Zuiderdam Cruise Review by feggie
- Sail Date: July 2017
- Destination: Baltic Sea
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We took a one day Holland America tour to Moscow from St. Petersburg on the high speed train. The tour guide had no sign. He held up a banana for the group to follow. After he ate the banana, he used a black umbrella for us to follow. It was hard to find him in a crowd, as it was raining that day! All other cruise lines had tour guides holding signs, which made them easy to see, Holland did not. The high speed train was interesting, and they served a good meal, but that was through the Russian Rail, not Holland. Our one other Holland tour was to Hamburg. This tour guide spoke very poor English, so was almost impossible to understand. This tour also lasted from morning until 6:30 pm, with no snack or meal break.
All of our other tours were through private companies, like Viator and SPB tours. All were excellent. I wrote a note to the woman in charge of tours to try to express my opinion of the tours and never got a response.
The food was excellent, especially in the dining room. We were happy to have lobster on one of the formal nights. (Last year we took a Princess cruise for 12 days, and were disappointed when we never saw a lobster on the cruise!! ) It's nice to get fine service and special attention, which you don't get at the buffet. The food seems fresher and better, too!
We were very pleased with our cabin stewards. They were so efficient and accommodating.
The internet on the ship is expensive and slow. It's really not worth the high cost unless you are desperate to check your email!
The entertainment was different from what we are used to. The two stage shows were odd. African themed and Billboard magazine top hits. There was an Abba tribute group which were good, as well a couple who did acrobatic dancing.
We took advantage of the laundry service and were very pleased with the efficiency and quality of work provided by the laundry staff.
The ship is getting tired and shabby, and I have been told it's due for a refurbishment, which is sorely needed. I thought our bathtub was dirty, but when I looked closer I could see that the finish was chipping off.
The shopping was a little disappointing. The Russian products like Amber and Faberge egg jewelry was about triple the cost of that in the stores. The Matroishka dolls were about the same price as in stores. It pays to do your homework first, and see the prices online.
If you are interested in seeing the Baltic counties, this cruise is the one. Just make other arrangements for your tours to avoid disappointment.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
KielWe took the Holland America tour to Hamburg from Kiel. Very poor tour guide and poorly planned. Guide was impossible to understand, and the day long tour offered no time for snacks or lunch. We got back to the ship at 6:30 and the elderly people were very upset they couldn't eat. I was able to grab a snack, but most people were not.View All 42 Kiel Cruise Port Reviews
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St. PetersburgThe Moscow in a Day tour was poorly executed. The guide had no sign, only a banana, which he held aloft until he ate it, and then he used a black umbrella, which was hard to follow, since it was raining in Moscow, and everyone had a black umbrella. The high speed train ride was fascinating and a nice meal was provided, but this was through Russian Rail, not due to the tour. There was no time for a meal or break during the long day in Moscow. The guide "lost" one of the passengers between the St. Petersburg station and the bus, so he left 40 of us on the bus while he went looking for the man. We waited 40 minutes on the bus. He came back without finding the man, who we assume probably took a cab back to the ship or got on the other bus, as there were two. We got back to the ship an hour late at 1:10 am. Terrible tour operator.View All 13,768 St. Petersburg Cruise Port Reviews
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StockholmWe took the Panoramic tour and boat ride through Grey Line. Very good, as we were able to go back to sights we were interested in with the included hop on bus.View All 13,768 Stockholm Cruise Port Reviews
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TallinnWe took the tour of Tallin through SPB tours, as it was highly recommended. We have never been on a more interesting or well organized tour. The guide spoke perfect English, and gave a most fascinating and well planned tour. Lunch was provided at a price roughly half of what the cruise line was charging.View All 13,768 Tallinn Cruise Port Reviews
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