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  1. Veendam will be at Pier 21 (starboard to) from 0345-1800. She will be setting out for an 11-day Cuban cruise. Monday, November 19 Fort Lauderdale, FL Tuesday, November 20 At Sea Wednesday, November 21 Cozumel, Mexico Thursday, November 22 Belize City, Belize Friday, November 23 Roatan, Honduras Saturday, November 24 At Sea Sunday, November 25 Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Monday, November 26 Cienfuegos, Cuba Tuesday, November 27 At Sea Wednesday, November 28 Havana, Cuba Thursday, November 29 Havana, Cuba Thursday, November 29 At Sea Friday, November 30 Fort Lauderdale, FL Also in port are Infinity from 0430-1600 at pier 4, Majesty OTS from 0515-1600 at pier 19, and Serenade OTS at pier 18 from 0545-1600. Arriving to Pier 25 will be the brand new (She was delivered to Celebrity on October 31) Celebrity Edge. She is due in about 0800 but, according to the PE schedule, she will not depart until Wednesday. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ . Rotterdam will be in Key West from 1100-1800. https://www.keywestharborwebcam.com/ Next up: Koningsdam on Wednesday, November 21.
  2. Veendam 1.) The Captain may not take you to all of the ports on the itinerary. Our second stop in Cuba (the main reason for the cruise), Cienfuegos, was cancelled. A $50.00 per passenger shipboard credit was the purported compensation for the port cancellation. So many passengers complained that the Captain opened the Lido bar for 2.5 hours of free cocktails. There was no additional compensation for passengers that purchased a beverage package either before or during the cruise. Free cocktails means absolutely nothing to those who have already paid good money up front for a signature or elite beverage package. We were given a case number by our fabulous Neptune Lounge concierge. Case #364388. Waiting to hear back from corporate. 2.) The hot tub in the Greenhouse spa was either luke warm or not functioning for the entire cruise. Really annoying to buy a greenhouse pass and not be able to use/enjoy the hot tub at all. 3.) The Captains cocktail party for 3,4 and 5 star Mariners. I guess he was too embarrassed, nervous or just plain sick of listening to any more complaints because he only attended the event for 15 minutes. 4.) The plumbing on the ship leaves a lot to be desired. The toilets in the Spa and the gym were overflowing and inoperable on several occasions. The toilet in the men’s locker room was out of order for the entire cruise. Maintenance was constantly working on pipes around the ship. Promenade deck would be wet and slippery. Maintenance was working on the plumbing/pipes on the Navigation deck right outside of our Neptune suite for an entire afternoon while at sea. Tap, tap, tap, bang, bang, bang all afternoon. Then comes the telephone call that they need access to our suite. So much for resting and relaxing in our suite, let alone an afternoon nap. 5.) The internet is slow, which I understand but having hours of it being inoperable after you have paid to use it is annoying to say the least. 6.) One of the elevators was out of service for the entire cruise. 7.) The all day in room dining menu is a joke. There are a half dozen items and then sandwiches. The all day menu was not available at all on the 8th day of the cruise. 8.) Two points on the pool. Safety regulation are not enforced. They allow small children and not so small children to jump, dive, splash as long as they want to, which ended up being most of the day on several days. Obnoxious to say the least. When reported to the Officers, nothing was done. In fact, on one occasion two officers were present at the pool while the jumping, splashing and diving was happening and they looked the other way. Second point, the retractable dome was not opened on completely sunny days. This made the pool bar and dining area feel like Viet Nam in the summer. Not comfortable at all. 9.) The aft bar and the entire aft seating area on Lido was closed on 11/9 at 5pm for the remainder of the day. This is one of only 2 smoking areas available on the ship. The other area is the casino (on smoking days) where there is a table in the rear of the casino with 8 ashtrays on it and no chairs. No place to sit. Stand and smoke and get out. 10.) Fairly amusing is the fact that one very small, postcard sized critique card is handed out on the first day of the cruise. Gee, I wonder why????? The good part is that the crew are FABULOUS! The food in the Pinnacle (where we enjoyed dinner most of the time), dining room and Lido buffet is always extremely good and an interesting variety is offered. The crew and the food are the only reason to take a cruise on this ship.
  3. I am teetering on spending $750.00 on a beverage package (yikes) but I would like to see what is offered "up to $9.00". The package says "Coffee". Specialty Coffee like Cappuccino? Also looking for Pellegrino. Thanks all....
  4. A real bonanza is in store for the sail-away addicts. We will have five HAL ships in FLL over the next three days! Friday gives us Prinsendam and Veendam. Prinsendam is headed on a 28-day Amazon Explorer. She will be in port from 0500-1700 at Pier 26 (Port to). (This crazy spacing is driving me nuts!!!) Friday, November 9 Fort Lauderdale, FL Saturday, November 10 At Sea Sunday, November 11 At Sea Monday, November 12 St. Maarten Tuesday, November 13 Guadeloupe Wednesday, November 14 Barbados Thursday, November 15 At Sea Friday, November 16 Devil's Island, French Guiana Saturday, November 17 Amazon River (Cruising) Sunday, November 18 Macapa, Brazil Monday, November 19 Santarem, Brazil Tuesday, November 20 Boca da Valeria, Brazil Wednesday, November 21 Manaus, Brazil Thursday, November 22 Manaus, Brazil Friday, November 23 Parintins, Brazil Saturday, November 24 Alter do Chao, Brazil Sunday, November 25 Amazon River (Cruising) Monday, November 26 At Sea Tuesday, November 27 Belem, Brazil Wednesday, November 28 At Sea Thursday, November 29 At Sea Friday, November 30 At Sea Saturday, December 1 Tobago Sunday, December 2 Grenada Monday, December 3 At Sea Tuesday, December 4 Santo Domingo, DR Wednesday, December 5 At Sea Thursday, December 6 At Sea Friday, December 7 Fort Lauderdale, FL Veendam is doing a 10-day Cuban Explorer. She will be in port from 0545-1700 at Pier 19 (Starboard to). Friday, November 9 Fort Lauderdale, FL Saturday, November 10 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Sunday, November 11 At Sea Monday, November 12 Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Tuesday, November 13 Cienfuegos, Cuba Wednesday, November 14 At Sea Thursday, November 15 Havana, Cuba Friday, November 16 Havana, Cuba Friday, November 16 At Sea Saturday, November 17 Cozumel, Mexico Sunday, November 18 At Sea Monday, November 19 Fort Lauderdale, FL Also in port are Royal Princess from 0400-1600 (Pier 2) and Serenade of the Seas from 0430-1600 (Pier 18). The PTZtv webcams can be found at www.portevergladeswebcam.com andwww.ftlauderdalewebcam.com. Next up: Oosterdam on Saturday 11/10.
  5. Veendam will be in Port Everglades from 0700-1600 at Pier 26 (port to). She is headed out on an 11-day Cuban cruise. She is the only cruise ship in port. Monday, October 29 Fort Lauderdale, FL Tuesday, October 30 At Sea Wednesday, October 31 Cozumel, Mexico Thursday, November 1 Belize City, Belize Friday, November 2 At Sea Saturday, November 3 Cienfuegos, Cuba Sunday, November 4 At Sea Monday, November 5 Havana, Cuba Tuesday, November 6 At Sea Wednesday, November 7 At Sea Thursday, November 8 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Friday, November 9 Fort Lauderdale, FL The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ . Rotterdam will be making a stop in Key West from 1100-1800. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.keywestharborwebcam.com/. For the addicts: Volendam in San Diego departing at 1700 on 11/3. http://www.sundiegolive.com/ Next up: On November 4 we will have Zuiderdam and Nieuw Amsterdam in FLL, Rotterdam in Tampa, and Eurodam in San Diego.
  6. We were interested in the Veendam - a classic smaller ship from Holland America. There's really not a lot of current notes on the ship or to my thinking, about any of the older ships sailing around lately. I suppose it's only trendy to blog out if you are on the biggest, baddest super sized ship. But we aren't likely to crawl a wall; and there's not much in my wife and I that needs 24 different sub-districts of a ship designed to haul the population of Duluth through the Caribbean. That can be saved for another day. We wanted a nice, quiet trip through fishing villages around the Atlantic corridor and thank you very much we can do without throngs of people. We found a lower berth opportunity available at the last minute on the aging ship - leaving Boston only six days away. $399 for a trip to Montreal ... and with a few more minutes realized we could sail all the way back and tally $1,596. For me it's like getting insurance that you will have a great day in port - every stop is seen twice. Add in the not inconsiderable port charges/taxes, we barely tilted the scales at $2,500. Our last minute trips normally have us scrambling to use air miles to offset the increased fee at the terminal but our cupboard is barren - having sent those miles to family members. Instead of paying almost $1,000 to fly back and forth to Boston (normally about $400), we'll drive and park our car in a garage at $280. Add in an overnight hotel ($100?) midway to Boston and we are all in around $2,900. For essentially 28 days of travel, expenses sit at $100 per day, per person. So we are set today; we booked at the last minute a berth in the bowels of an aged vessel, complete with Jazz series and the Lincoln Center music and a trip to soothe the soul from Labor Day weekend to mid-September. Our boarding passes printed, we've made up a bunch of luggage tags. Why not? There's no carry-on limits on the RAV-4. Next up: hotel, parking and boarding the Veendam.
  7. I've been looking for information on what was done to Veendam during the last dry dock and a general report from those who have sailed on her since mid-April. Any info would be appreciated. Sailing her in a couple of weeks. Thanks.
  8. Past HAL customer (4 cruises) looking at a New England itinerary and reading some really bad things on the Veendam. Would be sailing in a Neptune suite with husband and child. Need to know the true condition of this ship--lots of reviews citing smells, black soot, vibration, yikes... How is the food, service, everything? We love HAL but we have been on the newer ships. Thank you!
  9. Welcome back to Port Everglades, HAL ships - the Sail-away Addicts have missed you and your toots! Veendam will be the first HAL ship for the season. She will be at Pier 26 (port to) from 0500-1600. She is the only cruise ship in port. Veendam is doing a 12 day Cuba cruise. Thursday, October 18 - At Sea Friday, October 19 - Havana, Cuba Saturday, October 20 - At Sea Sunday, October 21 - Cienfuegos, Cuba Monday, October 22 - Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Tuesday, October 23 - Ocho Rios, Jamaica Wednesday, October 24 - At Sea Thursday, October 25 - Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands Friday, October 26 - Amber Cove, Dominican Republic Saturday, October 27 - At Sea Sunday, October 28 - Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Monday, October 29 - Fort Lauderdale, FL The PTZtv webcams can be found at http://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ http://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ For the addicts: Nieuw Amsterdam will be in Aruba from 0800-1700. http://www.portarubawebcam.com/ Next up: Volendam on Friday.
  10. I love the violins, I am considering sailing on the Veendam. How many violinists are there? Or is is it just a violinist and a piano player. Thanks.
  11. New to HAL, we were excited to have this cruise booked because it matched the itinerary we wanted. Have been reading all the negative posts about the problems encountered with this ship but have faith that HAL will live up to its reputation and we won't be disappointed. We are flying into Rome early for a few days of sight seeing , we won't be able to board until 6PM, how long do you think it will take to get our suite ready ? Will the bars be open so we can have celebratory drink before we sail off ?
  12. We're looking at booking either a Verandah Spa or Vista Suite cabin on the Veendam. The Verandah Spa cabins are $100 less pp than the cheapest Vista Suite cabins (BB and BC) and smaller (244 sf vs 283 sf). The floorplans look identical, so we can't tell exactly how the larger Vista Suite cabins are different from the Verandah Spa. Anyone know exactly how the Vista Suite cabins differ from the Verandah Spa cabins? Thanks!
  13. We are looking into getting an outside cabin on the Veendam main deck. My only concern is that the promenade is above these cabins, and I wonder if we'll hear shoes tapping overhead all day. Is that an issue? Thanks!!!
  14. For anyone who has been on the Veendam recently can you tell me what Internet plans are available? I had read somewhere that HAL was switching to the unlimited level plans vs minutes in August but I have seen nothing since then - I would like to keep up with my FB and Instagram accounts during the trip as I was able to on CCL last year.
  15. Today I got this email from hal: TINERARY CHANGE NOTIFICATION: We are excited to announce a return to the historic port of Kusadasi, Turkey in summer 2019. As a gateway to the ancient Greek city of Ephesus and host to an array of scenic beaches, Kusadasi offers an exceptional variety of sites for guests to visit. Your 2019 cruise itinerary has been revised to include a full day call at Kusadasi, Turkey. The new itinerary is: SUN 05MAY19 Sail from Venice, Italy 5:00pm MON 06MAY19 Split, Croatia 10:00am 6:00pm TUE 07MAY19 Korcula, Croatia 1,2 8:00am 6:00pm WED 08MAY19 Kerkira, Nisos Kerkira (Corfu), Gre 11:00am 8:00pm THU 09MAY19 Katakolon (Olympia), Greece 8:00am 5:00pm FRI 10MAY19 Mykonos, Greece 1,2 11:00am 10:00pm SAT 11MAY19 Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey 7:00am 6:00pm SUN 12MAY19 Sea Day MON 13MAY19 Catania, Sicily, Italy 8:00am 5:00pm TUE 14MAY19 Naples (Pompeii), Italy 8:00am 6:00pm WED 15MAY19 Debark Ship Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy 7:00am Just a bit disappointed missing Saranda, Albania as scheduled before but I like the new one as well.
