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jorjen9

Back from Zuiderdam 6/11 - 6/18

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This was our first cruise on the Zuiderdam and with HAL. We have also sailed Celebrity, NCL, Disney and Princess. This was one of our best cruises yet.

 

The ship is beautiful, in my opinion. The decor and colors were whimsical. There is some wear and tear if you look for it.

 

The crew was superb! They were extremely friendly and bent over backwards to accommodate out every need. We were met by almost every crew member with a smile and a hello.

 

We were in category SS #8097. The cabin was very spacious. My only complaint was that there was not enough storage and most especially closet space for 3 of us. Our verandah was very large and we enjoyed it immensely! My son and his friend were in an inside cabin #8119. They only used it to shower and sleep so it was just fine for them. Our cabin stewards, Saiful and Tiji, were wonderful.

 

We had lower early seating for dinner at table #136, which was right next to the window. Our servers Hendrik,Louie and Alwany were excellent. The food was very good. I really thought the soups were delicious. I did wish there was more than one salad to choose from each night, although you could order Caesar salad any night. I only found the desserts to be not so great at dinner.

 

The dessert extravaganza was delicious. This let us know that they can make very good desserts. I just wonder why they do not for dinner.

 

The Lido buffet was the best I have ever had on any cruise. There are so many choices and everything was fresh and good, even the desserts.

 

The burgers at the grill by the pool were very tasty (possibly the best burger I have ever had), as was the taco bar.

 

I never had a problem finding a chair by the pool. There did not seem to be a lot of chair saving.

 

The entertainment was good. The Illusionist and comedian/juggler were especially notable.

 

Late at night there was not very much to do. This was not a problem for me as I am not a night owl. But if you are looking for a lot of late night activities, this may not be the ship for you.

 

The casino was too smoky for me. I did like the fact that there were a couple of smoke free nights from 6:30 - 10:30, so I was able to enjoy it a little.

 

We did notice that the crowd was a bit older than any other ship we have been on. My son commented that we may not have noticed had we not been looking for it, and I think he may be right.

 

We did not find any unruly behavior by any teenagers or children. We did encounter quite a few elderly people that were rude. They repeatedly, cut in front of the line at buffets without batting a eyelash. One older woman pushed my 14 year old daughter out of the way by poking her in the stomach with her walking stick.

 

My teens did enjoy the teen club and activities onboard.

 

Half Moon Cay was as beautiful as everyone said. We also enjoyed all the other ports, Tortola, St. Thomas, and Nassau. We only did one ship excursion and that was the North Shore Pusser's Tour in Tortola.

 

We tipped extra to both of our room stewards and 3 of our servers at dinner, as I felt the service was extraordinary.

 

I would not hesitate to sail HAL or the Zuiderdam again.

 

Let me know if anyone has specific questions!

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Thanks for the great review. DW and I are sailing on the Zuiderdam on Oct.1st. We love to spend time in Piano Bars during our cruises. Could you tell how the entertainer was in the Piano Bar?

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Hi All,

 

I totally agree with the review of Jorjen. Isn't it funny I had the same problem with the guests onboard...it wasn't the teens or the children, it was the seniors. The design of the ship makes you have to walk through the photo studio before you can get to the upper 3rd floor level Vista diningroom. I was trying to hand something to my husband when I actually had a man I'm guessing was in his 80's yell at me to get out of his way. I was so shocked I was speechless (which is too bad because I really came up with some good comebacks after he passed me). The gall of the woman who used her walking stick to push your daughter out of the way is over the top. No wonder teenagers don't like old people!;)

 

As far as the piano bar goes, I'm very sorry to report that in my opinion, the woman who plays and sings is a great piano player, but she can't carry a tune with a bucket. I thought at first they were doing karaoke in there.

 

We had a wonderful time on our cruise on the Z. We had a balcony room #5037 which was forward on the ship just past the forward elevators. Herry did a great job as our cabin steward. He wasn't over the top fun and excitement, but we were never lacking anything in our cabin and it was always made up or turned down as the case may be.

