1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Our group chose this cruise unanimously in spite to the fact that at least 6 of the 26 of us had been through the Panama Canal on a cruise before. We had excellent cabin and dining staff. Brilliant Entertainment! The dining menus ... Read More
Our group chose this cruise unanimously in spite to the fact that at least 6 of the 26 of us had been through the Panama Canal on a cruise before. We had excellent cabin and dining staff. Brilliant Entertainment! The dining menus were up to par as we had experienced on the previous 4 cruises our group had taken on Holland America. The food quality in the Main dining room and in the Lido restaurant was very very good. Our group evening at the Pinnacle Grille was exceptional. The staff on the ship were exceptionally courteous and helpful. One of the very high points was the classical pianist, Hyperion Knight, who entertained us. His on stage work was enthralling but the real cherry was the "practice sessions" he had in The Explorers's Lounge. My wife and I happened on him one morning early in the cruise in the lounge playing the piano. There were only 3 other couples in there at the time and we sat through what turned out to be a "private" concert. He played (without sheet music) for and hour and a half almost continuously and his music had us entranced. He was very personable as he chatted with us and talked about his music. This happenstance became more widely known as the cruise progressed and what started out as a concert for 6 persons became a "practice" session to a full lounge to another day with standing room only to having to be there half an hour ahead of his impromptu unscheduled sessions. He was also a fun participant in the twice a day Trivia sessions. His trivia knowledge is formidable and it was great fun playing with and against his teams. At the end of the cruise everyone of our group were expressing how much they enjoyed this trip and were asking when we would be planning the next one. For a bunch of 75 year old high school pals it was a great time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We continue to chose Holland America for the customer services, dining experience and how they prioritize you and your experience. The comedian (Andrew Kennedy) was hilarious. Holland America is really trying to appeal to a younger ... Read More
We continue to chose Holland America for the customer services, dining experience and how they prioritize you and your experience. The comedian (Andrew Kennedy) was hilarious. Holland America is really trying to appeal to a younger crowd, which I appreciate. We have traveled Holland America with our daughter, who is now 14, since she was 9. She has always enjoyed Club Hal. She prefers to be in Club Hal, then with us. This was her first year in The Loft. There were no very many teens in The Loft, but she did meet one girl she would make plans with to meet after dinner. They had a great time playing cards, ping pong, video games, etc... New also really appreciate the fact that all persons who work with the children have to have a min of a Bachelors Degree. Club Hal provided an educational experience for her when we went to Alaska on Holland America. The Loft is more about independence for the teens. They can come and go as they please and it is open till midnight. Our daughter would highly recommend both programs. The Panama Canal was an unforgettable experience. I would highly recommend this cruise. Aruba was gorgeous (just remember to bring cash, since there are several shopping locations that only take cash), Curacao was beautiful (make sure you see the moving bridge), zip line in Costa Rica, Guatemala (you can bargain at the shopping location they shuttle you to), Nicaragua (Use the bike taxi to eat at El Pigeon-great fish and beers), and in Oaxaca walk to the city over the hill. If you decided to use a credit card in Mexico make sure you are charged in Pesos. They will not give you the accurate exchange. A return was charging us 118.00 (US) and we asked for our bill in Pesos. The bill then went down to 76.28 (US). Just an FYI---there was an Excursion named Puerto Vallarta Sights and Tequila Distillery. Fist of all your are not taken to a distillery. You are taken to a tasting. The Tequila is good, however they doubled the price of the bottles, just for us. We were also taken to a jewelry store for a waste of 30. min. We did see some downtown sights for an hour and a half. The rest of the time was used to shuttle us around to a photo location, a jewelry store and a shopping area. When all was said and done, I would go on this cruise again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We simply chose the Holland America volendam because the dates fit in with several of the party we were cruising with. We do enjoy Holland America and our only bad experience out of 7 sailings with them has been on the veendam in the ... Read More
We simply chose the Holland America volendam because the dates fit in with several of the party we were cruising with. We do enjoy Holland America and our only bad experience out of 7 sailings with them has been on the veendam in the spring 2018 so we were a bit anxious about this booking on the volendam. We were absolutely delighted with our experience on the volume down. She is well maintained. Her food is excellent. The crew was extremely friendly. when we had any issue the staff bent over backwards to help us work it out. If we submitted a common card with anything the least bit negative we got a phone call to our stateroom and if we were not in our stateroom to take the call we got a note on our door. They then followed up to make sure every little thing was perfect. of the seven sailings with Holland America in the last two years I have to say this was probably our best overall experience, even though we did enjoy all of our other sailings except on the veendam. What I'm coming to realize is that most ships seem to go through a low period, And then if the company is smart measures are taken to get its act together and correct their weaknesses and make the ship much more pleasing and accommodating to passengers. The volendam is the same class of ship as the veendam and westerdam. As beautiful as a koningsdam and the eurodam are we do enjoy the smaller ships and this class a ship that the volume down is in is somewhere between 1300 and 1450 passengers. A great experience and we would definitely cruise on her again. It was really hard to even find constructive criticism to give on our end of cruise survey. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Panama Canal cruise, service was great, activities were great, our room was not good, we had banging pipes starting at 5:30 in the morning and 4 hrs every night. We were on the 3 rd deck, dining room up above, they gave us ear plugs, ... Read More
Panama Canal cruise, service was great, activities were great, our room was not good, we had banging pipes starting at 5:30 in the morning and 4 hrs every night. We were on the 3 rd deck, dining room up above, they gave us ear plugs, showed us other rooms that were not acceptable. Will never do that deck ever, when you walked outside on the deck you could hear the pipes, they need to insulate the pipes, duck tape doesn’t make it, needs a upgrade. Activities were good, entertainment, there was a variety of different entertainers that were good. Justen the cruise director was good also, the chef came out every night to talk to every table. Barry from Boston on the piano was Fantastic, went there every night to see him. Joel in the Ocean Bar was Fantastic also. Some of the servers like Alex was very good at his job, Jenny and Dewi in the Lido were also very Great. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
First, a bit of a disclaimer; my wife and I are retired airline employees and have travelled extensively but our last cruise was about 20 years ago. That being said, after our latest cruise with Holland America, we are now looking forward ... Read More
First, a bit of a disclaimer; my wife and I are retired airline employees and have travelled extensively but our last cruise was about 20 years ago. That being said, after our latest cruise with Holland America, we are now looking forward to our next cruise. We loved the great communications we had from HAL and felt we were fully prepared for our cruise. The crew was friendly and exceptional, the food amazing, and the fact that the majority of the passenger population was in our age group (60+). We loved having the drink package as this made our vacation similar to all-inclusive resorts that we often travel to. HAL also had online availability to check your dining reservations, excursions and daily billing. Finally, we never had to wait in line at the dining room because of the smaller passenger capacity. Shore excursions were more expensive via HAL than with our listing agency, but it seemed that it was easier to find the tours once in port if you booked with HAL. A valued surprise for us was the availability of Catholic Mass on a daily basis. This alone would have put HAL high on our cruise list. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I choose this ship for our 3 generation trip due to size and itinery, like everyone advised. We all had a great time and no complaints. We arrived the night before, made our way down to the port the next morning around 11:00, and was on ... Read More
I choose this ship for our 3 generation trip due to size and itinery, like everyone advised. We all had a great time and no complaints. We arrived the night before, made our way down to the port the next morning around 11:00, and was on the ship within about 30 minutes. We found our cabins (interior 6132, 6134, 7025 and Vista Suite 7084) and met the stewards. The room was clean, larger than expected and storage was only half used-do not worry about having room to unpack! Stewards come twice a day, leaving a surprise in cabin every night! Loved how the staff remembered our names and how friendly they all were! Yes, the tv’s were older and kid’s cabin had lines on their screen, but we weren’t there to spend much time on that. Bathroom was good size, interior room had twice the counter space than the vista suite. Suite had a tub/shower, interior only a small shower. My favorite restaurants were the Dive-In (awesome hamburgers) and Dining Room, then the Lido (buffet). Tried room service once and was good, order came about 10 minutes early. Did not try Pinnacle Grill, only because there was not a view, but the menu looked great. We really enjoyed the daily trivia and bingo, never won any games, but it was still lots of fun! The indoor pool was heated most days, hot tubs every day. Husband enjoyed casino, but never won. My dad enjoyed the computer classes, my sister the cooking classes. I loved the art of towel making class. We took in a movie and swam in pool. My kids, 17 and 12, did not attend HAL Club. Everyone’s favorite stop was Glacier Bay! We got to see lots of calving...it was awesome and beyond words of description! Skagway we did the train/shuttle thru Chilkoot Charters. Juneau the Mendenhall Glacier and hiked to Nugget Falls. Ketchikan we booked the Misty Fjord’s Wilderness Adventure thru HAL...we returned an hour later, I guess because we kept stopping for wildlife sightings, but it also made me miss doing other things in port. Again, service was awesome! From the staff remembering our names and faces, helping us celebrate a special occasion and doing whatever they could to help in any way, they were phenomenal! We did self- disembarking, and requested early departure as we had an 11:42 am flight. There were 2 ships in port and we walked straight thru everything. We then had to wait on our reserved car with Aerocar, which was 10 minutes late. Made it to airport and security with little to no wait time. In fact, drive time and traffic was longer than the whole airport entry process! Highly recommend Holland America Volendam! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We had a great time on Volendam’s 14 day, February 14 Indonesia sailing from/to Singapore. The crew was great, food was very good and the ship is in excellent condition. It had been several years since we sailed HAL and thoroughly ... Read More
We had a great time on Volendam’s 14 day, February 14 Indonesia sailing from/to Singapore. The crew was great, food was very good and the ship is in excellent condition. It had been several years since we sailed HAL and thoroughly enjoyed this sailing. For the past several years, we have been Celebrity faithfuls and I will post what we saw as very minor differences between the two brands. The most significant difference to us was the lack of entertainment. The Tai Chi expert served as a speaker about a few SE Asia topics, but the presentations were superficial. The first two cast shows were, at best, amateurish and onboard solo entertainers were weak. We received an offer for a discounted upgrade to a veranda from ocean view a few weeks before sailing and were assigned cabin 6138, a slightly forward A category veranda which was a better draw than anticipated. Cabin attendants, maitre ‘d, and dining stewards were friendly and enjoyed talking about their home, Indonesia, as we visited their port. At each non-tendered port, hundreds of family and friends were invited aboard to see where their relative/friend worked. It was a pleasure seeing them aboard, although in most cases they were off the the ship by the time we reboarded late in the afternoon. The master, Captain Frank van der Hoeven, and other officers were not particularly visible the ship and did not engage with the passengers, but morale and enthusiasm of the crew was evident. Most of our tours were arranged on CC before hand, although we did three ship’s tours. The privately arranged ones were far better. Traffic in all the Indonesian ports was heavy and unpredictable which made planning for the independent guides challenging to ensure we were back well before the all aboard. For example, one day in Bali, it took over an hour to go ten miles. The next day we took the same route in less than 30 minutes. Volendam used the old cruise terminal at VivoCity and it cannot accommodate the number of pax embarking if there are any delays and there were. Disembarkation was fine. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
For an older ship we were impressed. Dining room dinners were great, both the selection of food and quality of wait staff. Lido food as expected was mediocre but about as expected. the burger bar on Lido deck was better than expected. ... Read More
For an older ship we were impressed. Dining room dinners were great, both the selection of food and quality of wait staff. Lido food as expected was mediocre but about as expected. the burger bar on Lido deck was better than expected. Several quality burger offerings. Everything was on time; the Captain appeared at several occasions in the showroom and was nice to listen to about some of his experiences. the small dance (6 people) and singer team (4 people) were excellent, much better than expected. The guest entertainers were a mixed bunch but overall good, many better than expected for a smaller ship like this. We seldom if ever sign up for the Ship shore excursions as we find them a poor value (grossly overpriced and many include a full cattle call bus including the occasional guest who is always late getting back, etc.). Most of our shore excursions are booked based on interactions with other passengers on the ship's roll call. This particular cruise started from Hong Kong and included Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore and a bunch of ports in Indonesia including Bali, Lombok and Komodo - so a lot of ground to cover/new experiences in the 28 days on board. One thing we don't like about Holland America is their poor rewards program. We are elite on Princess and receive a nice internet package for free - Internet on Holland America was $250 for a 1,000 minute package and much higher for shorter packages. I require internet for my home business. Speed of the internet on the ship was better than expected, not great but historically pretty good for a ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My experience on the January 31, 2018 sailing of the Volendam from Hong Kong to Singapore far exceeded my expectations. Having owned a large Incentive Travel planning company, I am admittedly very critical of services provided by hotels, ... Read More
My experience on the January 31, 2018 sailing of the Volendam from Hong Kong to Singapore far exceeded my expectations. Having owned a large Incentive Travel planning company, I am admittedly very critical of services provided by hotels, airlines and cruise companies. It was my job to provide the highest customer service and to make sure every detail was planned to perfection for my discriminating High Tech clients. For that reason, I am simply amazed that my experience on the Volendam was so wonderful. Let me explain....The ship was gracious and elegant. The food service was so outstanding, that it was shocking! The dining room, unlike other cruise lines, was quiet, spacious and every meals was better than the last. It was truly like dining at a fine restaurant. Even breakfasts were wonderful. Although the ship had nearly 2000 passengers, it felt empty. There was never the mad rush for a lounge by the pool, or fighting for a seat at the piano bar. The LIdo Market, while providing outstanding options,it was never a problem finding a table.It was delightful to sit outside by the pool and have breakfast, as we watched the sea. So, what makes this cruise so special, besides the dining experience? The shows were great, a small cast...but they really delivered delightful shows. The America's Test Kitchen surprised me by how great it was. I attended five classes. The lectures were wonderful. Our stateroom was very, very comfortable. It was clean, and when we had a problem, the Guest Services staff were right on it. Amazing! The Ports were great, too. I loved the itinerary, and especially with four stops in Vietnam. We spent three days in Hong Kong prior to the cruise, and then sailed for two weeks. Cambodia was not my favorite, but I think it was my fault, as I just took the transfer to the town and it left much to be desired. The two night stay in Bangkok was great, as we spent the night in Bangkok. If there is one challenge with this cruise, is the port is a long way from the major cities, like Hanoi, Saigon and Bangkok. Hoi An (Da Nang) was my favorite....beautiful town, with great shopping. I highly recommend Holland American Cruise line if peacefulness, great food, not feeling crowded or hassled, enrichment classes, and a beautfful library are important to you. Finding the right Ports is important,and I found the Asia cruise to be wonderful. PS: This is my eighth cruise, and our travelling companions 37th. They felt it was the best cruise they have had, as well. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was my first time on the Volendam, but not my last. The captain skillfully maneuvered this medium size cruise ship through high waves at the port of Nha Trang, Vietnam, and kept all the guests well informed. This my first HAL cruise ... Read More
This was my first time on the Volendam, but not my last. The captain skillfully maneuvered this medium size cruise ship through high waves at the port of Nha Trang, Vietnam, and kept all the guests well informed. This my first HAL cruise with in depth cultural sessions, such as feng shui, temple etiquette, or coffee culture, in addition to the regular tips for touring various ports. One minor quibble is that only maps of some ports/cities were readily available at the front desk. Major disappointment was the wait to disembark in Singapore due to long lines at immigration/customs. Although customs at Changi Airport experienced over the last 20 years is efficient, this disembarkation wasn't. However, the cruise itself was outstanding with a good food (loved the tropical fruits at the Lido Market daily -- guava, lychee, mango), flawless dinner service, and a variety of entertainment choices. Our compact cabin on the walking deck was comfortable and cozy with our own added décor; the steward furnished a vase for flowers acquired and used a bed runner also purchased in Vietnam. I was completely satisfied with 3 of the 4 tours, and highly recommend the My Son, an UNESCO World Heritage site, in Da Nang, Vietnam. The escort on the HCMC city transfer only provided general information on Vietnam and nothing city specific; he didn't even recognize that the street of the meeting point was the same where we were meeting our friends for lunch. We took shuttles (one paid & one free) in 2 cities and were able to explore on our own. Despite its location in a large, busy commercial port Terminal 1A in Laem Chabang Thailand has WiFi ($3.00 for 3 hours), an indoor souvenir market, and a small massage corner. Whether or not this is your first trip to Southeast Asia, you are in good hands sailing on the Volendam. Read Less
Volendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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