Overall a wonderful cruise, although we were very dissappointed with some aspects of the Prinsedam, compared to 8 other Holland ships we had cruised on. The main reason we decided on Prinsedam was 1)..we had always heard it was the "Flagship" of the Holland Fleet and 2).. the Holy Land itenary perfectly fit our interests, as we are devoutly Catholic. The cruise started at Cittivichia Italy, and ports included Cairo/Alexandria, Ashdod/Tel Aviv Israel, Kudassi Turkey, Crete, Olympus Greece, and a few other Greek ports.
Entertainment: Not as good as we had experienced on other HAL Ships.
Food: In Rotterdam was good, however Lido was sub-standard for HAL. Lido tables are wooden with uneven ceramic tile inserts ...causing the plates to constantly wobble and vibrate. The only solution was to put you cloth napkin under the plate to eliminate the vibration noise while eating. It is unbelievable that a professional interior decorator would have chosen the tile tables for the Lido. Also the Lido serving lines were simply too small, and the dining areas were also too small/crowded. And the Lido food quality was lacking. The deserts were poorly prepared, and some were old, used meal after meal obviously. Not like HAL at all. But the main Dining Room was very good, excellent service, and the food was very good too.
Decorations: One thing great was the ever changing uniforms/decorations on Prinsedam. Halloween Party/Costumes, Egypt Costumes. etc etc.
Staterooms: Really great, larger, with walk in closets, nicely done marble showers and tubs, lots of storage shelves, really the best rooms of any HAL Ship I've sailed.
Internet...way too expensive. HAL has sub-contracted the internet out, and it is sub standard. Lots of down time, poor satellite coverage, dropped connections, and usually turned off while inport. Just terrible. We could take the lap top ashore to any dumpy waterfront cafe at use crystal clear internet for $2 U.S. per hour, but on the multi-million dollar ship couldnt even get a decent connection for $50 per hour !!!
Noro Virus....the cruise before us had a noro-virus/GIS outbreak, and the same happened to our cruise, only worse. Many, many people were ill, even crewmwmbers, even the cruise director. Very Very sick. And I have read thet after our cruise disembarked, the next cruised suffered with it too. People everwhere were sick, actually I would estimate 60-70 percent of pax and crew were ill. It was terrible, and I am surprised it did not make national/international news. We were soick 6 days of the 15 day cruise, and even missed several tours we had paid for in advance.
I will continue to cruise with HAL, but will not cruise the Prinsedam till a major overhaul of the LIDO occurs.