35 Quebec City Family Cruise Reviews

First off there was nothing to do unless you are a trivia person and you need another useless bag or wine stopper that gives free advertising for the princess line. The Caribbean Princes was dirty my room had used bandages stuck to the ... Read More
First off there was nothing to do unless you are a trivia person and you need another useless bag or wine stopper that gives free advertising for the princess line. The Caribbean Princes was dirty my room had used bandages stuck to the balcony door handle. The computer system allowed my computer to get three viruses and even if you want to use your own server then leave your computer at home they block you so you cannot contact your family. Second if you are older or handicapped don't believe them that they will accommodate your needs both on the ship and on anyone of the excursions. They refused to loan or rent any of the 30 or 40 wheel chairs they have on board for an excursions but they will tell you that a rental will be available at the excursion sites. Don't believe them they are lying. This was the worst ship we have been on. The so-called entertainment staff had a Romanian woman who started yelling at everyone at a trivia game because she was missing one golf pencil and said we were not to take the pencils and papers until she gave them to us. This same woman refused to allow anyone to use the restroom when we were waiting to dis embark in the designated dining room. Also if you are diabetic don't go on any excursions because even though they tell you you will be able to get something to eat don't believe them and bring something. We went to Williamsburg and every thing was closed for the season. they even make you cross through an open field in the dark. I tripped over tree trunks and rocks because there was no light to see by and the tour guide was in such a hurry he would not slow down for those of us who were slower. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Food lacked seasoning but there was salt on every table. It was basically the same for the entire week. Desserts were especially boring. Cabin lacked maintenance but was clean. And why the hangers with the ball on the top - who steals ... Read More
Food lacked seasoning but there was salt on every table. It was basically the same for the entire week. Desserts were especially boring. Cabin lacked maintenance but was clean. And why the hangers with the ball on the top - who steals hangers? Especially difficult to use when ship was rocking. A couple of the shows were very good - dancing and singing by the crew members. The magician did, I think, 4 tricks in an hour - not interesting. The comic did the same show stretched out over an hour that he did in 10 minutes on the first night. We could not dock in Portland so spend a rough day at sea with nothing extra to do. One would think that they would have a plan in place. Perhaps even special food or free drinks when one port is cancelled. We really looked forward to being on shore and being able to have a meal in a restaurant that was tasty. The band (trombone, trumpet, sax, etc.) were excellent. Beds were extremely hard. Not enough seating in public areas. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I just want to add a more positive note over any bad or poor reviews that have been posted about the Holland America Zuiderdam. Unfortunately many CC writers believe that when people want to know what they think, they only write the ... Read More
I just want to add a more positive note over any bad or poor reviews that have been posted about the Holland America Zuiderdam. Unfortunately many CC writers believe that when people want to know what they think, they only write the negative. We had a lovely Canada & New England cruise ending in Ft. Lauderdale after 2 sea days. The slim shipboard theater entertainment was more than compensated for by the friendly and professional crew….everywhere from the Guest Services desk assisting with a possible shore conflict (thanks Kevin), to the great bar staff, to our great cabin stewards (thanks Tau and Matt), to the plentiful and wonderful and easy-going servers in the dining rooms, where we were thrilled with all of the amazingly delicious and well-presented food.. All the embarkations/disembarkations were efficient and smooth. The ship was going into dry dock in the near future to spruce things up a bit, but she stil looked to be in great shape. We have many, many cruises under our belts but this one will always stand out as enjoyable. Well done, Captain and crew of the Zuiderdam !!!. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Typically cruise on Princess but wanted to try this due to itinerary. Hard not to compare Princess against Holland America. On the positive side we like the larger bathroom. Also the staff is great. On the not so positive side: The ship ... Read More
Typically cruise on Princess but wanted to try this due to itinerary. Hard not to compare Princess against Holland America. On the positive side we like the larger bathroom. Also the staff is great. On the not so positive side: The ship itself is old and is not well maintained compared to Princess ships except for cabins. Too much up selling in all areas. For example, Consistently being asked if we want to purchase a $75 steak or pay $25 for a lobster. When you say NO the demeanor of the staff seems to change. Not as attentive. Booked a walking tour at one of the ports. Due to fairly heavy and consistent rain and cold we thought it would be canceled but it wasn’t. Can’t imagine who would want to walk in the cold and rain for two hours. Probably will not be cruising with Holland America again anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
While the ship and sailing company were chosen for us, as this originally started as big group/family trip, I wouldn't have chosen any other for our first cruise experience. The ship was fun, full of entertainment, food was delicious ... Read More
While the ship and sailing company were chosen for us, as this originally started as big group/family trip, I wouldn't have chosen any other for our first cruise experience. The ship was fun, full of entertainment, food was delicious and abundant, but most of all we are extremely pleased with how incredibly clean the entire ship was maintained! We had the pleasure of being able to enjoy the mini golf course and above ropes courses multiple times. The various water slides were definitely fun and a huge hit with the kids! The food was delicious, the variety was plenty and the service was excellent. We had the opportunity to participate in multiple game and competition shows and it was a great way to have fun and even win some great prizes! Highly recommend watching the shows Burn the floor and Rock of ages as both were incredible and full of amazing talent! While we never left the boat at any of the ports, we still had fun while relaxing and an amazing time surrounded by stunning views! It was an incredible first cruising experience and now this family is hooked! Can't wait for our next one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Restaurants: special dinning was not worth the price. the food was not great quality and served warm. The servers were very good and tried their best to assist. The meat in Cagney's was extremely poor quality and stringy. The ... Read More
