This was the 2005 Christmas cruise. I purchased this cruise at the last minute and ended up in cabin 1806, Dolphin Deck, right on the bow of the ship. The cabin had two portholes, no sofa but had a very large handicap-accessible bathroom. The room was very nice. It had a LCD TV with DVD player. The beds were new and extremely comfortable. The location of the cabin ended up being a treat, as you could hear the sound of the waves as they cut through the bow of the ship. Actually, for some reason, every time I was in the bathroom I could actually feel the waves splashing against the floor. It was fun. The Zaandam is nice, but I would say that Royal Caribbean Ships are nicer. The ship does have a classic elegance to it, but it did not have all the open public areas that I enjoy in RCCL ships. The cruise was literally God's waiting room but there were also younger people, probably the children and grandchildren of the passengers. Having heard that Holland America was a "premium" line I was expecting much. But to be completely honest I think that RCCL had better service, better food and shows. The food was a big disappointment. The shows were so laughable that it became a topic of conversation at dinner. We are not talking about lousy singers, but singers not being able to stay on key! For some reason, during this sailing, there were big-time sewage problems. Misery loves company, and by the middle of the cruise passengers were trading toilet horror stories. Mine: during the cruise there was this persistent sewage smell in my cabin. But on Christmas eve upon returning to my cabin from the day's excursion, there was raw sewage in my bathroom's floor. It was gross. it took three complaints, but finally the mess was cleaned. It was Christmas and I was not going to let anything ruin my vacation, so I gave all this a pass. The ports of call were Nassau, La Romana, St. Croix and Half Moon cay. I had been to Nassau before, so I just walked around town. La Romana. I don't think many people liked this stop. For one thing is far from everything, in the middle of an industrial gritty area. If you do excursions here, please do yourself a favor and do a ship-sponsored one. We had a group of passengers that hired a van to go to some remote beach two hours away. They pre-paid the fare and got abandoned. The van never returned to pick them up. St Croix. This was a very nice visit. It had been a while since a big cruise ship stopped here, so the island put a big festival to welcome passengers even though it was Christmas day. Here is a link to a news article that details the Zaandam's visit. Half-Moon Cay. This was a blissful visit, pure paradise. I could have spent the whole week here. this private island is beautiful and offers a bit of everything. In General I would say that the cruise was okay. It did not meet my expectation of a "premium" cruise. But I always find a way to enjoy every cruise, sewer smells and all.

Zaandam - Western Caribbean

Zaandam Cruise Review by fred20036

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Trip Details
This was the 2005 Christmas cruise.
I purchased this cruise at the last minute and ended up in cabin 1806, Dolphin Deck, right on the bow of the ship. The cabin had two portholes, no sofa but had a very large handicap-accessible bathroom. The room was very nice. It had a LCD TV with DVD player. The beds were new and extremely comfortable.
The location of the cabin ended up being a treat, as you could hear the sound of the waves as they cut through the bow of the ship. Actually, for some reason, every time I was in the bathroom I could actually feel the waves splashing against the floor. It was fun.
The Zaandam is nice, but I would say that Royal Caribbean Ships are nicer. The ship does have a classic elegance to it, but it did not have all the open public areas that I enjoy in RCCL ships.
The cruise was literally God's waiting room but there were also younger people, probably the children and grandchildren of the passengers.
Having heard that Holland America was a "premium" line I was expecting much. But to be completely honest I think that RCCL had better service, better food and shows. The food was a big disappointment. The shows were so laughable that it became a topic of conversation at dinner. We are not talking about lousy singers, but singers not being able to stay on key!
For some reason, during this sailing, there were big-time sewage problems. Misery loves company, and by the middle of the cruise passengers were trading toilet horror stories. Mine: during the cruise there was this persistent sewage smell in my cabin. But on Christmas eve upon returning to my cabin from the day's excursion, there was raw sewage in my bathroom's floor. It was gross. it took three complaints, but finally the mess was cleaned. It was Christmas and I was not going to let anything ruin my vacation, so I gave all this a pass.
The ports of call were Nassau, La Romana, St. Croix and Half Moon cay. I had been to Nassau before, so I just walked around town.
La Romana. I don't think many people liked this stop. For one thing is far from everything, in the middle of an industrial gritty area. If you do excursions here, please do yourself a favor and do a ship-sponsored one. We had a group of passengers that hired a van to go to some remote beach two hours away. They pre-paid the fare and got abandoned. The van never returned to pick them up.
St Croix. This was a very nice visit. It had been a while since a big cruise ship stopped here, so the island put a big festival to welcome passengers even though it was Christmas day. Here is a link to a news article that details the Zaandam's visit.
Half-Moon Cay. This was a blissful visit, pure paradise. I could have spent the whole week here. this private island is beautiful and offers a bit of everything.
In General I would say that the cruise was okay. It did not meet my expectation of a "premium" cruise. But I always find a way to enjoy every cruise, sewer smells and all.
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