Holland America Line
December 8-11, 2002
by Linda Coffman
The Atrium: Adorned by an
exquisite Waterford Crystal seahorse
Vistas, Continuing Tradition
"First remember that this ship is much larger than
the others," Frans Dingemans, the ship's architect says of the
Zuiderdam in comparison to her fleetmates. "We approached the design
in such a way that returning Holland America guests will feel at
home, and all guests will be able to orient themselves very easily."
He likens the concept to a series of intimate boulevards and
squares, as opposed to overwhelming plazas.
Zuiderdam is the vanguard of the five ship Vista-class, but
Holland America regulars will recognize the traditional touches they
are fond of—late
evening hot canapés; chimes to announce meals; attentive, courteous
service by the Filipino and Indonesian crew; and signature spaces,
including the Crow's Nest, Explorer's Lounge, and Ocean Bar.
Hallmarks of Holland America Line's 130 year history abound—lovely
flower arrangements, priceless artwork and antiques, and a full
wrap-around teak promenade deck with padded deck chairs. Fresh
popcorn is available to movie-goers, afternoon tea is a treasured
institution, and silver trays of mints, figs, and candied ginger
greet guests departing the dining room.
A bold palette of red, purple, turquoise, and orange accentuates the
extensive use of crystal, etched glass, brass and other metals.
Zuiderdam is a creative blend of charm and high tech, affording all
passengers the comfort and convenience they expect on a premium
class cruise liner. Vista-class ships are 40% larger than previous
Holland America vessels, but carry only 25% more passengers in
Three restaurants present a delicious dilemma during
a typical week-long Zuiderdam cruise. Where to eat?
Vista Dining Room—The
main dining room, featuring extensive menu choices and expansive
views of the sea beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows
Pinnacle Grill Restaurant—The specialty restaurant and adjoining
bar serving Pacific Northwest cuisine
Lido Restaurant—Traditional shipboard buffet dining with a
variation: food stations replace long lines
Terrace Grill—Buffet style indoor/outdoor casual eatery
coffee, tea, and pastries
Pinnacle Grill Restaurant
Dinner in the Pinnacle Grill Restaurant is sublime—and sure to be
popular—so plan to snap up a reservation right away. Atop crisp
Frette linens, the Riedel stemware gleams beside Bvlgari china by
Rosenthal. A single orchid in a silver vase is just the right
adornment. To accompany your meal, wines from distinguished
Northwestern vineyards include Chateau St. Michelle, Chinook, and
Just a few of the tempting menu items to start include Fragrant
Chicken Thai Soup, Northwest Clam Chowder, Dungeness Crab Cakes,
Vine Ripe Beefsteak Tomato Salad. The Pinnacle Grill features
Sterling Silver Beef, enhanced by seasoned rubs and prepared on a
1600-degree grill to insure that juices are properly sealed. From
the grill, select Filet Mignon, Rib Eye or Porterhouse steaks,
Halibut or King Salmon. Signature dishes include Pan Seared Rosemary
Chicken, Lamb Rack Chops, Seafood Cioppino, and Grande Wild Mushroom
Ravioli with a Pesto Cream Sauce. All entrees are served with a
choice of side dishes. To complete dinner, there is Not-So-Classic
Baked Alaska, Warm Grand Marnier Chocolate Volcano Cake, Lemon Berry
Angel Shortcake, and an assortment of cheeses.
Zuiderdam guests with special diets will find tasty low sodium,
diabetic, vegetarian, and fat free/low cholesterol offerings and
health conscious Inbalance Spa Cuisine in the Vista Dining Room.
Late afternoon attacks of the munchies can be satisfied with pizza
or at an ice cream bar with all the fixings for a supreme sundae.
Even later cravings are fulfilled from an extensive 24-hour room
Superior Veranda Suite
Eighty-five percent of Zuiderdam's passengers have accommodations
with an ocean view and two-thirds of outside staterooms and suites
offer occupants a private verandah with attractive wicker-look
Light wood tones complement the vibrant drapery, carpeting, and
bedspread colors of all categories. There are basically five types
of staterooms: standard inside, standard ocean view, verandah
outside, verandah suites, and the supreme penthouse verandah suites.
Suite occupants are sure to enjoy their sumptuous
quarters and private Neptune Lounge with personal concierge service.
Two penthouse suites are the ultimate in luxury with separate living
room, dining room, and bedroom areas. A verandah, generous walk-in
closets, bathroom highlighted with whirlpool tub, separate guest
powder room, and a butler's pantry round out a perfect home at sea.
Offering similar amenities, Deluxe and Superior Verandah Suites
feature large verandahs, dressing rooms, and generous sitting areas.
The full suites also provide many of the conveniences of the
penthouses, including double sinks, a whirlpool tub, separate
shower, refrigerator, and VCR.
Deluxe Verandah Outside staterooms are similar in
design to outside standards, including the bathrooms with tubs, but
have a slightly different furniture configuration. The verandahs add
real usable space. Furnished with two wicker-style chairs and a
table, there is still plenty of room to move about. Desirable,
aft-facing Category A verandahs are huge, but not completely private
as they are "stepped" out like a layer cake.
Inside and outside standard staterooms are functional and
comfortable, with amenities including hairdryers, personal safes,
refrigerators, and two closets configured for hanging and/or drop
down shelves. Twin beds that convert to a queen, a sofa, adjustable
height table, hassock, and vanity/desk and chair round out the
furnishings. Oddly, the only drawers are found in the small bedside
tables; all other storage space is shelving. For two people, this
arrangement is acceptable, but storage for three or four could be
tight. Parents with more than one small child might consider
adjoining staterooms for additional storage and a second bathroom.
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Preview, Part 2
Holland America Line
- Cruise Reviews