Holland America Veendam vs. Norwegian Star to Bermuda in June

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#21
Pennsylvania
123 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Your comments have been very helpful. I think we are leaning toward Veendam. We like being in Hamilton and having the extra time in Bermuda. I realize the down side of this decision might be the lack of activities for the young adults, but they won't be onboard that much anyway!
The Veendam is about $100 cheaper per person and has a $75 OBC.

Thanks......
Chris
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ChrisC433

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#22
New Jersey
3,306 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
I agree 1000 % , unless its freeport. Thats the suburbs of the bahamas
Originally posted by njhorseman
Go o Bermuda rather than the Bahamas...on any ship!
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NCL Gem October 2011 NYC to Bermuda - Nice cruise -
Carnival Pride Nov. 2010 Baltimore MD ~ Port Canaveral Fl. , Nassau & Freeport Bahamas. Another awesome cruise onboard this ship ! Still Best MDR !
Holland America Veendam ~ NYC to Bermuda~ Aug. 28th 2010 Great Trip ~ Great Ship ~ Best Staff ! Invited by Captain Rik to the Bridge upon sailing into Bermuda and on the way back to NYC at sunrise . Unforgettable .
Carnival Pride November 1-8th 2009 Baltimore MD. to Port Canaveral, Fl. Nassau & Freeport Bahamas.
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Norwegian Dawn NYC - BERMUDA
October 19th - 26th 2008
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Norwegian Crown 10/07 NYC ~ Bermuda
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#23
New Jersey
3,306 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Enjoy!!! The Veendam does have a bigger pool than the other ships which we did enjoy. Another favorite is that they have a grill area right at the end of the pool for burgers,hotdogs, fries, etc.. They also have a cart set up with condiments, chili, cheese sauce and flour tortillas wrapped individually in foil to make your own burritos or whatever you call them. That was fantastic, downside, no drinks there. Have to run into the buffet.
There are some nice things about the Veendam, You will enjoy. It's just a quieter ship.

Originally posted by ChrisC433
Your comments have been very helpful. I think we are leaning toward Veendam. We like being in Hamilton and having the extra time in Bermuda. I realize the down side of this decision might be the lack of activities for the young adults, but they won't be onboard that much anyway!
The Veendam is about $100 cheaper per person and has a $75 OBC.

Thanks......
Chris
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Celebrity Summit June 2014 to Bermuda
RUBY PRINCESS March 17th 2013 to: Princess Cays, St.Thomas, St.Maarten & Grand Turks & Caicos.
NCL Gem October 2011 NYC to Bermuda - Nice cruise -
Carnival Pride Nov. 2010 Baltimore MD ~ Port Canaveral Fl. , Nassau & Freeport Bahamas. Another awesome cruise onboard this ship ! Still Best MDR !
Holland America Veendam ~ NYC to Bermuda~ Aug. 28th 2010 Great Trip ~ Great Ship ~ Best Staff ! Invited by Captain Rik to the Bridge upon sailing into Bermuda and on the way back to NYC at sunrise . Unforgettable .
Carnival Pride November 1-8th 2009 Baltimore MD. to Port Canaveral, Fl. Nassau & Freeport Bahamas.
Awesome ship !!! Best MDR ! Port of Baltimore is super organized !
Norwegian Dawn NYC - BERMUDA
October 19th - 26th 2008
Best Specialty restaurants !
Norwegian Crown 10/07 NYC ~ Bermuda
Still love this Ship !
Norwegian Crown 10/06 NYC ~ Bermuda
Great little Ship !
RCCL Explorer of the Seas July 2005
Miami to San Juan, St.Thomas, St.Maarten, Nassau Bahamas . Great cruise ~ BIG Ship !
Grand Princess 02 Ft. Lauderdale to San Juan, St.Thomas, St.Maarten, Nassau Bahamas . Gorgeous Ship ! Sabatini's specialty restaurant ~ the BEST!!
#24
22 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by ChrisC433
Your comments have been very helpful. I think we are leaning toward Veendam. We like being in Hamilton and having the extra time in Bermuda. I realize the down side of this decision might be the lack of activities for the young adults, but they won't be onboard that much anyway!
The Veendam is about $100 cheaper per person and has a $75 OBC.

Thanks......
Chris
Hey Chris....which website did you book through? Thanks
#25
Displaced New Yorker
15,592 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by luv2travel06
You will have your own preferences, but I talked to two passengers from the Norwegian Star when we were in Bermuda last week.


The other liked the Star because he could get food 24 hours a day at one of the eateries on the ship.
The Veendam has an extensive room service menu available 24/7.
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Carol


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#26
New York
5,036 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
I agree that any ship to Bermuda would trump any ship to the Bahamas. We've been on NCL and HAL, both, a few times. We were happy with both, but I'd go on the "Veendam" because I prefer docking in Hamilton and you are in Bermuda a little longer. On the "Veendam", if the weather is not ideal coming, going or while there, the dome over the pool makes the pool always an option. As with either, the sail to/from is little more than one full day, so either line having better onboard youth activities is not that critical of an issue, if applicable. If "V" is a little less expensive...that's just an added bonus. And no, the 'Veendam" is NOT being scrapped. What is being scrapped after 2012 are it's sailings to Bermuda.
#27
Danbury, CT
1,110 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by LoveMyBoxer
Where did you hear this??? Not a word has been said any where else.
We were told by several locals in Bermuda that it was going to be scrapped, but after looking at the HAL website yesterday there is no indication of this from the cruise line and cruises can still be booked past June.
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Past Cruises:
8/21/2015 Oceania Marina (Baltic & Scandanavia)
7/4/2014 Celebrity Millennium (Alaska)
5/12/2013 NCL Breakaway (Bermuda)
2/1/2013 NCL Jewel (CTN out of NYC)
4/30/2011 NCL Pride of America (Hawaii)
7/2010 NCL Jade (Western Med.)
6/2005 RCI Voyager of the Seas (Western Med.)
#28
No. Virginia
1,010 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
The Veendam in Hamilton is pretty stress free--only 1 ship with 1350 or so passengers. Getting on and off the ship is very easy as a result and can be done 24 hours a day. There is free wi-fi at the library, a short walk away, 24 hours a day. On 3 days, you do not have the worry about missing the ship. Bus routes run everywhere and there is a ferry to the dockyard. There are usually 2 larger ships at the dockyard so there are larger crowds for the ferries and buses. There are probably more interesting things for kids on the ships that dock at the dockyard and in the dockyards area--this area seems to be getting very touristy. It is fairly easy to get to Horseshoe Bay since they run "special" bus service there. You can get to Hamilton fairly quickly on a ferry.

A minus for the Veendam is that they took out the rear pool and turned it into a "Retreat" with 4 hot tubs. This means lots of hot tubs and not much pool space. On the one really nice day of our cruise, kids filled the pool so it was difficult for adults to use it. There are not many activities geared to kids and young adults.

We had no A/C or toilet problems, but the air temps in public areas varied a lot. Some areas were very air conditioned but a few spots here and there were very warm. Food was very good.

If you are going to see Bermuda, the Hamilton location is better.
#29
North Pole & Playa Del Carmen
10,025 Posts
Joined May 2008
For what it's worth we enjoyed our cruise to Bermuda on NCL, we usually go CCL but the Spirit cruise was very similar to the CCL experience. Great crew and we loved the open deck BBQ's amd parties - very neat!

But the number of ships in port and the most time in port are what drive our decision. We actually enjoyed being docked at the Dockyard, love the Frog & Onion, and all of Bermuda is easily accessible from there via the excellent ferry and bus pass. If you want more bars and restaurants right by the ship then Hamilton would be your choice.
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Blue, Blue Water !
#31
North Pole & Playa Del Carmen
10,025 Posts
Joined May 2008
Anytime dining is certainly not for everyone, and we tend to dine on 'ilan while there anyway. But for those who run back to the ship for dinner the anytime dining actually is quite a benefit for the Bermuda cruise because you're not locked in to a specific time and have to miss something to get back at that specific time. The Bermuda cruise is where anytime dining really shines.

For the sea days we enjoyed the flexibility of that option, and always had the same staff so it was really not an issue. I could see not caring for it on a 2-week cruise. We also prefer a younger vibe and so we would choose NCL or CCL over HAL for that reason. We may grudgingly take HAL through the canal but that will be a hard one to book
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#32
No. Virginia
1,010 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
The Veendam has Anytime Dining as well as assigned dining. We never had to wait for a table with the anytime dining and the food was excellent.
#33
4,115 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
We were on Veendam in April -- too quiet, dead at night -- even the casino is asleep! Entertainment is two singers -- no production shows at all and no fun activity. The most fun was the bars on Front Street at night, but as is all Bermuda, highly expensive! We've cruised all lines -- I would suggest going Royal Caribbean -- even though it is only 5 nights in June (7 in Sept.), it would be fun activities on the ship for all of you. The Dockyard has the Frog & Onion at night, along with the Snorkel Park Bar if the ferry to Hamilton stops early.

