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95 Holland America Hong Kong Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date March 2019
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
Sail Date November 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
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 January 2018
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
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise because we loved the itinerary. We really liked the Volendam. Smallish and an older ship, but kept up well. Food was excellent. Cabin (6157) was adequate but did not have much storage space, but that is due to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we loved the itinerary. We really liked the Volendam. Smallish and an older ship, but kept up well. Food was excellent. Cabin (6157) was adequate but did not have much storage space, but that is due to the age of the ship we think. Balcony was quite large, although we did not get to use it much. Very smoggy for most of the cruise. Crew was really outstanding from cabin stewards to officers. Always willing to assist with smiles. Did not take in much entertainment, but did enjoy a flutist from Scotland and the trio in the Ocean Bar was really good. Port presentations were excellent. Pool was heated, which was nice. The buffet was very good and never terribly crowded. Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze. The crew was especially outstanding in their handling of the required immigration inspections at several of the ports. Those are always a pain, due to the local authorities, but the crew made them bearable. The ports were each fascinating in their own ways. We booked our own private tours in Shanghai and Beijing through a company called China Highlights. Had a guide, private car, and driver. So glad we did that as guides were really excellent. Only tour we did via Holland America was in Seoul and it was fine. We just got off the ship and wandered on our own in Nagasaki and Kagoshima. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We spent a few days in Hong Kong before we boarded the ship and had planned our ports with both HAL and private excursions. We chose the cruise because we liked the variety of ports. We wanted learn as much as we could about the ports and ... Read More
We spent a few days in Hong Kong before we boarded the ship and had planned our ports with both HAL and private excursions. We chose the cruise because we liked the variety of ports. We wanted learn as much as we could about the ports and the history of the area. the weather was cool to cold at times but we were prepared. Few people spent time at the pool since it was often gray and cool. Sea days were a challenge since since the weather did not encourage outdoor activities. Thankfully two wonderful bridge instructors from Canada set up duplicate bridge and I played every sea day afternoon. They were not sponsored ACBL games or from HAL but they ran a great game for 36-54 people per day. The transpacific part of this cruise really needed bridge and other indoor activities since it was cold. There was no librarian or tech person but the staff at the customer desk helped. The wifi is great now and I could download my mail in two minutes. Sending pictures took more time. We bought 1000 minutes for $250 for the 44 days and ended up with leftover minutes. We had excellent cabin attendants and even though we had select dining we established our table and and 7:15 daily. The dining room staff were very thoughtful and made sure that one of our dining companions could have s sundae no matter what was being served. They did little things to make the cruise so special. I look at the pictures and can not believe what we did and where we traveled. I never expected to be stunned by the beauty traveling through the Aleutians and the snow capped mountains And yes we saw cherry tree wonderlands in Osaka and Aomori. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was a very informative busy cruise. It was a great way to experience a lot of different Asian ports . The ship itself is small without any extra perks like climbing walls or skating rinks but the trip highlights some ... Read More
This was a very informative busy cruise. It was a great way to experience a lot of different Asian ports . The ship itself is small without any extra perks like climbing walls or skating rinks but the trip highlights some really interesting bustling Asian cities . The excursions were hit and miss . We rented a car with driver and guide from holland america for both days in Shanghai and Beijing. It was ridiculously expensive but worth it. A couple of tips about seeing Shanghai and Beijing this way. We got Chinese currency before we left home but still ran out of cash because we forgot touring this way doesn't take into account admission fees or tips . Also,when we booked the car and guide for 2 days in Beijing it was well worth our while to also book a hotel in Beijing because it's a 2 1/2 hour drive from the cruise terminal in Tianjin to Beijing . Sheraton hotel in Beijing was beautiful and cheap $163 US per night and included a wonderful breakfast . Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Hong Kong to Yokahama, 16 days on the Volendam. Flew in to Hong Kong a few days early and stayed at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile in Kowloon. Great place to stay, great city to explore. Embarked the ship at Kai Tak cruise terminal and ... Read More
