This itinerary offered a day in Cienfuegos, Cuba and Belize, both of which were of interest to us. Other ports were Nassau (never got off the ship), Half Moon Cay (very pleasant), Grand Cayman (fine if you're looking to buy Tanzanite, I suppose), Roatan (too windy to make port), and Cozumel (read on). First the ship itself. This is an older, or as HAL likes to put it, "vintage" ship. It has been cosmetically well-maintained for the most part, but 3 of the 8 elevators were not functioning during our cruise ("we're waiting for parts" says HAL) so getting around during busy times was somewhat more difficult. And we had plumbing problems in our stateroom that had to be reported three different times before they were fixed. "You can't expect the shower to drain when the ship is moving" was what one guest relations person told me. Um, no. But then, I've learned to expect poor guest relations service from HAL. The people in the room down the hall from us couldn't get the heating/air conditioning to work and as far as I know, that problem never got resolved. Service from the room stewards and food service staff was excellent - always pleasant and helpful. The guest lecturer was very interesting and his hour long lectures flew by. As for ports, Half Moon Cay is always a pleasant stop, very clean and well organized. Nassau we've been to before and saw no reason this time to get off the ship. Cienfuegos was interesting and the excursion we took there well done, as was Belize. Grand Cayman was just not for me. In Cozumel, our excursion did not follow what was in the description, but HAL shore excursion staff refunded 1/2 the excursion cost.

"Vintage Ship"

Veendam Cruise Review by bluegiraffe

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Cuba
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
This itinerary offered a day in Cienfuegos, Cuba and Belize, both of which were of interest to us. Other ports were Nassau (never got off the ship), Half Moon Cay (very pleasant), Grand Cayman (fine if you're looking to buy Tanzanite, I suppose), Roatan (too windy to make port), and Cozumel (read on).

First the ship itself. This is an older, or as HAL likes to put it, "vintage" ship. It has been cosmetically well-maintained for the most part, but 3 of the 8 elevators were not functioning during our cruise ("we're waiting for parts" says HAL) so getting around during busy times was somewhat more difficult. And we had plumbing problems in our stateroom that had to be reported three different times before they were fixed. "You can't expect the shower to drain when the ship is moving" was what one guest relations person told me. Um, no. But then, I've learned to expect poor guest relations service from HAL. The people in the room down the hall from us couldn't get the heating/air conditioning to work and as far as I know, that problem never got resolved.

Service from the room stewards and food service staff was excellent - always pleasant and helpful. The guest lecturer was very interesting and his hour long lectures flew by.

As for ports, Half Moon Cay is always a pleasant stop, very clean and well organized. Nassau we've been to before and saw no reason this time to get off the ship. Cienfuegos was interesting and the excursion we took there well done, as was Belize. Grand Cayman was just not for me. In Cozumel, our excursion did not follow what was in the description, but HAL shore excursion staff refunded 1/2 the excursion cost.
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin E
Adequate ocean view cabin with plumbing problems. Generous closet space.
Lower Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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  • Cienfuegos
    Our excursion started with an excellent concert by local musicians, then went to a botanical garden (we very much enjoyed it, and thought the guide there was very informative, but the garden consisted largely of trees and other guests didn't care for that), then a nice lunch at an oceanside restaurant, followed by a walking tour of the city's main plaza.
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  • Cozumel
    Two stars because it did involved chocolate, but it also involved an unanticipated stop at a factory (with lots of hard-sell) that didn't appear in any of HAL's descriptions of the tour. Unpleasant and a waste of our time. To their credit, HAL refunded 1/2 of the tour cost.
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