18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was my 63 cruise. I have sailed on Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney, Costa, Cunard, and Celebrity. I am 46 years old. Hotel Info: We flew down one night early and stayed at Bahia Mar Fort ... Read More
This was my 63 cruise. I have sailed on Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney, Costa, Cunard, and Celebrity. I am 46 years old. Hotel Info: We flew down one night early and stayed at Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach – a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel. This was our second time at this hotel. The employees are very nice. Ship Info: We haven’t sailed on this cruise line since 2004. We enjoy this cruise line because it is geared towards adults and not a drinking crowd. The average age group was probably Baby Boomers (with most being retired). I loved how this cruise line didn’t give you the option on their beverage, dining, and fitness receipts for “additional gratuities” like other cruise lines do. If you enjoy classical music, reading, relaxing, great conversation, and hardly any children, this is for you. The ship was extremely clean and new. If you are looking for a cruise with a lot of night life (disco and pool parties) and people spending time at the bar or getting buckets of beer by the pool, this cruise line didn’t have that. Activities: Their spin classes in the fitness center are $20 each and they hook you up to equipment that keep track of your heart rate, etc. They also offer yoga and Pilates (for a fee). They offer several complimentary fitness classes too like meditation, abs, and stretch classes. They do not offer dance classes. They do an amazing job with their afternoon tea (includes food served by the employees). They do not have karaoke at night. They do not do pool contests/games during the day. They do not have bands playing by the pool during the day. This ship did not offer “family actives” like water slides, rock climbing walls, etc. Service: Service was great in all areas. Shore Excursions: We booked the Snorkel trip in Bonaire with the cruise line (Seacow), and it was excellent. If you like to sit on the beach with shade, I recommend booking the chairs with the shade on their private island several weeks before you cruise because they sell out (you can book it on their website). Stateroom: We originally booked an outside cabin, then a few weeks before our cruise, we received an email from the cruise line asking if we wanted to upgrade to a balcony for $125/person (total for 10 nights), so we took it. They offer complimentary shoeshine service. They had Elemis shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and body lotion in the bathroom. The water pressure in the shower was outstanding; probably the best shower at sea. Out of all the cruise lines, they offer the best complimentary movies available to watch on your TV. As a matter of fact, they don’t charge you for any movies (like some cruise lines do). They offered a package for unlimited laundry and pressing that was $70 per cabin for the 10 nights, so we purchased that and loved it. The balcony did not have lights on it, so if you wanted to sit out there at night and read, this was not an option. Dining: Before you order your meal in the main dining room, ask the waiter what they recommend. If you do not like crowds, eat in the main dining room for breakfast and lunch instead of the buffet. This cruise line has the dining room open for lunch on embarkation day, and we really enjoyed that so we did not have to go to the buffet. We purchased their dining package so we could experience all their specialty restaurants. It cost $95/person for five restaurants, and I felt it was well worth it. We purchased it online a few weeks prior to the cruise, and then when we got on board, we made the reservations. Our favorite restaurant was the Asian restaurant. I recommend eating in a specialty restaurant on the first night because some main dining rooms can be a bit unorganized because all the guests are trying to figure out where they sit, etc. When you eat in the Asian restaurant, make your reservation near the window during the sunset. Their buffet had the best food options I have seen in years. They also serve everything to you, so other guests are not touching the buffet lines. Dress Code: They had two formal nights, and most men were in a dark suit. I wore a cocktail dress on the formal nights. On the other nights, everyone dressed in business attire. I enjoy dressing up. Entertainment: I loved their entertainment, especially the Lincoln Center Stage and the dancers in the main show room. Their main shows are three times per night (6:30, 8:00, and 9:30 p.m.). Disembarkation: If you want to carry all your bags off the ship by yourself, they will let you off starting at around 7:30 a.m. We had a 10:15 am flight and opted to carry our bags off. Other: I prefer Celebrity, Holland America, Cunard, and Princess when not traveling with children or young adults. I like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruise Line when traveling with a younger crowd. Overall: 5 out of 5 stars. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our 8th cruise. Previously we have cruised with Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my 3rd Holland America cruise. I had a good experience in the past. The service was superior and the food was ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise. Previously we have cruised with Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my 3rd Holland America cruise. I had a good experience in the past. The service was superior and the food was fantastic. But I was disappointed by my recent experience on Koningsdam. To be fair, the boat is quite new. The bathroom was an upgrade with glass sliding door and more spacious shower room. The shower water pressure was very good but the toilet had bad smell all time even with frequent flush and closed lid. The actual stateroom was smaller than other Holland America ships. Good in room movie selection. The buffet services was good. The dining room selection was limited and the service was slow and not very diligent. Two nights the server skipped a course of our dinner without informing us. The fitness center was small. No space for people working on mats by themselves. The studio room was always busy with classes to sell people skin care or shoe inserts. The evening performance and performance during the day was subpar. No comparison to what we saw on Celebrity and Princess ships. The casino staff was non-ethical. They kept soliciting my 74 year old mother to gamble more. One night after losing over $1,000 they solicited her to charge to her room another $1,000 at 2:30AM. Of course my mother is an adult and responsible for her actions, but it was non-ethical of the casino staff to keep soliciting a senior with obvious health conditions to gamble more. There was no educational materials to help people with gambling issues displayed in the casino. Most casinos have something educational displayed. Making money is certainly important but it is more important of being a conscientious human kind to not take advantages of the elderly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I wanted to try the Koningsdam cruise because I had heard from friends that it was a lovely, new ship. I was worried however about the size of the ship and the prospect of being with over 2.5 thousand as I enjoy smaller size and numbers. ... Read More
I wanted to try the Koningsdam cruise because I had heard from friends that it was a lovely, new ship. I was worried however about the size of the ship and the prospect of being with over 2.5 thousand as I enjoy smaller size and numbers. However, within 2-3 days I felt increasingly comfortable onboard. I never had trouble finding seats for meals and shows. I never really had to wait in line ups both on or off of the ship. I loved the food in the Lido. It was always diverse, appealing and tasty. I only ate in the dining room 3 times. Unfortunately when I went to the dining room for a surf and turf dinner, only the steak was hot and the rest of the food was like warm. Sometimes I encountered lukewarm food in the lido too. Overall though the food tasted great but I do like my food hot. Shows were ok but a few were wonderful. One World performed by the singers and dancers was so good my friends and I watched it twice in a row. Also loved the skinny German juggler and the man who did the Elton John/Billy Joel set. Abbafab was ok but the tempo of the music was way too slow and I felt the show dragged. Customer service was pretty good and the supervisor rocks. Cabin attendants were lovely and I also enjoyed the American Test Kitchen, the Tamarind restaurant and the Planet Earth shows in the Queens lounge. The captain was personable, impressive and Canadian, which is a good thing. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I love Holland America. I chose the cruise for its itinerary - 21 days in the Caribbean to see as much as I could see. The Islands all kind of blend together but I loved Martinique. But about the ship. New ship with new touches. ... Read More
I love Holland America. I chose the cruise for its itinerary - 21 days in the Caribbean to see as much as I could see. The Islands all kind of blend together but I loved Martinique. But about the ship. New ship with new touches. Loved the movies under the starts with popcorn, pizza and other snacks. Loved all the happy hours and drink specials. Loved BB King Blues club. LOVED the spa. We bought a spa pass and used it every day and it was never too crowded. Some people talked about it being too easy for people who had not paid for the spa to use the free dry sauna and walk into the spa area but I didn't see this happen at all. There was always plenty of room for the people who paid to use it to find a spot to enjoy. The food as always was excellent, from the Dive In to Tamarind. Staff on board was, as always, exceptional. I was disappointed in the shops and the shopping ashore adviser. They really, REALLY push high end jewelry and watches. Not everyone likes or wants such high-end items. I miss the low and middle end stuff. They had one day where they had a sale on things like that at the pool but I swear to God it was like a feeding frenzy. People were lined up the length of the pool to pay for their items. And they were all Holland America items. I remember cruising the Mediterranean when they had sales at the pool that were local items, not just Holland T-shirts. That would have been nice to see here. But really that is my only complaint and I actually did end up purchasing my third Majorca pearl necklace on board. I don't gamble so I can't speak to the casino but I did hear at least 3 people talk about the money they won, so they said :-) Over all I liked the new ship very much. I thought the artwork all around the ship was excellent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
After sailing numerous Holland American ships, I was anxious to experience the new Koningsdam. There are many things I love about this ship and things I miss when compared to their smaller ships. Highlights: The cabin was excellent, ... Read More