Hong Kong to Yokahama, 16 days on the Volendam. Flew in to Hong Kong a few days early and stayed at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile in Kowloon. Great place to stay, great city to explore. Embarked the ship at Kai Tak cruise terminal and straight to our room. Nice stateroom with veranda, good staff to take care of us (Omam and Galih); they were unobtrusive but kept our place spic and span. Best cruise ever, for us. It was all about the itinerary, and having a day at sea between almost all ports, plus overnights in Shanghai and Beijing, was perfect. We'd relax a little on the days at sea and go-go-go on our days in port. The Volendam is a really nice ship, a little smaller than what we've sailed on before, but we would sail her again in a heartbeat. The ports were amazing, and we feel very lucky to have been able to see everything we did. We tend to "stay in" at night, so we can't really say anything about the entertainment, shows, etc., but when we ventured out, we were very pleased with the ship and crew. Our wait staff, Anto and Rim, were excellent and efficient. Our wine steward Carlito was super. The food was great (with one exception;r the Asian BBQ by the pool wasn't very flavorful in our opinions), and we especially loved the Pinnacle Grill. We had dinner there 2 nights PLUS one of the Le Cirque nights (outstanding, definitely have the chateaubriand) and also visited for 2 lunches (our first time having lunch in the PG and we weren't hungry for dinner that night!). The room manager was great, didn't get his name, but he was funny, personable, and chatty when it wasn't busy, and he made our visits to the restaurant special. We didn't make it to Canaletto this time around, but hope to do so on a future cruise -we DID notice the menu had changed since we were there last, and now features small plates to share as well as pasta dishes. Room service was perfect for us, and we definitely appreciated our morning coffee and pastries or more-substantial-breakfast every day. We only went "out" to breakfast once, to the Lido, and we enjoyed the crepes and the Eggs Benedict there. We had the drink package (it was a perk when we booked, too expensive to purchase otherwise, IMO) and it was great. I had wondered if the bar staff would be scarce or look down their noses to us, but we were served quickly and with great smiles. Jovan at the aft pool bar was exceptionally sweet, he was the first smiling face we saw when we got our sail-away drink upon boarding, and he was smiling any time we saw him thereafter. We only took one ship shore excursion, at the stop in Jeju, and it was good. The lineup to get off the ship at the various ports (especially for those of us who had private shore excursions set up) could have been handled better, IMO. Anyway, it was an absolutely super cruise and we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
On board Holland America Line’s Volendam Jan 19-Feb 16 2015 directly after spending a week on Norwegian's Pride of America in Hawaii. The ship had stops in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Singapore. Great trip! ... Read More
On board Holland America Line’s Volendam Jan 19-Feb 16 2015 directly after spending a week on Norwegian's Pride of America in Hawaii. The ship had stops in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Singapore. Great trip! Food was very good. Unlike the Pride of America, there was no loud obnoxious music during return boardings and sailaways -- very welcome change. The lounge entertainment was top notch and the shows were always delightful – although sometimes a little surprising in nature. Had a large, oceanview stateroom that was very comfortable with lots of storage and room for two to maneuver [request a cooler (read fridge) however as many rooms don't come with them]. The room location -- aft on the Main deck --was excellent in terms of accessing the dining room, buffet, and Lido deck pool/lounge area. The only concern here was that the room was a bit noisy as the ship was docking as it is directly above the area deployed for tying the ship up. Drinks were better priced than on Norwegian and they often had 'happy hours' during sailaways where there was a “buy one get the second for a dollar” deal. (ln terms of alcohol, we didn’t feel we were being gouged quite as much on HAL as NCL. At times, the price of drinks seemed more than reasonable! ) A number of the ports required visas. However, they took are of this on the ship for reasonable cost – in some cases less than it would have been to do it ourselves. I would highly recommend just leaving this detail to them. As is generally the case, the excursions were quite expensive. However, at every port there were taxi drivers and tour operators standing by at the terminal gate, where transportation and tours could be obtained for at least ½ of what the ship was charging. It was often cheaper to secure a car and driver for the day rather than negotiate a one way fare, and negotiating was relatively easy, although language could be a challenge. On the other side, the people we met who did book on board excursions all reported good experiences. A number of people co-ordinated tours amongst themselves using this website and in the future I think we will try that ourselves. However, we booked a number of tours on-line prior to