12 Holland America Zuiderdam Senior Cruise Reviews

After 14 cruises with this storied line, I was disappointed with the Copenhagen-Copenhagen sailing that stopped in Norway, Iceland and Scotland:(Lerwick, Inverness were pleasant surprises) All the ports met expectations and more. ... Read More
After 14 cruises with this storied line, I was disappointed with the Copenhagen-Copenhagen sailing that stopped in Norway, Iceland and Scotland:(Lerwick, Inverness were pleasant surprises) All the ports met expectations and more. Holland's receptions had no music; first ship I've been on that had no orchestra; no appetizers, Bloody Mary's had no celery. B-B King's seemed to forget that they were there to play jazz and blues, not 90% rock n roll or whatever it took to get people on the dance floor. If it hadn't been for the Lincoln Center classical performers, there would have been No entertainment. There were no production shows, only a comedian, some signer and a local group that got on in Iceland for one evening that no one understood them or their music. There was an abundance of food that was either tasteless, undeterminable or the chef was left to make whatever he/she wanted. Salads had mushy substances instead of recognizable products(tuna, chicken)???pizza slices had virtually no cheese on them; sandwiches consisted mostly of bread, mayonnaise and mustard(cold cuts, chicken or salads composed less than 10%.) Hardboiled eggs served in room service had turned gray from age. I'd rate the food OVERALL: one level below fast food! Excursions were pricey and in one instance one bus had 64 people on it with one guide in Iceland. Needless to say, it was not worth it! The ports sold themselves in terms of their beauty, offerings and ability to get around on your own. I would recommend future passengers secure their own tours. Disembarkation was efficient and could not come fast enough. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The food was worse than you could imagine -- think truckstop, then go three grades lower. The problem is the sourcing of their ingredients -- EVERYTHING loaded up for an 11 day cruise in Ft Lauderdale and frozen or refrigerated, and ... Read More
The food was worse than you could imagine -- think truckstop, then go three grades lower. The problem is the sourcing of their ingredients -- EVERYTHING loaded up for an 11 day cruise in Ft Lauderdale and frozen or refrigerated, and NOTHING brought in fresh from ports visited, as I've seen on many cruises. Rancid looking shrimp, overcooked dried out chicken, beef you can't cut, slimy BBQ chick at island stop, flavorless bland food, and RECYCLED ingredients constantly -- leftovers are used for 2-3 days. Fruit unripe and flavorless. Flies all over the saladbar ingredients. Only good thing was bread. We had to eat at ports just not to lose weight. I saw things that should not be in any restaurant or ship (I've taken 38 cruises so I know). It's not the staff (which was wonderful) -- it's the company and their rules to put as much $$ on the bottom line by reusing food. Cheating practices -- We were supposed to get a credit for an excursion we did not go on. We are still waiting for this credit 28 days later. Poor entertainment, and nothing to do during the day that didn't lead to you buying something. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose the Holland America Zuiderdam ship for our 2018 Christmas family vacation. The only reason I would give any stars for this cruise is for the room and dinning stewards who provided the utmost impeccable service. Cheers to all of ... Read More
We chose the Holland America Zuiderdam ship for our 2018 Christmas family vacation. The only reason I would give any stars for this cruise is for the room and dinning stewards who provided the utmost impeccable service. Cheers to all of you!!! However, Holland America Ships are severely lacking customer service, acommodations are poorly described. The cabin layout was terrible and considering this was a Holiday cruise, it severely lacked festive activities, entertainment and decorations. We were advised by Holland America the Zuideram Veranda Cabins accommodate 3-4 passengers. We had 3 in our cabin. However, to accommodate anymore than 2 passengers, access to the veranda balcony and bar fridge are "completely blocked" and they had to "remove furniture" from our cabin to make room for the 3rd person for the entire cruise. I guess the 4th person would have had a caught on the balcony because there is absolutely no room for a 4th person. This was extremely disappointing when we had paid the extra $2,000 to have a balcony cabin but couldn't access the door to get out onto the balcony. SAVE your money a book an Ocean View or Interior Cabin for a much lower rate. The Ship's Customer Service Relations were not helpful in providing any alternative nor compensation for the extra cost we paid to have a balcony we had no access to. There were minimal Christmas decorations throughout the ship not making it feel very festive for a holiday cruise. Santa came aboard the ship to visit the 40-50 children on board and gave them all a dollar store gift that broke within the day. We expected much more for a Holiday cruise considering the inflated cost for a cruise during this peak time. We would never consider Holland America for future Holiday cruises. PS to Smokers: there is only 1 smoking section on board and they refuse to let anyone smoke prior to the ship leaving port. It was a long 6 hour wait from the time we boarded to leaving port. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We took this 11 day cruise because of excellent experience on the Westerdam a few years ago. This was our "bucket list" trip through part of the Panama Canal. Unfortunately, this is one of the oldest ships in the HA fleet and ... Read More
