Report from the Volendam - Jan 6th. 2014 - Singapore to Singapore, Indonesian Islands.
As seasoned cruise travellers including previous excellent cruises on Holland American, I have to report that this was like a shake down cruise which was surprising as the ship was 15 years old & Holland America has been going for ever, yet so many things were disorganised.
The good points: We were pleased with our cabin, a window cabin on deck 1 which was a good size with a bath & very well planned; the food in the dining room which was very good & the entertainment was also very good.
The bad points: Embarcation in Singapore was chaotic & took 2 hours.
The service was poor particularly in the Lido restaurant which we tended to use most days for breakfast & lunch rather than waste up to 2 hours in the main restaurant; The Lido was more like a mediocre cafeteria with the tables being dirty & having to wait for them to be wiped down. There were rarely any officers around & when there were, they were always busy staring at the computer screen & if you could attract their attention, they did not smile & were not friendly. The Lido closed at 2P.M. prompt & from then, there were only sandwiches available which were made to order by just one member of staff so that when 500 people returned from a ships tour (which were quite often an hour late) at 2.30P.M., there could be 25 people waiting in line for up to an hour. This was pointed out to the officer in charge who said that they were looking at this, as though it was a new occurrence on a 15 year old ship!
The deck chairs are very uncomfortable, dirty, & of the few chairs which had cushions, some were ripped & torn & well past their sell by date which goes for the whole ship which is long overdue for a complete re-fit.
We did not disembark at one port of call as we were informed by the Captain, after waiting an hour for the tender, that this was a new port of call & they had not been informed by the port agent that they could only get one tender through the channel at a time causing considerable delay.
I have to say that in spite of the above problems showing complete disorganisation, we still enjoyed the cruise although Holland America will be at the bottom of the list for a future cruise.