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Jan 10 2017 passenger by brucetbennett

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: South America

Beautiful weather and ports.  Falkland was great site to see penguins. Three perfect days cruising Antarctica, saw whalea, dolpains, seals, ice and Icebergs.   They have four Antarctica experts aboard ship that gave great informational  briefs so we knew what we were seeing.  Drake passage a little rocky. Last three Chilean stops could have been better.  Overall, a once in a lifetime experiencr.

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A trip of a lifetime by jaasma

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: South America

The trip exceeded our expectations.  The views in Antarctica segment had spectacular views of mountians, glaciers and ice bergs.  The seas were smooth and the skies were sunny.

The ship was comfortable, food was great and service excellent.

The shows were fantastic and the daily movies usually were chosen to have something to do with where we were cruising.  For instance:  Evita, and Dance of the Penguins.

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Zaandam-Antarctica by johnlybarger

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: South America

Four beautiful days in Antarctica--sunny, mild, lots of ice! Penguins, penguins, and more. Saw glaciers, icebergs as big as the ship, Antarctic research stations, and penguins. Outstanding lectures and commentary by an Expeditions team who had worked with the National Science Foundation in Ant.  Whales on the way. Rounded Cape Horn. Falkland islands weather great, more penguins. Tours of Chile and Argentina ports were good. High winds did stop two of the water tours to see fauna. More penguins in Puerto Madryn, Argentina. Nice visit to ranch in Buenos Aires. I would recommend this cruise to anyone interested in the southern region

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Good but not great by Esmith42

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: South America

The ports of call were good.  Sailing was fine. Onboard activities were limited. Food was fine. Clearly the cruising business has changed in the last year or two. Entertainment time of 45 minutes appeared shorter than on other cruises. Entertainers were good.

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Holland America Disappointment by sbparks

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: South America

The favorite parts of this cruise were the itinerary and the Pinnacle Grill specialty restaurant.  Outside of those two items, the rest of this experience was a total disappointment. This cruise was not representative of the Holland America that we experienced in the past. There appeared to be understaffing in all areas, poor communications by personnel, mediocre food quality, inconsistent service experienced with dining room , room service, cabin attendant, front desk and excursion staff.  This was not just our opinion but opined by other cruise customers in conversations during our wait at the airport for our return flights back to our homes. I could never recommend this particular cruise line and ship to othersAngry.

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3 Comments

South American Zaandam Cruise by jeannesimpson

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: South America

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.

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Great Cruise by donhrdina

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: South America

My favorite excursions of the cruise was the Falkland Islands. The 4 wheel drive to see the King penguins were awesome. It was great to be able to get close to the penguins and I really felt I was in a special place. My next favorite excursion was see the amazing rapids /water falls and Valcano in Puerto Mont. But the rest of the sights were also pretty great. On the boat staff was very friendly and attentive. In the Lido buffet both management and staff definately focused on details and it showed. They had an interesting series of workshops during the trip, called Digital workshops, which were traing classes on varius windows topics. While I consider my self, pretty up to date, i always seemed to pick up something new. I had a really good trip and am greatful for all there efforts and would highly recommend this trip for consideration.

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Fantastic Journey! by juzretired

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: South America

The Holland America Zaandam cruise was a very scenic trip, the ports of call had a wide variety of excursions - something for everyone, plenty of fun times for all, the ship's cabins were spacious and well appointed for an older ship, the ship's decor was a little plain, not lavish like larger ships, but nice enough.  What we valued most was the itinerary, the price, the quality of the entertainment, the great meals served in the main dining room, and the staff were a fantastic group of friendly, and helpful folks.  An itinerary that was a journey of a lifetime!

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Best way to see Alaska by marysaxton

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Excellant service and the best view of Alaska. The land/sea tour is the only to really know and see Alaska. Seeing wildlife in Denali is a lifetime experience not to be missed.

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1 Comment

First Time Cruisers by jpapuga

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

The cruise was great! Food very good! The art auction is fun; we did not plan on buying any but did and it looks great at home. Wifi was terrible and expensive. I received a partial refund; thought I deserved a full refund but did not push it. If you should book a southbound cruise and plan to stay in Fairbanks or Denali before the cruise, remember, planes into Fairbanks generally arrive between 10.00 pm and 2.00 am, then you board a bus or train very early the next morning. Plan to stay in Fairbanks for a couple of extra nights, rent a car and explore a little. Might even have to do this one again. The Zaandam is a smaller ship; make is much nicer.

