Zaandam Cruise Review to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Contributor Level: Third Mate

Experience
2-3 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
16

4 out of 5

Zaandam a lovely ship

Sail Date: May 17, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Oceanview

Although I had an exceptional vacation, and would recommend the Zaandam for it's excellent voyage itinerary, more intimate size, tasteful cuisine and nicely appointed rooms and public areas; the cruise was not without faults.  Although as individuals I believe the 'international' staff tried to be professional, pleasant and accommodating, the (more than one incidence) language barrier made for less than expected experiences.  Some of the 'classes' were very poorly presented, either because presenters were ill prepared or could not articulate (why put a staff member in that position?)  It was also quite noticeable that if a mere question was asked concerning an off ship detail that was not Holland related, the staff suddenly had no knowledge to share. Word of wisdom, be sure to check your statement for errors the last night on the ship - the line at the service counter was quite long and sometimes 'vocal'.

Cruise Photos

Ship Quality
Lovely ship, I would say the bathrooms could use an update
Food and Dining
Excellent dinner in the Pinnacle. Service a little too 'relexed' in Rotterdam, dinner in Canaletto a total disappointment, not worthy of the surcharge
Service and Staff
Rag, the wine Sommelier was beyond exceptional, extremely knowledgeable, gave a fabulous wine tasting class and was personable and friendly during other parts of the cruise - whish I could say same about beer tasting (read all the notes off cards) and the edible flower arrangements (forgot the correct knive, language difficulties - I blame the co-host - she 'threw' the young man 'under the bus' instead of 'picking the ball up' and covering (she was after all, one of the entertainment co-hosts on stage)
Entertainment
the guest comedian was the best entertainment
Children's Programs
Not applicable to me
Onboard Activities
adequate, but I expected the selection and level of quality to be higher
Destinations and Excursions
All ports of call exceptional
Cabin / Stateroom
I loved retiring each evening to a new 'sea creature' welcoming me to the room. My room stewards were exceptional, thank you.
Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia
HIGHLY recommend arriving a day early to take off the stress. Spend time outdoors if the weather permits - visit Stanley Park - it's spectacular
Cruise Inside Passage, Alaska
Explore past all the gift shops - each town is equally quaint and the people friendly. If you are able walk beyond 'Main Street' - find the local hiking path.
Ketchikan, Alaska
DO visit one of the Totem Pole parks - but then head to Deer Trail Mountain fora fabulous hike through rain forest type of foliage as you climb toward the summit as much as time will allow before you have to back down same way to get back on ship
Juneau, Alaska
LOVED ocean kayaking, hike to falls near Mendenhall Glacier and a stop at Alaska Brewing Company for Beer Tasting. If there are enough people in your group to fill a taxi you can enjoy friendliness of a local taxi driver instead of doing a large tour bus.
Skagway, Alaska
Perfect in every way! We took a helicopter to the top of Meade glacier where my daughter was married. Skagway will always be dear to me!
Cruise Glacier Bay
Incredible scenery - stay outside, but position yourself to where you can here the Park Service Rangers - they have incredible knowledge/stories worth hearing as you take in heaven on earth!
Seward (Anchorage), Alaska
Adorable town, much less 'commercial' than the others on the itinerary. The Sea Life Marine Center is a MUST SEE, remember that the admisision fee (2015 $20.) is well worth the price, as it helps save our magnificent nature.

Tip

Read all the information left outside your door or on your bed - all worth the time to be up to date on activities etc. Request a statement the evening of the last night at sea, it gives you time to check for errors and have them corrected before the final statement is processed.



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