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This has been on my bucket list. Planned a Panama Canal raise 5 years ago, but was unable to do this because of serious family illness. After the death of my husband I decided that it was imperative to do a cruise I had always dreamed about doing. Only did the 11 day round trip from Fort Laudetdale with partial Panama Canal transit We flew into FLL on Southwest Airlines and stayed both pre and post cruise at Embassy Suites Fort Lauderdale, which is a hotel that I have used for years. Have previously sailed on smaller HAL ships, so was curious about whether I would like the larger ship. I felt very much at home because HAL retains a similar floor plan for their public decks. The crew was very friendly and helpful. After trying another cruise line, I truly enjoy seeing the friendly Indonesian and Filipino faces that are a hallmark of Holland America. We took excursions in Aruba, Curacao and Costa Rica. Enjoyed our visit to a banana plantation in Costa Rica most among the shore excursions. We stayed on the ship during our visit to the Panama Canal and felt we truly got to see lots of the actual workings of the canal. We enjoyed the movie and TV program about the Canal in our cabin prior to our Canal day. A nice HAL touch was the Panama buns and coffee on deck In the early morning. We enjoyed the Billboard Onboard nightly. Pianists could certainly draw a crowd of us oldies that loved the oldies that they played. The only other entertainment that we saw was a marvelous steel drum ensemble “Island Magic” that captivated a large number of passengers. Embarkation and Debarkation were handled with usual HAL precision. We got thru Immigration and outside the terminal just as a thunderstorm passed through. (Welcome back to Florida,) Have already scheduled another cruise on the Nieuw Statendam, so will be looking forward to another great Holland America Cruise!

Awesome Panama Canal Cruise

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by cruzn single

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This has been on my bucket list. Planned a Panama Canal raise 5 years ago, but was unable to do this because of serious family illness. After the death of my husband I decided that it was imperative to do a cruise I had always dreamed about doing. Only did the 11 day round trip from Fort Laudetdale with partial Panama Canal transit

We flew into FLL on Southwest Airlines and stayed both pre and post cruise at Embassy Suites Fort Lauderdale, which is a hotel that I have used for years.

Have previously sailed on smaller HAL ships, so was curious about whether I would like the larger ship. I felt very much at home because HAL retains a similar floor plan for their public decks.

The crew was very friendly and helpful. After trying another cruise line, I truly enjoy seeing the friendly Indonesian and Filipino faces that are a hallmark of Holland America.

We took excursions in Aruba, Curacao and Costa Rica. Enjoyed our visit to a banana plantation in Costa Rica most among the shore excursions. We stayed on the ship during our visit to the Panama Canal and felt we truly got to see lots of the actual workings of the canal. We enjoyed the movie and TV program about the Canal in our cabin prior to our Canal day. A nice HAL touch was the Panama buns and coffee on deck In the early morning.

We enjoyed the Billboard Onboard nightly. Pianists could certainly draw a crowd of us oldies that loved the oldies that they played. The only other entertainment that we saw was a marvelous steel drum ensemble “Island Magic” that captivated a large number of passengers.

Embarkation and Debarkation were handled with usual HAL precision. We got thru Immigration and outside the terminal just as a thunderstorm passed through. (Welcome back to Florida,)

Have already scheduled another cruise on the Nieuw Statendam, so will be looking forward to another great Holland America Cruise!
cruzn single’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin D 4121
Loved the cabin. I was traveling with another female. We found the room to be very ample. View was unobstructed. Great location as not too far from elevators for all dining options.
Upper Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Island Tour
    Lots of wasted time. Beach time not particularly enjoyable. Entire tour was a waste. And Aruba was so windy that tour was adversely affected
    View All 213 Island Tour Reviews