Zail the Zuiderdam: Zuiderdam Cruise Review by syrupcity

Zuiderdam 5
Member Since 2010
100 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Zail the Zuiderdam

Sail Date: April 2010
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Zuiderdam was just out of dry dock and ready to sail. She had a few unresolved problems due to leaking roof and water lines but otherwise she was in really good shape. Workers were seen fixing and painting the grand ole lady. I was impressed as this was my first HAL cruise. Zuiderdam had had problems with Noro in previous cruises. To my knowledge no one got sick this voyage. The first two days servers fixed plates and glasses, probably as a precaution. It worked. Service was great in Lido and main dining room. Our steward was hardly visible but did everything. We had our first balcony or veranda room. My husband could be found resting his eyes there often. We traveled with two other couples, who were friends from middle school. We could be together as much as we wanted and planned time together, but be alone too. Kids club could be a little better but still got stars for attempt. My 12 year old went whenever she wanted. Some days better than others. Our supper time was at 7:45 and More kids night activity started at 7. Seemed like the older 13-17 year olds were more free roaming and disrespectful. But that may be the attitude of teenagers these days, esp on vacation. Entertainment was really great. Elle and the Halcats shows and music were not to be missed. We bought a CD of the Island Steel drum group. They were mesmerizing with their broadway music as well as the oldies. Full house every show. I also liked the Cooking and demonstrating classes. Did not gamble except for Bingo so don't know if anyone was successful. Embarkment was fast. Disembarkment was deciding we could luge two bags plus bookbag ourselves. In retrospect, with a 12 year old, we should have waited and checked the luggage. We carried and brought back too much. We drove to and from Ft. Lauderdale as we live in Georgia, so no hotel. Drive back was a nightmare as it was the end of Spring Break. I-75 and Turnpike was at standstill quite often. Friends took I-95 and I-10, had to be jumped off at parking deck, and still beat us home. My family did not use spa services, but others in our group did and esp like the treatment they received. Staff was very helpful and courteous. Gene, cruise director, was very friendly and always around. Does he ever sleep?

Destination for cruise was Panama Canal with stops along way at Half Moon Cay, Aruba, Curacao, Panama, and Costa Rica. Half Moon Cay was wonderful. We horseback rode in the blue seas. Aruba was self guided trip to the beach to snorkle, Curacao we took kayak and snorkle with Adrenaline Tours to a tugboat reef, Panama Canal transit via railway, and in Costa Rica we explored with Carlos and Okey Dokey tour. The best tour ever, we saw the countryside, rainforest, and Zip lined. Worth the whole trip. Loved the cruise, the ship, the new friends, and just everything. Less

Published 04/18/10

Cabin review: VA5070 Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

Room okay. Balcony overlooks lifeboats. not a problem if you don't look down

Read All Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom (VA) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Followed the advice of other CC members and hopped the Arubus to Boca Catalina beach to snorkel. Cost 2.30 a person roundtrip. Granddgt and I snorkeled where the snorkel boats take their customers. WE saved over $50 per person. Felt very safe on bus and beach. Only flaw was bus pick up at Boca Catalina is hourly. But could walk 1/2 mile toward town to get an every 15 minute pickup. We waited needlessly. Not much shade but a few thatched huts. Beaches were busy with residents as it was a Saturday.

Read 1290 Aruba Reviews

Panama Canal lock experience worth the early rising. Balcony room was worth it to watch the transit without the crowding. Excursion we took was to travel to Pacific via railway. Pleasant travel with Marissa. Nice train car, lots of scenery, loads of information. Just not what I was hoping for. Maybe the other excursion would have been more to my search for knowledge. Would be a good excursion for people less able to move around. Colon was really dirty and trash everywhere. Armed guards everywhere. Port stalls and stores were numerous and were of a great variety. Bought pieces of Indian artifacts sold there.

Beautiful colorful town in tourist sections. Dirty and trashy in others. Since it was Easter Sunday, most stores closed early or not open at all. :( We booked a kayak and snorkel tour with Adrenaline tours. They picked us up and we were the only 3. They still did the tour. Kayaked over a bay to a beach below an old Dutch Fort. We were able to climb up and explore. Very interesting. Next was a short kayak to a sunken tugboat where we snorkeled. Thousands of fish. Best snorkel ever. Adrenaline tours also had jetski rental, banana boat tours, and other water sports. Very helpful and worth the money. We were on the patoon bridge when it had to swing open. interestering experience. Stores in town disappointing as most were closed. But there were stalls directly at port which I spent too much money.

Read 917 Curacao Reviews

Having visited Costa Rica before, I knew I wanted our group to experience the countryside. Ship excursions did not offer Zip line tours so Okey Dokey Tours was the best for our group on 12. We saw wildlife on the Canal, walked in the rainforest, tasted local fruit, shopped in a grocery store, and zip lined. This was the best excursion ever. Carlos was entertaining and made sure we got all items requested in. We saw a banana plantation, cashew tree, and cocca tree. We held a sloth, tasted green coconut milk, and lots more. I can't say enough about the good time we had. Only drawback was I forgot to get a t-shirt of our zip line experience. Stalls at the port did not have any.

Compare Prices on Zuiderdam Panama Canal & Central America Cruises

Read more Zuiderdam cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Zuiderdam Review >>

Compare Prices on Zuiderdam Panama Canal & Central America Cruises

Member Since 2010
100 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Zuiderdam deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Zuiderdam 72% Loved It

12-day The Atlantic Coast
See all Zuiderdam Deals >>