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Chuck

JUST BACK FROM CUBA ON THE VEENDAM

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6 hours ago, Rickster50 said:

Geez. I've just put down a deposit for a 14 day cruise to Cuba/Eastern Caribbean in December, 2019.

You've now got me thinking!!

 

Rick

 

It appears this poster had some temporary problems, which can often happen  due mainly to passenger carelessness, particularly at the beginning of a cruise - someone leaving their balcony door open regardless of instructions not to do this - fouls up the A/C ventilation systems for all other cabins on the same circuit. Complaints are made, staff sorts out where  this is happening and have ways to address who this balcony door offender might be - which can affect even non-balcony cabins and on different decks if they all share the same ventilation circuit. It is not a linear system,  apparently due to fire and smoke considerations. 

 

And passengers stuffing things down the toilet that don't belong ,again contrary to specific instructions, can clog things up for others on the same line too. I worry about those who insist on "wiping down their cabin" with packaged wipes when they first arrive and perhaps try to flush those used wipes down the toilet after  the finish this ritual task. That will lead to clogged toilets for their fellow passengers at the beginning of the cruise too. 

 

Yes the first night in the dining room can be hectic as everyone settles in and special demands are made on the wait staff. Yet we always find things smooth out a few days later and our main dining room meals are prompt and service is very cordial. 

 

So factor out those complaints (which we have experienced too) and reconsider if you think they are deal breakers or just part of the gradual adjustments one endures until everything settles in. 

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1 minute ago, Chuck said:

Thank You icancal.  

 

This poster is both notorious and consistent in his complaints about the Veendam. Pit his standard and predictible litany (from how long ago?)  against all those who have happily sailed on the Veendam numerous times, who do not consider her fatally damaged goods. Yes, ship can and will happen. Know before you go and makes your choices accordingly. 

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1 hour ago, Chuck said:

OK, you are making this way toooooo difficult for this old boy.  You mentioned 3 Cruise Lines.  Which one of the 3 has the best rewards programs and possibly even the best ships?????     As I mentioned previously the rewards program with H A really doesn't amount to a Hill of Beans if you look at it really carefully.  And I have!!!!!!!    Probably the best thing they offer is the 3/4 guests travel at a 50% discount or even free when you get to the 4 Star Mariner Club.  BUT I ASK YOU ALL WHO WANTS ANOTHER 2 PEOPLE IN YOUR ROOM?!?!?!?!?!????????????

 

The reason that the poster you quoted mentioned three lines is because these three lines all honor each other's loyalty programs and cruise days on one counts toward loyalty on all. (They are all owned by same company.)  Unfortunately, cruise lines under the Carnival umbrella do NOT offer this. 

 

Of the lines (RCCL/Celebrity/Azamara),  Celebrity has some large but very nicely designed ships.  Azamara is a step up from Celebrity in terms of pricing but also quality (at least in my opinion) but the ships are smaller. They are more 'destination' oriented and less 'entertainment onboard' oriented. It all depends on what you value most.

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3 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

It appears this poster had some temporary problems, which can often happen  due mainly to passenger carelessness, particularly at the beginning of a cruise - someone leaving their balcony door open regardless of instructions not to do this - fouls up the A/C ventilation systems for all other cabins on the same circuit. Complaints are made, staff sorts out where  this is happening and have ways to address who this balcony door offender might be - which can affect even non-balcony cabins and on different decks if they all share the same ventilation circuit. It is not a linear system,  apparently due to fire and smoke considerations. 

 

And passengers stuffing things down the toilet that don't belong ,again contrary to specific instructions, can clog things up for others on the same line too. I worry about those who insist on "wiping down their cabin" with packaged wipes when they first arrive and perhaps try to flush those used wipes down the toilet after  the finish this ritual task. That will lead to clogged toilets for their fellow passengers at the beginning of the cruise too. 

 

Yes the first night in the dining room can be hectic as everyone settles in and special demands are made on the wait staff. Yet we always find things smooth out a few days later and our main dining room meals are prompt and service is very cordial. 

 

So factor out those complaints (which we have experienced too) and reconsider if you think they are deal breakers or just part of the gradual adjustments one endures until everything settles in. 

Hello OlsSalt;  I did ask you a specific question above . Hope to hear from you as I truly do consider you an EXPERT on all this stuff.

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4 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

It appears this poster had some temporary problems, which can often happen  due mainly to passenger carelessness, particularly at the beginning of a cruise. 

 

 

Yes, I'm not quite sure how temporary those two broken elevators are -- the ones that have been reported on these boards numerous times over at least the last 2 months if not longer.

 

But I'm sure their non-operational status is somehow due to passenger error. Perhaps too many passengers hitting the buttons with their elbows rather than their finger, causing a circuitboard malfunction.  :classic_dry:

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FWIW we did the Christmas Cuba cruise this year on the Veendam.  I didn't really care for the other ports of call, but I really enjoyed our time in Cuba (although I feel like I've checked that box and don't need to rush back). 

 

My only complaint about the main dining room was the lighting. It was too bright.  I thought the portion sizes were perfect for a three course meal. i usually had food left on my plate, however I also don't want to leave the ship 5+lbs bigger. I'll take quality over quantity and all my meals were delicious. I'm a bit of a desert snob and the deserts on both the Veendam and Rotterdam this year were adequate although the pastry chefs could learn a few things from watching the Great British Bake Off (the seasons with Mary Berry). 

 

I didn't notice any problems with the elevators, but we tend to use the stairs because again all that food who wants to gain the weight. 

 

We didn't have AC or plumbing issues, although I met a lady in the Lido one morning who was currently biding time while they fixed her plumbing and cleaned up. 

 

Honestly, we went in knowing the Veendam is an older ship so had no expectation of it being "perfect" but we also had an incredible rate for a 1 week cruise to Cuba and I've been wanting to go to Cuba for 20+ years.  Everything within the control of the staff was great (e.g. service). 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Chuck said:

Hello my favorite poster "OlsSalt".  There is no doubt that you are "EXTREMELY KNOWLEDGEABLE"  on cruising.  Can you give me your humble opinion of who is the "Best Cruise Line" to use in the future.  That would be taking into account the following criteria in no particular order:   Rewards Program,  Pricing,  Ships Age & Condition, Staff & Crew, and last but certainly not least their itineraries.   That last one ranks quite high on my list because without that you really have nothing.  HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU.   THANK YOU.

 

I have very limited knowledge about other cruise lines - our nearly 500 days have been on HAL ships with only a month or so on Crystal and about 100 days on the now defunct Voyages of Discovery. Rewards programs do not drive our decisions,  so I can't help you at all about other cruise lines.

 

The only time it mattered was when we tried  to goose our way into 4 star status on one cruise in order to to get "free laundry" for our upcoming 50 day HAL cruise from London to Singapore via two weeks in Indonesia. Don't ask me to do the math, because no away did our hyper-spending on the prior cruise end up costing less than the "free" laundry on subsequent cruises.

 

Others who do cruise other cruise lines will be far more helpful than I can be when it comes to getting answers to your specific questions noted above. Sorry, I can't help you on that one.

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THANK YOU CRUISEMOM 42.  Now I get the reason about those 3 lines.   Something I will definitely look into for future cruising.  Might even look into and cancel my 13 days H A cruise to Canada.   Right now I can cancel it will No Penalties other than losing the insurance money and changing flight schedules and their extra fees.  But thats life in the Big City!!!!!!    LOL

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THANK YOU OlsSalt.  Then I will just consider you my "EXPERT ON H A CRUISES".  Again, I do say a big Thank You to you.  You are without a doubt extremely knowledgeable on cruising.   Iam not married to H A and at 68/67 respectively we are young enough to switch to the other posters recommendations of RCCL/CELEBRITY/AZAMARA.    I have checked out all of them and pricing seems to be pretty comparable with the exception of Azamara which seems to be "VERY PRICEY" in my opinion.  But I will still consider it seriously. 

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9 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Yes, I'm not quite sure how temporary those two broken elevators are -- the ones that have been reported on these boards numerous times over at least the last 2 months if not longer.

 

But I'm sure their non-operational status is somehow due to passenger error. Perhaps too many passengers hitting the buttons with their elbows rather than their finger, causing a circuitboard malfunction.  :classic_dry:

 

No point conflating the elevator problems with the passenger generated AC and plumbing issues. I expect better reading comprehension from you.  It has been stated in the past it is hard to even get replacement parts for some of the mechanical equipment on some of the older ships.

 

But yes, passenger unwitting issues can cause momentary elevator misfunction - pushing buttons before the doors close - who knew other than learning by trial and error. However, elevators permanently out of function is the topic - how long and by what causation - deal killer or not. Virtue of smaller ships - shorter walk to the next elevator bank. 

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Not wanting to hijack the thread, but I'm wondering.  Does anyone know when the Veendam is scheduled for dry dock so that these issues can be addressed?

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4 minutes ago, Chuck said:

THANK YOU OlsSalt.  Then I will just consider you my "EXPERT ON H A CRUISES".  Again, I do say a big Thank You to you.  You are without a doubt extremely knowledgeable on cruising.   Iam not married to H A and at 68/67 respectively we are young enough to switch to the other posters recommendations of RCCL/CELEBRITY/AZAMARA.    I have checked out all of them and pricing seems to be pretty comparable with the exception of Azamara which seems to be "VERY PRICEY" in my opinion.  But I will still consider it seriously. 

 

I think you will be happier trying other cruise lines. No point setting yourself up using HAL again. 

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Just now, puppycanducruise said:

Not wanting to hijack the thread, but I'm wondering.  Does anyone know when the Veendam is scheduled for dry dock so that these issues can be addressed?

 

Which issues - the elevators,  or the alleged two hour dining times, the passenger-clogged toilets and the passengers who insist on keeping their verandah doors open? It doesn't take a dry dock to do a better job warning and educating passengers about their cabin use responsibilities - I have long thought both those matters do need stronger warnings up front.  

 

My guess it would also not take a dry dock to fix any non-functioning elevators if the parts are available.  They are probably not at this time.

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2 hours ago, Chuck said:

BUT I ASK YOU ALL WHO WANTS ANOTHER 2 PEOPLE IN YOUR ROOM?!?!?!?!?!????????????

People with two kids maybe... especially with reduced or port charge only fares. We have taken advantage of that perk a few times. 

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We booked the Cuba 10 day for this Christmas and are very much looking forward to the cruise.  We have sailed on the Veendam three times and if we had listened to all of the negative reports would have missed out on some very good times and meeting some very nice people.  I'll be happy to report back when we return.

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It is really not much of a perk.  Often you will see cruise lines with offers for the 3rd and 4th person in the cabin at a greatly reduced rate or even gratis.

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4 hours ago, TN Fem said:

FWIW we did the Christmas Cuba cruise this year on the Veendam.  I didn't really care for the other ports of call, but I really enjoyed our time in Cuba (although I feel like I've checked that box and don't need to rush back). 

 

My only complaint about the main dining room was the lighting. It was too bright.  I thought the portion sizes were perfect for a three course meal. i usually had food left on my plate, however I also don't want to leave the ship 5+lbs bigger. I'll take quality over quantity and all my meals were delicious. I'm a bit of a desert snob and the deserts on both the Veendam and Rotterdam this year were adequate although the pastry chefs could learn a few things from watching the Great British Bake Off (the seasons with Mary Berry). 

 

I didn't notice any problems with the elevators, but we tend to use the stairs because again all that food who wants to gain the weight. 

 

We didn't have AC or plumbing issues, although I met a lady in the Lido one morning who was currently biding time while they fixed her plumbing and cleaned up. 

 

Honestly, we went in knowing the Veendam is an older ship so had no expectation of it being "perfect" but we also had an incredible rate for a 1 week cruise to Cuba and I've been wanting to go to Cuba for 20+ years.  Everything within the control of the staff was great (e.g. service). 

 

 

 

Good to see that not everyone has had bad experiences on this ship/itinerary as we have booked the Cuba cruise on this ship for Dec 2019. 

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Boarding the Veendam a week from today and hoping we don't have too many issues, particularly with plumbing and A/C. Got a fantastic price for this cruise so will bear that in mind if we encounter problems. It will be warmer than where I am, so will go with a positive outlook.

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12 minutes ago, barb-ottawa said:

Boarding the Veendam a week from today and hoping we don't have too many issues, particularly with plumbing and A/C. Got a fantastic price for this cruise so will bear that in mind if we encounter problems. It will be warmer than where I am, so will go with a positive outlook.

Hello Barb from Ottawa;  Would you be willing to share with me what your fantastic price was????    I paid a ton for this cruise and was promised a Mini Suite and got a 225 sq. ft. room.   We found the room "Very Dissapointing" to say the least.  After 10 days of living in a SARDINE CAN we were quite ready to go home.  Actually about day 7 we were ready.  Hope to hear from you.  We were on Deck 9 which is called the "Verandah Deck". 

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We paid less than $1400 for both of us for an oceanview room. We don't spend a lot of time in our room, so the room category and size was of no significance to us. 

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14 minutes ago, Chuck said:

Hello Barb from Ottawa;  Would you be willing to share with me what your fantastic price was????    I paid a ton for this cruise and was promised a Mini Suite and got a 225 sq. ft. room.   We found the room "Very Dissapointing" to say the least.  After 10 days of living in a SARDINE CAN we were quite ready to go home.  Actually about day 7 we were ready.  Hope to hear from you.  We were on Deck 9 which is called the "Verandah Deck". 

You should focus your frustration on whoever promised you a "mini-suite".  A quick check on your part would have also revealed that there is no such category on the Veendam or any other Holland America Line ship. 

Edited by taxmantoo

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57 minutes ago, Chuck said:

Hello Barb from Ottawa;  Would you be willing to share with me what your fantastic price was????    I paid a ton for this cruise and was promised a Mini Suite and got a 225 sq. ft. room.   We found the room "Very Dissapointing" to say the least.  After 10 days of living in a SARDINE CAN we were quite ready to go home.  Actually about day 7 we were ready.  Hope to hear from you.  We were on Deck 9 which is called the "Verandah Deck". 

 

You were not promised a "mini-suite", because there is no such thing. All  the room categories and floor plans are spelled out up front.  

 

I suspect you conflated the term Vista Suite into something that it was not, nor even promised. 225 sq feet is very generous for a ship's regular cabin. On the Veendam you have a choice between a verandah regular Vista Suite or a Neptune Suite. Lots of us have enjoyed these cabins and no one ever complained they were "sardine cans".

 

Are you going to continue this unfounded diatribe absent facts,  or do as you promised, move on to another cruise line. Your argument is with your travel agent if there was a misrepresentation of what you were booking on this ship. 

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9 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

You were not promised a "mini-suite", because there is no such thing. All  the room categories and floor plans are spelled out up front.  

 

I suspect you conflated the term Vista Suite into something that it was not, nor even promised. 225 sq feet is very generous for a ship's regular cabin. On the Veendam you have a choice between a verandah regular Vista Suite or a Neptune Suite. Lots of us have enjoyed these cabins and no one ever complained they were "sardine cans".

 

Are you going to continue this unfounded diatribe absent facts,  or do as you promised, move on to another cruise line. Your argument is with your travel agent if there was a misrepresentation of what you were booking on this ship. 

 

I haven’t read anything close to a diatribe from the OP.  He reported factual information about the Veendam/doom previously and subsequently confirmed by other passengers.  

Sympathies to the OP and hope he keeps on posting here. 

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Yeah I've just read all these posts relating to the Veendam. We (my wife and myself) will step aboard the ship with an open mind. We've sailed on the Maasdam previously which is similar to the Veendam, and had a great time all things considered. The thing that drew us to book this particular cruise on the Veendam was the variety of ports of call. We are really looking forward to checking them all out. 

Rick

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I might add that I believe no other cruise line other than HAL covers all these ports by way of a B2B. Correct me if I'm wrong!

 

Rick

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