CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Holland America Line Zuiderdam by Judy M Panama Canal September 29, 2007

Cabin We were in cabin 5104 which was directly over the tenders. That was a bit disappointing, but once we got used to them, they were easy to ignore. Plus having the chance to see them being deployed for use was actually quite interesting.

The cabin was roomier than expected, and two people with clothes for 21 days had no trouble finding storage space. We had empty drawers and hangers once we'd unpacked.

We had a lovely sized bathroom and the medicine cabinet was larger than ours at home. The flusher on our toilet was less than accurate though. My elderly mother had nothing but trouble trying to make it work. The European style shower was another issue for her. The left tap controls the water and the right controls the temperature.

The sofa in our stateroom had seen better days but I understand the ship is going in for a refit soon.

I'll agree with all the comments about the comfort of the beds. In fact, two days after our return home, I had to go out and purchase a new mattress as I could no longer justify sleeping on the one we had!

Ship My overall impression of the fittings and decor on the Zuiderdam is positive. Very elegant, just like I expected a cruise ship to be.

The library is sufficient, but the best part is the paperback swap. I read about 17 novels on the trip and only had to purchase 4 of them. The rest were trades.

I used the Internet onboard once. Ridiculous charges so that was that. At least I can say I did it and can put forth my opinion.

The stores are good, but I found that the staff in the one "department" type store could have been MUCH friendlier and more helpful. If customer service is important, these folks need a bit more training.

Staff Members I had no negative experiences outside the stores as mentioned above. In fact, I was amazed by the ability of staff to remember so many people's names on such a consistent basis!

Special kudos to Purwadi, our room steward. He looked after us so well! His wife had their second child while we were onboard. His contract doesn't expire for 7 more months and as a parent, I felt very empathetic to his situation.

Edrin and Marcie from the Windstar Cafe! Two of the sweetest people! They were over and above what you would expect from people who make your specialty coffee for you. Wonderful! We felt like their favorite customers and I know ALL their customers felt the same way.

Food The food was okay. Nothing special and my favorite food, sushi, was not done well. I did continue to eat it, but the first thing I did upon my return 3 days ago was head out to my favorite restaurant and eat GOOD sushi!

My mom and I ate a couple of times in the dining room, but we found that the food at the buffet was the same quality and we could set our own hours.

Entertainment The few times we went to the Vista Lounge, we truly enjoyed the presentations. Lots of excellent talent!

Overall I never felt the ship was crowded except for the couple of times the coffee ran out during the breakfast rushes.

The teak and cushioned deck chairs were my favorite hangouts.

Our fellow travelers were, for the most part, wonderful and we made quite a few shipboard friends.

I/we would cruise again on the Zuiderdam with no hesitation whatsoever.

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