590 Holland America Volendam Cruise Reviews

We have never been on a traditional cruise before, and we were so impressed by the excellent service from every member of staff on board this ship, from the Captain to the waiters and the room service. All the staff spoke to us whenever ... Read More
We have never been on a traditional cruise before, and we were so impressed by the excellent service from every member of staff on board this ship, from the Captain to the waiters and the room service. All the staff spoke to us whenever they saw us, and made us feel so welcome. The food was delicious, with such variety, and available at all times. Over eating was a real temptation, as it was all so tempting. We enjoyed our expeditions ashore, and the days spent on board were relaxing and comfortable. A truly memorable cruise with all the wildlife we had hoped to see. We saw humpback whales, dolphins, orca, sea otters, porpoises and so much more. We dined in all the restaurants and they were all excellent, especially the Pinnacle restaurant. Every day we received details of all available activities for the next day in a smart newsletter, so we could plan what we wanted to do, or decide to do nothing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We have always wanted to see Alaska and this cruise fitted the bill perfectly. My wife is in a wheelchair and we were very impressed how accessible the whole of the ship was. We were very impressed that Holland America had a good ... Read More
We have always wanted to see Alaska and this cruise fitted the bill perfectly. My wife is in a wheelchair and we were very impressed how accessible the whole of the ship was. We were very impressed that Holland America had a good selection of wheelchair accessible excursions available (unlike other companies who we have cruised with in the past!) In Juneau we went whale watching and were transported in a coach with a wheelchair lift. In Skagway we did the White Pass Rail Journey where there were coaches with wheelchair lifts. The only problem we had was the White Pass Railway excursion where we were constantly told before that we disembarked by tender, that the train was specially reserved to our ship and would wait for us all to disembark. When our tender finaly docked the train had already left which upset a large number of people. However there was another train which was leaving in 3 hours so we spent the time looking around Skagway before catching the later train. The food in the MDR was some of the best we have had in all the cruises we have been on. We also ate in the 3 speciality restaurants - Pinnacle, Canaletto and Le Cirque - they were all excellent and we would recommend dining here. The choice of bars was good and the theatre shows were good. Overall we would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Booked this cruise in 2015 as I have wanted to cruise for 40+ years. You know, bucket list and all. Decided on 7 day first as didn't know how we would be on the ocean (motion sickness etc.) None of us (4) got sea sick although the ... Read More
Booked this cruise in 2015 as I have wanted to cruise for 40+ years. You know, bucket list and all. Decided on 7 day first as didn't know how we would be on the ocean (motion sickness etc.) None of us (4) got sea sick although the sea was a little rough. Loved the feeling of luxury. Felt like a queen. Everyone was so accommodating. Want to go again. Next time would like to go on the Asian cruise and for 2 weeks at least. MS Volendam was out dream come true. Loved the main dining room and also the Lido deck where you could almost eat all day. Loved the fact that there was someone there to assure everyone used the hand sanitizers before entering the dining rooms so were not cross contaminating anyone. Rained at the ports of call so didn't go off the ship for very long. That was okay because could do whatever you wanted on ship anytime. Even the children that were on board were so good. Never heard any loud chatter etc. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The cruise industry is trending towards larger ships, but the applause during the "Meet the Captain" session for the smaller size of HAL's venerable 1500-person Volendam shows that there's much to be said for this class ... Read More
The cruise industry is trending towards larger ships, but the applause during the "Meet the Captain" session for the smaller size of HAL's venerable 1500-person Volendam shows that there's much to be said for this class of ship. And this vessel is perfect for visiting Alaska, winding through the narrow straits of the inside passage and especially navigating the spectacular Glacier Bay. We were a group of 10 (our family of four with two teens, my brother's family of four with two children, and my parents) and shared three adjacent staterooms on Deck 2. The ship is now 18 years old, but it has been well-maintained and is about to go in for another dry dock refurb later in 2017. Even with four in a room, our ocean-view room had plenty of storage space and we had enough room, not that we spent a great deal of time in our stateroom. The ship doesn't have a lot of the extras that newer, larger ships have. But while it lacks in some features, thankfully it also lacks in line-ups and waiting. Even though the cruise was fully-booked, we hardly had to wait for anything, and the ship never felt crowded. We really appreciated HAL's commitment to high-quality live music. The classical violin/piano duo, piano player, five-piece band, and especially Ashley Wey and her jazz trio were all very good. The shows and entertainers were good -- the productions are not 'broadway standard', but the entertainment was an improvement on our experience on this same cruise five years ago. I'm said that HAL no longer does their late night dutch chocolate extravaganza, I'm sad that they no longer have live music in the dining room on formal nights, I'm disappointed that there are no ice