Fine 11 day Panama Sunfarer: Zuiderdam Cruise Review by phinu

Zuiderdam 5
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Fine 11 day Panama Sunfarer

Sail Date: April 2013
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
After reading the previous review I was skeptical of the condition of the ship. Our biggest problem was the fact that were subject to very high rate for internet. I understand it was only on our ship, the rate was $249.00 for the whole cruise or $60.00 for a 24 hour period. Highway robbery.

Embarkation: Got to the terminal from our hotel around 1 pm. Check in was smooth, no wait to board the ship. We were in our cabin by 1:30 pm.

A/C: some of the decks had some a/c issues. The lido problem previously described seemed to be caused by lack of doors to the outside deck which both exterior and interior close automatically. There was always at lease a 20 knot wind across the deck causing the warm air to blow in from the doors to the outside. The central section of the lido remained cool.

Entertainment: I thought the HAL singers and dancers did a terrific job. The three shows were lively and fast paced. The singers had god voices. There was a steel band that More performed one night and in the afternoon of the last day at sea. They were excellent, the evening performance had a lot of classical pieces and the day performance was a mixture of Beatles, John Denver and other music of my youth. The audience loved it. The comedian and juggler are not my cup of tea, so I did not go therefore I can not rate them.

Cabin: Had VC verandah class cabin. Not the largest I have had, but more than enough storage space. The beds are high enough that the suitcases fit under the bed easily. Our cabin steward kept the cabin clean and was always more than eager to make sure our stay was pleasant.

Dining: We had early seating in the Vista Dining room. We did not have any cold food and all the meals were very good. My wife did not always like the selections, but you could always get a steak, chicken or salmon. Our waiter would caution us if we ordered something he thought was not going to please us. We would then take his suggestion and were never disappointed.

Ship: I thought the ship was in good condition. The way some previous reviews described the ship, I thought the furniture would be ripped and the rugs threadbare. This was not the case. Ship looked very good. There definitely was a methane type smell especially on certain parts of deck 2 and 3. This probably can't be addressed until the next dry dock.

Debarkation: We were the only ship in port the day we got off the ship. There were 8 customs agent. We were called at 9:10 AM and were back at the hotel where we left are car and on the road by 10:10 AM. I am sure on the weekends when there are many ships in port the wait will be much worse. Less

Published 04/21/13
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Cabin 5178. Has shower which is small but serviceable, had a very long vanity which made storing our essentials a snap. There are three closets, two have bars for hanging clothes. Other closet has shelves and houses the safe. A small night stand with 2 small drawers on either side of the bed. Two large drawers, one under each side of the bed gave plenty of storage. Beds were high enough to store suitcases under.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Have been to Aruba many times. Walked around downtown used the free wi fi at Starbucks. The street behind the front street was all ripped up to be re done. This made walking and window shopping impossible.

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This is the private island of Carnival Corporation. We were only there for a few hours. We rented a clam shell cover to keep us out of the direct sun. The sand is kept clean, no debris from the sea. We always enjoy this stop.

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