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We had never sailed with Holland America before this trip and it is safe to say that we won't be sailing with Holland America in the near future. It started well - check-in was smooth and efficient - all staff involved were friendly and very helpful - very professional. But once on board it soon became clear that the demographic was not what we were expecting. Mostly Americans - mostly OLD Americans which directed the whole tone of what happened on the ship. Lucky there weren't many sea days because it was tiresome and tedious - no real suitable activities available - nothing to really keep people occupied. And quite frankly the nighttime entertainment events were generally mediocre, apart from two or three gems. But only two or three. Clearly targeted on the main market of older Americans. Our cabin was nice, storage sufficient but the television far too small - tiny really given the size of the cabin. And the range of what was available - very, very limited - just the same boring selection on rotation for the entire day. The Spa and staff were lovely but treatments expensive in my view. Lucky for the Team Trivia events but sadly often conducted without any real enthusiasm by the ship staff member and seriously spring for free drinks for the winners!!!!!!! It won't break the bank. There is is no free wi-fi on board which quite is just prehistoric and unhelpful. Food service is not self service which is great - you are served by staff behind the counter. The food is plentiful and tasty but limited in range over the two cruises. Desserts generally delicious. Hamburgers from Dive-In fabulous. However the whole availability of coffee and tea making facilities is insufficient. Unless you want to pay for your coffee then you have to trek all the way to the Lido Marketplace to get some coffee or tea. Very poor. Happy hour rules very poorly advertised - it says $2 for the second drink BUT it must be the SAME drink which is NOT stated anywhere - no T&C noted. Telling us that it's been like that forever is not an acceptable response. Lido pool - no attendant on duty - again not acceptable - haven't seen this on any other cruise ship. You have a pool on your ship for your guests then I would imagine that you should have a safety attendant on duty. Front office staff - these are the people that need to know stuff however that wasn't the case. We were often given incorrect or conflicting advice/information. They were always willing to assist and super friendly which was lovely but not sufficient as representatives of front of house. The trip itinerary is wonderful (although there should be more time in Oslo) - can't fault the destinations (although some of the excursions offered leave much to be desired and saying they are an independent outfit is not good enough - Holland America have the Journeys Ashore office on board so they do need take on some of the issues. For example - Falkirk Wheel/Roman Fort and Antonine Wall - no wall and no Roman fort - a very poor tour). Must be said that for the most part the disembarkation and embarkation for excursions was very well handled. In summary we left very happy with what we saw regarding the trip itinerary but the actual journey was marred by disappointment with the cruise ship itself.

Destinations great but Ship boring

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by Lucy_Daisy

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2017
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We had never sailed with Holland America before this trip and it is safe to say that we won't be sailing with Holland America in the near future. It started well - check-in was smooth and efficient - all staff involved were friendly and very helpful - very professional. But once on board it soon became clear that the demographic was not what we were expecting. Mostly Americans - mostly OLD Americans which directed the whole tone of what happened on the ship. Lucky there weren't many sea days because it was tiresome and tedious - no real suitable activities available - nothing to really keep people occupied. And quite frankly the nighttime entertainment events were generally mediocre, apart from two or three gems. But only two or three. Clearly targeted on the main market of older Americans.

Our cabin was nice, storage sufficient but the television far too small - tiny really given the size of the cabin. And the range of what was available - very, very limited - just the same boring selection on rotation for the entire day.

The Spa and staff were lovely but treatments expensive in my view.

Lucky for the Team Trivia events but sadly often conducted without any real enthusiasm by the ship staff member and seriously spring for free drinks for the winners!!!!!!! It won't break the bank.

There is is no free wi-fi on board which quite is just prehistoric and unhelpful.

Food service is not self service which is great - you are served by staff behind the counter. The food is plentiful and tasty but limited in range over the two cruises. Desserts generally delicious. Hamburgers from Dive-In fabulous. However the whole availability of coffee and tea making facilities is insufficient. Unless you want to pay for your coffee then you have to trek all the way to the Lido Marketplace to get some coffee or tea. Very poor.

Happy hour rules very poorly advertised - it says $2 for the second drink BUT it must be the SAME drink which is NOT stated anywhere - no T&C noted. Telling us that it's been like that forever is not an acceptable response.

Lido pool - no attendant on duty - again not acceptable - haven't seen this on any other cruise ship. You have a pool on your ship for your guests then I would imagine that you should have a safety attendant on duty.

Front office staff - these are the people that need to know stuff however that wasn't the case. We were often given incorrect or conflicting advice/information. They were always willing to assist and super friendly which was lovely but not sufficient as representatives of front of house.

The trip itinerary is wonderful (although there should be more time in Oslo) - can't fault the destinations (although some of the excursions offered leave much to be desired and saying they are an independent outfit is not good enough - Holland America have the Journeys Ashore office on board so they do need take on some of the issues. For example - Falkirk Wheel/Roman Fort and Antonine Wall - no wall and no Roman fort - a very poor tour).

Must be said that for the most part the disembarkation and embarkation for excursions was very well handled.

In summary we left very happy with what we saw regarding the trip itinerary but the actual journey was marred by disappointment with the cruise ship itself.
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 8020
In terms of size the cabin was great. In terms of decor? Needs improvement. Bed very roomy and comfortable. Bathroom needed a serious upgrade - cracked bathtub caused nightly flooding on the floor and please get rid of the showers curtain!!!!
Observation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews