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My DW and I both wanted to see the changing of the trees so we booked this cruise (and indeed the trees were wonderful). The Zuiderdam was the HAL ship we sailed on years ago and enjoyed so much that we have been sailing on HAL ever since. We are both partly retired and can go when we find a cruise to interest us. For us the flying is usually the worst part of the adventure. We arrived in Quebec City by Flight Ease late in the day and went straight to the hotel by transfer. The trip had a stop in Toronto where we did customs and nearly missed our next flight. We stayed at the Hilton and it was good. Just know that eating at the hotel is way expensive. Embarkation went smoothly although slowly. It seems we showed up at the same time as everyone else. Disembarkation at the trip's end was very fast for we chose to do luggage direct and not have to fuss with any bags or carry-ons. The cost is minimal. I would like to take a moment here to let you in on a secret. If you let HAL handle the flights, transfers, excursion, & hotels, going on the cruise is much less worrisome. If things happen while cruising (and did they ever!) HAL takes care of all the details. Same goes for excursions. We missed two ports because of a depression (Hurricane Matthew) in which we had booked excursions and the refunds showed up on our statements in good time. Good luck for those who booked their own for HAL could have cared less. There are real advantages to spending a bit more to book with the Cruise Line. To sooth the pain of missing two ports in a row, we were given a free mimosa. Thanks a lot HAL. The room (4139) is large enough and I think larger than the rooms we have booked on other ships. The balcony is plenty big and has baffles for privacy side to side and for protection from wind. Only some privacy from above as the balcony sticks out more than the floors above. It may be a good bit larger than the rooms on the upper decks.The bath room has problems. If you take a bath, you must use the showerhead to fill your tub. If you take a shower, the water drains real slow and you stand in it up to your ankles. The mirror will be fogged over for the vent in there didn't work at all. The toilet had a button to push and it didn't work. A call to the service desk had a man there to work on it and it did at least work if not well after the visit, and the front desk called to make sure we were pleased. The room is across the hall from behind the elevators and above an exit door to the Promenade Deck. Neither caused us a moment of trouble. In fact it was a real handy spot. Do understand that I'm not young and my hearing isn't all it could be. Most of the noise we heard was from our neighbors allowing their doors to slam. I would book that room again without hesitation. The MDR was a bit of a disappointment as there were a number of large groups on the cruise that wanted to sit together at meals. We like to visit with other folks over a leisurely meal and that pretty much didn't happen. The meals were tasty and the menus were varied. The Lido had a wonderful breakfast (although crowded) and the other meals were just OK. I did leave a small amount of ice cream for you. The Dive-In had good burgers & hot dogs. The Pinnacle Grill was very good. The entertainment was hit-and-miss. Some shows were OK, most were - well - not. There was a stand-out excursion in Boston. It was the "Duck"! The cruise around town was a bit long but the cruise in the James River was long and wonderful. I recommend this one! The Captain took us into a depression with a top wind of 90MPH. I can't see any need to have done that. We were in that for the better part of 3 days. Missed two ports. And it was rough. Remember that the majority of folks on this cruise were elderly with mobility issues. What was the Captain thinking? The rest of the cruise was in mild seas with sunny days. Just perfect - Almost. In Port Canaveral we had an electrical blackout. The power was back on in less than an hour but then the Navigation System wouldn't work. We left port 3 hours late with a promise to use all the engines to get us to Ft Lauderdale on time. Nope! Generator failed. Arrived +/- 2 hours late. HAL worked overtime for us (we had Flight Ease & Baggage Direct & a transfer). DW says never again on the Zuiderdam. Well, I won't hold her to that. There were many negatives but many plusses too.

One for the books!

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by TexasDavid7

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2016
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
My DW and I both wanted to see the changing of the trees so we booked this cruise (and indeed the trees were wonderful). The Zuiderdam was the HAL ship we sailed on years ago and enjoyed so much that we have been sailing on HAL ever since. We are both partly retired and can go when we find a cruise to interest us. For us the flying is usually the worst part of the adventure.

