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We chose this cruise to experience a little of Norway and her peoples, also an opportunity to cruise with my parents. We have been on the Rotterdam and Oosterdam before with HAL. Koningsdam is very stylish, but the red, silver & gold decor can seem a bit garish. It must be one of their bigger ships, but it's not better, overall. In fact, we felt quite crowded at times. Pro 1. The hotel and dining room staff are brilliant. You could not find nicer, more accommodating, sweet-natured people. They are amazing. 2. Hamburger "Dive-In" (deck 9) and "NY Deli" (deck 10) around the pool area were great spots to grab a bite, never had to wait long and really nicely done; the grilled sandwiches are a great idea. 3. Tamarind is brilliant on this ship, and well worth the extra cost. The food, the service, the atmosphere, it's just a tremendous experience. 4. Canaletto was excellent too, well worth it. 4. Pinnacle Grille was very good, and reasonably priced, but somehow not as good as on Oosterdam; one of our dinners was over-cooked (rare lamb served well-done), and for some reason the staff delivered two servings of each side meal, so kind of wasted a lot of food there. 5. The Main Dining Room menu and food was generally very good, but service was slow at dinner, no problems for breakfast or lunch. On Surf & Turf night, one of the lobsters came out black (!) and yet was considered good enough to serve; also, usually the server removes the lobster from the shell with a special knife, and that did not occur, also not served with drawn butter as is also customary. 6. Our verandah room was lovely, with a great balcony, up on deck 11. With higher sea states, it could get noisy, kind of a creaky "I'm not fully attached" sound emanating from the vanity/desk area. Nice to have USB chargers around the room, 115 VAC. TV movies and recorded shows were welcome and well-curated. Broadcast TV was spotty and unfortunately the worst of American TV (ESPN, MSNBC, CNBC, FOX) and the poorer BBC channel. The head was nicer than other ships, but the toilet is angled toward the shower and awkward; perhaps that was the best spot though. The shower was lovely. 7. Entertainment was often quite good: vaudeville act was brilliant, comedian good, mime very good, dancers meh. B.B. King All-Stars was very good too. 8. The fitness center is the best I've seen yet. The Greenhouse Spa, while pricey, offered a thermal suite package, an excellent acupuncturist, and massage, amongst other things. I think the spa helped us deal with the sense of overcrowding because few took advantage. 9. The "Blend" experience was interesting, but pricey. I probably wouldn't do it again, nor recommend it. It wasn't that informative, but the interesting thing was the interplay between the varietals, so experiencing that was worthwhile. The staff member, Fernando, was knowledgeable and helpful. The video's which he was forced to play were uninformative unless the user were completely uninformed about wine. 10. Ping-Pong! More fun than I remember. 11. $30 laundry bag. Well worth it. The bag could be bigger, but thanks for getting rid of the stupid coin laundry. I'd almost rather do it in-port than visit that festering mess again. Con: 1. The ship feels crowded. The Lincoln Center and Billboard shows were generally too packed in during shows, SRO. At most meal times, the Lido Deck cafeteria scene was chaotic, like the Florida Turnpike rest areas, and unpleasant with no seating available. On sea days, the pool area was jam-packed with no seating available. The loungers on the second deck are not a great idea, inefficient seating, one person takes up space for 4, and it happens all the time. 2. No Library? No Library. No Library! 3. Port visits were too short in the populated cities (Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Alesund). The smaller town stops, typically at the end of the fjords (Eidfjord, Flam, Geiranger), times were adequate, but the stop felt contrived, quite like the Caribbean pleasure cays the cruise lines set up. 4. Not much cultural offerings onboard, no local foods, beverages, etc., no local performers. 5. Exclusive deck seating areas were pointless and little used, if at all. We never saw anyone out there on deck 12. 6. Few deck chairs? First time I've seen that. Granted, the weather didn't always support sitting out, but it did a few times. 7. Indoor smoking. Not a fan, the odor permeates the casino and unpleasantly wafts into nearby non-smoking spaces. 8. Frequently at dinner, had to wait on water, of all things, and dinner service took an achingly long time. We came to believe that the dining room is understaffed during heavy periods. I don't mind to have a longish dinner with family and friends, but this was irritatingly slow. 9. HAL does not permit any outside beverages on board. Not even water. 10. Relentless press to wring every last cent out of customers. 11. Internet. Ridiculous per/minute and package charges, and limited connectivity. Had to give up. One fellow, as I watched, burned through many minutes of charges waiting for Google It's best to just find a café ashore and use their connection. 12. No Protestant chaplain. 13. No plays or musicals. 14. Board games and card playing only an hour a day. Did not try: 1. "Sel de Mer;" other guests reported "fishy-smelling" seafood, which indicates improper handling to us, so we passed on that altogether. 2. Culinary Arts Center dining. Few did, it seemed expensive somehow, more so than Tamarind. It's probably pretty good, from the look of it. I did note that the $129 dinner offered unlimited wine, but that could be bad too, and it was only for Chateau Ste. Michelle wines, which are hardly a big deal. 3. Digital center - offerings seemed thin. like how to use MS Edge, navigating Windows 10, etc. I never saw anyone in there. 4. Worship. No Protestant or Jewish chaplain available. Catholic only. 5. Not much available in terms of shipboard activities, outside of jewelry sales-lectures. Luckily, the in-room entertainment is pretty good on this ship. 6. $150 to tour the ship, if you care. Never seen a charge for that on any cruise line. 7. Wine packages were ridiculous. The wines in both packages were okay, but unexceptional, like what you'd find at Aldi's or Publix, if you could only pay 3X as much. I'd rather, sailing from Europe, they'd offer distinctive European wines on the packages. Alsace, Wachau, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Veneto? Nope, none of that for you. You'd be as well served to have the house wines. 8. Drinks packages. I might take a harder look at that next time, it might actually have saved some money. 9. Meals packages. Ditto.

