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Zaandam Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
527 reviews
5 Awards

Bucket List Cruise to Antarctica

Review for Zaandam to Antarctica
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10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jan 2016
Cabin: Large Ocean-View Stateroom

For a number of years I've wanted to travel to Antarctica and have heard the warnings that access to this part of the world would be reduced if not eliminated to cruise ships of the HAL size. So I booked us on the Zaandam sailing out of Valparaiso to Buenos Aires. I will note that we are experience 4 star Mariners on HAL.

We departed the US from Atlanta on Delta on a direct flight to Santiago which is located inland from the port city of Valparaiso about 60 miles. After the overnight flight we arrived in the mid morning in Santiago but couldn't check in to our hotel until 3pm. While waiting in a local cafe, my backpack was cleverly stolen from right next to me. It contained my meds, cameras, other electronic items, some cash, and personal effects. It was a bummer of a way to start the trip. Fortunately it's just "stuff". Surprisingly, I was able to replace my meds at a local pharmacy with no prescription! Replacing a camera was a bit more difficult and took several days in another city near Valparaiso. The takeaway from the theft was to always put one's foot through the arm straps of a backpack to reduce the chances of it being stolen.

In Santiago, we rented an apartment for two days located on the top floor of a high rise. We took two walking tours of the city with Tours by Locals and met a few people who were also going to be on the cruise and that was pretty cool. Santiago is a very modern city with lots of hustle and bustle. To get to Valparaiso, we hired a car, driver, and a guide who met us promptly and delivered us to our destination in Santiago via a couple vineyard stops and a lovely seaside restaurant.

Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom

Cabin H

We don't spend a lot of time in our cabin, but it was nice on this cruise to have daylight to wake up to. The cabin was of sufficient size for 2 people, and had lots of closet storage. The bathroom had a mini=tub with a shower. Mario, our attendant, was a total delight to be around. The Zaandam is still using the old TV system with the separate DVD player. One can check out movies from the front desk (we never did). There's a hair dryer in the room and 2 robes.

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