4 Holland America Zuiderdam Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to Transatlantic from Copenhagen

We chose this cruise for the date and the itinerary. This was a transatlantic / repositioning cruise starting in Copenhagen Denmark. We visited Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Canada finally disembarking in Manhattan. We crossed the Arctic ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the date and the itinerary. This was a transatlantic / repositioning cruise starting in Copenhagen Denmark. We visited Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Canada finally disembarking in Manhattan. We crossed the Arctic Circle and when cruised Prince Christian Sund, Greenland. The outdoors were magnificent but the Ship was old, small and worn. Crew did an incredible job keeping the ship clean and taking care of continuous minor maintenance. Entertainment was lacking, sets were minimal and unattractive. Several of the individual entertainers were excellent. We missed our last port, which would have been Halifax, because of Hurricane Hermine. Had one full day at sea in the hurricane experiencing 80 mile an hour winds & 20 foot waves. During the storm, balcony doors and deck doors were leaking, so there was continuous cleanup with water vacuums. We were very disappointed with the Canaletto Specialty Restaurant food quality and wait staff. I would not recommend the Zuiderdam, but would highly recommend this itinerary. We had a Signature Suite, but our cabin steward could not speak much English. We did appreciate the guest lectures and port information very much. The BB King Blues band did not play the blues but did play Motown and Disco. It seemed to us that the Band was not cohesive, perhaps they were hired individually by the cruise line to play musical sets that were established by the cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We booked this Viking Passage cruise because of its appealing itinerary which included both Iceland and Greenland. Overall we were pleased with the cruise but cannot award it five stars because of too many minor irritations. We have been ... Read More
We booked this Viking Passage cruise because of its appealing itinerary which included both Iceland and Greenland. Overall we were pleased with the cruise but cannot award it five stars because of too many minor irritations. We have been on over twenty cruises, several with Holland America. Neither HAL not any other of the ocean cruise lines we have used have matched our recent cruise with Viking River for quality and service. On the whole the good far outweighed the bad. HAL booked our flights at a price we could not match, but they left us too little time to transit Frankfurt worry free, even if all went well. All did not go well. Our flight into Frankfurt was a few minutes late. If we had not already requested wheelchair assistance in Frankfurt which allowed us to bypass the huge EU Immigration lineup we would have missed our flight to Copenhagen and the next and last possible flight was reportedly full. We strongly recommend that anyone booking flights through Frankfurt should allow at least two hours connection time. Embarkation and disembarkation were both smooth, quick and uneventful. We had booked an outside cabin to save money because we thought a balcony would be unusable because of the cold. However when we checked in, we were very surprised and happy to learn our Vancouver travel agent had got us a free update to a balcony cabin on Deck 5. Its availability for the abnormally sunny and warm weather we experienced for most of the cruise was a bonus. The Zuiderdam was in better shape than we expected based on past Cruise Critic reviews but too much maintenance work was being done at cruisers' inconvenience. Painting and varnishing caused closure of parts of the Promenade deck on several days and our friends with rear cabins found the fumes unpleasant. For much of the cruise a quarter of the Lido buffet serving area was closed for maintenance making a normally crowded situation even worse. We were happy with the food in both the Main Dining room and the Lido but the service was the slowest we have ever experienced. Beer which was available elsewhere often seemed to have "run out" in the Lido. We suspect that with a little bit more customer care and a little less laziness by one or two members of the restaurant staff, the beer could have been found or restocked. This happened with four varieties of beer. Our cabin had a very comfortable bed and was well equipped and finished apart from a tatty floor mat which should have been pensioned off long ago. Astonishingly it was taken away on the last day and brought back washed but still wet. It was difficult to adjust the water temperature of the bath. The entertainment was typical of cruises - good but not outstanding. We particularly liked the Classical music duo. The internet was poor and very expensive. This was understandable while we were North and at the edge of the satellite's range but not in New York where there was no internet whatsoever. We could not reconfirm our flights and we had paid for time we could not use. We were pleased with the ship's tours we took and the tour staff were the best we have encountered on an ocean cruise. The guest lecturers were excellent and very popular. The Locations expert Denice did her job superbly. The tender service was especially well operated. Hurricane Hermine caused problems and our day in Halifax had to be abandoned as we diverted to miss the worst of the storm, reaching New York one day early and giving us an unexpected extra day to visit the sites. Even though we sailed at full speed and there was a large swell with strong crosswinds the Zuiderdam handled it well. (The TV Navigation Channel once indicated Beaufort 12). The Captain explained the need for the change of plans very clearly and kept us well informed. The staff did an excellent job in organizing a very good New York city tour at short notice. Overall HAL needs to improve but we would be happy to take another HAL cruise and would recommend HAL and the Zuiderdam to prospective cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We had a good cruise until the head office decided to make the captain sailed the ship right into the Hurrican with 90 to 100 miles per hour wind, it was hell for 2 days. The wave was so high, the starboard side suites was flooded with ... Read More
We had a good cruise until the head office decided to make the captain sailed the ship right into the Hurrican with 90 to 100 miles per hour wind, it was hell for 2 days. The wave was so high, the starboard side suites was flooded with water. The wind blew one of the outside door down, and Holland American still refused to compensate passengers. If the ship would sail according to the original plan and stop in Halifax, we could avoid the Hurrican totally without spend 2 days in hell at sea right inside the Hurrican. Any company put profit ahead of passengers' safety, should not be a cruise business. People asked Captain why he sailed us into the hurrican, he said it was an order. It will be our last cruise with this company. The balcony suite was very small compare with Princess, or other cruise line. Food was good especially the french fries at Dive in. But my husband got food poisining from the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Chose it to get out of the Florida heat for Aug. The staff was fantastic. Food was good in all restaurants. Entertainment was very poor. The ship is in need of renovation, no major problems, just old and worn. Had a guaranteed suite, ... Read More
Chose it to get out of the Florida heat for Aug. The staff was fantastic. Food was good in all restaurants. Entertainment was very poor. The ship is in need of renovation, no major problems, just old and worn. Had a guaranteed suite, got 8040.Lovely room- plenty of space, whirlpool, double sinks, extra large balcony (too cold to use it much). Bad news, underneath ping-pong table and chaise lounge stacking area. Lots of traffic noise. Guest service did compensate us with a free meal at Pinnacle Grill, nice. They also closed the ping pong table at 9:30 pm and opened it after 9am. Love the size of the ship. Getting on and off or excursions no problem. Booked our excursions online, no regrets. Saved a lot of money. Was pleasantly surprised by all the ports. Really enjoyed them. The weather was great. Lectures on Viking segment were very good. Cruising Prince Christensen Sound was fantastic. Other sea day were restful. Not many physical activities planned on the ship, mostly sitting activities. Miss the Fitness Programs - was a great way to meet people, stay active and have fun on sea days. I wouldn't do it again because I have more place to see on my list, but I do highly recommend this itinerary Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Zuiderdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.5 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 3.5 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 2.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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