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We've cruised on Celebrity and Princess...never on Holland America.  We have a choice of Princess or the Veendam on very similar cruises at very similar prices and we thought we'd give Holland America a try.  Then we read the reviews 😞  Clearly there were major problems on a cuba cruise last year that soured many on the Veendam, but there were also many others talking about non working A/C, unclean public facilities and the rest.  It's hard to feret out the real truth in reviews....some rave about a ship, some hate everything.  I think the Veendam went to drydock in April (this year??)....which may have helped renew this older ship.

 

I'm looking for some input on the real current state of the Veendam....and to some extent a comparison with Princess (balcony princess to standard suite on Holland America) but both with standard dining and equivalent perks.

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Veendam has been for sale for years.  I would avoid it as there is a long history of mechanical problems.   

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2 hours ago, ghstudio said:

We've cruised on Celebrity and Princess...never on Holland America.  We have a choice of Princess or the Veendam on very similar cruises at very similar prices and we thought we'd give Holland America a try.  Then we read the reviews 😞  Clearly there were major problems on a cuba cruise last year that soured many on the Veendam, but there were also many others talking about non working A/C, unclean public facilities and the rest.  It's hard to feret out the real truth in reviews....some rave about a ship, some hate everything.  I think the Veendam went to drydock in April (this year??)....which may have helped renew this older ship.

 

I'm looking for some input on the real current state of the Veendam....and to some extent a comparison with Princess (balcony princess to standard suite on Holland America) but both with standard dining and equivalent perks.

 

Veendam had it’s aft changed by HAL (a move they stopped shortly after due to complaints).  Instead of having an aft/sea view pool, that was removed and now they have hot tubs.  The hot tubs can mar the aft view in places.

 

Veendam has had issues and other times none.  A number of people I know have said they enjoyed the ship, but I confess this is one ship I am nervous of due to problems in the past. I

 

As to suites on HAL - are you referring to the Vista Suite (which is basically a balcony cabin although they are larger on this ship) or to the Neptune Suites?  It sounds like you are referring to the Vista (verandah). I believe you would find the HAL verandah suite larger than the Princess.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Princess seems a better choice to us.    We just completed the LA Vancouver run last week and if you are used to Celebrity caliber then you may be disappointed with the older HAL ships.

 

We did the older dam HAL ships in their prime and that was great but now we would look the other way for reasons mentioned above.  

 

If you can flex travel then jump on one of the last minute Princess giveaways from the secret on line travel agencies.  It cost us more to board the dog than the PP price for a Mini-Suite MD (302 sq. ft) on the Coral Princess.    It was less for our cabin neighbors from Texas.

 

Trying another cruiseline is a good way to expand your cruising horizons,  sample the competition or see what you may be missing if you are one of the HAL-birds.

 

We also know that there are others around the country who are doing the same thing and they are fun to meet on your cruises.

 

Edited by JRG

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If itineraries are the same, I'd probably select Princess.

That said, we were on Veendam a few years ago for Panama Canal and had a great time -- and are sailing on her again next year because she has an itinerary we can't find elsewhere.  She's a bit rusty, but we don't scare easily.  😊

 

 

 

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The Veendam is a good ship.  Which Princess ship are you considering?  The Veendam is a medium size class ship as compared to the Princess ship most likely.  I would personally choose the HAL ship over any Princess ship.  

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I've sailed the Veendam twice over the past year or so.  Loved both of my cruises on her.  The crew is fabulous and the ship was very clean both times. Food is really subjective, but I enjoyed everything I ate. I really enjoyed sitting in the Explorations Cafe/Library with a specialty coffee and watching the sea go by. Also, the Veendam has a nice wrap around promenade deck. Great for those morning walks.

 

The complaints I heard mostly centered around a couple of elevators in the rear bank that were not working.  I understand that has been fixed in the dry dock.  The ship doesn't have all the entertainment options of the newer, larger ships and the cabins still have the old type non-interactive tv's.  At least on the Veendam, you will still have a place to sit in your cabin, lol.  

 

This thread has some information and pictures posted from someone who was onboard after the recent dry dock.  It looks like some of the public areas were updated.

 

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Thanks for the replies.  We've decided to brave it and give HAL a try....We'll have a rear facing vista suite on deck 10 (deck 9 unavailable) but it will be nice to be on a smaller ship again (all of our cruises now seem to be on 2000-3000 passenger ships). Food is subjective and if it's not great, I'll just have to eat less and drink more 🙂

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Enjoy your trip.  We were last on  her in 2017 where the elevators were a problem but that has been addressed.  We love the size of the ship, sitting on the promenade deck reading in comfy lounges, the fantastic staff, the larger balconies, the Ocean Bar where we can listen to a great trio (we've sailed three times with Harvey who is the lead) and dance  a few before dinner and have a night cap later in the evening and the interesting  ports.

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colonialinnkeeper...thanks. 

 

We also took our first cruise on the Norway.  I remember it clearly because it was the first time in my life I ever played BINGO...it was the finals and I figured, why not?  I split the jackpot and walked out to the pool and my family who thought I was lost with $2400 in cash in my pocket 🙂

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7 hours ago, ghstudio said:

Thanks for the replies.  We've decided to brave it and give HAL a try....We'll have a rear facing vista suite on deck 10 (deck 9 unavailable) but it will be nice to be on a smaller ship again (all of our cruises now seem to be on 2000-3000 passenger ships). Food is subjective and if it's not great, I'll just have to eat less and drink more 🙂

We are long-time Princess and Carnival cruisers.  We took our first HAL cruise on the Veendam last November to Cuba.  We enjoyed it and have booked the Maasdam  Sea of Cortez cruise for next April.  We thought the food was fine . . . on par with Princess.  Our cabin was a Vista Suite and thought it was larger than a Princess Mini-Suite - the balcony definitely was deeper.  We definitely enjoyed the smaller ship. 

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Haven't been on the Veendam since about 15 years ago.  Have done many cruises on Crystal, so I am not expecting Crystal level on this ship.

In looking on the HAL site, so many of the music venues on the HAL ships do not seem to be on the Veendam.  I cannot find anything on the HAL website showing who is performing, lecturing, etc.  Is there such a link somewhere?

 

Also, what are the dining options?

 

Did I understand correctly that Neptune suite gets a gratis drink card?

 

Thanks

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