This was our first Holland America cruise; a 30 day tour of South America. There were many pluses but one big negative. The itinerary was very interesting. Patagonia was great for natural beauty and big cities were very interesting. Food was great with OK service. Entertainment in the theater was great. Entertainment in two of the three lounges was really poor; only the piano player was good. Crew was pleasant. Ship was beautiful. Public areas were very well done. Cabin was nicer than others of the same type category I have seen.
Only negative, and a big one, was the air conditioning system throughout the ship. We had problems in our cabin sailing from warm to cold weather and back to warm weather. Needed engineering to come to the cabin and they were very slow to respond. Sometimes dining room was too warm. Biggest problems, however, affected cabins who did not have A/C in the warm weather part of the cruise for 9 or 10 days. Unbelievable!! I had read about problems of this More
type before on this ship but thought it would be fixed while the ship was in dry dock. I was incorrect.
Two ports should be dropped: Santos and Paranagua.
Ports that were really good not listed below are Port Stanley and Ilhabela.
Would take Holland America again but not the Veendam. Less
Interesting beautiful city. Book shore excursions at the pier. City highlights tour was 1/3 the price the ship charged and visited the same places. The excursion ending at Rio airport was worthwhile as we did not have to handle luggage until at the airport.
City itself is nice. However, we took a shore excursion on the Beagle Channel to view penguins. The penguin viewing was fine but the trip itself was too long. There was about 3 hours of down time. Some entertainment should be included.