I am a first time cruise trying toplan a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean for four couples. We are considering the Zaandam but also I have been hearing good things about the Golden Princess. Any opinions or advice? Niyati
Golden Princess' passenger capacity is only 2,600 and she is 109,000 gross tons. Zuiderdam's holds 1,800 passengers and she is 85,000 gross tons. Been on both and both are very nice. So, consider price, itenary, other things. Everyone has their opinion. Mine is Princess provides more in the way of choice, entertainment, etc. HAL is still the small ship with a lot of mature passengers and is really changing from the ole traditional cruise line it was last year. My personal choice would be Golden Princess. Happy Cruising!!
Excuse me. Someone had told me that the Golden held over 3,000. Maybe they included crew. I believe that the question was about the Zaandam. In that case, the Golden would hold 1,160 more passengers at normal double capacity, or only 80% more, not "well over twice..." Sorry.
It’s like choosing between an emerald, and a diamond. You’ll love either one I’m sure.
HAL ships offer more space per passenger. With that comes more privacy, shorter lines doing activities, larger staterooms, and more privacy on balconies, etc.
Princess is a much larger ship and can offer more activities. After taking the cruise your party will say “You made a great choice” No matter which one you go on. I often feel it’s the people that make for a good time. If your with a fun group. You’ll have a “fun” time. Be sure to reach out of your own group and have an even greater time. That’s what cruising is all about.
The Zaandam is 60,906 GRT with 1,440 passengers. Been on both the Golden and Zaandam. Again, I would choose the Golden over the Zaandam. The Golden has much more activities , greater choice and is a much nicer ship. More dining options, shows, pools, and never found long lines. Happy Cruising!!
My favorite cruise lines are HAL and Princess. We have been on over 30 cruises on various cruise lines and find these two to be in our price range and most consistant.
I just got off the Dec 6th-Dec 13th Eastern Caribbean (St. Thomas, St. Maartin, and Princess private island) on the Golden Princess. It was my first experience on the new "mega" size ships. I was pleasantly suprised that I did not feel crowded, there were no lines, and the tender operations to the private island were very well planned and executed.
We LOVED the food and the service on the Golden. It was a first class cruise for the "winter commodity" Caribbean cruises.
We chose personal choice dining, but the 7PM to 8 PM dinner reservations fill up quickly, so the next time I will probably go back to my second seating dinner.
We went to the $20 extra cost Italian dining (Scalini's). There were 17 full courses to dinner and dessert. It was well worth the $20. Dinner was 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
I truely do not feel that you could go wrong on either ship. I am sure you will have a wonderful experience no matter which one you finally choose.
Just remember that you will have LOTS of retirees from South Florida on board. These folks can be rude, pushy, loud, demanding.......... so BE PREPARED!!
I know what Slotl is referring to They are not the typical Retirees found in S. Florida (or anywhere else) thank god. They’re actually from New York. If Slotl were familiar with them, as we are in S. Florida. He would recognize their accent. This particular group really IS as he described them.
They like bargains and they must have got a bargain on “Group Fare” That would explain why he was unfortunate enough to encounter so many. There are some huge enclaves of them in several of the cities in S. Florida. I most always cruise out of Fort Lauderdale. I have had that misfortune. I’m sure it’s very infrequent.