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WestKnoxVOL

Belated Zuiderdam comments from 5-22 Voyage

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This was the 3rd cruise I'd been on, the other two being on Carnival ships. Overall I enjoyed my experience on the Zuiderdam, I thought the furniture and fixtures in the dining and lounging areas etc. were magnificent, a true work of art. Our room stewards were top notch as were our servers at Dinner (Gede, Putra and Adhi)- three men from Bali who treated us like royalty. Again my only other dining experience on a cruise was Carnival Fantasy and I had a worse experience with the dining room.

 

Very family oriented cruise which was fine because I was with my parents and younger sister and her son. However I did think the night life left a lot to be desired. "Northern Lights" disco was a disappointment for the most part. I realize that HAL caters to families but there will always be that group of minglers that like to hang out late. HAL could boost revenue with a more exciting bar experience. Enough of the negatives as there were many more positives. The entertainment was great. I especially enjoyed the dance crew; a very talented bunch as was the magician, James Ceilen and the Elton John tribute man, Joel. The casino was fun. I thought the free craps lesson was a nice touch to the trip. The buffet on the Lido deck was always fresh.

 

I was somewhat disappointed with the lack of time at the ports. IMO St Thomas and Half Moon Cay should have been all day calls, with the boat leaving around 11. I'd say scratch the Nassau stop on the Eastern Carribean run altogether. I was pretty unimpressed with the beach at Paradise Island. Loved the beaches at HMC and St Thomas though.

 

The HAL crew did a good job of making everyone feel at home. I would definately cruise on the Zuiderdam again. I'd take the Western route next time.

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I was somewhat disappointed with the lack of time at the ports. IMO St Thomas and Half Moon Cay should have been all day calls,

 

?? What time did actualy leave St Thomas? No 11pm departure ?? Were they switching the St Thomas and Tortola stops around even back in May ??

 

Just curious

 

Srpilo

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We just returned from Eastern Caribbean on Zuiderdam and I agree that the departure times were too early. We had to be back on the boat by 3PM from Half Moon Cay, 5:30PM from Tortola, 5:30PM from St. Thomas and 6:30PM from Nassau. Across the board we thought the departure times were too early.

 

Now, we mentioned to other cruisers that we would have loved to stay at Half Moon Cay for 3 more hours and found that they had a very different opinion. Not everyone wanted to stay ashore longer like we did. I thought on St. Thomas that we seemed to be running the whole day to get to St. John and be back on the ferry in time to get back to the ship.

 

I guess everyone has different opinions, but we thought the in port times could have been extended.:)

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We left HMC at 5 pm.

HAL did indeed switch the Tortolla and St Thomas ports, stopping in Tortolla first. We left Tortolla at 7 pm heading to ST. The next day we left ST at 5:30.

As close as ST and Tortolla are it's a shame that HAL doesn't design day 3 in ST, head out at 11pm and take a shorter route to Tortolla. What is it 30 miles between the two stops?

 

I thought HMC was next level even though the weather was overcast. Would have loved to stayed there later.

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The first cruise I went on back in '99 was on Carnival to the western caribbean and they only made 3 stops in 7 days. I kind of liked that because we were able to stay in Cozumel overnight which gave us ample time to do whatever. It was nice to be able to do stuff during the day, go back to the ship and then go back out for some nightlife. I've done my last 2 cruises on the Z and would have liked to have stayed in St. Thomas overnight and this past May it would have been nice to do the same in either Key West or Cozumel again. On the other hand, it's kind of nice I guess to have a little less time at sea and a bit more scenery.

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I've often wondered what the big hurry is leaving one island when the next day's island is such a very short distance away. Could it be that the pilots for that island refuse to work past 6 or 7 PM? OR could it be that none of the pilots want to working midnight when ship could sail? OR maybe the ship wants to be able to sell more stuff in their shops (since the shops have to be closed when ship in port). None of the reasons for sailing earlier are for convenience, pleasure or enjoyment of the passengers. Seems like if a ship waited til midnight to sail, the entertainers would have an easier time dancing on the stage!

 

When we were on Brilliance & stopped in Aruba, ship did not sail til 1 AM -- that's the ONLY time we've had a sailaway later than 6 PM (except embarkation/sailaway in San Juan which is always not til 11PM or midnight.

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