1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Having cruised in the past with a different company, we chose this particular one for its itinerary. However, one chooses a cruise to enjoy the time on board as well, otherwise you would just pick another mean of transportation to get you ... Read More
Having cruised in the past with a different company, we chose this particular one for its itinerary. However, one chooses a cruise to enjoy the time on board as well, otherwise you would just pick another mean of transportation to get you where you want. No entertainment whatsoever during the day, the food-American quality (need I say more?!) Muffins you can hardly bite into, horrible just horrible coffee, cheapest possible juices, restaurant food looks homemade. A cruise should dazzle, surprise, entice, get you home with few extra kilos! As it is, I am on a diet. Furniture, carpets, couches, look old and stained. Everything is dull and poorly decorated. Staff is nice, helpful but they cannot be called professionals. On other cruises, staff amazes you, you keep thinking "how they manage it?!". Well, no wonders here, i guarantee. So: comfort? Little. Food: ikea style. (Actually, i prefer ikea). And the plates and cutlery in the dining restaurant!!! Such poor quality!!! Using those you actually start reconsidering plastic! Entertainment: bring books with you. Thick ones. Staff: nice. Not that professional. Overall cruise experience: as said in the title, ferry like experience. And some ferries are actually better. No exageration. Boarding procedures were carried on alright, though we had to wait for our luggages to be brought. In other cruises, they are in your room by magic before you go in. If you plan on a cruise, choose something you can enjoy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
I have recently made a Mediterranean cruise with koningsdam from 21 August 11 days. My tourism agency had recommended koningsdam. They said ”new ship, it is very clean and the food is very good” I believed of course. But unfortunately ... Read More
I have recently made a Mediterranean cruise with koningsdam from 21 August 11 days. My tourism agency had recommended koningsdam. They said ”new ship, it is very clean and the food is very good” I believed of course. But unfortunately as soon as I got on board I realized that this was not what I expected. Because I traveled with many different companies I can compare very easily. I have been cruising last 10 years with several different companies and ships. This time is my first time with Holland America. I wish to share my experience for the sake of other customers and as well as your benefit. (Actually I am very busy person who works 10 hours a day but I hope it will be appreciated that I spend my resting time to write this.) I have a very serious complaint about the reception manager (or chef) his name was M...... He made me angry so much. He treated me very unpleasantly. We are Turkish but since we are high level civil servant (We are professor doctor working in university) we were given a “special passport” which we don’t need any visa in EU countries. In every cruise, in check in desk they understand it and they don’t keep our passports. They know special passports or they can easily understand when they look at the pages there are plenty of stamps of many countries but there was not any visa. In Rome port they did the same. They checked the passports and gave them to us. The first day was sea day we would be in Cartagena following morning, But at night I found a note someone calling me to the reception. I went there a girl in the reception wanted me to give our passports to them. It was so strange. She said “my manager wants them”. I refused of course. The explanation was not adequate. She called the manager He said “Turkey is not EU country that is why I want to keep your passport”. It should not be a personal preference. I tried to explain why we did not need any visa. But he was person who cannot understand the situation. His attitude and words were very very annoying and irritating. He insist to take it. (Be honest even if we are not obliged to give it. Since I am a mature and respectful and respective person, If he had asked nicely and kindly I would give it right a way). I said no. Finally he wanted to scan them, I said “I have a copy I can give it”. In that case he dared to insist to get them before 7 am in the morning!!!!(Look at his personal caprice) I was even angrier he had to understand that I was a guest and on my vacation no one has a right to force me to do something. I said “I don’t want to get up very early in the morning”. Following day I ask an appointment for “hotel manager” to discuss this issue and the other issues related with crew behaviour. No one responded. I asked total 3 times for an appointment in different days. He didn’t even send a message to me. I know he must be very busy (actually I am one of his businesses) but even dough he should have had arrange someone else to meet me. He totally ignored me (as many of them). He didn’t give any value and credit to me as a human being who actually prefer and trust them to spend her holiday on his ship. There are plenty of issues to be mentioned: But I will briefly tell. First of all the behavior of the crew (most of them) was the most unacceptable. It seems almost all of them don’t like their job. Or even they hate with what they are doing. No smiling at all. They don’t make eye contact with you they don’t even say hello or any other greetings. From the barmen to the waiters, from the officers to simple mariners every one was tossing out you. I was shocked . (none of the ship had not had such a crew like that). First day as soon as we settled, we wanted to have a drink. We approached to the bar (opposite to “guest relation”) no one cared. I asked for a menu. He didn’t even move and looked at me very unwillingly and showed the wall (there were some writings on the wall). We didn’t drink anything. We went up to the restaurant (self-service) in deck 9. For lunch There were some stations with different type of food and there was one person in it as if they were in prison (They were looking at you as if somebody forced them to stand unwillingly). It was so strange that the self-service restaurant was not self-service. All stations were covered (protected from the customers) by glass. At dinner in the 2. floor is another story. It takes ages to wait for a dish. I had to speak to restaurant chef to attract the attention to be served. The most important thing is security. In the gang way going out and coming back, IN all other ship companies they ask to take off sun glasses and hats. It is very important to recognize the people. But in Koningsdam most of customers were wearing glasses and hats !! No one asked them to take off. Crew were only concentrated if there was an alcohol in the bags. All other companies they serve water and wet cold towels in the gangways in every port they make a tent. But in koninsdam we had nothing. Even water. No one greeted and no one welcomed us. Only last day in Livorno a couple of officers were standing in front of gangway and told “welcome”. And no entertainment at all.. There are many more to tell but these are facts. I have no intention being rude I didn’t mean to offend anybody. Because I respect everybody who does their job properly, I spent my time to give this feedback. I am sorry to tell these perhaps they reevaluate the issues to please their customers and consider them as "guest" Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The Good - 95% of the workers are lovely & incredibly hard working. They make up for the ship's many flaws. Embarkation/Disembarkation was smooth, swift & without issues. We had a balcony cabin, & the size of the ... Read More
The Good - 95% of the workers are lovely & incredibly hard working. They make up for the ship's many flaws. Embarkation/Disembarkation was smooth, swift & without issues. We had a balcony cabin, & the size of the balcony was impressive. Ports were also fantastic & the reason we chose this cruise line to begin with. This was our first cruise with HA & sadly will be our last. We have traveled over a dozen times with cruise ships & have used various cruise lines repeatedly, so we had the same expectations for HA. We've never had prior issues/concerns with other ships, so we believed HA would be a repeat cruise line for us as all others have been in the past. Not the case or even close. It seems a lot of corners have been cut from HA & the clients & the hard working employees are the ones suffering. So on to the bad... The unfortunate bad... First, our room was the smallest we have ever stayed in for 3 people. The pull out bed is meant for a child/adult under the size of 5 feet. If you are 5'1+, you will get bruised, scratched & woken up daily because the bed hits right into the desk in front of it & you WILL hit the desk with your feet, etc. The bed also blocks the door to your balcony completely. You must climb over the pull out bed to get in/out of it (ie: to go to the restroom, change, etc) or to get in/out of your balcony (which are all fire/emergency hazards). I would not recommend this room for 3 people, 2 would be perfectly fine (the bed remains a couch the entire time), but definitely not 3, even with a small child as you will have no space or easy access to your balcony. Second issue with the room was the cleanliness. The gentlemen who were in charge of our rooms were as sweet as could be, however, they were also responsible for countless hallways of rooms. It would be physically impossible for these 2 hard working men to completely service/clean the rooms to their fullest. They were both being tirelessly overworked. On arrival, the shampoo/condition/soap dispensers in the showers were all