Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
hannymom

please convince worried loyal princess cruisers that we will love zaandam

Recommended Posts

we are sailing this saturday and even with reading message boards, i still don't feel i know anything about zaandam.  what should we know that i don't know?  lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To find out about Zaandam go to the Research tab on the cruise critic website double tap ships, scroll down to the Zaandam ship, tap and go and you will find out all kinds of info, reviews and photos. 

We have been on the Volendam, the sister ship to Zaandam and we loved it, we have been on Maasdam and Rotterdam which are similar in size and have enjoyed them too. 

Of course, I’ve never had a bad day cruising with HAL. 

Smooth sailing....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a ship like any other ship. Nothing to worry about (and it is a little late now to be worrying when you are booked and leaving in six days).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What specifically concerns you?

 

Roz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will need to convince yourself.  HAL offers advantages and disadvantages when compared to Princess.

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A little late to worry about it now!  I'd stop reading and just go and experience it for yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A REAL wrap-around promenade deck.  

 

Cozy, comfortable cabins.  

 

Good food. 

 

Excellent crew. 

 

Quiet spaces.  

 

 

 

These are the things that made me miss HAL when I "strayed" from them last year. Not the entire list, but mostly the last one.   

 

I liked Regal Princess, but it was too loud and noisy for my tastes.  

 

I think you'll like being on board Zaandam.  

 

Enjoy your trip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zaandam feels like a "real ship" - cozy, comfortable public spaces that all have a distinct personality, rich dark woods, lovely music themed art and antiques, rich fabrics.  Cabins are larger than Princess and have ample storage - even insides!  Ship will feel less crowded and overall a more club like feeling than bustling resort.  I usually rate service on Holland as more personal and less rushed as they have less faces to remember and serve. 

 

Where Zaandam "lacks" compared to Princess is in the variety of activities and less entertainment choices.  In the evenings there is the Mainstage show, Ocean Bar trio or Piano player, Adagio strings in Explorers lounge before/after dinner and the Piano Bar/Casino late night, maybe an acoustic guitar player before the pinao bar starts up.  Holland does not do a lot of the themed parties/audience participation game shows like Princess.  There is no champagne waterfall/balloon drop/piazza entertainment type activities like Princess offers.  The smaller vessels like Zaandam have a more relaxed evening ambiance than the bigger Holland America ships.

 

Hope some of that helps.  Knowing that the experience will be different, embrace the change and enjoy the cruise :)  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you for taking the time to respond.  that's exactly what i was looking for.  we didn't do the audience participation games or waterfall/balloon drops so we won't even miss that.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could only echo Vic The Parrot. We love HAL for its quietness. We are Platinum with Princess and have enjoyed every cruise with them. But HAL has become our overall fave. We have sailed Zaandam before, and will again later in the year. It's a very nice ship.

 

Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

We have 31 cruises on Princess but much prefer HAL’s smaller ships. Love the atmosphere, the promenade deck, the dining room. Also the Crow’s Nest for forward viewing opportunities and especially the Seaview Pool deck which is aft. Love sailaways here. 

 

We just got off the Royal Princess. 49 days around South America. We are looking forward to our next 3 cruises which are all on HAL. Maasdam, Amsterdam and our first time on the Zaandam. 

 

Enjoy your new experience. 

Denise 

Edited by dchip
Spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are in a Verandah or lower class cabin you will have something other than your bed to sit on with HAL, we recently had a long thread about how Princess took all the barrel chairs out of the verandah and lower cabins. You will love the small size of the Zaandam, our first HAL cruise was on the Volendam for a Panama Canal transit cruise and we fell in love that class of ships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

we recently had a long thread about how Princess took all the barrel chairs out of the verandah and lower cabins.

 

Yup! It was infuriating on a 49 day cruise to not have a chair for the second passenger to sit on. Princess keeps stating if you ask for a chair, you will get one. Nope, nope and nope!! Thrilled to be back on HAL. 

 

Cheers, Denise 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will LOVE Zaandam and (Ghost) Riders in the Sky by Johnny Cash:classic_biggrin:

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just completed our first HAL cruise on the Volendam (15 night Panama Canal from San Diego), previously sailed about 150 days on Princess as well as cruises on Celebrity and RCI.   As other have said, there are things we like about the Volendam, others we did not.   

 

What we like best about the Volendam:   Promenade deck, Crows Nest (a wonderful space - bigger, more comfortable than Skywalkers), more custom-prepared items and served options in the Lido buffet, never any difficulty getting a Lido table even at peak times, wonderful quiet and comfortable seating areas scattered about the ship, much better bar service than our last 2 Princess sailings, public bathrooms with paper seat covers and real towels, a much better pool-side restaurant set-up and better burgers, lovely fresh flower arrangements (orchids on the Lido tables!), very minimal waits for elevators, NO art auctions!!!

 

Negatives for Volendam:   For us, the cabin, a Vista Suite - we expected it to be comparable to a Princess Mini-Suite, but it was smaller & darker, with worse storage, bathroom counter space and dark, drab décor.   Cost:   Volendam was $90/per person/per day more than Club Class on last month's Princess cruise.   Food:   We thought overall menu variety and food quality has been better on our recent Princess cruises.   Desserts (especially the Crème Brule) on Princess are much better.   We found many of the food combinations rather odd (Examples:  duck breast served on top of stacked creamed spinach, then sweet/sour red cabbage, then a potato/wild rice cake - a truly ugly mess when you tried to eat it - and also a potato/leek soup with prunes!).  There is also nothing equivalent to the Princess International Café - there are several periods during the day when nothing is available except room service.   The TV set in the cabin was almost a joke - couldn't have been over 18" size with very few options.   

 

We're not much into any ship entertainment, so wouldn't choose one over the other.   Service staff as well as boarding and disembarkation processes were comparable on both lines.   

 

We'll sail HAL again if itinerary and price were right, but would probably try a newer, updated ship.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, dchip said:

 

Yup! It was infuriating on a 49 day cruise to not have a chair for the second passenger to sit on. Princess keeps stating if you ask for a chair, you will get one. Nope, nope and nope!! Thrilled to be back on HAL. 

 

Cheers, Denise 

After 27 Princess cruises and because of the second chair missing we are now looking at HAL.  I have one more Princess cruise that is booked in a deluxe balcony and after that cruise we will be working on going from a three star to a four star on HAL.  I have been on Zaandam a few times when she was newer.  We loved her.  For a short time she sailed out of Port Canavenal,  at the time we wintered closed to the port.  So we cruised on her a few times

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/22/2019 at 6:03 PM, dchip said:

 

Yup! It was infuriating on a 49 day cruise to not have a chair for the second passenger to sit on. Princess keeps stating if you ask for a chair, you will get one. Nope, nope and nope!! 

We are booked on Emerald Princess' 28-Day SoPac in an oceanview. If this report continues, we'll be taking a quad chair, since it is R/T out of our home-port. Which is the main reason for us to be straying from HAL. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...