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Sailure

On the Zuiderdam

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I am on the Zui right now...docked in Costa Maya.

So far, I have to say this about this ship. This is the first time I've sailed her, and I don't think I would sail her again if I had a choice. I'll take the Volendam any day and booked another cruise on the Volendam for the end of the year.

The Zui is much too big for me, and the passengers are not as refined or friendly and interesting as those on the Volendam.

This ship, for her youth, is very much in disrepair. On the Rotterdam deck where the S suites and PH suites are the deck floor is in bad shape in the hallways. It seems they must have had and are still having some bad plumbing problems as the hallways have a sewage odor much of the time intermittently. The hallway in much of the starboard area in very rough where you can see, feel and KNOW that they've obviously been digging it up for repair.

There are so many misbehaved children on this cruise that it's annoying. Their parents let them run around loose and believe me...they DO run up the stairwell, through the hallways and play around in the elevators. Sometimes I think I'm on an old Carnival ship. These are just the kids that I observe on the suite deck....I'd hate to see what they're like on the other decks where they're staying.

The staff is very very good and very helpful and as kind as can be.

The Neptune lounge is usually packed with kids and people blocking the coffee machines and standing IN BETWEEN the dessert counter and the food "satellite", basically hogging the area up. I made special arrangements to have what I want brought to my suite so I don't have to deal with the hooligans who have more money or credit than brains and manners.

I have NO complaints about the crew and staff at all..and Honky Dory sends his best to everyone!...he's still here as of this sailing.

I just can't believe that a ship as nice as this could be let to get so rundown and that HAL doesn't do something to encourage the parents to have more control over the kids.

There are some pretty pretentious passengers onboard. One couple got put in their place by a HAL rep upon boarding in Ft. Ldl...Some friends of mine, also S-suite pax were standing in the line we were told to stand in...and another old "higher than God" couple got in and started to push them out of the way and go under the "roping"....announcing loudly, "WE ARE SUITE PASSENGERS"...well the HAL rep, told them in no uncertain terms that the people they were trying to push out of the way were ALSO Suite Pax, and THEY were there first, so the old PC were told to just cool it and stay where they were. Needless to say, that knocked some of the wind out of their sails and the old man seemed somewhat embarrassed by his "wife". I thought he was going to be ok...until we saw him several times onboard and he was treating the HAL crew as though they were his personal servants. He butted in on one young man's issue when he told the young man, without provocation that smoking was bad for his health...well, at the time...I could take it no more and jumped to the young man's defense and told the old fart that sticking your nose into someone else's business could also be pretty bad for your health. (I knew the young man...and I was thanked for stepping in)

Anyway, so far...the cruise is great...dinner in my suite has been great, and I am not impressed with the Zuiderdam and her upkeep.

Would I sail her again?? I doubt it, but it's not the worst cruise I've ever had by a long shot.;)

If you love kids and don't mind them running around having a good time, if you don't mind not having a lot of live music being played, if you don't mind walking in hallways where you feel as though you're walking in a dirt trench because of the bad repairs...then this cruise is for you.

PS: The food is fair to good. Service fine.

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Sailure:

 

This is very much the same experience that I have had onboard the Zuiderdam. While HAL's marketing has worked in bringing a younger client base onboard, it has succeeded in creating a *non-HAL* enviroment.

 

Say hello to Hunky Dory - no, wait; he only knows my wife and I by our names (oh well)... :)

 

Do enjoy the Lido Deck restaurant as it is one of the best at sea and don't let the munchkins get on your nerves too much. :)

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The Zuiderdam is at the point where she is due to go into drydock. After 300,000 passengers using and abusing her, tracking in sand and salt, spilling food on the upholstered furniture, etc., she needs some TLC. Intermittent potty odors are common on a ship, and I have never heard of serious problems with the plumbing. The floors on deck 6 (and others) are an unusual problem. The floors underneath the carpeting were poured, and due to the normal skewing of the ship, have cracked and broken up. This is one of the main issues to be addressed in December.

 

I have cruised many HAL ships (4 on Zuiderdam) and have never had a problem with out-of-control children. The situation in the Neptune Lounge might have been handled by the Concierge, if asked.

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As we are taking out teenage boys on their first cruise, I am glad that there will be a lot of youngsters and teens on board. We have enjoyed the old-style HAL sailing on the Veendam and Maasdam. We have also sailed the Zui about a year ago and it is a different experience. I'm glad we will be in the Zui with our boys this cruise, but my next cruise will be to Alaska, and on a smaller HAL ship. Nothing against the Zui from my perspective, but the smaller ships are very different.

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Sailure:

 

Has HAL finally replaced that velour type of fabric on the elevators yet? All the kids (I would guess they were kids) used to write their favorite obsenities on those velour elevator walls until someone wiped them off.

 

Just wondering...

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sailure

Thank you for checking in.

As you know we reported when we got home from our back-to-back cruises on her in May that the ship has been abused by her passengers. In fact I think that was the very first state ment I made about her.

I also mentioned about the hallway between cabins 7061 and 7077 (our suite starboard) was very bad. the crew had a hard time moving their carts to deliver breakfasts in the morning. The Pinnacle staff had a hard time moving their carts to take food to the Neptune Lounge and take away old trays.

And a woman in cabin 7067 had a hard time trying to get her husband's wheel through the ruts and into their cabin. She constantly had to have help.

And people thought I was making this all up.

The Zuiderdam needs a lot of help - December is a long way off.

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uncialman

We had 30 children on the first segment and 33 on the second segment. We didn't catch any of them "etching" on the elevator panels, but we saw a couple in their late 20's - early 30's "writing" on the panels. We just glared at them. To report them would have been useless as we didn't know their names or cabin number.

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If we can help it, we will not sail on the larger ships ever again. We just returned from Alaska on the Amsterdam--we loved the capacity and size of this ship. There were children from nine months through the teen years and the children were all well-behaved. and fun to be with. They appeared to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, too. Sorry that the children on your cruise are being allowed to run loose without discipline from anyone; that is very annoying.

 

I talked with many parents who had their children with them on the cruise and they were very happy with the Club HAL program on the Amsterdam.

 

Hope the rest of your cruise is enjoyable:)

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Several reasons for your disappointment:

1) It's school vacation time. This = more kids.

2) Caribbean itineraries tend to attract a different demographic.

3) Crass passengers. You'll find them on most any cruise.

 

I hope the remainder of your trip is better. We enjoyed the Zuiderdam very much. But admittedly we sailed her in her first season.

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I was on the Zuiderdam last week. I made several teenage friends my own age. I was extremely embarassed by their behavior. One night, our group walked in on a movie in the Queen's Lounge. They proceeded to sit at one of the booths and talk in normal conversation tones. I sushed them but they kept talking and laughing during one of the sadder parts of the movie. The last night of the cruise, at 11 o'clock, we were all up by the Lido Aft Pool. Most were chasing each other, though I got scared, it being night, on a slippery deck, right over the engine. A man came out in a robe us to stop running as people were trying to sleep under us. I assumed that the other kids, like me, had not noticed all the noise we were making. I was wrong. As soon as the man left, everyone else burst out laughing, and kept running around. Disgusted, I just went to bed.

However, it is not all kids who are bad. One night, it was kind of late, and I was sitting in the Lido with my younger brothers, ages ranging from 5-12. 4 tables away was a man in his late 20's who was talking very loudly and every other word was the f-word. My mom went over and said there are kids nearby, please keep it down. He began screaming, saying that it was just an f'ing word, and he'd f'ing say it as much as he f'ing wanted to! He and his friends left soon afterwards, though one of his friends came back and apologized to my mom.

Overall, the behavior of many of the passengers was deplorable.

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In defense of all the children on board, though HAL has courted younger families they have not provided a good amount of activities for the younger set. Most times there were only an hour or two twice a day with activities planned and club HAL was under renovation during our whole cruise.

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When we sailed last July on Zui, there were many children but I saw none of the problems indicated above. Sounds like a bad mix of people on this recent cruise and ofcourse, this could happen to all of us. I would suggest if children are not wanted and you are able that you cruise before school is out or after it begins. Our first Zui cruise was in the month of November. I can't remember any children at all. We are sailing this Oct and have chosen this month hoping we will encounter mainly adults. Since I'm on the port side of Rotterdam deck; hopefully, I will not notice the flooring problem. I would have loved to see the lady checking in at the Suite desk. Why do some think they are soooo important? I'll have to remember to ask all to step aside, here I come, in October. Feel free to set me straight if I am so bold.

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Teencruiser - how refreshing to hear your thoughts - if only thousands more teens were like you! And, you are right, a lot of people have deplorable behavior, not just teens or children, and Hooray to your mom for speaking to the man, although it obviously did not affect him - there is just too much lack of respect today - from the 3 year olds on up. Keep on the path that you are following - it pays off!

Peggy

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Ugh! This sounds just like the Carnival cruise we took last year--850 kids-- most unsupervised. It was unbelieveable.:mad:

Unfortunately as a teacher, I must travel during non-school times. Last thing I want is be surrounded by kids running everywhere creating havoc.

We specifically chose Holland America because we thought there would be fewer kids than Carnival or at least they wouldn't run about the ship unsupervised on a HAL cruise.

My excitement about our July 30th cruise is beginning to dwindle...I don't want to deal with hoards of unsupervised kids and teens running wild on my vacation .

It's irks me that HAL would market their cruises for families and then not provide enough activities to keep them busy--OR at least make it clear to parents that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. HAL needs to to step up and stop this behavior from happening on the Zuiderdam. Their reputation is on the line. (The staff on Carnival is very good at looking the other way in such situations.)

The Zuiderdam reviews recently have been so glowing and this is depressing to hear...:(

 

I also would like to commend the teencruiser for his comments. Your parents must be proud of you.

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In defense of all the children on board, though HAL has courted younger families they have not provided a good amount of activities for the younger set. Most times there were only an hour or two twice a day with activities planned and club HAL was under renovation during our whole cruise.

 

That's right, let's blame Holland America Line for not providing enough activities for children who have no manners or parents who could care less what their offspring are doing to annoy fellow passengers. HAL Club should be available all day long and this would solve the problems of poor parenting skills.:mad:

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I am booked the week before you Cruznon and after reading this and other post it has sure made the anticipation for our cruise dissapate greatly. After paying all this money to find out the floors are broken up under carpets, kids running around unsupervised, and the ship in need of a makeover doesn't make me feel good. :(

That's the problem with cruiselines. They make rules and never enforce them and everybody knows that so everyone does what they please. And to think I was worried about wearing a sportscoat on semiformal night. :(

 

This cruiseline sounds like the pits. Well at least I'll be going with very low expectations so if there is anything good about this ship it'll be a plus.

 

Bill

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Dont ever take the mega ship "Caribbean Princess" then, there were 3200 pax and crew and boy was it crowded!

Kids there were patroled by Youth Security Personel, which seem to work very well but was not full proof either.

I sure hope they repair the Zuiderdam, she was very nice when we sailed her last Aug.

 

Try to enjoy the rest of your cruise, blue skies and calm seas!:)

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We had a wheel chair with us last week on the Zuiderdam and you sure could feel that the floors are broken up under carpets. I've never felt anything like it before on any cruise ship.

 

It's like they didn't pour the concrete even at all or it had been dug up all over the place. We were on the 6th floor and you could really feel it going down the halls.

 

Kids also ran up and down the hall on our floor but it was during the day so it didn't bother us too much.

 

The only thing that bothered me which is allowed was the smoking on the balcony by our 2 neighbors. I couldn't use the balcony very much at all because of this. I even tried spraying some oust out there but it didn't help much.

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In defense of all the children on board, though HAL has courted younger families they have not provided a good amount of activities for the younger set. ....

Maybe HAL was under that crazy old-fashioned idea that if they provided a family friendly venue with swimming, movies, ice cream, game rooms, sports facilities, and interesting ports then families would want to stay together much of the time and enjoy a 'family vacation' without the kids being babysat 24/7. :eek:

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Fellow teachers sailing on Zuiderdam, please don't lose your excitement for your wonderful upcoming cruise. Husband and I are sailing 7/16 and 7/23. In b to b on HAL for the last 5 summers, we've never dealt with the same degree of poor behavior. We've sort of come up with planning our day to avoid any possible trouble spots . Teens like to sleep late. Michael and I usually eat breakfast early in the dining room or relatively early in Lido or cabin. On any ship during sea days especially, the pool areas are packed by around 11:30. So each day we get the morning sun and then are persuing other activities by the time the teens and children all arrive. Have room service or dining room lunch on sea days to avoid the crowds. Second seating dining gets us out of the main dining time for children. Many teens eat in the Lido, so there aren't too many in the dining room. At night, we've found many places to be that the teens aren't. Of course since you're an experienced cruiser you would've thought of all this.

 

 

 

I add my compliments to the young poster who is mature enough to recognize appropriate behavior. Nothing wrong with yelling, screaming, laughing, but there's a place and a time for everything.

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Dont ever take the mega ship "Caribbean Princess" then, there were 3200 pax and crew and boy was it crowded!

Kids there were patroled by Youth Security Personel, which seem to work very well but was not full proof either.

I sure hope they repair the Zuiderdam, she was very nice when we sailed her last Aug.

 

Try to enjoy the rest of your cruise, blue skies and calm seas!:)

 

I was on the caribbean Princess last summer and had no problems with unsupervised kids, thankfully.

 

Showdog,

I can't believe they don't take the ship out of service for a week or whatever it takes to fix the floors. The almighty dollar wins out over pax comfort. Hard to believe they are going to wait until December to fix something like that.

HAL if you are listening take the Zuiderdam out of service July 23rd and give me my money back. I really won't mind.

 

Bill

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what with tropical storm arlene on the nearby horizon, i wonder if today's weather on the zuiderdam is less than hoped for? guess we'll find out eventually...

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On my May 28th sailing, during the BBQ on the Lido, the ping-pong tables had been removed to add additional seating and one stupid kid had gotten a paddle and ball and was smacking it against a wall. It was bouncing across tables people were trying to eat at and his parents were ignoring it. When it bounced across my table I grabbed the ball and told him the ping-pong tables were removed for a reason and that he needed to put the ball and paddle away. He looked shocked but did it. Alot of the younger kids were running wild and their parents just sat by the pool and ignored them. I don't know what some parents are thinking. I would never let my son run wild like that. Didn't let it affect my cruise though. We had a great time!

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perhaps he was on holiday, but the hotel manager for the 28-may sailing was diderik van regemortor...

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