708 Holland America Koningsdam Cruise Reviews

So we picked this cruise for the ports here are the highs & lows. Pros - -Beautiful ship and comfortable rooms - high quality food - wait & room staff excellent - quick boarding - happy hour 4-6 drink specials ... Read More
So we picked this cruise for the ports here are the highs & lows. Pros - -Beautiful ship and comfortable rooms - high quality food - wait & room staff excellent - quick boarding - happy hour 4-6 drink specials Cons - - slow dining room service , I think they had zero asst waiters so the head waiters are clearing tables - maitre ds gave us terrible tables most nights , didn’t care - slow waiter service on aft swim deck . Took forever to get a cocktail. - music offerings are limited & repeated - cruise director was invisible - customer service desk mgr was rude to one of the people in our group/ lost bag situation for seven days . Promises made promises broken. - age group on board is older which meant the piped in music on the swim deck was turned down to accommodate older clientele. - no live music on deck for sea days or sail aways - chateau st Michelle wine blending venue is completely unused , they only sell $55 bottles. No one at the wine bar the entire cruise. Holland should sell blended glasses for $8-$9 Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wanted to see Greece. It was a fair Itinerary although I could've done without Salerno and 2 days in Athens. Basically, the staff is great. Verandah rooms have hairdryers and magnifying mirror. Beds are comfy. A few more ... Read More
Wanted to see Greece. It was a fair Itinerary although I could've done without Salerno and 2 days in Athens. Basically, the staff is great. Verandah rooms have hairdryers and magnifying mirror. Beds are comfy. A few more things like free water, and free wifi would be a great plus. Be aware of the wifi onboard.You must have the whatsup app and maybe another app or it won't work. From what I could see even with all the tools people were still having a lot of trouble connecting. For Spa services they add another $23 for tips. Keep a tab on your bill. They add a dollar here a dollar there. Food is good. The lido grill is just fine. Don't pay attention to grouchy comments. You get a ton of choices all cooked to perfection. Beef Wellington, Whole Roasted Pig, Salmon, lots of salads, delicious oriental choices cooked in Woks right in front of you Yummy deserts. Breakfasts everything you could ask for. Specialty dining is all very good. Said it before but will mention it again the Staff is amazing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The 24 day Mediterranean cruise to the Adriatic, Malta, Sicily, Italian and then Greek locations in September. This was our 3rd HAL trip and ship. Weather was generally hot. The ship is only 3 years old and shows that they have taken into ... Read More
The 24 day Mediterranean cruise to the Adriatic, Malta, Sicily, Italian and then Greek locations in September. This was our 3rd HAL trip and ship. Weather was generally hot. The ship is only 3 years old and shows that they have taken into consideration factors from other older ships in the fleet. Firstly it is very quiet and manoeuvrable meaning it can and does go where some others do not (eg Santorini). The captain is calming and likes being early at just about ever port (and leaves when he can). The Cruise Director is cheery and direct with no long winded speeches. We liked the cabin - details below. Dining is good - MDR (we had anytime dining) offers varied selections but like all lines when doing back to back cruises the menu is repeated; food quality was good, service very good; the venue (level 2) can get noisy when busy and when certain guests always talk loudly, special dietary service was excellent. Lido has good variation with the policy of 90% being served by staff adds to health safety; the special diet section was appreciated and popular with the only negative comment being the shortage of staff; breakfast was generally pretty quick service. Canaletto has a new menu that was disappointing but service was good. Tamarind has excellent Asian food variations and high quality, quiet atmosphere, excellent service with special mention for the Indonesian theme night, 3 visits in total. Pinnacle Grill was mid range for the 3 special restaurants we attended. Burgers by the pool are OK although the fries are just yuk. Wine selection is reasonable with good geographic coverage but as always prices can be steep. Gala nights are becoming more casual with very limited numbers wearing formal gear. Pool size is a bit small but the level above with lounges overlooking offer a luxurious feel. Massage was good even if a touch expensive and there some some after sell of products but not too bad. Entertainment is geared towards seniors who prefer the occasional activity/performance. This is not a ship for those wanting broadway shows every night! It just does not happen. Instead a few musicians, magicians and cultural shows (entertainers from local areas were the best). Embarkation and disembarkation were the quickest yet on any ship we have sailed! Congrats to the crew who organised entertainment and activities on the day when a port could not be moored because of wharf issues and the change so that an early arrival at the next port allowed an overnight stay. Sum - a large ship with 2600 which has been modernised with many popular features. It is not a 5 star ship eg Silversea but offers excellent value at HAL prices. A ship we would definitely sail on again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were on the Med Legends cruise at the end of August and absolutely loved it. This was our 10th cruise (4th HAL, 2 Princess, 2 Celebrity, 1 Azamara and 1 independent) and I can honestly say that it was our best cruise so far. The ... Read More
We were on the Med Legends cruise at the end of August and absolutely loved it. This was our 10th cruise (4th HAL, 2 Princess, 2 Celebrity, 1 Azamara and 1 independent) and I can honestly say that it was our best cruise so far. The food in the MDR was excellent. My husband and I had fish quite often and it was cooked perfectly. Portion sizes of the entrees were actually too large. The soups were amazing and served piping hot. HAL does an amazaing job of catering to individuals with dietary restrictions, so I had no issues whatsoever in ordering gluten-free meals. You can even order gluten-free pizza at the New York Deli and gluten-free burger buns at Dive-In. We enjoyed the variety of entertainment, especially the quintet at Lincoln Center. World Stage had some memorable shows, including the folk group that came onboard during a late-night departure and the two gentlemen that performed tunes from around the world using various instruments. We always made it to at least one of the shows at BB King's, Billboard or Rolling Stone every night and found that the different styles of music suited our tastes. The Koningsdam seems to be catering to Baby Boomers and that's fine with me as I'm at the tail-end of the Boomer generation. And what really stands out on this cruise is the service. I was not expecting staff to bring coffee, juice, lemonade, etc. to our table in the Lido buffet. Yet there they were every meal - clearing tables and bringing us our Arnold Palmers. Always with a smile. The ship itself is very appealing. I especially liked the two-level format of Lincoln Center/BB King's - it made the space feel like a true music venue. The decor throughout the ship is tasteful and somewhat playful. All of the cabin decks are named after composers and the hall carpets have piano keys at the edge and there are music-themed art installations throughout. And if you're wondering about the demographics on this cruise, it was quite mixed. I would say the majority of the passengers were European and while there was the "older" crowd, there were plenty of middle-aged passengers and even a few families with young children. Lastly, we enjoyed this cruise so much that we bought a future cruise deposit. We have never done that before, so just goes to show what a great time we had on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Having cruised in the past with a different company, we chose this particular one for its itinerary. However, one chooses a cruise to enjoy the time on board as well, otherwise you would just pick another mean of transportation to get you ... Read More
Having cruised in the past with a different company, we chose this particular one for its itinerary. However, one chooses a cruise to enjoy the time on board as well, otherwise you would just pick another mean of transportation to get you where you want. No entertainment whatsoever during the day, the food-American quality (need I say more?!) Muffins you can hardly bite into, horrible just horrible coffee, cheapest possible juices, restaurant food looks homemade. A cruise should dazzle, surprise, entice, get you home with few extra kilos! As it is, I am on a diet. Furniture, carpets, couches, look old and stained. Everything is dull and poorly decorated. Staff is nice, helpful but they cannot be called professionals. On other cruises, staff amazes you, you keep thinking "how they manage it?!". Well, no wonders here, i guarantee. So: comfort? Little. Food: ikea style. (Actually, i prefer ikea). And the plates and cutlery in the dining restaurant!!! Such poor quality!!! Using those you actually start reconsidering plastic! Entertainment: bring books with you. Thick ones. Staff: nice. Not that professional. Overall cruise experience: as said in the title, ferry like experience. And some ferries are actually better. No exageration. Boarding procedures were carried on alright, though we had to wait for our luggages to be brought. In other cruises, they are in your room by magic before you go in. If you plan on a cruise, choose something you can enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have recently made a Mediterranean cruise with koningsdam from 21 August 11 days. My tourism agency had recommended koningsdam. They said ”new ship, it is very clean and the food is very good” I believed of course. But unfortunately ... Read More
