22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is a long review because I have tried to convey things other reviewers have not. My husband and I are in our mid 60’s, have traveled extensively, and this was our fourth cruise: 1 with RCL and 2 with Princess. We had 14 day ... Read More
This is a long review because I have tried to convey things other reviewers have not. My husband and I are in our mid 60’s, have traveled extensively, and this was our fourth cruise: 1 with RCL and 2 with Princess. We had 14 day cruise through the fjords with HAL on the Koningsdam that was split into two seven day cruises returning to Amsterdam after seven days. We did our own airfare. My problem with booking through the cruise line is that as long as everything goes right, it’s great. But, when things go wrong, and on the international leg of a journey anything can and does go wrong, you do not have the contract with the airline, HAL does. So, you have a third party involved, which complicates changes when things go wrong. It has to go through HAL. We used Dutch Limo to pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel, and Dutch Limo to take us to the ship from the hotel. Excellent, as one other reviewer remarked. It was nice after being up all night to see your name and follow the driver to your hotel. We stayed at the Ibis Styles Amstel, which was an excellent choice. The Ibis Styles Central Station (across from the Central Station) was sold out a year in advance, as were many hotels. Our room was ready at 7:00 in the morning which made us very happy. The staff is great and this is a great part of town with a street market and nice restaurants right down the canal from the Rijksmuseum. The Cruise The Good: There are some things worth mentioning. The food overall (if you can get to it) was relatively good. The crew was outstanding doing the best they could under very trying circumstances. Because you are served in the Lido, fewer hands actually touch the food, so in that sense, it is a lot more sanitary. There are hand washing stations (a nice touch) at either end of the Lido and hand sanitizer everywhere. The beds were great and the bathrooms, as mentioned by so many, are a vast improvement. Hand lotion in the women’s bathroom, Happy Hour every day for an hour with some eats put out (with the second drink $2) were fine touches and very popular. They had two female piano players in the evening, who I thought were good and in the afternoon every day they had a solo piano player in the billboard area. Some of the classical music was also nice. We did not go into the theatre but heard many complaints that it was “too small.” Embarkation. Be ready to stand in several lines for over an hour. Of course, others boarded earlier and got on much easier. You have to endure a terminal with no air conditioning and it was chaos with families and children. Cabin: I have to say the cabin was OK if not much smaller than we had on RCL and Princess in the same category (inside). There was sufficient storage for items and clothes. The bathroom on our inside cabin was one of the best we have ever had. As others have noted, the shower was exceptional. Unfortunately, there was garbage under our bed and behind the vanity when we arrived. That’s what happens when you have overloaded cabin stewards. In addition, our bathroom on the Gershwin Deck rear had a constant sewer smell, although it did not go into the room. Dining: Lido: If you do not make the early cut-off for breakfast in the dining room (9:00 am), you can battle it out in line at the Lido. Now, remember, the dining room is only open for lunch when you have days at sea, and not even then since there were two Mariner lunches to which the general public was not invited. Over 14 days on our cruise, you can only have lunch in the dining room maybe 2 days. What does that mean? The Lido. While any of the alternative dining rooms are available for lunch, they will set you back additional money. Obviously, the message is if you want a nice lunch and to be waited on, you will have to pay extra. Ordinarily, at any buffet you would have trays. Why? Because then you can gather your meal in an organized fashion all at once. There are no trays in the overcrowded Lido. So, this is a two person operation. You would think on a new ship seating would be appropriate for the number of people on the ship. Not so. There is a GROSS shortage of tables. Therefore, you have to have one person find a table first, no small matter. People can be aggressive, and you have to be if you want a seat to enjoy the meal you have already paid for. Next, once you find a table, it is most likely dirty. So, you have to wait for the staff to clear it off, or failing that, do the work yourself. Amazingly, the waiter stations in the Lido area have no running water. Your table will be wiped with a rag that is rung from a bucket of water (not kidding). Once you have the table clean and have claimed it, you will remain in the middle of those jostling