26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We spent the night at the Hilton Garden Inn Dania Beach using the park and cruise package. It is a great location close to many stores and restaurants. It is also right off I-95 so an easy jump point for going home. They have a nice pool ... Read More
We spent the night at the Hilton Garden Inn Dania Beach using the park and cruise package. It is a great location close to many stores and restaurants. It is also right off I-95 so an easy jump point for going home. They have a nice pool and hot tub and with the cruise package you get free shuttle service and cook to order breakfast. The sun was out as we arrived at terminal 26. Embarkation was bit disjointed. First screening, then we had a crowd around two tables to fill out the illness questionnaires which was a bit unnecessary as this could have been done while checking in. A Hal member won't let you up the stairs until you have it in hand. From there you get your sea cards and a number. You sit in the holding area until they call your number then you get to board. From entrance to on board took about an hour. We had lunch in the Lido which is always their best. Sliced tenderloin with mashed potatoes and gravy and fish and chips were our first experiences. Tenderloin was very good but the fish was not cod nor batter dipped so kind of soggy. Luggage arrived promptly, before the muster drill. Muster drill was a little odd as they tell you to go to your stateroom and watch a video. You then proceed to waiting area where they scan your sea cards. Ours was in the second story of the dining room near the back. The captain announces his various instructions while staff demonstrate how to use a life jacket (you don't need to bring yours). Cabin: We stayed in cabin 8193 at the back of the ship. We loved the new cabins! We were very close to the lido market and the aft pool which would become our home. The cabin felt roomy to me as did the balcony. I could sit in the chair to the back and barely reach the glass with my toes. Very nice glassware provided. Lots of plugs both regular and USB. Linens and pillows soft and comfy. Probably one of the most relaxing beds we have had on a cruise ship.Air conditioning was spot on and you could actually make the room too cold, Nice! Shower was the best I have ever had at sea. I have wide shoulders but moved around easily. Nice Pressure as well. The Elemis products were a nice touch.Then we spotted the much maligned toilet. Are you kidding me??? I had no problem sitting on it any way I wanted. Stateroom TV has a nice picture with lots of Movies (inside tip: when searching for a movie go to the All section as there were movies that didn't go into any category). I found the new Harry Potter "Fantastic Beasts" movie that way. There are three comedy channels on demand, Big Bang Theory, Castle, and Parks and Rec. There are four on demand drama series including Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, How to get away with murder and Scandal. You can view menus for both the specialty restaurants and the daily DRM from the TV. The music channels are a complete joke! Wow I get to choose between Easy Listening, Easy Listening 2 and Big Band. Seriously??? I know it is a ship with and older crowd but would it kill you to put a little rock and roll in there? Safe has a little light that comes on which is nice. All in all a spacious sturdy quiet cabin and relaxing home. Ship: We enjoyed the layout of the ship. Never felt cramped. The music themed art was interesting. Some areas could use some more modernizing. First I would get rid of Blend as it is a complete waste of space. In 10 days we saw one small group in there once. I would take it out and steal some space from the tired Ocean bar and add a craft beer bar. Maybe pair with a craft brewery and create signature HAL beers. This would also put it directly across from the Culinary Arts Center which I believe would make a great pairing since may craft beer enthusiasts also love farm to table. If you ever hear that only one gangway is available you might as well wait since the line winds down a long hallway past peoples cabins. I am surprised that they are wasting space and paper for the photo section. Most modern ships have gone to a kiosk system which lets you view and print the photos you want. The promenade has been shortened but it is still very walk-able and goes completely around the ship. They have a walking track but the only problem is they hose down the decks the night before which makes walking a little slippery (buy a squeegee guys!). Dining: Our Mantra was no dining room! We stuck to Lido Market, NY deli, Dive in, Dutch Cafe and Room Service. Lido Market: Needs better labeling. Usually there are only four small plaques for the entrees with little notation about what the sides were. At one point my DW asked what was in the stuffed potato to which she was told "potato". We were like yes we get that but what is it stuffed with? "Potato" Food was hit and miss. I fail to understand why they make premade sandwiches when you can just have a sandwich station and build your own. The pasta and Asian stations are good and offer a lot. The salad area looked good but we never tried it. Carving station was good but a little heavy on the lamb and rotisserie chicken. The breakfasts offer standard fare but the omelet station was great. Lots of ingredients to choose from including steak and they do a great over easy eggs. If you go to Homestead you can request Eggs Benedict. Some were good and some were just OK. Room service: Is top notch. The best thing from their anytime dining was the roast beef panini. Lots of roast beef! The best part is you can get the dining room menu delivered to your room. You have to order within the first hour of it opening but you can set a delivery time. Usually we said deliver at 6:30 pm and it would arrive on time or just a bit early. They put a metal warming plate under your dinner plate to keep things hot. Sure beats two hours in the dining room. Room service will also come a remove your trays when finished. Meals came with a small vase of fresh daisies. Getting room service your first and last days on board is problematic since they are slammed. Dutch Cafe: You must go here at least once if not many times on your cruise. The best thing to get is the snack tray available 4:30 to 8 pm. It contains three Bitterballen which are like balls of meat and mashed potatoes deep fried in a nice crust. There are three spicy spring rolls filled with meat and cheese. Finally you get three of what they call cheese souffle which are actually like a flat cheese sticks filled with gooey cheese. There are three dipping sauces...mustard (good w/ Bitterballen), sweet chili (good w/spring rolls) and mayonnaise (your guess is as good as mine). All this stuff is delicious!!! You must have it!!! We tried the ham and cheese it was not all that. Very little ham. Very friendly staff. Pinnacle grill: Food was delicious. We had the lobster bisque which was very creamy. My DW and I split the crab cake appetizer and they were very good as well. We both got the 10 oz filet which was cooked perfectly with a choice of sauces. Dessert was an epic fail. Our Chocolate molten lava cake had apparently gone dormant years ago since there was no gooey lava in the center. The cake tasted like a chocolate pudding. Now here is my biggest issue. My DW and I like to eat at a good pace and get out but the Pinnacle enforces a ten minute downtime between each dish. I really don't need ten minutes to reflect on what I just ate. Later we found out the Pinnacle meal delivered to your stateroom is only $15 a person and includes anything off the menu you want. So lets see I can get my complete dinner in my room for $30 or sit for two hours in your restaurant and pay $70 for the same thing. Looks like room service Pinnacle grill on any future sailings. Kudos though to Martin the manager of the Pinnacle grill who helped expedite our service and worked above and beyond with other customers to provide the best service possible. New York Deli: One our favorite stops where we ate most of our lunches. First out I got a Reuben which was tasty but a little lean on the meat, later I corrected the problem by asking for extra meat. They also don't over kraut it. My DW got the signature pizza which she said was good with a white sauce and spicy. Other that that I tried the meatball sandwich which was blah. I tried my first bbq pizza and was surprised how good that was. Best of all you can build your own with whatever sauce or toppings you want. My wife ordered the Bronx (meatlovers) but used white sauce instead and added extra cheese. Pizzas usually cook faster than the sandwiches. Dive In: Cannonball, Cannonball, Cannonball !!! This wins hands down best burger at sea. A juicy not greasy patty with bacon, caramelized onions, and Gruyere cheese. They use their Dive in sauce but I found it subtle and did not overpower the burger. Bun was perfect and never got soggy. This burger puts most land based restaurants to shame. And did I mention the cheesy fries? OMG do you want a little fries with your cheese! Delicious! Need a fork to eat these bad boys. Fries are crispy and cooked just the way you would want them. If you miss this place you will want to throw yourself off the boat (so don't miss out). Billboard Bar: Wait, what?? We were talking about food? We are :). Happy hour here is from 4pm-5pm every day. They put out a buffet of yummy appetizers. The are usually two kinds of bruschetta , olive plates, small deli meat plate, small cups of cheese, Then a hot app side that changes daily. The have delicious empandas, spring rolls, dumplings, cheese souffles (similar to dutch cafe..like a flat cheese stick), chicken skewers, etc. You can make a meal right there. Speaking about happy hour... Happy Hour: 4pm to 5pm in the billboard and the crows nest. Buy one get the next for $2. Any drink on the menu. Billboard has the buffet , crow's nest just doles them out. Had numerous Weng Wengs which have seven liquors mixed with fruit juice in a large glass. Happy hour price for two was $11.21. Regular price $17.83. Martini's same price. Some sea days they have a 10am to 11am happy hour at the pool bars. Check ahead to be sure. BB King Blues bar is awesome. Blues and classic rock and R&B to get the guests dancing and clapping their hands. Very talented performers with lots of energy. They change up the sets so they don't play the same stuff over and over. Dueling piano guys were not impressive. They cover a number of tracks but since they are only using pianos seem limited to what they could perform. Might be your cup of tea if you like sing a longs. Didn't attend the Lincoln center but heard they were good. Skipped the shows. Went to movies under the stars and enjoyed that. Most they show are on your stateroom TV as well. We watched the Accountant with Ben Affleck which was pretty good. Comfy chairs with blankets. Popcorn passed out. Skip the snacks at the NY Deli they were a joke. I ordered wings and nachos. I got a cardboard box with two skimpy little wings and a dipping sauce and a cardboard box with some round chips and flavorless cheese sauce. They showed Dr Strange, the Patriot, The girl on the train, the accountant, a Jackie O biopic (not available on the stateroom tv) and some movie about an aspiring opera singer who had no talent, Hot tubs were amazing. Nice and hot! We go at our secret time at 7pm when most people are eating or at shows, I like that they are only built for two so my DW and I can enjoy our privacy. No need to worry about lounge chairs as there are plenty of them and in ten days I saw no walkers looking for chairs.We chose to sit on the upper deck at the aft pool facing the ocean. You get awesome breezes that way. Get the phone app since it is the only way to access your stateroom account. I had trouble setting it up so Vincent, the best guest services guy ever, helped me to set it up. All staff were friendly and helpful and are the best staff at sea! I won't go into too much port details except for three. Amber cove: Alright Amber Cove you made me a believer. Prior to the cruise we had debated whether we would even get off the ship. Man made park, Meh! I was majorly proved wrong. While Turks and Caicos pool area could be hot Amber Cove was a little slice of heaven. Nice breezes and an open pool area that lets you enjoy the scenery. Little birds flitting about singing. Lounge chairs that sit in the pool to keep you cool. Enjoyed a nice four hours here before having to leave. The Carnival Conquest pulled up at noon which I knew would turn this peaceful sanctuary in to Spring Break 17. Party on Carnival dudes! Bonair: Get of the ship, packed with your snorkel gear.start walking right until to end in a casino, turn left go to next street turn right and walk to the end of the street (less than a mile) you will come up to a wide metal gate with small signs in dutch. You have arrived at the Plaza Resort. Day pass is $10 a person which gets you a chair and a drink. They have a coral reef right off shore where in waist deep water you can feel like you are in an aquarium. Hundreds of beautiful multi colored fish scoot by so close you can almost touch them. Bring water shoes so you can walk along and stick your face in the water. Aruba: Get off the Ship. Walk across the street to the local bus terminal, Take a bus to the "Amsterdam Manor". About $2.50 a person. This is the better part of Eagle beach (the most beautiful beach in the world in my opinion).The bus will announce Eagle beach before this but it is an area that offers less facilities. The Resort we stay offered day passes for $15 a person which is a bit high but you get two chairs under a nice large palm frond umbrellas, changing rooms, shower, wifi and a bar which will give you free cups of ice water. The chairs are spaced nicely so you have some breathing room. Get here early as the good seats get gobbled up. Bus stop is right here and runs every 10 minutes except Sunday in which they only run every 20 minutes. If this is too pricey start walking left and you will pass group after group with less expensive options. But these are a shorter walk from the resort than the Eagle beach stop. Debarkation. Self debarked. Waited in Billboard lounge to get off. Started close to on time. Usual cattle drive but moved consistently. Used the TSA app but don't know if it was all that faster. Hotel driver was already outside got to the hotel and on the road in record time. Not to ever be missed Sunrises and Sunsets at sea!!! Stunning!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
My husband and I were eagerly anticipating HAL's newest Pinnacle class ship, and we were thoroughly impressed with most everything on Koningsdam! I am disabled and always bring my wheelchair, and our handicap accessible cabin was ... Read More
My husband and I were eagerly anticipating HAL's newest Pinnacle class ship, and we were thoroughly impressed with most everything on Koningsdam! I am disabled and always bring my wheelchair, and our handicap accessible cabin was perfect! The batroom was huge, loved the folding bench in the wonderful shower! Embarkation/disembarkation went smoothly, and I never felt crowded moving around the ship. Dining was great at the Lido Market, except the signs on counters too small to easily read. Hand washing stations are brilliant, I used them every day! The main draw for me was the Culinary Arts classes, I took all three that were offered! We got a pen, notepad, and HAL apron with each class. Our instructor Alexa was awesome, very fun to work with! Room Service was petty quick each night, always faster than the time promised. I liked most of our ports, especially Half Moon Cay, (did Calypso Island Tram), and Bonaire (did Marine Park snorkel), loved the excursions there! I was never bored, as I mostly want to chill out on HAL anyway, and I loved the peaceful atmosphere onboard. At night, Koningsdam was rockin' with B.B. King's Blues Club and Billboard, also I actually heard dance party music one night while checking out the Sea View pool area! The shows at World Stage were incredible, loved the 360 degree screen! One thing I did was buy the pass to use the Greenhouse Spa therapy pool each evening, and it was soooooooo worth it!! It became my personal retreat after the show at World Stage. I loved the Lido poolside movies,very cozy area at night. We really enjoyed the Cruise Director, Carson, he was always around and very friendly. I went to a breakfast event with him one morning and he stayed afterward to talk to me. The captain of Koningsdam , Emiel DeVries, was the most gracious and friendly person that I have ever seen! He really made it a wonderful cruise! I definately will go on Koningsdam again! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
KONINGSDAM REVIEW MARCH 12-21, 2017 SHIP We have cruised many times an on at least nine different lines. This is the newest ship we have ever been on. It is larger than we prefer. We have only been on one larger ship, the ... Read More
KONINGSDAM REVIEW MARCH 12-21, 2017 SHIP We have cruised many times an on at least nine different lines. This is the newest ship we have ever been on. It is larger than we prefer. We have only been on one larger ship, the Norwegian Epic, which did many things better, but esthetically does not approch the Koningsdam. The K has interesting artwork all around the ship. The décor is exceptional, the elevators faster than most, and in general a good experience. My mobility is somewhat limited, so I found thingsa little far apart, and that may be why I prefer smaller ships. CABIN The cabin is a little smaller than on other HAL ships. We always get a balcony cabin as is our 5188 cabin on this cruise. The balcony is adequate with 2 chairs, a footstool, and a little table. There is almost enough room for the furniture and 2 passengers out there. The bathroom is a big change, mostly for the better. Thankfully, there is to tub. There is a wonderful shower stall, but a fixed shower head would be an improvement. There is a sink vanity with enough shelves to keep all all of our bathroom stuff and our medications. Then there is the toilet! It is a little elongated over most cruise ship toilets, but is positioned in such a whay as to allow zero knee room. One has to sit, as a previous reviewer stated, sidesaddle. A most inconvenient situation. This could have been fixed by making the bathroom 6 inches larger. The 6 inches would come from dead space on the siseof the bed and not make a difference in the main cabin. The décor is attractive, the storage is amazing, but the best thing about the cabin in my opinion is the addition of electrical outlets and USB ports. We travel with phones, Ipad, Kindle, computer, Ipod, and cameras. I did not have to open my “cruise bag” which contains power strips, extension cords, and adapters. I also need a power outlet for my CPAP machine. On all other cruises, ihave had to string extension cords all aroud the cabin as there was never an outlet neat the bed. Very big improvement for us. The AC did not work at the beginning of the cruise, but they made an adjustment that allowed us to reach ny level we wanted from freezing to overheated. First cruise ship that we have found with consistent temperature control. The only negative is there really was not a good place to eat in the cabin , if we had wanted to. We only had breakfast there occasionally in the past. On this cruise we did not eat in the cabin. We emptied the minibar to accommodate our diet coke and bottled water that we broutht on board and to chill the fruit that the ship provided. The little fridge did not do a good job. I tried to adjust it, but it did not help. This is a common occurance on cruise ships that could have been addressed when they purchases these units. Last little cabin comment is the ice service. The bucket is too small. The stewards fill it when they do up the room, but when I want to use the ice (before dinner and before going to sleep) it is always melted. I believe a larger bucket woul allow some of the ie to remain. DINING ROOM We choose open seating, as the early is too early for us and the late too late for us. On previous HAL cruises, we just walked up and always were handed a beeper and had a 30 to 40 minute wait. This time we arranged to reseve a table for two for 7:00 for every evening. We received a conformation daily and although the location changed nightly we never had a wait. The décor was beautiful. The accoustics were amazing. We had 10dinners and 4 breakfasts there and all of the staff were top notch. Service was always at our pace somehow. And last and far from least, the food was quite good. Other people were saying that the quality and choices were dow This may be so, but we seemed to have enough choice and the food tasted better than my cooking. Which is better than that of my wife. Only one commplaint. They had escargots on the menu one evening. This is one of my favorite foods. The escargots were not good. I was impressed with how efficient the operation was. From the seating, to taking the order including special requests, to serving, to clearing up, it was a great group of hard working people doing a good job. The executive chef came by each evening to chat with us. It was a nice touch and he was a personable young man. BUFFET The buffet was different than on past cruises. There were stations rather than a buffet line. Also, it was not serve yourself. The seating was different. There were small plates which meant that one had to make several trips to the stations each meal and you had to leave something at the table to insure your seat would still b there when you returned. It did not take long to learn how to navigate it. I am not ready to judge whether it isam upgrade or a downgade yet. The staff isan upgrade, however. They were always offering more coffee, juice, iced tea, water or clearing used dishes. Much much better than recent HAL cruises. CASINO A casino is a casino. This one was kind to me on this cruise. Also the staff was nice as usual. One blessing is either the noise from the slot machines was subdued or my hearingins becoming impaired. Smoke oder was only somewhat noticable. In general it was a well laid out and larger unit thenon other HAL ships. FOOD The food was good. Good enough that I was not even tempted to spend more money on something that may be a speck better. I may b a rarity, I like to eat, but “dining” is not a priority for me. The choices were somewhat reduced, but we were well satisfied with what they had for our 10 days. STAFF Best staff of any cruise we have been on. We have complained about staff in the Lido during our last 3 HAL cruises. In those instances the staff just hung around chatting. On this cruise, they were all checking for drink refills, clearing dishes, and helping the guests. A+. The cabin stewards were mostly invisible, but perfect. A+. The dining room staff were good. A. Everyone else on board seemed polite and all had a smile. A. ITINERARY It was OK. I think Coco Cay, Grand Turk, and Amber Cove in a row are too similar. Being in fake environment dominated by the ship's stores and amenities. Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba are interesting ports to visit. Then two days at sea. I think if they did it backwards it would have been better. ENTERTAINMENT I only went to one show and it was pretty good. The theater is a different design and I will defer from comment. My wife went to other showswhile I was trying to win the ship in the casino. She was not impressed. She did enjoy BB King. We felt the timing of the entertainment catered to set dinner seatings and was a little difficult for our anytime dining. The movies looked good, but we were not able to get to them. Daytime entertainment was less interesting than on past cruises. ALL IN ALL A GOOD EXPERIENCE Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Although I am a 4 Star Mariner, I had not sailed on a HAL ship since January 2014. I chose this cruise because I wanted to try the new ship and the itinerary included places to which I had not been. The Good: The service everywhere ... Read More
Although I am a 4 Star Mariner, I had not sailed on a HAL ship since January 2014. I chose this cruise because I wanted to try the new ship and the itinerary included places to which I had not been. The Good: The service everywhere was superb. HAL has never been known for good wine stewards, but I had several of the best in all my cruising. My cabin stewards were excellent. The production singers and dancers did some of the best shows I have ever seen on or off a ship. They were very talented, had beautiful costumes, good arrangements and excellent choreography. In addition they did music that is not typical for cruises. The other music venues, Billboard Onboard, BB King, Lincoln Center Stage, had good musicians and interesting programs as well. The food in the Main Dining Room was exceptional; it was good quality, especially the beef, and prepared properly. They need to clone the kitchen on K'dam and send them to all the other ships. If they can do it serving 2800 people every night, they could surely do it on the smaller ships. The specialty restaurants, Sel De Mer, Tamarind, Farm to Table, had excellent food. The menus were innovative and the food was well prepared. I could not say the same for the Pinnacle, where the quality of the beef is just not as good as it should be for this type of restaurant; the MDR was better. And the other food items were not as well prepared. The informal eating places, Grand Dutch Café, Dive In and Lido Marketplace were also quite good. I liked that the Lido was not a buffet. Except for one or two, the shore excursions were well done. They have not raised the prices either. A comprehensive port guide was provided for the whole second portion of the cruise on the first day. It was just done very well. However, we did not receive one for the first portion of the cruise. Every ship on every cruise line should provide this for every cruise; it would be even more helpful to receive it at home before the cruise. They have added reading lights over the beds in the cabin. And the shower is great; no more slipping in those awful bathtubs. The Bad: The standard verandah cabin was smaller than any other HAL ship and definitely smaller than Celebrity. They had deleted one of the closets, had a smaller desk with less drawers, and smaller sofa, table and bedside tables, less shelving over the sink. I would consider this cabin to be adequate for one person but definitely not for two. Early fixed dining was at 5:15. This was just way too early and appeared to be done to accommodate all those who wanted at-will dining. Rather than have separate areas (or floors) of the dining room set aside for early/late fixed dining and for at-will diners, they mixed the two all over the place. It was chaotic and frenetic, was uncomfortable for those seated to have so much activity swirling around them all the time, kept the servers and the kitchen off a steady pace. There should be two separate dining and kitchen food prep areas for the two kinds of diners; these could be adjusted by cruise depending on demand. At-will diners, with and without reservations, blocked the MDR doors every night and fixed seating diners had no clear path to get to their assigned tables. They repeated the dinner menu from cruise to cruise instead of alternating. The evening dress 'code' was egregious. Shorts, peddle-pushers, jeans, flip flops (no matter how sparkly) and running shoes do not belong in any venue other than the Lido and the pool. This isn't Carnival or Norwegian. The casino was small and cramped; they allowed smoking without providing enough industrial ventilation to handle it. It became uncomfortable very quickly. The canned music on the outdoor decks and in the indoor public rooms was very loud. In addition, most of the music in the various venues was loud. There were no quiet places on the ship. There was no venue with a live ensemble playing ballroom type music with a dance floor around the dinner hours. This used to be the Crow's Nest, which now looks more like a beach bar. The Promenade Deck still exists but it is very narrow; in some places, two people could not pass each other. there was no directional signage. And, of course, no room for teak deck chairs. Those passengers who usually get an inside stateroom and use the promenade deck as their outdoor sitting area were really frustrated. As reported, they have no library and a very small book exchange. There were people on my trip who did not realize this and had not brought enough books to read; I knew it and actually took two suitcases, one with books. General Comments about HAL: HAL is missing its old Dutch efficiency. there were several miscommunications about transportation and Distinctive Voyages benefits to be provided by HAL. In addition, I had several paperwork screw-ups: things purchased online before the trip were incorrectly communicated to the ship; things not purchased appeared on my statement. I had to check my statement every few days. They are doing their best to push every customer to use their phone to access everything on the ship. No receipts were given for anything purchased in the bar. A 10% cancellation fee on shore excursions from the date of purchase has been instituted. I received three ship maintenance notices (balcony maintenance, balcony cleaning, carpet cleaning) for my cabin for one eleven-day portion of the cruise, two of them for the same day. Since they should be doing these when there are no customers onboard, one was unacceptable and three was outrageous. A special lunch for those who were on the Collector's Voyage was provided; it was a nice gesture although they needed to provide better food. The Mariner's lunch was much better than it has been on past ships. The Mariner perks were really good. Having alternating itineraries was a great idea. It encourages people to stay on longer. Many old-time HAL'ers will not feel comfortable on this ship. I wasn't. Would I go on the K'dam again? Only if 1)it had an itinerary that I could not get from some other cruise line at a reasonable price; 2)I could get a wider width cabin with more glass viewing area to the outside. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
The ship was AMAZING and the staff was exceptional. Right before we set sail, the president of Holland America was on board and we had a chance to meet him. He was very warm and welcoming and took to time out to take a picture with my ... Read More
The ship was AMAZING and the staff was exceptional. Right before we set sail, the president of Holland America was on board and we had a chance to meet him. He was very warm and welcoming and took to time out to take a picture with my husband and I. The ship was very beautiful and everything had a music theme. The food and dining options were very good, We discovered the Dutch café on deck 3 and the New York Pizza place on deck 10 which ended up being our favorite places to have lunch. The dining room meals rivaled that of a 5 star restaurant. We really enjoyed the live BB King All Star band that played nightly in the Queens Lounge. They kept the house rocking with oldies and some contemporary music and kept the dance floor filled. The shows on the World stage were very good an the venue was exceptional. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
The most important reason we cruise HAL is because they always have a Priest on board for Daily Mass. Went on this cruise so Canadian relatives could use our Naples home to get away from cold. We were on the Koningsdam Dec 30 16 to Jan 8 ... Read More
The most important reason we cruise HAL is because they always have a Priest on board for Daily Mass. Went on this cruise so Canadian relatives could use our Naples home to get away from cold. We were on the Koningsdam Dec 30 16 to Jan 8 2017 and enjoyed the cruise so when we found a good price for 3 weeks we returned in March. This is the new class of ships for HAL and there are many changes to the basic deck plans. The Queens Lounge is now on two decks and much larger but is used mostly for BB King and a few trivia games and lectures. The culinary arts is now aft near the dining room. The cooking classes are small and must be seen on a TV screen. They also have special diners every night at 7 with the food prepared in front of you. We didn't try this because we received mixed reviews from others. HAL is pushing the anytime dining over the fixed and as a result there is a long line every night waiting to check in for a table. They seem to have reduced the dining room staff because there is often a shortage of waiters to seat people. Sometimes too many people decide to eat at the same time and the waiters end up literally running to serve everyone. The elevators need a light to show which one has arrived. You end up in the middle waiting for a door to open and the rushing to enter before it closes. There were many negative comments heard about the design of the new ship. If you like to dance - this is not the ship for you. The band does not play in the Ocean Bar - only a very good piano player for 2-3 hours each night. There is a small dance floor but not one dancer in 21 nights. BB King is about the same - music is concert with many solos and very little dance music. We have spent New Years Eve on HAL for the last two years and we are booked for next year on the Nieu Amsterdam because we prefer it's design. Doubt we will cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
We had two weeks to choose a cruise to somewhere we had not been. The Koningsdam itinerary fit. When I say it is COLD, it is just that. We live where it is cold, so we were ready to get warm! Koningsdam keeps the ship frigid. The cabin ... Read More
We had two weeks to choose a cruise to somewhere we had not been. The Koningsdam itinerary fit. When I say it is COLD, it is just that. We live where it is cold, so we were ready to get warm! Koningsdam keeps the ship frigid. The cabin has a thermostat. We kept it on MAX. 2 upper decks have open air, so at those places it was at least warm as the outdoors. B.B. King is their headliner. For 95% of their stuff they are barely above rap. Not good. Stage entertainers are a mix. The juggler should stick with juggling. His German accent was so thick he was not understandable. He indicated that he was gay. That was too much information as he got a bit too 'out' about it. The 'real' comedian was brilliant, but his delivery was WAY off. It didn't work. A comedic piano player was excellent, but his jokes were pretty lame. The piano stuff was excellent.The singers and dancers were good on their first show, but mimicked playing their instruments (RUBBER SYMBOLS). String players were limited to long haired stuff and flopped. Computer guy: poor.The headline singer is VERY experienced, as in Madonna and Cher, if you get the drift. The last show was Musicology. Simply fantastic. As good a show as any you will see on or off a ship. The show room is covered with electronic lights and is fabulous when used as designed. Food is just OK. Steak is tough. Most chow is flavorless. ANY chain restaurant food is better. Pinnacle Grille is different. TOP food and served with penache. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
The excursions were second class. do not use HAL for them. find another source if you can. in particular the st maarten and st Thomas ones were bad. San Juan was just OK. Internet did not work (a friend had to get a refund). WiFi is a ... Read More
The excursions were second class. do not use HAL for them. find another source if you can. in particular the st maarten and st Thomas ones were bad. San Juan was just OK. Internet did not work (a friend had to get a refund). WiFi is a joke. If you are not a four or five star mariner forget about any chance at restaurant reservations. Onboard tours were lacking. The one kitchen tour was rushed. There were no others to sign up for ahead of time on the website. No library onboard and the gift shop did not sell books! And the website did not warn you about this. there is not even a book about the ship or HA's history. The cabins, food, staff were fine but not my best experience overall. The movies by the pool were nice. This ship needs a management do over. Profit is all that matters here. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was an 11 day cruise We chose this ship because it was a new ship, loved the ports and always wanted to try Holland America. We had been in the Caribbean and this had new ports that we had not seen. The ship is beautiful, the ... Read More
This was an 11 day cruise We chose this ship because it was a new ship, loved the ports and always wanted to try Holland America. We had been in the Caribbean and this had new ports that we had not seen. The ship is beautiful, the artwork very interesting it is an easy ship to navigate, We had sailed before on other lines and of course eager to compare, The cabin was very nice, bathroom excellent with a real nice shower. We had an aft cabin and we were worried about the movement. The aft cabin was very nice giving you a better view than just the verandah. Still felt some movements but we were not bothered by it Definitively a little more rocky than midship. Staff was very nice and courteous. We did not like as much the pools finding them small and surprise one of them was occupied by children preteen , Also they put a volleyball net on the pool that took the whole pool, hard to swim. They are 2 pools so you can go to the next one but they were small. This only occurred one time Very easy to get chairs that was very nice.We were expecting excellent dining. We did not find this. The food was good but not superior. One of us is a vegetarian could have been healthier choice and more vegetarian options. We had purchased the signature beverage packet, they push the drinks and on one occasion we were charged an extra for a superior wine without our knowledge. The front desk fixed this but that was annoying. No live band in the theater, What a shame a beautiful theater with recorded music. The entertainment on the ship (not the shows) were excellent BB king was great and the 2 pianists We loved the piano bar. The guests were a bit older than our previous cruises and we are in our mid sixties. We probably would try Holland America again but our Experience with celebrity cruises had been so great that our next one is a celebrity. It really depends on what you are looking for. We want a little livelier atmosphere without being too noisy. We gave an average rating due to the food, the absence of the band in the shows, a little too quiet. Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
OK....No BS....We have always cruised on HAL..PERIOD!! Cost more but Worth it... I am 62, My Wife is 65. Started with HAL back in 2003. First cruise was to Alaska. All others have been to the Caribbean. Were from the Great ... Read More
OK....No BS....We have always cruised on HAL..PERIOD!! Cost more but Worth it... I am 62, My Wife is 65. Started with HAL back in 2003. First cruise was to Alaska. All others have been to the Caribbean. Were from the Great Northwest...OK Oregon. I would suggest flying in the night before depending on where you live. For us Oregonian's it takes 7 hrs. via Southwest to Ft. Lauderdale. TAKE a taxi from your hotel to the Ship. Worth the money. No hassles, No other people. Direct and stress free which we all want to be. The Koningsdam is one BEAUTIFUL ship (as all HAL Dam ships). And no I am not writing this after a "cruise high"). The Koningsdam is only 40' longer than the Eurodam. Has roughly 700 more people. This was not and issue for myself nor my wife. After our first cruise to Alaska which we booked an interior stateroom WE will Never book another interior stateroom and only a Veranda room. Fresh air and your outside. Also book the Port side not the Starboard side. Going South you are able to see the Sunrise and the islands you will be visiting. Going North you can sip a glass of wine and see the Sunsets. Very Beautiful!.... OK back to the Dam ship...We have no kids so the Lido Pool is where we hung. If you are a smoker or cigar professional the Port side is where you go. IF not any of the above then their is an area on the Starboard side for you. Also as of 2017 you CANNOT smoke on your Veranda. (Kinda a bummer being we like to have a glass of wine and a smoke) Pool is smaller than the other Dam ships but does have two SMALL Jacuzzi's. Excellent basketball court and shuffleboard court. We stayed on the 6th floor better known as the Mozart level (forward/port). Was a truck to the buffet and back pool located aft. But was fun walking from the room (:. On the way Aft you walk by the mid pool, Spa, Dive In, and lots of bars plus the NY Deli which serves specialty pizzas. The new stage is spectacular. Highly recommend. Especially when the musicians from Lincoln Stage perform live along with the movie. Drinks are $8 bucks and the drink of the day is $7. Bucket of beer - 5 (16oz Bud etc is $26 and 5 - 12 oz others" are $22). Entertainment was very good. DO NOT MISS THE BB KING ENTERTAINMENT. I do not drink coffee but my wife liked the Grand Café. The Crow's nest is to die for. Great views and Happy people. Toilets in the room Suck as they all do on any ship unless you can afford the suites. Food is always good at the buffet and on average I had my meal along with my wife within 3 minutes. We mostly had assigned seating every night in the dining room, but did pay an up charge for all the specialty restaurants. Well worth it. ALL sorts of options!! If nothing was their for our pleasure then the "chefs" would make it for us... SERVICE is/was Excellent, as always.... Half Moon Key was Supporp...as always. This is always our best island to visit !! Shore excursions Always book through HAL. If your late for the boat..."see ya later" UNLESS you book through HAL. You will be not left and the boat will wait for you...Due to your excursion issues not you personally diverting.. Wish we were on any DAM ship now!! Enjoy and I will leave you with this thought.... You live only once, Enjoy while you can, Stay positive, Believe 3/4's of what anyone tells you and Just be you! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
My prior cruise experiences were all on small ships -- two with Lindblad/National Geographic (120 passengers max), two with (now defunct) Cruise West (110 passengers max), and one on the Mississippi (ca. 400 passengers). I traveled with ... Read More
My prior cruise experiences were all on small ships -- two with Lindblad/National Geographic (120 passengers max), two with (now defunct) Cruise West (110 passengers max), and one on the Mississippi (ca. 400 passengers). I traveled with my sister and brother-in-law, who are HAL veterans (7 or 8 cruises on a variety of ships). We had never been to the islands on this cruise, so it was all new for us. Shore excursions: I purchased one for each port, as I was eager to learn as much as I could about the islands. Most were good value, with one glaring exception. In Charlotte Amalie my sister and I opted for the Colonial St. Thomas and Recommended Shopping. We paid $49.95 each for what amounted to a bus ride to the top of the hill. There we were dropped off to hear a spiel by a Blackbeard character and told to walk down the hill to the shops. I thought this was quite a rip off. Among my favorites were the walking tour of Fort-de-France (Martinique) and the four hours of beach time we had at Half Moon Cay. Dining: I had heard great things about HAL's food. Well, I was quite disappointed. Multiple times I ordered fish in the Main Dining room and it arrived overcooked and mushy. The last night I ordered the prime rib, but it was inedible -- lacking flavor and dry as sawdust. Three nights we ate in specialty restaurants -- Sel de Mer, Tamarind, and Pinnacle. Paying the premium was worth it to get great food. On the two "gala" nights we found that the Main Dining room was overwhelmed. Both nights we had to get a pager and return to the bar to wait for a table. Staff: Excellent! They want very much to please the passengers and do a superior job. From the stewards to the bartenders, they are terrific. Buy, buy, buy. I felt that HAL had their hands in my pockets all the time. Whether it was to visit the casino or buy a watch, they always seemed to be marketing something. That turned me off. Entertainment. The highlight was the all-female piano quintet that played almost nightly on the Lincoln Center Stage. They had never played together before November 2016 and were quite talented. Their programs were varied and lasted about 40-45 minutes. They were young, enthusiastic, and gifted. By contrast, the shows on the main stage were quite uneven. A dance evening was outstanding, but another night I heard a comic who was definitely cringe-worthy. Awful. The best show I saw featured the above-mentioned piano quintet, performing with the house band, to provide the accompaniment to a BBC nature program on the Arctic and Antarctic. Superb! Overall: It was an enjoyable time, but I won't be cruising with HAL again. I'm much more comfortable on a small ship without all the glitz and glamor. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was the first time sailing with HAL. I have sailed with many other lines and this was my 15th cruise. We chose this ship because we planned a family vacation with cousins who preferred HAL above others. Me and my wife chose a ... Read More
This was the first time sailing with HAL. I have sailed with many other lines and this was my 15th cruise. We chose this ship because we planned a family vacation with cousins who preferred HAL above others. Me and my wife chose a balcony state room and were very pleased with the room including a spacious glassed enclosed shower stall, (the first I have ever had on a cruise). The service was excellent and the food was great as well. The entertainment was ok but nothing special . The only bar entertainment we liked was the BB King Blues Band. The rest of the entertainment was more classical in nature and seemed to appeal to an older high brow crowd. The shows were weak as well unless you like jugglers and magicians. The average age of our fellow cruisers seemed to be 70+ so if you prefer a more diverse cruise, this ship would not be attractive to you. Overall, we liked the cruise and the ship was one of the most beautiful I have been on. Cleanliness of the ship was superior. The Lido food market was very busy and confusing at times since the food was served in a continuous line on both sides of the ship and separate food stations by cuisine, it made it hard to find the food you liked. I would recommend this ship for the older cruisers but there is nothing on board for the younger cruisers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this Southern Caribbean cruise because we liked the ports of call. We also liked that this is a new ship in her first year. All in all, I would say that we enjoyed the cruise. Since the ship is new, it was very nice. Being ... Read More
We chose this Southern Caribbean cruise because we liked the ports of call. We also liked that this is a new ship in her first year. All in all, I would say that we enjoyed the cruise. Since the ship is new, it was very nice. Being Holland America, it was predominantly seniors but we are seniors so we didn't mind that. We had an inside cabin that was nicely furnished and had adequate storage but it was the smallest cabin imaginable and our smallest cabin yet. It had a queen or two twin beds, two tiny nightstands and a desk with a hassock on wheels shoved under it. That's it for furniture. It had no chairs or couch or table. If we had ordered room service, one person could have eaten at the desk and other other seated on the bed. Not good! So, we were quite disappointed in the size of the room Other shipmates had balcony rooms and said they were small too. Another thing I did not like is that the buffet dining area was in the middle of a floor and the pools at either end. People going back and forth to get to the pool and had to walk through all of the people trying to get food and carry it to their table. It made that area too congested and didn't seem like a good plan. We enjoyed the entertainment, the room steward did a good job (except there was some mold in the shower!) the food was good. Dining room service was spotty. We had open seating. I think Holland America has assigned too many tables to each waiter. They were definitely hustling and working hard but on some occasions service suffered. We did enjoy the cruise but I am not sure I would recommend the ship because of the size of the cabins. The next cruise that we take, I will do more homework on the size of the cabin that's for sure! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise because of it's port intensive itinerary, not because we were excited about traveling on the new ship. It is pricier to sail on the new kid on the block but our son and his wife had never been to the southern ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of it's port intensive itinerary, not because we were excited about traveling on the new ship. It is pricier to sail on the new kid on the block but our son and his wife had never been to the southern islands, so we were left with no choice. We are unabashedly fans of the Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam and hoped that the Koningsdam equaled or bettered the Vista class ships, but we felt that it did not. As soon as we entered the ship, I felt that the ceilings were much lower, giving a slight claustrophobic feel. After we unpacked, we went straight up to the Retreat area where we had booked a Family Cabana, as we have for the last half dozen cruises on the NA and Eurodam. The Family Cabanas on those ship are HUGE -- they contain two double loungers, tables and chairs to seat four AND two larger chairs for relaxation. Imagine our surprise/dismay and angst when we were shown our Family Cabana and it was HALF the size (or smaller) than the ones on the Vista class ships! We were stunned. Only TWO single loungers fit inside (even though the description says FOUR LOUNGERS), along with two nice chairs and a small table in between them (think coffee table height, not dining height). There was no way that our party of four adults could actually relax and feel comfortable in this space ... certainly not the way we had on the other ships' family cabanas. PLUS, the price of the rental was the same! With a new ship like this, one would think everything would be bigger and better ... Nope. We were extremely disappointed in the cabana, but not the normal cabana experience. Our cabana stewards were excellent all week and they, too, felt badly about the sub-par cabana. The Assistant F&B Manager told us that many people who have experienced the other family cabanas complain when they see what they have been rented. I will add my agreement to those who write about the odd angle of the toilet in the staterooms. To save a few inches of space, they have "jammed" the toilet into the room in such a way that "sidesaddle" becomes a word that is rarely used in that area! The Koningsdam has many features that their other ships don't: Blend (pay $79 to blend your own wine), Notes (pay to blend your scotch), Culinary Art Center (pay $39 for dinner), Gelato Bar (pay for a cup of gelato). In other words, there is a profit center nearly everywhere you turn. To be fair, the Dutch Café is new and we really enjoyed the sandwiches and other food items (including desserts) that are complimentary. The coffee, wine and beer is for sale there, making it somewhat of a profit center. The small World Stage theater is puzzling. The "stage" is at floor level with the guests in the front -- there is no elevated stage as on the other ships. To make it more intimate (or to save valuable space?) it only seats 660 on a ship that holds 2600 people. To try to accommodate as many as possible, there are three shows a night. The two early shows are in demand and people go early early to get seats. The late show then is under-attended, making for low energy audiences for comedians and variety acts -- no very nice. I agree that there is very little to do onboard, especially sea days. We attend every trivia event but there isn't a lot more that interests us -- no ping pong tournaments or basketball games excite us! I've heard they are eliminating the position of the young woman who usually assists in the culinary events and hosts things like origami, etc. because they are bringing in the America's Test Kitchen crew. I can only guess that there will be even less side activities as a result. We are HAL cheerleaders but we finally have to admit that the food in the MDR seems to have slipped. We did not plan to dine in the Pinnacle Grill this time (Tamarind and Sel de Mer were the only ones we planned on) but the menus in the MDR were so uninspired on several nights that we even went to Canelleto rather than dine one more time in the MDR. By the way, we were very pleasantly surprised by the offerings in Canelleto! (The same old desserts in the PG are disappointing -- time for some new selections.) The ports (we had been to all of them in the past but our son and his wife had not. The only one we had not been to was Antigua -- and the high winds caused HAL to cancel the stop there -- no complaints -- safety first): St. Maarten -- Son and wife took catamaran excursion -- said it was great. St. Lucia -- Son and wife took aerial tram through rain forest -- said it was amazing Barbados -- Son and wife went to Harrison Caves, where you ride a tram through the caves -- said it was very amazing San Juan (diverted there instead of Antigua -- kudos to captain and HAL for finding a substitute port instead of making it another sea day) -- stayed on ship because we've been there so many times Martinique -- Husband and I walked around until we found a lovely French café with a view of the water. Had a great experience navigating the "no English" menu and it was our favorite time of the cruise. Son and wife took tour to various spots and enjoyed it St. Thomas -- same old, same old. The service on the ship was excellent, as always. Carson, the cruise director was great, as was the assistant cruise director, Nathan. Thanks to all members of the crew for always being the best! Having said ALL of this -- we will go back to our beloved NA and Eurodam. This ship just feels too profit oriented. I certainly don't mind any business being out to make money, just don't let me be so aware of it at every turn! Oh! Just one thing about disembarkation: We used the app "Mobile Pass" to make customs and immigration easier. We got off the ship at 7:45 a.m. and was told that the Mobile Pass line wouldn't be open until 8! If you use the app, you do not have to fill out that little blue form. But if you can't use the Mobile Pass app/line, you are "in trouble" if you don't have a back up handwritten form to hand in! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
My previous experience on HAL was the Eurodam, so I was looking forward to more of the same quality and expertise. Well, there is the good, and the bad, so I was somewhat disappointed. First - the cabins are significantly smaller across ... Read More
My previous experience on HAL was the Eurodam, so I was looking forward to more of the same quality and expertise. Well, there is the good, and the bad, so I was somewhat disappointed. First - the cabins are significantly smaller across every category. This is presumably so they could cram more people onboard. This was a big let-down, There is also no library, which many people complained about. There are more specialty restaurants, but they are also smaller, and harder to get a reservation. Sel De Mer and Pinnacle Grill are well worth going to! Even the food on the Lido deck was superior. Service in the dining room left a lot to be desired, and the "wine stewards" were all wearing the silver tastevin (the silver cup that hangs around their necks) even though they were also seen as waiters in the Lido Market. Only certified Master Sommeliers are supposed to be able to wear them. The casino is way too small for this size of ship, and the no-smoking nights were not enforced. The best entertainment was five young ladies from 5 different countries who performed as a string and piano quintet at the Lincoln Center Stage. They were fabulous! Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We started our cruise of 10 days with some concern due to the harsh reviews that have been posted on this site. We quickly came to the conclusion that either HAL had suddenly righted the ship, or that a tremendous number of nit-pickers ... Read More
We started our cruise of 10 days with some concern due to the harsh reviews that have been posted on this site. We quickly came to the conclusion that either HAL had suddenly righted the ship, or that a tremendous number of nit-pickers post reviews. Simply, this was one of the best cruises we have taken. Not perfect, but nothing is and the imperfections were relatively minor. The ship was sold out but never felt overcrowded or burdensome to maneuver. We had great weather the entire cruise, the ship was elegant and beautiful, and the food far exceeded prior HAL experiences. More about this later. We booked a standard verandah cabin (6045) that was nicely decorated and well designed with plenty of storage space. We did not realize until well into the cruise that there are 2 large drawers at the foot of the bed that would have been perfect to stash the dirty clothes. The bathroom was average size but the walk in shower was larger than normal and plenty roomy. In the nothing is perfect category, the toilet is at an odd angle but did not bother us. Also, we were at the back end of the schedule for making up the room so that was not usually done until early afternoon. Live TV was rather limited (CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, BBC News, and 2 ESPN feeds). Food was excellent in MDR and the specialty restaurants. We bought the ultimate dining package 0f 1 night in each of the 5 specialty restaurants for $119 pp. It saves $27 over individual bookings and each meal was excellent. The Tamarind and Sel de Mer are also beautifully decorated and you have no sense of being on a cruise ship as you dine there. We would not have missed any of them. The first night we tried reserving a table under open dining in the MDR for ourselves and our 2 friends traveling with us but were only offered availability very early or very late. The next night we just went when we wanted and were immediately seated, and this was repeated the other 3 nights we ate there. Portions were generous and service was very good. The Lido food was not at the same level but was adequate for breakfast and lunch. Despite critics, we always could find a table either indoors or on the pool deck. HAL attendants would offer to find seating if they saw someone having a problem. Yes, the chairs are heavy but the problem is not the weight but that they don’t easily slide on a carpeted floor. Dive-In served tasty chicken sandwich, burger, fries, etc., all cooked upon ordering. Never a line of more than 2 or 3 people. NY Deli had non-NY type bagels, but the lox spread was delicious. The pizza was the best I have had on a cruise. It was crowded at lunch on sea days. Grand Dutch Café always had tables available and served nice pastries and sandwiches, but service was slow. They charge $2 for a small coffee. Entertainment was a cut above other recent cruises we have taken. The BB King Blues band was fabulous. Great musicians playing mostly R & B, blues and classic rock. We took in part of their shows every night and they developed a loyal following of repeat viewers including several tireless dancers. Contrary to some critics, they did not repeat the same sets over and over. We saw 3 shows in the World Stage and they were above average. The Lincoln Center Stage had a quintet of 5 young women who played a mix of classical and more mainstream music. Only one show, on a sea day, was SRO. The Billboard piano bar seemed the most popular and was out least favorite. It was usually very hard to find seats at the early shows. Shopping was somewhat limited for such a large ship: the usual watch/jewelry store, liquor and sundry items, some dress clothing (women’s nostly) and branded HAL merchandise. One design defect was the narrow passageway on deck 3 infront of the shops. They would put out tables with special sale items but that cut into the ability to easily move around. A few brief observations on ports: Half Moon – We shared the day with the Nieuw Amsterdam, but plenty of room on the beautiful beach. The barbeque lunch was not up to previous standards. Grand Turk – Great beach just off the front of the ship. Took an island tour but not much to see. Amber Cove – Great pool complex and surprisingly uncrowded. Did my first zip line ($20 for unlimited trips). No beach. Bonaire – Not much if you don’t snorkel/scuba. Took a glass bottom boat trip that was very interesting and informative. Curacao – Very scenic and interesting town walkable from ship, but hot. Many high end shops. Avoid the tour to the caves which are not very interesting. Aruba – Wanted to do day trip to the beach but warned by HAL not to because it was Carnival Day and access to port would be restricted after 12 noon, and shops were to close. Shops did close at noon, but the Parade didn’t reach the port until 4PM. Wasted day. A few negatives that did not spoil our vacation: Staff needs to be better trained and not give wrong information. For example, in Aruba the Guest Relations gave wrong information about the timing of the Carnival Parade which caused us to unnecessarily cancel our beach plans. The casino staff misinformed me as to the schedule of the Blackjack Tournament. Guest Relations also mistakenly charged me luggage fees for Luggage Direct that I had indicated were waived by the airline as a perk for my affinity credit card. (However a request for a refund was quickly arranged after our return home.) The excursion desk had a female employee who lied about availability of trips in Bonaire, trying to steer us to the most expensive one. She was reported to her manager when we found this out the next day. Food at Half Moon has deteriorated in quality, but the number of tables has increased so there was plenty of availability. Too many activities are scheduled at same time, between 11:00 and 2:30 and then there are dead spots in the mid-afternoon. Internet service was pricy (I took 100 min. for $55) but speed wasn’t too bad. In summary, this was an excellent cruise with a beautiful ship, great weather, and wonderful food. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
