Volendam Cruise Review by gfax
- Sail Date: January 2018
- Destination: Asia
- Cabin Type: Large Interior Stateroom
The ship is not in a good shape anymore. The food is about average (the same food choice over and over again, day after day). The Lido on this ship closes at 8 pm (not at 9 pm as on other Holland America ships). The late dining takes way too long (one hour is the minimum - going up to 1.5 or 2 hrs) as they did cut on cooks and waiters as well - so be prepared to wait for your food if you want each night dining experience. We skipped the dining experience for the last couple of days as it was too long for getting the food. As usual, shore excursions as overpriced, but if you do your homework in advance - you can get at least 1/2 price if not even better. These are interesting ports of call - so the cruise is worth although it has all these issues (mentioned above). The late night entertainment was sub par (only 3 good shows in 14 days).
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Bangkok (Laem Chabang)We walked in the huge Flower market and did an extra visit to the Old Palace where we've seen extraordinary flower gardens. Be prepared for a in depth checkin by the police (including passport, fingerprinting, X ray check, etc) - as it is the Royal Palace. We loved it ! Highly recommended. Again, Aom is it an excellent guide.View All 12,792 Bangkok (Laem Chabang) Cruise Port Reviews
We did a 2 days tour with the same Chob Thai tour guide operator in Bankok. We saw lots of temples (sitting Budha, reclining Budha, small emerald Budha, the 5.5 ton Budha, the marble temple, did the river cruise, the flower gardens, the Old Palace flower expo, walk of the city, etc.
The price for 2 persons (in a private van - for just two of us) with a driver and Aom as a guide - 10,900 baht (day one) and 8.900 baht (day two). Day one was included a ride from the cruise ship to Bankok (the tour started at 8:30 am and ended at 5 pm). Day two the tour started at 8 am and ended at 2:30 pm at the ship cruise terminal. Highly recommended. A note: in Thailand they do not want to be paid in USD, but only in baht !
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Ayuddhaya Walking TourWalking tour in the center of the city. Again, Aom highly recommended as a tour guide. Get the feeling of the city !View All 10 Ayuddhaya Walking Tour Reviews
Grand PalaceAwesome experience. Aom is a very good guide - highly recommend to do the tour with her. Shows you inclusively the photo opportunities. Excellent tour experience !View All 29 Grand Palace Reviews
Jim Thompson's HouseNice house and completely guided tour offered by the museum. I would recommend visiting it to find out how an American established himself in Bankok and lived there for 8 years till he died mysteriously in the jungle. He established a flourishing silk commerce with Western countries.View All 4 Jim Thompson's House Reviews
River CruiseOne in a lifetime experience. We were two people and Aom as a guide on a 16 km canal tour (which lasted more than one hour) on a long tail boat. Saw the houses near the river, the Komodo dragon, fed the fish, saw local temples and the local people life - excellent tour, highly recommended.View All 20 River Cruise Reviews
Imperial HueWe saw the King Tu Duc Tomb. Then we transferred by car to visit the Royal Palace of the Hue Citadel. Next, we saw the Thien Mu Pagoda, the symbol of Hue. At the end we've visited the Dong Ba market.View All 12 Imperial Hue Reviews
Good tour, very nice tour operator, reasonable priced (70 USD per 2 persons).
Halong BayWe picked a tour with an independent operator (www.smiletoursvietnam.com) and did the Halong Bay Island tour for 8 hours, viewing multi-shaped rocks and visiting the Sung Sot cave. We had lunch on the boat (it was great !). In the afternoon, we continued the cruise passing by a fishing village,Tortoise island, Man's head island, Bo Nau cave, bamboo sampan row to Luon cave.View All 40 Halong Bay Cruise Port Reviews
In total, it was an awsome experience and 8 hrs tour versus de 5 hrs tour the ship offered. The price was also good (110 USD for 2 persons, compared to 298 USD - the ship's price)
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Hong KongThe city (especially in Grand Island) it is worh seeing by yourself. Go and see the most important sky scrapers - like IFC 2, Central Plaza, Highcliff, Bank of China Tower, Lippo Center, HSBC Building 1. Most of them are even better than in the States or Canada !View All 314 Hong Kong Cruise Port Reviews
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Hong KongVictoria Peak is something to see in Hong Kong. Beautiful views over the city, nice overall experienceView All 314 Hong Kong Cruise Port Reviews
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Vintage TrolleyIf you've seen the San Francisco trolleys - then this one looks the same ! Overall, good experience.View All 2 Vintage Trolley Reviews
Koh SamuiDid a 3 temple sightseeing and Crystal Bay Beach at the end (we took a 2 hr stop there). The tour was a 5 hrs tour. Driver knew basic English - just enough to do a conversation with him. Cost was 2500 baht for 2 persons in a private van (only the 2 of us). Excellent tour, highly recommended. High marks for Michelle Peddington - the tour organizer !View All 12,792 Koh Samui Cruise Port Reviews
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Nha TrangExcellent private tour operator in Nha Trang - very personalized and awsome experience. We took the Dung Pham tour operator and it was a totally excellent experience in Nha Trang. We were 3 persons, did the tour, had lunch included (and personalized too). I would highly recommend it. The price was 60 USD per 2 persons.View All 65 Nha Trang Cruise Port Reviews
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SihanoukvilleWe saw 5 beaches (and did stop a lot at each of them) - Otres beach, Ochetaul beach, Serendipity beach, Sokha beach, Independence beach and Victoria beach (the last one not recommended). We saw also the Wat Krom temple (really nice).View All 12,792 Sihanoukville Cruise Port Reviews
Overall, an excellent experience. I would strongly recommend to do it. The cost was 40 USD for 2 persons for a 5 hours tour.
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