Cruiseline: Holland America Line
Ship: M.S. Koningsdam
Itinerary: Voyage to the Midnight Sun – Norway
For bookings: hollandamerica.com
As some of you already know, I’m a huge fan of cruises. While I traveled with several cruise lines already, I choose to sail with Holland America Line this summer and was very excited to explore their newest ship, the ms Koningsdam. Koning means king in Dutch and it truly deserve its name as it is a stunning ship with the latest technology features. We traveled to the North Cape on a 14 day cruise to the Midnight Sun. Let me first share some facts about the cruiseline.
Holland America Line has several ships, from mid-sized ships to large. They are active in the cruise industry for some time which I could experience myself during the cruise I did. They know how to treat their guests in the most comfortable and convenient way.
The ms Koningsdam is a large ship, let me share some facts:
- Ship’s registry: The Netherlands
- Guest capacity: 2,650 guests
- Gross Tonnage: 99,500 grt.
- Length: 975 ft
- Beam: 114,8 fr
- Dedicated: May 2016 by Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
All public areas on Koningsdam are decorated in a very stylish way! The pictures speak for themselves…
During our cruise, we stayed in one of their verandah cabins and were very pleased with our cabin. Most people think that cabins on a ship are tiny and you don’t have any space at all to move around. Nowadays cabins are five star hotel rooms with all the amenities one could wish for. There are several cabin categories on the ms Koningsdam, from interior cabins to the Pinnacle Suites. Our cabin had the most comfortable king sized bed, a small couch to relax and watching the sea pass by and a comfortable working/vanity desk.
As mentioned before, their signature Mariner’s Dream beds are great and feature finely woven cotton lines. Every stateroom has comfortable bathrobes and mini fridge. I also loved the bedside USB ports, very convenient!
Bathrooms all amazing! I must admit I fell in love with their shower, the bathroom had the best shower on sea I ever had… it is a full sized shower with a premium massage showerhead, plenty of room to move and no annoying curtains here that sticks to the body.
The five star services include complimentary shoe shine service, complimentary room service and the room will be serviced several times a day, including turn down service at night. They also refill the ice bucket each night and I requested daily fresh fruit in my room too at no additional charges.
I should also mention that I appreciated the large HD television with (complimentary!) on demand movies. It is great to watch a movie on a sea day or before going to sleep. It is an interactive television where you can follow your itinerary, consult today’s menu, etc. Absolutely loved it!
The food at ms Koningsdam truly is amazing. There are several restaurants to choose from for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each guest is traveling here on full board basis and I would rate their dining options each with five stars. Let’s start for breakfast. We opted to enjoy a delicious breakfast at the main dining room as we liked to be served since we are on holiday! The breakfast menu is amazing, unbelievable how many things you can choose from! I ordered the Breakfast Parfait each day which is Greek vanilla yoghurt, fresh berries and crunchy granola. Several “Greenhouse Spa” selections are available as well such as the Swiss Style Muesli which contains low far yoghurt, fresh fruit, toasted hazelnuts, oatmeal and honey. Do not forget to try the Swedisch pancakes with a mixed berry compote and whipped butter.
I loved the fact that you can choose if you want to share a table. Sometimes we opted to enjoy breakfast with just the two of us and sometimes we preferred to chat with others. When we had booked an excursion, we opted to have breakfast at Lido. Lido is their buffet style restaurant and although I usually am not a huge fan of buffets, I must admit that the buffet on ms Koningsdam offers high quality food. Guests cannot touch any food as all food stations are staffed and they are most happy to hand you the food you want, very hygienic! Even the Grand Dutch Café offers several typical Dutch breakfast options. The Grand Dutch Café seemed one of the most popular dining outlet as it is opened all day long. I loved their typical Dutch appetizers such as “bitterballen” and cheese souffles. The coffees are delicious here too! Definitely check them out when you’re sailing on ms Koningsdam!
The Main Dining room at ms Koningsdam is just gorgeous! It is a very stylish restaurant with bright colors and the most comfortable furniture. We had so much fun here during our cruise and as mentioned before, the food was just out of this world. It was pretty difficult to pick a dish as each was nicely prepared and oh so yummie. They offer several Holland America Line’s signature dishes each night such as the French onion soup, classic Caesar Salad and for the mains the broiled New York Strip Loin or the delicious oven-roasted chicken. Let me share some pictures with you of dishes I really liked.
Do note that ms Koningsdam has several fine dining restaurants on board as well. For a reasonable additional charge, you could have lunch or dinner at the Pinnacle grill for example, their steak and seafood restaurant. For lunch, you’ll pay $10 and for dinner $35 per person. I must say the place is stylish and the food is outstanding. It does represent the pinnacle of exceptional dining. Their menu is varied, innovative and creative. They use the freshest ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, featuring Double R Ranch Beef and premium seafood that delight the palate. Definitely worth the extra small surcharge.
Canaletto is another specialty restaurant with an Italian cuisine. It is located next to the Lido buffet restaurant. For only $15 per person you can enjoy an intimate Italian dinner.
Sel de Mer is probably one of the best places to enjoy a delicious dinner on the ms Koningsdam. It is an intimate sea food brasserie offering a contemporary twist on timeless French classics. I’ve found out that the ms Koningsdam’s chefs even go ashore themselves whenever possible and bring back the catch of the day as a daily special for the evening’s menu. How cool is that?
Other specialty restaurants on board are the Tamarind restaurant with a Pan-Asian cuisine and the Culinary Arts Center where fresh, artisanal dishes are prepared each night for an amazing dinner.
More casual dining outlets I really liked were the Dive-In and New York Pizza & Deli. Dive-In is Holland America’s signature burger restaurant. I loved the grilled chicken breast sandwich and cheesy fries! New York Pizza & Deli serves freshly prepared salads and personal pan pizzas made with a thin crust and delicious sauce. Both restaurants are included in the rate.
Getting bored on ms Koningsdam is impossible. Each day there’s an entertainment program with several activities I enjoyed very much! Every day, our Excursion Guide, Karlijn, shared her insight for that day’s port of call. Excursions can be booked at Journeys Ashore on Deck 1, Holland America Line offers several excursions at each port. I also attended several interesting spa seminars on board such as acupuncture and the Medi Spa Q&A. The spa area is gorgeous and has a fancy and very large jacuzzi. There are several pool areas and they can cover the main pool which is great as we were sailing in Norway and the weather wasn’t always great.
For people into sport, there’s a full sized fitness center and basketball court.
Also music and show lovers will appreciate the ms Koningsdam as there are performances each night. If you are into classical music, you will appreciate Lincoln Center Stage where live music is performed by amazing musicians. B.B. King’s All-stars is the perfect spot for a great night out, I would call the B.B. King’s Blues Club as the main dancing area on the ms Koningsdam. It’s a great place to hang out, have a drink and dance all night long.
There are many bars at the Koningsdam. The Crow’s Nest was definitely my favorite place to hang out! This is the perfect spot to enjoy the sea as this cool bar offers amazing panoramic views.
World Stage is their main stage for the evening shows. I was very impressed with the stage and surrounding LED screens, they are amazing and very impressive! Each night there’s another show. We thoroughly enjoyed their production shows with the on board dancers and singers. Holland America Line has a co-operation with BBC. One of the best shows was the Planet Earth show with live music. That truly was amazing. Also, several artists are on board and perform.
If you are into gambling, a casino is also available! From slot machines to black jack tables, it’s all there… You will definitely have a great night’s out the latest in a sophisticated gaming area. Notes is a bar which is located near the casino which is the perfect place for whiskey tasting!
Using Navigator is another great feature of Holland America Line. It is their free web application on which you can plan your itinerary, see what is happening on board, make reservations for shore excursions and dining and review your account information.
The itinerary was just fabulous, we traveled to the North Cape. Let me share some pictures of the most amazing places we visited during our Voyage to the Midnight Sun!
Every guest at ms Koningsdam is treated as a king. Nothing really is asked for too much. I thoroughly appreciated their high service level, they do know how to make your vacation unforgettable!
Cruising with Holland America Line is travelling in style… They describe themselves to be classic, premium and energized and that’s exactly what they are. I loved every minute on this ship and will definitely travel with them again! Check their best deals at hollandamerica.com and book a cruise that will be remembered for a lifetime!