2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I have been on over 20 cruises with numerous lines. While some were better than others I never complained about anything. This cruise was an absolute nightmare. This was a 14 day cruise that included Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, ... Read More
I have been on over 20 cruises with numerous lines. While some were better than others I never complained about anything. This cruise was an absolute nightmare. This was a 14 day cruise that included Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Hong Kong. On the first day of the cruise and the second, I wrote Holland America guest services and requested a refund and I would fly home from Asia at my own expense. The ship was filthy. Dead insects, soiled carpet, stained tables in the common area. The plumbing on the ship did not work properly. Many cabins were flooded, stench from the stale water, showers that were dribbles of water and virtually no public restrooms worked for the entire cruise. The hot tub was not working but they service it. After servicing they left the dirt at the bottom of the tub. The air conditioning did not work properly for the entire 14 days. Temperatures in the dining room were upper 80's to low 90's that was also true for the lounges. The entertainment included a Japanese juggler who could not juggle, a one man band with a guitar, harmonica and drums, plus a BBC film. The first two would be bounced from the gong show. To save money the ship docked in remote salvage container areas. At many cabs and UBER could not enter leaving HAL with the ability to gouge you on shore excursions. The only bright spot was the food which was very good. How did HAL handle my complaints as well as others? The basically said stick it and offered a paltry credit towards a future cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to sample Asia and picked Holland America as this was the most extensive itinerary. Unfortunately we did not believe we would be sacrificing the quality of our holiday. The cabin was not clean. No ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to sample Asia and picked Holland America as this was the most extensive itinerary. Unfortunately we did not believe we would be sacrificing the quality of our holiday. The cabin was not clean. No remote control for the TV. DVD player not working. No air conditioning for over a week. Basic soaps and bathroom supplies were missing. Then we have a major flood in our stateroom on day 1 due to a faulty toilet. We did not know the ship had been in dry dock until the day before we embarked. We were promised they would extract as much water as they could from the carpet and install fans to dry out the carpets but no-one came the next day and we spent most of the next 2 days complaining at guest services. The smell was now horrendous and the dampness was starting to affect our health. It was a week before the carpet was dry enough to walk on without shoes and they managed to mask the smell with shake and vac! This didn't smell particularly nice either. Over and above this the entertainment was pathetic. The singers and dancers had very lame material to work with and appeared very amateurish. Guest entertainers were very hit and miss with some acts being not very good kids party performers (embarrassing really). No buffet in the lido - chefs having to dish up food causing really long lines. Food was not good and cold. Lido closed at 8pm but stations were closing even before this. The ship air conditioning didn't work properly and the ship was hot at the hot time of the cruise then the last few days when the temperature outside was cold the air conditioning appeared to be working now and everyone on the ship was freezing! We were told the engineers couldn't get the system to work properly. If you enjoy spending your holiday waiting in the queue at guest services this is the cruise for you. A whole year of looking forward to this holiday became so so disappointing. Not the way we planned ending the year. This was our first and last experience of Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
It was reasonably priced. No air conditioning for the first 6 days, and not of a great concern to the staff. A lot of rooms also had flooding, but ours didn’t. As it was, both my travel mate and Myself became quite ill with my friend ... Read More
It was reasonably priced. No air conditioning for the first 6 days, and not of a great concern to the staff. A lot of rooms also had flooding, but ours didn’t. As it was, both my travel mate and Myself became quite ill with my friend going to the clinic for IV therapy. As a matter of fact, many people ended up being sick. Poor food and service both in the dining room and Lido. I contacted Holland America and didn’t even get a reply. I’m a 3star Mariner and as far as I’m concerned Holland has hit rock bottom . They offered us a $75.00 dollar room credit which was nothing but an insult. I would not advise cruising with Holland America at this time and have been very vocal about our experience. When people pay hard earned money for a holiday they expect good service, good food, and good entertainment. The decks were like morgues during the day, absolutely nothing going on. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I have gone on several Holland America cruises in the past, but my 28-day cruise from Shanghai to Singapore is the last one I will ever take with Holland America. I agree with all the negative comments of the previous posters and have a ... Read More
I have gone on several Holland America cruises in the past, but my 28-day cruise from Shanghai to Singapore is the last one I will ever take with Holland America. I agree with all the negative comments of the previous posters and have a few more. The people who were satisfied must have never cruised before. A big disappointment was that in most ports we didn’t dock where the other cruise ships docked but at commercial docks that where cranes were loading and unloading freight all day. However, for $6.00 to $12.00 HAL would shuttle you into town. Once or twice it was free. The final straw, however, was when they didn’t get me to my flight at the end of the cruise. I had paid HAL for the shuttle service so I would be sure to get picked up when I arrived and get back to the airport for my flight when the cruise ended. When the ship informed me what time the shuttle was going to leave to take me to the airport, I immediately went to the front desk and told them I didn’t I would get to the airport in time for my flight. I was assured that I would not have any problems. The next morning while I was waiting for my turn to be shuttled, I went back to the front desk and asked to be transported to the airport sooner. Once again, I was told I would get there in plenty of time. They were wrong. I missed my flight. I called Holland America and was told they would book me on another flight, but I would have to pay for it. They recommended I contact Guest Relations when I got back to the US and request a reimbursement for the extra flight. I called. That was interesting. Guest Relations said they should not have sold me the transportation because company policy required a four-hour minimum time period between leaving the ship and the flight time; therefore, they could not reimburse me for the extra flight cost. They offered to reimburse me for the transportation service. When I mentioned that I gave the clerk my flight times when I booked the transportation and wasn’t told about the four-hour policy, Guest Relations said, “The clerk made a mistake selling you the transportation and that was why HAL would reimburse the transportation fee.” I want to say something positive about HAL, but nothing comes to mind. It is a company that no longer cares about the passengers. I would have given them two stars if They had gotten me to the airport on time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
The itinery was good. Nice places but HAL is not confidence with the custom procedures of the harbours esp. not Shanghai! I lost 10 hrs of my 14 day cruise; waiting or custom procedures which were organised well by local authorities but ... Read More
The itinery was good. Nice places but HAL is not confidence with the custom procedures of the harbours esp. not Shanghai! I lost 10 hrs of my 14 day cruise; waiting or custom procedures which were organised well by local authorities but HAL staff couldnt handle his clients at a decent way. The was the worst cruise I ever had. A Boat with non communication. nor intern nor with clients. And this was due to a non communucatie captain vd Hoeven! We never heard him. For getting custom numbers" passangers had to fight with each other because of non organisation/capability of staff The cabin boys where fantastic as allways like all restaurant employees. The management didn't communicate with each other nor to their clients. 14 days brown sink water. Every morning wake up by sink workers (the reason of the brown water) and a spray on my cabin window. Planning? Below level and poor entertainment / shows; old fitnes'; Pinnacle restaurant again same menu and not that quality ecpected Shore excursions not used because of price/too big groups/ bad old fashioned iinnery Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Last January I traveled from Hong Kong to Singapore on the Volendaam. I have thought long and hard about this review, and I tried to contact someone at Holland America to talk about it, but I got no response better than a brush off ... Read More
Last January I traveled from Hong Kong to Singapore on the Volendaam. I have thought long and hard about this review, and I tried to contact someone at Holland America to talk about it, but I got no response better than a brush off "You reported a sharp zip", which is an untruth. It is possible that they did act on my correspondence; if so, they gave no indication of that, so here it is. My concerns were about poor maintenance and safety. The poor maintenance applied to all parts of the ship. It was very cold throughout the ship for the first few days, people were leaving the dining room to go back and fetch their coats. Anyone with an engineering training kept noticing maintenance tasks that were just not being doing done when they should - engineers are trained to actively look for problems, it becomes a habit. The Lido area was in such a bad way that it just looked tatty. I did raise the issue with the front desk, and with the Lido manager (I think he said he was) but nothing got done. The overwhelming impression I received was that the Maintenance Department was seriously under staffed, or dreadfully badly managed. That was only disappointing. Then we got to Halong Bay and went ashore on a Tender. These Tenders have zip panels (4 in all) in sides for entry and exit which are a vital component of the Tender in a heavy sea. A heavy sea is what you will be in if the ship sinks and has to be abandoned, so it really matters. A heavy sea is what the Tender will find itself in, if during the 10 minute journey to shore it gets caught in a vicious sudden squall (it happens). If the panels don't zip up securely the water floods into the boat and passengers will get washed away. People will probably die. On this particular Tender the zips on the rear port side panel were completely shot, large sections of teeth missing, zip stitching failed and coming away from the canvas. There was no way that panel could have been closed, at all, not even slightly. It was appalling that passengers were being sent out in that boat, it was appalling that the seamen manning the Tender were apparently un-aware of its dangerous state, and were surprised when I pointed it out. It begged the question of who was responsible for ensuring this Tender was in a safe condition. As far as I could work out - no one. OK, one Tender, they got a report, I assumed that they would do what any organization would that has any kind of a safety culture, if one was wrong they would fix it and go round and check all the others. That is what you do, that is safety 101, and if you don't do that sooner or later, you get a serious accident. Then we went by Tender into Danang. This tender had similar problems (forward port side) in that the stitching had failed in three places. If a wave hit that weakened stitching it would rip the rest of it open in moments, and again people would likely be washed overboard. So bad stitching, shouldn't have happened. But it's worse that that. Those tenders are constructed as two fibreglass sections (top and bottom) joined together to form a monocoque structure. In the centre is a 2 metre high vertical steel square section that holds the steering gear and cabling up to the steering wheel on a mezzanine area. That square section also helps to hold the roof up and is an integral part of the strength of the roof of the Tender, the strength of the roof of the Tender that will be vital if a wave lands on it in a storm. The box section was formed from a C (aka U) channel with a plate screwed onto the front with screws every 15cms. That precisely regular distance between the screws tells you that the Engineer who designed the structure calculated how close together the screws need to be to get the full strength of a Box section, and not just the much weaker C section behind it. But most of the screws were missing. Clearly a maintenance worker had taken the plate off and when putting it back again decided he didn't need all those screws to hold a covering plate in place, and didn't bother with two thirds of them. But it's not a covering plate, it's a structural element; it really matters. Further there were no screws at all at the L bend at the bottom (where they were not conveniently accessible), which would be the most likely fracture point because bends are always a weak point. This was not a recent phenomenon. The empty screw holes had been over painted. So a maintenance engineer didn't do their job properly, whoever signed off that work didn't do their job, the Tender has subsequently undergone further maintenance, and the person who painted it didn't say "This isn't right", and whoever signed off that paint job didn't notice anything either. Further the dozens of seamen who have manned that Tender since haven't noticed or haven't commented. In the airline industry where safety is taken seriously any one of these people would have been sacked on the spot, immediate dismissal, and all their past work reviewed. But what does that mean for the sea worthiness of the Tender? Could it survive a heavy sea? Nobody knows; it is as simple as that, nobody knows. Unless you go back to the original designer's calculations, who will have designed for the roof to not collapse under a certain force (i.e. a great big wave landing on it), and put in a C channel to replace the Box section that was designed, you just don't know. It might be OK, it might not. Probably not, if it was OK without them the designer wouldn't have bothered with all those screws. Nobody designs in cost that isn't needed. So there we have it, it might be OK it might not, nobody's bothered. That seems to be the attitude to safety on the Volendaam. On the other hand, I hand traveled on the Zaandam the year before and found nothing to fault; nothing. How can two ships in the same company be so completely different? Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Extremely poor customer service from the front desk! I had completed and faxed in a Special Requirement form for my granny since she has special dietary needs due to her diabetes and prior kidney problems. Her insulin needs to be ... Read More
Extremely poor customer service from the front desk! I had completed and faxed in a Special Requirement form for my granny since she has special dietary needs due to her diabetes and prior kidney problems. Her insulin needs to be refrigerated, and she also required a needle dispenser in her room. When my parents and my granny got into their cabin, they realized there were no where to refrigerate the insulin and no needle dispenser. When we went to the front desk they said they did not receive any information about the requests made on the form. Seriously? What is the point in asking guests to complete the form when none of the information gets passed to the ship? They gave us the options of renting a fridge from them for $2 a day or have a cooler and ice packs delivered to the cabin. The ice packs will need to be replaced once every 24 hours. We opted for the cooler and ice pack option since we don't feel justified to pay for the fridge when we did our part in making the requests over a month prior to our sailing. I had even called the dept that handled the special requests and they confirmed the form had been received and processed. My parents waited in their cabin for 3 hours for the cooler, ice packs and needle dispenser to be delivered. They called the front desk at least four times during their wait. They kept telling them they are on their way on the first few calls. During one call the front desk rep hung up on my mom during mid-conversation! My mom was furious and called back right away. The same rep picked up the phone. When my mom questioned her about her hanging up the phone, she apologized and said she had an emergency call. No matter what the circumstances it is absolutely unacceptable for her to hang up on a guest without a single word of explanation or warning prior! The rep then told my mom they were out of coolers so they can only rent a fridge from them or place the insulin in the ice bucket and they will deliver