Great relaxing cruise of the North east

Veendam Cruise Review to Canada, New England, New York

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 4
Helpful Votes: 27

Overall rating:

4.3 out of 5
Veendam

14 Night Canada & New England Discovery (Montreal Roundtrip)

Sail date: August 26, 2017

Ship: Veendam

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 402

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Great cruise with wonderful ports with some real history.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Brand new terminal layout after refurbishment. They were still working out the kinks but the line and boarding went smoothly and quickly. Street construction may have limited car access at the time but we stayed in old town and walked 2 blocks to the terminal. Dropped luggage off outside, processed through inside and less than 20 to 25 minutes we were on the ship. Room was ready when we boarded. Love the midsized ship cruising.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Stuck to the included food venues. Always great food and service in MDR. Food on rest of ship equally as good but service spotty at times. Just need a few additional bussers and wait staff on Lido deck.

Piano Bar

5 out of 5

The Martini bar is a hidden gem. Great happy hour specials 3 for 10 and the flight of martinis is a great way to try 6 different flavors ~ 20. Try as I could, couldn't find one on the menu I didn't like. Wish I could remember the bar tender and waiters names. All were quick, witty and serviced with a smile. The piano player did not seem to want to be there but the music trivia was enjoyable.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Not much to do on the midsize ships. Trivia in the Crows nest followed by happy hour was always fun. Trivia in mix bar (next to piano/martini bar) was equally enjoyable. The other activities (pool, casino, spa etc., ) were just adequate and similar to other cruise ships. No mini golf, shuffle board or water slides etc....

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The live band was great (5 stars) but never really got to see them. Two shows were canceled and the other performances conflicted with dinner. Originally thought only 2 of the 4 singers from the "show" could sing, but during the big show, learned they could all really sing. Just poor choices of songs for thier range which made the shows not as enjoyable. Did not care for the big show, too wide of a music spectrum, however none of the shows made me want to walk out (3). The special guest comedian and magicians were 5 stars. Rest of entertainment was average not because of talent but because of genera. The trio were really tallented but can only listen to the same Frank Sinatra songs. HAL needs to adjust programs to cater to a slightly younger crowd.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
MDR and room stewards were exceptional. Lido buffet less so, but still acceptable. Most likely a staff shortage as when approached the team was attentive, polite and as good as the others.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Well maintained, easy to get around. Only one floor which did not allow access front to back, but it had limited venues forward so it never seemed to be an issue.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
HAL inside rooms offer more room than many other cruise lines. Love seat in each room. Aft Lower Promenade inside room offers great location to main dining room and outside. Room was extremely clean and comfortable.

Ship tip

Crows nest is great place to spend some time. Happy hour, live music and great views.

Ports of call

Montreal, Quebec

5 out of 5
Spend an extra day 8n this port if you can. Old town is right at the terminal and offers great history, bars, food and entertainment. Many would say overpriced or overrated but we'll worth it. Easy to walk around or plenty of excursions to choose from. Don't miss the cathedral or Jacques catrier place.

Quebec City, Quebec

5 out of 5
Would love to have 2 days in this historic city. Did not get to make it to Montmorency Falls and regret it. However, if cruising south you will be able to see it from the ship unless it is dark. Just spent the day walking around the historic section.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

4 out of 5
Waited until port to do the horse drawn carriage ride. Rather informative and worth it. Wish I would have recorded the guide as now I can't remember why the buildings were important enough to take photos. Really nice quaint town to explore on foot. We also did the lighthouse and winery tour through the cruiseline. Thouroghly enjoyed both.

Sydney, Nova Scotia

4 out of 5
Just walked around the town. Several nice little museums within walking distance of cruise terminal. Limited shopping but your food and drink options are worth the stop in port.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

5 out of 5
Have to do the extended Peggys Cove lighthouse. The shorter tour doesn't provide enough time to fully enjoy the village and photo ops at the lighthouse. I want to go back and spend more time in the city and surrounding area.

Bar Harbor, Maine

5 out of 5
Acadia Park trolley was wonderful. Very scenic, some of the most beautiful views in the U.S. Enough time to explore the downtown area.

Boston, Massachusetts

5 out of 5
Need 2 or 3 days to truly do this port which is what we did. Rented a car and did as much of the freedom trail as possible. Also did the trolley ride from the aquarium to get a good fealing of what we wanted to come back to. Subway system is easy to use and gives good access to all parts of the city if you want to venture off on your own.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
Easy process to collect bags and exit terminal, but we had already cleared customs in Bar Harbour.

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