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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise primarily based on timing and the beginning/end points. Less on the cruise line. Holland America met our needs for our criteria. In spite of all that we'd heard about HAL catering mostly to elderly clients, we signed ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily based on timing and the beginning/end points. Less on the cruise line. Holland America met our needs for our criteria. In spite of all that we'd heard about HAL catering mostly to elderly clients, we signed up for a 15 day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to San Diego. Leaving Ft. Lauderdale, our first stop was Half Moon Cay. Overall, less touristy and was fine for the short time we were there. After 2 sea days, we hit Cartagena. We were there for a half-day. Didn't have time to really go anywhere other than a quick city tour. Honestly, not sure why we visited this port. Would have gladly traded Cartagena for a day in Panama City, Panama. The canal was everything we had heard it would be. The views were amazing and the trip transiting the canal was something we'll never forget. The crew did a nice job making folks comfortable. Seriously made the entire trip worth it. This is where the wheels started coming off. The first thing we found was the hot tub closed at 10 pm. Having dinner at 8 pm made this problematic. Wasn't much else to do after dinner so this was the logical choice for our 40/50 year-old group. There were six of us cruising so we thought we would ask for a little extension for one of the hot tubs. We were quickly told no. The staff was beyond confused when we told them their simple no wasn't good enough and we would like to escalate the issue to a higher authority. This really threw them for a loop. After a fair amount of complaining and 7 days into the cruise, the Captain firmly and finally said no. Guess he wasn't too interested in our opinion or issue. The second issue involved shipboard credits and the communication form our travel agency. It's too long and involved for this but suffice it to say, the crew was little to no help with this issue either. Overall, we found the staff beyond our cabin stewards and waiters to be pretty bored and less than concerned about pretty much anything beyond the basics. Couple that with the fact that everything other than ice water and coffee (even coffee in some areas of the ship were costly) were charged. HAL seems intent on getting every possible cent from their passengers. As I said, the crew was generally not helpful. Not sure if this is the HAL culture or a profound lack of leadership from our particular captain. The ports were a mixed bag with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala being the best by far. Chiapas, Mexico was a serious waste of time. The crew admitted there was absolutely nothing to do there. Again, not sure what we stopped there. Have to say I've taken my last cruise on Holland America Lines. Not impressed in any way. Oh,the best part of the ship was our shower was the best I've ever had on a cruise ship. This is our 8th cruise overall and was the most disappointing when it comes to the cruise line. The rep they have catering to elderly passengers is well-deserved and earned. We felt totally out of place. Should have listened to my gut! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
After recently sailing on both the Westerdam and the Noordam, the Zuiderdam was a bit of a disappointment. The ship had only recently come out of dry dock, but clearly there is a LOT more updating to accomplish. While the Gallery Bar, Lido ... Read More
After recently sailing on both the Westerdam and the Noordam, the Zuiderdam was a bit of a disappointment. The ship had only recently come out of dry dock, but clearly there is a LOT more updating to accomplish. While the Gallery Bar, Lido and Crow’s Nest were spiffy and polished, the ship was dated and shabby in many places, particularly our cabin (4174), as well as both the Ocean and Pinnacle Bar, and most public bathrooms on the ship. Also, the Zuiderdam was just not as well run as the Westerdam or the Noordam. That being said, we had a wonderful cruise director (Saul Orr) and a great time on all the shore excursions we took in Aruba, Curacao, Cartagena and Panama. The Panama Canal was worth seeing, and the doomed rail car to the Miraflores Locks was well worth the cost and time involved. The food was uniformly good and the service by both our cabin stewards and wait staff was excellent, which is what we expect of Holland America. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise for the Panama Canal full transit, and the plus that the ms Westerdam was refurbished earlier this year. I read several reviews before the cruise about the refurb modernizations, mostly people missing what was no ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Panama Canal full transit, and the plus that the ms Westerdam was refurbished earlier this year. I read several reviews before the cruise about the refurb modernizations, mostly people missing what was no longer there. One major change, and one I never saw mentioned, was the addition of 4 USB charging ports in our cabin: 2 at the desk and 1 at each night stand. Had I known, I would have left the mini-extension-cord-with-USB at home. At least I didn't need to use it - ever! The other changes to the ship's decor and style felt like an upgrade for me, also. I remember the previous HAL style from trips about her sister ship, ms Zuiderdam, and similar styles on the Eurodam and Ryndam, and while I enjoyed those ships repeatedly none of the changes felt "drastic" or "out-of-character" with Holland America's general sense of class and elegance. The public areas were gracefully appointed and comfortable. The background muzak for some areas was unpleasant but that may have only been our take on it. HAL needs to reaffirm her role by bringing the next generation into the ship and my choices may not always be the most popular or current. I'd rather adapt than see the cruise line falter and loose markets. The food was a better than last year's cruise and that was a pleasant surprise. I expect good food from HAL and am usually only mildly disappointed by a dish now and then. But the current kitchen has surpassed my expectations and on this 14 day cruise I actually was looking to try more new dishes each day rather than resort to those I had earlier in the week and thought were good. The crow's Nest Bar has changed - the coffee machines are now a permanent part of the bar but that turned out surprisingly well, since I never would bother to walk around the corner with the old layout. I read about people missing the library but really don't understand since any time I tried to find a book (since 2009) the selection was never what I expected and I always just settled for something. I was so grateful to start using a tablet when they were available to bring all the books (and more) that I want. I miss the teak loungers on the promenade deck. Those aluminum and nylon contraptions they have were not any more comfortable and far less appealing to me. But I bet the maintenance people are pleased with the lower upkeep for them.I would certainly never keep a teak lounger at home for that reason. We are not big on the shows in the mail showroom. The couple we attended were good and well visited. And the discussions we heard from others on board indication most we're pleased with what was offered. The Lincoln Center Stage was often come-early for seating, and the crowd around the piano duet only got more involved each night. The ports were different for us and while Guatemala and Nicaragua are still industrial ports, HAL does a decent job of getting you out into the countryside. One word of caution - we talked to vendors at the port, and negotiated for a tour in Corinto, Guatemala only to be told we could not pay with a credit card as we were getting into the van. The bus driver would "take us into town to an ATM where we could get cash" but that had too many red flags for us to find it acceptable. Nothing was said during any of the negotiations that the deals was for cash payment. And our concern was that once away from the port, and stuck, the price would not be the same. And again, inside the "hospitality center" that large room with the musicians and tour desks, we were initially told we could use our credit card only to have the older woman at the counter tell the clerk that no, we could only use the card "in town at an ATM" to get cash to pay. Our advice - either book with HAL or book online before you get there. Our cabin service was a good as usual, although later in the day than we expected. I feel that HAL is reducing staff to improve margins and that's unfortunate, if they have. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because it went through the entire Panama Canal and ported at places we had not seen. It satisfied all those. Unlike Caribbean cruises, each and every port had different ethnic, social and landscape. We learned a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went through the entire Panama Canal and ported at places we had not seen. It satisfied all those. Unlike Caribbean cruises, each and every port had different ethnic, social and landscape. We learned a lot about the history of the locality. We chose a variety of HAL sponsored excursions and three private tours. I highly recommend the private ones. The HAL ones were crowded and some were not staffed with adequately knowledgeable tour company staff. The highlight of the tour was transiting the Canal. We did marvel at the engineering necessary by the French and Americans to complete the task. We did NOT like that the commentary by the 'expert' was doing from the Captain's deck was not able to be heard any place but the aft deck, the Promenade Deck and the Crow's Nest. It was not transmitted to other decks or onto balconies/verandas. Since this was for sure the main reason people took this cruise, it should have been. Also noted that daily morning announcements, times to disembark or other information - including emergency ones - were not able to be heard unless you had your cabin door open. We encountered multiple incidents where information given to me by Guest Services was contradicted by information given to my husband. Also many of the GS attendants spoke with such an accent that it made understanding them and them me, difficult. I have nothing but praise for our room steward, dining room attendant and assistant attendant and maitre d. They were always anxious to please us. The wine steward was less so once we told him that we were not interested in purchasing a wine package or even a bottle. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My husband had vacation days left, and a cruise required less planning than other options. The itinerary included Panama (on our bucket list), Cartagena and other ports we had never been to, so we booked this only 6 weeks prior to ... Read More
