Zuiderdam Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Purser

Experience
7+ cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
3

5 out of 5

22 Amazing Nights Cruising the Mediterranean

Sail Date: July 22, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

Cabin: 10026

What a fabulous way to see the Mediterranean!  Unpack once. No hassles with passport stamping or customs and you get a taste of 5 different countries.

Food and Dining
Superb - escargot, filet mignon, prime rib, lobster, fabulous shrimp and seafood dishes all in the main dining room. The food in the buffet is good as well and you are served most of it.
Service and Staff
Very friendly, helpful staff. They made you feel like family.
Entertainment
There was a variety but nothing spectacular.
Onboard Activities
Culinary Arts Center and Microsoft Digital Workshops were nice additions on this ship.
Destinations and Excursions
AMAZING!
Ship Quality
Older ship but very clean.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Embarkation was very organized but took awhile. After check in they gave you a card and you had to sit and wait for your group number to be called to get on the ship. I suppose this is better than standing in a line. Disembarkation was a dream! Delta had a kiosk right in the cruise terminal to hand our luggage in (HAL took it off overnight - you simply had to match your self back up with your luggage and then pull it 6 ft to the kiosk when you got off the ship). Luggage was turned in and we got our boarding passes right there. HAL bus was waiting to take us to the airport.
Cabin / Stateroom
Cabin 10026 is very noisy with a cabana area above it and ping pong tables below. We were moved to a mini - suite 6096 - great location, no noise and spacious room.
Venice, Italy
We stayed at a small hotel - Hotel Antiche Figure in a quieter (Santa Croce) section of Venice. The hotel location and staff were superb! Buffet breakfast outside on their waterfront terrace was so scenic. Water taxis drop off/pick up right at the door and gondolas are right outside the hotel doors as well. We recommend an evening gondola ride when the canals are peaceful.
Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
Magna Grecia farm visit was excellent. You get a little bored of the normal site seeing on a long trip so visiting a working olive oil farm and eating local foods was fun.
Nafplion (Nauplion), Greece
Another beautiful Greek town. As you face the town from the ship there is an absolutely stunning walkway along the water to your far right that leads you to a free beach. It takes about 30 minutes to get there.
Piraeus (Athens), Greece
Expect heat and crowds at the Acropolis in Athens. What a spectacular site the Parthenon is.
Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey
The ruins in Ephesus have only been 10% excavated and the area is huge. Go to a carpet making demonstration. It is so interesting to see what the local women produce by hand, and they do take no for an answer when you don't want to buy.
Mykonos, Greece
A mini Santorini with less cliffs but the same whitewashed look and narrow streets.
Rhodes, Greece
Medieval fortress town with excellent beaches!
Santorini, Greece
This island is a dream. It looks even better than the pictures you see. Take a tour. There is so much more to see than just the whitewashed house in Oia.
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
We organized a private car through rome-airport.net. 125 Euros each way. Driver picked us up right under the ship to go to the Colosseum. Rome is a must do!
Naples, Italy
The island of Capri is magnificent. High speed ferry gets you there in a hour.
Palermo, Sicily
Palermo Street For tour - find it online though Viator was great. 15 minute walk form the pier to the Massimo Theater meeting place and then a delicious guided walk tasting food in the market and form street vendors in Palermo.
Olbia, Sardinia
Crystal clear waters at a nearby beach. Free shuttle into town parking lot and then 5 Euros round trip to Pittu Longu beach.
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy
This is a long day if you go into Florence. Pisa was a tourist trap area with tons of vendors. If it wasn't part of the Holland America tour I would say to skip the Leaning Tower...
Calvi, Corsica
Beach is clean. Water is clear. 10 minutes walk to the left for the ship tender area.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
The casino opens at 2:00 pm without an afternoon dress code. It costs 10 Euros to enter the main casino and you must give them your passport to scan.
Saint Raphael, France
We used tenders which were quick...Nice town with lots of shopping. They set off fireworks which we saw from our balcony right before the ship left.
Barcelona, Spain
Embarkation with Holland America with a Delta flight was fast and easy. We got our boarding passes and turned in our luggage right at the cruise terminal.

Tip

In Barcelona, book a Delta flight and use their transport to the airport. It makes disembarkation very easy!



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