10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I have been on PO, carnival, and celebrity. I wanted to try holland America. So the pros: 1. Ship ok, but very poorly designed. 2 Laundry cheap, photos cheap 3. Food was good 4 service ok, but Not great. 5 getting on and ... Read More
I have been on PO, carnival, and celebrity. I wanted to try holland America. So the pros: 1. Ship ok, but very poorly designed. 2 Laundry cheap, photos cheap 3. Food was good 4 service ok, but Not great. 5 getting on and off ship easy 6 ship on time Cons Wow, where do i start: 1 smoking in casino and it spreads. Smoking outside in some public areas allowed. I found the smoking quite annoying. 2 entertainment at night rarely above b grade. 3 my biggest gripe no activities, except paid ones. Not even dance glasses. Outside the daily quiz night, there was little. The ship had no spirit, one couple mentioned to me the only excitement was going to their room to see the towel animal created. The ship needs to be fully audited, it just was a platform with no energy, nothing, staff were in large part not engaged. Sad really. So let me put it this way, celebrity is 200% better. If you want plain, with nothing to do on ship days, then this ship is for you. I was underwhelmed. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We spent 22 nights from the 16th September on Koningsdam and this was even better than the first time we cruised on her back in September 2016. The food was amazing whether it was in Lido or the main dining room. Tamarind where there is a ... Read More
We spent 22 nights from the 16th September on Koningsdam and this was even better than the first time we cruised on her back in September 2016. The food was amazing whether it was in Lido or the main dining room. Tamarind where there is a surcharge to eat once again exceeded our expectations. Crew was as usual on HAL ships incredible and the Captain very informative and funny. We love this ship, we've cruised on several cruiselines and this is our favourite. We also spoke to a number of people who have cruised a lot more times than us who were on Koningsdam for the first time and they also said that it was the best ship they had been on. If your looking at taking a cruise in Europe we believe that you cant go past HAL for a wonderful itinerary, brilliant ships which are great value for money. We look forward to hopefully boarding Koningsdam again in the not to distant future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the cruise because the dates suited our vacation and because of the destinations. We boarded in Amsterdam and did the 12 days to Rome. The ship was very nice and the crew were great. I thought the main stage entertainment ... Read More
We chose the cruise because the dates suited our vacation and because of the destinations. We boarded in Amsterdam and did the 12 days to Rome. The ship was very nice and the crew were great. I thought the main stage entertainment was a bit boring and wasn’t for us. I actually fell asleep in one of the shows, that’s how much I thought of it. The comedian Jo Little was good but her humour was lost to a lot of the Americans. One night there was an opera singer on? We didn’t go as not for us, also a saxophonist one night. I like a saxophone when it’s part of a song or a solo but not the full show. They had the blues band and they weren’t bad but one night the 2 singers didn’t come out for the last set as BOTH of them had sore throats. So the band played their instruments and tried to do a so called funny ed and he said mime act. It wasn’t funny and they did that again on another night and it still wasn’t funny. The highlight of the entertainment for us was the piano bar 2 very talented girls. I think their names were Ivy & Paulini. Thank god for them as we would have went insane of a night. They entertained us every night except for their night off. Thank you The only bar that was open after midnight was the casino. We didn’t want to go there as we don’t gamble and we don’t smoke. Speaking of smoking in the casino we walked through there on the non smoking night to find people smoking and no one stopping them. Why wasn’t there any other bars open? It was like we were school kids being sent to bed. Totally unacceptable as far as we were concerned. We did enjoy the crows nest bar of an afternoon when we were set to sail. Food was good but on our last day it was an at sea day. At lunch in the buffet it closed at 2:30pm. I asked to speak with someone about this and an officer came and I asked him why it closed and he said because it’s time too. I pointed out to him that most people on the ship us included had a later breakfast and was hoping to have a later lunch. I also asked him what lunch finished the day before and he replied 4:00pm. So why are the times inconsistent? He really couldn’t answer just saying that they were the times. We had been through there earlier and I knew what I was going to have but wasn’t hungry thinking we could eat later. There are 2 sides of the buffet nearly a mirror image each side. I asked why they couldn’t have kept one side open at least? The officer was very good to try and accomodate us by saying he would get us what we were looking for. I wanted the buffet open I knew what my protein was but wanted other things as well. He also reminded us that there was the burger and pizza bars open and we could go there. That’s what we were going to do. I give him credit he pursued us and offered to make a reservation for us in the Italian restaurant free of charge. I thanked him but declined as I was upset with what had happened and wasn’t thinking about dinner I wanted lunch. In the end I said thank you please make the reservation but no sure if we will go. We ended up taking the offer up. The cabin was great and our room stewards were fabulous. The biggest disappointment though was when we went to the port of Heulva (I think that’s what it was called). It was Sunday and we didn’t really feel like going to Saville 90 minutes each way by bus. So we thought we will stay in the port town relax wonder around see what they have. There was a free shuttle bus from the port into the city. It was on the bus that we and most of the other passengers found out that the only places in town that would be open was food and drink places. The guide on the bus told us and she was 100% correct. That’s all that was open, I couldn’t even get a souvenir not even a fridge magnet. The bus dropped us off at the “tourist information centre” where there was 1 person working and a line up of about 50 people and they ran out of maps. Why would Holland America do this? What sort of itinerary is this? Honestly absolutely ridiculous. We weren’t the only ones unhappy with this. I did the survey that they sent us and they asked could they get in touch with us to discuss our rating. I said yes but we still haven’t heard so that’s why I have put my review here Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The crew were exceptional. Especially in the Lido restaurant. They were attentive and willing to assist you with everything; whether it was to find a table, get condiments, more coffee etc. We have not had this kind of service in a ... Read More
The crew were exceptional. Especially in the Lido restaurant. They were attentive and willing to assist you with everything; whether it was to find a table, get condiments, more coffee etc. We have not had this kind of service in a very long time. It used to be the norm on most cruise ships but were surprised that this wasn't the case any more. But, on the Koningsdam, you truly felt special. They even remembered your names. The food was good from the pizza, deli sandwiches, hamburger and food in the main dining room. We always get room service in the mornings for some hot coffee and danishes. The coffee was always hot and danishes very flaky. We've had luke warm coffee with most other ship's room service. If you enjoy staying in your room to watch some TV or movies, there were so many choices from the news, movies, sitcoms etc. We've never seen so many choices. The guest services stafff were always helpful and friendly; unlike some other ships we have been on. Everything else was up to standard. Will definitely try to find more cruises on the Koningsdam that we can take. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My purpose in writing this review of my cruise on the Koningsdam is to give future guests some insight on the 14-Day Viking Sagas & Norse Legends cruise and to provide helpful tips that could save you time or money on your future ... Read More
My purpose in writing this review of my cruise on the Koningsdam is to give future guests some insight on the 14-Day Viking Sagas & Norse Legends cruise and to provide helpful tips that could save you time or money on your future cruise. My wife and I have been on other Holland America Line (HAL) cruises in the past. We stopped sailing for HAL for several years. However, the itinerary and this new ship piqued our interest, so we decided to do this cruise, which was really two back-to-back 7-days cruises leaving out of Amsterdam. The Koningsdam is a Pinnacle class ship, and the largest ship in HAL’s fleet (as of Sep. 2018), and the largest ship we have sailed on for HAL. The ship can hold about 2650 passengers. Other than the breakfasts being crowded on the Lido deck, we didn’t see any problems with the larger ship. There were several advantages. There are now more nightly entertainment options. In addition to the traditional piano bar and World Stage, there are Lincoln Center Stage (classical musicians), B.B. King’s Blues Club, and Billboard Onboard (dueling pianos). There are 2 levels of seating for the World Stage shows. There was 1 preview show and 2 shows by the Koningsdam’s Dancers for each 7-day segment. For my cruise, the same shows were repeated each of the two weeks. The dancers put their hearts and minds into their performances; they were enthusiastic, but there was no “wow” factor. I think some of the shows I saw on past HAL cruises were better, more impressive, more Broadway-like. I was not impressed with the quality of the other entertainers (singers, comedians, etc.) who performed on the World Stage. They were “B” or “C” level performers. Some of the singing was not enjoyable. My favorite show was “Planet Earth II in Concert”. The Lincoln Center Stage performers played live classical music to accompany scenes from the BBC Earth television show that were projected on several large screens at the World Stage. I enjoyed the Lincoln Center Stage shows; the classical musicians were talented. I especially liked the B.B. King’s Blues Club; the musicians and singers were soulful and quite good. My wife and I spent the most time at the Blues Club. The Billboard Onboard was a disappointment; the voices were so-so. Another advantage of the larger ship is that there are more specialty restaurants and casual dining opportunities. There is the usual Pinnacle Grill (with a surcharge of $35 per person) and Canaletto (with a surcharge of $15 per person). There are also the Tamarind & Sushi Bar (with a surcharge of $25 per person), the Sel de Mer (a la carte pricing), and the Culinary Arts Center (don’t remember their pricing). We enjoyed the Indonesian food at the Tamarind so much the first week, that we dined there again the second week. For casual dining, there is the Dive-In (have to pay for hot dogs, burgers and most food), the Grand Dutch Café (charge for food and drink), and the New York Deli & Pizza (no cost). We liked the salads and pizza at the New York Deli & Pizza which overlooks the swimming pool area on the Lido Deck. There was a lot of variety of tasty food for all meals at the Lido Market on the Lido Deck. I was disappointed that the soft serve ice cream place closed down about 9 pm each night. On HAL cruises in the past, I used to go for ice cream after the last show of the evening. But no more. Sigh! Also, be aware that the Lido Market closes for breakfast at 10:30 am; you could always do room service if you got up late. Be aware that there are now 2 formal nights on each 7-day cruise segment. They are called Gala Nights. Years ago I only remember 1 formal night for such a cruise segment. Nevertheless, the trend seems to be that guests are more casual–perhaps due to weight limitations on checked baggage when flying into Amsterdam; fewer clothes are better. I saw very few passengers with tuxedos and evening dresses. I saw more sport jackets (without ties) and a few suits. Some men just wore a nice dress shirt and pants. Another change from past HAL Cruises is that the Chocolate Extravaganza has been scaled back. I enjoyed seeing all the different creations on past cruises. But I can understand that a lot of the chocolate creations were probably thrown away. Now each week on a pre-announced night, there is the Chocolate Surprise. Servers would come through the lounge areas with different items to sample, served like hors d’oeuvres. They were tasty, and you could have seconds (and thirds and more). I liked the mix of passengers during the August-September cruise. It was different from my past experience with HAL cruises. For both weeks, there was a mix of nationalities (Dutch, British, Australians, Americans, Canadians, Chinese, Spanish, New Zealanders) and age ranges. The first week, most of the passengers were Dutch, and there was a mix of ages, from babies, to young kids and teenagers, to adults and senior citizens. I figure the average age was about 40-50. The second week, most were North American and the average age was maybe 45-55. Both weeks there were 150+ people with Edward Jones (employees or retirees with spouses or friends). The Edward Jones people had several private receptions. They occasionally ate as a group in the Main Dining Room. Unfortunately when that happened they tended to eat about 7:30 pm, and the dining room had to hold open lots of tables starting about 5:30 pm so that they would be available when the group arrived. (Hint to Edwards Jones: eat earlier and be considerate of the other guests who want to dine at an open table from 5:30-7:30 pm). My wife and I had a Category A Vista Suite (stateroom #6122). There were some narrow spaces, but there was enough room to move around. The bed was comfortable. We had a queen bed, sofa/sitting area, and an outdoor balcony with 2 chairs and a table. The bathroom was smaller than I expected with only 1 sink. The shower was “cozy” (compact, but oblong in shape). There was plenty of storage in the room. There were 2 drawers under the bed (and room for suitcases under the bed). There were 2 hooks in the room and 2 on the bathroom door. [Tip: bring some additional magnetic hooks to put on the walls of the room to give you more hooks.] The two nightstands had 2 drawers and a shelf. The sitting area had a small table and cabinet with 2 drawers. The desk has 3 drawers. The corner hutch has 3 available shelves. The closet has 2 sides; 1 side has 2 shelves, a tie rack, and hanging space; the other side has 4 shelves, a mirror, and hanging space. Another area has a shelf, a shelf with the safe, a refrigerator behind a swinging door, and 3 drawers. There are 3 small shelves in the bathroom to the upper left of the vanity counter; There is no actual storage space under the vanity. Be aware that the refrigerator vents heat into the shelf compartment above it which has the safe. I would advise not storing anything heat sensitive in that area. Some evenings, I would leave the swinging door to the refrigerator compartment open to add some heat to the room (the refrigerator remained closed, of course). The flat screen TV in the room provided access to a variety of entertainment. There was a My Journey selection with ship information, ship location, and weather. I accessed the ship location information frequently to see where the ship was located relative to the ports we were visiting. The TV had an On Board selection with information on America’s Test Kitchen, Blend, and Digital Workshop. There was a Dining selection, a Movies selection, and TV & Music selection. This last selection provided access to quite a few entertaining and educational British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) wildlife documentaries. There was a large movie screen mid-ship on the Lido deck by the family swimming pool. On a Princess Cruise a couple of years ago, my wife and I enjoyed a similar screen. Princess would show movies at night and then wildlife shows during the day; we really liked that. On this HAL cruise, there were evening movies on the screen (with popcorn and blankets). Very occasionally, there were “making of wildlife show” videos during the day. I think HAL is not taking full advantage of its partnership with BBC Earth. You could watch a lot of BBC Earth shows on the TV in your room. HAL could have also shown those videos on the large screen during the day to entertain passengers. Like other cruise lines, HAL has a very useful app for passengers to find out what is going on during the cruise. The HAL app is called Navigator. You basically connect via Wi-Fi to the ship network, set up an account, and you can access all of the features. It apparently does not work on some Android phones. It did work with iPhones and on my Mac laptop. I used it to check on my ship charges, to bring up a list of daily activities, to get some limited info on EXC tours, and to add items to a daily personal itinerary. I also used it to access the New York Times online for daily news. (There was still a daily mini-newspaper that was printed and available to passengers in the morning.) There are a few things that HAL can do to improve the app: show the ship location (as do other cruise lines’ apps), show the Lido dining times, and show event times as active until the event (e.g., piano bar session) is over. I only purchased a few minutes of Internet service during the cruise, but only on the last night at sea, so my wife and I could check in for our return flight home. I find the prices high ($0.75 per minute, or package plans like 100 minutes for $55). And Internet service by ship sometimes does not work well. I relied on finding free Wi-Fi using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in the ports of call so that I could download email. Some ports had good Wi-Fi; others did not. Free Wi-Fi was available in the building outside the ship on the dock in Oslo; it is better to go earlier; the later in the day, the more limited the connectivity because of the number of people using Wi-Fi; some people were doing video chatting which uses a lot of bandwidth. You just had to keep trying to get connected if you tried later in the day. There was good Wi-Fi at the passenger terminal building in Stavanger. In Flåm, I found Wi-Fi at 2 of the stops on the tour I was on, one at the Voss Park hotel and one at the Gudvangen Information Center (look for the posted password for the private network). The Wi-Fi was poor at the Haugesund passenger terminal building; I took a free shuttle into town and found free Wi-Fi by the waterfront at a hotel (or you could go to a restaurant and buy something). In Eidfjord, there was no Internet service for the ship while docked, probably due to the height of the canyon walls in the fjord. There was unusable Wi-Fi at the Tourist Information Center; you could get 2-3 bars of coverage, but you couldn’t access Internet content. In Ålesund, the Wi-Fi was poor. I went into town to the Kremmergarden Café, but the WI-FI was not working properly. In the basement of the Kremmergarden mall, there was free Wi-Fi by the Kundemart, but no VPN connection was allowed. The Wi-Fi was poor in Geiranger by the dock area when there were lots of people (there were at least 2 ships in port); it was marginally better at the Café Ole, but not great. In Bergen there was great (fast) Wi-Fi at an outdoor café by the wharf and at the Tourist Information Center by the harbor. Another advantage to being on a larger ship is that the Koningsdam has excellent stabilizers. Even when the ship was in big waves, you didn’t feel a lot of jostling from side to side. There was one night when we had to jam a towel in the shower door, because the wave action and speed of the ship was making the shower door open and close, open and close. The towel prevented the door from closing and making a “slamming” noise. If you are a traveler who likes to use the spa, consider signing up for 3 treatments and getting the 10-20-30 package. You get 10% off one treatment, 20% off another, and 30% off a third (the most expensive treatment you select). My wife and I splurged and got a discount for 14 days of access to the Greenhouse Spa Thermal Suite and Hydropool for a total of $370. It was a relaxing experience. I forget the price for 7 days, but the longer period of time we selected was cheaper on a per day basis. We would go into the large steam room in the thermal suite area, come out and lie on the heated reclining ceramic-like chairs, then go into the hydropool (with mineral-infused water) and make sure the jets were on, and come back to lie on the chairs again. Then I would go outside of the thermal suite area to use the public men’s sauna (nice and toasty). My only disappointment was finding the hydropool closed one morning for cleaning. Hint to HAL: the Spa should provide some advance notice of the cleaning schedule so that passengers can plan their time better. There was a well-outfitted gym on the ship. There were free classes like morning stretch and Abs Class. Yoga, Cycling, and TRX Suspension classes were available for a nominal fee. There were no Tai Chi classes. I was a little disappointed that my wife and I could not use the gym on the day we returned to Amsterdam and were waiting for passengers to arrive for the second 7-day cruise segment. I really liked that HAL is now offering more active shore excursions, as part of their renamed EXC [Exploration Central] Tours. My wife and I did a 2.5-mile hike (tour) and a kayaking tour (in picturesque Geirangerfjord). If you want to visit Geirangerfjord, do so before 2025. I learned that after 2025, large cruise ships like the Koningsdam will no longer be allowed in Geirangerfjord. I think this has to do with preserving the UNESCO World Heritage Site status of the fjord. Whether the ship will dock at a larger and farther out fjord and shuttle passengers into Geirangerfjord is unknown at this time. One thing to be aware of is what appears to be a new policy for shore excursions, aka EXC Tours. In the past, passengers were told that the ship would not leave you if you were on a HAL shore excursion. Now the HAL website states about EXC Tours, “Worry-free return to the ship. In the very rare event that your tour is late and the ship must leave, we will arrange at our expense to get you to the next port of call.” I think HAL is still getting its processes in place for active tours. I know that 3 passengers were left behind on one of the hiking tours without ship personnel being aware of the situation, but the passengers managed to get back to the ship in plenty of time. As a backup precaution, passengers should always carry the phone number for reaching the ship if this ever happens, and perhaps even carry local currency for getting a bus or taxi ride back to the ship. My wife and I did 2 other tours with HAL; at other ports we went out on our own. Twenty years before, I had hiked Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) near Stavanger in the fog and rain. I had hoped to repeat the hike on this cruise. However, the stopover