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steve4031

How bad is it?!! Trying to figure out context of negative posts

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I booked on the Konigsdam on an Alaska cruise out of Vancouver at beginning of August 2020.  I’ve been on 6 carnival cruises and 1 NCL cruise. I enjoyed them all.  

 

I am pretty low maintenance as a traveler.  I will eat at standard dining times and graze in the lido deck, etc.  On my 1st solo cruise on Carnival I would get up, eat breakfast in the dining room, nap and then find some activity or read a book if nothing was interesting.  

 

I booked this cruise as a solo because I am determined to check Alaska off the bucket list. 

 

Im surprised at the number of complaints about cut backs on service, etc.  How will the Konigsdam compare with Carnival dream and NCL.  These are my two best cruises. 

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If you go on your cruise wanting it to be bad, it will be bad. If you go like I and my wife with a positive attitude it will be fine. Cutbacks in the cruise world is no difference than any other sector. Remember what used to be a 5 pound bag of sugar is now a four pound bag. I did not stop buying it because it got cut back.

Go and have a great cruise.

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3 minutes ago, Mr and Mrs CIQ said:

Remember what used to be a 5 pound bag of sugar is now a four pound bag. I did not stop buying it because it got cut back.

The difference is the sugar is still the same product; cruising is not.

OP, if you are comparing to Carnival and NCL, you won't be disappointed in the food or service on HAL.
Have a good time---you will LOVE Alaska!

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The Koningsdam is an awesome ship and the service and cleanliness standards for HAL are high.  You will have an amazing time.

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I’ve been on the Kongingsdam for several cruises and love the ship.  I haven’t been on Carnival or NCL though.

 

Alaska is a great cruise and I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy the ship too.   Make sure to eat at the Dutch Cafe! 

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16 minutes ago, canadianbear said:

Make sure to eat at the Dutch Cafe! 

...and the Tamarind!!

Yes - there is a lot of negativity here. Much of it lamenting the glorious days of yore. We have been sailing HAL for 10+ years and have begun thinking that it may be time to start looking around however HAL offers a competitive "product" and in general their cruise is what YOU make of it. As an earlier post comments: if you go expecting it to be bad, you'll find everything possible to complain about. We just sailed Alaska for the 4th time with HAL and had a really great cruise. Were there points to quibble over? Sure, what we paid for photographs last year on Koningsdam was awesome - what they wanted this year on Eurodam was ridiculous (and we didn't - although we usually do). DW would like a better selection of GF desserts and better assurances that Lido items are in fact gluten-free however GF dining in the MDR and Tamarind is easy.

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No worries.  Have been on at least 6 Carnival cruises and one NCL(never again) and absolutely no comparison to HAL.  Koningsdam is a bit larger than our preferred HAL ships and we noticed more crowding in Lido, but all is relative isn't it?  Minuscule lines compared to Carnival and NCL.   Service, cleanliness, food quality all way above anything offered on Carnival and NCL.  We like to complain when things change, but hasn't fallen to Carnival and NCL levels for sure. You will love it if you are used to those cruise lines.  NCL does generally have better showroom entertainment but we aren't much into that anyway.  Love BB King Blues club.  If you are a drinker and don't buy drink package make sure to hit the happy hours.  Nothing like that offered on Carnival, not sure about NCL as that was one of our first cruises years ago.  Anyway we save a lot on drink tab by strategically using happy hour.  You will love Koningsdam I am sure.

Jane

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Change is a constant today.  Many of HAL's dedicated cruisers are accustomed to "the way things used to be" and loved it.  I've seen a lot of change, both positive and negative but the good changes seem to be accepted with nary a shrug while the things people used to love and are no longer there become a crisis.

Based on your comments I think you will absolutely love the Koningsdam and will have a cruise that will make Carnival and NCL look like the "bad old days"

 

Roy

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If you've been happy with Carnival/NCL cruises, you will love HAL as a step up in service, ambiance, and food quality IMO.  Of course food is subjective.  A dish that one passenger raves over, another may declare inedible.  In 25+ cruises with HAL, I was served one dish that I didn't care for.  It was simple to order something else more to my taste.

 

Koningsdam is a lovely ship with lots of space to spread.  You'll never feel crowded, except for certain times around the Lido main pool, but simply go to the aft pool for a quieter spot.  Make certain to try some of the alternative venues for dining, especially Dive In and Dutch Café (both free). 

 

Alaska is magnificent!  No words do it justice.  As RuthC said, you will love Alaska, and I'll bet you come back as a HAL fan too.  Let us know what you think after your 2020 cruise. 

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We did the Kdam in the Med last fall.  It was our first cruise with HAL (NCL before that).

We loved the Koningsdam and HAL, so much that we're booked for two more cruises this fall/winter (including the 77 day trip around South America).  Kdam is a little bigger than we prefer, but it's still great.

You'll have a super time.

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Posted (edited)

We took our first cruise with HAL in 2002 and hated it. We swore off HAL for ten years.

 

HAL offered a wonderful Med itinerary several years ago on the Ryndam. We loved it and have been sailing HAL ever since.

 

We are Platinum Plus on NCL, Platinum on Princess, and 3 star mariner on HAL.

 

We just returned from a Princess Cruise but we were so displeased that we cancelled a 10 day Princess Cruise and substituted a 7 day cruise on the Nieuw Statendam. We have another HAL cruise booked along with an NCL Cruise.

Edited by Granny DI

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Posted (edited)

Taking into consideration your past cruise history, I think you're going to absolutely love Holland America. We cruised HAL for the first time earlier this year on the Nieuw Amsterdam.  We loved the ship experience, the service, the food and the entertainment. As soon as you step on board you'll see the differences between HAL and Carnival (we've never sailed NCL) and I'm pretty confident you won't be disappointed.

Edited by fyree39

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Thank you for all the replies.   It’s reassuring. I understand the frustration about cutbacks.  I’m a railfan.  I have ridden Every Amtrak route.  The cut backs made to the dining car on some of Amtrak’s eastern trains are devastating imho. 

 

I am am excited about this cruise. Only paid the deposit on an OO guarantee.  But as o make payments and it gets closer I’ll feel the reality. Lol. 

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6 hours ago, steve4031 said:

I booked on the Konigsdam on an Alaska cruise out of Vancouver at beginning of August 2020.  I’ve been on 6 carnival cruises and 1 NCL cruise. I enjoyed them all.  

 

I am pretty low maintenance as a traveler.  I will eat at standard dining times and graze in the lido deck, etc.  On my 1st solo cruise on Carnival I would get up, eat breakfast in the dining room, nap and then find some activity or read a book if nothing was interesting.  

 

I booked this cruise as a solo because I am determined to check Alaska off the bucket list. 

 

Im surprised at the number of complaints about cut backs on service, etc.  How will the Konigsdam compare with Carnival dream and NCL.  These are my two best cruises. 

When you run into complaints about cutbacks, the context is that cutbacks = changes.  The people generally making the comment are those that want it to be the same as the past.  However, the industry has changed, the competition has changed and the cruise line needs to adjust while maintaining a competitive price structure. Yes, the cruise line has changed, it will continue to change or it will go out of business as many cruise lines have.  Each person has to make the decision on if it is worth their travel dollar.  I have increased the number of days I am spending on HAL ships, instead of lamenting that my next cruise might have a few difference from my last one.

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6 hours ago, steve4031 said:

I booked on the Konigsdam on an Alaska cruise out of Vancouver at beginning of August 2020.  I’ve been on 6 carnival cruises and 1 NCL cruise. I enjoyed them all.  

 

I am pretty low maintenance as a traveler.  I will eat at standard dining times and graze in the lido deck, etc.  On my 1st solo cruise on Carnival I would get up, eat breakfast in the dining room, nap and then find some activity or read a book if nothing was interesting.  

 

I booked this cruise as a solo because I am determined to check Alaska off the bucket list. 

 

Im surprised at the number of complaints about cut backs on service, etc.  How will the Konigsdam compare with Carnival dream and NCL.  These are my two best cruises. 

3:00pm Dutch Cafe brings out almond cookies, with almond paste inside, very awesome is you like almond.  Billboard on board 4:00pm happy hour has food in the warming trays, like dumplings and egg rolls and various other stuff.  New York Deli has Rueben sandwiches along with other items, ask for extra meat.  Has a pay Gelato place, very awesome, but can get free ice cream in the lido at lunch.  Great ship.  We booked inside we were on deck 11 or something like that if you have booked inside just be prepared that the cabins are small...  Even I think they are small, I would still sail again with her.  Please kindly come  back after your cruise and provide an update as to what you thought about the ship.  Just curious, I am betting that you will love it.

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6 hours ago, steve4031 said:

I booked on the Konigsdam on an Alaska cruise out of Vancouver at beginning of August 2020.  I’ve been on 6 carnival cruises and 1 NCL cruise. I enjoyed them all.  

 

I am pretty low maintenance as a traveler.  I will eat at standard dining times and graze in the lido deck, etc.  On my 1st solo cruise on Carnival I would get up, eat breakfast in the dining room, nap and then find some activity or read a book if nothing was interesting.  

 

I booked this cruise as a solo because I am determined to check Alaska off the bucket list. 

 

Im surprised at the number of complaints about cut backs on service, etc.  How will the Konigsdam compare with Carnival dream and NCL.  These are my two best cruises. 

Carnival  and NCl  are  the base level of the cruise ship heirachy. They are the minimalist, cruises.

   ANY line ship you go above is going to be way way better in every respect.

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My understanding is that HAL is significantly better then Carnival and NCL.  I never had complaints about Carnival.  In fact only compliments because I had realistic expectations.  I found NCL Sun significantly better than Carnival on a Baltic cruise.   So I am looking forward to this.  I like the cookies at the Dutch Cafe.  They sound good.  

 

My big craving is Lox and cream cheese on a bagel.  And pizza slices.  I’m looking forward to eating in the steakhouse.   

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14 hours ago, steve4031 said:

My big craving is Lox and cream cheese on a bagel.  And pizza slices

You won't have any trouble finding those items... 🙂

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14 hours ago, steve4031 said:

My big craving is Lox and cream cheese on a bagel.

That's what I have every morning for breakfast.  So take some advice from this experienced HAL Mariner:  Get it in the Lido.  I'm not normally a Lido fan, prefer my shipboard meals served to me.  However, in the MDR you NEVER get enough cream cheese.  They serve the cream cheese as a small dollop in a little dish. Of course, you can ask for more but you'll have to wait.  But in the Lido you can select your favorite cream cheese flavor and even one Philadelphia prepackaged unit is more than what you are served in the MDR.  Plus, you can have your bagel freshly toasted to your preference -- lightly or burned.  My only quibble is that there are never enough capers on the lox plate.  I remedy this by bringing my own jar of capers on every cruise.  Seriously.  Hope this helps😀.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Granny DI said:

We took our first cruise with HAL in 2002 and hated it. We swore off HAL for ten years.

 

HAL offered a wonderful Med itinerary several years ago on the Ryndam. We loved it and have been sailing HAL ever since.

 

We are Platinum Plus on NCL, Platinum on Princess, and 3 star mariner on HAL.

 

We just returned from a Princess Cruise but we were so displeased that we cancelled a 10 day Princess Cruise and substituted a 7 day cruise on the Nieuw Statendam. We have another HAL cruise booked along with an NCL Cruise.

Do those status mean anything on the cruise lines? Does it mean you get more than the regular cruisers?

We cruise for itinerary. Celebrity, NCL, Oceania, Scenic and others.

They all have good and not so good points. There is change on all cruise lines every year. Cannot linger in the past as it will only upset you. Go on them to see the things you wish to see and make that the priority, not the amenities.

 

Edited by pete_coach

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Sounds like this is going to be amazing.  I understand that because I have some cruise history on Carnival I’ll be able to eat in the dining room on embarkation day.  That should be relaxing.  

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I have been on Carnival, NCL and HAL all lots of times. I would say HAL is a step down in many aspects from Carnival and NCL. Yes, a step down for those cheerleaders.

 

The food has been better with more variety on the larger Carnival and NCL ships. Thank goodness you will be going on the Koningsdam. The food venues have very limited hours on HAL, so be aware of the hours on the daily schedule. If you like ice cream as a treat, be aware that they close it at 3pm on the Koningsdam and will direct you to the pay gelato place. 

 

The entertainment is absolutely dreadful on HAL. My last regular HAL cruise was on the Oosterdam last December. So many complaints from the cruisers at dinner each night. I went with a friend who is elderly and a die hard HAL fan. Even she complained about the food and entertainment. HAL does not spend money on entertainment like NCL, RCI or Carnival.

 

I am sure you got a cheap deal on the Koningsdam. It is a nice ship, with some nice decor. The cabins are smaller than the older HAL ships, smaller than Carnival cabins, but about on par with the newer NCL ships.

 

You are there to see Alaska. Enjoy! Just remember that if you got a smokin' hot deal on the ship, there is a reason and roll with it. 

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First I believe you will have a good time on HAL it is a good line. But my thoughts differ with many on here. Until our daughter was a teenager we cruised on Carnival and always had a good time. We have since been on other lines including HAL.

 

HAL and Carnival are very different when it come to decor and ambiance. Only you can decide which you prefer. Carnival is much higher energy , HAL is a bit sedate. Both are good depending on what you want. HAL was a bit to sedate for us at times but still enjoyed ourselves.

 

 Food is very subjective but I wouldn’t pick either of these lines if food was what I was there for. Overall there is not a lot of difference between the two. Both have things on the menu that are great and things that are not so good. I prefer Carnivals steak house to the Pinnacle grill. HAL has the best Salad bar I  have come across on a ship. 


As far as service I really have not seen any real difference. I have had excellent service on both as well as questionable service on both.
 

I have not been on the ship you will be on and with all lines the ship can have a major impact on your cruise. I wouldn’t have any concerns and would look forward to having a great time.

 

Again this is my opinion and I am sure many will disagree. Not a thing wrong with HAL, as a mater of fact we have a 28 day booked on the Ossterdam in March of 2020.

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10 minutes ago, stevec999 said:

.... HAL and Carnival are very different when it come to decor and ambiance. Only you can decide which you prefer. Carnival is much higher energy , HAL is a bit sedate. Both are good depending on what you want. HAL was a bit to sedate for us at times but still enjoyed ourselves.

 

 Food is very subjective but I wouldn’t pick either of these lines if food was what I was there for...


As far as service I really have not seen any real difference. I have had excellent service on both as well as questionable service on both....
 

 

I agree with Steve999.

 

The quality of service depends on the server. There are polite employees and there are rude employees. Same for helpful and diligence. And, the employee culture goes through cycles. From fresh to blase.

 

The quality of food depends on the executive chef. On my last cruise on the Rotterdam in May, the Indian chef managed to produce the worst Asian food I have ever had the misfortune to encounter.

 

For those of us who can afford better, we do complain. I do eat at premium restaurants on land. So, I'm not going to put up with poor service or food.

 

I can afford to cruise with premium brands, but I make allowances for a mid-brand like HAL. That said, there is absolutely no excuse for blatant failures at the corporate level.

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