My now wife and I did our honeymoon on the Zandaam and had an absolutely wonderful time! To start out with, we are both young. I turned 30 thirty two days before we got on this boat. When we got there, we noticed that the AARP would highly recommend this boat as it was 90% over the age of 60. That's fine though, as we realize that Holland America is the "old people" brand and one of the reasons we chose it is a lack of small children running around. That being said, there were always a ton of activities for younger folks to do and we were never bored. The assistant cruise director, the band, and the bars had a lot to do with this. The boat itself is a little tired. Not horrible, but the bathrooms could have come out of the 80's, the furniture, the 90's. Our room, a Neptune suite, had holes in the carpet and the sofa was beat to pieces. But the bed was mostly comfortable, although they did not have any "T"'s to combine the twins into a queen. Instead, we had our steward (who, by the way, like all the staff, was fantastic) stuff the bed with towels. And though it was worn, the ship was always spotless. The excursions were mostly good. There are a lot of cattle car tours where you sign up for a bus and they herd you on and off to take pictures and say, "I've been there". With the exception of Montevideo and Santiago, there was always one more active excursion that was excellent. We particularly loved hanging with Penguins, canoeing, and white water rafting. The last day, however, there were no options but bus tours. Our driver droned on and on about how capitalism is superior to socialism and communism and also stopped the whole bus so he could smoke. Yeah, glad I paid $400 for that... So if the cruise was mostly good, why would I not go with Holland America again? The food. The food was the worst food I have ever had on a cruise ship. Breakfast was two eggs, bread and a cheap piece of meat. Oh, it sounded fancy with names of foreign countries attached to it, but there is no fooling this guy, its all the same! For 14 days in a row! Lunch was bland, often cold, and tasted like I was eating a run down Piccadilly Cafeteria. Bland, often cold, no variety or variation, and all as cheap as they pencil pushers could make it. It was nasty. Dinner was OK, but there was a serious lack of flavor. It seems as opposed to offend someone with taste, they would just not have any taste at all. And here is the thing that made me so mad about it all: The Pinnacle, the specialty restaurant on the boat was hands down the best food I have ever had on a cruise. Holland America is totally capable of making food that taste good (the burger bar on the pool deck was also good), but they chose not to. The food alone will keep me from ever sailing with Holland America again. Also, the coffee was terrible. It was like they took the grounds from other cruise boats, let them sit in the sun and dry out, and then make their coffee from that. I hate that one thing was so bad that it would keep us from coming back. We really did have a great time and I have never seen such an awesome staff of people on a boat. Even the Captain was great and joined us for breakfast one day. For the most part, they really had great options of things to do and shore excursions for young couples and we were able to totally avoid large numbers of kids. It would have been perfect had the food issue not been there.

We had a great time, loved the staff; wouldn't cruise on this boat aga

Zaandam Cruise Review by YellowJacket84

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2014
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
My now wife and I did our honeymoon on the Zandaam and had an absolutely wonderful time! To start out with, we are both young. I turned 30 thirty two days before we got on this boat. When we got there, we noticed that the AARP would highly recommend this boat as it was 90% over the age of 60. That's fine though, as we realize that Holland America is the "old people" brand and one of the reasons we chose it is a lack of small children running around. That being said, there were always a ton of activities for younger folks to do and we were never bored. The assistant cruise director, the band, and the bars had a lot to do with this.
The boat itself is a little tired. Not horrible, but the bathrooms could have come out of the 80's, the furniture, the 90's. Our room, a Neptune suite, had holes in the carpet and the sofa was beat to pieces. But the bed was mostly comfortable, although they did not have any "T"'s to combine the twins into a queen. Instead, we had our steward (who, by the way, like all the staff, was fantastic) stuff the bed with towels. And though it was worn, the ship was always spotless.
The excursions were mostly good. There are a lot of cattle car tours where you sign up for a bus and they herd you on and off to take pictures and say, "I've been there". With the exception of Montevideo and Santiago, there was always one more active excursion that was excellent. We particularly loved hanging with Penguins, canoeing, and white water rafting. The last day, however, there were no options but bus tours. Our driver droned on and on about how capitalism is superior to socialism and communism and also stopped the whole bus so he could smoke. Yeah, glad I paid $400 for that...
So if the cruise was mostly good, why would I not go with Holland America again? The food. The food was the worst food I have ever had on a cruise ship. Breakfast was two eggs, bread and a cheap piece of meat. Oh, it sounded fancy with names of foreign countries attached to it, but there is no fooling this guy, its all the same! For 14 days in a row! Lunch was bland, often cold, and tasted like I was eating a run down Piccadilly Cafeteria. Bland, often cold, no variety or variation, and all as cheap as they pencil pushers could make it. It was nasty. Dinner was OK, but there was a serious lack of flavor. It seems as opposed to offend someone with taste, they would just not have any taste at all. And here is the thing that made me so mad about it all: The Pinnacle, the specialty restaurant on the boat was hands down the best food I have ever had on a cruise. Holland America is totally capable of making food that taste good (the burger bar on the pool deck was also good), but they chose not to. The food alone will keep me from ever sailing with Holland America again. Also, the coffee was terrible. It was like they took the grounds from other cruise boats, let them sit in the sun and dry out, and then make their coffee from that.
I hate that one thing was so bad that it would keep us from coming back. We really did have a great time and I have never seen such an awesome staff of people on a boat. Even the Captain was great and joined us for breakfast one day. For the most part, they really had great options of things to do and shore excursions for young couples and we were able to totally avoid large numbers of kids. It would have been perfect had the food issue not been there.
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Cabin Review

Vista Suite with Verandah
Cabin A 7006
The Neptune suite was worn and a bit dated, but it was clean and comfortable. The free laundry is the thing about it that really made it awesome. Clean clothes everyday is the nicest feature I have ever seen on a cruise.
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