766 Holland America Line Koningsdam Cruise Reviews

We sailed the HAL Koningsdam on 12/28/18 for 7 nights on the Eastern Caribbean cruise and it was so refreshing, relaxing and enjoyable. We generally sail with Celebrity (have been on 7 Celebrity cruises in the last 3 years). We were on a ... Read More
We sailed the HAL Koningsdam on 12/28/18 for 7 nights on the Eastern Caribbean cruise and it was so refreshing, relaxing and enjoyable. We generally sail with Celebrity (have been on 7 Celebrity cruises in the last 3 years). We were on a wait list for the Celebrity Eclipse and Reflection but I wasn't feeling the possibility of getting on either of these ships very good so we branched out and booked a Neptune Suite on the Koningsdam. IT WAS A HEAVENLY ROOM, to say the least! Huge King size or larger bed, nice seating area, bar, balcony, large port window in the front of the ship, wonderful bathroom with jetted tub and shower, double vanity sinks and I could go on and on. We had 2 stateroom attendants that were top notch and we ate every breakfast and nightly meal in the Club Orange. It is a restaurant only for Neptune Suite holders (and above). It was a restaurant on the way to the larger dining room, which we only experienced once since the Club Orange isn't open for lunch everyday. The Club Orange is something new for HAL and it is only being utilized on the 2 new Pinnacle Class ships, the Koningsdam and the Nieuw Statendam. The food in Club Orange is wonderful, they cater to your every whim and wish. They have the normal dining menu with additional entrees added on for more selection. If you choose the additional entrees they are cooked right before your eyes in the Club Orange restaurant. Wonderful chef, hostess, manager and servers is all I can add. They leave absolutely nothing to be desired.The sommelier in Club Orange was wonderful. Celebrity YOU HAVE LOST A COUPLE OF CUSTOMERS BECAUSE THE KONINGSDAM PUT YOU TO SHAME! Entertainment was wonderful. Their theater is small so go early or you might not get a seat. We loved every show, some were over the top! Love the Piano bars and the orchestra as well.The CHOCOLATE NIGHT IS SUPERB ALSO! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This started poorly with the embarkation process. Very unorganized and SLOW. once onboard, no music (Usually a calypso band playing on other cruise lines), no welcome drink. To top it off, we didn’t leave Port for four hours waiting ... Read More
This started poorly with the embarkation process. Very unorganized and SLOW. once onboard, no music (Usually a calypso band playing on other cruise lines), no welcome drink. To top it off, we didn’t leave Port for four hours waiting for the meat delivery! Holland did nothing to compensate for this late departure. Most lines will serve drinks or snacks or SOMETHING to ease the pain of inconvenience. Thie ship was nice, but the availability of entertainment was far less than mediocre. Also, the service was almost nonexistent at the pool and on deck. Had to keep going to the bar. The main pool was like a sauna because they didn’t fully open the roof! Forget about late-night - no food and not many entertainment options. The Main Stage Theater had less than average entertainment and the showtimes did not coincide with the dining. 2nd Dinner seating was at 7:45 and the last show was at 9:00. The staff was so slow that we had to skip dessert in order to see a show. There were two bands and a dueling piano bar. Nothing available after their last sets at 11 pm. I always felt like the staff was doing me a favor by doing their jobs. I will stick with Royal Caribbean or Carnival for guaranteed fun and better service. Holland America is not for me. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We're a couple in our mid-30s, no kids, and chose this itinerary as our first cruise. We were not looking for a "party ship" and Koningsdam was the perfect option for us. Embarkation seemed slow, several other folks in ... Read More
We're a couple in our mid-30s, no kids, and chose this itinerary as our first cruise. We were not looking for a "party ship" and Koningsdam was the perfect option for us. Embarkation seemed slow, several other folks in the line with us complained the terminal at Port Everglades is not equipped to handle the HAL Pinnacle class ships. It took roughly an hour and 20 mins to get through all the lines and onto the ship. We arrived at the port at 1pm. Ship: Koningsdam is beautiful and we loved that it had recently been in dry dock for some improvements. It felt clean and shiny every day, aside from a few problems with a women's restroom near the Rolling Stone Rock Room one evening. Unfortunately, the pools both felt small and crowded at times, and the Sea View pool is not very pleasant to spend too much time at due to the smokers being out there. We loved spending time in the Crow's Nest reading our books, drinking cocktails, or doing crosswords or Sudoku. Dining: We only ate in the Lido market once and did not particularly enjoy it. We found the smell of dirty dishes/cleaning materials to be very strong and unpleasant if we walked through that area, so we just generally avoided it. We opted for in-room breakfast every day although those choices were quite boring. It would have been nice to see something simple like pancakes and fruit as an option. However, we had dinner at Tamarind, Rudi's Sel De Mer, and Pinnacle Grill over the course of the cruise and thought Sel De Mer was absolutely delicious food. All three of those were worth the extra cost and we enjoyed the good service too. Activities: I will say that we wished HAL had a few more options for activities during the day that are not specifically aimed at older folks. Even though we realize that group makes up a very large portion of the typical HAL passengers, it would be nice to see some variety. We enjoyed the "Ask The Captain" talk one afternoon, the facts and figures are very interesting. The evening entertainment was excellent, and the musicians in both BB King's Blues Lounge and the Rolling Stone Rock Room are exceptionally talented. Great live music every night was a highlight for us. Service: HAL definitely gets this right, and every single staff member is working very hard with a smile on their faces! Bari and Arto were our cabin stewards and they were wonderful. The wait staff in the restaurants were also lovely and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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 were looking to get out of town (Ohio) for the Christmas Holiday. So why not go someplace tropical. We have been on 20+ cruises and chose this one for the cabin location and and Koningsdam. The ship turned out to be just what we had ... Read More
We were looking to get out of town (Ohio) for the Christmas Holiday. So why not go someplace tropical. We have been on 20+ cruises and chose this one for the cabin location and and Koningsdam. The ship turned out to be just what we had expected. It is a very beautifully appointed ship a little over 2 years old with lots of food and entertainment options from fancy to very casual. We fall more on the casual side and tend to not enjoy 2 hour dinners in the MDR. Being in a suite, you have access to the "Orange" restaurant for breakfast and dinner It is a little on the fancy side but faster with excellent service. Lido deck buffet has all kinds of options...it does get a little crowded at time and the only negatives I heard had to do with the fact that servers behind the glass serve the food. Personally I don't have a problem with that because they will give you exactly what you as for in the quantity you ask for. And I prefer my food to only be touched by one person as opposed to everyone on the ship. Cuts way down on the sickness factor for me. Dive In for hamburgers and a Gelato and pizza place are opened quit late. Room service was not up to par on Koningsdam compared to the other 6 HAL ships we have been on. Entertainment, there is a lot of it on board from Rock and Roll bands, BB King Band was outstanding and love the music every night, Lincoln Center performances for classical music and recorded music in several of the venues. Stage shows in the 270 degree two story theater and numerous lecture on different subjects. Casino was fun but if smoking bothers you there was only one night that was smoke-free....HAL needs to get on the ball and make their ships NON-SMOKING. Several pools on the ship that never seemed overcrowded and a movie under the stars ever night at 7 and 10. Santa came on Christmas Eve and they had a beautiful tree in the atrium. Being a Christmas cruise there were way more kids that you would expect on HAL but most were under control and if not several hundred Grand Parents were there to say something. Service on board was very good from a cheerful staff but the folks in Management staff could use a little Customer Service training as most seemed a tad on the aloof side. Ports were pretty standard for an Eastern Caribbean cruise. Turks and Caicos we took a two hour tour around the island on a tram open air bus. Interesting to see how they have mostly recovered from Irma and Maria hurricanes. San Juan, Puerto Rico a little shopping and back to our balcony. St Thomas, a little shopping and lunch at Gladys' restaurant in down town CA. Half Moon Cay spent most of the day on our balcony as we have been here many time. All in all this was a nice get away on a beautiful ship. I probably missed a number of thing and places on the ship but that will be for our next voyage...there is only so much time every day for eating, drinking, reading, relaxing and entertainment. 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
