We chose this cruise because of previous good experience with HAL, the itinerary and the fact that Koningsdam is a new ship. While we really had a fantastic time and there are aspects of the ship that are very positive, there were also lots of niggling little problems that individually were not that much of a problem but that added up to make us question whether we want to return to HAL of not...
I will write my comments in order of importance rather than a more chronological order as most people want to hear about the big issues first.
Food: We have never before felt that a cruise line is trying to push clients to the specialty restaurants as much as on Koningsdam. We were a group of 4 that chose open dining and as such did not have set staff in the main dining room, but we found both the service and the food quality there to be very poor (by the general standards of other cruises such as Celebrity and Cunard, as well as by previous HAL experiences)... so much so that we went to specialty dining whenever we could get reservations. We like speciality dining and the options on Koningsdam are very good - with Tamarind and Pinnacle Grill both being stand-outs. However, the biggest problem is the Lido. There just is not enough seating or staff to take care of the number of guests on board. The food selection and quality are both ok... but we very rarely walked straight to an available table and virtually NEVER to a clean one. Most sections were staffed by just two waiters and they simply could not cope any time of the day. On our first sea day we went to breakfast... and the entire Lido was closed at 11am... I don't think I have ever been on a cruise where the entire buffet has been closed completely... we were offered a muffin each! Now, no-one is going to starve to death on a cruise... but on a sea day we were not the only people looking to breakfast late...and not the only ones to be disappointed.
I have included most of the information about the stateroom in my main review.
This cabin is aft and while we did not have really rough weather, we did experience some rolling seas, especially in the North Sea on the return leg to Amsterdam and I was amazed how stable the ship was. We found the a/c control to be quite tricky to get just right, rather than too hot or too cold, especially considering how heavy the bedding is. We ended up just sleeping under a sheet and that worked out perfectly. The veranda's on the deck below stick out several feet more than on deck 5 which means that here you are rather overlooking deck 4 balconies. But this deck was convenient for getting to the main public areas without the need to use the lifts all the time.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city with plenty to explore, culture, world class museums, excellent dining and of course the canals which are best enjoyed by boat... just watch out for the bicycles, they really can be dangerous!
We rented a car and had a fantastic day exploring the area including the stunning Trollstigen