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Found 930 results

  1. On Discovery Channel, Mighty Cruise Ships is back for season 3, and is kicking off with a show about the Koningsdam. It's fun going 'behind the scenes' a little bit, and seeing new ships.
  2. We've had 2 different suite offers for this sailing.Has anyone else gotten them? Unless it gets pretty low,I doubt we'll upgrade as we're in a Vista Suite now.
  3. We just returned from 11 days on the K-dam, we enjoyed just about everything about the ship. The only negative things were if you wanted to see the 8:00 show you need to show up before 7:30. The position of the toilets in our veranda room, very awkward. And finally the vibrations of the ship especially when traveling 15knots and above. We were midship, cabin 5089, and the seas were only 1-3 feet and the vibration made it difficult to sleep comfortably.
  4. Spendin some time on the big K-dam from Ft. Lauderdale with stops at Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, Amber Cove, Kralendijk, Willemstad and Oranjestad
  5. Received the below notice this morning with specific boarding times for the Koningsdam leaving Port Everglades on 4/7. We are 4-star and usually arrive at the terminal around 11am with plenty of time to get into our cabin before going to the MDR for lunch. Does this mean if we were to arrive at 11, we wouldn’t be able to board until 1pm? Never received a notification like this before. Thanks for your advice! We would like to provide you with important information regarding your sailing. To enhance the check-in and boarding experience, we ask that guests arrive at the terminal based on the following times. Guests who have booked a transfer or hotel package with Holland America will be provided a check-in time at the airport or hotel. 1:00 PM - Deck 7 & Deck 10 2:30 PM - Deck 5 1:30 PM - Deck 8 & Deck 11 3:00 PM - Deck 4 2:00 PM - Deck 6 3:30 PM - Deck 1 We invite our 4 and 5 Star Mariners, Pinnacle and Neptune Suite guests to arrive anytime between 1:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. Boarding will commence shortly after check in. All guests must be onboard 1 hour prior to sailing. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation, and look forward to welcoming you onboard.
  6. My family and I just returned from the Koningsdam 11 day cruise. I went on this cruise unsure how I would like the style of the K, I am happy to report I LOVED the ship. Here is a brief review, please ask any questions, I will try to answer best I can. First this was a group of 19 family and friends, 4 of them were my cousins from Nebraska whom we haven't seen in a very long time. The time we were able to spend together was invaluable. Embarkation on was quick and easy. We arrived at the port about 10:30 am and were onboard by noon, cabins were ready when we boarded. Cabins - we were on on deck 6 aft balcony cabins. These cabins were definitely a tad bit smaller than the Vista style but they were not terrible, still well appointed. The verandah's I found to be the same size we enjoyed on the Vista style, we thoroughly enjoyed them. The bathrooms, while the toilet is angled slightly weird, it wasn't all that bad. We loved these cabins, for us they worked well. Service, don't need to say much here, the Phillipino and Indonesians are terrific, over worked, but still never a complaint and always service with a smile. Food, MDR we found to be excellent as well as the Lido, but I am happy when I don't have to prepare, cook and clean up the dishes, so take my food thoughts with a grain of salt. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill with their new menu, not impressed. Service was sporadic, some in the group were served quicker than others. Food quality was not what I remembered, I had the Alaskan Crab Legs and they were delicious, I ordered the lobster as an added cost, coming from New England, not worth the up charge. Desserts were ok but they no longer offer the chocolate volcano cake 😟. One thing they did not offer in the MDR which I was really disappointed with is no escargot on the 2nd Gala Night, but they did have delicious jumbo shrimp so I was ok with that, but still disappointed. Entertainment, I only went to a couple of shows and they were good, BBKings I found to be excellent, but the Rock Room, disappointing, this group seemed to be going through something, they just couldn't get it together, but by the end of the cruise, they seemed to be a lot better, so perhaps they had a new band member or two, not sure. All in all I think these two venues are a great addition. Casino, I did not spend any time in here as the smoke was thick, I can't stand to be in a place like that. The smoke did whiff into the halls, be aware if cigarette smoke bothers you. We we did book onboard for 2021 on the Nieuw Statendam, we really enjoyed this style ship, there just seemed to be something for everyone in our group. We had a great time and cannot wait for our next cruise. Please let me know if I can answer any questions.
  7. 3 Star Mariner and love HAL. Did a January 11 day cruise. This is my 2nd time on this ship. Lovely ship with terrific ambiance. HAL does have a nice feel to it for me. We had done an RCCL cruise before this one to Cuba. Absolutely bare bones, small ship but one of the few choices for Cuba in January. Have been on RCCL before. Was not expecting much. We were very surprised that we liked the food on RCCL better than HAL this year. I know food is subjective. We liked the menu better on RCCL. Did eat in Tamarind one night which is wonderful. Also did the buffet one night to see if this would make us happier. Service there was awful. We had to clear our own table when it came time for dessert. Waiter was there but skirted around us and never came near us. Who knows. Absolutely shocked that we preferred RCCL food to HAL because I sing HAL praises to all my friends who cruise. Was surprised to see HAL is beginning to charge for a 2nd entrée. We saw many people eating 2 entrees in January but don't think the charge had started then. On RCCL they kept asking us if we wanted another entrée/no charge. We didn't because we couldn't finish what we had. Also not a fan of the Orange Club concept. Probably jealousy on my part but I was not willing to pay an extra $100 a day for small dining room with expanded services. Still a fan of HAL and will cruise with them again.
  8. Six ships are in Port Everglades for this sail a way & 2 of them are the newest blue hulled beauties in the fleet. A container ship is scheduled to be at HAL's usual pier 26. So, instead you will find the Nieuw Statendam at pier 04. She is doing two different itineraries. The first is the 7 night Eastern Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar d1700); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (19 Mar 1000-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (20 Mar 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (21 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (23 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Mar a0700) And the 2nd is the 14 night Eastern/Western Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar d1700); (19 Mar 1000-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (20 Mar 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (21 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (23 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Mar 0700-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (25 Mar 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (27 Mar 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (28 Mar 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (29 Mar 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (31 Mar a0700) The Koningsdam is scheduled to be at pier 21 and is also doing 2 different itineraries. The first is the 10 night Southern Caribbean Seafarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (18 Mar 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (19 Mar 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (20 Mar 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (22 Mar 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (23 Mar 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (24 Mar 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (27 Mar a0700) And the 2nd is the 21 night Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (18 Mar 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (19 Mar 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (20 Mar 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (22 Mar 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (23 Mar 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (24 Mar 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (27 Mar 0700-1700); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (30 Mar 0800-1600); Castries, St Lucia (31 Mar 0900-1700); Bridgetown, Barbados (01 Apr 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (02 Apr 0800-1700); Basseterre, St. Kitts (03 Apr 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (04 Apr 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (06 Apr 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (07 Apr a0700) Other ships in port are the Regal Princess (pier 02), Harmony Of The Seas (pier 18), Crown Princess (pier 19) & Celebrity Edge (pier 25). The webcams are located at: https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com The Nieuw Amsterdam is sailing out of San Diego on a 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise: The San Diego webcam is located at http://sundiegolive.com For the Addicts - along with the San Diego sail away of the N Amsterdam, the Oosterdam is scheduled to be in Key West (webcam - https://www.keywestharborwebcam.com ) Next up is the Volendam's Sail a Way on March 19th.
