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viennacruiser

Back from Zuiderdam 3-19 to 3-26

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Just back from the Zuiderdam and am still unpacking and getting used to cooking my own meals.

Will write a long review over the next few days

Holly and Gio..I lost the e-mail addresses:( ..drop me an e-mail:D

missed you guys at 7pm:(

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No pressure or anything, but I can't wait to read your report. We sail on the Zuiderdam on May 21st. Thanks in advance!

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Ill be sailing on that ship april 9 cant wait to here your review and thanks for the review in advanse James

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Part 1

 

Just some background on us for perspective, we are in our 40’s, traveled without our kids this time and have cruised before.:) My DH was in the Navy and sailed round the world twice, we have traveled on land vacations quite a bit.

 

I will make the overall statement that we had a great time on this trip, not everything was perfect but we along with our CC friends that we met laughed off the irritating stuff and had tons of fun!

 

We flew from Wash DC to FLL the day before, we had an early evening flight which left on time and arrived without incident .We were lucky enough to stay overnight with my parents in FLL so we had no hotel or transportation issues to worry about.

 

 

Embarkation and Sailaway

 

We arrived at the pier at around noon, there were a lot of people arriving, but we pulled right up to the curb and a porter took our language and off we went, my DH stood and watched them take it away, he is always worried it will not make it to us.:rolleyes:

 

We were in a Suite…and how suite it was..so we went right to the suite line there was no one waiting, but looking over to the other lines they were not too bad.

 

I had done the immigration and embarkation forms on line so we just zipped thru, and in a few minutes getting our pictures taken. We were given gold labels to wear on our clothing to indicate we were in a suite and when we boarded we were escorted to the Neptune Lounge. Now that is a great place, we settled in a few minutes had some iced tea, and a few snacks and then decided to go exploring, we found our cabin..Suite 5186, it was an aft wraparound and it was wonderful.:D I have not been in a suite before and heard that the interior was somewhat smaller than side suites but it was very roomy for us, and we had tons of closets and storage.

 

The veranda was so great….I could not get enough of it; we had so much space on it.

 

We dropped off our carry on and off we went to the lido to have some lunch. We were overwhelmed with the choices but enjoyed our choices. I had read a lot about the colors and décor of the ship and yes it was loud and maybe the color choices were not the best but in no way did it detract from our enjoyment.

 

After lunch we went back to our cabin to unpack before the lifeboat drill, we had plenty of space for each of us and of course we took to much as usual, we were able to store our suitcases under the bed..

 

We went to the lifeboat drill which I thought went very smoothly and quickly, although I never remember having roll called on any other ships, but it went fast.

 

We were than off to the Crows Nest to meet up with our CC friends, we found a nice spot and made friends with the waiter who set up the chairs for us and I no time met our new friends Holly, Alan, Giovanni and Kim. :) We go to know each other and waited to sail way, which was delayed 30 minutes or so while they waited for 24 passengers whose plane was late.

 

The only disappointment with sail way was no calypso music to get in the mood. But otherwise it was great.

 

To be continued….

 

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Hi,

 

We are a family of 4 that booked a 7 night Eastern Carib on Zuiderdam for next Easter (April 8-15th, 2006)

Did the Zuiderdam visit Nassau as scheduled on Friday March 25th (Good Friday)?

The reason I asked was that last year we cruised on the NCL Dawn from New York and because they were scheduled to dock in Nassau on Good Friday they changed the itinery because they all the shops would be closed.

This created a problem for us because we booked a room at Comfort Suites so we could use all of the pools, slides and facilities at Atlantis. When they changed days I had to scramble to change my hotel arrival date which proved very difficult- but with the help of NCL- successful.

Was there any change on Zuiderdam? Did you dock in Nassau on Good Friday?

Thank you for any and all assistance!

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Yes, we docked in Nassau on Good Friday, there were 4 ships in port and a 5th arrived when one left, many stores were closed, but the straw market and some others were open, we were told that many stores might be closed before we arrived and to do any serious shopping in St Thomas.

 

If worked out fine for us, we are not really big shoppers anyway:rolleyes:

hope that helps

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Good review, please keep it coming. I will be on the "Z" in 25 days. Joe V.

 

Serenade of the Seas 12/31/05

Zuiderdam 4/23/05

RCI - 2 times

Princess - 3 times

QE2 - 1 time

Royal Majesty - 1 time

Carnival - 1 time

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We were on this sailing and were part of the CC group that Viennacruiser mentioned.

 

Since I'm not big on writing I won't be submitting my own review. My DW and I were first time cruisers so we don't have the experiences to make comparisons to other cruises or cruise lines. Since we did hang out with VC we probably formed the same opinions about the various happenings on the cruise.

 

But I will watch this thread and will mention my take or viewpoint if needed. I’ve got a feeling that she will hit it right on.

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We were on the same cruise but were too tired to meet up with the other guys at the crows nest, etc... we had a suite also . NEVER EVER :D BOOK A SUITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:eek:BECAUSE YOU WILL BE SPOILED FOR EVER !!!!!!:p We were some of those late arriving people. Great food and service.

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Great review, so far. Isnt 5186 a great cabin? We really enjoyed it last April and will be enjoying her twin sister cabin, 5187 in October. Keep it coming, love reading reviews.

 

Tim

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Part 2

 

Our Suite and the Ship

 

Well I am back to continue….Overall our impressions of the ship were very good…here goes..

 

we were booked in a suite 5186 and yes once you have a suite you are spoiled for life, we have a Veranda in our next cruise and I am trying to figure out how to convince my DH that we need another suite.;)

 

Our Suite was aft with the wraparound deck, we had 2 loungers , a table with 4 chairs and 2 other cushioned chairs with ottomans. There was so much room, and at any given time we could find a spot with shade or sun. I spent a lot of time on my Veranda reading, watching the wake and laying in the sun.

 

It was so nice to just hang out and watch the water, sadly I did not eat breakfast out there as my DH does not like to eat out doors. Go figure..:rolleyes:

 

It was really nice to be out there when we docked or pulled away, at times we were next to other ships and it was great to see them. I was able to look up and see our CC friends Holly and Alan on their Veranda.

 

As I said earlier our suite was very roomy, the King size bed with the comforter and pillows was heavenly I have never slept so good. We had plenty of storage and room to walk around, we had a couch and 2 other chairs .One evening we had a suite party with our CC friends and the 6 of us were very comfortable hanging out in the room. We also spend an afternoon on the Veranda chatting and enjoying our day at sea.

 

The bathroom was especially nice with both the shower and tub, and the double sinks my DH and I could get ready at the same time . We each had plenty of or own space in the bathroom for our stuff.

 

The vanity area was nice for me to use to dry my hair, and put on makeup and there was plenty of room for me to leave my makeup ,etc but I would bring my own blow dryer, the one supplied was not strong enough for me.

 

I love the bathrobes and used mine everyday in my room, although we did see someone wear one into the dining room the day of the dessert extravaganza! :eek:

 

I had read a lot about the colors and layout of the ship. I did notice that the colors were somewhat loud and yes the rug was some kind of ugly ,but none of this could ruin our good time, as a matter of fact when we came across items we had read about on the boards we commented on them either saying wow that is way worse than they said or that is not so bad.

 

Our cabin was aft and for the whole week I just could not get it right when I got off the elevators, but as far as the rest of the layout of the ship it took me a few days to get in under my belt and no longer had to carry the map. I loved using the glass elevators .

 

We used most of the facilities on the ship, some we never used, just not enough time to do it all, before dinner our CC group met in the Crow’s Nest for before dinner drinks and that was very nice, the waiters got to know us, set up 6 seats for us and kept appetizers coming our way. The staff was very nice and talked to us about their families and life aboard the ship.

 

I never went to the casino, but our CC friends did ,but since none of were big gamblers it was not a place we hung out much.

 

We frequented a few of the bars, and listened to the various music, and one night we went to the disco for dancing and that was fun although kind of loud and somewhat smokey.

 

The pools were nice ,but again I did not spent much time there, partly because I was sunburned the first sea day and also because I had my own Veranda and did not want to fight for a chair by the pool. My CC friends did go and they said that you could find a seat if you went further from the pool .

 

I did go to the pool one day and noticed that the children were sent away from the adults pool, I never went in the hot tubs but when I passed by they were always occupied. I did miss calypso music by the pools in the afternoons.

 

I never went to the gym or the spa but my table mates went to the gym everyday and had good things to say about it.

 

I only had one trip to the excursion desk as I used the concierges in the Neptune Lounge, which was wonderful , we were about as far away as you could get from it, but we managed to stop by for wonderful Cappuccino and Lattes every day at some point. Irene was very helpful in setting up my excursions and they organized my suite party with both hot and cold appetizers.:D

 

The Neptune was a nice place to go for a quite moment or to sit and read.

 

We never used the library or internet café, but we did frequent the shops a few times, not much to talk about there. The usual cruise stuff. I was able to get a $10 watch , as we forgot our watches. I did buy my daughters gold by the inch bracelets which they loved.

 

We never did eat at the Pinnacle Grill but our CC friends did and they said it was very good.

 

Our dining room experience was probably the most disappointing, not because of the food or service but because although our table mates were nice we did not have a whole lot on common to talk about.

 

The dining room was beautiful and our table location #50 upper was very nice, I did notice some motion during dinner but again not enough to impact out enjoyment.

 

We did go to the Vista Lounge almost every night for the show, We always had a great seat location on the lower level in the middle and were very comfortable. I had read there were some bad views I did not experience them.

 

My DH and our CC friend went to the movies one afternoon and they enjoyed it but thought the seating was not the best, it was shown in the Queens Lounge, Bingo was going on in the Vista, which they said would have been a better location for a movie.

 

We went to the Queens Lounge to see the late night comedian and I went there for a class on digital cameras

 

I had read on the boards that the temperature on this ship varied, I did notice that at times it was warm, but since I am always freezing this was nice for me. We had no problems with temperature in our suite except during the afternoon when the sun was strong. But not it was not terrible, the sleeping temperature was just fine.

 

I had also read that there was a lot of movement on this ship , I did notice movement, but again it did not bother us, our one CC friend did have some problems with being sea sick but bonnie took care of that.

 

Food and service in the next part……….:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Part 2. I had read a lot about the colors and layout of the ship. I did notice that the colors were somewhat loud and yes the rug was some kind of ugly ,but none of this could ruin our good time
To me, colors were straight out of the 70s. I can understand why some people had said that some areas looked worn down (and the ship is only 3 years old). That kind of color scheme does not lend itself to wear and tear very well.

 

We frequented a few of the bars, and listened to the various music, and one night we went to the disco for dancing and that was fun although kind of loud and somewhat smokey.
That was the Northern Lights Lounge, which because of the color scheme I more appropriately called the "Gateway Computer Lounge" or better yet, the "Holstein Cow Lounge" for it's weird black and white decor.

 

The pools were nice
Nice but small, and yes chairs were definitely a premium around the pools. But my tablemates told me that it's allot worse on bigger ships. The small pools or lack of available chairs in the pool area didn't bother me.

 

I did miss calypso music by the pools in the afternoons
Though I had never cruised before, having some music (live or piped in on speakers) would have added to that "I'm on vacation" feel. Having headphones on seems to box you out of having conversations or even doing some good people watching.

 

I never went to the gym or the spa but my table mates went to the gym everyday and had good things to say about it.
I went several times. Regardless of the bad things some people say, I'm just glad they had something.

 

We never used the library or internet café
I thought Internet access was free, so I didn't buy any of the packages they offered.

 

We did go to the Vista Lounge almost every night for the show, We always had a great seat location on the lower level in the middle and were very comfortable. I had read there were some bad views I did not experience them.
We did show up about 15 minutes each night to get those awesome seats. I sat in the upper deck (left side) for one of the Cruise Director's briefings and thought the angle of view to the stage sucked. My advice is to get there early and often.

 

I had read on the boards that the temperature on this ship varied, I did notice that at times it was warm, but since I am always freezing this was nice for me.
Ditto

 

I had also read that there was a lot of movement on this ship , I did notice movement, but again it did not bother us, our one CC friend did have some problems with being sea sick but bonnie took care of that.
This was me. I'm the type of person that gets nauseous on amusements ride of fishing boats. The Bonine certainly cured me of any seasickness.

 

Hope this helped some of you!!

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Part 3

 

Food and Service

 

Well here I go talking about food and service…and from what I have seen in the last few days food is a hot topic…:rolleyes:

 

We have been on 3 other cruises on 2 different line, Celebrity and and Carnival, and I must say we enjoyed the food on all these lines very much.

 

The food on the Zui was average for some items for others to above average it certainly was not horrific as I have read on that other post.

 

I found the choices for my self to be limited in what I would like to eat, but that may just be a personal preference. I certainly could find plenty to eat and did not go hungry.

 

I cook a lot at home and really like to have new and unusual items to choose from on a cruise, that being said the option of "comfort food " was always lost on me.

 

I also do not like much in the way of fish so that choice was out for me.

 

I really did enjoy the appetizers and soups especially the cold soup choices, on evenings that I was not too enamored with the entrée choices I would have 2 appetizers instead, oh and maybe 2 deserts.:eek:

 

On the nights that I did not like something, I just told my waiter Herry and ordered something more to my liking, the only night I really had a problem with was Good Friday, since I could not eat meat and I did not like the fish I was kind of stuck, but I managed to eat appetizers, soup and salad and than had room for ice cream and pizza later that evening.

 

The food at the Lido was probably the best I have had on any cruise, and the choices were wonderful it was hard to choose very day what to have. We loved the pizza and ice cream and we all managed to have some after our late night outings, it actually became a routine for us to go to the show and listen to some music someplace and finish up with pizza and ice-cream!!!

 

We only ordered breakfast a few times on port days and we were just really interested in eating something quick before heading out, The breakfast at Lido was wonderful, I really went to town with the many choices of baked goods, an extra treat for me since I had been on South Beach for along while before hand.

 

Every evening before dinner we went to the Crow’s Nest and enjoyed the appetizers, some we liked better than others, but again I think that was personal choice.

 

I did fine some of the deserts lacking, although I did have some favorites such as rice pudding and I really loved the bread pudding

 

None of the food was bad and the presentation was beautiful.

 

 

Service…

 

I have to say the crew on this ship was very friendly, none friendlier that Honky Dory in the Lido, our waiter and assistant who seemed over worked did a great job with our 8 top, there were a few missed items such as wrong salad dressing but nothing major and all made right. None of us at our table drank wine or ordered from the bar so that was not an issue for us. At the public rooms the wait staff was very friendly esp. in the Crow’s Nest and always remembered us and our drink orders, also helpful in giving us other ideas.

 

Our room steward was very quite, came and went without being noticed, and our room was always very clean with new ice all day.

 

The only service I would have to say lacked was the Cabana boys on HMC that we had with our pink cabana. They never stopped by once as a matter of fact I had to track them down for extra sodas.:(

 

Overall I would say the food and service on this cruise were better than average and again none of it could ruin our good time.

 

 

To be continued…next up entertainment and ports of call…..:)

 

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Nancy!!!!

I am missing you friend!

I tried to email you but lost the postcard also and when i try to email you from here it says you do not accept messages.

 

As for you Gio and Kim, we miss Y'ALL too! I wish we could do another one right away--any plans for next week!?!

 

I am pining for another cruise.

 

 

For all of you other people...we were Holly and Allen the 3rd CC couple that met on board. If you have ever thought about meeting up with CC people and have wondered if they'd be weirdos and have been hesitant, I'd definitely tell you to go for it!!! While no one in our group had a whole lot in common we got along like old friends and had tons of fun together!

 

I'm going to let Nancy finish her excellent review and I'll comment on it. As far as what she has written it is very accurate. There was one bad food experience which was on the last night the pasta tasted like it was a bite of flour. Yech, but nothing as bad as “horrific” I would say! Most of the time the food was fair to good. Nothing wonderful, but all right overall. As Nancy has mentioned we were not going to let anything (one bad eye, whooping cough or too many pina coladas) get in our way!

 

We did eat at the Pinnacle once and it was fantastic! However we each had one glass of wine and with the $ 40 and the 15% it ended up being $64. Not terrible, but worth noting! I did eat so much that I felt ill afterward and had to have a little nap on the promenade deck before the show.

 

I will let you get back to Nancy’s wonderful commentary.

 

Before I post my email here, I’ll look for that post card more thoroughly!

 

 

Take care friends!!

Holly

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Part 4

Entertainment and Ports of Call...

I am back to finish up, we all had the late sitting of dinner and as I mentioned spend our own "happy hour" in the Crows Nest each evening.Most evenings after dinner we went to the shows, as I also mentioned we had great seat, we did arrive before the end of the second seating which may have been the reason.

Most of the shows were good, the first nitgt was just OK but I always think that about the first nights show on any cruise

The Joel Mason show was the best by far and yes Gio he is still alive;) .

We were all up on our feet singing along. I enjoyed the comdiean the first evening, but his adult only show left something to be desired. more hype than anything else.

The magician was very good, and the rest of the shows were good, I do not ever expect broadway ,and always enjoy the shows on the ship.

We went to a few of the lounges at night to listen to music and enjoyed ourselves very much.

HMC

well this may have been the best place of all...we had the pink cabana, and it was perfect, we arrived on an early tender and at first it was a little cool, there was some cloud cover, but as soon as it cleared up and t was very warm and sunny, so much so that I got a nice burn on my back and my DH feet fried

Our friends joined us in our cabana and we spent a wonderful day swimming, watching Holly and Alan parasailing , and Mike and Gio nearly fall off the banana boat, and just having fun with our new friends.

The barbque was very good, we went and picked up our food and carried it back to the cabana to eat. The cabana boys were pretty useless:rolleyes: .We hated to leave at the end of the day.

St Thomas/St John

As we had a long port call in St Thomas we decided to venture to St John for the day, we were off the ship early and caught a taxi to the pier at Red Hook, we had a wonderful driver who gave us some history on the way and drove the speed limit.

We arrived at Red Hook at about 9:20 or so and had to wait for the 10 AM ferry, we waited as the line grew longer and do not be in any rush as the ticket person arrives back on the ferry from St John to sell the tickets, they are on 'island time " and do not rush very much.While we waited My Mike and Alan went to the little store across the street and picked up some drinks and snacks,

the ferry ride was good but crowed, we arrived in Cruz Bay with the rest of the people and the taxi's were waiting, they want to fill up before taking off so again do not be in much of a rush. While we were waiting someone was hit by a taxi, we had to wait for the ambulance to arrive , they did not seem to be seriously injured thank goodness, but the whole ride the driver had to stop and tell the story to whomever he passed...again no rush.

we decided to skip Trunk Bay and go to Cinnamon Bay and what a good choice that was , after a harrowing ride in the taxi we arived at the most beautiful and almost deserted beach, Holly and Alan rented snorkel equipment, we had our own and again ..no rushing .

The snorkeling was just OK, and we later found out we were at the wrong spot at the beach, but the day was wonderful and the beach so beautiful. We stayed until about 2:30 or so and than headed back to get the 3 PM ferry so we could shop in St Thomas. the line for ferry tickets was long and slow I would suggest getting a round trip ticket in the morning. The shopping in St Thomas was rushed as everything closed at 5, if I did it over I wold have stayed in St John until the 4 PM ferry and skipped shopping.

 

Tortola

This again was a beautiful location ,we skipped the baths as I did not think I could make the climb down and choose a back road jeep trip ..and was it ever worth it, we saw places on Tortola that I am sure many never see, we went to small towns and along cliffs with the most spectacular views I have even seen .

We ended up on Beef Island at a small very secluded beach and again did some snorkeling. It was a wonderful expereince and one I would highly recommend if you want to be away from the crowds.

 

Nassau

This was the most dissappointing port of all, we arrived on good Friday and most stores were closed, since I am not a big shopper it really did not matter to me. We went to a resort, British Colonial Hilton and purchased a day pass for the beach, $15 /pp...and what a poor choice we were in the port, with questionable water, my DH snorkeled and saw a tire a bag of buggles and a lot of muck. :eek: We spend an hour or 2 there and headed back to the ship.

 

In conclusion, we had a great time on this cruise, not everything was perfect but not one thing was bad enough to ruin our trip. But I am certain that this trip was made by the company we had in our new CC friends Holly, Alan, Gio and Kim. We found humor in the questionable things , laughed at ourselves and each other and made and shared many wonderful memories. No amount of good food,service,entertainment, or ports of call can take the place of making new friends:D

Thanks guys for a great trip

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This is a great review. We are going on the Zui on July 29 (Western Caribbean) and this has been so helpful in knowing what to expect. Thanks!

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Allen and I were on cruise with Nancy and Mike, Gio and Kim. we too feel that this cruise left a few things to be desired, but of the 4 cruises we have taken this one was the best. For me, besides not getting pneumonia this time, I felt like having fun, experienced (and non experienced who act like they are ;) ) cruisers around who don't take life too seriously makes all the difference!

 

We were not bowled over by anything, but all in all it was an awesome cruise.

 

Half Moon Cay will spoil you for any other cruise line's private island! If you have the means go to the Pinnacle once, you should and last but not least bring your own snorkel gear!

 

Thanks Nancy for writing the review for all of us! You're a peach!

 

See you in short while!

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