  16. my husband and I just booked this last minute trip. On previous cruises we have had lots of time to plan. But this one is almost here. It may be late, but we are looking to do smaller group, semi-private tours. I know we want to see Peggy’s Cove in Halifax. And we have thought about lighthouses and wine on PEI. And still uncertain about other stops. Anyone interested in splitting a small private tour to make it more reasonable?
  17. We are looking at ocean view cabins on the Veendam that have a sofa and upper berth. It is only two of us, so we will not be using the upper. On most of the newer ships we have been on, the upper retracts into the ceiling and it is flush with the ceiling. We have seen older ships where the bunks fold against the wall and stick out up to a foot. We have also seen ships where the bunks raise up to the ceiling, but stick down several inches or more. How is the Veendam upper configured? Is the upper bunk over the bed(s) or the sofa?
  18. Hello to All; We have booked a 10 day cruise on the Veendam in early 2019. Going to Cuba, etc. I was just wondering if anyone has been on the VEENDAM within the last 6 months or so and if you were IMPRESSED with not only the SHIP but also the SERVICE of the staff. Would also like to know if you were impressed with the FOOD and amenities of the ship. We have sailed with Holland America before and had a very nice experience but it was on a different ship and it was 3 years ago. Also if anyone has sailed to HAVANA would love to hear about their experience there. THANK YOU.
  19. All: Devoted Celebrity cruiser taking the August 25th sailing Canada/New England on Veendam. First cruise on HAL. This trip I'm taking my Mom (83) and my niece (9) - I'm 45 and leaving DH at home for a girls' trip. We're in a Neptune Suite. Questions: My niece (an experience cruiser herself) has told me "no way is she going to the kid's club". That's fine as I wouldn't expect it to be very busy for this sailing. However, she would like to visit the arcade. I can't tell from the deck plans - is the arcade in the kid's club? Can I actually accompany her? I don't want to let her out of my sight if I can help it. Are formal nights still in fashion on Holland America? This is a 7 night out of Montreal and the packing will be a bit of a challenge with the variable weather. Formal attire will just make it more of a challenge. What's the best thing about the Veendam? What's the worst? How's the food in Cannaletto? I reserved this for us for one night. Thanks for answers and any other thoughts.
  20. We're heading out soon for our first HAL cruise on Veendam and wondered if those we have sailed Veendam can provide answers: (1) are toiletries (shampoo/conditioner/body wash) provided in Vista Suites? (2) what should we do or who do we see if we want the unlimited laundry package? (Still debating as apparently Veendam still has self-laundry rooms but I'm on holidays so not sure if I want to do laundry!) (3) does HAL offer lobster on one of the formal nights? (4) do they have a different show in the main theatre every evening (singers/magicians/comedians)? (5) do they have any spa specials offered? Thanks all.
  21. Sailing on the 21 day Cuba/Caribbean in January. Have only sailed once since getting my CPAP and that was on the Konningsdam and there was a plug right by the bed. Anyone know where it is located in relationship to the bed on the Veendam? Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  22. Hi, Veendam will be in Dry Dock 04/14 - 04/21. How can I found out what changes are being done? Is there a way to find out? I have booked the Veendam after the drydock and would like to know. Thanks in advance, Fellow HAL cruisers!!
  23. Hoping to see some Autumn color and enjoy some wonderful seafood! Join the roll call and perhaps we can get to do a Meet & Mingle?
  24. Just a heads up for the sail-away addicts; :cool: Ms Veendam is in Oranjestad, Aruba, Netherlands Caribbean on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. She's scheduled to arrive at the Orange City's Pier B at 0700/07:00 AM and scheduled to depart at 1700/5:00 PM local. Veendam's captain is Eric van der Wal See it here: http://live6.truelook.com/face/newfa...imagemap.y=129 http://www.sundiegolive.com/ On the same day, ms Westerdam will be at San Diego's B-Street Pier from 0700/7:00 AM PST and scheduled to depart at 1600/4:00 PM. Westerdam's captain is Vincent Smit That webcam can be viewed at http://www.portarubawebcam.com/ And we're still not done yet because co-flagship ms Rotterdam is transiting the Canal de Panamá on Tuesday on her way to the Caribbean and Atlantic. Rotterdam's captain is Hans Mateboer, the book author The Gatun Lock webcam can be seen at: http://sunnyfortuna.com/fortunacam/showcams/panama/gatun.htm http://www.pancanal.com/common/multimedia/webcams/viewer-flash/cam-gatun-hi.html
  25. The Veendam seems to be rolling out new covers for the deck chair pads.
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