CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Holland America Line Veendam Mexico December 26, 2004

We just returned from the Veendam's New Year's Eve cruise. We had sailed on the Ryndam the year before and the Veendam is virtually identical. It is a medium size ship. One the nice things about Holland America is the ratio of staff to passengers. The staff is trained to learn your names quickly and anticipate most of your needs. Staff remembers small things like to you take decaf coffee after dinner. We had a regular outside stateroom. One of the things I discovered about having a regular stateroom on the lower Promenade deck is that you end up with a slightly smaller stateroom because the deck itself eats into some of your stateroom space. However the staterooms are adequate enough. These staterooms have great storage space --- better than most hotel rooms have. The real downside of this cruise were the ports of call. Even though this was an eight day cruise, we only stopped in three ports: Roatan Honduras, Cozumel and Vera Cruz.

Roatan and Veracruz were terrible choices and most of the passengers hated these ports. I can't imagine why Holland America chose them. The second downside of this cruise was that we spent most of the time on ship and at sea. Of the eight days, five were at sea! Never again! I thought that food in the main dining room had improved slightly since our last Holland America cruise, but be warned. If you have a late dinner seating (main dining), expect your food to be dried out and overcooked. Go to the Pinnacle Grill as often as possible and pay the small up charge for the better meal. It is truly worth it. Would I sail with Holland America again? Sure. But I'd choose the destination much more carefully next time.

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