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boatmad

Delighted on Zuiderdam

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We recently returned from a Zuiderdam cruise and were immediately happy with two new items.  The first was getting our keycard and finding it was already punched to fit on a lanyard.  Saved time waiting at guest services on a busy embarkation day.

 

Our second “happy” was finding late fixed dining began at 7:45 instead of 8:00 pm.  We could easily make it to the entertainment we wanted to attend.

 

This was our fourth cruise on this ship and there were no issues, no wishing for changes, no complaining.  Another great HAL experience!

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Good to hear. We're sailing on her this summer. Can't wait!

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Good news.  I like the 7:45 for main dining.

We’ll be on in April so appreciate the comments 😄 

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They might as well start late seating at 7:45, since on my last two cruises that's when the pre-dinner cocktail time music ended. 

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On 2/10/2020 at 12:10 PM, boatmad said:

We recently returned from a Zuiderdam cruise and were immediately happy with two new items.  The first was getting our keycard and finding it was already punched to fit on a lanyard.  Saved time waiting at guest services on a busy embarkation day.

 

Our second “happy” was finding late fixed dining began at 7:45 instead of 8:00 pm.  We could easily make it to the entertainment we wanted to attend.

 

This was our fourth cruise on this ship and there were no issues, no wishing for changes, no complaining.  Another great HAL experience!

We are booked for 8:00 pm glad to know it’s really 7:45 !!!!

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I've been meaning to post a review, since we recently returned from a cruise aboard the Zuiderdam, but got waylaid by a bad cold.  Nonetheless, had a fabulous cruise, and we've been on many cruises.  The staff was spectacular, ports terrific, and we had a lovely suite (for the first time), so that was fabulous.  Loved every minute, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

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1 hour ago, albingirl said:

I've been meaning to post a review, since we recently returned from a cruise aboard the Zuiderdam, but got waylaid by a bad cold.  Nonetheless, had a fabulous cruise, and we've been on many cruises.  The staff was spectacular, ports terrific, and we had a lovely suite (for the first time), so that was fabulous.  Loved every minute, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Please post if you do get around to writing a review.  I am on her for 10 days starting March 29 and hungry for info!

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21 minutes ago, jlocole said:

Please post if you do get around to writing a review.  I am on her for 10 days starting March 29 and hungry for info!

ok, will do.

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I was on the Zuiderdam from Jan 25 until Feb 8.  We had spectacular weather with only a bumpy ride on the last sea day, a bit of early rain in Falmouth (but it was hot), and a breezy day the second time we stopped at HMC.  In fact, the shoreside staff could not make it to HMC that day, but the ship's food and beverage team managed to get food and drink over to the island and I understand most of the bars and the BBQ went ahead.  Unfortunately, all excursions had to be cancelled. The morning was windy and cool but the the afternoon was much better that day.   

 

This is my second cruise on her, and I love this ship.  The crew are so friendly and helpful, loved the food (I'm pretty easy to please though!) and the ports.  Wasn't really overly thrilled with the main stage entertainment - three different comedians and a magician over the two weeks plus the One Step productions.  BB Kings and Billboard on Board were outstanding.  Casino was mean to me 🙂 but that didn't stop me from spending time there.  I've already booked a cruise on the Zuiderdam for next February (only 368 days until departure, but who's counting!) as I like the ship that much.

 

If anyone has any specific questions, I'll try to answer them.

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On 2/10/2020 at 11:10 AM, boatmad said:

We recently returned from a Zuiderdam cruise and were immediately happy with two new items.  The first was getting our keycard and finding it was already punched to fit on a lanyard.  Saved time waiting at guest services on a busy embarkation day.

 

Our second “happy” was finding late fixed dining began at 7:45 instead of 8:00 pm.  We could easily make it to the entertainment we wanted to attend.

 

This was our fourth cruise on this ship and there were no issues, no wishing for changes, no complaining.  Another great HAL experience!

I am glad you have good words to say about the Zuiderdam, the first of the Vista Class ships.

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On 2/10/2020 at 11:10 AM, boatmad said:

We recently returned from a Zuiderdam cruise and were immediately happy with two new items.  The first was getting our keycard and finding it was already punched to fit on a lanyard.  Saved time waiting at guest services on a busy embarkation day.

 

Our second “happy” was finding late fixed dining began at 7:45 instead of 8:00 pm.  We could easily make it to the entertainment we wanted to attend.

 

This was our fourth cruise on this ship and there were no issues, no wishing for changes, no complaining.  Another great HAL experience!

Do you know when first seating started?

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1 hour ago, panoramaofthepast said:

Do you know when first seating started?


We were on from Feb 1 - 8. Early fixed dining was at 5:30. We really enjoyed our time on the ship. We were originally booked on the Nieuw Amsterdam, so the only available accessible cabin was an inside. But as luck would have it, a family cabana was available in The Retreat area, so we snatched it up. It was our first time having a family cabana and we loved it! As Jinty684 said above, HMC was very windy and a little cool, hence the photo of my wife below. It didn’t phase me much as I soaked in every minute. The ship was in great shape and appears to have recently received new carpet in certain areas. Hitting the new carpet made pushing myself in my wheelchair difficult. It felt like they used an extra thick carpet pad. Probably not noticeable to people walking on it, but definitely noticeable trying to push a wheelchair across it. Overall, it was a great cruise!D8E84EF3-295D-4BCE-A381-E3A4293A69B9.jpeg.c9bf90465b129fa7bcab397f1481c4c7.jpeg

81726F11-1238-4925-9788-C048A64F3C46.jpeg

Edited by 510picker

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Glad to hear that the ship is in fine condition.  We board her on the 15th.  Missed you by one week.

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14 hours ago, mudscraper said:

Glad to hear that the ship is in fine condition.  We board her on the 15th.  Missed you by one week.


Sorry we missed you...have a great trip!

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On 2/12/2020 at 5:08 PM, 510picker said:


We were on from Feb 1 - 8. Early fixed dining was at 5:30. We really enjoyed our time on the ship. We were originally booked on the Nieuw Amsterdam, so the only available accessible cabin was an inside. But as luck would have it, a family cabana was available in The Retreat area, so we snatched it up. It was our first time having a family cabana and we loved it! As Jinty684 said above, HMC was very windy and a little cool, hence the photo of my wife below. It didn’t phase me much as I soaked in every minute. The ship was in great shape and appears to have recently received new carpet in certain areas. Hitting the new carpet made pushing myself in my wheelchair difficult. It felt like they used an extra thick carpet pad. Probably not noticeable to people walking on it, but definitely noticeable trying to push a wheelchair across it. Overall, it was a great cruise!

 

I have a cabana booked for my 10 day Panama cruise in April and I am debating cancelling it.  Did you use it most days?  Was it usually windy by the cabanas?  Were most of them booked? Can you recommend a non-family one to choose if I keep it? Was a glass of champagne served each day?

Thank you.

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We will be sailing the April Panama Canal cruise and I have never been to that area before. I have heard they have limited programs on sea days and there are quite a few. Any recommendations to occupy time if we don't spend it in the pool all day? How active/noisy is the Lido pool area at night?

 

We booked the Sel de Mer dinner - did anyone try that? Any other advice would be appreciated.

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3 hours ago, jlocole said:

I have a cabana booked for my 10 day Panama cruise in April and I am debating cancelling it.  Did you use it most days?  Was it usually windy by the cabanas?  Were most of them booked? Can you recommend a non-family one to choose if I keep it? Was a glass of champagne served each day?

Thank you.


The week we were on, the front desk told us they were all booked for the week, but you would never have known it. We were up there every day and only had a couple of days that were windy. This was our sixth time having a Retreat Cabana, so obviously we enjoy them.

 

Picking an ideal cabana is a crap shoot. On windy days, we wished we had a side facing cabana to be protected from the wind. On warm days that weren’t very windy, we wished we had a rear facing cabana for the airflow. 

 

Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries are served every day at 3 PM. On previous cruises, they were served at 2 PM which worked better for us. 
 

If you already have one booked, I would keep your reservation and wait until you get on the ship. Ship service told us if decided to cancel when we boarded, we would get a refund. Please call ship services yourself to confirm this. You cancel now, you may end up being sorry.
 

The Retreat Cabanas are an awesome place to relax in either the sun or shade, without having to worry about fighting for a chair. Have a great trip!

Edited by 510picker

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2 hours ago, goddessofchaos said:

We will be sailing the April Panama Canal cruise and I have never been to that area before. I have heard they have limited programs on sea days and there are quite a few. Any recommendations to occupy time if we don't spend it in the pool all day? How active/noisy is the Lido pool area at night?

 

We booked the Sel de Mer dinner - did anyone try that? Any other advice would be appreciated.

I got a lot of info from this thread:

 

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