My brother and I both really enjoyed our Koningsdam cruise. I doubt we’ll ever again have the opportunity to cruise with such a low occupancy.
Ship and Cabin
The ship is beautiful as are all the Holland America vessels. Although I saw less fresh flowers than past sailings they were present. Both levels of the dining room had large vases filled with arrangements.
There was also plenty of interesting and beautiful pieces of art. I wanted to share a few of the pieces that made me stop in my tracks to admire. This headless statue is between the Rolling Rock room and the Billboard Onboard on the way to BB King’s Blues area.
I think this globe was outside the elevators on deck 3.
This sailing ship is by the elevators outside the Crow’s Nest.
I believe this guitar is as you enter Music Walk from the forward elevators.
We were very happy with our decision to upgrade to a balcony and the choice of cabin 6115. The extended balcony was wonderful and I definitely spent more time out there than I usually do.
I forgot to take photos of our cabin interior (I know!). Here’s a video my brother made when we first got in our cabin.
The service from all the Koningsdam staff was outstanding as usual. This is from a bar waiter I might just interact with once all the way to our wonderful room steward and wait team.
With so few passengers it was even more attentive. On this sailing it definitely didn’t feel as though they were sailing short-staffed although I can imagine it would if the occupancy count was closer to normal.
The food was well-prepared but we could definitely see evidence of cutbacks with the menu options and a couple of the preparations. From the menus I’ve shared you can see the port appetizer was the same for multiple days.
We also never had lobster or a “real” steak (we got mignon roast — not a steak). If Carnival can offer both on seven day cruises, I know Holland America can and should do better. Although this was disappointing, overall the quality of the food we had was very high and the best I’ve had sailing since the restart.
I loved the food prepared to order in the buffet (poached eggs, crepes, stir fry, etc.) and the wonderful main dining room breakfast offerings.
This category is where I think Holland America needs to vastly improve. I find their main theater entertainment to be quite disappointing. All their ships have shows highlighting a dance company but it’s boring to see the same thing on every ship. Another night was a BBC earth film to music but again they do that on every ship so it’s not a unique production or something you need to see multiple times.
There are no production shows and not a headliner singer. I was really surprised to not have a local troupe perform the night we were in port quite late. Yes the music in the Rock Room and the BB King’s Blue Club is great but that can’t be all they hang their hat on.
3 star update
This sailing got me closer to achieving three star (out of 5) mariner status with Holland America. My next cruise with them will put me over the top. What does it get me? Not much but 25% off specialty restaurants.
The good perk comes at four star with free laundry. I got that with Carnival at 70 days and it takes 200 days with HAL. Now that I’m retired I can take advantage of the more adventurous itineraries offered by Holland America and will get to 4 star and beyond eventually.
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