HAD A WONDERFUL TRIP ON HOLLAND AMERICA VEENDAM : Veendam Cruise Review by srippley-funseeker101

Veendam 5
Member Since 2013

Overall Member Rating


Sail Date: May 2013
Destination: Canada & New England
Embarkation: Boston
My husband and I decide to take the first New England/Canada cruise (POC Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown and Quebec City) of the season for the Veendam that departed from Boston. First off let me advise you to watch the taxi cab drivers if you are departing from any Airport Hotel properties or catching a flight from Boston after your cruise. The cost should not be more than $25.00 (that includes the toll fees the driver must pay for entering and leaving the airport) So be sure to ASK how much they will charge you and make sure they start the meter.
We received an e-mail a few days before our cruise advising us that there has been an GI illness breakout during the cruise of South America and that the ship would be doing a complete CDC required cleaning of the ship before our departure so they asked we not arrive before 1 pm. The ship was supposed to arrive in Boston by 7 am. However, while going up to our room we could the ship arriving to the dock around More 10:30 am (please note: we were advised that the ship was delayed due to very bad weather while sail from Florida) and my husband and I figured there was no way the ship would be able to leave by 5 pm that evening.
I wont go into all the details about the embarking because not all the issues were due to HAL staff but more towards the Boston Port Authority staff not being prepared to the first cruise ship of the season. Once we got to the check-in area, it was a breeze. We entered the ship on the main deck (level 5) and we were able to go directly to our room 676 (inside cabin ALT area). The room in our view was very spacious for an interior room and plenty of closet space and desk area. The bathroom was a good size with a shower only that had a soap/shampoo/conditioner dispenser. There were shelves and plenty of counter space in the bathroom for our items.
We had a king bed, couch, and a chair in the room along with a small coffee table that stored under the desk area. Our room steward was Donald and we cannot say even nice things about him and his crew. They kept our room spotless through the whole cruise. The ice bucket was always full and we never wanted for anything. Donald and his staff were ALWAYS working and keeping our section of the deck clean. I NEVER saw dirty dishes from room service in the hallway. There was always a room service menu for breakfast each evening on the bed along with chocolates, the next days itinerary and our little towel animal of the day.
The selection of food in the Lido dining room and Rotterdam formal dining room were wonderful. Even though we have the Dine when you like plan we chose to eat in the Lido Restaurant as they usually service the same dishes as the Rotterdam. We heard from other guest that dining in the Rotterdam lasted over 2 hours and some people had to leave before dessert to catch the 8pm performance in the showroom. On formal nights the Rotterdam serviced filet mignon and lobster the Lida only services the filet mignon, which was wonderful both nights. Here is a helpful note I learned from the staff, if you dont want to dress up for formal nights but still want your lobster, call room service and they will delivery any of the items prepared to your room. So you can have your lobster without dressing up!!!
A number of passages who we met preferred eating in the Lido due to the food choices (ie you could have seconds on the items you like along with a wonderful variety of desserts to choose from without having to ask the waiters). The exploration Cafe served wonderful and tasty coffee drinks that cost no more than starbucks and just as good. They also offer some delicious food options at no charge to go with your beverage.
The Veendam provided a new entrainment format. They start have they onboard performers but they now offer performers from the different ports of call you will be visiting and special guest performers.
I also enjoyed a spa treatment during my trip. The spa treatments while in port are generally a better deal. My spa treatment included the use of the Thermal Room. It has heated tiled loungers, a mineral water spa, dry and wet sauna and showers. Blissful time !!!!!
All the ports of call were very nice communities and we felt had many choices for all the passengers. Please be aware in the Port of Bar harbor the ship is tendered so if you are in a wheelchair, scooter or unable to walk up and down stairs you will not be able to go ashore.
The ports of Sydney and Halifax offered a wide array of local artists works and crafts as way on a farmers market in Halifax. The view of all the ports harbors were breathtaking and offered excellent opportunities for great Kodak moments. All the ports, offer free WIFI but some have better service than others. All the POCs have their own special features but the arrival into Quebec City was the crown jewel of the trip. The city is breathtaking both day and night.
Disembarkation in Boston was a breeze!!!!!
Did we run into bad weather, yes.... We were unable to stop in Sydney,.... Was it the crew's fault NO!!!!!
Overall, this was one of the BEST trips we have ever had and we look forward to our next adventure with Holland American and their fabulous staff and crew. Thank you for a memorable experience. Less

Published 05/30/13
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: K676 Large Interior Stateroom

The room is comfortable and is very nice when you want to sleep in or take an afternoon nap because for don't the sunshine coming in the room. Our room was located toward the Alt section and was VERY quiet!!! during the rough seas on the way back from Quebec City we really appreciated having an inside stateroom on the Main deck. the movement was small compared to the higher decks. Our room steward, Donald, and the rest of his team did a wonderful job of keeping our room in tip-top shape!!!!!!! We will book large interior room on the Main deck whenever possible.

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Port and Shore Excursions

I absolutely LOVE this quaint little harbor port. We walking the shore path trail along the bay and then walked up a side road to Main Street where plenty on shops waited for us to explore their treasures. there are some great buys in this town. It a very walker friendly town. On the return trip it was low tide so we were able to walk across the sand bar to one of the Acadia National park islands and hike to the top for a wonderful photo opportunity of the town, the harbor and Acadia National park. We also were able to watch the tall ship ship out of the harbor with full sails..... Breathtaking!!!! The ship also passes right by Egg Island Lighthouse for some excellent photo opportunities.

A great start to this cruise!!!!! We spend Friday before the cruise walking the freedom trail and enjoying the wealth of American History this wonderful city has to offer.
Read 491 Boston Reviews

We stop in Sydney, another quaint port. The city's port offers an arts and craft show for the local artist in the area. Sydney is known for it's Celtic roots and music. There were many wonderful works by the local artist. I pickup a beautiful piece of Sea Glass jewelry from one of the local artist. There are several churches worth visiting in this little town. They also have a very nice boardwalk along the harbor. This town is very "walker" friendly.

Charlottetown, is a wonderful port full of beautiful churches, public building and great walking city!!! My husband and I truly enjoyed both stops in the beautiful city. The Province House is a MUST SEE of this port. There is a 17 minute film explaining how Canada became it's own country in the 1860's due to meeting that took place in within this home. It is still the meeting hall for the representative on the PEI region. There a lot of tours and shops based on the Anne of Green Gable stories. Charlottetown had some beautiful lighthouses along it's harbor.

The first half of the cruise we visited the Pier -21 immigration museum & center to research my family's French-Canadian roots and with the help of Ben, we were able to locate a Great, great, great, great Grandfather. We also walked the port to the Public Gardens and Citadel (this is a steep walk both uphill and downhill) and then walked down to the Maritime Museum and walked the harbor boardwalk enjoying the lovely cool and sunny day. We also visited the farmers market inside the pier which has booths with artists, farmers, restaurants and wineries. It was a fun way to end our first visit. On the way back we did a private tour w/ Paul, owner of Halifax Historical Private Tours. Although it was a rainy day, Paul's tour was wonderful and full of historical sights, stops and stories for Halifax past and present. Well worth every penny!!!!!
Read 563 Halifax Reviews

This was definitely the crown jewel of this cruise!!!!!! The Walled City and the lower city are cobblestone narrow roads full of restaurants, shops and artist show their works on the sideways and alleyways. The Citadel tours is worth the $10.00 fee. Starting in Mid June, tourist are able to watch the changing of the guard. There are two museums within the fort walls and if you are luck to take the 11:45 English speaking tour you will have the privilege to witness the noon gun be fired. The view from the Citadel walls of Quebec City, the harbor and river is breathtaking!!!!! After the Citadel, head out the walled city and over to the Parliament House see the the 24 life-size status of some of Canadian most famous citizens which stand along the walls and windows on the four stories and four walled building. When you walk back through the gates of the walled city you have to remained yourself your are in Canada and not Europe. We also visited the Open Market next to the harbor. It's a foodie's dream come true. Fresh meat, seafood, fruit, veggie, honey, maple syrup, cheese, bakeries, and spices that offer wonderful tastes, sights and smells for your senses. The Jewel of the walled city the Le Chateau Frontenac hotel which towers over the city of Quebec during the day and at night. Also be should to visit the Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral it's a beautiful architectural vision. Three days is not enough to see all of Quebec city but you do get to see a lot of the lower section and walled section to make you would to come back again. The view from the ship's deck 12 departing from Quebec is a chance to see the Montmorency Falls (1 1/2 times higher than Niagara Falls) if you didn't get a chance to see it up close. Also to see the small towns and working farms along both sides of the river is a wonderful way to enjoy the sunset as you head back to sea.

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