I once read a question on the HAL forum about why it was that the Prinsendam cruises were more expensive than other HAL cruises and the answer was because they can get it. Having sailed many HAL cruises on other various ships, with the Amsterdam being our favorite, we wanted to try the Prinsendam to see if it was worth the extra money.
Aside from the fact that the Princendam, at a little over 800 passenger capability, is one of the smallest of all mainline cruise ships which means that things like tendering, embarkation and debarkation are a bit easier, we saw little difference in her. Basically we found the Prinsendam to be much the same as any HAL cruise ship, just in a scaled down version. We did not find the crew to be any more or less friendly or accommodating than on any other of HALs ships. We found the same deficiencies of service in the main dining room and the food was just the same as the rest of HALs fleet.
On the good side, we found in general the entertainment to be a notch above what we had previously experienced on other HAL ships. However that may just be due to what particular performers are scheduled at any given time. I also enjoyed that being a smaller ship, one could feel the motion of the boat upon the sea, something you usually don't get on the larger cruise ships, barring heavy seas.
On the bad side was our stateroom. We originally had booked an OV stateroom, but about a week before the cruise our TA called to advise us of an offer for an upsale to a Veranda for what appeared to be a very reasonable amount. At first I told the TA I was not interested, but then asked if he knew of where the Verandas might be located and he said he could find out and call me back. When the TA called back, he informed me of several Verandas including an aft (wake) cabin available on deck 8. Having had a wake before on other ships we jumped on it because we love wake cabins. What a mistake. We ended up with one of the cabins from HELL! Whenever we docked or anchored and they used the stern thrusters the cabin would shake violently and create a din of sound. Being the type that like to sleep in and arise late we were forcefully awakened virtually every day between 0630 and 0730. Thus we were never able to sleep in excepting sea days. This was horrible! I am advised that these Veranda staterooms on deck 8 were added to the ship sometime in the past and I assume that their lack of integrity, not having been built in the ships original design might have something to do with this, but in any event we found it to be a total nightmare. In addition to the vibration and noise, there is a pool above on deck 9 and during swells the water from that pool would splash out and then drain down on to the balconies below saturating everything. This happened several times. Also on several days we would find the balcony covered in soot, apparently from the ships exhaust. Then to top everything off, the mini-bar refrigerator quit working about four days before the end of the cruise. Despite repeated calls to the front desk, even though we were told it was on the maintenance schedule and should be fixed at any time, it was never repaired!
Our position now regarding the Prinsendam, we were disappointed. I would not say we would never cruise her again, but I certainly would never have a Veranda on deck 8 again. However, we also feel that the ship is starting to show her age at 26 years, she has a lot of painted over rust, etc., and I seriously doubt that she will be in the HAL fleet more than just a few more years. We definitely do not feel that she is worthy of a higher cruise fee unless perhaps because she may offer an itinerary not available on the larger ships. The Amsterdam remains our favorite of the HAL line.