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Zuiderdam, Zaandam or Volendam?

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We're trying to decide on which ship for Alaska. Which one do you prefer and why? It looks like the Zaandam has quite a few negative reviews. DH is leaning towards the Zuiderdam, wanting to book another aft wrap. I'm interested in trying one of the smaller ships. The Zaandam does the scenic cruising into Tracy Arm, while the Zuiderdam and Volendam have the service calls, I'm assuming with the Tracy Arm excursion. Comments?

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If I were to do a 7 day Alaskan cruise, I would choose the Volendam which leaves on a Wednesday.

That means there will be less people in the ports on the weekend.

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If I were to do a 7 day Alaskan cruise, I would choose the Volendam which leaves on a Wednesday.

That means there will be less people in the ports on the weekend.

 

I agree with this - I also like the smaller ship so I am a bit prejudiced;)

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I've posted this many times in response to similar question.... absolutely the Volendam! Midweek departure, great ship, great size, etc etc. You won't regret it.

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Love leaving in the middle of weel airports and docks are not as busy also Zuiderdam is my least favorite ship

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Although I always will love the Noordam, I prefer the smaller ships now that I have been on the Ryndam, Maasdam, Veendam, Statendam, Amsterdam etc. Yes, the wrap around suites are great but Alaska is very port intensive. Our luck (or lack of it) has brought us snow, fog and heavy rain on our two trips to Alaska. Don't like the Zuidy either.

Edited by catl331

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I just read of few of the recent "negative" Zaandam reviews here on Cruise Critic and the problems were mostly due to the reviewers themselves and not the ship or crew. Examples include a downstairs open-seating MDR diner getting mad because they couldn't be seated in the unused tables in the upstairs traditional MDR or a person getting angry because they couldn't get their own drinks during code orange. One reviewer complained that the room stewards came in to clean the room (not kidding) and then there was the case where the reviewer decided to pick a fight with US Custom officers. These people are not the sharpest pencils in the box, if you know what I mean. You just have to ignore the stupid reviews.

 

Any of the R-class ships will be delightful, including the Zaandam, as long as you know what to expect from HAL. We are sailing on the Volendam ourselves this spring to Alaska. The itinerary has some great advantages but the flights to Vancouver from the USA are expensive and the Wed-Wed schedule does not make good use of weekends for working people (like us). We are doing this only because we have gone through Seattle three times already.

 

igraf

 

 

 

 

One diner

 

We're trying to decide on which ship for Alaska. Which one do you prefer and why? It looks like the Zaandam has quite a few negative reviews. DH is leaning towards the Zuiderdam, wanting to book another aft wrap. I'm interested in trying one of the smaller ships. The Zaandam does the scenic cruising into Tracy Arm, while the Zuiderdam and Volendam have the service calls, I'm assuming with the Tracy Arm excursion. Comments?
Edited by igraf

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Thanks everyone for your input! I have a couple more questions.

 

Can you feel a difference in the size of the ship in rough seas? ie Would the Volendam rock more than the Zuiderdam?

 

I was looking at SA and SB on the Volendam. Are there any differences in the cabin categories other than the SB are towards the bow?

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I just read of few of the recent "negative" Zaandam reviews here on Cruise Critic and the problems were mostly due to the reviewers themselves and not the ship or crew. Examples include a downstairs open-seating MDR diner getting mad because they couldn't be seated in the unused tables in the upstairs traditional MDR or a person getting angry because they couldn't get their own drinks during code orange. One reviewer complained that the room stewards came in to clean the room (not kidding) and then there was the case where the reviewer decided to pick a fight with US Custom officers. These people are not the sharpest pencils in the box, if you know what I mean. You just have to ignore the stupid reviews.

 

Any of the R-class ships will be delightful, including the Zaandam, as long as you know what to expect from HAL. We are sailing on the Volendam ourselves this spring to Alaska. The itinerary has some great advantages but the flights to Vancouver from the USA are expensive and the Wed-Wed schedule does not make good use of weekends for working people (like us). We are doing this only because we have gone through Seattle three times already.

 

igraf

 

 

 

 

One diner

 

Yes, I noticed there were some ridiculous complaints on some of the negative reviews. I tend to completely disregard a review when they complain about stupid stuff. That's why the Zaandam is still on my list.

 

So, the biggest difference (to me) between the Zaandam and Volendam is itinerary. The Zaandam is supposed to cruise down Tracy Arm for several hours, but does not go to Glacier Bay. The Volendam does the service call at Tracy Arm, where I assume they let the Tracy Arm excursion people transfer to the small boat, and it also goes to Glacier Bay. The Volendam appears to be the clear winner in itinerary, especially since we're looking at the 1st or 2nd week of May when there's a high chance we'll be iced out of Tracy Arm. If we're iced out on the Volendam, no big deal. We still have Glacier Bay. If we're iced out of Tracy Arm on the Zaandam, the highlight of the trip IMO is gone.

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For what it is worth, my choices would be:

 

1. Volendam

2.Zaandam

3. Zuiderdam

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My vote is the Volendam, just love that ship!

 

Doone:

 

It is good to see you posting. As you know I always enjoyed your posts and you are the poster that familiarized me with the Water Taxi in Ft. Lauderdale. by the way, I am hooked on the Water Taxi. I hope you are doing well.

By the way, I agree with your choice. You will notice above that I made the Volendam my first choice of the three above mentioned and I have been on each of them.

Regards,

Himself

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I like the itinerary of the Volendam and the Zuiderdam because you can get BOTH Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm (as long as you are not going too late or too early in the season. To see Tracy Arm on the Volendam or the Zuiderdam you will have to purchase the add-on excursion, but it is awesome and well worth the time and money in my mind. To be in a small boat crunching through the ice and making your way to the glacier at the end is something you will never forget. (of course this assumes conditions are such that you can get far into the fjord, which usually the small boats can do).

 

My hesitation with the Zuiderdam however, is lots of plumbing issues continue to be reported.

 

Since the Zaandam only has one scenic sailing opportunity, I would nix that one.

Edited by vbmom87

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I don't think you can go wrong on any of them. If Tracy Arm is a necessary port, just make sure you go later in the season.

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