Good....but: Volendam Cruise Review by Renovationking

Volendam 3
Member Since 2013

Overall Member Rating


Sail Date: March 2013
Destination: Asia
Embarkation: Osaka
This cruise was good, but mainly because of the food, the service and the company we were lucky enough to meet.
We're in our early to mid 50's but were much too young for this cruise..........
Entertainment was sparse! The nightly shows were all (apart from the comedians - I use the term lightly) directed at the 70+ age group - we were told average age was 63...more like 75-80! Operatic and really constrained.
Activities were also sparse, even Pictionary only ran twice. Apart from Trivia and the odd wine tasting (additional cost) there was not a great deal to do. Many people enjoyed the line dancing but were very disppointed it only went for 1/2 hour and was only on 3 times. An hour would have been much better for the people I spoke to.
Shore tours were very expensive and quite rushed. On one of our tours the tour guide said almost nothing after the 1st 20mins on the bus and fell asleep on the way back. She also told us we'd have free time to shop and then when we'd More finished the tour and asked for shoppng time she said "I went slowly so you could shop" Who moved the goal posts and why?!!!!
At our Beijing stop (which is listed as Xing Yang (Beijing)) we found to our surprise (maybe we are ignorant but it still should have been pointed out) that the port is about 2 1/2 hrs drive from Beijing and that the VERY expensive tours are mainly driving. The only way the ship offered to minimise travel was to offer a 2 day/1 night tour (incl accom) for US$890 per person. We, at the last minute organised a similar tour which was VERY good for less than US$300/person. Only trouble is that before we organised the tour we were told that we had to re-board and hand in our passports by 6PM 2nd day. After we'd booked and were leaving the ship we were told we had to do this by 4.30PM no explanation. Tends to mess up a tour a bit.
This sort of thing happened all the time - times were given in writing and then changed verbally without explanation or apology at most destinations.
Information WAS forthcoming but WAS unreliable!
When trying to find out about hop-on/hop-off buses and other info for arranging our own tours we were met with little help or advice unless it was a ship-organised tour.
Some of the problems we had with entertainment not fitting our age group has to be attributed to our travel agent giving us poor advice but I do believe that the targeted audience was MUCH too narrow.
Ship temp TOO HOT ALWAYS-VERY UNCOMFORTABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Less

Published 03/26/13

Cabin review: 3415

Ver small comapred to the one we had on P&O. Others who had cruised a lot more than us said the same. Cabin showed it's age but was OK. Poor sealing of bath had been undertaken with lorry-loads of silicone. Could not cool the cabin enough. Everyone we spoke to had cabin temp at lowest to compensate for VERY hot temps in public areas of ship

Port and Shore Excursions

Rated 4 because our self-organised tour was very good. Apart from the traditional tourist sights Beijing is a very grey place! In addition to our tour we optionally went to the acrobat show in Beijing (the ship offers acrobats in Shanghai (next port). This was one of the best shows I've ever been to.
Read 78 Beijing Reviews

Cruise terminated here after visiting Shanghai (which was the best of the Chines cities in so many ways

Nagasaki really interesting. We got around on the train system quite easily. Saw the same sights as the ship tours at a FRACTION of the cost and at our speed. We were happier than those who took the ship tours.

At the last minute we decided to use the HAL ship shuttle to get from Osaka airport to Kobe. The representatives were unable to understand our requests due to lack of english. Price was US$75pp which was VERY high. We left from Kobe and had no time to sightsee
Read 24 Osaka Reviews

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