We've been on 3 different cruiselines, all to the Caribbean-- Carnival, RCCL, & Princess. Loved them all but we're considering the Zuiderdam on an Eastern Caribbean itinerary for Oct '07. Can anyone compare any of these cruiselines to help me make a decision. I've talked to a couple of travel agents who say HAL lacks entertainment & that the food is better on Carnival. We enjoyed "tea time" on Princess & I'm told that HAL offers "tea time". Is that so? I like the idea that the "crowds" are less on Holland America--I hate long buffet lines. Help me make a decision!! Thanks
I have sailed the Zuiderdam and think you will like it. I consider Holland America to be a notch above Princess. (We have sailed Princess ... as late as a month ago ... and they offer a fine product. My preference, however, is for HAL.
There are plenty of activities offered on HAL ships. The Zuiderdam was the first of their Vista class ships and was designed for the Caribbean. Therefore it is a tad more brightly colored than the other ships. But you'll still find a look that's more brass and fine woods than chrome and neon.
The main thing to me is the crew. Holland America's are all Indonesian and Filipino, and they are very service oriented and eager to please.
You will find high tea offered.
Many people, including travel agents, promote the stereotype that HAL is for people in walkers. You will find an older demographic overall, but it's really more dependent on the itinerary and time of year. The Caribbean generally attracts younger passengers, but there shouldn't be many kids onboard at that time of year.
I hope this helps. If you have other questions, please ask away.