[I read a disgruntled cruiser's review of this same trip and I feel like we were on 2 separate planets. Don't know how it could be, but our experience was So different!]
We were expecting a good experience on HAL's Zuiderdam to the Inside Passage, but our cruise exceeded expectations in every way:
PEOPLE: I've never seen such a group of smiling, helpful and friendly people anywhere. Cabin stewards were exceptional as were waiters, tour guides, front desk people -- and the great, informative tour guide (Shane) and Captain Timmers. I hope for equally helpful staff members on future cruises.
CABIN: Gorgeous, beautifully kept and immaculate at all times. Couldn't have been better (we had a large balcony and spent a lot of time on it.)
LIDO BUFFETS: We had excellent food and great service here. Would gladly return -- I'm diabetic and I very much appreciated the low carb foods and no-sugar-added desserts -- delicious and guilt-free!
VISTA DINING ROOM: Had great food and nice service. Only exception was the last night when the staff was distracted by doing a "show" while serving -- this delayed service noticeably. Nice thought, tho.
CANALETTO: This was the only place we had mediocre food -- 2 entres were tasteless. I'd focus some attention here, Zuiderdam.
PINNACLE GRILL: Fantastic. My husband's salmon was "the best piece of fish I've ever eaten" (and he eats LOTS of fish) and my beef was fork-tender. Super.
ROOM SERVICE: Just great. We ordered our breakfast ("eggbeater" omelettes, oatmeal, muffins, etc.) and everything was hot and delicious.
FOOD Altogether: I wish I could have brought them home!
PUBLIC AREAS: very nice. A previous reviewer complained of these facilities but I can't agree. The ship was beautiful and impressive. We went on a "behind the scenes" tour of the whole facility and were impressed at the scrupulous cleanliness of galleys, storage rooms, etc. They recycle everything they can.
DIDN'T USE: casino, bars (much) or spa.
NATURE GUIDES AND EXPERIENCES: Top notch and greatly exceeded expectations!
WOULD DO AGAIN IN AN INSTANT!