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Pereiras

Zuiderdam.. horrific food. March 12, 2005

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I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd never heard this term until 3 1/2 years ago, when it was constantly used in reference to 9/11 by the media. I've associated it ever since with 9/11. So, to my way of thinking, horrific might be an appropriate adjective to describe 9/11, the Tsunami, or Darfur. Describing a meal as horrific is hyperbole at best. It would be like calling an overly organized/structured cruise ship the ****dam.

 

But, this is just my opinion and the way I use the word.

 

P.S. I guess my analogy got censored. Just think Prince Harry's costume that got him into hot water.

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Well, I am going on Zuiderdam on 4/23 and I will give my feeling. I am a TA but I am quick to knock food if bad. The worst food I had last year was on the Adventure. That ranch steak was awful!

The Best Food I had on a Cruise was on the Star Princess. They had the best steak and oh so delicious Souflee's

The best lunches I had on ships were the Filet on the Celebrity Horizon. Second best was the food on the Carnival Miracle.

The worst lunch was on the NCL Sea.

I might add that I had 9 customer's on that sailing of the Zuiderdam and they all enjoyed the food. I also had some on the Oct, Nov, sailing and they said the food was excellent.

Diane

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Hi Diane,

 

Thanks again for posting. TA's with good unbiased views are certainly a good thing! We will cruise again, and keep your helpful notes as a guide. I remember the soufle's on the Princess.. and remember thinking on how the heck to they prepare these .. and have them arrive hot at your table.. for so many guests. As you know, you can't reheat a soufle! Very interesting notes about the Carival Miracle being the second best. Was beginning to wonder if the 'carnival' ownership was the reason food was bad.. apparently not..

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I am going on Zuiderdam on 4/23 and I will give my feeling. I am a TA but I am quick to knock food if bad. The worst food I had last year was on the Adventure. That ranch steak was awful!

The Best Food I had on a Cruise was on the Star Princess. They had the best steak and oh so delicious Souflee's

The best lunches I had on ships were the Filet on the Celebrity Horizon. Second best was the food on the Carnival Miracle.

The worst lunch was on the NCL Sea.

I might add that I had 9 customer's on that sailing of the Zuiderdam and they all enjoyed the food. I also had some on the Oct, Nov, sailing and they said the food was excellent.

Diane

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Pereiras, thanks for your comments on the Zuiderdam's food. DW and I have just returned from Sam's Club and we have packed an extra bag with 84 ounces of peanut butter and an equally large quantity of jelly, both peach and grape flavors. :rolleyes: 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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I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd never heard this term until 3 1/2 years ago, when it was constantly used in reference to 9/11 by the media. I've associated it ever since with 9/11. So, to my way of thinking, horrific might be an appropriate adjective to describe 9/11, the Tsunami, or Darfur. Describing a meal as horrific is hyperbole at best. It would be like calling an overly organized/structured cruise ship the ****dam.

 

But, this is just my opinion and the way I use the word.

 

P.S. I guess my analogy got censored. Just think Prince Harry's costume that got him into hot water.

 

I would tend to agree with your assessment on "horrific". The word is not really used that often unless the situation is in the catasthropic range, or at least I think so. That is the key word that caught not only everyone's attention, and the highly emotional responses....Even stating the 'food su**s" would not have had the same results....

 

This thread has had two surprises for me. One, I didn't think the OP would ever come back--sort of a hit & run since it was primarily a first posting..... Two, not only did the OP return, but his calm responses to all the heat directed his way. He has certainly shown more class than many of the regular HAL posters... One thing for sure, he did get his message across as to what he thought of that particular meal....

 

Happy cruising.....

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Talk about a small world. I had posted on another thread that my sister and BIL were on the 3/12 sailing of the Zuiderdam, and they thought the food was downright awful. They didn't have unrealistic expectations; they've cruised Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean previously and thought HAL would be on par with the above-mentioned. They were extremely disappointed. They, like Pereiras, ate two meals in the main dining room and didn't return. They said the food was absolutely terrible. And yes, they did complain to the maitre de. They got a very apathetic attitude in response to their complaint. My sister told me many other passengers they encountered on that sailing had the same complaint. My sister and BIL thereafter paid extra to eat in the Pinnacle Grill (and believe me, my BIL wouldn't shell out that extra money if they didn't think the food was that bad). They raved about the food in the Pinnacle Grill.

 

Now having said that, it turns out that although I don't know Pereiras, it turns out they were tablemates of my sister and BIL. Small world, indeed. I just found that out a few hours ago. He emailed me about my sister and BIL's experience with Zuiderdam, and after several emails back and forth, it turns out they were seated at the same table. When I wrote my review (based on my sister's comments) several days ago, I had no idea who Pereiras was or that his wife and daughter shared the table with my sister and BIL. His comments about the food mimicked my sister and BIL's completely. And remember, I mentioned previously that my sister said many other passengers complained as well.

 

I have no answer as to why some thought the food was good. As Pereiras said, he would have been happy with "decent" food; it didn't have to be 5 star cuisine. My sister felt the same way. But she also concurred that the food was downright awful. In fact, I spoke with her as soon as she got off the ship, and her first comment was she'd never sail HAL again because it was ridiculous that they had to pay $40/night to get good food. She would have been happy with banquet-quality food; but what she described was terrible. I've been on cruises with her, and I know what her expectations are, and I know she isn't unrealistic.

 

I just felt the need to defend Pereiras because I think he was trying to give an accurate view of his experience, and many have raked him over the coals for it. I admire his ability to remain calm under fire.

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I was on that exact same cruise, funny how we see things differently. We all, the 5 of us on the cruise, found the food to be excellent, including the Pinnacle Grill. We all commented on how wonderful the food was all week, from the dining room, to the Lido to the Pinnacle Grill. Sorry you didn't enjoy your meals, we found them to be excellent along with most everyone we spoke to onboard.

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The steak and mushrooms in the Pinnacle were to die for......as was that Chocolate Volcano Cake. OMG that was heavenly! :)

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Didn't feel the word horrific was used unjustly. My dictionary has it defined as adj..causing horror; horrible. The guy who posted comparing the use of the word to 9/11.. tsunami..wow. Vacation food, no matter how bad should not be compared to something like that.

 

The food was horrible.

 

Thanks for your observances. It never helps anyones argument to get upset. Lots of good folks here..

 

Happy cruising to you too!

 

I would tend to agree with your assessment on "horrific". The word is not really used that often unless the situation is in the catasthropic range, or at least I think so. That is the key word that caught not only everyone's attention, and the highly emotional responses....Even stating the 'food su**s" would not have had the same results....

 

This thread has had two surprises for me. One, I didn't think the OP would ever come back--sort of a hit & run since it was primarily a first posting..... Two, not only did the OP return, but his calm responses to all the heat directed his way. He has certainly shown more class than many of the regular HAL posters... One thing for sure, he did get his message across as to what he thought of that particular meal....

 

Happy cruising.....

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Jerseygirl......

 

Now that is what I call an amazing coincidence. Who woulda' believed it??

Pity they were disappointed.

Hope they are happier on their next cruise.

 

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WELCOME HOME DOONE.

 

HOPE YOU HAD A WONDERFUL TIME.

PLEASE SHARE SOME COMMENTS WITH US. I'VE BEEN SO EAGER TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT ZUIDERDAM AS I RECALL, AT ONE POINT, YOU WERE A BIT HESITANT TO SAIL THE VISTA CLASS.

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Hi Jerseygirl.

 

Thanks for the post. Please pass on our love to your sister and family, and our contact details.

 

Thanks!

 

Talk about a small world. I had posted on another thread that my sister and BIL were on the 3/12 sailing of the Zuiderdam, and they thought the food was downright awful. They didn't have unrealistic expectations; they've cruised Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean previously and thought HAL would be on par with the above-mentioned. They were extremely disappointed. They, like Pereiras, ate two meals in the main dining room and didn't return. They said the food was absolutely terrible. And yes, they did complain to the maitre de. They got a very apathetic attitude in response to their complaint. My sister told me many other passengers they encountered on that sailing had the same complaint. My sister and BIL thereafter paid extra to eat in the Pinnacle Grill (and believe me, my BIL wouldn't shell out that extra money if they didn't think the food was that bad). They raved about the food in the Pinnacle Grill.

 

Now having said that, it turns out that although I don't know Pereiras, it turns out they were tablemates of my sister and BIL. Small world, indeed. I just found that out a few hours ago. He emailed me about my sister and BIL's experience with Zuiderdam, and after several emails back and forth, it turns out they were seated at the same table. When I wrote my review (based on my sister's comments) several days ago, I had no idea who Pereiras was or that his wife and daughter shared the table with my sister and BIL. His comments about the food mimicked my sister and BIL's completely. And remember, I mentioned previously that my sister said many other passengers complained as well.

