8 Holland America Zuiderdam Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Transatlantic

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 I love the layout of the Neptune Suite but it's quite out of date compared to other HAL ships and is ready of dry dock which I understand is coming up in a few months.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 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
We absolutely hated this cruise!! This was our fourth cruise with Holland America and our last! The good parts of the cruise were our room stewards were quite nice and did a good job; our servers in the dinning room were also quite nice ... Read More
We absolutely hated this cruise!! This was our fourth cruise with Holland America and our last! The good parts of the cruise were our room stewards were quite nice and did a good job; our servers in the dinning room were also quite nice and did a good job as well, however, as for the rest of the ships company we cannot say the same. We upgraded from a verandah stateroom to a signature suite. This "suite" was terrible. There was a large crack and a huge hole in the base of the bathtub; the carpeting was torn in several places, there were stains on more than one wall, baseboards were missing from two walls, there was a huge dint in the threshold leading to the verandah, which made this a safety hazard as this was an accessible stateroom and there was a chunk of tile missing from the bathroom floor. Also, even though this was supposed to be an accessible stateroom, the bath towels were placed on a bathroom rack that was over six feet high which made it impossible to reach from a wheelchair or a scooter. Even though all these things were reported to the proper authorities, we were not offered a different stateroom nor a refund. After several phone calls, visits to the customer relations desk and speaking to a supervisor, all we were offered was a bottle of wine. On one particular evening we had reservations at the Pinnacle Grill and the service was so bad that we left. The manager offered us another evening at their expense which we excepted. He made the reservation for that while we were in the restaurant, however, when the evening of that reservation came around, they told us that it had been canceled. After we had left the Pinnacle Grill on the first occasion, we went to the main dinning room to have dinner at our assigned table only to find someone else sitting there. All this has lead us to feel that we would be much better off and get our moneys worth sailing with another cruise line. We will NEVER recommend Holland America again, especially since Holland America did a horrible job of providing excursions for the disabled. We did all those on our own and had no problem setting them up. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Although we are much younger than the average person on the ship, we did enjoy it. The ship itself needs to be upgraded i.e. TVs, stateroom furniture, WiFi, Unfortunately, some of the needed work of chipping rust on deck happened ... Read More
Although we are much younger than the average person on the ship, we did enjoy it. The ship itself needs to be upgraded i.e. TVs, stateroom furniture, WiFi, Unfortunately, some of the needed work of chipping rust on deck happened during our 17 day cruise; which was loud and annoying. Music was changed after a couple of days from up to date music (rap) to 40's, 50's and 60's music which was more appropriate for the age group on board. Entertainment was pretty good but loud singing. They can tone it down. Our reservations in the Pinnacle restaurant were completely botched up but HAL made up for it with a free meal there. The Pinnacle Grill was excellent. All the food on board was great (except for the shrimp and eggs). Cruise Director was excellent (Christina). Shore excursions are too crowded and I would not book another one again. If you can get a taxi at the worst or if you have time get a personal tour and hook up with other people on your cruise with Cruise Critic. Ports were great: Azores (Horta, Ponta del Delgada), A Coruna, Cherbourg, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Copenhagen. The captain was very informative and I give him an A+. The crew in the Lido needs more training. Officers walking through the deck do not make eye contact and don't recognize anyone around. (I think that is awful). I have sailed HAL many times and this is the only time I have seen this behavior (or lack of). Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This is our 3rd Transatlantic cruise in a row. Each cruise had completely different itineraries and we both love the sea days and on crossings there are plenty of sea days to relax as you see fit. My wife and I enjoy the guest speakers ... Read More
This is our 3rd Transatlantic cruise in a row. Each cruise had completely different itineraries and we both love the sea days and on crossings there are plenty of sea days to relax as you see fit. My wife and I enjoy the guest speakers that usually have lectures AM and PM on the sea days. These lectures are very popular and they do quite well with filling up the showroom. We choose the less expensive cabins and many times they offer upgrades from ocean view to balcony suites for very little cost. The more you cruise with a particular line the better chance you have of getting a reasonably priced upgrade. At least this is my experience with Holland America as we have sailed with them 14 times so far. The ships entertainment in my opinion is their weak spot. I am not a big fan of the ship's entertainers. When they bring on a specialty act like jugglers, magicians, comedians, musicians and others they are well worth attending. My wife and I really enjoy the trivia