in Stavanger was not long enough. So, I did a cruise of Lysefjord so that I could see Pulpit Rock from below. Unfortunately it was raining most of the time, and it was hot inside the main cabin with all the passengers on the tour. The air conditioning was not working on the boat; the ship personnel complained if we opened the doors to allow some fresh air into the main cabin. HAL should have a discussion with the tour operator about passenger comfort. The other tour was the “Best of Flam”. I had hoped to re-do most of the “Norway in a Nutshell” tour that I had done about 20 years ago on my own. But I didn’t read the tour description carefully enough. I got to ride the Flåm Railway train from Flåm to Myrdal Station to Voss (birthplace of Knute Rockne, a famous football coach at the University of Notre Dame, but unknown to the local guides in Voss), with a stopover at the well-known Kjosfoss Waterfall. I rode a bus from Voss to Gudvangen with a stop at the Tvinde Waterfall. Then the bus took us back to the ship after driving through 2 long tunnels (about 7-miles and 3-miles long). What I missed was doing the scenic cruise on the Nærøyfjord. That was a separate shore excursion that overlapped with the Best of Flam tour. But I did get to cruise on lots of others beautiful fjords during my cruise, so it wasn’t a big disappointment. HAL excursions are still pricey. I heard from a number of passengers that they liked doing their own thing at each port. Catching the Hop On-Hop Off bus seemed to be very popular with such guests. The price of the bus was apparently very affordable. One of the highlights of the cruise was scenic cruising in the fjords with commentary by the Head EXC Guide. On Day 3 of the first week, we did Oslofjord (though not a traditional fjord with steep canyon walls). On Day 5, we did Sognefjord. On Day 3 of the second week, we did Eidfjord and Hardangerfjord. On Day 5, we did Geirangerfjord. Wear a warm jacket, bring a glass of wine, and enjoy the magnificent views and all the waterfalls along the (traditional) fjords. My wife and I both came away with a deeper appreciation of the natural beauty of Norway. There were lots of activities and events going on throughout the day on the ship, including informative talks about Nordic history, culture, and … trolls. There was no excuse for being bored on the cruise. I did not notice any emphasis by HAL personnel on handwashing before dining, other than a “Guest Stateroom Health Advisory” in my stateroom. There were hand sanitizer stations throughout the ship, and there were special hand washing stations at the Lido Market. But it was up to passengers to decide whether to use them; many did not. The Lido Market mitigated some potential problems by having their dining staff serve most of the “buffet” food to guests on plates. There were only a few food items that guests could touch themselves. When my wife and I arrived on ship, we looked at the different beverage packages being offered to passengers. The unlimited drink packages seemed very pricey: basic, non-alcoholic “quench” package at $17.95 per day; “signature” package with some cocktails, wines, ports, beers, and spirits for $49.95 per day; and the “elite package” with higher end alcohol for $54.95 per day. Be aware that a package has to be purchased by all stateroom guests of legal drinking age. However, you can still find a bargain. I liked the wine packages. There were three categories to choose from in “The Sommelier Suite” with both red and white wines; Mariner members get their eligible discount with those packages. The categories were popularly priced white and red wines (e.g., Estancia Pinot Noir from California), premium wines (e.g., Meiomi Pinot Noir from California), and cellar master’s favorites (e.g., Hangtime Pinot Noir from California). All these wine packages had New World and Old World wines. You could select 4, 6, or 8 bottles. Because my wife and I were on a 14-day cruise, we opted for the 8-bottle package. That allowed us to drink part of a bottle one night, and have the dining staff save the bottle for us to finish another night. (We also brought two bottles of wine ourselves onboard in our checked luggage to enjoy during the cruise.) The dinner menu featured other wines that were available for purchase. There was one wine tasting each week, for $19.95, that featured wines from “The Sommelier Suite”. There was a second wine tasting each week that featured Wines of the World, for $25. Fortunately, the wines were different each week. The world wine tasting allowed you to try 10 wines, a red and a white from each of 5 countries. I enjoyed chatting with my tablemates and sipping on the wines. I learned to get all 10 wines poured and have them on my table before the event ended an hour and 15 minutes after it started. After that the pouring stations were removed, but I could finish my wines at my leisure. There were also beer tastings (and a bar hop), whiskey, bourbon and rye tastings, and mixology classes. Each cruise segment, there is also a Cellar Master’s Dinner, a 6-course tasting menu paired with the Cellar Master’s wine selections. My wife and I did not participate, because we did not like some of the food selections. I enjoyed looking at all the artwork on the walls of the ship, especially along the stairwells to different floors. Some of it was unusual and visually arresting. The ship decorator did a good job. You can get a really good deal on laundry. I hope HAL doesn’t change the price. HAL offers a “Laundry by the Bag” option for $30 each bag. Put as many clothes as you can in the blue HAL laundry bag in your stateroom and pay that one price—much cheaper that doing the clothes items individually. You get your clean laundry back the next day, if you have it picked up by approximately 9 am. For Mariners, there was the Mariner Lunch (for each 7-day cruise segment), at which time you would receive your souvenir coaster. There was also a new (to me) event each cruise–the Collector’s Voyage Cocktail Party in the Crow’s Nest for 3-star, 4-star, and 5-star Mariner guests. I’m glad HAL’s Mariner Society is doing more events to celebrate the loyalty of its return passengers. My wife and I have longed talked about doing a back-to-back cruise. This was our opportunity to experience it. I liked not having to pack when the ship first returned to Amsterdam. The next morning, my wife and I had a leisurely breakfast. We could not use the gym or the thermal suite until embarkation was complete and the ship started sailing away. We got off the ship and went to the cruise terminal on the pier to get free Wi-Fi; we were allowed to reboard when we wanted. We decided not to go sightseeing in town, because we have been to Amsterdam often. We watched a movie in our stateroom. In the afternoon, we decided to go to the hot tubs on the Lido Deck and drink some of the sparkling wine we brought onboard the ship in our checked luggage. We liked seeing all the new passengers mill around during departure while we sat in one of the hot tubs and had our own sail-away party. When you return to Amsterdam for disembarkation, and if you are first traveling to the train station (Centraal Station), you can save some money by walking from the cruise terminal. It’s only a 15-20 minute easy walk along the waterfront. If you need to buy a train ticket in Centraal Station, the Information Center/Ticket Office is about halfway down the building from where you enter, on the left hand side. There is a saying in Norway: “There is never bad weather, only bad clothes.” Norwegians love to do outdoor activities, in all seasons of the year. You can understand that after visiting different parts of the country. The scenery is gorgeous. The fjords are idyllic. Towns like Oslo and Bergen are inviting and friendly. If you want to see Norway, then a Vikings Sagas and/or the Norse Legends cruise is for you. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is a long review because I have tried to convey things other reviewers have not. My husband and I are in our mid 60’s, have traveled extensively, and this was our fourth cruise: 1 with RCL and 2 with Princess. We had 14 day ... Read More
This is a long review because I have tried to convey things other reviewers have not. My husband and I are in our mid 60’s, have traveled extensively, and this was our fourth cruise: 1 with RCL and 2 with Princess. We had 14 day cruise through the fjords with HAL on the Koningsdam that was split into two seven day cruises returning to Amsterdam after seven days. We did our own airfare. My problem with booking through the cruise line is that as long as everything goes right, it’s great. But, when things go wrong, and on the international leg of a journey anything can and does go wrong, you do not have the contract with the airline, HAL does. So, you have a third party involved, which complicates changes when things go wrong. It has to go through HAL. We used Dutch Limo to pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel, and Dutch Limo to take us to the ship from the hotel. Excellent, as one other reviewer remarked. It was nice after being up all night to see your name and follow the driver to your hotel. We stayed at the Ibis Styles Amstel, which was an excellent choice. The Ibis Styles Central Station (across from the Central Station) was sold out a year in advance, as were many hotels. Our room was ready at 7:00 in the morning which made us very happy. The staff is great and this is a great part of town with a street market and nice restaurants right down the canal from the Rijksmuseum. The Cruise The Good: There are some things worth mentioning. The food overall (if you can get to it) was relatively good. The crew was outstanding doing the best they could under very trying circumstances. Because you are served in the Lido, fewer hands actually touch the food, so in that sense, it is a lot more sanitary. There are hand washing stations (a nice touch) at either end of the Lido and hand sanitizer everywhere. The beds were great and the bathrooms, as mentioned by so many, are a vast improvement. Hand lotion in the women’s bathroom, Happy Hour every day for an hour with some eats put out (with the second drink $2) were fine touches and very popular. They had two female piano players in the evening, who I thought were good and in the afternoon every day they had a solo piano player in the billboard area. Some of the classical music was also nice. We did not go into the theatre but heard many complaints that it was “too small.” Embarkation. Be ready to stand in several lines for over an hour. Of course, others boarded earlier and got on much easier. You have to endure a terminal with no air conditioning and it was chaos with families and children. Cabin: I have to say the cabin was OK if not much smaller than we had on RCL and Princess in the same category (inside). There was sufficient storage for items and clothes. The bathroom on our inside cabin was one of the best we have ever had. As others have noted, the shower was exceptional. Unfortunately, there was garbage under our bed and behind the vanity when we arrived. That’s what happens when you have overloaded cabin stewards. In addition, our bathroom on the Gershwin Deck rear had a constant sewer smell, although it did not go into the room. Dining: Lido: If you do not make the early cut-off for breakfast in the dining room (9:00 am), you can battle it out in line at the Lido. Now, remember, the dining room is only open for lunch when you have days at sea, and not even then since there were two Mariner lunches to which the general public was not invited. Over 14 days on our cruise, you can only have lunch in the dining room maybe 2 days. What does that mean? The Lido. While any of the alternative dining rooms are available for lunch, they will set you back additional money. Obviously, the message is if you want a nice lunch and to be waited on, you will have to pay extra. Ordinarily, at any buffet you would have trays. Why? Because then you can gather your meal in an organized fashion all at once. There are no trays in the overcrowded Lido. So, this is a two person operation. You would think on a new ship seating would be appropriate for the number of people on the ship. Not so. There is a GROSS shortage of tables. Therefore, you have to have one person find a table first, no small matter. People can be aggressive, and you have to be if you want a seat to enjoy the meal you have already paid for. Next, once you find a table, it is most likely dirty. So, you have to wait for the staff to clear it off, or failing that, do the work yourself. Amazingly, the waiter stations in the Lido area have no running water. Your table will be wiped with a rag that is rung from a bucket of water (not kidding). Once you have the table clean and have claimed it, you will remain in the middle of those jostling with their plates and those who are aggressively seeking a place to sit. Not a pleasant experience. There are literally hundreds of people along with walkers and wheelchairs, young kids and staff moving in what is basically a confined space. So, be ready for contact. They do have pizza also in a separate venue above the pool. It was OK. There was a place to order but no place to pick up so you had to insert yourself in the bar to pick up your pizza. If you are sitting in the Lido area around the pool, you will have to negotiate a winding staircase to your table with your pizza in hand. The burger and fries area was much more organized and on the same level as the Lido. They had something missing from the Lido: trays. Actually, there was almost a fight over a table while we were sitting there in the Lido by the pool. The staff kind of broke it up before it got out of hand. With tensions high and people hungry, this can happen. The Lido is obviously too small and not well thought out. It is equivalent to a college cafeteria with better food. Sharpen those elbows before you hit the crowds. Dining Room: Forget fine dining if you are in the main dining room. The dining room is a two story beer hall that echoes loudly before you even enter. It is so loud it eliminates any possibility of a nice dinner. We requested late seating and found out at the last minute we did not get it, even though we paid our nonrefundable deposit almost a year in advance. All tables for two were eliminated for reservations after the first day. And, of course, the table for two you want may not be worth going after. One of the reasons to try and get a reservation is that anytime dining is even worse. Most of the decent two-tops are taken already by well-heeled passengers and fixed seating. We went early to dinner one night just to see if the chaos and noise were a figment of our imagination or real. We requested a table for two and turned down the first offer (a table next to a double stack of clean glasses and the exit to the waiter station). So, we were given a table for two (which actually was fairly good by HAL standards), up against the front part of the waiters’ station. The waiter stations are too small for what goes on and as a result, there are trays of wine glasses and waters glasses stacked outside the stations. Also, on the outside of the stations are the dirty dishes and silverware that must sit there because of the stations poor design. No cabinets for glasses. So, as you sit down you are looking at wine glasses stacked on these trays that are going on your table, like you are eating in the kitchen. The noise from the station, which has low walls so you hear everything, interferes with hearing the person sitting across from you. If you are at a large table, no one can hear across the table. In addition, people seem to be permitted to wander around the dining room during dinner, looking at you, what’s on your plate and just standing around in the middle of the floor. This is what occurred on the night we had dinner there. Where the head waiter was, I have no idea but these people stood in the middle of floor, hovering over tables with kids hanging out with them for over a half hour when we were there. So, we ordered a bottle of white wine. We get the bottle in the ice bucket that is placed behind us right next to a tray that holds all the dirty silverware that is literally next to the bucket. The noise becomes deafening as this group of about 30 or 40 enters the dining room to find their seats (and of course there is controversy about who sits where) and this adds to feeling of chaos in the dining room. One thing I did do was get to breakfast as many times as I could, but you could not stay up late at night. In addition, they never ask your name, they ask your room number when you want a table. You are linked forever with the cabin you get. I will also add that there is NO ambiance in any of the main dining areas. The Lido is a buffet, with all that it implies. The dining room, as mentioned before, is chaos. So, what do you do? You have to spend additional money to get some peace and quiet and service, which is why many suite clients end up eating solely at the Pinnacle Grill and the other alternative (read “extra money”) venues. Even they don’t want to eat in the dining room. One review I read from a suite passenger stated emphatically that they never once ate in the main dining room. FYI: If you dine in the Canaletto, as we did one night for extra money ($30), your meal will be less noisy than the Lido proper, but then your meal will be served directly from the Lido to your table. We were seated right next to the waiter’s station with all the noise. There were many negative comments I heard about the noise in the dining room from other people who were from other countries. There were many Aussies, Brits and Dutch on board. One man I heard comment (not American) said he was seated in the dining room by a main thoroughfare and the waiters along with those being seated kept banging into his chair during the entire meal. The tables are also too close together. He said he had to resort to the private dining venues to get a reasonable dinner without the noise. The two tops are all pretty bad. They are either up against a noisy station, and if you are lucky you don’t have to sit next to dirty dishes and silverware. Otherwise, you will be having dinner similar to the experience of an Olive Garden. There are just too many tables jammed into the dining space. It appears that HAL cannot handle the anytime dining with the size of their dining room. It also appears that their goal is to get you to pay to dine after you have already paid for the cruise. We had a lunch given to us by our travel agent in the Pinnacle Grill. It was nice but dinner will set you back $50.00. You get peace and quiet that you supposedly already paid for. Don’t plan on the Crow’s Nest for take off. It was closed for a private function on both embarkation days. However, if you can stake out a place 2 to 3 hours before sail away at the various ports, you can get a seat. They need to eliminate the “computer area” and remove the tables blocking the windows on the other side. What I did not know was that the hull of the Koningsdam is the same as QE2 and the Queen Victoria. What was noted by someone who actually traveled on the QE2 and this ship was the breaking up of space for “pay” venues. I never saw anyone in the Retreat the two weeks we were there, but the place takes up significant space. Her main criticism was that there were many little spaces that had limited seating and were too small for the number of people on board. A perfect example of that, and here I totally agreed, was the Dutch Café. The concept was nice; however, it is way too small for its purpose. There is a small area with tables that are continually filled and it pushes out into the Atrium. People park there, which is understandable, but it makes it impossible for you to get a seat. This should be much larger. Other wasted space includes the walkway around the Culinary Arts area. This is next to the dining room on the second floor. Instead of putting small sofas by the windows where people could sit and look out, there are these ridiculous dining chairs, in an awful color to boot, lined up facing the hallway. In addition, there are these ugly metal structures containing promotions blocking the windows to make sure you can’t see out. It would have been nice if they put seating there with some tables so people waiting for dinner have a place to sit and wait close to the dining room. We were sitting in the classical area listening to music from the other music venue. Supposedly, this problem will be fixed in dry dock in December. Poorly designed. We did attend some of the lectures which were not exceptional but informative. The big problem is that when you get an announcement throughout the ship it will not come in your cabin. People were mystified why HAL did not put the main intercom (including the Captain’s updates) in the cabin so you didn’t to open your cabin door to listen. All in all, we will not be back on Holland America. My concept was being served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead, I found out the dining room is closed for lunch and you have to get up early on vacation to catch breakfast. Why breakfast was not extended until at least 10:00, considering they don’t serve lunch, I do not know. Dinner was such a production to get a table, and a bad table at that, it was not worth it. Please note that when you get in line in the Lido for your entrée, you may be waiting behind the staff. Yes, the staff gets in line and you have to wait behind them to eat. They do not have their own dining room and you will be in line behind them and in some cases, they will get waited on before you. Laundry: We did three bags of clothes for $30 each. Be sure to bring Spray and Wash. The first round of laundry had to be redone because none of the grease came off the shirts and as a result we had to pick up some Spray & Wash in Amsterdam and have the clothes rewashed. They have no room for laundry where you can iron your clothes and the staff will not bring you an iron. Disembarkation: That was easy because we left the ship with our luggage. It felt good to be off the ship. I was looking forward to getting waited on and having some relaxing dinners with a little atmosphere for a change. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We are Australians who were in Europe visiting family so we added this cruise to Norway leaving from Amsterdam. We were a little taken aback by the size and number of passengers but the public spaces are many and we didn't feel ... Read More
We are Australians who were in Europe visiting family so we added this cruise to Norway leaving from Amsterdam. We were a little taken aback by the size and number of passengers but the public spaces are many and we didn't feel crowded except at breaksfast in the Market at 0900 or thereabouts. We loved the quality of the food - far superior to what we have had on cruises before - especially the rib filet steak and lobster tails - supurb. The dining staff were friendly, attentitive and efficient. The quality of the entertainment suprised and delighted us. Particularly the Lincoln Centre Stage classical quintet and BB King's jazz room. The cabin staff were wonderful and kept everthing tidy and clean. We took the cycling tour in Oslo and can highly recommend it. Only medium fitness is needed - we are both in our late 60s and found it easy. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Ship: HAL's flagship suppose to be stunning, but I agree with previous reviews which mentioned "...more of the Carnival Ship's ambiance rather than a true HAL". Dining: Complimentary dining options were Lido ... Read More
