Zuiderdam Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America
Review SummaryFirst I must mention that for the third time in my extensive cruise history, I booked passage on a cruise ship that was sailing it's last time before being drydocked. I wish that I had been told this before I booked this very expensive cruise. Why? Well, on the Norwegian Dawn I found that the people that booked the verandah suite next to me paid less than half of what I paid for, the staff on the ship was sparse to say the least, and it was obvious that the cruise line was milking the most it could before the ship was refurbished. The second time, it was on a Royal Carribean ship that had been sold to France and was making its last cruise before being handed over. That was quite evident in the fact that trash recepticles were overflowing, coffee was absolutely unheard of on the ship, and as for service, well it was miserable, to say the least. Our two-family suite was on the top living deck, right under the buffet. All night long we were subjected to a thundering noise, causing me to run to the window to see if we were in the midst of a storm. I found out that it was the kitchen staff rumbling carts of dishes over a joint in the ship, right over our room. The air vents in the bathroom did not work, so we were subjected to a sewer smell the entire cruise, and the shower did not drain, so we ended up wading in water every time someone showered. This time, because my husband had been stationed in Panama some years ago, I was very interested to see it. We paid premium for our verandah suite, but still the bottom bedsheet was small, not fitted, and therefore halfway through the night I found myself sleeping on a bare mattress (yuck!). The service was impeccable, the waitstaff were overworked, and I found an absolutely inexcusable (although they made a comic attempt at a serious response) noises near our suite. Every night I would hear a banging, as if a steel door slammed against the wall near my door. I actually recorded the noise and went to the front desk to complain. I was told to come back a day later if I heard it again. I did. I called and they sent someone to our deck (I was on deck six, in suite 6115), and the poor girl jumped out of her skin when she heard it, saying "oh, that can't be good". She went to investigate. Later that evening I was called to be told that the noise was "flexing of the ship" due to high seas. SERIOUSLY? This is my seventh cruise, and you tell me that the ship flexes so much it causes someone who works on the ship to say "Oh, that can't be good?" I laughed when they offered me earplugs. Yup. Earplugs. Thanks to Holland America, we have decided to fly to the Grand Canyon next year instead of cruising with them. Avoid them.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
You get more information logging onto the ship's website and reading the cheeky captain's log that is posted rather than wait for announcements.