I recently cruised with some friends and clients on the Holland America Koningsdam. This is Holland America’s newest ship with one more being delivered next year.
The itinerary was very unique – 10 day Southern Caribbean round trip from Fort Lauderdale. A great way to see that area of the Caribbean without having to fly to Puerto Rico.
The ship has some nice additions from the standard Holland ships and some of these new additions have been rolled out fleetwide. The cabins were nicely appointed and spacious and the category we had (VF) were located forward but had extra-large verandas.
There were several dining options beyond the main dining room, Lido casual dining, Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto. Also offered was America’s Test Kitchen (fee) where you could try your hand at cooking unique dishes or just come to enjoy them for dinner; Sel de Mar (fee) that served fresh fish and shellfish: Grand Dutch Café (free) specializing in Dutch dishes; and the New York Pizza and Deli (free) overlooking the pool serving pizza and sandwiches.
Koningsdam dining room
The entertainment was good as well. Magician, concert pianist, comedian as well as the usual Broadway type musical productions. They have 3 sittings for the main events each night as the World Stage is a more cozy and intimate setting plus there are more passengers on this larger ship. The theater also has a wraparound screen so you won’t miss anything. Also for evening entertainment is the live dance band in the BB King Lounge and dueling pianos in the Billboard Onboard. For those that prefer chamber music, the Lincoln Center Stage provides mellow classical music.
The ports were very interesting. I was not certain if the Caribbean had recovered from the hurricanes from last year. We first stopped at Holland’s private island in the Bahamas. My group opted for a private two story cabana on the beach. This is a great choice for those like me, that love the outdoors but not too much sun. They provide snacks and soft drinks in the small kitchen, upper and lower level lounge chairs, snorkeling equipment and floaties for the water. We were a short walk away from the beach BBQ that was also included for everyone on shore. The cost was about $75 per person for our 14 people. Well worth it!
On Puerto Plata in the DR we opted for a snorkeling excursion that was good. This portion of the island is on the north side and was not affected by the hurricane. We also stopped on Grand Turk, which was affected but recovering very nicely. The other ports were the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao which are outside of the hurricane belt. These islands are FAR from 3rd world and very developed. Lots of European, American and Canadians live here. Pristine beaches, lots of restaurants, bars and shops. We rented a scooter and rode around the island on our own. Very safe to do that.
Here are the pros and cons of traveling with Holland America.
• Good food, good options for shore excursions, good accommodations and great itinerary.
• Still mass market cruising so you will be charged for everything. Priced accordingly. If you prefer a more inclusive line, the cost is over double.
• Sea days were a little boring. Not much in the way of activities.
This was a great way to see the Southern Caribbean and I would recommend it highly for those that are price conscious.
Direct Line: 760.479.4324
Other posts by aibayYou can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.