Background Information - I am 36 and my husband is 44 and in the last three months we have cruised transatlantic, caribbean and now most recently Hawaii. We have never been displeased with a cruise experience aside from a few details that were missed on our recent RCCL experience that were actually rectified when we arrived home from our HAL cruise in a letter. Hotel Info 4 nights at the Holiday Inn directly directly across from the ship. Ship Info Zaandam Activities There is tennis and a small gym Service The staff were great, I have nothing bad to say about any service. Only an observation that we found it very odd that the staff were always using the lido deck dining area, the restaurant there and the deck to eat...occupying the long lines and the few tables. I have never seen this before and found it very against the rules of any hotel operation. Shore Excursions We rented cars or toured on our own which worked out fantastically. Plus there were many many taxi's , as expected, available for our departure though the cruise line would go a long way to suggest none would be available in order to gain a large fee for their shuttle. Travel To Port of Embarkation Houston was horrible as usual with terrible staff at their Continental desk - plus the flight was delayed leaving us stranded in Houston overnight, having a 10 usd voucher each at a candy shop (nothing more) and a 5 hour sleep before having to catch our rescheduled flight. Horrible experience that dragged out an otherwise quick trip from our home in Cancun Stateroom Fantastic with jacuzzi, veranda and tv channels, free rental of DVD's in the library . Room steward was fantastic. Found it a little odd that there was no way to let the steward know we were not in the room...we are used to having a little card placed in the door slot to let them know we are not there and to 'make up room'. Would have saved him a lot of time. Dining Great food in the dining room but especially in the Pinnacle Grill was there a true cruise like experience. The main dining room delivered the food incredibly quickly allowing us to enjoy a five course dinner in 60 minutes time is really quite silly. Not a true dining experience. Pinnacle was completely different. We had a courtesy visit there and the second time paid 60usd. Were not charged for the bottle of wine that we brought, perhaps because we tipped so madly 60usd for our table of 8. Children's Clubs No children, thank goodness. Or perhaps just a few from the crew and their wives...again , occupying the coffee lines and the restaurant on the lido deck. Entertainment We did not venture to see the entertainment because we feared it would just not meet our expectations, having the majority of the fellow passengers some 40 years older than us. Disembarkation Fantastically fast and was wonderful to sit in our cabin until we were called. Much quicker than Miami disembarkation but questionable that customs did not give that much care. Miami has much higher security and technology that was missing entirely here. decor - the entire ship was tired, it was very hard to believe that the ship was in fact only seven years old because the technology was missing entirely, the areas were super dated and reflected the 70's. The furniture in the public areas was of the oldest style and there just were not any beautiful areas to take photos that we are so accustomed to. The gym was carpeted in orange and turquoise, almost like there was a sale on ugly carpet...it doesn't have to be that way. Nothing to wow or marvel at as far as any public area and we are used to being wowed...grey old walls covered the hallways...we didn't use the elevators because our 6th floor cabin allowed for easy access to every single area being that everything was on the 5th floor or 8th floor and we were right off the stairway. I would recommend this cruise to your parents or grandparents, anyone over 75 years old...because the crowd was what we infact referred to as a 'floating seniors citizens home'. The buffet was a little odd because the glass (that serves to keep people from drooling on the food) did not able a person to serve himself without doing an awkward back bend to reach food not placed directly closest to you.Ridiculously unaccessible. The dessert buffet outside one night was beautiful to look at but the food was simple and did not taste good, the only thing flavorful were the chocolate covered strawberries which are hard to mess up. The waiter in the dining room even awkwardly presented the desserts each night as they were nothing to look at. All in all, if you would rather see Hawaii than be in an old age home this cruise would be great for you.

Zaandam - Hawaii

Zaandam Cruise Review by Michelle

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2007
  • Destination: Hawaii
Background Information - I am 36 and my husband is 44 and in the last three months we have cruised transatlantic, caribbean and now most recently Hawaii. We have never been displeased with a cruise experience aside from a few details that were missed on our recent RCCL experience that were actually rectified when we arrived home from our HAL cruise in a letter. Hotel Info 4 nights at the Holiday Inn directly directly across from the ship.
Ship Info Zaandam Activities There is tennis and a small gym Service The staff were great, I have nothing bad to say about any service. Only an observation that we found it very odd that the staff were always using the lido deck dining area, the restaurant there and the deck to eat...occupying the long lines and the few tables. I have never seen this before and found it very against the rules of any hotel operation.
Shore Excursions We rented cars or toured on our own which worked out fantastically. Plus there were many many taxi's , as expected, available for our departure though the cruise line would go a long way to suggest none would be available in order to gain a large fee for their shuttle.
Travel To Port of Embarkation Houston was horrible as usual with terrible staff at their Continental desk - plus the flight was delayed leaving us stranded in Houston overnight, having a 10 usd voucher each at a candy shop (nothing more) and a 5 hour sleep before having to catch our rescheduled flight. Horrible experience that dragged out an otherwise quick trip from our home in Cancun
Stateroom Fantastic with jacuzzi, veranda and tv channels, free rental of DVD's in the library . Room steward was fantastic. Found it a little odd that there was no way to let the steward know we were not in the room...we are used to having a little card placed in the door slot to let them know we are not there and to 'make up room'. Would have saved him a lot of time.
Dining Great food in the dining room but especially in the Pinnacle Grill was there a true cruise like experience. The main dining room delivered the food incredibly quickly allowing us to enjoy a five course dinner in 60 minutes time is really quite silly. Not a true dining experience. Pinnacle was completely different. We had a courtesy visit there and the second time paid 60usd. Were not charged for the bottle of wine that we brought, perhaps because we tipped so madly 60usd for our table of 8.
Children's Clubs No children, thank goodness. Or perhaps just a few from the crew and their wives...again , occupying the coffee lines and the restaurant on the lido deck.
Entertainment We did not venture to see the entertainment because we feared it would just not meet our expectations, having the majority of the fellow passengers some 40 years older than us.
Disembarkation Fantastically fast and was wonderful to sit in our cabin until we were called. Much quicker than Miami disembarkation but questionable that customs did not give that much care. Miami has much higher security and technology that was missing entirely here.
decor - the entire ship was tired, it was very hard to believe that the ship was in fact only seven years old because the technology was missing entirely, the areas were super dated and reflected the 70's. The furniture in the public areas was of the oldest style and there just were not any beautiful areas to take photos that we are so accustomed to. The gym was carpeted in orange and turquoise, almost like there was a sale on ugly carpet...it doesn't have to be that way. Nothing to wow or marvel at as far as any public area and we are used to being wowed...grey old walls covered the hallways...we didn't use the elevators because our 6th floor cabin allowed for easy access to every single area being that everything was on the 5th floor or 8th floor and we were right off the stairway.
I would recommend this cruise to your parents or grandparents, anyone over 75 years old...because the crowd was what we infact referred to as a 'floating seniors citizens home'. The buffet was a little odd because the glass (that serves to keep people from drooling on the food) did not able a person to serve himself without doing an awkward back bend to reach food not placed directly closest to you.Ridiculously unaccessible. The dessert buffet outside one night was beautiful to look at but the food was simple and did not taste good, the only thing flavorful were the chocolate covered strawberries which are hard to mess up. The waiter in the dining room even awkwardly presented the desserts each night as they were nothing to look at. All in all, if you would rather see Hawaii than be in an old age home this cruise would be great for you.
Michelle’s Full Rating Summary
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