Holland America – Veendam on our way to Cuba


The Veendam – with Holland America is a small older ship.  But we got a real deal of two people for 7days, airfare to Fort Lauderdale, the hotel the nite before and the entire cruise for under $2,000.     We dont travel to see the best of the best, we travel for the experience.

The average age of the cruise population is about 65-70.  We are fine with that as well, it is better than a cruise ship filled with 25 year olds, running up and down the hallways all nite, and well, we are 50, so we are closer to 65 than 25 anyhow.  I have noticed the conversations with these cruisers are different, mostly about retirement and grandchildren and what the entertainment will be.

We found the entertainment…. well vanilla, but did enjoy the magician.  The rest was not exciting at all, but did notice all our fellow cruisers were very happy with the entertainment, and I bet my 84 and 88 year old parents would love it.

The ship is older, but redone and quite honestly I thought it was lovely.  I mentioned it was small, and too small for David, he needs constant entertainment, and at sea days left him with little to do, so he became bored, but I was fine.   I am so busy at home, I could just sit and be happy, in fact I could sleep for 3 days before I was bored.  So a bigger ship would not offend me, and would please David, so the next cruise will be a bigger ship – we can both be happy.

These are some wonderful pictures of the ship itself. The one below shows our tiny ship next to a bigger celebrity ship.


The Luminescent Veendam docked at nite.


Some of the fine décor on ship below includes incredible exotic flowers and heavenly statue holding a globe.


At the crows nest, where they had nightly buy one get one free drink specials and wonderful group of people who we would call friends if we got to hang out with them long enough.


The food was really tasty, superior to the Celebrity X Cruise we were one, but did not change much from day to day.  I typically enjoy dining in the dining room and sitting with strangers, I like to ask questions, but honestly most of the passengers were into grandchildren and retired with not much going on, they had very little to say, and I like to chat with new interesting people.

The casino was too small for David, but if they had Pai Gow Poker – he would have been happy.


The Hallways and ship was wide enough that I never felt cramped or tight, and the art was a joy for me (the ship art), the park west gallery art shows are fun too, but of course as always we do not buy anything, just go for the show.

Overall I would recommend any cruise, and you know what your getting with the smaller ship.  If you want extreme experience cruising, this is not it, but then again we did not pay for that experience and I believe we got more than what we paid for, a wonderful time and lovely vacation!

Love the Speer Smith Family!


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