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HeinBloed Blog from VEENDAM WB Transatlantic 2019 Lisbon, Portugal - Boston, MA

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The blog from our VEENDAM-Voyage from Lisbon, Portugal to Boston, MA is completed - the blog for my 100th cruise. So with a lot of look backs and comparisons with the other 99 cruises, with other cruise lines, with other sailings on HAL.


Chapter 1-13 Lissabon/Lisbon, Portugal - Boston, MA
Chapter 14-18 POST-Cruise
5 more chapter PRE-Cruise 


Tag/Day 1 in Lissabon/Lisbon, Portugal






Actually, we should go on NIEUW STATENDAM, but we could not say no to the itinerary on the small HAL ship. The rebooked immediately. Mainly because we wanted to know what it was like to stay in a lanai cabin.

It does not start off as ideally as I am used to from other sailings with HAL, but at the end of the voyage, it was a pleasant journey.

We get to know a great cruise director: Tommy. But we miss a lot of items that Holland America did better than other companies and that no longer exist on board today.

I am annoyed that we were allocated into the Canaletto on the day of embarkation and could not express any wish when we would like to dine here. But on the other hand, it is not that bad since the kitchen has become very tasty again and we enjoy excellent service.




Tag/Day 2 (Seetag/Day at Sea)






I like VEENDAM - because of the size. But I do not really like everything that has changed since my last voyages with HAL. A lot has gotten worse. But some items have obtained better. So a little: 2 steps back and 1 step forward.

At least we have two lovely cabin stewards Hartoyo and Ermawan: at least this service has remained from the previous trips. Life on the promenade in front of the lanai cabin is fraught with more problems than I expected: I am full of paint residues. Peter, from the front desk, stops the works for me.

Cruisecritic.com's worst Meet & Greet took place on board: It is said that HAL has prohibited senior officers from participating. It is a shame. Fortunately, at least Tommy was there.

Still very good: the editor programs for the destinations: Cisco presented this very well.

In the main restaurant, we experience the old school service from HAL again: thanks to Yayah.

Another step back: tea time.

A final official meeting for the Friends of Dorothy on day 2. Here we get to know Yulia and also the bar pianist Barry from Boston. In the future, we should take care of ourselves!

Shall we now pay for lobsters in the main restaurant?




Tag/Day 3 (Seetag/Day at Sea)






Before Carnival starts doing something more for the environment for the entire group, we do it ourselves. We visit Caryl and Daryl (no - they are not a couple) from the Explorations Cafe with our own tray and do not take any disposable to-go cups.

Otherwise, we enjoy the day with good food and do nothing. And we appreciate the service in the main dining room from Purwono, Dony, Eko, Oka, and Arturo.

Today we finally manage to get a group picture of the Canaletto team: Dewi, Phoebe, Arsiandi, Adi, and Vladimir.

We experience Captain Mark Trembling's first Captain's Toast. But still: in the past, it was somehow more beautiful, sophisticated, and elegant.




Tag/Day 4 in Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal






Sometimes you see something on TV, and you really want to go there. Unfortunately, the place is not around the corner. For us, it's the Azores islands of Portugal.

Nadja and Rafael from Hungry Whales arranged a private tour for us. I made a colossal mistake: HUNGRY Whales. The name says it all: I have rarely eaten so much on a trip.

Unfortunately, the weather does not play along, but since it is a private tour, we are flexible.

Market hall (with the famous pineapple), Furnas, Terra Nostra (botanical garden - bath in volcanic water), tea plantation Cha Gorreana, Santa Iria, waterfall Salto do Cabrito and Ribiera Grande are some of the highlights of the tour, which ask for more.

We have booked another cruise for 2021, which will even call two islands of the Azores. There would have been one with three calls, but the timing was not right.

There is still a lot to discover next time.

Back on board, I meet an old friend from the ZAANDAM reception: Ray.

On the positive innovations: You can also transfer pictures directly to your smartphone digitally: without paper - without a USB stick.

And finally back to the Pinnacle Grill. But unfortunately also here: A lot of items that I really liked: especially my skewers - do not exist anymore.




Tag/Day 5 (Seetag/Day at Sea)






Another encounter from the past: I also know Chris from the reception of EURODAM 2014. Today she works in the excursion office.

Finally, back to the Pinnacle Grill for lunch: The chef here, Jan Laurant, prepares my tartar for me as I know it from his home country, France: Fantastique!

I get to know the super VIP of the trip: Joska - a service dog.

Again, do not eat, do nothing, eat, and enjoy Troy's excellent service. I now love the sea days.

Somehow I cannot do that much with the Orange Party. The others can really do better.




Tag/Day 6 (Seetag/Day at Sea)






I am happy that I got my dragonfruit again: thanks to Koray. Mahmut, who we know from NCL and who now also works at HAL, guarantees with Turkish hospitality even from another ship that I will be as happy as I was at NCL and as if he would be on board himself.

Today it is already time for the Mariners Lunch, but here again: in the past, everything was more elegant, sophisticated, and beautiful.

There is no chef's table at VEENDAM, but there is a Cellar Master's Italian Dinner: a great event with great food directed by the Cellar Master Imre and chef at Canaletto Ronie.

A new experience on the 100th cruise: a planned water shutdown.




Tag/Day 7 (Seetag/Day at Sea)






Doing nothing, eating, doing nothing, eating - that is really good. The weather invites you to do so.

Today is gala night again, and I am experiencing "Classic Afternoon Tea". Finally, a more delicate version.

Housekeeping Executive Albert really has a great team. Nothing to complain about. You can tell him that too.

We donate for "On Deck for a Cause", but we do not run anymore. But I am counting the rounds.

I am happy about the letter from Captain Mark, who thanks me for some photos of me.

My world is okay again: There are lobsters in the main restaurant without the need to pay extra. Excellent service from Surasit and Christopher.




Tag/Day 8 in St. John's, NL, Canada






The sea days were so beautiful: why are there really any cruises only with sea days that never dock in a port again?

The sunrise this morning is fantastic.

We reach shore: Newfoundland - St. John's, Canada. With Larry from Mc Carthy's Party, we do a tour with the highlights Cape Spear (the easternmost point of Canada), Petty Harbor, Signal Hill (such a beautiful view), Quidi Vidi.

When we are here, we have to try the freshly caught cod from here.

We can experience the set sail from the tip of the bow, which is open to passengers today.

They are also lovingly cared for on the promenade deck: thanks to Ranti, Lany, and Putra.

In the evening, we go to Rudi's Sel de Mer as a pop-up in the Pinnacle Grill. Mel is our wine steward here. He is Caryl's husband. But the others also offer us excellent service: Job, Yuni, Ahmad, and Troy. Bahadir ensures that we lack nothing and that it will be just as beautiful as it was at KONINGSDAM 2016. A perfect idea from HAL to introduce Rudi's Sel de Mer as a pop-up alternative.




Tag/Day 9 (Seetag/Day at Sea)






An additional day at sea instead of "Living like God in France" - in the middle of the North Atlantic. Unfortunately, the weather does not allow a start in French Overseas Territory of St-Pierre.

We simply take the time for a great breakfast with Rega and Yohannes. Too bad that the daily specials are no longer available.

A little extra rest to refuel is good for us.




Tag/Day 10 in Sydney, NS, Canada






Our first encounter with Nova Scotia in Sydney, Canada. Our German-born tour guide Joe shows us how to do it there: with a hug and a coffee at Tim Hortons.

The perfect place for all lovers of string instruments. The most giant violin in the world is on the pier.

It goes to the beautiful rocky coast to Louisbourg and then eating lobster !!! Finally, a lobster that you don't need a magnifying glass for, and that tastes juicy and delicious.

A beautiful area to come back to.

At the reception, you can always meet the friendly and helpful staff like Zenoby.

Again to the Canaletto for dinner. Many thanks to Hotel Director Frank for allowing us the use of a voucher that was valid on NIEUW STATENDAM here on VEENDAM.




Tag/Day 11 in Halifax, NS, Canada






Such a grand arrival in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Unfortunately, very few who enjoy the sight. Housekeeping Executive Albert also enjoys this unique valley.

I booked a tour with Segway Nova Scotia. Unfortunately for the wrong day and today, everything is sold out. But they are spontaneous and flexible and still take us with them. Emma and Caley take us in the middle so that we can safely enjoy the tour.

We see the public garden, cannon fire, and changing of the guard at the citadel. It is an excellent tour of the best weather.

I finally manage to eat some poutines, and a lobster roll at McKelvie's is also a must. No chance for us to get lobsters that great in Germany.

The set sail is as beautiful as the arrival. Bye-bye ANTHEM OF THE SEAS, NORWEGIAN DAWN, and SCENIC ECLIPSE.

There is a small snack on board: Atjima also serves me drinks at the Lido Café. Here I also meet Douglas from the board security. We have often been together without knowing each other.

In the evening there is my favorite HAL show: "Classique". The first beats of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" lead me back on RYNDAM 2013.




Tag/Day 12 in Bar Harbor, ME






Welcome to the United States. Are we welcome at all? Especially in Bar Harbor, Maine? How many times have I read articles: "You cruisers are nice, and we like your money, but you are too many for us". Today it goes well: we are the only ship, and we are a small ship. There can be more cruise ship guests in the village than locals!

We learn new things: we can enter as individuals, but are not allowed to take anything with us ashore! With the help of Fabiana, however, everything is performed correctly so that nobody gets into trouble when going ashore.

We are lucky: through my work at my former company, I still know an enthusiastic fellow-cruise enthusiast, who is fortunately already retired, and usually, in summer, she is in Maine. So the perfect place and the ideal time to celebrate a reunion again: Sandie-Rose and her husband, Richard.

They take us to Acadia National Park: Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole.

And it goes to Bass Harbor to eat the locals: Another lobster roll in the Seafood Ketch Restaurant.

On the last evening on board, we eat with July and Betki and the farewell parade: aren't they a few days early? The end is actually near. And so I get a little cake from HAL at the end of my 100th cruise. And she is as beautiful as everyone else. If not much nicer - or not. It does not matter either. Because a journey at sea is always lovely: the 99th just like the 101st.

