Become a Cruise Insider
Tips, deals and more in your inbox.
Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Prinsendam Review

Prinsendam
Prinsendam - Pool Prinsendam - Gym/Ocean Spa Prinsendam - Atrium Prinsendam - Oceanview Cabin
76% of cruisers loved it
117 reviews | Write a Review
  • Intimate ship, with contemporary amenities
  • Unique 14- to 73-day itineraries
  • Pinnacle Grill, HAL's signature alternative restaurant
Show The Lowest Price

Prinsendam Overview

By Marcia Levin, Cruise Critic contributor
Editor Rating
4.0
Prinsendam, Holland America's smallest vessel, is considered its pathfinder. This is the ship to choose if far-away destinations, longer-than-usual itineraries and superb value for money are key factors in selecting a cruise -- especially because Holland America has continued to upgrade and refurbish Prinsendam since acquiring the ship from Seabourn in 2002.

The latest major upgrade was completed in late 2007 and the ship now carries on more Holland America traditions. It's got the line's signature Explorations Cafe by the New York Times, a lovely reading room and library. The Pinnacle Grill, Holland America's alternative restaurant that serves Northwest-inspired cuisine, has a fresh look and new menus. Cabins were refreshed with new carpets. And the ship, which has never been marketed as a family-friendly member of the HAL fleet, now operates the Club HAL kids' program (though there's no dedicated facility and counselors are only onboard during holidays when multi-generational groups are likely to be traveling).

This "Elegant Explorer" sails on longer range, exotic itineraries, including a Grand World Voyage and several Grand Voyages to destinations including Antarctica and the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The ship sails 14- to 73-day itineraries.

Originally named the Royal Viking Sun when it debuted in 1988, and later the Seabourn Sun, the vessel has always been one where passenger comforts rank high with officers and crew. That philosophy has continued with Holland America. The ship's guest relations desk, for example, is visited daily by passengers who just want to say "hi" to staff rather than to voice a complaint.

"As You Wish" dining was introduced on Prinsendam in May 2008, allowing guests to select either traditional pre-set seating or dining on a flexible schedule from 5:15 until 9 p.m. daily.

Ultimately, one of the most delightful aspects of Prinsendam is that it is utterly unique within the HAL fleet -- despite the many features, facilities and amenities consistent with newer, bigger vessels. It's still by and large a ship for more mature travelers who want classic style cruising and contemporary conveniences.

Prinsendam Fellow Passengers

Prinsendam appeals to well-educated, well-traveled passengers. They are inveterate travelers -- primarily from North America and the U.K. -- in their late 50's and older. You won't be dazzled by diamonds on this ship (although I spotted some "beauts"), but you will be awed by the intelligence, curiosity and enthusiasm of your fellow passengers.

Prinsendam Dress Code

Country club casual is the norm, but count on a few formal nights per cruises and as scheduled on longer voyages. Formal can be anything from a dark suit to a white dinner jacket for men and a sequined ball gown to a glitzy silk short over pants for women. Shorts and sleeveless T-shirts are never worn in dining rooms.

Prinsendam Gratuity

Holland America Line automatically adds $11.50 per person, per day, to onboard accounts; this is then shared among waiters, stewards and other service personnel. That amount can be adjusted in either direction by visiting the front desk. A 15 percent gratuity is tacked on to bar bills. Note that gratuities are not automatically included on bills for spa treatments.
Next: Prinsendam Cabins
Print the entire ship review

Prinsendam Member Reviews

Expectations Well Met canoncruiser
01/15
I booked this cruise because I wanted a way to experience as much of Latin America as possible. It was great! I lucked out on a wonderful table for all 68 days;a well traveled Canadian couple;ditto Australian couple and ditto fellow Americans from ... Read more
We just completed the 68 day Prinsendam Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage. It was our first cruise since the 1990s and it was MUCH better than we expected. We loved it and would sail on the Prinsendam again in a heartbeat. We crammed at ... Read more
S. America Grand Voyage bobs@palmharbor
01/15
With the exception of the Prinsendam's condition and the dining room menu, this voyage met all our expectations. The ship has been in service since 1997 and is showing its age, wear, and tear. It is time for HAL to retire or completely refurbish ... Read more
1 - 3 of 117 Reviews
Show The Lowest Price

Prinsendam Ratings

Editor Rating 4.0 Member Rating
Category
Editor
Member
Dining
4.0
4.1
Public Rooms
4.0
4.3
Cabins
4.0
3.8
Entertainment
3.0
3.7
Spa & Fitness
5.0
3.6
Family & Children
2.0
1.0
Shore Excursions
3.0
3.8
Enrichment
5.0
3.8
Service
5.0
4.5
Value-for-Money
4.0
3.9

Explore This Ship

Prinsendam Deck Plans Prinsendam Cabin Reviews
Ship Stats
Crew:
428
Launched:
2002/1988
Decks:
8
Tonnage:
38,000
Passengers:
793
Registry:
Netherlands
CDC Score:
94
Close X
Show Prices for Prinsendam

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.