Still a good cruise: Zaandam Cruise Review by Cruising Montrealer

Zaandam 4
Cruising Montrealer
Member Since 2010
226 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Still a good cruise

Sail Date: October 2012
Destination: Hawaii
Embarkation: Vancouver
Took advantage of the opportunity to do the 4 repositioning (Vancouver to Victoria to San Diego)+ 14 days Hawai'i (from and to San Diego).

Group of passengers on the 4 day cruise was very different from the usual HAL niche: several children and babies and a much younger crowd. This leg of the trip was not a typical HAL cruise as the activities were very different. It was still an enjoyable cruise.

300 stayed on for the next leg and 1100 new passengers came on. Average age and passenger mix was more typical of most HAL cruises.

Having read the flooding incidents that had occurred in previous cruises we were a bit worried as to what types of problems the ship might have.
(Zaandam had been scheduled to go in dry dock early October and this was cancelled, giving way to the 2 week cruise to Mexico).

Overall there were some negative problems but certainly not to the extent as to what previous passengers experienced.
Some toilets overflowed but the More problem was limited to a single bathroom. There were vacuum problems with the flushing of some toilets: it was intermittent and finally got settled.
Since dry dock had been cancelled the maintenance was occurring during the cruise:
-Carpet changing in some areas: no major mishaps.
-Curtains & cushions... changing: not unpleasant.
-Lower promenade deck removal of paint from the railing: daily occurrence which was noisy and messy. This started early in the morning; some inconveniences for passengers who had staterooms nearby.

Overall it was a very good cruise. Food was good. Personnel was friendly, helpful and went out of their way to make our cruise wonderful.

One disappointment was the fact that we did not stay long enough on some islands.
Why does the ship take 4 days to go to Hawai'i but needs 5 1/2 days to come back (we could have sailed around Hilo to see the volcano at night or stayed overnight in Honolulu and have spent a full day in Lahaina).
Answer: by sailing at 16-18 knots instead of of 20+ it saves fuel and reduces carbon footprint.

Shows were OK but not great.
Smoking is still permitted in the Casino (some parts are non smoking but it reeks of cigarette smoke). Casino has no doors so there is cigarette smell in the halls and the shops. Why not put doors, or better yet, do as other cruise lines did...ban smoking in the casino.

Enjoyed lectures by Dr. Losey (guest lecturer) and Kainoa (on board guide). Less

Published 11/27/12

Cabin review: DA2556 Large Ocean-View Stateroom

Had cabin 2556; main deck. Has window, is large (190+ sq ft), 5 closets. Saw 3374, 3220 and 3222: these are on lower promenade and are much smaller; they have a window. These being on lower promenade it can be noisy, especially when there is maintenance on that deck (which was the case) or when they move around furniture Also saw 3208, inside room on lower promenade: this is huge, quiet (no neighbors) and has lots of storage space. Full bath. Great staff. Well located: not too far from elevators, not too low in the ship. Quiet location. No refrigerator: should be added at the refurbishing. Wi fi signal was clear: didn't encounter any problems.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Booked directly with Ricky. He is well versed; showed us Rainbow Falls, Lava tree state park, Orchid garden, City tour, Volcano national park and Thurston lava tubes and more... Pleasant tour, at an affordable price. Ricky really gives it all.

Island Tour

Covered the East shore, Byodo-In temple (wonderful), Chinaman's hat, the north shore; also enjoyed a shrimp lunch. Great tour: beautiful sceneries.

Helicopter Tour

Took 65 minutes, no door, helicopter ride with Jack Harter. FANTASTIC. Worth every penny. Highlight of the cruise.

Only had 1/2 day. Enjoyed walking around. Quaint little place.
Read 480 Maui Reviews

Beautiful city; so much to see. Went back to the San Diego Zoo: never disappointed.

Very pleasant city to walk through. Time in port wasn't long enough to have a decent visit to Butchart Garden.
Read 895 Victoria Reviews

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Cruising Montrealer
Member Since 2010
226 Forum Posts
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