 

We were assigned to the main dinner at 8pm which was a little later than what we would have wanted although we quickly found out that the lido is open until 5pm, then reopens at 6:30 for a snack to tide us over until it was our turn in the Vista Diningroom. (They are closed from 5-6:30 I think primarily to feed the crew and switch from lunch mode to dinner mode). In the main diningroom, we were at table 55 with Herry (different Herry) and Santoso. They waited on us hand and foot! The food was delicious although I was surprised at the "comfort food" options available. Meatloaf, chops, pot roast. I wanted seafood but the steaks were also surprisingly good. I'm from Kansas so I'm pretty picky about my beef :D .

 

Overall, a fabulous time was had by all of us. I'd love to sail the Z again after it goes through dry dock in December.

 

~Chris

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Thank you both for reporting in.

We also found Rhonda in the Piano Bar not able to carry a tune - but a very good pianoist.

And we do agree that desserts at dinner should be improved.

HAL has been doing comfort foods on their dinner menus for nearly 9 months now - so we weren't surprised to see them.

DH also commented about the lack of salad choices at dinner - but that is also happening on the other ships. Several evenings we ordered ceasar salad.

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Photo Gallery

That was one of the complaints that I have had on all 3 ships. We hated trying to walk through the photo gallery when they were open to get to dinner. Many times we had cocktails in the Ocean Bar and weren't about to ride an elevator to a different deck - walk back to the stern - ride another elevator just to get to dinner.

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We are staying in cabin #8097 on our upcoming cruise in Sept. How was the bed? Was it too firm, will we need an egg shell??

 

Our bed on the Oosterdam was SOOOO comfortable. We slept like babies.

 

Did you use the whirlpool in your room??

 

Vickie

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Rhonda was in the piano bar when we sailed last month.

Usually we enjoy going to the piano bar, but not with her at the keyboard. She just doesn't have the voice for it.

 

And she let a number of pax take turns singing ... and they were awful, for the most part. :(

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This might start a big controversy, but the earlier comments about the rudeness of older folks hit a real chord with me. This is one of the things I have been concerned about for our upcoming cruise on HAL given the tendency for the average age to be somewhat older than on other lines. We are traveling with our 9 y.o. and 13 y.o. and have had unpleasant experiences on other types of vacations that attract seniors. There is often a tendency for them to crowd out anyone else, position themselves in front of every inch of viewing area, etc. This seems particularly so when it involves a child or teen as if their young age renders them unimportant, or irrelevant. I know I am treading into sacred waters here, but am curious if anyone else feels the same way!

 

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Hi All,

 

I totally agree with the review of Jorjen. Isn't it funny I had the same problem with the guests onboard...it wasn't the teens or the children, it was the seniors. The design of the ship makes you have to walk through the photo studio before you can get to the upper 3rd floor level Vista diningroom. I was trying to hand something to my husband when I actually had a man I'm guessing was in his 80's yell at me to get out of his way. I was so shocked I was speechless (which is too bad because I really came up with some good comebacks after he passed me). The gall of the woman who used her walking stick to push your daughter out of the way is over the top. No wonder teenagers don't like old people!;)

 

As far as the piano bar goes, I'm very sorry to report that in my opinion, the woman who plays and sings is a great piano player, but she can't carry a tune with a bucket. I thought at first they were doing karaoke in there.

 

We had a wonderful time on our cruise on the Z. We had a balcony room #5037 which was forward on the ship just past the forward elevators. Herry did a great job as our cabin steward. He wasn't over the top fun and excitement, but we were never lacking anything in our cabin and it was always made up or turned down as the case may be.

 

We were assigned to the main dinner at 8pm which was a little later than what we would have wanted although we quickly found out that the lido is open until 5pm, then reopens at 6:30 for a snack to tide us over until it was our turn in the Vista Diningroom. (They are closed from 5-6:30 I think primarily to feed the crew and switch from lunch mode to dinner mode). In the main diningroom, we were at table 55 with Herry (different Herry) and Santoso. They waited on us hand and foot! The food was delicious although I was surprised at the "comfort food" options available. Meatloaf, chops, pot roast. I wanted seafood but the steaks were also surprisingly good. I'm from Kansas so I'm pretty picky about my beef :D .

 

Overall, a fabulous time was had by all of us. I'd love to sail the Z again after it goes through dry dock in December.

 

~Chris

 

Chris,

 

Thanks for the good information about the piano bar. We are sailing on Oct. 1st (which I believe I have already stated:) ), and we are in Verandah Cabin #5076. How was the view from your verandah and its size?

 

Richard

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This might start a big controversy, but the earlier comments about the rudeness of older folks hit a real chord with me. This is one of the things I have been concerned about for our upcoming cruise on HAL given the tendency for the average age to be somewhat older than on other lines. We are traveling with our 9 y.o. and 13 y.o. and have had unpleasant experiences on other types of vacations that attract seniors. There is often a tendency for them to crowd out anyone else, position themselves in front of every inch of viewing area, etc. This seems particularly so when it involves a child or teen as if their young age renders them unimportant, or irrelevant. I know I am treading into sacred waters here, but am curious if anyone else feels the same way!

 

 

I hate to say it, but I've noticed it over and over. I've sailed HAL at least 10 times in the last 3 years and this is my biggest complaint. Maybe it's more noticeable since there are so many more seniors on board HAL, but there is still no excuse for rudeness. I don't think they target just the kids...I'm in my early 40's and I guarantee you that almost every meal in the Lido someone would cut or practically move me out of the way if they wanted to be where I was. I'm from the South too so this was a real double shock the first few times it happened. But then I keep going back on HAL because I prefer the older crowds and I enjoy meeting so many of these seniors who have so many experiences to share.

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On our recent HAL Ryndam Alaska cruise, I don't recall meeting any rude HAL seniors. I did meet some lonely ones who wanted to talk. I also met some very fun and friendly young-type seniors that we hung around with some. There was one time at debarkation when we were in an over-full elevator heading down when an older woman in a scooter tried to "drive" her way into the elevator. She was practically yelling "It's my time to get off! I have to get on this elevator! It's my time!" Her husband, I assume, was looking very embarrassed. I think she expected everyone to get off so she could get her scooter on. Nobody did. Why everybody was in such a hurry to get OFF the "beautiful and elegant RRRRRYNDAM" I have no idea! I would have MUCH preferred to stay on.....

 

Mary

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We really enjoyed our cruise on the Zuiderdam. The only down side was the rude octagenarians. They acted like it was their private ship and other people were intruding on them. They would take a table for 8 or 6 in the buffet when there was only 2 of them. And there would be plenty of smaller tables available. This meant we would have to split up our families. This was common. And I saw several talking "down" to the wait staff in the restaurants and buffet, especially the guys who filled the water and tea glasses. My parents are in their seventies, but some of these older folks were just plain rude. :confused:

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We are staying in cabin #8097 on our upcoming cruise in Sept. How was the bed? Was it too firm, will we need an egg shell??

 

Our bed on the Oosterdam was SOOOO comfortable. We slept like babies.

 

Did you use the whirlpool in your room??

 

Vickie

 

The bed was a bit firmer than I am used to but it was actually fine. I had no trouble sleeping.

 

Yes, I used the whirlpool tub several times.

 

You will love this cabin and if Saiful is your cabin steward, you are in for a treat! He was a real sweetheart.

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Chris,

 

Thanks for the good information about the piano bar. We are sailing on Oct. 1st (which I believe I have already stated:) ), and we are in Verandah Cabin #5076. How was the view from your verandah and its size?

 

Richard

 

Hi Richard,

We loved our cabin. I thought it was a great size for the 2 of us. We had 2 full closets that each had pull down shelves instead of drawer space, plus another closet that had 3 shelves plus the safe and then an open lower half. There was more drawer space on either side of the bed (2 drawers each that had a key to lock things up) plus there was underbed space at the end of the beds. I don't understand anyone who says they didn't have enough drawer space.

 

Our balcany was beautiful which great views. If I had to do it again, I would have gotten a cabin on the port (Left) side as opposed to the starboard (right). I'm a people watcher and would have liked to have been on the pier side of the ship but it seemed like they always docked on the port side. Plus, on our day at sea we tried to enjoy roomservice breakfast on the balcony but found it to be too hot outside that morning with the sun blazing down. Having said that...if that was one of my major complaints on the ship, as you can see I had very little to complain about.

 

Have a wonderful time! I wish I was going back soon!

 

~Chris

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Hi Richard,

We loved our cabin. I thought it was a great size for the 2 of us. We had 2 full closets that each had pull down shelves instead of drawer space, plus another closet that had 3 shelves plus the safe and then an open lower half. There was more drawer space on either side of the bed (2 drawers each that had a key to lock things up) plus there was underbed space at the end of the beds. I don't understand anyone who says they didn't have enough drawer space.

 

Our balcany was beautiful which great views. If I had to do it again, I would have gotten a cabin on the port (Left) side as opposed to the starboard (right). I'm a people watcher and would have liked to have been on the pier side of the ship but it seemed like they always docked on the port side. Plus, on our day at sea we tried to enjoy roomservice breakfast on the balcony but found it to be too hot outside that morning with the sun blazing down. Having said that...if that was one of my major complaints on the ship, as you can see I had very little to complain about.

 

Have a wonderful time! I wish I was going back soon!

 

~Chris

 

Thanks so much Chris for the info. I really was interested in your comment concerning choosing a stateroom on the port side. Our SR is on the port side and we just can't wait.

 

Richard

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Thanks so much everyone for the info! We're sailing in 60 days on our 1st cruise! (deep breath)

 

We're in SS6100, a Verandah suite, I believe on the port side (yay!). Is there a lot of drawer space or just shelves in the closets? Also should I bring an extension bar or will there be enough outlets for charging our cell phone, camera, etc.?

 

TIA,

Gail

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Just a note: I have been on both sides and find that whatever side you are on, the captain always pulls into the port so that your side has the least favorable view.

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Greatly enjoyed the Zuiderdam back in April and DW and I encountered no rude seniors. We are both in our thirties and we thought the crew and passengers were great. Joe V.

 

Serenade of the Seas 1/7/2006

Zuiderdam 4/23/05

Princess 3 times

QE2 1 time

RCI 2 times Song of America and Monarch of the Seas

Carnival 1 time

Royal Majesty 1 time

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Yes the closets have fold down shelves which we used mostly as drawers. It also has 4 locking draws (2 on each side) in the headboard. The end of the bed has 2 large pull out draws. One held the extra bedspread for the pull out sofa in our cabin but the other we used for our dirty clothes instead of throwing them in our luggage every day. We had no problem with wanting more drawer space, happy with what was available. Also we did bring an extension cord with us but never used it. There was a plug in the bathroom and then one on either side of the mirror for a total of 3 plugs in the cabin.

 

Hope this helps. Loved the Z....

 

Chris

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Thanks Chris! Yes, that's what we were wondering. Great to know so many love the Zui!! We know it won't be totally perfect, but hey, its a CRUISE - our very first and boy we are ready to relax and enjoy! :D

 

Gail

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Thanks so much everyone for the info! We're sailing in 60 days on our 1st cruise! (deep breath). We're in SS6100, a Verandah suite, I believe on the port side (yay!). Is there a lot of drawer space or just shelves in the closets? Also should I bring an extension bar or will there be enough outlets for charging our cell phone, camera, etc.? TIA, Gail
Our last Zuidy was next door in 6098 (photo in my sig below) and there was very little drawer space. From my review:
Our cabin, Category SS, 6098, Upper Verandah, Portside was wonderful! We have been in Cat A and S cabins and this SS was the best of both worlds. Big, comfortable room, spacious veranda with two chairs and ottomans and a little dining table and 4 small chairs. Plenty for two. The cabin has more desk/counter space than the Cat As, and almost the same as the Cat Ss. There was plenty of closet space, with convertible shelves that fold up to allow for hanging long clothes. We could have used a lot more drawer space, though. The narrow drawers were unsuitable for clothing. The lighting was better than we expected, including the lighted magnifying makeup mirror. The air conditioning was cold, and easily adjustable.

 

The bathroom had a jacuzzi tub, separate shower and double sink with two corner medicine cabinets and storage shelf below. Their usual Dutch brand shampoo, conditioner, soaps and body lotion were provided, along with laundry basket and 2 fluffy cotton robes. SS cabins have not yet been furnished with the SOE bedding and linens, but on a ship I can sleep on anything as long as it rocks.

We did not use the power bar we brought... there were two outlets in the cabin (one on each desk) and one for razors only in the bathroom. We had plenty of power for (our own) hair dryer, curling iron, cell charger, camera charger, battery charger and laptop (not all at the same time, of course!).

 

You will likely be very comfortable in this cabin!

 

Candy <-- will be there again in 32 days!

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