Holland America Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

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Holland America Line

Cruise Critic Overview

  • Traditional cruising experience with modern touches
  • Around-the-world sailings offered
  • Extensive dining options and enrichment programs
  • Read full overview >>
435 Holland America Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews
Cruiser rating
Excellent
192
Very Good
93
Average
70
Poor
47
Terrible
24
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Senior Cruises
53
Family Cruises
45
Romantic Cruises
24
Repositioning Cruises
18
First-Time Cruisers
10
Rating Summary
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Entertainment
Value for Money
Service
Hillsy
Member Since 2017
1 review
10 helpful votes
Sailed January 2017
First of all the ship itself was excellent if a little dated in places, food and choice was excellent. Ports of call, especially Cartagena and the Panama canal outstanding. My wife and i thought the entertainment was just OK,with the ... Read more
mowk
Member Since 2017
1 review
Sailed December 2016
Very friendly staff, amazing song and dance group, and my family (brother and sister in law) and I can't stop raving about what a great time we had! We were going to be happy with large inside staterooms but were moved up to obstructed ... Read more
Helpful? Thank mowk
JazzCruiser17
Member Since 2017
2 reviews
8 helpful votes
We selected this cruise to travel with friends during the holidays, and we wanted to go through the Panama Canal. The Veendam was a nice size ship and easy to get around. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth, because the ship was not ... Read more
flyingdutchman6989
Member Since 2013
2 reviews
15 forum posts
26 helpful votes
Our holiday cruise with family, aboard the Hell-ship Veendam Maru, from 20 Dec 2016 - 4 Jan 2017, was truly a cruise from hell. It was marked by a series of unfortunate events day after day, that began with two USCG helicopter medical ... Read more
jpatrick1
Member Since 2009
1 review
1 forum post
27 helpful votes
I am amazed at all of the petty complaints that I have read here and overheard on the ship. One guest referred to the food as "hospital food" another complained about the taste of the ice. There were other complaints too ... Read more
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Reomeo
Member Since 2016
1 review
13 helpful votes
Sailed December 2016
Living in Florida we've been on several Carribean cruises and looked forward to the Panama Canal and it's Pacific ports. The size of the Veendam was great. Easy to get around on and not too crowded. The ship does show it's age. The crew ... Read more
CookGirl
Member Since 2014
7 reviews
2 forum posts
14 helpful votes
This was my 7th Holland America cruise and probably the last. Holland America has become the Macy's of the cruise industry. They hope to attract Nordstrom clientelle while offering Penny's level service. First, let's start with the ... Read more
davidlegrandpont
Member Since 2016
1 review
3 helpful votes
We chose this cruise with the purpose of experiencing the Panama Canal. Cruise ships are not my favourite way to travel but this was a good option as we were traveling with an older relative. The veendam is a mid-sized ship and we think ... Read more
jwh0002
Member Since 2017
1 review
7 helpful votes
We chose this cruise for two reasons, to set foot in South America and to see the Panama Canal. This cruise met both of those criteria but both were disappointing. The stop in Cartagena on the 11 day version of the trip met the South ... Read more
Dr. ECU
Member Since 2011
1 review
28 forum posts
23 helpful votes
Sailed November 2016
We chose to cruise on the Zuiderdam ship because it went to the Southern Caribbean, Central America, and the Panama Canal. The price was excellent for a long cruise. We had a great cruise with no real issues. I had read some rather ... Read more
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Snickeldad
Member Since 2011
1 review
1 forum post
3 helpful votes
Sailed November 2016
We had a great cruise to the Southern Caribbean and the Panama Canal. The Zuiderdam was an older ship, but still in great shape. It is also smaller and this is what we preferred for this cruise. The staff from top to bottom was ... Read more
skpdavis
Member Since 2012
3 reviews
11 helpful votes
