I was looking forward to my trip from Sydney to the South Pacific islands and then up to Singapore via Indonesia. The cruise ran over Christmas and New Year but we hardly noticed those events, so little effort having been made by the company to make those days extra special. Christmas was really flat - the only change to the dining was that a fancy piece of ribbon was placed across each table and the menus for lunch and dinner was just like the usual menus. They did make a little more effort at new year and there were various events at different venues on board to see the new year in but no special entertainers were booked. We just had the usual Zandaam singers and dancers (who were dire and who seemed to think volume was everything).
My cabin was the first disappointment. On boarding at Sydney at 2 pm the cabin was still occupied and had not been cleaned. The departing passenger was being moved out of the room as I went to occupy my cabin to unpack. However, I had to wait for the steward to clean it and when I returned the cabin was very unpleasant, it stank! I asked for it to be cleaned again and even then, it stank! It took at least a week with the air conditioning running and lots of water running through the shower to finally clear the air. In the meantime I had been to the front desk and they told me I had been upgraded and, in any case, the ship was full so there was no other cabin available. In addition to the stink in the cabin I discovered it was designed for a wheelchair user and did not have all the facilities I would have had in the guaranteed MM grade and this was supposedly an upgrade to category L. It was shabby as well as dirty and there was no where to sit to read or watch TV except on the bed. The bathrobes were rags - I asked the steward if they were clean and he said they had just come from the laundry but got me another one - it was still a tatty old rag. How I wanted to be "downgraded" to the better cabin that I had been expecting!
The tours were a bit of a rip off but something we have come to expect with cruise lines. The most disappointing of all was at Komodo Island where we booked for a tour of "approximately 2 1/2 hours" and what we got was approximately 1 hour. Yes, we did see dragons but very little of the island and we were not permitted to go off under our own steam without a pre-booked ranger.
Zaandam cabin 2700. Dirty, scruffy and designed for a wheelchair user. Does not have the facilities of normal cabins with a seating area, coffee table, reading lamp. The bathroom is effectively a walk in wet room but it is dirty and badly in need of renovation. High level toilet. Alarm buttons are a nuisance, when sitting on the bed to read or attempting to put the light on the alarm get pressed following by a telephone call from the front desk to check whether it is a genuine call for help. Everything is low level and awkward for an able bodied person to use.