We enjoyed the Zaandam very much - it was the perfect size- about 1400 passengers I think. One of the real pluses of the 14 days was that every at-sea day (9 of them if you count getting to Ensenada in the evening the last night) our guide Kainoa gave two talks - 1/2 hour in the am and about 45 minutes at 2 pm - on Hawaii, which is his native state. He talked about everything from geology, to history, to the hula. We went to them all - he was also available all the time on the ship for questions. The entertainment staff was perhaps the best overall we have had in 12 cruises - especially the dance staff.
The food was very good - our vote for best escargot and best lobster on our 12 cruises - maybe a bit too many sauces, but I learned to order simple cuts of meat, etc. I did not like the lamb chops, but loved the baked brie. Casual dining was not overly-crowded and the food was very good. Cannot comment on the special buffets as we avoid them, only eating 3 meals, breakfast and lunch in the Lido, dinner in the dining room and sometimes cookies or sundaes at snack time.
Best meal of the cruise was in the Canneletto Dining area- it is no-extra-charge, but you should make a reservation. The chicken marsala was so good we went back for more another night. And tiramisu dessert was extra-special.
All service on the ship was very good and with a friendly smile. We travel to relax and enjoyed the promenade deck chairs as often as we could - also enjoyed getting exercise on the wrap-around promenade deck.
We really had no problems aboard except for a water problem in the cabin which was addressed and fixed the same day and a light bulb that was replaced immediately. One problem on the ship seems to be the TV remote control which did not work very well and several have mentioned on other reviews. We hardly ever watch the TV in our cabins, so it was not a big deal.
It was a great two weeks - this was our first HAL cruise.