In the spirit of fairness, I need to drop a few lines concerning HAL and the Veendam.
The reviews for the last 6 months for the Veendam have been mostly weak and bad, which caused us some nervousness leading up to our 15 day Cruise.
Boarding at 11:30am was a walk-a-board, right to our cabin. The ship looked good, for the most part and considering her age. We had "anytime" dining and went in without waiting every time, usually for round tables of 8-10. Service was good, but slow, dining always took about 2 hours. The menu was always varied and good choices, even had Lobster twice!! Wine Stewards didn't disappoint and we didn't have to wait very long for our wine. Good news, if you go in around 7:30pm, when your done, walk straight to the Showroom, which always had plenty of seats for the 10:00pm show. The entertainment was always good to excellent, with a ho-hum or two, but nothing is perfect.
The time in our Mexican and Central American ports was mostly too short! But the shortest was Cartagena, Columbia, like 5 1/2 hours.
We've sailed on HAL for over 10 years, and although things aren't the same, (service isn't top-notch) the sailing experience is still wonderful and enjoyable. Life is too short to complain about change, we all are changing, and so is Cruising. If we don't like the way things are on HAL, vote with your feet, go somewhere else.