with their plates and those who are aggressively seeking a place to sit. Not a pleasant experience. There are literally hundreds of people along with walkers and wheelchairs, young kids and staff moving in what is basically a confined space. So, be ready for contact. They do have pizza also in a separate venue above the pool. It was OK. There was a place to order but no place to pick up so you had to insert yourself in the bar to pick up your pizza. If you are sitting in the Lido area around the pool, you will have to negotiate a winding staircase to your table with your pizza in hand. The burger and fries area was much more organized and on the same level as the Lido. They had something missing from the Lido: trays. Actually, there was almost a fight over a table while we were sitting there in the Lido by the pool. The staff kind of broke it up before it got out of hand. With tensions high and people hungry, this can happen. The Lido is obviously too small and not well thought out. It is equivalent to a college cafeteria with better food. Sharpen those elbows before you hit the crowds. Dining Room: Forget fine dining if you are in the main dining room. The dining room is a two story beer hall that echoes loudly before you even enter. It is so loud it eliminates any possibility of a nice dinner. We requested late seating and found out at the last minute we did not get it, even though we paid our nonrefundable deposit almost a year in advance. All tables for two were eliminated for reservations after the first day. And, of course, the table for two you want may not be worth going after. One of the reasons to try and get a reservation is that anytime dining is even worse. Most of the decent two-tops are taken already by well-heeled passengers and fixed seating. We went early to dinner one night just to see if the chaos and noise were a figment of our imagination or real. We requested a table for two and turned down the first offer (a table next to a double stack of clean glasses and the exit to the waiter station). So, we were given a table for two (which actually was fairly good by HAL standards), up against the front part of the waiters’ station. The waiter stations are too small for what goes on and as a result, there are trays of wine glasses and waters glasses stacked outside the stations. Also, on the outside of the stations are the dirty dishes and silverware that must sit there because of the stations poor design. No cabinets for glasses. So, as you sit down you are looking at wine glasses stacked on these trays that are going on your table, like you are eating in the kitchen. The noise from the station, which has low walls so you hear everything, interferes with hearing the person sitting across from you. If you are at a large table, no one can hear across the table. In addition, people seem to be permitted to wander around the dining room during dinner, looking at you, what’s on your plate and just standing around in the middle of the floor. This is what occurred on the night we had dinner there. Where the head waiter was, I have no idea but these people stood in the middle of floor, hovering over tables with kids hanging out with them for over a half hour when we were there. So, we ordered a bottle of white wine. We get the bottle in the ice bucket that is placed behind us right next to a tray that holds all the dirty silverware that is literally next to the bucket. The noise becomes deafening as this group of about 30 or 40 enters the dining room to find their seats (and of course there is controversy about who sits where) and this adds to feeling of chaos in the dining room. One thing I did do was get to breakfast as many times as I could, but you could not stay up late at night. In addition, they never ask your name, they ask your room number when you want a table. You are linked forever with the cabin you get. I will also add that there is NO ambiance in any of the main dining areas. The Lido is a buffet, with all that it implies. The dining room, as mentioned before, is chaos. So, what do you do? You have to spend additional money to get some peace and quiet and service, which is why many suite clients end up eating solely at the Pinnacle Grill and the other alternative (read “extra money”) venues. Even they don’t want to eat in the dining room. One review I read from a suite passenger stated emphatically that they never once ate in the main dining room. FYI: If you dine in the Canaletto, as we did one night for extra money ($30), your meal will be less noisy than the Lido proper, but then your meal will be served directly from the Lido to your table. We were seated right next to the waiter’s station with all the noise. There were many negative comments I heard about the noise in the dining room from other people who were from other countries. There were many Aussies, Brits and Dutch on board. One man I heard comment (not American) said he was seated in the dining room by a main thoroughfare and the waiters along with those being seated kept banging into his chair during the entire meal. The tables are also too close together. He said he had to resort to the private dining venues to get a reasonable dinner without the noise. The two tops are all pretty bad. They are either up against a noisy station, and if you are lucky you don’t have to sit next to dirty dishes and silverware. Otherwise, you will be having dinner similar to the experience of an Olive Garden. There are just too many tables jammed into the dining space. It appears that HAL cannot handle the anytime dining with the size of their dining room. It also appears that their goal is to get you to pay to dine after you have already paid for the cruise. We had a lunch given to us by our travel agent in the Pinnacle Grill. It was nice but dinner will set you back $50.00. You get peace and quiet that you supposedly already paid for. Don’t plan on the Crow’s Nest for take off. It was closed for a private function on both embarkation days. However, if you can stake out a place 2 to 3 hours before sail away at the various ports, you can get a seat. They need to eliminate the “computer area” and remove the tables blocking the windows on the other side. What I did not know was that the hull of the Koningsdam is the same as QE2 and the Queen Victoria. What was noted by someone who actually traveled on the QE2 and this ship was the breaking up of space for “pay” venues. I never saw anyone in the Retreat the two weeks we were there, but the place takes up significant space. Her main criticism was that there were many little spaces that had limited seating and were too small for the number of people on board. A perfect example of that, and here I totally agreed, was the Dutch Café. The concept was nice; however, it is way too small for its purpose. There is a small area with tables that are continually filled and it pushes out into the Atrium. People park there, which is understandable, but it makes it impossible for you to get a seat. This should be much larger. Other wasted space includes the walkway around the Culinary Arts area. This is next to the dining room on the second floor. Instead of putting small sofas by the windows where people could sit and look out, there are these ridiculous dining chairs, in an awful color to boot, lined up facing the hallway. In addition, there are these ugly metal structures containing promotions blocking the windows to make sure you can’t see out. It would have been nice if they put seating there with some tables so people waiting for dinner have a place to sit and wait close to the dining room. We were sitting in the classical area listening to music from the other music venue. Supposedly, this problem will be fixed in dry dock in December. Poorly designed. We did attend some of the lectures which were not exceptional but informative. The big problem is that when you get an announcement throughout the ship it will not come in your cabin. People were mystified why HAL did not put the main intercom (including the Captain’s updates) in the cabin so you didn’t to open your cabin door to listen. All in all, we will not be back on Holland America. My concept was being served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead, I found out the dining room is closed for lunch and you have to get up early on vacation to catch breakfast. Why breakfast was not extended until at least 10:00, considering they don’t serve lunch, I do not know. Dinner was such a production to get a table, and a bad table at that, it was not worth it. Please note that when you get in line in the Lido for your entrée, you may be waiting behind the staff. Yes, the staff gets in line and you have to wait behind them to eat. They do not have their own dining room and you will be in line behind them and in some cases, they will get waited on before you. Laundry: We did three bags of clothes for $30 each. Be sure to bring Spray and Wash. The first round of laundry had to be redone because none of the grease came off the shirts and as a result we had to pick up some Spray & Wash in Amsterdam and have the clothes rewashed. They have no room for laundry where you can iron your clothes and the staff will not bring you an iron. Disembarkation: That was easy because we left the ship with our luggage. It felt good to be off the ship. I was looking forward to getting waited on and having some relaxing dinners with a little atmosphere for a change. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We are Australians who were in Europe visiting family so we added this cruise to Norway leaving from Amsterdam. We were a little taken aback by the size and number of passengers but the public spaces are many and we didn't feel crowded ... Read More
We are Australians who were in Europe visiting family so we added this cruise to Norway leaving from Amsterdam. We were a little taken aback by the size and number of passengers but the public spaces are many and we didn't feel crowded except at breaksfast in the Market at 0900 or thereabouts. We loved the quality of the food - far superior to what we have had on cruises before - especially the rib filet steak and lobster tails - supurb. The dining staff were friendly, attentitive and efficient. The quality of the entertainment suprised and delighted us. Particularly the Lincoln Centre Stage classical quintet and BB King's jazz room. The cabin staff were wonderful and kept everthing tidy and clean. We took the cycling tour in Oslo and can highly recommend it. Only medium fitness is needed - we are both in our late 60s and found it easy. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Ship: HAL's flagship suppose to be stunning, but I agree with previous reviews which mentioned "...more of the Carnival Ship's ambiance rather than a true HAL". Dining: Complimentary dining options were Lido Market ... Read More
Ship: HAL's flagship suppose to be stunning, but I agree with previous reviews which mentioned "...more of the Carnival Ship's ambiance rather than a true HAL". Dining: Complimentary dining options were Lido Market Place, formal dining room, poolside New York Pizza, poolside Dive In fast food, or room service. Dining room seatings were always instant availability despite not having reservation most of the time. Food selection were always good, so were the services. The highllights dishes were foie gras, lobster tail, quails and escargot. Sadly the days of regular cruise lines serving caviars were over a long time ago. Lido food selection were plentiful, but became very tedious after a week. Menu largely unchanged for the duration of cruise, save for a few variations here and there. However, available seatings were constant challenge, specially during peak dining hours. I notice the opening hours and availability have been noticeably reduced compared to the past. I brought this matter to the dining room supervisors and the standard response always "If you require food out of normal dining hours, you could always go to poolside dining options." Not good enough in my opinion. Fee based dining options were Pinnacle Grill (steakhouse), Sel de Mer (seafood), Cullinary Art Centre (Latin/Southern USA cuisine), Canaletto (Italian), and Tamarind (various Asia). Entertainment: Main nightly show auditorium were mostly of mediocre or bland quality. Consist of 2No of tribute artists, 2No solo instrumentalists, 2No HAL dance troupes shows, a comedian and an orchestra while BBC Earth documentary shown on background. The worst having to endure a solo pianist played 10 consecutive pieces of classical music for an hour. Stage background wraparound video display wall is impressive, more in the taste of X-Factor studio. Shore Excursion: We only 1 official shore excursion, which was to bathe the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. It was suppose to be the highlight of the cruise, instead the Icelandic tour guide was boring and his English was difficult to understand. The bathing experience at the lagoon was very rushed and unfortunately ruined by unprofesionalism/mishaps/incompetecy of the tour guide. Certainly not worth the $500+ for the 3 of us. The good: 1. Food and beverage services were excellent. And the staffs really took care of us. 2. Room stewards were courteous and attentive most of the time. 3. Excitement of vacation in the flagship of Holland America Line. HAL's largest ship at the time. 4. Luggage deliveries in the beginning and end of cruise were efficient. 5. I feel unlimited laundry service for $126 was a good value. 6. Club HAL for children were staffed with friendly leaders and provide excellent children activities. Our kid thoroughly enjoyed very much. The bad (Where do I start?): 1. Initial embarkation process at Amsterdam Port for such size of ship was very poor experience. Constantly being led from one long line to another. 2. Being the size of the ship of 2800 passengers, any half decent organized activities fills up very quickly. Main auditorium often fills up quickly even 30 minutes before the start if shows. 3. This ship no longer has cinema room, and dedicated library. Instead paid internet terminals were provided at the usual HAL prices. Nightly films were shown on big screen over the mid ship swimming pool. 4. I feel HAL policy to extract as much revenue from every passenger has moved up a notch. Everything from Spas, health, wellness, events sold as complimentary ship activities, specialty dining, shore excursions, etc. are geared for revenue generation. 5. Corridors outside cabins are devoid of artworks and decorated solely in light brown wallpaper. Not something expected from HAL flagship, but more like the Stena Line ferries. 6. Once a cruise BBQ event usually conducted at middle pool area has been discontinued. We were told due to health and safety grounds. 7. Opportunity to adjust/cancel the automatic gratuity consigned to only the last day of cruise. Consequently the line up to guest services desk stretched around the block. It is appalling that HAL conduct such practice. I predict HAL will soon implement mandatory gratuity for all passengers. 