We chose this particular cruise because we wanted to see Eastern Canada and New England and had enjoyed our previous HAL cruise to Alaska. If I were to rate this cruise, I would give it 3.5 stars, but that wasn't an option. It wasn't Average, but it stopped just short of being Very Good. The plusses: Our cabin was a good size with plenty of room to store our luggage. It was a little worn around the edges, as was the whole ship, but not anything that interfered with our enjoyment. It was located on the Promenade Deck with easy access to dining areas. Our cabin attendants were excellent. One negative: the over the bed reading lights are useless as they are too low, unless you are reading flat on your back. Bring your own book light if you want to sit up in bed to read. I appreciated the laundry rooms - never had to wait to get a washer or dryer as there six in each room. We enjoyed Adagio, the violin and piano duo, every evening in the Explorer's Lounge. We only took in one of the main stage shows, but it was very good. The embarkation experience was excellent - much better than on previous cruises. Whether this is controlled by the ship or by the port, I don't know, but it went very smoothly. Disembarkation was excellent, as well. Our biggest complaint had to be with dining, specifically the Rotterdam main dining room and the Canaletto specialty restaurant. It was difficult to make reservations for Rotterdam - lines were long and people got irritated by the wait. They do give you a beeper so that you can get a drink in Explorer's Lounge and wait to be called. What confused us were the large number of empty tables, even though there were lots of people waiting to be seated. The service in the main dining room was definitely below what we have experienced on previous cruises. We could only conclude that they were understaffed. We were very disappointed in Canaletto. On our Alaskan cruise we enjoyed this specialty dining area so much that we ate there twice. On this trip, it was definitely not worth paying extra for. The pasta was much better in the Lido buffet. We were pleased with the Lido buffet. Lines were never long and the food was good. The hot dogs by the pool were tasty. The Pinnacle Grill specialty restaurant was better than Canaletto, but still, in my opinion, not worth the extra cost. The biggest fail on the ship was the awful, awful coffee! To get a decent cup of coffee, you needed to go to the coffee bar where, of course, you had to pay for it. We were not the only passengers to notice how bad the coffee was. Unfortunately, we had occasion to visit the ship's doctor and were very impressed with the personal care received there. They even checked back with us later to follow up. The ports were interesting. Bar Harbor, Maine was the only port requiring a tender. It was very rocky and I was afraid someone would get hurt getting on and off the boat, but the crew was very attentive and supportive (literally!) In all of the other ports, we docked and the access was quite easy. I will review the excursions in more detail separately, but just wanted to mention them briefly. Bar Harbor: An Intimate Look at Acadia National Park. 14 passenger van. Very informative driver. It was too foggy to see anything from Cadillac Mt. so he drove us through some quaint coves and small towns and entertained us with the history of the area. We followed the tour up with excellent lobster rolls at Galyn's restaurant in town. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Peggy's Cove and Titanic Combination. Our guide and driver were very nice - lots of history of the area. Peggy's Cove is always crowded, but due to some bus trouble on the way, we got there later than scheduled and many of the tour busses had moved out so it was not jam-packed. The lighthouse is as impressive as billed. The visitor's center at the dock in Halifax has free WiFi and almost every one took time to check their emails as no one wanted to pay to do it on the ship. Sydney, Nova Scotia: We opted for an easy day due to the aforementioned doctor's visit, so we took in the Spirit of the Fiddle in the visitor's center right next to the dock. It was very good, but since there is a free fiddle concert as part of the ship's entertainment, you will have to decide for yourself if you want to pay extra for this. The visitor's center was nice with a small museum, lots of local vendors, and free WiFi! Charlottetown, PEI: Island Drive and Anne of Green Gables. Prince Edward Island did not disappoint. Our favorite destination of the whole cruise. Would go back here in a heartbeat. Quebec City: We did not do a tour here, but took a taxi to the Old City and enjoyed the art, views, and dining there. I took the funicular back down to the dock. Montreal: The ship docks quite a way from Old Montreal, due to construction. We spent a few extra days in this port and really liked it.

Boston to Montreal. Cruising is the best way to see this part of Canada.