After sailing numerous Holland American ships, I was anxious to experience the new Koningsdam. There are many things I love about this ship and things I miss when compared to their smaller ships. Highlights: The cabin was excellent, especially the shower and the larger flat screen TV. (My only complaint here was the air quality and ability to control the temperature adequately. For some reason, the air was extremely HIGH in humidity! Maybe due to this there seemed to be an over abundance of "ship" coughing going on.) The upper sports deck offered an excellent outdoor walking experience each morning while the lower promenade deck was lacking due to the portion that reverted to single file. Entertainment in the main showroom was much improved when compared to HAL smaller ships. Lacking: The quality of food in the main dining room was inconsistent and lacking in variety. The Lido was often over crowded, stuffy and miserable to walk through to reach the outer pool deck. Due to the size of the ship, service was not as spot on when compared to smaller HAL vessels. Would I cruise her again? Yes, for sure! It's all about the itinerary and pricing for me as I have to pay the single supplement. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We celebrated our 40th anniversary on this trip. We only went on 7 days of this 14 day cruise from Amsterdam to four cities in Norway. Several of our group did, however, take the full 14 days. We spent a week in Amsterdam before and loved ... Read More
We celebrated our 40th anniversary on this trip. We only went on 7 days of this 14 day cruise from Amsterdam to four cities in Norway. Several of our group did, however, take the full 14 days. We spent a week in Amsterdam before and loved that city! We traveled with a group of 40+ people and found it extremely frustrating to communicate with each other. We wasted a lot of time looking for each other. Bring stick up notes so you can post messages on each others doors or better yet, bring walkies! Their internet service is expensive and spotty so that was not really an option for communicating. The ship is their newest, built in 2016 but the decor is cheap and dated looking compared to other ships we've traveled on. We were surprised to learn that this ship was so new. There is no beautiful focal point on the ship. Very minimal and European. The fine dining restaurants are worth every bit of their extra costs. We visited 4 differents restaurants (Culinary, Tamarind, Canalettos, Pinnacle). They cost about $15-$20 more each. Worth it! I especially loved Culinary. It was like watching a cooking show on TV and then getting to taste the food. Everyone in our group loved them. Make reservations if you have a large group! The Lido dining (buffet) is ridiculously disappointing. We thought because this was a higher end cruise line, we might expect their food service to be better. It was not. Altho, i did appreciate that the staff served us rather than watching other guests dig around in a dish, leaving it unappetizing. It was always crowded and there was no organization as to ordering food. People stepped in front of you as there's no clear lines which turns your dining experience into a competition. Finding an available seat was next to impossible so most of the time we had to bring our food back to our room and eat it on the bed as there's no table or chairs in the staterooms unless you have a suite. The dining room was fair but crowded as the food here is free (included) and you can eat as much as you'd like. We ate here once. The shore excursions are an expensive joke. They basically herd you into a boat or bus and drive you around. They're both overly crowded and restrooms or refreshments are not available. It was a waste of time and money. Don't be fooled by the fancy names of their excursions. I wish i could've read my review before we traveled on this trip. Flam - We loved this city. It was small and quaint with the most stunning views. What a fun way to wake up in the morning! The shore excursion we took in Flam was called "The Naeroyfjord Cruise & Scenic Drive - $130.@) you will spend half the time driving from Flam to Gudvangen going thru many tunnels (which is a nice place for a nap). Then in Gudvangen, you'll hop on a boat and take a slow ride around the Naeroyfjord & Aurlandsfjorden back to Flam. Very beautiful but if you don't board the boat first, you may end up like us, without a seat during the entire ride. People leave their things on the seats to claim them then go up top to look around so you never get an opportunity to have a seat in the lower deck unless you were lucky enough to get one at the beginning. They do have a few decent restrooms and our tour guide here was somewhat informative. Some of the folks in our group took the train tour and pretty much said it was a good long nap. It was a lovely sunny day, which i know you cannot plan for but if we would've known, there was a kayaking company, a fjordsafari.com, a fun fast boat tour, as well as a small electric car rental company right there that would've been waaaay more fun and less costly. There's several shops, a few restaurants, a cafe, a bakery and some street vendors that were fun. We were able to taste Reindeer meat balls and fish soup prepared by the locals. We also loved the little pub there: Ægir Bryggeri where they brewed their own beer and had coffee at Bakkastova Cafe up on the hill. Stavanger - Lysefjord: Pulpit Rock Cruise - $135@ was interesting as we had a wonderfully personable tour guide who told us interesting facts and even legend about the Fjords, Trolls and the area. Had we known then what we know now, we'd only have done this excursion. The town on Stavanger is big so you'd have to cab to get there unless you felt like a 15-30 minute walk uphill to get in town. We were there the shortest time so when we returned from the excursion, we didn't have time to tour further. The Lillesand: The Jewel of Sorlandet ($170@) was the worse. We were jammed on a boat, 8 people squished into a booth. Some folks had so place to sit and ended up standing along the wall or sitting on a step. They slowly drove around showing us the homes of unsuspecting locals for 2.5 of the 3 hour trip. They stopped in Lillesand for 40 minutes which gave you only enough time to use the restroom (another line) and grab a bottle of water. That excursion cost the most and was the worse. In Oslo, there is Sooooooo Much to see and Sooooooo little time. There's a "Hop On & Off Bus" that will take you to all the touristy places you might want to see. We met friends who live in Oslo there and they took us on a personal guided tour and then back to their house for lunch and Norwegian specialties. Other folks in our group complained that we needed to stay longer. We would've liked to have stayed there for a couple days but the cruise line pays a hefty fee to dock there so they cannot stay too long. There were two stage entertainers on the ship. #1. A lady that sang and played the harp and #2. a magician. Both were not entertaining but maybe to some? We didn't manage to sit thru an entire show. It seems like they mostly just try to sell you more things, spa sessions, their Elemis line, another cruise, Jewelry, Art work, your own photos.... Because we didn't already spend enough money on the cruise? We had a couples massage which was lovely and i had a facial while my husband had a shave at the Greenhouse Spa. 15% gratuities are included but we still tipped them $20@ They try to sell you the Elemis product in a matter of fact way. You need to be good at saying no if you're not interested. It can ruin your relaxing massage at the end, if you let it. We didn't but others in our group did. We didn't buy the drink packages and we did drink about 4-5 cocktails each day (bloody marys, wine, beer) and we didn't spend the $900. we would've spent if we had bought one of the drink packages as both members in room need to buy the full package. Drinks were $7.50 up. Finer wines ranged from $24 to $99 per bottle. Different bars on the ship had different liquors. I love Aperol and was able to find it in the Pinnacle bar. Norway was beautiful and we're happy that we went. We would probably not go back as you need to go in August in order for it not to be too cold. I believe our cruise was one of the last ones for the season. We live in Michigan so leaving in August is difficult for us as we only have summer weather here ourselves for a few months. Holland America - Compared to other cruise lines was not as nice as we had expected it to be but 1000x better than a Carnival cruise but not as nice as Viking or Royal Caribbean. We won't go on another Holland Cruise. Did you know that Carnival Cruise Line owns Holland America? Let that give you a hint... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I chose Koningsdam because it was brand new and happened to be sailing to my favorite destinations, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Albania, Egypt. Two ports were aborted, one for weather, one for security. The embarkation and ... Read More
I chose Koningsdam because it was brand new and happened to be sailing to my favorite destinations, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Albania, Egypt. Two ports were aborted, one for weather, one for security. The embarkation and disembarkation was flawless from my perspective...no issues, minimal wait times. The decor indeed drew you out of your cabin, delightful, plush. Loved the new Danish Coffee Bar, missed the Library, music was the main theme of the ship. Did not disappoint. Entertainment was first class. The variety and caliber was extraordinary. This cruise was port heavy, the HAL shore excursions were very pricey. My goal is to sail on each ship at least once and of course build my Star status. My interior cabin was quite small, but sufficed for one person. I repeatedly asked for upgrades, certainly paid enough for an upgrade, but did not receive one. I hope that changes on future cruises. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
A group of 5 of us flew to Amsterdam in early July for a 2 week cruise through the Norwegian fjords up into the Arctic Circle on the Koningsdam. Generally speaking, this was a pleasant voyage. Flights were on schedule. Transfers from ... Read More
A group of 5 of us flew to Amsterdam in early July for a 2 week cruise through the Norwegian fjords up into the Arctic Circle on the Koningsdam. Generally speaking, this was a pleasant voyage. Flights were on schedule. Transfers from the airport to the pier went smoothly. Representatives were clearly visible. The wait time in the pier was short. Check in was quick. We boarded around noon. We were not allowed to go to our rooms until 1:30ish. I carried my luggage onboard so I could unpack right away. I dropped the luggage off in the room and continued up to the Lido Market for lunch. Available right away in the Lido Market was a dining room specialist with whom we booked specialty dining. We got that taken care of right off the bat. I like to eat in a specialty restaurant on formal nights so that I do not need the ‘appropriate clothing’ for the MDR. The offerings in which we ate were the Culinary Arts Center, the Pinnacle Grill Steak house, the Pan Asian restaurant, Tamarind, and the Italian restaurant, Canaletto. The Culinary Arts Center offers farm to table dishes with herbs grown onboard. The chef is interested in talking to you while dishes are being prepared. This is all visible with dish preparation happening behind glass windows. One is encouraged to ask questions while dinner is being prepared. Nice pitch. However, the ¾ stools with raised tables are not comfortable. This restaurant bundles a welcome cocktail (think rhubarb, strawberry and vodka) and organic wine with the cost of the meal. This was a good meal, but was overpriced and the table height was uncomfortable. The Canaletto, without going into much detail, is just not worth the additional expense. First of all, it is part of the Lido Buffet. Second, the choices were lacking. Third the preparation was not really ‘Italian’. Next, we dined in the Pinnacle Grill. The steaks were significantly better than steaks by the same name (Sirloin Strip) served in the MDR. The Tamarind pan Asian restaurant was a pleasant surprise. We ate there two times. The second time, I had the lobster tail (dusted with ginger). The dessert was a pillbox hat sized fortune cookie sitting in two inches of chocolate ganache. You have to see it to believe it. As for the Lido Market and the Billboard Onboard lounge, the furniture is so heavy, that trying to slide the chair to the table is almost impossible. In the Lido Market, the legs of the chairs are sharp, and I feel certain will quickly shred the carpeting. My room, given a single occupancy cabin – and there are only 12 of them - was not smaller than cabins of double occupancy. These cabins are forward on the main deck (deck 1) and the savings for booking one of these is substantial. Book way early. They are gone almost immediately. My cabin lacked the sofa bed that other rooms had, but that did not mean the room was smaller. I was in cabin 1009. Also, in terms of air conditioning, the unit worked very effectively. If I lowered the temperature, I could hear the unit turn on. If it got too cool and I raised the thermostat, it would turn off immediately. I don’t ever recall having the air conditioning being so responsive. The entertainment was mixed. This ship offers something called ‘Lincoln Stage Center’- these musicians, 2 violinists, a cellist, a violist and a pianist were incredibly in demand. They did a few concerts each day. I would highly recommend. Seats were gone 15 minutes prior to their performance. Other entertainment on the World Stage was meh, lack luster – a Russian singer and a flautist. Not so interesting. With that in mind, the Lincoln Center Stage isn’t big enough. Future versions of this ship need to expand seating capacity for this venue. Also, this room connects directly with Billboard Onboard. So, two different shows can not occur in these two different venues at the same time. Happy hour seemed to be offered each day from 4 to 5 pm in one of the lounges on deck 2. I did have a problem with mold on this sailing. On deck 1 forward, there was a problem with mold as well as on deck 9 near the Lido Market. The smell was awful. On day 2, it was reported. On day 3, paint odors were reported. On day 4, I saw maintenance staff wearing masks as they were replacing filters in the ventilation ducts. Shore excursions booked through Holland America were good but will be addressed later in this review. But let me add that they were a bit high, pricewise. There were about 2700 people on board. The ship actually holds about 3100. So, the ship was not sold out. However, the service seemed spotty in the dining room and the lounges – especially on formal nights. Trying to meet with a future cruise representative was tricky. Their hours of operation were limited. Also, their space is very small. In addition, I had to wait for one passenger to book with two future cruise reps at the same time. Not efficient, not good planning in this department. The main pool space was somewhat limited. The lounge chairs were comfortable and padded. There wasn’t much space to accommodate many people. This was more of a family area that had the sliding glass roof overhead for cooler weather, which is what we had. Also, in this space is where you will find burgers and fries on one level and pizza up one floor. The pizza and the burger areas used an order system where you receive a pager to notify you when the order is ready. And generally, this took about 10 minutes in each venue. Also, near the burger area was a gelato station. Gelato was a pay area and was about $2.00 for 2 scoops. I preferred the secondary pool – aft. This seated more people with an ample sized pool. Children were not readily seen at this pool the day I was able to use it. I used the gym daily. It was nicely laid out and was just off the spa area. It was big enough to handle all guests that I would run into first thing in the morning. As for the promenade deck, although it wraps all the way around, it is very narrow in parts. So, it is not a good deck for getting a brisk walk. Also, this deck was void of the traditional wooden deck chairs, which is what I grew up with. Generally speaking, it was a nice cruise and I would sail on it again, given that this ship has single occupancy rate cabins. Read Less
Koningsdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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