Veendam Cruise Review by oldbidder1: Beautiful Bermuda
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Since we live in NJ leaving from NYC was great. We took a limo to the pier that morning from South Jersey and arrived there in less than 2 hours. The porter processed our baggage and we walked right in filled out our paperwork and were on board just about as fast as we could complete our forms. Very easy.
The ship is old, 1996 I think, and small. It is a little disappointing to not have any glimmer and excitement when you board but we realized the smaller ship allowed us to go places the larger ships couldn't. The ability to anchor in St. George for a day and Hamilton for 2 1/2 are a huge bonus.
We went to the Lido for lunch which had a decent selection. The lines were long and moved very slow. The soup, salad bar and ice cream were very good. We then went up to the Oasis Bar to watch Lady Liberty as we sailed out of NYC. Very nice.
We were able to go to our room around 1:30 and were pleasantly surprised at how large the room and bathroom were. We had a More large window that was in need of some cleaning but overall the room was very neat and clean. The bed was so comfortable I wanted to take it home with me.
The ship overall was a little disappointing. It does show its age and needs some serious updating. The retreat at the back of the boat is just plain run down. Tiles are missing in the pool where the lounge chairs sit. The pizza bar is back there but few used it since I heard it was pretty awful. They have a large movie screen but the sound was spotty. The bars had good entertainment and we enjoyed them nightly. The drinks are priced fairly and the bar service was pretty good. They have a non-alcoholic Margarita that is great. The showroom is big and nicely decorated. Watch the show from the first level since it is impossible to see upstairs unless you are in the first row. Also, the little tables they have in front on the lounge seating are too close and can't be moved making sitting behind them impossible. The dining room is nice but sit close to the stairs if you want to hear the live music since it is too loud in there to hear if you are on the first level and not up close to them. The elevators ran smoothly and we didn't have any issues with them while on board. The staff does keep the ship very clean and that is refreshing.
The food was good but not great. Okay the mushroom ravioli was great and the lobster tail and fillet were pretty good too. We ate all but one dinner in the MDR open seating. I don't like open seating but the staff was nice enough just not very personal. I thought the food selection was good and the ice cream sundaes each night were the best dessert on the menu in my opinion. Yummy!
We had one meal in the Pinnacle Grill and I was disappointed. There is a $20pp charge. They brought me 2 SMALL lobster tails in the shell and didn't even offer to remove the shell. Strangely enough the night before in the MDR the waiter removed the shell for me and that meal was "free". The creamed spinach in the Pinnacle was not edible since it tasted like someone dropped the salt shaker in it. If you don't like your meal there too bad you can only order one entree. The desserts were worse than the MDR by far. I won't go again and I suggest you save your $$$.
The entertainment is good but not great. The singers have very good voices but the venue is very small so they can't do much besides sing. The comedian is GREAT don't miss him we were in stitches the whole time.
Bermuda is just BEAUTIFUL! One suggestion don't go to Tobacco Bay in St. George it is very small and overcrowded. Try Clearwater Beach which is a short cab ride from the dock or get bus/ferry passes. The bus/ferry pass is $28 for unlimited transportation for 3 days. In my opinion it is the best deal on the island other than the lighthouse which is only $2.50 to climb for the best view of the whole island. If you are physically able take the bus there when you are in Hamilton and do the climb you won't be sorry you did.
Also worth doing is Horseshoe Bay, snorkeling at Elbow Beach, shopping at the dockyard and in Hamilton, St. Peters church in St. George, Captain Tony's glass bottom boat ride @ the ferry terminal in Hamilton, Crystal Caves, and the Swizzle Inn. We also like to ride the bus from one end of the island to the other and follow along on the map to scope out places we may want to go back to later.
We left Bermuda early which was a pain since we had a glass bottom boat tour scheduled at 10:00 and would lose our deposit if we didn't take it. It was the best part of the trip but we almost missed the ship. We were the ones mentioned in the earlier post running/walking back to the ship at 12:30. The ship was supposed to leave at 2:00 when we booked but the captain changed the time so we were sweating it out but luckily made it back.
Disembarkation was quick and easy and we were home before noon on Sunday. Overall a very good time on a nice ship and beautiful island. Less
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Cabin review: E752
Large cabins with plenty of storage. Great bathroom with a tub.