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Veendam---have you been on it within the last 6 months???? Cuba cruise...............

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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.

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We were aboard in April for the CNE repositioning cruise. We were very impressed with the food, service, condition of the ship, music venues. The only thing we found disappointing was the lack of deck chairs on Promenade Deck for non-lanai passengers. Each lanai cabin has two chairs, and they are reserved for those passengers. There were very few additional deck chairs.

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We were aboard in April for the CNE repositioning cruise. We were very impressed with the food, service, condition of the ship, music venues. The only thing we found disappointing was the lack of deck chairs on Promenade Deck for non-lanai passengers. Each lanai cabin has two chairs, and they are reserved for those passengers. There were very few additional deck chairs.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your speedy reply. We booked a suite on the Verandah Deck which is deck #9. Slightly towards the front but still considered somewhat mid ship. Starboard side. We are very excited to visit HAVANA and see the sights. We signed up for their all day 8 hour tour to see the best of Havana. Also never been to Cozumel or Belize so excited to go there too. I just wish their "Beverage Card" was not so outlandishly expensive. I guess we'll do ala carte. We thought we would find another couple or two but traveling with other people is kinda interesting. Everybody had their built in "excuses"--LOL. Can't get off work, too expensive, I get sea sick, gotta watch the grand kids, etc etc etc. LOL. So its just the 2 of us!!!!!!

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Did the inaugural Veendam Cuba Cruise Dec/Jan 2018 - 7 months ago - does that count? Let me know how you define IMPRESSED since that is so subjective. and maybe I can be more specific in my answers. It was a perfectly fine cruise and Cuba, esp Havana, not to be missed. Everything was up to typical HAL standards of care that we have long come to expect.

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We have been on the Veendam several times over the years and love the size of her. Our last trip was to Bermuda in May. The only thing we noticed was one of the elevators was out of service a good bit of the time. Our room stewards were excellent, learning our preferences and the usual schedule we kept in the day. We had Main Seat dining and the wait staff was good and the food for the most part very good to excellent (this being very subjective). We didn't use the Pinnacle Grill or other dining venues in the evening. Walking around the promenade for several turns is always a pleasure on this ship but, I agree, it is very disappointing to have so few deck chairs available for reading, quite enjoyment of the sea, etc. Every evening we would begin in the Ocean Bar where a great trio played a variety of music. The leader, Harvey is a very good entertainer and the place was packed every evening (we'd get there just before 7). We love the fresh flowers everywhere and we enjoy the decor and nooks and crannies--places to read, do crossword puzzles, etc. Lido has good salads and my DH loved the Dive In Bar for a hamburg. The pizza bar was just so-so. The library was in total disarray and a real disappointment. It was one of the things we loved about HAL and now they seem to be either eliminating them or downsizing and changing the focus. Our cabin was very comfortable (ocean view this time since we were in Bermuda for 3 full days) and the bathroom was small but adequate and with really good lighting. We have had suites before on Veendam and enjoyed these as well. We found, all in all, a well kept ship with superior staffing and we look forward to our next cruise on her.

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I would like to give a "BIG THANK YOU" to Hank and Lauri. And also a "BIG THANK YOU" to OLSSALT. I want you to know that I really appreciate the feedback and it sounds like overall you had a pretty good time on the ship. Yes, I agree that the word "IMPRESSIVE" is very subjective. I think it depends upon who you are asking. I would venture a guess that you would get two different answers if you were asking Mark Zuckerberg or a bum off the street how they felt about the Veendam. LOL PS Now that my wife and I are both retired we plan on doing alot more crusing. I plan on doing most of it on Holland America. The one thing among many my friend has taught me is if you stick to one cruise line you will get all kinds of great offers in the mail that others do NOT always get. Now this is a guy who has been on well over 40 cruises.

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I would like to give a "BIG THANK YOU" to Hank and Lauri. And also a "BIG THANK YOU" to OLSSALT. I want you to know that I really appreciate the feedback and it sounds like overall you had a pretty good time on the ship. Yes, I agree that the word "IMPRESSIVE" is very subjective. I think it depends upon who you are asking. I would venture a guess that you would get two different answers if you were asking Mark Zuckerberg or a bum off the street how they felt about the Veendam. LOL PS Now that my wife and I are both retired we plan on doing alot more crusing. I plan on doing most of it on Holland America. The one thing among many my friend has taught me is if you stick to one cruise line you will get all kinds of great offers in the mail that others do NOT always get. Now this is a guy who has been on well over 40 cruises.

 

We learned 10 years ago, HAL is a great way to stretch our retirement travel dollar. That is impressive enough for us. I think you will love both Cuba and HAL, with this travel value aspect in mind. Indeed, there is something very comforting and welcoming when we return again and again to the smaller and older HAL ships. These ships are now leaving the HAL fleet as they age out of the inventory so it is a good idea to enjoy the spacial places they can take you while they can. And be forgiving for what ever quirks and glitches they may throw at you when compared to new, large and glitzy.

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We were on the Veendam 11 day Cuba cruise March 17th 2018. We had a Cat. A Verandah Suite and were very happy with it. No complaints about the ship in general. We had open seating in the MDR and kept the same table the entire cruise. Service was excellent as was the cuisine. maitre 'd at the check in podium new us by name on the second night, and continued to welcome is by name each night. Had a great dinner in the Pinnacle Grill...have had some bad experiences on other ships. Shops and shows were just "ok."

 

 

For Cuba, I would take a lot of dollar bills for tips, people seemed to accept them readily even though we were told not to do that. I took Ol Salt's suggestion and asked for small bills at the currency exchange booth and for my polite request got a wad of large bills. I took Euros to exchange and got a better rate that USD's.

 

 

We took the Best of Havana excursion, and were pleased with what we saw. In Cienfuegos we took the tour to Trinidad which as amazing. My tip: Old Havana is right outside the cruise pier and an easy walk. We walked back to the old city, cathedral, Plaza Armas lots of cafes..time to inhale the flavor of Havana. Turn right as you exit the ship. If you go straight ahead across the street form the pier there are more historical plazas. We enjoyed the city instead of going to the Tropicana Show. I wish we had more time in Havana.

 

 

Have a great cruise!

Karen

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We were on the Veendam 11 day Cuba cruise March 17th 2018. We had a Cat. A Verandah Suite and were very happy with it. No complaints about the ship in general. We had open seating in the MDR and kept the same table the entire cruise. Service was excellent as was the cuisine. maitre 'd at the check in podium new us by name on the second night, and continued to welcome is by name each night. Had a great dinner in the Pinnacle Grill...have had some bad experiences on other ships. Shops and shows were just "ok."

 

 

For Cuba, I would take a lot of dollar bills for tips, people seemed to accept them readily even though we were told not to do that. I took Ol Salt's suggestion and asked for small bills at the currency exchange booth and for my polite request got a wad of large bills. I took Euros to exchange and got a better rate that USD's.

 

 

We took the Best of Havana excursion, and were pleased with what we saw. In Cienfuegos we took the tour to Trinidad which as amazing. My tip: Old Havana is right outside the cruise pier and an easy walk. We walked back to the old city, cathedral, Plaza Armas lots of cafes..time to inhale the flavor of Havana. Turn right as you exit the ship. If you go straight ahead across the street form the pier there are more historical plazas. We enjoyed the city instead of going to the Tropicana Show. I wish we had more time in Havana.

 

 

Have a great cruise!

Karen

 

Strongly agree with this suggestion - arrange something on your own in the evening. I went to the other shore excursion "show" tour (Cafe de Paris) at the historic hotel where Frank Sinatra and Ricky Ricardo both performed during the Havana heydays. We did not get to see the inside of the hotel on that tour which was disappointing, but it was the first HAL ship to Havana, in so everything was trial and error for us.

 

We had done our 8 hour people to people tour during the day, so we were free to go out on our own - we just had no clue what to expect on that maiden voyage. I would far rather have spent my time touring in an old car to more local highlights or just walking around as just suggested. Wear good flat soled footwear and take a small flashlight - paving is in very poor condition if you want to wander on your own. The areas that have been cleaned up and cater more to tourism are lighted and stunningly gorgeous.

