My husband and I are in our mid-30's/early 40's. During the holiday season, we always take a cruise. For the past four years, we've taken NCL cruises. This year, we decided to take a cruise on the Koningsdam. We already had 3 HAL cruises under our belts, but those were all out of the Pacific Northwest. We were unsure about a HAL cruise in the Caribbean because the ports are less of a feature than on an Alaskan itinerary. What did we think? We absolutely loved the Koningsdam!! I'm mystified why there are so many low reviews. So far, this is our favorite HAL experience.
Cruise Info: 7 Day Eastern Caribbean - December 15-22, 2019
Embarkation: We spent 2 nights at an Airbnb in Fort Lauderdale. We took a Lyft to Port Everglades and arrived around 11am. Embarkation was smooth. Check-in went by quickly, and there was plenty of space to wait in the terminal. By noon, we were on the ship and enjoying lunch in the main dining room.
This is a great cabin! It was quiet and had beautiful views on the balcony. The bed is very large, and we could both comfortably sit on the couch. We had more than enough storage space. (There are even drawers at the foot of the bed.) The TV allows you to check your onboard account. HAL has thankfully done away with the bathtubs. Instead, we had a large shower. The shower head is detachable and offers great water pressure. I had read complaints about the angle of the toilet, but we did not have any issues.
We spent 2 nights at an Airbnb in Fort Lauderdale. We visited Hugh Birch Taylor State Park and enjoyed hiking around. The park offers beach access and views of the intracoastal waterways. We enjoyed lunch at the restaurant there (Park & Ocean).
Our ship docked in the Old Town area. We were able to walk along the water and visit both forts (El Morro & San Cristobal). They are run by the US National Parks Service. Combined admission cost $7. We enjoyed exploring the forts and hiking around. We encountered many cats and iguanas along our journey.
If you turn left after disembarking, you end up a crowded public beach. Instead, we turned right and ventured past the port area. We were able find a quiet beach area. There is not much to do in this port.
Beautiful views from the ship. Nothing but shops on land. We ventured out for 5 minutes and then came right back.