Bad service and experince on the Zuiderdam



I only had one bad experience on a HAL cruise. It was the dreaded no AC for a week . At least you got a fan. All the fans on our cruise were given out. It won't stop me from sailing HAL again. I just won't sail that particular ship till it has been drydocked and the on going problems corrected.
Food has been good on all my cruises. Some were better than others but it still beat cooking and serving ourselves at home.


We have sailed the Westerdam, Oosterdam and Rotterdam .

I would say the service,attention to detail and food quality were far superior on the Rotterdam. I would someday like to sail on the Amsterdam. Although we love a larger ship, if we return to HAL it will be either to the Rotterdam or the Amsterdam.

For now we are on a Celebrity kick- best food and service we have has was on Mercury in Feb 2005- So of course I want to make sure that wasn't a fluke- ha- and by the end of March I will know for sure!!

14 days til Summit - Sept 16
117 days til Galaxy- Dec 29
190 days til Summit- March 12


Once I get on the ship I don't care how late they are leaving... I'm going to be up on my balcony watching everything anyway, or on the lido deck, or having a nice cold one, what the heck. I would worry about the under-cooked hamburger. That can be dangerous and the right conditions could result in many people getting sick. Seems that didn't happen though or it would be all over the forums. My worst cruise can be someone elses best cruise, it's all in what you expect, what you are used to and what you will accept as the norm.



if I had a business...I would think that it be best for you to not frequent it. you appear to be difficult to please. sorry...I'm not as politically correct as other posters...but REALLY! It's a cruise. who in the *%$$ cares that the clocks are correct? There's not one clock in our facility at work that is the same as the next! Get real. It would be best that you select another curise line...I certainly don't want to hear you complaining on our next cruise about insignficant issues. It spoils the experience for others. Please leave HAL to those who enjoy the experience.


We were on Zuiderdam 9/17-9/24/05 and as first time HAL cruisers we were very pleased. We thought the automatic tipping policy might bring the service standards down and boy were we wrong. We have sailed a dozen times with Celebrity (our favorite), a few RCL, a few NCL, several Disney and one Princess and thought HAL service was terrific. Amazing how the dining room staff knew all our names by the second night and always greeted us by name. Food was good and the service and staff were wonderful.


Hi All,
I have sailed on the Volendam and the Zui and I must say that the Volendam was a much nicer ship FOR ME. I love that ship!

I took a 7 day cruise last Oct. on the Zui and had a S. Suite and there were some issues with the ship being "not up to par". She was scheduled to go into dry dock a couple cruises after ours so I'm hoping they fixed up the "ruts" in the hallway on our deck..I think it was the Rotterdam deck...if I remember correctly.

I decided the Zui wasn't for me because it was just too big for my tastes and there were too many kids onboard for my liking. The big map was all screwed up, so they actually "shut it down". I was talking with one of the ship's officers who was in charge of programming the map and he said there was a program problem. I did notice though that for the little while it WAS working that there was a button you could push that would take you to the maps of all HAL's ships and see where they were, etc. After that, it was shut down, so maybe it was a programming error. I didn't think it was placed in a bad area though..seems to be plenty of space where it's located for people to walk by.

I thought the service on the Zui was good. The only thing that I didn't like were that the S Suites were filled with families who had kids and there were a lot of kids all time in the Neptune lounge...and the little rascals were always eating up all "MY" chocolate covered strawberries! Now THAT, was a crime, IMO!! <G> The problem was resolved though when the concierge made sure to have plates delivered to my suite --(and the suite of our tablemates who also loved the strawberries). Problem solved! LOL

I don't have problems with ships leaving later than scheduled...I'm already onboard and enjoying the ship, so at that time, I don't care if we stay in port the whole night and leave the next morning. I've been to all the ports anyway. I just love the ships, the service, my bed and room being made up everyday and not wanting for ANYTHING!

When HAL cut down on the portions of the meals, that suited me just fine because I think they give us plenty to eat and if you've not had can always ask for more. I've never had a problem with having as many lobster tails as I've ever wanted. (oink oink)

I've sailed Celebrity several times and although, I love the Century, I don't think HAL's staff is as pretencious as Celebrity though. I really like HAL, but I'm not a "diehard" defender of any cruiseline. Some people have a good time and some people get disappointed and I don't think we all have the same experience all the time even if we're on the same cruise.

I was under the impression from the poster that the A/C was too cold when he said it was too low. It seems since he mentioned they brought a fan in so that gave me the impression that it was too hot. Now, THAT would bother me, because I like my suite freezing...and so far in all my years of cruising, I've not had that experience of being too hot. (thanks to the god Neptune!)

Happy Sailing, and a bad day at sea is always better than a good day on land IMO. ;-)


Forgive me...I made an error on my Zui was THIS past June. LAST October was one of my Volendam was perfect. as they've all been ;-)


941Cass Wrote:
> if I had a business...I would think that it be
> best for you to not frequent it. you appear to be
> difficult to please. sorry...I'm not as
> politically correct as other posters...but REALLY!
> It's a cruise. who in the *%$$ cares that the
> clocks are correct? There's not one clock in our
> facility at work that is the same as the next!
> Get real. It would be best that you select
> another curise line...I certainly don't want to
> hear you complaining on our next cruise about
> insignficant issues. It spoils the experience for
> others. Please leave HAL to those who enjoy the
> experience.
> Cass
> Veendam, 1997 & 1998
> Zuiderdam 2004
> Oosterdam 2004
> Legend of the Seas Nov. 19, 2005
> Oosterdam May 20, 2006

WOW, that's kinda cold. I believe everyone has a right to their opinion and I believe these boards are for people to share their experiences good and bad with everyone else.

Someone else's experience doesn't affect mine at all, I and I believe most other experienced cruisers are freethinkers and don't let someone else's opinion spoil our time. I think no A/C is not insignificant in hot weather. It's never happened to me, and I'm not sure how I would handle it if it did happen to me and the problem wasn't fixed. I hope I never find out. It's just possible that when that person first got to their cabin and found the A/C not working that that in itself could have been enough to spoil their cruise for them. :)


I sailed the Zuiderdam in May-June 2004. It was a family reunion cruise, and had a great time because we were all together for the first time in many years, but I do wish we had chosen another ship. Our cabins were great, the food was good, and I didn't care about (or even notice) that the clocks were not right. I didn't care for the layout of the ship, but my main complaint was the terrible service in the dining room. We were consistently brought the wrong dinners, had to beg for water refills, and getting coffee was almost impossible. One of my sisters and I stayed a second week and the service was even worse that week. Our waiter barely acknowledged that we were there. He acted as if we were bothering him when we ordered dinner. He practically threw our plates on the table. Needless to say, we only went to the dining room two nights and went to the Lido Restaurant the other evenings and had much better service. I always look forward to meeting the crew and getting to know them. In fact, I have made several really good friends that way. I don't blame the crew for the bad service, I blame the cruise line. I think the waiters were expected to wait on too many tables and were exhausted. While I understand that they were exhausted from overwork, I do expect to be treated like a human being. My first cruise was on HAL and I loved it. I wouldn't sail on the Zuiderdam again, but I would like to try another HAL ship. I've found that I enjoy Princess and Celebrity ships much more.

Everyone has their own opinion about the ships they sail on. While I may or may not not like a ship, someone else may have the opposite opinion. (Reading the reviews will tell you that no two people have the same opinion.) I go on cruises to relax and get away from work and everyday life for a week or two. No matter what I like or dislike about a cruise (and usually I don't dislike anything!) I try to remember that I'm on vacation. I don't have to cook my dinner or clean up after. I don't have to make my bed or wash the sheets and towels. So even a day on a cruise with so-so service is better than a day at work.


Just got off the Zuiderdam a week ago & had a wonderful cruise. I've sailed with Princess & Celebrity & they were great too but I give HAL a slight edge. We had wonderful service & EVERYONE was extremely friendly. The food was delicious. We had an SS suite which was fantastic. Quite spacious with lots of storage. The bathrom is huge with his/hers sinks plus his/hers cabinets, a very long shelf under the sink counter to hold cosmetic bags etc, full size jacuzzi tub with shower plus an aditonal shower. Large balcony with 2 cushioned chairs with foot rests & small table plus a large table & 2 chairs. Entertainment with Julie Barr & Joel Mason was super! Because it was Oct there were not too many kids on board but the ones that we did see were very well behaved. The last night (Fri) we ate in the Pinnacle Grill but they were out of rib eye steaks & Sat a.m. we had room service bring in breakfast as we waited to disembark & they were out of skim milk. Some people would claim their cruise was ruined because of the steak & milk however, we don't let minor problems bother us. We had a great cruise & can't wait to sail with HAL again.


I think the flaming of Elise is unfair. No one small thing will ruin a cruise; but an accumulation of small things will do so. After about five things going wrong, you get so sour about things that it's hard to appreciate the good stuff. Also, some of her complaints are not small at all. Put yourself in her place:

a) Despite complaints about air conditioning, and adjusting the thermostat, the room was never comfortable.

b) The wrong dinner sitting can make a cruise very uncomfortable. On our first cruise, on the old Noordam, we earlybirds were assigned the late sitting, even though we asked for the early sitting when we booked a year in advance. It nearly ruined our cruise: we ended up having snacks and room service at our mnormal eating time, missed most shows because they were too late for us, and never ate all of our meal (because we already had eaten substantial snacks). Would it have hurt to have a sign saying: "The early dinner sittings are full, and the size of the wait list makes it unlikely that we can accommodate requests for an early sitting.? Either that or a separate table to take waiting list names, and nothing else?

c) Nearly missing the ship because there was no shuttle back to the ship from a ship's excursion is also no small thing.

d) Wouldn't you be concerned if there were an announcement that the Coast Guard wouldn't let the ship leave? Was there a faulty engine, or terrible sanitation problems? A delay for late planes is normal, but being stopped by the Coat Guard isn't.

e) Yes, food is subjective. We thought the food on our one Celebrity cruise was too non-ethnic, too bland, and too salty - not easy to do simultaneously. Most people think Celebrity has better food than HAL; but we like food with lots of spices and no salt. Food is very important.

f) So is wine, and there certainly are incompetent wine stewards. Elise got one.

With big downers like those six, small wonder she also noticed small things. By then, she was pretty PO'd.

Stop the flaming. Even on a trip where most people get good service and comfortable rooms, some people get unlucky. Do you expect them to like it?