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Zuiderdam: Anyone sailed in last year?

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I'm booked on the Zuiderdam again, for a cruise this winter. I have heard that it is somewhat run-down, although it supposedly had a dry dock last year. I sailed on it 3 years ago and found it a bit shabby: chipped furniture, worn carpets, A/C not very effective, and other minor annoyances.

 

How is it now? I'm just bracing for the worst yet hoping for the best.

 

I chose cabin 8099, which is one of those slanted signature suites. Our PCC said we should enjoy it.

 

Thanks

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I was on the same cruise as Shrimp56 and I thought the Z was in good shape. She was in better shape than when we were aboard a year earlier. Of course, having thousands of passengers come through every month does cause some wear and tear.

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I'm in 8099 on the Zuiderdam next winter too....hope we are not on the same cruise! LOL! I love,the bump out cabins!

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Just off 12 days on Zuiderdam earlier this month. We thought she was in great shape and never heard any complaints. We were in 7086 and occasionally the toilet was a little slow to flush (sometimes took up to a minute or 2 but never longer.) I can't speak much to the AC because it was rather cool (50s & 60s) on our Fjords & Highland cruise so we really didn't need it.

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Zuidy's most recent dry-dock was from 31 March through 13 April 2015 at Fincantieri's Palermo's yard

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We just got off a May/June Zuiderdam cruise and had no problems at all. In fact she got a total new hull paint job as we moved from port to port.

 

We think the Vista suites are the best cabin out there for size and design layout. All HAL ships have a more dated decor (except the brand new Konigsdam), but that his part of their "old shoe" comfort. They remain welcoming and homey.

 

One aspect we did not like was the Upper Dining room deck "promenade" through a gauntlet of over-priced shops and aggressive sales touts. But we just avoided it and enjoyed walking across the ship one deck lower past all the very well attended music venues: piano bar, dance tunes, BBKing and Classical.

 

This size ship will never be our own favorite as we have become very partial to the smaller HAL ships, but this was a very good cruise with a fine staff and nice food across the board.

 

I see however you are planning a Panama Canal cruise - when heading towards the equator it seems all ship's A/C stress out a bit for those few days .However in the Baltics and Northern Highlands which went from cold to hot outside temperature days, we had no A/C or heating problems at all. The ships sailed smoothly and offered very, very good value.

Edited by OlsSalt

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My understanding is that during the last 2015 drydock in Italy there were planned upgrades that never were implemented as an Italian labor strike took place at the same time.

 

One example would be the new flat-screen TV's and new TV / On Demand entertainment system that, to the best of my current understanding, has to date not been put in place.

 

Someone made reference to BBKing's Blues Club, so it sounds like that is up and running now?

 

Can anyone who's sailed on the Zuiderdam update on the above two points?

 

Thanks in advance

Brian

Edited by Blueshound

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My understanding is that during the last 2015 drydock in Italy there were planned upgrades that never were implemented as an Italian labor strike took place at the same time.

 

One example would be the new flat-screen TV's and new TV / On Demand entertainment system that, to the best of my current understanding, has to date not been put in place.

 

Someone made reference to BBKing's Blues Club, so it sounds like that is up and running now?

 

Can anyone who's sailed on the Zuiderdam update on the above two points?

 

Thanks in advance

Brian

 

The Queens Lounge had the BB King group on the Zuiderdam. We never watch TV in our cabin, so I don't remember the TV status, but I think it was a flat screen TV - On Demand, I don't know. Sorry.

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Thanks OlsSalt. Anybody else on whether the On Demand services are yet available on the Zuiderdam?

 

Brian

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Thanks OlsSalt. Anybody else on whether the On Demand services are yet available on the Zuiderdam?

 

Brian

 

Nope - No on demand TV services on Zuiderdam as of July 4.

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Hi and thank you all for the responses!

 

Does anyone know if there is a table and chairs on the balcony like the 'normal' signature suites? I really liked eating breakfast out there when I did alaska.

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Hi and thank you all for the responses!

 

Does anyone know if there is a table and chairs on the balcony like the 'normal' signature suites? I really liked eating breakfast out there when I did alaska.

