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We have wanted to see the canal for years. We always choose HAL. For us they are the best! The ship is newly refurbished, the verandah cabin fantastic and comfortable. Most of all the service all over the ship is extraordinary! The food is delicious and there is a lot to do for the older adults ( us!). We went on shore excursions and enjoyed all of them! The Hato caves in Curacao were amazing, the Gatun Lake and Locks fabulous and the Tortugua Canals and Verugua Rain Forest amazing! All of the days at sea were filled with interesting things to do and the evening entertainment full and we'll done. All of the food was nicely presented and delicious. We are at the Lido a lot for convenience and there was always more than enough selection. I am a vegetarian and I had no problem finding great meals. The salad bar is awesome!

Mind boggling Panama Canal and Jungle experience.

Zuiderdam Cruise Review by arrandolan

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We have wanted to see the canal for years. We always choose HAL. For us they are the best! The ship is newly refurbished, the verandah cabin fantastic and comfortable. Most of all the service all over the ship is extraordinary! The food is delicious and there is a lot to do for the older adults ( us!).

We went on shore excursions and enjoyed all of them! The Hato caves in Curacao were amazing, the Gatun Lake and Locks fabulous and the Tortugua Canals and Verugua Rain Forest amazing! All of the days at sea were filled with interesting things to do and the evening entertainment full and we'll done. All of the food was nicely presented and delicious. We are at the Lido a lot for convenience and there was always more than enough selection. I am a vegetarian and I had no problem finding great meals. The salad bar is awesome!
arrandolan’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 8111
The cabin is cozy, comfortable and nicely decorated. There is plenty of storage for 2 people, we didn't even use it all. Loved having a King bed and it was so comfortable. Great pillows, soft sheets and comforter. We watched movies on the large smart screen TV and could find out menus for the dining rooms. We could adjust the temperature easily and it cooled or heated quickly. We stayed at the Morrison Inn prior to the cruise and it was very nice. Great to have shuttles from the airport and to the cruise port!
Observation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Aruba
    We took a private tour with Cyrillo Croes. He was right on time and have us the best your ever. We got to go to the Donkey Sanctuary, which was a real treat, the lighthouse, the baby bridge and the rock formations. He is a wealth of information and helped us get to know Aruba. I would highly recommend Cerry for tours in Aruba. He is awesome!! Find him on pitaruba.com
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  • Gatun Lake Tour
    This was an awesome tour! Our guide, Fabio was so easy to understand in English and taught us all about Panama. The boat ride was wonderful, and We saw sloths, howler monkeys and such lush jungle around the lake. It is peaceful and serene. The boat was comfortable and the driver great at finding animals. I really enjoyed it!
    View All 32 Gatun Lake Tour Reviews
  • Gatun Locks
    Unbelievable! We were so lucky as a huge oil tanker was coming in so we got to see the entire operation! We chose not to watch the movie as we'd watched every Panama Canal movie onboard the ship. We aren't sure there is actually a visitor center with exhibits as we didn't see that either. We were mesmorized by the ship and the lock operation. If you want a snack there is a small offering but be aware the closed at 3:00, so we missed the opportunity for an ice cream, not that we really needed it! All in all the Panama Canal trip was one of the highlight experiences of my life!
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  • Curacao
    The museum is small and the mahogany furniture beautiful. The drive through town was also interesting.
    View All 1,240 Curacao Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Cave Tour
    Wonderful cave tour. The stairs were a bit steep but doable. We practiced with the stairs in the ship! Loved seeing the bats! The caves are unassuming but worth visiting. Just don't compare them to any you might have seen before. Let them stand
    alone in their own right.
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  • Distillery Tour
    This is a very small distillery and there isn't a lot to see. We did see testing and packing and learned how they make the Curacao. We had a tiny taste of three types.
    View All 61 Distillery Tour Reviews
  • Puerto Limon
    We saw 4 sloths and 5 Howler monkeys. There was also a tiger Heron, an Egret and Iguanas. It was slow and serene and very enjoyable! Love sloths!!
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  • Veragua Rainforest
    Even though the bus ride is about an hour, the bumpy road is only about 20 minutes of the journey, and I didn't mind at all. The bus was comfortable and air conditioned. The villages we passed are so interesting and it was educational to see the Costs Rican experience. Yes, Port Limon has some very impoverished areas but the country has a 10 year plan for renewal and even though the buildings need repair the architecture is awesome. Once we got up to the Verugua rainforest it was stunning. There are also some great views along the way. Our tour guide, Gudra (Gudy) did a great job the whole trip. The exhibits are small but interesting because we saw the native creatures we couldn't see in the wild easily. We enjoyed the scientist presentation and seeing the Morphos butterflies in the garden was wonderful. The typical Coasts Rican lunch was good; beans, rice, chicken and a plantain. I enjoyed it and it was all well presented and the area very clean! Now to the jungle...words can't describe the magnitude of the plants. The gondola was great as we could see all of the plant layers. Our hike through the Giants was spectacular. Amazing to see all of the different plants growing on
    the tall trees to reach sunlight. It was a great experience! We saw a sloth and trails of leaf cutter ants, and a Bullet and on the hunt. What a day! I would go again in a heartbeat!
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