contests held several times a day. There is music trivia, food trivia, pub trivia and team trivia among the many choices. These are usually most plentiful on sea days to help keep you occupied. The crew on all Holland America ships are among the best at sea. One example: On a recent cruise we met a bar server who we had not seen in over a year and he knew our names and what we both drank. I was dumbfounded and flabbergasted. Most impressive! The cruise line offers a great variety of shore excursions and each has a varying degree of activity which is spelled out in advance so depending on your age, health, etc, you can choose the excursion that best fits your needs and desires. We have already booked our next cruise with Holland America so I definitely recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our first cruise on a Holland America ship and we found it to be the nicest we have yet experienced. We have sailed on NCL and Celebrity in the past. We combined two separate cruises to get a 29 day total. The first was a 17 ... Read More
This was our first cruise on a Holland America ship and we found it to be the nicest we have yet experienced. We have sailed on NCL and Celebrity in the past. We combined two separate cruises to get a 29 day total. The first was a 17 day transatlantic repositioning from Ft. Lauderdale to Copenhagen and the second was a 12 day Baltic Sea. We found the itinerary to be wonderful, with stops in 11 different countries and a number of sea days. The ship offered quite a few options onboard during sea days and you could find things to participate in or not depending on your taste. Yes, most of them were geared toward an older crowd, but that is what we looked like on a HAL ship and on a trip this long. The entertainment changed often and was extremely varied and top notch. We found the food to be better than our previous ships in the main dining areas and the food in the specialty restaurants was better. Granted you don't have a lot of options on the Zuiderdam, but there were enough not to get bored with the food. The service was the best we have seen, especially our cabin stewards who kept our cabin spotless the entire voyage and kept us entertained with towel animals each night of the cruise. We had seen some comments about the maintenance and looks of the ship on this forum before we left and were a bit concerned. However, we did not have any issues along those lines during our trip. Sure the ship is getting a little age on her and may be a bit rusty in spots on the outside, but hey, so am I. The deck crews were outside chipping and painting during every day of our cruise, they replaced some worn carpet during the cruise and they are constantly cleaning all over the ship day and night. They repainted the entire hull while we were on board, taking care of the scrapes they picked up during the winter on their Panama Canal cruises. We found everything mechanical worked as advertised during the entire trip. We took a fair number of the shore excursions offered through HAL and had a great time on all of them. The days in A Coruna, Normandy, Brugge, Holland, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Berlin and St. Petersburg were outstanding and the other ports were also interesting. We found them organized and professionally run, especially the ones which used headsets so it was easy to hear everything that was being said. Many of these excursions ran in excess of 10 hours and we didn't think they wasted any time. We will admit that many of these ports and excursions required a fair amount of walking, but they are pretty good about saying that up front. Some of the ports were just fine to tackle on your own and we did so in about 5 of them. For some of them it just makes sense to take the tours and let them handle the logistics. We found embarkation and disembarkation to be pretty simple and straightforward. Yes our flight got in fairly early on the day we left and we didn't have to wait long to get on board. Our cabin was ready when we got there and our luggage followed pretty quickly. The lines moved quickly and they had a bunch of people working to get you ready to board. We had an early morning flight out on the last day and they were ready for us at 4:15 am with a transfer to the airport. We did run a few minutes late getting started because some of the luggage was a little late getting off, but we were still at the airport with plenty of time to spare. It may get harder to get off during the prime times, but early was simple and easy. We did use HAL to set up our flights from home to Ft. Lauderdale and then back home from Copenhagen and those all went off without a hitch. Our seats were good and our layovers worked well both coming and going. We did use their transfers to and from the airports, which we found to be worth every penny. Overall, we have no complaints. We loved the size and the layout of the ship, the food, the service, our cabin, the staff, the shore excursions and the ports where we stopped. We would happily travel with HAL again and would hope to make it back to the Zuiderdam. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We are a couple from south Florida who booked this cruise as an (early) celebration of my 60th birthday. Because of a small inheritance, we had some extra money, so we really "splurged" on this cruise! We flew business class ... Read More
We are a couple from south Florida who booked this cruise as an (early) celebration of my 60th birthday. Because of a small inheritance, we had some extra money, so we really "splurged" on this cruise! We flew business class from Miami to Zurich to Venice, and booked a deluxe suite on the Zuiderdam in the stern of the ship with a huge, wrap around balcony. We flew into Venice a couple days early and stayed at a great B&B near St. Mark's Square. It was great to have extra time in that magical city, but it wasn't near enough. We boarded our lovely ship at around 13:30 Thursday, October 23rd. It was a little disorganized and, although we went to the shorter line for suite check-ins, it didn't really matter because there was a huge line for the security scans. No matter. Even with the long line, it only took us about 20 minutes or so to get aboard. Although it was close to 14:00, a staff member greeting us as we boarded said that our rooms weren't ready. So, we went up to the Neptune Lounge to wait. But when we reached there, they cheerfully informed us that, of course our suite was ready and escorted us to our room. What a room! We'd had an SS suite before on the Westerdam, and the SC cabin was similar, but with some nice additions. Six roomy closets, half with optional shelves, cabinet space all over the room; a dressing room with a three-drawer vanity; and a huge balcony! I practically lived on that balcony. I don't know if we would have gotten so much use out of a side balcony because it was cold and stormy during some of the trip. But our completely covered balcony was out of the wind and weather if you didn't go over to the side section. I'd never had a wake cabin before and found the sound of the water hypnotic. It sounded like a waterfall (Niagara?) and I found my eyes closing too often as I sat out there and gazed at the water. The room was in good shape, though there was a slight stain on the carpet. Our cabin steward, Dedi, was fantastic, going beyond the call of duty several times during the cruise. The sailaway in Venice was breathtakingly beautiful. We enjoyed it from the Crow's Nest as we met our fellow Cruise Critic cruisers from our roll call. We had an extremely active roll call and about 60 of us showed up at the Meet and Greet. It was great to have "friends" aboard whom you'd been "talking" to online for ages as we all anticipated our upcoming cruise. Sorta like having a ready-made family aboard. It really increased our enjoyment of the cruise to have friends to hang with on shore excursions and on the ship. The hotel manager, Mark, was very welcoming to us. He attended both the first Meet & Greet, but also our second one on our first sea day. Then he surprised us with a special luncheon for CC'ers at the Pinnacle Grill. What a treat that was!! HAL has a reputation for good service, and it lived up to its reputation as far as we were concerned. We had great service in the dining room with waiter Ali and assistant waiter, Kadek. They were so sweet and went out of their way to anticipate our needs. All the crew, especially those that worked in food service, were working double and triple time because of the extra burden of being under Code Red for most of the cruise. Yet, almost every one of the crew and staff we had any dealings with were unfailingly polite and professional. We had no complaints whatsoever about the service on the Zuiderdam. We really disliked what they've done to the Crow's Nest - adding the internet cafe and library. Why would anyone put a library and nightclub in the same room?? It has completely destroyed the ambiance of the Crow's Nest, which used to be our favorite place to enjoy a drink and do a little dancing. Adding the screening room was a nice touch on deck 3, but we never got to see a movie there because the seats were always taken. There also seemed to be fewer shops with fewer choices than we had seen on the Westerdam in March 07. We both found the food to be excellent in both the dining room and lido. Loved all the ice cream choices - totally free. Nothing feels like "vacation" as an ice cream cone. And, of course, the scrumptious bread pudding with vanilla sauce!! Pinnacle Grill was great for dinner and breakfast. We didn't see as many shows as we normally do. Part of that was because the entertainers were sick with Noro virus. But mainly the problem was the change of time for the shows. We had fixed dining at 8pm. In order to see a show, we had to go to the 7pm one, which was just too early for us, especially days we were in port. We used to enjoy the 10 pm shows very much, so were disappointed with the change of times. Again, can't figure the logic of whomever made that decision. We greatly enjoyed all the ports: Dubrovnik, Corfu, Sicily (Taurmina), Rome, Cartegena, Cadiz, and Madeira. The only complaint I had about the ships tour in Rome was that we couldn't hear the tour guide on the headsets. Combination of static and a heavy accent. We used CC - especially our roll call - to guide what we did at each port. Our fellow cruisers were informative and helpful. Yes, I got the noro virus despite taking all precautions, but, thankfully, it was while we were making the crossing, so I didn't miss any of the ports. The medical staff, the Neptune Lounge, and our cabin steward all were wonderful about taking care of me and making sure we had everything we needed. Didn't like getting sick, but at least had a great room to be quarantined in! Used the spa a lot, and the quality of their services (massages, seaweed wraps, etc.) was great! Love the wrap around promenade on the HAL ships. Loved the piano bar, cigars under the stars. Too many things to count, and this review is already long. We had a fantastic time on our "cruise of a lifetime." We might not be able to afford to go all out again, but are already planning a Hawaiian cruise on the Zaandam - probably in a regular balcony room. Read Less
Sail Date October 2008
Zuiderdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.5 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
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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