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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the 2 day stop in Shanghai and Beijing and ending in Japan. This was our first time cruising on HAL. It was just the 2 of us cruising and we stayed in a balcony cabin, which was very nice. We arrived at ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the 2 day stop in Shanghai and Beijing and ending in Japan. This was our first time cruising on HAL. It was just the 2 of us cruising and we stayed in a balcony cabin, which was very nice. We arrived at embarkation to find out we needed copies of our Passports and Visas on separate sheets of paper. We waiting in a line for 15 minutes + to have this done. If we knew prior to arriving, everyone would have these copies available. There were numerous agents to check us in and was quick. Unlike other cruise lines we've been on, the ship does not have a bright center atrium. It's quite small and dark. The ship as a whole in the interior is dark, the evening entertainment is just so-so, MANY people walk around with their bathrobes on visiting the pool/spa/buffet which we found strange and their were limited activities on sea days, All our tours were private with 8 people so can't comment on the ship's tours. We did attend several information sessions about ports, culture and various topics and found them well done and interesting. The service and food options in the Lido Marketplace, buffet, was very good. We ate our meals here for the variety and did not participate in the formal nights. We met friendly people since most times you share a table in the Lido Marketplace. For the first time ever, we took our luggage off by ourselves since we had reserved tickets for the bullet train. This worked well since we each only had 1 suitcase. Depending on the ports/cost, we would consider going again on HAL. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We had AFT suite which had the perfect outlook as a panoramic view including the side. Vibration can take a little getting used to during the night but this only occurred when we were making up time or docking. Steward service was hit ... Read More
We had AFT suite which had the perfect outlook as a panoramic view including the side. Vibration can take a little getting used to during the night but this only occurred when we were making up time or docking. Steward service was hit and miss for a suite as we were surrounded by non suite staterooms and the allocation to each steward would be higher. Rarely did we see a child(I think there were 2 on board), most passengers were American Australian UK then South African average age 65. Loved the free laundry and staff in Neptune lounge were fantastic. Shows were nothing like the big ships so were a bit hit and miss. Pinnacle restaurant was great especially their degustation but MDR food was also great and service perfect. Always hard to compare different ships particularly of different size. Suite benefits vary dramatically in different cruise lines so check what suites you. As a 1900 passenger ship it is less crowded with fast elevators less queuing but the trade off is less shops and activities and shows of a lower standard. Tours in china and Japan were poor value with communication issues with the guides but they were well organised. Internet even on the premium package was hit and miss. Would definitely recommend this ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
First cruise with HAL after 3 RCCL we were wanting : 1. Fewer to no kids - more than we expected 2. Better service- good but no better than RCCL 3. Iternerary south east Asia - Awsome 4. Dinner guests - the best company ... Read More
First cruise with HAL after 3 RCCL we were wanting : 1. Fewer to no kids - more than we expected 2. Better service- good but no better than RCCL 3. Iternerary south east Asia - Awsome 4. Dinner guests - the best company ever. 5. Decor - a bit outdated in places but others were good like the exploration cafe the old crows nest. 6. Entertainment- average compared to RCCL but enjoyed BB. Kings 7.. Room attendants were attentive with the usual towel animals and lots of smiles but finding black hairs in the bath on arrival. 8. Food in main dinning was ok each night but the wording on the menu was not very clear. Some nights there was lots of differing flavours in each dish but the actual taste was a lttle bland. Many dishes could have been warmer. 9. Efforts for Christmas and new year were a little under whelming with no wow factor it was all ok but seems things had been tempered back compared to previous years after talking to regular cruisers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We had travelled as a family with HAL on 4 previous occasions. Always loving it however HAL lost some of their shine for us with this cruise. There appear to have been service / facility reductions compared to previous cruises. I am not ... Read More
We had travelled as a family with HAL on 4 previous occasions. Always loving it however HAL lost some of their shine for us with this cruise. There appear to have been service / facility reductions compared to previous cruises. I am not sure if this is peculiar to the Westerdam or a trend for HAL. 1) No self service laundry any more - only valet service. 2) No separate disco anymore; has been converted into a games / TV area. 3) New Years Eve celebrations had been confined to Lido instead of multiple options across the ship. 4) The number of hand sanitizers around the ship were far fewer. 5) No prizes anymore for daily activities. 6) Trivia and happy hour no longer located on Observation Deck. No reason to go there any more. 7) Entertainers had far less interaction with the guests than previous cruises. I still rated the service aspect very highly for our cabin staff and waiters in the Main Dining Room. The food was excellent too. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient. The Visa costs for Vietnam and Cambodia added a lot to the cost of our trip. This was handled well by HAL but guests need to be aware of these charges before booking the cruise. On previous HAL cruises we have felt like Royalty. On this one, we felt like a number. I hope these reductions are only on the Westerdam but I fear it might be across the fleet? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
First time visiting Asia. This itinerary covered the most countries of all we reviewed. Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore. Nice combination of port and sea days. Love being able to visit many countries and unpack only ... Read More
First time visiting Asia. This itinerary covered the most countries of all we reviewed. Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore. Nice combination of port and sea days. Love being able to visit many countries and unpack only once. Ship only held 1900 passengers so it was a nice size. Sit down dinner in the evening with good high quality food. Open seating allowed us to eat when we wanted and share a table by ourselves or with others. Sea days with many options of education (history, cooking, Microsoft) play ( Bingo, bridge) or entertainment. Enjoyed tour of kitchens and backstage. Ship decor basic but Classy. Multiple pieces IG artwork throughout the cruise. Love the bathtub in the room. Friendly crew who learned what we liked. And made things special. Ship excursions expensive but able to find reasonable yet great private tours. Did take ship overnight to Bangkok tour and it was totally worth it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
4 of us took a family trip on the Westerdam from Hong Kong to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Singapore. Excellent value for money -- the food and service was great and we enjoyed all the ports. There was a good mix of people on the ... Read More
4 of us took a family trip on the Westerdam from Hong Kong to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Singapore. Excellent value for money -- the food and service was great and we enjoyed all the ports. There was a good mix of people on the cruise and it was a nice change to experience Christmas and New Years on a ship. Our rooms were between mid-ship and aft on deck 4, and we didn't have any issues at all. On shorter port days we took some of the excursions organized by Holland America, which worked out well. And on the overnight stay in Laem Chabang we organized a round-trip taxi at the cruise terminal and stayed the night in Bangkok. For many of the ports, you can find reasonable taxis and tours when you get off the ship, if you're willing and able to negotiate. Looking forward to another cruise with Holland America! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted an Asian experience and it fitted the dates we could travel. Overall the ship is tired, but in saying that it is clean and well presented. Before we booked I read that the ship had had a make over ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted an Asian experience and it fitted the dates we could travel. Overall the ship is tired, but in saying that it is clean and well presented. Before we booked I read that the ship had had a make over recently. This is not true. Only one place had been done up and that is what used to be the Crows Nest Bar. It is now a coffee lounge and the EXC tours are run from there. According to the crew (spoke to many) it used to be the best place on the ship. Its now just a boring coffee lounge. The whole ship is badly designed from other cruise ships we have been on. There is lots of wasted space, and the ship is a rabbit warren. It took us until day three to work out our way to navigate around the ship (usually only takes a couple of hours). The Food was really really bad. The Lido was badly organized and unless you walked in there at opening, it really did just look like a pig trough. We had open seating in the dining room, but never got a chance to use it. The reason for this, is that every time we went down to the dining room, there was over an hour wait for a table, so in the end we just gave up and went back to the pig trough. We are fully aware that this was an Asian cruise, but we were not expecting the amount of Chinese that there were to be on board. The ships holds approx 1900 passengers. 1400 were Chinese. HAL is traditionally a cruise line that supports the western market so it was a shock. The cultural divide was immense. Even the crew really really struggled with it. The Chinese don't drink alcohol, so the bars were always empty. So there was no atmosphere at all. The Chinese didn't understand the traditional activities and entertainment on board provided by HAL, so didn't go or would walk out half way through a performance spoiling the show. Also the Chinese do not believe in queues or lining up. It was just barge on through. Probably why the Lido looked like a pig trough most the time. It was also a nightmare getting off the ship. Once again the Chinese would just barge on through. There is a huge cultural divide there. HAL has every right as a company to target the Chinese market, but they should not do it at the expense of their traditional market. The first 4 ports we went to were great, Japan and Taiwan, but Manila was a hell hole. I really cant understand why any cruise ship company would want to go there. On the tour we did, it took us 2 1/2 hours to travel 8 miles through the traffic. There was no toilet on the bus and my partner was seriously considering using a bottle at the back of the bus. The only major positive from the ship was our state room. Though dated, it was comfortable and had all the facilities we needed with our state room attendants being fantastic. Maybe on a different cruise it would have been better, but I do not think I will sail again on HAL in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We are a family of five with three young people aged 19, 17 and 16 and chose this cruise to celebrate our son's completion of high school. He wanted to visit Hong Kong and go on a cruise from Hong Kong. We spent 6 days in Hong Kong ... Read More
We are a family of five with three young people aged 19, 17 and 16 and chose this cruise to celebrate our son's completion of high school. He wanted to visit Hong Kong and go on a cruise from Hong Kong. We spent 6 days in Hong Kong prior to boarding the ship. This was a good amount of time to explore Hong Kong. Embarkation was smooth although the customs process onboard, before leaving port was slow and tedious. Our passports were retained by cruise staff at this time. We received a receipt and a photocopy of the passport was provided for each visited country which was something I hadn't experienced before. Passports were returned prior to disembarking the ship back in Hong Kong. The cruise took us to two ports in Japan, Naha and Ishigaki, two ports in Taiwan, Keelung (Taipei) and Kaohsiung, and Manila, Philippines before returning to Hong Kong, total of 10 nights. The balance of cruise days, 4 and ports, 5 was good. There was plenty to do in each port. Our cabins were excellent, the food terrific and provided entertainment fabulous. The only negative was that our 19 year old son's drink package was not honoured. This was despite prior written confirmation. He was not impressed! Otherwise everything went well and we would definitely travel on Holland America again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Being no stranger to Cruising I booked this cruise as a special birthday treat. Flew all the way from Scotland to Hong Kong to board the ship. Ship itself was good . Stateroom was well kept and the facilities onboard were good. Staff ... Read More
Being no stranger to Cruising I booked this cruise as a special birthday treat. Flew all the way from Scotland to Hong Kong to board the ship. Ship itself was good . Stateroom was well kept and the facilities onboard were good. Staff were wonderful in every department. I enjoyed the entertainment although most of the passengers I spoke to thought it was not up to standard. I think this was mainly due to the age difference as I was certainly one of the younger passengers. My only gripe is the Lido deck and the self service restaurant. I say self service but we were asked to point out which foods we would like and it was plated by a member of staff. This meant standing in queues and being painfully aware that on seeing a dish which I didn't know, I wouldn't ask about it as it would hold up the service. The result was that I missed out on a variety of dishes as I always felt rushed to choose. It also meant that at breakfast times the crew were under pressure to supply eggs and half the time they were undercooked and the rest of the food was already plated and by the time the eggs were added the meal was lukewarm. On the other hand breakfast in the main dining room service was very slow. As food is a huge part of any cruise I was left underwhelmed. Such a pity as it was a wonderful cruise otherwise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Previously cruised the Med on New Amsterdam and had a great cruise. Sadly this did not meet our expectations. We spent 2 days in Hong Kong before sailing as my husband wanted to sail around Hong Kong harbour on a Star ferry. ... Read More
Previously cruised the Med on New Amsterdam and had a great cruise. Sadly this did not meet our expectations. We spent 2 days in Hong Kong before sailing as my husband wanted to sail around Hong Kong harbour on a Star ferry. Embarkation was very smooth and quick though we weren't asked to fill in a health questionnaire which was unusual. The hygiene on board left a lot to be desired. We have been on many cruises with different cruise lines. This is the only one where passengers were able to enter the dining areas and return on board without sanitising their hands. I mentioned this to the nurse who said they would increase sanitation if there was an outbreak! Entertainment in the theatre was very poor. We left and didn't return when a pianist, supposedly having played on Broadway, started playing 'Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head' on a ukulele and singing out of tune! The Port talks were excellent and it was good to be able to go to deck 10 for more 1st hand info. Our restaurant waiter was not the happiest person and on a couple of occasions quite rude. He quickly took plates away and brought the next course before everyone on the table had finished. I pointed this out which he did not like. The food was average. Lido food was ok but a bit repetitive. A disappointment after the New Amsterdam 3 yrs ago. Despite booking a disabled cabin and giving all details to HAL stating that my husband was a full time wheelchair user, unable to walk, not 1 port had accessible transport or shuttle and many no taxis available. He travelled to Asia for the 1st time on a special holiday and couldn't go on any tours. He should have been told this when he booked. The ship was so quiet in the evening. After dinner, unless you went to the Blues Band (limited wheelchair space) or pianists which were next to the noisy casino, it was like the Marie Celeste. Sadly I don't think we will cruise with Holland America again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We initially chose Holland America's 15-Day Far East Discovery because of the itinerary and dates. Having sailed primarily on Princess and Carnival many times, we were able to compare cruise lines. We actually loved Holland America. ... Read More
