Very nice cruise

Zuiderdam Cruise Review to Caribbean

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 22

Overall rating:

3.9 out of 5

10 Night Panama Canal Sunfarer (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: April 01, 2018

Ship: Zuiderdam

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 6095

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

All in all a nice cruise and ship. Geared for an older crowd even though I'm 70. Will try Holland America Cruise Line again. Service was the most impressive thing. All crew were so happy and helpful and hard working.


3 out of 5
The experience boarding had a couple hitches. The desk person neglected to give us our colored boarding pass. This was important because they board everyone in a very large waiting area by calling the color. There were hundreds of people waiting to board and not many seats available. There is no separate waiting area for suite guests as other cruise line provide. This was total chaos as everyone wanted to board first.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Main dining room was fine. It was easy to get seated any time you arrive for dinner. The staff is extremely attentive. The food was very good. There are only 2 specialty restaurants that are excellent. The staff rembered our names after one visit. They actually need another choice for specialty restaurants besides the Pinnacle steakhouse and Caneletta Italian restaurant. The menus get old on a 11 day cruise. The buffet was good for breakfast and lunch if you are in a hurry. Egg station and pasta station were the best. Tudor, Jose, Kanchana, Najib and Marion were the best and most fun in the Pinnacle steakhouse where we had breakfast daily and dinner several evenings. In the Canaletta Italian restaurant we want to recognize Maria and several others who made our evening dinners very enjoyable.

Ocean Bar

5 out of 5

This was the best bar and we went there regularly. The staff was excellent. Warren and Joland and are the absolute best. The sitting area is comfortable and the view was great. Most bars are pretty empty until Happy Hour then the guests without the beverage package show up in droves for drink specials and appetizers.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Pools were fine and did not use fitness center.

Lido Pool

4 out of 5

The Lido pool is quite small with limited lounge chairs. The impressive thing was the closeable dome over the entire pool. It protects it from extreme cold, bad weather, wind & sun. We did not go to the aft pool because there was no shade in the pool or lounge area.


4 out of 5
Entertainment was quite good. See Vista lounge review.

Children's Programs

No children with us.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The service was exceptional. Holland America has done a great job hiring and training it's employees. All are proud of the company and their jobs. Very impressed.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Ships layout was fine. Surprised that there was no grand entry as other cruise ships have. The Caneletta Italian restaurant should have its own place instead of closing off a small portion of the Lido buffet. The shopping area is very small. The crew was always cleaning.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Our suite was fine. It was large and spacious and always cleaned. Our cabin steward, Ono and his assistant, were always around and the room was always cleaned. I love the suites and the large balconies that come with them.

Ship tip

Be aware that this is an older crowd. Lots of walkers, wheelchairs and scooters.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

4 out of 5
So much easier than Miami. Did not do excursion here since we live in Florida.

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island)

3 out of 5
Did not want to visit a beach. We wanted to explore the ship.

Kralendijk, Bonaire

1 out of 5
Don't waste your time or money. This place sucks! All that's there is cactus, donkeys and goats. They should skip this place altogether.

Willemstad, Curacao

5 out of 5
Curaçao is very nice. Very picturesque and the moving bridge is something to see and experience. Cruise ship docks a distance from town center. Excursion was very good.

Enter Panama Canal At Cristobal

5 out of 5
Wow this is really impressive. Glad we did this excursion. We took a ferry through the two locks leading into the Pacific Ocean. Our buses met us there and drove us back to the ship in Cologne.

Exit Panama Canal At Cristobal

3 out of 5
Did not exit here

Colon, Panama

1 out of 5
Nothing here but cruise terminal. Not a good area to be in or past terminal.

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

4 out of 5
Great place to excursion.


3 out of 5
Very easy to disembark. Biggest issue was finding luggage and going through customs. You would think that the suite guests would have a special area for luggage and line for customs. Friends had one bag placed in wrong section.
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