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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I picked this cruise because it docked in Hamilton and spent three nights in Bermuda rather than the usual two. I always thought HAL was a great cruise line but was so disappointed in this cruise, our first, and last on HAL. Positives: ... Read More
I picked this cruise because it docked in Hamilton and spent three nights in Bermuda rather than the usual two. I always thought HAL was a great cruise line but was so disappointed in this cruise, our first, and last on HAL. Positives: Embarking and disembarking in Boston was a breeze. The salads in the buffet were very good, I feel the best of the free food on the ship. The desserts (cream puffs and ice cream) at the buffet were good. They only served soft serve ice cream during lunch, but the hard ice cream throughout the end of the serving time - makes no sense. Negatives - Food would run out at buffet starting an hour before the service ended. The buffet was closed at 8 p.m. then opened for one hour later, I think 10:30 - 11:30. SOME bartenders would always suggest doubles on the drinks. Once a bartender poured a double glass of wine and stated that after giving it to my husband, and charged double! Unethical! Heineken was no longer available three days before the end of the cruise. The last night inventory was done and some alcohol was taken away from the bar before closing, so was unavailable. We had a drink plan and only 15 drinks were available per day. That is not a lot if you order sodas, bottled water, or special coffee. We had to go to the desk to see how many drinks we had per day as bartenders had no way of telling how many you had. Many times no receipts were given at the bars. Food was very poor quality. The best things were the Nathan hot dogs (the Dive-In closed at 5 p.m.) and salads at the buffet. The pizza (which closed at 8 p.m.), buffet and main dining room were not good at all. The Pinnacle Restaurant was excellent, but you should not have to pay extra to get edible food. We ate there once and other than that, the restaurant was full and no reservations could be made. There was a huge lack of staff to wait on people by the pool and in all areas of the ship. We would have to walk to the bar to get service. The bartender would sometimes say they would send someone over with the drink, but then the server had no idea who the drink was for, I saw this happen several times and actually pointed out to the server where the person who wanted the drink was. Waitstaff at the buffet was not sufficient. I often brought up my dirty dishes as they were not picked up. If you ate on a chair by the pool drink glasses and plates were not picked up. There was a lack of staff to pick up dirty tables and re-set. Many ship higher level employees were often eating at the buffet and seemed to get preferential treatment. They would get their sodas from the bartender who appeared to wait on the staff first. I feel sorry for the lower lever employees (bar staff, room stewards and so on). They are understaffed and work long hours while the higher level spends much time eating and walking around the ship. Another thing, the windows on the ship were FILTHY! This includes room windows as well as dining room windows. Initially when cruise started, they kept announcing to wash hands and if you feel, or see someone sick to notify staff but...to get in and out of the buffet you have to push or pull open a door, they should be sliding doors. One exit did have the sliding doors, but that was it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We live in RI & had not yet visited Bermuda. I had been watching HLAV “deals” out of Boston, published by HLA, in the past and then heard the ship would be changing their IT BOS-Bermuda out of Hamilton. We grabbed the last ... Read More
We live in RI & had not yet visited Bermuda. I had been watching HLAV “deals” out of Boston, published by HLA, in the past and then heard the ship would be changing their IT BOS-Bermuda out of Hamilton. We grabbed the last sail & spent a wonderful 3 full days, 3 nights on this lovely island. The Bermudians are kind & friendly, Hamilton is near center of either end for convenience & the Veendam has wonderful staff, clean & well maintained, nice variety of entertainment throughout the evening (DJ in Crowsnest late night, classical in Explorer lounge day & evening, jazz in the Ocean lounge and popular/sing along in another. The shows in the comfortable, soft seating theater were very well done & included fantastic magician, comedian, singing & dance broadway caliber which I did not expect for a smaller ship. We dined on the main dining room every night and always had a very good dinner with extensive variety to choose from. Everyone at the table seemed pleased with their order. The Lido Market buffet is served by servers and there was very little wait to get anything in any amount you desired. I feel strongly that the buffet servering keeps ships illness down. The buffet has plexiglass in front of the food choices so that passengers do not handle or breath on the food. Great way to do it. Hand sanitizing dispensers all around the ship! Our inside cabin was quiet & plenty of room for 2. We did not have food down beds on the walls so that opens it up. Shower was fine with shampoo, conditioner & body wash on the wall. Upon arrival the phone in the cabin was on the blink & was changed out. There was plenty of lighting, a TV with a few news channels, ship’s related channels, movie channels, etc.. A book in the room listed 200+ Popular movies you could plug into the DVD player. You got your next days ship’s IT nightly (with a little chocolate & animal towel design). Wonderful robes ready to use, plenty of closet space and I brought a combo of at least 25 outfits! Not that you need it but was not sure about the weather & wanted to be comfortable on ship’s promenade deck where we lounged on the traditional teak chairs (which could use thicker cushions). We did 1 excursion & toured Bermuda & beaches by bus. Embark & disembark well organized. Captain very personable. Fitness room state of the art, programs free & interesting. Veendam has a dedicated card table room for bridge & other table games which I have not seen on larger ships. I was very happy my husband could find a few bridge games. There is also a large open room dedicated to games, puzzles & CHESS already set up 4 chess tables not to mention a GIANT CHESS game set up in the large pool area! An adult hot tub area is on ship’s AFT as well with a bar, seating & handmade NY style thin crust pizza! Delicious! Given it’s an older ship, it is well maintained, great size to navigate around and stylish. Ready to go with you to Venice Italy when you get there! Veendam has all the small ship personality you could hope for plus big ship activities & entertainment. It’s a classy operation & the passengers love Holland. No, We so not work for or with them, yes We paid for my trip and absolutely gave our fabulous stewards a healthy tip (on top of the mandated ship’s tips) because they were in that cabin 2-3 times a day making the cruise a very special experience! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My wife and I traveled with my brother and his wife June 9, 2018 from Boston to Bermuda. The cruise itself was fine, but the food was not very good both in the dining room and the buffet. We had to send back our Lamb chops that were so ... Read More
My wife and I traveled with my brother and his wife June 9, 2018 from Boston to Bermuda. The cruise itself was fine, but the food was not very good both in the dining room and the buffet. We had to send back our Lamb chops that were so tough we could not eat. The waiter was helpful and suggested bringing out something else which we did. In the buffet we found that the meats were very dry as if it was prepared way in advance. Our room was a balcony and was clean but very dated and worn. The balcony needed painting due to the rust. The bottom sheet was patched with a blue patch. The toliet had a odor and the carpet was very worn. We ordered a water (8) package weeks in advance online but we only got (4) after we checked in. The guy stated he would deliver the balance later. I told 2 of our room stewards we had not gotten our balance of water but nothing happened. I went to guest services and they got it delivered in a few hours. The entertainment was not very good. We have sailed on over 20 trips with several cruise lines including Holland and have not had this poor level overall. Seems like not just one thing but many thing were not up to our expectations. Our room was #111 and my brothers room was 109. This ship really needs to be in dry dock and refurbished. Our stay in Bermuda was ok. We took a 5 hour mini bus tour and was very good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our ninth Holland America cruise but the first one where we overnighted in the same port. That, and the chance to sail on another S-Class (Statendam Class) HAL ship, are what attracted us to this particular sailing. As always, ... Read More
This was our ninth Holland America cruise but the first one where we overnighted in the same port. That, and the chance to sail on another S-Class (Statendam Class) HAL ship, are what attracted us to this particular sailing. As always, the crew was more than accommodating. For example, on the first morning I stopped at the Front Desk to check on the newspapers. On all subsequent days the gentleman at the Front Desk had the English-language papers ready for me to pick up. In addition, with special dietary requirements, the dining stewards brought out menus for the following day so that accomotative dinners could be pre-ordered. Souvenir shopping on the Veendam (and on the former Ryndam) is quite limited compared to HAL's Vista class and larger ships that we have sailed on. Most people do this ashore so it is not a major concern. On the other hand, with only 1300 or so on board we developed some commeraderie with other passengers that is sometimes lacking on ships with 2000 or more passengers. We did discover that Bermuda is only marginally handicap accessible. Shopping venues, restuarants and bars in Hamilton often had steps that could not be navigated by a wheelchair or walker. Cars were also often parked in such a way as to block the sidewalk. Accessibility at the Royal Naval Dockyard where the larger ships are located was even worse. In our case it was possible to get out of the wheelchair while it was lifted over curbs. For those who are unable to stand or people with power chairs it would be a difficult outing in either location. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Being from Boston, we chose this particular cruise for we didn't have to fly to get to the departure point. Also booked at last minute and got a real quality vacation value for our 7 days. Met so many interesting people and were able ... Read More
Being from Boston, we chose this particular cruise for we didn't have to fly to get to the departure point. Also booked at last minute and got a real quality vacation value for our 7 days. Met so many interesting people and were able to share other travel experiences and fun stories with them. Departing from Boston is now what we look for in cruise planning. Holland America is one of our favorite cruise lines and the Veendam cruises to Bermuda only a few times a year during the summer months. The ship could use a little maintenance, especially the elevators. It's overlooked by the exceptional service by the staff and quality of product received by HAL. We even had an unofficial Meet & Greet in the Crow's Nest on Day 2. Nice to meet other cruisers and share valuable info. We were so fortunate to be invited by a couple we met on Day 1 to their Vow Renewal Ceremony. It was done up so beautiful and the Captain and Cruise Director couldn't have been nicer to us all. Even the rain and showers didn't get us down, for we were in beautiful Bermuda. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Fantastic cruise the service on the ship was as usual on Holland America great. The people, weather "oh " and did I mention the beaches were just lovely. The water color was unbelievable. and the temperature so warm. We went ... Read More
Fantastic cruise the service on the ship was as usual on Holland America great. The people, weather "oh " and did I mention the beaches were just lovely. The water color was unbelievable. and the temperature so warm. We went swimming and brought some bread with us...... oh my, the fish swarmed around us trying to get the bread, we threw it farther away and they chased it then came swarming back. We had great fun. The ship was just the right size, we kept meeting people we had dined with, sang with, met with at the meet and greet and toured with. We had a balcony suite and used to our full advantage, we had breakfast there, read there, relaxed there I even painted a watercolor there. Over all we were very pleased with the entire cruise. We would highly recommend this Veendam cruise, to Bermuda, to our family and friends Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to compare too. Having never really wanted to go on a cruise, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought I'd feel cooped up on the ship and in the room, but didn't feel that way at all. There ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to compare too. Having never really wanted to go on a cruise, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought I'd feel cooped up on the ship and in the room, but didn't feel that way at all. There were 4 of us. All women, ages 58 to 78. We cruised from Montreal to Boston, but the ship continued on to Bermuda. Here are some of my thoughts. The ship, I'm told, is smaller than the new mega ships. I found it easy to get around once I got my directions straight. We did still walk a lot while on board, but I understand you walk a lot more on the mega ships. I enjoyed going to the top outside deck (12th floor) to take sunset pictures. I thought the decor of the ship was a little dated, but that might appeal to most of the older crowd. However, even if dated it was well kept. There was one elevator that acted up the entire trip. I didn't worry about getting stuck in it. The biggest problem was it wouldn't go anywhere. It became a big joke among the passengers and caused a lot of laughter among strangers. Our cabins were 794 and 796 situated roughly mid ship on Deck 4. They have a window with a full view. They were relativity quiet. No noise from other areas, except the occasional noise of closing doors of the staffs work room across the hall from us. Very minor! No noise from below or above. Our room staff was awesome. Very friendly. Eddie even called us by our names. If we need anything we got it within 10 minutes of asking. Our rooms were straightened up by the cabin staff twice a day. Service: The onboard Wifi was spotty and while there is an app (free) that you can use on-board to 'chat' with each other, we found the chat function somewhat useless because of the Wifi connection. As far as paying for Wifi, we cancelled the package because if was so spotty and slow. Room service was excellent. We ordered hot water every evening for the next morning and it was always there on time. Dining: We ate dinner in the Rottendam most evening. Our wait staff was excellent. The food was great, especially the desserts. We had dinner one night in the Pinnacle. It was excellent. Highly recommend eating there at least once. The Lido was good at all times and had an excellent selection. The burgers near the pool were excellent as well. The only thing I ate that I thought wasn't great was the pizza from the pizza bar. Entertainment: We went to a show most night. The entertainment was good. The is a We didn't do many of the other activities like the casino or America's test kitchen. Did enjoy the 'ask Captain questions'. The on-board shops had Cuban themed shops which I thought was strange for a Canada to Bermuda trip. I'm guessing the ship had gone to Cuba over the winter and they just hadn't changed out the shop yet. Excursions: We did shore excursions most days (didn't do Sidney). Some were though HAL and some though other companies. The HAL excursions were good. The scenery was beautiful! I highly recommend getting out and seeing Quebec, Halifax, Prince Edward Island, and Bar Harbor! I heard Sidney excursions were beautiful as well. General: There were very few children on board. Most people were in our age range. Disembarkation and Embarkment: Both went very smoothly and quickly each time. I enjoyed the cruise and would definitely take another one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Did not want to go to the Caribbean or overseas and I wanted to sightsee with my daughter. This was perfect. We flew in to Montreal on Friday so we had a little time to sightsee on Sat. We stayed in Old Montreal right on the edge of ... Read More
Did not want to go to the Caribbean or overseas and I wanted to sightsee with my daughter. This was perfect. We flew in to Montreal on Friday so we had a little time to sightsee on Sat. We stayed in Old Montreal right on the edge of Chinatown within walking distance to the Basilica. You could actually walk to the cruise ship port EXCEPT there is a huge hill going down to the port. Embarkation was so easy then once we checked out the room we went for lunch to the Lido. We would have breakfast in the Lido - loved all choices and service, food very good. A few mornings we had room service which always arrived on time, piping hot, and our orders were correct. One morning we had bkfst in the main DR which was nice just more formal of course. Lunch we were always off the ship except the day in Sydney. It was cold and rainy and not much to do in port. Take an excursion. The one day at Sea we did the Americas Test Kitchen Cooking show which was good. Then Bingo. That was fun. We did the As you Wish seating at Dinner which we really liked- always meeting new and interesting people. I did the Tea once when we were at sea. Very good. The DR food was very good, some courses better than others. The rack of lamb was delicious I wish I had ordered 2. We rarely waited for a table, the srevice wax great. Nightly entertainment was not always well attended - these cruisers went to bed early! We really liked the Oceans Trio best- Harvey can really play the piano and he jokes along so it is a very entertaining show. The shows at night were pretty good I think we saw 3. Pool area is nice and well managed with the Dive in (great hamburgers, hotdogs, and a taco bar). All of the bartenders and staff were great & very courteous. We liked going uo to the Crows Nest when the ship was leaving port. There are sailaway drink specials which is nice . Drinks were good, one time we caught Trivia with the cruise ship director which we enjoyed. We are considering a cruise in Feb on the Nieu Amsterdam, I have read they changed the Crows Nest on that ship to a different venue which I am sorry to hear. We did eat in the Canelleto one night. The food was ok, saw a beautiful sunset cruising on the river. Also we ate in the Pinnacle Grill the night that it was Rudys Sel de Mer. That was a delicious meal with superb service. Quite a bit of food. The bouillibaise was superb. As you can tell I really enjoyed this trip. No, I have not been on many cruises but this was pretty perfect in my book. The husbands were sorry they didnt go. Debarkation was a little confusing. We did the HAL bus ride to the airport. They get the luugage on then realize that the people getting off 1st that their luggage should be on top. Anyway it all worked out. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose the Veendam cruise to Hamilton Bermuda because it had a 3 night stay in Hamilton. Many cruise lines traveling to Bermuda dock at the Naval Dock Yard, and have a shorter stay. Hamilton is an excellent place to dock, within reach ... Read More
We chose the Veendam cruise to Hamilton Bermuda because it had a 3 night stay in Hamilton. Many cruise lines traveling to Bermuda dock at the Naval Dock Yard, and have a shorter stay. Hamilton is an excellent place to dock, within reach of many attractions and beaches.We used the local bus service an economical way to get around the island. The Veendam is a beautiful ship, well maintained,clean and tidy.We had a window cabin,the cabin was a good size for 2 people, decor was good,bed comfortable , plenty of closet space,air conditioning worked well Room stewards were friendly and worked very efficiently. We used the main dining room for breakfasts and evening meals, food was good and well presented.We also used the Lido buffet , food and service was good . Evening entertainment in the main theater was good, the German Skinny Guy show was very good,the movies offered were also entertaining.The America's test kitchen was a good experience, with lots of useful tips and a cooking demonstration. We used the pool and hot tubs on the sea days, not many people were using them, as the sea was a little rough on those days. Overall an excellent relaxing cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Because two years before this cruise was wonderful and the Veendam is the only cruise boat currently cruising to Bermuda that stays 3 full days along side Front Street in Hamilton. That's why we took this cruise again. The food served ... Read More
Because two years before this cruise was wonderful and the Veendam is the only cruise boat currently cruising to Bermuda that stays 3 full days along side Front Street in Hamilton. That's why we took this cruise again. The food served in the dining room was almost always lukewarm or cold because of the method of serving. At one breakfast our asst. manager ZEN graciously moved us away from people who were hacking coughing like a TB ward. One of us was not able to use the stairways because of a walker and he noticed that he used the elevator in either of the elevator banks, for or after, there always seemed to be 2 of the 4 cars in either bank out of service .i.e. not moving. Coffee shop was great as usual. Servers and cabin attendants were very helpful. Casino was much too smoky and should have smokers isolated. Read Less
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