Veendam Reviews

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4.3
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30 User Reviews of Veendam Cruise Ship

Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: November 26, 2005
My husband and I just completed a 14 day cruise on the Veendam. As usual the Holland ships prove again to be a excellant choice for crusing. The service,food,the appearance of the ship,cleaniness,the crew was outstanding. There is always plenty to do,its a choice. If you like Bingo,they have that but its not the only thing.Everyday and into the wee hours of the morning there is something for everyone with a full schedule if you choose.We have traveled on many HAL ships and we haven't had a bad cruise yet. It was a pleasure being back on the Veendam.

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Alaska
Publication Date: August 14, 2005

First off I have to say this was my first cruise on Holland America. The ship was very clean. There were hand sanitizer dispensers everywhere. The staff was very nice. The food was ok. But I am not that picky when it comes to food. I happen to like the smaller ships.

If you are looking to party this is definately not a party ship. I was quite bored to tell you the truth. Their big money maker on this boat is Bingo. The patrons on this ship tend to be older. There isn't alot of activity on the ship in the evening. I am in my mid 40's and I have to say I was too young for this ship. I have made 3 other cruises with carnival. Needless to say I was looking for more to do besides Bingo.

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: January 3, 2005

We booked this cruise for three reasons. We favor HAL, the departure port, Tampa, is less than two hours from our home and the cost was so reasonable we upgraded to a deluxe suite for the first time. Veendam had been rehabbed in April 2004 and it was apparent. Newly painted, carpets throughout, furniture etc. made the ship newer than her nine years would normaly allow. The suite was very spacious and comfortable and the veranda big enough for a party. Suite perks included concierge service in the newly added Neptune Lounge, exotic flowers, and the highlight of the cruise a special suite/penthouse guests dinner with the Captain and his wife. Excellent. As usual the Philippine/Indonesian crew service was superb.

HAL does not measure up to other cruise lines in its evening shows. Extravagant they are not but okay for those not looking for big Broadway productions. Despite some engine problems, windy and slightly rough weather, tour cancellations (no fault of HAL), some intestinal flu picked up in St. Thomas the cruise was quite enjoyable. We were impressed with the attempts to prevent the spreading of possible contagious ailments with the placing of

hand sanitizing stations about the ship and the use of disposable gloves by the servers.
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Mexico
Publication Date: December 26, 2004

We just returned from the Veendam's New Year's Eve cruise. We had sailed on the Ryndam the year before and the Veendam is virtually identical. It is a medium size ship. One the nice things about Holland America is the ratio of staff to passengers. The staff is trained to learn your names quickly and anticipate most of your needs. Staff remembers small things like to you take decaf coffee after dinner. We had a regular outside stateroom. One of the things I discovered about having a regular stateroom on the lower Promenade deck is that you end up with a slightly smaller stateroom because the deck itself eats into some of your stateroom space. However the staterooms are adequate enough. These staterooms have great storage space --- better than most hotel rooms have. The real downside of this cruise were the ports of call. Even though this was an eight day cruise, we only stopped in three ports: Roatan Honduras, Cozumel and Vera Cruz.

Roatan and Veracruz were terrible choices and most of the passengers hated these ports. I can't imagine why Holland America chose them. The second downside of this

cruise was that we spent most of the time on ship and at sea. Of the eight days, five were at sea! Never again! I thought that food in the main dining room had improved slightly since our last Holland America cruise, but be warned. If you have a late dinner seating (main dining), expect your food to be dried out and overcooked. Go to the Pinnacle Grill as often as possible and pay the small up charge for the better meal. It is truly worth it. Would I sail with Holland America again? Sure. But I'd choose the destination much more carefully next time.
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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: November 6, 2004

We like to cruise Holland line and this one was an excellant one. Departing from Tampa was fast and friendly service. By the time we were on board, our luggage was in the cabin.Some very nice bon voyage gifs awaited us. Leaving the port at 5:00 and sailing under the Skyway bridge was a sight to see. It looked like the mast were within inches. We ate dinner in the Pinnacle Grill food &service are excellent. I think the entertainment was lacking. How many magic, singer,ventriquist acts can you stomach?

We enjoyed the Indonesian crew members show. This is why we like to travel to experience many countries/cultures. Most disappointing was the service in the main diningroom. Slow, mixed up dishes,some cold, and long waits. The Lido food was just as good,so we ate there.

The ship cut some of the port times, which I found to be difficult to get the shore trips in. Very nice itinerary,Key west,Cozumel,Belize,Gatemala. I like this particular ship because of the size,58k, the lay out is easy, and I didn't get lost.(lol)

Wonderful weather the whole time, smooth sailing.

