Zuiderdam Cruise Review to Caribbean

Contributor Level: Purser

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Has Holland America Line been Carnivalized?

Sail Date: January 25, 2016

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

There are things that one takes for granted after sailing with a cruise line four times.  With HAL, we've enjoyed easy on and easy off our ship.  That was on the case with our cruise to the Panama Canal on Jan. 25th.  The port in Fort Lauderdale and our cruise line seemed to be at a loss as to how to take care of so many people.  Ah.... unpleasant.

   Most disappointing was what i call the "Carnivalization of Holland America".  Everywhere were there salesmen wanting us to buy pictures, manicures, watches, bingo cards, art auction tickets, excursions.  Did I forget something?  Oh yes, future cruises.  "Enough already"... I wish I'd said.

We wanted to go to the beach in Curacao.  The ship offered an excursion to the beach for $55 pp.  We decided to hop a public bus and paid $6 for us both--round trip.

 On a bright note, the service staff on the Zuiderdam was still old fashioned HAL.  I suspect that will go by the wayside too, dagnabbit.


Cabin / Stateroom
clean and adequately appointed.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
absolutely the worst we've had.
Ship Quality
The Zuiderdam was OK....but it was hard to believe it was refurbished in '15.
Destinations and Excursions
see above review.
Onboard Activities
most of the activitioes were opportunities for HAL to sell, sell, sell.
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
MDR was OK.. Pinnacle grill delightful. The Lido Buffet made a rather poor showing.


The staff are gracious. The ship is all right. The food like a hotel wedding buffet...OK. Tho' I must say all the breads were terrific.

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