2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
The land tour (8 days with HAL) was awesome and exceeded our expectations, Anchorage/Denali/Fairbanks/Dawson City/ whitehorse/ Skagway but the sea part to Vancouver was not fun. I would not cruise with HAL on their ships again. 1. ... Read More
The land tour (8 days with HAL) was awesome and exceeded our expectations, Anchorage/Denali/Fairbanks/Dawson City/ whitehorse/ Skagway but the sea part to Vancouver was not fun. I would not cruise with HAL on their ships again. 1. Indonesian and Filipino staff have poor English comprehension - a big problem in the case of an emergency (Costa Concordia). They try hard, but lack English language skill. 2. Customer service at the front desk is very poor. The worst of any cruise ship we have seen. 3. Overall Poor maintenance - the ship is WAY overdue for a major refurbishment Below are my comments on the HAL follow up survey: As an experienced cruiser (35+ cruises) , I can say this Volendam cruise was absolutely the worst cruise that we have ever been on. My wife and I are NOT chronic complainers, we are not demanding - but we expect a decent cruise experience. The experience started on Saturday 6/27 when (dead tired) we flopped down in our cabin at 2:00 to take a nap. The room was cold (62.4F to be exact 16C). I awoke at 4:30PM with the sniffles (had a cough for the rest of the cruise) and tried to turn the temperature up. It did not respond. We called the hotel desk at 5:00PM and they said that they would "send a technician to our cabin' - #1939. No response - at 5:25 I called again. This time the hotel sent a clerk to check the temp which he confirmed at 16C. Then we went to dinner and the show. Back in the room at 9:45 and still cold at 16C. This time we went to the desk and asked to be shifted to another room. The staff person refused. Told us to sit and wait a while while the same desk clerk rechecked the temperature. Sick of waiting, we went down to the room. Finally a tech came at about 10:30 and reset the control unit. It continued to operate imperfectly for the next three days. Day two - no water was running in the sink or toilet from 6:00-7:00AM - the toilet packed up after a BM at 8:00AM. Afraid to use the room toilet for the next three days, my wife and I did all of our necessities in the public rest rooms which were also operating imperfectly. After a terrific (yes, I said terrific) land tour (8 days) we were of a mindset for a good sea experience. If the staff had given us another room, all would have probably been fine and the cold room would have been forgotten. Lord forgive them if they had needed to upgrade us to a higher level (sic). Might have cost HAL $20. But with the bad temperature controller, and the defective toilet, we were set up for a negative experience. The food was so so and the entertainment was ok, but our room experience was terrible. We also also became much more critical of the ship. After an 11:00PM general emergency alarm due to a bad pulley in a cabinet that was emitting smoke, it became evident to us that the Volendam needs to be taken from service and gone over with a fine tooth comb. The systems are in desperate need of proper maintenance and a good deep cleaning program. The sewer system, the mechanical systems, and the guest ventilation systems. Somebody threw up in the aft promenade deck vestibule early on in the cruise and the vomit smell was there till we left the ship. Poor maintenance in general. It is VERY doubtful that we will cruise with HAL for a third cruise. Princess and Celebrity have much higher standards and do not cost that much more. Many of the staff are great and went out of their way to serve us. These include the cabin steward, the bar staff, and the waiters. The front office delivers very poor customer service despite the phalanx of awards on the board. The English proficiency of the staff is a big problem. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our first and probably last trip with Holland America. We had previously done a 19 night trip with Cunard which we thoroughly enjoyed. The cruise ticked all the boxes when we booked. It was travelling from Hong Kong to Japan and ... Read More
This was our first and probably last trip with Holland America. We had previously done a 19 night trip with Cunard which we thoroughly enjoyed. The cruise ticked all the boxes when we booked. It was travelling from Hong Kong to Japan and was stopping at Shanghai, Beijing, Nagasaki and Osaka. The cruise was really a way of getting from Hong Kong to Osaka and the visited ports. I am just glad it was only a 14 cruise and not a 6 week cruise like Independents. My wife was ready to get off after 12 of the 14 days! We did a short independent holiday in Hong Kong first. We stayed at the Peninsula and everything was more perfect than even we expected. We then moved to the Marco Polo Hong Kong where we stayed in a continental club room. It was also good place to stay and it had the advantage of being close to the cruise terminal. A hotel porter took our luggage to the terminal and we appreciated the service. My concerns about the cruise arose on boarding when the gentleman ahead tried to collect my wife's purse and he had to be pulled away by his wife. He clearly was not with it. It soon became apparent that we were one of the few people of working age on the cruise and that the number of older cruisers on board was at an exceptionally high level. It was also apparent that it was more of a floating old peoples home than anything else. One of our friends had travelled on Holland America on a Mediterranean cruise and he had not encountered this problem. Things got off to a bad start as we were not told that there was a problem with the water. After my wife had a shower the face washer was very brown. We are not used to brown water where we live and it is not something that you should have to endure on your cruise. It took days for the problem to be acknowledged and it had not been resolved by the time we disembarked. My wife's experience with the front office in relation to this was very negative. Dining was another experience. We ended up giving up asking for a table for two in the Rotterdam dining room as it was invariably unavailable without an extended wait. Nor were we able to secure a reservation for a table for two. The treatment we received from the staff member allocating the tables is almost identical to that noted by a previous reviewer. That is, almost a sense of pleasure in saying that a table was not available despite us then walking past vacant tables for two. The range of meals and the quality of meals was below expectations as was the service. However, it tended to better than the food in the Lido which was more in the way of institutional food. The chicken was overcooked and the curries undercooked. The food was quite bland, which might be a reflection of what it is thought the target market want. Then again, it might be what they do want. After returning from the Beijing excursion where not surprisingly, Chinese banquet food was served, one traveller remarked how nice it was to come back to 'real food'. The fruit was problem. It was either too ripe or too unripe. When we were in Beijing there was a vendor's cart at the Tomb and they had a really nice range of fresh fruit. I would have liked some of it as what was on the boat was not great. We did go to the Pinnacle Grill and it was a real contrast. The food and the service was what you would expect of an up-market restaurant. If we were on the boat any longer I suspect we would have eaten there more even though you have to pay extra to eat there. Unlike the Cunard cruise, there was minimal to be offered in the way of intellectual stimulation. Lectures about gems etc were really not so thinly veiled sales pitches. Nor would I count casino activities as such activities. We paid for nearly all the Holland America shore excursions and while there were some issues that ought to be addressed they were good. We paid top dollar to stay in Beijing overnight.The main issue is that some of the passengers who had mobility issues did not seem to understand the Holland America brochures. Some wag suggested that the three people sign stood for "needs three carers to push you". They did not understand that structures built in a time before lifts and escalators have access and mobility issues associated with them and that it is not easy with a walking frame on cobble stones. They are also world heritage listed so it is not as though lifts and escalators could be installed without desecrating these sites. These issues were poorly dealt with by the boat's shore excursion staff. Those who suffered were the more mobile. If you have only 20 minutes to see something and it takes the person with mobility issues 10 minutes to get off the bus then you are impacted on adversely. I have to say there was one person where there was mobility issues and they were very responsible. They waited until everybody else was off the bus before getting off but this was the exception rather than the norm. There is also a problem with disembarking at ports. We were told that the Holland America groups would have priority in Nagasaki but when we got to the immigration hall it was full of independent travellers who had been let off the ship before us. It took about 40 minutes for us to get through immigration and it took the edge off the excursion before we even got on the bus. Disembarkation was also a bad experience. We waited 20 minutes in our bus for a rude traveller who did not care about their fellow travellers. There was no apology offered and apparently this traveller had 'form' for this type of behaviour. We stayed at the Imperial Hotel Osaka after disembarkation. This was arranged through Holland America. The Holland America staff in Osaka in contrast to the staff in the boat front office were very helpful and the hotel was also excellent. It was quite a contrast to the service on the boat. Australians do not believe in tipping and that is an issue that Holland America needs to address when selling cruises to Australians. The underlying philosophy in Australia, as often repeated in travel pages here, is that wages should be adequate to live on rather than having to depend on tips. It was not all negative on the boat. The service from the room attendant was superb. I have looked at the reviews since we have returned home and find myself in agreement with Independant and wonder whether the favourable reviewers travelled on the same boat. Maybe our expectations are higher. As you can see our issues were primarily with the service on the boat and as people who paid top dollar we were left somewhat underwhelmed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
My first cruise on Holland America and my LAST Have done at least a dozen cruises with all companies and this was without a doubt the very worst. The food was dreadful, the photos on HALs website are certainly not from Volendam. Portion ... Read More
My first cruise on Holland America and my LAST Have done at least a dozen cruises with all companies and this was without a doubt the very worst. The food was dreadful, the photos on HALs website are certainly not from Volendam. Portion sizes are very small and most people ate in the Lido buffet - tell you anything? Cabin was spacious and very nice but one small cake of soap for 2 wks? ( had to buy soap ourselves) No hand cream so took a glass from the cabin and filled it with cream from the public toilets. Our toilet didn't work for 2 days so had to run up 2 floors to use a bathroom. Brown water coming through the taps on and off for the entire cruise (reception was so fed up with complaints!!) Had a flood in our cabin while we ashore. Had the smell of stinking wet carpet for a week and a huge big fan in cabin running night and day to dry it. Both of us had food poisoning from Room Service. Both started vomiting around an hour after eating the suspect hamburgers! Really slow embarkation, no one to show us our cabin on boarding. Have NEVER had my water bottle confiscated on boarding -we did here. Brought a bottle of champagne on board ( as per regulations) what we went through with recording it, signing for it and being abused over it! Even found those little plastic things you clean between your teeth with, from the past passenger on our dressing table when we arrived in cabin! Staff were grossly undertrained If you ordered a 4 glass carafe of wine you HAD TO HAVE 4 glasses even though there were two of you. It just went on and on. The ports were fabulous and we had a great time in port but NEVER NEVER NEVER book a trip on Volendam. Don't waste your money Princess would leave them for dead on ALL fronts. Wrote to HAL with all the above complaints and they replied that through the " isolated incidents" we still should have had a great time. FORGET IT, DON'T DO IT TO YOURSELF. There are heaps of cruise companies out there all competing for your $$$$ and who offer a memorable experience. We were advised by our cruise specialist to try HAL and from what I gather they used to be good. We were told we would never want to cruise with anyone else. NOT SO YOUVE LOST US HAL! Hated every minute onboard and have NEVER complained EVER on any other cruise. We're very easy to please. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
The ship was clean and the Indonesian (only) staff was very friendly and gave their best. The cabins were O.K. and the ship, though old, was very clean. However the negative aspects were overwhelming. The food , besides being on ... Read More
The ship was clean and the Indonesian (only) staff was very friendly and gave their best. The cabins were O.K. and the ship, though old, was very clean. However the negative aspects were overwhelming. The food , besides being on the cheap side (excluding the occasional crayfish) was often tasteless and the meats basically tasted all alike . Every day (for 6 weeks) the same salads, 3 kinds of cheeses, oversweat deserts, disgusting pizzas, rice and noodles of the cheapest kind and the potatoes were not even peeled (incl. the mashed postatoes). Practically no cooked vegetables, Nearly every day the only fruit were apples, melons, pinapples and occasionally nearly rotten strawberries and grapes. The pinaeapple had twice fungus and the tomatoes once. The "free" drinking water was so much loaded with Chloride ,that even the small waiters were buying they drinking water outside. Some bread and croissants were O.K. as was the orange juice in the morning. The NON- Indonesian staff, especially at the "front desk" was often arrogant and did not care about complaints except with sweet calming words, like "we are working on it". On the way from Japan to Alaska the public rooms were so cold for days, that the passangers had to sit at the restaurant with thick coats. All their show have been repeated 3 times during the 6 weeks cruise and were generally of low quality. Exception the Russian of Ukrainian violinest, one Japanese and and Australian piano player and maybe some shows with jokes only understandable for English native speakers. The excursians were EXTREMELY expencive and we preferred to go on our own. The docking times at interesting places like Shanghai, Peking, Kobe (Kyoto) and Tokyo were too short in favour of docking at uninteresting places (with many tours for sale). Our impression was, that the company wants to squeeze as much money as possible from their customers (passangers or "guests").Continuously it was tried to sell all kinds of services like massages and "beauty treatments" and drinks ,like Coca Cola and wine at inflated prices. The company also forced us of purchasing a Visas for Cambodiy for USD 65,-- which normally only cost USD 30,-- of USD 20,--for groups. We were threatened by the people at the desk to buy that visa from them, otherwise we should leave the ship in Thailand and join it again in Hongkong even though we did not want to go ashore in Cambodia (which was anyhow for a few hours only). In some places like Bangkok and Saigon the boat docked at containerports and unless one booked one of the exaggerated H-A. tours one could only walk around containers or take expencive Thai taxis (5 times higher than Bangkok for the distance). This cruise was no fun and we very happy when we finally reached Vancouver to fly home from there. On a daily basis this cruise was more expencive than comparable once with ships of similar size from other companies. (we had to fly there at out own expences) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Our cruise got off to a bad start, the drink packages we had prepaid for did not appear on our cards so the drinks were charged to our room, the other family we were travelling with the same thing happened. Easy fix you should think but ... Read More
Our cruise got off to a bad start, the drink packages we had prepaid for did not appear on our cards so the drinks were charged to our room, the other family we were travelling with the same thing happened. Easy fix you should think but for the next two weeks our wives complained daily to try and get our account fixed. They complained to the front office the head of the beverages (Ferdinand) all to no avail. Ferdinand's excuse was 'I'm not good with computers.' We also found him to be very condescending to our wives, there was a real feeling on our wives part that all male staff look down on female passengers who complain. We slept badly the thrusters on the boat vibrated us out the bed on every port call early in the morning. We were also woken by maintenance staff banging on metal early in the morning. Also if you have kids don’t even consider Holland America. We had 3 teenagers travelling with us, who were not looked after at all. They had a daily activities list for them an nearly every time they turn up to the venue, no staff turned up to run them. On one occasion on the pool deck they had a table tennis comp for them at 4pm, they turned up and no staff were there. We watched these staff lazily walk through at 4.10pm chatting away to each other as if without a care in the world they did not even give the kids a second glance. Things only improved slightly after we complained, which we seemed to be doing all the time. My wife finally won a carribean cruise for two to the carribean, she was so excited at the time. Little did we know that the man who approached her and whispered ‘its not all its cracked up to be’ would be so right. It had a note on the certificate that we could transfer it to another cruise of our choice and as we could not afford the $5000 dollars in flights it would cost us to get there we decided to use it on one from Australia. When we tried they said they give us the equivalent of $900 US value off any cruise. Subsequently we picked a cruise from Australia on their website, which was on sale (every cruise is on sale anyway). When my wife rang them we were told we had to pay full price so it ended up just being $100 less than the sale price!!!! Needless to say we won’t ever cruise with Holland America again. We have since booked two cruises for 2016 with Royal Caribbean, we’ve had 3 cruises with them and had no problems.. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We are active cruisers and have enjoyed many trips on HAL! This was not the HAL we knew and loved. First, the cutbacks are very obvious: from the food to the tissues, fewer staff, lecturers and quality entertainers. But, more dramatic ... Read More
We are active cruisers and have enjoyed many trips on HAL! This was not the HAL we knew and loved. First, the cutbacks are very obvious: from the food to the tissues, fewer staff, lecturers and quality entertainers. But, more dramatic was the huge number of passengers who refused to wear appropriate dress for the evening/venue and the staff's refusal to do anything about it. We cruise for the shipboard experience and HAL gets our nod for their itineraries. However, when they encourage and permit Caribbean daywear on Formal Nights, they tell me that they no longer care about providing a memorable cruise experience - only filling the cabins. Sorry HAL - you were the top of the mass market - you no longer come close to many of your competitors Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
Any relationship is based on trust. After close to 200 days sailing with HAL, I expect that I will be treated with respect and the trust I put into the company to work in my best interest be upheld. I do not know how HAL will heal the ... Read More
Any relationship is based on trust. After close to 200 days sailing with HAL, I expect that I will be treated with respect and the trust I put into the company to work in my best interest be upheld. I do not know how HAL will heal the distrust I hold after this trip. I realize that Carnival, the "mother-ship" holds all the cards. But as an "almost" 4 Star Mariner, I will not be back on board for quite a while. I went through 4 cabins (Deck 2 forward... brown water; Deck 1 midship...vibrations; Deck 3 aft...a constant "thumping"; Deck 2 forward...brown water) before realizing the situation had no remedy on this cruise. The "GI" outbreak began about 4 days into the cruise (and must be noted that it was held in check by immediate attention).Though there was no handling of common items as newspapers and books, salt and pepper shakers, handshaking...the casino stayed open. Though the staff did disinfect the casino before and after operations, the cards, chips and slot machines were handled by any number of possibly contaminated people. I guess there is a price to the passenger's welfare! The cost of the HAL excursions are outrageous! I do not want to have my time in port wasted with stops at shopping areas / malls or restaurants.When there is a port with an extended stay (ie: into the evening, overnight as in Yangon), I do not want to be back on board by 4 or 5pm. Seeing a city at night is another experience of the visit. I understand the Excursion agents, using deception and "scare tactics", are to make money for the company, but, I believe, the Shore Desk agent should be working for the guest. Withholding information that would make the shore time of guests easier (and less expensive) is, I feel, wrong. (ie: there is a train that goes from Port Klang to KL for about $1.25, available city maps for other than shopping centers, going to a port in Cambodia, having paid the $63 visa fee and being too far from anything of interest (Angor Wat or Phnom Penh). The cruise director, Jonathan, was the WORST in the position I have ever experienced on HAL's or any other company's ship. His closing was "see you around the ship" but you never, ever did! He had no communication with guests, no sense of humor. He was obnoxious, selfish and very, very arrogant! Tom, in the piano bar, could play the piano and sing (a bit). But he had NO personality. He basically played with his head down with no interaction with those in the room. He had no flair, no fun banter or musical "games" / jokes. There were no sing-alongs unless the guests took it upon themselves to sing (the hundredth time he would play his "My Fair Lady" medley). The Front Office staff tries to be helpful but their hands are tied by company policy (I was "subtly" warned my third room was not suitable but didn't heed the warning). The restaurant, deck and cabin staff were always up-beat and friendly. Chase, the assistant social director (though not given that title) did a Herculean job of lifting spirits. He was incredibly kind, cheery with a good sense of humor, thorough and available. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
I just backed my cruising from Hong Kong-Vietnam-Cambodia-Thailand-Singapore for 15 days by m/s Volendam-Holland America Line. This is my first time for Holland America Line. So, I was so excited before we cruised with Holland American ... Read More
I just backed my cruising from Hong Kong-Vietnam-Cambodia-Thailand-Singapore for 15 days by m/s Volendam-Holland America Line. This is my first time for Holland America Line. So, I was so excited before we cruised with Holland American Line. Before that I have experience with Cunnard, Princess and Royal Carribean even Star Cruise. 1. No entertainment all the time even at sea. 2. Cruise Director always disappeared. 3. HAL Cats Band during show time they wouldn't show up on time and one day at poolside show, she said that she felt it's so hot and stop the show immediately and say good bye, Is it professional? 4. Food too salty, not the 4 star standard. 5. All restaurants menu are the same, never changed within 15 days. 6. So many flies flow over the Dining Room until we complaint, 7. Shore excursions are very expenses. 8. No free shuttle buses provided at port, except Cambodia due to Cambodia Tourist Association provided. 9. Visa fee overcharged than the other cruise, such as Vietnam Visa US$65, Princess only charged US$31. Cambodia Visa US$60, the other cruise only charged US$25. 10. Beware of it looks like as mobile cash Debit Machine, everything will charge to your room bill automatically, such as mini bar even you have not consumed. And they have charged me the Thailand Visa Fee(my nationality is no need to appy any visa in Thailand). I have to approach to Front Office to explain what nationality I am, and disputed the mini bar charges. So I have to check my room bill at Front Office daily to avoid they overcharged. 11. Toilet always clog. 12. One day in Vietnam, it was around 28C, The generator was out of order. No air conditioning, No Escalator, No flush water. 13. Sometimes, you need to inform room attendants to refill the amenities. But, the servers of the Lido Restaurant and Rotterdam Dining Room are good. Finally, consider before you take the HOLLAND AMERICA LINES. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
We joined the Volendam at Singapore ( a lovely city by the way) and found the process easy and pretty quick. The cabin was larger than expected and included a small bath which was a bonus! The carpet in the cabin was a bit ... Read More
We joined the Volendam at Singapore ( a lovely city by the way) and found the process easy and pretty quick. The cabin was larger than expected and included a small bath which was a bonus! The carpet in the cabin was a bit 'suspect' in places however, overall it was a typical layout of any cruise line and spotless. The cabin stewards were extremely friendly and did a great job during the cruise. However ........ unlike other cruise lines there was no sail away parties from any port and speaking of ports ....... we berthed at industrial shipping container ports which were awful to look at and in one case over 30 miles from the major town. Yes, you read that right - over 30 miles from town which necessitated an expensive cab ride thus negating any 'bargain shopping' opportunities. Believe me, you will get fed up of seeing containers on this cruise. At this port there were no staff around the gangway on the dockside and we were left to find our way out of the port to the main gates. Shame on you Holland America for not caring about independent travellers. By independent travellers I mean those passengers who do not buy the very expensive shore excursions but prefer to do their own thing. We 'did our own' excursions and saved well over half the price and enjoyed experiences denied the Holland America shore excursion passengers (for example a lovely rowing boat ride in Halong Bay - you won't get this opportunity if you book the Holland America shore excursion. Overall, the Holland America shore excursions are VERY expensive and at least double the price of independently arranged excursions. And yes, I am comparing apples to apples here. My advice - do your own thing and save a small fortune (we saved over $90 US on just one trip alone). Highlights include the Marble Mountain and Hoi Ann from the Da Nang port - both not to be missed. Just step ashore and arrange your own taxi (around $60 US for the car and driver and you can halve this if you share with others). Or you can book the Holland America tour of the same sights and pay $70 US EACH! Get the picture? You will have to pay for visas for Cambodia and Vietnam even if you don't get off the ship you still have to pay for visas. As an example the visa for Cambodia (with just one port in this country) is $63 US EACH. The actual cost is $38 US and Holland America add a $25 US 'arrangement fee' on top. Getting the picture? The food in the Lido cafeteria was actually pretty good whilst the food in the Pinnacle Grill - $29 US each cover charge and the Italian restaurant Canalleto - $10 US each cover charge was abysmal. We tried a meal in both and found the meat undercooked / tough and the service was terrible. In the Pinnacle grill there were Alaskan King Crab legs on the menu at an extra $25. This same dish was available on the main dining room menu the following night at no additional cost! So, don't bother with the supposedly fine dining restaurants - they aren't and are largely empty anyway. We spoke to a member of staff who let slip that there had been a reduction in the number of staff and for those who remained a cut in pay was the reward. The standard of entertainment was well below other cruise line standards. We enjoyed