departure and they all worked out well. One of the most interesting we took was with the Don Bosco Hotel School in Sihanoukville, Cambodia and I highly recommend this experience. (Just Google “Don Bosco Hotel Sihanoukville). As the ship stayed over one night at the port servicing Bangkok and two nights at the port for Yangon, we booked hotels on land on both these occasions. Getting to and from the hotels was easily accomplished using local taxis and car services and getting off the ship for a day or two made and for an interesting and welcome diversion. As other writers have noted, the Volendam is not the shiniest ship on the seas, nor is it the most lively. However, it is very pleasant and comfortable, and the crew are particularly friendly and attentive. This SE Asian itinerary is well chosen and executed and provides a fascinating peek at life in what prove to be quite different countries. All the people we met off ship were very pleasant and friendly, although once in a while they did try to short change us – but with good humor. All in all, it was a particularly enjoyable trip and, having cruised in the past with Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival, and Costa, HAL seemed to offer one of the best overall experiences.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
we are first time cruisers with Holland America. was interesting to be on a smaller ship, only problem with smaller ships is when sea is rough you feel the movement of the ship more. The ship was well maintained, but found that crew would ... Read More
we are first time cruisers with Holland America. was interesting to be on a smaller ship, only problem with smaller ships is when sea is rough you feel the movement of the ship more. The ship was well maintained, but found that crew would be cleaning the decks either early evening or in morning just before breakfast, so decks were wet, especially aft deck near Lido restaurant. Food was very good, we ate most of our evening meals in the Rotterdam restaurant, service was very good. it was lovely that all the ladies received a red rose in the dining room on Valentines Day....nice touch!! the ports were good, but the travel time from the port of Laem Chabang into Bangkok is around 2 hours. it actually took over 3 hours getting back to the ship..........beware! do your tours on first day in Bangkok as the traffic jams are horrible. The staff seemed to go that extra mile to make the passengers feel at home and well looked after. the entertainment wasn't too bad ( not as good as larger ships) our cabin was very noisy....cabin no. 3374 on Lower Promenade, mid ship. lot of engine noise. we paid the extra for an unobstructed view, but had railings in front of window. were also on the deck that everyone used for their morning constitutional...... front desk were extremely helpful and we were moved to another cabin. it was on the dolphin deck (lowest deck) but it was a larger cabin and we had a better view! We would cruise again with Holland America...found the experience very relaxing! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Second time cruising with HAL. Had previously been on the Oosterdam to New Zealand and this time was introducing my father to cruising as he has long been a critic and swore he would never go on a large ship. We had two days in Hong Kong ... Read More
Second time cruising with HAL. Had previously been on the Oosterdam to New Zealand and this time was introducing my father to cruising as he has long been a critic and swore he would never go on a large ship. We had two days in Hong Kong prior to departure and it was busy in town as was Chinese new year. Embarkation went smoothly after a fairly long walk through the shopping centre. It was quite amusing as the route that you had to take traversed a number of floors and corridors of a busy shopping centre and HAL had placed staff at each point to direct you. There was an orderly system in place using numbers and drinks available. Seemed to be a large number of Australians on board but also considerable Americans and Canadians. We were very happy with the size and amenities of our Oceanview stateroom. To be honest it was larger than our room in Hong Kong. Beds were comfortable, plenty of storage space and a nice lounge. I had read extensive reviews about the Volendam and was slightly apprehensive about the conditions on board. I needn't have worried. I can't comprehend how previous reviewers have described this ship as old and run down. My father is extremely discerning and not once did he find something to complain about. There were so many nooks and crannies to explore and the artwork was great to look at. We became regulars on the Lido poolside for the sail-away music sessions and also loved the Explorations café and library. Crows nest chairs were extremely comfortable and one of my only gripes was that you couldn't get coffee service up there (the bar staff there told me to go down to the Lido and bring up my own cup of coffee and we saw a few people doing this. I recall on the Oosterdam the café was next to the Crows nest so this wasn't a problem. We loved the Lido restaurant and the regular Philippine and Indonesian themed nights. Food was of an extremely high standard in all restaurants and only negative was the night my father had rack of lamb when it was served very rare. My father didn't send it back but the server was aghast that he hadn't