So who said "Fun Ships" are only on Carnival???? My wife and I just completed a fantastic week at sea with the incredible staff of the Zuiderdam. I will admit, we could not pronounce the name of this awesome vessel prior to arrival, however it is safe to say that we will never forget it now!!!! I had always perceived HAL to be an elite cruiseline and by all means, it lived up to the hype.
Embarkation was probably the worst part of the cruise, yet I suppose that there really isn't any quick way to board 2,000 passengers. The first thing that stood out about the Zuiderdam was the SERVICE WITH A SMILE. Everyone ...and I mean Everyone....was so nice and treated us with exceptional service.
Of course everyone always talks about the food on ships...........Let me tell you.......The Zuiderdam did not miss a beat. They offer a great variety of foods each night. Both the main dining area and lido buffet were excellent. The restaurant staffs were all awesome. In the buffet, there is this one young man who is simply just "Hunky Dory", or at least that is what he calls himself. He seemed to have learned everyone's name and always brought a smile to all.
The Cruise Director, Dane Bucher, was the BEST!!!! He is funny, classy, and just has a great way about him that makes you feel like you are truly enjoying yourself. The entertainment did not disappoint either. The Zuiderdam Dancers were also very good and put on 3 entertaining productions. On the second night, we thought we might be disappointed when we learned that Joel Mason, an Elton John performer,could not perform. Instead, we were told that a juggler was about to take the stage in his place. My wife, who is not crazy about jugglers was inching towards the exits, but was glad we stayed. Adam Kiro, the juggler/entertainer/comedian was awesome!!!! Tuesday came and we did get to see Joel Mason perform his Elton John show.....and WOW!!!!!! I felt like I really saw an Elton John concert, plus Joel is hilarious!!! Adam and Joel provided my two favorite nights. One of the best talents on board is leaving this week.....his name is Gil...and this guy is going to make it BIG one day!!!!!
The cruise entertainment staff also deserves kudos.........very friendly and very helpful.
As for the cabin........WELL........ours was very clean...the steward ARY was spectacular. I miss him already!!!! The only problem was that our room was located under the Piano Bar. Dam, that Larry and his Piano. He kept us up late most nights. So....make sure you study the deck plans when selecting your cabin.
Half Moon Cay turned out to be a GREAT treat, as I had always heard negative things about private islands. This island offers a ton of space, crystal clear swimming, food, drinks.......It was GREAT!!!
All in all...........the Zuiderdam was GREAT!!!! I hope to return one day :)