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TinaM67

K'dam vs NS - Is one better?

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Hi.  We want to try HAL on one of these ships.  We currently enjoy X, NCL and MSC YC.

 

We are looking to do a 7 night in Nov 2020.  The NS schedule is out, but they are all 10 or 11 nights.  K schedule is not out yet, but I am assuming that it will have 7 night cruises (the reverse of 2019).

 

Here is my concern.  In reading the reviews for these two ships, the NS gets glowing reviews, but the K'dam's reviews are mostly "disappointing", "not for us", "never again", etc.

 

From those of you who have sailed both ships, is there really a difference?  (I understand that the physical ships are identical). 

 

We were looking for a new cruise line to add to our mix.  Food, wine, evening entertainment and nice bars/lounges are important to us.

 

Thanks.

 

 

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If you are new to the HAL board, then you have to understand that many of the regular posters here are VERY loyal to HAL's older, smaller ships and that's why you get comments like the ones you mentioned.

 

The Kdam and NS are probably most similar to X in that even though they are larger than the older HAL ships they are mostly a traditional cruise line.  I understand that NCL and the MSC Yacht Club are more innovative and do not follow the traditional cruise ship model.

 

I sailed the Kdam in Europe this past spring on a very port intensive cruise and based on that wonderful experience we booked the NS for this past January in the Caribbean.  We loved both cruises but for different reasons.  I would not hesitate to recommend either one.

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In general either ship should be to your liking based on your other cruise experience.

Any new ship teething issues on NS will be long over by 2020.

But seems that KONINGSDAM not being in the initial listing of Caribbean itineraries could be indicative of the ship being deployed elsewhere.

FWIW I’ll be sailing on KONINGSDAM next week.

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1 hour ago, TinaM67 said:

Here is my concern.  In reading the reviews for these two ships, the NS gets glowing reviews, but the K'dam's reviews are mostly "disappointing", "not for us", "never again", etc.

In the early reviews of the K, many people were reacting to some fairly radical changes to HAL traditional ships, especially the promenade, the modern art work,  the lack of a good library, and the preponderance of black/white/gray/chrome in the decor.  In the two years between launchings, those changes have been well publicized, and first-timers on the NS were more aware of what to expect. People who have sailed both ships are not the ones who have said "not for us" or "never again", so when you combine those factors, you are not seeing as many negative reactions for the NS.  That's my theory anyway!  

Edited by catl331

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The Koningsdam is headed for the West Coast, but I don't recall the date when that will happen.  That may be her itineraries are not shown.

 

In my opinion, the Nieuw Statendam had no "teething" issues that negatively impacted the experiences of this guest.  Were there some things that I thought needed "tweaking"?  Yes.  But, don't we all find that on whatever cruise we sail?

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On both ships for Christmas cruises.  K in 2017 and NS in 2018.  Ships, even down to décor, except for art works, seem identical.  NS has a larger World Stage by maybe a hundred seats or so.  I still dislike the narrow promenade deck on these two sister vessels and wish they had the wider deck found on the rest of the HA fleet, but that's my personal preference.  Both ships offer HA's signature friendly crew with gracious service.  You can't go wrong on either ship.  Come back and let us know your impressions.  Enjoy.

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Thanks for all of your insights. 

 

Just to clarify, the reviews in the "review" section that I read were from Dec 2018 and Jan 2019, so "teething" issues for Kdam would be a moot point.  And the NS, which is the newer ship got great reviews (take a look). 

 

But if the Kdam is not even going to be in the Caribbean in Nov 2020-Dec 2021, then I'm spinning my wheels for nothing.  If that is the case, I may have to reconsider the 10 or 11 night itineraries.  There are several reasons why this would not be my first choice, and I may decide to wait ANOTHER year.

 

I've wanted to try HAL for awhile, but need a wheelchair accessible cabin, and many of the ships prior to these two have very limited cabins for full-time wheelchair users. (I've been in a wc since I was 27 yo).

 

Again, thanks for all of the thoughtful replies.

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Agree, some of us panning these larger HAL ships, who are both getting very nice reviews, belong to the small or not at all cruise set. HAL brand today is a jumble of options from smaller  to larger - with different amenities depending on size of ship - so opinions about "HAL ships" simple does not translate across  the fleet.

