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LOUSY CRUISE ON ZUIDERDAM


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I'll sympathize with the painting annoyance. 

 

Every port day (4 of them), on my last 8 night cruise there were painters outside my room.  Painting above, below, and on my balcony.  From early morning until late in the afternoon.

 

The only thing worse was the marijuana smoking on the cabin beside me.....and that was stinking up my veranda from 5 pm until dinnertime.

 

It's the luck of the draw or the roll of the dice.  

 

The odds of that happening on my next cruise are slim.

 

David

 

P.S.  This was not a Holland America cruise.  You can maybe guess which it was.

 

Edited by DAllenTCY
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Please don't chide the original poster. I am an optimistic traveler, but this cruise has been a notch above miserable. I'm not saying HAL is to blame for everything, but the stars have definitely been misaligned on this cruise. 

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12 minutes ago, Disneylandfan said:

Please don't chide the original poster. I am an optimistic traveler, but this cruise has been a notch above miserable. I'm not saying HAL is to blame for everything, but the stars have definitely been misaligned on this cruise. 

That is the thing.  For me it's a much needed break from reality. If I'm stressed about things daily or fighting with the brilliant front desk daily  it's completely frustrating, then I get to go back to work immediately.  If I have all the time to decompress it's a little different.

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45 minutes ago, DAllenTCY said:

...............................

 

The only thing worse was the marijuana smoking on the cabin beside me.....and that was stinking up my veranda from 5 pm until dinnertime.

 

............................

 

 

Hope you advised guest services / security about the weed smoking. Although things covering that topic have changed in certain states, ours being one of them, it is still not allowed on Carnival Corp cruise ships, incl. medical Mary Jane. I hate that smell, but that's a different topic 

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OP, chronicle your complaints and concisely include them in your after sailing review and hand write them and leave them in the hotel manager’s mail box.  Do so without emotion, just the facts.   If the hotel manager feels you are due compensation he may be able to afford some.  

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On 11/21/2022 at 7:47 PM, Sir PMP said:

You're not alone, friends of mine just came off the Pacific trip and called it the cruise from hell!

 

My wife and I were on that 45-day cruise through the South Pacific,  just before your San Diego to Florida cruise. It WAS the cruise from hell. There were a lot of annoyed passengers.

 

We were big Holland America supporters and took 3 prior cruises on their ships before COVID-19. This was our first cruise after the pandemic. Suffice to say, Holland America has used it as an excuse to cut the quality of food and service on board ship. The Zuiderdam is 20 years old and is used for the cruise line's longer itineraries. During our cruise almost every deck had leaks, where there were buckets catching water in the hallways. A big leak forced us out of our cabin for 2 days until it was fixed. We had the constant smell of sewage in our hallway, due to pipe leaks. It was not solved for 7 weeks! The cruise director Ian Page and Captain Frank Van Der Hoeven were horrible. The entertainment was poor (e.g. only one good comedian out of four). We were constantly lied to by the cruise director about having to wear masks in foreign ports due to those countries' regulations. As soon as we got off the ship, NO ONE (including local goverment officials) were wearing them in multiple ports. The cruise director's pre-port briefings were often about 25% incorrect and he blamed it on a port only being recently opened up and details were unknown. Why did he not contact the local HAL port agent or the local tourism authority to verify things then? 
Food portions were shrunk so bad in the dining rooms that we often had to order two appetizers to equal a normal one. The food was really hit and miss, and often was no better than high school cafeteria in quality. Holland America used to be famous for it's top quality food. No more. 
The ship's internet was down for several days while we crossed the open ocean. They had two days in Tahiti where they could have gotten local IT support, but the Captain failed to when the problem started. Even when it was up it was slow.
The only saving grace was the outstanding service by the room stewards and waiters on this ship. They are polite and very attentive, always going above and beyond to please you. 

Holland America cut three port visits about 10 days before our cruise. They had known at least a few months in advance they were going to do this because private tour operators already knew we were not coming, yet HAL waited to bait-and-switch us after people could not cancel. The HAL itinerary planners at their corporate level are clueless. They sent us to very-religious places on Sundays, when most places in the town are closed due to the sabbath. Then we went to nearby beach stops on Mondays. Why did they not switch that around? it occurred at least twice on our cruise.
The only way my wife and I will ever go on a Holland America ship again is if we find an itinerary with a new ship and it is only about a week long, with only a day at sea at most. 
 

