The idea of cruising on a brand new ship was exciting and it turns out it was also very worthwhile. The Konigsdam is magnificent. Her captain and crew run a tight ship. Everything from embarkation to disembarkation was on time, pleasant, efficient, and professional. The public areas are well appointed and once you understand that you have been immersed into a musical instrument, you really enjoy the décor. Watch HALs short video done by the award winning designer and you will understand what we mean. The areas were magnificent. There is a lot of people, and the room is huge yet you had your privacy and intimacy at your table. The new design of the Lido restaurant is efficient, and there was plenty of seating at every sitting. The swimming area of the Lido looks crowded and yet once you start moving around during the cruise, everything flowed very easily and efficiently. The Dutch Café was delicious and a lovely seating area. The Crowsnest has good seating with nice arm chairs that were comfortable. The small explorations café was adequate if you were up on that deck and wanted a coffee. There isn't a library but there is a small area of bookshelves and many tried and true HAL sailors placed books there for sharing. We have cruised with HAL on 9 separate voyages and the food on this cruise was the best we have ever had ... at all meals ... in all the different dining rooms and restaurants. The room stewards on HAL are magnificent and this cruise was no exception. Our stateroom was always cleaned in a timely manner and of course, twice a day. The new bathroom set up is great. The walk-in shower was commented on by many of our fellow cruisers. It is perfect. The water pressure was great, the shower head is removable and adjustable, the stall has safety bars, and the floor has a high enough ridge to contain the water flow yet you didn't have to climb in, it was easy access. The stores on the HAL line have always been a bone of contention for me. I have often wondered who would were the three types of t-shirts they sell and only in small sizes .... that has changed dramatically. There was a very nice selection of men's and women's clothes and the sizes went from XS to 3X. They had a collection of Joseph Ribkoff clothes that was very nice and at a good price. It was a pleasant change and I felt that someone from HAL had taken the time to read reviews and address issues. The entertainment was good and there was something for everyone. It is also very subjective so my choices might not be that of others but if you don't like what is going on around the ship, you have a large library of movies and TV shows in your stateroom on the television than you could possibly watch. I think HAL is working very hard to be innovative and creative for the clientele they cater to. Thank you for a fantastic holiday.
The room is efficient. The placement of the bed is great. There is plenty of storage space for all your needs. On previous ships, the interior staterooms had a sitting area. There is no room for a couch or chair in the interior stateroom, so sitting in your cabin isn't an option, but we didn't expect to be in our cabin much. We were very close to the elevators that took us up to the LIDO right at the end of the dining room and just before the pool, or down to the main dining room right at their entrance doors. There was NO noise whatsoever in our cabin. The air control was perfect. The lighting was very good. The addition of USB ports is very welcome. Nice large television flat screen at the foot of the bed.
The free shuttle into the city is sponsored by the department stores, but it gets you right into la Coruna. The stores happen to be very upscale and lovely but that wasn't the reason for the trip. The port town is very accessible on foot and if you are a good walker the 6 km walk to the Tower of Hercules was well worth the walk.
Taxis were available as soon as you left the pier area. We took a taxi to the Sandeman Port Distillery and had a magnificent day. We had to email directly to the Sandeman distillery from the website to reserve places for our tour, but they responded within 24 hours and when we arrived our names were on the list. Lexios, the port the ship docks at is about 20 minutes by cab to Porto. We didn't use the ship excursion because they wouldn't specify which distillery they were taking people to and we wanted a very special type of tour. We had a great day and would highly recommend Sandeman, the cable car ride, the walk across the bridge, and then a bit of shopping. Make sure your cab driver knows where your ship is docked because there is a new port and an old port docking in Lexios. We had no trouble.
Walked to the cable car and then rode up to the top of the rock. Bought individual entrance pass and toured all day then walked back to the ship. It was a strenuous day but it was important for me to have the time I wanted to see what I wanted. Went through the Seige Tunnels, Saint Michael's caves, O'Hara's Battery, Old Moorish Castle. Glad I did it this way. Even had time to pop into a liquor store and buy my favourite brand of scotch while I was going back to the ship and it was a fantastic price.
Incredible little port. The streets are paved with marble tiles. It is very easily walked, the stores are lovely, there is a lot of history from when the Romans invaded, and the hills and cliffs surrounding the port are fascinating. Over 6,000 Spaniards hid in these caves during the Spanish Civil War. It was really a great port to visit and there was no need to take an excursion away from the port.
Great port and our disembarkation point. Told that the port has really been cleaned up in the last couple of years but this was our first visit there, so we have nothing to compare it to. We ordered a private car for our transportation into Rome and our driver was able to come right onto the pier area and pick us up. The shuttle buses into Rome were sold out and the train is a walkable distance if you are hearty, but with luggage etc. it would be a good hike. Turns out the trains were on strike that day so a lot of people were having huge problems arranging for transportation. The port authorities were even stopping private cars like our asking if there was room for anymore people in the car. So, if this is your disembarkation point ... MAKE YOUR TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS in advance either privately or through HAL.