592 Holland America Volendam Cruise Reviews

I like the smaller size ship Volendam and I found it to be spacious and never felt crowded, although it's an older ship, and it does show some wear and tear. The Inside Passage to Alaska was very scenic and we were able to enjoy ... Read More
I like the smaller size ship Volendam and I found it to be spacious and never felt crowded, although it's an older ship, and it does show some wear and tear. The Inside Passage to Alaska was very scenic and we were able to enjoy the view from our balcony for most of the voyage, due to the unusually warm weather. The ports were easily accessible by walking except for Juneau, which was a fifteen minute walk, but a free shuttle was provided. The shops were fun, but the merchandise was pretty much the same in every shop, in all three ports. The entertainment was really good. Comedians were hilarious, the dancers were great, the costumes and scenery were fabulous. The dinners in the main dining room were fair, and the service was good. Twice we had dinner in the Pinnacle and it was disappointing. A fifty dollar steak should be really good, and it wasn't good either time. The breakfasts in the Pinnacle were also a disappointment. Someone should tell the cook that pancakes should be served hot, or at least warm. Cold pancakes served with cold butter and cold syrup just aren't that great. We were in a Neptune Suite which is always very nice. There was a problem with one of the heating vents, which wasn't corrected until I made FOUR complaints about it. The bathroom smelled bad, and that problem never was corrected at all. The staff was great. Polite and efficient without being intrusive. I usually go to tropical ports, but I would go back to Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Aussies Beware. Holland America Line (HAL) Our holiday (disaster), my wife and I were on the Volendam in stateroom 7062. We arrived in Vancouver May 4th, We boarded the ship in Yokohoma a 19 day cruise, the first night on board we ... Read More
Aussies Beware. Holland America Line (HAL) Our holiday (disaster), my wife and I were on the Volendam in stateroom 7062. We arrived in Vancouver May 4th, We boarded the ship in Yokohoma a 19 day cruise, the first night on board we had very little sleep the noise above our stateroom was excessive with the moving of the table and chairs and the trolley that they use to move things around in this lasted until about midnight, then the trolley was moved again at 3am the the table and chairs were again put out for breakfast at around 4:45am. at around 11 am the next day the noise started again, I quickly went up stairs and found 3 deckhands dragging the chairs and tables around. apparently there is a store room above which contains a lot of props for decorations which are constantly being moved. My husband spoke the the deck steward about the noise, he told him he would also speak to the night deck hand. We then started my complaints to the front office trying to get a room change. we complained regularly about this as it happened every day and night until I was told that compensation would be paid and nothing else could be done. We were fobbed off. At the end of the cruise $250 taken off our bill. Not one night did we have a full sleep and forget about catching up during the day just as bad, if you are unlucky enough to have a bad stateroom they have your money and you are not getting it back. Forget Australian Consumer Guarantee laws they don't apply. Complaints get you no where. I have been in touch with ATAS was told nothing could be done and the travel agent could not be held responsible, I have been in communication with office of the president of HAL and their ombudsman what a waste of time. Its not the money but the thought that nowadays you can still get ripped off so easy. I cruise quite a bit, HAL is not up to standard and would not recommend. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We were drawn to the Holland America Volendam cruise because of the itinerary. We did not take the entire 35 days, but opted for the 16 days from Hong Kong to Tokyo. The ship itself is smaller than many these days but just right for us. It ... Read More
We were drawn to the Holland America Volendam cruise because of the itinerary. We did not take the entire 35 days, but opted for the 16 days from Hong Kong to Tokyo. The ship itself is smaller than many these days but just right for us. It holds approximately 1240 passengers plus crew of course. We enjoyed a pre-cruise stay in Hong Kong for several nights at the InterContinental Hotel over looking Victoria Harbor. Absolutely a lovely hotel. We signed up for a private tour for half a day to see the highlights. A wonderful guide by the name of Dino. Embarkation was smooth as could be. Our veranda cabin was lovely and the beds extremely comfortable. Our cabin steward Handa and work mate, Roy were hard working pleasant professionals and took great care of our needs and our cabin. We enjoyed the Lido for breakfast and lunch almost every day and a few dinners. All the food was very good--wide selection and the staff was very helpful if you had questions or needed help. The Rotterdam dining room was elegant in appearance. We had the early seating and our servers were Anto and Rim. They were top notch. Kadek the maître de was truly a gentleman and ran the dining room with precision. Our only negative comment is that the food could have been server at a hotter temperature rather than simply being warm. Also, if you did not want gravy, you had to specify no gravy. Other than these two things, we were very pleased with the menu offerings and the service. This crew was hard working and aiming to please the passengers! We dined in the Pinnacle Grill and were delighted with the quality and preparation of the food! We also dined in the Cannaletto and enjoyed a delicious antipasto and entrees of pasta which were prepared to order and delicious! We attended lectures on board and also participated in Tai Chi every sea day. Simply wonderful and conducted by Ping Wing Kam, a retired dentist and scholar of Chinese history. The entertainment was varied and excellent! I think we only missed one show on the night we were in Beijing. The Explorations Café, Library and Computer Center were the hub of popularity on sea days. We loved the espressos and cappuccinos, the huge variety of books and of course liked having computer access to touch base with home. As for excursions, we booked all with HAL except for the pre and post cruise. HAL's excursions and group leaders were all excellent. The highlight for us was walking The Great Wall! Our pre-cruise excursions in Hong Kong was excellent but we were not pleased at all with the post cruise excursion in Tokyo. The "English" speaking guide was difficult to hear and to understand. She left us behind at the Imperial Palace. We were left there not knowing one word of Japanese; did not have a phone and could not find an English speaking person. We had to chase down a tour bus with our tour name on the side. The driver kindly phoned the tour office, asked them to phone our guide, had her phone this bus driver to tell where we were located and our bus came back to pick us up. Not a happy experience. Then, we find out that the tour only had provided pick up service and not drop off service so we had to hail a Taxi cab and pay almost $50 US to get back to our hotel. All in all it was a wonderful itinerary. We definitely would sail with Holland American again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We have cruised with Holland America Line on 14 of their cruises on various vessels. This was our first experience on the ms Volendam. First of all, the employees on the ms Volendam, like nearly all of their sister vessels' ... Read More
We have cruised with Holland America Line on 14 of their cruises on various vessels. This was our first experience on the ms Volendam. First of all, the employees on the ms Volendam, like nearly all of their sister vessels' employees, were superb and met our expectations for the most part, with some issues noted below. Our Suite Stewards were Excellent! A. The Pinnacle Grille personnel were all superb from top to bottom, as well as the food, though the menu needs to be tweaked. We ate there three times in the 16 days we were on the ship and would have liked a little more variety, but all the food we ate was outstanding, and worth the extra expense. B. Check in and Embarkation worked extremely well in Hong Kong. C. Disembarkation in Yokohama was also seamless. D. Front Desk personnel were also superb and very very helpful. E. The Canaletto was a nice experience at minimal extra cost though we only used it once during our cruise, this time. The portions are huge and could be cut back a bit in our estimation. Problem Areas on the ms Volendam.: 1. Maintenance on the ship was not up to par in our estimation, with many many rust areas on the outside decks, and the suite we were in had scratches and nicks in the desk area and around the wooden parts of the door frames, etc. 2. Reduced man power in the main Dining Room - the Rotterdam, caused extremely slow service for all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that we ate there. 3. The lack of employees stretched those that were working in the Rotterdam to the point where 30 minutes was not unusal to get the first course or the main course, which were often luke warm by the time they were served. 4. Having so few personnel also meant it was difficult to get anyone's attention when you needed something extra or something simple like a cup of coffee. 5. Though most, but not all of the shore excursions that we took (costing over US$2500 in total for two people) were well done, the cattle car experiences of waiting in the Frans Hal theater for those excursions was very difficult with inadequate seating and the shore excursion staff in the Frans Hal were treating the guests as a bunch of children on a school outing rather than as paying adults. Repeating and being loud and "pushy" is not what should have been done. They need to break up the areas for assembling to more than this one venue, which could be done if they had adequate resources to man the Frans Hal and the Explorer's Lounge, or the theater as examples. 6. The Lido food and presentations need to be monitored better though we seldom use the Lido to avoid the buffet atmosphere and the "mobs" of people clamoring for food. This ship needs a dry docking to bring it back up to par with some of the other HAL ships. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
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
HAL is one of my favorite lines. . I like long cruises of 30 day and have already booked next year's HAL Cruise to S. AMERICA why? 1.dining room service w/ yudi was as good as the pinnacle and i tipped xtra. my roomie was gluten ... Read More
HAL is one of my favorite lines. . I like long cruises of 30 day and have already booked next year's HAL Cruise to S. AMERICA why? 1.dining room service w/ yudi was as good as the pinnacle and i tipped xtra. my roomie was gluten free and i am vegetarian.and diebetic yudi was told once and after that always asked what i wanted for my evening snack when a table became available he moved us to a window table. hal now offers a full vegetarian menu - very nice! of course, there was surf and turf on a night; lobster on another and gigantic steaks any time.the saladsandchilled fruit soups were to die for and the desserts were decedant w/ a non-sugar choice the female the female wine stewart. instead of asking again and again when we said :no" to wine .like the male stewart. instead she came every nite and enquired about our day..low key -- no pressure -- polite and friendly i only had dinner in the dining room because lunch interfered w/ my trivia game. the lido buffet was boring the chef thinks vegetarians eat pasta. luckily i like mac and cheese. but daily. once i had asian noodles and korean/japanese pickles -- yes! i am from vancouver and prefer asian food. the sushi was ho hum. a gala asian buffet held on the deck andmost enjoyed it hal decorated w/ chinese lanterns and served food in street stalls. unfortunately, no vegetarian fare. strange. many chinese. korean and japanese folk r buddhist hence vegetarian. they tried. but thy r dutch. the specialty dutch tea was british interpreted by americans. (myfather's a brit) -- the indonesian hi tea was also british altho the actual indonesian tea was terrific the server let me take some back to my cabin.great service the only disappointment is the 24 hr. room service. if u order continental all is well. tricks of trade. if u r having ci=offee for tow write "large" beside coffee. if you risk a poachd egg -- write 'soft' beside egg. the coffee was not starbucks. but drinkable the vegetarian thai wrap is delicious. but only available til 10 pm. after that vegetarians starve. cabin cleaning on par w/ other cruises -- minimal. lectures: mr. terry greenburg lectured on the history of china. japan and alaska. terrific. factural w. human elements. cultural info regarding japan wee fascinating. dr. helen ayers lectured on geology incl. ice burgs the talk on oil mining was an eye opener and really clarified the conflict regarding fraking. wonderful. pARK Rngers came on board when we entered glacier bay. i've been to alaska twice so i skipped it. down side -- cruised for 6 days over date line and changed time 1 hr fwd each day so i was in constant jet lag (time lag) then changed 2 hrs fwd just b4 vancouver. activities - mixed -- steve was a phenomenal bridge teacher for two wks, then katherine took over and she sucked windows 10 couraes helpful. dynamic and patient teacher. trivial always fun. library/wifi area the best of any line. jazzy shore manager a dud, but available to hand out maps and provide tips for those going ashore on their own did not take hal shore ex. cruised w/ craig travel and took their tours and cruise critic hal tours too expensive. cabin inside as good as an inside can be. better than ncl. carnival and princess. boarding and disembarkation smooth Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I had visited Hong Kong on R&R during the Vietnam War and frequently talked to my wife about how much I enjoyed the trip. Subsequently, my wife expressed an interest in visiting Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. I arranged this cruise on ... Read More
I had visited Hong Kong on R&R during the Vietnam War and frequently talked to my wife about how much I enjoyed the trip. Subsequently, my wife expressed an interest in visiting Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. I arranged this cruise on Holland America (our 4th Holland America cruise) to satisfy her wishes. Due to my wife's bad back, I made the travel arrangements accordingly. I booked all of the airline and hotel reservations through my travel agent and I will not be reviewing them. If you want information on them, please post a comment and I will respond. I insured the trip with Allianz through my travel agent. Here was the itinerary: Mar 9 - Flew United Airlines economy from Baltimore to Los Angeles (layover in Denver) and spent the night at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel. Mar 10-11 - Flew United Airlines business class to Narita Airport, Tokyo, Japan, and spent the night at the Hilton Narita hotel. Mar 12 - Flew Singapore Airlines business class to Singapore. May 13-16 - Spent 5 nights at the Conrad Centennial Hotel and toured Singapore. May 17 - Embarked on Holland America ship ms Volendam for 14 day Asia Explorer cruise. May 18 - Sea day. Mar 19 - Nathon (Koh Samui), Thailand. Mar 20-21 - Loem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand. Mar 22 - Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Mar 23 - Sea day. Mar 24 - Phu My (Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon), Vietnam. Mar 25 - Nha Trang, Vietnam. Mar 26 - Sea day. Mar 27 - Danang, Vietnam. Mar 28 - Sea day. Mar 29 - Halong Bay, Vietnam. Mar 30 - Sea day. Mar 31 - Debarked ms Volendam in Hong Kong. Mar 31 - Apr 4 - Spent 5 nights at Habour Grand hotel (Hong Kong Island) and toured Hong Kong. Apr 5 - Flew Japan Airlines economy to Narita Airport, Tokyo, Japan, and spent the night at the Hilton Narita hotel. Apr 6 - Flew United Airlines business class to San Francisco. Apr 6-11 - Visited relatives and toured San Francisco. Stayed 2 nights at Holiday Inn Express Fishermans Wharf. Apr 12 - Flew United Airlines economy to Baltimore (layover in Chicago). It was a memorable trip and I would definitely recommend the cruise. Our cruise was actually part of an extended repositioning cruise that eventually ended in Vancouver, BC. The Volendam is currently sailing out of Vancouver on Alaskan cruises. One thing I was concerned about before the cruise was obtaining visas for Cambodia and Vietnam (US citizens only need a valid passport for Singapore, Thailand, and Hong Kong). Our travel agent had checked with Holland America beforehand and was told the visas could be obtained onboard and charged to our ship account. She was correct. The process is as follows: 1. Arrive at embarkation and fill out paperwork indicating which countries you require visas for. 2. The appropriate visa application paperwork is delivered to your cabin (Warning - It is a lot of paperwork but easy to fill out). 3. Deliver the completed paperwork to the Purser's office. Exception: You must retain the Vietnam landing pass - it must be presented and stamped by Vietnamese officials at each Vietnam port. DO NOT deliver it to the Purser's office. One of our shipmates did this and had to make a mad dash to the Purser's office to get it back just prior to departing on a shore excursion to Ho Chi Minh City. 4. The visa charges will show up on your ship account the next day. NOTE: We were required to turn in our passports at embarkation. They were retained for the cruise entirety. We had to return to the Purser's office the day before debarkatiln to get them back. Cabin: We stayed in a Verandah Suite, cabin 6145 (midship on starboard side). We have stayed in Varandah Suites on prior cruises and always get that cabin type. We had the best set of cabin stewards ever on a Holland America cruise. The only minor problem was some noise during noontime hour two times from the shops below our cabin (they were playing music and had a loudspeaker during a promotion). It only lasted about 20 minutes but was annoying since I was trying to take a nap on one occasion. Otherwise, this cabin location was excellent. Luggage: We decided for this cruise to have Luggage Forward deliver a 29 inch suitcase to our cabin and pick it up at debarkation and deliver it back home. We packed all of our cruise clothes in it. It worked out well although I must warn you it is very expensive, especially if luggage is being delivered halfway around the world. However, if you tally up the excess airline baggage charges you would incur, it is not such a bad deal. Here is the process: 1. Sign up on the Luggage Forward web site. You will have to prepare a detailed packing list (it can be posted later but before your pickup date) and give them your ship cabin info, and pickup and return addresses (they can be different). You will also have to scan the title page of your passport so they can verify your identify (for customs purposes). You will schedule a pickup date/time. We scheduled a Mar 4 pickup for a Mar 17 delivery to the ship. 2. Prior to the scheduled pickup day Luggage Forward will mail you a packet of information. It will contain two big envelopes. One for luggage forwarding (Leg 1) and one for the return (Leg 2). Each will contain a big luggage tag containing a plastic envelope with a packing list (I.e the one you entered online), delivery and customs forms. Note: Put a copy of your title passport page with the paperwork in each luggage tag. You will attach the Leg 1 tag to your luggage. Warning: The Luggage Forward tag is very large and fits over your luggage handle. Do not put your Holland America luggage tag on the handle - tape it securely elsewhere on the luggage. Take the Leg 2 paperwork with you on the cruise. You will have to remove the Leg 1 tag and put the Leg 2 tag on prior to the luggage being returned. 2. You will receive timely emails at each step of the process (e.g. when they are scheduled pick up the luggage, when they actually picked it up, when it was delivered to the ship, when it was picked up from the ship, when it was delivered to the return address, etc.). 3. I had several questions and the customer service rep was very helpful (he was a former travel agent). 4. FedEx picked up our luggage at the designated date/time. Our luggage was waiting in our cabin when we boarded (it arrived before our other luggage), 5. I delivered the luggage to the Purser's office at 7 AM on debarkation day and it was subsequently picked up and safely delivered home. 6. Luggage Forward coordinates forwarding and return with the cruise line. Holland America knows you are using Luggage Forward. 7. Luggage Forward had told me if we were not home when the luggage was returned, they would come back the next day since they needed a signature. This was not the case. FedEx actually delivered it to my neighbor who was watching my house, picking up mail/newspapers, etc. Dining: It was an easy walk from our cabin to the aft stairs and one deck down to our assigned seats in the main dining room on deck 5 (we prefer fixed dining, table for 4, at 8 PM). We had a lovely Israeli couple as seat mates and enjoyed their company. The dining room food was good to excellent (on a par with our previous Holland America cruises). Service was excellent and our wine steward was attentive and knowledgable. We booked dinner reservations at the Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto Restautant prior to the cruise. Surprise! When we boarded we found out our travel agent had comped us the same reservations. So, we had 2 dinners at Pinnacle and 2 at the Canaletto. We have been to the Pinncle Grill many times and have never had a bad meal or service. The Canaletto was a new experience. They specialize in serving Italian food family style (I.e. shared dishes). Warning: They serve huge portions. If it is just you and your mate, order a large plate and share it. A normal person will not be able to finish a large plate. I highly recommend the Zuppa Di Pesce appetizer. It consists of a tomato saffron broth with mussels, clams, shrimps, scallops, cod, and vegetables. Really delicious. We ordered it both times we ate there. The first night we shared the spaghetti and meatballs and we shared the sautéed veal picatta the second night. Both were very good. We had pistachio gelato for dessert both nights. Entertainment: No reviews. Activities: The Volendam has a live 10-person poker table for those interested. They have a live Texas Holdem tournament every afternoon at 2:30 while at sea, and a live $1 - $2 Texas Holdem cash game every night at 9 PM while at sea. The dealers were excellent and the games are managed very well. We always had a full table for the afternoon tournaments and several times a second tournament was played immediately following the first. Entry fee is $30 and the top 5 of 10 players are in the money (payout is different if less than 10 players). 1st place gets $100, 2nd gets $60, and the remaining 3 get their $30 entry fee back. I won one tournament and finished in the money every time but two. I came out $40 to the good. Of course I probably spend that much or more on drinks during the games. Great fun. Note: Sign up for the tournament at the casino cashier cage when it opens at 9 AM to insure a place at the table. Oddly, interest in the cash game at night was non-existent. I went down to the casino every sea night and only 1 or 2 people had signed up. I don't think they ever had a game. This was completely opposite to my experience on two cruises on the ms Noordam. Hardly anybody showed up for the afternoon tournaments, but the nightly cash games had a full table (even though it was an electronic poker table - no dealer and virtual chips). Shore Excursions. I prefer to use ratings of Poor, Average, Good, and Excellent instead of star ratings. Nathon (Koh Samui), Thailand: Samui Sights with Lunch (5 1/2 hrs): Bus tour. First stop was a local village where they demonstrate coconut shucking and the local coconut industry. Drink from a fresh coconut. Next, visit a fishing village and later see a trained monkey picking coconuts from a tree. Next stop is a seated Buddha in a temple complex that sits at top of about a hundred steps. Warning: The dress code is enforced. We saw a monk confront a man with a tank top and he was denied entrance. Final stop is lunch at a beach. Food was average. This was the only bad tour I experienced. The bus was really bouncy and had uncomfortable skinny seats. Also, the PA system in the bus kept experiencing feedback. That, combined with the guide's barely passable English, was not a pleasant experience. Rating: Poor. Loem Chabang (Bangkok): Day 1: Ayutthaya: A UNESCO World Heritage Sight (11 hrs): Nice tour except for 3 hour bus trip going and returning. The first stop was the Bang Pa Summer Palace. This is a beautiful venue with lots of photo ops. However, there is a lot of walking involved. You visit a Chinese palace on the grounds (no shoes allowed). The next stop was one of the Ayutthaya sites. Supposedly it is a smaller version of Angkor Wat. I cannot judge that because I have not been to Angkor Wat. Interesting architecture, good photo ops. Lots of walking involved. We visited three different venues interrupted by lunch at a local resort, which was local food and very good. There was time to relax before the tour continued. Then there was the elephant ride! It was was interesting but if I had to do it again I would ride an elephant by myself. My wife and I rode together and it was very uncomfortable trying to use the camera (wife) and video (me) while holding on to the seating/canopy. I am 6'2" and 225 lbs. The ride isn't very long (15-20 minutes). The mahouts will take some pictures with your camera halfway through the ride for a couple of dollars. The elephants appeared to be treated well - lots of water and shade at the departure point. After that it was time to return to the ship. Rating: Good. Day 2: Sanctuary of Truth. Fascinating tour of all wooden pagoda that is still a work in progress (kind of like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona). The highlight of this tour for me was the fantastic view of Pattaya Bay at he next stop (great photo op). Rating: Good. Sihanoukville' Cambodia: Sihanouk like & Environs (3 1/2 hrs): Bus tour of the Sihanoukvill port and surrounding area. Visit a pagoda, beach, fishing village, and local market. Kind of boring to me. The wife was more interested. Rating: Average. Phu My (Ho Chi Minh City/ Saigon): Sensational Saigon (8 hrs): About a 2 hour bus trip from Phu My port to Saigon. You drive through the port town then out to countryside with lots of rice paddies until nearing Saigon. The skyline of Saigon looks like a modern Asian city, nothing like when I was stationed here 45 years ago. For instance, the tallest building in Saigon when I was there was probably 8 stories. Now, they have 50 story buildings and loads of 20-30 story buildings. New construction is everywhere. The tour visited the tallest building in Saigon and we took an elevator to the viewing deck (for $20 extra - a ripoff in my opinion). The view was spectacular but there was some haze that precluded a view of the airport (where I had neen sationed - kind of a bummer). The highlight of this tour for me was a visit to the former Presidential Palace which has been renamed Independence Palace. Very interesting to tour the basement bunker and see all the discarded U.S. Communications equipment. The tour also visited a museum (not great), and stopped at the Notre Dame cathedral downtown. We got to get off the bus and walk around the plaza and visit the Post Office across the street. Lunch was served mid-tour in a very nice hotel (Windsor Plaza). The food was local but was average to me. If you wanted to tour Saigon on your own it could be quite an ordeal getting transportation to and from the port to Saigon. You would probably have to take cyclos or taxis to get around Saigon. I am not familiar with the buses. I did not see any hop-on hop-off tour buses like I did on Singapore, and later in Hong Kong. The local merchants accepted U.S. dollars although they aren't supposed to. Rating: Good. Nha Trang, Vietnam: Nha Trang by Rickshaw & Shopping (4 hrs): This was the second best tour we went on with the exception of Halong Bay. Nha Trang harbor is absolutely stunning and beautiful. There is a cable car that travels from the town to a resort island across the harbor. The cable car stanchions are shaped like the Eiffel Tower and are colorfully lit at night. The cable cars pass very close to the ship. Do not miss viewing this at night. The tour visited a silk embroidery factory which was fascinating. You get to see the Vietnamese artisans (all were women) weaving intimate designs using different colored silk threads. They look like actual oil paintings. Absolutely amazing artwork. Several people bought one and had it shipped home. They wrapped it at the factory. Across the street from the factory was an array of rickshaws. We all got in a rickshaw (about 25-30 people were in our tour group) and we're off on a 2-3 mile ride to the next stop.The rickshaws are all one seaters (rider in front) and only have one bicycle gear, although I noticed two of them had electric assist. They just barrel through intersections and it is quite harrowing. About 3/4 through the trip, they had to climb a bridge with a moderate incline over an inlet. They all dismounted and stated pushing the rickshaws! After getting to the top, they remounted, went downhill for a quarter mile and u-turned to approach the stop. By this time I had passed my wife. When I dismounted, she was nowhere to be seen. I told the tour guide and then went out in the street and zoomed in with my video camera and I finally saw her coming on. Her rickshaw had been hit in the back on the bridge by a woman on a motorbike! My wife was OK and things were sorted out by the locals and she went on her way. We visited the Long San Pagoda complex which has a huge white Buddha sitting at the top of 208 steep steps. There was a reclining Buddha about 1/3 of the way up. I climbed all the way up (I used a walking stick) but my wife decided to sit down and rest. I took the camera and got some great photos (my video camera battery had died earlier). The final stop was a visit to a local market. My wife and I were tired so we stayed on the bus. Rating: Excellent. Danang, Vietnam: Imperial Hue (8 1/2 hrs): About a 2 1/2 hour bus ride to the Imperial Citadel in Hue. The scenery is outstanding. You travel through Danang (going over the dragon bridge although photo op is poor) before approaching the mountains and sometimes the cloud cover is at your level. It had been raining this day although it had stopped by the time we got to Hue. You travel through a tunnel built through the mountains. The Hue citadel is hiuge and provides some good photo ops. Our tour guide was excellent and spoke good Emglish. Warning: Lots of walking involved but not much climbing. Lunch was provided at a local hotel with local cuisine and was quite good. We also visited a tomb (not impressed) before returning to the ship. Rating: Good. Halong Bay, Vietnam: Halong Nay Cruise & Thien Kung Cave (3 1/2 hrs): Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is not to be missed. The pictures you have seen of Halong Bay and the rock formations cannot do it justice. Absolutely the most beautiful scenery of the entire cruise. You board a fishing junk at the rear of the ship and cruise approximately 30 minutes to the cave. You get off the junk and walk up probably 50-75 steps to reach the entrance to the cave. The day we toured there it was a zoo. There were 20-30 junks vying for docking space and a huge snaking line up the steps to the entrance, although it moved at a good pace. Inside the cave is very interesting. You are walking on uneven surfaces up and down, although there are steps provided. The inside is lit up with different colored lights. Warning: It was very warm in the cave (at least 20 degrees warmer than outside). Take your windbreaker off before entering and be sure to hydrate beforehand. Depending on the pace of the crowd, the cave tour takes about 20-30 minutes. After exiting (not where you entered), you walk down a series of steps to the dock and get back on your junk. Next, you cruise through the rock formations of Halong Bay, The junks move at a slow pace and there is plenty of time for pictures. You spend about 45 minutes cruising and this is the highlight of the tour. Then you cruise for another 30 minutes and return to the ship. Rating: Good. I would rate this Excellent except for the crowds. We took the morning tour. There was an afternoon tour at 1 PM which may be less crowded. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are 5 star on HAL and love cruising the high seas. This itinerary was wonderful. We boarded in Hong Kong. Because of Cruise Critic we knew several couples that would be sailing. Several excursions were pre-planned before boarding. ... Read More
We are 5 star on HAL and love cruising the high seas. This itinerary was wonderful. We boarded in Hong Kong. Because of Cruise Critic we knew several couples that would be sailing. Several excursions were pre-planned before boarding. One very frustrating incident was the fact we were told in China we would have to be back on board at least two hours before the HAL excursions. That meant we had to cut our day short. In fact, the ship was held up for several hours after we were told to return. Usually, all star mariners are invited to the awards ceremonies. On this cruise, even the 4 stars were not invited to attend. We complained to the hotel manager and were told there were too many 4 stars on board! This was blamed on Seattle. I won a $100 gift certificate in a drawing in the Spa. The Manager said I could only use it towards a Signature Service costing at least $100 more. I argued and finally had it applied towards something I wanted by paying a little extra. I won a gift certificate after this on another HAL ship and could use it towards anything in the Spa. The Manager in the Volendam was just being very difficult. My major complaint on the Volendam was the fact that the windows were never washed during our entire cruise. We have never been on a ship that wasn't pristine. There was also an issue with heat. When we reached a colder climate, the heating system wasn't working and we were all cold. Even the servers in the Lido had to wear jackets. It was a good thing we knew about the HAL standard of excellence. Thank heavens our two cruises after the Volendam lived up to Holland Ametica standards. Again, the itinerary was great. Enjoyed China, South Korea, Japan and coming back down from Kodiak and Sitka. Hopefully, the issues I mentioned have been resolved on the Volendam. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The 2016 Volendam Indonesia Eclipse Cruise March (1 to March 17) from Singapore deviated from the normal route in order to detour into the Makassar Straits to view the Total Eclipse of the sun. Over half of passengers on this cruise were ... Read More
The 2016 Volendam Indonesia Eclipse Cruise March (1 to March 17) from Singapore deviated from the normal route in order to detour into the Makassar Straits to view the Total Eclipse of the sun. Over half of passengers on this cruise were eclipse chasers that were more than happy with the excellent viewing conditions on eclipse day March 9th. With over 800 eclipse enthusiasts onboard, the Volendam facilities were the probably not utilized in their normal pattern. On sea days many computers could be seen in use in the public areas even though Internet speed was miserably slow. The Casino was typically populated more by staff than passengers. The Frans Hals Lounge was frequently less than half full and most public areas were almost deserted after 9pm! Like most cruise ships, the musical evening show time performances included unnecessarily loud accompaniments. There appears to be some confusion between quantity and quality. With the generally older average age passengers on Holland America cruises, hearing aids may be more the norm. Some of us, however, do not have the option to remove them in loud environments. Regarding the more normal cruise features the Volendam food, house keeping and customer service were all to the Holland America high standards. Special mention goes to Cruise Director Christine Purcell and her electric personality. Thanks also to Captain Russell-Dunford for keeping the Volendam on a steady course while avoiding cloud cover during eclipse totality. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We sailed back to back on the solar eclipse Indonesia cruise and then the Thailand, Vietnam to Hong Kong cruise (31 days) . We are 4 star mariners with HAL so We have sailed with them many times. We have sailed on every class of ship ... Read More
We sailed back to back on the solar eclipse Indonesia cruise and then the Thailand, Vietnam to Hong Kong cruise (31 days) . We are 4 star mariners with HAL so We have sailed with them many times. We have sailed on every class of ship except the Prinsdendam, which we know is too old and small for us. This was our first sailing on the Volendam and it will be our last on this size ship! We were in a very expensive, handicap cabin on the top cabin deck (seventh floor, Navigator deck), and it was by far the worst cabin we have ever stayed in on a HAL ship or any other. The thrusters vibrated and shook our cabin at every docking, dispute how high up we were. That meant very early, unwanted awakenings and many sleepless nights. The shake, rattle and roll experiences were on going, even during days at sea. The banging noises and furniture scraping above and around us was ridiculous! This ship must have no soundproofing at all. In addition, the migration of cigerate smoke from the deck above and from neighboring balconies, was absolutely awful. This is a problem on all HAL ships as smoking is still allowed on cabin balconies but smokers are not put on "smoker only" floors (or in "smoker only" areas of the ship). It is hard to take seriously HAL's "commitment" to great stewardship of the oceans and its inhabitants while it continues to facilitate the pollution of the lungs of its passengers with a indisputable carcinogen! Many cruise lines have banned smoking on balconies so everyone paying for this amenity can enjoy what they paid for. It's time that HAL bans balcony smoking as well. I have never had so many things to complain about on a HAL cruise. The front desk staff was ineffective. Complaints were handled by supposedly sending a email to some other person with the promise of follow up, which never occurred. I had to get the front desk manager involved (Suzzana), before things were properly addressed. She is outstanding. She got everything corrected that she could and followed up almost daily (epitomizing the HAL service focused brand). But she could not save us from the poor condition of this ship. Plumbing problems, water leaks causing musty smells in the hallways, no soundproofing between or above and below cabins, poor internet service (still), etc. The entertainment and activities on this cruise were very disappointing as well. The solar eclipse cruise did not have the level of educational and other programs they should and could have had given they rarity of this event. The captain did an outstanding job of getting us into position to see a spectacular eclipse, however. But to my point, whoever is the marketing director did not even make sure there was cruise memorabilia available for purchase! No tee shirts, solar gazing glasses, etc., which was a missed opportunity big time. Instead of trying to sell off old Hawaii cruise tee shirts, hundreds of solar eclipse shirts and other monentos could (and would) have sold out. Vaudeville days are over. Ventriloquists, magicians and mediocre lounge singers don't entertain most people today. Your singers and dancers are amazing and their shows were a highlight. Use them more. Get lecturers and arts and crafts back on board and less sales related "activities". I don't cruise to get whiter teeth, reduced wrinkles or body sculpting! I truly love HAL and have been a loyal customer for years. I hope it is just this ship and its classmates (which I will avoid in the future), that have these condition problems. Unfortunately that limits my opportunity to explore many geographic areas with HAL as they use the same ships in the same areas. Having sailed with many other cruise lines, I think HAL has some of the best itineraries at sea and I am saddened that I won't be able to sail many of them because of these older ships. I am booked on 3 cruise on the new Koningsdam, but unless it or a newer ship takes over these other itineraries, I will have to sail with some other cruise line. Only so many times one can sail the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Northern Europe. I hope that in the future HAL will truly overhaul their older ship's as they go into dry dock and not just fluff them up. The food is still the best, the cabin and dining room crew amazing and the itineraries superior. However none of that will carry the day if your passengers are often annoyed, can't sleep, can't breathe and/or can't relax on their own balconies for much of their cruise! Very disappointed with this cruise but I hope the Koningsdam restores my faith in HAL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
WE are 4 star Mariners and absolutely loved sailing on this cruise and ship! Was it perfect? Of course not, but I absolutely loved the ports that we were in. Most of the tours we took were private tours, but we did take some HAL tours. ... Read More
WE are 4 star Mariners and absolutely loved sailing on this cruise and ship! Was it perfect? Of course not, but I absolutely loved the ports that we were in. Most of the tours we took were private tours, but we did take some HAL tours. Fortunately. the HAL tours we took ended up being broken into small groups at some points. For Borobadur, we left in large buses, but we went on an antique train and really loved seeing the people up class working in the fields. We were also able to tour the temple on our own. When we went to Mt. Bromo again we went on large buses and then broke into smaller groups and rode in jeeps with experienced drivers. When we went to Phi Phi Island, we went in boats that carried about 20 people. We had a total of 60 people visiting Komodo Island on a private tour. HAL was wonderful getting all of us off first and on 1 tender. (You cannot get off the ship without a booked tour.) The front office collected our paperwork and then delivered our colored tags directly to the people on our tour. We assembled separately from the other passengers. We thought that the food in the dining room was very good and never had a problem finding something delicious to eat. The staff did seem a bit thin in the dining room. We did prefer having breakfast and lunch in the main dining room because the Lido was always noisy and usually we had a hard time finding a place to eat. I think part of that was the extreme heat and humidity. Not many people ate outside. We enjoyed dining in the Pinnacle Grill. Jerome was the manager and the staff was very professional and friendly. WE also enjoyed the Cellar Master dinner there. We had a breakfast solar eclipse party in our room for 2 other couples since our verandah was on the right side for viewing. The items that we ordered were delivered promptly and at the right temperature. Because we are 4 star, we had no trouble boarding or disembarking. Jazzie was a wealth of information. She let us know that our bags could be taken to the airport a day before and our carry-ons could be left in the Left Baggage area (for a small fee) at the airport. Since our flight left at 11:55 PM, we had all day to do more exploring in Singapore without our luggage. The SMRT is located in the mall where the ship docks and was a very cool and clean way to travel in Singapore. We were disappointed that there were so few lectures. We also felt that the entertainment was a bit weak. The dancers were amazing, but the male singers seemed a bit off. We would have liked to have a more diverse shopping experience on board. I didn't go into any of the shops. WE enjoyed the Mix bar and the violin and piano classical music that was played in another area. I am looking forward to traveling again on HAL. I know that it won't be perfect, but then I am not perfect either. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are 4 star Mariners so have been on many Holland America cruises on many of their ships. We just completed a 45 day back to back thru Asia. . Unfortunately we have to rate the Volendam as only a 3 to 4 star . This is not because of ... Read More
