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blythe

Any recent Zaandam cruisers?

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My husband and I are booked on an early August 7-night cruise on the Zaandam.

I've read the most recent reviews and they are mixed. I'd appreciate any comments

regarding this ship as we have not sailed HAL in many years. I am not worried about

food or service but have a few concerns about noise in cabins (we have a Guaranteed

OV so I can't research any particular cabin). Thanks for any help.

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On the Zaandam last spring - Alaska. Lovely ship, no problems. Yes, some cabins can be noisy if they are over or under noisy activity venues - esp the Ocean Bar or other musical venues. Always the risk with a guarantee. Best option is do some cabin number research, look at the deck plan and pay the extra to pick your cabin. 

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2 hours ago, blythe said:

My husband and I are booked on an early August 7-night cruise on the Zaandam.

I've read the most recent reviews and they are mixed. I'd appreciate any comments

regarding this ship as we have not sailed HAL in many years. I am not worried about

food or service but have a few concerns about noise in cabins (we have a Guaranteed

OV so I can't research any particular cabin). Thanks for any help.

 

We sailed on the Zaandam last June on the 14 day Alaska cruise right after her dry dock.  She was in great shape!  There were a few areas they were still carpeting, but they did a great job of not inconveniencing passengers.  I'm sure it's all done by now. 

 

We sailed with our friends who had never been on Holland America.  They had always cruised on Royal Caribbean and they loved the Zaandam and Holland America!  They loved the food, service and ship.  We had a fantastic time.

 

We have gone the guaranteed route twice.   The first time we ever cruised we had a choice veranda and loved the location it was a VB.  The second time we went a guaranteed VE and ended up with a VA, unfortunately it was under the aft pool.  Before we sailed we asked to be moved, but it was too late.  We had heard you could hear the noise from the chairs being dragged around and you can.  We also didn't like the fact that we had to worry about people dropping things on our head when we were out on the balcony at the rail.  From then on, we've paid the few hundred dollars more to choose our cabins.  The good part is that HAL changed the cabin ratings.  That VA we had under the aft pool is now a VF!  The area we like went from a VB down to a VD so the costs is usually not much more than guaranteed we would choose. 

 

Utahtea

 

 

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Thank you for the replies. This cruise is part of a special group tour and we had only choice of category

and not able to pick a particular cabin. This itinerary is very port-intensive and the ship is mostly a means

of transportation. We will be sure to pack ear plugs in case of some noise in the cabin. I know that Zaandam

is an older ship but I think it will be fine. This is a new experience for us, as we usually always vacation on

our own and usually sail Celebrity. It will all be fine!

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Hubby and I will be sailing Zaandam from Montreal to Boston this summer (our 5th cruise/ 3rd on HAL-OoSterdam and Statendam). Does the Zaandam offer unlimited laundry for $49/wk?  We enjoyed this service on our other HAL cruises and can pack very light if we know we will have reasonably priced laundry services.

We have booked a Vista Suite on deck 6.  The cabin pictures on HAL show a small flat screen TV on the desk.  Has HAL changed to a larger wall mounted TV on the Zaandam?  (TV is not important to us, but the small TV makes the room look outdated.)

We will be flying into Montreal the night before the cruise and staying at the Fairfield near the airport.  Any suggestions or info on transportation to the cruise terminal?  Will language be a problem? (We don't speak French.)

Any other info on the ship or Canadian ports would be appreciated!

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Hal offers unlimited laundry package on all it's ships.  I think it's still $7 per day X length of the cruise.  It has always been well worth it to us. 

We were on Zaandam last summer to Alaska, in a vista suite on deck 6, and yes thee TV was a small flat screen at one end of the desk.

You should have no problem with language.  Most Quebec residents can speak English, especially in the major cities.

My son was in Montreal a few weekends ago and said he had no problem speaking English there.

Enjoy your cruise.

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17 hours ago, Daisyloo said:

Hal offers unlimited laundry package on all it's ships.  I think it's still $7 per day X length of the cruise.  It has always been well worth it to us. 

We were on Zaandam last summer to Alaska, in a vista suite on deck 6, and yes thee TV was a small flat screen at one end of the desk.

You should have no problem with language.  Most Quebec residents can speak English, especially in the major cities.

My son was in Montreal a few weekends ago and said he had no problem speaking English there.

Enjoy your cruise.

Thank you, so much, for the info!

