Crew of the Zuiderdam were very accommodating: Zuiderdam Cruise Review by covenantbelievers

Zuiderdam 4
Member Since 2013

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Crew of the Zuiderdam were very accommodating

Sail Date: April 2013
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
My husband and I were really enjoying our first cruise with Holland America aboard the Zuiderdam. It is a smaller ship than our previous cruises, so we could feel more rocking, but we were fine even though we usually get motion sickness very easily. The ship is not as new and fancy as some we have been on, but is well-maintained and decorated nicely. Our cabin was close to the aft elevators on deck 4, which was very convenient. The elevators were very fast and hardly ever crowded. Most of the time we were the only ones on the elevator. There are also 2 midship elevators facing outside that have glass so that you can see the ocean as you ride them.
The crew on this ship were very helpful and friendly - they went out of their way to speak to you or help you. We saw many of them helping the older people carry their food and drinks to their tables. The front desk staff were very nice and we never saw a long line there.

The television in the room is not very big and it More is in the corner of the room instead of by the bed, so it was a little hard to see. There is a DVD player under it, and you can get movies from the front desk to watch. If you have a verandah room, the movies are free. They have a Ship Flicks book with all of the movie choices available. We also saw a movie in their theater room. The room is pretty small and has big, comfortable chairs to sit in, but doesn't accommodate very many people, so you have to get a seat early if you want to watch in there. They also have little bags of popcorn available, which was fun.

We really enjoyed the beach at Half Moon Cay and snorkeling at Arashi Beach in Aruba. We took the public bus instead of a taxi. The bus station is only a couple of blocks from the port and cost $2.30 per person each way. The bus to Arashi Beach runs once an hour and it took about 30 minutes to get to the beach. Excellent snorkeling and lots of fish.
When we arrived at Curacao we got a call from home that my husband's sister was in the hospital and not expected to make it through the week. We went to the front desk to notify them that we had to leave, and they were EXTREMELY helpful in making our flight and hotel arrangements as well as a taxi to pick us up from the ship. We were unable to complete our cruise, but we did make it back to see our loved one before she passed away. We are grateful to the ship's staff, and we are planning to to take the cruise again later this year. Less

Published 05/08/13

Cabin review: VB4142 Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

We liked the larger balcony and the convenience to the elevators. The towels are nice, as well as the bathrobes. We heard some banging every once in a while that we couldn't figure out where it was coming from, but it was quiet most of the time. We liked the towel animals and chocolates each evening, and we got ice twice each day. We really liked the DVD player and free Ship Flicks movies. They will also shine your shoes for free if you put them in a basket with your room number. The room seemed a little small, but it seemed to have plenty of storage space. There are shelves in the closet that can be put up or down to accommodate different clothing. Overall, we were very pleased with the room.

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Port and Shore Excursions

The ship arrived at Aruba at 1:00pm. We walked to the bus station that was a couple of blocks from the port. We had just missed the bus we needed, so we shopped around for a while. The bus to Arashi Beach leaves once every hour, and it took about 30 minutes to get to that beach which is the last stop for that bus. There are other beach stops on the way, but we had read that Arashi Beach was a good beach for snorkeling. It is a nice beach and we did see a lot of fish! There were 2 tour boats just a little ways from us with groups of snorkelers. We took the bus back to the port at 5:00. The bus cost $2.30 per person each way which was a lot cheaper than a taxi, and we felt perfectly safe.
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The ship arrived at Half Moon Cay at 8:00am, and we took a double-decker tender boat to the island at 8:15. Half Moon Cay is beautiful! The sand is like baby powder when you walk on it and not hot at all. We had reserved a clamshell online, so we got that first. We walked along the beach, took some pictures, and enjoyed the sun and warm weather. The ship's crew prepared an island barbecue for lunch with food brought from the ship. They had an assortment of fruit and salads, grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken, and "brownies" that were more like pound cake. It was a really good lunch. We explored the island a little more. There is a small church on the island and several places for children to play. There is also a place with two sand volleyball courts, but nobody was playing. There is a little shopping area by the entrance and a small post office. We wanted to get some stamps as souvenirs, but only one person works there and they were gone to lunch. We let an older couple have our clamshell and we left to go back to the ship at 12:30 in order to avoid waiting in tender lines. We would have loved to stay at Half Moon Cay longer, but the ship leaves there at 2:30.

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