Zuiderdam Review - Part One
More will follow later; this is what I have completed so far.
Maiden Voyage 12/14/02-12/21/02
We arrived at the pier approximately 12:00pm. The baggage area was very orderly and our bags were taken quite quickly. The pre-embarkation process went very smoothly and quickly, which was a pleasant surprise.
After the pre-embarkation process was completed, you then were directed to two waiting rooms, 1st level or 2nd level. When we arrived at the waiting rooms, the 2nd level was already filled to its capacity so we sat in the waiting room on the 1st level.
They started embarkation at 1:35pm. You embarked when they called the number on the card they gave you before entering the waiting room. We had #8 and was called at 2:20pm to board the vessel.
We then proceeded to our cabin on our own. There was no one there to escort you to your room as I had previously read on the cruise critic board. Since we were on the right side of the ship (Cabin 8013 with a Veranda), we started watching the preparation of the ship-naming ceremony for a short while, then went to the Lido buffet to get a bite to eat.
The ship-naming ceremony started at approximately 3:00pm. I understand from talking to some passengers later that day that anyone on the maiden voyage could have left the ship and attended the ceremony on the pier. Apparently, only certain people were given that information so we watched the ceremony from our balcony.
All-in-all, embarkation was pretty painless. And the ship-naming ceremony went pretty smoothly.
We actually started touring the ship around 4:30pm.
Cabin: 8013 with veranda on the 8th deck. Location is very nice at the front of the ship. No obstructions except if you looked directly forward from your balcony, you look right through the Navigation room. Not a bad view though.
Disappointed with the cabin size and the layout. As you walked into the room, on your left is three full length closets. The first one you could hang several items up. The second one you could do the same or you could pull down two shelves for clothes, etc. The second one also had a full length mirror on the left door. However, the lighting is very poor in that area since when you open the closet door with the mirror on it, the open door shields the light that is on the ceiling of the cabin as you enter. The third closet had the safe, two shelves and a nice size area where you could store things.
As you walked into the cabin, on your right, is the bathroom. We were very pleased with the bathtub and shower. By far, the shower had the best water pressure and shower head of any line that we have been on so far. However, the rest of the bathroom was very small. The toilet is on an angle so that when you need to reach for the toilet tissue, you need to reach your left hand in a funny back-handed position to reach the toilet tissue. The mirror with a medicine cabinet space was minimal. Also, you had to be sure you closed the medicine cabinet mirror before brushing your teeth or you could easily cut your head open if you raised you head up from the sink. There were two glasses in holders and a soap dish on the right side of the large mirror on the wall. Also a small area on the vanity where they position the hand lotion and shower cap. There was an open shelf under the sink where you can put things. There are two hooks on the bathroom door. There was also aluminum tubing shelves to hold the towels and washcloths on the wall to the right, next to the shower as well as a small aluminum tubing shelf above the toilet.
Water: The water temperature of the shower was excellent until the night before the end of our cruise (Dec 20th). That night the water was just luke-warm as well as the next morning. The pressure still remained strong, though.
The cabin is not laid out systematically. As you walk in the cabin door and go straight ahead, you will have your bed on the right with very little room to pass by the bed to reach the other side of the room. Once you pass the bed, to your left is a desk with a nice size mirror. There is only one light on the left side of the mirror. On the right side of the mirror, your TV is attached to the wall covering a big portion of the right side of the mirror. There is no light on the right side of the mirror. So, the lighting is very poor in that area. On the left side of the desk, there is a pull open door which then exposes two shelves. The top shelf has the hair dryer in there that is not removable. I found the cord is not long enough to maneuver the hairdryer to where you could style your hair easily. Fortunately, I brought a small hairdryer with me and used that all week. As you go to the right side of the desk, there is a pull open door that reveals a small refrigerator. There are cans of soda in there. To sit down at the desk, there is a round orange seat to sit on. The one in our room, the lid came off…which was hollow inside. We don’t know if you use it for storage space or if the top of the stool was broke.
There were two pictures on the wall at the foot of the bed. The cabin walls aren’t very attractive. Just plain. The pictures didn’t really go with anything in the room. The matting in the pictures were blue.
As you passed the bed heading for the veranda, on the right side is a sofa against the wall, a table in front of the sofa, and a chair right in front of the right hand side of the glass window of the veranda. They are all clumped together in a small space. We found it very hard to move around in that area.
We were disappointed that they used a walkout door instead of sliding glass doors to gain access to the veranda. The door was very hard to open since there is a hydraulic closer on the top of the door. We had high winds one night and found it pretty difficult to open and it slams shut quickly.
As you continue, on the back wall behind the sofa, there is a picture on the wall. To the right of the sofa is the bed. The headboard has two built-in lights, one for each side of the bed. You could not prop the pillows up behind your back against the headboard because it is very low and the pillows would block the light. There is a large mirror on the wall behind the bed. There was two night stands, one on each side of the bed. The phone is on the left nightstand and there is also a data port for internet access there. There were two drawers in each night stand with a locking key for each one. The drawers were small and were hard to open.
The colors of the cabin are very unattractive, IMO. They had like a peach bedcover and skirt with a design. The sofa is Red with an orange design. The curtains were a totally different color with a design. Nothing seemed to go together at all. In addition, the curtains were hard to open…enough that my husband accidentally broke off one of the plastic rods that you use to open the curtains.
The veranda is a nice size with 2 wicker chairs and one wicker otterman. There is also a very small table big enough to put your drinks on. There is a switch controlled light on your veranda. The veranda is quite deep.
We were under the impression that all cabins would have two robes in them. However, we were told by our cabin steward that only Suites receive the robes.
We never met our cabin steward for two days and that's when we looked for him because we had a couple of questions to ask him. When we did find him, he was indifferent and seemed bothered that we stopped him.
The cabin steward did not leave soap and shampoo in the room when the other was used up. You had to leave him a note to get him to leave it.
Princess and Celebrity automatically take care of the above issues, so we were surprised when we had to leave notes or look for our cabin steward.
MORE TO FOLLOW