“Some Good, Some Bad”
Cruise review of Holland America Zuiderdam

Indy5404 Zuiderdam 3 Some Good, Some Bad
Indy5404
Member Since 2011
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The Zuiderdam is showing her age. Worn carpeting, broken toilet flush buttons, rust around the ship and leaks dripping from the ceilings onto the floor pretty much sums it up. These were not the norm, but they were observed on this cruise.

My stateroom attendant was outstanding, as was the front desk staff. Water Aerobics was fun but crowded. The Screening room has big, comfortable chairs but I was disappointed there was no popcorn. The Explorations Cafe was clean and well supplied with books. Public areas were generally clean but looked worn. The public restrooms were sometimes in need of attention. The bars and Lounges that I visited were clean and the service was good. The Spa was clean and well cared for. Very good service and friendly staff.

The food was where the cruise line fell down.

We used As You Wish Dining because fixed dining was full. It was terrible. Unorganized and confused, the waitstaff was clearly undermanned and poorly trained. The food was just OK, nothing special. The presentation was well done, however. It was pretty, just not very tasty.

The Lido restaurant was generally a mess. Tables were dirty and I had to wipe down more than one before I could put my plate down and eat. They usually only had one side open at a time so it was crowded and the lines were long. The buffet was not generally self serve and it was obvious to me and most passengers I spoke with that the servers would have rather been somewhere else. A few were smiling and friendly, but most of them acted distant and unhappy. When they handed you your plate, the food was just slapped on it. I wiped the rim of my plate almost every time. My morning oatmeal was dripping over the side most mornings when they handed me my bowl.

Silverware was difficult to find. Sometimes they had it piled on a tray and you had to go find the tray. Sometimes they had it with the servers and you had to remember to ask for it because they rarely remembered to give it to you with your plate.

Generally, the cruise was good. The waitstaff and the food really need work.

Zuiderdam Cruises to the Panama Canal & Central America
Overall Ratings
  • Cabin
  • Dining
  • Embarkation
  • Enrichment Activities
  • Entertainment
  • Family & Children
  • Fitness & Recreation
  • Onboard Experience
  • Public Rooms
  • Rates
  • Service
  • Shore Excursions
  • Value for Money

Cabin review: Interior Stateroom

K6131
Stateroom was what I expected for the price I paid. Good storage space and very clean. Stateroom attendant was top notch. Always friendly and smiling, he was a highlight of this cruise. My only comment on the cabin is the bed linens. Mine were thin and old, with small holes and stains. I would never use linens like that in my guest rooms at home and expected better from Holland America.

Port and Shore Excursions

Port
Locals weren't very friendly but the beaches were amazing. We took a city bus from the Ship to Palm Beach. Pretty easy to get around once you got the hang of it.
Read 988 Aruba Reviews
Port
My favorite port of call. Clean, bright, friendly and easy to navigate. I stopped at a restaurant with outdoor seating and had a drink while looking out over the water. I had a great time chatting with the locals. The floating market is interesting. The pastel buildings are amazing to see. I want to go back and spend some time there. The only bad thing is they began closing the stores around 6 PM and the ship was in port until 11:00 PM.
Read 701 Curacao Reviews
I did not take any organized excursions. Instead I opted to browse on my own. The area seemed poor. I generally felt safe, but I was careful and alert to my surroundings. I walked the streets just to get a feel of the local culture. I had a good time and people were friendly and helpful.
Published 04/24/11
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Zuiderdam Cruises to the Panama Canal & Central America
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