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Lyndihop53

Opinions on Zuiderdam

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We have never sailed HAL. But just booked a TA/19 day cruise for August of 2020. I’d like to know just what are the pros and cons of this ship? Has it been refurbished? And are the SS Suites worth the extra $ ?

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Posted (edited)


We just got off the Z'dam earlier this week.  I would definitely sail on it again.

 

IMO, the interior decor is fresh, attractive, with a lovely classic understated look, in  calming neutrals.   Just what I want for my vacation.   I reeeally like it.  Decor is very, very similar to the Nieuw Amsterdam we were on a year ago.  Our room (a Neptune Suite) was equally updated and in very good condition. The only rust I saw was a few spots out on our nice balcony where salt and weather take their toll.  Well, it is a cruise ship that lives in salt water, exposed to the elements, and not brand new, so that did not bother me at all.  I rather expect it.

 

The flatware in the MDR looked brand new.  No patina on it yet.  Dishes all looked new, too.   I didn't pay attention to Lido flatware. Or plates.  More of a fast food seating for us. 

 

Signature suites are smaller than NS, but larger than the next level  down of cabin.  If we ever find an itinerary we want that has a sizeable difference in fare, I would be happy in a SS.   The cabin layout diagrams with stated square footage  are on HAL and big box travel dept sites, maybe even here on CC somewhere.     We need at least 300 sq. ft. to not feel claustrophobic or worry that we will trip over furniture.  There is something for everyone, when it comes to cabin size options.     YMMV

Edited by Walfam

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When Zuiderdam first came out, she was decorated in very vibrant, garish colours.

over the years, partial refurbishments made her a lot more subdued, and now she is  still a classy lady, in muted colours but with still a sparkle here and there 😉.

I think she is my favourite Vista.

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Posted (edited)

SS suites are our favorite size cabin of all on HAL ships, so we  think they are worth the extra money - the extra space is just right. She is a solid, serviceable ship and rides the waves well. No surprises and easy to get the lay of the land.  About as big of a ship as we will go.  

 

We like the smaller, older ones. But they don't have the SS cabins, so this is something definitely in the Vista class ships favor (like the Zuiderdam), as well as the other larger HAL ships that also have them.  Plus these Vista ships have the much larger thermal spa facilities (surcharge) - almost a paddle pool size.

Edited by OlsSalt

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We have sailed on the Z several times and enjoyed each cruise.  Nice ship, but the best part is the great crew!

 

We really like the Signature Suites, as to us they represent a good trade off between space and price paid (IMO).  Of course we like the Neptunes better, but they also cost alot more.

 

One thing to remember is that on the Visa class ships, the Neptunes often do not sell out and being in a Signature suite you may get an upsell offer to a Neptune for a reasonable price.  We have done this quite often (virtually every Vista class ship cruise).  Of course, we tend not to cruise during the peak seasons.

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Posted (edited)

If you are on the Viking Passage from Copenhagen to NYC (August 2020) we will be on the same cruise.  We were on the Zuiderdam in a Signature Suite in October and loved the extra space.  Here are the pics of our cabin:

 

http://halfacts.com/vista-class/6061-zuiderdam/

 

However, given the price point difference, we have chosen a VA cabin for next years cruise.  The roughly $4k difference will go towards the shore excursions. The Zuiderdam is wonderful ship.  

Edited by I like vacation
add info

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We just got off her on Sunday from a 11 day Panama Canal cruise.

 

The ship, food, and service were all very nice but there would only be one reason why she wouldn't be in my choices of ships and that was the casino.  It was the tightest I have experienced on all of the cruise ships and the only action was at the tables so I guess judging on the other HAL cruises that others experienced the same problem.  So if you are not a casino player, then you should be having a great cruise on her.  Enjoy!

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Good to get feedback. 

And yes we’re booked on August 19,2020. I’ve not seen a Roll Call on this sailing yet. We’re really looking forward to this itinerary. 

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When she first came out, we hesitated to sail on her because of the description of her bold and loud colors.

 

Then she went into dry dock, many things were changed and we decided to give her a try.  Since then we have sailed on her quite a few times.

 

She is a great ship.

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OP: We took our first HAL cruise last summer, which happened to be the Viking Pasage, in a Signature Suite, on the Zuiderdam.  It was a fabulous adventure.  After we returned, I posted my thoughts about the ship and our first HAL experience (pros and cons), as well as the itinerary itself (with photos), at the link below; I hope you find it helpful.  We will be back on board the Zuiderdam in September, in an SS again, for a New England/Canada cruise (so I guess we thought the SS was “worth it” :classic_smile:).

 

 

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2 hours ago, Lyndihop53 said:

Good to get feedback. 

And yes we’re booked on August 19,2020. I’ve not seen a Roll Call on this sailing yet. We’re really looking forward to this itinerary. 

 

I noticed that as well so I started a Roll Call.  See you there.

 

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The Zuiderdam is my favorite of the HAL ships that we've sailed.  We did the partial transit of the Panama Canal twice on this ship.  We usually do a midship balcony right next to the outside elevator.  No noise and people only on one side.  As on all HAL ships the service was outstanding and the food excellent.  I love the decor on this ship as opposed to the modern decor on the Koningsdam.  One time we sailed over Thanksgiving and found the casino had quite a good crowd.  When I'm looking for a cruise I always choose itinerary first and then look to see if the Z'dam is doing that cruise.  It would always be my first choice.

