Occupation:stay at home mommy
Number of Cruises: 1 a
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: September 10th, 2005
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
This was my first ever cruise and I must say the best vacation I’ve ever taken thus far. The Zuiderdam is a beautiful ship, the staff though, in my opinion is what made the trip so enjoyable. These people really enjoy there jobs even though they are so very far away from the families.
The decor of the ship is nice, though somewhat “loud” with very bright colors and in some places seems very “goddy”. Our cabin was an outside cabin with an unobstructed view. It was small as they usually are, but fit myself, my fiancee, and his two teen boys just fine! They slept on the couch which folded out to a twin size bed and the other slept on a bunk that folded out of the wall. Our bathroom lacked a bathtub, something I wish would have been there. Our room steward, Ohau, was very nice and accommodating. I was sea sick 2 of the days we were onboard and he always asked how I was feeling and remembered all of our names. There are two pools onboard the Zuiderdam, the lido pool and the aft. The lido pool was mainly for kids and the aft just for adults. I really like this feature because like most adults going on cruises they would rather be able to relax and enjoy the pool rather then having a bunch of kids run around splashing and yelling.
Food onboard the Zuiderdam was excellent. The lido breakfast buffet was usually pretty busy especially on days we were docked somewhere. Coffee was running out pretty frequently but nothing you had to wait more then 5-10 minutes for. The fresh juices and fruit are not to be missed very tasty and refreshing. I ate so much pineapple I started to get sores in my mouth! We usually dined in the lido for lunch but the hamburger/hotdog/grilled chicken stand by the lido pool was nice and convenient. Though I wish they had more drink stations you had to walk all the way into the buffet area to get a drink. Plenty of bars though. The Vista dining room was an event in itself. They had a good variety of food for people who are scared to try anything to over the top. Our waiter, Putu, was most excellent. Never seemed to busy to carry on conversation and share his native heritage with us. Blake our oldest boy, was only at dinner at the Vista twice, but Putu always asked about him by name and was always wondering how we spent our day. The wine steward was also very gracious and made a chair out of one of our wine bottles caps for us! We ate at the Pinnacle our last night on the ship, and boy did we wish we would have ate there a few more times. They have a porterhouse steak that’s over 30 ounces! The food quality at the Pinnacle was above the Vista and lido but nothing to complain about.
All of our stops on the trip were in my opinion great. Half moon the liners private island was BEAUTIFUL!!! The sand is like brown sugar and the water is to gorgeous for me to even try to describe. I couldn’t believe the people who complained that there was nothing to do besides lay out on the beach, whats so wrong with that?! Tortola was interesting, I suggest grabbing lunch at Pusser’s they have some awesome baby back ribs. St.Thomas is a place for shopping I got a Prada purse for $40! If you take a cab ride into downtown I suggest you hold on they drive like a bunch of crazies there. Nassau was ok, got my hair braided in a air conditioned shop. There was a lady in there off another cruise ship, her daughter had gotten her hair braided. And instead of being the responsible person and finding how much it was going to cost before her daughter got it braided she waited till the lady was done. Then she stood there and cussed this 50yr old lady out for doing her daughters hair! I couldn’t believe the nerve of this lady, this is how they make a living and for her to treat this lady as though she was a piece of dirt really disgusted me. I wish people would respect the islanders when they go on trips no wonder noone likes Americans!
All in all it was a wonderful cruise and I highly recommend Holland America and the Zudierdam to anyone. I don’t suggest it to anyone looking for a “spring break” kinda time. Its more geared towards people 30 and up and smaller children. They do have a Club HAL for kids and teens which the boys really enjoyed. Hope this helps who ever it may concern!