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Koningsdam Review

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
778 reviews

Fantastic, big and noisy but you can find reprieve

Review for Koningsdam to the Mediterranean
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madsab
6-10 Cruises • Age 40s

Rating by category

Cabin
Embarkation
Dining
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Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jul 2019
Cabin: Verandah Stateroom

Picked this cruise for my husband and I to explore more of the west Mediterranean. It's the biggest ship we've been on so far, and had some reservations, as we preferred the smaller but more classic Rotterdam before. There was about 2900 passengers and it was most noticeable in the Main Dining Room during Anytime Dining as service was slow during peak hours. We even saw a family bring in cards to play while waiting for their food. After a few times, we opted to have dinner in the specialty restaurants or eat casually in the convenience of the Lido Buffet, which made for more pleasant experience in terms of ambience and getting to know the waiters.

We had lunch at Pinnacle Grill, with tasty bread service, very attentive wait staff and deliciously moist Alaska Salmon and Cod sandwich - I'd go back given the choice. Dinner at Tamarind was pretty good: overlooks the adult swimming pool and has great sunset views, the wait staff was so congenial and attentive with tea and cloths. Appetizers were smaller than expected but very tasty. Mains veered on the larger side but were decent interpretations for asian cuisine. I'd give the fried crab rice a pass though (cold crab meat on top of regular soy fried rice) and do the regular steam rice with the curries. Rudy's Sel De Mer restaurant portions are significantly larger than either Pinnacle or Tamarind, so we definitely overate and over-ordered, as their complimentary surprise food items made it hard to finish the meal. The service was great though and I would definitely only order 1 of each course, since each portion was huge compared to other restaurants. Canaletto was alright, but a little exposed to the rest of the lido deck for my taste. Turns out they have custom order pasta at the Lido deck anyways so your pick in the end.

Otherwise we thoroughly enjoyed the spa's water therapy pools everynight and enjoyed the dance shows on Centre Stage. Excursion talks seemed better than other lines - teaching you more about the cities, not just trying to sell you the excursion, sad I missed out on them till the end. Their in-room entertainment service is awesome, lots of new on-demand movies. The Kitchen Tour was neat but you could definitely find areas to lounge and relax in by the Explorer's Lounge, upstairs of Lido Deck and in the Dutch cafe.

Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom

Cabin VF

Deck 4 (Beethoven) Verandah's are double the size as the above decks. However, were above the Dining Room and Service doors, so could hear banging when coming into port and when workers used those doors. However, the noise was acceptable, as I wear ear plugs normally anyways, and you could enjoy the Verandah with a great breeze and shade when travelling eastwards. I'd choose it again.

Port Reviews

Cartagena (Spain)

Port is very short walk thru pedestrian friendly downtown. Research the sites and decide which sites you want to visit and save money with a combo pack. All the ruins and stadiums are walkable distance from each other. On port days, it appears they setup a farmers market for the tourists as well. We arrived on Sunday so many shops were closed but tourist sites stayed open and we ate at 100 Montecitos (where they had 1 euro sale on miniature tapa sandwiches - sundays and weds).

Gibraltar

Walk into town is alright, but along narrow streets with busy traffic adjacent. Ship's shuttle ($) didn't appear efficient - long lineups and no buses. Check to see how many boats are in port when you arrive. We made the mistake of ordering online for the Cable Car ride to the top of the mountain, but due to the number of tourists in town (2 boats worth), it took 1.5 hours just to get up there (not the 6 minutes they advertise). Don't trust Google "how busy' is it, they can't track the anomalies. We had plenty of taxis offer to take us up for 30-40euros, but we were locked in since we pre-paid tickets. You can honestly pre-pay once you get there and see how the lineup is. Or go with boat's package - I think they had a side entrance specific for them. View from the top is alight, but you can't see Africa due to summer haze (mid-July), clear views in winter only apparently. In town, lots of duty free alcohol and cosmetics - best attraction based on the number of stores. They don't really accept UK pounds (we brought some, but they refused quite a few bills) as they have their own Gibraltar pounds, but Euro will have a 20% premium on it. If you want to avoid the hassle, just stay on the boat, which is what a few passengers I met afterwards say.

Marseille

Take the ship's bus into town for 16 bucks, not worth the hassle and wait of walking or taking public transit. The buses were continuous and took you straight into town. After you get off, we took stairs up to viewpoint by the Mucem and wandered to the Charity Museum which had really interesting artifacts. Ambled thru Old Town and enjoyed a long relaxing french meal on a patio at Table D'Augustine. We took la petit train to the Cathedral and was glad not to walk, but it was definitely more exhaust-filled with busy traffic. Bought soap in town but found the market at the Ship's port was comparable and had good deals too.

Monaco (Monte Carlo)

Tenders docked us in Fontvielle (because multiple ships in town), but that ended up closer to the Monaco Car Collection museum and bus stop for #100 Place d'Armes for the bus that took us to Nice (3 euros for 2 people). For bus ride don't bother with day passes or ticket packs, just have lots of change. Nice was wonderful and busy with Farmers Market (Sunday) and better prices on soap than Marseille. Walked the seaside, ate in Old Town, wandered the shops and headed back at least 3 hours before last call. Gave us plenty of time to catch a returning 100 bus at Le Port (note that dropoff and pickup locations are different) between Rue Rusca and Rue Arson. View on bus is nice and probably the same as a actual tour bus (same road) though you miss the commentary. Didn't get to visit Monte Carlo much - next visit instead!

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