I last sailed on Zaandam 5 years ago. Since then I have sailed with Celebrity and Azamara. Celebrity in particular makes HAL look like a poor cousin. The menu in the main dining room was almost identical to the menu 5 years ago. Perfectly OK but no wow factor. GI on board didn't help matters. Cabins badly need refurbishing and the shampoo and conditioner provided is just awful. Entertainment was OK but the HALCATS at the pool were far too loud. That said my main reason for this cruise was to do the horribly expensive overland to Machu Picchu. I asked for an aisle seat on all flights and every time I had to organise it myself at the airport. If they can do a group check in and have boarding passes ready why was this so difficult? The hotel in Cusco, J W Marriott was wonderful and the Hiram Bingham train was superb. A bad dose of altitude sickness meant I didn't really get to appreciate it but it was all well organised and Machu Picchu was just like all the photos. The option of a slower tour on site was really good, but I am so over listening to guides raving on and having to stand and listen with nowhere to sit. Would I recommend this tour? No. If you are pressed for time do it, but if you have any other option, go for it. Several people on this tour did not make it from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Too sick, and speaking of sick! we were given a boxed lunch to carry with us on the last day, Cusco to Lima and Lima to Trujillo. A pain to carry along with hand luggage and souvenirs but several people ended up with a nasty gastric bug. The flight from Lima to Trujillo was late and Zaandam waited for us. This is the big advantage of a ship's tour. At the other ports I did my own thing, much more satisfactory.

Zaandam is OK but there are better options.

Zaandam Cruise Review by CJSANDFS

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2015
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Large Outside Stateroom (partial sea view)
I last sailed on Zaandam 5 years ago. Since then I have sailed with Celebrity and Azamara. Celebrity in particular makes HAL look like a poor cousin.

The menu in the main dining room was almost identical to the menu 5 years ago. Perfectly OK but no wow factor. GI on board didn't help matters.

Cabins badly need refurbishing and the shampoo and conditioner provided is just awful.

Entertainment was OK but the HALCATS at the pool were far too loud.

That said my main reason for this cruise was to do the horribly expensive overland to Machu Picchu. I asked for an aisle seat on all flights and every time I had to organise it myself at the airport. If they can do a group check in and have boarding passes ready why was this so difficult?

The hotel in Cusco, J W Marriott was wonderful and the Hiram Bingham train was superb. A bad dose of altitude sickness meant I didn't really get to appreciate it but it was all well organised and Machu Picchu was just like all the photos. The option of a slower tour on site was really good, but I am so over listening to guides raving on and having to stand and listen with nowhere to sit.

Would I recommend this tour? No. If you are pressed for time do it, but if you have any other option, go for it. Several people on this tour did not make it from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Too sick, and speaking of sick! we were given a boxed lunch to carry with us on the last day, Cusco to Lima and Lima to Trujillo. A pain to carry along with hand luggage and souvenirs but several people ended up with a nasty gastric bug.

The flight from Lima to Trujillo was late and Zaandam waited for us. This is the big advantage of a ship's tour.

At the other ports I did my own thing, much more satisfactory.
CJSANDFS’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Large Outside Stateroom (partial sea view)
Cabin H 3167
Needs refurbishment and opposite some kind of generator. Constant noisy vibration. I used earplugs. Location was very good, easy access to everything.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews