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This was our 34th cruise and first on HAL. We embarked at civitavecchia in late September for (2) 10 night cruises. We arrived 4 days earlier in Amsterdam and flew to Rome from Amsterdam on a morning Easyjet flight. We took the subway to Rome trastevere station and then the hourly train to civitavecchia and stayed in a B&B. We arrived at the cruise terminal at 11:50 and was in our room at 12:00. Yes, the rooms were ready. We went off to explore the ship. Our first day was at sea and then we visited Croatia, Montenegro, 4 Greek cities, and finally Naples with 2 sea days. Our 2nd 10 day cruise visited 4 Spanish ports, Marseille France, Monte Carlo and Florence. We kept the same room and the changeover day was handled like another port day for guests staying for the next cruise. We really loved the ship, we had an inside cabin on deck 11, we like inside cabins for many cruises because we stay up late and sleep late. Our cabin was great, nice big shower by cruise ship standards with a glass door and tile floor. The cabin was pretty standard with comfy bed, sitting area, desk and had a nice 50" tv. They had dozens of on demand movies and shows to watch on your TV. Plenty of storage, a small fridge and a safe. I read a complaint where someone was upset that they could not hear the announcements in their cabin without opening the door, that is not true. Just put your TV on the forward camera and you can hear all of the announcements. I guess this person has never been on a cruise where the announcements are blasted into your cabin daily and is very annoying. The ship has 4 or 5 pay restaurants and we did eat at the italian restaurant one night and it was really good. They fix the meal in the lido galley. We ate in the main dining room most evenings and the food was very good with plenty of selections. They have a steak, salmon and veggie entree available every night as a "standard" and the other selections (starters, soup, salad, entrees, and dessert) change nightly. You can see the menu on your stateroom tv. We had no issues with the dining room but it is noisy but any restaurant is going to be noisy with a 700 people eating. We had anytime dining and usually arrived around 7:30 and never had to wait more than 5 minutes. If your table is not ready they give you a beeper. You can make reservations for a particular time and you approach the dining room desk in a different line and you are seated immediately. We like to eat with someone each evening so we always requested 'share'. We did eat dinner 2x in the Lido because of tours. We were pleasantly surprised at the selection in Lido and the service was very good. We read reviews about getting bad tables in the dining room and the chaos in lido. You are not going to get the best table in the dining room on every visit, they cannot make every table be in the perfect position in the dining room. Yes, the dining room can get loud but any restaurant with that many people can get loud. If you want a romantic quiet atmosphere then pay to eat in the add-on restaurants. The lido restaurant on HAL does not allow you to fill your own plate, MUCH more sanitary and it moves faster. LOVE this feature. People complain about chaos in Lido, well same principle, if there are hundreds of people eating at the same time in any restaurant it might appear to be chaos. We never had to wait more than a couple minutes at any station. They have quite the selection for all meals. HAL also has a burger/hot dog restaurant near the pool which was really good, they do not make the selections in advance like other cruise lines so you will have to wait a few minutes, they have a pizza, salad, and a sandwich station on deck 10 that offers great pizzas, salads and many sandwiches that take about 10 minutes to prepare and you are given a beeper. The Dutch Cafe on deck 3 serves specialty coffees and Dutch treats, my wife loved it! Entertainment was very good, the Lincoln Center had the quartet playing nightly before dinner, the Billboard dueling pianos was very entertaining and they played from around 8 pm to 12:15 almost every evening. The blues club in the queens lounge was also very good and they entertained almost every night from 8 -11ish. They would have disco after the blues band quit each evening. The show lounge was very nice and was in the front of the ship and the seating was much more comfortable than most cruise line theaters. There were very few poles to block your view and each seat had 2 arm rests. They did not hawk drinks constantly in the theater like other cruise lines. The entertainment is geared towards a little more mature audience so you do not have rock or country bands belting out songs in smoke filled bars which we found to be wonderful. The casino has strict rules about smoking and even has smoke free nights. You have to be playing to smoke. On other cruise lines the smokers congregate in the casino and other casino bars to smoke. Everything on the ship was spotless and there was plenty to do each day and evening .If you did not get off the ship on port days then you can enjoy the ship with things to do. No hairy chest contests on HAL. Embarkation and Debarkation went as smooth as any ship that we have been on. HAL has some nice touches that we enjoyed. The cooking classes on sea days, the windows classes and computer studio. We liked the glass shower in the bathroom, the cloth rags in all public bathrooms. We liked the fact that HAL did not hammer you all day long to purchase drinks in the common areas. You were not hassled at dinner each evening for table pictures, they did come by a couple times but you could say "no" and off they went. They had movies by the pool each evening and you were give a wool blanket and they were serving chicken wings, nachos and popcorn to watch the movie. They still do galley tours and the captain sits down in the lounge and has a video presentation about the ship and takes questions. HALS tours were very expensive by cruise ship standards and we did take a lot of tours but purchased them in the ports because we sleep late and most of the ship tours meet early. The layout of the ship was very thoughtful. Show lounge, Billboard, Lincoln Center and Blues Club all on the same deck. Two story dining room at the rear of the ship on Decks 2 and 3, Crows nest lounge on deck 12 was a favorite place to get some quiet time. They had games and books here with comfy chairs The gym on the ship is on deck 9 forward and very well equipped. It was not very crowded when I went each evening around 6:00 pm. We met someone from another ship in Florence and they stated that they had heard that HAL was full of crippled old folks. Far from true, it is an older crowd but we are in our late 50's and we were very comfortable on this cruise. I am sure the age demographic is younger in the summer months when children are out of school. There were very few children on both of our 10 day segments. Overall we loved the ship and we will return to HAL, we are now spoiled.

Great 20 night Cruise

Koningsdam Cruise Review by drbcwp

16 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2018
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Large or Standard Interior Stateroom
This was our 34th cruise and first on HAL. We embarked at civitavecchia in late September for (2) 10 night cruises. We arrived 4 days earlier in Amsterdam and flew to Rome from Amsterdam on a morning Easyjet flight. We took the subway to Rome trastevere station and then the hourly train to civitavecchia and stayed in a B&B.

We arrived at the cruise terminal at 11:50 and was in our room at 12:00. Yes, the rooms were ready. We went off to explore the ship. Our first day was at sea and then we visited Croatia, Montenegro, 4 Greek cities, and finally Naples with 2 sea days. Our 2nd 10 day cruise visited 4 Spanish ports, Marseille France, Monte Carlo and Florence. We kept the same room and the changeover day was handled like another port day for guests staying for the next cruise.

We really loved the ship, we had an inside cabin on deck 11, we like inside cabins for many cruises because we stay up late and sleep late. Our cabin was great, nice big shower by cruise ship standards with a glass door and tile floor. The cabin was pretty standard with comfy bed, sitting area, desk and had a nice 50" tv. They had dozens of on demand movies and shows to watch on your TV. Plenty of storage, a small fridge and a safe. I read a complaint where someone was upset that they could not hear the announcements in their cabin without opening the door, that is not true. Just put your TV on the forward camera and you can hear all of the announcements. I guess this person has never been on a cruise where the announcements are blasted into your cabin daily and is very annoying.

The ship has 4 or 5 pay restaurants and we did eat at the italian restaurant one night and it was really good. They fix the meal in the lido galley. We ate in the main dining room most evenings and the food was very good with plenty of selections. They have a steak, salmon and veggie entree available every night as a "standard" and the other selections (starters, soup, salad, entrees, and dessert) change nightly. You can see the menu on your stateroom tv. We had no issues with the dining room but it is noisy but any restaurant is going to be noisy with a 700 people eating. We had anytime dining and usually arrived around 7:30 and never had to wait more than 5 minutes. If your table is not ready they give you a beeper. You can make reservations for a particular time and you approach the dining room desk in a different line and you are seated immediately. We like to eat with someone each evening so we always requested 'share'. We did eat dinner 2x in the Lido because of tours. We were pleasantly surprised at the selection in Lido and the service was very good.

We read reviews about getting bad tables in the dining room and the chaos in lido. You are not going to get the best table in the dining room on every visit, they cannot make every table be in the perfect position in the dining room. Yes, the dining room can get loud but any restaurant with that many people can get loud. If you want a romantic quiet atmosphere then pay to eat in the add-on restaurants. The lido restaurant on HAL does not allow you to fill your own plate, MUCH more sanitary and it moves faster. LOVE this feature. People complain about chaos in Lido, well same principle, if there are hundreds of people eating at the same time in any restaurant it might appear to be chaos. We never had to wait more than a couple minutes at any station. They have quite the selection for all meals. HAL also has a burger/hot dog restaurant near the pool which was really good, they do not make the selections in advance like other cruise lines so you will have to wait a few minutes, they have a pizza, salad, and a sandwich station on deck 10 that offers great pizzas, salads and many sandwiches that take about 10 minutes to prepare and you are given a beeper. The Dutch Cafe on deck 3 serves specialty coffees and Dutch treats, my wife loved it!

Entertainment was very good, the Lincoln Center had the quartet playing nightly before dinner, the Billboard dueling pianos was very entertaining and they played from around 8 pm to 12:15 almost every evening. The blues club in the queens lounge was also very good and they entertained almost every night from 8 -11ish. They would have disco after the blues band quit each evening. The show lounge was very nice and was in the front of the ship and the seating was much more comfortable than most cruise line theaters. There were very few poles to block your view and each seat had 2 arm rests. They did not hawk drinks constantly in the theater like other cruise lines. The entertainment is geared towards a little more mature audience so you do not have rock or country bands belting out songs in smoke filled bars which we found to be wonderful. The casino has strict rules about smoking and even has smoke free nights. You have to be playing to smoke. On other cruise lines the smokers congregate in the casino and other casino bars to smoke.

Everything on the ship was spotless and there was plenty to do each day and evening .If you did not get off the ship on port days then you can enjoy the ship with things to do. No hairy chest contests on HAL.

Embarkation and Debarkation went as smooth as any ship that we have been on.

HAL has some nice touches that we enjoyed. The cooking classes on sea days, the windows classes and computer studio. We liked the glass shower in the bathroom, the cloth rags in all public bathrooms. We liked the fact that HAL did not hammer you all day long to purchase drinks in the common areas. You were not hassled at dinner each evening for table pictures, they did come by a couple times but you could say "no" and off they went. They had movies by the pool each evening and you were give a wool blanket and they were serving chicken wings, nachos and popcorn to watch the movie. They still do galley tours and the captain sits down in the lounge and has a video presentation about the ship and takes questions. HALS tours were very expensive by cruise ship standards and we did take a lot of tours but purchased them in the ports because we sleep late and most of the ship tours meet early.

The layout of the ship was very thoughtful. Show lounge, Billboard, Lincoln Center and Blues Club all on the same deck. Two story dining room at the rear of the ship on Decks 2 and 3, Crows nest lounge on deck 12 was a favorite place to get some quiet time. They had games and books here with comfy chairs

The gym on the ship is on deck 9 forward and very well equipped. It was not very crowded when I went each evening around 6:00 pm.

We met someone from another ship in Florence and they stated that they had heard that HAL was full of crippled old folks. Far from true, it is an older crowd but we are in our late 50's and we were very comfortable on this cruise. I am sure the age demographic is younger in the summer months when children are out of school. There were very few children on both of our 10 day segments.

Overall we loved the ship and we will return to HAL, we are now spoiled.
drbcwp’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Large or Standard Interior Stateroom
Cabin I 11054
Standard cabin, 50" tv, safe, small fridge, comfy bed. Loved the glass shower in the bathroom and tile floor. Great selection of movies and TV shows for on demand.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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