Our holiday cruise with family, aboard the Hell-ship Veendam Maru, from 20 Dec 2016 - 4 Jan 2017, was truly a cruise from hell. It was marked by a series of unfortunate events day after day, that began with two USCG helicopter medical evacuations of crewmembers (one from Half Moon Cay on 21 Dec and another plucked from the Veendam at sea on 22 Dec). (The ship reportedly sailed from Ft Lauderdale short approximately 40 crewmembers to begin with!)(Service in all departments suffered accordingly!) The following day, black water suddenly began pouring from many stateroom bathroom sink faucets and bathtubs, forcing us to use bottled water for a couple days. On 24 Dec, while our kids were touring Cartagena, their Lanai Stateroom #344 was flooded by water from a neighboring cabin and were relocated to an inside room for two days! (My son and daughter-in-law are both active duty US Army and were on their honeymoon!!) I was forced to make repeated trips to the guest relations front desk over the next few days to twist arms & ensure our kids would be compensated for the interruption of their vacation!!! When that problem was resolved, I began another series of visits to guest relations to resolve our HVAC issues in Lanai Stateroom #350. Bottom line: We prefer that our room feels borderline meat locker!! However, since day one, our cabin was never comfortable enough for human habitation. It felt like we were living in a Navajo Sweat Lodge or Tropical Rain Forest!! My wife's makeup began melting almost as soon as she applied it, and we often slept under just a sheet. We've now sailed on 12 HAL voyages & have never had a problem staying comfortable with our cabin thermostat set at the lowest possible point. Per Veendam's guest relations staff, who were in and out of our room several times per day throughout the cruise recording the temp, the temp was always 22-23 C which equates to 73-74 F! Several days into this process of dueling with the guest relations staff (again), and with no prospect of resolution favorable to our cause in sight, I finally took some direct action & personally handed the captain himself a note at the Mariner's Luncheon, demanding his staff of crack engineers fix our cabin HVAC system to our satisfaction!! However, our room remained forever overheated!! By the end of the voyage, Veendam staffers had proved that HVAC was indeed rocket science, as far as HAL was concerned. On the final night of the voyage I was granted a face-to-face meeting with the Veendam's Guest Relations Mgr. When I asked her for some form of compensation for our 15 days of extreme personal discomfort in cabin #350, I was told there would be none, but that I could take it up with the home office!! When I demanded a copy of her staff's temperature readings for my room, I was stonewalled once again!!! The final indignity: on the last night of the cruise after dining in the Rotterdam Dining Room, my daughter in law and I both suffered bouts of food posioning which made for a very uncomfortable disembarkation day and flight home!! The Veendam is a very old ship, a Jonah, and has a lot of problems!!! Considering the condition of its HVAC system, perhaps the Veendam should avoid the tropics and concentrate on sailings to ALASKA & N Europe!! HAL Cruises - Never Again, Baby!!! Very poor customer relations!!!

The Hell-ship Veendam Maru - Our Last HAL Cruise EVER!!!

Veendam Cruise Review by flyingdutchman6989

28 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Our holiday cruise with family, aboard the Hell-ship Veendam Maru, from 20 Dec 2016 - 4 Jan 2017, was truly a cruise from hell. It was marked by a series of unfortunate events day after day, that began with two USCG helicopter medical evacuations of crewmembers (one from Half Moon Cay on 21 Dec and another plucked from the Veendam at sea on 22 Dec). (The ship reportedly sailed from Ft Lauderdale short approximately 40 crewmembers to begin with!)(Service in all departments suffered accordingly!) The following day, black water suddenly began pouring from many stateroom bathroom sink faucets and bathtubs, forcing us to use bottled water for a couple days.

On 24 Dec, while our kids were touring Cartagena, their Lanai Stateroom #344 was flooded by water from a neighboring cabin and were relocated to an inside room for two days! (My son and daughter-in-law are both active duty US Army and were on their honeymoon!!) I was forced to make repeated trips to the guest relations front desk over the next few days to twist arms & ensure our kids would be compensated for the interruption of their vacation!!!

When that problem was resolved, I began another series of visits to guest relations to resolve our HVAC issues in Lanai Stateroom #350. Bottom line: We prefer that our room feels borderline meat locker!! However, since day one, our cabin was never comfortable enough for human habitation. It felt like we were living in a Navajo Sweat Lodge or Tropical Rain Forest!! My wife's makeup began melting almost as soon as she applied it, and we often slept under just a sheet. We've now sailed on 12 HAL voyages & have never had a problem staying comfortable with our cabin thermostat set at the lowest possible point. Per Veendam's guest relations staff, who were in and out of our room several times per day throughout the cruise recording the temp, the temp was always 22-23 C which equates to 73-74 F!

Several days into this process of dueling with the guest relations staff (again), and with no prospect of resolution favorable to our cause in sight, I finally took some direct action & personally handed the captain himself a note at the Mariner's Luncheon, demanding his staff of crack engineers fix our cabin HVAC system to our satisfaction!! However, our room remained forever overheated!!

By the end of the voyage, Veendam staffers had proved that HVAC was indeed rocket science, as far as HAL was concerned. On the final night of the voyage I was granted a face-to-face meeting with the Veendam's Guest Relations Mgr. When I asked her for some form of compensation for our 15 days of extreme personal discomfort in cabin #350, I was told there would be none, but that I could take it up with the home office!! When I demanded a copy of her staff's temperature readings for my room, I was stonewalled once again!!!

The final indignity: on the last night of the cruise after dining in the Rotterdam Dining Room, my daughter in law and I both suffered bouts of food posioning which made for a very uncomfortable disembarkation day and flight home!!

The Veendam is a very old ship, a Jonah, and has a lot of problems!!! Considering the condition of its HVAC system, perhaps the Veendam should avoid the tropics and concentrate on sailings to ALASKA & N Europe!!

HAL Cruises - Never Again, Baby!!! Very poor customer relations!!!
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Cabin Review

Lanai Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin CA 350
See above
Lower Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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