10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome, and Holland America had two choices. We have always liked the Veendam because of its classic design and the quality of the service and the size of the Neptune Suites. There were no glitches ... Read More
We wanted to sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome, and Holland America had two choices. We have always liked the Veendam because of its classic design and the quality of the service and the size of the Neptune Suites. There were no glitches on embarkation and disembarkation. The lectures were informative and pleasing; the Kitchen at Sea was great as was the entertainment. We were the first passengers to enjoy the new carpets and the new chairs and the number of renovations on this ship! There will always be a place for these smaller ships in the industry. (1200 Passengers, but about 1000 on our crossing) the captain was all around the ship, available for questions, and very informative about the nuts and bolts of the ship and the navigaion. He was from Scotland and had the sense of humor, understated, and excellent rapport with his staff and of course the passengers! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I booked this cruise to see Cuba. The ship spends time in Havana and Cienfuegos. Travelers should be aware that they are required get a visa and to take a US required travel information tour in order to explore the Island. ... Read More
I booked this cruise to see Cuba. The ship spends time in Havana and Cienfuegos. Travelers should be aware that they are required get a visa and to take a US required travel information tour in order to explore the Island. Holland America assists with acquiring the visa and the "People to People" tour. The Venndam is a small ship holding around 1800 passengers. I found the size of the ship comfortably pleasant. It was my first time in a "laini" room, and I liked the access to the main walking deck from my room. While older, the ship is very well maintained. As with other Holland America ships, the food is excellent the service is always a good experience. The staff is exceptionally pleasant and accommodating. They go out of the way to please guests. Holland America entertainment consists of quality music programs, the Food Kitchen, BBC films and some traditional activities. They know how to please the older generation. I've been on a number of Holland America ships and I sometimes wish for some additional lively entertainment. Sea days on longer journey's could use some additional upbeat activities. This cruise went a;s far south as Belize and stopped at a number of ports. I' disabled and use a scooter. Some tender ports (including Belize) would not accommodate my small, very light scooter. I was disappointed to miss seeing this island. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
So my wife and I were super excited to get this 11 cruise that included 2 ports in Cuba and had an ADA room available at a decent price. Little did we know it would be the cruise from Hell. Background - My wife has MS and is in a ... Read More
So my wife and I were super excited to get this 11 cruise that included 2 ports in Cuba and had an ADA room available at a decent price. Little did we know it would be the cruise from Hell. Background - My wife has MS and is in a wheelchair full time. We are 4 star Holland America members and have cruised for the last 30 years. We had five ports on this cruise: Cozumel, Belize, Cuba (2 ports) and the private island. We were denied access in Belize and Cienfuegos in Cuba because there were stairs to the tender and the CAPTAIN (yes - the CAPTAIN - not a staff member) refused to allow personnel to assist me in getting my wife down the 16 steps to the tender. NEVER have we had ship personnel not help us. Note: They helped the 91 year old lady down the steps but because my wife can not lift her feet they wouldn't help us. Note: We have been the China, South America, Europe, etc. so having to use steps is not a new experience for us. It just takes awhile. We need someone to move her feet to each step. Its really not that hard. Our daughter normally does it but she was at school. When we went to book shore excursions in Cuba we were initially told that there were no ADA tours available. So Holland sold a cruise with an ADA room and you have no ADA tours????? After much discussions (hours) with the Hotel Manager and the Shore Excursion supervisor we were able to get a tour in Havana for a reasonable price. I asked Holland America for a refund based on only having 2 ports out of 5. Initial response was NO! My response was that was not satisfactory and after more time and effort (cause that is what you always want to do on a cruise) we got 350 dollars and dinner at the Pinnacle Grill one night. I will give credit to the Hotel Director and the Shore Excursion Supervisor for getting us a tour in Havana but I had to make it happen. If I had been passive we would of gotten nothing. These 2 ladies were the only ones that were helpful and without them we would of not been able to see Cuba. Note: As a USA citizen we had to take a tour not explore on our own. So in summary - Don't expect Holland America to help you. Don't expect Holland America to try to make you whole if you have problems (I don't consider the compensation received to be even close to fair for the money, time and effort spent on what was suppose to be a vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We enjoyed a great cruise to Bermuda. Ship is older, but very well kept up and we had no concerns. Food and service by the wait staff is second to none - also the friendliest people were on this ship. Food is excellent - many choices ... Read More
We enjoyed a great cruise to Bermuda. Ship is older, but very well kept up and we had no concerns. Food and service by the wait staff is second to none - also the friendliest people were on this ship. Food is excellent - many choices in either upscale dining, Lido buffet, or even room service - everything is served with a smile. We enjoyed the entertainment - the shows, comedians and talented musicians, and participated in most of the trivia games, which were lots of fun. The captain was very informative and personable - seas were a bit rough on the way to Bermuda, but he kept us informed. We were also late in arriving due to a "whale watch" - again we were advised as to why and we received a small credit on our account. The cruise director was Becca, our first lady cruise director, and her assistant was Jordan - both were very pleasant and easy to joke around with and talk too. We are an older couple that have cruised on several lines and we find that Holland America never disappoints. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I read the poor reviews on this cruise but my rep assured me that the activities changed a lot on the ship and they cater to children. They don't even appeal to adults. This is what I sent to the guest relations and all they are ... Read More
I read the poor reviews on this cruise but my rep assured me that the activities changed a lot on the ship and they cater to children. They don't even appeal to adults. This is what I sent to the guest relations and all they are going to give me for my grief is a measly $50 onboard credit on my next Holland America cruise, like i really am looking forward to going on another Holland America cruise. My dad spent about $30k for 9 cabins too. these are my complaints... AND NEVER HOLLAND AMERICA again! they dont care about customer service and took 2 months to answer my complaint. 1. Cruise activities were repetitve and uninteresting. They should have a variety of programs for all ages. The cruise director mentioned about having to work within the budget and I'm thinking the budget must be very tiny. You already know about the basketball and tennis balls, and I want to thank you for getting those balls for us. However, we couldn't use the tennis balls because they were only available to us on our last day and we were in Quebec City between 2 -5 pm. 2. Club Hal kicked me out of the room when I was talking to my nieces and nephew for a few minutes. My sister was also told that she couldn't take pictures of her daughter in Club Hal. Is that really the policy? We were disappointed that there was no cooking classes for the kids. Unfortunately, a few of my nieces, who are almost teenagers, wanted to go home by mid-week. 3. Fitness instructor is obviously not interested in teaching anything but stretches. I went to a 5:30 total body conditioning class and at 5:30pm, there was no class. At 5:35 pm, I approached a man who was sitting on the exercise floor creating some sort of a sign. He says I was the only one who was interested and I could come to his 7 am stretching class. If i wanted to do the stretching, I would be there at 7 am and not at 5:30. I went to the lady at the front desk and she talked to the man and his answer was the same... that I was only one person. Another lady came by and asked about the class and later says she was interested. So I say "ok, now there are two". He finally stood up in the front and two others joined us. Now there was four. In the first 10 minutes, he did stretches. I left the class and resumed doing my own exercises and 5:50 pm, when I turned around, there was no more class. The class was supposed to be for 30 minutes. The cruise hired the wrong person to do the fitness classes. I also heard the same man ignored my nephew and my sister when doing the foot analysis. His focus was only on an elderly woman trying to sell her orthodics. 4. One should be more careful in charging the right amount for one massage. My sister had to correct a mistake with customer service. She bought several massages even though I told her that massages are cheaper in her neighborhood. 5. The ship charges $20 for a picture with a background but charges $40 for doing my group pic at the staircase. Why is there such a huge difference? Other cruiselines charge just $20. I also do not appreciate Ralph, who is the photo manager, addressing me as "milady" as if he was being condescending. That was my feeling. I especially do not appreciate Ralph for not delivering the photos as he had promised so that my family had to come looking for him and the photos on the day of disembarkation. They also did not have the cruiseline and the date imprinted on the photos as they said they would. 6. My brother says there was a chemical smell, albeit temporary, in his cabin and I also saw that he had rust spots around the metal handle and spouts in his shower. 7. It was either an icebox or a sauna in some of cabins and I was told the thermostat was broken. Someone came out to fix it though it wasn't still working very well. 8. On Level 6, the engine thrusters woke me up early around 5:45 am, on the last two nights when I really needed my sleep. I thought we were given quiet rooms. 9. Never had the pool been closed while we were on a cruise. The last day, the pool was closed for cleaning. I'm not sure if that's a regular thing for Holland America or maybe someone had an accident in it? Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I was a little hesitant just before leaving due to some of the recent reviews of this very cruise. Yes, the ship is a little tired in places. Seating cushions in public areas need to be replaced, along with the deck chairs on lower ... Read More
