New Year Holiday Cruise: Zuiderdam Cruise Review by no fuss travel

Zuiderdam 5
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New Year Holiday Cruise

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
If you ever have the chance to have Jason Venner as your Cruise Director, count your blessings. What a treat to not have to hear endless announcements about bingo and other trivia. His sense of humour was great and he was actually better than the comedian hired to entertain us.
The food was good but not out of this world. I would skip the Mahi Mahi as it was definitely the worst thing that we ate while on the cruise. Dry and tasteless. We enjoyed the desserts each night much to our waistlines disgust. The Surf and Turf dinners were very enjoyable. The only problem I had with the menu particularly on the Lido deck was if the desserts had nuts in them. I asked the staff and they did not know. The service you receive in the dining room is fantastic. We were well looked after and met lots of interesting people when we shared tables.
Our room steward was excellent as well. No complaints there.
The one port we were disappointed with was Curacao. We could have spent More less time there and more time in Bonaire. Curacao has become too commercialized and has lost its quaintness. Both of our young adults we had with us did not like Curacao, but enjoyed all the other ports. The guest speaker they had for the Panama Canal partial transit was great. Easy to understand. The problem was if you were at the front of the ship the loud speakers did not carry the sound very well, so you could not hear what you were being told. We lucked out and had sunshine for the transit.
Entertainment was hit or miss. The dancer/singers varied from night to night. Some of the songs simply did not suit the singers voices and they had the volume turned up so loud, it detracted from their talent. The comedian could have stayed home. His jokes were for the plus 80 age range and he needs a severe overhaul of his repertoire. The magician/comedian was good. The Island Steel Band was the highlight of the entertainment offered. They got standing ovations every time they performed. Jeff Trackoff(sp?), the impressionist was excellent as well. His message was well presented. Trivia was good.
The ship needs some tender loving care. The carpets are shot, particularly the ones on the stairs. The ones by the dining room are almost thread bare. There were noticeable scratches and dents all over the ship. The ship was kept spotlessly clean. Fix the shuffleboard please. The wood is so rough you can barely shoot the pucks down the game. The ping pong bats need to be replaced as well. It would be nice to have one pool adults only so that children whose parents are not supervising them could do their cannonballs into one pool only.
The New Year's Eve party was nice. I admired the camera man for how he handled the few children that were trying to hog all the attention and get in his way.Watch out for the steps coming from the Observation Deck to the Lido Deck. Very slippery.
Brett, the ports speaker was very informative and a pleasure to listen to. Less

Published 01/14/12

Cabin review: J1040 Interior Stateroom

Watch out for the upper bunk. Makes it very difficult to get out of bed from the lower bed without banging your head.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Did a private snorkel tour with Woodwind. Excellent. Just wished the ship had stayed longer so that we could have taken a taxi tour around the island.
Read 444 Bonaire Reviews

After the Panama Canal transit, what a letdown. Dirty city.

Too commercial. They have ruined the cityscape with the new hotels built. They have commercialized the old fort. This port has lost its appeal.
Read 917 Curacao Reviews

Again we did a private tour. The canals were the highlight. We saw Howling Monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, lost count of how many different types of birds and butterflies. The market inside the cruise terminal is worth walking through.

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