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Holland America Line

December 8-11, 2002
Preview Sailing

by Linda Coffman

The Atrium: Adorned by an exquisite Waterford Crystal seahorse

New 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 spacious comfort.

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
  • Explorations Cafe—Specialty 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 McCrea Cellars.

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 service menu.


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 furnishings.

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.

Go to -->  Zuiderdam Preview, Part 2

More --> Zuiderdam Photos 1 & Zuiderdam Photos 2 
Staterooms & Public Areas

Photos Courtesy of Holland America Line

Holland America Line - Cruise Reviews 

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