I was a little hesitant just before leaving due to some of the recent reviews of this very cruise. Yes, the ship is a little tired in places. Seating cushions in public areas need to be replaced, along with the deck chairs on lower promenade, etc. The 'hot tub' area aft seemed rather worthless. However, the ship is clean. The service and food were very good. I was impressed with the Lido restaurant. Happy to see the buffet has been done away with and the food and food utensils are not handled by guests. There were hand washing stations everywhere. The ship is smaller than many of the mega ships I've been on and this was a big plus given I was traveling with two individuals who use walkers. The ports of call I liked best were Bar Harbor and Quebec. Sydney didn't seem worthwhile. We dined at both of the 'specialty' restaurants. The Italian one was good, but they kept pushing the family style option and we all just wanted our own dish. It was fine, but seemed a little over the top. The Pinnacle was a real disappointment. We had much better service in the dining room. I had to ask for a finger bowl or something to wipe my hands with after my King Crab. We had to track down the waiter(s) a few times. Just didn't do a good job of reading the table in my opinion. Souffle for dessert was a real disappointment. Entertainment was OK. Comedian was very good. Piano man was awful, yet popular. Didn't understand that at all. Singers and dancers on board were acceptable, but we only went once. Spa was pretty good as far as packages available, but wait a few days as the prices go down and specials come available. Hot tub within the spa is worthless. No jets. Cabins are OK, tight as you expect. Bathroom was decent size and we had a tub. We were on lower promenade deck. Nice to be able to walk right out and it was mid ship and close to the gangways when we docked. Overall good value for the money and we enjoyed our week. I think the ship is worth a trip into dry dock to update her. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
We wanted to experience the Holland Line. This fit into our schedule, so this is the trip we experienced. Holland in this ship is a smaller and older ship and could see the aging in various parts. The ship was very clean in all the ... Read More
We wanted to experience the Holland Line. This fit into our schedule, so this is the trip we experienced. Holland in this ship is a smaller and older ship and could see the aging in various parts. The ship was very clean in all the public areas. The ship did not have as many daily see activities as some of the others, but that did not bother us since we read most of the time. The library on the ship was bigger than most cruise lines. However, other things were odd at times. The Lido Deck the food is served to you and not as a selection as other cruise lines----but still good. The dinning room food was very comparable to other cruise lines. The food was not offer at all times, so you had to make sure you did your dinning and 10:30 buffet or order room service. One of the best for me to enjoy was the daily tea times.....very nice----very good. The price is higher than other cruise lines, so probably will try a different line or go back to one of the other lines we liked. This is not a party cruise----very formal and eating is more form dressed even casual nights. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
My husband and I took this cruise with his parents. His mother was in a wheelchair. Embarkation in Montreal was fast and simple. We were relatively late (2:30pm arrival with 3:00pm all aboard) and were the only people in line. There were ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise with his parents. His mother was in a wheelchair. Embarkation in Montreal was fast and simple. We were relatively late (2:30pm arrival with 3:00pm all aboard) and were the only people in line. There were 1,341 passengers on our cruise. The ms Veendam was clean and the crew were always friendly and accommodating. The ship was easy to navigate and offered many places to sit and relax. We particularly enjoyed sitting in the Crow's Nest on Deck 12 to converse as a family. I spent a few nights sitting in The Mix on Deck 8 on the comfortable seats and couches listening to the wonderful pianist. There were very few children and teens on our cruise (about 20-30). They were bored and often causing trouble on the Lido Deck 11. A majority of the passengers were retirees. The dining options were great, especially for those who love formal dining and relaxing during a long dinner. We ate at the Rotterdam Dining room once and it was very good, but not our style of dining. We did not participate in either of the Gala nights, but many of our cruise mates were dressed to the nines in beautiful clothes and jewelry on both formal evenings. We chose to eat at the Lido for casual breakfast, lunch and dinner most of the time. They often served some of the formal options as part of the casual menu. We also loved The Dive by the pool; the hot dogs, fries and hamburgers were excellent. The pizza station Slice was good at the beginning of the week, but towards the end we think they ran out of dough and started using a sub-par dough because it got worse as the week went on. Ice cream and desserts were almost always available in the Lido Market and never disappointed. The room service menu was decent, and both times we ordered they arrived right on time with hot food. Sodas and tea are not included on this cruise. A 12 ounce can of Coke was $2.59 each including mandatory 15% service charge, and the only place to get a cold can was at the Explorations Cafe on Deck 8. All other places served warm cans with a glass of ice. The snack time from 10:30pm-11:30pm in the Lido Market offered a good selection of entrees, cheeses, meats and desserts to satisfy late night cravings. We went back every night. It's not possible to go hungry on this cruise, even for picky eaters like me. Entertainment on the ms Veendam was somewhat limited. We saw the 8:00PM show every night in the Showroom at Sea. Most of them were pretty good. The very first show is a little bit of everything to help you learn more about the week to come, so it's a great orientation to entertainment on board. We experienced shows with a comedian ventriloquist, singers and dancers, a juggler, a comedic pianist, and a Cirque du Soleil-inspired stage production called Droom. The wide variety made the shows appeal to a wide range of people. I enjoyed all of them, but our parents could take them or leave them most nights. Other ship activities were somewhat generic, including the requisite Port Shopping Experiences, Art Auctions, Towel Animal Folding, Name That Tune, Team Trivia, Bingo, etc. Two unique things we saw were a Floral Arrangement demonstration, and a guest celebrity chef showed us how to cook and prepare lobster rolls. Overall I felt the entertainment was good for the size of the ship and the audience. The service on the ship was very good. Our statement attendant was always smiling and welcoming us back to our room, saying good morning and good evening. He kept our room sparkling every day, making the bed, turning it down with chocolates and a towel animal, cleaning the bathroom and toilet, refreshing towels, and evening leaving fresh ice and fresh fruit daily. The Rotterdam Dining Room staff were the least friendly and accommodating of all the crew we encountered. They couldn't find our table upon entering the first night. Once they did, we were seated but our waiter seemed rushed to take our order for our 7:45PM timed seating. He took my room card for a soda purchase at the beginning of the meal, and I had to track him down to get it back when we were finished. The cruise director, Christina, was fabulous. She was always friendly and helpful, cheerful with her greetings, and dressed beautifully. She did a great job explaining what was coming up for the evening and during the next day in port each night before the show. The staff at the Explorations Cafe, in the Lido Market, at The Dive, Slices and in the Crow's Nest were all very nice and attentive. The ports were all very different from one another. Many shore excursions were offered at each port. However, traveling with a wheelchair proved to be nearly impossible for Mom. She had a long wait for the elevators every time she wanted to go somewhere around the ship. Most of the ports she really couldn't leave the boat because there wasn't any way for them to get her down the ramp or onto the tender. Once in port on the excursions, most of the buses did not offer handicap accommodations. If you couldn't walk up the stairs and sit down, you were out of luck. I would not recommend this cruise for people with serious mobility problems. In Quebec City, there are multiple places the ship can dock along the port. The cruise before ours docked right by the Chateau Frantenac, but ours docked one mile further down port. That meant in order to get into the town of Quebec City we had to walk an extra mile each way. A shuttle bus was offered but we did not take it. Many shore excursions were offered but we chose to explore on our own. In Charlottetown on PEI, many excursions were offered. We took the Lighthouse and Wine Cellar tour, while most people chose one with the Anne of Green Gables house. Our tour took us to two lighthouses and a winery for five samples of local wines. It was three hours in total and I would recommend it if you want something different than Anne. In Sydney, a couple of excursions were offered but we chose to explore on our own. Sydney is easy to get around in, and quite small. There isn't much to the town at all. In Halifax, several options are available to choose from for excursions. We chose to go to Peggy's Cove which is a 60-minute drive each way by bus. It was very, very busy with about 10 tour buses all crammed into a tiny parking lot by the lighthouse. There were people everywhere and big lines for the cramped bathrooms. We only had 40 minutes to explore because the ship docked late and we had to get back for the next tour time. We were 15 minutes late leaving because one of our bus mates was missing, so they waited for him to show up. The whole bus was upset. Back at the port in Halifax, two of the tour buses came back late to the port and the ship had to wait about 30 minutes for them. If you were on a non-HAL booked excursion, the ship would not have waited, so in this case it really paid to book through HAL. In Bar Harbor, lots of excursions were available. We chose the Acadia National Park and Lobster Bake which was an exceptional tour. Prior to tendering to Bar Harbor, everyone on the ship was required to go through US Customs. Instructions were provided and the process was relatively painless. Once tendered ashore, the bus took us all to way up to the Cadillac Summit in Acadia and we had 25 minutes to walk around and take pictures. We were the only tour bus up there, so we had the summit to ourselves. There were only 16 people on our tour. Upon return to Bar Harbor, we were taken to Bar Harbor Club for a lobster bake. We each received a platter with a whole soft-shell lobster, new potatoes, corn on the cob, and four mussels. The staff offered to assist anyone who didn't want to tear apart the lobster. One gentleman kindly got all of my lobster meat out in about 20 seconds flat, while my husband floundered with his for a good five minutes. The meal was excellent, and it was topped off with a fabulous blueberry crumble for dessert. Disembarkation was a breeze. Luggage had to be tagged and out in the hallway by midnight the night before. We were allowed to stay in our state rooms until it was time to disembark. Once our number and color were called, we proceeded to Deck 6 and walked right off the ship. We quickly found our luggage in the Boston Seaport, and headed outside to the taxi stand. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I have always liked the HAL for the library, the food, and the service. This is my 29th cruise, 4 of which is HAL. The embarkation was great with no long lines. But once entering the ship there was no one to show which direction to go, ... Read More
I have always liked the HAL for the library, the food, and the service. This is my 29th cruise, 4 of which is HAL. The embarkation was great with no long lines. But once entering the ship there was no one to show which direction to go, which side. Confusing. The cabin furnishings were worn including the rug. The bathtub looked dirty but close inspection it had caked on grime and was discolored. The toilet water was too high! There was a good variety of shore excursions. The port was very convenient, Hamilton, right in town.I went to the hair salon and was extremely pleased with the result. I dined in the dining room and my only complaint was at the end of the meal servers were scant and it was almost impossible to get their attention. The ship did not have any helps for the hearing impaired as was previously understood.Therefore, I had to leave any classes like computer or culinary. Disembarkation was easy and speedy. I was with a hometown group which made it so. The cabin service was lacking. Sheets were NEVER changed and ice bucket had no ice everyday. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Let me say upfront, that this review is skewed towards the disabled and the problems we encountered would not affect most people. Overall it was a great cruise and the staff was fantastic. The good out weighed the bad, for both of us. ... Read More
Let me say upfront, that this review is skewed towards the disabled and the problems we encountered would not affect most people. Overall it was a great cruise and the staff was fantastic. The good out weighed the bad, for both of us. Embarkation was a disaster, although it was more a problem with the Black Falcon Terminal than with HAL. We had requested wheelchair assistance, but none were to be found. A HAL agent got us to the front of the check-in line and did everything she could, but DH still had to wait in a rather long line to board and walk halfway onto the ship before we spotted, and grabbed a wheelchair leaving the ship. Luckily DH can stand and walk, but with constant pain. We've had worse problems in airports. We're new to the disabled group and next time we'll have the scooter delivered to our hotel and avoid this issue. Live and learn! The ship was beautiful and I was amazed at all the comfortable places to sit throughout the ship. Nothing was crowded although I can see why all the reserved deck chairs on the wrap around deck could be annoying. We didn't mind someone else using ours when we weren't and it wasn't an issue.... until we got to Bermuda. This was only our 3rd cruise, but we understand the constant maintenance that is needed to keep the ship in good condition. But for the two full days we were docked in Bermuda, the Lower Prom deck was closed off outside our cabin as they scrapped one day and painted the next. The first day,we had booked a a 5-hour accessible van tour so it wasn't a problem. The driver knew just where to go to optimize seeing the island for the disabled and, although island history wasn't her strong suit, we were able to see St. Georges, get to some beaches the lighthouse and easily see the sights. Expensive, but money well spent. We didn't find any of the HAL excursions workable for DH. The second day the maintenance wouldn't have been an issue for me, I could easily go somewhere else. For DH the door to the hall was too much to handle without my help and he planned to use the automatic door from our cabin out to the deck and enjoy the lanai while I walked to BUEI and took the ferry to the dockyard. Instead he came with me to the dockyard and work was still going on when we got back in late afternoon. Monica, the front desk manager was great and we did get a credit to our ship board account for the inconvenience, but we would have preferred to have access to the lanai we had paid for. If HAL had worked on a smaller area, I think it could have been done in one day. The MDR was a disappointment. We had anytime dining and had no problem being seated, but service was slow between courses and the food, while acceptable, was just that. Nothing special. The Pinnacle Grill was fantastic and the Cannellato, while better than the MDR, was disappointing. We were surprised at how good the Lido was and ate there more than we would have liked. I got DH's food, then went back for mine. We did see Lido staff helping other passengers but we never asked for their assistance. Again, the staff was fantastic. Room service was always right on time and food was served hot. The hot dogs and hamburgers at Dive were good. We didn't do any HAL excursions as they all required too much walking for DH. Instead we booked a 5-hour private island tour in a wheelchair accessible van. No need to take the scooter apart and put it in the trunk! We found our cabin so comfortable that at night we enjoyed the DVD player and the movies available for guests. The lanai and DVD player were our evening's entertainment for the most part. We did go to the Showroom at Sea the first night for the intro to the entertainers on board. Seas were rough on the way to Bermuda which affected DH. That night, I spent a little time enjoying the entertainment in the Ocean Lounge and Mix. We took a cooking class on our last full sea day and there was a counter height chair made available for DH so he could enjoy and class and sit when he needed to. It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed the included lunch, with wine, in the Pinnacle Grill. I love to cook and, at 68, learned how to make a chocolate souffle! We both enjoyed the computer classes. I participated on the "On Deck for a Cause" 5K walk to support cancer research. Disembarkation in Boston was much better. HAL seemed to have all those needing assistance assembled in the Ocean Lounge. All the ship wheelchairs were ready and waiting. Some passengers took the chairs before their disembarkation number was called, but HAL crew were on top of it and asked them to allow others to use the chairs, assuring them that the chair would be available for them when their group was called. We made the mistake of taking the ship's transfer at the end of the cruise. The motorcoach was too tall to fit under the overhang at the United terminal's departure area. The driver had to let us off at arrivals, where there was no signage for where the airlines were located. The driver was great and did all he could to help his disabled passengers (there was another couple needing a wheelchair). He got off the bus with us and asked an airline person to call for wheelchairs. Unfortunately, we ended up walking upstairs to departures to get a wheelchair, which meant a lot of painful walking for DH. Overall it was a lovely cruise and we both enjoyed the Veendam. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
About us: • We are a couple in our 40s, middle class and traveling without our children. • I have medical (cancer) and mobility issues that need to be taken into consideration with everything we did on board. Notes about the food: ... Read More
About us: • We are a couple in our 40s, middle class and traveling without our children. • I have medical (cancer) and mobility issues that need to be taken into consideration with everything we did on board. Notes about the food: • The Crème brulee was not on the everyday menu and had the Brownie Stack instead. • Limited dining choices and hours. I don’t understand why they close the burger and pizza places down at 5pm. On other cruise lines these are all open in the evening if not 24/7. • Soda is very hard to find before 9am. The only option is through room service and you cannot use a soda card to do this. Cans cannot be purchased with the soda card at bars for you to save and use the next morning when they are not open. Because the soda’s are not unlimited you were also limited to small glasses, other lines allow you to use larger cups with insulation (Royal Caribbean even provides you with one). • Room service does not appear to get orders correct when called in over the phone. Several people and ourselves all noted issues with not getting exactly what we asked for and the temperature being luke warm. Notes about the Neptune Suite and Lounge: • The suite was a nice size and gave us space to spread out and to comfortably host a party of about 10. We enjoyed having the separate dressing area and bathroom and there was a ton of storage space (15 drawers, 4 closets and about 6 other shelves behind doors in various places). • The concierge ordered hot appetizers for us, we had about a dozen of two different items… both of which were delicious. • We took advantage of the free dry cleaning and pressing. I did not use the laundry services though. • It was nice having a concierge to handle any and all questions/issues. He was able to order excursions for us, replace my husband’s room key when he lost it, and print up room charges and take payment from us to zero out the balance at the end of the cruise. He was also able to reset our safe when we arrived since the last person to use the room did not leave it unlocked for us to use. Mobility issues: • The mobility accessible suite was a bit of a joke to me. The only grab bar for the toilet was behind it. Not a great place for me to grip to stand up, I ended up using the towel rack and the sink instead. The shower seat was not in a comfortable location for me to use it since it’s bolted to the wall and just folds down, so I ended up standing for quick showers. • Tendering only works if you can handle stairs (which thankfully I can). The staff had no knowledge of the roll on and roll off tendering lift I was emailed about from special services. • Staff and cruise tours were all extremely helpful and always willing to assist me with my mobility needs.  Saturday June 7th - Embarkation Day - Quebec City Our flights to Quebec went well. This was my first time traveling with a scooter and we had no issues with taking it straight through security and to the gate. The airlines quickly valet checked it at the gate and then brought it back to me once we landed. The transfer to the ship from the airport was a bit hectic as we had enough people at 11am to fill two buses. We had checked with the hospitality desk when we got there and they were made aware that I had a scooter and mobility issues. They kept us waiting in chairs at first and didn't offer me any pre-boarding or assistance onto the bus. This was the only time I experienced this the entire trip. We had to stand in a long line and I almost ended up being the last person onto the first bus… which meant I really would have struggled with getting to a seat. Thankfully we got lucky and they ran out of seats just as we got to the loading point and were then put on the second bus. This was not because of their planning but only dumb luck. As soon as we boarded we met Yaya our room assistant, he is very energetic and always happy. He is also extremely friendly and amusing, he refused to drop the Mr. and Mrs. parts of our names but did call us (Mrs.) Sherry and (Mr.). John instead of by our last name. Next we met Dexter our Neptune Lounge concierge. He was also friendly and helpful but at times he felt a little stand offish to me. Overall though we thought he was great. For lunch we went to the Lido buffet and were impressed with everything they offered. I had a slice of beef strip loin with horseradish and a nice piece of lasagna as well. Everything was tasty and of good quality. The husband and I disagreed on the lasagna as it was a meaty style and not a cheesy style that really appealed to me but not so much to him. Dinner was at a French restaurant in Quebec across the street from the ship, Laurie Raphael. While the food was great, we ended it on a very sour and bitter not and me in tears I was so frustrated with them. I have posted the review of them at the end of the ship review for those that are interested. After 4 hours at dinner it was 10pm and I was exhausted since we had been up since 3am so we collapsed and went into a sound slumber. Sunday June 8th - Quebec City When I woke