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Rolling Stone Rock Room debut on Koningsdam

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I just returned from 11 days on Koningsdam. I grew up with classic rock and roll.  The band in the Rolling Stone venue was not very good.  They played well, but unfortunately they could not sing.  It was painful to hear such great songs sound so bad.  The keyboard player sang and it sounded like he was reading the words and had never heard the songs before.  The female guitar player played very well, but she sang off key and flat.  The lead guitar player played OK, but he really could not sing.  This may sound harsh, but it is my honest assessment of the band.  Hope they get a better band before my next cruise.  The bass player and the drummer were amazing (they did not sing).  Also, a guy who appeared to be the band's manager joined them one night and he was great.  Only saw him the one time and he was fantastic on guitar.

Edited by Smithwick

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Thanks for the enthusiastic review--sounds like a great new venue with a lot of potential!

 

But I'm so disappointed to see HAL continuing with the cross-promotion marketing.  They could have just called it "The Rock Room" and we all would have gotten the concept, and the money they saved by not paying Rolling Stone for their logo might have paid for singing lessons for the singers Smithwick had to put up with! *lol*  Seriously, though, it's like HAL thinks they need these corporate partnerships (e.g. NYT, Microsoft, Oprah, BB King, Rolling Stone) but all they do is water down the brand they SHOULD be focusing on building--their own.

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3 hours ago, Smithwick said:

I agree, the brand name partnerships mean nothing to me.

 

Agreed.  The BB King one baffles me the most.  They pay for that partnership when the music doesn't even include BB King style music.  I wish they would go back to generic names and re-introduce Crows Nest and lido deck entertainment.  

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Interesting to see a female member in the K'dam version.  The NS has all guys.  I'm not a music expert but shows were very well attended and drinks were being drunk.  Average age of guest on 4 day was much younger than the 14 day TA.  Made me wonder if the band is considered crew.  Some of the young guys seemed very friendly and enjoyed dancing and smoking with guests.  Do the same rules apply to them as crew in uniform when it comes to *socializing*? 

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The average guest age is always younger on the shorter cruises. Glad to see the big attendence in the rock room. Yes, there are rules for the performers. They are permitted to mingle with the guests, so long as it is in public areas of the ship (guest cabins are off limits). You will see the musicians up in the lido many evenings after their sets. We always appreciate the hard work of these talented people.

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We just got back from our first Royal Caribbean cruise, during which, we had a lot of discussions about our favorite line (it wasn’t RC!). At one point, my husband said “I think we really are HAL people” (I’d been saying HAL most of the week). The back story to say that this will seal the deal! We are rock people through and through. Children of 90s grunge, now in our 40s but still following bands big and small, seeing at least a dozen live shows a year. And someone put in a rock venue!! And on our last cruise, there was a “guy and a guitar” (aka a singer-songwriter)! HAL must be courting our demographic 🙂

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On ‎12‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 3:30 PM, Smithwick said:

I just returned from 11 days on Koningsdam. I grew up with classic rock and roll.  The band in the Rolling Stone venue was not very good.  They played well, but unfortunately they could not sing.  It was painful to hear such great songs sound so bad.  The keyboard player sang and it sounded like he was reading the words and had never heard the songs before.  The female guitar player played very well, but she sang off key and flat.  The lead guitar player played OK, but he really could not sing.  This may sound harsh, but it is my honest assessment of the band.  Hope they get a better band before my next cruise.  The bass player and the drummer were amazing (they did not sing).  Also, a guy who appeared to be the band's manager joined them one night and he was great.  Only saw him the one time and he was fantastic on guitar.

Thanks for posting this. If they have nobody who can sing word will get out and they will have to change it.  They all work for the same company.

 

I am a bit surprised to hear this because the band on NS is quite good.  Chris who is the lead vocals/guitarist can carry a tune well.  He is not an elite singer but he is certainly capable and in key. I posted a setlist of most of the songs they played.   

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On 12/24/2018 at 3:30 PM, Smithwick said:

I just returned from 11 days on Koningsdam. I grew up with classic rock and roll.  The band in the Rolling Stone venue was not very good.  They played well, but unfortunately they could not sing.  It was painful to hear such great songs sound so bad.  The keyboard player sang and it sounded like he was reading the words and had never heard the songs before.  The female guitar player played very well, but she sang off key and flat.  The lead guitar player played OK, but he really could not sing.  This may sound harsh, but it is my honest assessment of the band.  Hope they get a better band before my next cruise.  The bass player and the drummer were amazing (they did not sing).  Also, a guy who appeared to be the band's manager joined them one night and he was great.  Only saw him the one time and he was fantastic on guitar.

