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5.0

Another world going to Antarctica by projectgal

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

I can’t say enough good things about this cruise, It was my favorite. We were so fortunate with the weather and were able to explore parts of the Antarctic peninsula that the ship was unable to go to on previous tours. Our experience with the US Palmer Ststion explorers who visited the ship all day one day was great. learned so much about the research going on and the way of life at the ststion,

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5.0

Just got back from a... by Gorgie

Sail date: /
Ship: Zaandam

Just got back from a 22 day cruise from San Antonio, Chile to Antarctica and on to Buenos Aires. It was our first time with Holland America, We have sailed with Princess 16 times and loved every one. When we booked they did not go to Antarctica but they do now. The cruise was great. The 4 and a half days in Antarctica were fabulous. I would love to go back someday. The Captain was great and I loved the hour he spent answering questions from the audience. The Steward (Ram) and the Assistant (Buddy) were exceptional. The waiters at table 156 Anaka and Gete were wonderful. The supervisor Johanas was extremely helpful and treated us like royalty. The two extra free days in Buenos Aires were a very nice touch for those who had suites. The free excursions for the suite guests were also very good. The ship itself was fine, no complaints. The retractable roof allowed for swimming even in Antarctica. The theater was small and the upper deck felt isolated from the floor activity, especially for New Year’s Eve. The woman naturalist Tamara was poor. Had no clue how to give clock directions for viewing. Also made up sightings, 15 whales off the stern. Numerous times like they were trying to reach a quota. Having the guy from Argentina give a lecture on the Falkland war was a severe error in judgement. “We would have to get rid of all the people currently living there.” No wonder the British people hate the invading Argentinas. Most lectures were good but the political comments have no place in the talks, we are not paying for their political opinions. The food selection is limited and after reading the menu online there were several nights we avoided the dining room. The Lido was poor as well, although they did have good salads in large bowls. Overall the food did not compare to Princess. The entertainment was also not as good as Princess. It was usually only 35 to 40 minutes. Excursions varied. Some were very good. Some were overpriced for what you received. The staff that helped people into tender boats and back on board were not friendly. Room Service was very good and although the food was always the same it was usually good, and on time. Important for early excursions. They seemed to be constantly pushing alcohol. There photo department was the worst of any ship we have sailed. No video offered for sail of the cruise. No cameras for sail, no batteries or accessories, No ship camera. The stores were the worst as well. They could have sold 1,000 Antarctica shirts and hats. No hats period and shirts only in small and medium, and that was charging 160.00 for a t-shirt. Constant comment was Holland does not run their own shops. I was surprised by the number of children, teenagers, young adults, and people under 50. I think they were the majority. It was the Antarctica not Holland or the ship that caused this. We only missed one port because of the wind. That was Christmas Day, the stores would not have been open anyway. I really liked the fact they provided very nice binoculars in every suite cabin, better than what we brought, great for spotting penguins on icebergs. All in all it was a wonderful trip. Holland was not bad, some things were really good, but I would go with Princess if both were going to the Antarctica. They have been the only main cruise line going to Antarctica so the itinerary is good. We saw a Silver Seas ship while there doing Antarctica but they want 36,600 per person for 18 days. You are looking at well over $80,000 for two people counting flights and excursions. Almost 4 times what we paid. You get a lot better value with Holland.

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Spectacular holiday cruise by Amarty

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

It was truly a pleasure and unforgettable cruise! We hated to leave and would love/hope to do the Antarctic experience again. Only thing I do not recommend purchasing is the internet because it is expensive but substandard, literally gave me a headache due to very slow speed...not worth your time. I should've listened to previous reviews but was hoping it was different this time. We still absolutely loved and enjoyed our cruise and highly recommend it!

