We booked four weeks before embarkation. We were looking for a week away without having to fly and we were attracted by the last minute price. First time on Holland America after about 20 cruises. As we live not far from Albany, NY, we parked our car there the morning of the cruise and took a bus to Boston and then an Uber to the pier. We arrived around 12:30 and were safely aboard and checking out our room fifteen minutes later. We booked a 10th deck large interior cabin amidships and were very impressed with its size and layout. Our stewards greeted us and took very good care of us the whole week. Fresh fruit and ice cubes were a constant. Shoes were shined the first day. Towels refreshed twice a day. Room was made up within a half hour of our putting out the please service sign. The only problem was a delay in the toilet flush on a couple of occasions and only one outlet at the desk so bring an extension cord. We tend to eat all our meals in the dining room, including breakfast and dinner. Lunch was not available in the dining room, but we were ashore most lunch times anyway. The menus were extensive. We especially liked the duck and prime rib offerings which were offered twice each. Then there was a filet minion and lobster tail on the last formal night. On the one night the menu had nothing interesting, there was always the salmon, steak and Caesar salad on the anytime menu. We bought the 4 wine option the day we boarded and were able to store the bottle for a second night if we didn't finish. Our wine steward Antonio took great care of us, The entertainment was good, not great. Not much different than what we have experienced on much larger ships. The comedian and illusionist did a nice job and the stage shows were accompanied by the on board musicians, not the canned theme stuff you get used to on cruise ships. The show room layout was very annoying. Instead of a theater type arrangement, there were sofas and soft chairs arranged around tables,, wasting a lot of room. The early show was always packed with latecomers not being able to find seats. And there was not enough tilt from back to front so from half way back you couldn't see the front of the stage or had to look between the heads in front of you. The balcony had the same problem so you couldn't see the front of the stage. The lounge entertainment wasn't much. The piano player did a nice job with his theme nights. The ship itself was clean although a little dated. The entertainment and the dining were clustered on one deck and one bar drifted into the other. Small fitness room but it was never crowded. The Crow's nest on the top deck was a circular shaped entertainment venue where half of the seats couldn't see what was going on in the other half of the room. The pool areas were never crowded, the best spot being the hot tubs on the stern. We had surprisingly good weather for Canada in September. The ports were quite enjoyable. We had done this itinerary twice before so other than Halifax and Sydney, we stayed around the port, gorging on chowders, lobster, mussels and oysters along with the local brew at most ports. We did the ship's excursion in Halifax to Peggy's cove, Lunenberg and Mahone Bay, a very relaxing day. We got an hour in each place, the only rush being to get lunch in Luneneberg. We did a private tour in Sydney to Baddeck and the Alexander Graham Bell museum, the only criticism being our tour guide rushed us a little to make sure we got back to the ship an hour and a half before all aboard. We could have taken a little extra time to enjoy lunch in Baddeck. We disembarked in Monteal at 8 am and were at the train station to board our 10 am Amtrak departure in plenty of time. The train ride back was about 8 hours but it was not crowded and we could spread out and relax, taking in the beautiful scenery. All in all, a very relaxing 7 days.

Pleasant cruise

Veendam Cruise Review by intrepidone

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We booked four weeks before embarkation. We were looking for a week away without having to fly and we were attracted by the last minute price. First time on Holland America after about 20 cruises. As we live not far from Albany, NY, we parked our car there the morning of the cruise and took a bus to Boston and then an Uber to the pier. We arrived around 12:30 and were safely aboard and checking out our room fifteen minutes later.

We booked a 10th deck large interior cabin amidships and were very impressed with its size and layout. Our stewards greeted us and took very good care of us the whole week. Fresh fruit and ice cubes were a constant. Shoes were shined the first day. Towels refreshed twice a day. Room was made up within a half hour of our putting out the please service sign. The only problem was a delay in the toilet flush on a couple of occasions and only one outlet at the desk so bring an extension cord.

We tend to eat all our meals in the dining room, including breakfast and dinner. Lunch was not available in the dining room, but we were ashore most lunch times anyway. The menus were extensive. We especially liked the duck and prime rib offerings which were offered twice each. Then there was a filet minion and lobster tail on the last formal night. On the one night the menu had nothing interesting, there was always the salmon, steak and Caesar salad on the anytime menu. We bought the 4 wine option the day we boarded and were able to store the bottle for a second night if we didn't finish. Our wine steward Antonio took great care of us,

The entertainment was good, not great. Not much different than what we have experienced on much larger ships. The comedian and illusionist did a nice job and the stage shows were accompanied by the on board musicians, not the canned theme stuff you get used to on cruise ships. The show room layout was very annoying. Instead of a theater type arrangement, there were sofas and soft chairs arranged around tables,, wasting a lot of room. The early show was always packed with latecomers not being able to find seats. And there was not enough tilt from back to front so from half way back you couldn't see the front of the stage or had to look between the heads in front of you. The balcony had the same problem so you couldn't see the front of the stage. The lounge entertainment wasn't much. The piano player did a nice job with his theme nights.

The ship itself was clean although a little dated. The entertainment and the dining were clustered on one deck and one bar drifted into the other. Small fitness room but it was never crowded. The Crow's nest on the top deck was a circular shaped entertainment venue where half of the seats couldn't see what was going on in the other half of the room. The pool areas were never crowded, the best spot being the hot tubs on the stern. We had surprisingly good weather for Canada in September.

The ports were quite enjoyable. We had done this itinerary twice before so other than Halifax and Sydney, we stayed around the port, gorging on chowders, lobster, mussels and oysters along with the local brew at most ports. We did the ship's excursion in Halifax to Peggy's cove, Lunenberg and Mahone Bay, a very relaxing day. We got an hour in each place, the only rush being to get lunch in Luneneberg. We did a private tour in Sydney to Baddeck and the Alexander Graham Bell museum, the only criticism being our tour guide rushed us a little to make sure we got back to the ship an hour and a half before all aboard. We could have taken a little extra time to enjoy lunch in Baddeck.

We disembarked in Monteal at 8 am and were at the train station to board our 10 am Amtrak departure in plenty of time. The train ride back was about 8 hours but it was not crowded and we could spread out and relax, taking in the beautiful scenery. All in all, a very relaxing 7 days.
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Cabin Review

Large Interior Stateroom
Cabin I 039
No complaints. Plenty of room. Good closet and drawer space. Only one outlet. Great steward service. Toilet flush had a delay on it a few times, but after the first time, we got used to it. Took up to 5 minutes. Great location.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews