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Veendam Problems, May 16-30

Discussion in 'Holland America Line' started by EddysMom, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. EddysMom

    EddysMom Guest

    If you have a cruise scheduled on the Veendam in the near future, you may want to check with HAL to see if the propulsion system has been repaired. We were on a 14-day cruise in Alaska and it was very disappointing. This was our first on HAL, and our last. It should also be noted that the ship had just come out of 10 days in drydock and should have been in pretty good shape.

    On the second day, the starboard propulsion system had serious problems and the ship was unable to maintain adequate cruising speed. We were several hours late into nearly every port, and College Fjord was skipped entirely both weeks. The noise and vibration in the rear of the ship was excessive - glasses skipped across our dining table and frightened many people out of the diningroom on Monday, May 24. Several people left the ship and flew home from Sitka; and more flew home from Juneau. I feel the fault lies with the Captain. The information he gave out about the problem was always too little, too late. My advice to the captain: when you have a problem that will affect the passengers, tell them what you know as soon as you can; and do not try to ply them with a "complimentary cocktail party" - not all of us are impressed with free alcohol.

    My main complaint is that this problem went on for 13 days, getting progressively worse. But each day we were told that the crew was working around the clock to solve and problem and it "might be fixed." And each day it was not. People were still booking shore excursions daily, only to have them delayed, rescheduled, or cancelled altogether. The biggest problem however, was returning to Vancouver late and more than half the ship's passengers had to reschedule their flights home, many had to stay in Vancouver overnight. The crew was frazzled to say the least, and very short tempered. I personally witnessed the hotel manager and an assistant yelling at a passenger who was in tears about the late arrival in Vancouver. I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it first hand.

    The corporate office of HAL really needs to look into the problem with the Veendam, and do some employee training. I have never seen so many angry passengers.

    If you are a TA and have clients booked on the Veendam, you may want to check will HAL to see that these problems have been resolved. I do not blame my TA at all - this was the cruise I chose to go on and my TA had nothing to do with the propulsion system problems. I do blame HAL for allowing the problem to drag on - the second week was so bad, I wish we had left the ship. It doesn't even feel like we had a vacation. My husband doesn't want to go on another cruise ever.

    Post Edited (06-05-04 16:19)
  2. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    Welcome to Cruise @ddicts. It's a shame that this problem brought you here for your first post. :(

    Veendam is, indeed, having problems with the starboard shaft overheating, and it's certainly a most unfortunate situation for everyone concerned. Not having been on either of the two cruises, I can't comment one way or the other about what happened on board or how the situation was handled. The problem developed after she came out of drydock

    I'm really sorry that you had such an unpleasant experience. It's certainly not typical in any manner, shape or form - and I hope you and your husband will give cruising another chance.

    Post Edited (06-06-04 04:01)
  3. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    I echo ShipMaven and welcome you to the Board.

    Things have improved aboard and the ship is "moving along". I do not know if it back to 100%, but I do know repairs are progressing and well may be completed by now.

    Hope you give the (normally) wonderful cruise experience another chance. Things go wrong with just about everything in life. It is unfortunate when it is your first experience that is "less than ideal".
  4. sage

    sage Guest


    I too would like to welcome you to the board. I'm sorry that your cruise on the Veendam was not under ideal circumstances. We have cruised on the Veendam and consider the ship one of our favorites, and hopefully the repairs will be completed soon so that others will not have to experience your frustrations. We are looking forward to our cruise on the Veendam in November of 2005. I hope that you will try another HAL ship and have a more pleasant experience. Again, welcome to the board.
  5. localady

    localady Guest

    Not to stir the pot, but have you considered contacting HAL for some sort of refund???? Better yet have your TA contact them. It seems to me that in good faith they should do something for you, especially since your entire 14 day cruise was affected. I would hope that some kind of renumeration from HAL might also let your husband see that HAL is a good company, and you happened to get onto a Ship that malfunctioned, but that they (HAL) stand by there product. Many might tell me that there is small print (legalese)that relieves HAL of this obligation, and no doubt there is, but as a good faith gesture it might restore your faith in them , if just a bit.

