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Found 190 results

  1. Leaving New York at night is a delight. Departure time was 8PM so city lights were fantastic to view first from my port side Neptune Suite and then from my friends’ Starboard veranda, we passed in awe the Statue of Liberty. I was again cruising solo as my husband is no longer able to travel and I was with our friends from Corona del Mar celebrating her 80th birthday. This was a port intensive cruise with three known tender ports, Newport, Gloucester, and Bar Harbor and two additional tender ports added, Sydney, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, PEI. So many cruise lines are now doing this New England/ Canada Itinerary that there is not enough docking space at the smaller ports. Also, at ports of Halifax (4 ships in port) and Quebec (3 ships in port), the Zuiderdam did not get prime dock space so shuttles were provided to get us from the outlying docks. I had my favorite cabin on deck 7, near the center elevators. It seemed like I had my own private elevator since these outside elevators do not seem to be used much. I seldom shared a ride with anyone. My friends had been upgraded at no cost from an inside to a VB veranda on deck 4, possibly because it was her 80th birthday or random. I never know how the upgrade system works. We were all happy campers with our respective cabins. Having booked far ahead, we had early fixed dining at 5:30PM with outstanding servers. Our table was around the circle part of the dining room close to the serving and wine stations which was no problem at all. When traveling solo without anyone else, I normally eat in the Pinnacle Grill or in the Lido. The MDR experience on the Zuiderdam was excellent. The food was very good, portions just fine, and service impeccable. 3 course meals (4 courses on Gala nights) and we were finished within 75 minutes every night. As I mentioned on another post, there were 6 Club Orange travelers who had priority seating in the dining room on deck 2 to the right of the check in stand. Club Orange also has a special menu, which I was told, has one additional entrée. Neptune and Pinnacle Suite people have this menu also. I turned it down. This seems very much like Club Class on Princess Cruises. On sea days we had lunch in the dining room on Deck 2 and this was always speedy. We had our breakfasts in the Lido. I continue to say that HAL has the best Lido breakfast choices of any cruise line I have sailed. However, the ship did run out of berries, granola, and pecans by the 8th day. They did save some berries for garnish on desserts etc. I have come to like the Music Walk Concept. The Lincoln Center Stage Quintet was excellent; it was a full house plus for every performance. They piped in the music to the Explorers Lounge as it was full also. We went to at least one performance every night. All five musicians were American and they did provide extensive introductions to the pieces being played. The Billboard on Board duo was very popular as well as was BB Kings (although too loud for me and I’m partially deaf). On the Main Stage, there were three performances by the Step One Dance Group, not my favorite, as I have mentioned before. William Caulfield, Comedian, Emily Yates, Singer(Las Vegas), and Mark Donoghue , Musician, (Las Vegas) were terrific as was the BBC Planet Earth in Concert, which I had seen before. They need a new visual for that. I am not a big fan of the new position of Cruise and Travel Director. I miss the EXC talks by those who are experts in the areas. Also, the EXC Guide had office hours if one wanted to ask more questions or for individual advice on the ports. Jonathan, the C and T Director, 5 months with HAL, in his first talk, said the combining of the positions was in response to HAL cruisers wanting more in-depth information on the various ports. I give him credit for trying but I think, although I could be wrong, his talks were written by someone in Seattle. He said they are rolling this out by area with the Caribbean being next. There were 1292 Mariners aboard so there were two luncheons. I went to the Mariners’ Reception where many bronze medals were given as well as one silver. Those of us with silver, gold, and platinum medals were asked to stand. One Presidents’ Club couple had 1499 days. I did not attend the luncheon afterwards at 11AM. The second luncheon was at 1PM. I had been to all the ports of call except for Gloucester, MA and Saguenay, Quebec. My new most favorite place is Saguenay. What a delightful and friendly little town. We got to dock here while the second ship did