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Chuck

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

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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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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 benefit of sitting outside even with a blocked view is that you get sea air and an escape from the ubiquitous piped in music in all the other public venues. For those of us in inside cabins it’s pleasant enough.

 

 

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

 

 

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You guys were part of what made my cruise and enjoyment of my lanai cabin so much fun. Never annoying.

 

 

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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 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.

 

Question about the library. Recently read in an official HAL publication that as part of the new EXC tours and enrichment, a librarian is available and leads a "book club" featuring books about the history and culture of the ports of call. It mentioned that the library is stocked with these types of books.

 

Was this happening on your cruise ? There was nothing like this on a recent Alaska cruise, so just curious.

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We had no librarian that I was aware of. Maybe on the longer voyages. We’ve had them, along with a book club, led by the librarian on our world cruises.

 

 

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Question about the library. Recently read in an official HAL publication that as part of the new EXC tours and enrichment, a librarian is available and leads a "book club" featuring books about the history and culture of the ports of call. It mentioned that the library is stocked with these types of books.

 

Was this happening on your cruise ? There was nothing like this on a recent Alaska cruise, so just curious.

 

This might be part of the new EXC "In Depth" cruises offered on the Maasdam only at this time - far more onboard and locally centered enrichment activities. A few more weeks and I will learn first hand what these new "InDepth" cruises will be like - first one due to leave Fort Lauderdale to Papeete - Kontiki Adventure.

 

Otherwise, HAL only offers the Oprah franchise "book club" apparently led by the cruise director, using an Oprah curated fiction choice, that has no relation to the current cruise travel or destination.

 

As a side note, I attended the Oprah franchise "Eat Smart" session on the Zaandam and it was simply a scripted presentation read by the cruise director, showcasing New Age but unscientific. food fads. It was embarrassing. Did not see the "Oprah book club" on the later daily schedule even though it was promised in the initial schedule of events.

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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.

 

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May I ask how you completed the Affidavit? I am going on the Veendam for Christmas and would like to book a private tour.

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May I ask how you completed the Affidavit? I am going on the Veendam for Christmas and would like to book a private tour.

 

HAL recommend you sign it for the middle option, "ship excursions and private touring" for most flexibility of ultimate choice.

 

One more mysterious piece of "official" paper that makes one wonder where it finally ends up. Is there a vast warehouse somewhere paid by taxpayer expense that has all these forms filed alphabetically for ready retrieval or is someone somewhere also at tax payer expense feeding them into a scanner for later electronic retreieval.

 

Does HAL turn them into the Dept of Treasury at Cuba cruise embarkation ports? Maybe someday with a FOIA request we can learn what is in our own personal federal files. Where were you on the morning of XX/XX/XXXX when you said you were in Havana, Cuba? Martha Stewart certainly taught us not to lie when under oath.

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No one even checked which boxes I marked on the form, only that I filled out the form and check at least one box in each section.

 

I put people to people interaction, or whichever that one was.

 

I don’t think HAL gives them to Cuba officials. I think they get sent to D.C. for filing. Probably in some big round storage facility!

 

 

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No one even checked which boxes I marked on the form, only that I filled out the form and check at least one box in each section.

 

I put people to people interaction, or whichever that one was.

 

I don’t think HAL gives them to Cuba officials. I think they get sent to D.C. for filing. Probably in some big round storage facility!

 

 

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Thank you. I am heading to Cienfuegos on the Veendam in December and we plan to book a private tour.

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We were on the Veendam in May for Canada and New England. We thought everything was just fine. We thought that perhaps the Veendam (and maybe other smaller ships?) was a training ship. The service was perfectly great, however, we found many of the staff didn't shine (in the way of personality) like other ships. We wondered if it wasn't a first stop for new employees and they are trained and moved on (or not) from there.

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