near empty (an oversight & an understood one as these guys could barely get to all the rooms). Additionally, we had nail clippings in the bathroom & balcony, dust in the cabin & no tissue. Clearly, these workers just don't have the manpower or time to do a full on thorough cleansing & this was on our arrival. On 3 separate occasions we were given replacement towels with various stains on them & were unusable. On multiple occasions, we were without towels & had to ask for the dispensers to be refilled. Smoking & noise issues were also a problem with one neighbor (the walls are paper thin) & we reported our concerns repeatedly, but nothing could really be accommodated (we asked to switch rooms), even after 2 separate occasions of cigarette butts on our balcony, I took photos & brought it to the attention of guest services, but they just ask you to let our servicemen be aware & they refer us right back to guest services. It was a joke all the different finger pointing of who to speak with for various issues. None of the employees want to handle or address concerns & refer you elsewhere constantly. We also opted to pay for the unlimited LAUNDRY deal during our stay. This for the most part was a nice option, however, they did lose a laundry item on one occasion & on another instance, we had to wait for 3 days for our laundry return, when it is supposed to be returned within 48 hrs. Again, we were referred to guest services twice to get an update. PHOTOS are another thing - buyers beware. We purchased several & were given wrong photos - definitely check before leaving. Our photos had wrong templates with different dates/locations of a cruise we weren't even on. Last of interest was the FOOD. The taste & quality were fine & not better or worse than other cruise lines. We did the additional pay for Italian Canaletto restaurant & the Asian-fusion, Tamarind. Tamarind was far better than Canaletto (service & food wise). Canaletto food is actually cooked in the Lido buffet area & was a step below an Olive Garden. We had the dine on your own time dining & had no problem getting a table. However, the service in the own time dining is horrible. I believe these workers may be in training because every night we had an issue with incorrect orders (not just us, but many tables around us as well) & lengthy times to be served. Dinner took 2-3 hours for a 3 course meal. We were eventually told (by mistake, perhaps), that the main dining food was the same as what was being served in the buffet's Lido's. An employee brought me a chicken dish & actually admitted HE picked it out for me himself. Lo & behold, the next evening, we decided to opt for the Lido buffet & sure enough the same soup, main entrees & desserts were exactly the same being offered in the main dining menu. We were able to hand pick the food ourselves & eat/finish within an hour, not 3 hours. A few differences on the menu, but 90% was exactly the same, including surf & turf. Lastly, the wine stewards & beverages. We have never been more hounded to drink or pay for soft drinks like we were on the HA. I think because these employees are so overworked, they are really looking to make extra money via tips. We were constantly being bombarded throughout the cruise to purchase alcohol or soft drinks. The stewards would come by multiple times, even after declining & trying to get you to buy beverages (alcohol or otherwise). It was annoying & unnecessary after the first decline, especially, when drink orders, like the meal orders, were being delivered incorrectly to various patrons Our experience about HA vs all the other big name competitor cruise lines we have taken, is that they do all they can to nickel & dime their customers at the sad cost of their hardworking employees. Where other cruise lines provided complimentary toasts at departure, HA passed out beverages (with the aim you believed it was complimentary) & then asked for your key card & said your beverage cost $. No thanks. Chocolate party night - on other lines, was magnificent, creative & worth waiting for. HA had 15 or so servers walking around for 5 minutes at 10pm at night that you had to actually chase down for a thumb sized chocolate sample bite. It was a joke (I took photos to show family/friends because it was comical). Reminded me of the samples people line up for at Costco. Same could be said for their alcohol samples. A complete joke. HA is no value - they are after one thing & it's your money which unfortunately doesn't go into these hard working employees, but the corporate headquarters. The Koningsdsam was a sad disappointment & lacks great service because they are so overwhelmingly understaffed. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first cruise on Holland America, and most certainly the last. Actually, our cruise on Koningsdam was the first one we wished to end. We were prepared that the passenger would be a bit older but still it managed to surprise us. ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Holland America, and most certainly the last. Actually, our cruise on Koningsdam was the first one we wished to end. We were prepared that the passenger would be a bit older but still it managed to surprise us. Occasionally we felt that we were lost in a retirement home´s summer trip. In a way it was nice to feel yourself too young even in the age of 50+ but it is not what we are looking for. By the way, we have never got so much paper in the stateroom. There was a continuous stream of advertisement and announcement in the cabin. Good that they had a double bin with a locker saying “paper. I hope they really do recycle it because we threw mostly away straight away. We were most disappointed with the entertainment. Were just were nothing for us. The main stage had no production shows, or even just a bigger show. There was a pianist, a mediocre magician, a boring male singer, another singer that sang a strange mix of songs from Julie Andrews ending with Europe´s the Final Countdown. The BBC earth was just some nice videos with classical music concert. The music walk had either classical music (with big signs SILENCE) or very loud rock. Only a bit enjoyable was the two pianists but their selection and speaks were very American so even they stayed a bit distant to us. The main dining was a beeber (pager) show. Actually, we have never seen on any cruise so much beebers than in HAL. In any time dining (or whatever they call it) was a chaos every day. We managed to get a table once in 13 days cruise without waiting 15 to 20 minutes. The man on the door was totally nonchalant and unfriendly to the passengers and the crew. The waiter taking you to your table could not mostly find it although walking with the map in hand. It was like sitting in a railway station. We had once a bit quieter table by the rear windows but otherwise it was very restless. You could feel the floor tumble when the army of waiters run to the kitchen and back. The poor waiters were like machines even when talking to you because they were so stressed. The quality of the food was better than on most of the cruise lines, but the atmosphere made it impossible to enjoy it. The Dutch coffee was a peculiar invention. They served coffee, apple cake and pea soup. The special coffees were very milky and it felt that nobody else have never ever before ordered a coffee latte with double shot expresso. It was also strange that they had no table service, while otherwise it felt that HAL had more crew than many other major cruise line. The Dutch Cafe made us miss so much the Celebritys Cafe Al Baccio. Speciality restaurant Pinnacle Grill was good and as always on the cruises, had quieter atmosphere than the main restaurant. FIrst time tea waiter was really good, but second time rather poor (De Librije 3 Michelin star dinner was held only once and was a bit too much for the poor waiter). In the Tamarin the service was good, but the food did not quite convince us. The Italian Canaletto is actually a part of the buffet and it felt like it. Practical for the breakfast and lunch but in the evening it felt cheap. The buffet was almost always full in the breakfast and in the lunch time. It was not easy to find a table. All the food was served in the station and you could not take it yourself. This of course cause some queues, which was a problem while there was no clearly marked place for a queue. The service went still quite good. Mostly they gave you too much food and a lot of food was thrown away which we did not like. As we knew the idea, we were waiting at least some nice and beautiful portion in the lunch time, but it all ended in the plate the same smash as you get from the normal buffet taking it yourself. The Dive in with burgers and New York deli with pizza by the pool were nice because the portion were fresh made for you. You just needed to get them by yourself when the beeber went on. By the way, why the beebers needed to be so loud? Especially in the evenings it was almost humiliating walking to the restaurant while by the time the beeber got even louder and started to yell to you “return to the restaurant, your portion is ready”. The good thing with elderly passenger was that it was extremely easy to find a deck chair on any time. We have never seen so much vacant chairs. The ship was in good condition and the cabin was always perfectly cleaned. There is probably nothing really wrong in the Holland America. The concept just was not for us and we will not be back, at least before we are 80+. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Last year same ship going to Norway , there were 3 Broadway musical (production show as per cruise director, Ross). This time, there were none. Only vocalist, pianist, magician and comedian. Compare with 12 to 20 dancers on musical shows. ... Read More
