My husband and I are seniors and sail with HAL or Royal Caribbean, over a dozen cruises. We live on Vancouver Island, a 6 hour journey to Vancouver, our embarkation port. I search previous review of the Zaandam with identical cruises (time of year, ports, excursions). I appreciate all the info I was able to scrounge and that the contributors as this contributed to the success of our cruise. I will try to not repeat what previous cruisers have detailed, except to emphasize. I will touch on the Zaandam, the dining, excursions, service and ports.
We did a Caribbean cruise at Christmas on this ship in 2003. It has since had several refurbishments. We have sailed on the Prinsendam ( 750 passengers) and the Allure (6,200 passengers) and we have come to prefer this size of ship. It is easy to get around and not too many decks to challenge your climbing abilities...this is a serious factor for seniors. The elevators are located in strategic spots throughout the ship. They are not on the exterior and are not glass. Boo hoo...so what? The balcony door opens out, does not slide, so it encroaches on the balcony space. And again, so what? It's just a bit old.
This is actually a balcony stateroom. How it becomes a suite is a mini bar and jets in the bathtub. Is that a miracle?
We embarked in Vancouver
It was raining. We watched people walk in the rain...it was fine.
We shopped and walked to Totem Park.