Great time on Prinsendam Baltic sailing August 15
We have sailed larger ships, Explorer of the seas, and smaller ships, Windsuf. This was midsized and we loved the itinerary.
Our first observation was the age of the folks cruising on this ship. Many were in the 60-70. My wife and I are 46 and 52 respectively. But we got alone with everybody and the group was very cordial and full of experienced travelers. We learned a lot from them despite our extensive travels.
We had nice room on upper deck with verandah. Clean comfortable and enough room. It was much quieter than what I can imagine the lower aft decks would experience. Our steward was not good. He seemed to want to not do what we asked and we handled him accordingly. Otherwise the room was clean and well positioned to get to the gym, dining and the main deck with all the activities.
The food was very good in the main dining room and the dining staff there were great as were the servers in the other areas of the ship. Our waiter was More
excellent as was the wine staff. The only kink was the breakfast on the Lido deck. The short order cooks seemed to get easily flustered.
The music was terrific with a violin headed trio which really set the mood.
The shows were sort of wierd. The performers were very talented but made to perform in silly costumes and the songs were disjointed.
The gym was dated and the elliptical equipment needed upgrading. Otherwise, the saunas ans steambaths were great, I had them practically to myself, overall, the ship never seemed to crowded except on the Lido at breakfast.
The ports are listed below but one amazing highlight of this trip was traveling through the Kiel Canal on a perfectly sunny clear warm day. The vistas of the farm land, town and bridges were amazing. Passing through friendly towns, seeing the animals on farmland, traveling with bicyclists on the bike paths on land and passing the large ships was a full day of visual excitement
I would sail the Prinsendam again and love its size and intimacy. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
HAmburg- We were there overnight from 4PM to 11pm the next day (the ship had to wait for a tour which went into Berlin) Not great except for a self guided day trip we did to Lubeck by train. Easy to get to and only 40 min from the City. Lubeck has a great Midevil feel, many spires and churches and friendly prople and deep history. The city of HAmburg on the other hand has very little charm except for the RAthaus area and a wild party scene in the red light district if that is what you are looking for. Otherwise we went to the church steeple of a church bombed out by the Allies in WWI. Very interesting.
We took a tour to an alleged nearby Midevil city called Porvoo. It was neither and it did not help that the morning was rainy. When we got back to the city my wife ended up buying a purse at the Marimekko store, and we strolled around the avenues a bit before heading back to the ship.
This town, with is amazxing park and sculpture park Vigeland(of humans in various forms) is very well laid out and has a low cost bicycle rental program and free WIFI (behind town hall at the information store). We rented bikes and rode to a park on nearby Bygdoy. Unfortunately the rain caught us and we got soaked while trying to return back to the ship. I continued to walk the city while my wife dried out. Wish we had more time in the architecturally interesting and upbeat city.
We were overnight here and had great all inclusive tour company we found through internet for 2 full days and evening folk show. There was so much to see and do there but our tour guide kept us an the 8 other seasoned travelers in our tour group moving. Visually the Peterhof was the best but historically the Yusopov Mansion was very interesting. The Hermitage was also awesome as were the other usual sites to see in this city
GReat port of call. We rented bicycles and rode through town with the canals and well build bike paths, took a ferry from the old town (where we did self guided walking tour - from NY Times travel section) to the Vasa Museet (a must). This is a pretty city, clean friendly and with great architecture. We will come back here again to further explore the Swedish history and culture
We simply walked through this charming pretty town with may little alleyways, pubs and shops. We used free WIFI (in port) to catch up on the home front. Friendly folks.
We did a 4.5 hr bicycling tour through the ship excursion office in the city with a amazing older gentleman guide. We rode around and through the historic walls of the old city, then travelled to a homke used by the Sewdish Queen during the summer months for cake and coffee then rode to a cliff overlooking the BAltic sea before returning to town for a look at St MAry's (the only remaining church of 5 that was not destroyed by the religious factions) and St Veronica a hugh ruin that has steps you can actually climb through. This town had great feel and we wish we had more time there.