Most cruise lines state that they "reserve the right" to impose the surcharge; but considering the state of the economy, I would be very surprised if they reinstated it anytime soon--certainly not by your cruise.
We have returned from the wonderful HAL cruise on the Zanndam. We were very pleased with the friendly crew, super clean ship, and both rated our overall experience with perfect '9's all the way. The ship was a nice size and the vibes were good. There were no surprise charges (and we even got a nice cabin upgrade). We are already looking at a HAL cruise for next year - maybe in the Med. The Pinnacle restaurant was well worth the token fee and the onboard entertainment was fun. HAL rocks!
Glad to hear such a glowing review of Zaandam. I've only been on one HAL cruise, but my reaction was much the same as yours. I was on Veendam, which is just slightly smaller than Zaandam, and I agree--a perfect size; not all the bells and whistles of some of the mega-ships; just a great feeling of being on a "ship" and not a floating Vegas resort.
I am glad you had a great cruise on the Zaandam. We were on her 2 years ago. we love the size of the ship. We did have a few problems. However we felt that they were just things that happened and are giving HAL another shot, this time on the Volendam. I am glad to hear you enjoyed The Pinnacle restaurant. We have made reservations there for our party of 4. we look forward to our upcoming cruise.
Hi WoodyKoko, welcome to Cruise-Chat and welcome back. Glad to hear you had a great cruise. Also, it's great that you're ready to book another. It so helps ease the disembarkation blues. We hope you will stick around on Cruise-Chat for many, many more cruises. We appreciate all input, especially when it comes to the ships. Good or bad, we enjoy hearing your experiences. Best wishes!