Hi Beth,I am a non-smoker looking for a cabinmate on a Hal ship for a fall cruise possibly the Veendam.I met a fellow tablemate on my last cruise who had a single share.She found it not bad except her cabinmate was a late nighter.I was on the cruise with a girlfriend and we never saw her cabinmate with her anywhere on or off the ship and we shared a lot of tours,breakfasts and lunches with her.Sue was a non-smoker and I don't think her cabinmate was or she would have said.Good Luck with your quest ,if you are interested in sharing with me ,email and let me know. I am off to Singapore and Bali for 17 days leaving on the 19th of April and returning on the 5th of May,when I return I will decide on my fall cruise.Anna
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.
I am glad to add any bit of my experience to this or any other board here on Cruisemates. I generally respond to specific queations that I feel I have some experience in, as I have in the past on these boards. Each of my three cruises were memorable, even though there may have been a glitch or two along the way. I don't dwell on negative. That is part of life. Every one of my cruises has given me fine memories. But, on the Veendam, I traveled in Style: 150% satisfaction level on this cruise.
I usually sign-up six months before a cruise and do my research on the ports I will visit. For my last cruise on the MS Veendan, in March 2001, I obtained telephone numbers from this Cruisemates site for the islands I was to visit and called their Tourist Bureaus for information. I received numerous brochures and some maps to prepare me for the sights to see.
Since I choose my cruises for the Ports-of-Call I gather as much information as early as possible to inform me on the culture and activities I can expect when I arrive. I also read travel guides and books on packing for the cruise. This six-month-long preparation gets me more and more excited about the cruise and also enables me to add to my wardrobe in time for the cruise.
Most of the bugs are worked out of my preparation by the time the cruise date arrives. The only thing I can't prepare for is the weather. Since I cruise in the winter and I live in the Wash. DC area, ice and snow storms can present a last minute problem. So far, weather has not been a problem for me.
Since I am a shopper, I search out information on the local crafts produced by the residents of the islands I will visit. I like to add indigenous crafts to my homes decor. .I shop for wood carvings, pottery, wall hanging or any other craft type item as a souvenir of my visit.I'm not into gems or Rollex watches-the're to small to cover my walls. No Early American or Louis the XIV for me. Bamboo and woven baskets, Bagshaw wall hangings and balsa wood carvings from Indonesia are the decor of this abode.
I decorate my home with the treasures of my trips. My house is like a travel agent's office. Any cruise agent would feel right at home in my humble hut. I also collect coffee mugs from the places I visit. I'm planning on adding a mug rack to my kitchen walls that encircles the room at arms length high. I already bought 100 oak pegs to hang the mugs on.I just might have enough mugs to fill it up. I like to bring a diferent mug to work every so often. A little change in my life now and then is good for the disposition. And, nothing helps the disposition more than an arm-full of cruising treasures and a head full of fine cruising memories. That's the best way to end of a yoyage.
Well, Pat you got me a dream'n again. I'm a get'n loose at the lip. Those good memories of my cruises are a get'n me a think'n 'bout another 'venture cruise. Ya' got any suggestions for this lonely traveler? I still have a small spot on my wall that needs just the right de-cor-ation! Maybe a 12 man Polynesian dug-out canoe? Do you think I could get one on the airplane?