We just returned from cruising on the Prinsendam "Black Sea and Beyond". In our opinion the ship is a wreck and health hazard. It leaked water everywhere. The ship should be dry docked until it is repaired and habitable again.
I'm responding for your request for more information on the Prinsendam:
The ports of call (Nessebur, Bulgaria; Odessa Ukraine, and Kusadasi, Turkey were fantastic. The problems we endured were with the ship. It leaked water everywhere. The crew could not contain the leaks which meant many toilets were not working. Throughout the decks there were puddles of water along with buckets to catch the leaking water. On one day we were without hot water in our cabin. Our cabin was an outside cabin on deck 6. It is located directly below a work station on the Promenade (deck 7), and we had constant loud noise from workers gathering tools and equipment. With the on-going leakage and plumbing problems there was constant noise from maintenance workers attempting to fix the problem. My biggest complaint with HAL was that we could not find any member of the staff including supervisors on up to the manager of the hotel division to take our complaints seriously enough to move us to a quieter cabin. We've cruised with Princess, RCCL and Mediterranean Shipping Lines and in our opinion this ship was in the worst condition of any we've been on. I checked the schedule for Prinsendam and noticed it was cruising non-stop for most of the year, so I don't know how or when they will be able to fix the plumbing. If you are considering sailing on this ship, perhaps you should call HAL and ask if the plumbing is still a problem. Since my return, I have read other complaints about noise endured in cabins on deck 6.
Hope this information helps.
The decor in the public areas looked re-done and refurbished with lots of teak wood. The public restroom are decorated very nice and include private cloth towels, but most of the bathrooms leaked water on my head and the restrooms were not always working. Our dining room service staff and cabin attendant did a wonderful job. They were friendly and very polite. We frequently ate in the Lido which is mainly buffet style. The wait staff was friendly and helpful. The wait staff is probably the best feature the ship has going for it. The mandatory add-on tipping policy was in effect during our cruise. There seems to be a lot of confusion about what happens to the tips, but on our cruise there was a public meeting during which time the cruise director told us the tips were pooled so all members of the wait staff would benefit. HAL did not inform us prior to sailing of the policy change in tipping. The ship has been given a facelift but our experience showed that the mechanics of the ship are in disrepair.
Which cruise itinerary are you sailing on?
I am only striving to make people aware of the fact that the ship leaks and it is not a small leak. We did not experience this but other passengers told us they woke up to find water in their closets and their clothes wet. We hopped over water puddles and water buckets everyday. I am not an expert but in my opinion, I have to think eventually there will be a mold problem if one does not already exist. If we knew about the problems on the ship, we would not have booked the cruise on the Prinsendam. We would have looked for a different ship going to the same ports. Our experience also showed that the office staff was slow to respond to problems. They offered nothing for all the inconvenience we sustained, not even a cheap bottle of wine.
Hope this helps you.
Thanks, I read the review and I'm sure they enjoyed the cruise. I have to disagree with his statement that the plumbing leaks were only on a couple decks. Maybe he didn't have to jump puddles and buckets outside his stateroom door every day like we did, but I did not walk a hallway, or enter a public restroom where I did not see a puddle and/or bucket to catch the water leaks. This is our fourth Mediterranean cruise, and I would rate the Prinsendam at the bottom, mainly because of the plumbing problems and the hotel staff's refusal to address our noise complaint promptly and adequately. As Tom states the water was shut off at least twice to "fix" the plumbing, but the crew was never able to correct or fix the plumbing leaks. The water leaks appeared to us to grow in number and intensity during the cruise. In my opinion the itinerary was great but the ship is old, tired and needs a rest. Please let me know how your experience was on the Prinsendam.
I'm very interested in the Europe 2005 14-days reposition itinerariey between Rome and Amsterdam. We were always on the 70,000+ tons megaships all these 15 times so I wonder if the 38,000 tons one like Prinsendam will get sea sick easier while at the open Atlantic coast line regions the second half of June or September. The gallery at http://www.shipcafe.net/shipcafe/pr/prdm04.htm shows its swimming pool, restaurants, dancing lounges, etc. are being scaled down quite a bit. Are they roomy enough? Do the crews, particularly the dining ones, have mix nationality to share their views of their home cultures?
Thanks for sharing so much in advance.
I'm having no luck in opening http://www.shipcafe.net/shipcafe/pr/prdm04.htm
We have committed to the Nov. 9 trans-atlantic crossing - an outside cabin on Main Deck - don't know which number that would be - I relate better to deck names - never know whether you count from the top down or the bottom up!
Looking forward very much to this trip - seems to us that if she's being used for the Round the World Cruise she has to be in good shape! We're not big on ships that seem to emulate 'floating land resorts' .
The window at "E" category on Main Deck seems to be less than 5'W x 4'H from the 2005 HAL brochure which is fine to us. Hope you won't be disturbed much in the morning by those jogging on the lower promenade deck circle right above your cabin. Please share your experience on Prinsendam with us later such as the dance floor and Main dining room facilities as these will be where we spend most of our onboard time at.
What a differance a year has made . We were on the Prinsendam 39 days Cat. S it was great the crew were the best. and the Captain had been with the ship before H / A took it over. It is sad to hear a report like this.