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41 Rome (Civitavecchia) to Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

This is my 27 cruise. My third on HAL. We chose this cruise for the great itinerary and Koningsdam being a fairly new ship. The experience was wonderful. The quality of the food and selection were some of the best we have had. There ... Read More
This is my 27 cruise. My third on HAL. We chose this cruise for the great itinerary and Koningsdam being a fairly new ship. The experience was wonderful. The quality of the food and selection were some of the best we have had. There are several dining options. We had "anytime dining" and never had to wait for a table in the main dining room. The lines in the Lido Buffet for breakfast and lunch moved quickly. Having a pizza custom made at "NYC Pizza & Deli" made for a great late night snack. Cabins are slightly smaller than other HAL ships. We had a "family stateroom" which was plenty of room for the two of us. Entertainment was Hit or Miss. The ships singers and dancers were good. Some of the quest performers were just okay. HAL is trying to give more of a contemporary twist with the new stage and format. If one likes classical music Lincoln Center Stage Live put on wonderful performances. BB King live was pop and Jazz music. There were enough music venues for anyone's taste. The staff and crew were as always very friendly and went out of there way to make our experience extra special. It is obvious the HAL executives are looking to attract a younger demographic with this new class of ship. This new Pinnacle Class is going to be competition for Celebrity. We would definitely consider taking another cruise on the Koningsdam. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Koningsdam suited us perfectly. We’d a private transfer from the airport to the ship which took about 50 minutes. Embarkation was easy and our luggage didn’t take long to arrive. Food was plentiful and delicious. Didn’t use any of ... Read More
Koningsdam suited us perfectly. We’d a private transfer from the airport to the ship which took about 50 minutes. Embarkation was easy and our luggage didn’t take long to arrive. Food was plentiful and delicious. Didn’t use any of the specialty restaurants, only used the Lido for breakfast & lunch and the open dining for dinner. No problem to get a table for two. Staff were all friendly and polite. Cabin was well appointed with plenty space in drawers and wardrobes. Bathroom was fine with a lovely large shower space with glass door and side. Theatre was large with 3 impressive screens. We didn’t the evening shows so can’t comment on them. The gym was well equipped with plenty of machines. Can’t comment on the spa as we didn’t use it. The crows nest is a lovely space but I do miss having a library and also miss having a self service laundry Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The choice was a birthday present from our kids and it was a great discovery. This is our first cruise. The staff was very nice, very professional, attentive. Special thanks to Fabrizio Cerruti, the hotel manager. Henry Halloy, the ... Read More
The choice was a birthday present from our kids and it was a great discovery. This is our first cruise. The staff was very nice, very professional, attentive. Special thanks to Fabrizio Cerruti, the hotel manager. Henry Halloy, the assistant director of the cruise, was incredibly generous, listening to our every detail. We also want to thank Frédéric for his impeccable service, his Francophonie, his smile, and his good advice. the cruise is rather romantic, cozy, hushed. We really appreciated the quality of the restaurants, the variety of menus, the freshness of the products, the talent of the chef. We did not take advantage of the pool which turns out to be quite small. The shows are of quality: violin, singing, magician ... the animation was perfect and Mr. Henry Halloy embodies this perfection. A lot of elegance! This first cruise in our life will remain etched in our memory, and the only desire is to go back on board! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We have now sailed on Koningsdam for 52 days over the last 18 months. Being a newer ship it has lots of great features. USB port in room. Glass enclosed large shower. TV with many options. Doors and drawers that automatically close. Buffet ... Read More
We have now sailed on Koningsdam for 52 days over the last 18 months. Being a newer ship it has lots of great features. USB port in room. Glass enclosed large shower. TV with many options. Doors and drawers that automatically close. Buffet area is well organized and food is delicious! Crew are polite and actually notice you. Cruise director is the best we have had and we have sailed 20 times! Holland got this ship right. Entertainment is not as good as some but plenty of venues to be entertained. The only problem we experienced was not Holland's fault but our own for choosing Tuscany Bus for an excursion. They cancelled without refund. It was the one time we wished we had booked through Holland. We sail again on Koningsdam in early January 2019, can't wait! Would highly recommend this ship especially those who have only sailed with other cruise lines. You won't be dissappointed! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We embarked for our cruise in Civitavecchia on 9/28/18. We flew into Rome that morning and used Holland America's transfer to get to the port. We were very happy we opted for the transfer with Holland America, simply for ease of use. ... Read More
We embarked for our cruise in Civitavecchia on 9/28/18. We flew into Rome that morning and used Holland America's transfer to get to the port. We were very happy we opted for the transfer with Holland America, simply for ease of use. There were Holland America Employees directing us as soon as we left the terminal to point us toward baggage claim and where to catch our bus. We decided on Holland America for our Honeymoon due to the itinerary and the more laid back feel advertised by Holland America, and we were not disappointed! The ship was beautiful and while there were a lot of people on board, we were always able to find somewhere to sit and walk right in with Anytime Dining. As soon as we boarded around 11 am, we were able to visit our room and grab a quick lunch (we chose New York Pizza and Deli! So so good!) and meet our room stewards. Our luggage was delivered about 2 hours later. We had a very port intensive cruise, and decided to get the spa package (access to the thermal pool, ceramic loungers, steam rooms, and a variety of showers). We booked it a few days into the cruise and spent $99 each. We used it daily after our excursions and always felt so refreshed! We enjoyed visiting the panorama bar for Martini Sampling, and the shows on the World Stage. All of the staff we encountered were always so friendly. Even when we would see the staff enjoying time off in port, they always took time to speak to other travelers who saw them (a quick tip: Let these people take time off when you see them in port! A friendly smile is enough, don't flag them down and start peppering them with questions. They deserve time NOT dealing with cruisers :)) The food in the Lido was okay, but never really had a "hot and fresh" impression. We ordered room service for breakfast, but got the same feeling that our food had been plated a while before making it's way to us. Room service was always prompt and convenient, so we opted for pastries and cereals when we ordered. We enjoyed all of our ports with the exception of Corfu Greece (there was nothing wrong here, just nothing note worthy. We wouldn't go out of our way to visit here again). Pompeii was a highlight along with Dubrovnik and Kotor! We opted to self disembark and that was very painless! We spent a few days in Rome after our cruise and truly had the trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The Seabourn Encore looks beautiful outside and inside. We boarded in Barcelona for 20 days cruising the western and central Mediterranean before returning to Barcelona. It was a great trip. But there were shortcomings. For wha we paid, we ... Read More
