We chose the Volendam as we wanted a smaller ship with 5* accommodation and food to explore the Inner Passage of Alaska. This was to be our first cruise and we had carefully chosen what we thought would meet our requirements.
We booked a stateroom with a balcony, unfortunately a neighbour chose to smoke his cigars on his balcony without any thought or respect for the environment or his neighbours. The bed was very comfortable and the stewards kept the room very clean.
Despite the ship being an older model, the facilities, for example the library, were very comfortable. The ship was kept in good order througout the voyage.
Sadly the dining facilities on board were not of 5* standard - they appeared to be more akin to a cheap all inclusive deal, without the wine. Eating in the Lido was not something to be recommended unless one enjoys a rugby scrum. Obtaining a table requires the skills of a fast forward player and then one's partner has to negotiate the hordes who are piling their plates with assorted foods. The Rotterdam offers a more civilised, relaxed style of eating but is only open for short periods of time thus one has to be quick off the mark to get a table for breakfast or lunch. Dinner is easier to achieve as seating can be booked and the service is very good. However the food in both restaurants is of lamentably poor quality and invariably cold, including the soups. The breads resemble cotton wool thus toast is not recommended. The food is generally tasteless and the desserts are very sweet. Neither of these cooking styles appear to suit the European palate as members of our tour group (all European) had similar views and complaints about the quality of the food.
The trip and ports of call were splendid, however the poor dining standards would preclude us from booking another cruise