First launched in 2002, the MS Zuiderdam was the first Vista-class ship for Holland America, and thanks to a considerate renovation programme she remains a popular ship in the fleet.
Named after the Dutch word for south(zuid), she has been updated to accommodate just under 2,000 passengers when at full capacity.
She has a range of quality cabins to choose from, including cheaper Interior rooms through to spacious Suite accommodations. And I’ve trawled through the deck plans in fine detail to bring you this guide to every type of stateroom you can book.
I’ve also looked at past passenger reviews on social media, cruise forums and more to see which are the best rooms and which are the worst. While this doesn’t mean they’re bad, they may be rooms you wish to avoid booking yourself, depending on your personal preferences.
So let’s take a look.
MS Zuiderdam Cabin Types
There are four main cabin types you can choose from on MS Zuiderdam. These each have subtypes of cabins within them…
- Inside – Standard or Large
- Ocean View – Large or Large Obstructed
- Verandah – Standard or Aft-View
- Suites – Signature, Neptune or Pinnacle
Let’s take more of a look at each of these cabin types, so you can get an idea of which one is the best for you…
Interior Staterooms on MS Zuiderdam
MS Zuiderdam has two different types of Inside cabins that you can book:
|Standard||2 people||Approx. 150 sq. ft.|
|Large||2-4 people||Approx. 230 sq. ft.|
Unfortunately, Holland America doesn’t publish the exact difference between Standard and Large Interior cabins in terms of floorspace, but most Standard rooms are around 150 square feet, while the Large rooms go up to 230 square feet (but there can be variances in both).
As they are with any cruise ship, Interior cabins are always going to be the cheapest option. They’re great if you’re on a budget and plan on spending most of your time outside of your cabin, exploring everything that MS Zuiderdam has to offer.
Both Standard and Large rooms have two twin beds that are convertible into a single Queen bed if preferred – you just need to state which you prefer when you book.
Some of the Large Interior Staterooms sleep 3 or 4 guests. There’ll always be a sofa bed, and those quad rooms will have an additional upper bed for a fourth guest.
Ocean View Staterooms on MS Zuiderdam
There are three types of Ocean View Stateroom available for guests to book on MS Zuiderdam. These are:
|Large||2-4 people||174-180 sq. ft.|
|Large Obstructed||2-3 people||174-180 sq. ft.|
The next step up from an Interior Stateroom, Ocean View Staterooms have a window that lets you see out over the ocean. The window is nice and large, and lets a lot of bright, natural light into the room.
These cabins tend to be larger than the Inside Staterooms, although there are different sizes available.
There are some that sleep families, with options for 3 or 4 guests. Those for 4 people have a sofa bed and a Pullman bed. There’s also a curtain to divide the room, which is great.
Some of the Ocean View staterooms on Deck 4 have an obstructed view. This is because the lifeboats are stored directly outside the room. Some are classified as fully obstructed, while others are partially obstructed.
They’re cheaper, as you’d hope, and they’re a good choice if you don’t care about the view but just want the natural light, especially if you like to know whether it’s morning without having to check your phone.
Verandah Staterooms on MS Zuiderdam
Here are the two types of Verandah Stateroom on MS Zuiderdam:
|Standard||2-4 people||212-359 sq. ft.|
|Aft-View||2 people||212-359 sq. ft.|
Verandah Staterooms are always some of the most popular on a cruise ship. You don’t just get a view, but you get your own private balcony where you can sit and soak up the fresh sea breeze, and hopefully some of the warm sun too.
Another perk of this room type is that you get a bath, rather than just a shower. This is something that’s reserved for suite guests on most cruise ships.
There are two types of Verandah Stateroom, and the room sizes above include the balcony floor space too.
Of the Standard Verandah Staterooms, some again are suitable for 3 or 4 guests. So your kids can enjoy the view with you – although you will only get two chairs on the balcony.
Those sleeping 4 guests are mostly available on the Observation Deck (Deck 10) but there are a handful of others on the Upper Verandah Deck, which is Deck 6.
Aft-View Verandah Staterooms often book up first. They have what many consider to be the best views of the ship, overlooking the wake as you sail. Plus you tend to be more shielded from the wind. You will pay a little more for the privilege though.
Suites on MS Zuiderdam
The different types of Suite on MS Zuiderdam are:
|Signature Suite||2-3 people||372–384 sq. ft.|
|Neptune Suite||2-4 people||500–712 sq. ft.|
|Pinnacle Suite||2-4 people||1,150 sq. ft.|
There are three types of suites on MS Zuiderdam. She doesn’t have any Vista Suites like you’ll find on some other ships in the Holland America fleet, but considering how Vista Suites aren’t much better than a Verandah Stateroom, that’s no big loss.
Signature Suites are really the start of the real suite class for Holland America ships, with a much more spacious room and a longer list of perks that you get, although it’s still not super-lengthy.
You get a queen-size bed (worth noting, as some Signature Suites on other ships get you a king-sized one) and a sofa bed for a third guest.
Neptune Suites are larger again, and they have a lot more additional benefits.
Just a heads up if you were checking the deck plans yourself – Neptune Suites are marked as sleeping up to three guests, but their sofa beds are bigger and can accommodate two smaller guests. So you can comfortably fit four people in one.
Pinnacle Suites are the very best on the ship – they’re extremely spacious (with a Verandah that’s bigger than most of the actual staterooms on the ship) and they include an oversized whirlpool bath too.
Again, a sofa bed large enough for two guests is included if you want to enjoy this suite with your family.
If you like the idea of a suite but aren’t sure which to choose, then you should be sure to compare the different perks that you get with each. Take a look at my Holland America Line Suite Benefits Guide to find out more.
Special Cabin Types on MS Zuiderdam
Beyond the standard selection of staterooms on MS Zuiderdam, there are a few more choices you can make.
Almost all cruise ships have accessible stateroom and suite options – designed for guests with additional accessibility needs. And MS Zuiderdam is no different.
On MS Zuiderdam, the accessible rooms are split into two categories – Ambulatory Accessible, and Fully Accessible.
Ambulatory Accessible rooms are those which aren’t designed for wheelchair users, but that have small modifications to handle other accessibility needs for guests. On MS Zuiderdam, these rooms include:
- 11 Verandah Staterooms
- 2 Ocean View Staterooms
Fully Accessible rooms are suitable for wheelchair users, with widened doorways and a roll-in shower. These include:
- 2 Neptune Suites
- 4 Signature Suites
- 2 Verandah Staterooms
- 3 Ocean View Staterooms
- 4 Interior Staterooms
While there are some staterooms on MS Zuiderdam that are suitable for 3 or 4 guests, the additional beds aren’t the biggest. They’re fine if you’re travelling with younger children, but for teenagers or other adults, they will be a little cramped.
But there is another option – there are connecting cabins that guests can book if they want two staterooms side-by-side. These have a doorway between them, which is normally locked. If your party has booked both rooms, you can ask for the door to be unlocked, giving all guests access to both rooms.
Connecting rooms are available for Interior, Ocean View and Verandah Staterooms, and if you request a connecting Verandah, then the balconies can also be connected, opening up that space more too.
How To Choose The Best Room
There are a lot of different decisions that factor into picking the best cabin for your cruise, and as you can tell, there are many different stateroom options on MS Zuiderdam to choose from too!
To help you out, I’ve created a checklist that will tell you what you must look out for when choosing a cabin.
All you need to do is pop your email address and name into the form below and it’ll be sent straight to your inbox.
MS Zuiderdam Cabin Grades
When choosing the best room on Zuiderdam, one thing that you’ll need to get your head around is the cabin grades.
Every cruise ship labels rooms with a cabin grade – this is usually one or two letters at the start of the room number which tell you what kind of room it is.
Different cruise lines have systems that vary slightly, but with Holland America, you just need to know what the letters stand for – that tells you the type of room. Then the digits afterwards will tell you what deck you are on, and specifically which room you’re in.
If your cabin has a four-digit number then it’s on the first 9 public decks, from the Main Deck (staterooms 1001-1127) right up to the Navigation Deck (staterooms 8001-8147). There are no staterooms on the ninth deck, which is the Lido Deck.
If your cabin has a five-digit number, it means you’re on the tenth deck, which is the Panorama Deck (staterooms 10001-10026).
Here’s a rundown of the different grades of cabins on MS Zuiderdam:
|SA, SB, SC||Neptune Suite|
|SS, SY, SZ||Signature Suite|
|VA, VB, VC, VD, VE, VF, VH||Verandah Stateroom|
|C, D, DD, E, F||Ocean View Stateroom|
|G||Ocean View Stateroom – Partially Obstructed View|
|H, HH||Ocean View Stateroom – Fully Obstructed View|
|I, J, K, L, M, MM, N||Interior Stateroom|
The Worst Cabins on MS Zuiderdam
Now before we get to the best cabins on this ship, let’s take a look at some rooms that you may wish to avoid.
It’s not that these are always bad, but depending on your circumstances, you may wish to steer clear of these rooms…
1. Cabins that could make you seasick
8101 to 8147, 10001 to 10026
Some people are more prone to getting seasick than others, and most cruise passengers never need to worry about it. However, if you are one of the unlucky ones who suffers, there are certain staterooms you should avoid that can make things worse.
Those are mainly the staterooms on Deck 10, at the very front of the ship. This is where you’ll feel the most motion.
It’s not a terrible problem on MS Zuiderdam – the ship is medium-sized in terms of cruise ships, which helps. And it has modern stabilisers.
Some cabins at the aft of the ship can feel the effects too, particularly nearer the top – so consider avoiding the rear cabins on Deck 8.
This isn’t helped thanks to the sponson, which is the ducktail of the ship that extends from the stern – this can cause the occasional shudder on the aft-facing cabins which isn’t pleasant if your stomach is churning.
If you do suffer from seasickness, choose a mid-ship cabin on a lower deck and check out these remedies.
2. Connecting Staterooms if you don’t use them
On any cruise ship, connecting staterooms are handy for families and larger groups. Even more so on MS Zuiderdam, where there aren’t as many standard staterooms that sleep multiple guests.
But that’s not the reason to avoid booking them if you don’t need them. True, someone else might make better use of them, but there’s an even more practical reason why you should avoid them if you won’t be booking the adjacent room too.
Cruise ship staterooms are made from a metal frame, which offers a decent level of soundproofing. Cut a door into it – even a closed one – and that soundproofing is partially compromised.
The door may stay locked, but you’ll likely hear your neighbours, especially if they’re loud. Which also means they may hear you.
If you value your privacy, book a non-connecting room instead.
3. Obstructed Ocean View Staterooms
4055 to 4120
This really depends on whether the view is important to you or if you just like the idea of having some natural light.
Obstructed Ocean View Staterooms are situated on Deck 4 and are facing the lifeboats, so your view is going to be at least partially blocked – how much so depends on the individual stateroom.
If you don’t care about the view, then these are a good option since they’re cheaper.
And if the view does matter to you, then you won’t want it spoiled by a reminder of the emergency boats attached to the ship.
4. Verandah Staterooms with solid-steel railings
4001 to 4042
Some Verandah Staterooms also offer a limited view, except this is a little different.
These staterooms are situated at the front of the ship, where the wind is at its strongest. As such, the plexiglass that would normally be used for a railing isn’t strong enough, meaning they’re made from solid steel, which you can’t see through.
This isn’t an issue when you’re standing up. But, if you like to sit on your balcony, your view is definitely going to be impacted.
While these balconies are larger than average, they will be less comfortable due to the wind, so you may wish to look elsewhere.
5. Rooms directly above the World Stage
4001 to 4050
The World Stage is a fantastic theatre on the ship, taking up the height of two decks on the Lower Promenade Deck (Deck 2) and the Promenade Deck (Deck 3).
Because it’s so impressive, and it hosts amazing live performances, they have quite the sound system in order to fill the room. And if you’ve booked a cabin on the Upper Promenade Deck directly above (Deck 4) then that sound may well carry through the floor.
The live entertainment shows don’t run on too late, but if you’re someone who likes to be up early and then get an early night ahead of the next day, you might be disturbed.
Thankfully the bars that are open later into the evening are situated above staterooms on Deck 1, and the sound tends to travel upwards, so it’s not too bad late into the night. It’s just those evening hours when music and theatre performances at World Stage may cause you problems if your room is close by.
6. Rooms directly below the swimming pools
8038 to 8147
If you’ve just read the section above and thought that the sound of the World Stage wouldn’t concern you, as you like to stay up at night, then definitely avoid the rooms directly below the Lido pool and the Sea View pool.
Here, you may be disturbed by the sound of people grabbing a lounger first thing in the morning.
The sound of sunbeds being dragged along the floor could carry right through your ceiling.
If you appreciate a good lie-in, and you don’t want early risers on the pool deck waking you up, book a room elsewhere on the ship.
7. Rooms next to lots of lifts/elevators
C1081, C1082, H4089, H4090, G4091, G4092, VA5095, VA5097, VA5098, VA5100, VA6082, VA6084, VA6091, VA6093, SS7065, SS7066, SS7067, SS7068, VA8066, VA8068, VA8071, VA8073
On most decks of MS Zuiderdam, there are 14 elevators/lifts to help passengers get from floor to floor. Four of these are nearer the front of the ship and four are towards the aft, but the more problematic ones are right in the middle of the ship.
Because there are six elevators here, most passengers tend to come here because there’s more chance of them getting a ride. But they are adjacent to rooms on most floors too.
So if you get a stateroom or suite alongside this area, you might hear a lot of noise – not so much from the elevators themselves but from the congregating passengers.
8. Interior cabins if you want to relax in your room
Most Interior cabins
Something that crops up in a lot of comments on Facebook is just how small most of the Interior staterooms are, with the standard rooms not including a sofa.
This means the only place to sit is on the bed, which might be fine for some people, but I know a lot of others aren’t too happy about the lack of a proper seating space.
