I usually read the worst reviews and don't bother with the good ones, that way I know the worst and can be pleasantly surprised. So to keep this short I will not say all the good things of which there are many but will simply set out what HAL can do to improve.
1. Smoking - although cabin smoking will now be banned, there will still be smoking on verandahs (if you are downwind from a chimney of a neighbour you will get secondary smoke and will have to retreat into your cabin).There is still smoking inside the ship in the casino & nearby bar which putrifies the shops and drifts into the nearby Piano Bar. I don't know what law applies on cruise ships but hopefully someone will sue a cruise line and all smoking will then be be kept outside on one side of the ship. How a cruise line can submit its staff to secondary smoke is a mystery and a blot on not only their morality but the occupational health and safety standards they say they observe.
2. Don't buy a cabin on deck 7 on this ship and similar ships in the HAL fleet (where the most expensive cabins are by the way) as most are underneath the Lido deck (deck 8)and the noise from staff and passengers moving deck chairs and tables both early in the morning and late at night is loud. HAL, why don't you treat the floor with deadening material, or put something on the legs of the chairs and tables and tell your staff to lift not drag!!!! And don't hold a late night chocolate extravaganza in that area - change it to the afternoon or your guests on Deck 7 will not get much sleep.
3. You can alter the temperature of the air-con but you can't switch it off, therefore your eyes will dry out and as the vent can be located above the bed you will have the air on your face at night and may have to hide under the covers.
4. More musical entertainment before 5pm please.
If you have come this far in this review and you are not put off by the above then go on the Volendam as the ship is great, the staff first class, the food good, the new captain great and if you want to go casual the whole cruise, not dress up and eat in the Lido semi-buffet instead of the dining room you wont be thrown into the brig.