  9. Currently on Koningsdam. No CNBC on tv channel. no more production shows with singers and dancers .The void will be filled in with groups of entertainers such as singers pianists and jugglers. The way it was explained is that there were complaints that many of the shows were to repetitious . Also management feels that the void has been filled by Lincoln Center, BB Kings and the rolling stone rock café
  10. I searched the forum but did not find an answer: Is it possible to "plug in" something via USB at the TV - I miss the dvd players at Holland America - I loved to catch up my favourite series during a TA - I could do that on my phone but would prefer to watch it on a bigger screen.... Thanks Wendy
  11. I will be sailing on the Koningsdam this June (11 day Ancient Empire cruise) and I wanted to know if they offer an unlimited photo package, and if so, how much it would be. I have read other CC boards saying that for a time, there was a $99 deal where you could get all digital photos but one post saying that this was increased to $300)+! Is this still the case? Does HAL offer an unlimited printed photo package? We have been with RCL and purchased their unlimited photo package. We took advantage of this and took photographers with basically every photographer we could find! How available are the photographers with HAL and are there a lot of photo opportunities to make the unlimited package worth it? For RCL, we had photos in the port (on the dock), at the dinner table for their gala nights, on the promenade level before/after gala night, and other times when we would see a photographer out and about. Full folders stuffed to the brim of professional pictures certainly made the unlimited package worth it!
  12. Looking at getting cabin above MDR on Koningsdam - perhaps 4209, 4207 or 4180. Has anyone experienced noise issues above the MDR? Appreciate any info.
  13. When I was on the K'dam a few years ago, I felt that my standard verandah stateroom was smaller than other HAL ships and other cruise lines. I see on their website that they list a wide range of square footage for the standard verandah. How does one find one of the ones with more sq ft? Is it hidden somewhere on the website? Are Vista Suites substantially larger?
  14. Just off Koningsdam 10 Day Southern Caribbean yesterday. Having previously sailed this ship two years ago, the range of improvements since then are striking. First and foremost it is very apparent to someone such as myself working in the hotel F&B industry that there has been a huge customer focused service initiative and training. First night in traditional late seating the waiter says "please let me know if there is anything special or different you would like and I will try to get it for you", wine stewardess says "we are here to make your Holland America experience special", asst. maître d' stops by daily, WOW the service attitude has just gone to a new level. A quick overview of my other experiences: Embarkation - Despite being "suggested" to arrive mid-afternoon, we arrived at 11:15, whisked our way through and were enjoying lunch in the MDR at 12:10. Cabins were ready upon boarding. Food - Noticeable improvement since our last HAL cruise. Interesting to see the generic MDR dinner menus are now heavily themed to Caribbean dishes, lighter foods. fish, etc. in keeping with the itinerary. Old favorites and Everyday selections offered as well. Best Pinnacle experience we have had in a while and excellent dinner in Tamarind. Our food in Canaletto was fine but getting tired of the odd menu format and the buffet location of the venue so will give it a pass next cruise. Outstanding variety and quality in the Lido for breakfast and lunch. Dive In runs rings around the competition, NY Pizza was just ok. Entertainment - Rolling Stone is a home run. I am 60 and the age range onboard is mostly 55-75, so no longer the kid onboard LOL. Great to see the sea of white heads in the Rolling Stone nightly singing, dancing, and having a fabulous time, SRO every show. Billboard much better than two years ago, Lincoln Center unfortunately no where near as good, obviously depends on the skill and enthusiasm of the individual performers ship to ship, cruise to cruise. Superb virtuoso pianist in the World Stage one night. And yes, I can confirm the singers and dancers are no more. Ports - My favorite Caribbean itinerary, ABC's to me by far the nicest and cleanest islands, made better by great weather. focused Ship - Immaculate from recent drydock. Staff - Great service in cabin, dining, and bars. I'm sure that Capt. Darin Bowland is responsible for setting the tone onboard, great guy. Other Notes - Received our 100 day bronze medallion this trip, very nice ceremony. The new app works great and is very helpful looking up daily programs and menus and checking your account. Only a few books left in the library, mostly focused on the Caribbean region. 10 PM happy hour still held in Crows Nest. Casual nights very informal, Gala nights a few tuxes, maybe 20, in MDR at least most men wearing a suit or sport coat, many with ties. You can no longer bring a portable fan , mine was confiscated upon boarding, picked it up on the way out. Disembarkation very smooth, my group was 8:30-8:45, called at 8:32, in cab within 20 minutes to FLL thanks to electronic passport app. Bought my FCC's - just hoping my next HAL cruise will measure up to this one. Any questions, please ask.