I have recently made a Mediterranean cruise with koningsdam from 21 August 11 days. My tourism agency had recommended koningsdam. They said ”new ship, it is very clean and the food is very good” I believed of course. But unfortunately as soon as I got on board I realized that this was not what I expected. Because I traveled with many different companies I can compare very easily. I have been cruising last 10 years with several different companies and ships. This time is my first time with Holland America. I wish to share my experience for the sake of other customers and as well as your benefit. (Actually I am very busy person who works 10 hours a day but I hope it will be appreciated that I spend my resting time to write this.) I have a very serious complaint about the reception manager (or chef) his name was M...... He made me angry so much. He treated me very unpleasantly. We are Turkish but since we are high level civil servant (We are professor doctor working in university) we were given a “special passport” which we don’t need any visa in EU countries. In every cruise, in check in desk they understand it and they don’t keep our passports. They know special passports or they can easily understand when they look at the pages there are plenty of stamps of many countries but there was not any visa. In Rome port they did the same. They checked the passports and gave them to us. The first day was sea day we would be in Cartagena following morning, But at night I found a note someone calling me to the reception. I went there a girl in the reception wanted me to give our passports to them. It was so strange. She said “my manager wants them”. I refused of course. The explanation was not adequate. She called the manager He said “Turkey is not EU country that is why I want to keep your passport”. It should not be a personal preference. I tried to explain why we did not need any visa. But he was person who cannot understand the situation. His attitude and words were very very annoying and irritating. He insist to take it. (Be honest even if we are not obliged to give it. Since I am a mature and respectful and respective person, If he had asked nicely and kindly I would give it right a way). I said no. Finally he wanted to scan them, I said “I have a copy I can give it”. In that case he dared to insist to get them before 7 am in the morning!!!!(Look at his personal caprice) I was even angrier he had to understand that I was a guest and on my vacation no one has a right to force me to do something. I said “I don’t want to get up very early in the morning”. Following day I ask an appointment for “hotel manager” to discuss this issue and the other issues related with crew behaviour. No one responded. I asked total 3 times for an appointment in different days. He didn’t even send a message to me. I know he must be very busy (actually I am one of his businesses) but even dough he should have had arrange someone else to meet me. He totally ignored me (as many of them). He didn’t give any value and credit to me as a human being who actually prefer and trust them to spend her holiday on his ship. There are plenty of issues to be mentioned: But I will briefly tell. First of all the behavior of the crew (most of them) was the most unacceptable. It seems almost all of them don’t like their job. Or even they hate with what they are doing. No smiling at all. They don’t make eye contact with you they don’t even say hello or any other greetings. From the barmen to the waiters, from the officers to simple mariners every one was tossing out you. I was shocked . (none of the ship had not had such a crew like that). First day as soon as we settled, we wanted to have a drink. We approached to the bar (opposite to “guest relation”) no one cared. I asked for a menu. He didn’t even move and looked at me very unwillingly and showed the wall (there were some writings on the wall). We didn’t drink anything. We went up to the restaurant (self-service) in deck 9. For lunch There were some stations with different type of food and there was one person in it as if they were in prison (They were looking at you as if somebody forced them to stand unwillingly). It was so strange that the self-service restaurant was not self-service. All stations were covered (protected from the customers) by glass. At dinner in the 2. floor is another story. It takes ages to wait for a dish. I had to speak to restaurant chef to attract the attention to be served. The most important thing is security. In the gang way going out and coming back, IN all other ship companies they ask to take off sun glasses and hats. It is very important to recognize the people. But in Koningsdam most of customers were wearing glasses and hats !! No one asked them to take off. Crew were only concentrated if there was an alcohol in the bags. All other companies they serve water and wet cold towels in the gangways in every port they make a tent. But in koninsdam we had nothing. Even water. No one greeted and no one welcomed us. Only last day in Livorno a couple of officers were standing in front of gangway and told “welcome”. And no entertainment at all.. There are many more to tell but these are facts. I have no intention being rude I didn’t mean to offend anybody. Because I respect everybody who does their job properly, I spent my time to give this feedback. I am sorry to tell these perhaps they reevaluate the issues to please their customers and consider them as "guest" Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were drawn to this itinerary due to the number of ports visited. We had previously travelled with HAL in Alaska on Volendam and were very happy with the service. The Koningsdam is a much larger and new ship with more modern features. ... Read More
We were drawn to this itinerary due to the number of ports visited. We had previously travelled with HAL in Alaska on Volendam and were very happy with the service. The Koningsdam is a much larger and new ship with more modern features. Embarkation with HAL is very smooth, they make it seemless and have you onboard without any delay. Once onboard you are free to explore the ship and your luggage is in your room immediately. We were disappointed that we didn't get set dining, but always managed to get a table each night in the lower dining room. The staff throughout the ship are very friendly and attentive. We were disappointed with the Entertainment. We had previously had shows on the mainstage every evening but this cruise was not up to the same standard. Shore excursions with HAL are very expensive, we only booked 2 and then did another 3 independently. The rest of the ports we explored ourselves. I would thoroughly recommend this itinerary for people who are willing to explore each of the ports and get a taste of the area in a very short time. The Captain addressed the guests regularly and always made us feel as we were his number 1 priority. We had one port that we couldn't visit due to weather conditions and he took control of the situation and kept us informed. One of the highlights was the night we travelled past Stromboli Volcano. Our Captain timed the visit perfectly and allowed us to enjoy sunset as we came up to the island and then he slowly maneuvered the ship so once the moon came up the volcano was in moonlight and lava visible, it was absolutely breathtaking. We will definitely travel again with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Having sailed on this ship some 18mths ago we were surprised at how some parts of the cabins had deteriorated in particular 5022 Last year we could not fault them after all this was a comparatively new ship but has gone downhill since ... Read More
Having sailed on this ship some 18mths ago we were surprised at how some parts of the cabins had deteriorated in particular 5022 Last year we could not fault them after all this was a comparatively new ship but has gone downhill since The shower recess had mould. Now it would not take much to remove it but in the 21days it was not. Our steward was lovely but they are pushed to the limits so cleaning mould was not part of his cleaning schedule. Our friends shower was the same..yet other people we spoke to said they had no issues. The doona was marked as to was the lounge, the TV did not work nor did the phone for a day or two, which meant we were missing any bridge communications. The common areas were still maintained to a standard. The dining room menu was varied & most of the meals very good. Lido is still the usual scrum and finding a table at peak times is like winning the lottery as it is on most cruise lines which is why we opt for the dining room for breakfast & dinner. Wine list on this cruise was not to a standard with a very nice wine only available in the dining room. Why all bars did not offer this was beyond us. Most wine by the glass $11USD + gratuity which should be at the discretion of each guest not automatically added but the drinks waiters we most times well deserved of it anyway Entertainment on HAL ships is below par. Guests were walking out during performances Shore Excursions: Mostly very good & at times well organised just more info prior would be helpful. If anyone gets a chance to go to Monaco and they offer a cruise to EZE DO IT!!! This old fortress & village was amazing, just be prepared for some uphill climbing but so worth it. TIP: If you do not do a ships shore excursion but still wish to go out & about HIRE a taxi. Talk to them re a price & length of time you wish to spend out & about. We did this a couple of times & so worth it. Embarkation & disembarkation was smooth & effortless. We actually embarked earlier than allotted as it was a back to back As with most cruises you met some wonderful people (we met mostly Aussies) shared some great experiences & were attended by some great staff. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We upgraded on HAL Mediterranean cruise, to include the services of a concierge. It was very poor value for money. The quality of the food was very poor - numerous errors in the menu. The kitchen staff are better than the passengers!! ... Read More
We upgraded on HAL Mediterranean cruise, to include the services of a concierge. It was very poor value for money. The quality of the food was very poor - numerous errors in the menu. The kitchen staff are better than the passengers!! Couldn’t reach the customer service after being on hold for 10 mins - simply disconnected. The concierge service was only avail till 8pm then just no response. The Neptune lounge was in the interior of the boat no view of the water. The concierges main goal was to know our names but beyond that couldn’t offer anything additional! Very disappointed in our upgrade... really didn’t see any value for money, no significant improvement in cabin, service, or assistance from concierge. Nightly entertainment shows were poor as were the choice of movies. For a “newer” ship no real wow factor. Limited photo ops. Dining room service was also very slow until we spoke to several staff members. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were handed beepers our first three dinners because the dining room was too full and had to wait for 45 minutes...it felt like we were at a Chili's or something... Not a good first impression The food is pretentious and portions ... Read More
We were handed beepers our first three dinners because the dining room was too full and had to wait for 45 minutes...it felt like we were at a Chili's or something... Not a good first impression The food is pretentious and portions are very small. The Lido deck is not a buffet and you are forced to ask someone to plate your food for you. This causes lines and long waits for something as simple as a Caesar salad. FIRE!! There was also a fire on our cruise that was announced over the ships intercoms. My wife was in tears after that and left a very poor taste in our mouths. Beware Vegetarians!! Usually there was only one vegetarian option. We asked to have meals just without the meat multiple times are we're told no... If you love beets and mushrooms, this is your ship though. Cilantro is on everything... Lots of people hate this stuff...beware. Portion sizes are TINY compared to a cruise lines like Princess. Where I received a full beef wellington on princess, I only received a slice on HAL. Also, it was cooked medium and the breading was a soggy mess when I got it... The entertainment is awful. They have one good band (BB King band) and the rest is shockingly bad. There was an hour long presentation on the "art of towel folding".... If thats not bad enough, Microsoft also has daily seminars on how to use Windows 10...I'm not joking, this is the entertainment on your cruise. The staff is really the only shining light on this ship. All of them were incredibly friendly, but there are just so many drawbacks about this ship. We will never come back and definitely would not recommend sailing with them unless you get a massive deal. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My partner and I just took our 27th cruise (second on HAL) and had a good time, however, we expected so much more, and the line under-delivered. Our first experience with HAL was about 12 years ago and we had a great time then. This time ... Read More
My partner and I just took our 27th cruise (second on HAL) and had a good time, however, we expected so much more, and the line under-delivered. Our first experience with HAL was about 12 years ago and we had a great time then. This time we expected just as a good service like before but were left just wanting it. The good: Great cabin (4158) with an extended balcony (that we paid for). Comfortable bedding, great bathroom with a very roomy shower stall; Great cabin room stewards, friendly and very attentive; Food quality in the main Dining Room is very good; The ship is very pretty and quiet; Few announcements and sales; The cons: The same extended balcony we paid for was always dirty due to the discharges of soot from the ship stacks. Our cabin was in the AFT portion. Likely not in problem if we were mid ship or forward; Service in the dining room was lacking, slow and disconnected. We complained and promised that they would serve "faster" on the following nights. They didn't. Servers were friendly and very polite, but somehow things were not working as they should on almost every night of the 12 nights onboard. Too much time between courses and several mistakes, like attempting to take an order without bringing the menus, skipping a course, dessert without the ordered coffee, coffee without cream (even after a week with same servers), etc etc. Maitre D would apologize but the service quality would stay the same: low; Desserts are lacking quality and choices. Offerings are boring, repetitive and did not quite taste good. Dessert is like an afterthought on the ship; Buffet: They do have a different service philosophy on this ship (don't know if this is a system-wide thing) but one needs the help of a server to get any food, and that means standing in line all the time, from station to station. One can't get a whole meal on one station, so one needs to stand in line again at the next, and then the next. When there was no line, the server would hide in the kitchen, so one needs to wait there till he/she comes back out. The food offerings have no signs showing/explaining what they are, so when it is your turn, one needs to ask "what is this" and "what is that" every time. Portions are usually given on a small plate, and then on the next station they will try to give you another plate... We actually hated this system, and avoided the buffet every chance we could; Ship eateries and restaurant times are very restricted. At some obvious lunch or early evening times, one can find most of the venues closed. Off course they have several other venues, if you want to pay extra; Alternative eating venues (at no extra charge), like the Dutch Café and the Explorations Cafe, offer not a single choice of a free drink. No water, no coffee, no ice tea at these locations. So if you come here, you either have to go several decks up or down to get a glass of water, or you have to buy a drink; A lot of nickel and dimming on the ship; Alcoholic drink prices are way too high; with the required 15% gratuity, the least expensive beer onboard costs $8, the wine by the glass $10.50; HAL is not going to give you a single free cocktail, even on events we all expect to get one. On the captain's welcome night you will get a glass of pro-secco here (they might refill it) and the "party" to welcome and thank repeat guests has been replaced with a lunch, where you will be given ONE glass of pro-secco. Yes, not a choice to get a cocktail, not a chance to get your pro-secco glass refilled; Top decks are difficult to navigate. One can not go for a walk on a top deck from AFT to FWD, anywhere; Theater entertainment is very limited and boring; Music on BB King's Club is very good (they have great singers and musicians on board) but the music is too loud (and I am not 80y.o.); Ship does not offer shuttle services to bring passengers out of ports or into city centers. In Dubrovnik a Shuttle was offered for $16pP, when the city bus that stops right outside the port and brings passengers to the same final stop of shuttle in the old town costs $4.50 for an unlimited day ticket; In 3 Port Stops we were left in alternative docking locations, which meant longer walks to required shuttles only to get us to the normal docking areas, very upsetting; Overall a good trip with some great ports of call. But HAL could do a lot better. Please stop nickel and diming passengers, and deliver the experience we all expect. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had a great time on our first cruise on Koningsdam, cruising the Adriatic in late July/early August. The ship was beautiful and well maintained. The service on board was excellent. The ports of call were plentiful on this 12 day ... Read More
We had a great time on our first cruise on Koningsdam, cruising the Adriatic in late July/early August. The ship was beautiful and well maintained. The service on board was excellent. The ports of call were plentiful on this 12 day itinerary and although most ports were too crowded due to the dates we were traveling, we appreciated that this itinerary included ports like Koper and Korcula which are a little less popular and hence much more inviting. The entertainment was much better than expected with the music venues available on board offering a wide variety of live performances. Even some of the shows at the main theater were good which was a pleasant surprise compared to our prior cruise experiences. Due to the time of year, the demographics of the passengers included passengers of all ages and from all over the world but was heavy on big multi-generation family groups. The food on board was very good. We dined a number of times in Club Orange because we booked a suite and thought they did a terrific job there. We especially enjoyed the specialty dining at Rudi’s and Tamarind (which remains our favorite cruise ship restaurant on any line). We also tried the special Indonesian night at Tamarind but didn’t care for it as much as the regular Tamarind menu. We did not enjoy the Pinnacle Grill as much as we did on another HAL ship in the past. We ordered room service once and they sent us the wrong food so we didn’t try it again. We purchased the couples spa pass and enjoyed using the hydrotherapy pool and steam room there. The only negatives which I think are worth sharing as they may be helpful to others to know in advance: The main dining room, Lido buffet, and the main theater are too small for the number of passengers when the ship is at capacity. It seemed that anytime dining often included very long waits, the buffet was generally an unpleasant experience unless you visited at off peak times, and the better theater shows often had no seats available at all by the time the show was about to start. The family pool and loungers were too crowded on the two sea days and since staff did not appear to remove any towels/personal belongings from loungers left unattended for hours, there were rarely loungers available. The adult pool usually had space available but the area was full of people smoking. I anticipate that if you sail at off peak times of the year, your experiences would vary considerably on these specific issues but I think they are worth noting so that one can go in with realistic expectations. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Picked this cruise for my husband and I to explore more of the west Mediterranean. It's the biggest ship we've been on so far, and had some reservations, as we preferred the smaller but more classic Rotterdam before. There was ... Read More
