Zuiderdam Cruise Review by Panamacruise
- Sail Date: February 2012
- Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
- Cabin Type: Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
Took a shuttle to the cruise terminal. We arrived early, but we still checked in and then just waited in the lounge until the ship was ready about 11:30. Disembarkation was also very easy and we waited only a couple minutes for the shuttle to arrive for our pre paid trip to FLL.
The cabin had lots of storage space and a private safe where we could leave valuables. We enjoyed the cabin and had three dinners and a couple breakfasts on the verandah. They always arrived promptly at the right temperature and we enjoyed that rather than all the time it took to eat in the MDR. We first ate in our room because we are not much for formal night and liked it so much we had several more meals there. The cabin was a little far from the Neptune Lounge and we had several episodes where the toilet flushed only after a delay, sometimes several minutes. We also had a few meals in the MDR and lunches in Lido and were very satisfied with all the meals. The cabin stewards and concierge in the Neptune Lounge were all first class.
We both were impressed with the ship itself. I had been worried about reports that it is an old and tired ship, but we found nothing to complain about. We were impressed by how the crew always seemed to be cleaning something.
Smoking was still a little problem and we smelled it on our verandah.
The entertainment was as good as we have even seen on a cruise ship, although the Vista Lounge was crowded and had way too many pillars that block the view. We were in the Crow's Nest listening to Charlie Jourdan almost every night. The waitress and waiter got to know us after only a couple nights and the waitress even gave my wife a small gift from her native Philippines.
HAL did a nice job with shore excursions, although neither of us were impressed with the eco tour of Gatun Lake in Panama. We saw a couple animals, but much of the trip was a wet ride in a small boat. We saw lots of animals and really enjoyed the Tortuguero Canal in Costa Rica. We did not do any kind of tour in Half Moon Cay and Curacao since we had been there before.
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