Nice - but not what I expected for a cruise tour: Zuiderdam Cruise Review by Love the Balcony

Zuiderdam 4
Love the Balcony
Member Since 2011

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Nice - but not what I expected for a cruise tour

Sail Date: August 2011
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Vancouver
The Zuiderdam is a lovely ship and he Deluxe Veranda Suite is roomy and pretty. The balcony is larger than that we had on the Royal Caribbean. However, the balcony deck and furniture were very dirty, including food on the deck and on the deck chair cushions. We had wipes so cleaned the deck ourselves and then wiped down some of the missed surfaces inside the cabin. The beds were fabulous and very clean! Friends who had a lesser Veranda cabin had a jacuzzi tub, which we did not, and I thought that strange.

Our adventure on the Zuiderdam was a cruise tour from Vancouver to Juneau and Skagway, Alaska then on land aboard the White Pass and Yukon Express train to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory and points north, including 2 days in Fairbanks and one night in Denali.

The cost of our cruise tour was to include deluxe accommodations throughout the tour; however, there was no upgrade in accommodations at any of the hotels where we stayed. The staff in the hotels was top notch, More but the facilities themselves had walls as thin as paper. When the people in the next room showered, the noise from the shower appeared as though it was right in our room. Street noise was also very loud, particularly in Whitehorse, YT. The Westmark Klondike in Whitehorse was also the only facility that was not cleaned adequately.

We were in one of three coaches moving through the YT and parts of Alaska and it was all very well coordinated. We never once had to worry about moving our luggage, we just had to have it ready for pickup - although, admittedly, 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. was a bit early. The included excursions were EXCELLENT and the additional shore excursions were also the best. Entrees on the ship were very good; however, the desserts were much less so. That's okay, though since it resulted in no weight gain. Most of the meals on the land tour were also very good, especially the lunch at the Westmark in Tok, and the biscuits at the Dredge in Fairbanks. Less

Published 09/10/11
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: SC Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite

Our cabin was on the 6th deck on the back of the ship. It had a large balcony, lots of closet and drawer space, and, since it was at the end of the hallway, very quiet. The room was a sliding glass door, as well as a good sized window; so, it was also very bright. However, there were darkening drapes that could be pulled, too. Especially nice was having the dressing table with good mirrors outside of the bathroom. Only disappointment was that the balcony had not been cleaned from the previous use. Glad we had Clorox wipes.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We were in Anchorage over Labor Day Sunday and Monday; thus, very little was open. The places downtown do not stay open very late. We wanted to have breakfast at the Snow City Cafe, but it was closed on Monday. The Hilton was very nice and the representatives from Holland America were always kind, helpful, and cheerful. Checking in with our Tour Director was a breeze at every accommodation. Checking out and catching our coach to the airport was also smooth with the HAL staff at the Hilton.

When we arrived in Fairbanks, there was no parking room in the dropoff area for the coach. So, he circled around until he was told the other coaches had moved. Since some people had excursions coming up, it would have been more efficient if the Tour Director and those with excursions had disembarked, gotten their room keys and gotten on to their tours rather than circling waiting for parking to become available. Alternately, the Tour Director could have gotten the keys before the coach began to circle and those with excursions allowed to disembark from the coach first after the coach was approved to park in the dropoff area.

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