Sail Date: December 01, 2011 Ship: Zuiderdam Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 6 years ago
I really enjoyed our cruise, however, as this was our first cruise perhaps this section will be more of a review on cruising in general. For us, it was the perfect balance between the strengths of an all-inclusive (meals prepared for you, same bed every night, all you need to concern yourself with is relaxing, etc.) and independent travel when in port (you are often in port for long enough to strike off and explore the island using public transit, taxi, on foot, etc.). The staff were amazing. The passengers sometimes less so. As it was our first cruise, we weren't really used to people being so possessive about something so valueless as a place in line - we're on vacation, why hurry? There was always plenty of everything available at a given time - entertainment, space, food, etc.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
The Pinnacle Grill is truly amazing food. There is one large buffet on the Lido deck, and other buffets that are open at certain times only. The selection was enough for us. I found some of the food tended to be on the saltier side, and there was a definite lack of heat or spice in the food (perhaps due there being predominantly elderly passengers?) Food was definitely more Western-style than ethnic.
3 out of 5
I enjoyed the string quartet and the guitarist, however, I don't generally like big productions of the variety-show type. There was a steel drum band from Trinidad that played show tunes - I would have preferred if they had played music from their island.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The staff approach saintliness. Perhaps strong words, but they are always courteous even when dealing with adversity. Many of the staff remember your names - not just the ones you speak with regularly. If you are generally friendly, their faces light up when they see you - I noticed this with the person who scanned our room keys when getting on and off the ship. They will also remember past special requests you have made, for example, they continued to bring cinnamon with my cappuccino after I had made the first request.
5 out of 5
The ship was impeccably clean. We found that it was very spacious, and you could find a quiet corner with relative ease. The decor is a little bit dated, but I don't have any complaints. I liked the fact that it was a smaller ship - but I also don't have much to compare it with.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We had an interior room. I can not rave enough about the bed and the pillow. I typically have a difficult time sleeping away from home - this wasn't the case here. Room was cozy for an interior but the space is well designed. Toilet took a few times to be fixed, but we were more than compensated for our inconvenience.
Pros: Crew, ports, spa, food, bed
Cons: Attitude of some of the other passengers, disparity amongst crew
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