1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Zuiderdam
We chose the Holland America Zuiderdam ship for our 2018 Christmas family vacation. The only reason I would give any stars for this cruise is for the room and dinning stewards who provided the utmost impeccable service. Cheers to all of you!!! However, Holland America Ships are severely lacking customer service, acommodations are poorly described. The cabin layout was terrible and considering this was a Holiday cruise, it severely lacked festive activities, entertainment and decorations. We were advised by Holland America the Zuideram Veranda Cabins accommodate 3-4 passengers. We had 3 in our cabin. However, to accommodate anymore than 2 passengers, access to the veranda balcony and bar fridge are "completely blocked" and they had to "remove furniture" from our cabin to make room for the 3rd person for the entire cruise. I guess the 4th person would have had a caught on the balcony because there is absolutely no room for a 4th person. This was extremely disappointing when we had paid the extra $2,000 to have a balcony cabin but couldn't access the door to get out onto the balcony. SAVE your money a book an Ocean View or Interior Cabin for a much lower rate. The Ship's Customer Service Relations were not helpful in providing any alternative nor compensation for the extra cost we paid to have a balcony we had no access to. There were minimal Christmas decorations throughout the ship not making it feel very festive for a holiday cruise. Santa came aboard the ship to visit the 40-50 children on board and gave them all a dollar store gift that broke within the day. We expected much more for a Holiday cruise considering the inflated cost for a cruise during this peak time. We would never consider Holland America for future Holiday cruises. PS to Smokers: there is only 1 smoking section on board and they refuse to let anyone smoke prior to the ship leaving port. It was a long 6 hour wait from the time we boarded to leaving port.

Holiday Cruise Not Very Festive and Very Poor Layout in Veranda Cabins

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by DreamsVacations

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We chose the Holland America Zuiderdam ship for our 2018 Christmas family vacation. The only reason I would give any stars for this cruise is for the room and dinning stewards who provided the utmost impeccable service. Cheers to all of you!!!

However, Holland America Ships are severely lacking customer service, acommodations are poorly described. The cabin layout was terrible and considering this was a Holiday cruise, it severely lacked festive activities, entertainment and decorations. We were advised by Holland America the Zuideram Veranda Cabins accommodate 3-4 passengers. We had 3 in our cabin. However, to accommodate anymore than 2 passengers, access to the veranda balcony and bar fridge are "completely blocked" and they had to "remove furniture" from our cabin to make room for the 3rd person for the entire cruise. I guess the 4th person would have had a caught on the balcony because there is absolutely no room for a 4th person.

This was extremely disappointing when we had paid the extra $2,000 to have a balcony cabin but couldn't access the door to get out onto the balcony. SAVE your money a book an Ocean View or Interior Cabin for a much lower rate.

The Ship's Customer Service Relations were not helpful in providing any alternative nor compensation for the extra cost we paid to have a balcony we had no access to.

There were minimal Christmas decorations throughout the ship not making it feel very festive for a holiday cruise. Santa came aboard the ship to visit the 40-50 children on board and gave them all a dollar store gift that broke within the day.

We expected much more for a Holiday cruise considering the inflated cost for a cruise during this peak time. We would never consider Holland America for future Holiday cruises.

PS to Smokers: there is only 1 smoking section on board and they refuse to let anyone smoke prior to the ship leaving port. It was a long 6 hour wait from the time we boarded to leaving port.
DreamsVacations’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Zuiderdam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 5104
Veranda balcony cabins indicate they accommodate 3-4 passengers, however, there is only space for 2 passengers. A 3rd passenger's bed entirely blocks any access to the balcony and bar fridge. Unless they put a bed out on the balcony, there is absolutely NO space inside the cabin for a 4th passenger (child or adult). SAVE your money and go with an ocean view or interior cabin. The inflated cost for a veranda with no access to the balcony was not worth the extra cost.
Observation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Amber Cove (Puerto Plata)
    Lot's to do at this port if you want to avoid excursions. Enjoyed strolling through the shops and boutiques. Although there was no beach is within the port, there is a beautiful resort style pool with swim up bars and in pool loungers. We spent most of our day here and had a few drink with lunch at the pool side restaurant. Access to the pool is free whether or not you purchase drinks or food. Drinks and food are reasonably priced. Local staff on this island are friendly and never bothered by anyone trying to sell anything. A very nice relaxing day spent all at the port.
    View All 722 Amber Cove (Puerto Plata) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Amber Cove (Puerto Plata) Cruise Port Review
  • Aruba
    We took a local bus $2 per person to Eagle Beach. Local bus terminal is within a 5 minute walk from the ship. Ask locals for directions once out of the immediate port area and away from all the tour sales people lined up as you get off the dock. Locals are very friendly and helpful. Chairs on the beach are available for rent $15 per chair for the day or enjoy sitting on the sand with your towel. A few beach bars and restaurant at this beach. We took the local bus back to the port and shopped along the strip close to port.
    View All 1,645 Aruba Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Aruba Cruise Port Review
  • Snorkeling
    Food and drinks on the island a very reasonably priced. Local beer $2, Corona $3. Took a submarine tour of the reefs...a little over priced but was an experience for anyone who is not into snorkelling. We took a water taxi to No Name Island which was just okay, but glad we went for the experience. Water taxi to Coco beach however, there is a lot of coral so you definitely need water shoes. We decided to walk from Coco beach back to the port. Was about a 30 minute walk but we enjoyed see the local area and taking our time. There is limited sidewalks along the busy road so you need to pay attention. Think next time we would take a local taxi.
    View All 147 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Curacao
    Their local buses are an easy and inexpensive way to get around the island. We walked over the swinging bridge and spent a few hours strolling through the shops in their downtown area then minutes over to the bus terminal. We took a local bus to Mambo beach - nice beaches, water - a lot of fun with a variety of shops, bars and restaurants from $ to $$$. Shared a taxi with 2 other tourist back into town and a short walk back to the ship. The Renaissance hotel within minutes from the ship and adjacent to the old fort was a nice place to stroll through during the day and night. Casino, many shops, bars, cafes, and resurants ranging from $ to $$$. There is something for everyone here.
    View All 1,250 Curacao Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Curacao Cruise Port Review
  • Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    We stayed at the Holiday Inn Cruise Port on 17th Street Post Cruise. Hotel provides free shuttle to and from the airport and a free decent breakfast. Currently under construction for their new addition and pool however we were not disturbed by any noise. The manager and staff at this hotel are extremely friendly and efficient.
    NOTE: All hotels in the area provide shuttle service to the port at a rate of $8.00 per person, however, a taxi for 1-6 people only charge a flat rate of $10.00. Less commotion and expense to take a taxi.
    View All 1,930 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Port Review
  • Grand Turk
    Lot's to do at this port if you want to avoid $$ excursions. Enjoyed strolling through the shops and boutiques. Beach is within a 5 minute walk to the ship where you can rent 2 front row chairs $25 for the day or free if you don't mind being a little further back on the beach. Local staff on this island are friendly and never bothered by anyone trying to sell anything. A very nice relaxing day spent all at the port.
    View All 2,112 Grand Turk Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Grand Turk Cruise Port Review
  • Half Moon Cay
    Absolutely gorgeous island owned and operated by Carnival and Holland America. Our second visit to this port and still enjoyed every second of it. Calm crystal clear blue water with white sandy beach.
    View All 1,191 Half Moon Cay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Half Moon Cay Cruise Port Review