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Travrat

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  1. We could hear the TV and talking in our connecting room on Koningsdam
  2. For one thing if you sail on the Koningsdam there is no America Test Kit hen so you will not get your "free" hands on class. I have also seen on this site people are not getting their 2 free Pinnacle dinners because the Pinnacle Grill is fully booked. I don't see this as true though. We had an 8:30 teservation on our last cruise and there were many empty tables. They just don't want to seat people past 8:30. Really the suite guests have been snubbed most by taking away their Pinnacle breakfast and opening "Club Orange"
  3. They should know in advance how many passengers sign up for an excursion prior to sailing and if the number of people is low they should inform you in advance that the tour may be cancelled. That way you have the opportunity to choose an alternative tour. Truth is HAL just doesn't seem to care. They have a loyal following no matter what they do- for example, taking away benefits of 4 and 5 star Mariners.
  4. Interesting. Years ago a similar situation occurred when I was on Masdaam. HAL rented buses and took everyone who was stranded to Ville Franche where the ship was able to dock.
  5. I was on the Christmas cruise and it was filled to capacity. I hope this is part of the reason that the ship seemed understaffed. But I truly found a decline in both food and service from my experience on the same Christmas cruise on Koningsdam last year. I hope that HAL can fix some of these issues as I have always enjoyed sailing with them in the past. There are some super loyal HAL fans that find no fault with anything and make excuses for the line but I can only tell it like I see it. There are other cruise lines out there that are well worth trying for a different if not superior experience especially for mature cruisers. Oceania far surpasses HAL in food and after my last HAL cruise I have to say service. It may be a higher price point but there are 4 included specialty restaurants and 2 free cocktail parties on a 7 night cruise. The Viking cruise line will probably be the next I sail on.
  6. Baggal it is possible but I doubt that is the case. It is much more likely that they are just understaffed due to HAL saving money. The Phillipino staff were not any more cheery! It is also possible that they moved a lot of the more highly trained staff onto the N . Statendam. I know they changed the Captain over to the new ship. When I spoke to guest relations on the ship about the issues we were encountering they made no mention of losing crew members due to them going home after the tsunami. I think they are unhappy because they have to work harder and longer hours than ever before because the crew to guest ratio is less than it ever has been.
  7. I pre booked dinner for 4 in Pinnacle which was charged pre ruse to my credit card. will the $140 count toward cruise points?
  8. I felt that the service was "off" on the Koningsdam holiday cruise. They seemed understaffed and not as well trained as usual. I felt that many of the crew did not really care or go out of their way for guests. Many just seemed unhappy and unfriendly. There were many crew that did not seem to understand English very well. Not anything like level of service I have experienced in the past on HAL. HAL needs to work on glitches such as ridiculously long waits for room service, Dive In and NY Deli orders- sometimes 45 minute wait!!! Not acceptable! I realize they give away a lot of these Pinnacle Grille dinners but if I am paying $70 to dine there the food should all be great and prepared properly! Unfortunately, this was not the case at all! They also need to add daytime activities such as lecturers, cooking demos, matinee concerts even art walks to talk about the art on the ship- which I happened to like! Throw in a cocktail party for Mariners like they used to have and up the game on your Mariner lunch- when was the last time they changed that menu?
  9. Sel de Mer offered a 25% discount first night on Koningsdam The pre- purchase packages mentioned before have a small discount but you can't buy these on the ship
  10. If they are still advertising and telling people that the Koningsdam has Live American Test Kitchen Demos it is not true! I believe they call that FALSE advertising!!!
  11. It is nice to have the Rock and Roll venue The band was good but not great mostly due to lead singers not having great voices. It is a step in the right direction for entertainment for HAL as they try to woo a younger demographic. I preferred it to the Billboard venue but still think BB King performers are better. My personal favorite on this cruise was the Lincoln Stage Quintet. I found them to be extremely talented and enjoyable to watch. Then on disembarkation day at breakfast we sat next to people who thought the quintet was horrendous and off key. So the bottom line is musical entertainment, like food, is subjective. My biggest complaint on this cruise is that I saw a total decline in the level of service in every venue- MDR, Specialty restaurants(with the exception of Tamarind),bar service, Dutch Cafe, room service, Dive In, Lido, NY Deli- just about everywhere. I even asked the guest relations manager I spoke with if they had a whole new crew aboard as things were so problematic. Our ship even sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale more than 1 1/2 hours late because they had to wait for food to be delivered.
  12. I don't like to eat in an hour. I like to dine and enjoy each course. These waiters want to get you out of there as soon as possible and throw the next course at you as soon as you put your fork down. The sommeliers pour way too much wine at once and have 2 people finishing their bottle before the main course is served. I realize there are people who like to finish a 4 course meal in an hour but I am not one of them. I never sit at a large table- it is either me and hubby or table for 4 since our friends were on the cruise with us. I prefer to be served and never enjoy buffets.
  13. I did not have fixed seating. We only had dinner in the MDR 2 times. The first Gala night and second day at sea. The waiter asked how I wanted my lamb chops and I said rare- he said "mooing"? I said yes! They arrived a grayish - brown and instead of agreeing they were not as ordered he said they were rare when they put them on the plate! They did go back on my insistence and produce a perfectly rare duo of chops with excellent white bean side. On the sea day we had to ask for bread and butter. My friend wanted a main for an appetizer and then a different dish for her main. The waiter flat out told her she could not do it. The line was too long! If they were not so understaffed this would not be a problem. It also was not that full in the MDR as it was after 8:00 when we sat down. I told him to figure out how to do it. Well he did bring it to her as an appetizer but we all suffered as he brought everyone's main out and let them sit until we had our appetizers. This resulted in being served room temperature food! We had lunch in the MDR one day. We sat for more than 10 minutes before anyone came over. We had to ask for bread. My husband's pasta was cold and clumpy. He had to flag a waiter down to change his dish. They never came by to ask if it was OK after being served. Gone are the days when you are asked if you would like pepper on your dish- even in Pinnacle Grille!
  14. The safe above the refrigerator is HOT! If you have an item that is heat sensitive do NOT place it in the safe. I did not see many robes in public on Koningsdam Christmas cruise but I have stayed in many luxury hotels in Europe and have seen people come to the pool and spa areas in them. In fact, most European spas encourage you to wear your robe and slippers provided. I did not see many service dogs on my cruise. As far as parking goes, if you are driving to the port Park and Go shuttle service is excellent! We always use them for airport or port parking. They are very pleasant and reliable. If you are lucky you may see the monkeys that live in the mangrove next to their lot🐒
  15. Maybe I just don't love the Billboard venue but I still think the level of talent is mediocre especially the singing. As for the Test Kitchen no sign of it and this was the second sailing after dry dock. The website also promotes Oprah "O" and the only thing related to that was renting a book from guest relations and meeting on last sea day to discuss it. Never saw one person in "Blend"- a total waste of space! No more Captain's Cocktail Party! Our cruise didn't even have 2 Gala nights! They passed off the Christmas Day menu as a Gala menu because they put on the steak and lobster entree along with the turkey and ham! The second day at sea was just a "regional inspired" menu. I felt like they were cutting costs majorly in their food and beverage program , staff size and quality of service. Maybe this is exclusive to Koningsdam and not fleet wide. None of the crew seemed happy- especially MDR waiters!
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