Solo Cruiser/First Cruise: Zaandam Cruise Review by CatB

Zaandam 5
Member Since 2013
2 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Solo Cruiser/First Cruise

Sail Date: December 2012
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: San Diego
I was uncertain as to what to expect of a cruise, but given the cost as a solo traveller, I expected some luxury, fine dining and excellent service. I wasn't disappointed.

True, the new reservation system for the main dining room was confusing people,including the booking staff, but I was able to take it in stride. I had been advised at least twice to reserve my table in advance(I had opted for open seating at a table for two-no sharing), and as I have dietary allergies I was keen to have that clarified with the kitchen, too. Admittedly, there were a couple of glitches but recovery and compensation by the staff were immediate and gracious.

Of course, people were curious, and some openly sad, that I was travelling alone, but I explained that it was my choice and that I was thoroughly enjoying my own company. I did accept once or twice the kind offers to join others for dinner or dessert, but most often I declined the invitations. The wait staff were most attentive and More kind. The Pinnacle and Canaletto restaurants were well worth the extra cost.

The only complaint I have is about the spa. I had a wonderful massage on the second day at sea and no complaint about that experience. My manicure was another thing altogether...not recommended. The spa seemed disorganized and the nail salon was poorly equipped with questionable hygiene standards. The horseback riding excursion in Pt Vallarta on Christmas Day was fabulous. The sailing and snorkelling excursion in Cabo was fun, but the water was too cold to stay in for long and it was clear that someone had been feeding the fish in order to have them congregate in the area we were told to snorkel. Small things in the larger context.

Ultimately, I enjoyed this cruise so much that I have booked another cruise with HAL for June and am taking my daughter and her husband along for the ride! Thus far, I am sold on HAL and reluctant to try another cruise line for fear they won't live up to my newly formed expectations. I'll post a review of the Mediterranean trip post-cruise.

Happy cruising. Less

Published 01/25/13
Helpful? Thank CatB

Cabin review: DA2575 Large Ocean-View Stateroom

Across from crew space but still very quiet. Close to forward and midship elevators. Lots of closet space. Lovely unobstructed oceanview.

Read All Large Ocean-View Stateroom (DA) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

The port of Cabo is very touristy with new a shopping plaza and condos. Fortunately, our stay was short with just enough time for the sailing and snorkelling excursion I had booked and a quick look around the port. The old town would have been much more interesting but was some distance away.

Horseback Tour

I've been to Mexico many times and so wasn't excited to see PV yet again. However, the excursion was fabulous and I would recommend it to anyone who likes riding. On the second day in port I cruised the mall across the street and spent most of the day on the ship.

Compare Prices on Zaandam Mexican Riviera Cruises

Read more Zaandam cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Zaandam Review >>

Compare Prices on Zaandam Mexican Riviera Cruises

Member Since 2013
2 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Zaandam deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Zaandam 68% Loved It

16-day South America Passage
See all Zaandam Deals >>