2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We are a husband and wife in our mid-30s from Central Florida. We have sailed Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, and now for the first time, Holland America. We chose this cruise for the pricing, the itinerary, the newness of the ship, ... Read More
We are a husband and wife in our mid-30s from Central Florida. We have sailed Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, and now for the first time, Holland America. We chose this cruise for the pricing, the itinerary, the newness of the ship, and that it had a bit of Celebrity's design influence. We don't like belly flop contests and the party atmosphere of other lines, and we don't mind sailing with an older crowd. But I think this crowd was older than even we care for. And at times it was other passengers that would put a damper on our holiday. It was unpleasant and embarrassing for us to overhear the copious amounts of complaints and demands that passengers put on ship staff and excursion guides who are just doing their absolute best with what they have to work with. Our stateroom was a tad smaller than what we have experienced before but the bigger shower makes up for that. The angle of the toilet was not a big deal, just initially awkward. The one thing about the stateroom that was aggravating was the closet doors which should be sliding doors instead of the french door style which interfered with the bathroom door (only a problem is your spouse is getting dressed and someone is wanting to get in and out of the bathroom). Our stateroom attendant was excellent! I found the food to be good while my husband was not impressed. Always a subjective topic. The first few nights seemed to be complete chaos with the dining room as it usually is on any cruise. We had open seating and while you could technically "make reservations," you could only make reservations for 5:15, 5:30, or 7:45. But after a few nights we were able to go at 6 or 7 and not have to wait long for a table. The dining room is louder than I would have liked and all the clanking of the plates and silverware gave it a cafeteria sound. The Lido Marketplace is also utter chaos during usual lunch times. The walkways seem tight and everyone is wandering about trying to decide what they want to eat, standing in the middle of the walkways. We tried to avoid it when we could. We enjoyed specialty dining in Tamarind and felt it was well worth the money. Music is very much highlighted on the ship but the shows in the Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard really weren't up our alley. We like all sorts of music but this was heavily geared toward boomers, and while we enjoy piano-playing, the dueling pianos were borderline cheesy. However we did enjoy the performances by Lincoln Center Stage. The Planet Earth 2 performance was really good! We did not spend much time in the casino as it does get smokey and then it smells like they try to cover it up with Febreeze. One thing that we discovered that we like that the Koningsdam did not have was a well-designed and open atrium. This is not a tiny ship by any means but it just felt really small and not as open as others that we have been on. The itinerary was jam-packed with islands which was great and I was so thrilled with seeing St. Lucia. I did not like that we had to dock farther away from the downtown area in Barbados and we were on the other side of Havensight in St. Thomas which was a pain with taxis. Being French, Martinique acts like they could care less that you are there. We had a pleasant cruise overall and are very easy to please, but the much older and demanding demographic was a turnoff for us which is such a shame. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
It is a new ship that came out in 2016. We were told it had just came out of dry-dock. So many problems. The first four days we had no hot water in sink. Techs came by fixed it, a few hours later it wasn't working. Were told to run ... Read More
It is a new ship that came out in 2016. We were told it had just came out of dry-dock. So many problems. The first four days we had no hot water in sink. Techs came by fixed it, a few hours later it wasn't working. Were told to run the shower and would get hot water in the sink. After 4 days finally fixed. Also the air conditioning was very cold and could not be turned down Thanks to a passenger who told us to propt the balcony door open so the room would get warm. Customer service was bad. We have been sailing for many years on other lines and never had these problems. There were other problems too numerous to mention. Credit was given to us on last day of cruise and we were told it could only be used on the ship. Why wait till the last day?. Buffet had no trays and had to make numerous trips with single dishes to put meals together. We were not happy campers.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Love HAL this is my 4 th cruise with them. Service is outstanding as is the food. Several lectures on culture and food offered as was America’s Test Kitchen. Music was great in the new Rolling Stone Rock Room. The band was ... Read More
Love HAL this is my 4 th cruise with them. Service is outstanding as is the food. Several lectures on culture and food offered as was America’s Test Kitchen. Music was great in the new Rolling Stone Rock Room. The band was awesome. Excursions were well worth the money. Because of the weather we missed our last stop Bahamas Half Mom Cay but it was obvious to all it was the correct decision by the captain. We also attended the meet and greet or “Ask the Captain” and that was very entertaining. He had a very dry sense of humor and had the room laughing as if he were the comedian onstage for the night. I will do another HAL cruise in the near future and hopefully get to see the same band or at least some of them. I hear their next stop is the Nieuw Statendam. Love those dam ships! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
First time on HAL and as a Celebrity guy, I wanted to compared one considered equal to Celebrity on the food quality,,,, it fall a bit below though. The eleven days itinerary was very good in southern Caribbean. Our balcony cabin ... Read More
First time on HAL and as a Celebrity guy, I wanted to compared one considered equal to Celebrity on the food quality,,,, it fall a bit below though. The eleven days itinerary was very good in southern Caribbean. Our balcony cabin was surprisingly small at the first sight, but we get use to it, the balcony is a bit larger than average, the bathroom/shower is also above average, large shower plenty of water excellent quality shampoo/soap/and conditionner. We had the ultimate dining package (5 specialty restaurants) Thanks because many nights at the MDR the menu was not appealing, but at every nights we ate there it was very good, no deception at all, not even on the waiting time between courses that some critics talked about. The Tamarind restaurant is very good same as the Sushi restaurant attached to the Tamarind got beautiful deco and excellent food for both of them,,, At the Pinacle we experienced the worst service, 50 minutes to get the first soup after complaining 2 times then a way oversalted, returned it and a new one arrived in 5 minutes still oversalted, the surf and turf at 10$ extra for the lobster tail was good and good cooking they didnt charge the lobster, thanks to them. The italian restaurant (Canaletto I think) is not good, bad location attached to the buffet bad deco it doesnt worth the extra 15$... The Rudi Sel de Mer got very good sea food. The pool deck food, pizza and the dive in dog/burger, are good but VERY VERY long to get the food, more than 35 minutes to get a burger and 45-50 minutes for a pizza, we gave up twice on the pizza because of the time, and at the 3rd time after 50 minutes the pizza was good. We ate at the Lido buffet for breakfast and some lunches, the quality is above average, the fruits the bacon the eggs, fried or benedictine all very good even the coffee is above average, but no coffee man to refill your cup. We attempted 2 shows only at the main theater and it was not so good, but the rock and roll blues band at the Rolling Stone stage, the 2 piano players at the Billboard and the MoTown band at the BB King were all very good. The main covered pool (retractable roof) is a way to warm and stuffy even with the top open, it really need to have sliding windows here and there around to change the air, after 10hrs it very uncomfortable, it feels like a nursing home. At the second pool in the back it is difficult to find a chair or a table to eat but the area is nice. No around the pool smooth music band, and (thanks) no ole ole loud music to. The fitness center is perfect, top location in the front of the boat, never crowded and excellent quality machines and all the TV screens work on treadmill machine. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was out tenth Holland America cruise and there were some issues that we never had in the past with HAL ships. In more or less chronological order: - The boarding experience in Fort Lauderdale was terrible. Our previous nine ... Read More
This was out tenth Holland America cruise and there were some issues that we never had in the past with HAL ships. In more or less chronological order: - The boarding experience in Fort Lauderdale was terrible. Our previous nine cruises went much quicker. A serpentine line inside the building extended out the door and well beyond the end of the terminal building. This may have been due to staffing for a 1300 passenger S-Class or 2000 passenger Vista class ship. The Konigsdam's passenger complement is quite a bit higher. - Muster drill lasted from 4:00 to beyond 5:30 which encroached on the first group's seating for dining at 5:15. We were seated in the Ocean Bar for the passenger portion of the drill. Our trainers were out in the hallway where most of us couldn't see the life vest demonstration. - Dinner service lasted well beyond 7:00 the first three nights. Part of the problem may have been a disconnect between dining staff and the kitchen. Also, the network for their digital tablets, as well as for passenger Wi-Fi was down much of the time which may have slowed things down. The lateness of the meals precluded making it to the Main Stage in time to get seats for the first show. The Maître-D managed to get service up to speed for three days before it reverted to the original slow pace for the remainder of our 11 day cruise. Hopefully, these are issues that get ironed out before subsequent sailings. In the meantime we'll avoid the Pinnacle Class and stick with ships in the Statendam, Signature and Vista categories. On the plus side: - The newly installed LED walls for the Main Stage are great. They allow for multiple backdrops and "projection" screens much like the, on a smaller scale, for the LED backdrops on Vista class ships. It took a couple days out of drydock before they got the bugs ironed out. The LED pitch is about one-fourth inch (6mm) but the individual pixels are not apparent unless you get up very close. Well worth the wait. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We did this same cruise last year and had problems but did it again because my husband liked the ports of call.. This year it was worse - Koningsdam just came off dry dock but there were lots of maintenance issues. Apparently it takes 21 ... Read More
We did this same cruise last year and had problems but did it again because my husband liked the ports of call.. This year it was worse - Koningsdam just came off dry dock but there were lots of maintenance issues. Apparently it takes 21 days but management felt that they could get it done in a week. We were not the only ones that experiened problems, many other did too. We did not meet anyone that was pleased with this cruise. Our problems were mainly with staff not being able to handle what issues and not being able to get our OBC. First day on the ship and was told at breakfast that they were out of egg whites. It was downhill from that point. There was no tea - out of order equipment of at beverage stations everyday. The lido staff were unfriendly and impolite. Ports of call were great but HA docked at two industrial ports leaving cruisers at the mercy of belligerent taxi drivers. Getting around was very inconvenient and difficult. Caution about OBC - check OBC before final payment is made and make sure that you read the fine print. HA did not honor the OBC and it was too difficult to get with travel agents or brokers when on the ship..Menus are limited and not practical. Entertainment was good but not well planned - there were repeat performances of artists. In addition, there were lighting and equipment problems throught out the cruise. Lastly one of the best things about HA cruises were their stops at their private island - cancelled on our cruise because of high wave swells. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We had not visited the Windward Islands and this itinerary would take us to Martinique, St. Lucia and Dominica for the first time. We reserved a family ocean view cabin as we were bringing our 10 year old grandson and 8 year old ... Read More
We had not visited the Windward Islands and this itinerary would take us to Martinique, St. Lucia and Dominica for the first time. We reserved a family ocean view cabin as we were bringing our 10 year old grandson and 8 year old granddaughter with us. Our cabin was excellent. Very comfortable beds, adequate stowage and an unobstructed view. We really liked the floor lighting that came on automatically if we got up in the middle of the night. Having the two bathrooms in the cabin was wonderful! Our cabin stewards were absolutely fantastic. The meals in the Lido Market were very good and the meals in the MDR were excellent. The Lido Market was a bit crowded and noisy. Service in the MDR was slow on a couple of the evenings, but the meals were very relaxing. The waitstaff was excellent. The food at the Drive-In and the New York Deli and Pizza was very good, but the service was very, very slow. The photographers were outstanding and lovely to work with. The shows on the World Stage were very nice, but there were several technical problems. We did five excursions on our own and one excursion through HAL. The St. Thomas Catamaran/Snorkeling HAL excursion to Turtle Cove was outstanding. The HAL excursion to Half Moon Cay was canceled due to high seas causing safety issues with the tenders. We rented a car on St. Martin and had a lovely day touring the island and had the entire beautiful Baie Rouge to ourselves! We rented a car on Martinique and had a wonderful day touring the island and snorkeling with sea turtles at Anse Noir. We hired a driver/guide for all day in St. Lucia, Dominica and Barbados and had absolutely wonderful tours of the islands. The drivers/guides were amazing. We wish that we had more time ashore. "On-Board" times of 3:30 and 4:30 are far too early, especially considering that the islands still have hurricane damage to the roads, which made travel on the islands slower than normal. The cruise dock locations at St. Thomas and Dominica are not convenient, and are at a distance from the ports proper. On Sea Days the grandchildren had a terrific time at Club HAL. The young ladies who worked there were wonderful with the children. We are Catholic and enjoyed being able to attend daily mass. The priest was wonderful. Every evening before dinner we had a grand time competing in The Trivia Challenge in the Crows Nest and snacking on their wonderful desserts that are served next door at the Explorations Cafe. The pool and hot tubs were not too crowded most of the time. (Need to have more towels available.) The sports deck is great, playing a lot of soccer with my grandson, but they should provide a squeegee to push off the water after the several rain showers we had as the water collecting on the sports deck is a safety issue. The weather was mostly very good, with just a few brief rain showers during the trip. The Captains Talk was outstanding. Every passenger should try to attend it. The island presentations by the Excursions Team were very good, but I wish the presentations were divided into two parts: Part One a 30 minute overview of the highlights of the island and Part Two being 30 minutes of the details of the HAL Excursions for those who may be interested in going on the HAL Excursions. Everyone we met on the trip was very, very nice. This is just our second cruise, and second HAL cruise, and we would definitely cruise with HAL again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. Ship still in great shape, wish I could say the same for daily onboard activities. Absolutely nothing to do during pool hours. This is a ship for the very old. Both the wife and I are 65 and we were ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. Ship still in great shape, wish I could say the same for daily onboard activities. Absolutely nothing to do during pool hours. This is a ship for the very old. Both the wife and I are 65 and we were some of the younger passengers. Coming off the Oasis of the Seas, Koningsdam will put you to sleep. Except for BB Kings blues club, the ship closes down by 11:00pm. Nightly entertainment rates a 2 out of 10. One can only listen to the same musicians play the same music for so long then it gets old however there is no other place to go. Only saw the cruise director getting a drink at the bar or for two minutes at the show. Shops were poorly stocked. When I inquired the staff advised they were changing over to name brand stores. Daily messages are not heard inside the staterooms therefore many folks had to open the stateroom doors to hear. Aft pool deck overtaken by smokers and not a pleasant area to spend a sea day. Main pool has very few deck chairs and even with the roof open is very warm. Tables designated for outside eating venues are taken up by those playing cards or other games. Although HAL does its best to maintain sanitary conditions we saw an elderly man fill his gatorade bottle with water from a pitcher at the pizza restaurant by touching the pitcher spout to the place where he would have to put his lips to drink. I also confronted an eldetly women touching all the bread at the lunch buffet with her hands. You are served everything at the buffet by staff. Children dont act like this! We will stick to Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. By the way we are two star mariners and know what HAL is capable of on the Eurodam, Westerdam and Nieuw Amsterdam. The Koningsdam doesn’t come close. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
1st time HAL cruiser, over 25 other cruises, entertainment in 45 minute intervals are now the norm. Ship has a tight feeling with low ceilings and small corridors and open venues of music on deck 2 the "entertainment" deck. ... Read More
1st time HAL cruiser, over 25 other cruises, entertainment in 45 minute intervals are now the norm. Ship has a tight feeling with low ceilings and small corridors and open venues of music on deck 2 the "entertainment" deck. Ship is now in dry dock and we saw a good deal of carpet brought on board, the main reason for the out of service time was to repaint the keel area with the correct paint. Food was above par better than the Celebrity line and just a shade below Oceania. Service from the servers was excellent and they served all buffet food. Room steward was ok room 11017 balcony Room felt small due to the ceiling height, which I can touch easily, bathroom commode was way to close to the glass shower , shower was long and excellent. Entertainment was good to excellent, main showroom had very poor timetable of 2 hour separation for 45 minutes of show. Dinner at 7:30 meant you missed both shows that night. Central pool had a movable roof but the side windows did not open, in the Caribbean hot weather it would be stifling even with the roof open. The total number of lounge charges was less then 100 for a ship of 2500, lots of tables and couches and zig-zag walkways to get thru,need work! Specialty very good, Main Dinning room very good, Dive in great dogs etc, Buffet very good, Clientele very mature and reserved. Pool screen showed water dripping for 3 afternoons very exciting, Sunday football only on room tv! Cruise director never seen except for end of shows. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Usually I love Holland America but Koningsdam isn't up to the normal HL standards. There is no library, the promenade deck has blocked views and no where to sit. The casino and the back deck are exclusively for smokers (as you can not ... Read More
Usually I love Holland America but Koningsdam isn't up to the normal HL standards. There is no library, the promenade deck has blocked views and no where to sit. The casino and the back deck are exclusively for smokers (as you can not breath if your a non-smoker in either of these two venues. Food in the MDR was never hot, mostly lukewarm. Most of the time what showed up on your plate was not what was in the menu. The chef even came by as I asked that perhaps arugula should be in an arugula salad. He dug thru it and couldn't find any. The waiters are very slow as they have way too many tables so expect to miss dessert if you want to be out of the MDR in less than 2 hours. The pool cleanliness was poor so I ended up with an ear infection ... The shows were ok but nothing special. Just an ok trip but with good ports. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Koningsdam was different to say the least. We were on our 16th cruise and going to islands that we had not been too. To give credit this is a beautiful ship. We did our usual embarkation at the pier which really went fast but we noticed ... Read More
Koningsdam was different to say the least. We were on our 16th cruise and going to islands that we had not been too. To give credit this is a beautiful ship. We did our usual embarkation at the pier which really went fast but we noticed they did not ask for our credit card for purchases on board. When we got on board there was a huge line at customer service so we decided to wait until the next day to setup our account. It is HAL's practice to call your credit card company and put a hold on your card for a percentage of your total cruise package and in our case it was $1200. Only problem we had with that was one of our cards would not do it for security reasons. Eating on board was very different than other cruises we had been on. Most of our meals were in the buffet because it took a long time to dine in the dinning room. Long waits between courses for some reason. The food was very good but it took way to long to eat. The buffet food was also very good but they served the same meals every time. What you ate the night before was served again the next night with the same four selections. Our cabin (balcony) was very nice and comfortable with a great balcony. Our two (yes two) cabin stewarts were exceptional. It was nice to see a ship with plenty of staff for service. With two working together they were in and out quick. This was however the most boring ship we have been on. Not much to do unless your big on piano or violin recitals. Small casino, good shore excursion talks but not much more. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and timing, we weren't really cruising we were actually on our way to annoy, er, visit the relatives in Florida for the holidays. This cruise landed us there right in time and in the right ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and timing, we weren't really cruising we were actually on our way to annoy, er, visit the relatives in Florida for the holidays. This cruise landed us there right in time and in the right location so we chose the TransAtlantic cruise from Rome to Fort Lauderdale along with a back to back cruise through the Caribbean to make our arrival in Fort Lauderdale at the right time. It was also to ports we hadn't seen and had a TransAtlantic crossing which we hadn't done before as well. We'd not been on this specific ship before and we really liked the Westerdam from last year so we wondered what a slightly larger HAL ship would be like, For this cruise, we started out leaving the port in Civitavecchia near Rome. We got into Rome four days early to make sure we didn't miss the ship. Plus, hey! It's ROME! We had a BnB near the Vatican and had a great four days before the ship visiting the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica, etc., etc. There's loads to look at in Rome and the food is insanely good. Hmm, well, considering how fussy they are about how their food is grown, maybe it's 'sanely' good. Prior to Rome, I'd have graded the ship's food much higher, but after the food, coffee & croissants we had in Rome, well, now I have a higher standard for 'excellent' food. We caught a shuttle bus from Rome to the ship and the shuttle dropped us off right at the ramp to the ship. The shuttle driver handed our luggage to the ship's porters so it was a good thing we had them tagged and ready. I'm pretty sure it was Rome Cabs who operated the shuttle. We arranged the pickup online and they showed up on time and everything was very easy and convenient. The Koningsdam is a nice ship. It's one of the larger ones in the HAL fleet and newer, but it just didn't quite seem like a 'real' cruise ship to us. The decor was more 'fancy floating hotel' than 'cruise ship'. Not much nautical decor, and it didn't compare well to the Westerdam that we'd taken last year through the Panama Canal. We did like the Grand Dutch Cafe, but we preferred the Westie for most other things. Some of the surprising things were the lack of decoration in the hallways. The hallways are really long and boring, lack of any artwork doesn't help that. There were also no seating in the elevator lobby areas. Why no seats near the elevators? The classic wooden seats with the ship's name on them are also strangely missing as well. I think I saw one or maybe two of them, but they were very few and far between. The promenade deck exterior walkway has become a narrow track with no seats there, either. Shall we mention that the teak decks on the promenade are actually plastic sheeting? That just lacks authenticity. Perhaps that's the complaint throughout the ship, it lacks an authentic 'cruise ship' vibe. But, maybe that's what they're trying to achieve? The ship, as a ship, is a very excellent ship even if we are less than enthusiastic about some of the decor. The captain, Noel O'Driscoll, while he seems young to be a captain of such a large ship is a most excellent captain. When we embarked in Civitavecchia, we were the last ship to leave the port until after a hurricane came and went. Apparently, there was a ship scheduled to come in the next day (not a HAL ship) but it wouldn't be able to arrive because of the storm. I wonder how that works? It's one thing for a passenger to miss the ship, but what happens when the ship misses the passengers? Well, anyway, I digress, back to the review of the Koningsdam. The hurricane effects we saw were mostly that the ship was slightly tilted. There didn't seem to be much up and down or side to side swaying, mostly it was a slight tilt. Enough that the coffee cups were trying to commit suicide by sliding off tables, but not much more than that. Seems odd there wasn't some sort of rubber grippers on the bottom of the plates and cups, but generally cruise ships aren't in hurricanes. There were crashes of things in the dining areas, spills of food and dishes, the servers on the Lido were stacking things in the window ledges on the downhill side so they wouldn't slide off the tables. The wind was howling, the ship was slightly tilted, the crew was uneasy but they were hiding it well. From a passenger's viewpoint, it was almost a non-event. Rumor among the passengers later was that it had been seventy mile an hour sustained winds and gusts up to a hundred and thirty. Which would be an official hurricane in my book. Captain O'Driscoll is being shifted to the new ship HAL is launching, I think that's an excellent choice considering how well he handled that hurricane. (But, I'm just a passenger, I really know nothing of that sort of thing.) The cruise director, Benjamin Yates, is a really likable fellow. Which would be a job requirement, one would think. It must be difficult for him to find things for the passengers to do when he's got such a wide variety of passengers to work with. On the TransAtlantic crossing, the median age of the passengers was quite high. Once we got the next group of passengers (we were doing a back to back cruise) in Fort Lauderdale, I'd guess the average age of the passengers dropped by at least three decades. Personally, I'd like to see HAL instigate 'maker' classes or activities. It could be sold as 'craft' groups to the older cruisers. Somewhat similar to the 'America's Test Kitchens' venue that they have except about something other than cooking. I'd guess a jewelry making event would perhaps do well or something similar? Oh, and if I was cruise director, there'd be races for the limited mobility folks on scooters. Mark out a track, put out outlines of toes that they could get points for running over and have timed races. Woot! Probably it's a good thing they don't let me be cruise director. Another thing which could be a good thing for the ship to do would be at least a digital library with perhaps book readers folks could rent for the cruise if they didn't bring their own. A digital library wouldn't take up any space and yet still be a library. I really miss the real libraries they used to have on board HAL ships. Hmm, maybe 'book club' meetings on board? That could be digitally done. Pick a book about a cruise ship, a light and happy book that can be quickly read and have the book club meet every several days? Or meet every day to discuss the chapters they've already read? Well, again, I'm not cruise director. HAL's claim to fame - in my estimation at least - is their excellent service. Which, seems a bit less on the Koningsdam than the Westerdam. That may be from the higher ratio of passengers to crew or we may have had a higher expectation of service on the K'dam than the Westie. The service was excellent. The food in the Lido is really good, although on this ship there was less of it that was available without being served by the server at the station. Occasionally, there would be lines to get some food items but they were generally short lines. If one didn't want to wait in line, there's some items that can be picked up without waiting but the nicest choices are usually served and may or may not involve some waiting in a line. We would frequently eat in the main dining room in self defense. The Lido doesn't have limits on things that show up on your plate and there's too much good stuff there for us to be left alone there for long. In the main dining room, there's a menu to order from and other folks putting proper sizes of portions on the plate so we don't over eat. I'd like to see smaller portion sizes myself. Frequently we just want a taste of something, not really a whole meal of it. Kinda like a tapas party verses a real meal. There was disappointment at tea time, however. It wasn't the more proper tea service where the chest of tea is presented for selection of tea. It was pre-brewed Tetley tea. What's with that? The entertainment was pretty good, I think our favorite was a visiting entertainer, Hilby, who was listed as a German juggler/comedian of all things. There were usually loungers available for the evening movie on the Lido deck. There were usually loungers available at the Lido deck around the pools during the day as well. There were a lot more folks in the pools on the Caribbean portion of the cruise. Very few on the TA portion. We only took one ship's tour and that was in Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. It was a bus ride on an interesting vehicle to a cove for some powered snorkeling from a boat. The Dominican Republic isn't quite the sort of port one would want to wander around in by oneself, in my estimation anyway. The bus was sort of a cross between and open air farm wagon and a bus. We rode pretty high in the air and the driver was in a separate compartment. It was interesting seeing the rural area and towns along the way. If there's a small motorcycle with a woman holding groceries sitting sidesaddle on the back with a driver wearing an orange vest, then that's a taxi motorcycle. They were everywhere and it took awhile before we figured out how the passengers were related to the drivers. The powered snorkeling was interesting, although the undersea life was much better in Bonaire. The snorkeling ship captain was Carlos who had trained herds of fishes waiting for the snorkel boat to arrive. Also, if he gives you a shopping opportunity at the small shops next to the snorkeling cove, take him up on it. One of the Dominican Republic items is a blue stone called 'laramar' and the shops at the cruise port charge about six times the prices asked by the small shop near the snorkeling cove. Overall, there was very little waiting in line on the ship. Embarkation was less than twenty minutes and disembarkation was a lot shorter. We used Mobile Passport which is an app on our cellphones at Port Everglades. We walked off the ship after waiting about three minutes in a line to get off the ship. Then walked to the luggage waiting area, gathered our luggage and walked to the long, long customs line. To the side of that long line is the 'Mobile Passport' line which had nobody in it. We were frantically trying to open our passports while walking to the front of the line. The inspector still looks at the paper passport even when using Mobile Passport on the phone and we're supposed to have them open to the picture page before you get to the inspector. Holland America Line is a good cruise line. They consistently give excellent service, which is what they are best known for as far as I know. The Koningsdam is a good choice of ship and the TransAtlantic crossing or any itinerary that gives multiple sea days is a lovely thing. I wasn't sure what to expect with a week's worth of ship days but it was quite lovely to not have to scurry about as we do on a port day. As usual, a lot of the joys of cruising is meeting and chatting with the other passengers and multiple sea days is perfect for this. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We were booked on this cruise as a gift from our parents to celebrate a milestone birthday. We really have no complaints about anything - all was great. Good food, good service, great ports, clean ship and cabins. The only negative is ... Read More
We were booked on this cruise as a gift from our parents to celebrate a milestone birthday. We really have no complaints about anything - all was great. Good food, good service, great ports, clean ship and cabins. The only negative is the activities...we felt there could have been less lectures and more fun things to do. Perhaps Holland America is just not the right cruise line for us....it is a very mature crowd (I would say the mean age was 70-72). Although we were celebrating my 60th - we just needed more to do. We like to be more active and participate in more events like bingo (not super expensive bingo like they had on the ship), Zumba, scavenger hunt, activities around the pool - both the mid and aft pool. We were bored on the ship. The photo gallery was quite disorganized. They don't print the photos and ours were not coming up on the "navigator" app. We approached them three times and on the fourth time we had to go through all the ship photos taken on Gala nights to find ours and have them uploaded to Navigator app. Then we placed an order. We went to collect them on the last night and they didn't have them. My husband had to track them down at 11pm at night on the last night - which meant we couldn't pack them away as the cases were already picked up. Apparently they were having system problems. The pics are ok...background issues so they don't appear very professional. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
While not at all new to HAL, we have not been on any of their newer ships, so the Konigsdam was a treat. We had a verandah stateroom, so I don't know if this is true for all staterooms, but we were very pleased with the larger shower ... Read More
While not at all new to HAL, we have not been on any of their newer ships, so the Konigsdam was a treat. We had a verandah stateroom, so I don't know if this is true for all staterooms, but we were very pleased with the larger shower AND its glass door. No more plastic curtain hugging your legs!! The rainshower head was a welcomed plus, too. Our room had excellent black out curtains, and I wish all cruise lines would follow HAL's lead in providing a paper recycle bin for myriad notices every room receives and, likely, immediately tosses. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly. If you elect to walk off with your luggage and are in a hurry, don't wait in your stateroom. Wait in the Lincoln Center. When we left out room when we were called at 7:30, the line was already very long. On the positive side, it moved quickly. We used Lyft to return to the FLL airport. ENTERTAINMENT: We have been on over 20 cruises, and this ship's entertainment was the best we have ever experienced. Normally, we are ho-hum about any singer/dancer show, but these were absolutely not-to-be-missed. I believe the shows we saw will no longer be performed after Koningsdam returns from drydock next week, but I am confident equally impressive shows will be performed. It is clear more money is being spent on quality shows. The dancers were especially impressive. We usually went to the shows early for a good seat, especially if only two were offered (sometimes there were 3), since the theater is small. The theater-in-the-round experience is wonderful, and there aren't many bad seats. Be aware the bottom rows are not graduated. HAL partners with BBC, so don't miss anything having to do with Planet Earth. The BB King All-Stars is another not-to-be-missed opportunity. We occasionally had to go early just to get a seat; they have 3 sets an evening. If you want to hear great music (not just jazz), dance, and/or just enjoy watching others dance, this is your venue. The BB King musicians are simply excellent as are the classical quartet members performing in the Lincoln Center. The more contemporary solo pianist stuck over by the Culinary Arts Center is also very good but, sadly, doesn't get the visibility of the other venues. DINING: We were not impressed with Any Time Dining. The first night of our 10-night cruise was a disaster with long wait times to be seated and to be served. We tried making reservations a few other nights but were told we could only do so for 5:45 and 8:15. Had we wanted those times, we would have chosen Set Dining! Even when we did secure a reservation, service was slow. But more germaine is the menus were uninspiring, and this is a departure from out normal HAL experience. Our group of four frequently had dinner in the Lido, which serves almost everything on the main dining menu anyway, or at the NY Deli. We did not eat at any restaurant which charges extra, but I was tempted by the $15 Culinary Arts offering of small and large plates. The menu looked delicious. Quite impressive - and FREE - are the NY Deli and Dive-In. You will not believe how amazing the Dive-In's fries are!! Wow. The menu is a far cry from the normal burgers, limp veggie burger, hot dogs, and perhaps a grilled chicken breast. Hamburgers are dressed up with Gouda cheese or thick bacon, the portabella mushroom topped with guacomole is fantastic, and the grilled chicken also comes topped with guacamole. Yes, wait times would be long, but the buzzer system works well. It's easy to go into the Lido for a salad and drink and still feel/hear the buzzer. The same good buzzer range works for the NY Deli, also a very popular venue...once people find out about it! It's a floor above, overlooking the pool, and was almost deserted in the mornings, making a quiet breakfast spot with food from the Lido. The made-to-order pizza is very good, and quite nice toppings are offered. Others in our party raved about the pastrami and Reuben sandwiches. After 8pm, grab a chocolate pretzel! Salads are available, and one does not have to wait for those. In the afternoon and early evening, Mediterranean tapas are available where the dueling pianos perform. They are quite delicious and make a great appetizer plate with friends and wine on your balcony :-). One complaint is that the coffee bar (Explorations Cafe) is stuck up front on the 12th floor in the Crow's Nest. It used to be part of HAL’s famously-wonderful libraries. If you’re expecting a library on this ship, you’ll be disappointed; it is little more than a corner. And if you want a brewed coffee or latte at 6am, forget it; you will have to wait until 8am, which is so late for a coffee bar. I'd like to see the coffee bar situated more centrally, and please offer a coffee card to encourage more use (and offer a little savings). These seem to be hugely popular on other ships; Princess comes particularly to mind. The food at the Explorations Cafe is good and complimentary whether you buy a coffee or not. The same is true at the Dutch cafe. If they offer lattes before 8, it's not well-advertised, but this cafe is much more centrally located. I enjoyed the split pea soup and the tiny Dutch pancakes. Most of their food is also complimentary. Service, however, is slow; while the showcase has food, items are not taken from there; you must wait for their kitchen to prepare it. ART: The art gallery is much smaller here, which we did not mind, and so far as I know, no art auctions were held, again not a loss as far as we are concerned. PORTS OF CALL: We enjoyed a lazy day on Half Moon Cay. Take insect repellent if you're prone to bites. Within half an hour, I had several, which swelled and itched for days. It was much too hot (Nov. 12) to rent a kayak or try to find the walking trail. Walking was tolerable if we did so along the shoreline, with feet in the water, and getting a sea breeze. Lounge chairs were fairly easy to find, even in the shade. Just be prepared to walk a ways, which gets you away from crowds anyway. The kids' water area is excellent. While we've been on cruise line private islands that do have wifi, this one does not. GRAND TURK: Take that insect repellent here, too, and free wifi is available in the port shops, specifically around Froots. Our group of four rented a golf cart and saw a few sites before trying some snorkeling from the shore (on a previous trip, we had taken a snorkeling excursion, which I would highly recommend). Where we chose to go was extremely choppy, as the winds were high and rain had started. We aborted those plans. AMBER COVE: If you want to do nothing more than swim and sun, the free resort-style pool and lazy river is wonderful. Chairs are free; other water sports come with a fee. We took a taxi from the terminal to Telerifico, for the cable car. Prices are posted, $30/1-5 people/one way, but some bartering comes into play with the man in charge. For $50 r/t, our driver waited for us and then drove us around Puerto Playa (the square, the fort, the beach). While we chose not to get out, he was willing to let us out to walk and/or shop. We gave him a tip. We're in our late 60s and while fit and agile, the waterfalls sounded too much on the wild side for us. We were very glad we went to the cable car; it's important to GO EARLY. Clouds come in, and then it will be almost pointless; you want to see the panoramic views. The cable car costs $10/pp, and while you can walk around at the top for free (you could easily spend an hour or more walking the trails through the botanical garden), you will likely be approached by a licensed guide to go up with you. I imagine you could barter, but his price of $15 was fine with us, and we were glad he came with us. He was very knowledgeable. BONAIRE: We rented two golf carts for our group of 4 and had such a good time! Where we rented sent YouTube videos, so I knew ahead of time about the south and north loops. We received excellent instruction, clear maps, and off we went. We snorkeled at a couple of places (1,000 Steps was great) and had lunch at Sorobon Beach & Wellness Club (a little pricey). After several hours seeing both routes, we cleaned up on the ship and then enjoyed the market in Wilhelmina Plaza. Check out the stall selling all manner of salts. It was still open at 4pm, and our ship left at 6pm. CURACAO: This was our favorite port stop. Willemstad is delightful (download an architectural walking tour; that was very enjoyable and informative; see the floating market), and snorkeling from the beach can be very good. We took a privately-booked small tour which stopped at Shete Boka (fantastic), Fisherman's Wharf (snorkel with turtles here), a stop to cliff dive (or watch others), Puerto Mari (very good snorkeling: washed out coral but abundant fish), and flamingos. Since we stayed until 11pm, we went out after dark to enjoy the colorful waterfront, lit-up bridge, and wandering the streets on both sides. ARUBA: Having taken an off-road 4x4 Jeep tour before (and been bone-jostled), we opted for a privately-booked small tour. For 4 hours, we saw some of that same rugged and gorgeous coastline and plenty else Aruba has to offer. Of course, if you want a white sand beach day, take the local bus to Palm Beach. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose the cruise as we wanted to sail out of Fort Lauderdale. We enjoyed the cruise, especially the ports of call. This was my first time on HAL however I have sailed on over 20 cruises with 7 different cruise lines. Whilst I loved the ... Read More
We chose the cruise as we wanted to sail out of Fort Lauderdale. We enjoyed the cruise, especially the ports of call. This was my first time on HAL however I have sailed on over 20 cruises with 7 different cruise lines. Whilst I loved the new ship, which was spotless at all times and the food which was second to none I felt that there were several things missing. Maybe this was because the ship was catering for mainly older passengers.... and by this I mean in their 70’s and above. There was little variety of activities during the day. There were no dance lessons, Zumba etc. Yoga and Pilates incurred an extra fee. No pool games, ice carving or activities on deck. On the plus side there were always plenty of sun beds available! The thing I missed most was the Caribbean parties on deck in the evening. The movie screen was under used. Only one movie at night. I enjoyed the two pianists Paulina and Ivy who were both very talented and listened to them most evenings. Also the juggler Hildy who had everybody doubled up with laughter. However by about 10.30pm most people had gone to bed and after midnight there was nothing on at all. I think this cruise is most suited to older seniors who just want to relax and do their own thing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My husband and I had always wanted to do a Transatlantic together and we were looking forward to sailing on HAL's newest ship. Many years ago I had crossed the Atlantic from New York to Le Havre on the United States and my husband, in ... Read More
My husband and I had always wanted to do a Transatlantic together and we were looking forward to sailing on HAL's newest ship. Many years ago I had crossed the Atlantic from New York to Le Havre on the United States and my husband, in his Navy days, had crossed the Pacific. Let me first say something about the sea worthiness of the ship and seamanship of the Captain and his crew. Our first day out of Citavecchia we encountered a fierce storm that was punching hurricane force winds and high seas. The strong winds forced the ship to sail i However I never felt afraid. The stabilizers held the ship maintained the ship upright and occasionally with a slight list. My husband, who had been in the Pacific during a typhoon on an aircraft carrier taking water over the deck, was impressed with how well the ship handled. What made this experience so interesting is that once we got into the Atlantic, it was like we were sailing on glass, for the most part smooth and calm. We loved the new cabin design. Our cabin was on the stern so we had a 180 degree view from our Veranda. The bathroom did not contain a bathtub, which we never missed. The toilet area may feel compact especially if you are a large person. The artwork throughout the ship is very modern and somewhat edgy. It is definitely not the traditional artwork found on HAL ships. We took advantage of the specialized dining on the ship and here are our thoughts: Tamarind: Delicious Pan-Asian food. The wasabi-encrusted filet was excellent as was the lobster stir fry. Sel de Mer: Seafood to Die For. The best dish I have ever had onboard a ship was the lobster thermidor. The appetizer of three-tiered seafood salads was delicious. Culinary Arts Center: Loved the small plates. Everything we tried was delicious. Canaletto: The Italian food is not very different from what is served either in the Main Dining Room or in the Lido Market. NY Deli and Pizzeria: The deli sandwiches were very good. The pizzas looked good, but we didn't try them. The Lido Market has been vastly improved with the layout. Never had to wait more than a few minutes to make a selection. Since the Konningsdam has a gelato stand (for additional cost), they no longer offer ice cream throughout the day. The World Stage is awesome. By adding the large visual screens, it makes not only the live shows more spectacular, but the BBC Wild Planet shows come alive. This cruise offered Bridge instruction. I was very happy to take Beginner's Bridge each morning on the sea days. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We previously crossed the Atlantic on the Koningsdam (west to east) and so we returned 6 months later. Nothing much had changed since my last review so it was still an excellent cruise with one big improvement. The duelling pianists on ... Read More
We previously crossed the Atlantic on the Koningsdam (west to east) and so we returned 6 months later. Nothing much had changed since my last review so it was still an excellent cruise with one big improvement. The duelling pianists on this trip were Paulina & Ivy who were outstanding.The other entertainment was also of a high standard. The food was also very good. Our cabin stewards were again top notch as were all the staff. The Maitre D in the MDR (RIAN) was outstanding. On the final night he took my wife's arm and said it was an honor to escort her to our table. I now have to be far more romantic with my spouse. The ship is very beautiful although some complained that it didn't feel like a HAL ship - not sure what they mean. We will certainly sail with HAL again as they offer a very good product at a competitive price. The cabin was extremely comfortable with excellent free movies on the television. And what more can be said about the shower? If only I could take it home with me. Dining in the MDR was again top notch, so much so that we were not even tempted to pay out for the specialty restaurants. All together another great HAL cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This is my 27 cruise. My third on HAL. We chose this cruise for the great itinerary and Koningsdam being a fairly new ship. The experience was wonderful. The quality of the food and selection were some of the best we have had. There ... Read More
This is my 27 cruise. My third on HAL. We chose this cruise for the great itinerary and Koningsdam being a fairly new ship. The experience was wonderful. The quality of the food and selection were some of the best we have had. There are several dining options. We had "anytime dining" and never had to wait for a table in the main dining room. The lines in the Lido Buffet for breakfast and lunch moved quickly. Having a pizza custom made at "NYC Pizza & Deli" made for a great late night snack. Cabins are slightly smaller than other HAL ships. We had a "family stateroom" which was plenty of room for the two of us. Entertainment was Hit or Miss. The ships singers and dancers were good. Some of the quest performers were just okay. HAL is trying to give more of a contemporary twist with the new stage and format. If one likes classical music Lincoln Center Stage Live put on wonderful performances. BB King live was pop and Jazz music. There were enough music venues for anyone's taste. The staff and crew were as always very friendly and went out of there way to make our experience extra special. It is obvious the HAL executives are looking to attract a younger demographic with this new class of ship. This new Pinnacle Class is going to be competition for Celebrity. We would definitely consider taking another cruise on the Koningsdam. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The koningsdam is a newer ship that has many many wonderful things about it. I favor a ship that seems very professional with a good sense of priorities. There was a "safety first" feeling with mature decision making. I liked ... Read More
The koningsdam is a newer ship that has many many wonderful things about it. I favor a ship that seems very professional with a good sense of priorities. There was a "safety first" feeling with mature decision making. I liked hearing about all the experience the Captain had and enjoyed hearing discussion about his background and how the ship works. The ship was very clean (important to me). I very much appreciated and noticed how the staff had good working relationships. They all seemed to like their job. All of the staff on the ship were hard working, service focused, professional, pleasant to talk with; all positive. I cannot emphasize enough the good feeling of the cruise and excursions. We booked all of our excursions, every port with HA. I did not have a meal that we were not pleased with; loved their food. There was a priority from the staff to keep everything clean and not cross contaminate anything. There was also an awareness of an individual's allergies which I also noticed. My only complaint was about the attitude of a Holland American representative on a post trip at the Savoy hotel in Rome. I did not allow this insulting unprofessional person to ruin our good trip feelings. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
MS Koningsdam - A Review I cruised Koningsdam for 24 days from 10/18/2018 to 11/11/2018. She is about 2 years old and appears to be in very good physical condition and is well maintained. That said, Koningsdam is a mixed bag of good, ... Read More
MS Koningsdam - A Review I cruised Koningsdam for 24 days from 10/18/2018 to 11/11/2018. She is about 2 years old and appears to be in very good physical condition and is well maintained. That said, Koningsdam is a mixed bag of good, bad and ugly...in this writer's experienced opinion. THE GOOD By all appearances, the ship is being kept very clean. Wear and tear has not yet begun to show too much. Not much rust in sight. The theater (World Stage) is the best in the HAL fleet, and maybe in most fleets. Sight lines are excellent and there is hardly a bad seat in the house. Seating capacity is relatively generous and can fit about a third of the passengers at any one time (close to 800). That said, there were many occasions when the theater was totally filled and people were standing and/or sitting in the aisles (safety hazard?). The hi-tech stage uses a 270 degree computer controlled LCD screen as the backdrop and is the main apparatus of the otherwise sparse set decoration. Lincoln Center Stage is an outstanding plus for HAL. Koningsdam's venue for the very talented quintet is larger than other ships in the fleet and offers comfortable seating. Public seating is excellent and comfortable throughout the ship. The staterooms are a bit smaller on than most of HALs ships, but they are reasonable equipped. Electric and USB plugs are abundant and storage/closet space is good. THE BAD While Koningsdam is new and bright, HAL has done nothing to change the nickel-and-dime operation and product they offer. EVERYTHING they do is designed to get passengers to spend more money. Most of the daily on-board programs offered are for revenue and income production. Venues throughout the ship are too small for the large number of passengers, often filling an hour or more prior to a presentation. The Culinary Arts Center is the showcase venue for America's Test Kitchen, and it is very ill-suited for the purpose...very poor seating and sight angles. They also utilize this room for extra-cost dinning in the evening (much more suitable). The Mariners Program on Koningsdam appears to be treated more as necessary nuisance than as the customer building program it was originally designed to be. There does not appear to be a suitable venue on Koningsdam for a Mariners Reception, so only medallion recipients are invited, no matter how many medallions one has or how many cruise days you've logged. The multi-Star Mariners cocktail party is held in part of the Lido Pool area, while other people are in hot tubs on the other side. It's very clear that HAL management wants to change the demographic of its customers. They are looking for new, free spending blood. Staterooms are noisier than one would expect for a "new" ship. Even in slight seas there is creaking, rattling and banging...especially at night when you are trying to sleep. Fit and finish is not all that it could be. As an example, stateroom have a recessed "frame" for the wall mounted large screen TV. In my stateroom the TV was mounted well out of the center of the frame and lop-sided (one side higher than the other). There is no replay of the excursion or enrichment talks on available on Koningsdam's closed circuit TV system or on stateroom TVs. You can, however, book extra cost dining, spa and excursion options via the interactive TV system. What little "art" there is on the ship is far removed from traditional seafaring art. All is very contemporary and the artwork appears to be photo-shopped pictures. There is NO art in stateroom passageways. Passage fore and aft on public decks 2 and 3 is restricted to one side of the ship, ensuring exposure to every selling station onboard. Traffic flow is poor, especially outside elevator locations where they have planted large modern sculptures (?), creating bottlenecks. The Promenade Deck is quite narrow and there are no deck chairs thereupon. The walking gets very bottlenecked at the stern end of the ship, so if one is walking behind slow walkers or encountering walkers who insist on walking upstream, it slows everyone down. Not important enough to write Congress about...just a mention. THE UGLY Whoever designed the toilets in the staterooms should be fired immediately. One cannot sit "on the throne" straightaway. You have to sit sideways because the glass shower enclosure is in the way, and you can't get your knees to squeeze in...unless you're 2 or 3 years old. Very awkward and uncomfortable. DINING This is a very subjective area and not all tastes are alike. So offering comments about the food and service aboard the Koningsdam is treading on very dangerous ground. That said, HAL has put together a fine group of chefs in what they call the Chef's Counsel, to help Chef Rudy design a dining program for the ship's various venues. They have created offerings that, in their test kitchen, appeal to all the senses. Great food requires great ingredients skillfully assembled by craftsmen who love their work. Unfortunately, the Chef's Counsel is not on board to supervise the final product. HALs logistics program is complex and mainly designed to minimize costs and maximize efficiencies. They do not take advantage of the terrific local products as they cruise from place to place. So freshness of ingredients is sacrificed in favor of program convenience. They claim there are reasons (or excuses) for this, but others seem to be able to take advantage of local fresh product availability. That's all I have to say about this topic. Everyone has to judge for themselves. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We only took the 10 day cruise r/t Rome to Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Olympia, Athens, Santorini and Naples. We did not said back to Florida. We chose it because of the itinerary and because we like Holland (HAL). The port in Rome is far ... Read More
We only took the 10 day cruise r/t Rome to Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Olympia, Athens, Santorini and Naples. We did not said back to Florida. We chose it because of the itinerary and because we like Holland (HAL). The port in Rome is far from the airport and we went a day ahead so had to arrange our own transport. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and quickly. . Koningsdam is their largest ship but doesn't feel crowded. We ate in the main dining room every night. Food generally excellent and they made special meals for my wife who has some dietary restrictions. Only complain is that there were various international cuisine offerings in the Lido not available in main DR. Considering we spent five days in Greece, there were no Greek options on DR menu. Selections in DR fewer than on previous HAL ships. For breakfast in Lido the waiters pour juice and coffee/tea so there's less hopping back and forth to the buffet. Koningsdam Lido arranged with multiple stations instead of one longer line. Lots of options at breakfast and lunch. There's also a "Dutch Kitchen" offering Dutch pancakes and other items (free) but a charge for coffee. There are other free food options during the day--burgers, pizza. There's a charge for gelatto, but not for ice cream in the Lido. There's plenty to do on board with classical music, a piano lounge with two performers who were really good, and BB King band. Unfortunately the venues are too close to each other though. The singers/dancers were exuberant and the shows elaborate, but too loud. Dubrovnik: the walls as the most impressive feature, but can be strenuous if you aren't fit. This was an Oct. cruise. I wouldn't want to walk them in summer. In fact, I wouldn't do this itinerary is summer at all. Kotor was a surprise, smaller version of Dubrovnik and more quaint. Corfu larger. I'm sorry we didn't take an excursion out of the town. Olympia and Athens--we did the ancient ruins, incredibly impressive. Santorini was lovely. We took cable car up and back. The restaurants in the Old Port at the bottom are less touristy, cheaper. In Naples, took an excursion to Pompei and Amalfi coast drive. Booked two excursions through Viator, cheaper than HAL, and both were very good. Olympia booked with Olympic Traveler. Ship had an on-board consultant, Dorrine, giving advice on upcoming ports and how to get around. She was excellent. She wasn't pushing HAL excursions nor shopping. We used two of her recommendations for restaurants, both very good. The staff was exceptionally friendly, eager to help and to please. More so than on Norwegian. Overall HAL delivered a more elegant cruise with many more small touches than Norwegian or Royal C. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We came from New Zealand (7 of us - all adults) and boarded the cruise ship in Rome. The process was straight forward and ran smoothly, the staff were both welcoming and very helpful. Once we were on board we visited our rooms, to find ... Read More
