This was our first Alaska Cruise after 14 Caribbean cruises(as we live in Florida).
It was also our first HAL experience after having cruised with all other cruise companies.Zaandam has been the smallest size ship in all our travels.
Our 7 day southbound started off in Seward Alaska, a lovely port.The embarkation was great. Our room was very nice. Large bath with a tub.The room and the service was immaculate (as on all ships).The food at the LIDO was comparable with other ships (mediocre).The LIDO waiter/table service was EXCELLENT. But the food servers behind the sneeze guards were VERY RUDE, not paying attention because they were not listening and restless. Most of them made the passengers feel as they were begging for food slipped from under the sneeze guards.The deserts were cordoned off !! I have witnessed the mess and waste created by a lot of passengers in our previous cruises and I can understand the sanity issues and avoiding waste. But on our Zaandam cruise of 8/26 - 9/2 the Lido food service was rude and rushed.It was the only one REALLY BAD experience The dining room reception and waiter service was great (as on many ships).Our waiters ANHAR and AAM were 1st class.Tried to please us anyway they could. But the menu choices were extemely limited. The food was so-so.Some were good, some were left untouched,especially any and all soups !! Worst soups ever !!!
Regarding the number and age average of the passengers the small pool and 2 hot tubs were never over crowded.The cleanliness of the ship was SUPER.All the port calls were timely. The captain was generous in stopping,spending time at the Glacier Bay and cruising down the inside passage.
The piano bars, the Crow's nest were all great. The library was very nice and accomodating. The shows and entertainement were poor.The casino was pathetic
for slot machine players. The shops were not up to par compared with the larger ships.
OVERALL we had a PLEASENT CRUISE on ZAANDAM. The total price of our 7 day cruise
was almost equal to one of the excursions we took.CRUISES are the BEST VALUE Vacations.