5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Booked a Vista Suite on the Navigation Deck (#7046) and soon discovered after embankment that it sat directly beneath the Lido kitchen area. Needless to say the noise from above our cabin ceiling was unbearable and went well into the night ... Read More
Booked a Vista Suite on the Navigation Deck (#7046) and soon discovered after embankment that it sat directly beneath the Lido kitchen area. Needless to say the noise from above our cabin ceiling was unbearable and went well into the night and then began again at around 3:30 a.m. There was no remedy for the problem and guest services did not follow up after we complained. We were on a 15 day South American cruise and got very little undisturbed sleep throughout the voyage. This was the major problem we encountered on this particular cruise but there were also many minor to medium issues on the ship which is well past it's prime. We have cruised with Holland three times previous to this 4th cruise but it will most likely be our last. There should have been some sort of disclosure regarding this particular cabin and the related noise problems in the initial booking information. We did not eat in the dining room but had all meals in the Lido Cafe. The food was good and the Lido service people friendly and attentive. The new hand washing stations were barely used and the majority of the people entering the Lido walked right by them on their way to dine. We don't do the shows so cannot comment on the entertainment. The shore excursions left something to be desired and we missed two ports due to bad weather. The future cruise consultant had a slight attitude and acted like she could care less about questions we asked her. The customer service desk was also average and the people manning it were not consistent regarding DVD rentals. The shipboard talks regarding ports we would visit were full of bad information and twice one seating was about two separate ports combined which was confusing to say the least. Overall I would say that the cruise was not up to the normal standards that we have seen from Holland in the past. Our next two cruises will be with Viking which has a newer fleet of ships and offers features that Holland is now lacking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
we choose this cruse as an upgrade to the other lines available. paid more but got way less than expected. the rooms were much smaller than described the full size tub was anything but and the ADA equipment that I requested and was assured ... Read More
we choose this cruse as an upgrade to the other lines available. paid more but got way less than expected. the rooms were much smaller than described the full size tub was anything but and the ADA equipment that I requested and was assured would be available, wasn't. of course we were not informed of this till we were outside the 12 mile boundary of the USA. the air conditioning system never worked the entire trip and they continued to do dry dock repairs while at sea. the anytime dinning for the few times we tried it was always substandard while if you were willing to pay the upcharge the food was excellent. the all inclusive drink package had limits not divulged prior to purchase. during repairs of the interior pool the passengers were exposed to toxic paint of some type which my wife has final recovered from but with my COPD I have not and the Captain, to this date refuses to describe what the exposure was. the crew / service personnel were great, the views were great, and we did not have a tour that was not outstanding the biggest issue is that with the line flying a non US flag you as an individual have no recourse against them and they can deny all written comments sent while at sea and ignore you arrive back in the US Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary mainly but also because of the size of the Zaandam. I had not liked the big ships I cruised on before and the Zaandam is a pleasant size indeed. We were three women in a Vista Suite on ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary mainly but also because of the size of the Zaandam. I had not liked the big ships I cruised on before and the Zaandam is a pleasant size indeed. We were three women in a Vista Suite on deck 6 but I forgot the number, like I forgot quite a few things of this cruise because I do not even want to remember them. The cabin was small and the suitcases could not be placed under the bed, so we travelled the complete cruise with two suitcases standing near the window to the balcony. I travelled before in three and we never had this problem because the suitcases – normal size – could easily fit in under the bed. We had breakfast delivered to the cabin most of the time and that was OK apart from the coffee. I tried the coffee bar for espresso, but that was terrible too. My sister did the kitchen tour and found out that all their coffee comes from one source: Melitta filtered. I guess that is acceptable for Americans, but I find it not nice and that is an understatement. Lunch would be in the Lido and was generally nice. We liked the Asian food, the ice-creams and the sweets, some of them prepared without sugar! And dinner we had in the Main Restaurant and we found the food always of good quality with enough choice daily and variations from day to day. Sometimes we had to queue for a table. We once sat together with others but then we were hardly able to hear them across the table, so we decided to not do that again. The service was very good; in the restaurant, and for the cabin too! We dined also at the Pinnacle, which was a real good time in a very pleasant setting! I booked for myself the Master Cellar dinner and the maître put me at a table with two persons from Buenos Aires and that for me was a remarkable experience: because of this lovely couple and because of the food and the wines. Don’t miss this one! The Italian restaurant on the lidodeck was a mistake to book, nowhere near what you would expect. This should really be upgraded, especially with a cook who knows what he’s doing. Service? I lost my credit card in Buenos Aires and blocked it in time. I told the front desk and suggested I pay with my debit card – Mastercard that I used all over the world – and they said no, it had to be a credit card, or cash. So they actually suggested I go to an ATM on land, get cash – would have been pesos! – and pay them cash. I would have needed a sizeable bag for that. They were absolutely serious when suggesting this “solution”! I suggest this company take the Holland out of their name because the Dutch pay with debit cards all the time; there is no percentage taken off by the bank and the money gets transferred right away. But no, here that was not possible. I had to ask my friend – invited by me, therefore embarrassing to me – to pay the bill and then later reimburse her. Ridiculous experience this was. Activities? I once attended a travel trivial and it was like a children’s game. Lasted 20 minutes in all, so once was enough for me. Entertainment: we attended a night with dancing and singing, I think the group was German, and found that very good. Then there was a local artist from Buenos Aires with bandoneon music and he was very good, I bought his CD and went to see his second show which was very well done too; he did it all solo with a beautiful video of Buenos Aires on the big screen behind him! We tried twice to see a movie, even 15 mins before it would start, only to find the cinema completely full, not one seat left. Pity. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth, gave no problems. Port & shore excursions was quite an issue on this ship. Their prices were sky-high and, in every port, you could see that most people had organized themselves with alternatives to the HAL excursions. But they punished you for that! We had booked an excursion to see penguins on the Falkland Islands, which was still expensive, especially when you pay for three persons. We arrived ashore after having waited an hour and a half for the tender! Those booked with HAL got precedence even when they arrived later than we did! over people like us who wanted just to go ashore and do their own thing. That was pure discrimination and indeed we were too late for our excursion! Fortunately, Patrick Watts on the Falklands saved our day by taking us to see penguins anyway. I fully recommend Patrick Watts; a knowledgeable and pleasant guide! It was the best day of our cruise. The ports I found terrible, in Buenos Aires and also Montevideo you expect a cruise terminal, but we constantly saw cargo ports. If I had wanted that, I could have booked a cargo cruise, but I didn’t, so why do they have to save money on decent ports? Especially the last one, San Antonio, was an unpleasant change from the announced Valparaiso. I had to change transfers and hotel and never saw Valparaiso. Again, the transfer I booked myself online as the HAL transfer was 3 times the price I paid! So, no, HAL, this was my first experience with you and the very last for sure. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise specifically for the itinerary and what a wonderful itinerary it was helped by settled weather conditions for most of the passage. I had however reservations about the ship being a little dated and reserved ie the ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically for the itinerary and what a wonderful itinerary it was helped by settled weather conditions for most of the passage. I had however reservations about the ship being a little dated and reserved ie the entertainment onboard was quite possibly the poorest we had ever been unfortunate enough to be subjected to. There was also unacceptable delays in the main dining room which ultimately led us to dine in the lido. Embarkation was poor with elderly guests having to queue for long periods of time, although this can't be helped perhaps cool hand/face towels and iced water? I was also quite disappointed to witness 'engineering' staff in contaminated overalls using the lido as a passageway whilst guests were eating. And as for the price of the ships excursions, by far the most expensive I have witnessed on any of the many trips I have completed. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My sister and I booked our cruse thru the cruse agent. We asked for a quiet cabin away from any ice machines, elevator, area with music etc. A quiet area. The first night we heard banging, and what sounded like something heavy rolling over ... Read More
My sister and I booked our cruse thru the cruse agent. We asked for a quiet cabin away from any ice machines, elevator, area with music etc. A quiet area. The first night we heard banging, and what sounded like something heavy rolling over concrete. We were under the 24 hour a day active ships galley. After being told there were no other cabins available, we asked for one of the ships land tours instead. They would not but sent us chocolates and a sorry card. We were stuck on a ship where could not get any sleep. Sleep deprivation is used to break down prisoners not people on vacation. Long miserable story short we got on the ship August 5th 2017 and off on the 13th. On the 13th we got off the ship and took the ships transport to Anchorage for our after cruse vacation. That very afternoon my sisters went to bed in the hotel with a fever. When the fever spiced to 103.8 I took her to Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage. She has a horrifying case of bacterial Pneumonia. She is still in the hospital today August 25th. PS, I also have Bronchitis and was put on Antibiotics. No ship should have a galley over cabins. Put it over the shops or anyplace where people are supposed to be able to sleep. The ship is ask horrible. To them a movie about Alaska and people talking about Alaska is considered shipboard entertainment. The food in the dining room and the coffee came out cold. The nice buttery croissants came out refrigerator cold. We met people with kids who told us that the kids went to planned events and nobody was there. When they complained they were told they were not there to entertain their children .WHAT????? Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I'll start with the positive and end with the negatives... First, I've sailed on numerous cruises with a variety of cruise lines. I like the size and look of the Zaandam. The ship was clean and well-appointed. The ... Read More
