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I recently came back from a one week cruise on the Volendam and a week land tour purchased through Holland American. Overall the cruise was good but there a few things Holland American needs to work on. CABIN - We were in a veranda suite which is the perfect way to see Alaska. The room and bathroom were a good size; comfortable and well appointed. There is plenty of places to store things and the beds were very comfortable. The balcony was great. We sat out there and had cocktails and watched whales go by. SHIP DECOR - The ship is beautifully appointed. The common areas are lively and fun and the art work is really interesting. On one of the staircases I kept stopping and looking at the various paintings of the ship through time. FOOD/DINING ROOMS - My biggest complaint with the ship would be the food. It was marginal at best. I am never concerned with the quantity of food on a ship (there is always something around to eat) and I'm not a "foodie" on a cruise because I know they are cooking for the masses but even with fairly low expectations this was pretty bad. I never had one shrimp dish (and I ordered several through the week) where they didn't use canned shrimp. We got room service one night and even the shrimp cocktail appetizer was canned. I tried the Asian entrees at lunch on day and it was so full of salt that I had to throw it away. Conversely, the omelets in the morning had no flavor because they never added even a dash of salt to the eggs. The entrees at night never met the hype of the description. One entree I order was a shrimp (again) with sundried tomatoes and some other spices. It consisted on 4 mid-sized canned shrimp with jar tomato sauce on it. And speaking of using prepackaged products, I wish they had used bottled dressing on their Caesar salads. At least it would have had some flavor. This was a negative experience for the entire trip. The main dining room was lovely and the Lido deck was OK. I did not go to the Pinnacle Room because I think the charge of $30 a person is outrageous. Maybe I have been fortunate enough to be on cruise lines that don't nickle and dime you like I saw on the Volendam, but I was very glad to hear that on the evening our table mates went to the Pinnacle (they had gotten free passes because they are frequent cruisers) there was only two other couples there. Maybe if that happens enough, HAL will lower the fee to a truly nominal one. SPA/EXERCISE FACILITIES - The spa and exercise facilities were very good, with one important exception. The spa is expensive but all ships spa facilities are expensive and the treatments were excellent. Of course the staff pushes you to buy products but all ships' staffs push that. The exercise facilities were large and spacious. There needs to be more elliptical machines. There were only two of them and they were always being used. The most annoying aspect of the gym is that they are trying to sell you their various classes. I've never been on a cruise ship where they did that. Each class was $30!!!. My monthly membership at my gym is only $60 a month. In general Holland American constant push on the ship to get you to buy other things was really annoying. STAFF - With a few very minor exceptions the staff was all very pleasant and went out of their way to help. I only feel sorry for them because they are obviously required to push you to buy other things. For example, at our first night at dinner the wine steward instantly asked us if we wanted to sign up for a wine tasting class the next day for $15. The next day at breakfast I was quietly having coffee by myself on the deck and next thing I know there is a waiter next to me asking me the same question. I wanted to should "GO AWAY," but I know they are just doing what is required of them. By the way, it happened one other day at lunch when again I was by myself. The management who should know better. ACTIVITIES My final comment is on the ship-board activities. As you can guess it really annoyed me that they kept pushing you to buy things and they did that, for example, with cooking classes. Again I had never experienced this. I thought these kind of activities went with cruise

Volendam - Alaska

Volendam Cruise Review by AbbyPortia

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2007
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
I recently came back from a one week cruise on the Volendam and a week land tour purchased through Holland American. Overall the cruise was good but there a few things Holland American needs to work on.
CABIN - We were in a veranda suite which is the perfect way to see Alaska. The room and bathroom were a good size; comfortable and well appointed. There is plenty of places to store things and the beds were very comfortable. The balcony was great. We sat out there and had cocktails and watched whales go by.
SHIP DECOR - The ship is beautifully appointed. The common areas are lively and fun and the art work is really interesting. On one of the staircases I kept stopping and looking at the various paintings of the ship through time.
FOOD/DINING ROOMS - My biggest complaint with the ship would be the food. It was marginal at best. I am never concerned with the quantity of food on a ship (there is always something around to eat) and I'm not a "foodie" on a cruise because I know they are cooking for the masses but even with fairly low expectations this was pretty bad. I never had one shrimp dish (and I ordered several through the week) where they didn't use canned shrimp. We got room service one night and even the shrimp cocktail appetizer was canned. I tried the Asian entrees at lunch on day and it was so full of salt that I had to throw it away. Conversely, the omelets in the morning had no flavor because they never added even a dash of salt to the eggs. The entrees at night never met the hype of the description. One entree I order was a shrimp (again) with sundried tomatoes and some other spices. It consisted on 4 mid-sized canned shrimp with jar tomato sauce on it. And speaking of using prepackaged products, I wish they had used bottled dressing on their Caesar salads. At least it would have had some flavor. This was a negative experience for the entire trip.
The main dining room was lovely and the Lido deck was OK. I did not go to the Pinnacle Room because I think the charge of $30 a person is outrageous. Maybe I have been fortunate enough to be on cruise lines that don't nickle and dime you like I saw on the Volendam, but I was very glad to hear that on the evening our table mates went to the Pinnacle (they had gotten free passes because they are frequent cruisers) there was only two other couples there. Maybe if that happens enough, HAL will lower the fee to a truly nominal one.
SPA/EXERCISE FACILITIES - The spa and exercise facilities were very good, with one important exception. The spa is expensive but all ships spa facilities are expensive and the treatments were excellent. Of course the staff pushes you to buy products but all ships' staffs push that. The exercise facilities were large and spacious. There needs to be more elliptical machines. There were only two of them and they were always being used. The most annoying aspect of the gym is that they are trying to sell you their various classes. I've never been on a cruise ship where they did that. Each class was $30!!!. My monthly membership at my gym is only $60 a month. In general Holland American constant push on the ship to get you to buy other things was really annoying.
STAFF - With a few very minor exceptions the staff was all very pleasant and went out of their way to help. I only feel sorry for them because they are obviously required to push you to buy other things. For example, at our first night at dinner the wine steward instantly asked us if we wanted to sign up for a wine tasting class the next day for $15. The next day at breakfast I was quietly having coffee by myself on the deck and next thing I know there is a waiter next to me asking me the same question. I wanted to should "GO AWAY," but I know they are just doing what is required of them. By the way, it happened one other day at lunch when again I was by myself. The management who should know better.
ACTIVITIES My final comment is on the ship-board activities. As you can guess it really annoyed me that they kept pushing you to buy things and they did that, for example, with cooking classes. Again I had never experienced this. I thought these kind of activities went with cruise
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