Zaandam Review

4.0 / 5.0
560 reviews

How can HAL much such a friendly ship such a poor cruise experience?

Review for South America Cruise on Zaandam
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P. D. Taylor
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Cabin
Value for Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Service

Additional details

Sail Date: Mar 2019
Cabin: Large Ocean-View Stateroom

The ship was badly affected by what can only be described as the Holland America cost cutting strategy. This was evident everywhere on the ship and throughout the 34 day cruise.

The main restaurant should be the main attraction of any cruise ship, this was our 22nd cruise on various cruise lines and ships and our worst possible main restaurant experience by far. The plates were very nice, but night after night no variation in the menus, "no taste", too often "rice" or mashed potato", mass catering vegetables, nearly always cold, very small portions. Service was always good, but what value is good service when dinner each evening and also gala evenings, was such a disappointment. We therefore moved to the Lido Buffet on deck 8, which was always much better and very often the same selection of food available as in the main restaurant. It was no surprise the main restaurant was often half empty.

One niggle at the Lido Buffet, breakfast, lunch and dinner was the frequency of "crew and staff" sitting 1 or 2 persons for a table of 4 or 6, when passengers could not find tables which were free.

Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom

Cabin EE

The cabin was quite acceptable. It was comfortable and with quite good storage space. The cabin stewards (2 of then) were excellent and could not do enough for you.

Negatives were, the air conditioning was leaking inside the main wardrobes, condensation water was leaking down onto our clothing leaving many clothes wet and stained with a yellow color. Twice the hotel management were called, on both occasions clothing was taken away for cleaning. The hotel and cabin staff were very helpful, but wet and damaged clothing should never happen.

Another annoyance, our cabin was located close to one of the our side doors leading to the deck 3 Promenade Deck, the hydraulic arm on the door was non-effective, the door would always bang closed in the wind, disturbing us when sleeping, this should also not happen, it was reported but never repaired.

Port Reviews

Fuerte Amador (Balboa)

City old and new. a group of 46 persons was far too big for one tour guide.

Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego)

Ushuaia and Cape Horn were cancelled due to bad weather. Disappointing but safety must come first.

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