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Langham1865

Favorite Current and Former Holland America Ship

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So I am looking at taking more cruises on Holland America.  My first trip, last year on the Eurodam to Alaska, was easily one of my best cruises ever.   I have read here how the services and other things have changed recently, and I don't intend on starting a debate on the changes in the cruise industry.   I also know that itinerary and cost are factors on choosing a cruise.  However,  I would like to know from seasoned Holland America cruisers what their favorite ship is and why.  Please, keep in mind that this is personal to each cruiser, there is no wrong answer and others cruisers answers are not wrong, as it is their answer.  Your reason for liking one ship or another may open up considerations for my, and maybe others, choices for the future. 

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My favorite ship is usually the one I last sailed on. That would make my current favorite Nieuw Amsterdam. But both Veendam and Oosterdam hold a special place in my heart due to great past sailings on both. Would happily sail either again.

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Sadly, my unquestionable favorite ship just left the fleet, the Prinsendam.  Of the current ships it would be a very difficult choice between the Zaandam and the Amsterdam.  I like the relatively compact size of these ships combined with the fact that they have midship stairs and elevators unlike the only slightly smaller Maasdam and Veendam.

 

Roy

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4 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

Sadly, my unquestionable favorite ship just left the fleet, the Prinsendam.  Of the current ships it would be a very difficult choice between the Zaandam and the Amsterdam.  I like the relatively compact size of these ships combined with the fact that they have midship stairs and elevators unlike the only slightly smaller Maasdam and Veendam.

 

Roy

I agree with you, Roy!  We booked what would have been the final cruise of the Prinsendam, the Amazon Explorer, and were looking forward to sailing that itinerary on her again.  That changed when the ship was turned over in July and now it is the Volendam.  I would say we have always had a great cruise on the Zaandam (4 times).  The crew has always been very upbeat and the ship well cared for, which makes for a wonderful experience!

 

Karen 

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SS Rotterdam, Ms Rotterdam with aft pool, Ms Prinsendam, Ms Volendam...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Langham1865 said:

My first trip, last year on the Eurodam to Alaska, was easily one of my best cruises ever.

In that case I would recommend the Nieuw Amsterdam.  I prefer newer ships, but don't care for many of the aspects of the Pinnacle class, so I rank N.A. first and Eurodam second.

Edited by catl331

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Currently my favorite is Amsterdam.  However, my past favorite was Ryndam.  I was a sailboat racer when younger and, of the themed ships, she was the "nautical" ship.  Had so many incredible nautical artifacts and nautical art all over the ship.  Wish I knew what happened to all of those things when she was sold.  I know for a fact that they won't be on the next Pinnacle class Ryndam because the lovely traditional "ocean liner" look is now gone from HAL -- or will be when the last of the S-class and R-class ships depart the fleet 😢.

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Posted (edited)

Wait wait wait! 

 

Could people please remember to add the reasons "Why" behind their answers to this person's question? 

@Langham1865 >>  However,  I would like to know from seasoned Holland America cruisers what their favorite ship is and why. 

 

That would be so helpful to people like me whose first HAL embarkation date is in the future.

Without the reasons why, ship names are just meaningless Dam words to me ;-),  and I have no context.

 

 

2 hours ago, Langham1865 said:

My first trip, last year on the Eurodam to Alaska, was easily one of my best cruises ever.  

 

Hey that goes for you too @Langham1865 :) ! 

 

Why was your Eurodam cruise to Alaska easily one of your best cruises ever? 

Please include the other cruise line names  & ship names when you compare.

 

Reasons for both positives and negatives help - like when you read gloriously detailed Amazon reviews about an important purchase, and realize that someone's reason for not liking a product would make it a better purchase for you.

 

Thank you for starting this topic!  I've thought about asking same question for a while...

Edited by SempreMare

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9 minutes ago, SempreMare said:

Wait wait wait! 

 

Could people please remember to add the reasons "Why" behind their answers to this person's question? 

@Langham1865 >>  However,  I would like to know from seasoned Holland America cruisers what their favorite ship is and why. 

 

That would be so helpful to people like me whose first HAL embarkation date is in the future.

Without the reasons why, ship names are just meaningless Dam words to me ;-),  and I have no context.

 

 

 

Hey that goes for you too @Langham1865 🙂

 

Why was your Eurodam cruise to Alaska easily one of your best cruises ever? 

