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Cruise Diary: The Fabulous Zaandam Crew, Part 1

Guest Sharon Johnson and her husband cruised again with HAL, this time on Zaandam’s 21-Day Collectors’ Voyage to Mexico and Hawaii. Sharon chronicled their cruising experience for us on the blog.

Since we have cruised and visited Mexico and Hawaii several times, we didn’t expect that we would have such a memorable cruise. We both feel that the fabulous crew of the Zaandam is the reason we have enjoyed every minute of our time aboard. We hated to leave and not because we would have to cook our own meals and make our own beds. We hated to leave because we would miss the smiles and the greetings from all the wonderful crew aboard.

So a huge thanks to the Zaandam Crew for making our cruise so special!!! — Sharon and Al Johnson

Kainoa, the "On Location/ Travel" Guide on the Zaandam is definitely the best Travel Guide we have had during our 421 days of cruising on HAL ships. We have had great travel guides, but Kainoa is definitely in a league by himself. He is Hawaiian and has a passion for Hawaii that definitely shines in all his talks about the islands. Mondriaan Lounge was always packed when Kainoa gave a talk. He didn't need a script or a laptop like so many of the presenters do. Kainoa is definitely a HAL Gem!!!

Kainoa, the “On Location/ Travel” Guide on the Zaandam is definitely the best Travel Guide we have had during our 421 days of cruising on HAL ships. We have had great travel guides, but Kainoa is definitely in a league by himself. He is Hawaiian and has a passion for Hawaii that definitely shines in all his talks about the islands. Mondriaan Lounge was always packed when Kainoa gave a talk. He didn’t need a script or a laptop like so many of the presenters do. Kainoa is definitely a HAL Gem!!!

If I gained any weight on this cruise, it is because of the wonderful food coming out of the Zaandam Galley. And Marco Nunez is the 2nd Executive Chef in charge.

If I gained any weight on this cruise, it is because of the wonderful food coming out of the Zaandam Galley. And Marco Nunez is the 2nd Executive Chef in charge.

I Made Jon, our Pinnacle Grill Steward, was professional, attentive and helpful. We enjoyed his service during our Pinnacle Grill meals.

I Made Jon, our Pinnacle Grill Steward, was professional, attentive and helpful. We enjoyed his service during our Pinnacle Grill meals.

Goram Mishev, the Zaandam Internet Manager, was extremely helpful. He helped me re-establish my password and gave me tips on the best time to send e-mail messages off the ship so that I didn't waste precious minutes. I noticed that Goram was always pleasant when dealing with so many of us that were not totally computer savvy. He was soft spoken and very resourceful. Best Internet Manager I have dealt with.

Goram Mishev, the Zaandam Internet Manager, was extremely helpful. He helped me re-establish my password and gave me tips on the best time to send e-mail messages off the ship so that I didn’t waste precious minutes. I noticed that Goram was always pleasant when dealing with so many of us that were not totally computer savvy. He was soft spoken and very resourceful. Best Internet Manager I have dealt with.

The Zaandam Yum Yum Man always had a warm greeting for us each evening. He also was a huge help to our friends. He always helped take our friend who was in a wheelchair to our table without being asked.

The Zaandam Yum Yum Man always had a warm greeting for us each evening. He also was a huge help to our friends. He always helped take our friend who was in a wheelchair to our table without being asked.

Cruise Director Kieron had a warm greeting for us each time he saw us. We enjoyed his introductions to the nightly shows and his daily reminders of programs too good to be missed.

Cruise Director Kieron had a warm greeting for us each time he saw us. We enjoyed his introductions to the nightly shows and his daily reminders of programs too good to be missed.

Our Stateroom Steward Raz was totally awesome. We have had fabulous stewards on all of our HAL cruises, but Raz is definitely the best!!! He always had a warm greeting and huge smile for us every time he spotted us. He was extremely concerned that we were pleased with his service. Our room always looked spotless. We loved the towel animals that he left on our bed each night. He is dressed in his Hawaii Stateroom Steward Uniform. All the staff wore Aloha shirts. The color of the shirt indicted their position on board the Zaandam.

Our Stateroom Steward Raz was totally awesome. We have had fabulous stewards on all of our HAL cruises, but Raz is definitely the best!!! He always had a warm greeting and huge smile for us every time he spotted us. He was extremely concerned that we were pleased with his service. Our room always looked spotless. We loved the towel animals that he left on our bed each night. He is dressed in his Hawaii Stateroom Steward Uniform. All the staff wore Aloha shirts. The color of the shirt indicted their position on board the Zaandam.

Franciscus and Tama Yasa, were our Assistant Dining Room Managers on our Hawaii and Mexico cruises. They both worked very hard in the dining room insuring that the tables were cleared and the food delivered to our satisfaction. They were not afraid to help out when the dining room stewards and assistant dining room stewards were overwhelmed by the number of meals being delivered all at the same time.

Franciscus and Tama Yasa, were our Assistant Dining Room Managers on our Hawaii and Mexico cruises. They both worked very hard in the dining room insuring that the tables were cleared and the food delivered to our satisfaction. They were not afraid to help out when the dining room stewards and assistant dining room stewards were overwhelmed by the number of meals being delivered all at the same time.

Joma, Pinnacle Grill Wine Steward was very helpful with our wine selections.

Joma, Pinnacle Grill Wine Steward was very helpful with our wine selections.

3 Comments
  • Anne

    Sharon, Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. We are on the Zaandam now and know the rest of our trip will be filled with many mamories

  • Carole

    Sharon, I agree that Kainoa dela Cruz is the absolutely best travel guide / lecturer that I have seen on my 120+ days on HAL ships. I was on the February 24th sailing to Hawaii and saw that his lectures in the Mondriaan Lounge were always full. I also noticed that he never used notes, another indication of his passion for his work. I might also mention that he’s a “chef” too – in addition to his many lectures, he also provided informative culinary demonstrations on two very Hawaiian staples – the pineapple and Spam!

  • Mary Pavich

    I just came off of the Zaandam, and I can say ALL the employees are the best!

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