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12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our second cruise with HAL. Although the Zuiderdam is showing her age in places, overall we had no complaints. Everything was clean and sparking and worked very well. Our room (1052) was extremely comfortable (although the bed ... Read More
This was our second cruise with HAL. Although the Zuiderdam is showing her age in places, overall we had no complaints. Everything was clean and sparking and worked very well. Our room (1052) was extremely comfortable (although the bed took up two thirds of the room)! The room was cleaned beautifully and was quiet and warm or cool when necessary. The bathroom was clean and we had a bath with a shower so plenty of room to manoeuvre. The dining room staff (both in the Lido and the main Dining Room) were lovely and the food was plentiful, hot (where necessary) and delicious. We really enjoyed our experience on this cruise and cannot understand the negative comments previously posted. The entertainment wasn't always to our taste but that wasn't a problem because there are plenty of places to go and have a drink with some quiet music or you can sit and just 'people watch' if you want - which is entertaining in itself! Yes, there were older people on board but that goes with ALL cruises (as we know from past experiences). If you want to go party all night then go on a different kind of holiday. (A 'Club 18-30' holiday will soon change your mind)! The overall experience on the cruise was wonderful and we would recommend HAL cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We has been cruise for more than 10 times in difference cruise lines, this is our first long Transatlantic cruise, 26 days, from Miami to Venice. On this cruise, everything's meet the standards of the other cruise lines (not the ... Read More
We has been cruise for more than 10 times in difference cruise lines, this is our first long Transatlantic cruise, 26 days, from Miami to Venice. On this cruise, everything's meet the standards of the other cruise lines (not the exclusive cruise lines). We are very easy going couple, we are not picky. But in this cruise, for 26 days we had a lot of times to talk to the other passengers and every body was agreed that HAL need to improve the nightly production/broadway shows. For a reason that I don't know why the Cruise Critic's Editor gave a 5 stars on the review of this ship activity (?). BTW, I am sorry for not write a long review b/c I don't know how to type and not very good on grammar. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
Our first cruise with HAL from Fort Lauderdale down to the Caribbean First the crew made up of mainly Indonesian and Filipino absolutely fantastic they can,t do enough for you, that's where the praise stops. The food Now Holland ... Read More
Our first cruise with HAL from Fort Lauderdale down to the Caribbean First the crew made up of mainly Indonesian and Filipino absolutely fantastic they can,t do enough for you, that's where the praise stops. The food Now Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam, the food in the buffet is what you would expect in an old peoples home (sloppy) the restaurants Ok but the menu in the main dinning restaurant does not have enough choice and only 3 courses and if you like coffee after your meal you have to pay for it, in the pinnacle restaurant I have my first hot soup and best meal but it cost an extra $29, we tried the Asian restaurant its so uncomfortable, the chairs are a terrible design with no back support, the cutlery is a joke as the new "designer" plates and bowls makes eating your food a struggle. The cabin, We had a balcony which was larger than most on the upper promenade deck which was the best part, because the have put small tubs in the bathroom it has taken space away from the entrance which made it very tight and the best way to get into the wardrobe and bend over was to open the bathroom door, I would like to know which bright spark from HAL decided to purchase LCD televisions as most people know they need to be at the correct height so when you were lying on the bed all you could see was a dark screen, or allow them to tilt and the program choice was terrible unless you wanted to rent a DVD from reception. The bar areas Who ever designed these bars I must have done it during the school holidays and has now gone back to using crayons and painting pictures of mammy and daddy ( no style or class ) but well done to the person who designed the Silk Den, this is the best bar area on the ship and could easily go onto any 5 star cruise line. Other passengers Is it because I am British or am I out of touch on the way to behave but why were the other people treating the ship furniture so badly every where I went they had there feet on the furniture with their shoes on, this shows so much disrespect and we all ending paying more in the future for our cruise as the ship will need refitting more often and the staff are too polite to ask them not to it. I afraid this was my one and only cruise with HAL, its back to Princess and Celebrity   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
I've watched the quality and integrity of Holland America decline dramatically over the years, and it's a sad thing to see. Their latest gimmick is to hold cruise fares down as much as possible while compromising quality in ... Read More
I've watched the quality and integrity of Holland America decline dramatically over the years, and it's a sad thing to see. Their latest gimmick is to hold cruise fares down as much as possible while compromising quality in hopes that no one notices. In order to do that and still operate the fleet, they've turned over control of the cruise line to their accountants in Miami and their bosses at the Carnival Corp. The "Revenue Department" sets up these little "bait and switch" deals because they don't think their customers are smart enough to know the difference, but we do. As one cruise review said about Holland America, "The Dutch have learned to lie with a smile", and it's true. I felt we were being deceived. The ships now pull into Caribbean harbors at 7 am, and they leave port at 2:30 or 3. In Saint Martin and Half Moon Cay, everyone had to be back on board at 2:30 in the afternoon -- right in the middle of a beautiful sunny day. They've slashed port times to increase on board revenues. The ships crawl along at 18 knots instead of 25 as they're designed to do. Slowing down the ship saves fuel. Leaving ports early increases ship on board revenue in the peak afternoon hours. It's all about money, leaving the guests inconvenienced and annoyed. No one wants to get up at 5 or 6 am on their vacation to hurry and get off the ship. Who wants to go swimming at 7 am? It's still dark! Since food quality and service have deteriorated in the main dining room, we ate in the Pinnacle Grill (for an extra charge), or we went up to the Lido deck cafeteria (which has no dining atmosphere at all). Dining in the main dining room is a joke! You'll wait 2 hours to get your entree, and if you need coffee or want to order to dessert -- forget it! They also eliminated most of the wine stewards, so you can't order wine either. Service staff in every department throughout the ship has been deeply cut back. Our cabin steward had 31 cabins to clean, twice a day. The Indonesian crew is so exhausted from overwork -- they look like they're ready to pass out. I felt sorry for the crew. No one was looking out for their best interest, and all they talked about is exactly how many days they had until their contract was up. They were all terribly homesick. Every single crew member we came in contact with was visibly unhappy. How does this make the guests feel? The entertainment at night is programmed for the 20-year olds who are in charge of entertainment. The music in the production shows is blaring too loud, and they keep repeating the same stale song & dance shows over and over. Holland America desperately wants a younger clientele on board, so they think if they program all the entertainment and activities to young people, this will make it so. The quests on board are still all 50 to 90 years old, no matter what ridiculous acts they put on stage, and no matter how outrageously loud they play the music. Why can't they place a mature entertainment director on board with entertainment that's appropriate for the age of the guests? Also, it would help if the entertainment department in Seattle was run by more mature people. It as if Holland America deeply resents the older population that they service. We have over 200 sea days with Holland America. Up to this date, we've been loyal customers, but we're done. There are other cruise lines, comparably priced, that deliver a better product, more time in port, fresher food and better service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2009
This was our honeymoon, so my generally frugal husband and I decided to splurge on a verandah room. When we arrived in our cabin after a gloriously simple embarkation, we were disappointed to find that our cabin on the observation deck did ... Read More
This was our honeymoon, so my generally frugal husband and I decided to splurge on a verandah room. When we arrived in our cabin after a gloriously simple embarkation, we were disappointed to find that our cabin on the observation deck did not have a full verandah, but a little half circle that had no chairs, etc. Just when I was beginning to get annoyed, our delightful cabin steward came in to introduce himself and orient us to some of the amenities on the ship. He began the cruise with friendly unobtrusive service that remained consistent throughout. This was my 11th cruise and he was most definitely the best cabin steward I have ever had. Let me preface the rest of the review by saying that our experience on the Eurodam was vastly different from any of the other lines I have sailed on. If you are looking for the novelty of random silly activities and drunk partying fellow cruisers, this is not the line for you. The demographics, were, as predicted, primarily retirees. We had some reservations about this, but our fellow passengers were delightful. The Ship--the condition of the ship was superb! This is a 1-2 year old ship. The decor is very tasteful and flows very well. The ship does not have the big open atrium area that other ships do, but it provides a level of intimacy that is refreshing. There were 2000 passengers on our sailing, yet it seemed that the ship was only 1/2 full. Our two days at sea, we spent on the top forward deck of the ship and there were only a handful of passengers around us. There was one three hour period when we did not see an single person. It was very relaxing. Dining--One of the few things that we found very annoying about the dining areas on the ship was the Lido area. It is "buffet" style, but you are served the main entrees and the attendants even prepare your coffee for you, which we found to be a bit much. There seemed to be an awful lot of waiting in line for no apparent reason. The food, however, was very good. If you go, try the hot chocolate--surprisingly rich and tasty. The Dining Room food and service were, at minimum, three notches above the other lines. The service was efficient, the food arrived at the table on time and at temperature. They did a lot of great lamb and duck dishes and the filet and lobster were fantastic. They could have done a little better with desserts. Room Service was great. We ordered coffee every morning and it arrived right on time each day. Casino--very small with a very limited selection. Bar Service--definitely not their strong suit. Very limited selection of imports and they did not have half of what was on the menu. Public Areas--very comfortable furnishings and set-up. The Queen's Lounge offered daily culinary demonstrations. Entertainment--The ship's entertainers were the standard "show choir". They had a very funny comedian, a terrible magician and a Celtic group that may or may not have been entertaining, as Irish drinking songs are not really in our taste. The Indonesian staff did a delightful show--it was my favorite. My husband appreciated that they had both Sunday and Monday NFL games available for viewing. Shopping-somewhat limited selection with a very rude staff. Between the shops and the bar, we spent far less money than we normally would have. Ports of call/excursions: Grand Turk: Wonderful port. We did the dune buggy excursion and had a blast! San Juan: Another great spot. We did the Old San Juan walking tour--very interesting. St Thomas--a pit! Very disappointing port. We did the Paradise Tram and St Peter Greathouse. If you go here, I recommend taking the ferry to St John. Private Island: WOW! There were paved pathways, plenty of Chairs and rental equipment, and restrooms about every hundred feet. Heads and shoulders above the other 4 I have been to on competitor's lines. Disembarkment: VERY efficient. 15 minutes from our 12 floor room, through customs and baggage and into the cab. KUDOS! In short: Cons: Rude gift shop staff, limited casino, limited bar service, too many private cabanas that were not in use and taking up space poolside, Lido was very inefficient--a real hassle, no bar for my husband to enjoy a cigar, mediocre entertainment, photography was mediocre. PROS: Excellent food and service, very clean ship, handtowels in the public restrooms, cold towels upon return to ship, plenty of space for handicapped passengers to maneuver, delightful passengers and dinner companions, unobtrusive staff, culinary demonstrations, Explorer Lounge with games and books, DVD player in room, robes and slippers in room for comfort, spacious cabins and bathrooms, very efficient embarkation and debarkation, informative papers about ports of call, daily newspapers, "Mailboxes" outside the room. Overall, we were extremely pleased with this cruise. It was an excellent choice for our honeymoon. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2006
My wife and I are in our 60's. We travelled from the UK to Miami and joined the Westerdam at Fort Lauderdale after a night's stay at the Westin Hotel. The organization of getting us to the ship including the overnight stay was ... Read More
My wife and I are in our 60's. We travelled from the UK to Miami and joined the Westerdam at Fort Lauderdale after a night's stay at the Westin Hotel. The organization of getting us to the ship including the overnight stay was well organized and smooth with no holdups. The cabin on board was spacious and very comfortable. The beds are every bit as comfortable as previously reported. We are experienced cruisers.We consider ourselves sociable and friendly.We found our fellow passengers, who were in the majority Americans,very engaging and unstuffy.The average age was probably 10-15 years older than us-but this I am sure was due to the time of the year(2 weeks before Christmas) We had a most enjoyable and relaxing 2 week cruise(back to back, East and West Caribbean) The only fly in the ointment during the trip was an unfortunate incident involving the Pinnacle Grill. Without boring you with the details,suffice to say that the organization of the restaurant left a lot to be desired, the standard of food disappointing(no better than the main dining) and the style of service overfussy.If you are used to fine dining I would recommend you give this option a miss. Overall,a very classy ship,excellent and helpful staff, good food,good entertainment and well organized cruising experience. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2003
After 23 cruises over the same amount of years I found the MS Zuiderdam a wonderful surprise. Everything worked as it should from embarkation to disembarkation. The ship is new and the crew is geared towards pleasing ALL its passengers. It ... Read More
After 23 cruises over the same amount of years I found the MS Zuiderdam a wonderful surprise. Everything worked as it should from embarkation to disembarkation. The ship is new and the crew is geared towards pleasing ALL its passengers. It is the only cruise I have ever been on that I found very little to complain about. This was the Eastern Caribbean cruise with ports of call including Half Moon Cay, St. Marten, St. Thomas, and Nassau. I found NONE of the problems reported in previous reviews of this ship. There was NO sewage odor, vibration in the dining room was as expected while being on a ship over her screws, the entire staff was pleasant and eager to please. The food was very good. We did not try the Odyssey speciality restaurant but heard the prime rib there was to kill for. The shows were OK but not exceptional and the normal day to day shipboard activities were what one would expect. One of the nicest things was no one on the staff was hawking drinks or any other profit oriented endeavor. I thought the no tipping policy was a refreshing change and found the staff worked harder that those lines which demand x amount of dollars per day per person and especially those which automatically place said charges on your bill. Therefore it was nice to compensate those who treated you well accordingly. We had a class SS cabin (6063) and found it perfect. It is midships, starboard and a little forward. I found it well laid out and the only complaint was that as on most ships there are not enough electrical outlets. I knew this in advance so we brought along a power strip and that solved the problem. The only disappointment on the cruise was the fact that there was no engine room or bridge tour. Holland America's corporate office indicated that there would be and to sign up at the front desk. The front desk personnel responded to my request "Oh no, that is impossible, because of 911". Well excuse me, I don't buy into that. As far as I am concerned they could make a profit center out of those locations and charge say $ 100.00 and take small parties well guarded to secure areas. So that is my opinion of the Zuiderdam. I highly recommend her and Holland America. Read Less
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