In general, I enjoyed my trip. I only need to come to Fort Lauderdale once, and visited three places on my bucket list: Bahamas, South Caribbean islands and the Panama Canal. I think their Itinerary is the best in the Caribbean area, the food and entertainment is getting better and better, it suits the adult guests who want to relax and rewind, doesn't want to see drunk people partying.
The only thing I would suggest to Holland America line is to build/ increase solo traveler cabins. People like me, well educated middle age professionals, we can afford to travel, and we know how to enjoy life. This is a big market and some cruise lines have wonderful programs for us with NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT. Some staffs of HAL don't understand solo travelers are not odd, we are just independent and we know how to enjoy life by our own.
5 out of 5
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
It seems the Lido market has the same dinner menu from Dinning room, and much more. The main difference is the presentation is better at Dinning room with good service. Some guests and I didn't go to the Dinning room during the whole trip. Simply because we like to eat at our own time, choices are more, we don't feel like to dress up... I cruised at Zuiderdam twice in last 3 months, I really like this change.
I am a big fan of Asian food, so I would love to see they have an Asian food restaurant.
4 out of 5
While the Main Dinning room and Specialty restaurants are focus at Western food, the Lido buffet has an Asian food counter. I basically chose all my lunch there. Now they have fresh made Sushi, I saw many people like that.
The Lido restaurant manager Mahrub has great management skills, helped me with my special request, and resolved my concern immediately.
3 out of 5
Fitness program, such as yoga. I enjoyed it. I wish there are more on-board activities are for younger(40-50 years old) guests. It seems is engough for the older folks.
I love the new library/ tour info / observation center. All the bookshelves were setup nicely with lots of chairs and sofa for a relax reading spot, while look out for the endless sea view.
5 out of 5
After the first time I cruised with Zuiderdam, I left a feedback: " your entertainment sucks!" I couldn't even stand the Zuiderdam singers of Main Stage for more than 2 songs, I stayed for 2 songs because the dancers were good.The Piano Bar was too small, I had to listen outside of the Piano bar.
This time I cruised with Zuiderdam, they added a Billboard lounge with two pianist/ singers, they are good. The Piano Bar changed into Lincoln Center and played Classical music. They were amazing! The BBKIng Blue Club also was extended into a bigger and better location with a bar. This Band was amazing as well. I just wish their volume of speaker was a bit lower. Those two guests performers at Main Stage were excellent. People can't stop clapping from the magic tricks and those jokes.
The new flat TV at all the Cabin has programs with newer movies, popular TV programs and love news. That was a excellent change!!! you also can view the menu of the day, and order food to your cabin for free.
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
The representatives at the Front desk during this trip were wonderful!!
Room Stewards are good.
Few staff at the Lido market need more training though. It seems other guests were happy. Maybe just because I am a really picky person.
5 out of 5
The carpet at public areas were changed recently, it looks great to me.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
It was a nice and quiet inside cabin close to mid ship. It helps a lot for my sea sick issue. It is a regular cabin for two person, so it is quiet big for myself. Since i also have insomnia issue, inside cabin suits me perfectly.Also, I like the bathroom has thoughtful design to dry your hand washed clothes.
Number goes up when you walk to the end of the ship,
I chose a island tour with the tour guy outside the terminal. He was good, tell us a lot of history etc about the island. But the light house and Rock Foundation was not worth visiting in my opinion. The Beach was beautiful, and NO BEGGARS AND SELLERS. I was impressed.
There are lots of watches and jewels shopping there, but I didn't go.
I went for an excursion, took a boat trip, went through the whole Panama Canal all the way to the Pacific Ocean. I thought it was worthy the money. $169.99 USD. We got a very close look to this Canal, and learned about the history and fun fact about it from the tour guy.
It is all about the Rain forest to me. I went for an excursion and took a tram in the rain forest. The feeling was absolutely amazing, I touched the plants and flowers on top of trees, and had the view of above the whole rain forest. It was a little pricey, $125 USD.
The shop at the side was good. I bought some coffee...
4 out of 5
I made a mistake by sending my not-so-big luggage the night before disembarkation, and letting the cruise ship staff moved it out of the ship. I had to wait for very long time to pick up my luggage.
Going through the US immigration was a headache. Many lines for US residents, and only ONE LINE for non-US resident. As a Canadian, I got a little previlege to bypass many European guests and got through the immigration counter faster, which I am sure that I was hated by over 100 Dutch guests...but I think this has nothing to do with the Cruise ship itself.
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