I must mention how much we appreciated our Captain, Rik Krombeen. He seemed determined to make the cruise "special" for everyone. His announcements were clearly given, with many humerous touches and we enjoyed hearing his "Hi, It's me again" when he'd call our attention to something special that we'd have missed otherwise.
Our room steward, Farid (?), was the greatest. He was so efficient, and yet so friendly and willing to share with us, even though we knew we were interruping his work routine. He definitely left a couple of extermely happy travelers, and we hoped that HAL realizes what a great asset he is in conributing to a guest's overall enjoyment of the whole trip.
We were made to feel special by so many members of the Veendam's crew - waiters who remembered our names after we first met them, the Lido staff, Cruise Director Patti Honacki, etc. etc.- so many smiling faces made for a truly happy trip. (We met just one unsmiling, rather dour faced "seater" in the Rotterdam Dining Room on two occasions.) I especially enjoyed the friendship that came with participation in the daily TaiChi sessions with Lifestylist Prince. He was great - and it was fun to progress through the series of lessons, feeling more relaxed and at ease after each session.
I have a multitude of wonderful memories that will brighten my days through the years ahead.... Thank you to HAL and the entire crew of the Veendam.
BUT,FOR ME, THE DAYS AT SEA WHILE IN THE WATERS NEAR ANTARCTICA LEFT WHAT WILL BE THE MOST LONG LASTING MEMORIES. THE SHEER BEAUTY OF IT ALL WAS AMAZIBG - MANY ICEBERGS MUCH LARGER THAN THE SHIP - SOME LANDLOCKED, SOME FLOATIBG. AREAS OF OPEN WATER THAT WOULD VERY QUICKLY GET CLOGGED WITH SMALLER BERGS TO THE POINT THAT THEY BECAME IMPASSABLE. AND OF COURSE, GIGANTIC GLACIERS WITH WHAT LOOKED LIKE BLUE GROTTOS AND LARGE CAVES JUST ABOVE THE WATER LINE. IT TRULY WAS A DREAM COME TRUE FOR ME - ONE THAT I'LL REMEMBER ALWAYS.