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  1. It is bound to be a much calmer day in Port Everglades today compared to Sunday, but there is a blue hulled beauty setting to sail with lots of happy passengers on board on two different itineraries. (And, I bet they are all glad they are boarding Monday and not Sunday 😉 ) Veendam is scheduled to sail at 5:00 pm from pier 21. She has two different itineraries today. The first is the 11 night Southern Caribbean Wayfarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (14 Jan d1700); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (17 Jan 0800-1600); Castries, St Lucia (18 Jan 0800-1600); Bridgetown, Barbados (19 Jan 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (20 Jan 0800-1700); St Johns, Antigua (21 Jan 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (22 Jan 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (24 Jan 0800-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (25 Jan a0700) The second is the 21 night Southern Caribbean & Authentic Cuba Fort Lauderdale, Florida (14 Jan d1700); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (17 Jan 0800-1600); Castries, St Lucia (18 Jan 0800-1600); Bridgetown, Barbados (19 Jan 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (20 Jan 0800-1700); St Johns, Antigua (21 Jan 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (22 Jan 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (24 Jan 0800-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (25 Jan 0700-1700); Cozumel, Mexico (27 Jan 0800-1700); Belize City, Belize (28 Jan 0800-1700); Roatan, Honduras (29 Jan 0800-1700); Cienfuegos, Cuba (31 Jan 0800-1700); Falmouth, Jamaica (01 Feb 1000-1800); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (03 Feb 0800-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (04 Feb a0700) Also in port is the Majesty of the Seas - set to sail at 4 pm from pier 18 & Celebrity Infinity also set to sail at 4 pm from pier 19 For the Sail a Way addicts - the Niew Statendam will be in Nassau & the Rotterdam in Key West. Enjoy 😄 Next up is the Zuiderdam on January 16th.
  2. For our first sail-away of 2019 we have three HAL ships to watch. Let’s hope CC doesn’t have problems like our last 2018 sail-away! Prinsendam will be at Pier 26 (port to) from 0500 to 1600. She is headed out on her last Grand South America and Antarctica Grand Voyage as a HAL ship. We were told that sail-away would be at 1800 but she is still on the schedule for 1600. HAL ships with long itineraries traditionally sail later but we will see. I will let you know where we will be standing for sail-away after dinner tonight (17 of us from the roll call are going to dinner at The Boatyard). Fort Lauderdale, Florida (04 Jan d1800); Santa Marta, Colombia (07 Jan 0800-1700); San Blas Islands, Panama (08 Jan 1200-1800); Panama Canal (Cruising Canal) (09 Jan 0500-0500); Panama City, Panama (09 Jan a2000); Manta, Ecuador (12 Jan 0500-2000); Salaverry (Trujillo), Peru (14 Jan 0600-1800); Callao (Lima), Peru (15 Jan a1100); Matarani, Peru (18 Jan 0800-1700); Iquique, Chile (19 Jan 0800-1700); Antofagasta, Chile (20 Jan 0800-1700); San Antonio, Chile (22 Jan 0800-1700); Isla Robinson Crusoe, Chile (24 Jan 0800-1700); Castro, Chiloe Island (26 Jan 0800-1700); Puerto Chacabuco, Chile (27 Jan 0800-1700); Punta Arenas, Chile (30 Jan 0700-2000); Cape Horn, Chile (31 Jan); Ushuaia, Argentina (01 Feb 0600-2000); Grytviken, South Georgia (09 Feb 0800-1800); Port Stanley, Falkland Islands (12 Feb 0700-1700); Puerto Madryn, Argentina (14 Feb 0800-1700); Punta Del Este, Uruguay (16 Feb 0800-1500); Montevideo, Uruguay (17 Feb 0800-1800); Buenos Aires, Argentina (18 Feb a0800); Santos (Sao Paulo), Brazil (22 Feb 0800-2300); Ilhabela, Brazil (23 Feb 0800-1700); Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (24 Feb a0800); Ilheus, Brazil (27 Feb 0800-1700); Recife, Brazil (01 Mar 0800-1700); Fortaleza, Brazil (03 Mar 0800-1400); Belem, Brazil (05 Mar 0800-1800); Santarem, Brazil (08 Mar 0800-1800); Boca da Valeria, Brazil (09 Mar 0800-1400); Manaus, Brazil (10 Mar a1100); Parintins, Brazil (12 Mar 0800-1400); Santarem, Brazil (13 Mar 0800-1400); Iles Du Salut, French Guiana (16 Mar 0800-1700); Bridgetown, Barbados (18 Mar 0800-1800); Bequia, Grenadines (19 Mar 0800-1700); Willemstad, Curacao (21 Mar 0800-2359); Oranjestad, Aruba (22 Mar 0800-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (25 Mar a0700) Veendam will be at Pier 19 (starboard to) from 0615 to 1700 . She will be doing a 10-day “Authentic Cuba” cruise. Fort Lauderdale, Florida (04 Jan d1700); Cozumel, Mexico (06 Jan 0800-1700); Belize City, Belize (07 Jan 0800-1700); Cienfuegos, Cuba (09 Jan 0900-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (10 Jan 0800-1700); Havana, Cuba (12 Jan a0700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (14 Jan a0700) Koningsdam will be at Pier 21 (starboard to) from 0545 to 1700. She is embarking on a 9-day Southern Caribbean Seafarer cruise. Fort Lauderdale, Florida (04 Jan d1700); Tortola, British Virgin Islands (07 Jan 0800-1800); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (08 Jan 0800-2300); St Johns, Antigua (09 Jan 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (10 Jan 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (12 Jan 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (13 Jan a0700) Other ships in port are Celebrity Reflection at pier 25 from 0530 to 1600, and Silver Spirit at pier 4 from 0630 to 1900. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ . Next up: Oosterdam on Saturday, 5 January. Thanks again to Jacqui for starting the sail-away threads while I am cruising.
