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Old May 3rd, 2007, 04:53 PM
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Default Zaandam - Hawaii cruise - Jan, 2008

Hi: Anyone sailed on the Zaandam ?? The prices are considerably higher than Princess (Diamond) and am wondering if it is worth it??? Do you have to pay extra to use the Spa Pool and what do you think about the
evening entertainment and the food?? We are looking at Jan or Feb, 2008
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Old May 4th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: Zaandam - Hawaii cruise - Jan, 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrie Platt
Hi: Anyone sailed on the Zaandam ?? The prices are considerably higher than Princess (Diamond) and am wondering if it is worth it??? Do you have to pay extra to use the Spa Pool and what do you think about the
evening entertainment and the food?? We are looking at Jan or Feb, 2008
I never sailed HAL strictly to Hawaii, but I did do a 30-day Hawaii/South Pacific cruise on HAL's Amsterdam in January of 2006. I also did a 15-day Hawaii cruise on the Island Princess in 2005.

The differences I noted between the two lines is that HAL is far more "elegant" and geared to a generally older passenger demographic. The nightlife onboard HAL is adequate, though it tends to cut off by around midnight ... especially on those nights when the ship is actually sailing the Hawaiian island chain, and there are port days scheduled every morning. The cabins on HAL are a bit larger than those on Princess as well, with more closet space. These factors can be important on a longer itinerary with a substantial number of sea days, since you will probably find yourself spending more time in the cabin, and will also be bringing along more clothes.

Another interesting fact is that I notice HAL is skipping the island of Kauai on most of its 2008 Hawaii itineraries. They do an overnight in Oahu instead. If stopping at Kauai is important to you, as it is to me, then you might wish to forego the HAL sailing.

As for the food, that is a very subjective matter, but my personal tastes prefer HAL's food over Princess' anyday. It is just tastier and more varied, both in the dining rooms and in the Lido. And, HAL's Lido Buffet is far, far superior to Princess' Horizon Court with a better layout and more varied and tasty food selections. However, in Princess' favor is the pizza. No one does pizza as good as Princess.

As for the spa pool, I'm not sure what you mean. If your talking the relaxation suite ... or the thesolopy (sp?) pool, yes ... there is an additional charge for that. I think it runs about $10 or so per day, but you can buy a pass for the entire cruise for a smaller daily amount. Since I don't use these facilities, I am not sure of the pricing, but you could readily determine it with a call to ship's services.

Hope this info helps.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old May 4th, 2007, 11:47 PM
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Thank you for your advise - HAL alternates their itineraries with one cruise
spending an overnite in Honolulu and then the next with a stop at Kauai instead of the overnite. That's what was important to me regarding the
Diamond Princess - my DH and our friends have never been to the islands and I wanted to pick one that touches on all the islands - I think Honolulu has turned into a concrete jungle (much like Acapulco) and the
beauty of the islands is the flora and fauna - the only sticky point is that
the HAL cruise is about $ 1000 more pp for a regular balcony and we can
get a mini-suite on Princess for a really good price - as we are sailing for
such a long trip - the mini-suite was very appealing to us (especially as
I am NOT impressed with the bathroom/shower space on Princess and the cabin description states that the mini-suites on Princess are larger. Also
The Diamond does have more to offer while cruising re: activities (naturally, being much larger with a lot more passengers - they have to
offer more areas of interest.) I sailed on Celebrity Summit in Jan.2008 and am really disappointed the line is doing virtually no Hawaiian
RT cruises for 2008. I would have booked with Celebrity in a heartbeat!! Not to mention the extra $$$ saved with Princess would be handy to spend
on shore excursions or whatever we want. I don't know - maybe we should stick with HAL - one probably will always remember the quality and memories of the ship (especially if they turn out bad) as opposed to
the island stops in the long run.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 11:04 PM
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We are booked on the Zaandam 4/22/08, circle Hawaii. The itinerary as of last month shows a stop at Kauai. Iniatally there was a two day stop in Honolulu but that was changed recently to one day and Kauai was added to the itinerary since we booked the cruise 6 months ago.

Nevertheless, we could actually just cruise around the islands for all I care, I just want to cruise again. This will be our 2nd HAL cruise and we are looking forward to the great service and good food.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razman
We are booked on the Zaandam 4/22/08, circle Hawaii. The itinerary as of last month shows a stop at Kauai. Iniatally there was a two day stop in Honolulu but that was changed recently to one day and Kauai was added to the itinerary since we booked the cruise 6 months ago.
Thanks for that tidbit of information. I know last year sometime Kauai had a mudslide or other natural disaster, and HAL ships stopped going there. They added an overnight in Oahu instead. The itineraries I checked for 2008 all showed that overnight in Oahu with no stop in Kauai. Hopefully, HAL is switching back and maybe will begin stopping at Kauai again. It is truly the most beautiful island in the entire Hawaii chain.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old May 9th, 2007, 05:21 PM
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Hello out there!!! I really need some answers about this ship - please send your thoughts.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 01:04 PM
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Sherrie, I am back from the Apr 22/ May9th sailing, Circle Hawaii on the Zaandam and have sent you an email with a short review that I posted on another cruise board. In short, the ship was wonderful, Hawaii was wonderful, the weather was wonderful, what more can I say. We have rebooked the same cruise departing Vancouver Apr 22/08, again on the Zaandam.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 02:40 PM
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Hi Guys~~~~~ 8)
We sailed HAL to Hawaii 2005 and no Kauai. We are booked for April 3, 2008 and my TA assures me that HAL is stopping in Kauai next year. She said they stopped for awhile because of lack of tendering space.
They website also lists a stop on the itinerary.
We are excited bec it is a good cruise and we LOVE HAL.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrie Platt
Hello out there!!! I really need some answers about this ship - please send your thoughts.
I only wish I could provide some insight about the ship, but I've yet to sail her. I can, however, say that the 15-day Circle Hawaii cruise is a wonderful one. I did a 30-day Hawaii/South Pacific voyage on the Amsterdam in January 2006 ... and that voyage encompasses the same exact itinerary as the Circle Hawaii one. It was absolutely heavenly. Starting off a cruise after rushing around to get packed and to the pier with four days at sea is an absolute joy. It lets you unwind and really get into "vacation mode" before hitting the islands and the tours and whatnot that you may want to do there. Then, you can run yourself ragged knowing that you will have another five days to recover on the way back. Nice.

You'll enjoy this cruise.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old May 25th, 2007, 04:41 PM
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Default Just returned from Alaska on the Zaandam

She is a wonderful ship. The service is first rate, the cabin (we had an outside cabin with a window) was great with plenty of room. The food, well lets just say I won't be fitting into some clothes for a while. Her public rooms are kept immaculate and we enjoyed the entertainment nightly in her showroom as well as the many lounges on board. I have sailed on HAL before (on the former Rotterdam) and I didn't think the service could get any better but it did. Her officers and all the stewards and dining room staff go out of their way to please you. You should have a wonderful trip. I would not hesitate to book another cruise on the Zaandam or HAL. If you have any specific questions on any of her public rooms or service let me know.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 03:00 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Alaska on the Zaandam

Quote:
Originally Posted by homeatlast
She is a wonderful ship. The service is first rate, the cabin (we had an outside cabin with a window) was great with plenty of room. The food, well lets just say I won't be fitting into some clothes for a while. Her public rooms are kept immaculate and we enjoyed the entertainment nightly in her showroom as well as the many lounges on board. I have sailed on HAL before (on the former Rotterdam) and I didn't think the service could get any better but it did. Her officers and all the stewards and dining room staff go out of their way to please you. You should have a wonderful trip. I would not hesitate to book another cruise on the Zaandam or HAL. If you have any specific questions on any of her public rooms or service let me know.
And all of those things are soooooooooooooooo important on a cruise with a lot of sea days ... such as any HAL Hawaii itinerary will have.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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