Koningsdam Cruise Review by Dana Starr
- Sail Date: June 2019
- Destination: Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
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.
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