We sailed on the Prinsedam from July 12-26 on the Northern European cruise. This was our first cruise on Holland America, and we were impressed with the quality of the ship, the service, the food, and the itinerary.
We thoroughly enjoyed the entire cruise, and thought the Prinsendam was a beautiful ship. The public areas were immaculate, with exquisite woodwork everywhere.
Our cabin was extremely roomy, and included a sofa. The bathroom was quite large by cruise standards, and the shower was big enough to turn around in! The walk-in closet was very large, with upper and lower hanging bars, shelves and plenty of hangars.
We felt that the smaller size (794 passengers) of the Prinsendam was beneficial, in that the crew was able to attend to the needs of everyone much better than on some of the larger ships. The service overall was superb. The staff was extremely friendly and willing to serve. In particular, the bar staff learned all of the "regulars" names and favorite drink very quickly into the cruise.
The food was very good. We ate in the dining room all but one night, and there were at least six choices each night. The beef dishes in particular were superior. The food in the Lido (buffet) was also very good. All egg dishes at breakfast were prepared to order, and included omelets and Eggs Benedict every day. No huge tubs of runny scrambled eggs we've found on some of the larger ships! For lunch, there were at least four entrEe choices, which were as good as some of the dinners we've had on other ships! There was also made to order pizza daily and deli sandwiches/wraps. In addition, there were burgers and hot dogs available at lunch and all afternoon, even after the Lido closed. These also were delicious, and the availability was convenient after a day of shore excursions and explorations in town made it difficult to get back to the ship when the Lido closed at 2:00. The Ice Cream Bar was also available all day and included many flavors, cones, numerous toppings, and homemade cookies! ---all at no additional charge.
There was a wide variety of entertainment every night in the Queen's Lounge, including production-type shows, singers, comedians, pianists, etc. All were very good, particularly the shows involving the very talented Prinsendam singers/dancers.
The only problem that we encountered with the ship occurred on the very first night. The seas were quite rough, and we kept hearing a loud crashing noise that sounded like a heavy metallic object crashing into something. It finally got to the point, at 3:00 a.m. that we called down to the desk. They sent someone down, but he kept trying to convince us that it was only because of the rough seas. This noise was definitely not normal, and was so loud that it was impossible to sleep. The next morning, however, someone from the purser's office called to apologize, saying that the bridge can't always hear such disturbances. It did not occur at all any other time during the cruise, even with rough seas, so this had obviously been something that just needed to be secured more carefully.
The embarkation/disembarkation procedures were very efficiently handled. We arrived at the dock in Copenhagen around 11:00, and the crowds were very light. There was a comfortable reception area with beverages available while you waited for your group number to be called. When called, the wait time in line was very short and we were on the ship before noon. Coming off the ship at the end of our journey in Amsterdam was quite quick. We were the very last group to disembark, and the amount of luggage to sift through in the terminal was minimal.