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We enjoyed a wonderful 14-day cruise to Japan and China, starting in Tokyo and ending in Shanghai. Our flight was part of the cruise package and worked out well. We had a pre-cruise stay in Tokyo. Great hotel, but disorganized embarkation procedures at the hotel. Once on the ship, everything was fine. Service was exemplary by all the staff. They just couldn't do enough for us. When we told the Steward that the room was too cold, he reported it immediately and within a few hours it was fixed and the front desk called to verify that we were now satisfied. When my husband fell on an independent excursion, the front desk called to find out how he was doing and sent a plate of chocolate covered cherries to our room. When we couldn't get our phone to work on the ship, the front desk ushered us over to a complimentary phone to use. When we couldn't get the Wi-Fi to work, the people at the front desk patiently walked us through the procedures. When we arrived on board we found that our travel agency had paid for a free meal in the Pinnacle Grille. The card in our room said it was a free dinner, but that turned out to be a mistake - it was only supposed to be a free lunch. However, the ship graciously honored what the card said and gave us a free dinner. The meals in the dinning room were excellent. The dining staff gave great recommendations and graciously made any requested alterations to the stated menu items. On at-sea days we enjoyed the 'America's Test Kitchen' cooking demonstrations and lectures by Master Kam on China. We never attended any of the evening entertainment, so I can't comment there. Disembarkation was very smooth. We were organized into groups and called by group to go off the ship. Our luggage was waiting for us. We only did two ship excursions; we prefer independent ones. But there were no independent ones available in those two ports. The ship excursions were typical large group affairs. We also did one ship excursion to see an acrobatic show. It was not the famous one in Shanghai that I wanted to see. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the ship to give us adequate information ahead of time to determine what show we would be taken to. I called their excursion office twice before the cruise and each time they promised to call me back, but never did.

Great Cruise Staff - Beautiful Ship

Volendam Cruise Review by pahlborn

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2017
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Large Interior Stateroom
We enjoyed a wonderful 14-day cruise to Japan and China, starting in Tokyo and ending in Shanghai. Our flight was part of the cruise package and worked out well. We had a pre-cruise stay in Tokyo. Great hotel, but disorganized embarkation procedures at the hotel. Once on the ship, everything was fine. Service was exemplary by all the staff. They just couldn't do enough for us. When we told the Steward that the room was too cold, he reported it immediately and within a few hours it was fixed and the front desk called to verify that we were now satisfied. When my husband fell on an independent excursion, the front desk called to find out how he was doing and sent a plate of chocolate covered cherries to our room. When we couldn't get our phone to work on the ship, the front desk ushered us over to a complimentary phone to use. When we couldn't get the Wi-Fi to work, the people at the front desk patiently walked us through the procedures. When we arrived on board we found that our travel agency had paid for a free meal in the Pinnacle Grille. The card in our room said it was a free dinner, but that turned out to be a mistake - it was only supposed to be a free lunch. However, the ship graciously honored what the card said and gave us a free dinner. The meals in the dinning room were excellent. The dining staff gave great recommendations and graciously made any requested alterations to the stated menu items. On at-sea days we enjoyed the 'America's Test Kitchen' cooking demonstrations and lectures by Master Kam on China. We never attended any of the evening entertainment, so I can't comment there. Disembarkation was very smooth. We were organized into groups and called by group to go off the ship. Our luggage was waiting for us. We only did two ship excursions; we prefer independent ones. But there were no independent ones available in those two ports. The ship excursions were typical large group affairs. We also did one ship excursion to see an acrobatic show. It was not the famous one in Shanghai that I wanted to see. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the ship to give us adequate information ahead of time to determine what show we would be taken to. I called their excursion office twice before the cruise and each time they promised to call me back, but never did.
pahlborn’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Large Interior Stateroom
Cabin I 2600
The room was well laid out: adequate storage space, unusually large bathroom (for a ship), excellent shower, very comfortable beds
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Tiananmen Square
    Outstanding experience. Guide was terrific. I was very nervous about getting off the cruise ship and traveling so far from the ship on this tour. Our tour guide, Maggie, immediately allayed those fears by her professional approach to every situation. She was waiting for us right where we came off the ship. She hugged us and took us right to the waiting car. She explained all the details of the tour, gave us water bottles, and did everything to make us comfortable. We loved every minute we spent with her. Though we had been told by ship personnel that tourists might not get in to Tiananmen Square because of the ongoing National Congress, Maggie flashed her tour guide badge and ushered us right in past all the long lines of waiting crowds. She then took us to the Forbidden City, explaining the history and significance of all the buildings. She watched over our every step, constantly making sure we didn’t trip on uneven pavement or miss an unexpected step up or down. She adapted to our pace of walking and, since we are seniors, that is very important to us. We had a lovely hotel room, chosen by the tour service, which provided an excellent free breakfast. Unfortunately, overnight my husband fell and hit his head in the bathroom, needing emergency care. Because of his injury, we decided not to go out to walk on the Great Wall the next day. When we told Maggie the next morning that we needed to change the plans, she immediately adapted and took us to the Summer Palace instead. She was clearly an expert on all aspects of the history of Beijing. Her English was excellent and she could answer every question. Our driver was also quite masterful at his part of the tour, knowing how to maneuver around traffic jams and make as good a time as possible on Beijing’s crowded roadways. All in all, a terrific tour that we will remember for years to come.
    View All 23 Tiananmen Square Reviews
  • The Atomic Bomb Museum
    enjoyed the morning touring the Atomic Bomb Museum. It is definitely worth seeing. Then we walked over to the monument that marks Ground Zero and then on to Peace Park. In the afternoon we walked from the ship to Glover Garden. It is a beautiful area on the side of a hill with several buildings that you can tour. The gardens are beautiful and the view of the harbor is outstanding.
    View All 23 The Atomic Bomb Museum Reviews
  • Osaka
    We had a very good private tour of Mino Pine Forest and the Marine Science Museum. At the Science Museum they study how fish swim and have built many mechanical fish models that you can see in operation. Then we took water taxi across the bay to get back to our ship.
    View All 40 Osaka Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Zhujiajiao Watertown
    We spent a wonderful day with Apple in Shanghai! She was delightful, informative, considerate. She was very knowledgeable about the history of Shanghai and was constantly explaining the details of everything we saw. Our tour of ZhuJiaJao was great – enjoyed the boat ride and walking through the old town shops. Afterwards we went to the silk factory to see how silk is produced. She took us for an outstanding lunch of Chinese food and wrote down the names of each different kind of food for us. She was an expert at organizing the day so that we avoided the crowds and saw everything we had planned on. In the afternoon we went to the top of the Shanghai Financial Tower, rode the Maglev Train, and were back to the ship even a bit early. We loved every minute of the tour. Apple graciously took pictures of us several times through the day. She was very personable and spoke excellent English. Our driver was also very efficient at getting us around and drove very safely.
    View All 11 Zhujiajiao Watertown Reviews