Helen

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Was on Zuiderdam in December. I really enjoyed the decor, really nice ship. Would happily sail her again and again.

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So glad to see that others cruisers are so happy with the Zuiderdam. Sounds like she is in good shape.  We did our very first cruise on her back in 2010 and fell in love with cruising and Holland America. We’re finally returning to the Zuiderdam next month and we were just upgraded to a signature suite.  We’ve always had a veranda before so really excited to have the SS! 

 

Utahtea

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I’m very pleased with our choice after reading all the raves about the Zuiderdam. We have sailed larger ships. But definitely prefer the smaller venue.

Actually we like them even smaller than the Z  

 

 

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Back when the Vista ships were new, I remember trying to sort them out on the HAL website and noticed each had a different color scheme and motif. Agree with the other posters that Zuiderdam would be the last ship we would want to try because of what looked like its "garish" color scheme among her three other sisters. All purples, reds and wild patterns with blacks. Stomach churning was the visual impression online. 

 

Then lo and behold our next HAL cruise was to Alaska ...on that dreaded Zuiderdam as the only choice and we immediately discovered  once onboard it was not so garish after all - and this was before any of the later and very welcomed decor changes. But on board the reds and purples were tamed by dark "mahogany" colored paneling and its overall affect was deep, rich and  actually soothing.

 

Glad they are brightening up all the new decor makeovers and  getting the carpeting more coordinated on all the Vista ships, so the poor Zuiderdam's original "garish" reputation is now long past.

 

One other note,, having previously seen the dreaded "blue boy" benches in the Oosterdam foyers, what surprised me most on that first Zuiderdam cruise was seeing these same benches in more muted, antiquely, earth tones and they were almost attractive - at least they made more sense as a "signature" design element than their coarser blue-white iteration on the Oosterdam.  Don't know if these got relegated to the scrap heap or not, or just repainted again.

 

 However for me, the removal of the libraries to the Crows Nest remain one of the bigger drawbacks on the Vista ship (except the Noordam). But many happy hours spent on wonderful cruises on these two ships and would have no problem sailing them again, as long as  the last of the dedicated library space is not material to that decision.  (long stretches of at-sea days)

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Sailing the Zuiderdam for the first time in December. There was no roll call listed ( the new roll call list puts me off ). I started a thread, but no-one has responded; I'll keep checking. Glad to hear positive reviews.

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Love the Z and all the vista ships. Going on our 3rd partial canal cruise very soon and in the same cabin again, SS on deck 6. We had 5 price reductions since final payment so we had some very nice perks offered and we took them as future cruise credits and pre-paid gratuities. We have never sailed in a Neptune suite, way over priced IMO, the size of the SS is perfect. The Z redo was just before we sailed on her last April and it was really nice. We love the space of the SS. Her staff, service and food have always been excellent. We were offered an upgrade to a NS for an additional $399/pp, said no thanks, we like to select our cabin location and always pick one near the mid-ship elevators. 

All the vista ships are very easy to navigate around and with 3 sets of elevators walking is cut to a minimum. Looking for a future cruise on another vista and wish HAL would offer more 10 day itineraries to the Caribbean on them instead of the newer, larger ships with out of sight prices for a suite. 

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Hi, there has been a roll call going on this cruise for a few weeks, you can find it here 

 

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And here is the Baltic portion of the above cruise 

 

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I will be on my first TA cruise in April 2020, it's been a few years since I was on this ship.  Do they have any bars/lounges that feature craft cocktails?

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We were on the Zuiderdam in March after sailing only on the Pinnacle class ships; loved the decor and the coziness of the Z-dam. I did miss the double decks above the Seaview pool, but found plenty of spaces to get away from the crowd. We had an inside cabin on Deck 1 that was massive (by inside cabin standards), staff was wonderful, food was fabulous. We learned during ‘Ask the Captain’ that the Z-dam is going into dry dock later this year, to add the Grand Dutch Cafe and New York Pizza venues. Food from both is included in fare, but the wonderful Specialty beers and drinks are not (and totally worth the extra cost). Our cabin had plenty of outlets and storage (for us). We attended and greatly enjoyed the Martini Sampling every night; mixologist Alvin was just fantastic. I know all of this is subjective, but wanted to add my observations and experience to help you feel comfortable with your decision. Happy sailing!

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We have sailed three times on the “Z” in the SS category and while we love the ship, even with the garish colors, we had cabin noise issues. As I booked a guarantee cabin all three times we ended up being under the lido deck, twice under the lido market and once under the lido pool area. Huge bummer! If it wasn’t for the constant thumping, bumping and rolling noises we would have loved the cabin. I would suggest avoiding being under the lido deck.

Smooth Sailing!

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The Zuiderdam's decor was toned down a lot during the last major refurbishment. We were on her in 2003 and again just last December. Huge difference in the decor. We were able to compare our 2003 photos to the 2018 ones and it's a big difference. The SS category rooms are nice in terms of space, but you don't get anywhere near the perks of a Neptune Suite.

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Does anyone know exactly when she’s being refurbished?? Someone mentioned later this year.

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