GREAT people, GREAT experience, all-around GREAT cruise: Zuiderdam Cruise Review by labsal

Zuiderdam 5
Member Since 2011
3 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

GREAT people, GREAT experience, all-around GREAT cruise

Sail Date: July 2011
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Vancouver
[I read a disgruntled cruiser's review of this same trip and I feel like we were on 2 separate planets. Don't know how it could be, but our experience was So different!]

We were expecting a good experience on HAL's Zuiderdam to the Inside Passage, but our cruise exceeded expectations in every way:

PEOPLE: I've never seen such a group of smiling, helpful and friendly people anywhere. Cabin stewards were exceptional as were waiters, tour guides, front desk people -- and the great, informative tour guide (Shane) and Captain Timmers. I hope for equally helpful staff members on future cruises.

CABIN: Gorgeous, beautifully kept and immaculate at all times. Couldn't have been better (we had a large balcony and spent a lot of time on it.)

LIDO BUFFETS: We had excellent food and great service here. Would gladly return -- I'm diabetic and I very much appreciated the low carb foods and no-sugar-added desserts -- delicious and guilt-free!

VISTA DINING More ROOM: Had great food and nice service. Only exception was the last night when the staff was distracted by doing a "show" while serving -- this delayed service noticeably. Nice thought, tho.

CANALETTO: This was the only place we had mediocre food -- 2 entres were tasteless. I'd focus some attention here, Zuiderdam.

PINNACLE GRILL: Fantastic. My husband's salmon was "the best piece of fish I've ever eaten" (and he eats LOTS of fish) and my beef was fork-tender. Super.

ROOM SERVICE: Just great. We ordered our breakfast ("eggbeater" omelettes, oatmeal, muffins, etc.) and everything was hot and delicious.

FOOD Altogether: I wish I could have brought them home!

PUBLIC AREAS: very nice. A previous reviewer complained of these facilities but I can't agree. The ship was beautiful and impressive. We went on a "behind the scenes" tour of the whole facility and were impressed at the scrupulous cleanliness of galleys, storage rooms, etc. They recycle everything they can.

DIDN'T USE: casino, bars (much) or spa.

NATURE GUIDES AND EXPERIENCES: Top notch and greatly exceeded expectations!


Published 07/25/11

Cabin review: SB8147 Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite

We would gladly reserve this cabin again. The wrap-around deck and large room made it a delight!

Read All Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite (SB) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Didn't spend too much time in Juneau itself (except for the super beer/fish stand on the left of the dock == super Halibut tacos). HOwEVER, we went on the nature walk/whale watching shore excursion and saw 30-40 orcas leaping in unison, jumping, carrying on and an 20+ humpback whales (doing their bubble-net fishing, cool)! We are still talking about this. Don't miss it.

Read 1208 Juneau Reviews

My husband did the 4-wheel drive trip and was disappointed -- said it was lots of bouncing with no view. I had stayed on the ship and watched the numerous, busy bald eagles fishing and carrooming around in the dock area. That was great!

Read 1372 Ketchikan Reviews

Do the railroad. Gorgeous, incredible views. Worth it, by far.

Read 888 Skagway Reviews

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Member Since 2011
3 Forum Posts
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