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Holland America Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

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Cruise Critic Overview
  • Traditional cruising experience with modern touches
  • Around-the-world sailings offered
  • Extensive dining options and enrichment programs
  • Read full overview >>

363 Holland America Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

Cruiser rating
Excellent
170
Very Good
69
Average
58
Poor
39
Terrible
18
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First-Time Cruisers
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Rating Summary
Dining
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Cabin
Entertainment
Value for Money
Service
tobyfive
Member Since 2013
2 reviews
0 forum posts
2 helpful votes
We chose this cruise strictly on the itinerary. The boat itself does have some issues. I definitely would not say it's a rust bucket, I thought the interior was wonderful. The balcony was amazing. We had cabins 7001&7003. Both were ... Read more
tuitionowed
Member Since 2012
2 reviews
10 forum posts
2 helpful votes
Sailed four weeks ago
For our background we are in the late 50s/early 60s age category and this is our third HAL cruise with four cruises on another line. We like the peaceful nature of 10 day sailings, the teak wood promenade, and the superior service. ... Read more
donnabolger
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
1 helpful vote
Embarkation for our panama Sunfarer cruise was very smooth. We arrived at cruise port by 11 and were on the ship by noon. We are an older couple (65 and 71) so we fit right in with the much older crowd than we have been with on other ... Read more
roneileen
Member Since 2012
2 reviews
7 forum posts
2 helpful votes
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see first hand the progress made on the new canal. Although the excursion to the site of the new locks was all we had hoped for, the cruise itself was a major disappointment. The biggest ... Read more
sharonskye
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
2 helpful votes
Sailed March 2016
Embarkation was a breeze! Arrived at the port at 11am, got checked in and was on the ship by 12pm. Our rooms were ready so we were able to drop off our carry on bags before hitting the Lido deck for lunch. Luggage showed up late afternoon ... Read more

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dznymom
Member Since 2002
2 reviews
1,668 forum post
5 helpful votes
We had a wonderful relaxing cruise, but the Zuiderdam is a little bit tired. We stayed in a Neptune Suite and loved it and the perks that came along with it, specially the free laundry. Embarkation was quick and painless. We arrived ... Read more
2cruiseSue
Member Since 2014
1 review
0 forum posts
6 helpful votes
Sailed March 2016
We have been on 15 previous cruises and this one was far and away the worst. We stayed at the 17th Street Embassy Suites in Ft. Lauderdale the night before embarkation and taxied to Port Everglades for a very smooth process of boarding ... Read more
Sofiebhb
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
4 helpful votes
Sailed March 2016
We had a blast on this cruise with all of the staff. By far the staff made the trip!!! I have traveled the world and our room stewards were the best ever!!! I enjoyed seeing their smiling faces everyday. The ship on the other hand ... Read more
TahoeSierra
Member Since 2008
11 reviews
271 forum posts
8 helpful votes
I will start by saying that I have never been on a cruise that I did not enjoy. We have taken over 40 cruises with 8 different lines. When I write reviews, I tell em as I sees em. We chose this cruise because it started by going to ... Read more
rc9000
Member Since 2004
1 review
25 forum posts
17 helpful votes
Sailed March 2016
Some people must be very difficult to please or be entirely selfish. When I read negative reviews it makes me wonder what would make some of these people happy. This ship is older than some, it does cater to an older clientele, and there ... Read more

