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FlorenceItaly

MINI review of the Veendam, very random....

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I did post some throughout my journey...live...Route was Northbound, inside passage, leaving from Vancouver. Ports of call were Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. Also cruising Glacier Bay, and College Fjord.

 

Kethickan - Toured on my own around town, and took an afternoon float plane with Michelle at Island Wings...to the Misty Fjords area...it was fabulous...beautiful, gorgeous, clear day. We were able to land, and spend 20 minutes or so on shore.

 

Juneau - Mendanhall Glacier on my own using the $5 blue bus each way.

Took at whale watching tour with Capt Larry. We saw a few orcas and humpbacks. I could have whale watched ALL DAY...loved it! Although, I enjoyed the tour, I think next time I would choose the ship's Whale watching and Wildlife Tour...I heard many good things about it.

 

Skagway - I booked a Yukon Discovery Tour through Frontier Excursions. I almost missed this tour, because in writing I had a 10:15 time..only to discover the van leaving between 10:05-10:08...I had to chase it down. Later I wondered if perhaps I was meant to miss it as I was in considerable pain on this 6 hour tour, as I developed a urinary tract infection. I still enjoyed the tour, and took lots of pictures. I was very anxious to get back, and go straight to the doctor, which I did...then straight to bed(5pm!!). I woke up a new person. I had not been feeling "myself" and now I know why. Sidenote...I did NOT purchase travel insurance, but will for ALL other trips. My bill was less than $50, but I was lucky. I asked for a NO EXAM MD appt (25 versus $75, and sulphur meds)....The tour was great...we went up past the summit, into Canada, and past Carcross to Emerald Lake also.

 

I ended up with 7:45pm dining time. That is very late for me, and I think attributed to my weight condition. I was SHOCKED when I stepped on the scale today, as I really thought I had eaten light, and didn't go overboard with the desserts either. I think eating dinner and then retiring was not a good thing. On a positive note, I had wonderful tablemates!!!!!!! They were mainly other solo cruisers, and one couple, although the couple has been divorced 21 years...they were a hoot! I could go on and on, about the wonderful friendships I made throughout the week, but it would take too long.

I got to know many people, and also met 2 delightful couples from CC.

My new friend Joann(tablemate) would tease me because everywhere we went, I knew someone, LOL. It was fun.

 

The crew - DELIGHTFUL...so much friendlier than the Maasdam...left my tips on and tipped my room steward extra, 2 bar tenders, and my java cafe friend.

They were all so friendly....

 

My sister just called so will finish later, don't want to lose this......

 

Marie

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Okay I am back...

 

Post cruise - Kenai Fjords National Park cruise - Fantastic tour, worth the price. It was a gorgeous day, and we saw whales, orcas, eagles, and more.

 

Back to cruising College Fjord(last day of cruise) this was a highlight, and would probably not cruise an itinerary without it.

 

I only attended one show, but heard good reviews all week about the entertainment.

 

I went to the Ocean Bar each evening before dinner....greatest bartenders there.

 

On my comment card, I commended 4 of the crew by name so they would get recognition.

 

Oh, the last night in the dining room I had the meatloaf just so I could come back and tell you all, I had it, LOL...it's not very good, LOL.

I missed 3 nights in the dining room...one night a few of us went to the Pinnacle...very enjoyable, and the volcano cake IS all that everyone raves over.

 

Questions welcome.....

 

Marie

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Wanted to comment on my room. I had an outside on the lower promenade and loved the location and convenience of having an oversized balcony, LOL. I also enjoyed having the bathtub. This will be my room of choice for future cruises with HAL. My previous room in June was an inside on the Main Deck. I went to a friend's room on the A deck, and didn't care for the A deck at all, but that's just me.

 

Marie

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Hey Marie, found your review here.

 

Sounds like you had fun, even with the slight ailment.

 

Recover -- only 61 days to Norfolk!!!!

 

love

Joan

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Hey Joan - I can't wait to hear all about your SA trip. You'll have to fill me in on ALL the details when I see you in 61 days!!!!! Looking forward to meeting you. It's going to be a great cruise. Yes, I had a lovely time on the Veendam. Alaska was amazing...have you been??

 

Marie

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Marie .... We've been reading ALL of your posts with great interest since we'll be on Veendam in January. Thanks for the tip on going to The Ocean Bar before dinner. How about the Pool Bar durning the day? Could you tell us about that one? (Gosh, all we're asking about are bars!) :D

 

Thanks again! Happy Sailing! OCruisers :)

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You will love the Veendam. I do know the bartenders at the Ocean Bar will still be there because they just got on....many years experience on HAL's ships and the nicest guys..both married with family...one's name is Carlos, and now the other escapes me...starts with an M...anyway...great guys!

 

About the Pool Bar, I did visit it on a few occasions, but mainly hung out at the Ocean Bar....They DO have happy hour daily at the Pool Bar(called the Dolphin Bar) 3:30-5:00...2 for 1...great deal!

 

Marie

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Thanks again, Marie! Know you went to Alaska and we're going to the Southern Caribbean ... BUT THE SHIP WILL STILL BE THE SAME!

 

If you think of anything else we need to know, please pass it along!

 

Happy Sailing! OCruisers :)

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Yes, GREAT crew, you will have a wonderful time. The first night I went to the Crow's Nest Bar, but did not connect with the bartender...she was a woman, and seemed shy. The guys in the Ocean Bar were very friendly, and had lots of regulars. It was fun. Will let you know if I think of more :).

 

Marie

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Hey Marie, found your review here.

 

Sounds like you had fun, even with the slight ailment.

 

Recover -- only 61 days to Norfolk!!!!

 

love

Joan

Joan,

 

Are you sailing on the Maasdam out of Norfolk on October 30, or are you sailing the repositioning into Norfolk on October 30? If the former, then come join us and sign up on our roll call. If the latter then keep the ship in good shape for those of us sailing on the 30.:D

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Marie,

 

Didn't have to search too far for your review, it was right on top when I looked for it. Sorry you got sick, but it sounds like an excellent cruise overall. When you returned from the Maasdam you said you enjoyed it, but no more or less than other cruise lines. Did this cruise change your opinion of HAL one way or the other?

 

Marc

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If I recall right, I said the service was more or less the same. I didn't find it exceptional as people talk about on this board...good, but not exceptional.

I enjoy HAL very much. I would definitely consider sailing with them again.

I think they are especially wonderful for solo cruisers. They do a good job at placing you with other solo cruisers. On both my cruises, I met friends for life. You and dw will love the Maasdam, and your fellow CC'ers....meeting special people really enhance the cruise.

 

Marie

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Marc - Joan and I are on the repositioning cruise on Celebrity, Horizon, out of Norfolk, Oct 31-Nov 12.

 

Marie

I saw 61 days and made an assumption. Even with my shoes off, that's higher than I can count. We live in the Norfolk area, but we're leaving the day before on the Maasdam. If you're getting down here a day early maybe you can sneak onboard for the sailaway.:D

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You will love the Veendam. I do know the bartenders at the Ocean Bar will still be there because they just got on....many years experience on HAL's ships and the nicest guys..both married with family...one's name is Carlos, and now the other escapes me...starts with an M...anyway...great guys!

Marie

 

 

HAL Bartenders and Stewards all rotate. It varies by ship, but usually they spend two weeks to a month in the same bar and then are assigned to another bar or to the Wine Bar or Show Room Bar which would put them out of contact with Passengers. The Bartenders you mention above may well still be on the ship but not necessarily 'out front' or at the bar you last saw them at.

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Marc - I am arriving a day early, but my flight doesn't get in until 2:30 or so.

I would have loved to have met you and dw.

 

Sail7Seas - I did not know this....thanks so much for sharing.

 

Marie

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Hi Marie and all...We just got back from the Veendam/Alaska..spent time with Marie in Dolphin Bar...yes 2 for 1 3:30-5:00 every day.

This was our first cruise and we LOVED it! The food was excellent. Ate at Pinnacle once. It was perfect. Went to 3 shows. 2 were great. Did not really like the magic show as it was more like a Las Vegas show with the girls and all. The seductive dancing and skimpy dresses were a little much. Well... I'm sure the men loved it. The tipping was fine. Charged $10.00 per day pp and we gave extra to cabin steward. The front desk was a place we spent each day at because we tracked our daily account. Had trouble on the last day because HAL would not honor a $25.00 ship board credit voucher that came with my tickets. oh well Met a couple in Anchorage Airport who just came off Princess ship which sailed behind us for several days. Must have been on same schedule. Anyway...as we compared stories, I must say I am so so so glad we sailed with HAL. In most every area, ---tipping, food, excursions, shows,DR seating etc...HAL was unbeatable. Other couple were presented with a huge bill and had too many surprises on it. Their seating in DR was at random, no assigned seats. They said the food and coffee were not very good. yadda yadda yadda...all this to say...I would book with HAL again tomorrow and LOVED the ship and service.

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Hi Beth - it was such a pleasure to meet you and Mike, and spend some time with you all. I am so happy to hear you loved your cruise...I did too. Isn't Alaska gorgeous? I keep looking around for the mountains and glaciers, but none in Oklahoma, LOL :). I am sure I will return with Steve in 5 or 10 years. I bet your girls were thrilled to see you both. Keep in touch.

 

Marie

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