Disappointed with HAL....: Veendam Cruise Review by TNCruiser2011
Overall Member Rating
Disappointed with HAL....
Destination: Canada & New England
On other topics, the entertainment and staging was just OK - no elaborate sets (actually not really scenery/sets at all) and only 2 dancers. One comedian was good, the other so-so. NO instructions on how to work the shower configuration - we never did really figure out how to not freeze or scald ourselves even after 7 days! About the only thing I can say was nicer than Princess were that the robes in the cabin were thicker and nicer. I had a couple of mixed drinks which were rather weak - I will only ever order wine or beer from now on as you can't (or it would be harder) to mess with the quality of those. My husband spoke to the management more than once about several of these issues and, while they listened, they only resolution they offered was "order room service" which isn't really an option unless you want to spend the whole cruise in your cabin waiting for it. As for the shore excursions, I don't think I will book those in advance in the future. We spent a lot of time on a bus to be told we had 15-20 minutes to see the destination. I can't blame HAL for this but it definitely was a disappointment. The schedule had to be kept so we were moved along quite quickly.
All in all I can only assume they were understaffed or no longer care about the service aspect of cruising. Needless to say we won't be sailing on HAL any time in the near future and that's exactly what I said on my survey at the end of the cruise. I will vote with my hard earned dollars and time to choose a line that provides exceptional service and makes me feel special. That's what I want on vacation! Less
Cabin review: H Large Ocean-View Stateroom
My biggest issue with the cabin was that there were no instructions on how to operate the shower. The configuration was not standard American (hot on left/cold on right) and we never did figure out how to not freeze or scald ourselves. The left knob seemed to control water flow and the right knob seemed to control hot water but I never got consistent results when I turned it. We had the beds configured to a queen size and they didn't put anything between the two to bridge the gap, therefore one of us was always stuck in the crack. They were the most comfortable beds either - not enough padding.Read All Large Ocean-View Stateroom (H) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
We did a tour that took us to the top of Cadillac Mt and then a schooner sail. It was wonderful!! And Bar Harbor is such a lovely town - great shopping and be sure to stop in the drugstore to see the ORIGINAL soda fountain (they served delicious homemade ice cream too - try the blueberry)
We took the light house tour since most everything else was either about Anne of Green Gables or lobster. Lots of driving, little time at each place, not all that great....Didn't really see anything special at PEI which was the one port I thought I'd really like.
Halifax was a wonderful city and the trip to Peggy's Cove was worth the hour drive BUT again we were not given enough time once we were there. I'd suggest finding a tour that gives you 2-3 hrs there if you want to grab a bite to eat and see any of the shops. We were there 1 hr and only had time to walk thru the town and back (with a short bathroom stop).
We saw the falls the Isle of Orleans and a Sugar Shack. We enjoyed the falls but the rest was kind of oh-hum.
Enjoyed this ship and the crew...
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