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VEENDAM RETURNS TO TAMPA FOR 2020/20121 SEASON

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After skipping Tampa this upcoming season, 2019/2020, Holland America Line has decided to return to cruising from its long time Florida west coast port.  The Veendam, which was the Tampa based ship for many years prior to 2008, is returning November 2020.  She is scheduled to do 7 and 14 day itineraries much like those HAL has done for many years from Tampa.  There is one 5 day initially and one 12 day at the end of the season.  The 14 day, preferred my most HAL cruisers, varies port calls between Key West, San Juan PR, St Thomas VI, St Maartin, St Johns Antiqua, St Kitts, St Lucia, Aruba, Curacao,  and Georgetown Cayman.  The 7 and the 14 day combined for 21, cover mostly different ports.

Not too long after HAL gave notice of leaving Tampa, Celebrity scheduled the Constellation for the 2020/2021 season, doing 10 &11 day itineraries.  Veendam had been scheduled for Cuba cruises this upcoming season out of Ft Lauderdale, but is now doing standard Caribbean ports for there.  Tampa works quite well for Cuba bound runs, so maybe she is in position to resume those if and when Cuba is reopened.

In the meantime, those of us who prefer HAL will have a ship in Tampa, and Tampa will have more than Carnival/RCCL/NCL to choose from. 

 

Edited by St Pete Cruiser

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Good news!  I love linking a Tampa cruise up with my Walt Disney World and Universal vacations.  Harry Potter, Epcot, Animal Kingdom...and the Caribbean.  Oh my; I have the vapors!

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Now I have to consider changing my 2020 April reservation from San Diego which goes to Mexico.  I've never been to any of those ports, whereas the Tampa cruise would be my fourth time doing this itinerary.  Plus my sister lives just north of Tampa.  In all the times I've sailed from Tampa, my sister has agreed to meet me the night before.  Something has always come up, emergency-type occurrences, that have prevented us from getting together.  I haven't seen her for the last 5 years.  When I informed her that HAL wouldn't be sailing from Tampa anytime soon, she was disappointed.  I know it would be over a year away, (2021) but what to do?  what to do?  Maybe I'll keep the one from San Diego and see if I can afford the 2021 cruise as well.  Best of both worlds. 

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Thank you for sharing this wonderful news.  We live just an hour away from Tampa and enjoy the Tampa sail-aways very much.

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Yay!

 

A choice between HAL and Celebrity is good news for those of us that have left the Carnival/NCL/Royal Caribbean triumvirate  behind for cruising.

 

I would also like to see an occasional cruise out of Tampa by Viking, Oceania, Azamara or a similar level line.

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This is good to know; we did a last minute cruise out of Tampa a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the city and experience.  We may just do it again!

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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I guess that lets out the Veendam resuming the Boston/Bermuda run.  We did miss that trip being available this year.  This is good news for the Tampa area though.

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1 hour ago, Sea Belle said:

I guess that lets out the Veendam resuming the Boston/Bermuda run.  We did miss that trip being available this year.  This is good news for the Tampa area though.

Veendam will leave Tampa in April, so it could do Canada/New England and Bermuda again for the summer season.  As you may know, she is the maximum size allowed to dock on Front Street in Hamilton. Even the R class must use the Dockyard. 

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22 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:

After skipping Tampa this upcoming season, 2019/2020, Holland America Line has decided to return to cruising from its long time Florida west coast port.  The Veendam, which was the Tampa based ship for many years prior to 2008, is returning November 2020.  She is scheduled to do 7 and 14 day itineraries much like those HAL has done for many years from Tampa.  There is one 5 day initially and one 12 day at the end of the season.  The 14 day, preferred my most HAL cruisers, varies port calls between Key West, San Juan PR, St Thomas VI, St Maartin, St Johns Antiqua, St Kitts, St Lucia, Aruba, Curacao,  and Georgetown Cayman.  The 7 and the 14 day combined for 21, cover mostly different ports.