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We were on Zaandam for 22 days last Jan.  Our Neptune Suite was directly under the dish washing station for the Lido, so we had some noise from that occasionally.  Heard no other complaints.  Like the ship a lot, especially her size.

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On 4/18/2019 at 4:19 PM, Cajuntraveler said:

We will be flying into Montreal the night before the cruise and staying at the Fairfield near the airport.  Any suggestions or info on transportation to the cruise terminal?  Will language be a problem? (We don't speak French.)

Any other info on the ship or Canadian ports would be appreciated!

Port of Montreal Info is here. Learn the assigned Zaandam terminal number for that day.

https://www.port-montreal.com/en/cruise-vessels-schedule.html

https://www.port-montreal.com/files/PDF/acces-information/2019-04-Information-acces-quais-en.pdf

 

Either from the hotel or at the airport terminal, book a cab or limo to the cruise terminal. Give them the T or H code for your Zaandam berth at the cruise port. Or at the airport, board the city bus route 747 to downtown. It handles travellers with suitcases. Call for a cab from downtown to the port. Google Montreal STM bus to see route and pricing for the 747 bus. Perhaps the Fairfield concierge can find an affiliated downtown hotel on the 747 bus route. And then switch to a cab at the second hotel.

 

I did enjoy the rebuilt Fortress of Louisbourg, an excursion when you are at Sydney, Cape Breton Island.

http://www.fortressoflouisbourg.ca

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Cruise4food said:

Port of Montreal Info is here. Learn the assigned Zaandam terminal number for that day.

https://www.port-montreal.com/en/cruise-vessels-schedule.html

https://www.port-montreal.com/files/PDF/acces-information/2019-04-Information-acces-quais-en.pdf

 

Either from the hotel or at the airport terminal, book a cab or limo to the cruise terminal. Give them the T or H code for your Zaandam berth at the cruise port. Or at the airport, board the city bus route 747 to downtown. It handles travellers with suitcases. Call for a cab from downtown to the port. Google Montreal STM bus to see route and pricing for the 747 bus. Perhaps the Fairfield concierge can find an affiliated downtown hotel on the 747 bus route. And then switch to a cab at the second hotel.

 

I did enjoy the rebuilt Fortress of Louisbourg, an excursion when you are at Sydney, Cape Breton Island.

http://www.fortressoflouisbourg.ca

 

 

 

 

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On 4/18/2019 at 4:19 PM, Cajuntraveler said:

Hubby and I will be sailing Zaandam from Montreal to Boston this summer (our 5th cruise/ 3rd on HAL-OoSterdam and Statendam). Does the Zaandam offer unlimited laundry for $49/wk?  We enjoyed this service on our other HAL cruises and can pack very light if we know we will have reasonably priced laundry services.

We have booked a Vista Suite on deck 6.  The cabin pictures on HAL show a small flat screen TV on the desk.  Has HAL changed to a larger wall mounted TV on the Zaandam?  (TV is not important to us, but the small TV makes the room look outdated.)

We will be flying into Montreal the night before the cruise and staying at the Fairfield near the airport.  Any suggestions or info on transportation to the cruise terminal?  Will language be a problem? (We don't speak French.)

Any other info on the ship or Canadian ports would be appreciated!

We may be on the same  cruise and hotel...which cruise week are you sailing?  We are June 1.

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50 minutes ago, mittenscat23 said:

We may be on the same  cruise and hotel...which cruise week are you sailing?  We are June 1.

 

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On 4/20/2019 at 6:45 PM, mittenscat23 said:

We may be on the same  cruise and hotel...which cruise week are you sailing?  We are June 1

I hope you enjoyed your cruise!  Can you share some of your experience? We are scheduled for the Aug. 24th departure on the Zaandam.  Did you end up staying at the YUL airport Fairfield before your cruise?  (We have reservations at the Fairfield for the night before our cruise.)  Were there any problems with the hotel or hotel shuttle?  I don't know if it would be better to use the hotel shuttle to return to the airport to get a taxi of take one from the hotel to the port. Did the hotel arrange for a taxi from the hotel to the cruise port?  Any info you can share would be appreciated.

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Was on Zaandam June 15  Great trip   Ship was fine for small ship   Tv was tiny and our cabin was under kitchen but noise was slight.  ports are amazing   Did Fun with Falcons in PEI and it lived up to reviews  Fantastic  Halifax boardwalk was so pretty and their Maritime Museum was great.  Taxis are scarce in QC and Bar Harbor but you don't really need them  I was travelling with my 87 year old mom so needed them  Did a Viatour tour of Chateaux Frontenac in QC and it was so great   We stayed at Hotel Chrome in Montreal cuz I like to walk in the old city before getting on ship  $40 cab to city from airport      taxi to port  $15can   Port is small so embarkation is quick  I hope to do this trip again next year

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QHsailor, thanks for your input. How was the tender service at Bar Harbor? Did you take an excursion? We are considering either a short tour of Acadia National Park  or simply walking around the town and along the scenic ocean trail. Also, what did the Viatour of Chateaux Frontenac involve? Does the ship dock near enough to old town to just walk around on one's own?

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2 hours ago, blythe said:

QHsailor, thanks for your input. How was the tender service at Bar Harbor? Did you take an excursion? We are considering either a short tour of Acadia National Park  or simply walking around the town and along the scenic ocean trail. Also, what did the Viatour of Chateaux Frontenac involve? Does the ship dock near enough to old town to just walk around on one's own?

I understand this is the HAL board, but, we disembarked the Summit on Sunday.  We stopped in Bar Harbor and booked the 4 hour tour with Oli's Trolley.  It is about $65pp and the tour was fabulous.  I highly recommend them.  Book ahead.  If you don't make it in for some reason they refund promptly.  This happened in October of last year and it was refunded within 24 hours.

Imo, sitting on the drivers side of the trolley gives the best advantage.  I hope this helps.  Acadia is a MUST DO.  It is breathtaking.  The 4 hour includes a stop at Cadillac Mountain for 30 minutes as well as three other stops, also, 30 minutes.

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3 hours ago, QHsailor said:

Was on Zaandam June 15  Great trip   Ship was fine for small ship   Tv was tiny and our cabin was under kitchen but noise was slight.  ports are amazing   Did Fun with Falcons in PEI and it lived up to reviews  Fantastic  Halifax boardwalk was so pretty and their Maritime Museum was great.  Taxis are scarce in QC and Bar Harbor but you don't really need them  I was travelling with my 87 year old mom so needed them  Did a Viatour tour of Chateaux Frontenac in QC and it was so great   We stayed at Hotel Chrome in Montreal cuz I like to walk in the old city before getting on ship  $40 cab to city from airport      taxi to port  $15can   Port is small so embarkation is quick  I hope to do this trip again next year

Thanks for sharing your experience!

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Just got off yesterday from 7 day Boston to Montreal. The most boring ship ever been on. Entertainment is almost non existent unless you like piano bar singer every night, few trivia games, & their “broadway dancers” who probably wouldn’t get past the 1st round on America’s got talent.  2 comedians on board, the ventriloquist was very funny, the other everybody just sat there.   Some of the activities & shows probably find in a retirement home.  Jude the cruise director must have the easiest directors job in the fleet.   Ship very small & showing its age

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On ‎7‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 10:47 AM, hairbflo said:

Just got off yesterday from 7 day Boston to Montreal. The most boring ship ever been on. Entertainment is almost non existent unless you like piano bar singer every night, few trivia games, & their “broadway dancers” who probably wouldn’t get past the 1st round on America’s got talent.  2 comedians on board, the ventriloquist was very funny, the other everybody just sat there.   Some of the activities & shows probably find in a retirement home.  Jude the cruise director must have the easiest directors job in the fleet.   Ship very small & showing its age

I was on the same cruise.  My husband and I go on cruises to see new places or go back to those we loved.  I thought the singers and dancers did a good job overall (we do not expect Broadway productions), the ventriloquist was great, as were the adagio duo.  There was also a jazz quartet playing most nights, and not mentioned above. The crew and food were fantastic as were the ports visited.  I guess we all look for different experiences when on a cruise. Actually, I thought that Jude was doing double duty as a cruise director as well as travel director.  She was everywhere.   I am sorry, though, that you found it so boring.

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21 minutes ago, Dunelm said:

I was on the same cruise.  My husband and I go on cruises to see new places or go back to those we loved.  I thought the singers and dancers did a good job overall (we do not expect Broadway productions), the ventriloquist was great, as were the adagio duo.  There was also a jazz quartet playing most nights, and not mentioned above. The crew and food were fantastic as were the ports visited.  I guess we all look for different experiences when on a cruise. Actually, I thought that Jude was doing double duty as a cruise director as well as travel director.  She was everywhere.   I am sorry, though, that you found it so boring.

Hubby and I will be on the Zaandam next month and I was concerned after reading the negative review.  Thanks for posting about your positive experience.

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