I had read with caution the recent cruise stories and reviews for the Zaandam but I must say it was truly a pleasure to sail on her last week. The ship has been refurbished and we had zero problems with maintenance during our cruise.
The embarkation process in San Diego was one of the easiest and fastest I can remember. We literally were able to walk right up to the cruise agent, turn in our paperwork, get our room keys, walk up the gangway, enter the ship and be shown right to our freshly cleaned cabin within about 10 to 15 minutes!
We dropped off our things and headed right to the Lido for some lunch which was already in full swing.
Very spacious cabin on the lowest (Dolphin) deck with unobstructed ocean view and very convenient location just steps from the aft elevators.
Fairly quiet location considering it was so convenient to the elevators, we only occasionally heard our neighbors cabin door slam but never heard talking or any other loud noises. There was a faint whine that may have been from the propellers but it was constant and somewhat soothing to sleep to.
The lower deck location was a plus when we hit rough seas a few times as I noticed the upper decks encounted much more pronounced swaying and pitching during those times.
The bathroom was a nice size and if you like a tub you'll be pleased. I prefer a stand-up shower stall with a door rather than the shower curtains that always let water end up on the floor. The water pressure and supplied bath soaps, etc were very nice and high quality.
There was an abundance of storage and closet space as well as a large sofa and coffee table in the stateroom. The beds were comfortable but we had to ask for additional blankets early on when the room was quite chilly at night. They reset the thermostat on the second day however and that seemed to make the A/C adjustments much better.
The room decor was typical but everything in the room was in great shape considering the age of the ship. The carpeting had recently been replaced and all the bed linens were high quality. They supplied robes which was a nice treat.
Puerto Vallarta has many sides and this time I was able to experience more of the city rather than touring and seeing everything from a bus window. The city is fun, friendly and reasonable with a big selection of activities to enjoy.
Cabo is fun but very touristy. If you want spring break American style you'll love Cabo.