customers to provide the best service possible. New York Deli: One our favorite stops where we ate most of our lunches. First out I got a Reuben which was tasty but a little lean on the meat, later I corrected the problem by asking for extra meat. They also don't over kraut it. My DW got the signature pizza which she said was good with a white sauce and spicy. Other that that I tried the meatball sandwich which was blah. I tried my first bbq pizza and was surprised how good that was. Best of all you can build your own with whatever sauce or toppings you want. My wife ordered the Bronx (meatlovers) but used white sauce instead and added extra cheese. Pizzas usually cook faster than the sandwiches. Dive In: Cannonball, Cannonball, Cannonball !!! This wins hands down best burger at sea. A juicy not greasy patty with bacon, caramelized onions, and Gruyere cheese. They use their Dive in sauce but I found it subtle and did not overpower the burger. Bun was perfect and never got soggy. This burger puts most land based restaurants to shame. And did I mention the cheesy fries? OMG do you want a little fries with your cheese! Delicious! Need a fork to eat these bad boys. Fries are crispy and cooked just the way you would want them. If you miss this place you will want to throw yourself off the boat (so don't miss out). Billboard Bar: Wait, what?? We were talking about food? We are :). Happy hour here is from 4pm-5pm every day. They put out a buffet of yummy appetizers. The are usually two kinds of bruschetta , olive plates, small deli meat plate, small cups of cheese, Then a hot app side that changes daily. The have delicious empandas, spring rolls, dumplings, cheese souffles (similar to dutch cafe..like a flat cheese stick), chicken skewers, etc. You can make a meal right there. Speaking about happy hour... Happy Hour: 4pm to 5pm in the billboard and the crows nest. Buy one get the next for $2. Any drink on the menu. Billboard has the buffet , crow's nest just doles them out. Had numerous Weng Wengs which have seven liquors mixed with fruit juice in a large glass. Happy hour price for two was $11.21. Regular price $17.83. Martini's same price. Some sea days they have a 10am to 11am happy hour at the pool bars. Check ahead to be sure. BB King Blues bar is awesome. Blues and classic rock and R&B to get the guests dancing and clapping their hands. Very talented performers with lots of energy. They change up the sets so they don't play the same stuff over and over. Dueling piano guys were not impressive. They cover a number of tracks but since they are only using pianos seem limited to what they could perform. Might be your cup of tea if you like sing a longs. Didn't attend the Lincoln center but heard they were good. Skipped the shows. Went to movies under the stars and enjoyed that. Most they show are on your stateroom TV as well. We watched the Accountant with Ben Affleck which was pretty good. Comfy chairs with blankets. Popcorn passed out. Skip the snacks at the NY Deli they were a joke. I ordered wings and nachos. I got a cardboard box with two skimpy little wings and a dipping sauce and a cardboard box with some round chips and flavorless cheese sauce. They showed Dr Strange, the Patriot, The girl on the train, the accountant, a Jackie O biopic (not available on the stateroom tv) and some movie about an aspiring opera singer who had no talent, Hot tubs were amazing. Nice and hot! We go at our secret time at 7pm when most people are eating or at shows, I like that they are only built for two so my DW and I can enjoy our privacy. No need to worry about lounge chairs as there are plenty of them and in ten days I saw no walkers looking for chairs.We chose to sit on the upper deck at the aft pool facing the ocean. You get awesome breezes that way. Get the phone app since it is the only way to access your stateroom account. I had trouble setting it up so Vincent, the best guest services guy ever, helped me to set it up. All staff were friendly and helpful and are the best staff at sea! I won't go into too much port details except for three. Amber cove: Alright Amber Cove you made me a believer. Prior to the cruise we had debated whether we would even get off the ship. Man made park, Meh! I was majorly proved wrong. While Turks and Caicos pool area could be hot Amber Cove was a little slice of heaven. Nice breezes and an open pool area that lets you enjoy the scenery. Little birds flitting about singing. Lounge chairs that sit in the pool to keep you cool. Enjoyed a nice four hours here before having to leave. The Carnival Conquest pulled up at noon which I knew would turn this peaceful sanctuary in to Spring Break 17. Party on Carnival dudes! Bonair: Get of the ship, packed with your snorkel gear.start walking