5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I wanted to express that this was a relaxing cruise, the activity was limited , but the food was excellent, excursions were good, entertainment was okay, the room was spacious, loved being on the top floor, the wait staff ... Read More
I wanted to express that this was a relaxing cruise, the activity was limited , but the food was excellent, excursions were good, entertainment was okay, the room was spacious, loved being on the top floor, the wait staff "Herman" any time dining located on floor 2, Herman was a wonderful server with a big smile, very helpful and tentative to me, the bartenders were wonderful. The candy man who was the greeter he always had a smile. The pasties were delicious and nicely displayed; Oliver in the bar was excellent he knew what I wanted to drink before sitting down. Oliver works in the Crows Nest. The towel staff and the pool area was supreme. The piano bar and BB King great music and dancing all night long. I learned a lot during the cooking demonstration well presented and demonstrated. The crew members who help you on and off the ship are great. The photographer Andrew was wonderful and Wayne in the Jewelry shop was full of hugs and smiles. Sung who worked in the perfume store beautiful girl. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We went on a Panama Chanel Cruise in March 2019. Here are our good and less impressive experiences from our trip. Stateroom: We lived in a veranda on the 10th floor. Beautiful view. The stateroom was really nice. We were supposed to be ... Read More
We went on a Panama Chanel Cruise in March 2019. Here are our good and less impressive experiences from our trip. Stateroom: We lived in a veranda on the 10th floor. Beautiful view. The stateroom was really nice. We were supposed to be 4 people in our cabin why they arranged 4 beds the first evening – 2 regular beds, one bed coming down from the ceiling and the sofa was changed to a bed. The last bed made it difficult to get to the veranda but it was only arranged as a bed at night time – not optimal but I prefer that solution compared to the solution with 2 beds coming from the ceiling as we have experienced before as you almost need to be an acrobat moving back and forth in the stateroom. As we were only 3 they only arranged the bed from the ceiling at night and moving around even at night was no problem at all. The bathroom was great and big with a nice bathtub. There was a nice TV with plenty of both life TV, movies and more available. The TV was somewhat small but did it’s purpose. The staff was friendly but not very effective e.g. they never removed dirty dishes from the room – we needed to put them outside the stateroom to avoid the smell and have our small stateroom properly organized. Dinning: The food was generally okay – great during gala nights but below expectation other nights. It was a big disappointment we were charged extra on gala nights to get an extra serving!! We ended up with anytime dinning but ended up eating most night at the same section i.e. getting the same servers which was nice. The afternoon tea in the dining room was really nice The buffet on the Lido deck was nice but that section was severely under dimensioned. At most meals we had to walk around for a long time to find a table. It was also understaffed, or the staff was not properly trained – you were lucky to get a drink 5 minutes after asking. Resulting in us going after our drinks our self. The drink section was poorly arranged making it difficult to get a drink – had they swapped the drink machines and the glass/cups then more people would have been able to get drinks at the same time!! In our opinion then they utilize the boat poorly – there are many areas where there was almost nobody – why not remove many of the redundancies at the buffet, make more tables and then more food options other places on the boat?? My son went many times disappointed to get an ice cream – the ice cream shop opens and closes with the rest of the buffet – why??? The had a great Dive-In shop with fantastic burgers and hot dogs – my oldest sons favorite. Unfortunately, the Dive-In was next to the buffet so no seats Entertainment: We were disappointed by the entertainment. Some of the shows at the main theater were spectacular others were okay but disappointing they substitute an evening with a movie shown in poor quality – really!! The varieties of activities were below expectations – everyday was almost the same which is nice if you like bingo, trivial and cooking show but … They had some sport activities which we liked to join – some of them were great and some of them – yeah it seems like they forgot – nobody showed up to organize. We somehow got an activity going but … We knew Zuiderdam is a smaller boat, but the entertainment director could have done better e.g. ice sculpturing, magic show, parrots, juggler and a lot more. Amenities: The two pools were nice and deep enough to swim and play though small. There were many hot tubs which we enjoyed as well They had a giant chess board – we played it once risking our health – the board was not properly fastened and very slippery – again one of the many small but important details which would not cost them much to ensure was proper, but it was not taken care of Two nice table tennis located in a corner giving as little wind as possible – very nice The Explorations Central on deck 10 was impressive. Great view, games, books, monitors showing details about the boat and how it was operated. Large interactive touch screens showing highlights of the destinations and tour description. We really enjoyed that a lot. The HAL club was nice – fairly small but there were less than 10 kids on the boat so it did its purpose at our trip – not sure how it would work on a trip with more kids?? The staff there were amazing. My boys did not spend much time there, but they were always in the middle of some activities they were excited about when I picked them up. I enjoyed staying there for a little while following the activity waiting for a good time to break off – big respect for the staff there They could easily have utilized areas almost vacant throughout the cruise for more exciting activities – a strong recommendation from us. Overall: A nice trip with interesting destination but too many shortcuts from Holland American making the trip overall disappoint and not worth the money – we will search other cruise lines for our next cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose the Holland America Zuiderdam ship for our 2018 Christmas family vacation. The only reason I would give any stars for this cruise is for the room and dinning stewards who provided the utmost impeccable service. Cheers to all of ... Read More
We chose the Holland America Zuiderdam ship for our 2018 Christmas family vacation. The only reason I would give any stars for this cruise is for the room and dinning stewards who provided the utmost impeccable service. Cheers to all of you!!! However, Holland America Ships are severely lacking customer service, acommodations are poorly described. The cabin layout was terrible and considering this was a Holiday cruise, it severely lacked festive activities, entertainment and decorations. We were advised by Holland America the Zuideram Veranda Cabins accommodate 3-4 passengers. We had 3 in our cabin. However, to accommodate anymore than 2 passengers, access to the veranda balcony and bar fridge are "completely blocked" and they had to "remove furniture" from our cabin to make room for the 3rd person for the entire cruise. I guess the 4th person would have had a caught on the balcony because there is absolutely no room for a 4th person. This was extremely disappointing when we had paid the extra $2,000 to have a balcony cabin but couldn't access the door to get out onto the balcony. SAVE your money a book an Ocean View or Interior Cabin for a much lower rate. The Ship's Customer Service Relations were not helpful in providing any alternative nor compensation for the extra cost we paid to have a balcony we had no access to. There were minimal Christmas decorations throughout the ship not making it feel very festive for a holiday cruise. Santa came aboard the ship to visit the 40-50 children on board and gave them all a dollar store gift that broke within the day. We expected much more for a Holiday cruise considering the inflated cost for a cruise during this peak time. We would never consider Holland America for future Holiday cruises. PS to Smokers: there is only 1 smoking section on board and they refuse to let anyone smoke prior to the ship leaving port. It was a long 6 hour wait from the time we boarded to leaving port. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
First a bit of history. My husband and I are not retired and do not gamble. We are in our early 60’s and very active. This cruise was great! We have been on previous cruises but this was our first Holland American. The embarkation at FFL ... Read More
First a bit of history. My husband and I are not retired and do not gamble. We are in our early 60’s and very active. This cruise was great! We have been on previous cruises but this was our first Holland American. The embarkation at FFL was the smoothest we have ever experienced. Fast and organized. The food was wonderful on the Lido buffet but we were not too impressed with the main dining room’s food. My husband is diabetic and he was able to eat at both areas- just better/warmer/tastier at buffet Lido area. This is just the opposite of our view on the Carnival Cruise line. Carnival has better food in their seated dining area than their open buffet. IMO Royal Caribbean’s main dining and buffet were about the same. The overall food was best on HAL second on Carnival and then Royal Caribbean. But we never went hungry on any of them! The Zuiderdam has wonderful entertainment but caters to a older population so violins, piano, steel drums live music presentations were available (I loved them but my husband was just mildly impressed but he did like the magician and dancers). On the Zuiderdam there is no “hairy chest contest” or similar activities. They have great educational presentations, new movies in the screening room and the best TVs and in room free on demand movies ever! Zuiderdam’’s WIFi was about the same as all cruise lines, slow and you can get kicked off often. I was able to do the work I needed to though. We paid $189.00 for 11 days. We had room SS6073 with a great deck. Very quiet and lots of room. The Panama Canal was an amazing cruise and I would take this cruise again. We did the EXC all day excursion and it was wonderful but as others have mentioned you need to do it but only once! And don’t drink much before leaving the Zuiderdam- it could be almost three hours before you can use the facilities- depending on how fast they load the busses and if you have to wait in the non bathroom buss to clear the locks to go over them. The bathroom stalls are very small on the boat that you go through the locks on. I’m thin but tall so closing the stall door is challenging if you are big or tall... It’s very hot and humid! We went on Trikes (motorcycles) in Aruba (our second time) and it’s by far the best experience we have had! Booked online-private. There were two children (I only saw one but hubby thinks he saw another one) around 12 years old on this cruise. I’m sure they were board. This was a partial Panama Canal crossing but I was so impressed that we may do the whole crossing next year. We had anytime dining but did not eat in the dining room but 4 times and no waits. People on this cruise seem to be mostly retired but still enjoying life! Bottom line- if you want to party until dawn and eat their wonderful Lava cake- pick Carnival. If you are looking for a bit more relaxing and life enriching choices (in my opinion) chose HAL. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to explore New York for 3 days prior to embarking on our cruise. Embarkation did not go smoothly as we had to utilize Brooklyn Terminal instead of the original Manhatten terminal as the Zuiderdam had ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to explore New York for 3 days prior to embarking on our cruise. Embarkation did not go smoothly as we had to utilize Brooklyn Terminal instead of the original Manhatten terminal as the Zuiderdam had sustained some damage and had to be repaired in the Brooklyn Terminal. This made our cab fare more from our hotel where we stayed for 3 nights to the terminal as we had preplanned our hotel bearing in mind we were going to sail out of Manhatten. We were promised an upgrade to an ocean view cabin when we booked our cruise. That never happened despite many visits to Customer Service. Holland America staff were hard to deal with. There were no laundry coin- a-matic machines, so laundry was taken away from your cabin and washed and returned to your cabin for an additional cost dependent on how many bags you had! With respect to dining, food was very good; however, they would not allow us to put our filled plates on a tray, we had to carry our food in our hands and at times this was awkward as other people were doing the same thing till they reached a table to sit down. This was in the Lido room where there is no service at tables except for beverages. In the other dining rooms where we were served by waiters, service was very good and the food was excellent. Entertainment was o.k., have seen better on other cruiseships. Their excursion fares are very pricey! We took mini buses and cabs to see the tourist attractions and saved a lot of money. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We left on the Zuiderdam’s July 7, 2018 sailing for a two week cruise from Copenhagen, Denmark visiting Norway, Iceland, The Faroe Islands and the Shetland Islands. We flew a day in advance so as to make certain we would feel refreshed ... Read More
We left on the Zuiderdam’s July 7, 2018 sailing for a two week cruise from Copenhagen, Denmark visiting Norway, Iceland, The Faroe Islands and the Shetland Islands. We flew a day in advance so as to make certain we would feel refreshed for boarding. We stayed at the Clarion Airport hotel which was an easy walk with luggage from the airport. We checked in and walked half way between the hotel and the airport and took the metro to the city center our first afternoon. From there we did a boat ride through / around downtown. We left for the airport check in the next morning around 10:45 am. Boarding the bus was straightforward and we arrived at the pier around 11:30 am. The check in process was also smooth. We were on the ship within half an hour. The cabins were available by the time we got on (noonish). The weather was warm and we had specifically packed our bathing suits for the pool. Excellent check in experience. The ship is looking a little worn. The benches in the hallway by the elevators are just pure ugly and chipped. The corridor artwork is also old and outdated. As far as maintenance, there were a few issues. Some of the arrows above the elevators are burnt out. You cannot tell if the elevator is headed up or down. The reading light by my bed was also burnt out. The wooden door that covers the mini fridge had screws that had been pulled out from the frame. Also, during the voyage, maintenance staff were sanding down the metal door frames to each cabin and repainting them. The screeching from the sanding was annoying and I had to request that they stop so I could take an afternoon nap. They obliged. (It seems to me that since this ship just recently came out of dry dock, that would have been the place and time to address these issues.) In terms of entertainment, I did go to the shows featuring various headliners. In the main show lounge, there was a pianist who was rather showy. Also there was a couple who did Cirque du Soleil style entertainment including the ropes/ acrobatic style high wire movements. There was a rather showy violinist from Iceland. But, one or two songs from her were sufficient. Also, all of the instrumentalists gathered for a BBC multimedia presentation. This was the highlight in the main show lounge. Besides the main show lounge, there was ‘The Lincoln Center’ featuring two violinists, a violist, a cellist and a pianist. Unbelievable talent here. They performed at least once if not twice a day. Also, there was the B.B. King Blues Club featuring a group of talented musicians performing appropriately named style of music. Also, there was the Billboard lounge. Here, there were two pianists who did not receive enough recognition. They were incredible. In summary, the entertainment onboard was tops. The gymnasium was small, in comparison to other ships. The treadmills were often all in use, especially at opening time, 7:00 am. The resistance equipment was minimal. There was a trainer on board who did classes throughout the day. If you like to watch TV during your time on the treadmill, as do I, you need to ask for the TVs to be turned on. The sound was minimal, but you can ask to have the dialogue text option turned on. The service desk did a good job, although this part of the ship is also small so the lines can get long to speak with one of the few representatives. A plus here is that they will exchange currency for you. Right next to the service desk is a single kiosk to print out current bills throughout the voyage. (Being able to review charges is not possible from the stateroom.) The shore excursion office, the future cruise booking office and the library have been moved up to Deck 10 in the Crow’s Nest. The size of the future cruise booking office is the size of a large closet. I consider this to be a shame. These offices should be centrally located and closer to the service desk. During this sailing, there was flooding from above. Carpet dryers and shop vacs were all over deck 10 forward to dry this space. I used to enjoy listening to music up here in the past, but the room is no longer set up in this way. Speaking about the future cruise booking office, I asked for an atlas for next year, specifically one with deck plans. Apparently HAL no longer considers printing deck plans in their promotional literature important. Here, I highly disagree with this decision. In addition, I had a couple of run-ins with the shore excursion manager, Reanetse Atema. This was by far the low point of the cruise. (Don’t be surprised by what the shore excursion office won’t be willing to do / discuss). Dining in the main dining room was a bit of a letdown. We had open seating and in order to get a table within a reasonable time frame, without making reservations for a specific evening, in advance, showing up before 6:00 pm was important. That seemed to be the time when the lines began. I find having opening seating and needing to reserve for a specific time to be a bit contradictory. But HAL is not the only company who follows this type of policy. With respect to the food, I had some disappointments as well. The baked potatoes were white potatoes, not baker potatoes. That was disappointing. The Caesar salads were soggy. The dressing was not seasoned with anchovy paste, but rather a single anchovy was placed on top of the salads. The crème brulee was flavorless. The everyday sirloin steak was so so. Otherwise the food was acceptable. Dining in the ‘market place’ lido buffet was great. Breakfast and lunch choices were plentiful. As an aside about space in the lido buffet, I noticed there were no identified areas as ‘reserved for the handicapped’. There were multiple passengers in motorized scooters who would have to navigate the close tables in order to eat here. Although the ship has rooms that are handicapped accessible, more attention needs to be given to other public spaces onboard. We ate in the specialty dining area 4 times. Three times, the room was noted to be the Pinnacle Grill. The 4th time, the same space was noted to be Rudi’s sel de mer. Each night the service and the meals were excellent. The lobster bisque was one of my favorite dishes. I had lobster one night, a pork chop another night, a filet mignon a third night then had Alaskan crab another. Remarkable dining here. There was one other spot noted for specialty dining called Canaletto. This Italian dining venue was actually part of the Lido Market Place. I ate in this venue two summers ago on the Koningsdam and swore I would not return here. Only the Lido Bar and the Ocean Bar on deck 3 offered drink specials (basically 2 for 1) from 4:00-6:00 pm every night except for the first night. Space was tight here during these times especially on dress up nights. Drinks were good and reasonably priced during these hours. I was disappointed that this offer was not available across other bars on the ship. Nevertheless, thanks to Nice and Albert for your service. In summary, weather or not I sail with HAL again will depend upon a response to a letter I wrote to President Orland Ashford regarding the shore excursions office. I am a 3 star mariner with HAL and have sailed with them since 1968. Shore excursions: Our first port Bergen. We were on a bus ride to see the general area of Bergen. That trip was O.K. What was better was strolling the main road for souvenirs, including wool sweaters, and stopping for a beer. Also, there is a Star bucks here that has free WiWi. So, if you are not up to spending $20.00 a day for a WiFi connection on the ship, this is the location to head for. Port two was Alesund. We did a great boat ride through the fjord. This provided us wonderful views of the area. We highly enjoyed this experience. The third port was Seydisfjordur. We payed $70.00 for this tour. It was a walking tour through the town. We chose this tour because we did not know where the town was in relation to the pier. After all is said and done, I would recommend getting off the ship and walking the town independently. The pier is at the base of the town. No need to spend the money. Also, in hindsight, I would suggest that HAL remove this port as there is really nothing here. Or, if not, I would recommend staying onboard. Port four was Akureyri. Once off the ship we boarded a bus to Myvatn Nature baths. This location is not as popular as the geothermal baths in Reykjavik, but as enjoyable without the hype. It was part of a combo tour visiting a ‘falls’ on the way. I would recommend, for sure. This was booked directly the HAL. Port five was Isafjordur. From this location we boarded a boat to take us to the now non-existent town of Hesteyri. I would say skip this tour as well. It was an hour’s boat ride in each direction to walk in the fields with a talk about the way this town used to be. There is currently one family living in this town. They provided us with some sweet bakery delights and coffee before our return back to the ship. Port six was day one in Reykjavik. Here we boarded a bus for the ‘Golden Circle day trip’ featuring Thingvelir, Gullfoss waterfall and