The Seabourn Encore looks beautiful outside and inside. We boarded in Barcelona for 20 days cruising the western and central Mediterranean before returning to Barcelona. It was a great trip. But there were shortcomings. For wha we paid, we expected a little more. The ship, which resembles a yacht, is easy to get around in. The main dining rooms are attractive. The suites, while not huge, are very nice with a sofa, two chairs, a table, a comfortable bed, a walk-in closet, a tiny dressing stand, and plenty of storage space. Bathrooms include a tub and shower--small and barely adequate. The veranda is good for two people. The ship is well maintained. We had cabin 837, a perfect location. The staff was mostly friendly and outgoing, although the old Seabourn custom of remembering your name doesn't work with 600 passengers. Drinks are included in your fare, and waiters were anxious to keep glasses filled. Some of the food was good, some very good, and some excellent. Desserts and salads were particularly good. We only had a couple of dishes that didn't pass muster. The wine was just fine, although we're well aware it's not $50 a bottle wine. Service in the dining rooms could be good, or it could be slow. The wait staff didn't always appear organized, and some staffers were not very accomplished. One room service breakfast came 30 minutes late, and the waiter dropped a glass of orange juice at our front door. Not an example for the cruise pamphlet. The Colonnade sometimes had quirky and unappealing menus. Seabourn would do far better by returning to the Lido Buffet concept with buffets in the morning, noon and evening. The captain spoke to us daily, but if you missed his talk you were out of luck. The ship should do far better at providing details about the progress of the trip. Announcements over the loud speaker are strictly limited, which is good, but the television system should fill the blanks by providing lots of information for us to access when we want. It didn't. There were other examples of a less-than-luxury cruise. There is no free internet, and we were informed of that rather rudely when we asked. There is one room with five washing machines for all the passengers. Not very considerate. The dress code wasn't clear, and standards wasn't enforced. Unsupervised children needed to be called down by ship staff, but weren't. The Seabourn Square is a very pleasant place, but the “guest services” staffers frequently didn't have answers to questions. The destinations/shore excursion programs need an overhaul. One ship tour was inaccurately described. Once we were told a free shuttle would take us to the city center, but in fact it dropped us off a half a mile away. Shore excursions were overpriced, as on many ships, dnd didn't consider passengers with mobility issues. We needed more information, such as when we would cruise past the Rock of Gibraltar. It wasn't forthcoming. There were great unexpected touches. A flamenco show was added late in the afternoon before we left Malaga. But overall, while we had a fine time, we expected a little more from such an expensive “luxury” cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I think we may have found the Goldilocks ship on this ten day cruise. This is, first of all, a beautifully decorated ship in every way, colors, designs, spaces are all lovely in a muted but sophisticated way. Kudos to whoever is ... Read More
I think we may have found the Goldilocks ship on this ten day cruise. This is, first of all, a beautifully decorated ship in every way, colors, designs, spaces are all lovely in a muted but sophisticated way. Kudos to whoever is responsible for this. I have probably been on twenty ships from a dozen different lines over the years and I cannot think of a better one. The ship is designed so that basically, all of the cabins are pretty much forward and all of the "activities" are aft. This way, there is nobody bouncing down your hall on the way to something 24/7. None of the cabins is far from some elevator. We were in 655 which was a "standard" balcony cabin on deck 6, but otherwise not at all "standard." While the actual size may be more or less the same as most other upscale ships, it seemed much larger and, for example, I know the bathroom was larger with separate full length tub and free standing shower and two sinks. Major storage everywhere, a pleasant seating area, fridge, dining table, balcony, furniture, set-ups etc. all of the first order. Most of the "white suit" crew was the usual array of east/west European although not exclusively. Every single member of the crew warranted five stars for attitude and graciousness. The area called Seabourn Square on Deck 7 served as the concierge area, as well as home of numerous newspapers, a coffee bar, internet points and just a pleasant place to be. Never any lines at the various concierge desks. The main pool deck is on 9, but we found a smaller haven on 5 aft with a pool, hot tubs and lounging chairs that was never crowded. There are sufficient bars on several decks and plenty of food when and where you want it. Thoughtful touches everywhere. Our little area 5 aft, for example, had its own little min fridge stocked with ice, soft drinks and, of course, anything you every wanted to order from "room service" which will deliver anywhere in the ship. The Observation Lounge forward on deck 10 is lovely and you never waited for more than two minutes for someone to show up for your drink order. Plenty of space in the outdoor areas and the Thomas Keller bar was a great place to relax before dinner. The Restaurant was never crowded and had no "bad" tables - you were also given the option to sit with fellow passengers or not at any meal. The Thomas Keller Restaurant on 8 had a superb menu - but I will follow anyone anywhere for a good Dover sole meuniere or a nice steak. You are guaranteed one sitting up there, but we managed three by hanging around the bar a lot and getting to know frequent Seabourn guests. Most guests on Seabourn are stuck on this line and never seem to go anywhere else. Many were on the cruise prior to ours and/or stayed on for the next 11 day cruise. We really didn't know how anyone could stand this kind of life without a coronary for more than the length of our cruise. All of the drinks, sodas etc. were top shelf. Secret: just because it is not formally listed as available, doesn't mean it isn't. This is a "can-do" kind of place and we found many wines by the glass that were available for the asking. The guests were of the elderly persuasion ( as am I), but there were a fair number of younger couples, families with teens and even a baby somewhere I heard of but never saw. Speaking of which, even though this ship was at capacity 600, you rarely saw more than a few dozen around except on deck 9 during the one ship day we had. The ports were sometimes interesting, sometimes, throwaways, and we were content to rent a scooter or electric car or similar many times on the smaller islands just to see the sights from a different perspective. We took no formal tours. Many of the guests rarely left the ship - this is the kind of ship you sail on because it is so pleasant to sit in the sun reading a book or snoozing on a deck lounger. My companion hit the spa for a massage and found it up to snuff. The exercise area looked nice and perfectly adequate although we did not partake. There is a small casino that was virtually empty at all times. OK, to preserve some credibility and to defer suspicion that I am a shill for Seabourn, I'll pick a couple of nits. Half the menu at the Restaurant never varied ( it was still quite good), but there could have been a little more variety on the other half. Many of the red wines by the glass (included) were, from my perspective, not up to snuff, but I gradually found several I liked "off" the list. The flat screen TV allowed only minimal controls ( ie. no CC) and bad volume ( even for those with good hearing like my companion) on several of the Movies/TV shows on demand - regular TV stations ( mostly news) were fine. The entertainment was nothing to write home about, but never is and we rarely even make the effort. And that's about it, folks. I guess you can say that we have drunk the Kool-Aid and will, in the future, limit our cruises (except with little kids) to Seabourn (not much for little kids to do on this ship). We went ahead and paid the deposit which comes with a 5 % discount on a future cruise or your money back. I expect we will not be getting our money back. Happy Trails. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We choose this because of the ship & the destinations we left from rome & then wen to barcelona. GIBRALTER, NORMANDY, AMSTERDAM THEN TO NORWAY & BACK TO AMSTERDAM It took less than 30 minutes to check & get on the ... Read More
We choose this because of the ship & the destinations we left from rome & then wen to barcelona. GIBRALTER, NORMANDY, AMSTERDAM THEN TO NORWAY & BACK TO AMSTERDAM It took less than 30 minutes to check & get on the ship. EVERYONE IN THE TERMINAL WAS HAPPY & HELPFUL THE SHIP IS FANTASTIC ALL THE NEW FEATURES WERE MAGNIFICENT The cabin was a typical outside cabin with plenty of storage space. Food was good in the dining room & the lido food was good but it was always crowded for breakfast. the pinnacle & was great & catalano was always really good too. NIGHTLY SHOWS WERE TYPICAL FOR MOST CRUISE SHIPS & the BB KING LOUNGE WAS GREAT The shore excursions were expensive but it some places you are better off spending more & so you are assured of getting back to the ship on time or if you are late the ship will wait . THE D DAY BEACHES WAS A GREAT TOUR & SO WAS THE TOUR OF THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY IN BELGIUM GIBRALTER WAS VERY INTERESTING The highlight may have been flam norway. a story book like village hidden away in a fiord there were more people on the ship than in the village. We loved this ship & will be on it again next march in the caribbean. THE CRUISE SPARKED OUR INTEREST IN THE BALTIC AREA & WE ARE PLANNING ANOTHER CRUISE IN 2020 TO HAMBURG, ST PETERBURGH , HELSINKI STOCKHOLM & COPENHAGEN ON THE NIEW STATENDAM (AN IDENTICAL SHIP) This was our 7th cruise on holland america. it is our favorite cruise line. we have been on crystal, royal caribbean, carnival & princess. i have never had a bad cruise. some were better than others but never a bad cruise. we are not to demanding & easily pleased. The cabin steward & dining steward bent over backwards to please you. i asked for a bucket of ice every after noon at 4 pm & they brought it. i wanted almond milk after dinner & they brought it without being asked every night. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Only travel with HA. Clean ship, food decent. Wait staff superb. Food although enticing and presentable Lukewarm when served, need either stronger heat lamp bulbs, or warm the food in the grill. Desserts Yummy, sugar free and ... Read More
Only travel with HA. Clean ship, food decent. Wait staff superb. Food although enticing and presentable Lukewarm when served, need either stronger heat lamp bulbs, or warm the food in the grill. Desserts Yummy, sugar free and regular..Bread pudding great at lunh, DRY during the evening meal.lines moved fast and tables were ready quickly.. cabins clean and spaious for two people.Balcny in our veranda cabin, was clean. Hamburger station was clean and served fast.Pizza station had the best Ruben Sandwich outside of nyc. Emarkatin and debarkation smooth, pre arranged.. excursion to cementary in Normandy, very sad, but allowed one to reflect and think of those tgat gave so much. Lido buffet, as nice as it is only had TWO..2..waffle makers for over 1500 passengers..on the last day only ONE was FUNCTIONAL..prior to the last day, I inquiredfrom the dining room manager..why only two waffle maker..he squirted around the question and finally provided a brilliant answer..the way it was built..WOW..i could have told him that..the WHY was ommited. Just think only two makers and thousands that might have wanted asimpl WAFFLE...they solved the issue by serving quarter cold section of waffles... Plenty of on board activities should one be inclined to attend and or partipate. We chose just to enjoy the ports and the calmness of the ocean.Next cruise, we will seek approval to bring our waffle maker on board, that should please the lido manager Glenn...ha ha Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We started our 10 day Mediterranean Dream cruise in Rome with the Signature Experience. The hotel we were booked in was nice, rooms a good size, with AC and nice baths. A roof top bar was an added bonus. The evening event was nice, not ... Read More
We started our 10 day Mediterranean Dream cruise in Rome with the Signature Experience. The hotel we were booked in was nice, rooms a good size, with AC and nice baths. A roof top bar was an added bonus. The evening event was nice, not spectacular, but if you had not seen the coliseum before this was an easy way to do it. Cocktails on the balcony at the House Of Rhoads was a lovely sunset. Pick up at the airport and at the hotel was so easy and smooth. Embarkation was a breeze, and shortly after being dropped off at the port we were boarding the ship. This cruise didn't make as big a deal of boarding as other ships we have been on, ie passed champagne music etc. Our luggage was quickly delivered to our suite. We upgraded at the last minute to a Neptune Suite and loved it. The space, the layout, the bath especially and the wrap balcony we had. It afforded us great views almost daily in and out of ports. This was a port intensive trip, a sea day in the middle would have been better. We were worn out after days of tours. Each port was great, each country beautiful. The ship was lovely throughout. The crew super friendly. I felt the dining venues should keep later hours, there were times I waited till something else opened to eat dinner. We are use to late dining. I loved the loungers on the deck above the pool, ideal for napping and reading and watching the nightly movie and snacking on pizza if you chose. Ages on the ship were varied more than I have seen on other HAL ships. It was a very nice mix. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and loved it. we only did the 11 day Mediterranean Dream. Konigsdam was a beautiful ship. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 and am not sorry we did. It had plenty of storage, an awesome ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and loved it. we only did the 11 day Mediterranean Dream. Konigsdam was a beautiful ship. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 and am not sorry we did. It had plenty of storage, an awesome bathroom/shower. No lack of electrical outlets or USB ports. The dining venues were all excellent we especially loved the Tamarind and New York Deli. We bought the 3 venue A la carte package and it was worth every penny. Entertainment we only availed ourselves of the Queens Lounge the B.B. King band was outstanding. All bar and wait staff were friendly and accommodating. Room steward was the best. We didn’t find any of the public areas to be overcrowded nor did we ever have trouble finding a table in the buffet. We did do two HAL excursions they were decent value for the money Embarkation was a breeze in Rome we arrived at 1130am took less than 15 minutes to process and boarded and our cabin was ready. We disembarked a day early in Naples so cannot speak to that process on the return to Rome. We will be sailing on her again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
An early Mediterranean touch of Spring on a the latest HAL ship. Cabin was fabulous 8091 with a happy steward and assistant who created toweled animals every night for our amusement with a hanging Monkey on the final night. The rest of ... Read More
