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Koningsdam cruise ship review interior photos
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Welcome Home Koningsdam
Queen Maxima looked positively stunning as she entered Koningsdam's two deck high Lido on May 20, 2016. Our charismatic Queen was here to officially give the latest Holland America Line ship its royal name. After a blessing of the ship's bell in the Lido, she was welcomed to a packed show lounge where she wished Koningsdam smooth seas under the watchful eye of many loyal Holland America passengers. For the occasion, Holland America Line had brought their new flagship to Rotterdam, the line's historic home port. Cheers were heard all over the ship as the bottle of champagne hit the ship's midnight blue hull. The pride and joy of the Dutch merchant fleet, Koningsdam is the largest Holland America ship and a big leap forward for the cruise line. As Koningsdam set sail for her summer home of Amsterdam, we discovered all that this beautiful ship has to offer.
Koningsdam naming ceremony
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Koningsdam naming ceremony Queen Maxima and Stein Kruse at Koningsdam naming ceremony Queen Maxima blesses the ship's bell Queen Maxima with Orlando Ashford, Stein Kruse and Koningsdam's Captain Emiel de Vries Koningsdam naming ceremony
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Staterooms on Koningsdam reflect the line's discreet move forward. The cabin layout might be similar to previous Holland America ships but the staterooms feels more luxurious and the attention to detail is evident everywhere. For one, there are USB ports next to the bed (for those who cannot do without their late night Facebook check). The odd half-tubs on previous ships have been replaced with an ultra-modern versized shower stall with glass doors and "shower power" that is unrivaled at sea. Thankfully, the very comfortable bedding and the ever popular Elemis products in the bathroom have been retained.
Koningsdam balcony stateroom
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Koningsdam stateroom corridor - note the tulips in the carpeting Koningsdam Verandah Stateroom Koningsdam Verandah Stateroom Koningsdam Verandah Stateroom bathroom Koningsdam Verandah Stateroom shower
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Now, let's talk art. The Koningsdam design teams have given this ship a distinct musical theme, with decks named after composers (Gershwin Deck, Beethoven Deck and Mozart Deck to name a few) and corresponding artwork in hallways. Elevator lobbies and stairwells are beautiful in greys and browns and it will take you the good part of a day to get to know the very diverse collection of music-themed artwork. Compliments to Holland America for decorating the ship with very trasteful artwork and for providing three stairwells where similar sized ships of competing lines usually have only two. This ensures that passenger flow on Koningsdam is excellent, although on peak hours there might be waiting times for any of the 12 elevators.
Koningsdam stairway lobby Koningsdam stairway lobby Koningsdam elevator lobby Koningsdam stairwell artwork Koningsdam stairwell artwork
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Koningsdam has more restaurants than any other Holland America ship. The shining star is the split level Main Dining Room which is located aft on decks 2 and 3. Yes, it is large but clever design and daring use of color makes it feel rather intimate. Of course Koningsdam also features the line's popular Pinnacle Grill and if you ask me it is the most beautiful in the fleet. It is done in warm colors and matches the unique atmosphere of the classic 1959-built SS Rotterdam (now a museum ship in Rotterdam). New for Holland America is a dedicated fish restaurant. Sel de Mer can be found on deck 2 aft and is the most intimate of all restaurants on board. Next door are the wine bar (where you can mix your own wines) and the Culinary Arts Center, which has been promoted to a stand alone location from its cinema spot on other HAL ships. It still offers cooking classes, but at night it turns into a specialty restaurant. For a fee, you can dine here on dishes that are prepared fresh in the open kitchen.
The Dining Room on Koningsdam The Dining Room on Koningsdam The Dining Room on Koningsdam Koningsdam Ocean Bar Koningsdam Ocean Bar
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The Dining Room on Koningsdam The Dining Room on Koningsdam Koningsdam Culinary Arts Center Koningsdam Blend Wine Bar Koningsdam Sel de Mer Restaurant
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Koningsdam Culinary Arts Center Koningsdam Sel de Mer Restaurant Koningsdam Sel de Mer Restaurant Koningsdam Pinnacle Grill Koningsdam Pinnacle Grill
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We had dinner in the Culinary Arts Center and were pleasantly surprised by the quality and presentation of the food. We nibbled away on the beet salad, a divine celery and kale risotto and rib eye with parsnip puree. Highly recommended!
Koningsdam Culinary Arts Center dinner Koningsdam Culinary Arts Center dinner Koningsdam Culinary Arts Center dinner Koningsdam Culinary Arts Center dinner Koningsdam Culinary Arts Center dinner
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Focal point amidships is the three-deck high atrium with its illuminated ceiling that resembles the sky where clouds can be seen drifting by. Directly adjacent to the atrium is the Grand Dutch Café, Holland America's take on its Dutch heritage. It has some quirky details like Delft china houses that are hidden in tables. The bar serves coffee and all sorts of Dutch specialties like meat croquettes, pancakes, pea soup, licorice and herring. One very nice detail: all staff in the Grand Dutch Café are in fact ... Dutch! Choose one of the tables near the window, order an after-dinner coffee with a bright orange "Oranjebitter" liqueur and see the world pass by outside on the Promenade Deck. Talking about the Promenade, if you are a fan of the wide sweeping teak wooden ones on previous Holland America ships, you might be disappointed with Koningsdam's version. Although it is a wrap-around deck, it is quite narrow in places and lifeboats largely obscure views.
Koningsdam Atrium
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Koningsdam Grand Dutch Cafe Koningsdam Grand Dutch Cafe Koningsdam Grand Dutch Cafe Koningsdam Indoor Promenade Koningsdam Queen's Lounge
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Koningsdam Queen's Lounge Koningsdam Queen's Lounge Koningsdam Queen's Lounge KKoningsdam Queen's Lounge Koningsdam Casino
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Walking forward, we head directly to the gorgeous classic Queen's Lounge. Used for all sorts of entertainment (including the line's popular BB King Jazz Club), the Queen's Lounge is an opulent double-deck venue that resembles its namesake on Cunard's Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. From the adjacent Casino on deck 3, a gorgeous spiral staircase leads down to what is probably Koningsdam's most intriguing space. Spanning the full width of the ship, the large area is divided into four distinct venues. There's the inviting Explorer Bar and Notes, a circular whisky bar that will certainly attract a loyal following. Lincoln Center Stage features concerts and recitals, but by far the most popular hangout during our short time on board was Billboard Onboard. Done in warm tones and with excellent lighting, this is the place to experience to rivaling pianist belting out songs that you probably know by heart. It's as entertaining as it is inviting. Holland America has another hit on its hands!

All the way forward on decks 2 and 3 is the stunning World Stage. Contrary to comparable ships, there is no balcony but heavily staggered seating ensures optimal sightlines. Focal point is the LED wall that span half of the room. Production shows on Koningsdam make ample use of technology and intricate projected backgrounds give all shows on this ship a new dimension.
Koningsdam Casino grand staircase Koningsdam Explorer's Bar Koningsdam Explorer's Bar Koningsdam Notes Whisky Bar Koningsdam Billboard Onboard
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Koningsdam Billboard Onboard Koningsdam Billboard Onboard KKoningsdam Billboard Onboard Koningsdam World Stage Koningsdam World Stage
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Koningsdam World Stage
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From the forward elevator lobby we venture up to deck 9. Here you find the expansive Greenhouse Spa & Salon with treatment rooms and gym equipment galore. Be sure to visit the exquisite hydrotherapy area for which you can buy a day pass once on board. The relaxation room is gorgeous, as is the dedicated indoor pool. All very soothing and exclusive. In complete contrast, the Lido Pool is part of a huge multi-deck complex that is topped by a sliding glass roof. White leather couches lend a contemporary feel to the vast area and the adjacent New York Deli & Pizza will ensure its popularity. One tip: New York Deli served a continental breakfast during our short cruise - a great alternative to the ever busy buffet.

That said, buffet Restaurants remain hugely succesful on any cruise ship and Koningsdam's Lido Market is no exception. The decor is fresh and the green chairs lend the space a diner-like atmosphere. Holland America Line introduced the buffet restaurant to the high seas and it shows: the food on offer is without question plentiful and original but beware: the mere size of the room demand a "test run" during meal times to see the full array of dishes available. If the weather cooperates, venture all the way aft and find one of the tables outside next to the Sea View Pool. A great venue with an inviting atmosphere, not in the least because of the great outdoor bar and colorful seating areas.
Koningsdam Greenhouse Spa Koningsdam Greenhouse Spa Koningsdam Lido Pool Koningsdam Lido Pool Koningsdam Lido Pool
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Koningsdam Tamarind Restaurant Koningsdam Canaletto Italian Restaurant Koningsdam Lido Market Koningsdam Lido Market Koningsdam Lido Market
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Koningsdam Lido Market Koningsdam Sea View Pool Koningsdam Sea View Pool Koningsdam Sea View Bar Koningsdam Sea View Pool
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We have almost reached the end of our virtual cruise ship tour of Koningsdam. From the wonderful hangouts at the Sea View Bar we take the "glassbottom" staircase (look straight ahead if you have a fear of heights) and go up one deck. Here you will find more open deck space and if you go up one more deck you will even stumble across another outdoor bar. There's a very large Sports Court, a kid's club and a small jogging track. High up on deck 12 is The Retreat, a for-a-fee sun deck that has several cabanas (available for rent) surrounding a large than life statue of a green rabbit.

All the way forward and HIGH up on the ship is the final public room: the stunning Crow's Nest. The Scandinavian touch of Norwegian designer Bjørn Storbraaten is all too obvious here with understated colors punched by a bright red center section. It is all quite beautiful. The use of different furniture, forms and colors make the room feel smaller than it is and the nearby Explorations Café will ensure the that the place will be busy day and night.
Koningsdam Sea View Bar Koningsdam glass bottom stairs Koningsdam Sun Deck Koningsdam Sports Court Koningsdam The Retreat
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Koningsdam The Retreat Koningsdam Crow's Nest Koningsdam Crow's Nest Koningsdam Crow's Nest Koningsdam Explorations Café
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Koningsdam Crow's Nest
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Having spent two days on Koningsdam, I can only praise Holland America Line for the way they have reimagined their own product. Koningsdam is definitely a Holland America ship; warm, spacious and personal. But with this ship the line is moving forward. Gone are the oversized lamp shades, the utilitarian cabins corridors and the very traditional artwork. As the largest ship in the fleet, Koningsdam is contemporary without being too trendy, elegant without being glitzy. Stylish and inviting, this ship is sure to please both traditional Holland America Line guests and curious newcomers. And that is a great achievement.
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