Our 21 day cruise leaving in late August was chosen for the time of year and weather. School has started is most places so we only had 3 children that I saw on the ship. 2 infants and an 11 year old (who you could tell was absolutely bored beyond tears, we felt badly for him.) The big shock was the weather, we were expecting and hoping for cooler weather and when we landed in AMS it was over 90 degrees. We were hoping it would get cooler and it did, but the cruise ended up being much warmer than you would think for the time of year and where we were going! The Konnigsdam was a new ship and we were disappointed with no announcements or commentary in our room like on other ships. They usually have a volume button you can choose to have it ON or off. When you have a balcony and want to utilize it and enjoy the view AND hear the commentary that is being provided everywhere else on the ship, it is expected. NOT on the NEW Konnigsdam... what a waste, you have to go to a public area. Unless they have changed that feature, it is a BIG LET DOWN. You are cruising in beautiful fiords and cannot hear one thing about them on the balcony. Also quite a few of the public areas are small. You have to get there extremely early if you want a seat or to lean against a wall. I think they took away room from some areas for the new wine, food and some other things that only cater to 1/3 of the people. We thought the cooking venue space was a waste, its a fad. The movies out by the pool were fun with the wool blankets and the top closed. It is unfortunate that the hydro pools are now cut off from the general population and costs extra to use. It comes out to 15.00 a day Per Person. If you have money to burn, great, if not, it isn't worth it, but greatly missed. The ports we visited were amazing. We chose to get out of the cites and see the countryside. After you have visited the town hall and some Cathedrals in Europe, many are alike... of course there are exceptions. The food was great! We would eat in the dining room and the buffet. The staff was amazing. Overall a GREAT Cruise, we were just disappointed in the new ship.
Very clean and nice and new. Like the outdoor patio furniture. We were VERY disappointed that you could not hear the commentary that was piped everywhere EXCEPT our rooms when utilizing our balcony. Going through beautiful fiords, or the waterway leading up to Stockholm etc. There used to be a volume knob in your room so you could listen or NOT. Not on this ship. VERY POOR planning. Also as I recall they didn't play the lectures about the ports in the rooms either.
Just expect crowds at the places during the day.... the Hermitage and the Winter Palace was AMAZING at night on a private tour with Holland America.. the only way to really view anything up close.View All 114 Amber Room Reviews
Expect long lines and them moving you along. But worth seeing the summer palace.View All 226 Catherine Palace Reviews
AMAZING!!!!!! Tour guide was extremely knowledgeable, you could see everything up close and drink it all in. I was very embarrassed by the one "Ugly American couple" asking the tour guide personal inappropriate questions etc. The rest of us tried to make up for them. Incredible tour in my top 3 excursions of this trip.View All 377 Hermitage Museum Reviews
We went out of town and toured an old monastery. If you had been anywhere else there would have been ropes up and barriers and NO ENTRY signs. We got to walk, climb steps and go anywhere we wanted. Do realistically keep in mind your abilities before going up to the top turret! AMAZING. Wish we could have had more time. What a beautiful place and where we had lunch was quaint, pretty, more ruins... loved every minute of it!View All undefined undefined Reviews