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18 Night Panama Canal & Central America Cruise from San Diego

18 Night Panama Canal & Central America Cruise from San Diego

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Zaandam
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    San Diego
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Puerto Vallarta
  • Day 5
    Manzanillo
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Huatulco
  • Day 8
    Puerto Chiapas
  • Day 9
    Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)
  • Day 10
    Corinto
  • Day 11
    Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Fuerte Amador (Balboa)
  • Day 14
    Fuerte Amador (Balboa)
  • Day 14
    Panama Canal (Cruising)
  • Day 14
    Panama Canal
  • Day 15
    Cruising
  • Day 16
    Aruba
  • Day 17
    Cruising
  • Day 18
    Cruising
  • Day 19
    Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

Zaandam

Zaandam - Holland America Line

Pros

Easy-to-navigate ship with a spacious feel and grown-up vibe.

Cons

Few balconies, little variety in cabin categories, mediocre evening entertainment.

Bottom Line

Perfect-sized ship for port-intensive itineraries.


Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the itinerary to the Antarctic. We flew down to Buenos Aires a day early so we could enjoy a little of the city before. Embarkation was fairly smooth - we arrived early and our luggage was taken right ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary to the Antarctic. We flew down to Buenos Aires a day early so we could enjoy a little of the city before. Embarkation was fairly smooth - we arrived early and our luggage was taken right away and we checked in. By about 11:30 we were on the ship and went straight to our room. It was ready. We then went to the MDR to enjoy a lovely lunch - we met another couple at lunch and remained friends with them the rest of the cruise. After lunch we went back to our room and our luggage was there so we put all our things away and went out to explore the ship. We hadn't been on the Zaandam before and weren't quite sure what to expect. It ended up being one of our favorite ships - it was always spotlessly clean, with crew constantly cleaning railings, door handles, etc. We did not travel with children and given the time of the year there were very few children on this cruise. The children that were there were very well behaved and pleasant. Cabin - Our cabin was a Neptune Suite and one disappointment was the size of the bathroom - it only had one sink and a tub/shower. All other Neptune Suites we had been in in the other ships had double sinks and a separate tub and shower. This was our fault for not looking in to it more closely, but it was disappointing. The balcony on the Neptune Suite was much larger than other Neptune Suite balconies we have had - this was great when we went thru the Antarctic as we spent a lot of time on the balcony. It was very roomy with a round table w/4 chairs and 2 lounge chairs - and still a lot of room! Our room steward was very attentive, kept our room cleaned and freshened up all throughout the day. The 2 concierges in the Neptune Lounge were very attentive and took care of every detail - they were always ready and willing to help us out. Dining - Our other experience on a smaller HAL ship we had "ok" dining, so we weren't sure what to expect here. We ended up having the best wait staff we have ever had - our 2 servers were extremely attentive and knew all of our wants and needs before we got there. Even though we don't drink alcohol, the wine steward knew what we liked to drink and always had it there for us. Activities - there were always several things doing on throughout the day. We especially enjoyed all of the many lectures by our Expedition Team. These Antarctic scientists kept us up on everything we were doing, had done and were looking forward to doing. Entertainment - We went to several of the nightly musical venues. We always enjoy the Lincoln Center Stage/Adagio. We also enjoyed the various pianos at different locations and also the bad in the Ocean Bar. The nightly shows on the Main Stage were good and varied - groups, comedians, and individual performers. We didn't go every night - not because we didn't like them, but because we were tired from everything we did during the day and knowing we'd be getting up early the next day. Service - What can I say about the service - it was exceptional! - Everything was top notch and always done with smile! Ports and Excursions - We did this cruise because of the Antarctic - friends had done a similar cruise without the Antarctic and thought it was one of the most boring cruises they had ever been on. While the ports were mostly small, most of them had a wide variety of things to do - just find what you like and do it! We didn't do any excursions from the ship, but found our own excursions. This is where one problem came in. Being in a Neptune Suite we were supposed to have priority boarding on the tenders - the first time it worked well, but at the 2nd tender port we went where we were supposed to wait - and wait - and wait. We were told to please wait there - and we saw tenders leaving with guests on them. Finally, most of us left and went on a tender without our crew person taking us down. In talking with the Neptune Lounge Concierge, there was some confusion from the crew person with us, and all was well. Would we do this cruise again? - In a Heartbeat! The ship, the crew and staff and the itinerary were super!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Included 4 days of sailing in Antarctica . Highlights- 1- Food selection: The food selection on this cruise was one of the highlights for us. We usually like to have dinner in the Main Dining room, but the selections in the Lido ... Read More
Included 4 days of sailing in Antarctica . Highlights- 1- Food selection: The food selection on this cruise was one of the highlights for us. We usually like to have dinner in the Main Dining room, but the selections in the Lido usually included everything that was offered in the Main Dining room and more. 2- Holland America Happy Hour- Liked the happy hour sessions. The 2nd drink only cost $2. The pool deck had 2 for 1 beer during the day. 3- Buenos Areas- One of our highlights was visiting the oldest coffee shops in Argentina called Tortoni's. Another highlight was visiting Recoleta Cemetery. 4- Montevideo- In port on a Sunday. Walked through the old town. 5- Puerto Madryn- We rented a car and went to Punta Tumbo where we saw many Magellanic Penguins. 6- Faukland Islands- Went to Volunteer Point with Patrick Watts Tours. Highly recommend this tour. Saw thousands of King Penguins up close. Also saw Gento and Magellanic Penguins. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was a bucket list cruise for my wife. All the ports and excursions surpassed both our expectations. The narration by Exploration Team as we sailed into and around Antarctica was superb. Zaandam is a typical HA ship, one of their ... Read More
This was a bucket list cruise for my wife. All the ports and excursions surpassed both our expectations. The narration by Exploration Team as we sailed into and around Antarctica was superb. Zaandam is a typical HA ship, one of their smaller ones with a nice cozy feel. We are 4 Star Mariners, with lots of cruising experience and always appreciate HA’s itineraries and attention to detail on their ships. The major problem with this cruise was with an unknown outbreak on the ship at about day 3. CabIn attendants in full body protective garb stripping and cleaning rooms. Ship doctor with clipboard not entering room, but staying in hallway to supervise. Hand sanitizer stations suddenly appearing on Lido deck manned wIth attendants telling people to use them. Many passengers that we spoke to observed same thing on their decks. Not sure if it was a norovirus outbreak, or something else. Disappointing that there was no communication from captain about the issue, which continued for most of the trip. Would have liked to seen some communication on what the situation was, as well as measures that passengers could/should have taken. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
View All Holland America Zaandam Reviews
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