14 Holland America Zuiderdam Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to Transatlantic from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

We choose this cruise because it was a transatlantic combined with the Baltic ports, which we wanted to see, besides we were twice before in the Zuiderdam and had a fantastic time with great music and entertainment. This time in 26 ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was a transatlantic combined with the Baltic ports, which we wanted to see, besides we were twice before in the Zuiderdam and had a fantastic time with great music and entertainment. This time in 26 days we had music at the Ocean Bar twice, one great show with Ikos Lakis and his Saxsophon which was as always magnificent. The rest of the shows were comedians than couldn't make anyone laugh, a piano player which was just o.k.. The Pinnacle Grill was the best food in the ship, as always. Excellent food and service. The dinning room food was o.k. twice I had to send my salmon back be cause was not even half cook. The best part of the dinning room were the servers, as always excellent service. My husband went a few times to the Lectures which he enjoyed. I went to American Test Kitchen which was very good. The ports. Bermuda was o.k. Pria de Vitoria was empty, not much to do. The Baltic stops were fantastic Amsterdam, Sudden, Belgium, Cherbourg France, Tallin, Berlin, Kiel, and the best by far 2 days in St. Petersburg, all amazing ports. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were looking very much forward to this cruise starting with 11 days in Central America and the Panama Canal. After that we did cross the Atlantic ending up in Copenhagen. When we were checking in, we were very well taken care of by ... Read More
We were looking very much forward to this cruise starting with 11 days in Central America and the Panama Canal. After that we did cross the Atlantic ending up in Copenhagen. When we were checking in, we were very well taken care of by a Norwegian man. Entering the ship was a little less pleasant. The staff showing you onboard was not at all polite. Ok we expected to have a glass of champagne, when getting onboard, but no. For the first time ever on cruises (first time with HAL) there wasn't a glass of bobbles as a welcome. Our cabin was not ready yet, so we went up for some lunch. After lunch we went down to our cabin and could get in. The first thing we did was trying to put something in the small bedside table. The top drawer. In there there was some used napkins. We were surprised, but removed them. Then we found out, the small tabel in front og the sofa was really dirty. We called the cabin attendant and he came and we told what we were disappointed about. He found a wet cloth and wiped away the dust on the foot of the table. The top of the table was sticky, so we wanted that clean as well. We then saw, there was a table knife in the chair placed in front of the desk. When we got our suitcases and was unpacking we found some chocolate under the bed. Not at all ok cleaning. We didn't feel it was done at all better than what they was supposed to do every day, yes even worse. We thought it had to be reported to the head of the cleaning of the cabins, so we went to guest relations and a very polite and helpful young man from Austria took report and said he was very sorry. Later the head of cabins came and required the two cabin attendants to do a full and complete cleaning of the cabin. He offered us a bottle of wine as compensation. Later the guy from guest relations came with some fine chocolate as well. The temperature in our cabin was terrible, above 25 degree Celcius. A man from the repair department tried to mend it, but no matter what we did with scale there was no change. He would do something with the entire system, but when we came back after dinner, there was no change. We went down to guest relations again and they regretted and would send a new man. We said that otherwise we would come back to guest relations and sleep on the floor, as the temperature was fine here. The temperature was after a couple of days better, but we could still not regulate it. And some days later, we had the same problem again with too high temperature. Later in the cruise - on the second cruise - the opposite was the case with the temperature. One day it was less than 16 degree C. We complained again, and now it wasn't easy to get the temperature higher. Finally - five days before we ended up in Copenhagen - they managed to fix the aircondition. We could raise and lower the temperature. What a relief. But like the rest of the cabins it was not possible to turn off the airconditioning. Old ship! One day while we were laying on a sunbead by the pool we saw a man in the spa. He went in with his clothes and shoes and what was even worse, he was all the time spitting in the hot water. I went and told him to stop spitting as it was a source to people getting sick, if he had a disease. It would explosively grow in the very hot water. The man started screaming, that I was insulting and bothering him. He was really screaming. There is no pool-attendants at all by the pool, only waiters trying to sell drinks. Is that ok? we don't think so. The man went up of the spa and went to one of the waiters and talked to him. What they were discussing we don't know. After a while a very polite and pleasant man came and asked what happened. I told the story and he said they would make a report and I would get a copy. They knew who the man was. Later a couple of officers came. The went to the ladies from the beauty salon and talked to them. Then they came and asked for my version of the incident. They also said a report would be made. While they were talking to me an elderly American lady went into the spa and she was wearing outdoor sandals in the spa. No-one said anything to her. For several days we did not see the man in the spa, but some of the last days on the cruise he was back. He was still wearing jogging clothes and shoes when he went into the spa, and no-one of the staff did say anything. No-one was taking any notice of what was happening in the pool and spa. That is absolutely not ok and not something we have experienced before on cruisen on other shipping companies. On the first part of the cruise there was a show team onboard. This is also what we are used to from other cruises. The team disembarked in Fort Lauderdale, but we were sure a new team would board to the next cruise. No. Only entertainers was there. Some very good and some quite poor and without any experience. Only a couple of nights impressed. The wine, beer and drinks are very expensive. A drink-package is around 50$ per day for the cheapest. Much more expensive than what we have experienced elsewhere. On for instance Celebrity the drink package is included if you have an outer cabin or veranda cabin. The staff gratuity is not included in your ticket. You have to pay 14,5$ per person per day. Take that into consideration when you compare prices for different cruises, as it is included in some cruises, for instance in Celebrity cruises. All the staff in the dinner room is from either Philipines or Indonesia. Most are very polite and helpful, but many are not good enough understanding and speaking English. Some of the wine waiters do probably never taste wine, being Muslims. How can you then advice what is good for the food? The ship is built in 2002 and it seems as if there has been no upgrading since then. It is "tired" and really needs some renovation. We will most likely not travel with Holland America line again. We will choose Celebrity or something even better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Our cruise was 28 day, Transatlantic & Baltic itinerary. From boarding in Ft Lauderdale to leaving the ship in Copenhagen everything went well. The cabin stewards were attentive, the wait staff in both the Lido and MDR were ... Read More
Our cruise was 28 day, Transatlantic & Baltic itinerary. From boarding in Ft Lauderdale to leaving the ship in Copenhagen everything went well. The cabin stewards were attentive, the wait staff in both the Lido and MDR were exceptional. I'd like to say we ate in one of the alternative restaurants, however the food was so good in the MDR, we never felt the need to eat elsewhere. The music venues were eclectic in that there was a venue for most musical taste. America's Test Kitchen was always well attended. The Captain and his crew kept us well Informed of weather or delays. We had exceptional weather throughout the entire cruise. It was the warmest May on record for Northern Europe. We were able to use our balcony the whole trip. Did not part in any of the ship tours, however in some ports the Hop on Off Bus was at the dock and u could change to u our room, very convenient. I did find that the EXC tour guides on board did a great job on their port presentation. Not only did they give info about the ships tours but also how to get around on ur own. Never had this happen before, usually if u weren't on a ships tour, too bad. Kudos to HAL for going beyond the norm. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which was almost the only good part. It was feezing onboard through the entire cruise. Some guests were taking blankets with them to sit anywhere including inside. Dining room was very uncomfortably ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which was almost the only good part. It was feezing onboard through the entire cruise. Some guests were taking blankets with them to sit anywhere including inside. Dining room was very uncomfortably cold. Staterooms were also chilly even with turning heat up. My bed was horrible and slanted down to the floor so much that I needed a seatbelt to stay in. The mattress was so hard and thin that I didn't sleep for the first week until our steward found a better mattress. Don't know whose he stole but made me happy. Their ads about having a choice of pillows and mattresses is bogus. They had neither. Safety was a problem as there were quite a number of falls because of water where it shouldn't be or gaps in flooring or no railings. The dinner menu and food was fairly good but I am a very good cook and it was never higher than what I could easily do at home. Fruit and vegetables were rationed on the first half of trip to the point of cutting blueberries in half (and you got one half) and vegetables were garnish only. You could get a huge Prime Rib but only 2 carrot slices. Weird. Escargot was excellent. Desserts were good although creme brulee was a disappointment. I should have tried the version in the upscale paid restaurant. Breakfast either in dining room or buffets was never worthwhile, lunch was adequate. Salad bar was best lunch venue when dining room was closed which it was on port days. Hamburger joint was good, fries wete great but be warned that they had gluten on them in form of spiced flour. Virtually no gluten ftee options except toast and best of luck ever getting that. Almost everything in buffets, which we rarely did except when dining was closed, was overcooked and bland. Fruit often had mold, too many people and very few, and inattentive servers. There was often nowhere to eat except room service as the buffets were closed in morning and afternoon except for certain hours which we missed a lot. Don't sleep in or you are out of luck. When you come back from a shorter day onshore you don't want to wait for room service but there would be hour gaps or longer when everything including a cup of tea, was not available..Service was horrible except in main dining room. Ate at the paid Italian dining room for a disappointing meal, half very good, half dreadful. They used same cooks as the buffet! Not worth it. Unfortunately, we only went one time late in the cruise for the paid lunch for $10 and wished we had done that every day it was open. Best meal we had on the cruise and the level I had expected in regular dining room. Waiters in main dining were good, some awful, some superior. They got considerably better on the last two days as they trolled for tips and good reviews. We were constantly reminded by all the waiters including head staff to give them a top rating. Very annoying and tacky. The maître de was the finest I have seen anywhere land or sea and remembered our names almost from the beginning. He was amazing and lovely. The entertainment was good and enjoyable but there was very little on sea days except lectures which were good. One foursome Acapella women singers were one of the best acts on any cruise, all the comedians were great, and the mime was one of the funniest and most interesting acts we had ever seen. Unbelievable! The biggest complaint most passengers had was the horrible, incompetent and rude upper staff, particularly with the shore excursions. If you didn't buy from the cruise line, they would give you no information. Part way through the Baltic they did a little better because of the hundreds of furious passengers, but we could never get the correct information. One officer would tell you something, another, the opposite and then argued with you when you would mention the confusion. Many of us complained about the lack of a leader as NO ONE EVER seemed to know what was going on. The cruise director was seen more on shore in the bars with local girls than onboard ship where we needed him. I may cruise with Holland America again but never on the Zuiderdam. Anyone who didn't pay the excessively higher than usual ship tour prices got shafted completely. It was inexcusable. Pretty much everyone on board were senior citizens and the lack of correct information or assistance was appalling. We missed much in the cities because of confusion and the ineptness of the officers and upper staff. Most of the ladies at the front desk were very good but there was still a great deal of conflicting information. They ruined much of our enjoyment from the ports because of the excess time a lot of us old people wasted wandering around trying to find where to go once off the ship. Information on the ports, and the buses to nearby towns was almost impossible to discover. In one tiny port that was not the big city we expected, I asked an officer what town it was and he hemmed and hawed before telling me. Really? One of the worst examples of idiocy was the 2 days docked in St Petersburg. Tours were sold and arranged for both days BY THE CRUISE LINE. Imagine our surprise to get to Russia and find out it was closed. It was a holiday, and virtually everything including the Hermitage and the Palaces were not open the first day. Does Holland America not have Internet? They scheduled hundreds of tours for places that were closed! Almost all of the tours on the whole cruise were 3 times or more what it cost to get off the ship and buy yourself. And with less of a tour. That was the reason so many of us did the ports on our own. Doubling is acceptable but the costs were outrageous. The ports themselves made up for a lot as Northern Europe is amazingly stunning, in architecture and natural beauty. Anyone considering the Baltic tour should do just the first 28 days as Norway looked all the same at each stop. Scotland had Edinburgh which needs a week or more to enjoy and Inverness was interesting. Taking your own side trip to Scotland would be more fruitful as most of the cruise port stops are just where the Scots go to get somewhere else. Nothing there. I would only rate the cruise 3 stars and that is being generous. Oh yes, the WiFi either didn't work or was horridly slow and cost a fortune. Do not waste your time or money. Had good Internet connections on the hop on, hop off buses which were the best value of all. You can buy ONLINE AHEAD OF CRUISE a multiple city ticket that will save at least half. Do it before the cruise on Red Bus or one of the others HOP ON HOP OFF companies. You can use them in several of the cities on this cruise but it is very confusing as there are different hop on hop off, mostly red and upset many people when they couldn't get on the correct bus. Rick Steve's books are slightly helpful but you really don't understand half of what he is saying until after you have gone the first time. Get his book from the library, photocopy the cities, and staple each city individually so you don't have to haul around a book. Online tours in St. Petersburg were 1\4 the price of HAL , were longer and were in vans of 6-8 passengers instead of buses with 60-100. And some offer early entrance to the Hermitage AND in spite of what HAL tells you, they include the tourist visa. It can be very confusing with the Russian visa thing. Unless you want to wander on your own which isn't advisable, you do not need a visa. Do your research before you go and it will make a much more enjoyable and fulfilling trip. And bring warm clothing as our trip in April and May was 20-30 degrees below normal. Surprise!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
A TransAtlantic offers us a lengthy cruise at a reasonable fare with lots of sea days to relax and/or take advantage of the amenities and activities of the ship. We've done several before and always had a good experience. Holland ... Read More
A TransAtlantic offers us a lengthy cruise at a reasonable fare with lots of sea days to relax and/or take advantage of the amenities and activities of the ship. We've done several before and always had a good experience. Holland America attracts us (seniors in our late 70s) because of the spacious and comfortable Neptune suite and the accompanying Neptune Lounge which offers service and fine snacks all day. This cruise offered a good number of sea days as well as interesting ports with a final destination of Copenhagen where we visited a lifelong friend. So, ideal of us. Check in at Ft. Lauderdale was smooth and we were soon in our suite with the luggage not far behind us. I love the layout of the Neptune Suite but it's quite out of date compared to other HAL ships and is ready of dry dock which I understand is coming up in a few months. The verandah lounge chairs lacked cushions and for someone who likes to nap out there, I had to carry out my bed pillows etc. to get comfortable. More about the cabin in cabin review. The first few days out of Florida were sunny with low to moderate seas. Unfortunately, as we got further northeast we encountered wind and higher seas and, by the time we got to Normandy (having had to miss the port of Horta, Azores due to high wind and seas) it was raining. So weather this particular trip really was an issue. And we often couldn't use our verandah because of the cold and wind. But that isn't the ship's fault. As suite passengers we had the privilege of going to the Pinnacle Grill for breakfast each morning. That was nice not having to deal with the usual Lido crowds on those sea days. Food and service were very good. We went to the main dining room almost every night and food and service were consistently good. Evening entertainment, particularly the singers and dancers, was excellent. However, with a 6:30 and an 8 p.m. show, we often had to change our dinner time or rush in order to catch something we didn't want to miss. Movie theatre played great movies but was usually too crowded to get in to see. My husband enjoyed the gym every morning. Cooking classes were fun. There were many interesting enriching lectures to take advantage of. We loved the dueling pianos on Eurodam and were disappointed they aren't on Zuiderdam. Yet. I'm guessing they will be. Crew service and attitude were excellent across the board! Because we were visiting in Denmark, we shipped our big bags back home to Florida. Although expensive, it was very worth it. We walked off the ship in Copenhagen with our carry ons and walked right out to the street. Amazingly easy and quick. I'm sure Zuiderdam will have a pretty new face after dry dock and that is needed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Second trans-atlantic on the Zdam, and it was great again. The ship is in good shape, and the service is full, efficient, and happily delivered. SY cabin was fine, except for the old small flat screen TV. Those are cheap, with crappy ... Read More
Second trans-atlantic on the Zdam, and it was great again. The ship is in good shape, and the service is full, efficient, and happily delivered. SY cabin was fine, except for the old small flat screen TV. Those are cheap, with crappy sound, and just inadequate for any cabin. The food in the MDR was very good, as was the wait service. The variety of dishes was wide, and quite tasteful. A very nice and relaxing atmosphere especially for breakfast, and lunch. Entertainment was typical HAL. One comedian was OK, but music and dance shows are so-so. The BB King band was good, and not as loud as others. Many activities, and lectures to keep one and all busy. Service was very good in all aspects. Dealing with the front desk was a pleasure. The staff was always smiling, and greeting folks. This being a TA, there were 6 ports including the final one. One Azores (Horta) was cancelled due to choppy seas. The other Azores stop was Ponta Delgada, and was a very charming little town. The Azores are very verdant and picturesque islands. Cherbourg had miserable rainy weather, but still quite charming city. The submarine tour at Cite de la Mer was really cool. Went on the Around Bruge tour, and enjoyed it very much. Some towns seemed to be made up of mainly restaurants. Manicured lawns, and beautiful houses show a Belgian pride of beauty and order. The chocolate shops offer demos, and sell all kinds showing their longstanding mastery of making these confections. Amsterdam is a dynamic and fun city. It never changes. Got off the ship in Copenhagen, and spent a few days there. The city is beautiful, and its people are so easy going, and good natured. A wonderful city in all aspects. Loved sailing the Zdam, and looking forward to doing it again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We are seniors and this cruise was tailored for us The ship is a bit old, but is laid out well . I walk a lot and like the full promenade deck. Cabin (7028) has a very good design. Liked the curtain between the bed and bath as ... Read More
We are seniors and this cruise was tailored for us The ship is a bit old, but is laid out well . I walk a lot and like the full promenade deck. Cabin (7028) has a very good design. Liked the curtain between the bed and bath as wife is late sleeper. Shower is nice and large but curtain is pesky as always. We were not bothered by motion even though seas we a bit high a few days( neither of us have any problems with motion) Stewards were very good which is common on Rotterdam deck. Furniture is pretty worn and the TV has a very small screen. Food was very good overall in all venues. Nothing fabulous, but almost all well prepared. On the minus side, not a great selection of fruit, eggs Benedict not warm in the Lido even though prepared to order, coffee was not a good as previous HAL trips, and specialty coffee bar (Explorations Cafe) was not very convenient to large areas of the ship. Enjoyed almost all the entertainment, especially the live lounge music, but remember we are seniors and this music caters to that niche. Shows were good and sets outstanding. Lecturers and enrichment activities were good and varied, as they should be on a transatlantic. Wonderfully friendly, helpful crew; only saw 1 person that was a bit sour continually. Bad weather in Horta and Cherbourg. Been to Ponta Delgada before so just took the little train and walked around, very pleasant. Walking tour in Brugge with a guide from last year and did the canal cruise. Nice docking in Amsterdam itself,great city. Stayed extra day in Copenhagen and was rewarded with a beautiful Saturday! Great, relaxing cruise, but leave the kids and young adults at home. They will be bored stiff. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Great ports on the Trans-Atlantic Crossing and an amazing staff at Holland America's Zuiderdam made the cruise memorable. Although the cabin was old and dated, with a tv screen that was barely readable, the crew and the planned ... Read More
Great ports on the Trans-Atlantic Crossing and an amazing staff at Holland America's Zuiderdam made the cruise memorable. Although the cabin was old and dated, with a tv screen that was barely readable, the crew and the planned activities more than made up for any disappointment. The only negative was the on-staff singers and dancers who more reminded me of a high school talent show, than a professional team of performers. The specialty acts (comedian, pianists, and group acts) that were brought on the ship were absolutely fabulous - just cannot say the same for the onboard team of singers and dancers. The onboard house band was wonderful as well. Finally - the ship states it has a movie screening room ... it doesn't. It has a small room with 12 chairs that is always full. Actually saw a fight breakout between two people trying to get the last seat. They were showing great movies, unfortunately to a dozen people at a time only. Big disappointment. Guests would,line up 45 minutes ahead of a movie to get one of the 12 seats ... and that's only if the guests before didn't want to re-watch the same movie and not leave their seat (it happened...LOL). Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Although we are much younger than the average person on the ship, we did enjoy it. The ship itself needs to be upgraded i.e. TVs, stateroom furniture, WiFi, Unfortunately, some of the needed work of chipping rust on deck happened ... Read More
Although we are much younger than the average person on the ship, we did enjoy it. The ship itself needs to be upgraded i.e. TVs, stateroom furniture, WiFi, Unfortunately, some of the needed work of chipping rust on deck happened during our 17 day cruise; which was loud and annoying. Music was changed after a couple of days from up to date music (rap) to 40's, 50's and 60's music which was more appropriate for the age group on board. Entertainment was pretty good but loud singing. They can tone it down. Our reservations in the Pinnacle restaurant were completely botched up but HAL made up for it with a free meal there. The Pinnacle Grill was excellent. All the food on board was great (except for the shrimp and eggs). Cruise Director was excellent (Christina). Shore excursions are too crowded and I would not book another one again. If you can get a taxi at the worst or if you have time get a personal tour and hook up with other people on your cruise with Cruise Critic. Ports were great: Azores (Horta, Ponta del Delgada), A Coruna, Cherbourg, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Copenhagen. The captain was very informative and I give him an A+. The crew in the Lido needs more training. Officers walking through the deck do not make eye contact and don't recognize anyone around. (I think that is awful). I have sailed HAL many times and this is the only time I have seen this behavior (or lack of). Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. The TA crossing followed by the Baltic ports and then the Fjords and Highlands. 41 days and very port intensive. Embarkation/Debarkation went extremely smooth. The cabin attendants were excellent, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. The TA crossing followed by the Baltic ports and then the Fjords and Highlands. 41 days and very port intensive. Embarkation/Debarkation went extremely smooth. The cabin attendants were excellent, We had the unlimited laundry service and it was excellent. Lido service was average. Seemed to me to be understaffed and overworked. Main Dining room service was a little above average. Room service was very good. If you're a "foodie" then I wouldn't recommend this ship. Food was good for us, but we're easy to please. Entertainment was typical cruise line entertainment and nothing I get excited about. We only did 2 HAL excursions so really can't add much there. The TA crossing was relaxing, the Baltics were fantastic as were the Fjords and Highlands. One big issue was the noise created due to constant maintenance around the ship. Banging, grinding, chipping and welding. Maintenance is a must, but this was the first cruise I've notice this much noise on. Rendered our cabin's veranda useless for approximately a week. Value for the money spent was worth the cruise and I'd recommend it with the understanding it has it's shortcomings, but for us we'd do it again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
4-stars, not 5. I'd need Oceania or Crystal to get a 5 outa me. We LOVE Transatlantic cruises. For the $Value$ seekers, this may be a true bargain...maybe. Zip,zip with Holland-America on boarding and departures. Baltics Ports were ... Read More
4-stars, not 5. I'd need Oceania or Crystal to get a 5 outa me. We LOVE Transatlantic cruises. For the $Value$ seekers, this may be a true bargain...maybe. Zip,zip with Holland-America on boarding and departures. Baltics Ports were wonderful...in April and May even !! Crossing the Atlantic was quite enjoyable. Guests from more 'Southern Climes' had light jackets on when walking or on Aft Lido Deck, but a few, including myself, used the HotTubs and pools, but sparingly. Nice Sauna!! ZUIDERDAM and longer cruises attracts more seasoned and somewhat older crowd methinks; as was the case on this 29-day from Florida to Sweden and Russia. No little kids. Teens? Nope. Twenties? Nope. Thirties? A few. Yeah...I know. Older folks. ZUIDERDAM is a middle-of-road vessel by today's North American clientele standards. Not Uber-snazzy, not Plain-Vanilla either. The Staff and Officers were 1st rate. Dining Room and Bar staff were definitely as good as we've had on any HAL ship. The ZUIDERDAM has had remodeling done recently, and it appears to be in the vogue to continue fixing and re-working cruise ships during cruises nowadays. But too much grinding and welding wore a bit thin on this voyage for many...including us. It appeared VERY seaworthy and handled open ocean conditions very, very well. But it's not new and Jazzy like a new OCEANIA or CRYSTAL vessel can be, but we liked it as it was reasonably $$Priced$$. We're in our 60's and not overly demanding. We never availed ourselves of Pinnacle Dining Rm meals, or Rm Service, as the Standard Dining Rm menu was quite sufficient. Lido Buffet was as expected....plentiful and suitable for Poolside dining. GREAT unlimited IceCream!! Free. All Cruise ships with very few exceptions have become VERY $Expense$ conscious lately to keep Cabin Rates in line with the competition. HAL, for instance, has cut out a Poolside live music group called the HAL-CATS. Big mistake in my opinion. That killed the ambiance greatly compared to past years. The Classical Violin group, formerly known as the Adiago Strings is now down to 1 String. Hmm. No Pool Volley-ball organizer. etc etc. Not egregious omissions, but such things are making long-time HAL cruisers yearn for the Good-old days and begin looking elsewhere for an experience with a little more Pizzaz and Bling-bling. Creating a TopDeck Gazebo area during it's last Dry-dock for extra $$$ is an unmitigated disaster. ZERO takers!! ZERO. NONE. Somebody got fired I'll bet. Gymnasium was quite good. Nice equipment, but no Pool Water Aerobics. Basketball court went unused. Shuffleboard? Ditto. Ports-o-Call thru the Baltics can be phenomenal. Grab a Rick Steve's Guide to the Baltics and take off as we did. We rarely take Shore Excursion thru any Ship offerings as we dislike large Motorcoaches. We are savvy enough to hike Volcanoes, snoop back streets for fun and 'Local Color', and gad about with only a street map, our feet or Taxi and a handful of $$Currency. Wa-aaay more fun for us. Azores Volcanos, Amsterdam Canals, Berlin's history, Copenhagen food, St.Petersburg Cathedrals and Galleries, Sweden's gorgeous scenery. Beaches of Normandy. Chocolate shops of Brugges, Belgium. Lotsa WOW ashore. Cocktail time, new friends, and Dining Rm ambiance aboard the ZUIDERDAM.....then lunch with our relatives in Sweden; where do I stop. Yes, indeed. We had a good time. We arrived home via Icelandic Air rather exhausted, in a good way. It beat a bus tour of N.Europe hands down. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This is our 3rd Transatlantic cruise in a row. Each cruise had completely different itineraries and we both love the sea days and on crossings there are plenty of sea days to relax as you see fit. My wife and I enjoy the guest speakers ... Read More
This is our 3rd Transatlantic cruise in a row. Each cruise had completely different itineraries and we both love the sea days and on crossings there are plenty of sea days to relax as you see fit. My wife and I enjoy the guest speakers that usually have lectures AM and PM on the sea days. These lectures are very popular and they do quite well with filling up the showroom. We choose the less expensive cabins and many times they offer upgrades from ocean view to balcony suites for very little cost. The more you cruise with a particular line the better chance you have of getting a reasonably priced upgrade. At least this is my experience with Holland America as we have sailed with them 14 times so far. The ships entertainment in my opinion is their weak spot. I am not a big fan of the ship's entertainers. When they bring on a specialty act like jugglers, magicians, comedians, musicians and others they are well worth attending. My wife and I really enjoy the trivia contests held several times a day. There is music trivia, food trivia, pub trivia and team trivia among the many choices. These are usually most plentiful on sea days to help keep you occupied. The crew on all Holland America ships are among the best at sea. One example: On a recent cruise we met a bar server who we had not seen in over a year and he knew our names and what we both drank. I was dumbfounded and flabbergasted. Most impressive! The cruise line offers a great variety of shore excursions and each has a varying degree of activity which is spelled out in advance so depending on your age, health, etc, you can choose the excursion that best fits your needs and desires. We have already booked our next cruise with Holland America so I definitely recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our first cruise on a Holland America ship and we found it to be the nicest we have yet experienced. We have sailed on NCL and Celebrity in the past. We combined two separate cruises to get a 29 day total. The first was a 17 ... Read More
This was our first cruise on a Holland America ship and we found it to be the nicest we have yet experienced. We have sailed on NCL and Celebrity in the past. We combined two separate cruises to get a 29 day total. The first was a 17 day transatlantic repositioning from Ft. Lauderdale to Copenhagen and the second was a 12 day Baltic Sea. We found the itinerary to be wonderful, with stops in 11 different countries and a number of sea days. The ship offered quite a few options onboard during sea days and you could find things to participate in or not depending on your taste. Yes, most of them were geared toward an older crowd, but that is what we looked like on a HAL ship and on a trip this long. The entertainment changed often and was extremely varied and top notch. We found the food to be better than our previous ships in the main dining areas and the food in the specialty restaurants was better. Granted you don't have a lot of options on the Zuiderdam, but there were enough not to get bored with the food. The service was the best we have seen, especially our cabin stewards who kept our cabin spotless the entire voyage and kept us entertained with towel animals each night of the cruise. We had seen some comments about the maintenance and looks of the ship on this forum before we left and were a bit concerned. However, we did not have any issues along those lines during our trip. Sure the ship is getting a little age on her and may be a bit rusty in spots on the outside, but hey, so am I. The deck crews were outside chipping and painting during every day of our cruise, they replaced some worn carpet during the cruise and they are constantly cleaning all over the ship day and night. They repainted the entire hull while we were on board, taking care of the scrapes they picked up during the winter on their Panama Canal cruises. We found everything mechanical worked as advertised during the entire trip. We took a fair number of the shore excursions offered through HAL and had a great time on all of them. The days in A Coruna, Normandy, Brugge, Holland, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Berlin and St. Petersburg were outstanding and the other ports were also interesting. We found them organized and professionally run, especially the ones which used headsets so it was easy to hear everything that was being said. Many of these excursions ran in excess of 10 hours and we didn't think they wasted any time. We will admit that many of these ports and excursions required a fair amount of walking, but they are pretty good about saying that up front. Some of the ports were just fine to tackle on your own and we did so in about 5 of them. For some of them it just makes sense to take the tours and let them handle the logistics. We found embarkation and disembarkation to be pretty simple and straightforward. Yes our flight got in fairly early on the day we left and we didn't have to wait long to get on board. Our cabin was ready when we got there and our luggage followed pretty quickly. The lines moved quickly and they had a bunch of people working to get you ready to board. We had an early morning flight out on the last day and they were ready for us at 4:15 am with a transfer to the airport. We did run a few minutes late getting started because some of the luggage was a little late getting off, but we were still at the airport with plenty of time to spare. It may get harder to get off during the prime times, but early was simple and easy. We did use HAL to set up our flights from home to Ft. Lauderdale and then back home from Copenhagen and those all went off without a hitch. Our seats were good and our layovers worked well both coming and going. We did use their transfers to and from the airports, which we found to be worth every penny. Overall, we have no complaints. We loved the size and the layout of the ship, the food, the service, our cabin, the staff, the shore excursions and the ports where we stopped. We would happily travel with HAL again and would hope to make it back to the Zuiderdam. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary, price and length. The transatlantic part was great - full of activities, excellent entertainment, and solo time if you so desired. We had a cabin with a window but it was smaller than the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary, price and length. The transatlantic part was great - full of activities, excellent entertainment, and solo time if you so desired. We had a cabin with a window but it was smaller than the inside room friends had. I think I would have been happy with an interior room. We were on the first floor, which was great - I would recommend it. Some folks higher up found the crossing to be much rougher than we found it to be. As always, the room steward was super efficient; the dining staff excellent. The dining room meals were excellent. The buffet also had great choices (FRESH large salads, as well as yummy sushi and other creative dishes). The Baltic ports were well chosen but like all cruises, not enough time IN port. Be prepared for a very busy cruise if you select this portion. Full, full days and many ports in a row. I can't comment on ship's excursions as I organized all our tours independently. We travelled only with carry-on luggage, so embarkation and disembarkation were pretty easy! We stayed three extra days in Copenhagen. A good decision but EXPENSIVE! I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 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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