The dining venues and culinary options on the Holland America Koningsdam cruise ship feature a diverse mix of size, cuisines, and ambiance. Many of the restaurants and culinary venues are familiar names to past Holland America cruise lovers, and others are new to the cruise line. This article provides photos and information on a dozen places on the ship to enjoy a meal or a bite to eat.
The Dining Room is the largest dining venue on the Koningsdam and is located aft on decks 2 and 3. This dramatic room seats 1,098 guests and features spectacular chandeliers and seating on two decks.
The Dining Room is open for dinner each evening and is open for breakfast and lunch on sea days. The menus are very diverse and include a selection of starters, soups, salads, main courses, and desserts. Main courses almost always include seafood or fish, poultry, beef, or pork, and there's always a vegetarian selection. The Koningsdam also features regional selections, depending on the itinerary. Holland America Line Signature dishes like French onion soup, classic Caesar salad, grilled salmon, broiled New York strip loin and oven roasted chicken are available each night.
When booking the cruise, guests can choose to dine at one of two, pre-set times or select "as you wish", anytime dinner.
When you sail on the Koningsdam, be sure to try some of the other great restaurants on the cruise ship.
Tamarind is the Holland America Koningsdam cruise ship's Asian restaurant. It is located high up on deck 10 aft and seats 140 guests. This specialty restaurant carries a surcharge but is well worth the extra cost for those of us who love Asian food. Tamarind is open for lunch and dinner.
Tamarind features all sorts of Asian food. For example, appetizers might include items such as shrimp tempura, Thai beef salad, Malaysian satay sampler, Vietnamese spring rolls, Peking duck crepes, and Shanghai ribs. Is your mouth watering yet? Vegetarians have three main courses on the menu, along with some starters.
A nice selection of side dishes can be ordered to go along with the rest of the meal, but it's hard to eat plain steamed or brown rice when you can have sushi instead.
Be sure to save room for dessert. Chocolate lovers will appreciate the Tamarind chocolate, which is a bittersweet chocolate shell filled with a tamarind flavored chocolate and ginger mousse. The Thai mini doughnuts are as good as they sound, and come with delicious dipping sauces. Those looking for something lighter might enjoy the mango cloud, an egg white souffle with a scoop of mango sorbet.
Sel de Mer Restaurant
Sel de Mer is a seafood brasserie on the Koningsdam and a new venue for Holland America Line. This tiny venue only seats 44 guests and is located on deck 2 next to the Atrium and across from the Ocean Bar. Pricing is a la carte and can add up fast if you try several different items.
Although most of the items on the menu are seafood, Sel de Mer also has other French favorites like duck cassoulet, coq au vin, beef pot au feu, and French fries. There's a daily plats du jour, so you might want to check the menu to see which day a favorite might be served.
The Pinnacle Grill is Holland America Line's traditional steakhouse with a Pacific Northwest flair. It's popular on all the cruise line's ships, and the one on the Koningsdam is excellent. This venue seats 116 and is located on deck 2 next to Atrium and Sel de Mer. The menu is similar to Pinnacle Grills on the Nieuw Amsterdam, Eurodam, Veendam, Maasdam, Ryndam, and other Holland America Line cruise ships.
Pinnacle Grill has a surcharge, but the Pacific Northwest steaks and other menu items are delicious and worth the extra fee. Favorites include the lobster bisque, crab cakes, steak tartare, steak (sizes from 7 oz. to 23 oz. and 4 different cuts), lamb chops, and broiled salmon. Surf & turf is always a good selection when you can't make up your mind.
Canaletto Italian Restaurant
Canaletto is the casual Italian restaurant on the Holland America Koningsdam. It is located on deck 9 inside the Lido Market area. The Italian dishes on the Canaletto menu are designed for sharing at the table, adding to a fun dining experience in a beautiful space with great sea views. Canaletto has an extra surcharge.
Canaletto features small plates for tasting like beef carpaccio or duck and chicken liver pate. The menu also has several pasta dishes, along with veal, sea bass, chicken, and pork as main courses.
Since Canaletto is inside the Lido Market, many guests sit in the space at breakfast and lunch.
Grand Dutch Cafe
The Grand Dutch Cafe on the Koningsdam is a casual coffee bar that also serves Dutch treats and snacks. It is a new venue for Holland America, seats 68, and is found on deck 3 near the Atrium. It's a great gathering place during the day and into the evening.
The Explorations Cafe is found on the top of the ship on deck 12 inside the Crow's Nest lounge of the Koningsdam. This 30-seat coffeehouse is located inside the library area of the Crow's Nest. Guests can read a book, surf the Internet, check their email, and sip a cup of coffee while snacking on a pastry in the Explorations Cafe.
The 388-seat Lido Market is found on deck 9 on the Holland America Koningsdam cruise ship. Past Holland America cruisers will enjoy the layout of this venue; it's much better than the traditional buffet lines. The Lido Market has a large variety of specialty stations, with a cuisine to suit everyone's cravings.
New York Deli and Pizza
The New York Deli and Pizza casual eatery is new to the ms Koningsdam. Located on deck 10 overlooking the pool, it's a great place for a quick sandwich, salad, or a piece (or more) of pizza. Since the small deli counter is on deck 10, it's often much quieter than eating poolside.
Dive-In Casual Eatery
The Dive-In is located on deck 9 poolside, just outside of the Lido Market. It's a busy place for lunch, but the delicious burgers are cooked to order. Just order the burger (or hot dog), and the server gives you a buzzer/pager to take to your table. When the burger is done, you'll get paged. Much easier than having to hang around the counter.
The Holland America Koningsdam cruise ship is located poolside next to the Dive-In burger stand on deck 9. The gelato has an a la carte price, but it's authentic gelato made on the ship. Holland America sent a couple of its chefs to Italy to learn to make gelato properly and also invested in a gelato machine. Buy a cup or cone, close your eyes, and you are in Italy!
Culinary Arts Center
Past Holland America travelers are familiar with the Culinary Arts Center on other Holland America Line cruise ships. They are used for culinary events like cooking classes, demonstrations, and lectures. The Culinary Arts Center on the Koningsdam is also used for these events but is also a special restaurant. This culinary center was purpose-built, with a terrific show kitchen and individual cooking stations for the classes.
Located on deck 2 and seating 74, the Culinary Arts Center is open for dinner, with a fixed menu each evening. Diners get to enjoy a farm-to-table experience and watch the chefs at work in the show kitchen, preparing each course "live". Some of the fresh ingredients are grown in a small glass greenhouse right next to the Culinary Arts Center, adding to the experience.
Blend Wine Tasting
Have you ever wanted to make your own wine? On the Holland America ms Koningsdam cruise ship, you can't plant or harvest grapes and make wine from scratch, but you can blend your own special label at Blend, a dedicated room with a tasting table for 10 across from the Culinary Arts Center on deck 2. Holland America Line partnered with Washington State vintner Chateau Ste. Michelle in the Pacific Northwest to bring this blending experience to its cruise ships.
You'll take notes from tasting five different wines and use the information to determine what percentage of each wine you want to blend to make your own. Using a graduated cylinder (just like in chemistry class), you add the wines you want to blend in a glass. If you aren't happy with the glass blend, just try again until you're satisfied. The instructor will then give you a chart to convert your percentages into a whole bottle, which you'll then prepare and label with the name you choose.
It's great fun and you get to take the bottle back to your cabin to drink there or in one of the restaurants.