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Found 120 results

  1. The Veendam, the fourth ship of the "S" class, sailed from Tampa during the winter season for quite a few years in the 2000's. I did 3 cruises on her: Canada/New England and then to Bermuda Cuban Explorer Carnival and Amazon Explorer All 3 of these itineraries consisted of ports or channels that were size restricted, which necessitated a ship Veendam's size or smaller. Docking on Front St in Hamilton was the best example. Entering the passage to Ceinfuegos, Cuba was another.
  2. This was forwarded to me this afternoon. It appears the new owner is SeaJets, a new entity that is entering the cruise market http://crew-center.com/seajets-new-owner-two-former-hal-ships
  3. From Liam Cusack on FB a quote from a Greek newspaper: "Veendam has been in the port of Katakolo since Monday, where its renovation works continue. The ship, according to its data in Marine Traffic, will be renamed Aegean Majesty while, despite the intense rumors, its new company is still unknown.Of course, in the coming months we will know the new owners and the program of the ship." Makes sense as Maasdam is also in Greece
  4. It was announced today that both these ships have been sold to an unnamed buyer. Both ships are in the Red Sea right now. I cannot believe that Holland and other cruise lines are continuing to sell cruises for ships that they have earmarked to sell either announced privately or behind corporate doors. And then if you cancel after full deposit is paid you only get a FCC. Just doesn’t seem right or ethical. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  5. With the loss of the Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Maasdam & Veendam, I have removed all sailings on the future cruise listing for anyone sailing on the 4 sold ships. (Hopefully I didn’t miss anything 🙏🏻). It’s entirely possible that HAL might transfer some of these sailings to other ships that are remaining in the fleet. If that is the case for you, please repost your cruise details on the Future Cruise Listing just as you did originally. Here is the link for this week’s listing - Thank you 🙂
  6. On the HAL board there is talk that Veendam is one of the ships which might /could be leaving. If she is, wonder which ship will replace her? We live in interesting times.
  7. Just checking Marine Traffic and it shows both Maasdam and Veendam heading to the Suez Canal. Currently Maasdam is doing 8.8 kn and Veendam is 11.9kn. Any idea where they are heading too?
  8. The blog from our VEENDAM-Voyage from Lisbon, Portugal to Boston, MA is completed - the blog for my 100th cruise. So with a lot of look backs and comparisons with the other 99 cruises, with other cruise lines, with other sailings on HAL. Chapter 1-13 Lissabon/Lisbon, Portugal - Boston, MA Chapter 14-18 POST-Cruise 5 more chapter PRE-Cruise Tag/Day 1 in Lissabon/Lisbon, Portugal https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/08/tagday-1-auf-deron-veendam-in.html Actually, we should go on NIEUW STATENDAM, but we could not say no to the itinerary on the small HAL ship. The rebooked immediately. Mainly because we wanted to know what it was like to stay in a lanai cabin. It does not start off as ideally as I am used to from other sailings with HAL, but at the end of the voyage, it was a pleasant journey. We get to know a great cruise director: Tommy. But we miss a lot of items that Holland America did better than other companies and that no longer exist on board today. I am annoyed that we were allocated into the Canaletto on the day of embarkation and could not express any wish when we would like to dine here. But on the other hand, it is not that bad since the kitchen has become very tasty again and we enjoy excellent service. === Tag/Day 2 (Seetag/Day at Sea) https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/08/seetagday-at-sea-2-auf-deron-veendam.html I like VEENDAM - because of the size. But I do not really like everything that has changed since my last voyages with HAL. A lot has gotten worse. But some items have obtained better. So a little: 2 steps back and 1 step forward. At least we have two lovely cabin stewards Hartoyo and Ermawan: at least this service has remained from the previous trips. Life on the promenade in front of the lanai cabin is fraught with more problems than I expected: I am full of paint residues. Peter, from the front desk, stops the works for me. Cruisecritic.com's worst Meet & Greet took place on board: It is said that HAL has prohibited senior officers from participating. It is a shame. Fortunately, at least Tommy was there. Still very good: the editor programs for the destinations: Cisco presented this very well. In the main restaurant, we experience the old school service from HAL again: thanks to Yayah. Another step back: tea time. A final official meeting for the Friends of Dorothy on day 2. Here we get to know Yulia and also the bar pianist Barry from Boston. In the future, we should take care of ourselves! Shall we now pay for lobsters in the main restaurant? === Tag/Day 3 (Seetag/Day at Sea) https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/08/seetagday-at-sea-3-auf-deron-veendam.html Before Carnival starts doing something more for the environment for the entire group, we do it ourselves. We visit Caryl and Daryl (no - they are not a couple) from the Explorations Cafe with our own tray and do not take any disposable to-go cups. Otherwise, we enjoy the day with good food and do nothing. And we appreciate the service in the main dining room from Purwono, Dony, Eko, Oka, and Arturo. Today we finally manage to get a group picture of the Canaletto team: Dewi, Phoebe, Arsiandi, Adi, and Vladimir. We experience Captain Mark Trembling's first Captain's Toast. But still: in the past, it was somehow more beautiful, sophisticated, and elegant. === Tag/Day 4 in Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/08/tagday-4-auf-deron-veendam-in-ponta.html Sometimes you see something on TV, and you really want to go there. Unfortunately, the place is not around the corner. For us, it's the Azores islands of Portugal. Nadja and Rafael from Hungry Whales arranged a private tour for us. I made a colossal mistake: HUNGRY Whales. The name says it all: I have rarely eaten so much on a trip. Unfortunately, the weather does not play along, but since it is a private tour, we are flexible. Market hall (with the famous pineapple), Furnas, Terra Nostra (botanical garden - bath in volcanic water), tea plantation Cha Gorreana, Santa Iria, waterfall Salto do Cabrito and Ribiera Grande are some of the highlights of the tour, which ask for more. We have booked another cruise for 2021, which will even call two islands of the Azores. There would have been one with three calls, but the timing was not right. There is still a lot to discover next time. Back on board, I meet an old friend from the ZAANDAM reception: Ray. On the positive innovations: You can also transfer pictures directly to your smartphone digitally: without paper - without a USB stick. And finally back to the Pinnacle Grill. But unfortunately also here: A lot of items that I really liked: especially my skewers - do not exist anymore. === Tag/Day 5 (Seetag/Day at Sea) https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/08/seetagday-at-sea-5-auf-deron-veendam.html Another encounter from the past: I also know Chris from the reception of EURODAM 2014. Today she works in the excursion office. Finally, back to the Pinnacle Grill for lunch: The chef here, Jan Laurant, prepares my tartar for me as I know it from his home country, France: Fantastique! I get to know the super VIP of the trip: Joska - a service dog. Again, do not eat, do nothing, eat, and enjoy Troy's excellent service. I now love the sea days. Somehow I cannot do that much with the Orange Party. The others can really do better. === Tag/Day 6 (Seetag/Day at Sea) https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/08/seetagday-at-sea-6-auf-deron-veendam.html I am happy that I got my dragonfruit again: thanks to Koray. Mahmut, who we know from NCL and who now also works at HAL, guarantees with Turkish hospitality even from another ship that I will be as happy as I was at NCL and as if he would be on board himself. Today it is already time for the Mariners Lunch, but here again: in the past, everything was more elegant, sophisticated, and beautiful. There is no chef's table at VEENDAM, but there is a Cellar Master's Italian Dinner: a great event with great food directed by the Cellar Master Imre and chef at Canaletto Ronie. A new experience on the 100th cruise: a planned water shutdown. === Tag/Day 7 (Seetag/Day at Sea) https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/09/seetagday-at-sea-7-auf-deron-veendam.html Doing nothing, eating, doing nothing, eating - that is really good. The weather invites you to do so. Today is gala night again, and I am experiencing "Classic Afternoon Tea". Finally, a more delicate version. Housekeeping Executive Albert really has a great team. Nothing to complain about. You can tell him that too. We donate for "On Deck for a Cause", but we do not run anymore. But I am counting the rounds. I am happy about the letter from Captain Mark, who thanks me for some photos of me. My world is okay again: There are lobsters in the main restaurant without the need to pay extra. Excellent service from Surasit and Christopher. === Tag/Day 8 in St. John's, NL, Canada https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/09/tagday-8-auf-deron-veendam-in-st-johns.html The sea days were so beautiful: why are there really any cruises only with sea days that never dock in a port again? The sunrise this morning is fantastic. We reach shore: Newfoundland - St. John's, Canada. With Larry from Mc Carthy's Party, we do a tour with the highlights Cape Spear (the easternmost point of Canada), Petty Harbor, Signal Hill (such a beautiful view), Quidi Vidi. When we are here, we have to try the freshly caught cod from here. We can experience the set sail from the tip of the bow, which is open to passengers today. They are also lovingly cared for on the promenade deck: thanks to Ranti, Lany, and Putra. In the evening, we go to Rudi's Sel de Mer as a pop-up in the Pinnacle Grill. Mel is our wine steward here. He is Caryl's husband. But the others also offer us excellent service: Job, Yuni, Ahmad, and Troy. Bahadir ensures that we lack nothing and that it will be just as beautiful as it was at KONINGSDAM 2016. A perfect idea from HAL to introduce Rudi's Sel de Mer as a pop-up alternative. === Tag/Day 9 (Seetag/Day at Sea) https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/09/seetagday-at-sea-9-auf-deron-veendam.html An additional day at sea instead of "Living like God in France" - in the middle of the North Atlantic. Unfortunately, the weather does not allow a start in French Overseas Territory of St-Pierre. We simply take the time for a great breakfast with Rega and Yohannes. Too bad that the daily specials are no longer available. A little extra rest to refuel is good for us. === Tag/Day 10 in Sydney, NS, Canada https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/09/tagday-10-auf-deron-veendam-in-sydney.html Our first encounter with Nova Scotia in Sydney, Canada. Our German-born tour guide Joe shows us how to do it there: with a hug and a coffee at Tim Hortons. The perfect place for all lovers of string instruments. The most giant violin in the world is on the pier. It goes to the beautiful rocky coast to Louisbourg and then eating lobster !!! Finally, a lobster that you don't need a magnifying glass for, and that tastes juicy and delicious. A beautiful area to come back to. At the reception, you can always meet the friendly and helpful staff like Zenoby. Again to the Canaletto for dinner. Many thanks to Hotel Director Frank for allowing us the use of a voucher that was valid on NIEUW STATENDAM here on VEENDAM. === Tag/Day 11 in Halifax, NS, Canada https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/09/tagday-11-auf-der-veendam-in-halifax-ns.html Such a grand arrival in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Unfortunately, very few who enjoy the sight. Housekeeping Executive Albert also enjoys this unique valley. I booked a tour with Segway Nova Scotia. Unfortunately for the wrong day and today, everything is sold out. But they are spontaneous and flexible and still take us with them. Emma and Caley take us in the middle so that we can safely enjoy the tour. We see the public garden, cannon fire, and changing of the guard at the citadel. It is an excellent tour of the best weather. I finally manage to eat some poutines, and a lobster roll at McKelvie's is also a must. No chance for us to get lobsters that great in Germany. The set sail is as beautiful as the arrival. Bye-bye ANTHEM OF THE SEAS, NORWEGIAN DAWN, and SCENIC ECLIPSE. There is a small snack on board: Atjima also serves me drinks at the Lido Café. Here I also meet Douglas from the board security. We have often been together without knowing each other. In the evening there is my favorite HAL show: "Classique". The first beats of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" lead me back on RYNDAM 2013. === Tag/Day 12 in Bar Harbor, ME https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/09/tagday-12-auf-deron-veendam-in-bar.html Welcome to the United States. Are we welcome at all? Especially in Bar Harbor, Maine? How many times have I read articles: "You cruisers are nice, and we like your money, but you are too many for us". Today it goes well: we are the only ship, and we are a small ship. There can be more cruise ship guests in the village than locals! We learn new things: we can enter as individuals, but are not allowed to take anything with us ashore! With the help of Fabiana, however, everything is performed correctly so that nobody gets into trouble when going ashore. We are lucky: through my work at my former company, I still know an enthusiastic fellow-cruise enthusiast, who is fortunately already retired, and usually, in summer, she is in Maine. So the perfect place and the ideal time to celebrate a reunion again: Sandie-Rose and her husband, Richard. They take us to Acadia National Park: Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole. And it goes to Bass Harbor to eat the locals: Another lobster roll in the Seafood Ketch Restaurant. On the last evening on board, we eat with July and Betki and the farewell parade: aren't they a few days early? The end is actually near. And so I get a little cake from HAL at the end of my 100th cruise. And she is as beautiful as everyone else. If not much nicer - or not. It does not matter either. Because a journey at sea is always lovely: the 99th just like the 101st. In this part, there is a small review of the 100 cruises, and especially the other trips with HAL. === Tag/Day 13 in Boston, MA https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/09/tagday-13-auf-deron-veendam-in-boston.html We get to Boston, MA, much earlier because we want to be in a safe port. That is why I still see the CARIBBEAN PRINCESS, which stays here in the safe harbor overnight. Now I also meet one of the best dancers in the dance troupe: Antonio. It was impressive to watch him performing. Say goodbye to chef Orly, Gregory, Aaron, Behadir, and Koray. At the airport, we meet Dorothy and Dennis, who are on their way to their transatlantic. But we have to take the opportunity to thank her for all the arrangements. She is a great travel agent who always works for her guests. Shortly we go shopping before we move into the hotel in Waltham in the Boston area. In the evening, we meet a former passenger from a transatlantic at QUEEN MARY 2 2017: David. We comply with him and his friend for dinner. === Post-Cruise Tag/Day 14 in Boston, MA https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/09/tagday-14-nach-derafter-veendam-in.html After Cambridge in England, it is Cambridge in Massachusetts. Now I can also say: I was at Harvard. Let us see if that has a positive impact on my success in job applications. It is good to see you again and the hospitality of Larry, whom I've known since NORWEGIAN DREAM 2008. Efxaristo! Repeat offenders: Prudential Tower and Boston Duck Tours. Lionel and Jorge made this tour exceptional. "Cheers": "Where everybody knows your name - And they're always glad you came". They could sing that at HAL... repeat offenders here too. === Post-Cruise Tag/Day 15 in Cape Cod, MA https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/09/tagday-15-nach-derafter-veendam-in.html Shopping in Wrentham and heading for Cape Cod. Enjoying the beauty of the landscape. === Post-Cruise Tag/Day 16 in Newport, RI https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/09/tagday-16-nach-derafter-veendam-in.html "High Society" along Ocean Drive in Newport, Rhode Island, as well as the best New England clam chowder in the world in "The Black Pearl". We continue by ferry to Long Island, and the day ends again at Wahlburgers: another burger and the onion rings from Donnie Wahlberg. === Post-Cruise Tag/Day 17 in New York, NY https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/09/tagday-17-nach-derafter-veendam-in-new.html We love Facebook for this: Friends react immediately to our postings and discover that we are on the way to New York. Actually to Carole King, Scott Conant, and Daniel Boulud. Scott Conant has to wait for the next time. For this, we visit someone from the family of Bruno: Kornelia and Wolfgang - right in the heart of the UN. "Beautiful" by Carole King is a 50+ party - we are lucky and get in for a total of 300 USD instead of 500 USD. In the evening again in Boulud Sud. A fantastic ending. === Post-Cruise Tag/Day 18 auf dem Rückweg/on the way back home https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/09/tagday-18-nach-derafter-veendam-in.html Instead of going to Manhattan to Long Beach on Long Island. Looking for a beach with a view of Manhattan. Such a thing is only for the rich and the beautiful. I get to know the "hard way" what it means to drive too fast on a stop sign. Then take-off on a journey through time on the JFK: in the TWA Hotel at Jean-Georges in the Paris Café. With Austrian, it is time to get back home via Vienna in the Premium Economy. There is a deposit payment for the next HAL cruise. Now we have to find the right one. New England and St. Lawrence - or Alaska. There is still so much to discover. === Back to the beginning - very far at the beginning. Every cruise starts with the preparation. Vorfreude/Anticipation 1 in Hamburg, Germany https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/08/vorfreude-1-auf-dieanticipation-1-on.html It starts in the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall Building Hamburg - the perfect place to prepare for the journey on the VEENDAM. With good food and with Bach. Of course, with shipspotting SEA CLOUD II. === Vorfreude/Anticipation 2.1 in Lissabon/Lisbon, Portugal https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/08/vorfreude-21-auf-dieanticipation-21-on.html We have so many gifts for the crew, for friends, and our folding table for our lanai cabin. The fee for an additional piece of luggage costs just as much as a flight to Lisbon, Portugal. And I have the opportunity to prepare for Lisbon. Finally after Christo Rei. Finally, a loop by tram through the Lisbon old town without stress. === Vorfreude/Anticipation 2.2 in Lissabon/Lisbon, Portugal https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/08/vorfreude-22-auf-dieanticipation-22-on.html Cristo Rei #2 and #3. What I do for friends from the USA who are in Lisbon, Portugal, for the first time on RIVIERA. "Dress rehearsal" yesterday and again today with Linda and Wayne. === Pre-Cruise Tag/Day 0A in Lissabon/Lisbon, Portugal https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/08/tagday-0a-auf-dem-weg-zuon-way-to.html Arrival in Lisbon, Portugal - Cristo Rei for the 4th time. We live in the Inter-Continental. Wow. And a beautiful evening on the Tagus River at Ponto Final. === Pre-Cruise Tag/Day 0B in Sintra, Portugal https://heinbloed-hal.blogspot.com/2019/08/tagday-0a-auf-dem-weg-zuon-way-to.html UNESCO World Heritage Sintra, Portugal, with our guide Luis, whom we know from our KONINGSDAM 2016 journey. Then back along the coast. In the evening tapas and shopping in the El Corte Ingles department store.
  9. While everyone is anxiously awaiting refunds and information about what will become our new normal, I thought I could start a different kind of discussion. I'm scheduled to sail on the Veendam in January 2021 (Fingers crossed, but that's not what this thread is about). I've seen on numerous threads where people mention how much they love this ship. So I'm hoping you'd be willing to share why you love it. For reference, the other Holland America ships I've been on are the Eurodam and the Zuiderdam.
  10. Two more dam ships making what may be their final performance of the season in Port Everglades, with relatively late arrival times. Veendam is due to meet the pilot at 8:15 and proceed to pier 21. Zuiderdam is scheduled for 9:00 to spend the day at pier 26. Veendam is due to sail at 1600 and Zuiderdam 17:00. Zuiderdam is not part of the repatriation effort but Veendam will be taking crew home to the Philippines, India, Indonesia, and South Africa. It's a busy day in port with Caribbean Princess already docked, Carnival Magic now arriving and Carnival Sunrise at 7:00. Caribbean is also due to leave at 1700 while the 2 Carnival ships will stay overnight. Next up is the Volendam on Wednesday. I think there is just one of the webcams running, https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ Roy
  11. We will be on the Veendam in Feb. 2021 and have a Vista Suite on Deck 10. Friends of ours will be in the Vista Suite next door and we were wondering if the room steward could unlock the door between the two balconies?
  12. Had checked in on the ships out in the anchorages where the ships have been hanging out south of Grand Bahama earlier today and noticed there was a lot of tender activity between the ships. Today was apparently the day that crew was moved accordingly for their rides home. They have all 3 left the area where they have been with a destination showing up on their AIS. Nieuw Amsterdam says Durban, South Africa. Volendam lists Bridgetown (probably Barbados) and Veendam is now en route to St. Thomas. They are all 3 doing 15- 17 knots located south of Abaco. Here's hoping a safe journey home for everyone and a safe return of the 3 ships in the fall. Will give me something to do to follow their journey. Eurodam is into her journey across the Pacific and in tandem with the Royal Princess and Carnival Panorama northeast of the Hawaiian Islands. This is also to bring crew home. Stay safe and healthy everyone. www.marinetraffic.com https://www.cruisemapper.com/
  13. It’s a double DAM ship day. Veendam leads the parade , confirmed for 08:15 and Zuiderdam is scheduled for 09:00.
  14. Veendam arriving onPE webcamright now
  15. We have been back from our cruise for a few days and I thought I would post a review. Our travels to Ft. Lauderdale went very smoothly. We haven’t had an on-time flight in a while, so this was a pleasant surprise. We were booked at the Embassy Suites, so a quick phone call to them had a shuttle arriving in just minutes. Even though we arrived hours before check-in, there was a room available, so we got checked in quickly. We took a walk to the Total Wines shopping center where we caught the trolley for a tour around Ft. Lauderdale. Back to the stop, we picked up our wine and had a late lunch. Back at the hotel, we asked about the shuttle to the cruise port and were told to expect a wait of up to 30 minutes in the morning. When we came to the lobby the following morning, we were on a shuttle in about 2 minutes! We arrived at the port just before 11am. We went through security quickly and were sent straight to the “wine table.” We had 4 bottles of wine and asked to pay corkage on 3 because we were planning to take the wine to the dining room. We were pleasantly surprised when we were charged corkage on 2 bottles but the “wine guy” said he would put stickers on 3 bottles. We were even more pleasantly surprised when we discovered later that he had put stickers on all 4 bottles! Nice way to start our cruise! Boarding started at 11:30am. We were in Group 9, but we were on the ship and in our room before noon. In the MDR enjoying a lovely, peaceful lunch by 12:30pm. Ship: The Veendam is definitely an older ship, but she is in great shape and well cared for. Cleaning was continuous. I did notice a slight mildew smell near the elevators on a couple of the decks. Cruise Itinerary: This got changed several times. We were supposed to have 4 ports (Key West, Ocho Rios, Georgetown, and Half Moon Cay). We ended up with 3 (Ocho Rios, Nassau, and Half Moon Key). While we were a little disappointed, we certainly understood that the weather conditions couldn’t be controlled by HAL). I did hear a few people complaining. One man said he would never cruise HAL again, but most people seemed to take it in stride. Captain Steve and Cruise Director/Travel Nick kept passengers informed of the changes that were happening. In the Captain’s Q&A, Captain Steve did a great job explaining what had gone into all of the decisions, assuring all that they were taking Coronavirus seriously (and joked that they had removed all Corona beer as a precaution!! LOL). On-Board Activities: Veendam still has singers and dancers, so this was a pleasant surprise. There were also two comedians (each did a show and then they did a third show together). Both were pretty good. There were a few good movies and documentaries. I really missed the ATK shows, but there was one cooking demo with the cruise director/travel and a sous chef. It was well done, but there was only the one show. Food: Subjective, I know, but we thought the food was fabulous. We’ve been on 3 other HAL ships and enjoyed the food on all of them, but I thought the food on Veendam was better than the others. We ate all but one dinner in the MDR. We ate breakfast in the MDR a couple of times, but mostly ate at the Lido. Lunches were either Lido, burgers, or pizza. Biggest change that I noticed was that they no longer had the lovely little fruit plates, muesli, and yogurt parfaits in the Lido at breakfast. They had fresh, sliced fruit in bowls. They also did not list a fruit plate and fruit/cheese plate in the dessert options in the MDR. Service: Fantastic, as it has been on our previous three HAL cruises. Our room stewards kept our room spotless. Every staff member we came in contact with seemed genuinely happy to be there. In the MDR one morning, a man sharing our table asked for a certain pastry. The waiter seemed to take forever before coming back to the table. He said they were out of that pastry in the MDR and he had gone to the Lido to check and they were out, too. The guy assured the servers that it was not an issue, but they asked for his room number and promised him that he would have his pastry the next morning. Breakfast in the MDR took a long time, but we weren’t in a hurry, so it didn’t matter to us. In the Lido, we barely sat down before a server came around with drinks. Spa/Gym: I bought a pass, pre-cruise, for the Thermal Suite. The price on-board was a little higher. The thermal suite was never crowded when I was there. Several times, I was the only one in there. Dh used the gym a few times and said that the equipment was well maintained. Departure: We decided to use Luggage Direct and that worked well for us. We received our printed boarding passes and luggage tags the evening prior to departure. We used the HAL shuttle to the airport. Amazingly enough, our flight home left on time and arrived early … and our luggage arrived at the same time! Nice ending to a lovely vacation. While aboard, we booked a 2021 cruise on the Ryndam. We are also booked on another cruise on the Veendam in September (really hoping all of the Coronavirus problems are gone by then).
