3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We were handed beepers our first three dinners because the dining room was too full and had to wait for 45 minutes...it felt like we were at a Chili's or something... Not a good first impression The food is pretentious and portions ... Read More
We were handed beepers our first three dinners because the dining room was too full and had to wait for 45 minutes...it felt like we were at a Chili's or something... Not a good first impression The food is pretentious and portions are very small. The Lido deck is not a buffet and you are forced to ask someone to plate your food for you. This causes lines and long waits for something as simple as a Caesar salad. FIRE!! There was also a fire on our cruise that was announced over the ships intercoms. My wife was in tears after that and left a very poor taste in our mouths. Beware Vegetarians!! Usually there was only one vegetarian option. We asked to have meals just without the meat multiple times are we're told no... If you love beets and mushrooms, this is your ship though. Cilantro is on everything... Lots of people hate this stuff...beware. Portion sizes are TINY compared to a cruise lines like Princess. Where I received a full beef wellington on princess, I only received a slice on HAL. Also, it was cooked medium and the breading was a soggy mess when I got it... The entertainment is awful. They have one good band (BB King band) and the rest is shockingly bad. There was an hour long presentation on the "art of towel folding".... If thats not bad enough, Microsoft also has daily seminars on how to use Windows 10...I'm not joking, this is the entertainment on your cruise. The staff is really the only shining light on this ship. All of them were incredibly friendly, but there are just so many drawbacks about this ship. We will never come back and definitely would not recommend sailing with them unless you get a massive deal. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
No one told me it would be impossible to change large Euro notes. Guest services warns against taking large notes on tour excursions yet refused to change my 200 Euro note so I could have smaller notes. The person at guest services went to ... Read More
No one told me it would be impossible to change large Euro notes. Guest services warns against taking large notes on tour excursions yet refused to change my 200 Euro note so I could have smaller notes. The person at guest services went to plead my case to the purser. The purser opened the door, looked at me from the doorway, then went back in and the guest services person returned to say the purser had refused my request. I saw they had plenty of change, so this was unreasonable. They did say I could buy Eu200 on my credit card for 3% commission. The next concern I had was with the service charge which now appears daily on our account. No one told me it would cost US14.50 per day, per person. I have always left what I thought was a generous tip to those that gave me exceptional service but have never been forced to tip. For a family of 4, this means you need to budget US580 for tips. This has resulted in the crew not needing to try so hard with their service. For example, I drink tea instead of coffee. Every other cruise, staff have recognised me and automatically remembered this, but not on this cruise. In fact they even tried to keep topping me up with coffee. We tried to book The Dining room several times and the only time available was 5.45pm. Much too early. We tried to walk up and were told nothing was available. On our second last day another passenger said that if we walked up and said we were willing to share a table, they would give us a pager and we could wait in a bar. This should have been communicated to us on at least one of the occasions we tried to book. But when they are assured of a ‘tip’ their service standard drops. Also we did not make use of all of the facilities, so why should our service charge go to those areas when we wouldn’t normally tip them. And why do they put an additional 15% service charge on drinks and coffee? We also had a problem with IT where it could not properly print one of our stateroom cards. This was going to prevent us leaving the boat as the name would not print on the card due to its length. Three times we had to go to customer service and explain our situation all over again, despite them saying they would bring a new card to our room. They kept forgetting about us. The poor customer service really impacted on my holiday. Also I travelled with my sister and they gave us a double bed when we had asked for a twin. I asked for bottles of water on arrival and had to wait until the following day for it to arrive. Then we had a $37.50 beverage charge appear on our account by mistake. This was removed. We took a four meal dining package and the steaks in Pinnacle were nice but not as tender as the wagyu in Chops on the Ovation, but we would have had to pay a surcharge for that. Also included in the meal package was sushi but it didn’t compare to the 5 star sushi on the Ovation, where the soft shell sushi was amazing. The one on the Koningsdam was mostly rice and no shell that I could see. I was told they brought the crab in from another restaurant so it was not cooked by the sushi chef. The barramundi in red curry sauce that I ate in Tamarind was delicious. We returned to Tamarind on the last night to have rijstafel which