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Old 09-02-2008, 06:20 PM
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I'm seeking advice and opinions on the Veendam and HAL's W. Caribbean cruise. We are considering the 7 day cruise over Christmas. This will be our first cruise. I have read reviews on other sites and have had mixed results. Some say the ship is quite nice and others kept speaking of equipment failure, e.g. engines, etc. I have no idea where to get the best deals, what cabin choices are best, etc. This nebbie is definitely looking forward to your advice!
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:20 PM
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I'm seeking advice and opinions on the Veendam and HAL's W. Caribbean cruise. We are considering the 7 day cruise over Christmas. This will be our first cruise. I have read reviews on other sites and have had mixed results. Some say the ship is quite nice and others kept speaking of equipment failure, e.g. engines, etc. I have no idea where to get the best deals, what cabin choices are best, etc. This nebbie is definitely looking forward to your advice!
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:59 PM
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Hi renegade10005, and welcome to cruise-chat.com.

I do suggest that, as this is your first cruise, you book through a travel agent that specializes in cruises. But, finding a deal over Christmas is going to be difficult. This is one of the prime cruising seasons. As for cabins, what are your needs? Veendam has a variety of cabin choices, everything from interior cabins to a penthouse suite. I've stayed in both an outside cabin and deluxe verandah suite, and there are benefits to each -- of course, the suite has far more.

As for reviews -- you're always going to find a mixed bag. I often tell people that if I had paid attention to every negative review, I would have missed out on what turned out to be my favorite ship.
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Old 09-02-2008, 11:31 PM
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Hello renegade 10005, and welcome from me also;

my wife and I and our youngest son (25) and my mother (92) spent 10 days on Veendam last summer and we all loved it, and we represent three generations of cruisers. We had not a single equipment failure, at least not of which we were aware.

Veendam dosen't have any moderately priced balconies (they jusmp from Oceanview to Verandah Suite) so we booked Oceanview cabins on A Deack, all the way aft, to be close to the elevators so mom wouldn't have to walk so much. I though engine noise or vibration might be a trade-off for taking this location: but it was not a problem at all. Interesting thing is, the more expensive cabins are midship but the elevators and stairs are forward and aft--no elevators midship.

I must echo LisaP's suggestion that you get a cruise specialist to help you with this. There are many variables and you should have someone work out the details with you.

But I would not hesitate for a second to recommend Veendam to you; it's a wonderful medium size ship.
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Old 09-04-2008, 05:59 PM
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Thank you for the excellent advice! I am curious, how do I know if I have found a cruise specialist? I'm not really fond of our local "national" A travel agency so I've been looking on-line.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:22 AM
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That's a very good question. I'm always giving that advice but you just made me realize I don't have a clue as to how to do it. There are lots of agencies that just do mainly cruises; and there are organizations that many belong to that more or less gurantee a level of competence: but I don't know the names. Hopefully one of our resident agents can jump in here and help us out.
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:54 AM
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quote:
how do I know if I have found a cruise specialist?


The best way is to look for the CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) logo and also see if the agent is an Accredited, Master, or Elite Cruise Counsellor. These are usually shown as ACC, MCC, or ECC. This means the agent has completed several levels of training and also has acceptable product knowledge. It isn't an easy program to complete.

I would also look to see if the agent is affiliated with NACTA, The National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:40 AM
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Thank you very much, Dave; I'm going to bookmark this page.
 
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