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We're long time HAL customers, with many days aboard HAL ships under our belts, so we had very high expectations for the maiden voyage of the Koningsdam. DESIGN Much has been made of the musical instrument-inspired architecture onboard, and it's true that public spaces aboard this ship are large and spacious. But this extra public space seems to have come at the expense of space in rooms (which are decidedly smaller than on other HAL ships) and on the Promenade (which is too narrow, with all views of the sea blocked by the rows of lifeboats). Friends were in the Neptune Suites, which struck as as much smaller than on other ships and perhaps not worth the uncharge on this vessel. We were in a Verandah cabin, but felt we "bumped into each other" more in this room than in similar rooms on other vessels. We did have a wide balcony, but with an odd design that had us looking almost directly out on the balconies of our neighbors -- so no privacy there! While the pool area is glorious, the Dining Room suffers much under this new design. Despite the bright colors and sweeping architectural touches, the fact that windows are few and far between made this ship's Dining Room feel darker and more claustrophobic than on other vessels. FOOD If you've enjoyed HAL fare on other ships, you'll find very much the same food in this Dining Room -- perhaps served at a more leisurely pace than you'd expect. We did enjoy the new New York Deli, which serves up respectable made-to-order pies, which we'll miss on other ships. The best new touch is the Grand Dutch Cafe, positioned in a public space and always packed with chatty diners. We also gave the new seafood restaurant a try, but thought the quality and ambiance there were just average, and likely not worth the uncharge. The Pinnacle Grill was reliable and consistent, with a good staff and good service. The gelato shop at the pool is also a nice touch. SPA We bought (and, eventually asked for a partial refund for) the Thermal Suite package. On half the days of our trip, the thermal spa water was chilly; on several days, the jets didn't work. On one day, there was a massive leak, and the entire area was shut down. Access control is also an issue. This is supposed to be a private area on the ship, but doors to the pool area were not locked, so anyone and everyone who wanted to could wander in, gawk, and consider whether or not they wanted to use the facilities. We reported the unlocked doors more than once; they were never attended to. The staff in the spa were apologetic and sweet, noting that this was a new ship with many kinks to be worked out. That's understandable -- but if your thermal suite has kinks in it, don't sell it to travelers at full price! ENTERTAINMENT The World Stage is a jaw-dropping space with a 270-degree wall of high-definition screens surrounding a circular performance space. There is nothing else like it on the planet, and virtually every performance we saw was overshadowed to some extent by the stage itself! There were some very talented singers, dancers, and band members on board, and why HAL wants to ruin their performances with pre-recorded tracks (instead of using purely live music) is a mystery to me. SERVICE We found service was hit-or-miss on this trip. Laundry service was fast enough, but cabins were often not serviced until very late in the day. Since we rarely saw our cabin steward or his partner, we wondered if HAL has assigned the stewards too many rooms to service efficiently. OVERALL We had a good time on this trip, and enjoyed exploring the new spaces and seeing HAL's new ideas. That said: we think some of the changes (smaller rooms, fewer windows in the dining room, the ruining of the Promenade deck) are not for the better. Many of the food and service issues we faced on this voyage will doubtless be amended with time, but the design choices will linger for the life of the vessel.

Maiden Voyage and New Design Fall Short of Expectations

Koningsdam Cruise Review by madebymark

36 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We're long time HAL customers, with many days aboard HAL ships under our belts, so we had very high expectations for the maiden voyage of the Koningsdam.

DESIGN

Much has been made of the musical instrument-inspired architecture onboard, and it's true that public spaces aboard this ship are large and spacious. But this extra public space seems to have come at the expense of space in rooms (which are decidedly smaller than on other HAL ships) and on the Promenade (which is too narrow, with all views of the sea blocked by the rows of lifeboats).

Friends were in the Neptune Suites, which struck as as much smaller than on other ships and perhaps not worth the uncharge on this vessel. We were in a Verandah cabin, but felt we "bumped into each other" more in this room than in similar rooms on other vessels. We did have a wide balcony, but with an odd design that had us looking almost directly out on the balconies of our neighbors -- so no privacy there!

While the pool area is glorious, the Dining Room suffers much under this new design. Despite the bright colors and sweeping architectural touches, the fact that windows are few and far between made this ship's Dining Room feel darker and more claustrophobic than on other vessels.

FOOD

If you've enjoyed HAL fare on other ships, you'll find very much the same food in this Dining Room -- perhaps served at a more leisurely pace than you'd expect. We did enjoy the new New York Deli, which serves up respectable made-to-order pies, which we'll miss on other ships.

The best new touch is the Grand Dutch Cafe, positioned in a public space and always packed with chatty diners. We also gave the new seafood restaurant a try, but thought the quality and ambiance there were just average, and likely not worth the uncharge. The Pinnacle Grill was reliable and consistent, with a good staff and good service.

The gelato shop at the pool is also a nice touch.

SPA

We bought (and, eventually asked for a partial refund for) the Thermal Suite package. On half the days of our trip, the thermal spa water was chilly; on several days, the jets didn't work. On one day, there was a massive leak, and the entire area was shut down.

Access control is also an issue. This is supposed to be a private area on the ship, but doors to the pool area were not locked, so anyone and everyone who wanted to could wander in, gawk, and consider whether or not they wanted to use the facilities. We reported the unlocked doors more than once; they were never attended to.

The staff in the spa were apologetic and sweet, noting that this was a new ship with many kinks to be worked out. That's understandable -- but if your thermal suite has kinks in it, don't sell it to travelers at full price!

ENTERTAINMENT

The World Stage is a jaw-dropping space with a 270-degree wall of high-definition screens surrounding a circular performance space. There is nothing else like it on the planet, and virtually every performance we saw was overshadowed to some extent by the stage itself!

There were some very talented singers, dancers, and band members on board, and why HAL wants to ruin their performances with pre-recorded tracks (instead of using purely live music) is a mystery to me.

SERVICE

We found service was hit-or-miss on this trip. Laundry service was fast enough, but cabins were often not serviced until very late in the day. Since we rarely saw our cabin steward or his partner, we wondered if HAL has assigned the stewards too many rooms to service efficiently.

OVERALL

We had a good time on this trip, and enjoyed exploring the new spaces and seeing HAL's new ideas. That said: we think some of the changes (smaller rooms, fewer windows in the dining room, the ruining of the Promenade deck) are not for the better.

Many of the food and service issues we faced on this voyage will doubtless be amended with time, but the design choices will linger for the life of the vessel.
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Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom
Cabin V 7058
As you'll see on the ship's plans, this is a unique room, with what looks like an extra wedge of space. And ... there is extra space, but it's not really usable space, as it's all in front of the door to the balcony and a bit obstructed by the in-room desk. We ended up putting luggage there. Otherwise: a very standard room.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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