We came from New Zealand (7 of us - all adults) and boarded the cruise ship in Rome. The process was straight forward and ran smoothly, the staff were both welcoming and very helpful. Once we were on board we visited our rooms, to find our bags arrive shortly after us. The rooms were very clean and tidy and well laid out. We had four rooms all next to each other, so they kindly pegged back all of the doors between our balconies for easy access. After unpacking we headed out for a look around the ship and were very pleased with what we found. The decor was probably pitched to the slightly older cliental, but it didn’t bother us at all. Before we left we had a compulsory safety drill which seemed pretty straight forward. The captain and cruise director both sounded very happy and welcoming over the speakers. They clearly had a great sense of humour and were a united front. We were always kept informed regarding our travel, weather and activities on board. Expectations: This was our first cruise and we weren’t too sure what to expect. We were worried being on a ship with 2500 people would be overwhelming but to be honest we never felt that way. The largest crowds we encountered (which weren’t that large at all) would have been in the World Stage, The Dining Room and the Lido Market - and even then it was nothing major. Everywhere we went on the ship there were always seats available or room to move and enjoy the atmosphere. We felt there were plenty of things to do, if you wanted to do them, or plenty of places to sit and enjoy quiet time. We never felt that we were expected to do things, we never felt rushed or like our holiday wasn’t in our control. We felt the ship was more like our moving hotel as we spent all day on shore at each port. Therefore our sailing experience was two days at sea and cruising every night between locations. This meant that we had little time to run out of activities. If you were going just for the cruise experience and expected the days to be cram packed with activities on board, then (unlike us) you might be disappointed. Having said that, we can’t imagine what else could be added to any cruise to change that fact. You either enjoy cruising or you don’t : ) Coeliac: I was the most nervous out of our group of 7 as I am Coeliac - which is a Gluten Allergy. Prior to coming on the cruise they said I was more than welcome to bring as many of my own packaged snacks as I needed - which I did. I ended up not needing them and I took the majority of them home with me. They also said they would look after me in The Dining Room. The Dining Room had a great selection on the menu that they could make gluten free for me - so each night after my meal I would get a sneak peak at the following night’s menu, and get to select my meal. They then made sure it was prepared carefully and 100% gluten free. I am very strict when it comes to eating gluten free and the few times I questioned something that they said was gluten free (and probably was gluten free, but I was concerned) they took it away and brought it back how I wanted it with no problems. For breakfast each day they would cook me a plate of grilled potato, bell pepper and 2 poached eggs - which I might add wasn’t on the menu. I never got sick at all. At the Lido Market they have a counter that says Gluten Free Station. This is great if you want some Gluten Free toast. This station is also great if you are just eating gluten free for any other reason other than coeliac disease. If you are coeliac, cross contamination is a major concern and alarm bells were ringing in a big way when I found gluten free and non gluten free options sitting right next to each other. Also what didn’t help is the staff behind the counter didn’t know what was or wasn’t gluten free, apart from the bread. This was a low point for me, I was disappointed that they didn’t quite get it. The last thing I wanted was to get sick (which personally lasts for 2 weeks for me) as that would ruin my entire trip. Later into the trip I was able to organise for my meal at the Dining Room to be brought to me at the Lido Market so I could eat with the rest of our group. After this, the manager at the Lido Market took me under his wing and said if I wanted anything cooked he would organise it to be done, in a safe environment specially for me. So I asked for a seared tuna steak and he called the kitchen and had it organised for me, knowing that the tuna being served in the Lido Market counter had soy sauce and was not suitable for me - so he knew his stuff. So the best thing to do is talk to the managers not to the staff behind the counters. The Pinnacle Grill was my favourite dining experience (went twice) and where I felt truely understood. Our waitress knew exactly what coeliac meant and knew cross contamination was a huge deal. She brought out my own bread with my own butter. She replaced my cutlery and pointed out what I could or couldn’t have on the menu. There was plenty for me to choose from and it was so yummy. She made sure I had my own side dishes as the rest of the table shared a bunch of them. If there were any questions she would not hesitate to double check it with the chief. I felt so safe and looked after there. Restaurants: The Dining Room - we dined here frequently - why wouldn’t you. We didn’t bother with a booking, we just showed up and the waiting time was never long, if at all. The staff were always happy and helpful. The food was yummy and had a great variety of dishes over the 10 day cruise. From beginning to end our dining experience took about 1 to 1.5 hours each night, which is great for 7 people. The staff were very efficient, always refilling your water glass, checking everything was ok - but also not over doing it and the night flowed nicely. The Lido Market - our group had breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner here. There were lots of options, always cooked freshly and well presented. The staff made sure this entire area was cleaned thoroughly every day, multiple times throughout the day/night. The standard of cleanliness was extremely high, plates, cutlery and glasses were always clean. We had tap water all the time on the ship with no problems at all. The handy water stations with ice machines were always in demand but never too busy to not get your water. You were welcome to fill your own private water bottles, you just had to fill a glass then pour it into your bottle. I recommend taking a bottle with a large opening, especially if you want to put ice in it, and one that stays cool. The Lido market was always busy at meal times but there were always tables available, or you could take your meal to the deck by the pool or take your meal back to your room if you wanted. The Pinnacle Grill - this is a much smaller, fine dining restaurant. We thought the meal was great value and of high standard. We made sure we had a booking each time we went as I believe it can get booked up. The staff were very attentive and knew the menu inside and out. If you have the steak be sure to add the lobster tail - yummy! Dive-in - a great little place midship by the pool. Personally I never ate here, being coeliac, but members of our group sure did. They loved the burgers and fries. Not crowded at all and great if you want something quick and easy. Bars: Well we sure did frequent the Crows Nest, which was great fun! The staff here knew their stuff and if they didn’t they would look your drink up and make it happen. 10pm Happy Hour each night became a bit of a tradition by the end of our cruise. The atmosphere was very relaxed and calm with laughter and staff members with a great sense of humour. Billboard onboard was a fantastic place to go and listen to some great music and have a few drinks with complimentary snacks available. The pianists were amazing, their singing was fantastic and the vibe of the place was wonderful. They took requests which were of all eras which kept the night lively and full of variety. BB Kings All Stars were a hit with everyone. A very professional top quality band who you couldn’t help but sing along to. There are plenty of options for a quiet drink or more energy - just take your pick. Shows: The ships dancers are wonderful. Very talented and energetic. The music was great but the singers just didn’t do it for me. Orpheus - The traditional greek dancers that came on board were awesome for a short period, then it became very repetitive, loud, and my hands hurt - because you didn’t dare stop clapping. The only thing that really changed was their costumes. I was going to leave early but I kept thinking it might get better - it didn’t. Planet Earth II in concert was amazing - totally loved it! Activities: Bingo - In my early 40’s and I’ve always wanted to play a game of bingo! What better place to give it a go. Lots of fun, Warren was a great host, and the participants really got into it. Trivia Games - Lots of fun - never did better than 12 out of 16 but we gave it a good go! Both Warren and Ben were great hosts - always helps when they have such a great sense of humour! Virtual Tour and Chat with the Captain - This was awesome! It was great the see what goes on behind the scenes of running such a large and successful ship. Guests got to ask the captain questions of which he knew all the answers. A very informative and funny event - well worth doing. There are lots of other activities on the cruise but we just didn’t have time to get to all of them. Pools: Lido pool - Great size pool for a cruise ship I thought and 3 hot tubs to boot. Best thing about this pool is there is a roof that they can close if it gets a bit breezy. Plenty of loungers and other seating, lots of towels and staff always ready to help with anything. The pool is nice a quiet early in the morning and late at night. The hot tubs are a great spot to watch the movie at night. Sea view pool - As if one pool wasn’t enough there is a second one! Out the back of the boat with the fitting name - sea view pool. What a great place to spend the afternoon, hopping from the pool to the hot tub and back again. Nice and relaxing, a drink and a hot tub to relax those sore legs from walking all over the place. Again there are more quiet times than others if you don’t want to feel like you are being watched. Casino: Best nights at the casino were the smoke free ones. I personally found it unpleasant even just walking through the casino on a smoking night. But each to their own, I just went on smoke free nights - perhaps one day they will have more of them. Lots of machines and tables to choose from. Gala Evenings: Time to get a little dressed up for old times sake. This was something we were a little worried about before travelling all the way from New Zealand - but we were totally fine. First of all the ironing service helped with all the creases in the dresses. Everyone made an effort and looked lovely. It wasn’t over the top, and it wasn't strictly tuxedo and ball gown. Tidy trousers and long sleeve shirt for the men and nice dress long or short for the ladies. I guess the cruise is happy to move with the times which takes the pressure off, thankfully. Perfect night to get professional photos while you are all dressed up. Room: We were on the Mozart level - Deck 6. We had a verandah room which was awesome and very quiet. The bed was comfortable and plenty big enough. The bathroom was spotless and the shower was spacious. Tricky to sit on the toilet straight if you are particularly tall, but nothing major really. The wardrobe had plenty of space with lots of hangers. There is a safe and minibar fridge in the cupboard. There are 3 drawers under the fridge and two big drawers under the bed. Plenty of space under the bed for suitcases. Aircon for your comfort, only two options for pillows, so if you are really picky about your pillow you might want to bring one with you. They supply warm lap blankets in the cupboards above the couch for when you are sitting outside on the verandah. Big TV with a good amount of movies and programmes you can watch. Also there are the ships cameras and travel info. Staff: All amazing! Always polite, always said hello, and always happy to help - what more can you ask for?! These staff have a very high standard work ethic, which I could tell comes from the top. I could tell the captain is part of the team not just running and commanding the team. Our room was always kept very clean and tidy and one of our highlights was coming back to the room each night to the wonderful towel animals that the staff had created - amazing! One thing we did notice and other guests also noticed was the lack of female staff. It would be great to see a little more balance but in saying that I can see one of the reasons. A lot of the men were there working hard for their families back home. Putting their kids through university or other studies and food on the table and supporting their wives who were back home looking after the kids. They work long days and nights and even by the end of the 10 days when you could tell they were tired, their standards never slipped. Still happy to help and always with a polite greeting - fantastic guys! Stops: Day at sea Dubrovnik - loved loved loved!! This is a wonderful place to visit and we highly recommend it. We went out and did a private Tuk Tuk Tour and it was the best! The old town was amazing, the shops, the history, the restaurants and the atmosphere - It’s a must see! Arrived 10am - Departed 11pm. Kotor - Wow this place was awesome! The view was breath taking. The old town was wonderful and our private tour took us to Budva which was also lovely. Lots to see here. We sadly didn’t make it up the hill, but they do say you should always leave something to do next time. Arrived 8am - Departed 5pm. Corfu - cute, but after seeing Dubrovnik and Kotor it didn’t quite measure up. It seemed very dirty in the streets, and run down. There are few things you can do here, one being the bus trip around the place which was great. The shops were good. We were back at the ship early on this day. Arrived 8am - Departed 6pm. Katakolon - tiny little place - very cute, not much to do. We had decided not to take a tour to Olympia but maybe we should have. The town was little with one main street of shops, and the museum was basically one room. So we spent more time on the ship this day which was actually really nice. It gave us a chance to have some down time before the next big day. Arrived 8am - Departed 4pm. Athens - where do you start?!? So much to see and do here - awesome! This was a very busy day for us, we saw so much but there was still more we didn’t get to. It’s a decent drive from the port to get to the major sightseeing locations. We took a private tour to cram in as much as we could. Arrived 8am - Departed 11pm. Santorini - everything I had ever hoped for and more! The pictures weren’t lying, this place is beautiful! You just have to visit this place. I didn’t want to leave. The cable car is great, nice and easy and well worth the money to save a donkey. Lots of places to go and see with history and atmosphere. Everywhere you look the views are amazing. Shops are great! Arrived 8am - Departed 6pm. Day at sea Naples - lots of options. We decided to head to the Amalfi Coast and the Pompeii. two places we loved - but just not enough time at each to do them justice. Pompeii is a must see. Arrived 8am - Departed 7pm. Overview: I would highly recommend this cruise and ship to anyone who wanted to visit so many bucket list places in such a short amount of time. The ease of a cruise was magnificent. The locations were great, and many of them were places I had always wanted to see. Travelling in mid to late October worked a treat for us. So many of our tour guides said we were so lucky as it was so quiet now and the weather was still good - perfect! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Koningsdam suited us perfectly. We’d a private transfer from the airport to the ship which took about 50 minutes. Embarkation was easy and our luggage didn’t take long to arrive. Food was plentiful and delicious. Didn’t use any of ... Read More
Koningsdam suited us perfectly. We’d a private transfer from the airport to the ship which took about 50 minutes. Embarkation was easy and our luggage didn’t take long to arrive. Food was plentiful and delicious. Didn’t use any of the specialty restaurants, only used the Lido for breakfast & lunch and the open dining for dinner. No problem to get a table for two. Staff were all friendly and polite. Cabin was well appointed with plenty space in drawers and wardrobes. Bathroom was fine with a lovely large shower space with glass door and side. Theatre was large with 3 impressive screens. We didn’t the evening shows so can’t comment on them. The gym was well equipped with plenty of machines. Can’t comment on the spa as we didn’t use it. The crows nest is a lovely space but I do miss having a library and also miss having a self service laundry Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Konigsdam nice, ports great. 2nd HAL cruise. Music venues great, all performers top rate. Dorines pre port talks were informative and excellent. Service and food excellent. Could get veg options easily when desired - loved portabella ... Read More
Konigsdam nice, ports great. 2nd HAL cruise. Music venues great, all performers top rate. Dorines pre port talks were informative and excellent. Service and food excellent. Could get veg options easily when desired - loved portabella sandwich at Dive In. Culinary Arts meal fun for a change. Pinnacle lunch nice option on sea day. Cannaletto great food. Cocktails fairly priced shipwide we thought. Balcony cabin excellent, but would go back to Vista suite or larger next time. Bathroom nice, no knee/toilet issyes and we are tall. Dining room stark looking imho. 2nd pool area was smoker friendly which made it unusable for us non smokers. Tenders to port of Monaco VERY rough, i.e. people got sick; rethink having crew driving these?! , or at least hv them monitored by captains staff!? Very nice cruise. Only pointing out negatives for informational purposes, but we had a GREAT time. HAL does things right. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had a most enjoyable cruise on the Koningsdam, I would highly recommend visiting Europe in October as the crowds are less and the temperatures more enjoyable. A port-intensive cruise we only had two sea days to explore the ship. It is ... Read More
We had a most enjoyable cruise on the Koningsdam, I would highly recommend visiting Europe in October as the crowds are less and the temperatures more enjoyable. A port-intensive cruise we only had two sea days to explore the ship. It is obviously in very good shape considering it is only a year old. We enjoyed the many venues both in dining and entertainment. Dining service was quite good and the food was always warm when delivered. We could not ask for a better dining team who met us with smiles every evening. We are looking forward to exploring the many optional dining venues on a less port-intensive cruise on Nieuw Statendam next year. Entertainment was good throughout the ship and we really enjoyed the reimagined World Stage with its 270 degree LED screen backdrop which made cast performances very interesting. Our cruise was enhanced by the fact that our TA called us with an offer to upgrade from a VD to a Neptune Suite. Having never experienced the suite life, we purchased the upgrade and were assigned a fully accessible SA near the Neptune Lounge. While we enjoyed the extra room and perks, our butler remained invisible throughout the cruise. Never stopped by, but our two room stewards were great and met our every need and more. A real miss for HAL. We had a very bad experience on a ship’s tour to Chefchaouen, Morocco when a woman reaching for her passport that the guide was insistent upon having right then, was thrown into the windshield when the driver had to brake spider-webbing the window. The guide seemed unconcerned until we convinced him we had to take the passenger back to the ship. Upon arrival, we were met by the Hotel Director and others. He indicated that pax could not come back on the ship and had to be taken to the hospital since it was tour vendor’s fault. I was surprised since I thought one of the advantages of taking a ship’s tour was HAL would look after you. 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

Find a Koningsdam Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise