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Volendam Cruise Review by Ian Stewart: North to Alaska

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Ian Stewart
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North to Alaska

Sail Date: July 2011
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Vancouver

Unfortunately, because we did not hold either a USA or a Canadian passport we were segregated at Canada Quay Vancouver and had to stand aside while the fortunate others got priority. NOT welcoming.

The Volendam was not plush by modern standards but acceptable.

Our outside stateroom was on the main deck but only two cabins from the stern. It both vibrated and was noisy when the ship was moving at any speed. Holland America know this full well. Good accommodation for clothes.

Staff were helpful and pleasant.

We had open-dining in the Rotterdam restaurant. Food was better than on The Queen Mary 11. Met many interesting people by opting to share a table. One disappointment was an opinionated Toronto Canadian "lady" travel agent who was sharing her free "taster" trip with her poor father. He was her father but that was his only fault.

Theatre entertainment is repetitive, somewhat unimaginative and uninspiring.

If you buy a watch from More the travelling vendors' stalls on-board make sure that if it has a main face supplemented by two other dials that there are three adjustment winders as the Chinese ones that we bought were a total con -- bad news, bad CR, Holland America!!

We enjoyed better than average weather. The Skagway railway was excellent but VERY expensive. Nothing much to do in the ports if the weather is bad [ Ketchican boasts that it is wet 359/365 days per annum.]

Sailing during the night limits your enjoyment of the scenery.

The ports are hill-billy in many respects and several fellow guests had their Credit Cards cloned when they bought jewellery and other goods at ports.

Each port has the same retail outlets, at the same prices. becomes tedious.

Enjoyed the Fiords and Glacier scenery.

Saw whales, Orka, porpoises, sea-birds, calving glaciers and amateur sailors who had a definite death-wish when ignoring the fog horn warning of their lack of sailing skills.

Enjoyed holiday/vacation but Inside Passage is not a repeat venue. Less

Published 09/26/11

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Main deck stateroom 2698 at the port/aft end with no cabins below or above us meant that it vibrated noticeably and and we also suffered the noise of the propellers when Well maintained by stewards.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Tourist Trap offering mostly jewellery and First Nation artifacts at common/fixed prices.

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Tourist Trap offering mostly jewellery and First Nation artifacts at common/fixed prices.

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Tourist Trap offering mostly jewellery and First Nation artifacts at common/fixed prices. More cultural/historical interest than in either Juneau or Ketchikan.

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Ian Stewart
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