by Joyce Rachelson
June 2002 - Early this morning I boarded the new Prinsendam (former
Seabourn Sun) at Pier 88 in New York City.
I was invited aboard as a HAL alumni with more than 100 days of
cruising. We were given an extensive tour of the ship as well as full
lunch service in the La Fontaine dining room.
What follows are my impressions of the ship, which Holland America has
sub titled 'The Elegant Explorer'. Because of her compact size, 38,000
gross tons, she will be able to enter ports that larger ships are
unable to visit.
First impression - WOW! Elegant with subtle reminders of Rotterdam V.
Lots of highly polished wood, soft colors. 5 fabulous paintings by
Stephen J. Card. This is a ship I can't wait to experience on the high
We entered on the Lower Promenade, teak deck all the way around for
those brisk morning walks. There is a small but elegant 4 deck atrium
with a lovely glass sculpture in the center. On this deck are the
Ocean Bar, my personal favorite, the Odyssey Restaurant for
alternative dining. It only seats 52. There is an Internet Cafe and
Art Gallery (no, I'm not a fan of Art Auctions at sea so I hope they
keep it in this small area). The main dining room, La Fontaine, that
seats 430 is also on this deck.
While visiting the Ocean Bar the staff was offering champagne and
Mimosas as well as assorted tasty snacks. Nice way to pique our
appetites before lunch in the dining room.
We next went to the Promenade Deck. Located on this deck are the
Explorer's Lounge, a small casino, the Java Cafe and Bar, Wajang Movie
Theatre, The Oak Room (this is the Cigar Bar), the Erasmus Library
(those chairs looked exceptionally comfortable), the shops, photo
gallery, front office, shore excursion desk and the Queen's Lounge
which is the main theatre on board. I found all of the rooms to be
tasteful and elegant. Warm woods and colors everywhere.
After the usual sales presentation in the Queens' Lounge it was off to
lunch in the La Fontaine Dining Room. Appetizer of caviar, smoked
salmon, lobster, pea soup, choice of lamb or tuna steak, fruit tart
and assorted cookies and sweets, coffee, tea. Red and white wine were
served throughout the meal. I was disappointed that there was no bread
pudding but you can't have it all in one short tour.
After lunch I toured various cabins from the Presidential Suite on the
Sports Deck (home of the Crow's Nest) to Standard Cat M inside cabin
on Dolphin Deck. Though I found the cabins to be smaller than those on
the Rotterdam class of ship they were still larger than cabins on
other lines on which I have traveled. The Deluxe Verandah and Large
Outside doubles had light wood-like walls with dark wood desks and
entertainment areas. The beds were covered in a red, white and blue
plaid bedspreads with navy colored carpeting. Many cabins had long,
deep bathtubs while others had just showers. The bathrooms were of a
good size with all the usual HAL amenities.
There are very few inside cabins, 20 by my count. After having sailed
in outside cabins and twice in balcony cabins I don't think I'll ever
book an inside one again but these were of a good size and less
claustrophobic than many I've seen.
All in all, I'm looking forward to sailing on the Prinsendam sometime
in the near future. She's a classy lady in the Holland America
Spectacular photos of Prinsendam
arriving in New York City
America Line Reviews
of Joyce Rachelson