3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The ports were new to us and the timing worked so we chose the 30-day Incan Empire Voyage. Embarkation was OK, we heard later this year the ship will be under review as to updates. Cabin fine, but the tiny TV and limited channels was ... Read More
The ports were new to us and the timing worked so we chose the 30-day Incan Empire Voyage. Embarkation was OK, we heard later this year the ship will be under review as to updates. Cabin fine, but the tiny TV and limited channels was annoying when in quarantine. Staff were friendly and helpful. Entertainment seems to have improved, enjoyed most of the comedians, but music still too loud. Good selection of presenters. Wish the port talks were available on TV in rooms, not just the excursion sales. We didn’t realize that some of the ports were industrial and how long the free shuttles would be. Also the poverty, so I recommend taking a lot of $1 bills. We are so fortunate. The biggest disappointment was the food. On the first night, Feb. 2, there was about an hour+ wait for the dining room (we chose anytime dining) so we went to the Lido. I chose a baked potato, chicken and green beans. The butter just sat in my potato, the chicken was not hot and the lovely green beans were not crisp or hot. Second night was Super Bowl so the boys went to watch the game and the girls went to the dining room. Third night, couldn’t get into the dining room again without a long wait so spoke with the Hotel Manager, I mentioned the disappointing cold dinner on the first night and our friends (4 star mariners) complained they never had to wait long for dinner. We were comped to the Pinacle Dining room, meals good. My husband got sick and went to the medical centre on Feb. 11, staff caring and prescribed Tamilflu for him and recommended I take some too. He returned on Feb. 17, had X-ray and new prescription. This is March 9 at time of writing and my husband is still congested and coughing. I sent a message about the cold dinners and a very nice staff member came to the table that evening to see if my meal was hot - it wasn’t. He returned other nights but seldom heard it was. Had a good Indian lunch one day, nice spices and hot temperature. I don’t know what the temperature of the food is in the kitchen, or when it is picked up by the servers, or brought to the serving stations, served and finally eaten, but it is too long. Manners dictate we wait for everyone at the table to be served before diving into our meals, but with staff cutbacks, there are not enough bodies to clear tables and serve the food while it is still hot. HAL May think it is elegant to have your server present everyone with their dinner, but perhaps they could take a tip from places where more than one server delivers meals while they are hot. Their DiveIn snack bar with make your own fajitas and tacos was also a huge disappointment with cold foil wrapped soft taco shells, barely warm meat fillings, cold cheese. I can’t help but think poorly kept food adds to sickness, and there was a lot of heavy congested coughing and people quarantined to their cabins on this trip. First and last 30-day voyage for us. Air conditioning on ship, especially in the Atrium worked overtime. Captain tried to explain why it was so cold. Took about six excursions. Enjoyed Lima’s water fountains at night. Disembarkation was best ever! I doubt we will travel with HAL again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Check in: My mom has special needs. She’s is loosing her sight for many eyears. They separated us on the check in (I felt as cattle). We lost the welcome picture. Also they denied to carrie my laundry clothes. After theree long ... Read More
Check in: My mom has special needs. She’s is loosing her sight for many eyears. They separated us on the check in (I felt as cattle). We lost the welcome picture. Also they denied to carrie my laundry clothes. After theree long lines. They arrived all rugged on the ship. Cassino; Texas Holden; 15% of rate every hand; and the price isn’t the problem here; but it’s good have a sensation that you can win. I won the money from every person seated on the table. We did the math; I won 40% of the money of everyone’s buy in, the cassino took 60%. The time to cash out. My money wasn’t there. The celebration moment was gone. The cassino manager was tired, and said that I lost my money. No fun. First stop in Juneau Alaska. My mom, three of her friends and my self bought 5 tickets to see the whales and glaciers for 1:30pm. The ship arrived 1:00 pm at the port, but there was a huge line to leave the ship. HUGE. 15% of the people who pay $200 for the excursion lost it. I was one of them. The laid from the excursion said that she couldn’t know if my mom was with the excursion or not. But she was just lianing. She actually was with her ticket in her hands. I lost my mom again, and my mind. This time I was so frustrated. I love whales since I was very young. I was so excited about this experience. They ruined for me and 7 people of 50. I cursed them. I came back to the ship without showing my key. I left the ship without showing my key. They call the cops and put me out of the ship. This was a security problem to them, I couldn’t think about. I assume my responsibility here. It seems that I cannot lose my mom. The capitan did not take the time to listen my version. The officers, I cannot complain, they were gentlemen, and treat me with a lot of respect; a proud to apply to American citizenship those guys gave to me. I lost the rest of the trip like my mom did. I’m paying $700 to come back to Denver plus one night of hotel in Juneau. My mom just stay on the ship because would costed some thousand dollars to go to Seattle, and Brazil on rush, losing her already bought ticked. I cannot say that I will come back to any cruise again. Ler make justice with Diana from guest service, Deden my room service, and Gabriel who took care of our food, and dutch woman from the excursion, I forgot her name though. . And Ash, from Mumbai who cut my hair. Terrific people. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise was supposed to be highly rated but it turned into a nightmare. Some of the extremely wrong encounters are as follow. If I have to list all that were wrong and unsatisfactory I will end up writing a few chapters. - the ... Read More
This cruise was supposed to be highly rated but it turned into a nightmare. Some of the extremely wrong encounters are as follow. If I have to list all that were wrong and unsatisfactory I will end up writing a few chapters. - the ship is very old and has an stale odour from time to time - bathroom fixtures are mounted lopsided besides visibly unclean and unhygienic - mini fridge door was not closed properly and we had to fix theproblem ourselves - vanity fixtures are stained and dirty looking - beddings had large patches of yellow stains - female staff in officer uniform was hostile towards the crew and passengers during the life boat drill - most of the staff incapable of giving accurate information - some of the staff incapable of communicating in basic English - probably the first "reputable" cruise line that served expired food items to passengers and insisted on payments - placement of staff at the serving stations on Lido Deck was extremely inappropriate as a few of them had no cooking experience - rotten vegetables served to passengers - being told only one side plate of food allowed because they were standing together as a couple - most of the menu items in the Dinning Room came in small decorative portions except on the very last night of the cruise - cloth napkins have dangling loose threads everywhere - so-called "midnight buffet" end at 23:30 - some salon/spa staff did not provide all the services as printed but still charged us full price for it - it was absolutely innappropriate for spa staff to give specific medical advice under false pretense and intentionally misinterpreted findings - there was no embarkation assistance to mobility challenged passengers - disembarkation forms and instructions were all so different from what were supposed to be - many touch screen casino slot machines had irresponsive key pads - etc. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I have always cruised on Holland America. This would have been my 4th Holland America cruise & second Alaska cruise. On the first night we went to the Lido Dinner Buffett. The line server said only 1 side item per plate. They ... Read More
I have always cruised on Holland America. This would have been my 4th Holland America cruise & second Alaska cruise. On the first night we went to the Lido Dinner Buffett. The line server said only 1 side item per plate. They gave us only 1 baked potato per plate. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as that the baked potato was rotten. A person at our table ordered and paid for a can of coke. After he drank the can of soda he looked at the bottom of the can and saw it was expired. The pasta station was awful. The station attendant joked that he had just been promoted from the ice cream station to the pasta station a month earlier. He had yet to have any training on how to make pasta. It showed. Chef Boy A R dee would have been better. The silverware was quite tarnished. The settings needed to be replaced. The balance of the cruise we ate in the main Dining room. I was going to forgive all that except for the future cruise deposit. I have always done a future cruise deposit while onboard to get the perks. I went to the future cruise desk on the last afternoon. It was closed. Usually they have a display or stack of blank future deposit forms on the desk. I saw the box where you can deposit the completed forms into but no blank forms. I then went to the customer desk and asked for a blank form. They said there was none. I tried in good faith to give them money but to no avail. When I got back home I asked my cruise agent to contact Holland America to see if I could do a deposit now. They said "No". They insisted that the blank forms were available on the future cruise desk. Read Less
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
3 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
5 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
5 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
10 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
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
Sail Date: January 2015
Embarkation was a joke. Many of the Holland-America people at the port couldn't even speak English, and kept sending us all over the place. The cabin was fine, other than the fact that the shower wouldn't drain, and had several ... Read More
Embarkation was a joke. Many of the Holland-America people at the port couldn't even speak English, and kept sending us all over the place. The cabin was fine, other than the fact that the shower wouldn't drain, and had several problems with the toilet running all night, and unusable. The food in the main dining room was beyond awful. After a few nights, only a few tables were full. The main buffet was always the same...never a change. The fruit was never fresh looking. The breads and pastry tasted like they had been thawed then re-heated...never fresh. I could go on. A lot of people on board were getting sick...GI problems. I wonder why! The shore excursions were a joke. Many people, including myself, were so disgusted with some of the tours, we opted for a cab back to the ship. Many of us felt that it was the worst cruise ever! Shame on Holland-America. Read Less
Volendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.1
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 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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