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Holland America - Zuiderdam - Your thoughts

Holland America - Zuiderdam - Your thoughts

Jan 7th, 2011, 04:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 522
Holland America - Zuiderdam - Your thoughts

Hi everyone,
we are starting to plan our trip for the end of the year and I am tossing up between 2 ships. ( The other is Celebrity Equinox )
I have cruised with both lines a number of times and have found both to be very enjoyable.
The Zuiderdam is going to the Panama Canal which is attractive to us however, I am a little concerned that it is an older ship.
We have been on the Eurodam this year and the Noordam last year. We did the Volendam about 8 years ago.
As we are coming at Christmas time our itineraries are limited.
Has anyone been on the Zuiderdam lately and how did you find it?
Is it still nice and comfortable or is it showing its age?
We usually have a balcony cabin.
Thanks for your help
Lordy is offline  
Jan 8th, 2011, 03:20 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,914
Hi Donna
Did you also post this query on cruisecritic? Folks
there definitely have opinions & have sailed recently.
Rhea58 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2011, 05:56 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,426
Personally, as the Equinox was voted best large cruise ship in a recent CN Traveler poll I'd go for her if the itinerary is appealing.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jan 8th, 2011, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 11
Just returned in Nov.from the Zuiderdam,wonderful ship,good food,entertainment.One of the best cruises we have been on,go fot it.
FLUFFYRED is offline  
Jan 8th, 2011, 02:00 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 522
Thanks for your prompt responses.
Both itineraries are very good so it will come down to the ships facillities.
Rhea, I have not registered with Cruise Critic yet but will do it over the holidays.
I am back from Darwin and will drop you a line soon.
Thanks again everyone
Lordy is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 351
We were on Zuiderdam in 2008, and enjoyed the ship and the iterary very much. At that time the ship seemed in excellent condition.
Aristotle is offline  
Jan 14th, 2011, 12:39 AM
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Thanks again everyone.
We are still tossing up between the two ships and itineraries.
Lordy is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,189
We went to Alaska on the Zuiderdam July 2010. This was our very first cruise so I can't compare it to any other cruise. The ship on the whole is in good shape, I thought there were a couple places in our cabin that were showing their age, but we loved the cruise and would do another one on the Zuiderdam in a heartbeat!

We were thinking about doing Panama Canal on the Zuiderdam too, but the dates just don't work for us.

utahtea is offline  
Jul 28th, 2011, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12
We are doing Pannam canal Jan 16,same cruise,same price but an extra stop at another island added.. Check it out
njislander is offline  
Jul 29th, 2011, 06:05 PM
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Thanks njislander but we have booked on the Equinox already.
Counting down unti Jan.
Lordy is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2011, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 14
I think you made the best choice. I was with someone today who was not impressed with the food on Zuiderdam. The Celebrity ship will be newer and nicer.
Marcheline is offline  
Aug 4th, 2011, 12:00 AM
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I was with someone today who was not impressed with the food on Zuiderdam.

Maybe we are very easily pleased but we thought the food on the Zuiderdam was fantastic!

utahtea is offline  
Jan 4th, 2014, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,133
We are just back from the Zuiderdam's Western Caribbean trip (7 nights) and as I had some trouble finding recent reviews of the ship, I wanted to post this in case others are looking, to say the ship is in good shape, everything was clean and the service very very good. We thought the food was good, as well.

The clientele seems a little older than we are (early 50s, with two teen children) but there were many families traveling with teen children, likely because it was a trip over New Year's Eve, a school holiday. Very few very small children -- and after two Disney cruises when ours were wee ones, it was good to be with an older set of kids.

Entertainment was so-so -- we enjoyed a juggler, a magician and the "Music of the 50s" or some such...the New Year's Eve party was OK but not really my cup of tea... We actually preferred the classical music - piano and violin playing Baroque duets- and the ambience of the Crow's Nest and the library next to it. Of far greater interest to us were the activities available in ports - snuba-diving and ziplining in Honduras, snorkeling and Stingray City on Grand Cayman, and chilling on the beach -- THE GOOD BEACH IN THE TOWN of Mahahual, NOT the area near the cruise port at Costa Maya.

The staterooms were fabulous - big balconies with 4 chairs, one big table, one small table and two ottomans each, bathrooms had double sink vanities, long whirlpool tub, separate shower stall. Plenty of room in the rooms themselves - They were called "signature suites" but weren't really suites, just bigger verandah rooms that were worth the $200 per person upgrade charge. Beds were extremely comfortable. Lovely vacation and I'd go on that ship again.
bakerstreet is online now  
Jan 4th, 2014, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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bakerstreet, thanks for for the quick TR. With the 4 of you, would the $200 per person upgrade charges comes to $800?

re entertainemnt: although I am from that generation, I still prefer music from more recent era and classicals to music from the 50s.

We love to hang out at the library. It is never busy and there are lots of privavcy.

If you like classical music, you might want to check out Princess cruises. One of the feature that we really enjoy is a string quartet playing light classical music several times daily at the Piazza. They also perform a full one hour concert at one of the show room, playing longer pieces.
Eschew is offline  
Jan 4th, 2014, 10:52 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,133
Yes, 800 total for upgrade and I wasn't sure if it was going to be worth it -- we booked last-minute when I realized we could all get away for a week together and those times are becoming more scarce. All that was left for booking was two regular balcony cabins far apart from each other, on different sides and ends of the ship, and these two upgraded ones side by side; unwilling to risk being separated so far, I thought "in for a penny, in for a pound" and took the adjacent ones. Ended up being extremely glad we did. In addition to being close together, it was so pleasant to have those rooms with the space and big balconies. We received value for that cost.

Since anyone opening this thread is interested in learning about this particular ship, I'll say to give a little context it was our 4th cruise. We did two Disney Magic 7-night cruises, an Eastern and a Western Caribbean, and a Royal Caribbean 7-night Alaskan Inside Passage cruise from Vancouver. All with our children, all with balcony cabins, and the others with friends or family along. Things I especially liked about this one on the Zuiderdam: the service was uniformly excellent. The food was good. The ship never seemed crowded, though I know it was filled to capacity. I even appreciated the seemingly small things like we didn't have to put on our life jackets for the safety drill muster the first afternoon, and the captain's and cruise director's intercom announcements were broadcast in the public areas including hallways, but not into the staterooms so they were never intrusive.

Shipboard entertainment was pretty boring on the whole, other than the things I mentioned -- Eschew, sounds like we may like similar music -- there's a casino and son and I stopped for awhile to watch, but neither interested in playing as we are aware of the odds; there's a lot of talk about shopping, there's bingo, more talk about shopping... honestly, if the cruise had been longer with more days at sea we would have been frustrated at the lack of things to do on board, but we were very active on port days off of the ship so we truly rested during the 2 sea days. And that library area was excellent!!

We had a great time and I would go again on the Zuiderdam!
bakerstreet is online now  

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