We are fairly seasoned travellers, looking for and adult environment and great trips. Between my wife and I, her on her 13 cruise, we found the Zaandam, our first HA cruise, to be not up to par. The water leak in our room that covered a third of the carpet was one thing, and was graciously compensated for by a meal in the paid restaurant. That was by far the best mean on the trip. The day to day food was not as good as other lines sailed with and we have collectively been on Celebrity, Princess, and Carnival. The ship is only 60+ tonnes and I'm personally at a point where 100 tonne and up is the way to go. Our next trip this October from Rome Italy to Florida with Princess will be on a 140,000 tonne. Nice. What was nice, was that contrary to some mother that argued with me that the total craziness of the Norwegian cruise we took last December out of New York was fine with all the typical uncontrolled children, our HA cruise was quiet. NOTE TO PARENTS: No cruises were never designed for kids, but if you are lucky to be able to afford one with your little darlings, keep them quiet and tethered as on this cruise so the adults can enjoy their cruise. We heard other adults with the same sentiments. Norwegian Cruise lines with its 'Freestyle' nonsense style of cruising is not for us. Like most parents, of which we are, adults want quiet and not to be tripping over kids as we were on Norwegian. Nor do we want to sit at dinner on a formal night in our dress clothes (i.e. suit, tux), and sit beside a family in old jeans because they don't respect a dress code...oh, yes, Norwegian doesn't care either! NOTE TO CRUISE LINES: If you want to cater to adults that are paying the fees, keep dress standards on formal nights and standards even on casual nights where pants should be worn. I loved it when on the Zaandam, when it looked like 2 US farm boys from yuck yucksville tried to actually enter the dining room dressed in jeans or overalls looking like they had just put the pigs away in the barn. They were asked to leave. Bravo Holland America. We may try another ship and possibly the food will improve. I will say that other passengers said they always cruise Holland America. Last note. We ended the cruise with a Holland America 4 day land tour of Alaska and we loved it. What a wonderful state, if you don't encounter one of their many earthquakes. Great seamless job on the luggage following us to each resort. Well organized and recommended. I will add that if you are expecting Mt. McKinley to be at the National Park and in easy view, well its misleading. The mountain is many miles away and you really can't see it without an excursion.

Cruise highlights were the fiords of Alaska

Zaandam Cruise Review by RetiredandHappy4

14 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
We are fairly seasoned travellers, looking for and adult environment and great trips.

Between my wife and I, her on her 13 cruise, we found the Zaandam, our first HA cruise, to be not up to par.

The water leak in our room that covered a third of the carpet was one thing, and was graciously compensated for by a meal in the paid restaurant. That was by far the best mean on the trip.

The day to day food was not as good as other lines sailed with and we have collectively been on Celebrity, Princess, and Carnival. The ship is only 60+ tonnes and I'm personally at a point where 100 tonne and up is the way to go. Our next trip this October from Rome Italy to Florida with Princess will be on a 140,000 tonne. Nice.

What was nice, was that contrary to some mother that argued with me that the total craziness of the Norwegian cruise we took last December out of New York was fine with all the typical uncontrolled children, our HA cruise was quiet. NOTE TO PARENTS: No cruises were never designed for kids, but if you are lucky to be able to afford one with your little darlings, keep them quiet and tethered as on this cruise so the adults can enjoy their cruise. We heard other adults with the same sentiments. Norwegian Cruise lines with its 'Freestyle' nonsense style of cruising is not for us. Like most parents, of which we are, adults want quiet and not to be tripping over kids as we were on Norwegian. Nor do we want to sit at dinner on a formal night in our dress clothes (i.e. suit, tux), and sit beside a family in old jeans because they don't respect a dress code...oh, yes, Norwegian doesn't care either!

NOTE TO CRUISE LINES: If you want to cater to adults that are paying the fees, keep dress standards on formal nights and standards even on casual nights where pants should be worn. I loved it when on the Zaandam, when it looked like 2 US farm boys from yuck yucksville tried to actually enter the dining room dressed in jeans or overalls looking like they had just put the pigs away in the barn. They were asked to leave. Bravo Holland America.

We may try another ship and possibly the food will improve. I will say that other passengers said they always cruise Holland America.

Last note. We ended the cruise with a Holland America 4 day land tour of Alaska and we loved it. What a wonderful state, if you don't encounter one of their many earthquakes. Great seamless job on the luggage following us to each resort. Well organized and recommended.

I will add that if you are expecting Mt. McKinley to be at the National Park and in easy view, well its misleading. The mountain is many miles away and you really can't see it without an excursion.
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin E
The cabin was okay, but the water leak from the far corner was not expected. We had to leave the room while heater fans sucked up the moisture most of the day.
Lower Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins