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acadia

Just back from Zuiderdam also, 4/23 - 4/30

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DW and I just returned from our first cruise and it was fantastic, beyond 5 stars if that's possible. First I want to thank the people on this board for the help they provided without even knowing it. What I learned from this board really helped me out with my cruise planning. In the interest of full disclosure let me state my DW and I are in our early 50’s, two kids in college, so we looked for a ship that would be compatible to our needs. Please keep this in mind while reading my review.

 

The Ship: We had no problems with any of the issues that I've read about on this and other sites. The service was absolutely fantastic. The room was always clean, toilets always flushed, no real noticeable vibration in the dining room, in short no problems onboard at all. Yes, you are on a ship and it has a motor, so you do feel some movement and some vibration in the dining room. (It's is in the rear of the ship after all). My DW gets motion sickness very easy but she had no problems the entire week. The fact that we had great weather also helped I'm sure.

 

The Food: We were able to eat at the Pinnacle more then once because of some tips we got on this board. The food and service was absolutely as good as it gets, truly fantastic. The main dining room service and food were also excellent, just a notch below the Pinnacle as expected. Room service also provided great food and service. The food onboard was very good and equal to many restaurants I've been to and continue to go to, once again no problems at all.

 

The Entertainment: We went to several of the shows and they also were very good. The only show that I thought could have been better was the instrumentalist. Very talented guy, but poor song selection for me. Of course this is very subjective, so please do not consider this a criticism. The illusionist was great as was the song and dance shows. I was hoping that the “Elton John” impersonator would be there, but he wasn’t. Once again no problem or complaints.

 

The Clubs: We love to dance, so we had a great time at both the Northern lights and the Crows nest. The clubs were not crowded, so you could get a table or booth, order a drink and dance all in a great atmosphere. It was not a typical packed loud smoky club, but that is exactly what we wanted.

 

The Excursions: We did one or two excursions each stop (I pre-booked our excursions), so we had no problems with booking. This was another tip I received from this board. Half Moon Cay was the best overall stop, the place is just beautiful. Make snorkeling with the sharks in Nassau one of your stops, it should not be missed.

 

Summary: What we found with HAL was a great balance for us. We didn’t want a ship loaded with 20-30 and even some 40 year olds drinking/parting all night, with lots of kids running all over the place, and clubs that were wall to wall people. I’m not criticizing these types of people (I use to be one), all I’m saying is it’s not what we wanted for our cruise vacation. What we got with HAL was definitely an "older" crowd. I would guess the majority of the passengers ranged somewhere between mid 40's through late 60's. Yes, there were 70-80's and 20-30's, but I would guess that 45-70 was the majority. Totally un-scientific and my guessing only. We ate, drank, danced and had a great time without the hangover. All of the people we met were incredibly nice and their age didn’t matter. There were some kids on the ship but I didn't see any problems. We had already decided to signup for the Hydrotherapy pool instead of the other pools, so we didn't interact with the kids anyway. It was definitely worth it. Most of the time we went to the spa, the pool was empty. (Another tip I got from this board). Finally, I know that since it was our first cruise I don’t have anything to compare it to. Since I was really interested in learning what experienced cruises thought of this cruise, I decided to ask them how HAL compared with their previous cruises. The people we talked to had been on as few as 3 cruises to as many as 9 cruises. The general consensus we received was that HAL and the Zuiderdam was the best overall cruise they had been on. Granted this is a small sample, but I didn’t hear one complaint from these experienced cruises. Most stated that Carnival is great if you want to party or are a young single, RC is close to HAL but the rooms are small and HAL offers service that is a bit better. One stated that Celebrity had the best food.

I'll follow this thread for awhile, so if I can provide any additional details just ask.

HAL has won me over for life. :) My only complaint is that I'm not still on the ship!!!:mad:

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NIcely done! Glad you had a good cruise. Nice to hear some honest "from the heart" comments.

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So glad you found the cruise for you on your first time off the pier.

 

Thank you for the report. So, have you booked your next one yet? :D

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The Hydrothreapy pool is $80.00 per person for the week. We went to sign up Sunday evening after departing HMC and the person at the desk said if we waited until Monday morning the price would drop to $57.00 each. Sounded like a good deal so we went to the Crows nest instead of the pool Sunday evening and then signed up at the spa first thing Monday morning. The person on duty Monday morning was not the same person that informed us of the price change, so she siad the price was $80.00. Once we explaind to her what we were told, she checked with a co-worker and sure enough we got the $57.00 price. No big deal I just think she did not have as much experience working the desk as the other person.

 

As soon as I can find a way to pay for the next cruise, I'll be making reservations. Can't wait....:rolleyes:

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Thanks for the review; I'm not sure - did ya have a good time? LOL! Appreciate the hydrotherapy pool info, too. I think that info will come in handy for us in - oh, about 18 days.

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Glad you had a great time on your first cruise with Holland. I, too, find that the Zuiderdam is such a relaxing ship. We are very much looking forward to our October sailing. Thanks for your review.

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Is this pool covered? I have used a similar facility on Celebrity and I think it was "indoor"? I loved it but wanted some sun too. Thanks!

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Thanks for the review acadia! I'm so glad to hear about people enjoying the Zui. I'd read a few reviews that weren't very good, and my friend and I are set to sail on June 11th. You've given me more hope than anyone else has so far!

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Tell me how one gets to go to the Pinnacle more than once. We were told that we could not book it until we get onboard as we have it as a bonus for using am ex.

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Tell me how one gets to go to the Pinnacle more than once. We were told that we could not book it until we get onboard as we have it as a bonus for using am ex.

 

I have heard of others booking for the Pinnacle prior to boarding and cannot tell you how to do that. However, I have booked the first day as soon as I get on the ship. You can book everyday if you like and if you book for the first night onboard, it is only $10 per person rather than $20. If you go there your first day onboard, you should have no problems getting reservations.

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Tell me how one gets to go to the Pinnacle more than once. We were told that we could not book it until we get onboard as we have it as a bonus for using am ex.

 

The AmEx Platinum promo for "free Pinnacle" is only available for the first night and usually needs to be booked on board - go to the Maitre d' as soon as you get on.

 

You can book as many nights as you want, but the others will be $20/pp

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