Picked this cruise for my husband and I to explore more of the west Mediterranean. It's the biggest ship we've been on so far, and had some reservations, as we preferred the smaller but more classic Rotterdam before. There was about 2900 passengers and it was most noticeable in the Main Dining Room during Anytime Dining as service was slow during peak hours. We even saw a family bring in cards to play while waiting for their food. After a few times, we opted to have dinner in the specialty restaurants or eat casually in the convenience of the Lido Buffet, which made for more pleasant experience in terms of ambience and getting to know the waiters. We had lunch at Pinnacle Grill, with tasty bread service, very attentive wait staff and deliciously moist Alaska Salmon and Cod sandwich - I'd go back given the choice. Dinner at Tamarind was pretty good: overlooks the adult swimming pool and has great sunset views, the wait staff was so congenial and attentive with tea and cloths. Appetizers were smaller than expected but very tasty. Mains veered on the larger side but were decent interpretations for asian cuisine. I'd give the fried crab rice a pass though (cold crab meat on top of regular soy fried rice) and do the regular steam rice with the curries. Rudy's Sel De Mer restaurant portions are significantly larger than either Pinnacle or Tamarind, so we definitely overate and over-ordered, as their complimentary surprise food items made it hard to finish the meal. The service was great though and I would definitely only order 1 of each course, since each portion was huge compared to other restaurants. Canaletto was alright, but a little exposed to the rest of the lido deck for my taste. Turns out they have custom order pasta at the Lido deck anyways so your pick in the end. Otherwise we thoroughly enjoyed the spa's water therapy pools everynight and enjoyed the dance shows on Centre Stage. Excursion talks seemed better than other lines - teaching you more about the cities, not just trying to sell you the excursion, sad I missed out on them till the end. Their in-room entertainment service is awesome, lots of new on-demand movies. The Kitchen Tour was neat but you could definitely find areas to lounge and relax in by the Explorer's Lounge, upstairs of Lido Deck and in the Dutch cafe. As for ports best ones were Cartagena (ambled around DT district), Malaga (did Mijas Village tour), Marseille (amble around DT - take cruise's bus to get direct into town, don't fart around with local transit, not worth the hassle), Livorno (tour to Florence), and Monte Carlo (took 40 min bus to Nice) and Civitavecchia. Worst ones were Gibraltar (duty free shops and overrun 1.5hr cable car ride), and Barcelona (too hot and constantly looking out for pickpockets). Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
No one told me it would be impossible to change large Euro notes. Guest services warns against taking large notes on tour excursions yet refused to change my 200 Euro note so I could have smaller notes. The person at guest services went to ... Read More
No one told me it would be impossible to change large Euro notes. Guest services warns against taking large notes on tour excursions yet refused to change my 200 Euro note so I could have smaller notes. The person at guest services went to plead my case to the purser. The purser opened the door, looked at me from the doorway, then went back in and the guest services person returned to say the purser had refused my request. I saw they had plenty of change, so this was unreasonable. They did say I could buy Eu200 on my credit card for 3% commission. The next concern I had was with the service charge which now appears daily on our account. No one told me it would cost US14.50 per day, per person. I have always left what I thought was a generous tip to those that gave me exceptional service but have never been forced to tip. For a family of 4, this means you need to budget US580 for tips. This has resulted in the crew not needing to try so hard with their service. For example, I drink tea instead of coffee. Every other cruise, staff have recognised me and automatically remembered this, but not on this cruise. In fact they even tried to keep topping me up with coffee. We tried to book The Dining room several times and the only time available was 5.45pm. Much too early. We tried to walk up and were told nothing was available. On our second last day another passenger said that if we walked up and said we were willing to share a table, they would give us a pager and we could wait in a bar. This should have been communicated to us on at least one of the occasions we tried to book. But when they are assured of a ‘tip’ their service standard drops. Also we did not make use of all of the facilities, so why should our service charge go to those areas when we wouldn’t normally tip them. And why do they put an additional 15% service charge on drinks and coffee? We also had a problem with IT where it could not properly print one of our stateroom cards. This was going to prevent us leaving the boat as the name would not print on the card due to its length. Three times we had to go to customer service and explain our situation all over again, despite them saying they would bring a new card to our room. They kept forgetting about us. The poor customer service really impacted on my holiday. Also I travelled with my sister and they gave us a double bed when we had asked for a twin. I asked for bottles of water on arrival and had to wait until the following day for it to arrive. Then we had a $37.50 beverage charge appear on our account by mistake. This was removed. We took a four meal dining package and the steaks in Pinnacle were nice but not as tender as the wagyu in Chops on the Ovation, but we would have had to pay a surcharge for that. Also included in the meal package was sushi but it didn’t compare to the 5 star sushi on the Ovation, where the soft shell sushi was amazing. The one on the Koningsdam was mostly rice and no shell that I could see. I was told they brought the crab in from another restaurant so it was not cooked by the sushi chef. The barramundi in red curry sauce that I ate in Tamarind was delicious. We returned to Tamarind on the last night to have rijstafel which cost US$30. I saw the menu which had about ten dishes on it and looked very traditional. After soup and salad starter, the other eight dishes were served together on one plate. Not very traditional and not the ‘rijstafel experience’ we expected. To top it off after this meal, I needed the toilet. The cleaner followed soon after and wouldn’t leave until she had serviced my toilet. She banged on the door three times in two minutes, despite me acknowledging her. The Planet earth show with an orchestra playing background music was excellent but too short (40mins). The rest of the entertainment was average. The free movies available in our cabin were recent and plentiful. The food in the complimentary areas was excellent although the msg used in the Asian Fusion area disturbed my sleep. We loved The Grand Dutch Cafe and returned several times for their coffee and croquettes. The shore tours are expensive but very good. We had a nice holiday but it will have to be a very good sale price to get us to try Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had previously done a cruise with HA in 2015 and it was amazing. We thought we would receive the same service this time when we chose a 23 day Mediterranean Cruise. The good points; Amazing staff and so happy to greet you each ... Read More
We had previously done a cruise with HA in 2015 and it was amazing. We thought we would receive the same service this time when we chose a 23 day Mediterranean Cruise. The good points; Amazing staff and so happy to greet you each day Great ship, reasonably clean Great Captain Some entertainment was ok but repeated their shows quite often which were the same Great selection of food at the Lido Really well organised embarkation and disembarkation Well organised shore excursions The bad points; Our second trip did give us a $150 credit but talking to new comers they were given more eg a cheap drinks package and a free meal at the Pinnacle etc No water in cabin, no fruit Our biggest gripe is 15% surcharge on WATER, really, 6 one litre bottles cost us $24 plus the surcharge which amounted to around $27 American dollars. In Australian dollars around $42. That is disgusting. 15%surcharge on all drinks, I can understand in a dining room or being waited on but when you buy your own, disgraceful. We were 55minutes outside Spain and I was charged 15% surcharge on a drink that I purchased then another 15% Spain surcharge so that glass of wine cost $26 American dollars Wine waiters trying to sell alcohol constantly The dining room food was very ordinary and the desserts were awful. We walked by ? the Lido and the same desserts were being served there. Really. The Pinnacle was a let down, it has dropped its standard of high quality. I had previously told friends and recommended this Dining Room The excursions were quite expensive and a couple were not worth the time or the money. HA need to clarify their rules on bringing alcohol on board. We were told we could bring 2 bottles of wine on board which we did. People next to us tried this and it was confiscated, so clarification is needed. Would I recommend this ship, probably not. I would certainly tell them of our experience and let them decide. Would we use HA again, no, it is all about the money and how much they can take off you. People save hard for a cruise and one hopes for a great time but unfortunately the hidden costs is bitter. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The Good - 95% of the workers are lovely & incredibly hard working. They make up for the ship's many flaws. Embarkation/Disembarkation was smooth, swift & without issues. We had a balcony cabin, & the size of the ... Read More
