I'm always curious to see if my assessment of a cruise ship matches the typical review of it I read here on Cruise Critic. Reviewers correct on the food, entertainment and things to do ... mostly pretty mundane. But the ship itself is in immaculate condition after a fall 2019 retrofit. And the crew was one of the sharpest and friendliest I have encountered on the high seas, except for a few letdowns in the dining room. Also love the size of the ship, easy to get around with a max of 1,400 passengers. Our New England and Canada fall colors cruise encountered some storms and we could not get in to Bar Harbor or get off the ship at Halifax. An extra wine tasting was added, and it's nice they do them, some lines don't, but HAL uses mostly cheap wines . One habit I find distasteful is their tendency during wine tastings and Lido food service to begin to shut things down too quickly. Other lines not so bad on that score. HAL loves these Microsoft classes but after a decade it's gotten old as people now focused more on cell phones than laptops. Our cabin with a small porthole was fine but several people related horror stories about plumbing problems and rude service at the front desk. HAL needs to revisit its offerings of things to do .. why not try some new, creative things instead of the same old same old you have run for decades! The food? In typical HAL fashion had some great lunches and dinners and a a couple that were flops. Soups not as good as they used to be on HAL ships. We don't even try the Pinnacle anymore because they just can't cook a steak right! The stops we made were fine ... loved Quebec City and the North End of Boston. Also enjoyed small towns Charlottetown and Sydney and their friendly people. Found the casino in Sydney and also their nice waterfront boardwalk. People complained that there is nothing at the pier at Port Canaveral. Overall glad we did the cruise and HAL is fine if you don't get thrown for a loop by a few things not to your liking.

The BIG Sigh! ... Both Magnificent and Mediocre

Veendam Cruise Review by observer2013

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
I'm always curious to see if my assessment of a cruise ship matches the typical review of it I read here on Cruise Critic. Reviewers correct on the food, entertainment and things to do ... mostly pretty mundane. But the ship itself is in immaculate condition after a fall 2019 retrofit. And the crew was one of the sharpest and friendliest I have encountered on the high seas, except for a few letdowns in the dining room. Also love the size of the ship, easy to get around with a max of 1,400 passengers. Our New England and Canada fall colors cruise encountered some storms and we could not get in to Bar Harbor or get off the ship at Halifax. An extra wine tasting was added, and it's nice they do them, some lines don't, but HAL uses mostly cheap wines . One habit I find distasteful is their tendency during wine tastings and Lido food service to begin to shut things down too quickly. Other lines not so bad on that score. HAL loves these Microsoft classes but after a decade it's gotten old as people now focused more on cell phones than laptops. Our cabin with a small porthole was fine but several people related horror stories about plumbing problems and rude service at the front desk. HAL needs to revisit its offerings of things to do .. why not try some new, creative things instead of the same old same old you have run for decades! The food? In typical HAL fashion had some great lunches and dinners and a a couple that were flops. Soups not as good as they used to be on HAL ships. We don't even try the Pinnacle anymore because they just can't cook a steak right! The stops we made were fine ... loved Quebec City and the North End of Boston. Also enjoyed small towns Charlottetown and Sydney and their friendly people. Found the casino in Sydney and also their nice waterfront boardwalk. People complained that there is nothing at the pier at Port Canaveral. Overall glad we did the cruise and HAL is fine if you don't get thrown for a loop by a few things not to your liking.
observer2013’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin D
Nice cabin near front of the ship. Did hear loud noises as we were docking or maneuvering in to a harbor.
Lower Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins