14 Holland America Zuiderdam Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Baltic Sea

We chose this cruise purely for the itinerary, and knew nothing about Holland America. But so glad we took a chance! Friendliest crew we have ever met on a cruise- ok. we didn't meet our cabin steward till the second day, but no ... Read More
We chose this cruise purely for the itinerary, and knew nothing about Holland America. But so glad we took a chance! Friendliest crew we have ever met on a cruise- ok. we didn't meet our cabin steward till the second day, but no problem. Lots of things on this ship that we felt were done very well. We loved the system with sunbeds- no need for pool towels in our room- they're already rolled up and ready to use on the beds. Great retractable roof over the pool, and we were always able to get a bed there when we wanted one. Food in the Lido and restaurant was generally of a high quality- I loved the make your own salads in the Lido. Although the ship was full, it never seemed crowded anywhere. Evenings meals we had in the restaurant. We generally went down about 7, asked for a table for two, maybe had to wait 10 minutes, then straight in. Maitre d always very accommodating, as were all of the staff. Our cabin was on Rotterdam deck., towards the rear of the ship. Very comfortable, very quiet. Entertainment in the evening was ok. We enjoyed B B Kings, Trivia quizzes ( met some great people) and some of the entertainment in the theatre. Billboard wasn't for us, although they were very popular. Daytime activities on sea days we found to be very limited, but that's no different from most cruise ships we've been on. Gave me time to catch up with reading! The Crows nest area we found to have a bit of a strange layout. No library on board this ship, which was a first for us- books available to read in the Crows Nest, but we didn't find it a particulary inviting area. We did four shore excursions through Holland America- no problems with any of them, except for the price! Would recommend that people checked out independent tour operators for all the ports- we booked with Travelling Viking in Akeyuri prior to cruise. Prompt pick up at11 in a mini bus, great tour guide, and a lot less than Holland America wanted for simoilar tour. Embarkation and disembarkation very well organised- had to wait a while for coach to come to airport to pick us up for transfer to ship, but because we were the last transfer, went straight onto ship . Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this Baltic cruise because we liked the 10 day itinerary, with only 2 sea days and starting and ending in Copenhagen. We thought our balcony room was in excellent condition, with fresh paint, nice bedding and carpeting and a ... Read More
We chose this Baltic cruise because we liked the 10 day itinerary, with only 2 sea days and starting and ending in Copenhagen. We thought our balcony room was in excellent condition, with fresh paint, nice bedding and carpeting and a sofa bed in good condition. In the public areas everything had been redone with blue and teal furnishings, and it all looked nice. The ship is older with not a lot of razzmatazz but we knew this ahead of time. The entertainment was mediocre at best-we liked the Billboard piano hits the best, the BBKing music was always too loud to enjoy, and the main stage events were mostly acceptable if unexciting. We enjoyed an American Test Kitchen event and went to a wine tasting. Other than that we did not pursue any onboard activities. We like the open promenade on deck 3 for walking around the outside of the ship. The food in the main dining room was just average, with a couple of good meals mixed with some rather poor options. We had two meals in the Pinnalce Grill with one halibut dinner and one steak dinner that were good but nothing especially memorable. The Cannaletto was the highlight-both our dinners there were delicious and the service was excellent. The lido breakfast and lunch were both nice. Overall I think the food is cruise ship average. Given the reputation for service on HAL we were disappointed. Our room steward twice left dirty dishes/bottles in the room. The wait staff often rushed us, hurrying us to take our orders. The wine steward was slow, and complained about having to check for our open bottle in the dining room At the Pinnacle Grill they twice sat us at terrible tables (which we requested to be changed) even though good tables were very much available. We reserved 6 pm dining over a year earlier but they gave us 8pm dining. We asked to be switched to open dining on the first night in the dining room and they said they would do that. Each time we went to the main dining room they said we had an 8 pm reservation and we had to explain the situation again. Overall, I recommend this cruise for the itinerary, and for those who are not concerned about having a new ship with lots of entertainment options, but will be content with pleasant cabins and a low key atmoshphere. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Sailing the Baltics was on my bucket list. The ports were what was expected. The meals onboard certainly was not. Have been on HAL before on an Alaska cruise 4 years ago. Ship was docked quite far away from the city center in Helsinki ... Read More
Sailing the Baltics was on my bucket list. The ports were what was expected. The meals onboard certainly was not. Have been on HAL before on an Alaska cruise 4 years ago. Ship was docked quite far away from the city center in Helsinki and Stockholm. There was a free transfer to town in Stockholm but none in Helsinki. Dining - We dined in the Main dining almost every night as we like to socialize. The food were surprisingly disappointing on this cruise - certainly not up to expectations. Common complaints among our fellow cruisers were that the food were lukewarm when served. I like my soup and meals hot. One good indication is that the plates with the food were cold to the touch. You would expect them to have food warmers considering the number of meals that have to be served. It generally took 2.5 hours to sit through dinner each night. Coffee after meal were no better - lukewarm. We were on Cabin 4014 - right above the Ocean Bar (deck 3). When they have something going on like Trivia Games - they crank up the loudspeaker to the max. Went down to complain and was told this is normal ship operations. Had to leave the cabin when something goes on below - especially on sea days - so beware. Service overall were great. Meals at Lido were much better than the Main Dining or at Pinnacle Grill. Has to send back the porterhouse steak - ordered medium and got a steak that was medium on the edges that got more rare as the cut get closer to the bone! A medium steak should not have blood on the plate. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This cruise was a 100% transport logistic success. From the departure Airport to the final destination airport / from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the ship. We took all arrangements with our Holland America Travel Agent. ... Read More
This cruise was a 100% transport logistic success. From the departure Airport to the final destination airport / from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the ship. We took all arrangements with our Holland America Travel Agent. Arriving at Copenhagen Airport a HA Representative greeted us and led us to the right carousel for our luggage pick-up and then to the bus outside that took us to our well located Scandic Hotel. At the hotel an other HA Representative greeted us and gave us documentation and explanations on the embarkation process and transport to the ship. The disembarkation went smoothly and on schedule. Our luggage were already waiting for us in a big Tent at the Airport. Being both 65 of age my wiffe and I like to be pampered and taken in charge for all the logistic aspects. Holland America is an expert at that. The embarkation process went smoothly. Our suite 6061 was clean and ready at the embarkation. Since that cruise was very tour intensive, we had all our dining in the main dining room. Food was very good. Our dining waiters and sommelier were very smart and attentive to our needs. Along the cruise our cabin stewards did an excellent job at getting our stateroom clean and ready. As some tours depart very early we called our breakfast in our cabin and they were delivered at the time requested. Entertainment and activities: The classic musicians were excellent along with the BB Kings band. The main lounge musicians were excellent too. We had 2 shows from the ship dancers, 2 excellent shows from a musician duo. On this cruise we noticed that the passenger population diversity was important, so a stand-up comic may not be suited for an international passenger diversity. I would have preferred magicians or juggler, etc. Regarding the general activities onboard our cruise director hasn't been too proactive. We have seen far better on other HA cruises. We had a very informative conference on the famous Fabergé and the sory of the Fabergé Eggs. We called at Tallin (Estonia), St-Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm (Sweden), Warnemunde Port for Berlin and Kiel (Germany). As the tours are expensive we took three tours, St-Petersburg, H elsinki and Berlin. Taking a tour is quite mandatory in St-Peterburg because of the Visa required and the location of the Port. Our two days tour was intensive but excellent with competent toour guide and bus drivers. In Helsinki, the Port being quite distant from the city we took a tour to visit the city, had some stops along the way and also a boat tour in the bay. At Warnemunde Port you need to take a 3 hour train run to Berlin to visit the city. Our tour guide was competent and informative. We had lunch and water provided in the train back and forth. In Tallin and Stokholm you can go by yourself to the city. Kiel in Germany is a nice place to visit by foot too. The ship docked along the boardwalk and marina. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was our second cruise on the Zuiderdam. This ship introduced us to Holland America ten years ago and left us with a very favorable view of the cruise line. This was our fifth cruise on Holland America with the last one being three ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Zuiderdam. This ship introduced us to Holland America ten years ago and left us with a very favorable view of the cruise line. This was our fifth cruise on Holland America with the last one being three years ago on the Eurodam Baltic Sea St Petersburg itinerary. We selected this cruise due to its low price based on lowest category Interior Guaranteed rate. We ended up in a Deck 4 fully blocked view HH category cabin similar to what we had on our first Zuideram cruise ten years ago. The ship was in excellent condition. The cabin was comfortable for the two of us in an excellent location forward, and convenient to elevators. It was quiet due to no interior cabins across from it. The cabin stewards did the usual excellent job of maintaining the cabin. Dining room experience was very good. We had Anytime Dining and over the course of the cruise migrated to having dinner in the 6:15 to 6:30 pm time frame. Since we had no problem sharing a 4 or 6 seat table, we were always seated with no delay. The various sections where we were seated, for the most part, had excellent waiters and helpers. Dinner food was very good to excellent. Lido buffet was as expected: hectic for breakfast and lunch but we could find seats. We found that arriving before 7 am for breakfast gave us the best choices for seating at tables. The Dive In burger setting was nice although one was guaranteed a wait of 20 minutes for their food. The one area that was annoying was the wine stewards pushing wine choices. I thought that Holland America could decrease the number of wine stewards. We did not use speciality dining rooms. Lounges and bars: On previous Holland America cruises I enjoyed the Crow's Nest lounge. Well that experience is gone thanks to the Exploration Lounge. To me, it is just a sitting area with a coffee bar. I missed the Happy Hour promotions for the Crow's Nest and the finger food provided. I did not purchase beverage packages because with only three sea days in fourteen total, it would not be beneficial or practical. Adult beverage pricing a la cart was excessive. Entertainment: I only witnessed one guest group act in the evening. I did not go to any of the production shows due to dining timing and next day excursion schedules. An afternoon performance by a local group at the Inverness port stop was excellent. On Board experience: It was a very laid back Cruise Director with nothing special to entice me to join. It was most likely due to only three sea days. EXC presentations, compared to Princess Cruises, were lacking in my opinion with very general introductions. Internet Packages: The ship has gone to 24 hour rates based on data limits. We took the middle package mainly for emails and Facebook. I don't think we came close to exceeding the data limit and may have survived with the lowest rate. The gotcha here is that they may restrict you from Facebook et al packages. While attempting to print boarding passes on the three workstations near the customer service desk, I could not gain access to the airline website. I just relented and checked in using our Android tablet. Excursions: Since this appeared to be a one time only itinerary, I will not go into details. We used EXC excursions, and except for the excursion to Mt Michel in France, thought it was the way to go. The Mt Michel excursion used very cramped coaches, and the tour guide was lacking in his personal approach (very cold and with an attitude). Embarkation and Disembarkation: It was a typical mad house waiting to check in and board the ship. Groups were called by number. Cabins were ready upon boarding. Leaving the ship on last day was very easy with us doing expedited disembarkation. Walked off ship with our luggage, said goodbye to a very friendly Captain, and was in a taxi bound for the airport with no queues. We easily made our 10:45 am flight to the States. Final thoughts: The Zuiderdam is showing her age well but with no central atrium, some guests may feel it lacking. We didn't since we knew the layout already. With five Holland America cruises now under our belt, we may continue to look at Princess itineraries in the future. We think Princess does a better job with on board experience and speciality dining venues. We could return to Holland America with our three star Mariner membership but to us it is not a grand incentive to do so. Good memories with Holland America especially with the Eurodam may sway us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Missus Charlie and I just returned from the Northern Isles cruise. We upgraded during the last pre-cruise week from guaranteed Veranda to Neptune class stateroom 7052. The crew was exceptionally friendly and attentive. Particular ... Read More
Missus Charlie and I just returned from the Northern Isles cruise. We upgraded during the last pre-cruise week from guaranteed Veranda to Neptune class stateroom 7052. The crew was exceptionally friendly and attentive. Particular plaudits to the Culinary Center, Pinnacle Grill, and Ocean and Explorer staffs. The entertainment was as expected. The on-board troupe occasionally appears to substitute volume and kinetic energy for musical and terpsichorean ability - but, they make a great effort to entertain and deserved the applause. Activities tended toward sedentary which is not surprising given the ship's demographic. (Not a significant complaint, by the way. Neither Missus nor I are into rock climbing. Food was as expected to disappointing. The Pinnacle Grill was uniformly excellent. The main dining room menu occasionally suffered from the idiosyncratic and exotic choices of the Celebrity Chefs to whom Holland has given its menu planning. Food was well prepared and presented. Staff were very attentive. Shore excursions were limited by the Icelandic venue. The Falkirk Wheel and Antoinine Wall were fascinating, though the walk to the wall is longer and its terrain more varied than described. The Blue Lagoon was fun and not too crowded. Some ship carpets and furniture upholstery appeared worn. The exercise center was disappointing. Elliptical machines do not have audio connectivity to television displays. The variety of weight machines was more limited than we've seen on some ships. However, we understand that the ship will go in to dock for refreshment this fall and these minor problems will be corrected. All-in-all, our second cruise on Zuiderdam (and our fifth cruise on the Dam ships) will go down as very enjoyable and worth the price. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We liked the itinerary and as we had travelled with HA twice before, and the price was good as a late booker, we had no hesitation in joining this cruise. The recent refurbishment (dry dock) gave a much needed modern vibrant decor for the ... Read More
We liked the itinerary and as we had travelled with HA twice before, and the price was good as a late booker, we had no hesitation in joining this cruise. The recent refurbishment (dry dock) gave a much needed modern vibrant decor for the Lido buffet, Lido pool area, Vista Lounge and other public areas. Our cabin (outside obstructed view) was spacious and comfortable with plenty of storage space and a very comfortable bed. The bathroom was functional and comfortable. Our steward did a good job - I liked the extras such as shoe shines and the thick bath robes. Most meals were taken in the Lido buffet with colourful modern furniture and decor and complimentary dinner ware including cups and glasses (plastic). There never seemed to be enough staff to serve drinks and clear tables. It was annoying that tables would not be cleared until you left or asked often making the dining table a unpleasant site and messy. As usual we had too many staff on arrival and the second last day to create that favourable impression. Breakfast offered great variety of choices but we often had to circle both sides to get our picks, and there were good smallish sized portions of muesli, cut fruit and fruit juices. It was a bit annoying to close off breakfast at 10am on a few occasions. Lunch provided a very good variety from the hot choices that were served by the cheerful staff (which was not desirable as one likes to choose their piece, amount and placement) it reminded me of my military days queuing up to take what they gave you; salads were put together in a large bowl that looked like my dog's food bowl and you had to que for even if you only wanted a couple of salad items. There was also an Italian corner for lunch, dinner and late snacks that made a variety of pizza and cooked pasta to order. More queuing and sometime quite a wait but it was worth the wait. Also there was made up sandwiches and rolls in paper bags ready to go. The servery closing time is 2pm and once again I think this is a bit early. There was an Asian corner that had some nice choices but were repetitive after a week. A nice variety of Sushi was available every day. Afternoon tea choices were cakes, cookies and some hot choices sandwiches in Lido. Also the Lido pool area had a servery every day with mexican choices that were tasty. Dinner in the Lido started from 5.30pm and ended at an early 8pm. It was then opened for snacks between 10.30-11.30pm. The servery was generally opened later than 8pm and desserts were generally available after the close time. I noticed that the choices of mains and desserts appeared better for the snacks on a couple of occasions I assume mainly for the benefit of staff and performers. Choices became repetitive after a few days - they could have theme nights. We tried the anytime dining in the dining room for dinner when we could not make the Lido times. The service was quick, the food choices and presentation were very good but the waiters lacked knowledge on the make up of the choices and we received a couple of hot choices that were warm. The dining rooms appeared to have excessive staff compared to the buffet areas. Other passengers reported slow and poor service for breakfast and so we chose Lido for these meal. Surf & Turf - Lobster tail and steak was available towards the end of the cruise which was appreciated. The Dive-Inn operated from 11am to 5pm and provided a good range of hot dogs, burgers and fries that were tasty, and the staff very courteous. It was so popular it had to issue pager devices that buzzed when your order was ready. This worked fine well into the Lido area. The spa and gym facilities and staff were very friendly and helpful. I used the spar pass that allowed me the use of the sauna rooms, heated ceramic lounges and the mineral salt spa pool. This was great value as I used it most days. Also I swam daily in the Lido pool. Initially I found the temperature too warm for lap swimming. t was lowered the next day after requesting it. Overall the entertainment in the Vista Lounge was poor and sadly I would have to say that it would rate last of the 26 cruises to date. The dancers were good and the singers were good (except for one lady who sang a bit flat and out of sync at times) but the composition, choice of songs and props were substandard. Not sure of the correct terminology for these aspects. The guest entertainers were below average. The ABBA group was disappointing with only the piano player deserving any recognition as his performances were very good. The others were of little value to the performance. The casino was a bit out dated but the staff were friendly and helpful. The manager gave free drinks which encouraged people to participate. This ship lack a centre/heart (an Atrium) where the action should be like, the Captain's welcome, champagne fountain, farewells etc. My review sounds like a lot of negatives but overall it was still value for money and we liked the itinerary. We think Holland America could do much better. 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
Have never been to any of these countries, ports, or cities. What a opportunity to see as much as possible on one cruise! I chose HAL because I had cruised with them previously x 5. I had read some reviews that made me concerned that ... Read More
Have never been to any of these countries, ports, or cities. What a opportunity to see as much as possible on one cruise! I chose HAL because I had cruised with them previously x 5. I had read some reviews that made me concerned that their level of service, etc. had diminished, and it was 2 years since I was on a HAL ship. The demographic (avg. age) is older than the huge ships, but this is a niche I think is needed in the cruise industry. No worries once I got to the check-in desk in Copenhagen - very speedy, and I was on the ship in a short time. It felt so comfortable. Easy to get around, elegant décor, fresh flowers, art, & plants everywhere. Very few intercom announcements. My cabin was an inside, #7014, very quiet and never felt motion of the ship. The storage was very spacious for me, as I travel solo now. It would have been very tight for 2 persons, but I had no problem storing everything I brought for 24 days (and I bring a lot)! Shower only, which I prefer. I had 2 room stewards who were the nicest and most efficient I have ever had on any cruise. I felt that the dining experiences were much improved since my last HAL cruise. More choices, better tasting, and plated attractively. Of course food is so subjective, and I read comments that the food is bland, not my opinion at all. I ate in Pinnacle x 2, Caneletto x 1, and the very special Le Circ x 1. All just excellent service and food. Lido was also better this cruise with the staff serving the plates, seemed to make the lines a lot faster. Very tasty Asian choices each days. Those persons critical of the "bland" food should have tried them! The Dive-in fries & the Taco Bar are sooo good, I enjoyed the cooking demonstrations, and the flower arranging demonstrations. Also the afternoon teas, and the "Sip & Savor" presentation. There are lots of activities, no "hairy chest" or belly flop ones, those are reserved for the "other ships", thank goodness, Daily movies in a screening room with very comfy overstuffed chairs. The evening entertainment was varied, some singer/dancer shows, other singers & musicians. The "Frozen Planet" shows were just excellent. I attended the "Adagio Duo" every