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  #1  
Old July 3rd, 2004, 11:31 AM
mare s. mare s. is offline
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Default Back from Veendam

We had a wonderful time on our cruisetour to Alaska and on the Veendam. Despite earlier propulsion problems, everything seemed to operate fine and our trip was surprisingly smooth and vibration free. The Veendam is a lovely ship and very well maintained and the crew, for the most part, very friendly. Our cabin steward, Ceang, was a joy and we managed to slip him a little extra money (we decided not to opt out of the automatic gratuity) and told him it was for him alone. We gave our waiter, Adi, a little extra too....he really deserved it. He had absolutely no help. He told us that the new HAL policies had resulted in the ship losing 5 of its 7 dining room wine stewards and some of the waiters. The drop in service was apparent. We also found the quality of food to be a bit less than what we experienced on the Rotterdam last Fall. However, the new Pinnacle was excellent. We had only two complaints...the wine service (the wine steward was apparently sent in from the dining room...after pouring our wine the first time we never saw him again) and the coffee service (when I asked for a refill on coffee I had to wait and wait...was finally told they had to go to the dining room to get a new cup of coffee...apparently the Pinnacle doesn't have its own coffee urn.) Was very glad to see that HAL hadn't removed the Java Cafe (one of my favorite places...the cookies are still really yummy!) but never saw the after dinner chocolates in the Explorer's Lounge (don't know if it is because they don't offer them any more, or they were all gone by the time we finished dinner...we were 8:30) Entertainment was middling to good...personally I don't see the attraction in listening to a banjo player, but a lot of fellow pax said they enjoyed the show. Production shows were fine as usual. Fritzie was new to the piano bar...her first cruise gig and it showed a bit. But by the end of the week she had a small group of devotees and I think, with a little more experience, she'll be a real asset. Alaska itself was awe-inspiring! That's it in a nutshell...if anyone wants more info on the land portion or excursions we took, let me know.
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  #2  
Old July 3rd, 2004, 11:40 AM
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RevNeal RevNeal is offline
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Thumbs up Thanks!

Thank you for the report on the Veendam. Good to hear that they got the propulsion problems fixed!

Quote:
He told us that the new HAL policies had resulted in the ship losing 5 of its 7 dining room wine stewards and some of the waiters.
OUCH! How can just 2 wine stewards manage the entire dining room AND the Pinnacle, too??? I sure hope that was an unintended blip, an oversight, or some such hiccup in the staffing rotations. I certianly HOPE that it's not intentional and fleet-wide!

NOTE TO SEATTLE: 2 Wine Stewards is insufficient for an S-class ship's dining room.
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Booked Future Cruises:
Volendam - 14-Day China & Japan - April 13, 2015
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  #3  
Old July 3rd, 2004, 12:06 PM
sail7seas sail7seas is offline
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Welcome back....glad to hear you had a good cruise.


Thanks for posting comments. I enjoyed reading them as we just booked a 12 day cruise on Veendam for January.
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  #4  
Old July 3rd, 2004, 05:08 PM
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FlorenceItaly FlorenceItaly is offline
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I currently have this cruise on 24 hour hold, so would really appreciate anything you can share with me. This is a last minute cruise for myself, and don't plan to do alot of ships shore excursions, am going to watch my budget since I just got back from the Maasdam last weekend, so am definitely interested in your thoughts on this approach, and what you did in each port. Thank you.
Also, did you notice independent tour operators in each port.

Thanks again for taking the time to share with me.

Marie
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  #5  
Old July 4th, 2004, 12:10 AM
Budget Queen Budget Queen is offline
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My opinion only but in Alaska you need to budget fully for shore excursions. You get only half a trip without them. There are some tours available at the dock- but you need to do some homework and MAKE sure - bus trips are what you want??? Most anything else won't be available. I always recommend having plans and reservations in place before you leave. Don't waste a minute of your port time- deciding what to do. For more touring information- head to the Alaska board.
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  #6  
Old July 4th, 2004, 08:44 AM
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FlorenceItaly FlorenceItaly is offline
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BudgetQueen - After further research, I agree with you. I have decided to not take this particular cruise, and wait until my budget is not a concern.
I cruise again in Sept and Oct, so this would be pushing it. Thanks for your input. Thanks for your contribution on the boards. I value your input.

Marie
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  #7  
Old July 15th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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FlorenceItaly FlorenceItaly is offline
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Bumping this up for Sean. BTW, new update, I am going! So far, I have 2 independent excursions booked, and waiting to hear back from Michele at Island Wings about another.

Marie
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  #8  
Old July 15th, 2004, 09:16 AM
Plut0 Plut0 is offline
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Marie,
I am very excited for you. Having just got off the Veendam on Sunday, I wish I was going back with you. We had such a great time and loved the Veendam. I am currently working on the review and shoul dhave it posted by the end of the week.
Happy Sailing.
Mary
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  #9  
Old July 15th, 2004, 09:19 AM
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FlorenceItaly FlorenceItaly is offline
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Thanks so much, Mary. I'll be watching out for it. I am happy to hear you had a wonderful time. My first HAL cruise was last month, and one of the reasons I am going back next month, is I enjoyed HAL so much.

Marie
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  #10  
Old July 15th, 2004, 09:21 AM
Orcrone Orcrone is offline
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Marie,

I can't get over that you just returned from the Maasdam and immediately booked another cruise. That's three for this year and three for next. I'm jealous!!!
__________________
Past Cruises
1/1990 - RCCL Song of America
4/13/2003 - Carnival Inspiration
10/30/2004 - HAL Maasdam
3/26/2005 - HAL Zuiderdam
12/2/2007 - Carnival Valor
12/14/2008 - NCL Pearl
3/7/2010 - Costa Fortuna
1/6/2013 - Norwegian Dawn
3/27/2014 - Norwegian Sun

Future Cruises
None Planned (yet)

Land Vacations
06/22/1998 - Sandals Negril, Jamaica
2/14/2005 - Sandals Negril, Jamaica
6/21/2006 - Barcelo Maya, Mexico
11/29/2006 - Sandals Negril, Jamaica
1/10/2009 - Coco View Roatan, Honduras - Scuba Diving
8/23/2009 - Grand Bahia Principe, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
11/14/2009 - Barracuda Hotel Cozumel, Mexico - Scuba Diving
5/8/2010 - Coco View Roatan, Honduras - Scuba Diving
11/30/2010 - Barcelo Maya, Mexico

Future Land Vacations
None Planned (yet)
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  #11  
Old July 15th, 2004, 09:25 AM
Orcrone Orcrone is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Vero Beach, FL USA
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Marie,

Oops. Just rechecked your signature. You haven't updated it yet. That's four this year. AARGHHHH.

Seriously, I'm real happy for you and thankful that I'll be going on two cruises in two years.

Marc
__________________
Past Cruises
1/1990 - RCCL Song of America
4/13/2003 - Carnival Inspiration
10/30/2004 - HAL Maasdam
3/26/2005 - HAL Zuiderdam
12/2/2007 - Carnival Valor
12/14/2008 - NCL Pearl
3/7/2010 - Costa Fortuna
1/6/2013 - Norwegian Dawn
3/27/2014 - Norwegian Sun

Future Cruises
None Planned (yet)

Land Vacations
06/22/1998 - Sandals Negril, Jamaica
2/14/2005 - Sandals Negril, Jamaica
6/21/2006 - Barcelo Maya, Mexico
11/29/2006 - Sandals Negril, Jamaica
1/10/2009 - Coco View Roatan, Honduras - Scuba Diving
8/23/2009 - Grand Bahia Principe, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
11/14/2009 - Barracuda Hotel Cozumel, Mexico - Scuba Diving
5/8/2010 - Coco View Roatan, Honduras - Scuba Diving
11/30/2010 - Barcelo Maya, Mexico

Future Land Vacations
None Planned (yet)
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  #12  
Old July 15th, 2004, 09:28 AM
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elmorejj elmorejj is offline
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Location: obetz oh usa
Posts: 2,518
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Thanks for the review. The Veendam is one of my favorite ships. On the Zaandam in April, we were also short on wine stewards. Each night one bartender and 2 servers from the Ocean bar went to the DR to help out with service. I really don`t think this is acceptable and stated so on my end of cruise comments. Sometimes we were already on our entree before a wine steward showed up...jean
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  #13  
Old July 15th, 2004, 09:30 AM
FlorenceItaly's Avatar
FlorenceItaly FlorenceItaly is offline
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Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 7,208
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Marc - It's absolutely RIDICULOUS. I think I need a support group, LOL, or something.

Where do you see my signature??? I don't see it in my posts?? I don't see anyone's signatures. I must not have something checked, lol. I'll have to try to figure it out .

Marie
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  #14  
Old July 15th, 2004, 09:34 AM
Orcrone Orcrone is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Vero Beach, FL USA
Posts: 3,458
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExaltHim
Marc - It's absolutely RIDICULOUS. I think I need a support group, LOL, or something.

Where do you see my signature??? I don't see it in my posts?? I don't see anyone's signatures. I must not have something checked, lol. I'll have to try to figure it out .

Marie
Marie,

Under the User CP (top left item in tool bar above) there is an EDIT OPTIONS tab. One of the options is to show signatures. You'll have to select this option and click SAVE on the bottom. Then you need to go to the EDIT SIGNATURE tab and update it with your new cruise.

