14 Holland America Zuiderdam Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Canada & New England

We've been on about 5 cruises with HAL because we feel they offer good value for the price as well as good service, food and itineraries. This time we were very disappointed in our cabin which was supposed to be only partially ... Read More
We've been on about 5 cruises with HAL because we feel they offer good value for the price as well as good service, food and itineraries. This time we were very disappointed in our cabin which was supposed to be only partially obstructed but turned out to be fully obstructed by machinery and a tender boat. We were also very disappointed with the food quality which we would rate mediocre at best. To add insult, we saw a rat running on the Lido Deck where the food buffet is set up. Unfortunately we could not recommend the itinerary either as most of the ports in Canada were quite boring and the optional tours were pretty lame unless you are a fan of Anne of Green Gables or Alexander Graham Bell. With the exception of Quebec City, Boston and Bar Harbor, the rest of the itinerary is a snooze. The Zuiderdam, like many of HAL's ships, is beginning to show it's age. On a bright note, the service by staff onboard was very good and the nightly entertainment was also quite good. Sorry to say we will probably be looking at other cruise lines for our next adventure. 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
Sail Date September 2018
We picked this NYC to Quebec cruise to see New England and Canadian Fall colours but we picked to early in the season to do that. Pre cruised 4 days in NYC and post cruised with 2 day stays in each of Quebec, Montreal and Toronto. ... Read More
We picked this NYC to Quebec cruise to see New England and Canadian Fall colours but we picked to early in the season to do that. Pre cruised 4 days in NYC and post cruised with 2 day stays in each of Quebec, Montreal and Toronto. Departure was relocated from Manhattan to Brooklyn due to damage at Manhattan terminal so was pretty disorganise ashore and messed up transfers. Holland America was it's usual warm, friendly, welcoming way. Cabins ready early so once aboard the relaxation commenced. Much appreciated after the bustle of NYC. Did a walking tour of the Freedom Trail in Boston. Interesting insight into early US history. Bar Harbour is a pretty, friendly little town very easy to explore at your own pace. The Halifax Waterfront is also very interesting and suited to some easy walking. Sydney NS we did a small group tour with Blue Thistle, the highlight being the scenery and the Alexander Graham Bell museum. What a brilliant man. The weather was so foul in Charlottetown that we stayed aboard. That's not a problem on HAL because they do maintain activities and services aboard so it is quite enjoyable. In Saquenay we did the Le Fabuleus Culture show which is an amusing and well staged production in a theatrical hall. Well worth the visit. Quebec is of course one of the most beautiful and historic cities in North America and the mix of French and Canadian makes it a relaxing change from the hassle and bustle of the US. Our onward stays in Canada included Niagara etc and was very a pleasant experience. A good move with HAL is to pre-order a wine selection for the dining room and a bottle of something for an evening drink or nightcap to the cabin. Works out well if you are mainly interested in wine with your meals and the sommelier will keep half bottles for you from meal to meal. Entertainment in the Shows is about what you expect aboard shipe but HAL does provide a very high standard in the Blues Club and other venues round the ship Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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
Sail Date October 2017
We have always cruised with Princess, but decided we would try Holland, because pricing was more reasonable. If this is your first time with Holland, and we did the colours tour of eastern Cananda and Quebec. We started in New York. Best ... Read More
We have always cruised with Princess, but decided we would try Holland, because pricing was more reasonable. If this is your first time with Holland, and we did the colours tour of eastern Cananda and Quebec. We started in New York. Best part of this cruise was old Quebec. There are a few things one needs to know. We were unsure of their tipping policy until we received a copy of our bill. Each passenger is charged 13.50 per day or 27.00 for two of you in a state room. These tips are divided, with half going to your state room staff and half to the restaurant staff. 15% Tips are auto added to drink or bar service..Extra tipping is at your discretion if you want to recognize a special staff member. We loved that each passenger could bring a bottle of wine on board. We each brought Port. If you drink wine, check their 3 bottle wine package. It may work out better for you. DO NOT pay for the wifi service on board...I paid 100.00 for 250 minutes. I blew through it in 3 days...the service is slower than molasses running up hill. Wait for ports. Free wifi on the piers. Check what others have said about specific on shore tour destinations before deciding. Some were just not worth it. Booked a room with a tub. Loved the tub. You should also know that the vast majority of passengers on this cruise were over seventy with many even older. Lots of walkers and wheelchairs, which can slow you down a bit getting on excursions or elevators. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Wonderful itinerary- some of the best port visits seen after 7+ cruises. Boston, Bar Harbor, Charlottetown & Quebec were excellent - the latter two very picturesque. My criticism of Halifax was too many ships in port on one day - ... Read More
Wonderful itinerary- some of the best port visits seen after 7+ cruises. Boston, Bar Harbor, Charlottetown & Quebec were excellent - the latter two very picturesque. My criticism of Halifax was too many ships in port on one day - numbers should be restricted. Zuiderdam was berthed in a commercial dock well away from the Pier 21 & adjacent sights. Zuiderdam really needs a refurbishment- looking quite tired & worn. Crew standards extremely high as usual, although entertainment teams seemed reduced in numbers. Not enough "expert" visiting lecturers to develop history, geography sights & culture of visited ports. Sailaway parties seemed minimal. Embarkation & disembarkation very well organised & went very smoothly, Shore excursions & tender transits well organised, although it took a while to stop people congregating near & sitting on stairways near tender gangway area. A big plus was the wonderful efficiency and friendliness of ALL crew members, particularly our cabin stewards& Explorations Cafe baristas Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I would never recommend this cruise to see the foliage with a mid-Sept embarkation date and so I struggled with giving it an excellent rating since it was advertised as "10-day Colors of Canada & New England". But it could be ... Read More
I would never recommend this cruise to see the foliage with a mid-Sept embarkation date and so I struggled with giving it an excellent rating since it was advertised as "10-day Colors of Canada & New England". But it could be I guess if the weather had been cooler than normal instead of warmer than normal. We wore shorts every day except one and that was the last day in Newport. But that being said, the cruise was great. We met some fantastic people from Canada, Germany, London and of course the US. We arrived in Quebec City four days early and did most everything we wanted before we boarded on Wednesday. We chose to board after 1 pm to miss any crowds and we walked on with no lines. Our SS suite was ready and luggage delivered (we had dropped it off in the morning before we went exploring). Suite 6072 on port was close to elevators, mid-ship and really quiet. We didn't even know we had neighbors. Rarely saw anybody in the halls. There is plenty of closet space and bathroom is large with 2 sinks, tub and separate shower. Great beds, pillows and sheets. A few of the bath towels were pretty thin, but most were good quality. The balcony is about twice the size of balcony staterooms'. Our room stewards Komang and Reinaldo, were great - in and out very quickly and always professional and called us by name. Dining - breakfast - several omelet bars, lots of fresh fruit, other stations had many choices, pretty much the same everyday, but a nice variety. Lunch - Italian bar much better than most with make your own pasta and really good pizza. Hamburger station was cooked to order and very good. Buffet was different daily and had a large selection. Dinner - we only ate once in the dining room and weren't impressed with service or food. It was better in the buffet, but then again we ate anytime dining and we choose to eat late so they were trying to end the night. Dinner in steak house was excellent, service was still a problem. We never got asked for more water, wine, bread, etc. We did not leave a tip and told them we weren't happy with it. Our reservation was at 8 pm. Now the Italian rest. was good with no problems. We really liked the buffet because of the selection, timing and service. We weren't thrilled about the buffet closing at 8 pm, but another opens from 10:30 to 11:30 and although it was limited, it was quite good. The service in the buffet is outstanding. There are servers who get all of your drinks, basically anything you need. Don't set your coffee down without something else, because it will be cleaned when you get your food. Entertainment - the piano bar was packed every night and we agree it was great. But the Zuiderdam production shows were very good - we were surprised how good they were. The non Holland acts were also excellent. The activities were pretty standard and at times we wished there was more going on, but loved the Crows Nest with the library, computer stations, coffee bar, although, we understand it is going to be changed in the Nov. update. It was a great place to have a nightcap after dinner because it was quiet after 7 pm trivia. Service - no complaints at all. Joel, John, Stephen, Reuben, I can't even name all of them in the bar service from the Philippines are wonderful. We ran out of Crown Royal and Baileys with about 3 days left in the cruise and I complained on my daily comment card. We were in Boston that day and to my surprise, the bar was replenished. Excursions - We only booked a couple with the ship Baddeck on your own and Titanic Cemetery and Peggy's Cove and they were as described. Folks complain about Sydney, but they should relax and enjoy the weather. We don't need to be entertained 24/7, just enjoy the view. We will definitely cruise Holland again, but our fall foliage will be a flight from Texas to Vermont/New Hampshire and rent a car. Problem - disembarkation - may not have been HAL problem. We were at least an hour late from leaving the ship from our appointed time. We were ready to get home and even though it was nicer on the ship than at the airport, we hated the delay. Better info on airport transfers would have been GREAT. A cab to LGA was $65 and we could've given HAL $58 if we had known how far it was. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We have selected this cruise as understood of good standing ( for the price paid in Europe !) and a good vessel . We have been badly surprised to have to find verandah cabins totally worn out wih bathrooom facilities totally ... Read More
