I sailed on the MS Veendam last month (March 2001) and I was in the Single Share Program. I ended up with a cabin by myself in the "D" catagory, two grades up from the "F" outside category that Single Share sign up for. I was in a non-smoking cabin on the "Lower Promenade Deck" in a semi-obscured view cabin. My cabin looked out onto the Promenade Walkway around the ship. The cabin was spacious and the bath had a tub in this category.
I was seated at a dining table with other traveling singles at a table for six. The table was on the balcony level and overlooked the stern of the ship. I had a great view, at the first seating, as the ship left the port each evening.
This was my first cruise on Holland American Line (HAL) and it was the best of the three cruises I have been on. The MS Veendam was beyond my expectations. The Staff was absolutely terriffic. I joked around with the Wait Staff and had a great experience. My Cabin Stewart was excellent and also very friendly. After seven days I felt like the Staff were long-time friends. All the Veendam Staff are up-beat and conveyed that happy atmosphier throughout the cruise. They were always saying Hi as they passsed you in the halls or at the pool.
The ships decor was elegant and well appointed. I traveled alone on the shore tours that I took, but I quickly made friends with fellow passengers. I take a lot of photographs so I was on the go and didn't feel alone. My dining mates encouraged me to stop in the Piano Bar which I did and enjoyed the great music. There was also a String Quartet in an open lounge that I enjoyed as I passed by frequently.
I had a great time as a Shared Single. I am looking forward to sail the Shared Single Program again with HAL and I'll sail the Veendan again if at all possible.