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Veendam Updates

T

Tampa Mike

Guest
#1
Time for my Spring Vacation. I am booked on the Veendam March 13 from Tampa.

Was hoping someone who sailed Veendam from Tampa this season had some updates? I sailed Veendam last March, and was a bit dissappointed compared to my Amsterdam & Prinsendam voyages. I decided it was a fluke and booked Veendam again. The conveniance of sailing from home won me over.
 
S

Santa Fe Jim

Guest
#2
This is not directly in response to your question, but ---- I was on the Veendam out of Tampa last April and again out of Vancouver last September. I felt the quality of the food was definitely better in September. The service was comparable, excellent in my opinion. I hope you have a good experience -- I'd like to hear the current status.

SFJ
 
T

Tampa Mike

Guest
#3
Jim,

I was on the Prinsendam in September and the buzz was that many of the chefs were being replaced and a new focus on the menu was in place (perhaps along with the Pinnacle Grille option being added to the fleet). Now I do not know if these changes were the reason I found the dining superior on the Prinsendam compared to my Veendam voyage last March, or perhaps the Prinsendam was just a notch higher.

Having been on the Amsterdam, Veendam then Prinsendam all in the same year, I did find the Veendam not up to the other 2 voyages. It could have been a fluke, so I am giving it a try again March 13th. The Rotterdam Dining Room was quite good, but to my surprise the Lido was not the usual HAL flair. Sometimes it is just a matter of how full a sailing is, and the scale of the operation....larger ships, higher volume is bound to affect the product.

Living in Tampa, the ease of sailing from home is compelling. Although I have never experienced a bad voyage,, the better the trip, the less likely I am to look at the options offered by the other lines I have sailed.

I am already looking at the Prinsendam and Westerdam for a European voyage late in the summer, so this Veendam trip may close the deal.

I will share my views after I return from the Veendam.
 
M

marie55

Guest
#4
We were on the Zaandam New Year's cruise this year. The ship was beautifully decorated, the food and service were great and we all had a fantastic time. There were 10 of us, including 4 teenagers and I work in the school system, so we are also limited to the dates we can cruise. We did get a good promotion (booked in August). The price was for an inside room, which I never had before. It was fine since we were on the go most of the time with others in the family. There were many families on the ship, and there were many more Club Hal activities available than on the previous 2 summer cruises we have taken. I would most definitely cruise over the holiday again...the 4 kids all want to plan it again for next year, too!! Happy planning.
 
M

marie55

Guest
#5
SORRY!!! The reply above was meant to be posted on the thread about holiday cruises...I must have had a "senior moment" as my children tell me!!! Will also note about the mistake on that thread, too!! Sorry!!
 
H

Hal

Guest
#6
Marie - It seems we both took advantage of the HAL teacher appreciation fares available last summer. We were on the Zaandam over Christmas. As we have cruised the last three holidays and would be interested in doing so again, do you have any information as to the availability of the teacher fares this year.

Thanks, Hal

Coolor Festivale - 2001
Monarch of the Sea - Christmas 2001
Norwegian Sea - Christmas 2002
Zaandam - Christmas 2003
 
C

cjb

Guest
#7
As a new person on this discussion board, I learn something wonderful every time I log in!!

I am also a teacher and would be excited about teacher appreciation fares anytime they might be offered! How do we find out about that?
Are they only offered for Winter break times, or for Spring break/summer also?
 
M

MsWitty1

Guest
#8
Marie,

Read your post here and on my original message. Thanks for the information. When I talked to HAL, they are saying there are no "discounts" now but will do something later. We want the Deluxe Verandah's so I don't think they normally do much discounting there.

Thanks for the information!
Angie
 
H

Hal

Guest
#9
The Teacher Appreciation Fares came out in the late summer (August) and were available for a short period of time. If I recall correctly, the Zaandam was $699 for guaranteed inside and $749 for guaranteed outside. Other ships were within $100 or so. The fares were for Christmas and New Year only. Each cabin had to have a "teacher" in it to qualify for the special fares. Teachers were anything from elementary, middle school, HS to college. We booked two cabins (for us and separate for kids), wife is elementary school teacher and I have a university appointment. We reserved inside guaranteed for a variety of reasons concerning our youngest who loves to cruise and vacation but is afraid of water and does not want to look out at it from the cabin on a ship. We were upgraded to a high level inside category and were right amidship. The fares were very compeitive and we only saw one sale near our sailing date with equivalent fares and that was too late to really plan with airfares, etc. We agree that because of teacher's schedules it is great that HAL had these fares. Obviously, if you can cruise even a week earlier or later you can save significant monies. Hope to see them again. Cruising at the holidays is great and stress free compared to being home.
 
M

monty

Guest
#11
I was wondering if there is a specialty restaurant being planned for the Veendam. According to the brochure I have there is not one on this ship.
 
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torpeedo

Guest
#12
Spoke with HAL last week and they indicated that there would be a specialty restaurant added and a consierge lounge added in the spring 2004. They did not know it is was a drydock/wetdock situation or if it was being done while sailing. Could be either or according to the HAL rep.
 
S

ShipMaven

Guest
#13
According to what I posted last July, Veendam is scheduled for drydock/wetdock May 4th, at which time her Neptune Lounge and Pinnacle Grill will be added. This is not done while sailing.

HAL is still offering special fares for teachers, police, firefighters -but I didn't keep the specifics.
 
C

cjb

Guest
#14
ShipMaven, do you recall if these fares were only for Christmas holidays, or were they also offered for other holiday breaks teachers have? As a teacher, I would be very interested in finding out the information about any special fare offered to teachers!

Thanks!
 
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ShipMaven

Guest
#15
Carol - unfortunately, I didn't save the information but I'll try to find out for you tomorrow. I believe there are several dates, but don't want to misinform you.
 
C

cjb

Guest
#16
Thank you, ShipMaven!

Of course, if this is information available to anyone who calls HAL, I could research as well. However, perhaps it is only available to travel agents. In any case, thank you so much for your time and expertise! We teachers can use all the help we can get!
 
S

ShipMaven

Guest
#17
Carol,

There are a gazillion dates covering most, if not all, the ships. Have your TA contact HAL and ask for "Community Appreciation Fares".

If you wish, tell me the date/ship/destination that interest you, and I'll look it up.

So there's no misunderstanding, folks, I am NOT seeking these bookings! I'm merely happy to share info as a public service. The list is too long to re-type, and I'm not at liberty to publish HAL's offer. It covers teachers, firefighters, police officers and active military.
 
C

cjb

Guest
#18
Ms. ShipMaven, thank you so very much! This is great news, and we will have to check into it. Geez, now I wonder if a special fare could have applied to my 3/13 Zuiderdam cruise! Perhaps only certain cabin categories are offered, however. Our 3/13 trip is a splurge as our 30th anniversary gift to ourselves, and we are in an 'S'. And, no, my DH still doesn't know about that part, as he will be amazed and surprised when we arrive!

I'm excited now because the days-until-sailing are now in the single digits!
 
S

ShipMaven

Guest
#19
Carol,

The 3/13 sailing is included, but I very much doubt that full suites are included in the offer.

Have a wonderful 30th anniversary cruise - CONGRATULATIONS - and I hope your hubby enjoys that Suite!
 
K

KatieSue

Guest
#20
Community Appreciation fares?

Does anyone know if these fares apply to retired educators, firefighters and police? I notice that military fares only applied to "active military".

Thanks