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Interesting destination, the polar ice cap balanced our cruise to Antarctica. Unusually good weather made for a nice cruise, with beautiful views of the Norwegian and Icelandic fjords...a lot of fjords. The Prinsendam is a great small ship, without the big crowds found on large liners. 670 of the 790 passengers (804 listed max) had sailed HAL before. My point for this review is about the forward Vista Suite cabins (cat. AA) on deck 9, specifically cabin 105 back to about 115 or so on the starboard side (and equivalent cabins on the port side). These cabins sit above the main theater, and the noise from band and show practice is pretty loud, during daytime practice and during evening shows (which end about 11 PM). Early to bed passengers will have trouble getting to sleep before 11. This is apparently a known issue, and the front desk is well aware, fielding many complaints. They try to offer 'free goodies' to compensate. The ship goes to dry-dock refit in December 2017, so hopefully they'll fix this. FYI. A tip for those who use Hop On Hop Off buses (we like them when we don't book specific day tours, as they provide a nice fairly quick overview of a port city): traffic can make HoHo buses a pain. We encountered this in Amsterdam (use the boat hop on hop off during rush hour) and Edinburgh, Scotland. With a Fair event and the annual Tattoo in town, traffic at 5 o'clock was at a standstill. The guide on the bus suggested it would be quicker to get off and walk the 2-3 blocks to the next/end-stop/train station/Waverly Bridge, which we did. (Estimate was 45 minutes to go 2-3 blocks through a main intersection.

Great ship, good cruise but...

Prinsendam Cruise Review by mogarian

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2017
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
Interesting destination, the polar ice cap balanced our cruise to Antarctica. Unusually good weather made for a nice cruise, with beautiful views of the Norwegian and Icelandic fjords...a lot of fjords. The Prinsendam is a great small ship, without the big crowds found on large liners. 670 of the 790 passengers (804 listed max) had sailed HAL before.

My point for this review is about the forward Vista Suite cabins (cat. AA) on deck 9, specifically cabin 105 back to about 115 or so on the starboard side (and equivalent cabins on the port side). These cabins sit above the main theater, and the noise from band and show practice is pretty loud, during daytime practice and during evening shows (which end about 11 PM). Early to bed passengers will have trouble getting to sleep before 11. This is apparently a known issue, and the front desk is well aware, fielding many complaints. They try to offer 'free goodies' to compensate. The ship goes to dry-dock refit in December 2017, so hopefully they'll fix this. FYI.

A tip for those who use Hop On Hop Off buses (we like them when we don't book specific day tours, as they provide a nice fairly quick overview of a port city): traffic can make HoHo buses a pain. We encountered this in Amsterdam (use the boat hop on hop off during rush hour) and Edinburgh, Scotland. With a Fair event and the annual Tattoo in town, traffic at 5 o'clock was at a standstill. The guide on the bus suggested it would be quicker to get off and walk the 2-3 blocks to the next/end-stop/train station/Waverly Bridge, which we did. (Estimate was 45 minutes to go 2-3 blocks through a main intersection.
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Cabin Review

Vista Suite with Verandah
Cabin AA 105
To repeat:: cabins 105 back to about 115 or so on the starboard side (and equivalent cabins on the port side). These cabins sit above the main theater, and the noise from band and show practice is pretty loud, during daytime practice and during evening shows (which end about 11 PM). Early to bed passengers will have trouble getting to sleep before 11. This is apparently a known issue, and the front desk is well aware, fielding many complaints. They try to offer 'free goodies' to compensate. The ship goes to dry-dock refit in December 2017, so hopefully they'll fix this.
The positive note is you can look forward around the balcony partition to the bow (there are no more balconies ahead). Also, a short walk forward takes you to the door to the forward open deck, a deck not known to all the cruisers, so relatively uncrowded.
Upper Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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  • Amsterdam
    Boat and bus Hop on Hop off worked out well. Stopped at the Anne Frank House, a worthwhile visit.
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    Used Hop on Hop off with planned stop at the Mt. Floyen tram to the mountain top. CAREFUL! I thought we were buying a ticket that included the tram ticket (avoids long line at tram station). The lady asked and I said yes, I wanted tram tickets. Turned out I did not get tickets (thought I did with the receipt). Fortunately, while standing in line to board the tram, I noticed other tourists holding printed cardboard tickets. I asked an attendant (very friendly and helpful), and was told the bus receipt was NOT a ticket. She walked me back to the ticket window and got me two tickets through a side window, bypassing the crowd. She advised me that this was a common thing with the Hop on Hop off ticket sellers at the bus stop. Word to the wise!
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  • Eidfjord
    Pretty scenery through the Hardinger Fjord and bridge. Small quaint town at the end of the fjord, with a free WiFi coffee shop. We did not take an excursion, as we had a similar one booked for our next fjord stop. Nice walking paths (2) available.
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  • Summer Dog Sledding
    Longyearbyen ("Bee-yen", not "by-yen"). Good to do once, if you've never experienced this before. We went out with a 10 dog team, maybe 2 miles down a dirt road towards the old coal mines, then back. Pretty scenery in sunny weather. Hot chocolate and a cookie when we got back. No reason to do it again.
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