1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Koningsdam
Sailing date January 29, 2017 from Fort Lauderdale : 7 Day Eastern Caribbean This is our fourth cruise with Holland America in just under twelve months, we have been on the Veendam, Volendam, Noordam and now the new Koningsdam. As similar to my Noordam review I will keep this informative with tips and try and give an impartial and accurate review without being critical to pursue an agenda. We were one of eight cruise ships in port all planning to leave in the afternoon, we stayed at the Best Western Plus Fort Lauderdale Airport South Inn and Suites, Stirling Road, Dania Beach, Fort Lauderdale. The hotel offered a shuttle to the cruise port for $12.00 each and it left at a set time for your cruise line and ship and made total sense once you arrived and saw the traffic trying to drop off. A taxi meter would continue to run. The hotel was OK for a one night stay before your cruise, it is no where near the action of Fort Lauderdale but there was a big box mall walking distance where there is a B.J.'s warehouse and a K-Mart. The K-Mart had a small selection of wine but surprisingly good quality, Yellow Tail, Kim Crawford and Monkey Bay and a buy one get on 50% off so with two bottles we were getting $6.00 price bottle wine for the ship. Getting on the ship was good they started boarding at 12.00 noon or a few minutes before, but the staterooms were not ready at that time so everyone headed to the Lido restaurant complete with bags etc. Before we go any further let me qualify a comment, if you have never cruised with Holland America you are going to have a wow experience from the start, however if you are a seasoned HAL cruiser this Koningsdam is not your Grandmas Holland America line, they have reimagined what the future Holland America will look like and it's different in subtle ways, more later but for now the boarding Mariners lunch has been canceled. With the Koningsdam being the largest ship in HAL everything is larger including the Lido restaurant but it is bright clean with good choices and yes most all food is served to you by the staff. What we liked, the new ship smell, just like a new car, everything is painted well with no heavy wear marks. The new theme restaurants like the deli on the rear pool deck has great food, the Rubens sandwich and the made fresh to order personal pizza are great and adds a welcome variety to the Dive-In fast food counter, the Dive-In restaurant has lost it's salad and nachos bar. Also liked our dining in the Culinary Arts Restaurant, this was entertainment as well as dining, the unlimited wine helped as well and the experience as a whole from a welcome vodka cocktail to the amuse bouch and cucumber flavoured table water, well worth the cost, plan on a three hour dining experience. The Tamarind restaurant was very nice, our female server was excellent and the cuisine Asian a welcome change to the western food available everywhere else. The lectures were mainly from staff of the British BBC natural history documentary unit, they brought to life the T.V. Show Planet Earth, the world stage on Koningsdam is spectacular with giant video screens. The BBC presentations went all week long and gave great insight into how these shows are made. Our stateroom was on the fourth floor, an inside cabin at the very back of the ship, you couldn't get any further back. Have to say there was minimal vibration if not any, as for swaying from the ocean we only experienced that in the bathroom from time to time. The room is smaller than other HAL ships comparable staterooms interiors but still large enough. The new flat screen T.V.'s are great, the whole audio visual menu and variety, quality of sound and picture is first class. We had the forward camera channel on a lot and this became our virtual window in the room. Bathroom shower was excellent the fixtures are the German Hans Grohe company the water pressure could part your hair or blow your toupee off, but is adjustable to gentle. The shower head is a rainfall type and the glass enclosure very large. In the room itself there are lots of electrical outlets and also a couple of USB ports for charging so no need for power bars all the mirrors have embedded lights and the bathroom mirror is anti fogging. All the action is on floors 2 and 3 so the crows nest and Explorer Cafe seem like out of the way backwaters at the top of the ship. Be aware of the Queens lounge under floor 4 as we have heard the music goes on late into the night and vibrates the cabins floor that are above on floor 4. The BB Kings is great and now does three shows in an evening making it more accessible, they gave a great show. What we didn't like as much as the other HAL ships we have been on this year, the booking staff for restaurants, they now have three or four young twenty something women near the Culinary Arts restaurant who do table bookings and try and sell the premium restaurants, they really didn't seem to care or like their jobs were cold and not at all accommodating. We never got a good table in the main dinning room, the Maitre D's at the main dining room on deck 2 would not give the same table twice on open seating, previous ships had always done this. We often got a table for two given at a busy serving station the staff use to bus dishes. The main dining room wait staff seemed overwhelmed at times, as if on the job training was still needed. The first night in the restaurant the wine waiter tried on three separate occasions to sell us hard on either whiskey tastings, cellar master dinner or pinnacle grill all the time we were trying to eat dinner. The shops have expanded as well as the casino and the amount of selling you experience has increased greatly. The Dutch Cafe with their all Dutch staff just never appealed, the food they offered was free but the implied catch was beverages was expected to be purchased. This ship might be a glimpse of the future for the Holland America Line they are modernizing and trying to appeal to a younger clientele but have lost a bit of the heart and soul, tradition and comfort of their older ships, all the public art is modern. I prefer the smaller ships and was very pleased to experience Koningsdam the ride is smooth and quieter offers better quality fixtures but too many people for me. You know there are too many people when you go to the main dining room at 5.30 pm and it's virtually full, when you leave at 7.00 there are a sea of people waiting at the door for tables with beepers in hand. I noticed subtle changes, the managers in the restaurant wear business suits not naval uniforms, the menu choices have been reduced. In room dining for breakfast has three or four choices, no longer can you choose the individual foods to make your own breakfast plate, scrambled is the only egg that will be delivered to your room. There are three premium breakfast choices that carry a $ charge, so now you pay for in room smoke salmon. Good news, the final gala night had lobster surf and turf and they held a Mariners lunch not an at sea day but just before arriving at Puerto Rico, having said that the sparkling wine was really flowing and we received a delft tile with inaugural season marked on it a nice thoughtful souvenir keepsake. We never made a connection with staff on the Koningsdam because we never had the same server or wine attendant, this is different experience from our three previous cruises this last year with HAL. Overall the Koningsdam offers a smooth nearly vibration free ride, our cabin on deck 4 total rear facing internal 4192 was extremely quite and a good budget option. The decor is minimalist modern and contemporary think higher end boutique hotel, hanging artwork are photographs and photorealistic art, I loved the artwork and sculptures a real departure from traditional Holland America. Is this the future of Holland America, you be the judge.

Fantastic New Ship: Holland America Reimagined

Koningsdam Cruise Review by Captain Camera

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Standard Interior Stateroom
Sailing date January 29, 2017 from Fort Lauderdale : 7 Day Eastern Caribbean

This is our fourth cruise with Holland America in just under twelve months, we have been on the Veendam, Volendam, Noordam and now the new Koningsdam. As similar to my Noordam review I will keep this informative with tips and try and give an impartial and accurate review without being critical to pursue an agenda.

We were one of eight cruise ships in port all planning to leave in the afternoon, we stayed at the Best Western Plus Fort Lauderdale Airport South Inn and Suites, Stirling Road, Dania Beach, Fort Lauderdale. The hotel offered a shuttle to the cruise port for $12.00 each and it left at a set time for your cruise line and ship and made total sense once you arrived and saw the traffic trying to drop off. A taxi meter would continue to run. The hotel was OK for a one night stay before your cruise, it is no where near the action of Fort Lauderdale but there was a big box mall walking distance where there is a B.J.'s warehouse and a K-Mart. The K-Mart had a small selection of wine but surprisingly good quality, Yellow Tail, Kim Crawford and Monkey Bay and a buy one get on 50% off so with two bottles we were getting $6.00 price bottle wine for the ship.

Getting on the ship was good they started boarding at 12.00 noon or a few minutes before, but the staterooms were not ready at that time so everyone headed to the Lido restaurant complete with bags etc.

Before we go any further let me qualify a comment, if you have never cruised with Holland America you are going to have a wow experience from the start, however if you are a seasoned HAL cruiser this Koningsdam is not your Grandmas Holland America line, they have reimagined what the future Holland America will look like and it's different in subtle ways, more later but for now the boarding Mariners lunch has been canceled.

With the Koningsdam being the largest ship in HAL everything is larger including the Lido restaurant but it is bright clean with good choices and yes most all food is served to you by the staff.

What we liked, the new ship smell, just like a new car, everything is painted well with no heavy wear marks. The new theme restaurants like the deli on the rear pool deck has great food, the Rubens sandwich and the made fresh to order personal pizza are great and adds a welcome variety to the Dive-In fast food counter, the Dive-In restaurant has lost it's salad and nachos bar.

