January 2016 - Zuiderdam to Caribbean
There are things that one takes for granted after sailing with a cruise line four times. With HAL, we've enjoyed easy on and easy off our ship. That was on the case with our cruise to the Panama Canal on Jan. 25th. The port in Fort Lauderdale and our cruise line seemed to be at a loss as to how to take care of so many people. Ah.... unpleasant.
Most disappointing was what i call the "Carnivalization of Holland America". Everywhere were there salesmen wanting us to buy pictures, manicures, watches, bingo cards, art auction tickets, excursions. Did I forget something? Oh yes, future cruises. "Enough already"... I wish I'd said.
We wanted to go to the beach in Curacao. The ship offered an excursion to the beach for $55 pp. We decided to hop a public bus and paid $6 for us both--round trip.
On a bright note, the service staff on the Zuiderdam was still old fashioned HAL. I suspect that will go by the wayside too, dagnabbit.