My husband had vacation days left, and a cruise required less planning than other options. The itinerary included Panama (on our bucket list), Cartagena and other ports we had never been to, so we booked this only 6 weeks prior to sailing. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before, used UBER ($8) to get to the Embassy Suites, which was an older hotel, but clean, and we enjoyed the free cocktail hour with snacks from 5-7 pm, and the free breakfast. Rather than use the hotel port transportation we took UBER ($4) to the port. This was our first time on Holland and we were very pleased. The ship itself is on the smaller size but I think this helped with embarkation and debarkation, and generally with a less crowded feel overall. Just a short line on embarkation and rooms were already prepared and available when we boarded. We only bring carry on luggage so were able to put our bags in the room immediately. Passengers are typically older - mid 40's to 70's and up. We are mid 50's. There were a few electric carts, canes and walkers, but not an overwhelming amount. I only saw 5 children on the cruise. We had late dining (8pm) at a table for 6. We had lots of fun with our table mates and with our waiter, Dewa, who took great care of us all cruise long. We had never done late dining before but it worked out well on this itinerary as some of the port calls go into the evening. Food was very good in the dining room. The soups were especially delicious. Surf and Turf with Lobster was tasty. On the way out of the dining room we could stop to be served butter mints! Yum. We often had breakfast in the main dining room as it was nice to be served instead of the using the buffet on LIDO deck. Food in the Buffet was very good as well. They serve you most of the items. Never ate dinner there, but lunch included asian options, pizza, various pasta (you choose pasta and sauce and add ons) , burgers, pre-made sandwiches, deli where you choose, regular hot main meals, and an awesome salad bar. Salad bar had big bowls where you choose from the lettuce you want and a plethora of nummy items and dressings. You could make a different kind of salad every day! There were always seats available in the Lido buffet, but you often had to share a table of 4 or 6 with other people. Free beverages included water, ice tea, and lemonade. Juice was free during breakfast. Ice cream was scooped, not soft serve, and available in cones or dishes. If you looked carefully, you could find a little brown bag filled with potato chips! There were several mini classes, about 40 minutes each, on Windows 10 topics which I found to be very informative and learned new things. The Test Kitchen had delicious recipes and great demonstrations-I wish I had time to attend more of those. The evening main shows were not quite what I was expecting. I thought there would be more singing/dancing type shows, but there was only one of those. The other were a couple of excellent themed dance shows, a ventriloquist, a magician, a comedian, a nature move with live musicians on stage, etc. While I did not care for the music in the BBKing Club, they had an very, very talented Quintet of violins, cello and piano that were super talented. They played a variety of programs. Also in Billboard Onboard there are 2 grand pianos with the 2 players doing several shows a day. They were awesome and seemed to have at least one all request show each evening. Emily on piano was just outstanding and a great singer as well. She knew almost ever song people asked for. My husband loves his trivia and there were contest 3-4 times a day. I took a different route and purchased the all cruise pass to the spa, $149 on embarkation day. Only 40 passes are sold, so the facilities were never crowed. That got me use of the bubbling hydro pool-really great for sore muscles. It is a quiet separate room with some chairs and chaise loungers. It also included the thermal suite with steam room, dry sauna, wet sauna and fabulous heated ceramic loungers looking out over the ocean. Open 8 am - 10 pm. Loved every minute of it! You get a sticker for your card, and then just walk up to the desk anytime to get a locker which has a lovely spa robe inside and of course a locked space for your belongings. I often read while relaxing on the loungers. Ports/Excurisions: Half Moon Cay-Very nice beach. which you take a tender to get to. Lots of beach chairs. I suggest you walk further down toward the pirate ship. You can even find some chairs with shade in this area. Water was nice for swimming. BBQ lunch by Holland was also nice. Did not choose an excursion. No need to. This was a wonderful relaxing beach day. Aruba - The town is ok, but nothing special. Would recommend you do an excursion. We did a sunset cruise from 5:30 to 7:30 and got back in time for 8 pm dinner on the boat. Nice trip, calm seas, bar open all trip long (no beer) rum and cokes, and other hard liquor, and some wine, and a champagne toast for everyone near the end of the trip. Delicious hot appetizers and local cheese served as snacks. A bit crowded when getting on, but then they opened up the front of the catamaran and that was better. Note: you must climb down a short ladder to use the toilet. Nice tour. Recommended. Curacao - Did not do an excursion, but this is a lovely port to walk around. Path from ship is brick walkway, then enters a lovely outdoor shopping mall type area (shops, bars, cheese, ice cream, free WIFI etc) then continue through and walk out to the water and across the amazing floating bridge. We went back at night across the bridge and sat in an open air bar, Vienna Biergarten, and had a drink while watching the bridge lit up at night and opening and closing as boats came by. This was our favorite port. Cartagena - We took the Cartagena by Land and Sea excursion and both liked it. Being on the boat was nice, and cooler, and broke up the tour nicely. Our guide Fernando was excellent and gave a great understanding of Cartegena. Tour also goes to the fort. It is a bit of an uphill climb, but they wait for people. It also goes into the old town. They have nice clean restrooms to use at an air-conditioned Emerald store, which also has Free WIFI. Next door you get a ticket for a free bottle of water, or soda for $1 or beer for $2. There is also around 40 minutes of time on your own. We went to the free Gold Museum. Small but interesting. Beware: the street vendors are very present everywhere. We found it best just to walk past without saying anything and they left us alone. People that said "no thank you" were then engaged in further requests to buy their items. If you like t-shirts, you can get them for 4 for $20. Nice tour. Recommended. Panama Canal - We did the Canal Experience. This was a good tour if you want to experience the canal all the way to the pacific. It is a long day. Be prepared. Maybe bring a book or puzzle in case of delays. Tenders leave from the ship using the ships lifeboats. Then a bus ride for quite a while - maybe 45 minutes or more-with a local guide giving history. Then board a ferry to go through the rest of the canal and the locks out to the Pacific Ocean. Water and generic soda are free on the ferry along with a full lunch of pasta, chicken kabobs, veggies, fruit, etc. Beer is $3. Nice little souvenirs for sale on the ferry. You may see boats in the new locks. The ferry has to wait to transit the locks with another ship so that is why the timetable is widely variable. Ferry has inside and outside, covered, and not covered seating. You can see Panama City from the ferry and they point out a few buildings. Then you take a bus back from there to meet the ship in Colon. Our bus drivers were weaving in and out of some slow traffic on the way home, but seemed to be quite skilled at their jobs, and the ride was always very smooth despite the weaving. Bus are nice, full-sized, air-conditioned tour buses. I think our day was 8 hours from start to finish. Got back to the boat at about 7:30 pm - again, in time for our 8 pm dinner on the boat. Long day, but recommended. Colon - There is no where to safely go in Colon. You can get off the ship and visit the souvenir shops in the terminal building but DO NOT venture out. We saw what it was like on our way back in from our Panama Canal excursion. Costa Rico- the sea swells were too high for us to enter the port, so our captain rerouted us to Grand Cayman the day after to make up for it. Grand Cayman- Nice town. Lots of nice shops. We walked around a bit, then had a drink and used the free password-protected WIFI at Guy Harvey's. Dont miss the Q & A with the Captain! He explaines a lot about the ship in a humorous way, and then takes questions from the audience. And, don't forget to visit the Crow's Nest on Deck 10 forward. It has comfy chairs overlooking the ocean, game tables, bar, library, etc. Decor is nothing special, but nicely done. We did one of the special black and white photography sessions and picked 4 pictures we liked before they told us the smallest size was 8x10 and each picture was $195. Yikes! And yes, that is $200 per picture. Crazy! Obviously, we didn't buy them. We didn't use the casino or fitness center. Overall we really liked Holland and the Zuiderdam. The staff were very pleasant and always greeting you, the atmosphere is relaxing, the musicians outstanding, we were surprised by the enrichment opportunities and loved the ports of call. The food was very good, the entertainment was high quality, the spa was fabulous, and trivia was a blast. We enjoyed not having the loud, high energy, crazy pool contests or lots of loud, drunk passengers weaving through the hallways. The cruise director made limited announcements over the speakers, but the Captain took time to give us daily updates. We were pleasantly surprised by our first Holland experience and would definitely sail with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We wanted a Panama canal cruise and picked Holland because we wanted to try them. We have been on 7 cruises before this on other cruise lines. There must be something wrong with the stabilization system on that ship. It never stopped ... Read More
We wanted a Panama canal cruise and picked Holland because we wanted to try them. We have been on 7 cruises before this on other cruise lines. There must be something wrong with the stabilization system on that ship. It never stopped rocking. 15 days of walking like you were drunk. The night entertainment was cheap. Sitting through 45 minutes of piano playing by one man. On another night was one man playing saxophone for 45 minutes. A comedian that was so bad my wife and I left. One good night was a ventriloquist. He was funny. The food for lunch at the buffet was a different way to cook chicken for 6 days or how many different ways are there to serve fish. Very boring. Asian cooking also left us amused. Cashew chicken with no cashews. Sweet and sour pork was bad. Brisket that you could not chew. Tomato soup with barley that didn't taste like tomato and in the cup were only 14 pieces of barley my wife had 17. The food for dinner in the dining room was good though. Other ships we have been on have pool side entertainment. Like ice carving, or dance contests, house races. Pool games. Not this cruise, not a thing. So boring that my wife and I put together jig saw puzzles. The end was that they charge you $13.50 per person per day for hotel services. For what? That is the first time we have seen that. We will never go on another Holland cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because it would cover the Thanksgiving Holiday. We have already done a Panama Canal trip but had not gone all the way to the Pacific Side. Embarkation was a a surpprising "snap" The ship was in excellent ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it would cover the Thanksgiving Holiday. We have already done a Panama Canal trip but had not gone all the way to the Pacific Side. Embarkation was a a surpprising "snap" The ship was in excellent condition for a ship the age of this one. and very clean The food was good,with nice menus. The Lido was not terrific for any meal accept for breakfast. The thing we noticed most from past trips with Holland was the lack of music in the bars at cocktail time,as well as very little live music around the ship during the day. The crows nest seemed to have a continuous tape that played over and over. Entertainment other than the HAL group was mediocre at best. Fresh flowers were hardly seen. As always the crew and all servers could not have been nicer. Beverages seemed to be priced fairly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Let's get the rotten things out of the way first: Not just a late embarkation, but vague, smarmy excuses instead of real information. No library. At all. Except for a very few "give and takes." Beware of chocolate ... Read More
Let's get the rotten things out of the way first: Not just a late embarkation, but vague, smarmy excuses instead of real information. No library. At all. Except for a very few "give and takes." Beware of chocolate cheesecake. One version is good. The other is a layer of wet cake on top of a layer of dry cake, both approximately chocolate. Oh, dear. Probably not HAL's fault but in Puerto Quetzel, we had to take a 20 minute school bus shuttle ride to exit the port by way of the shops when another exit was two minutes away. UHT Milk. Gravy. Only the lamb gravy is any good anymore but less weight to gain. Cushions on Lido deck chairs often wet. Chairs would dry faster without them and were comfortable when we flipped away the wet cushions. Maybe skip the cushions in rainy climates if not willing to keep bringing them in when it rains. The lentil soup. I thought it was burnt. My husband said it was just bad. No running deck; it must have been replaced by the new cabins on 10. This means runners and walkers are both trying to share the deck. Rather damages a nice quiet stroll to have runners zooming up behind you and not ideal for them having to veer, slow down and dodge. They sent hundreds and hundreds of non Americans all at the SAME time to the SAME place to get our passports stamped. It was so unnecessary, tedious and thoughtless. Disembarkation wasn't great either. They were quite adamant that all expedited passengers carrying their own baggage leave within the same half hour, which was silly, officious and inefficient. This caused traffic jams and elevator waits in the terminal. Greedy things: Westerdam has a charge for the Thalassotherapy pool and the cabanas on ten. So they were never used. Hoping to collect a couple thousand dollars, HAL lost two valuable selling points to future cruisers. They have changed the internet deal. No more packages of minutes. You must buy the "all you can use" plan either for a day or for the whole trip. This makes emailing home for word on children, sick, elderly or disabled family members and friends impossible or expensive. Another disincentive to cruise with HAL. There were lots of good and wonderful things: Almost NO smoking. Only on one half of the back Lido deck. The cutlery is already on the tables, except the back Lido deck. Sometimes glasses and cups are, too. Inside the Lido, that is. Sometimes the Lido staff come around with coffee, water, juice. If they don't offer what you want, you can say that you wanted water/juice/whatever and sometimes they will bring you that. I makes life without a tray somewhat easier. And it is civilized. They actually put ice in the ice bucket in the cabin. So useful for water bottles. We have an insulated water bottle that goes into an insulated carrier that's invaluable on hot days. Sometimes they didn't jam everyone into one tight corner of the Main Dining Room for lunch or tea. Breathing space is so lovely. The Main Dining Room now has the best acoustics at sea. They haven't carved off half of one floor for suites passengers like Celebrity and they have put a sort of circular acrylic wall around the "pit"' area. This means you can talk quite softly to your dinner mate and it is just beyond wonderful. The walking deck. It goes all the way around like good walking decks should. Three laps to the mile. They didn't close it off again and again as often happens on cruises. AND there were multiple drinking fountains. A wise, courteous and delightful touch. The day we went through the canal they opened up the bow sections on decks 4,5 and 6. This really helped reduce the crowding of people wanting to see ahead. Crab cakes in MDR Persimmon, star fruit, plums and passion fruit all appeared in the Lido. Never waiting for an elevator. The waiter. Our waiter Sukirman was wonderful. Efficient, pleasant, knowledgeable. The Diabetic: The bread basket buns are yummy, so be warned. Take a room at the front of the boat like we did and you will walk at least a mile just getting to meals and back. All of the sugar free tortes are terrific. And so is the sugar free kiwi Pavlova. The rest are just ok. The ice cream area is usually closed, unmanned or lacking sugar free ice cream. When the staffer WAS there I am not convinced they understood what "sugar free" meant, and the sugar free is always grainy and frozen and melted too many times so it's no good anyway. Save the calories. Good news, though, the chocolate chip cookies are small and good. There is no sugarfree drink except black tea, coffee or water. Squeeze a lemon wedge and add sweetener for lemonade. Bring baggies from home each with a teaspoon of cocoa powder. Mix with cream and sweetener, likely three sweeteners, then top up with hot water. The waffles are often cold, not very good anyway and they dole out whipped cream by the level teaspoon. Save the calories and don't bother. The sugarfree chocolate chip muffin was messy but pretty tasty. The flourless chocolate cake is so delicious it is evil for diabetics. I ate most of it anyway and it was my one splurge. Plan to walk a few laps of the deck to burn it off. Peanut butter was easy to find and plentiful for morning protein if you don't want bacon, eggs etc. The omelettes were good, never raw in the middle. Crab and avocado were both offered as add ins. They did offer plain yoghurt that wasn't too high in sugar. I added Splenda and fruit which helped a lot. Sort of. Cottage cheese if often offered across from the beverage stations. Oddly they often sprinkle cinnamon on it. Another protein choice for breakfast after I scraped off the cinnamon. The MDR main courses are no longer too big. I skipped whatever carb they put on the plate so I could have a brown bun from the bread basket. This worked pretty well for me. I was able to eat pretty well and get lots of wholesome exercise on the Westerdam. All things considered, I would probably do Westerdam again, but I would bring more books and resign myself to it's inadeqacies in advance. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We booked this cruise just 4 weeks prior to sailing because it was the 2nd half of a back to back. We enjoyed the ports, but had been to most of them multiple times. • Ship information o The ship was is in great shape, ... Read More
We booked this cruise just 4 weeks prior to sailing because it was the 2nd half of a back to back. We enjoyed the ports, but had been to most of them multiple times. • Ship information o The ship was is in great shape, everything worked and all public areas were kept very clean. There are plenty of places for quiet alone time and small group board games. • Activities o I loved the Americas Test Kitchen as a man who, at 55 is just learning to cook. The demonstrations by professional chefs are fantastic. The Trivia sessions are good, as expected, some folk take it way too seriously. But the cruise director kept a tight rein on it. • Service o Everyone is very helpful and friendly. • Travel to embarkation port o Unless you are the person who needs to be 1st on the ship, wait an hour until after embarkation begins, the wait is so much shorter and the buffet is still open. Unless you have a suite, those folk go straight to the front of the line. As we were already on the ship the in Transit system was poorly organized. According to others, there was a huge delay in boarding due to the immigration checks taking longer than expected. We zoomed to the front of the line passed upset onlookers at about 3:30 or so. • Dining o We had 8 pm dining at a large table every cruise. Every time we have enjoyed our tablemates as they turn into good friends. The main dining room is spacious and well tended. The staff was very receptive to our needs and wants. The food is good to great. The selection is adequate. • Entertainment o The BB King band was excellent. Great energy and great variety of classic R&B. The shows were good. The variety was adequate and for those who take the time to review the “When and where” pamphlet everyday, keeping busy is not a problem. • Disembarkation o We walked off the ship with our luggage which saves a lot of hassle IMHO, but I get those that do not. San Diego is a great port as all the transportation options are very close bye. We chose to walk to the train station 2 blocks away and everything went smooth except for my oversized bag that Amtrak charged me $20 to carry on. • Summary Read Less
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