Aloha mood lives on thanks to HAL: Zaandam Cruise Review by 332266

Zaandam 5
Member Since 2009

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Aloha mood lives on thanks to HAL

Sail Date: September 2012
Destination: Hawaii
Embarkation: Vancouver
We have sailed to Hawaii on the Zaandam before. We were thrilled to see Michael Headla was still the cruise director and Kainoa DelaCruz was still on as the explorations expert. These two gentlemen are fantastic ambassadors for HAL. They set a bar that we have yet to see met on any other cruise we have taken. We found there was value added on this cruise, compliments of the explorations team. An astrologist gave lectures each day and then spent two evenings out on deck star gazing with us. DJ Steve and Daffyd, the professional photographer collaborated and ran a 10 day digital scavenger hunt that had you taking photos of staff, items on board as well as on shore and allowed you to meet and interact with people you might never had got to know or meet before. The event planner Amanda conducted the normal HAL events but she was so professional and knowledgeable that they were a delight to attend and every day there was standing room only.

You are never going to see zip lines on More a HAL ship, but you know that before you board. What they do offer is gracious surroundings, excellent service and relaxing atmospheres.

This cruise had an added bonus, the captain is a young vibrant man who was approachable, pleasant and very visible the entire cruise. It seemed to set precedence for the rest of the officers and department heads. The two head chefs walked through the dining areas daily speaking with their staff and with guests making everyone very relaxed. The waiting staff and room stewards go out of their way to make you comfortable, joke with you and attend to your every wish. Less

Published 10/21/12

Cabin review: HH3379 Large Outside Stateroom (fully obstructed views)

Obstructed view but not a big deal, you can see the water if you look to the right. Very quiet room. Right across the hall from the stewards crew space and yet you never heard any noise at all. We must have been below some sort of a service room because you could hear the muffled sound of something like carts rolling but only late in the afternoon, never during the night or in the morning. Rough seas the first day out but the lower promenade is always a good deck to be on and this room was stable, no rocking.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Hop On Hop Off Trolley

We were in Honolulu overnight. The trolley fare was $34 each and that gave us full access to all three of their lines for the two days. It was so simple to hop on right at the pier and go where ever we wanted. They don't mention that they make special stops when the ships are in port at the piers but they do. We were so pleased that we did this and the staff and drivers of the Hop On Hop Off Trolley company are unbelievable. They are hilarious, pleasant, knowledgeable, friendly and from what we could see bilingual in Japanese and English. It made all the tours so interesting.

Pre-booked a convertible from National. They met us at the pier, took us to National, our car was waiting and we took off for the Waimea Canyon in the morning, the Kauai Coffee Plantation at noon, lunch at Breneckes and snorkeling for the afternoon. Plenty of time to do all three activities and be back on the ship for 4:30. No where does it say the rental car companies will meet you the pier, but they do and we would really recommend reserving ahead of time. We bought a coupon from Air Miles for our car rental and entered it with the reservation. How lovely, our 2012 Chrysler 200 only cost us the airport fees and taxes all of $19 for the day ... well worth it.
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Island Tour

Maui Country Farm Tours. Small company,owners are local people who added a lot of extra value because they knew so much about the island. The Lavendar farm was amazing. The driver, Rick, stopped to show us surfers, pineapple groves, the sugar mill, and all sorts of extras along the way to the Tedeschi Vineyard. Go and google this tour company and I promise you they will treat you like family if you visit Maui.

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Member Since 2009
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