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We had a high expectations about our first cruise but unfortunatelly HAL did not meet them. At least we expected a "4*" smooth service, a great dining options and a quality entertainment already included in the price we paid. All those points were not met. Good thing: no disaster happened with us. We safely came back with a lot of photos in the camera. The rest was not so shiny as we expected. No hard feeling leaving the ship! 1. Room Service. In general it was fine. No big complaints but it was not excellent. Few strange spots on a bed linen, few spots on bathrobe. No slippers included. Dirty windows and balcony glass. We asked steward to clean a glass surfaces but he did not make it well. 2. Embarkation. The ship departed from Amsterdam Waterland Terminal with no connection of public transport. I wish HAL could offer a free or at least very cheap transportation to the terminal but the did not. It was a huge queue for check in when we arrived. No water, no snacks were provided (sorry I still expect that little things for the price I paid). Just a huge hot hangar full of waiting people. Nobody provided us a clear instructions on what to do and how long to wait. We spent around 1 hour there. Not nice start of a journey. 3. Dining Service. Bad if not terrible. Very long waits. Breakfast or dinner takes 1 hour in average. Food is served on broken/chipped plates and cups and old dirty cutlery. One time we found a hair in the bread basket. The staff on the dining room reception does not try to get a good table for you. One time we were followed to the table for 4 in the corner even two nice tables for 2 were available just few steps next to us with a nice windows. Waiters always ask for a paid drinks and forget to offer you a free tea. They do not give you a chance for a water without ice but serving you an ice cubes. The food quality was average: during all 7 days I did not find something really tasty. They even served us a lobster tail but it was prepared in a simple and not tasty way. Starter soups were definetely terrible. 4. Entertainment is limited with a concerts. The concerts were nice. I would like to mention the BB King Blues and the classical musicians. They were awesome! My wife also enjoyed Bilboard on board where the two guys played piano and sing popular songs on requiest. Those things happen in the evening. During the day activities are limited to a "seminars" where the staff tries to sell you insole for 190 bucks or expensive watches or brilliants or strange paints. Who buys all of that? We might expect some educational program like TED or knitting courses or yoga lessons included in the cruise price. But HAL wants to earn every extra penny on you. Do not go on HAL seminars - it is brainwashing and sometimes rude sales activity (nicely named). 5. Security at gates. Rude and unwelcoming. 6. At the evening of last day crew blocked two elevators out of four just because they need to carry a luggage downstairs. Obviously it was comfortable for the stewards but not the guests. That also shows staff attitude towards the guests. 6. During the cruise we received NOTHING complimentary. No free drink, no badge or magnet, no free 10 minutes massage and no PERSONAL attitute from HAL personnel. Again we paid a lot of money for the cruise and we expected something on top of the "below average". 7. That's is funny but with that kind of service HAL automatically includes 15% service surcharge on all onboard purchased. And 13.5 dollars per person per day as a "Hotel service charge". Crazy guys! Fortunately you still can adjust the last point at the end of cruise. So we did. 8. HAL shore excursions were 5 (!!!) times expensive that you could book ashore or just travelling the same route using a local public transport! 9. Port times were inconvenient. Ship arrived early morning at 7 am in average. People wake up slamming the cabing doors with no chance for a good sleep. Ship departed at 5 pm so you basically have a very short time to explore the port. To summarize: that was our first cruise. Norway is beautiful. Cruising is fantastic thing to do on vacation but never again with a greedy HAL.

Far below our expectations

Koningsdam Cruise Review by andydy

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2018
  • Destination: Norwegian Fjords
  • Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom
We had a high expectations about our first cruise but unfortunatelly HAL did not meet them. At least we expected a "4*" smooth service, a great dining options and a quality entertainment already included in the price we paid. All those points were not met. Good thing: no disaster happened with us. We safely came back with a lot of photos in the camera. The rest was not so shiny as we expected. No hard feeling leaving the ship!

1. Room Service. In general it was fine. No big complaints but it was not excellent. Few strange spots on a bed linen, few spots on bathrobe. No slippers included. Dirty windows and balcony glass. We asked steward to clean a glass surfaces but he did not make it well.

2. Embarkation. The ship departed from Amsterdam Waterland Terminal with no connection of public transport. I wish HAL could offer a free or at least very cheap transportation to the terminal but the did not. It was a huge queue for check in when we arrived. No water, no snacks were provided (sorry I still expect that little things for the price I paid). Just a huge hot hangar full of waiting people. Nobody provided us a clear instructions on what to do and how long to wait. We spent around 1 hour there. Not nice start of a journey.

