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Volendam Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
594 reviews
10 Awards

Japan Cruise on the Volendam (1 disabled, married pax, 1 husband and a friend)

Review for Volendam to Asia
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10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Apr 2018

There were three adults in our cabin, an inside cabin, that was supposed to be wheelchair-accessible, but when the third adult was added to the reservation, the travel agent changed us to the wrong sized cabin. Not the cruiseline's fault. At once when we arrived with 14 pieces of luggage split between 3 adults in an interior tiny cabin, we called to ask for a larger cabin. At first we were categorically denied, then 5 days later, we had a long and loud discussion with the guest services people, asking for the head of GS but never, ever speaking to her even after multiple daily requests, and they offered to let two of us (the married couple) move to a wheelchair cabin down the hall for only $4000 more than we had already paid. We argued because it is simply not safe for three adults and 14 pieces of luggage to reside together in an emergency situation. After much talk about safety and lawsuits, (an empty wheelchair cabin was available 5 doors down) we agreed to pay another $700 for the second cabin, 1 week into a two week Japan cruise. That's down from a $4000 additional payment, mind you. The room steward refused to help us move, even though I am a wheelchair user. He said he would be right back, but never returned to help us, when he knew very well that we needed help. That second cabin was fine, but then the officers of hotel services approached us a few days later and offered us a balcony cabin, (the third cabin) which we were very happy to move to.

Now the story adds more depth: the reason why we were offered the balcony on another deck was because we had complained that our toilet was not cleaned by the room steward: there was still poo splatter inside the bowl. Because I complained, the room steward was angry and proceeded to enter my cabin without knocking, unannounced, to discuss the matter, while I was in the bathroom half naked. I told him to leave and called guest services and the hotel manager immediately. Not long after my security report, we were offered to move to a balcony on another deck. I was genuinely afraid of that room steward who saw me half naked. I hope he got in big trouble.

As for the rest of the cruise, the dining room food was always the best, Master Kan, who did Tai Chi lessons and lectures was wonderful, the acrobats were great, and trivia was very fun. I am glad that HAL does not push the shops, bingo, and alcoholic drinks all the time. That gets old quick. The Lido tables were cleaned quickly for the next guest, the America's Test Kitchen was just wonderful. More of that, please. More games all day long, please. They had Chinese Mahjong, but never American Mahjongg. I play American and the Chinese guests would not let me join in. We were glad that there were no loud PA system announcements, so that people could nap in the daytime. We were disappointed that the cabin safes are only accessible by one single credit card, so that's not cool. If you are staying onboard and the one credit card to get into the safe is in a pocket of your roommate on shore, you are out of luck. Since this was a Japan cruise, we expected daily Japanese stuff to do like origami, Japanese calligraphy, you know, short language lessons, we are in Japan after all.

Cabin Review

Cabin Interior tiny/wheelchair accessible int/balcony...

Please see written review above where I talk about all three cabins we were assigned.

Port Reviews


The Japanese people are my favorite on Earth. There were, unfortunately, no wheelchair excursions on the entire cruise.


HAL offers no excursions for disabled people of any sort.


HAL offers no excursions for disabled people of any sort.


HAL offers no excursions for disabled people of any sort.

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