We couldn't have asked for more from our most recent cruise on HAL Zuiderdam. We had sailed 3 times on Celebrity and they as well are a great cruise line. We selected a suite this time. We are certainly not rich and saved a while for this added level of service. The Neptune lounge for Suite guests is awesome. From a private 1st night reception with the Captain and his officers for an hour, to their scheduling of a private luncheon for suite rooms the last day at sea hosted by the Captain. They really undersell their suite class. The added amenities had real value on this cruise, you maybe skeptical but we both agreed you got your monies worth for this added level on this cruise line. Example from the port check in, they placed a badge on us with a big letter 'S' for suites. We bypassed and went straight to a separate suites only check-in area and then went from there bypassing the waiting groups directly onto the ship. So from arriving in port to check-in to actually in out suite was 15 minutes. Our 1st impression we really thought we hit it right picking HAL for the our 'Bucket List' Panama Canal Cruise.
Brett's presentations the day before we arrived to the next port prepared us for the ports and he had a few awesome inside tips that helped us.
The ports were all new to us and each was great. We took the ferry boat trip through the rest of the canal to the Pacific. It was beyond belief we could touch the side of the locks from the 200 passenger ferry boat when we were in the locks.
I can't say enough positive things about our cabin stewards and the staff on the ship. We didn't pass one staff member the entire time who didn't say good morning or good afternoon with a genuine smile.
As a tip, we were on the seventh floor on the back corner of the ship and our veranda wrapped around the back and side. What an incredible view as we entered the panama canal with a view from the real and sides as well as we went through the locks to the Gatun Lake.
The nightly shows were above par, we think you'd like them also. The food was good to excellent. Food menu's were variety and something for everybody's tastes. Room food service was prompt and friendly.
We could of course nit pick on little things, but why bother. We got a 5 star cruise at a good value and certainly will be sailing HAL again.