We are booking again for Alaska in 05. Of

course HAL
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Alaska
Publication Date: May 23, 2004

May 23 cruise Alaska cruise was not satisfactory since visit to College Fjord was cancelled and most port visits abbreviated. The problem was that a propeller shaft bearing was overheating, causing a reduction in the ships speed. In addition, people in the rear of the ship had problems with noise and vibration in the cabins, so much so that they could not sleep. We were several hours late getting into Vancouver, causing many people to miss their original airline flights and having to be rebooked. They should have skipped Ketchikan and gone directly to Vancouver. Instead many people were inconvienced. What happened to Holland American's famed concern for its customers.

I have been on many cruises and I would rate the Veendam as below average, even without the shaft problems. Both the front and rear elevators were constantly out of service, one of the two hot tubs was often out of service or could not maintain temperature and the ship was very rusty in many places with faded outside paint. The food in the Lido restaurant was generally tasteless. The main dining room dinners were average. I would rate the cabins and interior

of this ship as average.

If the scenery was not so beautiful, I would have rated the cruise as a disaster.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: March 6, 2004

This is our 11th cruise and fifth Holland American Line (HAL) cruise since 1995 with each cruise on a different ship. Our previous HAL cruise was before 9/11 and several changes have occurred since then. Our cabin was a Verandah Suite (284 sq. ft with verandah) on the Verandah Deck near of the stern of the ship.

HAL Dockside Check-in - HAL no longer offers a special/faster check-in for their mariner (repeat) customers.

Boarding ID - Needed to show both the ship's ID card as well as a photo ID (driver's license/passport) each time to board the ship and all "carry-ons" are scanned.

Reserving of Public Areas - Several nights during the early cocktail hour (5:00P) half of the Crow's Nest was reserved by a special group who used the microphone to introduce fellow group members and you couldn't hear yourself talk anywhere in the large public room nor hear the room's musicians. We especially enjoy the Crow's Nest when the ship is leaving or entering a port as the room provides a 180-degree view.

Early Dinner Seating - HAL has divided the early and main (late) seating into two halves again. We were

in the early seating - upstairs at 5:45P. The downstairs early seating at 6:15P with similar times for the later seatings. We prefer a larger table to exchange and enjoy the shore tour experiences with our fellow travelers each evening.

Entertainment - We found the evening entertainment to be more aimed at the younger customers (an Elton John impersonator, etc.) and not the usual Broadway show type productions that we enjoyed in the past.

Ship's Condition - The Veendam is tired and scheduled to be refurbished including the addition of a second evening dining room to be added in April 2004. As a further example, nearly half of the ship's TV channels contained heavy interference and were unuseable, including the ship's video camera showing the view from the bow of the ship.

Public Announcements - Frequent bingo announcements on the ship's overall public announcement system became very annoying. And reached the maximum when we were watching a movie in the ship's theatre, on the last day at sea, and the long bingo announcement cutout the movie's sound track totally for several minutes.

We didn't seen the usual HAL's the customer-comes-first attitude on this ship from the captain's party hostess, the sales people in the ship's stores, to the front desk personnel, to the Lido dining room personnel (breakfast was late several times, especially on those days when we had an early shore tour), conflicting instructions where to meet for the shore tours, etc. However, the room steward and evening dining personnel were very good and attentive as usual.

Shore Tours - Enjoyed the shore tours from Key West (Harry Truman's home) and the different Mayan ruins in Belize (with fast large ship-to-pier non-HAL shuttles as the ship had to stay far out due to shallow water), Guatemala (with a nice four-hour river boat ride and lunch), and Costa Maya, Mexico (with a good full Mexican lunch). The only problem in Key West and Mexico, it was spring break and the college kids were everywhere partying. In Mexico, two very, very large cruise ships docked after we did - Norwegian Sun and Princess "something" - which flooded the small port and its adjacent shops. These ships appeared to be twice as large as our ship. The previously week, no ships couldn't stop at Belize due to the poor weather and the Costa Maya port is only open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Our next cruise is on the Ryndam to Alaska in May with our daughter.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: March 6, 2004

This is our 11th cruise and fifth Holland American Line (HAL) cruise since 1995 with each cruise on a different ship. Our previous HAL cruise was before 9/11 and several changes have occurred since then. Our cabin was a Verandah Suite (284 sq. ft with verandah) on the Verandah Deck near of the stern of the ship.

HAL Dockside Check-in - HAL no longer offers a special/faster check-in for their mariner (repeat) customers.

Boarding ID - Needed to show both the ship's ID card as well as a photo ID (driver's license/passport) each time to board the ship and all "carry-ons" are scanned.

Reserving of Public Areas - Several nights during the early cocktail hour (5:00P) half of the Crow's Nest was reserved by a special group who used the microphone to introduce fellow group members and you couldn't hear yourself talk anywhere in the large public room nor hear the room's musicians. We especially enjoy the Crow's Nest when the ship is leaving or entering a port as the room provides a 180-degree view.

Early Dinner Seating - HAL has divided the early and main (late) seating into two halves again. We were

in the early seating - upstairs at 5:45P. The downstairs early seating at 6:15P with similar times for the later seatings. We prefer a larger table to exchange and enjoy the shore tour experiences with our fellow travelers each evening.

Entertainment - We found the evening entertainment to be more aimed at the younger customers (an Elton John impersonator, etc.) and not the usual Broadway show type productions that we enjoyed in the past.

Ship's Condition - The Veendam is tired and scheduled to be refurbished including the addition of a second evening dining room to be added in April 2004. As a further example, nearly half of the ship's TV channels contained heavy interference and were unuseable, including the ship's video camera showing the view from the bow of the ship.

Public Announcements - Frequent bingo announcements on the ship's overall public announcement system became very annoying. And reached the maximum when we were watching a movie in the ship's theatre, on the last day at sea, and the long bingo announcement cutout the movie's sound track totally for several minutes.

We didn't seen the usual HAL's the customer-comes-first attitude on this ship from the captain's party hostess, the sales people in the ship's stores, to the front desk personnel, to the Lido dining room personnel (breakfast was late several times, especially on those days when we had an early shore tour), conflicting instructions where to meet for the shore tours, etc. However, the room steward and evening dining personnel were very good and attentive as usual.

Shore Tours - Enjoyed the shore tours from Key West (Harry Truman's home) and the different Mayan ruins in Belize (with fast large ship-to-pier non-HAL shuttles as the ship had to stay far out due to shallow water), Guatemala (with a nice four-hour river boat ride and lunch), and Costa Maya, Mexico (with a good full Mexican lunch). The only problem in Key West and Mexico, it was spring break and the college kids were everywhere partying. In Mexico, two very, very large cruise ships docked after we did - Norwegian Sun and Princess "something" - which flooded the small port and its adjacent shops. These ships appeared to be twice as large as our ship. The previously week, no ships couldn't stop at Belize due to the poor weather and the Costa Maya port is only open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Our next cruise is on the Ryndam to Alaska in May with our daughter.

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Alaska
Publication Date: August 31, 2003

My husband and I decided to take a cruise in late August 2003 because for the first time in 19 years, we're going to be kid-less for an entire week. My son was going to a weeklong school field trip and my daughter started school in mid August. With a kid at private college and another teenager at home, needless to say, we were rather tight with money, but we decided to splurge since we both desperately needed a vacation

This was my second cruise (Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Sea to the Mexican Reviera July 2002) and my husband's first cruise. We are a couple in our forties. Our family has traveled quite a few places, mostly in Hawaii and Mexico. I am picky in terms of where we stay. I don't need to stay at 5 star hotels but it better be spacious, nice and clean. For this I was rather surprised how comfortable I was last year when my daughter and I stayed in a small inside cabin during our cruise to Mexico. I knew I was hooked on cruising.

I did quite a bit of research for

this cruise. We are both not party people and would be the last people you would see in a Congo line. Holland America seemed to be perfect for us. I wanted a cruise with plenty of quiet corners where I can read, cool weather, some pampering and of course a week without cooking and cleaning. We picked the Veendam even though one-way airfare to Anchorage from San Diego was quite high. We booked our flight and cruise online through Expedia and received excellent service from them. I had to call Expedia after booking the cruise to book transportation from Anchorage to Seward and arrange seating for our flights. Both times I received prompt and courteous service.

After an uneventful flight to Anchorage, we boarded a Holland America bus .to Seward. The scenery during this trip was spectacular. The bus driver even gave us an audio tour along the way. Boarding the ship was also pretty easy. It took us about 10 minutes from the time we got off the bus until we were shown to our cabin. We were assigned a category A inside cabin (that was all we could afford). Our cabin was larger than what I had with RCCL in the previous year. Two twin beds pushed together to become a queen size bed for us, two night stands, a love seat, a small table, a makeup table, spacious closet space and a bathroom with a shower. It also had a strange looking hair blow dryer attached to the bathroom wall. I had to use this thing a couple of times. It worked but not really well. The plastic cord seemed to get warm fairly quickly and I had to use a hand towel to wrap around the plastic holder while blow drying my hair.

We ate dinner at the Lido buffet on the first night (too tired to go to the formal dinning room). The second night, we encountered a fairly large storm and my stomach just could not handle it very well. We ordered room service and the food was delivered nice and hot. We thought it was amusing that they even have a special menu for seasick people. The next morning the Captain announced that the swells we encountered the previous night were as high as 50 feet.

We then spent the next five nights receiving excellent food and service from the dinning room staff. The food was so good and the portions were more than generous. The lobsters were succulent, the prime-rib and steak was nice and tender and cooked to perfection. We dined with two wonderful couples, Kent and Judy, and Maureen and Vince. I could tell we were all having a good time because we were the last ones to leave the dinning room each evening. We ate each breakfast and lunch in the Lido buffet, try the bread pudding; it's so good.

We were happy with the entertainment. We did not expect much since but were pleasantly surprised by some of the performances. We especially loved Edge the juggler; he was funny and talented. My husband and I agree that we would pay "real" money to see him again if he happened to be performing in San Diego or Vegas. Our favorite stop was Juneau. The sun made a rare appearance that day. We took the tram up to Mount Robert and saw a storyteller give a wonderful performance. That afternoon, I found myself back on the cruise, floating in the pool looking up at the sunny sky and I remember telling myself, what a wonderful I am having. It rained a little in Ketchikan but we went on our favorite tour here. We had the best tour guide. Unfortunately we forgot the name of the tour, however we still remember the name of our Scottish bus-driver/tour guide, his name was Carn. He was one funny and knowledgeable guide.

We spend the whole week being pampered, relaxing, and sleeping. My blood pressure must have dropped at least twenty points. We met some wonderful people. I think cruisers are the friendliest people. I spend lots of my time in the library reading, watching couple of movies, listening to some wonderful music, swimming in the pool and of course lot of eating.

To be able access our emails, we purchased an Internet package. The Veendam no longer offers the unlimited usage package. People were buying the unlimited package and then rented it out to other passengers. We spent $40 to purchase 100 minutes usage. It was quite expensive but well worth it.

I can't say enough good things about the Veendam crew. They are hardworking, polite and obviously like to please the passengers. They are warm and friendly and always have a big smile on their faces.

Yes I will surely cruise again. As a matter fact, I already found myself dreaming about my next cruise. Where? When? How? Asia? Mediterranean? Carribean? Mexico? Too many cruises to choose from and to little time and money left.

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Alaska
Publication Date: June 8, 2003

My husband and I celebrated my retirement by booking an Alaskan cruise-tour on Holland America's Veendam. We have travelled extensively in Europe, Hawaii, Canada and the U.S. but have never before taken a cruise. This particular cruise had been highly recommended by some friends and relatives.

Overall, we were happy we did it and saw Alaska, but the cost, not to mention the fact that a lot of things aren't included, such as meals on the land portion and bottled water onboard ship, was pretty high, above and beyond the already high price for the package.

The Veendam absolutely excelled at service. We were never disappointed and every request was pleasantly accomodated. For example, the first night after we departed was designated a formal night and even after careful packing, my husband's shirts were wrinkled. There was a huge line in the tiny laundry room to use the provided irons, so I called the cabin steward and gave him to shirts to have pressed, by 5 p.m., I said. The shirts were beautifully pressed and returned two hours later--ahead of schedule.

We are very great fans of wine and fine cooking, so I think

our expectations were somewhat above most others. We had a few really fine entrees, but most were what we would call "good." The buffet wasn't open enough hours, and it was just a cafeteria--a nice cafeteria, but still a cafeteria. The dessert night was pretty impressive, though, but mainly in terms of aesthetic appeal of the chocolate Eiffel Tower, etc. and not in the high quality of the desserts. The wine selections on the menu were kind of run of the mill and expensive. I think the people who were the most impressed by the food may not have been as sophisticated gourmets types as we are, and I mean no disrespect to anyone by that remark. I'm just trying to put our criticism in context.

The bands in the bars, especially, the versatile young Canadian rock and reggae cover band in The Crow's Nest, were awesome. Well worth it. The Broadway style shows were fun to watch and the kids were talented. We were bored by the illusionist and Tom Jones imitator. We didn't gamble, but a lot of people sure did and enjoyed it.

Our cabin was spotlessly maintained and our steward was excellent.

The shore excursions were really expensive. We took three less expensive ones that involved tours in Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan. Sitka and Ketchikan were excellent, Juneau was a waste of money, unless you have never been to a fish hatchery before. People who took the costly helicopter-type trips were generally pleased with them, though.

Would we cruise again with this line? Yes, but not a cruise tour, although we are grateful to have seen the splendors of Alaska's interior.

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