Review of ms Koningsdam deck 2 (Plaza-Shops-Lounge)
World Stage (lower level 1 of 2) is the ship’s 2-tiered theater and main show lounge. The theater also serves the Holland America Line’s enrichment program (via partnership with BBC Earth). The entertainment options include daily bingo games, Koningsdam’s cruise itinerary-based expert lectures, professional media presentations. In the evenings, here are presented live band music, large-scale music and digital media show productions (a total of 5 rotating shows), concerts, performances by comedians, magicians, illusionists. The World Stage theater features a 270-degree wall of multiple LED screens for visuals.
Digital Workshop is powered by MS Windows.
Piano Bar (with a resident pianist) and Ocean Bar are classy lounges with comfortable furniture (round tables, armchairs, couches) and a dance floor. Both are popular for dinner drinks, free afternoon canapes, evening dancing, live music performances, singalongs.
Merabella Luxury Shop is a top-brand jewelry boutique (assistance by a dedicated Manager).
Signature Shops (lower level 1 of 2) are duty-free boutique shops selling liquor, tobaccos, sundries, brand perfumes and watches, also souvenirs, clothing, Holland America logo merchandise.
“Music Walk” is Plaza Deck’s entertainment area comprised of 4 live music venues - Queen’s Lounge, Billboard Onboard, Lincoln Center Stage, Rolling Stone Rock Room
"Queen’s Lounge" (lower level 1 of 2) is a 2-tiered nightclub that doubles as a grand ballroom for dancing. During the day, Queen’s Lounge is used for presentations by guest speakers, seminars, special events. In the evenings here are hosted the HAL’s popular “BB King’s Blues Club” shows (3 separate programs per night- at 8:45 pm, 9:45 pm and 10:45 pm, each 45 to 60 min in length, no cover charge). The musical experience is offered 6 nights per week and includes 8-man band performances (2 vocalists are backed by 1 drummer, 1 organist, 1 bassist, 1 guitarist, 1 saxophonist, 1 trumpeter). During the performances, guests are encouraged to use the large dance floor and sing along with popular music hits from the 60s. Queen’s Lounge as design is club-themed, with a replica of the club’s famous neon sign, many pictures of BB King, a specialty cocktails menu with signature beverages served in the land clubs (incl Motown Margarita, Rock Me Baby). Additionally to the lounge’s performances, the band also occasionally performs in other ship areas (check the daily planner for the locations and exact times).
*Billboard Onboard” is a new sing-along bar with live music performances (pianists, guitarists, DJ) in a variety of genres (incl pop, rock, classic, even country). There are 3 programs per night (each lasts 45 to 60 min). The Billboard bar features dynamic evening shows, a central stage with 2 grand pianos, wood-paneled walls, 3 large-size TVs, round-shaped tables with plush chairs.
“Lincoln Center Stage” (lower level 1 of 2) is a chamber music hall dedicated to classical music. In the evenings here are offered live quintet performances (piano and strings). There are 3 programs per night (each 45-60 min in length). On seadays only here are offered afternoon recitals. Lincoln Center Stage is via partnership with NYC’s “Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts”.
Rolling Stone Rock Room is a classic rock club via partnership with Rolling Stone Magazine. Here are offered live 5-piece band performances.
Pinnacle Grill is a reservations-only steakhouse and seafood restaurant (at surcharge PP) open for lunch and dinner, with fine wines menu. Dining here is free for guests under 12, and at 1/2 adult charge for teenagers. Via partnership with the “Le Cirque” (gourmet NYC French restaurant), once per Koningsdam cruise, the Pinnacle Grill transforms into “An Evening at le Cirque” – specialty restaurant with higher surcharge PP, wine list charge, and “Le Cirque” dinner menu. Exclusively to Eurodam and Koningsdam, Holland America offers the “De Librije” dinner experience via partnership with Jonnie Boer. De Librije (located in the library building of a former Dominican abbey in Zwolle, Netherlands) is a 3-starred Michelin restaurant (since 2004).
Next to Pinnacle Grill is Rudi's Sel de Mer (54-seat French cuisine/seafood brasserie) restaurant – dinner-only, at surcharge PP. Reservations are required. Depending on the cruise itinerary ports, ship’s chefs go ashore to purchase from local markets fresh seafood for the daily “catch of the day” specials in the menu. Waiters are dressed traditionally, and there is a trolley that showcases the fresh fish. Rudi’s Sel De Mer features a curving shape and walnut wood-made, accordion-like column structure. The back wall is decorated with porcelain plates, all of which are decorated with Chef Rudi’s Food Faces culinary pop art (via partnership with Bernardaud - French porcelain masters). Food plates are arranged from classic ingredients (caviar, fruits, root vegetables, peppers, etc). In January 2018, Holland America Line released the coffee table book "Food Faces" - available for purchase on the ship. Signature dishes in the a la carte menu include Rudi’s Seafood Tower, Fruits de Mer, Broiled Lobster Tail, Whole Dover Sole Meuniere, Clams au Beurre, Duck Cassoulet, Steak Tartare, Steak Frites, Souffle au Fromage, Salt Crust Baked Branzino. Signature desserts include Rudi’s Face to Face Chocolate, Rudi’s Souffle, Crepes Suzette, Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Sauce, Apple Tarte Tatin, Artisanal French Cheese Plate.
BLEND is a glass-enclosed winery room located between the Pinnacle Grill and Sel de Mer. It operates with daily wine blending sessions. These are reservations-only events (90 min session, $129 cover charge) with sommelier service. The BLEND winery room (capacity 10 seats) is via partnership with the winemaker Chateau Ste Michelle (Washington). Wine tasting events are seminar-like (hosted by a wine expert). Each session includes sampling of 5 red wines (single-vineyard) later combined with different vintages into a personal blend. After the event, you can bottle and take your newly created wine and consumed it at the ship’s restaurants or in the cabin. At the BLEND wine room all guests are allowed to see the wines offered in both restaurants, and also to chose their vintage from its impressive selection of premium wines.
Atrium (level 2 of 3)
Explorer’s Lounge & Bar hosts classical concert performances by a string quartet, fine wine tastings.
Culinary Arts Center is a premium dinner restaurant (cover charge $39 pp, unlimited wine included). This open-kitchen / show-kitchen venue is used daily for professional cooking shows, culinary classes and workshops (cooking and cocktail) presented in demonstration kitchens. The Culinary Center operates via partnership with the “Food & Wine Magazine”. In the evenings, the Center transforms into “Dinner at the Culinary Arts Center”. This is a new, specialty dining concept for a top-quality gourmet experience with the ship’s chefs preparing dishes in the demonstration kitchen – and guests enjoying each course with wine pairing. At the Culinary Center’s entry there are 9 interactive TV displays allowing guests to explore the personal lives, special recipes, cooking secrets and tips of famous food and wine industry celebrities. By Holland America’s new partnership with Koppert Cress (microgreen specialist), the Culinary Center has a garden to grow fresh ingredients. This enables its guests to enjoy farm-to-table items from the dinner menu (veggie fare, 5 choices, dessert, cheese plate). The ingredients are displayed in a glass-enclosed garden area and harvested just before being served. Once sown, the seedlings grow for up to 2 weeks. The list of microgreens integrated in the recipes includes garlic, mustard, licorice.
The Dining Room (lower level 1 of 2) is the ship’s open-seating Main Dining Room open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The restaurant is complimentary, on 2 levels (connected with a grand staircase), with expansive floor-ceiling windows, sophisticated design and several new for HAL features. In the evening, the room’s color turns to a darker shade of amber. Structural ribs (themed after harp strings) connect both floors and create the sense of a curvilinear space. The room’s sculptural centerpiece is a wine tower (folded in gold) from which during meal times passengers may select a bottle of fine wine or champagne. The dining room’s chandeliers are made of 3-color glass bulbs (hand-blown). The menu includes signature dishes, traditional and regional (itinerary ports-based) cuisine specialties and also Culinary Council recipes (incl from the HAL’s Master Chef).
Before the Plaza Deck layout, here you can watch Holland America’s “Dining Room” review video (“Countdown to Koningsdam Episode 5”).