Veendam Cruise Review to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Deck Hand

2-3 cruises


Helpful Vote

4 out of 5

Outstanding Staff on a Lovely Ship

Sail Date: June 18, 2006

Reviewed: 10 years ago

Traveled As: Family w/older children

Room Type: Oceanview

I can't praise the staff enough; they really made our cruise on the Veendam. The large cabins have more storage than even some of the most luxurious (and expensive) ships I've seen. The recent refurb has left a clean and sparkling ship with touches like extremely comfortable beds. The arrangements for teenagers are great, which certainly enhanced our trip. The programs in general can only be faulted because there are so many interesting ones that it's impossible not to feel frustrated about missing things because of overlap - what a happy dilemna. The captain and naturalist made sure that we had as much exposure as possible to the beautiful Alaskan surroundings; we didn't just rush by everything.

Pros: Amazingly cheerful, efficient and creative staff, large cabins, great efforts to enhance our exposure to Alaska

Cons: Pinnacle Restaurant's food was a disappointment, long lines for Lido dining, and difficulty finding deck blankets

Service and Staff
I cannot praise ship staff enough. They were always friendly and upbeat, always willing to offer help, and never obstrusive. Having an immaculate cabin makes the whole experience more peaceful; touches like the towel animals were joyous additions to what was really perfect already. Our dining steward was *so* wonderful it's completely beyond my ability to communicate. He was always thoughtful, remembered all our favorites, and constantly came up with special touches for my daughter - origami, decorated Dutch hat, etc.
Food and Dining
Dining is extremely convenient with the Lido open for lunch type food and desserts all afternoon. We found the food in the Rotterdam dining room very nice and occasionally excellent. Tea in the Explorer's Lounge was always very pleasant, and the appetizers served up in the Crowe's Nest before dinner were fabulous.
Ship Quality
One "activity" that was the most enjoyable for us was just roaming around the ship. We loved finding nooks and crannies, and despite the fact that there were 1200 passengers or so, we never found it crowded looking for spots for viewing nature because there are so many of them. The walk-around Lower Promenade deck made for an old-world cruise feel. The ship couldn't be better maintained; the standard of cleanliness is really impressive.
Cabin / Stateroom
The size of the cabins makes the trip a true pleasure. I'm only sorry we booked too late to get a verandah; I'll never make that mistake again. The bed was extremely comfortable, and there is storage space galore. We were never troubled by noise from ajoining cabins. I only wish there had been a mini-fridge. That seems like a basic amenity these days.
Our favorite entertainment was the night the Indonesian staff presented a show. We thought it would be like a talent show - nice, but dull. However, this group was amazing! Many of the staff had significant training at home, and we were really impressed.
Ketchikan, Alaska
Ketchikan is different because the shops are more unusual than Juneau and Sitka. The whole port area is much more charming. We did a two hour city tour and enjoyed it very much.
Juneau, Alaska
You have to take a helicopter to the glaciers. I really think that it's really worth it to take a longer ride. We were able to slowly rise along side a glacial waterfall which wouldn't have been possible with a shorter ride. Otherwise, the shops in the port are pretty boring, and we didn't have time for anything else.
Don't Miss: helicopter & glacier landing

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