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Old February 19th, 2009, 05:19 PM
ckfodor ckfodor is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 9
Default Zuiderdam Panama Trip Excellant Feb 7 - 17

Well I am here to say we had a wonderful trip. I have posted a review on the Members Review page - says it will be up in a few days, once they have reviewed it.
We have never sailed HAL before and chose it for the itinerary. We wanted to see the Panama Canal and to revisit Aruba and Curacao. We travelled with another couple who had sailed once before years ago with another cruiseline.
We had VF Verandah cabins on deck 5. Nieither of us had obstructed views. In fact, our friends (who didnt know their cabin number until we boarded) were put into an accessible cabin which was bigger, had a walk in shower and a larger verandah which we used daily for cocktail hour. We had the best seats for going through the canal, too. We each took a bit of wine on board and purchased more in Aruba. We had 4 sea days which we enjoyed. Since we were each celebrating our 30th anniversaries, we got formal pics taken on each of the 3 formal nights. We also got group pics taken the same nights. So here is a tip.. At the end of the cruise, we had several choices for couples and group pics, so we did the `buy 3 and get the 4th free`` offer and each came away and individual and a group picture. We know on shore we would be also paying a sitting fee so we felt we did well. The pics were great. The photo staff were very helpful and we never felt bombared with requests for photos as we have before. Disembarkation was painless, as was customs and our flight home. The entertainment featured Paul Tanner, Mysteriaque, Barnaby, Island Magic (incredible steel drum ensemble) and the Entertainment Crew who were fabulous.
We really enjoyed Richard Detrich's lectures. He is a great speaker and we learned so much about every area we visited before we landed. This program is a real asset to our travel experience.
The weather was perfect. The week before, the weather was rainy, the water wavy and people were ill. So we are are very grateful for the vacation of a lifetime. We are willing to answer any questions. Happy sailing.
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