Last year same ship going to Norway , there were 3 Broadway musical (production show as per cruise director, Ross). This time, there were none. Only vocalist, pianist, magician and comedian. Compare with 12 to 20 dancers on musical shows. Is it cost saving??? The ship supposed to be high tech. But the back ground high tech lighting for the evening shows failed to work for the first week. The ship is still impressive, even this is the second time onboard. The food in dining room is pretty boring, not much selection. There were more selection in Lido market, very impressive. There are 4 musical bands that provide lots of choice of entertainment in the evening. Since there were no musical shows, no dancers available to provide dance lessons on sea days like before. The shore excursion staff provided good info on port of call during sea days. There is not much activities during sea days. Only 3 sea days out of 13 day cruise, the cruise line should provide more activities. If there is no more musical shows like this cruise, our group will take another cruise line that provide the show in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Our cabin flooded through no fault of our own. We were sitting on the balcony and not aware of all the water until we went inside. We immediately called Guest Services to inform them about what was happening. From that point forward, ... Read More
Our cabin flooded through no fault of our own. We were sitting on the balcony and not aware of all the water until we went inside. We immediately called Guest Services to inform them about what was happening. From that point forward, dealing with the staff was bizarre for the duration of the cruise. It was our second time to sail on the Koningsdam this year (2019). During our first sailing, I'd noticed how robotic and impersonal a lot of the staff appeared to be. Many of the employees we encountered throughout the ship spoke to us in a strange sing-song voice that I suppose was meant to be pleasant. I don't know if they are trained to do this, but it's highly annoying and fake. When I informed the woman on the phone about the flooding, she replied in that weird sing-song voice. I felt like I was talking to a robot who didn't really grasp that water was rapidly flooding our cabin. After waiting ten minutes and moving all our luggage and souvenirs stored under the bed, I called back to inquire why it was taking so long. Again, I felt like I was talking to a robot. Eventually, four housekeeping staff showed up. They were bewildered and had no clue what to do. Not one person offered to help me or my husband move our things out of the way of the water. One of the staff had a tiny shop vac and began trying to suck up the water while it was still pouring from the base of the toilet. All he accomplished was to make the problem worse by pushing the water further into the room and hallway. We were told we'd have to leave the room and sleep in a vacant inside stateroom. No one offered to help us move our things to the "dry" room. When we left, the plumber had still not arrived. The next morning, we were awakened by phone and told to vacate the room we'd just slept in because the occupant had arrived and wanted in their room. We were also told we couldn't return to the wet room. I asked where I was supposed to shower and brush my teeth. I was put on hold, after several minutes the robotic voice returned to the line to tell me that I could use the spa to do those things for that day only. When I got to the spa with my toothbrush and clean clothes, the woman behind the counter had no idea what I was talking about. I'd been assured by guest services that there would be no problem. Well, there was a problem because she didn't want to let me in free of charge. I explained what had happened and was eventually allowed to enter and use the facilities with no additional charges for that day. After using the spa to get cleaned up, I wandered around the ship with no place to go. My husband disembarked and went into Malaga, Spain but I hadn't planned on leaving the ship that day. I had planned to just relax in private; however, that was impossible with no place to go other than the public areas of the ship. It was late afternoon (after much prodding from me) before I was finally told that I could move our things to an empty cabin with a balcony. Had I not constantly checked in with Guest Services, I believe I'd still be wandering the ship with no place to lay my head to this day. I get that things can and do go wrong. What I don't get is the incredibly impersonal and non-caring attitude of the staff. I asked repeatedly to speak with the head of guest services. That never happened. After three days of asking to talk with someone about our experience, I spoke with a woman who I swear was a robot. Her expression never changed. She didn't look me in the eyes even one time. She never took one note. She never said anything other than a fake, robotic, sing-song "I'm sorry." At the end of the cruise, we were comped $300 for what happened. The money wasn't the issue with me. The issue was the uncaring attitude. As we disembarked, a recorded message came over the loud speaker urging the passengers to let Holland America know about their cruising experience. That was puzzling to me because I had tried repeatedly to do just that with zero success. They do NOT care about your experience. it's all for show. The entertainment in the BB King blues lounge was stellar. Frank West and the rest of the musicians almost made up for the horrible ineptness we dealt with in most of the rest of the ship. The other entertainment was mediocre in my opinion. The specialty restaurants were so good. It was worth every extra penny to eat at each restaurant. We ate at some of them twice. The special wine-pairing meal in the Italian restaurant as we left Marseille was one of my favorite nights. The food and drink was so good. The regular dining room was a joke. The first Gala Night was ridiculous with hundreds of people dressed up and left waiting in the small hallway on the second floor. Many people just gave up on getting a table and left. After an hour wait, we were finally allowed into the almost empty dining room. I'll never understand what went wrong that evening, but I chose not to deal with the little bald man with glasses who lords over the seating in the second floor dining room; therefore, we rarely ate there. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Would not recommend. Ship was clean and rooms were nice but woefully understaffed. Waited endlessly at dinner and for drinks. Tables around pool were left with trash and drink glasses for hours. Food portions at dinner were ... Read More
Would not recommend. Ship was clean and rooms were nice but woefully understaffed. Waited endlessly at dinner and for drinks. Tables around pool were left with trash and drink glasses for hours. Food portions at dinner were ridiculously small. Extra hidden charges in main dining room for lobster. Beverage backage was terrible. $9 was the maximum allowed per drink and if you ordered a drink that was over the $9; they didn't charge you the difference; they charged the whole price. Extra charges for Spin classes in gym. They offered a tour of the ship's kitchen for $150 pp. Are you kidding me????? Beverage package was also not valid on the ship's own private island Half Moon Cay. Had to pay full price. Buffet at Half Moon Cay was included but the food was horrible. Long lines for everything. The ports were ok; not great but ok. The beach at Half Moon Cay was the nicest. Not a good value for the money. Don't waste your money on this cruise line. Go with Celebrity. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Entertainment was the worst ever nothing to do on this ship . They just added Rolling Stone room two 45 min sets most days the only good entertainment on the cruise . Everything shuts down at 10:30 pm you cant find a cup of coffee or a ... Read More
Entertainment was the worst ever nothing to do on this ship . They just added Rolling Stone room two 45 min sets most days the only good entertainment on the cruise . Everything shuts down at 10:30 pm you cant find a cup of coffee or a snack anywhere . The days we stoped at a port of call the casino was closed and there was no entertainment on the ship not even the rock & roll room had a show everyone was walking around with nothing to do . The pools are very small one holds 40 people the othe holds 17 not great for a caribean cruise . The food in the dining room was good & also in the speciality dining rooms the service was good . They seem to focus on a older crowd that dosnt care about doing anything on the ship Im 60 years old . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was to be a second honeymoon but turned out to be a huge disappointment. It took years of saving on a disabled veteran's compensation to pay for the cruise and we feel ripoffed. Embarkation was slow and disorganized. When ... Read More
This was to be a second honeymoon but turned out to be a huge disappointment. It took years of saving on a disabled veteran's compensation to pay for the cruise and we feel ripoffed. Embarkation was slow and disorganized. When boarding, we were summarily given directions to an elevator and told how to go find our stateroom. Hardly the reception we had anticipated. No one told us that they was a welcome lunch in the Lido. We were traveling with friends and had connecting stateroom and it took two days to finally get screen between veranda removed. Dining room experience was mixed. After we changed our seating to assigned, we found fellow passengers were more likely to follow the dress code. Inaddition, the staff was very attentive and service was excellent. Boorish behavior of a group of fellow passenger was finally addressed after several complaints from other diners. Menu choices was minimal and food taste was marginal. Presentation,however was very good. Lido food was the same every day and tasted like it was recycled from the previous day. Testament to the Lid o food was the lines at the deli and the DIVE IN. Entertainment for 70 year passengers who love ballroom dancing was nonexistent even though the cruise consultant assured us it would be there. Unless you love acid rock and disco don't expect to be entertained. One world stage comedian was superb. The dancers were excellent and put on a good show. The rest of the shows were not worth the time and we left early. The music was the same in all three venues and was not "danceable". We went to the Blues Club at midnight as a DJ was advertised. The DJ began playing the same music as the three bands and did not have a clue when we asked for a rumba, chacha, or waltz. Stateroom was comfortable and veranda was spacious. Will never cruise with Holland again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Holiday Cruise. The entertainment has its ups and downs. The comedian was very entertaining, and the dance/laser show was spectacular. However, the musicians in the lounges were mediocre at best, and poor in several painful instances. The ... Read More
Holiday Cruise. The entertainment has its ups and downs. The comedian was very entertaining, and the dance/laser show was spectacular. However, the musicians in the lounges were mediocre at best, and poor in several painful instances. The blues band has a talented female singer...too bad she was overpowered by a bass player that was so loud, the lead guitar could hardly be heard. The dueling pianos should should have dueled to the death, doing a favor to everybody who had to put up with two poor amateurs playing off one another. The rock band was OK. The music was loud but, that's rock and roll. A real bummer was the casino personnel. As a traveler, who has made over 50 voyages, I have never been so poorly treated by the casino staff. They were rude, offensive and made even a small amount of winning into a most uncomfortable occasion. After being told how hard to throw the dice, how high to throw the dice, and how my wife should bet, we got away before the bad vibes got any worse. The personnel said these were simply the rules of the house, but as experienced travelers, who have recently played on other Holland ships, we knew this was not true. With the TV not working for several days, the bands being either much too loud or poor (or both), finding something fun to do was much harder than it should have been. Read on about the room...and the picture just gets worse. There is a pervasive language problem on the ship. Everyone speaks a little English...just enough to fool you into thinking they understand you, until you realize they don't. Thus, asking for an apple, becomes problematic, asking for sauerkraut becomes a three way conference, and asking for directions makes you wish you had a GPS, just for getting around the ship. 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
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
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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I have been on PO, carnival, and celebrity. I wanted to try holland America. So the pros: 1. Ship ok, but very poorly designed. 2 Laundry cheap, photos cheap 3. Food was good 4 service ok, but Not great. 5 getting on and ... Read More
I have been on PO, carnival, and celebrity. I wanted to try holland America. So the pros: 1. Ship ok, but very poorly designed. 2 Laundry cheap, photos cheap 3. Food was good 4 service ok, but Not great. 5 getting on and off ship easy 6 ship on time Cons Wow, where do i start: 1 smoking in casino and it spreads. Smoking outside in some public areas allowed. I found the smoking quite annoying. 2 entertainment at night rarely above b grade. 3 my biggest gripe no activities, except paid ones. Not even dance glasses. Outside the daily quiz night, there was little. The ship had no spirit, one couple mentioned to me the only excitement was going to their room to see the towel animal created. The ship needs to be fully audited, it just was a platform with no energy, nothing, staff were in large part not engaged. Sad really. So let me put it this way, celebrity is 200% better. If you want plain, with nothing to do on ship days, then this ship is for you. I was underwhelmed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the cruise because the dates suited our vacation and because of the destinations. We boarded in Amsterdam and did the 12 days to Rome. The ship was very nice and the crew were great. I thought the main stage entertainment ... Read More
We chose the cruise because the dates suited our vacation and because of the destinations. We boarded in Amsterdam and did the 12 days to Rome. The ship was very nice and the crew were great. I thought the main stage entertainment was a bit boring and wasn’t for us. I actually fell asleep in one of the shows, that’s how much I thought of it. The comedian Jo Little was good but her humour was lost to a lot of the Americans. One night there was an opera singer on? We didn’t go as not for us, also a saxophonist one night. I like a saxophone when it’s part of a song or a solo but not the full show. They had the blues band and they weren’t bad but one night the 2 singers didn’t come out for the last set as BOTH of them had sore throats. So the band played their instruments and tried to do a so called funny ed and he said mime act. It wasn’t funny and they did that again on another night and it still wasn’t funny. The highlight of the entertainment for us was the piano bar 2 very talented girls. I think their names were Ivy & Paulini. Thank god for them as we would have went insane of a night. They entertained us every night except for their night off. Thank you The only bar that was open after midnight was the casino. We didn’t want to go there as we don’t gamble and we don’t smoke. Speaking of smoking in the casino we walked through there on the non smoking night to find people smoking and no one stopping them. Why wasn’t there any other bars open? It was like we were school kids being sent to bed. Totally unacceptable as far as we were concerned. We did enjoy the crows nest bar of an afternoon when we were set to sail. Food was good but on our last day it was an at sea day. At lunch in the buffet it closed at 2:30pm. I asked to speak with someone about this and an officer came and I asked him why it closed and he said because it’s time too. I pointed out to him that most people on the ship us included had a later breakfast and was hoping to have a later lunch. I also asked him what lunch finished the day before and he replied 4:00pm. So why are the times inconsistent? He really couldn’t answer just saying that they were the times. We had been through there earlier and I knew what I was going to have but wasn’t hungry thinking we could eat later. There are 2 sides of the buffet nearly a mirror image each side. I asked why they couldn’t have kept one side open at least? The officer was very good to try and accomodate us by saying he would get us what we were looking for. I wanted the buffet open I knew what my protein was but wanted other things as well. He also reminded us that there was the burger and pizza bars open and we could go there. That’s what we were going to do. I give him credit he pursued us and offered to make a reservation for us in the Italian restaurant free of charge. I thanked him but declined as I was upset with what had happened and wasn’t thinking about dinner I wanted lunch. In the end I said thank you please make the reservation but no sure if we will go. We ended up taking the offer up. The cabin was great and our room stewards were fabulous. The biggest disappointment though was when we went to the port of Heulva (I think that’s what it was called). It was Sunday and we didn’t really feel like going to Saville 90 minutes each way by bus. So we thought we will stay in the port town relax wonder around see what they have. There was a free shuttle bus from the port into the city. It was on the bus that we and most of the other passengers found out that the only places in town that would be open was food and drink places. The guide on the bus told us and she was 100% correct. That’s all that was open, I couldn’t even get a souvenir not even a fridge magnet. The bus dropped us off at the “tourist information centre” where there was 1 person working and a line up of about 50 people and they ran out of maps. Why would Holland America do this? What sort of itinerary is this? Honestly absolutely ridiculous. We weren’t the only ones unhappy with this. I did the survey that they sent us and they asked could they get in touch with us to discuss our rating. I said yes but we still haven’t heard so that’s why I have put my review here Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is a long review because I have tried to convey things other reviewers have not. My husband and I are in our mid 60’s, have traveled extensively, and this was our fourth cruise: 1 with RCL and 2 with Princess. We had 14 day ... Read More
