Prinsendam Review

Prinsendam
Prinsendam
Prinsendam
4.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Pros

Able to access small ports the big ships can't

Cons

Evening entertainment is dated and limited in scope

Bottom Line

Small, destination-focused ship with an adventurous spirit


About

Passengers 793
Crew 428
Passenger to Crew 1.85:1
Launched 2002/1988
Shore Excursions 0
Marcia Levin
Cruise Critic Contributor

Prinsendam Overview

Editor's Note: Prinsendam will be leaving the Holland America fleet on July 1, 2019. 

Editor's Note: During a May 2016 dry dock, Prinsendam received a slew of cosmetic updates -- including overhauls to the buffet and all suites. 

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 2016 and the ship now carries more Holland America staples. 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).

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.

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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.


Holland America 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.


Holland America Prinsendam Gratuity

The automatic tip for passengers staying in interior, oceanview and verandah cabins is $14.50 per person, per day. Passengers in suites will be charged $16 per person, per day.


Holland America Prinsendam Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2018 Best Overall
2018 Best for Dining
2018 Best for Embarkation
2018 Best for Public Rooms
2018 Best for Service
2018 Best for Value
2017 Best for Embarkation
2017 Best for Entertainment
2017 Best for Service
2017 Best for Shore Excursions
2017 Best for Value
2016 Best Overall
2016 Best for Embarkation
2016 Best for Value
2014 Best for Value

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Deck:
Dolphin Deck
Main Deck
Lower Promenade Deck
Promenade Deck
Upper Promenade Deck
Verandah Deck
Lido Deck
Sports Deck
Observation Deck

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Holland America Prinsendam Member Reviews

Prinsendam
kiwikaye
Sail Date: Mar 2019
Had sailed on Prinsendam 10 years ago and many other HAL ships since, but always intended to come back to the Prinsendam. When we heard it had been sold we got on with booking (travelling with friends...Read More
Prinsendam
Captain Ricky
Sail Date: May 2019
Prinsendam is going out of Holland America Service on July 1. I wondered if I should write these reviews, but since Veendam is taking over some of the Prinsendam itineraries in 2020 I’ve decided this...Read More
Prinsendam
StartrainDD
Sail Date: Apr 2019
Prinsendam European River Explorer 4-24-19 Note this is a long; log-style review. For just the summary scroll on down to the end. We left Pennsylvania on Monday evening April 22 on American non-stop...Read More
Prinsendam
Captain Ricky
Sail Date: May 2019
May was a good time to cruise. We had unusually good weather and the ship was not nearly full. Prinsendam has a capacity of 835. On the Celtic Explorer there were 567 passengers on board, no lines for...Read More

Holland America Line Fleet