We have sailed many times on Holland America and had no reservations about booking with them again. We chose this trip because of the itinerary. We were disappointed in this trip. We flew in to ft Lauderdale the evening before embarking in ... Read More
We have sailed many times on Holland America and had no reservations about booking with them again. We chose this trip because of the itinerary. We were disappointed in this trip. We flew in to ft Lauderdale the evening before embarking in case of bad weather...a real possibility flying out of Iowa in December. We arrived at the port 1 and found a huge line waiting to embark. We were pleasantly surprised how quickly the line moved. The curbside staff member we had helping with our luggage was extremely slow and other curbside staff noticed and a loud verbal argument began. Very unprofessional. The ship had just come from dry dock after a refurbish. it smelled new, looked clean and fresh. The decor was different then other Holland Ships. Less antiques and more modern decor. We had an aft vista suite on 7th floor. It was spacious, clean, had ample storage, and a modern bathroom. The bathroom was still very small but the walk in shower with no tub was nice. We liked the detachable shower head and spacious room in the shower. We were not impressed with the main dining room service. It was very slow and the food selection was not to our liking. It was a little over done for us. We only ate in the dining room 3 times. The Lido was a NIGHTMARE. Service was slow, there were almost always dirty tables, no silverware, no where to sit and the ice tea machines were almost always empty or broken. I went on many missions to find ice tea. This was the first cruise there was more then 1 time all the glasses at the beverage station were gone and no ice was available. The food selection in the lido was repetitious and since you were not able to serve yourself it was slow. There was also poor planning on having food available. I waited many days for food to come from the kitchen because they ran out. They also didn't have syrup at the station with the waffles or ketchup at the station with the fries. The theater entertainment was not to our liking. Lots of pianists, solo singers etc. We only attended 1 comedian and he was fair at best. I did like the music in the BB King lounge and Rolling Stone Lounge. It was however very loud.During the day there were few activities available. Lots of Spa seminars, port seminars etc. The staff on the ship was friendly, but unlike other ships you often had to initiate a hello. Few smiles. It seemed as though the crew was inexperienced. our cabin steward and his assistant were the friendliest of the bunch. We loved all the ports. We did miss half moon Cay because it was to rough for the tenders to go. This has become a norm for us. Our last 4 cruises that were suppose to go to Half Moon Cay had the port cancelled for the same reason. We only booked 1 shore excursion through the ship and it was ridiculously crowded. We went on a catamaran and you literally could not move it was so full. Disembarkation was no more chaotic then usual. They do need to find a way to prevent passengers from leaving before their color is called. Customs was a breeze and retrieving our luggage was relatively easy. We were disappointed this ship didn't offer luggage direct. We booked transfers to the airport with Holland. they offered no instruction on where to go etc. It worked out ok though. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We stayed at the Renaissance in Fort Lauderdale the night prior to our cruise , and it was perfect for an overnight stay. We arrived late but were able to get good food right at the hotel. We wanted a longer cruise and felt a ... Read More
We stayed at the Renaissance in Fort Lauderdale the night prior to our cruise , and it was perfect for an overnight stay. We arrived late but were able to get good food right at the hotel. We wanted a longer cruise and felt a slightly larger ship would offer more choices in food , entertainment , and areas to relax ! This ship was perfect as it exceeded our expectations but was very easy to navigate , and I never felt worn out from walking . We already loved the other Holland ships , food , and wonderful TV in the room with free movies . Having tried most of the other lines , we found Holland was the best fit for us . We like the fact that they serve the food which is more sanitary and actually more efficient and faster service . We never saw long line ups except maybe for ice cream ! Also , pools are very important to me as I have arthritis and am a young senior . I like pools with stairs and railings down into the pool so I loved the pools on Koningsdam . (The smaller ships have ladders which are harder to use with age . ) The ship does a sail away in Saint Lucia right past the Twin Pitons and you can get amazing pictures from your balcony or deck. We paid $200 on another line to do a catamaran out to see them ! I love the way the captain sailed along the coast which was very beautiful and relaxing . In addition , Holland gives amazing service ! Although there were a few glitches as the ship had just come out of dry dock , we were so impressed with this ship and staff . The ship is far more beautiful than its pictures . Since I am not a fan of classic modern , I did not expect to love the decor but I did ! Of course , the ship is kept spotless ,and we usually had a window seat in the Lido and no fighting for a spot around the pool on this ship ! The divans and luxurious seating were everywhere , and I never saw so many people asleep out in public . The seating was so conducive to relaxing ! We only made it up to the Crow’s Nest at the end of the cruise, and it was so amazing with soft leather seating , We want to return to enjoy it more next time ! Finally , the entertainment around the ship is incredible ! The BB Blues and Jason and Mike were always the best ! There is live music for everyone’s taste ! We loved Helen Wilding , the singer who sang for the young Royals . Our only disappointment is the lack of bigger budget sets , costumes, singers, and dancers . That is the weak spot but overall there is just so much we love about Holland and this ship in particular ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We picked this cruise because 1. we are loyal HAL cruisers, 2. we liked the itinerary and 3. the dates worked for us. We sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale on Dec 10 and returned Dec 21. The ports we visited were St. Maarten, St. Thomas, St. ... Read More
We picked this cruise because 1. we are loyal HAL cruisers, 2. we liked the itinerary and 3. the dates worked for us. We sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale on Dec 10 and returned Dec 21. The ports we visited were St. Maarten, St. Thomas, St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, and Dominica. We were scheduled to stop at Half Moon Cay but didn't due to strong currents. Embarkation & Disembarkation went smoothly enough. We were delayed about an hour for disembarkation but that was due to high winds moving the gangway. We had late dining at 7:45 in MDR. Food was absolutely delish every night. The waitstaff were incredibly kind and helpful. First two courses always came out quickly, but the main course always took a while. In order to make it to the 9pm show we really had to rush it and most times we went past nine, so dinner really took about 90 minutes. We had breakfast at the Lido and it was never a disappointment. I thought the entertainment on board was top notch. There were two great comedians (one of which my husband is still quoting) and a fantastic singer. I heard the others shows were great too. We did pay $400 for both of us to use the thermal suite (hydrotherapy pool, heated loungers, sauna, etc. I though it was a good price for 11 days for 2. Overall, service on board was great. The staff is always so friendly and helpful--especially our cabin stewards. The only thing I found lacking was bar service. Getting a Coke at lunch took so long--it was much easier to get up and get your own. Koningsdam is a beautiful ship but very different from the rest of HAL's fleet. We liked the ship but don't love it. There is just something about Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam that we like more. This ship had just come out of dry dock, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it did seem that the ship was 100% ready. Most of the shops were not open the first two days. The signature shops that I like had much of their inventory in boxes scattered about. In fact, most of the boxes weren't fully unpacked for the first week. As we disembarked we noticed that they had already rearranged the shops. So, hopefully moving forward the shops will have more inventory and a better variety. We enjoyed all of the ports that we visited. My only complaints was that many of the ports we used were the "industrial" ports not the "cruise port". For that reason, there wasn't much to do around the port areas. We would absolutely sail this itinerary again and with HAL. We would sail Koningsdam again but this ship would not be our first choice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. I paid for a larger balcony cabin mid-ship on the 8th deck (bump-out cabin). The air conditioning,(AC), did not work in our cabin. Guest services sent a technician to try and fix the problem. After ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. I paid for a larger balcony cabin mid-ship on the 8th deck (bump-out cabin). The air conditioning,(AC), did not work in our cabin. Guest services sent a technician to try and fix the problem. After several attempts they decided to move us to a different cabin. Instead of upgrading us they gave us a cabin on the 7th deck in the aft or rear of the ship. The cabin was smaller with a much smaller balcony. They offered us a $100.00 compensation. The difference in price between the 2 cabins was $660.00. Not to mention the inconvenience of having to change cabins. The Koningsdam is a beautiful ship, however, it had numerous problems on our cruise. The toilets in the bathrooms were not flushing properly so there was a sewer odor all over the ship. The AC in the common areas was not working. Many passengers were complaining of the heat on board. The special effects/lighting for the MAIN STAGE entertainment did not work until several days into the cruise. They had issues with doors opening and closing. I spoke with a crew member several days into the cruise who informed me that the ship had just returned from dry dock. I said to him you would think that after dry dock everything would be in tip top shape. He told me that the dry dock was cut short. He said the ship was suppose to be in dry dock for 21 days, however, someone order the dry dock to end after only 8 days. They were told to work out the bugs while at sea. That told me a lot about how Holland America values it's passengers. They don't! Their customer service does not exist. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We selected this cruise to try Holland America plus the itinerary included some new islands for us. From day one to day 11, was just a fabulous experience! Cabins were ready as soon as we embarked; we rolled our own luggage onboard, ... Read More
We selected this cruise to try Holland America plus the itinerary included some new islands for us. From day one to day 11, was just a fabulous experience! Cabins were ready as soon as we embarked; we rolled our own luggage onboard, so were unpacked before heading to the Lido for lunch. Absolutely LOVED the service in the Lido; everyone was friendly and helpful! Appreciated that most items were plated for you; I learned later that HAL has cut down on food waste using this method (and I'm sure on germ proliferation as well!) The entertainment was top notch; I think we attended almost every performance at Lincoln Center Stage. The quintet was fabulous!! Rolling Stone was a fun venue (Jennifer and Edmund and "Bird" at the bar were fantastic!) B B King and Billboard featured incredible professional musicians! The dance group "One Step" performed twice during our cruise in the World Stage....amazing! We also attended two shows by Dan Chopin (comedian) and one by Hyperion Knight (piano virtuoso)...both were wonderful! Food was fabulous in the Lido and Main Dining Room, as well as the smaller areas....The Dive and New York Pizza...yummy! We did get the Signature Drink Package...and squeezed every bit out of it that we could! First day, we met Lee, who seemed to be our personal wine steward...she was fabulous! We did not try any of the specialty restaurants, as included dining options were so delicious! Our room stewards were wonderful; very attentive and soft spoken. They took such good care of us (although we aren't very messy cruisers!)...names were Fauzi and Adi. We spent a lot of time in the Crow's Nest (Norgie was our favorite server) even before our amazingly crowded Meet & Greet! On the last day, we even were treated to a "sail-by" of the newest HAL ship....Nieuw Statendam! Cruise Director Thomas was very approachable and friendly! He had the perfect Cruise Director voice during announcements - we wondered if he talks like that all the time! Ha! And Captain Timmers...what a hoot! He told gloriously funny stories during the "Ask the Captain" session in the World Stage. I heard that there were some glitches onboard, due to the ship just coming out of dry dock...but nothing bothered me at all. I loved every minute of our cruise on Koningsdam...will not be our last for sure! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Interested in visiting Islands not visited before. Party of four, two were elderly parents. Embarkation was a hassle. Brought several bottles of Vintage wine, champagne and port on board including bottle of vermouth(wine) as I had ordered ... Read More
Interested in visiting Islands not visited before. Party of four, two were elderly parents. Embarkation was a hassle. Brought several bottles of Vintage wine, champagne and port on board including bottle of vermouth(wine) as I had ordered gin and vodka delivered to room. Vermouth was confiscated at embarkation. Excuse was higher alcohol content, @ 15% alc. (In a martini? This policy is inept. Why spend $100 for the gin and vodka?) Yet they allowed two Bottles of vintage port at 18% alc. (One oz each with dessert.) All except vermouth was to be consumed in restaurant with meals. As my wine was better than any they had on board, corkage fee was irrelevant. Assigned #18, to embark.. Numbers were called in order except called #19 first which was a large group, then #18 which put a smaller group behind them. Sent directly to the adjoining balcony cabins (previously reserved) to drop off carry-ons before joining the crowd at the Lido to eat lunch. Rested 'til dinner on balcony with bottle of sparkling wine as gift. (Late 8 PM seating). Table for the four of us. Chose instead of open dining to have same dinner staff. Knew few phrases of Indonesian which broke the ice and we had a wonderful time with them at dinners. Food and presentation was excellent. To accomplish that for thousands of meals daily is a feat I can't comprehend. My major complaint about dinner is that it conflicted with the show times. Eating late dinner, there was no way to get to the theater shows. This is a major fault as far as my family was concerned, and should be corrected. We never had this problem with Holland America before. Another issue was drinking water and ice bucket. Hierarchy between stewards and in-room dining staff. Couldn't order water and Ice refill together. Got carafe of ice water. Had to order separately. Ice from steward and water from in-room dining. Didn't choose to drink $5 per liter bottled water in cabin. Final issue was a/c in room was sporadic. On packing day, a/c failed completely, and we called to have it repaired. This was done after hour or two, but we really suffered until it was repaired. . We enjoyed the cruise as a whole and the ports. On the whole it is a fabulous cruise if you avoid the pitfalls we experienced. Finally disembarkation. Elderly parents and us were initially assigned different colors. This wasn't feasible and we corrected to black#2, (last off). Mix up in shuttle service handling baggage. Somehow, unnoticed, my bag wasn't loaded, and arriving at hotel, my bag was missing. Shuttle took me back for bag but it was gone. Attempts to find it contacting Holland America personnel was usless. They were loading passengers like robots. Knew there job assigned and that was all. Couldn't or wouldn't help. told to stand over ther and wait. Waited an hour with nothing.Left terminal and finally found heplful porter you called supervisor, who found bag in 10 minutes. Unfortunately this delay caused elderly parent to miss her plane. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We arrived in Ft Lauderdale after driving about 3 hours across the state from SW Gulf coast of Florida. Parked at Park-n-go which is very close to port and they discount the rate substantially if prepaid reservations are made on line. ... Read More
We arrived in Ft Lauderdale after driving about 3 hours across the state from SW Gulf coast of Florida. Parked at Park-n-go which is very close to port and they discount the rate substantially if prepaid reservations are made on line. Arrived at terminal about noon. Longest lines we have ever experienced on HAL. Got checked in after about 30 minutes in line and then waited about 30 minutes to board. Went to cabin deck 4 aft veranda. These aft verandas have a very deep veranda, about twice the depth of the higher decks. Two chairs and small table. One chair had extension to make into lounge type chair. Cabin actually little larger than expected and really liked the shower with glass doors. No more sticky curtains. Toilet seat at odd angle and knees hit shower straight on so have to sit little sideways but not too bad. Taller folks might have more of a problem. Lots of storage, lots of plugs for electronics. Night light automatically lights at floor to guide you to bathroom at night, but no night light in bathroom. We took our own small battery powered tealights which worked out very well. Our steward was very attentive and learned our routine quickly so room always made up when we returned late morning usually and he always kept ice bucket full, which I had requested. Koningsdam is about 2500 passengers which is about 500 more than the Vista class ships we normally sail and you can tell. Pools, hot tubs always seemed crowded. Much more so than on previous cruises as they are pretty much the same size as the smaller ships. But the deck furniture is a big improvement. Lots of soft cushioned sofas and chairs as well as tables with softer cloth type woven seats/backs which are way more comfortable than the woven rattan(fake) type chairs on previous HAL cruises. Didn't need to use a towel for cushioning. But they kept running out of pool towels. Looked all over one afternoon and never did find one. Lido seemed more crowded than other ships and this exacerbated by the general practice to only keep one side open which made for much longer lines than we experienced previously. Food in Lido fairly good with rotisserie or baked chicken about every meal, prime rib and steak, pork roast, turkey offerings. Wonderful salad bar, Asian station & Italian station where you pick ingredients and they prepare. Nice breakfast selection with about anything one could want. Generally food well prepared and tasty. Really nice bread station, the usual ice cream, bread pudding, etc. Miss the made to order sandwiches as they now have a selection of 4 or 5 pre-made offerings. Tried pizza parlor (bagels in am) upstairs from Lido and very good pizza. Reuben just ok. Long lines and long wait for food generally. Loved the Grand Dutch Cafe where specialty coffee drinks and alcohol are charged, but all of the food is included in fare. Nice real Dutch selections. Ordered room service couple of nights and delivered timely and hot and well prepared. Lunch at Pinnacle Grill is a great deal in my opinion and was delicious. Tamarind was really good and we also enjoyed Canaletto's one evening which was very good also. Did not go to Main Dining Room as too many stories from fellow passengers about 45 minute wait for table, 30 minute wait for water glasses to be filled, 2 1/2 hour dining times and even longer. The main dining room seemed to receive the most complaints from other passengers. The dining room manager told one lady the reason her dinner took over 2 1/2 hours was because she ordered 2 appetizers. She not happy to say the least. Entertainment for us consisted of BB King Blues club and this band was great. Exceptional male and female singers and band musicians. Did not enjoy the new Rock and Roll band. Singers were bad. So much that just had to leave as was an assault to our ears and we do love rock and roll. Missed the BBC Planet Earth presentation but people liked it who went. Every evening there was a movie shown on lido but we did not attend these. We had been on this same itinerary few years ago except this time we went to Dominica instead of St Kitts on previous cruise. Didn't like St Lucia as seemed dirty and way too crowded. Nice private excursion in Martinique with little local goodies at each stop which included a church, waterfall, St Pierre, and rum distillery. Really enjoyed this. Took cab in Barbados to Brandon's beach and rented beach loungers and umbrella at Rascals which included 2 rum punch. Beers only $2.50. Beautiful water and uncrowded beach. This is more of a local's beach. In St Martin just walked to boardwalk and had few drinks at beach bar. Saw pictures of the destruction from hurricane last year and actually amazed they have come so far in the recovery, at least on Dutch side. On St Thomas we just wondered the few shops that were open post hurricane. Surprised so many still closed. On Dominica we docked at a cargo port outside of town and decided to just stay on board. Some people unhappy with docking situation especially when they tried to return via taxi. Taxis not allowed thru port gates and no signage how to get to ship walking through and around all the cargo containers. Near heat stroke wondering around port for one acquaintance. Finally a dock worker took pity, opened a locked door and guided him and those with him to the ship. All in all we had a good time but just not up to previous HAL experiences. This was first cruise out of dry dock. All of the ship clocks were broken until a few were fixed toward end of cruise. Fewer elevators than smaller ships and one was out in aft bank at least 95% of the time. Saw one out most of the time when we used the other banks also. They couldn't fix these during dry dock? Annoying things such as this and the overcrowded lido restaurant made this cruise less enjoyable than previous ones we have taken with HAL. Oh, and the artwork looked like it just came from the Art Auction on board and this is not a good thing. Previously we have really enjoyed the art on the HAL ships. We will sail HAL in the future am sure. But will go back to the smaller, and yes older ships which are our preference. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We are a husband and wife in our mid-30s from Central Florida. We have sailed Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, and now for the first time, Holland America. We chose this cruise for the pricing, the itinerary, the newness of the ship, ... Read More
