Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox
Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Zaandam Cruise Review by World_Citizen: Beautiful Alaska


World_Citizen
3 Reviews
Member Since 2007
35 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 1.0
Dining 4.0
Embarkation 4.0
Enrichment Activities 3.0
Entertainment 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Rates 4.0
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions Not Rated
Value for Money 5.0

Compare Prices on Zaandam Alaska Cruises

Beautiful Alaska

Sail Date: May 2012
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Seward

We are relatively-seasoned cruisers, having cruised eight times (three with HAL). We spent five days in Alaska prior to boarding; highlights included the stunning scenic rail journey from Anchorage to Seward as well as a 5-hour Kenai Fjords wildlife tour aboard Major Marines' Star of the Northwest. Our land portion was planned independently. We recommend the Hotel Seward, which was comfortable and friendly.

Embarkation in Seward took about 45 minutes. We settled into our cabin and then celebrated on the Lido deck with our traditional sailaway bucket of beer. :-) The Zaandam felt like "home" to us, having sailed on other HAL ships. We like the Dutch maritime theme of HAL ships. It was spotless, and the staff was exceptionally friendly and pleasant. (A shout out to Komang and Marivic ~ second to none!) Also, the Internet expert in the Explorer's lounge was a big help.
Cruising the Gulf of Alaska was not notable, as it was a grey day, and there was nothing to see. However, More our day scenic cruising in Glacier Bay was outstanding! We were blessed with sunny, comfortable weather, and our ship was able to spend a lot of time at the glaciers. Superlatives fail me ~ suffice it to say that it was exceptional, memorable, and very very special. We will never forget seeing and hearing the glaciers.

We did not book any shore excursions; in ports, we simply ventured out on our own.
Our stateroom was disappointing. In an effort to save money, we booked a "no-view oceanview" cabin on the lower promenade deck. While it was clean, we kept the drapes drawn most of the time due to passersby. It seemed small to us, and it was located under a noisy galley. However, the worst part was that mid-cruise we endured a disconcerting mechanical malfunction: we were awakened at midnight when a pipe burst above our room, and water began pouring into our cabin through the sprinkler. Luckily, it soaked the carpet and not our belongings or the bed. The staff moved us to a (noisy) inside cabin for the night while they fixed the problem, and they also provided a token credit on our bill to compensate for the incident. Next time we would spend more and book a more comfortable cabin.

I thought the food was good; however, my husband felt that it wasn't as good as usual. We both very much enjoyed the Mariner's lunch (braised short ribs) as well as our dinner at the Pinnacle Grill.

The Zaandam Singers and Dancers performed three entertaining musical reviews with Broadway, love, and southern themes. They did a good job. We also thoroughly enjoyed Julie Barr, a stand-up comedienne. Chris Cruz was great on guitar (he even played a little Dave Matthews for us!) Bill "the piano guy" did a good job as well.

Disembarkation in Vancouver was a snap.

We enjoyed our Alaska cruise immensely and would cruise with HAL again in a heartbeat! Less


Read more Zaandam cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic's Zaandam Review >>

Cabin review: Zaandam Large Fully Obstructed Oceanview Lower Promenade 3386

Our stateroom was disappointing. In an effort to save money, we booked a "no-view oceanview" cabin on the lower promenade deck. While it was clean, we kept the drapes drawn most of the time due to passersby. It seemed small to us, and it was located under a noisy galley. However, the worst part was that mid-cruise we endured a disconcerting mechanical malfunction: we were awakened at midnight when a pipe burst above our room, and water began pouring into our cabin through the sprinkler. Luckily, it soaked the carpet and not our belongings or the bed. The staff moved us to a (noisy) inside cabin for the night while they fixed the problem, and they also provided a token credit on our bill to compensate for the incident. Next time we would spend more and book a more comfortable cabin.

Port and Shore Excursions


Haines is small and sleepy, but a great place to toddle around. (Don't miss the Pioneer Bar/Bamboo Restaurant and the Hammer Museum!)
Read 40 Haines Reviews

In Juneau, we connected with an old friend who showed us around (Mendenhall Glacier, Alaskan Brewery, beaches, and more). The sunny weather was a great surprise!
Read 841 Juneau Reviews

In historic Ketchikan, we took an independent 2-hour tour that we booked right there at the port. This proved to be a great introduction to the area. After the tour, we explored the town on our own. We recommend Annabelle's for a nice meal and some libations! Again, we enjoyed sunny weather.

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.