For a modest-sized ship, Veendam had lots of open deck areas to, and they were rarely crowded.
This deck extends the length of the ship and provides the bulk of the sports activities (other than the gym): a basketball court, tennis court and shuffleboard court. On our cruise this deck didn’t see a lot of action, but it was a good place for sunning.
By day, this is the hub of the action on Veendam, the central pool area with the ship’s two hot tubs at one end. Loungers flanked the pool, along with tables for dining. A retractable roof was open when the weather invited, but was closed when the air cooled.
There was a bandstand that provided a stage to a group at midday—they weren’t announced in the daily ship newsletter. Although talented, we found the bass to be way over-amped, and the overall volume was loud enough to prevent any conversation from taking place around the pool.
The promenade deck wraps Deck 6, and loungers are offered for taking in the sun and sea air. Jogging is not allowed on this deck, but walkers are common—four laps equals a mile.
This was also where the Muster Drill took place, beneath the lifeboats.
Located above the Crow’s Nest, this is the highest public area of the ship. Loungers are stationed here, but this area got little traffic on our cruise.
This area of the ship, Deck 11 aft, seemed ill conceived to us, starting with a trio of tacky fake palm trees for ornamentation. When Veendam was originally built there was a full-size swimming pool here. But the pool was taken out and replaced with cabins (on Deck 10) and a pair of hot tubs and pair of elongated, rectangular wading pools were added above-deck in 2009. While the wading pools might be useful on a really hot day, they don’t suffice as a swimming pool, and they were little used during our cruise.
There was a good number of loungers on this deck, and we never had a problem finding an empty one; showers were available for a quick rinse. The Retreat also had an overhead video screen, but this was rarely in use during our cruise.
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