    Post Edited (06-06-04 19:08)
  6. EddysMom

    EddysMom Guest

    Yes, we have written to both HAL and our travel agent and we'll see what they have to say. It's too bad it was such a bad experience, I was looking forward to doing their 15-day R/T to Hawaii because I don't like to fly; and also a repositioning cruise through the Panama canal. We have been very happy with NCL, so I won't give up on cruising entirely.
  7. lamayboy

    lamayboy Guest

    Such a shame HAL keeps screwing up these days. After my Southern Caribbean on Constelation, I may have a new fav. Never been on Celebrity before, but I do not like RCCL. But it seems in the past few years that HAL, being of Carnival, and Princess have slipped ALOT. I have not seen it first hand but the rantings are becoming too much, too often. Makes me wonder, being an agent and all.
  8. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    ....."Being an Agent and All" ..........

    Why not snag yourself an Agent's rate and take an HAL cruise. See for yourself. Being an Agent and all, would that not be the best way to know how to advise your clients as well as give some validity to comments.? IMO, comments based upon what someone else may or may not have experienced are of no value.

    As a professional, I am sure you would not wish to be giving falsh impressions based upon comments written by persons you do not know . ..comments you have no way of knowing are accurate??
  9. earl_m

    earl_m Guest

    I am surpise by your comment ,you being a TA.How can you say something bad about a cruise lines when you have not sail on it. I never take any opinion seriously about
    a cruise line until I have been on it
  10. seashell

    seashell Guest

    All lamayboy said was "Makes me wonder". I see nothing wrong with this especially since Hal appears to be changing rapidly. Yes, there have been a lot of rantings lately and it should make one wonder what is happening with the cruise line.

    Sailing on the ship would be best but I don't believe every agent has sailed on every ship and cruise line. I would think there are many ways of obtaining information, not just through cruise line information released to agents or a quick visit to a ship.

    Why is it , when someone says they had a wonderful cruise it is gospel truth but if a person reports a problem, some people insinuate these reports may not be accurate?

    Post Edited (06-07-04 20:24)
  11. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    I would think that most cruise specialist TA's have sailed on a large number of cruiselines. Of course they cannot sail on every ship but they (or someone from their office/association) can and IMO should sail on the major cruiselines every now and then to be current in their "PROFESSIONAL" opinions and recommendations.

    Isn't that the point of using an EXPERT?

    If not, who needs anything more than a booking agent.....as in "on line".
  12. seashell

    seashell Guest

    Don't knock on line TA's. Many are very good and helpful and much better than some of the local's I have come across, who by the way were with national cruise only establishments and worthless. There are good on line Ta's who are very PROFESSIONAL and good local Ta's also so don't put people down who you don't know and have may have never dealt with. .

    As far as keeping current, I think lamayboy is keeping current. He is not sitting in a vacum only reading press releases.

    To me the statement "Makes me wonder" is a sign of someone interested in both the cruise line and his clients.

    Now, back to the original subject.
    Eddy's Mom,
    Sorry your vacation turned out so bad.

    Post Edited (06-08-04 08:29)
  13. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    Seeing as we are discussing what he wrote, how about discussing this direct quote of his?

    "But it seems in the past few years that HAL, being of Carnival, and Prncess have slipped ALOT. I have not seen it first hand. ........"

    So, here he states he has not been on Princess or HAL in the past few years but says they have slipped ALOT. Now how would he have any way of knowing the accuracy of that sort of statement if he has not been aboard any of the ships of HAL or Princess during the time period he is discussing?

    If one is "just" a cruiser, a vacationer, that statement carries little or no weight to most readers. If one holds themselves out to be Professional or Expert in a given field, that statement presumably is meant to be an influence with some validity.
  14. seashell

    seashell Guest

    I think you are way out of line with this.

    This is a nice board for people to share information and I enjoy reading it. It appears you are dead set into criticizing and tearing this individual apart since you insist on continuing with it.

    I think most people have enough sense to make judgments on their own.

    Post Edited (06-08-04 10:41)
  15. Aptiva

    Aptiva Guest

    Hi EddysMum
    We also were on this "Disaster" of a Cruise
    Some of the Complaints are Posted on the Cruise Critic Board

    We Have been Contacted by my TA re a Meeting with the Cruise Broker
    to Open a "Case" file and Review the Pictures i took of the Terrible
    Maintenance issues on this Ship!!
    Plus all the "Other' Propeler/Vibrating/Sewer Smell/Angry Passenger problems

    We sailed the "Rotterdam"Jun 2002 and this Veendam ship is Disgrace!!!
  16. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    Dave - I see we have another first-time poster.

    Could you be more specific about the "disgraceful/terrible maintenance conditions you found on Veendam?
  17. EddysMom

    EddysMom Guest

    Yes, there were a lot of other problems on this cruise also. For the sake of this discussion board, I tried to keep to the main problem.

    We have cruised on several other lines, and not without incident. A few years ago we purchased a pre-cruise package through NCL. When we arrived at the Caribe Hilton they had no rooms for our group - supposedly NCL had given them the wrong dates. They put us up in some little beachfront bungalows for the night, and the second night moved us up to their concierge level, complete with cocktails, food, etc. When we got on the ship, NCL had heard about the problem and moved us all from standard outside cabins to balcony suites - with champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and $100 shipboard credit. The point is... NCL did this BEFORE anyone had even complained about the problem. It went from being a mistake to one of our best cruises.

    We understand that problems happen, and we try to make lemons into lemonade - we'll see if HAL can do the same. Otherwise, we simply will not cruise with them again.
  18. shipcafe

    shipcafe Guest

    Have to agree with S7S . . .

    How does a phenomenon / product not exeprienced "go down" over the years? : )

    For example, I have never cruised Princess so am unable to make any conclusion as to how their service levels have increased or decreased. I am trying to get my first experience with Princess one of these days . . .!

  19. Aptiva

    Aptiva Guest


    Check the Cruise Critic Board
    Some of the Problems are Posted in the "Thread"
    "Anyone just back from the Veendam"

    We just returned with Friends on the Back to Back MS Veendam

    The Cruise was a "Disaster" The ship is in Terrible Condition re Maintanence of equipment!!
    Elevators & Escalators were breaking down all the time.Sewer Smell in various locations.

    Our Tablemates from BC had a Fan in their Cabin most of the Cruise.
    because of the Sewer Smell.

    The Huge left hand Metal-Encased Door on deck 5 where you get off the Ship
    broke right off its hinges and fell crashing to the floor
    I took a Picture of it as my Table Mates would not believe it had happened

    2 of the Washing Machines out of 3 were not working on Deck 5
    the Whole 2 Weeks
    Sad for a ship coming out of a 2 week Drydock.!!

    We & our Friends had to Stuff Paper in the Light Fixtures to
    stop the Rattle from the Vibration !!

    I have never seen so many Angry Passengers on a
    Cruise before

    Splendour of the Seas 2000
    Rotterdam 2000
    Brilliance of the Seas 2002
    Veendam 2004
    Veendam 2004
  20. JC

    JC Guest

    You folks have me all shook up. I am going on my first cruise ever on the Veendam on 6/20 from Seward - doing the land tour first. I certainly hope they have repaired all the mechanical problems you have mentioned. I was so looking forward to my first cruise e xperience (and Hal was highly recommeded to us) and seeing the beauty of Alaska. I hope we will not be disappointed. Has anyone taken a June cruise on the Veendam and if so were all these things taken care of. Anxiously waiting your replies

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