We initially chose Holland America's 15-Day Far East Discovery because of the itinerary and dates. Having sailed primarily on Princess and Carnival many times, we were able to compare cruise lines. We actually loved Holland America. We flew into Hong Kong four days earlier and stayed in Singapore two days after our cruise. We probably should have extended our stay in Singapore by one or two days because there was so much to see and do. The Ship: The Westerdam is much smaller than other Princess and Carnival ships, but the cabins tend to be larger with a sofa in our ocean view room and sensor floor night lighting for late at night if and when you must get up. The whole atmosphere is one of relaxation. Being a smaller ship means fewer passengers (1,850) which also means that you tend to meet the same people quite often on the ship and on excursions. So there is much more in terms of quality and quantity of personal interactions. And there are almost no children (I counted three!), which helps with the relaxation. You won't find loud music playing on the Lido Deck by the pool areas. There are no crowds on board. It's relaxing. Additionally, the Internet is 100% better than what we have found on other cruise ships. For $170.00 for 15 days, we had Internet 24/7 on board with no limitation to minutes used. It was quick and effective 95 percent of the time. And there were real interesting hour long talks on each country where we stopped and another on the history, geography and culture. If you wanted to know about a particular city that you were going to visit, the knowledgeable staff on Deck #10 give you detailed info on each city to help you explore with the organized tours or on your own. The food and entertainment were perhaps less exciting and scrumptious than on Princess, but it was fine. And the gym was not as modern as other ships I have seen, but it was a gym. They don't have a laundry room on board, but they do have laundry service for $30.00 USD per rather large bag of whatever clothing you can fit in the bag. You are served at the informal buffet style dining area for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There's no scooping up oatmeal by yourself. The HAL shore excursions were O.K., but I would avoid the ones that transport you 3 - 3 1/2 hours one way like the 3 hour ride to Ayuthaya, an ancient capital in Thailand where we saw a replica of Angkor Wat. It was too long for the short visits to each site and definitely not worth it.We got back to the ship around 10:30 pm! We chose to go with another tour company for our Halong Bay cruise. It worked out well, but my guess is that Holland America's excursion might have been more convenient and just as enjoyable. Of course, the staff's professionalism is what I would expect on any cruise ship. The dueling piano musicians were awesome! The captain was one of the best in that he was personable, likable, transparent, decisive and prepared. He kept us safe and went out of his way to make our cruise even more enjoyable, especially in our over night stay and morning sunrise in Halong Bay. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and everyone was pleasant. We did notice that for some reason, many of the public areas were very cold to the extent that we avoided them. There were two pools, one that had a retractable roof top. The pools were never crowded because there were only 1,850 passengers on board. Finally, I should mention that because we traveled through so many visa requiring countries, HAL made it so much easier by helping us with immigration forms and having the individual customs officers on board to facilitate and expedite our entrance to their countries. HAL was really organized on that. The HAL excursion process, especially during tender egress was less smooth than expected because everyone meets in the same MainStage area for their excursion tickets. All in all, we really enjoyed a different and more relaxing cruise on Holland America. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
The Volendam had recently refurbished their bathrooms and public areas but unfortunately did not refurbish their cabins which were very tired indeed. Great storage though in Cabin. The ship was continually cold onboard and we were given a ... Read More
The Volendam had recently refurbished their bathrooms and public areas but unfortunately did not refurbish their cabins which were very tired indeed. Great storage though in Cabin. The ship was continually cold onboard and we were given a variety of reasons why the air conditioning continued to blast out cold air yet I have seen other reviews about HAL complaining about the cold onboard their ships. Many passengers continually wore coats throughout the ship, some even had blankets with them in the dining room. Two of our companions left the ship with chest infections. Entertainment day and evening was very poor with very few activities to choose from. At age 60 plus I felt like youngster on board with the averse age of guest being about 80 years old. For whatever reason the ship was deserted at 10 pm every evening! Staff were generally very helpful except when we complained about the cold. They continually repeated that they take all complaints seriously but couldn’t explain why the air conditioning was always blowing out very cold air. If I were to speculate why I would suggest they are trying to ensure germs cannot breed. They should have followed this up though with staff encouraging passengers to wash their hands as they entered the dining areas as I have experienced with other shipping lines. The hands cleansing machines were at every entrance but unfortunately not all passengers used them. I will definitely never sail with HAL again! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I loved the itinerary of my cruise on the Volendam. I sailed from Singapore to Shanghai and discovered many unknown ports and countries. As far as the itinerary was concerned the trip exceeded expectations. As usual the crew from ... Read More
I loved the itinerary of my cruise on the Volendam. I sailed from Singapore to Shanghai and discovered many unknown ports and countries. As far as the itinerary was concerned the trip exceeded expectations. As usual the crew from Holland Amerika was great as well. However there are some improvements that could be made. Especially during the second leg of the trip, from Hong Kong to Shanghai, the customs forms were rarely delivered to my room. I had to make sure that I read the daily programm to be sure I would not miss out on something last minute. I know customs are very demanding in this part of the world but if you say you will deliver forms to people's staterooms you should do it. It went wrong at least three times in my case. I was also annoyed by the fact that the laundry I sent out came back with the same stains I had sent it in for. This is the problem if you cannot do laundry by yourself. I would have treated the stains before putting things in the machine, they obviously don't. Last but not least, the menu was quite often the same or maybe I should say that I saw the same dishes come back over and over again. There was less variation then I am used to from other cruises. HAL also seems to cut on things like a pen, a note pad and a picture of the ship in your room. The in-room breakfast also offered less choice than I had on other HAL ships. Maybe this comes because this is a smaller ship, maybe it is a budget cut. On the bright side though were the new bathrooms, I loved the walk in shower. What a great improvement. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We did choose this cruise for the ports of call selection (Hong Kong, Halong Bay, Da Nang - for Hue, Nha Trang, Phu My - for Saigon, Shianokville - for the beaches, Laem Chabang - for Bankok, Ko Samui - for temples and the beaches and ... Read More
We did choose this cruise for the ports of call selection (Hong Kong, Halong Bay, Da Nang - for Hue, Nha Trang, Phu My - for Saigon, Shianokville - for the beaches, Laem Chabang - for Bankok, Ko Samui - for temples and the beaches and Singapore. Overall, not too many days "at the sea" and nice ports of call selections. Good start and end ports (where you can come in earlier or stay more at the end - like three days for each) to you can better see and experience both Hong Kong and Singapore. The ship is not in a good shape anymore. The food is about average (the same food choice over and over again, day after day). The Lido on this ship closes at 8 pm (not at 9 pm as on other Holland America ships). The late dining takes way too long (one hour is the minimum - going up to 1.5 or 2 hrs) as they did cut on cooks and waiters as well - so be prepared to wait for your food if you want each night dining experience. We skipped the dining experience for the last couple of days as it was too long for getting the food. As usual, shore excursions as overpriced, but if you do your homework in advance - you can get at least 1/2 price if not even better. These are interesting ports of call - so the cruise is worth although it has all these issues (mentioned above). The late night entertainment was sub par (only 3 good shows in 14 days). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
3 star Mariners and prefer HAL to cruise due to service and food. We like how the staff is treated. If you are looking for good entertainment than you need to look elsewhere. This was our first time in this area of the world. This was also ... Read More
3 star Mariners and prefer HAL to cruise due to service and food. We like how the staff is treated. If you are looking for good entertainment than you need to look elsewhere. This was our first time in this area of the world. This was also part of an around the world trip for my husband and I - mostly on our own. We flew into Hong Kong and spent 3 nights in the city. The day of embarkation we took a taxi from our location to the pier which is easy to get to by taxi. Check in ran relatively smoothly except the person helping us didn't seem to know what she was doing. Others didn't have any issues. The wait room was very large and comfortable. Disembarking went extremely well and very organized. Holland America line is an excellent line for cruising. Food is always excellent and service is superb. This particular cruise was just ok as far as the port of calls. If you want to see this area and like cruising then it is easy to do. Lots of different options and cultural things to do on the excursions. Our favorite was Halong Bay. Beautiful location. We chose to do Bangkok on our own and had no problem. Arriving in Singapore we choose to be picked up by our hotel which was easy. Singapore was another favorite stop. Extremely beautiful city and very easy to get around on the MTR. However, we would probably not do this particular section of the world again. Our preference appears to be more European locations for the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was my first time on the Volendam, but not my last. The captain skillfully maneuvered this medium size cruise ship through high waves at the port of Nha Trang, Vietnam, and kept all the guests well informed. This my first HAL cruise ... Read More
