All photos by Jason Leppert
One could argue that the Koningsdam is spearheading a Holland America Line revival by way of its entertainment alone. Both the Music Walk district and World Stage theater (pictured above) enhance the onboard programming with impressive new talent and technologies befitting the new cruise ship.
The Music Walk is made up of three components: B.B. King’s Blues Club, Billboard Onboard and Lincoln Center Stage – each featured in its own venue adjacent to the other two. The blues club, for instance, is still housed in the Queen’s Lounge as on other Holland America ships, but this time the space has doubled in size with a classic ballroom setting that stretches the height of two decks. As with the rest of the ship, the design is inspired by music as the architecture undulates in wave patterns, and the dance floor inlay features a stringed instrument’s head and tuners.
The venue may serve multiple purposes, but B.B. King’s Blues Club is the highlight. The band is made up of ace vocalists, guitarists, brass players, a keyboardist and drummer, and they lay down a groove like no other at sea. Genres branch out to jazz and funk, pretty much anything that can be danced to, and passengers do frequently take to the dance floor. It’s nice to finally see a venue that can accommodate the standing-room-only crowds found elsewhere on the fleet because this group deserves it.
For more pop favorites, Billboard Onboard pares things down a bit with dueling pianos and singers. Passersby can have a seat in the barstools that line the tickled ivories or in the larger bar space overall in plenty of other comfy chairs. Billboard trivia is displayed on lots of screens throughout the room, and the performers take it from there through the decades of radio chart toppers. The concept certainly energizes the generic piano bar concept found on other ships and even takes dueling piano entertainment up a notch.
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