Agree absolutely.  Please don't try to do Mama Cass (not rock and roll anyway IMHO) and Stevie Nicks if you don't have a strong voice.  Had to leave during "Crossroads" as just too awful, this being one of my favorite songs.  Tried it twice and just not good enough to enjoy.,  Great concept as I love R&R but please get a real singer(s).  BB King band was amazing though.  Really good musicians and both male and female singers excellent.  Loved them.

Jane

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On 12/14/2018 at 4:19 PM, Krazy Kruizers said:

Thanks so much for telling us about this new venue.

 

Glad you liked it.  But I am not a fan of loud music.  It hurts my ears.

We often listened to it from Billboard across the way for exactly that reason, but it was still terrific.

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My family and I are on the Koningsdam in March, this new rock room addition is right up our alley, we can't wait!!

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On 12/24/2018 at 12:30 PM, Smithwick said:

I just returned from 11 days on Koningsdam. I grew up with classic rock and roll.  The band in the Rolling Stone venue was not very good.  They played well, but unfortunately they could not sing.  It was painful to hear such great songs sound so bad.  The keyboard player sang and it sounded like he was reading the words and had never heard the songs before.  The female guitar player played very well, but she sang off key and flat.  The lead guitar player played OK, but he really could not sing.  This may sound harsh, but it is my honest assessment of the band.  Hope they get a better band before my next cruise.  The bass player and the drummer were amazing (they did not sing).  Also, a guy who appeared to be the band's manager joined them one night and he was great.  Only saw him the one time and he was fantastic on guitar.

 

On 12/26/2018 at 1:05 PM, jabcruiser said:

Agree absolutely.  Please don't try to do Mama Cass (not rock and roll anyway IMHO) and Stevie Nicks if you don't have a strong voice.  Had to leave during "Crossroads" as just too awful, this being one of my favorite songs.  Tried it twice and just not good enough to enjoy.,  Great concept as I love R&R but please get a real singer(s).  BB King band was amazing though.  Really good musicians and both male and female singers excellent.  Loved them.

Jane

This is exactly why I don't go to the piano bar and if I have to pass by I go as quickly as I can.  In over 20 cruises I have yet to hear a piano bar performer who doesn't mangle my favorite songs much less sing very well.  I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I come from a musical family (piano and voice) and it's painful to hear.  

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Just came off Koningsdam. I am a huge Rock fan but agree that the singers were not good. Watched one to two sets only- could not take much more of them! BB King Club much better talent. Piano players in Billboard were awful- thought the same last year and they were different entertainers. The concept of these venues is good but the talent is lacking. Loved the Lincoln Center on Stage Italian Quintet!!!

HAL needs to add some daytime entertainment on sea days. Unless you like to bake in the sun there is nothing going on. What happened to the Caribbean music at the pool? Why no interesting lecturers and I don't mean "where to shop". They eliminated the cooking demos. They need to step up the game as there is a lot of competition out there

Edited by Travrat

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33 minutes ago, Travrat said:

Just came off Koningsdam. I am a huge Rock fan but agree that the singers were not good. Watched one to two sets only- could not take much more of them! BB King Club much better talent. Piano players in Billboard were awful- thought the same last year and they were different entertainers. The concept of these venues is good but the talent is lacking. Loved the Lincoln Center on Stage Italian Quintet!!!

HAL needs to add some daytime entertainment on sea days. Unless you like to bake in the sun there is nothing going on. What happened to the Caribbean music at the pool? Why no interesting lecturers and I don't mean "where to shop". They eliminated the cooking demos. They need to step up the game as there is a lot of competition out there

Are you saying that the America's Test Cooking demos are totally gone?   I emailed HAL mariner society and got a response today that they are still doing them just in a different location on the ship than before dry dock.

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6 minutes ago, iflyrc5 said:

Are you saying that the America's Test Cooking demos are totally gone?   I emailed HAL mariner society and got a response today that they are still doing them just in a different location on the ship than before dry dock.

