Veendam Cruise Review by falcon10156
- Sail Date: January 2012
- Destination: South America
- Cabin Type: Lanai Ocean-View Stateroom
We met the HAL staff at the airport and the transfer was very easy. I would recommend the use of the HAL transfer at this location as it is a long way to the port from the airport.
The food was absolutely amazing. I was able to meet all dinners in the MDR and it was nice. I had fixed early seating which I like. We had great tablemates. Our steward and asst were very good.
I ate all breakfasts in the MDR as well as lunches (unless we were on or heading out for an excrusion). I loved the food there. I did eat in the Lido a couple of times and the food there was fine too.
Now the food - the menu was quite extensive with almost something different every night of the 17 day cruise. They also had some items the same for those that were not as daring to try different types of food.
The days that I ordered room service for breakfast due to an excursion, the food came on time and exactly what I ordered (even if I wrote it in.)
I did not try the Pinnacle Grill as the other food choices were substantial.
I did have to make a trip up to the Lido for the AMAZING BREAD PUDDING with Vanilla sauce. I miss it already.
Our cabin was an CA Lanai cabin. It was perfect for this itinerary as there was always things to see on both the port and starboard sides so it allowed easy access to both.
I did find storage a bit limited for two people especially with the extra clothes that this itinerary required but we made it work.
Beds were very comfortable. Fresh fruit delivered daily (per our request at no charge) was also a nice touch.
SPA & FITNESS:
I did not use the pool or gym as I found there was little time. I did have a massage and it was great.
PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS:
Ports were great and I did book all my shore excursions from HAL. The disembarkation at some of the locations was very unorganized as some passengers insist on getting the best seat in the bus and have to leave before they are called - when will they learn?!? We also had a couple of large groups on this ship and they kind of crept in to the HAL excursions to exit the ship. I do think that the Veendam should actually be a bit more deligient in this.
Also in a couple of incidents the ship only had one scanner open and with everyone trying to leave at the same time made it quite difficult.
One port had to be bypassed or we would have had safety issues with possiblities of 28ft waves. The captain Marc Carsjens, actually had a meeting in the Showroom to show us the weather charts and gave a great explanation about the reasoning of missing Ushuaia. He explained it in layman terms and it was great that he took the time to explain this to us. (Also his daily updates, were great too)
We were in the first group to leave the ship as we were doing a post-cruise with HAL and had to be at the airport shortly after we docked. The process for the disembarkation went smoothly.
We had to pack a bag to take on our post cruise and one to leave behind (that we would see again when we arrived back to the Buenos Aires hotel). I was concerned but when we arrived back in Buenos Aires a couple of days later - It was in my room. Kudos to the people responsbile for organizing this.
Both hotels used for the post-cruise were great.
The only concern is the Sheraton Iguzzu is very expensive for dinner and because it is in the park you are limited and basically have to eat there. The trade off however was beautiful views.
The Sheraton Liberatodor in Buenos Aires was right downtown and a nice walk to good restaurants and Flordia st for great shopping (souvenir and otherwise).
Only negative was it was across from the laundry room and got noisy once but laundry was only open from 8am - 10pm so this was never an issue. The other thing we noticed was tender boat 7 was noisy when coming down.
If you are easy waking up they do wash the windows around 5:30 am. I personally never heard them.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
MontevideoWe took a steam train trip and then were met by the buses for a bus tour around Montevideo. Both were great. Note however you do not see much from the train it is more for the experiance. When arriving back to the port we had quite a while to walk around. A very nice day.View All 205 Montevideo Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Montevideo Cruise Port Review
Puerto MonttSymphony of Lakes and Volcanoes:View All 134 Puerto Montt Cruise Port Reviews
Unfortunately we had rain and were unable to see the top of the volcano or the views from up at the top. I did get nice views going up however.
The Petrohue Rapids were really nice in rain or when the sun peaked out.
The lunch we had in Ensenada, Chile was also very very nice. All in all it was a nice port.
View Cruise Critic's Puerto Montt Cruise Port Review
Punta ArenasUnfortunately, we were not able to land in Antarctica so we went to El Calafate, Argentina instead.View All 131 Punta Arenas Cruise Port Reviews
It was very beautiful. The day was very nice. However the food on the airline that had been chartered and used by two cruiselines was the worse I have ever tasted.
This being said El Calafate and the Perito Moreno Glacier was an awesome sight to see.
View Cruise Critic's Punta Arenas Cruise Port Review
StanleyThis was probably the nicest day that Stanley, Falkland Islands had had in a while. The water was calm and the sun was out.View All 98 Stanley Cruise Port Reviews
I went to see the Rockhopper penguins. We set out on a minibus from the tender port and then when we got to the farm. We transfered to 4X4's for a ride out to the penguins. It was well worth it. We had just over an hour with the penguins.
After we got back to the farm from the penguins, we loaded back onto the mini-busses to head back to Stanley. We were given the option to be dropped off at the museum which I did and walked back to the port. We had lots of time in Stanley and I loved it.
View Cruise Critic's Stanley Cruise Port Review