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Veendam Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 21

Overall rating:

1 out of 5
Verified Review

15 Night Panama Canal Westbound (Ft. Lauderdale To San Diego)

Sail date: March 22, 2017

Ship: Veendam

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 576

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

After more than forty cruises, I feel that I know cruising quite well.  The influence of the Captain is measureable in several ways: staff behavior, cleanliness of the ship, and general overall ambiance of the ship.  It was clear that the staff is happy to be working on the ship.  They were friendly, attentive and very quick to learn passengers' names.  Service was very excellent.  The room stewards were prompt and efficient.  The ship was outwardly, fine.

Why then does the Veendam need help?  The inner workings of the ship are not the greatest!  The air conditioning is atrocious!  People had industrial strength fans in their rooms...some eventually had rooms changed because of the situation.  Hot water was sometimes not available.  Three restrooms on one deck were out of order at the same time.  Fire doors opened and closed at will one time, locking passengers in the casino, hallways and other smaller spaces for up to 30 plus minutes.  The Captain was very calm and explained what was happening.  From his question and answer session aboard ship, I felt he was totally aware of what a great crew he had, but he also made us aware of his abilities and training.  I think that Holland America selected him to handle this shi[ that needs internal repairs because they felt his personality and ability would weather the storm, so to speak!  And he did.  His confidence and kindness showed in the attitude of his crew. 

Holland America has always been know for its attention to the elderly and the handicapped...I'm both!  Did I receive the same attention, yes.  Did I observe waiters with more diners in their section than usual, yes also.  Did I find out surreptitiously that room stewards had upwards of thirty rooms to clean per day, yes!  What a sneaky way to keep cruise fares low!  Nice going...Carnival...don't think we haven't noticed!

M. Johnson


Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Food was fine...wait staff friendly and of great service. Some food came out in from the fridge...even in The Pinnacle! That was NOT a good experience even though the charge for the meal was removed from the bill.

Onboard Activities

1 out of 5
Three computer classes per day! Are you kidding. Two culinary arts demos were ok. Lots of Art Auctions; wine, beer and booze tastings; and last days of "good stuff!" Why not spread the activities around...need more lectures etc. Get a new cruise director!


1 out of 5
The comedians were great. Singers and dancers and other pro talent were fine. The movies were numerous! Personally I liked the BBC films, but almost every other day, was a bit much!

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Happy, Andreas, and many others on wait staff were Great! I left a note on board. Sinead in the casino was excellent!

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Ship was clean. 7th floor galley was a pain to get around!

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Cabin was very clean. I had a hard time with the very soft mattress...probably should have asked to have the "fluff" removed!

Ship tip

You'll find that many on board get sick...and you might come home sick. The coughs in public areas sounded like a TB Ward! The air conditioning led to many problems!!! I'm still sick...9 days after disembarking!!!

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

3 out of 5

Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica

5 out of 5

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

5 out of 5

San Diego, California

3 out of 5
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