8. Availability of Crow's Nest lounge for general passengers have been reduced. I feel events such as arts auctions and other private engagements puts Crow's Nest out of bound. For the times it is available, generally competition to get available seats were intense. Unlike past cruise on Zuiderdam, there were no live music performed in Crow's Nest this time. Verdict: Experience certainly below my expectation for a flagship of HAL. I hope HAL will not repeat the same mistakes on their upcoming new sister ship (MS Nieuw Statendam). Which was heavily promoted during my cruise. My past cruises: Crown Princess (West Caribbean), Norwegian Wind (Inside Passage Alaska), HAL MS Ryndam (Norway fjord), HAL MS Zuiderdam (Inside Passage Alaska), HAL Nieuw Amsterdam (West Mediterranean), and HAL Eurodam (Baltic). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Overall, a great trip, would highly recommend. We enjoyed the new features of the Koningsdam - same HAL experience for us. Embarkation: went very smoothly – was in our room by noon. No waiting at all. Notes from the trip: ... Read More
Overall, a great trip, would highly recommend. We enjoyed the new features of the Koningsdam - same HAL experience for us. Embarkation: went very smoothly – was in our room by noon. No waiting at all. Notes from the trip: No Library - no big deal - plan ahead Food service - dinners in MDR - done in 1.5 hrs - 4 courses - servers not as personable as we have seen but did a good job. Lido - good - lines minimal - on worse day there were up to 6 people in line - most days 1-2 people in line. No trouble finding a place to sit and eat. You can move to pool area if necessary. If eating after initial opening of stations – say 30 to 45 min after opening – food was not always hot enough. Dine-In burger ok - not as good as 5 Guys. NY Deli - excellent pizza - Rubin ok - breakfast there was good if you want a bagel and lox and avoid the Lido. Dutch cafe - great fries - other stuff good – nothing that great but another good place to get something to eat besides the Lido. Don’t Like the $15/day/person add-on – I didn’t try to get it changed but also didn’t leave tips for MDR or stateroom staff as I have in the past. $420 in tips included in bill for the 14 days. Additionally, the spa adds on their own 15% tip. Didn’t use any specialty restaurants - I didn’t think their menus were that great. Used HAL excursions at all ports - well run but pricey - but if the excursion ran late the ship will wait for their tours – not sure they will for individuals out on their own. There was some confusion when they changed the excursion and tender boat process. They had people take tenders and meet at the dock - heard that at least one person missed. Excursion goals met: saw whales - puffins and a lot of great scenery. Cleanliness – recommendation to HAL staff - sit where customers sit and look around - crumbs along and on window of lido / tape pieces along lighting top edge of ceiling in Crow’s Nest. Not a big deal, but . . . Staff behavior - singing at serving station in main dining room - heads down trying to sleep during safety drill. Despite the negative comments, I consider everything to be generally well run. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Just returned from a 14 day Northern Isles cruise on HAL’s Koningsdam. Had a wonderful time... the ship is very nice with lots of quiet areas to sit. The crew members were very friendly, both on and off the ship. Bar staff quickly ... Read More
Just returned from a 14 day Northern Isles cruise on HAL’s Koningsdam. Had a wonderful time... the ship is very nice with lots of quiet areas to sit. The crew members were very friendly, both on and off the ship. Bar staff quickly remembered our drink choices. We were very surprised to have the Promenade deck (3) to ourselves while walking most days. There is also a small jogging track on deck 11. Cabin - We stayed in cabin 6199 which was located starboard and aft. It was very convenient to walk down to deck 3 for the promenade deck or walk up to deck 9 where the buffet and the Dive In hamburger venues were. We only used the elevators 3 times during the cruise but there did not seem to be much wait time for an elevator. The bathroom was small, as expected, but ok. The toilet was angled toward the shower which would make it a tight fit for someone over 6 feet tall. There was enough room in the shower; also good water pressure. We did have some water temp changes while showering. Dispensers with shampoo, conditioner and bath gel were located on the wall. There was sufficient storage in the room- several drawers but they were not deep. Suitcase will fit under the bed. We had a small sofa and a desk beside the indoor looking out. Balcony size was sufficient with 2 chairs, 1 foot rest and 1 small table. The chairs reclined slightly. Our cabin stewards, Jas and Cristine, did a good job keeping the cabin serviced. Dining - The hamburger and pizza venues were good. The buffet food was also very good with diverse food choices but extremely crowded, noisy, and congested, unless you got there as soon as they opened. Finding a seat was challenging at times. The dining room food was very good, but service was a little slow at times at breakfast. Service was faster at dinner. At dinner, the dining room got to be a little noisy. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind - both were excellent choices. BB King Blues Lounge and the dueling pianos provided excellent entertainment. Expedited disembarkation - very easy and quick once we were allowed off the ship. We took our bags off ourselves. You need to get in line around 0630 (for a 0715 departure) if you want to leave as soon as possible. There was no passport control or customs check once we left the ship. Taxis were plentiful since we got off early. Overall, I would recommend cruising on the Koningsdam; I would sail on her again. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This review will be a comparison with a very similar ship, the Celebrity Silhouette. I think many people might like the comparison since they are similar in size and offer a similar cruise experience. The Koningsdam easily wins for ... Read More
This review will be a comparison with a very similar ship, the Celebrity Silhouette. I think many people might like the comparison since they are similar in size and offer a similar cruise experience. The Koningsdam easily wins for destination since Norway Fjords are way more interesting than the caribbean beaches. Plus the scenery while cruising the fjords is really breathtaking! In terms of food it is really tough, I would say that the people who work on Koningsdam are the friendliest I have ever seen, everyone smiles and wishes you a good day. The Lido buffet on the Koningsdam is better than the silhouette(better breads, soups, salads), but the main dining room on the Silhouette had better service, presentation and food quality. In terms of entertainment this one easily goes to Silhouette and an incredible cruise director named Sue Denning(you really can't find a better entertainer than Sue!). On the Koningsdam I did like the 280 degree theatre with a fantastic presentation of BBC Blue Planet with music played by the Koningsdam musicians, really impressive, but the rest of the entertainment including the singers did not compare with the Silhouette. Now to the ship itself, the rooms definitely look nicer on the Koningsdam since it is newer but the layout on the Silhouette is still better. They have the best concept for adjoining rooms I have ever seen plus you can sit properly on the toilet whereas on the Koningsdam you can't if you are tall(really stupid design!). The Koningsdam is also lacking a large atrium, they have one but it is not impressive like on the Silhouette. The interior of the Koningsdam with its music themed artwork does beat out the Silhouette so I would call it a tie up until the top deck, the designers of the Koningsdam totally forgot to do anything on the top deck of the ship, there is a basketball court and jogging track, but that is it! What sets the Silhouette class ships apart from the competition is that they did an incredible job making the top deck an inviting place. They have an outdoor restaurant that grills delicious steaks, comfortable hammocks, a supersized deck chair that fits four people all on a luxurious real grass lawn. Before taking the cruise on the Silhouette I thought the "lawn" on the ship was a gimmick, but I found myself spending almost all my time up there whereas I almost never went up to the top deck on the Koningsdam. In the end, which was the better cruise, easliy the Koningsdam to Norway, the destination and scenery totally makes up for the small shortcomings of the ship. In comparison of the ships it amazes me that the design and comfort on the Silhouette still beats out the brand new Koningsdam. I would be glad to sail either ship in the future, but if the Silhouette has the better destination it is an easy choice! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
To start with we were very happy with the overall feel and amenities of the ship. Staff outstanding as usual and the layout and shows are great. The cooking shows were the best! The entertainment is better than any of the other cruise ... Read More
