1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Koningsdam
We have been on other cruises before and enjoyed it, but this trip was a major disappointment for several reasons. We were super excited to try HAL and to be on a new ship, but it was not as we had planned or expected. Positives: The ship was clean and new. The stateroom was nice and the stateroom attendants were very friendly and hospitable. The Culinary Arts Center dinner was a great experience. For entertainment the BBlues band was above average for a cover band. The female singer was particularly good. The Koningsdam orchestra was also first rate. The movie options in the room were also excellent, thankfully, since there was not much else to do on the ship and we skipped two port and were stuck at sea for the 4.5 out of 7 days of the cruise Issues: In general I felt like I was treated like a person at the DMV or IRS whenever I went to the main desk, rather than a paying customer. There was no accommodation or hospitality like you would normally expect from a service oriented business. If you have any issues with the bill or a charge (no matter how minor) HAL staff would rather accuse you of lying than possibly lose out on $5. Seriously. Prepare to be up-charged, over-charged, and erroneously charged on this cruise and don't expect any help or corrections at front desk. They will not give you the benefit of the doubt and treat you like a guest, instead they act like your trying to scam them. Despite paying $5,000 for the cruise, I was treated like I was lying after standing 10 minutes in line for a $5 correction. It was very strange to be treated this way as a paying customer. It made me feel like a prisoner on the ship, and I wonder how bad they must treat their own employees. SPA: This was my worst spa experience ever. I would almost say this is not a legitimate spa, but just a scam to take your money. Tried unsuccessfully to book manicure and pedicure appointment several times. They apparently have very few nail staff. Instead booked 50 min. couples massage. Once undressed and in massage room a very rude a pushy sales person proceeded to try to sell us additional services and more expensive massages. When we refused and said we just wanted what we booked she was visibly aggravated with us. Massage was NO GOOD. I have a massage once a month, and usually anywhere I stay on vacation. This was a very light massage and didn't really do anything with many long breaks of not really doing anything. Post massage, we were "treated" to another 15 minute pushy sales pitch, for expensive bath salts. She also tried to push $60 small bottle of oil on my husband to improve our love live (totally uncomfortable). Once finally over, we got a bill for $150 more than expected and for services we didn't ask for and didn't really receive. We were told we were given different services and deep tissue massage for one, so couldn't be charged as couple and were charged 75 minutes instead of 50; however the massage time was 30 tops, because of all the selling before and after. Then of course I was reminded to tip her more. SO RUDE, HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE. When I got back to room I checked our reservation receipt and it was for only 50 minutes. Food: The main dining room is good, but sometimes 45 minute wait and it wasn't a WOW experience. Getting a non-alcoholic drink required patience and don't expect any refills. The Culinary Arts Center was excellent. The food in Lido was so so, besides the lobster and steak night. However, it is hard to enjoy lobster and steak, when you are standing in a long queue and walking around for several minutes carrying your plate and drink looking for a clean table. At the Lido we often had to just sit at an un-cleaned table to get a spot. One time I went alone and sat at a two person table. A stranger came and sat with me, which was a little uncomfortable, but it was so difficult at times to find somewhere to sit, I couldn't blame him. The serve you drinks in Lido while you are sitting, but the staff rarely have time as they are usually busy trying to keep up with clearing the tables. I literally was not offered juice or water once in Lido all week, they never got around to us. Desserts were not that good. It is not hard to make a good cupcake, but somehow HAL found this difficult. The cookies were dry and hard, as were the bread/rolls. The eggs a breakfast were not cooked well. It also closed too early. No ice cream after 8:30 unless you pay for Gelato. Basically the paid food was open later, anything included in fare closed early and was always crowded. Activities included: Jewelry sale, bag sale, Talk about jewelry, sales pitch for spa items, sales pitch for acupuncture, art sale, art auction, another jewelry sale, Learn about buying jewelry, make $129 wine, slot tournaments, blackjack tournaments, learn about spa treatments (get the idea...). Bingo was cancelled both times. No shows until last few days of the cruise. One was just dancing to static screen in background with no plot. Second was live orchestra to BBC Frozen Plant. The orchestra was good, but the video didn't use functionality of surround screen. The BB cover band was also good, but did similar stuff every night so it got old after a while. They had some a couple lectures but only a one time per day on a few days and at times that were not convenient like 9 am. The could have repeat this a couple of times so that you can attend at better time. Internet: .75 a minute. sometimes works, sometimes didn't. Charged first minute second you logged on. Port: We skipped two ports due to weather and missed most of the good attractions in Norway on the cruise. We also were subjected to a frightfully rough day at sea where half the crew and passages were ill. The shows were cancelled and pool was closed. Working out in the gym was impossible. No refunds or accommodations were given. After two days of cruise being ruined you would think they would try to make amends somehow, but nothing was offered. We were extremely disappointed that we missed the ports with the best excursion and basically feel like we have to visit Norway again, since we hardly got to visit any places on the the 7 day cruise and only go off the boat for 2.5 days.

