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Zaandam Cabins

Editor Rating
Very Good
Erica Silverstein

Because Zaandam is an older and smaller ship with a more upscale vibe, its cabins tend to feel roomy, even though cabin categories are limited compared to modern ships. They're designed to be functional rather than eye-catching, and work for both short and long voyages.

Standard cabins have twin beds that are convertible to a queen, two nightstands, desk with a lighted vanity mirror and three large drawers, armchair, adjustable-height coffee table and a love seat or sofa bed. Even the smallest cabin has multiple closets, some with shelves, others with wooden hangers. All beds are Holland America's signature Mariner's Dream bed with plush Euro-Top mattresses.

All cabins have a flat-screen, noninteractive TV with DVD player, and passengers can access an extensive DVD library free of charge. TV channels are limited. Each cabin comes with a safe, two hair dryers (one in the desk, the other attached to the bathroom wall), and U.S. and European plugs (on the desk only, bring an extender if you have multiple devices).

Notably, inside and outside cabins do not have mini-fridges, though all other cabins do; ask for ice if you need anything chilled. You can rent a mini-fridge for $2 per day, but it will be stored under the desk, take up the lone outlet and might not be as cold as you'd need for medication or baby's milk.

Bathrooms in standard cabins are compact, but roomy, for a cruise ship. Some of the outside cabins have bathtub–shower combos, while more recently redone cabins have large glassed-in showers. Toiletries include body lotion, bar soap and shower caps; showers offer dispensers of Elemis body wash, shampoo and conditioner.

Zaandam offers accessible cabins in all categories, though some are fully accessible and others are ambulatory accessible. There are 54 pairs of connecting cabins. Many cabins can accommodate three or four passengers with a sofa bed and/or an upper berth that pulls down from the ceiling.

Interior: Inside cabins can range in size and configuration but are generally 183 square feet. They have no window but are still roomy enough to contain a sofa, desk and ample storage space like the larger cabins onboard. Bathrooms are shower-only.

Oceanview: Outside cabins are a bit more spacious at 197 square feet and feature a window that lets in light but doesn't open. Some have shower–tub combos, while others were redone to remove the tub and replace with a glassed-in, roomier-than-normal cruise ship shower. The lowest-category outside cabins are smaller, have two portholes rather than a rectangular window and can have odd layouts, including ones where the beds are in different corners of the room and cannot be combined into a queen.

Balcony: What Zaandam calls a Vista Suite with Verandah would be a standard balcony cabin on most other ships. The room measures 292 square feet, including a private balcony. Unlike the inside and outside cabins, it features floor-to-ceiling windows, a mini-fridge and whirlpool tub. (The bathroom is otherwise identical.)

The balcony is furnished with two metal chairs with foot rests and a small drinks table.

Suite: Zaandam has two true suite classes, Neptune and Pinnacle suites. These suites come with additional perks, including access to the exclusive Neptune Lounge, welcome cocktail reception, expanded complimentary room service breakfast (including free mimosas), coffee and espresso machine, Bose docking station, binoculars, upgraded bath amenities and bathrobe, premium chocolates at turn-down, complimentary laundry services (including pressing and dry cleaning), priority tendering and disembarkation, and breakfast at the Pinnacle Grill.

Neptune Suites measure 556 square feet and are not true suites as they're one large room. The king-sized bed faces a sitting area with a small sectional sofa bed for two and two chairs around a coffee table. Floor-to-ceiling windows along one wall fill the room with light. Suite amenities include a refrigerator and mini-bar.

The bathroom has a whirlpool bath and shower, but is otherwise a standard size. A separate dressing room is a nice touch. The balcony has four padded metal chairs and a table, and two padded metal sun loungers.

If you're looking for spacious, luxurious digs, you've hit the jackpot with the Pinnacle Suite. It's approximately 1,159 square feet, including the large private balcony. The true suite features a large master bedroom separated from the living area by heavy curtains. The suite offers a dining table for six, living area with large L-shaped sofa (which converts into a double sofa bed) and easy chairs, desk, large flat-screen TV, butler pantry with microwave and fridge, large walk-in closet, guest bathroom and even a spotting scope.

The master bedroom is furnished with a king-size bed with a plush mattress topper, vanity area and flat-screen TV. The master bath impresses with a large whirlpool bath, separate shower and double vanity.

The private balcony has a round dining table for four with padded wicker chairs and two padded wicker loungers.

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