eaten it. We loved the formal nights and the final night international night. Activities onboard were many and varied. I did the Asian beer tasting and found it excellent (as was the beer). The entertainment was varied and of a pretty good standard. The comedian from South Africa was excellent (can't recall his name), we went most nights and would generally sit up the back as my father would want to leave after a few songs/minutes. The one exception was the 'amore' performance on the second last night. He loves his music and both the male and female lead vocals were exceptional and the performers had obviously put in a lot of practice and thought. We loved it so much we almost went back for the 10pm act. Service was of a high standard and I really take my hat off to the long suffering front office staff who had to endure the ridiculous questions and downright rude people. I had the misfortune to lose my credit card in Hong Kong so had to spend some time at reception sorting out a cash deposit and got to see the staff in action. They all deserve medals. My favourite was a man who came across to complain that the tour desk had refused to book him on a tour (which was booked out), "I don't care if it's booked out-I want you to book me on the tour right &^*%$ now '. The team handled it well. Our room attendants were both very discreet and always seemed to be able to sneak in and do the room when we were away. The briefings by 'Ian' on what to expect in each new port were exceptional and spot on. His photos of each port and what to do were insightful, knowledgeable and amusing. We did the Halong Bay cruise and the transfer to Saigon from Phu My. In Laem Chabang we took a privately arranged tour for just the two of us (Thailand Attractions with Jo- thoroughly recommend it). We went to the Bridge on the River Kwai and the Thai Burma Death Railway cemeteries and Hellfire Pass and museum. Was a 3am departure from the ship (and we still got served in the lido at 2.30am) but well worth it as Hellfire pass was humbling. Coming back to the ship on time was a nightmare as it was a 4 hour drive and it was raining and traffic was heavy. We returned to the Volendam with 20 minutes to spare. Loved all the ports and especially Sianhookville. So undeveloped it was hard to find commercial souvenirs. We walked a few blocks away from the markets and found the most amazing little cafes and bars. Saigon was also excellent and if you are doing this cruise certainly look at the HAL transfer option as it gives you the freedom to wander at your own pace around Saigon. All in all we loved the cruise on the Volendam and it converted my father (he's already planning his next cruise). I would cruise on this ship again. Disembarkation was smooth Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This was my first cruise with HAL and as the 11th time I have cruised there were some areas that disappointed me. 1. was the lack of supervision of sanatizing hands prior to entering a restaurant. Whilst there were bottles of the liquid ... Read More
This was my first cruise with HAL and as the 11th time I have cruised there were some areas that disappointed me. 1. was the lack of supervision of sanatizing hands prior to entering a restaurant. Whilst there were bottles of the liquid there, noone was superevising to see if people used the solution. I was shocked to see people leave the washrooms and not sanatize hands before entering the dining areas. Other cruise lines have rigid rules regarding this. 2. Standard of dress. On formal nights when men were dressed in dinner jackets, suits etc. some individuals were allowed into the dining room in Tshirts. To me this was an insult to those men who had flown to our embarking port carrying the appropriate attire. 3.Cabin. As this was a cruise to celebrate our Golden Wedding we had 11 months before the sailing date requested a quiet mid ship cabin and were allocated cabin 3385. Not knowing any different we accepted it as assumed HAL were acting in our best interest. It was under the galley and the noise early hours of the morning was disturbing. We were able to shift after 4 nights but why when we were so specific as to our needs did they allocate this cabin. There was nothing wrong with the cabin apart from the noise. As to the rest of the cruise. The ports in Vietnam, Cambodia, thailand were excellent. Entertainment was good, food also and the lectures were first rate, especially the port information. Tipping is steep but we found out from previous HAL passengers after we returned home that you do not have to pay this and can tip those crew you only wish to. Pity we did not know this before we sailed as the amount billed to us and then converted by our bank from USD to NZD was a lot. Previous passengers have told us that standards have slipped a lot but as this was my first HAL cruise I cannot comment on this. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Yet again the HAL ship and crew exceeded my expectations- we were delighted with our Christmas/New Year cruise on the Volendam. The itinerary was well planned giving an overnight in Hong Kong on the ship which was berthed at a glorious ... Read More
Yet again the HAL ship and crew exceeded my expectations- we were delighted with our Christmas/New Year cruise on the Volendam. The itinerary was well planned giving an overnight in Hong Kong on the ship which was berthed at a glorious harborside airconditioned multistory shopping centre. This is particularly rare in Hong Kong and whilst the centre was crammed with Christmas shoppers, it was very easy to access the ship and slip off the ship for last minute shopping and free internet at starbucks. Of course the view from the lounge, dining room or decks of the harbour lights and laser show was spectacular. This trip had extensive port calls and I especially liked the 4 stops in Vietnam covering the north, centre and south, which gave a nice taste of the regional variety and hsitory of the relatively small but fascinating country. Cambodia provided contrast as an early emerging country, very poor but historically rich. HAL might like to think about enriching visits to Cambodia with more effort into giving customers some stories from travellers experiences of culture. We took a sightseeing trip which really lacked heart as sightseeing hard lives without context is more sad than enriching. I have visited Thailand before and again enjoyed this vibrant country although we declined the arduous transfers to Bangkok and took some short local excursions which were well conducted. I still get a bit sad with the tourist elephant shows though. It might be time for tour providers to move to presenting these majestic animals in a natural environment rather than a circus. A mother even had her 3 month old calf chained to her during the "performance". Arrival at Singapore unfortunately coincided with three other ships so we plastered a smile on our dial to cope with unusual crowds, baffling directions and long waits for our transfer to the airport. It made a few people less than cheery, but honestly it was a minor annoyance after such a lovely trip. The Volendam is not my favourite HAL ship- that would be the Oosterdam, but who would like to be on the same ship over and over- or have each ship in the exact same design and decoration? Whilst our oceanview cabin was perfectly placed midships and hardly allowed for any movement I really missed the balcony for a convenient private space to enjoy the sea views. I have only compliments for the cleanliness, attention of the stewards and comfort factors of the stateroom. There is plenty of storage space, mini bar and ice, but a secret is that you can hire a barfridge for a small cost to keep your own wine and cans cold. The other tip is to spoil yourself with a "suite amenities" package (cost variees with duration of the cruise). This package provides unlimited daily laundry; initial 2L spirits and wine set up; two monogrammed bathrobes to take home; dinner at the Pinnacle; daily canapes or high tea in your cabin; and $100 in beverage cards. You also get suite disembarkation privilages including final day breakfast in Pinnacle and a final joy of NOT having to place your luggage outside the cabin on the final night. We discovered all her sides and loved the lounges tucked away here and there. The fellow passengers were an amazing mix from absolutely all corners of the world, not surprising as HK is such a central embarkation port. This alone provides the crew with new challenges trying to cater for massive variety in tastes, language and culture. In my observation they were alert to this and proved why HAL is well know for its international appeal rather than appealing to the american cruise segment. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We embarked at Hong Kong.Should have been Ocean Terminal but changed to Modern Terminal,a container port,which incurred a taxi fare of around £25. Checking in was relatively easy and fairly quick. We had booked a guaranteed o/s large ... Read More
We embarked at Hong Kong.Should have been Ocean Terminal but changed to Modern Terminal,a container port,which incurred a taxi fare of around £25. Checking in was relatively easy and fairly quick. We had booked a guaranteed o/s large cabin with allocation on arrival.(we were told the cabin no.2 days prior to departure).The cabin was a good size, queen bed,and bathroom had tub as well as shower which was good. Public areas very clean as was our cabin. Rotterdam Restaurant was good.On 2 nights a little slow,but overall, very good.Food was tasty and good selection.Not continually pestered by photographers, which made a change from other ships we have been on. Entertainment average only.When in port at Shanghai,a group of girls came onboard to perform acrobatic moves.They were absolutely brilliant!! How they got into the positions that they did,was unbelievable! The best entertainment of the cruise! Docked in centre of Shanghai,the Bund and Padong directly opposite ship.Buildings were illuminated at night which made for good photos.Spectacles very cheap in Shanghai.