My husband and I were really enjoying our first cruise with Holland America aboard the Zuiderdam. It is a smaller ship than our previous cruises, so we could feel more rocking, but we were fine even though we usually get motion sickness very easily. The ship is not as new and fancy as some we have been on, but is well-maintained and decorated nicely. Our cabin was close to the aft elevators on deck 4, which was very convenient. The elevators were very fast and hardly ever crowded. Most of the time we were the only ones on the elevator. There are also 2 midship elevators facing outside that have glass so that you can see the ocean as you ride them.
The crew on this ship were very helpful and friendly - they went out of their way to speak to you or help you. We saw many of them helping the older people carry their food and drinks to their tables. The front desk staff were very nice and we never saw a long line there.
The television in the room is not very big and it is in the corner of the room instead of by the bed, so it was a little hard to see. There is a DVD player under it, and you can get movies from the front desk to watch. If you have a verandah room, the movies are free. They have a Ship Flicks book with all of the movie choices available. We also saw a movie in their theater room. The room is pretty small and has big, comfortable chairs to sit in, but doesn't accommodate very many people, so you have to get a seat early if you want to watch in there. They also have little bags of popcorn available, which was fun.
We really enjoyed the beach at Half Moon Cay and snorkeling at Arashi Beach in Aruba. We took the public bus instead of a taxi. The bus station is only a couple of blocks from the port and cost $2.30 per person each way. The bus to Arashi Beach runs once an hour and it took about 30 minutes to get to the beach. Excellent snorkeling and lots of fish.
When we arrived at Curacao we got a call from home that my husband's sister was in the hospital and not expected to make it through the week. We went to the front desk to notify them that we had to leave, and they were EXTREMELY helpful in making our flight and hotel arrangements as well as a taxi to pick us up from the ship. We were unable to complete our cruise, but we did make it back to see our loved one before she passed away. We are grateful to the ship's staff, and we are planning to to take the cruise again later this year.