 

The Culinary Arts Center on the Konigsdam where the Test Kitchen demos were held was removed during drydock so no demos on my 11-day cruise right after drydock.

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Unless I missed it in the daily activity planner I don't think they had any cooking demos on the Koningsdam Christmas cruise

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1 minute ago, Crew News said:

 

The Culinary Arts Center on the Konigsdam where the Test Kitchen demos were held was removed during drydock so no demos on my 11-day cruise right after drydock.

Interesting - one of the benefits of being a 5 Star Mariner is a cooking class.  We really enjoyed them on other cruises - I wonder if they will substitute a different benefit?

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1 minute ago, iflyrc5 said:

Interesting - one of the benefits of being a 5 Star Mariner is a cooking class.  We really enjoyed them on other cruises - I wonder if they will substitute a different benefit?

 

I think the lack of a Culinary Arts Center is just on the new class of HAL ships but you can watch demos on TV in your stateroom.  On a similar subject, PG reservations were not available so my two free PG dinners had no value.  I did learn that two tables are always set aside for the Pinnacle Suite guests and the Neptune Concierage so walkups are possible.

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I doubt they will substitute another benefit. HAL has changed and I can't say it is for the better! They seem understaffed. A lot of the staff seem to not understand English well and they don't seem to really care about the passengers. It will probably be a while before I think about sailing with them again.

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On both the Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam pages on the HAL website, AmericasTest Kitchen is currently prominently promoted. I know the Orange Club dining venue took over the space on Kdam where ATK had been located, but I did read somewhere that it was to be relocated into the Rock Room space, the same way it shares the space with the BB King lounge on other ships. Perhaps they hadn't completed the transformation in time for the first sail after drydock.  

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On 12/22/2018 at 12:13 PM, Tennessee Titan said:

Loudness exceeds the threshold of pain....

Noise Noise Noise !

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7 hours ago, twodjs said:

On both the Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam pages on the HAL website, AmericasTest Kitchen is currently prominently promoted. I know the Orange Club dining venue took over the space on Kdam where ATK had been located, but I did read somewhere that it was to be relocated into the Rock Room space, the same way it shares the space with the BB King lounge on other ships. Perhaps they hadn't completed the transformation in time for the first sail after drydock.  

There was no Test kitchen or even demonstrations on the Koningsdam after the change.

 

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11 hours ago, Travrat said:

Just came off Koningsdam. I am a huge Rock fan but agree that the singers were not good. Watched one to two sets only- could not take much more of them! BB King Club much better talent. Piano players in Billboard were awful- thought the same last year and they were different entertainers. The concept of these venues is good but the talent is lacking. Loved the Lincoln Center on Stage Italian Quintet!!!

HAL needs to add some daytime entertainment on sea days. Unless you like to bake in the sun there is nothing going on. What happened to the Caribbean music at the pool? Why no interesting lecturers and I don't mean "where to shop". They eliminated the cooking demos. They need to step up the game as there is a lot of competition out there

 

Interesting... Just got off the Koningsdam as well and found Jason and Michael from Billboard Onboard to be one of the better piano players compared to others Billboard Onboard I've been to.

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Just got off a 7 day Holiday cruise on the Koningsdam, and the Rolling Stone Rock Room is a great venue. And I disagree with those that complained about the abilities of the lead singers in the band. They were NOT off pitch, however the keyboard player was not all that dynamic. I didn't like all the songs in the sets, but they were ROCKING! And to those of you who are sound sensitive (as am I), the volume was not so loud that we couldn't converse during the set. It was a wonderful addition to the ship!

 

Billboard dueling pianos were awful, banging on their keyboards, forcing every note, way too loud. Pretty obnoxious.

 

The dancers in the Main showroom were fantastic, the best show I've seen on HAL.

 

NO AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN DEMOS, except on the TV. That was disappointing.

 

The Koningsdam was beautiful, staterooms excellent and the food was excellent. The ship was packed with families, and the average age of the passengers was significantly younger than on other HAL cruises we've been on. Venues were crowded- SRO in many cases. 2650 passengers is a lot of people (compared to the smaller ships). We enjoyed the cruise, and ship. Probably won't sail her again (too many people), but a wonderful cruise experience, nonetheless.

 

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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! 

Edited by Travrat

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