The Statendam-class use of large deluxe suites and veranda suites proved so popular that the Volendam added more. Moving the aft pool to the Lido Deck freed up space on Navigator Deck for additional veranda suites. Hint: The competitive pricing and elegance of these accommodations ensure that they are the first to sell out on almost any voyage.
Deluxe suites offer 563 square feet -- including what could reasonably be called a "terrace," large enough for a couple of loungers and a dining table for four. A marble entry foyer, curved seating area, separate dressing room and full bath with whirlpool tub provide a luxurious ambiance in which to enjoy the cruise experience. More utilitarian are the 284 square foot veranda suites, with a smaller but comfortable veranda, separate seating area and small whirlpool tub in the bath. All suites include a combination TV/VCR, refrigerator, complimentary hors d'oeuvres, down duvets, 250-count cotton sheets, bathrobes, and personalized stationery. This ship also includes a single penthouse "apartment," at 1141 square feet, with a dining area for eight, a pantry complete with microwave, an enormous veranda, and a powder room. A "concierge club," The Neptune Lounge, is available for guests in deluxe and penthouse suites.
The 384 standard outside cabins still boast the 197 square feet of the S-Class ships, but these don't feel quite as spacious. The addition of a large floor-to-ceiling cupboard and a slight expansion of the bathroom pushes the desk and sitting area further into the room (and leaves less floor space while increasing functionality). The storage space is sufficient for two or more people for several weeks of travel, with a combination of closets, shelves, drawers, cabinets and desk space. I was traveling alone but, typically, over-packed for my 10-day cruise, and still managed to use only one quarter of the available closets and drawers.
In most outsides, the television is wall mounted, freeing the desktop. For some reason it has been placed nearly to the ceiling, which requires a very uncomfortable chin-up, head-tipped-back viewing position from the sofa located a scant few feet away. Watching television from bed is the only way to avoid neck pain.
Holland America distinguishes itself in the premium cruise category by providing one of the nicest standard bathrooms afloat, with plenty of space and a small but deep bathtub in even the lowest category outside cabins. A new line of yummy soaps, lotion and conditioning shampoo (called "Royal Dutch") is presented in large bottles and bars. There is a new salon-style hairdryer, a magnifying make-up mirror and a multi-spray showerhead, which can be used as a hand-held or overhead. The tub enclosure has several well-placed grab bars.
Caveat One: The water pressure is fine, but during a three-minute shower, the temperature varied between scalding and frigid. Be careful; the scalding range can really burn.
Caveat Two: The tub/shower combinations are very difficult to get into (and out of) for those who have hip, knee or joint problems, but the ship has a total of 23 cabins designed for physically challenged passengers, 13 of which are outside, with walk-in showers.
Inside cabins are slightly smaller, averaging 182 square feet, and have showers only. Smaller too are the 113 outside staterooms on the Lower Promenade Deck, a favorite of many repeat guests because of the easy access to the wide teak promenade that circles the ship. (Some of these outsides have fully obstructed views.) Guests on this level can step out onto what is arguably the largest "veranda" on the Volendam (albeit not private), complete with teak loungers evoking an era of true ocean liners. The wide overhang makes the cabins very dark, and although the windows are covered with a one-way film, prying eyes can still see inside when the lights are on. Unless one is an incurable exhibitionist, keeping the curtains closed whenever the inside is illuminated is requisite.
The uses of pale burled-birch Formica, pale peach-colored walls and the peach and gold colors of the soft goods make the rooms seem light and airy. While clean, the spreads, curtains and upholstery are showing signs of wear, but the brand new Euro-style mattresses make up for it. As part of Holland America Line's Signature of Excellence initiative, the ice buckets have been upgraded from the uber-tacky brown plastic to sleek and trendy polished steel, a new steel wire-mesh fruit basket has been added, triple-sheeting adorns the beds with high-quality linens. Fluffy Egyptian cotton towels have replaced the well worn but serviceable older ones, and, once the purview of suites only, all rooms now have bathrobes.
Hint 1: If you want a longer sofa rather than a small settee, book a stateroom designated as a "triple." You give up the largely unnecessary cabinet at the end of the settee in double rooms -- but the trade off is worth it.
Hint 2: Some of the Lower Promenade cabins that are listed as "fully obstructed" really aren't; they are "partially" blocked by the outside bulkheads around the promenade, and from a few, you still have a limited ocean view. They are priced comparably to an inside and can be a fantastic bargain, especially the ones at the aft of the ship.
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 other lines.
Our cabin was perfectly located. I chose better than I knew. Close to the elevator, but not too close. Laundry down the hall on our side. But the best part? At Skagway and Ketchikan all we had to do to exit the ship was go to the stairs and turn right or left. And at...continue
Good location on the ship, midship, mid deck.Very little movement felt.Cabin good size with ample wardrobe space.Tub as well as shower.Queen sized comfortable bed.Dressing table and sofa in cabin....continue