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we just returned from our 1st cruise from LA down the mexican Riviera through the panama canal ending in ft lauderdale. for first time cruisers we were totally disappointed. first of all there was NO briefing on ship. we didn't know when we got off ship where it was safe in mexico, where not safe, where to eat, where not to eat, do we need pecos or dollars, etc...... so no briefing on a 17 day cruise is unacceptable!! have to say the food was good both on lido deck and dining room and service great. hired help works hard for money. however, our main complaint was the lack of entertainment!! the daily program was awful. nothing to do. my husband and i are in our 50's and wanted activities that kept us busy, not bingo, or cards, or the casino. we were totally bored!! AND worst even was the nightly entertainment. they had a piano bar upstairs (can't dance to) a piano bar downstairs (can't dance to) and one small nightclub with a band that was geared towards the elderly with tango's , foxtrot, etc.. definitely not for us. the dj on board is a total waste. nobody was in northern lights. the dj starts at 10-11 at night instead of 7 pm when you want to dance. who dances that time of night and then gets up for excursion. nobody , that is who. we were the only ones in there. we asked him to play us country and he could not or would not. literally, nobody was in there. instead of them making it a country lounge where you can hear some george strait or alan jackson (whom most people that age bracket like) they prefer to not use the lounge at all. it was just awful. also note, most piano players take one hour long breaks so when you sit down to order a drink and plan on listening awhile they usually disappear and your left with no music at all. what horrible entertainment. also have to say shows on stage at night fell far below expectations!! JUST awful - two bad nights of bad comedians where people walked out. another night of a hypnotist that was god awful. people called up to stage actually walked off stage. nobody was hypnotized. that show belonged in a elementary school, not on a stage. singers just ok. have seen much better. entertainment fell so far below our expectations, we hated cruise. this cruise cost quite a bit of money since it was 17 nights and not worth it at all. also note, there is no washer/dryer on ship so for 18 days your stuck unless you want to pay expensive price for a small bag of laundry. also ship very very cold! everyone complaining and nothing was done so result was everyone got sick on board!! WE'RE home sick now. store had no meds. ran out. dr only works 2 hrs a day even when 3/4 of ship is sick i guess!! that's a disgrace. excursion desk very unfriendly and not helpful. when asked about a excursion i wanted to book which was $240 for hubby and i and said 7 1/2 hrs i asked about lunch if included. she said no just fruit. the trip said it would take 1-1/2 hr drive to and1-1/2 hr drive back and 45 mins at site i questioned what were we doing rest or time since it said 7 1/2 hrs i was told "we don't know"!!!!! CROWD is older 70's and 80's hubby and i are in 50's so we were totally bored between no music and no entertainment. will never cruise holland american again. the cost of the trip was much too high for what you rec'd. first excursion we went on was pirate ship and snorkeling. we went out to ocean , all got snorkel gear on , went into water and all got stung!! most likely jelly fish. some really bad. no refund was offered. it was not worth the money. think long and hard before booking this ship unless you enjoy sitting around and just eating and gambling and drinking!!! PRETTY much all there is to do on this ship and i'm sure that is where HA wants you, in the casino or the bar!!! never again. diane

Zuiderdam - Central America/Panama Canal

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by diane pitts

Trip Details
we just returned from our 1st cruise from LA down the mexican Riviera through the panama canal ending in ft lauderdale. for first time cruisers we were totally disappointed. first of all there was NO briefing on ship. we didn't know when we got off ship where it was safe in mexico, where not safe, where to eat, where not to eat, do we need pecos or dollars, etc...... so no briefing on a 17 day cruise is unacceptable!! have to say the food was good both on lido deck and dining room and service great. hired help works hard for money. however, our main complaint was the lack of entertainment!! the daily program was awful. nothing to do. my husband and i are in our 50's and wanted activities that kept us busy, not bingo, or cards, or the casino. we were totally bored!! AND worst even was the nightly entertainment. they had a piano bar upstairs (can't dance to) a piano bar downstairs (can't dance to) and one small nightclub with a band that was geared towards the elderly with tango's , foxtrot, etc.. definitely not for us. the dj on board is a total waste. nobody was in northern lights. the dj starts at 10-11 at night instead of 7 pm when you want to dance. who dances that time of night and then gets up for excursion. nobody , that is who. we were the only ones in there. we asked him to play us country and he could not or would not. literally, nobody was in there. instead of them making it a country lounge where you can hear some george strait or alan jackson (whom most people that age bracket like) they prefer to not use the lounge at all. it was just awful. also note, most piano players take one hour long breaks so when you sit down to order a drink and plan on listening awhile they usually disappear and your left with no music at all. what horrible entertainment. also have to say shows on stage at night fell far below expectations!! JUST awful - two bad nights of bad comedians where people walked out. another night of a hypnotist that was god awful. people called up to stage actually walked off stage. nobody was hypnotized. that show belonged in a elementary school, not on a stage. singers just ok. have seen much better. entertainment fell so far below our expectations, we hated cruise. this cruise cost quite a bit of money since it was 17 nights and not worth it at all. also note, there is no washer/dryer on ship so for 18 days your stuck unless you want to pay expensive price for a small bag of laundry. also ship very very cold! everyone complaining and nothing was done so result was everyone got sick on board!! WE'RE home sick now. store had no meds. ran out. dr only works 2 hrs a day even when 3/4 of ship is sick i guess!! that's a disgrace. excursion desk very unfriendly and not helpful. when asked about a excursion i wanted to book which was $240 for hubby and i and said 7 1/2 hrs i asked about lunch if included. she said no just fruit. the trip said it would take 1-1/2 hr drive to and1-1/2 hr drive back and 45 mins at site i questioned what were we doing rest or time since it said 7 1/2 hrs i was told "we don't know"!!!!! CROWD is older 70's and 80's hubby and i are in 50's so we were totally bored between no music and no entertainment. will never cruise holland american again. the cost of the trip was much too high for what you rec'd. first excursion we went on was pirate ship and snorkeling. we went out to ocean , all got snorkel gear on , went into water and all got stung!! most likely jelly fish. some really bad. no refund was offered. it was not worth the money. think long and hard before booking this ship unless you enjoy sitting around and just eating and gambling and drinking!!! PRETTY much all there is to do on this ship and i'm sure that is where HA wants you, in the casino or the bar!!! never again. diane
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