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Background: This is my wife and my third Holland America cruise. Prior cruises were on the Oosterdam and the Noordam were in 2012 and 2013 . So this review is in comparison to the previous ships. HAL business Practices and the Koningsdam: In contrast to previous cruises, HAL management seems to have made the conscious decision to engage in a policy of nickel and diming (and overcharging) their customers. The Koningsdam reflects this change, in that a majority of the new venues on the ship are pay. The Good: We loved the new music venues, especially the B B King All Stars and their venue. The new main stage is great, but I don't think the show designers have realized it's full potential yet. The ship technologically is impressive. Rooms are nicely designed. The Bad: The Koningsdam felt more crowded than previous ships. It doesn't help that stores partially block main thoroughfares with their merchandise. There were weird minor problems like poor drainage and standing water on the Sun Deck. For a high tech ship, the Internet is still the old slow and expensive technology. Dining Venues: - Main Dining Room: Nice but it seemed a lot noisier than previous ships. - Lido Market: We hate this venue. You have to fight for ( and protect) tables. No line control for food so you end up in battles to be served next. And navigating through the madhouse is an act of constant dodging. - Sel De Mer: Good food and service, but al la cart pricing is both expensive and annoying. - Pinnacle Grill: Same as previous ships. They did test our patience by making us stand around 20 minutes waiting for our table (we had reservations). - Tamarind: Excellent food with reasonable premium prices. Great atmosphere and view. - Canaletto: Still attached to Lido dining area, although a bit better separation. Excellent food at a reasonable premium price. Wine prices are best on ship. - Culinary Arts Center: Interesting experience and good food, but overpriced. - Room Dining: Unless you want to pay a premium, the menu is much more limited than previously experienced. Hacks: - Get a room on the 11th floor. Not only are the views great, but you can walk directly onto the Sun Deck. We would do this all the time going about the ship. It is much more relaxing and enjoyable than the main passages on floors 2 and 3. - Do not get a room with a sharing door. Sound proofing between these rooms are horrible. Neighbors alarm clock woke me up every morning. - If you like a drink with a view, the Crows Nest is generally overcrowded. But in the rear of the ship on 10th floor in the Tamarind, there is a small quiet bar with great views. - If you are going on a cruise over a week in length, consider the Ultimate Dining Package. It will save a few bucks and let you check out all the restaurants. - If overpricing bothers you, be judicial with the HAL port excursions. They seem to be between 200% and 300% more than standard port prices. Summary: We had a great time on our cruise but will seriously consider a different cruise line for our next cruise.

Norwegian and Arctic Cruise - Review and Hacks

Koningsdam Cruise Review by markb011

18 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2016
  • Destination: Norwegian Fjords
  • Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom
Background: This is my wife and my third Holland America cruise. Prior cruises were on the Oosterdam and the Noordam were in 2012 and 2013 . So this review is in comparison to the previous ships.

HAL business Practices and the Koningsdam: In contrast to previous cruises, HAL management seems to have made the conscious decision to engage in a policy of nickel and diming (and overcharging) their customers. The Koningsdam reflects this change, in that a majority of the new venues on the ship are pay.

The Good: We loved the new music venues, especially the B B King All Stars and their venue. The new main stage is great, but I don't think the show designers have realized it's full potential yet. The ship technologically is impressive. Rooms are nicely designed.

The Bad: The Koningsdam felt more crowded than previous ships. It doesn't help that stores partially block main thoroughfares with their merchandise. There were weird minor problems like poor drainage and standing water on the Sun Deck. For a high tech ship, the Internet is still the old slow and expensive technology.

Dining Venues:

- Main Dining Room: Nice but it seemed a lot noisier than previous ships.

- Lido Market: We hate this venue. You have to fight for ( and protect) tables. No line control for food so you end up in battles to be served next. And navigating through the madhouse is an act of constant dodging.

- Sel De Mer: Good food and service, but al la cart pricing is both expensive and annoying.

- Pinnacle Grill: Same as previous ships. They did test our patience by making us stand around 20 minutes waiting for our table (we had reservations).

- Tamarind: Excellent food with reasonable premium prices. Great atmosphere and view.

- Canaletto: Still attached to Lido dining area, although a bit better separation. Excellent food at a reasonable premium price. Wine prices are best on ship.

- Culinary Arts Center: Interesting experience and good food, but overpriced.

- Room Dining: Unless you want to pay a premium, the menu is much more limited than previously experienced.

Hacks:

- Get a room on the 11th floor. Not only are the views great, but you can walk directly onto the Sun Deck. We would do this all the time going about the ship. It is much more relaxing and enjoyable than the main passages on floors 2 and 3.

- Do not get a room with a sharing door. Sound proofing between these rooms are horrible. Neighbors alarm clock woke me up every morning.

- If you like a drink with a view, the Crows Nest is generally overcrowded. But in the rear of the ship on 10th floor in the Tamarind, there is a small quiet bar with great views.

- If you are going on a cruise over a week in length, consider the Ultimate Dining Package. It will save a few bucks and let you check out all the restaurants.

- If overpricing bothers you, be judicial with the HAL port excursions. They seem to be between 200% and 300% more than standard port prices.

Summary: We had a great time on our cruise but will seriously consider a different cruise line for our next cruise.
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