Veendam Cruise Review by cherylzh: Disappointing!
Overall Member Rating
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
This is my 3rd cruise trip and the experience with Hollad America is the least satisfactory among all. We went with my parents and they are both over seventy years old. Given their very pleasant experiences with Noreigean cruise they had high hopes coming in. But as soon as I entered the cruise terminal I sensed the differences. Cruise staff are not as enthusiastic and slow in responses. The whole check-in process took over an hour and a half. As soon as we arrived at the ship we checked out the Lido deck. It was crowded and unorganized. The ship has a 48-hr no self-serve policy so we had to wait in line for everything including drinks. Apparently they were short-staffed because you often found empty plates sitting on the table and no one would clean it.
We later found out that we had to make dinner reservations for all our dinner meals, which is inconvenient. You are not allowed to make reservations all at once so you have to remember to call every few days. The More only other free dinning option besides the main dinning room and Lido deck is the Italian restaurant, which was always completely booked. We expected late-night snacks at all times but they were available only for an hour usually between 11pm and 12, not flexible at all. Everything else you need you sill have to call room service and the line was so busy during the first day or two. Even for simple requests such as hot water you will have to call then every single time because they don't even have coffee machine in the stateroom.
The entertainment at night was ok, but they only have a small group of entertainers so expect to see them every night. Compared to Noreigean, this boat is simply boring. I am glad we only got to spend two days at sea or otherwise it would be even worse.
Overall I would not recommend Holland America to anyone who is looking for superior cruise experiences. If you are used to large cruise lines such as the Celebrity or Noreigean, well, stay away from HAL!! Less
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