- Pro: Service embodies attention to detail
- Con: Seating on pool deck feels limited at times
- Bottom Line: Cozy ship with a friendly vibe
Like other ships that are built with modular cabins, Zaandam's standard outside and standard balcony cabins are identical. They are large by industry standards, beginning at 182 square ft. and going to 197 square ft., and finished in a blond wood tone. Standard cabins have twin beds that are convertible to a queen, two nightstands with lockable drawers and individual reading lamps. Each cabin has a loveseat with end table, ottoman, reading lamp, desk with a lighted vanity mirror, chair and three drawers. Even the smallest cabin has multiple closets, some with shelves, others with wooden hangers.
All cabins have a flat-screen TV with a DVD player. (These were added during the Signature of Excellence refit.) Unlike other lines that offer free DVD’s only to suite passengers, Holland America offers them to all passengers (pick up in the Explorations Cafe). There are nineteen television channels, two of which show three movies in rotation per day. Four of the stations play music only. There are many cable channels like CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network and ESPN. The television is not interactive.
Other additions during the refit were pillow-top mattresses, high thread count linens, multiple pillows and the furnishing of fine toiletries by Elemis.
Bathrooms in standard cabins are compact, but the large outside cabins have tubs, as well as showers. While there's still an impotent hair dryer on the wall, the good news is you don't have to use it -- check your desk drawer for one with much more power.
Other cabin features include a 220/110 volt outlet in the bathroom for electric shavers and another on the desk for cell phone, iPod dock or laptop. There's a safe in the closet; it's operated by swiping your credit card (no charge, though).
Stewards service the cabin twice daily and replenish ice. Evening turndown service includes a chocolate. The ship services notebook includes note paper and postcards. (Additional free postcards are available in the Explorations Café/Library.)
Stepping up from the basic cabin, you can reserve a Verandah Suite, which is 292 square ft. The difference in size between a large outside cabin and a Verandah Suite is the balcony and a larger bathroom. At this level you receive a refrigerator with mini-bar and a whirlpool bath. The balcony is furnished with two chairs and a table.
Deluxe Verandah Suites are a large 556 square ft. (These "suites," like the Verandah Suites, are not true suites -- they have only one room -- just large cabins.) The balcony has four chairs and a table, and two sun loungers. A sectional sofa and occasional chairs provide a seating area for entertaining. Deluxe Verandah Suites include a small dressing room.
At the top of the stateroom pecking order are the Penthouse Verandah Suites, which are a whopping 1,159 square ft. These are true suites, comprised of a bedroom, a dining room that seats eight, a living room, a full bathroom with separate toilet/bidet room, a separate shower stall and bathtub, and a powder room.
Passengers who book Deluxe Verandah Suites and Penthouse Verandah Suites have exclusive use of the Neptune Lounge, staffed by an attendant who will book spa treatments and restaurant reservations for which suite guests have priority. The lounge is stocked with free soft drinks and snacks, and Continental breakfast is available here each morning.
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