1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Zuiderdam
Our trip was a 10 day Caribbean cruise to Half Moon Cay, Curacao, Aruba, Puerto Limon and of course the Panama Canal. We had always heard about the Canal from other cruisers and was great to finally see it for ourselves. This was a first cruise for both of us. We drove to Fort Lauderdale the day of departure after staying with family in Florida. Embarkation was very fast and organized and we were on the ship in short order. We are in our late 50’s and the predominant age group seemed to be 40-60. The Zuiderdam is a smaller ship in terms of capacity these days and we found that we liked that. The main dining room was nice and very popular, it seemed full or nearly so both times we visited. Most times we ate at one of the other restaurants and had no problem finding food to our liking. Our stateroom was comfortable and in good repair, and having a veranda helped it to seem larger than it was. Cabin stewards were excellent and worked hard to make our trip enjoyable. We found all the staff to be friendly and very hard-working. We liked all ports of call but could have skipped Colon, at the entrance to the Canal. We did go ashore there but were not comfortable going beyond the immediate area and found some tourist shops but not much else of interest. Our shore excursions were arranged directly with vendors before we boarded and so cannot offer an opinion on the Holland America tours. Our favorite was a driving tour with Lucky Tours in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. Along with a visit to a local roadside store and a city tour of Puerto Limon, we visited the BriBri indigenous people’s home in the jungle about an hour from port. It was very interesting learning about their use of the various local plants and resources to maintain their lifestyle, and it included a demonstration of chocolate making from start to finish. Our tour van was modern, air-conditioned, in excellent condition and very comfortable. Thanks to Eduardo’s extensive local knowledge and easygoing personality we had an excellent and relaxing day trip and saw places and learned things that you would not experience on a typical large commercial tour. We highly recommend Eduardo and Lucky Tours for those interested in a unique look at Puerto Limón and the surrounding area. Disembarkation was similar to embarkation, it went smoothly and was not difficult to navigate, even for first-timers. The trip was enjoyable overall and if we cruise again we may consider a different line simply to compare the services and amenities of different companies.

Panama Canal Cruise

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by AlexMichael

Trip Details
Our trip was a 10 day Caribbean cruise to Half Moon Cay, Curacao, Aruba, Puerto Limon and of course the Panama Canal. We had always heard about the Canal from other cruisers and was great to finally see it for ourselves. This was a first cruise for both of us. We drove to Fort Lauderdale the day of departure after staying with family in Florida. Embarkation was very fast and organized and we were on the ship in short order.

We are in our late 50’s and the predominant age group seemed to be 40-60. The Zuiderdam is a smaller ship in terms of capacity these days and we found that we liked that. The main dining room was nice and very popular, it seemed full or nearly so both times we visited. Most times we ate at one of the other restaurants and had no problem finding food to our liking.

Our stateroom was comfortable and in good repair, and having a veranda helped it to seem larger than it was. Cabin stewards were excellent and worked hard to make our trip enjoyable. We found all the staff to be friendly and very hard-working.

We liked all ports of call but could have skipped Colon, at the entrance to the Canal. We did go ashore there but were not comfortable going beyond the immediate area and found some tourist shops but not much else of interest. Our shore excursions were arranged directly with vendors before we boarded and so cannot offer an opinion on the Holland America tours. Our favorite was a driving tour with Lucky Tours in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. Along with a visit to a local roadside store and a city tour of Puerto Limon, we visited the BriBri indigenous people’s home in the jungle about an hour from port. It was very interesting learning about their use of the various local plants and resources to maintain their lifestyle, and it included a demonstration of chocolate making from start to finish. Our tour van was modern, air-conditioned, in excellent condition and very comfortable. Thanks to Eduardo’s extensive local knowledge and easygoing personality we had an excellent and relaxing day trip and saw places and learned things that you would not experience on a typical large commercial tour. We highly recommend Eduardo and Lucky Tours for those interested in a unique look at Puerto Limón and the surrounding area.

Disembarkation was similar to embarkation, it went smoothly and was not difficult to navigate, even for first-timers. The trip was enjoyable overall and if we cruise again we may consider a different line simply to compare the services and amenities of different companies.
AlexMichael’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Zuiderdam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.