Being as she is the oldest of the "S" class ships, she is being maintained in visual appearances on the inside. But she is showing her age. As was mentioned we had air-conditioning problems, which for us, was solved after 5 days. But for others - some got to move to other cabins and others just had to do whatever they could do to stay comfortable. The entire ship had air-conditioning problems at one time or another. The only place that we could discover that didn't have a problem was the Piano Bar - it was either very cold or just comfortable.
I mentioned that the starboard engine had problems - 7 times in one time span the engine would quit and we would slow down. The technician was only on for a couple of days and never did find out what was causing the problem. Some people reported that they were experiencing severe vibrations and a terrible grinding noise when the starboard engine wasn't working properly. In fact the couple in #10 complained about this problem to the hotel manager - Fealey - the night of the suite dinner. We were in cabin #8 - never felt any vibration or heard any grinding noises this early in the cruise (even number cabins are on the port side). In fact we didn't feel any vibration until the last couple of days of the cruise.
The Veendam did deliver parts and the air-conditioning was partially fixed - captain never talked about this problem.
The Crow's nest is just like the other ships. But the chairs have recently been replaced and the sofas have recently been re-upolstered. The chairs are much nicer to sit in than on the other ships.
The Ocean Bar is one of the largest that we have seen on the "S" class ships. Very lovely but the chairs need to be replaced - they are showing their age. The fountain in front of the Ocean Bar isn't working and doesn't look like it has been used in years - the screening in the bowl has worn through - therefore no water is allowed to flow. There were very few people dancing before dinner - early or main sitting.
The Piano Bar - the biggest and best on any of the ships. The smoking area is completely separate from the non-smoking area. Even the area where the piano is located is quite a distance from the other 2 areas. The ventilation is so great that the smoke from the bar doesn't infiltrate the non-smoking area. This area was always cool. For the first 2 weeks of the cruise Frank our piano player for the entire had a great following. But for some unknown reason hardly anyone stopped in there until the last day of the cruise. Quite a few people could sit at the various tables without feeling cramped.
Casino Bar - one side was designated as smoking and one side as non-smoking. Rules were totaling ignored here in spite of the bar tender trying to keep peace. I talked about this in one of my daily reports. Over all there were not a lot of people gambling on this cruise - not early - not late. There were several slot machines out of order & were never fixed.
The Explorer's lounge - it is a closed-in area compared to the other ships. It is small due to the fact that part of it taken when the Pinnacle Grill was added to the ship in 2002. Passerby's can look into the Explorer's Lounge through one of 2 doors or a window. The Explorer's Lounge opened early in the evening. While having an after dinner cocktail here one evening we noticed that the 6:15 diners after they finished dinner would pour into the lounge and help themselves to the tray of chocolates and not one of them bought a drink. The girl on duty kept refilling the tray. I imagine this happened as well after the 8 and 8:30 dinners completed their meals.
Yum-Yum man - the first couple of nights we wasn't on duty when we left the dinning around around 7:15. Then after that he was there every evening with mints, ginger, fresh fruit (apples,pears, etc.) and a side dish of dates. The last couple of nights he wasn't on duty.
Flowers - After 2 weeks the flowers were dead everywhere! We noticed that the Veendam got tons of flowers - including huge new displays for around the ship while we were in Costa Rica. Ours look terrible at this time. The Veendam left San Diego on Oct 14 and got new flowers on Oct 22 - just 8 days later. But after 15 days we still had the same old flowers. The crew were removing the dead flowers from the big displays which meant we looking at a lot of greenery everywhere. Finally on Oct 29th new flowers were everywhere - displays - cabins. Why did we have to wait so long for new flowers? No answer here.
We noticed that every couple of days several crew members went around the ship and sprayed all the carpets with some kind of an insect repellent. Made us wonder what kinds of bugs had infiltrated the ship.
Van Gogh Lounge - who was the architect here? The dance floor is far back from the stage area. So if you are sitting in the first few rows you can not see anyone dancing unless you turn completely around in your seat.
Dress code - as I mentioned - it was not followed. We had read so many reports on this board about bermudas not being allowed in the dining for either breakfast or lunch. Not so on this cruise. As I mentioned we even watched a couple enter for lunch in their bathing suits and cover-ups. One afternoon we saw a woman walking around the casino and various other parts of the ship not wearing shoes. The evening of the VIP party she still didn't haven't shoes on. (UGH _ who could stand dirty feet all day and night!). While she was taking to the captain at the party we noticed that he looked down at her feet - wonder what he thought of her. But there was never a notice put printed in the daily program about dress attire.
Dinner times were not followed - people walked into dinner whenever they felt like it and nothing was ever said to them. Could this be an indication that HAL may soon change to 'Free-style" cruising? (I hope not.)
Chocolate bread pudding was offered several times along with the regular bread pudding at lunch time. There were always plenty of choices at the Lido for lunch. The Pizza station always had 3 or 4 different types of pizza. And on some days they offered calzone!
On Nov 2 DH noticed that the aft pool on Navigation deck was not clean. In fact it looked like it hadn't been cleaned in days. He wouldn't use it.
Getting tired - will continue tomorrow.