This is a long review because I have tried to convey things other reviewers have not. My husband and I are in our mid 60’s, have traveled extensively, and this was our fourth cruise: 1 with RCL and 2 with Princess. We had 14 day cruise through the fjords with HAL on the Koningsdam that was split into two seven day cruises returning to Amsterdam after seven days. We did our own airfare. My problem with booking through the cruise line is that as long as everything goes right, it’s great. But, when things go wrong, and on the international leg of a journey anything can and does go wrong, you do not have the contract with the airline, HAL does. So, you have a third party involved, which complicates changes when things go wrong. It has to go through HAL. We used Dutch Limo to pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel, and Dutch Limo to take us to the ship from the hotel. Excellent, as one other reviewer remarked. It was nice after being up all night to see your name and follow the driver to your hotel. We stayed at the Ibis Styles Amstel, which was an excellent choice. The Ibis Styles Central Station (across from the Central Station) was sold out a year in advance, as were many hotels. Our room was ready at 7:00 in the morning which made us very happy. The staff is great and this is a great part of town with a street market and nice restaurants right down the canal from the Rijksmuseum. The Cruise The Good: There are some things worth mentioning. The food overall (if you can get to it) was relatively good. The crew was outstanding doing the best they could under very trying circumstances. Because you are served in the Lido, fewer hands actually touch the food, so in that sense, it is a lot more sanitary. There are hand washing stations (a nice touch) at either end of the Lido and hand sanitizer everywhere. The beds were great and the bathrooms, as mentioned by so many, are a vast improvement. Hand lotion in the women’s bathroom, Happy Hour every day for an hour with some eats put out (with the second drink $2) were fine touches and very popular. They had two female piano players in the evening, who I thought were good and in the afternoon every day they had a solo piano player in the billboard area. Some of the classical music was also nice. We did not go into the theatre but heard many complaints that it was “too small.” Embarkation. Be ready to stand in several lines for over an hour. Of course, others boarded earlier and got on much easier. You have to endure a terminal with no air conditioning and it was chaos with families and children. Cabin: I have to say the cabin was OK if not much smaller than we had on RCL and Princess in the same category (inside). There was sufficient storage for items and clothes. The bathroom on our inside cabin was one of the best we have ever had. As others have noted, the shower was exceptional. Unfortunately, there was garbage under our bed and behind the vanity when we arrived. That’s what happens when you have overloaded cabin stewards. In addition, our bathroom on the Gershwin Deck rear had a constant sewer smell, although it did not go into the room. Dining: Lido: If you do not make the early cut-off for breakfast in the dining room (9:00 am), you can battle it out in line at the Lido. Now, remember, the dining room is only open for lunch when you have days at sea, and not even then since there were two Mariner lunches to which the general public was not invited. Over 14 days on our cruise, you can only have lunch in the dining room maybe 2 days. What does that mean? The Lido. While any of the alternative dining rooms are available for lunch, they will set you back additional money. Obviously, the message is if you want a nice lunch and to be waited on, you will have to pay extra. Ordinarily, at any buffet you would have trays. Why? Because then you can gather your meal in an organized fashion all at once. There are no trays in the overcrowded Lido. So, this is a two person operation. You would think on a new ship seating would be appropriate for the number of people on the ship. Not so. There is a GROSS shortage of tables. Therefore, you have to have one person find a table first, no small matter. People can be aggressive, and you have to be if you want a seat to enjoy the meal you have already paid for. Next, once you find a table, it is most likely dirty. So, you have to wait for the staff to clear it off, or failing that, do the work yourself. Amazingly, the waiter stations in the Lido area have no running water. Your table will be wiped with a rag that is rung from a bucket of water (not kidding). Once you have the table clean and have claimed it, you will remain in the middle of those jostling with their plates and those who are aggressively seeking a place to sit. Not a pleasant experience. There are literally hundreds of people along with walkers and wheelchairs, young kids and staff moving in what is basically a confined space. So, be ready for contact. They do have pizza also in a separate venue above the pool. It was OK. There was a place to order but no place to pick up so you had to insert yourself in the bar to pick up your pizza. If you are sitting in the Lido area around the pool, you will have to negotiate a winding staircase to your table with your pizza in hand. The burger and fries area was much more organized and on the same level as the Lido. They had something missing from the Lido: trays. Actually, there was almost a fight over a table while we were sitting there in the Lido by the pool. The staff kind of broke it up before it got out of hand. With tensions high and people hungry, this can happen. The Lido is obviously too small and not well thought out. It is equivalent to a college cafeteria with better food. Sharpen those elbows before you hit the crowds. Dining Room: Forget fine dining if you are in the main dining room. The dining room is a two story beer hall that echoes loudly before you even enter. It is so loud it eliminates any possibility of a nice dinner. We requested late seating and found out at the last minute we did not get it, even though we paid our nonrefundable deposit almost a year in advance. All tables for two were eliminated for reservations after the first day. And, of course, the table for two you want may not be worth going after. One of the reasons to try and get a reservation is that anytime dining is even worse. Most of the decent two-tops are taken already by well-heeled passengers and fixed seating. We went early to dinner one night just to see if the chaos and noise were a figment of our imagination or real. We requested a table for two and turned down the first offer (a table next to a double stack of clean glasses and the exit to the waiter station). So, we were given a table for two (which actually was fairly good by HAL standards), up against the front part of the waiters’ station. The waiter stations are too small for what goes on and as a result, there are trays of wine glasses and waters glasses stacked outside the stations. Also, on the outside of the stations are the dirty dishes and silverware that must sit there because of the stations poor design. No cabinets for glasses. So, as you sit down you are looking at wine glasses stacked on these trays that are going on your table, like you are eating in the kitchen. The noise from the station, which has low walls so you hear everything, interferes with hearing the person sitting across from you. If you are at a large table, no one can hear across the table. In addition, people seem to be permitted to wander around the dining room during dinner, looking at you, what’s on your plate and just standing around in the middle of the floor. This is what occurred on the night we had dinner there. Where the head waiter was, I have no idea but these people stood in the middle of floor, hovering over tables with kids hanging out with them for over a half hour when we were there. So, we ordered a bottle of white wine. We get the bottle in the ice bucket that is placed behind us right next to a tray that holds all the dirty silverware that is literally next to the bucket. The noise becomes deafening as this group of about 30 or 40 enters the dining room to find their seats (and of course there is controversy about who sits where) and this adds to feeling of chaos in the dining room. One thing I did do was get to breakfast as many times as I could, but you could not stay up late at night. In addition, they never ask your name, they ask your room number when you want a table. You are linked forever with the cabin you get. I will also add that there is NO ambiance in any of the main dining areas. The Lido is a buffet, with all that it implies. The dining room, as mentioned before, is chaos. So, what do you do? You have to spend additional money to get some peace and quiet and service, which is why many suite clients end up eating solely at the Pinnacle Grill and the other alternative (read “extra money”) venues. Even they don’t want to eat in the dining room. One review I read from a suite passenger stated emphatically that they never once ate in the main dining room. FYI: If you dine in the Canaletto, as we did one night for extra money ($30), your meal will be less noisy than the Lido proper, but then your meal will be served directly from the Lido to your table. We were seated right next to the waiter’s station with all the noise. There were many negative comments I heard about the noise in the dining room from other people who were from other countries. There were many Aussies, Brits and Dutch on board. One man I heard comment (not American) said he was seated in the dining room by a main thoroughfare and the waiters along with those being seated kept banging into his chair during the entire meal. The tables are also too close together. He said he had to resort to the private dining venues to get a reasonable dinner without the noise. The two tops are all pretty bad. They are either up against a noisy station, and if you are lucky you don’t have to sit next to dirty dishes and silverware. Otherwise, you will be having dinner similar to the experience of an Olive Garden. There are just too many tables jammed into the dining space. It appears that HAL cannot handle the anytime dining with the size of their dining room. It also appears that their goal is to get you to pay to dine after you have already paid for the cruise. We had a lunch given