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Are there late-night dining options on the Veendam, other than room service?

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There is late evening service in the Lido - 11pm or so? Usually a lot of fun-sounding international items. Never up late enough or hungry enough to have tried it after many years on HAL ships - but the theme of them always sounds intriguing. I believe they make these items available because they have to feed the late shift crews on board too.

 

Hope you get a better answer than that. But there is no formal dining venue - sit down and order - open late at night (after late 8pm fixed seating or Specialty probably up to 9pm reservations), other than room service. Which is very good - lots of favorites still remain on that menu.

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We sailed to Bermuda in June on the Veendam. We had a lovely cruise and thought the ship was in great condition, but will agree with the poster above that mentioned the lack of deck chairs on the lower promenade deck. My one issue was that we were not able to keep our stateroom (EE418) cool enough to be comfortable, which made for restless nights. It was enough of an issue to have us choose a different ship for our next cruise, although we were very tempted by the Cuba itinerary. I hope you have a fabulous time!

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We were on the Veendam to Cuba in April. We were thoroughly satisfied with the ship and happy with the service.

 

Loved our eight hour tour, loved learning how to enjoy a Cuban cigar!

 

Went out to dinner on our own, tour guide made reservations for us.

 

Would go again in a heartbeat.

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WOW, let me please say a "BIG THANK YOU" once again to ithaca gal, dznymom, olsSalt, aaaaa, and Loreto. I really appreciate any and all input that everyone gives me. I wish you all were going along as we could have a ton of fun. Thru out the decades my wife and myself have found that it is actually more fun if you can get several couples togethor to go on a cruise but I called a bunch of people we know and they all were busy or not interested. Thank You again.

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I was on the Veendam to Bermuda in 2017, and three weeks ago Montreal to Boston. I found the food, service to be just as excellent as it was last year. The ship may be older but it was spotless. I find the Veendam to be a great small ship - everything is conveniently located. If you are looking for exciting nightlife this may not be the ship for you - however - I think it may be a reflection of the passenger / itinerary demographics, Bermuda was much more livelier than Canada / New England.

 

I especially enjoy the salad bar in the Lido buffet. Contrary to one poster I enjoy the pizza - had it for lunch or a snack every day. The crust is closer to European crust and may not be to everyone’s liking. The burgers from the Dive-In - I miss them daily.

 

One outstanding incident from my cruise: I was in cabin 345 (yes easy to remember). My first time in an inside - so not my favourite . But it was conveniently located on Deck 6 - the walk around promenade. There were always empty chairs available. My cabin - although I disliked that it was interior was spotlessly clean. One morning I came down to grab a sweater because it was a little cool and I found the stewards vacuuming the ceiling, the corners, the vents - I was shocked - I rarely do that at home.

 

I do believe that the happy crew is a reflection of the Captain (same Captain as last year). The Veendam is a well run ship. I wish that I had stayed on for the return trip to Montreal. I enjoyed the Veendam so much that I am looking at the 12 day transatlantic from Lisbon to Boston next summer.

 

My only criticism is the Retreat Area - I think that HAL made a mistake by eliminating the second, aft pool. Did it take away from my enjoyment - not at all. They had a few oversized, oval loungers which were very nice to pass an afternoon in. However, the tile work, and wood work in this area needs some sprucing up. As well, there are some missing panels in the former loft area - they were missing last year as well. If HAL were willing to spend a few $$$$ to spruce up the Retreat, the Veendam would be a true jewel.

 

Apologies for the length of my post - but if you have anything specific I can help you with please ask. Cheers.

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To RD64; THANK YOU very much for your very valuable input and info. I do appreciate it. I think we will have alot of fun. It is interesting to me that "several" posters have mentioned the "Lack of Deck Chairs" available. I guess maybe my wife and myself will do our reading on our Balcony Chairs in our Suite on the Verandah Deck #9. On most cruises I have found that with a little effort and searching around usually there is a corner somewhere that a person can find and it is there where we will do our daily reading.

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My husband and I were on the Veendam in April, 2018 with one day/late evening in Havana. This was our first time on a smaller HAL ship. Havana is a wonderful port. I arranged a private tour with Blexie (you can find his contact information in the Cuba Ports of Call tab) and our guide was Lauren. We toured with Lauren all day (and for the second half we picked up a taxi and driver). The price was reasonable and it was just the two of us. Just an fyi, while touring old Havana we ran into the HAL ship tour/s. Very crowded compared to our 2 person tour. You may want to take that into consideration. For the evening, I arranged a private tour with Strawberry Tours (Nelson was our guide) to visit local bars in Havana. We had a great time on this tour as well. We brought euros with us and exchanged what we needed into CUCs at the Port. If you decide to do the private tour route in Havana, on your visa application check the box Support for the Cuban People (and not the People to People box).

 

We both enjoyed the ship. It was clean, the service was outstanding, and the food in the MDR was very good. We also ate at the Pinnacle (good), Rudi's Sel de Mer (disappointed), and Canaletto (good). We mainly had cocktails at the Ocean Bar and Crow's Nest bar. The bartenders in both venues were great. Breakfast was usually in the Lido (we are early risers) with a couple in the main dining room. I thought the quality of the food at breakfast was better in the Lido. There were no crowds because of the early hour. Lunch was usually in the Lido.

 

We had an ocean view cabin on the A Deck (723). Our first time without a balcony. On our Koningsdam trip last year we didn't use the balcony so we thought we would try an OV this trip. I enjoyed the large window at pretty much sea level. The cabin was spacious and well maintained. I travel with a fan and at the end of our cruise it stopped working. I called the Front Desk and a fan was provided promptly. I was not prepared for having only 1 electrical outlet in the cabin located at the desk area. If we cruise the Veendam again I will be sure to request a power strip from the Front Desk as soon as I board.

 

I hope you find this information helpful

 

BaltimoreCruise

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Hi BaltimoreCruise; THANK YOU for the very valuable info. Especially about the "Power Strip". That would have never occured to me at all. Sounds like you had a very good time overall.

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We were in a lanai room and, as people have mentioned, almost all of the deck chairs are dedicated to those people with lanai rooms.

 

Most days, we would exit our room to find someone sitting in our chairs. We would politely tell them that the chairs were for our room and they would move to someone else’s chairs.

 

One day, a woman and her father were in our chairs. He was in a wheelchair. My friend told them it was fine to use our chairs if we were not there. Unfortunately, the next day, one of their friends showed up and not only sat in one of our chairs, but perched there all day long. I am assuming she went to lunch at some point but it was awkward to go out and ask her to allow us to use our chairs!

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We were in a lanai room and, as people have mentioned, almost all of the deck chairs are dedicated to those people with lanai rooms.

 

Most days, we would exit our room to find someone sitting in our chairs. We would politely tell them that the chairs were for our room and they would move to someone else’s chairs.

 

One day, a woman and her father were in our chairs. He was in a wheelchair. My friend told them it was fine to use our chairs if we were not there. Unfortunately, the next day, one of their friends showed up and not only sat in one of our chairs, but perched there all day long. I am assuming she went to lunch at some point but it was awkward to go out and ask her to allow us to use our chairs!

Now you really do have me "Scratching My Head". Maybe OlsSalt can chime in here. Let me say we are on the Veranadah Deck #9 and have a Vista Suite. I sure as heck nobody will be in our chairs because they would have to come thru our room to get to them!!!!!!! LOL But in all seriousness Iam a little Befuddled. If those chairs are "designated" for you then WHY is somebody else using them????? It sounds like this ship is a little screwed up to be honest with you all. I spent quite a bit of money to get a Vista Suite so hopefully it will all work out fine. Like I said Iam a little bit befuddled on the chair issue.

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Good timing for this post, we were thinking of a winter cruise and just yesterday I was checking out the cruise to Cuba. Have never been and so far it sounds interesting. Glad to see all the tips

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Now you really do have me "Scratching My Head". Maybe OlsSalt can chime in here. Let me say we are on the Veranadah Deck #9 and have a Vista Suite. I sure as heck nobody will be in our chairs because they would have to come thru our room to get to them!!!!!!! LOL But in all seriousness Iam a little Befuddled. If those chairs are "designated" for you then WHY is somebody else using them????? It sounds like this ship is a little screwed up to be honest with you all. I spent quite a bit of money to get a Vista Suite so hopefully it will all work out fine. Like I said Iam a little bit befuddled on the chair issue.

 

Oh dear, what an awful misperception. Keep in mind this is for this deck only - all the other verandah cabins are for the sole and exclusive use of the cabins only.

 

A few years ago the Veendam converted some regular ocean view rooms to lanai cabins on the full promenade deck - and only this one deck. Those formerly one door cabins opening only to the inner passageway now became two door cabins, with the new door opening directly to the outside public wrap around walking deck. (a full length sliding glass door that is, became this new lanai cabin second door.)

 

As an additional perk for these now higher priced cabins they dedicated two teak loungers to each lanai cabin, that used to be used by anyone on the open public use promenade deck. Before anyone could sit in those teak deck loungers and they were very popular. They could do this because the ocean view cabins had no access to them. Now as two door lanai cabins, these former public loungers were no longer open seating.

 

HAL admittedly has not done a good enough job with either signage or decorative distinction to let everyone know many of these former public loungers are now the property of the new lanai cabin occupants. However, among these loungers are still loungers that are not dedicated to any lanai cabin, adding to the confusion. Those anyone can use.

 

But you have to know which ones - best way is to look for loungers that are not next to the lanai cabin doors - count the two that each lanai cabin gets and take any other ones. Look also for the original ocean view cabin windows, that were not converted to full door lanai cabins and the loungers under those ocean view cabin windows are public loungers too.

 

HAL really does need to make better signage and since this remains an ongoing problem, I don't understand why they have not. There was a weak attempt in the beginning but it is all confused now. Hope that helps. Anyone with a verandah cabin has no worries at all. But the lanai cabins on this one deck remain a work in progress. BTW my sister had one of these cabins on the Cuba trip and loved it. Hassles with the deck chairs and all. She loved sitting out there, getting to know the people in the other close by lanai cabins and just watching the world and people go by right out side her front (back) door.

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Thank You to "OlsSalt" for clarifying the whole situation. I now truly understand and you have put my mind at ease. I can tell that you are truly a "VETERAN CRUISER". Your expertise and wisdom are truly appreciated. Thank You again. Maybe we'll see on the ship!!!!

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We had the lanai cabin on a recent trip to Cuba. They were wonderful as were our neighbors. The chairs are clearly marked “reserved” and with rare exception passengers respected that. Once in a while folks would ask if they could use them. We were glad to share. Only once or twice in 15 days did we have people argue about lack of other chairs . We politely explained that they were reserved as they were included as part of our fare. HAL did put out additional deck chairs as the cruise progressed. When they did, the lanai cabin occupants were given newer chairs. However, there did not appear to be enough padded seats for all. I eagerly await another cruise with the opportunity to sail in these cabins.

 

 

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There used to be two pools but now there is one?

 

They added a bank of aft cabins a few years ago which meant there could no longer be an aft pool. They replaced it with four very large hot tubs, almost paddle pools, and a raised sun lounger area.

 

Better than when they added a bank of aft deck cabins to the Rotterdam an replaced it with a silly splash pond. But it now is what it is and glad they did not do this to all their aft-pool ships. So no two full pools - just the main one under the Lido glass cover, and these four hot tubs with amazing views out the back.

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They added a bank of aft cabins a few years ago which meant there could no longer be an aft pool. They replaced it with four very large hot tubs, almost paddle pools, and a raised sun lounger area.

 

Better than when they added a bank of aft deck cabins to the Rotterdam an replaced it with a silly splash pond. But it now is what it is and glad they did not do this to all their aft-pool ships. So no two full pools - just the main one under the Lido glass cover, and these four hot tubs with amazing views out the back.

Hello OlsSalt; I have been meaning to ask you this. Have you ever done a cruise to Greenland and Iceland??? Holland America has a 17 day cruise that does that. It leaves out of Rotterdam but the last stop is Boston which would be very convenient as opposed to having to fly back home from Europe. Can I ask how many cruises have you done??? I can tell that you are an expert on cruising just by your vast knowledge of the Veendam. I love it when you post as I always learn something new.

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:cool:Hoping someone can help - we are on the 8/18 Veendam cruise doing a BTB and have not seen much info on the Veendam - this thread is the best recent info:

 

Pool - salt water or fresh?

Internet - buy the minutes still?

Deck Chairs - are there still deck chairs at the back of the Lower Promenade? saw that in videos but they could be old images?

 

Thanks in advance and thanks for all the previous info

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Hello OlsSalt; I have been meaning to ask you this. Have you ever done a cruise to Greenland and Iceland??? Holland America has a 17 day cruise that does that. It leaves out of Rotterdam but the last stop is Boston which would be very convenient as opposed to having to fly back home from Europe. Can I ask how many cruises have you done??? I can tell that you are an expert on cruising just by your vast knowledge of the Veendam. I love it when you post as I always learn something new.

 

Thanks for you note. I am a relative newbie compared to others on this board. You will get very good information from lots of them. As I have in the past myself. It has been a rollicking journey here sorting out the good, bad and indifferent advice that may or may not translate in one's actual experience on board. Best to weigh and balance opinions from everyone to get a more complete picture. I tend to tolerate what others declare to be deal-killers. I know the smaller ships now, but not the larger ones. Only dipping my toes into the Eurodam-Neiuw Amsterdam level ships - not bad but just not like the smaller older ones who get the really good itineraries stlll.

 

Similar to what you are looking at right now in part, was RT from Boston called the Voyage of the Vikings on the Rotterdam which we did last year and loved every minute of if (except missing Halifax due to high winds). Then at the end of the VOV we jumped on the Maasdam which was docked right behind us in Boston the same day we arrived at the end of the VOV, and went back home to California via the Panama Canal instead of flying home from Boston.

 

That is how you rack up days onboard HAL ships - it all happened so easily as we now approach our own 500 cruise day mark. Others here are well over 1000 days onboard. We think HAL offers very good travel value that has allowed us far more travel days using HAL ships than any other way to get to the amazing number of destinations it offers.

 

So yes, anything that goes to Greenland and the Prince Christian Sound is well, well worth it, but it you can save the time and budget to do the entire round trip on the Voyage of the Vikings (VOV) is even better. i would be very hard pressed to pick one route over the other - from Boston or to Boston.

 

Either way has plenty to offer so it really depends on which way you want to fly to and from the departure and disembarkation ports. My guess is which ever one you choose, you will want to go back later and do the other one. This is a gorgeous and fascinating piece of global real estate to explore. We keep heading back to Scandinavia and North Atlantic as often as possible.

 

Any cruise that cuts out a long international flight is a cruise I want to be on. A domestic RT cruise that cuts out any long flight is ever better. The repositioning Trans-Atlantic cruises can be particularly intriguing -they do have a long 7 day stretch of at-sea days - which we love, but others hate - but they are a whole different dimension in cruise travel, and will often include seldom visited ports along the way. You might want to take a look at those too.

 

Or like we learned about on the Cruise Critic Roll call, some of these well-timed cruises that let you jump from ship to ship to get back to the US. We are lucky because we at least live on the coast - a little harder to get to your MidWest - you are stuck with a long flight to get any thing started. Though the cruises starting in Montreal can be stretched out sometimes with lucky timing - we did Montreal to San Diego combining that New England and Panama cruise.

 

You are definitely not alone trying to avoid long distance air travel. Travel to the ship days we think are the worst part of a cruise vacation - again when the budget can allow it, it does pay to travel a few days ahead of time to the departure port city and undo the ravages of the flying sardine can. Which to us if preferable to paying the huge prices to upgrade the air ticket to first or business class. Budget does not let us do both, which would be the best of all worlds.

 

Happy travels. It is fun planning where Holland America can take you around the entire planet earth. Wow.

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Thank You to OlsSalt. I couldn't help but notice that you are from my favorite state California. My wife and I go out there every year usually in Feb. for 2 weeks. We stay in a OceanFront Condo in either Oceanside or Carlsbad. Absolutely LOVE IT out there.. Like my wife always says "when we hit the Powerball we are going to buy something out there right on the Ocean". LOL

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An update about the Veendam and deck chairs. There is now a full complement of chairs. The lanai chairs are clearly marked reserved. But, more 03b0bb6ff5e8d4128345fa262a4716f2.jpgthan 50 of the deck chairs do not have pads. This cruise, to Cuba, has seven sea days. Needless to say there are a great many unhappy passengers. The front desk is totally dismissive. It’s been a real disappointment. Sitting on the promenade deck is a real HAL experience.

 

 

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To Adoptionmsw; Well as we say here in Omaha "Looks Like Trouble in River City". LOL Never seen a post before where so many people are very unhappy campers about the deck chairs or lack thereof.

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What's the benefit of sitting on that deck? Based on the photo, the view would seem to be fully blocked (and the chairs packed tightly). Are there no better places to sit on that ship (e.g., on an open deck)?

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What's the benefit of sitting on that deck? Based on the photo, the view would seem to be fully blocked (and the chairs packed tightly). Are there no better places to sit on that ship (e.g., on an open deck)?

The area shown has a solid bulkhead, but there are other parts of Lower Promenade Deck with an open railing, and a great view. All the Lanai cabins, and a few outsides, are in front of the open areas.

 

That's one of the biggest problems with the Lanais on this ship---very little in the way of open seating with a good view on LP. Other ships have fewer Lanai cabins, and hence more available seating for everyone.

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I spent 4 weeks on the Veendam in May and June. First leg was 14 days Boston to Bermuda to Boston to Montreal. Had an OV cabin 567 on MAin Deck. It was fine. Second leg two weeks later was 14 day Round trip Boston that visited Key West, Cuba, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. That cruise I had a lanai cabin. First time. Loved it!!

 

Cuba was amazing. I did a private tour with another couple in Havana and it was all day. It included a two hour ride in an old classic car and then a walking tour of old Havana. Everything was terrific. Cost for 6 hour tour was $40.

 

In the evening I took the HAL tour to the Tropicana. Loved it too!! So fun.

 

We missed the port of Cienfuegos due to an oil spill. I was very disappointed as I had booked a tour to Trinidad. I guess I’ll just have to go again.

 

The ship was fine. Dining room service times were a bit inconsistent but food was excellent. Servers great. Room stewards excellent.

 

Peeves - the atrium staircase closed the whole cruise except when in port. WHYYY??????? Someone probably fell and sued. I just spent two weeks on Zaandam and their staircase was open the entire cruise. Other pet peeve - other passengers thought it was perfectly fine to just come and sit on your deck chairs clearly marked Reserved. And then chastise YOU when you told them hey these are reserved please move.

 

I don’t think you’ll find anything wrong on the Veendam. Crew is wonderful.

 

 

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We were on the Veendam in May- the Bermuda run - and most things were in fine shape. Only issues of any significance were multiple elevators out of order all week. And poor condition of the abortion known as the Retreat. One of the more idiotic ideas HAL has implemented.

 

Even so, We’re booked again on her nex August, Rome to Boston. Itinerary is the most important consideration to me.

 

 

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Very interesting comments. Iam beginning to think that this particular ship me leave a little to be desired. I tried to be politically correct with that comment. The comment of " chastise YOU when you told them hey these are reserved please move". That seems to be a bigger and bigger problem anymore in this country regarding all kinds of topics. Its really a shame that "Manners" are not taught at home or at school.

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They added a bank of aft cabins a few years ago which meant there could no longer be an aft pool. They replaced it with four very large hot tubs, almost paddle pools, and a raised sun lounger area.

 

Better than when they added a bank of aft deck cabins to the Rotterdam an replaced it with a silly splash pond. But it now is what it is and glad they did not do this to all their aft-pool ships. So no two full pools - just the main one under the Lido glass cover, and these four hot tubs with amazing views out the back.

 

 

Maybe it's not for everyone, but I love that "silly splash pond" on the Rotterdam!:):)clear.png?emoji-smile-1742

And looking forward to boarding the Veendam in October bound for Cuba and beyond.

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Oops, next door neighbors. Hope our paths cross again ! Stu and Esta

 

 

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