An early Mediterranean touch of Spring on a the latest HAL ship. Cabin was fabulous 8091 with a happy steward and assistant who created toweled animals every night for our amusement with a hanging Monkey on the final night. The rest of the ship was bland compared to our earlier voyages on Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Westerdam. The itinerary was fine with eight ports in 10 days and for our USA, Canadian and Australian colleagues on board it must have given them a fabulous overview of European culture - well done HAL. The food offering in both Lido Market (serviced counters) and the main Dining Room (Waiter service) was disappointing. It was plain fare and never very hot. At Breakfast a freshly made omelette was OK and fresh toast too. Everything else was warm not hot. The serving staff were quite brusque at times rather than jolly and helpful. Best atmosphere and coffee was in the Dutch Cafe in the Atrium - thanks guys for our nightly visit. There were several speciality restaurants for extra charges but as we cruise frequently they are best left for special occasions. You should not have to pay extra for good hot food on a five star ship. World Stage is a creative platform that was shown off to its best with Musicology and Planet Earth with Orchestra. Very creative and much appreciated. The theatre is not as large as usual so there are three showings a night - seems hard on the performers. A Comic was outstanding. The smaller music venues on earlier ships were much missed. As we choose our cruises in the main for the ports of call so we would go again on Koningsdam but probably not our first choice. Our cruise was a last minute booking and so we had fabulous value for what we had paid, thank you. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We sailed on this ship at the beginning of Nov., from Rome back to Ft. Lauderdale. That was 16 days (many of them sea days) so we really felt like we had a chance to get into the ocean voyage frame of mind. It was a totally pleasant, ... Read More
We sailed on this ship at the beginning of Nov., from Rome back to Ft. Lauderdale. That was 16 days (many of them sea days) so we really felt like we had a chance to get into the ocean voyage frame of mind. It was a totally pleasant, relaxing experience. The service was low-key and attentive. I would say that this is the ship for people who are looking for a little "old style" cruising. There were no "art" auctions, no overly enthusiastic blaring music on the Lido deck, no aggressive photo sales, no long lines, and no children running about. Just pleasant days doing what you want with discrete service offered. Yes, the ship is older (as were most of the travelers) and most people on board were cordial and happy to chat if you wanted. It didn't seem to matter that it was an older ship and lacked some of the bells and whistles. Overall, it was a very pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We have been switching back and forth between Seabourn and Silversea for the past few years hoping to once again find the level of quality that we experienced when first sailing with both lines several years ago. We had become ... Read More
We have been switching back and forth between Seabourn and Silversea for the past few years hoping to once again find the level of quality that we experienced when first sailing with both lines several years ago. We had become disappointed in recent years due to an overall declining experience (service, food, land tours) with both. We gave it one more try this year with the (new) Seabourn Encore. Our 10 day cruise began in Rome, then had ports of call at Amalfi, Sicily, Malta (2 ports), Corsica, Monaco, and Spain (ending in Barcelona). There was one weather glitch which forced the cancellation of the Bandol, France stop; but what are you going to do--can't fight the sea. The crew made this unscheduled sea day as nice as possible. All in all, Seabourn has put it back together in our opinion. Really nice ship, top service, great food (Michael Keller was excellent, and the sushi bar is a nice touch!), and some pretty cool land tours. We never felt as if there were upwards of 600 passengers on this ship; always plenty of 'space'; never had a wait at any restaurant; things felt peaceful on this ship. If you are into it, the fitness room is pretty decent; nice selection of machines, dumbbells up to 50 lbs. (more would be better, but...); plenty of aerobic equipment. Let's hope this is a permanent change for the better with Seabourn. We did not partake in the entertainment, hence my rating of average. We did however hear others indicate that (at least some of) the shows were pretty good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Our fourth Seabourn cruise, reflecting our opinion that Seabourn is the finest line around today, How to judge the new Encore? Against other lines and ships, or against Seabourn's other, somewhat smaller vessels and extremely high ... Read More
Our fourth Seabourn cruise, reflecting our opinion that Seabourn is the finest line around today, How to judge the new Encore? Against other lines and ships, or against Seabourn's other, somewhat smaller vessels and extremely high standards? Both. Brief background: my spouse and I have been crossing and cruising for over 50 years, since we were kids. Many ships, many lines, many years. Overall, it doesn't get better than this. Ship: absolutely stunning. Encore follows the design and locational conventions of Seabourn's other ships, but with one additional deck, all-veranda suites (didn't mind the picture-windows), and larger public rooms. The decor features more wood and softer tones. Bravo, Adam Tihany - whose name is featured in all the advertising. "Cabin": Our party had two suites - one Penthouse and one Veranda. The Penthouse Suites are spacious and larger than those on other Seabourn ships - ample for two and liveable for three (a few take three passengers). Veranda Suites are a bit larger than other Seabourn ships. Both feature furnished verandas, fully stocked / restocked fridges, tubs (whirlpool in the Penthouse), marbled bathrooms ... the brochures / website will tell you more. Suites of all types are perfectly maintained. Veranda suites on the lowest deck have part-metal railings, which don't interfere much but reduce the fare a bit. Dining: The (regular) Restaurant is very handsome, and more attractive than the well-decorated Restaurants on the other ships. Tables for two, four, six, a dozen ... just ask. On this voyage, there seemed to be fewer invitations to dine with a staff member / entertainer; too bad; perhaps they were busier on the new ship. Cuisine in the Restaurant varies from very good to superb, with daily "specials" backed up by always-available menu items. Feel free to ask for two desserts, or two appys, or any combination of anything. Dishes are all prepared a la minute - no steam tables and reheating here! The free wines are sometimes good, sometimes adequate, and always described in detail: taste and see if you like it; if not, there are other free options, or the fairly-priced winelist (except for a few extravagant vintages). The Colonnade buffets for breakfast are excellent, and supplemented by on-request dishes. Lunches are themed, but also have recurring items - something for every taste. The Thomas Keller Grill is a reservations-only alternative dining venue (no extra charge) featuring mostly nice steaks and chops and excellent (proper) Caesar Salad prepped tableside. Yet, the food (except for the Caesar) isn't much better than the Restaurant, and the service is not too smooth. Reserve and do it once, and get the Salad, but don't expect The French Laundry at sea. The Keller-"inspired" dishes in the Restaurant are more interesting. Service: Always a Seabourn strong point. The hotel staff are uniformly pleasant and helpful. They really can anticipate your desires. However, Encore had a large proportion of new hires, who were friendly and earnest but not quite as skillful as the veterans. On the smaller ships, the wait staff knew your name on the second or third day out, and what you liked to eat and drink. On Encore, there was somewhat less of that familiarity due to the increased number of passengers. Seabourn offers the finest service afloat, even if Encore isn't yet at the top of its game. Entertainment: A mixed bag, as on prior voyages. The Cruise Director, whom we knew from a prior voyage, was marvelous. The resident "Seabourn Singers and Dancers" were fine. The guest artists were a bit of a letdown. Better to go up to the Observation Bar after dinner or the "show" and enjoy the piano and vocals. Ports: Embarcation and Disembarcation were amazingly efficient. Took us maybe 10 minutes to check in; more staff at dockside than there were passengers. Many tender ports on this trip; well-handled. Rough seas prevented us from making Amalfi ... so the Captain re-routed to Sorrento where all of the tour buses were waiting for us. Shore excursions from the ship are not inexpensive, but very good. At Malta, we had the curator of the megalithic temple walk us through an unexcavated site ("I have only been in here about 10 times myself. We won't explore it for another 50 years. Please don't pick up any rocks.") Fellow Passengers: Convivial, well-traveled, interesting, and less than half Americans. Though Seabourn is a sophisticated experience, there were some children (say 7 to 12) who were well-behaved and happy. In the summer, one sees a younger crowd. Not really. There is never, ever a crowd or a line on Seabourn. Else: The Retreat is a reserve-only, extra-cost option. Book a cabana for the day, relax in the shade around a hot tub, ignore CNN on the wide-screen tv, and have the staff beg to bring you more champagne. One of the few extra-cost options on board, but worth it. If you have a sea day, here is the place to spend it. Tipping really is not expected. The staff are fairly-compensated, dedicated, and enjoy helping you have a good time. (We do tip the suite stewardess and selected waitstaff.) "Would you go again?" Yes, definitely, though I'd consider one of the smaller ships. Put down a refundable deposit while on board (don't have to choose a cruise) and get a discount when you book. Most passengers do. This is a luxury line at a premium price, but worth it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We choose this cruise because of ports and timing. From the very beginning we experienced a "bait and switch" operation that iwas littered with Nickle/Dime items. Brochures offer a 3 cabin upgrade yet none were available upon ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of ports and timing. From the very beginning we experienced a "bait and switch" operation that iwas littered with Nickle/Dime items. Brochures offer a 3 cabin upgrade yet none were available upon booking; a month before the cruise I received an upsell for the same upgrade at $1000 per passenger. The ships tenders as much as possible to save port fees and offers no shuttles in large ports.Ships depart early to save $. The captain changed a port saying that there was bad weather, but the internet proved otherwise. Suites are the best part of the ship with well lit spaces, The bathrooms are well designed, and nicely appointed. There is an abundance of electrical outlets throughout the suite, both 110 and 220. Internet is the usual slow at sea , but not really terrible. Seabourn is the only line that does not give passengers free time. Service ran from poor at pool side to slow everywhere. It would take a minimum of 20 minutes to get bar service, and the nuts served at the bar were peanuts. Entertainment is mediocre. The Seabourn singers/dancers are fine; it is the other entertainment that is pitiful. As one passenger said to me regarding the juggler/balloon maker, "he would not get an audition on Crystal". Therewas little t no activity during the day except sitting at the overcrowded pool with thin deck chairs There is no outdoor walking deck. The spa is adequate. It was the food that puts this line below the luxury group. We dined at all the venues, and found TK to be the best and it mimes a steakhouse with Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, steaks, veal chops, creamed spinach, etc.The waiters make a big deal that they only serve the heart of the romaine in the Caesar salad however the outer leaves are the base of the Caesar salad at the remaining restaurants. Just another example of the nickle/dime approach to food on Seabourn. The food in the Collonade was poorly seasoned to say the least, The salad bar was repetitive with frozen corn, frozen green peas, chick peas and cukes appearing in a multitude of salads. Stone fruits at breakfast and pineapple are hard as a rock, and most melons tasteless.Danish are tasty and the muffins bad beyond belief. What remains of the breakfast fruit becomes the fruit salad served at every venue. We ate once at the Sushi restaurant and Nobu has no worries. Every evening the patio is open for a light dinner with a limited menu. . We found the coffee on the ship to be adequate and the coffee drinks served at the Seabourn square to be "forte" All in all we agreed with so many passengers that Seabourn is really Seamediocre and there is no value We met many loyal Seabourn cruisers of years past that were appalled at the decline. Guess this is just Carnival on steroids. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our week on board Seabourn Encore. The ship is so beautiful in its design and comfort. I will try to be brief in each of my categories. Decks: We have never gone on Seabourn before so the smaller ... Read More
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our week on board Seabourn Encore. The ship is so beautiful in its design and comfort. I will try to be brief in each of my categories. Decks: We have never gone on Seabourn before so the smaller ship was a benefit but had some drawbacks. Yes it doesn't have all the glitz of the huge cruise ships like Royal but at the same time, Encore has everything you might need while sailing the Med. The 3 decks with whirlpools (2 with pools) was great as we used mainly deck 5 and 7 instead of the big pool deck on 9 as they were a lot less crowded. Deck 7 is on the front of the ship and there isn't any real shade. A walking track would have been nice but we made due around deck 10. Overall we enjoyed the smaller ship with fewer people. It never really felt crowded except for the deck dance party but that was totally fine. Restaurants: We ate at every restaurant on the ship and found them all to be excellent. My husband didn't care for one appetizer but that was it. We ate at Thomas Keller and it was quite good. I had expected a more tasting menu with more than normal courses but it was just appetizer, entree, dessert. My husband's rib eye was incredible. I will say the dessert choices were lacking there. The Patio on the pool deck was a very nice place to have lunch. We didn't make it to dinner there but the hamburger and fries were so good there. I highly recommend. The Colonnade had many choices and we ended up eating breakfast there all but one day and lunch a couple times. I like that there was themes so it wasn't the same buffet setup each day. I really liked that there was an exotic fruit each morning to try like dragon fruit. We liked going there for breakfast bc you could choose from the buffet but also order eggs, pancakes, french toast as well. The Restaurant had the same menu but there you couldn't choose the fruit or cheeses, it was selected for you. I would have liked that the Restaurant would have had a specialty breakfast menu each morning that was different from the Colonnade. I liked that when we sailed with Royal. Try the Sushi restaurant for both lunch and dinner! It is small but we never had to wait. Lunch is bento box style so everything is cooked and it was excellent. Dinner is all sushi and