Love Holland America

Zuiderdam Cruise Review to Caribbean

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 51

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Verified Review

10 Night Panama Canal Sunfarer (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: April 01, 2018

Ship: Zuiderdam

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 8134

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

We really enjoyed this cruise on Holland America. I'd say they take everything to the next level.


4 out of 5
Embarkation is always stressful for me so I was stressed. The line moved steadily and there were enough agents to keep everything moving. Once we were registered and received our key cards we sat and waited for our group to be called which was very orderly.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The main dining room was amazing. The service was exceptional. The food was excellent and there were numerous choices. The presentation of each plate was beautiful. The Buffet was the best I have ever seen. There servers at the buffet and also at the tables to serve drinks and clear away the dirty dishes. The was an amazing and delicious assortment of foods.

Night Club

5 out of 5

The BB King bar had great band and singers.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
There was plenty to do but we were into eating, reading and relaxing.

Casino Action

4 out of 5

The Casino was fun and directly across from the Billboard Lounge with the dueling Piano's.


5 out of 5
The best entertainment I've seen on a cruise ship. There were the usual song and dance performances which were very well done. They had a very good comedian who was really funny without a vulgar word or joke. There was a steel drum band/orchestra that was Amazing! I enjoyed all the performances. There were also other diverse choices at other venues.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
I can't say enough about the service. There was an abundance of service personnel in the restaurant, buffet and bars. They all were very friendly and professional. They all went out of there way to ensure you were satisfied. Our room stewards were very efficient and responded to all our requests.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
I am not a big fan of mega-ships so the Zuiderdam was very manageable for us. Our ship had about 800 crew and 1800 guests. I would consider the Zuiderdam a more classical style (not glitzy). The ship was very well maintained. The bathrooms throughout the ship were constantly maintained

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Our fantail veranda stateroom was perfect. The space and storage were more than adequate. The big surprise for me was the bathtub! the bathroom was roomier than the usual closet with a small shower. We had a king size bed, loveseat, table, desk & chair. We often sat on the veranda to read or chat with our friends who had the cabin next to ours.

Ship tip

Don't miss the shows!

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida Did not visit port

Ft. Lauderdale is where we departed from. We were not interested in sightseeing.

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island)

4 out of 5
No excursion. Went to the beach for about an hour.

Kralendijk, Bonaire Did not visit port

We like to stay onboard and relax

Enter Panama Canal At Cristobal

2 out of 5
We enjoyed watching our ship go through the first lock of the Panama Canal. We sat on our Veranda to experience the ship in the lock. Then we took a tender to our bus that would take us to the ferry that would take us through the other 2 locks to the Pacific ocean. This excursion was not enjoyable. It was quite warm and the air conditioning on our bus/coach was inadequate. We made, what I thought, was an early and unnecessary Rest Stop. It was over another hour ride to the ferry and when we arrived there was at least a 40 minute wait on the warm bus. I also must mention that the tour guide on the bus was difficult to understand. We were then taken to the ferry. We chose to stay on the inside area rather than the outside deck area because as I have said it was very warm. There was a buffet on the ferry boat that was good, There were cold drinks (soda & water). You could buy a beer. I have no idea how long we were on the ferry but this was to be expected. The chairs on the ferry were metal and not very comfortable after several hours although we often got up to view the transverseing of the canal. One of the bus drivers provided us with a very descriptive narrative of what we were experiencing over a loud speaker system. The "air conditioning" on the boat was unable to maintain a cool enviorment due to the number of people and the bright sunshine. Suffice it to say that this was a very long day and the conditions definitely took a toll on our enjoyment! I do want to mention that upon our return to the ship at approximately 9:30 PM, there were several crew and officers outside to welcome us back with cool towels, lemonade and water. All the dining facilities were still available to us. We were very relieved to back on our very comfortable and cool cruise ship!

Exit Panama Canal At Cristobal Did not visit port

Because we took an excursion.

Colon, Panama Did not visit port

We were driven directly to the cruise ship by the excursion bus because it was so late.

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica Did not visit port

We had been to Costa Rica before and chose to stay on the ship and relax after the Panama Canal Excursion.


5 out of 5
Very efficient, quick and easy!
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