Volendam Cruise Review by CMDE: Alaska Sailing
Overall Member Rating
We sailed on on the August 21st sailing of the Volendam. We arrived in Vancouver 2 days prior and stayed at the Pan Pacific - lovely hotel and great location, with many great restaurant choices near by - Bellagio's for breakfast, Mahony and Sons and Mill Marine Bistro for dinner, Urban Fair (chic grocery store) for lunch.
Embarkation was very fast - the bellcap at the hotel took our luggage from our room to the ship - nice perk! We were on board just before 1, just in time for the Mariner lunch in the MDR.
Overall the ship was nice, quite small and east to get around. The teak wrap-around deck for walking isw a real advantage and we took advantage of it. Rooms were lovely - my husband and I had 6107 and my sister had 6105, very near the front. We were above the theatre and could definitely hear the shows from below, but it didn't bother us. Sailing was smooth except for one night. Had a great room steward (Supy) who seemed to "stage-manage" the rooms every day so More they always looked great!
We had room service breakfasts nearly every morning - very good and always on time. Lunch was either in the Lido or the MDR, including the Mariner brunch which was sit-down and very nice.
In general the food in the MDR was excellent, although the service was VERY slow - our first dinner took 3 hours, and most of the other dinners were well over 2 hours, way too long. We were often worried about running into the second seating!
I personally didn't go to the shows, but my husband really liked the juggler and the magician shows.
A few little service points bothered me: nobody seemed to be there to greet us when we embarked, and when we went to the MDR for the first time there was nobody there to show us to our table - something we are used to on our other cruises.
We did the Tracy Arm excursion from the ship - EXCELLENT, the real highlight of the cruise. Saw lots of humpbacks, great birds. Glacier Bay was also amazing - my second time but just a wonderful day all around. Ports were also very good - saw lots of salmon in Skagway and Ketchikan, and loved the Totem Heritage Centre in Ketchikan (we saw Totem Bight on our last visit, also excellent).
We went to one of the wildlife talks by Kelly, the location guide, and it was also EXCELLENT - highly recommended. She is very entertaining and informative, and her photos are great.
All in all, a very good cruise, but we will probably go back to Celebrity and Royal Caribbean after this - the service was just too slow for us. Less
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