We chose this cruise to "see all of the old cars" as my husband put it, to buy cigars and to drink Cuban rum. All points were covered and we really enjoyed it. Plus we met some of the most amazing Cubans at every corner. They are warm, intelligent and third world (mostly because of the 50 year rift between our two governments), but they harbored no ill will and were very welcoming to their country, Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at 1 and went straight to our cabin. I was surprised that the SS or Vista 065 was so small. It's hardly bigger than an upper level balcony cabin on Carnival.Yes it has a tub, but it's more like a short deep pasta bowl or banana split container. It was really narrow and short and then you have the extra height of stepping over the tub to shower. I'm 5'7" and it was not even something I would use. So if that is a plus to paying for a suite - don't. I was disappointed that the daily When and Where was not in the cabin. We had to get it from guest services to get one. That should be in the cabin when we arrive along with ice because travelers are thirsty. All other days they were in the cabin at turn down. Yes the ship is really small compared to others, but the 1200+ passengers makes eating, tours, unloading at ports, etc really uncrowded which is definitely a plus for the ship over megaships. Dining was good. Really like the buffet because of the service at night, but we still don't like that service ends at 8 pm. Limited options are available at 10 or 10:30 or you can get room service or eat in the formal dining room til 9 pm. I would like extended dining options in a restaurant for those of us who aren't 75 years old and chose to eat at 5:30 or 6 pm. Yes there are alot of older folks, but there are also alot of us in our 60's who have active lifestyles where we don't eat early. Bar service was good for all times. Entertainment is difficult to critique. The only musical entertainment we listened to was "The Band" which played a variety - very little if any country, And the guest pianist who was good and funny. Service every where was excellent. Not as many wait staff in pool and theater areas, but overall acceptable. It was kinda like Cheers and Norm - everybody knows your name. The Classic Car/Havana tour was excellent! The main problem was that we were told to pick any car and that we would be changing cars at every stop. Didn't happen. I understand that would not be a good idea because each driver would make sure his passengers were accounted for. Where changing drivers, somebody could get left. The rest of the tour for whatever reason was behind. We were suppose to see a local production, but arrived at it after it started and we were either going to have to wait 1.5 hours or go to lunch and come back for it. After lunch we only had about an hour left and so our group decided to go shopping and skip the production. But I'm sure we paid for it. After that, the other problem I had was the "shuffle". The streets are cobblestone and I think I might have gotten 10000 steps, but because of the group we were with, I got more than 10,000 shuffles. It wore on me. I don;'t know if it is feasible, but if two tours are offered on the same excursion, it would be great if they were broken down by abilities. Of course you will still have the older cruisers who think they can do everything even it they are on a walker. Cienfuegos is not the pearl it is described. It is still a run down Havana with few classic cars and rundown UNESCO buildings. But the people and their attitudes are so sweet. On a Sunday after church the no cars streets were filled with folks and even though crowded, the locals were very polite and tolerant of lines of cruise passengers taking up their space. Coffee, rum and cigars was a GREAT tour. The bar was fantastic and the entertainment amazing. Folks dressed as statutes, the singing, the bar staff, the price of cigars ... Belinda in containers are $3 a piece. Not much to say about Grand Cayman - been there. I would hope we can put pressure on the US government to stop this fool hardy embargo on such a poor country so close to our border that we can have a mutually beneficial relationship. Cuba is getting help from Canada, China and formerly Russia. But we can't and won't help them. I'm thinking this is another Vietnam, where the current party won't admit to years and years of policy that doesn't work, but they don't want to be the party who admits we've made years of mistakes. Obviously, the embargo doesn't work - so get rid of it and let's start helping a country within miles of us and stop supporting governments who HATE us. Pay attention in Cuba. The people are wonderful and i think we should embrace them and help them. Although, we need to get the USVI and Puerto Rico back in shape first.

Small ships are good, but have limitations.

Veendam Cruise Review by mimimacaw

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2018
  • Destination: Cuba
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
We chose this cruise to "see all of the old cars" as my husband put it, to buy cigars and to drink Cuban rum. All points were covered and we really enjoyed it. Plus we met some of the most amazing Cubans at every corner. They are warm, intelligent and third world (mostly because of the 50 year rift between our two governments), but they harbored no ill will and were very welcoming to their country,

Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at 1 and went straight to our cabin. I was surprised that the SS or Vista 065 was so small. It's hardly bigger than an upper level balcony cabin on Carnival.Yes it has a tub, but it's more like a short deep pasta bowl or banana split container. It was really narrow and short and then you have the extra height of stepping over the tub to shower. I'm 5'7" and it was not even something I would use. So if that is a plus to paying for a suite - don't.

I was disappointed that the daily When and Where was not in the cabin. We had to get it from guest services to get one. That should be in the cabin when we arrive along with ice because travelers are thirsty. All other days they were in the cabin at turn down.

Yes the ship is really small compared to others, but the 1200+ passengers makes eating, tours, unloading at ports, etc really uncrowded which is definitely a plus for the ship over megaships.

Dining was good. Really like the buffet because of the service at night, but we still don't like that service ends at 8 pm. Limited options are available at 10 or 10:30 or you can get room service or eat in the formal dining room til 9 pm. I would like extended dining options in a restaurant for those of us who aren't 75 years old and chose to eat at 5:30 or 6 pm. Yes there are alot of older folks, but there are also alot of us in our 60's who have active lifestyles where we don't eat early.

Bar service was good for all times.

Entertainment is difficult to critique. The only musical entertainment we listened to was "The Band" which played a variety - very little if any country, And the guest pianist who was good and funny.

Service every where was excellent. Not as many wait staff in pool and theater areas, but overall acceptable. It was kinda like Cheers and Norm - everybody knows your name.

The Classic Car/Havana tour was excellent! The main problem was that we were told to pick any car and that we would be changing cars at every stop. Didn't happen. I understand that would not be a good idea because each driver would make sure his passengers were accounted for. Where changing drivers, somebody could get left.

The rest of the tour for whatever reason was behind. We were suppose to see a local production, but arrived at it after it started and we were either going to have to wait 1.5 hours or go to lunch and come back for it. After lunch we only had about an hour left and so our group decided to go shopping and skip the production. But I'm sure we paid for it.

After that, the other problem I had was the "shuffle". The streets are cobblestone and I think I might have gotten 10000 steps, but because of the group we were with, I got more than 10,000 shuffles. It wore on me. I don;'t know if it is feasible, but if two tours are offered on the same excursion, it would be great if they were broken down by abilities. Of course you will still have the older cruisers who think they can do everything even it they are on a walker.

Cienfuegos is not the pearl it is described. It is still a run down Havana with few classic cars and rundown UNESCO buildings. But the people and their attitudes are so sweet. On a Sunday after church the no cars streets were filled with folks and even though crowded, the locals were very polite and tolerant of lines of cruise passengers taking up their space.

Coffee, rum and cigars was a GREAT tour. The bar was fantastic and the entertainment amazing. Folks dressed as statutes, the singing, the bar staff, the price of cigars ... Belinda in containers are $3 a piece.

Not much to say about Grand Cayman - been there.

I would hope we can put pressure on the US government to stop this fool hardy embargo on such a poor country so close to our border that we can have a mutually beneficial relationship. Cuba is getting help from Canada, China and formerly Russia. But we can't and won't help them.

I'm thinking this is another Vietnam, where the current party won't admit to years and years of policy that doesn't work, but they don't want to be the party who admits we've made years of mistakes. Obviously, the embargo doesn't work - so get rid of it and let's start helping a country within miles of us and stop supporting governments who HATE us.

Pay attention in Cuba. The people are wonderful and i think we should embrace them and help them. Although, we need to get the USVI and Puerto Rico back in shape first.
mimimacaw’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Veendam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Vista Suite with Verandah
Cabin B 065
Ok, but not what I expected for the money. Much smaller than I thought. Will have to go back to the larger suites or change cruise lines
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews