We have sailed to Hawaii on the Zaandam before. We were thrilled to see Michael Headla was still the cruise director and Kainoa DelaCruz was still on as the explorations expert. These two gentlemen are fantastic ambassadors for HAL. They set a bar that we have yet to see met on any other cruise we have taken. We found there was value added on this cruise, compliments of the explorations team. An astrologist gave lectures each day and then spent two evenings out on deck star gazing with us. DJ Steve and Daffyd, the professional photographer collaborated and ran a 10 day digital scavenger hunt that had you taking photos of staff, items on board as well as on shore and allowed you to meet and interact with people you might never had got to know or meet before. The event planner Amanda conducted the normal HAL events but she was so professional and knowledgeable that they were a delight to attend and every day there was standing room only.
You are never going to see zip lines on a HAL ship, but you know that before you board. What they do offer is gracious surroundings, excellent service and relaxing atmospheres.
This cruise had an added bonus, the captain is a young vibrant man who was approachable, pleasant and very visible the entire cruise. It seemed to set precedence for the rest of the officers and department heads. The two head chefs walked through the dining areas daily speaking with their staff and with guests making everyone very relaxed. The waiting staff and room stewards go out of their way to make you comfortable, joke with you and attend to your every wish.