We took this 11 day cruise because of excellent experience on the Westerdam a few years ago. This was our "bucket list" trip through part of the Panama Canal. Unfortunately, this is one of the oldest ships in the HA fleet and most passengers complained of the motion sickness which has never bothered us on several cruises before. We observed that by the end of the trip there were at least 20 passengers wearing leg braces due to falls. Remember this cruise caters to mostly 60+ passengers. Perhaps the stabilizers were not functioning properly, but the ship constantly swayed so much that it caused the beds to actually twist while we were sleeping and the walls squeaked. This ship suffers from metal fatigue and many other shortcomings in spite of a muti-million dollar partial upgrade. Many corridors had dryers running the entire trip due to plumbing overflows. We were waiting to enter a theatre and water was dripping on us. We could not use the entire Promenade deck for a daily walk because part was always under maintenance. There have been many cutbacks since our last fabulous cruise with HA. For example, stop in Half Moon Cay was a full day now a half day, gone are the live bands on the pirate ship. No more champagne greeting when embarking except a glass of juice. Breakfast menu in the room cutback on the variety with charges for some items. Parade of staff in the dining room - gone. Lower quality of entertainment overall although we enjoined a few entertainers in the theatre very much. The 10th floor entertainment lounge gone and converted to a high pitch sales lounge for future cruises. There are many more shortcomings which are too numerous to mention. Food quality and variety was generally very good. It seems HA charges for just about everything extra. All the shops on board are boring strictly jewelry and clothing mostly for women. The Microsoft courses were excellent. I should mention we were charged $130US extra after disembarkation when we arrived home. HA accused us of taking the bath robes and towels that were left in the bathroom. It took almost 8 weeks and 3 calls before we were reimbursed. Apparently, this is not an uncommon practice these days. We recommend if you insist on taking HA cruise don't go use this ship. It should be sold off. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
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
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
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
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
Having sailed numerous times (over 200 days) on Holland america I think I can safely say they have dropped from a premier cruise line to a mediocre line. Upon arriving I was told that I was only a 3 star Mariner and I could wait with ... Read More
Having sailed numerous times (over 200 days) on Holland america I think I can safely say they have dropped from a premier cruise line to a mediocre line. Upon arriving I was told that I was only a 3 star Mariner and I could wait with everyone else. Nice remark. I think I saw beef once on the 10 days. The line ha s changed over to pork, lamb, chicken and turkey. It does get old the same meats. They also pushed the Caribbean foods this is not my bad. As for the shows perhaps they need a new supplier. The two comedians were not that funny....The ships singers I did care for though they had great voices , you can't do a rock in roll show with operatic voice. The best show was the BB King. As for the ports we pulled into Bonnaire on a national holiday and everything was closed except for street vendors. In the ports of Panama and Costa Rico you did not dare go into town and they told you that. All tours were into the jungle to see the wild life. Not really my cup of tea. On the good side the crew (stewards and bar keeps) worked hard taking care of you Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Had this been the first HAL ship we ever sailed on we would never choose HAL again! To start with the first 3 days of the cruise the toilets in our cabin as well as the toilets in many of the public areas were not working! It took that ... Read More
Had this been the first HAL ship we ever sailed on we would never choose HAL again! To start with the first 3 days of the cruise the toilets in our cabin as well as the toilets in many of the public areas were not working! It took that long for the crew to fix the problem! The shower water in our veranda cabin was either boiling hot or extra boiling hot! When I complained to guest services they said they will send someone to check it out. It took three days and a demand to speak to a supervisor before a plumber came & changed the water assembly in the shower. On the second day of the cruise we could not open the veranda door to go out on the veranda. That took another two days and a demand again to speak to a supervisor to finally get it repaired as the lock inside the door assembly had broken. But unfortunately when we did go out on our veranda the couple next door was smoking so much that we had to retreat to our cabin because we could not stop coughing. HAL you could easily remedy this by putting smokers in a separate area of the ship so they don't destroy non-smokers vacations! And why is there smoking in the Casino which is open to the rest of the ship and between the dining room and the Vista Lounge where all the shows are? Also we were told three separate times that there was no credit card on file, while I checked us in well before sailing, and got demands each time to put a hold on my credit card for a total of $3000 hold on my card, even though I paid for the trip and had on board credits to cover everything well before we sailed? The service in the Lido dining room was terrible. There were long lines for everything and no one would offer any help. There were servers who stood around and all they would do was cleanup the tables. When I asked if they would bring water or coffee I was pointed to long lines to wait on even for water! The only ship's tour I took was the sunset cruise in Aruba which was fine. I heard many disgruntled comments about the ships tours at the other stops. And one couple was much happier with their tour with Lucky tours, not through the ship, in one of the ports. They said the tour guide was far superior to their previous tour with HAL's company. This ship is old and showing its age! As for the shows in the Vista Lounge, they were Ok but many seats were unusable as they were behind large columns so unless you came very early to the show you would not get a viewing seat. Since we tried to eat at 7 pm, we tried to make the 8:30pm show, by the time we finished dinner & got to the show there were plenty of seats but none where you could see the show without a column in your way. I must commend the maitre'd's in the Vista dining room, anytime dining, as well as our waitstaff, Bennie and Joko and the head chef, Ugo. They went out of their way for us as my husband could not eat certain foods and the food was quite good. We sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam last August from Venice to Barcelona. That ship was managed far superior to the Zuiderdam! Never again on a ship older than three years in this fleet!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Nice itinerary, deluxe decoration, delicious food at Vista Restaurant, friendly restaurant & stateroom staff. A nightmare dealing with the Front Desk, confusing information about credit card deposits. One authorization signed at the ... Read More
Nice itinerary, deluxe decoration, delicious food at Vista Restaurant, friendly restaurant & stateroom staff. A nightmare dealing with the Front Desk, confusing information about credit card deposits. One authorization signed at the Front Desk was stated on my Visa account under an unknown name different from Zuiderdam or HAL. On board credit was blocked without previous notice. Badly maintained exterior surfaces, worn-out sunbeds. Smoking permitted in staterooms and verandas. Passengers in the stateroom adjacent to ours where heavy smokers, smoke smell came both through the aisle and the veranda. Impossible to have breakfast or just sit down in our veranda since those early smoking birds were sitting there from dawn to dusk. The A/C in the stateroom cannot be turned off or at least reduce the vent power. Located right above our bed, we could feel the air blowing over our face the whole night long. Some sailing nights with rough sea we were several times awakened by the sound of creaking panels. We called maintenance and they put some wooden plugs in the angle between the wall and the ceiling During formal dressing nights, those wearing casual were forced to have dinner before 8 PM in Lido Restaurant while more elegant passengers could enjoy dinner at Vista Restaurant till 9,30 PM.WARNING: at every port of call we were told to carry the ship card and a photo ID. WARNING!!. Our passport weren't stamped at any port of call. The Shore Excursions Department informed all passengers to disembark carrying the ship card and a photo ID (not necessarily the passport). In Puerto Limón we took a taxi to Cahuita Park. On the way back we were stopped at a police control. The police required us to show our passports as the ONLY LEGAL ID for tourist in Costa Rica. They also wanted to confirm our date of entrance in the country. The taxi driver solved the situation and we could return to the ship. While the ship was being maneuvered through the chambers of Gatun Locks, passengers who had booked tours were 'locked' inside the ship's theater for 50 minutes as a pre disembarking procedure, preventing them from watching one of the most interesting parts of the trip. I would book another cruise with Holland America just if the selected route is not operated by any other Cruise Line Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
The first criteria was the itinerary. Objective was to visit my daughter who lives in Sitka. This was achieved. How disappointed I was when I first boarded the ship. I expected this to be a first class vessel only to find it very dated ... Read More
The first criteria was the itinerary. Objective was to visit my daughter who lives in Sitka. This was achieved. How disappointed I was when I first boarded the ship. I expected this to be a first class vessel only to find it very dated & shabby. Although the cabin was acceptable, the rest of the ship was definitely in need of a total overhaul from the common areas to dining rooms to pool areas. At each port we stopped, I became more disappointed as I saw ships berthed that looked so much more appealing that the Zuiderdam. I was traveling alone, but had to pay the full amount for two persons. The food was certainly not superior for a ship of this reputation both in the dining room & at the buffet. During my travels I met people from other ships. I was told how appealing their accommodations were. I felt like an old Chevrolet parked next to a new Mercedes. I flew to Vancouver a few days before. I received a message 2 days prior to boarding from my travel professional that Holland America contacted her as they oversold the cruise & wanted to send me out of Seattle instead. I would have to pay to get to Seattle She was appalled by this & told them it was totally unacceptable. I boarded the trip 6 months in advance. On the positive side the staff was very helpful & obliging. Also, the spa was excellent. I highly recommend trying to get more information on a ship before booking a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
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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