How suite it is! King-size bed, whirlpool bath, dressing room, and private verandah. With service to match, including complimentary personalized stationery, hors d'oeuvres, dry cleaning and more. Special disembarkation privileges.
Cabin 7011. Excellent cabin. I had heard complaints about this cabin being noisy. We did once in a while hear footsteps from deck above, but it was not a probem at night and only a bit during the day. I would book this cabin again.
Deluxe Verandah Suites on volendam and GREAT. Very well thought out and spacious with lots of storage. the bathroom is just a bathroom - but you have a nice dressing room to make up for the standard bath. The balcony is just amazing with a nice table and four chairs and 2 chaise lounges, we entertained 8 adults with tons of space to whale watch and drink wine! Bedding is GREAT, lots of pillows and ask for extra mattress pad/egg crate to make more comfortable where the twin beds meet. The couch and sitting area really nice! Wet bar area, and closets galore. Really enjoyed the room! one thing to consider, the lido deck is above 7014, so you do hear chairs moving around lots if you can handle that - it was annoying at times. Read entire member review.
Excellent mid-ship location, near the Neptune Lounge and mid-ship elevators but not so close that traffic noise is heard. There is a serious shortage of available electrical outlets and no desk area like we had on the Amsterdam. The carpets appear to be new and the room was sparkling clean. The verandah is a wonderful. Read entire member review.
Cabin 7027: Clean and spacious. Mostly quiet when the verandah doors are closed but lots of deck noise from the Lido deck above when you're on the verandah during the day. Oh well, let's pour another cocktail and look for Bears. Plenty of storage. Bring an extension cord (Thanks Forum!). Extremely generous size cabin if you have just 2 adults. Even with our daughter using the pull out bed, which she loved, we never bumped into each other. The verandah was large as well and we spent a lot of time out there with a glass of wine, light music and our daily room-service delivered hors d'oeuvres because, luckily, the weather was drop dead gorgeous 90% of the time. This cabin is also plenty large enough for 2 adults and 2 kids who could sleep on the pullout sofa. I doubt you would want 4 adults in there but, hey, it's your cruise.
The binoculars in the room, which are very powerful, enabled us to really gain an appreciation for the coastline, glaciers, whales, otters, eagles, and mountain goats. One day a Hummingbird even flew right up to my face while I was looking through them! Almost dropped them overboard! Alaska is completely under-rated in my book.
Cabin Service: Extremely professional, fast and efficient. Definitely service with a smile. We took full advantage of the dry cleaning and laundry service that comes with the room and were completely satisfied. Read entire member review.
Our April 15 to May 1 time on the Volendam as we crossed the Pacific Ocean was mixed between positive and negative. Perhaps this is the case with others on the subject cruise, as well as many on other cruises with Holland America, as well as on other lines.
First, the positive. The ship was in excellent condition. Never did I see any worn carpet, or worn upholstery on furniture. Contrary to other reports, all the the ship's water supply was properly filtered and treated. We had no problem with foul looking or tasting water as reported on other reviews and information about the Volendam. Our shower could have had more water pressure and hotter water, but it was adequate.
While our initial boarding was delayed, the ship's captain made the correct decision by ordering a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all areas of the ship. The previous voyage had experienced much illness of the GI type. A free shuttle bus was provided from and back to the boarding terminal. The bus went to and returned from a very nice and large Kobe department store. I was able to purchase four bottles of good wine for later consumption on the ship.
The captain correctly continued having the ship areas disinfected and insisting that all passengers and crew wash hands and use the hand cleaning dispensers available throughout the ship. As a result, the extraordinary procedures for sanitation were relaxed about half-way through the cruise, although reinstated for a short time a few days later.
The entertainment was generally good, although sometimes not well attended. The Piano Lounge pianist, Steve, was very skilled, clever, and entertaining. My wife, more of a knowledgeable musician than I, said he was an excellent pianist and accompanist.
Steve also organized, was Master of Ceremonies, and accompanied singers for the guest talent show. I believe all the participants performed well, and that the two to three hundred in the audience enjoyed the show. I think, and hope, my 'Ol Man River was appreciated.
As is proper, there was no determination of a winner, etc., for the talent show. These shows used to occur on most cruises, but now seem to have been replaced with Karaoke contests, with winners determined by ship staff personnel. While I enjoy Karaoke as much as anyone, I believe making it a contest is inappropriate.
The adagio performers in the Explorer Lounge were a violin and pianist from the Ukraine. They were good musicians and played well, but attendance was too often sparse. They did give a fine performance at their own show one afternoon.
Our favorite waitress was Marivic, who served us in the Explorer Lounge. She is from the Philippines, always pleasant, and with a great sense of humor. Our Neptune Lounge concierge ladies were also exceptionally pleasant and helpful.
Now for he disappointing factors.
For the first time ever, we splurged for a Superior Suite, named a Deluxe Verandah Suite, or Neptune Suite, on this ship. The pricing, changes in pricing, and our final attaining of the best price by contacting high level management are too detailed to get into here.
The suite in general was what we expected, although perhaps a bit smaller than those on larger ships. Our main problem with the suite itself was the bathtub-shower. We only showered, never using a filled tub or the water jet function. We found the width of the tub base to be extremely narrow and uncomfortable for showering. Two feet would barely fit, and we are not large people.
The verandah was very wide, as much as 11 or 12 feet. While this would be nice for warm weather cruising, the great width would hardly compensate for the very narrow bathroom and its narrow tub. Why the ship was designed this way in the first place escapes me. However, except for the very small bathroom and tub and waisted verandah area, the suite was nice. The complimentary laundry and dry cleaning service for suite guests was a plus. Cabin cleaning and service was fine, given that we seldom saw the cabin steward or assistant. In room breakfast service was good and on time. A minor problem occurred with the one live plant in the suite. One day my wife noticed it was drooping and lacked water. She watered the plant and it recovered. The cabin steward should have done this.
Our major problem occurred during our first night on board, and continued for several nights. It happened that our cabin was immediately under the dishwashing room on the Lido deck above. Early every morning at about 6:30 am the dishwashing machines would be started. As they were drained the night before, the start-up was accompanied by a loud water hammer, or other such noise. Then, for a few more minutes, other noises occurred. We occupied 7028. I soon learned the suite guests on both sides, 7030 and 7026, were also awakened each morning by this noise. One of these guests inquired and was told nothing could be done about this noise. I then visited with our nice concierge lady in the Neptune Lounge and discussed the problem. She went to the Lido deck, asked about what correction could be made, and was told nothing could be done. I then asked to see the Hotel Manager. An intermediary then had the problem fixed by the dishwashing people using a different procedure. However, I still later met with the Hotel Manager who maintained that no one had previously complained about the early morning noise.
What! Are you kidding me?
I also spoke with this gentleman about the fact that shuttle buses in the Japanese ports we visited were never announced in the Explorer, the daily "poop Read entire member review.