We wanted to sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome, and Holland America had two choices. We have always liked the Veendam because of its classic design and the quality of the service and the size of the Neptune Suites. There were no glitches on embarkation and disembarkation. The lectures were informative and pleasing; the Kitchen at Sea was great as was the entertainment. We were the first passengers to enjoy the new carpets and the new chairs and the number of renovations on this ship! There will always be a place for these smaller ships in the industry. (1200 Passengers, but about 1000 on our crossing) the captain was all around the ship, available for questions, and very informative about the nuts and bolts of the ship and the navigaion. He was from Scotland and had the sense of humor, understated, and excellent rapport with his staff and of course the passengers!
Large, airy, light, with great storage and amenities. The Neptune Lounge offers coffee and snacks and drinks throughout the day. Peter, concierge, gave us first-rate service, including fulfilling most of the transactions we could have gotten from the front desk and the excursions desk. (Without the longer waits) Daily service, free laundry, fresh fruit, and a genuine concern for our well-being and safety, the young men and women made our voyage most pleasant!
Comprehensive overview of the Azores along with hot springs, tea plantation, and great gardens. Fine guide and comfortable transportation.
As with most cruise ships, the higher priced cabins and suites offer an almost separate experience. Note the Grills class on Cunard. Ask your travel agent to find the best prices in a suite, etc. However, we have enjoyed basic cabins on Crystal and Oceana where we can enjoy the all-inclusive features. Longer cruises are much more comfortable in a larger cabin.