Who said the Tasman was rough?: Volendam Cruise Review by Wicked Wanda

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Wicked Wanda
Member Since 2009
1 Forum Post

Overall Member Rating

Who said the Tasman was rough?

Sail Date: January 2009
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Embarkation: Other
After a couple of nights at the Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour and a day at the cricket, we caught a taxi down to Darling Harbour#8. Just as we were dropped off, four buses of North Americans arrived at the terminal direct from their long flights. The organization was lacking terribly.The representatives failed to give the same directions and older passengers struggled due to the lack of seats, refreshments and a line stretching out the door. Dick, a gentleman from Washington DC certainly voiced his displeasure.

After 45 minutes or more, we were on the escalators going up to the Volendam.Smiling faces greeted us and directed us to the Lido Deck for lunch while we waited for our cabin to be ready. Within an hour, our stateroom (inside cabin) was ready.Our cabin was reasonable in size and cleaned to an excellent standard. For the next fourteen days, everything went almost perfectly. The skies were sunny except for Melbourne, the scenery amazing, the seas were smooth to moderate, More the meals were varied and delicious and the entertainment was excellent considering the size of the ship. To top it off, we met a group of people who enjoyed every minute of their cruise by ignoring those minor issues which occur on any vacation.

Unlike previous cruises, there didn't seem to be level of hard sell which did affect my level of enjoyment on those cruises. The only constant complaint I heard from other passengers was that they felt ripped off when they did excursions through the ship's shore excursions. I did the Taieri Gorge Railway using the city bus, online booking and lunch and beers onboard for $70US while the ship's excursion price was $237 US.

Due to the cruise being in the summer vacation for Australia, lots of kids were onboard. Although most were well behaved and supervised by their parents, some did too often run near the pool, in passageways and in areas where they should not have been. The Captain did mention the responsibilities of parents onboard in his initial address to all passengers but unfortunately some parents did take in the message.

This was my second Holland America Cruise. Like the previous one, the crew certainly are first class. Service of the highest standard was provided with a smile by every crew member. My family had a great time with outstanding value. It was great to visit new ports like Burnie and Picton. Milford Sound at daybreak is unforgettable!! Less

Published 01/26/09

Cabin review: J2657 Large Interior Stateroom

Inside cabin. More than adequate. Close to forward elevators, theatre, bow of ship for outside viewing. Close to ice and cabin stewards station Noisy hallway due to lots of kids on this cruise

Read All Large Interior Stateroom (J) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

My cruise finished in Auckland. The terminal was excellent. Many officers were on hand to complete bag inspections. My luggage was ready for me. Free trolleys were available to carry suitcases to the nearby taxi rank, bus link to the airport and the nearby Railway Station. Free maps and guides were handed out by City Ambassadors who welcomed me to Auckland.

Read 262 Auckland Reviews

Station Pier Melbourne is a well organized gateway to Melbourne City. Free bus shuttles to the city were readily available and easy to board. Cheerful staff gave helpful directions while City Ambassadors gave out pamphlets and maps. Just a couple of hundred metre walk from the per is the 109 Tram which for $4.50 US gives you a return trip to the city. Melbourne CBD has many excellent attractions to enjoy. The only problem one faces is city's very unpredictable weather.

The beauty of Sydney Harbour on a clear day is without equal in the world. The bridge, the Opera House, the city skyline, the waterfront mansions and the hundreds os boats,ferries and oceanliners make up a spectacular panorama. The chaos I experienced at Darling Harbour Terminal 8 took the port's rating from a 5+ to just a 3.

Wellington, the capital of New Zealand is a city with a host of excellent attractions. A must see is the Te Papa Museum. A free bus shuttle was provided to the city outside the terminal. The walk to the city is manageable but at present roadworks, an uneven pavement and busy port traffic make the walk a little challenging in parts. After the ongoing works are completed the walk will be much easier and more enjoyable. I struck Wellington on a sunny day. It is a beautiful place to visit.

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Wicked Wanda
Member Since 2009
1 Forum Post
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