Ship: HAL's flagship suppose to be stunning, but I agree with previous reviews which mentioned "...more of the Carnival Ship's ambiance rather than a true HAL". Dining: Complimentary dining options were Lido Market Place, formal dining room, poolside New York Pizza, poolside Dive In fast food, or room service. Dining room seatings were always instant availability despite not having reservation most of the time. Food selection were always good, so were the services. The highllights dishes were foie gras, lobster tail, quails and escargot. Sadly the days of regular cruise lines serving caviars were over a long time ago. Lido food selection were plentiful, but became very tedious after a week. Menu largely unchanged for the duration of cruise, save for a few variations here and there. However, available seatings were constant challenge, specially during peak dining hours. I notice the opening hours and availability have been noticeably reduced compared to the past. I brought this matter to the dining room supervisors and the standard response always "If you require food out of normal dining hours, you could always go to poolside dining options." Not good enough in my opinion. Fee based dining options were Pinnacle Grill (steakhouse), Sel de Mer (seafood), Cullinary Art Centre (Latin/Southern USA cuisine), Canaletto (Italian), and Tamarind (various Asia). Entertainment: Main nightly show auditorium were mostly of mediocre or bland quality. Consist of 2No of tribute artists, 2No solo instrumentalists, 2No HAL dance troupes shows, a comedian and an orchestra while BBC Earth documentary shown on background. The worst having to endure a solo pianist played 10 consecutive pieces of classical music for an hour. Stage background wraparound video display wall is impressive, more in the taste of X-Factor studio. Shore Excursion: We only 1 official shore excursion, which was to bathe the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. It was suppose to be the highlight of the cruise, instead the Icelandic tour guide was boring and his English was difficult to understand. The bathing experience at the lagoon was very rushed and unfortunately ruined by unprofesionalism/mishaps/incompetecy of the tour guide. Certainly not worth the $500+ for the 3 of us. The good: 1. Food and beverage services were excellent. And the staffs really took care of us. 2. Room stewards were courteous and attentive most of the time. 3. Excitement of vacation in the flagship of Holland America Line. HAL's largest ship at the time. 4. Luggage deliveries in the beginning and end of cruise were efficient. 5. I feel unlimited laundry service for $126 was a good value. 6. Club HAL for children were staffed with friendly leaders and provide excellent children activities. Our kid thoroughly enjoyed very much. The bad (Where do I start?): 1. Initial embarkation process at Amsterdam Port for such size of ship was very poor experience. Constantly being led from one long line to another. 2. Being the size of the ship of 2800 passengers, any half decent organized activities fills up very quickly. Main auditorium often fills up quickly even 30 minutes before the start if shows. 3. This ship no longer has cinema room, and dedicated library. Instead paid internet terminals were provided at the usual HAL prices. Nightly films were shown on big screen over the mid ship swimming pool. 4. I feel HAL policy to extract as much revenue from every passenger has moved up a notch. Everything from Spas, health, wellness, events sold as complimentary ship activities, specialty dining, shore excursions, etc. are geared for revenue generation. 5. Corridors outside cabins are devoid of artworks and decorated solely in light brown wallpaper. Not something expected from HAL flagship, but more like the Stena Line ferries. 6. Once a cruise BBQ event usually conducted at middle pool area has been discontinued. We were told due to health and safety grounds. 7. Opportunity to adjust/cancel the automatic gratuity consigned to only the last day of cruise. Consequently the line up to guest services desk stretched around the block. It is appalling that HAL conduct such practice. I predict HAL will soon implement mandatory gratuity for all passengers. 8. Availability of Crow's Nest lounge for general passengers have been reduced. I feel events such as arts auctions and other private engagements puts Crow's Nest out of bound. For the times it is available, generally competition to get available seats were intense. Unlike past cruise on Zuiderdam, there were no live music performed in Crow's Nest this time. Verdict: Experience certainly below my expectation for a flagship of HAL. I hope HAL will not repeat the same mistakes on their upcoming new sister ship (MS Nieuw Statendam). Which was heavily promoted during my cruise. My past cruises: Crown Princess (West Caribbean), Norwegian Wind (Inside Passage Alaska), HAL MS Ryndam (Norway fjord), HAL MS Zuiderdam (Inside Passage Alaska), HAL Nieuw Amsterdam (West Mediterranean), and HAL Eurodam (Baltic). Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We were told the ship would accommodate our needs. Had Neptune "handicapped" suite. Had no assistance boarding ship, getting off at all ports, and leaving the ship when returned to Amsterdam. First time ever in 30 plus cruises ... Read More
We were told the ship would accommodate our needs. Had Neptune "handicapped" suite. Had no assistance boarding ship, getting off at all ports, and leaving the ship when returned to Amsterdam. First time ever in 30 plus cruises this has happened. This despite wife being in wheelchair unable to stand at all, me pushing with 2 carry on bags, etc.. Arrived at cabin Fully Accessible (SA7094) to find the wheelchair could not access the side of the bed on either side. This despite the web site saying it would (and still does by the way). Additionally bed was to high for her to access it from the chair. Cabin attendants turned the bed sideways so she could access it from one side and removed the top mattress from the bed. Pretty expensive suite for not being able to sleep in the bed. No tours buses we signed up to tour on prior to boarding were accessible despite being told on the phone by HA ExcTours they would be. We did get our money back. We took no tours. Computer room a disaster; paid for 60 minutes and all told got 15 minutes when it was working. Computer assistant apologized to everyone for how bad it was but no one got money back. Handicapped platform for wheelchair access to the tender boats I'm sure would have worked fine had the attendants been trained on how to use it. As it turned out the whole loading procedure was held up each time they tried to use it. And I suppose we got the blame for holding up the boarding. I could go on but no need adding insult to injury. Bottom line is this: if you are disabled and cannot stand DO NOT GO ON THIS CRUISE LINE! I think they have orders to "don't touch the wheelchairs". Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Overall, a great trip, would highly recommend. We enjoyed the new features of the Koningsdam - same HAL experience for us. Embarkation: went very smoothly – was in our room by noon. No waiting at all. Notes from the trip: No ... Read More
Overall, a great trip, would highly recommend. We enjoyed the new features of the Koningsdam - same HAL experience for us. Embarkation: went very smoothly – was in our room by noon. No waiting at all. Notes from the trip: No Library - no big deal - plan ahead Food service - dinners in MDR - done in 1.5 hrs - 4 courses - servers not as personable as we have seen but did a good job. Lido - good - lines minimal - on worse day there were up to 6 people in line - most days 1-2 people in line. No trouble finding a place to sit and eat. You can move to pool area if necessary. If eating after initial opening of stations – say 30 to 45 min after opening – food was not always hot enough. Dine-In burger ok - not as good as 5 Guys. NY Deli - excellent pizza - Rubin ok - breakfast there was good if you want a bagel and lox and avoid the Lido. Dutch cafe - great fries - other stuff good – nothing that great but another good place to get something to eat besides the Lido. Don’t Like the $15/day/person add-on – I didn’t try to get it changed but also didn’t leave tips for MDR or stateroom staff as I have in the past. $420 in tips included in bill for the 14 days. Additionally, the spa adds on their own 15% tip. Didn’t use any specialty restaurants - I didn’t think their menus were that great. Used HAL excursions at all ports - well run but pricey - but if the excursion ran late the ship will wait for their tours – not sure they will for individuals out on their own. There was some confusion when they changed the excursion and tender boat process. They had people take tenders and meet at the dock - heard that at least one person missed. Excursion goals met: saw whales - puffins and a lot of great scenery. Cleanliness – recommendation to HAL staff - sit where customers sit and look around - crumbs along and on window of lido / tape pieces along lighting top edge of ceiling in Crow’s Nest. Not a big deal, but . . . Staff behavior - singing at serving station in main dining room - heads down trying to sleep during safety drill. Despite the negative comments, I consider everything to be generally well run. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Just returned from a 14 day Northern Isles cruise on HAL’s Koningsdam. Had a wonderful time... the ship is very nice with lots of quiet areas to sit. The crew members were very friendly, both on and off the ship. Bar staff quickly ... Read More
Just returned from a 14 day Northern Isles cruise on HAL’s Koningsdam. Had a wonderful time... the ship is very nice with lots of quiet areas to sit. The crew members were very friendly, both on and off the ship. Bar staff quickly remembered our drink choices. We were very surprised to have the Promenade deck (3) to ourselves while walking most days. There is also a small jogging track on deck 11. Cabin - We stayed in cabin 6199 which was located starboard and aft. It was very convenient to walk down to deck 3 for the promenade deck or walk up to deck 9 where the buffet and the Dive In hamburger venues were. We only used the elevators 3 times during the cruise but there did not seem to be much wait time for an elevator. The bathroom was small, as expected, but ok. The toilet was angled toward the shower which would make it a tight fit for someone over 6 feet tall. There was enough room in the shower; also good water pressure. We did have some water temp changes while showering. Dispensers with shampoo, conditioner and bath gel were located on the wall. There was sufficient storage in the room- several drawers but they were not deep. Suitcase will fit under the bed. We had a small sofa and a desk beside the indoor looking out. Balcony size was sufficient with 2 chairs, 1 foot rest and 1 small table. The chairs reclined slightly. Our cabin stewards, Jas and Cristine, did a good job keeping the cabin serviced. Dining - The hamburger and pizza venues were good. The buffet food was also very good with diverse food choices but extremely crowded, noisy, and congested, unless you got there as soon as they opened. Finding a seat was challenging at times. The dining room food was very good, but service was a little slow at times at breakfast. Service was faster at dinner. At dinner, the dining room got to be a little noisy. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind - both were excellent choices. BB King Blues Lounge and the dueling pianos provided excellent entertainment. Expedited disembarkation - very easy and quick once we were allowed off the ship. We took our bags off ourselves. You need to get in line around 0630 (for a 0715 departure) if you want to leave as soon as possible. There was no passport control or customs check once we left the ship. Taxis were plentiful since we got off early. Overall, I would recommend cruising on the Koningsdam; I would sail on her again. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This review will be a comparison with a very similar ship, the Celebrity Silhouette. I think many people might like the comparison since they are similar in size and offer a similar cruise experience. The Koningsdam easily wins for ... Read More
