Volendam Jan 2013: Volendam Cruise Review by jmallen04
Overall Member Rating
Volendam Jan 2013
We checked in at Singapore on 7th of January. We found it very regimented, with little care for customer service. We were asked to stand in line several times, by impolite staff. Not a great experience..
The stateroom (1809) was very disappointing. Small, stale smelling with dated decor. We asked to be moved a couple of times, with no success (ship not full, but still no joy).
The bed was very comfortable, but it filled the cabin. I got a couple of bruises and scratches on my legs, climbing past the corner of the bed, because it was too close to the walls. No fridge supplied. Bottled water supplied, but charged for(US$3+).
The front desk staff were very poor. Whenever we asked for help with anything (such as a request to move cabins, collect our passports, change for quarters etc.) they always told us to come back later. Didn't find them friendly at all.
The food quality in the main restaurant was average, at best, More although we paid extra (US$25 per head) a few times to eat at the Pinnacle Grill, which was top class. The Canaletto (US$10 extra per person) was poor, and not recommended.
The ship is relatively small, compared with other ships we've been on (I think around 65,000 tonnes), and this, together with poor stability, meant that the storm we had on the first night was a very uncomfortable experience!!
Some of the entertainment on board was extremely cheesy!! One or two good comedians, but we mostly left after a few minutes.
On a positive note, there was always plenty of seating available, and we found this to be the case throughout the ship.
We found the beer and wine on board very expensive.Two bottles of Grolsch (not even full sized) was US$16!! The wine at dinner should be cheaper than it is. We paid between US$30 and US$75 for standard quality wines.
Being charged extra for a stronger coffee (only 50 cents, but the principle is annoying) was laughable.
The ports were often industrial areas, and Holland America offered (for a payment) to transport you away from the area, into local towns. Independant travellers were left to deal with rip off local taxi drivers, charging extortionate rates for short journeys. I'm sure Holland America could do more to help with this, or at least make their customers fully aware of what to expect.
The 14 night cruise could have easily been condensed to around 10 nights. A couple of days at sea we were travelling at as low as 6 nauts, just to drag it out a bit. I found days at sea very boring - very little to do.
Disembarking at Hong Kong was also chaos. We went to an area where our bags were to be collected, to find an enormous crowd of people all doing the same, then hundreds of people waiting in line for taxis!! Less