sashimi and you can watch the chef prepare it. I never feel like I get full when we order sushi eating out but here I could order as much as I liked and try it all! You can special order things but it needs to be done ahead of time so the chefs can be ready. I wanted a steamed artichoke so I did mention it one night and had it the next. The coffee bar on deck 7 was a nice place to hang out as well. I loved having macaroons after dinner with a latte before the show. Service: I really thought the staff on board Encore were excellent. Yes my drink order on the patio during the party was forgotten but it didn't ruin my evening. I didn't mind going up to the bar myself and ordering. I will say I am sold on the all inclusive that Seabourn offers. I hated carrying around my ship card on other cruises and having to hand it over for every drink I ordered even if we had the drink package. It was so nice to order a drink and it come and it be that simple. I did say in my survey I sent Seabourn that there needs to be more drink service on the other pool decks more frequently. It is a ways away from the open bars during the day, especially the whirlpool deck on 7. There are mini fridges with water and soda but having a fruity drink or a cold beer more often would have been better. I did walk all the way to the patio bar a few times if I was really thirsty but I'm young and it doesn't bother me but I know the older more refined crowd were pretty annoyed at times. We had one dinner with super slow service but we weren't in a rush so we just enjoyed our wine. None of the staff have their home countries and I liked that because it gave us a chance to ask and get to know them a little better. Entertainment: We really enjoyed the Seabourn singers! They put on 2 really good shows. The comedian was funny but it helps to have a few drinks in you first. The flute player was a bit odd but she was very good, just not our taste for entertainment. I liked that they had trivia a few days. There really isn't much going on during the day like other larger ships but we liked sitting on deck 5 at the back of the ship reading and going in the pool or whirlpool. There was shade there so that was nice when I was done with the sun. I know there's more to say but I'm sure others will comment. We are truly spoiled now that we've been on Seabourn. I don't see how we go back to any other cruise line unless it's Disney or a huge ship with too much to see and do. Was it perfect no, but was it one of the best trips we've taken - yes! Maybe we aren't as 'refined' and used to fancy things as some of the other more well traveled guests but we really enjoyed ourselves.s Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was my seventh SB-cruise in the last six years! Here are the pros and cons compared to the other SB-cruises: Pros: - Nice brandnew ship - not crowded - nice cabins - Service and food quality in the MDR was very good ... Read More
This was my seventh SB-cruise in the last six years! Here are the pros and cons compared to the other SB-cruises: Pros: - Nice brandnew ship - not crowded - nice cabins - Service and food quality in the MDR was very good Cons: - "The Retreat" is useless and too expensive - The taste of the food and variety in the Colonnade is 4* - The service quality in the Colonnade is partly chaotic (partly they forgot our orders or brought the wrong one) - Long waiting time for the "Specials of the day" (and if you had bad luck you got the wrong one or is was raw) - The mix of "old" Seabourn waiters and the new employees is not working! The "old" SB-Staff was great (knewing them from other SB cruises). Maybe the new waiters where coming from other ships where such methods are usual! Sometimes is was like you are on a SB training ship for the new crew! - The waiting time at the Patio Grill was even too long! Friends of ours waited 65 minutes for a steak and got the wrong one! - Our room stewardess asked just one time if everything is alright! - On the 3th day the cleaning staff knocked on the door and wanted cleaning the windows of the cabine next to our cabin! I asked If they could come later - I was told they have to clean it right now! Strange behaviour! If you love very good service and good food than you should try one of the other SB-ships! Or maybe Oceania cruises (I cruised twice with them)! I can´t recommend the Seabourn Encore! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I choose it because I travel with my 81-year old mother and was an excellent opportunity to know different cities by using the cruise as a hotel. I had the chance to stay on a suite with balcony and it was amazing. Wonderful staff and ... Read More
I choose it because I travel with my 81-year old mother and was an excellent opportunity to know different cities by using the cruise as a hotel. I had the chance to stay on a suite with balcony and it was amazing. Wonderful staff and service. Restaurants were great and food was incredible. Since we were on a suite, the menu was different from the other cabins, but, nevertheless we went to the buffet restaurant to have lunch several times and the experience was positive. The only negative thing is related to tours. Sometimes it was difficult to get spanish speaking tours and when we finally managed to have a tour in spanish, some guides did not speak the language fluently (they sometimes read from a folder and they have a very poorly translation of the information they have to give) I love the cruise experience and I will probably repeat it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I have sailed with Seabourn many times and loved it, so I was looking forward to the newest-largest-most luxurious ship in the fleet. Unfortunately, the ship did not meet Seabourn's standard for service. A number of the crew were ... Read More
I have sailed with Seabourn many times and loved it, so I was looking forward to the newest-largest-most luxurious ship in the fleet. Unfortunately, the ship did not meet Seabourn's standard for service. A number of the crew were "old hands" who we knew from previous cruises, and they were outstanding. A larger number seemed not to know their jobs; it was as if they were in training, but without supervision. Service was extremely slow and amateurish in the Restaurant. Deck hands seemed to delight in making noise at all hours of the day and night, washing windows when guests were on the balconies, and other inconveniences. The cabin was excellent in design, but noisy. We were on Deck 8, just under the pool bar, and heard sounds of furniture being moved and mechanical sounds from 6 a.m. 'til midnight. Then squeaks and rattles from the bulkheads took over! Entertainment was variable. The ships orchestra and singers were excellent, but the guest entertainers fairly mediocre. Shore excursions were generally overpriced and comprised of bus rides with guides who spoke constantly but said nothing...but that is typical of other ships and cruise lines too! I will sail again with Seabourn, but not on Encore. Friends have had the same experience as I. I prefer the smaller ships in the fleet. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was the first cruise after dry dock. We did not experience any issues in our stateroom. We did see some steps in the main dining room where the carpet needed to be tacked down. Deck 10 was closed but this was not a problem for us. HAL ... Read More