I'll start with the positive and end with the negatives... First, I've sailed on numerous cruises with a variety of cruise lines. I like the size and look of the Zaandam. The ship was clean and well-appointed. The entertainment was excellent and the service of the crew was top-drawer. I have no complaints with the cabin other than it did not have a refrigerator. Now, lets get to the negatives. Without a refrigerator, you need water and ice. I was on the "Dolphin" deck or 1st Floor; meaning, I had to go up to the Lido Deck (8th Floor) to obtain water and ice. (Oh, don't tell me there was an ice bucket in the room; it was never filled.) The small size of the glasses offered (around 6-7 ounces) means you will be spending alot of time doing the rounds. (Sure, you can bring a BIG drink-holder; but this practice is frowned upon because it can pass germs from your Big Drink to others). Next, the food was sub-par. I give Carnival (even though it owns HAL) better marks for the food. Having cruised on Luxury ships (Radisson Diamond), I have a sophisticated palate. So, it was not that the choices were too complicated, it was simply that there was nothing to "fall" back on to if you were not interested in the small choices. HAL needs a COMMON meat and COMMON salad on every menu to fall back on if the choices are all UN-common. Add a common poultry, fish and pasta and your back in business. The specialty restaurants were both extremely good. The Lido restaurant was fair at best. Few daily changes and the menu was not good. I found myself eating peanut-butter for breakfast and spaghetti for lunch (at least 3 times). The way the buffet is run is "start down there"...but it breaks up and slows down due to the different sections which causes confusion and long waits. The worst problem the entire trip was the heat. I decided to travel to Alaska to get the hell away from the heat. Oh, Alaska was fine..temperature wise. It was the ship ! From the minute you board until you debark, get ready to spend alot of time trying to find ways to cool down. ALL of the common/public areas were awfully hot. The "Explorers" area was the worst. Yes, there were alot of older people on board...I presume the "Facilities Manager" thinks all older people love the heat. Well, they got plenty of it. When I first entered my room the air was on the lowest/coolest level. I told the cabin steward that the air was not working. He looked confused. And did nothing. What does this mean? It's simple. The ship had "flipped" the system. If you did not need heat, you got nothing else. The system, ship-wide, was not "geared" to allowing for air conditioning. You're only recourse; spend lots of time outside. Oh, and how about that other little thing...you know..the NoroVirus. Yes, I've been on ships when there was an outbreak. Never got it. This time, my wife did. And we did not bring it on. It was already there when we arrived I suspect. Regardless, we know that if we tell, we get isolated. Unfortunately, my wife's condition was such that she had too. And even though THEY gave us the virus; we had to pay over $250 to the doctor and medical center for medicine and an IV. Nice. Then, of course, she missed one port due to the illness even though she had recovered. If you are going to spend alot of money and time to get to Alaska; find another cruise ship with another company. HAL's reputation is overblown and false. Too few ports of call and too many days at sea. And hot. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise for a girls getaway because it was a short cruise and was fairly inexpensive. However, I would have gladly paid more if everything could have been improved. The food in the dining room was, on several occasions, cold. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a girls getaway because it was a short cruise and was fairly inexpensive. However, I would have gladly paid more if everything could have been improved. The food in the dining room was, on several occasions, cold. The service we received was normally very good except for the lobster night when we had a horrible server - Handri - he acted as if we were inconveniencing him. There was only one electrical outlet In our room and every time I plugged my hair dryer, the lights would flicker and go off... a bit of updating wouldn't hurt either when it comes to everything and maybe use a designer that isn't stuck in the 1950s. Also, I normally like it when the ship is at sea as there are usually many, many organized activities available - so many in fact that we have difficulty deciding what to do. That was certainly not the case on the Zaandam. Bingo and trivia about did it for activities. Bingo lasted 15 minutes and trivia maybe 30 minutes. There is a casino onboard as well as a spa however, we were expecting more organized activities. We love cruising due to the diversity on the ships as far as the age of the guests. There were people onboard of all ages however, everything - including the music that was represented as "today's hits" - was targeted toward the guests that were over 70 years old. Last time I checked, "today" means 2017 and not 1917. Dancing in the Crows Nest to today's hits was ridiculous. When we walked in, music from the 1950s was playing. After we pleaded A LOT with the DJ, he finally played something from this century and when he did, the empty dance floor was packed with dancers of all ages. Everyone was laughing and smiling. When he went back to a 1950s song, again, the dance floor was empty. I think there is a lesson to be learned in this. Just because the majority of your guests are over 70 doesn't mean they are dead. THEY WANT TO HAVE FUN JUST LIKE THOSE OF US IN OUR 50s and 60s....and 20s, 30s, and 40s. I