Veendam Cruise Review by Sailingpeace: I'm in heaven
Member Since 2008
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I'm in heaven
First time with Hollland, first inside, first solo cruise.
Registration on line: Seemed very similar to Princess ( boarding pass, paper luggage tags) , got done in a few minutes.did not look at booking excursions, cruise was to rest. Boarding: around 13h30, a breeze. As taxi door was open , someone was there to take my suitcase. They take your picture at the counter for your card. Got to cabin ( deck 6) they were fixing water leak, gave me other cabin ( a little smaller , deck 5 and more aft).
Ship: clean, smaller than what I was used to. The no activities and very small atrium, and all the art gave me the feeling of beeing more on a private yacht than a commercial cruise ship. Very easy to get anywhere, even when you get confused and go to the wrong end ;-) .
Not many of anything ( pools, activities area etc ) but enough of everything. Plenty of nice senting areas by windows. Library had wonderfully comfortable chairs facing the windows. In addition to More books, nice choice of magazines , so took a note that no need to bring them onboard.
Cabin: an inside. Way more storage than needed for one, surely enough had DH been with me. The last closet door, had a full lenth mirror inside. I left it open as it gave the illusion of a bigger cabin. Cabin was next to an area accessible to staff only. Was very noisy only on two nights. Heard nothing on other nights . Bed seemed brand new. Would buy the same for home. Slept on a cloud but firm ( what I prefer). Room temperature. Was very easy to adjust, system responded quickly.
Was expecting total darkness, not so. Enough light came around and hallway door that you could get to bathroom without no additionnal light . A curtain can be pulled between closet area and open space in cabin ( nice for privacy when travelling with companion) , I kept it closes to make the cabin darker. Wish ther was an alarm clock-ipod station radio.
Staff: all the ones met were really nice . Asked if they could do something for you and were smiling ( not always easy has they, just like us, have good and bad days). The Cruise Director was a real gentleman. Amazing how present he is ; making announcements, at activities, at the shows at night and he even shower up at disembarkation, by the Gangway !!!! His announcements were clear, useful and it shower that he cared about us understanding. He was a delightful mix of wit and elegance and class. He sets the bar high for other CD. I barely participated in the activities as I was on a serious mission to recharge the batteries.
Reserved the thermal suite on first day, not knowing if I would find many places to rest. Enjoyed it , the thermal chairs are in an area with great big windows so you relax looking out. Did not use it much as I spent lots of time on the fabulous loungers on promenade deck.
Food: lots of choices, ate mainly in MDR ( party because did not like buffet settling much). Sometimes some little items missing ( like cream cheese) but had wonderful meals. Some were just OK, but it was the minority. Overall feeling is that I ate very well but prefer Princess for that aspect. Personal choice, especially for the buffet. At the buffet did miss the trays. Very practical to carry food and tea and not have to go back.
Disembarkation: similar to Princess, you get a time and luggage tags. But, you can stay in your cabin until your disembarkation time ( I did not in order to give more time to my cabin steward to get things ready for next passengers... remembering I was one of those just 7days before) and , loved loved this, you can get a full room service breakfast on the last day !
Overall experience, excellent ! It was a very peaceful and relaxing cruise. Nice to see the coast most of the time. Sadly, saw no whales. Seas were calm and we had nice weather. I now have a new cruise line in addition to Princess ( baught a few FCC). Would sail the Veendam again. Happy to know that , ( even if I was not sure the first 24 hrs) I would be perfectly fine in an inside cabin on an even longer trip ( except for the Carribean where I use the balcony a lot !!! ).
As far as ports, I have stayed in that area many times and that added to the need a rest cruise, I did not get off the ship much. Terminals were nice, free wifi and on site boutiques. Did a short walk on the boardwalk in Charlottetown and Halifax and went to see the Titanic exhibit.
May do the same cruise next year. Less
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