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Zaandam Cruise Review to Canada, New England, New York

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 14

Overall rating:

4.3 out of 5
Zaandam

7 Night New England & Canada Discovery (Boston To Montreal)

Sail date: September 28, 2019

Ship: Zaandam

Cabin type: Oceanview

Traveled as: Large Group

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

First cruise, liked it, didn't love it, didn't hate it. Had a good time with family/friends. Used wrist bands for nausea suppression, seemed to work well. Not much (almost no) autumn color -- luck of the draw. Weather cooler than most people seemed to have expected. Orange night was weak. Gala nights (2) seemed designed to increase photo sales. Enjoyed Acadia and Canada. Navigator app worked well enough (airplane mode, wifi on while on ship to access this app, app doesn't really provide anything when disembarked.)

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Very smooth

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Mostly good, few excellent, no bad meals. Rainbow trout in main dining room looked like salmon, tasted like trout -- steelhead? Coffee with dessert was an afterthought or special request. We enjoyed the afternoon teas.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Great onboard gym with a fantastic view coming into ports but would like it to open earlier: sometimes hard to get in both a work out and breakfast before going ashore at earliest opportunity. Could have been a bit more ballroom dancing, but what they had was nice -- thanks, Ocean Quartet.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
Comedian Scott Harris was great, no blue work and much appreciated. Beatles tribute shows were weak/forced. Variety shows entertaining and creative, including Classique. Piano bar was great fun, thanks, Daniel. America's Test Kitchen good but often had schedule conflicts with other shows. I really enjoyed Adagio.

Children's Programs

Saw two children the entire cruise -- and they weren't ours.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Very attentive -- although main dining room staff missed/misdirected an item or two from time to time (we had a large group).

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Couldn't go all the way from one end to the other on fourth deck, had to detour up/down. Fabulous view in the Crows Nest. Organ was odd. Ship very clean. No self-laundry.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Comfortable, but we're smaller people. Lots/plenty of closet space. Black-out curtains almost did the job. Unobstructed ocean view. Firm but comfortable bed. Step down from bath to room surprised me the first time, not well marked, could have turned out badly. Only one 120V outlet in the room, none in the bathroom, none bedside -- bring a ship-compatible multi-outlet.

Ports of call

Boston, Massachusetts

5 out of 5
Took Silver Line 1 bus (free) from Logan airport, transferred to SL2 bus, got off at Cruiseport, walked a couple of long blocks - about 30 minutes total and easy. Boston bus drivers Very helpful -- thank you!

Bar Harbor, Maine

5 out of 5
Bought tickets for Acadia ahead of time, right choice for us. Took Island Explorer bus (free) to Sand Beach, beautiful hike to Otter Cliffs, rode the IE bus back. Go earlier in the day avoids crowds. Don't bother with the lobster rolls, they're much better on the ship. Tender operations smooth and easy.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

5 out of 5
Time zone change. Walked to and through the public gardens, beautiful dahlias in full bloom, many bred in Halifax. Walked the boardwalk, fun but windy/chilly. Had Money Gooey ice cream at Cow's Creamery anyway -- wonderfully tasty way to replace those calories!

Sydney, Nova Scotia

3 out of 5
Not much to see/do this time of year, small churches interesting, but not sure why this port is included.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island Did not visit port

Winds too high, couldn't safely anchor out, port cancelled. Booked an independent tour online before departure, no refund because cancel decision announced/communicated less than 24 hours prior to port call. I know modern weather forecasts are better than that.

Cruise Gulf Of St. Lawrence

3 out of 5
At sea, mostly night.

Quebec City, Quebec

4 out of 5
Scenic. Port call too short.

Cruise St. Lawrence River

5 out of 5
Very scenic while we had daylight. Some whale watching enroute.

Montreal, Quebec

5 out of 5
Montreal was great, nothing to do with the ship, though. Stayed in the Hotel Bonaparte after disembarking, 5 minute walk from the port -- wonderful lodgings, concierge, and breakfast -- but get an odd number room to minimize street noise.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
Very business like. Misdirections to hotel by terminal aid.
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