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Rick-n-MeMe

RECENTLY RETURNED FROM KONINGSDAM 11 NIGHT CRUISE

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34 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

And yet I don’t feel the need to belittle you for that.

 

and I will apologize for 'belittling' you although that was not my intent -  

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19 hours ago, Rick-n-MeMe said:

We just returned from our Koningsdam cruise Sunday, November 24.  The cruise was 11 nights and left Fort Lauderdale on November 13th.  We were excited to go on the Koningsdam and the cruise for the most part was very nice.  We are retired and living in Florida after traveling many years back and forth across the USA from Seattle for cruises.  Leaving out of Florida is a real plus and we are enjoying that. We have cruised numerous times (more than 25) on Celebrity, Princess and Holland America and some with RCCL and Carnival.  Our favorite cruise line at this point in our lives is Celebrity, followed by Princess and then Holland America.  We enjoy the more restricted smoking policy of Celebrity and we are getting to a point where we get more loyalty amenities for sailing with them. We do have status with other cruise lines and certainly would not discount them if the price and itinerary are right.

 

Well, enough with the background information! We didn’t take a lot of photos as we have been to all the ports more than once. I hopefully will post some photos of the stateroom/balcony, etc. in separate posts. So, it might be easiest to just do a list of things we liked and things we didn’t like.

 

Things we liked:

 

·         Many aspects of our room, #6216 aft balcony, we enjoyed including all the outlets in the room and USB ports by the bed (both sides) and at the desk area.

 

·         Enjoyed the firm mattress and pillows for comfort.

 

·         Really liked the anti-fog mirror in the bathroom.  It worked perfectly.

 

·         Liked the brighter than usual lighting in the bathroom and over the desk.

 

·         The shower size was awesome and the water pressure was crazy good. 

 

·         Loved the elevated refrigerator.  Why don’t more cruiselines do this?  It was great to not have to bend over to get things out of the fridge.

 

·         The room storage was way better than adequate.  Had ample hanging areas and good number of drawers. Also had two nice hooks by the bed for hats and totes, etc.

 

·         The bar prep area in the room was handy as it sat right by the fridge and it came with champagne, wine and cocktail glasses as well as a wine opener.

 

·         TV on demand movies had a great selection and saved your place as long as you paused it.

 

·         Room service answered the phone fast and we felt they brought items quicker than we were expecting. The food was warm and tasty. Love the chocolate cake. Even ordered dinner one night off the main dining room menu when we didn’t feel like going out. Very nice indeed.

 

·         Really enjoyed the music walk venues on the ship with emphasis on BB King Blues Club and Rolling Stone Rock Room.  Great bands in the evenings for listening and dancing. Seating was good too but did get very crowded in the RSRR. 

 

·         Port Itinerary was good. We went to (not in order) St Lucia, St Martin, St Thomas, St Kitts, Martinique (we were there on a Sunday which is a dud because not much was open in town), Barbados and Half Moon Cay.

 

·         Buffet area was good for the most part. We didn’t go often but did enjoy the Salad and Asian sections and the bread pudding was great, if not better than usual.

 

·         Flowers throughout the ship are lovely but not as plentiful as in past years.  Still, they have more than other lines we have been on.

 

·         Nice ship décor and clean everywhere we went.  Ship is new enough that seating was comfortable and upholstery wasn’t worn out.

 

·         Club Orange: We paid to go. This class of ship, Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam have dedicated, separate dining rooms which was great.  Will address the negatives of Club Orange in the section of things we didn’t like on the ship.  But what we did like: Staff very nice, venue pretty and mostly comfortable. Maitre D’ was very accommodating and friendly, nice separation of tables for privacy, little to no waiting to be seated and if there was a wait, the Maitre D’ would come find you at the bar/lounge which was steps away. Really enjoyed going to breakfast here every day and the mimosas are included (not the cappuccino/lattes as someone previously reported, I believe.) Most of the time we were made to feel special and they did call us by name after getting to know us.

 

 

 

What we didn’t like:

 

·         Mattress in the stateroom was incased in a waterproof casing which made for an irritating sleep.

 

·         Balcony was only partially covered and suffered from soot more days than not. Wasn’t properly cleaned most of the time.

 

·         Would not choose aft on this ship again due to no fully covered balconies. We are inclined to fully covered and large balconies. This was on the smaller side but we had room to move which was nice. Sun was overpowering at times.  Note to self: book an angled deep balcony on the side of the ship next time on this class ship.

 

·         We prefer a sliding door on the balcony over this style.

 

·         Coffee table and table on the balcony were too small to be useful.  They could benefit from two tables on balconies and a taller and wider table in the room. Didn’t Holland America used to have adjustable height coffee tables years ago?  I miss that.

 

·         The arms on the loveseat are just weird. They snap on/snap off and kept falling off the couch.  Yikes. Safety issue not to mention, useless.

 

·         We were unable to contact our stateroom attendant. We were told if we needed anything to call Guest Relations. Surely didn’t like that hassle.  But our stateroom attendants were very good.

 

·         There was a large wasted space between the balcony door and the curtain. Don’t know if all rooms are like this, but strange design.

 

·         Couldn’t order room service via the TV.

 

·         Need more live tv stations. It was very limited.

 

·         This ship kept us up a couple of nights or so. It really shook and shimmied its way through the ocean. The only other ship that bothered our sleep this much was the Emerald Princess years ago. 

·         Definitely not a fan of Holland America casinos. Way too smoky. They only had two non-smoking nights in the casino starting at 530pm. They should have no smoking in the casino or at the very least half the nights should be non-smoking. (no flame intended please and yes, we do know some of their ships are non-smoking in the casino)

 

           Shows in the theatre need work. One comedian was terrible. Forget his first name but think last name was Frazier.

·         Food-red meat was not great and not as tender as normal. In the buffet, they need more dessert selection. Best thing was the bread pudding and pies in the bakery section. Pasta section of buffet was not appetizing looking so we didn’t partake. No burgers or hot dogs in the buffet area that we could find. I know they have it at Dive-In but that is just a plain hassle sometimes when you don’t want to wait 15 or more minutes for a burger.  No potato salad that we could find and that was a disappointment because HAL used to have great potato salad. Anyway, we prefer to serve ourselves at the buffet and could have used more choices.

 

·         Disembarkation was not great because the luggage was not all in place until 0830. Guess they were behind so it was kind of a madhouse down there once they released the barrier to go grab your luggage.

·         Guest relations failed to follow up with us on two occasions.  One was for being double charged for a burger in room service when we only ordered one burger, one time. There is a 4.95 charge for the Dive-In burger.  Took them three days and much research to take the charge off…including us calling or stopping by 2 times to make it happen. Simply unacceptable.

 

·         Club Orange: They need more help in their dining room. They could really use an assistant to the Maitre D’ to greet people at the door/podium. That would free up the Maitre D’ to do other things such as supervise.  They could take a lesson from Celebrity’s Blu dining. They need maybe two more waiters each meal service as well.  We had many long waits to order and in between courses, especially after finishing the entrée.  We feel strongly that for this type of upcharge, they really need elevated menu items. Most of the items are directly from the main dining room except for one item per evening which is done on site.  

 

·         Club Orange cont’d: the amenities were not enough for the upcharge. Yes, a more private dining room is good but the mention of things like a tote bag and dedicated 24 hour concierge makes you think you are getting something good. Well, the tote bag, we left behind as it was very cheaply made and didn’t appear in the stateroom until we called Guest Relations to ask where it was. The 24 hour dedicated concierge didn’t exist. We asked several times and were always told to call #90, the guest relations number that everyone calls.  Pretty misleading “amenities”. There was a tour of the ship which it turns out was offered to anyone interested and not just to CO people. We did have priority tendering in Half Moon Cay but didn’t utilize this as the tenders were huge and they were not backed up. The priority embarkation was somewhat nice but we had to insist that we were priority even though not in a suite. A bit annoying.   So, unless they make it more special, we won’t be going for the Club Orange upcharge in the future.

 

 


As much as I liked the sister ship Nieuw Statendam - and gave it an overall excellent rating and will likely only sail on this class ship again - I also found disagreeable many of the things you didn't like. I didn't make mention of them in my commentary but they were good points. Especially the smoky casino (we don't gamble at all) and the preference for sliding doors, shimmy in the sailing and the TV selections.

None of them were sufficient to bother me/us - but you are indeed right about them. Good review!

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About to head to the Cruiseport to embark on a similar itinerary on Koningsdam today.

 

On a prior K'dam cruise I shared many of the same complaints:

 

Balcony Door vs Slider

Detachabale arms on Sofa

Casino smoke

Lack of a traditional Promenade Deck

 

I'd add that in "mini suites" the sofa is between the toilet and the bed rather than nearest the Balcony. We downgraded to a standard Balcony cabin for this cruise as a result.

 

Still, we enjoy the ship, particularly the Music Walk, Specialty Dining and relative size (large enough to have many amenities without being a "Floating City").

 

Looking forward to a great 11 days!

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2 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

I appreciate the Club Orange dining room because it provides a more intimate venue.  I do not like the crowds in the Lido and the huge MDR with its loud noises and mediocre service.  It has nothing to do with elitism or mass quantities of money.

 

I fully agree. We really appreciated the Club Orange dining room. We don't mind the dining rooms of the smaller ships at all, but the one on the Koningsdam is particularly noisy and simply too large without the dividers they use on similar size ships that we have experienced.

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Back to a bit more on our cruise. We did a private tour in St Lucia with James Tours. We had contacted him before the cruise to discuss what we wanted to do and we firmed up our pick up time, etc. He met us in the cruise port and we were off to see a resort that we have been curious about for years.  We went to Ladera Resort in the southwestern part of the island. It is a very curvy road but we loved it. We previously had been on a tour in St Lucia with Cosol Tours that covered many different sites and aspects of the island. But this time we wanted something more memorable.  We meandered through many small fishing villages/towns and arrived a bit early for lunch so we sat and had a Piton beer overlooking the most incredible gorgeous views from their restaurant called Dasheene.  We toured a room that was vacant and told ourselves that someday just maybe, we might come back to stay at this glorious place. 

 

All the rooms at Ladera are extremely private and have walls on three sides but the front is open to the view of the Pitons. Each room has all you could want including a heated pool. Many honeymooners go here.  It would be a very costly trip but it is a bucket list item.  After touring the room, we returned to the restaurant for lunch.  Our tour guide, James, patiently waited for us at the bar area. He will do a group tour or private tour and pretty much anything you want. We were happy with his service and would book with him in the future. After lunch we returned to the ship after stopping a few times for photos. This resort takes about 1 1/2 hours each way. We don’t like to push the all-aboard envelope, so we returned at 2pm when sail away was at 4pm.

 

St Lucia is an extremely beautiful lush island and it was fun to ride around with a local discussing world events and such.  

 

Stairs to the restaurant Dasheene

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The view from the resort and restaurant. Words cannot describe!

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The resort’s main pool

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A photo of some of the rooms

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Accra (fish cakes) with mind blowing dipping sauce

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Small fresh seafood salad

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Vegetable and goat cheese flatbread

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Edited by Rick-n-MeMe

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Drinks were very good at Dasheene and why wouldn’t they be with this view?41EA83A6-4FD9-48C4-931B-986AD95C5580.thumb.jpeg.7222c79f0a775c8a34da69005b5f0b3f.jpeg

 

 

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Soufriere from above

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A view of the Pitons from the road above Soufriere

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Anse la Raye

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The Koningsdam has great lines, doesn’t she?

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Edited by Rick-n-MeMe

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Sail away from St Lucia was so pretty.  What an island!  After clearing the port area, we headed by Soufriere Bay for some great photo ops. F29DAD75-7D1A-41EA-8394-2FA2F6F5BA26.thumb.jpeg.05386142ba8fd1c08bf845321bb61428.jpeg

 

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In St Kitts, we opted for a nice walk around the port area and a local lunch.  We did buy a few bottles of liquor here because their prices are great.  We had lunch in a restaurant above the casino right at the end of the pier.  It is called Timo Bar and Kitchen. You do have to walk through the casino and up the stairs to get here. 

 

The view from our lunch place, Timo.

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Conch Fritters and Carib.  Life is good!

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Fish of the day-Snapper. Forgot to take a picture until we had nearly devoured it. Flavor was amazing.

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In St Thomas...once again we have been here a few times so the last two times we just walked around Havensight area and then had lunch at Tap and Still in the port area. They are Rock City Brewery and have great beer (we like the IPA) and good burgers and fries.

 

The only photo we took this time was a half glass of beer. Maybe I can find photos from our last trip —oops, no photos from last trip in March either.  The burgers and fries are priced very nicely though. E6DDB99D-76CC-40D5-9BCE-4C9D7BE4A65C.thumb.jpeg.614d89b5d1ea60796e3a92f5120731e5.jpeg

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Smoking areas on the Koningsdam include:  Seaview Bar starboard side and Sun Bar port side.  We did smell cigarette and even cigar smoke a few times on our aft balcony.  It wasn’t terrible...only now and then when in port.  

 

Don’t know what this proves but here are photos of those areas. If you are looking for a smoke free balcony, you might want to pull up the deck plan before making balcony decisions. 

 

Just trying to provide information for others as we always think about our balcony choice when considering smoking areas. 

 

 

96FDDA94-6EE1-4322-817C-AF2A4331C6E4.thumb.jpeg.8e40238cda0b4776234d24af93c87291.jpeg

 

Seaview Bar starboard side

 

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So all in all, we really enjoyed the Koningsdam.  No ship is ever perfect but there are many things we liked. We have sailed the Noordam a few times, the Zuiderdam and the Westerdam.  We do really like the music walk on the Koningsdam. 

 

I think we just prefer the balconies and feel of the older ships for some reason. Maybe we will try one of the deep angled balconies on the K or NS in the future. The photo above really shows the angled balconies well and we have our eye on that really deep one!

 

Thanks for reading and enjoying our photos. 

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3 minutes ago, Rick-n-MeMe said:

So all in all, we really enjoyed the Koningsdam.  No ship is ever perfect but there are many things we liked. We have sailed the Noordam a few times, the Zuiderdam and the Westerdam.  We do really like the music walk on the Koningsdam. 

 

I think we just prefer the balconies and feel of the older ships for some reason. Maybe we will try one of the deep angled balconies on the K or NS in the future. The photo above really shows the angled balconies well and we have our eye on that really deep one!

 

Thanks for reading and enjoying our photos. 

 

We had one of the angled balconies on the Zuiderdam and I absolutely loved it!  I spent more time out there than I ever have on any other balcony.  Loved the views.

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16 minutes ago, Rick-n-MeMe said:

So all in all, we really enjoyed the Koningsdam.  No ship is ever perfect but there are many things we liked. We have sailed the Noordam a few times, the Zuiderdam and the Westerdam.  We do really like the music walk on the Koningsdam. 

 

I think we just prefer the balconies and feel of the older ships for some reason. Maybe we will try one of the deep angled balconies on the K or NS in the future. The photo above really shows the angled balconies well and we have our eye on that really deep one!

 

Thanks for reading and enjoying our photos. 

We liked the Koningsdam better our second time (the first time they had a lot of accounting problems on board) but we loved it this past Oct-Nov.  The first time we had one of those deep balconies, it was huge!  This time we had an aft Vista Suite and loved it.  

Did you happen to meet Malou in the crepe station?  She was a delight, such a sweet person.

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21 minutes ago, Rick-n-MeMe said:

So all in all, we really enjoyed the Koningsdam.  No ship is ever perfect but there are many things we liked. We have sailed the Noordam a few times, the Zuiderdam and the Westerdam.  We do really like the music walk on the Koningsdam. 

 

I think we just prefer the balconies and feel of the older ships for some reason. Maybe we will try one of the deep angled balconies on the K or NS in the future. The photo above really shows the angled balconies well and we have our eye on that really deep one!

 

Thanks for reading and enjoying our photos. 

 

We were on the Koningdam in January.  We had 3 balconies (there were 5 of us) towards the aft, and DH and I were in Room 4191.  We were side by side by side, and the balconies are HUGE!!  Here's some photos. The photo with people in it my SIL and DH.  I aldo did a video of our room.  (pretty cheesy!) and here it is: 

 

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Hi Cruising Along, no we didn’t meet Malou and didn’t even see a crepe station.  Where was it?  Glad the cruise was nicer for you the second time. I do hope we can sail in an angled balcony on that ship or the NS someday.

Yes, Miss G, we also have sailed in the angled balcony on the Zuiderdam and really loved the space.  We are always researching the big and fully covered balconies since we are real stateroom and balcony dwellers. 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Rick-n-MeMe said:

Hi Cruising Along, no we didn’t meet Malou and didn’t even see a crepe station.  Where was it?  Glad the cruise was nicer for you the second time. I do hope we can sail in an angled balcony on that ship or the NS someday.

Yes, Miss G, we also have sailed in the angled balcony on the Zuiderdam and really loved the space.  We are always researching the big and fully covered balconies since we are real stateroom and balcony dwellers. 

 

 

 

The crepe station is at one of the Lido breakfast stations -- they also have the honey ham (yum), oatmeal/cream of wheat, and waffles.  Next to the omelet station on starboard side.  Very popular once people find it 🙂  

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Leerathje, the balcony looks great. We did have room #4181 on this same cruise but “upgraded” to the aft when we booked Club Orange. I really debated if we should change because those 4th deck balconies are huge. I know it isn’t fully covered but i think we would have liked it.  I do love watching the wake though.....

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