This was the first cruise after dry dock. We did not experience any issues in our stateroom. We did see some steps in the main dining room where the carpet needed to be tacked down. Deck 10 was closed but this was not a problem for us. HAL generously compensated us with a $200 on board credit to make up for this issue. This was our 3rd HAL cruise but probably our 20th cruise in total--losing track! The food exceeded my expectations for the most part. I did have to send back under cooked salmon one night in the main dining room. We loved having the drink package and took advantage of the chocolate shakes available at the pool bar and the coffee bar on deck 3. A few annoying things--it is nearly impossible to get half and half for coffee. Everything labeled cream barely colors the coffee. Cappucino with steamed milk was a palatable solution. Also, the orange juice seemed to be watered down in the Lido. On a positive note, the Omelet bar is a great option for breakfast and I loved the raisin bread. The Pinnacle was good for a filet mignon. We went a second time and had the halibut but it wasn't worth the upcharge. The Canelleto restaurant was a nice change from the main dining room. We went to one show. It was a musical production. The performers were good singers with one exception. People seemed to love the Billboard Piano Bar and the BB King lounge. We did not spend much time at either venue. There were never enough bartenders at any of the lounges which sometimes made it difficult to take advantage of the drink package in the evening. This was a very port intensive cruise so we were back in our cabin by 10 PM most nights. We did go to the casino and it was fine. We never saw America's Test Kitchen when it was open. Seemed to operate at odd times. We did not take any of the ship's excursions. We had a large Roll Call but HAL did not provide anything for the Meet and Greet which was well attended. Loved all of the ports--most surprised by Slovenia because I had no expectations. Embarkation was quick but not fun. It was pouring and there was no covered walkway to the ship. Disembarkation was very smooth--no complaints! We did not have any discrepencies with our shipboard account, we were able to stay in our room until called and we found our luggage immediately. Overall, a very enjoyable cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Well, except for some small points about the shipping company and the boat as: The reserved cabin, Signature Suite category SY "guaranteed", does not correspond with the awarded (6108) Suite SS category, supposedly superior ... Read More
Well, except for some small points about the shipping company and the boat as: The reserved cabin, Signature Suite category SY "guaranteed", does not correspond with the awarded (6108) Suite SS category, supposedly superior category, but being special for people with disabilities, the configuration of the cabin is different: It has no bathtub Hydromassage, no shower with screen, no double sink. In addition it was damaged twice, having to make use of the public. And it was not bad because it is supposed to be configured to facilitate the mobility of a disabled person and / or wheelchair: It does not have the usual step of entry to the bathroom, handles in the bathroom on all sides; For access to the terrace has a small ramp to save the door frame. But, as I said, it does not match the characteristics of what I booked, even though they told me that I had been upgraded.  The Spa pool was inoperative for two days and at the time I wanted to use it, for maintenance. That I say: could not they do the maintenance at night, after closing? At Westerdam you can see the years in spite of the remodelings and lifting that is carried on. In fact, from deck 10 up was closed the whole cruise because they continued working renovating / expanding staterooms, spaces, etc. Unfortunately, from what we were told, work on 25 new cabins added to deck 10 was not completed as planned prior to our departure as well as some additional finishing work. This meant that the Crow's Nest and / or the Explorations Café were not available. The racking of new mattresses, boxes etc. Was evident occupying the elevators until the cover 9 and of this one towards the 10 by stairs. Do not ask me why. In the restoration aspect, being generous, I give it a 5. Of course, when one has tried the excellence of a Koningsdam last year (for not changing company), any comparison is odious. But it is inadmissible to order a drink, when you sit in the dining room, and that you serve it when you go on the second plate: No, I do not want it now. Either the salmon is ironed, or the breakfast card in the cabin is so minimal. Regarding the scales, except for Koper that does not have much in itself, the others are fine. In Messina, Dubrovnik and Venice we had already been on previous cruises; Of Malta, Mdina; Corfu surprised us; Kotor and his surroundings reminded us, saving the distances, to Flam; And amazing Split that will stand up after so many years. All the scales we made by our account and are easy to do. As far as I can see, I have the impression that the space dedicated to the Rijksmuseum at sea and the B.B.King Club were still to be defined. In particular, the Sala B.B.King used it both for this music and to congregate the passage before disembarking in tenders, as well as to listen to the explanations of what to see in the scales of the following day by the Guide of the excursions department. By the way, I would highlight the B.B.King band, the rhythm section (bass / drums) and the wind section (sax / trumpet). The guitar somewhat loose and the keyboardist complies without great frills. As for the voices, Olivia stands out above all, for my taste. To have a good coffee, you have on the main deck a slight representation of what will be the Explorations Café of deck 10, in a corner enabled with a bar that I do not think that goes beyond 3 meters: Queue and few tables. The indoor and aft pools if I could try: divine, all for me. And free sunbeds all you want. About the occupation, it was supposed to be full. Or at least it was what they told us when we asked to change our cabin: there was no free of our category (or superior? I do not know, I do not know). At times, in the buffet, more than the lack of tables, what were missing were plates and cups !, amazing !; As well as a near-British closing schedule. To be fair also, I have to say that because we could not use the common spaces on deck 10 upwards for the theme of the renovation, we were paid $ 200 per person on our bill (I think the whole passage). And in our particular case, the Spa Access Bonus for all the days of the cruise that we hired on the first day (perhaps having had a whirlpool bath in our cabin, we would not have hired it), we were compensated, paying the amount of the expense in our account. Something of reason we should have. It can be said that the "Adriatic Dream": sailing along the Adriatic coast, the scales included and the good weather we had, was fulfilled. I'm sorry to comment on this bittersweet flavor, but we've lived like this. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Cabin and ship very poor, In the morning you do not even get a pot of tea and a freshly baked hard roll. In every port the worst berths, not a single time a transfer to the city for travelers who even go on a sightseeing tour. It is the by ... Read More
