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2 Holland America Port Canaveral (Orlando) Cruise Reviews

I just came off a 7 day cruise on the Zaandam. The good: It was a nice ship, tho somewhat aging, but classic decor. Nice cabin, very spacious, the best part of the cruise! Food was average, with average presentation /taste. The bad: Had ... Read More
I just came off a 7 day cruise on the Zaandam. The good: It was a nice ship, tho somewhat aging, but classic decor. Nice cabin, very spacious, the best part of the cruise! Food was average, with average presentation /taste. The bad: Had to wait in line for 2 hours to get on board, terrible long and slow embarkation! Average age was 75 yrs, and all married couples...(I am 40 and single). Terrible odor of boiled cabbage throughout atrium, main deck area, and other days it was an odor of sewage!! Same choice of breakfast buffet every day, nothing different. Poor entertainment, nothing suitable for younger age group. Very miserable bar staff especially at the Dolphin pool bar. Supposed to be designated smoking areas on ship, but this was rarely adhered to unfortunately, so it was offputting to go to any bar/lounge. Supposed to get fruit every day in cabin, but had to wait 2 days for it. No toiletries provided, had to ask, they had forgotten, then only one bar of soap for entire cruise, no replenished items (fortunately I had my own). All in all, it was nice to get away and relax in the sun, but definitely would not recommend this line for any younger, single folks that are looking for some fun and entertainment. If you are married and over 70, then it will be a perfect cruise for you. I was very disappointed, and realize that this line seems to cater for an older clientele, and is not really appropriate for a single, younger traveller... Hey! I got a good sun tan at least! Sorry Holland & America...I am sure I will cruise again with you, but probably not for another 30 yrs....then I know I will have fun and appreciate it all! Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
I've been on 3 other cruises prior to going on the MS Zaandam. I was very disappointed with the "5-star" cruise and could not wait to get home. Something that is very unusual for me since I love the Caribbean. The Good: ... Read More
I've been on 3 other cruises prior to going on the MS Zaandam. I was very disappointed with the "5-star" cruise and could not wait to get home. Something that is very unusual for me since I love the Caribbean. The Good: Embarkation and Disembarkation were actually the smoothest that I have ever experienced. It might be the timing that I arrived and the location of my room, but overall it was the smoothest process I've ever experienced in all my cruising. The crew members were very patient with my group getting our paperwork together and were quite helpful. Another positive was the layout of my room. I've always had a room with a balcony so my bed was generally in the center of the room. This time, I could only afford the room with a window, afterall it is a "5-star" cruise. The arrangement of the room, with the beds under the window, the room seemed more spacious. The closets were amazing. These were the biggest storage I've ever experienced, we were even able to put our luggage away so we weren't stepping all over them. The Bad: After reading the reviews of other cruisers, it dawned on me that it wasn't my imagination that the cabin steward, waiters, etc did not introduce themselves to us. Considering they were going to be our stewards, waiters, etc for the next 7 days I find that very impersonal and dare I say, cold. The other cruises I've experienced I still remember their names and they knew my likes and dislikes by the 2nd day. It makes sense to me that HAL incorporates an automatic $10 gratuity to your cabin bill unlike other cruises where they leave you envelopes and "suggested" amounts for each member of your "comfort team." This guarantees that the team gets a gratuity since in all reality, they may not deserve as much or even any. I understand that they did work all week to make my stay comfortable, but gratuity is defined as "something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service." Adding a mandatory $10 a day is not voluntary, especially if I don't feel they deserve it. Basically they did their job, what they are paid for, even if minimum wage. But a tip or gratuity is deserved if the person does something above the ordinary, not something extravagant, but something.. be friendly or something....take the mildew out of my bathroom... have you heard of Tilex? One night I accidentally spilled my coke in my bed. I apologized to my cabin steward and asked if he could possibly change my bed. He told me no. I thought that was special. I even offered to change it myself, if they gave me the linens.. still told no. Another Bad - I don't think I need to expand too much on this, because apparently many others wrote in detail about this... the variety and quality of food was not up to par nor were the hours of operation. Cruise lines are known for making you fatter and overstuff you with food. Not a problem here... Another Bad - Another thing I don't need to say much on because it was mentioned on other reviews.. but the average age of the guests was about 85 and HAL catered to them. Going to bed by 10:30 out of sheer boredom while on vacation is pretty sad. Another Bad - not sure what caused this because I've traveled on bigger waves, but every time we were not anchored, our ship rocked out of control. I'm surprised all the seniors didn't get sick, but if they did I hope they didn't get sick on their bed because they won't change the sheets. Last Bad to mention, there are sooo many but I don't have the time....there were too many "no's" told to the guests and dissatisfied cruisers that by Wednesday most people at the pools and bars were complaining about the cruise and swore never to cruise with HAL again. The UGLY: I have severe allergies (hospitalization, turn blue, get oxygen...bad) to foods which I told the travel agent and even called HAL prior to let them know. To have my waiter chuckle and shrug his shoulders when I asked what was in a dessert made me quite angry. Luckily I had a head waiter help out and make sure I'm good. REAL UGLY - I was on deck 2. I thought that the noise that I heard at 5 AM were the insane jogging, but it dawned on me that it was very centralized. It turns out that HAL does "moderate" cleaning at 5 AM. At 5:15 AM I called the front desk to ask them what they were doing outside my window at 5:15 AM. I was told (very politely) that they were doing "moderate cleaning" and then asked "can you hear that?" So my reply was, "If I couldn't hear it, would I be calling?" Why 5 AM? Aren't I on vacation? INCREDIBLY UGLY - Lobster is usually the meal that most cruisers look forward to. I, like my roommate, starved myself for the fabulous lobster meal. The lobsters were tiny and also was the night of the "Baked Alaska" presentation. So our waiter became MIA. On other cruise lines my waiter generally comes up and says, I have to do this parade thing, is everything ok before I go... well not our waiter. So by the time he came back to our table we were famished for more food. His response, the kitchen is closed. Well we are the first seating so we knew that they would have to open up again, so I went over his head to the head waiter. We eventually got our food and had to ask another waiter to serve us dessert. Later that evening we found out that they ran out of lobster and the second seating didn't get any at all.....HOW AWFUL!!!!! Like I mentioned above, there are so many things that went wrong with this cruise. Unfortunately if you just isolated one thing it was an oops, but unfortunately there were sooo many. So by day 3 me, along with other cruisers, were fed up and unfortunately some were taking it out on every crew member they encountered. I kept reminding my group that there are about 25% of the crew that weren't that good, but that 25% made it horrible for the other 75% and everyone had to suffer. I wish HAL and other future cruisers of HAL good luck. I will never sail with them ever again, even if it were free. If it weren't for the people I was with, it was the most miserable vacation I've ever spent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
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