Volendam for Families
As part of its Signature of Excellence upgrades, Volendam's kids and teens spaces (Deck 9) received major overhauls. Club HAL, which encompasses Kids (ages 3 to 7) and Tweens (ages 8 to 12), offers free daily programming for youngsters in a fun and colorful space that features TV's with plenty of videos and video games. There are also tables and cushy chairs for activities like board games and art projects. Theme nights like Spy Night are hosted, and after-hours fun can be had from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for $5 per child. On port days, the activity schedule is lighter, but kids can have lunch with their friends in the club, and, speaking of lunch, culinary demonstrations for kids are offered on each sailing in the Culinary Arts Center on Deck 4.
Group babysitting is available from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for a fee of $5 per child, per hour. In-cabin baby-sitting is also available through Club HAL on a voluntary basis. (Basically, if nobody wants to volunteer to watch your child in your stateroom -- or if nobody is available -- you're out of luck.) If someone is willing to accommodate your request, rates are $10 per hour for the first child and an extra $7 per hour for each additional child.
Teens (ages 13 to 17) have their own space, called The Loft, which offers a clubby, lounge-like atmosphere with funky padded loungers and couches with geometric patterns. The area has a slightly industrial feel, with lots of silver and copper tones and a full-length mirror next to a small dance floor. TVs with video games are available for teen use, as is The Oasis, an outdoor lounge area on Deck 10 that boasts fake volcanoes and palm trees, as well as loungers and small alcoves with tables and chairs for socializing. This area is accessed from a spiral staircase in The Loft, one deck below.
No official programming is available for children younger than 3, but parents can borrow toys and coloring supplies for use outside of the kids club.
Volendam does not have an arcade onboard, but Ping-Pong tables and a giant chess set are available by the Lido Pool, board games can be borrowed in the Explorations Cafe, and a basketball/volleyball/tennis court is featured on the Sports Deck.
On our recent sailing, which was near the start of the U.S. school year, there were very few children, and we were told that no teens had signed up for the teens club. More children are onboard during summer sailings, however.