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Ms zuiderdam vs ncl jewel


littlelulu01
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Looking for a quick getaway for our anniversary, specifically at the pacific coast on the Zuiderdam or NCL Jewel. We have never sailed HAL but have sailed Carnival and Royal Caribbean, both of which husband hated and subsequently swore off cruising. A big negative for him was wearing a suit and tie to dinner while on vacation and sitting with strangers over breakfast. He wears a suit and tie every day to work and has a thing about never wearing on vacation.

 

We had not been on a cruise for several years as a result until last year when we sailed on the Pearl in a Haven suite. We had the most relaxing vacation ever and he is now open to cruises as a potential vacation option. We did not however partake in ship events nor even see much of the ship outside the Haven area.

 

This trip is just a short getaway from work and a way to unplug and disconnect for a short time but no Haven option. I'm thinking most of the short trip will be spent in spa, resting, watching the sea from our balcony and walking off some meals around the ship.

 

I understand on HAL that we can dine in the cafeteria if he does not bring a suit and tie. If the food and ambience is adequate then I'm ok with this. He's happy to wear khaki pants and a nice sweater but packing suits, ties, dress shirts and dress shoes is not going to be an option in his small overhead bag for a three day trip.

 

Anyone sail NCL and HAL and if so any recommendations on which ship may better suit us? I know on NCL khaki pants and sweater is dressy enough for speciality dining or any dining but if the cafeteria is the only option on HAL if dressed like this and the cafeteria food and ambience is decent I would like to try HAL. The Zuiderdam also looks to have a covered pool like NCL Haven pool so would look forward to spending time there.

 

If we sail ncl jewel we would end our trip in sanfrancisco vs Los Angeles making either trip a three night. Both cost roughly the same. Looking at either mini suite on NCL or a superior veranda suite on HAL.

Edited by littlelulu01
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Interesting questions. Yes the Lido at night is decent, they actually put some table cloths on so it looks more dinner like. You would need a jacket to go to MDR or Pinnacle Grill for dinner on formal nights. On repositioning cruise there sometimes is no formal nights and if there are, they can be optional. On regular nights his sweater and khaki's are fine for the MDR.

We love the covered pools that Hal has with the retractable roof that can be opened if the weather is nice if not, they keep them covered so you have a nice temperature around the Lido pool.

I think you and your DH would enjoy cruising on Hal. It is pretty lay back, in my estimation. Don't know that much about NCL. Hopefully someone will come along with information about them in comparison to Hal.

 

We love repositioning cruise because they are short and inexpensive, as they are moving the ships from one home port to another.

 

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On HAL ships, you can order a meal from the main dining room menu to be delivered to your cabin. We have never done it but many have who can tell you when you can actually order it. There are designated time frames in which you can call to order your dinner. We have ordered room service many times on HAL and always enjoyed the food which was brught to us. They have an extensive room service menu.

 

Diane

Edited by legalslave
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Thank you for the tips. I do realize the ncl jewel mini suite does not have haven access. I am fine with this but my husband perhaps not so much which is why I was looking at the Zuiderdam.

 

HAL seems to offer some of the perks for non suite passengers that one would only get in a Haven stateroom on NCL. The only tradeoff for us is the suit/tie for husband, which in our case may be a deal breaker. I read HAL's dress code and it sounds like guests should remain in formal wear for the entire evening if in public areas of the ship on formal night. On a three night cruise I don't think he would want to sit in his room all evening for a third of the trip just because he does not want to wear a tux or suit. I may just be trying to make a romantic notion of a cruise fit us when perhaps a few days at the fairmont with some five star dining at a nice place without the dress code will fit him much better.

 

Regardless the mini suites are now sold on the Jewel so at this point it's HAL or land based quick trip.

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Are you even sure that the 3-night cruise on HAL would have a formal night? I'd want to check with ship-services before I'd make my decision. DH may luck out and not have to even consider non-suit consequences.

And to do some walking on the decks, it's great to have HAL's walk-around promenade deck.

On formal nights most of the menu options are available in the buffet, though probably not all, but otherwise the buffet is a nice alternative dining venue.... but so would a room service dinner in your deluxe veranda suite! Nice.

Enjoy deciding! m--

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Are you even sure that the 3-night cruise on HAL would have a formal night? I'd want to check with ship-services before I'd make my decision. DH may luck out and not have to even consider non-suit consequences.

 

I am not sure if there will be a formal night. From what I read it sounds like a three night cruise typically has one formal night but the captain can alter the number of formal nights and guests will know upon boarding as this will be outlined on day one of cruise in the, "on location." So it sounds like we either commit and perhaps luck out or stay out of the public areas one night of the cruise.

 

He's certainly a well groomed man who dresses quite nice even in his vacation clothes. It's just that those vacation clothes are most definitely not work or formal gathering wear. He works an insane amount so if I pull him away from it and tell him he's wearing work clothes to relax a few days that just won't fly. Since he's the one who pays the bills I guess I need to respect that and plan accordingly. For this reason HAL probably does not fit us normally but I do love cruises and the three night sounds fun, easy, short flights and a way to relax, with the bonus of spending a little time in cannon beach, Vancouver and San Francisco all in three nights time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

FYI- I just printed my edocs and they state dress code: 3 smart casual nights. We lucked out and I am very pleased that we are able to join in all the ship has to offer on our short cruise without the need to pack a suit and tie or tux for him.

 

Very excited to be able to get away from the world for three nights and explore a new ship.

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FYI- I just printed my edocs and they state dress code: 3 smart casual nights. We lucked out and I am very pleased that we are able to join in all the ship has to offer on our short cruise without the need to pack a suit and tie or tux for him.

 

Very excited to be able to get away from the world for three nights and explore a new ship.

When preparing for my August cruise I wasn't clear about the term "smart casual". My travel agent said it meant no jeans so I brought a few pairs of Dockers with me. I hope your husband's OK with that.

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When preparing for my August cruise I wasn't clear about the term "smart casual". My travel agent said it meant no jeans so I brought a few pairs of Dockers with me. I hope your husband's OK with that.

 

Yes. I think smart casual for Holland America is slacks and collard shirt. He typically wears this if going to dinner anyways so no extra packing. For only three nights we can get away with minimal packing, and still be within the dress code. We won't even bother packing jeans. It was the suit and tie or tux that was the problem, both vacation wise for him and luggage wise for us with flying.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We just returned from this cruise and I am happy to report that dress code was not an issue at all.

 

We did not eat dinner in the Lido buffet as there was no formal night on our cruise but had that been our only option it would have been more than adequate.

 

Husband was one of the better dressed men on board and I had worried for nothing. If anything smart casual on HAL was less dressy for the men than observed on our NCL cruises.

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I have been on both ships. The Jewel pool situation is one of the worst I have ever seen. For you situation, I would choose HAL. Great pool and hydro pool, plus thermal suite.

 

I have ordered from the dining room menu on HAL and it was delivered hot and very tasty. The food is much better on HAL. Like you sometimes I don't feel like dressing up.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of NCL and I will be on Jewel again in November.

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Thank you. We've already returned and had a wonderful time. The pool areas were a real treat. The loungers so comfortable and no blaring music and crowds like noted on the Jewel class ships. I had no intention of using the pools but they were not crowded, it was warm and we really enjoyed one afternoon laying by the pool and swimming. We thoroughly enjoyed our short time on board the Zuiderdam.

 

Not too impressed with the spa however having a place to escape was less necessary on the Zuiderdam.

 

The Thermal pool was not working the last evening and the spa area was more like a walk thru to the elevator vs. a relaxing part of the ship. The tile loungers were very uncomfortable and rarely used by spa guests vs on other ships where they are shaped to better form to the body and actually comfortable and were used all the time. In hindsight we should not have purchased the spa passes as the relaxation was not any more than one would get using the regular pool areas. Had the therapy pools been working more often we would have gotten better use of the spa but at least it was an inexpensive mistake. I even asked for a $20 credit as the therapy pool was not operational for one of the three days we tried to use it. The spa attendant said she would have her manager call us, which never happened and we were charged the full price, $40 pp/pd for spa use. That was really the only negative I had about the entire trip.

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That's not right. I'd definitely follow up on this.

The spa attendant said she would have her manager call us, which never happened and we were charged the full price, $40 pp/pd for spa use. That was really the only negative I had about the entire trip.
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