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Once in a life time !just do it again so you can't forget! by arcee

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska

Oh yes ! yes ! Yes join the deck walkers to burn those carbs or down size your portions.

  What a wonderful cruise!

Wow. Just full of things to do see and a great deal to choose from.weather it be to do something different or just relax and take in the view. The restaurants are delightful. Art auctions,I never got around to gambling because there was so much to Do. The Glaciers were awsome  because they are. Bigger then life. Yes I would go again with Holland America its a smaller ship less waiting for this and that. The shows from classical to Dance then comedy and magic all happening every night .Do I need to say more? Great trip then take the train to Ancourage and when I go again I am going all the way on train to Denali.

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Review - Zaandam / Sep 11, 2016 / 7-Night Glacier Discovery Northbound (Vancouver to Seward) by lauralahman

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska

Glacier Bay was by far the highlight of the trip for me.  Since there are 2-days at sea, the on-board ship activities seemed redundant & could use some refresh.

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RELAXING ALASKA by jtoddhowell

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on Holland America's Zaandam.  The most impressive aspects to me were the amazingly upbeat and helpful staff and the immaculate conditions of the ship.  It was very well maintained and spotlessly clean.  They take great measures to assure cleanliness and good health with had washing and sanitation stations throughout the ship, as you board from excursions and particularly in the dining area.  We food the food very good and varied.  And as a special treat we dined in the Pinnacle Restaurant which was an extra charge but was well worth it.  It was exceptional.  Because this was a smaller ship (around 1,400 passengers) we were able to make it all the way into Glacier Bay.  The choice of other ports was great too.  We personally are not into a lot of group activities (which there we plenty of) but were able to join in if we wanted or not...we chose to catch up on some much needed ZZZZ's on sea days.  First vacation that I left where I felt rested.  Great job to everyone who works on this ship!

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Alaskan seeing more of Alaska by aronimus

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Glacier Bay was scenic and a jewel to the eyes.

Skagway was fun, the train ride exceptional.

On board service was very good. 

In land passage very pretty

Wish we had more time in Vancouver.

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Wonderful by mastrap

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

The cruise did not disappoint in the least. The crew, entertainment, food and shore excursions were excellent.  The added plus, if you are Catholic, is that daily Mass is available.

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Know Before You Go by HappyPassenger

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

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.

 

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2 Comments

"LIFE IS GOOD" by Suzze

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

This cruise was awesome and we would return in a heartbeat.  We loved The personal attention afforded us and loved the smaller size of the Zaandam.  We have been on larger ships and they lack the up close and personal experience we had on this ship.  I would also like to note that the Holland ships are so tasteful and beautiful.  We so appreciated all of the awesome floral arrangement throughout the ship. Entertainment was professional and just plain fantastic.  The experience we had at Glacier Bay was unmatched and enhanced by the Ranger's overview and environmental expertise.  We were enamored with the ports of call on this cruise and would love to return with family members.

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Super Itinerary by Anabelle

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

I really enjoyed my first cruise with Holland America.  Alaska is beautiful!  The Zaandam has a really attentive crew. The ship has plenty of places to relax away from crowds.  I would cruise with Hal again without my teenager.  Even though there are activities in place for the young crowd there just weren't enough teens on the boat.  It really is an older, laid back crowd.  For me it was great. 

The food was good, the service was excellent, and I loved the itinerary.

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Best way to the wilderness by Cruiser942

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Holland American land tour to Denali and cruise along the Alaskan coast was amazing!

Great transportation to Denali, excellent guides on tour into the wilderness of Denali.

The cruise on the Zaandam was smooth and fun and we saw so much of the coast and inside passage. Only way to go to the wilderness.

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1 Comment

One for the "bucket list" by iansmith5758

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

I liked the size of our suite and the servicing of same.

I feel there is room for improvement in the food........particularly in the Lido.

The food service (Lines) needs particular attention.

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