Restaurants: special dinning was not worth the price. the food was not great quality and served warm. The servers were very good and tried their best to assist. The meat in Cagney's was extremely poor quality and stringy. The main dinning room turned out to be better than the special restaurants (disappointing) Entertainment: the acts in the theater were excellent as was the entertainers throughout the ship. The Irish comedian and the female comedian were great. the dancers and the band were very good. Captain: Many thanks for keeping us safe during the storm and seeking safe shelter. He made the right choice, even though I missed my night in New York and lost my money for theater tickets. Better safe than sorry! Ports: Boston was a surprise but an excellent stop. You should consider spending two days because of all the attractions. Quebec City was enjoyable as was the excursion at Portland. Overall, the cruise was relaxing and mostly enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Very disappointing cruise. Not the agenda but the overall vibe and feel of the experience. My expectations for the price paid was first class yet from cabin cleanliness , management team to the buffet food, I would rate it very below ... Read More
Very disappointing cruise. Not the agenda but the overall vibe and feel of the experience. My expectations for the price paid was first class yet from cabin cleanliness , management team to the buffet food, I would rate it very below average. Many employees especially senior staff avoided interaction by being on the ships phones as they walked by. Cabins was dirty and attendant did nothing more than make a bed. No table cleaning, no dusting, no vacuuming no scrubbing of toilet floor or tub. Caught the steward on at least 4 occasions just loafing in the room or daydreaming on the balcony. Food quality very average at best. Too much repeat ( or slight variation with different names] does anyone really like bread pudding that much to have it everyday ? Soups all tasted same, salad bar was poor choices and actually ran out of lettuce day 10. As for itinerary, great as originally planned and switching Boston from Newport was a bonus but missing the full day and overnight in New York City was a negative. Appreciate NCL taking cover from the storm overnight on Wednesday but trying to get answers why the ship didn’t sail earlier on Thursday to reach New York to arrive at least by noon on Friday. Shortly after leaving the cove north of Boston at 6 pm The Bridge report on the TV showed arrival at 10 am Friday which would have been acceptable. It also seems it would have been achievable at approximately 300 nautical miles assuming 20-22 knots speed. Ship never achieved more than 11-12 knots and actually headed towards Nantucket to hang out most of the day on Friday. My guess is they were trying to save $$$$ on docking costs instead of trying to please the paying customers. Many guests were questioning staff but very poor communication and answers as to WHY! As if NCL was afraid to be honest about it. Final complaint was the number of tender ports even though the ports had usable piers that were occupied by other cruise lines. This seems to me that NCL made the decision that it is cheaper to tender than pay dock fees. Tendering is a time waste for the paying client when there are piers available. Is this way for cruise line to improve their Gross Profit? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Sailed with Princess to Canada and Northeastern US, 10/4 from Quebec City. As a Platinum member, despite a delay in boarding due to disinfecting the ship, I would say that the checking of luggage, checking-in, boarding ship, receiving ... Read More
Sailed with Princess to Canada and Northeastern US, 10/4 from Quebec City. As a Platinum member, despite a delay in boarding due to disinfecting the ship, I would say that the checking of luggage, checking-in, boarding ship, receiving luggage was the most efficient I have ever seen. However, once on board, the situation went downhill rapidly! I found the staff at Guest Services to be rude and very poor in resolving issues efficiently on at least 4 different episodes. I did not go on a vacation to get upset and get my blood pressure elevated. As far as a relaxing, recharging vacation, Princess failed miserably! Upon boarding the ship, there were no staff members or uniformed officers to greet passengers, steer them toward their staterooms, make us feel like valued consumers. This was the first time in years of sailing that I have felt so neglected. As a physician for over 35 years, I reviewed the Vessel Sanitation Program from the CDC, and I found Princess staff was inconsistent in the implementation of this program to the point of putting both passengers and staff at risk for Norovirus. Washing hands was a big deal, but servers wearing gloves in the buffets was hit/miss. On both sea days, going for breakfast at Steamers/ the Plank, there was no place to sit, but there were plenty of dirty tables. Along with several other guests I bused my own table just to have a place to eat breakfast. Servers with coffee, tea, juices were not to be found on these two days. If you are looking for a ship with a solarium or indoor pool, do not book the Caribbean Princess. Logic would dictate that a ship sailing a northern route in cold, damp weather in October, would have an indoor pool or solarium. This is my first of many cruises that did not have an indoor pool/solarium. Supposedly, this ship has recently been renovated, but she looks and feels like an "old lady". Meal service in the Palm Dining Room was the same tired menu, some good some not so good. The Pub Lunch is not to be missed if you enjoy pub food- really good. Otherwise, our best meals were ashore. These are the most egregious of the errors that paying guests should not have to tolerate, but the list is actually much longer. I have addressed these issues in a 4-5 page letter to the management team at Princess, and their brief telephone response at 6:00 PM on Friday night was most unsatisfactory and insulting. I was told they would not respond to my letter, addressing my concerns, in writing. Princess has lost a loyal customer! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cruise did not our meet expectations. Disappointed in dining Two meals were poorly cooked or over cooked and sent back to the kitchen No one asked why or if I wanted a replacement dinner. Never asked during dining if the meals were ok. On ... Read More
