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Has anyone been on the both the Noordam and Veendam? I need help! =]


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Hi all,


I was on the 3/21 sailing of the Noordam, and I fell in love with HAL. Our family is planning to book another cruise and would like to go on the Veendam. We are afraid that the crew and ship just wouldn't be the same. We met so many nice people, and would hate it if we spent 14 days on the Veendam to find out it is nothing like our previous HAL cruise. Can anyone give me comparisons of the two ships? BTW we would be planning on the 3/16/08 Veendam. Any information would be greatly appreciated. =] Thanks in advanced.



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The Veendam was my first HAL ship and the Noordam was the last. I fell in love with cruising while on the Veendam. The food was wonderful, the soups the best of all the ships, the service excellent, and we had a great time. We had an outside cabin and I was thrilled .


The Noordam was a whole other experience. It is much bigger than the Veendam and more elegant. Of course, it's been several years since I was on the Veendam and don't know if she's been in drydock for an update. I loved the Noordam, but there were many reasons for that. It was the first time I had participated on these boards and I got to meet people that I had planned the cruise with. That had a lot to do with the anticipation and fun on board. This time we had a veranda and I've become spoiled.I was thrilled to drive to the port and be there in half an hour and not have to fly. Food on the Noordam was wonderful, diningroom service was fantastic, I loved the explorations cafe, the glass elevators, and just about everything on the Noordam.


I believe the crew on all HAL ships is outstanding. Most of the crew that was on your cruise will not be there a year from now. That doesn't mean the crew won't be great, just maybe different.


I think you probably can't go wrong with either decision based on itinerary. If it were all the same, I personally would chose the Noordam.

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We've been on Veendam twice - quite a while ago - and the current Noordam twice. They are two very different ships. But don't fret about the crew or the food. Those 2 things are going to be wonderful no matter what ship you sail on. smiley3.gif


Veendam is quite a bit smaller - she only holds about 1200 pax to Noordam's almost 2000. You get the lay of the land more quickly. It's more intimate. Many folks really prefer the smaller ships to the Vista-class.


Noordam is only a year old, so she still looks new. Veendam is about 11 years old so is likely showing a bit of age. Don't know if she's had her SOE upgrades, but other folks here on the boards probably do - or you could call HAL. smilie_037.gif


Veendam was built in the pre-balcony craze era. Lots of outside cabins but not a lot of verandahs like Noordam.

Would we sail her again - to do the Panama Canal or other special itinerary - absolutely! yes2.gif


A holiday on any HAL ship - how you you possibly go wrong?

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I can only provide comments on the Veendam as she is the only ship we have sailed on. We sailed on her for 7 days to the western caribbean on 02-25-07. As it was our very first cruise, we had no expectations prior to boarding. My views were purely based on what I have read on this board.


We felt very comfortable in our surroundings and quickly found our way around to the important places on the ship. We had a deluxe verandah cabin (48A) on the Navigation deck on the port side. It was as nice, if not nicer, than any hotel room we have ever stayed in. Plenty of storage and closet space. Wonderful bedding and linens. Our room steward, Sonny, was the best!! Vigilant in keeping our cabin clean and stocked without being intrusive. Room service was always within the time frame we requested and our order was always correct. We found the staff on the entire ship to be pleasant and each one always smiled and said hello.


As I have stated on this board before, we are from the south and typically "meat and 3" type people when it comes to meals. The food served in the Rotterdam Dining room is gourmet and a little out of our comfort zone, however, we found it a good opportunity to try new things and did enjoy some of the offerings. We did dine in the Pinnacle Grill one evening, but I don't believe I would spend the extra money again as the food was pretty much what you could get in the Rotterdam Dining room. The Lido buffet usually had something for everyone whether it was breakfast, lunch or dinner. Of course, the "star of the show" was the dessert buffet. I am going to learn to make the bread pudding with vanilla sauce! Boy, I sure miss it!!!


We found the casino to be adequate. We totally enjoyed the dealers at the tables, especially Valentina. We had the best time while she was dealing. She made it fun and was definately personable!! The slot machines weren't my favorites, but they were good to some of my family members we were traveling with.


We aren't show people so I can't comment on any of the ones during our time on board. There seemed to always be a place to sneak away for a drink and some nice music. The Explorations Cafe is a nice addition. I found it to be comparable to any coffee house on land. The library appeared to offer a lot of choices of books and movies. Nice comfy chairs to relax in. I did use the self-service laundry one night and the front desk was accomodating on providing change for the machines.


The front desk staff was happy to cash traveler's checks and never denied any reasonable request. The pool on the Navigation deck was quiet and plenty of room and deck chairs to relax in and catch some sun or read a book. There was always a staff member on hand to take drink orders.


I totally fell in love with cruising while on the Veendam and am trying to make plans for our next cruise. If I can answer any questions, please ask. I hope you make a plan to cruise on the Veendam and I now you won't be disappointed. Happy cruising!!!!



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See, thats what I'm really worried about. I just don't want the ship to be so old, but the itinerary looks amazing.
The Veendam does not look "old". The areas upgraded by the SOE, such as the Explorations Cafe, are every bit as good as the Noordam's. We found the Veendam to be a "baby Vista" - smaller Lido, smaller casino, smaller shops, smaller everything - but no lesser quality. :D You can see a lot of pictures at http://www.shipcafe.net/shipcafe/ve/ve07.htm
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Cindy, I loved reading your Veendam report. We leave a week from Sunday on the Veendam out of Venice for a 10 night cruise through the Greek Isles. I am so excited I already can't sleep at night. I have mentally packed and unpacked my suitcase 100 times. DH and I have decided to only take a medium-size suitcase each, plus a carryon each. It is going to be hard to pack for 2 weeks but I am hoping I can do it. I will also let you all know what I think of the library. I work in a small bookstore, so I definitely will have an opinion. Picking books for my cruise is more important to me than my clothes!



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I think I qualify as we were on the "OLD" Noordam and then Veendam. We are going AGAIN on the Veendam next month! We really like HAL for so many reasons. As you can see from our signature we have been on a number of other lines too, and enjoyed them, but keep coming back to HAL! The Veendam was a great ship for us (the MOST comfortable bed we have EVER had on a cruise or land hotel!) and we did not hesitate ONE SECOND to book her again for our Mediterranean cruise!

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LMac - I am totally green with envy!! You sound like I did before we cruised. We were very fortunate that my brother-in-law and his wife "treated" DH and I and some other family members to our cruise. It was a trip we will never forget! Let me share one thing . . . don't be concerned about having a different outfit for dining every evening. I was so concerned that I way overpacked! No one really cares that you might wear the same outfit for all of the formal nights. I will pack totally different next time. Also, don't worry about packing shampoo and soap. All provided for you. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. Look forward to your report when you return.


Dolcess1 - Valentina is Romanian. She is a hoot!! I will never forget her. Made losing my money fun!



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