not. Some of the cast of La Fabuleuse, (more later) in period costumes, were on the dock to greet the ship with singing and dancing. As I left the ship, I was handed a Saguenay flag, took a spin of a dance with a local, handled one end of a saw as we cut a piece of a branch, was given a piece of blueberry pie and maple syrup on a snow stick. Such a warm and friendly welcome. Most of the tours go elsewhere in the area, but I walked along the harbor and visited the Catholic Church where I was warmly welcomed. In the afternoon in Saguenay, I and passengers filling six school buses were taken to a local theater where we saw the “La Fabuleuse Histoire D’un Royaume” which tells the story of the area from the time of settlement to the present. It’s in its the 32nd season. I have never seen anything like it – lights, fireworks, sound effects, cascading waterfalls, a cast of 150, six horses, a pig, geese, antique cars, and my favorite -paratroopers dropping from the ceiling over the audience during the WW2 segment. Truly fabulous as its name implies. We didn’t stop in Charlottestown, PEI. The Zuiderdam drew the anchorage and it was so windy the Captain made the decision, after much effort on his part, to abort. There were some unhappy people but they did not riot as recently happened on NCL. Later in his Captain’s talk he said although it is considered an anchorage port, he does not agree as there is no room to maneuver. He also said in his talk (and I think I have read this here on CC) that there is a rumor that HAL is going to build one more small ship and it will be the Prinsendam. He cautioned us twice that it is only a rumor. A couple of negatives which did not impact the enjoyment. The Gerbera daisy arrangement I had ordered for my cabin died by the 4th day. Gerberas are hardy so I suspect a bad flower supplier. I should have known I might have problems with my photo when the check in woman had to get a supervisor to help her. I successfully boarded the ship and got off and on in Newport. In Gloucester I was told by security that my photo was a blank wall, and I had to identify myself and get a new photo when I returned. No one had any idea how this could happen – lots of shrugs and who knows? So, I dutifully had another photo taken. Lastly, running out of berries – gotta have them. Although billed as a Fall Colors cruise, we really did not see any red, yellow, or orange leaved trees until Quebec, although I did see a couple of trees turning red in Portland, Maine. In Quebec, the Zuiderdam again drew the commercial dock and a shuttle was provided to town. I had decided when I booked, that I would leave the ship a day early, having been to Quebec, several times. The Neptune Lounge Concierge made the arrangements and helped me with luggage as far as she was allowed to go. On the ride to the airport, the fall colors were in full bloom and lovely. The Quebec airport has massive windows with views of the trees of gold, red, and orange in the distance. Quite a sight. Lots of travelers taking photos. My plane was an hour late leaving so it was a race at O’Hare to go through Customs and to get to another terminal for my flight to Tucson, which I made running. Then in Tucson, the plane was assigned a gate at which there was another plane. So, we had to wait for the “tug” to tow us to another gate. A funny end to a good cruise.
  2. We left MIA on Monday , May, 27th flying on a British Air 747-400 for our first transatlantic flight on BA . A train runs out from beneath the lounge to the gate . We were flying Business Class on the upper deck which seats only 20 passengers It has an unusual seating arrangement where one rides forward and the next seat backward facing each other . My seat facing my wife's seat and my foot rest Seat instructions
  3. Hello, do you know what kind of fitness classes are available on Zuiderdam? And what is the intensity level? I've cruised twice with HAL but never payed attention, I remember morning stretch (but no clue what it is). Any other classes? thank you
  4. Anyone know if Zuiderdam casino has a craps table.
  5. We will be on the Zuiderdam on Wednesday for repo cruise from Quebec City to ft. Lauderdale. Never done this itinerary or been on this ship so any hints, suggestions would certainly be appreciated. (QC, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Portland, Boston, Newport, NYC). Flying into Quebec day before so planning on site seeing here as well. Thanks
  6. Does the forward elevator on the Zuiderdam take you all the way to the Retreat on deck 11 or do you have to get off the elevator at deck 10 and walk up stairs?
  7. Let me start off by saying this is our 3rd H A cruise and we really do love the line. Our first 2 cruises with them were flawless and we really loved it. This one "NOT SO MUCH". Here's my problem with them anymore in no special order: They use to have an actual "Internet Room" with about 15 to 20 computers-No More. They now have 3 computers and the guy in charge of it said "Oh everybody brings their own devices now". My smartphone does not have that big of a screen so this made me very UNHAPPY. Plus it was incredibly SLOW and down about 40% of the time. 2. The TV channels were once again "HORRENDOUS". I think we got 3 news channels and 3 other worthless channels. Quite frustrating on a 13 day cruise. 3. The DRINK PACKAGE---ITS A RIPOFF--HERE ME OUT-- No one told us that the dollar limit is $11 per drink. My wife and myself like Moscato wine and the only Moscato was priced at $12 a glass. I asked the Head Wine Stewart if I could just pay the one dollar difference and he said NO SIR as he would have to charge me the full $12 for a glass on that. Iam going to write a nice letter to Orlando on this as its simply RIDICULOUS. 4. We prefer on almost all occasions to have lunch and dinner up on the Lido Deck #9 and just go to the Bistro. Now this proved to be another frustrating experience. Here's what happens almost all the time. We would get in line and work our way around from the bread to the cheese to the soup and finally the place where they offer the 5 or 6 entrees. But here's the problem, you are "patiently" waiting in line thinking that your turn is just about upon you when the old geezers just walk up the the 6 entrees and crowd their way into the line and order what they want. In other words "NO MANNERS and NO ORGANIZATION" from H.A. either. This happened "daily" and I got into a couple of arguments with some of these people "continually crowding" their way in front of the line. It was quite DISGUSTING. Like "Pigs at the Trough". Then about half way thru the cruise it was reported that about 25 people had come down with the "flu". So the last 4 or 5 days everybody was "hacking, coughing, weezing, and blowing their snoz". I thought I was going to escape the situation but when we got home friday night I was stuffy and had a really bad cold. One last thing, my wife and myself decided that we are still "Too Young" for H.A. cruises. We are in the mid 60's and I would just guess that the average age of this cruise was between 75 and 80 years of age. It was like a "GERIATRIC WOODSTOCK"--I have never seen so many scooters, walkers, canes, poles, and wheel chairs in my life. We have decided to "Take a Break" and not cruise with H.A. for atleast 3 or 4 years. Enough is enough. One last thing, we signed up and took 9 shore excursions with the ship. Nothing like 30% of the 52 occupants coughing and hacking for your 5 hour tour and then taking 20 minutes or longer to get everybody on and off the bus at every stop. Just need a break and won't cruise with H.A. for a few years. We were on the Sept. 15th "Colors of Canada" cruise just for the record. Beautiful sites and I will say the food was great as it always is. Service from H.A. is always outstanding.
  8. We will have a rare New York HAL visit on Friday. Zuiderdam is arriving from Quebec at 7 am and is due to leave at 8 pm. She will be going on a 12 day "Colors of Canada and New England" cruise before returning to NYC on October 17 and then going to FLL (arriving on October 20) and Caribbean sailings. We should be able to see her docked on the https://www.portnywebcam.com/ PTZtv webcam and sailing in and out of the harbor on the https://www.nyharborwebcam.com/ webcam. Next up: Volendam will be in Aruba on October 13.
  9. Boarded yesterday. Off to a good start. sS cabin beautiful. Food good so far and room service breakfast perfect. Docked in Quebec till tonight. The ship looks beautiful. Last on her before renovations.
  10. As Club Orange rolls out, does anyone know if it’s on Zuiderdam yet?
  11. Our 37 day cruise begins next Tuesday, July 30th in Boston! I'll be posting updates and a few photos, mostly of ports. I'm encouraging other Roll Call members to also post interesting information about the ship, as well as cruise and port highlights. You are all welcome to come along with us! And please post any questions or comments you might have.
