South American Zaandam Cruise
Holland America continues its excellent service, from room stewards to dining room staff to the wine steward. Ship is well decorated, but some of the bathrooms in the staterooms need a little more attention based on old tile and grout. We departed from Buenos Aires, visited Falkland Islands, rounded Cape Horn, and ended up in Valpairaso, Chile. Ports were great. However, both the embarkation and debarkation processes were somewhat chaotic. Once we met the HAL rep after getting our baggage in Buenos Aires, the process from then on to get luggage loaded and on the transfer bus had no plan - we finally figured out what to do ourselves. On debarkation, we had an independent tour, and there were no staff to help us figure out where to meet those reps.
We took 2 Delta Skymile shore excursions instead of HAL ones - Buenos Aires tour was disappointing in that they had no intention of returning us to the ship but never told us in the advertisement - caused a HUGE problem in getting back because there was a subway strike and traffic jams. We walked about a mile on unfamiliar streets trying to find port. The other tour, in Valparaiso, was wonderful. Took us from ship to old part of town (but tour description never said we were going to walk 3 miles up and down hills - that needs to be added because we had some elderly, disabled folks on the tour), to Vino del Mar for a nice lunch, and to a winery - and then delivery to airport - great guide.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Be careful with independent tours - sometimes they don't meet at the terminal that ship comes in on (Puerto Arenas) and sometimes they don't take you back to ship (Buenos Aires). So plan carefully what you want to do with HAL and what you don't - HAL shore excursions may be late in posting availabil