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CHRIS3169

May7-14th review of Zuiderdam!!

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My review of the May7-14th cruise aboard the Zuiderdam!

 

WOW,WOW,WOW!!!!!!!

 

 

We got to Fort Lauderdale early Saturday morning with plenty of time to stop by Publix on our way to the ship. There was some communication problems with our taxi driver so we went to the pier then took a different taxi to Publix. I am glad we got a few drinks for our trip so we didn’t have to outrageous of a bar bill.

 

 

We began the cruise with a very smooth embarkment at most 1/2 hour from beginning to end. We were promptly led to the Neptune Lounge. We stayed here for a little while then went to the Lido to check out what was available there. Then took our own tour of the ship. This evening we had the suite reception with the captain so we changed our Pinncacle Grill reservations to later in the evening. The Pinnacle Grill was fabulous!!! Definitely worth the expense!

 

 

The next day was spent at Half Moon Cay!!!!!! By far the best stop on this Western iternary. We did the Aqua trax excursion and rented a clamshell and the floating mats. The water was very cool for me so we didn’t spend much time on the mats. Just beautiful.

 

 

Then we were at sea. Very relaxing day! Captains reception at night and then the formal.

 

 

Grand Cayaman very sad to see all the damage from the hurricanes. We did the Snuba excursion with one other couple. Since there were only four of us we received lots of attention and instruction. I did not have any desire to swim with the stingrays so we did this instead. A great alternative to scuba but lots more fun than snorkeling. We definitely recommend this excursion.

 

 

Costa Maya: just sail on by! Truly disappointing stop. If you stop here go see the ruins otherwise it is very disappointing. We did the peek and paddle excursion, we do not recommend this excursion!

 

 

Another sea day spent at the spa and pool!!!

 

 

Key West: What a wonderful surprise! A great stop, we did the catarman snorkel trip and rented scooters. Lots of fun.

 

 

Overall our trip was just fantastic!!!!! I would definitely cruise with Holland America again and can’t wait to book our next cruise. The good news is my hubby is hooked on cruising now as well.

 

 

Great sailing wishes,

 

Chris

 

:)

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This happens to be one of the negative points of this cruise. A reality group pre coordinated to have a wine tasting so it was not open to the rest of the passengers. :(

 

 

I believe otherwise they are typically offered.

Chris

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Welcome back, I am glad you enjoyed your cruise on the Zuiderdam. Now, when is your next cruise, that's the important question today, LOL.

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Thanks for the posting! We're on the same itinerary starting 5/21--we appreciate your thoughts!

Connie:)

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In reference to another thread...when were the formal nights, and was there an informal night as well? Also, what did you do in Costa Maya? Thanks!

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Formal nights on the Western are the sea days with the informal night on the Grand Cayman day.

 

In Costa Maya, we did the clear kayak excursion. You were supposed to see the reef through the kayak, so we did a little. Some coral, one or two small fish then a lunch of lobster or chicken tacos. There was also corona, or soda included. The place we went was so unsantitary that we wouldn't eat the lunch, flies and left over food everywhere. Then also, the restrooms required someone to come after you and pour a bucket of water. Needless to say there was no running water, so how did they clean the tables, utensils, etc for serving the food. After the kayak portion we took a taxi for $6 back to the pier. Best $6 spent on the trip;) I did hear that the ruins were worth going to!

 

Any other questions I will try my best to answer.

 

I am envious of all you soon to be cruisers!

 

Oh, and Doone, I am already searching! Thinking about Europe next year, though with Holland it is difficult to find something in May/June time frame that is only 7 days. To leave the kids longer just isn't an option right now.

Any words of wisdom on other cruise lines? Princess, Celebrity, Raddison, Seaborne?

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I don't think that there are any 7-day HAL European cruises. Most are at least 10 days or longer.

GN

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Where is Publix? And why is it a preferred place?

 

Publix is a grocery store chain in the south.....probably popular because you can buy just about anything there, including liquer, beer, wine, etc. to take on board.

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Welcome Home Chris! Thanks for sharing your cruise with us! I enjoyed reading your excitment! :)

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Thanks for the review Chris. This really helps as we are going on the same itinerary next week. So far we haven't planned anything for Costa Maya and probably won't. Sounds like a good day to take advantage of discounted spa treatments.

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Thanks for the review. Do you have to know how to snorkel, scuba to snuba? What exactly was it? I am looking for Aug.

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No for the snuba they recommend some snorkel experience. However, I have only snorkeled once about 15 years ago. I was fine. They are very thorough about going over what you need to do. I highly recommend this excursion if you want something in addition to the stingray city or if like me you have no desire to swim with stingrays.

 

Have a great cruise,

 

Chris

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I snuba-d last year in Hawaii, and loved it, tho it was an adrenaline producing experience, especially as my mask kept filling with water 20 feet down. I was terrifed and exhilerated for the entire 20 minutes. I'm just a once or twice a year snorkeller. My DH used to scuba dive, and he had no problems.

 

Just to warn you, out of 8 of us who went (in groups of 2, each with an instructor), 3 were unable to submerge. Two of these were very experienced swimmers and snorkellers who were appalled that they couldn't overcome the mental barrier of going down below the surface. Everyone was given weight belts to help with the physical aspect of sinking, but your mind has to let you go down.

 

I would absolutely recommend trying it out, but be aware that you may need to tell yourself that you can go down as deep as the line allows -- mind over matter! I was lucky enough to watch 2 of the people who couldn't go down while standing beside a fellow who had taught scuba, and he told me that -- and while I initially had trouble going down, when I kept repeating in my head that I could, I did!

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Publix does not sell liquor....only beer and wine!

 

They are a grocery chain in Florida.

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Great review Chris! I'm so glad you enjoyed your cruise!

 

FYI on Europe- Even if you find a 7 day cruise, expect it to change into a 9 day trip. With the flights and connections (many red eyes due to length), time change, etc. you need to add time to get to your destinations and get back home. My 22 day cruise has changed to 24 days and I'm having to add in an extra day for recovery on the back end! Based on everything I've read, you may want to save Europe until you have 2 weeks to spare! I'll let you know more when I get home near the end of June.

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Thank you Classy for the advice on Europe! I look forward to hearing about your trip when you get back! Have lots of fun!!

 

Chris

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