This review is in conjunction with "Horror Show on Sea" from cruiselover930 who were our travelling companions. With all due respect, we certainly do not feel it was the worst cruise we were ever on. You must realize the Veendam is an older ship. It does not offer any of the "gimmicks" on the much larger ships. With the Veendam, we believe HAL is trying to bring back the "old" days of cruising, i.e. enforcing dress code, etc. It is a very low key ship - no announcements, no flurry of activity - people just relaxing. This ship had the largest library with a librarian that we had ever seen and was located on a main thoroughfare. It was a pleasant cruise and enjoyable for what it offered.
That being said, of course there are pros and cons. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly without incidences. The representatives at the New York Harbor were very pleasant and helpful. We were in room 111 and there was no a/c. After two days we finally received a fan (which is unacceptable for the price of the cruise) and the a/c was adjusted. This should be addressed by HAL since other reviewers of the Veendam have also mentioned lack of a/c. For our troubles they did send us wine and flowers and the staff was ever so gracious with each complaint. But having no a/c is uncomfortable especially on a tropical island! The casino was also very warm which is very unusual so their a/c system should be revamped.
This was Carlo's first voyage as a cruise director. Honestly, it was a tough crowd - very laid back - but he did a wonderful job trying to engage people to participate.
In conclusion, if you want a very lively, interactive, gimmicky ship - do not go on the Veendam. If you want to relax, not be bothered by anyone and enjoy delicious food and Bermuda right on Front Street - this is the ship to sail.