10 Holland America Zuiderdam Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Baltic Sea

This was our second time on Zuiderdam, and the dry dock has definitely freshened its appearance. We did a 10 day Baltic cruise during the height of a record setting heat wave, but the ship was always cool and comfortable and in top ... Read More
This was our second time on Zuiderdam, and the dry dock has definitely freshened its appearance. We did a 10 day Baltic cruise during the height of a record setting heat wave, but the ship was always cool and comfortable and in top condition. The Good: Very comfortable suite with great bed, nice veranda furniture, spacious dual sink. Music walk concept provided a variety of music by excellent performers. Specialty dining was very good. Staff at every level was first rate and helpful. Shore excursions were well run with interesting itineraries. Bar drinks were reasonably priced. Shops were well stocked with some designer items (Nautica, Tommy Bahama). The bad (or less than perfect): Main Dining room food was inconsistent from very good to so-so, and there were a few instances of overcooked entrees. Breakfast servings were not always as hot as they should be. Lido actually did a better breakfast, especially the omelet bar. The cabin had a great Samsung 50in TV but very little to watch, either live or on demand. Internet service was so slow as to be almost worthless. Bottled water was overpriced. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise for its terrific itinerary. It did not disappoint. From Bergen and Alesund and the fjords of Norway to the tiny towns of Iceland and the lovely little city of Reykjavik, we had something to look forward to at every ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its terrific itinerary. It did not disappoint. From Bergen and Alesund and the fjords of Norway to the tiny towns of Iceland and the lovely little city of Reykjavik, we had something to look forward to at every port. Having the Faroe and Shetland Islands added was simply a bonus. The Zuiderdam was clean, beautifully maintained and as stable in the swells as one could hope for. The crew was outstanding, from the Captain, who was visible and approachable throughout the cruise, to the men who polished brass every single day! Our balcony cabin was standard, but again, cared for quickly and with pride by our stewards. We never wanted for anything. We enjoyed the Explorations Lounge on Deck 10 for scenic sailing. Dual pianists in Billboard Onboard were beyond fantastic. It was our go to evening destination! Mainstage entertainment incorporating BBC photography was a treat. I enjoyed America's Test Kitchen and pickleball; my husband visited the fitness center on each sea day while I walked the deck. There was enough variety on the Lido buffets to more than satisfy us for breakfast. The Dive In for burgers and hot dogs was an excellent lunch choice along with the taco bar. Dinners in the Main Dining Room were not always exceptional although food was always beautifully presented. The Pinnacle Grill was disappointing,, again service was lovely. Embarkation and debarkation in Copenhagen were smooth. Three ports were tender ports; the transfers were efficient and well organized. We never had to wait for a tender either leaving or returning to the ship.. We opted to do our own thing ashore - sometimes with fellow travelers whom we had met through our Cruise Critic Roll Call. We also had researched local websites extensively. We liked that we could move at our own pace; Port calls were long enough that we were able to get a real feel for each place. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Have sailed many time with Holland America and are 4 star martiners. The embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth. We where able to go right to our cabin. Over the past few years we have noticed that the food in the main dinning ... Read More
Have sailed many time with Holland America and are 4 star martiners. The embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth. We where able to go right to our cabin. Over the past few years we have noticed that the food in the main dinning room seems to be going down some. My husband and some others at our table ordered the steak (the one that is always on the menu) and all stated the same thing, "tastless and no flavor". None of them ordered it again. Everyone at our table that had the salmon said it was good. The Lido's breakfast was always good. We ate at the Lido two nights in a row and it was the same food both times. The DIVE burgers are the best! We also did a wine package (the top one) and everytime my husband order a red wine they never had the one he ordered and would bring us another stating, "we do not have the wine you ordered". Again, this was everytime he ordered the red wine. They did have the white wine he chose. The dining room staff, as always, was good and always willing to help. The ship itself was clean with some wear and tear in some places. The services, as always, was good. The cooking shows on board are fun to go to. A good place to spend time while at sea. We did not attend the computer classes this time but, have in the past and they were good with a lot of good information. The BB King All Stars is always good. All in all, a very good cruise and would sail on the Zuederdan again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this port intensive cruise because of timing price and airfare. First time sailing with HAL, not very exciting. The ship was clean, but not updated. The hallways in the cabin areas were very bland and old looking. The ... Read More
We chose this port intensive cruise because of timing price and airfare. First time sailing with HAL, not very exciting. The ship was clean, but not updated. The hallways in the cabin areas were very bland and old looking. The entertainment was lacking except for the BBKing band which was very good. Dining was better than other cruises, especially the deserts. The service in the Lido was just plain annoying. Plenty of servers around, but the service was incomplete for example coffee: no sugar or stirrers, when served. The buffet was dished out and they hardly ever gave you what you wanted the way you asked for it, like please put my fruit compote and whip cream in the little bowls like I asked. The officers did frequently ask if everything was OK but it seemed to be a lack of communication and you could get things yourself faster if you chose. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My sister and I selected this cruise with the objective of enjoying a holiday together. The Baltic cruise offered an interesting Itinerary that we both liked. The ship was old but elegant. The cabin had a balcony and offered ... Read More
My sister and I selected this cruise with the objective of enjoying a holiday together. The Baltic cruise offered an interesting Itinerary that we both liked. The ship was old but elegant. The cabin had a balcony and offered enough space to store our stuff. Of course we both brought too many outfits but they were for warmer weather. I would have thought that late may and June would have been warmer. We dined in the Vista Room. The dinners were beautifully presented. I saw many people taking pictures of their meals. The staff were very accommodating. After some issues got sorted out in the Lido (hours opening and closing ) It was very good. lots of variety supporting both western and eastern diets. One could easily have 5 breakfasts before breakfast! The Italian restaurant was delicious. Entertainment was wonderful especially the bb king lounge! Some of the lectures were great. some so so. I loved the impressionist presentation. Dining service was great. Front desk helpful. My sister loved the towel animals each evening that our room stewards created. The ports were better than anticipated. Copenhagen was beautiful but hard to get to from the ship and please note that the city buses stop running very early. The canal cruise was a highlight. Hop on hop off seemed like a good idea but lease note if you have limited time some times they take a long time at each stop ! When we were returning back to the port we had to be back by the bus by 5:30. when you get off and wander around it is hard to find the right spot to come back to . Our Grey line bus driver was a doll! when the shuttle had left he took a bus load of both grey line and red line people back to the port! There is some competition between the red line and grey bus companies and they wouldn't take you if you had the wrong ticket. prices are expensive in Copenhagen but it is a beautiful place and I will return to Hans Christian Anderson's city. Tallin in Estonia was also a treat. Although it was very cold there we had a great time walking through the old city. very talented craft people. Lots of beautiful knitted products, felt hats, coats, necklaces, wood products. I was sorry I did not purchase a wooden puzzle that they had. beautiful old buildings. lots of history. but it was so cold returning to the boat I thought we would be blown into the Baltic Sea. Kiel was a surprise. Small and Manageable they had a blue line on the road from the boat to the old town city centre. Filled with history the old town had free walking tours, lovely restaurants and very kind people. Gorgeous parks. beautiful settings and a lot of interesting places to explore. I had my BEST coffee of the trip therein a shop in front of freedom square. St Petersburg was amazing. we took SPB tours and our guide Yelena was 10/10. we took the two day over view of the city we saw the hermitage ( buy the book at the tour shopping stop it is cheaper there than at the museum also buy the Pushkin book there on the ship it is 20 dollars in their store 12:00) church of the spilled blood gorgeous etc I was intact churched out and museum out by the end. we took a boat tour and then hovercraft to the summer palace, saw the fountains and the amber room ( many liked the amber room I thought it was not such a big deal.) there were many crowds and we had to wait to be herded through the rooms. The lunches we had were wonderful. and a taste of local flavour. At night my sister and I went to an overpriced "b" rated ballet. 120.00 for the experience. the good thing was SPB arranged the pickup and drop off. there were no locals at the ballet . Small theatre auditorium. Impressive on the outside so-so inside, it was all cruise ship people. It was adequate tor $25.00 . To be fair there was an international forum in the city and the folkloric show we wanted to attend got cancelled. The nice thing about the ballet was we had a chance to wander some St Petersburg streets before the ballet. Please note that if you want to see the impressionist art go though the ships tour! the general overview DOES NOT go there. SPB wanted to charge a fortune because they said it became a private tour. I was terribly disappointed but got over it. I have had enough of St Petersburg and I will not come back. Helsinki was having some kind of a national day so it was quite impressive military displays, air shows, lots of activity. we took the local transportation ( easy to do) and went to the local island. the ferry is included in the day pass for the local bus transportation. The information centres were helpful and pointed out sites and answered any questions. I liked Helsinki. there was an outdoor craft show near the ferry and you could see a display of local handicrafts. Lots of reindeer themed merchandise. very outdoorsy. Thank goodness we had 2 days in Stockholm . The first day we took an SPB tour. I was disappointed with the tours facilitator and felt like she was not providing the context we needed. the highlight of the tour was the VASA museum. It is a museum built around the viking ship. very interesting and a must see. Later that day we wandered around and were quite impressed with the city. Although it was over 1 million people the old town felt manageable. The next day Stockholm was better for me. It was a national holiday so many stores were closed but some museums were open and free. There were impressive displays of solders on horses. Many crowds everywhere . We did a under the bridges canal tour which was great! They provided the context of innovation and creativity that Sweden personifies. besides having the ABBA song in my head, we learned a lot about the royal family. Europeans do like their royalty. We had a great dinner at a place called the flying Elk. huge portions. one could easily share 1 dinner for 2 people. we also went to the Ice Bar. $30. for one drink but it was an experience and now that I am home it makes me smile. It was a bit of a walk to the boat 1/2 hour but at least it was a nice day. I will come back to Sweden. Berlin was great. Only one day we did an SPB tour here. because there was crummy weather we arrived a few hours after the scheduled time so our tour was a little shorter than intended. SPB provided an outstanding day. Much better . very interesting. It was a long day 3 hours each way to get to Berlin but a great overview of the city and some memorials . I was not anticipating liking Berlin as much as I did. Very impressive . I would like to return to the city and see more than just an overview. beautiful mix of old and new buildings and paying homage to those who suffered in WW11. Our Tour guide was knowledgeable and professional and answered many questions. One more comment about Copenhagen getting around. if you do now want to pay the 44. airport transfer fee, and if you take time and if you purchased a hop on hop off pass for one day it was valid for 2 days! we took the hop on hop off to the central train station and purchased a 5dollar ticket to the airport. it takes no time to get there . The airport is big but easy to manage and very helpful people. hope this helps you with your trip Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Holland started the cruise out perfectly. We were met at CPH by Holland representatives. Since the flight arrived at 7:30 am, too early to board the ship, they provided us with a 2 hour tour of Copenhagen. Embarkation went very smoothly ... Read More
Holland started the cruise out perfectly. We were met at CPH by Holland representatives. Since the flight arrived at 7:30 am, too early to board the ship, they provided us with a 2 hour tour of Copenhagen. Embarkation went very smoothly without any long lines, quick boarding and our stateroom was available immediately. We had a Vista suite which was a good size for the length of the cruise. Our cabin steward was outstanding. The weather was as might be expected in the Baltic in early June, some sun and some blustery rainy weather. The ports were excellent. As always the Pinnacle Grill was a wonderful dining experience with impeccable service and very good menu. We attended a hands on cooking class which included lunch in Pinnacle Grill. Entertainment was so so but not too bad. There were only two real negatives on the cruise. Holland often moors several walking miles from the tourist areas. I'm sure this is not their choice but they do moor far out they then charge $20 for a shuttle into town. The shuttle should be free or at least a more nominal amount. Passengers who don't want to take a ship excursion are left to fend for themselves with public transit. The other negative is that Holland seems to have cut staff. This was particularly evident in the main dining room where service was cursory at best. It used to be that your waiter was attentive to the guests at his or her table and got to know your preferences. Now they are covering so many tables service suffers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We are a family of 4, my wife and two girls of 6 months and 4 years. We love to go on cruise for our holiday and for my oldest daughter this was here 6th cruise. We traditionally cruise with Celebrity cruises and 8th of our latest cruises ... Read More
We are a family of 4, my wife and two girls of 6 months and 4 years. We love to go on cruise for our holiday and for my oldest daughter this was here 6th cruise. We traditionally cruise with Celebrity cruises and 8th of our latest cruises has been with Celebrity cruises in the Mediterranean and in the Caribbean. For this summer we choose to go cruising in the Nordics (Baltic and Kattegat Sea) with Holland America on-board the MS Zuiderdam. This was our very first cruise with Holland America and we had high expectations to this cruise liner as advertisements and cruise critics reviews discuss HAL as a 5 star cruise liner. We expected to have the same level of service and standard on the cruise ship as we experience on-board the Celebrity Cruises. For the booking we selected a balcony stateroom (class VB) as these rooms were brand new (added to the ship in 2015) and that by ship maps looked larger than other balcony staterooms – perfect for a family of four. The cruise we selected was a 12 day cruise from Copenhagen to two ports in Germany (Warnermünde and Travermünde), Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Helsingborg and back to Copenhagen. The taxi ride from Kastrup (Copenhagen airport) takes about 25 minutes and cost about 500 Danish kroner and the taxi cue was well organized so there was minor waiting time to get a taxi to hold the four of us. We had brought child seats with us from home. Child seats a mandatory also in taxis in Denmark, so if you do not bring it from home, remember to book a taxi with child seats prior to arriving at Kastrup. The cruise pier is located at the most remote place possible in Copenhagen and the best way to reach the pier is by Taxi. We were met by check-in personnel at the pier. Their only concern was that we left the luggage outside the terminal building and they were pointing in the direction of a long line starting outside the terminal building. With 4 suitcases, a large buggy, and additional small suitcases, we had to drag ourselves to the end of the line were we had to load the luggage at the security luggage belt (in best Danish manner). After waiting in line for 30 minutes to offload the luggage in the belt the rest of the check-in process and boarding went very smooth. Well on-board in the cabin we were taken by surprise that the cabin was extremely tiny – a broom closet will normally by larger. With 4 people in the cabin it was very little space to manoeuvre. The buggy did off course not go thru the door and it did not fit in the cabinets or under the bed. Neither was it possible to put it in the corner against the main cabin door as the bathroom door did not get enough space to open as this door opens in the direction of main door. The solution was to put it in the main hallway outside the cabin and hoped that nobody would steel it or remove it as it was a safety risk. We found a solution to take it in the cabin during the night and left it on the main floor in the cabin. So, it you need to bring a buggy or a stroller on-board the Zuiderdam, make sure that you bring the smallest possible. The cabin section at deck 10 was installed during a short yard stay in Italy in 2015. We had hopes that the cabins was had a modern design and look. But we were sadly disappointed. It all looked like it was 15 years old. Imagine how much HAL must have used to make the design look 15 years older and instead use a modern design – I’m still amazed. Even the TV looked old and by a quick scan thru the channels had bright snow on all the channels and was totally useless to watch. The balcony is about 2, 5 M2 and just large enough to seat two persons. To eat breakfast with four people on the balcony – forget it as it’s tiny. As this was a 4 person cabin, there was a double bed, a single sleeping sofa and a bed that you could lower from the roof over the double bed. In lowered position there is now headroom left if you want to sit in the bed underneath. Anyway, when my oldest daughter crawled into the bunk bed she quickly refused to stay there. Main reason was that the outlet of the air-condition is directly over the bed and there is a small “tornado” over the bed and it turn out to be very chilly. So, away with the bunkbed. Solution became to place our 4 year old daughter sideways in the upper part of the single sofa bed