This was our 6th cruise but it was our very first cruise with Holland America Line.
Embarkation was satisfactory. Our luggage was delivered quickly to our cabin.
The ship itself was smaller than the ships we had cruised on before, but it had everything that any other big cruise ships have. There were beautiful fresh arranged flowers almost everywhere around the ship, the arrangements of the flowers were nice and elegant along and how they were decorated throughout the whole ship.
Our cabin was on the verandah suite, the cabin itself was tidy and clean. Fresh flowers and a fruit bowl were present in the cabin. We did utilise the room order service as it was free, and service was very good. A small bottle of body lotion was replaced every other day, and we could not complain about it. The suite was in the forward, beneath the navigation area, but away from common area and in a quiet location.
The crew were very polite and friendly.
Main Dining room - We had an open dining area for the first few nights but one night we like the waiters who served us very well, then we were offered a fixed dining location with the same waiters, and we were very happy since having the same table and same waiters we were accustomed to.
Food in the main dining room was delicious, there were heaps of choices and the service was wonderful. They cooked the most juicy and tasteful beef dishes.
We did order wine during dinner and price was reasonable and as we could not finish our bottle in one night, they kept our unfinished bottle for the subsequent night.
We preferred the buffet for our breakfast and lunch. While other cruise liners hit you with a bill for fresh orange juice, free freshly squeezed orange juices are widely available on Volendam. As for buffet lunch, there were a wide variety of fruits, cherries, blueberries, grapes, mangoes, blackberries, raspberry along with other common fruit like oranges, bananas, melons and apples.
The entertainment on board was sufficient and very professional though the ship could only carry a small number of performers.
The Piano bar was packed every night as Glenn the Piano Man was so good that we spent most of our time listening to all the wonderful music he played and performed.
There were heaps of activities on the ship and the free computer classes was definitely unexpected. Aiden the expert was very experienced and patient to teach us, and we learnt a great deal from using Windows 7 to movie making, etc.
The public rooms were always clean with a very tasteful decoration.
Disembarkation was like a breeze when we docked at Sydney's Overseas Terminal.
Overall, we had a wonderful experience with Holland America Line and we would surely consider this cruise line again for our next cruise.