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It was a rather disappointing cruise. While there were some nice elements, the overall impression was that HAL had difficulties handling a ship this size with so many passengers and that they really didn't care that the quality of service was lower than on other ships. And due to the itinerary changes we spent only 3 days in Norway on a 7 days cruise to Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation: very quick and the cabin was ready for us Cabin: small but very well designed, lots of storage and nice big shower. The cabin steward did a great job every day. The A/C was very efficient, but we could hear a vibration every time the air conditioning came on. Food: We had almost all our meals at Lido, since we didn't want to wait on average 45 min between courses in the main dining room. The food in Lido was very good with a few exceptions: vegetables were badly overcooked all the time. It was difficult to find yogurt in the morning. But the bread station was great. The cleaning and serving crew was very nice and efficient. We had problem finding a table only once, at the end of the breakfast time. However, the menu was rather limited, there was not enough choices and almost the same food was served ever day. For a change I recommend gourmet pizza in New York Deli & Pizza and dutch pancakes in Dutch Caffe (their sweets are not always fresh). Entertainment: A little bit disappointing. The theater is great, but there were only 2 good shows and 1 OK. While they had 3 performances every night, each lasted only about 30 min. with one exception: a BBC movie was 1 hr long. While the music walk is a nice concept it was hard to concentrate on music with people walking by and talking over the music. We attended a few concerts in Lincoln Center: the ship orchestra was good, the duo with female pianist/singer had difficulties singing "in sync". We went once to Billboard Onboard and the show was cancelled without any advance warning. The B.B. King's All-Stars band was very loud. There was not enough information about the shows in the newsletter, just the time and title, so it was difficult to make an informed selection. After a couple of days the cruise director started to make announcements about the upcoming events. Tender port: the tender operation in Geirangerfjord was really badly organized. Both the ticket distribution and the process of filling the tender boats were inefficient. The tickets were given, I would say, randomly, since a person in front of me got "gray 10" and I, taking a single ticket got "gray 39" and it was not explained to me why. After an hour they stopped distributing tender tickets while passengers were still waiting in line and no one was able to tell how much longer one would have to wait to be transported to shore. The person responsible for sending passengers to tender boats didn't seem to understand the process. While passengers were waiting on half empty tenders for other passengers to come, she was telling everybody to wait. There was no good communication between the crew around the tenders and upstairs hall when passengers were waiting. It took them almost 4 hours to finish the tender operation. Ships location guide: Josepha was one of the best guides we met. We enjoyed her commentary while cruising fjords. She was also present in every port to answer questions and help. Disembarkation : We opted for the independent disembarkation and it was a breeze.

On Koningsdam to Norway

Koningsdam Cruise Review by Traveler60+

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2016
  • Destination: Norwegian Fjords
  • Cabin Type: Standard Interior Stateroom
It was a rather disappointing cruise. While there were some nice elements, the overall impression was that HAL had difficulties handling a ship this size with so many passengers and that they really didn't care that the quality of service was lower than on other ships. And due to the itinerary changes we spent only 3 days in Norway on a 7 days cruise to Norwegian Fjords.

Embarkation: very quick and the cabin was ready for us

Cabin: small but very well designed, lots of storage and nice big shower. The cabin steward did a great job every day. The A/C was very efficient, but we could hear a vibration every time the air conditioning came on.

Food: We had almost all our meals at Lido, since we didn't want to wait on average 45 min between courses in the main dining room. The food in Lido was very good with a few exceptions: vegetables were badly overcooked all the time. It was difficult to find yogurt in the morning. But the bread station was great. The cleaning and serving crew was very nice and efficient. We had problem finding a table only once, at the end of the breakfast time. However, the menu was rather limited, there was not enough choices and almost the same food was served ever day. For a change I recommend gourmet pizza in New York Deli & Pizza and dutch pancakes in Dutch Caffe (their sweets are not always fresh).

Entertainment: A little bit disappointing. The theater is great, but there were only 2 good shows and 1 OK. While they had 3 performances every night, each lasted only about 30 min. with one exception: a BBC movie was 1 hr long. While the music walk is a nice concept it was hard to concentrate on music with people walking by and talking over the music. We attended a few concerts in Lincoln Center: the ship orchestra was good, the duo with female pianist/singer had difficulties singing "in sync". We went once to Billboard Onboard and the show was cancelled without any advance warning. The B.B. King's All-Stars band was very loud. There was not enough information about the shows in the newsletter, just the time and title, so it was difficult to make an informed selection. After a couple of days the cruise director started to make announcements about the upcoming events.

Tender port: the tender operation in Geirangerfjord was really badly organized. Both the ticket distribution and the process of filling the tender boats were inefficient. The tickets were given, I would say, randomly, since a person in front of me got "gray 10" and I, taking a single ticket got "gray 39" and it was not explained to me why. After an hour they stopped distributing tender tickets while passengers were still waiting in line and no one was able to tell how much longer one would have to wait to be transported to shore. The person responsible for sending passengers to tender boats didn't seem to understand the process. While passengers were waiting on half empty tenders for other passengers to come, she was telling everybody to wait. There was no good communication between the crew around the tenders and upstairs hall when passengers were waiting. It took them almost 4 hours to finish the tender operation.

Ships location guide: Josepha was one of the best guides we met. We enjoyed her commentary while cruising fjords. She was also present in every port to answer questions and help.

Disembarkation : We opted for the independent disembarkation and it was a breeze.
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Cabin Review

Standard Interior Stateroom
Cabin J 4073
It is a midship cabin on the forth floor, above the shops, so I though it would be quiet. However there is an opening in the middle of the third floor above the Queen's Lounge. For 6 nights the B.B. King's All-Stars band started its performance around 9pm and it was very noisy, sometimes until 1 am. There was no problem with auctions or dance music, only the band was too loud. And on the last night the drummer increased the volume even more. So if one would like to go to sleep at least once before midnight, one should stay away from cabin 4073.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Amsterdam
    Excellent port. We spent 3 days in Amsterdam before the cruise. Visited the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum and spent a lot of time taking walks around the canals. So it was quite disappointing when we were kept one extra day in Amsterdam without sufficient explanation: they gave us too many reasons for cancellation like comfort of the passengers: I came prepared for North Sea, and I booked 7 day cruise to Norway and was able to see 3 ports of call only.
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  • Bergen
    We did self-guided walks to see Brygen, Bergenhus Fortress, Fish Market, Knosesmauet. But most of the time we spent on Mount Floyen. We bought ticket online for the funicular to Mount Fløyen and were very happy that they were accepted two days later, since the itinerary was changed. At the top we took one of the recommend walks - a 3.5 hour walk #8. This walk takes you to one of the best viewpoints from Fløyen.
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  • Eidfjord
    It is a beautiful fjord and a new cruise port can handle big cruise ships. You can just walk off the ship into the town center. However it doesn't have good infrastructure like Geiranger - no public buses available to attractions outside the city limits. We rented a car and were able to see some most popular spots there. We started with Kjeasen Mountain Farm for the excellent views of the fjord. Close to the farm is Skytjefossen waterfall and Simadalsfjorden, when the Sima power plant is located. Finally we went to see Vøringsfossen, and a view from the top of Måbødale.
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  • Geiranger
    Geirangerfjord is one of the best Norway's fjords and Geiranger port has a very good infrastructure. We took a public bus to Dalsnibba with the stop at Flydalsjuvet. While we enjoyed the view at Flydalsjuvet, it was snowing at Dalsnibba. But a great trip anyway. On the way back the driver let us get off near Norwegian Fjord Centre and we took a walk alongside a waterfall.
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