Koningsdam Cruise Review by Cruising Ginger
- Sail Date: October 2017
- Destination: Transatlantic
- Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom
To save money, HAL has gotten rid of all the cruise staff. There are now only a Cruise Director and Assistant Cruise Director. Therefore, there were no activities except some trivias and 1 bingo a day on sea days. With more cruise staff there wold have been more activites to keep me busy. There were some lectures offered on different topics and the usual art auctions and "enrichment seminars" (just talks trying to sell you something). That was about it.
I did enjoy the cooking demonstrations in the Culinary Arts Kitchen hosted by Alice.
The food in the Lido was boring and barely changed from day to day. On many transatlantics there is a country or part of the world theme every day in the lido (such as Mexican, Asian, Scandanivanian, etc) for lunch. Not on the Koningsdam! The dining room service was very poor until I complained a week into the cruise and it improved somewhat. Waiter and busboy had too many tables, order taking IPad didn't work, never saw the busboy, tables not cleared, water glasses not refilled, etc etc. After speaking to head MDR guy it got better. Not excellent, but OK. Food in MDR was pretty good, although the 1st week was better than the 2nd week for some reason. I had an AWESOME dinner at the Pinnacle Grille but did not eat at any of the other specialty restaurants because I did not see anything on the menus that I cared to eat.
For some reason, this ship (and the new ships to come) does not have self-serve passenger laundries. This is a HUGE mistake if this ship is planning on doing more than 7-day Caribbean cruises. I will never send my clothes to the ship's laundry because they come back ruined. Hot water and high heat (which is all they know!) never touch my clothes! The other thing missing was a library. Up in the Explorations lounge there was a paperback exchange. Pretty much nobody put books up there (except for a few Germans!) until the day the cruise was over. Then there were plenty of books to exchange! Very disappointing. BRING BACK SELF SERVE PASSENGER LAUNDRIES AND LIBRARIES, HOLLAND AMERICA!!
I did not take any ship-sponsored shore excursions. Did them all thru Spain Day Tours or people on the Cruise Critic Roll call. They all worked out great.
Some of the evening entertainment was OK but a couple of the production shows were so bad I walked out after 5 minutes.
The casino was very small for this size ship. I did not think there were enough machines that you could smoke at, but of course the non smokers would disagree, I would imagine! There were a few non smoking days or evenings during the Crossing.
The ship's decor is very modern and stainless steel. Not like the wood and fixtures of the older ships. The chairs in the lounges and Lido were VERY heavy and almost impossible to move.
My cabin steward was awesome. The servers in the Lido did their best to serve water, ice tea, lemonade, OJ, coffee, etc. and keep the tables cleared off. They could have used more help. The waiters by the Seaview Pool were great.
Would I take another HAL transatlantic cruise? I don't think so. Everything was a money, money, money grab on this ship. We were nickled and dimed to death. I was sorry to see the lack of cruise staff and other things that I mentioned and food and service gone so far downhill.
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