  12. I have decided to do a live blog from the Zuiderdam for the 2109 Voyage of the Vikings. I am aware that sansterre has started a live blog of the cruise as well, and I initially had thought to post on that one. But, as I was preparing to post about the first day or so, I discovered that the files I had compiled were numerous, and I did not want to clobber sansterre’s blogs with a very large number of my postings. So, I am doing another blog, as a complementary one to sansterre’s. We no doubt have different writing styles and different interests, and probably will do different things ashore. I used to do live blogs for years, but recently shifted to after-cruise reviews, primarily because of the difficulty and time needed to upload images to photoshop and then import to CC. But, I learned that the new iteration of CC allows me to upload and post directly (once I finally figured out how). So, I will try a live blog again. I found on three previous Viking Passage cruises that the internet connectivity was surprisingly good throughout the cruise, and hope for the same this time. I will catch up if I fall behind at some point. This is a bucket list cruise for us – we have been working our way through our list since I retired in 2016. We, like a lot of us onboard now, originally booked the Rotterdam cruises round-trip Boston that included Greenland and Iceland, but nothing in Europe. When Prinsendam was sold and HAL rearranged the cruise schedules, we were offered a cabin on the Zuiderdam for the VoV, and we leapt at the chance. Here is a map of our itinerary: We, like a lot of us onboard, originally booked the Rotterdam cruises round-trip Boston that included Greenland and Iceland, but nothing in Europe. When Prinsendam was sold and HAL rearranged the cruise schedules, we were offered a cabin on the Zuiderdam for the VoV, and leapt at the chance. More later, Dave
  13. I see two different configurations for a Zuiderdam inside cabin. One online picture shows a small sofa in addition to the bed, and another site shows a diagram indicating only a chair in the cabin - no sofa. Do you know what the ship’s inside cabin actually looks like?
  14. In the Pinnacle Suite on the Zuiderdam, is there an electrical outlet beside the bed? I know there are many outlets throughout the suite, but I am mostly interested in one by the bed. Thanks.
  15. We have an inside cabin on deck 7 aft booked for an upcoming Zuiderdam cruise. Due to price changes, it may be possible to "upgrade" to an obstructed OV on deck 4 at no additional fare. Outside of the obvious lifeboat view and some daylight, are there any advantages or disadvantages to the OV? Some questions that I am pondering. 1. Obstructed OVs are mid ship. Inside is toward the aft. We don't usually feel movement in aft cabins, but we do avoid forward cabins for movement and noise. 2. Cabin layout. It looks like the cabins are the same square footage, but the layouts may be different. The IS looks like a more "square" layout while the OV has the longer hallway entry. We have never sailed with the "square" layout. Opinions on the layout difference are much appreciated. 3. The OV is above a public deck. Has anyone had noise issues? Thanks
  16. We are booking the Zuiderdam 10-Day Panama Canal Sunfarer in a SS Signature Suite for October. Usually Celebrity cruisers but this cruise worked for us. Most of the other lines offer free gratuities, free drinks, internet etc, but we're only getting $150PP SBC as we don't need air. What suite goodies does HAL give?
  17. Last sailed Zuiderdam 2010. Doing 10 day next month. What are those really good tips from those that know her inside and out. Last time we had 3 lovely ladies at the table that knew the MDR staff very well. Every night the chef sent us something special, and most prepared table side. How about the after dinner scene, we like craps in the casino, or lively bar scenes. And is there anything similar to the Solarium pools on Celebrity?
  18. Just got back from Copenhagen to Boston VOV cruise! Did not miss one port and weather was beautiful! Did have a few misty days but never any hard rain! Ship was old but nice! Crew was great! Food was sometimes good and sometimes bad!
  19. Hello we booked aft cabin 6162 on Zuiderdam. Any feedback and photos would be greatly appreciated hoping it is nice. Thank you 😊
  20. I will be in a Neptune Suite on the Zuiderdam in a couple of months. Are there electrical outlets next to each side of the bed? I am familiar with the location of the other outlets in the Neptunes, but I was not sure if the Zuiderdam was outfitted with the bedside outlets during the last dry dock. Thank you!
  21. Does anyone have a recent plan of the dining room on Zuiderdam? Thanks.
  22. I guess my title said it all! Does anyone know which dock the Zuiderdam will be using on October 17? Thank you!
  23. Does anyone have a clue to this mystery? First, last week the disembarkation port of the 8/19-9/07 CPH-NYC was changed from NYC to Boston. Then, all Zuiderdam cruises--including the above and after, up until her October 7 Quebec CIty-FLL--disappeared.... Charters? Soft-furnishing upgrades? ⁉️ "Curiouser & curiouser...." Thanks, Mary-Lou 😎
  24. I just booked the June 20, 2020 European Splendor Cruise on Zuiderdam. This will be our 25th anniversary cruise and after cruising on a few different cruise lines, I am looking forward to getting back on board a HAL Ship!
  25. The Zuiderdam will dry dock in early December. Does anyone know what is planned? We will be on the first cruise after the dry dock. Just wondering what to expect.
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