sculptures or carved watermelons, and it was a shame that the library books were unavailable for hygiene reasons. But these are small quibbles -- the overall experience was wonderful. It helped that the weather in Alaska was, reportedly, the best all season. Sunny clear skies every day; Skagway was actually uncomfortably hot. Glacier Bay was magical with such clear skies and calm seas. We had no problem making reservations for our group of 10 in the dining room, even though we had "anytime dining". The service in the dining room and throughout the ship was outstanding; everyone was very friendly and accommodating. Embarkation in Vancouver was tricky, with three large ships in port that day. Thankfully, everything went off without a hitch -- lots of extra staff were brought in to help move people through the process efficiently, and we had no problems whatsoever. Our advice: arrive early -- we showed up at 9:30 and we went through all the embarkation steps without a problem. The ship started boarding promptly at 11:30, and we were on and having lunch by noon. Disembarkation was similarly smooth, with good directions and very efficient staff. We loved our family cruise. We had the opportunity to spend time together in one large group, and other times different groups would do different things. In the evenings after dinner our teens enjoyed the teen club and our niece and nephew took in various activities in Club Hal. It was a great way to enjoy time together as a family while also enjoying the chance to each do our own thing if we wished. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We were very pleased with our cruise. I did a lot of researching before we chose this trip, and we were very happy with our decision. We were a little concerned before leaving as Holland American emailed us to say embarkation would be ... Read More
We were very pleased with our cruise. I did a lot of researching before we chose this trip, and we were very happy with our decision. We were a little concerned before leaving as Holland American emailed us to say embarkation would be later than usual as they were doing heavy disinfecting due to a higher than normal number of cases of Norovirus on the current trip. However, we had no issues on our trip, and I was impressed with their honesty. The ship was on the smaller size which suited us fine as we were not needing things like rock climbing or pool slides. We did appreciate the retractable roof in the Lido area. Very pleased with our inside cabin, as mentioned below. We chose open dining which worked out perfect for us. We thought we would have dinner in the main dining room each night, however sometimes after looking at the menu, we chose to eat at the buffet. We were very impressed with the Lido buffet, Lots of choices, tasty and can't say enough about the staff. Very friendly and so accommodating. We watched the main entertainment each evening, which had its ups and downs. Entertainment is probably HAL's weakness. The HAL singers/dancers were pretty good and we really liked the comedian. We are not big fans of magic shows, but he had a couple of good acts. There was one evening when they showed a film from BBC of Alaska's wildlife with the HAL band in the background. I don't really think anybody was impressed, and this was not what you would expect for main entertainment. It would have been fine in the movie theatre, We would also have liked to see some live entertainment by the pool. I did enjoy some of the trivia shows and the Windows 10 workshops. Be prepared for the usual ploys for more money, for example: photos, artwork, jewellry, alcohol, gambling, future trips and even foot supports. For excursions, we went whale watching in Juneau, and dog mushing in Skagway. Both were excellent. The ports were okay. Typical tourist shops and expensive jewellery. There were many opportunities to see wildlife both on our excursions and just off the ship. We saw Humpback & Orca Whales, Sea Otters, Stellar Sea Lions, Bald Eagles and jumping salmon. The scenery was truly breathtaking especially in Glacier Bay. I was really happy I chose to bring my binoculars. Overall, an amazing trip, What stands out the most is the excellent service from the staff (especially in our stateroom and the Lido buffet) and the wonderful views. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
All I can say is the entire trip was marvelous. A sincere and helpful tour guide, local guides and with excellent coordination of all details throughout. Denali Park was wonderful and we were fortunate to be among the 30% of people able ... Read More
All I can say is the entire trip was marvelous. A sincere and helpful tour guide, local guides and with excellent coordination of all details throughout. Denali Park was wonderful and we were fortunate to be among the 30% of people able to see Mt. Denali without a cloud cover. We were escorted by Holland American personnel at all times and even until the departure terminal at Vancouver airport. The Volendam ship was kept spotless with many hard working staff members. The caabin steward Benny was excellent and we even appreciated the towel animals left on the bed each evening. The food was very good and plentiful and we chose to eat in the buffet restaurant as we didn't like dressing up for the private eating restaurants and the one gala night. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled very well, and those with earlier flights were in the first groups leaving the ship. The ports and days at sea were well arranged and a daily schedule of events was left in the room each evening. All in all I would definitely recommend Holland American tours. The Volendame is a small and relatively older ship so there was also a coin operated laundry which was very much appreciated. I understand that the newer and larger ships do not offer this. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We arrived in Anchorage on May 24, and two-thirds of our 15-day journey was spent in Alaska and the Yukon. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing it all, despite all the travel (six hotels in 10 days, about 1200 miles). We wish there had been an ... Read More
We arrived in Anchorage on May 24, and two-thirds of our 15-day journey was spent in Alaska and the Yukon. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing it all, despite all the travel (six hotels in 10 days, about 1200 miles). We wish there had been an extra day in Whitehorse. The train ride to Denali was a relaxing day, and the Tundra Wilderness Tour was a good overview of the park. We enjoyed both Dawson City and Whitehorse in the Yukon, despite the former's touristy feel on its main street. We tended to eat at the restaurants in the Westmark hotels we stayed in (usually for convenience). (Westmark is owned by HAL.) The hotel food was usually quite good, although we ate at other restaurants three times during the trip, and especially enjoyed the Aurora Inn restaurant in Dawson City, a short block from the hotel. We enjoyed our last two land days in Skagway, especially the city museum on Seventh Street: it was a gem that would not have been out of place in a big city. We boarded Volendam just before noon on day 11, had lunch in the Lido restaurant, and spent much of the afternoon in our (reserved) deck chairs soaking up the nice weather, having the knowledge we wouldn't have to get on a bus for four more days. The ship is elegant and understated, and it was a real pleasure to arise early, get our coffee in the Explorations Cafe, and sit there watching the world go by. This was an especially nice morning location as we entered Glacier Bay on our second day on board. After breakfast that day, we moved to our deck chairs for the rest of the day. On the third day, we arrived in Ketchikan around 9am in a drizzling rain. My wife went out briefly to find the local museum, but we otherwise stayed on board that day. Our general impression of Ketchikan's main street was that it had cornered much of the world supply of jewelry and souvenir stores. Our last full day sailing was at sea through the Inside Passage and was generally enjoyable. However, a wind came up mid-afternoon, and the ship started rolling a little. This wasn't a problem until I spent about 30 minutes concentrating on a computer monitor around 4pm while trying to check in for our flight home the next day. Because I concentrated too much on the monitor for too long, I felt woozy when I stood up to go back to our cabin. I won't repeat this mistake. I was very disappointed with the ship's Internet service. Since it was based on time rather than how much was downloaded, HAL has no incentive to improve the service. It took about 30 minutes to finish our Alaska Airlines check-in, and ended up costing about $1 per minute. I won't make this mistake again. During our time on board, we ate breakfast and lunch in the Lido restaurant (with one lunch exception), and all dinners in the upper Main Dining Room. The Lido food was quite good and varied, and I appreciated the opportunity to have some Asian dishes (like congee, an Asian rice porridge breakfast, and a Malaysian stir fry for lunch). We thought the Main Dining Room dinners were exceptional, although the desserts seemed commonplace and merely workmanlike. We attended the tea service one afternoon, and were pleasantly surprised at the quality and variety of the tea cakes. Disembarking in Vancouver was smooth: we were in the first group off after some of the elevated Mariners (since we had to catch a flight at noon), but we were unhappy that we had to stand in line waiting for a bus to take us to the airport. Had we known about this, I'd have not packed our folding Walkstool to sit on (I have a problematic hip and knee). Overall, it was an enjoyable, fun, and memorable experience, well worth any of the small glitches we encountered. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Japan, 6 sea days and Alaska : a great intinerary for us . Ship is in very good condition, no complaints. I read somewhere on the CC forum about the not yet upgraded bathrooms in some cabins on the Dolphin deck. We had a cabin with a ... Read More
Japan, 6 sea days and Alaska : a great intinerary for us . Ship is in very good condition, no complaints. I read somewhere on the CC forum about the not yet upgraded bathrooms in some cabins on the Dolphin deck. We had a cabin with a non upgraded bathroom. It was nothing like the post on the froum which described it at as 70's motel room style. Maybe a bit outdated ,but clean and in perfect working order, so why complain about it ? The whole ships looks good, painted, clean carpets etc. Too bad there is no librarian anymore, the place used to be in a better shape with books and games returnted to the right shelves, it was a bit messy now. Food in MDR as well as Lido was varied and good. Service still same HAL style that we like, I heard some complaints about the speedm, but we don't mind not having the main course right after the appetizer. In general a dinner took about an hour, so pretty normal. Entertainment was surprisingly good and varied: a great band called Savannah Jack, a capella singers The Alleycats , a comedian and a ventriloquist were outstanding ! Best so far on the 10 th HAL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My travel partner has a son living in Japan and this seemed a good way to visit Japan and come home easily. What a great decision that was. This was a well done cruise with three lecturers discussing the Japanese culture and as we ... Read More
My travel partner has a son living in Japan and this seemed a good way to visit Japan and come home easily. What a great decision that was. This was a well done cruise with three lecturers discussing the Japanese culture and as we crossed the ocean the topic changed to first Nations people. We also had lectures on the "One Ocean" and physics, which left us all with something to think about. There were navigation lectures and many other things to do on this ship. The Volendam is a smaller older ship so people looking for lots to do and big flashy ships would not want to choose this one. But, if personal attention and well done dining appeal then this is the ship for you. There were 1360 passengers and 1000 of them were returning guests. We were served by 598 crew. This was an older crowd but very well traveled and very interesting. Different ships and cruise lines for different people and so this would not appeal to everyone. There were very few children on board so there was a great sense of peace and quiet. Food was excellent. The shows at night were wonderful and we often left the show lounge chuckling to ourselves. A really great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We spent a few days in Hong Kong before we boarded the ship and had planned our ports with both HAL and private excursions. We chose the cruise because we liked the variety of ports. We wanted learn as much as we could about the ports and ... Read More
We spent a few days in Hong Kong before we boarded the ship and had planned our ports with both HAL and private excursions. We chose the cruise because we liked the variety of ports. We wanted learn as much as we could about the ports and the history of the area. the weather was cool to cold at times but we were prepared. Few people spent time at the pool since it was often gray and cool. Sea days were a challenge since since the weather did not encourage outdoor activities. Thankfully two wonderful bridge instructors from Canada set up duplicate bridge and I played every sea day afternoon. They were not sponsored ACBL games or from HAL but they ran a great game for 36-54 people per day. The transpacific part of this cruise really needed bridge and other indoor activities since it was cold. There was no librarian or tech person but the staff at the customer desk helped. The wifi is great now and I could download my mail in two minutes. Sending pictures took more time. We bought 1000 minutes for $250 for the 44 days and ended up with leftover minutes. We had excellent cabin attendants and even though we had select dining we established our table and and 7:15 daily. The dining room staff were very thoughtful and made sure that one of our dining companions could have s sundae no matter what was being served. They did little things to make the cruise so special. I look at the pictures and can not believe what we did and where we traveled. I never expected to be stunned by the beauty traveling through the Aleutians and the snow capped mountains And yes we saw cherry tree wonderlands in Osaka and Aomori. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise because we loved the itinerary. We really liked the Volendam. Smallish and an older ship, but kept up well. Food was excellent. Cabin (6157) was adequate but did not have much storage space, but that is due to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we loved the itinerary. We really liked the Volendam. Smallish and an older ship, but kept up well. Food was excellent. Cabin (6157) was adequate but did not have much storage space, but that is due to the age of the ship we think. Balcony was quite large, although we did not get to use it much. Very smoggy for most of the cruise. Crew was really outstanding from cabin stewards to officers. Always willing to assist with smiles. Did not take in much entertainment, but did enjoy a flutist from Scotland and the trio in the Ocean Bar was really good. Port presentations were excellent. Pool was heated, which was nice. The buffet was very good and never terribly crowded. Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze. The crew was especially outstanding in their handling of the required immigration inspections at several of the ports. Those are always a pain, due to the local authorities, but the crew made them bearable. The ports were each fascinating in their own ways. We booked our own private tours in Shanghai and Beijing through a company called China Highlights. Had a guide, private car, and driver. So glad we did that as guides were really excellent. Only tour we did via Holland America was in Seoul and it was fine. We just got off the ship and wandered on our own in Nagasaki and Kagoshima. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
14 days Japan, China, Taiwan -- Landed into Narita Airport 2 days prior to embarkation, took the Narita Express Train to Yokohama (4290 YEN/$38USD). We stayed at Hotel Monterey Yokohama, which is only 4 large blocks away from the ... Read More
14 days Japan, China, Taiwan -- Landed into Narita Airport 2 days prior to embarkation, took the Narita Express Train to Yokohama (4290 YEN/$38USD). We stayed at Hotel Monterey Yokohama, which is only 4 large blocks away from the cruise terminal. Narita Express Train: HIGHLY recommend. Train leaves airport roughly every half an hour. Yokohama was either 5th or 6th stop but there's TV screens about every 20ft down the main aisle that shows you what stops are coming up so youowon't miss your stop. There are also announcements in english. Ticket booth to purchase tickets are right when you exit the baggage claim area. Seat number & car numbers are on your ticket. Make sure you are in the correct car number because some of the cars splits throughout the route. From the main Yokohama Train Station, we took the Minatomirai Line to Motomachi-Chukagai station [~5 stops away, 8 minutes total], this station was the closest to the hotel, about 6-8 blocks away. Hotel: ~$140 USD per night booked through Expedia. Check in and out was easy. Employees spoke basic English. We had a non-smoking room but there were definitely still a lingering scent of smoke. We cracked open the window, turned on the fan and went out to dinner. By the time we got back, it was better. Great central location for the price! On embarkation day, hotel held our luggage for us (free) while we went out for breakfast and a little bit of exploring before we got on the ship. Volendam Ship: The main Cruise Critic review of this ship is pretty spot on. A bit outdated but honestly, I'm on this cruise to explore a different country. My onboard spending for 14 days was 1/3 of what it was on a previous 7-day Alaska cruise. I spent as much time on land as possible. Dining: I was a bit disappointed in the quality of the food. Both the lido deck and the dining room did not exceed my expectations. Above average but just not quite up to the Holland America standard that I was hoping for. **At least on 5 different occasions, drinking cups were not readily available at the drink station closest to the table I was at. Very minor issue since you can just walk over to the other 3 drink stations but little things like this can irk you if it keeps happening. Service: Holland America crew consistently go above and beyond. ****CHANGE IN ITINERARY **** Due to the "foggy" weather [pollution], Shanghai's pilot station closed down temporally. Once they opened it back up, the water level in the Yangtze River wasn't quite high enough for us to leave. We spent a good ~6 hours sitting at the mouth of the Yangtze River. Wasn't safe to speed up to make it to Naha, Japan so the ship skipped it and got into Keelung, Taipei half a day early. I'll do separate reviews for the 9 ports that we stopped in. Keep an eye out for them if you're interested. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was a very informative busy cruise. It was a great way to experience a lot of different Asian ports . The ship itself is small without any extra perks like climbing walls or skating rinks but the trip highlights some ... Read More
This was a very informative busy cruise. It was a great way to experience a lot of different Asian ports . The ship itself is small without any extra perks like climbing walls or skating rinks but the trip highlights some really interesting bustling Asian cities . The excursions were hit and miss . We rented a car with driver and guide from holland america for both days in Shanghai and Beijing. It was ridiculously expensive but worth it. A couple of tips about seeing Shanghai and Beijing this way. We got Chinese currency before we left home but still ran out of cash because we forgot touring this way doesn't take into account admission fees or tips . Also,when we booked the car and guide for 2 days in Beijing it was well worth our while to also book a hotel in Beijing because it's a 2 1/2 hour drive from the cruise terminal in Tianjin to Beijing . Sheraton hotel in Beijing was beautiful and cheap $163 US per night and included a wonderful breakfast . Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We booked this cruise because of the variety of port of calls in a region of the world we didn't really know. We spent a few days in Singapore before boarding, had a chance to scope out the cruise terminal ahead of time. Therefore, ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the variety of port of calls in a region of the world we didn't really know. We spent a few days in Singapore before boarding, had a chance to scope out the cruise terminal ahead of time. Therefore, our embarkation went very smoothly. We didn't have anything to complain about with the ship or our cabin. We tend to carry our luggage onboard and had no problems with that. We could settle quickly. Food in the dining room and the Lido was good, though service was somewhat slow in the dining room. Entertainment was generaly good when it was the dancers and singers, except for one singer that I didn't like much. The other entertainers were OK. Activities on sea days were the usual shopping/games/casino stuff that we don't partake in. We did like Dr. Kam with his talk about China and Hong Kong though I wish that he had different presentations for the second part of the cruise. Service was perfect throughout the ship. We loved the itinerary but, in some ports of call, we docked far from the actual destination. In these cases, it was difficult to travel independently but we managed and had great adventures in the process. A main complaint with Holland America is the excessive price of their excursions and the lack of information provided to independant travellers by their team. Still, we had a great time and will travel again with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My husband and I decided to spend our birthdays cruising South East Asia on board the Volendam. We decided to take this cruise late in the year and there were not that many room options available for us. We decided on the room 3381 and ... Read More
My husband and I decided to spend our birthdays cruising South East Asia on board the Volendam. We decided to take this cruise late in the year and there were not that many room options available for us. We decided on the room 3381 and the first few days went ok but then it started to leak water from the upstairs kitchen. Once we called the front office, the staff were very gracious and helpful moving us to another room and then to a nicer balcony few days after they realized we were celebrating our birthdays. This made all the difference in the world for us. It was a very thoughtful gesture we are very grateful for. They made sure we were enjoying the cruise and checked with us regularly. Special thanks to Iva Kreuzmannova who sent us flowers, champagne, voucher for dinner at Canaletto after issue with the water leak in our room in the middle of the night and realizing we were there to celebrate our birthdays. It was a very thoughtful and generous gift to compensate for our aggravation-Thanks again. The food was great in all venues. We ate in all food venues and enjoyed each one of them without any complaints. The food was superb in Canaletto and Pinnacle grill as well as the Rotterdam and Lido. I was very impressed with the food quality and presentation every single night. I did not have a bad meal there. Staff is very friendly and eager to serve. Our stewards on room 3381 and 4224 were amazing and caring. I had such a great time in this cruise that I would repeat this cruise in a heartbeat. I am currently looking into China and Japan cruise as well as Australia/ New Zealand cruise for next year. Thank You Holland America for making our Birthdays so special! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
First time Holland America. Smaller ship was refreshingly good with 1200 on board. Staff were very friendly and we were quickly on first name terms with many of them. Ian, Manager of shore excursions,was a hoot. He should have his own ... Read More
First time Holland America. Smaller ship was refreshingly good with 1200 on board. Staff were very friendly and we were quickly on first name terms with many of them. Ian, Manager of shore excursions,was a hoot. He should have his own comedy spot! We found the HAL excursions to be expensive and so booked 3rd party trips which all went very well. The show team were very professional and put on first class shows. Martin is the most polite man we have ever met. Food quality was fine both in dining room and Lido restuarant. Choice might have been better. Ship is getting on in age but has a delighful retro feel to it. HAL is definately high on the list for future cruises and might be top if they undertood that the cost of Wifi on board is ridiculously high. Like most people we all scurried ashore whenever possible to find free Wifi. In common with other cruise lines the drink prices are a joke. The full package for 2 weeks added another 30% to the cost of the cruise. Unlikely to book again unless we got a free or reduced rate package as is currently being offered by competitor cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
In one word; FANTASTIC!! The food was excellent and hotel personnel was very professional. The cabin staff was very friendly and helpful. No complaints about the entertainment. Everything was done very professional. You did get the feeling ... Read More
In one word; FANTASTIC!! The food was excellent and hotel personnel was very professional. The cabin staff was very friendly and helpful. No complaints about the entertainment. Everything was done very professional. You did get the feeling that there was a good atmosphere among the staff. I would have liked the captain to be more visable but apparently there was an annual Port State Control inspection. Also, a minor detail, but the music in the 'Rotterdam' dining hall was every evening the same-the endless flute music.........maybe a guitar or piano would be a nice addition! Again, the food was superb, especially in the 'Rotterdam' dining hall. I can't say enough of the professional waiter/dining room staff - Indonesian/Philippino-fantastic! Getting on and off the ship while visiting the Alaskan towns and villages was very easy. This was my first cruise ever so I cannot make a comparison with other cruise companies but I will recommend the HAL to my friends and family. Great value for the money and worthy of repeat! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This ship and Holland America were fantastic! We explored Vancouver for a few days before setting sail from there, and both the embarkation and disembarkation were organized like a finely-calibrated engine. The ship was extremely ... Read More
This ship and Holland America were fantastic! We explored Vancouver for a few days before setting sail from there, and both the embarkation and disembarkation were organized like a finely-calibrated engine. The ship was extremely well-maintained and cleaned. Our cabin was fabulous in size and accoutrements, aided by Adit and Abdul, our cabin stewards. If you couldn't find a dining room or situation to your liking, there had to be something wrong with you. The Lido Buffet was clean and the food was plentiful, and the options - from burgers, hot dogs and Mexican to top-drawer experiences at The Pinnacle and Il Canaletto - were perfect. You could always find a seat in one of the dining areas or sit by the pool. Ahhhhh! Every day brought a fabulous line-up of things to do, from a towel-folding demonstration and bingo to Vegas-quality dancers and singers. Never a dull moment - unless you just wanted to sit on a balcony and watch the gorgeous Alaskan and Canadian sights roll by. We participated in three shore excursions, and all were wonderful. Also wonderful was the fact that in all three ports, the Volendam pulled right up to the town docks (no tenders). Yay. Our captain was very conscious of time, weather and the like, giving us an update every day. For map fans, there was a detailed one hanging in the atrium for you to follow, plus there were Waze-like maps on your room's TV. Everything was very well thought-out, and we'll be cruising with Holland America again in 2017. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our first cruise, after checking several websites we decided that we wanted a medium size vessel and chose "Travel Best Bets" from Vancouver to complete our plans. They did a wonderful job and Megan Stone was most ... Read More
This was our first cruise, after checking several websites we decided that we wanted a medium size vessel and chose "Travel Best Bets" from Vancouver to complete our plans. They did a wonderful job and Megan Stone was most helpful with her suggestions and tips. We chose to travel with Holland America's Volendam. It can be very daunting to find the day you are leaving that there are three cruise ships, all headed to Alaska within an hour of each other. We had completed our paperwork prior to boarding so the whole operation was even more simple than getting on an airline. we parked our vehicle in the Cruise Ship Parking area, which really saves time and effort. We had decided to select an outside cabin with a window, and on Megan's suggestion chose one on the third deck near the stern. Comments about engine noise were really unfounded and after a while one gets used to the minor vibration, which you can feel throughout the vessel. We found the meals to be above reproach, every we tried was very good, even the hot dogs from the dive-In was great. We had dinner in the Pinnacle Grill one night which was as good as others had told us about. We took most of our dinners and the main dining room and the waiters and the quality of the food was marvelous, everything was very tasty. On-board entertainment was very well done, there was something for everyone. It would be hard to fault the programs offered. The highlight of the Alaska Cruise had to be the visit to Glacier Bay, it was a slow cruise through the area, really great for getting good photographs. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
An Alaskan Inside Passage cruise was a bucket list trip, we have only recently started taking cruises, in fact all our cruise so far have been in 2016 and all with Holland America, it just worked out this way, we had no prior knowledge of ... Read More
An Alaskan Inside Passage cruise was a bucket list trip, we have only recently started taking cruises, in fact all our cruise so far have been in 2016 and all with Holland America, it just worked out this way, we had no prior knowledge of HAL. We embarked in Vancouver Canada Place and thought the whole embarkation process to be quick and very well organized, quicker than the cruise we took from Tampa. This could possibly be because we were early as we had earned a Mariner Star, so took advantage of early boarding and the Mariners Lunch. Our cabin had a balcony and I really recommend a balcony for the inside passage as this sea cruise is the nearest you will get to a river cruise, so apart from the first one day at sea getting to the inside passage where it's just sea, then onwards there is always something to sea, islands, mountains etc. Most being very close to the boat. Bear in mind that the further north you sail the longer the daylight, so 4.30 am in the morning daylight and stuff to see! My Wife and I had cabin 6138 and liked it, there were two attendants, the first morning we came back to the cabin after breakfast and the room was not made up, we thought next morning we would put the make up room tab in the outside lock and from then on we had our stateroom made up after breakfast. I guess we were helping the Attendants know the room was empty. The ports we stopped at were Juno, Skagway, Glacier Bay and Ketchikan all excellent although we could have passed on Juno. We also bought the excursion to the Sawyer Glacier where we boarded a smaller faster whale watching boat in mid sea and got to go close to the Sawyer Glacier which was our first stop on the second day, the Volendam continued to Juno without us and we rejoined the ship in Juno from the smaller tour boat, this was a 5 hour tour and worth every penny to see our first glacier. Our first cruise in March 2016 with HAL on the Veendam we felt the wait staff especially in the Lido restaurant to be better more attentive than the staff on the Volendam. We bought dinner at the Pinnacle Grill one evening, ordering this by our cabin phone for two nights ahead and they managed to make the reservation for a different night. The service in the Pinnacle was not as good or as friendly as the Rotterdam, although the rib steak was huge. I didn't think the Maitre 'D booking tables at the Rotterdam was very good or caring and didn't try to accommodate on open seating. Do not miss the pea soup served while the ship is in Glacier Bay, also do not miss the salmon BBQ at the outdoor Lido pool area, nothing quite like eating salmon from the grill outdoors. We didn't buy any other tours but instead explored the towns we stopped at, Skagway and Ketchikan were our favourites, in Ketchikan walk around Creek Street in Skagway ride for $2 the inclined railway to the Cape Fox Hotel a two minute ride with aerial views of the ship. Holland America seems to get prime docking spots in these towns, in Ketchikan our room was directly opposite the famous Ketchikan "Salmon Capital" sign when berthed in town. Alaska feels safe and familiar if not a little expensive, Ketchikan we got slow wifi included with a cup of coffee at the cafe next door to the canned Salmon shop up from the Salmon Capital sign. Free wifi in Juno and Skagway at the towns library. All in all a fantastic cruise plenty to do and amazing landscapes to take your breath away, Glacier Bay is one of those wonders of the world. Our trip was mid July and we had great weather with smooth sea and sunny blue skies apart from Juno. If you are seeing deals in May/June or September expect weather to be a negative aspect of this cruise, the week we booked was cheaper than the following week but we lucked out with the weather, no rain during the day and warm sunny weather in Glacier Bay, Skagway and Ketchikan. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
It was my 65 th birthday have never been keen to cruise but wanted to see glacier bay. We chose the Volendam because it is a small ship taking 1400 passengers. We booked an inside cabin and were allocated one on deck 3 the lower ... Read More
It was my 65 th birthday have never been keen to cruise but wanted to see glacier bay. We chose the Volendam because it is a small ship taking 1400 passengers. We booked an inside cabin and were allocated one on deck 3 the lower promenade. It was much larger than we were expecting and we came out the door right next to the promenade deck,nearly as good as an outside cabin, as there were loungers right by the door. The food was good in the lido bar and the Rotterdam restaurant was very good. We had a window table on 3 occasions which was lovely.We were always greeted with a smile and nothing too much trouble. The staff were excellent especially the cabin staff.we hardly ever saw them but there was always a towel animal and chocolates on the bed when we returned from dinner The entertainment was low key but enjoyable.I think we were all too tired most evenings to be too bothered. I was a bit worried about the 'dressing up' but again it was very low key. The ladies looked lovely nearly every night and the men smart casual most of the time. As we are in the 21 st century ,and a lot more informal than years ago it suited us Would I cruise again? It would have to be another spectacular destination. Would I choose HAL again Yes. All in all a n excellent choice and a wonderful holiday. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Saw add in paper for Alaskan cruises, went to one of their presentations and booked it. We had a great time!!! Stopped in Juneau, Skagway, Whitehorse, Dawson City, Fairbanks, Anchorage. I would recommend not having an early flight home ... Read More
Saw add in paper for Alaskan cruises, went to one of their presentations and booked it. We had a great time!!! Stopped in Juneau, Skagway, Whitehorse, Dawson City, Fairbanks, Anchorage. I would recommend not having an early flight home out of Anchorage, we did not get a chance to look around much. Everyone was very nice on each mode of transportation. Planes, trains, ship, and buses. It was great to talk to people from all over, different states, different countries, and natives to Alaska. We had a great tour guide, Simon, and we also had a small group for each stop. We had a great time getting to know these people. Never felt overcrowded on ship. Plenty of things to do on ship, Cabin was very nice. Service by all on ship, in hotels, and bus drivers was great! Dining had different times and locations to accommodate everyone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Visited son who lives in Anchorage, then took the cruise from June 5 - 12 from Seward to Vancouver. It was nice time of year - light long and mild weather. We had no rain on the entire trip, unusual we were told. It even close to 80 on ... Read More
Visited son who lives in Anchorage, then took the cruise from June 5 - 12 from Seward to Vancouver. It was nice time of year - light long and mild weather. We had no rain on the entire trip, unusual we were told. It even close to 80 on shore in :Haines & Juneau. There were optional trips to Skagway, but we enjoyed Haines, since we had visited Skagway on other trips. The town was welcoming and a complimentary bus to several of the sites was helpful. The entertainment was tops; we especially enjoyed the magician, comedian Garry Carson. Also, the films shown each day were an added benefit, since we hardly ever go to films at home. In Glacier Bay, several National Park rangers came on board and gave 2 talks before we got near the glaciers, then had a continuing narative while we were near the glaciers. One also did something special with the children on board. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise as part of a Newmarket holiday - Rockies/ Alaska cruise and Vancouver, on the recommendation of a friend who travelled last year. I struggle to recognise our trip from some of the negative reviews posted. From start to ... Read More
We chose this cruise as part of a Newmarket holiday - Rockies/ Alaska cruise and Vancouver, on the recommendation of a friend who travelled last year. I struggle to recognise our trip from some of the negative reviews posted. From start to finish we had an amazing trip. As a first time cruiser and an optimist perhaps I am not the best judge but my friend who I travelled with is a seasoned cruiser and a realist and agrees whole heartedly that it was a great trip. The ship was excellent and very smooth. there was plenty of space for it not to feel crowded . There were a variety of environments to choose from depending on your mood. The cabin ( an outside standard twin cabin) was excellent ; clean, well furnished and with plenty of space. The cabin attendants were friendly, attentive and efficient. the shower was very large and very powerful. We took 3 trips - Tracy arm ( although we went to Endicott arm as ice in the way) was a fantastic day and worth the cost. The scenery was spectacular and we saw whales and eagles aswell as a close up and leisurely stop in front of the glacier - stunning. We also did the brothels tour of Skagway - not as sleazy as it sounds - great history walk with a delightful actress being our guide - and went kayaking to eagle island, seeing the promised eagles. There was a vast number of trips but all optional and easy to select or not as you choose. The food was plentiful and excellent with a variety of dining options. we used the Lido buffet for breakfast and lunch and the Rotterdam dining room for evening dinner. We chose to share a table each night which meant we met a variety of other travellers and this only enhanced the trip. there was a choice of entertainment each night and we attended several of the shows, listened to the music and also just stood on deck drinking in the scenery at sunset. all were of very good standard. Every single member of staff we encountered was friendly, greeting us whenever they passed. All staff were helpful - front desk staff answered all queries, however trivial, shore excursion staff were very helpful in choosing trips, dining room staff were efficient and friendly and smoothly did their job very unobtrusively. the staff in the bar we used ( crows nest for a pre dinner drink with the best view|)were delightful. we were also happy to join in the 5k fundraising walk which has over the past 10 years as a company raised millions of dollars for cancer charities in the 6 main countries used by the cruiseline - this suggests a great company ethos. My only complaint about the trip is it was over all too soon but I have fantastic memories and would thoroughly recommend it Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
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
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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