  15. Only one ship in Port Everglades for this one and yes, it's a blue hulled beauty. Koningsdam is scheduled to be at pier 26 and is doing 2 different itineraries. The first is the 11 day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (06 Mar d1700); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (09 Mar 0800-1600); Castries, St Lucia (10 Mar 0900-1700); Bridgetown, Barbados (11 Mar 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (12 Mar 0800-1700); Basseterre, St. Kitts (13 Mar 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (14 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (16 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar a0700) And the other is the 21 day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer/Seafarer Fort Lauderdale, Florida (06 Mar d1700); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (09 Mar 0800-1600); Castries, St Lucia (10 Mar 0900-1700); Bridgetown, Barbados (11 Mar 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (12 Mar 0800-1700); Basseterre, St. Kitts (13 Mar 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (14 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (16 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar 0700-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (18 Mar 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (19 Mar 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (20 Mar 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (22 Mar 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (23 Mar 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (24 Mar 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (27 Mar a0700) The website is located at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com No other ships in port, no other sailings for the Addicts that I am aware of. Next up - Oosterdam (Port Everglades) & Eurodam (San Diego) on March 9th.
  16. We cruised on HAL 10 years ago. Since that time, we have been exclusively Celebrity/RCCL and have "upper tier" status with both. We decided to try something different, and yesterday returned home from an 11 night cruise on Koningsdam. WOW. Loved the ship, entertainment, food, and service. I had heard that HAL was trying to appeal to a younger generation. Well, we are in our 70s and it must be our generation, because the Rock and Roll room and BB King's Blues Club were full each night with many people dancing and singing along with the songs. We enjoyed Tamarind and Pinnacle Grill, feeling both were superior to anything we have yet experienced on RCCL. We are scheduled for Zuiderdam this summer and Zaandam next January. We realize that the older ships cannot compare to a new ship, but, hopefully, the food, service, and entertainment will still be very enjoyable. I plan to share our great cruise with my friends on the RCCL board.
  17. On the Jan-Feb 2019 cruises (at least) on the Koningsdam, the CD Thomas Weber has been hosting a series of "Meet the Artist" sessions. These were about an hour long, and consisted of Thomas asking a few background questions and then taking questions from the audience. These featured the Lincoln Center group, the BB King group, the Rolling Stone Rock Room group, and the Billboard duo. Attendance was good, the questioning was lively, and the performers seemed happy to participate. Thomas said that this was somewhat of an experiment. Through the years I have noted on the HAL after-cruise surveys that it is unfair and disrespectful that the performers in its entertainment groups are not identified. Who were the HALcats, and the Neptunes, and the Adagio, and the Singers and Dancers ? At any other entertainment there would be a playbill, or handout flyer, or at least a poster naming the performers. There has been some progress on this - there now are occasional flyers with short bios of the Lincoln Center performers, and on the Koningsdam one of the video panels cycles through these. Due to an overlooked comment card I was able to meet the HD Santosh and he connected me with Mikey, the Entertainment Coordinator. He said that this issue has been discussed and some thought is being given to it. The Lincoln Center info is available because it is produced by RWS Entertainment (the contractor for LC Onboard) and given to HAL. BB King and Rock Room are contracted from Beale Street Blues Co, and they have not been providing that sort of directly usable promo material. The "Meet the Artist" sessions are nice, but they do not really address the need to identify the performers. Artists deserve that recognition. Clearly HAL knows who they are - it would not be very hard to put a poster with their names in each venue - even it it had to be updated every three months when the contracts changed. And it shouldn't be too hard for the HAL IT department to put up their bios on the video panels since they have the LC as a template.
  18. I've found the magnetic walls on Carnival ships very useful for hanging our paperwork, etc. I''ll be sailing on the Koningsdam soon and wondering if I should bring my magnetic hooks with me.