the viewing of a Geysir. I had some issues on this trip. The bus itself was old with broken reclining levers, no seat head rest covers and most importantly inoperable seatbelts. We were told to wear seat belts and that we could be individually fined for not wearing them. But many, including several senior citizens, could not wear them due to the condition of the bus. The tour itself was fine. The problem was with the tour operator. I sent a letter to the HAL president about this experience. Port seven was also Reykjavik – day two. Although the Blue Lagoon is a highlight from my trip – 2nd time to a geothermal bath, the operator was once again a problem. The bus was not air conditioned so the escape hatches need to be opened. One person was not on the bus at departure time, so a bus full of people needed to wait 50 minutes before returning to the ship. After pre-showing we had about an hour of time in the lagoon. We were treated to a silica mask and a drink. This was certainly a novelty. Had the tour operator returned on time and the bus had air flow, I would have rated this activity as a 5 star opportunity. This also entailed writing a letter to the HAL president about this experience. Port eight was Torshavn, Faroe Islands. From this port, we traveled by bus to Gjogv. At this site we had a midday snack of cold pancakes and instant coffee. From this restaurant, we walked down the hill to Gjaar church. It was nice but not impressive. I cannot imagine living her in the winter. Port nine was Lerwick, Scotland. This was a tender port. We boarded a bus to take us to Scalloway Castle, the Scalloway musem and to see some Shetland ponies. The castle was small and not impressive. Same can be said for the museum. Seeing the size of the Shetland ponies was impressive. PS, downtown Lerwick has some wonderful souvenir shops. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because we knew the Panama Canal is not something that many people get to see. We weren't disappointed in the cruise. She may have a few scratches here and there, but the ship is in great condition with cleaning ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we knew the Panama Canal is not something that many people get to see. We weren't disappointed in the cruise. She may have a few scratches here and there, but the ship is in great condition with cleaning and repair on-going but not in passengers' way. Weather was wonderful--not too hot or humid. Everyone said we had the best weather in the last couple of months. We were pleasantly surprised by the food. It was wonderful in all the venues. We only ate in the dining room twice because we prefer less time spent on dining and not dressing up every night. The Dive In had perfect hamburgers and chicken sandwiches. There was a taco bar that we used several times for taco salads. We got the salad bowl and lettuces from the Lido buffet. We also appreciated that there are servers--not everyone handles the utensils at the different areas. The quality was quite good as was the variety. I think I saw more actual variety at breakfast than I have on any other line I've sailed with. And, the Lido manager brought me a cherry crisp that I had seen on the dining room menu! Pasta bar was great. Many kinds of pasta and add ins were available. We had room 6129 on the Upper Verandah deck. Andri and his assistant did a wonderful job of cleaning, bringing ice, setting a mood for evening after dinner, and making towel animals. Zuiderdam is on the smaller side with 1800 passengers on our trip. I wasn't sure about the arrangement of the decks when I got on and started looking around. Guest services is on deck 1. But it all turned out well. We could get around quickly. I always like a promenade deck that goes all the way around. It was particularly nice for Canal viewing. The entertainment was amazing. I think it's best total package I've ever seen for entertainment. BB King's Blues Club, Billboard Onboard, comedian, classical entertainment, dancers and musicians, especially Steel Drum Island Magic, were all top notch as evidenced by the large audiences for each. America's Test Kitchen was interesting. The lecturers brought onboard for the ports and the Panama Canal were very informative. I'm not at all including the shopping guide. That, to me, is always a waste. All they want to sell is jewelry. Zuiderdam has a Navigator app for your phone to use. It's very handy to get around the ship, schedule your activities, and contact your family. I do wish it would ding though when you have a text. We booked all tours through Holland simply because I like the convenience and they cover what most all the tours do although with a bit more expense. For Bonaire and Curacao, the shopping areas closed early so there wasn't much time for browsing. A bit more time in port would be good. Bonaire was interesting for the salt flats and slave huts. I thought we would stop to see flamingos, but we didn't. We saw some but at a distance. Curacao is a beautiful area. Be sure to see the Kukunu Museum. The guides do a super job of showing you how the island functioned years ago. The town is beautiful. Be sure to go across or at least see the swinging bridge. Free wi-fi is hard to come by. We chose to stay on board at the Panama Canal. The long tours were more than we wanted to do this time, but I think we will make another trip and see the other side of Costa Rica. One tour was 3 hours late returning because the canal doesn't work on strict timing. All the deck areas were open to accommodate everyone who wanted to see what was going on. We got to see the sun come up over the canal. You'll want to get up early! I got off in Colon and walked about 3 blocks through a chain link tunnel to the "mall". There was a military helicopeter and a large police presence there. You'll want to stay onboard I think. Costa Rica was beautiful--another reason to go back so that we can see more of the island. We did the Rainforest Preserve. The rainforest is the most magnificent thing I've ever seen. I love the desert, beach and mountains, but the forest has to be seen to be believed. We did not see many animals which was a bit of a disappointment, another reason to go back. Be prepared to walk whichever tour you take. There's a great market at the port with many booths and crafts people. For sea days, there were many new movies in the room. There were many activities to attend and lots of deck chairs all over the ship to relax in. Shopping was all high end except for small things in the shop that sells candy, t shirts, etc. Why is there always so much high end shopping? Embarkation was pretty smooth. Rooms were ready by 12:30. We got on at 11:30 and had lunch. Debarkation was easy too. We paid $25 for Holland to collect our bags and get them to the airport and print our boarding passes. It was worth it. Hassle-free trip to the airport. Customs was 45 minutes--a long wait. If I could have gotten the Mobile Passport to work, we could have saved a lot of time. I'm not sure what the issue was. We will definitely choose Holland again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
I chose this cruise to reconnect with one of the world's major sights and to see the new locks which were not there in 2004 when I last visited. I also have never been to Cartagena, Colombia and heard nice things about Old Town ... Read More
I chose this cruise to reconnect with one of the world's major sights and to see the new locks which were not there in 2004 when I last visited. I also have never been to Cartagena, Colombia and heard nice things about Old Town which was a wonderful experience. In addition Curacao was a great place to visit. I could skip Colon, Panama and the town of Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. The ship itself is showing its age, but overall it was pleasant. There were five sea days, but there was not enough on board activity to keep me occupied. The staff were so polite and friendly. Now that I am a widower and travel alone I look forward to socializing with others, but I did not find much in the way of solo get togethers. Two bars, however, had a special each afternoon where your second drink was only two dollars and this allowed for social contact. I had an inside cabin which was plenty big for me as a single traveler. It was comfortable and was kept very clean by my attendant. I mentioned to my table mates one night that my birthday was the next and they informed the waiters which got me a sing along and a lovely cake the next night. Comedians on other ships that I have been on described the average age of Holland America passengers as in the early one hundreds, but I found a good age mix among the passengers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
My wife and i had the panama canal cruise on our bucket list for sometime, so decided to finally take the plunge along with 2 other couples. The ship showed signs of its age, even though we were told it had recently been in for retro fit. ... Read More
My wife and i had the panama canal cruise on our bucket list for sometime, so decided to finally take the plunge along with 2 other couples. The ship showed signs of its age, even though we were told it had recently been in for retro fit. Some the carpets were worn, and also we had concerns about coming upon water in hall ways and dryers being used to cleanup wet areas. We encounterd a storm that lasted about 18 hours as the ship was hit by high seas and strong winds, to the point that they had to close all outside doors, we were almost thrown out our bed during the night and could feel the whole ship vibrating. The staff tried their best to make us comfortable as possible.our friends had problems with their toilets, and there seem to be many other passengers complaining about the same problem, we were luck and didn't encounter any problems with our cabin. Found the ship small and with limited entertainment, with only the bb king all stars being the major drawing card (they were great), the casino was small, as was the shopping area. The diningroom was the standout, as we eat there for breakfast and dinner, and were treated to great service and food. We find the excursions ok but had one of our main ones cancelled due to a festival. The pool ares were small with one being in an area with a covered roof that was suppose to be retractable, but wasn't functioning properly. Also they were doing repairs to the ship while at sea, painting and in doing so cutting down on the promenade deck walking area, and this went on the whole cruise. We will not cruise with hal again! Also 4 of our group came down with the flu and contracted pneumonia and are still in recovery, not saying they got it on shipboard, but seemed that a large number of passenger had same symptoms. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise because we prefer traveling with HAL and it was a planned destination. The food and cabin were clearly HAL worthy but the on-board activities and excursions on this ship were a disappointment. The cabin steward, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we prefer traveling with HAL and it was a planned destination. The food and cabin were clearly HAL worthy but the on-board activities and excursions on this ship were a disappointment. The cabin steward, table steward, and wine steward were all excellent. The food was prepared well and the presentation was great. If any complaint it is that they didn't keep the Lido cafeteria open sufficient hours during the lunch period. The BB King lounge and performers, the singers and dancers, and the guest lecturer were all highlights of the trip. The HAL delivered excursion was an extreme disappointment due to the poor quality of the audio on the bus and the uninteresting delivery of the guide when you could make out what he was saying. Not a single on-board activity was scheduled in the Test Kitchen despite their daily changing the BB King lounge signs out for the Test Kitchen. More disconcerting was that each day someone was preparing meals in the Test Kitchen but no audience was in attendance. On at least one occasion they scheduled the guest lecturer in an overlap with the Mariners' club luncheon; that was just plain stupid. Generally, the impact of Carnival ownership was evident as most other activities were merely selling opportunities for which the guests were expected to pay to participate. Generally not what I have come to expect from HAL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We flew BA a day ahead and opted for the luggage transfer to hotel and airport. This was our second time staying in the Palace Hotel Copenhagen, they run the cruiseship people through like a well oiled machine!. It is a historic hotel ... Read More
We flew BA a day ahead and opted for the luggage transfer to hotel and airport. This was our second time staying in the Palace Hotel Copenhagen, they run the cruiseship people through like a well oiled machine!. It is a historic hotel that is kept clean, and is beautiful. The breakfast puts every American hotel to shame! Embarkation was run smoothly, you just need patience, they are running thousands of people on board. The Norwegian Fjords are a great sight to see! Even though it was late June Norway was cool for the most part. Scotland was actually kind of cold, one port we were late departing waiting foe the tenders get people onboard with rough seas. We chose to take a shore excursion from HAL in every port, they were all prfessionally, and timely run. ou just go to the assgned meeting place, wait for your tour to be called, get n your bus and enjoy! Copenhagen airport was a pain, they don't even staff the check in until 2 hours prior to the flight departing which caused some chaos, people just stepping in front of those who had been waiting. Heathrow airport was a pain just like the way in, They don't post the gate assignments until 20 minutes prior to boarding, Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
the family decided to go for baltic region this time and i think zuiderdam is the HAL ship that cruises to baltic. this ship is not unfamiliar to us. we have boarded this ship before to europe. it was not a bad ride... satisfactory to our ... Read More
the family decided to go for baltic region this time and i think zuiderdam is the HAL ship that cruises to baltic. this ship is not unfamiliar to us. we have boarded this ship before to europe. it was not a bad ride... satisfactory to our liking..majority of the staff were friendly and professional. our cabin server, formal dining waiters, bistro servers and most lido waiters and waitresses were deligent of their duties. however, we did not like the set up of the drinking glasses and coffee cups being ready at the table, because sometimes it mixes with the dirty utensils that passengers just damp on the table. i think they should change that set up. The food was satisfactory. the shows were acceptable but ABBA Rav was excellent and both house bands were excellent too. the location of our cabin was good. during the big current, you can feel the bad motion on the upper level of the ship, but in our cabin's location the movement was minimal.. 1 day to embarkation, i felt a flu like symptoms. and as we headed home on the plane, i felt so terrible and having sore throat. and finally when i got home, I went to the doctor and was diagnosed of a virus i contracted in my journey..I was bedridden for two days taking antibiotic and cold tylenol. Im ok on this 4th day.though im still a little oozzzie...... Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
my wife and I are mid 50's and there was an older very friendly crowd on this trip. this was only our second cruise and first on Hal. Service is excellent and food selections were great. we did open seating but soon found that ... Read More
my wife and I are mid 50's and there was an older very friendly crowd on this trip. this was only our second cruise and first on Hal. Service is excellent and food selections were great. we did open seating but soon found that later seatings were less crowded, more relaxed. it was mid cruise before we tried breakfast in the Vista dining room and it was a great chance to meet other travelers. Caneletto was well worth it We went to a show each night and the singers and dancers put on high quality performances. BB kings were good and there was a pianist/violin couple that we hit on the way to or from dinners. wifi is avail for purchase but we caught up at each ports free wifi stations. no wifi means no music unless you have a library. bring CD's and they will play on the DVD in your room. I bought adhesive wall hooks at Walmart and put up 5 for space savers, dollar store battery candle was out bathroom nite light, there is a $20.00/bag deal on laundry that we did and realize we could have brought 1/2 the clothes and 2x the money. we brought on 2 bottle of wine and had cheese/cracker happy hour before every meal. dress shoes, flip flops and sneakers will suffice. bring a highlighter for the daily schedule. 