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khfadpi

Just back from Zuiderdam Western (and Arlene)

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Hi! We have finally made our way home to NC. I have mixed feelings about our Zuiderdam Cruise ( and of course Arlene came along toward the end of the week). I will write more later when I have time to compose my thoughts. :)

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Kim,

 

Were you sitting in front of us during Rohnda's great performance at the aft Lido party? :eek: We were the only four people that were singing along.:rolleyes:

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Yes upsndowns!! That was Barbie and me in front of ya'll. We really enjoyed sitting in front of you, we really had fun with Rhonda didn't we!! ;) HAHA!! I'm glad you got home safe. :)

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Okay. Here goes. We stayed at the Embassy Suites for 3 nights prior to the cruise. They had our luggage in the shuttle and we were at the dock by 11:20, even with the Pres. Bush security and road closings.

Porter took our luggage and we were in line, and checked in, up the gangway before 12. No problems what so ever. Eating in the Lido by 12:15... Great.

We were called to our rooms by 1:30. Didn't get luggage until around 4. I guess if you get there early your luggage is on the bottom of the pile. My husband had put a case of beer in a carry-on bag and some how it got in the checked pile. Well since it didn't have our cabin # on it, only an airline tag with our name on it we figured -oh well. Guess what. That bag was delivered to our room. I guess they looked up the name and sent it on up...and the beer was still in it. :p So much for conviscating alcohol.

After muster we went and got good seats in the Crows Nest for the sailaway. It was nice up there. We saw alot of people at the condos holding HAL flags and waving.

We went back down to our cabin and unpacked and the husbands went to the casino. We had 4 inside large cabins. Adults in 2 , kids in 2. We were on Deck 6 aft. Bathrooms were bigger than the CB and it seemed like a little more room overall than last year. Karmen was our steward and he had our mini fridge cleaned out so we could put the beer in it. He was great, kept us well supplied with towels and fruit.

We had Lower Main Seating 8:30..to late for us, wish we could have changed the time. Harris and Moon were our table servers, very nice. It was after 10 when we finished eating and I was ready to go to sleep. Everyone else went to shows or casino I went to bed.....

More to come...

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Sunday we woke to beautiful blue skies as we came into HMC. We tendered over early. It was as gorgeous as everyone said. I could have stayed here all week. The lunch was good, I thought the one on Princess Cay last year was better, but HMC had a better beach. The tender back was awful. The main man that was loading us made us sit there forever before we could leave. And it was only 2 o'clock. We were packed in like sardines and there was no fresh air. I thought I would pass out. Went back to aft pool on ship.

Monday, my husband woke early due to bad rocking. He went up and we were turning around Cuba. After the turn the sea was calm. We stayed on the aft pool deck all day. It was cool to see Cuba and Guantanamo. Today was 1st formal ( also my birthday)! We went to the Captains Reception. It was nice. We did hate the way the photographers corral you into the picture lines. I think it should be an option, not if you don't get in the line for pictures you don't get into the reception. Dinner was good, but we were again late getting out so I went to bed. Food makes me sleepy after 8 pm.

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Tuesday we went to Grand Cayman. I was dreading the tender but it moved quickly and we weren't packed in. We shopped then went to Courtyard Beach and rented chairs and snorkle equip. We left and went back to the ship around 2 to beat the crowd. I would have liked to have seen what Grand Cayman looked like before Ivan. Our taxi driver told us heartbreaking stories about it and the months after. You could still see the devistation.

Wednesday was Costa Maya. We were mixed on it. The water was the most incredible color you could imagine. There were 2 other ships in. Explorer of the Seas and Miracle. Before we got off the ship the toilet system on the whole ship failed.. some people didn't realize it because they were off . But it was fixed later in the day thank the lord. We went down to Tapas. Very crowded and hot. I didn't swim because we were afraid to leave our bags. The teenagers jet skied and they loved it. Felt sorry for the locals. Poverty was bad. It was kind of scary seeing the armed guards with machine guns everywhere. I would have been afraid after dark. This place will probably be like Cancun in 10 years, its so pretty.

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Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

 

It is so sad to hear that Grand Cayman is still suffering from the devastation of the hurricane -- although it shouldn't surprise me. Many here in Florida still have "blue roofs" or are living in temporary housing.

 

Last November on the Oosterdam we were one of the first ships allowed to call on Grand Cayman. So many stores and businesses were closed. Many of the shops had no electricity and you could smell the mildew ...

Many windows were covered in plywood, and there was so much roof damage.

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Thursday - Sea Day. The skies were cloudy all day and the seas were getting rough. We knew Arlene was somewhere because of CNN. Rain started later on. 2nd formal night. We all ordered 2 lobster tails. They were small, only about 4 or 5 bites.

Friday - Husband woke early again due to ship rocking. He went out around 5:30 and he said he could see Key West. Around 7 captain came on and said winds and rough seas prevented us from docking and we were heading to the Bahama Bank.. This was a disappointment to everyone on the ship. And it was raining so bad everyone was cooped up inside. The lido ran out of tea, ketchup, some food items. I started packing in the afternoon. Talk about boredom, even though the staff tried to organize activities, most people just just milled around.

The shops were packed and did a good business. Kind of a letdown after a pretty good week.

Sat. disembarkation was sloooooowwww. HAL should have these bills straightened out before Sat. morning. We didn't get off until after 10. Even though we were ready by 8:30. Raining in FLL . Embassy Suites shuttle was outside and we got on quickly. We were on 95 at 11. Last year we were on 95 by 9:30. oh well. Home to NC at 10:30.

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Did you ever find out what caused the entire toilet system to shut down?

We have visited Grand Caymen 3 times in the last few months and it is very sad to see all the devasation. The first time we were there our ship - Westerdam - was anchored way down on 7 mile beach. There was hardly a hotel open - and we could wrecking machines destroying some of the buildings - all from the ship.

I am confused here - you mentioned that when you got off the ship in Ft Lauderdale, the Embassy Suites bus was there and then you said it was slow driving up I 95. If you had your own car and parked at the pier, why did you get on the Embassy Suites bus? If you parked your car at the Embassy Suites for the week instead of at the pier, did you call Embassy Suites to come and pick you up?

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Hey Kim - where were you during the cruise? I was in and out for the various meets - but don't recall ever connecting with you. We ended up having two martini parties. (Don't worry Diane - I have Pat's address for the return of the martini shaker. If she doesn't get back to you, I'll email you separately.) What a great time.

 

I was wondering about the "failure of the toilet system"? We never experienced that. However, that said, we had a problem with a "sewage smell" from the moment we entered our cabin. They tried to fix it the entire voyage, but it really came and went the entire time. Other cruisers that I spoke with had that problem, as well in different areas of the ship. I haven't had the chance to search out cruise critic to find out if this is a problem with the Zui. Anyone know?

 

All in all it was a lot of fun and I wish that I were cruising right now.

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We stayed at the Embassy Suites before the cruise and left our car there. We called them when we were going in the big room to pick up our luggage. If you stay at that hotel you can park your car there.

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We didn't get to a meet-up. With 4 teenagers ( 2 families) we had a hard time keeping up with everyone. We didn't have a smell in our room or our floor but, you could smell sewage odors in various parts of the ship.. I had read where people smelled things but I was hoping it was a one time time. Obviously, it was true.

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Hey all, especially winher...

 

Just got off the Z as well. Won't go in to details as not my post but I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the cruise!!

 

Did want to mention that we were not aware of a toilet problem either and fortunately there was no odor in our cabin (or anywhere on the ship that we noticed).

 

Long story short.....

 

Excellent (our cruise director Bobby's favorite exclamation) :)

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we had a problem with a "sewage smell" from the moment we entered our cabin. They tried to fix it the entire voyage, but it really came and went the entire time. Other cruisers that I spoke with had that problem, as well in different areas of the ship.

 

Hi winher. Can you please let me know what your cabin # was? This is a real concern of ours. Thanks!

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We loved Hunky Dory. He left yesterday afternoon for his home in the Java islands. He may be there by now. My husband said it is going to be hard not having him say "good morning Terry have a great day"! He is so nice. He will be on vacation for 3 months and hopes to come back to the Zuiderdam.

All of the staff was great. I guess that is why so many sail HAL.

Ship-wise, we liked the CB better. The atrium area is so small on the Z. And there is not enough pool space on the Z, when the ship sells out of rooms like last week you need bigger pool areas. We had a good time, wish we could have seen Key West, but you can't help the weather.

The ship does need some updating. Carpeting (please change the colors!). They have that funky pattern because it doesn't show dirt.

The food was good, no problems with that. Wish we would have had dinner earlier. Thats why we liked Personal Choice dining on the CB.

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Hi winher. Can you please let me know what your cabin # was? This is a real concern of ours. Thanks!

 

Hey mfinn,

We were in 7071 and 7073 (starboard side) - we got a nice note and a plate of goodies saying that they were sorry for the inconvenience and that they were working on the problem (they could have sent a bottle of wine or a free photo instead.) The others that had the problem were on the port side - aft. Where were you? I would think twice before cruising on the Zui until they have the refit.

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Hi Winher,

 

I am scheduled to sail on the Z in August. I booked Room #7080 on the other side of the ship. Are you aware of any odor problems in or near that room? Just curious. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

 

Thanks,:confused:

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Kim..Missed meeting up with you guys also. We had a great group! Hi to Win, F&B and the rest of the 06/04 Zui! Our plumbing was so bad in #6057 that they had to move us to another cabin for one night. All we did was sleep there, then had to go back to 6057 for showers, then go back to the other cabin for toilet use. Oh, we did get two plates of chocolate for our troubles.

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hey tempdragon,

 

Don't know about the port side of the ship. I didn't walk down that side of the ship on our level. The smell was most noticable starting from the main stair area to cabin 7077. Another CC'er was in 7079 and she didn't notice the problem in her cabin.

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Hi All! It is nice to see all the familiar names again. Didn't get to see you much on the ship. We were kept busy so just saw you in passing maybe.

It was a great cruise !!

We had two cabins in the aft on Deck 4 and had toilet problems the entire trip. The toilet in 4183 seemed to be worse than 4178. But you just never knew if it would flush. One minute it would work and the next it didn't.

 

I was told it is not a plumbing problem but a problem with passenagers flushing items down and clogging the whole line up in certain areas of the ship.

 

I never had a problem with a toilet in a public area until the last day while we were waiting to leave.

 

As far as a sewage smell in the ship.......never smelled anything.

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Hey all. We were on port side/aft of floor 6. I didn't smell anything on our side, but I did smell "whatever" on 3rd near the Vista Theater and on 2 in the same area. Then one night near the restaurant.

You could also smell it on starboard side when you walked up on the 10th outside near the stacks. Our shower didn't drain really well either :( and I heard someone near our rooms telling the steward that her shower water ran out in the floor because it wouldn't drain and she didn't like standing in ankle deep water.

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Hey Wini, Tyman!

 

I started the martini recipes on the old thread if that's ok.

 

Anybody want to know about life in the infirmary, let me know! :)

 

Diane

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Hey mfinn,

We were in 7071 and 7073 (starboard side) - we got a nice note and a plate of goodies saying that they were sorry for the inconvenience and that they were working on the problem (they could have sent a bottle of wine or a free photo instead.) The others that had the problem were on the port side - aft. Where were you? I would think twice before cruising on the Zui until they have the refit.

 

Thanks for the info. We are booked in cabin 6067 for the 12/30 cruise which is after the drydock period. Hopefully they will fix the sewage issue, if at all possible. If not and the problem lies with the passengers flushing items down that should not be flushed, then HAL needs to address this with the passengers when they board the ship.

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Hi Gang we were in 4134 / 36 and we had no problems or smells....

 

Everything was great, would definitely do this again. I put a review up on the official review and they said they'd notify me when its up.

 

Loved Hunky Dory, Saeri and our cabin stewart Zheradi (sp?)

 

Loved the food, Loved the service, Loved breakfast in room service, Loved the spa whirlpoolie thing...., Loved the dutch tea, loved all the crew. Wanted to put them in my suitcase and take them home. I'll truly miss them.

 

Shows in the vista lounge were great to ok, depending on your taste. we saw most of them. (gotta see the juggler...the comedien, could miss divas...).

 

Movies...were good, but they could add some more choices and more at night. 7, 9, 11pm? Cut down a little on bingo?

 

Think they could improve the entertainment in the hours of 8pm-11pm for us early birds, that want to dance and listen to up beat dance music.

 

I'd like to see them offer more of live band by the aft lido pool not just an hour or two.

 

I'd like to see them offer punch, oj, apple juice all day and not run out by afternoon.

 

I'd say the lido pool is a little too small for a ship this size, and I'd love to see them add a slide or something for the kids, nintendo, games, and better kids area.

 

I'm a first time cruiser more or less., so what does CB stand for.?

 

Liked seeing everyone from the roll call. Had a great time. Best vacation I've had since Hawaii.

 

jj

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