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wwrrkd
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
10 helpful votes
Sailed March 2016
When you think of Holland America and know that it has an older crowd, know that on this particular ship the average age is 80. Of the 1800 passengers less than 100 were under the age of 60. Very few were even in their 60s. Almost everyone ... Read more
Griyagray
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
2 helpful votes
Sailed March 2016
Everything you wish a cruise won't be is what this cruise was. The ship itself older but refurbished. Needs to be put out of commission really. Ports advertised were not ports we visited. Nicaragua was cancelled never knew why, ... Read more
konslerg
Member Since 2006
4 reviews
17 forum posts
6 helpful votes
One thing to note: The average age of guests was probably close to 70, much older than other cruises we've been on. Even older than guests on our other HAL cruise. The day going through the Panama Canal was very interesting and ... Read more
NCJean
Member Since 2007
5 reviews
32 forum posts
25 helpful votes
This cruise was the 10-day Sunfarer itinerary, which is a partial transit of the Panama canal with additional calls at: Half Moon Cay; Orenjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. I cruised with my sister; we ... Read more
GWWToronto
Member Since 2014
2 reviews
20 forum posts
11 helpful votes
Upon viewing the exterior of the Zuiderdam while boarding my first impressions were not good. There is rust evident, especially in the mechanisms above the life boats. On the interior there were gaps in the stairway carpeting (as ... Read more

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Iris5383
Member Since 2005
4 reviews
450 forum posts
4 helpful votes
This was the 14th cruise in 16 years for my DH and myself. During the cruise we were awarded our bronze medallion for 100 days on Holland America ships. Pre-cruise we stayed at Best Western Plus, Fort Lauderdale Airport South on ... Read more
getawayfromitall
Member Since 2011
1 review
9 forum posts
3 helpful votes
Sailed February 2016
Arrived at the pier 12:00 noon. Waited on line outside the building for ten minutes, then entered to stand on another line for 20 minutes to get past security check. Waited another 15 minutes to check in and obtain the cruise cards, and ... Read more
Eqhntr78
Member Since 2016
1 review
2 forum posts
8 helpful votes
We took a family cruise on 2/05/16 which consisted of my parents (mid-60's), my sister's family (early 30's with a three year old) and myself and husband (37 & 45). Even my parents said they felt extremely young on this cruise ... Read more
lovetocruise3333
Member Since 2014
2 reviews
0 forum posts
6 helpful votes
We are a couple in their late 50 's traveling with our best friends also in their late fifties. We flew in from New York to Fort laudersdale the day before. We stayed at the Embasssy Suites which is less than a mile from Port Everglades ... Read more
janazombie
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
4 helpful votes
Sailed January 2016
I just love Holland America and would suggest spending the extra $$ to get a balcony suite, preferably a Neptune Suite. Our room and balcony was enormous and we had private "membership" to the Neptune Lounge, which is like ... Read more

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pbnjrockette
Member Since 2008
4 reviews
912 forum posts
2 helpful votes
EMBARKATION—We arrived on an early flight and were in Group 3 to enter the ship. No lines at check-in but had to wait until after 11:30 to board the ship. Our cabin was ready and we went up to Deck 9 Lido for an uncrowded lunch. Was ... Read more
skip.brandy
Member Since 2012
4 reviews
241 forum posts
0 helpful votes
It's the first time we haven't driven down to Florida from Ont. Ca. We flew using the services of HAL, on A/C, we had checked out the air fares before we booked the flight, and the fares were cheaper than what was quoted with A/C, by a ... Read more
Grandpaul
Member Since 2006
2 reviews
10,548 forum posts
3 helpful votes
Sailed December 2015
Recently returned form a 10 day cruise on the Zuiderdam to Aruba, Curacao, Panama Canal and Costa Rica. Some of my favorite places to visit. Our first cruise on the Zuiderdam. We had sailed on the Maasdam a couple months before so being ... Read more
Hflors
Member Since 2003
2 reviews
3,126 forum posts
6 helpful votes
First let me say that I believe that my expectations were way too high. Having read blogs from Bill & Marianne on their world cruise aboard Amsterdam and being on Ryndam last year for the cruise before the "holiday Cruise" ... Read more
Capt Bob
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
6 helpful votes
Sailed December 2015
Having sailed numerous times (over 200 days) on Holland america I think I can safely say they have dropped from a premier cruise line to a mediocre line. Upon arriving I was told that I was only a 3 star Mariner and I could wait with ... Read more

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