up in the morning my stomach was uneasy (still not used to eating a lot of food yet) so I wanted a ginger ale. We found it almost impossible to find anything at 6am in the morning. We ended up using room service to order a can of it (which meant we could not use our soda card like I would have preferred). There was no where I could get something light to eat as well. Food is looking like it could be a deal breaker in terms of hours of availability. We decided in the morning to go on an excursion to Montmorency Falls. We talked to Dexter and unfortunately the one we specifically wanted was full. He offered us stand by for it but we wanted to make sure we went to the falls, so we took the other offering that had the falls with it instead. When we got down to the excursion spot I spoke with the women organizing the buses and they also offered us stand by, I explained to them my dilemma and they said they'd let us know if anyone canceled before the one we did book left 15 minutes prior to it. The bus came and had more seats than they expected so they came over to me and let me know we were getting the first choice and refunded us for the second choice and got us on board early to accommodate my scooter and issues with going up steps. We went to the St. Anne de Beaupré Basilica which was absolutely ornate and gorgeous. I could not believe the amount of detail in every single space; the ceilings, stained glass windows, walls and floors were all ornate and each had meaning. I organized a meet and greet for our group to meet at sail away after the muster. I didn't have a solid head count so I never contacted anyone at corporate to let them know about it or invite them. It's apparent now that they do lurk around here in the forums since they showed up to welcome us. Henry the beverage manager was very nice (as I have found is true of all staff on the ship) and said that someone from corporate had sent him an email telling them our details and to meet up with us. They were generous and offered all of us one complimentary drink on the house (I had the drink of the day, the Crazy Canuck) and then Henry also brought out a tray of yummy appetizers for us to snack on. Dinner was in the MDR for the first time and the food was tasty. Service was good and although the crème brulee was not on the menus we were allowed to pre-order it for the next night. Monday June 9th - Sailing the St. Lawrence River Breakfast was in the Pinnacle Grill. The place was very cold but the atmosphere was quite an calm. John had the English Breakfast and I had the Corned Beef Hash with poached eggs. I tried the chocolate croissant and while it was tasty it was not what I had imagined and I probably will not have another one again. The Walk for a Cause was held at 9:30am, I went to check it out but we were a few minutes late. I spoke with the organizers and verified and that they donate to about 6 general cancer research groups. About 20-30 people showed up for it. We saw one very angry guest yelling at the coordinators for the show because this was held on the lower promenade and the speaker with loud music was placed outside his window because; it had woke him up after a late night We went to the culinary demonstration for Pinnacle Lobster Salad and Crème Brulee. While I love cooking shows I was not really impressed with this presentation. They gave us a small sample of the crème brulee but there was no brulee on top of it. We had lunch from the taco bar, I wasn't impressed with it... but then I really hadn't expected much since it was just meat and cheese with toppings. We hosted a private meet and greet at 3pm with about 10 people from the forums. We had two appetizers delivered to the room, dumplings and little spring rolls. We greatly enjoyed the company and some friends for the cruise in the process. Dinner was the first formal night and escargot was served. They brought us our creme brulee for desert and then we decided to just have a standing order for them for the rest of the cruise. Tuesday June 10th - PEI We had a light breakfast in the lido and then went out to meet our private tour guide, Terry, with Duncan Tours. It was just my husband and I so Terry drove us around to see the sights we wanted to see, mostly around the northern coast. I was able to get some great pictures and the conversation with Terry was great. The quality of the tour was wonderful and we were able to see the things that we were interested, stopping for photos when I saw something interesting ,and then skipping past things like the Anne of Green Gables house. Lunch was at The Water Prince Shop. We had lobster rolls and I had a cup of seafood chowder. The place was just filling up when we arrived and they asked another couple if we could all share a table together, they said yes and it turned out to be another couple from here on CC as well. A little bit later in the evening we ran into the couple again and it turned out they were actually our cabin neighbors as well! After we were almost finished with lunch we ran into another couple that we had become friends with and I was able to taste a couple of the restaurants muscles as well. The food was delicious and fresh and not badly priced. Dinner was in the MDR and it was the first time we were asked if we wanted to sit with others. We were seated at a table for 8 and had an enjoyable evening. When dessert came around they all asked about the Crème Brule we were served and 2 people joined the cult of the crème brulee. Wednesday June 11th - Sydney The day started out rough since something had not agreed with my husband’s stomach from the day before. He was up until 4am until it finally left his system; he was exhausted after that so he slept in. Breakfast was in the lido, I tried the omelets for the first time and was impressed that they were cooked just right. After some rest we headed out to explore the city. This port really didn't have anything interesting to offer us so we just wandered for a bit and took it easy. We at lunch at a local restaurant and enjoyed a nice cup of seafood chowder and a sandwich. We returned in time for high tea, this day was the Indonesian tea. I wasn't really impressed with it and would not go again. They wore their batik shirts but the service was very sporadic and nothing special was done. Our large table ended up in a black hole apparently, they’d walk around and serve pastries and small sandwiches and hors d'oeuvres to everyone except us. Someone from our table had to flag them down. In the afternoon I called the spa to ask about getting a massage package. They scheduled an appointment for me for an hour later. When I called them I made it clear I had a port (used for my cancer) and they talked to their supervisor and even put her on the phone. She told me that it should not be an issue and that my doctors and I knew what was best for me, they told me to go ahead and come on down. When I went down to the spa they had me go through the normal preparation process, I changed into a robe and went for the consultation. This is when it finally hit them that I had cancer apparently. I was then refused treatment as it is corporate policy to work on no one with cancer, even if I’m not undergoing any treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. I explained to them that I’m in palliative care stage and that I will never be “free” of cancer and they said for that reason that could never get treatments from them. If I had lied and told them I was 3 months clean they wouldn’t have questioned this and worked on me though. I ended in tears and frustration since a large part of this trip was to enjoy what time I have left. The supervisor apologized to me for not asking me enough questions on the phone and putting me through this, but that really didn’t help how I felt while leaving. I was so distraught that when leaving other guests noticed in the hallways and stopped to ask me if I was okay… one couple actually walked with me back to my room to try and comfort me and they were more furious than I was with the spa. For dinner we ate in the MDR again and had one 2 other people join us. We converted yet another 2 people over to the cult of the crème brulee. Because we had slept in earlier in the day we finally had the energy to stay up for a show. We went to the 10pm variety show, it was wonderful. The singer (Neil Lockwood) was AMAZING and the juggler (Hilby) was very amusing as well. Thursday June 12th - Halifax We started out breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill with BumperII and SF49erfan and then headed off to the port for the day. We booked the Halifax in Focus tour which focused on photography. The driver was very quick to get my scooter in and out of storage every stop and also help me off the bus. We stopped at the 5 main highlights for the area; the sea port, public gardens, citadel, Peggy's cove and the titanic cemetery. Peggy's cove was very scooter accessible and worth the 45 minute drive out to it. When we returned to port it was that awkward hour of 3pm where nothing is really available food wise, but we didn't have enough time to go into town to get a bite to eat. So I ordered the steak sandwich from room service, it took 30 minutes to be delivered and the order was not correct and the food was room temperature. This is why I do not like using room service. We're still considering the food a possible breaking point on not returning to HAL. Dinner was the 2nd formal night for this cruise. We dined with 4 other people that were part of a tour out of Australia. I had the seafood cocktail, mushroom soup and the surf and turf for dinner. My husband tried the sweetbreads for his appetizer and they turned out to be tasty. This night the crème brulee failed on us, they forgot to bring them to us and after an hour of sitting and talking with our tablemates we were about to leave when they suddenly remembered to bring them to us; but it was far to late and we had lost interest in eating them by this point. When we returned to the room we found that our excursion for the next day (whale watching) had been canceled at the last minute and had to scramble to find something else with no knowledge of what was still available and what was mobility friendly at 9pm in the evening. We tried the front desk for information and they were pretty much clueless on how tendering would even work for me with my scooter. We were told that the supervisor for the area would call us first thing in the morning with more information. We were so frustrated we just went to bed and decided to deal with it in the morning. Friday June 13th - Bar Harbor - Tendered port Immigration was the first agenda for the day as we returned to the US. This turned out to be extremely easy and only took about 5 minutes. We went to the shore excursions gathering area immediately after to ask about tours that were open and continued to get mixed stories about tendering and how it would work. I had received an email and a letter stating that the msVeendam had lift capabilities for roll on and roll off tendering... the staff once again seemed to have no clue that this existed. We also never received that phone call we were promised. We were told I'd have to go down the 14 stairs to the tender and then they'd carry my scooter down for me. We finally decided that I could do this after looking at the steps and so we were immediately put on the next tender since we did not require a ticket as guests in a Neptune Suite. When we reached shore we continued to get mixed answers about one of the excursions (lighthouse tour by boat) so we went to the company running it directly and got answers. We saved $10 ($5/pp) by booking it through them directly. Unfortunately the weather was very cold that day (around 60ºF) and being out on a moving boat was even colder. I was struggling to keep warm. Back on land we met up with some of our new friends and