1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Love Holland America and wanted to experience an 11 day cruise with lots of stops. Embarkation went very well. Disembarkation could have been less crowded. Only three custom officers on duty. Love the Lanai Ocean view room. Walked ... Read More
Love Holland America and wanted to experience an 11 day cruise with lots of stops. Embarkation went very well. Disembarkation could have been less crowded. Only three custom officers on duty. Love the Lanai Ocean view room. Walked everyday around the ship and it was enjoyable. Sat in our reserved chairs, for relaxation time, that are provided for us just outside our sliding glass door. Dinning was very good. We did open seating and requested our favorite wait staff's table which was open to us several evenings. Food was well prepared and tasty, The service excellent and everyone was concerned with meeting our dinner expectations. Entertainment was very good with the energetic piano man Martin Kaye. The piano bar was hoping each night with Don at the keys. Veendam dancers were satisfactory. The service on Holland America was exceptional. We had positive interactions with Customer Service and Shore Excursions. The ship was going into dry dock after this cruise so the maintenance staff was very busy replacing carpeting and general up keep of the ship. The Captain's message each night regarding the sea and the next day's port was very informative. Seven ports in 11 days was nice. Did some excursions and sometimes just walked around the port stores. Did one private tour in Roatan named AJ's Monkeys and Sloth. Very fun. I would highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Attracted to cruise because it visited Cuba - first time on Holland America after approximately thirty prior cruises - Ship was in total disrepair - Booked four cabins near elevator bank to accommodate ninety year old birthday celebrant - ... Read More
Attracted to cruise because it visited Cuba - first time on Holland America after approximately thirty prior cruises - Ship was in total disrepair - Booked four cabins near elevator bank to accommodate ninety year old birthday celebrant - By end of ten days only one elevator cab was running for passengers resulting in extremely long waits to move around ships - Crew has to use one elevator as theirs were out of order - One day elevator opened and we saw crew member with carts of filthy linens! We were told they were waiting for parts - Public bathrooms on pool deck 11 were out of service from first day until last day - waiting for parts. We were directed to use facilities on same deck at rear of ship through buffet area - One stall only - filthy - no towels to wipe hands - Complained but to no avail - Leaking safety sprinkler valve on 12th deck down onto pool deck for entire length of cruise - Pool deck was always wet and slippery - Cone saying “caution wet floor” with no attempt to repair - Food was inedible with exception of breakfast - Too little personnel - family style trays of food were not refilled when empty - Italian specialty restaurant was disgusting at best - Entertainment crew shows would have been okay as high school productions - Cruise director wore same decrepit suit and dirty shoes nightly - Commented it was a uniform! Sent complaint letter to President and CEO of Holland America about all occurrences - Received response from customer service (not from Pres. or CEO) - Surprise! She claimed all issues were related to awaiting spare parts - Offered $100.00 discount per person on future cruise - Insulting at best - As repeat cruiser on Oceania they offer 10% discount on cabin which works out to hundreds of dollars and well worth every penny - Will never sail with Holland America ever again and neither should you Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise specifically for the stop in Cienfuegos and the dates worked with our kids winter breaks. Embarking on the cruise was very easy, our cabin steward was great. We signed the kids up for club HAL but they never ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically for the stop in Cienfuegos and the dates worked with our kids winter breaks. Embarking on the cruise was very easy, our cabin steward was great. We signed the kids up for club HAL but they never went. I guess they have outgrown it (ages 10, 12 and 13). Everything seemed well maintained and we didn't have any plumbing issues although I met a woman who did. We spent a good bit of time relaxing at the lido pool playing ping pong or in the exploration lounge playing board games. I found the lights in the main dining to be too bright. They seemed much brighter than the lights on the Rotterdam or Zaandam. We did not see any of the shows. One complaint I have is the timing of the shows/movies. The movies tended to start at 7pm and the shows were at 8 or 10pm. We had the late seating for main room dining so unless we wanted to stay up super late it wasn't practical to catch the entertainment and with 4 ports stops most mornings we needed to be up for a shore excursion. On other cruise lines they've had an early show that you could see and then do dinner after. I also there had been more educational talks about Cuba. We did the South America/Antarctica cruise a couple years ago and I loved all the various talks about Wildlife, exploration, etc. Overall a great and relaxing cruise, but the only stop that we really enjoyed was Cienfuegos. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise to not only visit Havana ( I had been there before)) but mainly Cienfuegos. There was an announcement the night before that due to irregularities with one of the 5 generators, we would not be stopping at Cienfuegos. I ... Read More
