Fabulous cruise to the Southern Caribbean

Veendam Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 6
Helpful Votes: 91

Overall rating:

4.3 out of 5

14 Night Southern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 08, 2017

Ship: Veendam

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 195

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

I've been planning this cruise for months, and it didn't disappoint. These were the best ports we've visited on any of our cruises. The food was great. Service was great. We loved everything about this cruise. It was a wonderful two weeks. I can't wait to sail again!


5 out of 5
Great experience. Very easy and quick. No issues. Our room was ready when we boarded.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Food was excellent. Kudos to the MDR. Their food and service was exceptional. Best food in 10 cruises!

Rotterdam Dining Room

5 out of 5

Excellent food; excellent service.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
Daily activities were really limited. There wasn't much to do and the schedule of events was the same every day. Worst itinerary of any cruise I've taken.


4 out of 5

Four pools in total. The rectanguarl hot tubs are very awkward to sit in

Aft Pool

3 out of 5

Sadly, the aft pool was replaced with aft hot tubs. The tubs need a good scrubbing. The papasan chairs by the hot tubs have very dirty coushins that need to be washed.

Lido Pool

5 out of 5

Great pool! Plenty of chairs around to lounge


3 out of 5
Why would HAL take away the aft pool and add hot tubs? I'll never know but the hot tubs were in need of a good scrubbing. Lots of sand at the bottom of the tubs. I think people forgot to rinse off when they returned to the beach

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Service was outstanding--fromour cabin stewards to the waitstaff at the MDR. I especially loved the guys at the check-in area of thr MDR. They were great!

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
With the exception of the hot tubs, I thought the entire ship was well kept and very nice. It is a small ship, and that took some getting used to. But the smallness also made it very comfortable and everyone knew who you were.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Great size. Very comfort able. Located just around the corner from the elevators/stairs. Two floors below the Lido and one below the deck with all the action. The only thing I really didn't like was the balcony. The railing was not the nice glass rail one expected but rather this ugly looking fence.

Ship tip

This is a nice ship but it is a small ship. If you are used to sailing on Royal or Carnival, you will be shocked by the size. Even if you are used to sailing the bigger ships of HAL--like Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, etc. you will still be surprised. But after a few days we got used to the smallnees. It made it a very intimate experience and it was nice that all the crew remembered your names. We very much felt at home.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

4 out of 5

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island)

5 out of 5
My favorite place in the world!

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
We went to Coki beach on our own. What a great day! It was a 15-20 minute ride by taxi--about $20 each way for 2. We paid $20 for 2 loungers and am umbrella. Would definately visit here again if we visit St. Thomas.

Basseterre, St. Kitts

5 out of 5
What a beautiful island! We booked an excursion for a beach break. We drove about 30 minutes to Spice Mill beach resort. It was a gorgeous drive to the beach and the beach/bay area was beautiful. Worth the money for sure.

Castries, St. Lucia

4 out of 5
The immediate are around the port is not much to look at. The taxi drivers that hang around the terminal are very agressive--and I mean very. We finally found someone to take us to Vigi (vee-gee) beach. It is not far from the terminal, but it is on the other side of the airport, so walking is not ideal. We paid $15 each way for the taxi (we probably should have haggled for a better price) and then paid $20 for 2 loungers in the shade. There were bathing facilities and a cafe near. The beach is very clean and the view gorgeous. Unfortunately the water that day was really rough and not ideal for swimming. The people working there were very attentive and made sure we had everything we needed. They told us that some days the water is just rough like that.

Bridgetown, Barbados

5 out of 5
Very nice port but the ship was a distance from the terminal. The ship did have shuttles to take us back and forth. The terminal is nice and has plenty of shopping but there is a larger shopping center a short walk away. We booked a beach excursion and when to Harbor Lights beach club, about a 10 minute drive from the port. This was the best beach of all that we visited on this trip. Beautiful, clear water that was very calm. You can swim our for a bit and the water doesn't get past 6 ft. We loved this beach and would return to this beach club on our own if we visit again.

St. George's, Grenada

5 out of 5
What a delightful little port! We decided to take the hop-on-hop-off trolley for $19 pp. It takes you all around the port area and makes stops at different places. Entrance to the fort is included as is entrance to the local museum. We saw some great things and took some great pics. We even visited the Grenada Chocolate factory, which was very cool.

Pointe-A-Pitre, Guadeloupe

4 out of 5
I wasn't sure what we would do at this port. The excursions were limited but my research also indicated that there wasn't much to do at the port area. So, we booked an excursion that took us to Pigeon island for snorkeling. The drive was about 45 minutes and went through the national park/rain forest. The drive was very nice. We went from Basseterre to the island next to it, gran terre. The beach area was apparently a preserve founded by Jacques Cousteau. Losts of family out enjoying the water. We took a boal and circled Pigeon Island several times, finally stopping to snorkel. On the way back, we stopped at Ecrevisses falls in the national park and it was beautiful. Wonderful photo stop. This was my least favorite port as I felt the excursion was over priced. But without the excursion, I am not sure what we would have done.

St. John's, Antigua

5 out of 5
This was a busy port with lots shops right next to the terminal. We booked a snorkeling excursion that also took us to a beach. Great excursion. Water was really chopping which really freaked out some folks, but the crew of the catamaran were super nice.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

4 out of 5
Having visited San Juan before, we decided to just walk around the Old Town. We walked the entire length of the Paseo de la Princesa, which takes you along the perimter of El Moro fort. It also takes your right to the door of San Juan. It is very nice. The old town itself looks to be back to normal. There is some damage here and there but you can't tell if it is from the hurricane or not. Several of the business right on the water front (across from the ship's pier) are not operating.


5 out of 5
Quick, easy. Did the luggage direct and didn't see our luggage until our home airport.
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