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  1. Thanks for the additional information. I had a feeling that it might be something like that. The screening in Corfu did seem a little hectic at times, especially since it opened directly into the Duty Free Shop. I'm not sure how much attention the guys in Naples paid to the Cruise Card as we returned to the ship. BTW, the security guys and gals on the Veendam were great. Lenda
  2. No, it was in the Mediterranean. The one port I remember specifically was Corfu. Interestingly, in Naples and maybe one other port I can't remember, the port screening was not used, and we went through screening on the ship. Maybe they did not like the setup in Naples. Our only US port was Bar Harbor, and we had three Canadian ports on the TA to Boston. If I remember correctly, we did go through screening on shore in Halifax.
  3. John, thanks for the interesting explanation of the security procedures in the various ports. We appreciate the fact that HAL as a rule does not duplicate the screening procedures carried out in the port. That being said;, we were on the Veendam this summer, and there were one or two ports where we were screened on shore and on the ship. Since we did three b2b's and repeated some of the ports, we noticed that the ports that we were double screened in did it on every port call. Any explanation of why this occurred. I just never thought to ask the Security Officer about it when we saw him. It was not a big deal since the ship's security personnel were great at moving people along. Generally, screening on the ship never took very long unless more than one tour or shuttle bus returned at the same time. Even then, the ship security did their best to move the process along. Most slowdowns occurred when a passenger forgot to empty their pockets, and had to be rescreened.
  4. We were on the same cruise and had the pleasure of meeting you and Bridget briefly one morning in the elevator. As I mentioned to you then, she was well behaved all the times I saw her. It was obvious that she was highly trained. i think I met the gentleman you referenced with the out of control dog. Most of the time when I saw them, the woman traveling with him had the dog on a leash I guess I was fortunate to miss them when the dog was out of control. The one time I talked to the man, he told me he was blind and had me fill out a form for him. I think he could see some, but was legally blind. It is too bad his dog gave service dogs a bad name. Maybe we will be lucky enough to sail with you and Bridget on another cruise.
  5. We could not agree more about this ship. We have spent almost 150 days on her, including 67 this summer, ending in Boston. The new carpet and furniture through out the ship have her looking clean and bright. The crew was always working to keep her looking good. The cast, who joined the ship July 26, is about the best we've seem. They are scheduled to be on board until sometime in April Still, the best thing on the ship is the crew. In fact, the crew. staff and officers are all friendly and helpful To answer a couple of questions, you can get breakfast in the Lido and eat by the pool or out by the Retreat. As far as how crowded the pool is, as least as we found, depends on the number of kids are on board.
  6. I could not agree more. A good EXC (Port) Guide is worth their weight in gold. 😎 We recently had an outstanding guide on Veendam this summer. However, he left after the first 12 days. His replacement tried his best, but as this was his first contract, and he had not been to many of the ports, he lacked the detailed knowledge an experienced guide has. That being said, he did his best to learn about the ports, and as we neared a repeat port, his information was better. On the same cruise, both the EXC guide and the CD were on the dock as passengers got off the ship, and both answered passengers' questions. In fact, the CD often stayed on the dock after the time the EXC guide was supposed to be there. This particular CD, I feel will do a good job if he has to wear both hats. Still, I think Seattle should NOT do away with the EXC guide position.
  7. We were on the Veendam this summer and there were visible changes in many if the public areas. One of the most notable changes was the new carpet through out the ship. The carpet patterns in the various areas for the most part had lighter and brighter patterns which made the ship seem brighter. The passageways on the cabin decks looked a lot better with the new lighter blue carpet. Additionally, we noticed new furniture in the Crow’s Nest, Ocean Bar, Library and Lido Market Place. Unfortunately, I do not know what “behind the scenes “ work was done. One important thing to us was, we could control the temperature in the cabin. Maybe the a/c had some work done to it. I hope this answers some of you ur questions.
  8. I'm not surprised you could not find the 2021 European sailings. Last week, he FCC on the Veendam said they had the brochures for the 2020-2021 sailings, but the 2021 sailings were only through April. As was said earlier, they should be released in a couple of months or so.
  9. I agree with the previous poster. We just returned from 67 days on the Veendam and had a great cruise. The ship was in good condition. There was new carpet throughout the ship along with new furniture in the Ocean Bar, Crow’s Nest, Lido Marketplace, and Library giving the ship a bright, clean feel. We have sailed on her several times and would not hesitate to sail on here again. We like the size and atmosphere on the smaller HAL ships. As with all older ships, no matter the cruise line, you need to be aware that some mechanical parts will need preventive maintenance and that things can break. The ship personnel do grant job keeping her in good working order. I think you will enjoy the Veendam.
  10. I don't know about the larger ships, but we just returned from a long cruise on the Veendam. They still had the production shows, the Ocean Trio or Quartet, Piano Bar entertainer, and Adagio. Only some of the production shows had The Band (which was now four musicians) playing. The others used recorded music. One night each segment, they also showed Planet Earth II, with the live musicians. I think the changes in entertainment are coming more slowly to the R and S class ships, since they do not have as enough room for new venues. In fact, during the 67 days we were on the Veendam, a new cast joined the ship after the first 24 days. During the cast chat and backstage tour, they said they would be on the ship until April.
  11. Just off the Veendam Saturday. We had the blue cloth bags.
  12. We got off the Veendam yesterday. Over the course of 67 days, my husband checked out at least 20, if not more, movies. The “Ship Flicks” booklet in your cabin will list hundreds of movies in a variety of categories. My husband would take a list of movies to Guest Service since movies could be checked out. As the previous poster said, some movies would not play or would skip or freeze. Most of the time, this was due to some type of dirt on the disc. Usually, after a light cleaning of the surface, the movie would play. You should be able to find plenty of movies to enjoy.
  13. We just got off the same cruise. The letter we received stated the water in our section would be off from 12:30 am until 6:00 am for routine maintenance. We were on the ship for 67 days, and another section had their water shutdown on a different segment. On several cruises over the past few years, we have experienced these shutdowns without it causing us a problem. All mechanical systems, whether at sea or on land require routine maintenance. In order to keep the ship working at optimum efficiency, maintenance cannot be deferred until the periodic drydocks.
  14. HAL doesn't offer military obc. Would be great if they did.
  15. A really great Captain. Always friendly and seen around the ship. He is missed. Hope he is enjoying his retirement.
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