Koningsdam Cruise Review by Bucky63
- Sail Date: October 2017
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom
Checking in and getting on board was pretty average. We needed wheel chair assistance and our helper was excellent. A big plus was that cabins were available by noon when boarding began.
Koenigsdam is a new ship commissioned in 2016. Thus it is in excellent condition. The layout is vastly different from older Holland America ships and takes some getting use to. The hallways are quite narrow and are not straight but have pronounced jogs in them. On some decks it was impossible to transit from fore to aft without going up or down a deck. On a positive note, the music venues were all close together which minimizes long walks. The main dining room had plenty of room to move between tables much unlike Royal Caribbean and Princess. On the other hand, the buffet is not well configured. The serving lines run fore and aft and can and do cause backups during peak times.
The World Stage is a new concept much like a theater in the round. There are no sets; lighting technology provides the illusion of set backgrounds. The theater seems small given the number of passengers aboard.
The food in the buffet was above average for cruise ships. The hamburger and hot dog station was outside of the buffet, and the pizza station was inconveniently located on a deck above the buffet. Getting there for folks with disabilities could only be accomplished by using the mid ships elevators. Food in the main dining room was typical cruise fare. The bake shop was outstanding for pastries and rolls.
Production shows were acceptable but the music and dancing were not appropriate to the average age of the guests. Additionally, the volume was so loud that at times it was uncomfortable. On the other hand, the musical venues such as Billboard, Lincoln Center, and B.B. King’s was second to none. The secondary entertainment was far superior to other cruise lines.
Lectures were presented on the various ports we visited. While not infomercials for “ship approved” shopping, they left much to be desired. For example, guests were not told that the town center in Bonaire was an easy walk and offered restaurants, many having free internet. In Aruba we were not advised that most stores did not open until 10:00 AM local time.
Unlike other cruise lines, there was no marketing of ship tours or recommended places to shop. This was refreshing. However, information was somewhat limited concerning availability and location of taxis/buses/etc.and internet “hot spots”within the ports. The lecturer at times was enamored with her own wildlife photographs and could have used some of her allotted lecture time expanding on some of the opportunities available in the various ports.
The fitness center was well stocked with treadmills and elliptical machines. There is an unwritten time limit of 20 minutes per machine if someone is waiting. This is rarely, if ever, enforced There are only two recumbent bicycles and a handful of stationary bicycles. Since a majority of guests are older, and are unable to utilize treadmills, the number of recumbent bicycles is woefully inadequate. During peak times they are constantly in use.
Internet was offered by the ship but was exceedingly expensive. Unlike other cruise lines, charges were on a per minute basis. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity offer internet packages by a 24 hour day at a more reasonable cost. Many passengers opted to seek out internet during port visits. Some ports offered internet at reasonable prices; some “hot spots” were available (i. e. Diamond’s International and Starbucks) for no charge. Holland needs to seriously. reassess their internet pricing policy. While the clientele is older and for the most part retired, there is a definite need for internet access for care givers, sick loved ones, dynamic financial decisions if called for, etc.
I was struck by the fact that the port lecturers never mentioned internet ashore. Guests were expected to search out “hot spots” for themselves. I can only assume that Holland management would rather guests use their high-priced service.
As with all Holland America ships, the Indonesian and Philippine crew were nothing short of outstanding. Over the ten days I never experienced a crew member with an attitude or being impolite to guests. From the Lido to the bars to the stateroom attendants, the friendliness and helpfulness was wonderful.
We arrived on time in Fort Lauderdale ay 7:00 AM. Debarkation began around thirty minutes later. We carried our own baggage and had no problem leaving the ship around 9:00 AM. Taxis were plentiful and the short trip to the airport was less than $20.
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