Not too long after HAL gave notice of leaving Tampa, Celebrity scheduled the Constellation for the 2020/2021 season, doing 10 &11 day itineraries.  Veendam had been scheduled for Cuba cruises this upcoming season out of Ft Lauderdale, but is now doing standard Caribbean ports for there.  Tampa works quite well for Cuba bound runs, so maybe she is in position to resume those if and when Cuba is reopened.

In the meantime, those of us who prefer HAL will have a ship in Tampa, and Tampa will have more than Carnival/RCCL/NCL to choose from. 

 

This is good news as I was going to book X during that time. However, the itineraries have not been posted as yet? Only the Holiday 7 day. Where di you get your info?

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The return of HAL to Tampa is good news and may be due in part to the introduction of Celebrity Constellation to that market.  Celebrity is spending major money in revitalizing their older ships.  The Veendam?  I wonder how she will compete.   

 

Now, if only HAL would return to Port Canaveral.     

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I would have preferred one of the Vista Class ships instead of the Veendam. We didn’t sail the Rotterdam when she was in Tampa, we felt it was too old and too small. My HAL lady said the reason they pulled the Rotterdam from Tampa was because HAL could not fill the ship. I think the Veendam is going to have a hard time to compete against the Constellation.  The Constellation is being “rebuilt “. Everything including cabins will be brand new. I like both cruise lines. I don’t think Veendam stands a chance. Then again maybe the prices will come down.

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That's good news, but I wish it was a different ship - specifically one of the ones that has a smoke-free casino since it does make a difference.  We only sail on those:    Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Westerdam, and Zuiderdam.  

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5 hours ago, Curly-Q said:

That's good news, but I wish it was a different ship - specifically one of the ones that has a smoke-free casino since it does make a difference.  We only sail on those:    Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Westerdam, and Zuiderdam.  

I do agree that with the smoke free casino, even the adjoining area (Billboard) is nicer.  I think the R and S class ships have some smoke free casino nights now.

 

I do like the Vista class ships with their greater entertainment venues, especially Lincoln Center, but the S and R class ships are about the size of the new Viking Ocean ships.  People are now willing to pay a premium to cruise with 1000 guests vs 2000 on the Vista and a lot more on most of the new ships out there.  Every time I come back to the smaller HAL ships, the staff impress me with their personal attention more than even HAL's larger ships.  The rooms generally are larger with more storage.  You can find a seat in the Crow's Nest most of the time.  There are rarely queues for anything.  You are likely to be called by your name.  The promenade deck has more padded lounge chairs per guest.  The Ocean Bar still has live music.  There are plusses and minuses to both.

 

There was a young family aboard the Rotterdam last season from Tampa who shared their trip on cruise critic complete with pictures.  Even I thought, oh boy, they probably will say it was mistake.  Surprisingly, they loved it!  We had friends, age 60, who cruised from Ft Lauderdale on one of the mega RCCL ships that were in port at Costa Maya with the "little old" Rotterdam.  They thought maybe it was sailing empty because there were no queues to reboard the ship unlike theirs.  Then they noticed the covered area where the crew was meeting the returning quests with cold drinks and cold towels.   It was just that their mega ship had 4 times as many aboard.

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I did a 7-day out of Tampa this past winter because it went to ports in Central America I hadn't been to before. The ports listed by the OP all are used by the larger ships and I'd expect Veendam to be in there with large ships a lot of the time. It's a shame they don't have her go to the less-visited islands.

 

I'm not a Floridian so I get to choose where to fly into and this isn't attracting me to go back to Tampa (neither did the fog that kept us in Tampa overnight and caused us to miss Key West, but missing ports is part of cruising.)

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There will be even more competition in Tampa in 2020/2021.  MSC is sending Armonia there.  Tidy little ship.  We were much impressed when we sailed her during Dorian.  EM

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On September 8, 2019 at 3:47 PM, semibeater said:

This is good news as I was going to book X during that time. However, the itineraries have not been posted as yet? Only the Holiday 7 day. Where di you get your info?

 

Full Schedule for 2020/2021 is on an internet TA site but can not give out name per CC rules. Had booked Celebrity in Nov 2020 and hoped to do a b2b with Veendam but schedule does not work. Will have to drive home and stay a few days before returning to Veendam. No problem, I live in Tampa Bay!

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