Severe Cuts in Staff: Veendam Cruise Review by sailboatnps
Overall Member Rating
Severe Cuts in Staff
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
To eat dinner in the main dining room on Deck 7 or 8 took anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 hours -- every night. One night on Deck 8, there must have been 400 people in the upper dining room, and we only saw a couple wait staff for the entire room. We couldn't even order wine, there were no wine stewards anywhere. And, there's this big black net underneath the ceiling to protect the passengers from falling debris. Because of the long delays waiting for dinner, we never had time to make the shows.
We couldn't get refills on bread, butter, ice tea or coffee. When anyone at our table ask for anything, the waiter just said "no". He had other people who were waiting for food. Some nights he'd serve hot tea with no More cups or saucers.
Another night we went up to the self-serve Lido deck, and the empty tables were full of dirty dishes. I cleaned off a table, then another passenger wanted to sit there. They only had 1 bus boy for the entire floor.
(As an aside, dining out in Hamilton was really not an option. We ordered lunch at one of the hotels, and it was $64 for 1 cheeseburger & fries, 2 small bowls of fish chowder and 2 iced teas.)
The cut backs were not limited to the dining rooms. The Pinnacle Grill was also understaffed, and our cabin steward had 21 cabins to clean -- twice a day!
We were repulsed by the lack of service, and with every HAL cruise, it's getting worse. This ship is neglected, and the crew is overworked -- not a good combination at all. Less