My next choice would be Celebrity -- Summit, but that is more 50ish and lots of dance music. Believe me, the Veendam is not your ship -- too quiet.

We've been on Norwegian, but never the Star. Have not heard good things about the Star, so cannot recommend it. Vicki
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#34
North Pole & Playa Del Carmen
10,025 Posts
Joined May 2008
For us CCL is a perfect mix, NCL was very similar and we liked that too. Just a great vibe on these lines...

Docking Hamilton has its benefits but we did like the Frog & Onion and the ferry from Dockyard to Hamilton is great.

The next step is a land-based visit and we're doing that Sat.
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Blue, Blue Water !
#35
Pennsylvania
123 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
I booked through Cruise dot com
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ChrisC433

Costa Magica 4/07
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MSC Orchestra 2/09
NCL Magesty 8/09
MSC Poesia 3/10
RCCL Majesty 11/10
MSC Poesia 3/11
RCCL Majesty 11/11
RCCL Seranade of the Seas 4/12
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RCCL Majesty 11/12
Carnival Valor 8/14
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NCL Getaway 6/16
NCL Escape 11/16




#36
NJ
284 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Originally posted by jps1012
I am in the same boat (lol) deciding between Veendam or the Star for June. Also thinking about the Norwegian Gem to Bahamas. Its me and my wife, we are 30 years old. Any recommendations? Thanks
I had to jump in here. My family was on the Gem last summer and the cruise director alone, Sinan, made the trip very enjoyable. If I didn't really want to go back to Bermuda, I'd be back on the Gem with Sinan! He has a huge following on facebook!

We too were deciding between NCL Star (which my mom is on right now as I type) or Veendam to Bermuda. We chose Veendam because it was less expensive by a few hundred dollars and we get extra time in Hamilton, without that extra day at sea. The kids areas on Veendam have been completely re-done and look great compared to NCL. Nightlife isn't something we are concerned with because of the kids...

We spent so much time waiting in line for everything on NCL. Waiting for food, waiting for drinks, waiting to decorate a cupcake (over an hour with the kids) which was really bad, waiting for a seat for the show, waiting for a table, waiting for the hot tub to open up, looking for a seat, waiting for a bingo card. You get the drift (pardon the pun). 200 feet smaller and 1000 less passengers we are hoping for less lines. If it's not so fun it's no big deal, it's only one full day at sea both ways.

All of that said if it was just my husband and I at 30 years old and wanted a fun time I'd probably go for NCL Gem to Bahamas.
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#37
Washington DC
1,105 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by phillygirl63
We were just in Bermuda the first week of May, and the Veendam was in port in Hamilton. The ship is much smaller than the Star and looked like it needed a lot of TLC. I guess, since it is going to be scrapped after its final sailing at the end of June, HAL is not putting any more money into it. So, if the ship is important to you, then go with the Star.
The Veendam is NOT going to be scrapped at the end of June! We sailed her May of 2012 after her dry dock and she was a lovely ship. She is an older ship but has plenty of charm. Being docked in Hamilton was also great.

Check out my blog for pictures and review.
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Joni

My blog - https://foxyterrier.wordpress.com

Future cruises
Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas - Caribbean - New Years Eve Cruise

Past cruises
Noordam - Lisbon to Rome - 2001
Rymdam - Alaska - 2002
Maasdam - Western Caribbean - 2003
Noordam - Baltics - 2004
Zuiderdam - Eastern Caribbean - 2005
Noordam - Greek Isles - 2006
Westerdam - Eastern Caribbean - 2007
Oosterdam - Mexican Riveria - 2008
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal - 2009
Noordam - Western Caribbean - 2010
Veendam - Bermuda - May 8, 2011
Celebrity Summit - Bermuda - July 8, 2012
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas - Caribbean - March 15, 2013
Queen Mary - New England/Canada - October 15, 2013
#38
North Pole & Playa Del Carmen
10,025 Posts
Joined May 2008
We saw the Veendam docked in Hamilton last week while we were staying on the south shores. She looked to be in very nice shape from the outside to us!
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Blue, Blue Water !