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Veendam Cruise Review by chiapet: Bermuda on the Veendam


chiapet
5 Reviews
Member Since 2004
1,924 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.0
Dining 5.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities 5.0
Entertainment 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 5.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Rates 5.0
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions Not Rated
Value for Money 5.0

Compare Prices on Veendam Bermuda Cruises

Bermuda on the Veendam

Sail Date: June 2012
Destination: Bermuda
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)

Great family vacation from NYC to beautiful Bermuda on the classic Veendam with impeccable food and service!

BACKGROUND
* DH, DW, 2 DS (13 & 9) from South Jersey
* lots of previous cruise experience

EMBARKATION
Pier 90 at Manhattan Cruise Terminal (55th St & 12th Ave entrance)
* drove 2 hrs from South Jersey arrived ~11:30am
* parked @ Pier 90 rooftop for $245/week (Visa & MC accepted)
+ easy luggage drop off with porters at roof parking lot
+ NO wait at x-rays or check-in
+ seated waiting area with water & lemonade offered
+ waited only ~15min. until boarding #27 called & onboard by noon
~ be prepared to complete the medical statement prior to entering x-ray/check-in area

CABIN
Oceanview 694 (cat. E) -- Main Deck (5) Aft Portside
+ cabin was ready immediately upon boarding
+ luggage was in our cabin right after lunch ~2pm
+ great location 2nd from end with access to aft open area
+ portside cabin More with beautiful view of harbor while docked in Hamilton
+ lots of storage with 6 drawers and 2 large closets
+ additional 2 large, deep drawers under bed
+ 2 night stands with 2 drawers each also
+ 2 twin beds (may be pushed together), 1 sofa bed, and 1 trundle bunk above twin
+ small round stool seating with storage inside
+ lots of fluffy pillows & comfortable bedding
+ bath tub with shower in bathroom
+ in-cabin full-sized hair dryer with 220V plug
+ desk-top cosmetic mirror with hinged arm pull-out
+ ordered ahead refrigerator plugged in under counter with additional 220V power strip
+ AC worked very well after we learned how to use the thermostat :)
~ turn thermostat clockwise=warmer and counter-clockwise=cooler even though the dial numbers seem counter-intuitive to that
~ only 2 outlets on counter: one European-style 220V outlet & 1 American-style 110V outlet

RESTAURANTS

MARINERS EMBARKATION LUNCH
+ 12-1:30pm Rotterdam Dining Room -- deck 7 aft
+ no wait to be seated and food served promptly
~ very limited menu

ROTTERDAM MAIN DINING ROOM
+ 5:15pm & 8pm Fixed Seating -- deck 8 aft
+ 5pm-9pm Open Seating -- deck 7 aft
+ open seating reservations could be made up to 3 days in advance
+ rotating menu choices were pretty good
+ all food was excellent quality and presented very well
+ requests for multiple dishes and even entrees as apps were graciously accommodated
+ formal nights Monday Captain's Gala Dinner & Friday Farewell Dinner Surf-n-Turf
+ our walk-in wait averaged 20-30 min.
+ given pager and flute of champagne for your wait
+ complimentary cappuccino and espresso with dinner but sometimes very weak and flavorless
~ open seating reservations are for 5:15, 5:30, 8:00 times only
~ must make open seating reservations by 4pm
~ open seating walk-in long lines between 6:30-8pm
~ much longer wait if requesting table to yourselves
~ pager had no reception in cabins and other parts of ship
~ slow getting food at peak times

LIDO BUFFET
+ food was adequate
+ lots of ice cream/sorbet flavors with toppings too
+ also had soft-serve in addition to hard ice cream
+ Eggs Benedict station had numerous options
~ options differed slightly on both sides
~ required cover-up and footwear
~ check daily menu as food not always presented well and/or could not be seen easily
~ food served for first few days then became self-serve
~ beginning/end of lines were not always apparent so many people came from both directions

TERRACE GRILL
+ great location for access while at mid-ship pool
+ self-serve taco and condiments bar on many days during lunch
~ sometimes long lines waiting

MARINERS BRUNCH
+ invitation-only to 2 possible times at 11:00am or 1:30pm on last sea day
+ Rotterdam Dining Room -- deck 7 aft
+ free champagne and gift tile
~ very limited menu
~ food service very slow

ENTERTAINMENT

SHOWROOM AT SEA
+ Sunday - Listen to the Music (9:30pm)
+ Monday - Bob Mackie's Broadway (7:30pm and 10pm)
+ Tuesday - Comedian John Joseph (7:30pm and 10pm) ... funny
+ Wednesday - Indonesian Crew Show (11pm)
+ Thursday - Street Corner Symphony (7:30pm and 10pm)
+ Friday - Encore Musical Classics (7:30pm and 10pm)
+ Saturday - Comedian Kevin Jordan (7:30pm and 10pm) ... funny
~ children should not seated in first few rows
~ cabaret-style table and chair seating in front of stage

OCEAN BAR
+ Cocktails and Dancing with The Neptunes (6:30 -11:30pm)
~ spacious lounge area with small dance floor near Atrium

EXPLORER'S LOUNGE
+ Classical with Adagio Strings (7-11:30pm)
~ intimate lounge next to Pinnacle Grill

MIX
+ Solo Guitarist Darrel (5-9pm)
+ Piano Man Wil Key (9pm-close)
~ separated into 2 spaces as a piano bar and a pub-like bar

CROW'S NEST
+ various entertainment and dancing
~ very large with almost 3 distinct areas: quiet portside, nice TV-viewing starboard, and DJ dance floor aft
~ DJ/music ended usually ~1am

OTHER
+ various times for BINGO
+ Pub Trivia every night @ 6pm Mixx pub
+ Name That Tune trivia on various nights @ 8:30pm Crows Nest
+ Big Screen Movie everyday Wajang Theater with free popcorn
+ Wine Tastings ($7.50-15.00) and Mixology ($12.50) classes
+ lots of great technology classes in hi-tech Digital Workshop
+ daily Tai Chi (8am & 5pm)

ACTIVITIES

LIDO POOL
+ cushioned loungers around pool area were very comfortable
+ shaded tables around perimeter with easy access to Lido Buffet and Terrace Grill
+ Lido Bar with sofa-type seating under umbrellas
~ very limited seating esp. shaded loungers
~ pool is very small and sometimes full of kids
~ sometimes a little smoky with BBQ

THE RETREAT (for all ages)
+ aft of ship behind the Lido Buffet
+ lots of loungers and some tables in shade
+ jacuzzi spas in raised area in the middle
+ pizza available here
~ could get windy on sea days
~ no real pool

HAL KIDS CLUB
+ easy sign-up on embarkation day
+ nice outdoor Oasis and indoor Loft for Teens
+ smaller indoor area for younger Kids(3-7) and Tweens(8-12)
+ sea days: 9-11:30am, 1-4pm, 7-10pm
+ port days: 8-4pm, 7-10pm
+ great Xbox game room and FREE Xbox game rental
~ activities for Teens over 13 were more unstructured and come-as-you-please
~ Tweens could sign themselves out (if parents allowed)

FITNESS CENTER
+ small but plenty of equipment with TVs too
+ daily FREE Sunrise Stretch (30min) @ 7am
+ daily FREE Abs, Conditioning, Aerobics, Boxercise classes (30min) @ 7:30am & 5pm
+ Spinning (8am MTWRS), Yoga (9am MW, 4pm S) & Pilates (9am RS, 4pm M) $12/class or $50 for 5
+ cold washcloths were available and refreshing
~ spinning bikes were antiquated and limited to 6 participants

SPORTS COURTS
+ small-sized tennis court on deck 12 aft portside
+ small-sized basketball court on deck 12 aft starboard
+ entrances near Club HAL at deck 12 aft
~ only half of basketball court usable since other hoop hung down
~ netting around courts did not always keep balls in
~ bouncing could be heard as bangs in Lido Buffet below

OTHER ACTIVITIES
+ chess/crossword tables in Explorations Cafe
+ extensive self check-out book library in Exploration's Cafe
+ daily Sudoku, Trivia and Crosswords in Exploration's Cafe
+ 2 ping pong tables near Lido pool deck 11 portside
+ large deck-sized chess/checkers near Lido pool deck 11 portside

CRUISE DIRECTOR & EXPLORATIONS STAFF
+ CD Gene Young was very personable and was always seen everywhere doing a lot of the activities himself
+ DJ Styles, Lifestylist Thomas, Party Planner Sydney, Travel Guide Monique, Techspert Trevor, and Librarian Erika were all friendly and wonderful


BERMUDA
* purchased a 3-day bus/ferry pass for $28 adult - $14 children

HORSESHOE BAY
+ 40min. ride from Hamilton on #7 bus
+ beautiful wide beach with lots of space
+ water was spectacular and crystal clear
+ nice walk along beaches
+ restrooms and showers were available
~ $11 rental beach chairs/umbrellas each with additional $5 deposit
~ long walk down/uphill to/from beach from bus stop
~ food and drinks were very expensive but available

ST. GEORGE'S -- TOBACCO BAY
+ 1 hr ride from Hamilton on #1, 3, 10 or 11 bus
+ or take ferry from Hamilton to Dockyard then to St. George's
+ Wench Ducking MTWRS @ noon at King's Square
+ 15min. walk from St. George's to Tobacco Bay
+ walk up Duke of Kent St. passing Unfinished Church along the way
+ very large shallow swimming area great for snorkeling
+ restrooms were available
~ very small beach area
~ very rocky in water with lots of sharp coral
~ rent snorkeling equipment for $10 with additional deposit
~ rent 2 loungers & umbrella for $20 with additional deposit
~ umbrellas were limited and ran out quickly
~ food and drinks were very expensive but available

HARBOR NIGHTS FESTIVAL
+ Wednesday night 7-10pm on Front Street
+ great location just in front of ship
+ ongoing music and dancing started at 7pm near stage area
+ lots of food and souvenir vendors everywhere
+ activities for kids also available for a fee
~ crowded near stage so get there early to get close for kids


DISEMBARKATION
Easy Walk-Off
+ woke up late & had a late buffet breakfast without feeling rushed
+ final statement delivered overnight and was fine
+ deck 5 forward starboard gangway
+ walk-off passengers called first without delay
+ waited in our cabin for our disembarkation color/# group
+ lines disembarking ship moved quickly
+ luggage was easily found in terminal
~ never received information for disembarkation breakfast times
~ disembarkation started late awaiting luggage setup in terminal
~ only 2 sets of 2 customs agents in terminal upon exiting
~ look for the other set of customs agents at the far side of terminal


TIPS
* daily program Explorer was delivered outside door on previous day in the late afternoon before dinner
* bring unlimited wine & champagne onboard for in-cabin consumption
* or even purchase wine/champagne in Bermuda to bring back onboard
* no thru-access on deck 7 forward to aft
* check out the Explorer for daily Happy Hour specials in many locations for buy-1-get-2nd-for $1
* get FREE movies to play in cabin DVD player from front desk (only 1 per cabin at a time)
* some promenade deck loungers for general public available near doors
* self-laundry facilities available on decks 5, 6 and 9 for $2 wash & $1 dry
* aft "OSCAR" STAIRWAY (not on deck plans) runs from deck 11 down to deck 5
* large open area on deck 5 aft (not on deck plans) is great for wake watching but no seating
* low starboard aft cabins had view blocked by pink Bermuda building at pier and others on lower decks may also have had a view of the concrete wall while docked in Hamilton port
* please do the MANDATORY lifeboat drill @ 4:15pm embarkation day or else Captain calls your name while making EVERYONE wait on deck for your arrival
* Digital Workshop is in the Queen's Room deck 8 aft portside
* MIX had a few interactive touch-screen game table tops that were entertaining
* don't sit in the front few rows during Comedian shows unless you want to be part of the show
* Rum Swizzles were tasty and found best-priced 50oz for $18 across the ship on Front St.
* go check out Cairo Nightclub (no cover) across from ship on Front St. after shipboard lounges close
* ship time set forward then back 1 hour on the first and last sea days to match local Bermuda time
* 30min. FREE computer internet access at Bermuda National Library on Queen Street
* public bus/ferry transportation gets you everywhere and pick up the bus/ferry schedule with maps
* MDR dinner menu items could be found in the Lido Buffet as well
* use the hand sanitizer liquid or even the mechanical hand washers found near the Lido Buffet Less


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Cabin review: Veendam Large Ocenaview Stateroom A 694

Lots of storage space, 2nd from end with easy access to aft open area and aft stairway, great view with no obstructions

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