125 Holland America Veendam Family Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise for one major reason: its itinerary. We visited nearly 5-6 countries in the span of 12 days, and every city was more magical than the last. Major pros of this cruise include: quick and simple disembarkation/embarkation at ... Read More
Chose this cruise for one major reason: its itinerary. We visited nearly 5-6 countries in the span of 12 days, and every city was more magical than the last. Major pros of this cruise include: quick and simple disembarkation/embarkation at every port of call, small ship so almost no feeling of being overcrowded at any point, absolutely delicious food that was ever-changing and never repeated itself in the main dining room (I'm pretty sure), and finally, a wonderful fitness room that was large and equipped with tons of modern equipment. However, there were also some pretty big cons: the age of the ship is clearly showing in the quality of its sofa beds and windows as well as in public areas, the entertainment was also pretty subpar (although the movie theatre was pretty neat) and short of the 2-3 acts, wasn't really worth going through the trouble of attending. All in all, very pleased with this cruise, although it would work better even with a more modern ship. Nevertheless, the itinerary was tremendous and that is where HAL makes this a memorable cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Had never been to this area before and wanted to see it. Lovely views, scenery was great. Dropped our car in Boston and flew to Montreal to catch ship. Boarding was straight forward and done in no time. We rented a car for the day and the ... Read More
Had never been to this area before and wanted to see it. Lovely views, scenery was great. Dropped our car in Boston and flew to Montreal to catch ship. Boarding was straight forward and done in no time. We rented a car for the day and the process was easy. Pickup at airport, returned downtown; Enterprise took us to cruise port. Ship was smallest that we have ever sailed on. We liked it. Room 1844 was nice size with plenty of storage. Perfect location for getting on and off ship at ports. Food was good at all restaraunts, but selection did not appeal to all of us. Entire staff that we dealt with were friendly and helpful. We love HAL and were not dissapointed at all on this cruise. Entertainment was just a tad off, we blame content not cast. Disembarking was the easiest ever experienced. Right off and out. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and were not disappointed in any way. The refurbished ship is beautiful, clean, and everything looks brand new. The staff were all friendly and helpful, and the food in the MDR was very good. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and were not disappointed in any way. The refurbished ship is beautiful, clean, and everything looks brand new. The staff were all friendly and helpful, and the food in the MDR was very good. We ate in the Pinnacle once; it was OK but we enjoyed the MDR more. Entertainment was good if not excellent; there were some but not many activities during the day, but most everyone was off the ship anyway, as we only had one day at sea, and on that day there were many activities at all times. Embarkation was easy, as was disembarkation at the end of the trip. The Veendam is a small ship, so the staff/guest ration is much better than on the larger ships. It is comfortable, and we much prefer the smaller ships for this reason. Sailing up the Adriatic into Venice was an amazing and beautiful ending to our voyage. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
Sail Date March 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
Sail Date January 2019
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
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 December 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
Sail Date November 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
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise (from Boston to Montreal) in July as it was one of the only ones leaving from Boston. While the staff was stellar, the ship had seen better days. Built in 1996 with '80s technology, our Neptune Class Suite had one ... Read More
We chose this cruise (from Boston to Montreal) in July as it was one of the only ones leaving from Boston. While the staff was stellar, the ship had seen better days. Built in 1996 with '80s technology, our Neptune Class Suite had one outlet, no USB ports and a 13" TV. The AC systems made some cabins frigid while the room next door was like a sauna. Ours was the latter. No amount of cajoling or escalating could get it working right so we were miserable most of the cruise. Many of the systems seemed to be held together with bailing wire and prayers and the staff admitted privately that they were in constant need of repair. One of the elevators (I quipped it was haunted) creaked and moaned and the floor annunciator sounded possessed. Lighting systems were still fluorescent which mean they didn't come on right away. The toilet sometimes flushed, and the bathtub drain acted like it was full of something indescribable. None of these issues could be fixed. They did a major overhaul of the AC in my daughter's cabin at 9:30 at night where they found a horrible mess of dirt, dust, and lint that had accumulated for a decade. It did make it somewhat better. Several windows were broken (one was repaired in Toronto) but all of them were filthy. The Neptune Concierge lounge was a lifesaver. They tried to deal with most of these problems--always with a smile. We also found human hair in our bread on several occasions. Lots of apologies but it kept happening. So no, we won't be back on HA. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Be VERY leary. DO NOT GO. I have the CDC Vessel Sanitazion Program (CDC) on this one. Disgusting, filthy toilets and “sanitation”. I walked into my cabin when it was announced that cabins were clean and ready, and I went into my ... Read More
Be VERY leary. DO NOT GO. I have the CDC Vessel Sanitazion Program (CDC) on this one. Disgusting, filthy toilets and “sanitation”. I walked into my cabin when it was announced that cabins were clean and ready, and I went into my bathroom and the toilet was over flooded with filthy water and human fecal matter! The public bathrooms were almost always filthy; I never saw anyone clean a public toilet all the days. The HVAC (heating and cooling) was constantly not working.....everyone complaining....even “Guest Relations” told me to be glad my room wasn’t almost 80 degrees like others and that I had SOME air. I couldn’t believe that! When the air was on, there was an exhaust smelll (others complaining as well)and a strong odor that I have never smelled but it smelled like rotting fruit. Several times thru out the cruise, toilets backed up, and there was no running water....one day I had no hot water for 20 hours and guest relations did nothing and I finally approached a navigation officer, who handled it. Communication was almost non existent between Departments was very poor...., for example, it was in their daily program that card players meet in a certain room each a.m., and the room was not set up 1/2 the time, and passengers were getting and setting up tables and chairs. We were promised water and coffee in that room, and only received one day, even after repeated calls. Customer Service was so poor it was almost comical.....but it wasn’t, but I could see why. I was so upset and frustrated one night when I had to WALK TO GUEST RELATIONS IN MY PJs, as no one would answer the phone, and I was crying and the Hotel Director was by my elevator and I implored him for help and he actually said “Not my job” and left we standing there! Employee relations was very inconsistent; some crew (like my cabin attendant in 598) actually walked away while I was talking! The Ship is very very run down, stains, boards missing or damaged under floors, for example I reported repeatedly that on the floor adjacent to Table 63, main dining, had some serious problems with the floor, as everytime a wait staff would walk by, the floor would sink in and bother my back. I was told they could do nothing until next dry dock!! Although the food was quite good, I did have a health issue. I have serious celiac disease and must be gluetin free, and in the buffet, the room service, and only once in main dining....they tried to serve me food with gluten. I stopped using room service as almost daily, it was not on time, missing items, coffee cold, etc. The promenade deck had hard wooden loungers with slats and NO COVERS....unusable! Photo below. I had to RENT a refrigerator for my medicines and special diet food and it was delivered in filthy condition! When I arrived in my cabin, it was not properly cleaned....hair everywhere, sticky remote control, dirty clothes in the drawers, badly stained and ripped sheets! The bathroom floors had the same shoe stain for two days. The charges for HALs excursions were 50% to 1400% (YES! 1400%] higher than one could find outside. The 4th of July party and BarBQue promised on their private island was not done because “thunderstorms were predicted”.....we checked the weather on line and we saw no such prediction and it was a beautiful day. The furniture in the showroom was uncomfortable and the onboard singers and dancers and their shows were so bad....people were calling it “dancing by numbers”. The outside entertainers were just okay, not bad. Often, it would take so long for someone at the front desk to answer phone, I waited up to an hour and walked down in my PJs. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My wife and I traveled with my brother and his wife June 9, 2018 from Boston to Bermuda. The cruise itself was fine, but the food was not very good both in the dining room and the buffet. We had to send back our Lamb chops that were so ... Read More
My wife and I traveled with my brother and his wife June 9, 2018 from Boston to Bermuda. The cruise itself was fine, but the food was not very good both in the dining room and the buffet. We had to send back our Lamb chops that were so tough we could not eat. The waiter was helpful and suggested bringing out something else which we did. In the buffet we found that the meats were very dry as if it was prepared way in advance. Our room was a balcony and was clean but very dated and worn. The balcony needed painting due to the rust. The bottom sheet was patched with a blue patch. The toliet had a odor and the carpet was very worn. We ordered a water (8) package weeks in advance online but we only got (4) after we checked in. The guy stated he would deliver the balance later. I told 2 of our room stewards we had not gotten our balance of water but nothing happened. I went to guest services and they got it delivered in a few hours. The entertainment was not very good. We have sailed on over 20 trips with several cruise lines including Holland and have not had this poor level overall. Seems like not just one thing but many thing were not up to our expectations. Our room was #111 and my brothers room was 109. This ship really needs to be in dry dock and refurbished. Our stay in Bermuda was ok. We took a 5 hour mini bus tour and was very good. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Did not want to go to the Caribbean or overseas and I wanted to sightsee with my daughter. This was perfect. We flew in to Montreal on Friday so we had a little time to sightsee on Sat. We stayed in Old Montreal right on the edge of ... Read More
