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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 >>

364 Holland America Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

Cruiser rating
Excellent
170
Very Good
69
Average
58
Poor
40
Terrible
18
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First-Time Cruisers
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Rating Summary
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Entertainment
Value for Money
Service
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
nebraskacorn
Member Since 2012
1 review
12 forum posts
0 helpful votes
We had read several negative reviews of this ship, we had a wonderful experience! Yes, some of the soft goods were a little worn (i.e. scratched leather furniture) but the elegance of the ship more than compensated for wear and tear. We ... Read more
Flshelley
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed November 2015
Our travel agent advised us that this cruise line attracts mature travelers. Being recently retired, I assumed that meant 50's and 60's. I think we were among the youngest ones on the cruise. Watch out for the ones on the mobile scooters! ... Read more
Sstylechild
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed November 2015
Our 9th cruise, and 2nd on Holland America was just O.K. The food was Buffet Restaurant quality at best, ( think Golden Corral, Old Country Buffet). Dining room service was not quite up to par as I've experienced on most other cruise ... Read more
sasysutler
Member Since 2005
20 reviews
4,464 forum posts
1 helpful vote
This was the 2nd time on Zuiderdam as mom wanted to see the Panama Canal AGAIN. Embarkation was a breeze, and right to our room at noon. The ship is easy to manuver around, but even with an update she is nothing special. All the ... Read more

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Myra W. Darwish
Member Since 2011
1 review
9 forum posts
2 helpful votes
Intro: I wanted to share how our trip on the Zuiderdam, which sailed Nov. 9th to Nov. 20th from Ft, Lauderdale, FL, was an overall positive and memorable experience for us. We typically plan a year in advance, but this go around, we waited ... Read more
grammy119
Member Since 2015
1 review
47 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed October 2015
We previously sailed with HAL to Alaska. That was almost flawless so we were disappointed in the Veendam and some of the shore excursions. The cruise began with electrical problems on the ship which delayed our departure from FL by over ... Read more
DeeVeeCS
Member Since 2015
1 review
1 forum post
0 helpful votes
My wife and I booked a balcony stateroom on deck 6. This was our first cruise with Holland America and our 7th overall. Rather than trying to comment on every aspect of the experience, what I will focus on is what we particularly liked ... Read more
aamons
Member Since 2014
2 reviews
56 forum posts
2 helpful votes
First off, overall the service and attention to detail was excellent. The names of the dining room staff people who impressed us with their professionalism and friendliness and excellent service were Presty Sumitra, assistant dining room ... Read more
Prof Don
Member Since 2015
3 reviews
0 forum posts
1 helpful vote
I have been to Panama before, but this voyage showed me a whole new way of seeing Central America. Our first port was Cartagena, Colombia, then through the Canal to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and on to San Diego. From the ... Read more

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Prof Don
Member Since 2015
3 reviews
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
I have been to Panama before, but this voyage showed me a whole new way of seeing Central America. Our first port was Cartagena, Colombia, then through the Canal to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and on to San Diego. From the ... Read more
nana2many
Member Since 2010
6 reviews
0 forum posts
1 helpful vote
Sailed April 2015
This was our first cruise on HAL. I had pretty high expectations and was not disappointed. Embarkation was late starting due to Coast Guard not having cleared the ship. We learned it was just returning from dry dock and required Coast ... Read more
sgutierrez
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
The rating of this ship is generous according to reviews. Service was awful to non existing. Out of 14 nights in dining room my husband only had one night where his iced tea or water was refilled. Gone are the days where customers ... Read more
dandk%*
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed April 2015
My husband and I did this first cruise together and on HA. We stayed at the Best Western/Cruise Location in Fort Lauderdale the night before, it was super. They had a shuttle to the ship and got us there by 10:30 AM, great staff at ... Read more
old car guy
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed April 2015
The food was excellent and the entertainment was great. Got to score that as close as possible to 10 out of 10. The port and shore excursions could have also been 10 out of 10 if San Diego was not included on the list. What a dirty place. ... Read more

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canadianbear
Member Since 2009
2 reviews
1,717 forum post
0 helpful votes
Stateroom staff: best we have ever had, thank you to Rohman & Roni-they anticipated our needs and the first day we asked for something specific to be done every day and they never forgot. Great job! They always kept our fruit bowl ... Read more
ChesterLocksley
Member Since 2015
3 reviews
0 forum posts
1 helpful vote
This was a trip of a lifetime for me. at the age of 12 year i was intrigued by the panama canal and finally at the age of 64 years i was going to experience it. Veendam was just wonderful. nice size, very comfortable, fantastic crew, ... Read more
aginglawyer
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed April 2015
PROS: 1. The dining staff and cabin staff are wonderful and will do anything to help you. Cheerful and sincere. 2. There are few lines for anything, even with a relatively full ship. 3. Embarkation and disembarkation at all ... Read more
Darshan1
Member Since 2009
12 reviews
24 forum posts
1 helpful vote
Though this is a negative review, there were several highlights on this sailing and excellent staff members including Angeli and Monica at guest services; our stewards, Hasan and Bambang; and Lisa, the ship’s enrichment lecturer. In ... Read more
baido
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Very disappointed in port visits. Ship was late leaving port, we missed two ports completely and others cut short. Management first blamed ocean current issues from prior voyage, then later generator issues. Kept changing what was ... Read more
Helpful? Thank baido

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beval
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed February 2015
First time ever cruisers so have only anecdotes from friends who are more seasoned cruisers and our own expectations to base our comments on. Staff and service were excellent, definitely a strong point for HAL. Entertainment was ... Read more
Helpful? Thank beval
Exseadog
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
This was our 8th cruise with 5 different companies and was our worst ever cruise experience. I therefore wrote detailed letter to Mr Stein Cruise, President and CEO, and awaited a reply before commenting. The response from a ‘Special ... Read more
timbocruise
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed February 2015
Along with other people who have posted reviews on this cruise we were really unhappy with this cruise, particularly with the reasons given for all the alterations. I believe these all stemmed from the fact that the ship could not make ... Read more
Grammy Sims
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Everything about this cruise was GREAT!!!! Ship was clean, staff was excellent and friendly, excursions were good. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone wanting a fun relaxing vacation. The onboard entertainment was mediocre but ... Read more
tennisgal65
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
As others have already noted, the Panama Canal cruise on the Veendam from Ft, Lauderdale to San Diego, departing Feb. 21 was a huge disappointment. Due to the many missed ports (blamed on engine problems), we basically paid a lot of money ... Read more

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