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SA - Al-Hasa
22 Posts
Joined Oct 2017

I am Fahad from Saudi Arabia I want try to cruise. This kind of travelling not familiar here and I don't know any one went to cruise before so I need some help. I do a lot of researches in websites.And finally I found this:
8 july 2018
Holland American Line
ms Koningsdam
want this trip because it has all cities that I want to visit it (cold cities green mountains snow I miss this in my country) . I read a lot of reviews in the internet but they say the royal caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line they have best ships and activities, any suggestion
How about food and beverages, in every ship there are a lot of restaurants Is that mean I can choose any restaurants to eat and drink or what. If not free can I pay before trip?
Central Mississippi
1,295 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Welcome to Cruise Critic, Fahad! Because we have never sailed on HAL, I cannot give specific answers to your questions. But, I expect that HAL is like most of the other cruise lines and, yes, there are more than one "free" restaurant as well as others that charge for the food. Some cruise lines allow you to pre-pay for the up charge eating so it would be best to ask this question on the HAL thread.

I hope you have a very enjoyable cruise and come back ready to go again!
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Life's a Beach!

Next Cruise: January 8-15, 2017 Carnival Dream!!
SA - Al-Hasa
22 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
thanks for responding but until now I am hesitated which cruise line I should travel with.

holland american line = nice cities but not a lot of activities on ship
costa = good cities but old ship costa mediterranea
norwegian = good activities but not enough cities
481 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Holland America will likely have an older average age than the other cruise lines, but they have a very nice product.

You should know that there will probably not be snow in these cities because it is summer time. It will definitely still be cooler than Saudi Arabia!
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February 2018 - Royal Caribbean - Enchantment OTS - Bahamas

Completed cruises:
2017 December - Royal Caribbean Oasis OTS - Eastern Caribbean LIVE REVIEW
2017 July - Norwegian Pearl - Alaska

2013 Carnival Imagination - Bahamas
2012 Carnival Paradise - Western Caribbean/Mexico
2010 Royal Caribbean Majesty OTS - Bahamas
2010 Celebrity Millennium - Western Caribbean
2009 Carnival Inspiration - Western Caribbean/Mexico
2000 Celebrity Millennium - Western Caribbean
1997 Holland America Veendam - Alaska cruise/land tour
1990 Ocean Princess - Venice to Cannes
1987 Ocean Pearl - Seoul to Hong Kong
372 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Welcome Fahad - that looks like a delightful cruise. Some of your questions will depend on how old you and what evening entertainment you like. So much of that cruise is the ports and the scenic cruising so I would want to assure the ship has plenty of areas with windows to enjoy the scenery.
6,115 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Welcome to Cruise Critic! We recently returned from a cruise to Norway, but that was in an older ship from the UK. There's many, many ships going north at that time of year- a few every week out of the UK alone- so I can't say just what will suit you.
Most ships include food in the price, but there will be one or two special restaurants where there will be a fee, and you'll have to book a table. You'll be given a seat at a table in the main dining room for "free" food, and you can eat there for all your meals; there will also be a help yourself buffet which usually remains open all the time.
Enjoy planning!
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21 cruises; 12 ships; 8 lines; 96 ports
10,217 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
If you will be cruising by yourself there will be a supplemental charge for sailing solo. For example the ship is advertising 500 p/p but since you will be in a cabin by yourself you will have to pay the double fee or 1000.

NCL has no set dining times and is a more casual atmosphere, so no fancy dressing up for formal night. There are no assigned dining tables so you can choose where you want to eat every night. HAL will have a more traditional assigned tables and times dining plan with two seatings usually 6 pm and 8:00 pm

For your first cruise the ship really doesn't matter, just so long you are going to where you want to visit. I would look at itinerary and PRICE and how long the ship is in port. Longer in port means you can see more.
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Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~Kahlil Gibran

Sounds of the wind or sounds of the sea make me happy just to be. ~June Polis

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near Lake Huron, Canada
4,128 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Looks like a great cruise.
We did a 7 night cruise on the Rotterdam from Rotterdam this past May.
There was still a lot of snow in some areas, and we could not do one shore excursion in Geraingerfjord because of snow making a mountain road impassable.
On HAL, you can select traditional dining at 5 or 8pm, or open dining where you can just show up when the diningroom is open and request a table. Room service is (mostly) free, or you could dine in the Lido Buffet, or in one of the specialty restaurants (for a fee).
We do not bother with the Showrooms, so I do not know the quality of that evening entertainment. We are up early and enjoying exploring the ports. After dinner, we enjoy the music and a cocktail in one of the bars.
Have a great cruise.
436 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Hate to be a wet blanket here but I would suggest a shorter trip. What if you find out 3 days into cruising that it is not for you? I would hate to be stuck on a ship and bored to tears etc.
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4/2019 - RCI Navigator of the Seas: Miami to Caribbean
5/2018 - RCI Harmony of the Seas: Ft. Lauderdale to Caribbean
7/2016 - Norwegian Jewel: Seattle to Alaska
2/2014 - Carnival Miracle: Long Beach to PV and Cabo
6/2012 - Carnival Triumph: Galveston to Cozumel
Northeastern Ohio
50 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
There are no short cruises with great scenery though. Fahad, I think you will love it. If you are traveling by yourself, I would suggest traditional dining (where you choose early or late dining and are seated at the same table every night that you eat in the main dining room) because the cruise line will seat you at a table with other people and this will be a nice way to socialize.

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2,764 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Fahad - Don’t worry about the average age on the ship - we started sailing with Holland America at 40 and never regretted it. We sail based upon itinerary and Holland America has the itineraries we want. Never felt out of place, never been the youngest passenger on the ship, although typically there are only about 5 people younger than us.

I think starting with the 14 day cruise will be fine because you are going to the places you want to visit. Holland America offers Open Seating in addition to traditional dining - same food, same dining room, same staff. We prefer that because you get to meet more people. The other free option is the buffet on Holland America. There are usually 2 pay restaurants. I have not been on the Koningsdam so I am not sure they follow the typical Holland America restaurant.

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12/06 RC Navigator of the Seas - 7d Eastern Caribbean
01/08 HAL Ryndam - 30d Hawaii/South Pacific
03/08 Carnival Spirit - 7d Mexican Riviera
06/08 Princess Sapphire - 10d Alaska
01/09 Celebrity Galaxy - 10d Southern Caribbbean
10/11 HAL Maasdam - 45d Atlantic Adventurer (RT FLL to Europe)
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01/16 HAL Rotterdam - 89d Passage to the Far East

Looking forward to.....
01/19 HAL Prinsendam- 80d Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage
Dorset, england
775 Posts
Joined May 2011
Short cruises, ie 3 days, are often treated as 'booze cruises' and can be very different from longer cruises. If my first experience had been a shortie I would probably not have bothered again!

In addition, it is hardly worth the OP's time to travel from his home country just for the sake of 3 days. Fahad, if there is an itinerary that interests you, I would urge you to go for it
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Dallas, Texas
4,652 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Youtube has lots of videos on the Koningsdam.
For shows, search: koningsdam shows
and this: koningsdam piano bar
For food, search: koningsdam food
I have not sailed Holland America, but most if not all shows should be included -- no extra charge.
Also, food in the main dining room (MDR) is "all you can eat" -- order as much as you want from the menu, unless Holland America has different rules than other mainstream cruise lines.

Most cruise lines have free drinks that are both non-alcoholic and non-carbonated -- Coffee, Tea, Milk, tap water (bottled water is extra), hot chocolate (cocoa), lemonade, maybe fruit punch, and orange juice and other juices at breakfast. Other drinks can be pricey and have a tip of 15% or more added (unless the Europe cruises have different rules).

I've sailed on Carnival, Norwegian (NCL) and Royal Caribbean (RCI). RCI has the best live entertainment, IMO.
But the Koningsdam shows seem good, from what I've seen on youtube.
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