Veendam Cruise Review by misty
- Sail Date: November 2004
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
My brother who traveled with us had booked a guaranteed booking and did not get a cabin assignment until after they were on board and we had to wait several hours for that. They were not as happy about their cabin as we were but I guess we learned our lesson that it is not always wise to wait on a cabin assignment until the last minute if you want to be sure of what you have.
We did find that the service was not what it has been in the past on Holland America and personally we think it is because of the new tipping policy that has gone into effect. We think that we had much better service the way it was and never had any one of the crew in the past even hinted at tips to us. We don't quite understand the verbiage in the letter that we got from Holland America about why they are doing the tipping the way that they are now, with it going on your room tab. We did tip in addition to the room tab the crew that we felt did an outstanding job for us. We are just not sure that they got to keep it. I have taken the time to write to Holland America's home office about this issue.
The ports of call that we made were very nice and coming and going from the ship was very efficient on the crew's part. The shopping information before leaving the ship was also very nice, however we felt could have been more complete for things besides jewelry. We did do quite a bit of wandering on our own as usual for us and I found some excellent shops for fabric in San Juan.
We are dancers and we did not enjoy the music provided by the band that was billed as the dance band. They could not hold a beat and it is very hard to dance to music that keeps changing every few bars. However in the Crow's Nest was a band that played awesome dance music every evening. The band's name was "Loa & Piero." If anyone loves to dance as much as we do (mostly ballroom, our great grand kids call it old people's music) we highly recommend them whatever ship you may find them sailing on. We had several couples tell us on the last few days at sea that they didn't even know that the band was available because the Crow's Nest is usually considered disco so they just didn't go up there. I think it is to everyone's advantage to check out the ship completely. If you don't you will never know what you might have missed.
Our next cruise won't be until August 2005 to Alaska on the Oosterdam and I can hardly wait.
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