A ship that goes above and beyond: Veendam Cruise Review by Good Doc D

Veendam 5
Good Doc D
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

A ship that goes above and beyond

Sail Date: June 2011
Destination: Bermuda
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
My husband and I (44 years old) have taken many cruises, but this was our first to Bermuda. My parents (in their 70's) were traveling with us and hadn't been to Bermuda in 35 years, so they were eager to see it again. I was a little concerned about traveling to only one island, but it turned out to be wonderful trip that I would definitely repeat.

For starters, my mom's luggage did not arrive from her flight to New York (the fault of the airline, not the cruise ship), and we were forced to board the ship without it. My mom alerted the ship to the problem and they did everything they could on their end to retrieve the bag. The lady at the desk could not have been more helpful or accommodating. She had my mother's only clothes (the ones on her back) laundered, pressed, and delivered to her the next morning, loaned her an entire formal outfit, including shoes, gave her a well-equipped toiletry bag with everything she could possibly need, and ensured that my mother's luggage was More received as soon as possible. As a result, we never missed a beat and a disaster was turned into a nonentity. This meant so much to me, and I will always remember the kindness of the staff in this situation.

That kindness extended itself throughout the week. Every member of the staff was warm and willing to do whatever it took to please vacationers. They were highly professional, always smiling, and treated us like royalty. I have to say that they were the best staff I've ever experienced on any cruise ship.

As to the food, I am quite a picky eater. There were some meals that were not impressive, but I have to say that overall,the food was very good. Yes, the onion soup was so salty as to be unpalatable, and yes, there were a few times when I took a bite of something and pushed it aside. But Holland America really tried - they served a great variety of "high-end" food, night after night, and everyone in our party, ages 20-76, found food they liked, both on the buffets and at the nightly sit-down meals.

Speaking of ages, that was one area that shocked me. The vast majority of the clientele fell between 55-80 years old. The Veendam is clearly aware of this, because all of their entertainment and even the music in the nightclub catered to this age group. The nightly shows put on by the Veendam entertainment crew was outstanding, an incredibly talented group. I did remark to my parents, however, that I would have liked just one show that had more contemporary music for the middle-agers like us. My 20-year-old still enjoyed the shows because the talent was so strong, but she was eager to get to a nightclub in Bermuda where she could hear "her type of music" once during the week.

Regarding the ship itself, I found it to be refreshingly small, easily maneuverable, and adequate for our needs. I would not recommend it for people with small children, as there is only one tiny pool. The beautiful teen section went unused the entire week and seemed like a waste of money and space. One of the elevators felt like a death trap and I couldn't believe it remained that way for the entire week. Regardless, for our age group, the ship was just right. I really couldn't care less about enormous ships with climbing walls and ice rinks. I actually preferred this less glamorous one that was comfortable and provided a fantastic staff to client ratio. To me, that is much more important to my overall enjoyment of a trip. Less

Published 07/18/11

Cabin review: E Large Ocean-View Stateroom

Read All Large Ocean-View Stateroom (E) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Hamilton is an excellent port and we felt very lucky to be on the only ship that docks there. It was amazing to have the experience of being on the island permanently, but eating and sleeping on the ship. In this way, we avoided the high prices of the island but got to enjoy all it had to offer, just a few steps away. We bought a 2-day bus pass and rode the entire loop. This enabled us to get birds'-eye views of many beaches and scope out areas we wanted to revisit. It really was an excellent first day at this port. The second day, we returned to Elbow Beach, which we had spotted on our bus run. It was exquisite, quiet, and lovely. One day, my husband and I rented a sailboat and spent 5 hours just sailing around the bay and out to where the other cruise ships dock at the Naval Dockyard. It was a truly unique experience for two people just starting out in sailing.

Read 172 Hamilton Reviews

St. George is a beautiful port to sail into and was a wonderful first taste of Bermuda. We chose to just wander that section of island on foot, and we stumbled upon Tobacco Bay, a gorgeous area that is a must-see. While walking, we were approached by two separate locals in cars asking us if we needed a ride into town. We turned down the first offer because we're unaccustomed to that sort of thing, but when it happened a second time, we realized that it must be fairly common there. We accepted a ride by a kindly older couple who told us what it was like living on the island. The experience was very sweet and we returned to the ship feeling like Bermuda is a very special island.

Compare Prices on Veendam Bermuda Cruises

Read more Veendam cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Veendam Review >>

Compare Prices on Veendam Bermuda Cruises

Good Doc D
Member Since 2011
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?
Skip X

See Veendam deals up to 82% off:

September Deals
Veendam 68% Loved It

7-day Canada & Ne Discovery
See all Veendam Deals >>