  19. Hi, very occasional cruiser (4, taken over 20+ years). I've always go straight to CC forums for info when I'm looking! I was thinking it was about time for the bucket list Alaska cruise when I saw HAL's reduced deposit promotion and decided to go ahead an do it. I've narrowed things down quite a bit and I'm looking at either the Koningsdam or Eurodam in late May 2020. The same standard Veranda in generally the same location is just about the same on each ship. The itinerary is slightly different, Eurodam sails from Seattle so there is a day at sea, while the Koningsdam has inside passage on two days, up and back from Vancouver. Eurodam does Sitka, Koningsdam does Skagway. We want to see Tracy Arm -- Koningsdam has a drop off for an excursion on the way to Juneau, whereas Eurodam says it sails up the Stephens Passage straight to Juneau, but we can catch an excursion from Juneau to Tracy Arm. So, there doesn't appear to be a ton of difference in itinerary, but maybe I'm missing something since we've never been to the area. I don't think we can go wrong, but I'd appreciate any feedback people have, especially people who have sailed on the Eurodam and Koningsdam (I know the Koningsdam hasn't sailed to Alaska before). Thanks everybody!
  20. Hold onto your hats folks because it’s going to be a very busy day in Port Everglades for this one. The three newest blue hulled beauties (N Statendam, N Amsterdam & Koningsdam) in the fleet will all be sailing away in Port Everglades and the gracious flagship, Rotterdam will be sailing out of Tampa. Nieuw Statendam is scheduled to be at pier 26 & will be doing 2 different itineraries. The first is the 7 day Western Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Feb d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (18 Feb 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (20 Feb 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (21 Feb 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (22 Feb 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Feb 0700-1700); Nassau, Bahamas (25 Feb 0800-1600); San Juan, Puerto Rico (27 Feb 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (28 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (02 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (03 Mar a0700) And the second is the 14 day Western Eastern Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Feb d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (25 Feb 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (27 Feb 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (28 Feb 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (01 Mar 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (03 Mar 0700-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (05 Mar 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (06 Mar 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (07 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (09 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (10 Mar a0800) Nieuw Amsterdam is scheduled to be at pier 19 and is doing a 7 day Eastern Caribbean itinerary: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Feb d1700); Nassau, Bahamas (25 Feb 0800-1600); San Juan, Puerto Rico (27 Feb 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (28 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (02 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (03 Mar a0700) Koningsdam is set to be at pier 21 and is doing two different itineraries. The first is the 10 day Southern Caribbean Seafarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Feb d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (25 Feb 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (26 Feb 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (27 Feb 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (01 Mar 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (02 Mar 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (03 Mar 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (06 Mar a0700) And the second is the 21 day Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Feb d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (25 Feb 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (26 Feb 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (27 Feb 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (01 Mar 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (02 Mar 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (03 Mar 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (06 Mar 0700-1700); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (09 Mar 0800-1600); Castries, St Lucia (10 Mar 0900-1700); Bridgetown, Barbados (11 Mar 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (12 Mar 0800-1700); Basseterre, St. Kitts (13 Mar 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (14 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (16 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar a0700) Other ships in port sailing way are: Regal Princess (pier 02), Harmony Of The Seas (pier 18), Carnival Conquest (pier 04) & Adventure Of The Seas (pier 29). The webcams are located at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com The Rotterdam will be sailing out of Tampa on a 7 day Western Caribbean: Tampa, Florida (24 Feb d1700); Key West, Florida (25 Feb 1100-1800); Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala (27 Feb 0800-1800); Roatan, Honduras (28 Feb 0800-1700); Costa Maya, Mexico (01 Mar 0800-1700); Tampa, Florida (03 Mar a0700) The other ship in Tampa is the Carnival Miracle The webcam is located at https://www.porttampawebcam.com For the Sail Away Addicts - the Oosterdam is in Key West on this date. And on February 25th, the Nieuw Amsterdam will be in Nassau & the Rotterdam will be in Key West. Next up - Zuiderdam on February 27th.
  21. tThe Nieuw Statendam seems to be almost a duplicate of the Koningsdam (aside from the artwork) except in one place. As I understand (haven't sailed it yet) the Crows Nest on the NS has been fitted out in the new style, with the Explorations Cafe merged into the bar, the Excursions office move up to the starboard side, the Captain's Room converted to a lecture space, and big video screens in the middle. We were afraid that the Koningsdam would be retrofit in that style during its December drydock, as has been happening to the older ships. Fortunately not ! The Koningsdam Crows Nest still has the traditional layout, except for being carpeted all the way across instead of having a dance floor. There are a large number of comfortable chairs of various styles in various groupings. A very pleasant place for a lot of passengers to relax.