ice every three hours. My family went on the cruise to enjoy a vacation not to sit around waiting for ice delivery! There is no way we will let strangers touch my granny's insulin so that means someone will always have to be around when they delivered the ice. My dad had a long and painful debate with the rep and her manager about the situation before they finally offered to waive the fridge rental fee. It is absolutely unacceptable the way they handled the whole situation! Of course the dietary requests were also non-existent. My granny was forced to eat whatever was served at the buffet and dining room. Most of the food was way too salty for the rest of our family. Due to the high sodium diet, my granny's feet swelled up so badly that she had difficulty walking! This was their first cruise and they sure put a very bad impression for them! My husband and I felt extremely guilty and embarrassed since we invited them on this cruise with us! They ended up having a miserable time. When we walked into our own cabin, we realized the garbage in our bathroom was half full from the previous guests. Throughout our cruise the room attendant did change our bedsheets daily. However, on most days these "fresh sheets" had stains all over them. This is truly disgusting! We also noticed how not a single TV or visual display screen onboard is HD quality. We tried attending a cooking show at the Culinary Arts Centre, but we couldn't see what was the chef doing most of the time since the screens were so blurry! My dad had trouble even making out the weather forecast in their room since the TV's visual quality was so bad. There were stains all around the edge of the pool on Lido deck. It was seriously an eye sore to look at! It does not seem like the staff even bothered attempt to scrub away the stains. The overall the food quality and variety selection was not good. Way too salty and greasy! We had submitted a complaint to HAL's guest relations dept right after we got off the ship. They responded with apologies and a long email boasting their excellence in service and how many guests had a time of their life on the cruise. At the end they offered each of us $75 credit for a future cruise. We feel extremely insulted that they think $75 credit per person will show their sincerity in trying to make things right. After this cruise we do not intend to ever sale with HAL again so your credit is of no use to us in the first place. This lady's email just made us even more certain it's not worth giving us this company any future business. My advise is to stay away from this ship and HAL! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Aussies Beware. Holland America Line (HAL) Our holiday (disaster), my wife and I were on the Volendam in stateroom 7062. We arrived in Vancouver May 4th, We boarded the ship in Yokohoma a 19 day cruise, the first night on board we ... Read More
Aussies Beware. Holland America Line (HAL) Our holiday (disaster), my wife and I were on the Volendam in stateroom 7062. We arrived in Vancouver May 4th, We boarded the ship in Yokohoma a 19 day cruise, the first night on board we had very little sleep the noise above our stateroom was excessive with the moving of the table and chairs and the trolley that they use to move things around in this lasted until about midnight, then the trolley was moved again at 3am the the table and chairs were again put out for breakfast at around 4:45am. at around 11 am the next day the noise started again, I quickly went up stairs and found 3 deckhands dragging the chairs and tables around. apparently there is a store room above which contains a lot of props for decorations which are constantly being moved. My husband spoke the the deck steward about the noise, he told him he would also speak to the night deck hand. We then started my complaints to the front office trying to get a room change. we complained regularly about this as it happened every day and night until I was told that compensation would be paid and nothing else could be done. We were fobbed off. At the end of the cruise $250 taken off our bill. Not one night did we have a full sleep and forget about catching up during the day just as bad, if you are unlucky enough to have a bad stateroom they have your money and you are not getting it back. Forget Australian Consumer Guarantee laws they don't apply. Complaints get you no where. I have been in touch with ATAS was told nothing could be done and the travel agent could not be held responsible, I have been in communication with office of the president of HAL and their ombudsman what a waste of time. Its not the money but the thought that nowadays you can still get ripped off so easy. I cruise quite a bit, HAL is not up to standard and would not recommend. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We sailed back to back on the solar eclipse Indonesia cruise and then the Thailand, Vietnam to Hong Kong cruise (31 days) . We are 4 star mariners with HAL so We have sailed with them many times. We have sailed on every class of ship ... Read More
We sailed back to back on the solar eclipse Indonesia cruise and then the Thailand, Vietnam to Hong Kong cruise (31 days) . We are 4 star mariners with HAL so We have sailed with them many times. We have sailed on every class of ship except the Prinsdendam, which we know is too old and small for us. This was our first sailing on the Volendam and it will be our last on this size ship! We were in a very expensive, handicap cabin on the top cabin deck (seventh floor, Navigator deck), and it was by far the worst cabin we have ever stayed in on a HAL ship or any other. The thrusters vibrated and shook our cabin at every docking, dispute how high up we were. That meant very early, unwanted awakenings and many sleepless nights. The shake, rattle and roll experiences were on going, even during days at sea. The banging noises and furniture scraping above and around us was ridiculous! This ship must have no soundproofing at all. In addition, the migration of cigerate smoke from the deck above and from neighboring balconies, was absolutely awful. This is a problem on all HAL ships as smoking is still allowed on cabin balconies but smokers are not put on "smoker only" floors (or in "smoker only" areas of the ship). It is hard to take seriously HAL's "commitment" to great stewardship of the oceans and its inhabitants while it continues to facilitate the pollution of the lungs of its passengers with a indisputable carcinogen! Many cruise lines have banned smoking on balconies so everyone paying for this amenity can enjoy what they paid for. It's time that HAL bans balcony smoking as well. I have never had so many things to complain about on a HAL cruise. The front desk staff was ineffective. Complaints were handled by supposedly sending a email to some other person with the promise of follow up, which never occurred. I had to get the front desk manager involved (Suzzana), before things were properly addressed. She is outstanding. She got everything corrected that she could and followed up almost daily (epitomizing the HAL service focused brand). But she could not save us from the poor condition of this ship. Plumbing problems, water leaks causing musty smells in the hallways, no soundproofing between or above and below cabins, poor internet service (still), etc. The entertainment and activities on this cruise were very disappointing as well. The solar eclipse cruise did not have the level of educational and other programs they should and could have had given they rarity of this event. The captain did an outstanding job of getting us into position to see a spectacular eclipse, however. But to my point, whoever is the marketing director did not even make sure there was cruise memorabilia available for purchase! No tee shirts, solar gazing glasses, etc., which was a missed opportunity big time. Instead of trying to sell off old Hawaii cruise tee shirts, hundreds of solar eclipse shirts and other monentos could (and would) have sold out. Vaudeville days are over. Ventriloquists, magicians and mediocre lounge singers don't entertain most people today. Your singers and dancers are amazing and their shows were a highlight. Use them more. Get lecturers and arts and crafts back on board and less sales related "activities". I don't cruise to get whiter teeth, reduced wrinkles or body sculpting! I truly love HAL and have been a loyal customer for years. I hope it is just this ship and its classmates (which I will avoid in the future), that have these condition problems. Unfortunately that limits my opportunity to explore many geographic areas with HAL as they use the same ships in the same areas. Having sailed with many other cruise lines, I think HAL has some of the best itineraries at sea and I am saddened that I won't be able to sail many of them because of these older ships. I am booked on 3 cruise on the new Koningsdam, but unless it or a newer ship takes over these other itineraries, I will have to sail with some other cruise line. Only so many times one can sail the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Northern Europe. I hope that in the future HAL will truly overhaul their older ship's as they go into dry dock and not just fluff them up. The food is still the best, the cabin and dining room crew amazing and the itineraries superior. However none of that will carry the day if your passengers are often annoyed, can't sleep, can't breathe and/or can't relax on their own balconies for much of their cruise! Very disappointed with this cruise but I hope the Koningsdam restores my faith in HAL. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Awful from the beginning. Rude people and nobody to help with problems. This was a trip with so much that was wrong that it would take more space than allowed. We spent extra money for this ship thinking it would be better for us as ... Read More
Awful from the beginning. Rude people and nobody to help with problems. This was a trip with so much that was wrong that it would take more space than allowed. We spent extra money for this ship thinking it would be better for us as first time cruisers, WRONG. THE TOILET in our stateroom was to the rim with water when we got into our room. They got it to go down but the next morning it was the same. They sent a plumber 3 times and could not put us in another room. All in all I had to put towels on the floor 4 different times. We took the elevator to a different floor to use the public restroom. Awful. The main dinning room was only open for lunch 1 hour every day. We spent money for formal wear for our big night, could have saved our money. This diner was a joke. The only buffet style restaurant was so small we had to wait for seats. Entertainment was employees dancing with cruise people for a contest. A piano player, a magician that is out of a county fair and tries to sell you a cheap magic kit in a Ziploc bag. There was a movie playing several times a day in the theater, free popcorn, Wow. At every turn there is someone trying to sell you something, good God art of all things. Who goes on a cruise for fun to buy art. Ridiculous. Wine seems to be the main thing they try to sell. On almost every channel on TV is a ship commercial telling you about this and that in on board store. If you play cards this is your ship. We do not. It has a very small casino. All in all this was terrible for the 3 of us. The 20 year old was bored as was myself 60 & my husband 65. Everyone that's cruised tells us to go again because they are not this bad. Just never Holland America again. We might but it will be a while, this was a very bad experience. Read Less
Volendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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