107 Holland America Zuiderdam Senior Cruise Reviews

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
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
A TransAtlantic offers us a lengthy cruise at a reasonable fare with lots of sea days to relax and/or take advantage of the amenities and activities of the ship. We've done several before and always had a good experience. Holland ... Read More
A TransAtlantic offers us a lengthy cruise at a reasonable fare with lots of sea days to relax and/or take advantage of the amenities and activities of the ship. We've done several before and always had a good experience. Holland America attracts us (seniors in our late 70s) because of the spacious and comfortable Neptune suite and the accompanying Neptune Lounge which offers service and fine snacks all day. This cruise offered a good number of sea days as well as interesting ports with a final destination of Copenhagen where we visited a lifelong friend. So, ideal of us. Check in at Ft. Lauderdale was smooth and we were soon in our suite with the luggage not far behind us. I love the layout of the Neptune Suite but it's quite out of date compared to other HAL ships and is ready of dry dock which I understand is coming up in a few months. The verandah lounge chairs lacked cushions and for someone who likes to nap out there, I had to carry out my bed pillows etc. to get comfortable. More about the cabin in cabin review. The first few days out of Florida were sunny with low to moderate seas. Unfortunately, as we got further northeast we encountered wind and higher seas and, by the time we got to Normandy (having had to miss the port of Horta, Azores due to high wind and seas) it was raining. So weather this particular trip really was an issue. And we often couldn't use our verandah because of the cold and wind. But that isn't the ship's fault. As suite passengers we had the privilege of going to the Pinnacle Grill for breakfast each morning. That was nice not having to deal with the usual Lido crowds on those sea days. Food and service were very good. We went to the main dining room almost every night and food and service were consistently good. Evening entertainment, particularly the singers and dancers, was excellent. However, with a 6:30 and an 8 p.m. show, we often had to change our dinner time or rush in order to catch something we didn't want to miss. Movie theatre played great movies but was usually too crowded to get in to see. My husband enjoyed the gym every morning. Cooking classes were fun. There were many interesting enriching lectures to take advantage of. We loved the dueling pianos on Eurodam and were disappointed they aren't on Zuiderdam. Yet. I'm guessing they will be. Crew service and attitude were excellent across the board! Because we were visiting in Denmark, we shipped our big bags back home to Florida. Although expensive, it was very worth it. We walked off the ship in Copenhagen with our carry ons and walked right out to the street. Amazingly easy and quick. I'm sure Zuiderdam will have a pretty new face after dry dock and that is needed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We are seniors and this cruise was tailored for us The ship is a bit old, but is laid out well . I walk a lot and like the full promenade deck. Cabin (7028) has a very good design. Liked the curtain between the bed and bath as ... Read More
We are seniors and this cruise was tailored for us The ship is a bit old, but is laid out well . I walk a lot and like the full promenade deck. Cabin (7028) has a very good design. Liked the curtain between the bed and bath as wife is late sleeper. Shower is nice and large but curtain is pesky as always. We were not bothered by motion even though seas we a bit high a few days( neither of us have any problems with motion) Stewards were very good which is common on Rotterdam deck. Furniture is pretty worn and the TV has a very small screen. Food was very good overall in all venues. Nothing fabulous, but almost all well prepared. On the minus side, not a great selection of fruit, eggs Benedict not warm in the Lido even though prepared to order, coffee was not a good as previous HAL trips, and specialty coffee bar (Explorations Cafe) was not very convenient to large areas of the ship. Enjoyed almost all the entertainment, especially the live lounge music, but remember we are seniors and this music caters to that niche. Shows were good and sets outstanding. Lecturers and enrichment activities were good and varied, as they should be on a transatlantic. Wonderfully friendly, helpful crew; only saw 1 person that was a bit sour continually. Bad weather in Horta and Cherbourg. Been to Ponta Delgada before so just took the little train and walked around, very pleasant. Walking tour in Brugge with a guide from last year and did the canal cruise. Nice docking in Amsterdam itself,great city. Stayed extra day in Copenhagen and was rewarded with a beautiful Saturday! Great, relaxing cruise, but leave the kids and young adults at home. They will be bored stiff. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was the third cruise with HAL. Visiting the Panama Canal was on the bucket list. Several aspects of the latest cruise deserve some remarks. The food selection has gotten smaller compared to earlier cruises. The main dining service was ... Read More
This was the third cruise with HAL. Visiting the Panama Canal was on the bucket list. Several aspects of the latest cruise deserve some remarks. The food selection has gotten smaller compared to earlier cruises. The main dining service was dismal. An hour and a half for a three-course meal is too long. The food selection in the Lido also has been reduced over previous experience on the Eurodam. The entertainment was mediocre at best. The Zuiderdam shows its age. Maintenance seems to suffer. Light fixtures had missing bulbs. The toilet stopped flushing in the middle of the night. While the Filipino crew was very friendly, the language barrier limited the interaction to the bare minimum. Explaining the malfunctioning toilet was a major effort. The public address system often did not work on our deck (deck 6). This made it difficult to respond to several fire alarms that turned out to be minor issues. Conclusion: This was our last cruise with Holland America and cannot recommend it to our friends. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
It was our 50th wedding anniversary and we wanted to go some where out of the winter cold,, The weather was hot and humid each day. Wonderful/ We would have liked to have more to do on ship during the day.. Dinning in the vista dinning ... Read More
It was our 50th wedding anniversary and we wanted to go some where out of the winter cold,, The weather was hot and humid each day. Wonderful/ We would have liked to have more to do on ship during the day.. Dinning in the vista dinning room service was poor. Not at all what we had on other ships. We ate there 3 nights then went to Lido deck food the same there and service was good. Our Cabin 5129 was great spacious and mid deck. Had a tub in our bathroom this was a first for us. Cabin stewards service was superb, awesome, could not have ask for more.. Our room was always neat and clean. We also thought the journeys ashore were very expensive. We had three days at sea at the end of trip and would have like to have more activities to do on board. Our balcony was spacious and great views.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Chose this cruise for the itinerary because it included the Panama Canal. The ship is older and needs to be renovated. Our cabin had a tub which should be removed and replaced with a shower which will provide more room to move about. The ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary because it included the Panama Canal. The ship is older and needs to be renovated. Our cabin had a tub which should be removed and replaced with a shower which will provide more room to move about. The closets in the cabin creaked which made it difficult to sleep. The carpets are well worn, some areas of the ship smell bad, the entertainment, food and dining service leaves a lot to be desired. Even the "specialty" restaurants did not deliver as hoped. The best part of the cruise was the BB King Blues band. Most of the excursions were interesting but expensive. The comedian/ventriloquist joked that the average age of the guests was 108...he wasn't far off. This was the oldest crowd that I've ever cruised with. They provide good facilities, scooters and such for the disabled client. I definitely would not recommend this for a young couple. My advise is to choose an ALL-INCLUSIVE resort or cruise because by the time you pay for EVERYTHING (including water) you will spend as much if not more. Because of this experience I will not choose Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Holland America generally appeals to an older crowd and as a couple in their mid-sixties we were definitely among the youngest onboard. The Zuiderdam is starting to show her age (a 2002 build) with some upgrades made. We were told that ... Read More
Holland America generally appeals to an older crowd and as a couple in their mid-sixties we were definitely among the youngest onboard. The Zuiderdam is starting to show her age (a 2002 build) with some upgrades made. We were told that she was due for a heavy dry dock later this year. Service on board was exceptionally good. The Indonesian and Philippine crew members were always smiling and met or exceeded expectations. The Dutch technical crew were all but invisible--the only time we saw the captain was one night when we ate at Cannaletto, the extra charge Italian restaurant. He and the staff captain were sitting at the next table. We were in a Signature Suite--nice and large at about 350 sf and an extra large balcony that held two recliners, two chairs and a table with room to spare. Our room steward managed to spruce up the room at least three times a day with fresh towels and beds straightened after an afternoon nap. Decor had a definitely dated look but had been refreshed with new soft fittings and drapes. We took one shore excursion in Panama and visited "Monkey Island"--definitely the highlight of the trip. Disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale was time-consuming and very slow but arriving on a Sunday with six other cruise ships made for a very crowded port area. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We choose the 10 Day Cruise instead of the 11 Day because we liked the only being at sea 1 day between ports. We drove from Iowa to Ft Lauderdale and arrived in time to embark without a long waits or lines. Parking was very close to the ... Read More
