We took the 'Double Denali' cruise out of Vancouver. Boarding and orientation was very good. Bags arrived in a timely manner. Overall, the ship is in great shape with plenty of staff attending to multiple maintenance details at all times. Easy movement around ship with multiple elevators so 'no wait' was common. Good signage to assist with orientation and movement. The cabin was as advertised with good storage, comfy bed and furniture in good shape. (We had a verandah cabin). Cabin staff was superb and, once they knew what we needed and liked, they kept us very comfortable. The staff to client ratio was nearly 1:2 such that they were EVERYWHERE. Unfortunately, they are not cross trained so when we asked a question the staff member usually didn't know the answer, referred us to somebody else (who often did not know the answer) or gave us bad information. Eventually, we just directly called the front desk if info was needed and that staff was knowledgeable and helpful. Dining: The 2 story dining room was excellent and reservations were important. The Lido restaurant (buffet style) was difficult at times. We eventually gave it the nickname of "Cattle call" as finding a seat could be difficult and the crowds were, well, like a cattle call. Food was good throughout the ship however. The only problems we encountered was the poor English speaking of the staff serving the food. One night it took 6 questions to determine what a cook was serving. Nobody in line around us understood her, but we eventually pieced it together. The floor serving staff was attentive, though a couple of them had bad non-verbal attitudes. That is, the faces made suggested I was bothering them by asking for some tea! A significant complaint was the dinning chairs in the Cattle room. With rare exception, every one was sunken in a concave manner. VERY uncomfortable and in need of immediate repair/replacement. Entertainment: We did not participate in much of the onboard entertainment, spending our time onshore visiting places. Ports: All the ports in AK were fun to visit and obviously fully oriented toward the tourists. It was easy to navigate when onshore. Excursions were mostly excellent, but depended on the skill and experience of the guide. Some leaders were well educated and verbally skilled. Others were more or less doing a job. All excursion staff were attentive to our safety and needs.

Good ship and staff with a few significant drawbacks

Zaandam Cruise Review by Doctormike11

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
We took the 'Double Denali' cruise out of Vancouver. Boarding and orientation was very good. Bags arrived in a timely manner. Overall, the ship is in great shape with plenty of staff attending to multiple maintenance details at all times. Easy movement around ship with multiple elevators so 'no wait' was common. Good signage to assist with orientation and movement. The cabin was as advertised with good storage, comfy bed and furniture in good shape. (We had a verandah cabin). Cabin staff was superb and, once they knew what we needed and liked, they kept us very comfortable.

The staff to client ratio was nearly 1:2 such that they were EVERYWHERE. Unfortunately, they are not cross trained so when we asked a question the staff member usually didn't know the answer, referred us to somebody else (who often did not know the answer) or gave us bad information. Eventually, we just directly called the front desk if info was needed and that staff was knowledgeable and helpful.

Dining: The 2 story dining room was excellent and reservations were important. The Lido restaurant (buffet style) was difficult at times. We eventually gave it the nickname of "Cattle call" as finding a seat could be difficult and the crowds were, well, like a cattle call. Food was good throughout the ship however. The only problems we encountered was the poor English speaking of the staff serving the food. One night it took 6 questions to determine what a cook was serving. Nobody in line around us understood her, but we eventually pieced it together. The floor serving staff was attentive, though a couple of them had bad non-verbal attitudes. That is, the faces made suggested I was bothering them by asking for some tea! A significant complaint was the dinning chairs in the Cattle room. With rare exception, every one was sunken in a concave manner. VERY uncomfortable and in need of immediate repair/replacement.

Entertainment: We did not participate in much of the onboard entertainment, spending our time onshore visiting places.

Ports: All the ports in AK were fun to visit and obviously fully oriented toward the tourists. It was easy to navigate when onshore. Excursions were mostly excellent, but depended on the skill and experience of the guide. Some leaders were well educated and verbally skilled. Others were more or less doing a job. All excursion staff were attentive to our safety and needs.
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