We arrived in Quebec City by Flight Ease late in the day and went straight to the hotel by transfer. The trip had a stop in Toronto where we did customs and nearly missed our next flight. We stayed at the Hilton and it was good. Just know that eating at the hotel is way expensive. Embarkation went smoothly although slowly. It seems we showed up at the same time as everyone else. Disembarkation at the trip's end was very fast for we chose to do luggage direct and not have to fuss with any bags or carry-ons. The cost is minimal.

I would like to take a moment here to let you in on a secret. If you let HAL handle the flights, transfers, excursion, & hotels, going on the cruise is much less worrisome. If things happen while cruising (and did they ever!) HAL takes care of all the details. Same goes for excursions. We missed two ports because of a depression (Hurricane Matthew) in which we had booked excursions and the refunds showed up on our statements in good time. Good luck for those who booked their own for HAL could have cared less. There are real advantages to spending a bit more to book with the Cruise Line. To sooth the pain of missing two ports in a row, we were given a free mimosa. Thanks a lot HAL.

The room (4139) is large enough and I think larger than the rooms we have booked on other ships. The balcony is plenty big and has baffles for privacy side to side and for protection from wind. Only some privacy from above as the balcony sticks out more than the floors above. It may be a good bit larger than the rooms on the upper decks.The bath room has problems. If you take a bath, you must use the showerhead to fill your tub. If you take a shower, the water drains real slow and you stand in it up to your ankles. The mirror will be fogged over for the vent in there didn't work at all. The toilet had a button to push and it didn't work. A call to the service desk had a man there to work on it and it did at least work if not well after the visit, and the front desk called to make sure we were pleased. The room is across the hall from behind the elevators and above an exit door to the Promenade Deck. Neither caused us a moment of trouble. In fact it was a real handy spot. Do understand that I'm not young and my hearing isn't all it could be. Most of the noise we heard was from our neighbors allowing their doors to slam. I would book that room again without hesitation.

The MDR was a bit of a disappointment as there were a number of large groups on the cruise that wanted to sit together at meals. We like to visit with other folks over a leisurely meal and that pretty much didn't happen. The meals were tasty and the menus were varied. The Lido had a wonderful breakfast (although crowded) and the other meals were just OK. I did leave a small amount of ice cream for you. The Dive-In had good burgers & hot dogs. The Pinnacle Grill was very good.

The entertainment was hit-and-miss. Some shows were OK, most were - well - not.

There was a stand-out excursion in Boston. It was the "Duck"! The cruise around town was a bit long but the cruise in the James River was long and wonderful. I recommend this one!

The Captain took us into a depression with a top wind of 90MPH. I can't see any need to have done that. We were in that for the better part of 3 days. Missed two ports. And it was rough. Remember that the majority of folks on this cruise were elderly with mobility issues. What was the Captain thinking? The rest of the cruise was in mild seas with sunny days. Just perfect - Almost. In Port Canaveral we had an electrical blackout. The power was back on in less than an hour but then the Navigation System wouldn't work. We left port 3 hours late with a promise to use all the engines to get us to Ft Lauderdale on time. Nope! Generator failed. Arrived +/- 2 hours late. HAL worked overtime for us (we had Flight Ease & Baggage Direct & a transfer).

DW says never again on the Zuiderdam. Well, I won't hold her to that. There were many negatives but many plusses too.
TexasDavid7’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 4139
The room (4139) is large enough and I think larger than the rooms we have booked on other ships. The balcony is plenty big and has baffles for privacy side to side and for protection from wind. Only some privacy from above as the balcony sticks out more than the floors above. It may be a good bit larger than the rooms on the upper decks.The bath room has problems. If you take a bath, you must use the showerhead to fill your tub. If you take a shower, the water drains real slow and you stand in it up to your ankles. The mirror will be fogged over for the vent in there didn't work at all. The toilet had a button to push and it didn't work. A call to the service desk had a man there to work on it and it did at least work if not well after the visit, and the front desk called to make sure we were pleased. The room is across the hall from behind the elevators and above an exit door to the Promenade Deck. Neither caused us a moment of trouble. In fact it was a real handy spot. Do understand that I'm not young and my hearing isn't all it could be. Most of the noise we heard was from our neighbors allowing their doors to slam. I would book that room again without hesitation.
Observation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews