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Zaandam Cruise Review to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 69

Overall rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review

7 Night Glacier Discovery Southbound (Seward To Vancouver)

Sail date: July 10, 2016

Ship: Zaandam

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 3315

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

Please read Below for all of the POSITIVES.  


If this is your first cruise, you will probably enjoy it.   HAL paled in comparison to other cruise lines in food service and food quality.


Although there were many experiences that were good, the poor dining experience, lack of professionalism from one of the front desk personnel and ethnic tensions among staff are the the reasons for the above rating.  


Due to discrimination that occured while onboard, I do not intend to use this cruise line again.


Ship experiences

Food and Dining

1 out of 5
Food was incredibly salty No "kids" soft drink package.  Service for anytime dining is poor (2 hours for dinner and staff had to be flagged down to get their attention) Orders were incorrect and  not rectified for over a half hour. We only had ideal service twice for the entire cruise. We were not the only guests that had poor service and incorrect orders. Many of the casual dining staff welcomed guests with a smile.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
The Loft (the teen room) provided many activities that engaged the                            youth traveling with us.


5 out of 5
The onboard entertainment was good - dancers, comedien, magician and staff show. There are smaller venues such as the piano bar player, which provided opportunity for less crowded entertainment. The casino, art auction provided interest to some passengers.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
Melissa in the Loft provided great programs for Teens.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Edie and Davies are amazing cabin stewards. Kaila,the librarian is extremely helpful. Markus and Jay from Marabella Jewelry answered all questions and were experts in jewelry. **Beverage staff had quite unwelcoming body language if you do not order drinks.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
The staterooom stewards are VERY attentive and rectify any issue immediately. Stateroom was well maintained with the exception of some mold in the shower & shower curtain. Only one power outlet per stateroom.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Great cabin. It is a bit noisy since the deck crew is up EARLY washing the deck down. Not the room you want if you plan to sleep in. The beverage department checks stateroom drink bar daily.  (It                 seemed like an invasion as they pounded on the door to enter to see if a $2.25 can of soda was consumed)         We had the misfortune of not having our luggage delivered to the           stateroom until 1.5 hours after leaving Seward AK. Some passengers had their luggage delivered to the wrong stateroom.

Ship tip

The small size of the ship allows you to see more of Glacier Bay. However, the motion of the ship was felt by many passengers for the first two sailing days. Bring your medicine if you are prone to motion sickness.

Ports of call

Seward (Anchorage), Alaska

5 out of 5
We went to Exit Glacier. For $10 per person, you get a round trip shuttle to the glacier. It is about a 30 minute hike to the top. * Bring bug spray - the flies are fierce.

Cruise Glacier Bay

5 out of 5
Glacier Bay was such a phenomenal experience, especially with being able to travel further inland since the Zandaam was a smaller ship.

Haines, Alaska

5 out of 5
Haines is a quaint and friendly town.  The glacier tour is breathtaking and we were able to walk to the face of the glacier.   The tour guides are enthusiastic and very welcoming.

Juneau, Alaska

5 out of 5
Juneau is a jewelry connoisseur's playground with a plethora of merchants. You can walk up to Roberts Trail, heading towards the mining museum. Passengers who did the dog sledding excursions boasted about it.

Ketchikan, Alaska

5 out of 5
The ziplining adventure at Ketchikan offers views of the area, along with the Salmon hatchery and other wildlife, such as bald eagles, bears, native bird species)  

Cruise Inside Passage, Alaska

5 out of 5
Calmer waters were appreciated by all passengers. Water wildlife, dolphins and whales were spotted.

Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia

5 out of 5
There is a storage facility for luggage on the bottom floor of the convention center (disembarkation location) . Capilano Suspension Bridge and treetop adventure is a great place to visit. Free shuttle service from the port to the Bridge.
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