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We recently returned from a partial Panama Canal transit aboard the Zuiderdam. This was our tenth cruise on a Holland American vessel and as always we were very satisfied with the voyage and especially the service. On the one occasion when we complained of an issue, after resolving the issue, Holland America staff made multiple attempts to follow up to ensure we satisfied and even sent a complimentary bottle of wine as an apology. We had a very large Vista suite cabin #6076 midship on the port side. From our spacious balcony we seemed to always be on the side with the port view so the view was much more interesting. I also must note however the continual creaking of the boat when there was any sort of sea motion. It did make a good night’s rest a little harder. Highlights of this trip was the cave excursion in Aruba and the train trip across the isthmus of Panama, which included a stop at the visitor centre for the new larger lock complex. We appreciated that the captain periodically opened the bow area for passengers to get a better view of what was ahead when sailing. Food and service were up to the usual HAL standard. We were a little disappointed with the entertainment as many of the shows were the same as we saw on our last cruise a year ago. However, I must single out the steel band that performed twice during our trip as being excellent. We very much enjoyed the performers on the Lincoln Centre stage, though the Billboard pianists were nothing special. There were many other interesting shipboard activities during the several sea days, most particularly America’s test kitchen and the lectures done by members of the excursion team. As always, the excursion team themselves functioned extremely well for the duration of the voyage. We ate most nights in the dining room, with two nights at Pinnacle. All meals were very tasty but in most cases not too much food. We used the Lido only for breakfast and lunch but most times went outside as the inside dining areas are both crowded and noisy. I heard some people complaining about the relatively sedate nature of evening activities during the voyage, but if you want dancing and late night entertainment, you are best served by a line such as RCC or Disney that caters to a younger demographic. HAL has changed their internet packages to be based on data used rather than time online. I liked this approach better as our data needs are low. Prices have also been reduced though response time still needs improving. We have booked three additional cruises on HAL ships over the next 18 months so I think that tells you all you need to know about our ongoing satisfaction with this line.

Another successful HAL experience

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by Hunt1530

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We recently returned from a partial Panama Canal transit aboard the Zuiderdam. This was our tenth cruise on a Holland American vessel and as always we were very satisfied with the voyage and especially the service. On the one occasion when we complained of an issue, after resolving the issue, Holland America staff made multiple attempts to follow up to ensure we satisfied and even sent a complimentary bottle of wine as an apology.

We had a very large Vista suite cabin #6076 midship on the port side. From our spacious balcony we seemed to always be on the side with the port view so the view was much more interesting.

I also must note however the continual creaking of the boat when there was any sort of sea motion. It did make a good night’s rest a little harder.

Highlights of this trip was the cave excursion in Aruba and the train trip across the isthmus of Panama, which included a stop at the visitor centre for the new larger lock complex. We appreciated that the captain periodically opened the bow area for passengers to get a better view of what was ahead when sailing.

Food and service were up to the usual HAL standard. We were a little disappointed with the entertainment as many of the shows were the same as we saw on our last cruise a year ago. However, I must single out the steel band that performed twice during our trip as being excellent. We very much enjoyed the performers on the Lincoln Centre stage, though the Billboard pianists were nothing special. There were many other interesting shipboard activities during the several sea days, most particularly America’s test kitchen and the lectures done by members of the excursion team. As always, the excursion team themselves functioned extremely well for the duration of the voyage.

We ate most nights in the dining room, with two nights at Pinnacle. All meals were very tasty but in most cases not too much food. We used the Lido only for breakfast and lunch but most times went outside as the inside dining areas are both crowded and noisy.

I heard some people complaining about the relatively sedate nature of evening activities during the voyage, but if you want dancing and late night entertainment, you are best served by a line such as RCC or Disney that caters to a younger demographic.

HAL has changed their internet packages to be based on data used rather than time online. I liked this approach better as our data needs are low. Prices have also been reduced though response time still needs improving.

We have booked three additional cruises on HAL ships over the next 18 months so I think that tells you all you need to know about our ongoing satisfaction with this line.
Hunt1530’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VC 6076
Very large square cabin with lots of storage space. Large balcony with both chaise longues and chairs. Large bathroom with both tub and shower. Noticeable creaking in cabin when ship in motion.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews