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Veendam vs. Zaandam - please compare the two

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We are considering a seven night cruise to NE/Canada this fall. Both ships have the same itinerary between Montreal and Boston.

 

I only see small differences in the ships. 

We prefer a balcony or small (cheap) suite.  There's some difference there.  Possibly an aft cabin?

Same restaurants? Bars? Coffee/Crow's nest?

We are not interested in the casino.

 

If you have sailed on both what is really different? 

 

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Posted (edited)

Two major differences; Zaandam (an "R"-class ship) is a bit larger than Veendam (an older "S"-class ship) and thus has an extra stairwell and set of elevator banks located mid-ship (Veendam does not have those and has her stairwells/elevators forward and aft)

 

The other major difference; HAL, back in April 2009 and in their/someone's infinite wisdom, decided to remove the aft/Seaview pool on Veendam and replace it with what they called "The Retreat." This was described as a "new resort-style pool area on Lido deck aft with the "pool" divided into three main sections separated by low, curving walls running the length of same." The middle section was 16 inches deep so guests could "sit on built-in benches in the water." The two side sections "featured forty-four lounge chairs in eight inches of water with water falls and spouts added to enhance the overall decor." Located at the aft end of the poollette was a hot tub. This project also added 31 new staterooms aft, "Slice," an upscale pizzeria, a big screen to watch movies on, and one of the ugliest-looking ship rear ends since Noah built his original ark.

 

The only problem with this grand idea was that, after coming out of dry-dock with her sparkling Retreat pool, every time good ol' Veendam made a somewhat sharpish turn to port and/or starboard, voluminous portions of H2O decided, on their own, mind you, to exit the poolette post haste and, on more than one occasion, make its way into the nearby aft elevator banks, as well as other unintended locations below decks, resulting in all sorts of nasty issues. 

 

As a result of these unexpected and continual leakage problems on Veendam, the "poolette" (only one other was installed in another dam ship - could have been five as was originally planned!), was unceremoniously removed during a subsequent dry-dock in 2011 and replaced with a total of four separate hot tubs, two circular and two rectangular shape which don't leak to the extend of that awesome poolette

 

So, no aft pool om Veendam but four hot tubs instead. Unless you'tre going to Cuba, I would take Zaandam where you can listed to a very nice Pluer Band organ playing tunes in the atrium at certain times in the day

Edited by Copper10-8

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Copper is correct in advising you to take the Zaandam, the good things that I can tell you about the Veendam is, that the atmosphere is always great, service impeccable, and, in my eyes, it has the best pinnacle grill of all ships..

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The only balcony staterooms on either ship are Vista Suites which are usually more expensive than balcony staterooms on the larger vessels.  

 

I also suggest the Zaandam over the Veendam.

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The Zaandam has no aft-facing staterooms on Decks 6 and 7.  Instead, there are public balconies on both Decks 6 and 7 spanning the aft that are accessible through the doors marked "Emergency Exit" which is actually the secondary use of the doors.

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I would  go with the ZAANDAM.  It is a stretch form of the S Class.  I have always preferred the R class to the S class.  The ZAANDAM is an R Class ship while the Veendam is an S Class ship

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Go with the Zaandam.  Three elevator wells trumps everything else.

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Either way, It's a HAL ship, it's hard to go wrong.  And the aft pool?  You're in the north!  Have a cocktail at the Seaview bar instead.  🍸🍹🥂

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