CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Holland America Line Zuiderdam by JerseyGirl 22 Eastern Caribbean July 5, 2003

We just got back from our 7 day cruise aboard the Zuiderdam(Z-cider-dam) to the Eastern Caribbean. We were 16 people ranging from 18 to 70 with a majority in the 40's on our first cruise. Getting on and off the ship was smooth. Our rooms were bigger and nicer then we had hoped. We all had BB verandah suites.

Thanks to all the reviews we read it helped us to make the right choice for seating in the dining room. We chose the second level (Vista 3) Thank God! We had breakfast in the lower dinning room and the coffee cups were falling off the tables. It was very difficult to eat in the lower dining room just about every night. The seas were very rough but when we asked why the glasses were rattling the staff said the vibration was from the captain trying to make port on time. Five days out of 7 it was almost impossible to walk straight in the dining room (and that was on the 2nd level).

The food was good and you could have as much as you wanted. The staff was wonderful (they were all Asian)...

There is a terrible problem with sewage smells. Two of the 8 cabins we had were woken up in the middle of the night with the strong smell of sewage. The front desk was called. They acknowledge the smells and said the sewage was being processed and sometimes it gets in the air-conditioning vents. They filed a report and we heard nothing more. This only happened one night.The smells were also in some of the hallways around the ship. You would turn a corner and there it was.

The ships decor reminded me of one of the older casinos in Atlantic City.(Slightly tacky)

The seas were terribly rough. My son is a captain on a charter fishing boat out of Miami and told us the seas were some of the roughest he had seen. The patch was what I used and it helped me to get through the cruise. The showroom was so rocky even the acts were commenting on the movement. The comedian (Bernie)was great and the best act on the ship. The rest of the shows were OK and the impressionist was torture to watch!

We ate one night in the Odyssey ($20.00 p.p.).The wine didn't get to the table until dinner was served. The staff said the wine cellar was on another deck (order before you go)

The food in the Vista was good and plentiful (as much as you wanted).The Lido was were we had breakfast and snacks. There is a grill and a taco bar at the pool. Room service was always a problem. When we wanted soup it wasn't available at the time. I thought room service had everything you could want and more.

We all used the Spa. One of us had a masseuse fall asleep while giving a foot massage. She was not charged for the massage and compted another.

Half Moon Cay was beautiful. This was the only island that you needed to tender. We loved St. Thomas the best of all the stops.

Don't go to the wine tasting unless you didn't get a good nights sleep. The wine steward said he would keep it light and not serious and oh boy did he lie! We are members of the James Beard Society and attend many wine tasting and dinners. Never had a wanted to walk out in the middle of anything but this tasting. Don't waste your time or the $7.50.

Take the tour through the kitchen. It would have been much nicer if it was guided. They give you a map of what you are looking at. We also went to the cooking demo of the chef from the Odyssey. All in all I would rate this cruise a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.I don't think the ship deserves a 5 star rating in anything expect the service staff.

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