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Old October 14th, 2005, 06:21 PM
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Default Zaandam

I have seen both good and bad posts on this ship. We are considering a Thanksgiving cruise in an Outside cabin onboard this vessel. I would appreciate any personal experiences good or bad had by all. Thanks
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Old October 15th, 2005, 01:02 AM
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We sailed on the Zaandam 3 years ago so this is a bit out of date but we loved the ship. The ship was in great shape with a great staff. Zero complaints.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Zaandam

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Originally Posted by Iceman1941
I have seen both good and bad posts on this ship. We are considering a Thanksgiving cruise in an Outside cabin onboard this vessel. I would appreciate any personal experiences good or bad had by all. Thanks
Iceman,
Find another ship..I just spent 18 days on this floating nursing home from Seattle to Ft.Lauderdale...Average age was 80...The ship is set up for the older passengers.If that is what you want then you will be happy aboard her.The crew and food were ok at the best...I have nothing against growing old.I want to be old some day and when I'm 80 I will be right at home on ms Zaandam.
HL seems to be cheap.Dam dollars are worth dam nothing...The slots are high per.for the house and they use 8 decks in blackjack...so go figure...
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Old October 17th, 2005, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Zaandam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman1941
I have seen both good and bad posts on this ship. We are considering a Thanksgiving cruise in an Outside cabin onboard this vessel. I would appreciate any personal experiences good or bad had by all. Thanks
Iceman,
The ship is a floating nursing home at best...just spent 17 days on her...Zaandam is set up for the older passengers....crew-food-and service were ok at best....never again!!!! well maybe at 80
DR
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Old October 17th, 2005, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Zaandam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman1941
I have seen both good and bad posts on this ship. We are considering a Thanksgiving cruise in an Outside cabin onboard this vessel. I would appreciate any personal experiences good or bad had by all. Thanks
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Old October 17th, 2005, 05:15 PM
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It is amusing to read the differing descriptions of ships or entire cruise lines based on observations from single cruise experiences. As so many others have said, the ages of fellow passengers depends on the time of year, the itineraries, and other more random factors.

My wife (55/51) and I have sailed the Zaandam twice and it is our favorite ship and HAL our preferred line based on our own admittedly limited experience of five cruises (Universe Explorer, Carnival, HAL, RCL). The last time we sailed the Zaandam was March 2004 (Eastern Caribbean)and there was a variety of ages. At our table of six there was another couple our age and one couple much younger. There were also families with children of all ages.

We hope to sail on the Zaandam or sister ship Volendam, again in the near future. To each his or her own.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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My wife and I are booked on the Zaandam for a July Alaska cruise in 2006.
We have cruised over 50 times, but never HAL. The last few years Celebrity has been getting the bulk of our business, but we thought it was time for a change and give HAL a try.
We are 50 and like good food and service and a relaxed atmosphere.



Are we booked on the wrong ship and cruise line?
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 01:41 PM
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Willsot is right: Your experience really depends on the length of the cruise and the time of year. Our first cruise on OOSTERDAM was during one of the spring break weeks, and it was for 7 days. It was loaded with families, as well as a large number of repeat Mariners well over 70. It sure made for a lively experience! We had a great time (except for all the announcements) and adjusted to the kids zooming around on board.

Our Costa cruise was more international, even though Americans made up about 65% of the passengers. It, too, was during the spring break window, and there were a lot of families, 7 days in length.

Our first cruise on CENTURY was for 11 days, and it embarked the first of November. The guest list was overall decidedly older (read: 50s and upward) with very few families, save for a smattering travelling with very small toddlers, and usually the grandparents. We are in our 50's, so we met a lot of cruisers with whom we shared a few cocktails and shore excursions.

We had another cruise on CENTURY, for 8 days, again in November, and the passenger list was similar to the 11 day cruise.

The 7 day or less itinerary is more conducive for those looking for livlier venues and younger demographics, particularly during spring break weeks, summer, and holidays.

A CAUTION about 7 day and shorter cruises, though: You may wind up on a cruise that has been overrun by a large group. I have heard (on another board) that on MANY past 7 day and shorter voyages, HAL has been booking ENORMOUS groups, and bumping individuals dining times WITH NO WARNING and WITHOUT ANY RECOURSE. Large groups WILL monopolize everything about YOUR cruise: Shore excursions are difficult to obtain, and you are bumped down in the tendering order. Many lounges and other ship rooms are off limits, because "the group" has them booked for their own functions. I have even heard the pool was closed to individual passengers! Spa appointments are all but impossible to obtain, because they are often given to members of the big group as shipboard credits. Be sure to ask your travel agent if any large groups are on board of any sailing you are considering BEFORE you book. If you think a "floating nursing home" (Thepointe1's quote) is bad, a cruise with a huge group on it would be a thousand times worse. What's more, if you don't ask if a group is cruising on your ship, they darn sure aren't going to give you the information as a matter of course on a voluntary basis. Ask before you buy; it's the best way to insure you get the cruise experience you are paying for.

Happy Sailing-
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