Zuiderdam Cruise Review by mandalay_purser
- Sail Date: April 2012
- Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
- Cabin Type: Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
We booked an SA suite category (7080) and really enjoyed the use of the Neptune Lounge and the breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill. The room was very clean, nice and roomy. My only complaint with the room was that the sofa was not very comfortable to sit in and the chairs needed replacing -- the leather on them was quite worn (but by no means horrible). The cabin stewards were GREAT and so friendly and always smiling.
The food was overall VERY good. We had 2 great waiters in the MDR who really went above and beyond. I have been on 3 other HAL cruises and the food was by far the best on this sailing. The MDR was very nice, but there was very little music. The place in the center of the staircase (where a grand piano should be) seemed to be a place to put unused chairs.
I was pleased that the Pinnacle Grill was open for lunch -- there was a 10.00 change to eat lunch there, but well worth it to avoid the crowds in the Lido restaurant. We ate in the Lido as little as possible. The food is good, but it just gets too crowded and complicated to eat there.
There was a lot of great art in the public areas of the Zuiderdam. All very tastefully done and displayed.
The Zuiderdam offers a "Behind the Scenes" tour, I was lucky enough to take. They only did it once and it was limited to 16 guests. It was really interesting to see the areas that passengers never normally see and gave me an even greater appreciation for the work that the crew and staff do. Of course the crowning point was seeing the ships bridge and having a photo op with the ships Master.
In all, it was a great cruise, typical of HAL!
We stayed 2 pre cruise nights in Ft. Lauderdale at the Hyatt Pier 66 in a tower room and really enyoyed watching the ships come and go!