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Volendam Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
594 Reviews

Far East Asia

Volendam Cruise Review by JennDonn

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2018
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom

My mother chose this line as she had travelled with Holland America previously.

It is a good way to see countries in Asia: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and then stop in Hong Kong.

The ship itself was comfortable. The food in the Lido was so so, but the dining room food was better. It would be nice if there was a breakfast bar for smoothies, etc as a healthy alternative to fried bacon, eggs, sausages.

The staff on board is, as I have always found, very nice and helpful. Lovely people.

I was disappointed with the state of their tennis court - every day there was activities “meet for tennis”, but the court was always wet and sometimes the net was down. If you could not find any staff about the decks, you had to take pool towels and dry the court yourself. The tennis balls available were terribly old and in really bad shape.

Pickle ball was also offered and the equipment for that was in better shape.

JennDonn's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Singapore is very expensive. The highlights were the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome; the Supertree Groves were really cool with the light show at night. Chinatown was bustling with market places and had great food.

Tenders are required to get to shore. We got into a large van and drove for about an hour to a fishing village - saw so much garbage strewn along the beach, it was devastating. Then we walked through the market area to a field of palm trees where trained macaque monkeys climb the trees to retrieve coconuts. We then drove to a few Buddha temples, strolled around and took pictures. We then drove to a beach hotel resort for a very nice buffet lunch before driving back to the pier.

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City Tour

See as above

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River Cruise

A long bus ride from Pattaya into Bangkok (about 3 hours) and then drove around the city. Stopped to get on a tour of a market place and then onto a river boat for a cruise. A good way to see the city from the river. We stopped at a very nice hotel resort for a buffet lunch, it was excellent. Stopped to see a temple, and then a large factory where they make jewellery. Unfortunately, the sales people are pretty aggressive trying to sell jewellery. We then drove back to port.

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WOW. This was amazing. We were picked up at the port by Sam, who took us through the town of Sihanoukville. The market place was very interesting and we tried some local food. He then took us to the airport, where we boarded a plane to Siem Reap. There we were met with another Trails of Indochina Rep named Sarom and spent two days touring the temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Tom, experienced a dinner/dance show of Apsara (native Cambodian dance); stayed at a fabulous hotel Lotus Blanc; had a tuk tuk ride; went to the night market before getting on a plane to Ho Chi Minh city. Once we landed at Ho Chi Minh, another Trails of Indochina Rep met us for a four hour tour of the city - food, markets, it was fabulous! They then drove us out to the port of Phu My to meet our cruise ship. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this overland Cambodia tour. Our cost was $1,200 US per person. Holland America was charging around $3,000 US per person.

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Nha Trang

Beautiful port. Here we met Xuan Le of www.tourwithxuan.com and enjoyed a day with him exploring the countryside and city.

We saw rice fields, a family who wove conical hats; a sister team that wove sedge grass mats; enjoyed a temple/orphanage with wonderful children; a family showed us the art of making rice paper; had a river cruise to a wonderful temple with great views of the city; had a wonderful traditional mud bath and mineral pool; and topped off with an amazing dinner with the locals. What a day! You couldn’t fit more into that itinerary. Xuan is humerous, polite, punctual young man and all the while he is taking pictures of your group which he shares with you online once you’re home. And his cost for the day was so much less than a cruise line excursion!

After spending a day with Xuan in Nha Trang, he flew down to meet us at the port of Da Nang. Right on time and so excited to see us again, he put us in his lovely new van and off we went. The day started with a drive to the countryside and hopping into a woven basket boat on the river with locals. So much fun and no way could a tour bus get to this location. The next stop was the ancient city of Hoi An, where we had an amazing Vietnamese meal at a local restaurant. We then travelled to the marble mountain temple, then visited the harbour to view the fishing boats and the hundreds of basket boats that the fishermen take to their large ships off shore. We were so sad to say goodbye to Xuan - he was like a member of our family by the end of two days with him. You must TOURWITHXUAN, his cost was $1,200 US for six of us for two full days.

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Halong Bay

Touring through Halong Bay on a boat, lunch provided.

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