3. Dining Service. Bad if not terrible. Very long waits. Breakfast or dinner takes 1 hour in average. Food is served on broken/chipped plates and cups and old dirty cutlery. One time we found a hair in the bread basket. The staff on the dining room reception does not try to get a good table for you. One time we were followed to the table for 4 in the corner even two nice tables for 2 were available just few steps next to us with a nice windows. Waiters always ask for a paid drinks and forget to offer you a free tea. They do not give you a chance for a water without ice but serving you an ice cubes. The food quality was average: during all 7 days I did not find something really tasty. They even served us a lobster tail but it was prepared in a simple and not tasty way. Starter soups were definetely terrible.

4. Entertainment is limited with a concerts. The concerts were nice. I would like to mention the BB King Blues and the classical musicians. They were awesome! My wife also enjoyed Bilboard on board where the two guys played piano and sing popular songs on requiest. Those things happen in the evening. During the day activities are limited to a "seminars" where the staff tries to sell you insole for 190 bucks or expensive watches or brilliants or strange paints. Who buys all of that? We might expect some educational program like TED or knitting courses or yoga lessons included in the cruise price. But HAL wants to earn every extra penny on you. Do not go on HAL seminars - it is brainwashing and sometimes rude sales activity (nicely named).

5. Security at gates. Rude and unwelcoming.

6. At the evening of last day crew blocked two elevators out of four just because they need to carry a luggage downstairs. Obviously it was comfortable for the stewards but not the guests. That also shows staff attitude towards the guests.

6. During the cruise we received NOTHING complimentary. No free drink, no badge or magnet, no free 10 minutes massage and no PERSONAL attitute from HAL personnel. Again we paid a lot of money for the cruise and we expected something on top of the "below average".

7. That's is funny but with that kind of service HAL automatically includes 15% service surcharge on all onboard purchased. And 13.5 dollars per person per day as a "Hotel service charge". Crazy guys! Fortunately you still can adjust the last point at the end of cruise. So we did.

8. HAL shore excursions were 5 (!!!) times expensive that you could book ashore or just travelling the same route using a local public transport!

9. Port times were inconvenient. Ship arrived early morning at 7 am in average. People wake up slamming the cabing doors with no chance for a good sleep. Ship departed at 5 pm so you basically have a very short time to explore the port.

To summarize: that was our first cruise. Norway is beautiful. Cruising is fantastic thing to do on vacation but never again with a greedy HAL.
andydy’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
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Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 6021
The cabin is not big however it offers a lot of storage. Everything is well designed and modern and room was very clean. Good thing is a blackout curtains that perfectly block the light for a comfortable sleep. Nice balcony.
The biggest problem is noise isolation: we could clearly hear voice of neighbors and people in corridor. Also the doors slam loudly if people do not hold them (and most did not). Because of that we used the earplugs at night but still did not sleep well enough. You can imagine what a good sleep means at vacation so the fact of poor noise isolation makes the cabin not fully comfortable.
Sun Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Bergen
    Went on Floibanen funicular to the top. Spent there like two hours enjoing the city view and free kayaking on a small lake. Then explored the city and the fish market. Do not buy cheese on the fish market. You could buy the same cheese but 2 times cheaper in the local supermarkets.
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  • Eidfjord
    Not too much to do in the port. We did a hike to the lake and back to the port through the forest. Nice walk but nothing really special. There is a grocery store and ATM to get the local currency in the port.
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  • Mount Dalsnibba
    We purchased the ticket online well before the cruise. We paid 74 eur for two bus tickets. I think HAL charges 300 dollars for the same tour. Suprisingly the bus was almost empty. It was just another tourist pair in the whole bus so we had a kind of personal tour on a public bus! The driver even had a microphone and told us few stories during the travel time. The road to the Dalsnibba is amazing! I wish we could spend a few hours just walking in the mountains. The way lays through a beautiful lakes and fields and again mountains. Fantastic! The view from Dalsnibba is just outstanding! Do not be scared by the public bus tour - you will get a lot more for the cheaper price! As for Geiranger we did a hike upstairs to the waterfall. It was great but a very short hike.
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  • Molde
    A small boring town. We spent there a time waiting for a public bus to the Atlantic road. Please make sure to purchase the bus ticket in advance. There is no ticket shop at the bus terminal and the route is very popular. We bought a ticket with Framm app onsite and was lucky to travel by the first bus. Atlantic road is a place to visit. You can easily spend a whole day there - a very beautiful piece of nature with easy access by a public transport. We paid like 50 eur for the two round trip tickets. And for another 20 you could get the boat to the Haholmen island. That is way cheaper that HAL sells the same tour.
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