Volendam Cruise Review by jlunswor: Enjoyable cruise with some minor glitches
Member Since 2012
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Enjoyable cruise with some minor glitches
Overall I enjoyed my cruise to Alaska with Holland America & would recommend it, as long as you can handle a couple of "glitches".
- Food: I thought the food, and selection, was very good.
- Staff: the cruise director was charming & the support staff were gracious.
- Sights: the scenic cruising in BC is really lovely, and Glacier Bay was amazing.
- Activities: there was always something to do, although sometimes we chose to read or relax in the lounges. I loved the library.
- Entertainment: the nightly entertainment was decent quality. They have some good singers on board for sure!
- Ports: I enjoyed all the ports, especially Skagway. It was nice that the ship was always docked very close to the city & you didn't need to buy an excursion package to enjoy them.
Lowlights & glitches:
- Vodka I ordered via phone before the cruise never arrived & the front desk staff couldn't find record of it. However, I was charged for More it! I'm still trying to get this sorted:(
- Our room card had to be continuously replaced & we were NOT demagnetizing it; we missed a bus in Juneau when we were once again getting a replacement card.
- Front desk staff: some - especially one of the gentleman - was very unhelpful & not good at finding solutions to problems.
- We never went to Tracy Arm, & no mention/explanation was given. This was clearly listed on the itinerary, including the cruise confirmation I downloaded from the Hal website.
- If you order an item pre-cruise over the phone, get a confirmation #. If you deal with the front office, note down the name of who you talk to. Ask them to put a note on your account where appropriate.
- Get on the ship as early as possible, we didn't leave Vancouver until 5pm but as 12 noon you could go on board and have lunch, followed by ship orientations etc...it's a great time to get familiar with the ship.
- If you like to party past 11pm, invite other people to meet you at the Crow's Nest ("disco" on the top desk)...it was a ghost town most nights!
- Bring waterproof shoes, jacket, & maybe gloves. I wish I'd had a jacket with an attached hood that protected my ears/neck when we were in Glacier Bay!
Ports: We were on a budget so we only did one excursion. There was plenty to do if you are a "do it yourselfer" like us.
JUNEAU: We paid $14 (return) for a bus to the Mendenhall Glacier. You can buy these tickets from the booths in front of the ship. We walked around a bit & went to the glacier visitors centre. Then we returned to town & walked around. There is free hotspot Internet access at the library.
SKAGWAY: Skagway was my favourite port. We booked an excursion, the White Pass Railroad($130 each) and enjoyed it. We walked around town & bit out of town to the cemetery...I heard a rumour that a bit up from the cemetery is a lookout point. We visited the museum which was interesting. A fun place to wander.
KETCHICKAN: It was so wet here, a store clerk told us they had one day of sunshine last year! We caught a free bus in front of the ship that took us to one of the totem pole places. We caught the same bus back to town & wandered around. There is 1 free hour of hotspot internet access at the library & the museum is in the same building. Less
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