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514 Veendam Reviews

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Short port stays, some internal areas freezing cold, however good size stateroom by DianaI

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

Time at most ports was too short especially taking into account that most ports were with no sites of interest in or nearby and for the experience we had to travel away 45 min or more one way.

Some ship's areas were freezing cold ( front desk area, theatre ) and in the second week I had to completely stay away.

Fellow passengers highly disrespected hand disinfectant units so it was easy for the virus to set in...and it did. 

I had an accessible ocean view stateroom which was of good size and indeed (manual) wheelchair friendly, and clean and tidy at all times. 

 

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FIX this ship! by renojohnson

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

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

 

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HAL aimimg for dead and dying.....read on by davids5829561

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Caribbean

Never to recommend HAL to another....two of the bars music was chamber music with low(at times only 2 listening) attendance....violins an piano in one bar and other added a drum...played all chamber concertos....only 2 days of music on deck.....it was well received, crowd singing and dancing .....lido buffet closed at 2:30 till 5:30...when sailing time was 4 passengers stayed on shore till that time then was forced to eat a selection of salad bar, hamburger, Italian, or pre made sandwiches which were not typically found in US(example LETTUCE, BUTTER, AND BRIE) but all other items on the buffet until 2:30 were not available  ...never a change to allow carving station, seafood, chicken, vegetables etc to stay open....shows were not the quality we have experienced with other lines like Princess....many instrumentalist, repeat dancer shows and even one night just a movie even though a movie was in the theater every evening......sad excuse for a cruise...no more HAL for us 

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7 Comments

Love to Cruise by nlzwart

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Caribbean

The itinerary and shore excursions were wonderful as usual; even the weather was perfect every day.  A lot of the things we are used to have been deleted ie ice carvings, midnight buffet, games etc.  There was an extra emphasis on lectures about Brazil. The food quality has gone down but remains palatable once you figure out all the strange names.  As always the staff was exceptional.  Their friendly smiles and desire to make your cruise outstanding is what makes HALs

the attraction.

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Best cruise ever by bobjlet

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Caribbean

The entire ship staff were great.  The itinerary was exactly what I was looking for.  This was my first trip up the Amazon and the ports were varied and interesting.  The food was great, like it use to be 16 years ago when we started cruising.  The presentation of the food was the best ever.  We had a great duplicate bridge director.  I didn't sign up for the over priced Wi-Fi, but you could find free or low cost Wi-fi in the ports.

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Panam Canal transit cruise by aaslikker

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

Transit Panama Canal very interesting .

Excursions in all ports we took part in were well organized, tour guides knowledgeable and friendly. 

Ships crew friendly and helpful.

  

 

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Winter Warmth by dickhuf

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

Really enjoyed the nice size of the ms Veendam relative to many larger cruise ships. The diverse entertainment available on board was a good complement to

the shore excursions....especially the superb floor shows and Jeff Warren at the Piano Bar! Jeff's innovative routine attracted repeat crowds each night to sing along to the "oldies" while being entertained by his intimate knowledge of the history behind the singers and the songs.

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panama canal by needles23mysch

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

panama canal was great .     Staff was terrific  and wonderful.     Public bathrooms were lacking and need to be redone.  Food was wonderful but seemed to keep repeating.

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Review of cruise by gpedersen39

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

favorite parts:  buffet food presentations.  

 

                         Adagio music in evenings

 

                          Many classes on Windows 10 with excellent teacher named Izak

 

                            Half moon cay snorkel

 

                            Trip thru panama.canal portion

 

not so good:         Most excursions too far away so too long for 80 year olds even      

                              tho' we are active.  Most ports were cargo ports, or small ones       

                              Where you had to travel to get  anywhere.  

 

                               Had to have made reservations ahead to eat in open dining

                                Room if you didn't want to wait 30+ minutes.

 

   

                                You didn't want to wait for 30+ minutes.

 

                               Most movies not very good. 

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Cruise to Panama by barbdebry

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

Loved our stateroom!  The service was terrific...

The service on the ship was exceptional...the workout room was very nice as accessible. The captain was especially delightful...terrific person.

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Better than expected by sailregmel

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

Nice clean ship and cabin.  Ship is in very good condition for an older ship and the service was great and the food was good.  Met lots of nice people and had an overall good time 

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Upsetting by luv2travelonlin

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

I do not know why we were charged $13.50 x 2 x 15 days for Hotel Service Charges when we had requested that we wanted NO daily room service from  the beginning to the end of the cruise.  We used the same towels, and bedding throughout the entire cruise.  Please remove these charges from our account and credit our credit card.  Otherwise, we will need to contact our attorney.  This was our first cruise on Holland America Line and quite shocking to see our bill the last day. 

 

*** EDITED 12/27/16 BY CRUISELINE.COM TO REMOVE PERSONAL INFORMATION ***

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14 Comments

Panama Canal Transit by dkelly3455

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip.  The ship was in fine shape and the crew went out of their way to see that we were comfortable and informed.  Food in the Main Dining Room and the Lido Deck was quite good as was the service. We had three Gala Dining Nights (gentlemen wear jackets) with lobster, filet mignon and other top shelf choices.  The two specialty restaurants offered interesting and delicious choices.

 

This is not a brand new mega cruise ship.  Our cruise had about 1250 passengers.  You will not find all the latest features and doodads.  The ship is well maintained and was clean and functional.  Most passengers had passed the half century mark and I don't think there was much to do for children (though I only so 3 or 4 kids / teenagers).

 

Entertainment included shows, movies and lounge performers.  The shows were fun but don't expect Vegas extravaganzas.  The movies were somewhat dated but followed a theme of the Panama Canal and the Christmas Season. We enjoyed the lounges (4) the most.  They were intimate so you could interact with the performers and other shipmates.  The lounges included a classical music salon; a Jazz band with dance floor; a piano bar with requests and guess that tune; and a lounge with a band that played 60's to 90's music with a dance floor.

 

The transit of the canal was interesting.  It took 8-9 hours once we started.  The ship provided a guest commentator on the top deck who explained over the PA system what was happening plus a history of the canal.

 

The ship had a spacious and well stocked library as well as internet (slooow) connections.  There are several "at sea days" so if you don't bring your own books, you will appreciate the library offerings.

 

I thought embarkation and disembarkation were done very efficiently and smoothly.  

 

We are cruise neophytes (this was our second cruise) so we do not have the experience / knowledge of the more frequent cruisers.  We found everyone helpful and very pleasant.  The cruise totally met our expectations and we would recommend it for anyone wanting to transit the Panama Canal.

 

Dennis and Bonnie Kelly

 

 

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Customer Service Poor by ddbd1966

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

We were celebrating our 50 years of marriage. We had a lot of trouble with customer service from the front office staff. They really didn't respond to our needs in a timely manor. We had no problem with our cabin stewards at all. They were great! We paid for our 50th renewing of our marriage vows ahead of time, but when we asked when will have the service, they never gave me a straight answer. We finally got a note on our door. I must say that when it took place, everything was wonderful.There were many things that happened, but this was the most important to us, and  the main reason why we went on the cruise.

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Checking off a bucket list trip by ASmartt1

Sail date: / Traveled as: Large Group
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

My husband & I have had this trip on our To Do list for several years. Once we narrowed down the dates and itinerary, we invited our families to join us as some had previously indicated they wanted to join us. Ten people total went, including my husband's and my parents as well as our mothers' sisters and their husbands.

 

I have sailed with HAL many times including +2-week-long trips. I chose this particular cruise due to the size of the ship and the overall itinerary. The only other cruise line that was in contention was Celebrity, with whom I have also sailed before.

 

This was my first time on the Veendam. The ship is in pretty good shape although some areas are showing their age. All of the staff we encountered were friendly enough, but there was lack of attention to detail throughout the cruise as well as an under-enthusiastic vibe among many crew members. Also, there was an obvious lack of communication among crew members and with passengers at several points during the cruise. Better management could resolve all of these issues.

 

Otherwise, the cruise was as I've come to expect on HAL. The vast majority of passengers were in their upper 60's, 70's and 80's, and many were disabled in some way. If you can deal with living in a floating retirement home for a couple of weeks, then you'll be fine. Just don't expect any real nightlife and do expect to hear lots of complaining by other passengers. It's just the nature of this experience. We, in our early 40's, choose HAL because the ships are relatively small, many itineraries visit smaller ports, the prices are reasonable, the staterooms are comfortable, the food is always excellent, and the service is good to great.

 

The actual cruise met all of our expectations. We independently booked excursions in Cartagena, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala, all of which were great and I will review them separately on TripAdvisor. At all of the other ports we traveled on our own, taking public transit, renting a car, etc. The Panama Canal was amazing, especially since we took the time to read David McCullough's The Path Between the Seas and Julie Greene's The Canal Builders in advance. The books gave us invaluable insight into the history and construction of the canal and I highly recommend them.

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Ripped off by by reedporter1

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

On Nov 7th the advertised price was $799 each. I did not check the confirmed price until I got home as we discussed the price with Carmen. We got charged $1,018 each or $220 more per person than what I booked. Carmen said the price had not changed. Had I been told the price changed, I would have book with Princess instead. This is totally unacceptable. I have left 2 messages with Carmen with no response.

The ship was older with lots of maintenance issues. There was some good entertainment and what made the cruise special was every night with Jeremy, the Piano man.

Until I get the price issue corrected, I will never us nor Holland America again.

 

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Old ship by jphil2443

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

Old boat that needs updating. Shower didn't drain, closet doors were broken.  Smoking was allowed in too many places - could always smell smoking.  Service was excellent most of the time.  For the most part the excursions we took were only adequate.

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Very minor complaints P by ko12118

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

Ship needed some repairs but nothing significant...was impressed with how smoothly everything went...small ship maybe?....would definitely recommend...service was lacking somewhat in the Lido....was off the ship and at the airport in record time.

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Relaxing Vacation by whitelawcs

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

The Veendam is a great ship on which to view the Panama Canal transit--outside upper deck, inside large lounge (air conditioned), smaller deck on Level 10, and a large bow, plus all around public Deck 6, and of course the full Lido deck.  The service was great, and the food was good.  Other than the four port days in a row, there were sea days mixed in with the other ports, so there was lots of time to sleep, eat, read, and rest.

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Panama Canal Cruise by kirwanl333

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Veendam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

Relaxing, good food, great weather. The Excursions descriptions printed in the State Room folder  along with the port talks allowed us to choose the trips that met our interests and activity level,

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