Panama Canal aboard the Zuiderdam: Zuiderdam Cruise Review by sleehan

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Panama Canal aboard the Zuiderdam

Sail Date: February 2012
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We recently took the Panama Canal Sunfarer Cruise aboard the Zuiderdam. We had a marvelous and relaxing cruise. Our stateroom was spacious and the bathroom was probably the best I have seen so far. We enjoyed every port we visited and all of our excursions.

In Aruba we hired a guide ( Cerry) from the internet. He was very good and we split it with another couple sailing on the Zuiderdam. However, listening to others talk, I would hire a taxi right in front of the terminal next time. Cheaper and just as good. We went to Iguana Joe's after our tour and enjoyed the Dutch food and the great drinks right within sight of our ship.

Bonaire was OUTSTANDING because of the snorkeling trip we took with the Woodwind. They were unbelievably professional and were right there waiting for us even though our ship arrived one hour later. I have snorkeled many times to include the Great Barrier reef, but I have never had the instruction and guidance provided by the crew of More the Woodwind! The guides also free dive and point out corals, plants, and sea life and then come to the surface to explain what they pointed out. If they had not been along, I would have missed the three sea turtles we saw! They also take a professional photographer along so this was the first time I actually had GOOD pictures of my snorkeling trip!

In Curacao, we chose to just wander the streets of this beautiful city. A relaxing and wonderful day.

We were out on the deck at 4:30 along with everyone else to have Panama rolls and coffee as we sailed into the canal. It was a tight fit to say the least...and fascinating to watch. We took the excursion that went back to Gatun Lock and an Ecocruise. I was not that excited about the lock portion and was very SURPRISED...I loved it! Full of information and we got to see the Zuiderdam come BACK through the locks...from the shore. The ecocruise portion that I had been excited about turned out to be a disappointment. I do not recommend it.

In Costa Rica we took a train through the countryside, a bus, and finally arrived at a dock area that was very nice. Had a few minutes for beer, fruit, soft drinks, shopping, and potty stops before boarding our boats for our Eco cruise. Now THIS cruise was GREAT. Saw howler monkeys, Iguanas, sloths, Jesus Christ lizards, etc. I highly recommend this tour.

Our days at sea were fabulous and relaxing.

The ONLY negative we experienced was a disorganization where the distribution of clamshells on their private island was concerned. We finally got it straightened out and enjoyed our day there. Beautiful beach!!!! Less

Published 04/04/12

Cabin review: VA5068 Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

perfect location...close to mid-ship bow to stern and top to bottom. Quiet, no visual obstruction. You do have the lifeboats directly beneath you so you can not technically look "down" to the water but we did not mind this at all. Either while seated or standing we were looking "out" to the sea anyway. Balcony had a light that allowed us to read our "Explorations" with a drink after the show. There is a curtain that can be drawn between the bed and the couch if one wanted to stay up and read. There were also reading lights on both sides of the bed. There was TONS of storage in our opinion...more than we have seen on other ships and the bathroom was more spacious than we have experienced on others ( not huge...but better than most)

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