We choose the 10 Day Cruise instead of the 11 Day because we liked the only being at sea 1 day between ports. We drove from Iowa to Ft Lauderdale and arrived in time to embark without a long waits or lines. Parking was very close to the ship terminal.Embarkation was smooth and we we liked the efficiency of the the process. Our stateroom was a handicap accessible (ordered by choice) interior and was very spacious. Our Steward was very attentive and helpful throughout the the cruise. We selected open dining, but made reservation each night at 5:30. We requested the same table so we knew where we would be seated. The Dining staff knew our names and what we liked after the first night. The food was very good, but not as good as we had experienced on Carnival. The was a daily Microsoft Digital Workshop on the cruise, and I attended several of the daily sessions. They were all on some aspect of Windows 10 and I got a lot out of them. The instructor was very knowable. There was also a daily Q&A about Win 10 and allow you to ask suspect question about you personal use of Win 10. We got off the ship at each port, but only went on one excursion. In the other ports we explored the lock markets and streets of the port. In Jamaica we hired a local taxi and drove the country side. It was cheaper than the excursion, and we saw just as much. In Costa Rico we took a bus tour and it ended at a Tourist stop with Caribbean Dancers. We saw two shows on board Matilda & Patrick, and a Comedy Magician. Both were excellent. Overall this was a very good cruise. I would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The cruise experience was as I expected. We wanted to see the Panama Canal and that entailed three full days at sea and the ports we stopped at were not very interesting. Our problem with the cruise was illness. I had two episodes and ... Read More
The cruise experience was as I expected. We wanted to see the Panama Canal and that entailed three full days at sea and the ports we stopped at were not very interesting. Our problem with the cruise was illness. I had two episodes and my husband one. We were quarantined to our room the last two days of the cruise. Although we didn't request a visit, a nurse did visit us but there was nothing she could add to what we already knew as we are health care professionals. We were each charged $65.00 for her visit. We were told we could order a meal but when I tried to place an order, I was told the kitchen was closed. We were able to order cokes for which we were charged. Not a very satisfactory way to treat paying guests who weren't supposed to leave the cabin. We were among the first to disembark so we wouldn't infect anyone else. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose to cruise on the Zuiderdam ship because it went to the Southern Caribbean, Central America, and the Panama Canal. The price was excellent for a long cruise. We had a great cruise with no real issues. I had read some rather ... Read More
We chose to cruise on the Zuiderdam ship because it went to the Southern Caribbean, Central America, and the Panama Canal. The price was excellent for a long cruise. We had a great cruise with no real issues. I had read some rather negative reviews so I wanted to share my experience to balance out the reviews for this ship. I would cruise on this ship again as it provided us a wonderful, laid-back cruise with outstanding service throughout the ship. Embarkation: We arrived at the cruise port by taxi from Ft. Lauderdale Airport. This is a short 10 minute taxi ride which cost about $20.00 (set by Florida law). Once we arrived at the cruise port, we had to stand in line for an hour to embark. Even though this was not an awful experience, it could have moved faster. I think we just arrived at the prime time (12:30pm) when most people arrived. They did need more help during embarkation, at least for this busy time period. Once on board, everything was great. Our room was ready when we arrived with luggage arriving in about 2 hours. LIdo Dining: We had lunch on the Lido deck the first day and most days thereafter. We found the food choices varied and good. Service on Lido was excellent with wait staff bringing drinks to your table once you obtained your food. The Lido staff was helpful, pleasant, and hard-working. We