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Zuiderdam Cruise Review to Caribbean

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 63

Overall rating:

4.8 out of 5
Verified Review

10 Night Panama Canal Sunfarer Holiday (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 17, 2017

Ship: Zuiderdam

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 1059

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Wonderful way to spend Christmas! I enjoyed having the Officers' families on board and the children visiting with Santa Claus. Made me feel that Christmas had finally arrived. Also, in love with the Island Magic Steel Band.


5 out of 5
Quick check-in and our stateroom was ready as we boarded. Much easier than in the past.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The Lido Market buffet was excellent with a great variety of food. It was always a nice surprise to see what someone else had cooked for the meal. They had a nice variety of special cocktails for the holidays.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
The Digital Workshop is the best kept secret. I learned all the things I need to know about my new Windows 10 computer during the 15+ courses I attended. Everyone has a computer to work with and Laura, the instructor, was extremely organized and patient. Great handouts to take home. I also enjoyed America's test kitchen when the planned recipes interested me. They did run movies in the Mainstage and in the smaller screening room throughout the day, if there was nothing else to do. Also enjoyed the Towel Animal demonstration by the room stewards.


5 out of 5
Stage shows were great. The singers and dancers were better than our previous cruise. The Island Magic Steel Band was so good that the audience gave them a standing ovation during both performances. I wish I could pick my cruises based on what boat they are assigned to in the future. Comedian was good and worked clean (Christmas cruise with lots of children). The Illusionist was great and did a special session for the kids on how some basic tricks are done.

Children's Programs

No children on board with us

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The Lido Market servers were so nice and could not have been more helpful. The room stewards quickly learned our schedule and the room was magically perfect every time we returned.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Very clean. Zuiderdam was recently refurbished and they did a great job of introducing more pleasing colors into the old color pallet. Very comfortable now.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We had a low, inside stateroom to be sure I didn't become ill and this inside stateroom has the nicest design of any cruise ship I've seen. It was in a cube shape rather than oblong and gave the appearance of being much larger than previous cabins. I wish I would always get one like this. Cabin was always clean and well-kept.

Ship tip

No launderette on board. Use the laundry bag in your room for $20 per bag and stuff it full. Works great. Also, go to the Explorer's Café on deck 10 to see the canal as you enter. Local guide is located there. Then, move to the bow of the ship when the sun comes up. When you in the 3rd lock, check out the view from the aft pool deck for a great picture of the whole Gatun locks.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

4 out of 5
There were 8 ships leaving on the same day. The port did handle it but the traffic was horrible. If you are departing on a weekend, get there much earlier than you think you need to. Once we made it to the ship, everything was very smooth but the shuttle ride from the car drop off was traffic-packed and stressful with lots of horns blowing. Plan ahead.

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island)

4 out of 5
Pretty little island with clear water. The Glass Bottom boat allows you to see the island from the water-side but the glass is not clear enough to see through. They do feed the fish from both outside walkways and that was fabulous. I have two great videos of beautiful fish from the walkway but nothing from the glass bottom. Still worth the money.

Willemstad, Curacao

5 out of 5
Beautiful island with the most colorful buildings. Picture-perfect harbor and unique Queen Emma floating bridge. The Trolley Tour was just enough to see what I wanted to see.

Oranjestad, Aruba

5 out of 5
Took the Colors of Aruba bus trip. The highlight was the Ostrich farm where I fed several of them. Great video. Nice because I doubt I will ever make it to another area of the world where you can see them and learn all about them. Nice guide.

Enter Panama Canal At Cristobal

5 out of 5
Amazing. Started into the canal in the dark so seeing it with the canal lights was extremely interesting. Once we started into the 2nd lock, the sun was up and they opened the bow of the ship.

Exit Panama Canal At Cristobal

5 out of 5
View from the aft pool deck for the best view of this. We also took the tour to the Miraflores lock and the museum there, followed by a trip back to Colon on the Panama Canal Railroad. Very nice way to see how big Gatun Lake really is and experience how the area was traveled before the canal was finished.

Colon, Panama

3 out of 5
Very thankful that the cruise lines have built a protected area. Colon is not a safe area for tourists if you go outside of Colon 2000 cruise boat area.

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica Did not visit port

Too tired to go.


5 out of 5
Smooth and easy. Took the bus transfer to the airport but will take a taxi next time.
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