If you want to spend a lot of time in your stateroom, it might be worth choosing a larger room so that you know you have a seat with a back to rest on.
The Best Cabins on MS Zuiderdam
So those are the worst cabins you could book on MS Zuiderdam – depending on you and your travelling party. What about the best? Which are the real gems of the ship that are always worth your consideration? Let’s take a look…
1. Extended Balcony Rooms
There are two staterooms on Zuiderdam that come with huge balconies, for no extra cost. They also come with four lounge chairs rather than the standard two.
The reason that these exist is that there is a crew stairwell next door. That means that these rooms get the balcony from what would be the next-door cabin in addition to their own. So they’re double-width.
And because these cabins are at the aft of Deck 4, they’re double depth as well. Bonus!
These rooms will likely sell out quite quickly, but it’s certainly worth checking to see if they are available on your cruise.
There are other rooms with larger balconies too, where the ship draws inwards at the middle of the ship, but these tend to cost more than the equivalent rooms in the same category.
2. Aft-View Verandah Staterooms
4174, 4176, 4178, 4179, 4181, 4183, 5184, 5185, 5186, 5187, 5188, 5189, 6162, 6173, 7136, 7138, 7140, 7145, 7147, 7149, 8134, 8136, 8138, 8141, 8143, 8145
The most sought-after views on most cruise ships are those over the wake at the aft of the ship. As you’re sailing you get to see the churning waters you leave behind, and you have the benefit of shelter as the ship moves in the opposite direction.
There are Neptune Suites with an aft-view as well, but these are a lot more expensive. So while they are great choices, you do have to pay that premium to get the view. Two of these are wheelchair accessible.
3. Pinnacle Suite
No list of the best accommodations on MS Zuiderdam would be complete without a mention of the Pinnacle Suites, the largest suites on the ship by a significant distance.
As a guide, you could fit as many as six Interior Staterooms inside the Pinnacle Suite, and that’s just the indoor space – the balcony is also twice the size of the smaller Interior Staterooms too.
It’s not just about space though – the amenities and the perks you get for booking this suite are what really make it special.
Relax in a whirlpool bath, enjoy a complimentary Mimosa each morning in your suite with breakfast, skip past lines almost everywhere on the ship – you’ll really get the VIP treatment.
It is, of course, extremely expensive compared to other staterooms and suites so it’s not for everyone. But if you have the budget available and want to treat yourself, it’s a fine choice.
4. Navigation Deck Aft Staterooms if you smoke
8096 to 8145
On most cruise ships these days, you are very limited in where you can smoke. It’s banned in your stateroom (including on the balcony) and in most public areas of the ship. On MS Zuiderdam, there are two smoking areas – the casino, if you’re playing, and the Sea View Bar on Deck 9.
If you’re a smoker (which includes e-cigs), it can be inconvenient to trek halfway across the ship when you want to smoke. But there are some staterooms situated just one deck below the Sea View Bar, so it’s only a short walk to the staircase or the elevator and you’re in a comfortable, sheltered smoking space.
Don’t worry if you’re a non-smoker and you book one of these rooms – it doesn’t tend to drift down, since it is an open-air bar – the wind will carry the smoke away. That makes these rooms a good choice for smokers, but not a bad choice for non-smokers.
Unless you get seasick, as these are some of the cabins I’d suggest avoiding for that reason too.
What is the best deck on MS Zuiderdam?
The best decks on MS Zuiderdam are the Verandah Deck (Deck 5), the Upper Verandah Deck (Deck 6) and the Rotterdam Deck (Deck 7). These decks are surrounded by staterooms above and below, and so are best shielded from noise.
But really, most people across any deck won’t have many problems at all with sound coming through the floor or ceiling and so are likely to be fine. The best deck could instead come down to whether you’re prone to seasickness (aim for a lower deck) or you want to be nearer the pool (aim for a higher deck).
NEW DEALS JUST RELEASED!
Don’t miss the latest Holland America Line offers…
Remember what I said at the start of this guide – the worst cabins on MS Zuiderdam are not necessarily bad cabins.
It might just be that they weren’t right for the person reviewing them, and that they might not be right for you as well.
Hopefully, this guide has done its job and made it easier for you to pick the right cabin for your MS Zuiderdam cruise.
When researching this guide, I used the Holland America deck plans as well as these other resources:
- Holland America Line Cruisers (Facebook)
- Cruise Critic Forums – Holland America
- TripAdvisor Reviews – MS Zuiderdam
If you still have any questions about the accommodation on Zuiderdam, then those would be excellent places to ask. As well as the wider Facebook group for all of Holland America, there is a smaller group specifically for MS Zuiderdam which may also be of use.
NEW DEALS JUST RELEASED!
Don’t miss the latest Holland America Line offers…
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