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Just back from the Zaandam

Vancouver, BC

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We had a wonderful cruise July 3-10. This was our first HAL experience. Our first impression of the ship was that it was rather modest (in both size and decor) compared to our last cruise (on the Grand Princess). However, the ship grew on us (and we grew on the ship, I'm afraid!) as the week progressed. We really liked all of the intimate lounges, particularly at night.


Passenger ages were mixed, although there was a pretty good number of older passengers. There were 85 kids on board (largely invisible due to many organized activities for them). Our daughters (age 11 and 14) enjoyed themselves, although only the younger one participated in Club HAL (and she used it mostly as a place to meet kids to hang out with outside of the club). My mother was with us, and she said this was the youngest crowd she has seen on HAL (but her previous cruises were long ones likely attractive to retirees). Lots of large family reunion type groups.


Weather cooperated (no rain and comfortable temps). We needed fleece jackets at times, but never a rain coat.


Food was fabulous. Lido cafe a bit undersized for the number of patrons, but staff made great efforts to get everyone seated. We enjoyed the entertainment (both musical groups in lounges and shows in main theatre). Quite varied.


Living in Vancouver, we thought the scenery would be similar to home. Some of it was, but we loved it nonetheless. The scenic cruising at Gacier Bay was a highlight. On our last evening during dinner, the ship slowed for both a beach loaded with sea lions and a pod of orca whales. Wonderful.


I seem to be at maximum space. Am happy to answer any Q you might have.

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Sounds like you had a marvelous time---I can hardly wait for my turn in 10 days---My ?'s are: #1-Did they have a theme night where you wore a hawaiian shirt or a crazy hat or anything other type item? I hate being unprepared.

#2: Where was your cabin?

#3: Is there anything that you didn't take but wished you had?

Thanks so much--the anticipation is delicious!!:p

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Glad you enjoyed the Zaandam, we sailed her on the Spring repo cruise....Florida to Vancouver. A lot of the entertainment were leaving the ship when we got to Vancouver, could you tell me who was playing in the Ocean bar, Piano bar and Crows nest? We sail again on the Z in Dec. Back to Backs......jean

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Glad you had a good first experience on HAL and in Alaska. I've never been on the Zaandam but will be cruising on her, as will Jean, in December.


BTW, your hometown is one of my 2 favorite cities in the world, the other being Paris. Vancouver is definitely top notch in my book.



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There was no theme night (so you can leave your Hawaiian shirt at home this time).


We had an outside cabin on deck 2 (main deck) towards the back of the ship. The ship's thrusters were right underneath so a few times we could hear a grinding-type noise (only once in the night, thankfully; captain said they were fighting tides that night). A nice thing about deck 2 is that we were allowed off the ship first in every port.


We forgot to bring binoculars, which would have been handy, given all of the wildlife sitings.


The overall atmosphere was quite casual. People looked nice on formal night, but there were few tuxes or really formal gowns.


Have fun.

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Thanks for the info Vancouver, BC~~I do hate to be unprepared!!


Good to know about the Deck 2 and first off in port deal and also

on the formal gown situation as well.


I have placed our binoculars in 'the pile' to be packed.....


BTW: What movies were playing in the theater?


Just 8 days til we sail!!!

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