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metairiegal

Zuiderdam's bad reviews

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Dh (67) and I (56) were thinking of a December sailing on the Zuiderdam. Prices look good, date is perfect, and we were excited. But, the bad reviews have scared me off. Is it really that bad? I know there has to be truth to the reviews, right? Some reviews called it a rust bucket! I've read that it is showing its age, maintenance is not keeping up, smells moldy, is more like a cheap motel than a premium cruise, toilets don't work, bad food, etc., etc. Is this a case of you get what you pay for?

 

I'm thinking to take the hint and run the other way! Maybe we should look at sailing with another HAL ship (Eurodam) or Princess?

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It seems to me -- booked and fully paid for the 12-10-12 Sunfarer cruise on the Zuiderdam -- that the reviews are a bit older. I haven't seen any recent information about the reported problems on the Zuiderdam .... and the ship is going for a short dry dock (which I understand to be "cosmetic") in early December.

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I had a great 4-day cruise on the Zuiderdam back in May. I would never call it a rust bucket. It was showing some wear around the edges on things such as the carpet. It was/is scheduled for a dry dock, so I imagine some things like that will be freshened up. The Zuiderdam doesn't smell, and it's hardly a cheap motel. In fact, I'm thinking about sailing her again next May. I wouldn't spend my hard earned vacation dollars on a less than satisfactory ship. Are the reviews you're reading recent reviews?

 

Roz

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I haven't seen any recent information about the reported problems on the Zuiderdam .... .

 

That's because everybody is now busy condemning the Veendam.

These things come in cycles.

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We just came back from an Alaska cruise on her and everything was splendid. The crew did a wonderful job, the food was excellent and we had a great cruise. For 50 happy cruisers, there will always be one complainer, but the happy persons will not write about it. Only the unhappy ones.

 

Go and enjoy your cruise !:)

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Yes, I read the comments in recent reviews. I'm not gonna copy and paste them all, but here are 3. It can't be this bad, can it? Sorry if I panicked (and don't want to worry anyone else), but we were ready to book it until we read the reviews.

 

8/12:

"The ship was rundown and smelled of mold in various areas. It just seemed cheap and classless."

 

7/12:

"HAL is not maintaining this ship. Our cabin was in terrible condition and reminded us of an old cheap motel room. The balcony draperies had broken hooks and would not close all the way, the draperies at the window were turned upward at the bottom and had a pile of dust in the turn up that took years to accumulate, the balcony was dirty and had food crumbs on the table along with a prior passengers fingernail and toenail clippings, this was downright nasty (the balcony never got washed during this cruise). From the balcony you could see rust on the exterior of the ship The furniture was old, worn and dirty. The bathtub did not drain properly and would remain full for long periods of time, the shower had mold and mildew growing in it, the bathroom door did not properly latch and was very rusted out at the bottom of the frame."

 

5/12:

"However, in the main theater, there were numerous and large tears in the upholstery, in our room, tears in a couch that should have been replaced years ago. The carpeting looked like in parts of the ship was new but in others looked as if it should have been steam cleaned years ago. Leaks in the ceiling in the buffet area with buckets underneath did not add a classy air to that experience. Apparently, from another review, this is a problem at least six months old and so it is clear that a serious case of delayed maintenance exists."

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We just came back from an Alaska cruise on her and everything was splendid. The crew did a wonderful job, the food was excellent and we had a great cruise. For 50 happy cruisers, there will always be one complainer, but the happy persons will not write about it. Only the unhappy ones.

 

Go and enjoy your cruise !:)

 

I will say, there are some good reviews on the Zuiderdam.

 

But from a recent hotel experience (8/12), I wish I would have believed the bad reviews on the hotel we booked in Sanibel Island, FL! I kept telling myself the bad reviews couldn't be true and since there were good reviews the good must out weigh the bad. Boy, was I wrong about that one! I learned the lesson that there is always truth in the bad ones, too.

 

The Zuiderdam cruise we are interested in sails on a Friday and that works best for our schedule, so I don't know what to do.

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We had major problems on her in April/May with plumbing and air conditioning. But she's still a lovely ship, and I would sail on her again as long as those issues have been resolved. In fact I have another cruise booked on her for 2014, and I'm waiting for reports after the refit, and when she goes back to tropical climes.

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I'll find out in a few weeks. The recent scores on the two HAL ships have me concerned a little. It seems that maybe the parent company is trying hard to add a vise grip to the brand to squeeze more profits out of HAL. Hopefully I would find this to be the case.

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I'll find out in a few weeks. The recent scores on the two HAL ships have me concerned a little. It seems that maybe the parent company is trying hard to add a vise grip to the brand to squeeze more profits out of HAL. Hopefully I would find this to be the case.

 

I look forward to hearing what you think.

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Many wonderful lines, ships at your doorstop. When see I consistent negative reviews whether ship, restaurant or hotel I take heed. 48 cruises, tried HAL once. Floating nursing home with food to match. Princess or Celebrity much better and usually cost less too. A lot of HAL reviewers never tried another line.

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Many wonderful lines, ships at your doorstop. When see I consistent negative reviews whether ship, restaurant or hotel I take heed. 48 cruises, tried HAL once. Floating nursing home with food to match. Princess or Celebrity much better and usually cost less too. A lot of HAL reviewers never tried another line.

 

Good advice. Princess prices are a lot higher for the cruise we are looking into. But, I guess you get what you pay for.

 

ETA: 2nd time I've read about a HAL ship being a floating nursing home! :eek:

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I will take a cruise on a HA ship any day - I would dispute your description though - floating nursing home!! We will be boarding the Zuiderdam on Saturday - and are looking forward to another wonderful cruise on a beautiful ship.

I have not been on as many cruises as you have, but I have cruised with many different cruise lines, so I think I can speak from experience - HA our cruise line by choice and experience.

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Well it wasnt a floating nursing home when we sailed her for 11 days in Feb 2012. The average age was pobably 50 and DH and I both 56 danced the night away each and every night on her. Its true that after 10 the crowds arent there but we had a great time and we are quite active people.

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Many wonderful lines, ships at your doorstop. When see I consistent negative reviews whether ship, restaurant or hotel I take heed. 48 cruises, tried HAL once. Floating nursing home with food to match. Princess or Celebrity much better and usually cost less too. A lot of HAL reviewers never tried another line.

 

 

"Forty-eight cruises and tried HAL once". I can see where that makes zoncom an expert on HAL.

 

"Floating nursing home with food to match" is almost not deserving of a comment at all except that it's so far from an accurate representation of neither those passengers I've met on the 3 HAL cruises I've experienced nor the food I've eaten on them. It's inaccurate at the least and insulting to boot.

 

Regarding the last line of the post about HAL reviewers havng never tried another line, I have to wonder if zoncom ever reads the lists of HAL posters' past cruises.

 

To the original poster, I have never been on a cruise on the Zuiderdam, however I have sailed the Eurodam on several occasions and have had nothing but good experiences, in every aspect. I have sailed NCL 3 times and Disney 4 times, so I'm not just one of those old "jaded" HAL passengers. My wife and I are scheduled on the Westerdam in January and would not hesitate to try any of the HAL ships.

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Every ship in the fleet has probably had a series of bad reviews. Take them all with a grain of salt.

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We were on Zuiderdam for Panama Canal cruise in April. Although the ship is dated in areas it is not a "rust bucket" by any means. Yes, most of the chairs in the aft pool didn't work, and some of the furniture needs painting and upkeep, however, the ship was fine otherwise and the service was excellent. We are big Regent 7 Seas cruisers and tried HAL for first time this April. Believe me, if I had found all the things some people have posted, I would had been upset and written about it. We had a good time and thought it was a lovely ship. We had not issues with plumbing. On the last two days it did seem a bit warmer in our cabin and even in the Lido. Although many passengers were older and using a wheel chair, cane, or walker, there were also children, young families, and passengers of every age. Yes, compared to Regent or RCC the passengers seemed older. However, I wouldn't call it a "floating nursing home". I would have no issue sailing on the Zuiderdam again.

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I have booked the Zuiderdam for next April to the Panama Canal. I also read the troubled posts of people on the last Panama transit cruise.

 

I am not really too concerned about the actual looks of the ship, a little worn carpet here and there won't put a damper on my vacation, I also think the food will be just fine...;)

 

What I am going to watch real closely before I make my final payment is the state of the tolilets & A/C, as either one of those could really screw up my trip and would make me want to cancel.:mad:

 

I think the Zuiderdam is ready to transfer back to the Carribean and with it a much hotter climate.

 

I'd like to hear from the people cruising her there very soon.

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Many wonderful lines, ships at your doorstop. When see I consistent negative reviews whether ship, restaurant or hotel I take heed. 48 cruises, tried HAL once. Floating nursing home with food to match. Princess or Celebrity much better and usually cost less too. A lot of HAL reviewers never tried another line.

 

Floating nursing home???? Let's see you've had one HAL cruise:rolleyes: Thanks for perpetuating the myth - we've been working on to leave room on the ships:) Seriously, I've been on NCL and that one really was like a floating nursing home on one itinerary - the others were not. I've been on Celebrity, Princess and a few others and HAL remains our line of choice right now.

 

By the way, any ship can have older passengers - especially on longer itineraries. I haven't been on a HAL cruise yet that is like a floating nursing home. Just because someone is older doesn't mean they aren't young at heart, touring around and having a great time. They can also be very interesting travelling companions. Each to their own:D

 

I like the company of well travelled, amusing and intelligent people:) and I have met a lot of them on HAL cruises!

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I stepped off of the Zuiderdam September 1st and would not hesitate for a moment to get back on her. We had a wonderful cruise in every aspect. I thought the ship was lovely.

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We were also on the Aug 25 - Sept 1 voyage.

Great holiday - a fine ship. One of our four cabins reported low water pressure in the shower - no other concerns.

It was announced that after a surprise inspection while docked at Juneau, the Zuiderdam scored 100 %.

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Gigianne, please let us know how your cruise goes. We leave on 10/29 and some of these reviews are making me a little anxious. Hope there are no AC problems, that would be awful on a Panama Canal cruise. This with be our 4th HAL cruise and we have loved the other 3 but 11 days without AC could ruin it for me! Hope you have a wonderful cruise with sunny skies and flat seas.

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Gigianne, please let us know how your cruise goes. We leave on 10/29 and some of these reviews are making me a little anxious. Hope there are no AC problems, that would be awful on a Panama Canal cruise. This with be our 4th HAL cruise and we have loved the other 3 but 11 days without AC could ruin it for me! Hope you have a wonderful cruise with sunny skies and flat seas.

 

I think she's on a plane by now - but she will be sending me some updates - if she misses this post - I'll let you know what I hear:) she might be too busy having fun:)

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