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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife, her sister and husband and I spent 12 days on the Veendam stopping at 10 ports in route from Venice to Barcelona. This was our second cruise on the Veendam, and our 13th cruise across five different cruise lines. We had an ocean ... Read More
My wife, her sister and husband and I spent 12 days on the Veendam stopping at 10 ports in route from Venice to Barcelona. This was our second cruise on the Veendam, and our 13th cruise across five different cruise lines. We had an ocean view cabin on deck six. This deck had the walk around encircling the boat, and our cabin was the last cabin at the aft end with a door to the outside deck just around the corner. Great for walking and lunging right outside our cabin. Our window was exposed to the deck outside, however the reflective glass prevented anyone from looking in. Things we enjoyed: the Lido buffet now has about eight hand washing stations. Stick your hands in and about 15 seconds later they’re washed! Outstanding library. Great gym. Pastries and breads were always wonderful. The main dining room consistently had very tasty meals, especially the fish. Things that were a bit disappointing: ice tea and lemonade were no longer dispensed from machines. Instead they were served from pitchers, a little different but we got used to it. Seems that the fresh squeezed OJ machine is a thing of the past. OJ was inconsistent from overly sweet to diluted. No fridge in the cabin. The HA website states that the Veendam is one of three HA ships to have self serve laundry. But the washers/dryers were removed some time ago. So our plan to bring limited changes of clothing resulted in numerous hand washing in the sink. Ports: three lousy ports - Sarende, Toulon and Sete. Great ports were Venice, Dubrovnik, Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Entertainment: was so so. Wonderful pianist (Naomi Edemariam) and Irish flutist. Ok illusionist. No comedians! Very odd. Veendam singers and dancers were OK. Still a five star cruise it’s the positives far outweighing the negatives. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose the cruise for its interesting port intensive itinerary, reasonable price and wanted to try Holland America. There were lots of poor reviews of this ship so we were concerned but for no reason. We loved the ship. Cabins were very ... Read More
Chose the cruise for its interesting port intensive itinerary, reasonable price and wanted to try Holland America. There were lots of poor reviews of this ship so we were concerned but for no reason. We loved the ship. Cabins were very spacious, lots of storage, large bathrooms with tub. Beds really super comfy, nice quality bedding and bathrobes. Chocolates on pillow at night. Excellent attentive staff everywhere. Ambiance relaxed and elegant - old fashioned feel which we liked. Only 1350 passengers felt intimate and never crowded. Easy to get seated for dining room meals (we don't like to choose a time for dinner so went free style dining), lots of cosey spaces to sit and relax, beautiful sail away bar called the Crow's Nest which also had happy hour 2 for 1 drinks a few times a day which we enjoyed - $12 USD for 2 drinks. Rich wood interior spaces in public areas - so lovely - fresh flowers and nice art. Food very good overall, Pinnacle Restaurant excellent, Caneletto very disappointing- dining room meals were much better. Pizza and burgers poolside very good. Entertainment was ok - singers and dancers actually very good, one night no entertainment, one night a film, one magician, one comedian, one violinist - so it was ok not fabulous. But theatre intimate and never crowded. Liked the lecture on the next port every night. Most passengers in their late 50s-70s. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2007
We sailed the Adriatic and Aegean Odyssey 10 day cruise on the Veendam, 5/9 - 5/19/07. I highly recommend this time of year as our cruise had sunny weather about 75 degrees every day. We'd heard the cruise just before ours had rained ... Read More
We sailed the Adriatic and Aegean Odyssey 10 day cruise on the Veendam, 5/9 - 5/19/07. I highly recommend this time of year as our cruise had sunny weather about 75 degrees every day. We'd heard the cruise just before ours had rained everyday and so we all felt extremely fortunate. Embarkation: We took a water taxi from our B&B in Venice (Al Teatro - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). With a lot of luggage (plus my 4 wheeled walker) in Venice it was simply easier to have a water taxi come right to the door of the B&B and take us to the Maritima port. The HAL reps are right there directing you. Hint, the line is shorter for those who don't pre register on the internet. Take this line. We stood in the longer line of those who pre-registered online, when I got to the HAL rep to register he said I needed to complete the paperwork anyway. After that, it was through security and on to the ship. Note: once on the ship I didn't use the walker, it is mainly for helping to carry the luggage. I am able to walk a few steps