The short cruise I took to the Bahamas last week was aboard the newest Holland America ship, the Koningsdam. Did you know that Holland America is owned by Carnival Corporation? As are Princess, Cunard, Seabourn and several others including, of course, Carnival.
I’ve sailed on Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival, Celebrity, Norwegian, Viking, and this was my 2nd cruise on a Holland America ship. I guess much like with paint, I am not loyal to any one brand. Also, much like paint, I can’t choose just one as a favorite. They each have their place depending on what qualities you are looking for.
I have to say that of all the cruise lines I’ve been on, I feel like Holland America is the most … well … sedate. Princess runs a close second. If you are looking for a party at sea, stick with Carnival or Royal Caribbean. But if you want a little more subdued and classy atmosphere, go with Celebrity, Princess or Holland America.
If I had to pick just one word to describe this ship I would have to go with ‘cultured’. For one thing, there were lots of European passengers on board and overall the ship had a very European flavor right down to its Captain, Emiel de Vries from the Netherlands. His accent was fun to listen to every day over the loud speaker. There were many times when we were surrounded on deck by people speaking various foreign languages. The ship had just crossed over from Europe, so many passengers had come along for the ride and stayed on board to see the Bahamas. It was fun chatting with the many Dutch passengers and asking for advice on what to see when we go to Amsterdam next year.
In addition to that European feel, the ship was also filled with some truly gorgeous art. The stairwell that was just outside our cabin had some pretty unique pieces at every landing. This set of six was my favorite.
I’m afraid I didn’t do a very good job of capturing them. From straight on at more of a distance they looked like traditional Dutch portraits.
But as you got closer to them you could see that they were actually made up of hundreds of tiny photos and other items that were held in place with stick pins.
They had several pieces that used some fairly unique mediums such as this pair that used colorful matchbox cars.
Those aren’t just photos of matchbox cars, they are actual matchbox cars under glass.
That’s some pretty impressive upcycling, don’t you think?
And who else remembers the floppy disk?
This next landing had a trio of portraits drawn on old maps.
You just can’t go wrong with an old map of Paris, right?
Another stairwell held some more surreal pieces. My palms got a little sweaty every time I passed by this one.
If you are puzzled as to why, you aren’t looking closely enough. Look again.
Don’t you want to just snatch that little girl off of that swing?
This last piece that I’m going to share was truly breathtaking. It’s a cello made into a ship.
It was a bit hard to capture due to the combination of the glass case and my striped shirt. Apparently I still haven’t learned not to wear stripes when taking photos.
But I hope you can still get a feel for how amazing this piece was.
By the way, remember I said I would report back on how well the Holland America promo photo of the stateroom reflected reality? Here is their official photo …
I didn’t get a photo of the room myself, but here is one that my sister took …
The promo photo is not entirely misleading, but it does appear to be missing that wall this side of the beds. See it there in Debbie’s photo on the right? I’m also fairly sure that they used smaller pillows in the promo photo to make the beds appear bigger. This jumps out at me because the back set of pillows on our beds were wider than the bed itself (you can easily see that in Debbie’s photo). We were constantly knocking stuff off our nightstands with the pillows. The narrower pillows in the promo photo make the beds look wider than they really are. Also, that space between the foot of the bed and the TV wall was quite narrow which is more obvious in Debbie’s photo. Finally, the promo photo makes the room seem quite a bit deeper than it really was. That desk looks so much further away in the promo photo. A trick of the camera lens I’m sure. And sadly, we didn’t get a room with those pretty shades of green, we got grey and blue, a color scheme that seems quite drab by comparison.
Three of us in this tiny room was a challenge. When the couch was pulled out into a bed, we had to climb over it to get to the balcony. You know those old sliding puzzles where you had to move one piece to make room to move another piece, then shuffle a third piece to get to the piece you really needed to move? Moving around in this room was a lot like that.
But a small room is part of the package with a cruise. Unless you are independently wealthy and can afford a suite. But if you are claustrophobic, a cruise may not be the right choice for you!
Be sure to check back next week. I’ll be comparing milk paint to Fusion paint! See you then.