  16. DH and I just sailed on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Veendam and absolutely loved the ship. It was our 54th cruise, 10th on Holland America, and 1st time on the Veendam. We sailed on the Koningsdam last month and enjoyed the Veendam so much more. We loved the small ship. It was in excellent condition, very elegant, wonderful food in the Lido buffet and the Canaletto (ate there twice), enjoyed the NY Pizza venue, although not impressed with the MDR menus and slow service (only ate there once). Room service was prompt and the small menu was a good one. The two shows with the singers and dancers were fabulous and we hadn't seen shows like those in years. There were two shows with comedians that were also good. The Koningsdam music venues were so loud we just didn't enjoy them at all. There was a huge library on the Veendam, so many places to sit and enjoy the cruise. The casino was small and people didn't seem to be winning much, but had a friendly staff and I won a huge slot jackpot one morning. Passengers were in our older demographic, there were a couple of kids (mostly pre-school), and people were friendly for the most part. The Captain is only 38 years old and was such a presence all week - we saw him at breakfasts in the Lido, he always stopped to talk to passengers, and we had a chance to speak with him at the Mariners Luncheon, which by the way, had an impressive menu. The ship was easy to navigate. Both embarkation and debarkation were a breeze and we were in our car and on our way home by 8:30am. DH and I live less than an hour from Tampa and are already booked on the Veendam when it moves to Tampa this Fall. We had a Vista Suite on Deck 9 not far from the aft elevators and it was the perfect location for us. The cabin was spacious, had a great balcony, and our room steward did a great job in keeping it clean and tidy. The only sad thing was a passenger was taken off the ship and into an ambulance just as we were leaving St. Thomas. DH and I were sitting on our balcony and the gangway had been taken up. It was lowered and soon afterwards the ambulance arrived. Another passenger (spouse?) accompanied the stretcher into the ambulance and their luggage was loaded into someone's car. Don't know the outcome and hope for the best. Didn't take any excursions as we'd been to Grand Turk, San Juan, and St. Thomas many times over the years. Half Moon Cay had been cancelled awhile ago for "operational reasons" and we had received $200 in on board credit because of it. Wouldn't have gotten off anyway so we weren't disappointed. We are so glad we tried the Veendam and it's our new favorite ship!
  17. For those of you used to watching the sail-aways out of Ft. Lauderdale/Port Everglades, HAL's Veendam will be making a rare appearance today, Saturday, March 28, 2020 in order to take on fuel, water and some stores, as well as a small bit of crew turnover. She is due in at 0530 hrs and going to berth 19. Prelim departure is scheduled for 9:00 PM One hour later at 0630 hrs, HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam is scheduled in Port Everglades for the same purpose, and is assigned her routine berth 26. Prelim departure is scheduled for 4:00 PM - You've got to watch Nieuw A's departure for a surprise from her captain as she goes by the condos!! The third cruise ship in port on Saturday is CCL's Carnival Sunrise, arriving at 0800 hrs. local and assigned berth 04 The webcams can be found at: https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/
  18. Have they actually been approved to dock in Port Everglades today? Does anyone know what time? Thinking of all those on board..... L.
  19. Veendam will be at pier 26 (port to) from 0530-1700. She will be leaving on a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise. Key West, Florida (12 Mar 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (14 Mar 0800-1700); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (15 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (17 Mar 0800-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (18 Mar a0700) The only other cruise ship in port is Caribbean Princess who will be at pier 2 from 0545 to the unusual hour of 2222 (I guess they are unsure of departure time). The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/. Also, Zuiderdam will be in Aruba from 1300-2300. https://www.portarubawebcam.com/ For the Addicts: Veendam will be in Key West on Thursday, 12 March. https://www.keywestharborwebcam.com/ Next up: Nieuw Amsterdam on Saturday, 14 March.
  20. Boarded the Veendam yesterday in Ft. Lauderdale. Our expected port in Key West today was canceled due to high winds. A stop in Cozumel tomorrow was added. Captain just announced that another ship as been detained in Cozumel due to possible Corona virus and we will be unable to dock. So we have another sea day tomorrow. Seas are a bit rough today making walking around a bit challenging. Quite a few sea sick passengers. Despite this, we are still enjoying ourselves. First time on the Veendam. She is a lovely ship with a great staff.
  21. Veendam will be at pier 21 (starboard to) from 0530-1700. She is doing a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise. Key West, Florida (27 Feb 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (29 Feb 0800-1700); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (01 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (03 Mar 0800-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (04 Mar a0700) Zuiderdam will be at pier 26 (starboard to) from 0600-1700. She is heading out on an 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer cruise. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (27 Feb 0800-1500); Oranjestad, Aruba (29 Feb 1300-2300); Willemstad, Curacao (01 Mar 0800-2300); Cartagena, Colombia (03 Mar 0700-1300); Panama Canal (Cruising Canal) (04 Mar 0500-0500); Colon, Panama (04 Mar 1500-2000); Puerto Limon, Costa Rica (05 Mar 0730-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (08 Mar a0700) There are no other cruise ships in port. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/. For the addicts: Veendam will be in Key West from 0800-1700 on Thursday, 27 February. https://www.keywestharborwebcam.com/ Rotterdam will be in Aruba on Friday 28 February from 0800-1800. https://www.portarubawebcam.com/ Next up: Nieuw Amsterdam on Saturday, 29 February.
  22. Hi all, My mom and I drive down from Jax this morning. Arrive at 1 to an empty port arrival area - only one other vehicle dropping off bags. We had our temp checks then proceeded to fill out the health questionnaire , check in and right on to the ship. we te in NS 004 which is very nice. Had Dive in for lunch. Crew says passengers are about 700 which I think is about 50% capacity. Crew has been very attentive and definitely more attention to sanitization is evident. No self serve in lido. I’m happy to answer any questions about the experience on board.
  23. The internet is impossible and I get on for maybe two minutes after 15 tries so I do not have the piers or times. Koningsdam will be going on and 11-day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer cruise. Philipsburg, St. Maarten (07 Mar 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (08 Mar 0800-1700); Bridgetown, Barbados (09 Mar 0800-1700); Castries, St Lucia (10 Mar 0800-1600); Basseterre, St. Kitts (11 Mar 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (12 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (14 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (15 Mar a0700) Veendam will be doing a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (06 Mar 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (07 Mar 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (08 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (10 Mar 0800-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (11 Mar a0700) There are no other cruise ships in port. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/. Next up: Nieuw Amsterdam on Saturday, 7 March.
  24. Hi Can anyone advise me about the oceanview cabins on the Rotterdam or the Veendam? Have the bathrooms been upgraded to the floor to ceiling showers, and has the TV system been upgraded to the interactive systems like on the Volendam? We’re considering a transatlantic voyage on the Rotterdam or Veendam, and the upgrades will be an important factor in our decision- thanks!
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