This was our 30+ cruise, 4 on HAL. I chose this for the itinerary as I always wanted to see the canal. Well we got there and it was a great sight to see. To think that man built this from a swamp 100 years ago is awesome.
The ship. The Zuiderdam is a very nice size ship, easy to get around in with a very nice pass to size ratio. The interior of the ship is what you would expect, some ware and tare with areas in need of a spruce up. Most of the wicker look alike stuff on the outside should be put in a dumpster ASAP. The aft pool deck had one hot tub out and one 50/50. The lounge chairs looked like they came from a dumpster. There is some sort of AC problem as parts of the ship is OK and parts are very hot. Also the ship seems stuck in the 60,s to me. That's the decor and I am sure lots like it alto I did not care for it.
The Crew. They were great in all areas. We were a party of 8, I found the service in the MDR to be very slow. The waiter was running around best he could. He said 8 people were just cut there.
Food. Was as you would expect, I call it wedding food. Some things very good others so so. Nothing was bad or had to be sent back. We really liked the Lido and the Italian Rest. Alto the Pinnacle was good, I would expect this level in the MDR, it was not worth the up charge. What you got extra was lots of dinnerware, glasses and plates. When I asked for lobster and steak they wanted another 10$.
Entertainment. Saw most of it, all was good. I miss the ships band at the shows as HAL uses caned music. I find that to be very tacky.
Overall. Loved the itinerary however I would not chose this ship again.