time that I was able - few cruise ships present classical music. "The Band", the Blues Band, and the Piano Man seemed to always have a crowd also. I found the service in all areas to be excellent, the front desk personnel were most helpful with a change I needed to make in my return air reservation, dining room staff, everyone greeted passengers whenever they met in the hallways or public rooms. The ship officers were very visible each & every day - many of them ate in the Lido for lunch. Loved the ports & excursions I took. Some HoHo buses, some private tours, some HAL tours. I would like, please, for HAL to equip their tour guides with headphones. One of them had 40 passengers all trying to get close enough to the guide to hear her. I think the WiFi cost is pretty high - $100 for 250 minutes when the connection speed is not very fast. Summary - I'll stick with HAL whenever I can, if they have an itinerary that I want to see. It is so easy to take a cruise when you don't have to go thru a long "orientation" to the ship & its culture. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The cruise was sold to us by a travel agent and included shore excursions at every port. We were very impressed by the ship, the food and all the activities offered, especially the cooking demonstrations, the Computer lessons and the ... Read More
The cruise was sold to us by a travel agent and included shore excursions at every port. We were very impressed by the ship, the food and all the activities offered, especially the cooking demonstrations, the Computer lessons and the Art Auctions.. The ship was very steady and for most of the time you were not aware of the motion if you didn't look out of a window!! Our Veranda Cabin on deck 8 was quite comfortable and the best was having morning coffee served to you room. Our luggage was lost in transit to the cruise and the ship agents were very helpful and supplied us with toiletries, loaned us clothes and allowed us same day express laundry.till our luggage caught up with us after 5 days! My only complaints were slow service in the evening sit down meals (Vista Dining room) and the midi-core quality of the nightly entertainment in the Vista Lounge. I do think I'll take another cruise with the some day. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The choice was a back to back between Iceland and Russia July 4 through 28, 2016. Copenhagen to Copenhagen. Requested Convertible Twins. Got one king bed. Ask for two separate beds. Stewart gave me a face and said he would do it. Shower ... Read More
The choice was a back to back between Iceland and Russia July 4 through 28, 2016. Copenhagen to Copenhagen. Requested Convertible Twins. Got one king bed. Ask for two separate beds. Stewart gave me a face and said he would do it. Shower head LEAKED. Shower curtain hem covered with MOLD, curtain not connected on two top hooks. i leaned back on the curtain over bed; DUST AND FIBERS FELL OFF AND IRRITATED MY EYES. I was looking for something I dropped and found MANS SOCK UNDER THE BED.TWICE THE CABIN STEWART'S' ENTERED THE ROOM WHILE I WAS LAYING IN BED. THE 2ND TIME WITH THEIR CLEANING EQUIPMENT AND VACUUM CLEANER. THE DID NOT OFFER TO RETURN AT A DIFFERENT TIME. I HAD TO CLIMB OVER THEIR EQUIPMENT TO GET OUT O THE CABIN. July 5 or 6 there was NO A/C. Room was HOT AND STUFFY. I slept with the door open, blocked with a chair and curtain drawn all night.. Bathroom floor was squeaky with dent under the tile. I asked only for ice every day (nothing else)- No ice. I had to call 3 each week for ice. \Empty fruit basked never returned with fruit. I asked the head housekeeper "DON'T YOUR TRAIN YOUR STAFF?" No answer. i ASKED for a cabin upgrade and got a pot of flowers. I asked for a different cabin Stewart. and that I got. The rest of the staff was indifferent and inexperienced. When food service stopped in the buffet and dining room, Only a few items were on the "dine in room" menu and the selection was very poor. Three of the serving staff ('chef"s) in the buffet were rude. MANY of the service people were not trained properly and or poorly trained in food service. The Piano and Violin & The Microsoft classes were excellent. The rest of the entertainment was mediocre. Of the several cruise companies, I've traveled Holland America is the ABSOLUTE WORST!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were a loyal HAL customers. Until now. This 12 day Baltic cruise on Zuiderdam turned our opinion of the HAL upside-down. On second day, we wake up by horrible noise - outside of our stateroom ship’s maintenance crew were scrubbing the ... Read More
