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Old December 27th, 2016, 09:04 PM
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rollerdonna rollerdonna is offline
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Default Koningsdam Cruise Part 4 Dec. 2016

Koningsdam Cruise Part 4 December 2016
Friday Dec. 16, Sea Day

I guess it's a sign that the beds are comfortable when you don't wake up until 9 a.m.! Had breakfast in the Dining Room again, and again the service was slow and mostly impersonal (no interaction with waiters, no smiles, no eye contact). The standard American Breakfast of eggs, bacon hash browns toast was good, as was the Banana French Toast, but two huge slices of that was too much; I only ate 1/2 of one. We were repeatedly offered fresh coffee while we waited a long time for tea... Normally on a cruise we prefer having breakfast in the Dining Room because of the personal service; not so on this cruise.

The morning was spent mostly at the aft pool, trying to enjoy the sun, but the intense noise from the smokestack (much like an airliner taking off), coupled with the offensive smell of the smoking area, eventually chased me off to find a better spot at the midship Lido Pool.

As I mentioned before, the towels and the palm tree planters were the only touch of colour in the main pool area, it was all pretty neutral, but I liked the palm trees and the etched glass shower enclosures. I also noted the mechanized chair lift to help wheelchair-bound passengers into the hot tubs or pool, I had never seen that on a ship before. Which brings me to another thing we encountered, both poolside and on the beach - low lounge chairs. On two occasion I required help from two other people to help me get James up out of a lounge chair. Cruise lines, especially those known for catering to older passengers, need to re-think their use of low flat loungers, and either supply higher chairs, or at least chairs with arms to help you push yourself up. This is a real problem for aging and mobility challenged passengers. After this, James did not use loungers any more, but preferred the regular chairs at a table, or the nice comfy couch chairs with arms on them. I did notice that there seemed to be more of the comfotable area seating and less of the loungers than usual, and perhaps that is the reason why.

I also wanted to mention that at 11 a.m. on most days, there was a steel drum musician playing at the Lido Pool. His music varied from Caribbean to Top 40 to a few Christmas tunes, and was always pleasant and relaxing to listen to.

On this sea day, we had an invitation to the Captain's repeat passenger luncheon, held in the Dining Room at 12:30. This is always a well attended event, with many many repeat passengers, and champagne is provided free with your lunch. The menu was not much to my liking; I skipped the appetizers, but did try the main course of Braised Beef and mashed potatoes which was very good, as was the only dessert choice of Coconut Cream Pie. Refills of champagne, coffee or tea rounded out the meal, and each guest was presented with a lovely Delft Blue ceramic tile with a picture of the Koningsdam on it as a souvenir.

Once lunch was over with, it was back to the pool area to enjoy the sun, and the fact that the poolside music was quiet and non-disturbing, not like other cruise lines where the piped in music is loud and distracting. As this was the week before Christmas, I had really hoped to hear more Christmas music around the ship, but there was very little, and that included a complete lack of decorations.

This evening was the first Gala Night, formerly known as Formal Night, so dressing up was a must. We didn't have to wait to get in on this night, but it was busy enough that we still had to wait for service. Again, the Gala menu was not much to my liking, but I tried a Honey Pineapple appetizer that was so sour I couldn't eat it. My Rack of Lamb, a favourite of mine, arrived so undercooked it was bleeding. I sent it back for more cooking, and did not eat the cous cous, red pepper or artichoke that accompanied it. We both fared a little better with a dessert of Lemon Meringue Cheesecake.

After dinner we rushed off to Billboard On Board for Name That Tune, and tonight it was all Christmas songs, and old ones from the classic old films and radio. It was a lot of fun to hear and try to identify some classic Christmas tunes.

Immediately following this, we attended the first big production show One World in the World Stage Theatre. There were ten dancers and three main singers, all very good, and the show was a mixture of live performances, some acrobatics, and surround video screens with some awesome world footage of flowers, mountains, deserts, fire, water, and underwater scenes. It was a different concept in theatre entertainment and was quite impressive.

We ended our evening with another visit to Billboard, where the two piano players were covering the Jazz Classics tonight. Very well done and relaxing, and it was a treat around 10 p.m. when they opened the mini buffett located in the club, and served up some tasty treats like spring rolls and dipping sauce, seafood bites, vegetable empanadas, olives and cheeses, and other hor d'oeuvres like cream cheese and lox and salmon on toasted crackers. By 10:30 when the pianists took a break, we headed off to bed, not that there wasn't anything going on, because as we passed through the Queen's Lounge, the B.B. King Band was rocking the place, and the lounge was full of dancers, as it was most nights. Just not our taste, so off to our cabin to relax and read in the peace and quiet.

To Be Continued...
Photos can be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/donna.belan...0547804&type=3
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