Credit

Courtesy of Holland America Line

Find a Cruise on ms Zaandam

Call to plan a cruise: 1-877-978-2693

with a cruise advisor

Traveler Reviews

A ship’s traveler rating is provided under license by Cruiseline.com , which manages one of the largest databases of cruise reviews and ratings by travelers. A total of 349 guests have reviewed ms Zaandam, giving it a rating of 3.9 on a scale of 1-5.

Cruiseline Travel Rating:

3.9 out of 5(349 reviews)

Reviews by Traveler Type

Couples63%
Singles/Friends12.3%
Families w/older children11.5%
Families w/young children2.9%
Groups2.6%

Most Recent Reviews

Great cruise around the Horn of South America

Dec 4th, 2018

Great cruise to see the mountains, glaciers and South America towns. The weather was cloudy but still great views (Cruise dates were Nov 19-Dec 3, 2018)

Traveler Type

Couple

Room Type

Suite

Experience

4-6 cruises

Not exactly what I was expecting!

Nov 16th, 2018

The Itinerary was good, but Zaandam wasn’t, never had cause to criticize a ship like this one, never been subjected to such controlling tactics as on this ship-will never go with Holland America again! Drinks packages two and a half times the price of ANY other cruise line, and the bars closed at 11.30pm on Zaandam. Disgusting!