We were a loyal HAL customers. Until now. This 12 day Baltic cruise on Zuiderdam turned our opinion of the HAL upside-down. On second day, we wake up by horrible noise - outside of our stateroom ship’s maintenance crew were scrubbing the rust of the life boat holders. The noise were so intensive that we can’t stay in the room. After I complained to the front desk, they told me that nothing could be done. They told us that there are no rooms available, so we have to stay where we are. So our vacation was completely screwed up. We end up spending 8-9 hours on-ship time in the library in somewhat uncomfortable chairs. The problem was exacerbated by my heath condition, which requires 2-3 hours of rest time. On the bright side dining in main restaurant was very good. The food was good and the staff was very kind and professional. The entertainment in the was also good - all highly professional artists Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I was scanning cruises in the Baltic for 2017 when this 2016 cruise to both the Baltic AND the Norwegian Fjords and Scottish Highlands showed up. I learned on the ship it was really 2 back-to-back cruises and many of the passengers were ... Read More
I was scanning cruises in the Baltic for 2017 when this 2016 cruise to both the Baltic AND the Norwegian Fjords and Scottish Highlands showed up. I learned on the ship it was really 2 back-to-back cruises and many of the passengers were on board for only 1/2 of the total. We had not been to either area, so we were glad to combine both in one trip, at about the same price we were looking at for just the Baltic. The cabin with balcony was clean and comfortable, average roominess - plenty for 2 people - with enough storage and a comfortable bed. Room stewards kept it neat and tidy ALL the time. We enjoyed many of the ship's activities. The flown-in entertainment - like UkeBox - was fabulous. The ship's company of singers and dancers seemed a little lackluster, and the tech elements in the big theatre were not well done -- too heavy handed in sound and lights. The BB King Band was terrific in the smaller venue. There was always SRO for the classical piano-violin duo in one of the lounges. So there was plenty of entertainment all over the ship for all tastes. Speaking of taste - we had one dinner at the Pinnacle Grill and it was superb. There were several special lunches for Mariner Club or Collector Voyage guests, and they were top notch. Some of the other meals in the dining room were a little disappointing - tough steak, over-cooked lamb chops, etc. We had some of the best meals in the Lido, where we could choose our own menu at every meal. The special meals on the Lido deck were almost always the best. (I didn't care for the German meal, but I think that was just me) Staff and crew were friendly and efficient, always working and willing to do whatever you need. Bartenders are very personable and an entertainment in themselves. Dorine was very helpful with information about ports and how to get to places on our own. We booked transfer to and from ship and airport through Holland America and we were very glad we did so we didn't have to worry about finding our own way there when we arrived all jet-lagged the first day. On the last day, the ship arranged for a 4:00 a.m. bus for all of us who were flying out on VERY early flights. Not sure we could have done that on our own either. Ports were great. Some sailing times turned out to be different from times originally published, which messed up some of our shore activities, but we always made it back in time. Overall, we really enjoyed it and would go again. We would do the same trip again and spend more time in each port. That's the only drawback to a quick overview like this was, a day in each of 18 ports - not enough time in any of them. We had 2 days in St. Petersburg with a wonderful tour. I would go again and pick a different tour next time. So much to see and explore. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We love Holland America and we wanted to see the Baltic. Nearly all of the ports were wonderful, and St. Petersburg was the standout. It's a MUST VISIT place. Our ship's staff, food, stateroom and common rooms were great, as ... Read More
We love Holland America and we wanted to see the Baltic. Nearly all of the ports were wonderful, and St. Petersburg was the standout. It's a MUST VISIT place. Our ship's staff, food, stateroom and common rooms were great, as we have come to expect from HAL. However, the exterior of the ship was just awful and should be an embarrassment to HAL. There was rust EVERYWHERE! The ceiling of our veranda was covered in rust, the winches for the lifeboats were covered in rust (a safety issue??). From the dining room we looked out and we could readily see a rusty strut on the side of the ship. When I complained to HAL, they sent me a boilerplate response. Maybe we should switch our allegiance to another cruise line. Saying that maintenance must be performed on an ongoing basis doesn't ring true when we've never seen such a rusty ship on any of our over 20 cruises. 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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