We departed Fort Lauderdale and headed Northeast. We traveled for 2.5 sailing days in very calm season, with the exception of a lightning storm that began in the early morning hours. The balance of our time at sea was wonderful, with few white-capped waves and a clear sky above.
The ports of call were very quaint and charming but with a strong wind blowing with temperatures in the high 40s in the day and upper 30s in the late evening. The only negative we had on the different cruise ports were many shops, restaurants, and different attractions were STILL CLOSED. This greatly limited the venues on the shore, and to make things worse the cruise line charged us fill price for excursions that had less than 1/2 of the venues open, I did complain about it and I was rewarded with a refund of the excise taxes for the excursion(s).
The MS Veendam is a good ship but has a lot of upkeep needed in areas that passengers can see but can not access. Paint is in some areas 7 or 8 coats deep with rust flowing from the different paint layers, Door hinge plates on the deck will catch your feet when you walk from the pool area The cabins or suites are wonderful, we were on the Veranda Suite deck 9 on the starboard side, Our veranda was large and comfortable with 2 chairs, a lounge and a small table. Our cabin attendances were excellent, and provided a clean and inviting "HOME" for us on our 9 days adventure.
Food service on the Lido deck was plentiful and fresh, since we were on a New England / Canada cruise, seafood was abundant; Lobster, clams, and other types of seafood. We were provided excellent services in the main restaurant, by "Tony" at the best table on the ship, 128. This table is positioned in the far stern area of the dining room,. 2nd level, midway against the windows facing aft of the ship. We could and did experience may unobstructed sunsets from our table.
The food in the main dining area was "VERY POOR" as it would be compared to other HAL cruise we have been on, we can only say that it appears the normal food of the Carnival Lines, as invaded the HAL ships, that really to bad, since the food on HAL has always been great. The specialty restaurant's food was no better than the main dining , portions were very small and any meat served was like trying to chew a doggie bone.
We were pleased with all, except the main dining room food with this cruise of 9 days. Our suggestion would be to aware of the length of the winter in New England & Canada before booking this cruise. Since the winter in the Northeast was longer and colder than the norm, it was hard for the residents to put out a welcome side to the 1st cruise ship of the season.