Not as expected; very disappointing vacation

Koningsdam Cruise Review by MDgirl1052

36 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2016
  • Destination: Norwegian Fjords
  • Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom
We have been on other cruises before and enjoyed it, but this trip was a major disappointment for several reasons. We were super excited to try HAL and to be on a new ship, but it was not as we had planned or expected.

Positives: The ship was clean and new. The stateroom was nice and the stateroom attendants were very friendly and hospitable. The Culinary Arts Center dinner was a great experience. For entertainment the BBlues band was above average for a cover band. The female singer was particularly good. The Koningsdam orchestra was also first rate. The movie options in the room were also excellent, thankfully, since there was not much else to do on the ship and we skipped two port and were stuck at sea for the 4.5 out of 7 days of the cruise

Issues: In general I felt like I was treated like a person at the DMV or IRS whenever I went to the main desk, rather than a paying customer. There was no accommodation or hospitality like you would normally expect from a service oriented business. If you have any issues with the bill or a charge (no matter how minor) HAL staff would rather accuse you of lying than possibly lose out on $5. Seriously. Prepare to be up-charged, over-charged, and erroneously charged on this cruise and don't expect any help or corrections at front desk. They will not give you the benefit of the doubt and treat you like a guest, instead they act like your trying to scam them. Despite paying $5,000 for the cruise, I was treated like I was lying after standing 10 minutes in line for a $5 correction. It was very strange to be treated this way as a paying customer. It made me feel like a prisoner on the ship, and I wonder how bad they must treat their own employees.

SPA: This was my worst spa experience ever. I would almost say this is not a legitimate spa, but just a scam to take your money. Tried unsuccessfully to book manicure and pedicure appointment several times. They apparently have very few nail staff. Instead booked 50 min. couples massage. Once undressed and in massage room a very rude a pushy sales person proceeded to try to sell us additional services and more expensive massages. When we refused and said we just wanted what we booked she was visibly aggravated with us. Massage was NO GOOD. I have a massage once a month, and usually anywhere I stay on vacation. This was a very light massage and didn't really do anything with many long breaks of not really doing anything. Post massage, we were "treated" to another 15 minute pushy sales pitch, for expensive bath salts. She also tried to push $60 small bottle of oil on my husband to improve our love live (totally uncomfortable). Once finally over, we got a bill for $150 more than expected and for services we didn't ask for and didn't really receive. We were told we were given different services and deep tissue massage for one, so couldn't be charged as couple and were charged 75 minutes instead of 50; however the massage time was 30 tops, because of all the selling before and after. Then of course I was reminded to tip her more. SO RUDE, HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE. When I got back to room I checked our reservation receipt and it was for only 50 minutes.

Food: The main dining room is good, but sometimes 45 minute wait and it wasn't a WOW experience. Getting a non-alcoholic drink required patience and don't expect any refills. The Culinary Arts Center was excellent. The food in Lido was so so, besides the lobster and steak night. However, it is hard to enjoy lobster and steak, when you are standing in a long queue and walking around for several minutes carrying your plate and drink looking for a clean table. At the Lido we often had to just sit at an un-cleaned table to get a spot. One time I went alone and sat at a two person table. A stranger came and sat with me, which was a little uncomfortable, but it was so difficult at times to find somewhere to sit, I couldn't blame him. The serve you drinks in Lido while you are sitting, but the staff rarely have time as they are usually busy trying to keep up with clearing the tables. I literally was not offered juice or water once in Lido all week, they never got around to us. Desserts were not that good. It is not hard to make a good cupcake, but somehow HAL found this difficult. The cookies were dry and hard, as were the bread/rolls. The eggs a breakfast were not cooked well. It also closed too early. No ice cream after 8:30 unless you pay for Gelato. Basically the paid food was open later, anything included in fare closed early and was always crowded.

Activities included: Jewelry sale, bag sale, Talk about jewelry, sales pitch for spa items, sales pitch for acupuncture, art sale, art auction, another jewelry sale, Learn about buying jewelry, make $129 wine, slot tournaments, blackjack tournaments, learn about spa treatments (get the idea...). Bingo was cancelled both times. No shows until last few days of the cruise. One was just dancing to static screen in background with no plot. Second was live orchestra to BBC Frozen Plant. The orchestra was good, but the video didn't use functionality of surround screen. The BB cover band was also good, but did similar stuff every night so it got old after a while. They had some a couple lectures but only a one time per day on a few days and at times that were not convenient like 9 am. The could have repeat this a couple of times so that you can attend at better time.

Internet: .75 a minute. sometimes works, sometimes didn't. Charged first minute second you logged on.

Port: We skipped two ports due to weather and missed most of the good attractions in Norway on the cruise. We also were subjected to a frightfully rough day at sea where half the crew and passages were ill. The shows were cancelled and pool was closed. Working out in the gym was impossible. No refunds or accommodations were given. After two days of cruise being ruined you would think they would try to make amends somehow, but nothing was offered. We were extremely disappointed that we missed the ports with the best excursion and basically feel like we have to visit Norway again, since we hardly got to visit any places on the the 7 day cruise and only go off the boat for 2.5 days.
MDgirl1052’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Koningsdam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 11009
No complains. Nice size for cruise ship. Excellent water pressure in shower. Lots of closet space and was able to fit suitcases under the bed.
Sun Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Amsterdam
    Amsterdam is a great city. Easy to walk, lots to see and do
    View All 761 Amsterdam Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Amsterdam Cruise Port Review
  • Bergen
    Took funicular to top of Mt Florein. There was a huge line for this and it took over and hour, even though we pre-purchased tickets. Once at the top the view was great. Went through shopping village by the port. The city is OK, but the scenery is not as impressive as the other Fjords
    View All 606 Bergen Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Bergen Cruise Port Review
  • Eidfjord
    We took the waterfall and waffles excursion. This was excellent. The motorcoach takes you from the port through tunnels in the mountains up to a waterfall. From there you go through more tunnels and up to the hardanger plateau and see the power plant, then through the plateau landscape which is interesting to a restaurant where you get a waffle and some coffee. The tour guide was excellent and talked quite a bit and told us interesting things about Norway and the surrounding landscape. I only which that the trip included a tour inside the power plant.
    View All 142 Eidfjord Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Eidfjord Cruise Port Review
  • Hiking Westeras
    You take a short 15 bus ride up half the mountain, they hike to old farm and from there hike to a waterfall. Afterwards you can hike in another direction to an nice overlook. There are sheep and goats all over, which are cute and some will let you pet them. Overall we enjoyed it, but $99 seemed like a lot to pay to hike. It also included one waffle and a cup of coffee in the old farm. I would go to this farm again if I visit the area, because there are several hikes you can take from this point.

    About the hike it was somewhat strenuous. Some in our group didn't make it. It was about 30-45 minutes UP HILL for first portion. We are younger and fit so this was perfect for us as we wanted to get a bit of a workout and do something somewhat adventurous, but if you are not in reasonable shape or have bad knees you may want to skip this one. It was about 5 miles total to go up to waterfall, come down, then go down to overlook and come back up to the farm.
    View All 11 Hiking Westeras Reviews