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Why do you love the Veendam?

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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.

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I won't go so far as to say I 'love' the Veendam, but I sure do like her. 


I much prefer the smaller ships over the much, much larger Vista and Signature ships. On the smaller ships I can get from one place to another without it taking a big chunk of time. I get to run into new friends over and over, just because of the size of the ship. There are still plenty of cozy spots to sit quietly, though, and enjoy being at sea. Because there are fewer passengers, stewards get to know their passengers better, so service improves. 

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Couldn't agree with RuthC more, I will only add that I am booked on the Veendam for the 37-night Spitsbergen, Iceland, and British Isles Explorer sailing from Amsterdam on July 3, 2021, and at the rate things are going--or not--this very well be the first cruise on which I shall actually sail!  I have also cruises booked between now and then on the Oosterdam, Nieuw Statendam, and the Westerdam, but I greatly prefer the R and S classes, the latter one of which the Veendam is a member.

 

If it helps, I have not sailed on either the Eurodam and the Zuiderdam.

 

Be safe and happy cruising!

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She has a lovely promenade deck, like the R class. As Ruth said, she has nice spaces to tuck away in, including several Places outside on several decks, her Pinnacle Grill has windows......

 

Im so hoping to meet her sister MS Maasdam sometime. Was supposed to do so the beginning of April.

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Not to sound like a broken record, but Ruth is again spot on correct.  Mrs Banjo and I have sailed on Veendam and some of the other S class ships and love them for their size, IT's and lack of crowds.  We have sailed on the Westerdam and Zuiderdam as well, and were not nearly as happy for all the reasons that Ruth put forward.  WE particularly didn't like that on Zuiderdam we had to arrive very early to on board activities, (BB King, Test Kitchen, etc), just to get a seat!  Not our kind of cruising.  So, we stick to the S class ships they were our first love with HAL and will always be!   

 

Photo: Random 2015 Norwegian Fiords

DSC03348.JPG

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We've sailed on the Veendam several times and its great ports of call that keep us coming back.  Took a 49 day transatlantic with her last year and loved every moment.  Granted, there aren't all the bells and whistles of the larger ships but we don't tend to get bored easily, since we read alot.

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We, too, love her and hope to be on her again in January 2021.  Love the small feeling and all the warm feelings you get in a smaller ship.

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11 hours ago, DeeDee Groff said:

Couldn't agree with RuthC more, I will only add that I am booked on the Veendam for the 37-night Spitsbergen, Iceland, and British Isles Explorer sailing from Amsterdam on July 3, 2021, and at the rate things are going--or not--this very well be the first cruise on which I shall actually sail!  I have also cruises booked between now and then on the Oosterdam, Nieuw Statendam, and the Westerdam, but I greatly prefer the R and S classes, the latter one of which the Veendam is a member.

 

If it helps, I have not sailed on either the Eurodam and the Zuiderdam.

 

Be safe and happy cruising!

We're booked on the 14 Day British Isles Explorer segment.Hope to see you on board.

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It was our first HAL ship back in 2006.  Given our not so good experience on her sister the Maasdam in 2019 I would have some concern on what shape she is in.  

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We've been on a four S class ships, and the Veendam is our least favorite because of the condition she was in the last time we were on her. (Oct 2011). I rate them

1 Ryndam

2 Maasdam

3 Statendam

4 Veendam

 

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51 minutes ago, KirkNC said:

It was our first HAL ship back in 2006.  Given our not so good experience on her sister the Maasdam in 2019 I would have some concern on what shape she is in.  

We spent 67:days on her last summer, and she was in great shape.  She was in drydock last spring and came out looking really good.  
 

They replaced the carpets, and in most places, the new carpets were lighter which gave her a more open and brighter look.  We especially liked the lighter, brighter carpets in the halls leading to the cabins.

 

There was new furniture in the Crow’s Nest, Ocean Bar and the Lido. The Crow’s Nest is more open since the dj’s booth was removed.   The new table tops and chairs in the Lido were a big improvement. 

 

Except for the carpet and furniture, the Crow’s Nest and Library were not changed.  They were still nice quiet places to relax. 
 

We never had any problems with the a/c in our cabin, and rarely was any area too cold except the Explorers Lounge.  We understand they keep it cooler (cold) to help protect the piano.

 

Everything Ruth C said about her is right.  She is a great ship and just the right size.  Since they sold the Prinsendam,  Veendam is our favorite ship.  Her crew really make her special.

 

Lenda

 

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Sometimes I wonder why HAL even bothers to repair ships when people dredge up nine year old complaints like they were still relevant.  I was a bit concerned about the reports when I first sailed Veendam in 2013 but by then all was fixed and I had a wonderful cruise.

 

She is in fact my least favorite among the 8 original R and S class ships because of the dead end corridors by the Hudson and Half Moon rooms and the aft pooletes, but I would sail her again in a heartbeat.

 

The Veendam is the only HAL ship I've ever pined for while on a Crystal ship when I was tendering from the harbor in Bermuda while Veendam was snuggled up to the dock.  I booked a Veendam Bermuda cruise within a month after that experience.

 

Roy

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Talking about dredging up old complaints, ( love that verb here) it’s refreshing to read more recent positive responses.


It wasn’t that long ago a question like OP’s would have started a spate of responses dating back a decade ( and often not disclosed as to their vintage until someone asked) making it look like Veendam was the scourge of the fleet. I think that’s what Roy is referring to.

 

A little off topic but relating to the crew: After spending 3 weeks on her to Antarctica I booked a 1 week MR. My cabin on the first cruise was port aft on LP. On the MR, it was starboard forward, LP.  I had considerable problems with my “homing device” for the first few days, and it was a common occurrence for my Room Stewards to see me in the (wrong) hall and say “Miss ****, cabins that way.”

 

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25 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

She is in fact my least favorite among the 8 original R and S class ships because of the dead end corridors by the Hudson and Half Moon rooms and the aft pooletes, but I would sail her again in a heartbeat.

 

Roy

Roy, I agree about the aft Lido deck, but since we aren't out there often, it doesn't affect us very much..  Now, looking at her aft end from shore is another matter.  At least, when they did the same thing to the Rotterdam, she did not get such a big bustle! 

 

Even with the changes to the aft deck, she is still our favorite ship.  I think her crew is the main reason as they are the happiest and friendliest.  That is due in part to her two captains, Capt. Steve and Capt. Merck, and her HD Frank.  The tone set by the captain and HD can make all the difference in the morale and attitude of the crew, even the friendly crews of HAL.

 

Lenda

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The Veendam is our favorite small HAL ship and have booked a Vista Suite on her for late Feb. 2021. Friends of ours are in a Vista right next door. The Veendam is in great shape and so easy to navigate. We sailed on her in Feb. and loved the crew, especially Captain Steve, the two shows with the singers and dancers were fabulous, loved the Canaletto (ate there twice), the Wall St. Pizza was delicious, as was all the food from the main dining room to the Lido to room service. There is a huge library. The whole cruise just felt comfortable and friendly.

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2 hours ago, rafinmd said:

Sometimes I wonder why HAL even bothers to repair ships when people dredge up nine year old complaints like they were still relevant. 

If you're referring to my post, I didn't mean to imply that her condition 9 years ago is relevant today, only that we have unhappy memories of her compared to the other 3 S class ships. I guess now that the Ryndam and Statendam are gone I'd have to say that Veendam is my second most favorite S ship. 😄

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As the OP, I'm glad to hear all feedback, positive and constructive, but I agree that knowing how long ago the sailing was is helpful. I also know that you can have 2 people on the same ship have vastly different experiences. 🙂

 

Keep the stories/info coming!

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12 hours ago, crusinbanjo said:

Not to sound like a broken record, but Ruth is again spot on correct.  Mrs Banjo and I have sailed on Veendam and some of the other S class ships and love them for their size, IT's and lack of crowds.  We have sailed on the Westerdam and Zuiderdam as well, and were not nearly as happy for all the reasons that Ruth put forward.  WE particularly didn't like that on Zuiderdam we had to arrive very early to on board activities, (BB King, Test Kitchen, etc), just to get a seat!  Not our kind of cruising.  So, we stick to the S class ships they were our first love with HAL and will always be!   

 

Photo: Random 2015 Norwegian Fiords

DSC03348.JPG

Awww, the RYNDAM, in Norway.  I was on her there for the first time in 2013.  It was heaven on earth.

 

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I love it because she has no aft pool and she's up for sale! But she has one secret..

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13 hours ago, Sir PMP said:

I love it because she has no aft pool and she's up for sale! But she has one secret..

 

Care to share it?  I won't tell anybody....... I promise!

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2 hours ago, crusinbanjo said:

 

Care to share it?  I won't tell anybody....... I promise!

Sssht....she has the best PG in the fleet..

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Had an aft balcony to Bermuda and loved it! Even from the aft cabin to the crows nest was not a hike. Loved the smaller size ship.

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Round trip Boston to Montreal and back in Sept 2019 on the Veendam.  The friendliest group of Pax and crew Holly and I have encountered with the possible exception of the Serena last Feb.  The best shows we've seen at sea, bar none.   First time in Canada for me and I loved it...the cold, the rain, the great tours that made you forget the cold and rain...Segwaying in Halifax with Emma...Kayaking in Bar harbor...Spending the day touring PEI with an encyclopedia for a tour guide (Target tours)...Beautiful Quebec City...Fiddlers in Sydney.   A great cruise on a real ship.   Stephen

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