We are 4 star Mariners so have been on many Holland America cruises on many of their ships. We just completed a 45 day back to back thru Asia. . Unfortunately we have to rate the Volendam as only a 3 to 4 star . This is not because of the service which was excellent . The main problem is the condition of the ship . We had numerous problems with the plumbing in our bathroom . Our toilet would either not function or would plug . The water from the faucet was , at times, brown and the color of tea. The stateroom next to us , we were in #2579, was flooded and there were drying fans in the hall running for three days . This resulted in a musty , damp smell and a lot of noise . While the plumbing problems were attended immediately after reporting , having to use supplied bottled water and the inconvenience and noise this didn't solve the problems. The entertainment on board was fair but this is the first HAL cruise we have been on where the schedule of entertainment kept repeating . In the 45 days the same entertainment came up 3 times . There were very few lectures or speaker presentations . Even the movies were repeated time and time again as did the usual on weak board activities and games and cooking classes. The dining room service was very good but once again the menu was was repeated time and time again . on a 45 day cruise we had many of the same meals . The food was not that good in either the dining room or the Lido buffet. The service by the front desk and cabin stewards was excellent. We had somehow been assigned an ocean view cabin # 1913 at the front of the ship instead of a cabin on deck 2 midship. This turned out to be the cabin from hell . It was located above the bow thruster and was so noisy that we had to use ear plugs to TRY to get some sleep . The whole room shook and rattled , even at sea. After 2 weeks , and a lot of complaining to the front desk , we were moved to a better cabin #2579. Ship tours continue to be a rip off. I don't know why and how people can be so gullible as to use the ships tours . The ship uses the fear tactic that if you take a private tour , you could miss getting back to the ship on time . We always take private tours and have never missed a sailing and we save considerable money .For example , we left the ship for 2 days and went to Angkor Wat . We stayed at the same hotel , went to the same sites , had the same number of flights , same number of meals , also had an English speaking guide as HAL offered tour. However we had an additional city tour and got see the sunrise at Angkor Wat ( HAL charged extra for this feature) . Our return flight was an early evening flight so we could have an additional city tour while HAL clients had to fly on a 5 AM flight an no extra city tour .HAL charged $3900 US EACH, our private tour cost us $ 860 US EACH !!!!! AND WE GOT BACK TO THE SHIP BEFORE HAL ! We usually find HAL to be pretty good . That is why we have taken 17 cruises with them . But since they were acquired by Carnival the quality has slipped. They are no longer a classy cruise line . Now it is all about making the big buck at every turn. Being a four star Mariner has its advantages but we are seriously considering using other previously used cruise lines for our future cruises. We had already booked another 50 day fall cruise with HAL . It may be our last . Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are 4 star Mariners which means- among other things- we have sailed on a variety of Holland America ships. As always the staff and crew were outstanding. Our cabin steward was one of the best we have had. We were always greeted with a ... Read More
We are 4 star Mariners which means- among other things- we have sailed on a variety of Holland America ships. As always the staff and crew were outstanding. Our cabin steward was one of the best we have had. We were always greeted with a smile and hello everywhere on the ship. The itinerary focused on Indonesian ports and being in prime viewing space for a total solar eclipse. The captain made some adjustments to his original plan and had us in perfectly clear skies for the entire eclipse. There as definitely been cost cutting in several areas including dining. The number of courses on the menu has been shortened and there were several up charges for things that used to be included. We were in a concierge suite and the lounge does not seem to have been impacted by the cost cutting. The ship itself was the weakest part of the cruise. The layout in our suite was not comfortable. There was no desk and the table was very low. We brought the table in from the veranda in order to have a place to write, us the computer and eat. There was a constant roar from a facilities closet across the hall. Several times we had to leave our cabin for a bit because the ventilation system was drawing in chemical fumes. We love HAL. We don't like the Volendam. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are experienced cruisers with many cruises on many lines, but mainly Holland America. Embarkation and disembarkation went well. Shore excursions were as usual, and as usual it was cheaper and better to organise your own if ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers with many cruises on many lines, but mainly Holland America. Embarkation and disembarkation went well. Shore excursions were as usual, and as usual it was cheaper and better to organise your own if feasible. As mentioned by another reviewer, many Asian ports require a shuttle to get to anywhere of interest.Holland America charges excessively for shuttles, if it bothers to provide one at all, and we found it much cheaper to get local taxis. The food was so awful we couldn't wait to get into a port to get something decent. Apart from the cook to order eggs, etc, at breakfast, it was overcooked, tasteless, and either soggy or dry. Picture overcooked frozen green beans that had been sitting for a long time. The fish in particular deserves some sort of award for it's awfulness. Carpets are grubby, the walls of our cabin were dirty, and the balcony rusty. The bathroom was OK and looked to have been upgraded not long ago. The shower, however, kept coming apart. Service generally was OK. The staff tried hard, including front office. Our cabin steward had too many cabins to service but did a good job. Dining room stewards were also overstretched. Our first cruise was on Volendam and we really enjoyed it. Others have been good also, but the steady decline because of cost cutting has been obvious. We won't bother cruising with Holland America again. The free laundry we get as 4 star mariners can't compensate for all the drawbacks, especially the food. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Although we have been on many cruises with other cruise lines, this was only our second on a Holland America ship. So mostly we are comparing the Volendam to the Zaandam. We always pick cruises by itinerary rather than any particular ... Read More
Although we have been on many cruises with other cruise lines, this was only our second on a Holland America ship. So mostly we are comparing the Volendam to the Zaandam. We always pick cruises by itinerary rather than any particular cruise line. We selected this cruise because it called in at 7 ports in Indonesia rather than wanting to see the Solar Eclipse. However many of the passengers on the second half of the cruise had booked solely to see the Eclipse. Embarkation We embarked in Singapore, this was properly the fastest and smoothest check in we have ever had, well done Singapore, they put other ports to shame. Itinerary Time was cut short in Myanmar, we were told this was owing to the tide times, and meant that instead of being able to do 3 shore excursions, 1 on each day we could only do 2, on the third day all excursions were cancelled because of the early departure. The shore excursions department cannot be blamed for this, we believe it was possibly rather poor planning by the ship's navigation/cruise planning departments. However shortly before the ship left the dock the Captain announced that because of local regulations the ship had to leave the dock was going to anchor in the river until the tide was suitable, so we sat there, at anchor in the middle of the river for 4 hours, so much for the early departure, the only early departure was from the dock to the middle of the river. We had been to Malaysia before and we really like it, Penang was as beautiful as ever. All the ports in Indonesia were marvelous, the locals were very friendly and everywhere was much cleaner than we thought it would be. There is a very good department store in Jakarta called Sarinah, the 5th floor is all good quality handicrafts, it is also worth looking at all the other floors as well. This is a fixed priced shop, but appears to be very good value. We thought Indonesia was great, it is a very interesting country, and tourism is still in its infancy. The only downside we encountered was in Bali at the Mother Temple the hawkers were a nuisance constantly trying to sell you postcards etc., at times it was hard to hear what the guide was saying because of them. Shore Excursions Overall these ran extremely well. There were some very minor ship to shore/gangway communication failings. The announcements made in the show lounge by Kevin the excursions manager were very clear and precise, pity some of the passengers elected to ignore his instructions and acted moronically. However many times the shore excursions staff told the passengers that if they were in a group wanting to be on the same bus together, they had to check in together to obtain the same number bus ticket, some failed to do this. Then they would get on one bus, spot someone on another bus, get off the bus they were on and get on the other one, even near the end of the cruise in Bali we saw one couple do this. You cannot expect the excellent shore excursions staff to soar like eagles if they are surrounded by lame ducks. Entertainment The resident singers and dancers were below par, the dancers appeared to struggle to keep in time with each other and considering the four singer's somewhat limited vocal talent the choice of songs appeared over ambitious. Some of the solo acts were much better. One afternoon Cristina the Cruise Director and the bar pianist Barry from Boston did a double act, this was excellent, these two and David Kidd had by far the best singing voices of any of the onboard entertainers. The Pilipino and Indonesian Crew shows were really good but were put on rather late at 11.00.PM., they would have been much better attended if they were put on earlier. Dining Main Dining Room Excellent food and staff. The staff always manage a smile and do work together as a team, with the managers/hoists helping out at the tables when necessary. Holland America's food is better than P & O's.. Although the menu is not quite as comprehensive as Princess or Oceania it is still excellent. Well done the dining room management and staff and in particular assistant steward Rio. Pinnacle Grill We only dinned there once, although the food was very good, we thought it was no better than main dining room. The cheese selection is exactly the same as the main dining room and presented in the same way. Canaletto We didn't dine there because we did not find the menu very appealing, however some passengers who had dinned there told us they thought it was very good. Lido This served the same excellent breakfast sausages we had encountered on the Zaandam, the staff call them 'Bangers'. Probably because this was a cruise around Asia, the excellent sandwich bar we found on the Zaandam had been replaced on this ship by a noodle bar. Gala Nights Although a fair number of gusts dressed up, the dress code is not enforced it appeared that trainers were acceptable. Perhaps it time to scrap formal nights and just have smart causal, but smart causal should actually mean smart causal, some guests were dressed in jeans, collarless T-shirts, we even saw a couple of caps. The Cruise Director The public announcements made by Christina the cruise director were at a sensible level of volume and appeared to be far fewer in number than those we encountered on the Zaandam last November, but we thought there were still a few too many. Everyone receives a daily program listing all the events; there is no need to repeat items from it. Laundry The laundry was always returned within the stated service times. The pressing was not up to the standard of that on the Zaandam or other ships, they need to have training on how to iron a shirt collar and appear to have a problem even ironing/pressing handkerchiefs. Also they managed to rip a button off a shirt, differently room for improvement. Onboard Shopping Some of the goods appeared to be rather naff, some of the more upmarket jewellery looked better. No idea who runs the shops, but it does not appear to be the excellent Harding Brothers, don't expect to be able to buy a Mars Bar, Milky Way or Kit Kat. Photographers Most of the time they were not too pushy, but on occasion they obstructed the gangway as the passengers were disembarking the ship to go on excursions, thus holding up the process. Tender Service All the onboard ship's tender crews were good at their jobs and their average performance was superior to that of the Zaandam tender crews. However in Bali (this was not supposed to be a tender port) we were tendered back to the ship by local craft and had to stand in line for an hour waiting for a tender. We were told that this was because the tidal flow was too strong for the ship's tenders and they had only been able to hire two local tenders, this fiasco resulted in the ship leaving Bali 2 hours late, very poor planning, all this should have been thought/planned out well in advance. Check your Account Twice we were charged for other passengers drinks, this was the fault of the servers not the front office/accounts department. Often the servers take several orders and cards at once enabling them to multitask, but it appears that sometimes they forget which card they should be charging for the orders. On both occurrences, our cards had been used for the correctly numbered charge ticket/slip but also it had used for the next numbered ticket/slip as well. So it is very wise to check your onboard account very very carefully. This type of overcharging mistakes has never happened to us on any other ship. Front Office/Reception All the staff were excellent and they easily beat the Zaandam's for having a very smooth running operation with an extremely fast service speed. Well done the front office. Cabin 6105 Avoid Avoid at all costs, this Vista suite is over the show lounge, so there is no chance of having a quiet and peaceful lay down in the afternoons as they do the show rehearsals at that time and the noise level is horrific. On other ships we have had cabins over the show lounge but did not have a noise problem like this! The actual shows did not bother us as we always go to the late show. The worst noise appears to come from behind the dressing table and from behind the mini bar on the opposite wall; it could be possible that there are holes in the floor or partition walls to allow the electric cabling to pass through? Or is there a loudspeaker directly under this cabin? The volume is so high you can actually feel the floor vibrate. Also there was a strong smell of dampness out in the corridor. Would not stay in this cabin again even if it was on a free cruise. It might be a good idea to avoid all Vista suites over the show lounge? We made multiple complaints to the front desk but they said they could not move us as the ship was full for the first half of the cruise. However for the second half of the cruise we were able to move to cabin 6228 which was much better. Cabin 6228 Spacious Balcony This cabin is located right at the aft port side corner of the ship, and is actually designed as a disabled cabin. It is a little larger than most Vista Suites and has a balcony nearly twice the size of the average. There is no bath, but it does have a walk in wet room type shower, there is no shelf under the washbasin, but there are shelves above to one side of the basin. There are connecting doors between this cabin and 6226, this did not cause us any noise problems, but this might have been because the 2 passengers next door were very quiet. We thought the cabin was located in a quiet position, but on the opposite side of the passageway there is a cabin steward's storage room, this did not cause any problematic noise problems. If there is a strong port side wind the balcony door rattles during the night, but that's very easy to fix by jamming a piece of cardboard in the balcony door rebate. Some passengers might not like the small ramp up to the balcony door. Overall the cabin decor/furnishings was looking more than a little tired, thought the sofa and carpet were ready for dumping. We understand that starting this year the Vista Suites are to be refurbished. Conclusion A well run very likeable ship with a fantastic crew and excellent food, but might be best to avoid the cabins over and below the show lounge. There were some maintenance issues, water dripping out of the passageway ceilings in several places, odd spots of rust etc.. One final thing, Holland America failed to send us the promised end of cruise survey. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We loved our 30-day, back to back cruise from Singapore and the Far East and Indonesia, including the solar eclipse. The ship is comfortable and all the staff were wonderful. The itinerary was well planned, with just enough down time ... Read More
We loved our 30-day, back to back cruise from Singapore and the Far East and Indonesia, including the solar eclipse. The ship is comfortable and all the staff were wonderful. The itinerary was well planned, with just enough down time for us to recover from the extraordinary excursions. We noted that the ship excursions were far less crowded and were efficiently manned and coordinated, including our special diets for those including food. While the price is somewhat high, there is peace of mind that the timing will be correct. In fact, traffic was an issue in some areas and we were late to return to the ship. Because we were on a ship's excursion, we didn't fret. We were disappointed with the person who was the educator for the eclipse and other astronomical lectures. The shows were good. We always appreciate the staff and crew and how hard they all work. HAL had the families of staff who lived in the region board the ship and visit with their loved ones. It made everyone happy, and the mood was elevated even higher than the normal good cheer. That is a very special perk for the staff and their families, and the passengers benefited as well. We have always enjoyed Holland America and have 3 more cruises planned. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We enjoyed our two-week cruise from Singapore to Myanmar and return aboard the Volendam. As first-time cruisers we found the relatively small ship very comfortable. HAL upgraded our cabin from oceanview to a Lanai cabin on the lower ... Read More
We enjoyed our two-week cruise from Singapore to Myanmar and return aboard the Volendam. As first-time cruisers we found the relatively small ship very comfortable. HAL upgraded our cabin from oceanview to a Lanai cabin on the lower promenade deck. We liked the panoramic views from the sliding glass door and the reserved deck chairs right outside the cabin were a bonus. We worried that the passersby doing their walking rounds on the deck would make us uncomfortable, but found the mirrored sliding glass door provided complete privacy. Food throughout was excellent, whether in the main dining room or on the Lido deck. Paying the extra charge for the Canaletto restaurant one evening was worth it with a different menu and wine selection and great service. Entertainment was spotty (we know HAL isn't known for its entertainment). Two nights they brought aboard local dancers from Malaysia and Myanmar and the shows were superb. Otherwise the Volendam dancers and singers were mediocre (the women were much better than the two male leads) but nevertheless not a bad way to pass the time, and their production "Droom" was a definite step up with beautiful costumes, music and dance. We found a favourite bar for pre-dinner drinks and after a couple of days the staff knew by memory what drinks we wanted and which snacks to deliver. HAL shore excursions were well organized and we felt were worth the high cost. We'd sail on the Volendam again on an Asian route. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
The Volendam crew worked very hard to make our cruise a special one and the staff succeeded doing so. It is the lack of management (or lack of understanding passengers on higher level) that has puzzled us. The only truly hard-working ... Read More
The Volendam crew worked very hard to make our cruise a special one and the staff succeeded doing so. It is the lack of management (or lack of understanding passengers on higher level) that has puzzled us. The only truly hard-working managers were the main dining room supervisors and manager, daily helping out during lunch in Lido and at evenings at the Rotterdam Dining Room. We personally brought some issues to the Hotel Director via a handwritten note and we were invited for a chat the next day and also three other department heads called our cabin. Unfortunately a part of our complaint was translated incorrectly and some members of staff approached us, which became it little embarrassing during our holiday. First off all it showed that management only moved the problem on to the staff (and washes their hands?) and secondly we did not want to appear to staff that we were complaining about them (as we were happy with their services). To us it seems that the amount of staff is cut back and I feel guilty that during my vacation some staff were actually running for me, in order to serve our table with wine or meals. You can really see that cabin stewards and waiters are cut back in staff and I do not get a 'happy vacation feeling' about this! Some challenges: Lido is set up for meals with clean loose cutlery/napkin and glasses, so no one knows if the table is taken, and if not, if everything is clean on the table is clean or dirty. For a buffet restaurant it is not a smart thing to do. An other management example is that passengers leaving the ship early in Myanmar were all given a priority so that passports were checked with local customs first. When the batches were handed down into the lobby, over 50 passengers were fighting over a guest relation desk to grab their passport. Two reception clerks were trying to solve the lack of system how passports were kept, but passengers elbowed and shouted, a nursery school playground were kids were given treats for free, would probably better handled than this. I went over to the reception desk, where 4 agents were standing and no passengers in front of them. Many of us had early planes to