MS Zaandam to the stars and beyond, or something like that: Island Escape Cruise Review by junewl
Overall Member Rating
MS Zaandam to the stars and beyond, or something like that
Embarkation: San Diego
problems: handicapped accessible shower had a shower stool upon our arrival which disappeared while we were at our truly awful first dinner in Rotterdam dining room. no ship's employee could provide information on aforementioned stool nor was a replacement provided until 1400 hrs on day two. poor husb had to spend that time with a little washcloth refresher. sea was too rough for him to even stand and hang on to the grab bars while i hosed him down.
he fell on a trip to the toilet in the night but was not hurt. since i could not find anyone who was able to solve the mystery of the shower stool and i couldn't get anyone to answer 'at your service' button on the phone, i started asking every employee i met from 7 am on day two about our stool.
i started looking at passenger load levels for flights out of HNL to LAX that morning and discovered that our favorite flights (noon departure) were almost if not already full. i decided that lack of response from ship's staff on the shower stool and really poor food did not bode well for the remainder of the two week cruise and elected to book a return after one week on the ship, so we continued the cruise to hilo, as mentioned above; stopped in Lahaina where we rented a RED CONVERTIBLE to drive to Kahalui and Wailuku for lunch with resident step-relatives. had a great meal and a great time, returned to the ship by tender without incident.
in the days at sea i noticed and commented to fellow cruisers about public restrooms being closed intermittently, industrial carpet drying fans arrayed in hallways, stewards steaming carpets, plumbers working away in the chases and observed plumbers in the chases on deck 7 (ours). plumbers were working amidships but ominously, gradually moving closer and closer to our cabin which was the last aft on that deck. i was counting my blessings and saying my beads...no plumbing problems...and we were getting off the ship, so we wouldn't have to worry...except that at 0300 hrs (3 am) the toilet backed up enroute to Oahu necessitating a hazmat cleanup that was completed by 0400 hrs. seas were rough and altho the smell of chlorine bleach was comforting under the circumstances, i started retching about that time and slapped a scopolamine patch on. we had to clear customs (????) at 0630 hrs and i started vomiting about that time. i'm not sure whether it was seasickness, food poisoning (we had eaten a meal in Wailuku as well as aboard in the 'kill zone time-wise', or stress because of our flood and impending five hour flight. regardless, it wasn't pleasant. fortunately i am a demon packer and it was done before i was really ill and we were finally able to get off the ship, get our transport, check in at HNL and eventually get home.
I WILL BE CHECKING FOR PASSENGER COMMENTS ON PLUMBING IN THE FUTURE. Also, if i am missing required and promised equipment i will plant myself at the front desk until that equipment is replaced.
i am of the 'stuff happens' school of life. i still love cruising, under certain circumstances, because my husband really prefers it. and, because of available itineraries, i might cruise with Holland again but i'll be making some in depth investigation before any money leaves our accts.
the other ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS experience i had was the Thermal Suite in the Spa. that room is worth the price of the ticket and if i travel on Holland again it will be because of the Thermal Suite (and maybe the itinerary, of course). my ipod and i were content for the hours we spent there and husb didn't want to pay the bucks, so i was alone, except for the other occasional escapee. i wish i was there right now....but i have a little laundry to do and have to make the coffee. my dog is happy i'm home and my house/dogsitting friend is a neat freak so my house looks like five million dollars without a micron of dust observable. not expected nor requested--we have housekeeping help, but Karen is such a wonderful friend and our dog loves her, too. and i'm not vomiting any more! Less
Cabin review: OP7088
carpet stained, handicapped accessible shower with floor drains excellent, metal fittings rusted, mildew staining and evidence of many, many repairs to grouting, some better than others. small, pie-shaped verandah with two chairs and small table. the most 'aft' verandah cabin on port side. quiet. a looooooooong walk to fwd elevators but directly below buffet/pool, etc. two nice hanging closets, shelving, several drawers. electricity unreliable for computer charging during the night, always trying to charge my 'stuff'. internet expensive and unreliable (so what else is new?). phone buttons didn't connect me with anyone--i thought they didn't love me and that's why they didn't answer the 'at your service' button. 911 worked, tho, especially when the toilet overflowed at 0300 hrs. no list of television channels, when i requested one, someone prepared one for me especially and gave me a list of available options, half of which were on 'channel 2' and the other half 'channel 4', or maybe 41, they typed one thing and people told me another. i never found good television reception and i was looking for NEWS, but kept up with my laptop, at aforementioned expensive rates. we use this cruise line solely because they start and stop in socal and my 90-yr old husb doesn't have to fly (usually) except when we leave the ship early.