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Old December 26th, 2007, 10:02 PM
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Default Panama suite

We are trying to decide whether to take the Island Princess or the Zuiderdam next year on a Panama Canal itinerary and may be upgraded to a full suite. Has anyone had experience with both? I realize there are no bad choices here, but would be interested in opinions or experiences.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 02:42 PM
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I believe there is a difference in what Princess calls a suite (do you mean mini-suite?) and what HAL calls a suite. Princess has many mini-suites on their ships and they are nice, but really more like large balcony cabins than true suites. A Holland America suite, however, is more likely to have a separate seating area from the bedroom and will be more like a true "suite."

Really, we need to cabin category types to give you a better answer.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 04:03 PM
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The only Suite/s on HAL ships that have a separate seating area from the bedroom are the Penthouse Suites.

There are many different categories of Suites - the largest being the Penthouse, which does have a separate living room, bedroom and dining room, but these are very expensive.

Next is the Deluxe Verandah Suite (SA,SB,SC) which are lovely with a King bed, large sofa, dressing room, large bathroom and a large Verandah. These Suites and the PS guests have many amenities & the use of the Neptune Lounge. You can find what this includes either on HAL's website or in a brochure.

Next are the Superior Verandah Suites (SS,SY,SZ). These are also very nice with a Queen bed, large bathroom with separate shower stall, vanity with double sinks and 2 medicine chests.

The VA,VB, etc. Deluxe Verandah Outside Suites are much smaller.

Check out HAL's website "explore Staterooms", so get a look at the different Suites.

Zuiderdam is going into dry dock the end of March for a complete refurbishment.

Don't count on being upgraded to a full suite as these are the first to go. If you want one, book it now.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 05:52 PM
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Paul and DeeDee, thank you for your help. What I'm talking about is comparing a Vista or premium suite on the Island Princess vs. an SC Deluxe veranda suite on Zuiderdam understanding that the Zuiderdam will cost around $1000 more. Princess apparently comes with unlimited Sanctuary thermal spa and internet and laundry, and other amenities. HAL comes with the Neptune Lounge. By the way, neither ship comes with MUTS but show good movies in their theatres. I think the suites are about the same size. HAL includes a day on their private island which is plus while Princess (don't ask me why), once again, insists on the obligatory stop in Ocho Rios which is getting old. But then again, it stops in Cartegena, Columbia, which is appealing. SO, price aside, it remains a tough choice especially if one has had positive experiences on both cruise lines! Thanks for your input or at least, an educated discussion. Steve
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