the pianist, two lady violinists and the magician. That's three nights out of the 14. The actual theatre productions (sound/stage settings/lighting design were actually very good but the ships theatre company - oh dear, the ladies sang very nasally and were off key. Dancers were way better than the singers. Holland America will charge your account $11:50 US per person per day for service charges. That's on top of the service charges on everything you purchase on board. Over a 2 week cruise that's nearly $300 US per couple. Here's a tip - YOU CAN OPT OUT of this charge by simply filling in a form obtained from the on board service desk (deck 4). Would I rebook another Holland America cruise - Absolutely no way. Quality of menu/food/cooking/service in the fine dining restaurants was atrocious, We had the distinct impression that independent travellers were not well regarded (Holland America want you to buy their own vastly inflated shore excursions), they moor up in awful, industrial shipping container ports (we assume this is cheaper) Overall, we had the impression that Holland America view you as a cash cow and will rinse every dollar they can from you. My advice is find another cruise line for an Asian adventure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
When we disembarked in Singapore I was ready to write a really nice review, then we disembarked (reason for the 1 star) The Food - I didn't take the cruise to eat, and basically the food was good, we had open seating so we were put ... Read More
When we disembarked in Singapore I was ready to write a really nice review, then we disembarked (reason for the 1 star) The Food - I didn't take the cruise to eat, and basically the food was good, we had open seating so we were put on the lower lever, and the first night was a zoo, but we believe that was due to the safety training at the lifeboat stations, so everything ran behind. Like other reviewers said...anything extra be prepared to pull out that card because it will cost you...we enjoyed eating at the Italian restaurant because of the small plates offered, and we enjoyed the pinnacle grill, it would have been better had they offered different daily menus. I enjoyed the spa, but I hate the sale pitch at the end, all I want was the spa treatments and not the products. Can't offer any insight on the shows, we didn't attended any. All of the staff we encountered was always nice and courteous (see end). Being on deck 7 we had access to the Neptune Lounge, and John C was a great Concierge and always so friendly and helpful. The excursions - Halong Bay we did he deluxe where lunch was included and it was fun. The islands were beautiful, the guy friendly and attempted to tell jokes, if you go on shore be prepared for girls on motor bikes to pull over and want to sell you pearls...which we bought for the grand girls (better than a t-shirt). Just go back and forth on $. We had private drivers in the other Vietnam locations because we're not big bus people and this was a return trip for my husband so it was special. THe one tour we did that wasn't from the ship was a country side and cooking class http://www.vietnamprivatetour.com great great tour, and it was less than other tour cost, plus it was so much fun, Big bus tour in Cambodia, just be prepared it's a 3rd world country, there are little children smiling and saying money but they are clueless to what they are asking for. Unlike our brats that cry because they don't have, or they need...they looked fine happy and dirty because they don't know what they don't have. If you don't want to see this, then don't go...if you want to educate yourself and want to make a difference someday, then go! We did go to the pepper plantation which was interesting. also big bus to Thailand, and pretty much it was what we expected. Departing in Singapore, easy.....But then my nightmare. My fault I know it, but when getting ready I got distracted and then the call came for us to depart. I left my ring, necklace and bracelet on the table. As soon as I cleared customs I realized it. Ran back thru security had to have an escort back on board, in tears ran in to the suite and in less than 30 minutes time - they were gone! GONE, I was sobbing, tore the room apart went and got John, told him the 2 guys that came in the room to clean balcony as we left, about the guy that was in the room when I ran back in (he came to get breakfast tray). My 2 days in Singapore was miserable, my ring which I just got for Christmas, my priceless necklace that my deacsed dad had given me back in the 70's gone. They did a 2 week investigation and were sorry to inform me it had not be found. So no matter how nice, helpful or whatever - it doesn't matter. I would have gone on another Holland vessel, but never again. 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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