Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
friendswithdave

Review of Dec 15 Sailing of Koningsdam to Caribbean

Recommended Posts

Hello Valued Cruise Critic Friends,

 

My review of the Koningsdam was just published but I wanted to paste it here so dedicated CC users could review and ask questions. See full review below. Happy Sailing!

 

We are veteran cruisers, especially recently with this being my fifth cruise in the last year. This is our fourth(?) HAL cruise. For the first time in 25 years we cruised with old friends who were also veteran cruisers. There was so much to like about this ship and we had a great time, as did our friends. Wife and I are 52 and 49.

 

EMBARKATION was outstanding. We arrived around 10:50 and there were very few people there that early. It probably took us 10 minutes from walking in to getting our seats waiting for the ship to open. I expect the ship opened around 11:40 and we walked on with friends and headed to the deli for sandwiches and drinks.

 

FOOD - DELI The Reuben at the deli was good but ask for extra meat on the Reuben. We had one with extra and one without and the one without was skimpy. This was our only trip to the deli.

 

LIDO - Food here was a mixed bag. I thought breakfast here was very good with a lot of variety. I got the corned beef hash every morning and it was tasty. Lunch quality was lower than I remember on previous ships. Food in general was bland. The carved lamb I had one day was way overcooked and dry, the server even noted all they had was well done.

 

DINING ROOM - We had six meals in there and all were good or better. Most of mine were fantastic except the Yankee Pot Roast which was too lean. The blackened barramundi was excellent but one part of it had scales and was inedible. A recent trend we have noticed is putting all the great dishes on the menu on the Gala Night, leaving the other nights a little short on really great dishes. Yankee Pot Roast night was one of these.

 

SPECIALTY - We had two lunches in Pinnacle Grill. Both were outstanding and a great value at $15 pp, especially considering the lackluster lunch quality in the Lido. Dishes there included salmon, seafood soup, and tenderloin. Apps and desserts were also outstanding. I requested the key lime pie off the dinner menu and they obliged. It was big and great. We also had an outstanding meal in Tamarind. They went to another bar to get it when they did not have my liquor of choice. I thought there would be a discount for the first night, but it was full price. Keep this in mind if you are seeking a first-night discount. The Dutch Cafe is the best kept secret on the ship. Rarely a line, great food, drink and service. Don't skip this place.

 

SERVICE - I would love to give 5 stars here because it was generally outstanding, but there were a few notable exceptions. Interactions with the staff were always 5 star. They were kind, polite, and interested in you. They would do anything you asked even if it wasn't their job. However, there were a few issues. One night in the dining room we had particularly slow service from both the waiter and wine steward. It seemed as a table for six we were the lowest priority for this crew. I finally spoke to a supervisor when we were there for 70 minutes and still had appetizer dishes on the table. Service in the Crows Nest was also hit and miss. Too often you would try to get the waiter's attention and they seemed to be in their own world, not looking to see if anyone around them needed service. Other than these exceptions, service was outstanding.

 

BARS - Service and quality was generally very good, but again a few drinks came out not quite right. John in the Panorama and Rolling Stone Rock Room served some strong drinks, and we sought out "Double John" for service whenever we could.

 

ENTERTAINMENT - We really enjoy BB Kings and this cruise was no exception. The female lead had a slow start to the week but warmed up as the week went on and was right on by mid-week. Everyone else was top notch start to finish. We also enjoyed the Rolling Stone Rock Room. One of the two comedians was very good, the other good. We enjoyed the dance troupe who made good use of the video technology. We also enjoyed the Planet Earth show. Daytime activities was weak and there was very little live music during the day. We saw two string quintet shows and both were outstanding. Pop-up game show on the unexpected sea day was fun. Would appreciate more entertainment options day and night so the ones offered weren't so crowded all the time. There should be a non-comedian show in the main theater every night, with the comedians in a secondary location. In 2019 it's not too much to ask to have some sort of show in the main theater every evening PLUS live music in other parts of the ship.

 

SHIP - The ship had a good vibe with a mix of younger and older passengers, with most being between the two like us. Weather was windy all week but almost no rain. Our stop at Half Moon Cay was cancelled for high seas and as we sailed away we had the highest seas and ship rocking we have ever experienced on a ship. At one point outside decks were closed because of the high winds.

 

PUBLIC ROOMS - Very well kept up and all set the right mood. The quality and quantity of art throughout seemed a little lacking. As usual I enjoyed the fresh flowers.

 

CABIN - I liked everything about the cabin except the toilet. Our Oceanview had a great layout, space, storage, plugs, USB ports, lighting, bed,, sheets, bathroom, EXCEPT the toilet. While it wasn't terrible, because everything else was so well thought out, this issue with having to sit askew or a knee firmly against the shower window stood out like a sore thumb. I have to think this challenge could have been overcome with some extra thought and engineering in the design. 