Did not want to go to the Caribbean or overseas and I wanted to sightsee with my daughter. This was perfect. We flew in to Montreal on Friday so we had a little time to sightsee on Sat. We stayed in Old Montreal right on the edge of Chinatown within walking distance to the Basilica. You could actually walk to the cruise ship port EXCEPT there is a huge hill going down to the port. Embarkation was so easy then once we checked out the room we went for lunch to the Lido. We would have breakfast in the Lido - loved all choices and service, food very good. A few mornings we had room service which always arrived on time, piping hot, and our orders were correct. One morning we had bkfst in the main DR which was nice just more formal of course. Lunch we were always off the ship except the day in Sydney. It was cold and rainy and not much to do in port. Take an excursion. The one day at Sea we did the Americas Test Kitchen Cooking show which was good. Then Bingo. That was fun. We did the As you Wish seating at Dinner which we really liked- always meeting new and interesting people. I did the Tea once when we were at sea. Very good. The DR food was very good, some courses better than others. The rack of lamb was delicious I wish I had ordered 2. We rarely waited for a table, the srevice wax great. Nightly entertainment was not always well attended - these cruisers went to bed early! We really liked the Oceans Trio best- Harvey can really play the piano and he jokes along so it is a very entertaining show. The shows at night were pretty good I think we saw 3. Pool area is nice and well managed with the Dive in (great hamburgers, hotdogs, and a taco bar). All of the bartenders and staff were great & very courteous. We liked going uo to the Crows Nest when the ship was leaving port. There are sailaway drink specials which is nice . Drinks were good, one time we caught Trivia with the cruise ship director which we enjoyed. We are considering a cruise in Feb on the Nieu Amsterdam, I have read they changed the Crows Nest on that ship to a different venue which I am sorry to hear. We did eat in the Canelleto one night. The food was ok, saw a beautiful sunset cruising on the river. Also we ate in the Pinnacle Grill the night that it was Rudys Sel de Mer. That was a delicious meal with superb service. Quite a bit of food. The bouillibaise was superb. As you can tell I really enjoyed this trip. No, I have not been on many cruises but this was pretty perfect in my book. The husbands were sorry they didnt go. Debarkation was a little confusing. We did the HAL bus ride to the airport. They get the luugage on then realize that the people getting off 1st that their luggage should be on top. Anyway it all worked out. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Do not book a cruise with Holland America!! This was my 36th cruise and I have never before had a complaint. Air conditioning did not work in our cabin and customer service was full of lies about it. Lots of aft cabins had air ... Read More
Do not book a cruise with Holland America!! This was my 36th cruise and I have never before had a complaint. Air conditioning did not work in our cabin and customer service was full of lies about it. Lots of aft cabins had air conditioning problems and dealing with Holland America was a nightmare! For 3 days they kept telling us they were working on adjusting the airflow while we sweltered and were unable to sleep at night. Finally on the 4th day we were offered a box fan which did help a little. After that we had a nice suite that we could not use without stepping over cord to the only outlet in the cabin and maneuvering around the fan. SAFETY HAZARD!! Veendam is way overdue for a refurbish. Things are very tired, dirty, and nasty. I enjoy the smaller ships but this was not cruise worthy. Have no complaints about the service except for the front desk. Lies, lies, and more lies!! We heard from other passengers that they had the same problems on the previous cruise. Holland America knew there was a problem and we feel that we should have been notified at the beginning of the cruise. My daughter traipsed down to the front desk every day to negotiate with them to no avail. She finally got them to admit that on the last day that it could not be fixed and we were given a 25% refund. We don't feel that was sufficient but would have been given nothing without her efforts. Dining room service was very good. Waiters were attentive and fun. Staff on board was always friendly and helpful. Cuba was wonderful!! The shore excursion was great, our tour guide Guillermo was excellent and the Cuban people were very friendly and welcoming. You should definitely book a cruise or trip to Cuba but not through Holland America!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I chose this cruise specifically to be on board the Veendam. We cruised Alaska last year on the Zaandam, which is a sister ship to the Veendam. We enjoyed it much more than our Mexico cruise the year before on a much larger Carnival ... Read More
I chose this cruise specifically to be on board the Veendam. We cruised Alaska last year on the Zaandam, which is a sister ship to the Veendam. We enjoyed it much more than our Mexico cruise the year before on a much larger Carnival ship. There was nothing wrong with the Carnival cruise but it was very much a party ship compared to the last time we had cruised on Carnival about 12 years before. The Zaandam was our first HAL cruise and we very much enjoyed the more sedate attitude of the cruise. No obnoxious drunks or poorly supervised kids. The Veendam was great and I would absolutely cruise aboard her again. We had our 13 year old daughter aboard and it was her first experience with the teen program on the ship, and being over Easter there was a large number of kids on board (160). She made a couple of friends and enjoyed herself, but I think she is still young enough she would have liked the more structured atmosphere in the 9-12 age group but she wasn't allowed to go there anymore. It would be nice if HAL allowed an overlap between the age groups. Being 13 is very different from being 16-17, and she would have had more fun hanging out with 11 & 12 year olds. Not a big deal...in a year or two she will much prefer the teen Loft. I originally booked an inside cabin but eventually upgraded to a balcony vista suite. It was quite roomy and we very much enjoyed having a balcony. I know next time we cruise without a balcony we will miss it. We are from a small town so we are always impressed with the dining options on cruise ships. Everything was delicious, and the proportions were adequate without feeling like I was stuffed after every meal. Embarkation was the fastest we have experienced. Less than 45 minutes total. We had two sea days and we enjoyed the activities offered. Entertainment was not as good as on the Zaandam. Some of it was targeting an audience a couple decades older than us, but the singing and dancing was good. Sound could have been better. We played tennis for on board exercise. Plenty of time service opportunities on the Veendam. Service was excellent, although occasionally a little slow in the dining room. We had open seating so I think sometimes it was slow depending on which wait team we were seated with. We won this cruise so we only paid for the upgrade to a vista suite. Obviously great value for our money, but before we embarked I saw that inside cabins were down to $469pp so for 7 nights that's a great value. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because of two ports in Cuba little did we know one port was cancelled at last minute, captain said it was because of strong winds and could not get into channel using safety for the passengers. This as we watched ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of two ports in Cuba little did we know one port was cancelled at last minute, captain said it was because of strong winds and could not get into channel using safety for the passengers. This as we watched another cruise ship go down channel without any issues, it was a nice sunny day no white caps on ocean although we were told the white caps were further in channel. The cruise was a once in a lifetime traveling with wife and mother in law. We got a suite which was real roomy but smelled and plumbing backed up during cruise 3 times. Food was terrible. There was little to do on ship during trip with no live music by pool. We were abandoned in Cuba on our excursion and had to hook up with another group to get back to ship. When 2nd port was cancelled we were told crew had to scramble to get us things to do and what a job they did, they offered the passengers a glass of wine in the afternoon for our troubles. This is the only cruise ship I have ever been on that sells depends diapers which tells you how old the passengers were. Horrible Horrible Horrible experience would not cruise Holland ever again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I was so disappointed in this 7 day Authentic Cuba cruise with Holland America. I have always considered Holland America to be a cut above but this cruise definitely dropped them down considerably. The ship was little more than a rust ... Read More
I was so disappointed in this 7 day Authentic Cuba cruise with Holland America. I have always considered Holland America to be a cut above but this cruise definitely dropped them down considerably. The ship was little more than a rust bucket. We had some kind of "technical difficulty" in the engine room (which sounded like an explosion to us) and had us thinking that we should have taken the evacuation drill a lot more seriously. We were 2 hours behind schedule as we limped into Costa Maya which caused our shore excursion to be backed up. We went to Kahunlich Mayan Ruins and the tour was excellent and we were not rushed because we were late. However this made us late getting back to the ship and we were late for dinner. We rushed right to the dining room but were turned away because my husband had shorts on! I found this the epitome of poor guest service seeing the delay was their fault. We had a wonderful room steward who was always there when we had all kinds of problems with our rooms but he was the best of the guest services. We went to Shore Excursions right after we got on the ship only to find that all the shore excursions in Cuba were booked except for 3 and we had to settle for a lesser tour than what we had wanted - another disappointment. We wound up on Easy Havana and spent 3 hours driving around a very rundown Havana. Oh and did I mention that we never got into Cuba until 4:00? Ours was the last tour to go out and we spent half of it touring in the dark. Definitely not worth it especially when you consider that you have to pay for a $75 visa just to go into Cuba. We spent $150 for a 3 hour tour half of which was in the dark. The shows on the ship were good but one of them had to be postponed because there was a bad leak on the stage that would interfere with the lighting. Another example of the rust bucket affectionately known as "Damveen". So if you're looking for a cruise on an inferior ship, with poor guest service, a very cold captain and where you can feel pretty ripped off, this is the trip for you. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Really enjoyed the Trip. Although a little aged, the ship is very easy get around and to feel comfortable. The deck 8 renovations have opened up the space but you can still find a quiet corner to relax or have a cocktail. Food was ... Read More
Really enjoyed the Trip. Although a little aged, the ship is very easy get around and to feel comfortable. The deck 8 renovations have opened up the space but you can still find a quiet corner to relax or have a cocktail. Food was better than expected both in the restaurants and lido cafe. My only complaint was I booked an ocean view cabin 337 on lower promenade (deck 6) knowing it’s location etc,. Unfortunately it was the only cabin on this deck that didn’t have the reflective glass to prevent passerby’s from seeing into the cabin when the lights were on and even the sheer drapes were not totally effective in blocking viewing into the cabin. When I complained about this they apologized and offered another cabin on a lower deck because unfortunately they did not have any reflective film to correct the problem. Because I specifically chose the location and was traveling with other friends in nearby launi cabins I opted not to move to the cabin offered but kept the drapes closed more time then I would have liked. The women at the front desk knew exactly which cabin I was in as soon as I mentioned the problem. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I chose it because of the date of departure , trip duration and ports of call. Holland American seems to have quite a variety of cruises going to New England. Overall, it was a nice cruise.. The food in Lido had a reasonable variety, ... Read More
I chose it because of the date of departure , trip duration and ports of call. Holland American seems to have quite a variety of cruises going to New England. Overall, it was a nice cruise.. The food in Lido had a reasonable variety, prepared in a healthy manner without too much salt or greasy . The meat from the carving station was quite high quality. Even desserts came with no sugar version. The ship is a bit dated especially the carpet in the lower level deck. Staff were very polite and provided good services. The music entertainment had a good variety. The only issue was our toilet were pumping water twice. It was found out that this affected many cabins nearby. They fixed it within couple of hours. But I was surprised that we received not apology from the ship as well as small token of credit like most hospitality industry would do. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I was a little hesitant just before leaving due to some of the recent reviews of this very cruise. Yes, the ship is a little tired in places. Seating cushions in public areas need to be replaced, along with the deck chairs on lower ... Read More
I was a little hesitant just before leaving due to some of the recent reviews of this very cruise. Yes, the ship is a little tired in places. Seating cushions in public areas need to be replaced, along with the deck chairs on lower promenade, etc. The 'hot tub' area aft seemed rather worthless. However, the ship is clean. The service and food were very good. I was impressed with the Lido restaurant. Happy to see the buffet has been done away with and the food and food utensils are not handled by guests. There were hand washing stations everywhere. The ship is smaller than many of the mega ships I've been on and this was a big plus given I was traveling with two individuals who use walkers. The ports of call I liked best were Bar Harbor and Quebec. Sydney didn't seem worthwhile. We dined at both of the 'specialty' restaurants. The Italian one was good, but they kept pushing the family style option and we all just wanted our own dish. It was fine, but seemed a little over the top. The Pinnacle was a real disappointment. We had much better service in the dining room. I had to ask for a finger bowl or something to wipe my hands with after my King Crab. We had to track down the waiter(s) a few times. Just didn't do a good job of reading the table in my opinion. Souffle for dessert was a real disappointment. Entertainment was OK. Comedian was very good. Piano man was awful, yet popular. Didn't understand that at all. Singers and dancers on board were acceptable, but we only went once. Spa was pretty good as far as packages available, but wait a few days as the prices go down and specials come available. Hot tub within the spa is worthless. No jets. Cabins are OK, tight as you expect. Bathroom was decent size and we had a tub. We were on lower promenade deck. Nice to be able to walk right out and it was mid ship and close to the gangways when we docked. Overall good value for the money and we enjoyed our week. I think the ship is worth a trip into dry dock to update her. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I frequently cruise with Holland America. This Cruise to Bermuda was very enjoyable, but the ship itself needs some TLC. The A/C was a problem in many cabins, and public areas. I was traveling with two other couples, and their cabins ... Read More
I frequently cruise with Holland America. This Cruise to Bermuda was very enjoyable, but the ship itself needs some TLC. The A/C was a problem in many cabins, and public areas. I was traveling with two other couples, and their cabins wouldn't cool below 76 degrees. The entertainment was first rate, along with the food and service in the Dining room. Our Cabin was showing its age, but it was comfortable and clean. The reason we choice this cruise was primarily because of where this ship docks in Bermuda, Downtown with everything at your fingertips. This made it easy to travel with Senior family members. We have cruised before on other "S" Class ships and didn't notice their age, but this ship in particular needs to be dry docked, overhauled and given up-to-date features like the other ships in the fleet. Boston is a port that is not easy to drive to, but once you're there, the parking was extremely close and affordable Would we travel on this ship again....Yes Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Veendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.6
Family 3.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 3.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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