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We flew into Rome two days early. Keep in mind that the cruise does NOT start from Rome (Rome is inland), rather it starts at the port city of Civitavecchia, a 60 minute train ride from Rome. The train terminal was a bit confusing on where were to go to get on our train. We had to walk through a department store and eventually found the way to the tracks. However, there wasn’t anyone really directing us to the proper train nor were there any signs or porters to ask if we were getting on the right train. So, we hopped on and luckily it was the correct train. For second-class tickets, 4.5 Euros/per person was a pretty good price. We had plenty of room, initially, until more stops were made and more passengers got on board. Still, not a problem. I had to keep track of our location on Google maps to know what the next stop was. Since we had luggage in the overhead bins, I wanted to start getting it down in advance of the stop. Once we got off, we had to go down several flights of stairs carrying our luggage (some of it rather heavy) and back up the other side since there were no escalators. Once out, we had to figure out where and which local bus to take to the actual port. It was fairly easy to guess since there were a lot of other people with luggage waiting at curbside. Eventually one bus came and everyone started to crowd towards it and a few minutes later, another one came. It felt like a rather like a crazy cattle drive to get on. The bus cost 2 Euros per person. On port days, there should have been some sort of queue lines set up by the local bus authority. The bus took us to the port where WE had to transfer all of our luggage to another bus provided by Holland which then took us to the check in pavilion. The check in pavilion (managed by the port authority) was mildly chaotic. Embarkation: We arrived around 1:30and the check in process from the Holland America side was very smooth. It was not busy when we arrived to check in and we were on board within20 minutes. Room was ready and clean. Dining and food: The food is at the level we have expected: good to excellent. We are ovo-lacto vegetarians and have used only the main dining room (MDR) and the Lido buffet, since pretty much all of the specialty dinning areas center around meat. As noted in other posts, the Lido buffet is served to you, you do not have access to the food personally. There are a few items that you can grab on your own. Most of the time the wait for food was not too long, but you have to choose the right time to be there. However, it is a departure from the two other cruise lines we have travelled. Also, we found that they closed off one side early and then closed at 8:30 PM. After that there is a “make your own pizza” grill. As I found out later (by reading the daily cruise information sheet)the lido buffet closes at 8:30 and one station opens at 10:30, but has limited selection for a vegetarian. The “manned” buffet line was anywhere from a minimal nuisance to an aggravating nuisance. But most of the time it was tolerable. The busiest lines were for the meats. The other thing I didn’t care for was the lack of drink variety. Unfortunately, there were only 3 water stations in the Lido buffet. They need more. Additionally they have only water and iced tea. Other cruise lines have multiple drink station with a variety of drinks available all the time. Lemonade was available, but was served by the waiters that come to to your table. There were many times you had to wait a while for an initial fill or a refill. I had read in other comments that it was hard to find seating, but I didn’t found it much different from other cruise lines. No signs designating the hours of operation of the Lido buffet. On one evening after a long day on a shore excursion with the boat leaving dock just after 8, they were closing down the buffet line at 8:45. This was very frustrating because my family and I got back on board at 7:30 and the four of us had to shower. We made it to the buffet around 8:35, believing that it closed at 9. While I was holding a table and the family got food, they started closing. I quickly ran up to one window and got a bunch of potatoes; baked, mashed and au-gratin. There was nothing else open. Even the ice cream station closed. There was one place you can get food on the pool deck (New York Deli and Pizza) until midnight, but it was a 30 minute wait on that day. Main Dining Room: They have a special vegetarian menu that has more options than other cruise lines. However, you must order your meal one day in advance. Additionally the menu is static. We found that sometimes the main menu typically will have one vegetarian option, that is better than what was on the vegetarian menu. With our first specialty meal that we ordered, it took quite a while to get it when we got to the MDR. We made a brief comment to the waiter and the next day we got a note from the dining staff apologizing for the delay in preparing our meal and a plate of chocolate dipped strawberries. We signed up for flex meal times. Most of the time we were able to get in within 15 minutes, sometimes right away. This was contrary to what I had read in other posts that stated much longer wait times Dress attire was not as rigid as I had read in other posts. We went in shorts and sandals the first evening of the cruise. However, long pants were required for the rest of the cruise in the MDR. There were two Gala Nights in which they recommended dress up. I saw lots of full suits with tie, dress clothes, jackets and even more casual clothing such as blue jeans and shorts (in kids). Amenities: This is the newest (2016) and nicest boat we have been on. Basic stateroom with veranda was similar in size to other rooms we have had. There was a bit more storage in the room. It was much nicer and had new furniture and appliances. Our room had a refrigerator. The shower had a glass door that opens, rather than a shower curtain we have had on other ships. The shower even has a small foot-rest to facilitate leg shaving! The bathroom seemed a bit larger than bathrooms on our other cruises. No water slides and no fancy 5-7 story glass elevators. The auditorium was very nice with very few supporting columns to block the view of the stage. There were 6 columns total, three on each side, very peripheral. As a nice touch, there were no seats directly behind the columns for a couple or rows behind. Thus, every seat had an unobstructed view of the stage. Contrary to what I had read in other one-star posts, I found that there was plenty of seating; no different than other cruise lines. I calculated at least 700 seats (I spoke with one of the cruise personnel) available, contrary to other posts I reviewed. We didn’t have problems finding seats, but we arrived 10-15 minutes early, sometimes only 5 minutes early. Some shows we arrived just a few minutes before and had no problems finding seats. The audio and visuals were state of the art and impressive. In general the shows were average, with some being very good and some very mediocre. We were surprised to have only one comedian (mediocre) during our 10 day cruise. Our other, shorter cruises usually had two comedians per cruise. Our kids really look forward to the comedy shows. Miscellaneous: I was impressed with the number of people and the attention to keeping boat clean. I frequently saw someone cleaning the handrails, glass and other nooks and crannies. I saw several maintenance workers sanding and repainting various surfaces. One evening they were out cleaning and buffing the main lido deck around the pool area. At two ports the hull was being painted. Kudos: One person of mention: Neil. He was a server on the Lido buffet line. His station served crepes in the morning, along with other items. He is from Indonesia, speaks 8 languages and has a photographic memory. He says he knew 700 passenger names from the prior cruise. He remembered all our names after one meeting and always addressed us by name each time we visited his station and asked about the other family members by name if we didn’t come together.

Wonderful new ship

Koningsdam Cruise Review by tchsurg

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2019
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom
We flew into Rome two days early. Keep in mind that the cruise does NOT start from Rome (Rome is inland), rather it starts at the port city of Civitavecchia, a 60 minute train ride from Rome. The train terminal was a bit confusing on where were to go to get on our train. We had to walk through a department store and eventually found the way to the tracks. However, there wasn’t anyone really directing us to the proper train nor were there any signs or porters to ask if we were getting on the right train. So, we hopped on and luckily it was the correct train. For second-class tickets, 4.5 Euros/per person was a pretty good price. We had plenty of room, initially, until more stops were made and more passengers got on board. Still, not a problem. I had to keep track of our location on Google maps to know what the next stop was. Since we had luggage in the overhead bins, I wanted to start getting it down in advance of the stop. Once we got off, we had to go down several flights of stairs carrying our luggage (some of it rather heavy) and back up the other side since there were no escalators. Once out, we had to figure out where and which local bus to take to the actual port. It was fairly easy to guess since there were a lot of other people with luggage waiting at curbside. Eventually one bus came and everyone started to crowd towards it and a few minutes later, another one came. It felt like a rather like a crazy cattle drive to get on. The bus cost 2 Euros per person. On port days, there should have been some sort of queue lines set up by the local bus authority. The bus took us to the port where WE had to transfer all of our luggage to another bus provided by Holland which then took us to the check in pavilion. The check in pavilion (managed by the port authority) was mildly chaotic.

Embarkation:

We arrived around 1:30and the check in process from the Holland America side was very smooth. It was not busy when we arrived to check in and we were on board within20 minutes. Room was ready and clean.

Dining and food:

The food is at the level we have expected: good to excellent. We are ovo-lacto vegetarians and have used only the main dining room (MDR) and the Lido buffet, since pretty much all of the specialty dinning areas center around meat.

As noted in other posts, the Lido buffet is served to you, you do not have access to the food personally. There are a few items that you can grab on your own. Most of the time the wait for food was not too long, but you have to choose the right time to be there. However, it is a departure from the two other cruise lines we have travelled. Also, we found that they closed off one side early and then closed at 8:30 PM. After that there is a “make your own pizza” grill. As I found out later (by reading the daily cruise information sheet)the lido buffet closes at 8:30 and one station opens at 10:30, but has limited selection for a vegetarian.

