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4 Transpacific Fitness Cruise Reviews

Just completed the October 2017 Solstice from Hawaii to Sydney. We had a fabulous time. The staff were friendly and the activities team led by Shawna had picked two terrific bands who provided lively dance music to suit lots of different ... Read More
Just completed the October 2017 Solstice from Hawaii to Sydney. We had a fabulous time. The staff were friendly and the activities team led by Shawna had picked two terrific bands who provided lively dance music to suit lots of different age groups at different times of the evening.This meant that our group of party-goers were able to have fun every single night dancing either in the grand foyer, Sky Lounge or the nightclub. The three silent discos were a blast especially the one up the lawn where we danced barefoot! The headphones provided had three choices of types of music to suit most tastes. Food in the buffet and the main dining room was delicious and the service was always attentive. An exercise dance class with Shawna on sea days helped us to keep fit and not put on weight either ( combined with always taking the stairs not the elevator). One suggestion though- please provide more seats around the foyer on all the levels including the bottom one as older people such as my mother cruising with me cannot endlessly stand up to watch the entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The Japan to Vancouver 16 day cruise was our fourth on HAL. Volendam is the smallest of the four ships we have been on, but it has all the characteristics of the larger versions and we felt right at home from the outset. The crew is ... Read More
The Japan to Vancouver 16 day cruise was our fourth on HAL. Volendam is the smallest of the four ships we have been on, but it has all the characteristics of the larger versions and we felt right at home from the outset. The crew is probably the biggest plus - as with all our other HAL experiences, with minor exception, all crew members were friendly, polite and could not have been more helpful. The cruise itself was exactly what we had expected - and with the six sea days it was a relaxing way to recover after two months travelling in SE Asia. While the northern Japan ports were for the most part largely forgettable, the Alaska portion was very memorable. The Ship. The ship is very well laid out, and although small, still has most of the amenities one would expect. However, while some will say the ship is in great shape - it is really not, and the upcoming refurbishment (this fall?) should spruce things up considerably. The crew works very hard to keep it clean, but there are many examples where age is creeping in. The chairs in some of the bars are tattered and ripped in places. Carpets are getting old and worn, The bathroom in our stateroom needs an upgrade. Some of the public rooms need repainting. To name a few. Nothing significant enough to ruin a cruise - but things that do need to be upgraded. Stateroom. We had an inside cabin (older ship - very few balcony cabins put their price at a premium - for this type of cruise inside worked just fine). It was well laid out, lots of space for storing belongings and was very quiet. Bed very comfortable. Dining Room. We tend to eat most of our meals in the MDR but this time for the reasons below we ended up taking many breakfast and lunches elsewhere. All the dinners in the MDR were either very good or excellent. However, breakfasts were - to be blunt - abysmal. Service was exceptionally slow and the impact on temperature was as to be expected - warm to cold. The lunch experience was not a great deal better - slow - cold and often not quite what one had asked for. I have no idea why (maybe two different supervisors) but whatever it was there was a hugely noticeable difference between breakfast/lunch and dinner. Lido. On the whole, quite good once you can get by the herd mentality of buffet dining. The approach of having staff serve (ie no self serve) has certainly slowed things down a great deal - particularly for the popular "cooked to order" stations. But on the whole - the food was warm to hot, relatively fresh, and usually refilled quickly. If a HAL rep reads this - one suggestion for the Lido - why cannot there be a toaster station where people can at least do their own toast? Nothing is more frustrating then getting cooked eggs (or whatever) and then having to find the station where toast is made (it is not the egg station by the way) - and then waiting while one of the staff has to cook the toast (it normally takes three times to get it brown), while serving other customers? There has to be a better way. Pinnacle Grill. A huge disappointment! We have been to the PG twice before and this time we were not impressed with the steaks or the King Crab. In fact, we had steak and crab legs two days later in the MDR and both were superior to what we had had in the PG. Menu could use a change once in while as well. Caneletto (sp?). The Italian extra charge (minimal) was Outstanding - no other way to put it. Signature Drinks Package. We received this as a perk for early booking. On the whole it was fine, although the selection of wines covered by the package available by the glass in the MDR was extremely limited. Not sure why they could not offer a bit better selection there. Also, when we tried to address this by asking if we could upgrade our Signature Package to Premium (at our cost) we were told we could not. I don't really get the "no, we don't want your money" and if you are not happy, too bad", approach. Bar tenders were, without exception, fabulous. Entertainment. The entertainment on this cruise was probably the best on ANY cruise we have been on. Lots of activities programmed each day, including interesting talks, bridge, games, port visit talks (and not endless attempts to sell excursions), movies etc etc. The entertainers ranged from good to outstanding. No complaints here at all. Gym. Good, clean, well laid out with sufficient apparatus. It did get tiresome when working out to have to constantly listen to the gym rats trying to sell the benefits of eating seaweed, cleansing or using specially designed insoles. The promenade deck is outstanding for walking. Dress Code. Ah yes - the dress code. HAL has abandoned formal nights and adopted Gala Nights at about the same frequency of the old formal night. However, the definition what constitutes "Normal" and/or "Gala" dress is not well laid out and subsequently the result is confusion and inconsistency. HAL has to get a grip on how they define gala or they will continue to confuse guests, cause embarrassment and potentially lose business. In summary, this was an enjoyable cruise, good value for money and reflected exactly what we have come to expect from HAL. There were a few areas where our expectations were not met, however this has always been the case regardless of the line we have chosen. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise after seeing an advert in the UK DMail in late 2015 and just fancied the itinerary. I thought, 'looks interesting, like those stop-offs, I wonder if I can get it for less . . .' After some investigation and ... Read More
We chose this cruise after seeing an advert in the UK DMail in late 2015 and just fancied the itinerary. I thought, 'looks interesting, like those stop-offs, I wonder if I can get it for less . . .' After some investigation and maths I found that we could go on the cruise, plus have a few nights in start and finish destinations for the same amount. So we went ahead and booked and so glad we did. It became, honestly, the holiday of a lifetime; 30 days away with the 17 day Pacific cruise as the highlight. Ok, first the best bits: the stateroom accommodation was excellent, better than on previous cruise lines we had used. The crew were extremely friendly and efficient and actually spoke to passengers, started conversations, which was so refreshing. The ships facilities were also very good and finally the food superb. Now for the cons: the drinks were very expensive and even with having a drinks package I felt it difficult to make the most of the outlay (we both needed a rest to our livers when we arrived home!). The Captain, God bless him, was difficult to understand being Greek and although he was undoubtedly a fine sailor, communication and presence was not his strongest virtue, and this applied to some of the officers to. Some people found that having 2 lots of 5 continuous days at sea was too much; maybe a better thought out itinerary with additional stops would have been better. Food, as I said, was very good but not as varied as other lines we have used and, just one complaint, the iced tea was awful! In addition, some shore excursions were poorly managed and not what I had hoped for. Finally, I am by profession a maritime engineer with some 50 years experience and currently have my own ship safety engineering company in the UK; during my trip behind the scenes (additional 99$ cost!) I saw a number of areas which need review from a safety point of view - nothing major I should add, but areas that need tightening up. But saying all that, we met some new friends, most cruisers were very friendly and I would definitely recommend Celebrity and would not hesitate to cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We liked the itinerary, the time of year and the size of the ship. The trip was perfect. There were plenty of sea days to enjoy the daily activities, interesting ports of call and thankfully perfect weather. The onl;y disappointment ... Read More
We liked the itinerary, the time of year and the size of the ship. The trip was perfect. There were plenty of sea days to enjoy the daily activities, interesting ports of call and thankfully perfect weather. The onl;y disappointment was missing Mystery Island because of a lapse in the weather but t his happens, Food was outstanding even though a previous reviewer could not eat between 5pm and 5,30pm!!! Is that a problem? Yes, some of the shore excursions were ridiculously expensive but you could opt out and organise them privately yourselves at a fraction of the cost. The evening entertainment was brilliant with a series of professional individual musicians and the ship's cast with wonderful singers and dancers. THe music every night gave everyone choices between classical, dance , big bands and the popular piano man. TH e Cruise Director was the best we have ever seen on any ship. Her personality and enthusiasm generated an atmosphere of excitement and fun. Her side kick was also outstanding. The daily trivia session was a highlight for those who attended. Our memories centered on the friendliness and competence of the whole crew. Everything worked! It seems to be a feature of Holland America.It encourages us to continue cruising with them after 4 happy cruises. Bring on the next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016

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