 

Nice to have the variety of choice, particularly the smaller ships which are soon to leave  the brand forever, but they are hard to replace once one gets used to their quieter, small scale charms.

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2 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

Agree, some of us panning these larger HAL ships, who are both getting very nice reviews, belong to the small or not at all cruise set. HAL brand today is a jumble of options from smaller  to larger - with different amenities depending on size of ship - so opinions about "HAL ships" simple does not translate across  the fleet.

 

Nice to have the variety of choice, particularly the smaller ships which are soon to leave  the brand forever, but they are hard to replace once one gets used to their quieter, small scale charms.

 

I can see why the K and NS are getting a cool reception from long-time HAL passengers. Count me in that group. I wasn't crazy about K the first time, but gave it a second chance this winter. Nope, not for me. It just doesn't "feel" like HAL. I recently met a long-time X passenger who said the new Edge "doesn't feel like celebrity." So there you go. 

 

HAL is chasing a new demographic, people who want newer, larger, techier ships with un-HAL entertainment (and to hell with your eardrums).

 

For the OP, who has sailed X and NCL (I'm assuming the newer larger ships--I don't know anything about MSC), HAL's two new big ships could be a good fit. 

 

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Hopefully you  enjoy smoking indoors. I believe those are the two ships in HAL's fleet that still allow smoking in some public areas.

I don't get it. If HAL is trying to attract a younger crowd with their newer ships why allow smoking?

 

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2 hours ago, TomBeckCruise said:

Hopefully you  enjoy smoking indoors. I believe those are the two ships in HAL's fleet that still allow smoking in some public areas.

I don't get it. If HAL is trying to attract a younger crowd with their newer ships why allow smoking?

 

 

I think this post needs a qualifier. You can still smoke in some areas within the casino. Nowhere else indoors. Nobody will be lighting up next to you at dinner.

 

I agree with the poster, in that I think it's a shame they still allow this. But I didn't want the post to get away with such a generalization as, "hopefully you enjoy smoking indoors."

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4 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

I wasn't crazy about K the first time, but gave it a second chance this winter. Nope, not for me. It just doesn't "feel" like HAL. I recently met a long-time X passenger who said the new Edge "doesn't feel like celebrity." So there you go. 

 

I think this is an interesting comment because after disembarking the Nieuw Statendam almost a month ago, your comment does reflect what I have been "feeling" about my b2b cruises on her, but have not verbalized to myself as well as you have.  

 

I enjoyed the 14 days aboard NS.  Was all "perfect"?  No, but the 14 days met my expectations.  I made friends with some new folks, met many other very pleasant guests, and enjoyed interacting with the best crew on the seven seas.  Yet, something was "missing".  Your post has helped me identify that "missing" ingredient.  The ship did not "feel" like HAL.  When I embarked any of the others--and particularly the Rotterdam/Amsterdam or Zaandam/Volendam--I have the "I am home" feeling.  I have that same feeling with the Signature and Vista Class vessels as well.

 

What to do?  Try NS again?  Try K?  Wait for Pinnacle #3?  (I'm glad I have the Westerdam booked for this July!)

 

  

Edited by rkacruiser

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We've sailed on both the Kdam and NS. And both on 7 day Caribbean cruises. 

 

They are identical and both are awesome.  

 

I agree w/previous posts that the comments you read about the Kdam were based on it being the first of a new breed of HAL ships.  We HAL regulars do not like change and so the Kdam took the brunt of the negative comments, IMO.

 

I hope you find an itinerary you like on either of these great ships and give HAL a try. 

 

Smooth sailing......

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1 hour ago, stickey_mouse said:

Yeah, I should have said I hope you are a smoker or can tolerate walking by an area where smoking is allowed. I am glad the smoking area is down to just part of the casino. That is still too much for DW and I. Smoke drifts and we don't care for our clothes smelling like smoke.

I think this post needs a qualifier. You can still smoke in some areas within the casino. Nowhere else indoors. Nobody will be lighting up next to you at dinner.

 

I agree with the poster, in that I think it's a shame they still allow this. But I didn't want the post to get away with such a generalization as, "hopefully you enjoy smoking indoors."

 

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