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As background, we have cruised approximately 9 times before. We choose our cruise primarily according to the itinerary and we have spread our allegiance to a number of different cruise companies. Our first cruise was with HAL (Westerdam) and we chose to cruise on the Volendam because we wanted to see Alaska. I had read the Cruise Critic reviews prior to booking / sailings. At the time there weren’t many recent reviews. On the positive side, we felt the food was good, plenty of choice and well presented. Our cabin steward gave us first class service and our cabin was in a great position – at the most forward position, underneath the bridge. The scenery and views on board ship of Alaska were nothing short of stunning. We opted for “freedom dining” and for a table for the 2 of us. This seems to be a bit of a misnomer, as it seemed difficult to get a table for 2 if you turned up not having booked. We were also frequently seated (until I complained) close to the serving stations. We felt the markup on (what seemed to us to be mediocre) wines was excessive, so we didn’t purchase any wine with our meals. I felt disappointed with the men’s dress approach on “gala nights”. I appreciate this is a matter of personal choice, but I feel that those who “make the effort” should be afforded the privilege e.g. of sitting in a designated part of the restaurant. The afternoon tea was exceptionally disappointing. The water for the tea was tepid and took the waiters ages to replace. It was a long time before they bought my coffee. There were 4 finger sandwiches, which we ate. We were joined by another couple later on and asked for some more sandwiches and the waiter muttered something about sharing the first plate! We didn’t go back. The ship is a bit tired (and maybe some of the crew are as well). She will have a refit later this year. Whoever decided that it was good idea to put the cabin light switches behind the pillows clearly hasn’t turned over in bed – not a pleasant awakening at 2 AM !! Also who had the bright idea that you should lock up the safe in your cabin with a credit card, clearly hadn’t thought this one through (what do you do with the credit card?

Nice ship, spectacular Alaskan scenery

Volendam Cruise Review by Wolfie_Bill

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
As background, we have cruised approximately 9 times before. We choose our cruise primarily according to the itinerary and we have spread our allegiance to a number of different cruise companies. Our first cruise was with HAL (Westerdam) and we chose to cruise on the Volendam because we wanted to see Alaska.

I had read the Cruise Critic reviews prior to booking / sailings. At the time there weren’t many recent reviews.

On the positive side, we felt the food was good, plenty of choice and well presented. Our cabin steward gave us first class service and our cabin was in a great position – at the most forward position, underneath the bridge.

The scenery and views on board ship of Alaska were nothing short of stunning.

We opted for “freedom dining” and for a table for the 2 of us. This seems to be a bit of a misnomer, as it seemed difficult to get a table for 2 if you turned up not having booked. We were also frequently seated (until I complained) close to the serving stations.

We felt the markup on (what seemed to us to be mediocre) wines was excessive, so we didn’t purchase any wine with our meals.

I felt disappointed with the men’s dress approach on “gala nights”. I appreciate this is a matter of personal choice, but I feel that those who “make the effort” should be afforded the privilege e.g. of sitting in a designated part of the restaurant.

The afternoon tea was exceptionally disappointing. The water for the tea was tepid and took the waiters ages to replace. It was a long time before they bought my coffee. There were 4 finger sandwiches, which we ate. We were joined by another couple later on and asked for some more sandwiches and the waiter muttered something about sharing the first plate! We didn’t go back.

The ship is a bit tired (and maybe some of the crew are as well). She will have a refit later this year.

Whoever decided that it was good idea to put the cabin light switches behind the pillows clearly hasn’t turned over in bed – not a pleasant awakening at 2 AM !!

Also who had the bright idea that you should lock up the safe in your cabin with a credit card, clearly hadn’t thought this one through (what do you do with the credit card?
Wolfie_Bill’s Full Rating Summary
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