4 clothes pins to dry the suits. The bar hop was a great way to party and meet others. the bar tenders have skills! martini special is good. explore the ship before the last day at sea. tell Brendan in the fitness center you are on vacation or he will make you work hard. We did ATV rental in Aruba kini kini - this was awesome w Stewart, wear sun screen. bought a $10 bus pass and snorkeled at Boca Catalna with our own gear. Curacoa - local bus tour groups are at the pier $15-25 nice way to see the island plus we got off at the market and walked back (20min). purchase an excursion through HAL in panama or you will miss interior panama. we did Embera indian village. 80min bus ride each way but worthwhile, several friends did the excursion to panama city and enjoyed it but long day for them. Colon was poor and we stayed inside the pier/restaurant section as advised. Costa Rica was a zip line/ river tour which the zip line was the best - you are in the trees w the wildlife in perfect view. we were really pleased that the prices were best right off the ship at the pier in Aruba, Curacoa and Costa Rica. nothing to compare to in panama but seemed good as well. coffee and roasted Coca in Costa Rica:) very few children on this cruise - which is why we picked it but felt bad for the few on board. didn't spend enough time reading and lounging on deck 3. 5 hot tubs on deck 9. a memorable fun cruise with the one I love. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
Chose this cruise for the itinerary because it included the Panama Canal. The ship is older and needs to be renovated. Our cabin had a tub which should be removed and replaced with a shower which will provide more room to move about. The ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary because it included the Panama Canal. The ship is older and needs to be renovated. Our cabin had a tub which should be removed and replaced with a shower which will provide more room to move about. The closets in the cabin creaked which made it difficult to sleep. The carpets are well worn, some areas of the ship smell bad, the entertainment, food and dining service leaves a lot to be desired. Even the "specialty" restaurants did not deliver as hoped. The best part of the cruise was the BB King Blues band. Most of the excursions were interesting but expensive. The comedian/ventriloquist joked that the average age of the guests was 108...he wasn't far off. This was the oldest crowd that I've ever cruised with. They provide good facilities, scooters and such for the disabled client. I definitely would not recommend this for a young couple. My advise is to choose an ALL-INCLUSIVE resort or cruise because by the time you pay for EVERYTHING (including water) you will spend as much if not more. Because of this experience I will not choose Holland America again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We were looking forward to a "Fall Colors" cruise. It was our second HAL cruise, the first being aboard the Neuw Amsterdam. Enjoyed Quebec City and Saguenay but then got hit by a "subtropical depression" and missed the ... Read More
We were looking forward to a "Fall Colors" cruise. It was our second HAL cruise, the first being aboard the Neuw Amsterdam. Enjoyed Quebec City and Saguenay but then got hit by a "subtropical depression" and missed the next two ports of Charolettown and Sydney due to hurricane force winds (up to 90kt.s and 30-40ft. sea!) but ship handled it well and crew was confident and helpful for the 60 or so hours of the storm. Even all but two of the BB Kings entertainers showed up to preform. After that all was OK until Cape Canaveral, where we had a power failure and a three hour delay on leaving port. Power failure cause a long delay in receiving Disembarkation and luggage documents until 10pm. That night at sea there was another engine failure and we limped into Fort Lauderdale this morning late, tired and happy to get on a plane home. Would we take another cruise, Yes. Would we cruise on another HAL ship. Yes, would we cruise on the Zuiderdam again. ???? Probably not. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
We had not ever toured the NE coast of the US or the Maritime provinces, so this cruise leaving from NYC and calling in MA ME and NovasScotia and Prince Edward Island was a treat. Then sailing up the St Lawrence seaway into Quebec was ... Read More
We had not ever toured the NE coast of the US or the Maritime provinces, so this cruise leaving from NYC and calling in MA ME and NovasScotia and Prince Edward Island was a treat. Then sailing up the St Lawrence seaway into Quebec was interesting. Quebec City is historically appealing recalling grade school history of the Colonial period of both the US and Canada. Amusing hearing French spoken and being in a French inspired city and knowing we,e still in N. America. We had hoped to see the changing of the leaves but we were too early. Sailing later in September would have been better or October. We heard later sailors did see more color but also more rain and overcast sky. We had beautiful warm clear days. The SS Zuiderdam was about right for our tastes. Decoration was a bit garish is some respects but service was first class. Entertainment was just enough, we really enjoyed more the cocktail hour piano and violin duo in of the lounges. Piano bar and dance combo were adequate. Limited stage productions were Ok, we did not expect or want Broadway or vegas style. The passenger list of about 1800 was about our limit. W can't imagine a ship of 000 to 5000 as being very enjoyable. We did not need a lot of extras. We enjoyed the experience and would sail HA again. Read Less
Zuiderdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.5 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 3.5 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 2.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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