right until to end in a casino, turn left go to next street turn right and walk to the end of the street (less than a mile) you will come up to a wide metal gate with small signs in dutch. You have arrived at the Plaza Resort. Day pass is $10 a person which gets you a chair and a drink. They have a coral reef right off shore where in waist deep water you can feel like you are in an aquarium. Hundreds of beautiful multi colored fish scoot by so close you can almost touch them. Bring water shoes so you can walk along and stick your face in the water. Aruba: Get off the Ship. Walk across the street to the local bus terminal, Take a bus to the "Amsterdam Manor". About $2.50 a person. This is the better part of Eagle beach (the most beautiful beach in the world in my opinion).The bus will announce Eagle beach before this but it is an area that offers less facilities. The Resort we stay offered day passes for $15 a person which is a bit high but you get two chairs under a nice large palm frond umbrellas, changing rooms, shower, wifi and a bar which will give you free cups of ice water. The chairs are spaced nicely so you have some breathing room. Get here early as the good seats get gobbled up. Bus stop is right here and runs every 10 minutes except Sunday in which they only run every 20 minutes. If this is too pricey start walking left and you will pass group after group with less expensive options. But these are a shorter walk from the resort than the Eagle beach stop. Debarkation. Self debarked. Waited in Billboard lounge to get off. Started close to on time. Usual cattle drive but moved consistently. Used the TSA app but don't know if it was all that faster. Hotel driver was already outside got to the hotel and on the road in record time. Not to ever be missed Sunrises and Sunsets at sea!!! Stunning!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My husband and I were eagerly anticipating HAL's newest Pinnacle class ship, and we were thoroughly impressed with most everything on Koningsdam! I am disabled and always bring my wheelchair, and our handicap accessible cabin was ... Read More
My husband and I were eagerly anticipating HAL's newest Pinnacle class ship, and we were thoroughly impressed with most everything on Koningsdam! I am disabled and always bring my wheelchair, and our handicap accessible cabin was perfect! The batroom was huge, loved the folding bench in the wonderful shower! Embarkation/disembarkation went smoothly, and I never felt crowded moving around the ship. Dining was great at the Lido Market, except the signs on counters too small to easily read. Hand washing stations are brilliant, I used them every day! The main draw for me was the Culinary Arts classes, I took all three that were offered! We got a pen, notepad, and HAL apron with each class. Our instructor Alexa was awesome, very fun to work with! Room Service was petty quick each night, always faster than the time promised. I liked most of our ports, especially Half Moon Cay, (did Calypso Island Tram), and Bonaire (did Marine Park snorkel), loved the excursions there! I was never bored, as I mostly want to chill out on HAL anyway, and I loved the peaceful atmosphere onboard. At night, Koningsdam was rockin' with B.B. King's Blues Club and Billboard, also I actually heard dance party music one night while checking out the Sea View pool area! The shows at World Stage were incredible, loved the 360 degree screen! One thing I did was buy the pass to use the Greenhouse Spa therapy pool each evening, and it was soooooooo worth it!! It became my personal retreat after the show at World Stage. I loved the Lido poolside movies,very cozy area at night. We really enjoyed the Cruise Director, Carson, he was always around and very friendly. I went to a breakfast event with him one morning and he stayed afterward to talk to me. The captain of Koningsdam , Emiel DeVries, was the most gracious and friendly person that I have ever seen! He really made it a wonderful cruise! I definately will go on Koningsdam again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
KONINGSDAM REVIEW MARCH 12-21, 2017 SHIP We have cruised many times an on at least nine different lines. This is the newest ship we have ever been on. It is larger than we prefer. We have only been on one larger ship, the ... Read More
KONINGSDAM REVIEW MARCH 12-21, 2017 SHIP We have cruised many times an on at least nine different lines. This is the newest ship we have ever been on. It is larger than we prefer. We have only been on one larger ship, the Norwegian Epic, which did many things better, but esthetically does not approch the Koningsdam. The K has interesting artwork all around the ship. The décor is exceptional, the elevators faster than most, and in general a good experience. My mobility is somewhat limited, so I found thingsa little far apart, and that may be why I prefer smaller ships. CABIN The cabin is a little smaller than on other HAL ships. We always get a balcony cabin as is our 5188 cabin on this cruise. The balcony is adequate with 2 chairs, a footstool, and a little table. There is almost enough room for the furniture and 2 passengers out there. The bathroom is a big change, mostly for the better. Thankfully, there is to tub. There is a wonderful shower stall, but a fixed shower head would be an improvement. There is a sink vanity with enough shelves to keep all all of our bathroom stuff and our medications. Then there is the toilet! It is a little elongated over most cruise ship toilets, but is positioned in such a whay as to allow zero knee room. One has to sit, as a previous reviewer stated, sidesaddle. A most inconvenient situation. This could have been fixed by making the bathroom 6 inches larger. The 6 inches would come from dead space on the siseof the bed and not make a difference in the main cabin. The décor is attractive, the storage is amazing, but the best thing about the cabin in my opinion is the addition of electrical outlets and USB ports. We travel with phones, Ipad, Kindle, computer, Ipod, and cameras. I did not have to open my “cruise bag” which contains power strips, extension cords, and adapters. I also need a power outlet for my CPAP machine. On all other cruises, ihave had to string extension cords all aroud the cabin as there was never an outlet neat the bed. Very big improvement for us. The AC did not work at the beginning of the cruise, but they made an adjustment that allowed us to reach ny level we wanted from freezing to overheated. First cruise ship that we have found with consistent temperature control. The only negative is there really was not a good place to eat in the cabin , if we had wanted to. We only had breakfast there occasionally in the past. On this cruise we did not eat in the cabin. We emptied the minibar to accommodate our diet coke and bottled water that we broutht on board and to chill the fruit that the ship provided. The little fridge did not do a good job. I tried to adjust it, but it did not help. This is a common occurance on cruise ships that could have been addressed when they purchases these units. Last little cabin comment is the ice service. The bucket is too small. The stewards fill it when they do up the room, but when I want to use the ice (before dinner and before going to sleep) it is always melted. I believe a larger bucket woul allow some of the ie to remain. DINING ROOM We choose open seating, as the early is too early for us and the late too late for us. On previous HAL cruises, we just walked up and always were handed a beeper and had a 30 to 40 minute wait. This time we arranged to reseve a table for two for 7:00 for every evening. We received a conformation daily and although the location changed nightly we never had a wait. The décor was beautiful. The accoustics were amazing. We had 10dinners and 4 breakfasts there and all of the staff were top notch. Service was always at our pace somehow. And last and far from least, the food was quite good. Other people were saying that the quality and choices were dow This may be so, but we seemed to have enough choice and the food tasted better than my cooking. Which is better than that of my wife. Only one commplaint. They had escargots on the menu one evening. This is one of my favorite foods. The escargots were not good. I was impressed with how efficient the operation was. From the seating, to taking the order including special requests, to serving, to clearing up, it was a great group of hard working people doing a good job. The executive chef came by each evening to chat with us. It was a nice touch and he was a personable young man. BUFFET The buffet was different than on past cruises. There were stations rather than a buffet line. Also, it was not serve yourself. The seating was different. There were small plates which meant that one had to make several trips to the stations each meal and you had to leave something at the table to insure your seat would still b there when you returned. It did not take long to learn how to navigate it. I am not ready to judge whether it isam upgrade or a downgade yet. The staff isan upgrade, however. They were always offering more coffee, juice, iced tea, water or clearing used dishes. Much much better than recent HAL cruises. CASINO A casino is a casino. This one was kind to me on this cruise. Also the staff was nice as usual. One blessing is either the noise from the slot machines was subdued or my hearingins becoming impaired. Smoke oder was only somewhat noticable. In general it was a well laid out and larger unit thenon other HAL ships. FOOD The food was good. Good enough that I was not even tempted to spend more money on something that may be a speck better. I may b a rarity, I like to eat, but “dining” is not a priority for me. The choices were somewhat reduced, but we were well satisfied with what they had for our 10 days. STAFF Best staff of any cruise we have been on. We have complained about staff in the Lido during our last 3 HAL cruises. In those instances the staff just hung around chatting. On this cruise, they were all checking for drink refills, clearing dishes, and helping the guests. A+. The cabin stewards were mostly invisible, but perfect. A+. The dining room staff were good. A. Everyone else on board seemed polite and all had a smile. A. ITINERARY It was OK. I think Coco Cay, Grand Turk, and Amber Cove in a row are too similar. Being in fake environment dominated by the ship's stores and amenities. Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba are interesting ports to visit. Then two days at sea. I think if they did it backwards it would have been better. ENTERTAINMENT I only went to one show and it was pretty good. The theater is a different design and I will defer from comment. My wife went to other showswhile I was trying to win the ship in the casino. She was not impressed. She did enjoy BB King. We felt the timing of the entertainment catered to set dinner seatings and was a little difficult for our anytime dining. The movies looked good, but we were not able to get to them. Daytime entertainment was less interesting than on past cruises. ALL IN ALL A GOOD EXPERIENCE Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Although I am a 4 Star Mariner, I had not sailed on a HAL ship since January 2014. I chose this cruise because I wanted to try the new ship and the itinerary included places to which I had not been. The Good: The service everywhere ... Read More
Although I am a 4 Star Mariner, I had not sailed on a HAL ship since January 2014. I chose this cruise because I wanted to try the new ship and the itinerary included places to which I had not been. The Good: The service everywhere was superb. HAL has never been known for good wine stewards, but I had several of the best in all my cruising. My cabin stewards were excellent. The production singers and dancers did some of the best shows I have ever seen on or off a ship. They were very talented, had beautiful costumes, good arrangements and excellent choreography. In addition they did music that is not typical for cruises. The other music venues, Billboard Onboard, BB King, Lincoln Center Stage, had good musicians and interesting programs as well. The food in the Main Dining Room was exceptional; it was good quality, especially the beef, and prepared properly. They need to clone the kitchen on K'dam and send them to all the other ships. If they can do it serving 2800 people every night, they could surely do it on the smaller ships. The specialty restaurants, Sel De Mer, Tamarind, Farm to Table, had excellent food. The menus were innovative and the food was well prepared. I could not say the same for the Pinnacle, where the quality of the beef is just not as good as it should be for this type of restaurant; the MDR was better. And the other food items were not as well prepared. The informal eating places, Grand Dutch Café, Dive In and Lido Marketplace were also quite good. I liked that the Lido was not a buffet. Except for one or two, the shore excursions were well done. They have not raised the prices either. A comprehensive port guide was provided for the whole second portion of the cruise on the first day. It was just done very well. However, we did not receive one for the first portion of the cruise. Every ship on every cruise line should provide this for every cruise; it would be even more helpful to receive it at home before the cruise. They have added reading lights over the beds in the cabin. And the shower is great; no more slipping in those awful bathtubs. The Bad: The standard verandah cabin was smaller than any other HAL ship and definitely smaller than Celebrity. They had deleted one of the closets, had a smaller desk with less drawers, and smaller sofa, table and bedside tables, less shelving over the sink. I would consider this cabin to be adequate for one person but definitely not for two. Early fixed dining was at 5:15. This was just way too early and appeared to be done to accommodate all those who wanted at-will dining. Rather than have separate areas (or floors) of the dining room set aside for early/late fixed dining and for at-will diners, they mixed the two all over the place. It was chaotic and frenetic, was uncomfortable for those seated to have so much activity swirling around them all the time, kept the servers and the kitchen off a steady pace. There should be two separate dining and kitchen food prep areas for the two kinds of diners; these could be adjusted by cruise depending on demand. At-will diners, with and without reservations, blocked the MDR doors every night and fixed seating diners had no clear path to get to their assigned tables. They repeated the dinner menu from cruise to cruise instead of alternating. The evening dress 'code' was egregious. Shorts, peddle-pushers, jeans, flip flops (no matter how sparkly) and running shoes do not belong in any venue other than the Lido and the pool. This isn't Carnival or Norwegian. The casino was small and cramped; they allowed smoking without providing enough industrial ventilation to handle it. It became uncomfortable very quickly. The canned music on the outdoor decks and in the indoor public rooms was very loud. In addition, most of the music in the various venues was loud. There were no quiet places on the ship. There was no venue with a live ensemble playing ballroom type music with a dance floor around the dinner hours. This used to be the Crow's Nest, which now looks more like a beach bar. The Promenade Deck still exists but it is very narrow; in some places, two people could not pass each other. there was no directional signage. And, of course, no room for teak deck chairs. Those passengers who usually get an inside stateroom and use the promenade deck as their outdoor sitting area were really frustrated. As reported, they have no library and a very small book exchange. There were people on my trip who did not realize this and had not brought enough books to read; I knew it and actually took two suitcases, one with books. General Comments about HAL: HAL is missing its old Dutch efficiency. there were several miscommunications about transportation and Distinctive Voyages benefits to be provided by HAL. In addition, I had several paperwork screw-ups: things purchased online before the trip were incorrectly communicated to the ship; things not purchased appeared on my statement. I had to check my statement every few days. They are doing their best to push every customer to use their phone to access everything on the ship. No receipts were given for anything purchased in the bar. A 10% cancellation fee on shore excursions from the date of purchase has been instituted. I received three ship maintenance notices (balcony maintenance, balcony cleaning, carpet cleaning) for my cabin for one eleven-day portion of the cruise, two of them for the same day. Since they should be doing these when there are no customers onboard, one was unacceptable and three was outrageous. A special lunch for those who were on the Collector's Voyage was provided; it was a nice gesture although they needed to provide better food. The Mariner's lunch was much better than it has been on past ships. The Mariner perks were really good. Having alternating itineraries was a great idea. It encourages people to stay on longer. Many old-time HAL'ers will not feel comfortable on this ship. I wasn't. Would I go on the K'dam again? Only if 1)it had an itinerary that I could not get from some other cruise line at a reasonable price; 2)I could get a wider width cabin with more glass viewing area to the outside. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The ship was AMAZING and the staff was exceptional. Right before we set sail, the president of Holland America was on board and we had a chance to meet him. He was very warm and welcoming and took to time out to take a picture with my ... Read More
The ship was AMAZING and the staff was exceptional. Right before we set sail, the president of Holland America was on board and we had a chance to meet him. He was very warm and welcoming and took to time out to take a picture with my husband and I. The ship was very beautiful and everything had a music theme. The food and dining options were very good, We discovered the Dutch café on deck 3 and the New York Pizza place on deck 10 which ended up being our favorite places to have lunch. The dining room meals rivaled that of a 5 star restaurant. We really enjoyed the live BB King All Star band that played nightly in the Queens Lounge. They kept the house rocking with oldies and some contemporary music and kept the dance floor filled. The shows on the World stage were very good an the venue was exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Koningsdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.5 N/A
Dining 4.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.5 4.1
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.2
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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