We have just booked a mediterranean cruise on the Prinsendam for May 17, 2004. We managed to get a great deal on the new "Lanai" staterooms on the Promenade deck, and I was just a little curious if there was anything wrong with these rooms, other than the fact that they do not have a walk-in closet. I would appreciate any feedback on these, and also the deck and so-called "private" hot tub for these 10 roms. Thanks.
I just returned from the Prinsendam's last 2 week Alaska cruise on September 6. It was wonderful. Though the ship is not the newest in the fleet, but she was well maintained. The service was the best of my last 3 HAL cruises this past year, as was the dining. Being a smaller ship, and fewer passengers (approx 700), the attention to service was finer. No lines, no crowds, very relaxed, even quiet onboard, a class operation.
The Lanai cabins were added by HAL when she was converted from Seabourn Sun to Prinsendam. They are brand new. They are aft of the public areas on Prom Deck and have virtually no traffic buzzing about them...very quiet. The after deck outside is set to be somewhat exclusive to these cabins, though it is not entirely roped off. There is another hot tub (sheltered) on this after deck that no one seems to be aware of (I used it daily and rarely saw another sole). Now which cabin have you booked? Most of these lanai cabins have verandahs on the side of the ship, not unlike the other verandah suites, and therefore are private. But there are two cabins that face aft, with a glass enclosed 'patio' on the after deck. This may or may not be what you expect. The 'patio' is glass enclosed, and although tinted, not very private should anyone be on this after deck area, they have full view of the 'patio' and anyone relaxing in it. Further, they are covered by the deck above, so do not expect any sunshine on your patio.
Hope this helps. I know you will enjoy the Prinsendam staff, service and dining.
Thank you so much for the information. It really sets my mind at ease. We have AA194 booked, so we are on the side with a verandah. It sounds great. We're really looking forward to the cruise. We have sailed with Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian, but never with Holland America.
Thanks again for your prompt reply.
We will also be sailing on the Prinsendam, a 51 day cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale. It will be our second time with HAL, and much longer than any cruise we have ever taken. We have been reading a lot of very mixed messages about HAL in general and this ship in particular. We are still novice cruisers, this will be our third. General questions: what did you like/dislike most about the dining room and meals? We have heard food isn't as good as other HAL ships and that it is often served cold because the kitchen is far from the dining area...have also heard most tables aren't well placed for siteseeing or conversation. Writers in cruisemates talk about smoking problems. Since I am highly allergic to smoke, and we were upgraded to a veranda room which I was looking forward to, can you comment on any impact this had on your trip, or that it might have on ours? We are on the upper promenade deck. We also heard many of the rooms had mold problems. Did you see any evidence of this?
More specifically: We have read that the pool(s) are too small for any swimming. Did you find this to be true? Does the gym have any recumbent bikes...the ones where you sit back and there is little strain on your back or knees? Do the walk-in closets really have a lot of room, hangers, luggage space, etc? 51 days is a long time...can we expect to have lounge type chairs on our veranda, and/or a table and chairs for possible dining?
Any other information, facts and/or feelings would be appreciated. Thank you so much.
Re: Re: Re: Has anyone cruised on Prinsendam lately?
Although the Prinsendam is older than the rest of the HAL fleet, I found her to be in very good condition and well maintained. It appears the year that HAL has been operating Prinsendam has made many improvements, and worked out many of the operational problems they adopted from Seabourn.
No mold, no smells, no overheard plumbing problems, no fire alarms going off randomly, no surprise sprinkler systems discharging...nothing I witnessed or heard about.
I sailed Amsterdam, Veendam and Prinsendam this past year. The dining on Prinsendam was better than I expected, better that Amsterdam and far better than Veendam. That also hold true for the Lido. I did note the portions were smaller at dinner, but the presentation had improved and the meals were far better than the two other HAL sailings. I would dare to say the food quality was approaching Celebrity, if not in the presentation. Always hot and by the second day aboard, the waiters and staff were into the expected HAL routine of knowing drinks and dining preferences. Work with them the first day or two..and they will assuredly take good care of you the remainer of the voyage. People who grwol on the beginning of the trip are likely to be avoided, and even feared by the satf, who I strongly feel are among the most charming, sincere and attentive (if not always polished) in the industry. Additionally, the service was more attentive than the fine service of the other HAL ships. This, I expect is largely due to the smaller passenger count on the Prinsendam. No crowds, no rush, always a table in the Lido (or the outside Terrace).
The lounges aboard seem very underutilized and the Explorer's Lounge was a popular snoozing spot. Prinsendam caters to experienced and longer term cruisers and therefore, has less activity than the larger ships serving more novice cruises. Experienced cruises tend to prefer socializing, reading, lectures, cards and sea gazing over a frantic activity program. I like the quiet, traditional approach...but some harp is is boring.
Very few areas seemed smokey to me...always the casino, and a small room off the casino the Oak Room / Smoking Room (obviously). Otherwise, a few smoking tabl;es on the outer decks, the ship seemed very smoke free to me.
There are two pool areas. One atop the ship was a small 'splash pool' and spas. The aft deck pool was larger, and fair size (outside of the gym) but it was rarely full when at see as being so far aft, the ship's pitching splashed the water to a point no one could swim in it (bring a surfboard). I do not recall if there were recumbent bikes in the gym, as I only passed through. But it was nicely equipped in my opinion.
The closets were approximately 4 feet wide by 6 feet deep with 3 levels of hanging poles. I was easily able to fit 2 weeks of clothing in there along with 2 large suitcases. Depends on how you pack. Personally, I prefer the 4 tall wardrobes the newer ships have as I can sort my attire by closet. There were few drawers in the cabin so virtually everything was hung in the closet, but the bathroom was generous sized (yes, the tiles were regrouted and it appeared in new condition). I did notice a few people with verandah suites on a lounge / deck chair. I cannot say that they all have them or one or two? I'd call HAL and verify.
I loved the Prinsendam. She is not the newest, glossiest, largest ship out there, but I do believe she was cozy, warm, well kept and did fit the "Elegant Explorer" name she has been dubbed. I guess what it boils down to is what you consider elegant. A new glitzy hotel with all the bells and whistles, or you farvorite Inn with the comforts and attention you desire?
Just remember the voyage is the sum of many things, not just a detail here or there. Having worked aboard many ships for over 13 years I would always tell travelers.. "Travel with open eyes, you will see more. Travel with an open mind, you will discover more. Travel with an open heart, you will enjoy more."