Cruise did not our meet expectations. Disappointed in dining Two meals were poorly cooked or over cooked and sent back to the kitchen No one asked why or if I wanted a replacement dinner. Never asked during dining if the meals were ok. On the formal night the meals plates were cleared from the table part way during dinner for photos but not returned to finish eating. During dinning we felt rushed and pressured to finish and move on We were offered a drink before dinner but nothing after. On previous cruises we sat and visited over coffee and drinks with are table mates. The medallion thing was a waste of time and did not work. Some times a drink would arrive in reasonably time but often it would not arrive or the system was not working. There was a lack of accurate communication on delays One hour wait turned into 4 hours Compared to our other cruises this one was a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose this because we were traveling with friends who didn't want to fly far. LOVE the new Medallion. It makes everything so easy-opens your stateroom door, makes purchases easy, easy off and on the ship. Makes embarkation and ... Read More
Chose this because we were traveling with friends who didn't want to fly far. LOVE the new Medallion. It makes everything so easy-opens your stateroom door, makes purchases easy, easy off and on the ship. Makes embarkation and debarkation so much faster.The updating on the CP was well do-everything seems fresh. Our cabin was larger than we expected with lots of storage but small shower. The food was a little above average although not fantastic. The Buffett breakfasts and lunches were very good-huge assortment and kept hot and cold as needed. The Crown Grill is awesome-looks just like a New York steakhouse and the food is amazing. Well worth the $29 upcharge. Sabatini's italian is also very good. The entertainment on this ship was better than almost any we have ever seen on the 15 cruises we have taken. The production show sets were absolutely incredible and the singers and dancers were great. We also had a singer, a piano player and a comic, all of whom were wonderful. Now for the not so good. Most of the ports are boring! We enjoyed Quebec very much but Saguenay was much ado about nothing, Chalottetown just OK. Loved Peggy's Cove but you're only there for an hour. Sydney is a total waste of time. Enjoyed Halifax. Our best excursion was going out on a lobster boat in Bar Harbor. We have been to Boston many times so we didn't do much there but some might enjoy it. Overall, we found this cruise little dull. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wait staff, ship's officers and crew, security & maintenance, as usual, are all top notch. Management is just the opposite. From 6 hours on the phone over 5 weeks unsuccessfully trying to get a return call from a ... Read More
Wait staff, ship's officers and crew, security & maintenance, as usual, are all top notch. Management is just the opposite. From 6 hours on the phone over 5 weeks unsuccessfully trying to get a return call from a "supervisor" at the NCL Air Department to rectify air connections that flew us into a City 200 miles from the port on the wrong day to condescending, rude, in-your-face "service desk" managers who couldn't communicate effectively and blamed you for their errors. We overheard one loud argument that would later echo our sentiment exactly. He was yelling "This is your mistake, not mine. I shouldn't be having to work for YOU to straighten out YOUR errors on MY vacation and spend MY time trying to resolve YOUR problems." They called security on him. We smiled and thought, well, he probably could have handled that better..." Little did we know that a day or two later we would find ourselves in the same position and being goaded by these very same incompetent, argumentative "service personnel" about our credit card and saying roughly the same thing and ultimately having to "go to work" on our vacation to correct yet another error by NCL. (I guess they figured since we let them get away with taking our $200 in airfare they'd attempt to go back to the well for more.) Ours is far from the only observation on the web that over the last 5 years, while the day-to-day personnel continues to remain gregarious, friendly, courteous and competent, there has been a tectonic shift at the Helm of NCL's home office & bean counters resulting in business management that just gets more pathetic with each passing cruise. Not vessel management, "hospitality" management. As for the air department in particular, don't waste your money. Read the plethora of negative reviews about this cruise and those who've been snookered into the Montreal/YQB switcheroo. Since no one would return our calls, we finally just wrote off the $200 airfare as a loss and booked ourselves into Quebec (YQB). NCL may have taken our money, but we refused to let them steal our joy. We spent 4 fantastic days enjoying Quebec Quebec City, and wished for more to be honest. Sadly we listened to horror stories each day of people with similar experiences who had to find their own way to the port from some far away city or who sat for hours on the side of a major highway, the bus rocking from the traffic whizzing by their broken down bus. They said it was terrifying thinking about becoming a statistic. One reviewer said it took NCL 12 hours to get them from Montreal Trudeau to the ship. It's so laughable even the comedian made their misery the butt of several jokes in his act. So if you think they'll actually treat you differently than all the other thousands of guests they've hoodwinked, then the joke'll be on you. One day NCL is going to screw over the WRONG attorney who's going to file a class action suit over their "bait and switch" tactics and false repeated claims that "there aren't seats into Quebec," to which we responded, "We've got 4 windows open with 4 different airlines with flights from 4 different cities into YQB all with empty cabins, so don't sit there and lie to me. I'm looking at planes I could play ping pong in and never hit a soul with a serve." It's a shame management is slowly sinking what was once a fine cruise line. The ship's older design must have been originally for the Caribbean or Mediterranean as the only observation areas are outside. A lot of women don't like their hair being blown around after they've fixed it up. There's no area aft to sit and watch the horizon recede. The ship has mysterious humps in the floor, odd, dead-end nooks and crannies and there is no bridge viewing room like there is on Jewel-Class vessels. The curries on the buffet were, as always, excellent. Healthy choices on the buffet were plentiful. Main dining rooms were on par with other ships in the NCL fleet. Specialty dining went from totally inedible in Los Lobos (other reviewers agree) to "OMG, this is the best meal I've ever eaten!" in the Italian Restaurant (La Cucina?) The manager Vaughn, was fantastic and very observant, not to mention funny. He's a true asset to the company. All of the ports were enjoyable other than maybe Halifax and simply because it's such a big city and industrial port. I mean there's nothing WRONG with Halifax, it's just not very walkable it's so large. Bar Harbor or Portland were likely our favorite, due to Acadia and the breath-taking views from Cadillac Mountain and the views of the lighthouses from Fort Williams. Still, each port was charming in it's own way. Quebec City is worth a week. Don't let NCL entice you into cheap airfare only to find they didn't give you time to explore this fascinating world of old and new. I'm told the entertainment on board was good. I don't go on cruises for food or entertainment, but my wife and