and use my husband's arm the rest of the time. Booking and Cabin: I booked this cruise with an online cruise agency. It has its advantages and disadvantages and am not sure if I will do this again. I originally booked an inside I category cabin on the Navigation desk and was 'upgraded' to C category (only after I contacted the agency to tell them the price on my category had gone down) on the Lower Promenade deck, cabin 381. I was very happy to have the bathtub and did not mind too much about the desk outside our window. The windows are such that you cannot see inside from the deck. Though, in the future I would probably choose a different category. I was very happy with the location of 381, somewhat in the middle - toward the aft, but close to aft elevators, and same row as laundry which we did use toward the end of the cruise. I used the iron in the laundry room a few times. I opted for HAL's pressing for a few other items. A note: I booked this cruise as I liked the fact that the ship only holds 1258 guests. I find that it is cozier and just more relaxed. I knew to expect an older crowd, was not disappointed, but found everyone onboard to be very nice, and happy to be on the cruise. The entire staff of this crew was wonderful. They are very nice, helpful, and extremely pleasant all the time. I hear some are on the ship for a year without seeing their family and yet are consistently happy and friendly. After the second day I visited the ship's doctor as I developed laryngitis. I thought it would be like the loveboat doctor on tv, and older gentleman with a nice bedside manner. The doctor turned out to be a young blonde lady from Nova Scotia, Canada. She was very personable and professional and gave me some antibiotics. I was glad I'd purchased travel insurance as I didn't feel bad about the extra cost. Food: Mostly we ate in Lido for breakfast and in the main dining room for dinner. The quality of food is good for the most part. My husband is a vegetarian and although the main dining room gives one a special menu, it is the same menu every day, one has to order a day in advance for vegetarian dinner, and, if you didn't know this, you get to see the following day's regular menu in advance as well to help make the decision. Our table was also disappointed the night of the special Chef's dinner in that the only dessert offered was Baked Alaska. The taco bar at the Terrace Grill could be a bit tastier. For those of us from socal this wasn't exactly Mexican tacos, more the Americanized bland food. We didn't try the Pinnacle Grill, but I was impressed with the Latte at the Exploration Lounge. I didn't eat anything at the late night Chocolate buffet but the sculptures elicited a lot of oohs and aahs from the crowd. Entertainment: The entertainment was surprisingly good. The ships' singers and dancers put on some very energetic shows; I liked all of the guest performers, though my husband did not. One of the best performances was from the Cruise Activities Director, Dan, a former Broadway actor/singer, he has the best voice and talent on the ship (in my opinion) and gave us a special treat of Rodgers & Hammerstein showtunes. Excursions: This is a port intensive cruise. Almost every day we took a short nap prior to dinner. I chose all excursions through HAL except for Kusadasi (Ephesus) where I chose a private tour (turned out to be the BEST ever) after reading reviews on this website from other cruise critics. I liked Dubrovnik, we took the old city tour, my husband thought it was a bit boring. The coastline as for all of these stops is gorgeous. In Greece, we enjoyed all the excursions except Santorini. I don't know what happened that day or if it always so crowded, but clearly the crowds, the itinerary (wine tasting as the first stop at 9:30am) just made this trip not as interesting as the rest. We waited on line for almost an hour for the funicular to get to the bottom. I know others walked down with the donkeys - but this is dangerous and not recommended. One of our fellow cruisers fell and twisted her ankle. It is probably better to visit Santorini while not on a cruise ship. I liked Rhodes, though I personally had trouble with walking up to the Acropolis at Lindos, very steep uneven steps with no handlebars. Athens is also crowded, but if one has never been there it is a must-see (be careful as it is very slippery walking up to the Parthenon. the marble stones are very slippery and several people were dropping around us. I enjoyed Olympia (Katakolon) very much - as with all these islands - a very historic place. We chose Ancient Olympic and Zorba. The Zorba part was a buffet of Greek food, ouzo, wine, iced tea, and Greek dancing. This was the most fun lunch ever. Our last port before returning to Venice was Koper, Slovenia. We chose the tour incorporating the salt pans, the town of Koper, and wine tasting. Their wine was delicious, but unfortunately one cannot carry these on to the plane anymore and to ship them home costs more than the wine. HAL docked into Venice approx 7:30pm on the last night of the cruise and many people took the evening gondola rides or simply went out on their own. We'd stayed in Venice for 3 nights prior to the cruise, and only left the ship for about an hour and returned in time for the farewell show. One still has to get packed and have all luggage outside the cabin and get up early so I don't know how one could really enjoy Venice and worry about getting back in time to pack. Disembarkation the next morning was very smooth. They permit you to stay in your cabin or any other public space. No confusion and we found our bags without a hitch at the terminal. We took a taxi to Marco Polo airport on our way to Paris... All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. I had been looking forward to the trip for a long time and was pleased with all that I experienced. I'd recommend this cruise to anyone but not in the heat of the summer. My husband said he was getting tired of the same old food everyday, but I can easily see myself taking longer cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2007
DISEMBARKATION: Venice is the hardest port to arrive in, and leave from. Getting to St Mark's Square or the maritime terminal from the airport involves knowing the vaporetti system, and having Euros to spend, each of which is ... Read More
DISEMBARKATION: Venice is the hardest port to arrive in, and leave from. Getting to St Mark's Square or the maritime terminal from the airport involves knowing the vaporetti system, and having Euros to spend, each of which is difficult for Americans, especially on a Sunday (ATM in the airport doesn't work). So, study before you go. THE VEENDAM: It's showing its age, but the updates they've done really make the old gal sparkle. I especially liked the culinary addition in the movie theatre (which oddly wasn't used on our cruise, as we had our own culinary programs elsewhere) and the library/internet center. The library is just an extraordinary place to spend an at-sea day. It has books for check-out, magazines, audio tapes, puzzles on display, about 10 computers available (and, yes, it's still outrageously expensive), all in a very pleasant environment. By the way, if you bring your own laptop, the amount you spend for internet is still the same; however, you will at least have a computer when all the others are taken. FOOD: Much better than I remember, and the food in the formal dining room had been my main gripe about Holland America, bourne of three other trips. Something has changed, and the menu is much more accessible (meaning: more American, or at least the offerings are recognizable now), and very nicely prepared. The Lido restaurant is still the Lido, and quite satisfactory. The Pinnacle Grill suffers a little in service, even though that's the point, and the price has gone up to $30/person now; I think it's worth trying, at least once. My only real complaint in the main dining room is that the sommelier is not a wine steward at all, but just another steward taking orders. When we would ask him, what wine would go with this meal, he would always reply, what kind of wine do you like? QUARTERS: We normally go for the veranda (balcony) type, but the only cabin left was one outside with a window. Perfectly satisfactory, except that, because of one large suitcase that just would not stow anywhere, we had too much furniture. But a nice cabin, kept clean. I finally learned how to work the shower on the day we left. CUSTOMER SERVICE: Just a word about customer service, something I normally don't mention. Bad thing: The steward who wheeled my traveling companion's wheelchair didn't really know where he was going, and dropped her off where the baggage was. She was forced to walk the next 50 yards to get outside. Good thing: We left a bag in the marine terminal by mistake, made a series of emails, and Holland America shipped it to us. We got it yesterday, two weeks after the voyage. Complete with the cell phone we stupidly placed in it. Hurrah! MEDICAL: We actually had to use the medical clinic. They were very, very nice, and did a wonderful job of tending to the really sick and the hobbling. No scolding, just common sense care. Some were surprised, though, to see that they were billed for the service. Be aware that there is a charge for this service. EXCURSIONS: This cruise went to four Greek ports, Dubrovnik (Croatia), and Kusadasi (Turkey). We were absolutely bored in Dubrovnik -- our bus ride took us deep in the country to a little mill so that we could eat sandwiches and drink brandy, and I have no idea why. Others who went to the ruins (too much climbing for us) said that it was overcrowded. All the Greek ports were terrific, especially Santorini and Mycenae (which we reached through Piraeus, the port). And we enjoyed the shopping in Turkey, although it may not be for everyone due to the piranha-like behavior of the shopkeepers. Itinerary was Venice - Dubrovnik - Santorini - Rhodes - Mykonos - Kusadasi - Piraeus (Athens) - Venice. SUMMARY: A fantastic ship, eager crew, satisfactory accommodations. The excursions sometimes were disappointing, especially the ones that put you on a bus for hours with little to see at the end. 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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