If it’s staterooms it must be Deck 8?

When it was too hot to walk the promenade deck, I would walk the interior of the ship, from as far down as I could – Deck one, up to the Lido deck. Let’s go on one of my walks today. Not far, less than 4 miles if we do every deck.

There are twelve guest accessible decks.

Z deck plan 1


‘A’ deck isn’t shown here, but it’s the medical offices and tender access as well as crew country, which we’re not allowed into.

Deck one contains staterooms with windows only, as well as the ship’s offices: Front Desk, Excursions, Future Cruises (you get all kinds of perks if you book while onboard – we didn’t, just cause it’s gonna be a few years before we do this again), as well as the offices for the Hotel Manager, Cruise Director and other senior staff on the Hotel/Restaurant end of things.

Deck 2 is almost all public access – the casino is here (it’s actually very small) and you have to pass through it to get to the Vista Lounge, which has, if not state of the art facilities, damn good ones.

Zuiderdam-Visa Lounge

It also also contains some of the ship’s art: two sculptures in recesses on either side of the theatre. One is of a man lounging and reading the paper,

vista lounge sculpture

and the other is a young woman, sitting in an alcove, feet up, knitting. Lovely things. They both have a serene, relaxed feel to them, but the knitting position is all wrong. I checked. It was disappointing that the sculputor couldn’t do the tiny bit of research to get that detail right, and have the needles in the correct position for actual knitting. Sigh.

Deck 2 also contains the lower dining room, as well as the Pinnacle Grill. Now, your food is included in the price you pay, but if you want something different, or a finer fine dining experience than the Vista dining room can offer, you can pay extra and eat here, or at another for pay restaurant on the Lido deck. We only did that once, and I’ll cover it in another blog post.

ha_zuiderdam_diningThis view of the dining room (obtained from the internet) is almost exactly where we sat.

Promenade deck is the next one, and again, in addition to the outer deck, where you can walk, sit, lie down or peer in the upper dining room windows, it’s also mostly public access. The shops are here, featuring clothing, souvenirs, jewellery, watches, booze and cigarettes and cigars. The prices range from WalMart/Costco affordable all the way up to “make an appointment to talk to us and our displays don’t include prices because if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”

Unfortunately for my pocketbook, their more moderately priced jewellery always includes amber, which I love and can’t resist. I don’t wear a lot of jewellery, but I do like it once in a while – usually necklaces and earrings. This trip, I’d promised myself I would NOT buy amber – I wanted to start looking at good quality red and green stone jewellery. Yes, I’d love real rubies and emeralds, but let’s get real here – I don’t know enough about gemstones to know good from bad and our budget isn’t geared for that kind of purchase. So my aim is good enough costume to look wonderful. In any event, I bought a lovely amber necklace. Which I don’t regret, since I wanted one more to match some of the earrings I have.

The meeting rooms (three of them), and the photo gallery are on this deck. The gallery displays the ship’s photographers work, which is, yes, for purchase. They’re good at what they do, and they’re ubiquitous. Every single event on board and many at the ports of call gets as many guests in shots as possible, and you can arrange for formal portrait sittings if you choose, for no charge. We thought about it, since our last formal portrait was taken way too many years ago (see below) but never did get around to it. Maybe next time. But they also take more than just guest photos and some of the stuff I saw was excellent work.

about 1983, 1984

about 1983, 1984

Decks 4 to 8 are stateroom decks – most with a balcony or deck.

Z deck plan 2

Here’s where our stateroom is situated on the ship,



And here’s what our deck looks like – obviously not our photo, but it’s the Zuiderdam and the right location.

our deck

Deck 9 is the Lido deck, it has the gym, the spa, the sauna, the pools (yes, two – one is mostly indoor, the other is outdoor, plus hot tubs), the Lido restaurant, which is where you go if you don’t feel like eating in the dining room (or at lunch, when the dining rooms are closed). It’s more casual, but the food is very bit as delicious as you find in the dining room.

Deck 10 is Club HAL in case you brought kids and want something for them to do, it’s also the Crow’s Nest bar with floor to ceiling windows for a spectacular view, and the Explorations Café which is speciality coffee (which is so-so). It’s also the Library with games, books, internet computers and game tables (oh, and jigsaw puzzles). One of my favourite places – it’s usually quiet and mostly deserted. Except for once, but we’ll get to that later.

Stats about the ship: It’s 82,000 tonnes, it’s 950 ft. long, 106 ft. wide, has 24 public rooms, can accommodate 1,916 guests, has 800 crewmembers, and uses 5 diesel and one gas turbine to move. It’s top speed is 23 knots and it was built in 2002.

Tommorrow is Cabo San Lucas, which is on the very southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, and is where I will swim with the dolphins! There won’t be any photos, since Al isn’t coming with me, and I’m not buying the photos they take of you – I’m sort of allergic to seeing myself, and have no desire to have a photo of me (in a swimsuit for the first time in far too long) and a dolphin cluttering up the landscape. The dolphin yes, me, no. So you’ll have to imagine it. Please be kind! <g>


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