other party members enjoyed the variety of shows. The pool deck was generally lightly populated due to the chilly temperatures. The library is in an odd, but very quiet place. I liked its location. Not alot of traffic due to it being isolated at the start of a U-shaped hallway of forward cabins. It's kind of where the health club "class" workout room is often located on the Jewel-Class vessels. We did not find the Ultimate Beverage Package to be a very good deal for us because we don't drink a lot so a beer or glass of wine would wind up costing $50 when you averaged it out per diem. And forget finding a Mountain Dew when you wanted one. I mentioned earlier the attentiveness of the staff. I should clarify that I mean wait staff, room stewards, etc. If you see an officer or security personnel, they are almost always approachable, congenial and helpful. On the other hand, any "hotel staffer" in one of the dark, business-like suits - is a waste of your time. The only solution they can offer is to write an email to the home office, because they have no authority to provide any solutions for you. Your room steward on the other hand can answer 90% of your questions and solve the majority of your issues, just remember all he did for you at the end of the cruise. Same with the food services. If you ask for something politely, if it's on the ship it will magically appear at your table generally within a reasonable time. Not always, but generally. A lot of it depends on your attitude toward your server. One final tip - and it's about tips. When we wanted to acknowledge a staffer who went above and beyond, we would add an amount above what was included in our prepaid tip package to the paper receipts at the restaurant only to learn that those tips went into the general pool for all workers, thus eliminating what we were attempting to do, which was let someone know we appreciated their specific extra effort. After learning that, we always carried a little cash around and looked for opportunities to make someone's day when it was deserved. I hope I can remember that the next time I cruise with Norwegian. They may be the American Airlines of the cruise industry, but they're cheap - sadly in more ways than one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Let me start by saying that the actual ship is very nice and we had a nice trip. PROS: The cruise directors, Andrew & Andy, were really fun. The entertainment was very good. We enjoyed the various trivia games, there was a great ... Read More
Let me start by saying that the actual ship is very nice and we had a nice trip. PROS: The cruise directors, Andrew & Andy, were really fun. The entertainment was very good. We enjoyed the various trivia games, there was a great magician, awesome juggler, and very interesting high-tech lights\video\music act. The food was great in both formal dining room and buffet. They have great video screen at the pool that plays recent movies (that you can also view later in your cabin). There are fun "touch screens" on every floor where you can locate the people you are travelling with, see deck plans, the entertainment schedule, AND there is fun "explorer puzzle game" for the kids to play. There are 3 regular sized pools (one is private one for adults only near the spa), and one very small "kid's area pool", so there are different options. I think they make good use of the space and boat doesn't feel too large (or too small). Also, very "non pressure" from the staff. I've been on some cruises where they are always trying to sell you things, but this ship wasn't like that. Stops on our cruise were awesome. In particular I loved Quebec City, & Prince Edward Island. Halifax is nice, but a bit more of a bustling city. Sidney Nova Scotia is cute town but a "young port" so tour options (e.g. if want to go to the Alexander Graham Bell museum) are limited if you don't book ahead. You can't even really even find a taxi. - - - CONS: There are limited shore excursions and most of the good ones they sold out months before the cruise. (Not sure why they can't see the high demand and arrange for additional tours). It ended working out OK for us though because we found that for most ports you can find alternative tours outside of the port for cheaper than Princess charges. The EXCEPTION though is the port of Sydney, Nova Scotia. If you don't book something ahead won't be able to find trips on short. The "app" (where you can order drinks and see entertainment schedule seems to be a bit of a work in progress (didn't work very well for me). I could see upcoming events schedule but never could do anything else with it. There was mystery "high seas heist" ongoing game that we participated in, which was semi-fun but sloppily run and slightly confusing. There is "kids club" for area but for some reason it is closed from Noon-to-2PM so it didn't work out well for my wife and I when we wanted to do some of the things like the art auction on the boat, or trivia. Also, the staff in the area are not that friendly, and per my kids (so take with grain of salt) they had strictly regimented task for them to follow. (e.g. they couldn't just draw, read, play video games or Foosball when there was an activity like "t-shirt painting" going on. You have to do what group is doing while in kids club, at least if you are in the 7-to-11 year old section). Perhaps not the cruise line's fault but found the "exit port" in Brooklyn NY to be run horribly. A lot of confusion, and they routed people into different lines... allowed people to cut in the lines... and ultimately you could just walk out of the port if you wanted to (there was no security check or anything) so all the confusion wasn't really necessary if they were better organized. Lastly, bad ratings to our cabin (E514), mostly because it is located directly above the lounge where loud music is played most nights. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My family choose this cruise because it was my parents wedding anniversary and the whole family wanted to explore an area we had never been. We were all left pretty disappointed with the entire experience. Some of the destinations were ... Read More
