11-Day Adriatic Dream Cruise - Problematic cruise

Zuiderdam Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 32

Overall rating:

2 out of 5

11 Night Adriatic Dream (Rome To Venice)

Sail date: April 14, 2015

Ship: Zuiderdam

Cabin type: Oceanview

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Review summary

We were advised that Holland America line was supposed to be upscale from Carnival.  This was not a good example.  The boat is an older, tired, shabby vessel despite the staff's continued efforts cleaning and polishing.  It was just out of dry-dock and renovation work was not completed, so they brought the contractors to work during the cruise. Access to the Crow's Nest was not available as renovations were not completed.  In our case, the shower only provided scalding hot water. There were leaks of all sorts on the floor on the Lido (food) deck creating many slip hazards.  The contractors working during the cruise created immense amounts of constant banging and cutting noises. The very unpleasant odour of fresh paint was pervasive, especially on the 9th deck eating area.  The food was not much better than mediocre at best, except for the closing meal.  The food selection was not very broad at all.

On the upside, the itinerary was fabulous! The ports of call immensely interesting. Weather couldn't have been better anywhere.  Aside from one individual on the Lido deck, considering the huge volume of complaints the customer service folks were enduring, all service was rendered with a genuine smile. The staff at the front office were very conscientious and super polite.  The cabin crews were quite efficient and kept things clean. The dining room staff were also super pleasant and very accommodating. 

All in all, my wife and I enjoyed the cruise, but it wasn't what it was cracked up to be.  Our expectations were far from met and it was a disappointment.

We had a much worse experience on a Carnival cruise and much better on other Carnival cruises.  Only experienced very good to great cruises under the Royal Caribbean marquee.

While I rated this cruise two stars only, it is specific to this voyage.  Hopefully the trouble spots will be rectified because this could be a very good cruise with this itinerary.




Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The food was generally mediocre and the selection was limited

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
ordinary - we don't gamble so the casino was no attraction, the Crow's Nest was closed


3 out of 5
Enjoyed the performances by Tony Warden and the juggling comedian (I forget his name). For the comedian's show, the audience participation enhanced the hilarity.

Children's Programs

not applicable

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Despite the plethora of problems, service with a smile from almost all personnel. Andri & Usman in the dining room and Cahyadi (restaurant runner) were the cream rising to the top. All the staff at the front office were exceptional, Joy, Faith, Shiereel, Julia & Ana deserve medals for their yeoman efforts despite all the problems.

Ship Quality

1 out of 5
Lots of problems with the boat. This is an older ship that is shabby.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Trouble with plumbing

Ship tip

The special duty-free, discounted prices of items offered on-board were not so special or discounted at all.

Ports of call

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

5 out of 5
Always a great city.... hotels didn't activate air-conditioning due to the date, despite the warm temperatures... making sleeping uncomforatale

Cruise Strait Of Messina

3 out of 5

Messina, Sicily

3 out of 5
Quaint, wonderful historical sightseeing

Valletta, Malta

5 out of 5
Glass factory - A1.... They a huge showroom labelled seconds, reduced pricing. I couldn't find flaws in 90%+ of the items there, which were beautifuland very attractively priced

Argostoli, Kefalonia, Greece

3 out of 5
Quaint, wonderful historical sightseeing

Corfu, Greece

3 out of 5
A pleasant stop, but slightly downtrodden likely due to the Greek economic troubles

Dubrovnik, Croatia

5 out of 5
Loved it! Chock full of history!

Kotor, Montenegro

5 out of 5
No special comment, just a great stop

Korcula Island, Croatia

5 out of 5
No special comment, just a great stop

Split, Croatia

5 out of 5
No special comment, just a great stop

Venice, Italy

5 out of 5
Stayed at a hotel in East Venice (Quatro D'altino) and ate dinner at Cosmori's Restaurant. Great experience.
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