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lakeboji

Zuiderdam...February 17-27

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We just returned from 10 days aboard the Zuiderdam, and it's time to share a few thoughts.

Parking in Ft. lauderdale: We parked with Park n Go, and it was a great experience. $10.50/day with AAA, They met us at our car as we parked, loaded our bags, drove us to the terminal, dropped us, where our bags were picked up by a porter, and we didn't see them again until they were delivered to our cabin. At the end of the cruise, they were waiting at the terminal, picked up the bags, drove us back to the parking area, unloaded the bags, and even put them in the trunk. What service!

Embarkation and boarding: Very smooth...However, rooms were not ready until after 2:00...and bags did not arrive until late afternoon. It is our understanding that this was due to an immigration check of the crew.

Cabin: Our deluxe suite was everything we expected. We had friends in verandas, and friends in an inside, and they also were pleased. Our cabin steward Kade was there for any need we had. I asked him how it was working to have "teams", and he said they had been doing it for 3 months, and were getting the hang of it.

Ports: We did not visit Half Moon Cay since we have done that twice before...besides, we like the peaceful Lido when most everyone is off the ship. We did not disembark in Aruba either. In Curacao we took a private tour... and it was wonderful. We got off the ship and were immediately approached...which always happens! There were 8 of us, so we signed up with a tour of Curacao that included the brewery...for $20/person...it was great! The Panama Canal was everything we expected. In Costa Rica we had scheduled a private tour with JJ Tours...arranged via e-mail with JJ, and it was good also. $45/person for a 4 hour tour of Costa Rica which included a stop at a fruit stand, banana plantation, beach, and a river ride through the rain forest, where we saw monkeys, slouths, native birds etc. JJ was very entertaining and knowlegable.We also stopped at a local grocery store where we were able to buy coffee for $1.50/bag, compared to $7/bag on the pier. He can be contacted at joiner72@hotmail.com

Dining: There were 8 of us traveling together, and we chose AYWD which worked well. We usually met at the Vista Dining Room at 7:00, and rarely had to wait for a large table. A few times we did split into two groups, but the tables were always next to each other. The food was what we expected...too much! but good!

Activities: We were disappointed that there was no hosted bridge...there was a large group of quilters who had taken over both of the rooms usually used for card playing. Our group pf 8 did participate is many activities, and collected "Dam Dollars" for each activity. By the end of the cruise we had collected enough Dam Dollars for each of the couples to redeem them for t shirts, sweatshirts, caps or key chains.

All in all it was a great experience!

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Thank you for posting your review. We'll be on the Zuiderdam, same itinerary, in 5 1/2 weeks -- can't wait! One question -- was the visit to the distillery in Curacao worth it? We're thinking of seeing it. Thanks!

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The distillery was OK...I wouldn't book it from the ship though...Grab a tour when you get off the ship...There are plenty available.

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The distillery was OK...I wouldn't book it from the ship though...Grab a tour when you get off the ship...There are plenty available.

 

Thanks. :) We're thinking of either renting a car that day or taking public transportation, haven't decided yet.

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Glad you had a great cruise! We are on the Zuiderdam on 29/3/09, and are really interested to know your thoughts regarding the onboard entertainment.

Did you find the entertainment/shows/ music appealed to all ages? Also we are taking our kids 11 & 9 years, do you think there will be enough to occupy them?

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We thought the entertainment was OK...not great, but good. We did not go to the "show" every night however, so we may not be good judges.

As far as activities for the chiuldren, there were a number of children on the cruise, and they must have been kept quite busy because we rarely saw them.

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Glad you had a great cruise! We are on the Zuiderdam on 29/3/09, and are really interested to know your thoughts regarding the onboard entertainment.

 

Did you find the entertainment/shows/ music appealed to all ages? Also we are taking our kids 11 & 9 years, do you think there will be enough to occupy them?

We were on the 1/28/09 Zuiderdam cruise and really enjoyed several of the shows. They had Paul Tanner-singer impressionist-- who is an excellent entertainer and Wowed the crowd with his impressions of Nat King Cole, Elvis, Garth Brooks, and many, many others. Another show was Mysteriaque-- a combination of magic & acrobatics, also excellent, and another was the steel drum band, Island Magic who were also excellent. The Hal singers & dancers work very hard and do put on some great shows as well.

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We're heading out on 3/19. Can't wait. This winter has been too long. We're booked on Okey Dokey tours in Costa Rico. Read about on several spots on Cruise Critic. Are traveling with a group of 7.

 

Chatty Cathy

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