Had this been the first HAL ship we ever sailed on we would never choose HAL again! To start with the first 3 days of the cruise the toilets in our cabin as well as the toilets in many of the public areas were not working! It took that long for the crew to fix the problem! The shower water in our veranda cabin was either boiling hot or extra boiling hot! When I complained to guest services they said they will send someone to check it out. It took three days and a demand to speak to a supervisor before a plumber came & changed the water assembly in the shower. On the second day of the cruise we could not open the veranda door to go out on the veranda. That took another two days and a demand again to speak to a supervisor to finally get it repaired as the lock inside the door assembly had broken. But unfortunately when we did go out on our veranda the couple next door was smoking so much that we had to retreat to our cabin because we could not stop coughing. HAL you could easily More
remedy this by putting smokers in a separate area of the ship so they don't destroy non-smokers vacations! And why is there smoking in the Casino which is open to the rest of the ship and between the dining room and the Vista Lounge where all the shows are? Also we were told three separate times that there was no credit card on file, while I checked us in well before sailing, and got demands each time to put a hold on my credit card for a total of $3000 hold on my card, even though I paid for the trip and had on board credits to cover everything well before we sailed?
The service in the Lido dining room was terrible. There were long lines for everything and no one would offer any help. There were servers who stood around and all they would do was cleanup the tables. When I asked if they would bring water or coffee I was pointed to long lines to wait on even for water!
The only ship's tour I took was the sunset cruise in Aruba which was fine. I heard many disgruntled comments about the ships tours at the other stops. And one couple was much happier with their tour with Lucky tours, not through the ship, in one of the ports. They said the tour guide was far superior to their previous tour with HAL's company.
This ship is old and showing its age!
As for the shows in the Vista Lounge, they were Ok but many seats were unusable as they were behind large columns so unless you came very early to the show you would not get a viewing seat. Since we tried to eat at 7 pm, we tried to make the 8:30pm show, by the time we finished dinner & got to the show there were plenty of seats but none where you could see the show without a column in your way.
I must commend the maitre'd's in the Vista dining room, anytime dining, as well as our waitstaff, Bennie and Joko and the head chef, Ugo. They went out of their way for us as my husband could not eat certain foods and the food was quite good.
We sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam last August from Venice to Barcelona. That ship was managed far superior to the Zuiderdam! Never again on a ship older than three years in this fleet!! Less
Zuiderdam Cruises to the Panama Canal & Central America
The cabin storage and size was fine. But the toilet didn't work for three days, the water assembly had to be changed in the shower and the veranda door wouldn't open for two days until it was fixed. Also HAL may put smokers in the cabin next to you, they did put 2 chain smokers in cabin 5025, so if you are a non-smoker you're in trouble and will not be able to use your veranda!