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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Check in was fast. We didn’t have to wait on a line. We went straight to the counter. We were given a number (10) and told to wait until our number was called. We waited about an hour before they started calling numbers, but boarding ... Read More
Check in was fast. We didn’t have to wait on a line. We went straight to the counter. We were given a number (10) and told to wait until our number was called. We waited about an hour before they started calling numbers, but boarding went quickly and smoothly. I didn’t like the fact that I was forced to wait on a photo line even though I wasnt interested in taking a photo. Disembarkation was also quick and organized. The ship is boring in decor. I couldn’t quite guess what the ships theme was, if any. Our room, 1096, was large and comfortable. We've never booked a room lower than the 6th floor because I was afraid of the noise level (motor) but this ship was quiet all the time. Dining was the best part of this cruise. No matter what or where we ate, the food was always delicious. The food had the right amount of spice to make them very flavorful. They could improve a little on the desserts however. Most of them lacked the one ingredient that would put them over the top. Entertainment and Activites: I was extremely disappointed with this part of the cruise. The shows did not meet my expectations. I’m a frequent cruiser so I’ve seen my share of shows. They were boring and not at all entertaining. There were no clubs for dancing except B.B. Kings and even that was lacking. We participated in a Ping Pong competition and there were 8 players. A volley ball tournament on Half Moon Cay never happened because there were no participants. Everything was mostly empty or closed early. The service was impeccable. Everyone was always friendly and attentive. Our waiters Tri & Sugito were fabulous, always making us feel comfortable. Photos: The backdrops for the photos were boring & old. Solid color canvases in green, gray & burgundy. The Atrium is small so the stairs are nothing to write home about. The photographers do not pose you correctly. Imperfections are not removed or corrected. Pics come in sheets with an 8x10, a 5x7 & 2 wallet size for $39.99. No options. They print every single photo you take, regardless of the quality (eyes closed). I thinks that’s a waste of paper & time. We did our own excursions purchased elsewhere. The ships excursions were more expensive. The ship has a much older crowd 60+. There are no slides, rock climbing walls or anything exciting to do. If you’re looking for a cruise that will provide quiet and relaxation than this is the ship for you. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Our second time on Veendam. It is just the right size for oldsters. The ship is immaculate,everyone of the staff is friendly, the food is very good. The Lido buffet has the kitchen staff putting food on the plates, so there is minimum ... Read More
Our second time on Veendam. It is just the right size for oldsters. The ship is immaculate,everyone of the staff is friendly, the food is very good. The Lido buffet has the kitchen staff putting food on the plates, so there is minimum chance of contamination by passengers hands. We enjoyed the Pinnacle and the Caneletto restaurant and really enjoyed them. Our cabin was the typical balcony cabin with a chaise lounge and 2 chairs. It was kept excellently by the stewards. It was midship, but next time I would get a cabin closer to the elevators, to avoid the long walk We stopped at Key West, Cozulem and Cuba. Costa Maya was too rough and windy to dock so we missed it. Cuba Is a newer port for HAL, so there are a few kinks. It get dark at 6pm and there are very few street lights so it is pitch black. Our 4 hour tour started late at 4pm and we went to an OK restaurant from 4to 6. Then in the darkness we went on a panoramic ride to an artist establishment. It was disappointing trying to enjoy this in the darkness. But Cuba was an experience I'm glad I had. Every college student should see how communism works. Getting on and off the ship went smoothly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
As this was a special occasion, we spared no expense and booked a Neptune Suite with large aft wrap around balcony. Expectations were high, more so as we have cruised extensively before and enjoyed our Cunard and Celebrity cruises ... Read More
