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upsndowns

Zuiderdam Review: 6/4 to 6/11

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Well, we are back home and ready to go again! I have obsessed over this vacation since January and my expectations were high but reasonable. Overall, HAL came through with a couple of glitches.

 

Cabin - We were in cabin 8135 aft corner suite. It was a great room! The aft corner cabins are smaller than midship S suites but the huge verandas are incredible!

 

Food - I consider the main dining room and the Lido to be good banquet food. Nothing bad, but nothing that really impressed either. The Pinnacle Grill (1 night) was excellent. My wife had a filet and I had a bone in ribeye. The beef was excellent! The desserts were great as well. We ordered the volcano cake and the creme brulee trio---both were delightful.

 

HMC - First major problem. We booked and prepaid (HAL emailed me a receipt) the orange cabana. Guess what. They had no record of us reserving the cabana. Imagine my disappointment. Sabina, Shore excursions mgr., did everthing right as far as customer sevice is concerned. She resolved things to my satisfaction and we had a great day on HMC. We ended up renting a clamshell and booked the Stingray Adventure and Parasailing. Both were firsts for us and very fun. Thinking back, the clamshell was fine and only $9. If we ever get to go back, I wouldn't even bother to tyr for a cabana and would opt for the clamshell.

 

Cayman - Overall the destruction from Ivan was depressing. That island really got hammered. We did the Land and Sea Adventure. I'm not a big fan of big tours but it was ok. The highlights were the turtle farm and the semi-submersable.

 

Costa Maya - Our favorite. We booked a tour of the Chacchoben ruins with Ivan and David (see Costa Maya boards). It was the highlight of out trip. I would recommend this to anyone. The village of Mahahual was neat and a much better option than staying at the cruise terminal/tourist trap.

 

Key West - cancelled thanks to Arlene.

 

Sea days - fun and lots to do. We enjoyed Bingo, movies, and laying by the pool.

 

Entertainment - Based on the first night, I thought we were going to experience Six Flags type entertainment for the whole week. There was a vast improvement after the forst night. The juggler was great! We liked Julie Barr and had a chance to visit with her on a couple occasions. Alfreda ? was a great singer and very entertaining. The ships crew put together two great shows midweek. I didn't particularly care for the male lead singer, not bad but not up to par with the rest of the crew.

 

Laundry - was the second and only other major problem. They ruined both of my wife's dinner gowns (never been worn) and a pair of my linen shorts. There were snags all over the satin gowns and the shorts were to be dry cleaned but laundered intead (I think they will now fit my 12 year old son). Laundry services were included in the price of our suite and we decided to take advantage, much to our chagrin. We filed a claim onboard and now have to send the items to Seattle for inspection.

 

The thing that stands out most in my mind is the customer service. IT WAS EXCELLENT! Those that were involved with our problems really were professional and beyond courteous. Hat's off to HAL customer service! Sabina, Shore excursion mgr., was great.

 

Angela McKee, port shopping ambassador, helped us with a significant jewelry purchase. My wife loves her. As far as I'm concerned, she cost me alot of money.:rolleyes:

 

Highlights:

 

Crow's Nest

TG our cabin steward

new friends

only gained 5 pounds ( I weighed as soon as we got home)

The 5 Seasons lounge band

Casino (won at craps and donated at blackjack)

Bread Pudding (the greatest afternoon snack ever invented)

corner aft cabin

parasailing

Chacchoben ruins

Pinnacle Grill

Hunky Dory and our personal favorite Burt Reynolds

Ship Decor (we liked it)

 

 

Would we do it again?..........YES!!!!

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Thank you for your review.

 

We are sailing the Zui on June 18, and can't wait to get on.

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Upsndwns,

Please elaborate on how your cabana reservation got messed up. Had you been able to confirm your reservation on the HAL website and everything? Any advice on how to prevent that from happening? My reservation is a big surprise for my family and will be very upset if it doesn't pan out.

Thanks.

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Thanks for reporting in so soon.

Did you spend 2 days at sea after you Costa Maya?

Sorry to hear that your wife's new gowns were ruined. Did you have them sent out to be pressed? What happened?

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Olivia- They sent me a paid confirmation. When on the ship there was no record. I got the $219 credited to shipboard acct. I have not received an explanation as to why this happened.

 

Krazy- 2 days at sea after Costa Maya. They were sent out to be pressed. Came back with snags in the satin. They are not wearable in the condition they are in. We'll see what seattle has to say.

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They possibly "bumped" you off when someone else paid for a butler package. I have heard that that has happened before.

 

Vickie

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Great review. We enjoyed the Zuiderdam a couple of years ago and would go back in a heartbeat.

I also had a really bad experience with laundry service and I can't recall which ship but it was very recent. In past cruises laundry came back folded and beautifully pressed. This time is came back all wrinkled and basically jammed in a bag. Some of my clothing was destroyed. Is this a recent phenomena??

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I have sent clothes out on two Zui cruises to be laundered and pressed (some items pressing only upon boarding). I have never had any problem with their service. Everything was fine. I must admit, all items were cotton so they would be hard to damage. I have always been cautious in sending finer fabrics out for service and think I will remain that way after the above posts. Laundry service is a great plus for the S Suites since it is included with the price. One of my favorite amenities.

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Wow! I hope ebaycruiser is incorrect. That would be a serious breach in ethics to bump me from my reserved and paid cabana and give it to someone willing to buy the butler service. I f I ever found out for sure that they did that, I would be hopping mad!

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Regarding our cancelled cabana....Since we had two excursions planned and were away from the beach for extended periods, I think it actually worked to our benefit to not have the cabana. Who knows....maybe they did us a favor. After all that was $219 that we saved.:)

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