The Good - 95% of the workers are lovely & incredibly hard working. They make up for the ship's many flaws. Embarkation/Disembarkation was smooth, swift & without issues. We had a balcony cabin, & the size of the balcony was impressive. Ports were also fantastic & the reason we chose this cruise line to begin with. This was our first cruise with HA & sadly will be our last. We have traveled over a dozen times with cruise ships & have used various cruise lines repeatedly, so we had the same expectations for HA. We've never had prior issues/concerns with other ships, so we believed HA would be a repeat cruise line for us as all others have been in the past. Not the case or even close. It seems a lot of corners have been cut from HA & the clients & the hard working employees are the ones suffering. So on to the bad... The unfortunate bad... First, our room was the smallest we have ever stayed in for 3 people. The pull out bed is meant for a child/adult under the size of 5 feet. If you are 5'1+, you will get bruised, scratched & woken up daily because the bed hits right into the desk in front of it & you WILL hit the desk with your feet, etc. The bed also blocks the door to your balcony completely. You must climb over the pull out bed to get in/out of it (ie: to go to the restroom, change, etc) or to get in/out of your balcony (which are all fire/emergency hazards). I would not recommend this room for 3 people, 2 would be perfectly fine (the bed remains a couch the entire time), but definitely not 3, even with a small child as you will have no space or easy access to your balcony. Second issue with the room was the cleanliness. The gentlemen who were in charge of our rooms were as sweet as could be, however, they were also responsible for countless hallways of rooms. It would be physically impossible for these 2 hard working men to completely service/clean the rooms to their fullest. They were both being tirelessly overworked. On arrival, the shampoo/condition/soap dispensers in the showers were all near empty (an oversight & an understood one as these guys could barely get to all the rooms). Additionally, we had nail clippings in the bathroom & balcony, dust in the cabin & no tissue. Clearly, these workers just don't have the manpower or time to do a full on thorough cleansing & this was on our arrival. On 3 separate occasions we were given replacement towels with various stains on them & were unusable. On multiple occasions, we were without towels & had to ask for the dispensers to be refilled. Smoking & noise issues were also a problem with one neighbor (the walls are paper thin) & we reported our concerns repeatedly, but nothing could really be accommodated (we asked to switch rooms), even after 2 separate occasions of cigarette butts on our balcony, I took photos & brought it to the attention of guest services, but they just ask you to let our servicemen be aware & they refer us right back to guest services. It was a joke all the different finger pointing of who to speak with for various issues. None of the employees want to handle or address concerns & refer you elsewhere constantly. We also opted to pay for the unlimited LAUNDRY deal during our stay. This for the most part was a nice option, however, they did lose a laundry item on one occasion & on another instance, we had to wait for 3 days for our laundry return, when it is supposed to be returned within 48 hrs. Again, we were referred to guest services twice to get an update. PHOTOS are another thing - buyers beware. We purchased several & were given wrong photos - definitely check before leaving. Our photos had wrong templates with different dates/locations of a cruise we weren't even on. Last of interest was the FOOD. The taste & quality were fine & not better or worse than other cruise lines. We did the additional pay for Italian Canaletto restaurant & the Asian-fusion, Tamarind. Tamarind was far better than Canaletto (service & food wise). Canaletto food is actually cooked in the Lido buffet area & was a step below an Olive Garden. We had the dine on your own time dining & had no problem getting a table. However, the service in the own time dining is horrible. I believe these workers may be in training because every night we had an issue with incorrect orders (not just us, but many tables around us as well) & lengthy times to be served. Dinner took 2-3 hours for a 3 course meal. We were eventually told (by mistake, perhaps), that the main dining food was the same as what was being served in the buffet's Lido's. An employee brought me a chicken dish & actually admitted HE picked it out for me himself. Lo & behold, the next evening, we decided to opt for the Lido buffet & sure enough the same soup, main entrees & desserts were exactly the same being offered in the main dining menu. We were able to hand pick the food ourselves & eat/finish within an hour, not 3 hours. A few differences on the menu, but 90% was exactly the same, including surf & turf. Lastly, the wine stewards & beverages. We have never been more hounded to drink or pay for soft drinks like we were on the HA. I think because these employees are so overworked, they are really looking to make extra money via tips. We were constantly being bombarded throughout the cruise to purchase alcohol or soft drinks. The stewards would come by multiple times, even after declining & trying to get you to buy beverages (alcohol or otherwise). It was annoying & unnecessary after the first decline, especially, when drink orders, like the meal orders, were being delivered incorrectly to various patrons Our experience about HA vs all the other big name competitor cruise lines we have taken, is that they do all they can to nickel & dime their customers at the sad cost of their hardworking employees. Where other cruise lines provided complimentary toasts at departure, HA passed out beverages (with the aim you believed it was complimentary) & then asked for your key card & said your beverage cost $. No thanks. Chocolate party night - on other lines, was magnificent, creative & worth waiting for. HA had 15 or so servers walking around for 5 minutes at 10pm at night that you had to actually chase down for a thumb sized chocolate sample bite. It was a joke (I took photos to show family/friends because it was comical). Reminded me of the samples people line up for at Costco. Same could be said for their alcohol samples. A complete joke. HA is no value - they are after one thing & it's your money which unfortunately doesn't go into these hard working employees, but the corporate headquarters. The Koningsdsam was a sad disappointment & lacks great service because they are so overwhelmingly understaffed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the stops in Greece did not disappoint they were amazing. This is our 17th cruise and have been on all the major lines. Getting on the ship was very easy and very quick. The ship itself is ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the stops in Greece did not disappoint they were amazing. This is our 17th cruise and have been on all the major lines. Getting on the ship was very easy and very quick. The ship itself is still fairly new and is in great shape. The main pool is very nice, one of the nicest I have seen in a while there is plenty of room and you don't feel sandwiched in. There are many spots to sit including areas by the outside glass that have curtains that partition off areas. The level above the pool also has lovely seating sofas which are very stylish and an eatery that not many people go to, they serve salads and pizzas and snacks. All this being said this ship is not designed for kids as there is no kids pool so the 500 or so kids on this ship made the main pool their home and at times the area was really noisy. The pool on the back of the ship is just plain, really did not like hanging out there. I was shocked that there was no sail away party, with music and dancing like they have on most ships. The food on this ship was good, we did anytime dining and hardly ever had to wait for a table, this includes the main dining room. All of the public washrooms on this ship were always clean and working, they were in pristine shape. They were also centrally located. In the buffet they dish out of the food for you and I thought this was a plus, it minimized people touching food that they shouldn't. The band that played in the BBKing lounge was amazing, we listened and danced to them many nights. They also had dueling pianos which were good. There was a hard rock band which was not very good and we listened for a couple of songs and never went back. This ship did not have any major shows, with singers and dancers. They had three male singers from the UK who all came from Broadway shows, they were very good and we saw their three shows. They also had a comedian for one night, but then he did not have anymore shows anywhere during our sailing. One night they had a local group come in and sing and dance we walked in and did not even sit down. One night they had a documentary in the main theatre and they called this one of their main shows.... In the pool area at night they had films, one night the film was not starting and there was no one around to ask so after 20 minutes or so we went up to one of the staff and they said they had technical difficulties but failed to let anyone know. We like a lot of entertainment and thought that this ship came up short in that regard. We did however like the chat with the captain that they held in the main theatre, it was very informative. We also attended one of the Americas test kitchen shows in the day time and the flower arranging demonstrations. We did the kitchen tour, it was fairly quick but interesting to see. There was no live music by either pool during the day. This ship was one of the smoothest that we have been on, the weather on this specific cruise was also very good. Getting off the ship was also very easy and quick. Katakolon-We did the winery and the beach with the tourist train, very easy and fun. Athens-We bought a two day pass for the Red hop on hop off bus,it picks you up at the port and went to the Acropolis the first day and did other sites. Had lunch at Gods restaurant in the Plaka, we ordered calamari and salad. The calamari was so huge and very tender, probably the best I have ever tasted. The second day we took the beach line and went to a beach club. You can ride the bus all the way down to the end, it then turns around and heads the other way, very pretty views. Mykonos-walked around the port area,very pretty and had lunch at one of the restaurants. We walked to the windmills and continued past them to two beaches. Kuadasi-went to Ladies beach , which was crazy busy. Had lunch at Ladies Beach restaurant which was amazing. Rhodes-went to the Palace of the grandmasters it is open from 8 to 20:00 and costs 6 euro to get in, what an amazing castle.Then we went to Ellie beach restaurant beach club. Very nice chairs 16 euro for 2 loungers and an umbrella Santorini- We took the boat to Oia, spent the morning there, it was crazy busy. Very scenic. Then took the bus back to Fira in the afternoon, had lunch at Salt & Pepper which was very good. Took the cable car down to the port. Chania- I knew very little about this port, it turned out to be my favourite stop. We took the bus from the port into town. It drops you off across the street from the market. We went to the waterfront which looks like Venice, very scenic. We walked to the lighthouse and stopped to put our feet in the water in a mini beach. We walked around that whole area and the many streets behind the waterfront that have restaurants and shops. We also walked down to the beach, but only stayed for a short while. Then went to the market. Naples-We took the hydrofoil to Sorrento. It was very pretty. If you have never been to this area of Italy before my recommendations would be to go either to the Amalfi coast or to Capri, which we did last year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We're a family of four--mom, dad, daughter 17, son 16. We've sailed Disney, Viking, and NCL in the past and travel frequently in and out of the states for business and pleasure. We selected this cruise based on the ... Read More
We're a family of four--mom, dad, daughter 17, son 16. We've sailed Disney, Viking, and NCL in the past and travel frequently in and out of the states for business and pleasure. We selected this cruise based on the itinerary--focused on the Greek Isles with few sea days. We view the ship as a floating hotel and booked two inside guarantee cabins. They were spacious with comfortable beds, roomy bathrooms, tons of storage, and great service by the stewards. The Koningsdam itself is a great ship, big enough to never feel overly crowded with lots of nooks and crannies to find privacy and areas to meet new people and mingle--and well designed, appointed, and decorated. The main pool area is especially well-designed with private lounge areas that make it feel like an upscale resort. The crew and service personnel were friendly and gracious. On ship, we had challenges with the MDR handling our daughter's food allergies, so we avoided it. (HAL addressed these concerns to our satisfaction but we did not wish to eat at the MDR after the issues experienced.) We found the food at the Lido buffet and poolside restaurants to be good, with lots of options. The Tamarind and Pinnacle were outstanding. The band at the BB King lounge and the Lincoln Center musicians were excellent. The itinerary was what sold us on the cruise and it did not disappoint. All ports were wonderful. We booked our own excursions and each went off without a hitch. From the boat to the crew, we'd give this cruise a very positive review. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and I had a future cruise credit I wanted to use. I had been on the Koningsdam before and knew what I liked and didn't like. Nothing has changed with the ship - If you don't like ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and I had a future cruise credit I wanted to use. I had been on the Koningsdam before and knew what I liked and didn't like. Nothing has changed with the ship - If you don't like overwhelming amounts of cigarette and cigar smoke don't try to use the back pool. If you want really slow service and medicore food then the dining room is not for you. But if you want some of the best cabins at sea, good choice of movies on the tv and the roomiest shower than maybe you will like this ship. Embarkation was easy as I took their transfer from the Rome airport and luggage was delivered quickly. I had been upgraded to a solo ocean view cabin and while small it had everything I had no air conditioning for the first 2.5 days and it was a bit of a nightmare to get them to fix it even with the help of guest services. Holland America is great unless you experience an issue then you realize they aren't so great. For my suffering they sent flowers???? Oh well. Last time I did not like the MDR so this time I ate many meals in the buffet and over time I got the sense that a lot of others had the same idea. The food in the buffet was always hot and varied. Given I went for the itinerary, all ports were good and the ship on time in all ports. I only took one excursion which I would recommend. Its the boat, bus transfer to OIA and Fira. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our 13th cruise and the 2nd on HAL. We sailed the Baltic on the Zuiderdam last year and it was so wonderful that we tried to re-create it with a different itinerary. The Baltic definitely wins the weather contest, as this time we ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise and the 2nd on HAL. We sailed the Baltic on the Zuiderdam last year and it was so wonderful that we tried to re-create it with a different itinerary. The Baltic definitely wins the weather contest, as this time we were in the Mediterranean during a heat wave, but we still had a very good cruise. The Koningsdam is beautiful and service on HAL continues to be a high point. Most of the staff seemed to go out of their way to demonstrate genuine warmth. Our cabin stewards, Edi and Rangga, and our dining staff, Sang and Eka, were top notch. We loved that this ship has a full promenade deck for us to stroll every evening, although the view is somewhat blocked by life boats. The activities on HAL suit us; we don’t need a rock climbing wall! We especially enjoyed the America’s Test Kitchen demonstrations, since we are fans of the show at home. I have seen reviews in which people were disappointed in the entertainment, but we were not. We did not go to everything, but some highlights were the fabulous pianist Tian Jiang, the local Croatian singers and dancers, and the BBC Earth movie set to live music. The Lincoln Center performers were stellar, and the “music walk” bars are a fun and creative feature. Food in the main dining room ranged from good to great, and our meal in the Pinnacle Grill was excellent. We found some good things in the Lido buffet, but it seemed that there were less choices than on the Zuiderdam and one side was often closed even at busy times. I notice that some reviewers did not like that the Lido staff serves the items rather than self-service, but I appreciate the attempt to control the spread of germs. In fact there were a few side dishes that were self-serve this time and I didn’t like it. I don’t remember that from the Zuiderdam. A few complaints: Smoking is allowed in the casino. I think it’s only supposed to be in a certain part but the smoke doesn’t know that. I respect people’s right to smoke, but in a closed area it affects non-smokers too. The casino usually was not crowded so it wasn’t too bad, but one night I had to leave my favorite slot machine when someone beside me lit up. I like the way HAL does happy hour. You buy a drink and the second one is only $2, plus they have some pretty good snacks. However, our dinner time was at 5:30 and happy hour was from 5:00 to 6:00! No fair! There was another one at 10:00 but we enjoy drinks before dinner. This was the first time I have ever used the ship salon but the humidity in the Mediterranean was not my friend. I was impressed both visits, first with Jalena and then with the young man from Bosnia. Disembarkation was the best we’ve ever experienced. Embarkation could have been better. We arrived at 7:00 a.m. and were met by lovely staff who showed us where to sit and wait. It was a rather long wait, because they had to get the ship ready after the previous cruise. When the buses finally arrived, however, a lady with a HAL sign led a group of new arrivals to the bus first, while motioning impatiently for our group, who had been waiting the longest, to sit back down and wait some more. It was another half hour before the next bus came. Once we were at the cruise terminal, we waited another hour or so but it was a pleasant place to wait. My suggestion would be for the airport welcome staff to keep a list of arrivals and call them in that order when the buses come. We enjoyed all of our ports, although there were a