59 Holland America Volendam Cruise Reviews

Having sailed before we knew what to expect, but we had never been on the Volendam. There were three couples in our group and everyone had the same opinions. Two couples, myself included had a total of 8 prior Holland America cruises. ... Read More
Having sailed before we knew what to expect, but we had never been on the Volendam. There were three couples in our group and everyone had the same opinions. Two couples, myself included had a total of 8 prior Holland America cruises. The ship was a mess and the best description would be unkept. Windows were very dirty as well as some public areas. Our stateroom greeted us with mold on the sink, tile shower grout and hair on the floor all of which was present during the entire cruise. There was not a tiny bit of mold it was all over! There was also tile missing in the shower. We found restrooms on the ship that stunk and were unkept. We experienced the same problem in the same restrooms every time. One morning the water in our stateroom was as dark as coffee and stunk. Everyone we talked to had the same issues. For the entire cruise the bathrooms periodically stopped functioning on our stateroom level and the entire area around our cabins smelled of sewage! Disembarkation was a joke! All of the passengers with a certain tag were told to all meet on deck 2. After a 1/2 hour of being packed in the halls we were all told to go to deck 3 where we stood for another 15 minutes before being told to go to the theater on deck 4. After 45 minutes of waiting we were able to leave the ship. What a way to end a cruise running from here to there and standing in lines for 1-1/2 hours. Not what I have seen before. For the first 2 days of the cruise the staff was unfriendly at best and some were basically rude. Apparently after the "all hands" meeting on day 3 the staff became friendly and it was more of a normal cruise. The entertainment was the worst we have ever experienced, like going to a bad movie. I don't plan on another cruise with them. We did enjoy the side trips and the scenery was breathtaking. The food wasn't as good as prior trips but still was very good, The people who had the crab legs said they were the worst they had ever had. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
SERVICE LEVELS VERY LOW, INCONSISTENT and WAY BELOW PRINCESS IN THIS MARKET ( The Christmas cruise on Sun Princess at the same time last year offered far superior service and all round product.) Some examples that may seem trivial but ... Read More
SERVICE LEVELS VERY LOW, INCONSISTENT and WAY BELOW PRINCESS IN THIS MARKET ( The Christmas cruise on Sun Princess at the same time last year offered far superior service and all round product.) Some examples that may seem trivial but the constant battle to get things right is not how it should be: Linen wasn't changed for 10 days and then only after several requests. It was also of very poor quality (thin, holes, stained) - no crisp white ironed sheets here! From check in it took 3 days and 10 keys!! to get ones that opened our cabin We had so many different charges on our bill that didn't belong to us it became a joke. Everyday we had to check and get them removed and then on disembarkation morning when the final bill arrived the whole lot had been put back on again! Room Service requests frequently never happened There was no information available in the cabin about what services were available - no info on things like the soda pass or wine card. Only people who had cruised with HAL before knew about them Turn down service existed of turning the corner of the bed down and putting chocolates on bed. No refresh of bathroom or room. Toiletries were also never replaced throughout the cruise except soap. Generally staff seemed undertrained, overworked and unhappy General cleanliness of cabin and ship average The only activities available for children under 18 was provided by the kids club and these were inadequate and boring. Apparently only 1/3 of the children onboard went to it regularly which left many (including mine) roaming the ship bored and taking over the lido pool. Despite politely worded requests in the newsletter that they restrict themselves to the aft pool it wasn't policed and their overwhelming presence and noise disturbed the older cruisers. Despite many complaints from the older brigade about this you rarely saw any members of the cruise "entertainment" staff on deck unless they were hosting a cocktail making function (paid) or towel animal demonstration (flogging book!). On other cruise lines they have very visible youth security patrolling day and night plus activity and entertainment staff always around The port arrangements left you believing this was the only time they had visited these ports. Despite knowing how few had taken up shoreex and would be requiring wharf to town transport they were always surprised by the numbers and inadequate services were provided which left people queuing for ages with no alternative as you couldn't walk off the port due to security reasons. The Hotel Manager's response