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This is the second time we left from Port Everglades, my brother lives in Ft Lauderdale area and he drives us in and drops us off. The registration was the most unusual one we have encountered.We arrived at about 2:00 and were given a # card. I think it was 30 and they were calling #12!! Shortly after we arrived they announced that they had run out of #s and will just call people after the #s. We waited about 30 minutes for our # to be called. In our prior cruises, with Princess and Royal Caribbean, we had just walked up to a counter and we were on our way. Went directly to our room after check-in. We had a balcony that overlooked the life boats and was very small. Not the best view we have ever had, but we did get a great deal, so we were not complaining. Room looked a little shabby. Stool under the desk had a big water stain on the top, lock on the outside of the sliding door to the balcony was rusted and shower curtain need to be laundered.We went to grab a bite to eat. What a madhouse in the Lido Restaurant!! Everyone had the same idea. Grabbed a piece of pizza and a drink and decided to wander the boat until sailing.Got back to our room after departure and our bags had not been delivered yet. Our Room Steward retrieved them. Realized while sweating our brains out that the AC was not working. Again, located our Steward, we were informed that there were a group of rooms with no AC. It was fixed shortly. In general, I do not think this is the cruise line for us. We had avoided it in the past since the passengers we met in ports seemed so old (remember, we are both 60!!). Most of the passengers were older than we are. The biggest criticism I have of the whole operation is the Lido restaurant. For the most part, you cannot serve yourself like in a regular buffet. A crew member serves most of the hot menu items and this leads to major lines. They also seem disorganized, if you ask for ham and they realize they have run out of ham, the server goes off somewhere to retrieve more ham and the line gets longer and longer. Someone else should be replacing food items, not the server. There are many crew members hanging around to carry trays, but we can do that ourselves and got a little annoyed that they weren't doing something more useful. You couldn't even get your own coffee or water, someone was there doing that for you and that led to another line!!There were plenty of food choices if you had the patience (which my husband does not) to wait in line. We had the "As You Wish" dining for dinner and that worked out fine. We made reservations most nights and usually sat by ourselves. The food was generally quite good and the service very elegant. The bars are quite small, not up to the caliber of Princess. The shows we saw were good, but not as good as Royal Caribbean. There is a Culinary Arts center that does shows about cooking. Richard, the travel guide, lives in Panama, we found his talks very interesting and educational. Holland America does not have much in the way of recreation like Royal Caribbean,no rock climbing walls, etc. Nicer chaise lounges around the decks than other cruise ships we have used. If you like to relax and have a lot of patience, then this maybe the cruise line for you. If you are used to recreation and breezing through a buffet line, then you will not be happy here. I do NOT recommend this line for young adults or families.

Make the Panama Canal a to do on your Bucket List

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by merrie1108

Trip Details
This is the second time we left from Port Everglades, my brother lives in Ft Lauderdale area and he drives us in and drops us off. The registration was the most unusual one we have encountered.We arrived at about 2:00 and were given a # card. I think it was 30 and they were calling #12!! Shortly after we arrived they announced that they had run out of #s and will just call people after the #s. We waited about 30 minutes for our # to be called. In our prior cruises, with Princess and Royal Caribbean, we had just walked up to a counter and we were on our way.
Went directly to our room after check-in. We had a balcony that overlooked the life boats and was very small. Not the best view we have ever had, but we did get a great deal, so we were not complaining. Room looked a little shabby. Stool under the desk had a big water stain on the top, lock on the outside of the sliding door to the balcony was rusted and shower curtain need to be laundered.We went to grab a bite to eat. What a madhouse in the Lido Restaurant!! Everyone had the same idea. Grabbed a piece of pizza and a drink and decided to wander the boat until sailing.Got back to our room after departure and our bags had not been delivered yet. Our Room Steward retrieved them. Realized while sweating our brains out that the AC was not working. Again, located our Steward, we were informed that there were a group of rooms with no AC. It was fixed shortly.
In general, I do not think this is the cruise line for us. We had avoided it in the past since the passengers we met in ports seemed so old (remember, we are both 60!!). Most of the passengers were older than we are. The biggest criticism I have of the whole operation is the Lido restaurant. For the most part, you cannot serve yourself like in a regular buffet. A crew member serves most of the hot menu items and this leads to major lines. They also seem disorganized, if you ask for ham and they realize they have run out of ham, the server goes off somewhere to retrieve more ham and the line gets longer and longer. Someone else should be replacing food items, not the server. There are many crew members hanging around to carry trays, but we can do that ourselves and got a little annoyed that they weren't doing something more useful. You couldn't even get your own coffee or water, someone was there doing that for you and that led to another line!!There were plenty of food choices if you had the patience (which my husband does not) to wait in line.
We had the "As You Wish" dining for dinner and that worked out fine. We made reservations most nights and usually sat by ourselves. The food was generally quite good and the service very elegant.
The bars are quite small, not up to the caliber of Princess. The shows we saw were good, but not as good as Royal Caribbean.
There is a Culinary Arts center that does shows about cooking. Richard, the travel guide, lives in Panama, we found his talks very interesting and educational.
Holland America does not have much in the way of recreation like Royal Caribbean,no rock climbing walls, etc. Nicer chaise lounges around the decks than other cruise ships we have used.
If you like to relax and have a lot of patience, then this maybe the cruise line for you. If you are used to recreation and breezing through a buffet line, then you will not be happy here. I do NOT recommend this line for young adults or families.
merrie1108’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VA 5061
Small cabin, very small balcony, but private. Room is poorly laid out. No room to walk around when getting dressed. Too much furniture for such a small room.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews