Peter Knego’s latest Sea Treks/Decked! feature begins aboard Holland America Line’s brand new MV KONINGSDAM at Civitavecchia with a look at the ship’s upper deck areas and public spaces.

Holland America Line

Keep up to date with Peter Knego on Twitter by clicking here

THE SANDS OF ALANG: The latest DVD about shipbreaking in Alang, India

All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2016.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

P1120415 copy
MV KONINGSDAM at Civitavecchia.

Fully dressed, with glistening white superstructure towering over her shiny midnight blue hull, the 99,500 gt, 2,650-guest KONINGSDAM is an enlarged, evolved version of the recent Vista and Signature platforms of Holland America Line ships. Her greater size brings several new dining venues and a few modifications but overall, the KONINGSDAM will feel instantly familiar to loyal HAL guests.

P1120708 copy

Freshly delivered from Fincantieri’s Marghera (near Venice) shipyard, Hull number 6241 measures 975-by-114.8 feet and is manned by a 1036-member crew. She is propelled by four MAK diesels that drive twin Azipods at a service speed of 18 knots (23 maximum).

P1120446 copy
MV KONINGSDAM, Stateroom 6128, facing port.

After transitioning from the howling winds of Civitavecchia into the ship, I headed straight to port Mozart Deck (6) to Verandah Stateroom 6128. The spacious, 228-square-foot space introduces a new look for HAL with its ash-toned cabinetry, muted browns and beige with lilac, persimmon and pistachio accents.

P1120444 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Stateroom 6128, facing inboard.

All KONINGSDAM staterooms feature complimentary daily housekeeping and turndown service, 110 and 220 volt power outlets, USB charging ports, bathrobes, hairdryers, safes, a large flatscreen TV with video on demand, fresh fruit, shoe shining service and ice service.

P1120450 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Stateroom 6128 balcony.

My stateroom was distinguished by its supersized balcony, thanks to its location at the edge of the midships accommodation buttress.

P1120438 copy

The bathroom featured a large shower compartment and sink area with plenty of storage space.

107-koningsdamdispensers copy
Elemis dispensers.

Adhering to HAL’s environmental policies, the showers are fitted with built-in dispensers with Elemis brand shampoo, conditioner and bath gel.

P1120461 copy
Elemis body lotion.

Only the body lotion is supplied in plastic mini-bottles.

With the ship already half-full by the time I dropped off my computer in the stateroom, I decided to spend the afternoon exploring and documenting the upper deck areas.


P1120597 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Port Deck 14, facing aft.
P1120612 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Facing aft from Deck 14.

KONINGSDAM has thirteen passenger decks, starting at the top with Deck 14, which is fronted by a glass screen that provides shelter for sunning areas on either side of the mast housing.


P1130497 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Crow’s Nest, facing starboard.
P1120558 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Totally Random Carpet Shot #1 (Crow’s Nest).

The next level, Observation Deck (12 — there is no Deck 13) begins with the Crow’s Nest Observation Lounge. The L-shaped space has floor-to-ceiling windows that offer spectacular views from a comfortable, contemporary setting with a large dance floor and a dedicated bar.

P1120553 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Crow’s Nest, facing aft from port.
P1120554 copy
MV KONINGSDAM SS RYNDAM builder’s model.
P1120559 copy
Stephen Card painting of SS ROTTERDAM (v) and SS STATENDAM (iv).

On the port side, a partitioned area can be used for private functions and parties and, unlike prior ships in the fleet that are sprinkled with memorabilia and/or vintage photos, this is the only space that pays tribute to Holland America’s storied past with a builder’s model of the SS RYNDAM of 1951 and two paintings by maritime artist Stephen Card.

P1120567 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Explorations Cafe, facing aft.
P1120575 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Explorations Cafe, facing forward.

Adjoining the Crow’s Nest on the starboard side, the Explorations Cafe is one of two specialty coffee venues on the KONINGSDAM. It tends to be quiet when the ship is in port but during sea days and especially when arriving in scenic ports, it gets very busy. Several computer terminals, a small reference library and board games are available for guests’ use.

P1120590 copy
MV KONINGSDAM The Retreat, facing starboard.

The aft portion of Observation Deck is home to The Retreat, an adults-only haven.

P1120582 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Retreat Cabana.

Private cabanas that guests can purchase access to on a half- or full-day basis
line the retreat.  Bathrobes, plush towels, misters, fans, chilled water, a fruit basket, ice cream, sparking wine, and chocolate dipped fruits are provided.


P1120667 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Sun Deck exercise corner.

Sun Deck (11) begins with a block of Spa cabins that are followed by a jogging track that encircles the Magrodome over the midships pool area. A number of open air exercise machines are aft of the jogging track on either side.

P1120661 copy

A netted sports (basketball, volleyball, etc.) court follows the jogging track.

P1120654 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Funnel from port Sun Deck.

Instead of the thin, can-shaped, twin funnels of the Vista and Signature Class ships, HAL has bestowed KONINGSDAM with an oversized, wave-sided, terraced clamshell.

P1120627 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Aft Sun Deck (11), facing forward from port.
015-koningsdamaftdeck11 copy
Aft Sun Deck, facing port.

Sun Deck continues aft with more sunning space that leads to a terrace overlooking the stern.


017-koningsdammidshipsdeck10 copy
Midships Panorama Deck, facing forward from port.

Panorama Deck (10) begins with a block of accommodation that leads to the balcony level of the midships Magrodome-covered pool area. Cabana-like seating lines either side.

018-koningsdammidshipsdeck10 copy
Facing forward from the Panorama Bar/New York Deli terrace.

The Panorama Bar and New York Deli and Pizza, a new complimentary eatery exclusive to KONINGSDAM, overlook the aft end of the pool area on Panorama Deck.

033-koningsdamtheloft copy
The Loft, facing forward.
032--koningsdamclubhaltweens copy
Club HAL (8 to 12 area), facing aft.
031--koningsdamclubhalkids copy
Club HAL (3 to 7 area), facing forward.

Club HAL follows, with each of its three age specific venues (3 to 7), (8 to 12) and (13 to 18, AKA The Loft) having their own outdoor terrace.

P1120762 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Tamarind Bar, facing aft.
P1120758 copy
MV KONINGSDAM, Tamarind, facing port.
P1120751 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Totally Random Carpet Shot #2 (Tamarind).

The extra-tariff Asian fusion Tamarind Restaurant (see more on Tamarind below) rounds out the public rooms on Panorama Deck.

021-koningsdamaftdeck10 copy
Facing starboard from Aft Panorama Deck (10)

More sunning space follows on either side with terraces that overlook the open-air Sea View Pool area.


P1120486 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Fitness Center, facing starboard.

Lido Deck (9) begins with the state-of-the-art Fitness Center and its assembly line of cardio machines, assorted weight machines and free weights. There is also a spinning room and a TRX Suspension Training (cable) room.

P1120500 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Relaxation Room.

Guests purchasing a treatment have access to a Relaxation Room…

P1120519 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Hydrotherapy Pool.

…a large Hydrotherapy Pool…

P1120528 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Thermal Suite.

…a thermal suite with aromatic steam rooms…

P1120542-17 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Treatment Room #17.

…and numerous treatment rooms offering a wide range of therapies.

076-koningsdamlidocafe copy
The Lido Market, facing aft from port.

Directly aft of the Lido Pool, the Lido Market is an updated version of HAL’s traditional Lido Restaurant. It seats 388 guests and features a green and beige palette, with the exception of…

078-koningsdamcanaletto copy
Canaletto, facing forward.

…Canaletto, the forward/starboard section of the restaurant, which becomes an extra-tariff ($10 per guest), reservations-required Italian eatery at night.

077-koningsdamlidocafesalad copy
Lido Market salad bar.

The action stations in the Lido Market are all separate, helping avert long lines and bottlenecking. They are also not self-service, making it less easy for guests to spread bugs like Norovirus. Normally, I like to make my own selections but I found the staff to be extra-focused and responsive to direction and, as a prime example, the salads I ordered from the salad bar were exactly what I would have made for myself.

P1140635 copy
Super salad me in the Lido.

And the ingredients were varied, fresh and of exceptional quality, including the extra virgin olive oil, crumbled bleu cheese and aged balsamic vinegar.

P1140837 copy
The far aft section of Lido Deck features the open air Sea View Pool, the Sea View Bar, two Jacuzzis, sheltered dining and sunning space and open sunning space.

Decks 8 to 4 (Navigation, Schubert, Mozart, Gershwin) are dedicated to accommodation, with the exception of the Neptune Lounge.  More accommodation will be featured later in this series.

P1130851 copy
MV KONINGSDAM, Neptune Lounge, facing aft.

Located near the suite accommodation on Schubert (7) Deck, the Neptune Lounge is a concierge lounge for the dedicated use of Neptune and Pinnacle Suite guests only.

The Remainder of KONINGSDAM’s Public Spaces will be Decked! in Part two of this series… 

P1130019 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Deck 10/9 catwalk.

After boat drill, I headed up and aft to watch as KONINGSDAM backed away from her berth, spun around and sailed past the gathering of cruise ships in Civitavecchia. Connecting aft Decks 10 and 9 on either side are catwalks that jut over the sea via a glass landing, perhaps inspired by the Sea Walks on the new Princess ships.

P1130102 copy
Civitavecchia breakwater.

Despite the high winds and swells, KONINGSDAM took it all in stride as she entered the Tyrrhenian Sea, on a southbound course for Napoli.

P1130168 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Orchid in Tamarind.

I stole a quick workout from the Fitness Center, where there is plenty of ceiling height and a great view for added elliptical inspiration. I would later join our group for dinner in the Tamarind, my favorite floating Asian specialty restaurant.

P1130190 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Tamarind view.

Tamarind’s subdued, violet-infused setting is as wonderful as the views overlooking the Sea View Pool. For $20 per guest, there is no better meal at sea.

P1130200 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Tamarind veggie sushi.
P1130194 copy
MV KONINGSDAM Tamarind Spring Rolls.

Whether Tempura, Spring Rolls, Sushi, Thai Chicken and Rice Soup, Indonesian Laksa, Shanghai Ribs or the Water (fish), Fire (spicy), Wood (served on an oak plank) or Earth (vegetarian) entrées, the food, setting and service in Tamarind were utterly flawless. Several of us made plans to return.

That evening, I walked around the ship, then headed to my comfy bed in Cabin 6128 for a good night’s sleep.


Click Here For Part Two

Special thanks: Erik Elvejord, Jerrol Golden, Gene Sloan, Jocelyn Wu

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

Latest posts by Peter Knego (see all)


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.