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.