 

GUEST SERVICES - Prompt, quality service when needed.

 

VALUE - We are bargain hunters and got a great deal on this cruise. 5 star here.

 

EXCURSIONS - We did not take any ship excursions.

 

FITNESS and REC - We did not do the spa or fitness center.

 

DEBARKATION - We had a 1:50 flight so we stayed on the ship until last call and carried our luggage off. I love not packing the night before and having a full, enjoyable evening on the last night without worry of packing or bags. We met friends for dining room breakfast at 8:20, had an enjoyable last meal, then waited in the lounge until last call around 9:40. Fairly short line getting off, but long line at customs. We probably got through customs around 10:10.

 

OVERALL - We all had a very enjoyable week. Four of us had the drinks package and made good use of that with alcoholic, non-alcoholic, coffee, and bottle waters all free. That was a value-added freebie for us and we booked because of it. Highly recommended cruise, especially at less than $100 pp, per day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you enjoyed your cruise since we will be on Koningsdam in two days! Two comments. The toilet issue is well known and I recently read that they fixed the angle on the Nieuw Statendam. I don't know what they were thinking, but I recall that the MSC Seaside had the same issue. Maybe it's a European thing?

 

As for non-comedian entertainment in the theater, with HAL putting their focus on the Music Walk, they will tell you that you already have music options around the ship so they do not need to do something in the theater. And they've gotten rid of the non-Music Walk musicians so there wouldn't be anyone to accompany whoever would be singing. Plus, there is nowhere else to do another show (other than Music Walk) unless they do it at a different time in the theater.

 

Too bad you were not able to get a specialty dining discount the first night as I was hoping to get that. I assume you asked for it when making the reservation? When we were on Koningsdam in June I was able to get 25% off at Tamarind the first night (but of course I asked for it).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

Glad you enjoyed your cruise since we will be on Koningsdam in two days! Two comments. The toilet issue is well known and I recently read that they fixed the angle on the Nieuw Statendam. I don't know what they were thinking, but I recall that the MSC Seaside had the same issue. Maybe it's a European thing?

 

As for non-comedian entertainment in the theater, with HAL putting their focus on the Music Walk, they will tell you that you already have music options around the ship so they do not need to do something in the theater. And they've gotten rid of the non-Music Walk musicians so there wouldn't be anyone to accompany whoever would be singing. Plus, there is nowhere else to do another show (other than Music Walk) unless they do it at a different time in the theater.

 

Too bad you were not able to get a specialty dining discount the first night as I was hoping to get that. I assume you asked for it when making the reservation? When we were on Koningsdam in June I was able to get 25% off at Tamarind the first night (but of course I asked for it).

I didn't ask for the discount. Didn't think it would be necessary to ask, but sounds like it may be. Other than the obvious reason that more things to do gives more options, it also relieves some of the crowding in the entertainment areas. The mainstage theater was full or overfull every first showing of (I believe) every act. More things to do will ease this. The last thing I want on a HAL ship is the overcrowding of a typical Royal Caribbean giant ship.

 

Our ship was at 100% capacity, likely because the Nieuw Amsterdam sailing was cancelled the day before. I think many of them rolled over to our ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, friendswithdave said:

I didn't ask for the discount. Didn't think it would be necessary to ask, but sounds like it may be. Other than the obvious reason that more things to do gives more options, it also relieves some of the crowding in the entertainment areas. The mainstage theater was full or overfull every first showing of (I believe) every act. More things to do will ease this. The last thing I want on a HAL ship is the overcrowding of a typical Royal Caribbean giant ship.

 

Our ship was at 100% capacity, likely because the Nieuw Amsterdam sailing was cancelled the day before. I think many of them rolled over to our ship.

 

Yeah, the dining discount is not automatic.

 

All ships usually sail full. It's surprising that there were cabins available on your sailing to accommodate some of the NA passengers. I doubt it was that many.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

Yeah, the dining discount is not automatic.

Koningsdam in March and April had flyers on the Lido tables at lunchtime about 25% discount on Day 1.  

Also in October 2018 it had flyers for the discount.  

Maybe it depends on the number of advance bookings......?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, VMax1700 said:

Koningsdam in March and April had flyers on the Lido tables at lunchtime about 25% discount on Day 1.  

Also in October 2018 it had flyers for the discount.  

Maybe it depends on the number of advance bookings......?

 

Perhaps. Or maybe something needed to be put in the reservation? Did not see anything about the discount in June but was given it when I asked while making the reservation with th Tamarind host.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, friendswithdave said:

I didn't ask for the discount. Didn't think it would be necessary to ask, but sounds like it may be.

 

As a 5* you would have received a 50% discount (as well as 2 free PG dinners) so the 25% wouldn’t have mattered anyway.

 

Thank you for a thorough and enjoyable review!  

 

Editing to add:  Hmm.  Now that I think about it... do they give you 50% off a discounted meal?  I honestly don’t know.

Edited by *Miss G*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

 

As a 5* you would have received a 50% discount (as well as 2 free PG dinners) so the 25% wouldn’t have mattered anyway.

 

He said it was his 5th HAL cruise. He's definitely not 5*.

Edited by MisterBill99

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

He said it was his 5th HAL cruise. He's definitely not 5*.

 

Definitely said 5 star.

 

21 hours ago, friendswithdave said:

VALUE - We are bargain hunters and got a great deal on this cruise. 5 star here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for the confusion. "5 star here" meant I give "value" a 5 star rating. We have been on about 5 HAL cruises and we are 2 star mariners.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dutch Cafe questions.       Is there a charge for the Dutch cafe and what are the hours?  Considering the K'dam and need some incentives to get me to book on this ship. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, igar39 said:

Dutch Cafe questions.       Is there a charge for the Dutch cafe and what are the hours?  Considering the K'dam and need some incentives to get me to book on this ship. 

 

Food is free (and excellent) but they do not serve breakfast there (which is unfortunate). You pay for drinks. I think they're only open for food until 6pm.

 

We especially liked the "Bossche Bollen" (huge chocolate covered cream puff, the best dessert on the ship, IMHO) and frites with peanut sauce and mayo (in the Dutch tradition).

Edited by MisterBill99

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

 

Definitely said 5 star.

 

 

"We are veteran cruisers, especially recently with this being my fifth cruise in the last year. This is our fourth(?) HAL cruise."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

"We are veteran cruisers, especially recently with this being my fifth cruise in the last year. This is our fourth(?) HAL cruise."

Right, this is our second HAL cruise in the last year, but did Celebrity twice and Carnival once. 

 

We enjoyed the Dutch Cafe and they do serve pastries and other dutch treats for breakfast and lunch. A few days we had a chocolate filled croissant and they were great. Coffees and alcolohic drinks are extra, but foods are all free of charge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, friendswithdave said:

sorry - hit quote on the wrong post, so I deleted the text.

Actually, they do have a limited breakfast - including a really tasty sausage in pastry (heated).  They don't do the food on the menu until at least 11 though, which is a shame.  The apple bacon pancake would be great for breakfast, vs lunch!  Food is served until 8pm.

 

Sue/WDW1972

Edited by wdw1972

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, friendswithdave said:

 

We enjoyed the Dutch Cafe and they do serve pastries and other dutch treats for breakfast and lunch. A few days we had a chocolate filled croissant and they were great. Coffees and alcoholic drinks are extra, but foods are all free of charge.

 

3 hours ago, wdw1972 said:

Actually, they do have a limited breakfast - including a really tasty sausage in pastry (heated).  They don't do the food on the menu until at least 11 though, which is a shame.  The apple bacon pancake would be great for breakfast, vs lunch!  Food is served until 8pm.

 

Sue/WDW1972

 

I will have to check them out at breakfast, especially for the chocolate croissant (but are you sure it wasn't also available in the Lido buffet?) I agree that the Dutch pancakes would be excellent then if there were served for breakfast (but they're not).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

 

I will have to check them out at breakfast, especially for the chocolate croissant (but are you sure it wasn't also available in the Lido buffet?) I agree that the Dutch pancakes would be excellent then if there were served for breakfast (but they're not).

Not sure if the chocolate croissant is the same - it very well could be, since a chocolate croissant is hardly "Dutch" 😉  I know they have some pastries in the case at breakfast time, but I never paid really close attention.  The time I got the sausage roll I thought perhaps it was a strudel, lol - but decided to try it and it was quite good.  I've also seen it at the Lido though, so it may be that the morning offerings at Grand Dutch Cafe come from the same place as the Lido selections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, wdw1972 said:

Not sure if the chocolate croissant is the same - it very well could be, since a chocolate croissant is hardly "Dutch" 😉  I know they have some pastries in the case at breakfast time, but I never paid really close attention.  The time I got the sausage roll I thought perhaps it was a strudel, lol - but decided to try it and it was quite good.  I've also seen it at the Lido though, so it may be that the morning offerings at Grand Dutch Cafe come from the same place as the Lido selections.

 

Yeah, given that they do not advertise that they have food at breakfast, I would expect it to be the same as is served elsewhere. But I'll check it out if I get a chance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...