We are a husband and wife in our mid-30s from Central Florida. We have sailed Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, and now for the first time, Holland America. We chose this cruise for the pricing, the itinerary, the newness of the ship, and that it had a bit of Celebrity's design influence. We don't like belly flop contests and the party atmosphere of other lines, and we don't mind sailing with an older crowd. But I think this crowd was older than even we care for. And at times it was other passengers that would put a damper on our holiday. It was unpleasant and embarrassing for us to overhear the copious amounts of complaints and demands that passengers put on ship staff and excursion guides who are just doing their absolute best with what they have to work with. Our stateroom was a tad smaller than what we have experienced before but the bigger shower makes up for that. The angle of the toilet was not a big deal, just initially awkward. The one thing about the stateroom that was aggravating was the closet doors which should be sliding doors instead of the french door style which interfered with the bathroom door (only a problem is your spouse is getting dressed and someone is wanting to get in and out of the bathroom). Our stateroom attendant was excellent! I found the food to be good while my husband was not impressed. Always a subjective topic. The first few nights seemed to be complete chaos with the dining room as it usually is on any cruise. We had open seating and while you could technically "make reservations," you could only make reservations for 5:15, 5:30, or 7:45. But after a few nights we were able to go at 6 or 7 and not have to wait long for a table. The dining room is louder than I would have liked and all the clanking of the plates and silverware gave it a cafeteria sound. The Lido Marketplace is also utter chaos during usual lunch times. The walkways seem tight and everyone is wandering about trying to decide what they want to eat, standing in the middle of the walkways. We tried to avoid it when we could. We enjoyed specialty dining in Tamarind and felt it was well worth the money. Music is very much highlighted on the ship but the shows in the Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard really weren't up our alley. We like all sorts of music but this was heavily geared toward boomers, and while we enjoy piano-playing, the dueling pianos were borderline cheesy. However we did enjoy the performances by Lincoln Center Stage. The Planet Earth 2 performance was really good! We did not spend much time in the casino as it does get smokey and then it smells like they try to cover it up with Febreeze. One thing that we discovered that we like that the Koningsdam did not have was a well-designed and open atrium. This is not a tiny ship by any means but it just felt really small and not as open as others that we have been on. The itinerary was jam-packed with islands which was great and I was so thrilled with seeing St. Lucia. I did not like that we had to dock farther away from the downtown area in Barbados and we were on the other side of Havensight in St. Thomas which was a pain with taxis. Being French, Martinique acts like they could care less that you are there. We had a pleasant cruise overall and are very easy to please, but the much older and demanding demographic was a turnoff for us which is such a shame. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
It is a new ship that came out in 2016. We were told it had just came out of dry-dock. So many problems. The first four days we had no hot water in sink. Techs came by fixed it, a few hours later it wasn't working. Were told to run ... Read More
It is a new ship that came out in 2016. We were told it had just came out of dry-dock. So many problems. The first four days we had no hot water in sink. Techs came by fixed it, a few hours later it wasn't working. Were told to run the shower and would get hot water in the sink. After 4 days finally fixed. Also the air conditioning was very cold and could not be turned down Thanks to a passenger who told us to propt the balcony door open so the room would get warm. Customer service was bad. We have been sailing for many years on other lines and never had these problems. There were other problems too numerous to mention. Credit was given to us on last day of cruise and we were told it could only be used on the ship. Why wait till the last day?. Buffet had no trays and had to make numerous trips with single dishes to put meals together. We were not happy campers.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Love HAL this is my 4 th cruise with them. Service is outstanding as is the food. Several lectures on culture and food offered as was America’s Test Kitchen. Music was great in the new Rolling Stone Rock Room. The band was ... Read More
Love HAL this is my 4 th cruise with them. Service is outstanding as is the food. Several lectures on culture and food offered as was America’s Test Kitchen. Music was great in the new Rolling Stone Rock Room. The band was awesome. Excursions were well worth the money. Because of the weather we missed our last stop Bahamas Half Mom Cay but it was obvious to all it was the correct decision by the captain. We also attended the meet and greet or “Ask the Captain” and that was very entertaining. He had a very dry sense of humor and had the room laughing as if he were the comedian onstage for the night. I will do another HAL cruise in the near future and hopefully get to see the same band or at least some of them. I hear their next stop is the Nieuw Statendam. Love those dam ships! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
First time on HAL and as a Celebrity guy, I wanted to compared one considered equal to Celebrity on the food quality,,,, it fall a bit below though. The eleven days itinerary was very good in southern Caribbean. Our balcony cabin ... Read More
First time on HAL and as a Celebrity guy, I wanted to compared one considered equal to Celebrity on the food quality,,,, it fall a bit below though. The eleven days itinerary was very good in southern Caribbean. Our balcony cabin was surprisingly small at the first sight, but we get use to it, the balcony is a bit larger than average, the bathroom/shower is also above average, large shower plenty of water excellent quality shampoo/soap/and conditionner. We had the ultimate dining package (5 specialty restaurants) Thanks because many nights at the MDR the menu was not appealing, but at every nights we ate there it was very good, no deception at all, not even on the waiting time between courses that some critics talked about. The Tamarind restaurant is very good same as the Sushi restaurant attached to the Tamarind got beautiful deco and excellent food for both of them,,, At the Pinacle we experienced the worst service, 50 minutes to get the first soup after complaining 2 times then a way oversalted, returned it and a new one arrived in 5 minutes still oversalted, the surf and turf at 10$ extra for the lobster tail was good and good cooking they didnt charge the lobster, thanks to them. The italian restaurant (Canaletto I think) is not good, bad location attached to the buffet bad deco it doesnt worth the extra 15$... The Rudi Sel de Mer got very good sea food. The pool deck food, pizza and the dive in dog/burger, are good but VERY VERY long to get the food, more than 35 minutes to get a burger and 45-50 minutes for a pizza, we gave up twice on the pizza because of the time, and at the 3rd time after 50 minutes the pizza was good. We ate at the Lido buffet for breakfast and some lunches, the quality is above average, the fruits the bacon the eggs, fried or benedictine all very good even the coffee is above average, but no coffee man to refill your cup. We attempted 2 shows only at the main theater and it was not so good, but the rock and roll blues band at the Rolling Stone stage, the 2 piano players at the Billboard and the MoTown band at the BB King were all very good. The main covered pool (retractable roof) is a way to warm and stuffy even with the top open, it really need to have sliding windows here and there around to change the air, after 10hrs it very uncomfortable, it feels like a nursing home. At the second pool in the back it is difficult to find a chair or a table to eat but the area is nice. No around the pool smooth music band, and (thanks) no ole ole loud music to. The fitness center is perfect, top location in the front of the boat, never crowded and excellent quality machines and all the TV screens work on treadmill machine. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was out tenth Holland America cruise and there were some issues that we never had in the past with HAL ships. In more or less chronological order: - The boarding experience in Fort Lauderdale was terrible. Our previous nine ... Read More
This was out tenth Holland America cruise and there were some issues that we never had in the past with HAL ships. In more or less chronological order: - The boarding experience in Fort Lauderdale was terrible. Our previous nine cruises went much quicker. A serpentine line inside the building extended out the door and well beyond the end of the terminal building. This may have been due to staffing for a 1300 passenger S-Class or 2000 passenger Vista class ship. The Konigsdam's passenger complement is quite a bit higher. - Muster drill lasted from 4:00 to beyond 5:30 which encroached on the first group's seating for dining at 5:15. We were seated in the Ocean Bar for the passenger portion of the drill. Our trainers were out in the hallway where most of us couldn't see the life vest demonstration. - Dinner service lasted well beyond 7:00 the first three nights. Part of the problem may have been a disconnect between dining staff and the kitchen. Also, the network for their digital tablets, as well as for passenger Wi-Fi was down much of the time which may have slowed things down. The lateness of the meals precluded making it to the Main Stage in time to get seats for the first show. The Maître-D managed to get service up to speed for three days before it reverted to the original slow pace for the remainder of our 11 day cruise. Hopefully, these are issues that get ironed out before subsequent sailings. In the meantime we'll avoid the Pinnacle Class and stick with ships in the Statendam, Signature and Vista categories. On the plus side: - The newly installed LED walls for the Main Stage are great. They allow for multiple backdrops and "projection" screens much like the, on a smaller scale, for the LED backdrops on Vista class ships. It took a couple days out of drydock before they got the bugs ironed out. The LED pitch is about one-fourth inch (6mm) but the individual pixels are not apparent unless you get up very close. Well worth the wait. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We did this same cruise last year and had problems but did it again because my husband liked the ports of call.. This year it was worse - Koningsdam just came off dry dock but there were lots of maintenance issues. Apparently it takes 21 ... Read More
We did this same cruise last year and had problems but did it again because my husband liked the ports of call.. This year it was worse - Koningsdam just came off dry dock but there were lots of maintenance issues. Apparently it takes 21 days but management felt that they could get it done in a week. We were not the only ones that experiened problems, many other did too. We did not meet anyone that was pleased with this cruise. Our problems were mainly with staff not being able to handle what issues and not being able to get our OBC. First day on the ship and was told at breakfast that they were out of egg whites. It was downhill from that point. There was no tea - out of order equipment of at beverage stations everyday. The lido staff were unfriendly and impolite. Ports of call were great but HA docked at two industrial ports leaving cruisers at the mercy of belligerent taxi drivers. Getting around was very inconvenient and difficult. Caution about OBC - check OBC before final payment is made and make sure that you read the fine print. HA did not honor the OBC and it was too difficult to get with travel agents or brokers when on the ship..Menus are limited and not practical. Entertainment was good but not well planned - there were repeat performances of artists. In addition, there were lighting and equipment problems throught out the cruise. Lastly one of the best things about HA cruises were their stops at their private island - cancelled on our cruise because of high wave swells. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had not visited the Windward Islands and this itinerary would take us to Martinique, St. Lucia and Dominica for the first time. We reserved a family ocean view cabin as we were bringing our 10 year old grandson and 8 year old ... Read More
We had not visited the Windward Islands and this itinerary would take us to Martinique, St. Lucia and Dominica for the first time. We reserved a family ocean view cabin as we were bringing our 10 year old grandson and 8 year old granddaughter with us. Our cabin was excellent. Very comfortable beds, adequate stowage and an unobstructed view. We really liked the floor lighting that came on automatically if we got up in the middle of the night. Having the two bathrooms in the cabin was wonderful! Our cabin stewards were absolutely fantastic. The meals in the Lido Market were very good and the meals in the MDR were excellent. The Lido Market was a bit crowded and noisy. Service in the MDR was slow on a couple of the evenings, but the meals were very relaxing. The waitstaff was excellent. The food at the Drive-In and the New York Deli and Pizza was very good, but the service was very, very slow. The photographers were outstanding and lovely to work with. The shows on the World Stage were very nice, but there were several technical problems. We did five excursions on our own and one excursion through HAL. The St. Thomas Catamaran/Snorkeling HAL excursion to Turtle Cove was outstanding. The HAL excursion to Half Moon Cay was canceled due to high seas causing safety issues with the tenders. We rented a car on St. Martin and had a lovely day touring the island and had the entire beautiful Baie Rouge to ourselves! We rented a car on Martinique and had a wonderful day touring the island and snorkeling with sea turtles at Anse Noir. We hired a driver/guide for all day in St. Lucia, Dominica and Barbados and had absolutely wonderful tours of the islands. The drivers/guides were amazing. We wish that we had more time ashore. "On-Board" times of 3:30 and 4:30 are far too early, especially considering that the islands still have hurricane damage to the roads, which made travel on the islands slower than normal. The cruise dock locations at St. Thomas and Dominica are not convenient, and are at a distance from the ports proper. On Sea Days the grandchildren had a terrific time at Club HAL. The young ladies who worked there were wonderful with the children. We are Catholic and enjoyed being able to attend daily mass. The priest was wonderful. Every evening before dinner we had a grand time competing in The Trivia Challenge in the Crows Nest and snacking on their wonderful desserts that are served next door at the Explorations Cafe. The pool and hot tubs were not too crowded most of the time. (Need to have more towels available.) The sports deck is great, playing a lot of soccer with my grandson, but they should provide a squeegee to push off the water after the several rain showers we had as the water collecting on the sports deck is a safety issue. The weather was mostly very good, with just a few brief rain showers during the trip. The Captains Talk was outstanding. Every passenger should try to attend it. The island presentations by the Excursions Team were very good, but I wish the presentations were divided into two parts: Part One a 30 minute overview of the highlights of the island and Part Two being 30 minutes of the details of the HAL Excursions for those who may be interested in going on the HAL Excursions. Everyone we met on the trip was very, very nice. This is just our second cruise, and second HAL cruise, and we would definitely cruise with HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. Ship still in great shape, wish I could say the same for daily onboard activities. Absolutely nothing to do during pool hours. This is a ship for the very old. Both the wife and I are 65 and we were ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. Ship still in great shape, wish I could say the same for daily onboard activities. Absolutely nothing to do during pool hours. This is a ship for the very old. Both the wife and I are 65 and we were some of the younger passengers. Coming off the Oasis of the Seas, Koningsdam will put you to sleep. Except for BB Kings blues club, the ship closes down by 11:00pm. Nightly entertainment rates a 2 out of 10. One can only listen to the same musicians play the same music for so long then it gets old however there is no other place to go. Only saw the cruise director getting a drink at the bar or for two minutes at the show. Shops were poorly stocked. When I inquired the staff advised they were changing over to name brand stores. Daily messages are not heard inside the staterooms therefore many folks had to open the stateroom doors to hear. Aft pool deck overtaken by smokers and not a pleasant area to spend a sea day. Main pool has very few deck chairs and even with the roof open is very warm. Tables designated for outside eating venues are taken up by those playing cards or other games. Although HAL does its best to maintain sanitary conditions we saw an elderly man fill his gatorade bottle with water from a pitcher at the pizza restaurant by touching the pitcher spout to the place where he would have to put his lips to drink. I also confronted an eldetly women touching all the bread at the lunch buffet with her hands. You are served everything at the buffet by staff. Children dont act like this! We will stick to Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. By the way we are two star mariners and know what HAL is capable of on the Eurodam, Westerdam and Nieuw Amsterdam. The Koningsdam doesn’t come close. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
1st time HAL cruiser, over 25 other cruises, entertainment in 45 minute intervals are now the norm. Ship has a tight feeling with low ceilings and small corridors and open venues of music on deck 2 the "entertainment" deck. ... Read More
1st time HAL cruiser, over 25 other cruises, entertainment in 45 minute intervals are now the norm. Ship has a tight feeling with low ceilings and small corridors and open venues of music on deck 2 the "entertainment" deck. Ship is now in dry dock and we saw a good deal of carpet brought on board, the main reason for the out of service time was to repaint the keel area with the correct paint. Food was above par better than the Celebrity line and just a shade below Oceania. Service from the servers was excellent and they served all buffet food. Room steward was ok room 11017 balcony Room felt small due to the ceiling height, which I can touch easily, bathroom commode was way to close to the glass shower , shower was long and excellent. Entertainment was good to excellent, main showroom had very poor timetable of 2 hour separation for 45 minutes of show. Dinner at 7:30 meant you missed both shows that night. Central pool had a movable roof but the side windows did not open, in the Caribbean hot weather it would be stifling even with the roof open. The total number of lounge charges was less then 100 for a ship of 2500, lots of tables and couches and zig-zag walkways to get thru,need work! Specialty very good, Main Dinning room very good, Dive in great dogs etc, Buffet very good, Clientele very mature and reserved. Pool screen showed water dripping for 3 afternoons very exciting, Sunday football only on room tv! Cruise director never seen except for end of shows. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Usually I love Holland America but Koningsdam isn't up to the normal HL standards. There is no library, the promenade deck has blocked views and no where to sit. The casino and the back deck are exclusively for smokers (as you can not ... Read More
Usually I love Holland America but Koningsdam isn't up to the normal HL standards. There is no library, the promenade deck has blocked views and no where to sit. The casino and the back deck are exclusively for smokers (as you can not breath if your a non-smoker in either of these two venues. Food in the MDR was never hot, mostly lukewarm. Most of the time what showed up on your plate was not what was in the menu. The chef even came by as I asked that perhaps arugula should be in an arugula salad. He dug thru it and couldn't find any. The waiters are very slow as they have way too many tables so expect to miss dessert if you want to be out of the MDR in less than 2 hours. The pool cleanliness was poor so I ended up with an ear infection ... The shows were ok but nothing special. Just an ok trip but with good ports. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Koningsdam was different to say the least. We were on our 16th cruise and going to islands that we had not been too. To give credit this is a beautiful ship. We did our usual embarkation at the pier which really went fast but we noticed ... Read More
Koningsdam was different to say the least. We were on our 16th cruise and going to islands that we had not been too. To give credit this is a beautiful ship. We did our usual embarkation at the pier which really went fast but we noticed they did not ask for our credit card for purchases on board. When we got on board there was a huge line at customer service so we decided to wait until the next day to setup our account. It is HAL's practice to call your credit card company and put a hold on your card for a percentage of your total cruise package and in our case it was $1200. Only problem we had with that was one of our cards would not do it for security reasons. Eating on board was very different than other cruises we had been on. Most of our meals were in the buffet because it took a long time to dine in the dinning room. Long waits between courses for some reason. The food was very good but it took way to long to eat. The buffet food was also very good but they served the same meals every time. What you ate the night before was served again the next night with the same four selections. Our cabin (balcony) was very nice and comfortable with a great balcony. Our two (yes two) cabin stewarts were exceptional. It was nice to see a ship with plenty of staff for service. With two working together they were in and out quick. This was however the most boring ship we have been on. Not much to do unless your big on piano or violin recitals. Small casino, good shore excursion talks but not much more. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and timing, we weren't really cruising we were actually on our way to annoy, er, visit the relatives in Florida for the holidays. This cruise landed us there right in time and in the right ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and timing, we weren't really cruising we were actually on our way to annoy, er, visit the relatives in Florida for the holidays. This cruise landed us there right in time and in the right location so we chose the TransAtlantic cruise from Rome to Fort Lauderdale along with a back to back cruise through the Caribbean to make our arrival in Fort Lauderdale at the right time. It was also to ports we hadn't seen and had a TransAtlantic crossing which we hadn't done before as well. We'd not been on this specific ship before and we really liked the Westerdam from last year so we wondered what a slightly larger HAL ship would be like, For this cruise, we started out leaving the port in Civitavecchia near Rome. We got into Rome four days early to make sure we didn't miss the ship. Plus, hey! It's ROME! We had a BnB near the Vatican and had a great four days before the ship visiting the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica, etc., etc. There's loads to look at in Rome and the food is insanely good. Hmm, well, considering how fussy they are about how their food is grown, maybe it's 'sanely' good. Prior to Rome, I'd have graded the ship's food much higher, but after the food, coffee & croissants we had in Rome, well, now I have a higher standard for 'excellent' food. We caught a shuttle bus from Rome to the ship and the shuttle dropped us off right at the ramp to the ship. The shuttle driver handed our luggage to the ship's porters so it was a good thing we had them tagged and ready. I'm pretty sure it was Rome Cabs who operated the shuttle. We arranged the pickup online and they showed up on time and everything was very easy and convenient. The Koningsdam is a nice ship. It's one of the larger ones in the HAL fleet and newer, but it just didn't quite seem like a 'real' cruise ship to us. The decor was more 'fancy floating hotel' than 'cruise ship'. Not much nautical decor, and it didn't compare well to the Westerdam that we'd taken last year through the Panama Canal. We did like the Grand Dutch Cafe, but we preferred the Westie for most other things. Some of the surprising things were the lack of decoration in the hallways. The hallways are really long and boring, lack of any artwork doesn't help that. There were also no seating in the elevator lobby areas. Why no seats near the elevators? The classic wooden seats with the ship's name on them are also strangely missing as well. I think I saw one or maybe two of them, but they were very few and far between. The promenade deck exterior walkway has become a narrow track with no seats there, either. Shall we mention that the teak decks on the promenade are actually plastic sheeting? That just lacks authenticity. Perhaps that's the complaint throughout the ship, it lacks an authentic 'cruise ship' vibe. But, maybe that's what they're trying to achieve? The ship, as a ship, is a very excellent ship even if we are less than enthusiastic about some of the decor. The captain, Noel O'Driscoll, while he seems young to be a captain of such a large ship is a most excellent captain. When we embarked in Civitavecchia, we were the last ship to leave the port until after a hurricane came and went. Apparently, there was a ship scheduled to come in the next day (not a HAL ship) but it wouldn't be able to arrive because of the storm. I wonder how that works? It's one thing for a passenger to miss the ship, but what happens when the ship misses the passengers? Well, anyway, I digress, back to the review of the Koningsdam. The hurricane effects we saw were mostly that the ship was slightly tilted. There didn't seem to be much up and down or side to side swaying, mostly it was a slight tilt. Enough that the coffee cups were trying to commit suicide by sliding off tables, but not much more than that. Seems odd there wasn't some sort of rubber grippers on the bottom of the plates and cups, but generally cruise ships aren't in hurricanes. There were crashes of things in the dining areas, spills of food and dishes, the servers on the Lido were stacking things in the window ledges on the downhill side so they wouldn't slide off the tables. The wind was howling, the ship was slightly tilted, the crew was uneasy but they were hiding it well. From a passenger's viewpoint, it was almost a non-event. Rumor among the passengers later was that it had been seventy mile an hour sustained winds and gusts up to a hundred and thirty. Which would be an official hurricane in my book. Captain O'Driscoll is being shifted to the new ship HAL is launching, I think that's an excellent choice considering how well he handled that hurricane. (But, I'm just a passenger, I really know nothing of that sort of thing.) The cruise director, Benjamin Yates, is a really likable fellow. Which would be a job requirement, one would think. It must be difficult for him to find things for the passengers to do when he's got such a wide variety of passengers to work with. On the TransAtlantic crossing, the median age of the passengers was quite high. Once we got the next group of passengers (we were doing a back to back cruise) in Fort Lauderdale, I'd guess the average age of the passengers dropped by at least three decades. Personally, I'd like to see HAL instigate 'maker' classes or activities. It could be sold as 'craft' groups to the older cruisers. Somewhat similar to the 'America's Test Kitchens' venue that they have except about something other than cooking. I'd guess a jewelry making event would perhaps do well or something similar? Oh, and if I was cruise director, there'd be races for the limited mobility folks on scooters. Mark out a track, put out outlines of toes that they could get points for running over and have timed races. Woot! Probably it's a good thing they don't let me be cruise director. Another thing which could be a good thing for the ship to do would be at least a digital library with perhaps book readers folks could rent for the cruise if they didn't bring their own. A digital library wouldn't take up any space and yet still be a library. I really miss the real libraries they used to have on board HAL ships. Hmm, maybe 'book club' meetings on board? That could be digitally done. Pick a book about a cruise ship, a light and happy book that can be quickly read and have the book club meet every several days? Or meet every day to discuss the chapters they've already read? Well, again, I'm not cruise director. HAL's claim to fame - in my estimation at least - is their excellent service. Which, seems a bit less on the Koningsdam than the Westerdam. That may be from the higher ratio of passengers to crew or we may have had a higher expectation of service on the K'dam than the Westie. The service was excellent. The food in the Lido is really good, although on this ship there was less of it that was available without being served by the server at the station. Occasionally, there would be lines to get some food items but they were generally short lines. If one didn't want to wait in line, there's some items that can be picked up without waiting but the nicest choices are usually served and may or may not involve some waiting in a line. We would frequently eat in the main dining room in self defense. The Lido doesn't have limits on things that show up on your plate and there's too much good stuff there for us to be left alone there for long. In the main dining room, there's a menu to order from and other folks putting proper sizes of portions on the plate so we don't over eat. I'd like to see smaller portion sizes myself. Frequently we just want a taste of something, not really a whole meal of it. Kinda like a tapas party verses a real meal. There was disappointment at tea time, however. It wasn't the more proper tea service where the chest of tea is presented for selection of tea. It was pre-brewed Tetley tea. What's with that? The entertainment was pretty good, I think our favorite was a visiting entertainer, Hilby, who was listed as a German juggler/comedian of all things. There were usually loungers available for the evening movie on the Lido deck. There were usually loungers available at the Lido deck around the pools during the day as well. There were a lot more folks in the pools on the Caribbean portion of the cruise. Very few on the TA portion. We only took one ship's tour and that was in Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. It was a bus ride on an interesting vehicle to a cove for some powered snorkeling from a boat. The Dominican Republic isn't quite the sort of port one would want to wander around in by oneself, in my estimation anyway. The bus was sort of a cross between and open air farm wagon and a bus. We rode pretty high in the air and the driver was in a separate compartment. It was interesting seeing the rural area and towns along the way. If there's a small motorcycle with a woman holding groceries sitting sidesaddle on the back with a driver wearing an orange vest, then that's a taxi motorcycle. They were everywhere and it took awhile before we figured out how the passengers were related to the drivers. The powered snorkeling was interesting, although the undersea life was much better in Bonaire. The snorkeling ship captain was Carlos who had trained herds of fishes waiting for the snorkel boat to arrive. Also, if he gives you a shopping opportunity at the small shops next to the snorkeling cove, take him up on it. One of the Dominican Republic items is a blue stone called 'laramar' and the shops at the cruise port charge about six times the prices asked by the small shop near the snorkeling cove. Overall, there was very little waiting in line on the ship. Embarkation was less than twenty minutes and disembarkation was a lot shorter. We used Mobile Passport which is an app on our cellphones at Port Everglades. We walked off the ship after waiting about three minutes in a line to get off the ship. Then walked to the luggage waiting area, gathered our luggage and walked to the long, long customs line. To the side of that long line is the 'Mobile Passport' line which had nobody in it. We were frantically trying to open our passports while walking to the front of the line. The inspector still looks at the paper passport even when using Mobile Passport on the phone and we're supposed to have them open to the picture page before you get to the inspector. Holland America Line is a good cruise line. They consistently give excellent service, which is what they are best known for as far as I know. The Koningsdam is a good choice of ship and the TransAtlantic crossing or any itinerary that gives multiple sea days is a lovely thing. I wasn't sure what to expect with a week's worth of ship days but it was quite lovely to not have to scurry about as we do on a port day. As usual, a lot of the joys of cruising is meeting and chatting with the other passengers and multiple sea days is perfect for this. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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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