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Panama Canal 10 night partial voyage. The Holland America Zuiderdam has some serious air conditioning problems. Understandable that when you’re walking through the hallways, it can be a little warm with the deck doors open, however, the rooms should not be to the point where it’s uncomfortable. The second night into our cruise, we called down to customer service and asked them to check the air conditioning. It was on the coldest setting and yet, it was warm. Of course, they asked if our balcony door was open. They said they would send engineering up. It was so warm in the room that we asked for a couple of fans. When you’re paying extra for a Signature Suite, you shouldn’t need fans to keep you cool. Since the room was warm, that meant the bathroom was even worse as there are no vents in the bathroom. We would shower and immediately come out into the room to dry off. They did try and make it right – offering to move us to another room. At first, we declined, since we had a connecting room with friends, but after sleeping on it with the noise of the fans running, we decided we couldn’t do another 8 nights like that. We packed up and moved to a much cooler room. The next day, we return to the room to get ready for dinner and there’s no water. They were fixing a pipe and were informed the water probably wouldn’t be back on until 4:30. They offered the spa showers so off I went to the spa showers – again, inconvenient. The Lido restaurant was so warm – it was hard to enjoy a meal without rushing through it just to get out of there. Same with the bars the general areas of the ship. I’ve never been so warm on a cruise ship. HAL really needs to adhere to the “No Saving Seats” rule at the pool area. Every single time we went to the pool whether it was a sea day or port day, pretty much every chair had some personal item on it to reserve it.We got to the pool one morning on a port day and counted 9 chairs in a row that were ‘reserved.’ After 4 hours – every single chair was still not occupied. This is totally unacceptable. Talking to some other passengers, that were there for awhile, they also said they watched people come down in the early morning and place a book, hat, cup or whatever on the chair and leave. Unfortunately, this has become common practice on cruise ships however, this was the worst I’ve ever seen. We also found this to be the case in the Explorer’s Lounge. Not one seat that wasn’t being used was without a personal item to ‘save’ it. On the subject of lounge chairs, the old fashioned wooden lounge chairs down on deck 3 by the muster stations are in horrible condition. Most of them were broken and the backs wouldn’t stay up or go down. We found the entertainment on board to be fair. With the exception of Benjamin Makisi, who had an excellent voice – the rest was just ok. BB King’s Lounge band was phenomenal. Best music on board. The itinerary itself was pretty good - the Panama Canal is amazing and very interesting. The locks were way ahead of their time for when it was built. The narrator that joined us was very informative. As for the rest of the ports, not too much to do except shop unless you decide on a tour. On the morning of disembarkation, we went to breakfast in the Lido Market (which was hotter than any other day we’d been in there) and I requested sweetener for my coffee. I was told “Sorry Madam, we are all out.”All out of sweetener?? We did choose to dine in the Canaletto one evening with our friends and it was beyond excellent. It was well worth the additional charge of $19 per person. The room stewards were excellent – we were only with the one set of stewards for 2 days before they relocated us but they were both very accommodating. My husband and I decided to go to the spa – pedicure for him and manicure for me. Most of the time, these girls are pretty chatty. The manicurist was not. All she did was insult my cuticles and dry hands. She asked me when the last time I had a “proper” manicure! In this day and age, you’d think the internet on ships would get easier and it was better than the past, but still you have to keep reconnecting. The HAL navigator app is useless other than for the Happenings on Board and seeing your bill. You’re supposed to be able to use it for messaging your friends that didn’t get the internet package and it’s free, but it doesn’t alert you when there’s a message and other than my husband, I couldn’t find our friends within the app. HAL used to be our go-to cruise line and then we discovered one we are much happier with. We have not been on a Holland ship in a couple of years, and maybe our expectations were a little high from previous Holland cruises. When we first started cruising Holland, it was the more ‘classy’ choice of all the lines but sadly, we think the elegance of this line has deteriorated.

Good itinerary but ship is disappointing

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by turbotravelers

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Panama Canal 10 night partial voyage.

The Holland America Zuiderdam has some serious air conditioning problems. Understandable that when you’re walking through the hallways, it can be a little warm with the deck doors open, however, the rooms should not be to the point where it’s uncomfortable. The second night into our cruise, we called down to customer service and asked them to check the air conditioning. It was on the coldest setting and yet, it was warm. Of course, they asked if our balcony door was open. They said they would send engineering up.

It was so warm in the room that we asked for a couple of fans. When you’re paying extra for a Signature Suite, you shouldn’t need fans to keep you cool. Since the room was warm, that meant the bathroom was even worse as there are no vents in the bathroom. We would shower and immediately come out into the room to dry off. They did try and make it right – offering to move us to another room. At first, we declined, since we had a connecting room with friends, but after sleeping on it with the noise of the fans running, we decided we couldn’t do another 8 nights like that. We packed up and moved to a much cooler room. The next day, we return to the room to get ready for dinner and there’s no water. They were fixing a pipe and were informed the water probably wouldn’t be back on until 4:30. They offered the spa showers so off I went to the spa showers – again, inconvenient.

The Lido restaurant was so warm – it was hard to enjoy a meal without rushing through it just to get out of there. Same with the bars the general areas of the ship. I’ve never been so warm on a cruise ship.

HAL really needs to adhere to the “No Saving Seats” rule at the pool area. Every single time we went to the pool whether it was a sea day or port day, pretty much every chair had some personal item on it to reserve it.We got to the pool one morning on a port day and counted 9 chairs in a row that were ‘reserved.’ After 4 hours – every single chair was still not occupied. This is totally unacceptable. Talking to some other passengers, that were there for awhile, they also said they watched people come down in the early morning and place a book, hat, cup or whatever on the chair and leave. Unfortunately, this has become common practice on cruise ships however, this was the worst I’ve ever seen. We also found this to be the case in the Explorer’s Lounge. Not one seat that wasn’t being used was without a personal item to ‘save’ it.

On the subject of lounge chairs, the old fashioned wooden lounge chairs down on deck 3 by the muster stations are in horrible condition. Most of them were broken and the backs wouldn’t stay up or go down.

We found the entertainment on board to be fair. With the exception of Benjamin Makisi, who had an excellent voice – the rest was just ok.

BB King’s Lounge band was phenomenal. Best music on board.

The itinerary itself was pretty good - the Panama Canal is amazing and very interesting. The locks were way ahead of their time for when it was built. The narrator that joined us was very informative. As for the rest of the ports, not too much to do except shop unless you decide on a tour.

On the morning of disembarkation, we went to breakfast in the Lido Market (which was hotter than any other day we’d been in there) and I requested sweetener for my coffee. I was told “Sorry Madam, we are all out.”All out of sweetener??

We did choose to dine in the Canaletto one evening with our friends and it was beyond excellent. It was well worth the additional charge of $19 per person.

The room stewards were excellent – we were only with the one set of stewards for 2 days before they relocated us but they were both very accommodating.

My husband and I decided to go to the spa – pedicure for him and manicure for me. Most of the time, these girls are pretty chatty. The manicurist was not. All she did was insult my cuticles and dry hands. She asked me when the last time I had a “proper” manicure!

In this day and age, you’d think the internet on ships would get easier and it was better than the past, but still you have to keep reconnecting.

The HAL navigator app is useless other than for the Happenings on Board and seeing your bill. You’re supposed to be able to use it for messaging your friends that didn’t get the internet package and it’s free, but it doesn’t alert you when there’s a message and other than my husband, I couldn’t find our friends within the app.

HAL used to be our go-to cruise line and then we discovered one we are much happier with. We have not been on a Holland ship in a couple of years, and maybe our expectations were a little high from previous Holland cruises. When we first started cruising Holland, it was the more ‘classy’ choice of all the lines but sadly, we think the elegance of this line has deteriorated.
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Cabin Review

Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Cabin SY
HOT! As in heat. We had to change rooms after two days because it was so warm in this room even with the lowest setting. The gave us fans the second night but luckily, there was another room they could move us to.
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