I'll never sail HAL again.

Zuiderdam Cruise Review to Caribbean

Experience: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 9

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review
10 Night Panama Canal Sunfarer (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)
Sail Date: November 13, 2010
Ship: Zuiderdam
Cabin Type: Inside
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 7 years ago

First let me say there is no such thing as a "bad cruise". That being said, this was the worst cruise we've ever taken, and we would never cruise Holland America again, especially on the Zuiderdam. Ship had many problems.

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Cruise cuisine should never be "average". Most meals were very disappointing. Main dining room food was not up to standards of any cruise we've ever taken. Bland and mediocre. Snow crab legs were served as "King Crab". Portions were very small. Wait staff was inattentive. Lido deck buffets often unappetizing.


3 out of 5
Demographics of the guests on this cruise could only be described as "elderly". Most guests were probably age 70 and up. As such intertainment and activiteis fit the demographics. I had heard Holland America was an older crowd, but I really didn't expect them to be this old!

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
With the exception of the wait staff in the Vista dining room, ever other crew member was very friendly and helpful.

Ship Quality

1 out of 5
The hallway carpet on our deck was wet the day we arrived. Fans were used for the next three days trying to dry the carpet, then on the fourth day the carpet was replaced. There was a smell of mold, which caused my wife respiratory problems. I heard of many leaks from other guests. Retractable roof over pool was broken several days and could not be retracted. It was never fully fixed.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Our interior stateroom was the largest we've ever had. The cabin steward was excellent.
3 out of 5
Typical cruise line owned island. Nothing exceptional.
Don't Miss: none.
3 out of 5
I had the mistaken impression that Aruba was more of a "tropical paradise". Couldn't be more the opposite, this is a very arid island, dominated by organ pipe cactus and aloe. Very trashy island.
Don't Miss: We didn't do a dive exc ursion, but I've heard the reefs are excellent.
5 out of 5
I would go back to CostaRica again and again. Beautiful country, although Puerto Limon, being primarily a commercial shipping port, is pretty uninteresting, and TRASHY
Don't Miss: Zip line in the rainforest is the best excursion I have ever taken. My wife did the rainforst aerial tram, and was loved that as well.
3 out of 5
Colorful architecture
Don't Miss: Venezuelan "floating market" is interesting.
1 out of 5
Don't leave the ship! This is the absolute worst port of call I've ever seen. There is NO REASON for this to be on the itinerary of ANY cruise line. Don't go there
Don't Miss: NONE. Don't leave the ship!

Pros: zip line excursion in Costa Rico

Cons: the ship

Recommends Zuiderdam? No.

Was this review helpful? 9

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