This was my first time on the Volendam, but not my last. The captain skillfully maneuvered this medium size cruise ship through high waves at the port of Nha Trang, Vietnam, and kept all the guests well informed. This my first HAL cruise with in depth cultural sessions, such as feng shui, temple etiquette, or coffee culture, in addition to the regular tips for touring various ports. One minor quibble is that only maps of some ports/cities were readily available at the front desk. Major disappointment was the wait to disembark in Singapore due to long lines at immigration/customs. Although customs at Changi Airport experienced over the last 20 years is efficient, this disembarkation wasn't. However, the cruise itself was outstanding with a good food (loved the tropical fruits at the Lido Market daily -- guava, lychee, mango), flawless dinner service, and a variety of entertainment choices. Our compact cabin on the walking deck was comfortable and cozy with our own added décor; the steward furnished a vase for flowers acquired and used a bed runner also purchased in Vietnam. I was completely satisfied with 3 of the 4 tours, and highly recommend the My Son, an UNESCO World Heritage site, in Da Nang, Vietnam. The escort on the HCMC city transfer only provided general information on Vietnam and nothing city specific; he didn't even recognize that the street of the meeting point was the same where we were meeting our friends for lunch. We took shuttles (one paid & one free) in 2 cities and were able to explore on our own. Despite its location in a large, busy commercial port Terminal 1A in Laem Chabang Thailand has WiFi ($3.00 for 3 hours), an indoor souvenir market, and a small massage corner. Whether or not this is your first trip to Southeast Asia, you are in good hands sailing on the Volendam. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My experience on the January 31, 2018 sailing of the Volendam from Hong Kong to Singapore far exceeded my expectations. Having owned a large Incentive Travel planning company, I am admittedly very critical of services provided by hotels, ... Read More
My experience on the January 31, 2018 sailing of the Volendam from Hong Kong to Singapore far exceeded my expectations. Having owned a large Incentive Travel planning company, I am admittedly very critical of services provided by hotels, airlines and cruise companies. It was my job to provide the highest customer service and to make sure every detail was planned to perfection for my discriminating High Tech clients. For that reason, I am simply amazed that my experience on the Volendam was so wonderful. Let me explain....The ship was gracious and elegant. The food service was so outstanding, that it was shocking! The dining room, unlike other cruise lines, was quiet, spacious and every meals was better than the last. It was truly like dining at a fine restaurant. Even breakfasts were wonderful. Although the ship had nearly 2000 passengers, it felt empty. There was never the mad rush for a lounge by the pool, or fighting for a seat at the piano bar. The LIdo Market, while providing outstanding options,it was never a problem finding a table.It was delightful to sit outside by the pool and have breakfast, as we watched the sea. So, what makes this cruise so special, besides the dining experience? The shows were great, a small cast...but they really delivered delightful shows. The America's Test Kitchen surprised me by how great it was. I attended five classes. The lectures were wonderful. Our stateroom was very, very comfortable. It was clean, and when we had a problem, the Guest Services staff were right on it. Amazing! The Ports were great, too. I loved the itinerary, and especially with four stops in Vietnam. We spent three days in Hong Kong prior to the cruise, and then sailed for two weeks. Cambodia was not my favorite, but I think it was my fault, as I just took the transfer to the town and it left much to be desired. The two night stay in Bangkok was great, as we spent the night in Bangkok. If there is one challenge with this cruise, is the port is a long way from the major cities, like Hanoi, Saigon and Bangkok. Hoi An (Da Nang) was my favorite....beautiful town, with great shopping. I highly recommend Holland American Cruise line if peacefulness, great food, not feeling crowded or hassled, enrichment classes, and a beautfful library are important to you. Finding the right Ports is important,and I found the Asia cruise to be wonderful. PS: This is my eighth cruise, and our travelling companions 37th. They felt it was the best cruise they have had, as well. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Choose this cruise for the itinerary and earlier good experiences with Holland America Line. Had a very comfortable outside cabin on Main deck with renovated bathroom, now having a spacious walk in shower. Cabin stewards did excellent ... Read More
Choose this cruise for the itinerary and earlier good experiences with Holland America Line. Had a very comfortable outside cabin on Main deck with renovated bathroom, now having a spacious walk in shower. Cabin stewards did excellent job, just everything was looked after very well. Food on Volendam was very good. We especially liked the meals and service in the Dining room. This cruise had great and very experienced Cruise Director, in charge of all the activities on board. He kept an eye on about everything and was always thefe for questions and so on. We very much recommand this cruise, next season to be operated by mv Westerdam. Only remark is that Thailand port Laem Chabang is rather far from Bangkok, 2,5 hours by car one way. For more time in Bangkok one should think of 1 overnight in a Bangkok hotel (tour or on individual basis, what is very well possible). Join HAL for this cruise and have fun! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Just out of dry dock and work still going on all over. AC in our cabin not working, far from ideal in tropical climate. We had an outside door to the lanai deck but this was broken!!! Temperature in our cabin was between 75-79 deg. I had ... Read More
Just out of dry dock and work still going on all over. AC in our cabin not working, far from ideal in tropical climate. We had an outside door to the lanai deck but this was broken!!! Temperature in our cabin was between 75-79 deg. I had to open the inner cabin door to let cool air from the interior corridor in to our cabin. The first few days had the smell of burning metal and sawdust but worst was an overpowering smell of soggy wet carpet from the many cabins with water leaks. Not surprising that my wife contracted a chest infection and ran up $2000 of medical bills and was confined to the cabin for a number of days. Funnily enough her chest infection cleared up totally as soon as the AC was fixed. Room service was appalling while my wife was unable to leave the cabin. I had to go to the restaurant myself to get the food she could eat. After repairs were carried out properly we enjoyed the rest of the voyage. Food and dining room were excellent. Service excellent. Wine at $40 a bottle and beer at $9 was bad, but a bottle of water at $3.95 + a bottle was a bit too much. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We just finished our cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore over Christmas and New Year. What a great way to spend the holiday! We loved the ship. Just the perfect size. We thoroughly enjoyed all our excursions but, as we used private ... Read More
We just finished our cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore over Christmas and New Year. What a great way to spend the holiday! We loved the ship. Just the perfect size. We thoroughly enjoyed all our excursions but, as we used private tours, cannot comment on the ship's excursions. We booked an inside cabin and were pleasantly surprised how spacious the room was. Our cabin attendants were good and the waiters at our table in the Main Dining Room were fantastic. The food as always was really good. The staff on HAL and the service they provide has been outstanding on all of our cruises. The bartenders always have a smile and love to have a chat. The New Year's Eve party was a blast and the rest of the entertainment was ok. We did not find any fault with any of our holiday on HAL. We will definitely sail with Holland America again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Chose this cruise to travel with family already booked. First time we have cruised with Holland America. Great selection of Ports. The ship was easy to move around. Staff excellent. Cabin was great with door opening onto lower promenade ... Read More
Chose this cruise to travel with family already booked. First time we have cruised with Holland America. Great selection of Ports. The ship was easy to move around. Staff excellent. Cabin was great with door opening onto lower promenade deck. Ideal for us. Dining was excellent with no delay in sèating. Fantastic food. Entertainment and activities limited for us. Could be improved. Main complaint was the air conditioner not operating. Too cold for first three days despite four complaints. The got too hot and this was not resolved.we know from a message on our phone that previous occupants had same issue. Poor service by technicians. Port s and shore excursions great. No problem embarking and disembarking at ports. Well organised. Handing back of passports for Thailand poor. Huge delays. Should be better than this. Would consider cruising again but would look at all alternative with better entertainment and activity options. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose this cruise because we wanted to revisit parts of Asia that we had been to years ago. We enjoyed all the ports; interesting. The food on board was wonderful, the service was excellent. The shows were o.k; many of the songs ... Read More
I chose this cruise because we wanted to revisit parts of Asia that we had been to years ago. We enjoyed all the ports; interesting. The food on board was wonderful, the service was excellent. The shows were o.k; many of the songs performed were not familiar to us. Our cabin was always kept neat and clean by the attendants; they work very hard! The ship itself is in good condition and also very clean. I enjoyed the port talks, they were extremely informative and to the point; excess information was not given. Embarcation and disembarcation was smooth and quick. Dining room service was excellent; our waiter was always ready to meet my requests for alterations or additions to the meal. We cruise on Holland America more than any other cruise line. I can still say I enjoy the company very much and would highly recommend the ship, the crew and the itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this 42 day cruise as a one-time trip to the Far East. It was supposed to include stops in Korea, which were prevented by Chinese sanctions, so that it was slightly disappointing before it even began. Things just seemed to go ... Read More
We chose this 42 day cruise as a one-time trip to the Far East. It was supposed to include stops in Korea, which were prevented by Chinese sanctions, so that it was slightly disappointing before it even began. Things just seemed to go wrong whenever possible. We were awakened at 3am in Shanghai by an announcement that there might be contamination in the water (false alarm), we were kept in Shanghai an extra 38 hours by a storm without the ability to go ashore. No extra entertainment, other than a one hour open bar on sailing. The air conditioning went out and the captain blamed mussels in the inlets which had been acquired in Alaska and had to be flushed. There was a lack of organization in dealing with disembarkation in several ports, mainly blamed on the local officials, but often with the help of the staff. Although the cruise was 58, 42, 28 or 14 days, the entertainment was repeated every 2 weeks. The shows cast was talented, and the performances spirited, for such a small group, and quite entertaining the first time around. Additional entertainment was mixed. The repeating of a BBC documentary did not do much to enhance this aspect. The kitchen was light on no sugar food, having only no sugar added, and it ran out of ice cream 2 weeks before the end of the cruise. The food in the dining room was excellent, but portions were very small, and the service exceedingly slow. Several times meals lasted over 2 hours. Ashley Wade and her trio in the Ocean Bar were excellent for their Jazz, and she had a great rapport with her audience. The crew was exceptionally friendly and tried to be helpful. They made the voyage into a much more positive event. Working hard to please, they were the best we have seen. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We recently finished a 14-day Hong Kong to Singapore cruise on the ms Volendam. We have sailed with Holland America before and, as always, the staff and the service they provide cannot be beat. The food was also very good. However, the ... Read More
We recently finished a 14-day Hong Kong to Singapore cruise on the ms Volendam. We have sailed with Holland America before and, as always, the staff and the service they provide cannot be beat. The food was also very good. However, the ship itself is showing its age and, fortunately, is going in for upgrades and refurbishing before the next cruise. We had an obstructed view cabin and the air conditioning never worked for the entire cruise. Considering that the temperatures were very hot the entire cruise and humidity was very high, this was a major concern. They did not seem to be able to address it but did give us a $300 credit at the end of the cruise to make up for it. There were also problems with several of the units in the fitness centre and we were told that they would not be addressed because the ship was going in for major work at the end of our cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed all our excursions but, as we used private tours, cannot comment on the ship's excursions. Holland America does need to put some extra effort in handling tenders though -- the set up for getting tender tickets and the process for boarding the tenders was handled extremely poorly at both ports where tenders were required. Come on, HAL -- this isn't something that you haven't done thousands of times! As noted at the start, our cabin attendants were fantastic, as were the waiters at our table in the Main Dining Room. The staff on HAL and the service they provide has been outstanding on all of our cruise. We will definitely sail with Holland America again but will be sure to check the status of a given ship before booking our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We always wanted to see Japan, have been all thru' China & Thailand before , the rest of the cruise was a very pleasant Bonus, especially Vietnam, loved the food and the people there. I tell you that having Dr. Kam's lectures ... Read More
We always wanted to see Japan, have been all thru' China & Thailand before , the rest of the cruise was a very pleasant Bonus, especially Vietnam, loved the food and the people there. I tell you that having Dr. Kam's lectures was so amazing, what a wonderful man he is, a real bonus for HA. I also would like to comment on Markus who gave the Gem-stone talks this boy knows his work, so fun. I journal for every cruise so I take notes on every lecture and presentation. I always want to learn. Josh and Phil were great too, took their notes as well. The entertainment was awesome, loved the Volendam dancers and singers, good variety. Movies pretty good. The cruise director never could spell her name, was awesome so fun at the trivia contests. The Captain too was great, he hd a lot to deal with, especially in Shanghai. All of the crew were superb going the extra mile for all of us. I heard some of the beef was tough but on the night we had surf and turf it was excellent. In general the food was good, could be a little hotter but it is hard to do for so many people, soup always hot and delicious, and the bread pudding, to die for. I just want to say some of the comments I have read were not pleasant, not all people are pleasant, you can please some of the people etc. It was a busy tour, but we made it and what a great place to end it but in Singapore---Wow what a beautiful place!!!!!!!!! Evelyn and Russell Green Read Less
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