Loved the ship! We've sailed on larger "mega" ships with the masses and completely enjoyed the smaller and more efficient Veendam. Unlike other reviews, we found the ship very clean, fresh and had no problem with elevators. The pool is small, but most of them are. There were kids and families in the pool but we expected this. Again, I've been on larger ships where the pool is not much bigger and a LOT more crowded. Check in was a breeze.
We had an outside cabin on Deck A with porthole windows. Again, very clean, fresh and we actually enjoyed the portholes. Cabin size was very decent. Bathroom is a nice size. We could hear the anchor but didn't find it annoying or disturbing. Cabin Steward was great, always available and like most of the crew, smiling and helpful.
Bermuda is great, not our first visit so we knew what to expect. We booked the kayaking shore excursion in Hamilton which was GREAT. I highly recommend. We did several other shore excursions on our own, rode the ferry, went to the dockyards. LOVED the street fair in Hamilton on Wed. night. Very festive, good music - good snow cones. Travelled with a family group of 6 ranging in age from 8 to 54. We all enjoyed.
Food was good. Not great, but good. We did have some issues syncing up with availability of food - a first in our cruise experiences. Seemed like whenever we walked into the Lido they were pulling down the blue shades. Fashion police busted one of the men in our group who did not have a jacket on formal night, so we ate in the Lido for both formal nights. Selection was good and food was good, just pay attention to the timing. We had "open seating" for the Rotterdam and went there 3 nights. Service was slow, slow, slow.
My daughter and her husband had reservations for the Pinnacle. After the "no jacket" bust in the dining room, they called to see if a jacket was required in the Pinnacle. They were told "yes", so they cancelled their reservation. They walked by later that night and no one in the Pinnacle was wearing a jacket. They were very disappointed.
Ice cream in the Lido was yummy - highly recommend the cinnamon flavor - yum!
Found some of the gift shop employees just a bit rude. They were not a major part of our experience, so no big deal but it was unexpected.
Crowd is most definitely older. Shows, activities, music geared toward retirees. Enjoyable, but would like to see more variety if HAL is to attract the next generation. Comedian was very funny. Loved The MIX and Ocean Breeze bar areas.
8 year old went to the kid's club several times. He enjoyed playing the games but there weren't really any guided activities for this age group. They were basically left to find their entertainment (video games, movies, etc.) Seems like there were structured activities for the younger set and the teens had their own areas. Felt like the "tweens" were short changed just a bit. Still, he did seem to enjoy his time there.
Most of the deck chairs on the lower promenade are "reserved". This is a little disappointing as we really enjoy sitting on the deck, away from the pool for relaxing quiet. We did find chairs toward the front or back where it is VERY windy. It was frustrating because most of the "reserved" chairs were empty.
In spite of these few quirks, we had a good experience and will likely sail with HAL again.