We love visiting the British Isles and love the Prinsendam. We found this cruise as a great way to see many new places and avoid a long flight across the Atlantic. The Prinsendam is our favorite ship and this will be our fourth cruise on her. She does seem quite popular with experienced Holland America travelers, nearly all of the passengers were veteran Mariners. We were offered a low priced upgrade to a Neptune cabin and found it to be a great call. The biggest room we have ever had on any ship. Great choice for an Atlantic crossing. We were lucky to have great weather most of the trip, only rocky out of Miami and only a couple hours of rain in the British Isles. Even the locals were surprised by how sunny May was there.
The Prinsendam is our favorite ship in the fleet, no eternal hallways to navigate. Captain Dag and his crew were great and the service was excellent. Our suite was huge and we loved the staff in the Neptune lounge, especially Precious. Great service. We did have a late night plumbing issue but that was quickly taken care of. And one of the aft elevators was broken for most of the trip, but it didn't seem to affect us.
The Pinnacle Grill, main dining room and the Lido all had good service and a wide selection of food. We liked the salad bar offerings in the Lido a lot. We visited the Pinnacle for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Very good service, but honestly the service in the main dining room was also very good. The only place we felt lacking was the Canaletto. The service was friendly and fast, but the menu didn't have enough Italian comfort food for me.
We never go to the evening performances but did have a great time at night in the Crow's Nest piano bar with Stevie. He has such a wide variety of songs and is willing to research the ones he doesn't know. We also liked the daytime talks about our destinations and the NASA guy. We enjoy trivia on our cruises and Stone, Johnny, and Cam all were great at challenging us every day, and it was very cool to win champagne.
Service all around the ship was excellent. It was amazing to see how fast they learned our names and preferences on drinks. Firman and August as our room stewards were so good at working around our crazy schedules. Nissi was a great bartender at the Crow's Nest. Nick was very attentive in the dining room with our wine and other drinks. Emri was a great cellar master and we loved his tastings.
Since many of the ports were small, we did tender a lot, but maybe cause the weather was so good, it went really well, even after a tender broke down. I liked all of our stops, but the highlight was visiting Normandy for the first time. The D-Day/Mulberry museum, the American Normandy gravesite, and looking down over the beaches themselves. We also had a great visit to the Channel Islands with a great guide taking us to the occupation museums. We also liked the overnighter in Antwerp.
Would I do this cruise again? Absolutely! It was one of our favorites and we have been on over ten cruises.
Very large. Will make it hard to go back to a verandah on our next trip. Perfect way to cross the Atlantic.