UP CLOSE WITH HISTORY
I suppose it’s only natural to think of a cruise line that is nearly 150 years old as stuck in the past. Indeed, a popular misconception tags Holland America Line as the line preferred by mature cruise travelers. To a certain extent, that may very well be. Many Holland America itineraries that take more time to experience than younger travelers and/or families might have available. Still, a number of interesting and unadvertised features we have experienced aboard new ms Koningsdam separate Holland America Line as unique.
Standard Stateroom Features
- USB Ports are conveniently located throughout the stateroom
- Plug-ins are abundant to the point where you may not need your electrical outlet adapter
- Storage Space is carefully planned and plentiful throughout the space.
- Complimentary Film Selection on stateroom TV’s feature new releases you would pay for on another cruise line.
- Roomy Bathroom has a large shower and utilizes space efficiently. Not a lot of storage space here though.
Unique Stateroom Steward Program – Recent moves by a number of big ship cruise lines to perform stateroom maintenance in assembly line style efficiency have come under fire and impersonal. In this system, stewards go from cabin to cabin, performing one part of daily cabin maintenance at a time then start over, continuing with the next item on the list. For example, they might first go through each cabin and pick up all the towels in all the cabins that will be replaced. Next, they come back and replenish towels in all the cabins one by one. A flexible Holland America Line system takes one swing through as tours depart for shore, catching a large number of them on the first try. Later, stewards swing back by to catch the stragglers, performing maintenance on each cabin fully, all at once.
Crystal Clear Dress Code– In another “why didn’t someone think of this before” move, Holland America has a photo in the front of the shipboard life guide found in each stateeroom showing exactly what is appropriate and what is not.
Pleasant Room Service Operation- On every big ship cruise line, room service is part of the deal. Some do it better than others with the room service experience feeling somewhere between ‘we’re doing this but we don’t want to’ to ‘if we take long enough, maybe they won’t order again’. Holland America Line sends room service with a smile without a long wait on hold just to place the order.
Rudi Sodamin and the Culinary Council- Master chef Rudi Sodamin heads a team of culinary experts that seem more in touch with what cruise travelers of today are looking for . Dining venues are fully utilized to their full potential and appropriately sized to match what they are trying to do with the space. The exciting part of this is that this particular team of culinary experts is not totally focused on creating the next gourmet delight. The do that too but also bring interesting and unique menu items what might otherwise be termed ‘standard fare’ on another cruise line.
The BLEND experience– Held in a dedicated space for up to a dozen wine fans, the BLEND experience ($129 per person) engages passengers in an entirely different way than any on any other cruise line. Individually, or in teams,
Navigator Smartphone Access- Not really an app one can download in advance of sailing, this is easier. Simply open a browser on any internet-capable device and up comes the onboard Navigator page.
Entertainment- One of the few times this topic has made a list such as this. I am not surprised to be adding it, although for some unexpected reasons. In addition to the Music Walk which features Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and B.B. Kings All-Stars, Koningsdam’s World Stage features a variety of featured performances. During our sailing, everything from a juggler to a comedian, production show and more were offered at three different times, 7:15, 8:30 and 10:00pm.
Hallway Art- this is normally one of the last possible additions to any list from any ship. On Holland America Line’s Koningsdam though, the collection is quite different. Frankly, it’s not all that hard to get caught up in viewing hallway art and be caught saying “oh, I need to go!”, recalling where you were going after getting lost in one of these works of art…which sort of speaks to the addictively relaxed atmosphere on this ship. That’s next.
Follow Along With Us
BACKGROUND- Recent posts that brought us here:
- On Similar Paths: Rotterdam, Koningsdam and Holland America
- On A Similarly Different Path To Excellence- New Blood
- Koningsdam Promises New Florida Cruise Experience
- Dutch Royalty Christens Koningsdam
- Koningsdam Arrives In Rotterdam [PHOTOS]
- Holland America Today: Start Here
- Holland America Christening Proves: They Get It About Us
- Holland America Christening Highlights Broader Focus
- Koningsdam Arrives In Rotterdam [PHOTOS]
PHOTOS- consider these Flickr Photo Albums created prior to this sailing:
- A Brief Tour Of The Hotel New York– the cheap seats on the tour bus got this rendition
- Hotel New York Tour– with the hotel general manager, we went deep into the history of what was once the headquarters of Holland America Line
- Hotel New York And The History Of Holland America Line– the connection is pretty hard to overlook/miss.
- Koningsdam Christening Tour– What we did on a very full day of christening activities
- Seen At Koningsdam – Celebrities on the scene
- Koningsdam Christening– images from the ceremony
- The Queen Departs- I watched from my balcony as Queen Maxima left the scene, engaged adoring subjects
- Christening Sailaway- Many of those same adoring subjects of Queen Maxima lined the riverbanks as ms Koningsdam headed to the North Sea
- Christening Fireworks- further down the itinerary on that first night’s sailaway, fireworks celebrated the occasion.
Posted Live as we sail the North Sea to Norway
- Welcome Aboard Holland America Line Koningsdam
- Koningsdam Interactive Culinary Dinner A Hit
- Abundant Koningsdam Onboard Programming, Collectively Wonderful
- Pausing Briefly, Koningsdam Sister Construction Begins
- Pleasant Surprises Aboard The Holland America Line Of Today (this post)
Facebook Photo Albums
Flickr Photo Collections– check back later too- more photos loading all the time
- Movenpick Amsterdam– A Holland America Line choice for pre- and post-cruise hotel stays.
- Koningsdam Casino – Interestingly, a nearly smoke free venue on this ship
- Rotterdam Sailaway– Originally scheduled to sail from Amsterdam, high winds pushed the embarkation port.
- Koningsdam Staterooms- A variety of photos showing standard stateroom amenities including USB ports, electrical plugs and more
- Dinner in the Culinary Arts Center– A potentially interactive experience where guests are invited to engage the chefs as they prepare the meal.