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We are a retired couple ages 64 & 70 with a history of 15 prior cruises on various lines, the last four (including this one) were with HAL. We were accompanied by another couple in the same age group. Heeding the advice of fellow Cruise Critic members we flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before our cruise. I was very glad that we did as there was a snowstorm on the day of embarkation! We stayed at the Renaissance on 17th St and it was delightful. We had gotten a good deal there thru Priceline again thanks to Cruise Critic members. Embarkation: We arrived at the port (literally just minutes from the hotel), around 1 pm, dropped off our friends and our luggage and drove to the airport to return our rental car. Took the free shuttle back to the pier, and were checked in and up in our cabin by 2pm. There was a line, but it moved very quickly. Having been on the Vista Class ships before, we were well acquainted with our veranda cabin layout, storage, etc. We have found them to have adequate storage for all of our things and of course, who doesn't love the Mariner Dream beds! Hubby wants to get one for home! We met our cabin steward, Ludfi and his assistant, Hamim who were wonderful. Our cabin was always made up when we returned from breakfast and they were very good at replacing items that were running low without us having to ask them. Upon checking out our cabin I noticed that the shower curtain liner was mildewed I mentioned it to Ludfi as we were going up to Lido for lunch and by the time we returned it had been replaced with a new one. We also had charming towel animals every night despite being in Code Red for 5 days and the staff having so much extra work to do. Dining: Even though we much prefer fixed dining we were assigned As You Wish Dining. I was expecting lots of headaches with this, but except for one night it worked out fine. The first night (generally the most problematic night) we all went to dinner at 6:30 and were seated immediately. The second night we again went at 6:30 and were given a pagerwaited 40 minutes for a table-and were seated at table 170 which had cold air blasting down onto the table even the men were cold so we requested to be seated elsewhere and were given a different table. After that we generally went to dinner anywhere from 6:30 to 8 pm and were seated within a few minutes. We had an excellent waiter, Norman, and after having him twice we requested his table whenever possible and had our own "fixed dining" with him and his assistant for 5 more dinners! We all enjoyed the wonderful food, both in the dining room and up on Lido deck. I especially enjoyed all the "fresh" fruits & vegetables as opposed to some lines which serve canned. There were plenty of activities, fitness classes, lectures, trivia games, bingo etc. if you wanted to keep busy. Entertainment: We thoroughly enjoyed the shows, especially Paul Tanner, singer impressionist, who wowed the audience with his impersonations of Elvis, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Garth Brooks and many others! Another great show was Mysteriaque, a combo of acrobatics & magic! The Zuiderdam singers & dancers put on some fabulous shows too and they work very hard. Nightlife: Although I've heard that the ship is very quiet after 10pm since everyone goes to bed, this was certainly not the case on this cruise. On the night that they had music from the 50's & 60's in the Queen's Lounge it was standing room only and the place was jumping. We left at 11pm and it was still going strong. Another night they had the "Marriage Game" at 10pm in the Queens Lounge and again it was standing room only. Another was "Battle of the Sexes", same thing. Zuiderdam is a lovely ship (I especially love the beautiful benches and statues ) with a smiling, friendly crew and excellent service. On the day we were in Costa Rica it poured rain all day and many people did not have umbrella's or rain ponchos. As the shore excursions were returning to the ship many crew members came out with big umbrellas for those that were unprotected!Disembarkation: We had a 3pm flight so were in no hurry to get off the ship. We were among the last groups off but everything seemed to be orderly with colors & numbers being called and we were off the ship by 9:30 am, found our bags, went thru the line for customs and hailed a cab to the airport.

Fabulous Time on Zuiderdam

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by Love the beach

Trip Details
We are a retired couple ages 64 & 70 with a history of 15 prior cruises on various lines, the last four (including this one) were with HAL. We were accompanied by another couple in the same age group. Heeding the advice of fellow Cruise Critic members we flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before our cruise. I was very glad that we did as there was a snowstorm on the day of embarkation! We stayed at the Renaissance on 17th St and it was delightful. We had gotten a good deal there thru Priceline again thanks to Cruise Critic members. Embarkation: We arrived at the port (literally just minutes from the hotel), around 1 pm, dropped off our friends and our luggage and drove to the airport to return our rental car. Took the free shuttle back to the pier, and were checked in and up in our cabin by 2pm. There was a line, but it moved very quickly. Having been on the Vista Class ships before, we were well acquainted with our veranda cabin layout, storage, etc. We have found them to have adequate storage for all of our things and of course, who doesn't love the Mariner Dream beds! Hubby wants to get one for home! We met our cabin steward, Ludfi and his assistant, Hamim who were wonderful. Our cabin was always made up when we returned from breakfast and they were very good at replacing items that were running low without us having to ask them. Upon checking out our cabin I noticed that the shower curtain liner was mildewed I mentioned it to Ludfi as we were going up to Lido for lunch and by the time we returned it had been replaced with a new one. We also had charming towel animals every night despite being in Code Red for 5 days and the staff having so much extra work to do. Dining: Even though we much prefer fixed dining we were assigned As You Wish Dining. I was expecting lots of headaches with this, but except for one night it worked out fine. The first night (generally the most problematic night) we all went to dinner at 6:30 and were seated immediately. The second night we again went at 6:30 and were given a pagerwaited 40 minutes for a table-and were seated at table 170 which had cold air blasting down onto the table even the men were cold so we requested to be seated elsewhere and were given a different table. After that we generally went to dinner anywhere from 6:30 to 8 pm and were seated within a few minutes. We had an excellent waiter, Norman, and after having him twice we requested his table whenever possible and had our own "fixed dining" with him and his assistant for 5 more dinners! We all enjoyed the wonderful food, both in the dining room and up on Lido deck. I especially enjoyed all the "fresh" fruits & vegetables as opposed to some lines which serve canned. There were plenty of activities, fitness classes, lectures, trivia games, bingo etc. if you wanted to keep busy. Entertainment: We thoroughly enjoyed the shows, especially Paul Tanner, singer impressionist, who wowed the audience with his impersonations of Elvis, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Garth Brooks and many others! Another great show was Mysteriaque, a combo of acrobatics & magic! The Zuiderdam singers & dancers put on some fabulous shows too and they work very hard. Nightlife: Although I've heard that the ship is very quiet after 10pm since everyone goes to bed, this was certainly not the case on this cruise. On the night that they had music from the 50's & 60's in the Queen's Lounge it was standing room only and the place was jumping. We left at 11pm and it was still going strong. Another night they had the "Marriage Game" at 10pm in the Queens Lounge and again it was standing room only. Another was "Battle of the Sexes", same thing. Zuiderdam is a lovely ship (I especially love the beautiful benches and statues ) with a smiling, friendly crew and excellent service. On the day we were in Costa Rica it poured rain all day and many people did not have umbrella's or rain ponchos. As the shore excursions were returning to the ship many crew members came out with big umbrellas for those that were unprotected!Disembarkation: We had a 3pm flight so were in no hurry to get off the ship. We were among the last groups off but everything seemed to be orderly with colors & numbers being called and we were off the ship by 9:30 am, found our bags, went thru the line for customs and hailed a cab to the airport.
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