My Wife and I recently went on an 11 day Caribbean Cruise with Holland America N.V. aboard the Zuiderdam from Fort Lauderdale through Aruba, Curacao, Cartagena, Colon, and Puerto Limon from 9 through 20 November. This was our third trip ... Read more
piper
Member Since 2003
1 review
291 forum posts
9 helpful votes
Sailed November 2016
This was our first HAL cruise. We had been told that the service on HAL was better than other lines and we have to agree. The staff seems genuinely happy with being their and doing their job. Our cabin steward was rarely seen, but ... Read more
Helpful? Thank piper
EZ Wash
Member Since 2016
1 review
33 helpful votes
This cruise really wasn't our first choice, but when the earthquakes hit Italy we decided to make an adjustment in our "to do list" of cruises and moved a Panama Canal visit to the top, and we're glad we did. We read all the ... Read more
Suncoast147
Member Since 2014
1 review
2 forum posts
12 helpful votes
Lets start from the first. I am Blind and travel with my wife, and guide dog. I booked the trip on the phone last minute with Holland America. I requested and was assured that our luggage would be taken direct to the airport, and it was ... Read more
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olhacker
Member Since 2016
1 review
7 helpful votes
We went with another couple (dear friends) who had never cruised before. I made all of the arrangements, and therefore, felt somewhat responsible for everything surrounding this Panama Canal cruise. The embarkation process, the ... Read more
Mrsmouse61
Member Since 2016
1 review
8 helpful votes
I was lucky enough to be a guest of my parents for this lovely trip from San Francisco, down the Mexican Coast, through the amazing Panama Canal, and up through Caribbean waters to Ft. Lauderdale. First, I'm now a big fan of reposition ... Read more
bridal1
Member Since 2016
1 review
5 helpful votes
Sailed May 2016
My first on Holland America and I've done 9 on Princess and I'm still partial to Princess. Nothing at all wrong with Holland America. I just think Princess is the better of the two. I don't know that I could pinpoint any one thing, but ... Read more
liz92284
Member Since 2016
1 review
5 helpful votes
We had a delightful time on this cruise. My mom and I had cruised before about 12 years ago on Princess. This was a different experience because of the older clientele Holland American tends to draw. We really enjoyed the ... Read more
travel09
Member Since 2009
3 reviews
133 forum posts
1 helpful vote
This cruise was to places unknown to us, in Central America, which was a wonderful highlight, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and fascinating Guatemala. Mexico, and even in the US, San Diego, which was delightful .The public spaces, and there are ... Read more
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Live Life Large 24/7
Member Since 2010
3 reviews
9 helpful votes
I have to say, when we booked a cruise for 21 days we were wondering if it just might be too long!!! We had three other couples traveling with us (John and Sandy from Canada, Rich and Sandra from Calif., Marty and Lisa from Ohio and we ... Read more
Banditswife
Member Since 2011
4 reviews
3,326 forum posts
14 helpful votes
Sailed April 2016
We had a wonderful cruise. A Panama Canal transit was on our "bucket" list - we enjoyed every minute of our 19 day cruise. Dining: our booking included dinner in each of the 3 specialty restaurants. Tamarind was our ... Read more
Julianpppppp
Member Since 2016
1 review
23 helpful votes
Wanted to visit certain Central American countries listed and also travel through the Panama Canal. This cruise seemed to fit the bill. We have travelled extensively around the world but had not used HAL before. Over all, the cruise ... Read more
ian1937
Member Since 2015
1 review
34 forum posts
10 helpful votes
This was a position changing cruise through the Panama Canal. It's very popular with Vancouver residents going both ways. It was our second cruise and we were worried about it's length. It was no problem it became a second home for us. ... Read more
2freespirits
Member Since 2009
9 reviews
13 forum posts
26 helpful votes
We borrowed this line from the classic Queen hit because we have just crossed off another item from our bucket list. We have always wanted to make a complete Transit of the Panama Canal, so when Holland America Line (HAL) contacted us ... Read more
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