Tried cruising 5/10 on the Zaandam and just gotta go again. Thinking about the fall repositioning cruise. Any one taken one of the repositioning cruises? Is the ship full or do they only sell a portion of the rooms? Curious as someone indicated that they only sold some of the cabins and then gave a large portion of the staff their vacations. Doesn't really matter that much to me (as long as I get the verandah I want for the Canal transit) but would be interested in first hand experience re: food, service, etc. if the staff is significantly smaller.
We were on the repositioning cruise of the Costa Atlantica in April from Ft Lauderdale to Genoa. The ship's normal capacity is approx 2,300 - there were only 1,100 or so on board. There was only one sitting for dinner because of the shortage of passengers. It was a 16 day cruise with 8 at sea days - this may have turned off some people.
Although Costa is not HAL they are owned by the same company - There did not seem to be less than normal crew on board. With the lack of passengers there was never a problem getting a deck chair or a seat in any bar or lounge.
We've been on 16 repositioning cruises with Holland Amereica and have never seen an empty ship. Because passengers get off and on at different embarkation points, the count is not always the same. They sell as many cabins as they can, if one part of the cruise isn't selling as quickly, they offer great deals to people in that area and it fills up fast.
When some of the staff is due to go home, others arrive to replace them.