My family choose this cruise because it was my parents wedding anniversary and the whole family wanted to explore an area we had never been. We were all left pretty disappointed with the entire experience. Some of the destinations were better than others (good-Quebec City, Portland, Halifax....not so good-Saguenay and one was awful - Sydney, NS) but my primary criticism was largely with the ship and their inability to make the experience more kid-friendly. This ship has a recently renovated kid splash area which seemed very nice from the photos. However, on our initial tour of the ship I noticed that there were some major design flaws, principaly the splash area was all painted concrete, The area is intended for kids to move around to different stations but there is no traction at all on the concrete and the coating of paint made it especially slippery. My 3yr old and 5 yr old both slipped twice within the first 3 minutes of using it and lost interest shortly thereafter. Throughout the cruise I never saw more than 1-2 children in the area at a time and most of the time it was completely vacant. My primary criticism was with the family-friendly pools. This cruise was through an area of Canada-New England where the temperatures ranged from 55 degrees at night to 75 degrees during the day. While the pools were heated the first day, Princess absolutely refused to heat the pools following that first day and the deck attendants always had a different story as to why. Initially we were told they couldn't be heated, then we were told the adult-only pools were the only ones heated, and then that they didn't feel it was necessary. The water temperature in my estimation was almost always in the mid 60's, too cold for my 3 yr old and cold enough that my 5 yr old would only go in sparingly. In general, the pools were not used often by other guests and the temperature was a frequent complaint we had heard throughout the ship. With many of the excursions not particularly kid-friendly and the size of the room, the size you would expect on a cruise, this really inhibited our ability to entertain the kids during the day. We did utilize the kid's activity programs at night and I will commend Princess and their staff for the Discovery Camps. The staff was great and their 7-10pm evening activities were very well organized Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Looking for a way to see parts of Canada we had not seen and perhaps to get a glimpse of color, we chose the last cruise of the season from Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale. Given the dates, we were not surprised that the weather caused us to ... Read More
Looking for a way to see parts of Canada we had not seen and perhaps to get a glimpse of color, we chose the last cruise of the season from Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale. Given the dates, we were not surprised that the weather caused us to miss two ports of call. We made up for it by relaxing on board...the second reason we chose the cruise. The Royal Princess is the largest calss in the fleet, and it WAS big and carried a lot of people. Still, we had quiet in our cabin and the luxury to mingle with people if we wanted. Our balcony cabin was small but fine for two of us. Our steward went out of his way to clean it around our schedule, not his. The food was excellent, and we enjoyed anytime dining with its opportunity to meet other people at dinner. The wait staff there and in the buffet areas were ESPECIALLY good and very helpful. My wife was in a wheelchair for the cruise, and the staff watched out for her and was there to help when we needed it. Kuos too the staff at the Lotus Spa. I had an excellent Massuse (I can't spell!), and my wife received excellent care from the accupunturist. The front desk staff worked magic with bookings and were always cheerful, even when obviously tired at the end of long days. We missed our frist excursion by oversleeping; we had had a 14 hour day getting to Quebec NOTE: if you are traveling a long way, arrive a day before the cruise!!!! The photo excusion I took to at St. John was excellent, providing some good opportunities for photos and providing a tantalizing glimpse of the city as well. Instead of excusions in Halifax, I walked to the Maritime Museum, managing to find a small gallery on the way and getting an idea of the architecture as well. My only personal complaint was that we spent way too much time in Boston and not nearly enough time in New York City. I knew Boston, but I had had destinations in mind for New York. Because the ship docked in Brooklyn, I did not have enough time to visit Manhattan locations such as athe Museum of Modern Art..an excursion that was mysteriously dropped between my inital booking and getting on baord. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our second Norwegian cruise and our first "cold-water" cruise. It was also our first experience cruising in a suite. To start, as others have pointed out, the ship was wonderfully refurbished although the layout ... Read More
This was our second Norwegian cruise and our first "cold-water" cruise. It was also our first experience cruising in a suite. To start, as others have pointed out, the ship was wonderfully refurbished although the layout remains quirky. That said, by day 2 it was easy to figure out where everything was and the best way to get their. Next the staff, start to finish, outstanding. El, Nathaniel, Layla at Gatsby's simply made our cruise with their tremendous service and warm greetings. Also, the guitar player, Rob Ondras as a consumate performer who had a wide range of songs. We ate at all of the specialty restaurants and had good to great food. We ate at two of the main dining rooms, Aqua and Venetian and enjoyed both meals. Venetian is very large so we preferred Aqua for a more intimate experience. Now for the "suite-life". This completely changes the dynamics of cruising. We were in cabin 12030 what included a balcony and floor to ceiling windows. We had a couch and two chairs so if we wanted to read, relax, and watch the water go by, we had a great view at all times. Next our concierge, Roel, was great. At check-in, he whisked us onto the ship and brought us to Cagney's for lunch. As the Dawn does not have a Haven, suite passengers have Cagney's or Moderno's for lunch and breakfast. These amenities and priority boarding and disembarking, plus the little treats left every night, makes for an elevated experience. Finally , we enjoyed each port and each port was unique. Quebec is a charming, old world city with plenty to see and do. Sydney was a quite little stop with a great Irish pub and a charming local tour. Halifax has Peggy's Cover which is not to be missed, and Bar Harbour included a great local lunch and then a gentle hike around Acadia National Park. In summary, bundle up, get in the spirit, and you will love this ship and ports. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Although the weather was not the best, this cruise offered a very interesting and fun itinerary including Canadian, New England and, finally, Florida ports. They did a good job of both embarkation and disembarkation, especially considering ... Read More
Although the weather was not the best, this cruise offered a very interesting and fun itinerary including Canadian, New England and, finally, Florida ports. They did a good job of both embarkation and disembarkation, especially considering the large number of passengers boarding at the small terminal in Quebec City. The ship is in good shape, and qualifies as not too big and not too small. The food and service in the Main Dining Room is the best we’ve had in years—waiters were attentive always and actually did some of the “old fashioned” things like pull out the lady’s chair and spread your cloth napkin! The food and service in the buffet Windjammer also was good, both at lunch and breakfast, with many food choices. There were some very good, original performers in the Lyric Theatre on several nights—unfortunately, the performance times kept changing from night to night and we missed some shows because showtime cut into dinner time. The Schooner Lounge is a good place for the usual sing-along music, and was packed every night. But the ship could definitely upgrade the live music in the lounges, and increase the amount of time the singers and musicians play. Several of the lounges also need improved drink service. Also, there were no enrichment talks related to the interesting ports we visited—we especially missed this since the poor weather precluded everyone from spending very much time on the outside deck so there was little to do. Lastly, our cabin was very good (spacious balcony)—attendants kept everything tip top. Only complaint is that RCCL no longer provides bathrobes. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
From the time we landed in Quebec to the time we took off from New York, this became the anniversary cruise I had only hoped for. The cabin was roomy and the bathroom was bigger than expected. And on our anniversary we had a card, ... Read More
From the time we landed in Quebec to the time we took off from New York, this became the anniversary cruise I had only hoped for. The cabin was roomy and the bathroom was bigger than expected. And on our anniversary we had a card, ballons , sign and a complimentary dinner. The Crown Grill is the top of the line for a steak and the sides were just as good. But as wonderful as the Crown Grill is my favorite restaurant on board is Sabatini's. We went twice, had our anniversary dinner there. Another surprise was the desserts. I fell in love with the coconut cream pie and key lime pie and discovereded they were suger free. In fact all the sugar free desserts are the same quality as the regular desserts. And just as good. Employees on the ship couldn't have been nicer whether you saw them while they were working or you saw them in port. Many of them would remember you and say hello and ask how your day is going. The ports were exactly as expected, with a few being better than expected. We will be going back to Quebec and the excursions were well worth the money and in fact, because we missed a few of the ship's excursions we booked private which we thought would be better and were disappointed. Entertainment was a pleasure to see and a great time to relax and meet other people. Dancing and music made us feel young again, and you were spoiled for choice in picking a place to listen to music. And there was always something going on. Trivia was the best. No matter what Princess cruise we take we will be staying on the Lido deck, and hopefully in our same cabin L202 Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this cruise mainly because I wanted to view the fall leaves and also end in Boston, where my son is now living. It was an opportunity to visit family as well as going to new places and learning a bit of history. I am not new to ... Read More
I chose this cruise mainly because I wanted to view the fall leaves and also end in Boston, where my son is now living. It was an opportunity to visit family as well as going to new places and learning a bit of history. I am not new to cruising, but I will say I have not had these experiences on any other cruises I have taken. Norwegian Customer service staff is not helpful. My first tip off should have been when I called Norwegian's customer service before the cruise. I was double checking what the travel agent had told me. I had a late flight into Quebec and I was concerned with getting on board the ship if I missed the first day's last boarding time, which I had been told was 11 PM. The travel agent told me if I did miss this time, I could board the next morning after 9 AM, since the ship would not sail until after 5 PM. The Norwegian agent told me that I should have called them directly because I really did need to get on board the ship that first day and my travel agent should have told me that. I was so appalled that I called back and spoke with another Norwegian agent who said that my travel agent was correct and that I could board the following day in the event I was unable to make it there the first night. (I made it at 11:05 PM and got on the ship – yeah!) Once on board, you will have to figure out for yourself where to find things, what deck to take to disembark and the time to be back on the ship, etc. If you miss the one sentence in the announcement that tells you this, you are out of luck. They also do not respond to complaints. I did so in person and also wrote a complaint to them regarding my sleeping room and the noise. I was NEVER contacted by any customer service personnel. This is unacceptable. We were awakened every night by the cleaning crew in the restaurant that was directly above our room. This vacuum should have been used during the day when everyone was awake and the restaurant was closed. The Oceanview sleeping room was nice, the 1:00 AM wake up was not. Sydney is a stop that is not worth going to - there is nothing worth seeing, unless you want to take an hour-long trip (one way) and pay far too much money to see Alexander Graham Bell's house. We did not see many leaves turning color and we had assumed we would see them as the ship went along. Not so. You mainly see water only. No land. We did take a few hop off and on tours and did see a few trees with leaves changing color. If you think a tour will be cancelled due to weather, think again! If it is raining cats and dogs and you can't see anything out of your window, you will go anyway so be wary of timing and weather. You also have to go through what they call "customs" on the ship when you enter US water. Basically, everyone on the ship has to walk in a line and show your passport. This was a pretty big fiasco with the ship blocking most elevators to only go to the 7th floor where this was going to be held. We had people in wheel chairs and scooters trying to get to the 12th floor for breakfast. So - they had to go to the 7th floor, and get off, then wait in the very long lines to get back on to go to the 12th floor. It personally took me 40 minutes to get from the 5th floor to the 12th floor (and I walked up the stairs to the 7th floor) for my morning coffee. UGH! I will give credit to them for good food, great restaurant service, and good entertainment. If you stay somewhere besides the 5th floor, it might be something you will enjoy. If you want to view leaves, take a bus tour. Best Wishes! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I think this must be my second review even though we are world cruisers, for years, and have sailed many different cruise lines. We have a lot of experience with all aspects of a cruise. I have cruised Disney once before to the Bahamas. ... Read More
I think this must be my second review even though we are world cruisers, for years, and have sailed many different cruise lines. We have a lot of experience with all aspects of a cruise. I have cruised Disney once before to the Bahamas. My perspective is of an adult, and safety for the children. Arriving a day before the cruise at Quebec City, we found it quaint. (We had been there once before on an excursion with another cruise line). Our embarkation seemed to have gone smoothly, until i found that all my cruising info papers, med sheets, all the papers i bring with me were missing, and were lost somewhere between the port and the stateroom. I called the front desk, they didnt have them. Okay we can deal with that, there are always the originals to find on the computer. Although i didnt like my information out in public. The problem was they had no service to speak of and my husband after using his free 100 minutes, paid for 200 mins(I dont know why they dont go by Megabytes), and by the time he would get on, it had "used" up all the time he had. You couldnt sign off, and for some reason their antiquated system kept you on, if you didnt "officially" sign off. Luckily we were in a concierge room, (which we paid a lot more for) and our concierge had printed out our entire itinerary, and was excellent. All three concierge "cast members" seemed seasoned, and Disney schooled. We especially liked Andy. A major problem occured when we tried to sleep the first night. Our "special" concierge room was under the Cabana's outside buffet. It was oddly configured, possibly 2 staterooms put together to make a large suite with 2 full bathrooms, and a tiny closet. There was lots of draw space. BIG PROBLEM....I didnt sleep for the 1st night because there seemed to be no sound insulation above the master bedroom, and the outside buffet. Until late, the first night all we heard were shoes thumping and chairs screeching. My husband and I missed the first excursion, the following day....we were exhausted. By the way the room number was 8602. DO NOT CHOOSE THIS ROOM, if you want to sleep. This is the basis of any trip, not feeling like your dragging and are sleep deprived. After the first night i called the concierge to ask them what they could do. They said they couldnt control the people eating in the cabana. I had gone up to the cabana and evaluated the situation and found that if the could rope of or take away 2 tables right above us, that may help the situation. I gave each person working there including the "officer" $20.00 each and ask them to please remove or rope off the tables. They said they couldnt promise to do this. Second night, same thing. I called the concierge, who happily came to my door(2 females) and in a disney manor jumping and smiling told me how great i looked. After that went on for a while i asked them to come upstairs to see what i was talking about. The Cabana was roped off for that one night. After that i gave up. it was hit or miss whether i slept or not. On to excursions. They were not great, and somewhat boring. I spent most of this review on the stateroom, so i am not going to recap them, except to say, there was one dangerous part of an excursion where we asked if we wanted to walk over a dilapidated walking bridge. I thought disney wouldnt allow this if it was dangerous, so we embarked. The bridge was held together at certain parts with what seemed to be rotten fiber board. We had to tell children and others to watch and we turned around and got off the bridge. This was in Baie-Comeau. The only other bad experience with excursions, was when we returned to the ship and were delightfully welcomed with hot chocolate. It was a chilly day. The drink was so hot the first sip i took, i immediately had to spit out because it was scalding the inside of my mouth, and i wasnt about to swallow it. I angrily told the servers, who just looked at me, that they need to test the temperature on this, before serving it. The burn stayed with me until after NY, but under the circumstances of all else, it wasnt something continuously happening so I protested no further to the servers, who i am not sure understood English anyway. I should note also that while we on an excursion, our stateroom door was left propped open all day, and the Executive Hoosekeeper, mortified by this was so anxious to apologize(which i appreciated greatly). This only happened once. Good stuff: The entertainment during dinner, where your waiting service followed you to each venue, was excellent! Best part of the cruise. Manuel, was excellent, and gave service with a smile. Cant say enough about the wait service. He even did magic Palo, their upscale italian restaurant, had wonderful food, and our waiter, was a consummate disney actor who made the experience almost real. His name was Roberto, excellent. We had children of 4 different ages. I think they all enjoyed their clubs and especially their special dress ups, princess gathering, Royal Teas.....we scheduled them for every ago approrriate activity you could do on the ship. This is why we went on the cruise, for the children. So this is the thing....We do family cruises every few years, with up to 47 people. I am torn because i have reserved 12 rooms for a family cruise next December, to the Bahamas, and this cruise is in no way an adult cruise. It 99.9% for children, or adults who have younger children, or adults who would prefer to be a child. I am hoping i made the right decision. I am hoping the more than one bad experience i had on this cruise will not happen again. The last Bahama cruise i went on with Disney seemed awesome compared to what happened on this one Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Took this cruise to see what was left of the Fall Colors along the Eastern seaboard plus the Canadian ports which were new to us. Enjoyed Quebec City even in the rain and wind. Ship was docked right at Old Town. Other ports were fine. ... Read More
Took this cruise to see what was left of the Fall Colors along the Eastern seaboard plus the Canadian ports which were new to us. Enjoyed Quebec City even in the rain and wind. Ship was docked right at Old Town. Other ports were fine. We missed St. Johns, Newfoundland because of very bad weather. That's just one of the chances one takes while cruising. Enjoyed Boston and NY, NY. The ship, itself, is badly in need of renovation. On the outside, it's rusty and beat-up. Inside, there were lots of problems starting the minute we walked into our mini-suite. The smell of sewage was obvious and the room steward told us to be sure to run the water in the bathroom faucet before we used it as the water had debris in it. That was obvious when you opened the toilet and saw all the black particles that had accumulated. The sewage smell emanated from the toilet and even the closed lid did not keep it out. The bed center looked like a sink hole. It was many cruises and perhaps years since it should have been trashed. I tried it the first night and didn't sleep. Talking to our steward the next morning he said he'd turn it over and put a board under it. That worked for one night and then I never slept well again. Even tried the couch but it was no better. Food was OK but nothing special and service was sloooooow. Horizon Court food was cold and the variety was limited. And then the Norovirus hit. It was all over the ship and the trip wasn't quite the same after it became prevalent. Two at our table got it and were "isolated" in their cabins for one to three days. As we disembarked some poor fellow began puking right in the middle of the floor of the Wheelhouse Lounge which was our assembly point. Not a good ending but an exclamation point on the problem. We are elite with Princess and have two additional cruises already booked with them--a BtoB to Europe and cruise around the British Isles plus a 60 day Pacific Circle. Our last ten cruises have been on Princess. We did not experience anything like this on our last cruise and hope this is not a trend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We had never been to Canada. We live in Florida so this longer cruise was perfect, we only had to fly one way. We love to travel on Holland America Lines, so the fact that Zuiderdam was due for an interior face lift did not bother us. We ... Read More
We had never been to Canada. We live in Florida so this longer cruise was perfect, we only had to fly one way. We love to travel on Holland America Lines, so the fact that Zuiderdam was due for an interior face lift did not bother us. We know and love their standards, so could put up with a few chips and rips. The Crew was wonderful, always helpful & Roxan in the Ocean Bar is the Best Waiter on board. the Food was a little odd by the second week. (an awful lot of fish, for someone who does not eat fin fish.) The food we ordered was good & we could order a baked potato if the sides did not appeal. I must say that the entertainment on board was a little disappointing, where did all the small bands and other singers & guitar players, that used to be in the small bars, Crows Nest, Atrium & Dining Room go? We miss being able to order afternoon drinks & listen to a Duo or single musician entertain us. The music seems to be at night & if that band is needed for the main show, nothing!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We were excited to cruise on the Zuiderdam again, this time for the Canada/New England Cruise. We came in to Quebec a few days early to enjoy the city and wish we had a few more days - Quebec City was delightful and autumn is a great ... Read More
We were excited to cruise on the Zuiderdam again, this time for the Canada/New England Cruise. We came in to Quebec a few days early to enjoy the city and wish we had a few more days - Quebec City was delightful and autumn is a great time of the year to explore it. On the day we left port we got the ship early only to be meet with long lines for the taxi to get in, then long lines and confusion inside. We were told to sit one place to wait, then other people who came in long after us were taken on first. Not a problem of the cruise line, but rather the people in the port building. Once we got past the people from the port and to the HAL people things went smoothly. The line then went quickly and we were on the ship and in our stateroom. Our luggage wasn't there yet, but our room was ready and we went to enjoy lunch and when we got back the luggage was there. Our cabin was on Deck 7 and was wonderful, Our room stewards were top notch and we never wanted for anything. Our dining stewards were both excellent and very attentive. Entertainment was OK - not the best I've seen on a cruise, but definitely not the worse I've seen. One of the problems we encountered was a weather problem and we missed two ports because of it. Despite two + days of high winds (over 90 mph) and high waves, I never felt threatened or that we were in danger. One night it was so rough, things came out of our closet and things crashed off the shelves (our fault for not putting them away knowing the seas were rough). The other problem was our last night. It was almost time to leave Port Canaveral - we were enjoying dinner and the ship lost power. After less than an hour the power was back on. During this time, dinner service continued and there was no disruption there. But it did leave the ship with navigation problems and we couldn't leave port. After about 2 hours the problem was fixed and off we went. But then early in the morning we were delayed again, this time by a failure of one of the diesel engines. We did get to Ft. Lauderdale in time to make our flight connections, etc. The thing that impressed me thru all of these problems was the staff and crew - they all continued to be pleasant and helpful to us. Was I disappointed to miss two great ports? Certainly, but all in all it was a good cruise. Would I go on Holland America again? Of course. Would I go on the Zuiderdam again? - I'd have to think about it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
W have cruised extensively on 4 continents and know the difficulties of comparing what can be very different experiences.This little one ship ship cruise line attempts to step back in time a little ind delivered everything as promised, ... Read More
W have cruised extensively on 4 continents and know the difficulties of comparing what can be very different experiences.This little one ship ship cruise line attempts to step back in time a little ind delivered everything as promised, Because of its small size and the route through some very busy waterways there is a real sense of identification with the St..Lawrence river and it's history. The ship is over 30 years old but appears to be in good shape thanks to ongoing maintenance and the fact it operates only 4 months or so a year. Would suggest it is time to change some berth mattresses and renovate cabin windows as some are ddifficult to open. Our guest service crew were delightful; young, energetic with a nice mix of formality and casualness .The officers were approachable and well informed. Sailing on the Canadian Empress iis really a unique experience..Our party of 6 had a great time! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
All was very good. Having said that I still have some suggestions for improvement. Internet "service" in the stateroom was a bad joke. Had to move the computer around to find access. The food overall was good but the ... Read More
All was very good. Having said that I still have some suggestions for improvement. Internet "service" in the stateroom was a bad joke. Had to move the computer around to find access. The food overall was good but the desserts, especially cakes were not very good. invariably dry. The staff was very good. Never found anyone that I could complain about. Did I say that the internet was veeeery slow. No lotion or hair conditioner is supplied so bring your own. Lotion would be helpful because the alcohol based hand cleaner (a necessity) dries the skin. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My sister, niece and I were traveling together. We cruised from Quebec City to Boston on the Dawn. It was a lovely cruise, the food was very good (loved the Venetian Inn where the service was excellent); the entertainment was great, ... Read More
My sister, niece and I were traveling together. We cruised from Quebec City to Boston on the Dawn. It was a lovely cruise, the food was very good (loved the Venetian Inn where the service was excellent); the entertainment was great, especially the last night. Most of the shore tours were good. We liked some better than others. Our disembarkation and immigration went very smoothly because of our concierge, Karabi. The weather cooperated and was mostly warm and sunny. The only problem we had was with the billing, but hopefully, that will be taken care of soon. Overall, it was a wonderful time and I have a lot of pictures to prove it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015

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