Fabulous and can't wait to go back
Panama Canal & Central America
Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Our 2nd cruise with HAL (the other to Mediterrananean) and only downside long flight to & from UK; we are now big fans of HAL as both have been excellent. What's to criticise? Nothing!
Our stateroom was always clean and whilst not huge, perfectly fine. Clean towels at least twice per day - stateroom attendants must be invisible as hardly saw them but they work so hard.
Food excellent in Lido (24 hrs or nearly!) and main dining room also fab; service in fixed dining was wonderful; we tried any-time-dining with some new friends, maybe not quite so good there as waiters serve different people each night so don't get to know you but this is not a negative!
Entertainment was best ever with top standard and varied acts, the cruise director was excellent too, when does he sleep - always around! All public areas were clean and somebody always seemed to be cleaning something.
One criticism of fellow travellers - why do some people ignore the plentiful hand More
sanitizers, it's for the mutual good of all, so please use them!
We pre-booked our trips and all went well (a few dramas on trip to Panama Canal, but nobody's fault, and with hindsight added to the day!); trips are expensive but we feel reassured doing these rather than 'doing our own thing'. Captain was very informative, and explained when conditions got a bit rocky due to Trade Winds - we will prob book with HAL again, their crew are always smiling and seem to be happy in their work and so helpful, can't wait for the next cruise! Less
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Cabin review: Zuiderdam Deluxe Verandah Oceanview Upper Promenade 7015
Our cabin was fine but a long walk to other end of ship so if you have problems walking, prob best to choose a cabin mid-ship. D.room was other end of ship from us. We like to take a drink back to our room late afternoon with a snack (didn;t use room service as never knew when we were coming back and didn't fancy waiting) so a rather long walk for us but that's a minor thing! Quiet location and loved it all
Port and Shore Excursions
Very pretty place and we just wandered around as been before, apparently some excellent beaches within easy reach of port
We went to 'no-name-beach' and with hindsight would prob not have gone as unless you snorkel not really worth the trip; we still enjoyed it (we come from chilly UK!) but we were tempted re the beach, a bit rocky and not really for gentle swimming and no facilities there (but they tell you this); other people had selected more enjoyable trips
Gatun Lake Tour
If I wrote everything that happened during our day, it could be published into a novel! At the time it seemed a very long and very hot day and no fault of anybody at all, but we arrived back on ship 2 + hours late, so very tired and dirty!! But with hindsight - what an experience! However, not sure would recommend this trip as whilst it sounds wonderful, just too long and people who stayed on ship saw plenty of canal activity going in and coming out - so if went again would do a 'jungle' type trip - very pleased we did with ship!!
Greast trip to the beach, saw flamingo 'park' in passing, and beach wonderful, highly recommended for those who like a beach and suitable for children too (we didn't have any but saw people enjoying it all!) - good value
This was fantastic! Choose this one over any other - despite the fact we had a long wait at airport after trip (and dropped from ship to tour, from tour to airport with no problems) every minute worthwhile - we saw alligators, fulfilled ambition of trip on Everglades and as we were early due to disembarkation, this was a good thing as beat the crowds - a perfect end to cruise!
This is probably the best place we have ever been too and wished we could go back there or stay longer - that's the only downside, it is all over to quickly. It's idyllic, the weather was wonderful which helps, but even so the beach is just beautiful and picturesque, the crew come on to the island and serve a most delicious barbecue, music playing, but quiet places too - wouldn't mind being marooned there! don't bother to do anything there except book a clamshell for sunbathing (only book one, 2 people use it)
The Tortuguero Canals
This was our best trip (apart from Half Moon Cay) - it was just as you imagine a rain forest trip to be, didn't see any strange animals, but they can't perform to order! All wonderfully arranged, we had a very early start but with hindsight that was better (another trip went mid-morning) as by the time we left it was becoming packed and too busy - we experienced quiet and peace on the canal - you would not regret booking this one