Traveler Type

Couple

Room Type

Balcony

Experience

7+ cruises

14 Day Alaskan Cruise

Nov 12th, 2018

2018 Alaska Cruise Log May 19 Saturday- We flew out of Green Bay to Seattle, with a layover in Minneapolis. No delays. We arrived in Seattle on schedule and so did our luggage. A quick call on the courtesy phone and the shuttle was here to take us to La Quinta, our preferred motel. Nice room with a view of pine trees. May 21 Monday- To the ship! Starting our 14 day cruise on HAL Zaandam, round trip to Alaska. We had a 1:00 embarkation time, but the car to take us to the pier arrived early, so we were at the port by 11:45, all checked in by 12:15 and in our cabin by 12:30 (They weren’t supposed to be ready until 1:00. Outstanding! Weather, sunny and in the 70s. May 22 Tuesday- Sea day. Chance to explore the ship. Mostly cloudy in the 50s. First glitch. We went for the breakfast buffet. Food looked good. The way they serve it is not. Generally with a buffet, you take a plate, stand in line and select your food when you get to it. Here they have serving stations. One person want scrambled eggs and bacon, you need to be there at just the right time, because quantities are limited. Choppy seas this morning. Gala Event tonight. We have Open Seating and were placed with two really nice couples. It is fun to meet new people and learn about their cruising experiences. The performer tonight was a guitarist, who was excellent. His parents bought him a Les Paul guitar when he was 11, for winning a guitar competition. May 23 Wednesday- Ketchikan. They get over 200” of rain a year and it was raining when we pulled in to port. Temperature in the 40s. It stopped raining and cleared up somewhat by the time the passengers could go ashore. May 24 Thursday- Sea day today as we head into Endicott Arm. Temps in the low 40s and not likely to get any warmer as we head to the glacier. We have eaten most of our meals in the buffet, so far, which means usually being seated next to other passengers. I continue to be impressed with the friendliness of the people we have met. We went to see the magician tonight. Very entertaining. He didn’t bring his A game, but he seemed to be going more for the comedy. We were in the balcony seating for the guitarist and the way they have the seats laid out is really neat. Seatings for two even though they are all together. The lower seating, where we sat for the magician, is much smaller and more like you expect in terms of seating. May 25 Friday- Gloomy morning in the 40s here in Juneau, the capital of Alaska. Beautiful city, with lots to do. This is a good thing, since we are here from 8 am to 10 pm. One thing it looks like we will not be doing, unless it clears up, is the tram. It takes you to the top of the mountain where you have a really nice view of the surrounding area. We have done that previously. Another activity that is well worth the trip, is the Mendenhall Glacier, which is about 14 miles away. We have done that previously, both times we were here. There is also whale watching and this is a great time of year to see them as they eat as to get ready for their trip to Hawaii. We were told, on an earlier excursion that they do not eat on the way. What we do plan on doing today is going to the State Office Building to see the 77 year old Kimball Pipe Organ. There is a free concert at Noon on Fridays. May 26 Saturday- I would tell you what the weather is like, but if you have been reading the updates, you already know. Add wind to the rain and cold. Still, we found out it is in the 80s and 90s back home and this is preferable. Today we are at Icy Point Straight, Hoonah, AK. This is a new port for us, so we can learn about it together.. It is mostly woods, like we have back home. Pretty quick day in port as we sailed at 2:00. About 4 hours out we passed a yet to be identified glacier and there was enough sun to get a picture. Shortly thereafter- rain mixed with snow! The Captain warned us of rough seas and he sure was right. BTW, the ship has 12 elevators, 4 each aft, mid and forward and they seem to be fairly quick. May 27 Sunday- At Sea Day today. Temps in the 40s, now there’s a surprise. The sea is fairly calm and the clouds show signs of breaking up. On our way to Anchorage, which will be the midway point in our cruise. Pretty day today. Even have some sun. Okay, here goes my one and only RANT (hopefully). We have been on 23 cruises. Not a lot, by many standards, but enough to know what to expect from the wait staff. We like Anytime Dining. It has a lot of advantages. We almost always are able to make reservations and sit in a desired area, and the service has almost always been very good or better. The service in the MDR, for this cruise has been far short of what we have come to expect. It is like we are treated as second class citizens compared to assigned seating. We have had 3 different wait staffs in the MDR and all have been the same. I mentioned earlier that staffing might be a problem, and this could be, but they don’t even do basic things like clear the crumbs off the table cloth or fill your water glass without being asked. And the service is much slower even than the leisurely pace you expect. The band went around playing to the assigned seating guests, but never came to our dining room. In contrast to this, the wine stewards have been terrific! If we had the same one throughout, he would be getting an additional tip. We like tipping extra and it is rare that the wait staff and a bartender or two do not get an extra tip. Not yet on this cruise. It has been a very good cruise so far, so don’t let the rant get to you. It turned out to be a beautiful day today and we are getting lovely views of the snowcapped mountains. We have one excursion tomorrow, The Big Swig! Limited to 12 people and they still have 5 spots available. May 28 Monday- We have broken a pattern. The sun is out and temps are in the 50s. Our plan is to go into town this morning to do a little shopping and then do the Big Swig excursion this afternoon. The area is secured, so the only way off the pier is the free shuttle. The Big Swig was quite a tour. We toured 3 breweries, The King Street Brewery, Land Of The Midnight Sun Brewery and Resolution. At King Street, we got a lengthy explanation of the different hops and barleys they use and why. They also explained why certain regions use certain grains. It is because of the mineral content of the water in those regions. Of course, while he is talking, we get to be drinking. Midnight Sun is the 2nd largest craft brewer in the state and Resolution one of the smallest. If you appreciate beer, you should appreciate this tour. It is a privately owned company. Just one guy and a part time employee. When we got back to the ship, we went to see comedian Mark Pitta. Very funny and clean. May 29 Tuesday- Mostly cloudy, windy and in the 40s today. We are in Homer and will be doing the Best Of The Bay boat tour. There is a free shuttle to take us to the other side of the Spit, where all of the shopping is, but to actually go into Homer costs $15. The Best Of The Bay tour is rated more difficult because it is a pretty long walk to the boat and a fairly steep ramp to get to the dock. What we saw was lots of sea otters and puffins close up We also saw several Eagles and even mountain goats. There were also birds that looked a lot like penguins, but were able to fly. Very nice tour. The weather made a turn for the worse as we got back, so the afternoon tour probably won’t have it so comfortable. May 31 Thursday- I forgot to tell you yesterday about the eagles on Kodiak. They were everywhere! Today we are doing Hubbard Glacier, the largest tide water glacier in North America. It is in the 40s and will be getting colder as we approach the glacier, but the sun is reflecting off the water, so I have high hopes. This, boys and girls, is worth the price of the ticket. Cold and windy to start the day. The sky is mostly sunny and the scenery is beautiful, so just throw on an extra layer and go sit out on the balcony. O. June 1 Friday We are in Sitka today until 4:00. Docked right next to the NCL Jewel. Temp is 49 degrees, with a high of 56 expected. June 2 Saturday- Sea Day. June 4 Monday- Disembark. Disembarking and Customs was a breeze. We stayed in the stateroom until our tag color was called and had no trouble leaving the ship and getting our luggage. A taxi was right there to take us to the hotel. We had checked in online yesterday and they had a room ready. Perfect view of the Space Needle!

Traveler Type

Couple

Room Type

Balcony

Experience

7+ cruises

Great South American cruise

Nov 9th, 2018

The itinerary was great. On sea days informative talks were provided about the places you visit, cultures, stars, whales, etc. Do not buy the thermal suite package. It was not worth the price. Not maintained.

Traveler Type

Singles/Friends

Room Type

Inside

Experience

7+ cruises

Nov 8th, 2018

I was on the same cruise as gohunter and had a completely different experience. We found the entertainment excellent and the early show was always packed. We even liked the comedian and I don’t really enjoy them most of the time. The lectures on board were excellent. The speakers were not only knowledgeable, but also good and entertaining speakers. I enjoyed the promenade deck for walking and viewing the sights and I thought are shore excursions were good. The staff bent over backwards to please. One morning the captain diverted from course so we could get a good look at an iceberg they had spotted. We also liked the test kitchen series and were never bored during the tip. Most of all, the weather was fantastic allowing us many fabulous photo ops.

