Is it hard to get a table for 2 on the Zuiderdam?, also food/ Key West?

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#1
New York, NY, USA
196 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
Hi all. Thinking of trying to get a last minute deal for a cruise next weekend on the Zuiderdam. Is it hard to get a table for 2 (we always do the late seating)?

We are in our late 30's. Is the crowd a mixed group (all ages)? I ask this because our TA said the crowd is much older, we should think about another line. But I prefer to get my info. from these boards & then make my decision!

We have sailed Disney, Celebrity, Carnival & Royal Carribbean. The only time I was very disappointed in terms of food was Royal Caribbean (i gave it a grade of D).

PS - The cruise would leave next Sat. Do you think it might skip Key West next week because of any hurricane damage it might sustain over this weekend?


Thanks for any/all advice,
Marina
#2
Merritt Island, FL
10,349 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We were on the July 24th sailing of the Zuiderdam and had a table for 6 we are 38/35 and our table mates were in their early to late 40's (two sisters and a gay couple) we had a lot of fun at the table and love meeting new people. I really did not see too many people who looked out of place in their table seating.

We always do the last seating, less children and the older people tend to go to bed a bit earlier.
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#3
Florida
660 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
When you book request a table for two.

Also, call ship services and order something, anything for your cabin. At that time have ship services check your reservation and be sure that the table for two has been requested.

You will love Holland America Line!

The passengers are not always older. Should be thirty somethings in great numbers.
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Carol
#4
Baltimore, MD
278 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Ocruise,

Where are you seeing available cabins on the 8/21 sailing, on the HAL site they are all closed, unless you're taking the inside guarantee? You probably can't post the website, if it is indeed one, but I'm interested to know what "deals" you've come across and where!

Thanks,
Nikki
#5
81,678 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Your TA is probably not very versed in HAL or he/she would probably be aware that as Zuiderdam is one of the few ships sailing the Caribbean this summer, there are loads of families aboard with children of all ages. We have been on four Zuiderdam cruises including two last summer and I assure you, you will have plenty of people alot younger than you aboard.


As to a table for two.....there are never any guarantees. It is a situation of request. They try their best to accomodate.

When you say you have late dinner, are you aware that HAL has four dining times? On our recent Maasdam cruise, dinner was at 5:45; 6:15; 8:00 and 8:30. Dinner on all the ships (except Prinsendam and maybe Noordam) are roughly the same four times.
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#6
New York, NY, USA
196 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
Hi. She is actually our former TA (I book all my cruises myself now using *************.com). But I did get the feeling she was trying to steer us away from HAL. But I always get the best advice from these boards. I have always wanted to try HAL, it looks very classy to me, similar to Celebrity.
I just put in a cruise quote with *************, have not heard back yet. They always give us a great deal, but I have never booked this last minute before.
Marina
#7
81,678 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Good luck....of course, come here with any questions.

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#8
Savannah,Ga
237 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
My son and wife (early 30's) sailed on the Zuiderdam in April. They requested a table for 4 and their tablemates spoke no English. They were not happy there at all but ate in the Lido after the first night and the Pinnacle once. We request a table for six. That way you are more likely to have at least one couple that you may have something to talk about with.
We were at a table for 2 once and did not really like that. We felt isolated.
#9
South Dakota
1,774 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
My husband & I were on the Zuiderdam last week and didn't want a table for 2 but that's what we got. We talked a lot to the people across the isle that were also sitting by themselves so we were fine. We did have the earliest dinner time (5:45) though.
There were a great variety of ages on board and even though there were supposedly 400 children on board we sure didn't see them.
We had a great time - it was our first time sailing on HAL but we would not hesitate to sail with them again.
#10
Chicago,IL
60 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
We started cruising on HAL in our late 30's. That was back in the days before the current effort to attract a younger crowd to HAL. Even then, there were plenty of 30 and 40 somethings on board.


We used to request a table of 8 in order to meet new people. Once, we were assigned to a table with only very old (and not young at heart) folks as table-mates. We simply asked to be reassigned to a younger table. There was no problem. There were plenty of others in our age bracket who wanted the same thing. In a day – poof– there were tables of 8 filled with all young people.

BTW, the folks at the first table we were assigned to understood – they took no offense. People go on cruises to have a good time. For the most part (I have to say that because there may be a selfish jerk or two around), you will find that other passengers want everyone else on board to have a good time too. The cruise line will bend over backwards to make that happen for everyone they can. You will meet some great people on HAL.
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#11
Belton, SC
333 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
I see you also mentioned food in Key West. We had a cheeseburger in paradise at Margaritaville-very good. And don't miss frozen key lime pie on a stick. I'm guessing most of the flooding will be gone by then but there may be follow-up storms. Check the weather reports.
#13
Franklin, MA USA
7,227 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Originally posted by divinggirl
Ocruise,

Where are you seeing available cabins on the 8/21 sailing, on the HAL site they are all closed, unless you're taking the inside guarantee? You probably can't post the website, if it is indeed one, but I'm interested to know what "deals" you've come across and where!

Thanks,
Nikki
There is Deluxe Category AA Deluxe Verandah AA guarantee.
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#15
Yorba Linda, CA
5,948 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
i was just on the zuiderdam on 7/10, western caribbean. of my 3 HAL cruises this was the lowest in terms of average age. i am 24. in my party was another 24 year old and a 23 year old and my parents in their mid 50's. the average age of this cruise had to have been late 30's early 40's. people were up late into the night at the casino, at the midnight buffet, at the shows such as Zuiderdam superstars... we had a great time. i think that the caribbean sailings tend towards a younger age group in general. you should be fine!

also, the z has quite a few tables for 2 up on the upper level. i ate on the lower level and don't really remember seeing many tables for 2
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#16
Colorful Colorado
7,035 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by peaches from georgia
Food in Key West? Two words- CONCH FRITTERS!
That's what I was thinking! DH and I had some of the best in Key West - we enjoyed our day immensely, though I have never encountered humidity quite like that before!
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#17
SW Florida
6,147 Posts
Joined May 2002
When we were there in December, ekerr, it was so windy and chilly I had to buy a sweatshirt to keep warm. $6 with any design of my choice. What a deal. And the amazing thing is I wear and wash it constantly, it never shrinks and is the best sweatshirt I own.

I love Key West and everything about it- great people, great fritters, great atmosphere, great sweatshirts, great chickens!
#18
Colorful Colorado
7,035 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by peaches from georgia
When we were there in December, ekerr, it was so windy and chilly I had to buy a sweatshirt to keep warm. $6 with any design of my choice. What a deal. And the amazing thing is I wear and wash it constantly, it never shrinks and is the best sweatshirt I own.

I love Key West and everything about it- great people, great fritters, great atmosphere, great sweatshirts, great chickens!
Sounds like you made out on that deal! I didn't think $6 went very far anymore

I also enjoyed the people - they were all so friendly. DH lost his sunglasses and we purchased another pair in Key West. The shopkeeper was so helpful & and gave us tips for great local hangouts - including the best fritters. We'd love to plan another trip back.

I had forgotten about the chickens! My daughter loved them.
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#19
Winter Haven FL
3,304 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Ocruise, You came to the right place for help. Isn't this place amazing? I've learned more about Key West reading this thread than I ever thought I wanted to know! Now, I can't wait to get back again. Thanks everyone.
#20
81,678 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
If conch fritters are not to your liking, you may wish to feast on a Cuban Sandwich. They are fabulous in Key West.....A number of excellent spots for them.


Key Lime Pie on a stick dipped in dark chocolate......heavenly.
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