 

I have no answer as to why some thought the food was good. As Pereiras said, he would have been happy with "decent" food; it didn't have to be 5 star cuisine. My sister felt the same way. But she also concurred that the food was downright awful. In fact, I spoke with her as soon as she got off the ship, and her first comment was she'd never sail HAL again because it was ridiculous that they had to pay $40/night to get good food. She would have been happy with banquet-quality food; but what she described was terrible. I've been on cruises with her, and I know what her expectations are, and I know she isn't unrealistic.

 

I just felt the need to defend Pereiras because I think he was trying to give an accurate view of his experience, and many have raked him over the coals for it. I admire his ability to remain calm under fire.

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Wow - sorry about your bad experience! I've been off the boards for a looooong time due to my work schedule (@#$%&*!), and am leaving on the April 9 Zui with my 31-year old daughter and her (serious...finally!) boyfriend. This will be my second cruise on this ship, and fifth on HAL. I had a wonderful time on my first Zui cruise in May of 2003, and expect to have the same wonderful experience this time. Maybe I'm not very picky, but I didn't even mind the lower "vibrating" dining room on that first cruise, and never had a bad meal. We'll eat at the Pinnacle one night, but the rest will be spent in the dining room. These two have never been on a "cruise" cruise (just a Windjammer-type tall ship), so, natch, they are very excited. As am I! (I'm a MARINER, I'm a MARINER...) I've been on about 22 cruises, and I just don't think you can beat the quality of HAL. Just my opinion, and it's not a humble one. Good luck in your future cruising, and I as for me....April 9 Zui.....here I come!!

 

(I have GOT to make those manicure/pedicure/hair/plastic surgery/Botox/laser/Rolfing, etc. appointments!)

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Talk about a small world.

 

Now that makes more sense. One table in the DR had a very bad experience while a number of others didn't.

 

It could be attributed to only one table having people with taste, or it could be attributed to some problem between the kitchen and that table.

 

As I remember from your posts about your Sister & BIL, it was a combination of DR service and quality that bothered them - they said food was often delivered cold.

 

That does sound like a problem with the steward/asst. steward rather than a problem with the kitchen/chef. And that would explain why others had good things to say about the food - their's was warm! :)

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Horrific food??? I'm not quite sure what this means.

 

However, I am surprised that it seems that the OP didn't try another entre (or two, or three or more) to see if all the offerings were indeed HORRIFIC. The "upgrade" to the Pinnacle seems to be an extreme solution to a simple problem.

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You are the eternal optimist... and good on you.

 

I do realize that no matter what is posted here, you will refute it, and that is your right. To clarify, we met the other couple AT the Pinnacle, NOT at the main. Spoke a little first time, then sat together later. They had their own experience at the Main, and we exchanged 'notes' at the Pinnacle. WSe didn't meet everynight.. they were on their own, celebrating an aniversary. Their 'second' night at the main wasn't in conjunction with ours. Being on their second 'honeymoon' we met when they surfaced. .and they joined us a couple of times.. for which we moved tables after we had sat down. Never met them before the trip, and haven't spoken since... though I expect to. Great people.

 

They did not have a 'horrible' meal, but shared their experiences with 'crummy' food.

 

Nice of you to yet again infer your own knowledge on an event which you didn't attend, but your assumptions regarding warm food are not correct. A good effort though. Sure you don't work for HAL?

 

 

Now that makes more sense. One table in the DR had a very bad experience while a number of others didn't.

 

It could be attributed to only one table having people with taste, or it could be attributed to some problem between the kitchen and that table.

 

As I remember from your posts about your Sister & BIL, it was a combination of DR service and quality that bothered them - they said food was often delivered cold.

 

That does sound like a problem with the steward/asst. steward rather than a problem with the kitchen/chef. And that would explain why others had good things to say about the food - their's was warm! :)

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Horrific = Horrible.

 

Others at the main complained loudly as well. No real point in mentioning the extent of it again.. it would look like I was stretching the point. Suffice it to say it wasn't just us, though perhaps just our table had the horrible night with the fillet. Many many others complained about tastlessness, cold, dry, tough meat. I do realize folks are going to take this with a grain of salt (no pun intended). Funny.. I probably have done the exact thing on travel boards prior to taking my trip when we had seen negative posts. To be honest, in most cases, looking back, there was some truth in people who took the time to post after a trip. So many people want to come back and tell their friends they had a great time, so as not to make it look like they had a bad time, or wasted their money. That is, I think it is really only the people who really feel there was something really bad or actually very good take the time to post. Do appreciate your post.

 

Horrific food??? I'm not quite sure what this means.

 

However, I am surprised that it seems that the OP didn't try another entre (or two, or three or more) to see if all the offerings were indeed HORRIFIC. The "upgrade" to the Pinnacle seems to be an extreme solution to a simple problem.

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I ordered the Porterhouse a few times. 23 or 24 oz. Cooked perfectly. Sergio, Bas and Clifford were really great too. As mentioned earlier, the Pinnacle saved our trip...

 

The steak and mushrooms in the Pinnacle were to die for......as was that Chocolate Volcano Cake. OMG that was heavenly! :)

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Hi everyone,

 

I just had to put my two cents in again. The percieved quality of anything is so very subjective and personal. I do not think any of us can really understand what makes or breaks an experience for another person. A minor annoyance for one person may be a major trauma for another. I truly believe we are all best served by attempting to try our best to understand each other and accept the feelings expressed by others at face value.

 

Years ago, I took a call from my answering service. An operator, who could barely contain her distain told me that one of my client's called and requested that she call me immediatly because she was experiencing a major panic attack. The cause of ther major panic attack was that she could not remember her appointment time. The operator went on to tell me how ridiculous this was, and appologize for disturbing me. Well, guess who I really got angry at? I not only read the operator the riot act, but spoke with her supervisor as well. For my client that was a true emergency. she was in a great deal of psychic pain and needed immediate help. As I explained to the people who work for my answering service, we are not here to judge people, only to try to understand them, respond to them and learn from them.

 

I feel the same way when I read this message board. Yes, when someone sets out to rile us up and get a rise out of people just to get their kicks, I feel as used as everyone else. It is obvious to me that this is not the case in this situation. Pereiras had, what was for him, a "horrific" meal. That was his experience. It was, for an event that seems to have put a damper on his cruise. He does tell us he tried to make the best of it in the only way he could find. He ate dinner in the Pinnacle. He was trying to make the best of what for him, was a "horrific" experience.

 

He is not telling us to stay away from HAL. He is reporting his experience as he lived it. Let's give him a break and some comfort.

 

Pereiras, I am so sorry your cruise was not better. Cruises cost a lot of money. We also invest time and have the right to expect that we will have a spectacular experience. That is, afterall what they advertise. Like you, I have been on enough cruises to know what to expect, and I think I have pretty realistic expectations. I would be just beside myself if something were to happen on my cruise that would have made it so miserable for me. I am very greatful that that has never happened to me. I do think that you really tried to make the best of a bad situation. An additional $40 a night for dinner is a very expensive alternative, especially when you are already paying for dinner in the main dining room. I really think you might want to persue this with the people in Seattle to see if they will compensate you in some way. However, in the moment, you did some creative thinking and at least had some food you enjoyed.

 

As far as you air problems. The policies do seem very unfair. However, HAL can do whatever they want to do provided they have informed you of the conditions in advance. It is really your Travel Agent's responsibility to explain this to you and work it out for you. Personally, I rely on my Travel Agent a great deal. She provides services to me that are just priceless. I am old fashioned that way and stick with my brick and morter gal.

 

But, getting back to you, Pereiras, I hope your next cruise is better. I do have one suggestion. Don't give up on HAL. Try one of the other ships. The S or R class ships are different than the Vista class ships. They are not only smaller, but the decor is more refined, jewel colors, antiques and dark woods. They are also quieter. The suites are larger. I have not experienced the Vista class ships so I am not able to speak with the authority of experience. However, I know what I like, and I like the smaller HAL ships. Just think about it.

 

Linda

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He is not telling us to stay away from HAL. He is reporting his experience as he lived it. Let's give him a break and some comfort.

 

And if he/she/they had done that, I would have left it alone. But perhaps you should re-read msg #1 again, where the OP says: "Never again. Holland America is absolutely at the bottom of any cruise we have taken (5). Don't do it. You will be sorry."

 

THe OP has, in effect, insulted anyone who claims to have had a good experience on a HAL cruise. I'm not OK with that.

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jerseygirl....Did you go on this cruise? Isn't the information that you're posting second hand? Pereiras has stated that Dakruiser wasn't there so his opinion means nada, I believe the same should be said for your's. Let's hear from your Sis and BIL. As I've stated before, I believe their meal simply was terrible, and I appreciate them(folks that went on the cruise) letting us know, but come on..There must be better things to do after 100 entries.

P.S. I disagree with Dave alot...and I mean alot, but I don't believe 1 or 2 bad meals ruins a vacation.

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Tyman, if I could get my sister to actually use a computer, I'd get her to answer herself. Unfortunately, she rarely uses it, and we live in different states in the country so that's why I was giving a review of what she told me.

 

As far as the information she gave me, I'm not sure why you would consider it second hand. Simply because I typed what she said to me, and she didn't personally type it? I wasn't making up what she said. And believe me, their cruise wasn't ruined. As Pereiras said, my sister and BIL were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary without their 4-year-old twins, so they were going to have a good time regardless. But she told me she wouldn't cruise HAL again based on their experience. It wasn't just the food, which she said was not only served cold, but the meats were rather dry and tasteless and the desserts lacking in imagination. Cheese selections from the dessert menu were lacking. They did, however, feel that the Pinnacle Grill was great. But enough about food...she didn't care for the entire HAL experience. While their cabin steward was pleasant, he did just the "bare minimum" (her words, not mine). They had to keep reminding him of things he forgot to bring (on one occasion, clean towels). They felt nickel and dimed (okay, that seems to be happening on many lines lately). She felt that when they tried to deal with management, they got an apathetic attitude. Case in point: my BIL ordered champagne and caviar to be delivered to their cabin the night of their anniversary (about half way through the week). It was delivered about 10 minutes after they boarded the ship in Ft. Lauderdale. In fact, I was on the phone with my sister when it was delivered. I heard the conversation and it was apparent that they were getting their champagne and caviar then and there. Yes, HAL made a mistake on when it was to be delivered, but they were giving them such a hard time taking it back and delivering it when it should be delivered, that they just gave up and accepted it. Now don't get me wrong; my sister wasn't nasty about it. She just resigned herself to the fact that that's how it was going to be. This happened several times during the course of their cruise. For instance HAL charging for Pereiras little 8-year-old daughter wanting to watch the renewal of their wedding vows. C'mon, but to charge, regardless of how minimal the charge was, is ridiculous for a child to watch a 10 minute ceremony and then leave to go to the Children's Club. Their feeling overall was just that the cruiseline was pickyune (sp?) and that they could have gone a long way in good customer relations had they been a bit more accommodating.

 

Again, it's not that they had a horrible time, but she was pointing out to me how disappointed she was in the overall quality of the cruise. I agree that people have different tastes when it comes to food, and it is a subjective topic, but there's a difference between mediocre food (which we had on one Royal Caribbean cruise) and really "crummy" food (which my sister and BIL encountered on their HAL cruise). We had mediocre food on one Royal Caribbean cruise and two months later had fantastic food on a different Royal Caribbean cruise. As I've stated before, the food had to be pretty bad for my sister and BIL to shell out $40/night to eat at the Pinnacle Grill.

 

I would like to point out, however, that the highlight of their cruise was meeting Pereiras and his wife and little girl. They truly enjoyed their company, and she told me that even before I found Pereiras on this board!!!

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It amazes me that on a cruise with such allegedly horrible food in the main dining room that the same cabin was allowed to make a reservation at the Pinnacle for five or six consecutive nights. I would have expected a stampede for reservations, even at $20 a person.

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I'm sorry the OP is getting bashed about posting his own opinions. It seems like if you don't have glowing praises, your posts are not welcome and are regarded as suspicious. (not just here on HAL, but most cruise boards)

 

Anyway, I was recently on my first HAL cruise on the Westerdam. I was really surprised and frankly disappointed in the food in the main dining room. I thought the food in the Lido cafe was better.

I know that over the past several years, other cruise lines (RCCL, Princess) food quality have declined also. It's not a huge deal and it's not going to ruin my cruise, but there is a noticeable difference in nowdays and say, even 5 years ago. But, then again, the whole cruise experience is different than it was years ago...........

 

just my $.02 worth :)

 

Happy cruising!

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