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  4. 16 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

16 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from Fort Lauderdale

16 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    St. John (U.S.V.I.)
  • Day 5
    St. Maarten
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Barbados
  • Day 8
    Scarborough
  • Day 9
    Port of Spain (Trinidad)
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    Curacao
  • Day 12
    Aruba
  • Day 13
    Cruising
  • Day 14
    Ocho Rios
  • Day 15
    Grand Cayman (Georgetown)
  • Day 16
    Cruising
  • Day 17
    Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

Volendam

Volendam - Holland America Line

Pros

Incredibly polished service from friendly, well-trained crew

Cons

Does show its age in several areas throughout the ship

Bottom Line

Nice variety of activities, amenities and enrichment on a manageable midsize vessel


Cruise Reviews

Embarkation day was great, lines were very short and moved quickly, check-in was fast,and they started letting us on the ship at 11:30. And we went right to deck 8 to get something to eat. Our cabin was on deck 3 it was an totally ... Read More
Embarkation day was great, lines were very short and moved quickly, check-in was fast,and they started letting us on the ship at 11:30. And we went right to deck 8 to get something to eat. Our cabin was on deck 3 it was an totally obstructed ocean view..it was fine, we had no idea that Volendam just came out of dry dock 2 weeks prior, and the ship looked great! Our bathroom was all re-done, new shower, flooring, sink etc...Well done, I think our mattress was new too, so comfortable. Our room steward “Diki” did an awesome job & was always offering to do more. The dinning room food was delicious and service was spot on, the buffet had many food choices some of which I didn’t get to try because I was so full. The casino was on the small side and I found the machines to be too tight, however I was pleasantly surprised to see that the entire casino was “no smoking” , that is the first ship I have ever been on with a smoke free casino. Volendam looks great with her new updates; good job Holland America, I would definitely sail on The Volendam again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My daughter and I booked this cruise wanting some sun and fun and a vacation over a week long. This was great. We know HAL well and her pace suits our needs. We LOVE food, being waited on, quiet time, and a little entertainment. We ... Read More
My daughter and I booked this cruise wanting some sun and fun and a vacation over a week long. This was great. We know HAL well and her pace suits our needs. We LOVE food, being waited on, quiet time, and a little entertainment. We don't care about lot of drinking and don't want to be onboard with a bunch of screaming kids or drunks. So that did eliminate some cruise lines for us. This was a great value for the money and we got a last minute balcony upgrade which was super. The ship is small and we wanted that specifically. She had been dry docked as she is 20 years old and showing a bit of wear. Our cabin was super and perfect, but a few did have hot water or a/c issues. This was a lot of older people and there was a lot of cranky complaining.....hurt them more than me, but let's get real people. Food was excellent; Canaletto outshined Pinnacle Grill which was surprising. Main dining was good - a couple nights slow and meals were weren't thrilled with, but all in all above average. Excursions were fun and priced well. Service, as always, is top notch....though I was shocked there wasn't more pushing of antibacterial hand washing; usually a huge focus of HAL. We took elderberry in large quantities to avoid any illness, but there were a few sick people (handwashing, handwashing, handwashing - and don't touch the surfaces!) Entertainment in the tertiary facilities was really amazing; Lincoln Center Stage had unbelievable talent. World Stage was sub par and seems to be an area HAL has decided to abandon. The crew is the shining pride of HAL and did not disappoint. The only exception here was that the entertainment crew is given a lot of freedom of facility (unlike the hard working service staff who may not fraternize). They ran around the ship a bit out of control and I've never seen HAL permit that before. Usually they can roam public areas and eat at Lido, but not make a spectacle of themselves. Here they did and I must say it made me a bit sad to see this lax. All in all I'd go again and consider it a fabulous vacation, but I do worry for HAL that the slight lapses in loosey goosey operations are just a fluke and not a new trend. I'm stiil a fan and huge recommender of HAL for those who want service, food, and quiet. If you want an amusement park - you won't want HAL. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
You may wonder why I only gave this a 4 star review, when for all the sub-items below I have rated them as 5 stars. The answer is because the ship had just come out of a two week dry dock, and as a result, many cabins, and some hallways ... Read More
You may wonder why I only gave this a 4 star review, when for all the sub-items below I have rated them as 5 stars. The answer is because the ship had just come out of a two week dry dock, and as a result, many cabins, and some hallways had been flooded, and had no hot water or HVAC. One is always warned never to take the first cruise after a refit, and fortunately, I was not significantly inconvenienced, suffering just 3 days without hot water,(and in the Caribbean, that is not really an issue). However, what was of concern was the lines of 40+ people every day for three days at the front desk trying to get new cabins, and the complete indifference of the staff, and captain, to their plight. I am a management consultant, and while every customer expects everything to be perfect, sometimes things go wrong. When this happens, the company should acknowledge their mistake and try to make amends (although a number of customers will never be satisfied). In the case of the burst water pipes, the captain should have had all of his engineering staff working flat out to fix them, instead of just putting buckets out to catch the water, and should have put all of his administrative staff on front desk duties to relieve the load on the three regular staff. He should have instructed those staff to acknowledge that there was an issue rather than trying to minimize it, and given out free drink vouchers to affected passengers. An announcement of apologies might have helped as well. His failure to do this led a very large number of passengers to swear that they will never take a HAL cruise again, which is a shame, because where the ship was ship shape, it was sparkling. The food was excellent. The Lido restaurant has been improved so much in terms of service level and food choice that I ate every breakfast there. Lincoln Center Stage provides erudite performances for those who want "a cut above" in terms of entertainment, but the enlarged piano bar is also obviously a huge success as it was full to overflowing every night. Long time cruisers please note: Main Stage entertainment times have now been brought forward half an hour, to 1930 and 2130, so that it is difficult to attend the second performance if you are on the late Fixed Seating. As a result, I moved to "As You Wish" so that I could attend the performances. This years "cost cutting miserlyness" has been the removal of all small flower decorations from dining tables, and most large ones from the public areas of the ship. As a result, it looks somewhat spartan and minimalist, and I wonder how many hundreds of thousands they paid some nit-picker at head office to do away with something which added class and panache. Such nit-picker can probably tell management how many thousand dollars will be saved by not providing flowers, but what he can't ascertain is how many sailings will NOT be booked by customers who see this as a downgrade of their overall experience and will transfer their loyalty to Oceania instead. Embarkation was efficient, although the "VIP Lounge" was just a separate seating area - no snacks or coffee - very disappointing. Debarkation was the most efficient I have ever encountered. 45 minutes from leaving the ship to being at my departure gate at FLL! BTW, do NOT use taxis from the port. I learned from my last cruise that they are corrupt and take you two miles north before doubling back, and thus charging $20+ for a 20 minute ride. The taxi commissioner does not care. So use shared vans or Uber as they take you the direct way, 4.1 miles for $11 in 7 minutes. Finally, this itinerary was fantastic for me, as a diver and snorkeler. There were options to do this on almost all the islands. I will be taking this itinerary again, as I enjoyed it so much. And I will take Volendam again as the cabin and dining stewards were so exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
View All Holland America Volendam Reviews
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