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Pereiras

Zuiderdam.. horrific food. March 12, 2005

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Hi there,

 

We were on the Zuiderdam (tortola as one desination) March 12. Wow. The food in the main dining room is absolutely horrific. Not 'average'. Turf in the surf and turf on the formal night tastes like chrome cleaner they must have used to clean the steamers. We had to upgrade every other night to the Pinacle restaurant. The food there was good, but should you have to pay $40 US a couple to eat every night? Also, HOL management gave us a real hard time regarding our air.. which we had bought through them. Gave us tickets a week before leaving a day early and coming back a day late, both leaving at 6:20 am.. one with 2 connections, the other 3. Hotels were on us! Told us too bad. Spent days trying to resolve, and finally threatened to dispute... and finally cancelled and did. Then we get a call .. lo and behold.. they have air.

 

Never again. Holland America is absolutely at the bottom of any cruise we have taken (5). Don't do it. You will be sorry. Others who have posted issues with food are absolutely right. We aren't fussy eaters. I will take a nice steak, or a big mac. Just make it edible. This was absolutely horrific.

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So sorry you did not enjoy your Zuiderdam cruise.

 

Of course I realize food is so subjective but we've enjoyed five cruises on that ship and really enjoyed our dinners.

 

Hope you like another cruiseline on another ship more for your next cruise.

Of course the air arrangements that Seattle made has nothing to do with the Chef's creations for the dining room.

 

Horrific???? Really THAT bad??? Wow....

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I had a client on that same exact cruise, and she said the food was wonderful. There were 9 of them and they all enjoyed the food and Sevice.

 

Somehow I doubt the hotels would be on you if they booked your air. I have never seen that in 4 years on the industry.

Also, Non -stop flights are not guarentied unless you pay for Custom Air. Since that week was spring break I could see the problems with air.

 

Diane

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Hi sail7seas.

 

Just FYI.. this is our 5th. We were on Princess Carribean a few years back (now that food was just terrific) and a few times before that, and then also on Norwegian a couple of times (also very good). Couldn't believe the food here.

 

Doing a quick survey, as we did a few times.. there wasn't one person on the Princess or Norwegian we met who said anything bad about the food. On this cruise a full 50% of the 20 or so couples we directly asked felt the same way we did.. wow, how dare they provide this kind of food. The others said.. the food was OK. Didn't get anyone raving about it (except about the Pinacle, which was very good) as we did on Princess.

 

Here are some other examples.

 

French Onion soup. Cafeteria sized small white bowl, cold soup, ritz cracker sized bread with 3 flakes of cheese. No kidding!

 

Penne. In fairness, one night for room service (my daughter before kids club), I tasted it and it was quite good. In the dining room.. the sauce was like watery tomato paste. No taste whatsoever. How can they get away with this stuff?

 

There was one family on our floor (we were in an outside suite S category) who had bought Peanut butter and jelly on Tortola somewhere and were ordering bread and butter to feed their kids in their rooms.. as they were just offended by the food.

 

Also, the food on their little island was equally disturbing.

 

We really ate at the Pinacle every night. In fairness, Sergio, Bas and Clifford there were just terrific, and this eased the pain a bit. But, in stark contrast to the Princess.. where we felt the food was just terrific. How about that Grand Marnier Soufle, hot, puffed up and steaming at your table. Where was this kind of food on this cruise? It didn't exist.

 

Still, I appreciate your response!

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Geez, I really hope that this is not the case with the food. One of the reasons that I wanted to try HAL was because I thought the food on my last two Princess cruises was just, "ok". 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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Hi Diane,

 

Thanks for your response as well. I do realize that some travel agents, and others who have a vested interest do post here.. but, I am being truthful to you.

 

I would invite you to contact me directly, and I will put you in touch with my travel agent at ***** who will confirm what Holland told us regarding the hotels. They changed our departure and return, indicating they had the right to do so. They then told us that we had to pay for the hotel.

 

Regarding the food. We had 3 others at our table for 8 who ordered surf and turn. They all spit it into their napkin. 2 of them reordered. I went back and had the club at room service.

 

You can contact me directly if you want to speak, and I will give you my phone number or call you. sp@spyre.ca

 

We travel a lot. 3-4 times a year. I am not fussy. It was horrific.

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Hi FCOWHER,

 

I wonder if the purchase by Carnival of Holland America and Princess might be the reason. We went on Princess a few years back, when I believe they were still 'Princess'. When did you go?

 

Sorry about telling you about this. I know I felt kind of low after reading a post regarding the food just after I booked. Should have read this forum before...

 

 

 

Geez, I really hope that this is not the case with the food. One of the reasons that I wanted to try HAL was because I thought the food on my last two Princess cruises was just, "ok". 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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My last Princess cruise was 2002 and I think the purchase of Princess had just happened. But my Fil and I talked about how the food just seemed average and when we went shopping for this one decided to give HAL a try based on feedback from other family members experiences. 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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The onion soup was "small" and the red sauce was "watery" and this makes it "horrific"?

 

I was expecting maggots and mold. Perhaps your title line is just a tad over the top?

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Hi there,

 

Your travel agent should be well versed in HAL's procedures when you book air through them. Everything they did, while aggravating, is clearly explained in brochures, websites and on info your travel agent would have. Also, when traveling during peak season (spring break time), air is often difficult to get and that is why you had to spend extra days at your expense.

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Diane said, Somehow I doubt the hotels would be on you if they booked your air.

 

 

Unfortunately it is true. One of the comments on our Passenger Confirmation from HAL says, "Air may require O/N [overnite] at pax cost".

 

I am regularly looking for air fare that will beat the price quoted us by HAL. I am beginning to think that I will be much better off paying an addition $400-500 dollars for the three of us to avoid HAL's air arrangements (or lack thereof).

 

 

As far as food opinions (and any other opinion, for that matter), I will never base a personal decision on ONE opinion, especially if it is particularly positive or negative.

 

I still believe that HAL, OVERALL, is an above average cruise line based on the information I see here and several other cruise-related web sites. Does that mean that I won't encounter problems. No, but it is more likely that there will be more positive aspects to the cruise to counter the downers. :cool:

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Horrific food ? I could understand If one meal was bad or something, but my wife and I ate every meal on the ship and took 0 excursions and never had a bad meal the entire trip ! Not saying you didn't have the misfortune of a bad meal one night but HORRIFIC ????? Finding a hair or finger at the bottom of a bowl of chili-now that's horrific !!!! One night my pork loin (what ever you call it ) was not to my liking and they practically begged me to redo, bring another entree, etc... to make it right.

Just not the same experiance as us at all .

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I meant to add in my last post a Welcome to the HAL CC Board. Happy you found us. :)

 

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I am sorry to hear about the bad food on the Zuiderdam. I have only tasted one thing I did not care for and I have been eating on Holland ships since the fall of 1996. Most of the food I found quite good and have the wasit to prove I never let it go to waste.

Himself

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Hi there,

 

We were on the Zuiderdam (tortola as one desination) March 12. Wow. The food in the main dining room is absolutely horrific. Not 'average'. Turf in the surf and turf on the formal night tastes like chrome cleaner they must have used to clean the steamers.

DW and I were also on the 3/12 Eastern Caribbean Zuiderdam cruise. I agree that the lobster tail on the Surf and Turf dinner was shameful (overcooked), though my filet was good. The assistant Maitre D that had our section apologized a couple of nights later, at second formal night and said the chef was going to make up for it with the lobster that night. I chose not to have the lobster, so I can't say if it was better.

 

We had an 8 topper, with 6 assigned, and had assistant cruise directors (Amanda and Scottie) each join us for two nights. Other than the lobster tail, DW was less than thrilled with the lamb shanks. All other items were well prepared, served and enjoyed by us. One of the other diners at our table had a couple of beef entrees that were not cooked to his liking, (one overcooked, one undercooked), but he didn't mention it to the waiter, or I'm sure the waiter would have provided another/alternate entree.

 

Two of our tablemates did enjoy the Pinnacle Grill one night (Bingo prize) and were very complementary of the food and service.

 

For DW and me, other than the two entrees named, we were very pleased with the food & service. I'm sorry you were unhappy.

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Regarding the food. We had 3 others at our table for 8 who ordered surf and turn. They all spit it into their napkin. 2 of them reordered. I went back and had the club at room service.

 

We travel a lot. 3-4 times a year. I am not fussy. It was horrific.

Gee..with over 1,800 pax on the Zuiderdam during your cruise, I would expect at least 8 or 9 hundred postings regarding food that bad. Seems strange how Huckleberry cruiser and Viennacruiser sailed on her the following week and overall things seemed more like what is normally posted regarding the food and service on HAL and in particular the Zuiderdam. I guess the air and hotel snafu you experienced had nothing to do with your attitude after getting on with the cruise. Maybe they fired the chef after your cruise!! :rolleyes:

No one on this board proclaims that everything, everyday, is perfect on HAL ships but horrific??? Complete tables of 8 spitting their food out??? Tastes like chrome cleaner??? Come on !!:rolleyes:

FCOWHER and all of you other prospective first time HAL cruisers, I would say to you before you get too worried about horrific food on the Z, I would consider the vast majority of the posts here, the good and the bad and then try it yourself with an open mind and see what you think. I might be going out on a limb here but I think you'll be pleased overall, just like most of us.:)

 

ps..Pereiras...you left out the part where you had to swim ashore at the ports you tendered off at!!!:eek:

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Pereiras,

 

We've been on several HAL cruises, usually for two weeks or longer, and have always enjoyed the food. Granted, occasionally an entree might be disappointing, but you could always replace it with something else.

 

I'm sorry your experience was so "horrific."

 

But look at the bright side: You probably went home several pounds lighter while the rest of us had to go to Weight Watchers!

 

PS - How often do you taste "chrome cleaner"? Could your habit have affected your taste buds?

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Turf in the surf and turf on the formal night tastes like chrome cleaner they must have used to clean the steamers.

 

Wow...that's a really specific taste. Are you sure it wasn't more like glass cleaner? What the heck does chrome cleaner taste like?

 

Anyway, sorry you didn't like the food.

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There was one family on our floor (we were in an outside suite S category) who had bought Peanut butter and jelly on Tortola somewhere and were ordering bread and butter to feed their kids in their rooms.

 

Nothing unusual about kids being finnicky (sp?) eaters and can't live w/o PB&J sandwiches.... With all the free food on board, have seen many pax bring on their own particular brand of chips & other snacks.

 

For many years, DW brought her own Folgers coffee (the individual tea-type bags), just couldn't stand the Lido old style syrup coffee urns. She would order tea in the DR, but now can handle the coffee made w/regular coffee grounds....At least now if it's too strong, can cut it w/hot water & it's not bitter...

 

Horrific---gimme a break......

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We were on Princess Carribean a few years back (now that food was just terrific) and a few times before that...
Funny. I thought the Caribbean Princess was launched just last year. Yes, I do believe I remember watching the webcast as "Julie" from "The Love Boat" was married on the vessel just prior to its maiden voyage.

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Gee..with over 1,800 pax on the Zuiderdam during your cruise, I would expect at least 8 or 9 hundred postings regarding food that bad. Seems strange how Huckleberry cruiser and Viennacruiser sailed on her the following week and overall things seemed more like what is normally posted regarding the food and service on HAL and in particular the Zuiderdam.
I too was on the Zuiderdam 3/19 sailing and thought the food was good. I did run into a couple of desserts that I felt needed something (like more taste), but that didn't stop me from finishing it. That can happen at any restaurant or food establishment.

 

To say it was HORRIFIC, and then say you’re not a fussy eaters…..well let’s just say you got to be smoking something. It doesn’t make sense!!!!

 

I’m sure if you would have told your waiter that it was that bad, he would have bent over backwards to make you happy.

 

You’re just pissed-off about something!!!

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If the food was that bad in the dining room, how was it possible to book the Pinnacle so many times during the cruise? You'd think it would get all booked up by the second day!

 

If the kitchen did indeed have some kind of accident that made one specific dish taste so terrible, I hope you informed them (head waiter, maitre'd) right away so that they could find and fix the problem.

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Hi there,

 

We were on the Zuiderdam (tortola as one desination) March 12. Wow. The food in the main dining room is absolutely horrific. Not 'average'. Turf in the surf and turf on the formal night tastes like chrome cleaner they must have used to clean the steamers. We had to upgrade every other night to the Pinacle restaurant. The food there was good, but should you have to pay $40 US a couple to eat every night?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

I usually don't get involved in these discussions however I just have to ask one question. If Pereias "had to upgrade every other night to the Pinacle(sic) restaurant.", that means he only ate one meal in the main dining room. How does he know what the quality of the food was on the other nights if he did not even taste the food?

 

Sorry, I have another question. Pereias, did you speak to anyone; waiter, head waiter, etc.; in the dining room during your one meal to express your dissatisfaction and give them an opportunity to correct the problem and give you a satifying meal?

 

Linda

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I thought the same thing since the Caribbean Princess came out in 2004. Also, the food must have gone down hill big time since I went on her in April, 2004. I thought the food was very good most of the time. I realize that food is a very subjective item to discuss and there are definitely different opinions regarding the exact same thing. I respect everyone's right to expression. Evidently the OP made the comments from his experience. However, to say that it is "Horrific" is way over the top. When there are so many outrageous claims it lessens the credibility for me.

Steve Hayes

 

Funny. I thought the Caribbean Princess was launched just last year. Yes, I do believe I remember watching the webcast as "Julie" from "The Love Boat" was married on the vessel just prior to its maiden voyage.

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