First and last cruise on HAL: Veendam Cruise Review by Hotelprofis

Veendam 3
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

First and last cruise on HAL

Sail Date: March 2011
Destination: South America
Embarkation: Rio de Janeiro
We are a retired hotel-business couple (my husband is in a wheelchair) and like to take cruises of 4 weeks or longer. This time we choose the Veendam because of the destination. S.America and Amazonas region. Our experience on this trip was mildly put extremely disappointing. Upon arrival to board there was nobody to help with the luggage - I waited for 30 min. until finally our luggage was picked up by our Taxi. After checking in we were left alone to find our cabin, with me pushing the wheelchair and carrying hand luggage!

From our 4 Elevators only two worked for the whole duration - and for about 1/2 day all of them were out of order! Super for wheelchair passengers! At peak elevator times we sometimes had to wait for 15 minutes to get on one of the working elevators.

A/C was not working properly - either too warm or too cold, it took some days until it halfway worked.

When we ordered a Minibar (none were provided in our cabin) we waited 3 days. after More complaining we waited another 2 days and finally received a phone call if we wanted a Minibar. At that time I was fed up and declined!

One evening I was not feeling well and decided to eat in my cabin. I ordered a DVD movie at 7,30pm - it was delivered at 10,15pm - after I was already sleeping! Trying to reach the front office by phone took a lot of patience, sometimes 15 minutes or longer. I shudder to think what would happen in an Emergency. When my husbands wheelchair lost some air in the tire it was picked up by engineering and returned 2 days later with 6 holes in the innertube and the comment "they refuse to do anymore repairs ". We had to use a Ship Wheelchair (which they normally charge for) and were without a wheelchair for the last 4 weeks in Florida.

The lock for our cabin door broke. Apparently it could not be repaired, but nobody informed us and we were left waiting in front of the Cabin twice for 1/2 hour (at 6pm and again at 10pm) and than were told that we would have to come get someone or call from somewhere ?? every time we wanted to got to our cabin. Next we were offered a room change for ONE day!. Finally the next day we could move to another stateroom - for this problem we were given a $ 50,- on board credit!! Nothing was offered for our damaged wheelchair so far.

Before we left on this trip I sent en email to HAL for some information - I never received a response and finally had to call. Now when we came home I found that our credit card charge was more than the bill I received. Again I sent an email to customer relations - so far no answer.

There was absolutely no information from the Bridge about special sights we passed - which would have been very much appreciated in the interesting Amazonas, the Islands we passed by in the Caribbean or even the outside temperature on the Ships Chanel on TV.

Food and service in the dining room and stateroom was very good. But all the other aggravation unfortunately overshadows in the end the positive impressions. Less

Published 06/09/11

Cabin review:

Outside cabin spacious, but drawers have no handles and one must bend down all the way to the floor to open to bottom ones. Very uncomfortable. Balcony cabin on top deck at the back very noisy because of the Tables and chairs, starts at 6am.

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