TRANSFER TO PORT:
We met the HAL staff at the airport and the transfer was very easy. I would recommend the use of the HAL transfer at this location as it is a long way to the port from the airport.
The food was absolutely amazing. I was able to meet all dinners in the MDR and it was nice. I had fixed early seating which I like. We had great tablemates. Our steward and asst were very good.
I ate all breakfasts in the MDR as well as lunches (unless we were on or heading out for an excrusion). I loved the food there. I did eat in the Lido a couple of times and the food there was fine too.
Now the food - the menu was quite extensive with almost something different every night of the 17 day cruise. They also had some items the same for those that were not as daring to try different types of food.
The days that I ordered room service for breakfast due to an excursion, the food came on time and exactly what I ordered (even if I wrote it in.)
I did not try the Pinnacle Grill as the other food choices were substantial.
I did have to make a trip up to the Lido for the AMAZING BREAD PUDDING with Vanilla sauce. I miss it already.
Our cabin was an CA Lanai cabin. It was perfect for this itinerary as there was always things to see on both the port and starboard sides so it allowed easy access to both.
I did find storage a bit limited for two people especially with the extra clothes that this itinerary required but we made it work.
Beds were very comfortable. Fresh fruit delivered daily (per our request at no charge) was also a nice touch.
SPA & FITNESS:
I did not use the pool or gym as I found there was little time. I did have a massage and it was great.
PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS:
Ports were great and I did book all my shore excursions from HAL. The disembarkation at some of the locations was very unorganized as some passengers insist on getting the best seat in the bus and have to leave before they are called - when will they learn?!? We also had a couple of large groups on this ship and they kind of crept in to the HAL excursions to exit the ship. I do think that the Veendam should actually be a bit more deligient in this.
Also in a couple of incidents the ship only had one scanner open and with everyone trying to leave at the same time made it quite difficult.
One port had to be bypassed or we would have had safety issues with possiblities of 28ft waves. The captain Marc Carsjens, actually had a meeting in the Showroom to show us the weather charts and gave a great explanation about the reasoning of missing Ushuaia. He explained it in layman terms and it was great that he took the time to explain this to us. (Also his daily updates, were great too)
We were in the first group to leave the ship as we were doing a post-cruise with HAL and had to be at the airport shortly after we docked. The process for the disembarkation went smoothly.
We had to pack a bag to take on our post cruise and one to leave behind (that we would see again when we arrived back to the Buenos Aires hotel). I was concerned but when we arrived back in Buenos Aires a couple of days later - It was in my room. Kudos to the people responsbile for organizing this.
Both hotels used for the post-cruise were great.
The only concern is the Sheraton Iguzzu is very expensive for dinner and because it is in the park you are limited and basically have to eat there. The trade off however was beautiful views.
The Sheraton Liberatodor in Buenos Aires was right downtown and a nice walk to good restaurants and Flordia st for great shopping (souvenir and otherwise).