We sailed the Volendam on the 7 day round trip out of Vancouver to Alaska the first week of June 2013. I'm a new cruiser and had heard/red mixed things about cruises. This is what we experienced:
Boarding and logistics at Vancouver were extremely well organized. The only advice I have is save the HAL transfer and take a cab, it's much less expensive.
The ship itself is mid-sized, not huge, it still looks like a ship, not a floating hotel.
Interior is very tasteful and appropriate for a ship. Nice paintings of older ships etc.
Food was really outstanding. I'm pretty harsh on food quality, for work I eat at many top end restaurants, most disappoint me. The Food on the Volendam did NOT disappoint. In the main dining room they serve a great variety with a different menu each day (with some constants). The portion size is appropriate (not too big). In this case deserts did taste as good as they looked.
Service is good, but can be a tad slow on room service.
Always easy to find a quiet corner, didn't feel like we were fighting other people
cabin is very quiet and comfortable.
This is not a party ship. The guests were mostly 50-70, lots of Europeans and Australians. Everyone was polite.