We cruised Christmas week RT from Port Canaveral to the Western Caribbean. We are an empty nester couple in our 50s. Although we have cruised Crystal to Alaska and Celebrity to Europe, this was our first Caribbean cruise. We were quite satisfied with the overall cruise. Embarkation at Port Canaveral was efficient; the terminal there is quite nice.Positives on this luded "can do" friendly attitude of most staff including dining room, cabin steward,cruise director, casino staff; cleanliness of ship, waits were either very short or nonexistant for meals, tenders, embarkation and debarkation. Our "two porthole" cabin on main deck near aft portion of the ship was very nice-sized, had great storage space and roomy bathroom. That portion of the ship does feel a lot of vibration as the ship slows down and speeds up leaving and entering ports. As one would expect from Holland America's typical clientele, not a tremendous number of kids for a holiday week, but many intergenerational families on board.The ship had some weaknesses which I will point out for information purposes, but they did not detract very much from our cruise: Minimal perfunctory entertainment, garbage smell in aft hallways for first day of the cruise, about which I had read from another reviewer. Hotel director told me they had had some problems like this before and that it had something to do with proximity of garbage collection area and the ship at Port Canaveral. Lido deck buffet food was only fair but acceptable, dining room food was slightly better, but not great. Health club staff, especially the fitness director had a horrible attitude, insulted passengers and seemed not to be competent. As somewhat experienced cruisers we are used to the sometimes harsh sales techniques and abruptness with which Steiner-employed spa staff treats passengers, but this was the worst we'd seen. There was a charge for substandard health club classes. We were somewhat disappointed that there were no educational/lecture series re: ports of call or any other subject.As every cruise has its pros and cons, overall we feel good about the Zaandam and Holland America and have already booked our next cruise--New England/Canada this summer on the Rotterdam.
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