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I traveled with a friend and co-worker. We made our reservations through a friend of a friend of hers. The travel agent could not tell us anything about our flight arrangements until three weeks or so before we were scheduled to leave. We had chosen the no child left behind route of booking through Holland America. Then she (the travel agent) slept through our opportunity to up-grade. Marsha called us at 10am when the last up-grade was taken at 8am. I was appalled by the fact our flight was not scheduled to leave until 6:30 pm on our return(the ship was scheduled to dock at 7am). Silly us, thinking that Holland America was a service friendly line, tried to change our flight reservations, They referred us back to our lazy Travel agent. She referred us back to Holland America. Bottom Line is they did not care if our flights suited our needs or not...pay up 300 more each and we can talk change. We actually saw our cabin steward on the first day and the last day. The bonvoyage bottle of wine sent to us took three days to get opened. The stop at the private island was lovely until I stopped at the post office to send post-cards to my grandchildren, I waited in line 30 minutes to see what was available, got a pen without ink to write them and then when another passenger gave me a pen was able to write them out. I bought postage from the most unfriendly soul and yet to this day; almost a week after returning, they have yet to get them, the same for all the others I mailed from the ship. The buffet on the Island was mediocre and after being directed through three different lines we finally had our lunch, in order to get a drink one had to juggle many plates to sign for a 50 cent can of coke which would translate later into 2.95 plus 15 percent gratuity. If you are into Asian cuisine the food was plentiful. I am not. Each morning going to the lido deck for breakfast was a chore, by the time one got through the line and found a scarce open seat, the food was cold. Dinner at the late seating puts all evening entertainment except the poor offerings at 10pm beyond one's grasp. The ports of Call were nothing short of disillusioning..........The pictures and descriptions are of island magic. The true scene is of poverty, that the cruise line cautions against mentioning to the locals. We would not want to offend them. It is ok to charge me an exorbitant fee to see it, but heaven forbid if I mention I don't want to see their garbage. Holland America also sponsors a shopping advice seminar..........If you see it and you like it, buy it. Who are they kidding? There are no bargains there, only inflated prices for profit margins to the cruise consultant and line. If you want lots to do, take lots of money. If you just want to spend your day down under taking a history or cooking lesson, go the local community college. Would I spend this much again for this less? NEVER. We ended up purchasing an excursion in Fort Lauderdale to kill time between when we disembarked and when our flight left...........By the way, If you are unfortunate enough to have a transfer to Miami for a flight home, E stands for everyone.....You will have to struggle on your own to the concourse your flight leaves. Ours was at the far end of the airport. No I did not tip the driver!! The experience gets two thumbs down. I had far more fun in Myrtle Beach for far less money. If I did not care for the restaurant, I went down the street to the next one. On Holland America you are a captive audience, and no one really cares if you are happy or not.

Obviously I set my Sights too High

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by sightstohigh

Trip Details
I traveled with a friend and co-worker. We made our reservations through a friend of a friend of hers. The travel agent could not tell us anything about our flight arrangements until three weeks or so before we were scheduled to leave. We had chosen the no child left behind route of booking through Holland America. Then she (the travel agent) slept through our opportunity to up-grade. Marsha called us at 10am when the last up-grade was taken at 8am. I was appalled by the fact our flight was not scheduled to leave until 6:30 pm on our return(the ship was scheduled to dock at 7am). Silly us, thinking that Holland America was a service friendly line, tried to change our flight reservations, They referred us back to our lazy Travel agent. She referred us back to Holland America. Bottom Line is they did not care if our flights suited our needs or not...pay up 300 more each and we can talk change. We actually saw our cabin steward on the first day and the last day. The bonvoyage bottle of wine sent to us took three days to get opened. The stop at the private island was lovely until I stopped at the post office to send post-cards to my grandchildren, I waited in line 30 minutes to see what was available, got a pen without ink to write them and then when another passenger gave me a pen was able to write them out. I bought postage from the most unfriendly soul and yet to this day; almost a week after returning, they have yet to get them, the same for all the others I mailed from the ship. The buffet on the Island was mediocre and after being directed through three different lines we finally had our lunch, in order to get a drink one had to juggle many plates to sign for a 50 cent can of coke which would translate later into 2.95 plus 15 percent gratuity. If you are into Asian cuisine the food was plentiful. I am not. Each morning going to the lido deck for breakfast was a chore, by the time one got through the line and found a scarce open seat, the food was cold. Dinner at the late seating puts all evening entertainment except the poor offerings at 10pm beyond one's grasp. The ports of Call were nothing short of disillusioning..........The pictures and descriptions are of island magic. The true scene is of poverty, that the cruise line cautions against mentioning to the locals. We would not want to offend them. It is ok to charge me an exorbitant fee to see it, but heaven forbid if I mention I don't want to see their garbage. Holland America also sponsors a shopping advice seminar..........If you see it and you like it, buy it. Who are they kidding? There are no bargains there, only inflated prices for profit margins to the cruise consultant and line. If you want lots to do, take lots of money. If you just want to spend your day down under taking a history or cooking lesson, go the local community college. Would I spend this much again for this less? NEVER. We ended up purchasing an excursion in Fort Lauderdale to kill time between when we disembarked and when our flight left...........By the way, If you are unfortunate enough to have a transfer to Miami for a flight home, E stands for everyone.....You will have to struggle on your own to the concourse your flight leaves. Ours was at the far end of the airport. No I did not tip the driver!! The experience gets two thumbs down. I had far more fun in Myrtle Beach for far less money. If I did not care for the restaurant, I went down the street to the next one. On Holland America you are a captive audience, and no one really cares if you are happy or not.
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VF
Great balcony, small cabin, not enough seating on open decks.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews