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Spire2000

Konigsdam Thoughts - Mar 4-15

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Recently got off the Konigsdam and thought I would share some details an opinions. We are a family of three, my wife and I (mid 40's) with an 11 year old daughter. We were also with my parents who had been on the ship since early January. This was an 11-day cruise, scheduled to hit Barbados, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Thomas, HMC, St Maarten and Martinique.

 

Of course, it was on this cruise that all the craziness began with the Coronavirus. We were impacted, but only minimally. We missed St Kitts (and scheduled dolphin swim), but no one was too upset as we understood.

 

I'll break this into sections but I don't want to do a day-by-day as I want this to be a quick-ish post.

 

The Ship

 

Beautiful. Very well appointed and I enjoyed the music theme for the art and decor. Things seemed to be laid out well and it was easy to get everywhere. Everything was clean and well-looked after. I can't think of a single thing I noticed that I wasn't happy with.

 

The Room

 

We had upgraded our room to a Verandah with an obstructed view (#4139). This was a very nice stateroom, with plenty of storage space. Normally, we are not ones to spend time in the cabin but I did spend a fair amount of time on the verandah itself. The obstructed view was exactly that. We had very little to look at other than a lifeboat, but I didn't really mind.

 

Our stewards were good, though our cabin was not vacuumed when we arrived and had sand everywhere. We also asked for a broken glass to be cleaned up but had to go back after the steward and finish the job.

 

TVs are a big improvement with the new on-demand movies and such.

 

Dining

 

We dined in the MDR 8 times, and once each in the Pinnacle, Tamarind and Canaletto. The MDR was fine, nothing really special. I found the starters and deserts to be quite good but the main courses to be light on flavour, sometimes undercooked and always lacking in amount of side dishes. Vegetables seemed to be a luxury. Seafood items fared better than beef or chicken. One night we had to send my daughter's chicken dish back twice due to it being shockingly pink. The supervisor stepped in and comped the whole table Tamarind dinners and was extremely attentive toward us the rest of the trip.

 

Canaletto was ok, as it always is. Pinnacle was a step down for me this time. My filet was unseasoned and had no sear on it. Tamarind was fantastic though, the best meal I've ever personally had on a cruise. Staff were excellent, atmosphere was great and the food top notch.

 

The Lido was of course a mixed bag. We had breakfast here ever day and also had a few lunches. I never found we waiting in line much, and the variety of choice was good. Odd that lemonade seems to be both hard to get a hold of and very watered down now. Used to be there were machines with lemonade, water and iced tea. They've limited that to just iced tea and water now.

 

Had the Dine-In a few times, fine for what it is. The pizza was good as was the Ruben at the pizza place.

 

We had room service for breakfast one morning and had no complaints.

 

Activities

 

Never a strong suit on HAL so I'll be kind. Honestly, we found it a struggle on sea days. 

 

Good stuff: Rolling Stone Rock Room was fantastic. Best thing on board. Wish they had a main stage show. BB King's was good too but this group a little lighter in energy from others we've seen. The EXC presentations can be good, but I wish they has more variety. On the main stage, the comedians were good and the dancers were fine too. The BBC Earth show was great

 

No-so-good stuff: A few of the main stage shows seemed like someone was making a parody of cruise ship entertainment. The clarinetist was embarrassing enough that a good number stood up and left in the first 10 minutes. The pianist put folks to sleep. The real problem here though isn't what they are offering but what they aren't. During sea days, the whole ship falls asleep. On deck, people are sleeping. In public rooms, people are sleeping. In bars, folks are sawing logs. If people cruise to sleep, well I'm not going to tell them they can't, but that doesn't mean some activities couldn't be drummed up for those of us conscious during the hours the sun is up. Perhaps some of the great music performers could play on deck? Maybe some informational lectures? What happened to the cooking demonstrations, the steel drums, etc?

 

Casino: I'm not a casino guy, but I'd heard that on day one, the odds on the slots are good. Curious, I tried it. Deposited $40 in a one cent machine and quickly hit a $100 jackpot. Cashed out $147 and didn't look back.

 

Ports

 

Generally, we'll pick an itinerary based on the ports and the lack of sea days. This cruise had an extreme number of sea days (3) for us, but the ports were all interesting. 

 

St Maarten - Took the ships Top 10 Sights tour. It was rainy for the first part of the day and the bus leaked on some passengers. We couldn't hear the driver over the audio system. Overall, not a good tour.

 

Martinique - First time here. A Sunday, when everything other than McDonalds is closed. Why HAL would schedule us on a day when everything was shuttered, I don't understand. We overheard some people getting hot at the front desk about this while we were retrieving a forgotten room key. I made a strong statement about this on the post-cruise survey.

 

Barbados - Went to the Boatyard beach club. Fantastic day! Don't miss snorkeling over the shipwreck!

 

St Kitts/Antigua/Nowhere - St Kitts said no, so did Antigua, so it was another sea day! (yay...)

 

St Lucia - One our first visit here, we loved this island. Had a great private tour that I'll never forget. This time we walked around port for a bit then got back on the ship. I feel like we wasted this day.

 

St Thomas - Over to Magen's Bay of course! Being the only ship in port this day, the beach was much less crowded than usual. Love this beach

 

HMC - Excellent beach and water as always. Bit chillier water than normal, but whatever. I will take a minute to call out the BBQ here though. In our 4 visits to HMC, we've never been happy with the food at the BBQ. The burgers are ALWAYS raw. They need to rethink whatever it is they're doing there.

 

Coronavirus Issues

 

Obviously, we missed a port due to concerns. A few days into the cruise, we went into the state where you cannot serve yourself and must wash and sanitize everywhere. There was a lot of concerns with the passengers day-to-day, wondering if we would be allowed to get to each port. Each day it seemed dicey was there delays each morning. Then of course everyone began to wonder what would happen in Ft Lauderdale.

 

Other Items

 

Navigator app - Interesting new tool. Daily schedule, Shore Excursions, Daily News, My Account, Ship Location - all great tools. Would recommend that the Chat feature enable phone notifications though, because its pointless without it.

HAL Club - With so few kids on board, my daughter abandoned this after day 2. No real feedback here.

Evacuations- We learned during our bridge tour that there were no fewer than 3 helicopter evacuations on this cruise. We actually learned a great deal about the evacuation procedure from the watch officer. He told us most cruise lines see these very rarely but HAL has them more often than anyone else

 

Debarkation

 

Shockingly simple. Customs officers wanted nothing to do with anyone. A quick glance at the passport and no questions. Clearly they didn't want to be there.

 

That's it! Overall, a relaxing cruise with great weather and smooth sailing. Not sure HAL is in our immediate future though. Its a little puzzling how HAL makes strides with the Rolling Stone Band, which suggests they are trying to attract a younger group, but they don't seem to be ready to go all in yet. I suppose they are simply preparing for inevitable replacement of Baby Boomers with Gen X-ers as clients

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My parents were on this cruise as well. They are 82 & 79 and went with another couple. They cruise a lot and have gone on HAL many times. She agreed that during the day there wasn't much to do and the shows weren't up to par. She said she wan't fond of the ship in that there were so many places with music at the same time that sometimes you couldn't go anywhere without hearing it (loudly). She also wears hearing aids which did not help with the loud music.

 

Other than that she had a good time and is now hunkering down in West Palm Beach.

 

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2 minutes ago, 2ndhoney said:

My parents were on this cruise as well. They are 82 & 79 and went with another couple. They cruise a lot and have gone on HAL many times. She agreed that during the day there wasn't much to do and the shows weren't up to par. She said she wan't fond of the ship in that there were so many places with music at the same time that sometimes you couldn't go anywhere without hearing it (loudly). She also wears hearing aids which did not help with the loud music.

 

Other than that she had a good time and is now hunkering down in West Palm Beach.

 

While the three music areas (Rolling Stone Rock Room, Billboard Onboard and the BB Kings/Lincoln Center Stage shared space) are all right next to each other, they are never active simultaneously. Each group has 45 minutes and then they hand over to another room, who picks up instantly.

 

I can completely understand how someone might feel the Rolling Stone venue is loud. It is. While perfect for me (I have been to many, many live performances where this is the norm), it is the loudest venue I've ever attended at sea.

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I had the pleasure of spending a good deal of time with your Mom (yep, I'm one of those "people" too) and she is such a wonderful person.  I was also on the 2/23 cruise so we talked daily for 21 days.  Hopefully your folks were or are able to get home since their plans of going through the Panama Canal were aborted. Please tell her Barb sends her best.

 

While I don't disagree with most of your review of the cruise I must admit the entertainment I attended was pretty darn good for HAL compared to the past.  The Step One Dance Company was very good and gave 3 performances  on both cruises.  Brian the 

comedian on the 2/23 cruise and Jo Little on the 3/4 sailing were both laugh till you cry funny.  Nothing like the normal cruise ship comedians with the same old jokes.  I think HAL is attempting to improve day time activities as they at least reinstated Music Trivia at the Sea View pool a couple of times each sailing. 

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Thank you for taking the time to write your review.

 

Over the years we have had Martinique on our itineraries.  And I would say that we were there on Sundays about 95% of the time.  The last couple of times we didn't even bother to get off the ship knowing that everything was closed.

 

Do agree that the Tamarind has great food.

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20 hours ago, Spire2000 said:

Tamarind was fantastic though, the best meal I've ever personally had on a cruise.

+1 The kdam was our last cruise. Totally agree, first time we thought a specialty restaurant was worth it. 

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23 hours ago, regnig said:

Brian the comedian on the 2/23 cruise and Jo Little on the 3/4 sailing were both laugh till you cry funny.  

 

Brian Bradley was definitely a great show - we arrived late and stood for the entire show but it was worth it.  We were still laughing days later at some of the jokes lol

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Agree with your review! Food in the lido was lack lustre and stations appeared to be closed at unusual times. Music was great! Nothing to do during the day! Some activities could be planned and music on the sea view pool!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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We were on this cruise too and would agree with most of what you write.

 

My thoughts about music walk is that it needs to be more cut off from outside noise (whether from other venues, or the shops, or passing cruisers).

 

As for Martinique, we loved it. We had done our research though and knew almost everything would be closed on a Sunday. They are a very religious island (our tour operator said 80% are practising Christians), so most people would have been attending church on Sunday morning. We went all over the place and sampled lots of local food and drink. If anyone is going there, I would strongly recommend Karambole.

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OP thank you for your report.

 

It is telling when a cruise line waters down the lemonade - pathetic.

 

Providing watered down lemonade (if available at all)  is the height of cruise line profiteering at the expense of the passenger.

 

How far HAL has fallen.

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