ms Koningsdam is an amazing ship!

Koningsdam Cruise Review
Experience: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 5
Helpful Votes: 25

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5
Koningsdam

7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail Date: February 18, 2018

Ship: Koningsdam

Cabin Type: Oceanview

Cabin Number: 1003

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 2 months ago

Review Summary

Try a new Holland America ship! They’re amazing.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Because Koningsdam is larger than other Holland America ships it takes a little longer to go through security and check in; however, it was still smooth and much faster than a mega ship. It probably took just over and hour from arrival to being onboard and enjoying all this beautiful ship has to offer!

Ship Experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Holland America has always overdelivered when it comes to food quality and presentation and Koningsdam was no exception, in fact I think the food was the best I’ve ever had on any cruise ship! Granted I’ve only been on 3 cruise lines, but when you find something you love then why try anything else. This ship has the Grand Dutch Cafe and has amazing snacks and food items included in your fare, you just pay for any drinks. The specialty restaurants always served amazing food and always to perfection. I do not normally dine in the main dining rooms or buffet so I cannot comment on those. I also enjoyed Dive In and New York Deli & Pizza on this ship for a quick lunch at the pool.

Blend

5 out of 5

Blend was a fun experience. There was a small intimate group that got to know each other through the wine blending experience. First you learn about the wine and vineyards and what goes into making a wine. You’ll then learn the science of blending wine and the different proportions you can use to make a wine you’d enjoy. Then you get to taste each of the wines and learn about each one. The fun part is starting to blend your own concoction with 10% of one wine, 40% of another, and 50% of the last and you keep doing this until you have the perfect bottle. I believe I blended about 7 beakers before I found what I really enjoyed. Once you find the perfect match then a bottle is made and you create a label for your masterpiece that you can bring to dinner or back to your stateroom. It is recommended that you drink onboard as it won’t travel safely.

Tamarind Restaurant

5 out of 5

Tamarind is the place to go for amazing sashimi, sushi, or other Asian favorites. They have something to please everyone on their Earth, Fire, Water, Wood selections as well as amazing appetizers and soups. Make sure to save room for dessert too. I will definitely be trying Tamarind on other Holland America cruises so I can try new foods that I have not had there before.

Sel de Mer

5 out of 5

Sel de Mer has an amazing fish selection and it’s like the chef caught the fish right before you ordered it! The preparation is gorgeous and the flavor is even better. There really is nothing bad I can say other than I wish I could enjoy it more often.

Pinnacle Grill

5 out of 5

This classic Holland America staple is always the best meal you will have on your cruise. The meats are perfectly cut and aged and the seafood is fresh. They also do an excellent job preparing your dinner and is cooked to perfection. I’ve never had a bad meal but I always leave way to full. If dinner is a little too expensive then check it out for lunch!

Ocean Bar

5 out of 5

The Ocean Bar was my go to for an amazing drink and awesome conversations with the bartenders and fellow passengers. It is central to all the fun and restaurants so you can also do some people watching. They also serve warm appetizers to hold you over until dinner or as a snack. The bartenders were super friendly and would remember my name and always greet me as I walked by, or have a drink ready before I sat down.

Grand Dutch Café

5 out of 5

The Grand Dutch Cafe was a welcoming addition to the Holland America fleet. I spent many afternoons enjoying their split pea soup, toasted ham and cheese, or the quiche along with a Belgium beer. The drinks are extra but the food is included in the cruise price. This place should be more busy than it was with the amazing food they serve and the atmosphere. Definitely check this out.

Dive-In

5 out of 5

The hamburgers and fries at Dive In are outstanding! There can be a line so you’ll most likely get a pager but the food is fresh and warm and has not been sitting out, so definitely worth the wait.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Koningsdam has activities for all ages. Most people associate Holland America to an older crowd, but on these newer ships there is starting to be a younger crowd but still more relaxed than on the big mega ships. The Music Walk provides entertainment throughout the evening, there are the pools you can relax at during the day, and your standard trivia, lectures, and other events. I definitely never had a time where there was nothing to do unless that is what I was looking for.

Casino

5 out of 5

The casino was a nice size on this ship because it is bigger than Holland America ships. There was a wide variety of slots and table games in many denominations. I would do well enough to keep me playing throughout the cruise, but unfortunately did not win any jackpots. Always play with your players card so you can earn points for different perks, you can also receive offers in the mail for free or discounted cruises!

Lido Pool

5 out of 5

The Lido pool was a nice area because it has a retractable roof so during the day it would be open to allow you to enjoy the fresh air and sun. At night the roof would be closed so you could enjoy the area and not be chilly or windy. This area is also where you can get Dive In and New York Deli and Pizza.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
Again the Music Walk is basically the heart of the entertainment on Koningsdam. You have BB King’s Blues Club in the Queens Lounge, Lincoln Center Stage, and Billboard Onboard. So from late afternoon to midnight you can enjoy a variety of entertainment. The theater on the Koningsdam is also state of the art and new for Holland America, the shows really come to life in this new circular design and LED screens. There are also other performers throughout the day in different areas where you can just sit back and relax.

Queen''s Lounge

5 out of 5

Queens Lounge is where BB King’s Blues Club will perform in the evening for 3 sets I believe. This was probably the best entertainment that I enjoyed on the cruise. I also got to know the band and singers throughout the cruise from watching almost every show. This is about as authentic Blue’s as you’ll get but with a modern flair to it. You definitely need to make time to check with venue out. Later in the evening the assistant cruise director will have other late night hits and dancing as well.

World Stage

5 out of 5

The World Stage is an amazing venue for the shows that the Koningsdam has, and almost puts you in the middle of the show with the circular stage and the LED screen that surrounds you. With so much entertainment going on at the Music Walk, don’t forget to check out the shows and even the comedians in the World Stage.

Billboard Onboard

5 out of 5

Billboard Onboard has dueling pianos and will play a variety of songs from just about any artist you can think of. Later in the evening they will take requests and it’s just an all around fun time with people singing along. This is located just outside the casino, so even if you are gambling you can enjoy the music.

Lincoln Center Stage

5 out of 5

I enjoyed spending my late afternoons or right before dinner listening to these 5 talented individuals playing a variety of songs, sound tracks, and musical scores. I never thought classical music would be entertaining but I thoroughly enjoyed Lincoln Center Stage.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The staff were amazing and really makes the vacation special because they work hard to ensure you are having a memorable experience. No matter the time of day or the job the staff member is doing, they will always have a smile on their face and will greet you as you walk by. The ones who know you will greet you by your name and will have a drink ready by the time you sit down. I also got to know my room steward so he would know my routine on when I would be out and what I liked in my room such as ice and a bottle of water. While gratuity is always appreciated by the staff, just being friendly and courteous to them is also nice because they work long days and are away from their families. So just take a little time away from your vacation and get to know them a little, it will go along way too.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The Koningsdam has one of the best layouts of the Holland America fleet, but it was also the first of its kind for the brand. I believe they did a great job with the Music Walk, Culinary Arts Center/America’s Test Kitchen, Blend, Notes, and so many other venues that other HAL ships did not have. They also work hard to ensure the ship is in perfect condition. I hardly noticed workers cleaning during the day but everything was spotless, bartenders and wait staff also did a good job clearing glasses and dishes so you could sit down and enjoy a drink or meal.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
I love that Koningsdam has solo ocean view rooms instead of just interior; however, they are slightly more expensive than on other lines but I feel they are worth it. The room was the perfect size for one person and the bed was extremely comfortable. I have never had an ocean view room before but it was nice having a window, but with it being so low there were many times the waves would be as high as the window and being in the front of the ship you can feel the rocking. If you are one who gets sea sick these rooms probably are not for you. The desk and bathroom were also nice sized, again you don’t need much room for one person. If I could get a good deal I may stay in a solo room on a ship that has them otherwise an interior room could be cheaper even with a supplement.

Ship Tip

Make sure to check out the Grand Dutch Cafe! The food is amazing especially the split pea soup and the toasted ham and cheese, and it’s included in your fare.

Ports Of Call

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
Again in St. Thomas I just walked around and found some shopping, to get to downtown by foot is about a mile or so. The people working at the stores were quite persistent in trying to get you to come into their store and it could be bothersome if you don’t like saying no. I walked around for a bit but then head back towards the port and did shopping there where it was not as bad. You can also take the Skyride right near the port to the top of the mountain.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

5 out of 5
In San Juan I just walked around the streets not really knowing what I would find. I had not really looked ahead for anything to do, but I ended up walking to the fort and that was cool to see. You can pay to go inside and see more but I just explored from the outside. There is also a Street with umbrellas that I did not know about then, but next time I’m there I will check it out.

Grand Turk Island

5 out of 5
I did not do an excursion in Turks and Caicos but instead just walked around and looked at the space exhibit and had a small lunch at Margaritaville.

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island)

5 out of 5
At Half Moon Cay I just spent time at the beach and enjoyed the nice sunny day. The other ports I had walked around because there were no easily accessible beaches, but at the private island they had a beautiful one. It’s not as fancy as some of the other lines private islands, but that’s fine for me because I enjoy the laid back feel. I don’t need loud music and water slides to have a good time. There is also nothing like seeing your beautiful ship in the water as you’re laying on your lounge chair.

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

5 out of 5
I flew into Miami so I did not spend any time in Ft. Lauderdale this trip but the bus ride was quick. Once at the terminal it took a bit to get through security and check in, but it was a nice terminal and of course you can’t beat the weather in Florida.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Similar to embarkation getting off the ship was a little more slow compared to the smaller HAL ships, but it was a smooth and quick for the most part. I had a later disembarkation so I just waited in a public area away from the exit so that I was not in the way and just enjoyed my last few moments on this amazing ship. Luggage was easy to find in the terminal and off to the shuttle bus to bring me to the airport.
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