Zaandam Review

14 Day Southern Caribbean cruise

Review for the Southern Caribbean Cruise on Zaandam
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First Time Cruiser • Age 60s

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Additional details

Sail Date: Feb 2024
shower & throne
 room - from entrance
room - from beds

We took this cruise as a "back-to-back" cruise with a 15 Day Panama Canal cruise on the same ship. We changed cabins from aft port hole to aft interior. This was to try out these types of cabins, and see what the experience is like without a balcony of our own - and honestly, to see if these far less expensive cabins would serve us as well as the balcony / suite cabins. We found that the two cabins were basically the same layout and dimensions - although the interior cabin's bathroom was smaller. DW liked the porthole room better (because one could see if it was day or night outside), although I felt no difference - and actually liked the interior cabin a little better....however, it should be mentioned that the interior cabin that we had seemed a bit bigger than interior cabins on lower floors. Both rooms had lots of storage - but - there was only ONE outlet in the cabin and ONE in the bathroom.

The low rating for this review is due to two aspects: 1) diminished service on board 2) over-crowding at destination ports.

1st) I understand that the cruise industry is still recovering from the covid shutdowns and are trying to "maximize profits". We found two particularly problematic aspects. (both were a problem on the first cruise too - but, seemed worse on this cruise!)

Cabin Review

Port Reviews

Amber Cove (Puerto Plata)

We've been to Amber Cove two other times and we loved it....... however...... our 1,400 passenger ship was there with the 5,350 passenger - Carnival Celebration. Amber Cove can possibly handle 3,000 guests - but - it's infrastructure was completely overwhelmed when 7,000 people docked there! We do not blame Holland American for this issue - - but - - this was not the experience that we paid for!

San Juan

The first problem is that we had to dock at the secondary facility near the airport - requiring a half hour bus ride to get to town. The second problem is that there were five other ships in port with us - and half of them were "mega-ships". The result is that there were OVER 20,000 cruise visitors in addition to land resort tourists in San Juan that day - completely overwhelming the city's infrastructure.

Again - we do not blame Holland American for this issue - - but - - this was dreadful, and definitely not the experience that we paid for!

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