Veendam Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Contributor Level: Purser

4-6 cruises


Helpful Votes

5 out of 5

Great adventure seeing one of the "Seven Wonders of the World"

Sail Date: October 17, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Suite

This was our second cruise on Holland America and although the ship could use some updating, we enjoyed the mid-ship size with only 1400 passengers. The smaller ship enabled us to never have extended wait times when getting drinks/food or finding a chaise or lounge by the pools. The only time we had a line really was when we had an early excursion and were trying to get off the ship immediately after reaching port. The staff was absolutely wonderful and always greeted us with welcoming smiles. Holland America definitely does little things to make their passengers feel pampered and special like greeting us with ice cold towels when we returned from our excursions in the hot/humid ports or, in our case, when we returned to our cabin on our anniversary, finding two "towel swans" kissing on our bed with orchid petals. 

This cruise itinery was a wonderful way to see counties we probably would never choose to visit, like Guatamala, and the excursions, although somewhat pricey, made the time there interesting.

Cabin / Stateroom
Chose this cabin hoping our one neighbor would not be a smoker but they were. However, that was not the issue with this cabin's location. This cabin is on the highest deck in the back of the ship and therefore, in rolling seas, you feel the pitch much more and in our rough seas, we felt like we would roll out of bed if we tried to sleep on our sides. In addition, because the Retreat deck was right above us, we woke up each morning at 6:45 by the noise of the crew setting up deck and lounge chairs. I would NOT recommend this cabin if given the choice.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Ship Quality
Ship was very clean but the Veendam is an older ship that could use some updating.
Destinations and Excursions
Should not have chosen the manatees/Dolphins/alligators excursion for $110/person in Port Canveral! Although they don't promise wildlife, we only saw a few Dolphins and NO manatees or alligators, big price tag for very little, would NOT recommend.
Onboard Activities
We chose to do more "relaxing" but the activities offered were fun.
Children's Programs
It was just my husband and I so no experience with the programs.
Smaller ship so limited entailment but what was offered was very pleasant.
Service and Staff
All the staff is friendly and welcoming. We loved our room stewards, Ishah and Herman, and Aurora in the Lido restaurant, was a sweetheart.
Food and Dining
Enter Panama Canal At Cristobal
Panama Canal Transit
Exit Panama Canal At Balboa
Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Mexico Didn't visit this port since their tender dock had not been repaired after having been damaged a year ago!

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