59 Holland America Volendam Cruise Reviews

In reading many of the reviews and write-ups on this ship I started to think I was on the wrong ship. I did not experience any of the great service and food everyone else was raving about. By day 2 I had already written an email to Holland ... Read More
In reading many of the reviews and write-ups on this ship I started to think I was on the wrong ship. I did not experience any of the great service and food everyone else was raving about. By day 2 I had already written an email to Holland America expressing my concerns about the poor service and food quality on the ship. It felt like I was on a training voyage for most of the staff. Let's start with the Dining Room. On my first night I asked my server what my complimentary drink options were with dinner and he could not answer the question. Same result when the Wine Steward was asked. I was a little taken back when I was told a can of Coke would be $2.50 with dinner. Really? Seems like nickel and diming when I can get a nice steak for dinner but have to pay for a soda. (Carnival got this right!). I had numerous experiences where the staff had to clarify simple orders several times (I do not have an accent), and several occasions where the wrong meal was served. I had steaks that were way overcooked, I had fish & chips where the fish was still a gelatinous mass and totally inedible. Diner was served without cutlery, steaks served without steak knives, a nearly empty bottle of ketchup provided for the whole table and everyone had fish and chips and wanted to have some. The waiter disappeared when asked for a full bottle and never came back. Another server had to be asked. In general, the Dining Room staff seemed untrained and confused most of the time. The fish & chips lunch special was a farce. We were one of the first tables seated, and yet 45 minutes later, while most other tables were already on to desert, we hadn't been served yet. And when we finally were, the fish was extremely under cooked. My daughter was ill after eating her first bite. We ended up leaving and finding some food on the Lido deck. On to the Lido deck buffet. In general the food on the Lido was OK. It was not exceptional by any means. Many of the preparation staff were obviously untrained with under and over-cooked food, and improperly prepared food. I've had better food at cheap buffet restaurants. My previous Carnival cruises far outperformed Holland America's Lido Deck offerings. Many of the table staff were non-responsive when thanks were given for their service. The hot water dispenser was constantly running out of water, and the milk dispenser for tea and coffee was also often empty. I had staff disappear and never return when I asked for the for more the milk to be refilled. I had one server tell me to go to the other side of Lido deck when the ketchup dispenser was empty instead of sourcing some for me. My food was getting cold as I wandered around trying to find ketchup, and in the end the dispensers on both sides were empty. The server seemed miffed when I approached her and asked again. In general there didn't seem to be any pride or ownership in the food preparation, and the staff didn't really seem to remember why they were there. Guest Services also dropped the ball on more than one occasion. I decided to have a movie night with my daughter and ordered a couple DVDs to our stateroom. 30 minutes later the wrong DVD was delivered. I asked for the correct ones and was promised he'd be right back. 30 minutes later, with no calls from Guest Services and no delivery, I called again and was told they would call me right back with a status. 45 minutes later I went to Guest Services and the DVDs were still sitting there, and one was not the selection I had requested. So 1 3/4 hours after my initial call I finally had the DVDs. When Guest Services was made of aware of my email to Holland America head office, they addressed 1 of the issues and had no comment on any of the other issues. I had been relating my issues to one of the staff, and they passed the info to one of the ship's officers who later tracked me down. We had a long conversation about the issues I'd experienced and he agreed that most of the issues I'd experienced were totally unacceptable and they had dropped the ball on multiple occasions. He promised to speak with the various department heads and ensure the rest of the trip would be issue free. Unfortunately this was not the case as there was no change in the service for the rest of the trip. On the 2nd to last night in the Dining Room we were presented with a couple of complimentary glasses of Prosecco, which neither of us drink. The better option would have been to come up and tell us that they would like to offer us a complimentary drink and ask us what we would like. We never bothered going back to the Dining Room after that. The last drydock did make some nice upgrades to the stateroom bathrooms, but they should have replaced the old tube TVs while they were at it. Our TV looked like Alaska in winter. Almost not worth trying to watch anything on it. Certainly not the quality we'd have expected based on the cost of the room. We did have some great service from our room stewards, and 1 Lido deck server whom I recognized personally at the end of the cruise. I also had Guest Services remove all the gratuities from my final bill as they were definitely not earned. The cruise itself was great, and despite all the service and food issues we had a good time, however the added stress of dealing with my feelings of being shortchanged by the cruise line did put a damper on a lot of the cruise. I don't get a lot of opportunities to take vacations like this and to pay this much and then be so let down after being sold that Holland America was a premium cruise line. Never again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had never been to Alaska and as we're getting up in years we felt that if we were going to do it, we would do it all in one go. So when we saw a Holland America three-day cruise, followed by a nine-day land tour, followed by ... Read More
We had never been to Alaska and as we're getting up in years we felt that if we were going to do it, we would do it all in one go. So when we saw a Holland America three-day cruise, followed by a nine-day land tour, followed by another seven-day cruise advertised, we jumped on it. Having never cruised with Holland America before we weren't sure what to expect. Our entire cruise history was with Carnival (many many years ago) and more recently with several cruises on Celebrity and Azamara. So with that level of expectation set, we boarded the Volendam in Vancouver. The boarding process was fine, and we got on the ship very quickly, and even found our cabins ready (though the bags had not yet arrived). It took a while to find our room steward to ask for some special requests, but finally found him. We had not purchased a drink package for the cruise so the first thing we asked for was to have someone empty our refrigerator. We didn't want to be accidentally charged for any beverages. We were instructed to take out all the bottles and cans and place them on the top of the refrigerator, and that someone would be there shortly to remove them. Well, by the end of the next day they were still there, and we had to call again to get them removed. Our next not-so-great experience was in the Marketplace, their buffet. Every Celebrity ship we have been on had numerous stations throughout the buffet area so that people could get different types of food in an orderly fashion. Holland America has everyone queued in one line for all the main dishes and sides, so that you have to wait for everyone else to clear, even if you only want one item from that area. I assume one of the reasons they have done this is to ensure that not a lot of guests touch the serving utensils and food, but it seemed really inefficient to us and to everyone we spoke with in the line. The last thing I'll mention is the general lack of consideration of the guests by the staff. This was noticed in the main dining room, where, as one example, it took 15 minutes to get a dessert menu; to lounges where not a single ship employee could be found most times. You get the feeling that the staff knows they will get their gratuities regardless, so why bother? We were quite happy to get off the ship after our three days. We followed that cruise with an Alaska land tour, and I have to say it was very well orchestrated and coordinated, with all the motor coaches, a boat trip, a plane ride, and train rides. Good job with that one Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our 7 night dream Alaskan cruise was greatly marred due to the horrid cabin location. Cabin 392 and neighbouring cabins should not be used for paying guests (especially NOT as an UPGRADE) unless passengers made aware that the kitchen is ... Read More
Our 7 night dream Alaskan cruise was greatly marred due to the horrid cabin location. Cabin 392 and neighbouring cabins should not be used for paying guests (especially NOT as an UPGRADE) unless passengers made aware that the kitchen is located directly above. If you are wanting a decent nights sleep at all during your cruise ensure you check your cabin location. A late night here and there and early mornings to make the most of your day is what we expected but certainly didn’t get. Kept awake until after midnight every night and woken again early hours (sometimes as early as 4.30am) due to the noise from the kitchen preparation/cleaning? above us. The cabin itself was comfortable and a fairly good size but again the location DREADFULLY. We enjoyed the food and the dining areas were pleasant but found the counter service in the buffet very disorganised and slow a lot of the times. Very put off by the tipping that was automatically added to our account daily and then the expectation of further tipping at the bars, is this not double dipping? Would much rather tip the staff personally ensuring the full amount went to deserving staff and not only a small portion making it to them with the rest going back to the cruise company. Activities and shows were enjoyable but found the music in the lounge very repetitive. The majority of the shore excursions were just to expensive to participate in but enjoyed the time exploring the beautiful little ports. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this short cruise to introduce a 'newb' to cruising. It was intended to give her a taste of cruising.......more than a one day overnight repositioning. By the time you add airfare to SF, and cost to get home as well ... Read More
I chose this short cruise to introduce a 'newb' to cruising. It was intended to give her a taste of cruising.......more than a one day overnight repositioning. By the time you add airfare to SF, and cost to get home as well as port fee's and taxes that matched the cabin charge.....it all add's up to a 'not cheap' cruise.......it's something to consider---cost to value. Arrived in SF to find an 'annual coast guard' inspection underway. The ship had been sailing out of Ft Laurderdale all winter so this wasn't a back to the USA deal......but it delayed getting on board, and then delays getting documents signed caused the departure at 5 pm to be closer to 6:30....... For those that have visited SF going under the Golden Gate bridge is a highlight........unfortunately the ebb tide and delays due to the inspection made a mess of the first night transit. The food in the MDR was less edible than anything I had experienced before. Very few choices for anyone with dietary needs. (GF) We were told more than once that there weren't choices because things cost too much in SF so they had not restocked the ship for the jaunt back to Vancouver. They were simply 'out' of things that they should have had. I believe this was accurate........and further degraded the experience. On the last day we had some good food! While that's nice to see they can produce good entree's.......it's all the more upsetting that they DID NOT, until the last meal. The Captain stated that they have 5 motors/engines on the ship but only need 4. A good thing since he also said the 5th one was not working during our trip. So you spend all day with the coast guard and go out to sea with less than a fully functional ship? I don't care that you only need 4........I'd bet you NEED that 5th one if anything happens to #'s 1-4. We faced Beaufort 10 conditions at sea.............hmmmm, plugging along as best we could with the knowledge that she was not fully rigged. Parts of the ship were extremely cold (Crows Nest, Lido, etc)..........like they had failed to turn off the air conditioning from a more tropical zone (Panama Canal). Thruster and docking procedures took forever---which everyone knows is not a pleasant experience for anyone. I have never listened to so much noise and vibrations as well as the inching of the ship into port or docking or leaving port. So, yet more time was 'lost' with these processes. After docking an hour (or more) late in Victoria--after arriving on time, they 'forgot' to tell folks the ship was cleared for people to get off. During the Captain's talk he made a comment about other captains when a question was asked about an Alaska route. Basically stating that he would not endanger a ship as if other captains had done so when traveling last summer. Very unprofessional given the route in question (Grenville Channel) is a route available to smaller cruise ships and it is a known route to Alaska. This was just plain unprofessional.........if he'll never sail that route, fine, but it's on my list of things to do and sorry I missed the opportunity last year...... I suspect it is not a preplanned route and dependent on tides/condition on the water........for the Captains that have chosen it. Thank you to them........the guests had a rare experience these days! Staff were good overall. Room stewards were great, MDR first night was very slow and not sure if that was new crew or ??? Next two nights we ended up at a different table and service was great. Too bad the food cannot match the service on board! While I have sailed HAL over 5 times, I think this may be the end of our relationship. It's not worth it to have problems with food and the ship. This is not a one off as the last HAL experience 3 years ago had similar issues on the Zaandam. So two strikes are now seen.......dare we try for three or cut our losses and move on. There are other cruise experiences that have been better than HAL' s with Carnival..........it's easier to remember the good ol' days and move on then throw good money after bad........... Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The cruise started with the worst embarkation situatin. We need wheelchair assistance to embark because of the long walks. Holland America's Ft. Lauderdale operation to have two wheelchairs used for a significant number of people. who ... Read More
The cruise started with the worst embarkation situatin. We need wheelchair assistance to embark because of the long walks. Holland America's Ft. Lauderdale operation to have two wheelchairs used for a significant number of people. who would be taken to a table top counter, processed and assigned to a holding area to await wheelchairs to board the ship. Never, in our 50 some cruise experiences, have we had to wait 2 1/2 hours to board a ship, NOT EVEN ON A MEGA SHIP! . If anyone thought this was an anomoly, debarkation was no better -- two wheechairs. It was quite apparent, from embarkation, no handicap assistance on the ship in the buffet or other area, and debarkation, the mobility challenged were treated as 2nd Class Citizens and Holland America was doing you a favor rather than providing service. It took three days for maintenance to fix the HVAC in our cabin as it went from FREEZING when we boarded ship to a SAUNA a day later back to Freezing. We asked at one point for Holland America to send us home from the first port stop in Curacao. New Years Night found the ship in a FREEZING mode with passengers wearing parkas and shipboard staff wearing sweatshirts and hoodies. And then, at midnight, the freezing became unbearably hot. Only one more day left -- thank goodness!!! Excursion vendors were not asked to accommodate the mobility challenged or handicapped. They were not asked to provide even step stools on high access vehicles. When I asked Sydney in Excursions about this she became belligerent and offensive. I discussed this with her supervisor, Abigail, who agree that vendors should be asked to provide easier access. I suggested Sydney would make great excursion director on a container ship. We were most surprised by the lack of service and accommodaion. Holland America has historically, and still does, market to more mature audiences. They were quality conscious and most considerate of the mobility challenged. We sailed with them on a number of occasions. Not anymore! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Drab ship and dated. We were only three nights on the ship as it was the gateway to an amazing tour of the Yukon and Alaska. Three days was more than enough. There was only one electrical outlet in our suite and it was placed between ... Read More
Drab ship and dated. We were only three nights on the ship as it was the gateway to an amazing tour of the Yukon and Alaska. Three days was more than enough. There was only one electrical outlet in our suite and it was placed between the mirror and the desk so we could not place our own power bar on it. These days people have electronic devices CPAP‘s and other things that need to be plugged in and one outlet is not enough. The room only had one very tiny television that was supposed to be swivelled for both rooms of the suite. We had planned this cruise for our 50th wedding anniversary and our travel agent gave us I lovely bottle of wine which was in our cabin. I phoned guest services to ask if we could bring it to dinner and we were told we had to consume it in the room. Then I asked for a corkscrew as there was no device in the room. It took a half an hour and two phone calls to get it. The next morning there was a note outside our cabin congratulating us on our honeymoon rather than our 50th wedding anniversary . I decided to go to guest services to show them the note and I was given an apology but no replacement note ever showed up. Also, I was told that I could have brought the wine to and that I was misinformed. The attention given to entertainment I felt was less than stellar. The performers were fine but in the three nights that we were on the ship there was no change in the sets, just a couple of staircases for the dancers. The sound was good and the theatre was fine but the show was not memorable. The lectures were excellent and the food was fine but I would recommend doing research in picking another Holland America ship. Other than walking the deck, there was a little fitness activity. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We took a land tour first. Our tour directer Merrin was incredible, knowledgable and very pleasant. All of the land tours we took were fantastic. We boarded in Skagway. Embarkation was fine. The first night dining experience was ... Read More
We took a land tour first. Our tour directer Merrin was incredible, knowledgable and very pleasant. All of the land tours we took were fantastic. We boarded in Skagway. Embarkation was fine. The first night dining experience was wonderful. Our waiter was pleasant and wanted to do a good job. He even asked if we had any allergies to food. I did. I told him I'm very allergic to mushrooms. The second night we had a waiter who brought me out a surf and turf. I was getting ready to eat it when I noticed a mushroom on it. I asked the waiter if I could have two lobster tails instead of the meat (as all the meat had mushroom sauce on it) He said I could. A few minutes later another waiter came back with my same food (all they did was take the mushroom off but the sauce was still there). We were eating with other people so I didn't say anything). I didn't realize that the lobster tail had some mushroom sauce on it. I put it in my mouth and took it right out I had to use my eppi-pen right away. I didn't want to get him into trouble so I made a comment about they should teach their wait staff to take allergies serious. We didn't go back for our meals in the dining room. The tour we took in Ketchikan was wonderful. It was educational and informative, I did hurt my leg while walking on gravel paths. By the time we got back on the ship I was having a hard time walking on it. The next day we spent at sea seeing Glacier Bay. We went to Guest Services to inquire about a wheelchair. We were shocked when the woman told us it would be $200.00 for the day (and we would not get the money back). We do understand that there has to be rules. We also understand that there are times in life that rules need to be bent. . I asked her if she could please have a wheelchair sent to our room the next morning for disembarkation. She said she would. The wheelchair never came. By the time we got to the disembarkation area I was in tears from the pain. People all around us were asking the crew to get me a wheelchair. No one did until i held up the line when it was our turn for disembarkation (because I couldn't walk). The wheelchair came real fast then. As one gentleman stated, "The crew tells the passengers if we need anything they will do it for us. The man then stated, If it's easy they will do it but if someone really needs help then they are on their own." Another man stated, " it's a good thing we didn't have a real emergency because then it would be every person for themselves." We did send a comment to Holland America. When they got back to us they said, "That is the policy. The person at Guest Services did the right thing." This person then told my husband that to make up for this the next time we book a cruise on this ship they will give us two vouchers for the Pinnicle Grill. Basically, they could care less. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
First up, the good. Our room was nice...actually bigger than we thought. The daily service for the room was excellent too. We found the floor staff very courteous and attentive. As for the bad, well, my wife and I found it very ... Read More
First up, the good. Our room was nice...actually bigger than we thought. The daily service for the room was excellent too. We found the floor staff very courteous and attentive. As for the bad, well, my wife and I found it very difficult to communicate with most of the staff on board. I will go out on a limb and say that english is not their first language and several times we just had to walk away and find someone else who we could acutally understand. If you're going on a cruise, I highly advise you do it in the Caribbean or somewhere else where it's warm. Honestly, taking a cruise through Alaska is pretty boring. After you see a couple of glaciers and a few pieces of ice floating around you've pretty much seen it all. There is really NOTHING to do on board. It's too cool to swim or play games outside. The shows we saw on board were...uh, how do you say it politely...awful. They had a "rock show" on our trip and my wife and I were actually embarrassed for some of the performers. Almost comical. The word, "cheese" comes to mind. *FAIR WARNING* I don't care how bored you get, DO NOT go into what they call a "Casino". It is not a casino. There are only about 50 slot machines (for all 1,400+ passengers) and while you can put cash into them, you cannot get cash out. It's all done electronically threw your cruise charge card...so they know EXACTLY how much you have put in and they know exactly how much you've won. You settle up at the end of your trip and trust me, you are not going to come out ahead. Promise you that. When you see the casino on the Volendam it's alway empty for a reason...even with 1,400 passengers on board. It's the worst one I've ever seen on a ship and I've been on a ton of them. Seriously, ridiculously bad. Food? There is plenty of it. Overall, I give their food an 8. A lot of it was really good...especially breakfast. Be prepared to gain weight. Most of it isn't very healthy and well, as I mentioned before, there really isn't a lot to do on board so you wind up eating and planning on when and what to eat next. Overall I give the cruise a 4.5 out of 10. Alaska is for hiking/driving and seeing all the beauty it has to offer. TRUST ME...that's best done on land, not on a cruise. Save yourself some money and do land tours and water/air excursions if you really want to see and appreicate Alaska. An "Alaskan Cruise" sounds wonderful until you take one. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Just out of dry dock and work still going on all over. AC in our cabin not working, far from ideal in tropical climate. We had an outside door to the lanai deck but this was broken!!! Temperature in our cabin was between 75-79 deg. I had ... Read More
Just out of dry dock and work still going on all over. AC in our cabin not working, far from ideal in tropical climate. We had an outside door to the lanai deck but this was broken!!! Temperature in our cabin was between 75-79 deg. I had to open the inner cabin door to let cool air from the interior corridor in to our cabin. The first few days had the smell of burning metal and sawdust but worst was an overpowering smell of soggy wet carpet from the many cabins with water leaks. Not surprising that my wife contracted a chest infection and ran up $2000 of medical bills and was confined to the cabin for a number of days. Funnily enough her chest infection cleared up totally as soon as the AC was fixed. Room service was appalling while my wife was unable to leave the cabin. I had to go to the restaurant myself to get the food she could eat. After repairs were carried out properly we enjoyed the rest of the voyage. Food and dining room were excellent. Service excellent. Wine at $40 a bottle and beer at $9 was bad, but a bottle of water at $3.95 + a bottle was a bit too much. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Just out of dry dock after a refit and many cabins unfit for human habitation. See other similar reviews. A/C in the cabin not working (75+ deg) while ice cold in the corridor outside!!! We had to leave the cabin door open to get cool at ... Read More
Just out of dry dock after a refit and many cabins unfit for human habitation. See other similar reviews. A/C in the cabin not working (75+ deg) while ice cold in the corridor outside!!! We had to leave the cabin door open to get cool at all. Our patio door out to the deck did not work so we could not even get a cool breeze. There were water leaks all over our deck ( although not in our cabin) and the smell of dampness permeated the atmosphere at times. There was a smell of burnt metal and sawdust for the first few days. maybe it went away, maybe we just got used to it. My wife, along with many other passengers, came down with a chest infection due to the poisonous air. Thankfully after $2000 of medical expenses she picked up by day 5 of our trip. Funnily enough this was just about the same time that the A/C and water leaks were repaired on our deck. Crewmen were welding or cutting metal outside our door on the lanai deck. A rail on the rear pool deck was missing a 3 foot length and was crudely repaired with a length of plank screwed across the gap.!!! I kid you not! (photos to follow when I find them) I know that some guests left the ship at the first port of call and if my wife had been well enough, and the port suitable, we to would also have disembarked. When my wife was quite ill and unable to leave the cabin "room service" got 5 orders in a row wrong. Eventually I started going to the restaurant myself and brought her meals to her. All of this was a great shame because the ship had the potential to be a very enjoyable experience. We found the crew to be generally very friendly and efficient. The dining room was an enjoyable experience and the food very good. ( to we cruise virgins.) I think that this ship would normally be an 8 or 9 out of 10 but for us, and many other people it was a very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We had never sailed on HA and had heard good things about this cruise line, so when a Dec cruise to Asia came up with ports we had never been to but wanted to see, we jumped at the chance to be a part of this experience. First off, the ... Read More
We had never sailed on HA and had heard good things about this cruise line, so when a Dec cruise to Asia came up with ports we had never been to but wanted to see, we jumped at the chance to be a part of this experience. First off, the crew and staff for the most part were great - very friendly, helpful and accommodating. In addition to the destinations, they were the best part of the cruise! Negatives: 1. our cabin - it looked good, but the air conditioning never worked so it was always 75°F or more, in countries that were already uncomfortably hot and humid. The staff were vigilant in trying to fix the problem but were not successful. Also, there was a leak somewhere that left a wet area outside our bathroom for the entire 2 weeks. To remedy the problem, a large, loud fan that blew hot air onto the spot was brought in, but as our cabin was already too warm, we sent the fan away after a few hours. 2. public areas - meanwhile, the hallways and public rooms (bars, theater, restaurants, library, etc.) were freezing cold, which other passengers also complained about. That finally got fixed on our last 2 days on board. It's a wonder that we didn't catch a cold. 3. the food - the food at the Lido and in the dining room was bland for our tastes (being foodies from SF who are 65+) and seemed geared to older people whose taste buds don't like surprises. I finally started asking for sambal to be brought out for my meals, which they did. We also thought that the meat and fish served was not the best quality... The fries at the Dive-in and the morning congee and omelettes at the Lido, however, were some of the best we had. The other problem with the food was that it was generally not served until 7am or after 8.30pm, so there were a few times we woke up or went to bed starving. Also, as everything at the Lido had to be served, there were long lines of impatient, sometimes rude, passengers. 4. the activities - On Princess cruises I'm usually racing from lectures to dance classes to trivia, and back again, often without enough time for a sit-down meal. On this HA cruise, I was rarely busy as there were few lectures and even fewer dance and arts and crafts classes. It was good to have down time, but I felt again that this cruise was geared to older, more sedentary passengers. The Test Kitchen and lectures that were given, however, were excellent and informative. 5. the excursions - Most ship excursions are expensive, and these were no exception, but the HA excursions were much better than the ones I've been on with Princess. The guides, transport and organization were generally excellent, but were worth paying the premium prices. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We booked with Holland American because of previous quality and service. We received an e mail prior to boarding asking us not to board before 1pm instead of before 12 noon as the ship had been in dry dock and would not be ready to use. ... Read More
We booked with Holland American because of previous quality and service. We received an e mail prior to boarding asking us not to board before 1pm instead of before 12 noon as the ship had been in dry dock and would not be ready to use. Then they sent another e mail saying that we could board on the normal time. On boarding the cabin had not been cleaned it had rubble on the carpets, dust all over everything inside, curtains were inside the draws, we complained. Later water was leaking into the cabin from the bottom of the toilet. There was no cold water apart from what was coming in via the toilet. The air conditioning was not working cabin was very hot did not work for 3 days. We complained in a long line of other people who were experiencing similar issues. In fact we spent the first day complaining rather than enjoying the cruise. The toilets in the main public areas were not working which caused them to be backed up and less than usable. There was several leaks in the public areas which needed to be zoned off and industrial dryers used to dry the area. One night while sitting in bar near the shops a large metal ceiling tile about 3 feet x 3 feet came crashing to the floor. Missing customers who were in the bar by inches witnessed by staff. Someone had made the decision to use this ship in an unserviceable condition. I have sent an e mail to Holland American customer services who acknowledged receipt and a follow up. I have had no reply in over two weeks. I do not feel they will reply as I feel there is no customer service with them. I will not book a cruise with them again unless I receive a reply. Sorry. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
As other cruisers have put it, this ship should have stayed in drydock. The information published on the internet about the refurbishment indicated some great changes that would certainly enhance the cruise. Coupled with our previous HAL ... Read More
As other cruisers have put it, this ship should have stayed in drydock. The information published on the internet about the refurbishment indicated some great changes that would certainly enhance the cruise. Coupled with our previous HAL experiences, we had high expectations. Unfortunately the information was inaccurate and, to be frank, this ship is a piece of junk. More info about the ship- leaky pipes and a near flood on our first day at sea. Some of the ship's public rooms were clearly renovated, while others were not. What HAL's calculus was in why certain places should be renovated first was unclear. Cabin- See below for cabin review. It was supposedly a suite, but I think that's false advertising. The AC system either didn't work at all or couldn't be turned off when we sailed into colder climates during the cruise. Fortunately, beyond the room being old and needing massive upkeep was the extent of my cabin's issues. A lot of fellow passengers had flooded rooms/toilets and other serious issues. Dining- Pinnacle Grill was great, and the Dive-In was pretty good. Beyond that, the food was not up to HAL standards. I hate to be so harsh, but some of the food tasted like something I would eat at my college dining hall. That all said, I thought it was great that they offered local cuisine from the countries we were visiting, so people could sample the fare without worrying about local cleaning standards. Entertainment/Activities- The America's Test Kitchen lectures were great, and the port lectures weren't too bad. Other cruise lines have subject matter experts on board who can do deep dives into what we will experience. I can't speak to any of the other entertainment beyond the movies at the Wajang Theater. Service- The major bright spot. My cabin stewards were excellent and the staff did a great job, I would also like to highlight the work of the maintenance people who were, unfortunately, constantly at work fixing issues that should have been identified during the drydock. Ports and Shore Excursions- The reason we booked this trip. All things being equal, we'd take a ship in lousy shape if it meant getting a chance to visit those places. Excellent itinerary. Embarkation was poorly organized, especially the lines to go through immigration. The guy "directing" was completely disorganized and eventually passengers took matters in to their own hands and just walked up. HAL, drydock the Volendam and do a top to bottom thorough check. I can think most passengers would have been happier if you had done that and pushed our cruise dates a bit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this trip for two main reasons: 1. the Holland America experience (this was my 8th cruise with HAL) 2. the locations to be visited (Japan & China) We planned this trip, with our dear friends from the U.K. whom we had ... Read More
We chose this trip for two main reasons: 1. the Holland America experience (this was my 8th cruise with HAL) 2. the locations to be visited (Japan & China) We planned this trip, with our dear friends from the U.K. whom we had met on a previous HAL cruise, for over a year. We were so looking forward to our journey!!! What we experienced was a huge & bitter disappointment! Our cabin had a distinctive & very strong smell of urine (akin to an outhouse) which seemed to come on and off through the pipes. Given that the cruise was completely sold out there was no point in complaining as there was no alternative cabin to move to. There were other areas where it appeared that the company has cut back, perhaps cost saving measures had been applied (service, food, entertainment), which was also disappointing. For example: the entertainment included a few nights with no show, a few nights of the "Volendam singers & dancers", a harmonica duo, an accordion player and a man sitting at a table doing card tricks. As mentioned I've been on 7 previous cruises with HAL and am used to cruise ship entertainment but this was a poor showing indeed. However, the worst experiences were the shore excursions! I have never felt so cheated & used in all of my previous travels and I am still smarting from the experience. For the entire time we were in Japan it was raining, cloudy and gray which was absolutely no fault of HAL. However, what they decided to do with the shore excursions was another matter. In Shimizu we booked (at a cost of just under $100 USD each) a visit to a lookout to see Mt. Fuji and then a visit to a shrine. As we boarded our tour bus it was evident that our guide knew that we could not visit the lookout and would not see Mt. Fuji. This was not their fault but what they did instead was unacceptable. We drove to an isolated, very small tea store where we were told we had to wait an hour. We stood under an awning looking out at a gray, hazy world for an hour before boarding the bus once again for our next stop. We visited a shrine where we saw everything there was to see in about 15 minutes and then, once again, were told we had to wait an hour in the wet miserable weather with nowhere to go before we could head back to the ship. I can't for the life of me understand why they didn't cancel the excursion or, at the very least, offer us a refund so we could explore alternatives as they knew we could not do what our itinerary listed. Another, extremely sad & disappointing excursion was the overnight trip to Beijing. This trip cost each of us almost $1,000 USD and we were so very, very excited about all that we would enjoy. Our bus was absolutely filthy, the seatbelts were inaccessible (though we would be spending hours on the highway) and some of the seats randomly reclined on their own crushing the knees of the person sitting behind. At lunch neither the guide, nor the HAL rep on the trip, would help ensure the 4 of us could sit together but instead insisted we squeeze in at two separate tables earmarked for bus #16. There were lots of places, in the same room, that we could have sat together but this was not a part of their agenda. Finally, after a dismal lunch we headed off to the main event, the Great Wall of China! However, because we still had to visit another temple we were only allowed a brief time at the wall - not nearly enough time to climb to the top as planned. After a long and extremely disappointing day we finally headed towards our hotel. The four of us were really hoping to salvage something of the day by exploring the nightlife of Beijing on this, our one and only night in this amazing city. However, the hotel selected by HAL was way off in the business district and so there was nothing near by. We felt trapped in the hotel where drinks were approximately $20 each so sad, tired and disappointed we went off to bed at 9:00. In the morning we headed off to breakfast determined to start the day with a good attitude. I won't go into detail about the appalling way things went at breakfast but suffice it to say it took the 4 of us over half an hour to chase down a simple cup of coffee after being told that they had "run out of cups" at the hotel. Wow, that was a new one! I honestly felt sick to my stomach that I had convinced our dear friends to pay the $1000 USD for this excursion which proved to be worth considerably less than what was paid! I was so unhappy that the next day I went down to the front office to complain about the experience. This is something I have never done before! Later that day I received a call from the excursions office "thanking me for my feedback." On yet another excursion we were to visit a silk factory to watch how silk is made. However, that turned out to be nothing more than a sales pitch after which we had to stand around and wait for an hour while people were encouraged to buy silk bedding. While standing around we learned that a number of people had received refunds for an excursion where they didn't get enough time to visit one of their temples. I was stunned by this news given that we spent an hour standing in the rain at a tea shop, rather than visit the scheduled lookout, but no one had ever offered us any kind of refund. I have always loved travelling with HAL but this was one of the worst experiences I have ever had on a vacation. My husband and I are not wealthy and the cost of this cruise + the multiple shore excursions was considerable. I truly felt horribly cheated by most of the shore excursions in which we participated and I am deeply disappointed and saddened by Holland America's response. We had previously booked two additional cruises with Holland America this year (one in the winter and another in the spring) and given our unpleasant experience in October we cancelled our winter cruise upon our return home. We asked that our agent tell Holland America why we were doing so and she kindly did so. I was deeply offended by the response from Holland America. They did not offer to reimburse the $100 USD each that we paid to stand in the rain at a tea shop nor did they offer any recompense for any of our other excursions. Instead they offered us some shipboard credit, NOT on the cruise we still have booked for the spring, but instead only available if we book yet another new cruise on Holland America within the next year. Wow! That is a stunning response. My husband and I are 4 Star Mariners who have enjoyed a wonderful, lengthy relationship with Holland America. However, I'm afraid this incredible response (i.e. buy yet another cruise and you will receive some extra credit) has pretty much determined that our relationship with Holland America has likely come to an end. Shame on you, Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We are a 3 star Mariner with Holland America working towards our 4 star. We go away every winter and liked the itinerary of this cruise. We were on for a total of 42 days. We like to listen to the piano and violin entertainment with a ... Read More
We are a 3 star Mariner with Holland America working towards our 4 star. We go away every winter and liked the itinerary of this cruise. We were on for a total of 42 days. We like to listen to the piano and violin entertainment with a martini before dinner. Adagio, Andreea and Alexandru were fantastic. The food on this ship has slipped. The worst French Onion soup I have ever had. The service at dinner was very slow and the food often arrived cold. We like to eat breakfast and lunch on the Lido deck aft however this ship offered no service for these tables. That is no juice or coffee in the morning and nothing at lunch. We often had to get our own cutlery and clear a space at the tables. We used to enjoy the Culinary Centre and related activities however now Holland America has invited America's Test Kitchen to do the shows and they are very dry and poorly presented. Plus there are no samples. This is a big mistake on Holland America's part. We like Holland America however it seems evident that there is some serious cost cutting going on, at least on this ship. We will never book the Volendam again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Overall it was an enjoyable cruise and trip, however, some things made the overall experience a little sour. What we enjoyed: the destinations and the ship amenities and food service. What was quite poor: The guest relations. ... Read More
Overall it was an enjoyable cruise and trip, however, some things made the overall experience a little sour. What we enjoyed: the destinations and the ship amenities and food service. What was quite poor: The guest relations. McDonald's treats its customer better. Before we embarked we called the guest relations to get an address for where the ship was in port. The lady on the phone gave us the wrong address! We had to pay extra taxi fee to get to the correct destination. And had to find it and navigate with no phone or internet service. Which, in a foreign country is quite difficult to say the least. We also had a poor experience with guest relations after the cruise. My iPhone was misplaced the second to last day of the cruise and not found so we put our name on the lost and found items list. Of course it never showed up before we disembarked. I contacted the cruise line 2 weeks after the cruise asking if it had been found or turned in and they responded they had not found it. Well a week later they email me with a picture of the phone asking me if it was the correct phone and it was. So I said hooray please ship to my address. Well, it has been over a month since then and still no phone. I have emailed two times requesting some update or status and have not received an answer. My suspicion is that my phone was not "misplaced", but was stolen by the crew. But because I protect my phone with pin and password the member was not able to hack into it and eventually gave up and turned it in. I scoured everywhere I was the night I lost it, it had to have been taken by someone. So, anyway, we won't be using Holland America Cruise Line for any future cruises simply because of the guest relations. We love cruise travel and never have had anything like this as far as overall customer service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Only reason was that we had to pay for 3 other people and the fact this cruise was a "roundtrip" was helpful n accommodating 2 elderly people in our group as well! We Will never go cack to HAL. The FRONT DESK staff needs major ... Read More
Only reason was that we had to pay for 3 other people and the fact this cruise was a "roundtrip" was helpful n accommodating 2 elderly people in our group as well! We Will never go cack to HAL. The FRONT DESK staff needs major training in how to "smile" and be empathetic addressing guests concerns.Not one of them did anything to make us feel welcomed and excited. On another note however, the dining experience was excellent. Both in terms of staff and the quality of food in Lido and Rotterdam. One observation was that as oppose to Celebrity and Carnival, the buffet area had one hour "pauses" for serving the food!! There was NO FOOD between 10:30 and 11:30 in the morning and also NO FOOD between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. Our experience in other cruise lines were that there were ALWAYS at least one or two stations open with snacks and light food that was available between breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you have other choices than than HAL, definitely chose the other lines! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
For a cruise that was marketed as about seeing wildlife, the crew seemed particularly lacking in knowledge on this area with apparently no ranger on board except for the short time when we were cruising through Glacier Bay. Most of the ... Read More
For a cruise that was marketed as about seeing wildlife, the crew seemed particularly lacking in knowledge on this area with apparently no ranger on board except for the short time when we were cruising through Glacier Bay. Most of the time we simply motored around at speed and the chances of seeing a whale or any other animal showed in the marketing seemed to be extremely limited. This was a big disappointment as the cruise felt more like a ferry taking us from A to B than a cruise to see the wildlife we would have liked to see. However our biggest gripe with the cruise was the amount of shops on board and the endless focus of the staff on encouraging us to buy everything from jewellery to art. This seemed to have annoyed a lot of fellow passengers as well. In particular it was a shame that whilst trying to flog a lot of stuff we didn't need, they didn't seem to sell the basic things we might have wanted to buy on a cruise like sunhats, coats, memory cards for the camera etc. Lastly the food was very mediocre in our opinion. We will be staying away from this line in future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This Cruise was supposed to be part of a 19 day treat for my wife to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. I booked a mini suite (6118) and once on board disappointment set in as the rooms were old and dated with trim missing and ... Read More
This Cruise was supposed to be part of a 19 day treat for my wife to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. I booked a mini suite (6118) and once on board disappointment set in as the rooms were old and dated with trim missing and paper coming away on the wall, the bath side panel kept popping out and the balcony was dirty and rusty. Lido service was dreadful, front desk staff frosty, had taken out drinks package however checked my receipts every time as 2 waiters constantly over charged me. Excursions booked on board were expensive and quite honestly this ship spoilt our holiday as the entertainment was poor compared to other cruise lines we had used. Would we use Holland America again...... NO!! We have travelled before with other major cruise companies who offered far higher standards of accommodation and their entertainment was of a far higher standard and had much friendlier staff. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
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
Ship shoe excursion is ex and not worth it. Don't believe their advertising -experts, best shore excursion Thilawa -We didn't go onshore as we intend to make a 2 weeks trip there another time. My husband has visited Myanmar ... Read More
Ship shoe excursion is ex and not worth it. Don't believe their advertising -experts, best shore excursion Thilawa -We didn't go onshore as we intend to make a 2 weeks trip there another time. My husband has visited Myanmar before. From what we heard and know 1. Free shuttle will drive you a short journey outside port where there are taxis. 2 couples shared a taxi for USD$40 to Yangon city and separated there. One couple visited sights in Yangon, took a taxi for $2 to Shwedagon and paid $40 to return to ship (didn't bargain as the price given was right, about over 1 hr drive).The ship will give you a piece of paper with basic translation like, "go back to Thilawa", go to Shwedagon etc.. That's the only helpful deed they do for pax in this whole journey. 2. Another couple prebooked to stay overnight in Yangon Hotel. Shwedagon is best to visit early morning (cooler) and a night for its light. No exciting reports from anyone for all the visits they made. 2. Phuket- no need shore ex- walk right into town. One couple paid 200 baht for 1 hr foot reflexology and google on free wifi while been treated. We paid 2 hrs head, body and foot for 700 bahts each-in Junk Ceylon mall (15 mins walk from ship). Plenty of massages. Don't be tempted by the touts (plenty around with taxis and agents) asking you to go to Phuket town where we hv been. Its not worth visiting this dilapidated and congested town. Patong beach where the ship land is same. Some spend time on the beach. 3.Port Klang- v far to KL. Ship parked till 10.30pm as they want to sell firefly tours which starts after dusk. Advantage – free wifi in Boustead Port where the ship is parked. So many sat in the hall to work on the computer. 4. Penang - free ac bus shuttle in town- ship shore excursion director will not tell you and when our friend told him about this, he pretended he didn’t know. Don't buy their shore ex - not worth going to any of them. Monkey beach is nonsense. Disappointing for those who visit. Penang is UNESCO City. Ship Shore excursion director never mention this in his talk or notes. Most I spoke with don't know. Their tours take you out to Monkey Beach (V far from town, National Park) with BBQ - So they can charge high. But I was told some were not attired for the walk and ended meeting the rest of the group and BBQ was over, not enough food also. We've done this walk. Its Penang National Park. We spent 3 hrs walking and saw monkeys along the way but quite frightening as they are wild. BTW we lived in Singapore. You can pay to have the boat take you to the beach. But it makes no sense to do that as our purpose was forest walk (Skirting the beach all the time and Monkey beach is one of the stops- No monkeys on the ebach, just a name). Free entry to the park, walk and beach. So the excursion throw in BBQ in order to charge. What we were disappointed was that the shore ex don't talk about or organize a walking tour to the Penang UNESCO site. My husband is an author and authority on Penang architecture. He offered to give a talk on Penang to the tour director who immediately, without any question, said, "No!". All the we spoke with wanted to know and so he gave a private talk to a small group. First he drew a plan of the city and explained town plan and where the UNESCO site is, talk and show pics of some beautiful buildings in Penang etc..., showed people how to do the walking tour (he took a group on free walking tour). Showed the free shuttle bus route etc.. The best thing the ship could do is to organize a walking tour of the UNESCO city. If interested my husband would have connected him to some Penang experts who can do this. Another client complained to the customer relationship why wasn't any maps of each town supplied? They are freely distributed by each country/cities. All he needs to do is to collect them and put them in the front office for cruisers. This is our 2nd cruise. We join Volendam to spend Christmas and New Year. But disappointed with the program. Wished they had piped Christmas music all around the lift areas so we all could feel the Christmas/New Year spirit. Would not recommend to spend Christmas and New Year on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
April 2014 we were in French Polynesia and had a wonderful time. This time we choose a Volandam cruise Seattle - Sydney - Bali because we thought the itinerary looked great as well. It was partly great indeed, but also partly ... Read More
April 2014 we were in French Polynesia and had a wonderful time. This time we choose a Volandam cruise Seattle - Sydney - Bali because we thought the itinerary looked great as well. It was partly great indeed, but also partly disappointing. e.g. To me it is a mystery why the ship went to Mystery Island. A lost day. In Honolulu the hop on hop of bus was not available. HAL had rented it for some excursion. We never join HAL excursions because you can save half of the money when you book ashore. Climat control in the lounges and bridge room were inadequate. Most of the time it was freezing there. The tables and chairs in the Lido restaurant really should be replaced. Take care for the buckets in the corridors when it's raining. Unfortunately the quality of food was worse again. Good bread and fresh orange juice, but cold soup, melted ice cream, bad coffee and overcooked meat and fish. Less expensive fruit and meat. Little variation as well. What a difference with 8 years ago! HAL has become a budget cruise line, though they will never admit. A good idea not to use the slogan "Signature of Exellence" anymore! HAL tries to save money where it is (im)possible. At the entrance of the dining room the new dress code was unknown, so they tried to give me a jacket when formal night, which I refused. A fellow guest got really furious when his entrance was refused. Well, we got an invitation for a "rijsttafel" dinner. A pity that it was planned one day after our disembarkation. Fewer shows, more movies. Less musicians.The smaller HAL Cats Orchestra seemed to be uninterested. Live music in the lounge at dinner time but not during the happy hour. Some mediocre "singers" came back a second time "on popular demand". Whose demand? The atmosphere on board was not nice at all. Too many crew members were very unfriendly. Take care for them in the buffet restaurant, for they will not stop when you are approaching with coffee and breakfast in your hands. No crew present at the meet and mingle. Don't ask for service. They don't know that word. An exception was our great waiter in the dining room and his helper. In the always cold Hudson Room the lights are switched off at about 23.45. Probably bed time. The bridge Tournament Director during the first part of the cruise was good. Unfortunately his wife was not and (the TD told this to me!) she insisted to do the lessons herself though the TD was much better. The TD during the last part of the cruise was incompetent, lazy and very rude. Hotel Director JH was the rudeness in person. Once he said to me: Why did you book this cruise when you were already disappointed this spring on the Rotterdam? When I answered that I booked this cruise about a year ago, he suggested that I might have had my money back via my insurance company....! What an attitude. Then we won a pearl necklace at a raffle. We were told it had a value of 1250 Australian $. After a bit investigation it proved to be fake. When I complained to JH he got rude and said "do you expect me to pay that money myself?" Of course not the smartest question ever and not relevant as well. It's just about responsibilities dear Hotel Director. Some weeks later we heard that the jewelry seller was dismissed in Sydney. Before disembarkation we got a letter: "For your convenience the individual cards have been pre-filled for you". That's nice. At the end if the cruise a little service. Unfortunately they wrote down wrong pasport numbers. Another visit to the front desk needed. We had planned to disembark in Bali together with about 50 other guests. Unfortunately the ship could not enter the port because of some dredger. Ofcourse we were unpleasantly surprised. I asked the captain why we could not disembark by using the tenders. He said the tender platform would be under water now and then. This sounds a bit strange but okay, he is the captain. So I asked why not entering the tenders where you have to enter them in case of emergency. Now the mysterious answer was: "because the passengers would not be able to return to the ship". Personally I don't see the problem, because those 50 guests wanted to leave the ship and definitely not embark again. Well, he is the captain and did his study. So we had to stay one more day at the ship and rebook our flights. When we arrived the next day about 15.00, a vulcan at Lombok just had erupted the same morning. When we disembarked, nobody at the ship told us that the airport was closed. The taxi driver at the pier told us. What a HAL-service and how dishonest (or incompetent?). Because HAL had send a letter to all 50 guests that HAL would refund all extra costs because of the delay we claimed 3 days Bali. Without success HAL tried to convince us that they were not responsible. So all is well that ends well. The days on Bali where some of the best days of the holiday. Back home I contacted HAL and the lady in the local office was very understanding and helpful. She contacted the jewelry and they gave some compensation. Well, only after they tried to mislead the customs without success, saying that I send the necklace for repair.... Only because HAL gave us a future cruise credit we will return one more time to a HAL ship. Ofcourse after having checked that JH will not be on board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our 2nd same trip to Alaska on this ship chosen for the dates and size of the ship. Will start with some positives. Leaving Vancouver was very pretty after an easy check in and it was nice to go to a decent buffet (rooms not ready ... Read More
This was our 2nd same trip to Alaska on this ship chosen for the dates and size of the ship. Will start with some positives. Leaving Vancouver was very pretty after an easy check in and it was nice to go to a decent buffet (rooms not ready for awhile we were told till about 1:30 or so). As before our impression is the cabin sizes are smaller than those on Princess. Our cabin attendants were amazing and the really only good thing the entire week as was our main dining server after we initially asked to be moved from a table near the server's hectic station. Beginning with the first night, and on till the end, starting about midnight we'd hear rolling sounds in our ceiling (like a bellman's cart) followed by things dropped on the floor over head. We called guest services at first thinking it was from the outside promenade deck, later to be told it was from some kitchen galley above even though we thought we'd be over enough when we first booked. We asked if they could please o up and tell them to stop. The service reps, every night got ruder, unhelpful and defensive every time we called. It continued through out the night and week. Some nights it started up at 1 am, others 2 am and wow, 1 night lucky, not till 4 am! Needless to say we had zero sleep the entire week. No one seemed to be able to admit to the source of the noises and no one seemed able to stop it, even though we went to the top, the "hotel manager", who seemed to care but it was not fixed. Supposedly no cabin to switch to, no way to fix it. In the end we were compensated with the final bill but we'd have rather spent to have had a nice comfortable week enabling us to sleep, it was all too bad. Specialty restaurant nice, food ok, shows terrible, and 2 nights the "dancers" from the show took very large areas to hang out and party eliminating space for guests. We also noted several new passengers embarking in Skagway coughing as they boarded, spreading germs....ship itself seemed clean enough, Alaska is gorgeous but our issues of not sleeping were a deterrent to what could have been a nice trip. To add to it 1 lounge had what we thought was annoying violin music, a larger lounge room with maybe 6 to 10 guests a night while the more popular area with the piano player was smaller, crowded with zero enough seating for guests; this ship needs to get rid of the violin entertainment and offer more interesting lounge music to those mid age....we wont sail this line again because of the rudeness from guest services and in ability to get to the bottom of the noises overhead. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Volendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 5.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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