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4.2

Wonderful Cruise to Antarctica by Gorgie

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

This was a wonderful vacation. Friends of ours went on the Princess Cruise last February but it did not go to Antarctica. That is why we went with Holland America this year. It is a once in a lifetime treat although we met one woman who went last year and loved it so much, she came back and did it again this year. The three penguin tours were great. I really liked Bueno Aires, a city of 16 million people but still manageable. Santiago was also nice, they have 8 million; but the absolute highlight was Antarctica, there is no place on earth like it. Alaska is to Antarctica as Niagara is to Iguazu Falls. There is simply no comparison. It should be an absolute must see on everyone’s bucket list. Very expensive but worth it.

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2.6

The add on of Antarctica is what makes this cruise worthwhile by bradomo

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

Fun, exciting cruise to Antarctica. Even in summer, south america can have rain, snow, sun all in a few hours. Mostly good weather though. Some disappointments in the ship with crew, food, drinks, a mixed international crowd, but I guess a bargain overall with the number of days on board plus the chance to see Antarctica and the Wildlife.

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4.4

Magnificent Antarctica by kels784

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

Really enjoyed being on the Zaandam. The chance to go to Antarctica is super special. Loved it!!

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4.3

Trip of a lifetime going to the Falklands and going round Cape horn of by Arnie57

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

It was out of this world and will be in my mind forever.seeing places I have always wanted to go.

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Absolutely fantastic! by italy53lv

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

We will definitely recommend this cruise to others. We loved the ship and crew. We took wonderful EXC tours and will remember the Penguins on the Falkland Islands always.

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4.4

Great cruise around the Horn of South America by EdPrice

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

Great cruise to see the mountains, glaciers and South America towns. The weather was cloudy but still great views (Cruise dates were Nov 19-Dec 3, 2018)

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5.0

I was on the same... by kenlynn

Sail date: /
Ship: Zaandam

I was on the same cruise as gohunter and had a completely different experience. We found the entertainment excellent and the early show was always packed. We even liked the comedian and I don’t really enjoy them most of the time. The lectures on board were excellent. The speakers were not only knowledgeable, but also good and entertaining speakers. I enjoyed the promenade deck for walking and viewing the sights and I thought are shore excursions were good. The staff bent over backwards to please. One morning the captain diverted from course so we could get a good look at an iceberg they had spotted. We also liked the test kitchen series and were never bored during the tip. Most of all, the weather was fantastic allowing us many fabulous photo ops.

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2.0

Did San Antonio to Rio... by gohunter

Sail date: /
Ship: Zaandam

Did San Antonio to Rio on this ship! First and last time on Holland America! Lounge entertainment was a joke. 1) A classical duo playing to an empty lounge that had an unused dance floor. 2) An awful jazz band that didn't even recognize that the ship was in South America. Instead of playing sambas, rumbas, bossa novas, etc. They murdered ABBA, Beatles, etc by playing it in jazz style, and they also murdered loads of jazz numbers too! 3) A bar singer/piano player who hollered and hammered the guts out of the piano. However, he was the best of a bad bunch! Bars closed at 23:30, nothing after that as apparently Holland America felt it was past our bed time! Cruise director Bruce was probably the worst in the 24 cruises that we've been on. Paid lip service but did nothing. His response to complaints was "That's not the Holland America product that we sell!" Absolutely awful attitude!!!! Also, when an act had a night off, there was simply NOTHING replacing them. Want a late breakfast after 10am? Tough! No food available anywhere until lunch starts at 11:30 or noon depending on the day. Some sea days where the main restaurant didn't even open for lunch! Their answer? Room service is available 24 hours per day! Lido Market restaurant is supposedly buffet, but you can't pick up your own food as it is all behind perspex, so you can easily have to queue several times in different lines, just to get what you want on your plate. By the time you've got it all, the first item you put on the plate is cold as they've not understood the concept of hot plates! In the main dining room on one occasion I sent my "medium" steak back twice as it was served and replaced with a similarly rare steak dripping blood. Others at the table did similarly! One day we gave up on dessert and coffee as after waiting for over an hour to get as far as the main course, we'd lost our appetite, let alone patience! Drinks packages are horrendously expensive compared to other cruise lines, but the drinks quality is not any better. Bar staff were the saviours though with Elmer, Neil, Ronnie and co keeping us sane when we felt like jumping overboard due to the "suicide music" being played by the jazz band in the Ocean bar! Theatre entertainment was hit and miss. Some acts were excellent, but other nights were poor. One night the theatre show was a BBC Frozen Planet film without the Sir David Attenborough commentary, with musicians playing music to it. What the heck? Without the commentary, the film just loses all meaning, but I guess they wanted to save paying royalties to Sir David!!! One day our toilet stopped flushing. I reported it before 10am. Came back to the cabin at around 4pm to find it still as we left it. Complained to Guest Services, to be told the plumber had fixed it when he clearly had been nowhere near our cabin. They logged it again and I called them again an hour later, by this time irate telling them to "Get a plumber here NOW!" He eventually arrived 40mins later, well over 7 hours after I reported the fault! They knew very well that my wife was disabled and trekking around the ship to find a disabled friendly toilet was a real nuisance, but they obviously don't care! Our opinion is that Holland America is by far the worst cruise line that we have used.

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3.4

Not exactly what I was expecting! by Chelly151

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

The Itinerary was good, but Zaandam wasn’t, never had cause to criticize a ship like this one, never been subjected to such controlling tactics as on this ship-will never go with Holland America again! Drinks packages two and a half times the price of ANY other cruise line, and the bars closed at 11.30pm on Zaandam. Disgusting!

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3.2

Great South American cruise by alklem

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

The itinerary was great. On sea days informative talks were provided about the places you visit, cultures, stars, whales, etc. Do not buy the thermal suite package. It was not worth the price. Not maintained.

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3.6

Our cruise was nice. by susanparker

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

The cruise itself was good, but on board entertainment was boring. The shows were good just not long enough. Libo food was not good, sandwiches were cold and hard no taste. Dining room was nice enjoyed meeting different people at dinner but did not care for the food. No tv other than news and sports channels. Internet service we paid for did not work, we had to finally had to go with our carrier Verizon so we paid for service we could not use. The customer service staff could not get it to work, so we would like a refund. Did not know that we were being charged extra for room staff on all other cruises we been on that was always included in price of trip from the beginning.

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4.5

Alaska Mom and I by FOE3389

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

Overall it was a very nice cruise with some itninerys that a larger ship could not do. I would go again.

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Alaska is Great! by reijci

Sail date: / Traveled as: Large Group
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska

Great tour and state. This was our third visit to Alaska. Scenery is breathtaking; citizens are very friendly and helpful. We hired non-Holland shore excursions with knowledgeable natives that took us off the routine tourist routes and gave us more insight of their lives and of Alaska.

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5.0

We loved our ship. ... by goldhillguy

Sail date: /
Ship: Zaandam

We loved our ship. 14 days is a long time, but on this ship the time went by way too fast. Our room was on the 2nd floor close to an elevator bank, we lived how convenient everything was. The service was incredible! We loved the Lido deck and the Main dining room. The people who took care of the room were happy and kind as was everyone else on this ship. We lived everything. The WiFi could use an update. It’s expensive and very slow. Each person in your group must sign up separately, ie you can’t share. In the big scheme of things this was very minor irritant. Go, have fun, you will love it!

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1.0

If you cruise Zaandam and... by Kickinrocks

Sail date: /
Ship: Zaandam

If you cruise Zaandam and you see a special for 39$ for a mini facial. Don’t. I booked it, then they said I would be giving myself the facial, hair mask and body scrub!!!!!! I didn’t do it. I left!!

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3.2

Alaska by phyllis1976

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

Portions in dining room were tiny. Preparation was medciore. Ship was CONFUSING! Security was adequate, did their job, but their people skills were DISGRACEFUL !! I saw one smile or glimpse of pleasantness the entire trip! They can provide security and not be so DAMN GROUCHY !!!

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Beautiful Alaska cruise by TennesseeTravel

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

The Zaandam is a beautiful smaller ship and everyone in the crew was always so friendly , courteous and helpful . The food was excellent.

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