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wineandbeach

Zuiderdam - June 26 review

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Just returned from the Zuiderdam June 26 cruise. We were a group of 11 with 7 adults and 4 children aged 12-15. My only previous cruise experience was on Celebrity Millenium and Constellation. We loved these cruises and would have sailed Celebrity again but they had none of thier larger ships in the Caribbean in the summer so we decided to try HAL.

 

Embarkation went smoothly. On Celebrity you are greeted with a glass of champagne which I think is a nice touch which says "leave your troubles behind" This cruise seemed a little more hectic the first day.

 

I thought the food was very good. I thought Celebrity beat them out most nights but the formal nights definitely went to HAL. We had no trouble ordering extras of anything we wanted. Our service was very good. Antonio our wine steward not only took care of wine but also soda and drinks. He was the best we ever had. We had soda cards for 6 of us and our glasses were never empty. We had 8:30 seating in the back of the lower dining room. The first night the noise of the vibration was horrible. We had all decided we were never eating in the dining room again but before our dinner ended it was not as bad and we never really heard it again.

 

The adults ate in the Odyssey restaurant and our group was split on if it was worth it or not so it is really just a matter of opinion. I made a reservation for 7 people the first day and when we got our card the day of our dinner it was only for 2. It took some work to get them to fix it and we had to eat at 9:00 instead of 8:00 which is when the reservation was for. They put us at a makeship table in the entrance way even though the dining room was more than half empty. I loved the special restaurants on Celebrity and felt this was just okay.

 

The drinks on HAL are great. They make thier mixed fruit drinks with fresh squeezed fruit. The grapefruit Cosmos were a favorite of our group.

 

The decor on the Zuiderdam is "different". It kind of grows on you as the week goes on but I prefer the elegance of Celebrity.

 

We had a great cruise and although I am still partial to Celebrity, I would sail HAL again with the right itenary and price.

 

just a note on ports: In cozumel we went on an excursion with Adrian who we found on the port board. We had the best time. He took us out in his cousin's boat to 3 different snorkeling stops. It was absolutely beautiful with lots of different fish. Adrian was a great guide and was in the water with us the whole time showing us different fish and answering questions. If you are looking for something in Cozumel, I would highly recomend Adrian. He does smaller groups and land tours also.

 

Half Moon Cay is paradise. I wish we had a couple stops there.

 

If you have any questions, I will try to answer them.

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Welcome home and what a great review. I enjoyed reading it as I have booked the Zuiderdam for next March. What type of cabin did you book? Were you happy with it?

 

I have only eaten at the Pinnacle Grill on the Rotterdam and thought it was SPECTACULAR. I am looking forward to eating at the Pinnacle on the Zuiderdam, just am sorry to hear you weren't too thrilled with it.

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so i am assuming since you did Cozumel, you were on a W. Carib. cruise. i am leaving on the Zuiderdam on a W. Carib cruise this coming saturday!

 

i have a couple of questions for you:

 

1) what other shore excursions did you do? did you do anything in GC or key west?

 

2) what pier does the zuiderdam dock in in Cozumel. we just found out that we have an itinerary change and the zuiderdam will now be in cozumel at 3 pm on Monday and stay overnight and stay until 3 pm the next day... so instead of the day after key west being a sea day we will arrive in cozumel a 1/2 day early.. i am just wondering if the pier is the one located in downtown and within walking distance of carlos & charlie's or if the pier is the one that is a 5 minute cab ride away from downtown.

 

3) how was the tendering process in GC? what time did you get to GC? what time were you finally on land? when do they hand out the tender tickets? the morning of arrival?

 

anyhow, thanks so much for the info!

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1) what other shore excursions did you do? did you do anything in GC or key west?

 

 

Jstducky - a few years ago we did the Atlantis sub in GC on our own. It was awesome !!!

 

What we did was just take the public bus to 7 mile beach and spend the morning there. The beach and water were great. then caught the bus back and bought tix for the sub in the afternoon. Very fun to do

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superstein - thanks so much for the recommendation. i'll have to look into that before i go. i am sure that doing it on your own is a lot cheaper than doing it through the ship.

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Doone,

When are you going in March? My husband and I are booked March 19, where are you staying?

This is our first time on HAL, we have done Celebrity the last 2 years.

Nancy

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Isis

, thank you very much for your review... I am basically in the same situation. I was looking for Celebrity cruise but didn't want repeat on Century (loved her but was looking for something new) and didn't want to wait for November to sail on Constellation or Millenium.

 

We are going with our 12 "almost" 13 years old son. How did your kids/teens liked the ship?

Were there alot of other families with the kids to keep them company?

Were there something like kids/teens disco?

 

I am very happy to finally read some positive reviews. :)

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OH Nancy, too bad, we are booked for the 12th of March, too bad. I am trying to bid on priceline for a place to stay for the 11th of March, so far no luck, its a bit too early. Do you have a place to stay yet?

 

When I get off the Zuiderdam on the 19th, I'll be getting on the Volendam on the 20th for another 10 glorious days.

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We had connecting B rooms on the 4th floor. We had stayed in the family rooms on celebrity which are large rooms with a partition and huge balconies off the back. Of course the B rooms seemed very small but we got used to them quickly and liked having the 2 rooms. The balcony has a door that opens between the rooms but there is still a partition there so it is not like one large balcony. There was plenty of space for luggage. The closets were a nice size but we only had 2 small drawers in each night table. There was also a small desk in the room with a refrigerator on the side.

 

In Grand Cayman, we went horseback riding with Honeysuckle farms. We had been riding in St. Lucia and it was much better. This ride was just a walk along the beach. In St. Lucia we were able to trot slowly (we were beginners) and ride the horses in the water. They are in the process of changing owners and things were a little unorganized. Then we went to Rockham's Pub and snorkled from there. We swam out to a wreck which was fun and there was a lot of different fish there. If I go back, I will definitely do a snorkeling tour. Then we went to buy me a black coral necklace and some rum cakes. Tendering in was not a problem. We were not the first ones off the ship and we were on shore before 9AM. Coming back was a different story - We got in line at 4:00 and waited 45 minutes in line just to get on the tender. The man there said it is always backed up. The last tender was supposed to leave at 5 but it was really 5:40 because of the lines.

 

In Key West, we went snorkeling with Floridays. The water was very choppy and we didn't see much of anything. Not for a weak stomach like mine. Then we rented a golf cart and went to the Southern Most Point and around town. It is a great place to just roam around. Irish Kevin's was a fun place to stop for a drink.

 

We were at the pier in Cozumel with the cab ride to town.

 

Each port has a Hard rock so we went to them for the kids to get a pin for thier collection.

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Doone..my parents have a condo in Pompano Beach so we will stay there,where are you staying on the ship? I would love to do a longer cruise, but I teach a college course and have to go on break

Nancy

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We are leaving on the Zuiderdam on July 17. What kind of movies did they have on board? We have younger children and was wondering if they have any "family" movies.

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kcruiser5-

 

The following movies played in the Queen's Lounge:

 

Saturday - Miracle

Sunday - Cold Mountain

Monday - Against the Ropes

Tuesday - Along Came Polly

Wednesday - Starsky & Hutch

Thursday - Win A Date With Tad Hamilton

Friday - 50 First Dates

 

These movies as well as several others also played at various times in the staterooms.

Cartoons could also be found at almost all times in the stateroom.

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Tatka:

The kids had a great time. My son's big complaint was that the basketball court was only half court. It was full court on The bigger Celebrity ships. They received a CD holder when they boarded the ship which told them all the activities. There is a Teen Disco almost every night usually from 11-1. They had stuff during the day but our kids didn't try any of them. They did enjoy the night activities though. There were a lot of kids on board although they weren't overwhelming. Your son should have a great time. Our kids would have ditched us for the entire trip if we let them.

 

Coming from Celebrity, you will be shocked by the decor but just go with it and it will grow on you. We found it entertaining.

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We were on this same cruise so I'll chime in with our experience.

 

In Key West we went parasailing and shopping. In Grand Cayman we used Nativeway to visit the stingrays and go snorkling, they then dropped us off at 7 Mile Beach. In Cozumel we went to Paradise Beach and shopping in the Central Market area.

 

With the older itinerary they drop you at the one you have to take a cab ($6) to town from. There are a number of stores etc at the pier though. I don't know with your new itinerary which pier they will use. You are lucky they changed your itinerary though because the previous 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. visit made for a weird day.

 

At Grand Cayman, tender tickets are handed out in the Queen's lounge beginning at 8:00 a.m. We were on a tender before 9. The dock you tender to is a mad house. There was also a very long wait for a return tender in the afternoon (40 minute line). Be sure to allow enough time for that (we didn't!).

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Hi we will be on the Zuiderdam on the 24th. How did you find out about the change in Cozumel? I will need to change some of my plans if this is the case for us also. Thanks for any help you can give me. Thanks also for the review. Very helpful as we love Celebrity also.

Rebecca

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superstein - thanks so much for the recommendation. i'll have to look into that before i go. i am sure that doing it on your own is a lot cheaper than doing it through the ship.

 

No problem - yes, it was cheaper doing it on our own - plus we could pick the time we wanted (ie afternoon) which allowed us to hit the beach in the morning.

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Nancy, that's nice to be able to stay with your parents.

 

On the Zuiderdam, since there are 5 girls, we booked an aft suite for 3 of us and next door to the suite is a mini suite, so we booked that one for the other two girls. When I board the Volendam, I guess you could say I am going from luxury to steerage, I will be on the Main Deck, inside cabin, which I could care less about, just love being on a cruise.

 

Where is your cabin on the Zuiderdam?

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Great review thank you, as "volleymom" has stated I am also on the cruise July 24th. Hopefully they have not switched our itinerary...I'll have to call HAL and see whats up!

 

We have lower main seating; can you tell me what time that would be. We always like late dining, and hopefully that is the case here.

 

Thanks again, your review was nice :)

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Lower main seating is at 8:30. If you are toward the back of the dining room and hear and feel the loud vibration on the first night, don't worry, it will go away. We only heard it the first night. Some people in the early seating said they felt rushed but we were not rushed at all. Our dinners were very relaxing. Warning: Baked Alaska night will fall in the middle of your dinner so don't panic when the lights go out.

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Isis: Thanks, I will try to remember why the lights are going out. Although I am sure that picture of you all shocked is worth every laugh you will share over the years. I am glad you enjoyed your cruise. Thanks for the quick response.

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Hi we will be on the Zuiderdam on the 24th. How did you find out about the change in Cozumel? I will need to change some of my plans if this is the case for us also. Thanks for any help you can give me. Thanks also for the review. Very helpful as we love Celebrity also.

Rebecca

voleymom - i am on the Zuiderdam sailing this Saturday, the 10th. i heard from someone on the roll call board that her TA called saying there had been a change in itinerary. i called HAL directly and found out that indeed there had been a change with the Z arriving in Cozumel at 3 pm on Monday and departing at 3 pm Tuesday rather than just doing Cozumel from 6:30-3 on Tuesday. i know that there has also been a change for the Zuiderdam itinerary on the week of the 17th.. but I had read somewhere else that someone from the 24th sailing called HAL and they said last week that as of that time there was no change to the itinerary on the 24th. keep checking back with HAL directly if you want to know what the latest news is. or go to the roll call for your sailing, they probably have more info.

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I just phoned HAL to see if the change also affected the July 24th sail and as of yet nothing has changed for us. She stated that they have not been notified of changes and said I should call again next week to make sure it is still the same.

 

So as of today we still have the same schedule........

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Doone,

We are in SS 5002, this is our first time with a veranda, I am wondering about the location if we will like it do you know anything about this spot?

I am surprising my husband, he thinks we are in an outside ocean view!

I have been thinking of upgreading to a S ,but am waiting to see if prices go down

Nancy

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Viennacruiser, I am sorry, I am not familiar with any of the cabins on the Zuiderdam. I just heard the aft cabins have the larger balcony area, but I think you'll be fine. Maybe someone else here is more familiar with the cabin. I am wondering if having a cabin upfront like yours if it may get too windy???? Just a thought, anyone know?

 

Enjoy your cruise and your husband is going to be so surprised with the nice cabin.

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Doone,

I was wondering about the wind thing myself...I am hoping someone may have stayed in this Cabin and can fill me in....I think I have enough time to change..maybe I will go Aft!

Nancy

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