Newest Review: ... and had gone to plan maybe the ferry crossing from Dover to Dunkirk would have been completed with standard DFDS mediocrity but they di... more
A good return crossing
Author Name: Nick
Advantages: Nice Ship, Good Weather, Excellent Entertainments
Disadvantages: Very Expensive, Small Cabins
I went from Newcastle to IJmuiden (Amsterdam) on-board the King Seaways, we both had a really good crossing, which was helped by good weather.
Cabin: A standard Crossing is very small. Thankfully I have sailed on the King before so I knew beforehand how small the cabins really are, so I suggested to my partner that we booked separate cabins so that we both had more space which turned out to be a really good idea as she brought so much stuff that you could hardly move in her cabin. You can pay more money and have a commodore or de-luxe commodore cabin, but it is quite pricey.
Restaurants: Very expensive. In fact everything on board is expensive. I didn't eat on board, again having been on board before I was aware of this and we ate at the Brewers Fayre restaurant in North Shields before boarding. However on the return voyage my partner had a steak which cost over 30 Euro.
Bars: I have to say I enjoyed the entertainments. In the Columbus Club they had three singers and they sang extremely well, seeing as we sailed in September and the busy period had ended I was impressed with the amount they had on. In the Navigation Bar on Deck 8 which I call the Piano Bar, they have a Piano sitting there that never gets used anymore, and one man and his guitar, he plays well.. when he plays. I noticed he plays for about 30 minutes then disappeared for about 20 minutes for a break. Again very expensive, you wouldn't want many drinks onboard. One Coke cost 4 Euro!!
Amsterdam: I found this to be very well organised. If you do the 2 day minicruise you automatically get a sightseeing tour with your ticket. You get off board, go through Passport Control then straight onto a coach which takes you on a brilliant tour around Amsterdam. The tour takes around an hour and a half and drops you off outside the Victoria Hotel opposite Amsterdam Centraal station. You then have a few hours to explore the city.
A bit of advice
- If you don't want to eat onboard due to the prices, then just before you get to the North Shields Ferry Terminal you will see a Premier Inn hotel on your right, there is a restaurant next to it and they serve very good food, it will save you money for Amsterdam. There are also some good restaurants around Amsterdam as well.
- If you suffer claustrophobia and there isn't any more Commodore cabins left then book two separate cabins, it might cost a bit but trust me it really is worth it as you have more space.
- Do not take your own drinks or food into the bars or restaurants. 4 Euro might sound a lot for a coke but if they see you sneaking food or drink in they will confiscate it, so either eat in your cabins or pay the high price for a simple drink
- If you want to enjoy exploring the ship without people getting in the way, go out in the middle of the night, I have to say that exploring the ship during the night was one of my favourite memories of the crossing. You feel like you have the entire ship to yourself and it's great to explore.
- Take your own shower gel. The shower gel offered on the cruise is a horrible gel attached the wall by the sink, that my partner described as smelling like vomit. Bring your own and save any problems.
- Bring your own adapter. If you coming from the UK, do not forget to bring a continental power supply. They do not have any UK electric points on board the DFDS boats. So if you forget your continental power supply you either have to survive two days without charging anything or pay ridiculous amout of money in the ships shop for one.
- Sail out of season and last minute. The reason for this is you can keep an eye on the weather. There is nothing worse than being on a boat that is rocking and makes you ill. I always planned to do the sailing this year (2011) but wanted the conditions to be right. If you go out of season the boat is quieter and DFDS are desperate to sell more tickets so they end up selling tickets at cheaper prices to get people on board, I paid £80 for a standard cabin return, where in the summer you can pay £200 plus. I booked it the day before I sailed, and kept an eye on the weather prior to booking, you just need to check the shipping forecast and type in wind map on google and you will get an accurate report of what the wind and sea will be like over the coming days. It was a lifesaver for me and we had such a calm crossing. In fact the tour guide in Amsterdam said that the sea was the most calmest it had been in weeks, so a little research and last minute booking really can save you money and can save you being seasick. Even on a calm crossing like I experienced I found the King to still rock slightly and bump around a bit which made me feel a bit queezy on the outward journey until I got used to it. So imagine what a rough crossing would be like. If you do find yourself on a rough crossing there are sick bags located all over the ship, very off putting I must say
Summary: A good return journey on King Seaways (Newcastle-IJmuiden)
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