HOLLAND AMERICA LINES PRINSENDAM THE CRUISE "THE GRAND SOUTH AMERICA & ANTARCTIC" - SAILING DATE 1/ 2/09 TO 3/11/09
We Traveled 20,610 miles on this cruise This was longest cruise we have taken. 68 days 33 ports and 14 countries in one cruise!
Our background We are in our mid 70's This was our 17th + cruise and 280 days at sea in the past 10 years. We have cruised the Far East, All of North America coasts, and in Europe from the Arctic to the Black sea.
The Prinsendam was built in 1988 and has been dry docked many times to upgrade where they could improve systems It is a Small ship 663+ passengers 38,000 tons673 ft long & 451 crew.
Ship service has been outstanding We have never seen such good service and very-very friendly.
We have sailed on 5 cruise lines.(10 different ships) so problems during a cruise are not a surprise for us just one of those experiences, as long as they are trying to correct problem. Some problems started after a main generator failed while we were in the Amazon river. We have had HAVC (Heating & Air conditioning) problems with our stateroom (about 10 days) but they came when we call and checked with us afterwards until we are happy We joke and kidded with our two front desk girls who come to check on us. Other people have had HVAC problems also Rumors has two Engrs have been flown from Chicago to work on the problem to try to correct problem before next sailing from Ft Lauderdale. We feel HAL did everything they could to correct the problems, while at sea! Food has been outstanding We specially like the Lido (Buffet) for they cooking everything to order as you stood there for breakfasts. Lobster every formal night in 63 days there have only 2 or 3 dinners we couldn't find something we liked but then, there where starters we could make into main courses. There has been a shrimp dish almost every night and my wife loves their soups!! There were 9 formal nights and 8 theme nights plus other special days/nights super bowl & so on
Wave reports each day is not the true story as there are times we are out in the ocean at night and it was gotten rough Crossing the Drake Channel from Antarctic to Ushuaia, Argentina was of the bad ones the Captain slowed the ship down so we could get some sleep the same was true after leaving the Panama canal. We feel this small ship handled the rough sea as good as many of the big ships we have sailed The S. A. Cape Horn is really some islands which no one (now days) goes around they go to Ushuaia and take the mountain protected channels around.
We saw wildlife everywhere and things you only see in picture books 1000's of Penguins, 1000's Sea Lions, birds, 1000's Ice Bergs.
Cruising the Fjords was outstanding with wild life everywhere and unreal landscapes.
Highlights were as following:
AMAZON RIVER ZERO MONUMENT MEETING OF WATERS (there were 4/5 of them) BOC A DA VLERIA PARINTINS The Boi Bumba Festival Show BELEM The ZOO WITH 6/8 FT Lilly Pads
RIO SAMBODROMMO & BACK STAGE
Peru Inca Ruins LIMA, PERU Pachacamac Ruins TRUJILLO, PERU El Brujo & Chan Chan Ruins
PANAMA CANAL (Our third time)
SUN RAISES & SUN SETS where right out of the picture books !!
FALKLAND ISLANDS PENGUINS SOUTH GEORGIA ISLANDS AT SEA ICEBERGS & PENGUINS CRUISING THE ANTARCTIC (ICEBERGS, PENGUINS, SEA LIONS, & SEALS) Ushusis, Argentina BIRDS, SEALS, SEA LIONS AND 1000'S OF PENGUINS CHILEAN FJORDS AND GLACIERS LIMA, Peru WILD LIFE TOUR they claimed 8,000 SEA LIONS (I COUNTED 7,546 FROM PICTURES COULDN'T COUNT THOSE IN WATER - LOL) AND 1000's MORE of BIRDS & PENGUINS.