to this was next time we'll charge for the shuttle service and arrange more buses! ENTERTAINMENT Unless it was a paid event or promoting a paid event e.g. SPA, BINGO, ART AUCTION, CULINARY EVENT, OPAL SHOWING etc there were very few activities during the day, no sailaway parties, rarely music on deck and no games you could participate in as a family. There was a daily quiz that was very dry, occasional games (adults only) and a daily cooking demonstration. Cruise Director was the worst of any I have ever encountered and refused to enhance or adapt the program to entertain those demanding more. There seemed to be an inflexible policy and "by the book" mentality that dictated the usual routine be followed come what may!. Many people we spoke with were bored, so much so that we formed our own entertainment group of different families which grew and grew and ran things that are usually run by the entertainment staff on other ships - shuffleboard and table tennis tournaments, scavenger hunts, sailaway parties etc. I contacted the Hotel Manager as I wanted to let him know how disappointed we were and that so many people were unhappy and give him the opportunity to fix it while we were onboard but he really wasn;t that interested. As I said to him we know things are different elsewhere on other cruiselines as we've always enjoyed our cruises as a family on a variety of cruiselines (Princess, Oceania, Carnival) and maybe this time we just chose the wrong ship. However for first time cruisers many would think this was what cruising was all about and will never cruise again. The ship was also so American and didn't seem to make any concession at all to the fact that the majority of the passengers weren't and that she was based in Australian waters for at least 3 months.There were many requests made by pax for some Australian and NZ news and to pick up an Australian feed on the satellite to cover the Sydney Hobart race and the Boxing Day test. They managed to organize it for 2 days while we were in NZ but after that nothing. They changed the timing of the evening shows so if you were late seating you had to go to the 7.00 show and early seating the 9.00 show. This left us with little or no choice after dinner. Usually when cruising the evening consists of dinner then the show, nightclub or piano bar - bed. The piano bar had a nightly "name that tune" but the piano man was very flamboyant and we enjoyed his performance but it certainly wasn't for everyone! With no show to go to after dinner, piano bar not suitable for all, string quartet in the Ocean Bar very placid, the nightclub run by a DJ who played questionable music, then got overrun by teenagers, nights became very boring for many. I would really hesitate to recommend Volendam to anyone that isn't sedentary and looking for entertainment.Despite big promotions for their kids club this one did not do the trick for many onboard. This was meant to be a celebratory Christmas and New Year cruise and is naturally going to attract families. Christmas was so poorly done (again compared to the event they made it on Princess last year) and didn't have any magic at all. New Year's Eve was quite a celebration on the aft deck, but with Sydney Harbour and the fireworks as a backdrop hard to get it wrong! ( Apparently it was originally promoted that the ship would be moored at Circular Quay or in the harbour to see the bridge and this later changed to put us at Darling Harbour with a much lesser view and the U.S. passengers weren't told - rumors of a class action pending!!) I have cruised on Volendam before many years ago in the Caribbean and expected so much more. I always believed HAL was just a cut above Princess but couldn;t have been more wrong. Service and standards were mediocre and indifferent. There was no excellence. On a positive note food was probably better than Princess, but presentation was below par. The cabins too were of a good size as per all HAL ships and the general layout of the ship gave it a very spacious feel with good public areas. Whinge over - but feel the cruise was a waste of a family holiday and not good value or an enjoyable experience at all. Thank goodness I know there are cruising alternatives and can only imagine they "dumbed down" the product for this market. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
I was so excited about sailing on Holland America as I had always heard such wonderful things about them. What a disappointment! Our cabin was dirty when we were told it was ready. The bathroom had not been cleaned and the floor had not ... Read More
I was so excited about sailing on Holland America as I had always heard such wonderful things about them. What a disappointment! Our cabin was dirty when we were told it was ready. The bathroom had not been cleaned and the floor had not been vacuumed. When we complained about it the Hotel Manager and the person in charge of the room stewards came to the room and told us they would retrain the steward and sent us a bottle of wine. The reason we were given for the condition of the room was that he had to get so many rooms ready by 1:00. I would have preferred thatthey told me the room wasn't ready and waited for a clean room. Our room was emaculate from then on. The first night our waiter took our order and we didn't see him or our food for 1 hour and 15 minutes. After when we complained the next morning we were treated like royalty with a window table, their "best" wait staff, and a nightly visit from the dining room manager. There was a noise when we were in port that was so bad that it woke us at 5 am every morning. The explanation was oh it's the thrusters. They responded very well to problems but the problems should not be there in the first place. The food in the lido was bland and not appetizing. They often went to only one service line which made for very long lines. The dining room food was better but not great. On the pool deck they have a taco bar which always ran out of cheese sauce. It was never replenished. When asked they would just say we're out. The same for the soft serve in the lido. The staff was indifferent and almost resentful when asked for things. We even had the experience of having them push ahead of us to get into the elevator. The entertainment was awful. The 14 day cruise was just a repeat of the 7 day and they should not sell it as a 14 day cruise. We came home sleep deprived and frustrated. I could go on and on but I won't. What I also won't is go on another Holland America Cruise. Barbara Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
I am writing to express my total dissatisfaction with the above cruise. Friday, February 8th marked a week since my husband and I returned from this cruise which we booked to celebrate our 30th anniversary. It was not only the most ... Read More
I am writing to express my total dissatisfaction with the above cruise. Friday, February 8th marked a week since my husband and I returned from this cruise which we booked to celebrate our 30th anniversary. It was not only the most expensive10-day cruise we've been on but without a doubt the worst cruise experience we've ever encountered even though we did have a few enjoyable experiences. This was our first cruise on Holland America and we were looking forward to the great service and food previous Holland America cruisers had told us about. We had previously considered a Baltic cruise on Holland America but decided to try this one before booking a European cruise with you. We flew down to Ft. Lauderdale a day early to begin our celebration with a Marriott rewards night at the Hollywood Marriott Spa Hotel. We almost paid for a cab ride to the ship even though we had an airport transfer since our travel agent was told by someone in your corporate office that Holland America did not do transfers to the ship from this hotel anymore even though your 2008 brochure indicated otherwise . On the day of the cruise, January 22nd, we were checking out and my husband was arranging a cab to the ship when he noticed a HA representative named Sylvia displaying a Volendam sign on a desk in the lobby. We explained our situation to her and we were able to secure a transfer to board the ship. She told us that since we had already paid for this transfer we should check with the office once on board to get credit. We did receive a credit; however, we should not have had to do this on our vacation since we tried to resolve it before we left. Before boarding the ship, we had to complete a health form assuring that we had no current or previous lower GI illnesses yet 2 days into the cruise, 14 people were quarantined for this illness with no other explanation except that all hot tubs, mineral spas and pools would be closed until further notice. There was no more self-service food service of any kind and everything was served to you. The Lido deck had plastic wrap all around the front of the glass displaying what food was available. The actions taken were understandable; however, the service staff did not offer salt and pepper or any other condiments. You always had to ask for them and the staff made your request seem like an inconvenience to them. There was an update on the status of the illnesses for the remaining 8 days of the cruise. When we booked this cruise, we requested early seating for dinner as we've done on 5 previous cruises. Since you now have half your dinner seating set aside for open seating, we were put on a wait list. When we received our travel documents, we asked our travel agent to verify our dinner seating status. Our travel agent was previously told that early seating was the same as main seating which we later learned was 8 pm and not 6 pm as we had requested. Our agent was told by your corporate office that they could not change our wait list status a month before the cruise and that we would need to speak with the maitre'd once we boarded the ship to request early seating which should be no problem, and it wasn't. However, we were sandwiched in at table for 6 with 5 people already seated the second night of the cruise. Our waiter was a very nice young man, however, our table was the last of his 5 tables to be served and several nights we were "chimed out" which was very insulting. This had never happened to us on any other cruise line because there was always ample staff to wait on our table. While the food in the dining room was acceptable, it was not as good as what we have experienced on other cruise lines. The variety of food offered in the Lido dining room was "lack luster" at best. The last night of the cruise, we had dinner in the Pinnacle Dining Room and that was superb. I'm not sure why your other food service was so poor. The excursions were terrible, especially in Curacao and the Panama Canal. The 2-hour bus ride on the Panama Canal excursion to catch the ferry that took us through the canal was extremely inadequate. Our tour guide, Skip Berger, did not really add to our experiencing the Panama Canal! It was pretty much the same thing on the 2-hour trip back to the ship. For the money, the Curacao excursion was extremely disappointing and both tours were overbooked and very crowded to really appreciate being there. The Costa Rica excursion was very enjoyable. Our stop at your private island, Half Moon Cay, was super. We had our own cabana and my husband surprised me with a Butler service to include a full bar and lunch but we were charged for 2 additional bottles of champagne which should have been part of the package, especially since the package was priced for up to four people and it was only the two of us. Our room steward never introduced himself to us as other stewards have done on all of our previous cruises. He was always late making up our room and when the time changed in Costa Rica, we didn't know because he never turned down our bed that evening. The next morning we got all over the in-room dining staff because we ordered breakfast for 6 am and here it was 6:45 with no breakfast only to learn that the time had moved back an hour and in reality, it was only 5:45 am. You might consider an approach that guests can use to let the room steward know they are out of the room. This will allow the room steward to attend to the room on your guest's schedule. There was no ATM on board and you could not cash a personal check. The only two bright spots during this whole cruise were the beautiful formal pictures taken and the most exceptional meal we ate in the Pinnacle Grill our last night on the cruise. We did pay extra for that meal but it was worth every penny! It's a pity that the dining room food did not have the same quality. The shopping ambassador, Jason Bridge, dining room waiter, Suko, butler at Half Moon Cay and server "Edward" at the cafe bar were the highlights of your staff and service. Holland America will not be a cruise line of choice when we consider future cruises if another line has the itinerary we desire. Read Less
Sail Date January 2008
Background Information: We live in FL and have been on 9 cruises in the past two years. This is the third one on HAL. Embarkation: We drove to the port and left the car in the Park & Fly lot. Very handy with fast shuttle to the ship. ... Read More
Background Information: We live in FL and have been on 9 cruises in the past two years. This is the third one on HAL. Embarkation: We drove to the port and left the car in the Park & Fly lot. Very handy with fast shuttle to the ship. Arrived at the pier at about 2:00 PM and was on board in about 20 minutes. Very efficient staff. Ship: The Volendam was totally booked, but there was no crowding in most venues. The ship is getting old and is need of repairs to carpets, walls, etc. Some elevator buttons did not work. There was a toilet problem the first morning. It was fixed within a few hours and didn't reappear. The A/C was very unbalanced. Some rooms were too hot and some too cold. It seemed to get worse as the cruise went on. They tested the emergency generator one day and we got brownish water in the shower. This was reported in a September 2007 review, and I guess it is still a problem. Our (outside view) cabin was very large and comfortable. There was lots of storage. This class of cabin did not have a refrigerator, something other cruise lines have as standard. Dining Experience: We had late (main) seating at 8:30 PM. The dining room was relatively quiet and our service was excellent - totally up to the high HAL standard. Food variety and overall quality was good, but relatively bland - not up to previous HAL experiences. We found the Lido buffet food to be OK, but nothing to rave about. The staff did not keep the tables and floors cleaned as well as other ships. This was somewhat of a shock, given HAL's reputation. The Lido pool food area was messy and out of some items much of the time. Not acceptable. Ship Activities: The stage shows and talent were very good. However, the other ship activities were a big letdown. There were no craft or cultural activities. The sporting events were few and very poorly scheduled. The cruise director and his staff seemed like they were uninterested and there was very little excitement. Shows were sometimes scheduled before main dining and sometimes afterwards. This created conflicts with other activities. Overall, this was the worst experience we have had with shipboard activities. Shore Excursions: We didn't take any, so I cannot comment. Disembarkation: Very well organized and no crowding. We were allowed to stay in our cabins until our number was called. Overall: Up until this cruise, HAL was our favorite line. I had no problem recommending HAL to anyone. However, this cruise changed my opinion. HAL has, without a doubt, the best crews and service we have seen. They are professional and friendly and a joy to meet. I feel that this ship's management has let down them and their customers. The cruise director has done a very poor job with his staff and the event planning. The captain also should get his share of blame for the physical condition of the ship. Also, we were shocked that we did not see one of the ship's officers attending our Mariner luncheon. This was meant to thank HAL's repeat customers, who are the bedrock of the lines profitability. The fact that the captain did not assign one of his staff to do this showed his lack of interest in the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
I had many significant problems due in my opinion to Holland America management on my recent Tour 15. We did not leave the Volendam on May 18 until about 3 p.m. apparently because not enough buses were requested. Some people missed their ... Read More
I had many significant problems due in my opinion to Holland America management on my recent Tour 15. We did not leave the Volendam on May 18 until about 3 p.m. apparently because not enough buses were requested. Some people missed their 6 p.m. Holland America tours in Anchorage because we arrived too late. We bypassed many beautiful photo stops on our side of road with a lake in the foreground and mountains in the background because we were rushing to get to Anchorage on time. No food or drink (not even water) was provided in the ship's departure lounge for hours despite the repeated requests by several passengers. We were told that our debarkation number might be called at any time, so we could not even have a quick meal in the Lido restaurant. Communication and organization was in my opinion terrible. We were initially told we would spend about four hours viewing the Hubbard Glacier, and that a naturalist would give us interesting details about what we were viewing. Instead, we spend about an hour near the Hubbard Glacier. Many people missed the announcement and the view of the Glacier, yet they said that that was the primary reason for the trip. I never heard from a naturalist, or any announcement that his shipboard visit was cancelled. There was another large ship that arrived at the Glacier before we did, snuggled in very close to it, and stayed long after we departed the area. On the other hand, we never got close. I still do not know if the Hubbard Glacier is the one on the right, or the one on the left, or both. Again, in my opinion, there was very poor communication that made me feel angry and cheated. My cabin mate Lenore almost got left behind in Sitka. She saw a Volendam boat and a long line, and waited in line. Nobody from Holland America told her that the line was mostly for another Holland America ship until she eventually got to the head of the line, and by that time the last Volendam lifeboat had left. Luckily a Pilot took pity on Lenore and brought her to the ship. It was a traumatic experience for Lenore due in my opinion to poor communication by Holland America at the loading dock. I asked my Travel Agent if Holland America provided free internet service if I brought my laptop and was told there were hotspots on the ship where free internet service was available if I brought my laptop. So I lugged my laptop with this expectation. In addition, Lenore won a raffle which she and several others in the Casino heard included "10 free minutes of internet service". So she expected to receive this prize. Yet there was fine print on the award certificate saying she had to first pay to register and pay for 10 minutes before she could take advantage of this prize. When we make a written complaint about these two internet items, we received no response. When we complained to the Front Desk, we were told that we would get a response. Shortly thereafter, we did receive a call saying that the matter was being investigated and we would hear shortly. We never heard another word. Again, in my opinion, this is a case of very poor Holland America management. When we arrived in Vancouver at 10:30 a.m. with the ship scheduled to depart at 5 p.m., we thought we would have a little time to explore the vicinity of the town near our ship. However, the transfer to the ship and other items were so incredibly slow that we wasted the day in this terribly inefficient transfer process organized by Holland America. Our Taku Glacier Float Plane ship trip was in my opinion misrepresented, but when we complained to Chris, she said it was our fault. At the hotel in Fairbanks, when there was no announcement about our pre-paid transfer to the Airport, we were told by Holland America personnel that we missed the bus, even though we were waiting in the hotel lobby 45 minutes before we were told it was supposed to depart. We were told by 4 different Holland America personnel that our bags previously had been transferred to the Airport, whereas they were all in the Holland America bag storage room. The Holland America agents could not find our names on the paper manifest or on their computer even though we had written confirmation of the included transfer. Again, we were in my opinion subjected to much stress due to very poor Holland America training, communication and management. I could go on. There was about one serious problem per day. Our friends also had problems. For example, the toilet in their Veranda suite did not work when they first got aboard the ship. The problem was never fixed. They had to go to a public toilet two decks above theirs. They were offered no compensation. They complained many times, but according to Holland America management, it was their fault (which in their opinion it was not). There were some trip highlights including the ship food, the ship shows, the two included land-based tours, and our Tour Director Holly Jo Martin. But these were overshadowed by the many trip glitches. In summary, many things went terribly wrong on our Tour 15, in my opinion due to Holland America poor management, communication and training. What I repeatedly experienced from Holland American personnel on this trip is that "The Customer is Always Wrong". Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
The good: Check-in was very smooth. Very clean ship. Hand-sanitizers everywhere. My opinion, the presentation of the food at lunch and dinner was equivalent to a 5-star restaurant. Butternut squash soup is to die for at the Pinnacle ... Read More
The good: Check-in was very smooth. Very clean ship. Hand-sanitizers everywhere. My opinion, the presentation of the food at lunch and dinner was equivalent to a 5-star restaurant. Butternut squash soup is to die for at the Pinnacle grill. The staff seemed a little uptight and it took them awhile to warm up. The front desk staff was very nice and always helpful. I think HAL has bigger cabins than any other cruise I've been on. Bathrooms are quite spacious as well. The bad: Quality of the food was ok. The menu didn't look pleasing, but was actually great! Pinnacle was a somewhat of a disappointment - I ordered a Filet mignon (medium) and it was quite chewy, maybe it was my luck. I'd give the Pinnacle Grill another shot. On the first night, we tried to order 3 different bottles of wine and our beverage person told us "We don't have it" - it would have been nice if they updated their wine menu accordingly. I asked for an extra blanket and some extra stationary from our cabin stewardess and he said "we don't have it". I lived without the stationary, but I called housekeeping and got blankets. The next day my husband ordered a Diet Coke with lemon and the soda guy said "We don't have lemon" - I had just about had it at this point. My friend and I were standing in line to get ice cream I ordered Vanilla and Coconut off the menu - the ice creams didn't have signs and therefore I asked the guy behind the counter "Which one is vanilla and which one is coconut?" He said "you can taste and find out" and I aggressively said back to him "You are LAZY!!" - it was at that point he turned his attitude around. My Ocean Spa experience: I got a 3 for $89 deal in which I chose 3 services from 6. So I chose the Hair conditioning treatment, Neck and shoulder massage and foot and ankle massage. I had my appointment the night after our first formal so keep in mind that I had a good amount of hair products in my hair. I go into the room and the therapist starts putting conditioner into my hair . . .without shampooing, wetting or rinsing my hair first. Not only that, she doesn't apply the conditioner entirely, she only applies it whatever she has access to which left a lot of spots without conditioner. My neck and shoulder massage was 7 min. - my foot and ankle massage was 8 min. - WHAT A RIP-OFF!!! Not to mention her hands were ice cold while she gave me the massage. I don't know how she expected me to relax. As for the conditioner being rinsed out. I had to go back to my stateroom and rinse out the conditioner. I would not recommend the 3 for $89 or the 5 for $109 - it's a complete rip-off. By 10 pm the ship would be dead. And therefore most of the food areas would close at 9:30 or so except room service. There was even one time when we were denied room service - the only thing we ordered was Sprite and guess what they told us "we are closed, we don't have it" Here's my motto for HAL - Holland America - "Doesn't have it" . . . .but they need to get it together. My opinion I would say 70% of the cruisers were between the ages of 60+. Not very many young adult activities. The Crow's Nest had a DJ every night, but his music was not very up to date or is it the ship's music wasn't very up to date. If you are young, do not go on this cruise. We saw quite a few irate elderlies which kind of explains why the staff was probably a little uptight. HAL won't be the first on my list if when I cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2005
