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Copyright © 1995-2002 
Linda Coffman


Preview by Joyce Rachelson

Prinsendam ReviewNYC, 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 seas.

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 tradition.

Spectacular photos of Prinsendam arriving in New York City

More Holland America Line Reviews

Illustration Courtesy of Joyce Rachelson