had lunch at the West Street Café and enjoyed a full lobster dinner with several members from the forums. For dinner we decided to try the Lido buffet since the casual menu showed the entrée and sides I was interested on it. When we got there the chicken dish was out and the sides they had said would be there did not exist. They did make a fresh batch of the chicken and then brought it to our table for us. This evening was the first time we encountered any rocking on the boat and rough seas. While it lulled me to sleep my husband didn’t fare as well and barely got any rest. Saturday June 14th – Boston – Debarkation We started out the morning with a final breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill. The morning was rather uneventful and debarkation was very smooth. We double checked with Dexter our concierge before leaving to make sure that the 2 unused $50 beverage cards from my HAL rewards card had been refunded, and they had. We left the ship, got on a shuttle to the airport and were on our sad way home. Ship Facts: Captain – Eric van der Wal Hotel Diretor – Simon de boer Cruise Director – Mario Vines Dining Room Manager – Bagus Sugiantha We sailed with around 950 people from my understanding. Overall Conclusion: We were very satisfied with the cruise and the quality, however we didn't feel it was exactly the right fit for us. It's much like finding that beautiful dress and then trying on and not liking how it makes your but look. :D We would recommend it to others with a few cautions, but we will continue to search for the cruise line that fits our specific wants/desires more perfectly. We would consider using them again under the right circumstances, but don't foresee that happening in the near future. We would definitely rank Holland America over Carnival. We will probably try Princess next. Laurie Raphael – Quebec (Restaurant Review) The service started out well in the beginning. We ordered the 10 course spring vision menu. I decided to do the wine pairing with my dinner as well, they were fairly generous with most of the pours. The menu was well thought out, creative and tasty but by the end of dinner I just couldn’t enjoy the food any longer due the upset they caused with us. The courses were initially coming at a reasonable pace, but as the restaurant filled up and became busier we noticed a downward trend in the progression of our meal. By the end of the 7th course we discovered (after an hour had passed) that they had completely forgotten about us and never progressed our meal. The servers never seemed to notice and we had to resolve this on our own by flagging someone over to our table and asking about it. There were no apologies and the staff did not notify management even though it was clear (and expressed to multiple servers) that we were very upset by this point. As we were leaving the manager spoke to us and we explained what had happened, he had never been made aware we had had a problem and since we were not locals it was too late for him to try and do anything to correct the situation or make us feel better. For the amount of money paid for this meal we were left extremely unsatisfied and would urge others to dine here with great caution. 4 hours to be served 10 small courses is not acceptable to us. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
Reading recent, highly negative reviews of Veendam's Boston/Quebec run, I can hardly believe DH and I were on the same trip! We enjoyed our cruise and would happily embark again. I'm not saying there are no areas for improvement ... Read More
Reading recent, highly negative reviews of Veendam's Boston/Quebec run, I can hardly believe DH and I were on the same trip! We enjoyed our cruise and would happily embark again. I'm not saying there are no areas for improvement on Veendam, but in general we enjoyed the food, the crew, and the itinerary. Our stateroom was comfortable and our Indonesian steward was thoroughly professional. He spoke English without difficulty. In fact, I rarely had any difficulty making my wants understood to the serving staff, and they were always responsive and courteous. Veendam is an old ship and one sees signs of patch-ups and such, but everything was clean and comfortable. Some of the Veranda deck chairs were set aside for those who paid for a Veranda cabin, but there were others not reserved and available. DH and I really loved the new Explorer's Cafe and library setup. There's an excellent selection of books and magazines, plenty of internet terminals, board games, and lounge chairs. The entertainment in general was good, although the screen in the theatre is too small for the room. I was sitting on the left aisle and had to crane my neck uncomfortably to see the film. We ate mostly in the Lido, due to DH's physical mobility problem. I did find it odd that one side of Lido was reserved for the what appeared to be officers and senior staff; most ships provide separate dining facilities for the crew. When the passenger side of Lido was full we ate on the crew side. Nobody threw us out, or made us feel unwelcome, but I did wish I did not have to invade the crew members' space during their down-time. Food in Lido ranged from very good to occasionally dry and tough. It's a buffet, and the early bird gets the best food. the cold sourps--peach, cherry, and rhubarb, were quite tasty. Sometimes they ran out of things like mashed potatoes. There is definitely room for improvement in the Lido setup, although it might take a complete re-design of the food service counters and lanes to get it right. More staff is needed to run Lido, especially during the first 48 hours, when, for hygiene reasons, the passengers are not allowed to serve themselves anything, even ice water. Breakfast, in particular, is chaotic! Other reviewers have complained about the captain. Apart from a stern announcement on the PA from him about hand-washing, and the daily weather announcements, we had no contact with him. Hopefully he was on the bridge, running the vessel. We did not encounter the cruise director, either, so don't know what he/she is like. The service desk staff were polite and helpful. The instructor for the computer courses was particularly good. The July 4th US holiday was celebrated with a barbecue on the Lido deck that we thoroughly enjoyed. Not so enjoyable was the poutine bar set up to introduce what is supposedly Canada's favorite fast food. I can't believe our northern neighbors actually enjoy soggy french fries with gravy and curds on top, but it was certainly an experience. I greatly preferred the taco bar that usually occupied that space. All in all, it was a fun cruise, with interesting little port towns that haven't been spoiled yet by hordes of cruise passengers. Quebec City is magnificent, and we were anchored right in the middle of it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
Since we live fairly close to San Diego, we don't have the hassle factor of air travel to and from the cruise. We arrived at the port around 11:00 AM, and were greeted by "Sherry", a wonderful person at the pier who ... Read More
Since we live fairly close to San Diego, we don't have the hassle factor of air travel to and from the cruise. We arrived at the port around 11:00 AM, and were greeted by "Sherry", a wonderful person at the pier who coordinates the "wheelchair assist" passengers. HAL's embarkation and disembarkation for mobility impaired passengers is so far & away above the other cruise lines we have used. Very organized. We arrived in our cabin around 11:45, dropped our hand luggage and proceeded to the Main Dining Room for the Mariner's embarkation luncheon. We tend to avoid the Lido buffet just because we like to be seated and served our meals. Our cabin was a category A, Vista Suite, deck 10. It was a tad smaller than we had anticipated, especially the veranda, but there was plenty of closet/drawer/shelf space for everything we had brought. Bathroom was OK, there was a "bubble tub", which makes the tub wall fairly high to get into it, but we had requested a small step stool and it was in place when we arrived. The ship staff all went out of their way to assist us, so many happy greetings, and we always felt welcome anywhere we were on the ship. This is a smaller, older ship which is our preference - doesn't take so long to get from one place to another and it never felt crowded. It's decor reflects the Dutch sailing history - many interesting paintings, sculpture, etc. So many of the newer ships are decorated like Las Vegas on steroids. Not very soothing to us. The entertainment was mostly good - we liked the classical violin/piano duo (used to be the Adagio String Trio), Went to listen to them after most every dinner. There were 2 production shows, the one titiled "Encore" was fabulous, one of the best we have seen on any cruise. Also a "Piano Man" who was really good, we missed the comedian. The dining experience was very good. We had the early fixed seating, always get it whenever possible. It is so nice to have a waitstaff who knows our preferences by the second day and call us by name. Of all the different dishes we ordered, there was not one that we didn't like. We try to order unusual food that we don't have at home. There was a varied menu each day, temperature of food was hot or cold as appropriate, and very well presented. We ordered room service breakfast each day, again very well done. There was a long list of activities in each daily program, if one wished it was possible to be busy every hour of the day/night. We tend to like the relaxation that comes with a cruise - to do nothing at all is a luxury. We only got off the ship at one port - Mazatlan. This cruise line has only started calling there within the last month. We remarked at how clean the pier area was, so many local tourist information volunteers to asssist us, and that the town looked a lot cleaner than years ago. Overall a great time on a great classic ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
i would not recommend this cruise because most of the ports are not exciting.buenos aires is great,montevedeo is great,the glacier scenic cruising is nice if you have never been to alaska.cape horn we had calm water,a very pleasant ... Read More
i would not recommend this cruise because most of the ports are not exciting.buenos aires is great,montevedeo is great,the glacier scenic cruising is nice if you have never been to alaska.cape horn we had calm water,a very pleasant surprise.we cruised in december and thought its summer,but be aware that for most of the cruise the weather was very cold,windy,rainy except for the last three days.the ship also cancelled a beautiful port so 5 days at sea.if you like that sort of cruising. the ports are not handicapped friendly.i traveled with a travel scooter.sidewalks are broken,ramps are steep and narrow and non existing in some places and there is always the danger of crime.stores are not accesible by wheelchair or scooter due to steps. i must give kudos to the crew from the servers to the customer relations,they are fabulous.free room service is a bonus which i used frequently. the handicapped room is very spacious and acessible.we fitted 2 scooters in the room with room to spare. keep in mind that the ramps most of the times are steps or steep or unstable.so if you are unstable in walking very scary but the crew will hold you up. the food is good.many choices.the deserts are delicious. the ship is clean and all systems worked. the casino staff is great.have fun. i met wonderful people and had a nice time on the ship.getting on and off was a challenge. my next cruise,however,will be on a newer ship with better ramps and stabilizers. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We are Platinum cruisers on Carnival, with 15 under our belt, but the Cruises to Bermuda that Carnival offered just did not fill the bill. Holland America on the other hand, has by far the best cruise itinerary to Bermuda, hands down. The ... Read More
We are Platinum cruisers on Carnival, with 15 under our belt, but the Cruises to Bermuda that Carnival offered just did not fill the bill. Holland America on the other hand, has by far the best cruise itinerary to Bermuda, hands down. The Veendam is the only cruise ship that docks right on front street in Hamilton. So you are off the ship and in the center of the action within minutes! The big "Behemoths" have to dock out at the Dock Yard, a 35 minute ferry ride, or a 45 minute bone shaking bus ride to Hamilton. Don't get me wrong, the Dock yard is really nice since they expanded it and can occupy a full day now, but Hamilton is the Jewel in the Crown!! From there, you can get a ferry to the dock yard, St. George's and Somerset mere yards from the ship (near the Bird Cage) They now Tender in to St. George's, and for the amount of time they spent there, I don't know why they bother, they should just go straight in to Hamilton and give out the bus and ferry passes for those that want to go there. The wife stayed on the ship and I got off and rented a Moped and drove it to Hamilton, stopping along the way to see friends, and met the ship in Hamilton. We had a great lunch, and later a fabulous dinner in "Flanagans" maybe 200 yards down front street towards the bird cage, up stairs on the second floor with elevator access in the mall around the corner from the Front Street door. They have out side seating over looking the Harbour. Other favorites, The lobster Pot, Portofino's, two blocks past the bird cage and on block north. North-rock brewery/restaurant, Sizzle inn and if you are out St. Davids way, stop in to the Black Horse Tavern for the best fish sandwich you will ever find (on this world anyway) and some first class fish chowder and other Bermuda specialties! There are hundreds of beaches, and any cab driver (notice, I do not call them cabby's) can recommend a beach to suit your desires from Horseshoe bay, to a secluded romantic hide away! The Veendam stays nearly 4 full days, a full day longer than all the others. If you are looking for a ship that vibrates and bounces through the water to a disco beat (do they say that anymore) the Veendam is not for you!! If you are looking for outstanding service, fantastic food and enough to keep you busy while at sea, on a very cozy and manageable ship, this is for you! Dignified is the way we describe it! Don't miss the Pinnacle grill, we bought the suite package and had a fantastic dinner, and a breakfast to die for the last morning before getting off the ship!! Well worth the price. Golfers! Having been an assistant Pro, and played all of them, here is my picks: 1) Ocean-view, a 9 hole course with 2 sets of tees, and some beautiful views, and the closest to Hamilton (and where all the locals play and drink!!!) 2) Port Royal is a long way, and over rated and over priced, but it has that 14th hole view which everyone raves about, but it is almost always crowded. If you can get out on Riddle's bay, you will enjoy it, the Princess executive course is nice for a quick undemanding 18, but is also a pain to get to, either a ferry ride and bus up the hill, an expensive cab ride or a harrowing bus ride. There are a few issues for disabled passengers on the dock that need to be addressed (insist that they open the street level gate for a wheel chair) leaving the ship! Oh! If you need a lunch stop, go to the "Spot" on Burnaby street, a local hang out! Have fun! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
First time on HAL and first time to Bermuda. Usually do X or RCCL - Balcony or OV What I liked: Easy embarkation and disembarkation process. We got to the port by 12:30 and were processed and in our rooms before 1 pm. While we ... Read More
First time on HAL and first time to Bermuda. Usually do X or RCCL - Balcony or OV What I liked: Easy embarkation and disembarkation process. We got to the port by 12:30 and were processed and in our rooms before 1 pm. While we unpacked our carry ons, our luggage was delivered, so we were completely unpacked before we had lunch in the Lido around 1:30. When we disembarked, we had breakfast in the Lido and were able to wait in our room until it was time for our departure at 9:15 am. Nice large verandah suite cabin on Dec 9 (Verandah), starboard (right side looking forward), a few steps away from the front elevators and stairs. Two large closets with wooden hangars (non-attached to poles) and changeable shelf space, small safe. (configured) Queen size bed, comfortable, 6 pillows of varying firmness, plenty of room underneath to store large suitcases (although we nested them with the carry ons. Phone on night stand with 2 drawers in each. Reading lights as well as room control lights at door and at headboard.Dressing table with 9 drawers. Flat screen TV on swivel base with DVD player underneath. Wire fruit bowl (can order fruit from room service? - we didn't) Tray, nice water, cocktail and wine glasses and ice bucket. Full size sofa(bed) - glass cocktail and side table - mini-fridge (really just a cooler with selection of soda, mixers and a couple of mini bottles of booze and wine - for fees listed in room book). Nice size balcony - one teak padded lounger and one padded chair with small table and ashtray. Biggest bathroom I've had in 12 cruises - whirlpool tub (although not very deep) with handheld shower. Elemis shampoo, conditioner and (minty)shower gel in wall dispensers. Lotion and shower cap at sink. Everything clean, but slightly worn. Cabin service was good - unobtrusive, room always tidied up while we were gone. Destination - Bermuda is beautiful. Everyone speaks English and American money taken everywhere. Even our credit card charges in port were charged in US dollars and no conversion fees. Missed port of St. George, but they gave us one day voucher for transportation that we used to take bus there anyway. HAL said it was due to weather; it did rain in the am, but also heard that they regularly miss that port and it is such a hassle with the 1 1/2 hour each way trip tender ride/process, that most people welcome extra day in Hamilton with free day's transportation. Went to Crystal caves $20 pp - seen one cave, seen them all- nothing special; Swizzle Inn for a Rum swizzle - also nothing special - basically your average rum punch in a landmark bar. Then on to St. George itself - cute town square, shops, good photos of unfinished church. Tried to find Tobacco Bay, but walked the wrong way up the hill and too exhausted to backtrack in the muggy heat that afternoon. Pretty scenery. 45 minute bus ride back to Hamilton, overall good day. Day 2 Husband golfed at Belmont (par 70 - $149 w/cart, I think)Hard course despite par 70 and not very well kept up he said. I went to Horseshoe bay with relatives - bus ride from Hamilton bus terminal $5 round trip; Clean, gorgeous soft sand beach, warm water, gentle waves; no shells. $11 for each beach chair or umbrella with additional $5 ea deposit. Worth it for the day. Snack bar selling soft drinks ($3),beer ($5?), rum punch ($8?) and usual fried fare ($5- $10). Huge rock formation to climb on; tide pool and sheltered cove to the right. Gets crowded. Be there by 10 am for some solitude. Changing rooms with showers and bathrooms (no fee). Long hill down from bus stop. Hard, hot walk back up - take $2 van ride up if you have old people, kids, just too much stuff or too tired to walk about 1/4 mile. Day 3 Husband golfed at Belmont again. I bought $12 day transportation pass and took ferry to Dockyards - nice ferry ride over; great pictures and scenery, past pretty houses and yachts. Typical "cruise town"; X - Summit and NCL Gem there - and 5000 people. Walked around fort, clock tower shops (glassblower, rum factory, pottery works.) checked out Fort and Onion Pub - too early for a drink. Ferry back to meet husband at Ferry Terminal, then we both took bus back to Horseshoe Bay for afternoon swim. This time took circuitous route from Horseshoe to Dockyards, walked around a little with Hubby and then took ferry back to Hamilton, so he could see those areas too. On the bus Had a delightful conversation with retired English resident of Bermuda (former headmaster of a private school on the island), whose wife had died three years ago and had left him a list of eligible women he could marry after she was gone. He was well know in the community and women tried to bribe him to find out where they were on the list and move up! My husband thinks he was trying to get me on the list. LOL! He was eventually sponsored by someone on this list to allow him to stay in Bermuda - but not married. Was in traditional dress - Bermuda shorts with jacket and tie, knee socks. Day 4 - walked around Hamilton; Had a Dark and Stormy at the Hog Breath Inn (can you say 1950's Highball?) Nothing dark or stormy about it ; shopped for some souvenirs. Back on ship at noon for 1 pm departure back to NY. Food on ship - mostly ate in MDR (Breakfast and dinners), variety and quality good. Lido food standard fare for ship buffets. Lunch was salads, pastas, sandwich makings; pizza; stir fry; Asian/Indian specialties. At pool deck - hamburgers (well done only), hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fries every day; late afternoon usually some Mexican fare - tacos, nacho fixings. Occasional poolside events - one afternoon - stir-fry; one evening fruit/dessert buffet and BBQ. every night at 11 late night buffet in Lido - looked, didn't partake. Canaletto alternative dining (no charge) - reserved section of Lido - same Italian menu every day - food was enjoyable and service was better than in MDR. Nice touches: fresh squeezed OJ at breakfast; good chocolate chip cookies; free ice cream all afternoon and evening in Lido; free espresso and cappuccino in MDR at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Long list of free DVD available from front desk. Outdoor movies with popcorn at the Retreat. Thank you Hal - bar set-ups can be purchased for room consumption very reasonably. $34.50 for a liter of Stolichnaya vodka and three cans of soda of your choice, including service charge (similar charge for other liquor set-ups). $20 for 6 bottles of beer. $25 soda card that gives you $50 worth of canned soda to be used for anyone you choose - great value. Coke Zero, Sprite Zero and Caffeine Free Diet coke (yeah) Long list of other Coke products. Reasonably priced drinks, especially drink of the day - $5.75 for a special martini or fancy drink. Other specials like $4 martinis at the MIX happy hour one day; $4 wine at culinary center; 2 for 1 happy hour at Crow's nest. Wine packages 3 bottles for $89 can be brought to dining room and saved if not finished (not bad for cruise ship prices, although not what I would call fine wines. Of course you can run up a big bar bill if you are not careful. Activities - technology classes (brother-in-law loved the tech guy); good selection of recent movies, played in theater, in Outdoor Retreat and then rerun on cabin TV; occasional trivia (would have liked more of those). Entertainment - typical cruise shows, although with just one set of performers who rotated throughout the week. Magician/comedian was good; acapella foursome was good; Soprano and Tenor were good. Dancers (2 girls) were good. A for effort - cruise director CJ - first time - was a little stiff and rehearsed. Nice Lady - heard HAL is looking for more female CDs What could be improved: Service - extremely slow in the Anytime dining room; 2 hour dinner was common. Even getting bar waiter to take a drink order in dining room, pool or theater. Very slow to pick up dirty dishes and glasses in pool area. I'm convinced that poor anytime dining service was due to not having to work for your tips. Room service was slow. I order liquor set up and it had not arrive after one hour. I left for dinner and when I called upon returning from dinner, they said I should order it again tomorrow. Food - Room temperature shrimp cocktail; cold salads served on scalding hot plates; food presented different than described on menu (3 pieces of sushi when menu said 6). See Pinnacle Grill below. Anytime dining - what they mean - anytime at either 5:45, 6 or 7:45, 8. If you want to reserve anything in between - no dice - you just show up and wait like in a restaurant. Could be a while, although it did look like they might be serving champagne for a long wait. Special Afternoon chocolate buffet - disappointing, although I wouldn't really care if they ever offered those things on cruise ships at midnight or in afternoon. Displays very crudely put together. One chocolate display, I think it was supposed to be sand castles, looked like a pile of turds! Pinnacle Grill - ate there last night on ship. Venue was nice, service was attentive, food was tasty and attractively presented, BUT every course was brought barely lukewarm or downright cold for almost all courses for 6 diners! Cold Thai soup, cold creamed spinach, cold sauteed mushrooms, cold sauteed onions, room temp fillet Mignon and shrimp, room temp lobster bisque. Definitely took the enjoyment out of the meal. Maitre Di apologetic and discounted each couple one $20 fee. I could see an occasion plate becoming cool while waiting for the other plates, but dish, after dish, after dish. Pinnacle has their own kitchen area and cooks, so there should be no excuse. Ship cleanliness - dirty windows, even in the dining room - I mean brown streaks, not just salt from ocean spray; sticky menu covers (marked up from kids) and chairs; grime in door jams and along walls; lots of marking on walls; dirty carpeting; worn wood everywear; brass fitting literally lifting off of window sills and green with tarnish; ill fitting doors out from Lido; stained beach and pool towels. You did not constantly see staff cleaning like I have seen on other ships. Elevators and air conditioning - both spotty through cruise and throughout ship. Don't worry about being cold in the dining room on this ship! Our room AC was OK, but others on same floor said it was unbearable and fans had to be brought in. I think it may have been dependent on location. At least one elevator down almost every day; very slow door opening and closing and very slow moving. One women got stuck and became disoriented. Activities: staff didn't do much to engage guests. Rock and Roll party was just DJ playing oldies - no dance contest, no other staff dancing or in costumes. Even Karaoke was boring. No quest or newlywed game or guest engaging events. Occasional (one game per session) bingo and pool event, but not that much going on - probably due to destination and being docked for so many days Accessibility in rooms - sister booked a deluxe suite accessible room - she has difficulty lifting leg over even small step. Shower has two seats, but very narrow doorway - hard to maneuver her motorized cart through; shower had step and no grab bars in needed locations; Toilet was low and weird placed grab bars; Deck had threshold that could not be wheeled over. She was very disappointed as was told shower was roll in. She wound up using accessible toilet on deck 8 whenever possible - sad situation given her needs. Cabin soundproofing and location. Thin walls - heard women humming while she was unpacking. Can't tell you what they heard from their side! Deck/lounger chairs and Pads got soaked on trip home on that side of ship - balcony not usable that day and 1/2. Port side cabin may be better for that reason. On Board Shops- I'm not much for cruise ship shops - but it was the same stuff I have seen everywhere. Only could be opened for one day going out and 1 1/2 day going back, so I could see where they wouldn't devote much effort to this. Smoking allowed in room? - ashtrays in every room, nothing that said you couldn't smoke in your room. cigars and pipes only allowed on pool deck. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
We were on the 35day Inca Discovery cruise round S America Oct/Nov 2010. It did not start well, as they were jackhammering the poolette, due to leaks over our room on the fantail for 3 days until 7 pm every night. The air ... Read More
We were on the 35day Inca Discovery cruise round S America Oct/Nov 2010. It did not start well, as they were jackhammering the poolette, due to leaks over our room on the fantail for 3 days until 7 pm every night. The air conditioning was very cool, but we were outside on the deck alot during the warm tropical ports, not realizing it was completely uncontrollable. After many attempts to get it corrected to no avail, our lovely room was changed to a forward creaking and groaning room forward, and we had hit a bad patch of seas with only one stabilizer working. They then told us we has to go back to our original room by Valparaiso as the had fixed the problem. Ha, Ha, Ha. We has to change rooms again after it sounded like a jet engine was spewing 60 degree air into our cabin. The public areas were also very cold. Passengers getting on in Valparaiso were jealous that we all were wearing heavy Alpaca sweaters indoors that everyone purchased in Peru. The rooms for bridge were so cold the pipes froze and flooded the room so they had to close them for the second half of the trip, forcing off the bridge director and then we had to try and play on tiny tables in the cocktail lounge with polar fleece on! Port problems were numerous. They were mostly dreary industrial ports, where we had to pay HAL to get off the dock as there was little infrastructure if you were not on the ship's very overpriced excursions. The weather didn't help, as it was raining most days. We had gale for 7 winds around Cape Horn, again with only one stabilizer working. My SO is handicapped. and one day was so bad we had to have room service for all meals. There are quite a few tenders and with the strong winds, rain and even snow it was difficult so we missed a few ports We were able to catch a few local vans for $25-$30 vs $129 ships prices, but I was very disappointed I was not able to see but 1 penguin on the Falklands, as the we mating and in their burrows. A few that took the $220 4wd tour saw more on the other side of the island. Our most interesting experience was in Santa Marta, Columbia. It was a Sunday and misty, an my SO has a scooter so we ventured out on a bus to the port, then found out their pre columbian gold museum was open specially for the cruise ( Of course the port talk never mentioned it) The museum was only 4 blks away and we wanted to walk, which consternated the tourist police, so they provided us with an armed guard, which was very nice as we went all over the town and he knew the cut sidewalks and alleys that didn't have cobblestones to make it easy for us and I got to practice my Spanish, and he his English and he wouldn't even accept a tip at the end. Now the POOLS. They finally finished re-tiling the poolette, what a waste that whole ares is. While it was being worked on they put up plastic and people were smoking up a storm and it was quite smelling and the piazza oven was out of commission for a wk or more too. The regular pool, had a handicap lift, that didn't work for weeks and then it was cold and the water wasn't heated and then it was and it was warmer than the hot tubs. The just could regulate anything with temps on this ship it seemed. Then the dinning staff wrecked our scooter 1/2 the way thru and they couldn't even get us a screw driver so I could open it up and see if it could be fixed. Needless to say the whole trip was ruined. After moving 4 times, and not getting the nice room we paid for,we finally said we would not get off the ship until we got an adjustment and it was given the morning of disembarkation. What was good? The food, and we really liked the Italian restaurant and if you go after 8 pm we never needed a reservation, however the menu never changed the whole 35 days, but the best wine prices there are and they will get them for you in the regular dining room. As the cruise progressed they started running out of fresh fruit, yogurt and breakfast cereals, and didn't let you know so one morning my breakfast order for room service was not filled at all! Also, ordering a side of sauteed garlic perked up the most bland grilled foods. All in all a sad ship and a sad cruise Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Had mixed feelings about embarking on this cruise because of concerns about seasickness and my fairly recent dependence on a wheel chair, but my husband and I had a wonderful time. My wrist bands worked extremely well and I had no nausea ... Read More
Had mixed feelings about embarking on this cruise because of concerns about seasickness and my fairly recent dependence on a wheel chair, but my husband and I had a wonderful time. My wrist bands worked extremely well and I had no nausea even over the Christmas period when the sea was extremely rough with lots of crockery crashes in the dining room. An outbreak of Gastro Intestinal illness really tested the ship's crew but I thought it was handled very well. Hand sanitiser machines every where and constant reminders over PA system and on cabin TVs about hand washing. Many of the crew as well as passengers were sick , so there must have been a strain on the well ones to do extra duties but they were always cheerful and friendly. The GI did make dining in the Lido extremely challenging as only staff served the food, no trays were allowed and there were long queues. Very long lines just to get a cup of tea. It was all too hard for my husband having to check out what was on offer, then queue for my meal, bring it to our table then rejoin another queue for his meal etc. Instead we had all our meals in the Rotterdam Dining Room where we were always made welcome, and food and service was first class at all times. Antarctica was even more than we had hoped for. We had flown over it one New Year in a special flight from Melbourne so we now saw it from a completely different aspect. Excellent commentaries from the experts on board. We were so lucky in having wonderful weather. Negatives..... Our main complaint would be the elevators. A bank of 4, fore and aft of the ship and always at least 1 of each 4 out of action, sometimes 2 . Long waits for those of us unable to use the stairs. We were also disappointed in the advice from a shore excursion young lady . Two trips she assured us would be OK for a wheelchair were not. We also disliked the cigarette smoke in the casino which we went through on our way to theatre and dining room. No smoking is allowed in indoor public venues in Australia and I'm afraid we rather expect it to be the same elsewhere. The evening entertainment in the Theatre was very wide ranging. The shows we chose to go to were of a high standard and most professional. Ventriloquists and stand up comics didn't appeal so we didn't go. I did think it disappointing that 2 films were repeated on 2 different days on the cruise. I also found the day time attractions less interesting than on a previous Holland America cruise. 4 different sessions of napkin folding???? Embarkation and disembarkation was handled very smoothly and efficiently. We look forward to further cruises with Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
Background:  This is our 38th cruise and 3rd time on HAL.  It's been 10 years since we were on HAL - for no particular reason as we have always been quite pleased with our past experiences.  This cruise was chosen in part because ... Read More
