MS Koningsdam Review
MS Koningsdam, which entered service in April 2016, is the largest ship in the Holland America Line (aka HAL) fleet, and is the first Pinnacle Class ship. At 99,500 gross tons, she is classed as mid-sized and has 1,331 staterooms, or cabins, and carries 2,650 passengers at standard occupancy. This figure would increase as the 3-berth and 4-berth cabins are utilised. There are 1,036 crew members onboard to take good care of the passengers.
I was invited by Holland America Line to go and visit MS Koningsdam while she was in the port of Amsterdam, on a changeover day in June 2016. I was impressed with the look of the ship from the outside, and even more so when I got inside. It was nice to see so much of the ship looking bright and airy, especially the 2-deck high main dining room, with its massive wine storage rack at one end. There are a lot of great public rooms, including one of the best looking show theatres I have seen on a ship. I was also impressed by the generous size of both the cabins and the suites.
Watch my video below, and click on the link to see my MS Koningsdam photos on Facebook. For more information or to book your next cruise, on MS Koningsdam or any other Holland America Line ship, call GoCruise with Ian on 01455821770 or 08002922850.
The 1,331 suites and cabins are spread across 9 categories and 35 grades, from a standard inside cabin of c175 sq ft, up to the Pinnacle Suite which is c1,290 sq ft including a private verandah (or balcony). There are a number of grades of suites, balcony cabins, ocean view (outside) cabins, and interior (inside) cabins. A total of 27 suites and cabins are wheelchair accessible. I feel that the following 2 categories are worth highlighting, as they are both new: –
- Family ocean view – these cabins are able to accommodate 5 passengers, with 2 lower beds, which convert to a queen-size, a sofa bed for 2 people, and a single upper berth. They also have 2 bathrooms as well. There are 32 of them (18 FA grade and 14 FB grade) and they range from c222 and c231 sq ft in size.
- Single ocean view – there are 12 of these cabins, designed especially for single occupancy, and they range from c127 to c172 sq ft
There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing what to do onboard the MS Koningsdam, and these include the following: –
- World Stage – this is a two-storey theatre, complete with a 270 degree high-definition LED screen, to give the audience an amazing sight and sound experience
- Lincoln Centre Stage – showcasing musicians performing chamber music in the evenings, and afternoon recitals on sea days
- B. King’s Blues Club / Queen’s Lounge – the B.B. King All-Star Band brings the best of Memphis music to sea
- Billboard Onboard – live musicians, including two pianists, a guitarist as well as a DJ, entertain you with music from 50 years of chart-topping hits
Food & Drink
There is a wide selection of places to eat and drink, and while some are included in the price of your cruise, others will either have a set fee or a la carte pricing. Venues include: –
- The Dining Room – this bright and modern designed area covers two floors, and has large windows giving a view of the ocean. This is the main venue for those who prefer traditional dining, included within the price of your cruise, and you can choose first sitting, second sitting or ‘As You Wish’ dining
- Pinnacle Grill this speciality dining venue features some amazing steakhouse favourites, and a fee is payable to dine here
- Tamarind – enjoy a selection of dishes from Asia, China and Japan, including sushi. A fee is payable to dine here
- BLEND – you can blend your own wine, and then enjoy it at dinner or in your cabin. There is a charge made for this experience.
- Dive-In – enjoy grilled burgers, gourmet hot dogs and savoury fries
- Sel de Mer – a seafood brasserie, with dishes ranging from fresh oysters to bouillabaisse. A fee is payable to dine here
- Lido Market – a self-service restaurant, offering a wide range of dishes, where you can get a quick snack, have a full meal when you are short on time, or if you prefer casual dining
- New York Deli & Pizza – enjoy 9” pan pizzas, deli sandwiches and salads while poolside
- Canaletto – serving a selection of authentic Italian dishes, including some sharing dishes. A fee is payable to dine here
- Grand Dutch Café – the traditional Dutch snacks served here are complimentary, but drinks are charged for
- Culinary Arts Centre – chefs prepare food freshly, course by course, for you to enjoy, and you can also take cookery lessons. A fee is payable for this venue
- In-Room Dining – 24 hour complimentary room service is available
You will find that there is plenty to keep children occupied and happy while onboard, including the youth programmes. There are permanent full-time staff members to supervise all Club HAL activities.
- Club HAL – Kids, which is for those aged from 3 to 7, and they have activities such as storytelling, indoor games, arts & crafts, ice cream parties, treasure hunts. They must be toilet trained, and pull-ups or nappies are not allowed in the facilities
- Club HAL – Tweens, for children aged 8 to 12, and they can expect to get involved with activities such as golf putting, disco parties, and on-deck sports events
- The Loft and The Oasis – for teenagers aged 13 to 17 Activities can include discos karaoke, sports tournaments, bingo, movies, and videos. When more than 100 children are onboard, a HAL Talent Show is usually organised
- Kids & Teens Culinary Arts Centre Programme – workshops are offered for children aged 3 to 7, and 8 to 14, while those aged 15 or over can participate in the adult classes. There is a fee payable for the culinary arts programme
- Relax and have a treatment at the Greenhouse Spa & Salon
- Take a dip in one of the pools and Jacuzzis, or relax poolside and read a book
- Work off the amazing food in the fitness centre, jogging track or sports court
- Treat yourself in one of the shops and boutiques
- A daily charge of $12.50 per passenger ($13.50 for those in suites) is added to your onboard account, to cover tips for your cabin and dining room stewards, although the amount can be amended at reception if you wish. A service charge of 15% is added to all drinks charges, at bars and restaurants. These amounts were correct as at June 2016
- The onboard currency is the $US, but all onboard purchases are charged to your cabin account, so no need to carry cash with you
Holland America Line Fleet
- Pinnacle Class (c99,500 gross tons, carrying c2,650 passengers) – MS Koningsdam, TBA (from November 2018)
- Signature Class (c86,000 gross tons, carrying c2,100 passengers) – MS Eurodam, MS Nieuw Amsterdam
- Vista Class (c82,000 gross tons, carrying c1,900 passengers) – MS Zuiderdam, MS Oosterdam, MS Westerdam, MS Noordam
- Rotterdam Class (c61,000 gross tons, carrying c1,400 passengers) – MS Rotterdam, MS Volendam, MS Zaandam, MS Amsterdam
- Statendam Class (c56,000 gross tons, carrying c1,300 passengers) – MS Maasdam, MS Veendam
- The ‘Elegant Explorer’ – MS Prinsendam (38,848 gross tons, carrying 835 passengers)