 

We did not have a "normal" table as in a sit down table but we had two lounger chairs with foot rest extenders that could be moved and a small table - but not chair height. (Recent Zuiderdam May/June 2016)

 

One could perch a tray on the table but not eat directly at it. We only had a real sit-down table when we had a Neptune Suite with their huge balconies in the past, but not a Vista suite - balcony is not as large for both loungers and separate sit down table. But my memory may be lacking here.

 

As others have noted, there was also no cabin table that could be raised to sit-down height either - only a coffee table in front of the sofa. Other than that one could dine "solo" at the desk window and desk chair in the Vista suite and enjoy the outside views, but this would not work for two people dining.

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We had a Signature Suite in April 2016, SY8039, I think, and enjoyed it a lot. Very comfortable layout, both shower and tub, two sinks. Yes, the balcony (quite roomy) had a dining table and two chairs, and also had two lounger chairs with footrests, and a lounger-height table.

 

I'd book one again any time. The ship was in great condition except for a lot of scraping and painting underway on the Promenade Deck. Excellent food and service.

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I was on the Zuiderdam in mid-May for the Fiords and Highlands cruise. The ship was definitely NOT up to the Celebrity standards I enjoy.

 

It seemed very confined due to lower ceilings and the darker hallways.

 

Food was mediocre but they never seemed to be able to cook a steak medium rare.

 

Avoid at all times the Shore Excursions staff and manager. We went on a ship excursion by bus one day called Scenic Highlands. It was a rainy and foggy day but they would not let us cancel for a refund. We saw absolutely nothing as the fog was so thick, you could not see 10 yards from the bus. The Shore Excursions staff and manager actually ridiculed me for making such a request. Celebrity has no problem with last minute excursion cancellations.

 

Basically, I am not cruising on HAL anymore and will stick with Celebrity where I enjoy their Elite Plus status.

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Uhhh ...foggy weather is seeing Scotland, or the Shetlands or Norway and where ever one is. :cool:

 

I am sorry you had a bad time on this trip. Thank you for your report. Hard to ever know up front what works for some but not for others, or why. Celebrity does have a very good British Isles cruise for 14 days - $3229 special for the last verandahs. However, it does mean a Celebrity ship with 1000 more passengers than the Zuiderdam. Almost 3000 passengers on the Celebrity Sillhouette versus almost 2000 on the Zuiderdam.

Edited by OlsSalt

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We did the Panama Canal itinerary in March and really enjoyed it.

The ship was not in as good a condition as we see on HAL ships. An officer told someone that there was a strike during the last drydock and much work was not done.

We were in 8143 an aft balcony and it showed wear. Our patio furniture was filthy and we used pool towels to cover the nastiness.

Our a/c did go out the second night for a while. I think it was down while they serviced others. Many in the aft on our deck and below complained. We requested a fan and it arrived in minutes. They followed up several times to see if it was working. On our last day we received a note apologizing and giving a crazy generous OBC. By that point I had forgotten about it and we did not expect anything but over and over they took care of the issue very well.

We were very impressed with the service of the crew all over the ship.

I did tell a few first time HAL cruisers to not judge HAL by that ship because it was not up to HAL standards.

I would love to do that cruise again and would not hesitate to book Zuiderdam. I might avoid the aft. Or I might take my chance on a beautiful view with a fan;).

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Thank you all for your comments.. We'll be on her in Oct. to the Panama Canal with Friends who have only been on HAL once before... I'm hoping they will enjoy the HAL experience as much as we do..

 

Being boaters, we understand problems keeping ships in "ship shape" condition.. If our Air goes out as sometimes happened on our own boat,

when we were at a dock, we will adjust..:D:D

 

Even had to adjust when our own boat toilet stopped flushing while on a long trip & we had to wait to get a part in port.. :eek::eek:

 

DH just asked if I missed our boat & should we get another one? My reply was "I would rather be on a HAL ship" anytime..:D:D

Edited by serendipity1499

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We were in 8099 for a holiday cruise nearly 2 years ago, before dry dock. While it does feel a bit "dated" we enjoyed the extra space in the cabin and on the verandah so your PCC is correct. If you Google Zuiderdam 8099 you should find some pictures.

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