My wife found that HAL was discontinuing this itinerary and thought it would be a great 25th anniversary trip for us. The embarkation was fast and easy. We arrived at 11:30am, parked (at the terminal)and we were on the ship in less than 40 minutes
Our cabin was ready before we arrived. The flowers and vodka I had ordered were waiting in our room. We dropped off our carry on luggage (had a drink) and headed right out to explore the ship. The day was overcast and as the drill started, the rain started too. As soon as the drill ended, we headed right up to the crows nest lounge for drinks and watched as NYC and the Statue of Liberty faded behind us.
By the time we returned to our cabin, our bags had arrived and we unpacked. There was more than enough space for everything. Since we didn't fly, we over packed quite a bit. There was drawer and hanger space left over. We left the lights and TV off when we left the cabin. The room is small and even a light bulb will warm the room up. There is no fan in the bathroom, so it stays hot all the time. The ice bucket is real small and the ice itself wasn't cold enough to stay frozen very long.
Dinner in the main dining room was fine. The food was interesting and tasty. Nothing was over salted to cover the taste. The coffee/espresso/cappuccino was terrible. We arrived at 8pm and were usually the last table to leave. This was more because the other 3 couple we had dinner with were just as relaxed as we were. No rushing, no speed eating and no running to see the show. The waiters saw this and paced us accordingly.
Breakfast in the main dining room was slow. After the first day, we opted to have breakfast in the lido dining room. The staff was very friendly and soon learned what you liked and how you wanted it prepared.
Since this is the end of the Veendam to Bermuda itinerary, I'll keep it to being about the ship. But Bermuda is great. I need a vacation, now to relax after my vacation.
The last 2 days, my wife and I went for breakfast then stayed by the pool till 4pm. Not a lot of kids running around and no real disturbances from the lido band. The aft pool area is unusual. There are 2 hot tubs and 2 small pools. The small pools fit 5-6 and feel as if they were designed by someone that has never been in a pool. There's a lot of wasted space and one large pool would have been a better use of it. The lido pool had two, person shaped lounges that were also a space waster and there is a sculpture in the pool that takes up and area that looks like it may have been a hot tub at one time.
I had a burger from the burger stand that was passable. We didn't try the pizza. The coffee at the coffee bar was good (the coffee everywhere else was awful).
The only 2 shows we saw were the comics. It can't be easy to do your set with children in the audience. The other shows held no interest for us. Also the entertainment in the various bars was a bit to cheesy, so our time in those was short.
We found the library to be a great room. Huge, filled with books, games, puzzles and anything else you could want. It's definitely worth checking out for a few minutes early on.
Disembarkation was OK. Having to queue up through the elevator bank is a bit troublesome. It can be congested and people getting off the elevator tend to just stand there.
In closing, the ship is nice (but showing wear and poor design). The netting over the dining room is only noticeable if you look for it, there are sconces missing in the lido area and a few other minor issues. Nothing that will detract from a nice time. They are very careful about hand sanitizing and at the Mariners brunch (and boarding in Bermuda) there was an attendant with sanitizer standing by. We had a great time and are happy we got to take this cruise before HAL discontinued it.