This review will be a comparison with a very similar ship, the Celebrity Silhouette. I think many people might like the comparison since they are similar in size and offer a similar cruise experience. The Koningsdam easily wins for destination since Norway Fjords are way more interesting than the caribbean beaches. Plus the scenery while cruising the fjords is really breathtaking! In terms of food it is really tough, I would say that the people who work on Koningsdam are the friendliest I have ever seen, everyone smiles and wishes you a good day. The Lido buffet on the Koningsdam is better than the silhouette(better breads, soups, salads), but the main dining room on the Silhouette had better service, presentation and food quality. In terms of entertainment this one easily goes to Silhouette and an incredible cruise director named Sue Denning(you really can't find a better entertainer than Sue!). On the Koningsdam I did like the 280 degree theatre with a fantastic presentation of BBC Blue Planet with music played by the Koningsdam musicians, really impressive, but the rest of the entertainment including the singers did not compare with the Silhouette. Now to the ship itself, the rooms definitely look nicer on the Koningsdam since it is newer but the layout on the Silhouette is still better. They have the best concept for adjoining rooms I have ever seen plus you can sit properly on the toilet whereas on the Koningsdam you can't if you are tall(really stupid design!). The Koningsdam is also lacking a large atrium, they have one but it is not impressive like on the Silhouette. The interior of the Koningsdam with its music themed artwork does beat out the Silhouette so I would call it a tie up until the top deck, the designers of the Koningsdam totally forgot to do anything on the top deck of the ship, there is a basketball court and jogging track, but that is it! What sets the Silhouette class ships apart from the competition is that they did an incredible job making the top deck an inviting place. They have an outdoor restaurant that grills delicious steaks, comfortable hammocks, a supersized deck chair that fits four people all on a luxurious real grass lawn. Before taking the cruise on the Silhouette I thought the "lawn" on the ship was a gimmick, but I found myself spending almost all my time up there whereas I almost never went up to the top deck on the Koningsdam. In the end, which was the better cruise, easliy the Koningsdam to Norway, the destination and scenery totally makes up for the small shortcomings of the ship. In comparison of the ships it amazes me that the design and comfort on the Silhouette still beats out the brand new Koningsdam. I would be glad to sail either ship in the future, but if the Silhouette has the better destination it is an easy choice! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
To start with we were very happy with the overall feel and amenities of the ship. Staff outstanding as usual and the layout and shows are great. The cooking shows were the best! The entertainment is better than any of the other cruise ... Read More
To start with we were very happy with the overall feel and amenities of the ship. Staff outstanding as usual and the layout and shows are great. The cooking shows were the best! The entertainment is better than any of the other cruise ships from HAL we have been on. When we arrived we got comfortable in our cabin (4075.) When you book make sure you aren't anywhere near this cabin. After the second night we lay awake every single night to the noise of the Queens Room two stories below us to a point we were dreading go to bed for another uncomfortable night. We were right over the base/sound system. The Queens lounge had the Big Band playing almost every single night till 11:00-11:15 pm. Then the disco started till 1:30-2:00 am. It was so loud that our floor vibrated every night and after reporting this several times they didn't take it seriously and we were not moved to another location like some of the guests in cabins around us. They offered a free meal in the Pinnacle. That is not going to ease the "pain" of sleepless nights. Finally after I recorded the sound at 1:00 am in the morning on my phone they gave us earplugs which made it even worse. The vibration was more noisy with the plugs than without. The fact that we were sailing across the Atlantic and giving up 6 hours of sleep over 8 days didn't help either. The staff/crew is well aware of this problem and they continue to book guests in these rooms. They know about it yet they don't seem to care. Several of our "neighbors" on the ship were relocated because of their complains. However, they didn't seem to take our cause seriously enough to move us (they claimed they didn't have other rooms, however, we heard from other crew members that they weren't at capacity and had empty cabins. This is the first time that I couldn't wait for the cruise to be over with. I was totally exhausted. An apology letter and $150 is what they gave us on the day of departure. The apology is not sincere in my opinion since they know about this problem and don't seem to do anything about it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife and I (both senior citizens) were on the MS Koningsdam cruise to the Norwegian fiords starting from Amsterdam on 22 July 2018. It was our second time cruising with Holland America. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Embarkation ... Read More
My wife and I (both senior citizens) were on the MS Koningsdam cruise to the Norwegian fiords starting from Amsterdam on 22 July 2018. It was our second time cruising with Holland America. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Embarkation registration at Amsterdam was done with a minimal of delay. Although there was a fairly long queue there were many counters open and registration was smooth. Our balcony stateroom was excellent. There was enough storage space and everything worked. I especially appreciate the powerful shower. And the bed was soft and comfortable. The staff, especially Atjima at the Lido restaurant where we had our meals most of the time were very cordial, friendly and helpful. We had no complaints about the food. We enjoyed the entertainment on board although we have read in other cruise critic posts that bigger ships offer better entertainment. We only bought one shore excursion from the ship as that particular excursion from independent operators was fully booked. All other excursions were bought from independent shore excursion operators. They were good and much cheaper. Just as the ship docked at Amsterdam port on 29 July at the end of the cruise we went out to the balcony to take some pictures. We disembarked and took the flight to London. While unpacking at our London accommodation I couldn’t find my still camera. We then realized I had left my camera on the balcony table. I went on the Holland America line website and got the email address of the guest services in the US. I wrote to them and explained what happened giving them all the necessary details. They wrote back after a couple of days and said they would look into my case and let me know if my camera had been found. In London I also looked up the phone number of Holland America. I called and spoke to a Mr William Kimber and told him what had happened. He was very helpful and told me he would call the ship to make enquiries. The next day I called him again and he told me that they had found my camera and would make arrangements to send it back to me. Subsequently a Ms Christine Ferris, Special Advisor, Office of the President of Holland America also wrote to say they had found my camera and that it would be sent to my home address in Malaysia. She said I should receive it in about 3 to 4 weeks. My wife and I were elated and overwhelmed with the quick response from HA Line. On 25th August I received a package from DHL which contained my camera in good working order. My wife and I were over the moon. We didn’t mind losing the camera but the pictures in it were priceless. We have nothing but praise for the staff involved in finding and sending back my camera. I would like to make a suggestion. Holland America should place a card in each stateroom advising clients on how to contact Lost and Found by phone and/or email in case they left something of value behind. We were told we would be sent an evaluation form by email at the end of the cruise but unfortunately we didn’t receive any. We would have been happy to send in our comments of the enjoyable cruise. We would definitely cruise with Holland America again. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We are a young Irish couple in our 30s and this was our first cruise. We sailed from Amsterdam and our itinerary consisted of Flåm, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Oslo, with two days at sea. The Konningsdam exceeded our expectations as a ... Read More
We are a young Irish couple in our 30s and this was our first cruise. We sailed from Amsterdam and our itinerary consisted of Flåm, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Oslo, with two days at sea. The Konningsdam exceeded our expectations as a ship. It was very luxurious and had some beautiful features - like art pieces, plush carpets and fresh flowers. The service was akin to a 5 star hotel - all of the staff were polite and said hello whenever and wherever you met them. We had an interior stateroom and it was much more comfortable than we expected. There was lots of storage room and it didn’t feel cramped. There was a safe, a minibar, a hair dryer and plenty of towels in the room also. The room was serviced twice a day. The bathroom was small but functional - the shower was amazing! Entertainment was of a very high quality - we loved the dueling pianos, and B.B. Kings was also fun. Our favorite performance was the Planet Earth show in the World Stage but we attended most evening shows. However, after a few days we found there was a lack of variety, the performances became a bit repetitive and we started to spend more time reading and playing board games. The movies on the lido deck was a nice option, but there was a really strange selection of movies for the week. Also, it was hard to hear the movie at times. The pools and hot tubs were very clean and well maintained but a little small and overtaken by children. It would have been nice to have a hot tub space just for adults. Food onboard was always fantastic. The selection and variety in the lido deck was exceptional and maintained a very high standard, even for a buffet. The process to get food at the lido was at times a little disorganized and chaotic but the food was good. The dining hall was beautiful and very enjoyable but it was difficult to get a reservation at a reasonable time - they usually only offered 5pm or 9pm. We didn’t feel the need to try the specialty dining options during our week as there was always a good, broad selection of offerings. However, if we stayed a second week we probably would have tried Tamarind and Pinnacle Grill. Tea, coffee, water and juice were all freely available at all times in the lido deck. We didn’t purchase any of the drinks packages and think they would have worked out a bit more expensive. We didn’t do any of the organized excursions as we found them very expensive. With a little research and planning, its easy to have a similar experience at a fraction of the price - and may even be a more personalized experience! Outside of the entertainment, the other onboard activities didn’t really interest us. It seemed to be more tailored to an older, wealthy, American audience i.e. casinos, art gallery, tech info seminars, trivia nights and diamonds/jewels. We did find the Crows Nest to be a particularly special find - it was generally quiet and had some fun board games to play. It was also a lovely, relaxing and calming place to read and catch up. Embarkation and disembarkation were seamless and took less than 30minutes in each case. The days at port also offered an easy and comfortable transit - we could walk into the town center and return at any time. Overall, the ship and itinerary were perfect for first time cruisers. But for our next cruise, we will likely look for a larger ship with more varied of entertainment and enrichment tailored towards a younger demographic. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Overall an excellent ship, great service, entertainment (B.B. King!), and the food was pretty good. Loved that a cruise director wasn’t featured, the selling was minimum, and the public announcements were few. The itinerary was ... Read More
