I have sailed at least a dozen times, probably more, and I have become accustomed to a certain level of service.
Unfortunately, not only does Holland America Veendam miss the mark, but it does so in an offensive manor.
I would have to say that 80% of the crew doesn't speak a word of english and they all look miserable.
It's impossible to have a good holiday when you are surrounded by miserable people who don't speak english and who obviously not only don't want to do their job, but don't even pretend to care.
Everything on this ship is shared with the crew. Dining, bathrooms, elevators, etc. I've never been on a cruise when you get bumped from the lift so the crew can more dirty dinner plates and I've never had to wait in line behind crew members at the buffet for 30 minutes because they decided that the passenger side of the buffet (one half is reserved only for crew use) has better food.
The few crew members who spoke english were highly critical of the environment created by the officers on board, starting with Captain Eric van der wal.
I can not speak for how he treats the crew, but he was decidedly unfriendly with guests and always wore a skowl when walking about the ship. The captain is the master of the vessel and sets the tone for the trip. Unfortunately, this crew follows the captain in his grumpiness and lasse fare attitude toward guests.
We will not be sailing Holland America again.