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12 Night Mediterranean Cruise from Rome

12 Night Mediterranean Cruise from Rome (Civitavecchia)

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Zuiderdam
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Rome (Civitavecchia)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cartagena (Spain)
  • Day 4
    Gibraltar
  • Day 5
    Seville
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Lisbon
  • Day 7
    Porto (Leixoes)
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    Cherbourg
  • Day 10
    Brugge (Bruges)
  • Day 11
    Amsterdam
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Copenhagen

Zuiderdam

Zuiderdam - Holland America Line

Pros

Partnerships and Music Walk mean exciting enrichment and entertainment choices

Cons

Pool and some public areas appear dated; cabins could use more storage

Bottom line

Continual refurbishments and additions keep older ship fresh for a variety of destinations


Cruise Reviews

We've cruised with Holland America at least 4 times and chose them because of their excellent service. This cruise stopped at their private island first, then Grand Turks, Amber Cove and Key West. The service was excellent, as usual, ... Read More
We've cruised with Holland America at least 4 times and chose them because of their excellent service. This cruise stopped at their private island first, then Grand Turks, Amber Cove and Key West. The service was excellent, as usual, and the food was good. The entertainment, however, was sorely lacking. The first night, there was no show in the main stage area. For 6 nights, the main entertainment consisted of 3 evenings of the dance troupe performing, 1 night of a comedian who wasn't very funny, 1 night of a different comedian/mentalist who was really good, and then 1 night of both comedians performing, one after the other. The daytime activities weren't interesting to anyone in my group, so we spent a lot of time playing cards. They had several activities scheduled at 5 pm, but we had early seating for dinner (5:30) so we couldn't do any of those activities. Mass was scheduled at 5 pm every day. Having Mass in the morning would have made more sense. They also had Total Body Conditioning in the fitness center at 5 pm instead of in the morning. We took the Grand Turk Experience excursion for $44.95. It was worth about $20. The bus took us to the light house but to enter it was an extra charge. We stopped at a small market for about 20 minutes. I wouldn't recommend this excursion. The Amber Cove excursion of Mountain Views & City Sights was interesting and worth the $59.95 charge. Key West is very walkable and there's no need to purchase an excursion to see the sights. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Had an awesome cruise, 7 day Caribbean. ship is from 2002 but renovated in 2017/18 My wife and I have sailed primarily Royal, Celebrity, Princess, NCL, Carnival and my wife Cunard in the past, over 40 cruises. 1900 passengers and ... Read More
Had an awesome cruise, 7 day Caribbean. ship is from 2002 but renovated in 2017/18 My wife and I have sailed primarily Royal, Celebrity, Princess, NCL, Carnival and my wife Cunard in the past, over 40 cruises. 1900 passengers and 9 decks with lots of elevators. many were on 2, 3 and 4 week back to back cruises we are 65 and 68 so almost felt young!! An older mix, say average age 65-75. Very few children, saw the Club HAL kids place closed one day plus some younger couples who want a quiet cruise and have returned. The dining room food selection, presentation, service and taste I'd say would be the best similar to Celebrity. We did not go to Pinnacle dining room or Canaletto for speciality dining, but the menu looked great at Pinnacle ($39 cover) Would highly recommend HAL's renovated ships and newer ships. Had prime rib 2 nights, lots of seafood, lobster tails on last Gala night (formerly formal night) and far less formal than in the past. This is all good. Nice touch on exiting the DR, one could have mints, ginger, dates or figs. Lido buffet was also excellent. They even had crepes, super omelettes,V8 and grapefruit juice which you don't see often. Most food was served to you, similar to what Celebrity has done. Some fruit, bread and other items you could pick up on your own. I asked why they served, its to avoid cross contamination, They told me with an older crowd, if someone gets ill, can be harder on older people to recover. a good idea. Sushi and Thai, Chinese food every day. Loved Half Moon Cay, private island stop, only ship there, soft powdery beach. BBQ lunch was one of the best we;ve seen. great salad selection, gourmet hamburgers and fresh fruit and ribs and fish tacos. They also had a Lobster Shack so for extra $ can get a roll or lobster salad Even had real ice cream scooped from coolers. Also lido had real ice cream all day. Lido pool deck midship had Dive In, a hamburg/hot dog /french fries. You place the order and are given a buzzer to come pick up minutes later. Nathan's dogs and crispy fries, served in a cup. Beside Dive-in there was a mexican station all day, nachos, cheese, various additives, soft and hard tacos. A real nice touch. Workers greeted you all the time and were constantly cleaning. Just had main dining lunch once for Mariner lunch. Breakfast and lunch always in Lido, ate at the aft, nice to be in the air (we try to do this on all cruises) only minor issue smoking was allowed on the aft starboard side, so smoke sometimes blew over. Mainstage a nice size theatre, on decks 2/3 No orchestra and big stage show, instead we had 3 excellent dance shows by Step One, 7 dancers with recorded music. Get to Mainstage early and most go to the early show. Also had great comedian Ken Boyd and illusionist Ben Zabin at the Mainstage Live music in BB King's, a dance club bar which used to be the test kitchen area. This 7 piece group was tight, excellent and the place to go after dinner. 3 shows most every night. Trumpet, sax, bass and lead guitar, keyboards, drums and male/female singers. Nice dance floor. Both Mainstage and BB King's were very cold so bring a sweater and socks when you pack. Lincoln Center Stage had a string quartet with piano, 4 ladies and a fellow, young and excellent. several shows a night. room was quite small, so get there early. Now this venue was too warm !! They need some HVAC adjustments. This quintet had 2 violins, a viola, cello and grand piano. Played classical but mix of American, show tunes and modern. Version of Stairway to Heaven was awesome. There also was Billboard online with back to back grand pianos, playing various tunes. shows were after early dinner. Noted that unlike most ships there is not a venue for piano and bar. They had an electronic piano with people dancing. Casino was not big but busy and best of all no smoking. Celebrity has also gone this way Smart move. one night was orange night (the Dutch colours) and chocolate surprise, where samples of dutch goodies and chocolates were handed out around Billboard and BB King.s some trivia games. Deck 10 forward has Crow's next, easy chairs, great views lots of games/most jigsaw puzzles ever. Large reference books, regular library replaced with book exchange, so check in day 1 for best selection. Shore ex and future cruise were also in this area, smart idea. Some nice touches on HAL that we haven't seen on most cruises: - when boarding ship after port, had cool towels, water/lemonade, nice sitting area with flowers (Celebrity has similar with no flowers) Celebrity does have the nice OJ and sparkling upon first embarkation though - chocolates in your room every night (Princess also has but most have cut back) - towel animals every night in your room - bottomless fruit bowl in your room. - balcony and higher have small bathtub/shower. Save the environment with no small bottles so shower soap, shampoo, conditioner in dispensers from Elemis, Elemis lotion bottles given though -rooms were cleaned by team of 2 room stewards, there were no carts left in the hall like other cruiselines. Instead they would go into side rooms for suppliers. Amazing service, these guys were invisible -could get a mini newspaper and NY times crossword every day at Deck 1 reception desk. They had German, UK, Canadian, Dutch and various languages if you wish. US paper also had a crossword and Sudoku puzzle but a little small font, the NY times crossword was printed in good font on cardboard stock with a hyper sudoku as well. Will keep you busy for hours -outside the good sized bathroom, there was a motion activated night light at your feet, nice touch. Celebrity has a night light in the washroom - to save the environment in the room garbage can they had a slot for paper and regular garbage. Still too much paper handed out. Nice compact daily When and Where program though. Don't think they had an art auction, but art on display. Still doing group photos but less of them. No picture racks, but viewing screens like the other newer ships -room had lots of storage, balcony good size for our VA category, 2 chairs, with foot stools and small table. Balcony had a door unlike most cruises with sliding doors. Beds were very good with nice pillows - robes were in room to use for cruise or $55 to purchase with monogram -free HAL bag in each room like Princess and Celebrity - beach towels in each room to use - like the newer ships, a flat panel, very impressive TV, lots of movies, and other shows, food menus etc. TV channels about 12, Caribbean ESPN and ESPN 2, MSNBC, Fox, BBC, HGTV etc Gym had Precor equipment, I prefer Llifefitness. NO video input to machines. but 3 TV's on ceiling. Good selection of weights. Sadly people don't know to wipe machines, there was no sign to do so and no sign to keep machine use to 30 minutes, I suggested this to the gym managers In tendering to Princess Cays, had quite a wait 45 minutes to fill tender ship, returning much faster. On 2 Sea Days cruise director Stephanie made morning announcements at 9 am. Gave them feedback not to do that, can;'t sleep in CD was Stephanie Summerville from the US. An actress and professional speaker. Great voice and pronunciation. Only with HAL 7 months She gave some excellent EXC talks at Main Stage, History of HAL (150 years)The Deep Blue, Caribbean Rum Spirit, Islands of the Mind (Hemingway and Jimmy Buffet) These were highly produced excellent presentations with audio, video and using their million light LED stage panels. Made for HAL, I understand some sailings have guest presenters, but they use the CD most of the time. Forgot to mention the MainStage LED panels were used for the dance shows and these are incredible screens. Only 4 computer screens. WIFI packages were pricey and i heard not too fast. For this ship audience, they aren't connected as much. Captain Bart Vaartjes was Dutch as most are, he gave a great ship presentation and Q/A friendly noon announcements. Very casual, had a relaxed demeanor, walked about ship like most officers. Met him at Amber Cove, took a photo, he just ashore for a few hours Amber Cove in Dominican Republic, at Puerta Plata, was a nice stop, Carnival Magic was also there, so large pool/lazy river were packed. Big swim up bar, food available, hammocks available, over the water bungalows to rent, also bungalows near Zipline $20 pp all day. Lots of the usual shops. No beach, but can taxi or shorex to Puerta Plata for beaches. Free wifi just outside main store after leaving ship. Carnival Corp built this stop a few years ago, for their branded ships. A nice stop, but quite busy if several large ships are in port. Key West, always a nice stop. Interesting we had to clear US customs first thing in the morning, there were a lot of lines. Being Canadian we did not have as many line as US. Then at Fort Lauderdale, no US customs to clear, just walk off. We walked down Duvall St, down to the Southernmost beacon, endless bars and stores, found a $5 for everything beachwear. Must visit original Margaritville, Had Kermits famous Key Lime Pie. Free wifi at Starbux Overall, an excellent cruise, would sail HAL again. Put down the $100 deposit for a future cruise. Would highly recommend doing this for any cruise you are on Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I am missing a single day to become a *** three star mariner with HAL. I crossed the Atlantic twice: once on the Noordam and once on the Koningsdam from and to Civitavecchia, plus three weeks on the New Amsterdam (which is still my ... Read More
I am missing a single day to become a *** three star mariner with HAL. I crossed the Atlantic twice: once on the Noordam and once on the Koningsdam from and to Civitavecchia, plus three weeks on the New Amsterdam (which is still my favorite vessel in terms of decor and style). Firstly, the ship voyage was often unexplainably rocky - even when there was not particularly rough seas. This made me wonder if the ship STABILIZER were working properly. Second, I’ve always found the food experience on board of HAL to be excellent and I NEVER even considered once to send back a dish... well, this time I was forced to do so several different times on board of the Zuiderdam. Including in its Pinnacle grill, which in my opinion was way below the standards of a HAL specialty restaurant (for $35 extra). So my major complaint on board of the Zuiderdam was the poor quality of the food - often unacceptable even in the Lido cafeteria. I found the food selection and quality dramatically lower than the usual standards of Holland America lines. Often economizing on the carving station with few choices, and those that were offered were often sad chunks of overcooked beef, pork or turkey, or the “ethnic” section with shameful bowls of equally overcooked stuff. — Furthermore, I found the entertainment offered on board rather pitiful. Nothing like the BBC Earth show played by a four element string quartet on other ships. Plus the overall appearance of the Zuiderdam is tired and anachronistic sometimes lacking in basic hygiene (as I had reported to officers onboard) like in the aft pool mens restrooms on the Lido deck, which -honestly- smelled like a Marine barracks. Horrific. On the other HAL ships I mentioned above, there were fresh orchid buds in every restroom. To my chagrin, I found the miseries of a ship which has failed to live up to its promises to have undergone some "major" refurbishment. I also would like to mention my profound disappointment of having found the classy lounge right next to the Crows Nest turned into some sort of schoolroom with (in my opinion) useless chairs where I have noticed only three people who were occasionally sitting to attend some sort of medical lecture. On the other hand there was always a battle to get a seat on one of the TOO few bistro chairs in the smoking section of the ship aft. Overall I would never consider take another cruise on the Zuiderdam. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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