  22. The two newest ships for Holland America are traveling together from St. Thomas to Half Moon Cay. This is Koningsdam as seen off the port side of Nieuw Statendam
  23. We are recently back from the Koningsdam - 2019 Jan 23 - Feb 13. We were not impressed with the menus or the preparations in the MDR (as compared to previous HAL cruises) and so took advantage of Rudi's Sel de Mer. (Rather than Pinnacle, since we are not big steak eaters.) HAL launched the Sel de Mer (by Rudi Sodamin) concept on the Koningsdam, as a companion to the Pinnacle. As I recall, it was pitched as a seafood brasserie, an alternative to the steak-heavy Pinnacle. On the Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam it is a stand-alone space entered around the atrium from the Pinnacle. They share an access hall to the kitchens. On the older ships Sel de Mer is a pop-up in the Pinnacle space with a special menu. We have not experienced it that way. It would seem that the 'primarily seafood' concept was not popular, and on the Koningsdam this restaurant is now pitched as "Rudi's" - with the Sel de Mer in small print. It now has a very varied and interesting menu. For some reason HAL made Rudi's menu a la carte, as opposed to the fixed price in Pinnacle. However, the cost of a meal is about the same. Rudi's offers the same discounts as Pinnacle for 3/4/5* Mariners. The a la carte pricing seems to be a psychological deterrent. Rudi's space is smaller than Pinnacle, feeling like a small fine restaurant. It has about a dozen tables of various sizes. When we were there, there were two very attentive hostesses (Lise and Rahul) and four waiters, all European professionals. In our six visits it was never full, and some nights some of the staff was detached to help in the MDR. Regardless, service was very good. Finally, to the menu. Roger Jett's scan of Rudi's menu It has enough variety for repeated visits - we ate there six times. The portions are large, so on the first visit we learned that an appetiser and main, or main and dessert, was plenty. The Fruits de Mer was a tower and more, and needed an auxiliary table. Looked great if you like that sort of thing. The Foie Gras was more than generous (by US restaurant standards) and expertly sauteed. The Pot au Feu is a meal - cast iron pot of rich broth and braised beef. The ratatouille side dish was very good, and a whole bowl, not a dollop. On the fish side of the entrees, the Branzino and the Dover Sole were both excellent and the moules (a pot with enough for two) very good. On the meat side, the cassoulet and the rack of lamb were excellent. We had the roast chicken in the MDR on "chef's night" and it was a full half chicken - very tasty but too much. Of the desserts, we liked the chocolate pot de creme best. The others were all big enough for two, and very good. Only the cheese plate fell down - just the same assortment as in the MDR. We would have sampled more of the menu if we had time. (Admittedly, as 4* we ate at 50% off) We encourage you to try it out. We are worried that HAL might decide to swap some bigger revenue-producer into the space if dinership does not pick up.
  24. Hoping to have answered a couple questions prior to our trip: 1. on 11 day (south east Caribbean): when are gala nights? We depart from Ft. L, then 2 sea days, islands, then 2 days prior to disembarkment, another sea day back? 2. does anyone have access to the "daily news" sheets that cruise lines usually give the nite prior? What is the name of the "news"? We would love to view them! 3. do they do "wine blending classes" or wine tasting classes? 4. is there any photo packages? if not, how much are individual pics? 5. is there a "welcome" drink when boarding? thanks so much to all that can help here, getting excited about the cruise as it comes closer! FC
  25. Sailing on the Koningsdam in March - first time on this class of ship. On other HAL ships, we have enjoyed the lounge chairs on the Promenade decks looking out over the ocean. I understand this is not available on the Koningsdam. Where can one enjoy the ocean and relative quiet on a lounge chair in the shade on this ship (we do not have a verandah)?
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