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Zuiderdam Cruise Review by RitaJean

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Zuiderdam
Zuiderdam
Member Name: RitaJean
Cruise Date: December 2009
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: British Columbia
Cabin Category:
Cabin Number: 7034
Booking Method: Internet Agency
See More About: Zuiderdam Cruise Reviews | British Columbia Cruise Reviews | Holland America Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5.0 out of 5+
Dining 5.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 4.0
Entertainment 5+
Spa & Fitness 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5.0
Embarkation 5.0
Service 4.0
Value-for-Money 4.0
Rates 4.0
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Ship Facts: Zuiderdam Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Zuiderdam Deck Plans
Pros and cons for the Zuiderdam
Overall it was a good cruise. Below are both Pros and Cons to this experience. This is our 9th cruise; the first one on Holland America

Others: Royal Caribbean; Princess; Celebrity and Costa.

Pros Excellent food Excellent Entertainment Wide variety of shore excursions Appropriately priced excursions Verandah on deck 7: tub -- giving a generous shower area Hair dryer provided in the stateroom Verandah furniture: 2 chairs; one generous ottoman VERY COMFORTABLE BED There is a movable drape to provide a darkened room and eliminate hallway lights from seeping throught the peep hole or the area surrounding the door. Low-key onboard sales. There was not the constant push to buy, buy, buy. We appreciated that. Low-key onboard photos as well. Onboard technology training -- nicely done!

Hydrotherapy Pool -- Pay an extra fee and you have access to this wonderful pool (mineral water -- no chlorine) -- also private access to steam, sauna and heated recliners. This is worth it! We chose this over an excursion on Half-moon Cay. Very wise choice for us.

Cons Room steward: did not provide standard fruit bowl until requested by us. The ship was somewhat rocky -- one of the first times I needed meds for motion sickness. This was actually the smallest ship we have sailed on the Caribbean. Open seating for dinner: the staff did not seem prepared; long wait the first 2 or 3 nights Seems like the level of staff/service was reduced/compromised Unable to adjust the height of the "cocktail" table in the stateroom; steward promised to have it repaired. Never repaired during our cruise; nor did we believe it would be Needed to request Breakfast in-room dining cards from steward after we returned from late dining. It should be in the room.

This was a holiday cruise -- very little was done for the actual holiday. Yes, there were decorations. Very nice. There was a "tree lighting" in the atrium -- rather small tree, but adequate. What was missing: something special. We have been spoiled by Royal Caribbean that offerred midnight buffets, singing (we did have singing in the Atrium on the Zuiderdam); on RC we had received a full set of RC luggage -- rolling carryon and a snack pack -- on HAL we received a canvas tote; it lacked pageantry. This is the what people seek on holiday cruises. They are charged a premium and should receive a premium. This ship seemed very understaffed, but the staff was polite and generally patient.

Inadequate communication: there was a fabulous dessert buffet -- no one knew about it! Therefore it was poorly attended.

Finally: Many of the permanent furniture and fixtures are showing wear. HAL needs to consider updating -- SOON.


Publication Date: 01/11/10
Read the British Columbia ports review by RitaJean
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