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Holland America Line: Veendam

  • Holland America Line
  • Holland America Line
  • Holland America Line

Veendam Review

The fourth and final Statendam-class ship, Veendam entered service in the Holland America Line fleet in 1996. The ship’s floral theme is expressed through the art and decor, from classic paintings of still-life flowers, to the stylized flowers in the small panels on the ceiling of the Piano Bar. Also displayed is a large collection of museum-quality ship models, including valuable prisoner of war models made from bone.

The sister ships included in the S- or Statendam-class retain the most classic and traditional characteristics of Holland America Line vessels. Routinely updated with innovative features, including Signature of Excellence upgrades, they combine all the advantages of intimate, midsize vessels with high-tech and stylish details.

At the heart of the ships, triple-deck atriums graced by suspended glass sculptures open onto three so-called promenade decks; the lowest contains staterooms encircled by a wide, teak outdoor deck furnished with padded steamer chairs, while interior, art-filled passageways flow past lounges and public rooms on the two decks above. Either reach the lower dining room floor via the aft elevator, or enter one deck above and make a grand entrance down the sweeping staircase.

Holland America Line has enjoyed a distinguished record of traditional cruises, world exploration, and transatlantic crossings since 1873—all facets of its history that are reflected in the fleet's multimillion-dollar shipboard art and antiques collections. Even the ships' names follow a pattern set long ago: all end in the suffix dam and are either derived from the names of various dams that cross Holland's rivers, important Dutch landmarks, or points of the compass. The names are even recycled when vessels are retired, and some are in their fifth and sixth generation of use.

Noted for focusing on passenger comfort, Holland America Line cruises are classic in design and style, and with an infusion of younger adults and families on board, they remain refined without being stuffy or stodgy. Following a basic design theme, returning passengers feel as at home on the newest Holland America vessels as they do on older ones.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Statendam-class ships have some of the fleet’s most trendy bars
  • The Ocean Bar hits the right balance for socializing with the after-dinner crowd
  • Movie theaters double as culinary arts centers

Cons

  • Railings on the balcony level of the main show lounge obstruct the view of the stage
  • Club HAL can feel empty on some cruises
  • The addition of Explorations Café means no more free coffee bar
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 580
  • Entered Service 1996
  • Gross Tons 57,092
  • Length 720 feet
  • Number of Cabins 675
  • Passenger Capacity 1,350
  • Width 101 feet
  • New

Feb 1, 2017

Veendam Review

Stephanie Age: 27 Occupation:Doctoral Student Number of Cruises: 10 Cruise Line: Holland America Ship: Veendam Sailing Date: 2016-06-27 Itinerary: Bermuda I have been on 10 cruises now and have enjoyed each and every one. My significant other had yet to go on a cruise and we took this cruise to celebrate many accomplishments in our lives this past year, as well as my birthday, which was during the cruise. Our room was awful, which you will see below.

