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Any (predicted) Downsides for the Koningsdam in Alaska

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So last year my (extended) family and I booked the Nieuw Amsterdam in Alaska.  The short summary is we all loved it.  Along those lines, I was thinking about booking a last minute trip this year on the same boat.  As cabin options are limited I started looked at next year.  To my surprise, the Nieuw Amsterdam is being moved to the Mediterranean next year and the Koningsdam is replacing it on the same route (Vancouver, Inside Passage, Round Trip).

 

Anyway, in looked at the Kdam, it seems a bit like an "upsized" Nieuw Amsterdam.  The biggest "downsides" I see are 30% more people (2650 or so vs. 2000), and the "smaller" promenade deck (both narrower overall and really narrow in many  places and blocked by the lifeboats in others).  The latter is a bit of a bummer of course in Alaska given the scenery.  Based on the Hal "route maps" it appears to still follow the same path through the "true" inside passage (i.e. East of Vancouver Island, etc.)  so the increased size doesn't look to be an issue in terms of route.

 

I have to admit, the "newer" boat does have its own attraction (i.e. not a 100% replica of prior cruise, some newer venues like Rolling Stone Rock room, etc.)...oh one more downside: it looks to be pricier!

 

Any other comments (pro or con)?

 

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At its size and passenger load, it, along with all the other passengers from the other ships on the same route, the ports are likely to be overloaded. Walking around, the shops, and the attractions will be jammed. Shore excursions might be more limited, since there are so many people vying for them.

Isn't there another ship doing the same route on a different day? For the last many years there has been.

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The  massive size of the ship   and the smallness of the ports means it will overwhelm most  and make for a crowded  to over crowded  situation.    Most Ports i Alaska are best suited to ships under1400.

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6 minutes ago, RuthC said:

At its size and passenger load, it, along with all the other passengers from the other ships on the same route, the ports are likely to be overloaded. Walking around, the shops, and the attractions will be jammed. Shore excursions might be more limited, since there are so many people vying for them.

Isn't there another ship doing the same route on a different day? For the last many years there has been.

It is extremely rare for there not to be multiple ships in any of the main Alaskian ports on any given day.  Often 3-4 in Kitchikan, Juneau, Skagway, etc.  As such the difference in size of the HAL ships, compared to the larger ships on other lines are not going to make much difference in the port crowding.  They are going to be crowded period.

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Posted (edited)

Kdam, in my opinion is a bit large for Alaska.  You won't have the wrap around deck that you probably came to love on the NA (well, it's there, but not the same... and especially in Alaska, I would think you'll really miss it), and in you won't be able to get as up close and 'personal' with the glaciers simply because of the size of the ship.  The "newness" won't really wow you... NA is fairly new as well, and in fact, if I had a choice I would go even smaller - down to Vista class or smaller, for Alaska.

Edited by Moriah

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K'dam allows smoking in the casino, while NA does not.  I'd look at other cruiseline itineraries to see what other ships are going to be in the same ports at the same time to get a true sense of crowding.  I don't know that K'dam's extra passenger load would be enough by itself to overwhelm a port but that combined with other large ships could make a difference.

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I sailed the K’dam to the Caribbean this past March and much to my surprise I loved this ship.  I was delighted to see it in Alaska 2021 as I am planning an Alaskan cruise for 2022 and am hoping a Pinnacle Class ship is available for us to book.....but I would be happy on a Vista or Signature class ship as well.

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7 hours ago, cabland said:

So last year my (extended) family and I booked the Nieuw Amsterdam in Alaska.  The short summary is we all loved it.  Along those lines, I was thinking about booking a last minute trip this year on the same boat.  As cabin options are limited I started looked at next year.  To my surprise, the Nieuw Amsterdam is being moved to the Mediterranean next year and the Koningsdam is replacing it on the same route (Vancouver, Inside Passage, Round Trip).

 

Anyway, in looked at the Kdam, it seems a bit like an "upsized" Nieuw Amsterdam.  The biggest "downsides" I see are 30% more people (2650 or so vs. 2000), and the "smaller" promenade deck (both narrower overall and really narrow in many  places and blocked by the lifeboats in others).  The latter is a bit of a bummer of course in Alaska given the scenery.  Based on the Hal "route maps" it appears to still follow the same path through the "true" inside passage (i.e. East of Vancouver Island, etc.)  so the increased size doesn't look to be an issue in terms of route.

 

I have to admit, the "newer" boat does have its own attraction (i.e. not a 100% replica of prior cruise, some newer venues like Rolling Stone Rock room, etc.)...oh one more downside: it looks to be pricier!

 

Any other comments (pro or con)?

 

I love the Koningsdam, love the newness of the ship, Dutch Cafe, has Tamarind, New York Deli, however for Alaska I wouldn’t take it, because does not have proper promenade deck viewing, as it is obstructed by the lifeboats.  When we go to Alaska, of course we spend time on the bow, but it can get very chilly and windy out on the bow, so then we spend time on the promenade deck going from side to side, as it offers some protection from wind and rain, we like being outside in the elements in Alaska.  Some people like to view from Crows Nest so lack of viewing from promenade deck would not matter.  Just my opinion and I love the ship.  If you like to stay inside go for it.  If you like to be outside I’d say forget about it.

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Posted (edited)

We really enjoyed the Koningsdam. And because this is for you AND your extended family, the K is a very good choice. There is more variety with the Dutch Cafe, Tamarind, the Rock Room, and on and on. Because you've been there before, you know that even the K is dwarfed by the new NCL ships that share ports. Not much you can do about that! We were on the Eurodam this spring and it is amazing how they can turn these big ships on a dime and get really up close and personal with the glacier. We always view from the bow or from the upper decks (two story protected decks around the lido pool) where you can hear the descriptions, enjoy the pea soup, and hot chocolate! Smoking in the casino is the only negative on this ship.

Edited by twodjs
Hand hit a wrong key as I posted

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Love Koningdam & would not hesitate sailing her for a Alaska  cruise . The  best is to book a  balcony cabin for easy viewing relaxed  in your pjs  :classic_biggrin:👍

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We’re just off the Koningsdam in the Mediterranean and previously sailed NA in Alaska so maybe can offer some comparisons in addition to the excellent points already made by others. I really liked both ships but agree that the NA has better/more viewing opportunities while Koningsdam has better entertainment, more live music, and more restaurants. I think the Koningsdam generally felt more crowded than the NA because the main areas like the dining room, theater and Lido are not large enough when the ship is at capacity. I agree that the ports will be too crowded no matter which ship you select so it’s more a matter of which ship you would enjoy more and which one has better rooms/prices/dates available. On either one I would consider getting one cabin with the largest balcony that fits your budget so that your family can have a comfortable place from which to enjoy the scenery. I think you’ll have a great time on either ship 🙂

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Posted (edited)

Thanks All - I really appreciate the feedback.  I'm not as worried about the size impacting ports since, as folks note, the other ships are either as large or often much larger than the Kdam (not that anyone is a fan of "crowded").  I think there were 4 ships in port the day we arrived in Juneau last year.  The "crowds" in ports were not an issue for us, perhaps because we were on excursions with smaller numbers of folks.

 

Last year we all had balcony cabins and my wife and I splurged for a signature suite.  While the extra room in the suite was definitely nice, I also found I appreciated the extra space on the balcony almost as much!  I do tend to like to be outside (probably more than any other person on our trip) and spend a decent amount of time on both our balcony and the back lido deck (binoculars glued to my face as a I scanned intently for whales!) - it just isn't the same experience (for me) "inside" looking through a window.

 

I neglected to specify that this next time around, it MAY just be my wife and I (not sure if my extended family will be able to make it...TBD).  Honestly, while the smoking in the Casino is a bummer, I suspect the promenade deck would be the biggest "miss" for me based on the comments above (I am sort of in "denial" about it, but there are 2 or 3 videos on YouTube that tell the tale...sure the deck is still there and not entirely horrible, but I feel it is fair to say it is at least 75% less usable for viewing now).

 

I would do the Eurodam, but prefer the sailings from Vancouver vs. Seattle (different route, etc.).  All of this may push me to just try an entirely different route (maybe Southbound instead of round trip)...dang first world problems!!!

 

Edited by cabland

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Screwing with the promenade deck is one of Holland's really bad ideas.

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21 hours ago, npcl said:

It is extremely rare for there not to be multiple ships in any of the main Alaskian ports on any given day.  Often 3-4 in Kitchikan, Juneau, Skagway, etc.  As such the difference in size of the HAL ships, compared to the larger ships on other lines are not going to make much difference in the port crowding.  They are going to be crowded period.

 My comment on crowding is  getting on and off the ship.... not just the towns where a single gangway is all and 2800 folks are going to have to funnel through... a lot of time lost just getting off and on the ship      To for glacier viewing the larger ship will  be even more crowded to find a spot

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