Veendam to Bermuda as a Family of Four: Veendam Cruise Review by siebelqueen

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Veendam to Bermuda as a Family of Four

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Bermuda
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
This cruise was an absolute pleasure. We had no trouble driving to the pier in New York, parking, checking in and getting on board. We were able to get into our cabin as soon as we were on board, even though it was earlier than the posted time.

The food on board was fantastic. We had breakfast in the Lido buffet each morning. Each side of the Lido had slightly different choices. You could choose between a variety of eggs benedict options, omelets cooked to order, pastries, fruit, pancakes, french toast, waffles, etc. There were a ton of options for lunch - the buffet, the dining room, the terrace grill (hot dogs, burgers, etc.) and pizza by the retreat. Dinner in the dining room was outstanding. Everything was delicious and service was wonderful. We also ate in the Lido a few nights for a more casual atmosphere with our kids. Canneletto was also good, although the chicken marsala was very salty.

Club HAL was great for our four year old. There weren't very many kids on More board. But those who participated in Club HAL seemed to have a wonderful time. The club was open every day, including port days. Most days, it was closed for lunch, and it was closed each night during dinner. It would have been nice to have at least one night to eat dinner without the kids. It reopened in the evening at 7 and late night babysitting was offered after 10pm for $5 an hour. We were told there was private babysitting available on board. But we never inquired. The kids made lots of crafts, played games, and did all sorts of age appropriate activities. Our son had a blast and was sad to say goodbye to his new friends at the end of the week.

Entertainment on board was really good. There was a broadway review, a magician and more. Unfortunately, I didn't get to experience any of it as our baby goes to sleep pretty early. But I heard the magician was especially good.

One concern we did have on board was about the ventilation system. Our air conditioning was fine - perhaps a bit too cold at times. But while we were docked in Hamilton, the crew was painting somewhere on the ship. The fumes got into the hallway and cabins, and it smelled awful. After several complaints over a few days, the ventilation system was rerouted and the smell went away. HAL apologized with a bottle of wine and some candy. A nice touch, but clean air to breath would have been nicer.

All in all, it was a great trip and I would certainly consider sailing on a HAL ship again. Less

Published 05/16/11

Cabin review: FF719 Large Ocean-View Stateroom

Cabin FF719 was in a very quiet location - not far from the stairs or elevators, but just far enough not to hear them. One thing to note is that this cabin is very far forward. We felt a lot more motion in our cabin as compared to when we were on higher decks or further aft on the ship. The ride to Bermuda was rough, and the ride back was even rougher. Many people got sea sick on this trip, including my husband. If you get sea sick easily, I would opt for a cabin closer to mid ship. The closet and storage space was great. There were four of us staying in the cabin - two adults, a four year old and a baby. We had plenty of space to put everything away in the dresser drawers, closet and bathroom shelves. However, we limited the amount of clothes we brought and opted to use the unlimited laundry service. This helped cut down on the amount of storage space needed. The bathroom was very spacious for a cruise ship. It had a bathtub, making it possible to shower without feeling like we were wearing the shower curtain as it seems on some other cruise lines. Again, lots of storage space - two shelves on the wall, a good bit of counter space and a large shelf below the sink. There was never a shortage of towels in a variety of sizes, and the bath towels were particularly large and soft. A nice touch. Our four year old slept in an upper berth. This was one of the few things we did not like about the cabin. The upper berth was positioned partially over the queen size bed centered on the outer wall of the cabin. The ladder leading up to the berth literally landed at the bottom edge of the sofa. So we had to exercise extreme caution in climbing up and down. This also cut off the space on the left side of the queen size bed. I had to climb in and out of bed from the foot of the bed each night. Also, there are no rails on the upper berth. As a result, when our son had a restless night of sleep, things started falling onto me from above, including a blanket, a stuffed animal and a water bottle. Not fun. As we were traveling with a baby, our sofa was blocked off by the pack and play in the middle of the cabin. However, when we folded it up at the end of the cruise, we noticed how spacious the cabin was without it. Somewhat larger than the typical ocean view cabin on other cruise lines. Lastly, I would note that there were not many outlets to plug things in. We had a refrigerator in the cabin for the week for our baby's bottles and food. That took up the one outlet in the main cabin. There was another outlet in the bathroom. But to use it, you needed to leave the bathroom light on. This seemed wasteful to us. But it was the only way to charge our electronic devices.

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