We have selected this cruise as understood of good standing ( for the price paid in Europe !) and a good vessel . We have been badly surprised to have to find verandah cabins totally worn out wih bathrooom facilities totally 'used up ' . Swimmingpool very average and surrounding whirl pools hardly working at all .This vessel has moreover no central attractive atrium place as most vessels have nowadays ,where music etc is around most of the day ;this impacts the general atmosphere .The dinner menus are outdated and have no comparison in quality to what competing lines such as MSC are serving to their customers in Europe . It must however be said that the Staff has proven all over to be excellent and when we made our complaints on the level of quality of dinners , they have been paying high attention to try to correct as much as possible . The management of vessel and departure arrivals and cruising of the vessel is moreover conducted in a most professional way . Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
7th cruise with HAL. Usual high standard of services, especially cabin stewards Santana & Made. As mentioned below, a disturbing situation being locked out of cabin on our balcony occurred sailing from New York City.This situation ... Read More
7th cruise with HAL. Usual high standard of services, especially cabin stewards Santana & Made. As mentioned below, a disturbing situation being locked out of cabin on our balcony occurred sailing from New York City.This situation was made worse by no-one coming to let us out. Either officer below on promenade deck or front desk took a long,long time to do anything about it. It was lucky our neighbour went onto his balcony over an hour after we were locked out! Dining standards in main dining room/s and Lido deck not quite as good as in previous cruises. This itinerary is wonderful. - All port visits were great, except because there were so many cruise ships in port at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Zuiderdam was berthed in an industrial area & this cosequently restricted time available in the Cruise Terminal & Pier 21 areas. There needed to be earlier intevention in stopping people crowding stairways prior to going ashore. Embarkation in NYC and Disembarkation in Qubec was well organised apart for long wait for taxis in Quebec. Zuiderdam is overdue for dry-docking & refits Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My DW and I both wanted to see the changing of the trees so we booked this cruise (and indeed the trees were wonderful). The Zuiderdam was the HAL ship we sailed on years ago and enjoyed so much that we have been sailing on HAL ever since. ... Read More
My DW and I both wanted to see the changing of the trees so we booked this cruise (and indeed the trees were wonderful). The Zuiderdam was the HAL ship we sailed on years ago and enjoyed so much that we have been sailing on HAL ever since. We are both partly retired and can go when we find a cruise to interest us. For us the flying is usually the worst part of the adventure. We arrived in Quebec City by Flight Ease late in the day and went straight to the hotel by transfer. The trip had a stop in Toronto where we did customs and nearly missed our next flight. We stayed at the Hilton and it was good. Just know that eating at the hotel is way expensive. Embarkation went smoothly although slowly. It seems we showed up at the same time as everyone else. Disembarkation at the trip's end was very fast for we chose to do luggage direct and not have to fuss with any bags or carry-ons. The cost is minimal. I would like to take a moment here to let you in on a secret. If you let HAL handle the flights, transfers, excursion, & hotels, going on the cruise is much less worrisome. If things happen while cruising (and did they ever!) HAL takes care of all the details. Same goes for excursions. We missed two ports because of a depression (Hurricane Matthew) in which we had booked excursions and the refunds showed up on our statements in good time. Good luck for those who booked their own for HAL could have cared less. There are real advantages to spending a bit more to book with the Cruise Line. To sooth the pain of missing two ports in a row, we were given a free mimosa. Thanks a lot HAL. The room (4139) is large enough and I think larger than the rooms we have booked on other ships. The balcony is plenty big and has baffles for privacy side to side and for protection from wind. Only some privacy from above as the balcony sticks out more than the floors above. It may be a good bit larger than the rooms on the upper decks.The bath room has problems. If you take a bath, you must use the showerhead to fill your tub. If you take a shower, the water drains real slow and you stand in it up to your ankles. The mirror will be fogged over for the vent in there didn't work at all. The toilet had a button to push and it didn't work. A call to the service desk had a man there to work on it and it did at least work if not well after the visit, and the front desk called to make sure we were pleased. The room is across the hall from behind the elevators and above an exit door to the Promenade Deck. Neither caused us a moment of trouble. In fact it was a real handy spot. Do understand that I'm not young and my hearing isn't all it could be. Most of the noise we heard was from our neighbors allowing their doors to slam. I would book that room again without hesitation. The MDR was a bit of a disappointment as there were a number of large groups on the cruise that wanted to sit together at meals. We like to visit with other folks over a leisurely meal and that pretty much didn't happen. The meals were tasty and the menus were varied. The Lido had a wonderful breakfast (although crowded) and the other meals were just OK. I did leave a small amount of ice cream for you. The Dive-In had good burgers & hot dogs. The Pinnacle Grill was very good. The entertainment was hit-and-miss. Some shows were OK, most were - well - not. There was a stand-out excursion in Boston. It was the "Duck"! The cruise around town was a bit long but the cruise in the James River was long and wonderful. I recommend this one! The Captain took us into a depression with a top wind of 90MPH. I can't see any need to have done that. We were in that for the better part of 3 days. Missed two ports. And it was rough. Remember that the majority of folks on this cruise were elderly with mobility issues. What was the Captain thinking? The rest of the cruise was in mild seas with sunny days. Just perfect - Almost. In Port Canaveral we had an electrical blackout. The power was back on in less than an hour but then the Navigation System wouldn't work. We left port 3 hours late with a promise to use all the engines to get us to Ft Lauderdale on time. Nope! Generator failed. Arrived +/- 2 hours late. HAL worked overtime for us (we had Flight Ease & Baggage Direct & a transfer). DW says never again on the Zuiderdam. Well, I won't hold her to that. There were many negatives but many plusses too. Read Less
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
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because we had not been to either New York or the Maritimes before. We had cruised Holland America many years ago and enjoyed their ship and service. Zuiderdam is very spacious, well laid out, and by the 10th day ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had not been to either New York or the Maritimes before. We had cruised Holland America many years ago and enjoyed their ship and service. Zuiderdam is very spacious, well laid out, and by the 10th day we found it easy to navigate. The crew and staff are very well trained and were always smiling and eager to help with any request. The shore excursions we booked with HAL were informative and satisfying but we feel that they are starting to get pricey. We booked an independent tour in Halifax and found it extremely informative and fairly priced. Cabin was clean and up to our expectations - lots more storage space than initially thought - the bathroom was definitely larger than on our previous cruise with Princess. Cabin layout is comfortable and balcony on cabin 4027 is deeper than other cabins on decks above. We chose open dining as we preferred to eat a bit earlier than late sitting - lucked out with great table companions the first night - we ate dinners together the rest of the cruise. Getting a table at 6:30 pm was sometimes delayed but usually no more than 15 - 20 mins and the maitre d was most helpful - seated us at a window table at the stern - fabulous view. Food everywhere on the ship was excellent - dining room choices were varied and selection in Lido cafe also very good - very sensible having staff dish out portions as tendency was not to overeat. We attended half the shows - ships band was very good - most shows good but typical cruise entertainment - could never say "fabulous". One excursion in Saguenay Quebec, La Fabuleuse at a theatre in La Baie was incredible !! The sights and sounds on stage, with animals, vehicles, gunfire, fires, floods made for a spectacle at least equal to the best you might find on Broadway or theatres around the world. Embarkation was painful !! we stood in a snaking line for more than an hour - no place to sit - no rest room breaks - wonder why they can't take passengers on the way they let them off - in stages - by deck or by category - or spread out by arrival time. there has to be a better way. Disembarkation went very smoothly - lineups were minimal and handling of luggage and taxi s was great. In summary, Holland America is a line for mature travellers - Zuiderdam a very comfortable and classy ship - outstanding staff and service - above average dining and an experience worth repeating. The New York to Quebec City itinerary was very interesting and mostly smooth sailing although the Maritimes were hit with the tail end of Hurricane Matthew just days after our cruise ended so I wonder how the passengers doing the Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale route managed . . . Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Older ship badly in need of an overhaul and updating. The loading area was the start of problems. Poorly organized when we were one of the last groups to board. Aggressive staff trying to militarize getting boarding passes.on board there ... Read More
Older ship badly in need of an overhaul and updating. The loading area was the start of problems. Poorly organized when we were one of the last groups to board. Aggressive staff trying to militarize getting boarding passes.on board there is absolutely nothing they do not charge for. On previous cruises (Oceania)at least we had free water. Not here $3.25 per bottle. Dining fair service but diner food.not worth the time for a sit down meal. One of the front desk staff (Gisa) was one of the highlights on the cruise. Would not go on another. HOlland America ship again for a free cruise. Walked on the 3 rd deck daily always wet and poorly kept. Our room was nicely serviced by our staff. The lifeboat drill was a joke.the buffet on the 9th.deck had a fair assortment of dishes but nothing was outstanding as the brochure says. The best entertainment was the Adagio a young Polish violinist and her piano accompanist. Read Less
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
Sail Date September 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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