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Holland America Cruises aboard the Zuiderdam
Above: Holland America Cruise Lines Zuiderdam Cruise Ship.

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Ship Details
Began service: December, 2002
Guest capacity: 1,848
Total staff: 800
Length: 951 feet
Passenger decks: 11
CDC inspection score: 98

Zuiderdam Overview

The Zuiderdam cruise ship departs from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Throughout the year, she offers ocean cruises to Caribbean.

Check Dates & Prices for cruises to Caribbean.

Zuiderdam is unlike any other Holland America ship. This is a newer version actively in search of a younger clientele. The ship is about 40 percent larger than the Statendam-class vessel and is the first of the new Vista Class. "The general idea was to make Holland America younger," the ship's designer, Frans Dingemanns, said.

Zuiderdam has large, comfortable staterooms; the standard inside and outside double rooms are 185 sq ft. while large outsides are 194 sq ft. All cabins feature twin beds convertible to a queen-size, a bathtub and shower, TV, mini-bar, dataport, telephone and multichannel music. A few have a shower only, so check if a tub is important to you. Sixty-six percent of all the cabins have balconies. The deluxe verandah outsides are 254 sq ft and feature a balcony, floor-to-ceiling windows and sitting area; superior verandah suites are 392 sq ft. The top-level suites - penthouse and deluxe verandah suites - have access to a private lounge with concierge service, as well as extra features like sofa beds, dual-sink vanities in the bathrooms, and DVD players.


Holland Americaexpands its dining options with the 130-seat Odyssey Restaurant. The menu in the Odyssey is centered on Pacific Northwest cuisine. Think salmon, premium beefsteaks, Dungeness crab cakes, venison carpaccio and other items featuring Washington apples and Oregon blue cheese. The wine list includes selections from some very good regional wines, including Chateau St. Michelle and Willamette Valley. The Odyssey includes a bar for pre-and post-dinner drinks. There is a $20 cover charge.

For main dining, the two-level Vista Dining Room features floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides of the room, and there are two grand staircases with a bandstand featuring live music during dinner.

The Windstar Cafe is a new addition. It's near the main atrium with nautical motif, with blond wood and marine blue furniture. The coffee served is Torrefazione Italia, the upscale brand of Seattle's Best Coffee. It's open from 5am - 11pm; there is an additional charge for fancy coffees and pastries. Free coffee is always available in the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Java Corner, right outside the meeting rooms and near the Internet Center on the Promenade Deck.

The Lido Cafe is designed to be more efficient, with buffets offering different items to minimize the length of the lines. Holland America always does a great job with the buffets, and the favorites are still here: pizza, pasta, Asian stir fry, deli sandwiches, salad bar and, at breakfast, made-to-order omelets. And, of course, the always popular ice cream bar. Outside the Lido Restaurant is the poolside Terrace Grill, which serves burgers and hot dogs.


A wide variety of entertainment is available, from splashy Vegas-style revues and Broadway shows to comedians and vocalists. There's usually a crew show and a 1950s and '60s style party.

Fitness & Recreation

The Greenhouse Spa & Salon, affiliated with the popular spa found in 15 cities, is new to Holland America. The menu includes a variety of innovative treatments, and has a staff of 23, twice the number of most shipboard spas. A new addition is the glass-enclosed, 18-by-22-foot seawater hydrotherapy pool, which has jets to soothe sore muscles. Treatments include a Swedish massage, $99 for 50 minutes; Silk Booster Facial, $119 for 75 minutes; Frangipani Body Nourish Wrap, $182 for 45 minutes; and Sole Delight Foot Treatment, $55 for 45 minutes.

The adjacent fitness center has ocean views and treadmills, stair-step machines, stationary bikes, free weights and Cybex weight machines. Exercise classes include water and step aerobics - spinning, pilates and yoga classes are available for a fee of $11.

The ship has two swimming pools, one with a moveable roof and the other in a quieter aft location. It also has a basketball court, volleyball court and golf simulator.

Public Areas

The Zuiderdam has a three-deck-high atrium that encircles a Waterford crystal seahorse suspended in the center. The Vista Lounge is a Broadway-style theater with three seating levels.

Curled around the atrium, the Ocean Bar has several bay window booths that make you feel like you're outside on the Promenade Deck. Up on the Observation Deck, the Crow's Nest features potted palm trees and recliners overlooking the bow of the ship. The semicircle Queen's Lounge on the Lower Promenade Deck is used for cabaret-style entertainment and recently released movies. A cigar lounge features a special ventilation system and a tin model of the Robert E. Lee steamboat. There's also a sports bar, nightclub, library and shops.


In its quest to attract younger clients, Holland America has expanded the children's and teen's facilities on the Zuiderdam. KidZone, designed for children from 5 - 12, is the center of the Club HAL. Supervised activities include arts and crafts, computers, movies and parties. The KidZone features inside and outdoor play areas with safety matting.

WaveRunner, the teen center, has a dance floor with sound and light systems, video game room, a big-screen TV for movies, and a pantry with soft drinks and juices.

The Club HAL activities continue on Half Moon Cay, the line's pristine private island. Kids engage in sandcastle building or treasure hunts while teens can snorkel and play Frisbee.

Expert Zuiderdam reviews are edited by Michelle, and provided by Ian and Cruise Critic.com, an award-winning cruise community. This objective information can help you choose just the right ship for your next cruise vacation.

Check Dates & Prices for cruises to Caribbean.


Discount Code

Zuiderdam cruise reviews

Cruise Ship Inspection Report
All passenger cruise ships arriving at US ports are subject to unannounced CDC inspection. Zuiderdam Score: 98

Cruise Critic: Zuiderdam
The Cruise Critic gives Holland America's Zuiderdam a 3-ribbon rating.

Zuiderdam "The Wonderful Zuiderdam"
Date: September 18, 2005
Reviewer: Miami Beach 411 User,
Leawood, KS
This was our first cruise So we have no objective parameters on which to compare cruise lines. However, let me say that any other cruise line would have to work awfully hard to better the Holland America experience, in general, and the Zuiderdam experience in particular.

Prior to the cruise we had read a number of mixed reviews of the Zuiderdam, with complaints about boarding experience, vibration, food etc.

Our experience, overall was superb. Boarding was a breeze, and accomplished in very short order. Besides checking ID they do an ID photo of you, and issue a "ship card" which you show on embarking or disembarking the ship at any port. The same card becomes your charge card in the cashless society on board. They loaded almost two thousand passengers with minimal waiting time.

Motion of the ship was minimal. Those stabilizers seem to work well. Vibration was also almost unnoticeable. But one has to remember that there is a mighty engine propelling that huge ship through the water, so vibration cannot be totally eliminated.

The food was superb. DIning each night was a gustatory and visual pleasure, as were all the specials, such as Dutch afternoon tea and the dessert extravaganza. We used room service a couple of times for breakfast, but mostly we did our deck walk early in the morning, (three times around the promenade deck = 1 mile), and then went to breakfast in the Lido restaurant, where there is a huge variety of food, all of good quality, some of it prepared while you wait. The smaller European portions, at dinner, instead of the gargantuan American, doggy bag portions made the dining experience so much better.

There were numerous on board activities. One we tried was a talk on Digital photography by the photo lab staff, at which we learned a lot.

Shore excursions are choices each person will have to make. I would have been happy simply to remain on the ship. Nevertheless we tried some. I would avoid the Grand Cayman tour. It just lead us from one tourist trap to the next. On the other hand, my wife enjoyed the "Swim with the Stingrays" experience at Half Moon Cay, while I enjoyed riding the wave runner as a neophyte. When we reached Costa Maya, there were two other large cruise ships, (besides the Zuiderdam), moored there. If you like shopping at the mall at Christmas time, then you will love the shopping experience at Costa Maya. There are a few good local craft items. You can haggle for all you're worth to get the lowest price.

We seemed to have no epidemics of intestinal illness aboard. All the public restrooms and gym have hand sanitizer dispensers. HAL exhorts passengers to wash their hands often and use the hand sanitizers frequently. Epidemics of things like the Norwalk virus can be transferred on hand rails etc. We took a bottle of hand sanitizer for the cabin and some disposable hand sanitizer napkins to use ashore. We stayed healthy.

I would say that this cruise was the best vacation of our entire lives. The crew were outgoing, sociable and helpful. The dining room and cabin stewards were outstanding, especially Budi, our cabin steward and Yogi and Igede, our dining room stewards. We hardly ever saw Budi, but each time we left the cabin he would slip in and work his magic, leaving fresh towels. Returning after dinner we would find the bed turned down and a fresh chocolate sitting on a card bearing a "sleep well message" from the Captain and crew. We attended the Indonesian Crew show late in the cruise, and enjoyed it. They also appreciated our being there and were pleased when we recognized individual cast members later. These people work hard, 11 hours a day for up to 12 months at a time, before they get leave to return home for a few months. So, the Golden Rule applies. Treat them well, and they will treat you well.

We were pleased that the Captain, at his champagne reception recognized the work of the crew, and even introduced, along with his officers, the employee of the month who happened to be a "wiper" in the engine room. At the farewell disembarkation talk, employees were again recognized, many of them being brought in to march up on the stage.

Disembarkation was also easy. Immigration boarded the day before when we hit Key West. Customs was a mere formality, and consisted merely of handing in your customs form. I saw no inspection of any baggage.

I would give our experience five stars! Thanks HAL. Now, where did I put that weight loss diet?

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