We are cruisers and were anxious to get back to the seas so we booked the first two itineraries being offered on the Koningsdam in October out of San Diego. The first week was the California coast and the second week was Mexico. This was our third cruise on the Koningsdam and our 10th and 11th HAL cruise. It was nice to know that all passengers had to be fully vaccinated and present a negative antigen test as part of the boarding requirements. On board, it was mandatory to wear mask unless eating and drinking, or actively working out in the gym or in the pool. Although, at most entertainment venues many people would remove their masks once seated. It was difficult at the best of times to practice social distancing even though the ship was at about 50% capacity.
We love the Koningsdam and it seems as though they have spent considerable efforts painting and cleaning up the ship during COVID19. One change from when we were last on her is the relocation of the Lincoln Center Stage to the BB Kings stage and they have placed additional slot machines in the space beside the Ocean Bar that they previously played at.
We didn’t really notice any enhanced cleaning around the ship for COVID19, it seemed very much as before. And rarely did we see staff positioned near the handwashing or sanitizing stations in the food venues encouraging passengers to wash their hands. All staff wear N95 masks all the times, many of them double masked. And the tender boats were loaded up, so no social distancing there! HAL has attempted to reduce/minimize paper so all bars and dining venues have QR codes you can scan for the menus. However, if you don’t have a smart device they will rustle up a paper copy for you. As before, they encourage you to use the Navigator app to find out what’s going on around the ship. A rather ‘lite’ paper about the when and where is placed in your cabin each day. We were given a rapid antigen test a few days before the end of the first cruise and then a PCR test the day before we disembarked the ship (a requirement for us to fly home to Canada). All PCR testing was complimentary.