to us by our travel agent in the Pinnacle Grill. It was nice but dinner will set you back $50.00. You get peace and quiet that you supposedly already paid for. Don’t plan on the Crow’s Nest for take off. It was closed for a private function on both embarkation days. However, if you can stake out a place 2 to 3 hours before sail away at the various ports, you can get a seat. They need to eliminate the “computer area” and remove the tables blocking the windows on the other side. What I did not know was that the hull of the Koningsdam is the same as QE2 and the Queen Victoria. What was noted by someone who actually traveled on the QE2 and this ship was the breaking up of space for “pay” venues. I never saw anyone in the Retreat the two weeks we were there, but the place takes up significant space. Her main criticism was that there were many little spaces that had limited seating and were too small for the number of people on board. A perfect example of that, and here I totally agreed, was the Dutch Café. The concept was nice; however, it is way too small for its purpose. There is a small area with tables that are continually filled and it pushes out into the Atrium. People park there, which is understandable, but it makes it impossible for you to get a seat. This should be much larger. Other wasted space includes the walkway around the Culinary Arts area. This is next to the dining room on the second floor. Instead of putting small sofas by the windows where people could sit and look out, there are these ridiculous dining chairs, in an awful color to boot, lined up facing the hallway. In addition, there are these ugly metal structures containing promotions blocking the windows to make sure you can’t see out. It would have been nice if they put seating there with some tables so people waiting for dinner have a place to sit and wait close to the dining room. We were sitting in the classical area listening to music from the other music venue. Supposedly, this problem will be fixed in dry dock in December. Poorly designed. We did attend some of the lectures which were not exceptional but informative. The big problem is that when you get an announcement throughout the ship it will not come in your cabin. People were mystified why HAL did not put the main intercom (including the Captain’s updates) in the cabin so you didn’t to open your cabin door to listen. All in all, we will not be back on Holland America. My concept was being served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead, I found out the dining room is closed for lunch and you have to get up early on vacation to catch breakfast. Why breakfast was not extended until at least 10:00, considering they don’t serve lunch, I do not know. Dinner was such a production to get a table, and a bad table at that, it was not worth it. Please note that when you get in line in the Lido for your entrée, you may be waiting behind the staff. Yes, the staff gets in line and you have to wait behind them to eat. They do not have their own dining room and you will be in line behind them and in some cases, they will get waited on before you. Laundry: We did three bags of clothes for $30 each. Be sure to bring Spray and Wash. The first round of laundry had to be redone because none of the grease came off the shirts and as a result we had to pick up some Spray & Wash in Amsterdam and have the clothes rewashed. They have no room for laundry where you can iron your clothes and the staff will not bring you an iron. Disembarkation: That was easy because we left the ship with our luggage. It felt good to be off the ship. I was looking forward to getting waited on and having some relaxing dinners with a little atmosphere for a change. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We were told the ship would accommodate our needs. Had Neptune "handicapped" suite. Had no assistance boarding ship, getting off at all ports, and leaving the ship when returned to Amsterdam. First time ever in 30 plus cruises ... Read More
We were told the ship would accommodate our needs. Had Neptune "handicapped" suite. Had no assistance boarding ship, getting off at all ports, and leaving the ship when returned to Amsterdam. First time ever in 30 plus cruises this has happened. This despite wife being in wheelchair unable to stand at all, me pushing with 2 carry on bags, etc.. Arrived at cabin Fully Accessible (SA7094) to find the wheelchair could not access the side of the bed on either side. This despite the web site saying it would (and still does by the way). Additionally bed was to high for her to access it from the chair. Cabin attendants turned the bed sideways so she could access it from one side and removed the top mattress from the bed. Pretty expensive suite for not being able to sleep in the bed. No tours buses we signed up to tour on prior to boarding were accessible despite being told on the phone by HA ExcTours they would be. We did get our money back. We took no tours. Computer room a disaster; paid for 60 minutes and all told got 15 minutes when it was working. Computer assistant apologized to everyone for how bad it was but no one got money back. Handicapped platform for wheelchair access to the tender boats I'm sure would have worked fine had the attendants been trained on how to use it. As it turned out the whole loading procedure was held up each time they tried to use it. And I suppose we got the blame for holding up the boarding. I could go on but no need adding insult to injury. Bottom line is this: if you are disabled and cannot stand DO NOT GO ON THIS CRUISE LINE! I think they have orders to "don't touch the wheelchairs". Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had a high expectations about our first cruise but unfortunatelly HAL did not meet them. At least we expected a "4*" smooth service, a great dining options and a quality entertainment already included in the price we paid. All ... Read More
We had a high expectations about our first cruise but unfortunatelly HAL did not meet them. At least we expected a "4*" smooth service, a great dining options and a quality entertainment already included in the price we paid. All those points were not met. Good thing: no disaster happened with us. We safely came back with a lot of photos in the camera. The rest was not so shiny as we expected. No hard feeling leaving the ship! 1. Room Service. In general it was fine. No big complaints but it was not excellent. Few strange spots on a bed linen, few spots on bathrobe. No slippers included. Dirty windows and balcony glass. We asked steward to clean a glass surfaces but he did not make it well. 2. Embarkation. The ship departed from Amsterdam Waterland Terminal with no connection of public transport. I wish HAL could offer a free or at least very cheap transportation to the terminal but the did not. It was a huge queue for check in when we arrived. No water, no snacks were provided (sorry I still expect that little things for the price I paid). Just a huge hot hangar full of waiting people. Nobody provided us a clear instructions on what to do and how long to wait. We spent around 1 hour there. Not nice start of a journey. 3. Dining Service. Bad if not terrible. Very long waits. Breakfast or dinner takes 1 hour in average. Food is served on broken/chipped plates and cups and old dirty cutlery. One time we found a hair in the bread basket. The staff on the dining room reception does not try to get a good table for you. One time we were followed to the table for 4 in the corner even two nice tables for 2 were available just few steps next to us with a nice windows. Waiters always ask for a paid drinks and forget to offer you a free tea. They do not give you a chance for a water without ice but serving you an ice cubes. The food quality was average: during all 7 days I did not find something really tasty. They even served us a lobster tail but it was prepared in a simple and not tasty way. Starter soups were definetely terrible. 4. Entertainment is limited with a concerts. The concerts were nice. I would like to mention the BB King Blues and the classical musicians. They were awesome! My wife also enjoyed Bilboard on board where the two guys played piano and sing popular songs on requiest. Those things happen in the evening. During the day activities are limited to a "seminars" where the staff tries to sell you insole for 190 bucks or expensive watches or brilliants or strange paints. Who buys all of that? We might expect some educational program like TED or knitting courses or yoga lessons included in the cruise price. But HAL wants to earn every extra penny on you. Do not go on HAL seminars - it is brainwashing and sometimes rude sales activity (nicely named). 5. Security at gates. Rude and unwelcoming. 6. At the evening of last day crew blocked two elevators out of four just because they need to carry a luggage downstairs. Obviously it was comfortable for the stewards but not the guests. That also shows staff attitude towards the guests. 6. During the cruise we received NOTHING complimentary. No free drink, no badge or magnet, no free 10 minutes massage and no PERSONAL attitute from HAL personnel. Again we paid a lot of money for the cruise and we expected something on top of the "below average". 7. That's is funny but with that kind of service HAL automatically includes 15% service surcharge on all onboard purchased. And 13.5 dollars per person per day as a "Hotel service charge". Crazy guys! Fortunately you still can adjust the last point at the end of cruise. So we did. 8. HAL shore excursions were 5 (!!!) times expensive that you could book ashore or just travelling the same route using a local public transport! 9. Port times were inconvenient. Ship arrived early morning at 7 am in average. People wake up slamming the cabing doors with no chance for a good sleep. Ship departed at 5 pm so you basically have a very short time to explore the port. To summarize: that was our first cruise. Norway is beautiful. Cruising is fantastic thing to do on vacation but never again with a greedy HAL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Just returned from the Norgewian Fjords, beautiful scenery, pictures or film cannot describe the waterfalls, picture perfect villages, or the serenity one feels. However the Kroningdam was not what I have previously experienced on a ... Read More
