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Old 12-14-2006, 09:08 PM
Smittytex's Avatar
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 16
Just returned from a 15 day Hawaii cruise aboard the beautiful Zaandam. Oh my Gawd!!!! What a time. Got onboard and found that this was a JazzDagen tour also, so we had 15 days of JAZZ. The cruise director Eric even used the show lounge for these jazz bands with standing room only most afternoons. What a good time for all.
This was our first cruise and we were in the Deluxe Verandah... now we are hooked on the good life. Shhh, don't tell the rest of the ship, but as a suprize the captain invited the suite guests to the bridge on the last day out. It was great.
The food was great and we loved the pampering by the crew. We understood from a crewmember hired for this purpose that HAL was trying to upgrade the Suite perks even more. Seems he was brought on to interview those guests and make recomendations to HAL. So maybe some things will change in the future for the penthouse and suite level.
The only thing I could see that needs to be changed on the Zaandam is the Piano Bar musician. One word sums up his performance, "terrible". The bar was empty most of the time.
One other thing, if you go to Hawaii do not take the volcano tour from Kona. We did!! It is a nine hour excursion with 7 hours of driving. That leaves 1 hour to eat and 1 hour for the drive around the rim. A waste of money. Take the tour from Hilo instead.
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:13 PM
penny3333's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,601
Welcome back Smittytex, glad to hear you had a great time. In order not to have reality bring you down, start planning your next cruise What was your favorite port? Did you have lots of Mai Tais? Did y'all do a luau? I couldn't eat the pig, because it was looking at me, but had a ball otherwise. What was your impression of poi? I think we ought to bottle it and use it for wallpaper glue. Happy Holidays!!
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Old 12-15-2006, 06:42 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 332
We are considering taking this very trip. Glad you thought it was such a great ship. Do you know if there are bridge lessons and a bridge director the days at sea?
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Old 12-16-2006, 12:00 PM
SSUS_NJ's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Voorhees, NJ
Posts: 272
Originally posted by Smittytex:
This was our first cruise and we were in the Deluxe Verandah... now we are hooked on the good life.
Smitty - you are forever spoiled by this first-time experience. My wife and I had been on 5 cruises before our first Deluxe Verandah experience... on the Rotterdam in 2002... NOTHING can compare at the price!!

We just got back last month from a Deluxe Verandah on the Westerdam... and got spoiled again!! LOVE IT!!
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:12 AM
Smittytex's Avatar
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 16
For Penny, did not try poi at all and stuck with my Margaritas. I would have to say that Lahina was our favorite port. We had more time to relax and see the town, and the aquarium was great. In the other ports we were almost in a dead run to get everything in.
For SD Cruiser, yes bridge is taught and turneys are played on board.. unless a red condition is declared by the CDC as they did on our cruise, even though very little sickness on our ship. Seems that the CDC made all ships go to "red", at least that is what the captain said. I never found anyone that had gotten sick. But the self serv lines were changed to crew serv, card games were shut down, the hot tubs were closed, and purell stations were every where. They finally went back to normal with about three days left in the cruise. We still had a wonderful time though.
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:28 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 332
smittytex, thank you so much for the bridge information.
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hawaii, zandaam

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