I chose this cruise to not only visit Havana ( I had been there before)) but mainly Cienfuegos. There was an announcement the night before that due to irregularities with one of the 5 generators, we would not be stopping at Cienfuegos. I had persuaded 7 other family members to go with me. Amazingly, Holland America did not substitute a port or extend our stay at one of the scheduled ports. Instead we had to endure anther day at sea. Their compensation was a $100 room credit and free drinks one of the afternoons. We were kept in the dark about details of the cancellation for about 2 days until the Capt gave his explanation over the public address system. The ship is very much in need of an overhaul. Our room phone quit working 3 times, the elevators are extremely slow (5 to 10 minute waits). One elevator was permanently out of service. Our room was showing signs of wear. There was only one electrical outlet for the entire room. There was not any outlet in the bathroom. We had to purchase extension cords in Key West. The internet plan we purchased went out for about 9 hours. I asked staff members if there would be any credit given towards a future cruise and the answer was No. That behind said, the dining room and house keeping staff were wonderful. My wife and I have cruised almost 30 times and the last show performance with the dancers and singers was the best we had ever heard on a ship. The Cruise Director was also excellent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Avoid accepting cabins 131 & 133. Located over Ocean Bar. Music from Ocean Bar heard in room from 9:30 pm to 11:45 pm most nights. (We could hear every note, every thump and even the voice of the singer!) This is a known problem on ... Read More
Avoid accepting cabins 131 & 133. Located over Ocean Bar. Music from Ocean Bar heard in room from 9:30 pm to 11:45 pm most nights. (We could hear every note, every thump and even the voice of the singer!) This is a known problem on this ship. They moved occupants of both cabins to another suite the following day and gave a $70 credit. It took both cabins' occupants going down to complain to get moved. (They initially tried to play it off like saying some occupants are just "more sensitive" than others to the music when they are well aware they have had this problem for many cruises with these cabins!) Holland America operates smaller ships, less crowd, no drunk and rowdy passengers. The staff is always pleasant and smiling. The room stewards remember your names and are eager to please. They take care of 29 or so rooms. They work very hard and deserve a personal tip at the end of the cruise. The time in port could be longer. Most ports had to be back on ship 3:30 pm. Only one small swimming pool that was too cold to go in for our taste. The Lido Restaurant was good with a variety of foods each day. The salad bar was nice. However, was closed for several hours between meal change overs. Desserts were good. Pizza required placing an order. Pizza was not what I call pizza. Preferred previous arrangement to request a slice. Hamburger, hot dog and fries were excellent, required placing an order. Taco bar very good. All three close at 5:30 pm. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise solely because of the Cuba stops. It was advertised and sold as the 10 Day Cuban Explorer. After a wonderful day and evening in Havana we were advised our second Cuba stop in Cienfuegos was being cancelled because of ... Read More
We chose this cruise solely because of the Cuba stops. It was advertised and sold as the 10 Day Cuban Explorer. After a wonderful day and evening in Havana we were advised our second Cuba stop in Cienfuegos was being cancelled because of ship mechanical problems. In addition we we told the remaining ports were being moved up a day which totally disrupted advance plans we had made in those stops. We were given an insulting $100 ship credi for our “inconvenience” The Captain was unapologetic and admonished us not to feel the cruise had been ruined. We found out from the crew this was not the first time the Veendam had cancelled Cienfuegos. We regret booking this cruise with Holland America. On a positive note the crew was wonderful. Food was average and actually poor one of the two nights we ate in the Pinnicle Grill. Food and service in the Canaletto restaurant was very good. Ship interiors were very well done considering the age of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose the HAL Veendam cruise specifically for the Cuba stops and our good experience with HAL. We believe that this itinerary originally included Bonaire and Curacao which were eliminated for some reason and Ochjo Rios and the Caymans ... Read More