(prescription pair £12 )!!! The old town with its pagodas was good to see. The Great Wall in Bejing is best visited by onboard cruise tour.Long journey to get there and very difficult to negotiate if doing it on your own.The pollution in Bejing is bad.You can taste it, and there is a permanent 'fog' hanging.Summer Palace pretty but not enough time allocated to it as time spent in heavy traffic in Bejing. Dalian our next port but never took a tour.Went shopping. Pusan in South Korea was interesting.The ship was charging $69 each to see the Beomeosa temple and Jagalchi fish market.We did it ourselves by taking bus 66 from outside cruise terminal to Lotte dept.store where the subway was situated (10min ride).We took subway line 1 (orange line) from Nampo(111) to Boeomosa (133) which took about 25 mins.Outside subway we took a taxi up a very steep hill(about 2.5km) to the temple.We returned in the same manner. When we reached Lotte dept store on return, it was a 10 min. walk to the market where EVERY type of fish could be viewed.The market was HUGE and well worth a vist.We returned to he ship by taxi which was very cheap.The total cost for 2 of us for everything was£14!!!! All the stations are numbered which made it relatively easy to negotiate. Nagasaki was really nice and very easy to see on your own.We came out of the port and turned left where a tram stop was situated in the middle of the road.We got a tram into town and then changed to another to take us to the Peace Park(approx 20 mins in total). The museum,epicentre etc are all situated around the same area.From there we took another tram to see the Kofukuji temple and Spectacles bridge which are near to each other.We walked back towards the ship via a large shopping area and onto Glover Gardens,which is situated opposite the ship.Cherry blossom was out all over Japan which made everywhere look lovely. A day ticket for the trams can be obtained for 500Yen (about 4 pounds) which allows you on any tram as many times as you wish. Disembarkation in Kobe was smooth and we were transported to the Belle Vue Garden Hotel near Kansai airport for an overnight stay.The hotel was nice but nothing going on in the area so we decided to go to Osaka Castle.we took the local train from Isimisani station and then changed to the Osaka loop line which took us direct to the Castle.All stations are numbered and signs also in English which made the Castle relatively easy to find.The Castle was huge and very picturesque, especially with the blossom in full bloom.Nice walks around the castle with picnic areas everywhere.The journey took around 45 min. and cost about £15 return, for both of us. We have cruised wth HAL before and have really enjoyed this itinerary. It was different. We would recommend this to anyone thinking of doing it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We have never been to the Far East before and so were very excited about this HAL cruise. We made excellent use to the CC forum and booked all our trips as part of our 51 strong CC group. We found the forum invaluable and made many friends ... Read More
We have never been to the Far East before and so were very excited about this HAL cruise. We made excellent use to the CC forum and booked all our trips as part of our 51 strong CC group. We found the forum invaluable and made many friends on our numerous trips. We flew out to Hong Kong and spent an extra day exploring this fascinating city. Embarkation was very chaotic and as previous reviews have stated the visa process paper the most complicated l have ever seen! You do only need group visas if you are not staying over night anywhere. This will save you loads. Ship is very comfortable and cabin spacious. I especially liked the amount of room in the bathroom. We were worried about being so far aft and wondered if we would hear engine noise. I'm pleased to report that except for 1 night when it was rough and the Captain had his foot down we heard nothing. It was also very handy for stairs to the LP deck at the back. Crew without exception were wonderful and seemed to have time to interact with passengers. The best crew on any ship we have sailed on. Food was very good, ample, hot and tasty. We did not however feel the Pinnacle Grill was worth the extra 50 USD. The steaks were massive and just too much for us. Maybe we just choose wrong on the night. Entertainment was very poor and the worst we've had on any major cruise line. This was the one thing HAL should work on otherwise everything else was excellent.Itinerary was great - full of fascinating ports: Halong Bay - easy to arrange on the day. 4 hours is enough and the caves are really worth seeing. It was a wonderful hot sunny day here which l am told is very rare. We went with 20 other CCs and booked a whole junk with transport to and from the pier for 20 USD each with a guide Saigon - arranged in advance with CCs. Wonderful day out especially enjoyed the water puppets and the sight of all the bikes I think this was 65 USD each Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Holland America -- Volendam -- 14days Hong Kong to Singapore This is our own views on cruising with Holland America. Being experienced cruisers we take every cruise as our first and try not to compare, as so many try to compare ... Read More
Holland America -- Volendam -- 14days Hong Kong to Singapore This is our own views on cruising with Holland America. Being experienced cruisers we take every cruise as our first and try not to compare, as so many try to compare companies and end up spoiling their trip. We like to cruise on itinerary. Just recently undergone a refurbishment although did look like it had been done quickly and maybe needed a little better finishing touches. Embarkation -- A little chaotic, boarding in Hong Kong is done in the end of a shopping centre, you drop your bags on pier then a longish walk to check-in. It took around 2 hrs. from dropping bags to being on board, at least chairs were supplied so the waiting in lines was limited. The compulsive safety drill was professionally done, being repeated a number of times for passengers went ashore to enjoy Hong Kong due to a late departure. Food overall was very good, the buffet variety was good although at times was not very hot, if brought to the chefs attention they were happy to make sure you were given it hot. We opted for 'any time dining' we never booked or waited to be seated. We were willing to share tables. Menus were always varied and food was well cooked and presented, waiters made sure any changes were done. Although waiting staff seemed to be thin on the ground which at times caused some delays but being on holiday there was no need rush. Entertainment was quite poor, 3 visiting comedians was a bit over the top. The ships own show team seemed not to do a lot, the quality of the singing & dancing was quite amateurish. Cabin was very well kept and maintained to a very good standard, cabin steward worked very hard and seemed to have a lot more cabins too service which may show the reduction in staff. Towels were of a good quality. Bath robes supplied for use. Dis-embarkation was simple from the ship. Long queues for immigration, there are no porters to assist with luggage, one problem was the very long queues for taxis which required a walk through a small shopping area. Taxis were plentiful though one you get to the rank. If you are going to a hotel it is worth have the name & address of the hotel for the taxi driver as many hotel chains may have more than one hotel. If you are an independent and require transfer to the airport take a taxi. On the dis-embarkation information stated $39 each, but on the reverse stated taxis cost around $25 for the cab. If this is you first visit to the area it is worth investing in a guide book to cover the ports of call Currency -- Most ports of call will accept US$, try getting small notes, it worth getting a small amount of local currency in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand & Singapore. Visa's these are issued on board, Holland America adds a large handling fee. These are still cheaper than organising your own. These are charged even if you do not go ashore. Holland America do charge an exorbitant handling charge, for Cambodia we were charged $45 and actual visa cost $20 (making around additional $37,000) Gratuities $11.50 per day per person, you can remove or adjust this amount. Ports Of Call Hong Kong -- If you need to arrange your individual transfer's just head follow the signs for taxis, all are metered & most take credit cards (cost about £20gbp) Hong Kong is very easy city to get round yourselves using the underground/metro. Get yourself a metro map, this way it will show what exit you want from each station saving a great deal of walking. Try to avoid Hong Kong taxis for short journeys as you may be stuck in traffic for long periods. Halong Bay -- Tender Port - Junk trips are easily available on the pier exactly the same as ships tours at a fraction of the cost (around 15-20 US$) plus admission to caves. We actually visited some place the ships tour did not. At the fish farm you could purchase live sea food and the lady of the junk would cook it for you at no cost. A trip to Hanoi is not recommended as it involves a 3-4hr trip each way. Da Nang -- A trip to Hoi An is a must, easy to negotiate an on portside taxi / minibus who will take you to Hoi An with a visit en-route to the Marble Mountain. Marble Mountain is marble statues are produced and shipped all over the world some weighing many tons. You can take the lift up to the top, not actually a mountain, but if you visit on a cruise tour you are expected to walk up or stay on the coach. Hoi An is a trip back in time, one of our favourite places of all. You need to purchase a tourist ticket at one of the booths, this allow you to visit 5 places on the map ranging from temple to restored houses. By doing your own tour will give you a lot longer to visit at your own pace. Nha Trang - the shuttle bus will drop you in the town, not a lot to see in town. Taxis available outside the port gates, bargain hard. Usual tourist sites to see in the town but there are some nice places to visit within a short drive. Phu My - for Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City the port is around 2hrs into the city. There are plenty of Mini buses available portside a seat will cost about 30-35US$, don't be tempted to go outside the port gates these will rip you off and waste your valuable time. Holland America transfer $59 each. The government buildings / museums close for lunch 12.30-14.00. Getting around Saigon is easy, taxis are metered and cheap. Sihanoukville, Cambodia -- shuttle into town supplied free of charge which drops you off near to the central market, a trip back in time sells everything from usual tourist items to live fish. You will be soon surrounded by tut tut drivers, all seem to speak very good English. Slightly different to the usual tut tut, actually motorcycles with a trailer, so make sure you are happy with its condition. Not a lot to see as this is quite a new port of call for cruise ships. Laem Chabang , If you want to organise your own transfer its easy to do, do a Google search for Bangkok airport transfers. A good quality car for 2 cost us 1800baht each way (Bangkok Airport Transfers) Taxi / Minibus available in terminal for Pattaya (30mins) Bangkok (again 2hrs) prices are a bit higher than booking online prior, but allows you get together with others to keep the prices low. Getting around in Bangkok is easy using skytrain or tut tut. Koh Samui -- Tender Port -- Pier is awash with taxis, Koh Samui is a large tourist area and this was evident in the prices, be tough on haggling. The island is not that large and a road runs right round the edge. Singapore - cruise port is easy walking to metro so getting around is very easy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We have taken several cruises, all in different parts of the world, as we like to cruise to enjoy different cultures. We arrived in Hong Kong a few days before the cruise and stayed in the very convenient Marco Polo Hotel right at the ... Read More
We have taken several cruises, all in different parts of the world, as we like to cruise to enjoy different cultures. We arrived in Hong Kong a few days before the cruise and stayed in the very convenient Marco Polo Hotel right at the cruise terminal. On the morning of embarkation, we arrived at the terminal at 10.30am to find they were already opening up. We were among the first passengers to embark and were on the ship before 11am, in our cabin by 11.30 and shortly afterwards in the dining room enjoying the Marine's Welcome back lunch. The ship sailed 30 minutes late at 11.30pm the following evening due to some Russsian guests not understanding the immigration announcements, but it was a spectacular sail out of the Harbour and the mist that had been around for the last few days cleared so that we could see the lights. The demographics of the passengers on this cruise was different to previous HAL cruises. On the whole, the age group was a lot younger than normal....We in our 60's felt we were some of the older passengers. There were also a lot less US passengers. I believe the makeup of the passengers was approx 500 from UK, 250 Australians, 200 Canadians, and 150 from US, a Russian group and the rest was made up of various nationalities. We chose a verandah stateroom this cruise on the Starboard side...so that land would be on our side most of the time. Our cabin was under the overhang of the Lido, which turned out well as the weather was very hot, so it provided some shade. However, we are not people to sit for long...there is always something interesting to see or do! We have previously cruised on several other HAL ships, and really enjoyed the Zaandam. It was immaculately clean...the crew work 24hours day to keep it that way. We loved the decor of the ship, felt it was very tasteful...the music theme continuing throughout the ship with many valuable relics. We felt that the food on this ship was up with the best we have had on a Holland America Line ship...it was always fresh and served hot in the Main Dining room where we had fixed late dining at a table for two, which we requested when booking. We always feel that if you are hungry on a cruise it is your own fault as there is always somewhere to eat, and plenty of variety!! The crew as always were amazing! Always smiling and helpful. Special mention this cruise to the Front Office staff who were incredibly busy, as there were always long lines of people waiting to change money for the many countries this cruise visited. There always seemed to be a few people there to complain too! I am really not sure what about because we certainly did not find anything to complain about. Our only slightly negative observation was that we didn't feel that the Travel guide on this cruise was as knowledgeable about the ports as she could have been. We did not attend many shows as we have late dinner and after a big day in port 10pm was just too late for us! However the group that was brought on in Saigon for the Vietnamese show were fantastic. We did attend Trivia most days, and did very well with our International team! We did enjoy the ports. However as we have travelled in Asia on land quite extensively before, we did not do any excursions other than the ship's transfers into Bangkok and Saigon. We enjoyed our time wandering, particularly in the local markets. One port that we especially enjoyed was Sanya in China. The shuttle dropped us at an exclusive shopping centre that we had no interest in. However on the way we had seen what looked like a fair or market with several large marquees and many red balloons. It was about 2 km back so we decided to walk back to it as we love seeing local events. It turned out to be some sort of Chinese expo and was great fun see all the demonstrations of products! We even bought a few!! Sihanoukville in Cambodia was another new place for us and after walking around the market, we negotiated with one of the very persistent Tuk tuk drivers who gave us a wonderful tour for over an hour into the countryside and to many of the main sites of the town. The other ports we visited were Halong Bay and Saigon in Vietnam, Bangkok and Koh Sanui in Thailand before arriving in Singapore. Disembarkation went as efficiently as the rest of the cruise, and we stayed in Singapore for a few days afterwards. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
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
Sail Date March 2019
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
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
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
Sail Date December 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
Sail Date March 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
Sail Date January 2018
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