Launched in 1996, and with some recent upgrades added, Holland America’s Veendam has a timeless decor with some old-fashioned accents. I don’t know if it has an official theme, but if I had to name it I’d call it old world charm. Holland America runs a fleet of midsize ships with some larger than Veendam, though it’s not their smallest.
Veendam has teak decks and a two million dollar art collection displayed around the ship. The lowest level of the atrium, often a center of activity on cruise ships, seems more of a quiet place on the Veendam. Probably due to the lack of central elevators or any designated venues on the lower level.
A mostly blue crystal sculpture snakes up 3 stories high from the atrium’s center to the open area of the two floors above and a stairway leads upward two levels to the front and shore excursion desks up one level and the shops on the next.
Décor on the Veendam looked nice without being overdone. Walking about the ship passengers could find different works of art and other interesting things to see. The Ocean Bar had a china hutch filled with lovely blue-patterned china, an old-fashioned touch my mother would have loved had she been on that cruise. It also had a display with a number of colorful glass sculptures in an artist’s representation of sea life and lots of comfortable seating where passengers could enjoy the view through the large windows.
The ship did not have any elevator art, but the elevators did have carpets that changed daily with the day of the week. All anyone had to do was ride an elevator – or even just look inside one – if they forgot what day it was as the carpet would let them know.
One stairway had photos of various renditions of the Veendam throughout the years, starting with a sailing ship on the lowest floor and ending with the current Veendam on the highest level. They didn’t have quite enough ships for every level so the bottom had a plaque of a sailing ship that rather blended in with the ship theme and the top by the spa had a more spa-ish picture of a lady. The other stairway displayed a collection of plaques presented to the ship. This smaller sized ship had just fore and aft stairs and elevators and not the central ones found on larger vessels, which is why the atrium had no elevators.
Dining room décor featured lights resembling old fashioned style lanterns and flowers in other light fixtures and on large stands.
Besides the lanai cabins with sliding doors to the promenade deck, the new upgrades included Mix, a three-bar area where people could easily move from one to the other for champagne, martinis or spirits and ales. While the three are interconnected, each one has its own style and décor.
We found the rooms bigger than we expected on a smaller ship. Our Oceanview cabin on the Veendam seemed larger than the veranda room we had on a previous cruise on the Westerdam.
Hallways throughout the ship often had pictures of maritime scenes, old world scenes probably of Holland, or sometimes flowers. We found a picture of strawberries in a convenient place to use as a marker for locating our room.
Cruise ships always have statues and the Veendam is no exception. I thought the statues on this ship looked nicer than those found on some other ships. Most were intricately sculptured and actually looked like whatever they intended to represent, often done in old world style which fit in with other décor on the ship.
Overall the décor on the Veendam was quite pleasant.