Veendam Cruise Review by ozziefromoc

14 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2016
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
We chose this particular cruise because we wanted to see Eastern Canada and New England and had enjoyed our previous HAL cruise to Alaska. If I were to rate this cruise, I would give it 3.5 stars, but that wasn't an option. It wasn't Average, but it stopped just short of being Very Good. The plusses: Our cabin was a good size with plenty of room to store our luggage. It was a little worn around the edges, as was the whole ship, but not anything that interfered with our enjoyment. It was located on the Promenade Deck with easy access to dining areas. Our cabin attendants were excellent. One negative: the over the bed reading lights are useless as they are too low, unless you are reading flat on your back. Bring your own book light if you want to sit up in bed to read. I appreciated the laundry rooms - never had to wait to get a washer or dryer as there six in each room. We enjoyed Adagio, the violin and piano duo, every evening in the Explorer's Lounge. We only took in one of the main stage shows, but it was very good. The embarkation experience was excellent - much better than on previous cruises. Whether this is controlled by the ship or by the port, I don't know, but it went very smoothly. Disembarkation was excellent, as well.

Our biggest complaint had to be with dining, specifically the Rotterdam main dining room and the Canaletto specialty restaurant. It was difficult to make reservations for Rotterdam - lines were long and people got irritated by the wait. They do give you a beeper so that you can get a drink in Explorer's Lounge and wait to be called. What confused us were the large number of empty tables, even though there were lots of people waiting to be seated. The service in the main dining room was definitely below what we have experienced on previous cruises. We could only conclude that they were understaffed. We were very disappointed in Canaletto. On our Alaskan cruise we enjoyed this specialty dining area so much that we ate there twice. On this trip, it was definitely not worth paying extra for. The pasta was much better in the Lido buffet. We were pleased with the Lido buffet. Lines were never long and the food was good. The hot dogs by the pool were tasty. The Pinnacle Grill specialty restaurant was better than Canaletto, but still, in my opinion, not worth the extra cost. The biggest fail on the ship was the awful, awful coffee! To get a decent cup of coffee, you needed to go to the coffee bar where, of course, you had to pay for it. We were not the only passengers to notice how bad the coffee was.

Unfortunately, we had occasion to visit the ship's doctor and were very impressed with the personal care received there. They even checked back with us later to follow up.

The ports were interesting. Bar Harbor, Maine was the only port requiring a tender. It was very rocky and I was afraid someone would get hurt getting on and off the boat, but the crew was very attentive and supportive (literally!) In all of the other ports, we docked and the access was quite easy. I will review the excursions in more detail separately, but just wanted to mention them briefly.

Bar Harbor: An Intimate Look at Acadia National Park. 14 passenger van. Very informative driver. It was too foggy to see anything from Cadillac Mt. so he drove us through some quaint coves and small towns and entertained us with the history of the area. We followed the tour up with excellent lobster rolls at Galyn's restaurant in town.

Halifax, Nova Scotia: Peggy's Cove and Titanic Combination. Our guide and driver were very nice - lots of history of the area. Peggy's Cove is always crowded, but due to some bus trouble on the way, we got there later than scheduled and many of the tour busses had moved out so it was not jam-packed. The lighthouse is as impressive as billed. The visitor's center at the dock in Halifax has free WiFi and almost every one took time to check their emails as no one wanted to pay to do it on the ship.

Sydney, Nova Scotia: We opted for an easy day due to the aforementioned doctor's visit, so we took in the Spirit of the Fiddle in the visitor's center right next to the dock. It was very good, but since there is a free fiddle concert as part of the ship's entertainment, you will have to decide for yourself if you want to pay extra for this. The visitor's center was nice with a small museum, lots of local vendors, and free WiFi!

Charlottetown, PEI: Island Drive and Anne of Green Gables. Prince Edward Island did not disappoint. Our favorite destination of the whole cruise. Would go back here in a heartbeat.

Quebec City: We did not do a tour here, but took a taxi to the Old City and enjoyed the art, views, and dining there. I took the funicular back down to the dock.

Montreal: The ship docks quite a way from Old Montreal, due to construction. We spent a few extra days in this port and really liked it.
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