Zuiderdam Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
9

3 out of 5

Cost containment has cut into Holland former superior quality

Sail Date: August 24, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

We were warned by a couple that are 4 star mariners that we would see a marked downgrade in the Holland offering.  They were sure correct!!!

From the dinning menu to the ship's appearance it is clear that this is not what we have historically experience on our prior curses.  Specifically the dinner menu offering were far fewer.  In effect, down to one page vs. historically a broader selection of two full pages.   My question on ship appearance was when will Zuiderdam  be going in for refurbishment?  The answer was it just came out.  You draw your own conclusions. 

We took 5 shore excursions; 1 from Holland and 4 through United Cruses (out sources to local operators).  We are sure glad that we only booked one through the ship.  We were taken by the Holland offering via bus with 35 to 40 of our fellow ship mates to a small  sea side town on a Sunday; dropped offer for a hour with no direction at this location where most of the businesses were closed.  The second half was booked as visiting a local winery.  In reality, it was a small store front where you had an opportunity to purchase a very limited selection of local over priced wines. The only plus you were allowed to bring back on board one bottle per person w/out corkage fee.  As a contrast, United Cruse offering was 4 to 5 couples with a local tour guide on a mini bus providing significantly broader highlights and a far more rewarding experience.

Cabin accommodations: we were assigned a handicapped veranda room with no tub and lack of closet space.  My wife and I do not need nor want this type of state room at this point in our lives. The only veranda offered on board by the front office was a mid ship accommodation directly outside the passenger stairway and elevators.  This was unacceptable and we finally settled on a suite upgrade at a higher additional price to us. 

To be balanced the ship's crew was attentive, helpful and all-around great and I would rate them 5 star out of 5. 

My wife and I expected much more based on our historical experiences and contributed to the reason for the 3 star rating.  If I could of rank the cruse 2.5 it would have been more accurate. 

I would not recommend Holland unless they reverse course and add back quality and breath to their offering.

 

Cabin / Stateroom
Cabin accommodations: we were assigned a handicapped veranda room with no tub and lack of closet space. My wife and I do not need nor want this type of state room at this point in our lives. The only veranda offered on board by the front office was a mid ship accommodation directly outside the passenger stairway and elevators. This was unacceptable and we finally settled on a suite upgrade at a higher additional price to us.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
The computers on embarkation were not working and we had to wait for an extended period to be processed.

Disembarkation was a disaster. Since we had early departure to the airport (group2). We were informed that we should use mid ship. Well after walking around 1/2 the ship that exit point was not open. Finally a ship's Officer came by and indicate the forward gangway was available. Unsure, as we proceeded forward and down two levels we asked several other crew members and got that many different answers. At the exit the security guard almost did not let us off. Only after a confrontation and the arrival of several other frustrated guests we exited the ship.
Ship Quality
My question on ship appearance was when will Zuiderdam be going in for refurbishment? The answer was it just came out. You draw your own conclusions.

Must say it was clean but looked warn.
Destinations and Excursions
Onboard Activities
Entertainment
Service and Staff
Crew was attentive, helpful and added to the cruse experience.
Food and Dining
The breath of the dinner menu offering was far narrower. In effect, down to one page vs. historically a broader selection of two full pages.

Furthermore, the main dinning room was only open once for lunch. So much for an alternative for self-service dinning for lunch,

Restaurant staff were great!!!!


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