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Our cruise was from December 10-21, however due to the continuous problems we encountered on-board, Holland America succumb to our request to depart the ship and fly us home on the 14th. One would ask how this could happen to such a highly regarded cruise line? Simple, the ship was not in dry-dock long enough to complete everything that needed to be done. The ship arrived to port late, we boarded late, left late, and arrived late to everywhere we were or supposed to be. There were water and computer problems which delayed boarding. Upon arrival to our veranda cabin,there was mold/mildew in the tub area, no bar soap, no robes, no fruit in the basket, no ice in the bucket, a soiled couch (didn't even want to sit on it),a dirty veranda that was full of sawdust and glass that hadn't been cleaned. The air conditioning was problematic in our cabin as well as the entire ship. The line at the desk was steady with people complaining. Damaged luggage, keys not working, no ac , etc etc. The main restaurant was a disaster concerning service, and was the only place on the ship we encountered flies. I even had a hair on my breakfast plate. The same morning my spouse waited 40 minutes before giving up and going to eat in the buffet. We encountered no Internet for the first day which normally wouldn't bother me except that I needed to review and reply to some important legal matters. We had bouts of no propulsion, power failures, contaminated water( we were flown home without knowing what the analysis showed), no ac (a tray of chocolates melted while on the table in our cabin),a small fire in the switchboard, cancelled excursions, and the list goes on and on. The galley had no hot water the first day. The walls and stairs in the common areas creaked. The staff and crew admitted the ship was not 100%. Yes, they were trying to correct everything and were giving it their best 100% but what they needed was 500%, an impossible task. Will say the food when served properly, was excellent. The entertainment enjoyable. And the jet ski excursion on Half Moon Cay was a blast and I highly recommend it. I thought it a little strange that the captain, during his toast didn't recognize what we, the cruise passengers were going through. We thought there was a lack of empathy by the crew and staff.

There was never an announcement not to drink the contaminated water which for me, being a doctor, presented a health hazard for the elderly, many whom had compromised immune systems. We ended the cruise by being persistent with the Hotel Manager and Guest Relations Manager, and Holland America agreed to put us up for a night in Aruba, take care of our transfers and plane fare for our trip home, and refund our cruise. As we were finalizing the paper work, there was another power failure leaving us in the dark. We disembarked at 10 pm, the ship was to sail on at 11 pm. Our flight left Aruba on time the following day, and were were overjoyed, arriving home and off that miserable ship. This was our first and last cruise on Holland America.

Zuiderdam-First cruise after drydock

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by Dr. Bichon

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Trip Details

Our cruise was from December 10-21, however due to the continuous problems we encountered on-board, Holland America succumb to our request to depart the ship and fly us home on the 14th. One would ask how this could happen to such a highly regarded cruise line? Simple, the ship was not in dry-dock long enough to complete everything that needed to be done. The ship arrived to port late, we boarded late, left late, and arrived late to everywhere we were or supposed to be. There were water and computer problems which delayed boarding. Upon arrival to our veranda cabin,there was mold/mildew in the tub area, no bar soap, no robes, no fruit in the basket, no ice in the bucket, a soiled couch (didn't even want to sit on it),a dirty veranda that was full of sawdust and glass that hadn't been cleaned. The air conditioning was problematic in our cabin as well as the entire ship. The line at the desk was steady with people complaining. Damaged luggage, keys not working, no ac , etc etc. The main restaurant was a disaster concerning service, and was the only place on the ship we encountered flies. I even had a hair on my breakfast plate. The same morning my spouse waited 40 minutes before giving up and going to eat in the buffet. We encountered no Internet for the first day which normally wouldn't bother me except that I needed to review and reply to some important legal matters. We had bouts of no propulsion, power failures, contaminated water( we were flown home without knowing what the analysis showed), no ac (a tray of chocolates melted while on the table in our cabin),a small fire in the switchboard, cancelled excursions, and the list goes on and on. The galley had no hot water the first day. The walls and stairs in the common areas creaked. The staff and crew admitted the ship was not 100%. Yes, they were trying to correct everything and were giving it their best 100% but what they needed was 500%, an impossible task. Will say the food when served properly, was excellent. The entertainment enjoyable. And the jet ski excursion on Half Moon Cay was a blast and I highly recommend it. I thought it a little strange that the captain, during his toast didn't recognize what we, the cruise passengers were going through. We thought there was a lack of empathy by the crew and staff.

There was never an announcement not to drink the contaminated water which for me, being a doctor, presented a health hazard for the elderly, many whom had compromised immune systems. We ended the cruise by being persistent with the Hotel Manager and Guest Relations Manager, and Holland America agreed to put us up for a night in Aruba, take care of our transfers and plane fare for our trip home, and refund our cruise. As we were finalizing the paper work, there was another power failure leaving us in the dark. We disembarked at 10 pm, the ship was to sail on at 11 pm. Our flight left Aruba on time the following day, and were were overjoyed, arriving home and off that miserable ship. This was our first and last cruise on Holland America.

Dr. Bichon’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 4141

Cabin 4141
Average size cabin. Loads of storage;the most we have encountered on any cruise ship. The sofa was soiled so much we wouldn't sit on it. Mildew in shower. Little water pressure in shower. Water came out of faucet scolding. Carpet needed to be replaced. veranda needed cleaning. Glass on veranda extremely dirty. Rubber stripping hanging off the bathroom door. All in all, an average cabin at best.

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