This was a trip to a) get on the water in a ship once again and b) see how HAL's Zaandam shaped up for a trip we are planning on later.
Canada Place: Embarkation and get off went very smoothly. Nothing unusual. I tried my Nexus card instead of passport and it worked. Bit more slowly cause number had to be entered on lap top at check-in and attendant completely unfamiliar with procedure and sought out help. (early in season and it likely will get better)
Room/ship in good shape. Similar to the Volendam which we had sailed previously.
Tried anytime dining and it was a complete failure. We were allowed to book times of 5:30 or 7:30 OR TAKE CHANCE. Did the later and it didn't work. Although we could see space in the room we waited with a buzzer first night 10 mins. after being sent to wait in lounge.(this was acceptable) 2nd night 1 hour plus. 3rd night we made arrangement to do the 5:30 and just allowed slow ordering to compensate for early hour. 3 night was no problem as we were docked in Victoria and along with the other restaurants being full and people who gave up for the main dining room all worked. There were no delays for walk ins at all.
Breakfast in the main dining room too was unusual also. Long line and staff suggesting that we all eat in the Buffet. Lots of empty tables. (1st and 2nd day) 3rd day was disembarkation and was fine.
Only other issue was the smoking. Odor in and near casino made it unusable for us. Also the piano bar. Crows nest was uncomfortable on several occasions also.
Everything else was as I expected on HAL and had no issues with at all. GReat room staff.
We have been to both Ports many times and didn't get off in Seattle except to check on the Terminal
Victoria we took a $7.50 return shuttle to the inner harbour
Immigration USA on embarkation and Canadian in Victoria and Vancouver...very professional and efficient. Victoria was just an eyeball check as we walked by.
would cruise this class of ship again in a minute. Great size, easy to get around and has all the things I need for a cruise.