We are going on Holland America for our first time on the Maasdam Oct 30,07 for a 10 day Carribean voyage. We are experience cruisers,(15), just wondering how Holland compares to other lines. Our favorite line at present is Princess,also been on Carnival, Cunard, MSC, American Hawaii and the old Italian Lines. Went on the MSC Lirica last Spring and loved it. Just wondering about some tips and thoughts. We like the smaller ships compared to the mega ships. Am looking foward to our cruise and hope for favorable,(or not),suggestions about Holland. Thanks, JC
Hello JC 49; we are long-time Princess loyalists who broke ranks and did a Baltic cruise in June on Veendam; not because of any dissatisfaction with Princess, but partly because of the itinerary and partly because we took my 91-year-old mother and wanted a smaller ship then Star Princess.
We were completely happy with Veendam, sister to Massdam. We heard the reports that HAL was for older cruisers, and my wife and I being in our mid-sixties, that was fine with us. But we also took our 24-year-old son; and all three generations had a great time; activities and entertainments for all ages.
We all agreed the food was a cut above Princess in taste, variety and presentation. The buffet was much better; not just the food, but the way it was organized. Even when it was busy it never felt "crowded".
The staff and crew was very friendly and efficient; even more so than Princess. And the ship was very nice, although not as elegant, and at times, not kept as clean as the Princess ships.
We in particular liked the size of the ship and the complete absence of crowding--even at debarkation, which can be hellish on some Princess ships.
One disadvantage of Veendam's size, and the one thing that might preclude us from sailing on her or another ship in her class, is the absence of balconies in any cabins other than suites. We love the mini-suites on Princess and the only thing comparable on Veendam is much more expensive. Having said that, we were completely happy with our oceanview on Veendam, considering it was a port-intensive and cool weather cruise like the Baltic.
So we were very pleased with HAL and will certainly consider them in our future cruise planning.
Thanks for the info. We too are Princess fans, plus if you stay with the same line you can get more amenities. I'm surprised you didn't go with a Verandah Suite, on our cruise the difference isn't that much. Besides I learned in 1975 on the Achilles Lauro not to stay inside, my preference is if I don't have a balcony I'm not going, but we've stayed in ocean view cabins and been very happy.
We too are taking this cruise because of the itnerary,( some islands we have not been to), time of year, we like longer cruises 10+ days, and to try Holland. We have heard some really good reports about Holland and we are sooo glad to hear your report. We also like the size of the ship, last spring we went on the MSC Lirica and loved it, from what I see they are about the same size ships. Thanks again and will let you know about our trip.
Hello again; the price structure must be different on your cruise because on ours the difference between the BB Verandah suite and the FF Oceanview we booked was about $1100.00 pp, more than we wanted to spend. I'm sold on balconies also, but I just didn't think we would get that much use out of it on this cruise--and as it turns out, I was right.
ketkel, Hi, thats great, are you on the same cruise????? I grad from Ilion in !967, am retired now and looking for work. I'm sure you will have a great time. We really like Princess Lines, from what we've heard Holland is better. We will see, been on 15 cruises before on a variety of ships, HAVEN'T HAD A BAD CRUISE YET!!!!!!!!! JC