Touring the Veendam took me back…
It was like deja vu…
The moment we stepped onboard Holland America’s Veendam it felt like we had come home. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s we cruised many times on the old Volendam and Rotterdam, and they’ve always held fond memories for us. Now 30 years later the memories from those cruises came rushing back as we walked around this ship.
At 57,000 tons the Veendam is considered small in today’s world of megaships, but that is precisely what gives her the charm and timeless ambiance that many cruisers are looking for. The staterooms are spacious and well-appointed. Closet and drawer space is adequate. Nice amenities like terry cloth bathrobes, Elemis bath products, 100% Egyptian cotton towels and luxurious Euro-Top mattresses can be found in all staterooms.
The staterooms, dining room, lounges and public areas were all in great shape. Although we did see some areas that are a bit worn, mostly outside on deck, I’m sure these will be addressed with the ship’s ongoing maintenance.
Some of the more remarkable areas of the Veendam are:
LANAI STATEROOMS: These staterooms on deck 6 have sliding glass doors that open right onto the fully covered, walk-around Lower Promenade deck. Teak deck chairs are reserved for passengers in lanai staterooms right outside your door. We tried to see how easily passers-by could see into the room and found the mirrored windows effectively block the view. I imagine, however, that at night you would need to keep the drapes closed when the lights are on to avoid putting on a show for anyone walking by.
THE ARTWORK: Holland America has always been known for it’s art collections aboard their ships. You’ll find everything from ancient Mayan sculptures and Japanese war costumes to crystal and Delft china. A multitude of paintings by one of our favorite artists, Stephen Card, whose family owned Vera P. Card shop on Front Street in Bermuda for many years, are displayed throughout the ship. He is well known for his truly lifelike paintings of ships and other maritime subjects.
THE CULINARY ARTS CENTER: The Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine, is a unique opportunity aboard Holland America. They have an impressive show kitchen dedicated to cooking classes and culinary demonstrations, as well as winetasting and food pairing sessions, cocktail classes and more. Special workshops for children and teens, too!
CLUB HAL: For such a small ship, there is a nice amount of space allocated to their children’s programs, serving children 3-7, tweens ages 8-12,and the Loft and The Oasis (a great private outdoor deck area) for teens 13-17. We spoke to one of the counselors and were told that the smaller number of children typically onboard means there can be a more individualized experience for the participants. They make every effort to accommodate and include all children, including those with special needs.
THE SMILES: Everywhere we went on board this ship we were greeted with warm, friendly smiles. That’s one thing that we will always associate with Holland America!
If you remember what cruising was like 30 years ago, a cruise on the Veendam may be exactly what you’re looking for. If you never had the opportunity to cruise before ziplines and rock walls, when dressing for dinner meant dressing for dinner , or if all your cruise experience is limited to the huge, flashy ships of today, now would be a great time to experience the timeless elegance of Holland America.
Now, I don’t want you to think that there are no modern amenities aboard the Veendam (and other Holland America ships). Quite the contrary! You’ll find plenty to do: Digital Workshops, a fully-equipped Fitness Center, 2 pools, basketball and volleyball courts, The Greenhouse Spa and Salon, an extensive library, internet cafe amd coffeehouse, shopping, movies, shows, Piano Bar, Sports Bar, casino – I don’t think I need to keep going to make my point. You’ll find the perfect blend of classic elegance and modern interests.
The Veendam sails from NYC this summer on 7 day cruises to Bermuda. She is the only ship that docks on Front Street in Hamilton on a regular basis and stays there for four days! BUT she’s not scheduled to come back to New York next year so, you really need to go NOW!
Are you ready???? I certainly am!!
“Captain” BillCaptain’s Club Cruises & Tours ~ 125 Dolson Avenue, Middletown, NY 10940 ~ (845) 344-4949 ~ www.captainsclubcruises.com