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Holland America Line: Prinsendam

  • Holland America Line

Prinsendam Review

Holland America Line has enjoyed a distinguished record of traditional cruises, world exploration, and transatlantic crossings since 1873—all facets of its history that are reflected in the fleet's multimillion-dollar shipboard art and antiques collections. Even the

ships' names follow a pattern set long ago: all end in the suffix dam and are either derived from the names of various dams that cross Holland's rivers, important Dutch landmarks, or points of the compass. The names are even recycled when vessels are retired, and some are in their fifth and sixth generation of use.

Noted for focusing on passenger comfort, Holland America Line cruises are classic in design and style, and with an infusion of younger adults and families on board, they remain refined without being stuffy or stodgy. Following a basic design theme, returning passengers feel as at home on the newest Holland America vessels as they do on older ones.

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What You Should Know

Pros

  • Magnifying makeup mirrors and salon-quality hair dryers are in all accommodations
  • The sports deck has bocce and croquet courts as well as putting greens
  • With classic styling, Prinsendam feels more like a large yacht than a cruise ship

Cons

  • Inside staterooms are small and have two lower beds that cannot be combined
  • Prinsendam is more adult-oriented than other HAL ships and not particularly family-friendly
  • There's little nightlife after dinner
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 470
  • Entered Service 1998
  • Gross Tons 37,983
  • Length 669 feet
  • Number of Cabins 419
  • Passenger Capacity 835
  • Width 106 feet
  • New

Apr 1, 2017

Review of Prinsendam

Garry Ashby Age: 70 Occupation:RETIRED Number of Cruises: 25+ Cruise Line: Holland America Ship: Prinsendam Sailing Date: 2015-05-23 Itinerary: Iberian and Gallic Explorer As usual, our cruise experience was great. The staff of the Prinsendam are among the best we have ever encountered. The food in the main dining room was interesting, well prepared, elegantly presented, and HOT ! The entertainment was first rate and, because of the ship's size,

unique to the Prinsendam . All services, from cabin attendant to laundry was flawless. I noted that the front desk almost never had anyone lined up to speak to them, a sure indication that there were few problems faced by the passengers. The itinerary presented good variety of destinations although, unlike my spouse, I would have liked an extra sea day or two. Overall, a good value, a great ship, and an enjoyable cruise. The main dining room food was exceptionally good, better than expected. Perhaps because of the small size of ship, preparation, presentation, and temperature of the food was flawless. I often order beef (steak, prime rib, etc.) rare, they never missed the mark. The variety of selection was outstanding, from duck to crab legs, and simply superb salmon. I will add that it is almost sinful to pass up the soups on the Prinsendam as they are excellent. Although we had selected early seating, our party of six were always accommodated when excursions made us late. Our party's Vegan was presented with a good variety and many special accommodations. The wine list was excellent and moderately priced, the Navigator and Admiral wine packages offered good value. We always select a Veranda Suite and on the Prinsendam this cabin has a walk-in closet with ample storage and is not confining in any way. The beds are comfortable and well appointed. The only detractor we experienced was that there was only one 110VAC outlet. Staff quickly provided us with a power strip that accommodated all of our various chargers and electronics. On board activities were as you would expect, bingo, karaoke, dancing, piano bar, etc. The itinerary did not leave much day time to enjoy these activities but at night there truly was "Something for Everyone". We especially enjoyed the nightly "Sip & Savor", a pre-dinner offering of a selected wine paired with a light hors d'oeuvre.. As usual, to take, or not take, excursions is a highly personal choice. We heard nothing but positive feedback from passengers who took the offered excursions. We enjoyed the Medoc Wine and the Tank Museum excursions as well as several fine experiences with hiring a local taxi on our own. All ports-of-call were welcoming and enjoyable. We joined the ship in Civitavecchia after spending some time in Rome. We had purchased a transfer from downtown Rome to the ship that was to leave the collection point ( Visconti Palace Hotel ) at 11 AM. We were left waiting until 12:40 with every HAL representative offering a different reason for the delay. This disappointment soon was overshadowed by the wonderful staff and cruise arrangements. The Prinsendam is 20 years old but looks new in every way. Most unfortunately our cruise ended on a sour note. Due to the long distance between the cruise port, Ijmuiden, and Amsterdam, the front desk advised us to take the ship's transfer to the Renaissance Hotel in Amsterdam and a taxi from there to our hotel. We were assured that taxi's were available at the Renaissance. The transfer bus, however, dumped us out, with luggage, in the middle of a busy street somewhat near the Victoria Hotel but a long and confusing walk to the Renaissance. The bus driver said we should not have expected to be dropped at the Renaissance because of the size of the bus. We were told our best option was to schlep our stuff to the main train station (1/2 mile). So with a semi-invalided wife, two large suitcases, and two carry-ons, that's what we did. The event evoked memories of Bataan !! Never before have we been so mistreated.

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  • New

May 22, 2015

Iberian and Gallic Explorer

As usual, our cruise experience was great. The staff of the Prinsendam are among the best we have ever encountered. The food in the main dining room was interesting, well prepared, elegantly presented, and HOT ! The entertainment was first rate and, because of the ship's size, unique to the Prinsendam . All services, from cabin attendant to laundry was flawless. I noted that the front desk almost never had anyone lined up to speak to them, a

sure indication that there were few problems faced by the passengers. The itinerary presented good variety of destinations although, unlike my spouse, I would have liked an extra sea day or two. Overall, a good value, a great ship, and an enjoyable cruise. The main dining room food was exceptionally good, better than expected. Perhaps because of the small size of ship, preparation, presentation, and temperature of the food was flawless. I often order beef (steak, prime rib, etc.) rare, they never missed the mark. The variety of selection was outstanding, from duck to crab legs, and simply superb salmon. I will add that it is almost sinful to pass up the soups on the Prinsendam as they are excellent. Although we had selected early seating, our party of six were always accommodated when excursions made us late. Our party's Vegan was presented with a good variety and many special accommodations. The wine list was excellent and moderately priced, the Navigator and Admiral wine packages offered good value. We always select a Veranda Suite and on the Prinsendam this cabin has a walk-in closet with ample storage and is not confining in any way. The beds are comfortable and well appointed. The only detractor we experienced was that there was only one 110VAC outlet. Staff quickly provided us with a power strip that accommodated all of our various chargers and electronics. On board activities were as you would expect, bingo, karaoke, dancing, piano bar, etc. The itinerary did not leave much day time to enjoy these activities but at night there truly was "Something for Everyone". We especially enjoyed the nightly "Sip & Savor", a pre-dinner offering of a selected wine paired with a light hors d'oeuvre.. As usual, to take, or not take, excursions is a highly personal choice. We heard nothing but positive feedback from passengers who took the offered excursions. We enjoyed the Medoc Wine and the Tank Museum excursions as well as several fine experiences with hiring a local taxi on our own. All ports-of-call were welcoming and enjoyable. We joined the ship in Civitavecchia after spending some time in Rome. We had purchased a transfer from downtown Rome to the ship that was to leave the collection point ( Visconti Palace Hotel ) at 11 AM. We were left waiting until 12:40 with every HAL representative offering a different reason for the delay. This disappointment soon was overshadowed by the wonderful staff and cruise arrangements. The Prinsendam is 20 years old but looks new in every way. Most unfortunately our cruise ended on a sour note. Due to the long distance between the cruise port, Ijmuiden, and Amsterdam, the front desk advised us to take the ship's transfer to the Renaissance Hotel in Amsterdam and a taxi from there to our hotel. We were assured that taxi's were available at the Renaissance. The transfer bus, however, dumped us out, with luggage, in the middle of a busy street somewhat near the Victoria Hotel but a long and confusing walk to the Renaissance. The bus driver said we should not have expected to be dropped at the Renaissance because of the size of the bus. We were told our best option was to schlep our stuff to the main train station (1/2 mile). So with a semi-invalided wife, two large suitcases, and two carry-ons, that's what we did. The event evoked memories of Bataan !! Never before have we been so mistreated.

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Sep 21, 2014

Baltic

On whole this was an ok cruise. The ports were interesting especially Finland and St. Petersburg. The Prinsendam was in the poorest shape of any ship we have been on. The cabin furniture is very tired, SMALL. and The door to the bathroom is not sound proof. One could hear everything. We were very disappointed and surprised after hearing everyone rave about Holland. The staff was very gracious. We loved cruising down the Kiel canal in Germany. It

was a real treat. The food was good. Dated, small with a bathroom that was sound proof. The usual shows and activities for a small ship, meaning they were not memorable.