Overall, this cruise was a terrible experience. Our main server in the dining room at table 83 was wonderful. He went above and beyond to ensure our dining experience was exceptional. I have yet to have a server who strives so hard at his job and who is extremely personable. I hope he is compensated well for his work- he is a standout employee of yours and deserves the best treatment. The food in the dining room was great. The lido restaurant had the shortest operating hours of any cruise I have been on and the food was okay. The pizza place was awful, it seemed the crust was frozen and thawed out, not freshly made as advertised. Room service was outright awful. My boyfriend ordered room service (or attempted to) and was told it would take 45 minutes for an uncooked salad one evening. He also called at 11p.m. two nights with nobody picking up, when there was a 24-hour menu. Room service has also been great on other cruise lines, so this was yet another disappointment on Holland America. The first night of the cruise all we could hear in our cabin (324) was a noise as if someone were dropping a bowling ball over and over above us. The entire cabin would shake and even if we were able to fall asleep, we would be jolted awake by the noise all night, or afternoon if we were trying to take a nap. We thought maybe it was the rougher seas we were experiencing the first and second days on our way to Bermuda. But, we could not take it anymore when we were STILL experiencing the noise Monday afternoon when we reached Bermuda and were docked until Thursday. Monday, June 20th, My boyfriend went to complain at guest services and they said they would look into it. Another woman in a cabin near us was also complaining about the same noise. Guest services attributed it to a "loose door" that was slamming. They called us the following day (June 21st) and said they fixed it and sent us a bottle of wine as some form of severance pay. My boyfriend does not drink and this was not an acceptable apology for the magnitude of the issue. The noise persisted over and over the rest of the week. We got absolutely NO rest on this vacation. This put a huge damper on us enjoying any bit of Bermuda or our celebrations during the week. My boyfriend and I complained 4 more times throughout the week. We returned the wine and the guest services employee said it was not an attempt to appease us, even when there was a note written "our sincerest apologies" on it. We then received a note that our ship account would be credited $100, which was a nice gesture, but no accommodation for us not sleeping and being able to relax for an entire week. I finally asked Friday evening if we could possibly be moved to an alternate cabin to at least get 2 nights of sleep that were left. The employee gave us a room that she said another guest had moved out of because of a loud creaking noise and that this was all they had available. That night, my boyfriend and I had enough of the bowling ball shaking sound in our cabin (324) so we went down to the other, 342 I believe. This room's creaking noise was awful, there were stains on the sheets, and the air control did not work and we were sweating. Again, we got zero sleep. All guest services told us was "sorry." And they also mentioned they would have moved us earlier in the week, which we were upset about that they never even gave us that option before. I had to plead to get another room 2 days before the cruise was over. The way guest services dealt with this issue is entirely unacceptable. The couple we dined with reported they took a tour Friday (June 24th) of the ship and realized that deck 6 is right underneath the major and very large kitchen of Veendam. What really irks me is that guest services continuously said they had no idea what could be causing the noise when they very well knew the layout of the ship and that the main and busy kitchen was right over us. Putting passenger cabins, especially more pricey oceanview cabins, right below a busy and noisy kitchen makes no sense to me. Then, to act like they had no idea where the noise was coming from is inadmissible. Also, I was quite upset realizing our oceanview cabin was on the walkaround deck with people constantly walking by, which was not specified during the time I booked the cruise. Guests should be made entirely aware of the fact that these rooms are located there because I would have never booked that particular room if I knew of its location on the walkaround deck. This was extremely misleading when booking and I tried to overlook it, but the noise and shaking only exacerbated my disappointment in the room I booked. Also, I understand the cabin stewards work extremely hard and were very pleasant to guests, but they would vacuum at 6am. I presume most guests are sleeping then (although we certainly weren't, but not by choice) and do not want to be woken up by vacuum and cleaning noises right outside their cabins. The fitness room was mediocre, the showroom's programming and performers were very mediocre, with some being pretty terrible (off-step and off-key), the limited onboard activities mainly included the casino and art auctions, which not everyone enjoys, there were no USA primetime channels (i.e. NBC, ABC), and no way of knowing which movies were playing throughout the day in the cabin. Boring ship. Even the checkers game we tried to play was missing pieces. Go out on your own if you are docking in Bermuda a few days. We did 2 on our own using public transportation, which were great (The caves and beaches). We did a snorkeling shipwreck tour and glass bottom boat tour through the cruise ship, which were nothing exceptional. Save your money and go out on your own, people are very nice in Bermuda and it did seem overall really safe as long as you have a male traveling in your group. I am certain after this experience I will never cruise with Holland America again. My boyfriend says he would have rather stayed home and worked because it would have been less stressful than our experience on the cruise. That, in my book, is very sad and deeply angers me. For how hard he works, he deserved the vacation of a lifetime, not coming home even more stressed than when we left. One of the guest service employees asked how they could make it up to us and my response was, "I really don't think anything can make up for our overall very poor and negative first experience on Holland America".

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Jun 27, 2016

Bermuda

I have been on 10 cruises now and have enjoyed each and every one. My significant other had yet to go on a cruise and we took this cruise to celebrate many accomplishments in our lives this past year, as well as my birthday, which was during the cruise. Our room was awful, which you will see below. Overall, this cruise was a terrible experience. Our main server in the dining room at table 83 was wonderful. He went above and beyond

to ensure our dining experience was exceptional. I have yet to have a server who strives so hard at his job and who is extremely personable. I hope he is compensated well for his work- he is a standout employee of yours and deserves the best treatment. The food in the dining room was great. The lido restaurant had the shortest operating hours of any cruise I have been on and the food was okay. The pizza place was awful, it seemed the crust was frozen and thawed out, not freshly made as advertised. Room service was outright awful. My boyfriend ordered room service (or attempted to) and was told it would take 45 minutes for an uncooked salad one evening. He also called at 11p.m. two nights with nobody picking up, when there was a 24-hour menu. Room service has also been great on other cruise lines, so this was yet another disappointment on Holland America. The first night of the cruise all we could hear in our cabin (324) was a noise as if someone were dropping a bowling ball over and over above us. The entire cabin would shake and even if we were able to fall asleep, we would be jolted awake by the noise all night, or afternoon if we were trying to take a nap. We thought maybe it was the rougher seas we were experiencing the first and second days on our way to Bermuda. But, we could not take it anymore when we were STILL experiencing the noise Monday afternoon when we reached Bermuda and were docked until Thursday. Monday, June 20th, My boyfriend went to complain at guest services and they said they would look into it. Another woman in a cabin near us was also complaining about the same noise. Guest services attributed it to a "loose door" that was slamming. They called us the following day (June 21st) and said they fixed it and sent us a bottle of wine as some form of severance pay. My boyfriend does not drink and this was not an acceptable apology for the magnitude of the issue. The noise persisted over and over the rest of the week. We got absolutely NO rest on this vacation. This put a huge damper on us enjoying any bit of Bermuda or our celebrations during the week. My boyfriend and I complained 4 more times throughout the week. We returned the wine and the guest services employee said it was not an attempt to appease us, even when there was a note written "our sincerest apologies" on it. We then received a note that our ship account would be credited $100, which was a nice gesture, but no accommodation for us not sleeping and being able to relax for an entire week. I finally asked Friday evening if we could possibly be moved to an alternate cabin to at least get 2 nights of sleep that were left. The employee gave us a room that she said another guest had moved out of because of a loud creaking noise and that this was all they had available. That night, my boyfriend and I had enough of the bowling ball shaking sound in our cabin (324) so we went down to the other, 342 I believe. This room's creaking noise was awful, there were stains on the sheets, and the air control did not work and we were sweating. Again, we got zero sleep. All guest services told us was "sorry." And they also mentioned they would have moved us earlier in the week, which we were upset about that they never even gave us that option before. I had to plead to get another room 2 days before the cruise was over. The way guest services dealt with this issue is entirely unacceptable. The couple we dined with reported they took a tour Friday (June 24th) of the ship and realized that deck 6 is right underneath the major and very large kitchen of Veendam. What really irks me is that guest services continuously said they had no idea what could be causing the noise when they very well knew the layout of the ship and that the main and busy kitchen was right over us. Putting passenger cabins, especially more pricey oceanview cabins, right below a busy and noisy kitchen makes no sense to me. Then, to act like they had no idea where the noise was coming from is inadmissible. Also, I was quite upset realizing our oceanview cabin was on the walkaround deck with people constantly walking by, which was not specified during the time I booked the cruise. Guests should be made entirely aware of the fact that these rooms are located there because I would have never booked that particular room if I knew of its location on the walkaround deck. This was extremely misleading when booking and I tried to overlook it, but the noise and shaking only exacerbated my disappointment in the room I booked. Also, I understand the cabin stewards work extremely hard and were very pleasant to guests, but they would vacuum at 6am. I presume most guests are sleeping then (although we certainly weren't, but not by choice) and do not want to be woken up by vacuum and cleaning noises right outside their cabins. The fitness room was mediocre, the showroom's programming and performers were very mediocre, with some being pretty terrible (off-step and off-key), the limited onboard activities mainly included the casino and art auctions, which not everyone enjoys, there were no USA primetime channels (i.e. NBC, ABC), and no way of knowing which movies were playing throughout the day in the cabin. Boring ship. Even the checkers game we tried to play was missing pieces. Go out on your own if you are docking in Bermuda a few days. We did 2 on our own using public transportation, which were great (The caves and beaches). We did a snorkeling shipwreck tour and glass bottom boat tour through the cruise ship, which were nothing exceptional. Save your money and go out on your own, people are very nice in Bermuda and it did seem overall really safe as long as you have a male traveling in your group. I am certain after this experience I will never cruise with Holland America again. My boyfriend says he would have rather stayed home and worked because it would have been less stressful than our experience on the cruise. That, in my book, is very sad and deeply angers me. For how hard he works, he deserved the vacation of a lifetime, not coming home even more stressed than when we left. One of the guest service employees asked how they could make it up to us and my response was, "I really don't think anything can make up for our overall very poor and negative first experience on Holland America".

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Sep 15, 2014

Caribbean

I wish I had seen Sherrill Alexander's review prior to our Holland America cruise to the Caribbean this year. We had the exact same experience with Holland America's Veendam. Ship was delayed in dry dock....extremely disorganized boarding because it was late into the night and the computers were not fully operational.....workers continued to work during our cruise disrupting normal enjoyments.....skipped stops and excursions. Was a huge disappointment.

The staff said somewhat casually that this is common when a ship has been in dry dock. Really? How would the average cruiser know that information? Holland America has made some effort toward compensation, but it is measly compared to the disappointment, missed excursions, etc. The bottom line, we will think long and hard before we travel with Holland America again. This had been our fourth cruise with them. OK food but not outstanding. Our cabin had a broken lamp when we arrived, marks on the carpeting, son's cabin had a non-working toilet and non-working a/c. Were not moved for four days.

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Sep 12, 2014

Boston to Quebec City

Never again will my husband and I cruise with Holland America. My husband had 6 kidney stone attacks while on this ship. I had a horrible experience trying to get help to get him off the ship to fly to DFW. The front desk was no help getting a taxi to the airport and getting our luggage to the taxi. Unless you have had a similar experience, you have no idea how totally frustrating this whole experience was with Holland America. I finally asked

a passenger whom we had met at dinner a few nights earlier to help me. I consider the lack of help from Holland America a gross negligence. I am determined to urge other cruise travelers to select some other cruise line as a result of my experience. This ordeal so colored my cruise that I can not give anything about the ship anything but a poor rating. Too much greasy chicken At least it was on the same deck as the medical center. Worthless if you are experiencing kidney stone attacks. The doctor tried to do what he could, but he has about as much leeway as a registered nurse. He finally gave my husband a shot for pain. I watched him experience some of the worse pain imaginable. Excursions are overpriced. Could not have been worse. I have cruised with Holland America four other times. The excursions are grossly overpriced. Get off the ship and you can get the same excursion for much less money right outside the terminal doors.

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Mar 24, 2013

South America

My experience on this ship was very good. My reason for writing my comments is on the shore excursions offered by Holland America on this ship. All of the excursion were grossly over priced and not worth 1/3 of the price for the excursion. After talking with several people, most of them booked with other tour companies or got off the ship and at the port were various opportunities to do sight seeing privately.

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