My wife and I were advised by E-Mail two days before our cruise that our ship, The Veendam, was delayed in drydock and would not be ready until 5/2/11 instead of the scheduled departure of 5/1/11. As a result, we were offered one of two options. Either we could receive a hotel room in Manhattan at the Sheration on 7th avenue and 53rd street or be given a $150.00 credit per person..
Many of the 1250 guests were already in transit to the cruise berths and never received this communication or were shut out of available rooms at the Sheraton. We were then provided a room after a very long wait and could not get into our room until after 4 pm.
The transfer on Monday, 5/2/11 was chaotic at best with 28 buses, which were delayed additional from the apponited departure time, transporting a variety of guests, many with physical disabilities. Lunch on board was minimal and many guests had not even boarded the ship when a boat drill was held at 4:15pm. Most of us were dog tired by More
this time and would have preferred to take a nap. The decks were totally empty as we sailed away from the dock.
The food and the service was inconsistent for the entire week. Truly not up to Holland America standards. Even the announcements were both brief and ambiguous as was the lack of good taste by the Cruise Director, Eric.
The transfer service by ferry in St George was disgraceful as 600 passengers
boarded and took nearly an hour to load and a 30 minute trip into St. George from where we were anchored.
There was several injuries onboard during the week by handicapped guests that had little or no assistance from the very untrained crew.
I could go on and on about the many problems incurred on this cruise. The only bright spot was the two very professional shows viewed aboard this week.
The tenor, Christopher Lowe was brilliant.
Even the exit from the ship on 5/8/11 was sloppy with over an hour delay for initial disembarkation.
Overall this was probably a "1" on a scale of "1" to "9". We were told they don't use a "10" because there was always room for improvement. This certainly was an understatement about this particular cruise.
And, a 25% discount for a future cruise aboard a Holland America cruise is an insult since many guests said they probably would not cruise Holland America ever again. Less
Hamilton , Bermuda is a very cosmopolitan city with a very sophisticated and warm people. St. George can be compared with Williamsburg, Virginia. Both were truly unique destinations. The Dockyards has a fort and many interesting artifacts to explore. The large cruise ships need to dock here for space and depth purposes.
Bermuda is a series of interconnected islands with small bridges connecting the many islands. The brightly colored pastel houses make a very attractive and scenic drive around the island. However, do not attempt to ride a motorbike unless you are both skilled and understand that you drive on the opposite side of the road since they follow English tradition. The smells of various scented flora and fauna is almost intoxicating and ther air is very clear. A Bermuda sunset is both romantic and beautiful to witness. Overall, Bermuda is a wonderful destination. One lat word. The beaches are second to none with pink sand from the coral embedded in the sand. Don't mess the quaint coves such as Shelly Bay and the beautiful beach of John Smith Park.