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Sep 7, 2013

Celtic Adventure

We are 4 star HAL cruisers. Was on Prinsendam from Singapore to Beijing and Beijing to Osaka. This was when HAL introduced her as a new ship! After our initial disappointment, we grew to love the size of the ship and took her again from Ft. Lauderdale, to Manaus and down to Rio. My favorite Prinsendam voyage was from Amsterdam on the Voyage of the Vikings. The fijords were breathtaking. The scenery was so different. It was amazing cruising

thru thick water, occasionally bumping ice. Our Captain said the Prinsendam had a rating to handle where we were, but if anything happened, no one was within 250 miles to help. Our voyage went to Spitzbergen, Longyearbein and beyond. Was wonderful going south to the Shetlands and Iceland. Last month we took our fourth trip from Amsterdam around the British Isles & Ireland. Read from some cruise critics that she looks tired and needs to be retired. We were so pleased to find that the interior furnishings were excellent. The carpeting was new, the back of the Lido is now enclosed and all the public places are still elegant. The only places I thought that needed help were the thresholds going in and out of several locations. Heard from some rumors that our favorite ship had been sold and were told by HAL people in the know that that wasn't the case. Someone did say that below (places we don't see) are in bad shape. They speculated we would have her 3-5 more years. The staff was wonderful, food great and entertainment outstanding. The people brought on board, especially, were outstanding. Bravo Prinsendam.

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Dec 2, 2009

Black Sea

The Prinsendam is a wonderfully elegant smaller ship. It's used by HAL to cruise around the world and as such, the service was excellent, the food was delicious (some of the best we've had in recent years). Everything was just as it should be. Because it's small, it's easier to see familiar faces, make new acquaintances and feel part of things. The cruise director was outstanding; a middle-aged professional who told a great joke, mingled with the

passengers and did a super job of finding good talent. We met people who had been on the ship for weeks and weeks and all had only good things to say. I would not hesitate to book a cruise on this ship, in fact, I would highly recommend it, particularly if you enjoy old style cruising and won't miss a 10 story atrium and glitz and glitter. The food was excellent. Everything was done exactly as it should have been. My friends and I thought since this ship is used for the world cruise, Holland was careful to put in a great chef, myriad choices and excellent quality food. The Lido also was the same quality, although with fewer choices. We chose anytime dining, but found a waiter and busboy, Asep and KuKu from Bali, who were delightful and attentive. After 2 nights requesting them, for every dinner, there was a table in their area waiting for us, regardless of the time we showed up. Only one night of 14 did we have to wait for 10 minutes until other people finished. Never had to request more iced tea or another cappuccino, it appeared automatically. Wonderful!! The outside stateroom was standard for Holland America: good pillow top mattress, love seat and table, flat screen TV with one large exception - the bathrooms were totally new. The sink and tub had a glass tile surround, brand new sink, new shower-head, full bath tub, and lots of room. I also had a walk-in closet with loads of shelf and hanging space, a safe, an umbrella to use and a shoe basket in case I wanted my shoes shined. I usually book a balcony, but since this is an older ship, they are at a premium and quite pricey. I found this cabin to be just fine, although at times, I had to turn down the air conditioning: it was very cold. Activities were pretty standard, although limited in some ways because it is a smaller ship. The entertainment was very very good. Seven singers and dancers provided production shows that were excellent. The other talent, singers, comedian and magician were good. The Culinary Arts Center provided a good number of programs during our 2 weeks, the theater showed first run movies, also playing in the stateroom the next day, and there was even a certificate-earning simulated dip in the Black Sea at the pool one day. Also I like the Walk for the Cure one morning that raised money for Susan Komen Breast Cancer charity. There was plenty to do for a small ship, but not the amount of activity that is found on the larger ships. Don't miss the Sumela Monastery in Trabzon Turkey. It's one of the "I can't believe I'm here" moments not to be missed. Also the full day tour of Istanbul is excellent. Stay very far away from a "Stroll through Sochi". Everyone on that tour had their money fully refunded because it was so bad. I went to Stahlin's dacha in the afternoon in Sochi which was interesting, but Sochi was not my favorite port. Also, in Sinop, Turkey, we took a tour that brought us to a lovely fjord and an archeological museum with wonderful artifacts, but no English annotation. We enjoyed it anyway, but would have liked to have known more of what we were seeing. Also, get ready in Turkey for toilets that are holes in the floor surrounded by porcelain. The women all managed with a smile. My friends and I agreed that if this was not our best cruise, it was definitely at the top. The intimacy and quality of the ship, the very unusual ports and the smiling faces we met everywhere made the trip stand out. There were 27 nationalities on board, so we met and spent time with people from all over the world - in some cases, even if there was just enough language between us to get by. Some of the ports were less well-known, but, with the exception of Sochi, Russia, fascinating. In the small port of Sinop, Turkey, we were walking the streets and a man in a wheelchair, in broken and halting English, smiled and said, "Hello! Welcome to my country." It was one of those moments that makes you remember why you travel. Or the pharmacist in Trabzon who gave me aspirin for free because I had no more Turkish lira, even though I tried to give her euro or dollars. Or meeting the First Lady of the Republic of Georgia since we were the largest ship to ever sail into Batumi. Go on this ship, and take this itinerary, you will not be disappointed!

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