Holland America puts a fresh spin on old-school cruising – Orange County Register


At a Rotary International fundraiser 6 many years in the past, my wife and I ended up the maximum bidder for a Holland America Line cruise for two. The certification did not have an expiration date, so we agreed to keep on to the won silent auction product for about 20 yrs when equally of us would be in our 70s. By then we’d be the correct age for our to start with Holland The united states cruise — or so we have been explained to by persons supposedly more savvy with that distinct line.

So, when an prospect arrived up for me to examination the waters on a virgin sail with the Seattle-primarily based firm that turns 150 a long time old subsequent 12 months, I was organized to shell out various times on a floating outdated folk’s home. Discuss about possessing the wrong perception. While a good deal of septuagenarians had been aboard the the latest voyage on the gracious and beautiful ms Koningsdam, the passenger manifest had a array of company much broader than perceived. Sixty-two percent were aged 51 to 74, in accordance to the ship’s guest relations desk, and the greater part experienced cruised formerly with the top quality-luxurious line (hollandamerica.com). Of the several thirtysomethings and beneath between the fifty percent-full Pacific Coastal cruise from San Diego to Vancouver, all seemed to be touring with mother and father or grandparents.

Even though an more mature demographic made up most of the 1,222 travellers, a buoyant retirement group this was not. The onboard seniors, this AARP card carrier bundled, had the time of our lives many thanks to exceptional lodging, cuisine, enjoyment and routines on the 2,650-ability ship that’s expending the summer time cruising Alaska right before heading to Southern California for operates up the coast, soon after a regulation-obliging stopover in Ensenada, Mexico, starting up in Oct.

Koningsdam is scheduled to sail out of San Diego, Seattle, Anchorage and Vancouver via 2024, and the Pacific Coastline is the improved for it. Aside from sporting an attentive and genuinely hospitable crew — the best I have observed now that Crystal Cruises is dearly departed — Holland America’s 6-calendar year-previous Pinnacle Class ship is loaded with the fleet’s most preferred venues.

Soulful sounds are enjoyed at BB King?'s Blues Club on Koningsdam. (Photo by David Dickstein)
Soulful appears are relished at BB King’s Blues Club on Koningsdam. (Photograph by David Dickstein)

Four of them are along Tunes Walk, Holland America’s combine of Memphis’ Beale Street, New York’s Carnegie Corridor and New Orleans’ Bourbon Avenue. The eclectic appears on Deck 2 assortment from classical as played by a virtuoso ensemble on Lincoln Heart Stage, rhythm and blues at B.B. King’s All-Star Band, classic rock in the Rolling Stone (Journal) Rock Place, and 70 yrs of chart-topping hits with a nightly all-ask for set in the piano bar. A additionally is that the performers do not drown just about every other out as you amble from one joint to a different. Reveals on the Entire world Stage, the ship’s magnificent and technically superior most important theater, include revolutionary dance performances by the multi-disciplined Stage Just one Dance Firm and a multimedia encounter combining stay tunes with a backdrop of spectacular footage from the BBC Earth Television set series “Planet Earth II.”

The main theater features a multimedia experience combining live music and stunning footage from a BBC Earth TV series. (Photo by David Dickstein)
The most important theater functions a multimedia expertise combining stay songs and amazing footage from a BBC Earth Television set collection. (Photograph by David Dickstein)

Food stuff-smart, the primary dining place, cleverly named The Eating Space, is a trustworthy and fare-involved option for breakfast and meal, and lunch on sea times when wanting a complete wait team. A a lot more calm vibe is discovered at Lido Sector, one particular of the greater buffets at sea. Props to Holland America for nonetheless earning omelets with contemporary eggs. Sister traces in the Carnival Company portfolio such as Princess Cruises and Cunard Line really do not except by request (which they won’t inform you).

Poolside are Dive In for delicious burgers and Nathan’s warm puppies, and New York Deli & Pizza, wherever contented was this lover of sizzling corned beef sandwiches and business pizza slices edged with a somewhat charred crust. For good quality coffee beverages and snacks genuine to the Netherlands, from Maatjes herring to an apple and bacon pancake, or pannenkoek, the Grand Dutch Café can’t be defeat.

The Clothesline Candied Bacon served in the Pinnacle Grill is a must-eat for those who enjoy pork. (Photo by David Dickstein)
The Clothesline Candied Bacon served in the Pinnacle Grill is a will have to-consume for those people who delight in pork. (Photo by David Dickstein)

Koningsdam went 4-for-5 with its specialty dining places on the cruise. The Thai-influenced Tom Kha Kai soup and Chinese-encouraged toddler back ribs are both equally to-die-for starters at Tamarind, which is even the captain’s go-to supper alternative. Representing cuisines of Southeast Asia, China and Japan, the restaurant doubles as Nami Sushi, which does justice to recipes of grasp sushi chef Andy Matsuda. A further winner is Pinnacle Grill, the ship’s steakhouse, home of correctly geared up cuts and salmon, and the OMG-worthy Clothesline Candied Bacon from celebrity chef and restaurateur David Burke. No slouch, possibly, is Rudi’s Sel de Mer, an intimate French-hinting brasserie from learn chef Rudi Sodamin. The weak link among the the specialty dining establishments is Canaletto, which helps make a respectable veal and sage meatball and that is about it. The lookup carries on for a nautical Italian cafe worth the upcharge.

Koningsdam sets sail for Canada after making a call in San Francisco. (Photo by David Dickstein)
Koningsdam sets sail for Canada immediately after building a call in San Francisco. (Photo by David Dickstein)

As for Koningsdam by itself, refreshing it is to come to feel like you’re on a cruise ship and not an amusement park. Bumper vehicles, h2o slides and ziplines are a blast, for guaranteed, and on mainstream cruise strains heading all in on points of interest is necessary to increase current market share with family members. That reported, Holland America is a good alter of rate from a Six Flags-at-sea.

“You can test to be multigenerational, currently being what you are not, or you can just individual what you are,” reported Ron Bontenbal, Koningsdam’s lodge standard manager. “I feel for a several many years we attempted to battle what we were and that didn’t make any feeling.”

A whiskey tasting host leads a toast for guests sampling international spirits on Koningsdam. (Photo by David Dickstein)
A whiskey tasting host qualified prospects a toast for friends sampling international spirits on Koningsdam. (Picture by David Dickstein)


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