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klonerga

Veendam needs to be decommisioned. You can see why HAL is desperately trying to sell

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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.

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15 minutes ago, klonerga said:

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.

 

Bye.  The Veendam, the itinerary and Holland America Line is not a good match for you, your demands, your knowledge of ports and safety issues or your own expectations.  Thanks for sharing. You do need to look elsewhere when spending your cruising dollars.

 

FYI: Room service menu with both complimentary and surcharge items: https://images.r.cruisecritic.com/news/2016/11/hal-room-service-menu.pdf

No mention that full dinner items on the daily MDR menu may also be ordered during regular dining hours. 

 

Complimentary online Navigator offers comments to be sent to Guest Relations at any time, and who will quickly get back to you - the Guest Relations office is staffed 24 hours a day.

 

Cienfuegos is a notoriously tricky port - due to tides, currents and hours of daylight. Veendam works with this port the best they can. 

 

Maintenance on a ship is ongoing, and will at any given time interfere with a passengers 100% demand they not be affected by this activity. 

 

Most ships have eliminated smoking entirely: HAL still offers limited options which even remains a controversial accommodation. 

 

Internet is slow - a given.

 

Passenger misuse of plumbing remains a chronic issue - putting things down the systems that clog it up for everyone else on that line. 

Edited by OlsSalt

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14 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

Bye.  The Veendam, the itinerary and Holland America Line is not a good match for you, your demands, your knowledge of ports and safety issues or your own expectations.  Thanks for sharing. You do need to look elsewhere when spending your cruising dollars.

 

 

We have enjoyed many cruise on five lines and the conditions experienced by OP are unacceptable on any cruise.  And OlsSalt we have enjoyed MANY HAL cruises.  We're just not fans exclusively to any one line.

 

Yes, things do need both constant upkeep and immediate repairs but not to the extent on this cruise.

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19 minutes ago, Been There, Planning That said:

 

We have enjoyed many cruise on five lines and the conditions experienced by OP are unacceptable on any cruise.  And OlsSalt we have enjoyed MANY HAL cruises.  We're just not fans exclusively to any one line.

 

Yes, things do need both constant upkeep and immediate repairs but not to the extent on this cruise.

 

I see nothing unusual about his report. Similar incidents are routine, and part of being on ships. Particularly on an older ship where repair parts may not be readily available (single elevator out of service).  Most of his comments were highly subjective opinions, not statements of fact. He needs to take his subjective cruise demands to another cruise line.  And do a lot more homework up front before he makes his next cruise decision. 

Edited by OlsSalt

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Cruise to Cuba are now offered by most cruise lines from $517 to $9,994 for an ocean view room 4-10 day option. Choose your cruiseline carefully for your best cruise satisfaction.  There are choices, and some are far less "family" oriented than HAL during school holiday weeks.

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OP

 

Thank you for taking the time to discuss the problems on the Veendam.  Sorry that your cruise did not live up to your expectations.

 

As to the captains party for 3, 4 and 5 star mariners -- at least you had one.  On out 21 day Westerdam cruise a couple of years ago, there wasn't any cocktail party for any star mariners.

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2 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

OP

 

Thank you for taking the time to discuss the problems on the Veendam.  Sorry that your cruise did not live up to your expectations.

 

As to the captains party for 3, 4 and 5 star mariners -- at least you had one.  On out 21 day Westerdam cruise a couple of years ago, there wasn't any cocktail party for any star mariners.

 

 

 

The two longer cruises we took this year did not, for the first time, have a VIP party, which is what I expect the OP is referencing.

Captain's Welcome Receptions were much abbreviated (5 minutes, no one else but the Captain, no officers, no employee of the month).

No high Mariner's lunch in the Pinnacle with officers.

 

 

 

 

Edited by SilvertoGold

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The last two cruises I took to Alaska on the Amsterdam there were no Medallion (3,4 and 5 star and Medallion recipients) receptions. I think these receptions must be a Captain's prerogative. On one of the cruises  I know for a fact, (because I was told)  three of us were to receive Silver Medallions but no reception.

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I'm glad there is no cover charge for reading CC posts because that one was very entertaining, tho lacking in creativity and originality.

Another 1 post wonder.

Edited by thinfool

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58 minutes ago, SilvertoGold said:

 

The two longer cruises we took this year did not, for the first time, have a VIP party, which is what I expect the OP is referencing.

Captain's Welcome Receptions were much abbreviated (5 minutes, no one else but the Captain, no officers, no employee of the month).

No high Mariner's lunch in the Pinnacle with officers.

 

 

 

 

 

I think it very much depends on the Captain and the HD.

 

we were on right after KK and we had lots of VIP parties, medallion ceremonies and even Canadian night, UK nights, etc. 

 

Captain Van Eerten and his HD were first class, for sure.

 

It's a shame that the ships weren't more consistent.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

Bet we never hear from the OP again like most other 1 post wonders. 

 

Oh I thiink you are so right 😉 

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6 hours ago, klonerga said:

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.

Did I hear that mechanical problems with the Veendam were the reason for cancelling the port stop? If so, I would expect much more than $50 and a few drinks for compensation. 

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There will probably be more of these types of posts in the future due to the Veendam offering some of the future Prinsendam itineraries. 

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27 minutes ago, whogo said:

Did I hear that mechanical problems with the Veendam were the reason for cancelling the port stop? If so, I would expect much more than $50 and a few drinks for compensation. 

 

You did not hear this from the OP.  Maybe someone else?

 

Cienfuegos is a very problematic port if one does their homework ahead of time - shallow, tides, currents, winds and lacking port infrastructure - a "daylight" port so as the days get shorter the options diminish even further. One of those ports that can be cancelled at the last minute  - like Easter Island that is always the luck of the draw too. 

 

Can you point to the cruise contract where is sets out  requiredcompensation for missed ports?

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7 minutes ago, Heartgrove said:

There will probably be more of these types of posts in the future due to the Veendam offering some of the future Prinsendam itineraries. 

 

The OP can consider themselves lucky they weren't on the P'dam.  After all, it has NO covered LIdo poo, minimal spa & a tricky tender deck.  LOL. and, yet, many of us look forward to cruising on the EE 😉 

 

the Veendam is not doing the Prinsendam itineraries but a shy imitation of them as is the Rotterdam.  They can't go where she did.

 

But, I'm sure they will be great itineraries, just not the same, sadly

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OP, the concierge or your room steward would have given  you as many "Let us Know" cards as you needed.

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I sympathize with the OP.  I am sailing on Veendam next week out of Fort Lauderdale, and I booked this cruise primarily for the stop in Cienfuegos (as did many of the passengers, I'm sure).  If the ship us unable to go to Cuba, I will probably consider my cruise a failure.  However, I will not post my frustration here because no one here is sympathetic or cares.

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4 hours ago, kazu said:

 

I think it very much depends on the Captain and the HD.

 

we were on right after KK and we had lots of VIP parties, medallion ceremonies and even Canadian night, UK nights, etc. 

 

Captain Van Eerten and his HD were first class, for sure.

 

It's a shame that the ships weren't more consistent.

 

 

 

I would mostly agree with you on this.  But two years in a row, 2017 and 2018, same cruise, same Captain and the result this year was as I described: no VIP parties, no high Mariner Lunch, abbreviated Captain's Reception.

 

Not a biggie, just a bit annoying to lose the "nice stufff".

 

Really outstanding HD and GSM.

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The Captain never cancels a port unless it is for your SAFETY.

weather, tides etc. all play a role in this decision, amport is never guaranteed. If you want guarantees, go and visit Cuba 🇨🇺 via a land based holiday. For the US citizens, yes, you can also do this. You always were able so, via Canada or any other country. 

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I need to correct myself here as I am not able to edit my post.

Upon revisiting my post, part of it seems inappropriate. I am not saying that one should deliberately break the US law regarding Cuba. But it is possible to visit if you are interested in Cuba. Cuba does merit a land-based visit.

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I think Klonerga was just reporting his impression of the cruise & the ships condition. I've read posts from people on the same cruise at the same time, one will say never again the another, best cruise ever. Different stroke for different folk.  

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OP, 

Sorry you were disappointed with your cruise.   I know how it is to have a port canceled as most here have experienced that.  Worst case was a Celebrity cruise to Australia where they decided after final payment to substitute Newcastle for Tasmania.  The Aussies onboard were not happy about that, either.   On HAL a very few ports have been canceled and all have been for safety reasons as opposed to convenience of the cruise line reasons.  We've spent 90 days on the Veendam.  I agree with you that the crew is fantastic.   It is not a new ship, obviously, but has its charms for us.   

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13 hours ago, kazu said:

The OP can consider themselves lucky they weren't on the P'dam.  After all, it has NO covered LIdo poo, minimal spa & a tricky tender deck.  LOL. and, yet, many of us look forward to cruising on the EE 😉 

 

haha Kazu,

Took me a second to realize a letter was missing...

 

Testing POA wonderful suggestion on quotes.

 

Peter

 

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First and foremost, I was trying to let others know what to expect of Veendam. I am a 4 star Mariner, so this is not my first trip on a HAL ship. I have also cruised many, many times on Silversea, Viking and Princess. The point being that things have changed dramatically aboard these ships over the past several years. There is no excuse for the disrepair. If the ship is not capable of providing what is promised when when you book (outside of weather conditions) then perhaps it's time to put it into dry dock to repair the plumbing system, refurbish the suites etc. It appears that corporate is becoming very stingy. Cienfuegos was NOT cancelled due to weather, tides or any thing of the sort. It was cancelled due to a mechanical problem that the crew had to work on all night long. I am aware that I can travel to Cuba via a flight and land excursion. I chose a cruise because I wanted the comfort of cruise ship accommodations and food. I was not eager to stay in a hotel or several hotels during my visit due to what I heard from friends who had visited. 

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