Just returned from the Norgewian Fjords, beautiful scenery, pictures or film cannot describe the waterfalls, picture perfect villages, or the serenity one feels. However the Kroningdam was not what I have previously experienced on a Holland American Ship. The ship was boring, no lectures, not much to do when on board. It seemed that they were always trying to sell you something. I'm not a fan of Opra Winfrey so don't like her merchandise being pushed for sale, neither do I want book recommendations. The food was excellent in the main dining room but we had a very rude waiter who kept given us menus in Dutch even though we told him we spoke English. On the 4th night when I received a Dutch Menu again I told him that I do not speak or read Dutch. His reply was "neither do I" then he rudely walked away and practically threw a English Menu at me. He never smiled until 3 days before the cruise ended. Pretty late I would say. We had a Veranda cabin on deck 6 and it was very cramped. When the sofa bed was open you could not walk out to the balcony or use the desk at all. The cabins are much smaller than on the older Holland Ships. The shower was the best part of the cabin. Very nice and roomy. We did enjoy the entertainment and especially Lincoln Stage. We did not take any shore excursions, too expensive, but booked the same trips at the visitor centers in ports for half the price. Especially liked the railway in Flam. You can buy a ticket at the station. I'm glad I saw Norway and its beauty, but probably won't take Holland America Line again as felt it has gone down hill a lot, even though I am a 3 star mariner. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We were very disappointed with our 21 day cruise on the Konigsdam. The main reason was the awful chaos and atmosphere in the Lido Market buffet eating area which made meal times unbearable. The design of the buffet area is very clinical ... Read More
We were very disappointed with our 21 day cruise on the Konigsdam. The main reason was the awful chaos and atmosphere in the Lido Market buffet eating area which made meal times unbearable. The design of the buffet area is very clinical - big tables all in a row with no alcoves like on other ships (eg Oosterdam) and no privacy away from the crowds. Others also commented, with one lady referring to the "rat race" to get a meal there. It was just like a very downmarket cheap cafeteria. We also can't understand why the ship has no self-service laundromats...or even a place where we can iron our clothes ourselves. No laundries/ironing facilities for 2600 passengers is unfathomable. Our suite was very nice...but it became a haven for us to escape from the hordes of people...which the ship isn't designed to handle well. We like Holland and had previously sailed on the Oosterdam which we really enjoyed, and would recommend - not the Konigsdam though. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I chose this cruise because of the timing, the destination, and the fact that it appeared to be tailored more toward older clientele. I loved not being crowded by rambunctious 20-somethings and noisy children. Embarkation and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the timing, the destination, and the fact that it appeared to be tailored more toward older clientele. I loved not being crowded by rambunctious 20-somethings and noisy children. Embarkation and disembarkation went quite smoothly. Regarding the staff, they were exceptional in all aspects.The in-room tv offerings were also far above average and the amenities on both levels around the pool were pleasing Frankly, the pool area and its offerings were the best I have experienced, far superior to other cruises. I did experience some issues onboard, several of which were mentioned by other guests so I won't repeat them except to say that HA's extra charges are reminiscent of flying on certain discount airlines. Okay, I will mention one that particularly irritated me, the pay extra gelato bar by the pool instead of offering ice cream. Very cheap shot and unworthy of a line as distinguished as HA. However, in spite of those things, I do give credit to HA for many positive aspects of this ship and this cruise. It was very relaxing most of the time and I would consider doing it again but for the one remaining issue that is a dealbreaker for me. No one wants to talk about this issue but it has to be addressed. Here goes: HA's guests are overall fairly mature and subject to problems that arrive with age, i.e., some of us have sprung leaks - in varying degrees, but leaks nonetheless. We quietly bring our own supplies when we travel but occasionally we miscalculate. I was faced with that situation and unsuccessfully attempted to locate a pharmacy on the next stop, then discovered that incontinence products are not carried anywhere on board the HA ships. Both a cashier and the medical office confided to me that they receive many calls from distraught guests who are desperate to locate emergency supplies, but repeated pleas to HA's headquarters to carry these have been denied. (I was lucky in that the nurse and I were able to create a substitute to get me by until I was off the ship, but other passengers weren't so fortunate.) I am seriously disturbed by the refusal of HA to acknowledge this situation and believe that future female (and some male) passengers need to be forewarned that HA has decided to ignore this problem and if you leak more than you planned for, you're on your own, even if you are at sea. Because of this attitude I sincerely doubt that I will ever book on HA again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
First of all the veranda cabin was much smaller than on other ships and the great bedding that all HAL customers are used to no longer exists. Instead there is a narrow mattress of twigs, bamboo and leaves (my interpretation) which ... Read More
First of all the veranda cabin was much smaller than on other ships and the great bedding that all HAL customers are used to no longer exists. Instead there is a narrow mattress of twigs, bamboo and leaves (my interpretation) which crackled when you sat on it or during the night when you turned around on it or when you or your significant other left for the bathroom. Absolutely horrible. The bathroom was long and narrow and did not have a night light so that you had to put on the full lighting in the room if you had to use it during the night. The toilet was cati-corner to a corner at the far end of the room close to the shower which was as long as the room with a slate floor that was quite slippery. The food was not great in the dining room. Weird choices and not even half as good as all the other cruises that we have taken on HAL and we are 3 star mariners. It seemed to us that they were trying to get people to pay at the up-charge restaurants on board whereas, formerly, the main dining room food was as good as any expensive up-charge restaurant. No more cakes or pies from European pastry chefs, NONE!, just mouse pies, ice cream or fruit crumble. Even the Pinnacle Grill was not up to previous par. Entertainment was also poor. I have never seen as many people leave a theater as I did on this trip. BB King loud and lousy now in a two story opening in the center of the ship. No chaise lounges on the promenade deck. When ship is at sea. not enough lounges to accommodate the passengers wanting to use one. Even though most of the passengers were gray haired seniors, it was quite evident that HAL was now pandering to a different clientele. More Carnival like. Many of the older Indonesian service people that we spoke with have seen the change. New Management is now saving money at the passenger's expense. NO MORE HAL TRIPS FOR US EVER. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Wife and I chose this ship as it is newer ship and we have cruised with Holland before. 20 cruises so far (12 Celebrity, 5 Princess, with 3 on Holland. Boy this one was pretty awful as far as service is concerned. But more of that later... ... Read More
Wife and I chose this ship as it is newer ship and we have cruised with Holland before. 20 cruises so far (12 Celebrity, 5 Princess, with 3 on Holland. Boy this one was pretty awful as far as service is concerned. But more of that later... Ship is beautiful, BB King Blues Band was outstanding, and the Cabana in the Retreat was very nice. Thank goodness we booked the Cabana as it was one of the few uncrowded and quiet places we desired. Now for the bad------. Service in almost all aspects was just awful. Starting with the lifeboat drill you are instructed to watch a video in your cabin for a while, then directed to your muster station. It was a real mess. Baggage was still in the halls and piles of luggage on all decks in elevator area, we had to navigate around carts and luggage. We were Not sent down main staircases as is normal, but directed into back service stair areas, encountering many carts and wheelchairs left all over, then out to the outside deck 3, then back into dining room. The 'Guides' did not guide---they did not guide! They mostly chatted with each other. Oh my, people were shouting where do we go, and finally we were pointed in the correct direction. It was by far the worst drill we ever did, and could have been tragic. I filed a concern to the person who said he was the safety officer, he said sorry, and he would be sure he would 'Impress' us as the cruise continued with some special "things".... which never came. Dinner was booked and confirmed for 5:45..... when we got on board we saw it was changed to 5:00. Service was extremely slow and we didn't get our main course till almost 6:30. Food quality was only fair the entire trip. Wanting a wake up call, I tried to use the in cabin phone, but no small card or keys to dial to connect to wake up call service, nor how to call the cabin steward. I had to go the the front desk to arrange a wake up call, and staff there told me "its in the Orange book",,,? What Orange book----"its in your cabin" I was told. She finally grudgingly entered a wake up call for me on my insistence. Next morning the wake up call never came, As this was a sea day I went back to the front desk and brought these things up. I mentioned we have a booked cruise on the Princendam summer of 2019, and the safety officer said to me----"Are you threading to cancel your booking"? No---- he assumed I would cancel----good lord! I never implied this. He then said to me there was nothing further to discuss.... He denied and special 'things" he promised the day before. How rude and un-moving to take care of some simple disappointments. Oh Boy now Im really thinking this is gonna be a long week. The Cabana attendants were very good, but you better plan on 45 minutes to get your food order. Tried to order a Pizza on the Lido Deck one day and was told it would be 45 minutes! Wow! We gave up on that. The Lido Food area is a mass of long never ending stations.... Long lines especially for breakfast if you wanted something cooked, so I ate cold cereal most of the week. Pinnacle Grill was best meal we had with excellent service. Canaletto staff was ignorant of food choices and were pretty grim. Pretty much anything service wise is slow and not delivered with a smile. Seems Holland really needs a entire management change here on this particular ship, or they need more help, and they definitely need to rise to typical Holland standards found on their other ships. We will sail with Holland again, but not ever again on the Koningsdam. (BYW. most people we met on board were pretty vocal on these awful customer service issues). Oh yea- ----200 kids on board! Forget about using either of the the 2 very small pools. Back pool was GREEN until last day, then it was clear.... Hmmmmm... Id seriously look elsewhere on other Holland ships---Never on the Koninsdam. - this was Carnival service at Holland ship and price. Very disappointed. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
The ship itself was very nice, room was wonderful, shower was big, Billboard piano music was the best entertainment on ship. Holland has what most other ship have, great help, nice itineraries, great room stewards, food was wonderful. They ... Read More
The ship itself was very nice, room was wonderful, shower was big, Billboard piano music was the best entertainment on ship. Holland has what most other ship have, great help, nice itineraries, great room stewards, food was wonderful. They have a lot to offer. Where they are below average is dancing music, if you like to dance, this ship is not for you. They have only one option while most other ships have 2 or more options. BB Kings is the one option and while they are good singers and play good music, you can't dance to most of it. They will play one good dancing song then go back and play what I call concert music. My definition of concert music is you sit and listen to them sing while they play. This band had a very limited selection of songs, they played the same songs most nights. The last night of the cruise summed up their performance. The first set, there were a lot of people ready to dance, they started out playing concert music and before the first set was over, 1/2 the crowd left, 3/4 of the way through the first set, 3/4of the people left. 2nd and 3rd sets were mostly 3/4 empty, maybe 30 people in there. People like dancing and this particular band was not good for dancing. One would think if you played a song and no one danced to it, you would drop that song from your playlist and not play it again, not this group, they played songs like this every night. So what is the objective of BB Kings to dance or is it to sit and listen. Move them to World stage if it is to sit and listen and bring in a band to play dance music. Dining was good, I ate in main dining room everyday in open seating, there were plus or minus on open seating, the positive was you met new people every night, the negative is that you always had a new dining steward, It is always nice having the same dining steward as they know what you like and what you don't like. What type of drinks you like etc. The service staff on the whole ship was top notch, Holland of America like other ships I have been on hire excellent cabin stewards, bar tenders, etc. All very professional. There were many actvities on the ship, I chose not to participate in most of them. Cooking classes, Bingo, computer classes on Windows 10 and othe rapplications. I had been on so many cruises, that I chose to read books, relax and visit with other passengers vereses attending different acvities that were provided. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
The cruise definitely did not live up to expectations. When we arrived onboard, I was immediately impressed with the facilities. The ship looks great, it's unfortunate that the service did not match. I can't say that anything on ... Read More
The cruise definitely did not live up to expectations. When we arrived onboard, I was immediately impressed with the facilities. The ship looks great, it's unfortunate that the service did not match. I can't say that anything on my cruise was really bad, it just didn't meet my expectations based on other cruises I've taken in the past (including on Holland America). The value I received did not equal the price that I paid. The biggest decline I noticed from previous cruises in the past decade was the dining experience. On my first cruise, I was struck by the service and quality of the food. Every meal seemed gourmet or at least better than the standard fare at my local restaurants. On those trips, I preferred to eat as many meals as possible in the dining room (breakfast, lunch & dinner). Part of the appeal was the quality of the servers and that they would anticipate needs as the cruise went on (especially with an assigned dinner table). On this cruise, the food was average and the service worse. It was extremely slow and servers made no real attempt at building rapport and making it an experience. It really feels like a designed effort to push people toward the paid restaurants. The funniest attempt may have been the $39 "fresh Florida crabs" offered on the 3rd night after departing Florida. We clearly have different ideas of fresh. The sommelier must have had some spectacular sales training. After we bought the wine package that we had decided in advance that we wanted, the blood was in the water. We were offered wine tastings, special dinners & a chance to blend our own wine. When we said no, the offers got a little better. (Although I did get a chuckle at his special promotion for us only that was printed at the bottom of the sales sheet) Outside of the dining room was no better. The Lido Market is an abomination. The place is chaos. It's got all of the worst elements of a buffet without the one benefit... getting food quickly. Only small sections are self service. So, people must wait in line to get pre-prepared food, but there is no clear place to form a line so people just walk up wherever they think is best. The quality of the food was not worth the wait, even at the made to order stations. At least at breakfast the whole thing is open. At dinner, a special corner of the seating area becomes Canaletto where people can pay extra to sit feet away from the market stations that are converted to an Italian Restaurant without the ambiance. The bright spots are the Pinnacle Grill ($10 for lunch was the only value I found on the boat) and the Dutch Cafe. The food & service at both were great. If we had not bought a cabana at The Retreat. I think my review would have been exponentially worse. It was great. The cabana was comfortable and quiet. The service was amazing. I think it was the only place on the boat to sit comfortably in a recliner and enjoy the scenery. The main stage entertainment was the level of cheesy that I'd expect on a cruise, but this ship's theater is small. So, there are 3 shows per night. I can't imagine the 3rd show can ever be as good as the first, so getting there early is probably a good idea. Unless the ship singers are performing. They can dance, but they can't carry a tune. BB King's was the musical highlight. The band was phenomenal. However, jazz & blues are not dance music and I have no idea why they would be asked to perform in front of a dance floor instead of allowing people to sit closer and enjoy. Billboard Onboad with the dueling pianos was entertaining, unless you wanted a place to sit comfortably. There aren't enough chairs and many of them have a view obstructed by a snack buffet. The chairs around the pianos are probably comfortable if you are under 5'4". One thing doesn't fit directly into the other areas was the Culinary Arts Center. With no sports bar onboard, the CAC shows sports by default. But it is also has food that must be purchased and a limited drink menu. The food is good, but I object to having to pay for food in the one area of the boat that was showing the NFL playoffs. 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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