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Zaandam Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
558 Reviews

Antarctica and Falkland Islands saved this cruise

Zaandam Cruise Review by solosport

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2018
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom

The trip to Antarctica and Patagonia is the main reason for taking this cruise plus I was told by a maritime lawyer long ago that his favorite places was Chile and South Africa so had to see for myself. Overall the cruise was OK. Weather didn't cooperate in the southern ports. We missed Ushuaia which was a disappointment due to high winds and no tenders. Antarctica could have had better weather. It snowed and rained often but waves were mild. Cape Horn had bad weather so it was disappointing. Some ports were very poor or lacking in interest so a tour was probably necessary to offset this. Food was inedible in the Lido buffet. Sushi and asian food inedible, pizza worse than frozen, coffee less than tasty, teas very good, hot water machine out. Soups and appetizers overly salted or just weird in the Pinnacle Grill. Main dining room items like schnitzel and stuffed quail almost inedible. Soups good there. Wine pours very small. Service adequate but not the friendly service I've had in the past. Servers seem unhappy compared to a decade ago. Seems like 1/2 of the ship is beautiful and remodeled while cabins are very outdated and look like 1960 era apartments with pink tile in the tub. Cabin was Underneath the kitchen. By looking at the deck plans they don’t distinguish areas of the ship probably for this reason scaring off people. Do not even think of staying in the rear cabins on deck 3 under the kitchen. Noise till after 1am and then starting before 5am for breakfast. Pots and dollys banging all night. Asked to be moved but location on first floor was next to the final days 24 hour gangplank. The last few nights on the cruise the children on the ship took over the coffee, game room and library area. While they were entertaining at times, I notice that the area was clear of adults from the noise they created entertaining themselves. The cruise passengers were very international this time compared to my experiences in the past on HAL. Some passengers that were very rude and cut in line all the time at the Lido, tenders and tours. During the penguin tours we were told to stay out of the boundary areas. These tourists broke that rule so they could stand next to the penguins for pictures disturbing the penguin nests.

solosport's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin E 3393

3393 was a disaster to stay in. First 2 nights I was kept awake even with wax earplugs. Pots banging until 1-2am and then again before 5 am for breakfast. If you are on deck 3 in the rear starboard change your room. We were moved to the first floor which was excellent until the last day in Buenos Aires where the gang plank was open 24 hours on the last night on the ship. Missed sleep again with people talking and walking all night. Cabin crew were friendly and attentive in both locations.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Punta Arenas

Penguin trip may have been good. Didn't hear from anyone. The town was cold and drizzly so not much to see or do. We actually walked about 5-6 miles to the Magellan ship replicas. A mistake since it was too far.

Gentoo Penguins in Bluff Cove

Not as far as the other longer cove. We saw gentoo and King. Good snacks and tea afteward. Jeeps on the bluffs were almost ridiculous on the bumps. You would think the owners would be able to pave the road for all the tourists.

View All 37 Gentoo Penguins in Bluff Cove Reviews

We got to see the cemetery which we didn't get to see on the Hop On Hop Off. But everything else was a repeat of the Hop On bus, just more comfortable. Buenos Aires Downtown was very beautiful overall. Outskirt suburbs not so much it seems.

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