We arrived early for embarkation and there were a great many people already waiting to get on line for registration. As is the case on most cruises some passengers refuse to complete forms until they are on line to register. We completed ... Read More
We arrived early for embarkation and there were a great many people already waiting to get on line for registration. As is the case on most cruises some passengers refuse to complete forms until they are on line to register. We completed the online immigration form which we thought would speed the registration process. This was not the case. The HAL people did not seem to know what to do with the information on their computers. Three couples were processed with the paper forms on our right while my HAL agent was still playing with the record. Once processed and heading for boarding we are handed another form with no pens. This required use to go back into the registration room to complete the form. No one at HAL could explain why the form was not included in our ticket package. When we arrived on board the cabins were not ready and we headed for the Lido for lunch. On the Lido deck we were able to check our carry on bag. After lunch the cabins were ready and we were taken to our cabin. The cabin was clean and was what we expected from HAL. I should add the bed was great. The best I have had on any ship. The cabin steward was very good. The two problems with the room were the toilet did not flush all the time. It seemed to have a will of its own. Other passengers had the same problem as did many of the public bathrooms. The shower hot water was rare. The front desk could not get the problem fixed. The ship has had and continues to have a plumbing problem which needs to be addressed. Meals on the Lido were good. The staff at the Lido are of real help and seem to care. I wish I could say the same about the dinning rooms. Dinner was OK and service was very good. However breakfast and lunch service were the worst I have experienced. Often plates were cold rather than hot and we were not served what was ordered with items missing from our plates. Food overall is fair to good for a cruise ship. The menu needs work as does the staff. The shows were fair -- not up to what I experienced on other HAL cruises. Tours were OK but expensive. I would suggest making your own arrangements once on shore if you know how to deal with people and reach a equitable deal for all. The casino people were the best I have experienced on any cruise line. They seem to really care and want to help. The gratuity policy could not be explained by anyone on the ship. Who gets what is impossible to determine. This seems to be the direction of most cruise lines. Unless passengers object we will have to suffer a poor policy which seems to provide funds for the owners and reduced income for the crew. The new policy of disembarkation is excellent. You can now stay in your cabin until your number is called rather than waiting in the common area. Overall the cruise service, food and shows were not up to my experience on other HAL cruises and I would not book the Volendam at any price. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
Traveled with six other people. It was our sixth cruise in as many years. Had previously been with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Princess cruise lines. The Volendam was a complete disappointment. The food was poor to average. Not a ... Read More
Traveled with six other people. It was our sixth cruise in as many years. Had previously been with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Princess cruise lines. The Volendam was a complete disappointment. The food was poor to average. Not a single meal could be called memorable in a positive manner. The entertainment was unimaginative. One night's entertainment consisted of a ventriloquist, another night was a pianist. The "special" Indonesian crew staff night was indescribable. Even the bingo board was broken for a day or two. For two days the ship smelled of raw sewage. The captain announced that they were having problems with the ship's waste management system. Toilet flushing was on again - off again. The seventh day out, all toilets on the sixth floor were out of use. Twice, I was grossly overcharged for purchases from on-board shops. Bought one watch - was charged for two. Bought three photographs - was charged for fourteen. However, the crew and staff were excellent. We all agreed that this would be our final cruise with Holland America. Had mixed feelings about the shore excursions. Swimming with the stingrays in Nassau was the highlight of the trip. However, swimming in the ocean on Dominica (where the sewage runs right into the ocean) was disgusting. Read Less
Sail Date January 2004
Volendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 5.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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