1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I wanted to express that this was a relaxing cruise, the activity was limited , but the food was excellent, excursions were good, entertainment was okay, the room was spacious, loved being on the top floor, the wait staff ... Read More
I wanted to express that this was a relaxing cruise, the activity was limited , but the food was excellent, excursions were good, entertainment was okay, the room was spacious, loved being on the top floor, the wait staff "Herman" any time dining located on floor 2, Herman was a wonderful server with a big smile, very helpful and tentative to me, the bartenders were wonderful. The candy man who was the greeter he always had a smile. The pasties were delicious and nicely displayed; Oliver in the bar was excellent he knew what I wanted to drink before sitting down. Oliver works in the Crows Nest. The towel staff and the pool area was supreme. The piano bar and BB King great music and dancing all night long. I learned a lot during the cooking demonstration well presented and demonstrated. The crew members who help you on and off the ship are great. The photographer Andrew was wonderful and Wayne in the Jewelry shop was full of hugs and smiles. Sung who worked in the perfume store beautiful girl. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We had a sort of family cruise. Ended up only being 5 of us. This cruise was a good value for 11 nights, onboarding very easy, although I arrived on a red eye so first in line does help. First cruise with Holland, 10th overall, ... Read More
We had a sort of family cruise. Ended up only being 5 of us. This cruise was a good value for 11 nights, onboarding very easy, although I arrived on a red eye so first in line does help. First cruise with Holland, 10th overall, Princess, NCL, Carnival, Royal Carib.I'm mid 50s but it was like an Alaska Cruise, I felt young and thin Manicure/pedicure was great. Young gal said this was actually the youngest group she'd seen in 4 months. I did miss the energy of the other boats but Everyone was super friendly, staff and cruisers. Room was large. Ship is going in for refurbishment and that is good. It's needed. Now to food. Honestly, it was ok. I didnt like the Lido because there was a line for everything. I get cutting down on germs but it was a pain waiting to ask for most anything hot. Not just omelettes and waffles. Dining rooms always better. My favprite breakfast dining room is still Carnival, go figure. Dinners were nice, but not as good as Princess, Carnival or Royal. Similar to Norwegian. Workout area was also subdued machines weren't individual tv/music, so not at nice. Would I go again. Entertainment was nice. Not as lively again and not as much to do, but you can only do one thing at a time anyway. Would I go again. Sure. What's not to love about doing whatever you want , someone cooking for you and chocolates at night. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise because of a special promotion and it being a Panama Canal cruise. The ship itself was well maintained and the overall service was good, at best. The Captain and the crew were quite visible during the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because of a special promotion and it being a Panama Canal cruise. The ship itself was well maintained and the overall service was good, at best. The Captain and the crew were quite visible during the cruise and friendly. Service in the Lido Market was quite remarkable as compared to the dining room where if you arrived 45 minutes late, you weren't served. This is in light of the fact that the next seating was 2+hours away. Instead you're relegated to the open dining and wait another hour to be served. The quality of food throughout the ship started out very good and progressively deteriorated day to day. Squash and red peppers were mixed in everywhere and it was apparent that nothing went to waste because it kept turning up. Horrible combinations like sweet potato and apple soup! Except for pizza, there was no quick food available at dinner-anywhere. All of the food was portioned out by servers and you basically had to beg for extras. Very little cheese offering and no antipasto selection. Black olives only and dished out by the teaspoon. Off ship, the excursions were overpriced and undervalued but that seems to be industry wide. Tired of hearing guides lament how poor they are and rely on our tips. Guest entertainment was good but the "house" shows were quite boring. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This is about our 12th cruise, we previously cruised on Carnival and Disney, but mostly with Royal Caribbean. We had just tried Disney in 2018 but found that their experience just did not warrant their more expensive pricing. We cruised ... Read More
This is about our 12th cruise, we previously cruised on Carnival and Disney, but mostly with Royal Caribbean. We had just tried Disney in 2018 but found that their experience just did not warrant their more expensive pricing. We cruised many times on Royal and consider the Allure our "home" ship. But nothing on Royal really appealed to us, so we decided to branch out. We were celebrating our 33rd anniversary on this cruise, I'm 57 and my DW is 60. We stumbled up this cruise when I searched for Panama Canal. This cruise leaves from Florida, reached the canal, goes through the Gatun Locks and then returns to Florida. We have seen the original canal, but were very interested in seeing the new one. I also saw an excursion for a dome car train journey across the isthmus and that sealed the deal, Zuiderdam here we come! We were also excited to re-visit Aruba and Curacao and thought 5 days at sea would be some nice time to relax. We had no interest in Puerto Limon. Overall, i'd give it 3.5 out of 5. There was many great things about the cruise, but a lot of misses too. We had Neptune Suite 7069, midship near the Neptune lounge. It would compare to a Grand Suite on the Allure, It had plenty of space, lots of closet space, not so much in drawer space. The balcony had a table & 2 chairs and 2 loungers. We spent a lot of time out there. It has a flat screen TV with a few live TV channels, mostly news and ESPN for the Caribbean, not the US (think soccer, soccer and more soccer). Lots of movies and a few TV programs you can run like a DVR with no charge. Several Marvel and DC Movies, Mary Poppins Returns, Coco, Frozen, and come classics like Romancing the Stone. Lots of BBC Planet and the last 2 seasons of Big Bang Theory. This ship also had 2 documentaries on the Canals. Embarkation was a breeze, we were on the ship right at 11:30. Now, and we were aware of this, the age demographic for HAL is actually older than we are. This means you will encounter people who just aren't mobile and you need to bring your patience to deal with canes, scooters, wheel chairs and crowded elevators. If you are expecting to spend lots of family time on pool activities, and those sorts of things, then HAL is not for you. I think that is what I missed the most, there were times when there just wasn't enough things to do, other than trivia and bingo. By the 5th sea day, we were kind've bored with not a whole lot to do, and thus, things like America's Test Kitchen were so crowded as to be uncomfortable or you had to be there 45 minutes in advance and just sit there waiting for it to begin. Alright, let's talk food. Now, I know, food is very, very subjective. We rated it fair. We opted for My Time Dining. Several nights we didn't even try the dining room as service was very slow and/or nothing on the menu was attractive. We led us to the Lido or to Room Service. The Lido was hit, mostly miss. Breakfast was okay as you could order eggs specifically for you. Lunch was okay, really, nothing memorable comes to mind. The Dive In bar had great burgers and hot dogs, but their fries were embarrassingly bad. If you have to coat a potato to get a crispy fry then you don't know how to make fries and the Dive In fries are coated and I don't like those. And, really, how often can you have that for lunch? Once or twice was okay, but that was all I could stomach. The dining room food was just okay, as was the service. On the 2 nights we were sat by ourselves, the service was almost non-existent. It would take between 20-30 minutes between courses, and when our entree was served, they never came back and asked us how we liked it. Twice on My Time Dining we arrived at the dining room only to be told it was a 45 minute wait and that we should have made reservations! Really, "My Time Dining", see the My Time part of that? This means we don't know in advance when will dine! Never had this issue on Royal, we would show up and be seated within 10 minutes. And, as I previously said, if you seat us at a table for 2, this does not mean you can just serve us at your convenience. We had much better service when we were lucky enough to be seated with 4 to 6 others. The evening entertainment was very, very good. HAL has the "music walk" and all three stages are worth visiting. Our couple of Megan and Ethan in the Billboard Onboard lounge were really outstanding. We went every evening they performed. Lincoln Center stage had great musicians too. The evening stage entertainment had more hits than misses (one night it was just a movie), but we enjoyed the 3 singer and dancing shows. Island Magic Steel Drum gets a special mention too, wow, they blew us away. The service from our room attendants was spotless. We took one excursion, the dome car train ride across the isthmus. This included a stop at the new visitor center where we had the good fortune of catching a ship just entering the top canal on it's way to the Atlantic. The train ride was amazing. What wasn't amazing was that after the train ride we were unwillingly dragged to a mall with a duty free store that no one wanted to visit and where no one brought anything and it added 2 hours to our trip. This stop was not in the tour description and left us with a bad taste after what had been a truly memorable time. We did things by ourselves at Aruba, Curacao and Limon. Half Moon Cay is a great stop, too bad on board time is an early 2:30 so you don't really get a whole lot of time there, especially since it is a tender port so you have to allow transit time. We had great attendants for our room, no problems there, If you are Catholic, both Sundays offered mass, actually, mass is offered daily. Disembarkation was a breeze too. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is our third cruise on Zuiderdam so we knew what to expect from the ship and were looking forward to seeing the Panama Canal up close and personal. We were given the opportunity to upgrade from our usual Neptune Suite to the Pinnacle ... Read More
This is our third cruise on Zuiderdam so we knew what to expect from the ship and were looking forward to seeing the Panama Canal up close and personal. We were given the opportunity to upgrade from our usual Neptune Suite to the Pinnacle Suite and jumped at the chance to experience this once in a lifetime deal. It did not disappoint. Embarkation and settling into our suite as a breeze. There are lots of activities on the ship from the Microsoft classes to musical performances to the EXC presentations. You can find something to do or do nothing with ease on this ship. There are a number of areas of the ship that we have found that were quiet and comfortable for relaxing and reading during the sea days. We occasionally visited the casino and really enjoyed the fact that it is one of the only HAL non-smoking casinos. We purchased a couple of excursions from HAL and both were well put together and done perfectly. Panama Canal transit was narrated by a naturalist with lots of facts about the history of the canal. We stayed on the ship for the whole day, most of it spent on our balcony, marveling at the engineering of this historic endeavor. Disembarkation was also perfect as we were escorted off the ship by the Neptune Lounge staff with our luggage waiting for us. Grabbed a porter and went through customs and to the garage and were on the road back to Ohio by 9am. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Overall, we loved our cruise. We took advantage of $49 for 3rd and 4th guests to take two of our grandchildren, ages 11 and 13, and along with cruise credits obtained via CCL stock ownership and monitoring price reductions on our cabin, ... Read More
Overall, we loved our cruise. We took advantage of $49 for 3rd and 4th guests to take two of our grandchildren, ages 11 and 13, and along with cruise credits obtained via CCL stock ownership and monitoring price reductions on our cabin, the final price including tax and port fees was very reasonable. This was our 15th cruise, our third on Holland. The kids adapted well, even though there were few children on board, and they were well behaved and popular with the crew and other guests. The cabin was a little crowded, but functional. Pros: Service was outstanding. Our room steward Frank was very smart and talented— always smiling and a very hard worker. He was fluent in English, impeccably honest and the best towel animal maker we have seen. He was assisted by Ami, who was not so communicative but a good worker. Food service people were terrific. On the breakfast Lido buffet, the cooks were attentive and consistent. Our granddaughter is gluten free, and Sous Chef Antonio personally attended to making pancakes for her. The Burger joint was consistently good. The grandkids liked it and loved the pizza place where our granddaughter got gluten free pizza without any trouble. Nearly every evening, we went to the main dinning room. The staff was fantastic. Our wait staff included Samuti and Heri of Bali, both excellent servers and just great guys whom I would be proud to count as friends. The Maitre d’ and Assistant were also very attentive and made sure everything operated well. Consistently, the food was excellent. We had one lunch in the Pinnacle Grill and the food was also very good, but the service was a little slow compared to what we became used to in Main Dining. I might add, the kids loved the ice cream, sorbet, etc. We did the kitchen tour, and it is impressive how they maintain such high quality for so many. On the Spa staff, I recall Anina of the Republic of South Africa who is a good communicator and a fine young lady with a beautiful spirit. I enjoyed our conversations. On the Excursion Desk, Lannay of the Netherlands was excellent. She helped us as we needed it. and assisted in a matter that should have been resolved by Guest Services. The only truly incompetent person we ran into was a woman in Guest Services. We asked for clarification regarding credits we should have received for my wife as a CCL shareholder. The woman kept concocting nonsense about us trying to claim credits through a travel agent or a previously booked cruise— simply not true. We finally got clarification from her boss, a ship officer Joras of the Netherlands, an excellent officer. We received all the credits we believed we were due, and our faith in Holland service was restored. Some people asked us if our grandkids could have a good time with so many older people aboard. This was not a problem. They are homeschooled and have learned to get along with all age groups and even made friends with kids their age aboard, playing chess, ping pong and puzzles. They also really enjoyed the entertainment, including the Musical stage presentations, the magician James Cielen (talented and funny with cute dogs) and the master pianist Hyperian Knight whom my grandkids liked a lot. Also, the Lincoln Center group was great, a very talented group of young people. I personally liked BB King Blues Club and many others. We did two excursions, the Caves of Curacao, much better than expected, and the Costa Rica Tropical Rain Forest, the favorite of the kids. Perhaps my only complaint is that the morning “news” was provided via a summary of the New York Times, which I had not read for years. It is a shameless totalitarian socialist propaganda rag. So I chose to ignore it, and my days were happier for the absence of news. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of timing as we wanted to cruise in April. We were a little worried about cruising with Holland American because of their reputation of being geared toward a much older crowd then we were used to. Yes the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of timing as we wanted to cruise in April. We were a little worried about cruising with Holland American because of their reputation of being geared toward a much older crowd then we were used to. Yes the average age was much older, but don't let that deter you as the cruise was excellent. Accommodation: We had a balcony room on the 10th deck. The room was about average as far as size and comfort goes. However, the room stewards were the best we have ever had. Our every need was met instantly and with a smile no matter what time of day. Our room location was perfect as it was above the lido deck so all that noise was below us and the crows nest was right outside our room. The crows nest is a bar with panoramic views at the bow of the ship. Dining: Lido deck buffet: great selection of food. There was italian, asian, mexican, sandwiches, pizza, hamburger\hotdog grill, a great salad station and of course deserts. The food quality was very good compared to other cruise lines and we have been on quite a few cruises. Main Dining room: the main dining room was pleasantly designed. The diner food quality and selection was outstanding. I would rate the quality better then other cruise lines, but not by much as we have experienced good main dining room food on other cruise lines. The waite staff were exceptional. We are breakfast in the main dining room but I would recommend the buffet as the selection on the buffet was better. Pinnacle Grill ($ dining ): we dined at the pinnacle grill twice during the cruise. The food, in my opinion, was not worth the $35.00 charge. Don't get me wrong the food was good, but not $35.00 better then the main dining room. However, David, our waiter was outstanding. On board experence: Days at sea got a little long as other cruise lines offered more events to occupy your time. Biggest complaint would be the lack of music in the pool areas. Holland American is in partnership with American test kitchen and offer many cooking shows and they were outstanding. The BB King lounge was the only choice you had for live dancing music. The band, B B King All Star band might be the best band I ever heard on a cruise and they played every night. Excursions: All I will say is you should book your excursions from a site such as Viator. The excursion we booked from the ship was poor. However the excursions we booked through Viator were outstanding. Shopping on board: same as all cruise lines. Overall experience : Outstanding! This is the smallest ship we have ever cruises on and I doubt we will ever cruise on a large ship again. The personal touch you receive on a small ship is remarkable and something everyone should experience. Holland American does personal touch better then any other ship we have been on. DO NOT let the average age deter you as it is something we did not even notice nor did it effect the fun we had in the slightest. If you are a 20 - 35 year old party animal this is not the ship for you! We are in our 50s and we had a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We arrived in Florida amid a flood of other cruisers. Definitely not accustomed to thousands of other confused people charging 0r standing around. We had finally located our luggage at a different.station, other than on the banner. At ... Read More
We arrived in Florida amid a flood of other cruisers. Definitely not accustomed to thousands of other confused people charging 0r standing around. We had finally located our luggage at a different.station, other than on the banner. At least Four cruise ships were departing on the same day..Holiday Inn at hollywood had a shuttle waiting for it and Candlewood hotel, we loaded up..Dispite them doubling their rates for rush at HI, they serve a decent breakfast, and accomadations were very nice.. Mind you there is not much else close here and 8 lanes of high speed traffic in front if you want to cross the hwy...I believe one 4x4 pu tried to see how close he could get, defintely did NOT slow down, There is NO crosswalk for protection. Ok, we paid $15.00 each for the ride to the port #21. and tipped the driver. I was satisfied with the process of checking in and forming groups to board..We were in a SY suite for our cruise and it was nice too, except for the heavy deck doors. the one next door #8076, closed loudly and disturbed me in the evenings. I turned in a request to have their closer and shock tested and repaired, but Hal did not fix it.So it reminded me of a cheap thin motel room when slammed..They were seniors next to us and I did not speak with them about it. The hot water controls were great in the Jetted tub and shower, you could get very hot water if you soaked. I did use the hot-tub on the rear of the ship, there were about 5 . The food was hit or miss after breakfast, which was great and so was the room service. By this I mean you could get great Fish and vegs, but their pasta sauce was not flavored enough, simular to Ragu..Pizza and Pasta was there all the time and hot served any time. There was a huge salad available at all meals, built with care by an attendant and plenty of vegetarian food.Ice Cream was served all day and lots of flavors, Seniors Love their Cold deserts.The whole ships crew worked hard to please anyone..The Steelband performance was the best, and second was the Magician show.. The port stops were nice, we enjoyed Willenstad, Curacoa in the old dutch section...We stayed on board at the canal, and went exploring in beautiful Costa Rica. This was our Diamond anniversary, and we were recognised at Gala Dinner..Thanks to HAl and the crew, especially a very efficient Captain, We will book another cruise with them soon...Jonyyuma Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Panama Canal was the reason we chose this cruise....I found it very acceptable for an older ship....We stayed in an outside cabin...of course, smaller cabin but was sufficient...room stewards were very good as were our dining room ... Read More
Panama Canal was the reason we chose this cruise....I found it very acceptable for an older ship....We stayed in an outside cabin...of course, smaller cabin but was sufficient...room stewards were very good as were our dining room waiters...Food was very good..the entertainment in BB Kings lounge and Billboard Lounge was absolutely wonderful...Now the negative .....we took a shore excursion in Panama..Aqua Clara locks and area tour....it was terrible...They drove around old housing of former base(about 20 mins) then they took us to Aqua Clara locks and left us there 2-21/2 hours....it was interesting to see ships go through these locks...it is about a 1 hr tops stop....the food at the concession stand was out of food only chips, ice cream and drinks were available....then we were driven to port in Colon to sit until ship arrived.....Definitely not worth the money......In Cartegena, we took the gem stone making tour..it was an acceptable tour until you had to go through the jewelry store to exit...Pretty high pressure to buy emeralds...Maybe they should have paid for the tour so they could get the chance to sell us their emeralds? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We went on a Panama Chanel Cruise in March 2019. Here are our good and less impressive experiences from our trip. Stateroom: We lived in a veranda on the 10th floor. Beautiful view. The stateroom was really nice. We were supposed to be ... Read More
We went on a Panama Chanel Cruise in March 2019. Here are our good and less impressive experiences from our trip. Stateroom: We lived in a veranda on the 10th floor. Beautiful view. The stateroom was really nice. We were supposed to be 4 people in our cabin why they arranged 4 beds the first evening – 2 regular beds, one bed coming down from the ceiling and the sofa was changed to a bed. The last bed made it difficult to get to the veranda but it was only arranged as a bed at night time – not optimal but I prefer that solution compared to the solution with 2 beds coming from the ceiling as we have experienced before as you almost need to be an acrobat moving back and forth in the stateroom. As we were only 3 they only arranged the bed from the ceiling at night and moving around even at night was no problem at all. The bathroom was great and big with a nice bathtub. There was a nice TV with plenty of both life TV, movies and more available. The TV was somewhat small but did it’s purpose. The staff was friendly but not very effective e.g. they never removed dirty dishes from the room – we needed to put them outside the stateroom to avoid the smell and have our small stateroom properly organized. Dinning: The food was generally okay – great during gala nights but below expectation other nights. It was a big disappointment we were charged extra on gala nights to get an extra serving!! We ended up with anytime dinning but ended up eating most night at the same section i.e. getting the same servers which was nice. The afternoon tea in the dining room was really nice The buffet on the Lido deck was nice but that section was severely under dimensioned. At most meals we had to walk around for a long time to find a table. It was also understaffed, or the staff was not properly trained – you were lucky to get a drink 5 minutes after asking. Resulting in us going after our drinks our self. The drink section was poorly arranged making it difficult to get a drink – had they swapped the drink machines and the glass/cups then more people would have been able to get drinks at the same time!! In our opinion then they utilize the boat poorly – there are many areas where there was almost nobody – why not remove many of the redundancies at the buffet, make more tables and then more food options other places on the boat?? My son went many times disappointed to get an ice cream – the ice cream shop opens and closes with the rest of the buffet – why??? The had a great Dive-In shop with fantastic burgers and hot dogs – my oldest sons favorite. Unfortunately, the Dive-In was next to the buffet so no seats Entertainment: We were disappointed by the entertainment. Some of the shows at the main theater were spectacular others were okay but disappointing they substitute an evening with a movie shown in poor quality – really!! The varieties of activities were below expectations – everyday was almost the same which is nice if you like bingo, trivial and cooking show but … They had some sport activities which we liked to join – some of them were great and some of them – yeah it seems like they forgot – nobody showed up to organize. We somehow got an activity going but … We knew Zuiderdam is a smaller boat, but the entertainment director could have done better e.g. ice sculpturing, magic show, parrots, juggler and a lot more. Amenities: The two pools were nice and deep enough to swim and play though small. There were many hot tubs which we enjoyed as well They had a giant chess board – we played it once risking our health – the board was not properly fastened and very slippery – again one of the many small but important details which would not cost them much to ensure was proper, but it was not taken care of Two nice table tennis located in a corner giving as little wind as possible – very nice The Explorations Central on deck 10 was impressive. Great view, games, books, monitors showing details about the boat and how it was operated. Large interactive touch screens showing highlights of the destinations and tour description. We really enjoyed that a lot. The HAL club was nice – fairly small but there were less than 10 kids on the boat so it did its purpose at our trip – not sure how it would work on a trip with more kids?? The staff there were amazing. My boys did not spend much time there, but they were always in the middle of some activities they were excited about when I picked them up. I enjoyed staying there for a little while following the activity waiting for a good time to break off – big respect for the staff there They could easily have utilized areas almost vacant throughout the cruise for more exciting activities – a strong recommendation from us. Overall: A nice trip with interesting destination but too many shortcuts from Holland American making the trip overall disappoint and not worth the money – we will search other cruise lines for our next cruise. Read Less
Zuiderdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 3.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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