1 Holland America Zuiderdam Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Mediterranean

This was our first cruise, Holland America Line ms Zuiderdam, 11-NIGHT ADRIATIC DREAM. We booked a Signature Suit, SS, Location: Upper Verandah Deck. Check in was fast and efficient, off to a good start. The suite was a reasonable ... Read More
This was our first cruise, Holland America Line ms Zuiderdam, 11-NIGHT ADRIATIC DREAM. We booked a Signature Suit, SS, Location: Upper Verandah Deck. Check in was fast and efficient, off to a good start. The suite was a reasonable size with plenty of wardrobe space and a safe. The large bed was five stars, very comfortable. The bathroom was a little old fashioned but OK. The suite was not completely ready, no bathrobes and no bathroom slippers. Also the air conditioning was not working and the room was hot. Phoned guest services and after four attempts, their phone system kept cutting off, explained the problems and was promised a resolution. Bath robes and slippers arrived. Towards the evening of the first day still no resolution of air conditioning problem. After using the shower, which had an old style with plastic curtain, we found the conditioner dispenser was not working. So contact guest services again. Spent a hot night in the temperature sense. In the morning of day 2 saw the cabin attendant to see if he could get some action with the air conditioning. He fetched his boss, a man with a clip board no less, and he promised some action. Just to make sure we visited guest services in person to chase up the air conditioning problem and also enquire what bathroom amenities we should expect in the way of cotton buds and the like, you know basic things in any 3 star motel. The front desk lady seemed surprised that a customer in a Signature Suite should expect such luxuries. Anyhow a few hours later a tumbler arrived with some cotton buds and cotton balls. We went out for a few hours and upon return to the cabin no resolution of the air conditioning problem. So down to guest services again and asked if I could see someone who could sort my problem, maybe the Captain? Or could I bring my bedding down to the reception area and sleep in the cool there? My conversation was overheard by a lady who I think was a supervisor, She dispatched one of her staff with a thermometer to check if I was telling the truth. Yes the customer was not lying, it was 25.5C in the cabin and they would get someone to fix it. Later a man who looked the part in overalls turned up and we left him to it. A few hours later we returned to the cabin and found that he had “improved it worse” now 26.8C. Again phoned guest services and they “would get the maintenance supervisor to look into it ” Why could this not have been done yesterday? We went out for the evening and when we got back wonder of wonders we had a cool room. From this point on things did improve, a man from guest services called in to check everything was now OK and the following morning we received a follow up phone call from guest services to check all was OK on the air conditioning front, so all’s well that ends well but initially it was hard work to get some action. Later a letter arrived from the guest relations manager saying their technical staff were going to perform necessary maintenance on the air conditioning system. This begs the question if they knew they had a problem why not say on day one then we could have understood and not get so frustrated. A couple of days later we were offered a Pinnacle Grill dinner and wine as an apology. Well done HAL for coming through in the end. So now hopefully on with the cruise. On the good side we cannot fault the catering, truly five star. (See separate Pinnacle Grill Dining Experience and Le Cirque reviews), All the meals were delicious and well presented. Well done the F&B staff. The Vista Dining Room offered impeccable service from a well trained and friendly staff serving some of the most delicious food I have ever tasted. On one occasion we had breakfast served in our suite, it was on time, hot and delicious. The casual dining area, Lido, also offered a great range of good food served cafeteria style in clean and friendly surroundings. Wow! Forget the cruising just tie up the boat somewhere and we would enjoy a week of food and wine. The cabin attendants kept the room clean and tidy, again well done. In fact the whole ship was kept immaculate both inside and out a credit to the hotel manager and his staff. We bought an unlimited laundry package, clothes promptly laundered and returned, well done laundry department. We were in the middle of a six week holiday so being able to keep up with laundry was worth the cost of the package. We had an Evening at Le Cirque and were underwhelmed. Even taking into account I confused my Chateaubriands’ with my Beef Wellingtons we were as underwhelmed with what was supposed to be the culinary highlight of the cruise ‘An Evening at Le Cirque’ We have been racking our brains to find the reason why we were so disappointed and finally realized that it was not that the food was so bad but that the meals in the main dining room were so good so Le Cirque was not worth the additional expense. The only difference I we could discern for the additional US$98 was that the plates have a monkey painted on them, the napkins had “Le Cirque” printed on them and the glassware was nicer. Also we were surprised that we had to order our desserts at the start of the meal not something we had come across in a supposedly ‘up market’ restaurant. The staff seemed a bit on edge not making for a relaxing experience. Sorry but for these diners it was not worth the extra money. On the last night we had Pinnacle Grill Dining Experience. After our previous dining experience at the Pinnacle Grill, Le Cirque, which involved plates with cartoons of monkeys on them, our expectations were not high this time. But this time our expectations were met with excellent service and good food. Even the staff appeared more relaxed and friendly on this visit. The PG is somewhere for that special occasion. The food is good, the service attentive and the evening very pleasant. So things came right in the end after a disappointing start . Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
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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