Zaandam Cruise Review to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Contributor Level: Second Mate

2-3 cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Know Before You Go

Sail Date: July 10, 2016

Reviewed: 10 months ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Oceanview

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.


Cabin / Stateroom
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.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Easy on, easy off.
Ship Quality
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.
Destinations and Excursions
The ports of call were the best aspect of this cruise. It would be better if there was more time at port.
Onboard Activities
The Loft (the teen room) provided many activities that engaged the                            youth traveling with us.
Children's Programs
Melissa in the Loft provided great programs for Teens.
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.
Service and Staff
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.
Food and Dining
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.
Seward (Anchorage), Alaska
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
Glacier Bay was such a phenomenal experience, especially with being able to travel further inland since the Zandaam was a smaller ship.
Haines, Alaska
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
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
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
Calmer waters were appreciated by all passengers. Water wildlife, dolphins and whales were spotted.
Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia
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.


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.

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