usually ate lunch here each day and found the food to be good. We really liked the salads which the staff made as you selected items from a diverse choice of ingredients. They make the salad to prevent spread of germs which I applaud. I hate buffets where everyone touches the utensils to serve themselves. This staff ensures less spread of germs by serving the cruisers. Ship: The ship is an older ship but did not look completely worn out as some have reported. The outside had been painted so we did not see the rust others discussed. The outside is dark navy and white which is not beautiful to look at but that is not why we choose a ship. Some carpets had been replaced but some needed to be replaced. Some furniture was outdated but not torn or in disrepair. Overall, the ship was easy to navigate, clean, and well-designed. We actually loved the ship and would sail on it again. The art work and decor is vibrant and interesting (sometimes strange looking) but colorful. I never saw anything that looked dirty or in disrepair on this 11-day cruise. There needs to be more shopping on the ship. The shopping was extremely limited on this ship. However, that is not why I choose a ship, either. Dining Room: We loved the formal dining room (Vista). The food choices were varied and mostly good. The highlight of the formal dining room was the staff. They were outstanding, making the experience so nice. We never went to the restaurants that charge extra as we were pleased with the formal dining room menus. We ate there each night. We did not eat breakfast in the dining room but many did and liked it. We preferred room service as we enjoy eating on the balcony in our room and not rushing out in the mornings. On my partner's birthday, the dining room brought a beautiful cake and sang to him. They did this twice that week. It was very nice. Room: We had cabin 4145 and it was great. We had an extended balcony with lounge chairs and a table. For the first time on my cruises, I had a bathtub which I truly enjoyed. The balcony room (Category VB) was adequate in terms of storage and space. I would like to see more up-to-date furniture and a larger TV but this did not negatively impact our trip. The bedding was really good. I have never slept so well on any ship as the mattress and pillows were fantastic which is very important on an 11-day cruise. Overall, the room served our needs well. We had plenty of space for two adults, ample storage and closet space, and a great balcony. There are drawers under the sofa and under the bed which was nice to have for things you did not need every day. Service: Our room stewards were fantastic. No matter what I asked for, they provided. They even brought me a fan because I am very hot-natured but my partner likes the room warmer than I do. The AC worked fine in the room. Our stewards kept the room clean and were always available to assist us, if needed. The deck is showing its age but it was clean and very large compared to other lines we have traveled on. The service on Lido and the formal dining room was great, too. We found bartenders and wait staff in other areas of the ship to be very customer-focused. We have no complaints about service. In fact, this is one of the best ships for excellent service that we have traveled. Entertainment and Activities: The band in the BB Blues Club was outstanding, playing a variety of music that the cruisers loved. We danced there every time they were playing. They usually take one night off each week. The room (Queens Lounge) has a great design being shaped like a half moon with the band on a stage and a dance floor in front of the band. From anywhere in the room, you could see the band and the dancers. We loved dancing in this club. The Disco Club was not some place we wanted to dance. It is definitely designed for a younger group. The show band played about 5 out of 7 nights from 5-8 in the Ocean Bar which allowed ballroom dancers a venue to dance. However, there needed to be more dancing in this area beyond 7:45pm. Some nights, there was no music in this area. The shows in the theatre were alright but the singers and dancers were not super talented and the shows were short (about 45 minutes). The band and dancers usually only had about 3 shows in an 11-day cruise. However, the band did play for other events and the band was great. The comedian acts were very mediocre. This is the one area that the ship needs to improve for future cruises. Activities included cooking classes, fitness group activities, technology workshops, and art meetings. There were 3 days that included dance lessons but there needed to be more dance lessons offered, especially with so many older cruisers aboard. This is a great exercise for older adults and a way to socialize. There were cards games, etc. offered but we did not do these types of activities. I did learn how to make creme brulee which is a favorite on the ship. We did attend dance lessons but not enough were offered. I do think the cruise director needs to add more dancing classes on the ship. The casino is very small but includes different games to play. Ports and excursions: We loved Aruba and visited the city and interacted with the people. The beaches were pretty and the people were very friendly. We did take several excursions and was pleased with them as they were as described. Curacao was beautiful. We toured the island with a cruiseline excursion and enjoyed learning about the culture of the people. In Costa Rico, we visited the city and visited the banana plantation plus visited a village where the people shared their culture through dance with us. The private island was outstanding with many activities, including a lunch prepared by the cruise ship staff. Due to inclement weather, one of our excursions was canceled by the cruiseline and we were refunded. The Panama Canal was awesome to experience. Many people got off the ship while we were in Lake Gatum but we remained on the ship to travel through the locks again. Overall impression: We loved this cruise. We are 64 years old and found that most cruisers were above age 55 which meant it was a quiet experience in all venues we visited on the ship. We enjoyed the quietness of this cruise and found the overall experience was excellent with the service being the best part of the ship experience. I would cruise on the Zuiderdam again, even though she is an older ship. We loved the BB Clues Band and enjoyed dancing each night on the ship. Food was very good and offered diversity to suit various tastes and preferences. I am ready to go again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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 I sailed from Bergen to NYC.Sailing through Hermine the captain made the correct call missing Nova Scotia and head for NYC. I enjoyed the city for a full day.Hop on hop off for$64.00 with ferry. It appeared as though they are ... Read More
Zuiderdam I sailed from Bergen to NYC.Sailing through Hermine the captain made the correct call missing Nova Scotia and head for NYC. I enjoyed the city for a full day.Hop on hop off for$64.00 with ferry. It appeared as though they are short staffed rarely extra staff was called in when it got super busy.I was disappointed in finding out the ship had no self serve laundry.$30.00 abag or $110.00 unlimited.Very hard working staff and friendly. I was surprised to hear the ship ran out of 4 or 5 different beers.The onboard entertainment could be better and a longer show to boot.The milk cartons were the worse you had to punch a straw through the top, good luck trying to open it to pour.I suggested to the cruise line to offer extended days in certain ports.1 day in Reykavik was not enough I hate to rush to see as much as I can.They decided to fix some area on the lido area interrupting seating.I feel the whole needs reconfigurating.not enough seating at prime time.The casual smart dining menu is similar a lot if the times.So if you want to sit for an hour and a half or two it,s up to you.I also don't know why they only offer happy hour in just 2 locals.I heard they are going to dry dock the ship in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our first cruise and we had mixed expectations. But overall we felt it to be a good experience. We found that the Zuiderdam was a well maintained ship, the staff very serviceminded and the food was good and varied. However ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we had mixed expectations. But overall we felt it to be a good experience. We found that the Zuiderdam was a well maintained ship, the staff very serviceminded and the food was good and varied. However on the negative side was the last two days experience. The tropical storm that started in Florida had worked its way north along the US-eastcoast, and would come to our waters. So the captain decided not to go into Halifax but instead to sail directly from St. Johns (New Foundland) to New York, our final destination. He had so decided to ensure the passengers and the ships safety. But we experienced two days in windforce 12 with winds up to 90 miles/hour and wawes of up to 6 meters. A terrible experience. We fail to understand why the captain did not go into Halifax to await better sailing conditions. As we did not habour in Halifax we asked the frontoffice on the ship whether we would receive a credit for that reason. The staffmember, after consultation with a superior, confirmed, that all passengers would "automatically" receive a credit for habour due and other fees not spend as we did not land in Halifax. Following our return to home we have received no credit. We have written twice to the cruiseline, but no reply nor action. Then a telephone call to their customer service, which promised us the credit. Now 6 weeks after the cruise nothing has happend. We find this very bad service and very bad for their repution. Thus this critics. Read Less
Sail Date August 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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