Prinsendam Oct 28 - Nov 9 -- Athens to Lisbon

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#1
Alpharetta,Ga USA
102 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Hi all,
Just returned from a very nice sailing on Prinsendam. Here are a few thoughts/opinions/comments:

Embarkation: EXCELLENT !! No lines/no wait and onboard by 11am
Ship condition: Elegantly worn. Classic ocean liner feel. NOT hotel/resort like.
The ship is FULL of fresh flowers arragements that are HUGE
and beautiful. The artwork onboard is varied and interesting.
This ship is NOT for those who expect NEW surroundings with
flashy decor. This ship is aging as is evident both inside the
ship (furnishings) and outside (rusting decks and hull). BUT WE
LIKED IT ANYWAY !!
Service: Very friendly crew, smiling and eager to please. Dining service was
slooooow as has been the case on our last 3 HAL sailings. This by
no means ruined our trip!
Food: EXCELLENT , Lido food was the best of any ship that we have
previously sailed -- this was cruise #20 something for us.
Diningroom food was better than average with a wide
range of choices each night. Soups were MUCH improved
over previous HAL sailings. Prompting soup bowl re-fills
on several nights ....LOL
Cabin: GOOD, the mattress was horrible but they are currently being replaced
shipwide. We had cabin SS022. TV in cabin was excessively
small in relation to the size of the cabin. Veranda would have
easily supported 2 loungers and a table for 4; however HAL only
provides 3 chairs with 1 ottoman for this cabin.
We took the time to tour cabins on embarkation day. IMO --
SS cabins at the "bump out" forward deck are the best bet -
the verandas are MUCH larger than other SS verandas and
the "cover" over our veranda was excellent. The cat S cabins
are of course Great, but unless you have money to burn, stick
with the SS cabins.
The new cat A cabins added to the ship by HAL were also very
nice with all new furnishings and great verandas.
Entertainment: THE weak spot for this sailing. Cruise director was
inexperienced and didnt connect with passengers. Shows
didnt appeal to us. (however, will didnt attend all shows)
Again, this didnt spoil our trip...
Fellow passengers: 60+ years old on average, as expected (we are mid-30's).
We dont mind older fellow passengers, thus we continually
return to HAL.
Disembarkation: We were off the ship by 8:45 am and we were some of the
last to leave.

If you have any questions about the ship, let me know,
Travlnman
#2
Northern California
7,062 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Thanks for the information!
Glad to hear you enjoyed your cruise. Did you prefer the smaller ship vs. the larger "mega-ships"? We are very much looking forward to our cruise on the Prinsendam next summer!
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Sher


#3
Alpharetta,Ga USA
102 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
The largest ship that we had sailed on prior to the Prinsendam was the Zuiderdam (~82,000 tons). WOW, what a contrast !! We much prefer the smaller ship experience ----With 1 addition- a passenger/space ratio >46 which is the case with Prinsendam. There are other small vessels (ie, Horizon, Zenith, Holiday, Celebration) that have poor space ratios. I have sailed on all of the afore mentioned ships and all had lines to wait in and crowded public areas. We never encountered lines on Prinsendam. At times during the evenings, the ship seemed hauntingly empty --- WE LIKED IT !! Others on this board may refer to this ship as boring... We felt at times like we were on a private yacht. We created our own entertainment and had a great vacation.
3 of the ports of call required tender service. Within an hour of arrival at each port the "Open Tender" announcement was made - (ie. no need to crowd into a public space and wait of a tender number to be called).
On the Prinsendam, we attended a meeting with the Social Hostess and Hotel Manager and we learned that the next class of ships from HAL we be ~35- 40,000 ton ships with 800 passenger capacity. WE WILL BE THE FIRST TO BOOK WHEN THEY DEBUT.
Travlnman
#4
Texas
14,199 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
We also really enjoyed our recent Prinsendam cruise that went the other way ... Lisbon to Athens. The smaller ship had a more intimate feel, but we didn't feel like we were in a shoebox by any means. The nicest thing was that you could get from stem to stern in just about 2 minutes! Very easy to get around in.
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Jim
#5
Santa Barbara, CA
629 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Glad you liked the Prinsendam. We had a fabulous cruise on her in the cabin next to yours just in September/October, with Jim Hannah.

I'm very happy to hear that more of the smaller ships are coming.
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--Cactuslady
LOTS of other HAL ships
Crown Princess 3/2016
Peter Deilmann Casanova 9/23/2006
RSSC Navigator 12/5/2005
Prinsendam 9/20/04 (my favorite)
Maasdam 2001
Dana 24 sailboat 1989-1999
#7
Baltimore, MD
46 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Your great comments were very much appreciated. Those of us who are interested in the Prinsendam have not been able to find as much information on the ship as on other vessels. I was interested in your comments on the new A cabins on Promenade Deck - both the cabins and the decks looked larger on the deck plans, but it was nice to hear you confirm that. Any other observations on those A cabins ? Were the furnishings and trim different from the regular A's ? How did they compare in size - cabin and veranda - to the SS you had ? We are booked in one of them on next fall's Transatlantic crossing, which makes us particularly interested. Thanks for any further info you can provide.
#8
west chester
485 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Thanks so much for your review. We are leaving in about 4 wks for the Prinsendam's Holiday cruise. We are booked into 1 of the AA Cat cabins on the Promanade deck and in addition to the deck and larger cabins, I choose these cabins for the specific reason that I thought the bed would be much newer than those on other decks. There is nothing worse for me to sail for 16 nts in an uncomfortable bed. When I read your review it sounded like your only complaint was the bed. So, I hope your observations on these newer cabins on the Promanade deck holds true for the bedding. Thanks again for the info - greatly appreciated.
#9
Melbourne, Australia
10,640 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Travlnman

I agree with you regarding the size of the ship. I love the smaller size ships.

We sailed on the Prinsendam on 3rd October from Athens to Venice via the Black Sea and we had a full ship yet there were never signs of a lot of people on board. We tendered twice and there were never any lines.

We also had an SS 051 and the first thing I did on embarkation was a) to ask for an egg crate mattress for the bed and b) to ask for a lounge for the verandah.

We received both within a couple of hours and the lounge on the verandah was fantastic as we also had to the two "cane" chairs and table and it still wasn't crowded.

I also agree with you regarding the Entertainment and the Cruise Director. We found the shows put on by the chorus/dancers were very tame and the Cruise Director wasn't brilliant but that didn't spoil our cruise in anyway as we always have late sitting and usually go to bed around 10.30 - 11pm anyway.

Jennie
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Our Cruises:
2017 Sea Princess Sydney to Sydney via Hawaii, Tahiti & New Zealand
2017 Emerald Princess Sydney to New Caledonia & Vanuatu
2016 QM2 - New York to Southampton
2016 Marina - Papeete to New York
2016 Golden Princess Melbourne to New Zealand & Return
2015 Sun Princess - Brisbane to New Guinea
2015 Ocean Princess - Singapore to Cape Town
2015 Celebrity's Solstice - Sydney to New Caledonia & Vanuatu
2014 Diamond Princess - Kyushu & Onsens Mystery Cruise around Japan due to 2 typhoons
2014 Ocean Princess - Australia & Asia
2013 Noordam - Adriatic & Roman Explorer
2013 Ocean Princess - Land of the Midnight Sun
2013 Celebrity's Solstice - Auckland to Sydney
2012 Emerald Princess - New England Cruise Tour
2011 Royal Princess - Tahiti to Ft. Lauderdale via Sth America - Farewell Cruise
2010 Ocean Princess - Capetown to Dover - via West Africa
2009 Prinsendam - Athens to Ft. Lauderdale - Transatlantic
2009 Azamara's Quest - Hong Kong to Beijing - Far East Asia
2008 Tahitian Princess - Vancouver - Vancouver - Alaska in depth
2008 Oceania's Nautica - Hong Kong to Athens - the Pirate run!
2007 Tahitian Princess - Tahiti to Hawaii
2007 Pacific Princess - Sydney - Sydney - the Pacific Islands
2006 Veendam - Vancouver to Tampa via the Amazon
2006 Galapagos Explorer ll - Galapagos Islands
2006 Regal Princess - Rio de Janeiro to Valpariso via Antarctica
2005 Maasdam - Boston to Rotterdam via Greenland, Iceland & Norway
2004 Prinsendam - Athens to Venice via the Black Sea
2004 Tahitian Princess - Tahiti & the Cook Islands
2003 Noordam - Copenhagen to Rome
1999 Maasdam - Dover to Copenhagen via Russia (Baltic)
1995 Olympic - Greek Islands & Istanbul
1982 Oriana - Pacific Islands & New Zealand.

Future Cruises:
September, 2017 - Scenic River Cruise - France 21 days
December 2017 - Southern Cross Explorer - Oceania's Regatta - 34 days
#10
Alpharetta,Ga USA
102 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Yes, the sailing was full; therefore if anyone is fortunate enough to be on a sailing that is not full, then WOW it would be that much better. Even with a full ship, good seats are easily found on the lido and the Queens Lounge.
The new cat A (or AA) whatever they are called have much deeper verandas than the other cabins of the same category. The only drawback that I could detect with the newer cabins would be that the veranda is mostly open (exposed from above); therefore, if you sail in the Caribbean or a tropical climate it might get a little hot on the mostly exposed balcony.
Yes, there is quite a difference in size between cat AA and cat SS cabins.
The SS cabin is about 1/3 larger than the cat A. However, if I remember correctly, the balcony is larger for the new cat A cabins than the SS cabins -----except for the cat SS cabins at the "Bump Out" at the forward section of the Veranda Deck. Would I spend more than $100pp to upgrade to the SS category from the cat A ?? NO.......
Here is a tip.... I am not sure which categories have a DVD player. But our SS cabin had one and we purchased a small CD pouch and several new DVD releases to take with us on our trip. This was an excellent idea since afternoons of CNN and the movie selections offered in the cabin tend to get boring. We loved the show Friends, so we purchased the complete 1st and 2nd season collections and this provided great entertainment for those lazy sleep in mornings or at late afternoons while getting ready for dinner.

Travlnman
#11
Holiday, FL
140 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Originally posted by [email protected]
Hi all,
Just returned from a very nice sailing on Prinsendam. Here are a few thoughts/opinions/comments:

If you have any questions about the ship, let me know,
Travlnman
We are booked for Nov 2005 sailing up the Amazon.

I am nervous about this ship. We have been sail the past few years on the new large ships. We are in Cat D. Most all the postings are of S & SS
We usually do inside cabins as we do not spend much time there except to sleep or nap and Sailing the Caribbean there is not much to see out the window, except water.

Have you seen inside the D cabins (we wanted midship as I am afraid of getting sea sick).

Does she have the ice cream bar that we remember from the Amsterdam? That is my husbands favorite place.

Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Crusinggranny
#12
Melbourne, Australia
10,640 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Cruising Granny,

We were on the Prinsendam in October and I am sure you will love the ship. As I mentioned above we were in an SS but my sister was in a C about two years ago when the Prinsendam first went to HAL. She loved her cabin and is a very fussy traveller having been on over 25 long cruises of at least 14 days or longer. She is doing the S.A. trip on 16th December on the Amsterdam in a suite. I am mentioning this just to let you know she does appreciate the finer things in life.

I am sure you will love it. My sister was wanting to do the Amazon cruise in 2005 but left her booking too late, so you are one of the lucky ones.

Yes, there is an icecream bar. My husband had ice-cream quite a few times whilst on board. It is in the Lido.

Jennie
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Our Cruises:
2017 Sea Princess Sydney to Sydney via Hawaii, Tahiti & New Zealand
2017 Emerald Princess Sydney to New Caledonia & Vanuatu
2016 QM2 - New York to Southampton
2016 Marina - Papeete to New York
2016 Golden Princess Melbourne to New Zealand & Return
2015 Sun Princess - Brisbane to New Guinea
2015 Ocean Princess - Singapore to Cape Town
2015 Celebrity's Solstice - Sydney to New Caledonia & Vanuatu
2014 Diamond Princess - Kyushu & Onsens Mystery Cruise around Japan due to 2 typhoons
2014 Ocean Princess - Australia & Asia
2013 Noordam - Adriatic & Roman Explorer
2013 Ocean Princess - Land of the Midnight Sun
2013 Celebrity's Solstice - Auckland to Sydney
2012 Emerald Princess - New England Cruise Tour
2011 Royal Princess - Tahiti to Ft. Lauderdale via Sth America - Farewell Cruise
2010 Ocean Princess - Capetown to Dover - via West Africa
2009 Prinsendam - Athens to Ft. Lauderdale - Transatlantic
2009 Azamara's Quest - Hong Kong to Beijing - Far East Asia
2008 Tahitian Princess - Vancouver - Vancouver - Alaska in depth
2008 Oceania's Nautica - Hong Kong to Athens - the Pirate run!
2007 Tahitian Princess - Tahiti to Hawaii
2007 Pacific Princess - Sydney - Sydney - the Pacific Islands
2006 Veendam - Vancouver to Tampa via the Amazon
2006 Galapagos Explorer ll - Galapagos Islands
2006 Regal Princess - Rio de Janeiro to Valpariso via Antarctica
2005 Maasdam - Boston to Rotterdam via Greenland, Iceland & Norway
2004 Prinsendam - Athens to Venice via the Black Sea
2004 Tahitian Princess - Tahiti & the Cook Islands
2003 Noordam - Copenhagen to Rome
1999 Maasdam - Dover to Copenhagen via Russia (Baltic)
1995 Olympic - Greek Islands & Istanbul
1982 Oriana - Pacific Islands & New Zealand.

Future Cruises:
September, 2017 - Scenic River Cruise - France 21 days
December 2017 - Southern Cross Explorer - Oceania's Regatta - 34 days
#13
Eastern Canada
810 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Great to hear that HAL's new-builds will be 35/40000 ton ships - can't abide those floating apartment blocks.

There's a couple of nice reviews over on 'that other board' on Prinsendan's
t-A voyage. Seems quite a few people who joined in Athens stayed on board all the way to Ft. Lauderdale.
#15
Baltimore, MD
46 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Hi,Cruiseoften

Can you be a bit more specific on "the other message board" ? I tried a couple of boards that I know of but couldn't find anything. I would really like to see the reviews you mention. Thanks