Also liked our dining in the Culinary Arts Restaurant, this was entertainment as well as dining, the unlimited wine helped as well and the experience as a whole from a welcome vodka cocktail to the amuse bouch and cucumber flavoured table water, well worth the cost, plan on a three hour dining experience.

The Tamarind restaurant was very nice, our female server was excellent and the cuisine Asian a welcome change to the western food available everywhere else.

The lectures were mainly from staff of the British BBC natural history documentary unit, they brought to life the T.V. Show Planet Earth, the world stage on Koningsdam is spectacular with giant video screens. The BBC presentations went all week long and gave great insight into how these shows are made.

Our stateroom was on the fourth floor, an inside cabin at the very back of the ship, you couldn't get any further back. Have to say there was minimal vibration if not any, as for swaying from the ocean we only experienced that in the bathroom from time to time. The room is smaller than other HAL ships comparable staterooms interiors but still large enough. The new flat screen T.V.'s are great, the whole audio visual menu and variety, quality of sound and picture is first class. We had the forward camera channel on a lot and this became our virtual window in the room.

Bathroom shower was excellent the fixtures are the German Hans Grohe company the water pressure could part your hair or blow your toupee off, but is adjustable to gentle. The shower head is a rainfall type and the glass enclosure very large.

In the room itself there are lots of electrical outlets and also a couple of USB ports for charging so no need for power bars all the mirrors have embedded lights and the bathroom mirror is anti fogging.

All the action is on floors 2 and 3 so the crows nest and Explorer Cafe seem like out of the way backwaters at the top of the ship. Be aware of the Queens lounge under floor 4 as we have heard the music goes on late into the night and vibrates the cabins floor that are above on floor 4.

The BB Kings is great and now does three shows in an evening making it more accessible, they gave a great show.

What we didn't like as much as the other HAL ships we have been on this year, the booking staff for restaurants, they now have three or four young twenty something women near the Culinary Arts restaurant who do table bookings and try and sell the premium restaurants, they really didn't seem to care or like their jobs were cold and not at all accommodating.

We never got a good table in the main dinning room, the Maitre D's at the main dining room on deck 2 would not give the same table twice on open seating, previous ships had always done this. We often got a table for two given at a busy serving station the staff use to bus dishes. The main dining room wait staff seemed overwhelmed at times, as if on the job training was still needed.

The first night in the restaurant the wine waiter tried on three separate occasions to sell us hard on either whiskey tastings, cellar master dinner or pinnacle grill all the time we were trying to eat dinner.

The shops have expanded as well as the casino and the amount of selling you experience has increased greatly. The Dutch Cafe with their all Dutch staff just never appealed, the food they offered was free but the implied catch was beverages was expected to be purchased.

This ship might be a glimpse of the future for the Holland America Line they are modernizing and trying to appeal to a younger clientele but have lost a bit of the heart and soul, tradition and comfort of their older ships, all the public art is modern. I prefer the smaller ships and was very pleased to experience Koningsdam the ride is smooth and quieter offers better quality fixtures but too many people for me. You know there are too many people when you go to the main dining room at 5.30 pm and it's virtually full, when you leave at 7.00 there are a sea of people waiting at the door for tables with beepers in hand.

I noticed subtle changes, the managers in the restaurant wear business suits not naval uniforms, the menu choices have been reduced. In room dining for breakfast has three or four choices, no longer can you choose the individual foods to make your own breakfast plate, scrambled is the only egg that will be delivered to your room. There are three premium breakfast choices that carry a $ charge, so now you pay for in room smoke salmon.

Good news, the final gala night had lobster surf and turf and they held a Mariners lunch not an at sea day but just before arriving at Puerto Rico, having said that the sparkling wine was really flowing and we received a delft tile with inaugural season marked on it a nice thoughtful souvenir keepsake.

We never made a connection with staff on the Koningsdam because we never had the same server or wine attendant, this is different experience from our three previous cruises this last year with HAL.

Overall the Koningsdam offers a smooth nearly vibration free ride, our cabin on deck 4 total rear facing internal 4192 was extremely quite and a good budget option. The decor is minimalist modern and contemporary think higher end boutique hotel, hanging artwork are photographs and photorealistic art, I loved the artwork and sculptures a real departure from traditional Holland America.

Is this the future of Holland America, you be the judge.
Captain Camera’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Koningsdam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email