Holland America Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

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Holland America Line

Cruise Critic Overview

  • Traditional cruising experience with modern touches
  • Around-the-world sailings offered
  • Extensive dining options and enrichment programs
  • Read full overview >>
414 Holland America Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews
Cruiser rating
Excellent
187
Very Good
86
Average
65
Poor
44
Terrible
23
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Rating Summary
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Entertainment
Value for Money
Service
beadercat
Member Since 2012
1 review
4 forum posts
Sailed March 2017
We wanted to do the Panama Canal cruise from Ft Lauderdale to San Diego. We did the cruise before from San Diego to Ft Lauderdale in 2010. All different stops except 2. (Guatemala and Puerto Chiapas) Enjoyed all the ports and ... Read more
Phyllis Bailey
Member Since 2017
1 review
Sailed March 2017
This ship is so old that things are forever going wrong. The toilets throughout the ship did not work (fortunately not all at the same time). The ceiling in the buffet dining room needed to be mopped constantly or we would have been ... Read more
Beach Basket
Member Since 2005
1 review
14 forum posts
2 helpful votes
Sailed March 2017
After reading all of the negative reviews on Cruise Critic we were a little concerned about this ship. However, the date for the Panama Canal Cruis worked perfectly for us so we booked it. The ship is 21 years old and in reasonably good ... Read more
Reefnut
Member Since 2011
2 reviews
3 helpful votes
Sailed March 2017
Embarkation was smooth and seamless HAL has everything well coordinated. Our balcony cabin was the same as all signature class ships but our Room stewards were great. Matter of fact as we have come to expect with HAL the entire crew was ... Read more
BioincJohn
Member Since 2017
1 review
4 helpful votes
The cruise was chosen because it went the whole length of the Panama Canal and we wished to visit the ports on the Pacific and in the Caribbean. To that end, we thoroughly enjoyed the climate, environment, people and places all very new ... Read more
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Alberta Traveller
Member Since 2017
1 review
2 helpful votes
We chose MS Westerdam for our Panama trip, decidedly for the itinerary. The number and destination of ports compared to cruise duration was exactly what we wanted. All the stops were very interesting. We booked several shore excursions, ... Read more
Chartinger
Member Since 2017
1 review
13 helpful votes
Sailed February 2017
For years we have discussed doing a Panama Canal trip, having visited most of the Caribbean islands on other cruises. This was a 10 day, which is on the outer limit of what my wife and I consider, especially with a lot of sea time. We ... Read more
bfgood2
Member Since 2016
1 review
9 forum posts
5 helpful votes
We chose this cruise for the interesting itinerary and the full transit of the Canal on a smaller ship. We were not disappointed - our 3rd HAL cruise. Food was very good, as usual, ship is spotless and beautiful and crew are outstanding. ... Read more
txernurse
Member Since 2017
1 review
1 forum post
4 helpful votes
Sailed January 2017
We chose this cruise for the Panama Canal destination. Although the Zuiderdam is an older dated ship, it still provided that smaller mid-size ship that we love. We prefer to cruise on HAL due to the "older" crowd and less loud ... Read more
Ladyrdhd
Member Since 2017
1 review
13 helpful votes
Sailed January 2017
My boyfriend and I both wanted to experience Central America and go through the Panama Canal. For Christmas he surprised me with a cruise. He had experienced Holland America cruising before, and raved about it. This was my first time on ... Read more
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Gigigigigigigigi
Member Since 2016
2 reviews
15 helpful votes
The itinerary and time of year. Very very old ship ! Cabin smelled upon entering eyes watered and sinuses hurt after 24 hours. It took a total of 3 days for them to look into the filter going into the cabin. It was almost black !! ... Read more
ekkc10753
Member Since 2009
1 review
267 forum posts
18 helpful votes
Sailed January 2017
As background, we are 3 star Mariners in our early 60's with no experience whatsoever with any other cruise line and we chose this cruise because of its itinerary: Panama Canal, Costa Rica, and Colombia. It was also extremely last minute, ... Read more
Bob Jordan
Member Since 2017
1 review
13 helpful votes
We sailed the first leg of the 2017 World Cruise, disembarking in San Diego. Overall experience was pleasant, but we had to overlook inconsistent food, a musty smell in our stateroom, and a toilet that malfunctioned three times. The ship ... Read more
Hillsy
Member Since 2017
1 review
10 helpful votes
Sailed January 2017
First of all the ship itself was excellent if a little dated in places, food and choice was excellent. Ports of call, especially Cartagena and the Panama canal outstanding. My wife and i thought the entertainment was just OK,with the ... Read more
JazzCruiser17
Member Since 2017
1 review
8 helpful votes
We selected this cruise to travel with friends during the holidays, and we wanted to go through the Panama Canal. The Veendam was a nice size ship and easy to get around. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth, because the ship was not ... Read more
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flyingdutchman6989
Member Since 2013
2 reviews
13 forum posts
23 helpful votes
Our holiday cruise with family, aboard the Hell-ship Veendam Maru, from 20 Dec 2016 - 4 Jan 2017, was truly a cruise from hell. It was marked by a series of unfortunate events day after day, that began with two USCG helicopter medical ... Read more
jpatrick1
Member Since 2009
1 review
1 forum post
24 helpful votes
I am amazed at all of the petty complaints that I have read here and overheard on the ship. One guest referred to the food as "hospital food" another complained about the taste of the ice. There were other complaints too ... Read more
Reomeo
Member Since 2016
1 review
12 helpful votes
Sailed December 2016
Living in Florida we've been on several Carribean cruises and looked forward to the Panama Canal and it's Pacific ports. The size of the Veendam was great. Easy to get around on and not too crowded. The ship does show it's age. The crew ... Read more
CookGirl
Member Since 2014
6 reviews
2 forum posts
13 helpful votes
This was my 7th Holland America cruise and probably the last. Holland America has become the Macy's of the cruise industry. They hope to attract Nordstrom clientelle while offering Penny's level service. First, let's start with the ... Read more
davidlegrandpont
Member Since 2016
1 review
3 helpful votes
We chose this cruise with the purpose of experiencing the Panama Canal. Cruise ships are not my favourite way to travel but this was a good option as we were traveling with an older relative. The veendam is a mid-sized ship and we think ... Read more
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jwh0002
Member Since 2017
1 review
7 helpful votes
We chose this cruise for two reasons, to set foot in South America and to see the Panama Canal. This cruise met both of those criteria but both were disappointing. The stop in Cartagena on the 11 day version of the trip met the South ... Read more
Dr. ECU
Member Since 2011
1 review
25 forum posts
22 helpful votes
Sailed November 2016
We chose to cruise on the Zuiderdam ship because it went to the Southern Caribbean, Central America, and the Panama Canal. The price was excellent for a long cruise. We had a great cruise with no real issues. I had read some rather ... Read more
Snickeldad
Member Since 2011
1 review
3 helpful votes
Sailed November 2016
We had a great cruise to the Southern Caribbean and the Panama Canal. The Zuiderdam was an older ship, but still in great shape. It is also smaller and this is what we preferred for this cruise. The staff from top to bottom was ... Read more
skpdavis
Member Since 2012
3 reviews
10 helpful votes
My Wife and I recently went on an 11 day Caribbean Cruise with Holland America N.V. aboard the Zuiderdam from Fort Lauderdale through Aruba, Curacao, Cartagena, Colon, and Puerto Limon from 9 through 20 November. This was our third trip ... Read more
piper
Member Since 2003
1 review
291 forum posts
8 helpful votes
Sailed November 2016
This was our first HAL cruise. We had been told that the service on HAL was better than other lines and we have to agree. The staff seems genuinely happy with being their and doing their job. Our cabin steward was rarely seen, but ... Read more
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