SHIP: Zandaam, Holland America Lines, 15 day Hawaii (from 12/21/06 to 01/05/070, round trip San Diego. Cabin#6109 Verandah Deck Embarkation: Checking in went fast and the stateroom was ready at 1:00 PM as promised. We were suppose to leave San Diego at 5:00 PM, but a medical emergency delayed our departure. The Cabin: a Verandah Suite, port side forward. The room needed updating, the carpeting was worn with several stains. The couch was also stained. The bathroom shower also had black mold around the soap dish and hand hold. During the evening you can hear you can hear what is taking place in lounge which is below the stateroom. The layout of the room made it seem small. On the positive side the bed was the most comfortable I've ever encountered on a cruise ship. SHIP: the ship itself was well maintained and the attendants were constantly cleaning. Overall I found the ship consistent with those of the Princess line, but nothing out of the ordinary. ACTIVITIES at Sea: Everyday the ship posted a list of activities.The list was always full, but it consisted mainly of activities intended to get you to spend more money, such as: bingo, watch and jewelry sales, spa treatments, gambling, ect.. The vast majority of people spent their time at sea reading. SEA Days: There were 10 days at sea on this cruise. Thats way too many and it was voice others on this cruise. I certainly didn't realize how bored you can get on a cruise ship. The first five days are not that bad because you are looking forward to Hawaii, but the return voyage is hard to take. Think twice if your trying to decide to take this cruise or similar ones offered by Princess or Celebrity. DINING: The dining room on this ship is beautiful. The service is not as good as I've received on other cruise lines. The food in the main dining room is the worst I've every experienced. On several occasions the meals were cold, and were not cooked properly. Pasta was hard, the meat was tough. Overall a bad experience. Another couple had made this cruise on four previous occasions, but not on the Zandaam. According to them, Holland America food is usually very good and they felt the food was only a problem with this ship. They only satisfactory meal we experienced on this cruise was a when we dined at the Captain's table. Cruise Experience: One of the high point of this voyage was suppose to be cruising by the volcano national park at night to observe the lava flow into the ocean This was to take place on 12/30/06, and according to the Cruise Director, the ship would pass by the volcano and then turn around and pass the volcano again so people on both sides of the ship would get a good view. The Captain announced, over the ship's PA system, that we pass the volcano between 11PM and 12 AM. Well the ship passed the volcano at about 11:05PM, at about 19.5 knots, with no announcement made over the ship's PA system. While dining with the Captain he was asked "why didn't you announce we were passing the volcano" and his response was "I didn't want everybody to run on deck and go to one side of the ship". Another person asked the captain "why didn't we turn around as the Cruise Director said we would", and Captain's response was "it was too windy to turn the ship around". I personally heard these questions asked of the Captain and these are his exact responses. Ship's Staff: the best service I ever had on a cruise ship. The service in the bar was outstanding. I have to commend the staff on this ship. Weather: on the voyage to Hawaii we 2 bad days. The seas were rough and numerous people were sea sick. On the voyage back the last night before we reached San Diego was extremely rough and was one of the worst days on the voyage. Overall, not too many smooth days at sea Shore Excursions: We the helicopter tour of Lihue, HI and it was well worth the money. The best tour I've ever taken on a cruise. The other were general tours arranged thru the cruise ship. Nothing outstanding. Shows: The shows put on by the ship's crew were top notch. This is the first cruise where I found the stage shows by the crew were better than the guest performers. Embarkation: well organized and went smoothly Conclusion: I probable would not cruise with Holland America again. The food is below average, the cruise experience is about the same as Princess, but the ships crew service was well above average.

Zaandam - Hawaii

Zaandam Cruise Review by Hildreth

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2006
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
SHIP: Zandaam, Holland America Lines, 15 day Hawaii (from 12/21/06 to 01/05/070, round trip San Diego. Cabin#6109 Verandah Deck
Embarkation: Checking in went fast and the stateroom was ready at 1:00 PM as promised. We were suppose to leave San Diego at 5:00 PM, but a medical emergency delayed our departure.
The Cabin: a Verandah Suite, port side forward. The room needed updating, the carpeting was worn with several stains. The couch was also stained. The bathroom shower also had black mold around the soap dish and hand hold. During the evening you can hear you can hear what is taking place in lounge which is below the stateroom. The layout of the room made it seem small. On the positive side the bed was the most comfortable I've ever encountered on a cruise ship.
SHIP: the ship itself was well maintained and the attendants were constantly cleaning. Overall I found the ship consistent with those of the Princess line, but nothing out of the ordinary.
ACTIVITIES at Sea: Everyday the ship posted a list of activities.The list was always full, but it consisted mainly of activities intended to get you to spend more money, such as: bingo, watch and jewelry sales, spa treatments, gambling, ect.. The vast majority of people spent their time at sea reading.
SEA Days: There were 10 days at sea on this cruise. Thats way too many and it was voice others on this cruise. I certainly didn't realize how bored you can get on a cruise ship. The first five days are not that bad because you are looking forward to Hawaii, but the return voyage is hard to take. Think twice if your trying to decide to take this cruise or similar ones offered by Princess or Celebrity.
DINING: The dining room on this ship is beautiful. The service is not as good as I've received on other cruise lines. The food in the main dining room is the worst I've every experienced. On several occasions the meals were cold, and were not cooked properly. Pasta was hard, the meat was tough. Overall a bad experience. Another couple had made this cruise on four previous occasions, but not on the Zandaam. According to them, Holland America food is usually very good and they felt the food was only a problem with this ship. They only satisfactory meal we experienced on this cruise was a when we dined at the Captain's table.
Cruise Experience: One of the high point of this voyage was suppose to be cruising by the volcano national park at night to observe the lava flow into the ocean This was to take place on 12/30/06, and according to the Cruise Director, the ship would pass by the volcano and then turn around and pass the volcano again so people on both sides of the ship would get a good view. The Captain announced, over the ship's PA system, that we pass the volcano between 11PM and 12 AM. Well the ship passed the volcano at about 11:05PM, at about 19.5 knots, with no announcement made over the ship's PA system. While dining with the Captain he was asked "why didn't you announce we were passing the volcano" and his response was "I didn't want everybody to run on deck and go to one side of the ship". Another person asked the captain "why didn't we turn around as the Cruise Director said we would", and Captain's response was "it was too windy to turn the ship around". I personally heard these questions asked of the Captain and these are his exact responses.
Ship's Staff: the best service I ever had on a cruise ship. The service in the bar was outstanding. I have to commend the staff on this ship.
Weather: on the voyage to Hawaii we 2 bad days. The seas were rough and numerous people were sea sick. On the voyage back the last night before we reached San Diego was extremely rough and was one of the worst days on the voyage. Overall, not too many smooth days at sea
Shore Excursions: We the helicopter tour of Lihue, HI and it was well worth the money. The best tour I've ever taken on a cruise. The other were general tours arranged thru the cruise ship. Nothing outstanding.
Shows: The shows put on by the ship's crew were top notch. This is the first cruise where I found the stage shows by the crew were better than the guest performers.
Embarkation: well organized and went smoothly
Conclusion: I probable would not cruise with Holland America again. The food is below average, the cruise experience is about the same as Princess, but the ships crew service was well above average.
Hildreth’s Full Rating Summary
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