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On 11/22/2022 at 3:48 PM, Cruise NH said:

 

We asked our physician about getting a prescription for our upcoming cruise.  He said no, they will only prescribe if symptoms warrant.  I feel he's not a fan of the drug.  We both came back from a recent Cunard cruise with Covid.  My husband wanted to get Paxlovid (my symptoms were very mild) but our doctor's office put him off for a couple of days and by then he was getting better.  They said they were trying to coordinate with his cardiologist but I think our doctor just doesn't like this drug.  Some who have taken it get Covid again shortly after. 

 

I do hope something better comes along.  With Paxlovid you have to take it over the course of 5 days...most people feel better in that timeframe anyway so does it help the average case?  I don't know.

Just FYI.. I had Covid in June, and my PCP prescribed the "other" Covid medication. It's fine to take with statins and it worked like a charm. It's called Molnupirivir. I have a sneaky suspicion that Paxlovid gets prescribed more often since it's name is much easier to remember and spell....LOL.

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On 11/25/2022 at 7:10 AM, Mary229 said:

OP, chronicle your complaints and concisely include them in your after sailing review and hand write them and leave them in the hotel manager’s mail box.  Do so without emotion, just the facts.   If the hotel manager feels you are due compensation he may be able to afford some.  

 

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Just now, Tampa Girl said:

 

With all these complaints, I will be curious to see if Zuiderdam's impending drydock will bring the ship up to the standard that the "23 WC's expect.  If not, the complaints herein will mushroom exponentially!

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25 minutes ago, Tampa Girl said:

I will be curious to see if Zuiderdam's impending drydock will bring the ship up to the standard that the "23 WC's expect.  If not, the complaints herein will mushroom exponentially!

Well after reading these posts, it reminds me of someone trying to keep their car running until they can get it into the garage(drydock)for repairs before the next inspection and planned big trip.

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35 minutes ago, Destiny0315 said:

Well after reading these posts, it reminds me of someone trying to keep their car running until they can get it into the garage(drydock)for repairs before the next inspection and planned big trip.

 

Yes, they do bring back similar recollections.  

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9 minutes ago, FLcruiser2011 said:

We are now clearing the Gatun Locks four hours late.  Wonder how that will impact the visit (or non visit) to Cartagena in the morning?

From Colon to Cartegena is about 270 nautical miles.  That is about 12 1/2 hours at 22 knots. 

 

Hank

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6 hours ago, ponygirl said:

Just FYI.. I had Covid in June, and my PCP prescribed the "other" Covid medication. It's fine to take with statins and it worked like a charm. It's called Molnupirivir. I have a sneaky suspicion that Paxlovid gets prescribed more often since it's name is much easier to remember and spell....LOL.

or it might be because paxlovid has better efficacy, better side effect profile in general, and the label for molnupirivir states that it should only be used if no other treatment is available.

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On 11/24/2022 at 8:14 PM, Disneylandfan said:

Please don't chide the original poster. I am an optimistic traveler, but this cruise has been a notch above miserable. I'm not saying HAL is to blame for everything, but the stars have definitely been misaligned on this cruise. 

 

Well said.

 

Years ago we sailed on the Eurodam in a Neptune Suite and there wasn't one day in which there wasn't something that went wrong.  It was simply astounding how many mishaps we experienced on that cruise.  The Concierge tried every day, but every day there was yet something else.  After 5 days I remember he asked me what could he do to make things better for us.

 

Luckily we have had wonderful cruises on HAL since.  The cruise didn't dissuade us from sailing on HAL as I understand that sometimes these things happen.  I will say this though - I refuse to sail on that ship again and we have refused to book a Neptune Suite since.  Fool me once....

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6 hours ago, Tampa Girl said:

With all these complaints, I will be curious to see if Zuiderdam's impending drydock will bring the ship up to the standard that the "23 WC's expect.  If not, the complaints herein will mushroom exponentially!

The Amsterdam had many issues with leaks in cabins and plumbing was taped and buckets out on decks but it served many a GWCs. When we sailed on Zaandam in July, I was amazed how it looked (repaired) compared to sister Amsterdam so hopefully Zuiderdam will be repaired well. But as you say,  with larger number of passengers onboard, complaints will be plenty. We will sit out next year to see how she does. 

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9 hours ago, REOVA said:

The Amsterdam had many issues with leaks in cabins and plumbing was taped and buckets out on decks but it served many a GWCs. When we sailed on Zaandam in July, I was amazed how it looked (repaired) compared to sister Amsterdam so hopefully Zuiderdam will be repaired well. But as you say,  with larger number of passengers onboard, complaints will be plenty. We will sit out next year to see how she does. 

The difference is  the Amsterdam can hold a lot of supplies, while the Zuiderdam can only hold supplies for about 12 days, for the WC this is the wrong ship.

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10 hours ago, REOVA said:

The Amsterdam had many issues with leaks in cabins and plumbing was taped and buckets out on decks but it served many a GWCs. When we sailed on Zaandam in July, I was amazed how it looked (repaired) compared to sister Amsterdam so hopefully Zuiderdam will be repaired well. But as you say,  with larger number of passengers onboard, complaints will be plenty. We will sit out next year to see how she does. 

 

We are booked on the '24 WC and are also on the Zuiderdam's July '23 VOV.  We will wait until we hear reports from the '23 WC as to the ship's condition and the extent of the "cost cutting" to determine whether to proceed with final payments.  It is too much money to spend if we are going to be wishing that we had not taken the cruise.  One promising note for the Zuiderdam is that it has been reported that a library will be re-installed during drydock.  That is particularly welcome on long cruises for many people.

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1 hour ago, Sir PMP said:

The difference is  the Amsterdam can hold a lot of supplies, while the Zuiderdam can only hold supplies for about 12 days, for the WC this is the wrong ship.

Wow. More passengers and less supplies? That will be interesting during supply chain shortages. Even on Amsterdam they had to scramble in some ports to find supplies. And if they start using inferior TP again, they won't hear the end of it. 🤣

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On 11/21/2022 at 7:14 PM, FLcruiser2011 said:

We are currently aboard Zuiderdam, en route from San Diego to Port Everglades.  This may be the worst cruise we have had in 100+ cruises on pretty near every cruise line.in

 

It started on a strange note.  A day before the cruise, we got an email telling us our exact embarkation time had been moved slightly to 1:05 pm.  OK.  If that kind of precision is needed to avert long lines, fine with us.  So we arrived at precisely 1:05 and joined several hundred people standing in a slow-moving line under the sun.  Not a very auspicious start.

 

From that point, it would be hard to find things that have gone well.  One of the planned Central American stops had been cancelled in favor of a sea day weeks before the cruise, and a few days before the cruise, we were told the Nicaragua stop had also been cancelled and we would have another sea day. 

 

Then this morning came the latest medical emergency (the ship has been having one or more daily) and we sat off the Mexican coast for a half dozen hours waiting for the passenger to be taken ashore. The result of that is yet another stop cancelled this one, Huatulco, Mexico, in favor of (guess what) yet another sea day.

 

We understand the need to make changes, but when a total of three ports have been cancelled in favor of sea days, we might expect to be told we will get free internet perhaps, or free drinks, or something to make up for it.  Not a word.

 

So we will see what happens from here, but we sure are wishing we had not taken this cruise.

 

 

Sorry to hear of your troubles. We recently completed a 51 day Seattle to Sydney cruise on Westerdam. This was our first cruise since November 2019. We had several itinerary changes before departing and we went into the cruise with the attitude that we would "go with the flow". We then had a few medical evacuations which caused some delays and we had more itinerary changes, most of which were beyond HAL's control. We were one of the first ships returning to some of these ports since COVID.We received a $250 OBC per person and 10% of our base cruise fare in future cruise credits which were unexpected but appreciated because of the changes. Port fees were also refunded. We found the captain was very transparent about every change we made. For us it felt good to be back cruising again! I expect there will be more hiccups in the post COVID cruising world for the foreseeable future and we will continue to go with the flow.

 

Please let us know if they do something for you to make up for the lost ports! I hope they do!

 

Jim

 

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6 hours ago, Sir PMP said:

The difference is  the Amsterdam can hold a lot of supplies, while the Zuiderdam can only hold supplies for about 12 days, for the WC this is the wrong ship.

 

I assume that you are talking about the now "Borealis" or whatever the name of the former Amsterdam is now called. Not having done a Grand Voyage on the Zuiderdam size ship, I suspect that you are correct that the Zuiderdam is not a good ship for the WC.  We loved the Amsterdam  on the Grand Asia.  How would the Zaandam work - does it have as much storage as the Amsterdam had?

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30 minutes ago, Tampa Girl said:

 

I assume that you are talking about the now "Borealis" or whatever the name of the former Amsterdam is now called. Not having done a Grand Voyage on the Zuiderdam size ship, I suspect that you are correct that the Zuiderdam is not a good ship for the WC.  We loved the Amsterdam  on the Grand Asia.  How would the Zaandam work - does it have as much storage as the Amsterdam had?

Zaandam and Volendam hold also a lot more than the Zuiderdam, they would be a better choice.

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