and place the baby crib at the lower section of the sofa. This will not have worked out if the kids have been a year older, but we managed to get it to work. The ventilation was a story of itself. HAL must have being saving money on ventilation when they planned these new cabins. There was something looking as a thermostat in the cabin – knob you can turn on. It was not possible to adjust the airflow as this was constantly blowing at full speed. It looked like the ventilation was mad out of two airflows (cold and hot) and by “adjusting” the temperature in the cabin, actually was adjusting a valve that was directing hot/cold air. The main defect of this system became clear at night were all the cabins wanted hot air and started to adjust the temperature. After an hour the cabin was at freezing point as all the hot air had gone and you had to adjust one more time, and over and over. The problem disappeared after a few days as people in the other cabins understood how to adjust the temperature to hot (the Baltics during the summer is not like the Caribbean – it’s cold). The machinery for the ventilation was placed at the deck above deck 10 and it brings a lot of noise and vibration to the cabin. At sometimes it feels like somebody has placed a car within the cabin. Anyway, you get used to the noise…! My oldest daughter was eager to get registered at the kids club. Even dough she could hardly speak and understand anything that was said in the club, she was very much welcomed and she quickly felt safe to stay there on her own. She got very much attention from the kids-staff throughout the cruise and especially one of the team members followed her up very close. We had all great fun at the family bingo and other family activities that the kids-staff put together. Best memory that my daughter event talks about today was the last night pillow fight that was a winner. Zuiderdam interiors feel like your old grandmas living room, it smells of moth balls and looks outdated and sad. Especially the lounges at the lower decks, the main dining room and the reception area feels like stepping back twenty years. If you are 65+ you probably find the interior of Zuderdam inspiring, but for a young family it feels sad. Anyway, the best place for us were we spent a lot our time on-board was in the Crow’s nest and in the Discovery Café which is an area with large windows, much lights and games and puzzles. It felt like the most popular area on-board the ships. Strange that HAL don’t see this and make more lounges like this. After we booked the cruise with HAL we made a reservation at one of the two family Retreat lounges on-board for the full duration of the cruise. This was a brand new area also installed in 2015. The reservation process for this was a strange process. The reservation could not be done online were you can order drink packages, or excursions. Now, you had to call a reservation centre located at the West cost of the US. They had limited opening hours and for people living in Europe you have to call at night. Anyway, the reservation was done over the phone reading all your credit card details and name and e-mail address to the person on the line. After paying $750 you did not receive any booking confirmation or receipt you had to cross your fingers that the booking was in order. Anyway, the booking was in order when we came on-board the ship and we were welcomed by two kids that was there to serve us whenever we wanted between 08:00 and 17:00. The Retreat area was without any other people without a family which had rented the second family retreat. The service throughout the rest of the cruise was on and off. They were always there when you did not want service and they were nowhere to find when you wanted service. In general the service from these two kids was running errands for you and pick up drinks and food from the restaurants or the buffet. It was a slow process. Can’t imagine how that would be if all the lounges was occupied. We eat a few lunches here normally with the burgers that were served on-board which was very tasty. The family lounge was disappointing. The person which has been designing these lunges cannot have been informed that the design of the lounges are on-board a ship that actually sails at the sea or the person can never have been on-board a ship before. It’s always windy at sea, but when you have curtains flutter around tearing down everything on the table at all time it make now sense of having these lounges. The lounge was open and not possible to seal off of any kind. We used the lunge a few days at sunny days when in port. But at sea days it was useless to use. Another funny thing with this Retreat area was that the ventilation inlet and outlet for the forward section of the ship was placed at the retreat area. At specific wind direction the smell of sewer was very intense. I assume that the problem came after the new section was installed in 2015 and the engineers have not thought about the problem of having air inlet and outlet close to each other. I remember one day when we were