Ed - personally I found the Vista ships too big for my liking, but a lot of people do like them. We had an SS and loved it - lots of room for 3 of us and a big bathroom - separate shower stall, double sinks, 2 medicine cabinets. Perfect.
Loved the outside elevators, in fact I don't think I ever used an interior one. Lido is great - lots of different stations, so there are no long line-ups.
The one thing I did not like was the location of the Photo Gallery. It's located very near the upper level dining room and we always had to push through crowds of people looking at the pixs, on our way to the dining room.
A few times I got lost, but signage is very good, so I finally found my way to where I was going. DH and daughter loved the ship. Me, don't think I will sail a Vista ship again unless absolutely necessary.
I was on the Westerdam for the Baltic cruise last month and we loved the cruise and the ship. However, I do prefer the S and R class ships over the Vista class.
We have sailed previously on the Zaandam, sister ship to the Volendam, which I believe are classed as R class ships (I may not have the class system exactly correct, but I understand the R class ships are "stretched" versions of the S class).
The main differences we notice was that the Vista had 400 more passengers, 1800+ vs. 1400+ on the Zaandam/Volendam, there are obviously more verandahs, and the cabins are a bit smaller. As Dee Dee stated, some of the locations are different (the photo gallery, etc.).
I will likely sail on the Vista class again, but my personal preferences will continue to favor the R and S classes. They have much more classic lines without all of the balconies.
Location: Brooklyn - Dyker Heights-Bay Ridge - NYC By The VZ Bridge
Re: Re: How are the Vista Class Ships.....
I thank you for your response and opinion of the Vista Class of ships of HAL. I did too like the R class Rotterdam.
I have in the past Sailed on the QE2 for approx. 13 cruises with my wife and very much enjoyed that class and size liner she way. We always had a outside deluxe room with a porthole.
On a suggested change and try, Sailed 2003 & 2004 on the Rotterdam VI and also very much impressed with the style, layout and started to book Outside Verandah Rooms and were hooked. She did have the feeling of a Liner.
Since no other HAL ships have been assigned to NYC for 2005, we took a break. We are not attracted to Carnival, NCL, or the Mega Ships like the Voyager of the Sea out of Bayonne,NJ.
We were pleasantly surprised when HAL finally assigned a ship to NYC being the newly built Noordam. Yes, a Vista Class style.
Since we have not experienced it and willing to take a try to HAL with a future touch, Vista is the way to go. We have read the reviews and also research the photo's of the three other ships, there is no problem trying this type. You won't know if you don't try it. This is the way HAL is going but keeping to the tradition touches.
I just don't like those Stainless Steel Ships of Florida with no warmth or style.
Loyal To Cruisin..................
HAL NOORDAM 10-14-06 (NYPST) SO CARIB CRUISE<BR>
I've sailed the Zuiderdam twice. One thing about HAL...even though the Vista class ships are much larger than the others in the fleet, they don't "cram" people into them. The Noordam carries 1,800 passengers. Compare that to the Caribbean Princess at 3,100 passengers. So while they are big, they certainly do not feel crowded.
I've sailed on Zuiderdam - while I prefer the slightly smaller (1,400 passenger Maasdam class) to the 1,800 on Vista class, they still are superior to virtually everything else -- they maintain the HAL touches - plenty of space, excellant service, etc -- my only real complaint is that they do not have self-serve laundromats -- a small problem - since few other lines have them at all. I live in Conecticut, and am looking forward to sailing Noordam from New York.
Vista class is very close to size of Celebrity Summit, etc. Both are about 90,000 tons and about 1,800 passengers. We are taking our first HAL cruise October 22. Have been on several Celebrity cruises and enjoyed all. Posting here to see if this works for new procedure.
Personally the Z-dam reminded me of a longer version of the Veendam. It had pretty much the same feeling--room sizes the same , population density about the same.
I would not hesitate to go on the Vista class again
Hi Ed. I have taken tours of this ship and one of my recommendations would be not to book cabins next to the outside elevators. People can see onto your balcony and into your cabin. Next time you want to sail, please call me to book your next cruise. Thanks, Selby