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Zuiderdam problems ahead for Oosterdam?

Discussion in 'Holland America Line' started by Jake Brake, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. Jake Brake

    Jake Brake Guest

    My wife and I are taking the Nov 19th transatlantic crossing on the Oosterdam. I've been reading some rather unflattering things about the Zuiderdam, the Oosterdam's sister ship. Does this spell trouble for the Oosterdam? We are relatively inexperienced crusiers (only one before this on RCL) and would welcome the opinion of some more experienced folks on this topic. Thanks!
  2. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    We totally enjoyed two wonderful cruises on Zuiderdam in April and eagerly await our return to that beautiful ship in August for another set of back-to-backs.

    Whatever early problems the ship seemed to have had to work through have been addressed and she is a great ship IMO

    What a wonderful cruise you have to look forward to.
  3. Jake Brake

    Jake Brake Guest


    Thanks for your reply. Glad you're giving the Zuiderdam a thumbs up. I'm not sure what to make of those negative postings about the Zuiderdam. Habitual whiners and complainers? Moles from the competition? How some people can have almost the opposite experience is a mystery. Since my wife and I are ballroom dancers we're really looking forward to the "Big Band" theme cruise in November. Thanks again.

  4. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    Jake....have you read any reviews from recent months? Some of very early ones when the ship first debuted were less than positive. The overwhelming reviews of recent months have been very positive.

    There have been some excellent ones on this site and many, many very positive ones on CC....the HAL section. Perhaps all you have read is "old news"?
  5. ljeanbrown

    ljeanbrown Guest

    There is a very nice review of this ship in this months CRUISE TRAVEL magazine. It made me want to book a cruise on it.

    Laurie :wave
  6. olderpilot

    olderpilot Guest


    Oosterdam's initial cruise was delayed by 24 days earlier this spring for whatever reason (slow european bookings for one). Obviously some of the initial shortcomings of the Zuiderdam were addressed while the Oosterdam was still in in the construction phase.

    We will be on board for the second cruise (8/15 from Copenhagen to Harwich) and will provide a full report.

  7. Jake Brake

    Jake Brake Guest

    sail7seas: Perhaps some of the reviews were of earlier cruises when they had more problems, but some of the same problems have been echoed by "Sue" and "kc" on this website in reviews dated last month. Still, I don't know these people, whether they might be hypercritical cruisers, or how much stock to place in their reviews. I agree that, overall, the buzz has been positive on the Zuiderdam.

    ljeanbrown: Thanks, I'll check it out.

    olderpilot: I'll look forward to your report of the Oosterdam. It will be interesting to see how it contrasts with the Zuiderdam. For one thing, I heard the decor will be less over the top.
  8. stargazerm31

    stargazerm31 Guest

    Take the reported problems with a lot of salt. You are on a cruise. Unless the ship sinks or catches fire, how bad can it really be???

  9. Jake Brake

    Jake Brake Guest

    Good point. Your worst day of cruising still beats your best day at work.
  10. ANSAlberg

    ANSAlberg Guest

    "Your WORST day Cruising.Et al - EXACTLY!
    We will be on the TransAtlantic as well- we're doing the B2B out of Venice and I can't wait! We are 2 retired folks out of LOngmont, Colorado. On the Volendam "Pacific Rim" cruise in November 2002 -we had a great group of about a dozem people that "met" on the internet prior to the cruise. We got together in the Crows Nest at 3 on Sunday afternoon to touch base etc [ this was a 65 day cruise -We were on 35 days] And that was GREAT. Hope to see you cruising, Jake- Its "The only way to FLY!"
  11. Cruzin

    Cruzin Guest

    Hi Brian,

    I'm Sue who you reference in your post. Just for the record I am not one of the habitual whiners, complainers or possible moles for the competition. I actually found the later reference amusing.

    Our experience was directly affected by the dinning room due to the vibration and noise at dinner. It was excessive where we were seated but if you were fortunate enough to be seated elsewhere you would have had an enjoyable evening.

    They are having problems with the propulsion system and hopefully they have learned and have replaced or made adjustments with the Oosterdam. Zuiderdam's problems will be addressed in dry dock sometime in Dec. 2003. Although some readers continue to label me as a whiner and other unmentionable names simply because they did not have the same experience, I have a letter from HAL fully accepting responsibility and further detailing the extent of the problem and what they are doing to alleviate said problem.

    As for the rest of the ship we had no odor problems and didn't find her to be worn out and old looking. We thought the food in the Dinning room was outstanding, the food in the lido was average and seating was at a premium. The variety shows were excellent but the production shows were just average. The show lounge does have many columns that do obstruct your view so get there early to avoid that potential problem.

    The crowd was definitely an older crowd of 55 plus. Although we are getting close it was most noticeable. The ships decor was attractive but we prefer a bit more pizzazz and glamour. That is just our taste. We also found the passengers and crew to be much more subdued than others and it was a bit too quiet and laid back for us. Again, that is our taste and we like a bit more excitement and energy. After all HAL is know to be a more tame cruise and more "OLD" world charm than "VEGAS" style. Everyone has there likes and hopefully if this is what you are looking for then you will have a GREAT cruise.

    Any further questions, please e-mail me and I'll do my best to answer.


  12. Jake Brake

    Jake Brake Guest


    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I never assumed you were a habitual whiner as you validated some of the same problems noted by other cruisers on earlier Zuiderdam voyages. For that reason I took your criticisms seriously. It’s nice to know about potential problems before hand so you can develop a plan for dealing with them. For one, immediately upon boarding I’m going to the dining steward to make sure our table is on the first level towards the front. We’re not considering canceling the cruise, even with the problems that others have found. However, it will be interesting to hear from some of the early cruisers on the Oosterdam later this summer. I’ve heard that new ships need several cruises to shake out the bugs. If I have any other questions I’ll drop you a line. Thanks again.
  13. Jake Brake

    Jake Brake Guest


    Nice to hear from you. It's fun to hook up with other "Big Band Rhapsody" cruisers for some pre-trip chat. So you're hitting the Oosterdam for back-to-back cruises. Lucky you. The Venice to Lisbon cruise looks like a blast. We'd love to hear all about it when we board in Lisbon.
  14. jerseygirl

    jerseygirl Guest

    We just got back Sat.(you can read my review) on my first cruise.Whatever you do book the second floor dining room.The vibration on the lower level was horrible.The coffee cups were falling off the tables when we went for breakfast one morning.The seas were rough but the staff told us it was happening all the time.I used the patch so I never got sick......it was hard to walk straight for the first 5 days.Hopefully your ship won't have these problems.Have fun
  15. Jake Brake

    Jake Brake Guest


    Thanks for the report. I'll check out the review. Some people have suggested that some of the early problems on the Zuiderdam will be avoided on the Oosterdam as the ship is still under construction. I expect HAL to have learned from its Zuiderdam experience, but the vibration problems are related to the propulsion system of the ship, which is identical to the Zuiderdam. So, the first thing I'm going to do after boarding the Oosterdam is to make sure we have a table on the second level of the dining room. Thanks for the tip.
  16. Marion Paris

    Marion Paris Guest

    Thanks to everyone for the good information. I will make certain we ask for the upper dining level on the "Z". We had the same vibration problem on the Summit, Milennium and the Mercury, especially during dinner. We could not hear our table mates on the Mercury during dinner. Were they bad cruises - oh no.....

    I am eager to try HAL and will give you my opinion when we return. As they say, opinions are like a_ _ h_ _ _ s, everyone has one. I get wonderful information on these boards and leave the rest. We will be on the August 30 cruise, six weeks and counting!
  17. What do you mean by "cc the HAL section"? Is this a source of more cruise info? 2 days til we leave - our first cruise - we're on the Volendam to Alaska.
  18. ANSAlberg

    ANSAlberg Guest

    Mrs UncleBill- I'd be willing to bet the "CC" is AOL's Cruise Critic -referenced the HAL site there! The format is a bit different there- But you get the HANG of it quickly - and lots of good info! Anne:daisy:usa:CO
  19. olderpilot

    olderpilot Guest

    I am happy to report that there were no vibration, odor or other problems on our recent Oosterdam Baltic cruise. The ship is beautiful, bigger than other HAL ships,obviously, but it worked very well for us. We were particularly impressed by the excellent food and service in the Vista dining room. We were on the lower level near the staircase and had absolutely no vibration. I walked around the back of the dining room one evening during dinner and noticed nothing.

    The Crows Nest became the most popular bar before dinner. By the end of the cruise it was difficult to find a chair.

    We were disappointed in the Pinnacle restaurant, which is still a work in progress from my perspective. The service was very slow and disjointed and the food quality was not worth the extra $20/person. My sense was was that much effort was being made to improve the situation. The laundry service also had a few gliches, but we saw improvements by the end of the cruise.

    Overall, we thought the cruise experience was excellent
  20. Jesus Ruiz

    Jesus Ruiz Guest

    My wife and I just came back from MS. Zuiderdam.
    We have had the worst cruise we have ever had.
    We were on cabin 5089 and believe me, all you have heard about Zuiderdam´s problems is truth. I hope the company has taken precautions on the building of her sister for this never happen again.
    After ten cruises, this has been our worst of them all!

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