Review by snspeyer

Zaandammmmmn I'm Dehydrated!

In response to review, CrusinTim says ...

With all due respect, everything you complained about could have been avoided with some research prior to booking. Also, you mention you have friends that have cruised before, did they not explain any of these things to you? I'll reply by the numbers as you have posted in the review...1) Unfortunately you found this out the hard way. And I agree, ALWAYS book your own room and don't rely on the "Guarantee" booking hoping for an upgrade. I found out in 3 mouse clicks that your cabin HH3300 on the Lower Deck as a fully obstructed view. 2) I would have thought your friends would have enlightened you on this WELL known fact. Soda and alcohol are never included unless you are sailing with an upper scale line that offers it as part of the cruise. 3) The $11 a day they charge are for gratuities for not only your cabin steward. The money is shared amongst many crew members including your Dining Room staff. You could have adjusted the amounts at any time by going to the pursers/customer service desk onboard. Before auto-tipping became policy on cruises, the passengers would hand out money envelopes to the crew on the last night of the cruise to such crew as the cabin steward and dining room staff. 4) No, WiFi is not free and this could have been known if you had done some research. It isn't free on most cruise lines. 5) Again, research in the form of past cruisers on that ship in forums. The Zaandam holds a little over 2000 passengers and crew. Although not what I would call a small ship, the public areas may have caused you to feel enclosed. I also get a print of my cabin charges every two days just to make sure I'm staying on budget.  Don't give up on cruises based on just one. Just do a bit more research prior to booking next time. You already have a lot of pertinent info to sail on.






Tags: Holland America Line Zaandam Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

5 Answers

I agree. It would have been helpful to have visited the HAL Website before your cruise. All your surprises are mentioned there. Now you are an experienced cruiser so there will little unexpected negative surprises on your next cruise. You can't blame HAL for what you didn't know ahead of time. All cruise lines operate the same way.

As for your disappointment with your room, there is a reason why these rooms are less expensive. You do get what you pay for. Chalk up your experience as being a newcomer to cruising. Thanks for alerting other first time cruisers.

Your photos are wonderful. I enjoyed viewing them all. Thanks for the great port tips too. They are very helpful.

And now you know! Experience in cruising is a must, especially if you are doing the common cruise lines.

If you want to avoid surprises ,do more research on the cruise line website.

They normally have the contract which includes everything you need to know.

I agree with Cruisin Tim. I have sailed on the Zaandam twice. I enjoyed the ship a great deal. However, I really like the smaller ships. Happy

How do you book a ship and not find out until you get on it that it is a small ship ? I would blame the TA or who they booked with for not letting them know these things if they are first time cruisers.

You live and you learn, Next time you will know what to ask and what to expect.

Thank you for posting your review. I am in agreement with what others have shared. Cruising is great but we always take the time to do our own research on things ahead of time so we don't get blindsided. I'd be more miffed with my cruising-experienced friends for not sharing a bit of their knowledge with me. If you used a TA for this cruise, I highly recommend that you find another one before planning your next voyage - and I truly hope you try it again.

* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.