Veendam Cruise Review to Bermuda

Deck Hand

4-6 cruises


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

A Fabolous Bermuda Cruise

Sail Date: August 14, 2011

Reviewed: 5 years ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Inside

This was our very first time with Holland-America Line and its MS Veendam, and it was our first time to Bermuda. Previously Murray and I sailed on the Celebrity Eclipse, the Disney Wonder, the Norwegian Pride of America, and on the Adventure of the Seas of Royal Caribbean Cruises. What we liked here in New York City was the easy embarkation and disembarkation process. Really, we got to the port by 11:30 AM and was processed and in our room before 12 PM. This morning when we disembarked, we had breakfast at the Lido Buffet Restaurant and we were able to wait in my stateroom until it was time for our departure at 9:05 AM. we were home at 9:30 AM, amazing! We had a nice inside cabin on deck 5, port side (left side looking forward), a few steps away from the elevators and stairs. The stateroom offered three large closets with wooden hangars and shelf space, and a small safe. The room had a nice size bed with space underneath to store more luggage. We had a flat screen TV on a base with DVD player underneath. There was also a full size sofa. We missed the port of St. George and in Hamilton we just walked around the downtown area where we visited the local library and used the free WIFI service.We must admit that the MS Veendam is not the cleanest ship. Well, we experienced a heavy storm but even this morning the windows were very dirty, even in the main dining room. They also didn't have enough pool chairs and towels for during the sea days. As far as the food on this ship we mostly ate in the stylish and very elegant Rotterdam Dining Hall. The variety and quality of the food was excellent. As I am a native Dutchman I especially enjoyed all the Dutch treats like the krentenbollen (raisin bread), krakelingen (cookie), boterkoek, banketstaaf (almond cake), and moreover also the Indonesian dishes like Pisang Goreng (fried bananas). Last Friday was the Independence Day of Indonesia for the Indonesians (it wasnt recognized by the Dutch Empire at that time). The Maitre d invited us for what he called tempo dulu tempo dulu, which means remembering the good things of yester-years. The Indonesian rijsttafel, a Dutch word that literally translates to "rice table", is an elaborate meal adapted by the Dutch from the Indonesian feast called Nasi Padang. It consists of many side dishes served in small portions, accompanied by rice prepared in several different ways. Popular side dishes include egg rolls, sambals, satay, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. My friend is crazy about the chicken satay with hot peanut butter sauce. Every day at three o clock high tea was served in the main Dining Hall. A beautiful selection of cold meats, eggs, fishes, cheeses, and cucumber sandwiches. My friend adored the deserts and I the sandwiches. The food at the buffet, the Lido Restaurant, was above standard and better than on most other ship buffets.The Canaletto alternative dining, which does not charge extra, is a reserved section of the Lido Buffet Restaurant. It has the same simple Italian menu every day. The food was enjoyable and the service excellent. My friend had the Fettucini Alfredo and I Chicken Marsala. As far as beverages go we were thrilled with the $25 soda card that gives you $50 worth of canned soda to be used for anyone you choose. Thats really a great value.

Pros: The Food

Cons: The Storms

Recommends Veendam? Yes!

The quality of entertainment was far above expectations. There were many more, and way better performers than what we saw elsewhere on ships. We really loved most of the shows. The singing and acting is just superb. The costumes were very beautiful and rather authentic. Both the rendition of Broadway like show tunes as well as classical masterpieces was met with great enthusiasm from the crowd. Many of the actors have strong and beautiful voices.In addition, the solo guitar player in the bar area is truly amazing, and there is also an astonishing string quartet. These young musicians are surprisingly talented. While being spoiled with delicious chocolates one can enjoy a large selection of the greatest music composed.There is a piano player who knows quite a few tunes but doesnt play them with the same passion as the other musicians, and often changes the song significantly from the original (not for the better). It was common for him to speed up the songs beyond what is acceptable.
Ship Quality
Unfortunately there are also a few things which could be improved. The staff's dining room service is very polite and distinguished, but they were also extremely slow. Two hours for dinner was not uncommon. Yeah ans the special Desert Buffet was rather disappointing. It looked very beautiful but the quality of the dishes wasnt great. My friend adores deserts and was disappointed. I was, however, thankful for the many delicious deserts made for diabetic folks like myself.
Cabin / Stateroom
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
The Greenhouse gym and spa area are so great, especially the gorgeous aqua room. After a good work out it is so relaxing to enjoy warm mineral water baths, dry saunas, steam rooms, and these really extra-ordinary hot chairs. You lay down and travel to dreamland after which you awake to a new happy world. Last but not least a special word about the staff and especially the ships captain. A 37-year-old Dutchman, who has all matters, very much, under his control. He is a great guy who does not only inform his passengers daily about the weather but he also engages in baking Pizza and a friendly Q&A session. It was amazing, what a beautiful vacation!
St. George's, Bermuda
We missed the port of St. George and in Hamilton we just walked around the downtown area where we visited the local library and used the free WIFI service.

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