Please include the other cruise line names  & ship names when you compare.

 

Reasons for both positives and negatives help - like when you read gloriously detailed Amazon reviews about an important purchase, and realize that someone's reason for not liking a product would make it a better purchase for you.

 

Thank you for starting this topic!  I've thought about asking same question for a while...

Thank you for bringing that up.  Part of the reason why I enjoyed the Eurodam is recently I have been on many mega ships  on NCL.  I think Eurdam married some of the aspect of what I like about NCL, with a number of specialty dining options, and more evening entertainment than you get on the smaller ships, but in a non mega ship environment.  But I also liked how it has a more traditional cruise ship feel than the modern mega ships.  I also love a proper promenade deck.  I am not against smaller ships, however Eurodam is a nice transition.  Again, I an trying to stick to the ship reasons and not itinerary, and Alaska is amazing.  I do like the array of entertainment as well on Eurodam.

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Like many, the Prinsendam is my favorite old HAL ship but I also have very fond memories of the SS Rotterdam.  The Amsterdam is my favorite of those in operation.  My relationship  with the Amsterdam has to do with Grand cruises and I feel like I'm cruising with family because so many of the crew are old shipmates.

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I think Maasdam will always have a special place in my heart because we took our first HAL cruise aboard her. I remember going on holiday to Fort Lauderdale and watching the parade of cruise liners out through the cut in the early evening light. Maasdam was one of the ships and I thought she looked lovely in comparison to all the other large ugly ships that passed that evening. I vowed that one day we would cruise aboard her - and 2 years later we did.

The other ship was Prinsendam - we sailed a transatlantic aboard her and I thought she was the perfect size as well as being a very pretty ship. Walking round her promenade deck in the mid Atlantic on a beautiful fresh morning is a memory that will live with me for ever.

 

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As a first time cruiser, I don't have a comparison to make.  But I agree with @Langham1865 about the Eurodam.  It never seemed crowded or hectic, the food and service were both great, and we enjoyed the entertainment venues. We liked it so much that we ended up booking the Nieuw Amsterdam for our upcoming Caribbean trip.

 

The thought of a large or mega ship just does not appeal to us, although I would be willing to try one of the Pinnacle class ships to see how they compare.

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The majority of my Holland America Line cruising days are on the "R" and "S" class ships, but that is in large part to the fact that they are used for the longer, more exotic, and interesting itineraries.  Of these, the Zaandam/Volendam are preferred for their rear facing open decks.  The Rotterdam, IMHO, has the nicest atrium, MDR, and maybe Ocean Bar, but lacks those rear facing decks and rear pool. All of the R ships have three elevator/staircases instead of two that Maasdam/Veendam, giving much better access. With 1250 to 1400 capacity, these ships are easier to move about, tender, etc., than the 2000+ of the bigger ships.

Also, the rooms are generally larger with better storage.  The R ships have been partially renovated (TV's, electric outlets, etc) that Maasdam/Veendam have not.

Honorable mention: Vista Class (Zuiderdam, Oosterdam, Westerdam, Noordam): Billboard, BB King, Lincoln Center entertainment choices.  Signature Sisters:  Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam. Both have above plus Taminrand and Silk Den mid ship.

Pinnacle Sisters: Koningsdam and N Statendam. Nicest pool area. Nicest spa. Best show stage with LED panels. Best Lincoln Center. 

Summary:  Every ship has its plusses and minuses.  For a longer cruise with many ports, I'll prefer the R ships.

                    For a mostly sea days or less than 14 days, then I'll go with newer larger ships.

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The Maasdam was our favorite due to its much smaller size.  We could easily find

a table for two in the Lido, much less chaotic. The service was superb.  The dining room

actually called to see why we hadn't been there yet several days into the cruise (we prefer

less formal dining).  And the ship sent a huge bouquet of flowers when our laundry was

a couple hours late (I'd never have known the difference).  Coming up close behind Maasdam

was the Zaandam.  Again, smaller size and looked like brand-new whirlpool tub in our 

verandah room that I used nightly.  We've also sailed the Westerdam, Eurodam, and Zuiderdam.

All fine experiences with, again, wonderful crew--but larger & the Lido was often very crowded. 

The first two stand out as our favorites.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, rafinmd said:

Sadly, my unquestionable favorite ship just left the fleet, the Prinsendam.  Of the current ships it would be a very difficult choice between the Zaandam and the Amsterdam.  I like the relatively compact size of these ships combined with the fact that they have midship stairs and elevators unlike the only slightly smaller Maasdam and Veendam.

 

Roy

We loved the Prinsendam,  more than half of our cruises were on her, but we have also enjoyed the Eurodam, we had two great cruises on her to Hawaii and across the Atlantic via Greenland.  There are some definite advantages to the bigger ships, more specialty restaurants, longer hours at restaurants and bars. Small ship, only 830 passengers,  never felt crowded,  even on the Lido. The Eurodam holds 2400, used to be the largest in the fleet. Lots of entertainment choices, and had enough people on it that you could still have fun late night activities.  Some of the smaller boats seem to go eerily quiet after 9pm. 

Edited by JeffElizabeth

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Posted (edited)

Of the ships left in the fleet, I personally would go with Veendam ( or her sister Maasdam, assuming they are the same other than the aft “warm-tubs” on Veendam in place of the pool), or Amsterdam.

 

Veendam: I LOVE the small size, the teak promenade with proper steamer chaises, the fabulous and many outdoor spaces, the un-glassed top deck, staircase Oscar, the Pinnacle Grill with WINDOWS, the lovely dining room, the lido with huge windows. She gets my first place for ships in the fleet. If I get a chance to sail Maasdam she will likely become first or second place.....

 

Currently Second place for me is Amsterdam with her nice “hidden” aft public spaces with steamer chaises. Her lido has nice windows and she has a nice promenade. 

 

But the Queen, Best in Show, Prinsendam. 😪

 

I’m pretty sure that when the Ss and Rs are gone from the fleet, so will I.

Edited by TiogaCruiser

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We loved the Ryndam.  We sailed on her quite a few times.

 

Presently we love the Nieuw Amsterdam -- have sailed on her a few times.  Love the Tamarind Restaurant.

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Loved the old Westerdam, the one that HAL bought from Home Lines, believe it was called the Homeric. They did a stretch job on her, cutting her in half and adding about 100 feet. 

The newer ships, I'll take the Eurodam but actually theres hardly any difference in that class of ship. Give me any ship that has the real promenade deck with the old steamer loungers, I hate that the cruise industry has done away with them.

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My favourite ship is the Koningsdam. I love the wider variety of eateries and all of the different places to sit and chill. I enjoy watching the movies on the big screen at night and her thermal suite is fabulous. 

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I have to say I really like the two new big girls, the Koningsdam and the Nieuw Statendam.  That is mainly for the ships themselves.  Although large, there is such a good choice of places to eat and things to do, and lots of exercise getting wherever.  But their itineraries seem rather ordinary - although our next on Koningsdam will take us to Rijeka, which I had never even heard of!

 

My next favourite was the Prinsendam, because of her itineraries, and because she was so little - easy to get around, and great staff.  Most of them seemed to want to stay with the smaller vessels.

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Easy question :).  Our three favorite HAL vessels have been 1. Prinsendam   2. Prinsendam  and 3. Prinsendam.  We do tolerate the other vessels but they all seem to pale by comparison.

 

Hank

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On 8/9/2019 at 3:35 PM, Krazy Kruizers said:

We loved the Ryndam.  We sailed on her quite a few times.

 

Presently we love the Nieuw Amsterdam -- have sailed on her a few times.  Love the Tamarind Restaurant.

OMGOSH KK! Ryndam was our very first ship we sailed on in 2008! Did several on her and loved her so much! I think our sweet spot is The Nieuw Amsterdam hands down! We did her inaugural in 2010 and did 3 more cruises on her to Europe and Mexico/Hawaii! 

Were so alike!!

Denise😊

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It’s no big secret on this board - my favourite former ship is the Prinsendam.  She was different than the other ships in the fleet with a fabulous crew who always went our of their way, knew your preferences and the ship had fabulous itineraries. 

 

A close second is the Rotterdam (despite it’s aft pool) due to it’s nice itineraries, wonderful crew (2nd only to the Prinsendam’s) who remembered the small touches that made you feel special and her lovely art on board.  We do like the S & R ships.

 

We’ve had some nice experiences on the Vista ships - especially Westerdam and Zuiderdam.  They offer some things that the smaller ones but the smaller ships often (not always) have the interesting itineraries for us.

 

We sail primarily for itinerary and to see new ports or return to ones we truly enjoy.

 

 

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