In this part, there is a small review of the 100 cruises, and especially the other trips with HAL.




Tag/Day 13 in Boston, MA






We get to Boston, MA, much earlier because we want to be in a safe port. That is why I still see the CARIBBEAN PRINCESS, which stays here in the safe harbor overnight.

Now I also meet one of the best dancers in the dance troupe: Antonio. It was impressive to watch him performing. Say goodbye to chef Orly, Gregory, Aaron, Behadir, and Koray.

At the airport, we meet Dorothy and Dennis, who are on their way to their transatlantic. But we have to take the opportunity to thank her for all the arrangements. She is a great travel agent who always works for her guests.

Shortly we go shopping before we move into the hotel in Waltham in the Boston area.

In the evening, we meet a former passenger from a transatlantic at QUEEN MARY 2 2017: David. We comply with him and his friend for dinner.




Post-Cruise Tag/Day 14 in Boston, MA






After Cambridge in England, it is Cambridge in Massachusetts. Now I can also say: I was at Harvard. Let us see if that has a positive impact on my success in job applications.

It is good to see you again and the hospitality of Larry, whom I've known since NORWEGIAN DREAM 2008. Efxaristo!

Repeat offenders: Prudential Tower and Boston Duck Tours. Lionel and Jorge made this tour exceptional.

"Cheers": "Where everybody knows your name - And they're always glad you came". They could sing that at HAL... repeat offenders here too.




Post-Cruise Tag/Day 15 in Cape Cod, MA






Shopping in Wrentham and heading for Cape Cod. Enjoying the beauty of the landscape.




Post-Cruise Tag/Day 16 in Newport, RI






"High Society" along Ocean Drive in Newport, Rhode Island, as well as the best New England clam chowder in the world in "The Black Pearl".

We continue by ferry to Long Island, and the day ends again at Wahlburgers: another burger and the onion rings from Donnie Wahlberg.




Post-Cruise Tag/Day 17 in New York, NY






We love Facebook for this: Friends react immediately to our postings and discover that we are on the way to New York.

Actually to Carole King, Scott Conant, and Daniel Boulud.

Scott Conant has to wait for the next time. For this, we visit someone from the family of Bruno: Kornelia and Wolfgang - right in the heart of the UN.

"Beautiful" by Carole King is a 50+ party - we are lucky and get in for a total of 300 USD instead of 500 USD.

In the evening again in Boulud Sud. A fantastic ending.




Post-Cruise Tag/Day 18 auf dem Rückweg/on the way back home






Instead of going to Manhattan to Long Beach on Long Island. Looking for a beach with a view of Manhattan. Such a thing is only for the rich and the beautiful.

I get to know the "hard way" what it means to drive too fast on a stop sign.

Then take-off on a journey through time on the JFK: in the TWA Hotel at Jean-Georges in the Paris Café.

With Austrian, it is time to get back home via Vienna in the Premium Economy. There is a deposit payment for the next HAL cruise. Now we have to find the right one. New England and St. Lawrence - or Alaska. There is still so much to discover.




Back to the beginning - very far at the beginning. Every cruise starts with the preparation.

Vorfreude/Anticipation 1 in Hamburg, Germany






It starts in the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall Building Hamburg - the perfect place to prepare for the journey on the VEENDAM.

With good food and with Bach.

Of course, with shipspotting SEA CLOUD II.




Vorfreude/Anticipation 2.1 in Lissabon/Lisbon, Portugal






We have so many gifts for the crew, for friends, and our folding table for our lanai cabin. The fee for an additional piece of luggage costs just as much as a flight to Lisbon, Portugal. And I have the opportunity to prepare for Lisbon.

Finally after Christo Rei. Finally, a loop by tram through the Lisbon old town without stress.




Vorfreude/Anticipation 2.2 in Lissabon/Lisbon, Portugal






Cristo Rei #2 and #3. What I do for friends from the USA who are in Lisbon, Portugal, for the first time on RIVIERA.

"Dress rehearsal" yesterday and again today with Linda and Wayne.




Pre-Cruise Tag/Day 0A in Lissabon/Lisbon, Portugal






Arrival in Lisbon, Portugal - Cristo Rei for the 4th time. We live in the Inter-Continental. Wow. And a beautiful evening on the Tagus River at Ponto Final.




Pre-Cruise Tag/Day 0B in Sintra, Portugal






UNESCO World Heritage Sintra, Portugal, with our guide Luis, whom we know from our KONINGSDAM 2016 journey.

Then back along the coast.

In the evening tapas and shopping in the El Corte Ingles department store.

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WOW!!!!! It took me over an hour to read your blog and all your wonderful pictures!!

First I have never seen such a intriguing and well put together review before like yours! How you set up each day with the interactive photos AND surprisingly doing  it also in GERMAN👍 Also congratulations on your 100 cruises just with HAL nice cake!

Thank you sooooo much I truly enjoyed your whole cruise and photos! This took a lot of time and just not put together in 5 minutes!



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Thanks for posting the great review.  Li and I enjoyed seeing you during the trip and hope you come back to Boston soon!  Mayb on the Canada/NE cruise!

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