By Jana Jones, Cruise Critic contributor
Anyone familiar with the Statendam-class of Holland America ships, which includes Statendam
, will quickly find their way around Volendam. Essentially a stretched-out version of the S-class, the ship has three design changes that distinguish her and her sister Zaandam
: The aft swimming pool was moved from the Navigation Deck up one level to Lido Deck, the specialty restaurant (Pinnacle Grill) was incorporated, and a much-needed mid-ship elevator bank has been added.
When she was launched in 1999, Volendam had the highest passenger capacity in Holland America's fleet. She's nearly 61,000 tons, with a length of 778 feet, and, in a move that seems quaint now, proved her modernity by being the first ship in the fleet to boast a dedicated Internet center (The Website) with eight satellite-connected computer stations.
Drawing on the Colonial past of its Dutch roots, Holland America Line has made it a practice over the years to employ Indonesian crew members, touting their friendliness and efficiency in almost all of its corporate literature. There had been some concern about visa renewals for the Indonesian staff, but those issues seem to have straightened themselves out. Service personnel are primarily Indonesian and Filipino; most officers are European, and most of them are from Holland.
One noticeable distinction of Volendam is the manner in which the staff welcomes and accommodates passengers with physical challenges. Considerate and genuinely caring, crew members assist guests in wheelchairs and those with difficulty walking when required, and there is never a sense of impatience or rushing. There are about 30 wheelchairs on board for guest use.
Volendam Fellow Passengers
It would be difficult to find a more loyal group of individuals in any walk of life than those hearty Mariners, past guests of Holland America Line. Volendam enjoys a particularly high ratio of repeat guests, many of whom have been on board so often they feel quite at home with the staff and crew. Most of the passengers are "of an age," typically above 55, and while most are couples, there are a fair number of friends sharing quarters.
Volendam Dress Code
Daytime dress on the Volendam is always resort-casual. On her Caribbean itineraries during the fall and winter, the Lido breakfast and lunch buffet lines are often filled with people in bathing suit cover-ups or shorts, but such informal wear is never allowed in the main dining room.
Evening dress ranges from casual to informal to formal. This is a traditional cruise ship; there are typically two formal nights on seven-day cruises, three on 10-day cruises. Formal equals dressy-dressy-dressy for women (gowns or cocktail dresses), and for men a tuxedo or suit with tie. Informal nights mean pant suits or dresses for women, jacket for men, tie optional. Casual dress in the evening is country-club casual, women in coordinates or slacks and sweaters, men can wear pullover shirts and khakis.
Holland America Line automatically adds $11.50 per person, per day, to onboard accounts; this is then shared among waiters, stewards and other service personnel. That amount can be adjusted in either direction by visiting the front desk. A 15 percent gratuity is tacked on to bar bills. Note that gratuities are not automatically included on bills for spa treatments.
Our April 15 to May 1 time on the Volendam as we crossed the Pacific Ocean was mixed between positive and negative. Perhaps this is the case with others on the subject cruise, as well as many on other cruises with Holland America, as well as on ...continue
April 2013 the photographers wife
We embarked at Hong Kong.Should have been Ocean Terminal but changed to Modern Terminal,a container port,which incurred a taxi fare of around Â£25.
Checking in was relatively easy and fairly quick.
We had booked a guaranteed o/s large cabin with ...continue
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We enjoyed the trip tremendously and we would be perfectly happy to do it again.
My review will sound more negative than I mean it to be. The cruise was mostly terrific with relatively minor issues that did not affect our experience very ...continue