catch and thankfully our ground handler already changed departure times one hour later for our transfer flights to Bagan. Now I understand why passengers complain about an old ship: if your cabin lights are all on, there is only a yellow 'glow' on and there is no bright reading or working lights: as the ship is outfitted with the most old fashioned energy saving bulbs. Our Vista suite had many stains (from tear & wear) or damaged furniture. Luckily our bathroom was fully refurnished. Cabin attendants were truly very very good, efficient and friendly. We used the Lido, room service and Rotterdam Dining Room: all service was great, quick (except some Lido peak times) and above friendly. Most of the staff was engaged in conversation where they could. The Explorations Cafe is a lovely room with beautiful books and nice games. Why do passengers 'reserve' all the lounge seats, can they not take a nap on their bed in the cabin? Many were fast asleep on them. The coffee machine makes all types of coffee, only the machine is extremely slow. The staff was so kind & apologetic about it. But when there were 4-5 persons in line waiting to place an order each at least 2 coffees/cappuccinos, you would need 15 minutes to wait. A 'manager' appeared once and he called it "Starbucks' service" and run away: I think this person has never been in any Starbucks before and did not want to be confronted with unhappy passengers. We did not engage in the activities a lot (as they are sales driven) only the real lectures were great on topics as "China & the cultural revolution"; "Buddhism"; and above all the Tai Chi classes in the morning were entertaining, also little funny/cheeky and just interesting. All were run by a Chinese professor who has been living the USA and was on board for the first half of the cruise. We have done all excursions by ourselves and in Penang, Phuket, Melakka and Langkawi we used local taxis. Average charge was anything from 35 to 50 US dollars for a 3 to 5 hours drive and guide/explanation. In Kuala Lumpur I arranged my own roll coll group for a city tour and price as US$ 40 per person. I could even add two more guests last-minute. Funny as I started this roll call myself as I was told that we could not be added to an existing group 4 months out and here last-minute the same tour operator accepted my change easily. May be it was not the agent who did not want to change the group?! In Myanmar we arranged our own overnight Bagan excursion and the visit there it was well worth it! We visited temples, the river (sailing during sun set) and the next day by 4X4 jeep we visited rural villages: it is amazing how happy the local people are. We had lunch at someones home which received electricity only month ago. I do not understand passengers complain that container ports are used as port for a cruise ship in Asia. Cruising through Asia is a different cruise experience than sailing into the Caribbean from Port Everglades. Singapore is the only port that really offers a cruise port terminal, the rest are all industrial ports and understandably passengers (or taxis) may not enter this part of the harbor as this could be very dangerous. Also some passengers were upset that the ship did not sell Burmese Kyats: this currency is not being traded, only by official money changers in order to stop/prevent the black market deals. Please give Myanmar a chance to tourism: they do such a fan-tas-tic job and have so much to offer. As our flights included transfers from/to the airport we did not have to use taxis but during our hotel stay we used from in Singapore: there are all every good and reasonable priced. Entertainment was excellent on when the Volendam singers & dancers were doing the shows, some with live music other with recorded music. "Rule Britannia" become our favorite show as there was live music. Disembarkation was well organized as we had self-embarkation at 06.30am, which is before the official departure time. We asked for assistance and that was arranged 3 days prior to disembarkation. A member of housekeeping staff was exceptional as he went all the down to our limousine, although the ship only normally allows into the terminal (union). A big thank you goes to the Captain and his immediate crew: sailing into unusual harbors with strong currents, rivers with odd tides or any special attention destinations: he did this with ease and clearly explained daily during his short talk. We were all informed very well about the next steps and why sometimes the docking took over 45 minutes (Langkawi) as they had manually to rig the boat to the quay. Would I use Holland America again? We got our 3 star during this cruise and I would be very careful to select the ship as older ships do no longer favor my interest and in addition if HAL does not provide the great service and remains understaffed, I probably go to an other cruise line which provides me better service. This does not mean that the next cruise fare is cheaper: I do not think so and in fact a little more money with more service go for me hand-in-hand. Of course this is my personal experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I generally choose HAL for the itineraries. The ship is in really poor condition. Bathroom, broken shower tiles with mold, staining, and rust. Three water main breaks on second deck over 4 weeks. Loud construction noises on room nearby for ... Read More
I generally choose HAL for the itineraries. The ship is in really poor condition. Bathroom, broken shower tiles with mold, staining, and rust. Three water main breaks on second deck over 4 weeks. Loud construction noises on room nearby for four days, which then went on to being flooded. I did not choose my room you upgaded me to this. Various areas of the ship where A/C didn't work or was overwhelmed. Food, breakfasts where good, but the rest was bland and just not good, lived off the room service menu. Gym, spa, and thermal suite very good. Entertainment, might be passable if you are over 70. Ships captain and crew did a remarkable job getting us to the perfect place for the total eclipse. I thought the ship had been refurbished recently and expected much more. HAL you need to modernize and catch up with the market. I'm will to pay for premium if it is premium but not if it is substandard. Seem to have lost your way in the cruise industry. But don't let any of this reflect on the staff and crew, they were excellent. Tours, definately need to book you tours with local agencies not with the ship. Much better prices, itineraries, flexibility, and over all better experiences. Tour staff on the boat didnt really seam to care. Internet service not bad. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Having cruised over 10 times and with several cruise lines we are definitely not new to cruising. Overall the itinerary made us glad that we went but Holland America seriously needs to consider what customers they are targeting. We will ... Read More
Having cruised over 10 times and with several cruise lines we are definitely not new to cruising. Overall the itinerary made us glad that we went but Holland America seriously needs to consider what customers they are targeting. We will not go with them again for 4 main reasons. 1. The crew seem to have become jaded and not as responsive to customer needs as would be expected of an industry leader. This was the first time we have felt that the crew's needs have impinged on the needs of the passengers. To keep this short just a couple of examples: this was the first time that we found crew pushing past passengers on the gangway, and on excursions with local guides running the operation a crew member was 'escorting' but they would keep the customers waiting on the bus because the only person late back after a stop was the crew 'escort'. It got so bad on one occasion that the passengers spontaneously started clapping our 'escort' when he finally appeared. 2. The food is generally poor. The good dishes are like islands in a vast sea of mediocrity. The buffet needs some serious attention as to how it can be managed better. A couple of examples of poor food: the dreadful quality of vegetables and the same two hot puddings every day for 2 weeks. 3. The passenger mix is very diverse, which could be a very good thing but there is a high percentage of non-English speaking passengers. However pro one might be of a multicultural society there is nothing more frustrating than having to spend nearly 2 hours at dinner in the evening on a table where you are not just the only ones able to speak English but you get the feeling that you are crashing a private party. 4.We all expect cruise lines to try to squeeze as much revenue out of their captive market but it went too far. A fairly high percentage of the on-board activities advertised daily were charged for. However, this was our first experience of having to pay for a shuttle bus to get to the advertised place from a sea port that was in a 'no walking zone', and too far away. It smacks of fraud to me to sell a cruise on the basis of visiting certain places but then charging US$16 per person for a round trip on a coach to be able to actually visit the location on the cruise itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip on the Volendam, great itinerary and well looked after by a really cheerful and efficient team on board. We really couldn't fault the overall "hotel" experience on board although a bit less ... Read More
We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip on the Volendam, great itinerary and well looked after by a really cheerful and efficient team on board. We really couldn't fault the overall "hotel" experience on board although a bit less "Asian" cuisine in the Lido towards the end of the cruise would have been nice. The daily "Afternoon Tea" was a plus point. We booked the "Evening at Le Cirque" dining option in the Pinnacle Grill on one evening, fabulous food with paired wines, well worth the extra expense even though the room space itself felt a bit odd. Embarkation and Disembarkation procedures were spot on. Entertainment in the main lounge was poor, the piano player "Barry from Boston" was excellent as were "The Neptunes". We had the added bonus of connecting with a pretty vibrant group of fellow travellers on the Cruise Critic forum and in the end virtually all our tours and excursions were organised privately via this method. We had one HAL trip through the cruise, very overpriced and a bit dull to be honest. Some tips:- Sihanoukville - I can't recommend the tour we did through the Don Bosco Hotel School enough, such an uplifting and valuable project making a real difference to local youth, a brilliant day. Bangkok - An overnight tour is well worth it, we used BKK tours and they were brilliant, saw so much in great company. Phu My for Saigon - We did a Cu Chi Tunnels tour and it was ok but Vietnam is such a traffic blackspot that the travel time got a bit too much. Wish we'd have just gone to Saigon for the day. Imperial Hue - Not an ideal trip from port, 6 hour round trip in that horrible Vietnamese traffic. Halong Bay - Spent a great day out on the Bay including food etc, saw such a lot more than with a HAL trip, definite highlight. Great holiday all round I'd say, the mid ship size of the Volendam definitely a plus, never felt lost amongst the crowd. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Regular traveler on HAL. First travel on the Volendam. Ship, definitely is older and smaller. Was assigned Cabin 6167. Nice quiet cabin until on some nights the performer in the Ocean bar sang too loud or passengers became too rowdy. ... Read More
Regular traveler on HAL. First travel on the Volendam. Ship, definitely is older and smaller. Was assigned Cabin 6167. Nice quiet cabin until on some nights the performer in the Ocean bar sang too loud or passengers became too rowdy. (I can hear them in my cabin on certain evenings). Bed comfortable. Didn't use a lot of the outlets. Ship is awkwardly designed as some floor don't walk all the way through. Staff: Lido Restaurant (Rina and Rio were extremely attentive, Cabin (Aditk and Sun did everything we asked), Room Service (Suta and Made P, were at my door like clockwork and taking the time to go over the order), Front Desk (Carlo is the one I dealt with regular, but all the FD staff are way too patient to deal with "upper Mariners", Seaview (Andy, remembered me from the last cruise in the the Caribbean) & Crow's Nest (Erwin and Juvy, always knew who everyone was and what their choice of beverage was) all were great! Didn't use the Pinnacle Room or Canaletto. Rotterdam: Another story. Although a nice comfortable atmosphere and nice table service. Food was very much the same as Lido, just not self served but nice small portions plated. Also DON'T REALLY CARE for "GALA Nights". I drag along a suit to find out several men get to go in with just a collard shirt or polo shirt. Wine steward first night didn't know much about wines. Activities & entertainment on board: Pretty much had no use for them. Exploration cafe: comfortable place to sit and write. Tours: Chose wisely with all and carefully read. I booked several through HAL, was pretty much happy with all, albeit expensive. I think we paid of around $1,000.00 per person for 4 tours. Some excursions would take more time traveling that what its worth if the ship is dock for less than a full day. Komodo excursion was just OK. Glad to see the Komodo dragons, but dragons were hoarding in a watering hole for the tourist. All the Unesco tours are were worth going to, but again, price was high. Ports: some ports should have been left out as there was nothing to see. Just shop if you can find your way around or be transferred to a shopping mall! Singapore easy to get around. Docked right at the port where you can walk to the transit into different areas of the city. No need for any excursions to be broke with HAL. Jarkata is way too congested. Semarang, Borobudur Unesco was fascinating. Probolingo they could just skip and just dock an extra day in Bali. Lumbar Lomboc another port they could have skipped. Koh Samui just OK. Lame Chabang (Bangkok) dock too far from the city. About 3 hr drive each way. Excursion prices very expensive if booked through HAL. Shinaoukville, Cambodia just like Bangkok. Angkorwat is worth visiting, but it needs more than a day. Phu Muy (Saigon) absolutely nothing at the port. Again like Bangkok and Cambodia. Too short of time and travel is now about 2 hrs instead of the 3 hrs ea way. Nha Trang, Vietnam nothing to see. Da Nang, Vietnam worth the trip and Hoi An, Unesco site excursion. Halong Bay big decision. Wanted to see Hanoi and Halong Bay but Hanoi was a day and we were only docked for one night. Chose Halong Bay due to being close to ship. Very picturesque. Hong Kong port is easy for cabs to take you into the heart of Kowloon. Embarkation and Disembarkation were efficient and painless. Hal should look into editing their ports. Spend more time in other ports when excursions take more then a day too get to, example Bangkok, Cambodia and Halong Bay. These ports have more to offer. Overal: cruise was average as were the tours. Staff great. Entertainment mediocre. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Holland America does an okay job. Pretty vanilla experience with normal ups and downs. The main deal with this cruise is that, although southeast Asia is a great place to visit, it is a poor place to visit via cruising. Most of the ... Read More
Holland America does an okay job. Pretty vanilla experience with normal ups and downs. The main deal with this cruise is that, although southeast Asia is a great place to visit, it is a poor place to visit via cruising. Most of the places of interest are 1 1/2 to 4 hours away from the port, which is usually an industrial container port. That means that any ship tour spends at least half the time fighting traffic. Our 13 hour trip to Hanoi involved over four hours each way. Better to do the tour portion as a land tour and then go on a short cruise after or before to relax! It would be worthwhile exploring if any of the cruise lines using smaller ships can dock much closer to the points of interest. We had a suite on this ship. It was fine, although the decor was downright depressing. Loved the dedicated suite lounge with the excellent concierge who could do anything the crowded front desk area could do. Fix nonworking keys, tour reservations, dining reservations, anything. We also really enjoyed the culinary demonstrations. We will explore higher end amenities on other lines next time, too. We thought that the amenities were kind of chintzy for a suite. Holland America does not award much more in loyalty for suite travelers than it does for the cheapest cabins. Staff was extremely friendly and helpful. And the ship was spotless. So, it was fine. But for us cruises that offer wine with meals, drinks included, gratuities, tours, all have to be considered in the total cost. For Holland America our big suite drink amenity was a bottle of water! And just one! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The Indonesian ports selected were quite special and side trips offered to important sites:- A. Ports of Call Tanjung Priok (Jakarta): This is the port of Jakarta and it is in North Jakarta. I think this stop was set up for port ... Read More
The Indonesian ports selected were quite special and side trips offered to important sites:- A. Ports of Call Tanjung Priok (Jakarta): This is the port of Jakarta and it is in North Jakarta. I think this stop was set up for port and passport clearance. Not much to see here. Excursions offered glimpses of old Jakarta but the city is so massive and jammed up that tours here are frustratingly slow. A free shuttle took us to a shopping center in the North of Jakarta. Many stayed around but others took a taxi from the shopping center and visited parts of Jakarta. A short stopover, docked. Semarang: is more interesting as it is one of the smaller cities. Free shuttle provided to bring is to a mall named "Chiputra" at a location named Simpang Lima (five track junction). Two shopping centers side by side, one with a department store named Matahari. Lots of things to buy and eat. We caught at taxi cab to Junah shopping center, where the locals buy stuff and managed to get hold of many dresses, sarongs and shirts. Not many sights to see but many took a side trip to the Borobudur Temple (2 1/2 drive away). Fairly long stopover, docked. Probolinggo: A small town which has remained unchaged for many years. Again a free shuttle took is to KDS shopping center. We hopped onto a trishaw and asked to be taken for a ride around town. Ate at a Nasi Padang outlet "BeeJay" reaonably tasty it was. Short stopover and made shorter by tendering. Many took a side trip to see Mt Bromo. Bali: A lovely site for everyone. The port is in the south part at Benoa. Many wonderful locations to view: Seminyak, Jimbaran, Ubud, Kuta beach, downtown Denpasar, Nusa Dua. Glad that the docked overnight so that there was no need to rush back. Caught a taxi from the port to visit our favourite haunts: Kuta, Seminyak and lunch at Jimbaran. Spent the next day at Kuta, swimming, eating and shopping. Good stopover. Tours offered glimpses of Ubud (2 hr drive one way). rice fields, volcano. Lombok: one of the three reaons we signed up for this cruise. A lovely island that reminds you of the old Bali. We landed and took a taxi to visit Seringgi beach where Sheraton hotel is sited. Spend the day there. Licensed taxis are not allowed to enter the port area by the local mafia controlling the business, and we had to trot out about 1km from the ship to meet this taxi - Blue Bird. Beach was lovely, not to clear water, food at Sheraton was good. Tendered and rather short. Komodo: Main reason for joining this cruise. Arrived at about 10am, took the tender to shore and hooked up with our private tour: Took a 2 km walk around the park, saw and hpotographed 10 Komodo dragons, then caught a boat to an Island opposite from the park and spent the afternoon swimming at "Pink Beach". Pink because of bits of pink coral missed with the white and. Very good beach, clear water and surprising cold (about 16deg C). Surabaya: Cruise liner cancelled this stop much to my disappointment. This was the third reason for us to join the cruise. B. The ship Rather old, but well maintained. Medium sized - about 1200 passengers. Overall a good ship. Complaint: My room on the the third deck suffered from vibrations with sailing, thankfully the vibration did not run through to shake the bed. C. Staff Excellent service staff, room attendants, food service, crew and sailors. Polite at all times, attentive to details. D. Entertainment Smallish theatre but good internatinal class singers, dancers and musicians. Enjoyed all the shows. Particularly like to mention Paul McD at the Piano bar who kept us laughing and involved for many of the nights. E. Food Sit down service three meals a day (except for onshore where lunch is not served). 70% of the dishes were very good, the remaining 30% mediocre at best. Highlights were - prime rib roast - swordfish steaks - veal cutlets - striploin beef - lobster tails - escargots - sea trout Asian food served was at best mediocre. This ship serves very good Western food. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I liked the itinerary. I had visited some of the places on the itinerary, already. But I had never visited Indonesia or Da Nang. I also had been on the Volendam on a previous cruise before. Embarkation: Was fast and efficient. ... Read More
I liked the itinerary. I had visited some of the places on the itinerary, already. But I had never visited Indonesia or Da Nang. I also had been on the Volendam on a previous cruise before. Embarkation: Was fast and efficient. Its also nice that the Singapore port was close to the transit system to get into the city area. Cabin: Clean, but a little outdated. Dining: For the first part of the cruise was fine, but then the second part the cuisine was very repetitious. Service was good. Ports: not all locations were places I would have gotten off ship. These particular ports had nothing around them. One place in particular would have been interesting if the Cruise ship provided some type of map and directions to get around the local area. No children along. One of the other main reasons we choose Holland is that it is one of the only cruise lines now that allow you to smoke on your cabin balconies. I don't smoke but I have to make sure that both of us are happy. It will be a BIG disappointment if Holland follows the pattern of no smoking on your own cabin balconies. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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