few mishaps. DUBROVNIK - We need a do-over here. We walked the city walls but unfortunately it was 91 degrees with extreme humidity, and I felt ill after climbing the many steps. I exercise and believe myself to be in good shape, but this was hard for me. My husband did not have difficulty, however, so maybe it was just me. Anyway, it affected the rest of our time there. I would love to try again at a cooler time. Dubrovnik is beautiful. HAL charges about 16 euro per person for their shuttle to town. KOTOR - One of the most beautiful places we have ever seen! We strolled the old city and had lunch. There is a wall to climb but we didn’t because of my previous experience. When we arrived in the tender, lots of young men tried to sell us boat tours. They offered a 1.5 hour tour at a reasonable price to Perast and Lady of the Rock that I might try next time. SPLIT - We visited Diocletian’s Palace and Saint Domnius Cathedral, where we climbed the bell tower for beautiful views. Then we strolled the waterfront. This is an easy port to do on your own. RIJEKA - We were originally scheduled to visit Ravenna, Italy but our itinerary was changed. We had rather low expectations for this port but ended up enjoying it. Go to the friendly tourist office at Korso 14 and they will tell you everything you need to know. We bought city bus tickets across the street from their office and visited Trsat Castle, a lovely place to walk and take in the views. Rijeka does not seem as touristy as some ports and the people there were especially nice. TRIESTE - In retrospect, we should have done an excursion here. We went to see the Roman ruins and San Giusto castle and they were fine but nothing spectacular. HAL offered excursions to Slovenia and to Venice that were tempting but expensive, as well as some shorter tours. But they sold out fast! CORFU - Lovely, fun, friendly town to stroll and have lunch. There were 5 ships in town, however, and the crowd for security at the cruise terminal was a disorganized madhouse. There has got to be a better way. CATANIA - The HAL excursion to beautiful Taormina was great. It would have been easy to walk back into town from the ship afterwards but our tour guide took us through on our way back and we felt like we had seen it. VALLETTA - We could easily have spent two days here. If you like military history, you will love it. We visited the Malta at War Museum and Fort St. Elmo, but there’s lots more to see and it’s easy to do on your own. NAPLES - We went with HAL to Pompeii. Great tour. Overall, we loved our cruise and we look forward to sailing with HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first cruise on Holland America, and most certainly the last. Actually, our cruise on Koningsdam was the first one we wished to end. We were prepared that the passenger would be a bit older but still it managed to surprise us. ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Holland America, and most certainly the last. Actually, our cruise on Koningsdam was the first one we wished to end. We were prepared that the passenger would be a bit older but still it managed to surprise us. Occasionally we felt that we were lost in a retirement home´s summer trip. In a way it was nice to feel yourself too young even in the age of 50+ but it is not what we are looking for. By the way, we have never got so much paper in the stateroom. There was a continuous stream of advertisement and announcement in the cabin. Good that they had a double bin with a locker saying “paper. I hope they really do recycle it because we threw mostly away straight away. We were most disappointed with the entertainment. Were just were nothing for us. The main stage had no production shows, or even just a bigger show. There was a pianist, a mediocre magician, a boring male singer, another singer that sang a strange mix of songs from Julie Andrews ending with Europe´s the Final Countdown. The BBC earth was just some nice videos with classical music concert. The music walk had either classical music (with big signs SILENCE) or very loud rock. Only a bit enjoyable was the two pianists but their selection and speaks were very American so even they stayed a bit distant to us. The main dining was a beeber (pager) show. Actually, we have never seen on any cruise so much beebers than in HAL. In any time dining (or whatever they call it) was a chaos every day. We managed to get a table once in 13 days cruise without waiting 15 to 20 minutes. The man on the door was totally nonchalant and unfriendly to the passengers and the crew. The waiter taking you to your table could not mostly find it although walking with the map in hand. It was like sitting in a railway station. We had once a bit quieter table by the rear windows but otherwise it was very restless. You could feel the floor tumble when the army of waiters run to the kitchen and back. The poor waiters were like machines even when talking to you because they were so stressed. The quality of the food was better than on most of the cruise lines, but the atmosphere made it impossible to enjoy it. The Dutch coffee was a peculiar invention. They served coffee, apple cake and pea soup. The special coffees were very milky and it felt that nobody else have never ever before ordered a coffee latte with double shot expresso. It was also strange that they had no table service, while otherwise it felt that HAL had more crew than many other major cruise line. The Dutch Cafe made us miss so much the Celebritys Cafe Al Baccio. Speciality restaurant Pinnacle Grill was good and as always on the cruises, had quieter atmosphere than the main restaurant. FIrst time tea waiter was really good, but second time rather poor (De Librije 3 Michelin star dinner was held only once and was a bit too much for the poor waiter). In the Tamarin the service was good, but the food did not quite convince us. The Italian Canaletto is actually a part of the buffet and it felt like it. Practical for the breakfast and lunch but in the evening it felt cheap. The buffet was almost always full in the breakfast and in the lunch time. It was not easy to find a table. All the food was served in the station and you could not take it yourself. This of course cause some queues, which was a problem while there was no clearly marked place for a queue. The service went still quite good. Mostly they gave you too much food and a lot of food was thrown away which we did not like. As we knew the idea, we were waiting at least some nice and beautiful portion in the lunch time, but it all ended in the plate the same smash as you get from the normal buffet taking it yourself. The Dive in with burgers and New York deli with pizza by the pool were nice because the portion were fresh made for you. You just needed to get them by yourself when the beeber went on. By the way, why the beebers needed to be so loud? Especially in the evenings it was almost humiliating walking to the restaurant while by the time the beeber got even louder and started to yell to you “return to the restaurant, your portion is ready”. The good thing with elderly passenger was that it was extremely easy to find a deck chair on any time. We have never seen so much vacant chairs. The ship was in good condition and the cabin was always perfectly cleaned. There is probably nothing really wrong in the Holland America. The concept just was not for us and we will not be back, at least before we are 80+. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Overall we had a great cruise in the Mediterranean on board the Koningsdam. It's a newer ship and very pretty inside and out. The public spaces, music walk bars, pool areas, lido deck buffets were are all well organized and staffed. ... Read More
Overall we had a great cruise in the Mediterranean on board the Koningsdam. It's a newer ship and very pretty inside and out. The public spaces, music walk bars, pool areas, lido deck buffets were are all well organized and staffed. The Crow's Nest lounge was one of our favorite places on the ship. The outdoor exercise track was the best place for taking pictures when coming into port or passing a really interesting geographic feature. Cabin - We had a nice aft facing vista suite. Nothing to complain about except the toilet is mounted at a 45 deg angle that really leave no leg room when seated, so if you happen to have legs you be forced to sit at a very awkward angle to use this appliance for its intended purpose. (I can only image the arguments that happened in the design phase of this ship over this "compromise" solution. I'm sure there were some great exchanges! Maybe an interview by Cruise Critic? Would certainly be entertaining.) Food - The food was simply fantastic. Most people said it was the best on any cruise they've had. Chocolate desserts were varied and outstanding. MDR was run efficiently and other than the sommeliers being stretched a bit too thin, things went fine there for us. Pinnacle grill was a very nice meal for us, too. If you like espresso drinks, the Dutch Cafe and Explorer's cafe in the crow's nest are great too. Entertainment - This was probably their weakest suit but this was really an excursion cruise so not a big deal to us. The BB King blues band was the best thing on the boat featuring a great group of musicians. The Billboard lounge dueling piano players were second rate and the rock band was okay at best. There were some shows on the world stage, I did not see much of that but one act I caught was a cheesy singer putting on a show for an unenthusiastic audience. Plenty of opportunities to socialize and make friends and we enjoyed that greatly. Try trivia or some of the other ship activities. Whiskey tasting at the Notes bar is a great idea but needs to move to a quieter location where you can have a conversation. The casino was lightly attended. Two pools on lido are available, mid ship and an adult only pool aft. Most of the smokers hang out by the aft pool but it wasn't overwhelming as the smokers congregated mainly in one covered section and it was easily avoided. I swam there every day so I did not find it to be an issue. Service - I really cannot say enough about how good the service staff is. From servers to housekeeping these folks hustle and work hard, are polite, remember names and drinks you've ordered. I was impressed. Ports - Everywhere we went was pretty interesting and fun. Due to it being high season, we encountered some crowds at main attractions like the old town of Dubrovnik (truly over run with tourists, tacky tourist trip shops, but some side street cafe's were still bright spots and I would still recommend walking the walls of this city for the history and views.) Among the highlights were Kotor, Sicily and Malta. I cannot say enough about sailing into the ancient seaport of Velletta, Malta. Don't sleep in! I got my camera and took some amazing photos in the early morning light. You won't see a port like this anywhere else in the world, it's a time capsule. The last sea day was a cruise past the active volcano, Stromboli. Since it had just erupted 2 days earlier there was a lot to witness. The Italian Navy was present to be ready for an evacuation of the island and there were 2 firefighting sea plane dowsing out lava spawned fires that threatened the town at the foot of the volcano. Everyone on board was treated to front row seat to a fascinating operation and a string of small eruptions of lava that were plainly visible. Excursions are not our thing so I will not comment other than to say these folks were highly organized and will get you a good guide and tightly run tour if that is your thing. Wifi services were pricey and not that great but if you need to be online, you can be. Pick-ups and transfers were handled extremely well. The hallmark of this ship was that a great deal of professionalism and organization allowed guests to relax and enjoy the trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We are 4-star Mariners on HAL, but we are also frequent users of other cruise lines, so it had been two years since we sailed on HAL. The Koningsdam was our first time on one of the line's newer, larger ships. We like smaller ships, ... Read More
We are 4-star Mariners on HAL, but we are also frequent users of other cruise lines, so it had been two years since we sailed on HAL. The Koningsdam was our first time on one of the line's newer, larger ships. We like smaller ships, but we were looking for an Adriatic cruise, and we liked the ports of call on this cruise. In the end, we did not find the Koningsdam too big for our taste, but we did have a mixed reaction to what seems to be Holland America's new direction, though we found the crew among the friendliest we have have experienced in many years of cruising. Getting There: We took advantage of Holland America's great prices on business class air and of their rather pricey hotel package and flew in the day before. I like the idea of having the airport to hotel to ship transfers taken care of for me--it reduces the stress of travel. Our hotel was the Savoy. The room was large and well-furnished, the staff was friendly, and the location was within walking distance of some sights--though we were too tired to take full advantage of that. Embarkation was smooth and fast. Dining: For dinner, we prefer a table for two, though we enjoy sharing a table at other meals. We had a window table (169) for the early seating. We had wonderful service from Kelana and Arisman--when my wife developed a cough, Kelana insisted on bringing her hot tea with honey and lemon and generally fussed over her. The wine steward, Olga, was far more part of the team than usual, though our only order was Diet Coke for me. All three of them recognized and greeted us when we saw them elsewhere around the ship. They really enhanced our dining experience. We liked both the main dining room food and the Lido breakfast and lunch buffets. I would not rate it among the best food we have experienced, but they we certainly a step up from the food on the Princess ship we took earlier this year. The specialty restaurants seemed a bit over-priced based on our previous experience of them, so we did not use them at all this cruise. Drink: I drink only soft drinks, since all of my pills seem to come with warnings not to take with alcohol, and my wife drinks mainly cappuccino and lattes, so I can't speak to the quality of the alcoholic drinks. As with dining, I was particularly impresse with how friendly and accomodating the staff were. Frits at the Grand Dutch Cafe particularly stood out. On the other hand, I never did figure out the arcane coverage of the various beverage packages--cans vs. draft sodas, which specialty drinks were covered, and especially how the package including the new multi-drink soda machine (Lido Bar only) works. The information on the web site is too vague; guest services seemed unclear about things; and different bars seemed to give different incomplete answers, though doing their best to be helpful. I found this very annoying. Shore Excursions: At 80 years old, we try to avoid strenuous excursions, and that was a particular concern on this trip because I managed to develop tendonitis in my right foot just the week before we left. It was particularly irritating to find that the web site information we had used in pre-booking did not match the notes on the tickets we got when we boarded. The latter evidently reflect the experience of the ship's own shore excursion staff, and they did seem more reliable. The staff at the desk was very accomodating when we had to exchange tickets and did their best to recommend excursions we could handle. They probably over-estimated our ability to do walking tours during a historic heat wave, but I don't blame them for that. Other Services: We paid for unlimited surfiing (without streaming) and were generally satisfied with internet reception--partly because our expectations for ship internet are pretty low. The Internet Manager, Danilo, solved a couple of IPhone problems for us, neither of which had much to do with the internet, so we were particularly impressed by him. We checked our my wife's cough with the Medical Center, and again we thought well of the nurses and doctor there. On the other hand, we really deplored the lack of a library. Having sailed just last year on Cunard's QM2 made for a painful contrast. I can understand that e-books have reduced the need for ship libraries, and I came myself with a bunch of e-books stored on my tablet, but my wife is among the many who still prefer real books. Even I miss the serendipity of finding something new while browsing a library--I've first met a couple of my favorite authors that way. Entertainment: They seem to have really cut back on main stage entertainment. It's not just the loss of onboard singers and dancers. The ship's band seemed a bit smaller. And having variety entertainers perform two full shows on a 12-night cruise seemed a bit much. On the other hand, we liked Vox Fortuna very much, and the local kappa group they brought aboard at Dubrovnik was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Last year same ship going to Norway , there were 3 Broadway musical (production show as per cruise director, Ross). This time, there were none. Only vocalist, pianist, magician and comedian. Compare with 12 to 20 dancers on musical shows. ... Read More
Last year same ship going to Norway , there were 3 Broadway musical (production show as per cruise director, Ross). This time, there were none. Only vocalist, pianist, magician and comedian. Compare with 12 to 20 dancers on musical shows. Is it cost saving??? The ship supposed to be high tech. But the back ground high tech lighting for the evening shows failed to work for the first week. The ship is still impressive, even this is the second time onboard. The food in dining room is pretty boring, not much selection. There were more selection in Lido market, very impressive. There are 4 musical bands that provide lots of choice of entertainment in the evening. Since there were no musical shows, no dancers available to provide dance lessons on sea days like before. The shore excursion staff provided good info on port of call during sea days. There is not much activities during sea days. Only 3 sea days out of 13 day cruise, the cruise line should provide more activities. If there is no more musical shows like this cruise, our group will take another cruise line that provide the show in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Very comfortable cruise overall. it's a fair size ship so it can be crowded so if you prefer a more intimate experience this is not for you. Having said that, we were able to find our own space and keep our privacy when we chose. Dine ... Read More
Very comfortable cruise overall. it's a fair size ship so it can be crowded so if you prefer a more intimate experience this is not for you. Having said that, we were able to find our own space and keep our privacy when we chose. Dine as you wish worked a treat! We did room service breakfast alot and it was great. We work out and the gym more than satisfied our needs. plenty of food and dining options, specialty restaurants if you want spend a little more. My only negative critique would be that drinks and wine expensive together with bev packages. 26 days cruise would be steep if we indulged. We would prefer that gratuities be included in the price but you can have them removed at the start of the cruise if you so wish be registering it with guest relations. We prefer to be more personal with our gratuity and know where and who it is going to. All up, a more than pleasant experience with awsome destinations. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Koningsdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.2
Dining 4.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.5 4.1
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 4.0 3.1
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.6

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