  3. Hi, My wife and myself are cruising to the Eastern Caribbean & Cuba for 14 days in December,2019. I have checked out some HAL tours to Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, San Juan and St Thomas and would like to compare those tours with any private tours people have taken to those places. Any feedback would really be appreciated. Thanks. Rick
  4. Just wondering whether anybody has cruised on the Veendam lately and if so, what was the overall experience like? Cheers Rick
  5. I visited Cienfuegos on the Veendam on 12/15/18 and wanted to let people know what happens when you have a private tour arranged for this port. We were scheduled to be in Cienfuegoes from 8am - 5pm. It was announced the day before our arrival that people booked on HAL shore excursions would be allowed on the tenders first, starting at 8am. Passengers booked on a private tour (or visiting Cienfuegos on their own) would receive tender ticket staring at 9am. This was exactly what happened. I was able to get group 1 tender tickets at 9am but they did not call group 1 until 9:20am. We arrived at the dock right before 10am. If you book a private guide then you will need to leave the gated area and walk down the road a bit to a small park. This is where you will find the private guides. We were also told that the last tender for independent travelers was at 3:30pm back to the ship. Space might not be available on later tenders for independent passengers. The captain announced twice that he would only wait for people booked on a HAL shore excursion. Our private tour was great but lunch did not work out. We were supposed to have lunch as part of the tour. We did not arrive at the restaurant until 2:00pm where we proceeded to wait for a table. I asked the guide when that might happen. He said an hour or so since they only had one cook! Since we had to make the 3:30 tender back to the ship, we told him to skip lunch. Conclusion: I think for Cienfuegos I would book a HAL tour for a future trip. Cuba was fascinating and I cannot wait to go back.
  6. We just got on the Veendam this afternoon. We had booked a guarantee lanai and were assigned to CA 331 10 days prior to sailing. The problem is the door to the deck is broken - and judging by the condition of the wooden block screwed to the sliding door channel to keep the door closed, the door has been broken for a considerable while - far longer than 10 days ago. So HAL knew about the condition of this cabin when they assigned it to us. The guarantee terms state we'll receive "an equal or better" cabin if we booked a guarantee, but what we have is basically an ocean view with a larger window, so in essence a step down. We were told we can't be moved to another cabin because the ship is fully booked. HAL has offered the difference in price between a lanai and an ocean view as a future cruise credit - but our planned vacations for the next couple of years don't include any cruises (on any lines not just HAL). I asked if this amount could be converted to OBC on this cruise, and this request is under consideration, but we may not get an answer on that from corporate until after Xmas. I am asking those wiser than me in the ways of HAL and cruising for their advice... Is there anything else I should be asking for? (Is OBC ever refundable?) We are both sorely disappointed in the room situation and I'd deeply appreciate your advice on what to do. Many thanks!
  7. Koningsdam will be at Pier 26 (port to) from 0500-1600. She is going on a 7-day Tropical Caribbean Holiday cruise. Friday, December 28 Fort Lauderdale, FL Saturday, December 29 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Sunday, December 30 At Sea Monday, December 31 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands Tuesday, January 1 Amber Cove, Dominican Republic Wednesday, January 2 At Sea Thursday, January 3 Nassau, Bahamas Friday, January 4 Fort Lauderdale, FL Veendam is doing a 7-day Eastern Caribbean Holiday cruise. She will be at Pier 21 (starboard to). Friday, December 28 Fort Lauderdale, FL Saturday, December 29 At Sea Sunday, December 30 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands Monday, December 31 San Juan, Puerto Rico Tuesday, January 1 St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Wednesday, January 2 At Sea Thursday, January 3 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Friday, January 4 Fort Lauderdale, FL Also in port is Celebrity Reflection at pier 25 from 0530-1600. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Saturday 29 December.