This was my only complaint on my recent sailing aboard the Koningsdam. I'm referring to the Holland American Line Mariners, the folks that have hundreds of days sailing on HAL. I've never heard so much unhappiness on a cruise ... Read More
This was my only complaint on my recent sailing aboard the Koningsdam. I'm referring to the Holland American Line Mariners, the folks that have hundreds of days sailing on HAL. I've never heard so much unhappiness on a cruise among folks that have status. My advice to Holland America Line, IGNORE them. Our experience on the Koningsdam was wonderful...keep up the good work. We arrived at the terminal about 11AM, and were sitting on the Lido deck by noon, having the first of many great meals. The food on this ship has only one rating....Excellent! We had an inside stateroom on deck 6, plenty of storage space and a full size shower! Very quiet hallway. However, I believe that the stewards were sleeping under our bed, their service was so good, yet we barely saw them . Food on the Koningsdam was excellent, we enjoyed every meal. At times service was a bit slow in the Main Dining Room, it seemed to speed up every day we were on the cruise. We did the special Culinary Arts Center dinner, where the chef prepares your meal in front of you. I heartily encourage everyone to spend the $39.00 extra for this meal, very interesting and the chef and crew really made this meal special. Entertainment - There are three main musical venues on the Koningsdam, the Lincoln Center quartet, the double piano bar, and the BBKing Blues band. I'm not a classical music person, but the music in the Lincoln Center was gentle and enjoyable. My favorite was the piano bar, both musicians could play, sing, and get the crowd involved to have fun. The BB King Blues Band could play a lot more than blues, they did the second side of Abby Road..something I've never heard a band play. Special Food - The Dutch Cafe! This was the best part of the entire ship. I tried to bring these folks home. The food at the Dutch Cafe was fattening, but is the real reason I was on a cruise. Excellent, Tremendous, Terrific. I miss them to this day. Main Stage - I put the the Main Stage in a category of its own. First, the room is unique, great sight lines and 270 degree LED screens. The shows were excellent, singers and dancers were wonderful. The screens were well integrated into the live shows. We saw the Frozen Planet show, which is a BBC show, with live classical music. Very enjoyable. As I started this review, the Koningsdam is a different sort of ship than the HAL other ships. The old times complained, but I congratulate HAL on seeing the future and making it excellent. I recommend this ship to everyone. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We selected this cruise to get away from cold midwest winter weather and to check out the new HAL ship. Full disclosure: I have sailed to the Caribbean many times before on HAL and other cruise lines. I am a 4 star mariner. The Ship: ... Read More
We selected this cruise to get away from cold midwest winter weather and to check out the new HAL ship. Full disclosure: I have sailed to the Caribbean many times before on HAL and other cruise lines. I am a 4 star mariner. The Ship: Overall, I was disappointed with the Koningsdam relative to other ships in the HAL fleet. While it is a beautiful ship it struck me as more in line with the Royal Caribbean or Carnival style. HAL seems to have lost sight of their primary demographic...older cruisers who travel frequently on HAL and enjoy the intimacy of a smaller ship experience. Here are the details: Stateroom. I was in an inside cabin on deck 5. What I Liked: The stateroom bathroom was lovely...particularly the glassed in shower. Kudos to the designer. I also liked the slate-looking shower flooring that was wonderfully non-slip and easy to wipe up. The flat screen tv with on demand movies complete with Trailers was great although the experience would have been more enjoyable with access to a chair or sofa for viewing (see below). What I didn't Like: The stateroom was too small. There was no place to sit other than on the bed (no sofa or chair) and floor space was extremely limited. This was tiresome for in-room dining, lap top use, and movie watching. Side Note: I spoke with other cruisers with larger inside cabins with a sofa. They were ubhappy that they were not able to sit on the sofa and watch TV because of positioning of the TV above the sofa. Common Spaces on the Ship I struggled to find quiet areas for reading or just sitting and watching the ocean. The Crows Nest seemed to fill this need on occasion, but this area is used for many activities (Trivia, private functions, computer lab, explorer's cafe). Therefore, its usefulness as a quiet retreat is hit or miss. Other common areas tended to involve constant background music. The Culinary Arts area appears to have been designed as another venue for selling an optional dining experience (Farm to Table). It is not effective for food demonstrations unless you are seated directly in front of the presenters. Since the space is long and narrow many people are seated off to the side and can only see the chef's preparations by watching the TV monitor. You might as well watch a food demonstration on television. The theatre design of culinary arts areas on other HAL ships is far superior to this design. Food Venues The food quality on this ship was excellent, as it has been on all HAL cruises I have taken. I have no significant complaints in this area. The food in the Koningsdam dining room is no better than on other HAL ships. The Koningsdam offers more dining venues than other HAL ships. However, most of these venues involve an additional charge. What I Particularly Liked: I enjoyed the Grand Dutch Cafe. It offered a nice, if limited, menu and a pleasant atmosphere to enjoy the food. I also liked the Tamarind Restaurant. The food was delicious although the throne-style seats by the windows were excruciatingly uncomfortable. The interior designer obviously never sat in those chairs! The best FREE new dining venue is the Pizza and Delicatessan. The deli sandwiches are wonderful and the individual pizzas are also very good. Entertainment Ironically, despite the advertised hoopla of the entertainment venues on Koningdam, I missed the intimacy of the piano bar of other HAL ships. I found the entertainment areas leading to the Showroom frenetic and unsatisfying. The performances in the main showroom were on a par with other HAL ships. There is no indoor theatre on the ship. The outdoor theatre is ok as a novelty but not as a substitute for the indoor theatre. We were seated in the front row for a movie and picture and sound were adequate. People seated in the back reported subpar acoustics. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Great price and wanted to try out the K-dam. We had heard bad things about the lower decks in terms of loud sound from the music venues on 3, and that the upper staterooms experienced a lot of wind motion. So we chose deck 6 and were ... Read More
Great price and wanted to try out the K-dam. We had heard bad things about the lower decks in terms of loud sound from the music venues on 3, and that the upper staterooms experienced a lot of wind motion. So we chose deck 6 and were happy. Then took an up-sell to a Vista suite. Mistake, nowhere near worth what we paid. There were no new special duvets, the space was as narrow as a regular verandah cabin. To balance, the new specialty restaurants, Sel de Mer and CAC farm-to-table were very good and Tamarind was outstanding as always. We were disappointed in the daytime offerings during sea days. The Explorer's lounge is very small. The ship decor is very different from the others, but beautiful in its own way. The Lido market is a different approach. There are about 10 different markets, all specializing in different dishes. It takes a while to figure out which one has what you're looking for. Our biggest complaint was the MRS hours. Early dining is at 5:30 and late is at 8:30. We missed activities scheduled for 8 or 9 because of that. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise to the southern Caribbean to escape the winter in MD. The itinerary included Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao as well as three other ports on the 10-day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale. We did not eat in any of the speciality ... Read More
We chose this cruise to the southern Caribbean to escape the winter in MD. The itinerary included Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao as well as three other ports on the 10-day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale. We did not eat in any of the speciality restaurants. There were 2 "gala" nights that most passengers dressed up for. We didn't, and went to the buffet instead. Entertainment was nothing special, in my opinion. Piano players/singers were better than other entainers, but played too loud, drowning out their voices (maybe intentionally). Food was typical in the dining room; pasta, chicken, steak, fish, vegan and some other entrees. HAL adds $12.50 per day, per person for tips. However you can adjust this amount by filling out a form at reception, without a nasty glare or comment. Library was eliminated on this ship (Koningsdam). Shore excursions were purchased from 3rd party vendors before leaving home. In most ports, there were plenty of vendors selling tours on the spot. The ship was very easy to get around on. Small casino, not too much smoking, but some. Ships performers were very good. Other entertainment was very good also. I think this cruise was a little over-priced, and there were very sparse perks from TA and HAL. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise on recommendation of our AAA agent and for an itinerary which included the ABC Islands. We stayed at Cruise Port Inn in Fort Lauderdale for two nights prior to embarkation and anticipate that after the renovation now ... Read More
We chose this cruise on recommendation of our AAA agent and for an itinerary which included the ABC Islands. We stayed at Cruise Port Inn in Fort Lauderdale for two nights prior to embarkation and anticipate that after the renovation now in progress, it will be a much nicer place to stay. The staff were very friendly and helpful in spite of the physical mess. The breakfast area was a crowded disaster, and public areas were overcrowded and less than clean. The room was clean and adequate and fairly quiet even tho we backed onto a busy road. The embarkation process went smoothly and our luggage was in our rooms by the time we arrived. Our room was on the 4th deck over the Theater. I would not book this room again as we heard the last performance every night from our room, as we were usually in by 10-10:30PM. We heard nothing from the rooms around or across from us. We had asked for first dinner seating with our traveling companions, and were waitlisted, therefore did open seating every night. We never had to wait long for a table unless we chose to dine with just the four of us and even then was never more than a 5-10 minute wait. I enjoyed the larger groups, but found with more than 6 at a table, it was very hard to hear and carry on a conversation with anyone but the person on either side, and as there were mostly elderly on board this was an issue every night. Also, we never became familiar with the dining room staff as those at assigned tables did. The food in the dining room was great, especially enjoyed the fresh fish choices nightly. We also ate at the Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto's, and had wonderful meals and unhurried service for both nights. We frequently ate at the Lido for lunch and although they offered the same options daily, there was enough variety to keep us satisfied and the service was as attentive as in the dining room. The entertainment was great! Loved the quintet at the Lincoln stage and really enjoyed the Piano Bar with sing-a-longs. There was standing room only if you didn't get to the venue at least 30-45 minutes early. I can't say enough for the service! We had morning coffee delivered daily and our room stewards, Harris and Oom, knew our names by the second day. On asking at the service desk for a screwdriver to repair a piece of luggage, they took the suitcase and repaired it free of charge and delivered it to our room. One of our traveling companions injured his back and had to spend three days in bed. The room stewards looked in on him frequently, bringing him snacks and ice packs, helping with wheelchairs and transportation to the clinic, and escorting him through the disembarkation process. We used the laundry service for $20.00,and our large bag of clothing came back folded or ironed and hung on hangers within 12 hours. We took a snorkeling excursion, 'The Cow Boat' in Bonaire, and the 'Made in Curacao' tour in Curacao. Both were well organized and enjoyable. Mostly we just enjoyed sitting by the pool and in the Crow's Nest visiting with other travelers. We also took the 'Everglades Tour' on disembarkation day. The boat ride was fun and interesting, but the animal preserve was not particularly interesting and I resented being solicited for tips at every exhibit. Even with the tour we had over a 4 hour wait at the airport for our flight. As we didn't have earlier flight choices, it would be nice to have some time of tour the last day that lasted a little longer. With the exception of our injured traveling companion, the trip was very enjoyable. We will definitely travel with Holland America again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
o We had a great room 6th floor (A6020 Mozart deck) veranda; great cabin stewards o We had great folks at seated dinner (3 other couples) Dave (one husband) ordered a cake for J's birthday (I don't know how he found ... Read More
o We had a great room 6th floor (A6020 Mozart deck) veranda; great cabin stewards o We had great folks at seated dinner (3 other couples) Dave (one husband) ordered a cake for J's birthday (I don't know how he found out... Jim thought I did it, but I didn’t. The waiters even sang happy birthday to him o We loved the new ship, but a bit large for us. - Ceilings were low in dining room & noise was bad, & not enough seating in dining room for all passengers. - The shower in bathroom was wonderful, as were the beds, linens, etc. - Large screen tv & able to get Fox News & some basketball games, which we enjoyed, even a good movie in cabin on tv - Our dining stewards great, too. They knew when we wanted to get to entertainment so got us out of there, quickly o We walked around in all ports, but enjoyed the veranda reading our Kindles o We are now 4 Star Marina because of our many cruises on Holland America. Reached this plateau while on the cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I was anxious to sail on the Koningsdam. In the Spring of 2016 while cruising on the Westerdam, we heard about the Koningsdam from some of the crew members who had an opportunity to preview the new ship. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale, ... Read More
I was anxious to sail on the Koningsdam. In the Spring of 2016 while cruising on the Westerdam, we heard about the Koningsdam from some of the crew members who had an opportunity to preview the new ship. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Friday. We spent Friday and Saturday lounging pool side at the resort. We boarded the ship on Sunday early afternoon. From the time we got out of the taxi until we stepped on board it was 40 minutes. I felt that embarkation was very efficient. Nicely done. The ship is absolutely beautiful with beautiful artwork throughout. It is very elegant. I especially liked the Music Walk which includes the World Stage, Lincoln Center, Billboard and BB King Jazz Club. We enjoyed the performances in all of the venues. The talent on board was outstanding! We ate breakfast and lunch at the Lido most every day. The choices were so numerous and tasty. My husband loved the new pizza at NY Deli. We also indulged at The Dive In a few times. Typically we ate in the Dining Room. The food was the very best we have eaten on a cruise ship. Our ports included a private island, Grand Turk, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire and Dominican Republic. We did not get off the ship at the private island. In Grand Turk, we simply walked to a lovely beach and took advantage of FREE chaises and sat under the palm trees. In Bonaire, we visited Washington National Park, very interesting. In the other ports, we took some very general island type tours. The only complaints I heard from other passengers are the following: absence of a library, very small inside cabins, and limited outdoor quiet space in which to read. I did not encounter these issues personally so cannot speak further on these issues. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to sail on the Koningsdam, a new ship plus we liked the itinerary. Holland America has the best crews, very attentive and friendly. I also loved the fresh floral arrangements throughout the ship. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to sail on the Koningsdam, a new ship plus we liked the itinerary. Holland America has the best crews, very attentive and friendly. I also loved the fresh floral arrangements throughout the ship. The nightlife was lacking for us and we are by no means party people. We ate an early dinner and saw the first show at 7:15. After that there was usually only one music venue at a time. No entertainment on the observation deck like we had on the Zuiderdam. In addition no pastries available in Dutch cafe or on the 12th floor after 8 PM and buffet had very limited selections after 8. This was our 3rd HA cruise. My husband was so disappointed by the lack of what to do at night that he feels it would have to take a very special offer to cruise with them again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We choose Holland America Koningsdam for a couple of reasons. Both my wife and myself are of Dutch background so we wanted to try this cruise line. We both has birthdays when we were aboard so that was another great excuse. Upon our ... Read More
We choose Holland America Koningsdam for a couple of reasons. Both my wife and myself are of Dutch background so we wanted to try this cruise line. We both has birthdays when we were aboard so that was another great excuse. Upon our departure I read some of the negative reviews on this ship and was somewhat apprehensive. We had a wonderful time, loved the food and enjoyed the majestic Koningsdam. Of course there is no perfection in everything and we totally understand that. Positives: Food, we choose the Ultimate Dining package. Blend, what a great deal! For $79 you tasted wine, blended your own, got to take the bottle back to your cabin and received a $50 onboard ship account credit per person. Cooking Class's: we took two of them and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Casino: with $20 my wife turned it into $470 on the Wheel of Fortune game (rare I know but it does make for a pleasant experience) Embark & Disembark: Flawless. Room Stewarts: wonderful hard working and fun people and the monkey made out a towels that was hanging in our room one night was incredible. Cabin: first time we had a verandah on a cruise and will never settle for less in the future. Negatives: Finding a lounge chair out of the direct sun especially on sea days. Entertainment: Last comedian was a joke (no pun intended) old jokes and I have no idea who brought him on the ship to entertain. Finding a table in the Ledo in the morning for breakfast was often a challenge. 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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