Zuiderdam Question



We are planning our 25th anniversary cruise this October and are considering the Zuiderdam. We have cruised with HAL on two previous cruises and have a mixed impression. The Westerdam in 2000 was wonderful and we had the time of our life. Everything was perfect. In 2003, we sailed the Zaandam hoping for the same experience and were somewhat disappointed. There was not the first hint of Carribean music the entire week on an EASTERN CARRIBEAN cruise and the cruise director, though very nice, was lacking. I do not consider myself a party animal, but I do like to enjoy steel drum band music on deck at the sail away party...not Chatanooga Choo Choo. Does anyone know what I can expect on the Zuiderdam...do they typically have a steel drum band?


Just returned from 2 weeks on the Veendam. (Eastern, then Western Caribbean cruises). Never heard any Caribbean music either week. Music by the Lido Pool consisted of a man on electric keyboard and a woman singing. A mixture of old Elvis tunes and "pop" the first week and a group of 4 young guys playing similar selections the second. Usual music mix in other areas of the ship - classical in Explorers Lounge (violin/piano/bass), piano in Piano Bar (!), dance music in the Ocean Bar. Acceptable, I guess, but nothing special. I got the same story from a friend who recently (Feb.) cruised on the Westerdam for one week. Neither of us was overly impressed by HAL on our most recent cruises, and we both felt that we received better value, and a better cruise experience on other lines. Also had a lot of "flu" on board (see my other post) which limited a lot of the on board activities (except those that generated income for the ship (i.e. casino)). Hot tubs closed for most of the 2 weeks (last 10 days, with no evidence that they were to reopen), no shuffleboard, etc. - this could happen on any ship, of course, but the Veendam seems to be having a lot more trouble than most lately. We spoke with a number of people from other ships while in the various ports, and none seemd to be having any similar problems (at least of which the people we spoke with were aware) - (Splendor of the Seas, Opera, Navigator of the Seas, and Carnival Valor). Hope you have better luck with the Zuiderdam....

Frank Black

If you want Carribean music while on HAl, buy a copy of "Hot Hot Hot" yourself before you go. They don't seem to be into themes based on itinerary. Princess and RCCL will have the music. But after a week, I am sick of it anyway. I like HAL since they are non-obtrusive. They only play about and hour of live music by the pool each day. Few announcements, less hawking of drinks etc.


We sailed on the Zuiderdam March 2004 and the Zaandam November 2004. Our experience on the Zuiderdam was wonderful but like you we were dissapointed with the Zaandam.
I thought maybe I had been so spoiled on the Zuiderdam nothing could match it. However this was not the case. The food was lacking and the service was downright poor in the dining room. My review of both ships is available on this site.
While a bad cruise is still better than a good vacation elsewhere, we will not sail on the Zaandam again. My wife wants to stay away from HAL entirely. This is not likely but it will be a couple of years anyway.


just got off the Zuiderdam on saturday, full review to come, but there was no calypso,steel drum music at all. the dj played jimmy buffet for 20 minutes and that is all.


I just got off the Zuiderdam last Saturday the 23rd. They did have up tempo music and I enjoyed it but I do not remember a steel band.

We had a wonderful cruise. I would recommend the Zuiederdam !!


Sailed both the Zuiderdam and sister ship Oosterdam last year. They both had steel drum music. Both ships are beautiful...good food...and service was fine. I would not hesitate booking again on either one.