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Zuiderdam Cruise Review by RitaJean: Pros and cons for the Zuiderdam

Zuiderdam 5
Member Since 2006
6 Forum Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 4.0
Dining 5.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities 4.0
Entertainment 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Rates 4.0
Service 4.0
Shore Excursions 5.0
Value for Money 4.0

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Pros and cons for the Zuiderdam

Sail Date: December 2009
Destination: British Columbia
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

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 More 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. Less

Published 01/11/10

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Cabin review: 7034

The bed was very comfortable. We had heard that light coming through the cracks of the door and the peep hole had been a problem. there is a pull drape that allows you to cover that -- the room is quite dark. We had no problems with the drapes at the verandah. It was a comfortable room however the cocktail table should be raised or lowered however this was broken during our stay. It was never repaired. Bathroom: There is a tub. This made the shower area more expansive than other stall showers on other ships. This is a definite plus. Furniture: Has a dated look. There is a lighted makeup mirror at the vanity/desk. ASK FOR THE FRUIT BOWL. This is a standard feature, but missing from our stateroom until we requested it.

Port and Shore Excursions

Our first visit to Aruba: it was okay.

Read 773 Aruba Reviews

One of our favorites. A delightful stop -- very colorful. Unfortunately it was a holiday and many shops closed early. We took a bus tour -- over 3 hours and enjoyed it immensely.

Read 569 Curacao Reviews

We have embarked through Port Everglades previously. There was an outbreak of flu on the Zuiderdam; there was a 3 hour delay because the ship was totally disinfected. Interestingly: You could see evidence of the antiseptic on the glass and brass items throughout the ship -- but there were 2 pieces of bar soap left in our cabin. That's definitely a no-no.

Many people were annoyed by the delay.

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