Zuiderdam Cruise Review by officer20: Overall Average Cruise
Overall Member Rating
Overall Average Cruise
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
FLL to Port Everglades: This was no problem at all. We decided not to pay the expensive Holland America transfer and got a taxi at the airport. For three people, our fair was $15 total and it took us only a few minutes to get there.
Ship: I found the Zuiderdam to be in ok condition. It is starting to show some wear on the interior, but is mostly in good condition. Some tables have some wear and tear, as do handrails. The carpeting is wearing in some locations, but is mostly unnoticeable.
Room: We stayed in 5037 which is a verandah stateroom. I found it to be of average size for a cruise ship - nothing great, nothing terrible. Our cabin steward was fantastic and always had our room in top shape.
Entertainment: I found this underwhelming. They did have some good shows - a couple funny comedians, an ok magician, and the Zuiderdam Singers/Dancers had good shows. I didn't feel there were a lot of options though. On other cruises, there may be 2, 3, 4 or 5 More different things to do at any one time. On the Zuiderdam, there were really only 1 or 2 things going on at a time, and if you weren't into whatever that was, you were out of luck. I just found it a step below other cruise lines in that regard.
Guest Age: For whatever reason, the average age on this cruise was like 75 or maybe older. I'm 33, but even my 63 year old mother thought the average age was "too old." I've heard that Holland America, for whatever reason, attracts a much older crowd - in my experience it was true, and actually detracted a little bit from the experience. I did appreciate that there were no headbanging parties or bunches of kids running around, but there also weren't even many middle aged adults "running around."
Casino: I have never seen a casino as tight as this one. It was also small, even for a cruise ship. They had the worst payout ratio I've ever seen on video poker - 6/5. If that doesn't mean anything to you, it takes their edge from about 0.1% to about 5%, which is the lowest I'm even aware of. I played $30, promptly lost, and never went back. I'm sure the video poker was indicative of the tightness of the rest of the machines.
Staff: The staff were all phenomenal, as is typical on cruise ships in my experience. They were all friendly, helpful, and professional.
Food: I typically like everything, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I loved the food. Everything from main dining room steak, lamb, and chicken to the lido deck buffets of pizza, pasta, cookies, sandwhiches, etc. Fantastic. I also really enjoyed breakfasts. Great selections from eggs, pancakes, waffles, breakfast sandwiches, fruits, rolls, danishes, juices, bacon, cereals, you name it - they had it.
Overall: It would be really something to not enjoy 10 days in the Caribbean with a very well trained, courteous staff. I did enjoy my overall time on the Zuiderdam. I just would try a different cruise line next time for these main reasons:
1) Not enough options for activities onboard
2) Advanced average age of passengers
3) Remarkably tight casino Less
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Cabin review: 5037
Room: We stayed in 5037 which is a verandah stateroom. I found it to be of average size for a cruise ship - nothing great, nothing terrible. The bathroom having a tub was nice because the shower is probably a little bigger than your average cruise ship shower - so no shower curtain trying to stick to your body. Our cabin steward was fantastic and always had our room in top shape.
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