cost US$30. I saw the menu which had about ten dishes on it and looked very traditional. After soup and salad starter, the other eight dishes were served together on one plate. Not very traditional and not the ‘rijstafel experience’ we expected. To top it off after this meal, I needed the toilet. The cleaner followed soon after and wouldn’t leave until she had serviced my toilet. She banged on the door three times in two minutes, despite me acknowledging her. The Planet earth show with an orchestra playing background music was excellent but too short (40mins). The rest of the entertainment was average. The free movies available in our cabin were recent and plentiful. The food in the complimentary areas was excellent although the msg used in the Asian Fusion area disturbed my sleep. We loved The Grand Dutch Cafe and returned several times for their coffee and croquettes. The shore tours are expensive but very good. We had a nice holiday but it will have to be a very good sale price to get us to try Holland America again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise had a good itinerary. We stayed for 3 days in Rome, it was a disgrace, with rubbish piled up in the streets everywhere. Embarkation was very efficient. However, the entertainmemt is very poor. There is no orchestra, no big ... Read More
This cruise had a good itinerary. We stayed for 3 days in Rome, it was a disgrace, with rubbish piled up in the streets everywhere. Embarkation was very efficient. However, the entertainmemt is very poor. There is no orchestra, no big dance productions, just 6 ballet style dancers. hALmust be cost cutting. There was no library. BB Kings played the same music every night. The Lido buffet was always crowded , with lines for everything, no self service so you had to explain what you wanted. Some of the servers had difficulty understanding English. Activities consisted of bingo or trivia, no dancing classes at all. The computer classes were impossible to access as ithey. were always packed. Internet expensive. Hard sell constantly for beauty salon. The decor on the ship is dingy. The Cruise Director did very little, apart from introducing stage acts. He rarely smiled and ever made a joke!! Overall a big disappointment. We will never sail o HL again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This started poorly with the embarkation process. Very unorganized and SLOW. once onboard, no music (Usually a calypso band playing on other cruise lines), no welcome drink. To top it off, we didn’t leave Port for four hours waiting ... Read More
This started poorly with the embarkation process. Very unorganized and SLOW. once onboard, no music (Usually a calypso band playing on other cruise lines), no welcome drink. To top it off, we didn’t leave Port for four hours waiting for the meat delivery! Holland did nothing to compensate for this late departure. Most lines will serve drinks or snacks or SOMETHING to ease the pain of inconvenience. Thie ship was nice, but the availability of entertainment was far less than mediocre. Also, the service was almost nonexistent at the pool and on deck. Had to keep going to the bar. The main pool was like a sauna because they didn’t fully open the roof! Forget about late-night - no food and not many entertainment options. The Main Stage Theater had less than average entertainment and the showtimes did not coincide with the dining. 2nd Dinner seating was at 7:45 and the last show was at 9:00. The staff was so slow that we had to skip dessert in order to see a show. There were two bands and a dueling piano bar. Nothing available after their last sets at 11 pm. I always felt like the staff was doing me a favor by doing their jobs. I will stick with Royal Caribbean or Carnival for guaranteed fun and better service. Holland America is not for me. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. I paid for a larger balcony cabin mid-ship on the 8th deck (bump-out cabin). The air conditioning,(AC), did not work in our cabin. Guest services sent a technician to try and fix the problem. After ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. I paid for a larger balcony cabin mid-ship on the 8th deck (bump-out cabin). The air conditioning,(AC), did not work in our cabin. Guest services sent a technician to try and fix the problem. After several attempts they decided to move us to a different cabin. Instead of upgrading us they gave us a cabin on the 7th deck in the aft or rear of the ship. The cabin was smaller with a much smaller balcony. They offered us a $100.00 compensation. The difference in price between the 2 cabins was $660.00. Not to mention the inconvenience of having to change cabins. The Koningsdam is a beautiful ship, however, it had numerous problems on our cruise. The toilets in the bathrooms were not flushing properly so there was a sewer odor all over the ship. The AC in the common areas was not working. Many passengers were complaining of the heat on board. The special effects/lighting for the MAIN STAGE entertainment did not work until several days into the cruise. They had issues with doors opening and closing. I spoke with a crew member several days into the cruise who informed me that the ship had just returned from dry dock. I said to him you would think that after dry dock everything would be in tip top shape. He told me that the dry dock was cut short. He said the ship was suppose to be in dry dock for 21 days, however, someone order the dry dock to end after only 8 days. They were told to work out the bugs while at sea. That told me a lot about how Holland America values it's passengers. They don't! Their customer service does not exist. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this particular cruise for the ports and age demographic. We are mid 50’s and although not ready for retirement we are past the “party animal” stage. We were looking for something in between. The first couple of days ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise for the ports and age demographic. We are mid 50’s and although not ready for retirement we are past the “party animal” stage. We were looking for something in between. The first couple of days were lovely and no complaints, other than the boring and run of the mill food in the Lido buffet and meh food in the MDR. But after 3 days at sea, we developed severe gastrointestinal issues that plagued us for our entire 10 day voyage. Despite our religious hand washing I might add. The hand washing sinks with the little warm sprayers were awesome, so we used them constantly. If you are looking for a cruise with great entertainment, this is not the cruise for you. B.B. Kings was ok, if you could find a seat, Billboard was the same thing over and over, the music trivia contests seemed to be a vehicle for the host to showcase his “singing” and the comedy show in the main theater was definitely not funny. The food in the MDR was good, not great and not horrible. Although our waiter and his assistant were wonderfully friendly, the language barrier was a problem as many things that we ordered either were not delivered or they were wrong. Hardly any refills on beverages until we had to make eye contact and nod them over. On the 8th day, my husband ( who is never sick I might add ) came down with horrible food poisoning that kept him in bed for the last 2 days of our voyage. I attribute it to the raw pork I had to take away from him at lunch at the Lido. Believe me, sitting at the Ft. Lauderdale airport with food poisoning is not fun-for anyone! I could have forgiven ALL of these things were it not for the fact that we purchased the $25 pp priority baggage service so that our luggage would be taken from our state room the night before disembarking and sent to the airport, so that we would not have to drag around our luggage prior to our flight back home, and not only did my luggage not make it to the airport I did not receive my luggage from Holland America until I had to call them and track it down At the port. Holland America then Sent it me via Fed Ex and I received it 4 days after we arrived home. Missing We’re two of my bras our brand new beats headphones and my Michael Kors diamond necklace. Also, my luggage was broken as the handle was jammed into the actual luggage and would not extend anymore . I promptly called Holland America and was directed to file a claim with their property loss department which I immediately did . I was subsequently informed by Holland America they didn’t feel that they are liable for the loss and directed me to file a claim with FedEx . Fed ex then informed me that they were not liable and I shed again file a claim with Holland America which I again did. After several emails and phone calls I spoke with a Jocelyn who assured me that yes Holland America was liable and would reimburse me, but I then received an email the next day telling me that after further review they decided not to reimburse me but out of the goodness of their hearts and a gesture of goodwill they would offer me a $400 shipboard credit for my next voyage . Sadly that $400 shipboard credit is going to go to waste because I will never patronize Holland America cruise lines ever again and as a matter of fact the group that I travel with has just booked our cruise for March 2019 on a competitors cruise line. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
For clarification - our cruise departed Ft. Lauderdale on 3/18 as a 10-day Southern Caribbean cruise and was actually the first leg of the 24-day cruise. We disembarked after the 10 days and did not continue on to Rome. We picked this ... Read More
For clarification - our cruise departed Ft. Lauderdale on 3/18 as a 10-day Southern Caribbean cruise and was actually the first leg of the 24-day cruise. We disembarked after the 10 days and did not continue on to Rome. We picked this cruise, in large part for the itinerary (Holland America/Carnival’s private island in the Bahamas, Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba). were spectacular and were every bit as amazing and beautiful as we expected. Our poor customer service experience with Holland America began well before we ever got anywhere near the ship. We booked a full ocean-view veranda room. Roughly 2 weeks before our sail date, we received an email offering us an upgrade to a full ocean-view veranda room for a nominal sum (roughly $99 I think). I immediately called. The first person with whom I spoke was unpleasant at best. Needless to say, there was no upgrade available to a full ocean-view room since that's what we already had booked. It took another call and an eventual request to speak with a supervisor to confirm that we were in fact already booked for a full ocean-view room. It took another phone call on a separate day with a lengthy hold time to straighten out our transfer (they had the wrong airport listed on our documents even though they promised us on the phone that everything was correct in the system). I'm still not sure it was ever corrected but we were able to board the bus at the airport. In retrospect, I wish that were not the case. The treatment that we endured onboard for 10 days was horrendous. Over and over and over for the duration of our cruise, we dealt with blatant mistreatment. This was at the hands of the employees of the ship, from the lowest level staff in the dining areas all the way up to literally the ship’s captain. I can assume only that they were offended by an openly gay couple. Rather than bore you with the details of everything that we went through, I will give a couple of examples that illustrate what we experienced and how it impacted our trip. In the informal dining area (buffet style), you go through and get your food and then sit at any open table. The workers come through with pitchers of water, iced tea, etc. Almost without fail, we would watch as they would go to the tables all around us and bypass us. It became a running joke about which of us was going to go and get our drinks for the meal. On the 8 nights that we chose not to eat in the formal dining room (a whole other ordeal unto itself), we almost always chose to have food delivered to our room (from a very minimal menu) because it was simply less agonizing than going to the dining room. On the next to last full day of the cruise, there was an event called “Meet the Captain” (or something similar). I am keeping track of my personal nautical miles, and wanted to find out how many we would be covering on the cruise so we decided to go. The first part was a canned presentation. There was a short “ask the captain” portion at the end, where the audience could ask questions. Following that, a line formed to talk to the captain as well as the “hotel director” of the ship. After waiting in line for quite some time, I eventually got to the very front of the line for the captain. I was no more than 2 feet away from Captain Darrin Bowland. He didn’t look at me, acknowledge me, or speak to me. Instead, he had a conversation over my head with the man in line behind me. At first I thought that the man was perhaps one of the frequent cruisers and therefore knew the captain. Unfortunately, when they had finished their conversation, Captain Bowland continued not to acknowledge my presence and instead had another conversation with the next guest behind me. When this happened for the third time, I gave up. That really was the last straw for me. After 8+ days of being made to feel like second class citizens, to be so blatantly disrespected by the captain was infuriating, degrading and humiliating. If I could have gotten off the ship that day, I would have. Unfortunately, we were somewhere (I think) off the coast of Cuba so I had no options. Prior to getting on the ship, at the cruise terminal in Ft. Lauderdale, for some inexplicable reason, they had quite a large portion of the terminal blocked off. This led to several hundred people crammed into roughly 60% or so of a large room while we waited for them to begin calling our boarding groups. There were a LOT of chairs in the portion that was blocked off, while meanwhile literally dozens of people had to stand around for quite some time (from the time we arrived at the terminal until they even began calling the very first boarding group, there was a wait time of at least 45-60 minutes). There were many elderly and physically handicapped people waiting in the room. We went to one of the HAL personnel standing at the stanchions blocking off the section and were specifically told we could NOT sit on the other side of the room. Aside from that, once our boarding group was finally called and we were able to board the ship, we were able to go right to our state room even though it was before the time they said the rooms would be ready. Once we returned home (literally the day we got home), we got a survey from HAL. We answered it honestly. My other half received a very generic "we're sorry to hear about your bad experience but we have a no discrimination policy and treat everyone equally and fairly" email. I never heard back from anyone at all. I think it's pretty clear that I won't. Now for the good stuff. The ship, which is pretty new (2016? I think), was clean and obviously well-maintained. The room was smaller than some other ships we have been on and the bed was more uncomfortable than expected, but there were movies and TV shows (and some VERY limited music that no one born after 1910 has ever heard) that was available on demand. The bathrooms in the staterooms were very nice. The itinerary was great. The islands we went to were everything we expected and hoped for. We enjoy snorkeling, and found Bonaire, Aruba and Grand Turk (Bonaire in particular) to be amazing. The waterfall excursion (Damajaguas) in the Dominican Republic was one of the more unique experiences I have ever had and really enjoyed it. The gym onboard was comparable to other ships we've been on in terms of size, equipment and class offerings. There was a spin class available for $20. This seemed a little high to me, so we did not do that. Equipment was well-maintained and hours were good for the gym. There were a decent number of live entertainment options each night - a variety of types of shows in the main theater such as comedians, singing/dancing shows featuring the onboard talent etc. Pretty much what we expected there. In other areas of the ship, there was a blues-type band, a string quartet and live piano players that sang most nights. There was only one night where smoking was not allowed in the casino. There were several stores on board, selling jewelry, high-end watches, perfume and some other lower-priced items. With the exception of trivia, I found there were very few other options for entertainment, particularly if you weren't willing to pay to do things. The food was good, and there were plenty of options regardless of whether you were a picky eater, preferred a certain type of food or wanted to eat at a specific time of day. Food was available 24 hours a day, although options were limited during certain times of the day. Room service, while very limited as to the options, was completely free (no gratuity added as I have seen on some other lines for example). There was a mini fridge in the room, but you couldn't use it to store anything as HAL stocked booze etc that you could purchase. You can bring alcohol on, I think it was on 750-ml bottle of wine per person. The HAL literature says any bottles in excess of that are subject to an $18/bottle fee, although we didn't run into that issue. I think it's obvious that I will never again patronize HAL. This experience left such a bad taste in my mouth that not only will we never again set foot on a "dam" ship (Holland America's boats' names all end in "dam" - Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam etc) again - we won't even consider Carnival since they're owned by the same parent company. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We were on the Regal Princess and winter in Ma is cold so deceided to stay and jump to this new ship for an extra 10 days. We couldn't get off fast enough. It felt really crowded at all times with Nothing to do. I really don't ... Read More
We were on the Regal Princess and winter in Ma is cold so deceided to stay and jump to this new ship for an extra 10 days. We couldn't get off fast enough. It felt really crowded at all times with Nothing to do. I really don't know what cruise director on this ship did but I want her job. To get food in Lido get in line for eggs or omlets...they serve you at all the station so you wait in line at all these stations. Get eggs go to another station for Toast, now eggs get cold, ask for butter get dirty look and wait some more. Dining room same thing, went at 5:00 and was happy if we got our main course by 6:15. Didn't bother with dessert or second cup of coffee as it would have been 7:30 by time we received. They had to have 3 shows as the theatre is so small. 7:00 8:30 and 10:00 but other than that the only other thing to do was go to another smaller lounge and listen to music...good luck finding a seat. Went swimming in aft pool, husband kept sayng it was filled with algae as it was green and I said no- painted green. 6th day on board they cleaned the pool and it was blue....yuk and hope I don't get anything. Took a tour in St Kitts as I wanted to see the lighthouse booked through ship...big mistake paid $59, got in small van crowded as they used the jump seats (Pulled down seats - lower where you can't really see too good) and then the microphone didn't work...filed with static. Driver kept apologizing and finally gave up talking. saw heard nothing. Took us to stop to buy things for 30 minutes, then to Lighthouse for 15 Minutes but if you wanted to go inside gate to see lighthouse up close pay $3.00 but can't go in Light house? Next off to ocean but never heard about salt as he couldn't talk loud enough. Complained and told in "Good Faith" they were refunding 25% off tour. Could have taken a taxi with driver for probably $20 for both. Screwed up luggage and boarding pass tags...gave me man in next door cabin boarding pass, but never printed my husband's...blamed airline! My idea of Holland America Kongsdam is a nursing home with people who eat, sleep and waiting to die! Sad part is my husband is 76 and I am 71 so not like we are young but we certainly were borded. No Library or game room on board either. Been on over 90 cruises and this was the worst....just booked another one on Princess! Enrichment was all on Windows 10 ...really? Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Will never go with Holland America again. Ship was crowded and room was very small.food was horrible . Deserts were tasteless. Coffee was like thick mud. Staff were not helpful and need to be retrained. Too many walkers look more like ... Read More
Will never go with Holland America again. Ship was crowded and room was very small.food was horrible . Deserts were tasteless. Coffee was like thick mud. Staff were not helpful and need to be retrained. Too many walkers look more like a nursing home. Not enough shaded area for guest. What little was available was always saved by rude quest. We have been on other cruise lines and will return to them. HAL. Had certainly lost its reputation of being a great cruise line . It is now just a cheap place for the elderly to spend the winter. We met a lot of people who lived in Florida and got such a reduced rate that they just could not pass up the bargin. We have sailed with them before and have never had such problems. Please evaluate how you want to spend your v action dollars and do not use this cruise line of you are not over 80. 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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