9-21 December 2013 from Singapore to Hong Kong: Volendam Cruise Review by freescot
Overall Member Rating
9-21 December 2013 from Singapore to Hong Kong
We had a great time.
We were happy with everything - service, our room, food in Lido and the Rotterdam restaurants. A well balanced and healthy selection for most tastes. We did not find hot food to be not hot as we planned our meals and started eating immediately after getting a meal.
We found our inside stateroom to be adequate, it was cleaned/changed twice a day. Our room was closer to the midship and when we had rough seas (we had 3 meter waves 2 days out of 12) we could hardly feel it,
We did spend most of our time outside as there was so much to do and see.
We did not use internet on board as it was extremely overpriced and slow (we were told). It cost $55 for 1 hour 30 mins. All the destinations had free wifi either in port itself (Laem Chabang) or in local cafés.
We enjoyed all the destinations. We used Holland America excursions for the most destinations, however More will not do it again because all the excursions were heavily overpriced and you could get a lot better deal/value if you organise excursions with fellow cruisers. There was no problem with organising a trip from all the destinations and one could join in with others to cut the cost.
Thailand - we recommend to visit Noong Nooch tropical gardens in Pattaya. An entry ticket costs 500 baht each and there are cultural and elephant shows each hour which are amazing. There was an opportunity to participate in elephant show which we did. You could also feed elephants for a little cost. There are absolutely breathtaking gardens which could take days to go around. There are also aviaries and animal enclosures. You could feed an arapaima for 20 bahts.
We loved Sikhanoukville. You need to understand the country and the history to appreciate a few hours'
stop in it. People of Cambodia are very polite and respect your privacy. We had no issues whatsoever. After walking in a market with some interesting smells we hired a tuc tuck for a couple of dollars who took us to a local beach which was beautiful. Beers in a restaurant on the beach were $1/beer and a free wifi which worked great.
Vietnam - we would not recommend 'sensational Saigon' excursion by Holland America. It was a whistle stop through some uninteresting place ie a post office a church the presidential palace all very boring we were also taken to the zoo for 20 mins including toilet time. I would rather take photos beside the many war relics like tanks, mig jets,helicopters etc that are on display in many parts of the city.
Weather in December... It was pleasantly warm in Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and southern Vietnam however as soon as ship started moving north from Nhang Tra weather changed dramatically and temperature dropped to plus 9 degrees Celsius. It was cold in Hong Kong also.
We left Hong Kong on the day we disembarked Ms Volendam. We followed fellow cruiser's advised and checked in by Kowloon station which is within walking distance from the port (expect to pay 30 HK dollars for transfer). All the airlines have check in desks there and luggage goes direct to your flight. This requires a
to purchase a rail ticket to the airport which is very quick and efficient. The train stops within the airport. Very convenient. Your hand luggage could be left at the left luggage just 30 meters from check in.
We absolutely recommend this trip as it was a very positive, trouble free and culturally enriching experience. Less
Cabin review: 2676
Size- small but adequate.Facilities- fine, shower was good, everything worked fine. Just take your tooth brush and paste as everything else is supplied. Ample storage.Location- good, did not feel much motion in rough seas, quiet.Service- excellent- our stateroom attendant was Noor and he tried his best to make our stay as comfortable as possible. Room was cleaned twice/ day.
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