Fjords & North Cape of Europe

Koningsdam Cruise Review by nooner59

22 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2017
  • Destination: Norwegian Fjords
  • Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom
We chose this cruise to experience a little of Norway and her peoples, also an opportunity to cruise with my parents.

We have been on the Rotterdam and Oosterdam before with HAL. Koningsdam is very stylish, but the red, silver & gold decor can seem a bit garish. It must be one of their bigger ships, but it's not better, overall. In fact, we felt quite crowded at times.

Pro

1. The hotel and dining room staff are brilliant. You could not find nicer, more accommodating, sweet-natured people. They are amazing.

2. Hamburger "Dive-In" (deck 9) and "NY Deli" (deck 10) around the pool area were great spots to grab a bite, never had to wait long and really nicely done; the grilled sandwiches are a great idea.

3. Tamarind is brilliant on this ship, and well worth the extra cost. The food, the service, the atmosphere, it's just a tremendous experience.

4. Canaletto was excellent too, well worth it.

4. Pinnacle Grille was very good, and reasonably priced, but somehow not as good as on Oosterdam; one of our dinners was over-cooked (rare lamb served well-done), and for some reason the staff delivered two servings of each side meal, so kind of wasted a lot of food there.

5. The Main Dining Room menu and food was generally very good, but service was slow at dinner, no problems for breakfast or lunch. On Surf & Turf night, one of the lobsters came out black (!) and yet was considered good enough to serve; also, usually the server removes the lobster from the shell with a special knife, and that did not occur, also not served with drawn butter as is also customary.

6. Our verandah room was lovely, with a great balcony, up on deck 11. With higher sea states, it could get noisy, kind of a creaky "I'm not fully attached" sound emanating from the vanity/desk area. Nice to have USB chargers around the room, 115 VAC. TV movies and recorded shows were welcome and well-curated. Broadcast TV was spotty and unfortunately the worst of American TV (ESPN, MSNBC, CNBC, FOX) and the poorer BBC channel. The head was nicer than other ships, but the toilet is angled toward the shower and awkward; perhaps that was the best spot though. The shower was lovely.

7. Entertainment was often quite good: vaudeville act was brilliant, comedian good, mime very good, dancers meh. B.B. King All-Stars was very good too.

8. The fitness center is the best I've seen yet. The Greenhouse Spa, while pricey, offered a thermal suite package, an excellent acupuncturist, and massage, amongst other things. I think the spa helped us deal with the sense of overcrowding because few took advantage.

9. The "Blend" experience was interesting, but pricey. I probably wouldn't do it again, nor recommend it. It wasn't that informative, but the interesting thing was the interplay between the varietals, so experiencing that was worthwhile. The staff member, Fernando, was knowledgeable and helpful. The video's which he was forced to play were uninformative unless the user were completely uninformed about wine.

10. Ping-Pong! More fun than I remember.

11. $30 laundry bag. Well worth it. The bag could be bigger, but thanks for getting rid of the stupid coin laundry. I'd almost rather do it in-port than visit that festering mess again.

Con:

1. The ship feels crowded. The Lincoln Center and Billboard shows were generally too packed in during shows, SRO. At most meal times, the Lido Deck cafeteria scene was chaotic, like the Florida Turnpike rest areas, and unpleasant with no seating available. On sea days, the pool area was jam-packed with no seating available. The loungers on the second deck are not a great idea, inefficient seating, one person takes up space for 4, and it happens all the time.

2. No Library? No Library. No Library!

3. Port visits were too short in the populated cities (Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Alesund). The smaller town stops, typically at the end of the fjords (Eidfjord, Flam, Geiranger), times were adequate, but the stop felt contrived, quite like the Caribbean pleasure cays the cruise lines set up.

4. Not much cultural offerings onboard, no local foods, beverages, etc., no local performers.

5. Exclusive deck seating areas were pointless and little used, if at all. We never saw anyone out there on deck 12.

6. Few deck chairs? First time I've seen that. Granted, the weather didn't always support sitting out, but it did a few times.

7. Indoor smoking. Not a fan, the odor permeates the casino and unpleasantly wafts into nearby non-smoking spaces.

8. Frequently at dinner, had to wait on water, of all things, and dinner service took an achingly long time. We came to believe that the dining room is understaffed during heavy periods. I don't mind to have a longish dinner with family and friends, but this was irritatingly slow.

9. HAL does not permit any outside beverages on board. Not even water.

10. Relentless press to wring every last cent out of customers.

11. Internet. Ridiculous per/minute and package charges, and limited connectivity. Had to give up. One fellow, as I watched, burned through many minutes of charges waiting for Google It's best to just find a café ashore and use their connection.

12. No Protestant chaplain.

13. No plays or musicals.

14. Board games and card playing only an hour a day.

Did not try:

1. "Sel de Mer;" other guests reported "fishy-smelling" seafood, which indicates improper handling to us, so we passed on that altogether.

2. Culinary Arts Center dining. Few did, it seemed expensive somehow, more so than Tamarind. It's probably pretty good, from the look of it. I did note that the $129 dinner offered unlimited wine, but that could be bad too, and it was only for Chateau Ste. Michelle wines, which are hardly a big deal.

3. Digital center - offerings seemed thin. like how to use MS Edge, navigating Windows 10, etc. I never saw anyone in there.

4. Worship. No Protestant or Jewish chaplain available. Catholic only.

5. Not much available in terms of shipboard activities, outside of jewelry sales-lectures. Luckily, the in-room entertainment is pretty good on this ship.

6. $150 to tour the ship, if you care. Never seen a charge for that on any cruise line.

7. Wine packages were ridiculous. The wines in both packages were okay, but unexceptional, like what you'd find at Aldi's or Publix, if you could only pay 3X as much. I'd rather, sailing from Europe, they'd offer distinctive European wines on the packages. Alsace, Wachau, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Veneto? Nope, none of that for you. You'd be as well served to have the house wines.

8. Drinks packages. I might take a harder look at that next time, it might actually have saved some money.

9. Meals packages. Ditto.
nooner59’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 11045
Pretty nice. Plenty of storage, plenty of room. Have never liked the Euro-style duvet, too hot & sweaty. Nice head, balcony. In-room entertainment quite good.
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