Anyone can read reviews and get opinions from various sources. The best review you can read is your own! That is why I try to fird out first hand what I want to know. You never know if you dont go. I am about to go on my fourth cruise and my third cruise line. Why limit yourself? If you stick with one cruiseline you wont know what you may or may not be missing on the others. A lot of people love to bash a particular cruiseline but have they actually been on that line? Or are they going on what they heard? Dont cheat yourself.
We just returned from Zuiderdam and could not believe the quality/variety/presentation/availability of wonderrful food. Chef Mike Mahn is aboard and that man is a wonder.
IMO.....RCI wishes in their wildest dreams to be able to present the food Zuiderdam is serving.
The new Lido design on Zuiderdam has been refined and honed and we never stood in any line of more than 3 people at any station. The variety served there for breakfast and lunch (we never tried it for dinner) was awesome. I cannot think of any luncheon food not available....including wonderful bowls of casear salad which could be combined to make a chicken ceasar etc.
I'm probably forgetting many items but off the top of my head:
Hamburgers; hot dogs, veggie burgers; full taco bar; three pastas daily with choice of three or more sauces; three (or more) flavors of pizza; fresh roasted chickens; varying sliced roasted meats (veal, lamb, prime rib etc); all sorts of veggies and potatoes and rice; full salad bar; deli bar making great sub sandwiches or grilled sandwiches, tuna, egg salad, corned beef etc etc Cannot possibly forget the ice cream bar, homemade cookies, cakes, pies and HAL's famous bread pudding. And, and, and
Sorry to hear you cancelled your "Z" sailing! I was on her in May, and had a fabulous time (Western Caribbean - not my favorite, but the price was right, and the cruise was wonderful!). I was seated on the lower floor of the dining room, and - yes - the vibration was very noticeable! However, our table for 8 "clicked" immediately, and we were so absorbed in talking and getting to know each other, that the vibration became a non-issue, and was hardly mentioned after the first night or two. I thought the food was excellent (Mike Mahn was the chef), and the service impeccable - as usual. The only problem I had was the Queen's Lounge (a disco converted into a movie theater) because the booths/chairs were very uncomfortable, and unless you sat right in the front, you couldn't see the movie screen, as the floor was flat rather than inclined. But - I'd sail on her again in a minute!! As large as she is, there were only 1800 passengers, (compared to the 3000 on other comparable ships) and I never waited in a line more than 5 minutes, and that was basically for tendering to Grand Cayman and HMC (I forced myself to get up early for early tender tickets). The Lido was wonderful - didn't do the Odyssey on this trip. I particularly liked the specialty coffee bar (can't remember the name). I also like the way the shops were laid out - they just kind of flow from one to another. Hopefully, you'll reconsider and sail her in the future! I've been on eight different druise lines, and HAL and Celebrity are my favorites. I love HAL, and have booked the Veendam over Christmas.
I have heard such mixed reviews on the Zeiderdam, I booked anyway, have never saailed HAL before and yes, I do love Celebrity :jump
I am looking forward to our August 30 experience on the Z. I need a vacation and just hope the weather is nice and sunny with no hurricanes in sight.
If anyone has suggestions on excursions, I would appreciate hearing from you. We usually do our own thing and book with locals on the pier. Cheaper and usually more fun than the ship booked tours. Any recommendations will be great.
Anyone have an inside, category I cabin:? They seem quite large, 214 sq. feet. This will also be my first experience with an inside cabin.
Anyone gotten any upgrades on HAL:?
I hear it takes forever to get on the ship. We are used to getting on very quickly and will not be to happy waiting for a few hours (I have heard this is the norm). We plan to arrive at the ship at 11:00AM. Any suggestions about this:?
There seems to be more positive news about the Z recently and I think many of the kinks have been corrected. As I have said before, I consider these boards to be similar to restaurant and movie critics and would never make or change plans solely on this information. After over 30 cruises, I have seen good, bad and ugly and stil prefer the worst to any land vacation. With that said, we are sailing 8/16. Your concern about weather is well founded but at least a ship can move away as much as posisble from bad weather. You cannot move a hotel! As to shore excursions, it all depends on what you are into. For the most part, my family enjoys shopping since we have visited many of the islands already. But if it your first visit, perhaps an island tour or a day at the beach is warranted.
The HAL website has details as well as the informative excursion book you will receive with your tix. We just got our tix last week so you should get your soon. As far as pictures,
this site has several sections on the Z under photo gallery. Also check out a website called maritimematters whre there is a review with pix. If you do a search for shiploverny
you will find a very informative site with over 100 pix including many for an inside room.
The author is a very enthusiastic youn g man who knows his stuff! As a final note, with respect to opinions, there are some negative reviews of ships I have been on in this
and other boards. When I read them, I wonder if they were on the same ship as me.
Then again...I was on the Regal Empress and wanted to jump over and swim ashore it was so bad but many moany people love it. Enjoy the prep for your vacation and write back!!!
I have no expectations. There is never a bad cruise, just a better cruise! :jump
A vacation is a vacation. I am not too thrilled about the ports but I am cruising for the vacation experience and not going just because of the Islands being visited. Guess I have been to enough Islands and now just enjoy the moment, food, sun and great people we meet on the cruises.