Ed & Gail Quinnan- Zaandam- S. America/Antarctica :Jan.10-31, 2017

Zaandam Cruise Review to South America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 37

Overall rating:

4 out of 5
Verified Review

21 Night South America & Antartica (Buenos Aires To Santiago)

Sail date: January 10, 2017

Ship: Zaandam

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 7069

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

This was a magnificent cruise indeed. Great food and wonderful service as we have come to expect from HA. My favorite part was the Antarctic landing excursion and the beauty of the Chilean fiords. Argentinian Patagonia looked like hills east of San Diego.


As two star mariners and approaching three stars we had hoped to be offered a suite upgrade to a Neptune Suite and never were. We met people on the ship who were offered that upgrade with no Mariner status at all and for a few thousand dollars more...


The most disappointing (and annoying part) of the cruise was that our Vista stateroom, 7069 was directly below the Lido Deck smoking area. It was not the smoke that was the problem, but the constant scraping of the deck chairs literaly above our bed in the stateroom. We had a hard time sleeping in the morning and in the end wore ear plugs. The acoustics of the stateroom and the metal chairs on a steel deck were surprising loud. We asked the concierge several time to consider moving the area to the port side which had the same chair setup, but no one ever sat there- the smokers were always moving chairs except when sea conditions were bad. So the noise only stopped after midnight. We were disappointed that the staff did not address our concerns. We were placated with apologies, but no action...

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Consistently outstanding. One exception: the pizza on the Lido Deck was horrible. VERY unusual for HA. Coffee needs to be a bit stronger too.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
We really enjoyed the Antarctic lecture series and the visit and lecture with the folks from Palmer Station. HA really did a great job with informing us about where we were and what was going on in our respective visited areas. It might be nice to sail a few miles more to the Antarctic circle- we made it to 65.1 degrees south latitude...


5 out of 5

Children's Programs

Club HAL was closed- No kids!

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Except for the loud deck chair lack of response all was outstanding. HA knows what they are doing here. Alex in Shore Excursions was particularly great; he led the Antarctic Landing too. Alex had a very nice way about him- very professional

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Zaandam is a lovely old queen with elegance everywhere. We hung out in the Crow's Nest- never felt crowded except in the seating for the Antarctic lectures which were very outstanding indeed! Cabins are dated for sure- Closet areas need lighting- we brought a flashlight just to see our clothing. Bath too small- needs magnified mirror. Toilet requires touching the seat to flush? Bad design. We brought a three plug 110V adaptor for charging I phones- Only one 110V plug_ Bad...

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Some comments are above, but too dark by closets, need additional outlets, bathroom very dated. Flushing toilet requires touching seat each time- bad design. For us, it was a bit small for 21 days.. Magnified mirror needed in bathroom. Please don't charge us for bottled water in the room after we spent over $21K on the cruise!!

Ship tip

Bring a flashlight for your cabin- very dark! Bring a three pronged 11V outlet for your phone charging etc. Nice to have satellite internet; it worked well for emails, etc, but way too pricey @ approximately 40 cents/minute depending upon the plan.

Ports of call

Buenos Aires, Argentina

5 out of 5

Montevideo, Uruguay

5 out of 5
Bus tour OK, but city was uninspiring and shabby. Not much to see or purchase.

Puerto Madryn, Argentina

5 out of 5
Tombo Penguin tour was long but worth it! One lady who could not walk held our bus up for an hour and the ship eventually sailed one hour later because of it.

Stanley, Falkland Islands

3 out of 5
Took the 49 days to victory tour. Really enjoyed it, but I believe it was too long by an hour or so.

Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina Did not visit port

Park Tour was great!

Punta Arenas, Chile

3 out of 5

Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

5 out of 5
Walk through the Patagonian rain forest to waterfall and glorious sunny view of lake and mountains was a highlight in our lives. Lamb feast made it even better. Outstanding lady guide too!

Castro, Isla Chiloe, Chile

3 out of 5
We took churches tour and museum tour. First church had a missing stair- very dangerous. Great guide, but churches were shabby and unkempt like most of S. America

Puerto Montt, Chile

5 out of 5
Great tour of waterfalls and Volcano! Great meal too.

Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile

3 out of 5
We stayed two days in modern and glorious Santiago at the outstanding Hilton Doubletree Vitacura before flying home.
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