Veendam Cruise Review by Poppy11: Amazing Antarctica
Overall Member Rating
Destination: South America
Embarkation: Santiago (Valparaiso)
Had mixed feelings about embarking on this cruise because of concerns about seasickness and my fairly recent dependence on a wheel chair, but my husband and I had a wonderful time. My wrist bands worked extremely well and I had no nausea even over the Christmas period when the sea was extremely rough with lots of crockery crashes in the dining room.
An outbreak of Gastro Intestinal illness really tested the ship's crew but I thought it was handled very well. Hand sanitiser machines every where and constant reminders over PA system and on cabin TVs about hand washing. Many of the crew as well as passengers were sick , so there must have been a strain on the well ones to do extra duties but they were always cheerful and friendly. The GI did make dining in the Lido extremely challenging as only staff served the food, no trays were allowed and there were long queues. Very long lines just to get a cup of tea. It was all too hard for my husband having to check out what was on More offer, then queue for my meal, bring it to our table then rejoin another queue for his meal etc. Instead we had all our meals in the Rotterdam Dining Room where we were always made welcome, and food and service was first class at all times.
Antarctica was even more than we had hoped for. We had flown over it one New Year in a special flight from Melbourne so we now saw it from a completely different aspect. Excellent commentaries from the experts on board. We were so lucky in having wonderful weather. Negatives..... Our main complaint would be the elevators. A bank of 4, fore and aft of the ship and always at least 1 of each 4 out of action, sometimes 2 . Long waits for those of us unable to use the stairs. We were also disappointed in the advice from a shore excursion young lady . Two trips she assured us would be OK for a wheelchair were not. We also disliked the cigarette smoke in the casino which we went through on our way to theatre and dining room. No smoking is allowed in indoor public venues in Australia and I'm afraid we rather expect it to be the same elsewhere.
The evening entertainment in the Theatre was very wide ranging. The shows we chose to go to were of a high standard and most professional. Ventriloquists and stand up comics didn't appeal so we didn't go. I did think it disappointing that 2 films were repeated on 2 different days on the cruise. I also found the day time attractions less interesting than on a previous Holland America cruise. 4 different sessions of napkin folding????
Embarkation and disembarkation was handled very smoothly and efficiently. We look forward to further cruises with Holland America. Less
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