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oceanlov1

ZUI review week of 4/30-5/7

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This is my 3rd time on ZUI and it was the best. The last time I was on was July, 04 and the first time was summer of 03. I will break my review into sections.

 

IMPROVEMENTS:

I think they have made some improvements in the food. I have been known to be a fussy eater. I think the improvements have come in the dining room. Their salads were a weakness, now they have a delicious house salad. They have a nice variety of entrees. I enjoyed the pastas.

 

EMBARKATION:

We arrived about 12:00pm. I had previously filled out the immigration forms on-line. The line to check-in moved quickly and we were on the ship by 12:30. This was the first time that the employees offered to assist us by taking our carry-on luggage to the holding area. That was a very nice gesture. From there we went to the Lido for lunch.

 

SERVICE:

Our dining room steward and his assistant were excellent. They were very professional and friendly. Rocky, our dining steward made a point of learning our names which was nice. We never had to ask for anything. They refilled our glasses when they saw it was needed. To me, that is a big deal. They were attentive and we did appreciate it.

 

Our room steward, Charles was also excellent. He was the type who you didn't see often, but your room was always clean. Any time we asked for something, he would get it promptly. When we did see him, he was friendly. He gave us good service.

 

ENTERTAINMENT:

We had previously seen Joel Mason and was thrilled when we found out he was going to be on our cruise. He did not disappoint. He can really put on a show. He is an excellent entertainer.

We had also seen James Ceilen, the illusionist before. He has won several awards and they are well deserved. Illusionists are not my favorite form of entertainment, but some of the illusion he performs are unbelievable. I would definitely recommend seeing his show.

Julie Barr, the comedian was pretty good.

The last night Joel and James performed for a second time and Julie came on stage as well. I really enjoyed seeing the 3 perform on stage together. They seemed to be friends and seemed to enjoy performing together. That show was worth seeing.

 

CRUISE DIRECTOR:

We had sailed with Dane Butcher previously, and he has grown into his position. He was much better this time.

 

FOOD:

I always enjoy the Lido. I don't know how HAL does it, but they have the best burgers. The salad bar is very good. As previously mentioned, the dining room food is very good. We ordered room service quite a bit. Their service is outstanding. It was always prompt. It amazes me how good they are. Even on the last morning, they brought breakfast on time.

 

PINNACLE GRILL:

We went the first night. It was so good. I had read that they now had shrimp scampi and was hoping they would have it on this cruise. I was not disappointed. It was the most delicious scampi I have ever eaten. The shrimp were as big as some lobster tails I have had. Of course, the volcano cake was to die for and those truffles they bring before the dessert are too good. The service was excellent.

 

THE SHIP:

It is very clean and did not show wear and tear. The crew was always cleaning.

 

CABIN:

We were in a SS Suite with 3 people. I did not know if it would be too crowded for that amount of people, but it wasn't. There was plenty of storage space and walking room. The sofa flips over to make the bed. It was great because it doesn't take up any more room that the regular sofa. The beds were hard, so we got the egg crates which made it better. Looking forward to the time they get the Signature of Excellence bedding. We had it on the Westerdam and the beds were so comfortable.

 

ITINERARY:

We went to Half Moon Cay, Tortola, St. Thomas, and Nassau.

Half Moon Cay is beautiful and the weather was great. We did the Aquatrax excursion which was so much fun. It is where you ride on the jetskis. If you enjoy jetskiing, I would highly recommend it.

 

In Tortola, we went to the Baths. The first time we went to Tortola, we took Speedy's ferry and did not have one problem. This time, we took Smith's ferry and had serious problems. I do not recommend Smith's. We paid for the ferry and the round trip taxi to the Baths. The first problem was when we got to Virgin Gorda. The taxi was supposed to be there waiting for us to take us to the Baths. Smith's taxi was no where in sight. We ended up having to pay another taxi to take us. The second problem was really bad. The return ferry was scheduled to leave at 2:15. We were at the dock by 1:45. Well, 2:13 comes and we don't see the ferry. It just so happened that we found out it was a different ferry with a different name than the one that brought us and we got on the ferry with about 1 minute to spare. Nobody told us it would be a different ferry taking us back. There were others from the ZUI there also, and didn't know. We all were in the dark about the change. It was just luck that we all got on the ferry. Smith's is very irresponsible for not informing their customers.

 

In St. Thomas we took the ship's excursion to St. Johns. I would recommend it. St. Johns is very beautiful.

 

In Nassau, we just did some shopping at the straw market.

 

There was only one negative.On several days, at around 4:00 pm,the senior assistant cruise director would make announcements that were broadcast into the cabins. The broadcast were only to announce things like BINGO, nothing important. I'm sure many people were awoken from a nap. The regular CD didn't do this, only his assistant.

 

All in all, it was a great cruise with great weather.

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Apparently Dane's last week on the Zuiderdam is May 21-28. Hopefully they will get someone who knows their stuff to replace him. :) Thanks for your review!

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One thing I forgot, we got Elemis products; lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and soaps instead of the HAL products. I don't know if all cabins get them or just certain ones. They are great products especially the shampoo and conditioner. Elemis are the products they sell in the spa.

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One thing I forgot, we got Elemis products; lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and soaps instead of the HAL products. I don't know if all cabins get them or just certain ones. They are great products especially the shampoo and conditioner. Elemis are the products they sell in the spa.

 

Did you happen to meet hotel manager Mr. James Deering on your particular cruise?

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Did you happen to meet hotel manager Mr. James Deering on your particular cruise?
I'm confused, I thought he was on Princess ships ??? Did he jump ship ????

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Hi. Can you please tell me how you requested the eggcrate mattress? Did you do this before you sailed or when you arrived on the ship?

 

Princess requires you to request this ahead of time before you sail to ensure that you get one.

 

 

Thank you

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Glad you had such a great time!

 

The transportation issues on the Smith's excursion in Tortola are really unacceptable. Glad Lady Luck was smiling down on you, and it turned out all right. It's good of you to warn everyone about this operator.

 

I enjoyed reading your review. Thank you for posting it.

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Do you think you would have enough time to get to the airport for an 11:00 am flight home?

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Do you think you would have enough time to get to the airport for an 11:00 am flight home?

 

It is possible you could make it but you will be stressing...it will be close. The FLL airport is a madhouse on Saturday AM. I am actually quite surprised that it is so unorganized seeing how they deal with this on a regular basis. You have a line to get to the ticket counter and another luggage screening line or you can do outside check-in buth then the security line can be ridiculous. They do pull people out of line as it comes time for those flights to depart. If you miss your flight, it is hard to get out on the next flight as most flights are sold out until much later in the afternoon. If you still want to book the 11AM flight, definitely take a cab from the dock rather than booking HAL transportation.

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Do you think you would have enough time to get to the airport for an 11:00 am flight home?

 

You have plenty of time. I do it all the time. Just returned from the April 30th Zuiderdam and was at the at the airport at 9:30 AM.

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How about that Hunkey-Dorey?? He remembered our names from our October '03 sailing. Amazing. Wonderful, relaxing cruise as usual.

 

David

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showdog,

i did not request the eggcrate ahead of the and there was no problem. the room steward got it and put it on the bed.

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Get the eggcrate!! I wish I knew I could do that, as my bones ached on those beds. A little too hard for my liking!!!

 

I also like Dane and Honky Dory. Glad to have seen them!

 

As for the ferry in Tortola, we had no problems. We too took a different ferry on the way back (a much nicer one), but I did not expect the same exact ferry. I just got on the ferry that was docked there at the time we needed to leave. I also had no problems with the Taxi.

 

We also took the ferry from St Thomas to St John on our own. No problems there either, And on the way back, I saw a whale out in the water. Definitely a highlight for me.

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Thanks for the review! I'm sad to learn that the Signature of Excellence rollout is going so slowly, though...if the SS cabins haven't been done yet, what hope do I have in a VE? :(

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Jane315--We had an 11:30 flight and made it with no problem. I will say to double check when you get your colored tags for disembarkation that they match one the the first lots called. There were plenty of taxi vans waiting...the FLL airport is 10 min from the dock.....we made it off at 8:30 and got to FLL airport by 8:50pm.

 

 

Kim

 

Seranade of the Seas 12/31/05

HAL- 1 time

Princess-3 times

RCI-2 times

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There was only one negative.On several days, at around 4:00 pm,the senior assistant cruise director would make announcements that were broadcast into the cabins. The broadcast were only to announce things like BINGO, nothing important. I'm sure many people were awoken from a nap. The regular CD didn't do this, only his assistant.

.

 

How disappointing. I thought HAL didn't do that...it's one of my biggest pet peeve's of cruising, and I thought the lines who considered themselves more upscale would avoid it. Too bad.

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Shipcafe: We met James Deering, Captain John Scott and his wife at a private cocktail party. All very very nice. Mr Deering had gotten our screen names off the site and came to the meeting we had arranged. We received the invite after that.

 

 

Kim

 

Seranade of the Seas-12/31/05

HAL-1 time

Princess-3 times

RCI-2 times

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How disappointing. I thought HAL didn't do that...it's one of my biggest pet peeve's of cruising, and I thought the lines who considered themselves more upscale would avoid it. Too bad.

 

The OP probably had the radio or TV turned to the station where you can get the announcements.

 

HAL does not pipe BINGO announcements into the cabins. However they are piped into the loud speakers in the halls and you can possibly hear them if your cabin is close to a speaker.

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