We chose the HAL Veendam cruise specifically for the Cuba stops and our good experience with HAL. We believe that this itinerary originally included Bonaire and Curacao which were eliminated for some reason and Ochjo Rios and the Caymans added. For a ten day cruise, it included four days at sea. Marginal ports and really too much time at sea for a smaller ship with limited on board activities. After we left Havana it was announced that we would skip the second Cuban port, Cienfeugos because of mechanical issues that prevented our ship from handling a relative small port. So that created five days at sea as no attempt was made to go to another Cuban port and we sailed around in circles to eat up the time. In all, very disappointing as Cuba was the draw, and the other ports were not that great and the ship lacked activities needed for five cruising days.( We met some people in Ocho Rios on a different cruise line whose decided not to stop at Cienfeugos and diverted to another Cuban port. HAL gave each passenger a $50.00 credit because we missed the second Cuban port which most people considered an insult!!). This ship is one of HAL's smaller ones and older. We had sailed on her when she was new. They have made obvious attempts to refurbish most areas with nice results. However, the aging is showing; one toilet on deck 8 and one bank of elevators at each end of the ship was closed the entire cruise. The dancing and singing troupe does a nice job on three nights with ventriculist and harpest on others, A good trio in one bar area, BUT, that is it. If you want to just lounge around and go to bed at 10:00, this cruise would be OK. But, with five days of cruising around in circles, this was not one of our most memorable cruises. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Honestly I was quite worry about the possible maintenance issue and quality of food before boarding this ship, especially reading some negative reviews about how old this ship is and unsatisfied customers...well, all that went out the ... Read More
Honestly I was quite worry about the possible maintenance issue and quality of food before boarding this ship, especially reading some negative reviews about how old this ship is and unsatisfied customers...well, all that went out the window started with smooth embarking process and greetings from friendly staff... We were able to eat nice lunch even before ship leaves... Room was nice, hot shower with clean towels, I mean I can't expected it to be like five star hotel, we are on a ship with thousand of other people....we enjoyed all entertainment including magic show, BBC earth concert, American test kitchen host and other programs kept us busy, even the casino has updated machines, We booked tours ahead of time and enjoyed every Port. There was even wellness lectures and I was enlightened. Foods were good and we were well fed. We even stay in Boston one night to visit Quincy market and some local must sees... Overall, I had great time, pardon me, awesome time, I supposed everyone has different taste and style in traveling preferences....my style is to stay at nice hotel, wake up to nice hearty breakfast, fun things to do while visiting a new city, at same time some quiet lounge available for personal reflection....this cruise provided all my needs... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Our adult kids chose this cruise - we had a great time! Had not cruised with HAL before - definitely an older crowd, but great ports of call and comfortable ship. Really like HAL's carry aboard wine policy - happy to pay $18 corkage ... Read More
Our adult kids chose this cruise - we had a great time! Had not cruised with HAL before - definitely an older crowd, but great ports of call and comfortable ship. Really like HAL's carry aboard wine policy - happy to pay $18 corkage for better wine - we brought a case aboard and really enjoyed our dinners. Entertainment was ok - not great. Dancers and singers were good - enjoyed their performances. Would have liked more dancing for cruisers. Food was good and dining room staff was attentive and friendly. We managed to eat multiple entrees and appetizers but didnt really gain weight because we hiked aggressively in the ports of call. Quebec was our favorite port - beautiful city, will return someday. Officers were present and approachable. This was the first time we have had cruise ships run late to schedule - although not extremely, Had a good time and strongly recommend Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We are a family of four from Montreal, Canada, with two teenaged children. This was our 21st cruise, so we are moderately cruise-experienced, on a variety of cruise lines. This was our first experience with Holland America Line. We did our ... Read More
We are a family of four from Montreal, Canada, with two teenaged children. This was our 21st cruise, so we are moderately cruise-experienced, on a variety of cruise lines. This was our first experience with Holland America Line. We did our homework prior to sailing, and came with lowered expectations. Boy! Were we surprised! We sailed on the Veendam on July 28th for a 7-day cruise from Montreal to Boston. Port stops included Quebec City, Charlottetown PEI, Sydney Nova Scotia, Halifax Nova Scotia, and Bar Harbor Maine. We had a large outside cabin, Category FF #0721. Embarkation in Old Port of Montreal was quick and painless. Arrived at 11am and were on the ship at 11:30. Cabin 721 was ready for us, and was quite large compared to other cruises we’ve been on. Everything was as expected and working. The bathtub drain clogged up, but removing the plug solved the problem. We rented a mini-fridge for this voyage for $2 a day (as categories lower than balcony cabins do not have one) and it worked perfectly. A small bother on Veendam is that cabin 721 is NOT on deck 7, as one would logically expect. In fact, the higher the cabin number, the LOWER you are located on this ship. (We adapted) The ship: Yes it’s small. Not much going on… but enough that we weren’t bored silly. Elevators were slow, but that is typical of ALL cruise ships. The Veendam was very stable, not much in the way of rocking or pitching; just some occasional slow, smooth rolling. We didn’t encounter any storms or rough weather/seas on this sailing. This being a small ship, everything was close at hand. Not a ton of walking, like on the mega-ships. The Food: We found the food quality to be excellent in the main dining room and the buffet. Buffet selection was, at times, limited, or half closed. They did not keep stations open past their scheduled closing times (like we’ve seen on other lines) when the area was still busy. They also followed food themes in the buffet (Indonesian, Filipino, etc.) a bit too much for the size of the buffet… a bit less theme and a little more general variety would have been nice. Buffet breakfast was pretty much the same every day, but lots to choose from. There was a lot to choose from in the main dining room menu most nights, as well. The Dive-In Burger grill was good (they give you a pager). The pizza was awful. We also tried the chicken wings from the casino bar, which were dry and not very tasty. We didn’t order room service (Didn’t need to). Drinks were excellent and properly mixed. Service: The staff on this ship were, in one word “Amazing”! Always smiling, always attentive, and eager to please. Sometimes there was a language barrier (usually at the buffet) but they were never rude, with one exception: The cook at the Dive-In Burger counter. I arrived one day at 4:45pm and it was closed. The schedule said 5pm. I pointed this out to him and he proceeded to strongly argue with me that it was after 5pm. Every clock on the ship said otherwise. I had time to wait for an elevator, go downstairs, wait again in line at Guest Services, make a complaint, and it still wasn’t 5pm. But this was an aberration. I guess he was having a bad day. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t the only food option available at that time. (I’m diabetic and need to eat when my glucose is low) Entertainment: Not much. Just OK. Shows were average. Dancers lacked precision at times. Singers were passable. The comedians put me to sleep, literally. We did not attend the final show, billed as the ship’s band playing to a nature video presentation. There were a couple of other combos playing in the lounges, more old-style lounge music, not our thing. Hannah was the DJ in the disco. She “lacked skillz”, but played ok music, one song at a time… not many people in attendance most nights. Our kids did not go to the teenager hangout, which was deserted. Only the animator was there, sitting on her phone. There were teenagers on the ship: they were all just too cool to attend, ours included. Internet: We tried the HAL Navigator App. This needs to be put out of its misery! What a useless piece of junk. The ONLY thing it was good for was the menus in the dining room. Problem was, it was never updated. It showed the same menu every night, until the last night, when somebody decided to fix it. There was no information about shows or entertainment, couldn’t book anything on it like dining reservations, complete garbage. Internet packages were expensive, and other passengers said the service was unreliable. We used our cell phones in port and when the ship was in range of a tower. Conclusion: This was one of our better cruises, having just come off a miserable sailing on the brand-new MSC Seaside in March. The quiet atmosphere on Veendam made for a very relaxing experience. HAL could create little more atmosphere at the pool decks; some lively music or something would be nice. It doesn’t need to be loud. No pool games or wild animators are necessary. The muzak that was playing was too boring, though. The Indonesian and Filipino crew literally made this trip for us. They were awesome. Every crew member we passed greeted us, and many remembered our names. Even in port. And they work HARD. Very attentive, and if I even looked unhappy with something, they fell over themselves to make sure I was taken care of. I just can’t say enough. Thank you to the crew and staff of this fine ship! Read Less
Veendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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