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Found 2,062 results

  1. I know crazy question but am booking so late the rate is so much lower than a mid ship cabin, I was thinking I could try it? All the way forward Deck 4 Above the show lounge. Sounds and motion could be insane? yet I read two review's that did not mention noise????thanks for your advice...its 11 days so want to be able to enjoy partial transit of Canal on 11/9/16
  2. Just wondering if anyone is getting any offers for upgrades/upsells for the Zuiderdam Panama cruise - not sure if sales are down or cancellations up due to Zika. I notice on my online TA the price between a balcony and a suite is like $2700pp - wow - not knowledgeable enough to know if this is common but it doesn't seem to me the price on a suite has come down. Does Holland offer the upgrades/upsells at the last minute perhaps? Opinions?
  3. Just settling in from a great cruise on the Zuiderdam. This was our "get-out-of-New-Jersey" cruise... unfortunately we came back a bit too soon. Had to drag suitcases through over a foot of unplowed snow in the driveway. Wish I were still on the "Dam" ship!! Here's my long review: EMBARKATION—We arrived on an early flight and were in Group 3 to enter the ship. No lines at check-in but had to wait until after 11:30 to board the ship. Our cabin was ready and we went up to Deck 9 Lido for an uncrowded lunch. Was very surprised that the “no touch” rules were not in effect. On our last HAL cruise (2014) the servers handed us everything for the first 2 days to help prevent the spread of germs. There were hand sanitizer machines outside the Lido but many folks by-passed them. Our luggage was in our room when we returned from lunch. We explored the ship a little bit to see where the lounges were and I wanted to check out the spa area. Unfortunately it was a wet and rainy sail-away so there was no need to go out on deck. The mandatory lifeboat drill was an easy check-in with your room card indoors near your station. SHIP—Our last HAL cruise was on the Statendam (2014) so it took a few days to get used to a new ship. The inside of the Zuiderdam is quite lovely and one can tell that most rugs had been replaced in the dry dock last spring (in a few places the seaming could be better). Gone are the "days of the week"rugs in the elevators—I really missed them! The outside of the ship still needs a bit of “touch-up” and there was constant work being done (painting, sanding, welding). During the time we were there I never heard any complaints about elevators not working, air conditioning problems or toilets overflowing. On the last day 2 people mentioned that their toilets occasionally wouldn’t flush but then several hours later would spontaneously flush. And then it happened to ours the very last night… fine by morning. The lounge areas within the ship seem more closed than I remember other HAL ships (we’ve been on Statendam, Veendam, Ryndam and Rotterdam.) At first I didn’t care for the closed in aspect but later in the cruise enjoyed those quiet areas!! CABIN—# 4123 Balcony catagory VA Deck 4 Aft (but almost mid-ship) We had booked a VE guarantee balcony and were given a VA balcony. It is the last room before the lifeboats so the balcony has a wrap-around railing on one side, only cabins to the right. We were pleasantly surprised that the view was quite nice and open. It was never windy and we never smelled smoke from any of the cabins to our right or above. The cabin itself was typically average—queen bed, 2 end tables with small drawers, small couch (that could sleep one but I can’t imagine 3 people in the room) small desk with cabinet with hair dryer attached (that didn’t work but an unattached one was included) another shelf with glasses and a mini-bar fridge. Three closet sections with adjustable shelves and a safe. There were drawers under the bed with extra pillows and bedding that could have been removed but the drawers were so awkward to reach and open we didn’t use them. There were also 2 cabinets above the couch that a TALL person could use (not me)—one of the hinges was broken on ours. I found the storage space a bit on the tight side (we felt we had more room before) Since we pack our clothes and other items in packing cubes we left them in the cubes to reduce clutter and help keep things organized. I was really happy our room was on Deck 4. Although the ship never rocked to any extreme there were a few days that there was a lot of motion and I do much better on a lower deck. I frequently could feel a lot more motion in the Lido (Deck 9) or Crow’s Nest (Deck 10) and would leave those areas for lower decks— another reason for me never to book a guarantee and “leave it to chance”!! FOOD— Food is always subjective so YMMV!! I love the choices available in the Lido for breakfast and lunch. There really is something for everyone. I wish there was more variety in fresh fruit—the strawberries disappear after day one, mangoes make a brief appearance, berries are only around the cheeses at lunch but there are melons—LOTS of melons!!! Eggs can be made to order, waffles are really good and there are plenty of baked goods. For lunch -so many choices-- sushi, asian, pizza, hot foods, ready-made sandwiches or how-you-want. I love the variety of ingredients for salads that you can make yourself. I wish all the cheese were pre-cut/sliced…might keep a few less fingers touching it. I avoided the desserts but they looked good as did the ice cream! Burgers and tacos were available by the pool as well. No excuse for hunger... We had 5:30 seating at a table for 8. Not what we requested since tables for 8 are always the slowest to be served. The food in the MDR was good…not outstanding but good. I didn’t find any of the presentations overly “pretty” (I like to take pictures of food and none of it inspired me). The prime rib was tasty as well as the shrimp and fillet. Lobster tail was moist, Salmon tended to be dry. Soups were unusual in that they were served with the ingredients in the bowl and then the liquid poured over them. Cold soups were a bit over-sweet. Best dessert was the totally decadent chocolate cake! STAFF—Enough can’t be said about the hard-working staff around the ship. The cabins were always cleaned well, we were always greeted pleasantly and everyone was always busy!! One thing they did differently on this sailing was to make the time change (when we “lost” an hour) occur doing the day but when we “gained” an hour it occurred at night. That way passengers and staff didn’t lose any sleep. It was disconcerting though to go to lunch at 11:45 and at noon it suddenly became 1 o’clock! ENTERTAINMENT— Stage shows— We did not feel that the Zuiderdam singers and dancers were topnotch. They work hard, had great costumes but their voices did not match their efforts. The comedian Jim McCue was good, Bob Brizendine, Magician was very good (I missed it but others told me he was very good!) and Sephira, dueling violins were EXCELLENT!! Around the ship our favorites were Tom Casey at the Piano Bar and Adagio—violin and piano duo. Jeremy Hales, our cruise director did a great job! The Q&A session with Captain van Donselaar was excellent and not to be missed! Among other activities we enjoyed were the Steel Pan Lessons with Kevin (and listening to him play by the Aft pool) Windows 10 Instruction (DH was addicted to them but you needed to go early to get a seat at only a dozen computers) Learning to make Panama Rolls in the Culinary Arts Center! Walking on the Promenade Deck, Reading anywhere you could find a quiet spot, or finding a bit of sun on the Observation Deck!! Lots to do, never enough time. EXCURSIONS—Half Moon Cay— the morning looked pretty gray and overcast so folks didn’t seem to be rushing to the tenders and onto the island. I went over about 9:30 to claim our clamshell and there were plenty available as it looked like there were be no sun. Stuck my feet in the water and it didn’t seem inviting so I took a long walk on the beach. Came back and read awhile in my chair. DH came over in time to head over to the bar-b-que (the chicken is always so tasty and the brownies, yummy!) And the SUN came out. Back to the clamshell and into the water which by then had calmed down, no waves and seemed to warm up. It was delightful! Didn’t want to leave. Wish HAL would make it a longer island stay! Aruba—We booked a private tour with “SonnyTours” that gave us an excellent 3 and a half hour tour all around the very dry and desert-like island! When we got back we decided to go to the Bar-b-Que on Deck instead of eating in the Main dining room. Poor choice—long lines, few tables available outside and I didn’t think the food was that good. But we had planned to meet friends who have a time share in Aruba at “Iguana Joe’s” at 7:30. Panama— We took the “Walking tour of Old and New Panama City” which SHOULD have been a great tour. It’s a HAL sponsored tour (the only way you are allowed to take a tour at Panama) and the tour guides are just not as well-trained or as invested as private tour businesses. It’s a long bus ride to Panama City and back again to Colon and we were provided with lots of information. But the logistics of the tour were poorly handled. (I will leave a review on HAL website). Port Limon, Costa Rica— Again we booked a private tour with Eduardo at YourLuckyTour and enjoyed learning about the fruits of Costa Rica, visiting a Banana Plantation, a walk thru the rainforest where we found poisonous frogs and riding on a small boat in the Tortuguero Canal looking for birds, iguana, cayman and other animals. As we were leaving the canal it started to rain so we skipped go to the beaches and returned to the ship. Grand Cayman— Unfortunately rough weather conditions made tender landing impossible on the island. DISEMBARKATION— We had an 11:45 flight back to Philadelphia and snow (ugh!) Disembarkation time was 8:30-8:45 — we weren’t called until almost 9:30 (by then we were waiting upstairs near the Queen’s Lounge. Apparently there had been “some problem” and things were delayed. One story we got was that there were not enough agents (we saw 4 when we went through) . Another story was that someone had gotten sick and they had to clean it up before more people could go down the stairway. Anyway we were called at 9:30 and off the ship by 9:45 because and ONLY because we have GOES cards (Global Entry) and we zipped right thru the customs line while several hundred (at least) were winding their way around. We were in a taxi and on our way to the airport in minutes. Back to cold, snowy reality!
  4. I know the showers have the dispensers for shampoo, etc but is there a place to put your razor and a bar of soap?
  5. I want to try using the laundry service on the Zuiderdam on a 10 day cruise. Could someone tell me the current (cheapest price)? I would only need it one time - thus the minimum not unlimited price. How much can you fit in a bag and is there a weight limit or can you just stuff it full? Hoping to keep my packing to a minimum but trying to figure out how much could be washed! THANKS!
  6. The Zuiderdam sets sail at 16:00/4:00 PM EDT (subject to change as always). The webcams are at: http://portevergladeswebcam.com/ http://ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ Also departing Port Everglades will be Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Equinox and Costa Deliziosa. 7-Day Eastern & Western Caribbean Collector Holiday Itinerary: Dec 21 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 22 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Dec 23 At Sea Dec 24 Falmouth, Jamaica Dec 25 Georgetown, Cayman Islands Dec 26 Cozumel, Mexico Dec 27 At Sea Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US 14-Day Eastern & Western Caribbean Collector Holiday Itinerary: Dec 21 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 22 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Dec 23 At Sea Dec 24 Falmouth, Jamaica Dec 25 Georgetown, Cayman Islands Dec 26 Cozumel, Mexico Dec 27 At Sea Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 29 At Sea Dec 30 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Dec 31 San Juan, Puerto Rico Jan 01 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Jan 02 At Sea Jan 03 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 04 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
  7. Another busy day with a big dam ship (Zuiderdam), a small dam ship (Prinsendam) and a medium dam ship (Maasdam) in port, as well as four other ships! The Zuiderdam is scheduled to set sail at 16:00/4:00 PM EDT and the Maasdam at 23:00/11:00 PM (subject to change as always). The Maasdam is heading for dry dock in Freeport in the Bahamas and the port schedule shows a 13:00/1:00 PM departure but we know that usually changes! The webcams are at: http://portevergladeswebcam.com/ http://ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ Also departing: Celebrity Constellation, Emerald Princess, Island Princess and Serenade Of The Seas. The Prinsendam's 67-Day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage itinerary: Jan 04 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Jan 05 At Sea Jan 06 At Sea Jan 07 At Sea Jan 08 Puerto Limon (San Jose), Costa Rica Jan 09 Enter Panama Canal Cristobal Jan 09 Cruising Panama Canal Jan 09 Exit Panama Canal Balboa Jan 09 Fuerte Amador, Panama Jan 10 Fuerte Amador, Panama Jan 11 At Sea Jan 12 Manta, Ecuador Jan 13 At Sea Jan 14 Salaverry (Trujillo), Peru Jan 15 Callao (Lima), Peru Jan 16 Callao (Lima), Peru Jan 17 General San Martin (Pisco), Peru Jan 18 At Sea Jan 19 At Sea Jan 20 Coquimbo (La Serena), Chile Jan 21 Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile Jan 22 At Sea Jan 23 Puerto Montt, Chile Jan 24 Puerto Chacabuco, Chile Jan 24 Darwin Channel Chilean Fjords Jan 25 At Sea Jan 26 Chilean Fjords Jan 27 Strait of Magellan Jan 27 Punta Arenas, Chile Jan 27 Cockburn Channel Jan 28 Scenic Cruising Cape Horn Jan 29 Scenic Cruising Glacier Alley CO Jan 29 Ushuaia, Argentina VA Jan 30 At Sea Jan 31 The Palmer Archipelago Feb 01 At Sea Feb 02 The Danco Coast Feb 03 The Antarctic Sound CO RT Feb 04 At Sea Feb 05 Stanley/Falkland Is/Islas Malvinas Feb 06 At Sea Feb 07 At Sea Feb 08 Montevideo, Uruguay Feb 09 Buenos Aires, Argentina Feb 10 Buenos Aires, Argentina Feb 11 At Sea Feb 12 At Sea Feb 13 Santos (Sao Paulo), Brazil Feb 14 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Feb 15 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Feb 16 At Sea Feb 17 Ilheus, Feb 18 Salvador da Bahia, Brazil Feb 19 Maceio, Brazil Feb 20 Recife, Brazil Feb 21 At Sea Feb 22 At Sea Feb 23 Icoaraci (Belem), Brazil Feb 24 At Sea Feb 25 Cruising the Amazon River Feb 25 Crossing the Equator Feb 26 Santarem, Brazil Feb 27 Boca da Valeria, Brazil Feb 28 Manaus, Brazil Feb 29 Manaus, Brazil Mar 01 Parintins, Brazil Mar 02 Cruising the Amazon River Mar 02 Crossing the Equator Mar 03 At Sea Mar 04 Devils Island, French Guiana Mar 05 At Sea Mar 06 Bridgetown, Barbados Mar 07 At Sea Mar 08 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Mar 09 At Sea Mar 10 At Sea Mar 11 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US The Zuiderdam's 11-Day Panama Canal Sunfarer itinerary: Jan 04 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Jan 05 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 06 At Sea Jan 07 Oranjestad, Aruba Jan 08 At Sea Jan 09 Cartagena, Colombia Jan 10 Enter Panama Canal Cristobal Jan 10 Cruising Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Jan 10 Gatun Lake, Panama Jan 10 Cruising Gatun Lake and Panama Canal Jan 10 Exit Panama Canal Cristobal Jan 10 Colon, Panama Jan 11 Puerto Limon (San Jose), Costa Rica Jan 12 At Sea Jan 13 Georgetown, Cayman Islands Jan 14 At Sea Jan 15 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
  8. Three dam ships (sung to the tune of Three Blind Mice) Three dam ships. Three dam ships. See how they sail. See how they sail. They all sail after the muster drill With waving people and their dark blue hulls Did you ever experience such a thrill As three dam ships? Three dam ships. Three dam ships. Hear how they sail. Hear how they sail. They toot their horns when they sail away Condo owners and cam additcs cheer away Did you ever experience something so "cray" As three dam ships? (I apologize for it not being holiday music related!) The Oosterdam, Maasdam and Zuiderdam are scheduled to set sail at 16:00/4:00 PM EDT (subject to change as always). The webcams are at: http://portevergladeswebcam.com/ http://ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ Also departing: Costa Deliziosa and Independence Of The Seas. The Oosterdam's 11-Day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer Holiday itinerary: Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 29 At Sea Dec 30 At Sea Dec 31 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Jan 01 Castries, Saint Lucia Jan 01 Scenic Cruising Soufriere Bay Jan 02 Bridgetown, Barbados Jan 03 Fort-De-France, Martinique Jan 03 Daylight passing Mount Pelee Jan 04 Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis Jan 05 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Jan 06 At Sea Jan 07 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 08 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US The Oosterdam's 21-Day Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer Collector Holiday itinerary: Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 29 At Sea Dec 30 At Sea Dec 31 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Jan 01 Castries, Saint Lucia Jan 01 Scenic Cruising Soufriere Bay Jan 02 Bridgetown, Barbados Jan 03 Fort-De-France, Martinique Jan 03 Daylight passing Mount Pelee Jan 04 Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis Jan 05 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Jan 06 At Sea Jan 07 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 08 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Jan 09 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 10 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Jan 11 Cruising Bahia de Samana Jan 11 Samana, Dominican Republic Jan 12 At Sea Jan 13 Kralendijk, Bonaire Jan 14 Willemstad, Curacao Jan 15 Oranjestad, Aruba Jan 16 At Sea Jan 17 At Sea Jan 18 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US The Maasdam's 7-Day Western Caribbean Holiday itinerary: Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 29 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Dec 30 At Sea Dec 31 Ocho Rios, Jamaica Jan 01 Georgetown, Cayman Islands Jan 02 Cozumel, Mexico Jan 03 At Sea Jan 04 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US The Zuiderdam's 7-day Eastern Caribbean Holiday itinerary: Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 29 At Sea Dec 30 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Dec 31 San Juan, Puerto Rico Jan 01 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Jan 02 At Sea Jan 03 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 04 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
  9. Daylight is breaking in Ft Lauderdale and the Zuiderdam is arriving right now.
  10. Just got off ( yesterday) from Zuiderdam. Wonderful cruise ! First cruise on the Z and first aft facing cabin. On a few night the noise , vibration and shaking woke us up. We usually book mid or mid aft but often spend days on top deck all the way front. We have sailed the Carribean many times. I know it is impossible to really compare because so many factors are to be considered ( type of waves, current, wind, ship direction to name a few). Someone from told us it had nothing to do with the aft cabin and that hers was midship and she felt the same thing. We still wonder if we would have felt the same thing on another ship like for example the Emerald or Royal Princess or the newer Holland ships. I also know that size is not necessarely a factor. So question is, how stable is the Zuiderdam compare to other cruise ships ? I was told she does have and use stabilizers.
  11. Does anyone have a lsit of the cost of Spa Treatments on the Zuiderdam, or know where I can find such a list? I am particularly interested in massages:)
  12. It is a busy Monday with four ships in port as the Zuiderdam sets sail at 16:00/4:00 PM EDT (subject to change as always). The webcams are at: http://portevergladeswebcam.com/ http://ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ Also departing Port Everglades will be Celebrity Equinox, Independence of the Seas and The Love Boat tooting Royal Princess. 11 Day Panama Canal Sunfarer itinerary: Nov 30 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 01 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Dec 02 At Sea Dec 03 Oranjestad, Aruba Dec 04 Willemstad, Curacao Dec 05 At Sea Dec 06 Cartagena, Colombia Dec 07 Enter Panama Canal Cristobal Dec 07 Cruising Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Dec 07 Gatun Lake, Panama Dec 07 Cruising Gatun Lake and Panama Canal Dec 07 Exit Panama Canal Cristobal Dec 07 Colon, Panama Dec 08 Puerto Limon (San Jose), Costa Rica PR Dec 09 At Sea Dec 10 At Sea Dec 11 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
  13. The Zuiderdam is scheduled to set sail at 16:00/4:00 PM EDT (subject to change as always). The webcams are at: http://portevergladeswebcam.com/ http://ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ Also departing is a parade of Princesses: Emerald Princess, Coral Princess, Royal Princess. Then there is Serenade of the Seas and Costa Deliziosa (with a late departure of 23:00/11:00 PM EDT). The Zuiderdam's 11-Day Panama Canal Sunfarer: Feb 15 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Feb 16 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Feb 17 At Sea Feb 18 Kralendijk, Bonaire Feb 19 Willemstad, Curacao Feb 20 At Sea Feb 21 Cartagena, Colombia Feb 22 Enter Panama Canal Cristobal Feb 22 Cruising Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Feb 22 Gatun Lake, Panama Feb 22 Cruising Gatun Lake and Panama Canal Feb 22 Exit Panama Canal Cristobal Feb 22 Colon, Panama Feb 23 Puerto Limon (San Jose), Costa Rica Feb 24 At Sea Feb 25 At Sea Feb 26 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
  14. In spite of new physical difficulties, we went ahead with our planned Zuiderdam cruise. It was wonderful, and we enjoyed most every minute of it. The difficulty I mention is a speech and swallow deficiency for my DH. Because of the swallow problems, we choose to dine in our cabin - and it worked out very well. We have never used room service like that, and I was astounded that everything was delivered exactly as it would have been presented in the MDR. Hot was hot, cold was cold, and everything was attractively plated. Sadly, there was no way to keep ice cream from melting before we got to it, but we did discover we like very soft ice cream. We took a Signature Suite this time, our first, and were surprised how comfortable it was. We normally sail in the Neptune Suites, so expected to feel like the space was much smaller ... but it was just fine. Definitely more roomy than we expected. We did miss some of the drawer space, but got by fine by using the closet shelving instead. The verandah table was smaller than the one for Neptune Suites, but it was large enough to accomodate us for meals - which is all we needed. The internet was amazing. We had great reception and were able to log on and off with nary a problem. In fact, we over-purchased because we're so used to burning up minutes logging in. We ended up donating nearly an hour of unused time. The ship was in excellent condition, and I could not find fault with anything I saw. We weren't out and about as much as usual, but the quiet time in our cabin and on the verandah fit us perfectly this time. We did have to go into code red on the 3rd day. Never any fun, but the crew made sure it had as little impact upon the guests as was possible. The code red had not been lifted when we disembarked, so I suppose they are still dealing with it. There was a port change. Costa Rica had rough seas, and the streets near the port were flooded because of recent rains. We called at Grand Cayman instead - which we prefer anyway. Although the Singers and Dancers put on a couple of very good shows, I felt like HAL could have tried to provide better entertainment. We had two production numbers, a super bowl party, a movie, BB King, three stand alone acts, and the usual variety show on the last night. Don't get me wrong ... we did enjoy the shows. It just felt like there should be something more. Something exciting. We had a couple of phone calls urging us to attend the Mariner's reception, which we declined. Speech and swallow are just too difficult for DH. Strangely, we later received two 4-star pins in our mailbox, along with a congratulatory note. We've been 4-star for our last 6 cruises, but I guess someone didn't know? We did receive all our benefits though, and that was all we really cared about this time. So, that's about it. We came home totally refreshed and ready to get back to real life.
  15. The Zuiderdam sets sail at 16:00/4:00 PM EDT (subject to change as always). The webcams are at: http://portevergladeswebcam.com/ http://ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ Also departing Port Everglades will be Celebrity Equinox. 10 Day Panama Canal Sunfarer itinerary: Dec 11 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 12 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Dec 13 At Sea Dec 14 Oranjestad, Aruba Dec 15 Kralendijk, Bonaire Dec 16 At Sea Dec 17 Enter Panama Canal Cristobal Dec 17 Cruising Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Dec 17 Gatun Lake, Panama SC Dec 17 Cruising Gatun Lake and Panama Canal Dec 17 Exit Panama Canal Cristobal Dec 17 Colon, Panama Dec 18 Puerto Limon (San Jose), Costa Rica Dec 19 At Sea Dec 20 At Sea Dec 21 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US 17-Day Canal Sunfarer & Western Caribbean Collector Holiday Itinerary: Dec 11 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 12 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Dec 13 At Sea Dec 14 Oranjestad, Aruba Dec 15 Kralendijk, Bonaire Dec 16 At Sea Dec 17 Enter Panama Canal Cristobal Dec 17 Cruising Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Dec 17 Gatun Lake, Panama SC Dec 17 Cruising Gatun Lake and Panama Canal Dec 17 Exit Panama Canal Cristobal Dec 17 Colon, Panama Dec 18 Puerto Limon (San Jose), Costa Rica Dec 19 At Sea Dec 20 At Sea Dec 21 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 22 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Dec 23 At Sea Dec 24 Falmouth, Jamaica Dec 25 Georgetown, Cayman Islands Dec 26 Cozumel, Mexico Dec 27 At Sea Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 27 At Sea Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
  16. Has anyone sailed in the Observation Deack cabins? Specifically 10001 and 10002. Are the balconies smaller? Does the AC work? Thanks.
  17. The Zuiderdam was recently refurbished and had several cabins added - can someone please tell me the date this happened? Thanks!
  18. Sadly, health issues have kept us from cruising like we used to. Oh, how I've missed it! But, our 50th anniversary is coming up in February and we decided to throw caution to the wind. We are afraid to be gone too long, or to get too far away from the States, but find the Zuiderdam Panama Canal starting on February 5th will meet our needs nicely. My only hesitation is, for some reason it's not looking like a very popular cruise - and I know enough to wonder why. It looks like there are still plenty of cabin selections, and there is no CC Roll Call. Nothing is showing up on the Group Cruise listing here. I suppose it could just be sort of early, but we've struggled to find favorite cabins other times we've booked less than a year out. Does anyone here happen to know something I don't? By the way - HELLO to you all. :)
  19. This was my first HAL cruise, although my friend had cruised on Eurodam several years ago. She had not enjoyed that cruise but the marvellous itinerary and keen pricing tempted us to try this Holland America cruise. Our T/A had a great deal for us, with flights from London Heathrow instead of Gatwick and a two night stay in Barcelona prior to our cruise. We enjoyed shopping, eating and drinking in our favourite and well known city for actually four days, as Zuiderdam had an overnighter and a late departure to start our cruise. Embarking in Barcelona was quite easy and we were in our deck 4 balcony cabin within 30 mins. We had booked a Gty balcony (or veranda as you Americans say) and were quite pleased with our allocated cabin, which had one of the deeper deck 4 balconies. We attended the enjoyable Mariner lunch (we both had Mariner privileges due to many previous Cunard/Princess/P&O cruises) and then unpacked our clothes. We had noticed that our toilet did not flush every time but it was working intermittently, so we went for a drink and attended muster drill. Why HAL still hold musters on the deck is beyond me. Hardly any cruise line does this now. It was chaotic and took a long time, standing out in the heat of a Barcelona day. This definitely could be held inside and the organisation could be improved. Azamara know how to do a muster drill! Anyway back to our cabin after muster to find that our loo had stopped working altogether. We reported it to Guest Relations and were told it would be fixed soon. An hour later no-one had arrived, so we rang again. After our third call a plumber arrived, worked on it for about ten minutes and told us it was fixed. The toilet then gurgled a lot, flushed once and promptly stopped working again! We called Guest Relations again and were told the plumber would return. By now we were hungry so went to dinner, which was excellent. After a couple of drinks post dinner, we felt quite tired so decided to have an early night. This was not to be as our toilet had not been repaired and there was now overflow from other toilets in ours. This was highly unpleasant and upsetting. We called the plumber yet again and this time a very nice man (who had to be woken up!) came to attend and he was very honest and told us that our toilet could not be repaired permanently because it needed a new part and until that was put in, the toilet would only flush once or twice and then break down again. He said this had been an ongoing problem for our cabin and the one next door for about ten months. Apparently there were many cabins affected by faulty plumbing and toilet flushing issues on this cruise. I was walking past the new cabins near Explorations Cafe one day and they were pulling up carpets and changing sofa's. Anyway back to our saga.....by now it was 1am and we were tired and very annoyed. They should not have sold that cabin knowing the ongoing plumbing issues. We asked to be moved but were told by Guest Relations that the ship was absolutely full and there was no other cabin available for us. We then asked to see the Guest Relations Manager early the next day, as we were contemplating flying home. There was no way that we were staying in a cabin for 11 nights when it had a toilet that did not flush. Apart from being very inconvenient, it was a Health & Safety issue. Next morning we saw Maia, the newly arrived onboard Guest Relations Manager. We were not happy, to say the least, but Maia listened, reacted very professionally and told us the issue would be sorted. We went into Barcelona for the day and when we returned later a plumber had a "new part" and was working for hours on our plumbing. Maia told us that she had been told the plumbing would work now, but she couldn't absolutely guarantee it and wanted us to move cabins just to be sure. A family in a balcony cabin very sadly had an emergency at home and would be disembarking that evening to fly home. We could have their cabin. We were happy with this but in the meantime something else happened. An American family of four had been unable to board Zuiderdam as they did not have the required three months left on their passports demanded by Schengen countries and HAL had denied them boarding. They had given them 24 hours to replace their passports but sadly the family were unable to do this, so they could not cruise. Maia told us that to compensate for all the disruption and distress caused to us .....and I have left a lot of it out....on the first two days of our cruise, she was able to upgrade us to their suite. We thought it was a Signature suite and would have been very happy with that, but No, it was a Neptune Suite! It was mid ships on Deck 7, near The Neptune Lounge and was simply spectacular. To say we were delighted was an understatement! :D Sorry for the family that could not sail of course, but very happy for us. Maia had been wonderful throughout and truly what a Guest Relations Manager should be. She problem solved and made two new and now loyal HAL cruisers very happy.....and also very likely to book a Neptune Suite every time we sail on HAL in the future. :) The rest of the cruise? Well we enjoyed it very much. The weather was very hot as Europe was experiencing a major heat wave but the ports were great. We did a ship's tour to Nice and Cannes and had just about enough time in those lovely Riviera towns. We had arranged a private tour to Lucca from Livorno with an American family and this was a lovely day. Calvi, Olbia and Palermo were very hot and we just ambled around and chilled in some nice sea front bars. Salerno was a surprise for me....very attractive Old Town and had it been a bit cooler then I would have spent many hours happily getting lost there. The food was generally very good. Pinnacle Grill was excellent, Canaletto was excellent once, but the second time we went the veal was so over salted that I was nauseous. The rest of the meal was good. MDR food only disappointed twice but the second Gala Dinner was abysmal. Really poorly cooked, burnt surf and turf and as for the foie gras starter.....well it was horrible. However, we did enjoy the majority of the food and it certainly wouldn't stop us from booking with HAL again. Loved the peace and calm of a Pinnacle Grill breakfast. The Spa treatments we had were fantastic, prices were reasonable and I enjoyed spending time in The Casino too. My donation was reasonable and the slots were fun. We enjoyed sampling the cocktails of the day and found a new favourite...a Valencia, which is apricot brandy, orange juice and prosecco....delicious! Loved the several happy hours and we took advantage of them all! :D Entertainment.....hmmm. Not particularly to my taste, but my friend enjoyed a few shows and films. The Piano Bar guy Damian was very good....it was just the stupid songs that other guests requested he sing that were bad! The Band were not exactly charismatic and even The BB King Blues Band was not marvellous. I am used to more modern music and pretty good entertainment on Silversea, Azamara, Cunard and Celebrity, so HAL did disappoint me a bit. Trivia was fun though. Overall, my impressions of Holland America are very positive. We met some lovely and interesting people and were delighted with our Neptune Suite. We would not hesitate to cruise with them again on an interesting Med itinerary, but perhaps we may choose a more modern ship than Zuiderdam next time. One thing is sure though.....that Neptune Suite has surely spoiled us for Balconies from now on! :D
  20. Was wondering if there is an ATM on board? We will be traveling for almost 6 weeks and don't want to carry that much cash. Husband likes the casino. Thanks.
  21. We are sailing on the Zuiderdam in a couple weeks. We have not cruised on HAL since they switched to Gala nights, not have we done the Baltic itinerary. Can anyone give me feedback on how many guests still get dressed up on Gala nights? And if the Baltic itinerary would be more likely to have many in formal attire? While we enjoy dressing up, we also don’t mind traveling lighter (flying from the US) and not bringing the tux, suits formal dresses if the majority of folks will not be in formal ware. So I am trying to get a better feel of what to expect on Gala nights and for this itinerary. Thank you for the help!
  22. My husband and I got home a few days ago from a 10-day Panama Canal cruise on the Zuiderdam. I plan to write out a thorough review but in the mean time feel free to throw any questions my way!
  23. What a GREAT first cruise with HAL on the Zuiderdam Panama Canal cruise!! Great ship...Great staff...Great itinerary...Great food...Great entertainment! I wont have time to write up a big trip report this week, but if anyone has any questions about the Zuiderdam or this itinerary, I will make it a point to check back and provide the best answers I can! Looking forward to sailing with HAL again in the future! :D
  24. I couldn't see where Peter started a sailaway thread for today, so I thought I would start one for the Eurodam and Zuiderdam. There are 6 ships in port today with the two HAL ships, we also have the Regal Princess, the Caribbean Princess, Celebrity Silhouette, and the Allure. I don't have all the itineraries for Zuide or the Eurodam like Peter always does so well, but at least we will have a thread. I hope everything is OK with him and he just took Easter off.
  25. My wife and I just got back from a cruise on the Zuiderdam. We just want to give a shot out to the excellent entertainment that was on board. Extra special shot out to the steel drum band Island Magic (do not miss both their shows), and the piano duet of Danny and Ion in the billboard lounge. Danny and Ion's show was the place to hang out in the evening. standing room only crowds. IMHO, Hal should extend their contracts and put them on their newest ship coming out. Sit down, laugh, and sing along with them!
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