know I mentioned the food briefly above but honestly, I overheard more complaints from other guests about the horrible food than I have ever heard about any restaurant let alone a cruise ship. It was as if McDonalds cooks were hired and they were told not to use any herbs and/or spices. Even us old people want to experience excellent tasting food and that certainly didn't happen. Did we get the leftovers from this ship's previous cruises or did someone misplace their cookbook? PUT SOME FLAVOR IN THE FOOD! I have never been disappointed by the food on a cruise until now nor have I ever lost weight on a cruise until now. Weight Watchers could be a future cruising partner as I'm sure the WW members will be thrilled by the weight loss potential as they certainly aren't going to crave anything onboard other than possibly the ice cream. Lastly, the way that we were told to disembark in Victoria was nothing short of an absolute fiasco. Seriously? We were treated like cattle squished into one small hallway which is a far cry from what I expected. The one bright, shinning light on this cruise - and the ONLY positive thing - was because of our room steward, Heri. He was wonderful and everything I expected from a cruise line. He was attentive, available and an all around wonderful representation of what a cabin steward should strive for. Heri was great and I will sincerely miss him. I can only hope that at some point he realizes his potential and moves up the food chain to a much better cruise line and/or ship because he honestly deserves it. Heri was the one gem that we found on this extremely disappointing cruise. There you have it. I hope that at some point someone at Holland America realizes that just because someone's physical age is over 70, doesn't mean they don't want and know how to have fun...they also know what a good meal is and that they didn't get one on the Zaandam. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise to sail through Antarctica. Having been on several HAL cruises we were not concerned with quality. We were convinced that the quality would be the same on this ship as it had been on our previous three cruises. It was ... Read More
We chose this cruise to sail through Antarctica. Having been on several HAL cruises we were not concerned with quality. We were convinced that the quality would be the same on this ship as it had been on our previous three cruises. It was definitely not! If you have food allergies BEWARE! The Lido deck is fraught with dangers for those with allergies. My adult daughters suffer from some fairly severe allergies and had a most difficult time finding anything to eat. Bread and butter became their best friend. Our cabin cleanliness was quite lacking as well. Several times our stateroom door was left open. So much fo safety on the ship. The only time we had hot food was in the specialty restaurants, which of course cost extra. There's something inherently wrong with that. Service is another big issue on this ship or should I say lack of service. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
The inland passage of southern Chile fiords with glaciers and to visit relatives in Buenos Aires was our need. One glacier off the many we could see - because of the big ship we missed many others. Cabin 6141 very nice situated ... Read More
The inland passage of southern Chile fiords with glaciers and to visit relatives in Buenos Aires was our need. One glacier off the many we could see - because of the big ship we missed many others. Cabin 6141 very nice situated mid-schip, we locked forward to a relaxing cruise. We found the right cabin for restless honeymooner - sleep hard to get because of vibrating (could be felt even on the thick madrases) noise from an air duct under nice the cabin floor. 24 hours, 7 days a week, 12 month a year endless sound. The reception was unable to find a better cabin or suit for us. Even my body was affected and a visit at the medical ship nurse had to be done - very nice and helpful nurse! Mostly the reception was helpful, beside one attractive girl, dressed in blue uniform which send you to other destinations instead giving you the information and forgot to give full information. It was hard to get information about Chilean vins on board - it looked more that the special ship selection was pushed. Wenn we spook about this cabin 6141, we have been the lough of the cruise. It is a pity, most of the personal was kind and helpful, but that was the first and the last cruise with Holland America. By writing this I doubt that this critic will survive on the board, but my give some hints to the owner of HA-line!!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
1.0 star rating 10/3/2016 The worst cruise line that I have traveled on-- comparing to Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. The food and the food service is inferior to the other cruise lines. The spa staff gave a terrible first ... Read More
1.0 star rating 10/3/2016 The worst cruise line that I have traveled on-- comparing to Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. The food and the food service is inferior to the other cruise lines. The spa staff gave a terrible first impression of the ship by lying about the steam area, exercise area, and lockers and showers only being available if you pay an expensive fee. The seated restaurant was so slow and the food so sparse and unappetizing that it was not worthwhile. The servers in the buffet lines were below serving expectations compared to other cruise lines. The buffet lines stay open for too little time, and the stations are abruptly closed whether you are served or not. Cold cut sandwiches are later brought out. Ship staff were allowed to break in line and were served much better food than the passengers. For the same general price for a cruise on Holland America, you can opt out for a better cruise line. I urge you to do so. The other cruise lines are much better. Read Less
Zaandam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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