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We selected the 12-day Canadian Maritimes cruise for the itinerary; the Zuiderdam was the only ship that offered it. We found the food quite good, and the cabin, dining, wine staff, and dining captain service excellent. We had a Verandah stateroom on Deck 6, and it was large-with lots of storage and a huge bathroom with soaking tub and double sinks. Our balcony was large, though we were not able to use it-too rainy and cool. Hurricane Dorian chased us up the coast--and the captain did an excellent job of escaping to calm waters. Even though we missed two ports and had two extra days at sea, we never had any qualms--even when the captain announced that we should secure everything in our cabins in the event of rough weather. Boarding was a mess--apparently Boston Port officials needed to do a surprise check of the ship. We spent 3 hours waiting to board and were not provided any snacks or water. Disembarkation was well-organized and speedy, and we were allowed to wait in our cabins until leaving. We were nicked and dimed to death--water, breakfast cocktails, pictures, bottles of wine, drinks in the Lido, special classes in the Fitness Center. They were there when you got off the ship, got on the ship, and in the Lido and dining room. We laughed at all the people who kept their key cards on lanyards--but you always had to present the cards. Bottles of wine were charged at 4 times what they would cost in Delaware--vastly overcharged. One downside of this cruise was the amateur entertainment--except in Lincoln Center--and the lack of any engaging acts. Entertainment seemed like an after thought. Another downside--the land tours were expensive for what they were. Four of us were traveling together, and we booked private tours at four of the stops. The price of the private tours per person was 20-30% cheaper than what was offered from the ship for the four of us---and there were not 52 people getting on and off the bus at each stop. Not all ports had access to private tours, in which case we booked ship tours. In Cornerbrook, we took the Gros Morne Park tour and spent 7 hours on the bus with three 20 minute stops and one hour-long lunch stop. It was torturous. In Baie-Comeau we took a four-hour bus tour of an inland shell valley of crushed shells and a puzzling exhibit about the last ice age. There are 55 steps up to the beginning of this exhibit, and there were many elderly people on the cruise who were challenged; no mention of this was made in the tour information. The final HA cruise tour straw was the five and a half hour Discover the Fjord Secrets of the Saguenay tour on a boat. We were the last people to board 20 minutes before it left. The only seats left were at the back of the boat over the propellers. For two and a half hours we could not hear the guide nor see the landscape because there were two partial walls on either side of us. I complained to the Cruise staff, and they begrudged us a 20% refund on two tickets totaling $340--not very customer-focused. Our previous other HA cruises 20 years ago were good. However, we will never book on a HA ship again--for the reasons stated above.

Good Food and Excellent Service did not make up for many issues

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by TickChick

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We selected the 12-day Canadian Maritimes cruise for the itinerary; the Zuiderdam was the only ship that offered it. We found the food quite good, and the cabin, dining, wine staff, and dining captain service excellent. We had a Verandah stateroom on Deck 6, and it was large-with lots of storage and a huge bathroom with soaking tub and double sinks. Our balcony was large, though we were not able to use it-too rainy and cool.

Hurricane Dorian chased us up the coast--and the captain did an excellent job of escaping to calm waters. Even though we missed two ports and had two extra days at sea, we never had any qualms--even when the captain announced that we should secure everything in our cabins in the event of rough weather.

Boarding was a mess--apparently Boston Port officials needed to do a surprise check of the ship. We spent 3 hours waiting to board and were not provided any snacks or water. Disembarkation was well-organized and speedy, and we were allowed to wait in our cabins until leaving.

We were nicked and dimed to death--water, breakfast cocktails, pictures, bottles of wine, drinks in the Lido, special classes in the Fitness Center. They were there when you got off the ship, got on the ship, and in the Lido and dining room. We laughed at all the people who kept their key cards on lanyards--but you always had to present the cards. Bottles of wine were charged at 4 times what they would cost in Delaware--vastly overcharged.

One downside of this cruise was the amateur entertainment--except in Lincoln Center--and the lack of any engaging acts. Entertainment seemed like an after thought.

Another downside--the land tours were expensive for what they were. Four of us were traveling together, and we booked private tours at four of the stops. The price of the private tours per person was 20-30% cheaper than what was offered from the ship for the four of us---and there were not 52 people getting on and off the bus at each stop.

Not all ports had access to private tours, in which case we booked ship tours. In Cornerbrook, we took the Gros Morne Park tour and spent 7 hours on the bus with three 20 minute stops and one hour-long lunch stop. It was torturous. In Baie-Comeau we took a four-hour bus tour of an inland shell valley of crushed shells and a puzzling exhibit about the last ice age. There are 55 steps up to the beginning of this exhibit, and there were many elderly people on the cruise who were challenged; no mention of this was made in the tour information.

The final HA cruise tour straw was the five and a half hour Discover the Fjord Secrets of the Saguenay tour on a boat. We were the last people to board 20 minutes before it left. The only seats left were at the back of the boat over the propellers. For two and a half hours we could not hear the guide nor see the landscape because there were two partial walls on either side of us. I complained to the Cruise staff, and they begrudged us a 20% refund on two tickets totaling $340--not very customer-focused.

Our previous other HA cruises 20 years ago were good. However, we will never book on a HA ship again--for the reasons stated above.
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