Our cruise on the "MS Koningsdam" from Holland America Line begins in Fort Lauderdale. The destinations of our trip are Half Moon Cay / Bahamas, Grand Turk / Turks and Caicos Islands, Amber Cove / Dominican Republic and the ABC islands: Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.
Before the start of the cruise, we had already been in Florida for a few days in a rental car. So we can deliver our bags in a convenient way in Port Everglades, the seaport of Fort Lauderdale. Then we take the car to the nearest car rental station at the airport. An Alamo shuttle bus brings us back to the ship.
Port Everglades - MS Koningsdam
Our cruise begins
Port Everglades is also a very important cruise port. Today there are the “Regal Princess” and the “Caribbean Princess” from Princess Cruises, the “Allure” from Royal Caribbean and the “Nieuw Amsterdam” and the “Koningsdam” from Holland America Line. It's an unbelievable hustle and bustle. Checking in is tedious, the queue extends around the terminal and in the building we are also guided through many rows until we get to the counter.
Queuing in Port Everglades
After more than an hour we are finally on board. A little later, the obligatory rescue exercise begins, which is just as badly organized as the check-in. It is our first cruise on a Holland America Line ship. We are astonished, we did not expect any organizational weaknesses with this premium brand. But it doesn't continue disappointingly at all.
First impressions of the Koningsdam
The first impression of the MS Koningsdam is convincing.
MS Koningsdam - Atrium with the Sel de Mer wine warehouse
And with each additional day on board, we will feel more comfortable here. The MS Koningsdam is a beautiful ship, very elegant and tastefully furnished with a generous amount of space and a friendly, relaxed approach to the guests.
We leave Port Everglades at four in the afternoon. It goes in series: first the “Nieuw Amsterdam”, then the “Caribbean Princess” and the “Regal Princess”, then us.
From the lookout at the bow on the Sky Deck you have a great view of the ships ahead, the port area and the sea.
MS Koningsdam - view from the Sky Deck
Before we unpack, we have a snack in the Grand Dutch Café. From morning to late in the evening, there is delicious Dutch cuisine, from matjes to latte, so to speak, and that's great in the Caribbean.
MS Koningsdam - Bistro Grand Dutch Cafe
In the evening there is a meeting for German-speaking guests, we want to see that. There are 18 participants, but 70 Germans should be on board. Janine from Guest Relation Service explains the essential processes, provides helpful information and answers travelers' questions. Janine is also our contact person for special requests during this cruise, such as visiting other cabins and the spa or an invitation to a specialty restaurant.
In the evening we eat in the main restaurant "The Dining Room".
MS Koningsdam - Dining Room
We don't have a fixed table time. Whenever “open dining” is offered, we gladly take advantage of this option. It fits in better with our daily routine. Dinner is very good, but service is very slow. We end the day with a tour of the ship and a nightcap at the Sea View Pool, the open pool at the stern on deck 9.
Continue reading: Day 2 - Half Moon Cay / Bahamas