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We have not cruised with HA since 2011. In the interim we have cruised with Oceania, and HA suffers in comparison. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - we wanted to visit several ports in Indonesia. Apparently we were not the only ones who felt this way - the cruise was fully booked. When we booked the stateroom level were interested in was booked up. We made our booking for a BB Vista suite in May of 2016 for a February 2017 cruise. We were guaranteed a BB Vista suite, or better. We were not assigned a cabin until early January 2017. In the end we were not happy with the stateroom, number 6105, It was almost at the front of the ship, which meant a lot of motion, but more importantly it was directly over the showroom. This meant that every afternoon we heard the dress rehearsal for the evening performance, as well as the 8:00 and 10:00 show. Being directly above the band meant that it was uncomfortably loud three times a day. The show was usually 45 minutes, rehearsal often an hour or more. I don't expect we will sail on HA again due to the fact that we apparently cannot select a cabin ourselves. The cruise was well priced, but after sailing on Oceania I felt that we were constantly being upselled on things that really should have been included. Want a soft drink? Pay for it. Want a cappucino or other barista coffee? Pay for it. Want water to take on a shore excursion - pay for it. On the last item - the temperature was between 27 and 30C everyday (high '80s). Making us pay for water seemed ridiculous in that heat. The ship itself is in fairly good shape, but it is time for a refreshment of the decor. The beds and bed linens are nice, the towels seemed tired and in need of an upgrade. The ship itself did not exactly sparkle - the outside paint and trim need attention. Perhaps I wouldn't have noticed these things if I hadn't sailed on a more luxurious ship and had a basis for comparison. The staff were cheerful and friendly. In the Lido restaurant and lounges there seemed to be a lack of staff often - tables weren't cleared and reset quickly, place settings were incomplete. I usually ended up getting our coffee/water/juice myself because there was no one around. That was fine except that tracking down glasses was always a challenge. The dining room staff were very good. The dining room food was very good. Nicely presented, good variety. The room was very pleasant. The wine staff did an excellent job of keeping track of us and making sure that our wine followed us from restaurant to restaurant. The food in the Lido buffet was plentiful, but quite average. It was definitely a cafeteria experience and the food suffered for it. The coffee was truly dreadful. The only respite was paying for coffee from the Explorations Cafe. The Pinnacle Grill was very good. The menu was interesting and having their own kitchen meant that the food was cooked and served in perfect time. We did go to the La Cirque night at the grill - won't do that again. The style of food (fancy French) didn't really appeal. We ordered rack of lamb and after a very long delay an elegant presentation of 1 lamb chop appeared, followed by a little pot containing braised lamb shoulder. I'm assuming missing one of our ports meant they were short on chops because one chop does not equal a rack. Why not just say so? It was tasty, but not what was advertised or what we ordered, and since we had paid extra for this meal it seemed odd. We missed our last port due to weather. I think this might have been a reprovisioning port because for the last two days there were many things unavailable in the restaurants and lounges. We were able to do two of the three shore excursions we purchased. Our final stop and excursion were cancelled due to weather. The excursion from Samarang to Borobodur was very good. We took the ship excursion because it was a very long day and we wanted to be in the hands of the cruise company if there were delays. As it was 16 coaches went out from the ship and we were, even with a police escort managing traffic, more than an hour late returning to the ship. The company contracted to handle the excursion did an excellent job. They managed the flow of the day so we weren't all jammed together. Excellent meal at the temple. Water provided, along with maps. Very informative guide. We also took the ship excursion at Komodo Island - same company had the contract, same great management of the excursions. We booked three guides privately - for Surabaya, Lombok and Bali. Thing to remember - traffic in Indonesia is beastly. You will spend a lot of time sitting in traffic. Which is interesting enough, for awhile, but you need to account for this when planning what you want to see. We used Nyoman Ariasa of Bali Island Tours (www.baliislandtours.com) for our two days on Bali. He did a great job for us - took us to see the sights, took us shopping, suggested great lunch spots. Nyoman spoke eloquently about Bali, its history, culture and faith, which really added to our experience. He had a very comfortable vehicle for us to ride in (equipped with wi-fi!) and took great care of us.We'd highly recommend his company.

Interesting Itinerary, average shipboard experience

Volendam Cruise Review by SidneySharon

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
We have not cruised with HA since 2011. In the interim we have cruised with Oceania, and HA suffers in comparison.

We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - we wanted to visit several ports in Indonesia. Apparently we were not the only ones who felt this way - the cruise was fully booked. When we booked the stateroom level were interested in was booked up. We made our booking for a BB Vista suite in May of 2016 for a February 2017 cruise. We were guaranteed a BB Vista suite, or better. We were not assigned a cabin until early January 2017. In the end we were not happy with the stateroom, number 6105, It was almost at the front of the ship, which meant a lot of motion, but more importantly it was directly over the showroom. This meant that every afternoon we heard the dress rehearsal for the evening performance, as well as the 8:00 and 10:00 show. Being directly above the band meant that it was uncomfortably loud three times a day. The show was usually 45 minutes, rehearsal often an hour or more. I don't expect we will sail on HA again due to the fact that we apparently cannot select a cabin ourselves.

