I picked this cruise because it docked in Hamilton and spent three nights in Bermuda rather than the usual two. I always thought HAL was a great cruise line but was so disappointed in this cruise, our first, and last on HAL. Positives: Embarking and disembarking in Boston was a breeze. The salads in the buffet were very good, I feel the best of the free food on the ship. The desserts (cream puffs and ice cream) at the buffet were good. They only served soft serve ice cream during lunch, but the hard ice cream throughout the end of the serving time - makes no sense. Negatives - Food would run out at buffet starting an hour before the service ended. The buffet was closed at 8 p.m. then opened for one hour later, I think 10:30 - 11:30. SOME bartenders would always suggest doubles on the drinks. Once a bartender poured a double glass of wine and stated that after giving it to my husband, and charged double! Unethical! Heineken was no longer available three days before the end of the cruise. The last night inventory was done and some alcohol was taken away from the bar before closing, so was unavailable. We had a drink plan and only 15 drinks were available per day. That is not a lot if you order sodas, bottled water, or special coffee. We had to go to the desk to see how many drinks we had per day as bartenders had no way of telling how many you had. Many times no receipts were given at the bars. Food was very poor quality. The best things were the Nathan hot dogs (the Dive-In closed at 5 p.m.) and salads at the buffet. The pizza (which closed at 8 p.m.), buffet and main dining room were not good at all. The Pinnacle Restaurant was excellent, but you should not have to pay extra to get edible food. We ate there once and other than that, the restaurant was full and no reservations could be made. There was a huge lack of staff to wait on people by the pool and in all areas of the ship. We would have to walk to the bar to get service. The bartender would sometimes say they would send someone over with the drink, but then the server had no idea who the drink was for, I saw this happen several times and actually pointed out to the server where the person who wanted the drink was. Waitstaff at the buffet was not sufficient. I often brought up my dirty dishes as they were not picked up. If you ate on a chair by the pool drink glasses and plates were not picked up. There was a lack of staff to pick up dirty tables and re-set. Many ship higher level employees were often eating at the buffet and seemed to get preferential treatment. They would get their sodas from the bartender who appeared to wait on the staff first. I feel sorry for the lower lever employees (bar staff, room stewards and so on). They are understaffed and work long hours while the higher level spends much time eating and walking around the ship. Another thing, the windows on the ship were FILTHY! This includes room windows as well as dining room windows. Initially when cruise started, they kept announcing to wash hands and if you feel, or see someone sick to notify staff but...to get in and out of the buffet you have to push or pull open a door, they should be sliding doors. One exit did have the sliding doors, but that was it.

Must Have Been on a Different Ship

Veendam Cruise Review by DiviAruba

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
I picked this cruise because it docked in Hamilton and spent three nights in Bermuda rather than the usual two. I always thought HAL was a great cruise line but was so disappointed in this cruise, our first, and last on HAL.

Positives:

Embarking and disembarking in Boston was a breeze.

The salads in the buffet were very good, I feel the best of the free food on the ship.

The desserts (cream puffs and ice cream) at the buffet were good. They only served soft serve ice cream during lunch, but the hard ice cream throughout the end of the serving time - makes no sense.

Negatives -

Food would run out at buffet starting an hour before the service ended. The buffet was closed at 8 p.m. then opened for one hour later, I think 10:30 - 11:30.

SOME bartenders would always suggest doubles on the drinks. Once a bartender poured a double glass of wine and stated that after giving it to my husband, and charged double! Unethical! Heineken was no longer available three days before the end of the cruise. The last night inventory was done and some alcohol was taken away from the bar before closing, so was unavailable. We had a drink plan and only 15 drinks were available per day. That is not a lot if you order sodas, bottled water, or special coffee. We had to go to the desk to see how many drinks we had per day as bartenders had no way of telling how many you had. Many times no receipts were given at the bars.

Food was very poor quality. The best things were the Nathan hot dogs (the Dive-In closed at 5 p.m.) and salads at the buffet. The pizza (which closed at 8 p.m.), buffet and main dining room were not good at all. The Pinnacle Restaurant was excellent, but you should not have to pay extra to get edible food. We ate there once and other than that, the restaurant was full and no reservations could be made.

There was a huge lack of staff to wait on people by the pool and in all areas of the ship. We would have to walk to the bar to get service. The bartender would sometimes say they would send someone over with the drink, but then the server had no idea who the drink was for, I saw this happen several times and actually pointed out to the server where the person who wanted the drink was.

Waitstaff at the buffet was not sufficient. I often brought up my dirty dishes as they were not picked up. If you ate on a chair by the pool drink glasses and plates were not picked up. There was a lack of staff to pick up dirty tables and re-set.

Many ship higher level employees were often eating at the buffet and seemed to get preferential treatment. They would get their sodas from the bartender who appeared to wait on the staff first.

I feel sorry for the lower lever employees (bar staff, room stewards and so on). They are understaffed and work long hours while the higher level spends much time eating and walking around the ship.

Another thing, the windows on the ship were FILTHY! This includes room windows as well as dining room windows. Initially when cruise started, they kept announcing to wash hands and if you feel, or see someone sick to notify staff but...to get in and out of the buffet you have to push or pull open a door, they should be sliding doors. One exit did have the sliding doors, but that was it.
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin G 713
Cabin very small with two port holes which were filthy.
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews