Volendam Cruise Review by lynnrosenblatt
- Sail Date: December 2016
- Destination: Asia
Additionally we had already decided against the Vietnam leg to Hong Kong as we had seen Thailand previously and we wanted a more extensive tour of Vietnam and Cambodia than what a cruise would offer. So we did the Indonesian segment only.
Embarkation and debarkation were easy and quick. The Volendam is an older ship but was to expectation as we have been on a number of HA cruises and prefer their smaller vessels. We booked a month prior to departure so the price was great provided that we choose an interior stateroom and let them assign it. We had taken this option before and was satisfied both times with the selection.
The food was good but not extraordinary; the dining room at night was better than the Lido but the lunch buffet in the Lido was superior to the dining room at noon. There were more choices and the food quality overall at lunch was better on the buffet..
As always the staff was well trained and very polite. Our cabin was always clean and our dining room waiters top notch. There was always assistance available when we needed it in the Ludo dining area. The excursion staff did provide some information regarding taxis at the ports but clearly that information was limited and at times not as accurate as it should have been. We were able to get by with only one tour which we purchased from HA in Lombeck but as stated in other reviews it was crowded and we spent a lot of time in traffic.
We were aboard for both Christmas and New Years and the crew went out of their way to assure that the holidays were memorable. Otherwise the night time entertainment was mediocre. The piano man was probably the better after hours destination.
As other reviewers have pointed out Holland is cutting corners. They definitely cater to an older age-group and have eliminated a number of extras plus are charging an exorbitant amount for drinks, WIFI and shore excursions. Obviously these are their money makers as the discounted last minute fares are likely popular with the retired crowd who can travel at short notice and who as a matter of convenience pay the high cost of the extras as a trade-off for an inexpensive cruise.
I believe that HA is very aware that their customary more affluent devotees have migrated to the luxury cruise lines which are all inclusive and far more expensive. HA is making a serious effort trying to accommodate the older crowd who are looking for a good deal but still willing to the extra to make the experience worth while. To that end this cruise succeeded!
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