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Zuiderdam Cruise Review by SailNC: Great itinerary but the ship not so much

Zuiderdam 0
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Great itinerary but the ship not so much

Sail Date: October 2013
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

We just returned on November 8th from a Panama Canal cruise on MS Zuiderdam. We were in Suite 7065, right across from the Neptune Lounge and had minimal air conditioning the entire cruise. What should've been an awesome cruise was diminished quite a bit by the discomfort we experienced. The concierge ladies were quite sympathetic but said that the engineers had told them that there was nothing that could be done, that the a/c was operating at full capacity. Since there was barely a whisper of air coming out of either of the vents, we found that awfully hard to believe. Tests were performed three times daily that indicated that our room was two degrees less than the "Acceptable Range". The solution was to give us an oscillating fan which effectively did nothing except keep the air moving. When we showered, the cabin was almost unbearably warm and we started perspiring as soon as we got out of the shower. And this was showering with cool water!!

We were interested to learn that More many others were experiencing a/c problems; DH saw the concierge's list and it seemed as though there were at least 10 suites having problems and were being checked several times each day. Since this was not a new problem to the ship, why has it not been taken care of?? How can HAL allow this sort of situation to continue, especially in light of what we and others paid to go on this cruise?

Additionally, we too were underwhelmed by the Pinnacle Grill service. The food was delicious but the service was incredibly slow. Near the end of our meal (with friends), all of us had nearly empty water glasses. When we asked for more water, the server filled one of the four glasses and walked away! We had to call him back to specifically ask him to fill the rest of the glasses! What is that about? And when we went to leave, not one staff member spoke to us; in fact, there wasn't really anyone around that seemed to care whether we enjoyed our meal or wished us an enjoyable evening. Not at all what we've come to expect from Holland America.

We did have excellent room stewards and our server in the Lower Vista dining room was outstanding. We had a wonderful time on the cruise but our overall experience would have been much improved by having proper air conditioning. Less

Published 11/20/13

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Cabin review:

The room was quite lovely with a good size verandah but the lack of a/c was quite troublesome. Our room stewards kept it immaculately clean and were wonderful about responding to our requests.

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