Zuiderdam kicked off a new era for Holland America in being able to offer more outside cabins than ever before. More than 80 percent of all staterooms onboard are outsides, and more than 60 percent of all rooms feature private verandahs -- a large number for a mid-sized ship. Decor is mostly rusts and purples, muted compared to the rest of the ship.
Though the cabins themselves are showing some age, particularly in bathroom fixtures like tubs and tiling, the recent renovations have brought appreciated creature comforts to the mix, such as flat-screen TV's with DVD players in all staterooms, three-time magnifying mirrors and Mariner's Dream Bed mattresses (Euro-top Sealy Posturpedics) with cushy duvet coverings. We also love that unlike many other cruise ships, which are shower-only until you reach suite-level accommodations, most of the staterooms onboard Zuiderdam have tubs with shower heads; exceptions are the lowest level insides and a few random cabins in other categories (check the deck plan carefully).
Overall, staterooms aren't massively large -- standard insides start from just 143 square ft. -- but there is a great deal of cleverly hidden storage space, including cubbies under each of the beds. (Twins make up a queen.) Oceanview cabins start from 185 square ft. In the next step up, Deluxe Verandahs are 200 square ft. (54-square-ft. balcony) and offer sitting areas. Superior Verandah Suites measure 298 square ft. (100-square-ft. balcony) and feature dressing rooms, sofa beds, full-size whirlpool baths with additional shower stalls and dual-sink vanities.
Deluxe Verandah Suites increase to 380 square ft. (130-square-ft. balcony), and the beds are kings rather than queens. The corner suites (category SB, under Deluxe Verandah Suites) on the aft of the ship offer spacious, wraparound verandahs. Finally, the two Penthouse Verandah Suites are 1,000 square ft. (318-square-ft. balcony); perks include microwaves, guest bathrooms, hot tubs on the verandahs and private stereo systems.
Suite passengers also have access to a private space, the Neptune Lounge, where evening hors d'oeuvres and cocktails are served; the concierge can make spa and restaurant reservations.
Some 28 cabins in a variety of categories are handicap accessible.
Editor's note: All G-category staterooms have partial sea views. All GG-, H- and HH-category staterooms have fully obstructed views.
Westerdam (HAL)-Neptune Suite (cat.SC) 4185. The aft-wrap suite is the main feature of this suite The wrap-around verandah has over 40 feet of running balcony rail an afforded a 260 degree view. The suite itself contained a king-size bed, full-size couch/sofa sleeper,...continue