The “manned” buffet line was anywhere from a minimal nuisance to an aggravating nuisance. But most of the time it was tolerable. The busiest lines were for the meats.

The other thing I didn’t care for was the lack of drink variety. Unfortunately, there were only 3 water stations in the Lido buffet. They need more. Additionally they have only water and iced tea. Other cruise lines have multiple drink station with a variety of drinks available all the time. Lemonade was available, but was served by the waiters that come to to your table. There were many times you had to wait a while for an initial fill or a refill. I had read in other comments that it was hard to find seating, but I didn’t found it much different from other cruise lines.

No signs designating the hours of operation of the Lido buffet. On one evening after a long day on a shore excursion with the boat leaving dock just after 8, they were closing down the buffet line at 8:45. This was very frustrating because my family and I got back on board at 7:30 and the four of us had to shower. We made it to the buffet around 8:35, believing that it closed at 9. While I was holding a table and the family got food, they started closing. I quickly ran up to one window and got a bunch of potatoes; baked, mashed and au-gratin. There was nothing else open. Even the ice cream station closed. There was one place you can get food on the pool deck (New York Deli and Pizza) until midnight, but it was a 30 minute wait on that day.

Main Dining Room: They have a special vegetarian menu that has more options than other cruise lines. However, you must order your meal one day in advance. Additionally the menu is static. We found that sometimes the main menu typically will have one vegetarian option, that is better than what was on the vegetarian menu.

With our first specialty meal that we ordered, it took quite a while to get it when we got to the MDR. We made a brief comment to the waiter and the next day we got a note from the dining staff apologizing for the delay in preparing our meal and a plate of chocolate dipped strawberries.

We signed up for flex meal times. Most of the time we were able to get in within 15 minutes, sometimes right away. This was contrary to what I had read in other posts that stated much longer wait times

Dress attire was not as rigid as I had read in other posts. We went in shorts and sandals the first evening of the cruise. However, long pants were required for the rest of the cruise in the MDR. There were two Gala Nights in which they recommended dress up. I saw lots of full suits with tie, dress clothes, jackets and even more casual clothing such as blue jeans and shorts (in kids).

Amenities:

This is the newest (2016) and nicest boat we have been on. Basic stateroom with veranda was similar in size to other rooms we have had. There was a bit more storage in the room. It was much nicer and had new furniture and appliances. Our room had a refrigerator. The shower had a glass door that opens, rather than a shower curtain we have had on other ships. The shower even has a small foot-rest to facilitate leg shaving! The bathroom seemed a bit larger than bathrooms on our other cruises.

No water slides and no fancy 5-7 story glass elevators.

The auditorium was very nice with very few supporting columns to block the view of the stage. There were 6 columns total, three on each side, very peripheral. As a nice touch, there were no seats directly behind the columns for a couple or rows behind. Thus, every seat had an unobstructed view of the stage. Contrary to what I had read in other one-star posts, I found that there was plenty of seating; no different than other cruise lines. I calculated at least 700 seats (I spoke with one of the cruise personnel) available, contrary to other posts I reviewed. We didn’t have problems finding seats, but we arrived 10-15 minutes early, sometimes only 5 minutes early. Some shows we arrived just a few minutes before and had no problems finding seats. The audio and visuals were state of the art and impressive.

In general the shows were average, with some being very good and some very mediocre. We were surprised to have only one comedian (mediocre) during our 10 day cruise. Our other, shorter cruises usually had two comedians per cruise. Our kids really look forward to the comedy shows.

Miscellaneous:

I was impressed with the number of people and the attention to keeping boat clean. I frequently saw someone cleaning the handrails, glass and other nooks and crannies. I saw several maintenance workers sanding and repainting various surfaces. One evening they were out cleaning and buffing the main lido deck around the pool area. At two ports the hull was being painted.

Kudos:

One person of mention: Neil. He was a server on the Lido buffet line. His station served crepes in the morning, along with other items. He is from Indonesia, speaks 8 languages and has a photographic memory. He says he knew 700 passenger names from the prior cruise. He remembered all our names after one meeting and always addressed us by name each time we visited his station and asked about the other family members by name if we didn’t come together.
tchsurg’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom
Cabin V
New amenities. Plenty of american electrical outlets and USB ports.
Shower had a nice swinging glass door and a foot rest for women (and men) who want to shave their legs.
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