Nov 7th, 2018

Did San Antonio to Rio on this ship! First and last time on Holland America! Lounge entertainment was a joke. 1) A classical duo playing to an empty lounge that had an unused dance floor. 2) An awful jazz band that didn't even recognize that the ship was in South America. Instead of playing sambas, rumbas, bossa novas, etc. They murdered ABBA, Beatles, etc by playing it in jazz style, and they also murdered loads of jazz numbers too! 3) A bar singer/piano player who hollered and hammered the guts out of the piano. However, he was the best of a bad bunch! Bars closed at 23:30, nothing after that as apparently Holland America felt it was past our bed time! Cruise director Bruce was probably the worst in the 24 cruises that we've been on. Paid lip service but did nothing. His response to complaints was "That's not the Holland America product that we sell!" Absolutely awful attitude!!!! Also, when an act had a night off, there was simply NOTHING replacing them. Want a late breakfast after 10am? Tough! No food available anywhere until lunch starts at 11:30 or noon depending on the day. Some sea days where the main restaurant didn't even open for lunch! Their answer? Room service is available 24 hours per day! Lido Market restaurant is supposedly buffet, but you can't pick up your own food as it is all behind perspex, so you can easily have to queue several times in different lines, just to get what you want on your plate. By the time you've got it all, the first item you put on the plate is cold as they've not understood the concept of hot plates! In the main dining room on one occasion I sent my "medium" steak back twice as it was served and replaced with a similarly rare steak dripping blood. Others at the table did similarly! One day we gave up on dessert and coffee as after waiting for over an hour to get as far as the main course, we'd lost our appetite, let alone patience! Drinks packages are horrendously expensive compared to other cruise lines, but the drinks quality is not any better. Bar staff were the saviours though with Elmer, Neil, Ronnie and co keeping us sane when we felt like jumping overboard due to the "suicide music" being played by the jazz band in the Ocean bar! Theatre entertainment was hit and miss. Some acts were excellent, but other nights were poor. One night the theatre show was a BBC Frozen Planet film without the Sir David Attenborough commentary, with musicians playing music to it. What the heck? Without the commentary, the film just loses all meaning, but I guess they wanted to save paying royalties to Sir David!!! One day our toilet stopped flushing. I reported it before 10am. Came back to the cabin at around 4pm to find it still as we left it. Complained to Guest Services, to be told the plumber had fixed it when he clearly had been nowhere near our cabin. They logged it again and I called them again an hour later, by this time irate telling them to "Get a plumber here NOW!" He eventually arrived 40mins later, well over 7 hours after I reported the fault! They knew very well that my wife was disabled and trekking around the ship to find a disabled friendly toilet was a real nuisance, but they obviously don't care! Our opinion is that Holland America is by far the worst cruise line that we have used.

Oct 25th, 2018

Older ship that we only rode for one night as they repositioned from Seattle to Vancouver. The crew appeared to have very little interest in serving the single night passengers. Most likely because they tip less. Too bad. Guessing it might be better on a longer cruise but not very interested in finding out.

Alaska is Great!

Oct 2nd, 2018

Great tour and state. This was our third visit to Alaska. Scenery is breathtaking; citizens are very friendly and helpful. We hired non-Holland shore excursions with knowledgeable natives that took us off the routine tourist routes and gave us more insight of their lives and of Alaska.

Traveler Type

Large Group

Room Type

Oceanview

Experience

4-6 cruises

Our cruise was nice.

Sep 30th, 2018

The cruise itself was good, but on board entertainment was boring. The shows were good just not long enough. Libo food was not good, sandwiches were cold and hard no taste. Dining room was nice enjoyed meeting different people at dinner but did not care for the food. No tv other than news and sports channels. Internet service we paid for did not work, we had to finally had to go with our carrier Verizon so we paid for service we could not use. The customer service staff could not get it to work, so we would like a refund. Did not know that we were being charged extra for room staff on all other cruises we been on that was always included in price of trip from the beginning.

Traveler Type

Couple

Room Type

Oceanview

Experience

7+ cruises

Sep 25th, 2018

We loved our ship. 14 days is a long time, but on this ship the time went by way too fast. Our room was on the 2nd floor close to an elevator bank, we lived how convenient everything was. The service was incredible! We loved the Lido deck and the Main dining room. The people who took care of the room were happy and kind as was everyone else on this ship. We lived everything. The WiFi could use an update. It’s expensive and very slow. Each person in your group must sign up separately, ie you can’t share. In the big scheme of things this was very minor irritant. Go, have fun, you will love it!

Disclaimers about ship ratings: A ship’s Health Rating is based on vessel inspection scores published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a ship did not receive a CDC score within 22 months prior to the calculation of its Overall Rating, its Health Rating appears as N/A; in such a case, the ship’s Overall Rating is calculated using the average Health Rating of all CDC-rated ships within the cruise line. All ship Traveler Ratings are based on ratings provided under license by Cruiseline.com.