To start with we were very happy with the overall feel and amenities of the ship. Staff outstanding as usual and the layout and shows are great. The cooking shows were the best! The entertainment is better than any of the other cruise ships from HAL we have been on. When we arrived we got comfortable in our cabin (4075.) When you book make sure you aren't anywhere near this cabin. After the second night we lay awake every single night to the noise of the Queens Room two stories below us to a point we were dreading go to bed for another uncomfortable night. We were right over the base/sound system. The Queens lounge had the Big Band playing almost every single night till 11:00-11:15 pm. Then the disco started till 1:30-2:00 am. It was so loud that our floor vibrated every night and after reporting this several times they didn't take it seriously and we were not moved to another location like some of the guests in cabins around us. They offered a free meal in the Pinnacle. That is not going to ease the "pain" of sleepless nights. Finally after I recorded the sound at 1:00 am in the morning on my phone they gave us earplugs which made it even worse. The vibration was more noisy with the plugs than without. The fact that we were sailing across the Atlantic and giving up 6 hours of sleep over 8 days didn't help either. The staff/crew is well aware of this problem and they continue to book guests in these rooms. They know about it yet they don't seem to care. Several of our "neighbors" on the ship were relocated because of their complains. However, they didn't seem to take our cause seriously enough to move us (they claimed they didn't have other rooms, however, we heard from other crew members that they weren't at capacity and had empty cabins. This is the first time that I couldn't wait for the cruise to be over with. I was totally exhausted. An apology letter and $150 is what they gave us on the day of departure. The apology is not sincere in my opinion since they know about this problem and don't seem to do anything about it. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife and I (both senior citizens) were on the MS Koningsdam cruise to the Norwegian fiords starting from Amsterdam on 22 July 2018. It was our second time cruising with Holland America. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Embarkation ... Read More
My wife and I (both senior citizens) were on the MS Koningsdam cruise to the Norwegian fiords starting from Amsterdam on 22 July 2018. It was our second time cruising with Holland America. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Embarkation registration at Amsterdam was done with a minimal of delay. Although there was a fairly long queue there were many counters open and registration was smooth. Our balcony stateroom was excellent. There was enough storage space and everything worked. I especially appreciate the powerful shower. And the bed was soft and comfortable. The staff, especially Atjima at the Lido restaurant where we had our meals most of the time were very cordial, friendly and helpful. We had no complaints about the food. We enjoyed the entertainment on board although we have read in other cruise critic posts that bigger ships offer better entertainment. We only bought one shore excursion from the ship as that particular excursion from independent operators was fully booked. All other excursions were bought from independent shore excursion operators. They were good and much cheaper. Just as the ship docked at Amsterdam port on 29 July at the end of the cruise we went out to the balcony to take some pictures. We disembarked and took the flight to London. While unpacking at our London accommodation I couldn’t find my still camera. We then realized I had left my camera on the balcony table. I went on the Holland America line website and got the email address of the guest services in the US. I wrote to them and explained what happened giving them all the necessary details. They wrote back after a couple of days and said they would look into my case and let me know if my camera had been found. In London I also looked up the phone number of Holland America. I called and spoke to a Mr William Kimber and told him what had happened. He was very helpful and told me he would call the ship to make enquiries. The next day I called him again and he told me that they had found my camera and would make arrangements to send it back to me. Subsequently a Ms Christine Ferris, Special Advisor, Office of the President of Holland America also wrote to say they had found my camera and that it would be sent to my home address in Malaysia. She said I should receive it in about 3 to 4 weeks. My wife and I were elated and overwhelmed with the quick response from HA Line. On 25th August I received a package from DHL which contained my camera in good working order. My wife and I were over the moon. We didn’t mind losing the camera but the pictures in it were priceless. We have nothing but praise for the staff involved in finding and sending back my camera. I would like to make a suggestion. Holland America should place a card in each stateroom advising clients on how to contact Lost and Found by phone and/or email in case they left something of value behind. We were told we would be sent an evaluation form by email at the end of the cruise but unfortunately we didn’t receive any. We would have been happy to send in our comments of the enjoyable cruise. We would definitely cruise with Holland America again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We are a young Irish couple in our 30s and this was our first cruise. We sailed from Amsterdam and our itinerary consisted of Flåm, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Oslo, with two days at sea. The Konningsdam exceeded our expectations ... Read More