  8. Fresh back from drydock, Koningsdam will be at Pier 26 (port to) from 0500-1600. She is headed out on an 11-day Southern Caribbean Seafarer cruise. December 10 Fort Lauderdale, FL December 11 At Sea December 12 At Sea December 13 St. Maarten December 14 Fort-de-France, Martinique December 15 St. Lucia December 16 Barbados December 17 Roseau, Dominica December 18 St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands December 19 At Sea December 20 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas December 21 Fort Lauderdale, FL Veendam will be at Pier 21 (starboard to) from 0600-1600. She is doing an 11-day Cuban Explorer cruise. Monday, December 10 Fort Lauderdale, FL Tuesday, December 11 Nassau, Bahamas Wednesday, December 12 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Thursday, December 13 At Sea Friday, December 14 Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Saturday, December 15 Cienfuegos, Cuba Sunday, December 16 At Sea Monday, December 17 Roatan, Honduras Tuesday, December 18 Belize City, Belize Wednesday, December 19 Cozumel, Mexico Thursday, December 20 At Sea Friday, December 21 Fort Lauderdale, FL Other ships in port are Serenade OTS at pier 29 (0430-1600) and Independence OTS at pier 18 (0530-1630). The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ and https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ . For the addicts: Veendam will be in Nassau from 0800-1800 on 11 December (https://www.portnassauwebcam.com/) Rotterdam will be in Aruba from 0700-1600 on 12 December (https://www.portarubawebcam.com/) Koningsdam will be in St. Maarten from 0800-1600 on 13 December (https://www.portstmaartenwebcam.com/). Next up: Oosterdam and Prinsendam on Saturday, 15 December.
  9. For the first time this season we have three HAL ships in port. Koningsdam will be at Pier 26 (port to) from 0515-1700. She will be heading out on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean Holiday cruise. Friday, December 21 Fort Lauderdale, FL Saturday, December 22 At Sea Sunday, December 23 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands Monday, December 24 San Juan, Puerto Rico Tuesday, December 25 St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Wednesday, December 26 At Sea Thursday, December 27 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Friday, December 28 Fort Lauderdale, FL Veendam will be at Pier 21 (starboard to) from 0100-1700. She is taking a 7-day Authentic Cuba Holiday cruise. Friday, December 21 Fort Lauderdale, FL Saturday, December 22 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Sunday, December 23 At Sea Monday, December 24 Ocho Rios, Jamaica Tuesday, December 25 Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Wednesday, December 26 Cienfuegos, Cuba Thursday, December 27 At Sea Friday, December 28 Fort Lauderdale, FL And finally, Prinsendam will be at Pier 19 (starboard to) from 0500-1600. She will be leaving (taking Carole with her) on a 14 -day Caribbean Holiday cruise. Friday, December 21 Fort Lauderdale, FL Saturday, December 22 At Sea Sunday, December 23 Amber Cove, Dominican Republic Monday, December 24 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Tuesday, December 25 At Sea Wednesday, December 26 Barbados Thursday, December 27 Tobago Friday, December 28 St. Vincent Saturday, December 29 Fort-de-France, Martinique Sunday, December 30 Guadeloupe Monday, December 31 Tortola, British Virgin Islands Tuesday, January 1 At Sea Wednesday, January 2 At Sea Thursday, January 3 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Friday, January 4 Fort Lauderdale, FL Also in port are Celebrity Reflection at pier 25 from 0545-1600, Celebrity Silhouette at pier 29 from 0330-1600, Serenade OTS at pier 18 from 0600-1600, and Silver Spirit at pier 4 from 0415-1800. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ . Next up: Oosterdam on Saturday, 22 December.
  10. 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.
  11. Veendam will be at Pier 21 (Starboard to) from 0500-1700. She will be leaving on a 10-day Cuban cruise. Friday, November 30 Fort Lauderdale, FL Saturday, December 1 Key West, FL Sunday, December 2 At Sea Monday, December 3 Havana, Cuba Tuesday, December 4 Havana, Cuba Tuesday, December 4 At Sea Wednesday, December 5 Cienfuegos, Cuba Thursday, December 6 Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Friday, December 7 Ocho Rios, Jamaica Saturday, December 8 At Sea Sunday, December 9 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Monday, December 10 Fort Lauderdale, FL Also in port are Celebrity Silhouette (pier 25) from 0530-1600 and Serenade of the Seas (Pier 18) from 0600-1600. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ . Next up: Oosterdam on Saturday, December 1.
  12. We will be on the Veendam in December/January and wonder if there is still Adagio or if they have converted to Lincoln Center style?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. I understand wifi pricing is not available until you board the ship. Can anyone advise of wifi pricing on the Veendam lately? Thanks, Ridgerunner51
  18. Other than size and capacity, what are the main differences between Oosterdam and Veendam? Food venues, pool, entertainment venues, casino.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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!
  22. 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.
  23. 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?
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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