Background:  This is our 38th cruise and 3rd time on HAL.  It's been 10 years since we were on HAL - for no particular reason as we have always been quite pleased with our past experiences.  This cruise was chosen in part because the size of the ship provided my husband, who has a temporary mobility issue, less walking and also we had never been to Belize, Honduras, or Costa Maya.Pre Cruise - We flew in the day prior to departure and stayed at the Springhill Suites. The hotel provided a shuttle from the airport as well as drop off and pickup at the nearby mall where we had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. The place was packed and there was a two hour wait, but we got lucky and snagged a high top in the bar area after 15 minutes. All we had to do was call the hotel when we were finished and the driver was there in 20 minutes -a very nice little extra service. Before leaving the next morning, we had a light breakfast at the hotel and then took a cab for $20 to the ship - a quick 15 minute ride. Embarkation - We arrived at 11 am and after being quickly processed were on the ship shortly after 11:30. I liked the way HAL took the security photo at check-in rather than when boarding the ship, which made for a much quicker embarkation on the ship Cabins were not ready until 1:30, so we went up to the Lido for lunch and relaxed by the pool until it was time to go to our cabin. Our bags were delivered by 2:30, so I was able to unpack and relax before the life boat drill at 4:15 pm. By the time it was over we had a few minutes to go down to our cabin to freshen up for our early fixed seating dinner at 5:45, ( too early for me, but my husband prefers it.) I love anytime dining and he loves traditional. I usually give in and let him have his way on this one. Food - Overall, we were very pleased with the quality and selection of food in the dining room. On the first night we enjoyed what was probably the best prime rib we have ever had on any cruise - tender, juicy, and cooked perfectly - rare for me and med rare for my husband. He is a very picky eater and the majority of the appetizers did not appeal to him so he asked for and received a shrimp cocktail each night; and it was a very good shrimp cocktail - four larger than average sized shrimp and one night he had two. The second formal night we had surf and turf and the lobster tail was large and very tasty - he had two and I wished I had skipped the steak and had two tails myself. I thought the weak areas were the salads and veggies, but they offered Crepes Suzette twice for dessert, so I was in seventh heaven. Service was pleasant and efficient. We always had breakfast and lunch in the Lido and I loved the selection for breakfast which included a waffle and Eggs Benedict station. I personally enjoyed having servers in the Lido rather than everyone handling the serving utensils, but the service at the beverage stations never seemed to go smoothly all week and I would have much rather fixed my own tea or coffee. There always seemed to be a problem with the hot water, or coffee, or ice. On the last port day, there was a wonderful cold seafood buffet with crab legs, shrimp, and scallops in addition to the regular selections. It reminded me of the seafood buffet we enjoy so much on Princess for dinner, except we agreed that we actually enjoy it more for lunch. Regular and soft serve ice cream were available at the dessert station but I still I prefer Princess ice cream although I realize it not as readily available there as it was on the Veendam. My biggest complaint with the buffet was the short time they were open. IMHO, nothing beats 24 hour dining on Princess. It would have been nice if they had stayed open a little longer for lunch on port days. The small late buffet shut down promptly at midnight, which was early for us especially since we usually went to the 10 pm movie and would have enjoyed being able to get a snack until at least 12:30 am. I realize there is room service, but it's something we don't particularly like doing late. We did enjoy the Mariners lunch on the last day - it was a nice change of pace for us from the repeaters cocktail parties on other ships. I believe we went to all afternoon teas with the exception of one day. Everything there was nicely presented and served - I usually went to the Explorations Cafe in the morning for my daily latte fix. Cabin - We had an aft outside on deck 4 - near the elevator for my husband. Even though the Veendam is going into dry dock soon, our cabin was in very good shape, especially the bathroom- no problems with the infamous pink tile! Everything looked clean and fresh. The only "flaw" I could find, was a chipped section along the edge of the laminate top on the dressing table. The beds were as comfortable as we had heard they would be. Overall we found our cabin to be spacious and well kept by our efficient cabin team. Ship - Super easy to navigate - an important issue for us at this time. We found the ship to be in surprisingly good condition considering her age. I always enjoy the art on HAL and there were numerous displays of interesting artifacts to view. The onboard shops were weak in my opinion and will hopefully offer a better shopping experience after the refurb. I have no idea why one deck had escalators, but there they were - just like Macy's! LOL. On this voyage there were far fewer flowers than I remember in the past - victims of the cutbacks, I'm sure. The Veendam has to have one of the largest and best libraries on the seas. There was a well organized selection of books, magazines, games with ample tables and lounge chairs. Restrooms still have cloth hand towels, a very nice touch, and hand sanitizers are positioned at the entrance to each restroom. While we liked the aft pool area, on many days it was simply too windy and cool to spend much time there - the enclosed pool area was a much more pleasant area for this particular cruise. Entertainment/Activities - We thought the quality of the entertainment was quite good - the singers and dancers were great, but as usual, the noise level during the production shows was just a little too loud for our tastes. The welcome aboard show was really lame, consisting primarily of passenger participation games that were the strangest I have ever seen. Everyone in the audience was rolling their eyes and we wondered why we wasted our time - there had to be something else going on that would have been more entertaining. The 4th day we were in Belize and the Lido Pool Party was that night. It was fun, but unfortunately it started at 9 pm and was the main event of the evening - no other shows, only a movie, Slumdog Millionaire in the main showroom, the Rubens Lounge. In addition to the singers and dances, during the week there was a multi- instrumentalist, a comedian, and an illusionist - all very good and entertaining. Overall, we wish there had been more to do in the evening - we are used to more activity. Dinner was usually over by 7:30 and then we had an hour and a half to kill before the show. Too bad HAL changed the show times - 8pm would have been perfect! No big surprise - the ship was dead by 11pm. Daily trivia was fun with a consistently good turn out. One day the questions were incredibly hard, but we all had a great time stretching our brains. My team one once - HAL luggage tags! Culinary Arts Center - This was the first ship I have ever been on that had a room designated for cooking demos. There were daily demonstrations as well as two cooking schools. The room was also used in the evening for a good selection of fairly recent movies with popcorn provided. We went every evening except one. Spa - I had a Swedish massage the last day and used the $20 off coupon I received at the spa drawing on the first day. I was satisfied with the $100 final price with the coupon; more expensive than home, but I still enjoy going to the spa on a cruise. It was a very relaxing and great massage, but there was an announcement on PA towards the end and it kind of spoiled the moment. I'm not sure why they have to have the PA piped into the treatment rooms, but this is the second time this has recently happened to me and it is annoying. I always avoid the hard sell at the end of any spa treatment by telling them I work for a cosmetic company, (which is the truth), and I have more products at home than they have in their backroom. It never fails. And honestly, I do have a few Steiner products that I like and when I tell them I already have this and that product, they leave me alone. Ports Key West - Because of the wind, our arrival was delayed one hour but HAL received permission to depart one hour later, so no time was lost. We have been here several times, so we only went into town to pick up some caffeine free diet coke for me and walk around the dock. It was a very windy and cool day, and I believe a few of the water excursions were cancelled. It was a good day for us to simply relax, unwind and in spite of the cool day, enjoy much nicer weather than we had seen for a long time. (The winter was brutal here in Ohio this year.) Belize - The tenders were great - large and open. Because of my husbands back we opted out of excursions and slowly walked around the dock shopping area. There was an abundance of faux designer bags and shoes as well as several well known jewelry stores. We stopped for drinks at the Wet Lizard before returning to the ship for a late lunch. Honduras - We took a private tour with friends we met on the ship - a boat ride along coast and up a river. It was a beautiful day cruising past limestone cliffs, with flocks of birds and lovely water lilies. Along the way we saw many homes, some spectacular, but primarily the modest dwellings of the local population. Quite a few children were going to and from school in small wooden boats. It was a great value for $35 each plus tip. Costa Maya - For a while I didn't think we were going to make it into port. It was very windy, but the captain finally maneuvered us along one of the docks. Just as we were ready to leave the ship, it started raining, but it was over quickly and by the time we were off the ship, it had stopped. The remainder of the day was sunny and beautiful. We did a little shopping in the area right by the ship and enjoyed the nice beach area, (not suitable for swimming), and sat on lounge chairs by the pool where we relaxed and had drinks before we went back to ship for lunch. We were so glad we went back because we didn't miss the seafood buffet. Many people went downtown to the beach, had beach massages, and lunch in town. Disembarkation - Painless. After an early breakfast in the Lido, we went back to our cabin to relax until our designated time. We were quickly off the ship where we collected our bags and went through immigration. The only unpleasant people I met the entire week were two crabby security guards at the exit - very bossy and rude. Post Cruise - We spent the night after the cruise at the Marriott Bayside, a lovely place to stay. We had a room that overlooked the bay, so we were able to sit and watch the ships leave in the afternoon, and with a tear in my eye, I waved goodbye to the Veendam as she sailed off into the sunset. We had evening snacks and breakfast the next morning in the concierge lounge and dinner at the hotel on the patio. The weather was so beautiful - I really hated to have to go back to Ohio and the cold weather. Overall - This cruise was exactly what we were looking for - low key, small ship, new ports of call, good food and service. There were a few areas that I thought were weak and a few areas where my expectations were exceeded. We still like Princess best and missed the options we have come to enjoy on the larger ships. But it was great to return to HAL after being away for such a long time and we will probably return sooner than later. Read Less
Veendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.6
Family 3.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 3.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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