Now four days back home, I am primarily left with the impressions of the Antartic region. The wonder and magic of it will remain with me forever. I want to do this again! The Veendam was cursed early on with the GI which severely impacted the Lido and other services throughout most of the trip. At one point, in contact with the Medical office myself, I was told that there were 200 others like me ill aboard ship (passengers and crew). In retrospect, I can't really see how the ship's management could have handled things differently as related to the Code Red, though my husband and I made it a point to avoid the Lido Restaurant whenever possible for breakfast and lunch. It was just too aggravating.
In general, I felt like we were well served aboard the Veendam. At the same time, we were very much aware that the staff in all areas were stretched too thin. With only one exception, our shore excursions were stellar. Were we to single out one issue of exasperation - COFFEE. The coffee delivered to our room in the AM, as well as the coffee in the Lido, was terribly weak, and nearly undrinkable. I repeatedly requested stronger coffee on our morning service menu - no luck with that. In the end, we bought a jar of instant coffee at one of our shore stops and fortified our cups each morning. Surely there should be a way to get stronger coffee without needing to buy it at the coffee bar on ship nor resorting to instant coffee for fortification. Finally, when we were departing for our trip we told friends and family we were going on a grand adventure. It was, indeed, a grand adventure, and I would do it again.