Cabin and ship very poor, In the morning you do not even get a pot of tea and a freshly baked hard roll. In every port the worst berths, not a single time a transfer to the city for travelers who even go on a sightseeing tour. It is the by far bad ship with which I have ever taken. Complaints are accepted and one is friendly, but absolutely nothing is done. Every 10 meters on the corridors a bucket that catches water. In the gourmet restaurant sorbet was on the menu, I ordered it. With a grin I was given the cheapest ice with the comment on the table, sorbet would not exist. This is quite typical of this ship, I have experienced it several times. Only positive was the fruit in the morning and the check in. I will never travel with Holland America. Other shipping companies offer much better ships and a real service. Most of the staff on Westerdam made a very untrained impression Everything quite terrible! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our 2nd cruise of three B2B We did not have to go through the disembarkation/embarkation process as we were staying onboard for the next cruise. This 14 night cruise was brilliant,,visiting a lot of Greek Islands, Dubrovnik ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise of three B2B We did not have to go through the disembarkation/embarkation process as we were staying onboard for the next cruise. This 14 night cruise was brilliant,,visiting a lot of Greek Islands, Dubrovnik and Kotor. We were blessed with the weather and very calm seas. Jammed packed itinerary and would do it again without hesitation. The new format that Koningsdam has for their evening production shows is fantastic. The three production shows that we had were all first class , in fact the best that we have experienced in all the cruises taken with HAL and other Cruise Companies. It was finally enjoyable to hear singers that could actually hold a note either by themselves or with the other singers and the dancers - WOW Never a step out of place. We never had any issues with the Lido or MDR with the food or the waitstaff. We also went to Canaletto and hasn't that improved???? I think the last time we ate there the food was pretty average but the staff did a great job in explaining what was on offer and also recommended some dishes and we were not disappointed with our choices. Would not hesitate going back to Canaletto on our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our third cruise with HAL. Previous cruises were on the Niew Amsterdam (upgraded to Neptune Suite) to the Mediterranean several years ago (originated out of Venice but once past Dubrovnik we ran into severe weather eliminating ... Read More
This was our third cruise with HAL. Previous cruises were on the Niew Amsterdam (upgraded to Neptune Suite) to the Mediterranean several years ago (originated out of Venice but once past Dubrovnik we ran into severe weather eliminating the ports of Corfu and Kotor and later, Florence). We had a great cruise, non-the-less, as the Niew Amsterdam was lovely, clean and the staff, wonderful! Last September we cruised out of Vancouver sailing through the stunning "inside passage" and later traveling by train to Anchorage, Denali (3 nights) and finally Fairbanks. This cruise was WONDERFUL. The Noordam was a nice ship and we again, stayed in the Neptune Suite. We did miss the Tamarind restaurant, however everything else was fine! This past month we sailed on the beautiful Koningsdam! I wasn't sure what to expect as I had read so many reveiws by those who were disappointed by the Koningsdam new 'look' and amenities. I'm here to tell you.....My husband and I aren't spring chickens (I am in my mid-sixties and he is in his early 70's) but we're open to updates and changes. The Koningsdam is a gorgeous ship! The changes in decor are lovely with the MDR airy, light, and spacious! The Lido has changed a bit with fewer access points from one side to the other, which isn't that big of a deal. The other change was that servers would, for the most part, serve each passenger's requested foods from behind the glass partitions. This eliminated passengers from handling the ladles or serving utensils which would encourage passing of germs, etc.. So, that was a good thing, we thought. And, it didn't seem to take any longer to get your food. We signed up for the "Ultimate Dining Experience" which included a dinner in the "Sel De Mer", the Pinnacle Grill; the Tamarind, the Caneletto; and the Culinary Arts dinner/presentation. ALL of these meals were absolutely delicious and the service was second-to-none! We especially enjoyed our all-time favorite; the Tamarind. The atmosphere there is so relaxing; the decor, beautiful and the host is the same welcoming gentleman we encountered at the Tamarind while cruising on the Niew Amsterdam! This gentleman and the servers are top-drawer and aim to please! The food.......absolutely delicious! Our reservations for the Tamarind were on our last evening and we said several times that we should have begun our cruise with dinner there as we would made a point to schedule in more dinners there! The Pinnacle Grill is always a sure-fire winner with their tender and juicy steaks! Once again, the host there was the same gentleman who was our host on the Niew Amsterdam (and congenial and welcoming) three years ago! Quite the coincidence to have two, former hosts now on the lovely Koningsdam!!! The Sel de Mer was a new experience for us! The food was very good and we felt pampered with all the servers tending to our needs! The Canelleto has improved substantially! The restaurant is still attached to the Lido but the visual design of the restaurant has improved considerably. There is more of a division (somewhat of a see-through wine storage wall) between the walkway next to the Lido and the restaurant so you feel you are in a separate restaurant. The food served was wonderful and again, the service was outstanding! We were pleasantly surprised by the Culinary Arts meal and I really hope more people take advantage of that offering! It was very interesting to watch the chef/assistants prepare the entire meal plus give us an idea of how to do the same at home. The food presented was so delicious and at the end we were given the recipes for the entire menu. It was a wonderful evening of great food; great service (it comes with many glasses of your choice of wine) and a chef who knows what he's doing! The MDR meals were varied and quite tasty! If we hadn't of chosen to purchase the "Ultimate Dining Experience" package, we would have been content with the choices offered through the MDR menu. We always ask to be seated with other cruisers as we find this to be a chance to meet/ talk with others from other parts of our country and other parts of the world! The ship itself is quite beautiful! And, as others have said, you don't feel that there are as many other cruisers on board that there actually are! Some have been quite vocal about the absence of the library and we were told by the captain (at a ship gathering early on in the cruise) that HAL is listening!! There will be changes to the Koningsdam and to the new ship being built. That being said, there are still plenty of quiet spots on this ship where one can curl up and read a book. A library is a nice touch, for sure! Our room stewards were always smiling and willing to serve! "Paul" was our main steward and was always courteous, gracious and smiling! I am always amazed that these hard-working souls know our names by the end of the very first day! The ONLY negative comment I have about the Koningsdam (and I am VERY picky!!) is about the bed. Our beds on both the Niew Amsterdam and the Noordam were so comfortable and almost identical in comfort to our Tempurpedic at home. Both my husband and myself are sensitive to the comfort of a bed due to back issues and unfortunately, the bed on this ship was very uncomfortable. We could almost feel (what we thought to be) the springs through the top of the mattress. The ridge between the two twins were also very apparent. Watching the tv from the bed was out of the question due to the uncomfortable bed. Otherwise the room was fine with the bathroom shower nice and roomy and the water pressure/temperature great! The room was located aft on the back end. We had NO problems in this location and enjoyed viewing the wake and surrounding sea and shore throughout our trip. We used the treadmills almost every day. Never had any issues with not finding an open machine! I had my nails done on the first day and the lady there was super nice and did a great job on my nails! She even massaged my arms first with an apricot cleanser followed by a lotion-oh my! That was heavenly!! ;0) One other thing (besides the bed) that HAL can improve upon are the two comedians that they hired for our cruise. I guess we are spoiled by the wonderful comedian we saw on our first cruise on the Niew Amsterdam. He was terrific and the two on this cruise just paled in comparison. :0( All in all, however, I'd still give this ship/itinerary/accomodations/food/staff etc...a solid "A"! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017

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