The cruise was well priced, but after sailing on Oceania I felt that we were constantly being upselled on things that really should have been included. Want a soft drink? Pay for it. Want a cappucino or other barista coffee? Pay for it. Want water to take on a shore excursion - pay for it. On the last item - the temperature was between 27 and 30C everyday (high '80s). Making us pay for water seemed ridiculous in that heat.

The ship itself is in fairly good shape, but it is time for a refreshment of the decor. The beds and bed linens are nice, the towels seemed tired and in need of an upgrade. The ship itself did not exactly sparkle - the outside paint and trim need attention. Perhaps I wouldn't have noticed these things if I hadn't sailed on a more luxurious ship and had a basis for comparison.

The staff were cheerful and friendly. In the Lido restaurant and lounges there seemed to be a lack of staff often - tables weren't cleared and reset quickly, place settings were incomplete. I usually ended up getting our coffee/water/juice myself because there was no one around. That was fine except that tracking down glasses was always a challenge.

The dining room staff were very good. The dining room food was very good. Nicely presented, good variety. The room was very pleasant. The wine staff did an excellent job of keeping track of us and making sure that our wine followed us from restaurant to restaurant.

The food in the Lido buffet was plentiful, but quite average. It was definitely a cafeteria experience and the food suffered for it. The coffee was truly dreadful. The only respite was paying for coffee from the Explorations Cafe.

The Pinnacle Grill was very good. The menu was interesting and having their own kitchen meant that the food was cooked and served in perfect time. We did go to the La Cirque night at the grill - won't do that again. The style of food (fancy French) didn't really appeal. We ordered rack of lamb and after a very long delay an elegant presentation of 1 lamb chop appeared, followed by a little pot containing braised lamb shoulder. I'm assuming missing one of our ports meant they were short on chops because one chop does not equal a rack. Why not just say so? It was tasty, but not what was advertised or what we ordered, and since we had paid extra for this meal it seemed odd.

We missed our last port due to weather. I think this might have been a reprovisioning port because for the last two days there were many things unavailable in the restaurants and lounges.

We were able to do two of the three shore excursions we purchased. Our final stop and excursion were cancelled due to weather. The excursion from Samarang to Borobodur was very good. We took the ship excursion because it was a very long day and we wanted to be in the hands of the cruise company if there were delays. As it was 16 coaches went out from the ship and we were, even with a police escort managing traffic, more than an hour late returning to the ship. The company contracted to handle the excursion did an excellent job. They managed the flow of the day so we weren't all jammed together. Excellent meal at the temple. Water provided, along with maps. Very informative guide. We also took the ship excursion at Komodo Island - same company had the contract, same great management of the excursions.

We booked three guides privately - for Surabaya, Lombok and Bali. Thing to remember - traffic in Indonesia is beastly. You will spend a lot of time sitting in traffic. Which is interesting enough, for awhile, but you need to account for this when planning what you want to see.

We used Nyoman Ariasa of Bali Island Tours (www.baliislandtours.com) for our two days on Bali. He did a great job for us - took us to see the sights, took us shopping, suggested great lunch spots. Nyoman spoke eloquently about Bali, its history, culture and faith, which really added to our experience. He had a very comfortable vehicle for us to ride in (equipped with wi-fi!) and took great care of us.We'd highly recommend his company.
SidneySharon’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Vista Suite with Verandah
Cabin BB 6105
As noted previously this cabin is directly over the band in the showroom. This means dress rehearsal and two show per night are inescapable. It is loud and there is nothing to be done about it. Even on the verandah the volume is uncomfortably loud. Last show is 10:00, so you will have until 10:45 most nights before it is quiet enough for sleeping. Also, being this far forward makes for quite a bit of ship motion. Unless you plan to be out of your room every evening I would not recommend this cabin.

The cabin itself is very comfortable. Lots of storage. Nice sitting area. It was difficult to keep the room comfortably cool at night due to the tropic temperatures.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Bali
    Nyoman of Bali Island Tours (baliislandtours.com) was our guide for two days on Bali. He took great care of us, driving us with care and attention in his wi-fi enabled SUV. We had some specific shopping we wanted to do as well as seeing the town of Ubud. Nyoman made sure we saw the sights we wanted to and added in many more as we drove about. He suggested great restaurants for lunch. His love for his island is evident, and his comments on the history, culture and faith of Bali added greatly to our enjoyment of the two days we spent with him. Given the traffic on the island it was wonderful to have someone else doing the driving and knowing the back ways to get around the congestion. We could relax and enjoy the sights.
    View All 13,582 Bali Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Bali Cruise Port Review
  • Lombok
    Rather than take the shore excursion to the main waterfall we took a private car with driver and guide. We visited some handcrafters (pottery and weaving), had a great lunch and then went for a walk in the jungle to enjoy two beautiful waterfalls. Great day!
    View All 13,582 Lombok Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Lombok Cruise Port Review