Marc
__________________
Past Cruises
1/1990 - RCCL Song of America
4/13/2003 - Carnival Inspiration
10/30/2004 - HAL Maasdam
3/26/2005 - HAL Zuiderdam
12/2/2007 - Carnival Valor
12/14/2008 - NCL Pearl
3/7/2010 - Costa Fortuna
1/6/2013 - Norwegian Dawn
3/27/2014 - Norwegian Sun

Future Cruises
None Planned (yet)

Land Vacations
06/22/1998 - Sandals Negril, Jamaica
2/14/2005 - Sandals Negril, Jamaica
6/21/2006 - Barcelo Maya, Mexico
11/29/2006 - Sandals Negril, Jamaica
1/10/2009 - Coco View Roatan, Honduras - Scuba Diving
8/23/2009 - Grand Bahia Principe, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
11/14/2009 - Barracuda Hotel Cozumel, Mexico - Scuba Diving
5/8/2010 - Coco View Roatan, Honduras - Scuba Diving
11/30/2010 - Barcelo Maya, Mexico

Future Land Vacations
None Planned (yet)
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  #15  
Old July 15th, 2004, 09:40 AM
FlorenceItaly's Avatar
FlorenceItaly FlorenceItaly is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 7,208
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Thanks, Marc . You and DW are going to LOVE HAL!

Marie
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  #16  
Old July 15th, 2004, 09:54 AM
FlorenceItaly's Avatar
FlorenceItaly FlorenceItaly is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 7,208
Default

Jean - I am very encouraged by knowing this is one of your favorite ships.
Your opinion is very valued by me .

Marie
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  #17  
Old July 15th, 2004, 01:09 PM
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jocelysue jocelysue is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Trois-Rivieres, Quebec
Posts: 700
Question Veendam

Hi Mare,

Would you please give me more info on the land excursions. We are sailing soutbound on the Veendam Aug 21. Would appreciate knowing which sites and excursions you suggest. If you prefer you can e-mail me privately at chezgirard@cgocable.ca or to this list.

Your answer will be much appreciated.

Jocelyn ann 9aka jocelysue)


Quote:
Originally Posted by mare s.
We had a wonderful time on our cruisetour to Alaska and on the Veendam. Despite earlier propulsion problems, everything seemed to operate fine and our trip was surprisingly smooth and vibration free. The Veendam is a lovely ship and very well maintained and the crew, for the most part, very friendly. Our cabin steward, Ceang, was a joy and we managed to slip him a little extra money (we decided not to opt out of the automatic gratuity) and told him it was for him alone. We gave our waiter, Adi, a little extra too....he really deserved it. He had absolutely no help. He told us that the new HAL policies had resulted in the ship losing 5 of its 7 dining room wine stewards and some of the waiters. The drop in service was apparent. We also found the quality of food to be a bit less than what we experienced on the Rotterdam last Fall. However, the new Pinnacle was excellent. We had only two complaints...the wine service (the wine steward was apparently sent in from the dining room...after pouring our wine the first time we never saw him again) and the coffee service (when I asked for a refill on coffee I had to wait and wait...was finally told they had to go to the dining room to get a new cup of coffee...apparently the Pinnacle doesn't have its own coffee urn.) Was very glad to see that HAL hadn't removed the Java Cafe (one of my favorite places...the cookies are still really yummy!) but never saw the after dinner chocolates in the Explorer's Lounge (don't know if it is because they don't offer them any more, or they were all gone by the time we finished dinner...we were 8:30) Entertainment was middling to good...personally I don't see the attraction in listening to a banjo player, but a lot of fellow pax said they enjoyed the show. Production shows were fine as usual. Fritzie was new to the piano bar...her first cruise gig and it showed a bit. But by the end of the week she had a small group of devotees and I think, with a little more experience, she'll be a real asset. Alaska itself was awe-inspiring! That's it in a nutshell...if anyone wants more info on the land portion or excursions we took, let me know.
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  #18  
Old July 15th, 2004, 01:16 PM
FlorenceItaly's Avatar
FlorenceItaly FlorenceItaly is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 7,208
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I am traveling NORTHBOUND, on the Veendam, Aug 22...are you on my cruise???? I am confused as you mentioned you are sailing Southbound, Aug 21, Veendam. Oops, saw anothe post you are sailing on the 29th..oh too bad we are not on the same sailing.

I will email ya! .

Marie

Last edited by FlorenceItaly; July 15th, 2004 at 01:37 PM. Reason: found answer to ?
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  #19  
Old July 15th, 2004, 10:33 PM
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joeinwpb joeinwpb is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: West Palm Beach, FL, United States
Posts: 686
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Marie - I better hurry up and welcome you back. Because if I don't get it in soon,. It will be to late, and it'll be time to wish you bon voyage. You remind me of the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. Always going somewhere.
Welcome back Marie!
__________________
Joe


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  #20  
Old July 15th, 2004, 11:03 PM
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FlorenceItaly FlorenceItaly is offline
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Location: Oklahoma
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Oh Joe, I am so pathetic, lol. My husband is a dear to let me spend the monthly retirement check on cruising, lol. Have you and dw been to Alaska?

Marie
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