Overall an excellent ship, great service, entertainment (B.B. King!), and the food was pretty good. Loved that a cruise director wasn’t featured, the selling was minimum, and the public announcements were few. The itinerary was wonderful. The smoking area on the Lido deck and the casino need to be looked at. It’s too much and I am a smoker. The Flan RR excursion was poorly organized. The handicap issue wasn’t addressed making a mess. The Lido dining room is so bad it should be avoided. Food was ok but it’s poorly designed. The elderly have a hard time with it, backing up everyone. The cabin issue is described below. Other than the noise, the cabin and location were great. Embarkation and departure were fine. You might want to think about recording the port lectures and playing them on the TV. We enjoyed this cruise, our sixth on HAL, but the noise, and poor handling of the issue left a bad taste in our mouths. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We both have Norwegian blood and wanted to see Norway as a celebration of our 50th anniversary. The weather was fabulous with rain only once on our fourteen day cruise. The scenery was as expected - fabulous. Food and entertainment, ... Read More
We both have Norwegian blood and wanted to see Norway as a celebration of our 50th anniversary. The weather was fabulous with rain only once on our fourteen day cruise. The scenery was as expected - fabulous. Food and entertainment, tho not first class, was more than adequate. We especially enjoyed the two piano boys and the string quartet in the smaller lounges. The main stage entertainment could have been better on some nights but all in all very enjoyable. The only downside to the trip was the excursions. They were extremely expensive and not very well coordinated. Example was a bus trip to the north cape. This trip cost $159/person and all you received was a 50 minute bus trip and no guide. Considering a full bus was worth nearly $8,000 to Holland America, I think they could have included a local guide to tell us about the area and fill up the time. Another excursion (in troundheim) included two wonderful places - a cathedral and a music museum, also for $159. At the cathedral we were basically handed tickets and told to be back on the bus 45 minutes later. No mention of a free tour inside the cathedral. Better yet they should have arranged for a tour guide to handle the group. Then we went to a wonderful music museum. When we arrived there were three guides standing there. We were not told to take any of them. The one my wife and I took was last to enter the museum and when we finished the tour the bus was waiting for us and we did not have time to go to the flower garden which was supposed to be part of the tour. Lastly the Flam railroad was $159/person. Again you were handed a ticket and shown the railroad, which was less than 100 yards from where our shuttle docked. No tour guide but you did get a waffle and coffee. If you can get tickets on your own they are less than half the cost but since the cruises book them up you have to search early for tickets, however we found that there were tickets available the day of the cruise. For the prices they charge for these excursions there should be more coordination and planning. I would use local cabs and tours if I went again. They would be far cheaper and you would be in better control of your time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because it went above the Arctic Circle and in fact, the ship gave us a certificate confirming such. We had a handicapped cabin which worked out great...a bit larger than most to accommodate a wheel chair. Highlight ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went above the Arctic Circle and in fact, the ship gave us a certificate confirming such. We had a handicapped cabin which worked out great...a bit larger than most to accommodate a wheel chair. Highlight was Honningsvag and North Cape. Holland only does this cruise a few times a summer so I would hold out for it. Next year cruise will be on the New Statendam. Dining room food was good and so was service..just wish it was open more often at lunch. Shows...some good..some not so good but what do you expect on a 2 week cruise? They can't knock out of the park every night. Cabin attendants were helpful and attentive but not overbearing. We especially enjoyed the Lincoln Center Stage with classical music nightly. Holland was not as helpful with shore excursions telling us we could not go on any due to our disability status. My advice...many things are possible if you pursue it on your own. We did very successfully. Heard other passengers lament the fact that Holland's ships no longer have a library and we agree that would be nice. All in all though, an excellent trip which we recommend Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We looked at various cruise lines, but after reading hundreds of reviews we had a short list and Holland.America was the one. It was our first ever cruise, so a little apprehensive. Booked through cruise agent everything went like clock ... Read More
We looked at various cruise lines, but after reading hundreds of reviews we had a short list and Holland.America was the one. It was our first ever cruise, so a little apprehensive. Booked through cruise agent everything went like clock work boarding the ship in Amsterdam was so quick and straightforward. At last time to relax and find our way round. The ship is tastefully furnished tge atrium is lovely open, pool area well looked after clean same with outdoor pool. The lido is great eat watch the big screen have a drink. Lots always going on always somewhere from digital workshops to trivia our room stewards petu and gunardi were fabulous the service was secind to none. Our room was seen to twice a day. We had fresh fruit whenever we required it. The BBC earth in the world stage is a must Billboard on board with Jonathan and Justin on pianos were fabulous they were packed out everynight their chemistry with the audience was great, fantastic entertainment dont change them. The excursions are little expensive some are well worth the money while some arent. Torghatten is ok if yiu are fairly fit and steady in your feer i think some older people who arenr as agile would struggle as some found due to uneven loose surfaces, but fantastic views once you are up there. Good port choice although i woukd like to have done Tromso Broonoysund is beautiful. The crew are all really friendly and helpful although some could smile but then we cant smile all the time,.cruise directors chriztina and Koen fabulous. Food great selection of restaurants main dining room food is fantastic and a nice selection, lido market great selection most of the day. Nice shopsfor a spot of onbpard shopping.everything easily accessible easy to find thoroughly reclmmend i dont think we would sail with anyone elae Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We wanted a relaxed experience. We have cruised 30+ times, but not often on HAL. We were favorably impressed. The service was very gracious and the food delicious. Our cabin was great. We had some initial difficulty with dining time. ... Read More
We wanted a relaxed experience. We have cruised 30+ times, but not often on HAL. We were favorably impressed. The service was very gracious and the food delicious. Our cabin was great. We had some initial difficulty with dining time. We didn't understand that it really is important to have a nightly reservation. But all was worked out to our satisfaction and we had a great waiter, wine steward and location. Because we were in far corner on level 2, there was never a noise issue. Newer ships are always a plus. I admit that we didn't care for the decor of the ship. It was ok, but no "wow." But it was all quite comfortable, except for chairs in Tamarind which we were told would be replaced during dry dock. I also question lounge/sofa pieces in Crows Nest. ---very awkward. I do miss large expansive indoor bar/lounge area of other ships. Food was quite good and waiters alway eager to please. We tried Culinary Arts Kitchen on first night with so-so results. --would not be eager to return. Pinnacle and Tamarind were both exceptional experiences! Shorex were very pricey but quite well organized except for a fjord cruise in Flam on a boat shared with passengers from other ships, etc. We were very pleased with all other HAL offerings. We were really delighted with the Signature Experience in Amsterdam. The museum visit was great and the dinner outstanding. What a wonderful beginning for our cruise. Embarkation was flawless. I'm not sure who gets credit, HAL or cruise terminal, but it was perfect. We used self-embarkation because of 11 am flight---easily accomplished. Piano duo was very entertaining. BB Kings group was good, just wish songs weren't so long. Lincoln Center group quite accomplished. We came away feeling that our presence on Koningsdam was valued! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our trip of the year for my DW me. 55 and 65. We cruise often but are more laid back and less demanding than other. One thing we enjoyed about this cruise was the age groups 50 -80. The lack of children was a big plus for us. ... Read More
This was our trip of the year for my DW me. 55 and 65. We cruise often but are more laid back and less demanding than other. One thing we enjoyed about this cruise was the age groups 50 -80. The lack of children was a big plus for us. I was very uncomfortable believing that the smoking would be an issue but I found next to none in the casino and only a whiff on my balcony. Service was great but the staff was slightly over friendly as I felt the need to return their greetings. I can't speak to the shore excursions as we did our own thing. The entertainment was top notch except for the horn guy.who was a real bore and did 2 shows on our 2 week cruise. The lounge groups were all really good as was the classical quintet . Loved the BB King lounge most though. The 2 piano players were good but sounded too much like banging at times. Food was good with tons of selection. Be sure to have the beef Wellington.. It is wonderful. Koningsdam is a beautiful well managed ship. We loved it and would book her again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Nice ,new ship.balcony stateroom pretty nice,but on the small size.cramped bathroom,not well designed,difficult to sit.shower head didnt fixed well.first and secod day,steward didnt come to clean the room untill 3p.m,we went to complain ... Read More
Nice ,new ship.balcony stateroom pretty nice,but on the small size.cramped bathroom,not well designed,difficult to sit.shower head didnt fixed well.first and secod day,steward didnt come to clean the room untill 3p.m,we went to complain and after this no problem.Molde port,I think was choosed to give expencive trips.staff in dining room pushed to order drinks,not always in good manner.But all in all nice experience,mainly because of new ,and well organized ship and crew.good port of calls,exept Molde,I think to push you expensive excursions.Super Geiranger and Bergen.embarkation and dis..well organised. Tender in Geiranger good .In dining room crew pushed you yo order drinks ,expensive.Super restaurant Tamarind!!nice experience delicious food also in dining room.In north cruises I think not to order balcony room next time.bit cold to seat.Just ocean view enough.A lot of disabled on board,somrtimes feeled like in reabilitation hospital.but its not much to do.It was world cup and they translated it at the big screen near the pool.by the way jakuzzi near the pool always occupied by children.a problem if you want to seat there Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My sister and I chose this itinerary to get a feel for my ancestors' lives. My Grandma left a tiny island for Alaska when she was 16 to work in a mining camp. The similarities are remarkable, except the scenery is Alaska on steroids! ... Read More
My sister and I chose this itinerary to get a feel for my ancestors' lives. My Grandma left a tiny island for Alaska when she was 16 to work in a mining camp. The similarities are remarkable, except the scenery is Alaska on steroids! And the ports, ah, the ports have been forgotten by the Diamond vendors, and chotchke shops of the Caribbean that have taken over the Alaskan ports. Norway is still run by charming Norwegians, who value tourists and care for your tourist dollars (and the VAT you leave there), which helps support their charming lifestyle. I had sailed the Konigsdam in her first season in the Mediterranean, and what an improvement! Tender lines were short, if any. Never a walk off line, and the ship was full. The only time it felt crowded was just before the Lido closed for lunch about 2:00pm, folks rushing back from shore to eat, get back a bit earlier, or plan to order room service, avoid the crush. On this 7 day, we never ate in the MDR once. It was something we planned to try. The ship has many lovely dining venues. Pinnacle Grill, as always, great. Canaletto, delicious Italian, and best value of all. Culinary Arts Center surprised us, a Tapas Menu (previously it was farm to table) and the new menu was awesome! Harry, our waiter, chose several items for us from the tapas menu, then had paella, delicious meal to share. We would have gone back again, but didn't discover it until late in the cruise. The deLibrje (?) Pop Up in Pinnacle is a once per cruise extravaganza, and should not be missed if you are a foodie. Rudi's in Sel de Mer was quite special because Rudi Sudimon was on board this cruise and it was a night to remember. He and his staff put together a 9 course meal we won't soon forget. Tamarind is so calming and peaceful, the menu is Pan Asian and the food is delicious. My mushroom allergies left many wonderful dishes out of reach, but we had a memorable meal here too. Many don't know that if it's lobster night in the MDR, it's also the same in the Lido. There was a World Cup Match on the big screen by the Lido pool, so we grabbed our lobster and watched the match with our swimsuits on! Also a memorable night. The Music is especially wonderful on the ship.Lincoln (Kennedy?) Center Stage the classical music stage plays music you know during their "recital programs." Beatles, Elton John, Radiohead (ask the grandkids).The BB King Queens Lounge is next, though most nights we run between the dueling piano bar next door to sing and there to dance. They play fun songs you know, like Earth, Wing & Fire, Bruno Mars, Pharell William's, doesn't matter if you know how to dance, everyone is out there having fun. Best BBKing band I've seen on 6 ships. John & Jordan on the Pianos are hugely talented, one sounds just like Billy Joel, the other does really high & low notes, they too pack them in every night. At least on out Norway cruise they did. The bar crew didn't mind us ordering waters or bringing drinks from next door. They were great! They have America's Test Kitchen in the Culinary Arts Center, also very well set up so all can see. There are 2 every sea day. There is a wine barrel mixing, but since I don't drink wine, and Chateau St. Michelle is 6 miles from me it never interested me. There is a very lively Scotch tasting bar, big with the Europeans, right next to the Piano Bar. I did mostly HAL excursions, which I felt were reasonable for the price, considering the price of gas, food and time involved in each. Our guides spoke English perfectly, we were given plenty of time for toilet and lunch breaks, and were never on the Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my first cruise. We flew to Amsterdam and then met friends who had already been on the ship for a week. We sailed to Norway. First of all - Norway - how beautiful! I had never been there before and the fjords were just ... Read More
This was my first cruise. We flew to Amsterdam and then met friends who had already been on the ship for a week. We sailed to Norway. First of all - Norway - how beautiful! I had never been there before and the fjords were just breathtaking. We did mostly self-guided touring including renting cars with the exception of one port where we purchased the "Waterfall and Waffle" excursion which is highly recommended. Norway is gorgeous and I will have to come back some day. The ship is huge and in excellent condition. We stayed in an excellent cabin on the Mozart Deck (deck 6). I found it to be roomy, especially with the balcony, well appointed, clean, and comfortable. My only gripe is the small bathroom with a poorly-placed toilet that normal or taller size people cannot sit on without turning sideways. The food was excellent. I enjoyed the Lido immensely. They had food items at the Lido like prime rib and crab (on certain nights). Try the bread pudding. I will probably sail HAL again just for the bread pudding! The main dining room was overrated in my opinion. The meal took 2 hours which is just too long and the portions are small. The wait staff was amazing however. The pools and hot tubs were nice. I had a nice massage at the spa on deck 9. The burger and hot dog joint was really good too. I enjoyed the Grand Dutch Cafe but the coffee was only so-so there. Overall an excellent crew, excellent ship, and great itinerary. I will definitely cruise on HAL again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had a high expectations about our first cruise but unfortunatelly HAL did not meet them. At least we expected a "4*" smooth service, a great dining options and a quality entertainment already included in the price we paid. All ... Read More
We had a high expectations about our first cruise but unfortunatelly HAL did not meet them. At least we expected a "4*" smooth service, a great dining options and a quality entertainment already included in the price we paid. All those points were not met. Good thing: no disaster happened with us. We safely came back with a lot of photos in the camera. The rest was not so shiny as we expected. No hard feeling leaving the ship! 1. Room Service. In general it was fine. No big complaints but it was not excellent. Few strange spots on a bed linen, few spots on bathrobe. No slippers included. Dirty windows and balcony glass. We asked steward to clean a glass surfaces but he did not make it well. 2. Embarkation. The ship departed from Amsterdam Waterland Terminal with no connection of public transport. I wish HAL could offer a free or at least very cheap transportation to the terminal but the did not. It was a huge queue for check in when we arrived. No water, no snacks were provided (sorry I still expect that little things for the price I paid). Just a huge hot hangar full of waiting people. Nobody provided us a clear instructions on what to do and how long to wait. We spent around 1 hour there. Not nice start of a journey. 3. Dining Service. Bad if not terrible. Very long waits. Breakfast or dinner takes 1 hour in average. Food is served on broken/chipped plates and cups and old dirty cutlery. One time we found a hair in the bread basket. The staff on the dining room reception does not try to get a good table for you. One time we were followed to the table for 4 in the corner even two nice tables for 2 were available just few steps next to us with a nice windows. Waiters always ask for a paid drinks and forget to offer you a free tea. They do not give you a chance for a water without ice but serving you an ice cubes. The food quality was average: during all 7 days I did not find something really tasty. They even served us a lobster tail but it was prepared in a simple and not tasty way. Starter soups were definetely terrible. 4. Entertainment is limited with a concerts. The concerts were nice. I would like to mention the BB King Blues and the classical musicians. They were awesome! My wife also enjoyed Bilboard on board where the two guys played piano and sing popular songs on requiest. Those things happen in the evening. During the day activities are limited to a "seminars" where the staff tries to sell you insole for 190 bucks or expensive watches or brilliants or strange paints. Who buys all of that? We might expect some educational program like TED or knitting courses or yoga lessons included in the cruise price. But HAL wants to earn every extra penny on you. Do not go on HAL seminars - it is brainwashing and sometimes rude sales activity (nicely named). 5. Security at gates. Rude and unwelcoming. 6. At the evening of last day crew blocked two elevators out of four just because they need to carry a luggage downstairs. Obviously it was comfortable for the stewards but not the guests. That also shows staff attitude towards the guests. 6. During the cruise we received NOTHING complimentary. No free drink, no badge or magnet, no free 10 minutes massage and no PERSONAL attitute from HAL personnel. Again we paid a lot of money for the cruise and we expected something on top of the "below average". 7. That's is funny but with that kind of service HAL automatically includes 15% service surcharge on all onboard purchased. And 13.5 dollars per person per day as a "Hotel service charge". Crazy guys! Fortunately you still can adjust the last point at the end of cruise. So we did. 8. HAL shore excursions were 5 (!!!) times expensive that you could book ashore or just travelling the same route using a local public transport! 9. Port times were inconvenient. Ship arrived early morning at 7 am in average. People wake up slamming the cabing doors with no chance for a good sleep. Ship departed at 5 pm so you basically have a very short time to explore the port. To summarize: that was our first cruise. Norway is beautiful. Cruising is fantastic thing to do on vacation but never again with a greedy HAL. Read Less
Koningsdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.2
Dining 4.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.5 4.1
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 4.0 3.1
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.6

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