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Koningsdam Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
752 Reviews

2nd Leg of HAL's New Ship, Koningsdam

Koningsdam Cruise Review by Cdn Adventurelady

55 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Apr 2016
  • Destination: the Western Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom

Lots to love about this pretty new ship: cheerful, organized, competent staff, extra nice cabins with real walk-in showers, excellent food overall (even for things like room service omelettes), and fun new areas like the Grand Dutch Cafe where you pay for your specialty coffee but then have access to some of the most interesting and tasty light meals and treates on the ship at no extra cost. We appreciated that the full 3rd deck was retained as open for walking.

Entertainment was hit and miss: gorgeous modern near round theater with terrific sound and image/affect capacity and introduction of fab Lincon Center classical daily concerts. The 2 full cast shows were very good but, about 50% of the overall entertainment was B category at best. Our Pinnacle specialty dining evening was also not a success but maybe they are still tuning up. Conversely, dinner at their Asian restaurant was terrific and less expensive than all the other options.

On the down side, we choose HAL because in the past they have had excellent lecturers on board. There were zero this trip. Even the guy doing the 30 min port lectures was weak on anything about the place beyond shopping and hop on hop off buses. Further, if you were not taking a cruise excursion, the service desk staff offered little in terms of basic info, such as how to get into Athens by metro. On the positive side the cruise excursions we did take were worth the $$ with good guides and fine lunch spots. Again on the negative side though, ALL ship activities and lectures, especially on Sea days, are now totally focused on getting you to buy something. This became exhausting and more than annoying. Perhaps this reflects their being part of the Carnival group now - sell/buy pressure is relentless. We had not previously experienced this to such an extreme on HAL.

They have also nixed the specialty coffee card in favour of a non alcoholic drinks card at $17.50 a day focused on a "pour your own" Coke machine. I drink lattes not Coke so I was not interested in paying this much daily to mainly pay for Coke from their new machine. So while we liked the new ship a lot, we were less thrilled by the direction HAL is apparently being pushed - perhaps they are being Carnivalized


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Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 7144

Well laid out with sofa, compfy outdoor furniture, great bathroom with big walk in shower


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Istanbul

Tour of main sites was quite good with smaller group due to security - nice lunch. Boat cruise was on a rainy night so it was hard to see out windows. Dinner was OK but it was very noisy. Not sure it was worth it.

Crete (Heraklion)

You can walk off ship to town (20 min). There are pleasant marked walking routes but do stop in new archeological museum. It is a jewel and not expensive. Everything is well signed in good English

Rhodes

Need to be fit- many uneven slippery steps but worth the climb. Great guide really excellent lunch. Old town walk was included. Good day

Rhodes

Interesting places to see in town - good guide

Small group walking tour that combined sight seeing and stops at 6-8 foodie places. Lots of stories, culture and good eating and drinking -we waddled back to the ship. At 85 euros each it is not cheap, but worth it for fun, learning and lots of eating over 4 hrs. They meet up at a easy to find spot a couple of hours after ship docks and you are back in plenty of time.

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Rome (Civitavecchia)

Can get to train yourself, by a ticket and travel to Rome termini yourself. Process at dock is a bit confusing but once you shuttle bus to port entrance just walk 20 min to stn or take taxi.

Katakolon (Olympia)

If you have been to Olympia only option is a walk and lunch in tiny villages just of ship. Lunch was good and cheap

Athens (Piraeus)

We used hop on hop off bus as transport to and from town center. It was right at port.

Cruise shuttle was a ridiculous $54 each and you could only stay 2.5 hrs in center. The bus was cheap and reliable to tour town an get off to walk

Kusadasi

Once is interesting. By the 3rd or 4th you are done with carpets - opt out!

Kusadasi

Pleasant place but not much there unless it is to be seen for religious reasons

Kusadasi

Mary house was not too interesting unless it is for religious purposes, the tour through Ephesus was outstanding- be sure to include terrace house as they are super interesting. Be prepared for a lot of metal steps in and out.

Kusadasi

Excellent but beware of steps in and out - need to be fairly fit


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Cdn Adventurelady
4 Reviews Written
61 Helpful Votes
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