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Found 2,062 results

  1. Considering book a Panama Canal trip on the Zuiderdam. Looking for impressions of the ship. Never been on a HAL cruise Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  2. We have never sailed HAL. But just booked a TA/19 day cruise for August of 2020. I’d like to know just what are the pros and cons of this ship? Has it been refurbished? And are the SS Suites worth the extra $ ?
  3. We have moved up to one for the March 20 cruise for about $200 from a veranda. Please tell me what I am gaining. Thank you
  4. We are going on our first HAL cruise , and will be in a Neptune suite. I saw some pics online and it doesn't look like there is a bar in there? I have been in suite lounges on Royal...some of them have full bars, an some have decent food. Is the Neptune Lounge on the Zuiderdam more of just a hangout kind of place with a concierge, and some finger foods, and that's about it? Thanks!
  5. Hi, Anyone recently on the Zuiderdam? Do they still have happy hour?
  6. Can someone please tell me where the Zuiderdam generally docks in Curacao? I understand there are two different piers. Thanks.
  7. When the Vista class ships were built they all had a bar on Deck One of the Atrium near guest services. Is this still used for bar service on Zuiderdam, or is it just an empty unused space? I know it was ripped out of the Westerdam, but think it still remains on Zuiderdam, Oosterdam and Noordam. If not being used for bar service it would seem better to rip it out and use the space better, even if it were just to improve foot traffic flow through the Atrium. An disused bar is rather an eyesore and sad IMHO.
  8. I did search before posting, but couldn’t find what I was looking for and have limited research time. Does the Zuiderdam partial transit go through the old or new locks? Thanks!
  9. Rather than a full review, I thought I would just give some rambling bullet points of random comments. We just did the 11 day Panama Canal trip. We live in South Florida, so there was no hotel or airport aspect for us. We stayed in a Neptune suite (and typically stay in suites on other cruises, which are mainly on RCCL). The suite was very nice, comparable to a Grand Suite on a Royal ship The attitudes of staff and crew were for the most part exceptional. Workers had smiles, were friendly as could be, some had incredible memories for names and we felt recognized whenever we returned to the same venue on the ship; The ship itself was clean but tired/dated. It's hard to explain, but it lacked a certain "flow" to it. We have been on the Oasis and the Allure, which are about twice the size, and found those ships were easier to get around and more intuitive for some reason. There is certainly no "grandeur" to the ship, no "wow factor"...but that's OK. We didn't expect it; The Neptune Lounge was very disappointing. Concierges were very nice, especially on the first day or two, but we found certain suite perks were a little less than what we were used to. Example...one afternoon we decided we would prefer to switch our dinner reservation to the Pinnacle Grill. Concierge said they were full at our requested time (7), so we opted for Cannaleto. When we went to the Pinnacle Lounge for a cocktail before dinner at about 6:30, Pinnacle Grill was fairly empty. My experience on Royal was that the concierge could get us in almost anywhere. The honor bar in the NL should really work with a drink package...it would have been a good option for us for cocktails before dinner if it did. So other than grabbing a quick cup of coffee or having an occasional snack, there wasn't much of a reason for us to go there. Some other random suite-related thoughts: No priority disembarkation at ports/tenders or the end of the cruise, no designated/reserved suite seating areas in the shows. None of these are going to have any impact on my cruise, but I am merely noting they are different than what I have seen before. The laundry service/dry cleaning ROCKED. Great perk, took advantage of it and loved it. Breakfast in the Pinnacle was great and we took advantage of that as well on several occasions; Food was very good for the most part. We found the MDR food to be tasty and surprisingly good most of the time...easily better than Royal. Pinnacle Grill experiences were very good as well, as was Cannaleto. The Lido buffet was a little disappointing. We didn't go too often, but I found the selections were so so, and the quality was only fair for me. Dive-In was very good; We didn't really take advantage of the entertainment venues too much. Piano bar singers were a little cheesy, but people loved them and they served their purpose well. We attended America's test Kitchen a couple of times during the trip and it was a nice diversion; Cabana...best part of the trip for us. We reserved one for the entire cruise and were there at some point pretty much every day. Attendants were great..took good care of us. Given the serious lack of lounge chairs by the pools, we were glad we did this. Had lunch up there many days and they were super accommodating. Very surprised that so many went unoccupied; Norovirus scare- A few days into the cruise, we started to notice some procedure changes. The Lido was blocked off in certain areas, and NOTHING was self-serve anymore. Sure enough, the captain made an announcement that there were a few cases of gastrointestinal issue reported and they were going to a different protocol. Urged everyone to be more diligent in hand washing. That protocol continued throughout, and later announcements were stating that the issues hadn't seemed to spread, but they were remaining vigilant; Ports were all new to us, so that was good. Enjoyed Caracao, and the highlight was the Panama Canal of course. Loved it. Had an incident on a private tour in Costa Rica where we were about 50 yards away from the coast guard opening gunfire along the bank of a canal we happened to be sightseeing in, and our tourboat was instructed by guides to "get down" as we literally smelled the gun powder. This is another post for another time, but thankfully everyone in our tour was OK and the tour continued. Overall, HAL did a great job on a smallish, dated feeling ship and the food and crew made it a really enjoyable vacation. Happy to answer any questions if I can.
  10. My parents and I are looking at going on the Quebec City - Whales and Fall Colour Cruise on September 12th to 27th. We are looking at booking a room for 4 people but told by are Travel Agent that HAL can bump us to a 3 person cabin. Wanting others thoughts on decks 4, 5, 6, and 10. What cabins would you avoid if choosing a 3 person cabin. We would really like a 4 but don’t want to be bumped to a 3 with no say where we are on the ship along with what side. We prefer Starboard. Thank you in advance ☺️
  11. http://click.email.cruisecritic.com/?qs=5f998da916e252f07e01497915f1fd464a1b8d19babc8550fd97d3603e4829b724c319ba8a92afb089f5b291a9ab81331cc221bca37cd6b27cdacb7efa630058 Here’s the link to my review of the Zuiderdam. One thing I forgot to mention in the review was the timing of dinner seatings. Early dining was at 5:30. Late dining was at 7:45. Part of our group switched to late dining as 5:30 is just way too early to return from ports, enjoy happy hour, get ready for dinner, etc. I thought the 7:45 was perfect as many lines have the later seating much later. The staff on the ship was wonderful. As you you will see, my review is mixed. It’s a good thing there are many cruise lines to sail. Something for everyone. HAL, while nice, would not be our choice for another cruise.
  12. We absolutely adored our retreat cabana on the Eurodam last April. On our future Panama Canal cruise March 20-31, we have one booked on the Zuiderdam but the last posts I read indicated that they were in disrepair. Anyone have more recent experience with the Retreat area on the Zuiderdam?
  13. Does anyone have a picture of what a roll-in shower is like? My hubby has hip troubles and would have issues entering a step in tub to shower. He is not officially handicapped but does walk with a unusual gait. Would I be able to book a cabin (looking at VA8032) that has a roll-in shower or are they saved for wheelchair guests?
  14. Our final payment is not due until March 2019. Checking the fares, there has been a price drop of $616 for our cabin type. I contacted my TA to grab the discount for us. The response: HAL will not refund the difference unless we cancel, pay the cancellation fee, and then rebook. Can I deal directly with HAL on this issue? What would be the best way to get this price drop refund approved?
  15. Good afternoon! We've got another professional photo album for you, this time from Holland America's Zuiderdam: https://www.cruisecritic.com/photos/ships/zuiderdam-266/ Please enjoy the photos, and let us know what you think! Cheers, Christina _____________ Christina Janansky Producer Cruise Critic
  16. 'Twas the night before HAL Cruise, and all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not Poohby. Not spouse. The suitcases packed, we had at least five, In hopes that the Zuiderdam soon would arrive. Good morning ladies and gentlemen, boys & girls, moms & dads, teens, tots, toddlers and wee little shavers! It’s time once again for another research project / trip report from the National Institute of Cheer. We leave tomorrow on our first ever Christmas Cruise. (Yay!) It’s a 10 day Southern Caribbean itinerary that calls on some of our favorite ports: the ABCIslands of Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao. The closest we’ve come to an actual holiday cruise was a Eurodam sailing that ended Christmas Eve back in 2016, but this will be our first one that actually includes the holiday. It’s also our first cruise that’s longer than a week since 2014. (Double yay!) For us, a 10 day sailing hits the sweet spot lengthwise. Seven days is just too short. Don’t get me wrong. We’ll take what we can get, but we prefer 10 or more days. Our itinerary takes us to the picturesque southern Caribbean, where we haven’t been since early 2014. Our port stops are: Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Amber Cove, Dominican Republic – A new port for us Kralendijk, Bonaire – One of our favorite snorkeling destinations Willemstad, Curacao Oranjestad, Aruba We have several deep and profound research projects planned for this voyage, covering a broad array of subjects important to you, the VIP cruising public. The Department of Gastronomics will attempt to get copies of all the menus. I don’t know about you, but we like to review menus for our upcoming cruises so we can determine the best days to schedule specialty dining. It also helps you to plan your pairings if you’re bringing your own wine and paying corkage. The Department of Harmonics will explore the music venues on the Zuiderdam: Lincoln Center Stage, the B.B. King Club, and Billboard Onboard. The Department of Theatrics will report on the shows and the clean, bright entertainments available in the main show room, The Mainstage. Our world-renowned Department of Alcademics® plans to research the cocktail menus, wine lists, and drink packages – in painstaking detail. We’re doing this - not because we intend to drink - but rather because people have a lot of questions about the beverage packages and we aspire to perform valuable research, which will enable us to report back to you. Selfless, I know.
  17. RE: Post Refit Features and Additions I would be grateful to know what attractions were added on the Zuiderdam during last fall's dry dock. Does the Zuiderdam now have Holland America's Exploration Center (EXC) and the Rijksmuseum at Sea like were added to the Westerdam earlier in 2017? If not, does anyone know when they are scheduled to be added? I have read the Zuiderdam now features B. B. King's Blues Club and Lincoln Center but I have not been able to find out what other innovations were added. (Sadly, when I phoned HAL the agent said he wasn't sure.) Thank you for your replies. Cap
  18. This cabin is opposite elevators. Would we hear any noise from them? Does anyone know size of Balcony? Any reviews about this cabin would be appreciated.
  19. I just tried to open Captain Albert's Weblog but won't open. Crazy computer. Do not know what to do. Has someone read his blog he posted yesterday and does he say why the late departure.
  20. Can anyone advise if hangouts works on the middle tier plan (or recommend a different WiFi-Calling app on that plan) What was the usual / typical call quality?
  21. We have previously "found our home" with the Adagio group (twice a piano/violin duo, and the last trip an actual string quartet). Have they been replaced by "Lincoln Center Stage?" And is LCS as intimate as the Adagio was? I loved sitting in a small room (a "chamber") listening to chamber music. It was perfect. We'll be on the Zuiderdam in June, if that makes a difference. If it's Lincoln Center Stage, is it in a smaller room with casual seating, or more concert seating? Just prepping my expectations. Barb ("Feathers")
  22. Sorry, i'm sure this has been answered many times in other threads, but of course now that i need it i can't find it! We're leaving this Sunday, our first HAL cruise. Can someone explain the boarding process for me? Our boarding passes say 1 pm. Is this a "suggested" time for everyone, or do they assign staggered check-in times? We've only sailed on Carnival before, and for them you select your boarding time and everybody is staggered starting at about 11 am. I'd like to know whether we can arrive earlier and be allowed to board, or will we have to wait until at least 1? Thanks in advance for your help!
  23. Do they still offer breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill for (Neptune) suite guests? Thanks
  24. It’s a quiet day in Port Everglades with just one other ship in port but we do have a blue hulled beauty to watch. The Zuiderdam is scheduled to be at pier 26 & will be doing her 11 day Panama Canal Sunfarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (20 Mar d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (21 Mar 0800-1500); Oranjestad, Aruba (23 Mar 1300-2300); Willemstad, Curacao (24 Mar 0800-2300); Cartagena, Colombia (26 Mar 0700-1300); Panama Canal (Cruising Canal) (27 Mar 0500-0500); Colon, Panama (27 Mar 1500-2000); Puerto Limon, Costa Rica (28 Mar 0630-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (31 Mar a0700 The only other ship in port scheduled is the Island Princess & she will be at pier 02. The webcams are located at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com For the Addicts - the Zuiderdam is scheduled to be in Aruba AND the Prinsendam will be in Aruba on March 22nd. The webcam for Aruba is located at https://portarubawebcam.com Next up is the Oosterdam on March 23rd.
  25. I am starting this thread to raise awareness of the very poorly configured Veranda Balcony Cabins on the Zuiderdam. Holland America allows passengers of up to 4 passengers to book these cabins. However, unless you do not care to have access to the balcony (which I believe is the sole reason most of us pay the increased cost to have a balcony cabin) or the bar fridge and vanity, I would recommend saving your money and book an Ocean View or Interior cabin. We are a family of 3. My daughter, grandson (11) and I, were on the 10 day Holiday cruise this December 16, 2018. In order to have the 3rd bed, they had to remove furniture from the cabin for the duration of the cruise and entirely block access to the balcony door, bar fridge and vanity. The first front desk customer service we spoke to, advised the cabin accommodates up to 4 passengers. This is impossible with 2 single beds and a love-seat pull out single sofa bed all wall to wall with no drop down for a 4th. Another family of 3 we met on this cruise had the same type of cabin and issues. We were all very disappointed after paying the extra cost to have a balcony cabin with no access to the balcony. Has anyone else experienced the same on the Zuiderdam or any other Holland America or other cruise line ships?
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