Ten years ago, 2009, my very first longer cruise was the HAL Voyage of the Vikings. It was 35 days RT from Boston on the Maasdam. It was exciting, and being from Florida, a real delight to escape the heat and see the North Atlantic. So when I wanted to go back and do it again, I found that this cruise had become one of HAL's favorite and pricest itineraries, too rich for my travel budget. However, the Zuiderdam's 17 cruise from Rotterdam to Boston, which in fact was 1/2 half of the V of the V cruise, was a good deal. I booked an inside room, as most outside and better were sold out, and it got us there, thank you. With almost midnight sun part of the trip, the dark inside room wasn't so bad, but "it ain't no verandah" either.
This review will be brief; This cruise was a dream. The Zuiderdam, at the ripe old age of 17, one year older than the Maasdam was at the time 10 years ago, is showing her age in places like the vista windows on the mid ship elevators, but was still very satisfying. Our room was fine. The MDR, we had assigned dining at 7:45 with a window side table, was excellent. Our waiter explained the offerings every night and his assistant remembered our preferences. Holland America has improved the food over the years and our seafood and beef selections were 5 stars. One complaint: the flowers have disappeared from the tables both in the MDR and the Lido. The enrichment lectures were excellent on the first half, not so good on the second. The officers greeted us at the gangway Portside on returning to the ship, unusual on a 1900 guest sized ship. They also were at every Gala night MDR entrance. We made every port this cruise and Captain Bart and Hotel Director Darren were visible and helpful as were many of the officers. We met a lot of wonderful people on this cruise, most of whom were well traveled and educated adventurers, some young, many older, from all over the world.
Main deck room is larger and more squared off than a typical ship cain. Small corner sofa and shower without tub were appreciated.
We toured the SS Rotterdam which is permanently moored nearby. Took the free shuttle into the historic canal area. Liked the long sailaway on departure.
My first time here. It was like a small English/Scottish village. Nice waterfront trail. Zuiderdam had to tender, but that was easy with a sheltered harbor.
Our only poor weather day, that kept us from going to Godafoss. Nice town on a beautiful fjord.
Tender port for the big Z'dam, which was no problem. There are NEW tenders which are more stable and waterproof than originals were. Walked around and enjoyed the location, but not as nice as the other two Iceland ports.
Walked the trail to Signal Hill which clings to the harbor side entrance like I did 10 years ago. Why was it so much harder? Ten years is why. Went to the Rooms Museum as well as walking the central city. I like St John's
Went to Sydney Mines along the entrance bay road. Walked the waterfront boardwalk and part of the central city. Nice day.
Great waterfront walkways and attractions including a WWI sailing ship that took sailors to the battlefront 100 years ago. Halifax on a nice day, which we had, is delightful.
Boston's terminal is old, but looked better than 10 years ago with much updating. Took the local bus to the South Station where we took a bus to New York City which was relatively easy.