We are a young Irish couple in our 30s and this was our first cruise. We sailed from Amsterdam and our itinerary consisted of Flåm, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Oslo, with two days at sea. The Konningsdam exceeded our expectations as a ship. It was very luxurious and had some beautiful features - like art pieces, plush carpets and fresh flowers. The service was akin to a 5 star hotel - all of the staff were polite and said hello whenever and wherever you met them. We had an interior stateroom and it was much more comfortable than we expected. There was lots of storage room and it didn’t feel cramped. There was a safe, a minibar, a hair dryer and plenty of towels in the room also. The room was serviced twice a day. The bathroom was small but functional - the shower was amazing! Entertainment was of a very high quality - we loved the dueling pianos, and B.B. Kings was also fun. Our favorite performance was the Planet Earth show in the World Stage but we attended most evening shows. However, after a few days we found there was a lack of variety, the performances became a bit repetitive and we started to spend more time reading and playing board games. The movies on the lido deck was a nice option, but there was a really strange selection of movies for the week. Also, it was hard to hear the movie at times. The pools and hot tubs were very clean and well maintained but a little small and overtaken by children. It would have been nice to have a hot tub space just for adults. Food onboard was always fantastic. The selection and variety in the lido deck was exceptional and maintained a very high standard, even for a buffet. The process to get food at the lido was at times a little disorganized and chaotic but the food was good. The dining hall was beautiful and very enjoyable but it was difficult to get a reservation at a reasonable time - they usually only offered 5pm or 9pm. We didn’t feel the need to try the specialty dining options during our week as there was always a good, broad selection of offerings. However, if we stayed a second week we probably would have tried Tamarind and Pinnacle Grill. Tea, coffee, water and juice were all freely available at all times in the lido deck. We didn’t purchase any of the drinks packages and think they would have worked out a bit more expensive. We didn’t do any of the organized excursions as we found them very expensive. With a little research and planning, its easy to have a similar experience at a fraction of the price - and may even be a more personalized experience! Outside of the entertainment, the other onboard activities didn’t really interest us. It seemed to be more tailored to an older, wealthy, American audience i.e. casinos, art gallery, tech info seminars, trivia nights and diamonds/jewels. We did find the Crows Nest to be a particularly special find - it was generally quiet and had some fun board games to play. It was also a lovely, relaxing and calming place to read and catch up. Embarkation and disembarkation were seamless and took less than 30minutes in each case. The days at port also offered an easy and comfortable transit - we could walk into the town center and return at any time. Overall, the ship and itinerary were perfect for first time cruisers. But for our next cruise, we will likely look for a larger ship with more varied of entertainment and enrichment tailored towards a younger demographic. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Overall an excellent ship, great service, entertainment (B.B. King!), and the food was pretty good. Loved that a cruise director wasn’t featured, the selling was minimum, and the public announcements were few. The itinerary was ... Read More
Overall an excellent ship, great service, entertainment (B.B. King!), and the food was pretty good. Loved that a cruise director wasn’t featured, the selling was minimum, and the public announcements were few. The itinerary was wonderful. The smoking area on the Lido deck and the casino need to be looked at. It’s too much and I am a smoker. The Flan RR excursion was poorly organized. The handicap issue wasn’t addressed making a mess. The Lido dining room is so bad it should be avoided. Food was ok but it’s poorly designed. The elderly have a hard time with it, backing up everyone. The cabin issue is described below. Other than the noise, the cabin and location were great. Embarkation and departure were fine. You might want to think about recording the port lectures and playing them on the TV. We enjoyed this cruise, our sixth on HAL, but the noise, and poor handling of the issue left a bad taste in our mouths. Read Less
Koningsdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.1
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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