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Our first cruise with Holland America, to Alaska on the 7-day Inside Passage cruise, was wonderful. We booked almost at the last minute based on the suggestion of our daughter and son-in-law, who travelled with us. We both had ocean view cabins on C deck, with a large window and a very nice up-dated bathroom, loads of storage space. Everything about our cabin was first-rate: comfy bed, nice linens and towels, immaculately clean and well-kept, thanks to our cabin stewards. My only complaint would be that ocean-view cabins don't have fridges. Our steward kept our ice bucket refreshed for us to chill our water bottles, and wine we brought on board. As soon as we were welcomed aboard the Volendam, I knew I'd love it: from the gorgeous teak Promenade deck and classic loungers, the warm welcome from the fabulously well-trained crew, the attention to cleanliness with hand sanitizers everywhere and questions to boarding passengers about their current health. The standard of health and food safety in the dining areas was outstanding. Bravo Holland America for doing such a good job with a caring manner. We loved how, in the Lido buffet restaurant, you lined up for your food to be served to you from behind a counter. Very little risk of cross-contamination and spread of illness there, which you get when people dip and pick in open bowls of food, dirty sleeves and unclean hands over food that others are going to eat - ugh! Being on a gluten-free diet, I was very impressed with the g-f service in the Lido, no risk of cross-contamination there. In the Rotterdam Dining Room, I was always served g-f bread, and invited to select my dinner choices from the next day's menu so that my food choices would be guaranteed to be gluten-free. Very impressive.The crew will willingly and graciously serve passengers warm and cold beverages from the central stations, and will fill passengers' water bottles, to avoid passengers putting potentially 'unclean' hands and contaminated bottles all over the water station spiggots etc. FYI, I'm not OCD but we're all very conscious of how easily passengers can get sick on board ships. (Previously, on a Russian river cruise, I fell very ill with a Norovirus, as did approximately 60% of the other passengers. The other 35% got sick with a nasty bronchial illness and maybe less that 5% fortunately didn't get sick at all). We loved the Volendam's information talks and the Captain's Q&A session.The evening entertainment was better than expected: the trio in one of the bars was superb, the magician, comedian, and the dancers were all great fun. We're not 'foodies', shoppers or gamblers so can't comment on those aspects offered on the Volendam. We loved the views from the Crow's Nest, the pretty central Atrium, a welcoming meeting place, and the decor on the ship, very gracious, lovely flowers everywhere, gentle art, understated, classy elegance, nothing 'in your face'. All the crew are so good, and happy in their work, that alone won me over and wold make me choose HAL again and again. Watching the magnificent scenery from the stern and Promenade decks, watching for whales and dolphins was our favourite pastime. The solitude of Glacier Bay is remarkable. The only negatives were the prohibitively-high costs of the ship's shore excursions, which precluded us from booking any of those, and possibly missing out on a great shore excursion. The other 'beef' was the 15% service charge on any beverages we bought. Currently, the Canadian dollar is low against the US dollar and these previously unknown additional costs are unacceptable in current markets. However, I'd love to sail again on the Volendam.

Loved the ship and the crew, the Inside Passage

Volendam Cruise Review by oceantidesonethree

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Our first cruise with Holland America, to Alaska on the 7-day Inside Passage cruise, was wonderful. We booked almost at the last minute based on the suggestion of our daughter and son-in-law, who travelled with us. We both had ocean view cabins on C deck, with a large window and a very nice up-dated bathroom, loads of storage space. Everything about our cabin was first-rate: comfy bed, nice linens and towels, immaculately clean and well-kept, thanks to our cabin stewards. My only complaint would be that ocean-view cabins don't have fridges. Our steward kept our ice bucket refreshed for us to chill our water bottles, and wine we brought on board. As soon as we were welcomed aboard the Volendam, I knew I'd love it: from the gorgeous teak Promenade deck and classic loungers, the warm welcome from the fabulously well-trained crew, the attention to cleanliness with hand sanitizers everywhere and questions to boarding passengers about their current health. The standard of health and food safety in the dining areas was outstanding. Bravo Holland America for doing such a good job with a caring manner. We loved how, in the Lido buffet restaurant, you lined up for your food to be served to you from behind a counter. Very little risk of cross-contamination and spread of illness there, which you get when people dip and pick in open bowls of food, dirty sleeves and unclean hands over food that others are going to eat - ugh! Being on a gluten-free diet, I was very impressed with the g-f service in the Lido, no risk of cross-contamination there. In the Rotterdam Dining Room, I was always served g-f bread, and invited to select my dinner choices from the next day's menu so that my food choices would be guaranteed to be gluten-free. Very impressive.The crew will willingly and graciously serve passengers warm and cold beverages from the central stations, and will fill passengers' water bottles, to avoid passengers putting potentially 'unclean' hands and contaminated bottles all over the water station spiggots etc. FYI, I'm not OCD but we're all very conscious of how easily passengers can get sick on board ships. (Previously, on a Russian river cruise, I fell very ill with a Norovirus, as did approximately 60% of the other passengers. The other 35% got sick with a nasty bronchial illness and maybe less that 5% fortunately didn't get sick at all). We loved the Volendam's information talks and the Captain's Q&A session.The evening entertainment was better than expected: the trio in one of the bars was superb, the magician, comedian, and the dancers were all great fun. We're not 'foodies', shoppers or gamblers so can't comment on those aspects offered on the Volendam. We loved the views from the Crow's Nest, the pretty central Atrium, a welcoming meeting place, and the decor on the ship, very gracious, lovely flowers everywhere, gentle art, understated, classy elegance, nothing 'in your face'. All the crew are so good, and happy in their work, that alone won me over and wold make me choose HAL again and again. Watching the magnificent scenery from the stern and Promenade decks, watching for whales and dolphins was our favourite pastime. The solitude of Glacier Bay is remarkable. The only negatives were the prohibitively-high costs of the ship's shore excursions, which precluded us from booking any of those, and possibly missing out on a great shore excursion. The other 'beef' was the 15% service charge on any beverages we bought. Currently, the Canadian dollar is low against the US dollar and these previously unknown additional costs are unacceptable in current markets. However, I'd love to sail again on the Volendam.
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin C
See above
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins