216 Holland America Volendam Cruise Reviews

Our voyage on the MS Volendam was short, but sweet! This ship is still in very good shape. It is scheduled for another retrofit next month. We flew to Vancouver to join the ship on it's transition from Alaska to the Caribbean. ... Read More
Our voyage on the MS Volendam was short, but sweet! This ship is still in very good shape. It is scheduled for another retrofit next month. We flew to Vancouver to join the ship on it's transition from Alaska to the Caribbean. Many people on this voyage were settling in for the extended Panama Canal cruise. We had limited time as we had another trip planed, so we decided to take the 6 night cruise from Vancouver to San Diego. We stayed at the Best Western Plus Uptown Hotel in Vancouver. It's only 4 miles (12 minutes to the cruise terminal) and is about half the price of the downtown properties. We found it clean, friendly and in a very nice neighborhood filled with restaurants. Embarkation was very fast and our rooms were ready when we boarded around 11:00 a.m. Our cabin was a Guaranteed Ocean view Cabin. We were very satisfied with our location on Dolphin deck near the Aft part of the ship. The cabins are a bit dated, especially the TVs and the safe; other than that, a great clean cabin with plenty of storage space. We enjoyed the limited entertainment onboard, especially the comedian and the magician. Both were excellent. The BB King All Star band was also great. We have heard many of these bands play on other HAL ships and HAL does a great job recruiting these bands. We also enjoyed early evening entertainment in the Ocean Bar. The food onboard was fine. We enjoyed all of the food and service in the Main Dining Room. Our servers, Rudy and Eko, were outstanding. The Lido Buffet is fine for what it is, along with the Dive In area. We did not partake of the Pinnacle Grill or Canaletto this voyage as we are going on another HAL ship in thirty days and will book then. Victoria is always a great walking port. We did not get off the ship in Astoria, Oregon. San Francisco is always a wonderful city to visit and we were fortunate to spend from 7 am until 11 pm in the city. Debarkation in San Diego was effortless and we were at the airport in minutes. As always, the crew on HAL REALLY make the difference. These people bust their buns each and every day to make sure all guests are having the best experience while onboard. A shout out to Henry and Jerry in the Ocean Bar, as well as Sol and Teddy, our cabin stewards. We look forward to our upcoming trip on MS Koningsdam. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Although the cruise was nice, going through customs at the Vancouver Airport PLUS the registration at Holland America requires a ton of walking and standing. My feet throbbed for two days after getting on the ship. We are both in our ... Read More
Although the cruise was nice, going through customs at the Vancouver Airport PLUS the registration at Holland America requires a ton of walking and standing. My feet throbbed for two days after getting on the ship. We are both in our 70's and are fortunate to not need a wheelchair. However, there was a lot of unnecessary walking at the warehouse prior to boarding. On one leg of the walk we had to go up the escalator, walk down the hall into a room, check-in, down to the end of the room, turn left, turn left again, only to see we were leaving the same room. We had circled rows and rows of empty folding chairs when we could have simply turned around and gone out the same door we came in. After going through customs at the Airport,which was a ton of waiting and walking, we were tired. All of the unnecessry walking involved in Holland America registration just made it worse. I heard many guests complaining about the amount of walking to get there. One said, "it was torture". Another said, "they make you do all that walking so when you get here, you think everything is wonderful". I also wanted to comment on the Totem Pole tour. they should describe is as a "walking tour". If we had known it was all walking, we never would have signed up. Yes, you take the bus to the Totem Pole Park, but you have to walk the entire tour. If you are bothered by cigarette smoke, don't plan on going into their Casino as they allow smoking in the Casino. As soon as you get off the elevator on the 5th level, you can smell the smoke. It was very annoying and prevented us from going into the Casino as much as we would have liked. All in all, the cruise was very nice. The Holland America team offered excellent customer service at every turn. We would use your Cruise line again, but never, never, will we ever cruise out of Vancouver again. Thank you for your time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this because my Aunt always cruises with Holland. We are really enjoying it. Have a Vista Suite and it’s very comfortable. It was hard to tell from pictures how large it was but it’s plenty large. Tub is small but my 6 foot ... Read More
We chose this because my Aunt always cruises with Holland. We are really enjoying it. Have a Vista Suite and it’s very comfortable. It was hard to tell from pictures how large it was but it’s plenty large. Tub is small but my 6 foot husband is able to use it. Food is a bit so-so in my opinion but I didn’t really come on the cruise to eat! The portions are small, and I felt that service in the main dining room was just okay. Also, they have an Alaska special which they said they were out of on the first night, which was frankly, weird. The Pinnacle Grill was okay, but just okay. I expected food like a fine restaurant and the crab cakes were awful and my salmon was undercooked. All that being said I still think it’s terrific. The time in Glacier bay was spectacular. The service is very good. We are in Ketchikan now surrounded by behemoth cruise ships. I like that Volendam is small. I did think it would be more formal, but I guess they are trying to make cruising more accessible to people. We plan to take more cruises. Overall, it’s great. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My wife and I are seasoned travelers but we have never experienced a cruise. She choose a crossing of the Panama Canal for our 4oth wedding anniversary. A bit daring as it was 21 days and I am known to get sea sick and/or bored rather ... Read More
My wife and I are seasoned travelers but we have never experienced a cruise. She choose a crossing of the Panama Canal for our 4oth wedding anniversary. A bit daring as it was 21 days and I am known to get sea sick and/or bored rather easily..... -Booking was easy with Vacations to Go and Max Richardson (the agent) was friendly, professional and helpful. Our stateroom on board was # 1922 allowing a view to the outside but without balcony. The price difference was unjustifiable for the time that we actually planned to be in the room. However I recommend to ask for a fan, as the A/C was not sufficient to cool the room to our liking. With the fan it was perfect (and it helped to dry some of our minor laundry items!). Bed was comfortable (we also had extra pillows), bathroom and shower were fine and also was the water pressure. The room was adequate in size for our purpose. The stateroom was serviced by TRI and ANTON who did an extraordinarily efficient and friendly job. Food on board was plentiful, well presented, tasty and varied (although you should not expect "extravagances", Atlantic lobsters and/or Caspian caviar!) Service was outstanding (Our THANKS to JOJIT, EDGAR, RAT-TEE, GIOVANI, MICAH, NITTAYA, ANN, DAN, JASON,GUSTI, ANDRI (w/glasses!), FRANCISCO, WEMICK, etc, etc..... everybody on board went the"extra mile" to make us feel happy, and well looked after!) Our very special THANKS to HENRY and JANELLE and the harder worker on board, HIQMAL...(found mostly around the Lido pool) Entertainment was 50/50, some acts were good and some not so much .None were a Vegas act but they filled the time and were adequate.. Be aware that alcohol was extremely expensive! We drink very little so we did not "suffer" at all but we were a bit outraged at the prices on board.and some "drinkers" were quite upset and angry as Holland America does not allow anybody to bring any alcohol to the ship (So they make sure to sale their own!!) The trip went smoothly with minor waves and movement that I did not enjoy but were tolerable. Pool was small but fortunately not overcrowded, and there were no children! Lots of really elder people, but, I guess, that there are the ones with money....Regardless they were very pleasant and quiet indeed...! Time on ports of call were too short and did not allow for too much to do except buy souvenirs (which we do not do!). Some excursions were fine and, overall we had a good time. Maybe because communication was not a problem as between both of us we speak five languages! On the Volendam I was learning Indonesian, Tagalog and Thailand from the crew, and improving just about every day! Captain and officers were approachable and friendly and it was a pleasure meeting them........Our best regards to everyone and hopefully we will meet again..... Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Panama Canal was on the bucket list, so we pulled the trigger. The price on the Volendam from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco was to good to pass up. This was a 17 day cruise in April so there were kids on board at all, and the average ... Read More
Panama Canal was on the bucket list, so we pulled the trigger. The price on the Volendam from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco was to good to pass up. This was a 17 day cruise in April so there were kids on board at all, and the average age of the cruisers was probably about 75. My wife and I are in our early 50’s so we were some of the youngest on board. We are very active so this review, especially the port stops is geared to the more active types. Volendam is now 20 years old and she shows her age a little bit but it is well taken care of and still very luxurious. It was below capacity (about 1200 passengers) so there were rarely lines anywhere and it is a very spacious considering it’s a small ship compared to most of the big beasts out on the Caribbean. There were plenty of activities on board to keep us busy on the sea days. America’s Test Kitchen was very cool and the EXC port talks and historical talks were fantastic. Pools and hot tubs were never crowded. Our room was an Outside View right on the promenade deck. We were right next to a door leading out to the wrap around promenade, so it was almost like having a balcony…. We loved the accessibility of the room to the walking deck. The had plenty of storage space even with all the clothes we brought for the 17 days. We used the $20 laundry bag service 1 time in the middle of the cruise. The bathroom had been remodeled and the new glass door shower was the largest we’ve ever had on a cruise ship and the temp and water pressure were always consistent. Embarkation in Fort Lauderdale took only about 20 minutes once we got to the terminal which was only a couple miles from the airport. Debarkation took about 30 minutes in SF. Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge in the morning was also quite spectacular. All in all, with ship, the canal, calm seas, and 9 port stops, it couldn’t have been better. Every part of the cruise exceeded our expectations. The food and service in main dining room was fantastic and even the buffet was quite good. Room service was also excellent, with a different towel animal every night! That’s 17 different animals…. Cartagena: We took a taxi to the old walled city and walked around for several hours. Beautiful architecture and very Caribbean looking. The port had a shop and a nice aviary for no charge with many parrots and other exotic birds and animals. Leave a half hour to explore this area. Panama Canal: Awesome piece of engineering and history. Very cool to see the lock systems and the many other big ships transiting the canal. Costa Rica: Did a HAL zipline excursion. The place was near the coastal town of Jaco and we rode an aerial tram to the top then zip lined our way down the mountain. There were reptile and butterfly displays at the base that were very interesting. Sadly, we didn’t see any wildlife other than iguanas. Very fun tour though. Nicaragua: Took a peddle taxi tour of the little port town. The place was very poor, but our driver was very cool and spoke good English, so we learned a lot about the country and the politics. Not much to see, but made us appreciate what we have here at home. Guatemala: Took a HAL bus for a “on your own” tour of Antigua. It was about an hour bus ride through the countryside with guides giving some history of the area. Antigua itself was very pretty with many fabulous churches. We walked all over town and it was very nice. Puerto Chiapas: Took a HAL excursion to some Mayan ruins and then to a demonstration of how cocoa beans are grown and processed into chocolate. Nice tour but we thought a little over priced at $100 per person. Huatulco: Our favorite stop. Excellent swim beach right by the pier. We took a $5 taxi to Playa La Entrega a couple mile away and it was great. Excellent snorkeling and many restaurants right on the beach. We were there on a Sunday so many locals were there with us which actually made it more fun. The vendors pester the locals too….. Manzanillo: Ship docks right downtown. Lots of shops right there. We took a grueling hike up to the cross on the mountain to the right of town. We were hot and sweaty but the view was amazing. Puerto Vallarta: Did another zipline tour through HAL. This was a great excursion but only for the very physically fit. Right of the ship we boarded a little speed boat that whisked us about 30 minutes south to a bay where we switch to Unimogs to drive to the Zipline. Basically like an Army truck. Perfect for the crazy dirt road. Then after getting geared up, we rode mules up to the top of the mountain. And then it was more than just ziplines. We also repelled down a waterfall, did 2 giant waterslides, and then a new roller coaster zipline to end the tour. Very awesome!! This was our favorite zipline ever. Cabo San Lucas: Went parasailing then walked all over town. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Embarkation was organized by group number you're assigned as you check in. We spent a few minutes chatting with fellow passengers and soon enough we were called aboard. There probably is not a wait if you arrive after 11 or so. We ... Read More
Embarkation was organized by group number you're assigned as you check in. We spent a few minutes chatting with fellow passengers and soon enough we were called aboard. There probably is not a wait if you arrive after 11 or so. We were early for this cruise, unlike others where we sailed through embarkation. We chose the expedited group for disembarkation, meaning we carried our own luggage off at 7:30 AM. I highly recommend it because we were through customs and in a cab to the airport by 7:45. It sure beats hanging around the theater or a bar for a few hours waiting for your group to be called. We were very happy with the remodeled bathroom in the cabin. The glass walk-in shower is super-convenient, drained well and was tiled with a no slip surface. The clothes line in the shower served to dry wet clothes overnight, no problem. The cabin was clean and comfortable. Gatot and Sigit took great care of us including the towel animals and chocolates every night. The TV is small and could be upgraded, but it's just fine to catch MSNBC in the morning and maybe get a DVD for a movie one evening. There were plenty of hangers in the closets and there were plenty of drawers and shelves for all your things. We took advantage of the flat-rate laundry bag and got our clothes back and pressed the same day, both times! I'd say the food was very good. We ate at the Lido Buffet and in the Dining Room. I was very impressed by the caring service we got at anytime dining. The beverage service was prompt too. We shared meals with new table mates each time. There were always plenty of laughs. The final night was a standout, from the excellent service in the dining room to the excellent seared Ahi and the rest of the menu. The burgers at the Dive-In are delicious as are the crunchy fries. Be sure to visit the various musical venues as they're all very entertaining. The Adagio pianist and violinist were great! We met members of the house band and their music was as nice as they are in person. Don't miss the Blue Earth show! America's Test Kitchen is definitely worth the time. The presenter is super and you get new ideas. It's too bad that the food wasn't passed around for tasting at the presentations we attended. The gym is clean and has good, new equipment. It's cool to watch the ocean go by as you're on the elliptical. Bar service is great, as always. We spent most of our time at the Aft Bar in the smoking section. You always meet fun people there, and this trip was no exception. Bernard the bar man took great care of us and even arranged for servers to come by after he closed for the night. We found the Signature Beverage Package to be a good deal on this cruise. There are six sea days when you can really enjoy the package to your heart's content. The Panama Canal is the highlight of this cruise and it sure didn't disappoint. Just wrapping your head around locks without pumps takes some understanding. The on board narration helped make you feel like you're part of the experience, regardless of where you happen to be. The ship itself is beautiful. Be sure to notice the beautiful and creative flower arrangements all over the place. There's even orchids on the tables in the Lido Buffet. I noticed workers sprucing up the white paint in preparation for opening the forward decks to passengers during the canal passage. The naturalist is a gifted font of knowledge. Glenn-Michael, the lead EXC is super. He was all over the ship and uniformly seen chatting with one guest or another. He shared some great hints during his port talks too. The officers impressed me by being so accessible and always being around for sail-aways and sea day parties. Even the captain had time to chat for a few minutes. One of us needed some medical attention and found the crew there to be excellent. The check on you and make special arrangements as needed. The small charge for a bit of medicine plus the personal care turned around what could have been a major downer. Holland America does a great job; the Volendam is a fine ship with a highly skilled and friendly staff. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We do an annual late winter cruise every year. We've traveled mainly on HAL, and have been pleased with the smaller ships and good service. This year we did the full transit of the Panama Canal, leaving from San Diego. We ... Read More
We do an annual late winter cruise every year. We've traveled mainly on HAL, and have been pleased with the smaller ships and good service. This year we did the full transit of the Panama Canal, leaving from San Diego. We splurged this year on a Neptune suite. We have had one in the past, and really enjoy the bigger room, but especially the larger balcony. They are twice the size of the Vista suite. The extra perks of the Neptune Lounge and the Concierge service is excellent. We met quite a few other Neptune suite passengers, and had many interesting conversations. The room steward was top notch. Always had ice, coffee and fresh fruit. Laundry service was top notch and was always ready by the next day. Embarkation was very smooth. Neptune passengers go through the same embarkation as the 4 star Mariners. There is virtually no line. For tender ports, there is no need to go for disembarkation passes. You simply hold up your room key, and you're put on the next tender. Unfortunately, there is no priority disembarkation after the cruise. We travel with our daughter, who has a learning disability. She gets her own room. But, she gets to know everyone on board. Her favorite breakfast was an omelet. The Lido omelet chef knew her by name, and what she ate. The same goes for the salad bar crew. We chose to eat in the dining room, along with another couple. Our daughter ate salmon nearly every night, and she had a chocolate mint mocktail every night. For desert, it had to have chocolate. Our dining staff went our of their way to accommodate. On the last night of the cruise, there was no chocolate deserts. But, they went back and got one for her. In addition, my daughter had told them previously that she liked carrot cake. They brought out 2 pieces of carrot cake. She ate one, and carried the second one back to her room. You can't find service like that just anywhere! Every evening, the wine steward would make an origami animal. We did have a complimentary dinner at the Pinnacle Grill. It was very good. It was more than I would normally eat. Steak done to perfection. The only thing I regret is that I didn't try breakfast at the Pinnacle. It was included with the Neptune suite. But, I did have breakfast at the dining room. It is a step above the Lido and I would recommend it. Lunch is also very nice. Lido is a typical buffet. I didn't eat breakfast in the Lido, but opted for a light breakfast from the Neptune Lounge. Lunch offered an International option. They rotated national foods, and it was interesting to try foods from other nations. They were all Asian offerings. The ports were very nice. Some of the places aren't as developed as much as on the Caribbean ports. Cabo San Lucas is a tourist trap, and we didn't have a bunch of time there. We booked a glass bottom boat tour on Viator. A long walk to get there, but well worth it. We didn't book anything in Guatemala, and their port area was very relaxing. On Honduras, we booked with a local guide and it was very informative. In Costa Rico, we booked the eco tour, which took us to a rive to see crocodiles. We visited the aviary in Cartengena, which was very enjoyable. Entertainment was very good. John Wing was the comedian on board. He was runner up in America's Got Talent. I'm not big on production numbers, so I didn't attend. We did spend several evenings at the Crows Nest. Some nights we were the only ones there, some nights there were quite a few. Happy hour at the Crows Nest is always a lot of fun, especially the 2 for 1 drinks. The crew was very accessible, even the Captain. The team at the Neptune Lounge couldn't do enough. I would definitely travel this itinerary again, and would definitely would travel on the Volendam. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Our group chose this cruise unanimously in spite to the fact that at least 6 of the 26 of us had been through the Panama Canal on a cruise before. We had excellent cabin and dining staff. Brilliant Entertainment! The dining menus ... Read More
Our group chose this cruise unanimously in spite to the fact that at least 6 of the 26 of us had been through the Panama Canal on a cruise before. We had excellent cabin and dining staff. Brilliant Entertainment! The dining menus were up to par as we had experienced on the previous 4 cruises our group had taken on Holland America. The food quality in the Main dining room and in the Lido restaurant was very very good. Our group evening at the Pinnacle Grille was exceptional. The staff on the ship were exceptionally courteous and helpful. One of the very high points was the classical pianist, Hyperion Knight, who entertained us. His on stage work was enthralling but the real cherry was the "practice sessions" he had in The Explorers's Lounge. My wife and I happened on him one morning early in the cruise in the lounge playing the piano. There were only 3 other couples in there at the time and we sat through what turned out to be a "private" concert. He played (without sheet music) for and hour and a half almost continuously and his music had us entranced. He was very personable as he chatted with us and talked about his music. This happenstance became more widely known as the cruise progressed and what started out as a concert for 6 persons became a "practice" session to a full lounge to another day with standing room only to having to be there half an hour ahead of his impromptu unscheduled sessions. He was also a fun participant in the twice a day Trivia sessions. His trivia knowledge is formidable and it was great fun playing with and against his teams. At the end of the cruise everyone of our group were expressing how much they enjoyed this trip and were asking when we would be planning the next one. For a bunch of 75 year old high school pals it was a great time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We continue to chose Holland America for the customer services, dining experience and how they prioritize you and your experience. The comedian (Andrew Kennedy) was hilarious. Holland America is really trying to appeal to a younger ... Read More
We continue to chose Holland America for the customer services, dining experience and how they prioritize you and your experience. The comedian (Andrew Kennedy) was hilarious. Holland America is really trying to appeal to a younger crowd, which I appreciate. We have traveled Holland America with our daughter, who is now 14, since she was 9. She has always enjoyed Club Hal. She prefers to be in Club Hal, then with us. This was her first year in The Loft. There were no very many teens in The Loft, but she did meet one girl she would make plans with to meet after dinner. They had a great time playing cards, ping pong, video games, etc... New also really appreciate the fact that all persons who work with the children have to have a min of a Bachelors Degree. Club Hal provided an educational experience for her when we went to Alaska on Holland America. The Loft is more about independence for the teens. They can come and go as they please and it is open till midnight. Our daughter would highly recommend both programs. The Panama Canal was an unforgettable experience. I would highly recommend this cruise. Aruba was gorgeous (just remember to bring cash, since there are several shopping locations that only take cash), Curacao was beautiful (make sure you see the moving bridge), zip line in Costa Rica, Guatemala (you can bargain at the shopping location they shuttle you to), Nicaragua (Use the bike taxi to eat at El Pigeon-great fish and beers), and in Oaxaca walk to the city over the hill. If you decided to use a credit card in Mexico make sure you are charged in Pesos. They will not give you the accurate exchange. A return was charging us 118.00 (US) and we asked for our bill in Pesos. The bill then went down to 76.28 (US). Just an FYI---there was an Excursion named Puerto Vallarta Sights and Tequila Distillery. Fist of all your are not taken to a distillery. You are taken to a tasting. The Tequila is good, however they doubled the price of the bottles, just for us. We were also taken to a jewelry store for a waste of 30. min. We did see some downtown sights for an hour and a half. The rest of the time was used to shuttle us around to a photo location, a jewelry store and a shopping area. When all was said and done, I would go on this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We simply chose the Holland America volendam because the dates fit in with several of the party we were cruising with. We do enjoy Holland America and our only bad experience out of 7 sailings with them has been on the veendam in the ... Read More
We simply chose the Holland America volendam because the dates fit in with several of the party we were cruising with. We do enjoy Holland America and our only bad experience out of 7 sailings with them has been on the veendam in the spring 2018 so we were a bit anxious about this booking on the volendam. We were absolutely delighted with our experience on the volume down. She is well maintained. Her food is excellent. The crew was extremely friendly. when we had any issue the staff bent over backwards to help us work it out. If we submitted a common card with anything the least bit negative we got a phone call to our stateroom and if we were not in our stateroom to take the call we got a note on our door. They then followed up to make sure every little thing was perfect. of the seven sailings with Holland America in the last two years I have to say this was probably our best overall experience, even though we did enjoy all of our other sailings except on the veendam. What I'm coming to realize is that most ships seem to go through a low period, And then if the company is smart measures are taken to get its act together and correct their weaknesses and make the ship much more pleasing and accommodating to passengers. The volendam is the same class of ship as the veendam and westerdam. As beautiful as a koningsdam and the eurodam are we do enjoy the smaller ships and this class a ship that the volume down is in is somewhere between 1300 and 1450 passengers. A great experience and we would definitely cruise on her again. It was really hard to even find constructive criticism to give on our end of cruise survey. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Panama Canal cruise, service was great, activities were great, our room was not good, we had banging pipes starting at 5:30 in the morning and 4 hrs every night. We were on the 3 rd deck, dining room up above, they gave us ear plugs, ... Read More
Panama Canal cruise, service was great, activities were great, our room was not good, we had banging pipes starting at 5:30 in the morning and 4 hrs every night. We were on the 3 rd deck, dining room up above, they gave us ear plugs, showed us other rooms that were not acceptable. Will never do that deck ever, when you walked outside on the deck you could hear the pipes, they need to insulate the pipes, duck tape doesn’t make it, needs a upgrade. Activities were good, entertainment, there was a variety of different entertainers that were good. Justen the cruise director was good also, the chef came out every night to talk to every table. Barry from Boston on the piano was Fantastic, went there every night to see him. Joel in the Ocean Bar was Fantastic also. Some of the servers like Alex was very good at his job, Jenny and Dewi in the Lido were also very Great. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
First, a bit of a disclaimer; my wife and I are retired airline employees and have travelled extensively but our last cruise was about 20 years ago. That being said, after our latest cruise with Holland America, we are now looking forward ... Read More
First, a bit of a disclaimer; my wife and I are retired airline employees and have travelled extensively but our last cruise was about 20 years ago. That being said, after our latest cruise with Holland America, we are now looking forward to our next cruise. We loved the great communications we had from HAL and felt we were fully prepared for our cruise. The crew was friendly and exceptional, the food amazing, and the fact that the majority of the passenger population was in our age group (60+). We loved having the drink package as this made our vacation similar to all-inclusive resorts that we often travel to. HAL also had online availability to check your dining reservations, excursions and daily billing. Finally, we never had to wait in line at the dining room because of the smaller passenger capacity. Shore excursions were more expensive via HAL than with our listing agency, but it seemed that it was easier to find the tours once in port if you booked with HAL. A valued surprise for us was the availability of Catholic Mass on a daily basis. This alone would have put HAL high on our cruise list. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I choose this ship for our 3 generation trip due to size and itinery, like everyone advised. We all had a great time and no complaints. We arrived the night before, made our way down to the port the next morning around 11:00, and was on ... Read More
I choose this ship for our 3 generation trip due to size and itinery, like everyone advised. We all had a great time and no complaints. We arrived the night before, made our way down to the port the next morning around 11:00, and was on the ship within about 30 minutes. We found our cabins (interior 6132, 6134, 7025 and Vista Suite 7084) and met the stewards. The room was clean, larger than expected and storage was only half used-do not worry about having room to unpack! Stewards come twice a day, leaving a surprise in cabin every night! Loved how the staff remembered our names and how friendly they all were! Yes, the tv’s were older and kid’s cabin had lines on their screen, but we weren’t there to spend much time on that. Bathroom was good size, interior room had twice the counter space than the vista suite. Suite had a tub/shower, interior only a small shower. My favorite restaurants were the Dive-In (awesome hamburgers) and Dining Room, then the Lido (buffet). Tried room service once and was good, order came about 10 minutes early. Did not try Pinnacle Grill, only because there was not a view, but the menu looked great. We really enjoyed the daily trivia and bingo, never won any games, but it was still lots of fun! The indoor pool was heated most days, hot tubs every day. Husband enjoyed casino, but never won. My dad enjoyed the computer classes, my sister the cooking classes. I loved the art of towel making class. We took in a movie and swam in pool. My kids, 17 and 12, did not attend HAL Club. Everyone’s favorite stop was Glacier Bay! We got to see lots of calving...it was awesome and beyond words of description! Skagway we did the train/shuttle thru Chilkoot Charters. Juneau the Mendenhall Glacier and hiked to Nugget Falls. Ketchikan we booked the Misty Fjord’s Wilderness Adventure thru HAL...we returned an hour later, I guess because we kept stopping for wildlife sightings, but it also made me miss doing other things in port. Again, service was awesome! From the staff remembering our names and faces, helping us celebrate a special occasion and doing whatever they could to help in any way, they were phenomenal! We did self- disembarking, and requested early departure as we had an 11:42 am flight. There were 2 ships in port and we walked straight thru everything. We then had to wait on our reserved car with Aerocar, which was 10 minutes late. Made it to airport and security with little to no wait time. In fact, drive time and traffic was longer than the whole airport entry process! Highly recommend Holland America Volendam! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had a great time on Volendam’s 14 day, February 14 Indonesia sailing from/to Singapore. The crew was great, food was very good and the ship is in excellent condition. It had been several years since we sailed HAL and thoroughly ... Read More
We had a great time on Volendam’s 14 day, February 14 Indonesia sailing from/to Singapore. The crew was great, food was very good and the ship is in excellent condition. It had been several years since we sailed HAL and thoroughly enjoyed this sailing. For the past several years, we have been Celebrity faithfuls and I will post what we saw as very minor differences between the two brands. The most significant difference to us was the lack of entertainment. The Tai Chi expert served as a speaker about a few SE Asia topics, but the presentations were superficial. The first two cast shows were, at best, amateurish and onboard solo entertainers were weak. We received an offer for a discounted upgrade to a veranda from ocean view a few weeks before sailing and were assigned cabin 6138, a slightly forward A category veranda which was a better draw than anticipated. Cabin attendants, maitre ‘d, and dining stewards were friendly and enjoyed talking about their home, Indonesia, as we visited their port. At each non-tendered port, hundreds of family and friends were invited aboard to see where their relative/friend worked. It was a pleasure seeing them aboard, although in most cases they were off the the ship by the time we reboarded late in the afternoon. The master, Captain Frank van der Hoeven, and other officers were not particularly visible the ship and did not engage with the passengers, but morale and enthusiasm of the crew was evident. Most of our tours were arranged on CC before hand, although we did three ship’s tours. The privately arranged ones were far better. Traffic in all the Indonesian ports was heavy and unpredictable which made planning for the independent guides challenging to ensure we were back well before the all aboard. For example, one day in Bali, it took over an hour to go ten miles. The next day we took the same route in less than 30 minutes. Volendam used the old cruise terminal at VivoCity and it cannot accommodate the number of pax embarking if there are any delays and there were. Disembarkation was fine. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
For an older ship we were impressed. Dining room dinners were great, both the selection of food and quality of wait staff. Lido food as expected was mediocre but about as expected. the burger bar on Lido deck was better than expected. ... Read More
For an older ship we were impressed. Dining room dinners were great, both the selection of food and quality of wait staff. Lido food as expected was mediocre but about as expected. the burger bar on Lido deck was better than expected. Several quality burger offerings. Everything was on time; the Captain appeared at several occasions in the showroom and was nice to listen to about some of his experiences. the small dance (6 people) and singer team (4 people) were excellent, much better than expected. The guest entertainers were a mixed bunch but overall good, many better than expected for a smaller ship like this. We seldom if ever sign up for the Ship shore excursions as we find them a poor value (grossly overpriced and many include a full cattle call bus including the occasional guest who is always late getting back, etc.). Most of our shore excursions are booked based on interactions with other passengers on the ship's roll call. This particular cruise started from Hong Kong and included Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore and a bunch of ports in Indonesia including Bali, Lombok and Komodo - so a lot of ground to cover/new experiences in the 28 days on board. One thing we don't like about Holland America is their poor rewards program. We are elite on Princess and receive a nice internet package for free - Internet on Holland America was $250 for a 1,000 minute package and much higher for shorter packages. I require internet for my home business. Speed of the internet on the ship was better than expected, not great but historically pretty good for a ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
My experience on the January 31, 2018 sailing of the Volendam from Hong Kong to Singapore far exceeded my expectations. Having owned a large Incentive Travel planning company, I am admittedly very critical of services provided by hotels, ... Read More
My experience on the January 31, 2018 sailing of the Volendam from Hong Kong to Singapore far exceeded my expectations. Having owned a large Incentive Travel planning company, I am admittedly very critical of services provided by hotels, airlines and cruise companies. It was my job to provide the highest customer service and to make sure every detail was planned to perfection for my discriminating High Tech clients. For that reason, I am simply amazed that my experience on the Volendam was so wonderful. Let me explain....The ship was gracious and elegant. The food service was so outstanding, that it was shocking! The dining room, unlike other cruise lines, was quiet, spacious and every meals was better than the last. It was truly like dining at a fine restaurant. Even breakfasts were wonderful. Although the ship had nearly 2000 passengers, it felt empty. There was never the mad rush for a lounge by the pool, or fighting for a seat at the piano bar. The LIdo Market, while providing outstanding options,it was never a problem finding a table.It was delightful to sit outside by the pool and have breakfast, as we watched the sea. So, what makes this cruise so special, besides the dining experience? The shows were great, a small cast...but they really delivered delightful shows. The America's Test Kitchen surprised me by how great it was. I attended five classes. The lectures were wonderful. Our stateroom was very, very comfortable. It was clean, and when we had a problem, the Guest Services staff were right on it. Amazing! The Ports were great, too. I loved the itinerary, and especially with four stops in Vietnam. We spent three days in Hong Kong prior to the cruise, and then sailed for two weeks. Cambodia was not my favorite, but I think it was my fault, as I just took the transfer to the town and it left much to be desired. The two night stay in Bangkok was great, as we spent the night in Bangkok. If there is one challenge with this cruise, is the port is a long way from the major cities, like Hanoi, Saigon and Bangkok. Hoi An (Da Nang) was my favorite....beautiful town, with great shopping. I highly recommend Holland American Cruise line if peacefulness, great food, not feeling crowded or hassled, enrichment classes, and a beautfful library are important to you. Finding the right Ports is important,and I found the Asia cruise to be wonderful. PS: This is my eighth cruise, and our travelling companions 37th. They felt it was the best cruise they have had, as well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was my first time on the Volendam, but not my last. The captain skillfully maneuvered this medium size cruise ship through high waves at the port of Nha Trang, Vietnam, and kept all the guests well informed. This my first HAL cruise ... Read More
This was my first time on the Volendam, but not my last. The captain skillfully maneuvered this medium size cruise ship through high waves at the port of Nha Trang, Vietnam, and kept all the guests well informed. This my first HAL cruise with in depth cultural sessions, such as feng shui, temple etiquette, or coffee culture, in addition to the regular tips for touring various ports. One minor quibble is that only maps of some ports/cities were readily available at the front desk. Major disappointment was the wait to disembark in Singapore due to long lines at immigration/customs. Although customs at Changi Airport experienced over the last 20 years is efficient, this disembarkation wasn't. However, the cruise itself was outstanding with a good food (loved the tropical fruits at the Lido Market daily -- guava, lychee, mango), flawless dinner service, and a variety of entertainment choices. Our compact cabin on the walking deck was comfortable and cozy with our own added décor; the steward furnished a vase for flowers acquired and used a bed runner also purchased in Vietnam. I was completely satisfied with 3 of the 4 tours, and highly recommend the My Son, an UNESCO World Heritage site, in Da Nang, Vietnam. The escort on the HCMC city transfer only provided general information on Vietnam and nothing city specific; he didn't even recognize that the street of the meeting point was the same where we were meeting our friends for lunch. We took shuttles (one paid & one free) in 2 cities and were able to explore on our own. Despite its location in a large, busy commercial port Terminal 1A in Laem Chabang Thailand has WiFi ($3.00 for 3 hours), an indoor souvenir market, and a small massage corner. Whether or not this is your first trip to Southeast Asia, you are in good hands sailing on the Volendam. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Choose this cruise for the itinerary and earlier good experiences with Holland America Line. Had a very comfortable outside cabin on Main deck with renovated bathroom, now having a spacious walk in shower. Cabin stewards did excellent ... Read More
Choose this cruise for the itinerary and earlier good experiences with Holland America Line. Had a very comfortable outside cabin on Main deck with renovated bathroom, now having a spacious walk in shower. Cabin stewards did excellent job, just everything was looked after very well. Food on Volendam was very good. We especially liked the meals and service in the Dining room. This cruise had great and very experienced Cruise Director, in charge of all the activities on board. He kept an eye on about everything and was always thefe for questions and so on. We very much recommand this cruise, next season to be operated by mv Westerdam. Only remark is that Thailand port Laem Chabang is rather far from Bangkok, 2,5 hours by car one way. For more time in Bangkok one should think of 1 overnight in a Bangkok hotel (tour or on individual basis, what is very well possible). Join HAL for this cruise and have fun! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The Volendam is a lovely medium sized ship. The staff are excellent extremely friendly and efficient. Food was very good both in the restaurant and in the Lido. My cabin 3331 was spacious with plenty of wardrobe space for a ship.It was ... Read More
The Volendam is a lovely medium sized ship. The staff are excellent extremely friendly and efficient. Food was very good both in the restaurant and in the Lido. My cabin 3331 was spacious with plenty of wardrobe space for a ship.It was spotlessly clean and our cabin steward was excellent. It was an Oceanview with a large window. The destinations were all very exciting. Embarkation and disembarkation was always quick and easy, Priority for tenders was not given to tours which made a refreshing change. There was plenty of help and information for people who wanted to travel independently.l The entertainments team were young and very enthusiastic and the shows enjoyable. At just over 61,000 tons and guest capacity of under 1500 the Volendam is an easy ship to get around and never felt crowded. Queues in the Lido were always fairly short and dinner in the dining room was a very leisurely affair. The two ships shore excursions I went on were good but very expensive compared with privately arranged tours. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I chose this cruise because we wanted to revisit parts of Asia that we had been to years ago. We enjoyed all the ports; interesting. The food on board was wonderful, the service was excellent. The shows were o.k; many of the songs ... Read More
I chose this cruise because we wanted to revisit parts of Asia that we had been to years ago. We enjoyed all the ports; interesting. The food on board was wonderful, the service was excellent. The shows were o.k; many of the songs performed were not familiar to us. Our cabin was always kept neat and clean by the attendants; they work very hard! The ship itself is in good condition and also very clean. I enjoyed the port talks, they were extremely informative and to the point; excess information was not given. Embarcation and disembarcation was smooth and quick. Dining room service was excellent; our waiter was always ready to meet my requests for alterations or additions to the meal. We cruise on Holland America more than any other cruise line. I can still say I enjoy the company very much and would highly recommend the ship, the crew and the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Great experienced with Volendam, The food in general is super, rate it 5 star, fresh tropical fruits and vegetables, That I love. Only kind of confusing to us that the tip( fooien) charge us daily They should include with the total price ... Read More
Great experienced with Volendam, The food in general is super, rate it 5 star, fresh tropical fruits and vegetables, That I love. Only kind of confusing to us that the tip( fooien) charge us daily They should include with the total price when we booked the cruise. Our excurshion we all booked through Volendam so no headache ( little kind of pricey), But It was worthy indeed, even booked also the airport transfer,.. All our local guides in every ports were super, excellent. Its small cruiseship but seem huge spaces.. The design, interior is excellent. Everywhere in the ship is clean, except the public toilet kind of no goed smell. I thought it was just my sensitive nose but more than few people complained about it. Certainly we will go again with Holland America line. The Embarkation in Singapore Harbourfront went smoothly, so as disembarkation in Hongkong, All were excellent organized. My husband and me love the Holland America Line, We love the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Frankly, I chose this particular cruise because I got a good deal! I had cruised before and loved it (though my husband did not!) and from the moment of that first cruise, I knew I wanted to take my grown daughter on a cruise with me. ... Read More
Frankly, I chose this particular cruise because I got a good deal! I had cruised before and loved it (though my husband did not!) and from the moment of that first cruise, I knew I wanted to take my grown daughter on a cruise with me. She's like me -- very outgoing, loves games, loves starting conversations with people at the next table, etc. So I decided to ask her if she'd be willing to go on such a long cruise with me and leave my lovely granddaughters at home with their Dad so Erica and I could have a mother-daughter outing. And as I suspected, Erica loved the cruise. We had so much fun taking advantage of all the shipboard activities like trivia and bingo (I won $145 one day and a cruise for two another day!!!), meeting and getting to know people from all over the world, and making friends with another mother-daughter set whom we are going to visit in Holland for the new year! My daughter was the hit of the cruise -- every time we got on the elevator, by the time we reached our destination floor, we were buddies with everyone else on the elevator. The food was good, the staff was wonderful, and we just had a fabulous time. Now we are planning to augment the cruise for two I won by taking her husband and my granddaughters, and yes, even my husband on a cruise next year! I think I made a believer out of her!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We enjoyed a wonderful 14-day cruise to Japan and China, starting in Tokyo and ending in Shanghai. Our flight was part of the cruise package and worked out well. We had a pre-cruise stay in Tokyo. Great hotel, but disorganized ... Read More
We enjoyed a wonderful 14-day cruise to Japan and China, starting in Tokyo and ending in Shanghai. Our flight was part of the cruise package and worked out well. We had a pre-cruise stay in Tokyo. Great hotel, but disorganized embarkation procedures at the hotel. Once on the ship, everything was fine. Service was exemplary by all the staff. They just couldn't do enough for us. When we told the Steward that the room was too cold, he reported it immediately and within a few hours it was fixed and the front desk called to verify that we were now satisfied. When my husband fell on an independent excursion, the front desk called to find out how he was doing and sent a plate of chocolate covered cherries to our room. When we couldn't get our phone to work on the ship, the front desk ushered us over to a complimentary phone to use. When we couldn't get the Wi-Fi to work, the people at the front desk patiently walked us through the procedures. When we arrived on board we found that our travel agency had paid for a free meal in the Pinnacle Grille. The card in our room said it was a free dinner, but that turned out to be a mistake - it was only supposed to be a free lunch. However, the ship graciously honored what the card said and gave us a free dinner. The meals in the dinning room were excellent. The dining staff gave great recommendations and graciously made any requested alterations to the stated menu items. On at-sea days we enjoyed the 'America's Test Kitchen' cooking demonstrations and lectures by Master Kam on China. We never attended any of the evening entertainment, so I can't comment there. Disembarkation was very smooth. We were organized into groups and called by group to go off the ship. Our luggage was waiting for us. We only did two ship excursions; we prefer independent ones. But there were no independent ones available in those two ports. The ship excursions were typical large group affairs. We also did one ship excursion to see an acrobatic show. It was not the famous one in Shanghai that I wanted to see. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the ship to give us adequate information ahead of time to determine what show we would be taken to. I called their excursion office twice before the cruise and each time they promised to call me back, but never did. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I wanted to wait a few months to go by to write this review of our trip on the Volendam which left Vancouver on Sept 29, and ended in Shanghai a month later. This was our fifth cruise on Holland America and longest by far. Having never ... Read More
I wanted to wait a few months to go by to write this review of our trip on the Volendam which left Vancouver on Sept 29, and ended in Shanghai a month later. This was our fifth cruise on Holland America and longest by far. Having never been to the Far East, this cruise had us very excited with anticipation. The itinerary looked wonderful and we were curious to see if we would have any cruise fatigue for what was for us, a long cruise. The Volendam is one of HAL's small ships, and just the right size for us. The ship was clean and appeared to be in fine shape, and our outside cabin on deck one was perfect. We planned excursions for every port, but also savored the 14 sea days. To summarize, the Alaska portion of the cruise was very enjoyable. It rained in Ketchikan, but that did not stop us from having an enjoyable time with the Native Culture tour. A trip to the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau is always fun, and the cruise through Glacier Bay was spectacular beyond belief, the weather being perfect that day. The ranger that gave the onboard commentary said that it was one of the best days of the year; the visibility was breathtaking. There was a scheduled stop after that, Dutch Harbor, that was cancelled, but more about that later. I could go on and on about our stops in Japan, but I will just say that it was a dream come true to see a little bit of Japanese culture and hospitality up close. Kyoto and Tokyo was amazing with its shrines and temples, and we were treated with utmost courtesy everywhere we went. The smaller places we went, like Shimizu and Hakodate, were also welcoming and always interesting. The onboard lectures about Japanese culture and the upcoming Chinese ports kept us entertained as well as informed. After a little over a week in Japan, it was on to Beijing. We saw the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, the Ming Tombs, and the fantastic Forbidden City. We did this over two days on a HAL overnight excursion. We had a fantastic guide, which we both thought was the best guide on any HAL excursion we had ever had. A one day stay at Qingdao followed, which was also very enjoyable. Last was Shanghai, which really blew us both away with its beautiful and modern skyline. We left the Volendam very happy, but actually wishing we could stay for more. The main point I want to make about this trip is that if you look for positives, and stay upbeat, little problems (even some big ones) can be overlooked. I can't say this cruise was "perfect". No cruise is. Just to list a few issues - our dining reservations were mishandled somehow, and we originally were assigned to open seating, but it was quickly resolved. When we did get out preferred seating, one of the couples never showed up the entire cruise. The other couple spoke limited English. No problem, we made friends with them after only one evening. It rained off and on in Japan the whole time. However, if you take in the sights and appreciate the wonderful things you are experiencing, this is not such a big problem. The HAL front desk gave us a fright when they said that we had no disembarkation trip to the airport (we did). However, they later corrected their mistake. We missed a port, Dutch Harbor when a storm made the ship rock and roll and the Captain had to change direction. I got a little sea sick one day, which is always no fun. The entire Korean itinerary had been scrapped a few weeks before and replaced with more stops in Japan. When these little glitches happened, I kept one thought in my mind - how lucky are we that we get to see these wonderful places and enjoy this ship where you can take it easy on the sea days, and look forward to the next port ? I read some of the negative reviews on here and I simply can't relate to them,.Yes, I know that some people experience problems that are greater than the ones we had, but the overall experience is all important. Focus on the positive things. We loved this cruise and will be going back for more. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I have had my eye on this cruise for some time. Actually we booked the Yokohama to Vancouver this spring, but had to cancel. So now we did the Vancouver-Yokohama-Shanghai cruise. It was a pleasant experience. The Volendam is a nice ... Read More
I have had my eye on this cruise for some time. Actually we booked the Yokohama to Vancouver this spring, but had to cancel. So now we did the Vancouver-Yokohama-Shanghai cruise. It was a pleasant experience. The Volendam is a nice ship, not too big, with an excellent crew. The information from the bridge was good and the presentation by the two 3rd officers avout the things they do were excellent. You can't book the weather, and this cruise lacked badly in sunshine. Lots of fog and clouded skies, Japan rained. An exception, Glacier Bay on a sunny Sunday! When we booked we were supposed ro visit Korea after Japan. Some polilitical issues forced the dompany to change the itinary, no Korea, more Japan, which was fine with me as I'm a Japan fan. Japa, Hokkaido brought us some nice autumn colors and cranes. From Osaka we visited the Takarazuka theater, by train and as usual the people helped us to get tickets and the right train. Everybody will help you. The excursion department was well organised. Chaos was avoided. About dining, we dined some evenings in Pinnacle and Canaletto restaurants. We used the Dining room but occasionally. Most evenings we dined at the Lido. The atmosfeer there was cosy, of course you get your own food but the interaction with the mostly Indonesian crew was very pleasant. It felt very much like Terrace Cafe on Oceania. Management did good thing there! Our overall feeling was that this holiday was excellent. After the lightshow in Shanghai it was tije to go home. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
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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