This was my second cruise on Holland America. The others have been on Princess. The Koningsdam is an attractive ship with a full promenade deck. Unlike many ships that outdo themselves with gaudiness, Koningsdam's decor is understated and easy to live with. I was on the ship for two weeks, the first week in an interior cabin, and the second week in a verandah cabin. When I cruise, I spend as little time in the cabin as possible. It is for sleeping and showering. Most days I walk a few miles around the promenade deck, and elsewhere on the decks outside, armed with binoculars and ready for whatever bird or swimming mammal shows itself. I also catch up on my reading.
During both weeks, the ship operated at about 40% of guest capacity, so between 1100 and 1200 guests. Just under 900 crewmembers were sailing. It was wonderful to cruise on such an uncrowded ship, with plenty of space in the public rooms, no crowds in the buffet ever, and an unharried, attentive crew.
One of the two most positive things about this cruise was the HAL crew, who to a person provided friendly, excellent service. Our beverage runner in the dining room mentioned that, during the pandemic-induced hiatus in the cruise business, he survived by helping his mother sell dried fish on the island he comes from. Yes, he was happy to be back at work on the ship.
The interior cabin was barely enough for two people to share, although storage space was adequate. The shower was a generous size. An aggravating thing about HAL's website is that, even when a person chooses a specific cabin to book, HAL does not provide the actual size of that cabin. Instead, they state a range, something like 140-225 square feet, which obviously cannot be true with respect to one specific cabin. The only place to sit in my interior cabin was on the bed.
The worst thing about the interior cabin was its location on Deck 4 above the B. B. King Lounge. The intrusion of sound and vibration during evening performances was so bad that, after one night, I went to the Guest Services desk to ask for a cabin change. The HAL crew member graciously and without hesitation moved us to another cabin in the same price category after first escorting me to the new cabin to get my approval. I don't think HAL should ever put a paying guest into a cabin that is as unpleasant as that first cabin on Deck 4. But I have learned the lesson: Study the deck plan well before choosing a place to sleep!
The verandah cabin I stayed in the second week was larger, with a small couch and just enough space to walk. However, I must mention that, unlike any cabin I have had on a Princess ship, there were times when the sound of the television in the cabin next to ours came through the wall.
I found the HAL mattresses to be firm, yet supremely comfortable.
So boring....been there, now I know to remain on the ship.
A place that feels real, not just for tourists. I like nothing better than to set off walking into one random neighborhood or another and just keep my eyes open.