This was to be our 5th cruise but our first cruise with Holland and America. This one and the two previous cruises were arranged with a company called Dance Fun who arrange dance cruises. Being avid salsa dancers and lovers of cruises we were in seventh heaven when we discovered we could do both.
All arrangements were handled by them as regard the pre cruise hotel and transport to the ship. We stayed at the Embassy Suites. Our room was huge and well equipped. Breakfast was fantastic with a huge choice of hot and cold food. The decor and service were great.
The Ship was very different to the others we had travelled on in terms of decor. This ship is quietly demur, classy in the old fashioned sense of the word.It reminded me of The Titanic, graceful and old school. The paintings and art work that graced the walls were amazing.
The food and the service from all of the ships crew that we came into contact with were fantastic. Always polite, nothing ever too much trouble, funny and entertaining.
We enjoyed the ports we visited and the panama canal was an extraordinary sight. To be honest we go to salsa dance so shore trips are not a big thing for us, but what was offered was quite a selection and we met a lot of people that really enjoyed the things they did.
We always have a stateroom with a balcony.We love to open the curtains and see land come into view. To sit out on the balcony in the mornings in a bathrobes, sipping tea, champagne etc as a beautiful sunset arises is the most fantastic thing. The bathroom was good the shower powerful. We did have a problem with the loo not flushing properly but that was soon sorted out. As always the steward made all sorts shapes out of the towels, very amusing but what seems to happen on all cruises ships. He was a lovely guy again very friendly and helpful.
The food was incredible and highly recommended we only used the one dining room all holiday but the choice of food could not be faulted. The presentation of food was impeccable as were all the waiter staff.
The entertainment on board that we saw was good. There was a such a good variety of shows and different types of music being played that you couldn't fail to find something to suit. Being with a large salsa crowd with organised salsa music meant we were occupied most of the time with ourselves. We did use the disco late into the night, the operator did come around to the fact that as we were the only people using the disco that she may as well play our stuff.
Disembarkation took ages as we were in the last group to be called. That said it went off like a military operation and was very organised and as we were sat with our salsa group the time soon went.
In summery enjoyed the holiday immensely. However I do feel the Zuiderdam or maybe it was the destination is an older persons ship. We are a couple aged 48 and 49. The average age of everybody else on the ship seemed to be late 60's to 80's. There were lots of slow walking people, wheelchairs and walking aids around. Lots of talk at meal times of ailments and pills !! This was not a problem to us as we were with a large group of like minded, similar age salsa dancers. However if we had gone as a couple on our own I think we may have had to jump overboard!!