Koningsdam Cruise Review by SWeaster
- Sail Date: December 2018
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
- The boarding experience in Fort Lauderdale was terrible. Our previous nine cruises went much quicker. A serpentine line inside the building extended out the door and well beyond the end of the terminal building. This may have been due to staffing for a 1300 passenger S-Class or 2000 passenger Vista class ship. The Konigsdam's passenger complement is quite a bit higher.
- Muster drill lasted from 4:00 to beyond 5:30 which encroached on the first group's seating for dining at 5:15. We were seated in the Ocean Bar for the passenger portion of the drill. Our trainers were out in the hallway where most of us couldn't see the life vest demonstration.
- Dinner service lasted well beyond 7:00 the first three nights. Part of the problem may have been a disconnect between dining staff and the kitchen. Also, the network for their digital tablets, as well as for passenger Wi-Fi was down much of the time which may have slowed things down. The lateness of the meals precluded making it to the Main Stage in time to get seats for the first show. The Maître-D managed to get service up to speed for three days before it reverted to the original slow pace for the remainder of our 11 day cruise.
Hopefully, these are issues that get ironed out before subsequent sailings. In the meantime we'll avoid the Pinnacle Class and stick with ships in the Statendam, Signature and Vista categories.
On the plus side:
- The newly installed LED walls for the Main Stage are great. They allow for multiple backdrops and "projection" screens much like the, on a smaller scale, for the LED backdrops on Vista class ships. It took a couple days out of drydock before they got the bugs ironed out. The LED pitch is about one-fourth inch (6mm) but the individual pixels are not apparent unless you get up very close. Well worth the wait.
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The only issue that we had was the distance from the toilet to the glass on the shower stall. It was necessary to sit at about a 20 degree angle to the toilet to keep from smacking our knees on the glass. Another six inches between would have made a huge difference.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
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DominicaIn this port our ship docked quite some distance from the pier downtown. There was a flea market at our dock but not much else. We joined three other couples for a bus tour that lasted a couple hours. Based on the narrow roads and lack of contiguous sidewalks I wouldn't consider walking from the ship to the shops in town.View All 699 Dominica Cruise Port Reviews
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MartiniqueWe walked to the Cathedral Saint-Louis and the Pre-Columbian Museum. One thing to keep in mind is that the museum is operated by the government and only accepts Euros. Admission for seniors is just 2 Euros each. Unfortunately, we only had U.S. dollars. There is a currency exchange around the corner on Rue Ernest Deproge. The exchange fee greatly exceeded the cost of admission so we wound up missing out on the museum.View All 354 Martinique Cruise Port Reviews
Reminder to self - Take along some Euros the next time.
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St. LuciaWe didn't wander far from the ship while ashore here.View All 1,384 St. Lucia Cruise Port Reviews
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St. MaartenWe had been to St. Maarten before and went on a circle the island tour then. This trip we opted to take the water taxi to the east end of Phillipsburg and did a little shopping.View All 4,700 St. Maarten Cruise Port Reviews
One point of interest though is that the walk from the ship to the water taxi is quite long. Last time we were here with HAL we tendered in to a pier in the center of town which worked out much better.
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Island TourSt. Thomas USVI was the best stop on this cruise. We had been here before but only explored the shops at the port and downtown back then. On this repeat visit we joined a handful of others on a mini-bus tour.View All 262 Island Tour Reviews
The shopping map provided by the ship didn't reflect that fact that some stores at the cruise port were still closed due to hurricane damage. This included the same places that the ship provided coupons for like Del Sol, Milano and Cariloha.
It is a pretty long walk from the Crown Bay dock to the taxi stand and we were unable to find a golf cart or other shuttle between the two.