As this was a special occasion, we spared no expense and booked a Neptune Suite with large aft wrap around balcony. Expectations were high, more so as we have cruised extensively before and enjoyed our Cunard and Celebrity cruises immensely. The trip started positively, embarkation was quick and friendly. Things went downhill from there. Cabin (and ship) decor is very dated and years overdue for a refit. Furniture and fittings are of low quality, and this was especially evident in the bathroom. Main dinning room was mediocre, decor again dated, dark and stuffy. Worst part was the food, despite an effusive menu littered with culinary terms, the food was basic, low quality, dumped on the plate and served lukewarm. We ate there twice and then never returned. Lido dinning was even worse. Very limited choice, mostly pizza and pasta, and poor process for dishing out food, leaving people waiting ages for their order to be filled. Worst was the service times, if you wanted food outside their designated times, only dried up pizza was available. Not a vegetable in sight. At 8.30pm most stations were closed, and I have a picture of staff coming through vacuuming while diners still eating ! By day three, we reverted to eating all meals onshore when in port. On sea days we ate at the Pinnacle Grill, which was excellent, but at an xtra cost of $35 per head each time. Enrichment program was limited and focused on selling stuff. Entertainment stage shows were okay, but cruise director was clearly just coasting and did not bring any energy or interest to the cruise. Officers were rude and uninterested on the rare occasion we saw them or spoke to them. The only redeeming factor was the general staff, who were worked so hard to make up for the inadequacies of the ship, the processs and the lack of leadership. They were without exception, cheerful, helpful and engaging. To all of them, our sincere thanks. Other passengers we spoke to had mixed views, many shared our views, but others were very happy, so maybe it’s a matter of expectations. For us, this was our first experience with HAL and based on this we would not book them again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We needed a cruise that would fit in with my husband's work commitments and had a suitable itinerary. This cruise fit the bill and as we had sailed on the Volendam before, we were happy to book the cruise.Embarkation in Singapore was ... Read More
We needed a cruise that would fit in with my husband's work commitments and had a suitable itinerary. This cruise fit the bill and as we had sailed on the Volendam before, we were happy to book the cruise.Embarkation in Singapore was smooth quick and efficient. We had an oceanview stateroom, midships, as I can suffer from motion sickness. The cruise was fairly calm and the only movement I felt was on the last sea day when it was a bit rougher. We enjoyed all our meals on board whether in the Lido or Dining Room, we didn't eat at the specialty restaurants. We found the nightly entertainment on the Mainstage to be of varying quality from very enjoyable to not so good. I found the Windows 10 sessions quite helpful and America's Test Kitchen enjoyable. All the staff we came in contact with were all cheerful and helpful, they gave us the feeling that nothing was too much for them. I had ordered the unlimited laundry package and everything was returned clean in a timely manner. There are no more self-serve laundries on board.The only problem we had in disembarking was waiting over an hour for a taxi at the terminal. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We went on a 10 day Southern Caribbean Cruise from Jan. 14-24 because it include the islands of Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba. Our first stop was to be Holland's island Half Moon Cay however with high winds the captain said it was not safe to ... Read More
We went on a 10 day Southern Caribbean Cruise from Jan. 14-24 because it include the islands of Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba. Our first stop was to be Holland's island Half Moon Cay however with high winds the captain said it was not safe to go in on the tenders - what a bummer because that has always been one of our favorite stops. We then stopped at Grand Turk and we have been there many times and always enjoy the beach and time spent at Margaritaville - very fun. Next we stopped at Amber Cove and we enjoy that stop as they have a free water park, nice relaxed place. After a sea day we stopped at Bonaire and it is a smaller island more known for snorkeling and scuba which we did not do, however it was a nice stop. Then on to Curacao and Aruba and we really enjoy both of those stops - very colorful and friendly people. Now concerning our first cruise on the Koningsdam as opposed to seven other Holland cruises we have been on. The ship is very nice and similar to all the other Holland ships we've been on - same lay out etc. However we did find some difference we weren't extremely happy about - no tubs in the verandah rooms, but the shower was pretty big. The walking deck on deck 3 was smaller width wise which led Holland to do away with the deck chairs we have seen on other ships - which doesn't allow for people who want to just go set and rest or read on that deck during a cruise, and we realize it is a design thing. We also felt like the verandah cabin was maybe just a little smaller than other ship verandahs we have had. We did love the new World Stage on this ship and the special effects it had during performances. We also love the BB Kings Blues Club as they had performances almost every night. Again te service on Holland ships by the Indonesian crew is still top notch and we loved our dining room stewards. All in all we loved our trip and will continue to cruise with Holland in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
third time we have been on HAL.Like the smaller ships better. This time my husband forgot his passport and thanks these 3 wonderful people at the embarkation terminal -Jennifer Richardson, Heather Vaughan and Maryann Byren he was able ... Read More
third time we have been on HAL.Like the smaller ships better. This time my husband forgot his passport and thanks these 3 wonderful people at the embarkation terminal -Jennifer Richardson, Heather Vaughan and Maryann Byren he was able to get a picture of his birth certificate and was allowed on. We had tried AIG (our insurance) and they said he HAD to have his passport. Our room 1926 on Dolphin deck was very clean at all times. Cleaned our rooms just when we wanted them to. Toilet made loud noise each time it flushed, but worked well. Food on Lido deck had great selections and was always hot. Loved the pizza, hamburgers , nachos choices and just wish they would of serviced soft chocolate ice cream every day. Entertainment was good, but not great. loved Don Anderson in the Mix bar each night. Excursions were pretty good except St. John/Antigua at Dickson Beach. 4 1/2 hr trip up around the hills (real narrow) with starving horses, cows dogs etc. and ended up with only less than 2 hrs to swim. Starving dogs laying under your lounge chairs. Really made for a sad day. Only took 1 hr to come back to ship. DO NOT recommend this excursion. Jay Jay at the Sea View Bar on Lido deck was an outstanding server. Always came over to talk to us whether we were having a drink or not. Had no problems disembarking. Highly recommend this cruise for a nice and quiet trip with beautiful weather and stops. We are planning to do the same trip next January. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Our first cruise ever was on the MS Zuiderdam from Jan 7, 2018 to Jan 17, 2018. It was an initiation for sure! The weather was not the greatest to start with and progressively worsened throughout the cruise. After our second last stop in ... Read More
Our first cruise ever was on the MS Zuiderdam from Jan 7, 2018 to Jan 17, 2018. It was an initiation for sure! The weather was not the greatest to start with and progressively worsened throughout the cruise. After our second last stop in Colon, Panama the weather really turned nasty and the ship truly started to rock. The weather was so bad, that the captain decided that it was unsafe to dock at our last port of call Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. So we proceeded back to Ft. Lauderdale and spent the last part of our cruise on rough seas for 3 days. It was not much fun! To be fair, the weather was not Holland America’s fault and we and they attempted to make the best of an unfortunate situation. For the most part, we did enjoy our cruise especially the stops at Half Moon Cay, Aruba and Curacao. However, the cruise through the Panama Canal was boring and if you did not partake of one of the many day excursions offered through EXC Tours then you were not allowed to disembark from the ship at Gatun Lake (there was absolutely nothing there). Some of these tours were expensive and exceeded on average 5.5 hours in time. Passengers who took the tours were picked up at Colon when the ship docked but were warned that the ship could be late because their return time through the canal was controlled by the Panama Canal Authority. They were told to stay within the terminal facilities until the ship’s return for the safety reasons as elaborated below. When the ship did return to Colon, we were allowed to disembark but were warned to stay inside the terminal premises as it was considered unsafe to venture past the terminal facilities. The shopping within the terminal facilities was somewhat limited and there was not much else to do but return to the ship and await departure. Personally, I would find another more inviting and safer port of call. Overall, staff and crew on the MS Zuiderdam were very organized, efficient, friendly and courteous. The embarkation and disembarkation were systematic and well controlled. Our room stewards Nugi and Chris were amazing and were always present should you require some assistance. Their positive vibes were constantly evident even when the last part of our cruise was not the best. I truly wanted to thank them in this review. Servers that also came to our attention were Joel and John Patrick who provided excellent and attentive service - again, making this a somewhat more relaxing cruise. Overall though, I am not sure that I would recommend this cruise for everyone. If the weather was inclement as it was for us, then the alternatives were small to nil with the exception of returning to Ft. Lauderdale. Would we go on a cruise again? – most certainly!! Sometimes you just have to rock and roll with the flow. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We usually take longer cruises but chose this 7 day itinerary because it had 3 new-to-us ports of call plus Key West, a nostalgic favorite. We chose the Rotterdam, an older but well maintained craft, because we frequently cruise with HAL ... Read More
We usually take longer cruises but chose this 7 day itinerary because it had 3 new-to-us ports of call plus Key West, a nostalgic favorite. We chose the Rotterdam, an older but well maintained craft, because we frequently cruise with HAL and prefer smaller, quiet ships. We chose this cruise date because it was relatively inexpensive & we thought, correctly as it turned out, that the ship would not be full the week following the New Year's Eve cruise week. Most passengers were of retirement age. Priority check in and end of cruise disembarkation was quick and efficient. We drove to the port of Tampa where drop off and parking were easy. Our cabin stewards were outstanding. Our cabin was cleaned and made up on a schedule which was perfect for our wishes. We found it easy to be seated quickly for any time open seating dinners. The dining room food was OK but not outstanding. We ate twice at the Pinnacle Grill & recommend the tender, tasty petite fillet. The evening entertainment was OK, but again not outstanding. The ship's 2 singers and 6 dancers gave only 1 performance, which did not rise to the quality we have come to expect from HAL. There were port presentations which primarily were oriented to HAL tours and give minimal information for independent travelers. We usually travel independently on land but in Guatemala we took a HAL excursion to Livingston by boat for a walking tour and then continued up a scenic river to a school and lunch. It was an enjoyable tour. We had booked the all day tour to Tikal, but fog grounded our flight. BOTTOM LINE: The price was right for this cruise, the ports were interesting, and the Rotterdam staff outstanding. Knowing what we do now, if you are interested in these ports of call, we recommend this itinerary and ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We had been on a HAL transatlantic a year earlier and wanted to see if other HAL services were as good as the Oosterdam. Tampa was convenient, we'd never been to the Western Caribbean and the price was right so we decided on this cruise. ... Read More
We had been on a HAL transatlantic a year earlier and wanted to see if other HAL services were as good as the Oosterdam. Tampa was convenient, we'd never been to the Western Caribbean and the price was right so we decided on this cruise. Embarkation was a bit slow. It was cold that day so that didn't help since the Port of Tampa embarkation area is pretty much open. The ship is older. Its most noticeable in the electrical outlets ect in the cabin but otherwise we loved the ship, its size, daily Mass, the cleanliness of the cabin, the food and mostly the staff. The staff gives you the impression that they genuinely like being there and want to serve you. I can't say enough about them. The only disappointment during the cruise was the entertainment. Chris Pendleton was excellent otherwise the evening entertainment was just so-so. We've sailed on all the major cruise lines and I would say that HAL has become our cruise line of choice. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We really enjoyed this restful cruise. There is a difference in Holland America an elegance no longer on Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Linen tableclothes, the meals were delicious. Excellent surf and turf with prime beef and perfectly ... Read More
We really enjoyed this restful cruise. There is a difference in Holland America an elegance no longer on Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Linen tableclothes, the meals were delicious. Excellent surf and turf with prime beef and perfectly prepared full size lobster tails. Classical pianist and violinist played before and after. No long pushy lines on the Lido. It is a mature crowd, the young people were usually with family. No hairy chest, no carry the woman type of entertainment. No drunks wandering around. There is no big screen, no slides, no party atmosphere. Small ship with1400 possible passengers. Lovely wooden decks for walking. Not a lot of activity the Test Kitchen and BBC Earth movies in a small theatre. One major production by the singers and dancers, a comedian and a magician in a medium theatre. This is a cruise for an older crowd or someone wanting a restful cruise. I loved it. Read Less
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