the koningsdam.

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.


Totally amazing.

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.

8 thoughts on “the koningsdam.

  1. Wow, their photo makes it look like the beds were much, much bigger than the skinny twin…and it was pretty funny trying to navigate the room when all three of us were in there. Someone would have to “duck in” the space between the beds in order to pass. Once out of the room, the ship was pretty cool though. Especially the artwork.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is no other word for the art than amazing! Totally amazing! My favorites are the portraits omg!
    Worth the trip just to see those. I am so glad you thought to capture those and share with us. Hmmm
    don’t you just love deceptive marketing? I do tend to be claustrophobic cannot stand to be in a crowded
    elevator just cannot do it. However if it weren’t for the fact I have issues with motion sickness I would be inclined to take a trip on this ship. Cramped as it was it sounds like you really enjoyed it.


    1. Actually, I get horribly seasick myself! Growing up in South Florida, we had a boat and would go out every weekend. I had to totally dose myself with Dramamine to make it through. But these giant cruise ships are different. You can barely even feel the movement. I will still take Dramamine if the seas get rough, but on this trip they were quite smooth and I was just fine without drugs. However, there were plenty of crowded elevators!


  3. The ship had a bunch more art than Q showed. Even some we didn’t like. On the last day as we were waiting to get off I discovered a whole art area we never even saw. Forgot to tell my 2 roommates because I was having such a hard time trying to get thru to our rental car company on the phone. But it had some really cool glassworks in it.


  4. Wow thanks for sharing the pics of the artwork. So inspiring! We’re not really cruise type people. We like to get to our destination on our own and explore, explore, explore! I would hate waiting to get to port. But I must say the artwork would almost be worth it.


    1. Actually I’m with you Rose. A cruise is not my personal preference either. But my mom loves them, and this was a chance to spend some time with her (she lives in Vegas, I live in Minnesota). Hopefully our next vacation will be more about exploring unknown places!


  5. This might be your best post EVAH! I adore the artwork and it is so inspiring! If you have more photos of the art, please, please, please post them. I even showed this post to my hubby and he was awestruck (I never show him the blogs I subscribe to because he usually is forced to pretend to be interested). LOL Thanks so much for this post.


    1. Thanks for taking the time to leave this comment Ruth. When I posted this I thought perhaps no one would be particularly interested. Since I got very few comments on the post, I figured I was right. So it’s nice to hear that you enjoyed seeing this art as much as I did!


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