Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Crew News

Almost "Live" Ms Zaandam 14-Day to Alaska (May 21 - Jun 4, 2018)

Recommended Posts

curious to know the best way to see Butcharts gardens in Victoria. we cruise aug 27so it would be sept 9 in victoria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
curious to know the best way to see Butcharts gardens in Victoria. we cruise aug 27so it would be sept 9 in victoria

 

Unlike other cruises, getting into Victoria in the afternoon is a big plus in that you will be at the gardens during daylight. I appreciated the ship excursion because of the excellent narration and tour of Victoria on the way to/from. The bus waits for you and brings you back in the same seat that brought you.

 

Our ship docked late, as it had to wait for another ship to clear the narrow channel to the pier, which could have destroyed any private means of visiting the gardens.

 

Getting a taxi to the gardens is a snap but catching one to return may not be so reliable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with everything you said! It might be time for HAL to invest in additional interpersonal training for the front office staff. We had a similar experience on the Maasdam last fall, until Barbara from front office finally worked hard and found a solution to our concerns! We're on the Zaandam June 4th, and one more this fall in the Med. on the K-dam. After that, we'll decide if HAL is for us.😎👩🏻

 

 

I, too, agree with the concerns about Guest Services/Customer Service issues at the front desk. Having just disembarked, I found fantastic staff members, good staff members and one that did not need to be representing HAL to the customers. I learned to pass by when she was working and return for the great one,s who knew how to work with, and discuss, matters. This made the experience much nicer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I, too, agree with the concerns about Guest Services/Customer Service issues at the front desk. Having just disembarked, I found fantastic staff members, good staff members and one that did not need to be representing HAL to the customers. I learned to pass by when she was working and return for the great one,s who knew how to work with, and discuss, matters. This made the experience much nicer.

 

We have been on cruises where Customer Service was a big negative, but not Zaandam. We had several interactions with them and they were very good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We have been on cruises where Customer Service was a big negative, but not Zaandam. We had several interactions with them and they were very good.

 

Packer, we agree on this. That was my point, that all the really good customer service was being tainted by one person that was degrading the good of the majority. She is the weak link.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Packer, we agree on this. That was my point, that all the really good customer service was being tainted by one person that was degrading the good of the majority. She is the weak link.

 

I can understand the frustration of bad customer service. It might be a specific person on customer service too. Just like, not everyone is going to have a terrific cabin steward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got off Zaandam June 18, there was a question about teas, "classic" tea is served on a small 3 tier tray at each table 1 or 2 trays depending on table, double bread finger sandwich, scones already have cream and jam on, not my favorite tea time,

normal tea time stewards serve, open faced sandwiches, sweets and then comes the scones and jam and cream, followed by pound cake.

 

there is no more Dutch tea, high tea, or cupcake tea and worse of all NO INDONESIAN TEA

 

tea is served at 3 pm everyday but embarkation day. experience it at least once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm starting to pack for our July 2 cruise on the Zaandam and have a question.

What is the temperature like on the ship, particularly in the dining room and theater?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm starting to pack for our July 2 cruise on the Zaandam and have a question.

What is the temperature like on the ship, particularly in the dining room and theater?

 

We went to a presentation in the lower part of the theater and it was a bit chilly. Otherwise everything was quite comfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I saw your post, II nearly fell from my chair. "The "Night Auditor fix" was the same words you posted. First time I have heard them as I have not had many complaints in the past.

 

I returned with a Comment Card after posting here and it was received by the same person who told me no discount on Sel de Mer dinners. I smiled as she read the card that also recommended additional training for Front Desk personnel. My card also included praise for my Room Stewards and the Lido Manager.

 

The Front Desk staff looked shocked when I requested 15 more Comment Cards. since the Front Desk does not have any, I was referred to my Room Steward.

 

So far my issues with the Front Desk have been: Failed to set up our APPROVED M&G, refused to give me the names of the ship;s officers, took three days to fix my pre-paid Specialty Restaurant reservations, and then telling me that my 5* discount does not apply to special dinners.

 

The rest of my cruise had been excellent but for whatever reason, the Front Desk staff has been the least responsive of my 29 HAL cruises. I will use Comment Cards that are read at the staff meetings to help the ship work on the issues before they appear in my cruise survey.

 

Unfortunately, the front desk staff, unlike previous years, appear to be incompetent (with a few exceptions). I had similar issues on my Konigsdam and Westerdam cruises this year. It seems like HAL rounds up people on the street and offers them front desk positions with no training. For example, I was told by Westerdam staff that I could not book a transfer to the Seattle airport from Vancouver since my flight did not leave that same day. I spoke to 3 different ones, including a supervisor, and all they could tell me was they had to check with Seattle. Eventually I was booked on the transfer. No one ever got back to me, I had to keep calling. This is the new method of the front desk - take a question or complaint, enter it into the system. The End.

 

I also had problems with my Pinnacle Grille dinners not being correctly credited and my Sel de Mer which I also prebooked was not actually reserved (even though they showed I had paid). Again, most of these problems occurred on two different ships months apart. These kinds of problems used to never exist.

 

Due to errors by the front desk I was not signed up for my free ATK cooking class - on both cruises. Also on the Westerdam, the Pinnacle Grille was sold out due to an excessive number of Pinnacle Grille dinners given to passengers by their travel agents. The PG manager told me they had over 1400 free dinners for a one week cruise. So, getting the free ones that come with being a 5 star mariner were nearly impossible to come by. Since the ones I did get caused major billing issues I just gave up, which is evidently the plan. Orlando's regime seems to take a dim view of frequent cruisers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you might not have missed much by not getting the ATK class, the one offered me, again, was on eggs, I declined as it was a port day. I had it before, it starts with how to crack an egg, true! then how to separate an egg. I found it insulting and a waste of time. the other parts were mayo, meringue(watch the mixer go around) and deviled eggs.

 

frankly I found all the classes disappointing in subject, pie crust, pasta with a machine and run pre made dough through. cake decorating so simple,

 

I miss the lunches after class we used to get and it was a wonderful time to visit and compare cruise experiences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These reviews were very helpful for the week after your cruise and allowed better scheduling for us. We did not go to the ATK sessions as we watch the programs and subscribe to the magazine's. Good stuff for the not informed. Free movies were an excellent choice and many choices were available. Side trip to prince william sound excellent. Booked tour to Kendall glacier with tram dinner in the restaurant at the to great value through independent was excellent.

The ship still needs work to be up to date.

Overall great cruise on great ship

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
you might not have missed much by not getting the ATK class, the one offered me, again, was on eggs, I declined as it was a port day. I had it before, it starts with how to crack an egg, true! then how to separate an egg. I found it insulting and a waste of time. the other parts were mayo, meringue(watch the mixer go around) and deviled eggs.

 

frankly I found all the classes disappointing in subject, pie crust, pasta with a machine and run pre made dough through. cake decorating so simple,

 

I miss the lunches after class we used to get and it was a wonderful time to visit and compare cruise experiences.

 

I have enjoyed some of the ATK classes, but if you are a frequent cruiser, you are into duplicates and triplicates in no time. I did like the pasta class, but I've had it twice and it was offered both times on my recent back to back.

 

Yes, the good old days of a nice lunch with wine in the Pinnacle afterward have been destroyed by Orlando. I got to eat a fried pie we made on the Konignsdam, which has been the highlight of the tasting after the classes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

probably asked this before but we really like playing cards. Where should we look for a place on the ship?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
probably asked this before but we really like playing cards. Where should we look for a place on the ship?

 

The library is a good spot and a lot of people were playing cards up by the Lido Pool as well as the Ocean Bar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
probably asked this before but we really like playing cards. Where should we look for a place on the ship?

 

The Hudson Room is a quiet place to play cards and was used for that whenever I happened to pass by the door.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Port Valet - SeaTac

Hi, I am curious about the process for using Port Valet for luggage transfers to SeaTac. I have read about this service over at the West Coast Departures board, but would like to know how the Zaandam handles this. Is the information given to all guests or do guests need to request the form at the Front Desk?

 

THANKS!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Port Valet - SeaTac

 

Hi, I am curious about the process for using Port Valet for luggage transfers to SeaTac. I have read about this service over at the West Coast Departures board, but would like to know how the Zaandam handles this. Is the information given to all guests or do guests need to request the form at the Front Desk?

 

THANKS!

 

This is part of the form that passengers complete to let the ship know their disembarkation preferences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Point Adolphus

 

Thank you, Crew News, for the information. I have another question: on the day you visited Icy Straight Point, upon departure did the ship sail by Point Adolphus? I’m trying to decide excursions and am curious if we’ll be sailing close by. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Point Adolphus

 

Thank you, Crew News, for the information. I have another question: on the day you visited Icy Straight Point, upon departure did the ship sail by Point Adolphus? I’m trying to decide excursions and am curious if we’ll be sailing close by. Thanks!

 

Sorry but I don't have a clue about Point Adolphus. When we departed ISP, I was enjoying a plate of nachos a few feet from the Taco Bar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Point Adolphus

 

Thank you, Crew News, for the information. I have another question: on the day you visited Icy Straight Point, upon departure did the ship sail by Point Adolphus? I’m trying to decide excursions and am curious if we’ll be sailing close by. Thanks!

 

I have that book that talks about the whale sightings at Pt Adolpholus and paid keen attention when we passed bye on our last voyage of this itinerary 3 Years ago. I did not see any whales there when we passed so you may want to book the excursion that Roger or others described to get the guaranteed sighting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...