shana, even though the Holland America website only goes up to December, 2009, I think it would be safe to assume they will continue their year-'round Hawaii sailings. It will be interesting to see if they cut back to 14 days also when the publish their new schedules.
I'm really not trying to make it harder for you to make a decision; I just want you to be sure you are making the best decision for yourself; and the more information you have, the more informed your decision will be.
Hello Rick, I looked more at the holland america cruise ship and it doesn't have as many options for dining areas nor does it have as much to do from what I am seeing and princess being a bigger ship there is more things to do and that makes a big difference when your on the ship for 14 or 15 days for a cruise and alot of that time is actually spent on the ship you want there to be alot of options of things to do but I really would like to go to kona after looking more into there excursions especially the seahorse excursion plus the glass bottom boat and I know I have to make my final decision today so I am stressed out after looking at the holland ship as they do have a cruise to Hawaii in 2010 winter but a much smaller ship so less choice of things to do onboard and I like the ceramic painting class and some other classes princess offers and I know the bigger ships keep you busy all day with something to do does anyone know if Holland offers classes and has activities all day long? Is it true theres only like 3 resteraunts on HAL? Any info. on HAL experiences would be helpful cause by early afternoon I will be paying my down payment on princess. Thanks, Shana
Hi Shana, I'm going to put my two cents in on your latest post. It seems you're worried about making a wrong decision. With the two cruise choices you have I'm not sure there is a wrong decision possible. Each ship and cruise will have a few things the other doesn't, there is not one that is a hands down winner in what's better than the other. Between the two itineraries and experiences there will be far more similarities than differences. From following the thread here and reading what you're wanting and needing from your cruise experience, I simply don't think there is a poor choice between the two cruises. Whichever one you choose will be a wonderful experience. Both lines are known for excellent food, service and entertainment, both have great Hawaii itineraries and the staff of either ship will work hard to make your vacation memorable. Princess gets a small edge in having more to do and more dining venues. Holland gets the slight edge in having an extra port and more personalized service, only because it's a smaller ship and the two go hand in hand. Let us know what you decide to do but whatever you do you're in for a great time.
Are you by any chance thinking the three main dining rooms on the Golden Princess are three distinct restaurants? If so, that is not correct. The three main dining rooms (Canaletto, Bernini, and Donatello) on the Golden all have the same menu. The only difference is one dining room is reserved for those who want assigned seating while the other two are for passengers who prefer anytime seating. The ship needs three main dining rooms in order to accomodate 2600 passengers.
So let's break down the dining choices between the Golden P and the Zaandam:
Golden: Main dining (3 one deck restaurants), Sabatini's (Italian), Sterlings (steak and seafood), Horizon Court buffet, Trident Grill (poolside burgers and hot dogs), Prego poolside pizza, Caviar Bar, Patisserie coffee and pastry bar, Scoops Ice Cream, Room Service, Ultimate balcony dining.
Zaandam: Main dining (1 two deck restaurant), Pinnacle Grill (steak and seafood), Lido Buffet, Terrace Grill (poolside pizza, tacos, burgers, hot dogs), Explorations coffee and pastry bar, room service.
So - the only real differences are the specialty Sabatini's Italian restaurant, balcony dining, and the separate ice cream bar on the Golden. Holland America serves ice cream in the buffet. Princess has a separate place for pizza while HAL serves the pizza at the same place as the burgers and hot dogs.
Thank you both for your input and dave thanks for the breakdown on different dining options but what I was referring to when I said 3 resteraunts I was thinking that Holland only has 3 different places to choose to eat from which include specialty resteraunts and after your breakdown I was pretty correct on that, where princess has more specialty resteraunts it seems like. I will miss the stop at Kona if I go with princess after seeing the excursions on that island but I am going to see if princess will give me two more days before I have to put my down payment down even though I think I will go with princess since there will probably be alot more to do than on Holland but hopefully I will have 2 more days to decide otherwise I will put my down payment down today. I noticed on holland it says something about the evening sail to see the active volcano one night to which is really neat. I am torn can you tell, lol, but my mom really wants to go on princess since there is stuff to keep us busy on sea days and I am thinking that also but I will research today. Thanks guys for helping me out here, now I am just wondering if there is plenty of activities on Holland to keep us busy on sea days. Shana
Specialty restaurants - Princess has two and HAL one. So except for the Italian specialty on Princess, everything else is the same with the same foods available on either line. It's just that Princess splits things into a couple areas where HAL has more food items in one place. The pizza, burgers, hot dogs are not specialty areas - just an outside grill area where you get your burger and fries (or pizza) and go find an empty table around the pool.
shana, here are two schedules of typical daytime activities on sea days, first on Holland America's Veendam, which is slightly smaller than Zaandam; then on Princess' Island Princess. I think you will see, as Neil said, there are more similarities than differences.
Thanks a bunch, I will be calling Holland cruiselines today cause on there website it shows they go to Hawaii in 2010 in Jan. but I can't find the itenerary and all of the other info. on there cruise in 2010 so will call. Your right they still have activities I would just miss some of the ones on princess but after I saw there accesibilty ratings and everything about that and there service I am starting to lean towards Holland but I will see after I talk some with them and find out more info. Thank you so much for your help. Shana