passing by the most exclusive diamond shop on-board at deck 3 (the Marbella luxury shop) and they were serving free champagne – but the smell of sewer was intense and now customers were in sight. Anyway, don’t expect too much of the Retreat area, it’s costly compared to what you get, it’s “crooked” to get to the pool sight, it’s slow service, smelly and its extremely windy. A final thin is that the hand rails are made of iron bars welded horizontal. Critical thing here is that at the bottom of the railing there is a gap of about 30 cm without any railings. With kids crawling around on the floor its easy to get on the outside of the railing and potentially falling 10 decks. It's strange that HAL do not see this safety blister they have created. All ports were very nice to visit. My personal favorite must be Stockholm. I did not manage to visit Gotenburg as the soap dispenser in the shower/bathtub fall of the wall and hit my toe. Did not manage to walk much that day, but managed to manoeuvre myself supported by the buggy over the pier and into the Volvo museum that were located close to the ship. The weather condition was too windy at the second last day of the cruise to tender outside Helsingborg and the ship continued to Copenhagen. As earlier said the pier location is at the most remote location ever possible in Copenhagen. But, this time HAL surprised us all by offering free shuttle buses to/from the city centre of Copenhagen the whole day. The disembarkation process went very smooth. There is one taxi company that runs to the cruise pier. With two large ships disembarking at the same time the taxi line was 300 meters. People are probably waiting still. The line for the public bus transport was probably 500 meters. My tip would be to install an app on your phone (search for taxa københavn). We made a reservation the day before by using DanTaxi. A taxi looking different from all the others came up showing a poster with my name on leaving behind all the 800 other persons waiting in taxi line. All in all, it will be a great deal of time until we cruise with HAL again. The standard balcony cabins at the new Celebrity ships feels like a suite compared to the tiny cabins offered by Hal on-board Zuiderdam. And Celebrity offers a shower as replacement for the tiny 1,2 meter bathtub especially made for dwarfs! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this 24 night cruise because of the itinerary. It proved a good choice. On board dining and service was what we have come to expect fro HAL. Very good. The ports were worth visiting, particulaly the 2 days in st Petersberg. ... Read More
We chose this 24 night cruise because of the itinerary. It proved a good choice. On board dining and service was what we have come to expect fro HAL. Very good. The ports were worth visiting, particulaly the 2 days in st Petersberg. We did miss our last port, Helsenborg Sweden due to high winds and no pier space. However, the MS Zuiderdam is definitely showing her age. Outside of our veranda, the crew spent nearly every day grinding, chipping, hammering, welding and painting the rusting portions of the lifeboat gantrys. The noise and constant dust/paint chip accumulations on our veranda meant we could not use them. The noise was so loud, that an afternoon nap was not a pleasant wxperience. The type and extent of this work is something that would normally be done during a re-fit not while at see with passengers. HAL did compensate us for our situation and this made us feel a bit better. Would we sail with HAL again? Most definitely. We view this cruise as an anomaly. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My wife and I chose this cruise based on Holland America's reputation for excellence and because of the ports we would be visiting and the excursions available. We explored Copenhagen prior to embarking and particularly enjoyed Tivoli ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise based on Holland America's reputation for excellence and because of the ports we would be visiting and the excursions available. We explored Copenhagen prior to embarking and particularly enjoyed Tivoli Gardens. Both embarkation and disembarkation were handled very smoothly. Flex dining in the Vista Restaurant was well done at all meals. Our balcony room overlooked the stern of the ship. Upon our arrival we noticed the toilet would not flush; the lighting in the bedside table lamps was poor; the balcony chairs and ottomans were covered in soot; the balcony was very rusty and also had mould. The toilet was supposedly fixed during our lifeboat drill on the first day. However nine days later due to run-on the bathroom floor was flooded at 3:00 A.M. Ten days after leaving port and although the issues had been reported, the toilet continued to run-on and the temperature in the shower fluctuated between hot and cold. Over the next three days the wake-up call service was inoperable; the toilet continued to run-on and although requested we did not receive our wake-up call. Our thirteenth day brought a notice that the balconies were being flushed to keep them in pristine condition. This was laughable and I reported to the front desk that our balcony had rust; our wooden rail was down to bare wood, and there was soot everywhere. On the fourteenth day during the night the toilet overflowed again. Finally again, a plumber arrived who guaranteed us he had fixed the toilet. The same day the wooden rail was replaced and the balcony painted. Over the next few days we were charged for a bottle of water we had not consumed; breakfast was delivered half an hour early and prior to our wake-up call. On our second last night while leaving Newcastle upon Tyne the door between our balconies blew open and was banging in high winds. It was re-attached the next afternoon. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I think the ports of call are great, and Holland America has a strength in being port heavy for travellers who like to maximize time exploring countries like me. There was good onboarding and off boarding during ports of call, organized ... Read More
I think the ports of call are great, and Holland America has a strength in being port heavy for travellers who like to maximize time exploring countries like me. There was good onboarding and off boarding during ports of call, organized and efficient. However guest relations response to my concerns were severely lacking. Within the first week, a cleaner had accidentally thrown out my dad's diabetic needle which was very expensive. He went for days without this needle which was detrimental to his health. In addition I was staying with my parents and had a pull out sofa bed in the same cabin, at 5 feet 2 inches my feet were exactly at the end of the bed right before the drawer and the steel rods were poking out of the bed into my back giving me a back ache. During the night, my parents in the dark had to cross over my bed to get to the bathroom, risking the probability of accidentally stepping on my legs. I complained to the front desk after the needle issue and was given a partial credit to cover costs but we still had to pay the balance out of pocket. As a solution to the bed issue, they offered to put another mattress on the pullout, this was after 6 days of discomfort. It wasn't ideal and I felt bad that the cleaner would have to take out the mattress and put it back everyday, and it would also become dirty from being dragged on the hallway, so I just said he could leave it even though it took up a lot of space. There were other rooms available which could have solved the problem but the front desk rep told me I'd have to pay at least $1000 more to move in there. If they had given me a decent bed in the first place I wouldn't need to move! Throughout the cruise I noted that many of the staff other than the cleaners or servers never smiled or said "hi", and just wanted to sell you whatever they had to. On the mandatory drill the first day, the staff member at my session made a snarky comment to me and just gave me a bad look every time I saw him subsequently. I voiced these concerns via guest survey and was given an upgrade from low ocean view to high ocean view and a dinner on the Pinnacle Grill for my next cruise. Instead of giving me any monetary compensation for the trouble, they wanted me to spend at least 3 to 4 thousand dollars on another cruise to be eligible for the upgrade. As fate may have it, I am currently planning another cruise, and saw one that caught my eye in terms of the ports on Holland America; but all rooms on the koningsdam had full ocean view so my upgrade was no longer applicable. The guest relations member I spoke to, Daphney, refused to give me the average monetary value of the ocean view upgrade to my new cruise citing that she was giving me a credit out of "goodwill" and she has final authority to decide the amount, and that it doesn't have to be based on the same or even similar value as my initial oceanview upgrade. She refused to let me speak to the manager saying he never talks to guests, and seemed she was on a power trip thinking she had final authority. I could tell from the rudeness and lack of professionalism that she didn't care if I didn't buy the cruise costing the company over $4000. In response to my email discussing the stunning lack of customer service, the supervisor Lisa reaffirmed all Daphney's arguments. She never gave me a contact number to speak to her directly, and even if she did nothing would change. Obviously I will not patronize Holland America anymore. Why should I give them a chance when they clearly don't care? I'd rather pay more for a company that actually values guests than one who just wants to take your money and treats you like a number. By the way, I have sailed on Celebrity Cruises in the past, and Holland doesn't compare on any level at all. When a smaller customer service issue arose there I was immediately given a reasonable refund, not just a upgrade to my next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
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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