15 Night Circle Hawaii (San Diego Roundtrip) Sail Date: March 07, 2009 Ship: Zaandam Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 8 years ago
The ship was beautifully decorated - fresh flowers everywhere. The food was excellent. We only cruise Holland America now because we like their excellence in cruising but this cruise outdid them all. There was a lot of live good music in the evenings - a great variety from pop to strings to big band to the oldies. They have an excellent band that backs up all their big shows. The performers were above average. We were on the ship two weeks and the whole big show agenda was changed out to new performers for the second week. Everything was kept fresh all the time to the fruit and flowers in our cabin. Tendering went without a flaw - not easy for me to handle that. The Captain ran everything on time on this ship and it was truly ship-shape. His excellence was felt all the way through the ship and from all the crew.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
The restaurant food was excellent and changed all through the two weeks. They make the greatest soups and will get you anything you ask for. We had the "eat when you wish" dining and we like that much better than an assigned time. The restaurant food was so good and well presented that we never went to the restaurant service that you pay extra for. On other cruise lines, that was mainly where we ate for a good dinner. We ate in our cabin several breakfasts and also midnight ice cream. Their room service was quick and the food was either hot or cold as it should be.
5 out of 5
There were many activities of all kinds going on - probably because of so many sea days. They changed the movies out on the tv everyday. The big shows were excellent - I think above cruise ship quality because of the economy and top performers are more available to do cruises. All our shows for the two weeks were fabulous - and the second week had all new performers. It was an amazing cruise to just rest or do what you want.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
All the crew was ready to help at any time. Our cabin steward was so solicitous. He kept everything in order at all times.
5 out of 5
This was a 1,400 passenger ship (smaller) and we liked it fine. The food service seemed to be able to handle the lesser crowds more easily than on the bigger ships. It was always kept spotless but again, I think this was the Captain's expectations and he ran a great ship. The crew and Captain were always visible. I was impressed that the crew including the Captain would work any level of the ship if necessary for a time - like moving folks to tenders, observing activities - see how things were going and join in getting things done.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
This is the largest balcony cabin we have had on any line. Holland American's beds are good with the regular thick mattresses. The bathroom had a tub with a shower over it so it was easy to take a shower with enough room to move.
Honolulu is always fun and Oahu. We have been to most things on this island so we took the red and blue trolley lines. Took seven hours to do that. We enjoyed that.
Don't Miss: North shore and the east side of the island
Pros: how well the ship was managed, food, stewards, activities, shows
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