Volendam Cruise Review by sunhat123
- Sail Date: February 2017
- Destination: Asia
- Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
HAL's dining as usual was good standard in all restaurants. We did not think the Pinnacle Grill was good enough to support the $35 pp extra charge. We enjoyed our dinner in Canaletto more. Entertainment was passable, but disappointing that all the major musical productions were repeats from Volendam presentations a year ago. Our cabin stewards were excellent, as was our waiter Axis who served us every evening in the Ocean Bar. He was the best staff member aboard in our opinion. Friendly, efficient -- one of those crew members that give HAL its reputation for superior staff. The same could not be said for the people on the Front Desk and the Tours Desk, who were continually confused and verging on inept. It doesn't matter how cheerful people are if the information they provide is wrong or they can't sort out billing issues.
We had two significant issues on this cruise:
1. On embarkation in Singapore we handed over 4 bags in the terminal. 3 arrived at the cabin, and when we sailed we had only 3. We were upset at the missing bag and it cast a shadow on sail away, which should be a happy time. We were informed all bags had been delivered so we completed a loss report. Fortunately on return to the cabin after dinner at 10 pm the bag was in the cabin with its original correct tag still intact. We have no idea where it went for 11 hours. No follow up from the Front Desk, nor an explanation. No apology. And very little interest or concern at the Front Desk in the first place that the bag had been missing. After a few days we provided written comment to the Front Desk and did receive an apology and a complimentary dinner in Canaletto.
2. On arrival in Nagasaki the disembarkation process was completely mis-managed by the ship's staff. Since we had not purchased a HAL tour we were given a 1:40pm disembarkation time. We were not able to get off the ship until almost 4:00 pm, with all-aboard time less than 3 hours later. The crew blamed Japan Immigration for delays, but the fault was entirely the ship's disembarkation process that did not control who got off the ship when. Very shabby, and this short port of call was almost ruined by the inept management of the disembarkation process. Not one of HAL's finer days.
Otherwise we found the cruise of pretty good standard. Volendam is getting old and tired, and its heating system seemed challenged by the cold weather in Korea and China (Lido pool area and several of the public spaces were unusually cold and uncomfortable for about 48 hours) but it is a good size for Asia cruising and the itinerary from Singapore to Yokohama was excellent.
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